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Archive for August 4th, 2018

Bruno Fitoussi Becomes Latest partypoker Brand Ambassador

Frenchman Bruno Fitoussi has joined the cluster of partypoker brand ambassadors to promote the poker operator’s live events across Europe. News about his new role arrive just a few months after his fellow countryman, Bertrand Elky Grospellier, was assigned a similar promotional task by the GVC Holdings-owned major poker brand.

Fitoussi’s first outing as a brand ambassador will be during the upcoming MILLIONS UK at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham. The live poker festival is set to kick off on September 29 at the host venue with £8.5 million in guaranteed prize money, including a guaranteed prize pool of £5 million for the Main Event. Fitoussi will also participate in the Caribbean Poker Party and WPT Deepstacks later this year as part of his new role.

With decades of experience in the poker industry and participation in some of the world’s largest live poker tournaments, Fitoussi will share player feedback with partypoker’s LIVE team to help the operator shape festival schedules and related poker products for Europe.

As mentioned above, the French poker pro is joining another player from his homeland, Grospellier, as well as a number of poker pros who have become partypoker ambassadors since the beginning of the year. Few of these include Ludovic Geilich, Isaac Haxton, and Philipp Gruissem.

The Man Who Brought Poker to France

Fitoussi has been generally recognized as the person who brought and popularized the game of poker in his homeland and across Europe. He introduced the game to French public back in the 1990s at the Aviation Club de France, which has gradually turned into one of France’s premium live poker destinations.

Fitoussi has been a commentator on a number of poker events on many different television shows over the years to further accumulate experience and build a reputation as one of poker’s most notable personalities.

The Frenchman has received four WSOP Hall of Fame nominations and was honored last year by the World Poker Tour for his contributions to the game of poker. Last summer, Fitoussi was presented with the WPT Honors Award along with Mike Sexton, who was appointed as Chairman of partypoker last spring.

It was namely Fitoussi who introduced the WPT brand to France’s poker community. During its first season, the major live tournament brand traveled to the country for the Euro Finals of Poker. Fitoussi became the face of the WPT brand on French television shortly after.

As for Fitoussi’s live poker accomplishments, he boasts live tournament earnings of nearly $3 million. In 2001, the French player won the inaugural World Heads-Up Poker Championship, emerging victorious over Amarillo Preston in the final. Fitoussi has a 15th-place finish in the 2003 WSOP Main Event and a runner-up finish in the 2007 WSOP $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. (now known as the Players Championship). Fitoussi finished second to Kassem Deeb to collect his career’s largest cash of $1,278,720.

The post Bruno Fitoussi Becomes Latest partypoker Brand Ambassador appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Hard Rock Eyes Sunny Gold Coast for Casino Resort Business Expansion

Gaming and hospitality company Hard Rock International has reportedly set sights on Australia’s Gold Coast as the next destination it wants to expand its integrated resort business into, local news outlets report.

Reports about Hard Rock’s interest in the Gold Coast emerge shortly after Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones confirmed that the state government does not plan to allow the addition of slot machines, or poker machines as they are locally popular, to the Coast. The measure aims to a further increase in the amounts spent on the gambling machines by customers, which reached a record of A$27 million per month last year, according to official data.

In comments to State Estimates from earlier this week, Minister Jones said that while there would be no new poker machines, the government supported the development of an integrated resort in Australia’s most popular tourist strip. The state government introduced last year a plan for the development of Global Tourism Hubs across Queensland, with Gold Coast being among the preferred locations, in order to attract international development and boost the state’s tourism industry, which is believed to be worth A$25 billion and to be supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs.

In a letter to Queensland officials obtained by local news outlet 9 News Gold Coast, Hard Rock has said that they are intrigued by the “holistic model” presented by the government, referring to the Global Tourism Hubs program. The Florida-based gaming and hospitality company has further pointed out that it would rather develop an “entertainment-centric” property with numerous non-gambling facilities than just focus on Las Vegas-style gambling. Aside from its casino businesses in its home state and in New Jersey, Hard Rock also operates hotel and restaurant chains with properties around the globe.

Gold Coast Mayor Welcomes Integrated Resort Development

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said earlier this week that he welcomed the development of a resort that would include hotels, multiple dining options, as well as different entertainment facilities.

The official further pointed out that there also might be a way for a potential casino to feature slot machines, despite the government’s ban. The Gold Coast Mayor said that there is no prohibition for a person operating on a casino or a general license to obtain gaming machines at an auction.

Hard Rock has not been the only major company to have expressed interest in expanding into the Gold Coast region in recent years. Reports emerged last summer that Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. was eyeing the popular tourist strip as part of its global expansion strategy.

It is also important to note that the Hard Rock brand is well-familiar to the Gold Coast as the company has been running a Hard Rock Cafe in the city for more than two decades now.

Currently, The Star Gold Coast (formerly Jupiters Hotel and Casino) is the city’s only operational casino. The property is undergoing a multi-million expansion that would, among other things, see the addition of a 17-story hotel tower to its existing facilities.

Reports about the potential authorization of a second casino in the area have been spurred by last summer’s rejection of a major A$3-billion project for the construction of an integrated resort on the Southport Spit. The property, the plan for which was backed by a group of Chinese investors, would have featured a casino facility. Many suggested that as the scheme was rejected and there was a vacant gaming license, the government could reopen the bidding process for an integrated resort development.

The post Hard Rock Eyes Sunny Gold Coast for Casino Resort Business Expansion appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Crown Resorts Allowed to Keep Melbourne Casino License

Australian gambling operator Crown Resorts will keep the license for its Melbourne casino operation, following today’s publication of a review of the business by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR).

In its sixth review into Crown’s operations, the gambling regulator added 20 recommendations for improvements in certain areas, including institutional governance, the promotion of responsible gambling, and organizational approach to regulation. Following today’s publication of the VCGLR review, Crown said in a letter to the ASX that it accepts all recommendations made, has already begun working on eight of them, and will make sure to follow the remaining 12 in a timely manner.

The casino operator was urged to deploy data analytics to effectively detect and help customers with problem gambling behavior, following accusations that it had failed to respond properly to instances of family violence and self harm at its Melbourne casino.

The Victorian gambling regulator has also told Crown to ensure that its independent directors are fully engaged in the strategic oversight of its Melbourne operation and that “reporting and decision-making relationships” between boards and committees involved in the oversight of the Melbourne gambling venue are properly and fully documented.

Crown’s Melbourne casino landed in hot water after Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie tabled in the Parliament last fall whistleblower statements detailing multiple alleged violations made by the gambling business, including altering gaming machines in a manner that violated player rights.

Slot Machine Tampering

The alleged tampering with slot machines, locally popular as poker machines or pokies, was one of the main subjects of the VCGLR’s review. The regulatory body found that Crown indeed used the so-called blanking plates on 17 of its machines during a trial period last year. The plates left patrons with just minimum and maximum wagering options.

Mr. Wilkie argued in Parliament last fall that Crown adjusted the gaming machines in a manner that would return winnings worth less than the required 87% under Victorian regulations.

Crown has previously admitted to blanking buttons on several of the gaming machines located on its Melbourne casino floor, but pointed out that this was part of a trial program. The operator has also explained that it had not informed the regulator about the trial as it had thought it had not been required to.

Following a probe into the matter, the Victorian gambling commission said earlier this year that the trial did not change the ratio of returns to players, but fined Crown a record A$300,000 for failing to inform it about the alterations in its gaming machines. The fine was the largest one ever imposed to a gambling operator by the regulatory body.

In its review, the VCGLR dismissed a number of Mr. Wilkie’s allegations, including the ones related to the alleged slot machine tempering.

The commission also said today that it will continue its investigation into the 2016 arrests of Crown staff in China and whether the incident would require any regulatory action, as the operator had failed to present the necessary documentation on time.

The post Crown Resorts Allowed to Keep Melbourne Casino License appeared first on Casino News Daily.

SiGMA’s Eman Pulis Joins Ganapati as Senior Advisor ahead of Planned G8C ICO

International gaming company Ganapati Group today announced the appointment of Eman Pulis as a Senior Advisor of its subsidiary GanaEight Coin Limited, issuer of the G8C tokens, ahead of a planned ICO launch. Mr. Pulis is the founder and CEO of SiGMA (Summit of iGaming Malta) and Malta Blockchain Summit, both widely known and recognized as melting pots for innovation and knowledge in the online gaming industry and the brave new world of blockchain.

Ganapati revealed plans to launch an ICO for its G8C token last month. The company has offices in numerous jurisdictions around the globe, including in Malta where it operates under a license issued from the Malta Gaming Authority.

Being home to hundreds of gaming companies and tens of thousands of iGaming employees, Malta has established itself as one of the world’s largest online gambling hubs, and the recent approval of blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused legislations aims at turning the Mediterranean island nation into a major European and global blockchain jurisdiction.

In July, the Maltese Parliament passed three bills into law to set the first regulatory framework for DLT (distributed ledger technology) platforms, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies. The three legislative pieces provide for the creation of dedicated authorities and guidelines for the regulation of ICOs as well as of the development and promotion of the blockchain industry in Malta, among other things. All three bills were introduced and sponsored by Maltese MP Silvio Schembri.

New Appointments

In a news release from earlier today, Ganapati said that Mr. Pulis has joined the team of its GanaEight Coin subsidiary as a Senior Advisor to guide the company through the upcoming launch of its ICO.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Pulis said that he has been working with Ganapati’s team for the past three years to establish a relationship based on mutual trust. He went on to say that he is thrilled to “walk this journey with them as an advisor and bring [his] wealth of contacts to the table.”

In a statement from last month, Ganapati said that its token can be used on its proprietary blockchain to play in online casinos. In addition, it does not require GAS and players do not have to exchange tokens for chips. Pre-sales of the token are planned for the first quarter of 2019. The company has previously said that more details would be disclosed when these are decided on.

In a separate round of news from late last month, Ganapati also announced the appointment of Maltese lawyer Dr. Kristina Deguara and her Japanese colleague Hayato Terai as Co-CEOs of its GanaEight Coin subsidiary. They will oversee the upcoming launch of the ICO and will ensure that the gaming company’s G8C token business is operating in full compliance with legislations in both Malta and Japan.

The post SiGMA’s Eman Pulis Joins Ganapati as Senior Advisor ahead of Planned G8C ICO appeared first on Casino News Daily.


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