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Archive for April 9th, 2019

RedKings Online Poker, Betting Products Bite The Dust

RedKings announced last week that it is closing two of its products amid growing competition in the online gambling field and regulatory pressure

The operator said in a statement published Thursday on its official website that it has decided to shut its online poker and betting operations. RedKings’ casino product will remain operational, it also became clear.

RedKings has been a fixture in the online gambling space for more than 13 years with its online poker operation. RedKings Poker has most recently operated as a skin on MPN. In a Thursday statement, the operator said that its poker players will be able to play poker and finish their existing RedKings bonuses until April 28, 2019. New bonuses will no longer be issued and promotions have already stopped for the month.

According to the Thursday statement, RedKings has arranged with Betsafe to take over its RedKings Promotions in order for players of the soon-to-be-shuttered operation to be able to continue playing on MPN and enjoy said promotions.

As for its sports betting product, RedKings advised its customers to get all bets settled by April 24, 2019.

As mentioned above, the UK-licensed operator’s online casino business will continue operating as usual.

Third Operator to Close Shop

RedKings has become the latest UK-facing online gambling operator to close fully or partially its business. While it did not provide information what had prompted its decision to shut down its sports betting and poker products, the current environment must have played an instrumental role.

The UK has recently introduced a hike in its remote gambling duty, which has certainly come as a big blow to underperforming businesses. Operators licensed by the UK Gambling Commission are now required to pay a 21% tax on their annual revenue from local customers, up from the previous 15% rate.

In addition to the increased tax, the UK gambling regulator has been on a witch hunt for erring operators for quite some time now and has punished such operators with heavy fines and scolding.

BetBright shut down its B2C business last month just a day after its much larger rival 888 Holdings purchased its technological platform for £15 million. BetBright drew gamblers’ ire with its move to void all bets due to be settled after March 5, which, among other things, affected wagers placed on this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

Late in March, 188BET broke the news that it was closing shop in the “very competitive” UK and Irish gambling markets. Similarly to BetBright, the online gambling operator said that it would not honor bets due to be settled after June 30.

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The post RedKings Online Poker, Betting Products Bite The Dust appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Mike Abratique Leads WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley Final Table

Causing a frenzy of eliminations at the end of Day 2, Mike Abratique secured overwhelming chip lead into the final day of the poker tourney

The field of the WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley Main Event has been reduced from 678 entries to just the final nine hopefuls for the title over the course of the past few days. The tournament is currently taking place at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, one of the hottest poker destinations in sunny California.

Day 2 of the event kicked off with 144 remaining hopefuls, who were eyeing a spot into the paid positions. The Main Event’s field crushed the $500,000 guarantee and created a prize pool of $675,660. The prize money was split into payouts for the top 85 finishers. The money bubble burst Sunday afternoon.

Sunday was an important day for two reasons. In the first place, the remaining players were looking to burst the bubble. Their next task was to set the official final table of nine. The final tablists will return at the host casino at noon local time today to determine the big champion.

At stake is a first-place prize of $121,000, including a $3,000 ticket into the championship event that will mark the end of the current season of the second most popular WPT-branded poker series.

Who Made It to the Final Table?

It was Mike Abratique who bagged and tagged the largest chip stack last night. The player navigated successfully through Day 2’s ordeals to amass just over 6 million in chips. Abratique gained quite some momentum when action was down to the final three tables and what came next for the overnight chip leader was a tear of him rapidly knocking one opponent after another.

His efforts secured him with a comfortable chip advantage into the final day of the Thunder Valley Main Event. Nick Wooderson was the player to put the second largest stack into his bag last night. The player had a total of 3.675 million at the end of Day 2. Rounding out the top three chip counts is Kindah Sakkal with 2.715 million into the final day of the tournament.

Tuiofu Munkin with 1.985 million, Yury Klimenkov with 1.785 million, John Hadley with 1.73 million, Patrick Johnson with 1.34 million, Patrick Dunn with 685,000, and Aaron Dalnoot with 400,000 were the other six players to make it thus far into the $1,100 buy-in event at Thunder Valley.

As mentioned above, action is set to resume today at noon California time. The nine finalists will play down to a winner. Each of the remaining survivors is guaranteed a min-cash of $12,120 but they are all vying for the $121,000 top prize. It should also be noted that none of the final tablists has previously scooped a title from the WPTDeepStacks series.

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The post Mike Abratique Leads WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley Final Table appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Finnish Gambling Monopoly Plans Multi-Million Digital Reshuffle

Veikkaus to invest between €4 million and €8 million in digital gambling reshuffle to blunt competition from offshore operators

Veikkaus, Finland’s state-run gambling operator, is planning to invest up to €8 million into adding new online casino games as part of an ongoing refurbishment of its operations and in a bid to meet growing demand for diverse Internet gambling offering.

At present, Veikkaus is the only operator authorized to provide gambling services, both at brick-and-mortar facilities and online, on the territory of Finland. Despite calls from industry stakeholders, the government of the Scandinavian nation has over the years remained firm on its stance that the monopoly model provides the best protection to Finnish gamblers and would remain in place.

However, the existing regulations in the country have not really deterred international companies from servicing local customers. Finland’s state-run operator has now decided to strike back and attempt to blunt competition from those offshore companies by upgrading its offering.

Finnish newspaper Hämeen Sanomat reported earlier today that Veikkaus is set to invest between €4 million and €8 million on new online casino games. It is also understood that the Finnish gambling monopoly has commenced negotiations with major providers of online casino content. New titles are expected to be rolled out in the next few months.

Keeping Gambling Money in Finland

Veikkaus adding new online casino games comes as part of the company’s strategy to create a competitive product that will draw Finnish customers and keep them away from unregulated international operators.

Finland’s unregulated online gambling market has exploded in recent years, statistics show. According to gambling consultancy H2 Gambling Capital, Finns gambled more than €286 million on international websites last year. The size of the nation’s unregulated sector is expected to surpass the €300 million mark this year.

Commenting on the addition of new games, Veikkaus Head of Casino Games Jan Hagelberg has told local media that new titles, mostly online slots, will go live in the coming months. In addition, the gambling monopoly plans to invest up to €8 million in the next few years to upgrade and diversify its online gaming content.

Veikkaus’ first partners in its new endeavor became known last fall. The operator forged content distribution partnerships with Yggdrasil Gaming and NetEnt. Both companies hail from neighboring Sweden and are among the top suppliers of content for the online gambling industry.

As Veikkaus is preparing to shift more of its attention to its digital offering, the company will also reshuffle its land-based operations. News emerged earlier this year that the operator would cease its table games operations in restaurants across Finland. The move is set to result in 400 employees being laid off.

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NagaCorp Unveils Naga 3 Casino Resort Expansion Project

NagaCorp moves on to expand its operations in the Cambodian capital with the development of a $4 billion Naga 3 integrated resort

NagaCorp has recently unveiled a $4 billion expansion of its NagaWorld integrated resort in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. The project will see the development of Naga 3, or the third phase of the company’s NagaWorld mega-resort scheme.

In a recent filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, NagaCorp said that it plans to build Naga 3 at the site of what was previously known as the White Building in the Tonle Bassac commune in the Cambodian capital.

Local news outlet the Phnom Penh Post reports that the gaming and hospitality company has in principle received approval from the government of Cambodia to move on with its expansion project. NagaCorp is the only company licensed to operate casino gambling in the Asian nation’s capital.

Naga 3 will feature four 42-story buildings and will occupy approximately 7,757 square meters of land, according to a 29-page filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It has also become known that NagaCorp has bought an additional plot of 9,080 square meters near the former White Building and has been granted another approval by the government to develop five blocks of buildings with a maximum height of 66 stories that will feature entertainment facilities, hotels, and residential buildings.

The gaming and hospitality company plans to plough between $3.8 billion and $4 billion into Naga 3.

Government Officials Welcome the Project, Official Approval Still Pending

Commenting on NagaCorp’s announcement, Phay Siphan, a spokesperson for the government of Cambodia told the Phnom Penh Post over the weekend that he was aware of the project. He went on to say that the matter still needs to go through the nation’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, even though he has heard, through unofficial sources, that the plan has already been approved by the government.

Despite the lack of clarity whether the government has given the nod to the major development or not, Mr. Siphan has welcomed the project as it would create jobs, draw visitors to the country, and generate additional revenues for the government.

Representatives for the nation’s Ministry of Economy and Finance said over the weekend that they are yet to receive documentation about the project. They too pointed out that it seems the proposed development has obtained an unofficial approval from the government.

NagaWorld originally commenced operations as a riverboat casino in the mid-1990s. The business then moved on shore in 2003. In late 2017, NagaCorp launched Naga 2, the second phase of its integrated resort.

According to the company’s recent announcement, its Naga 3 property will be linked to Naga 1 and Naga 2 via the underground NagaCity Walk, which already connects NagaCorp’s existing operations in Phnom Penh.

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