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Archive for January 16th, 2019

Virginia Legislators Unite to Push for Casino Legalization, Portsmouth Presents Casino Plan

Lawmakers representing three Virginia regions have joined forces to bring casino gambling to their constituencies and the rest of the state

During a Monday news conference, led by Senators Bill Carrico and Louise Lucas, lawmakers and officials for the cities of Bristol, Danville, and Portsmouth announced coordinated effort for the legalization of casino gambling in the state.

The Councils of all three cities have approved the move recently. Bristol, Danville, and Portsmouth are all looking to open casinos within city limits in a bid revive their sluggish economies and create much-needed jobs.

However, casino gambling is currently illegal in Virginia and any changes to the status quo first need to be approved by the state Legislature, which has historically been opposed to gambling expansion.

There have been multiple attempts for such expansion to get the nod from the General Assembly and they have all clearly failed to gain traction. Lawmakers pushing for casino gambling believe that their bid might succeed this time as it involves giving state residents the final say on whether casinos should open doors anywhere in Virginia.

As many as four casino legalization bills have been introduced in the state House and Senate since the 2019 legislative session began last week. All four pieces call for the legalization of gambling and authorization of casinos but only if the move is approved by residents of the localities where casinos are proposed to be built.

Casino Proposal Emerges in Portsmouth

Bristol was the first of the above-mentioned three cities to pitch a casino plan. Last summer, a group of local developers led by United Company CEO Jim McGlothlin and Par Ventures President Clyde Stacy announced that they wanted to build a casino resort at the site of the former Bristol Mall.

Despite their recent passage of resolutions of support for the legalization of casino gambling, Danville and Portsmouth did not have any actual casino plans, or in the case of Portsmouth, not until yesterday.

Local news outlet 10 On Your Side reported Monday that a development group called Portsmouth Resorts LLC plans to build a multi-million hotel and casino resort at the site of the former Holiday Inn on the city’s waterfront. The property would feature a 140,000 gambling facility and a “first-class hotel.”

According to early projections, it would generate 2,000 new jobs during its first year of operation and 5,200 jobs by year seven. The casino resort would contribute $52.1 million in local tax revenue by the seventh year of its operations.

In comparison, the Bristol resort is expected to generate 2,000 new jobs by the end of its first year of operation and more than 5,200 by year seven, and to contribute $26.8 million in tax revenue a year after seven years of operation.

As mentioned earlier, under all bills currently in the Legislature, casinos would only be able to open doors if that has been approved by residents of the host cities via citywide referenda.

Commenting on the latest developments in Virginia’s casino legalization push, Sen. Lucas, whose constituency includes Portsmouth, said during yesterday’s news conference that she has been working for years to bring a casino to the city, which needs new jobs and a boost to its economy. The lawmaker added that casinos could be Southwest Virginia’s Amazon referring to the e-commerce giant’s recent announcement that it has selected New York City and Arlington in Northwest Virginia as the preferred locations of its two new headquarters.

Portsmouth Mayor John Rowe added that his city as well as Danville and Bristol “are gateway cities” and that the gateway to their “great Commonwealth ought to be a place where people can get a job paying a decent wage.”

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The post Virginia Legislators Unite to Push for Casino Legalization, Portsmouth Presents Casino Plan appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Spelinspektionen Promises Hefty Fines, License Termination for Gambling Self-Exclusion Violations

Spelinspektionen says it will not tolerate operators’ failures to observe the country’s gambling self-exclusion policies

The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen (formerly Lotteriinspektionen) has issued a warning to all newly licensed online gaming and betting operators that they could receive hefty fines or even have their licenses suspended/terminated if they fail to implement an integration to Sweden’s national self-exclusion system Spelpaus.se.

The new Swedish gambling law took effect on January 1, 2019. Under the country’s newly adopted regulatory framework, gambling companies, both domestic and international ones, are required to apply for and obtain a license from Spelinspektionen in order to be able to service Swedish customers.

The new law also mandates that all licensed operators connect their websites to the national self-exclusion system, thus making it possible for gamblers who want to limit their gambling activity to do so in an easier and more effective manner.

Reports have emerged recently that there have been Sweden-facing licensees that have failed to complete the necessary self-exclusion integration process and that players who have opted to self-exclude themselves from gambling were still able to gamble on certain websites.

Information has also surfaced that Malta-based gambling group Genesis Global, operator of the Spinit Casino and VegasHero Casino brands, has failed to properly integrate its Swedish operation into the national self-exclusion scheme. The company said in a statement from yesterday that it has detected the issue preventing the successful integration and that said issue was being addressed.

Spelinspektionen Threatens to Channel UK Gambling Commission and Slap Hefty Fines

In a statement on its official website, the Swedish gambling regulator said yesterday that it would not tolerate any violations made by licensed operators and their failure to observe the newly implemented regulatory policies, particularly the ones related to self-exclusion and the provision and promotion of socially responsible gambling services.

Spelinspektionen went on to say that violators would face warnings and penalties for repeated breaches of the terms of their licenses. The regulator plans to impose hefty fines in a manner similar to the UK Gambling Commission, which has redefined the concept of hefty fines over the past several years, slapping seven-figure financial penalties to erring gambling companies. Spelinspektionen clarified that when and if it fines a violator, the penalty would not exceed 10% of their turnover from the Swedish market.

If a company repeats its violations and continues to neglect the local standards and rules for the provision of gambling services, it could have its license suspended or terminated, the Swedish gambling regulator warned.

Spelinspektionen said earlier this month that more than 10,000 adults have self-excluded themselves from gambling via the Spelpaus.se website since the introduction of the country’s new regulatory framework.

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New Jersey Sports Betting Growth Slows as Neighbor Pennsylvania Launches Sportsbooks

Sports betting growth slowed a bit last month in New Jersey and that has imminently prompted questions whether Pennsylvania is to be blamed

Overall betting handle passed the $1.2 billion mark in New Jersey in December, but the growth of the state’s sports gambling market seems to have slowed down a bit, the latest figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show.

The Garden State’s physical and digital sports betting operations generated wagering revenue of $20.8 million in December, according to the local gambling regulator’s financial report for the final month of 2018. The figure reported reflected a 2% decline from November’s $21.2 million revenue.

Betting handle for the month of December totaled $319.2 million, down 3.4% from $330.7 million that was wagered in November.

New Jersey’s sportsbooks took in overall revenue of $94 million in the period between June 14, when the state’s first legal sports betting facilities went live at Monmouth Park Racetrack and Borgata Casino, and December 31. Despite the poorer performance of New Jersey’s sports betting sector during the final month of 2018 (compared to previous months), it should be said that the overall sports betting revenue generated last year was a big driver of growth within the state’s gambling market. The $1,247,290,341 betting handle reported for the period between mid-June and December 31 was also another testament to the fact that New Jersey was indeed off to a good start of legal sports betting.

Has Pennsylvania Begun Siphoning Betting Revenue from Its Neighbor?

Although Pennsylvania legalized sports betting well ahead of last year’s landmark ruling of the US Supreme Court that struck down a long-standing federal ban on the practice, the state only launched its first sportsbook late in 2018.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course was the first gambling venue to go live with sports wagering in mid-November, followed by Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia in mid-December. A fourth sports betting facility went live earlier this month at Parx Casino in Bensalem, not far from Philadelphia and not far from the New Jersey border.

While it is too early to say whether sports betting will be a game-changer for Pennsylvania’s gambling industry (bets are that it could be), it should be noted that the state might have started capturing some betting clientele from its neighbor New Jersey.

SugarHouse Casino and its sportsbook is not too far from the state’s border and has probably managed to keep some gambling money within Pennsylvania since its launch. It should also be noted that the property went live with wagering right in time for the Los Angeles Rams’ game against the defending Super Bowl champ Philadelphia Eagles, which certainly prompted higher betting volumes in the latter franchise’s hometown.

With the recent launch of Parx Casino’s betting facility and the upcoming launch of sports betting at Harrah’s Philadelphia and Valley Forge Casino Resort, both located in the greater Philly area, competition for betting customers will certainly intensify between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and that will imminently have impact on revenue. In other words, as the popularity of sports betting grows, interesting times are certainly coming for the gambling industry in that part of the United States.

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Tommy Nguyen Leads 20 Tough Competitors into PCA Main Event Day 4

Canada’s Tommy Nguyen scooped Day 3’s largest stack to lead 20 hopefuls into the penultimate day of the 2019 PCA Main Event

Monday was another busy day at the Imperial Ballroom of Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, which hosts the Main Event of the PCA poker festival. The day kicked off with 79 players, but only 20 of them made it through the six levels that were played yesterday.

The remaining 20 survivors will return at the host venue today to play down to the final six. Each of these twenty players is guaranteed a minimum cash of $60,840, and each and every one of them is certainly eying the top prize of $1,567,100 and the shiny trophy that goes along with it.

All in all, this year’s edition of the prestigious tournament drew 865 participants, including 94 re-entries. The prize pool generated totaled $8,390,500 and was split into payouts for the top 127 finishers. The money bubble burst well into Day 2 of the event, and UK’s Sam Grafton was the first player to leave with a payout, scooping a min-cash of $17,620.

While several players were pretty deep upon the end of Day 3 of action, it was Canada’s Tommy Nguyen who collected the largest stack. The player put 2.705 million worth in chips in his bag to retreat for the night and prepare himself for a tough Day 4 of the PCA Main Event.

Nguyen is no stranger to big tournament poker fields and success on the felt. Last summer, the player topped the 6,260-strong field of the WSOP $1,500 Monster Stack to collect $1,037,451, his career’s largest cash, and his first gold bracelet from the series.

Who Else Is Still in Contention?

Jeffrey Hakim from Lebanon is trailing not far behind Nguyen on the temporary chip counts chart. The player ended Day 3 with 2.64 million in chips. Daniel Streilitz is hot on Hakim’s heels with 2.61 million. Matthias Eibinger with 2.485 million and Brian Altman with 1.785 million round out top five of the leaderboard.

Chino Rheem, one of the few players to have ever won three World Poker Tour titles, is also among those in the hunt for his first PCA trophy. The player bagged not a bad stack of 1.425 million last night to secure a comfortable entry into the penultimate day of the Main Event. Christoph Vogelsang with 1.24 million and Ami Barer with 570,000 will, too, be among the notables who are set to return to the host venue for Day 4 of action.

PokerStars Ambassadors Randy Lew and Andre Akkari, start-of-the-day chip leader Pierre Calamusa, and 2019 PCA Super High Roller champ Sam Greenwood were among those who busted out over the course of Day 3.

The fourth day of the PCA Main Event is set to kick off today at noon local time. Action will resume with 20 players and will continue until there are only six of them left. These final six will return to wrap up the tournament tomorrow at the host venue.

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The post Tommy Nguyen Leads 20 Tough Competitors into PCA Main Event Day 4 appeared first on Casino News Daily.


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