Russia – Latest to Ban Online Gambling Sites – Even PokerStars

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News,Poker News | Sunday 6 April 2014 3:52 pm

The regulatory landscape for online gambling websites ishugely diverse. However offshore websites are popularly used by millions of fans, even in countries where ostensibly real money gambling activities are not allowed. Most Western European countries have regulatory systems in place, while the majority of the USA, as well as Asian countries don’t have much going in terms of regulation.

Russian courts have made ISP’s responsible for blocking internet gambling websites that are "illegally" offering this form of online gaming, and the latest website to bite the dust is the almighty PokerStars. Here is pays to remember that like most people in the world –the Russians love playing poker. Some of the best WPT, and WSOP players are Russians who first started playing online. Now a November 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has put a spoke in that wheel. But it does not stop here, some major type of censorship pogrom appears to be on the cards, with opposition news groups and others being affected.

According to the press, this ruling has not been properly enforced since its inception, but things are starting to change. Although land gambling is restricted to special zones, online gambling is strictly speaking – illegal. Access to PokerStars has now been blocked, together with a host of other gambling websites, and even some sites that do not offer real money gambling games.

PokerStars has the lions’ share of the market for online poker globally. The Russian Federation cutting them out of the equation will obviously have an impact on numbers. It is a very large country, with a very large poker following. While we doubt the effects of a ban will put this mammoth poker brand out of business, it could well be a hard knock.

Other A-listed gambling brands to come under the ban include; Ladbrokes, SportingBet, Unibet, Carbon Poker, and the dedicated Russian website. Affiliate sites have been included in the ban and in total,approximately fifty websites have been affected. Although some players are reporting that they are unable to access these websites, but somehow still manage to access tables. Not quite sure how that works, but PokerStars remains positive, and has offered reassurance to fans stating ~ "at this time we do not believe this changes our ability to offer services to Russian players. As such our operations continue as usual."

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Online Social Poker – One Third of Players Are Female

Posted by Gambling News | Poker News | Friday 4 April 2014 1:42 pm

For many years poker has been one of the best love games in the USA. As American as apple pie – this game has become immensely popular world-wide due to the media coverage big tournaments attract. The advent of online poker has also features in this growth in popularity, and one of the really big changes being seen is that more and more females are playing. Once thought to be the domain of the male of the species, social poker has seen a growth rate of 22% for female fans throughout 2013.

IGT – otherwise known as International Game Technology are a global leader in the production of gaming tech. They provide gambling games to live casinos, as well as casinos online. This new data regarding player patterns, and preferences, was revealed from a US Social Casino Index project. The information comes from a pool of over six million players who make use of IGT’s DoubleDown Casino which is a Facebook powered product. It can be played online or by mobile, and lays claim to being the "world’s largest virtual casino".

While there is a difference between social gaming and gambling online for real money prizes. IGT provides games designed for both of these purposes. It is obvious why they need to keep a finger on the pulse of trends – because gambling is their business. It also pays to not that most states in the USA still do not allow online gambling for real money prizes. However, social gambling products can be monetized in various innovative ways.

The traditional way of thinking about poker being a male-dominated is definitely being thoroughly researched now. This information proves that female fans are increasing at a rapid rate. Gone are the days when ladies were banished to bingo, while the men got on with the serious business of playing this game of skill.

It is appealing to a far broader audience than ever before, and it is only a matter of time we believe, until we see even more females seated at the felt, in popular live competitions. At one time these competitions were also segregated to male and female competitors, but this is also something that has changed with the maturing of poker into an awesome card game for all. It does not distinguish between sex, race, age or physical ability. All a poker player needs to have to win is a very good game.

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Jersey And Nevada Jump Wed For Poker – Will Texas Follow Them Into The Fold?

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News,Poker News | Tuesday 10 September 2013 1:19 pm

We aren’t in the least little bit surprised to find out that the states of Nevada and New Jersey are considering jumping into bed together to offer online poker to US fans of this game. A joint online gambling market would mean greater liquidity for both operators and players if a bi-state gambling biz was the name of the game. When we talk about greeter liquidity, we mean much larger player pools, and therefore much more prize money to be won.

This idea is once again the brain-child of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, who has been trying his damndest for years to get online gambling –re-legalised in the USA. Reid is a firm believer that people should be allowed to do whatever they desire, in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. We agree, as long as it is consensual and no innocent parties get hurt. The government could argue that online gambling can be addictive, but so are prescription drugs, cigarettes and alcohol which are all freely on sale, in the USA.

A bottle store owner doesn’t say to a customer – I think you have a drinking problem, and I will no longer sell you booze. By the very same token, ADULTS are the potential market for any online gambling activities, and they have the right to make their own decisions, as well as mistakes. Gambling is not the problem, people are the problem, and people therefore have to take responsibility for their own actions.

That having been said, State casino regulators and gambling business execs have been discussing the possibility of a merge in the form of a “New Jersey/Nevada internet gambling compact”. The reasons for this are quite clear, as we explained in the first paragraph, it is very possible that one State – on its own – would not make for sustainable business opportunities. Say nothing of poor prize pools for players, which is plainly an unattractive prospect.

Supporters off this merge are envisaging that it should come to fruition by sometime in 2014. However, the Nevada Legislature does not convene again until February 2015. But that is not the end of the story, committee chairs who handle legislation would have to be included in this process, and to date have no idea of what is being cooked up by Reid.

But Reid believes that legislatures for both States may not be required. He is of the opinion that Federal legislation can achieve the compact which will allow for this marriage made in heaven (?) to take place before 2015. He has been entertaining the idea of the compact for a while now, after having worked extremely hard to get online gambling and not only poker, made legal in the United States.

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Online Poker Affiliate Joins The Playtech Stables

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Poker News | Saturday 20 July 2013 9:10 am

The price tag is a massive €38.3 million, and the acquisition is the online poker affiliate business known as PokerStrategy – this business specialises in poker coaching, and teaching strategy. The purchaser is Playtech, and it looks as though they are rather keen to generate new revenue streams. Online poker has not been performing as well as it did in the past, so, it makes sense for a company as large as Playtech to look at new ways to strengthen its position in this market place.

Playtech is an Israeli-owned software company that is massively prominent in the UK online gambling space. A number of the very large brand name gambling ops in Britain, partner with this turnkey software developer for their online operations too. The announcement of this acquisition was recently made by Playtech, where they made it clear that the company is optimistic about diversifying their business profile. The aim of the game appears to be to open up an independent poker school – but not just any online poker school – the largest independent one in the world.
They are looking into including community licensees, as well as "cementing existing relationships". It is their belief that incremental opportunities will be created for both PTTS marketing and software development. In other words they believe the new acquisition to be a sound move to enhance their earnings., together with affiliates, own assets worth something like €18.5 million, while profits before taxes are somewhere around the €19.5 million mark in 2012. As we said earlier online poker earnings have been dropping, but not only for Playtech partners, for many other internet poker firms. So, this indeed could just be the right thing to do to create more revenue generating synergies.

Playtech has also announced that they are of the opinion that no re-branding exercised needs to take place. So, will remain as it is, as well as preserve its independence in the online market place. Interestingly enough their management team will also remain the same. Having PokerStrategy on-board will allow for more breaks for Playtech to rethink, and adjust their poker business.

PokerStrategy is expected to assist in upgrading the Playtech poker software, and we believe this is not before time. While Playtech continues to work with their existing partners, they will be able to add new poker rooms to choose from – this is relevant to the iPoker Network which is one of the largest networks of its kind in the world.

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The Tale Of Online Poker Gets Told The Jay Rosenkrantz Way

Posted by Gambling News | Poker News | Friday 19 July 2013 9:51 am

It is not the first time that online poker has been given the film treatment, it has already gone out in documentary form, as well as the subject matter for a recent Hollywood release of fiction. Now apparently this story is getting the Jay Rosenkrantz (Executive Producer) treatment, and he is debuting "Bet Raise Fold" to the broader public.

This story of a much maligned subject in the USA, premiered worldwide, on the 13th June, 2013, and being a high-stakes poker player himself – Rosenkrantz got the idea from his personal journey. Approximately seven years ago, the concept of creating a documentary on living the online poker lifestyle came to him, and now it’s been done. Rosenkrantz was a poker pro for an online website, and a regular contributor to Two Plus Two poker blog.

In commentary that Black Friday really made online poker a very big deal – he realized that this story was for real. The film itself has been produced together with some of the biggest names in this game, and production actually started before the fateful day. For those of you who don’t know, Black Friday took place on the 15th April 2011. It saw the closure of the biggest and most popular poker websites in the USA – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute, and Ultimate Poker. Only PokerStars survived.

This occurrence caused the producers of "Bet Raise Fold" to almost complete re-think their game plan in terms of making the film, creating a rather stiff challenge. As a result of this Rosenkrantz and Director Ryan Firpo landed up telling the historic tale of online poker. It has taken them three years to complete the project, with a great deal of collaboration, but for the most part all of the hard work was done by these two protagonists themselves – from directing, editing, watching hours, and hours of footage, to the actual filmmaking.

The original concept came about when Jay met another Two Plus Two’er called Dean Strachan, who was an economics student from the UK, and obviously also a poker player. They went to Atlantic City together and had a really great time. But they also thought that the characters who exist in this world that is online poker, would make really good material, and it is all history from there. The idea stayed put, and they started to make a documentary about this bunch of insane people.

The end goal is to get this film out to everyone who has ever played a hand of poker. There you have it, if you have played a hand of poker or online poker… this is the film to see. Actually, even if you have never played poker, it is still something to see.

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