Monthly Archives: May 2020

Gaming Americas creates advisory board, prepares for upcoming summit

An up-and-coming gaming media site founded by some of the most well-known names in the industry continues to polish its infrastructure as it seeks a stronger foothold. Gaming Americas, which was founded by the creators of European Gaming, has announced the creation of an advisory board to help take it into the future. Members of the gaming community will be able to become more familiar with the platform and its new advisors when the site holds its upcoming conference, Sports Gambling & Casino Summit North America. 

According to a press release from Gaming Americas, “The advisory board consists of Dr. Laila Mintas (Advisor and C-Level Executive at Dr. Mintas Consulting), Bill Pascrell, III (Partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group, Inc.), Jeremy Kleiman (Gaming Attorney and Member at Saiber LLC), Dr. Joerg Hofmann (Partner at MELCHERS LAW), Daniel Wallach (Founder at Wallach Legal LLC) and Zoltán Tűndik (Co-Founder at HIPTHER Agency).

“The board’s assembled expertise includes the former Deputy Presidency of Sportradar US, Counsel to the Governor of New Jersey, and an ex-senior strategist for the Presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.”

The site was just formed in the middle of last month, coming into the North American gaming industry as it begins to recover from the coronavirus global pandemic. The timing couldn’t be better, as many insiders predict that sports gambling and other forms of gaming are going to receive a lot of legislative attention as states look for new ways to offset the revenue losses caused by COVID-19. The upcoming conference will certainly include a substantial amount of coverage on the legalization of sports gambling across the country. 

NFL decides to hold off on adding booth referee this season

As the NFL continues to work toward a launch of the regular season this September, there are still a lot of issues to be worked out. One major issue has to deal with different rules and how they’re implemented, and team owners are expected to virtually get together today to go over the changes. With the revelation that the league already screwed up in trying to manage the pass interference challenge rule, which has now been scrapped, perhaps the owners can come up with a better solution that can easily be put into play. Heading into today’s call, they’ll have one less item on the list, as the NFL has scrapped plans to add a booth referee to the games. 

The pass interference challenge was designed, in part, to make up for the egregious error performed on the part of the officiating crew during the playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and the LA Rams in the 2018-19 season. The NFL has already admitted to being a major failure with regards to that rule, and will try to work out an alternative. The booth referee, or sky judge, was initially created to be that replacement; however, it won’t be added to the rulebook for the upcoming season.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, “Both ‘sky judge’ proposals are being withdrawn prior to tomorrow’s virtual meeting on rule changes, sources say. Expect the NFL to still test some expanded booth-to-official communication system in the preseason. But no officiating personnel added for 2020.” He adds, “Adding a booth umpire/senior technology advisor could’ve supplanted last season’s controversial pass interference replay rule, which wasn’t renewed. But questions persist about how far that person’s power should extend. Competition committee supports further analysis.”

Peter King of NBC Sports chalks up the rule’s demise to lack of preparation on the part of the league. The eye in the sky was first discussed several years ago, and then revived after the Saints playoff debacle. Early last month, talk of the additional referee became more serious, but the league hasn’t been able to figure out how to come up with a plan of attack. Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive VP, told King, “The concept of the eighth man in the booth has some merit. But we just don’t have the pipeline [of officials] today. Can we get there? Yes. But today, it could be a challenge.”

20 more casinos in Oklahoma begin welcoming visitors

It’s been a rough couple of months for casinos and gambling enthusiasts in the U.S., but things might finally be ready to get back on track – even if that track isn’t entirely the same as the old one. Casinos across the country are starting to reopen their doors, with Oklahoma showing more progressive stubbornness than most. A few casinos in the state began to accept gamblers a couple of weeks ago, there was no shortage of interest on the part of casino-goers, and other venues could only grit their teeth, waiting for a chance to join in on the fun. That day has now come, with 20 more casinos, all operated by the Chickasaw Nation, opening their doors as of yesterday. 

Of course, just because the venues are open doesn’t mean that everything is returning back to normal. The casinos are only accepting about 25% of their normal capacity, and will be following established health and safety protocols until everyone can be confident that the coronavirus is no longer a real threat. In the meantime, though, casino employees will have to be prepared to submit to a daily superficial health checkup, and visitors will need to practice social distancing requirements. 

In addition, they will also need to prepare to see other changes at the casinos. WinStar World Casino and Resort, for example, won’t be offering valet service for a while, and swimming pools are still off-limits. Any patron expecting to take advantage of the casino’s complimentary drink stations is going to be disappointed, as these are still out of service. The good news is, though, that the casino will offer free water and soft drinks at its bars. Additionally, table games, off-track gambling, bingo, poker and certain other amenities are still in the dark. 

The governor of the Chickasaw Nation, Bill Anoatubby, explained as the native tribe was preparing to relaunch its gambling operations, “Our leadership team has developed a comprehensive plan with numerous levels of protection to protect the health of our employees and patrons. We continue closely monitoring the data and consulting health professionals in an effort to maintain the most effective containment measures available and minimize any possibility of resurgence.”

Kangwon Land forced to call off reopening as COVID-19 reappears

South Korean gambling aficionados got a little bit of bad news today. Just as they were limbering up their gaming fingers to hit Kangwon Land, the only casino in the country where locals can gamble legally, the venue has been forced to halt its plans to open its main gaming floor. Predictions that have circulated of a possible revival of the coronavirus have come true, at least partially, and South Korea is witnessing a sudden spike in cases. Hopefully, the increased level of knowledge now shared on the virus will make this resurgence short-lived.

Kangwon Land closed its doors on February 23 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, subsequently coming back to life on May 8. However, the main gaming floor was still not put back in operation at that time, giving VIP gamblers unfettered access to their usual stomping grounds. In anticipation of a larger reopening, and as a means to recover lost revenue, the casino had planned on offering more gaming tables and longer operating hours when it welcomed back the mass gaming segment today. 

That’s no longer a possibility, at least not in the short-term. According to South Korean officials, the country saw 40 new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period from Tuesday to Wednesday. It was the biggest jump experienced by the country in almost two months, and 36 of the patients were determined to have resided in the same area in Seoul. Even beyond the sudden spike, South Korea had acknowledged a steady, but slow, increase in coronavirus cases over the past couple of weeks. To date, the country has recorded a total of 11,265 patients and 269 fatalities due to the virus. 

Leading up to the reopening of the main gaming floor, Kangwon Land was ready to put its first-quarter performance in the rear-view mirror. For the first three months of the year, it saw a loss of $127.3 million, compared to a profit of $82 million a year earlier. South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism had given the casino approval to add 20 gaming tables to the operations, as well as to extend its daily operating hours from 18 to 20. That would have put the casino at the same level it enjoyed before 2018, and the changes were expected to remain in place until the end of the current license period, which will expire in 2023. 

Sports gambling in The Big Easy one step closer to reality

Sports gambling in Louisiana has taken another step closer to becoming a legal activity. The Louisiana Senate has successfully approved, by a vote of 29-8, a measure that will put the subject on the ballot for voters to consider this coming November. No one could be happier than New Orleans, also known as The Big Easy, which has been itching to get into the legal sports gambling market for some time. 

Senate Bill 130 (SB 130) was presented by Senator Cameron Henry and has been making its way through the legislative obstacle course, receiving considerable support along the way. A Senate judiciary committee overwhelmingly approved SB 130 earlier this month, which makes the fact that eight Senators voted against the measure last week a clear indication of political influence against the efforts of legislators to improve the state’s economy. 

SB 130 works a little differently than what has been found in other states where sports gambling has been legalized. While certain states left the decision up to voters, like was the case in Colorado, those initiatives required majority support of the entire voting population for sports gambling to be legalized. In Louisiana, though, each parish will be able to determine whether or not it wants the activity. The bill asserts, “If a majority of qualified electors in the parish voting on the proposition vote for the proposition, then sports wagering activities and operations shall be permitted in such parish only after state laws providing for the licensing, regulation, and taxation of such activity and operations are enacted and become effective.”

There are 64 parishes in the Pelican State, which means 64 chances to see legalized sports gambling. Before the public weighs in on the measure, though, the Louisiana House of Representatives will need to sign off on SB 130. If it approves, the chances of the state’s 50 gaming properties, a mix of commercial and tribal gaming venues and racetracks, will certainly work overtime to convince the local populations that allowing sports gambling would be a good thing for the communities. 

Poker on Screen: Super High Roller Bowl (2015-)

For many years, high stakes poker on television was literally that – one single show of the same name that brought to life the world of the elite poker player who could drop six figures and still smile at the end of the night.

When High Stakes Poker, there was definitely a gap in the market for a poker show that featured eye-watering buy-ins and no lack of entertainment. While Poker After Dark fulfilled the cash game element of High Stakes Poker, the big buy-in wasn’t something that you could attribute to a single show. The World Poker Tour’s Alpha 8 project was one that tried to corner the Super High Roller audience, but after only a handful of events, it hadn’t taken off and has since slid from the schedules.

When Poker Central began the Super High Roller Bowl, it was a $500,000-entry event, a tournament that would make someone an awful lot of Super High Roller buy-ins. Would it be popular enough to sustain the format? It proved to be so.

The first-ever Super High Roller Bowl took place in 2015, and it was Brian Rast who won it, taking home $7.5 million when he beat Scott Seiver in the heads-up. Taking place at ARIA Resort & Casino, the event was followed in successive years by two more similar events, won for $5 million by Rainer Kempe in 2016 and for $6 million in the next year by Christoph Vogelsang.

Ganapati appears to be falling apart

Ganapati is quickly turning from a success story into something else entirely. The B2B games supplier has been riding high at gaming conferences with celebrity endorsed products, but a recently surrendered license, alleged investment scam, and mounting debts could signal a scandalous end to this once promising firm.

Under the radar, Ganapati has recently surrendered their Malta gaming license, something which the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) website confirms. This move was made without any apparently announcement or explanation.

However the company has come under fire in Japan. The Toyo Keizai reports Joint company GPJ Venture Capital, a subsidiary of Ganapati, has raised 16.6 billion yen ($150 million) in investments from elderly Japanese people over the phone. The investment, as they described it, would be in an online casino and crypto development. Ganapati prominently markets their online casino games portfolio and blockchain product, GanaEight Coin (G8C), on their website.

The article reveals that the company never properly registered for this type of investment scheme, and particularly not for one involving some type of digital asset. It also alleges that the company, which appears to have a majority stakeholder in a single Japanese individual, may have registered in the U.K. as a way of soliciting funds in Japan without alerting Japanese officials. Exclusive Interview: Play’ n GO predicts the future

More innovation and customised content are needed to succeed

Sweden – 25th May 2020. sat down with Play’n GO Head of Sales Magnus Olsson to discuss his predictions for the 2020 casino industry.

2019 was a success story for Play’n GO, highlighting the popular Tome of Madness slot game as one of their many big hits. Still Olsson also drew attention to the company’s music-based titles like Testament which have been extremely well received.

And while the software provider continues to grow its portfolio of popular games with innovative adventure-themed titles like Shield of Athena, Play’n GO have set their sights on ensuring their unique brand of exciting games will be found in all regulated markets.

A new report from the casino guide How the new gaming law has affected the Swedish gaming industry

A new report from the casino guide highlights how the Swedish gaming industry has been affected since January 2019, when the government introduced a licensing market for gambling. The report reveals, among other things, that about 50,000 Swedes have used the self-shutdown service, as well as a dramatic reduction in visitor traffic to the Swedish licensed companies. In addition, criticism is directed at the government’s recent legislative proposals with additional gaming regulations, which, according to the report, risk driving players to unregulated international gambling sites.

Stockholm, May 22, 2020 –, Sweden’s leading casino guide, today presents a new report on how the new gambling law from January 2019 has affected the Swedish gaming market and its players. The report, prepared by together with the owner company XLMedia, highlights, among other things, changes in consumers’ gaming patterns, government revenues and expenses, as well as the growth of the private industry players, which are today part of Sweden’s regulated gaming market. The report also analyzes the future of the industry, as well as the risks associated with the government’s recent legislative proposals on lower maximum limits for deposits and bonuses, with the primary aim of countering gambling abuse during the corona crisis.

The new gambling law

The new Gaming Act from January 1, 2019, meant that Sweden was granted a licensing market for gambling, with the aim of excluding all the actors that are non-licensed and don’t pay tax in Sweden. According to Spelinspektionen, 98 companies today have active gaming licenses, where of as many as 71 are online. Among other things, the law requires that the companies on their site, clearly offer players three main opportunities to limit their gambling, in the form of the measures, game limits and self-testing. The companies that do not comply with the rules risk, among other things, having their license revoked for up to two years.

FIFA and NBA2K among new games added to Luckbox

Esports fans can now bet on FIFA and NBA2K at Luckbox after more new games were added to the platform.

Rocket League and Rainbow Six Siege have also been added to the site, taking the total number of games available at Luckbox to 13.

With COVID-19 outbreak cancelling traditional sports, there has been a huge spike in the number of fans looking to bet on FIFA and NBA2K in the early part of 2020.

Esports betting volumes have increased 20-fold, during lockdown, with FIFA and NBA2K accounting for 85% of that growth.

Metal Casino deepens links with heavy metal scene following Spiffbet merger

26 May 2020 – Malta: Metal Casino, the gaming site for metal music fans, has announced plans to further engage with its rock ‘n’ roll audience following its merger with Spiffbet, the Nasdaq First North Growth Market listed online casino and betting games developer.

Metal Casino, which completed the deal with Spiffbet in March, has introduced a new dedicated area for rock-themed slots on its unique website, and will reach out to the grassroots music scene through a talent search across its major markets.

The Metal Experience segment includes a range of top-ranked slots from major studios featuring classic acts like Ozzy Osbourne, Testament, Sabaton and Demon, with Play’n GO’s eagerly anticipated Twisted Sister to be added on its release.

Pelle Wiman, Metal Casino CEO, said the dedicated segment and the work of Metal Casino and Play’n GO emphasises the authentic, long-standing connection between rock ‘n’ roll and gambling which was previously absent in the digital domain.

BetConstruct’s Virtual Sports receives MGA approval

The igaming and sports betting provider secures an approval for its in-house developed virtual sports games under the MGA’s Type 1 licence.

The new approval enables BetConstruct to provide these games under its own MGA licence as well as deliver virtual betting to MGA licensed operators under White label, Turnkey or API solutions.

Among BetConstruct’s portfolio Virtual Sports is one of the fastest growing products having 8 games in total at the moment – The Penalty kicks, Virtual Bicycle, Virtual Drag Racing, Virtual Football League, Virtual Football Pro, Virtual Greyhound Racing, Virtual Horse Racing, Virtual Marble Racing.

Currently, the software provider is in process of securing approvals for more of its products. If you want to learn about gambling licences, application procedures and more, please find information in our complete list of online gambling licences.

Nevada casinos get final health & safety rules before June 4 reopening

Nevada casinos got their final update on the precautionary measures they need to take ahead of their June 4 reopening, while one casino operator is taking extreme steps to ensure customers are there on opening day.

On Wednesday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) released its Updated Health & Safety Policies for Reopening after Temporary Closure. The document is the final blueprint for the measures casinos must take in order to be allowed to reopen on June 4 according to the state’s post-pandemic ‘Roadmap to Recovery.’

The full document can be viewed in full here but the substantive changes from the previous update include requiring resort hotels to have a designated area “where hotel guests may be tested for COVID-19” and where they can “safely” wait to get their test results.

The NGCB also wants operators to submit their plans for the “commitment to and implementation of responsible gambling measures.” Apparently, the NGCB is anticipating something like VE Day in Times Square, in which gambling-starved customers throw discretion to the wind and egg on their wallets to sexually assault the slot machines.

Online Casino and Sportsbook BETZEST goes live with leading payment provider Interac

Malta, 26th May 2020 – Online Casino and Sportsbook Betzest announced a new partnership with leading payment provider Interac offering instant, safe transactions for online iGaming industry In Canada.

Interac is already available on Betzest cashier for both deposits and the withdrawal of winnings, offering real-time payments for Canadian players.

Online sports betting and Casino Betzest continues increasing its operations since its launch in July 2018. Betzest is quickly becoming one of world’s leading online gambling company offering best sports betting and casino games.

Marius Filip, Founder/CMO at Betzest, said: We are very excited to conclude another new partnership with leading payment method Interac. We are always looking to improve the Betzest product for our players and this innovative & secure payment provider will play a vital part in helping Betzest to facilitate transactions in Canadian market. A big thank you to our Betzest team for this great achievement and to Interac Team for their constant support during the process. We’ve had a tremendously pro-active start to 2020 with a remarkable collection of world-class payment and casino providers on the way. I’m certain the best is yet to come.”

Gambling Business during a Quarantine Period: Forecasts and Actions

The first Ukrainian specialized online gambling business magazine is organizing a two-day webinar. During the online event, opinion leaders will share the most important information regarding the gambling business during the crisis, including its legalization and new trends.

The webinar will take place on June 17 and 18, the event will start at 19:00 (UTC +3). The list of speakers includes lawyers, the bill’s author, marketers, a media psychologist, as well as top cyber sports and cyber soccer managers.

Anyone interested can take part in the event after filling out a registration form on the website of the event. On the day of the webinar, which will be held online, participants will be sent an active link to the platform where the broadcast will take place.

What participants will learn:

ZUBR granted Gibraltar’s in-principle DLT approval

The digital assets derivatives exchange becomes one of the first such exchanges outside of the US to get to this stage.

Gibraltar, London, 27 May 2020 – ZUBR, the arbitrage hub for digital asset derivatives, has received today an in-principle decision from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) to grant the firm authorisation as a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) provider, one of the first European digital derivatives exchanges that will become regulated.

ZUBR is an instant, low-cost and transparent digital derivatives arbitrage hub for traders seeking a fair and reliable gateway to crypto markets. 

The in-principle approval is the beginning of the final stage of the licence authorization process, and ensures that ZUBR shall be, by the time the licence is issued, compliant with the nine regulatory principles set out in Gibraltar’s DLT regulations, designed to protect consumers and businesses using digital assets stored or transmitted on distributed ledgers.  

Racing Post to resume print publication from June 1st

Tuesday 26th May 2020 – Racing Post has today announced it will resume publication and nationwide distribution of its print newspaper on June 1st to coincide with the resumption of British racing closely followed by Irish racing on June 8th. 

Joining the daily publication on the return will be Racing Post weekly publications, Racing Post Weekender and the Racing and Football Outlook. 

Production of the newspaper had to be temporarily suspended for the first time in its history in March after global sports, and particularly horseracing, had been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the downtime, Racing Post has produced a reduced digital version of the newspaper online covering the fallout and resumption plans alongside reports on global racing and sports where it has been able to continue. 

Horseracing in Britain is scheduled to return at Newcastle on Monday, June 1st, according to the BHA’s initial schedule for the resumption of the sport, while Naas will host the comeback fixture in Ireland when the sport returns on June 8th. 

WSOP Gold: Connor Drinan loses with Aces against Aces

Think of the worst tournament bad beat you can remember. Now triple it. Now televise it to the biggest poker audience you can imagine.

Now imagine that you paid a million dollars to enter the event.

Connor Drinan has no need to imagine such a bad beat because back in the summer of 2014, he lived it.

Playing in The Big One for One Drop is a huge accomplishment in itself. Not only have you managed to either pony up the world’s biggest buy-in at the time – or convinced multiple backers to invest in your action – you have to be a very decent standard not to be embarrassed at the felt.

UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns odds

Odds courtesy of

The UFC took last week off but returns with a terrific Fight Night card from Las Vegas on Saturday night – the first in the home of the organization since the coronavirus pandemic; the past three were all held in Jacksonville, Florida – that is headlined by a matchup between former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns.

This card will be held at the UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas, but organization president Dana White had Arizona as an alternate option just in case the Nevada State Athletic Commission didn’t approve the card because of the coronavirus pandemic (it did but with stricter testing). The first three cards since the pandemic were held in Florida because Nevada wouldn’t approve them but the Sunshine State’s commission did.

The 38-year-old Woodley (19-4-1) won the welterweight belt at UFC 201 via first-round knockout of Robbie Lawler in July 2016. Woodley then defended it four times, one of those ending in a majority draw against Stephen Thompson. “The Chosen One” lost the belt to current champion Kamaru Usman by unanimous decision at UFC 235 in March 2019.