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Archive for March 2nd, 2019

Bryant Miller Wins Second WSOP Circuit Gold Ring at Horseshoe Hammond

Miller won his second WSOP Circuit gold ring at Horseshoe Hammond just months after capturing his first piece at the same casino

Bryant Miller – a poker pro from Ohio – joined last night the packed club of two-time WSOP Circuit gold ring winners. The player took down the $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em at Horseshoe Hammond for his second piece and a top prize of $33,300.

The tournament attracted 111 entrants from here and there, including Miller, who has been playing more tournament poker lately. That created a prize pool of $111,000. The money was split into payouts for those occupying the top 12 spots, min-cashes starting from $2,319.

The event was played over two days, and the final day took place yesterday at the host casino. Action resumed with 14 players and Miller leading the way with a stack of 513,500 in chips.

The eventual champion kept his lead down to the unofficial ten-handed final table as well as throughout the rest of the day. He held 670,000 in chips at the start of ten-handed action. Of that stage of the tournament, Miller said that “the entire final table was fun” with “lots of good people.”

Of all the good people Miller played against yesterday, it was Daniel Bunce from Illinois whom he faced heads-up. Miller maintained his excellent momentum throughout the two-handed duel to eventually claim the title and the top prize. As for Bunce, he left with $20,582 in prize money for his runner-up finish.

A Lucky Casino

Miller told WSOP Circuit staff that he started playing poker professionally about three years ago. The player has been mostly playing cash games, but has been venturing onto the tournament scene more frequently as of late.

As mentioned earlier, Miller captured his second gold ring from the WSOP Circuit series last night. The player won his first piece a few months ago, when he bested the field of a $600 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em that took place at Horseshoe Hammond. Winning both his gold rings at the same casino is surely a sign that Miller should be playing more tournament poker and be visiting the venue more frequently.

Horseshoe Hammond will play host to the WSOP Circuit through Monday, March 4. Next up is the $1,700 Main Event. The tournament’s Day 1A, the first of two starting flights, will be played today, starting at noon local time. The event will feature one more starting flight and two more days of play, and will be completed on Monday, March 4. It features a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million, but that guarantee could and would hopefully be cracked upon the closure of registration.

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Connecticut Committee Votes to Draft Conflicting Casino Bills

Connecticut’s Public Safety and Security Committee voted Thursday to draft four bills that are all concerned with expanding gambling in the state

Two conflicting bills regarding the expansion of Connecticut’s casino industry were voted to be drafted on Thursday by members of the state’s Public Safety and Security Committee.

One of the bills aims to scrap a requirement that the state’s two federally recognized tribes must secure federal approval to build jointly a satellite casino in East Windsor. The other will authorize the opening of a bidding process for the development of an integrated resort with a casino facility on the Bridgeport waterfront. The latter piece is spearheaded by Las Vegas hotel and casino operator MGM Resorts International.

Connecticut’s House passed a bill calling for a competitive casino process during last year’s legislative session, but the piece was never debated in the Senate, where the majority supported the East Windsor tribal casino.

At issue is whether the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe should be allowed to build and jointly operate a satellite casino in the north of Connecticut to stop gambling money from leaving the state. Each of the two tribes already operates a casino resort in the state, but they are concerned that the recently launched MGM Springfield in neighboring Massachusetts would hurt their business.

On the other hand, MGM Resorts International, the owner of the Springfield property, is looking to expand in Connecticut, or at least block the development of the East Windsor property. The casino and hospitality giant has been lobbying for several years now for the opening of a competitive process for interested companies to bid for a license for the construction of a full-blown casino resort.

What Is Next for the Two Casino Bills?

Members of the state’s Public Security and Safety Committee voted yesterday to draft separate bills on the tribal satellite casino and the larger casino resort proposals. Each of the two has already gained quite some supporters and opponents, but it is yet to be seen whether any of them will manage to survive through the state Legislature during the ongoing session.

Sen. Tony Hwang said yesterday that even though he voted in favor of drafting both bills, he might vote against each of them in a subsequent committee vote. Sen. Hwang has long been opposed to any form of gambling expansion in the state, citing concerns over the societal impact of a move of this kind.

Rep. Joe Verrengia, Co-Chair of the Public Safety and Security Committee, told the Hartford Courant that a public hearing on the two casino bills would take place on March 12 as the committee is approaching a Match 21 deadline to act on the proposals. He went on to say that his goal is to pass the two pieces of legislation out of the committee so that they reach the full House and Senate floors.

The Public Safety and Security Committee also voted yesterday to draft a bill calling for the legalization of sports betting and one concerned with the legalization of online gambling.

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Prague and Minsk to Host the iGaming Industry’s Newest Affiliate Conferences

After multiple unsuccessful attempts, Belarus finally adopted last summer a new law aiming to re-organize its online gambling market. The Act On the improvement of the gambling business regulation was signed by President Alexander Lukashenko last August and is now exactly a month away from its eventual enforcement.

The Act will allow international online gambling operators to enter the newly liberalized market with a license from local regulators. It is to be seen how the new era in the development of Belarus’ online gambling industry will unfold. And while the new regulatory regime has its sceptics, there are also many who believe the re-regulation of the local market will benefit industry stakeholders, gamblers, and the country.

To mark the enforcement of Belarus’ new gambling law, event organizer Smile-Expo is set to debut the Minsk iGaming Affiliate Conference this spring, the latest addition to its ever-growing portfolio of industry-focused conferences.

The new event will be a great for just about anyone involved in the online gambling industry in one way or another.


The inaugural Minsk iGaming Affiliate Conference will take place on April 24, 2019. Conference doors will swing open at 10 am local time for a full day of panel discussions and carefully curated sessions.

The Venue:

The conference will be held at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Minsk in the Belorussian capital.

The Conference Agenda:

The first-ever edition of the Minsk iGaming Affiliate Conference will aim to provide a valuable insight into the online gambling space of Belarus and the attitudes of local gamblers, regulators, lawmakers, and other involved parties toward the industry. The main discussion topic of the brand-new conference will be upcoming changes in the field and how operators, affiliates, and other industry stakeholders can make the best use of these changes.

Other important topics on which speakers and conference attendees will be able to dwell will include:

+ traffic arbitrage in iGaming
+ content marketing and its application in the iGaming industry
+ SEO promotion of gambling websites
+ gamification within the iGaming space
+ blockchain technology application in iGaming
+ how Belarus’ market will change following the enforcement of the new gambling law

The Speakers:

Smile Expo is bringing seasoned industry representatives to the Belorussian capital to share their knowledge with conference attendees. Some of the speakers who will attend the conference include:

+ Elena Murashko, Partner at REVERA
+ Roman Bout, Founder/CEO of Quintessence
+ Ivan Montik, CEO of SoftSwiss
+ Dmitry Belianin, Chief Marketing Officer at DAO.Casino

The Attendees:

Organizers aim to bring together a community of industry stakeholders and leverage their access. The Minsk iGaming Affiliate Conference will be great for practically anyone involved in the iGaming industry, including iGaming software developers and suppliers, operators and their affiliate programs, affiliates, SEO experts, media representatives, and gaming consultants.

Head over to the official website of the Minsk iGaming Affiliate Conference to register for the event and learn more information about the speakers as well as the event’s full schedule.

Prague iGaming Affiliate Conference

SmileExpo is introducing one more affiliate event this spring – the Prague iGaming Affiliate Conference. The new conference will bring together industry representatives in the capital of the Czech Republic just a little over two years after the nation liberalized its online gambling market.

The country’s market re-organization effort faced a serious backlash due to certain aspects within the new regulatory framework, including the higher than average tax rate. Smile-Expo’s new conference and its delegates will be able delve into the Czech iGaming space and see how the new gambling law has transformed the local industry over the past two years.

Save the Date:

The Prague iGaming Affiliate Conference will take place on April 18, 2019. Conference doors are set to open at 10:50 am local time. Attendees will be treated to a full day of discussion panels and sessions with renowned speakers, all boasting great experience in the field.

The Venue:

The first-ever Prague iGaming Affiliate Conference will take place at Hotel Grandium, a popular spot located in the historical center of the Czech capital.

The Conference Agenda:

Affiliate programs in the online betting industry will be the key focus and main theme of the upcoming conference, but organizers promise that it is “just the tip of the iceberg.” The conference will feature a number of panel discussions and sessions on the industry’s hottest topics.

Other subjects that will be paid due attention to during the conference include:

+ regulation of online casinos in the Czech Republic and the rest of Europe
+ high-quality traffic
+ marketing automation
+ building a successful gambling business
+ the future of iGaming affiliate marketing
+ eSports regulation
+ lottery innovation
+ engaging the i-Generation
+ successful cooperation with affiliate programs

The Speakers:

Each of the speakers at the Prague iGaming Affiliate Conference have extensive experience in the industry and will be happy to offer important insights into our booming industry.

Here are just a few of the speakers:

Christina Thakor-Rankin, Gambling Consultant
Steve Donoughue, Gambling Consultant
Fili Wiese, SEO Expert at
Richard Mifsud, Co-Founder and CEO of Helio Gaming
Raffaela Zillner, Secretary General of the Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling

The Delegates:

Affiliate specialists, software companies, and marketers are all invited to take part in the inaugural edition of the conference. Organizers promise that all attendees will be given a great opportunity to start new and prosperous partnerships as successful networking will be placed at the forefront of the event.

Head over to the official website of the Prague iGaming Affiliate Conference to register for the event and find more information about the speakers as well as its full schedule.

About the Organizer

Both the Prague and the Minsk iGaming Affiliate Conferences are organized by Smile-Expo, an international company with 13 years of experience in organizing B2B events in various industries. Smile-Expo has welcomed more than 3,630 speakers and 356,000 attendees at its conferences across 28 different countries.

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Ocean Resort Casino Shows Significant Improvement, New Owner Says

Ocean shows signs of improvement, new owner views the property as great casino with beautiful resort amenities

Ocean Resort Casino has improved its performance since news about the change of ownership emerged in January, according to the divestiture trustee charged with overseeing the Atlantic City property while its new owner gets the necessary permit to take over.

In his first interview since stepping in, Eric Matejevich told The Associated Press that the Boardwalk casino resort has been re-stocked with funds and now meets a requirement imposed by New Jersey gaming regulators to always have at least $36 million in available cash. Ocean failed to meet that requirement every month between September and January.

Ocean originally opened doors as Revel back in 2012. The first owners of the $2.4 billion property had high hopes for it, but those were never fulfilled. The hotel and casino complex never turned a profit until 2014, when, after two bankruptcies, it closed doors.

Florida businessman Glenn Straub bought the shuttered resort the following year. He paid $82 million and promised to reopen it and turn it into a highly successful operation. That never happened and the developer sold it after three years to Colorado businessman Bruce Deifik.

Ocean was launched in June 2018 to great fanfare. The new owner of the Boardwalk property hoped that they would do things the right way this time around. However, Ocean failed to gain momentum in the Atlantic City market and underperformed for the greater part of the eight months after its opening.

In January, Mr. Deifik confirmed media reports that he was offloading his majority stake in the hotel and casino resort. A few days after his original announcement, news emerged that New York hedge fund Luxor Capital Group would take over.

Luxor appointed Mr. Matejevich as a trustee to oversee the property while the hedge fund’s application for a temporary gaming license with New Jersey gaming regulators was under review.

Casino with Great Resort Amenities

Mr. Matejevich told The Associated Press that the casino resort has already started showing significant improvement in its performance, even though it is the slowest period of the year. The official, who formerly served as COO of the now shuttered Atlantic Club, went on to say that Ocean has a parent company that is “committed to the asset.”

Ocean’s new owner will launch a new marketing campaign in May. The property will be promoted as an affordable one, a major diversion from the original owners’ strategy to market the hotel and casino complex as a playground for high roller gambling customers and Wall Street types. That original marketing strategy failed to lure that desired group of visitors.

The new owners of Ocean have also changed the property’s operating philosophy. Instead of a resort that happens to feature a casino, among other facilities, Ocean is now viewed as a “great casino property with beautiful resort amenities.”

Mr. Matejevich told The Associated Press, that the property offers “the best value proposition in Atlantic City” with the “best amenities in this market.” Opening a buffet at the complex has remained a top priority for Ocean’s new owners. However, Mr. Matejevich said that a previously announced plan for the addition of 500 hotel rooms is still on the table, but it is “not guaranteed” that plan would eventually be carried out.

Luxor has also previously announced that it would plough a substantial investment into upgrades on the casino floor and other enhancements of Ocean’s existing offering.

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Kansspelautoriteit to Scare Off Illegal Gambling Operators with “Terrifying” Fines

Kansspelautoriteit introduces more “terrifying” fines to scare away violators of its rules for the provision of online gambling services

The Netherlands Gaming Authority announced yesterday that the minimum fine for providing illegal online gambling services to Dutch customers will increase to €200,000 from €150,000. The revised rules on penalizing erring online gaming and betting rules are taking effect today, March 1.

The regulatory body further pointed out in a Thursday statement published on its official website that the new fines are only an interim step toward a major revision of its penalty policy.

The announcement about the increased penalties for violators of the nation’s rules for the provision of digital betting and gaming services arrives on the heels of the recent passage of the Remote Gaming Bill. The Dutch Senate finally approved the piece of legislation three years after the lower house of the Dutch Parliament gave the nod to its provisions.

Now as the Remote Gaming Bill has survived all legislative hurdles, the Netherlands has commenced the process of re-organizing its gambling market in a manner that would enable international online gambling operators to apply for a license with Kansspelautoriet and operate in a regulated environment. It is yet to be seen when exactly first regulated services will commence in the newly liberalized space.

Previous Fines “Not Terrifying Enough”

Commenting on the amended fines, Kansspelautoriteit Chairman René Jansen said that the previously imposed penalties were “not terrifying enough” to prevent internationally licensed companies from targeting Dutch gamblers. The regulator went on to say that the implementation of increased fines was only the first step in the local market’s re-organization process.

The new regulatory regime actually provides the Netherlands Gaming Authority with increased power and responsibilities in relation to keeping the local gaming and betting space clean from unregulated operations.

Kansspelautoriteit explained yesterday that the new €200,000 fine would be the starting point. Penalties could go up or down depending on the violations made by operators. The number of illegal websites operated by a given company, the type of games and of promotional activities conducted by violators and their marketing partners to lure Dutch people into gambling will be among the factors considered by the gaming regulator when deciding on the size of a fine.

Fines can also be hiked on percentage terms. Operators that have previously been warned by Kansspelautoriteit but have dismissed the warnings will have their penalties increased by a quarter. A 50% rise awaits those targeting minors or people with problem gambling behavior. Last but not least, companies previously slapped by the Netherlands Gaming Authority will receive fines two times the size of the €200,000 minimum.

Russian gambling operator 1xBet was the most recent violator of the Netherlands’ gambling rules to be fined by Kansspelautoriteit. The parent company of the popular betting operation was imposed a €400,000 penalty earlier this week for conducing unregulated services on the territory of the Netherlands.

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