As things stand and with the rules and regulations governing the poker market in USA, there is no denying, 888 Poker is in a fine position to derive great benefits of the situation. With an already established brand image, and firmly in the good books of the regulators, 888 are so far doing a good job in all three states that allow online gambling in the USA.
It now appears, as the firm will convert intrastate online poker into an interstate enterprise, and a first at it. The company recently announced their plan to share a poker network between two states - Delaware and Nevada, both theses states have put pen to paper to agree to such an interstate network.
This agreement was signed in February 2014. Industry experts had predicted 888 would be the only brand that would be able to take advantage of this pact between Delaware and Nevada. Why?
Because, among all the online poker sites operating in Nevada, the only one offering software to Delware’s 3 racetrack casinos is 888. Hence such a scenario only implies that the company would be best placed to benefit from an interstate deal.
This news came via a statement by the company to its investors. As of now, 888 already offers online poker software to WSOP site in Nevada. They also intend to start their own online poker room, branded as 888 there. The two sites will share player pool with a Treasure Island-backed option.
Except from the investor statement:
That liquidity will then be shared with the Delaware sites to create a six-room network that spans the two states. This will be known as the All American Poker Network (AAPN), and could prove to be the largest regulated poker network in the United States. The company also runs an APPN site in New Jersey. However, that is currently a standalone poker room, and without any compacts that include New Jersey, it cannot be connected with sites in other states.
It is now public knowledge that the company’s CEO Brian Mattingley is stepping down from his position and taking on the role of Executive Chairman of the board. Richard Kilsby will be taking over as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board. With a management overhaul at the company and great new opportunities in the USA, 888 Holdings is definitely headed for some exciting yet unpredictable times.
Under pressure from the player community, Betcoin, the bitcoin-only online poker site was compelled to make the figures of newly reduced rake charges at cash games.
The online poker site had partnered with WPN to enable their players to be a part of the WPN tournaments, which is considered as the best performing skin on the network. The new low rake figures brings them on a similar level like SealsWithClubs, which is the leading Bitcoin-only online poker room.
Post the implementation of new rate; the house takes 2.5% for regular tables. For heads-up tables comprising of stakes higher than 0.25/0.50, rake is reduced by 1.3%. With the new rake structure, the Bitcoin poker sites easily classify as the most economical online poker sites in the world.
Dot-com sites across the globe follow charge a rake of about 5% on an average. The figure could go higher for micro-stakes cash games. However, one exception needs to be made here – PokerStars – does not have a higher rake % at micro-stakes tables. In fact, players can accumulate VIP points at a faster rate here.
The state run online poker rooms in countries like Finland and Sweden both charge obviously charge a lower % for rake as compared to privately run sites. Ray.Fi in Finland charges 3% with a cap of €2 on most games and charge just €1 for the lowest stakes. Svenska Spel in Sweden like Bitcoin sites takes a rake of 2.5%.
PokerStars (dot-com) charges a rake at 1c/2c is 3.5% with a 30c cap. PokerStars.fr takes a rake of 6-6.5%. This higher % of rake is due to the tax applied on them by the government of France for cash games.
PKR, the world’s 3D poker room has turned 8 and they are celebrating this milestone moment by introducing new mobile apps and a software upgrade.
Calvinayre quote the founder of PKR, Jez San saying:
"We started from nothing. We were one of the last poker companies to launch and we came up with something that was different and that allowed us to survive in a very competitive world. When I first started PKR, the goal was to try and get as close to real life poker as we could. Online [poker] was all about cards and numbers, while when you play with your friends, it is all about making fun of each other, having a laugh and being more sociable. So I tried to come up with an idea that would be more about the fun aspect of the game."
"PKR is about having fun and being sociable. Everybody is now using their mobile phones and tablets to play games. Some of them are even second screening – they watch TV and at the same time they have their iPad or iPhone on their lap."
Another member representative of the 3D poker rooms said:
"Eight years ago today, we opened our virtual doors for the first time. Much water has passed under the bridge since then. We have seen millions of avatars in action at the felt, enjoyed eight PKR Live events, celebrated the victories of 78 PKR Masters champions and seen both online qualifiers, Team Pros and staff bring home the bacon in major live tournaments. As our 3D poker journey continues, we look forward to many more great moments. Our development team will be busy in the coming months, with multi-table tournaments for Android following this week's launch of multi-table tournaments on iOS".
"A new forum is on its way, packed with new features and designed to be used on the go. The most eagerly awaited change comes this autumn, with the biggest update to our desktop software since this day eight years ago, when the original poker software was born."
As a brand that has focused on innovation in technology, the birthday of PKR was marked by their approach, which is excited about what the future holds rather than what they have achieved in the past years.
The new PKR 3D poker app can be downloaded for free from the Apple AppStore. All the users living in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands will now be able to the complete PKR Poker offer and enjoy the game play on iOS or Android.
Texas hold'em sit-and-go’s, multi-table tournaments, and the scheduled events and ring games will now be available for play and real money on desktop client as well.
Industry experts deem this latest upgrade by PKR has their most prominent upgrade since their launch in the year 2007. So players and 3D poker enthusiasts can look forward to bigger and better online poker experience at in the coming years. We wish them the best on this momentous occasion and hope they continue to lead the way in cutting edge technology in the poker industry.
The online poker market in Denmark has declined for two years in a row now. This puts a serious question against Holland and Sweden’s stand that online gambling system of Denmark was the best to follow.
As per the new figures released by Danish gambling authority Spillemyndigheden, the second quarter in 2014 witnessed a 20% year-on-year reduction. The revenue generated for the second quarter was Kr. 40 million ($7,186,231) as compared to Kr. 50 million ($8,982,789) during the Q2 for 2013.
In 2012, revenues from online poker stood at Kr. 55 million ($9,881,067), which are even more than 2013. Hence this points to a case of a steady decline and can’t be considered as a one off.
As per the estimates of Spillemyndigheden, the total revenue forecast for 2014 could be around Kr. 180 million ($32,338,040). If compared to annual revenue in 2013, we can expect a 7.7% decline.
Not everything is gloom and doom for Danish gambling. Casino revenues stepped up by a solid 12.5% to Kr. 270 million ($48,507,060) in 2014 from Kr. 240 million ($43,117,387) in 2013.
However, propelled by the recently concluded 2014 FIFA World Cup, revenues from betting seem to have sky rocketed and touched a lifetime high figure. With a 33% rise, a whopping Kr. 445 million ($79,946,822) were generated in 2014 as compared to 2013’s Kr. 335 million ($60,184,686).
Authorities in Latvia have released a list with illegal online gambling sites that includes PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Latvia Lotteries and Gambling Supervision came out with this list after thorough inspection. The result of this audit has led to 44 sites being blacklisted in the country.
Other big names to be penalized include PartyPoker, 888, Unibet and William Hill. Latvian government took this step in an attempt to gain improved control over online gambling within its borders.
However, this decision by the authorities in bound to affect the players in the country. Since some of the best sites in online poker will not be able to accessed, players will definitely be on the edge.
The decision came about as the result of Latvian authorities’ efforts to get better control over online gambling. It will, in all likelihood, have severe consequences for Latvian players and will make it impossible for them to access and/or deposit on the biggest poker and gambling sites in the world.
Following is an excerpt from the Inspection pages:
On the base of Section 65 of Credit institutions Law and Section 44.2 Payment services and electronic money Law, financial transactions to and from illegal online gambling operators are prohibited from August 1, 2014.
The note makes it very clear about prohibition of financial transactions on online gambling sites in Latvia. Also, operators have been given a directive to block access to illegal online gambling sites.
The decision from the government is aimed at player protection and better governance of online gambling in Latvia. But many are seeing this as an obstacle as well as a regressive step from the authorities.
Another option for operators is to go via the license application route but the process to acquire a license seems to be complicated and that is why some of the big names including PokerStars may give it a miss.
(image courtesy pokerupdate)
The biggest online poker tournament series in the world is back in September 2014. Yes, that’s right! We are talking about the 2014 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP).
On August 6, PokerStars announced the schedule for the 2014 WCOOP. The most popular online poker series will consist of multiple games and formats. There will be 66 events from September 7-28 along with $40 million in guaranteed prize money.
It all begins on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 08:00 ET with a $109 no-limit hold'em WCOOP Kickoff event. Below is the complete schedule for the event this year. Make sure you take a print out and mark the dates. You don’t want to miss out on this!
Nevada WSOP has upgraded their online poker software. The site was shutdown a day prior to the upgrade. The upgrade was done to improve the functionality of the poker client and integrate better feature for enhanced game play. It took 8 hours for the site to complete this upgrade, which is why players could not access it during that period.
As per industry reports and a discussion on credible poker forum twoplustwo, the latest upgrade comprises of improved features but also there are some other changes that are not ready to go live. WSOP’s head for online poker, Bill Rini informed users on the forum that upgrades need approval before they are made live.
As soon as these requirements are fulfilled, all the changes will be available for players. Post which, GeoComply location solution will be used by WSOP. This would enable players to login within state borders based on Wi-Fi technology.
For now, the latest upgrade includes rebuy/add-on enhancements and log out reminder for SNG tournaments. Additional tourney information will be made available in the lobby along with last hand quick view.
Another welcome change for the players would be the option to withdraw from Caesars properties in Vegas. The new initiative has subverted the need to speak to customer service teams and therefore saves a lot of trouble for players. They can now just email to make a deposit.
Another interesting development in the pipeline is mobile gaming apps for Android and iOS devices. This is under review by the regulatory bodies and should be made available soon.
A potentially game-changing deal has been finalized – that between Amaya Gaming and Rational Group. The most talked about acquisition, perhaps in the history of the online gambling industry was completed as Amaya acquired PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for $4.9 billion. The acquisition was completed much ahead of the projected time, which was September 30.
Amaya Gaming issues a press release to notify the industry of this deal:
“We are extremely pleased to have completed this Acquisition. Through PokerStars, Full Tilt and its multiple live poker tours and events, Rational’s brands comprise the world’s largest poker business, generating diversified and recurring revenues across the globe from its extremely loyal customer base."
Player base is bound to increase in the next few months as New Jersey may be added as a market. The authorities for their suitability under Amaya Gaming are currently scrutinizing PokerStars. The quick acquisition will definitely help PokerStars to get a license in New Jersey.
Industry experts and the media in general, believe that customers in the Garden State may be able to play on the biggest online poker site even as early as this fall.
This has been the third press release from the Canadian company in the last four days. Their first and second press releases were regarding approval for purchase from authorities and approval from shareholders respectively.
Santa Ysabel Tribe’s online poker website, PrivateTable.com that hopes to offer real money very soon in California, began advertising via Google Display Ads recently.
Google Display Ads or Google Ads as they are called is nothing but a network of banner ads that enables advertisers to target users through a network of blogs as well as niche sites.
Cookie technology is used by Google to trace the activity of a visitor.
This latest development clearly states the intent of Santa Ysabel with respect to PrivateTable.com and taking it live to their customers as soon as possible. Placing banner ads with Google, which is clear proof that their marketing campaign as started.
Many industry experts in US have argued that PrivateTable.com was only established for political reason by using it as a means of threat. It was also believed that the Tribe would rather not utilize their financial resources for advertising. Not just that but PrivateTable.com has made their presence felt on micro-blogging site Twitter as well.
However, there are still few question marks left. For instance, their premium online payment processor has not been activated yet. Also, Dobrosoft as the poker software may be a questionable choice.
Another interesting aspect of this development is if Google would permit Santa Ysabel PrivateTable.com to continue running their display ads if they go live with their real money poker website.
French online poker giant Winamax have launched Go Fast this week to join the fast-fold poker game. The latest product can be accessed on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone and iPad.
The structure is similar to most fast-fold games – player seated amidst a pool of players, and use of the “instafold” button immediately re-seats him to a new table.
To help customers notice the high speed of the new variant, Winamax has improved the design and used a racecar motif in the online poker room.
Users can opt for a different cat to suggest the level of buy-in. The animated races appear during transitions and it also includes radio stations during game play.
However, due to multiple bugs compelled Winamax to take down the game as soon as it was launched.
Online poker forums in France also had threads carrying comments from players reporting about the closing of tables, problems with funds not appearing on closing the table and freezing of tables.
Speaking to a clubpoker, representative of Winamax said:
“Regarding the various slowdowns and freezes, we alerted our technical department and they are currently working to resolve these issues. We have decided to suspend Go Fast. Sorry for this … we hope to bring it back online very quickly,”
Fast-fold poker is now omnipresent in online poker with one of out four cash games being played in this format.
Before the launch of Go Fast, Adjarabet from Georgia and Winamax were just the 2 online poker rooms left to implement this format out of the big 10 sites.