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Archive for April 10th, 2019

Tuiofu Hunkin Claims WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley Title

Tuiofu Hunkin takes down the WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley Main Event after a short heads-up battle against Yury Klimenkov

Tuiofu Hunkin outlasted the 678-strong field of the WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley Main Event on Monday to scoop his career’s largest cash of $121,000 and the tournament title. The player also secured a $3,000 seat into the season-ending WPTDeepStacks Championship at which he will be able to challenge his luck and skills against fellow Main Event winners throughout the season.

Monday’s triumph was the result from years of hard work, Hunkin told WPT’s Matt Savage in his post-victory interview. Of his performance in the levels leading up to his win, the player said that he tried to never devalue his stack and keep grinding. Hunkin admitted that a little bit of luck was also involved.

It is always nice when Lady Luck smiles upon you at the poker table, but Hunkin’s success was certainly the result of his consistency in perfecting his game. His efforts have been paying off splendidly these past few months, as the player won earlier this year a $1,000 buy-in preliminary event at Bay 101 Shooting Star.

But without further ado, here is how Hunkin captured his Thunder Valley title yesterday.

Final Day Action

The Main Event’s third and final day started with the nine final tablists. It was Mark Abrtique who led the pack into the game on Monday at the host venue, Thunder Valley Casino Resort. Abratique kept his momentum all the way down to three-handed play, but that was when it was the eventual champion who began pressing ahead in his bid for the title.

And it did not take that long before the start-of-the-day field of nine was down to three and then to two players. By the time the first break of the day took place, there were just four players left. The field was then quickly trimmed down to just Hunkin and his heads-up opponent, Yury Klimenkov.

The two-handed battle kicked off with Hunkin holding a massive chip lead over his final opponent. And it was not a long match. Hunkin never really gave Klimenkov much chance to improve his situation and make a solid claim for the title.

The new WPTDeepStacks champion’s identity became clear in the very first all-in confrontation of the heads-up battle. It saw both players bet 300,000 ahead of the [6s][3s][3h] flop. Klimenov then bet 350,000 and Hunkin reraised to 1.45 million. Klimenkov shoved for 5.15 million and Hunkin called to cover his opponent’s bet.

The eventual champion held [9d][6d] to Klimenkov’s [4s][4d]. The turn brought the [Ad] and the [9s] arrived on the river to lock up the title for Hunkin. Klimenkov thus hit the rail, good for a payout of $84,500.

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The post Tuiofu Hunkin Claims WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley Title appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Svenska Spel Withdraws Online Casino Ads From All Media Channels

Svenska Spel to terminate all online casino ads in a bid to address concerns over the growing number of online casino players with problem gambling behavior

Swedish gambling operator Svenska Spel has decided to stop advertising its online casino product through the rest of the year in a bid to better protect its customers amid growing pressure from the government.

The company, which was one of the few businesses authorized to operate in Sweden up until early this year, said in a Monday statement that its decision will affect its marketing campaigns across all media channels, including television, the Internet, and print media.

Svenska Spel also noted that it has already put certain limitations to the way it has been promoting its products, but after “intensive internal discussions” has decided that putting an end to all its online casino marketing campaigns was the right decision as part of its effort to protect its customers.

The major gambling operator said that the recently published results of a survey conducted by Sweden’s Public Health Agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten) have prompted the revision of its approach toward online casino advertising.

While the study showed that the overall number of problem gamblers has dropped in Sweden since 2015 when the last such study was carried out, there were certain worrying trends that Svenska Spel apparently wants to address.

News about the operator nixing all ads of its online casino product came on the heels of last week’s announcement that Svenska Spel controlled 85% of Sweden’s newly regulated market two months after the country’s new gambling law took force.

Worrying Online Casino Stats

Svenska Spel said Monday that its decision to terminate all online casino ads was prompted by the Public Health Authority’s findings that the online casino sector was the one that presented the greatest risk to Swedish gamblers.

According to the agency’s study, 30% of all Swedish online casino players found it difficult to curb their gambling habit. That compared to 3% of scratchcard and Lotto players.

Commenting on the company’s move, CEO Patrik Hofbauer said that while there might not be a direct link between gambling advertising and problem gambling, people whose gambling patterns indicate problem behavior might feel triggered by adverts. Mr. Hofbauer went on that this is why Svenska Spel has decided to stop advertising the riskiest gambling product among people already showing problem gambling patterns.

Licensed gambling operators have been facing growing regulatory and government pressure over their advertising campaigns across Swedish media in the months after the re-organization of the market.

Sweden’s Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi has even warned that restrictions on gambling ads might be on the way as he is determined to put an end to the aggressive advertising of gambling services.

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The post Svenska Spel Withdraws Online Casino Ads From All Media Channels appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Former Ocean Resort Casino Owner Bruce Deifik Dies in Car Crash

Mr. Deifik, who took over the failed Revel last year to reopen it as Ocean Resort Casino, has died in a fatal car accident

Colorado businessman Bruce Deifik has died in a car crash, news emerged this past Monday. The reopening of the shuttered Revel casino as Ocean Resort Casino was among Mr. Deifik’s latest business endeavors.

The businessman’s lawyer, Paul O’Gara, told The Associated Press that Mr. Deifik died in a single-car crash Sunday night while he was driving home from a Colorado Rockies game in Denver, his hometown.

A Denver-based medical examiner confirmed that an autopsy of the businessman’s body has been concluded. Results were still pending at press time. The cause of the crash is being investigated and the medical examiner is considering the possibility that Mr. Deifik might have suffered a medical crisis while driving his car.

Commenting on the Denver businessman’s dead, a spokesperson for Ocean Resort Casino said in a statement that they “are saddened to learn that Bruce Deifik, the former owner of Ocean Resort Casino, has passed away.” The statement went on that the “Ocean family is grateful for Bruce having the vision to re-open this beautiful oceanfront property and employing over 3,000 members of our community.”

Mr. Deifik’s Casino Endeavor

Mr. Deifik took over the failed Revel casino from Florida real estate developer Glenn Straub in January 2018. The Colorado businessman paid $200 million for the shuttered Boardwalk resort and invested another $200 million to materialize his vision of reopening the property and turning it into a popular hub for tourists and casino gamblers.

The re-imagined Ocean Resort Casino opened doors in June 2018. The resort’s new owner promised to learn from the mistakes of its previous proprietors and introduce a concept that would be more oriented toward mass market visitors. The former Revel was advertised as a high roller property during its short existence. The resort originally launched in 2012 to close doors only two years later.

Despite the multi-million investment, Ocean Resort Casino quickly began hemorrhaging money and fell below the minimum required liquidity levels shortly after its opening. Reports about Mr. Deifik looking for buyers of the underperforming property first emerged in December. The sale of the casino resort was confirmed in January.

Mr. Deifik was in the process of handing his majority ownership to New York-based hedge fund Luxor Capital Group before his death.

The businessman was the President and Chief Executive of Integrated Properties Inc., which owned more than 100 commercial properties in five US states, including more resorts and retail and office buildings.

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EGBA Urges Portugal to Nix “Discriminatory” Online Gambling Tax Regime

EGBA calls for a flat tax rate based on gross gambling revenue as the popularity of the unregulated market grows among Portuguese gamblers

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has urged the government of Portugal to review the nation’s gambling tax regime as the “discriminatory” tax on online gambling has affected player channelization.

EGBA’s call comes shortly after news emerged that the government of the southern European country has assembled a special working group that was tasked with analyzing Portugal’s regulated online gambling market and assessing whether the current tax rules needed revision.

The working group had a month to present lawmakers with their findings, but there has not been much information about the results of the group’s review more than a month after its initiation, and it seems the review is yet to be completed.

Under Portugal’s gambling law from 2015, online sports betting services are taxed at between 8% and 16% on betting turnover, while online casino games are taxed at between 15% and 30% on gross gaming revenue.

In a Monday statement, EGBA’s Secretary General, Maarten Haijer, said that Portugal’s online gambling tax regime is “discriminatory because it applies a more favourable tax for some operators, whilst others have to pay a much higher tax based on a broader tax base.” Mr. Haijer went on to explain that the current tax rules have made the nation a less attractive destination for international online gaming and betting companies.

Portugal’s gambling regulator, Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), issued the first license under the nation’s new regulatory regime in May 2016. The agency has granted 15 more licenses since then.

EGBA noted that only one of its members – French gambling group Betclic – holds a license in Portugal, but that more would be interested to enter the local market if the country moves to introduce a “non-discriminatory and better suited” tax regime.

Portugal’s Discriminatory Tax Affects Player Channelization

According to a recent study by Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and Qdata, 75% of Portugal’s gamblers opted for the products offered on the country’s unregulated market in 2018, up 10% from the previous year.

The President of the Portuguese Online Gambling and Betting Association – Associação Portuguesa de Apostas e Jogos Online (APAJO) – Gabino Oliveira, has told local news outlet Dinheiro Vivo that the lack of proper tools for the prevention of the growth of the unregulated market and of restrictions preventing unlicensed operators from easily advertising their products across social media, different websites, or even in taxi cabs is one of the pressing issues that require urgent addressing.

EGBA has added that the player channelization has also been affected by the high taxes and the use of turnover as a base for taxing online sports betting services. The association advised that Portugal should consider the use of revenue as a tax base, similarly to most regulated EU jurisdictions, and introduce a flat rate for all regulated services.

Portuguese legislators proposed late last year the introduction of a flat 25% online gambling tax on gross gambling revenue. However, the proposal did not gain enough momentum to take effect and replace the current regime.

A review of the country’s gambling rules is long overdue as the government has originally promised that such a review of the law would be initiated precisely two years after the issuance of the first license. As mentioned above, SRIJ awarded the first permission for the provision of regulated services to local gamblers in May 2016.

It is to be seen whether the Portuguese government would succumb to growing pressure for changes.

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