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.

PokerStrategy.com, 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, PokerStrategy.com 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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Lederer Lets Go Of Online Poker/FTP Earned Assets

Posted by Gambling News | Poker News | Tuesday 22 January 2013 9:15 pm

There has been such a huge scandal surrounding the fact that Members of the Board of Tiltware lined their own pockets at the expense of fans who played at Full Tilt Poker (FTP), it really is about time that everything got sorted out now. Its seems that 2013 might be the year when everything falls into place, the Department of Justice are happy, and online gambling in the USA finally becomes legal. Well…one can only hope. At the centre of the FTP scandal have been Chris (Jesus) Ferguson, Howard Lederer, Ray Bitar and Rafe Furst – well mostly these players have been mentioned.

Rafe Furst has surrendered a Trust Fund held in a Swiss Bank Account (?), plus agreed to pay the DoJ about $150 000 in fines. Howard Lederer knew that the DoJ had set their sights on his mansion, and has managed to stave off the forfeiture of this piece of property by bargaining with the authorities to take something else instead. In fact he has pledged to them, the proceeds from the sale of a property in Twin Palms Circle Las Vegas, as well as traceable proceeds from the sale of his Kingsclear Court, Las Vegas, property. So that is two Las Vegas properties he is down, and there is only something like five to go.

He has also forfeited his 1965 Shelby Cobra , plus funds a Lloyds TSB International account located on the Isle of Man. We have no idea what the amount involved with this transaction is. There is also an additional retirement account which was arranged using FTP funds, and this too has gone to the feds.

Apparently these monetary amount, plus those being surrendered by Raef Furst are going directly into the $184 (or thereabouts) owed to US online poker players; if and when they are able to process their claims with the DoJ. One would however assume that some of the funds paid to them in the FTP sale to PokerStars would have been earmarked for this process. However, we don’t know the finer details of the sale, only how many millions it cost.

It appears that only Ray Bitar and Chris Fergusson have to settle with the DoJ, which might be a faster process now that these two gamblers have fessed up and settled. It certainly goes to show that big money can keep you out of jail, as most of the deals made with the DoJ have entailed, forfeiture of vast amounts of money to admit no wrong-doing, and avoid any future prosecution. This is what PokerStars, Rafe Furst and Howard Lederer are all currently paying for. We suppose they have learned one thing from this – that crime doesn’t pay, but if you can pay, you can also get off the charges.

These charges included but were not limited to "conspiracy to commit bank, and or wire fraud, money laundering, as well as operating an illegal online gambling business." An amendment to the charges also accused these people of misrepresentation in that player funds were "safe and secure" both prior to and after Black Friday.

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Evolution Of Online Poker – Increasing Interest In This Game of "Skill"

Posted by Gambling News | Poker News | Thursday 30 August 2012 10:00 am

While there has never been a doubt that the online gambling industry has a massive interest in offering online poker games to the public; this game has also evolved to such a degree, that there is on-going growing interest from the public also. If there had not been so much interest from the paying public, this game would not have grown as it has.

There has been much ado about nothing happening, regarding playing online poker in the USA for a few years, where the department of Justice has insisted that playing this game was illegal. So much so, that they closed down the biggest online poker sites in the US last year in April 2011. In the process, the DoJ managed to put most of these sites out of business – the only survivor being PokerStars. But then again the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA enacted 2006), also put paid to plenty of poker potential.

What is so paradoxical about the online poker situation in the USA, is the fact that the game is as American as apple pie. However, that having been said, the Poker Players Alliance and many other protagonists for the game, have been trying to prove that it is okay to play online as it is a game of skill, not gambling.

Now all kinds of worms are coming out of the woodwork, the DoJ has had a change of heart, but are still prosecuting people who were indicted under UIGEA. They have also said that the only gambling game not allowed is online sports betting, so, we are in the dark about what’s real any more in the states.

A recent scientific research from the University of Rotterdam (Department of Economics), Holland, sees poker classified as a game of skill. And now a Judge in the USA – Federal District Court Judge Jack Weinstein – has agreed. Poker is a game of skill!

The fact of the matter is, that the lawyers defending a gentleman who was running a home poker game, put up such a good argument, that the judge simply had to agree. They argued that – "increased proficiency boosts a player’s chance of winning and affects the outcome of individual hands as well as a series of hands. Expert poker players draw on an array of talents, including facility with numbers, knowledge of human psychology, and powers of observation and deception." We already know this to be true.

John Pappas of the Poker Players Alliance – said they have waited very patiently for the right opportunity to arise to take the game of poker to a Federal Court. This was the right opportunity, where this association of poker players, played a major role in securing the “not guilty” verdict. They believe this federal court ruling is a most important victory for the game.

The judge noted that "poker has a long history in the United States, has been embraced by many political and other public figures. " Finally… perhaps something has now got to give?!

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