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Archive for February, 2012

Iowa Internet Poker Bill On Senate Calendar

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Iowa State Senator Jeff Danielson’s bill seeking to legalize internet poker within the Hawkeye State has been successfully placed on the State Senate Calendar.

The bill will now be called Senate File 2275 after the online poker bill successfully passed two legislative committees next week. The new version of the bill was placed onto the State Senate Calendar on Monday.

Categories: Casino, Gambling News

The End of Epic?

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Parent company files for bankruptcy

Less than one year into its debut season, the Epic Poker League has hit an almighty rough patch after parent company Federated Sports & Gaming (which is also responsible for the Heartland Poker Tour) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In a message posted on FS&G website this week, former World Series of Poker commissioner and Epic Executive Chairman Jeffrey Pollack announced that FS&G needs ‘a new start’.

The decision to file for Chapter 11 will mean the Epic Poker League will go on an indefinite hiatus,  and League Commissioner Annie Duke sent a letter to EPL players to explain the situation, claiming ‘it is our full intention to complete Season One of the EPL’.

‘Our goal is to keep the Epic Poker League and all of our key initiatives – the Global Poker Index, epicpoker.com, the Epic Poker game on Facebook and the Heartland Poker Tour – moving forward with a continued spirit of innovation,’ added Pollack.

But while no one likes to see a poker tour going through difficulties in what is a tumultuous time for parts of the industry, one player has not been too downhearted. Daniel Negreanu’s been a vocal critic of the tour since it launched late last year, and in a tweet to his 156k followers, Kid Poker said ‘a poker world without Howard/Annie in it is definitely much closer to paradise. Time reveals the shady…’

The EPL has been beset by difficulties in its short existence. When Chino Rheem became the tour’s first champ last August, he was put on probation just a few weeks later after fellow pros lined up to reveal Rheem’s gambling debts and reputation as a ‘scammer’.

And with two EPL events left to go in the tour’s maiden year, it’s looking more like a question of if, not when, they’ll ever see the light of day.

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Categories: Online Poker

US Government Indicts Calvin Ayre and Bodog

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

The US government has indicted flamboyant billionaire Calvin Ayre, the founder of online gambling operator Bodog who for years has dared the US to try to stop him from taking bets from US customers.

The US Department of Justice began a campaign in 2011 to crack down on Internet gambling sites serving US clients, unveiling indictments and domain seizures in April 2011 for two of the world’s largest online poker sites — Full Tilt and PokerStars — amid charges of flaunting US anti-gambling laws as well as wire fraud and money laundering.

Similar charges were just unveiled against Ayre and other Bodog executives, with allegations that they oversaw the movement of more than $100 million in funds to and from customers in the US. Laws passed in late 2006 in the US made it illegal for banks to knowingly do business with online gambling sites, which serves as the basis for the US government’s case against Ayre and others as far as the lengths they went to to hide the fact they were moving money to and from US clients.

Some industry analysts were shocked that it had taken the US government this long to go after Ayre; unlike the poker sites that were previously indicted (which is a slight grey area as no specific laws make playing online poker illegal in the US) the case against Ayre and Bodog was seen as more clear-cut since Bodog’s primary business was online sportsbetting, which is illegal under various US laws.

Ayre made himself a very visible target as well, openly mocking the US government’s attempts to shut down his business and continuing to market and advertise Bodog as a US-friendly gambling site.

Ayre claims to have retired from Bodog’s operations and the seizure of the Bodog.com domain will have little impact, as it hasn’t been used actively by the company for years. The company has transferred its brand to a new company named Bovada as far as its North American operations, while it continues under the Bodog brand in other markets around the world.

 

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    Sergio Aguero Nets Manchester City Sports Punters £70,000 with Paddy Power

    February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

    Manchester City punters were singing the praises of Sergio Aguero and top bookmaker Paddy Power Saturday night after the Argentine striker’s second half goal triggered a massive £70,000 payday for City fans.

    While the ink was still wet on the deal that sees Paddy Power as Manchester City’s official online betting partner, generous Paddy wasted no time enhancing betting odds on Sergio Aguero scoring anytime in Saturday’s match against Blackburn from 1/2 to an irresistible 4/1.

    More than 500 City punters could not believe their eyes when they saw Paddy’s super-generous offer which was exclusively promoted on mcfc.com, twitter and Facebook.

    The deal will see Paddy Power and the Club collaborate across a wide range of commercial activities. As part of the deal – running until the end of the 2012/2013 season – Paddy Power will offer their market-leading range of innovative betting products to Blues fans via the Manchester City website and also a specially created City microsite.

    Paddy Power has built up a strong reputation for their value-based customer offering, and has pioneered the concept on the football ‘Money-Back Special’, which frequently results in losing bets being refunded to their customers. Continue..

    Categories: Casino, Gambling News

    Bodog.com seized

    February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

    Canadian owner indicted

    Bodog.com has become the latest site to feel the long arm of the law in the US after the Department of Homeland Security seized the domain name on February 27.

    The site, which has not been operating commercially for several months, was shut down by authorities chasing more than $100 million in funds.

    Four Canadian’s associated with the site, including founder Calvin Ayre, have been indicted, and according to authorities, users of the site were sent at least $100 million by wire and cheques from 2005 to 2012. The site allegedly moved funds from Bodog’s accounts located in Switzerland, England, Malta, Canada and elsewhere to pay winnings to its users.

    Each of the four men indicted face up to five years in prison for conducting an illegal gambling business and 20 years for money laundering, while Bodog.com faces a possible fine of up to $500,000 for gambling and money laundering.

    ‘The BodogBrand became aware late on 27th February that the domain Bodog.com had been seized by US Homeland Security. This domain is not currently in use by the BodogBrand or any Brand Licensee and has not been in use since the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) switched its operations from Bodog.com to Bodog.eu in May 2011,’ BodogBrand confirmed via email this week.

    ‘The BodogBrand.com revoked its licensing agreement with Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) on December 15th 2011 after publicly stating it would do so in July 2011. It is equally important to state that Bodog UK, Bodog Europe and Bodog Asia have never taken bets from the US.’

    The site is said to be ‘consulting with its legal advisors with a view to having the domain returned.’

    But while the outlook looks bleak for Bodog and its users, the Bodog.co.uk and Bodog.eu have been unaffected by the Department of Homeland Security’s actions.

    PokerPlayer will bring you more news on Bodog as and when we have it.

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    Categories: Online Poker

    Bally Buys ChiliGaming B2B Platform

    February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

    Las Vegas-based slot machine manufacturer Bally Technologies announced last week that it has purchased the business-to-business platform of ChiliGaming, which lets customers offer online casino games, poker, and sportsbetting in both real-money and play chip formats.

    Bally plans to integrate the ChiliGaming technology into its existing slots and casino management products, giving its casino clients a chance to offer a full range of gambling options to their guests, whether playing online or at a brick-and-mortar casino.

    In a press release concerning the deal Bally also spoke to other attractive elements of the deal: “Bally Technologies has also obtained an experienced team of industry veterans from within the online gaming industry, which will help our customers optimize their use of this platform,” said John Connelly, Vice President of Business Development at Bally.

    ChiliGaming had recently been in the news when it announced it had struck a deal with the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas to offer free online poker to US residents, with an eye towards offering real money games if US laws change to allow for it.

    The Bally deal is just one of several different acquisitions and partnerships announced as brick-and-mortar casinos and gambling companies position themselves to take advantage of the laws in the US regarding online gambling changing. Despite anti-gambling laws passed in late 2006 to try to stamp out online gambling, many operators remain highly interested in the US market, one of the world’s largest for gambling.

    Shuffle Master is rumored to be in advanced talk to buy Ongame Network from bwin.party while IGT previously purchased Entraction Network to bolster its own online offerings. Caesars signed a deal with 888 in early 2011 and MGM and Boyd entered in to an agreement with bwin.party later in the year to work together to provide a wide range of online gambling products.

    Categories: Casino, Gambling News

    Philadelphia 76ers in the Spotlight as NBA Basketball Betting Finally Resumes

    February 25, 2012 Leave a comment

    Nobody knows exactly what has been going on with the Philadelphia 76ers this season, but it has worked. Not only are they first in a half-decent Atlantic Division, they have hung with the Eastern Conference’s best all year long. Now the success has started to translate over to the NBA basketball betting line.

    Have the first few months of the season been a legitimate demonstration of what the Sixers bring to the table? Though they squeezed into the playoffs last spring, the success they have enjoyed over the course of the 2011-12 campaign is something new.

    This Tuesday, as players flock back to work after the All-Star Break, the Sixers will travel to Michigan for a run-in with the unpredictable Detroit Pistons. With 30/1 betting odds of winning the NBA championship – compared to Detroit’s 500/1 mark – Philadelphia is the obvious favorite heading into the game, but that is what makes the matchup so intriguing.

    Not only is Detroit hard to gauge – they have beaten Orlando once and Boston twice, yet continue to sit in the basement – but the jury is still out on Philadelphia as a contender.

    Though their record has pushed them to the top of their division, NBA basketball odds makers and fans alike are reluctant to buy in to a club whose leading scorer averages just over 15 points per game.

    Categories: Casino, Gambling News