World Series of Poker® Main Event ® to Return – European Gaming Industry News
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World Series of Poker® Main Event ® to Return

George Miller

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World Series of Poker® Main Event ® to Return
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) announced plans to host 2020’s hybrid online and live version of the $10,000 No-Limit Hold-Em World Championship, known better to poker players and fans as the Main Event. The Main Event will begin for international players on Sunday, Nov. 29 and domestically on Sunday, Dec. 13.

Due to travel restrictions and out of an abundance of caution for player safety, this year’s format will be unique, where early round play will begin online with one entry on WSOP.com or GGPoker.com, before shifting to a live setting for final table action on two continents. Each “bracket” will pay out prize money to tournament entrants independently. The final table will be a world’s first, as an ultimate heads-up duel for the World Championship, where $1 million in prize money will be on the line courtesy of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) and GGPoker. The Main Event will be held consistent to the traditional “freeze-out” standards of the Main Event, offering only single entry, as well as the longest levels and deepest stacks ever offered on the online platform.

All in-person tournaments, domestic and international, will be subject to special COVID rules and procedures, the details of which will be published at a later date and will require players to undergo a required health screening prior to live participation. All participants must agree to abide by all applicable rules.

U.S. residents will be able to play the Main Event on the WSOP.com platform in either New Jersey or Nevada beginning on Sunday, Dec. 13. The $10,000 event is expected to take two full days to reach the final table, with play being suspended for an overnight break after approximately 12 hours of action. The tournament will be paused when play hits the final table, with the final nine players traveling to Las Vegas for the TV taping and culmination of the tournament to take place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, subject to applicable regulatory approval.

Dates for Domestic Tournament:
Day 1 – Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020
Day 2 – Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, Play down to 9 players
Final Table – Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Monday, Dec. 28, Play continues to a winner; prize monies paid

International residents eligible to use GGPoker’s popular online poker platform will have three dates from which to choose their starting flight. Similar to the traditional offline events, players may only choose one date of play. Similar to the domestic flight, and subject to casino availability, play will be paused for the final nine contestants who will report to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic to play their final table in a live TV taping. Should travel restrictions or a casino shutdown prevent the live portion from moving forward in December, organizers reserve the right to continue the tournament play online or reschedule to a later date.

Dates for International Tournament:
Day 1A – Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020
Day1B – Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020
Day 1C – Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020
Day 2, Play down to 9 players, Monday, Dec. 7
Final Table – *King’s Casino, Tuesday, Dec.15, Play down to a winner

*Subject to local regulatory approval

Finally, the winner of the Domestic Tournament and the winner of the International Tournament will meet at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, subject to applicable regulatory approval, for a televised showdown on Wednesday, Dec.30, 2020. In addition to any prize monies won by entrants in their respective tournament, WSOP and GGPoker have committed an additional sum of $1 million to the winner of the Heads-Up match along with the Main Event championship bracelet and the title of 2020 World Champion. *Note, should the international winner be under the age of 21 and thereby ineligible to play in the state of Nevada, organizers reserve the right to change the date and location of the Heads-Up match.

Heads-Up Championship of Domestic Winner vs International Winner:
Wednesday, Dec. 30
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas*

A comprehensive list of satellite events allowing qualification for as little $1 will be available on both WSOP.com and GGPoker.com. There will also be weekly free-rolls offering $10,000 seat entry for multiple weeks leading up to the tournament.

To welcome visiting players, Caesars Entertainment will offer special Main Event room rates at several resorts in Nevada and New Jersey. Additionally, new options to deposit money into a WSOP.com account and cash out in person will be available for the first time at Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, NV. For more information about special hotel rates, and cash at the cage locations, visit wsop.com/mainevent.

Note, players are allowed to create and/or fund their online poker accounts prior to arriving within the state borders of Nevada and New Jersey. However, they must be geolocated through a CPU of mobile device to be within the state borders to be able to commence any gaming activity. New players may require document verification and are highly encouraged to register early.

As has been the case each year since 2003, ESPN will air coverage of the 2020 WSOP Main Event featuring Lon McEachern and Norman Chad.

“There must be a World Champion in 2020,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker. “Poker’s history is too important. It’s a unique format for the Main Event, but this is a unique year. We want to keep players’ health and safety top of mind and still deliver a great televised showcase for the game we love.”

Added GGPoker Head of Poker Operations Steve Preiss, “We’re very happy to continue to deepen our relationship with WSOP. It was a huge summer of record-setting action on GGPoker and we’re excited to offer players access to the biggest tournament of all.”

To stay up to date on the latest WSOP news, visit: www.WSOP.com.

SOURCE Caesars Entertainment, Inc.

Gambling in the USA

Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – January 11-17

Niji Narayan

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Welcome to our weekly roundup of American gambling news again! It was again an eventful week in the USA, despite the still-active virus attack.

Here, we are going through the weekly highlights of the American gambling industry which include the latest news, new partnerships and new appointments. Read on and get updated.

Latest News

Online casino content provider Pragmatic Play has expanded its presence in Latin America through the launch of its slots and live casino products with Boldt’s Bplay brands in Argentina and Paraguay. Players registered at Bplay.com.ar and Bplay.com.py, are now able to enjoy leading slot titles such as Wolf Gold and Sweet Bonanza, as well as all Live Casino offering including its latest Game Show release – Mega Wheel.

Boyd Gaming Corporation has announced that it awarded more than $145,000 to non-profit organisations across the country in the Company’s annual holiday competition “Wreaths of Hope.” More than 135 non-profit organisations participated in the 2020 competition, decorating wreaths that were displayed online and at Boyd Gaming properties nationwide. Winners were decided directly by Boyd Gaming customers, who were invited to vote for their favourite charities online and in-person at select participating properties.

Partnerships

Shift4 Payments and Sightline Payments have entered into a strategic partnership to power online gaming and sports betting for casinos and sports venues. This partnership between the two leading fintech companies will deliver a seamless payment experience for patrons of hospitality, online/mobile gaming, on-premise gaming and sports betting venues. Sightline’s online/mobile gaming and betting solutions complement Shift4’s end-to-end payments offering to deliver an all-inclusive payment ecosystem for casinos, sports venues and other hospitality businesses.

BetRivers.com has entered into an exclusive content deal with former NBA coach George Karl. The new partnership makes George Karl an exclusive sports betting endorser of the BetRivers brand. Coach Karl will serve as the company’s brand ambassador and spokesperson and will be engaged in great upcoming promotions and events on BetRivers platforms.

Global esports organisation Gen.G has partnered with McDonald’s Southern California franchisees to organise a series of esports initiatives focused around Los Angeles, San Diego and Palm Springs. Specific events will include a multi-week play-in tournament for employees only and a three-day NBA 2K21 All-Star tournament to determine the best young players in Southern California.

Scientific Games Corporation has extended its existing seven-year instant games and hybrid lottery games contracts with Loto-Québec through 31 January 2022. Scientific Games is a trusted supplier to Loto-Québec for more than five decades, recently celebrating the Lottery’s 50th Anniversary and employing generations of workers from the east Montreal area of Québec. Scientific Games, creates and produces games for Loto-Québec and four Canadian provincial lotteries from its Montreal, Quebec manufacturing facility.

Appointment

Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. has promoted Steven Ladany to the role of senior vice president and chief development officer. In his new role, Steven will lead the Company’s ongoing merger, acquisition and development efforts. Steven joined GLPI in September 2014 as Vice President, Finance and served in that role until March 2019, when he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Finance.

Compliance

Churchill Downs has secured approval for sports betting in Tennessee. Churchill Downs drew approval from the Tennessee Lottery’s Sports Wagering Committee, joining FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings and Tennessee Action 24/7. Churchill Downs’ sportsbook, BetAmerica, is rebranding as TwinSpires. BetAmerica is live in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Australian operator PlayUp has expanded its footprint across the US by acquiring a sports betting license in New Jersey. This is the second market access agreement that PlayUp has announced after the recent acquisition of their Colorado license. To gain the license, PlayUp entered into a multi-year deal with FR Park Racing (FRP) which is the sports wagering certificate holder and operator of the Freehold Racetrack. FRP is owned by Pennwood Racing, and the ultimate 50/50 partners of Pennwood are Greenwood Racing, Penn National Gaming, and Parx Casino.

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eSports

Ubisoft and PayPal Renew Partnership for Rainbow Six Esports Tournament

Niji Narayan

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Ubisoft and PayPal Renew Partnership for Rainbow Six Esports Tournament
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Rainbow Six Siege developer Ubisoft has extended its partnership with major payment platform PayPal until September 2022.

The collaboration is centred on Rainbow Six Siege esports competitions, including both European and North American leagues, their regional Finals, the Six Majors, and the Six Invitationals, along with the Rainbow Six World Cup.

Geoffroy Sardin, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing at Ubisoft, said:

“We are happy to welcome back PayPal as a key partner to accompany us as we keep on growing our Rainbow Six Esports scene. PayPal highly contributed to the success of our previous esports leagues and events, and we’re confident they will continue offering the great experiences and content we envision for our community.

“We are excited to kick off our collaboration with the European League Finals and North American League Finals this January and to unveil the full extent of the partnership over the months to come.”

Jill Cress, Vice President of Consumer Marketing at PayPal, said:

“Video games are at the heart of the digital industry and are expected to grow continuously to $200 bln in the coming years.

“On its own, esports already accounts for an audience of more than 92 million enthusiasts in Europe and is expanding at a fantastic pace with unprecedented community engagement. We are happy to collaborate with Ubisoft once again to offer to their community new and exclusive experiences.”

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Latest News

UK Gambling Firms Accused of Exaggerating Scale of Black Market Betting

Niji Narayan

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UK Gambling Firms Accused of Exaggerating Scale of Black Market Betting
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

UK Gambling firms have been accused of concocting a “dodgy dossier” to exaggerate the scale of black market betting, in an attempt to influence an upcoming government review expected to result in tougher regulation.

Gambling industry figures recently seized on a report claiming that 200,000 people in the UK spend £1.4bn on black market sites every year, warning that tougher regulation could drive more people into the arms of “unscrupulous” operators.

But in a letter to a cross-party group of MPs examining gambling-related harm, the Gambling Commission’s chief executive, Neil McArthur, delivered a withering assessment of the report.

The boss of the gambling regulator said the report, written by consultancy PwC, was “not consistent with the intelligence picture” and did not distinguish between real consumers using black market sites and bots or other automated systems.

He said the report should be treated cautiously, adding that it lacked any evidence to show an increase in illicit betting.

“We know that licensed operators and their trade bodies are concerned about the impact of the illegal market, but our own evidence suggests that the impact may be being exaggerated,” he said.

McArthur said black market concerns should be kept in proportion “despite … reports from consultants paid for by the industry, and should not distract from the need to continue to drive up standards and make gambling safer in the regulated market.”

Such direct criticism from the regulator will be a blow for the industry lobby group, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), which has repeatedly referred to the report to back its arguments against stricter regulations.

The government is considering a range of measures that could involve limiting stakes on online virtual slot machines, or forcing web-based casinos to carry out thorough affordability checks if customers deposit a certain amount per month.

McArthur dismissed BGC’s suggestion that such measures could fuel a surge in black market operations.

“In any event, we are not convinced by the argument that suggests that raising standards in the licensed market will prompt consumers to gamble with illegal operators,” he said.

The Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who chairs the MPs’ group that receive the letter, said: “The online gambling industry talks up the threat of the black market in an attempt to resist regulation and protect its profits, but trying to hijack the debate by manufacturing dodgy dossiers of information to further their own ends is an incredibly transparent tactic and will not be any kind of excuse to hold down standards.”

The BGC and several of the UK’s major betting companies, which commissioned the report, refused a request to provide a copy.

But the Guardian has since obtained both a draft version, dated April 2019, and a final version, dated July 2019.

The two appear identical except that the final version removed a reference to the three firms that commissioned it, Ladbrokes owner GVC, William Hill and The Stars Group, which owned SkyBet and has since merged with Paddy Power owner Flutter.

Matt Zarb-Cousin, a former adviser to Jeremy Corbyn who runs the campaign group Clean Up Gambling, said: “The gambling industry has been quoting from this report as it attempts to drive a race to the bottom in regulation. Having finally seen the contents, it’s clear why it was reluctant to make this report available for public scrutiny.”

A BGC spokesperson said countries with tougher regulation than the UK had bigger black market problems.

“We have repeatedly called on the government to use the online harms bill to crack down on access to these sites, and we would support financial service providers being obliged to block black market transactions,” he said.

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