Thursday, May 31, 2018 5:54 PM

UK Gambling Industry GGY Increases According to UKGC Report

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UK Gambling Industry GGY Increases According to UKGC Report

Today, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) published its latest six-month update to the local gambling industry statistics. The main regulatory body in the UK revealed some details about the market changes and latest trends in the sector, as well as about players’ activity in the period from October 2016 to November 2017.

Such statistics about the performance, customer participation and trends in the sector are published twice a year, in May and then in November. The information released by the Commission is aimed at providing the latest data about the industry, including both land-based and online gambling services offered to UK customers.

The information rolled out by the major regulator in the country has been provided by the companies which run their services under an operation licenses issues by the UKGC.

Remote Gambling Sector on the Rise

According to the Commission, the UK gambling industry generated an overall gross gambling yield of £13.9 billion in the above-mentioned 12-month period. The figures represent a 0.7% increase in comparison to the result posted for the period between April 2016 to March 2017.

The main gambling regulatory body of the UK further revealed that the market share of the country’s remote gambling sector rose by 1% in the twelve months from October 2016 to November 2017 compared to the previous period. In addition, the online gambling industry saw a 3.7% increase in its overall gross gambling yield, reaching £4.9 billion at the time.

As far as the land-based gambling sector in the country is concerned, the UK Gambling Commission reported that the total number of betting shops on the territory of the UK amounted to 8,532. According to the data provided, the figure represented a 3.2% decline from the number of betting outlets in March 2017. There was also a 0.7% drop in the overall number of gaming machines in the UK to 183,928, with the ones requiring a local authority license only being excluded from that number.

A slight 2% increase from March 2017 in the number of bingo premises in the UK was registered. As revealed by the UKGC report, there were 649 bingo halls in the country. As far as casino premises are concerned, two new casinos have started operation since March 2017, with the overall number of casinos in the country rising to 152. In addition, a 3.5% decline was registered in the number of licensed arcades in the country from March 2017, with their number reaching 1,810.

A total of 106,366 people worked in the UK gambling sector in September 2017, with a 0.8% drop registered from March 2017.

Apart from the results of the land-based and online gambling sector, the UK Gambling Commission also provided some details about the contributions to good causes generated by large society lotteries. The regulatory body explained that there was a slight 1.7% drop to £251 million in comparison to the result posted between April 2016 and March 2017.

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Vikings go to Hell online slot game -- YGGDRASIL GAMING

Vikings go to Hell online slot game -- YGGDRASIL GAMING

Yggdrasil Gaming has announced the return of the Vikings with the launch of its new blockbuster video slot, Vikings go to Hell.

Finnplay Expands FansBet’s Network of Sports Betting Sites

Finnplay Expands FansBet’s Network of Sports Betting Sites

Finnplay, the Finland-based open gaming platform provider, confirmed that it has expanded its platform agreement with FansBet, a growing network of sports betting websites, focusing on delivering betting entertainment for British football's most loyal patrons, its fans.

Hard Rock Announces $700-Million Tampa Casino Expansion

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Hard Rock Announces $700-Million Tampa Casino Expansion

Florida-based gaming and hospitality operator Hard Rock International unveiled Wednesday a massive $700-million expansion plan for its Tampa hotel and casino property. The expansion will include the addition of more gaming options, a new hotel tower, and multiple new entertainment facilities.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is home to Florida’s largest casino. Hard Rock said in a Wednesday statement that with its new additions, the property will offer full-scale resort experience.

The multi-million expansion will be carried out over a year and is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

Hard Rock plans to add more gaming space to its existing floor as well as more slot machines and gaming tables. Once the expansion is complete, Tampa casino will feature nearly 200 gaming tables and 5,000 slot machines.

A 15-story hotel tower will be built as part of the project, Hard Rock confirmed. The hotel with its new 564 rooms and suites will bring the Tampa property’s accommodation options to a total of 800 hotel rooms and 88 suites. The top floor of the new tower will be occupied by a private gaming space for VIP gamblers. It will feature exclusive check-in and private elevators to cater to Hard Rock’s wealthiest gambling customers.

Further Details about the Planned Expansion

Hard Rock will add three “ultra-lavish” outdoor pools to its resort. A 120-seat pool grill and bar as well as a 25,000-square-foot spa will be among the new facilities guests and visitors will be pampered at.

The floor above the casino will be occupied by a new 30,000-square-foot event center that will also include a 17,000-square foot grand ballroom. Hard Rock said it hopes that the new facility would attract companies and business group to hold their conventions and trade shows there. The event center will also be able to accommodate larger-scale poker tournaments. Here it is important to note that Hard Rock’s Seminole casinos across Florida have long been regular hosts to different poker series, including the World Poker Tour.

The gaming and hospitality giant also revealed future plans for the addition of four new retail shops at the resort. The Tampa property currently features just two. The expansion project further includes new 700 parking spots at the casino. Total parking at the property will thus be brought to over 6,000 spots.

Hard Rock said that its expansion plan will create over 2,000 construction jobs and 1,000 part-time and full-time jobs once construction is complete and the renovated and expanded complex is fully operational. The Tampa property currently employs more than 3,500 people.

The $700-million expansion in Tampa comes as part of a larger renovation and expansion project undertaken by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the owner of Hard Rock International. Last year, the tribe announced a $1.5-billion expansion scheme for its Hollywood property. That plan includes the construction of a guitar-shaped hotel tower at the existing complex and the addition of a number of entertainment and food and beverage options. Construction work at that property, too, is expected to be completed next year.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018 5:36 PM

Potential Repercussions of the Big Fish Decision

Potential Repercussions of the Big Fish Decision
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently found a social casino game platform, Big Fish Casino, to constitute illegal gambling under Washington State law.

GameArt Scoops MIGEA Malta Digital Company Award

GameArt Scoops MIGEA Malta Digital Company Award


GameArt, the premium developer of slot games to the online and land-based gaming industry, has been awarded Best Digital Company of the Year Award recently held at MiGEA Malta iGaming Excellence Awards.

Swiss Voters Seem to Support Foreign Online Casinos Ban

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Swiss Voters Seem to Support Foreign Online Casinos Ban

A nationwide opinion poll in Switzerland has shown that plans for a gambling law amendment are making progress ahead of the vote scheduled for June 10th.

Only a few weeks before the changes in the existing gambling legislation takes place, the leading polling and research institute GfS Bern revealed that 58% of a recent survey’s respondents will back the reform, which is set to include a foreign online casinos ban and tighter regulation aimed at reducing gambling addiction in the country. The result represented a 6% increase in the number of voters who are willing to support the amendment in comparison to a previous survey commissioned by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation.

According to Lukas Golder, co-director of GfS Bern, the announced result is a trend which was by no doubt in favor of the local Government. As revealed by the polling and research institute, 58% of the survey’s respondents backed the gambling law amendment, while 37% were against the change. The remaining 5% of the respondents have not decided whether to back it yet. Mr. Golder, however, explained that the gambling legislation issue has not managed to gain popularity among the general public, in spite of the massive campaign on the social media.

Youth Wings of Local Political Parties Oppose the Amendment

The increasing percentage of Swiss residents who seem to be approving the reform is considered to be due to the rising concerns over an expected lotteries and casinos’ revenue decline. The proceeds accumulated by these gambling operations are normally used to fund age pension schemes and other social services.

According to the results of a study released by the Justice ministry, a ban imposed on overseas online casinos would cost Switzerland no less than CHF250 million on annual basis. The overall proceeds brought to the country by gambling operations have been estimated to approximately CHF1 billion per year.

The country’s Parliament approved the new piece of gambling legislation in 2017. Under the law, only domestically-licensed casinos will be allowed to offer web-based games, while foreign casinos’ websites are to be banned. Center-right and right political parties, however, opposed the law and managed to gather the necessary 50,000 signatures to schedule a nationwide vote on the matter.

As mentioned above, support for the legislation amendment has been growing lately, especially in the German-speaking regions and in rural areas. The issue related to the ban that is to be imposed on the foreign casinos has not raised enough interest, with the mobilization of voters remaining relatively low.

Only residents in the age group from 18 to 29 years appeared to firmly oppose the reform. According to the research results, one of the main reasons why younger Switzerland citizens were against the amendment is the fact that they were concerned over the restrictions which may be imposed on the use of the Internet. This trend is also followed by the youth wings of the main political parties, with younger politicians backing campaigns against the legislation change.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018 11:51 PM

Ocean Resort Casino Teams Up With William Hill For Atlantic City Sportsbook

Ocean Resort Casino Teams Up With William Hill For Atlantic City Sportsbook

Ocean Resort Casino and William Hill will team up to offer "the best sportsbook in town" when the AC casino opens on June 28. The news comes on the heels of the Supreme Court's positive ruling in the NJ sports betting case.

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Zitro Reaffirms Its Commitment In The Region During The Zitro Experience In Buenos Aires with a solid and Close Leadership

Zitro Reaffirms Its Commitment In The Region During The Zitro Experience In Buenos Aires with a solid and Close Leadership

On May 23, Zitro celebrated its first Zitro Experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the emblematic FAENA hotel in Puerto Madero.

Poker’s Most Profitable So Far This Year

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Poker’s Most Profitable So Far This Year

We are just five months into the year but some of poker’s finest players have already added millions of dollars to their bankrolls. They have traveled the world, faced other fine and seasoned players and have outmaneuvered them to be rewarded for their skills.

Just as many poker professionals and enthusiasts are readying for this year’s World Series of Poker, Casino News Daily has compiled a quick list of the most profitable players so far in 2018. Here is a little bit more information about how much they have won and how they have performed the past several months.

Justin Bonomo – $8,907,138

Bonomo has been on a hot streak over the past five months and it seems that he has no intention to end his winning spree. The player has cashed nearly $9 million since the beginning of the year from 15 different tournaments. There is more to the story, he won five of these and made final table appearances in most of the other.

Half of Bonomo’s 2018 live tournament earnings came from his first-place finish in the HK$2-million buy-in Super High Roller Bowl China. The popular poker pro bested a field of 75 seasoned high rollers to collect $4,823,077 from the event’s prize pool. Bonomo defeated Finland’s Patrik Antonius (who will appear later in this list) heads-up.

Aside from his Super High Roller Bowl China triumph, he also took down the Lucky Hearts Poker Open $25,500 High Roller for $556,873, a US Poker Open $10,500 event for $190,400, the EPT Monte Carlo €25,000 No-Limit Hold’em for €378,000, and the EPT Monte Carlo €25,000 Single Re-Entry for €259,700.

Jason Koon – $6,837,091

Koon is, too, having quite some year and quite a month, to be more precise. The player won high roller tournaments on two continents over a week’s span. He first outlasted 103 entries in the partypoker-sponsored HK$1,000,000 Triton Super High Roller Montenegro to scoop a hefty payout of $3,569,836.

Just a few days later, the player claimed another title and another seven-figure payout. He won the Aria $100K High roller during the WPT Tournament of Champions Festival at Aria Resort & Casino. Koon was the last man standing from a field of 31 entries. His share of the prize pool totaled $1,039,940.

Koon has cashed in seven events since the beginning of the year and has won one more tournament over the past few months. During this year’s PCA, the poker pro bested the field of the $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em, good for a prize of $421,080.

Stephen Chidwick – $5,906,441

UK’s second most profitable player of all time rounds out the podium of this year’s most profitable live tournament poker players. Chidwick has finished in the money in 15 tournaments since January and has won several of them to add nearly $6 million to his already hefty poker bankroll.

The UK poker pro started off 2018 with victories in two US Poker Open tournaments, both of them $25,000 buy-in ones. He scooped more than $700,000 from those. Just a couple of days ago, the player took down a $25,000 Aria High Roller event for $300,000.

Back in April, Chidwick collected two seven-figure payouts from the partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona festival. He first finished runner-up to Jake Schindler in the €100,000 Super High Roller for €1.1 million in prize money, and then collected €1 million for his third-place finish in the €10,300 Main Event.

Patrik Antonius – $4,537,936

We have seen more and more from the Finn over the past months which is always good, as we all know how good he is at this game. The player has cashed in just five events this year, but one of these was the above-mentioned Super High Roller Bowl China.

Antonius collected $3,153,551 from that tournament after outlasting all but one of the contenders for the title. In February, the player put up great performance at the partypoker MILLIONS Germany at King’s Casino Rozvadov to win the €25,500 Super High Roller for a first-place prize of €425,000.

Jake Schindler – $4,411,041

Schindler rounds out the list of the five most profitable players so far this year with nearly $4.5 million added to his bankroll. He has cashed in 17 tournaments since the beginning of 2018, which is an impressive number itself. In addition, he actually topped the fields of some of these events.

As already mentioned, the player emerged victorious in the €100,000 Super High Roller during the partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona. His share of the tournament’s massive prize pool amounted to €1,750,000. Schindler has also won a couple of Aria High Roller tournaments over the past several months and has cashed in some other such tournaments.

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Upcoming Summer Poker Festivals: Las Vegas Edition

Casino News Daily
Upcoming Summer Poker Festivals: Las Vegas Edition

With this year’s Super High Roller Bowl now being halfway through and the 49th annual World Series of Poker being just a couple of hours away from kicking off with record 78 gold bracelets up for grabs, Las Vegas has already drawn a humongous number of the world’s best poker pros as well as of recreational players who love the game just as fiercely as any professional out there.

And while the above-mentioned two events are certainly getting and will be getting the most attention, they are not the only ones set to take place in the major gambling hub this summer. In fact, popular Las Vegas casinos are gearing up for a summer of poker thrill and exciting events.

Here are some of the other major festivals that are slated to run in the mecca of casino gambling and entertainment over the next several weeks.

Grand Poker Series

Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in downtown Vegas is set to have its own big series going on over the next month or so. This year’s edition of the Grand Poker Series is slated to begin later today at the gambling venue and to run through July 3.

It will feature more than 80 different poker events and poker formats. Some of the tournaments will feature guaranteed prize pools, with guarantees going up all the way through half a million dollars. Most of the events will be single-day ones, but there will be a few that will feature multiple starting flights and will be played over a couple of days.

The four-day $570 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event will begin on June 28. It will be one of the events that will feature a guaranteed prize pool of $500,000.

Wynn Summer Classic

The 2018 Wynn Summer Classic will kick off on June 1 and will take place all the way through July 16 at the highly popular Wynn Las Vegas. Similarly to the Grand Poker Series, the festival will feature a plethora of events varying in buy-ins and formats, and most of those will take place over a single day.

The Wynn Summer Poker Classic’s schedule includes over 30 different tournaments with very attractive guaranteed prize pools of up to $1 million. It is also important to note that most of those events’ guarantees are six-figure ones.

The $1,600 Main Event is scheduled for July 9. The tournament will be played over five days and will include three starting flights. Entries will contend for the title and the largest share of the guaranteed $1.5-million prize pool.

Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer are almost upon those living or visiting the hot Nevada desert and Binion’s Hotel and Casino is offering an escape from the heat with a month-long summer poker festival. The Dog Days of Summer poker celebrations will take place on June 1-July 1 with more than two dozens of different tournaments.

The schedule of this upcoming festival deserves to be paid quite some attention due to its diversity of formats to be featured. Aside from popular formats like No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha, players will also be able to participate in the likes of a $365 buy-in Crazy Stud Mix (Razzudugi; Hi/Lo Regular; Hi/Lo 8) and a $365 Mixed Triple Draw (2-7; A-5; Badugi).

Sumer Poker Series

The Summer Poker Series at The Orleans Hotel & Casino will be another month-long festival to take place in Las Vegas this summer. It will run from June 1 through July 1. The festival features a huge schedule with a wide variety of poker variants that will certainly meet every player’s taste and demands for poker action.

As with the above-mentioned events, this one will, too, feature mostly single-day events. Players will thus be able to enter the ones they feel most comfortable to participate in and to even hop from one casino to another to check out all the festivals set to take place over the next month both on the legendary Strip and in downtown Las Vegas.

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Monday, May 28, 2018 6:27 PM

We’re A Week From Action On NJ Sports Betting Bill As Assembly Sets Committee Date

We’re A Week From Action On NJ Sports Betting Bill As Assembly Sets Committee Date
New Jersey capitol

The Assembly Tourism, Gaming, and the Arts Committee will debate a proposed NJ sports betting bill on June 4, according to sources in the New Jersey Legislature.

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Star Entertainment Revenue Boosted by VIP Customers and Queensland Businesses

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Star Entertainment Revenue Boosted by VIP Customers and Queensland Businesses

One of the largest Australian gaming and entertainment groups, Star Entertainment Group, shared that high-roller customers and Queensland businesses have brought larger revenue, at a time when the company has been focused on new Gold Coast- and Brisbane-located projects’ roll-out.

As reported by the operator, the strong revenue growth registered since the beginning of the year has been backed by the boom in the local tourism market, as the number of international VIP customers has also increased. In addition, Star Entertainment further announced a large increase in the amount of the transformational revamp and expansion of its Brisbane-situated Queen’s Wharf project, with a 25% boost in the gross area which is expected to bring the resort costs up from AU$1.8 to AU$2.4 billion.

The company is currently engaged with the development of its AU$2.4-billion Queen’s Wharf resort situated in the central business district of Brisbane. Today, the gambling operator revealed that its revenue increased by 16.4% in the period from January to May 2018.

As revealed by Matt Bekier, the Chief Executive Officer of Star Entertainment, official offers for the first phase of the Queen’s Wharf project are set to be released in June. He further explained that additional dining and retail areas are also planned for the resort. As previously revealed, the foundations, as well as the basement of the project are set to be laid down in 2019, while the construction above the ground expected to begin a year later, in 2020.

More Regulatory Clarity Needed for Gold Coast Tower Project

As mentioned above, Mr. Bekier revealed that the floor area of the company’s Queen’s Wharf project would be bigger than the one originally planned, due to expanded retail and dining area. According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, the increase reflects the confidence which Star Entertainment has in Queensland and Brisbane.

The company’s boss explained that the increase marked in the number of tourists and higher interstate migration have helped the economy of the state.

The Star Entertainment Group has revealed that the construction of its Gold Coast casino’s new accommodation tower is planned to kick off in August 2018. However, the company still needed more clarity to be brought on the matter, with the State Government expected to say whether the operator would need another casino license, especially for the tourist strip. According to Mr. Bekier, Star Entertainment is absolutely fine with the planned investment in the new tower, but more regulatory clarity would be needed before further investment is given a go.

Kate Jones, the Minister of Queensland Tourism Industry Development is expected to meet with potential supporters of the new resorts in the region. Previously, Star’s CEO shared his opinion that the Gold Coast did not need another casino resort, considering his company’s plans to built four more towers of up to 74 storeys at the already existing Broadbeach venue. In any case, no more poker machines are proposed at the site in question.

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Scots Clinic to Treat Cryptocurrency Addicts

Casino News Daily
Scots Clinic to Treat Cryptocurrency Addicts

A Scots clinic will be offering residential treatment to cryptocurrency aficionados who have got hooked on digital currencies trading, The Times reports.

Castle Craig Hospital in Peeblesshire, Scotland has launched a residential treatment course to help “crypto addicts” recover from their addiction and get back to a life without obsessive cryptocurrency trading.

Many experts have likened cryptocurrency trading to online gambling, and Castle Craig Hospital will be treating its cryptocurrency addicts in a manner similar to how it would approach a problem gambler, it is understood.

Therapists at the Scots clinic have pointed out that they believe the activity could easily turn into a behavioral addiction with users checking cryptocurrencies’ price obsessively and in every single moment possible.

Former cocaine and gambling addict Tony Marini will lead some of the treatments as part of the cryptocurrency addiction treatment course. Mr. Marini has told media that having experienced it himself, he has “insight and empathy” towards people who are struggling with the same or similar issues. He went on to comment that cryptocurrency addicts become addicts as they usually see the activity as a form of escapism from a world they do not really like.

Castle Craig Hospital already specializes in the treatment of people addicted to various drugs and alcohol. It has also been running gambling addiction programs. As mentioned above, the clinic has actually revealed that it would use namely its experience in treating gambling addicts to help bitcoin and other cryptocurrency junkies.

Cryptocurrency Craze

While the number of people addicted to cryptocurrency trading is unknown, it is believed that there are more than 13 million people trading around the world.

According to Chris Burn, who has formerly treated problem gamblers and gambling addicts at Castle Craig Hospital, the cryptocurrency market, with its high-risk fluctuating nature, has been found particularly appealing to people prone to problem gambling behavior. He, too, said he believes trading offers an escape from reality. Mr. Burn went on to note that to him, bitcoin and its likes were “a classic bubble situation” with the huge gains and huge losses made by aficionados over a very short period of time.

Bitcoin’s price jumped nearly 1,500% last year and reached an all-time high of over $19,800 in mid-December, and then plummeted overnight to set off a massive scare among many, while encouraging others to take advantage of the lower prices and dive deeper into the trading of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The debate over the addictiveness of cryptocurrency trading has been growing and will certainly continue growing as the rising number of success stories of people buying at what could seem an insignificant price and netting humongous amounts of money at a later stage are only going to keep fueling the crypto hype.

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Sunday, May 27, 2018 6:12 AM

Matthew Waxman Wins WPT Tournament of Champions

Casino News Daily
Matthew Waxman Wins WPT Tournament of Champions

It started off with 80 former WPT Main Tour Main Event champions, but it was Matthew Waxman who outlasted that elite field to become this year’s WPT Tournament of Champions winner. The player claimed the title and the first-place prize of $463,375 after picking off a bluff from his heads-up opponent Matas Cimbolas.

Waxman and Cimbolas were two of the five players who returned for Day 3 of the prestigious tournament. Instead of playing that final day at Aria Resort & Casino, the remaining survivors switched venues and their final battle thus took place at the brand new Esports Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor.

Waxman entered the final day of action third in chips, while Cimbolas held the second largest stack at the time when cards were thrown in the air. The five finalists were led by Darren Elias, who won his record fourth WPT title just a few days ago.

The player maintained his momentum for a while, but then lost his chip lead to Waxman. Elias eventually busted in third place, thus missing the chance to win a back-to-back title and smash another record. He collected $177,060 in prize money.

Nick Schulman was actually the first player to leave the final table on Day 3. He was eliminated in fifth place namely by Elias. His share of the $1,365,000 prize pool totaled $89,290. David Benyamine went out in fourth, good for $123,045.

Heads-Up Action

Waxman was the player to set the two-handed match after he eliminated Elias in third place. The eventual champion entered heads-up as a chip leader with 2:1 advantage over Cimbolas. The first half of their duel saw chips swinging back and forth from one player to the other and vice versa.

Waxman then began to pull ahead of his final opponent until he took controlling advantage. On the final hand in play, the eventual champion check-called the three streets with [Qc][7d]. Cimbolas moved all in on the river with [10h][3s] on a [Kd][2h][Qs][4s][8h] board. Waxman quickly picked off his opponent’s bluff and called to claim the title and the largest share of the prize pool. Cimbolas exited the tournament in second place, good for $265,590.

As for Waxman’s first-place prize, it also includes a $15,000 seat into next season’s WPT Tournament of Champions, a luxurious Hublot watch, a JetSmarter membership worth $50,000, and the one and only WTP Tournament of Champions trophy.

Talking to WPT staff minutes after his triumph, Waxman said that it took him some time to decide whether he should play in the Tournament of Champions or not due to the high buy-in, the elite field, and the lack of much confidence in his game. It seems that he has made the right decision, though.

The event concluded Season XVI of the popular poker series. As mentioned above, it attracted 80 entries, including the winners from throughout the season and players who had won WPT titles during previous seasons. A prize pool of $1,365,000 was generated to be split among the top 10 finishers, min-cashes starting from $39,840.

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Saturday, May 26, 2018 5:57 AM

Darren Elias Leads WPT Tournament of Champions Final Table, Eyes Back-To-Back Wins

Casino News Daily
Darren Elias Leads WPT Tournament of Champions Final Table, Eyes Back-To-Back Wins

The second day of the WPT Tournament of Champions was completed on Saturday at Aria Resort & Casino. It started with 29 players but just five of them survived through the very end of the day and are still in contention for the title and the $463,375 first-place prize.

Day 2 of the tournament kicked off with Dennis Blieden leading the pack of 29 hopefuls from Day 1. The player had a solid run during the first day of the WPT Tournament of Champions and methodically built a massive stack into Day 2. However, it appeared he had lost some of his momentum when he returned to the tables yesterday to eventually lose his chip advantage. The player was eliminated in 11th later on Day 2 to become the unfortunate bubble boy.

The original field of the prestigious tournament comprised 80 entries. The prize pool totaled $1.365 million and included the $15,000 buy-in fees paid by the participants and an additional $150,000 contributed by the WPT. The money was split into payouts for the top ten finishers.

The five finalists are set to resume play today at 4 pm local time. Unlike the previous two days when they played at the poker tables of Aria Resort & Casino, the final tablists will take to the felt of the brand-new Esports Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel and Casino to battle it out until there is just one player left.

Darren Elias Aims For Back-To-Back Titles

Darren Elias came into the WPT Tournament of Champions fresh off the inaugural WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, which he took down to win a record-breaking fourth title from the series. And if Day 1 of the Tournament of Champions belonged to Blieden, it can be said that Day 2 belonged namely to Elias.

The player eventually bagged and tagged 1.4 million to top the chip counts chart. It is also important to note that he has quite some advantage over the rest of his remaining opponents.

Commenting on his run over the past several days, Elias said that “wins […] come in bunches in poker” and that when a player wins in a tournament, they become more confident and maybe play better in their next tournaments.

While Elias might have secured the chip lead, he will have a different task today as the rest of the finalists are seasoned players themselves. Matas Cimbolas collected a stack of 1.159 million last night to rank second in the chip counts chart. Matthew Waxman finished third in chips, good for 554,000. Nick Schulman, a player who boasts $3,534,047 in live tournament earnings, and David Benyamine, who has collected more than $1.8 million from different live tournaments, were the other two players to make it through Day 2 with and collect almost even stacks at the end of the day with 447,000 and 440,000, respectively.

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Friday, May 25, 2018 11:30 AM

Dennis Blieden Leads 29 Survivors into WPT Tournament of Champions Day 2

Casino News Daily
Dennis Blieden Leads 29 Survivors into WPT Tournament of Champions Day 2

The WPT is about to wrap up another successful season. Once again the popular poker series is celebrating the end of its season with the WPT Tournament of Champions, a three-day event that features champions from the past year and is already taking place at Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Day 1 of the season-ending tournament was played on Thursday at the host casino. It started off with 80 participants but the field was whittled down to just 29 players by the end of the day.

The event came with a buy-in fee of $15,000, but those who won Main Tour Main Events throughout the season had that fee included in their first-place prizes. The WPT also added $150,000 to the prize pool, of which $50,000 would go to the winner to create an overall prize pool of $1.365 million.

The top 10 finishers will leave with a payout, min-cash worth $39,840. The winner will receive $463,375 from the prize pool. However, awards for the big champion would not be limited to the monetary prize. Their victory will also be rewarded with a Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic watch, a JetSmarter membership worth $50,000, and the one and only WPT Tournament of Champions trophy.

Dennis Blieden Leads After Day 1

The first day of this year’s WPT Tournament of Champions concluded with Dennis Blieden leading the elite pack into the night. The player bagged and tagged 593,000 to lock a comfortable start to Day 2.

Blieden is followed by J.C. Tran with 305,500 and Marvin Rettenmaier with 234,500, but it can be seen that the overnight chip leader has secured quite an advantage over his remaining opponents.

Blieden catapulted himself to the top of the Day 1 chip counts chart after winning a massive pot during Level 4 of play. The player clashed against Andy Frankenberger. The latter went all in with pocket aces to Blieden’s pocket sixes. A [6c][4d][2c] flop and blank turn and river saw Frankenberger hit the rail, while Blieden collected his chips. Later the same level, the overnight chip leader scooped quite some chips from Mike Del Vecchio to further cement his advantage.

Blieden won the LA Poker Classic $10,000 Main Event back in February to claim his first WPT title, a seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions, and $1 million in prize money. The player had cashed in two WSOP events prior to his triumph earlier this year. Talking with WPT staff last night, Blieden said that he has not played tournament poker since the LAPC, but he was running pretty well in the Tournament of Champions and it felt as if he had picked where he had left off.

Unlike many of the other tournament entries, Blieden is not that well known to the poker community. Dwelling on that, the player said that he knew many of his table mates considered him “terrible” and that was why he was getting calls that many would not. He went on to say that he got quite some coolers throughout Day 1 and it seemed to him that every time he bluffed, his opponents would fall, while every time he called, he would win the pot.

Play is set to resume at Aria today at noon local time. The remaining hopefuls will play down to an official six-handed final table. Aside from Blieden, the likes of Erik Seidel, Marvin Rettenmaier, Justin Young, and Darren Elias, who came into the Tournament of Champions fresh off his record fourth WPT win in the inaugural WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, will also join Day 2 action.

The post Dennis Blieden Leads 29 Survivors into WPT Tournament of Champions Day 2 appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Colombia set to inspire at Juegos Miami

Colombia set to inspire at Juegos Miami

The Colombian market will take centre stage at this year’s Juegos Miami, the unique C-Level event for the Pan Latin American and Caribbean gaming industry (May 30 – June 1, Biltmore Hotel, Miami), 

Hard Rock Given the Nod to Build €2-Billion Casino Resort in Catalonia

Casino News Daily
Hard Rock Given the Nod to Build €2-Billion Casino Resort in Catalonia

The Government of Catalonia has given the nod to the €2-billion project for the construction of an integrated resort with a gaming floor in Tarragona. The plan has been proposed by Florida-based gaming and hospitality company Hard Rock International as part of its strategy for global expansion.

The Government of Catalonia published its approval for the multi-billion scheme in its Official Gazette earlier today, giving Hard Rock the authorization to move forward with the development. The major US company was finally given the green light after multiple delays.

It is understood from a note issued by Catalonia officials earlier today that the integrated resort will be called Hard Rock Entertainment World instead of the previously announced BCN World. Although the Tarragona area was previously selected as the preferred location for the complex, developers were allowed by court to use ‘Barcelona’ as a trademark. Hard Rock eventually decided not to create additional controversy and rebranded the proposed development.

Hard Rock Entertainment World will feature two hotels with a total of 1,100 rooms, a retail area with nearly 75 different stores, a number of food and beverage and entertainment facilities, and a 10,000-square-meter (107,639.1 square feet) casino. As mentioned above, the major gaming and hospitality company is planning to invest €2 billion into the massive scheme. Hard Rock’s project will thus rank among the largest projects of this kind to have ever been carried out in Europe.

Global Expansion

Hard Rock already operates a number of casinos in its home state, Florida, and is currently expanding into New Jersey. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, the company’s first resort on the Atlantic City Boardwalk is slated to open doors on June 28 at the site of the former Trump Taj Mahal.

Hard Rock, which also operates more than 170 caf├ęs around the world, has further been looking to expand its gaming operations outside the US. The company was part of the €500-plus-million plan for the construction of an integrated resort in the Republic of Cyprus but walked out of it to pursue other opportunities, including the Tarragona project. Hard Rock was, in fact, the only bidder for that letter scheme.

Japan, which recently legalized casino gambling, has been another destination Hard Rock has been eying to extend its footprint to. The company has established offices in the Pacific Ocean island nation and has been looking actively for local partners. In a recent interview with Casino News Daily, Hard Rock Japan CEO Ed Tracy said that educating the Japanese people about the actual nature of integrated resorts and that casino gambling represents just a small portion of the whole concept was one of their main tasks in their pursuit of a license in what is believed to have the potential to become the world’s second largest casino market.

The post Hard Rock Given the Nod to Build €2-Billion Casino Resort in Catalonia appeared first on Casino News Daily.

Thursday, May 24, 2018 6:18 PM

Seven Things To Expect At Hard Rock Atlantic City When It Opens Its Doors June 28

Seven Things To Expect At Hard Rock Atlantic City When It Opens Its Doors June 28

With one month until opening day, Hard Rock Atlantic City is gearing up for the big day and a busy summer in AC. Here are seven things to look for when Hard Rock AC opens its doors.

The post Seven Things To Expect At Hard Rock Atlantic City When It Opens Its Doors June 28 appeared first on .

NOVOMATIC previews new Curve cabinets at Juegos Miami

NOVOMATIC previews new Curve cabinets at Juegos Miami

Returning to the distinguished networking event for the Latin American gaming community, NOVOMATIC will present a branded area at Juegos Miami and showcase the two brand new curve cabinets PANTHERA™ Curve 1.43 and V.I.P. Lounge™ Curve 1.43 as well as the new Otium OT300 video bingo cabinet.

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