Posts Tagged ‘Board’

Parx Casino to PA Gaming Control Board: One Skin Per Licensee

 Parx Casino to PA Gaming Control Board: One Skin Per Licensee

First reported by GamblingCompliance (paywall alert), the Parx Casino has written a letter to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), requesting that online gaming license holders only be allowed to have a single skin.

The letter sums up the request as so:

The Board should establish a limitation on the number of interactive gaming skins an Interactive Gaming Certificate Holder (“Certificate Holder”) may operate, and that limitation should be one skin per Certificate Holder, with the different categories of interactive games the Certificate Holder is authorized to offer on that single skin limited to the different categories of interactive games approved in its Interactive Gaming Certificate(s).

As it goes on to explain, Parx seems to not like the idea of multiple (or even unlimited) skins per license holder because it supposedly does a few things: 1) effectively puts the license holder in the role of regulator over the operators who run the skins, 2) allows software providers to effectively become online gaming licensees for less money than the license holder, and 3) essentially renders the ceiling on Pennsylvania online gaming licenses (currently twelve, soon to be thirteen) meaningless.

Parx Casino also wants the PGCB to require that each online gaming site go by the same name – or similar name – as its license holder. Thus, Parx Casino’s online poker site would have to be ParxPoker, SugarHouse Casinos’ site would have to be SugarHousePoker, and so on and so forth, or at least names that resemble the casino/company that holds the license.

“The Board should require that any branding associated with a skin match, or be predominantly the same, as the brand of the Certificate Holder as noted on the Interactive Gaming Certificate,” is how it is worded in the letter, with little additional explanation.

One could surmise that the reason Parx Casino wants these rules in place is to limit competition. Parx is the casino market leader in Pennsylvania with about 18 percent of the market share as of December 17. Sands Bethlehem is close behind with over 17 percent. As said market leader, Parx probably wants to keep its brand name strong and allowing multiple skins per license holder could dilute that brand.

On top of that, it would prevent a license holder from partnering with, say, PokerStars as its software platform provider and then branding its poker site something like PokerStarsPA.com. PokerStars obviously has gigantic name recognition in the online poker world and Pennsylvania players very well may gravitate toward a Stars-branded site rather than a Parx-branded one, even though Parx is the brick-and-mortar market leader.

Online casino games and slots will likely be bigger money makers than online poker, but a Stars-branded site could possibly even do better than Parx in that realm, too (keep in mind, I am just speculating). Whether its Stars or any number of other experienced operators, Parx does not want others infringing on its territory if it can help it.

The post Parx Casino to PA Gaming Control Board: One Skin Per Licensee appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Poker News Daily

William Hill Board Rejects 888/Rank Acquisition Bid

 William Hill Board Rejects 888/Rank Acquisition Bid

About two weeks ago, gambling firms 888 Holdings and Rank Group confirmed rumors that they were teaming up to put in a bid for rival William Hill, the largest gambling concern in the United Kingdom. On Tuesday, it was announced that they not only had, in fact, put in a formal offer, but that William Hill’s Board rejected it.

In a press release issued by William Hill (and found on the website of 888 Holdings, oddly enough), it was revealed that 888 and Rank would create a new company, BidCo, which would then make the acquisition offer to William Hill. The proposed purchase price was estimated at 364 pence per share of William Hill. This price is comprised of 199 pence in cash and .725 shares of BidCo per share of William Hill. The value of those BidCo shares is based on the closing prices of 888 and Rank on August 5th.

William Hill shareholders would have controlled 44.6 percent of the new company.

The offer valued William Hill at approximately £3.2 billion ($ 4.2 billion), which was not satisfactory for the UK bookmaker.

“Having reviewed the Proposal with its financial advisers, Citi and Barclays, the Board of William Hill has unanimously rejected the Proposal as it substantially undervalues William Hill,” the company said in the press release.

“The Proposal represents a premium of only 16% to the William Hill share price of 314 pence on 22 July 2016 (being the last trading date prior to the announcement of a possible offer by the Consortium) and a premium of only 11% to the William Hill share price of 327 pence on 8 August 2016 (being the last trading date prior to this announcement),” William Hill explained.

William also said that it doesn’t feel that the deal would even do it any good, as it would not “enhance William Hill’s strategic positioning or deliver superior value for shareholders compared against William Hill’s strategy.”

That strategy involves global diversification in both William Hill’s online and brick-and-mortar businesses.

William Hill’s Chairman, Gareth Davis, commented:

This conditional proposal substantially undervalues William Hill, is highly opportunistic and does not reflect the inherent value of the business.  It is a very complex three-way combination at a low premium involving substantial risk for William Hill shareholders: execution risk, integration risk and risks of materially increased leverage. The Group has a strong team to deliver against our strategy to grow our digital and international businesses so we strongly advise that shareholders take no action.

888 Holdings, as readers of this site likely well known, operates 888poker.com, the internet’s second largest online poker room, according to PokerScout.com. Rank owns the Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos, the latter of which should be very familiar to brick-and-mortar poker players in the UK.

These latest financial rumblings are an interesting turnabout in the last few years’ gaming industry consolidation. William Hill was actually interested in purchasing 888 Holdings back in early 2015, but obviously nothing happened with that. 888 was also quite active last year, fighting against GVC Holdings in a failed effort to acquire bwin.party, parent company of partypoker.

Poker News Daily

Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale Day 2: Chino Rheem Leads Competitive Leader Board

 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale Day 2: Chino Rheem Leads Competitive Leader Board

With three overlapping World Poker Tour (WPT) events being held this week at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, it can be hard to keep track of what exactly is going on. Right now, the focus is on the $ 10,000 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale, which completed Day 2 on Monday while the $ 3,500 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown is on a break before Wednesday’s final table. A total of 342 players joined the fray for the Finale and now just 27 remain. Two-time WPT winner and infamous poker debtor Chino Rheem is the chip leader with 1.205 million chips.

The top of the leader board going into Tuesday’s action is quite interesting, as it is one of tightest races you will ever see at this stage in the World Poker Tour event. After Rheem, there are three players above the one million chip plateau: David Paredes (1.1 million), Dietrich Fast (1.02 million), and Adrian Mateos (1.016 million). Then, just below them are Jared Jaffee with 925,000 and Aditya Prasetyo with 906,000. There is a huge chip gap after the top six, as nobody else has more than 700,000.

Additionally, four of the top five players – Rheem, Paredes, Fast, and Jaffee – have notched WPT tournament wins, so that should add even more spice to the stretch run.

And then there is Cate Hall, who we mentioned yesterday. She will be appearing at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table in a bid to become the first woman to win an open World Poker tour event. She is ninth in chips out of ten, so it will be an uphill climb, but that is better than not even having the chance. Hall finished 41st in the Finale, cashing for $ 16,525 and earning 50 points towards the WPT Player of the Year race. The latter tidbit is significant because in addition to having a shot at an historic WPT win tomorrow, she also has a chance to move into the overall lead for Player of the Year.

Hall entered Monday’s play in sixth place in the POY race with 1,550 points. With her cash in the Finale, she earned 50 more (moving into a tie for fifth with Jake Schwartz), which on the surface does not seem significant, but it could turn out to be the difference between winning Player of the Year and not. If she had stayed at 1,550, she would have needed to finish first or second in the Showdown to overtake Mike Shariati for the Player of the Year lead (he has 2,450 points). Those extra 50 points she gained from her cash in the Finale, though, allow her to take the POY with a third place finish in the Showdown, as well. Certainly, she is aiming for a victory, but a top three finish and the POY lead after starting the final table in ninth place would be a solid consolation prize.

Of course, Dietrich Fast wants to change the standings, too. He is currently third in the POY rankings and is obviously guaranteed to add to his 1,800 point total. Depending on how he does in the Finale, he could put the POY out of reach for Hall, regardless of what she does tomorrow. The WPT Tournament of Champions also awaits, so Fast and others in contention could tack on even more points.

Day 2 of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Final is about to begin. The plan is to play down to the six-handed final table.

Poker News Daily

WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Day 1A: Ankush Mandavia Leads Tight Leader Board

 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Day 1A: Ankush Mandavia Leads Tight Leader Board

It was a long Day 1A at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Bay 101 Shooting Star Monday, as those who made it all the way through had to slog through eleven 60-minute levels. With two hours for dinner and short breaks, that’s thirteen hours centered around poker, not counting however early the players got to the casino. It was a pretty solid turnout for the first starting flight, as 331 players ponied up the $ 7,500; 125 made it to Day 2. Ankush Mandavia is out in front of the pack with 263,700 chips, though he is closely followed by Rep Porter with 249,600, Brian Yoon with 222,500, and Connor Drinan with 222,000.

The Bay 101 Shooting Star is one of the most popular live tournaments on any circuit every year. A number of poker pros and poker celebrities are tagged as “Shooting Stars”; each wears a star medal around their necks during the tournament, just in case other players don’t recognize them. Anyone who knocks out one of the Shooting Stars receives a $ 2,500 cash bounty and an autographed t-shirt from the player. Though it is never fun to be eliminated from a tournament, the Shooting Stars are typically very good natured about it all, as they understand going into the event that it is a different animal than the normal tournaments they play in most days. Even though money is at stake, the Shooting Star bounty is meant to be all in good fun, especially since the eliminated star has to hand over a t-shirt with his or her name on it as a trophy. The Shooting Stars usually pose for pictures with their conqueror, as well.

As an example of how the Shooting Stars are generally good sports, Nick Palma felted Jake Bazeley and tweeted a picture of his autographed shirt, which read, “You aren’t as BAD as they say!”

Palma called Bazeley a “class act.”

As an additional bonus, the chip leader at the end of each starting flight wins $ 10,000. So, going into Day 2, Ankush Mandavia is already freerolling.

The Shooting Stars for Day 1A were:

Mike Sexton, Erik Seidel, Darren Elias, Tyler Patterson, Fedor Holz, Maria Ho, JC Tran, Matt Salsberg, Mukul Pahuja, Aaron Massey, Mike Matusow, Noah Schwartz, Todd Brunson, Loni Harwood, Neil Blumenfield, Dan Shak, Connor Drinan, Faraz Jaka, Mohsin Charania, Ryan Riess, Anthony Zinno, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Jake Bazeley, Jason Mercier, and Greg Merson.

Day 1B will begin at 11:00am PT as another crop of players and Shooting Stars try to advance toward a WPT title. This is a re-entry event, so anyone who was eliminated on Day 1A can pay another buy-in to try again on Tuesday. The schedule will be the same as it was Monday: eleven 60-minute levels, four 15-minute breaks, and one hour-long dinner break.

2016 World Poker Tour Bay 101 Shooting Star – Day 1A Chip Leaders

1.    Ankush Mandavia – 263,700
2.    Rep Porter – 249,600
3.    Brian Yoon – 222,500
4.    Connor Drinan – 222,000
5.    Chance Kornuth – 194,500
6.    Johnny Oshana – 176,800
7.    David Malka – 169,100
8.    Nader Zarel – 169,100
9.    Justin Liberto – 164,800
10.    Randy Gil – 159,500

Poker News Daily

L.A. Times Editorial Board Supports Legalizing Online Poker

 L.A. Times Editorial Board Supports Legalizing Online Poker

The Los Angeles Times is fully aboard the online gambling train, publishing an editorial Saturday in which the Times Editorial Board calls for the regulation and licensing of all internet gaming sites. Daily fantasy sports are the hot topic nowadays in the online gambling (or skill game, depending on your position) arena and several state attorneys general, including those in New York, Texas, and Illinois, have declared the popular games illegal. The Times believes that blanket bans, though, are an ass-backwards way of dealing with the industry, DFS, poker, or otherwise.

Much of the editorial details what has been going on lately with daily fantasy sports, but eventually gets to the major point:

The smart approach is to regulate the leagues, ideally within the context of a comprehensive approach to online gaming. That way the state can protect consumers against fly-by-night sites while requiring companies to use sophisticated technology to block minors and problem gamblers, pay fees that can be used for oversight and enforcement, and guard consumers against insiders competing unfairly for jackpots, as both FanDuel and DraftKings were accused of allowing last year. None of those protections is assured online today.

It continues:

California lawmakers have been trying for years to create this sort of framework for online poker, only to be thwarted by internecine battles among the state’s licensed gaming businesses. Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) is now championing a bill to license and regulate just the daily fantasy sports operators, but his bill is likely to run the same gantlet of resistance from Indian tribes, racetracks and card clubs. The argument for setting up a safer environment for fantasy sports games applies in spades to online poker. It’s time for the Legislature to stand up to the competing gambling interest groups and adopt safeguards that apply across the online gaming boards.

“Resistance” from tribes, racetracks, and card clubs may be putting it lightly. No matter how reasonable and compromising online gambling bills have been in California, there are always factions that dig their heels in and refuse to budge on certain regulations. Most notable is the “Cali 7” group, which includes, in alphabetical order, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Barona Band of Mission Indians, the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. This group of tribes is very politically active and wants to include a “bad actor” clause in any online gambling legislation (a not-so-subtle attempt to keep PokerStars out of the market and reduce competition) as well as prevent pari-mutuel facilities from being able to apply for a license.

Earlier this month, the “Cali 7” was able to influence the California House’s Governmental Organization (GO) Committee, getting it to take both GO Committee Chairman Gray’s AB 147, an online poker bill, and AB 1441, a sports betting bill, off of a hearing’s agenda. The only bill that was voted upon at the hearing was Gray’s AB 1437, the “Internet Fantasy Sports Game Protection Act.” That one easily passed through the committee by a 18-1 vote.

Poker News Daily