Sunday, October 21, 2018 6:09 AM

WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event Day 1B Draws 634 Entrants, 140 Progress into Day 2

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WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event Day 1B Draws 634 Entrants, 140 Progress into Day 2

Day 2 to kick off with 236 survivors from the tournament’s two starting flights

The second starting flight of the WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event is now in the books. It drew 634 entries, of whom only 140 survived through the 15 levels that were played at the host casino on Saturday to progress into Day 2.

Alex Triemanis ended up bagging the largest stack of the day with 479,000. However, it will be the Day 1A chip leader, Michael Perrone, who will lead the surviving hopefuls from the tournament’s two starting flights into the second day of action. Perrone scooped 649,000 on Friday night when his starting flight was played.

With Day 1B’s entries, the overall field was brought to a total of 1,094 entrants, which is down from last year’s edition of the tournament when as many as 1,247 contenders entered it to compete for the title and $332,020 in first-place prize money.

Speaking of prize money, the $1,700 buy-in Main Event generated a prize pool of $1,657,410 this year, beating the $1 million guarantee. The top 117 finishers will receive a share of the money, min-cashes starting from $2,718. Each of the players who make it to the official final table of nine will be guaranteed a minimum of $29,999, but they will all eye the first-place prize of $302,492. Along with the cash prize, the tournament’s champ will also scoop a gold ring from the series and will secure a seat into the season-ending Global Casino Championship.

Day 1B Action

As mentioned above, Day 1B was busier than the preceding starting flight as more players rushed to Horseshoe Hammond to register into the tournament. At the end of the day, there were 140 players to bag and tag. The Day 1B field will merge with the Day 1A’s today for the second day of play. A total of 96 players made it through Day 1A on Friday night, which means that as many as 236 hopefuls are expected to return to the host venue later today.

Among the Day 1B survivors were poker pro and WSOP Circuit legend Maurice Hawkins, who fired a second bullet yesterday, after failing to bag on Day 1A, Zo Karim, Aaron Massey, and Anna Antimony. They will join other notables from Day 1A, including gold bracelet winners David Pham and Tom Koral and gold ring winners Robert Hankins and Ralph Massey. Last year’s champion – Blake Battaglia – is also still in contention. The player bagged and tagged 96,500 at the end of Day 1A and will return to fight for a back-to-back title.

Day 2 action is set to resume today at 11 am local time at the host casino. The remaining players are scheduled to play ten one-hour levels. The money bubble will burst at some point in play and the field will be further whittled down to just a few players, who will return tomorrow to play the final day of the tournament.

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Saturday, October 20, 2018 12:24 PM

Michael Perrone Leads WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event Day 1A Survivors

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Michael Perrone Leads WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event Day 1A Survivors

Last year’s champ, Blake Battaglia, eyes a back-to-back title

Main Event action unfolded on Friday at Horseshoe Hammond where the current WSOP Circuit stop is taking place. The first of two starting flights was completed yesterday at the host casino and the names of the first players who secured a seat into Day 2 of the $1,700 buy-in tournament are now clear.

Michael Perrone, a player from Fairport, New York, finished Day 1A as the chip leader, putting 450,000 into his bag. The player is vying for his first-ever title from the series. He scored his best finish in a WSOP Circuit event early this year when he came in 6th in a $365 No-Limit Hold’em at the Choctaw Durant stop of the series. The player collected $27,156 for his run in that event.

One-time gold ring winner Ralph Massey was the player to finish the closest to the chip leader last night. He had 355,000 in chips at the end of Day 1A play. Jeffrey Fielder, a proud owner of two gold rings from the series, grabbed the third largest stack of the night, good for 320,000.

The first flight of the Main Event drew 460 entrants to the tables of Horseshoe Hammond. Of them, just 96 survived through all 15 levels scheduled to secure their spots into Day 2. They will be joined by the Day 1B survivors. The second starting flight of the tournament will start today at noon local time.

Notables Who Played Day 1A

The tournament, with its guaranteed prize pool of $1 million, attracted a number of WSOP Circuit regulars and other notables. WSOP gold bracelet winners Tom Koral and David Pham as well as gold ring winners Robert Hankins, Ryan Phan, and Ralph Massey were among those to make it through the end of the day.

Last year’s Horseshoe Hammond Main Event champion, Blake Battaglia, was, too, among the Day 1A survivors of the 2018 edition of the tournament. Battaglia outlasted 1,247 entries last fall to win the Main Event title, a gold ring, and a first-place prize of $332,020. The player will enter Day 2 of action with 96,500 for a shot at a back-to-back win.

WSOP Circuit notables such as Maurice Hawkins, Kevin Eyster, Aaron Massey, and Mukul Pahuja were among the players to register into the Main Event though Day 1A, but to fail to make it through all 15 levels.

As mentioned earlier, the tournament will feature one more starting flight that is scheduled to be played today from noon local time at the host casino. It will feature 15 levels of play and registration will remain open until the end of Level 13. The Day 1B survivors will combine with the ones who survived Day 1A on Sunday when Day 2 of the tournament will be played.

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US LotteryJackpot Reaches Mega Millions $1B

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US LotteryJackpot Reaches Mega Millions $1B

(AP) — Friday night’s Mega Millions estimated grand prize has hit a staggering $1 billion, continuing a trend of giant jackpots. It’s the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history and joins five other top 10 drawings in the last three years.

 

Friday, October 19, 2018 11:43 AM

Tyler Payne Captures First Gold Ring with WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond $1,250 No-Limit Hold’em Win

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Tyler Payne Captures First Gold Ring with WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond $1,250 No-Limit Hold’em Win

Payne outwits 170 entries to claim his first gold ring from the series

Tyler Payne, a 25-year-old poker pro from Fayetteville, North Carolina, scooped his career’s first gold ring from the WSOP Circuit with a victory at Horseshoe Hammond last night. The player outlasted the 170 entries of the $1,250 No-Limit Hold’em for the gold piece and a first-place prize of $45,900.

The tournament took place over two days at the host casino. As mentioned above, it drew 170 entrants keen to take a shot at the piece of WSOP Circuit jewelry and the prize money. They generated a prize pool of $170,000. The money was split into 18 payouts.

Day 1 of the tournament ended with 24 hopefuls still in the mix for the title. It was namely Payne to lead the pack of 24. The player had managed to swell his 20,000-chip starting stack to 544,500 by the end of the day. He had a massive advantage over his closest rival who happened to be Jim Carr. Carr bagged 388,500 at the end of Day 1.

Day 2 Highlights

As Day 2 action progressed, the money bubble burst and then the unofficial final table of ten was set shortly after. Payne had lost his chip lead by that time, but was actually not that far from the top. He held the second largest stack among the final ten with 772,00 in chips and was only a few big blinds behind the chip leader at the time. Stephen Song led the finalists into that closing stage of the tournament with 838,000.

Payne was part of a stacked final table of several former gold ring winners, including Mukul Pahuja and Kevin Eyster, who each hold three gold rings from the series. In addition, Eyster is also one-time WSOP gold bracelet winner.

Despite the challenging competition, Payne’s final-table ride was smooth and seamless. The player said in his post-victory interview that he felt “like it was [his] the whole time, no tough spots or bad beats.”

Eventually, the tournament’s field was whittled down to just Payne and Eyster. Despite Eyster’s larger collection of WSOP trophies, it was Payne who claimed the $1,250 No-Limit Hold’em title last night.

The two-handed duel only lasted a few hands. Payne said at the beginning of their match that his final opponent had told him he deserved to win the title, to which Eyster responded that he had said that, but that did not mean he would not try to claim the title and his fourth gold ring.

The final hand in play saw Payne’s [Ac][3d] clash into and defeat Eyster’s [As][10h] on a [7h][6s][3c][7s][Qs] board. Eyster scooped $28,366 for his runner-up finish.

While the WSOP Circuit gold ring was extremely important to Payne, he told WSOP staff that he received another, much more important ring, last month. He married his partner Korissa, who the winner revealed has been supporting him the whole way.

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Albanian Parliament Considers State-Run Sports Betting Monopoly, Online Gambling Ban

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Albanian Parliament Considers State-Run Sports Betting Monopoly, Online Gambling Ban

State monopoly could assume control over sports betting operations and online gambling could be banned under new measures discussed by Albanian lawmakers

The government of Albania is considering the establishment of a state-run monopoly on the provision of sports betting services as part of a larger effort to curb the proliferation of gambling in one of Europe’s poorest countries, local news outlet the Tirana Times reports.

News about the latest measure planned by Albanian lawmakers arrive shortly after it was announced that casinos and betting shops will be forced out of residential areas and will have to relocate to city outskirts. Starting January 2019, gambling facilities will only be allowed in tourist areas, 5-star hotels, and non-residential areas under a new bill that recently received blessing by Prime Minister Edi Rama.

According to a fresh report accompanying the newly introduced legal changes on the provision of gambling, lawmakers are “considering the possibility of treating sports betting and betting on races as a state monopoly and allowing their operation by specially set up state structures.”

Gambling services in Albania are currently run exclusively by private entities. According to official data, the nation’s gambling industry generated annual income of over €130 million last year and employed around 7,000 people. However, Albania has also been found to be nurturing a booming black market that annually generates much more than its regulated counterpart.

Online Gambling Crackdown

It has also emerged that Prime Minister Rama’s administration has been preparing a new online gambling regime that would aim to prevent all international gambling websites from targeting Albanian gamblers.

It is yet to be seen what the planned crackdown on Internet gambling will look like, but according to local news outlets, the Prime Minster has provided somewhat conflicting statements on the matter over the past several weeks.

Local media outlet Exit.al reports that Prime Minsiter Rama said in the Parliament earlier today that from January 1 onwards the local gambling industry will see:

“… the shutdown of electronic casinos and sports gambling sites, from soccer matches to races of any type of quadrupeds out there in the world fauna, and [the shutdown] of online gambling.”

However, he added that the “online” part could be subject to further discussion at a later stage and that a well-studied conclusion will be reached, based on the gambling landscape in other countries.

Statements from earlier this month suggested that there will be a full ban on online gambling. The Prime Minister said in a recent tweet that “gambling and this online monopoly will both die on New Year’s Eve” as part of the country’s crackdown.

The new set of rules and measures discussed by Albanian lawmakers also includes restrictions on gambling advertising. Prime Minister Rama ordered that earlier this month all broadcasters and other media outlets remove gambling advertisements or face punitive actions.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018 11:39 PM

Stanley Ho’s Son, Arnaldo, Moves to Revive Dormant Cotai Entertainment Complex Project

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Stanley Ho’s Son, Arnaldo, Moves to Revive Dormant Cotai Entertainment Complex Project

Arnaldo Ho and Macau Theme Park and Resort move forward with the construction of an entertainment resort without the theme park featured in original plans

Arnaldo Ho, son of Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho, announced earlier today plans to revive an entertainment and hospitality project that has remained dormant for eight years, as city authorities have moved to seize vacant land, Reuters reports.

Macau Theme Park and Resort Ltd., the real estate developer led by Mr. Ho, today announced that they plan to develop an 820-room hotel and leisure amenities on a portion of land located on the Cotai Strip, known to be the Macau equivalent of the legendary Las Vegas Strip. The resort will cost HK$5 billion (approximately $638 million) and will open doors in 2020.

The project was first introduced in 2010 by Mr. Ho’s mother, Angela Leong, but little progress has been made toward its materialization since then. The original plan included five hotels with themes such as popular character Hello Kitty, an equestrian center, convention facilities, an indoor beach, and multiple other amenities. Under that initial plan, the resort would have also featured a theme park.

However, it was namely the theme park portion of the scheme that delayed the start of development work. The developer applied back in 2010 for a permission to add a theme park to the resort’s facilities, but has never been given the necessary legislative approval to do that.

Why Now?

It is believed that Macau Theme Park and Resort’s decision to proceed with the construction of the property has to do with a 2013 law that aimed to prevent developers from buying land to profit from value rises without conducting any development activities on it. Under the law, local authorities have begun seizing vacant land across the popular gambling hub. According to Reuters, as many as 100 plots have been seized over the past year.

Mr. Ho said today that they are moving forward with the project without the theme part, but also pointed out that they “continue to communicate with the government and hope it can give [them] the opportunity to develop a new Macau theme park.”

The new hotel and entertainment resort will be named Lisboeta and will be located on a portion of land not far from where SJM Holdings, the gaming and hospitality company owned by casino mogul Stanley Ho, is building the $4.6-billion Lisboa Palace. The mega-resort is expected to open doors sometime in 2019.

Arnaldo Ho said today that Lisboeta will have a more nostalgic feel. The property will recreate the Macau Palace floating casino that was featured on the 1974 James Bond classic The Man with the Golden Gun and will feature a number of other attractions.

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Your Guide To NJ Sports Betting As NFL And NBA Games Pick Up The Pace

Your Guide To NJ Sports Betting As NFL And NBA Games Pick Up The Pace
compass

For now, there are 8 retail sportsbooks and 8 online sports betting apps in New Jersey. But NJ sports betting is just getting started.

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Aruze Gaming Receives Gold Medal for Muso Triple-27 as the Best Slot Product at G2E 2018

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Aruze Gaming Receives Gold Medal for Muso Triple-27 as the Best Slot Product at G2E 2018
Aruze Gaming receives gold medal for Muso Triple-27 as the Best Slot Product at the Global Gaming Expo 2018

Praesepe raise charitable donation to £1m for CHIPS!

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Praesepe raise charitable donation to £1m for CHIPS!

Praesepe, the Gauselmann owned company that operates the Cashino brand of adult gaming centres and Beacon Bingo clubs in the UK

Is A Merger Between Caesars And Golden Nugget In The Cards?

Is A Merger Between Caesars And Golden Nugget In The Cards?
Caesars Golden Nugget merger

Tilman Fertitta, the owner of the Golden Nugget, has reportedly approached Caesars about a possible reverse merger.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:12 PM

Majority of New Gambling Accounts in Sweden Registered with International Operators, Report Finds

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Majority of New Gambling Accounts in Sweden Registered with International Operators, Report Finds

Off-shore gambling operators have proved particularly popular with Swedish gamblers over the past year

Accounts registered with international online gambling operators represent 60% of all online gambling registrations made over the past 12 months in Sweden, local consultancy firm Mediavision reported earlier today.

The firm also found that nearly 60% of all Swedes aged between 18-74 have an online gambling account, up 12% from last year. Svenska Spel, the state-run operator that holds the monopoly over most of the gambling services provided on the country’s territory, still holds the largest share of all registered accounts. Mediavision reported that combined, all regulated gambling operators account for around 58% of all registered gambling accounts.

However, international operators seem to be gaining momentum as approximately 60% of all new registrations made over the past twelve months were namely with companies targeting Swedish gamblers from outside the country.

Commenting on the latest trends discovered by the consultancy firm, Mediavision’s Mazyar Sajjadi said that a possible explanation why new and existing customers seem to be more and more drawn to international gambling operators is “their marketing with special offers and deposit bonuses.” Licensed Swedish operators are banned from offering any such bonuses to lure customers, under the country’s current laws.

Sweden’s new gambling regulations are just a couple of months away from taking effect. From January 1, 2019 onwards, international operators will be able to operate legally in the country as long as they have obtained a license from the local gambling regulator, Lotteriinspektionen.

The Swedish Gambling Authority launched the application process in July and has recently announced that it has so far received 55 applications from international gambling companies that are interested to operate in the newly regulated local market.

Local News Outlet Slapped with Fine over Gambling Ads

News emerged late last week that the Administrative Court has slapped a SEK100,000 fine on local news outlet Nyheter24 for failing to remove links featured on its website that were referring to international online gambling websites that were not licensed in Sweden.

The case was first brought to media attention back in 2014 when Lotteriinspektionen filed for an injunction against the media outlet. In October 2017, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled in favor of the regulatory body. However, Nyheter24 was found to have not removed the links to the internationally licensed online gambling products.

Swedish media outlets have for years been heavily criticized for featuring gambling-related advertisements. However, they felt encouraged to do so after the European Commission had declared the country’s monopoly system over the provision of gambling services one that violated EU principles for free trade and movement of goods and services among member states.

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With NBA Bets In Mind, SugarHouse Sportsbook Jumps Ship From Golden Nugget To Monmouth

With NBA Bets In Mind, SugarHouse Sportsbook Jumps Ship From Golden Nugget To Monmouth
jump ship

SugarHouse Sportsbook moved its NJ sports betting site to Monmouth's license because of NBA betting restrictions imposed on its partner, Golden Nugget.

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Mohammed Nuwwarah Takes Down WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond $600 H.O.R.S.E.

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Mohammed Nuwwarah Takes Down WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond $600 H.O.R.S.E.

Nuwwarah captures debut WSOP Circuit title on his 32nd birthday

Mohammed Nuwwarah, an Omaha, Nebraska resident with solid poker background, won last night the $600 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. that played as part of the ongoing WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond series. The player captured a gold ring and a cash prize of $14,008 after besting 95 like-minded fans of mixed game formats.

Nuwwarah is a member of a poker media by trade, but playing the game is also something he enjoys and apparently is good at. He told WSOP staff after his triumph last night that he likes all Stud games and that he is not a big Omaha 8 or Better fan. Ironically, he won his first piece of WSOP Circuit gold namely while playing an Omaha 8 or Better hand, so he dislikes the game a little less now.

As mentioned, the tournament, marked as Event #7 on the Horseshoe Hammond schedule, featured a 95-strong field that generated a prize pool of $43,775. Apart from the eventual winner, nine more players left with a payout from the H.O.R.S.E. event.

The tournament was played over two days. The second and final day kicked off with 23 lucky hopefuls advancing from Day 1. Cory Chaput led the pack of survivors into the second day of action. He was followed by none other but the eventual champion. Chaput had a total of 181,500 in chips at the start of Day 2, while Nuwwarah held 135,000.

Final Table Highlights

By the time there were just nine players left in contention, Nuwwarah had already swelled his stack and emerged as the chip leader. Nine-handed action kicked off with the eventual champ holding 465,000 in chips, nearly two times more than his nearest competitor – Christopher Grzadziel.

Final table play unfolded relatively quickly until there were just two players left. Michael Hanson was the hopeful whom Nuwwarah faced heads-up. Hanson, too, was vying for his first ring from the series.

What came next was an action-packed three-hour duel that saw Nuwwarah drop to just nine big blinds at some point and then recover to claim the title. Chips swung back and forth for a while and none of the remaining players was happy to give up on the title without a good fight. Eventually, an Omaha 8 or Better hand brought the tournament to a long-anticipated end. Hanson departed with a payout of $8,657 for his runner-up finish.

It is interesting to note that Nuwwarah was a birthday boy yesterday. He said at the beginning of heads-up that he hoped play would extended until after midnight “to outlast the birthday run good.” However, the player emerged as the tournament’s victor five minutes before midnight. Nuwwarah told WSOP staff that he would give his piece of WSOP jewelry to his mother.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018 11:30 PM

Scientific Games Wins Big During Major Gaming Entertainment Industry Events

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Scientific Games Wins Big During Major Gaming Entertainment Industry Events

Company Wins Three Global Gaming Awards at G2E, Wraps Strong Showing at NASPL

Former Kenyan MP Accuses David Baazov of Fraud and Gambling Proceeds Misappropriation

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Former Kenyan MP Accuses David Baazov of Fraud and Gambling Proceeds Misappropriation

Amaya founder and former CEO David Baazov lands in hot water, former Kenyan lawmaker comes forward with serious fraud accusations

A former Kenyan MP accused Amaya Gaming Group (now The Stars Group) and its founder, businessman David Baazov, of misappropriating billions of Kenyan shillings through NIC Bank accounts after the company entered the East African country in 2010.

Kennedy Nyagudi, a former MP representing the city of Kisumu, claimed Amaya had allegedly conspired with the above-mentioned bank to move abroad billions of Kenyan shillings that had been generated by the Canadian gambling giant’s local subsidiary.

Amaya formed its Kenyan subsidiary in 2010. Mr. Nyagudi said in an investigative documentary that aired on KTN News earlier this week that he held a 15% stake in the subsidiary and was listed as one of its Directors. Mr. Baazov reportedly owned the remaining 85% stake in Amaya’s Kenyan branch.

The company launched two products – the M-Lotto Sweepstakes and the Mega Mega Kwachua mamilii lottery – which quickly gained popularity among Kenyan gamblers and raked in millions of Kenyan shillings shortly after they commenced operation.

The proceeds from Mega Mega Kwachua mamilii lottery product, which totaled KSh375 million, according to Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), were initially being wired to Amaya’s account at Equity Bank, Mr. Nyagudi revealed. Under the country’s gambling law, any gambling operation is obligated to contribute 25% of its gross proceeds to a local charity. In the case of Amaya, it was supposed to donate money to the Lion’s Heart Self Help Group. The organization was established to help orphans and widowed women in Kenya’s Siaya County.

By October 2011, the gambling company had not donated the required amount to the charity. The then-Chairman of the BCLB, Kenya’s gambling regulator, filed an affidavit to reveal how much Amaya had collected from its Kenyan lottery operations. According to the affidavit, the company had reaped in the approximate amount of KSh375 million and was supposed to contribute KSh93 million to the Lion’s Heart organization. However, the charity claimed the gambling giant owed it well over KSh73 million.

New Bank Account

Mr. Nyagudi further said that Mr. Baazov then opened new bank accounts in NIC Bank without the former lawmaker’s knowledge and stopped transferring money to the Equity Bank accounts. The new accounts were opened in Mr. Nyagudi’s name and were allegedly used by the Canadian-Israeli businessman and associates of his to siphon around KSh500 billion out of Kenya.

The former Kenyan lawmaker is now suing Mr. Baazov, his alleged accomplices and NIC Bank, accusing the businessman of fraud and the bank of helping him to conduct improper money transfers. Mr. Nyagudi also said earlier this week that he has filed a notice to Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions to inform them that he intends to prosecute the bank privately for failing to disclose details about Mr. Baazov and his accounts. NIC Bank had previously been issued an order to provide details about Amaya’s Kenyan operation and about the Canadian-Israeli businessman’s dealings but had refused to do so and the agencies responsible for prosecution had failed to take further action.

Mr. Baazov was up until recently the subject of insider trading investigation and prosecution in his home country. The businessman was probed for allegedly trading inside information about the company prior to Amaya’s $4.9-billion acquisition of The Rational Group, parent company of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands, and thus affecting his company’s stock price.

The Quebec securities watchdog, Autorit√© des marches financiers (AMF), brought 23 charges against Mr. Baazov in March 2016, which marked the beginning of a lengthy trial. The Court of Quebec decided to stay the legal proceedings against the businessman this past summer, arguing that the AMF had made “repeated errors” and showed a “lack of rigor” over the course of its investigation.

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Genting UK Launch Brand New Gaming Product to Market

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Genting UK Launch Brand New Gaming Product to Market

Leading casino operator Genting UK has launched a brand-new tournament game called SpinSplosion®. The first of its kind in the UK.

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