Какие знаменитости играют в покер

Покер… Кажется, весь мир сидит на этой игре. В нее играют и студенты, и занятые директора, и люди, вышедшие на пенсию. Для этой игры нет разницы мужчина вы или женщина, сколько вам лет и какой вы национальности – вы либо умеете играть, либо нет.
C такими суждениями и полной уверенностью в своих силах, многие знаменитости переходят из шоу-бизнеса или даже спорта в покер. Для них это не только возможность хорошо организовать свой досуг, но и увеличить свое состояние.

Вы, наверное, уже не раз видели по телевизору рекламу с Роналдо или Рафаэлем Надалем где они играют в онлайн покер на деньги? Великие спортсмены полностью отдали себя увлекательной игре. Теперь они с удовольствием могут похвастаться тем, что стали участниками команды самой крупной в мире покерной комнаты PokerStars, и имеют прекрасную возможность представлять ее интересы на многочисленных мероприятиях.

Роналдо

Карьера в мире футбола у Роналдо Луиса Назарио де Лима закончилась еще в 2011 году, и с тех пор перед ним возник вопрос о планах на будущее. Сначала покер был одним из вариантов отлично провести время, но, хорошо в нем разобравшись и достигнув определенных результатов, бывший футболист стал воспринимать покер всерьез.

После нескольких великолепно сыгранных партий его заметили представители PokerStars и предложили подписать контракт. Роналдо не отказался, что вполне заметно благодаря частой рекламе по телевидению, участию во многих мировых покерных сериях и мероприятиях. Футболист снова у всех на виду, хоть уже и в совершенно другом амплуа.

Рафаэль Надаль

Планам знаменитого футболиста стать лучшим среди звездных покеристов может помешать другой, не менее известный спортсмен, теннисист Рафаэль Надаль. Уже не впервые они соревнуются между собой за первенство на покерных просторах, и, по правде сказать, Надаль пока что ближе к победе.

Как и в случае с Роналдо, достигнув пика в карьере профессионального спортсмена, он обратил свой взор на покер. И сделал это довольно успешно. Между прочим, многочисленные выигрыши Рафаэль направил на благотворительность. Разве это не достойно похвалы?

Кроме всего прочего, как действующий член команды PokerStars, Рафаэль Надаль привлекает огромное количество своих фанатов в онлайн покер. Деятельность звезды существенно увеличила популярность лучшей покерной комнаты мира в Испании!

Андрей Шевченко

Еще один футболист за покерным столом – Андрей Шевченко. Правда, этот спортсмен, в отличие от двух предыдущих, карьеру в данной сфере делать пока что не собирается. Ему достаточно хорошо провести время, а также сразиться с настоящими знатоками игры. А о более серьезном подходе к этому делу говорить с Андреем еще рановато.

Турниры со знаменитостями

Теперь, зная нелегкий путь каждого спортсмена к признанию в покерных кругах, вспомним об удивительном состязании этих звезд в Праге, а позже и в Лондоне.

В последнем, конечно, не принимал участия Шевченко, но наблюдать за тем, как Надаль получил 50 тысяч долларов выигрыша, а Роналдо мыл посуду (это вовсе не шутка) после завершения поединка было не менее увлекательно.

Как мы уже говорили выше, покерную прибыль Надаль отдает на благотворительность, и в этот раз Рафаэль продолжил хорошую традицию. У теннисиста уже давно существует свой фонд помощи, который он активно развивает. Как результат, все его громкие победы идут на благо детям.

В целом, кроме вышеупомянутых всемирно известных спортсменов-активистов покерной игры, еще много других знаменитостей и влиятельных людей отдают предпочтение такому проведению досуга. Ведь покер для них – это не просто игра, а стиль жизни.

У вас есть прекрасная возможность оказаться за игровым столом с каждым из знаменитых спортсменов, о которых мы рассказали в этой статье. Все, что вам нужно, – начать играть в онлайн покер! А в этом вам поможет сайт Мир Покера. На нем вы найдете великолепную школу покера, огромный пласт обучающих видео и разнообразные статьи на покерную тематику. Причем все это абсолютно бесплатно!

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Update Casino.

Update Casino-VALENTINE’S DAY & MARDI GRAS

Give your players something you know they’ll love. Coming soon to both Golden Cherry and WinpalacePlay are two amazing offers to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Available for Golden Cherry is a $/€30 Free Chip in addition to a 420% match bonus up to $/€4,200!

VALENTINE'S DAY

VALENTINE’S DAY

For WinpalacePlay, players will receive a $/€35 free chip plus a 250% match bonus up to $5,000.

This year, Mardi Gras comes to two of our top casinos –WinPalace and GrandMacao! In celebration of this exciting holiday, WinPalace will be offering players $/€10 Free with 15 Free Spins plus a 400% match up to $/€4,000.

At GrandMacao, each new arrival will receive a $/€30 Free Chip plus a 300% match up to as much as $/€3,000!

NEW GAMES

Available now for mobile play are two exciting new games –Naughty List and Keno. Perfect for the winter season, Naughty list is a 5-reel slot with a Christmas theme and packed with bonus features while Keno will be the first to be released for our mobile brands.

From our newest software provider comes two new releases! First up is Sugar Rush Winter, an ice-covered take on the popular slots game! Next is Orbital Mining, a 5-reel video slot with a space age theme and plenty of game-enhancing features.

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Macau casinos’ chips are down

MACAU’S prospects as the world’s casino capital depend on policymakers in Beijing, a reality that — if ever in doubt — was made clear last year as China’s antigraft crusade dealt the coastal city its first annual decline in gambling revenue.

Last year gambling revenue in Macau fell 2.6 per cent to 351.5 billion patacas ($54.3bn), government data showed on Friday. It was the first decline since a public accounting of such data began in 2002. December gambling revenue plunged a record 30 per cent from a year earlier to 23.29 billion patacas, extending a seven-month losing streak in the casino hub.

The slide has pummelled ­casino stocks. Shares of Macau’s six licensed casino operators fell an average 40 per cent last year. Las Vegas Sands Corporation unit Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment Group — the two operators included in Hong Kong’s blue-chip Hang Seng index — were among the worst-performing stocks on the index last year, weighing down the entire market. Galaxy shares dropped 37 per cent, and Sands China shares fell 40 per cent, compared with the Hang Seng’s 0.4 per cent rise for the year. By contrast, in 2013 when Macau gambling revenue rose 19 per cent, prices more than doubled for shares of Nasdaq-listed Melco Crown Entertainment and Hong Kong-listed MGM China Holdings and Galaxy.

That year, Macau, which for some time had been growing annually by the size of the Las Vegas strip, raked in seven times the gambling revenue as its US counterpart. So the sharp revenue reversal for the Chinese casino hub in 2014, even as visitors continued to pour in, was a shock to many executives, analysts and ­investors.

The China-wide crackdown on corruption had driven the sudden downturn, they said. While netting many top officials on the mainland, the sweeping campaign also prompted highrollers to shy away from Macau’s baccarat ­tables, industry watchers said. Other government policies also have hurt gambling revenue, including tighter visa policies for Chinese travelling to Macau and increased oversight of the UnionPay cards many gamblers use to access funds there.

Many associated with the industry said they had no idea when things in Macau would improve, though they said the casino hub would eventually right itself.

Wynn Resorts chief Steve Wynn, who has long lauded what he deemed predictable government policies in China, said last year that the anti-graft campaign had “put a lot of the wealthy businessmen in the foxholes” and that he was unsure how long the policies would affect Macau.

Beijing has also been intensifying its calls for Macau to diversify its economy away from gambling, which accounted for more than 80 per cent of the local government’s revenue in 2013, according to official data.

Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated the message during a rare visit to Macau last month.

A once desolate Chinese island called Hengqin is the linchpin of the diversification plan, according to a Macau government adviser. China wanted land-strapped Macau to use its riches from gambling to develop non-gambling ventures on the island, the person said.

Hengqin is three times the size of Macau and part of the economic powerhouse known as the Pearl River Delta, which includes major cities in southern China as well as the special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong.

But Beijing has been frustrated with the slow pace of development on Hengqin and complained that many Macau investors were just sitting on island property with no plans to develop it soon, said an executive involved in discussions about Hengqin.

Now, however, the central government was no longer just suggesting changes, said the Macau government adviser. The call had become “an order”.

Macau casino operators, including Galaxy and MGM China, have said they planned to invest in non-gambling projects in the area. Casino companies could also participate in the diversification plan by offering more non-gambling activities at their casino resorts, said Ambrose So, chief executive of SJM Holdings, Macau’s oldest casino operator.

“Integrated resorts offer a diverse mix of activities for patrons — including lodging, dining, shopping, entertainment” and meetings and convention facilities, he said in an email.

“This requires hiring and training local employees with a diverse set of skills.”

While China’s policies had hurt casino investors, many in Macau welcomed the fresh direction, said Eric Sautede, a political commentator and part-time university professor in Macau.

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Australia: 23 million people and four new casinos?!

In the year ending June 2014, international visitors spent $30.1 billion in Australia, with $5.3 billion of this revenue generated by Chinese visitors alone.1 Australia is also seeing record numbers of visitors from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India and the US.2

new casinos

new casinos


It is no surprise that casino developers are seeking to develop new casinos in Australia to capitalise on existing Chinese tourism and to further promote Australia to Chinese tourists.

The development of casino destinations is becoming an increasingly popular focus of infrastructure investment for Asian countries such as Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam. This seeks to follow the success of Macau, which now, as a result of visitors from the Chinese mainland, generates gambling revenues in excess of the revenues generated by all the casino destinations in the United States combined (this includes Las Vegas and Atlantic City).

There appears to be potential for similar success in Australia. Based on 2009 research, each international visitor to Australia who visits a casino during their holiday spends an average of $4940, nearly double the amount spend on average by a visitor who does not (who spends on average $2630).3

The success of casino destinations in Macau and Singapore has encouraged the governments of Australian states New South Wales and Queensland to adopt strategies designed to capitalise on and/or encourage casino-tourism, with a view to obtaining benefits such as increased employment opportunities, tourism and revenues for the state.

However, the adoption of these strategies and the development of new casinos (or ‘integrated resorts’):

requires consideration of a complex legal and regulatory framework; and
faces significant opposition from the anti-gambling lobby, which argues that casino gambling leads to adverse social impacts, for example, problem gambling, corruption and crime.
NSW: The ‘VIP Gaming Facility’

In November 2013, the NSW government entered into a binding agreement with Crown Resorts Limited (Crown) to develop a new integrated VIP ‘gaming facility’ hotel and casino (VIP Gaming Facility) in Sydney CBD’s Barangaroo South, which is scheduled to open in 2019. Crown’s existing casino portfolio includes the casinos in Melbourne and Perth.

By approving Crown’s unsolicited proposal for an integrated resort-casino, the NSW state government has changed fundamentally the previous policy in NSW which had contemplated only a single casino in NSW.

Also in November 2013, the NSW Parliament passed the Casino Control Amendment (Barangaroo Restricted Gaming Facility) Act 2013 (NSW) to enable the grant of a ‘restricted gaming licence’ to the Barangaroo development.

The arrangement between the NSW government and Crown4 relating to the approval of this proposal includes a number of strict conditions on Crown, for example:

a delay on the commencement of gaming until 15 November 2019;
a prohibition on poker machines;
the application of minimum bet limits (commensurate with the expected limits in a VIP facility); and
the barring of the general public from entry into the casino.
Further, Crown is restricted from having a “material” association with prominent Macau based casino developer, Dr Stanley Ho and his associates and from allowing Dr Ho to obtain an interest, or hold a relevant position, in Crown.

Local residents who wish to apply for VIP membership status at the new facility must either demonstrate similar ‘VIP’ membership status at another casino, or wait for a 24-hour ‘cooling-off’ period before their membership is approved and they are permitted to gamble. The imposition of these conditions support arguments made publicly by James Packer and Crown that the target market of the new facility comprises high-value tourists.

The requirement for responsible gambling measures to be implemented is one of the means by which the new facilities are being marketed to the electorate, with Crown accepting the formation of a memorandum of understanding with Mission Australia as a condition of the grant of its NSW licence. Crown has also undertaken to pay a special tax rate, which includes a 2% responsible gambling levy that will be re-directed to the NSW Responsible Gambling Fund.

Crown needs to secure planning approval for the development from the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

Queensland: SEVEN casinos!

In October 2013, the Queensland government announced that it had issued conditional licences for three new casinos.

Unlike the more restrictive legislative arrangements and agreements in NSW, the Casino Control Act 1982 (Qld) permits the Governor to grant an unlimited number of casino licences.

Plans have been announced for three new casinos in Queensland (which will be in addition to the four casinos already in operation in Queensland):

Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung has proposed a $8.15 billion Aquis resort in Cairns. The proposed location is Yorkeys Knob, 15 kilometres north of the existing Reef Hotel Casino (RHC) in Cairns. However, at the time of writing, Mr Fung had withdrawn his offer to purchase the RHC. Whilst Mr Fung remains committed to the Aquis proposal, his purchase of the RHC was initially part of his strategy to raise funds for the development of Aquis;
a conditional licence has been granted to ASF Consortium for its proposed $7.5 billion Broadwater Marine Casino on the Gold Coast; and
the tender period for a second Brisbane casino has closed. Echo Entertainment (owner of the Star casino in Sydney) and Crown (among others) have lodged tenders. A decision is due in February 2015.
It’s not just gambling law that matters

In addition to the gambling laws requirements in each state, other laws also apply, for example, planning and environmental law. As mentioned above, Crown’s proposed VIP Gaming Facility is yet to obtain the approval of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

Additionally, the Commonwealth competition and consumer regulator, the ACCC, has been paying close attention to the developments.

The ACCC investigated both Echo Entertainment and Crown for potential cartel conduct in 2013 following Crown’s acquisition of shares in Echo. The ACCC found that no contraventions had taken place. The ACCC also examined, and elected not to oppose, Mr Fung’s proposed acquisition of the RHC in 2014. (As stated above, Mr Fung decided subsequently not to proceed with this acquisition.)

Commercial risks

A significant question relating to the proposed casino development which has arisen is whether sufficient demand exists and/or can be generated to enable both the existing and proposed casinos to remain independently economically viable. This is particularly relevant to Queensland, where seven casinos will be in operation if each of the proposed licences is granted and these casinos proceed to open.

As the new Australian casinos are, to a large extent, targeted directly at Chinese visitors, the following trends and developments may prove significant:

In October 2013, the Chinese government introduced a series of strict anti-corruption laws in response to serious incidents of Chinese tourists being coerced and harassed into shopping and gambling while travelling in tour groups overseas. These laws were designed to break down the close relationships and arrangements between tour operators and gambling service providers in destination countries. While Australian tours were not identified as a source of concern, these laws may affect the viability of the Chinese casino tourism market in Australia.
There have been reports in the media in late 2014 that the Chinese tourism market is contracting, as the growth in Australian tourist arrivals from China halved in 2014 compared to 2013.5 Additionally, Macau saw a 23% fall in gaming revenue in October 2014, a decline attributed to slowing in-bound tourism from China. (However, this decline has also been attributed to specific legislative reforms in Macau targeting tourism and the imposition of smoking bans.)
In addition to the proposals for new Australian casinos, significant investment is also being undertaken by existing Australian casinos operators, with extensive refurbishment and development expenditure taking place.

Commentators have also expressed concerns about the dominance of casinos in smaller cities and whether this dominance will prejudice the appeal of other hospitality venues and restaurants. This is due to the potential preference of tourists to visit casino developments, rather than other venues, thereby creating job losses which may well offset the employment opportunities and revenues generated by the new integrated resorts (and by improvements to existing casinos).

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Australian Makes a $52,516.81 “Cash Splash” at All Slots Casino

Shock Gives Way to Exhilaration When All Slots Casino Player Hits the Jackpot on His Mobile

TA XBIEX, MALTA — (Marketwired) — When Franc L. of Australia made a simple $50 deposit at All Slots Casino this December, he certainly expected to have a good time, but he never anticipated winning a $52,516.81 AUD jackpot. But when the lucky player decided to try his luck on the 5-reel progressive video slot game Cash Splash, that is precisely what happened.

 All Slots Casino

All Slots Casino


To say Franc is happy with his good fortune would be an understatement. At the time he hit the jackpot, Franc was lying on his bed, playing on his mobile device. Suddenly, he saw his account balance jump over $50,000, and he nearly fell off the bed. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” he said.

“You never know when good luck may strike,” stated David Brickman, the casino’s Vice President of Player Affairs. “You just have to be at the right place at the right time, and All Slots Casino makes it easier to do that. With just one username, you can play on the Premium Download software, the no-download Instant-Play platform, or on a mobile device, as Franc did. We hope his win is one of many more to come!”

One of the most popular progressive slot games among Australians at All Slots Casino, Cash Splash is a progressive jackpot slot game available in three-reel and five-reel versions. Both games contribute to the same jackpot, which pays out when five Cash Splash symbols line up on the 15th payline.

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All Slots Casino was established in 2001 and offers top value entertainment with its wide array of exciting casino games and a generous bonus program. Developed and powered by Microgaming, All Slots Casino is available in both Download and Instant-Play versions, and its mobile casino is compatible with nearly every device, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android-based devices. All Slots Casino is accredited by eCOGRA and prides itself on fair play and fast pay-outs. For further information, visit: www.allslotscasino.com.

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Canberra casino sold to Hong Kong tycoon’s Aquis Group

HONG Kong billionaire Tony Fung’s Aquis Group has completed the $6 million acquisition of the Canberra casino from Casinos Austria, after gaining approval from the ACT government.

Aquis said it is working to develop “an exciting vision” for Casino Canberra and expects to release details around its plans early in the new year.

Aquis also said the acquisition of the Canberra casino will provide the opportunity to undertake a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2016 as part of the funding strategy to develop the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort at Yorkeys Knob, 15km north of Cairns.

The acquisition of the Canberra casino was originally part of a broader proposal by Aquis to acquire the Reef Casino Trust (RCT), which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Reef Casino Trust operates a casino in Cairns, and Casinos Austria and Accor are the main stakeholders in RCT.

Initially, the acquisition of the Canberra casino was conditional on the success of the overall RCT takeover offer.

But Aquis dropped its takeover bid for RCT because of regulatory delays and agreed with Casinos Austria that the acquisition of the Canberra casino would no longer be conditional upon the RCT takeover offer.

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The Australian casinos favoured (or avoided) by home-town gamblers

The Australian casinos

In Monaco, citizens are forbidden from the local Monte Carlo casino – and the famous venue rakes in only tourists’ dollars, not locals’. No such regulation exists in Australia, so which casinos bring in a home-town crowd?

1.4 million Australian adults (7.8%) gambled on poker machines or table games at a casino—whether locally, out of town, or overseas—within the last 12 months, the latest Gambling Monitor from Roy Morgan Research shows.

The Gold Coast has the highest proportion of local residents who gambled at the home-town casino Jupiters (12.0%), while Sydney has the lowest (3.1%).

Other casinos attracting local gamblers include Jupiters Townsvillle (with 10.6% of residents gambling there in the past year), Crown Perth (9.1%), Skycity in Adelaide (8.5%) and Wrest Point Casino in Hobart (7.1%).

% of residents gambling at home-town casino

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2013 – September 2014, sample = 15,431 Australians aged 18+

In the last 12 months, 6.7% of Melburnians gambled at Crown Melbourne, making it the casino with the greatest number of locals gambling there: 229,000.

In Brisbane, only 66,000 adult residents (3.9%) gambled at the local Treasury Casino—but another 56,000 made the trip down to Jupiters Gold Coast.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“After 2013’s stoush in Sydney, Echo Entertainment and Crown Resorts are again competing for the right to develop a billion-dollar-plus casino complex, this time at Brisbane’s Queens Wharf. Both will be pitching the economic value of their proposals in terms of tourism and tax revenue, but the Queensland State Government will also need to weigh up the impact on locals.

“A large proportion of Brisbane’s casino-goers currently head south to Jupiters Gold Coast rather than go to their local Treasury casino. Both of these are now owned by Echo, so competition between the two has not been a concern—but that could well change if Crown gets the go-ahead for the new Brisbane offering.

“Roy Morgan’s Gambling Currency Report provides an overview of the gambling industry, measuring size of total gambling market and its 3 main components: Gaming, Wagering and Lotteries/ Scratch tickets, and changes over time. The report also looks at participation, cross-category participation and internet usage.”

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Asia casino jackpot the game Caesars just can’t win

Asia casino jackpot

CAESARS Entertainment’s website describes “the world’s most geographically diversified casino-entertainment company”. But it doesn’t have any casinos in Asia, where gambling revenue has ­exploded in the past decade.
Asia casino jackpot
It has been this failure to get a foothold in markets like Macau and Singapore, alongside the 2008 leveraged buyout that crippled the Caesars’ balance sheet just as the financial crisis hit, that has put the casino company’s largest unit on the verge of bankruptcy. Caesars ­Entertainment Operating was preparing to file for Chapter 11 protection in Chicago overnight.

Caesars’ Asian woes began in 2001 when the business — then known as Harrah’s Entertainment — failed to bid on a licence in Macau, the only place in China where casino gambling is legal. A few years later, it passed on ­another opportunity, and no permits have been issued since. Chief executive Gary Loveman has said missing that second chance in Macau — where rivals Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International have flourished — was his biggest mistake.

In 2006, Caesars lost a bid for a casino licence in Singapore to Las Vegas Sands. “We’ve looked a lot at that. We had a fabulous bid, we just didn’t have the bid Singapore wanted,” said Jan Jones Blackhurst, executive vice-president of communications and government rela­tions.

Macau is now the world’s biggest casino hub, with $US44 billion ($36bn) in gambling revenue last year. Singapore and the Las Vegas Strip each generated more than $US6bn in 2013. Those Asian markets could have been the lifeline for Caesars that they were for Las Vegas Sands, which had warned of bankruptcy risks during the financial crisis but has since become the world’s biggest gambling company.

Caesars has had to rely on Las Vegas, where gambling revenue has just started to recover after the financial crisis, and on a smattering of smaller properties across the US, including a hub in Atlantic City, where revenue has fallen 45 per cent from its peak in 2006.

The company’s $US22bn of debt after the 2008 leveraged buyout by Apollo Global Management and TPG quickly became a bigger burden than its buyers had anticipated.

Caesars could not keep pace with rivals’ capital spend, said Fitch Ratings’ Alex Bumazhny. He believes the trend will continue even after a restructuring.

Caesars is forecast to outlay $US350 million on capital expenditures annually to 2017, compared with about $US2.5bn it expects Sands and MGM to spend.

Caesars kept trying to find ways into the Chinese territory. In 2007, it spent $US578m on a golf course in Macau with hopes of some day building a casino. The strategy was to “win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the government,” according to a report by regulators in Massachusetts, where Caesars had bid for a casino lic­ence. But it never did secure the partnerships and in 2013 sold the land for $US438m.

At one point, it proposed a line of credit with Macau operators Galaxy Entertainment to facilitate customer play at each other’s properties in Las Vegas and Macau. They also discussed linking customer loyalty programs and offering special privileges at the Caesars golf course in Macau. Another option was forming an alliance program with one of Galaxy’s VIP clubs in Macau. Caesars even spoke with Las Vegas Sands’ top Macau executive about co-operating on some of its projects. “People who were in Macau, they really didn’t need any partners,” Ms Jones Blackhurst said.

Meanwhile, the $US568m purchase of British casino operator London Clubs International in 2006 didn’t amount to much, ­either. An anticipated change in regulations didn’t go as planned. And at home in the US it failed to get licenses to build casinos in Massachusetts and New York, and it has had to shutter some ­operations in Atlantic City.

One piece of good news has been a recent casino deal in South Korea. Caesars will have a 40 per cent stake in a $US800m project it is building with a consortium ­including Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group.

The resort, due to open in 2018, would not be like the multibillion-dollar projects in Macau or Singapore, but it was the first step in a plan to open a series of branded casinos across the continent, said Steve Tight, Caesars’ president of international development.

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Online Poker Revenue Continues to Decline in Nevada

Online Poker Revenue

Online poker cannot be said to have failed in Nevada, but things are definitely not going well for the Silver State’s online poker industry. The revenue report for November, released recently by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, clearly shows that online poker revenue has continued to decline.

Online Poker Revenue

Online Poker Revenue


The report says that November’s online gambling win, which includes online poker alone, was $641,000 all over the state. This indicates a decline of 42% when compared to the corresponding period last financial year and a decline of 3.6% from the previous month, which had an online gambling win of $665,000.

Optimistically speaking, the 3.6% decline is the lowest when compared to the revenue drops of the previous months. Online poker revenue has been declining in Nevada for the past five months, but the decline of this month was the smallest. While October’s revenue showed a 4% decline from that of September, September’s revenue showed as 6.6% decline from that of August. The revenue of August was the lowest, indicating a 22.5% fall from the revenue of July, and July’s revenue was 7.6% lower than June’s revenue. June actually witnessed a 20.3% rise in revenue, when compared to that of May.

Another point worth noting is that revenue decline was just 3.6% in spite of the fact that Ultimate Poker pulled down its shutters halfway through November.

With Ultimate Poker gone, Nevada is now home to only two online poker sites. WSOP.com has grabbed the major share of the market. Data on PokerScout.com shows that WSOP.com gets weekly average traffic of 150 players to its cash games. Real Gaming, which belongs to South Point, is not at all doing well. The online poker site had only one player last week, peaking eight players in a 24-hour period.

Nevada is expecting many more operators to launch online poker sites in 2015, but no company has made any specific announcements. 888, the software provider for WSOP.com, has announced plans to launch an online poker network called All American Poker Network (AAPN) in Nevada. The network is expected to comprise WSOP.com, an online version of Treasure Island Casino, and a new gambling site from 888. All these sites would operate on software developed by 888.

Nevada has also signed an interstate online poker compact with Delaware, enabling the merging of player pools. The AAPN may include all the sites that are currently operating in Delaware as they are powered by 888 software.

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The Skillfulness of Online Poker Is Leading to its Downfall

The Skillfulness of Online Poker Is Leading to its Downfall

UIGEA and Black Friday are the most often cited reasons for poker’s decline since it reached its apex in 2006. But these are just the most oft-cited among a myriad of potential culprits.

Online Poker Is Leading

Online Poker Is Leading


But what if the major reason poker’s popularity has waned has nothing to do with the availability of the game or its legality, and everything to do with the game itself?

Since the rise of Internet poker allowed players to put in a lifetime’s worth of practice in the space of a year or two, the game has become a very skillful pursuit, and like chess it’s possible that this skillfulness is what is keeping new and casual players from participating.

Correlation does not equal causation

UIGEA is often cited as the jumping off point for poker’s decline. The logistical issues the law brought about pushed casual players away from the online poker tables in many people’s minds.

For instance, the protagonists of the book Ship It Holla Ballas (some of the best poker players in the world) gripe about the increasing difficulty of the game beginning around this time, and the authors (Storms Reback and Jonathan Grotenstein) rightly point to UIGEA’s impact, as the law caused general confusion over the legality of online poker, eroded online poker marketing on TV which made poker shows less appealing to the networks, and made moving money on and off the remaining sites increasingly difficult.

However, I would argue that UIGEA was just one facet of poker’s decline in late 2006. The other facet, which may have been even more impactful, was already in motion when UIGEA was signed into law: The constantly increasing skill gap between brand new players and the best of the best.

UIGEA may have been picked out of the lineup as the culprit, but data is starting to suggest poker has a bigger, structural problem lying under the surface.

Data backs it up

A recent report by GamblingCompliance indicates the increasing skill of top players is leading to high attrition rates amongst casual players. And the revenue data suggesting attrition is holding U.S. online poker back is apparently backed up by evidence from operators:

Operators have told GamblingCompliance Research Services that retaining casual players — many of which were quickly beaten by skillful players and have yet to return — has proven to be difficult, or costly, or both.”
This is an extremely troubling finding for poker’s long-term sustainability.

The ceiling rises

Poker pros have always enjoyed a massive edge over the fish, but prior to the Poker Boom pros were few and far between, and the game’s strategies were still being ironed out and far less nuanced than they are today.

To put this in some perspective: On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a total fish and 10 being perfect play, the pros of 2003 had a ceiling of around 7, and most were probably in the 5-6 range. The fish at the time were swimming around in the 1-3 range.

Also figure that my extremely unscientific scale operates in much the same way as the Richter scale, with each number stronger than the previous by a factor of 10.

By 2007 the ceiling for the best players had pushed well past 8 and most pros were now playing at a level of at least a 7.

Think about that for a moment: The average winning player in 2007 was playing at a higher level than the best players of 2003. And most of the winning players from 2003 would now be losing players unless they improved.

In 2014 the top players are likely above a 9 on my hypothetical scale, and to win a player must be close to an 8.

The floor remains the same

The bigger problem is the casual players didn’t improve at the same rate, so the gap between the floor and ceiling of poker skill has widened significantly. New players and very casual players are still somewhere between a 1-3 on the scale – although there are probably fewer 1’s at this point thanks to the basic instruction players received from televised poker.

The situation you had in 2003 was one of fish squaring off against players that were significantly better than they were, but these were still players with plenty of flaws in their own game. Like a magnitude 6 earthquake, the pros would certainly cause some damage, but the players they came into contact with would by and large survive and live to fight another day.

Continuing on with my earthquake metaphor, a decade later the pros are an incredible force of nature that leaves a trail of utter destruction in its wake. The skill gap is now at a point where casual players feel hopeless, as the GamblingCompliance report suggests.

Software and training sites add to the destructive power

On top of having more advanced strategies, and the capability of playing more hands, the Poker Boom also brought about software and training sites that allowed players to increase their skills at an almost alarming rate, and further widen the skill gap between the players who were unaware such tools existed.

Casual players and new players basically stood no chance against this ever growing army of skilled players, many of whom, despite their skill are unable to beat the game themselves. Where once they would worry about having two or three skilled players (5’s and 6’s on my scale) mixed in at their table, by 2007 the online tables were almost exclusively populated by players who would have been winners in 2003, and in 2015 even the penny limit games online are tough to beat.

What can be done?

This is the question the poker industry will have to sort out in the coming years.

Low-limit heads-up and short-handed games (where mistakes are magnified) might have to go.

Structural changes to the games may be needed to decrease the skillfulness of the game – obviously mindful to make sure the game is still skillful and beatable.

Sites may have to adopt policies that protect losing players from the sharks, whether it be segregated tables, cracking down on third-party software, or limiting multi-tabling to force players to move up to higher stakes games to maintain their win rate.

Sites might also switch to a regressive rewards system with loss-back programs.

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