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Archive for August 8th, 2018

Brady Holiman Leads WPT Choctaw Main Event Final Table, Zinno Eyes Fourth Title

Brady Holiman is leading the final table of the WPT Choctaw $3,700 Main Event after building a formidable stack during Day 3 of the tournament. The player is well ahead of his opponents with 10.84 million in chips and Timothy Domboski being his nearest fellow competitor with 5.3 million.

The final day of the tournament is set to be played later today at Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma. The six remaining players are eyeing a first-place prize of $469,185 and the accolades that come with a WPT Main Event title. Each of the finalists is guaranteed a minimum cash of $95,780, so no one will leave empty-handed.

This will be Holiman’s first cash from the series. And with a guaranteed payout of no less than $95,780, the player will collect the largest cash of his poker career no matter how deep he runs into the tournament. Holiman has prior live tournament earnings of around $42,000.

The chip leader will clash against Domboski, Tony Ruberto, Anthony Zinno, Christopher Smith and Viet Vo on his way to the title. Six-handed action is set to start today at noon local time at the host casinos. The final six will play down to a champion.

Anthony Zinno Takes Aim at Fourth Title

Three-time WPT champ Anthony Zinno headlines the final table of the WPT Choctaw Main Event. If the popular poker pro takes down the major tournament, he will tie with Darren Elias as the winningest player in WPT history with four Main Tour Main Event titles.

However, Zinno has a tough task ahead, as he will enter the final day of the Main Event as the short stack with 2.245 million in chips. Still, being something of a WPT veteran with three titles, 22 cashes, and more than $2.64 million in winning will give him enough confidence to improve his current situation.

Heading into the final day of play, there will be another former WPT champ eyeing one more title from the popular live poker series. One-time WPT Main Event winner Tony Ruberto is the only other title holder to have made it to the final table of the WPT Choctaw Championship. Similarly to Zinno, Ruberto will have quite some work to do on Day 4 as he is position at the bottom and of the temporary leaderboard with 2.675 million in chips. The player previously won the WPT bestbet Jacksonville event during Season X of the series.

Vo is, too, among the accomplished players who are heading into the final day of the WPT Choctaw event. The player has more than $1 million in tournament earnings. He was the chip leader at the end of Day 1A. While he might have given up his position at the top of the leaderboard, he has never lost his momentum over the past several days. Vo is entering Day 4 with 4.77 million.

Christopher Smith was the sixth player to make it into the final stage of WPT Choctaw action. He is about mid-stacked with 4.495 million.

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Philippine President Blocks Landing’s Manila Casino Resort Project

Philippine President has a new target in his ongoing war against the proliferation of gambling in the country as a spokesperson for the official announced earlier today that he would cancel a recently approved project for the construction of a $1.5-billion casino resort in the capital Manila.

Hong Kong-based integrated resort developer and operator Landing International Development Ltd. broke ground on the $1.5-billion grand scheme just hours before news about President Duterte’s clampdown broke.

Landing, which currently operates the Jeju Shinhwa World resort on South Korea’s Jeju Island, received last month a provisional permit by PAGCOR, the Philippine gambling regulator, to build an integrated resort in the Manila Bay area. As mentioned above, the company broke ground on the property earlier today.

Under the terms of its license, Landing would have opened the resort, named NayonLanding, in 2022. The property would have been the fifth integrated resort in Manila’s Entertainment City, a strip of land in the city’s bay aimed to be turned into a tinier version of the legendary Las Vegas Strip. There are three operational resorts in Entertainment City at present, and a fourth one is planned to open doors in the early 2020s.

NayonLanding would have been able to commence operations in February 2022 or precisely five years after the implementation of a February 2017 provision under which Entertainment City’s casino market was given a five-year period to mature, during which no other casino resorts would be launched.

During today’s groundbreaking ceremony Landing officials said that they expect their $1.5-billion resort to attract between two and three million international visitors. The plan for the integrated resort involves the construction of hotels with a total of 1,500 rooms and suites, a casino with 155 gaming tables and 239 slot machines, water parks, a convention center, and a number of food and beverage facilities, among others.

President Duterte Says “No”

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said today that President Duterte would block the project as the lease contract Landing inked with a state-run foundation earlier this year has put the Philippine government at a serious disadvantage due to the fact that the rental payment agreed upon was “unconscionable”.

This is the second casino resort project President Duterte has promised to block since the beginning of the year. Earlier this year, the country’s top official declared war on a $550-million scheme for the construction of an integrated resort with a gaming floor on the island of Boracay.

Macau casino and resort operator Galaxy Entertianment Group and its Philippine partner Leisure and Resorts World Corp. were the companies behind the Boracay project. They were issued a provisional license by PAGCOR in March and acquired a portion of land where the resort was planned to be built.

Boracay was shuttered for business at the end of April to undergo a six-month environmental rehabilitation. Leisure officials said last month that their integrated resort was on track for 2021 opening despite the island’s closure. However, the future of the plan remains quite unclear as President Duterte has repeatedly pointed out that he would no allow the construction of a casino resort on the island.

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Ireland Revenue’s Crackdown on Gambling Machines Brings €1 Million in Extra Tax Money

Republic of Ireland’s crackdown on unlicensed gambling machines has brought an additional of €1 million in tax contributions, Revenue has said in comments on the progress of a nationwide project aiming to curb illegal gambling operations.

Local news outlet The Journal reported earlier this week citing official data from the taxation government agency that the number of gaming machine licenses issued rose from 6,088 in 2016 to 9,612 in 2017. The significant increase also resulted in tax revenue of €2.7 million being generated last year, up from €1.8 million in 2016.

Revenue has explained that the increase in tax revenue followed the launch of a nationwide project aiming to monitor whether gaming machine operators were compliant with regulations and to crack down on any violations. Asked about their progress, a Revenue spokesperson has told The Journal that 300 non-compliance interventions have been made since the start of the project. They have all involved one form of non-compliance or another and have resulted in the government agency collecting the additional amount of €1.1 million.

The Revenue spokesperson further pointed out that as the project was ongoing, they were not authorized to provide more details on the matter, but the agency would look to further address all forms of non-compliance in both the gaming and amusement sector.

Gambling Machine Crackdown

News emerged late last month that Revenue has sent enforcement letters to a number of arcades across the capital Dublin, following an investigation by The Times that found that the facilities had operated gambling machines despite a long-standing citywide ban on devices of this type. Such facilities were given 21 days to remove the machines or face seizure and penalties.

Dublin’s arcades are allowed to operate arcade gaming machines that award players with no more than the opportunity to play again or non-monetary prizes the value of which does not exceed €7. The operation of arcade/amusement machines require licenses from the competent regulators. On the other hand, under a 1988 reform, the operation of real money gaming machines is strictly prohibited within city limits.

However, The Times found that a number of arcades across the city have been using their amusement machine licenses to operate gambling machines, thus violating the long-standing ban. As mentioned above, these properties were issued enforcement letter and will have to remove their gambling machines or face their seizure and additional consequences. The machines at the arcades were found to have been offering casino-style games, including video poker, roulette, and blackjack, and allowed players to wager up to €2,500 and win monetary prizes of different size.

Commenting on Revenue’s move, the Irish Amusement Trades Association has said that it was considering legal action against the taxman and that its recent actions violated principles of the European Union concerned with the provision of gambling services in member states.

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Stockton University Could Buy Shuttered Atlantic Club Casino

New Jersey’s Stockton University is considering the purchase of the ill-fated Atlantic Club Casino Hotel as part of its expansion into Atlantic City, the Press of Atlantic City reported Monday.

It was understood that the university’s Board of Trustees will discuss the potential purchase of the former casino resort during a Wednesday closed session. According to the board’s meeting agenda, a public vote on the purchase of the Atlantic Club could also take place on Wednesday.

Formerly known as Golden Nugget, Bally’s Grand, and The Grand, the Atlantic Club originally opened doors in 1980. It closed doors permanently in January 2014 to become the first of five Boardwalk casino properties to shut down in the period between 2014 and 2016.

The Atlantic Club has remained unoccupied since its closure. Florida-based real estate acquisition firm TJM Properties bought the property from a New Jersey affiliate of Las Vegas gaming giant Caesars Entertainment Corp in May 2014 for the total amount of $13.5 million. A deal for the sale of the shuttered casino resort to R&R Development fell through in 2015 as the Ventnor-based company failed to secure the necessary financing. That deal could have also seen the Atlantic Club be converted into a family-friendly resort with no gambling options.

No Room for Expansion in Galloway

Stockton University is located in the Galloway Township in Atlantic County, but has been looking to expand into Atlantic City for several years now. News about the potential purchase of the Atlantic Club arrived just days ahead of the planned opening of the university’s new Atlantic City campus, which is located just several blocks from the shuttered casino resort.

Commenting on the latest announcements, Stockton University spokeswoman Diane D’Amico told the Press of Atlantic City that they are growing and that as there is no more room for expansion in Galloway they are keeping their options open for their growth across Atlantic City. Ms. D’Amico further noted that the potential purchase of the Atlantic Club would come as part of their commitment to help Atlantic City revitalize itself after the Great Recession and its aftermath as well as the massive expansion of casino gambling across the East Coast that broke the city’s three-decade monopoly over that type of activity in that part of the nation.

The Press of Atlantic City also reported that as part of the potential purchase deal, Atlantic Club’s current owner would demolish the 23-story hotel tower that is part of the property but would keep its 600,000-square-foot parking garage.

Stockton University recently finalized the sale of the Seaview Resort to a Florida-based company for the total amount of $21.07 million. The university said that the deal made it possible for it to consider the purchase of the Atlantic Club.

The university’s Board of Trustees is slated to meet Wednesday. The meeting will include a closed session and a public portion that could feature a vote on the purchase of the closed casino property.

The post Stockton University Could Buy Shuttered Atlantic Club Casino appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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