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Archive for December 6th, 2018

WSOP International Circuit Kicks Off with a Bang at Sydney’s The Star Casino

Three lucky players have already bagged WSOP Circuit gold rings and hefty first-place prizes, a lot more to come

The latest leg of the WSOP International Circuit has recently kicked off at Sydney’s The Star Casino and three players have already collected gold pieces and first-place payouts from the popular series. And there is yet so much more to come as the WSOP International Circuit will run at the popular gambling venue all the way through December 17.

WSOP Circuit poker festivities kicked off at The Star with a A$450 Opening Event. The tournament took place on November 27-December 2 and featured multiple starting flights and a few more days of play. It drew a massive field of 1,444 entries who generated a prize pool of A$649,800. There were payouts for the lucky top 153 finishers, cashes starting from A$870 and going all the way up to a top prize of A$112,171. Jun Wang outplayed the tournament’s behemoth field to collect that top prize and an accompanying gold ring.

A A$360 buy-in Ladies Event was the next one to be completed at The Star. That tournament drew a field of 70 entrants who generated A$25,200 for the prize pool. Victoria Boast emerged victorious to collect A$8,820.

Last but not least, the single-day Turbo Event with a A$500 buy-in was completed earlier this week. It saw 327 entrants pay up the buy-in fee to register into it and play for a cash prize and a gold ring. Jarryd Godena was the lucky one to take down the tournament and grab the lion’s share of the A$163,500 prize pool. The player’s first-place prize for topping the event’s field amounted to A$38,422.

What’s Next?

One of the most exciting tournaments within the WSOP International Circuit Sydney’s schedule has just kicked off at the host venue. The two-day A$5K Challenge is expected to draw quite some interest from players with its guaranteed prize pool of A$1 million. Its winner will be determined tomorrow, December 6.

The A$2,200 Main Event is scheduled to kick off on Friday. The tournament will feature four starting flights and three more days of play until a winner is determined on December 17. Participants will contend for a share of a A$2.1 million guaranteed prize pool, which will most likely be crushed.

The A$20,000 High Roller is yet another highly anticipated tournament that is set to take place as part of the WSOP International Circuit Sydney. The event will run on December 12-13. Interested players will be able to enter directly into it or to win a seat via one of the several satellites. There will also be satellites into the Main Event in the days ahead of the highlight tournament.

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The post WSOP International Circuit Kicks Off with a Bang at Sydney’s The Star Casino appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Gambling Giant GVC Slammed by Investors over CEO’s Fat-Cat Pay

The gambling powerhouse has suffered two shareholder revolts over “excessively disproportionate” pay award

Gambling giant GVC Holdings has been among 15 companies to receive a scolding letter by the UK Investment Association for their failure to address shareholder concerns over bosses’ fat-cat pay, business news outlet This Is Money reports.

The Investment Association is a trade body representing UK investment managers. As reported by This Is Money, the association has sent letters to the Chairmen of 15 companies, slamming them for failing to take due actions in relation to investors’ concerns about “boardroom excess.”

The list of companies named and shamed by the trade body for paying their bosses excessive amounts of money includes GVC, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, and Pepa Pig creator Entertainment One, among others.

All of the companies that have received a letter from the Investment Association have been rocked by shareholder revolts over their remuneration reports over the past two years. The trade body said that it has written to another 17 companies that suffered consecutive revolts over re-election of directors or issuance of new shares.

GVC Holdings, which completed two major acquisition deals in as many years and is now the owner of Ladbrokes Coral, was among the companies to be the most heavily criticized by the Investment Association for failing to respond to concerns raised by investors.

The major gambling operator has suffered repeated revolts over the amounts of money it has paid CEO Kenneth Alexander over the past few years. Mr. Alexander received £18.4 million last year and £19.8 million the year before in share options. In addition, GVC has awarded its Chairman Larry Feldman £22.5 million in share options over the past two years.

Negative Vote

About 45% of GVC’s shareholders voted against the proposed pay to its CEO during last year’s Annual General Meeting and 44% voted down the company’s remuneration report this year. However, these votes are only advisory in essence and shareholders are only entitled to vote on a company’s pay policies once in three years. In other words, a company is not obligated to do anything even though the majority of its shareholders vote against the awards given to its bosses.

Commenting on the matter, Investment Association Director of Corporate Governance Andrew Ninian said that while many companies are taking action and moving to engage with investors, the number of those failing to address concerns has been frustratingly large.

Mr. Ninian went on to say that the trade body expects those companies to provide shareholders with an update statement “on the engagement they had since the annual investor meeting vote, the views from shareholders and the follow-on actions taken.”

Mr. Alexander has been in charge of GVC for more than a decade now. He had a key role in the company’s growth from a £26-million business that employed only seven people into a gambling powerhouse with a market cap of well over £4 billion, more than 3,000 workers, and digital and physical presence across key gambling markets.

GVC’s CEO has successfully navigated the company through two takeovers in just as many years. The Isle of Man-headquartered gambling giant acquired fellow operator bwin.party and its multiple brands in 2016. Earlier this year, GVC completed the £3-plus-billion acquisition of British bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral.

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Pennsylvania Gambling Regulator Holds Public Hearing on $21-Million Big Beaver Mini-Casino

Mount Airy targets early to mid-2020 opening of its Big Beaver mini-casino, the facility will look to attract customers from neighboring Ohio

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board hosted Tuesday a public hearing in Big Beaver to hear additional details about a proposed mini-casino by the owners of Mount Airy Casino Resort. Developers presented a summary of their 400-page application with the state gaming regulator to a packed room at the Big Beaver fire hall.

The Gaming Control Board selected in February Mount Airy as the winning bidders for the construction of one of five mini-casinos across the state. The casino operator presented a $21,888,888.88 winning bid for the development of a gaming facility on 100 acres of land in Big Beaver, just off Interstate 376. The proposed site of the mini-casino is located just a 30-minute drive from Youngstown, Ohio and 45 minutes from Pittsburgh.

Developers have previously said that with the site’s proximity to the 500,000-plus population of Youngstown, their facility would be able to draw visitors from Ohio.

Mount Airy officials said Tuesday that they will be targeting early 2020 opening of Mount Airy Pittsburgh, their Big Beaver mini-casino. The facility is expected to create 250 construction jobs and 500 full-time jobs once fully operational. Full-time jobs will include three types of positions – gaming employees, administrative staff, and facilities workers.

Aside from the gaming floor with 750 slot machines and 30 table games, the mini-casino will also feature dining and entertainment options.

According to early projections, Mount Airy Pittsburgh will contribute $400,000 a year to Big Beaver. That amount equates to half of the borough’s annual budget, the maximum allowed under Pennsylvania’s gambling laws.

Mount Airy said that if it is given the green light by the Gaming Control Board, they expect construction to take about 16 months. Developers previously said they hoped they would be able to open the casino by the end of 2019. Michael Sklar, an attorney for the casino, said Tuesday that was a very optimistic plan and that casino officials now target early to mid-2020 opening of the facility.

Mixed Opinions

Residents, community leaders, and other involved parties were able to voice their opinion about the casino proposal during the Tuesday hearing. Some of those who attended the event expressed their support for the plan, saying that it would generate jobs, possibly bring young people back to Big Beaver, generate revenue for local communities, and many more.

Board members asked Mount Airy a number of questions on the presentation made by casino officials and expressed concerns that the county might not be able to provide enough construction workers for the casino project as another high-profile development project – the Shell Chemicals’ ethane cracker plant – is already underway.

Mount Airy Vice President of Finance Patrick Burke said Tuesday that the right actions will be taken so that local workers get the bulk of the jobs available.

There were also objections voiced to the casino plan. A resident said during the hearing that the gaming facility will hurt local businesses due to its inclusive nature. As mentioned earlier, Mount Airy Pittsburgh will feature several food and beverage facilities in addition to the gaming floor.

The Gaming Control Board will now have to review all the public comments made in relation to the casino project as well as three written statements – two in favor of the plan and one opposing it. A final decision on whether Mount Airy will be allowed to build the facility will be announced next year.

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