Posts Tagged ‘Deal’

NBA Signs International DFS Deal with…PlayON?

 NBA Signs International DFS Deal with…PlayON?

DraftKings and FanDuel are far and away the dominate players in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) space in the United States, owning somewhere in the vicinity of 90 percent of the market share. So when it came time for the National Basketball Association (NBA) – an equity holder of FanDuel – to partner with a daily fantasy site for international markets, it naturally turned to PlayON. Wait…what? PlayON?

Yes, PlayON is now the NBA’s “Official Daily Fantasy Partner” in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. More specifically, the deal covers:

Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom
Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico
Asia: Australia, Japan, The Philippines

PlayON only offers daily fantasy sports contests for real money in Australia (regulated by the Northern Territory Racing Commission), the United Kingdom (UK Gambling Commission), and Ireland (Irish National Excise Office), so the rest of the jurisdictions that are part of the agreement are for play money only. On its website, PlayON boasts that it has customers from over 100 countries. It is very careful about abiding by laws and regulations:

Regulation and security are top priorities at PlayON. The company only offers real-money Daily Fantasy Sports games to customers based in regulated territories within which PlayON holds a license. This approach removes all regulatory risk for PlayON’s customers, shareholders and corporate partners. PlayON is focused on building a sustainable and responsible company over the long term, and views regulation as a key part of this growth strategy.

Obviously, it would make total sense for the NBA to partner with FanDuel, considering its financial relationship to the site, but FanDuel barely has any presence outside of the U.S., whereas PlayOn is already established. PlayON offers contests in soccer, golf, cricket, rugby, and even Australian rules football. Basketball is also offered, even before the NBA deal, but unlike at a site like DraftKings, there are no NBA playoffs contests.

In a press release, Salvatore LaRocca, NBA President, Global Partnerships, expressed his pleasure with the agreement, saying, “With basketball’s global appeal, we are always looking for new ways to bring authentic NBA experiences to our fans across the world. Our partnership with PlayON provides us an opportunity to deepen our engagement with our international audience, and bring these fans closer to the game.”

“PlayON is delighted to be partnering with the NBA to deliver Official Daily Fantasy NBA Games,” PlayON founder and CEO Killian Jones added. “The NBA’s global reach and daily fixture schedule make it an ideal fit for daily fantasy. We look forward to working closely with the NBA to deliver innovative sports entertainment experiences to basketball fans around the world.”

Poker News Daily

NBA Signs International DFS Deal with…PlayON?

 NBA Signs International DFS Deal with…PlayON?

DraftKings and FanDuel are far and away the dominate players in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) space in the United States, owning somewhere in the vicinity of 90 percent of the market share. So when it came time for the National Basketball Association (NBA) – an equity holder of FanDuel – to partner with a daily fantasy site for international markets, it naturally turned to PlayON. Wait…what? PlayON?

Yes, PlayON is now the NBA’s “Official Daily Fantasy Partner” in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. More specifically, the deal covers:

Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom
Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico
Asia: Australia, Japan, The Philippines

PlayON only offers daily fantasy sports contests for real money in Australia (regulated by the Northern Territory Racing Commission), the United Kingdom (UK Gambling Commission), and Ireland (Irish National Excise Office), so the rest of the jurisdictions that are part of the agreement are for play money only. On its website, PlayON boasts that it has customers from over 100 countries. It is very careful about abiding by laws and regulations:

Regulation and security are top priorities at PlayON. The company only offers real-money Daily Fantasy Sports games to customers based in regulated territories within which PlayON holds a license. This approach removes all regulatory risk for PlayON’s customers, shareholders and corporate partners. PlayON is focused on building a sustainable and responsible company over the long term, and views regulation as a key part of this growth strategy.

Obviously, it would make total sense for the NBA to partner with FanDuel, considering its financial relationship to the site, but FanDuel barely has any presence outside of the U.S., whereas PlayOn is already established. PlayON offers contests in soccer, golf, cricket, rugby, and even Australian rules football. Basketball is also offered, even before the NBA deal, but unlike at a site like DraftKings, there are no NBA playoffs contests.

In a press release, Salvatore LaRocca, NBA President, Global Partnerships, expressed his pleasure with the agreement, saying, “With basketball’s global appeal, we are always looking for new ways to bring authentic NBA experiences to our fans across the world. Our partnership with PlayON provides us an opportunity to deepen our engagement with our international audience, and bring these fans closer to the game.”

“PlayON is delighted to be partnering with the NBA to deliver Official Daily Fantasy NBA Games,” PlayON founder and CEO Killian Jones added. “The NBA’s global reach and daily fixture schedule make it an ideal fit for daily fantasy. We look forward to working closely with the NBA to deliver innovative sports entertainment experiences to basketball fans around the world.”

Poker News Daily

Poker Central Signs Distribution Deal With NBC

 Poker Central Signs Distribution Deal With NBC

After dropping their own efforts at cable broadcasting to start 2017, the streaming network Poker Central has signed a deal for cable television and distribution with NBC and in particular NBCUniversal Sports.

For those looking for Poker Central to fire up content on NBCSN (formerly known as the NBC Sports Network) immediately, it is going to be a bit. According to Variety’s Todd Spangler, the first programming to come from Poker Central will be the third rendition of the Super High Roller Bowl. The $ 300,000 event will be run May 28-31 at Aria in Las Vegas and NBCSN will be its cable broadcast home.

Both sides were complimentary of each other with the announcement of the deal. “Partnering with Poker Central allows us to continue to deliver high-quality programming, while creating a destination for both existing and new poker fans alike,” Gary Quinn, the Vice President of programming at NBC Sports Group, is quoted in a statement. J.R. McCabe, Poker Central’s Chief Digital Officer who previously was Senior Vice President of video at Time Inc., said the company is “creating a comprehensive platform that truly stands out in a crowded content space.”

After the Super High Roller Bowl, there is very little that Poker Central has done that might contribute to NBCSN’s programming. There are some documentaries, such as Pokerography (much like the History Channel’s Biography except dealing with poker players) and tournament director extraordinaire Matt Savage’s show Inside Poker (which took a look at the major players and situations in the world of poker and usually was taped from different casino locations across the country), which might be of interest to NBCSN. There has also been a great deal of talk about other “live” programming, but Poker Central has presented little detail as to what that programming might be.

In its very short history, Poker Central has had plenty of highlights and lowlights. In October 2015, Poker Central hyped itself up by discussing many of the programs that were mentioned previously. They also hyped themselves as the first “24/7 poker television station,” but that hype turned out to be a bit overblown. When they debuted at the beginning of October, the network was only available through streaming outlets such as the Roku, the Amazon Fire and video game systems such as the Xbox One.

Other than Pokerography and, later, Inside Poker, there was also very little original programming on the streaming channel. For the most part, the network depended on broadcasting old tournaments from the World Poker Tour and from Europe (which has embraced poker on television much more than North American broadcast outlets), with the PartyPoker Premier League receiving a great deal of airplay. There were also the downsides, such as showing the old Full Tilt Poker-driven program Face the Ace that only served to annoy poker fans.

Those in charge at Poker Central always said there would be a television or cable outlet for their programming – that the “discussions were ongoing” with several outlets – and that came true in February 2016. Signing a deal with Buckeye CableSystems, which services northern Ohio and southern Michigan, Poker Central was able to secure its first broadcast outlet that put its programming on the air. That also would prove to be the last broadcasting outlet for Poker Central as, in December 2016, it was decided that they would revert back to a streaming, internet-only network on New Year’s Day.

The deal does give NBCSN something that they didn’t have to compete with the other outlets such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1 and the CBS Sports Network:  poker programming. Of course, ESPN has long been the home for the World Series of Poker and Fox Sports 1 has offered the World Poker Tour for years. CBS Sports Network has run the popular Poker Night in America for the past couple of years, which left NBCSN – other than running old Poker After Dark episodes – out of the running with up-to-date poker programming.

This will change most likely this summer when Poker Central and the Super High Roller Bowl are shown over the various outlets (internet and cable) of NBCSN. It still remains to be seen, however, if Poker Central can deliver what they initially promised – poker programming that would be groundbreaking. Now that they’ve got a bit of a “safety net” with NBCSN, we will see if they can achieve that goal.

Poker News Daily

Nevada Governor Wants Online Poker Deal with New Jersey

 Nevada Governor Wants Online Poker Deal with New Jersey

An interstate online gambling compact between Nevada and New Jersey has never really come close to becoming a reality, but Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval still wants to try to make it happen. Speaking at the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee meeting in Las Vegas on Friday, Sandoval expressed mild frustration that his state hasn’t gotten anything going with New Jersey.

Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Rick Velotta was at the meeting, live tweeting the proceedings. The meeting revolved primarily around e-sports and the possibility of Nevada becoming a gambling hub for the fast-rising form of entertainment and competition. Talk did move briefly to online poker, though.

According to Velotta, Sandoval was “perplexed” as to why New Jersey has balked at entering into an agreement to share player liquidity with Nevada. He feels it would be a great thing to bring the two gambling giants of the United States together to create an online poker force.

“It would be like putting together the Yankees and the Dodgers,” Sandoval said.

He added that despite New Jersey’s reluctance in the past, he would still like to talk to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie about getting a deal done.

Aside from states actually legalizing online poker (or the federal government legalizing it nationally), the establishment of interstate gaming compacts will likely be the most important thing that will determine the long-term success of online poker in the U.S. Internet poker is a game of liquidity. Poker sites need players – and  lots of them – to survive. This sounds obvious; after all, any business needs customers, but for online poker it is nearly a do-or-die proposition. Poker sites that have very little traffic not only generate little revenue, but the empty tables make the sites look unattractive to prospective players. Those potential customers then opt not to sign-up, keeping the site a ghost town. Eventually, current customers leave because of the poor game selection and the sites die.

The busy poker sites, on the other hand, are bustling, with lots of full tables and plenty of game selection. Their current players keep playing, while prospective customers see a hopping site and sign-up. Both cycles perpetuate themselves.

Online poker in Nevada has survived, but barely, because of its small population. In February 2014, Sandoval and Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed the “Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement”(MSIGA), allowing for their states’ player pools to be merged. It has not made much of a difference because of the size of the two states, but at least it isn’t nothing.

New Jersey got off to a slow start with its internet gaming industry, but it has picked up the pace and is starting to reap the rewards. It helps that it is the 11th largest state in the U.S. in terms of population, with an estimated 9 million residents. It is large enough to sustain an online gambling industry by itself, which is why Nevada really wants to partner with it.

California is the big prize when it comes to interstate compacts; if and when it gets online poker up and running, you can bet other states – perhaps even New Jersey – will be calling. Other states with sizeable populations that are looking into legalizing online gambling include Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, and Massachusetts.

Poker News Daily

Annette Obrestad Signs Ambassador Deal with the Venetian Las Vegas

 Annette Obrestad Signs Ambassador Deal with the Venetian Las Vegas

According to her personal Twitter account and the casino, the inaugural champion of the World Series of Poker Europe, Annette Obrestad, has signed an “ambassador deal” with the Venetian Las Vegas. The deal, of which no details were announced, apparently began this weekend.

The mysterious details began to leak out earlier this week when Obrestad bubbled over her Twitter feed, “Have a pretty exciting announcement (for me anyway) coming up…Stay tuned.” On Thursday, the other shoe dropped in that little tease when the Venetian Poker Room announced over their Twitter account, “We are pleased to announce Annette Obrestad as ambassador of the Sands Poker Room. Welcome to the team!” along with her official “team” photo. Obrestad would waste little time in saying, “Guys, its (sic) official! I’m now an ambassador for Venetian Poker. I’m SOOOO excited. I hope to give a lot of you a chance to play with me soon!”

That chance came on Saturday when, during one of the Venetian DeepStack tournaments, Obrestad took on her first tournament. “(Will be) Playing my first tournament as a Venetian Poker ambassador today. Don’t be shy, come say hi if you’re there!” As of a couple of hours ago, Obrestad reports she’s doing well because she “keeps getting Kings…ez game LOL.”

Now, for those of you that haven’t quite captured the irony of all of this yet, please stay tuned.

Obrestad is one of the most well-known players in the game and her history is also well-known. She got her start as a 15-year old, hence her online poker screen name of ‘Annette_15,’ where she was able to hone her game on PokerStars’ free play room. Once she made enough money from the freerolls, she transferred to the cash tables and tournaments, even once playing a tournament – and winning it – without ever looking at her hole cards. This was all before she could even vote in any political election, let alone enter a casino legally. It also allowed her to be able to be the youngest ever World Series of Poker bracelet winner (at one day prior to her 19th birthday) in the esteemed organization’s history.

Since that time, however, Obrestad has had a few rough years. Despite winning over $ 600,000 in 2010, she didn’t even crack five figures in each of the last two calendar years and it was pretty lean in the three years prior to those. She also hasn’t had a great streak in online poker sponsorships either; in May 2010, Obrestad signed a sponsorship deal with Full Tilt Poker (the company was shut down slightly more than a year later) and, following that, she was ready for a “great beginning of a new and exciting relationship” with Lock Poker in 2012. Lock Poker shut down in April 2015, owing players conservatively around $ 15 million.

What makes Obrestad’s new position interesting is that it is with a company that is, for all practical purposes, trying to ensure that Obrestad has to leave the United States to be able to play online poker. Obrestad’s new boss, Las Vegas Sands Corporation chairman/billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is the bankroll behind the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, which has been active in the prohibition of online poker on the federal level through the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, or RAWA. Adelson and his cronies have also traversed the United States, testifying wherever and whenever a state looks as if it will pass any form of legislation that will regulate online gaming or poker for its citizens.

There is no word on whether Obrestad knows of the irony of her situation (or if she really gives a damn), but the poker world has obviously taken notice and U. S. players aren’t very pleased about it. One commenter on a Facebook chat noted, “Another pro not showing any support for us, so aggravating.” On Twitter, Obrestad’s association with Lock Poker and now Adelson was noted, saying, “People who KNOWINGLY promote scams such as Obrestad should not be given ANY jobs in poker.” Another Twitter user stated, “So an online prodigy represents a brand whose owner wants to ban online poker. #Baffling”

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