Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nevada approves online poker framework - 23rd December 2011

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In the United States, the Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved a set of proposed regulations on Thursday that would permit companies to apply for licences in order to operate online poker for residents of the western state.

The proposals were widely supported by the industry and require applicants to prove their ability to maintain controls on registration, prevent underage play and establish the location of players before being licensed.

Regulation 5A was one of six draft proposals adopted or amended yesterday by the Nevada Gaming Commission and also addresses what information is to be presented on websites and establishes procedures for record keeping, dispute resolution, fees, taxation and problem gambling notifications.

The Nevada Gaming Commission is already considering applications from six companies in Cantor Gaming, Shuffle Master Incorporated, International Game Technology, Bally Technologies Incorporated, Caesars Entertainment Corporation and the South Point Hotel Casino and officials are optimistic that approving the regulations will lead to technology firms opening operations in Nevada and expanding current business.

The push to legalise online poker in Nevada goes back to mid-March when Las Vegas Assemblyman William Horne submitted his AB258 bill. This proposed legislation was approved by the Nevada Assembly in May before being passed by the Democrat-controlled Nevada Senate and signed into law by Republican governor Brian Sandoval less than a month later.

Yesterday’s public hearing to pass the framework required to implement Horne’s legislation saw no opposition or major amendments as it had already been revised eleven times and state officials now await the repeal of the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) before being able to legally license operators.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Web gambling gets boost from Obama administration - 26th December 2011

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The Obama administration cleared the way for U.S. states to legalize Internet poker and certain other online betting in a switch that may help them reap billions in tax revenue and spur web-based gambling.

A Justice Department opinion dated September and made public on Friday reversed decades of previous policy that included civil and criminal charges against operators of some of the most popular online poker sites.

Until now, the department held that online gambling in all forms was illegal under the Wire Act of 1961, which bars wagers via telecommunications that cross state lines or international borders.

The new interpretation, by the department's Office of Legal Counsel, said the Wire Act applies only to bets on a "sporting event or contest," not to a state's use of the Internet to sell lottery tickets to adults within its borders or abroad.

"The United States Department of Justice has given the online gaming community a big, big present," said I. Nelson Rose, a gaming law expert at Whittier Law School who consults for governments and the industry.

The question at issue was whether proposals by Illinois and New York to use the Internet and out-of-state transaction processors to sell lottery tickets to in-state adults violated the Wire Act.

But the department's conclusion would eliminate "almost every federal anti-gambling law that could apply to gaming that is legal under state laws," Rose wrote on his blog at www.gamblingandthelaw.com

If a state legalized intra-state games such as poker, as Nevada and the District of Columbia have done, "there is simply no federal law that could apply" against their operators, he said.

The department's opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz, said the law's legislative history showed that Congress's overriding goal had been to halt wire communications for sports gambling, notably off-track betting on horse races.

Congress also had been concerned about rapid transmission of betting information on baseball, basketball, football and boxing among other sports-related events or contests, she summarized the legislative history as showing.

"The ordinary meaning of the phrase 'sporting event or contest' does not encompass lotteries," Seitz wrote. "Accordingly, we conclude that the proposed lotteries are not within the prohibitions of the Wire Act."

The department expressed no opinion about a provision in the law that lets prosecutors shut down phone lines where interstate or foreign gambling is taking place.

Many of the 50 U.S. states may be interested in creating online lotteries to boost tax revenues and help offset the ripple effect of a federal deficit-reduction push.

The global online gambling industry grew 12 percent last year to as much as $30 billion, according to a survey in March by Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy, based on the Isle of Man, where online gambling is legal.

Federal prosecutors in April charged three of the biggest Internet poker companies with fraud and money-laundering along with violations of another federal law, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006.

The government outlined an alleged scheme by owners of the three largest online poker companies - Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars - to funnel gambling profits to online shell companies that would appear legitimate to banks processing payments. (Credit: Google News, Reuters)

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Web gambling gets boost from Obama administration - 26th December 2011

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The Obama administration cleared the way for U.S. states to legalize Internet poker and certain other online betting in a switch that may help them reap billions in tax revenue and spur web-based gambling.

A Justice Department opinion dated September and made public on Friday reversed decades of previous policy that included civil and criminal charges against operators of some of the most popular online poker sites.

Until now, the department held that online gambling in all forms was illegal under the Wire Act of 1961, which bars wagers via telecommunications that cross state lines or international borders.

The new interpretation, by the department's Office of Legal Counsel, said the Wire Act applies only to bets on a "sporting event or contest," not to a state's use of the Internet to sell lottery tickets to adults within its borders or abroad.

"The United States Department of Justice has given the online gaming community a big, big present," said I. Nelson Rose, a gaming law expert at Whittier Law School who consults for governments and the industry.

The question at issue was whether proposals by Illinois and New York to use the Internet and out-of-state transaction processors to sell lottery tickets to in-state adults violated the Wire Act.

But the department's conclusion would eliminate "almost every federal anti-gambling law that could apply to gaming that is legal under state laws," Rose wrote on his blog at www.gamblingandthelaw.com

If a state legalized intra-state games such as poker, as Nevada and the District of Columbia have done, "there is simply no federal law that could apply" against their operators, he said.

The department's opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz, said the law's legislative history showed that Congress's overriding goal had been to halt wire communications for sports gambling, notably off-track betting on horse races.

Congress also had been concerned about rapid transmission of betting information on baseball, basketball, football and boxing among other sports-related events or contests, she summarized the legislative history as showing.

"The ordinary meaning of the phrase 'sporting event or contest' does not encompass lotteries," Seitz wrote. "Accordingly, we conclude that the proposed lotteries are not within the prohibitions of the Wire Act."

The department expressed no opinion about a provision in the law that lets prosecutors shut down phone lines where interstate or foreign gambling is taking place.

Many of the 50 U.S. states may be interested in creating online lotteries to boost tax revenues and help offset the ripple effect of a federal deficit-reduction push.

The global online gambling industry grew 12 percent last year to as much as $30 billion, according to a survey in March by Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy, based on the Isle of Man, where online gambling is legal.

Federal prosecutors in April charged three of the biggest Internet poker companies with fraud and money-laundering along with violations of another federal law, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006.

The government outlined an alleged scheme by owners of the three largest online poker companies - Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars - to funnel gambling profits to online shell companies that would appear legitimate to banks processing payments. (Credit: Google News, Reuters)

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Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Profiles; PartyCasino And PartyPoker Get New Promotions And Games

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Internet poker boss says he broke U.S. gambling law - 21st December 2011

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One of the owners of three of the world's biggest internet poker firms pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a criminal charge of deceiving U.S. banks over the processing of gambling proceeds.

Absolute Poker co-owner Brent Beckley, 31, admitted in Manhattan federal court to conspiring to break U.S. laws against gambling on the Internet. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.

Twelve people have been charged thus far in the high profile case, including 11 in April when the U.S. government seized the Internet domain names of the three largest Internet poker companies: Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.

Full Tilt Poker owner Raymond Bitar, PokerStars owner Isai Scheinberg and Absolute Poker owners Beckley and Scott Tom were also charged with breaking the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and other laws.

Beckley told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis that at Absolute Poker between 2006 and April 2011 he accepted credit cards from players so they could bet on the Internet. He said he disguised the purpose of the payments.

"I knew it was illegal to deceive the banks in this way," Beckley told the judge.

The bank fraud charge carries a possible maximum prison sentence of 30 years, but under a plea agreement in the court record, Beckley will likely serve a much lesser term of between 12 months and 18 months.

His lawyer, Robert Cleary, declined comment.

The indictment said that between 2008 and 2011 Beckley hired so-called "payment processor" Ira Rubin to help the company avoid U.S. gambling laws. Rubin would process e-checks for Absolute Poker disguised as payroll processing, affiliate marketing and online electronics merchants, according to the indictment.

Rubin, who lived in Central America for years in his attempt to avoid a telemarketing fraud charge, is nearing close to a plea agreement, according to his legal eagle.

Prosecutors said that of the billions of dollars the poker companies tricked U.S. banks into processing, approximately one-third or more of the money went directly to the companies as revenue through the "rake" charged to players on almost every poker hand played over the internet.

The government has also filed a civil lawsuit against the Full Tilt Poker website. They accused self-styled "Poker Professor" Howard Lederer and professional poker champion Christopher Ferguson and others of paying themselves more than $440 million while defrauding other players.

The case is USA v Tzvetkoff et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-00336.

Not only are online poker and online casino players watching closely, but also online gambling companies which are interested to offer their product to the lucrative U.S market. Just a few of those firms include Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment (owner of PartyCasino.com, PartyPoker.com, World Poker Tour and others), Virgin Games and PKR.

In the meantime some land based U.S casinos are getting deals in place, with Bwin.Party recently getting a well publicised b2b agreement inked with MGM Resorts International.

Business entrepreneurs Donald Trump and Steve Wynn are just two high profile Americans who are supportive of 100% legal online gambling in the U.S. Online poker may become legal in the U.S in the coming year, followed by online casino games however... this prediction has proved wrong year after year on U.S soil, but then again - the subject matter has never been hotter, nor has the U.S government ever need a cash boost to their coffers as much as they currently do.

Some of the most popular games with online players include Cleopatra, Sinatra, Wheel of Fortune, poker, Texas Hold'Em, Blackjack, Video Poker and Roulette. Some online gambling companies offer new players a generous sign up bonus to encourage them to become money players.

In many parts of the world including Canada, Italy, Australia and New Zealand, online gambling is just as popular as gambling in traditional casinos, pubs and hotels.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

PKR's Caribbean Stud Poker Jackpot Approaches $150,000 - 13th December 2011

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The progressive jackpot for PKR's Caribbean Stud Poker mini-game has today reached $149,000 and is expected to grow to a record size within the next few days.

The game is available directly through PKR's pioneering 3D room client, and invites poker fans to beat the dealer-s five card Texas Hold-em hand. Players can be eligible for the rapidly rising jackpot by placing a side bet of just $1, with jackpot payouts activated by hitting the highest ranked poker hands.

On 27 November, poker player GVincredible won 10% of the jackpot after hitting a straight flush, turning his $4 stake into $15,838. The Belgian, a regular at PKR's tables since July 2007 with a $1,833 tournament victory to his name, commented “I just couldn-t believe I-d won. I-d already planned to play more poker on PKR in 2012 and to buy a new car, but this makes it much easier!”
PKR's Caribbean Stud Poker mini-game forms part of the award winning operator-s suite of gaming products which includes a revolutionary 3D poker room, innovative 3D casino and sportsbook.

For more information on the Team PKR pro please visit PKR.com

About PKR

PKR.com is a revolutionary new concept in online poker that has changed the way the game is played. Featuring stunning real-time 3D graphics and a uniquely engaging and immersive gaming system, PKR.com brings an unparalleled and previously unseen level of realism to online poker. Developed by some of the brightest stars in the video games and poker industries, PKR.com continues to be the most innovative poker room in the world.

Press Release

100 PKR Players Set for BAMMA Giveaway - 1st December 2011

Next-Gen Online Poker Room PKR Offers Up Free Fight Night Hospitality


More than 100 poker players will enjoy the explosive atmosphere at the BAMMA 8 mixed martial arts event in Nottingham on 10 December through a free prize draw at PKR.com In the fourth event of its kind this year, PKR is again offering players the opportunity to meet staff and other players, against the backdrop of one of sport's fastest growing events. The prize draw is open to all PKR members and concludes on Friday 02 December.

PKR became the headline sponsor of BAMMA, Europe's premier mixed martial arts organisation, in January 2011. The online poker site has since welcomed hundreds of its members to BAMMA events in Manchester, London and Birmingham, having offered tickets in free prize draws through the site's busy forum and website.

PKR players who attend the upcoming BAMMA 8 event, which takes place in Nottingham's Capital FM Arena on Saturday 10 December, will enjoy 13 bouts featuring some of the world's top martial artists including light heavyweight champion Jimi 'Poster Boy' Manuwa, who makes his eagerly anticipated BAMMA debut. UFC legend Randy Couture is also rumoured to be making a promotional appearance.

Community Manager Dan Grant commented, "BAMMA events are a fantastic opportunity for our players to meet PKR and each other in a fun and social real-world setting. They'll get to put faces to names they've met at our online tables and meet new poker mates while enjoying the great atmosphere of a thrilling sporting event."

For more information on PKR's BAMMA 8 giveaway, please visit PKR.com

For interviews with top BAMMA fighters including UFC star Nate Marquardt and Tom 'Kong' Watson, please visit: www.pkr.tv


PKR Poker Media Man 'Online Poker Website Of The Month' Runner-Up For December 2011

PKR.com has been awarded the Media Man runner-up for 'Online Poker Website Of The Month'.

The popular online poker website has also been tipped to be a legitimate chance to place first in the coming months, should their excellent service and offerings continue.

Well done to PKR.com

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Casino Stocks Report (MGM) (WYNN) (LVS) (CNTY) (MPEL) - 16th December 2011

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MGM Resorts International (MGM) stock moved 0.43% higher to $9.33 per share in today's trading. Stock volume in MGM Resorts International was 5 million shares in the trading session.

Wynn Resorts advanced 1.87% in today's session to $106.54 per share. In the last 12 months, Wynn Resorts has seen a high of $172.58 and a low of $100.51 per share.

Las Vegas Sands Corp moved 1.91% higher to $41.57 per share in today's trading. Shares of Las Vegas Sands Corp have traded as high as $51.05 per share and as low as $36.05 in the last year.

Century Casinos advanced 0.87% in today's session to $2.32 per share. 6,800 shares were traded so far in today's session. On average, a total of 14,172 shares are exchanged in CNTY each day.

Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd (MPEL) stock moved 3.11% higher to $8.9909 per share in today's trading. In the last 12 months, Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd has seen a high of $16.15 and a low of $6.1 per share.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crown Casino And Crown Limited News Update

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Australian land based casinos continue their entertainment push, with big name celebrities and more expensive casino re-vamps in the works. The massive casino image make-over may have started in 'Sin City' Sydney and spread to Melbourne, but now Perth is centre stage, but not without the usual hassles that are known to hit casinos. As they say, high risk, high rewards, and sometimes even the house doesn't win, which is good news for punters.

Crown emergency as toddler almost drowns - 12th December 2011...

A three-year-old boy who almost drowned in a pool at the Crown casino complex had been signed into the area by an adult.

Staff members found the boy floating face down in the pool just after 5pm yesterday.

Crown spokesman Gary O'Neill said a trained pool attendant responded to a call for help.

The boy was pulled unconscious from the water, he was treated at the scene and emergency services alerted, Mr O’Neill said.

It is understood family members were close by.

Mr O’Neill said, as was policy in the area, the child had been signed into the pool complex by an adult.

Intensive care paramedic Alan Eade said the boy was unconscious when he was pulled from the water.

"Staff put the boy on his side and tilted his head back, which helped open his airway [to] ensure he was breathing," Mr Eade said.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade continued providing the boy with oxygen until paramedics arrived.
The boy was discharged from the Royal Children's Hospital.


Crown casino car fire sets off sprinklers - 13th December 2011...

A car on fire in the underground Crown casino carpark has sent plumes of smoke through one of its levels.

MFB fire crews were called to the scene about 4pm after the engine caught alight, setting off the basement's sprinklers.

Five fire crews were unable to drive trucks into the carpark and were forced to hook up to hydrants set up inside the basement.

The cause of the fire, which destroyed the car, is unknown.

An MFB spokesman said smoke extraction fans were being used to clear the smoke, which was billowing out the basement doors.


Burswood Entertainment Complex To Become Crown Perth...

James Packer has confirmed the Burswood Entertainment Complex will be renamed Crown Perth and "new and exciting" projects were coming up for the entertainment and gaming hotspot.

The new branding would place Burswood in a better position to compete with world-class integrated resorts popping up throughout Asia, and reinforced his belief in the complex and its future, Mr Packer said.

Speaking at the Burswood Convention Centre, the Crown Ltd boss said Australia was falling behind Asian nations such as Singapore, Macau and the Philippines in the increasingly lucrative but also competitive international tourism market.

One hundred million Chinese were expected to travel overseas by 2020, spending $800 billion per year.

Asian governments were playing a more active role in boosting their tourism sectors, funding multi-million dollar tourism infrastructure projects and heavily promoting their new integrated resorts in state tourism campaigns, Mr Packer said.

Macau, for example, had overtaken Las Vegas as the number one destination for gaming tourists. Singapore was projected to do so next year, while the Philippines had stated its aim to become number two in the market.

In return for the public investment, Singapore reaped its largest ever growth in global domestic product, 14.5 per cent.

Mr Packer said Australia was missing out and governments had to be more proactive in improving the country's international tourism appeal or the potential would slip away.

In particular, he called on the federal government to relax its policy on direct flights to Asia, improve the ease of access to Australian visas and make airports more efficient.

"We must listen to the customer and increase investment in tourism infrastructure and related services and activities," he said.

Crown Perth To Power Ahead

Burswood is half-way through a $750 million refurbishment instigated after Crown purchased the 26-year-old site in 2004.

It is due to be completed by the end of 2012, at which time it will become Crown Perth.
"I'm determined that this property will be at least as good as Crown Melbourne or Crown Macau," Mr Packer said.

"[The rebranding also would help] create two of the best integrated tourism resorts in our region and assist Australia to become a more attractive tourism destination for the critical Chinese tourism market.

"We don't think we're there yet in terms of this facility (Burswood). Putting the Crown brand on it is a statement that we are going to get there."

Mr Packer admitted his company would benefit financially from the state government's planned sports stadium at the site but said he had not been approached to pitch in for costs and nor would he have if he was asked.

"If asked, our response would have been we're not in the stadium business, they're not a good business," he said.

"Now that the Premier has decided to put it there, we're very grateful.

"It's going to fundamentally change the Burswood Peninsula."

Mr Packer all but confirmed the present golf course would have to go to make room for the stadium but said he would like to see it rebuilt at a later date.

"It's highly likely that we will, in time, develop new and exciting projects that aren't included in the $750 million capital expenditure," he said.

"Things like golf are part of trying to build a tourism destination that is truly world class.
"We want to do much more here. We believe in this city, we believe in this state, we think as a company we are lucky to be here."

The Perth waterfront redevelopment

Mr Packer said the state government's massive waterfront redevelopment would do wonders for the city's tourism appeal.

"This city has an almost unique opportunity to take some of the waterfront that is still available and to fantastic things," he said.

"One of the things that always excites me is to see that there's so much land available and so many great things that could be done with it."

Mr Packer said many of his customers would eventually engage more with Perth if their experience was good.

They would potentially send their children to education here or for medical services.


Crown Casino 'Aussie Millions' Poker Tournament In January; PartyPoker Offering Qualifiers...

Poker players have an opportunity to win a seat to the world famous Crown Casino 'Aussie Millions' Poker Championship coming in January 2012. Head on over to Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment's PartyPoker.com for more information. Good luck on the tables.


Punter's, remember, if you visit a casino you are taking a gamble - a bigger one than that you first bargained for. Little wonder for the rise in popularity of online casino games like the ones offered by Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment which now even has competitions where online poker players can win qualifiers to see them seated at Crown Casino 'Aussie Millions Poker Tournament' this coming January. Casino game players may also like to check out the vast selection of games such as slots, blackjack, roulette and craps at PartyCasino.com New players can get up to $3000 sign up bonus. Good luck.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Aussie Millions At Crown Casino, Melbourne, Australia

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If there’s one thing the Australians love more than gambling it’s sport and for them poker is fair game. This means that once the cards hit the felt at the Aussie Millions you can expect a raucous atmosphere from the crowds inside the Crown Poker Room. Indeed, since its inception the Main Event has grown immensely from just 133 runners in 2004, to 681 runners in 2009 and 721 in 2011.

The Aussie Millions is considered to be one of the game’s crowning majors – on a par with the WSOP or the WPT World Championship – and for good reason too. The Melbourne-based tournament is situated in one of the most desirable locations in the southern hemisphere and will again be hosted at the world-class Crown Casino complex, where all manner of poker action will unfold from January 12–30.

As ever the 2012 Aussie Millions schedule will be highlighted by the AU$10,600 Main Event, a five-day behemoth that last year awarded a staggering AU$2 million to winner David Gorr, but that will be just one of the 26 events on offer this year. Perhaps one of the more eye-catching side events taking place will be the $100,000 Challenge – a two-day event that will pit a granite-hard field of the game’s elite against one another for a total prizepool that last year exceeded AU$3,800,000. But while that blue chip tournament may well be out of reach for all but a select few of poker’s established Illuminati, there will be plenty of mid-high-stakes action for the more budget-conscious traveller, as outlined on the schedule at www.aussiemillions.com

Aussie Millions highlights

So, what should you be playing to keep yourself busy in January? Here’s our pick of the action over the fortnight. (All entries are in Australian Dollars.)

January 12–15 - $1,000+100 - NLHE Freezeout

January 16–18 - $1,000+100 - PLO

January 17–19 - $1,100+100 - NLHE Shootout

January 21–22 - $1,500+150 - NLHE Bounty Event

January 22–28 - $10,000+600 - NLHE MAIN EVENT

January 22–23 - $100,000+500 - NLHE $100,000 CHALLENGE

January 23 - $4,750+250 - Chinese Poker

January 25–26 - $2,250+250 - H.O.R.S.E.

January 29–30 - $10,000+500 - 8-Game Mix


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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Casino Executive Based In Las Vegas Not A Fan Of Online Gambling; Competitor Is Pro Online Casino - Poker, by Greg Tingle - 8th December 2011

World's Richest Casino Exec Not So Keen On Online Casinos, Poker...

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You may not of heard of this cashed up gambling and property tycoon, but he's happy to share his thoughts on online gambling, especially when it comes to his U.S turf. No, it's not Donald Trump, Steve Wynn or even Richard Branson. Meet Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson is by all accounts the world's wealthiest casino executive and top dog of the industry's largest publicly traded company, says he is against online gambling because he doesn't believe available technology is good enough at the moment to prevent young people from making wagers on the Internet, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Adelson's sharing his personal viewpoint is just that - personal - rather than a formal stance taken by his firm that owns and operates casino-resorts in Las Vegas, Macau, Singapore and Bethlehem, Pa., Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said.

Reese advised Adelson hasn't spoken with the company's board about his position, nor has the board decided an online gambling plan.

"It's a personal observation of concerns about technology," Reese said.

The opposition comes at a time when numerous other operators, including Caesars Entertainment Corp and MGM Resorts International, have backed an industry push to legalize online poker and let established land based casinos offer the service in the U.S. MGM Resorts International even went as far as to ink a deal with world's leading igaming firm Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.

Poker, which involves a combination of skill and luck (as ruled in legal cases), now huge on the internet (see World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker), has been illegal online for real money since a 2006 law was brought in and ruled against igaming operators from providing games by preventing financial institutions from processing funds for the majority of online gaming.

The land based casino sector has swayed over the years from anti online gambling to largely pro online gambling, of course, with them getting some of the financial rewards. The bricks and mortar casinos have seen some of their punters go online to bet, with the traditional casinos missing out of the action. It's unclear how much revenue traditional casinos are down, thanks to online casinos, but a Media Man spokesperson said "Online casinos have cost land based casinos in the U.S and elsewhere, many millions, if not billions of dollars. Vegas and Atlantic City land based casinos are down. People still like to bet and the internet serves them well, be it for poker, casino, sports betting or slots".

The American Gaming Association, the leading U.S gaming lobby group, has switched from a neutral stance to pro actively pursuing federal legislation that would allow for legalization and regulation of online poker. Online poker could be a lead in to online casino games.

Frank Fahrenkopf, CEO of the American Gaming Association, said he met with Adelson on Monday and Adelson advised him he'll oppose legislation to legalize online poker on U.S soil.

"Sheldon has long had concerns about this issue, and it is perfectly within his right to make this decision," Fahrenkopf said in a statement. "However, the AGA, at the direction of our board of directors, will continue to support federal legislation to allow states to license and regulate online poker."

The online gambling industry is not seeking to legalize other games like blackjack, craps and slots online. Those games are a different kind of animal because players wager against the house. In poker, players wager against each other and operators take a fee from each pot in exchange for hosting the game. Of course if online poker becomes totally legal in the U.S, this may lead to online casino games also becoming totally legal in the states.

The matter of online poker has heated up among players and casino executives in the past 12 months. U.S. Senate Majority Leader last year pitched a blueprint to legalize poker that fell short without legislation being introduced. Last April, three of the largest online gaming operators who offered online poker in defiance of the law had their websites seized and executives indicted by the U.S. Justice Department, accused of financial crimes including fraud and money laundering for disguising payments for gambling funds as transactions for things like flowers and golf balls. The day it all went down, including sites going down et al, is known in igaming circles as 'Black Friday'.

After the indictments, the estimated $6 billion U.S. online poker market dived overnight, leaving many players unable to access funds in online poker bankrolls.

Then, with the "big three" poker websites closed out of the U.S, the American Casino Association became more active in urging lawmakers to close loopholes and draw up better regulations.

One thing is for certain. Online poker and online casino players are not going to want to stop playing the games they love. Players are mainly sticking to brands they know and trust with some of the leading contenders being PartyPoker.com PartyCasino.com PKR.com World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker.

Australian casino mogul James Packer's Crown Casino has the 'Aussie Millions Poker Championship' coming up in Melbourne this January and providers such as PartyPoker.com are even offering qualifying poker matches, where players get to 'Win a seat to Aussie Millions'. Bwin.Party's World Poker Tour is also broadcast of American and Australian pay television, which online helps fuel the popularity of online gambling.

Fahrenkopf advised his casino association wants federal legislation that allows U.S states to decide whether to offer poker to its residents, keeps youngsters from gambling online and lets law enforcement shut down illegal operators.

If you enjoy a punt, please bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.

Profiles

Casinos James Packer Donald Trump Sheldon Adelson Steve Wynn Richard Branson Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment


Donald Trump says US should legalize Internet betting...

Donald Trump has witnessed lots of money side slipping him, and he's hoping that situation changes soon.

The real estate, gaming and entertainment tsar, and founder of an Atlantic City casino company says the US should legalize internet gambling. The company that bears his name, Trump Entertainment Resorts, is moving forward with plans to establish an online betting venture... just as soon as it is legal to do so.

The company says it wants to get in on the ground floor of the internet gambling industry, and is close to selecting a joint venture partner to run an online gambling operation. The idea is to be well-placed and ready to go as soon as such activity is legalized in the United States.

"It should be approved here," Trump told news media. "An awful lot of money is leaving the U.S. that should and could stay in this country."

Trump Entertainment, which includes Donald Trump and daughter, Ivanka, and the Avenue Capital hedge fund, would own 10% of the new business venture.

Donald Trump advised the key to success in the online gambling market is having the best brand.

"We think we have the hottest brand there is, the Trump brand, my personal brand," he said. "We think it's going to do phenomenally well."

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Trump Entertainment said it has "determined that such a joint venture represents the most advantageous way for the company to participate in opportunities in online gaming at minimal cost to the company."

No cost estimates were given, and Robert Griffin, the company's CEO, declined to comment Thursday. But in March, after Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill passed by New Jersey lawmakers that would have allowed Internet betting solely within New Jersey's borders, Griffin said the money lost to offshore operators should benefit New Jersey.

The new law would seen New Jersey become the first state in the nation to allow Internet betting.

"Currently, millions of Americans engage in online gaming with illegal offshore operators, and do so with no oversight, no regulation or no consumer protections," Griffin said at the time. "It makes sense for the state of New Jersey to regulate this activity, enforce strict standards to ensure games are fair and safe, and in turn be able to collect tax revenue instead of having those dollars and the jobs they support leaving New Jersey and going illegally overseas."

Christie advised he vetoed the law fearing it was unconstitutional and could lead to an explosion of betting parlors throughout the state. By law, gambling in New Jersey is restricted to gaming hotspot Atlantic City.

But a New Jersey lawmaker is asserting that individual states in fact have the legal right to offer in-state Internet gambling within their own borders.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, wrote in July to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asserting that New Jersey and all other states can legally offer online betting within their borders.

Lesniak said he will introduce legislation in November to address the prime concerns expressed by Christie.

The filing said the company, Donald and Ivanka Trump, and Avenue Capital have signed an agreement authorizing the joint venture once it becomes legal, and that prohibits any of them from seeking other online gambling ventures through May 2012.

Atlantic City is in the midst of a nearly 5-year revenue slump brought on by increasing competition from casinos in neighboring states, and worsened by the continuing unsteady economy. It's also speculated that many AC businesses have not adapted well to the internet medium.

Just a few online gaming companies that are understood to be interested in coming to business terms with Trump include Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Richard Branson's Virgin Games and PKR. Most experts see Bwin.Party as the best bet, as they don't have any outstanding issues with the US Department of Justice, and have been playing by the rules (law) for many years, while other gambling companies continue to go after U.S players.

Internet gambling is legal in many countries, with the U.S being a glaring exception.

Media Man is following up.

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Monday, December 05, 2011

Casino And Gaming Stock Report: Australia And New Zealand, by Greg Tingle - 5th November 2011

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Kerry Packer James Packer Crown Casino Crown Limited Burswood Entertainment Complex The Star Echo Entertainment Australian Casinos Australia New Zealand News Financial News Casino News Poker News Entertainment News


Australian land based casinos continue their entertainment push, with big name celebrities and more expensive casino re-vamps in the works. The share market continues to react to the political hotbed that is the Aussie casino and gambling industry. Southern neighbour, New Zealand, is also prone to gaming being quite the punching bag. Can't wait to the next election. How about you?

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.8 percent to 4,321.3 at the close of trading in Sydney. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.6 percent to 3,301.22 in Wellington.

Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. (EGP AU) rose 1.3 percent to A$3.83 after the owner of four Australian casinos had its rating raised to “hold” from “sell” by Adam Alexander, an analyst at Goldman Sachs Australia Pty.

Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd. (SKC NZ) rose 0.3 percent to NZ$3.40 after the New Zealand casino owner agreed a NZ$185 million ($144 million) seven-year banking facility to repay U.S. private placement debt of around NZ$250 million.

Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. (TAH AU) declined 0.7 percent to A$2.80 after Australia’s biggest owner of betting shops was cut to “sell” from “hold” at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which said earnings may stall in the next two years on higher license costs and a "lack of positive catalysts."

The Late News...

European gaming giant Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, along with PKR and Virgin Games, are all understood to be keen to officially enter the Australian market. Bwin.Party has done some good warm up work on the political and business side, including now offering online poker players to win a seat at James Packer's annual poker championship in Melbourne 'Aussie Millions'. The Media Man agency has been filing regular reports here and on portals such as Casino News Media, Gambling911 and Poker News Daily are following suit. Mr Packer is understood to be pleased with the lead up news stories on the 2012 'Aussie Millions', at a time when Crown appear to be welcoming any balanced and especially positive coverage of Crown with open arms. Sydney's 'The Star' is also having a poker tourney, with much less fanfare than that of Crown. Any would be James Bond poker players out there? Comon' sport, try your luck and tell 'em the Media Man agency sent you.

*the writer owns shares in Crown Limited
*the writer is a member of The Star's 'Absolute Rewards' program

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Facebook To Enter Into Real Money Online Poker? - 1st December 2011

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Rumors were abuzz yesterday about the possibility of the social networking behemoth Facebook entering into the online poker arena, but it may be that was the extent of the issue…simply rumors.

According to the popular blog “Friending Facebook” written by Emil Protalinski on ZDNet.com, Facebook has been rumored to be in discussions with several outlets regarding the future of online poker on the site. Currently, Facebook only offers “credits” that players can purchase to use to play a multitude of games that the site promotes, but it hasn’t stepped into the realm of a “real money” offering. Protalinski details out how some of the buzz regarding the possibility of Facebook stepping into online poker has gotten started.

Apparently, clandestine meetings were held over the summer between Facebook and “approximately twenty online gaming experts, consultants and social gaming entrepreneurs,” according to Protalinski. If this were to become a reality, it would happen at some point within the first three months of 2012, with the potential for up to eight licenses to be offered to potential online gaming operations through Facebook.

Protalinski notes, via eGaming Review Magazine, that two of those potential outlets have already been named as potential licensees. One of the top game developers, Gamesys, is potentially in the running for one of those licenses. Gamesys, which has been in the online gaming industry since 2001, offers bingo software as well as games based on television shows such as The Price Is Right and Deal or No Deal. The company also has a contract with Caesars Entertainment for CaesarsBingo.com.

The other operation named specifically as a potential suitor for Facebook also has connections with Caesars Entertainment, the owners of the World Series of Poker. 888 Holdings PLC, founded in 1997 and the ownership behind such offerings as 888Poker.com and the Caesars Entertainment owned WSOP.com online poker site, is rumored to be one of the companies at the front of the line for a potential Facebook partnership. 888Poker is currently the fourth ranked online poker network in the industry, having a seven day average of 2150 cash game players, according to PokerScout.com.

Protalinski points out several issues that will have to be overcome before any such partnerships can reach fruition. Age verification issues, something that anti-online gaming zealots have said would be problematic, are something that Facebook would have to deal with, as people do not always put their year of birth on their Facebook record for privacy reasons. Finding an outlet that could process real money transactions at a bulk rate would also be problematic as well as how Facebook and any partners would divvy up the proceeds.

In looking at how Facebook handles its “credits” transactions, Protalinski points out some significant numbers. Protalinski states that Facebook takes a 30% cut of revenues earned through the purchases of Facebook Credits, with the remaining 70% going to the developers of the games. To possibly see how much money is potentially involved in this partnership, PartyGaming – before it joined forces with Bwin early this year – pulled in $497.9 million in revenue in 2010. If that type of activity was seen with a Facebook gaming site – and using the same percentages as Facebook currently operates under – it would mean Facebook would make approximately $149.3 million and their partner company would pull in $348.5 million.

For American citizens, however, there is no glimmer of hope. Real money online poker through Facebook isn’t an option per the current status of online gaming in the United States. The offerings would first be done in the United Kingdom and potentially branch out to the rest of the world, Protalinski reports.

Then again, this could all just be conjecture. Protalinski contacted Facebook officials regarding this issue and quoted a representative of Facebook as saying, “We’re always in discussions with companies about lots of different ideas, but we don’t comment on future plans or speculation.” After the ringing in of the New Year, however, we may learn if these plans are true or false. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Facebook Gamblers Taking Bigger Risks Than They Know, by Greg Tingle - 1st December 2011

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A massive loophole in Australian - federal gambling legislation is allowing an online casino to receive funds from Facebook punters but not pay out winnings in cold hard cash, leaving punters in the lurch, out of moolah, and angry - and there's not much they can do about it at present.

Only recently have media companies such as Media Man and Fairfax Media been able to warn punters of the dangers of betting - especially on some Facebook affiliated websites.

Media and gaming commentators are advising gamblers to only bet with websites they can trust, and to avoid Facebook gambling websites until loopholes have been fixed up. Big name gambling brands which are considered ethical and trustworthy by most media and igaming experts include Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Virgin Games (not available in Australia), Betfair, Centrebet and PKR.

The DoubleDown casino on Facebook is one brand in question. They "give" players "free" chips - but once they are used up, punters are required to purchase credits to continue to play online casino games such as poker, blackjack, slots and roulette (not Russian Roulette) - even more dangerous then the website in question.

As they say - always read the fine print! The terms and conditions explicitly say "regardless of the terminology used, Virtual Currency and Virtual Goods may never be redeemed for "real world" money, goods or other items of monetary value from the Site or any other party."

A wave of complaints has hit independent senator Nick "Mr X" (satire) Xenophon. A Facebook page condemning the site and warning others has also been established by anger players. A constituent contacted Senator Xenophon after he attempted to withdraw the chips, made a complaint, but was subsequently blocked from the site by administrators. So much for ethics and consumer confidence.

Senator Xenophon wrote to the Australian Communications and Media Authority complaining that the US-based website was misleading and was in breach of online gaming laws.

ACMA told Senator Xenophon the website's content is not prohibited because it was not possible to win 'money or anything else of value' from playing the games provided, so it does not in fact constitute a gambling website.

The Senator yesterday wrote to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy requesting an urgent meeting to discuss "a loophole in the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 which has allowed hundreds of Australians to lose money".

"People are paying real money to gamble on these sites," Senator Xenophon advised. "But because these gamblers are forbidden by the sites from converting that virtual money back into real money, the sites aren't technically breaking any laws. This needs to change."

A review of igaming - online gambling laws commenced earlier this year and Senator Conroy's spokesman advised online casino games were prohibited and could not be provided to Australians.

"Consumers participating in games purporting to be such things should think carefully as they are not regulated by Australian law," he said.

A spokesman for DoubleDown Casino said it took great pride in having established the world's largest virtual casino game on Facebook.

"We couldn't have done that without the millions of customers who return every day to enjoy free chips and our entertaining game. Casual gamers can play every day for free and it is entirely up to the user to decide if they wish to purchase virtual chips to play longer," he said.

"There are hundreds if not thousands of games on Facebook which accept virtual currency in the form of Facebook credits and we're proud to be one of Facebook's top 12 game partners."

Established gaming companies such as Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, PKR, Virgin Games, Betfair and Centrebet offer both play for free and play for money options, and have not received complaints like the ones directed towards DoubleDown.

Those who enjoy a punt are advised to bet with their head, not over it, and to have fun. If gambling stops being fun, its a strong sign to stop playing and seek help.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire told to ease off high stakes poker, by Greg Tingle

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Hollywood Poker Leonardo DiCaprio Tobey Maguire Hollywood Movies News Financial News Casino News Poker News Entertainment News


Tobey Maguire Ben Affleck Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon

Now we know another reason that movie stars Leo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire have enjoyed quite a bit of their time in 'Sin City' Sydney, Australia - they like a punt, and are fans of Australian land based casinos, with The Star being at the top of their list for the meantime. It's not known for certain if the twosome have played poker or gambled on Australian soil, but take a wild guess.

Many Hollywood (and AussieWood) stars love to gamble, and high-stakes poker is one of their favourite games. Privacy is high on their priorities and it's known that some forms of gambling don't sit well with the law in some parts of the world, including in the United States.

It's understood that Tobey Maguire and mates Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck are long time high stakes poker fans and may have participated in quite a few private games played mainly in Los Angeles and New York.

The word is that the FBI is probing into alleged Russian mob connections to those big dollar games.

A few months ago there was a lawsuit filed against Maguire claiming a big Wall Street investment guy paid his gambling debts with funds inappropriately acquired from his firm’s investors.

A longtime associate of both DiCaprio and Maguire is understood to have said "As much as those boys love to gamble, they don’t need this kind of hassle...It seems clear that a number of very unsavory people have used their own huge wealth to weasel their way into those games.

"No one needs a Frank Sinatra problem these days," added the leak, referring to the Mafia connections that followed Ol’ Blue Eyes most of his life.

DiCaprio and Maguire are currently enjoying a working holiday of Australia and both gents have been spotted at The Star (entertainment complex and casino - ex Star City Casino) more than once.

'Our Leo' is staring in The Great Gatsby. Maguire is not working Spider-Man, but has a number of exciting projects in the works. May the best player, er, actor Win.

All of this while online gaming companies such as Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, which owns the World Poker Tour, attempts to get the green light from the US government to offer Americans totally legal online poker games.

Media Man is following up the story, and understands that McGuire is close to coming to terms with prosecutors on the Hollywood Poker investigation.

Websites

The Star

Spider-Man (Sony Pictures)

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Frank Sinatra Enterprises

Leonardo DiCaprio official website

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PartyCasino.com Sinatra Slot game

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Frank Sinatra Film May Get Up With Martin Scorsese And Leonardo DiCaprio, by Greg Tingle - 27th November 2011

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Frank Sinatra Leonardo DiCaprio Hollywood Movies News Financial News Casino News Poker News Entertainment News


Industry talk is that the Frank Sinatra bio pic that Martin Scorsese pitched around town a few years ago is still very much on the cards to become a reality.

It was during the promoting period of his Hugo, genius director Scorsese slipped in that he was indeed going to get back to a new version of a Sinatra movie script he's had on the back-burner for a while.

DiCaprio was mentioned by name to play the lead. Rumours state Leo would not sing, as no one could ever do Frank better than Frank, so Leo would just lip sync the singing parts - not something Leo is all that much of a custom of doing, so hopefully the public (and investors) will buy into that.

Much like Sinatra, Leo likes to gamble at casinos a bit too, most recently spotted at The Star (formally Star City Casino) in Sydney, Australia, and last year Leo played some Hollywood poker for high stakes with friends including Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man), that made international headlines when the legalities of the games came into question.

It's understood that the Sinatra family have final script approval.

The first script presented too much of Sinatra's dark side to get to the next round, whereas this time around things appear to be sailing more smoothly.

The Sinatra Family have been interested in further developing their Frank Sinatra Enterprises, with games (via Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment) and memorabilia (Mattel etc) also part of a solid business model, and a movie deal would certainly get things to the next level.'

The Media Man agency, based out of Australia, will be following up the story in the coming weeks. As Sinatra said 'Hell hath no fury like a hustler with a literary agent.'

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PartyCasino.com Sinatra Slot game

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Poker News Media: Qualify for the Aussie Millions at Crown Casino for free at PartyPoker

Websites: PartyPoker.com Aussie Millions PartyPoker.com

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Room service for dogs anybody?

Gibraltar – 24 November 2011 – Qualifiers for the 2012 Aussie Millions are running at PartyPoker.com now. The online satellites to the southern hemisphere’s premier poker event are available until 8th January 2012. As ever, PartyPoker.com offers an industry leading variety of ways to secure a package, including freerolls.

In 2010 PartyPoker.com qualifiers Tyron Krost and Frederik Jensen finished first and second in the Main Event - Tyron went home with over AUD$2 million! Last year Team PartyPoker.com pro Tony G was accompanied in the high-rollers event by a dog and big mouth will again be there as the lead cheerleader for Party qualifiers.

Crown is famous for their fantastic hospitality and in the heart of summer and the Australian Open tennis Melbourne is a premier destination. Nobu room service for dogs is surely at step too far though?

The US$16,000 global prize package includes the $11,400 Aussie Millions Main Event buy-in, eight nights’ accommodation at the Crown Promenade hotel and $2,500 spending money. The US$14,000 Aussie Millions Australia satellites include the $11,400 Aussie Millions Main Event buy-in, eight nights’ accommodation at the Crown Promenade hotel and US$500 spending money. Click here for full information.

*World Domination continues at PartyPoker.com. Conquer cities and countries at PartyPoker.com until 31st December*

“Aussie Millions” and “Crown Aussie Millions Poker Championship” are registered trade marks of Crown Melbourne Limited. We are not licensed, sponsored or affiliated with Crown Melborne Limited and no such relationship is claimed, or should be inferred.


Aussie Millions At Crown Casino, Melbourne, Australia

If there’s one thing the Australians love more than gambling it’s sport and for them poker is fair game. This means that once the cards hit the felt at the Aussie Millions you can expect a raucous atmosphere from the crowds inside the Crown Poker Room. Indeed, since its inception the Main Event has grown immensely from just 133 runners in 2004, to 681 runners in 2009 and 721 in 2011.

The Aussie Millions is considered to be one of the game’s crowning majors – on a par with the WSOP or the WPT World Championship – and for good reason too. The Melbourne-based tournament is situated in one of the most desirable locations in the southern hemisphere and will again be hosted at the world-class Crown Casino complex, where all manner of poker action will unfold from January 12–30.

As ever the 2012 Aussie Millions schedule will be highlighted by the AU$10,600 Main Event, a five-day behemoth that last year awarded a staggering AU$2 million to winner David Gorr, but that will be just one of the 26 events on offer this year. Perhaps one of the more eye-catching side events taking place will be the $100,000 Challenge – a two-day event that will pit a granite-hard field of the game’s elite against one another for a total prizepool that last year exceeded AU$3,800,000. But while that blue chip tournament may well be out of reach for all but a select few of poker’s established Illuminati, there will be plenty of mid-high-stakes action for the more budget-conscious traveller, as outlined on the schedule at www.aussiemillions.com

Aussie Millions highlights

So, what should you be playing to keep yourself busy in January? Here’s our pick of the action over the fortnight. (All entries are in Australian Dollars.)

January 12–15 - $1,000+100 - NLHE Freezeout

January 16–18 - $1,000+100 - PLO

January 17–19 - $1,100+100 - NLHE Shootout

January 21–22 - $1,500+150 - NLHE Bounty Event

January 22–28 - $10,000+600 - NLHE MAIN EVENT

January 22–23 - $100,000+500 - NLHE $100,000 CHALLENGE

January 23 - $4,750+250 - Chinese Poker

January 25–26 - $2,250+250 - H.O.R.S.E.

January 29–30 - $10,000+500 - 8-Game Mix


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