Monthly Archives: March 2020

Digitain announces: the show must go on!

Provider unleashes blockbuster package of betting markets as alternatives to postponed fixtures

Friday, 27th March 2020: Digitain, the global sportsbook and platform provider, is set to take a stand against the COVID-19 downturn by boosting its catalogue of alternative markets to the front of its ranks.

The company further strengthened its industry-leading credentials with a rapid and well-adapted reaction to the pandemic, instituting a remote working policy and revamping its award-winning in-house casino offering within 24 hours of the outbreak.

Ready to supply its global operator network with one of the industry’s most comprehensive packages of content, Digitain has unveiled an action-packed line up to keep betting events going throughout the day.

Self-exclude from gambling to avoid temptation during lockdown – warning to vulnerable consumers

MARCH 31, 2020 – FIONA PALMER, chief executive of GAMSTOP, is urging anyone worried about their gambling while they are stuck at home during the coronavirus lockdown to exclude themselves from all online gambling websites.

Fears have been raised by MPs that vulnerable customers will increasingly turn to online gambling as a distraction at the very time when they can least afford it, leading to a surge in gambling-related harm. The Gambling Commission has issued new guidance to all licensed companies to keep customers safe and the Betting and Gaming Council, which represents operators, has published a ten-point plan for its members to follow.

GAMSTOP is a free service that allows consumers to exclude themselves from gambling websites. By registering with GAMSTOP, consumers can choose to restrict themselves from all UK-licensed online gambling sites for a minimum period of either six months, a year or five years.

More than 130,000 people have registered with GAMSTOP since the scheme went live in April 2018, with 73% opting to self-exclude for five years, the maximum period available. Early evidence shows that nine out of ten consumers who chose to self-exclude for a shorter period have not returned to gambling at the end of their chosen timeframe, which means their self-exclusion has automatically remained active.

DC Lottery delays sports betting launch due to lack of sports

The District of Columbia’s long-delayed legal sports betting launch has been postponed yet again, this time (allegedly) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DC Lottery was originally scheduled to launch its Intralot-powered digital sports betting product in January, but in November that timeline was pushed back to sometime in the first quarter of 2020. On Monday, the Washington City Paper reported that the Lottery had now ‘indefinitely’ delayed its betting launch.

A spokesperson said the Lottery’s web and mobile wagering platforms “are tested and ready to go live.” The problem is that the mass cancellation of sports events due to the coronavirus has left the Lottery with “little-to-no games or bets to offer” DC residents. The Lottery was “revising” its launch strategy and promised updates in the coming days, including “introducing the brand and its functionalities.”

The spokesperson denied that the betting launch was due to Intralot’s financial woes. The company’s shares have been on a fairly uninterrupted downward spiral since the end of January 2018, when they stood at €1.37. The shares closed Tuesday’s trading on the Athens exchange at just under €0.14. Earlier this month, Intralot appointed a new CEO, Sokratis Kokkalis, but it still hasn’t issued its Q419 financial results.

Poker in Print: Devilfish: The Life & Times of a Poker Legend

Some of the best poker books don’t offer you strategic advice, but instead inspire you to take up the game and improve at it. For lovers of a poker anecdote, as most of us are, Devilfish: The Life & Times of a Poker Legend is a book that has few equals.

To say that Dave Ulliott was a rogue and raconteur is not to disrespect him, but more to understate him. His poker stories had beguiling beginnings, mesmerizing middles… and no end. He could talk for hours and you’ll feel like it had been minutes.

Ulliott would frequently leap onto stage, grab a guitar and entertain people wherever he went. He’d join in with buskers, corral strangers in the street to hear him sing and woo the crowds at the World Series of Poker… before taking their money at the poker table. He was a born entertainer:


Psyonix announces Rocket League Spring Series

After the cancellation of the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) Season 9 Championship, it would have been easy to put any Rocket League action on the back burner, or maybe after-burners. Instead of that course of action, however, Psyonix today announced that the Rocket League Spring Series will begin on April 14th with a $250,000 addition to the regional Rocket League Championship Series also on the cards.

Following the Coronavirus outbreak, many live events were scuppered, with plans for millions of sports fans around the world thrown into chaos. From Premier League football to French Open tennis, Fortnite fans to Dota2 devotees, live sports fans and Esports fans have faced up to weeks of uncertainty with a stoicism.

Plenty of previously live events have nowhere to go, with football an obvious example of a game that simply cannot be played any other way than in huge stadiums that lose millions when they aren’t full. Esports, however, are a different type of game. The original game that is often enjoyed by crowd in a live stadium is an online pursuit; the natural regression of Esports is to pull back to everything being online. The game is still the same, the teams and players are still operating in the circumstances in which they usually perform.

Rather than crown an overall Season 9 Championship winner this season, the RLCS will play out four regional Spring Series tournaments. Here are where and when each region will line up:

NFL Betting Futures: NFC Division odds

Every team in the NFC has won a division title since 2007 but one. The lone club that hasn’t? That would be the Detroit Lions, whose last division championship came back in 1993 when the current NFC North was called the Central. Perhaps it’s no surprise, either, that the Lions are one of four active franchises to never play in a Super Bowl and the only one in the NFC.

Odds courtesy of

The current Lions have become the New England Patriots West as head coach Matt Patricia has brought in another handful of ex-Patriots in free agency just like he did last offseason. Patricia is a former New England defensive coordinator and enters 2020 on a very hot seat after back-to-back losing seasons.

Oddsmakers aren’t confident the Lions will end their division title drought as they are +800 long shots in the NFC North. The defending champion Green Bay Packers are +135 favorites, and they should be considering in Aaron Rodgers they have by far the division’s best quarterback.

Poker on Screen: I Bet You (2007-2008)

“The following is what happens when you give two degenerate gamblers their own TV show…”

Some poker TV shows feature poker as the main player, others use the game as a backdrop for gangsters to shout at each other or dramatic characters to feel the emotional pull of a gambling addiction or enjoy the escapism of the game.

The two-year run of prop-betting poker show ‘I Bet You’ did no such thing. The show featured Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari as two best friends prepared to prop bet each other through the trials and tribulations of a life on the road as poker pros at the top of their games.

Nothing was off limits, no subject was taboo and nothing was left unsaid by two men for whom filters were designed purely for sunglasses. Poker prop bets often originate from stories heard at the felt. Remember that one about Huck Seed doing a front flip within 24 hours but his uncle was a gymnast? What about that prop bet where the guy trod water for 24 hours? No, he bailed and paid out at 4 hours.

Caesars-Eldorado shares spike on word that merger is going ahead

US casino giants Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts are pushing ahead with plans to merge their operations, although the timeline will likely be pushed back a few months.

On Tuesday, CNBC quoted a source with firsthand knowledge of the imminent union of Caesars and Eldorado saying the transaction, which was expected to close sometime in April, will now likely not be a done deal until June.

The delay has been blamed on disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shut down all commercial casino operations across the country. Social distancing efforts aimed at minimizing further transmission of the coronavirus have resulted in the postponement of public hearings with gaming regulators in Indiana, New Jersey and Nevada.

Delays in obtaining regulatory approval in the countless other states in which the two companies operate have already proven costly. The deal terms require Eldorado to pay Caesars shareholders a monthly penalty of 10 cents per share if the transaction wasn’t closed within nine months of its public announcement. That nine-month deadline expired last week.

China restarts lottery sales in Hubei, epicenter of COVID-19

China has relaunched lottery operations in Hubei province, the epicenter of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 29, the Hubei provincial Sports Lottery Management Center announced that it would restart lottery sales on Tuesday in all provincial cities and counties with the exception of the city of Wuhan, where lottery sales are expected to resume on April 8th.

China suspended all lottery sales in late-January for the annual spring festival but the rapid spread of COVID-19 ultimately stretched that suspension to a record 49 days, including the entire month of February, as the authorities tried to minimize community transmission.

Two weeks ago, China’s National Sports Lottery Center announced that two-thirds of the nation’s lottery operations had resumed sales, albeit under significant new restrictions. Retail lottery hubs are putting desks in their doorways and selling tickets without allowing customers to physically enter the shop, while other retailers have set up kiosks on the street spaced at least six feet apart.

Philippine gambling shutdown costing regulator $118m a month

The Philippines’ gambling regulator says it’s continuing to provide cash for local pandemic relief efforts despite the fact that the suspension of gambling activity means its coffers are running dry.

On Tuesday, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) issued a statement regarding the P20.5b (US$403.3m) it has contributed to the local efforts to reduce further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. This includes P12b to the National Treasury and P8.5b to the Socio-Civic Projects Fund of the Office of the President.

PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo noted that the regulator had fully complied with President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a public health emergency by shutting all land-based casinos, eGames, bingo, poker, slot machine clubs and sports betting facilities on March 15. That was followed three days later by the suspension of all Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and their service providers.

With nearly all gaming under lockdown, Domingo said PAGCOR was losing an average of P5b-6b per month in lost revenue. Domingo said “the entire Philippine gaming industry will suffer” the longer the shutdown persists “but the people’s safety is of paramount importance.”