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Archive for November 14th, 2018

Max Young Wins WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Main Event

Max Young wins second gold ring in as many weeks and best career cash at Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma

Poker pro Max Young claimed last night his fifth WSOP Circuit gold ring and largest career cash of $263,815 after outwitting the behemoth field of the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Main Event. The player, who hails from Oregon but has been traveling the circuit for the past few years, remained the last man standing from a total of 893 entries.

The player had an ambitious goal for 2018 – to make more money on the felt than he did last year. And his cash in the Choctaw Durant Main Event helped him complete that goal. Young said in his post-victory interview last night that he thought he did not have a chance to reach his poker goals, and that he was beyond happy to have done that.

Despite his relatively short career, Young has already accumulated five gold rings from the WSOP Circuit and multiple other poker accolades. The player came into the Circuit’s Choctaw Casino stop fresh off a victory at Harveys Lake Tahoe where he took down a single-day $400 No-Limit Hold’em for his career’s fourth gold piece.

Day 3 of the Main Event at Choctaw Casino was played on Monday. Action kicked off with 12 players, led by Jared Hemingway who bagged the chip lead at the end of Day 2 for a second consecutive day. The player maintained his advantage throughout the day and all the way into heads-up. Hemingway was eyeing his second gold ring from the series.

Young’s own run at the final table was not bad at all, but it was during his duel against Hemingway when the eventual champion started putting pressure and playing more aggressively.

Heads-Up Highlights

The match began with Hemingway holding a slight chip lead over his final remaining opponent. However, Young himself had gained quite some momentum by that time, which promised an action-packed final stage of the major tournament.

It is important to note that Hemingway himself has had quite a successful streak over the past few days. The player captured his first WSOP Circuit gold ring last week. He emerged victorious in the $400 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed for the gold piece and $20,616 in prize money.

While both Young and Hemingway were about 100 big blinds deep at the start of heads-up, their match only lasted for 45 minutes. The two players went all in several times and chips were flying back and forth in big portions. Eventually, a key hand moved Young over the 20-million chip mark only to see Hemingway even with two double ups shortly after.

On what turned out to be their final all in, Young shoved pre-flop with [Ad][9d] and Hemingway called with [2h][2c]. The flop ran out [9c][9h][4s] giving Young a set and the lead. The [Ks] on the turn and the [8s] on the river were of no help to Hemingway and he went home with the runner-up finish and a consolation prize of $163,024.

Both players secured a spot into the 2019 Global Casino Championship, Young as the Main Event champion, while Hemingway as the Casino Championship winner.

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The post Max Young Wins WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant Main Event appeared first on Casino News Daily.

partypoker Secures Online Gambling License in Czech Republic

partypoker obtains Czech gambling license more than a year after it withdrew its original license application

Poker operator partypoker has obtained a license from the Czech Finance Ministry to operate in the country’s regulated online gambling market.

According to the Ministry of Finance’s whitelist of licensed gambling operators, partypoker was issued its license on November 10, 2018. It is also interesting to note that said list contains the names of only a few more online gambling operators, including PokerStars. The flagship brand of Canada’s The Stars Group was actually the first international iGaming operation to receive a license from the Czech Finance Ministry following the re-regulation of the Central European country’s gambling market early in 2017.

It is still unknown when partypoker will go live with its .cz online poker website.

A new gambling law allowing international gambling companies to apply for a license from the Czech Finance Ministry and operate in a regulated environment took effect in the country on January 1, 2017. While Czech regulators had hoped that the new regime would make the local gaming space extremely attractive to major operators, unnecessarily complex bureaucracy combined with heavy taxes and restrictions on bonus offers drove the biggest industry names away from the freshly regulated market.

As mentioned earlier, PokerStars was the first foreign brand to enter the Czech Republic following the implementation of its new law. The online poker operator launched its .cz website in February 2017 and for quite a while operated as the only foreigner in the local iGaming space. More companies eventually applied for and were issued licenses from local authorities.

partypoker’s Previous Attempt to Obtain a Czech License

Following the reorganization of the Czech gambling market, partypoker announced that it would temporarily suspend its Czech operation until it obtained the necessary authorization to operate in the nation’s regulated iGaming space.

A few months later, the operator informed its Czech customers that it had withdrawn its application for a Czech license due to issues related to the country’s new regulatory regime. The issues had much to do with the overall lack of appeal of the Czech gaming space following the implementation of the new gambling law.

Under said law, gambling companies had to undergo a complex and lengthy application process. In addition, the new legislation imposed a new tax regime, requiring licensed companies to pay a 23% tax on online sports betting revenue and a 35% one on online casino revenue in addition to a 19% corporate tax.

While the Czech Republic has thus far failed to attract many major industry names, the country’s Finance Ministry hailed earlier this year its efforts to reorganize the local market and purge it from unlicensed operations.

According to data from the Finance Ministry, the local market grew 1.1% in 2017 to CZK39.8 billion (approx. $1.7 billion). Online gambling spiked 56% to CZK8.3billion (approx. $360.6 million), thus accounting for more than a fifth of the overall market. The Ministry of Finance also revealed that its efforts to curb unregulated gambling had resulted in a 90% drop in the number of international companies servicing local customers without the necessary authorization.

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The post partypoker Secures Online Gambling License in Czech Republic appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Hard Rock Reportedly in Due Diligence to Buy The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Hard Rock might be looking to expand to the Las Vegas Strip, according to new round of reports

Hard Rock International is reportedly in due diligence to buy The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel and casino resort. The glitzy Strip property was purchased by a division of multi-national private equity firm Blackstone Group for $1.7 billion back in the spring of 2014.

In a recent tweet, popular blog about everything Vegas-related Vital Vegas said, citing unnamed sources, that Hard Rock is definitely still in due diligence to acquire Cosmo and that delays in the acquisition deal were caused by the “union situation” at the property.

The latest Vital Vegas tweet followed up a report by the blog from earlier this year, according to which the Florida-headquartered gaming and hospitality giant was circling The Cosmopolitan and even entered due diligence to buy it. Vital Vegas also revealed this past spring that lay-offs were taking place at the property and its credit lines were being reviewed to make it more attractive to a potential buyer.

The Cosmopolitan features nearly 3,000 hotel rooms, which were recently remodeled to include modern artwork, improved lightning, and user-friendly technology among other additions. The property occupies a 8.7-acre site between MGM’s Bellagio and CityCenter along the legendary Strip. According to previous reports, MGM itself had eyed Cosmo, but has apparently lost interest later on.

While many would deem Hard Rock a surprising potential buyer of the hotel and gaming resort, its rumored intention to expand its presence to the Las Vegas Strip might not be that unexpected. The Florida-based company has been looking to extend its geographical footprint for some time now. It has expressed interest in bidding for a Japanese gaming license, it was selected earlier this year as the preferred bidder for the development of an integrated resort in the Spanish city of Tarragona, and has reportedly been seeking permission to develop a property in Australia’s Gold Coast.

”Union Situation”

While the recent Vital Vegas tweet does not specify what “union situation” might mean, it should be noted that there have been some union and workers situations at the property in the past. The Cosmopolitan opened doors late in 2010 and back then, it was one of few Strip resorts without a union contract. The lack of such created a tense relationship between Cosmo’s previous owners and the Culinary Workers Union Local 226. That tense relationship escalated in major protests and rallies before the property was purchased by the Blackstone Group.

Late in 2015, or more than a year after The Cosmopolitan had switched ownership, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and the Bartenders Union Local 165 signed a four-year contract with the casino resort’s new owners that included food and beverage, bar and lounge, housekeeping, and bell department workers.

News emerged earlier this year, that former Cosmopolitan workers were suing the property’s owners, accusing them of “fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and retaliatory termination.” The lawsuit further read that the workers, formerly employed at the Violet Hour salon at Cosmo, had “worked in a noxious cavern of toxic chemicals for years” and that “The Cosmopolitan’s management has repeatedly turned a blind eye to numerous complaints.”

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Curaçao Bank Joins Dutch Gambling Authority in Illegal Gambling Fight

Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten to take actions against trust management firm representing illegal gambling operators

The Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) has revealed that it would be taking measures against local trust management firm Carmanco NV, which has once again drawn the ire of the Dutch gambling authority, Kansspelautoriteit, for representing a company that targets Dutch players without the necessary authorization to do so.

Carmanco is one of four subsidiaries of Curaçao Trust Management NV. The latter company holds a license from the CBCS to provide trust services to interested international companies.

News broke earlier this month that one of Carmanco’s clients has been slapped a €350,000 fine for providing online gambling services to Dutch customers, despite the fact that products of this type are currently illegal in the Netherlands. CyberRock Entertainment, a company registered and licensed in Curaçao through Carmanco, and its affiliate company Honeydew Trading Limited were the latest to be penalized by the Dutch gaming authority for operating in the Netherlands.

The two companies were found to have been targeting local customers through multiple brands, most prominently the Play2Win and Supreme Play online casinos. As previously reported by Casino News Daily, CyberRock and Honeydew brands have been blacklisted by multiple online casino review websites over the years following complaints from players over predatory behavior and inadequate response to issues of various nature.

Curaçao news outlet the Curaçao Chronicle reported on Monday citing the CBCS that a supervised institution is obligated to inform the bank about any incidents it or its clients might have been involved in due time and manner. A CBCS spokesperson went on to say that the bank has taken note of the recently emerged news about Carmanco and its client CyperRock and will take the necessary measures.

Previous Incidents

The recently imposed fine by Kansspelautoriteit was not the first time when Carmanco has been in trouble with the regulator and the CBCS. In 2015, the trust management company and its director George Praag were officially warned by the Dutch gambling authority after the latter had penalized a Carmanco client for targeting Dutch gamblers.

Mr. Praag, whose name appeared in the Panama Papers in relation to his offshore financial activities, promised back in 2015 that his company would make sure that its operations and those of the clients it represented were compliant with laws and regulations.

The Curaçao Chronicle pointed out that Carmanco was sued in Willemstad earlier this year in a separate case. The firm was scolded for “improper management” and “seriously blameworthy and therefore unlawful action.”

Commenting on the matter, Kansspelautoriteit has said that it had previously advised trust offices working with gambling companies to reflect on such activities and that Carmanco has clearly not fulfilled its previous promises. The gambling regulator further pointed out that it aims to work closely with the competent Curaçao authorities in future in a bid to curb illegal online gambling.

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