Posts Tagged ‘Stop’

Heartland Poker Tour Stop at Westgate Courts Controversy Over Alleged Buy-In Decision

 Heartland Poker Tour Stop at Westgate Courts Controversy Over Alleged Buy In Decision

The Heartland Poker Tour has a history as one of the most highly respected “mid-major” tournament circuits in the poker industry. It’s recent stop at the Westgate Las Vegas, however, has become mired in controversy over a decision regarding the buy-in for the tournament and the guarantee that was set.

Making its first return to Las Vegas since 2014, the Heartland Poker Tour was looking to make a big mark on the tournament poker scene with their $ 1650 buy in Main Event. That tournament featured three Day Ones that looked to build a prize pool that would eclipse the $ 500,000 guaranteed prize pool that was put on the event. With those numbers in mind, 334 entries had to be registered for that guarantee to be met.

The issues began late on Saturday afternoon at the Westgate. In a tweet from Jeremy Smith, the tournament director for the Heartland Poker Tour, it became known that there were only 300 or so players on the tournament clock counter with late registration running out (opened until 7:30PM Pacific Time). That meant that, with slightly more than an hour left in late registration, the Westgate and the Heartland Poker Tour were looking at about a $ 70,000 overlay.

The next move, allegedly by the Westgate, is what has set the controversy off. While the players were on dinner break – and late registration was technically still open until the players returned from that break – it is alleged that the Westgate offered to allow players to buy into the tournament for slightly more than half the original price ($ 850 instead of $ 1650). The resulting turmoil drew in several names in the poker community debating the issue and, additionally, Tweets on the subject that were alleged to have been deleted by people with a stake in the game.

Noted poker curmudgeon Allen Kessler brought the subject up on his Facebook page, bringing up the alleged deleted Tweets and the discounted tournament. Surprisingly World Series of Poker bracelet winner and runner-up to Greg Raymer in the Championship Event of 2004 David Williams backed whomever made the decision to offer the discount, saying “If the prize pool is accounted for, who f*****g cares?”

Other members of the poker community didn’t agree on who to lay the blame for the “discounted” entry. At first many were dismissive of the Heartland Poker Tour but, as more info came out, it shifted over to the Westgate. It was alleged that the Westgate made the decision to offer the reduced buy-in to reduce the overlay that they would have been on the hook for.

So why the hubbub over the alleged issue? There apparently were over 300 players who had to pay the whole entry fee – $ 1650 – to enter the event and have a shot at the $ 500,000 guaranteed prize pool. Then along comes a smaller group – let’s say there were enough that the guarantee was met, 30-35 players or so – who only paid $ 850 to have the same shot at the $ 500,000 guarantee. That seems to be the crux of what much of the complaints have been about.

One thing that poker players tend to forget – and tournament poker players also – is that the host casino can pretty much change the rules at any time when it comes to their operations. House rules can deviate greatly from poker room to poker room and, when it comes to tournaments, many events have a sweeping “cover” for its actions. Normally it in small print near the bottom of a flyer – “casino retains the rights to change and/or cancel events as they see fit.” This little clause is what allows many casinos the right to make massive adjustments to their tournaments – such as offering discounted buy-ins to meet a guarantee – or cancel those events outright if there aren’t enough people entering the tournament.

As of press time neither the Heartland Poker Tour nor the Westgate Las Vegas has returned overtures from Poker News Daily regarding the situation. There also has been no contact with the public over their respective Twitter or Facebook feeds to offer an explanation. Poker News Daily will continue to watch the situation and, if a communique is received from either entity, update accordingly.

UPDATE:  Approximately 3PM (Pacific Time) on Sunday afternoon Smith, the tournament director for the HPT, issued a quasi-statement over Twitter in reply to several people who asked him about the decision to allow players to buy in for less than the stated amount. “This has never happened before (in the history of the HPT),” Smith stated to one person. In replying to World Poker Tour Executive Tour Director Matt Savage, Smith expressly stated that, “I had no say in this…it was a Westgate decision.”

The Westgate Las Vegas also decided to issue a statement at roughly the same time as Smith. In their Twitter statement, the Westgate stated, “(At the) end of registration for the HPT Main Event, we chose to pay a portion of the entry fee for select VIP. Full $ 1,650 entries accounted for in the $ 500k main event…Westgate is upholding all prize packages & guarantees are being upheld.  Good luck to the participants.”

Finally, the tournament reached 316 full $ 1650 buy ins, falling short of the $ 500,000 guarantee.

The post Heartland Poker Tour Stop at Westgate Courts Controversy Over Alleged Buy-In Decision appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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UK Gambling and Ad Regulatory Agencies Warn Operators to Stop Marketing To Kids

 UK Gambling and Ad Regulatory Agencies Warn Operators to Stop Marketing To Kids

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), along with three other regulatory agencies, has sent out a firm warning to the country’s licensed online gambling operators, telling them that they must immediately stop advertising to children, regardless of whether or not the ads have been intentional.

The topic of advertising to minors has been a hot one lately in the UK, primarily because of an investigation by the Sunday Times that asserts that online gambling firms have been marketing games that appeal to children using juvenile cartoon graphics and popular children’ characters to allegedly draw the attention of youths. Examples of certain slots games are Peter Pan, Moon Princess, Jack and the Beanstalk, Piggy Payout, and Fluffy Favourites.”

These games can frequently be found in real money and play money varieties and don’t always need age verification to play.

The UKGC, along with the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and the Remote Gambling Association (AGA), has sent a letter to the nearly 500 online gambling operators, putting its foot down and saying that such advertising must stop.

The letter lays out the relevant portion of the CAP Code:

16.1 Marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect children, young persons and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited.

16.3 Marketing communications must not:

16.3.12 be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.

17.13 Marketing communications for lotteries must not be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.

Whether or not an ad is “likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture” is fairly subjective, but the UKGC explains that, generally speaking, this would entail, “The use of particular colours, cartoon and comic book images, animals, child- and youth-orientated references….”

Operators are ordered to immediately remove all ads for such games from their sites and from third party media vehicles. Those who do not are at risk of being hit with sanctions.

The UKGC and other organizations understand that there could be some cases where an operator isn’t sure whether or not a game and related ad targets people under 18-years old. In that case, CAP advises that the operator pull or edit the ad AND THEN contact the CAP Copy Advice Team to discuss whether or not the marketing is a violation of regulations.



The post UK Gambling and Ad Regulatory Agencies Warn Operators to Stop Marketing To Kids appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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New York’s Seneca Nation to Stop Gambling Revenue Payments to State

 New York’s Seneca Nation to Stop Gambling Revenue Payments to State

The Buffalo News reported last week that the New York’s Seneca Nation of Indians is discontinuing its payments of casino revenue to the state. The plan is to halt the casino share this week; if it happens, the New York state government stands to lose as much as $ 110 million in revenue per year.

It does not look like the Seneca Nation has given any specific reason for its decision to stop the payments, but it appears that it very well may be that it is not happy with New York’s casino gambling expansion. New York was once home to just racinos and tribal casinos, but in the last few years, commercial casino construction was approved. Since late 2015, four commercial casino licenses have been issued: Rivers Casino & Resort and Del Lago are already open, Tioga Downs was transformed from a racino to a full-fledged casino, and Montreign should open next year.

It is Del Lago that may be the casino that really sticks in the craw of the tribe. The Seneca Nation’s three casinos are all in western New York. Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino is in Allegany near the Pennsylvania border, Seneca Niagara is in Niagara Falls, and Seneca Buffalo Creek is in Buffalo. Del Lago is approximately 100 miles due east of Buffalo and, based on the possibility that its existence rubs the Seneca Nation the wrong way, it may be drawing a decent amount of traffic away from the three casinos.

The Seneca Nation’s 2002 compact with the state gives it exclusive rights to gaming west of State Route 14 for 21 years. Del Lago is just a few miles east of Route 14, so it does fall outside of the Seneca Nation’s promised gaming territory.

For those exclusive rights, the Seneca Nation has forked over a portion of its gaming revenues to the state for about a decade and a half. According to The Buffalo News, the compact stipulated that the payment rate was 18 percent in the first year, eventually rounding out to 25 percent in “Years 8-14.”

After that, there is no mention, apparently, of any more required payments. Therefore, the tribe has decided that, now that is in the fifteenth year, it does not need to contribute to the state’s coffers any more.

“We’re now in the 15th year of that compact,’’ a Seneca representative told The Buffalo News. “This is the Nation following the language of the compact.’’

The Seneca Nation has also been paying host municipalities where its casinos are located and has said that it plans to work something out with them so that they don’t lose all that money.

“Although the revenue share has ended, we remain committed to being good neighbors in the communities where we have gaming facilities and we look forward to working directly with them to continue the economic progress of Western New York,’’ Seneca President Todd Gates said in a statement.

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