Posted on 22nd January 2021 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Earlier this month, a bill was introduced in Indiana that will attempt to legalize online poker in the state.

Senator Jon Ford introduced SB 417, which would legalize all forms of online casino gambling in Indiana. Under the legislation in the bill the 14 casinos and racinos in Indiana would be able to set up an online platform that offers the same casino gaming that they offer in their brick and mortar establishment. The casinos and racinos would be able to partner with up to three online gambling and online poker providers.

Ford did not include online poker in the bill’s initial draft, believing it might hurt its chances. But after discussions with fellow lawmakers and industry representatives, he decided to add online poker before introducing the 2021 version to the Senate.

“They didn’t think it would be as big an issue as I thought it would be,” Ford told Play Indiana, though he added that he could remove online poker later if circumstances changed.

All of this comes right as the Indiana gambling market is witnessing record highs in sports betting. In December, the state smashed the $251 million sports betting handle record set just a month earlier with $313 million wagered on sporting events.

“With the success we’ve had with sports wagering, I think there’s some appetite to have the discussion about online gaming,” Ford said. “I think this session, we’ll have a lot of good discussion about it.

“Having online sports wagering will show my colleagues that we can implement a safe and friendly environment for online gaming. And I think sports wagering and the successful rollout of that really shows them what we can do here in Indiana.”

The high numbers, and the taxes that come along with them, may make passing online gambling legislation smoother. The state tax rate of 9.5% on sports betting in Indiana translated into just over $13 million in state tax revenue. And Ford’s bill would introduce a tax rate of 18% on online gambling, nearly twice that of sports betting.

Posted on 12th January 2021 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

On December 29, 2020, Gretchen Whitmer signed an amendment to the bill that authorizes interstate online poker. The Michigan Gaming Control Board will be able to facilitate agreements with regulators in other states to share online poker player pools.

This happened exactly one year and nine days from the signing of the Lawful Internet Gaming Act into law, which legalized internet gaming and poker, sports betting, and fantasy sports.

The interstate component was something that the original Lawful Internet Gaming Act was seriously lacking. Since online poker on a state-by-state regulated level shows little chance for growth and substantial revenue, the sector’s success and future depend on the ability to share poker tables with sites in other states.

The final approval officially set the online poker into motion.

While the Michigan legislature’s website didn’t show the approval until the first week of January, it appeared that Governor Whitmer signed the bill on December 29, 2020. She signed it one week after receiving it. And on that same day, the Secretary of State recorded it filed.

So, what comes next? It’s important to mention that the effective date of the interstate component of the Lawful Internet Gaming Act is March 24, 2021. No entities may sign an interstate compact involving Michigan until after that date. But that is not the top priority right now. At this stage of the game, there are no internet gaming sites available to players in Michigan whatsoever. So, the first goal is to launch the sites.

And it all points to the fact that online casino sites will launch soon. The 15 provisional licenses issued in early December indicate that several companies are preparing to virtually open their online casinos. Several of them are connected to online poker licenses as well, such as BetMGM (PartyPoker) and TSG Interactive (PokerStars). If they launch their casino games soon, they can add online poker at any time.

Posted on 7th January 2021 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

The Michigan State Assembly has approved with an overwhelming majority a measure allowing the state to participate in multi-state player-pooling agreements with other US states that also offer regulated online poker.

Michigan legislators sought to include multi-state player pools in online poker since July of 2020, so they can help more people find more games.

The measure, HB 991, passed the state’s lower chamber on a lopsided 85-16 vote, with nine abstentions. HB 991 is an online-poker-only addendum of sorts to Michigan’s Lawful Internet Gaming Act, which passed in 2019 and authorized poker along with several other forms of online gambling.

The version of HB 991 that passed differs just slightly from the bill sent to the Assembly from the Michigan Senate. Though virtually identical, the Senate will need and is expected to reapprove the bill in the near future. Then the bill will be sent to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to be signed into law, which is also expected to happen.

Once signed into law, Michigan will have authorized itself to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MIGA), which already includes New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware as participating states. The fourth US state to already offer legalized online poker, Pennsylvania, is also considering joining the multi-state compact.

Michigan has yet to launch any form of real-money online poker yet, though its debut is likely only weeks away. Earlier this month, state gaming regulators confirmed that several online sites awaiting approval to launch were still in the late stages of that process, quashing hopes that the debuts could occur before the end of the year. Michigan’s new online gambling laws dictate that at least two licensed casino operators — one tribal and one commercial — must be fully approved before any online site can launch.

Posted on 1st January 2021 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Bovada Poker is hosting its biggest Holiday Series ever, with $3.1 million in total guarantees.

The action kicked off on Saturday, December 26 and runs until Thursday, January 7, with a series schedule that boasts 63 events.

Every Sunday you can take part in the Holiday Series Special, a $150+$12 buy-in event with a $221,000 guarantee. There’s also the $121,000 guaranteed $300+$25 high rollers.

The highlight of the series is the $121,212 guaranteed main event, which has a buy-in of $250+$20. The tournament starts Sunday, Jan. 3 at 5:20 ET, and players have the option of re-entering twice.

Of course, qualifiers are already running which allow players to win their seat for as low as $2.20. Those with shorter bankrolls can also look forward to the $2,021 guaranteed Micro Roller event on Jan. 5, also featuring a $2.20 buy-in.

Bovada Poker features a fast, smooth interface, and users also enjoy the site’s easy-to-use mobile feature which allows players to get their online poker fix from their smartphone or tablet.

With Bovada’s anonymous tables, you don’t have to worry about your opponents tracking your playing style. You’ll start with a clean slate every time you sit down to play.

If you like action, make sure to try out Zone Poker. You no longer have to wait while other players at the table finish out a hand. Every time you fold at a Zone Poker table, you’ll automatically be moved to a new table with new players to be dealt a brand new hand. You can even double up with a second Zone Poker entry and play two tables at once.

Bovada’s software has many other features, such as all-in percentages, table customization options, hand history viewer, and even a rabbit cam, which allows players to know what the next card would have been even after folding.

Don’t wait! Sign up today for Bovada and get started with a 100 percent deposit bonus up to $500.

Bovada Poker is available for all U.S. players, except those in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, or Maryland.

Posted on 31st December 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Italian-licensed operators generated a record monthly high of €258.9m in igaming revenues last month, and out of that amount, €123.6m was from online casino.

The total represents the first time the dot.it market has generated a monthly return of more than €250m .

According to figures supplied by Ficom Leisure to iGB, Flutter Entertainment-owned PokerStars retained its market share lead in the casino vertical, its 11.31% take of the €123.6m total leaving it 2pps clear of nearest rival Sisal.

Stars also benefited from an increase in online poker activity in November under the lockdown imposed by Italian authorities to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Poker tournament revenues increased by nearly 43% month-over-month to €11.22m and ring game revenues by close to 35% to €7.21m. Stars had a 55% market share of tournament and 44% share of cash game GGR in November.

Posted on 29th December 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Ahead of the New Year, the award-winning gaming and betting technology provider BetConstruct has announced the launch of its flagship event of the year – CIS Online Poker Championship. It’s running from December 19, 2020 until January 10, 2021. 

The event is a series of poker tournaments with an unprecedented total guaranteed prize pool of 500,000 EUR and a 30,000 EUR GTD bonus for the main event. To build an added level of entertainment for players and provide them with incredible experience, each week will be highlighted with the ​Grand Cup events​ with buy-ins as low as 0 EUR, resulting in higher competition and bigger winnings. 

During the Championship, tournaments of various types will be offered to players of every skill, level of professionalism and bankroll giving equal chances for taking their share from the GTD to all of them. This will undoubtedly fuel participants’ interest and have a positive effect on operators’ profits.

With the CIS Tournament, BetConstruct continues its global expansion and connects the whole industry, giving the operators an opportunity to benefit from the events and contribute profits to their business.

BetConstruct is a global award-winning technology and services provider for online and land-based gaming industry. BetConstruct’s innovative and proven offerings include Online and Retails Sportsbook, Classic and Virtual Reality RNG & Live Casinos, Poker, Skill Games, Fantasy Sports, Social Gaming Platform, Sports Data Solutions and more – all ready to be launched and managed through SpringBME, its pioneering Business Management Environment .

Within Sports Data Solutions, the AI-powered scouting tool AJNA performs game flow recognition and provides statistics and extremely accurate technical data to create new unique markets to bet on.

All partners benefit from the BetConstruct Spring Platform with its powerful back office tools and all-inclusive services. From stand-alone set up to turn-key and white label solutions, BetConstruct offers its partners unparalleled opportunity to succeed.

Posted on 8th December 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Playtech has launched its iPoker network, the first regulated poker network in the Swiss market, with the leading operator Swiss Casinos Group.

Focused on growth in regulated markets worldwide, in line with Playtech’s wider strategy, the iPoker network offers an excellent liquidity pool, backed by premium software and services developed to comply with regulatory requirements in multiple jurisdictions.

The scale and stability of the network allows Playtech to cater to a wide range of partners, regardless of the size of their player base, core business or marketing strategy, thanks to the sophisticated source-based rake player valuation method. With a continued focus on safer gambling, Playtech’s core strategy for Poker is to offer long-term sustainability and innovation for operators and a safe, enjoyable environment for players.

Shimon Akad, chief operating officer at Playtech, said: 

“We’re proud to partner with leading operator Swiss Casinos. At Playtech, we are continuing to invest in expanding and evolving our software and network to address the future of online poker head-on.

Having invested heavily in our new poker web client, in addition to our native poker app and popular downloadable desktop poker client, we can offer operators access to an exceptionally flexible platform as well as an ever-growing network. We have migrated major new brands to the iPoker network this year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Swiss Casinos. We look forward to a strong and successful partnership with Swiss Casinos.”

Swiss Casinos Group operates four of Switzerland’s largest land-based casinos.

Marc Baumann, CEO Swiss Casinos Group, said:

“Launching our online casino offering in partnership with Playtech over the past twelve months has been incredibly rewarding, and we are excited to be bringing the iPoker.com network to Switzerland for the first time.  By working closely with Playtech, we can learn more about our players and create the most effective, tailored experience possible, allowing us to adapt to the market and the changing demands of our audience for many years to come.”

With this launch, the legal online poker is officially back in Switzerland.

Posted on 28th November 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020, many major live poker tours decided move their events online.  Some of them were the World Series of Poker, the European Poker Tour, and now the World Poker Tour. 

The World Poker Tour will be live in New Jersey on the partypoker US Network this December. This is the first-ever WPT® Main Tour online event in New Jersey. 

The $3,500 buy-in WPT Online Poker Open Main Event will take place December 27–29, 2020 on the partypoker US Network. There is a $1 million guarantee attached to the event and the winner will be crowned on a live-streamed final table on December 29.

Along with joining the exclusive WPT Champions Club, the latest WPT Champion will receive a $15,000 seat into the prestigious WPT Tournament of Champions presented by Baccarat Crystal and their name on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. As with all WPT Main Tour events, this tournament will also earn points toward the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race.

Leading up to the WPT Online Poker Open Main Event, numerous satellites will be running for players to qualify for the $3,500 buy-in tournament starting at $5.

Players are encouraged to deposit early into their account via PayPal or PayWithMyBank to ensure funds are available for the start of the event.  Players may open and deposit into their online accounts from anywhere in the US – you don’t have to wait until you are in New Jersey to open or deposit into your online account – you may do so from anywhere in the US.

Players may participate in the series through either BorgataPoker.com, BetMGMPoker.com or NJ.PartyPoker.com, and must physically be in New Jersey to register and play in the series.

“The WPT Online Poker Open brings the most prestigious prize in poker to New Jersey and the partypoker US Network,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour. “WPT’s continued pivot toward online will continue with another landmark for regulated online poker in the United States.”

“WPT Online and the partypoker US Network are pushing online poker in New Jersey and the United States to another peak with the WPT Online Poker Open Main Tour event,” said Angelica Hael, VP of Global Tour Management for the World Poker Tour. “Following back-to-back record-setting events, this $1 million guarantee will push our partnership to new heights.”

“partypoker US Network welcomes the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup back to New Jersey for the WPT Online Poker Open. This event promises the opportunity for players of all bankrolls to compete for the most coveted prize in poker,” said Ray Stefanelli, Director of Poker for partypoker US Network. “Come December, we look forward to welcoming players from across the US to New Jersey for a chance to compete for their share of the $1 million guarantee.”

More info can be found on the WPT’s official website.

Posted on 18th November 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

After experiencing decline in revenue last month, New Jersey online poker is now picking up its record-setting pace in 2020.

According to figures released by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, the state’s online poker market generated $2.5 million in revenue during the month of October.

October 2020 produced more revenue than any other October in the history of the market. In absolute terms, the last time October exceeded the $2 million mark was in 2016 when there was excitement and marketing spend from PokerStars coming back to the US online poker scene for the first time since it was taken down by the US government on Black Friday, April 15, 2011.

However, the market experienced a 1.4% decline from the revenue figures posted the month prior. The only other time that online poker operators collectively had lower revenue in October than they did in September was in 2014.

In recent years, the revenue figures from September and October have been relatively similar with less than a 3% difference between the last month in Q3 and the first in Q4.

Coming on top once again was WSOP.com, operating as WSOP NJ on the All American Poker Network along with (and powered by) 888poker NJ, delivering $951,651 from its online tournaments and cash games.

PokerStars reclaimed its status as the second online poker provider in the market, with $842,307 in revenue compared to the rooms on the partypoker US Network which generated $723,816 in October.

In fact, PokerStars was the only operator of the three to post month-on-month growth. The 10% sequential increase coincided with the running of the New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOOP) on PokerStars NJ, the operator’s big fall tournament series.

The big NJCOOP numbers demonstrate its success. In total, $1,126,615 in prize money was awarded (exceeding the $1 million series guarantee) with 9743 entries recorded across 54 tournaments.

There are still 2 months of revenue left to be reported. Despite that, 2020 has already become the highest year on record for online poker revenue in New Jersey.

Posted on 13th November 2020 by Maya Michaels in Poker News

After two years of development, 888poker has released its brand new mobile poker platform for both iOS and Android. 

Branded as the “Made To Play” poker platform, the latest 888 software update promises a vastly upgraded experience for players, created with user’s input and the latest in online poker industry standards.

After 888poker found out that more than 60% of their players get into their games on their smartphones, they’ve decided to give more importance to their mobile platform.

They have revamped the entire design, from lobbies to table layout, to a more sleek portrait mode. The new look allows for users to play as well as scroll through lobbies one-handed, making it easier to get into the action. It also makes it easier to multi-table where users can play up to four tables at a time and jump in and out of the action with a single swipe.

Now, the new-look poker lobby fits in more with the rest of 888’s online products, including 888casino and 888sport. This gives players who take part in those other features a seamless experience when they switch back and forth between each activity.

Also new on the platform is ‘The Winner Spinner’ where, twice-a-day, players win prizes with a spin of the virtual wheel. And ‘Gift Drops’ are prizes awarded to players at random times while they are seated at a table. 

Additionally, some of 888poker’s most popular exclusive games are now available across all platforms including SNAP fast-fold poker, where players get moved to a new table with brand new cards as soon as they fold or finish a hand. As well as BLAST Jackpot Sit & Go’s, the short-handed SnG that gives variable prize pools and can award players up to a $1,000,000 top prize.

To celebrate the launch of the new “Made To Play” software, 888poker is giving away more than $1,000,000 in prizes with non-stop freerolls that will hand out $30,000 in prizes every week. There will be daily Happy Hours and Gift Drops every five minutes that will award up to $1,000 each.

The new 888poker app is available for download on both iOS and Android.