Posts Tagged ‘cyprus’

July 18, 2012

Wider World of Poker

Brand new Betable and PamPoker, too much Zoom, not enough Cyprus, and some Rafa.

With the WSOP once again hogging the headlines, we’re wandering off the beaten track in search of a few scraps of worldwide poker news. Expect fresh new ideas, slightly-older-but still-pretty-fresh ideas, and very-old-not-at-all-fresh ideas.

Very Betable

The buzz word for online gambling in 2012 seems to be ‘social’ which admittedly makes the industry a little late on the uptake. When even the hulking behemoths of national news have integrated social media into their cluttered offerings you know you’re a little behind. Thankfully a new company called Betable are looking to make that integration a little easier by offering to handle the gambling side of things all by themselves. Players can wager via Betable on any service where their API is integrated and they will handle the calculations and payouts. That has the excellent fringe benefit of meaning that your company isn’t technically providing any gambling services. Definitely worth keeping an eye on. [Betable]

Wham Bam, No Thank You Pam

Less exciting is the new venture from entrepreneurs Elton Pereira & Jeremy Nichele. Their new Facebook game, BamPoker, basically brings play money poker software up to the standard of real-money clients 5 years ago. It includes all the basic features you’d expect of a poker client, including at least one sound I’m pretty sure is directly lifted from Full Tilt. Oh, and I forget to mention the least exciting part: It’s spokeswoman is Pamela Anderson, in all her glorious cultural relevance. [Marketwatch]

Bwin Lament Zoom Poker

The fast paced stylings of Rush Poker are looking positively ancient in this fresh-faced company, but that hasn’t stopped PokerStars’ strikingly similar Zoom Poker from putting the hurt on its competitors. In a recent financial report, Bwin.Party attributed a sharp drop in poker revenues to the success of Zoom Poker. Bwin promised that they’d have their version of super-fast poker active in the near future. [BwinParty]

Cyprus Instates Online Ban

This idea, sadly, is pretty old. The Cypriot House of Representatives have outlawed online gambling. The island nation seem to be mainly concerned with the lack of tax revenues resulting from a lack of up-to-date legislation and locals preferring off-shore operators. The new laws also impose taxes on land based gambling which will all be funnelled towards the country’s sporting endeavours. As ever in the EU someone has complained about the ban contravening free trade laws. This time its Betfair, who are yet to decide if they’ll actually launch any legal proceedings. [iGaming Business]

Endurance Record Does Not Endure

A British soldier has gone where Phil Laak could not, breaking his record for the longest session of poker ever played by a human being. At the G Casino in Manchester, Barry Denson completed 120 hours and 20 minutes of on-felt action. He hopes to raise money for military charity Help for Heroes and is awaiting confirmation from Guinness World Records before he can officially claim the title. [Poker News]

Rafael Nadal is Playing Poker

I really feel like I need to ram home how big of a deal it is that PokerStars have Rafa Nadal playing for them. He might have crashed out of Wimbledon in the early stages but he’s still a sporting superstar in every corner of this, admittedly very round, Earth. Anyway, the first promo video featuring him and his poker coach Isaac Mayolas has hit the intertubes. Take a gander at it, if you so fancy. [Youtube]

After all that innovation I feel inspired to explore new frontiers, so I’m off to Mars. See you next week, shortly after my return pod bursts through the atmosphere in a ball of flaming glory. Don’t panic, I’ll bring you back a souvenir.

Posted by at 3:29 pm

March 2, 2012

Wider World of Poker

888 how rude, Chili + Bally = gaming love, WSOP-Southern hemisphere, Wisdom of Ryan, and the elderly grind

After quite rightly ruffling a few feathers earlier this week, I’m retreating into my castle of news. Drawbridge raised, I shall load the catapult with facts and pelt all onlookers with interesting tit-bits from the wider world of poker. Prepare the boiling oil!

Sexy 888

If there’s one thing that inspires people to get into poker, it’s all the hot babes that you immediately attract, right? That’s what the UK Advertising Standards Agency seem to think anyway, having recently banned a commercial for 888’s new Webcam Poker because the ad suggests a link between gambling and seduction. To be fair to the ASA they are just enforcing the rules, but even the supposedly sexual aspects of this commercial are questionable. Check it out for yourself and see if you think the bikini clad lady qualifies as ‘seductive’. [Card Player]

 

 

It’s Chili In VegasChili Man

One-armed bandit creators, Bally Technologies, have announced the acquisition of Chiligaming. Yet another established American gaming company shacking up with a proven off-shore site. Bally claim they are not looking to launch their own client, but will funnel bricks-and-mortar customers onto Chilli once online gambling goes live in Nevada. [Casino City Times]

Around the same time, Chiligaming announced that they were merging their online poker platform with Poker770. [iGaming Business]

African Jewellery 

It makes me a little teary-eyed to think of a WSOP event taking place in Africa. It may well be a hangover from the 2010 World Cup, during which it seemed like the entire continent was immeasurably joyous at the idea of hosting the biggest sporting tournament in the world. For poker fans, the WSOP is equally important and it’s great to see them spreading the love to a part of the world that, it’s fair to say, hasn’t always been sunshine and roses. [WPT Mag]

Ryan Positive On U.S. Poker

Listening to Jim Ryan, CEO of Euro-giants bwin.party, is enough to make a man upbeat. When asked by PokerNews for his thoughts on legal online poker in the States, he said that, “we think it’s a question of when.” This far reaching interview covers a lot of ground, but it’s no surprise to see the piece lead with Ryan’s thoughts on his deal with MGM and Boyd Gaming. So far as bwin.party and U.S. online poker goes, Ryan thinks that launching in 2013 is a “realistic perspective.” [Poker News]

Nonagenarian Grinders

Police in the balmy island of Cyprus take overage gambling very seriously. In 2009, cops busted a dangerous ring of grannies playing small-ball cash games in a lair that also contained “sandwiches” and “pastries”. The gang of illicit ladies, including a 98-year-old, have been requested to appear before a court to hear the charges against them. Here’s hoping the Cypriot legal system can put away these dangerous criminals before they fail to cause any more damage. [AP]

Tune in next week for my new editorial on ‘why all of poker is bad and should never be written about’. Either that or I’ll just do another one of these columns. Haven’t decided yet. Toodle pip!

Posted by at 2:01 pm

December 8, 2011

In Brief: Legal Biznass

Poker Law, Politics, Business, and Crime

We spend so much time reading about poker legal developments here at Pokerati that we sometimes forget to share the relevant news before the cycle turns to something else … and then I complain that our readers here aren’t as smart anymore as they used to be? It doesn’t take a JD to see the flaw in my logic there. Thus, here’s a much-needed batch of recent highlights and hedlines to keep the incessant but important buzz in context … a semi-special link-dump, btw, brought to you by our new-good friends at LegalPokerSites.com:

First UIGEA Conviction in the Books The DOJ logged their first win on UIGEA charges — making the supposedly weak law thus far undefeated — against online sportsbook operator Todd Lyons. His arrest back in May 2010 shoulda been a big warning sign to American online poker operators (and players?) — and Full Tilt specifically — that the DOJ was coming to get them! [CalvinAyre.com]

First Black Friday Trial Date Set John Campos and Chad Elie, the Utah banker and PokerStars payment processor indicted for their role in online poker criminal activity, have a trial date in March … creating a tangible timeline for Black Friday cases and added pressure on the big fish the DOJ really wants — Isai Sheinberg, Ray Bitar, and Scott Tom. [Legal Poker Sites]

MGM Sues Poker Domain Squatters Just as Caesars sued (and won) to obtain the domain WSOP.com, MGM has filed suit to repossess the domains mgmpoker.com, bellagiopoker.com, luxorpoker.com, mandalaybaypoker.com, and ariapoker.com. Apparently the casino giant thinks they’ll have need for them soon. [VegasInc]

Barton Says Online Poker Bill Still Alive This Congress Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) gave a luncheon keynote at the DGLP, where he spelled out how his online poker bill is moving forward as a piece of stand-alone legislation and/or still could be absorbed into some omnibus bills. Pretty straight-forward, honest-sounding stuff as Barton even talks about his own live real-money play and admits to multi-accounting for play money on PokerStars. [Pokerati Soundcloud]

Adelson Balks at Readiness for Online Poker The poker masses got spun into a tizzy after Vegas politico Jon Ralston “reported” that Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson has been buzzing around DC that he is morally opposed to online gambling … and that age-verification technology isn’t ready yet. Ralston concludes that this could kill online poker’s chances in Congress as if Adelson alone is more powerful than the combined forces of Caesars, MGM, Steve Wynn, Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming, Michael Gaughan, et al. Quick to cry, some poker players have begun calling for a boycott of Venetian Poker. [Las Vegas Sun]

Nevada Regulations Almost Ready While so many chatter about complex details of future online poker, the Nevada Gaming Commission and State Gaming Control Board seem to be the only ones systematically moving forward with thorough, enforceable rules and regulations for online gaming. In one of the biggest overhauls to state gaming regs in history, they just released a whole bunch of revisions for licensure and suitable ownership that Big and Small casinos alike are paying close attention to. [gaming.NV.gov]

Fry Howie? Funny/sad, shortly after Black Friday I thought we might be seeing T-shirts that said “Free Howard!” not “Fry Howard!” But loyalty can be a fickle bitch when you eff up with someone else’s money. Hence this flash creation for players wishing to express their personal outrage against Full Tilt and Howard Lederer violently. [PokerListings]

UB Player Database Leaked Lots of offline debate over how and why nearly 3 million poker-player IDs leaked out. Work of a disgruntled employee or scuttling the ship before UB ultimately hits sea-floor? And will there be more such pressings of self-destruct? [Haley’s Poker Blog]

Rest o’World: Cyprus on Crackdown, South Africa’s Open-Market Mind, German Pre-unification Some of the other key political moves from the rest of the world, as the future of legal online poker (and gambling) actively takes shape … the mediterranean island that isn’t Malta doesn’t have moral opposition, they just want their cut (kinda like Kentucky) … while South Africa continues its progressive-minded movement from staunch opposition to tolerance to active support of online gambling … all while the German province of Schleswig-Holstein’s acceptance of new online poker rules is so big it actually moved some major market needles. [Legal Poker Sites]

Posted by at 6:26 pm

November 30, 2010

GamingCounsel’s Weekly Briefs

Danish Delays, Kentucky Legal Derby, Cypriot Missiles, Excapsa Escapes & Congressional Guessing Games

I’m attending the Legal Marketing Association’s Toronto conference tomorrow today, so my updates to Dan “Slave-Driver” Michalski had to be in a day early. Also, I’ve picked up a bit of flack for making my updates too US-centric – I’ll try to keep a steadier eye on certain international developments, starting today yesterday. That said, here are some thoughts on the five most compelling stories in gaming in the past week from around the world:

  1. Denmark Online Gaming Delays – Denmark had intended to open up its online interactive gaming market by January of next year. However, there has been a complaint about tax rates and a blackout period before the European Commission. The Danish government and the EC are addressing the review and the complaint, but inter-governmental wrangling takes time, especially in Europe. Look for market liberalization to be delayed until Summer 2011.[EGR Magazine]
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  3. Kentucky v 141 Internet Domain Names – This is a fascinating and timely case that keeps getting more so. Latest development: A hearing has been scheduled for December 6th (this will be pushed back to the 13th) in front of Judge Thomas Wingate, who is the original judge that first dealt with this matter back in the Fall of 2008. The hearing is supposed to address the identification of the owners of the 141 Internet domain names that were part of Kentucky’s original suit. Kentucky has proposed that the domain names be split up into groups and that the initial group to be considered by the court comprise the following 5 names: www.playersonly.com, www.sportsbook.com, www.sportsinteraction.com, www.mysportsbook.com, and www.linesmaker.com. The proposed case management order (to be discussed at the hearing) grants 30 days to anyone purporting to be an owner of these sites to file a motion to intervene and prove their ownership of the site(s). iMEGA plans to make a motion to intervene on behalf of these sites, which does not sit well with the Commonwealth; Kentucky has consistently objected to iMEGA and the IGC being granted standing in the proceeding.

    The Commonwealth may lose here – the Supreme Court of Kentucky seemed to like the idea of associational standing but said that the associations did not yet demonstrate that they had standing. The associations can be expected to do what they have to to show this. If iMEGA loses out in December, look for more appeals and legal wrangling. This case has certainly been a boon to the Kentucky bar – it seems that just about every lawyer in the state has had a piece of this lawsuit. [Poker News Daily]

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  5. Cyprus Attempting to Ban (Most) Internet Gaming – Cyprus has drafted a bill proposing a ban on all forms of Internet gambling except sports wagering. This has gone to the European Commission for review. Cyprus argues that the ban on roulette, other table games, slot machines, and poker is in the public interest. Cyprus hopes that the Santa Casa ruling by the European Court of Justice in 2009 in favour of Portugal will work in its favour in this draft. The bill also provides for the creation of a Gaming Board regulating Cypriot online gambling (sports betting only), issuing of licences, and a ban on cash bets and the exclusive use of credit cards and e-wallets to make transactions easier to monitor and tax. [Gambling City]
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  7. Excapsa & the Cereus Network Settlement – In a shareholder communication by Excapsa Software’s liquidator, Excapsa and the Cereus Network appear to have settled their dispute over promissory notes and fraud claims on the network. In return for full and final settlement, it looks like Blanca Games (UB’s operator) will acquire Excapsa’s interest in the outstanding debt for US$2M and a percentage of proceeds if the business is sold by Blanca on or before March 31, 2013. Excapsa will get the remaining interest in the old gaming software (the Towkiro Group – UB’s old owners – had retained a residual interest to use the software for internal purposes). [WSBG Accountants, Montreal]
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  9. What Congress Shall Wil Probably Will May Do in the US – This is the favoured party game of everyone in the Internet poker industry right now. Few know for certain what will happen, but here’s what I think is becoming reasonably clear: a) the Frank & McDermott bills are probably dead; b) if anything passes during the lame-duck session, it will likely be a Reid bill and will probably be attached to ‘must-pass’ financial legislation; and, c) poker is the only thing that will get through this year. My best information is still that it’s more likely than not that a measure won’t pass, but I have been hearing more and more gossip rumblings suggesting that prospects are perhaps better than I have expected. The next week or two could change things and make passage of an interactive poker measure the odds-on favourite. Stay tuned. [Motley Fool]

    Also …
    interesting conference on US i-gaming to take place in Washington D.C. on December 10th. This is a should-attend if you are in D.C. at the time:

    http://www.spectrumgaming.com/conferences/


Attorney Stuart Hoegner regularly follows international gaming law so his lazy hard-working, brilliant editor doesn’t have to; you can follow him @GamingCounsel on Twitter.

Posted by at 2:51 pm

April 16, 2009

Putting the W back into the WPT

Barcelona, Cyprus destinations added

It appears that the WPT Europe that was announced in February 2008 may finally get off the ground this year in its attempt to compete with the mighty European Poker Tour. A criticism of the WPT as its tournament schedule has decreased has been its focus on staying in North America. However, at least 4 tournaments are scheduled to take place in Europe and Africa in the coming months.

Besides the already announced WPT Venice in May and WPT Marrakech in October, two more WPT tournaments have been announced this week. The WPT Spanish Championship returns to Barcelona in late June, while in September the WPT-Merit Cyprus Classic Poker Tournament makes its debut. None of these tournaments are scheduled to air in the US, but the action can be followed online or broadcast on European television.

Also noteworthy are the various online poker sites that don’t allow US customers that are getting on the WPT bandwagon to hold satellites for these WPT tournaments like bwin in Venice and Chili Poker in Marrakech. The season VIII schedule for the rest of the tour has yet to be announced, and will be interesting to see what other changes will appear.

Posted by at 4:57 am