PokerStars to Hold Summer Online Tournament in MI, NJ, and PA

The world’s largest online poker room is set to launch a summer tournament in America. Over the next two weeks, poker players from three states – Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania – will get a chance to take part in the PokerStars Summer Stacks Festival.

The tournament series starts on Saturday, June 12, and will wrap up 14 days later, on June 27. The prize pool is set at over $2.5 million, spread across more than 100 events. The main event is set to happen in the last two days of the tournament, in all three states simultaneously.

The buy-in for the main event is $100, while other tournaments come with lower price tags. There are even a couple of tournaments with free entry.

$2.5 Million in Prizes at PokerStars Summer Tournament

PokerStars Summer Stacks Festival will give away over $2.5 million in prizes to players from MI, NJ, and PA. Not every state will get an equal share of the prize pool, however.

Michigan and Pennsylvania will have a prize pool of $1 million each, while players from New Jersey will get to compete for their share of the $500,000 prize fund.

The main event is the one where the most money is to be made. The buy-in in each state is $100 for the tournament, but the prizes are not the same.

The players from Michigan will compete for $100,000 in prizes in the main event. The same goes for those in Pennsylvania, while the New Jersey main event will have a prize pool of $50,000.

The reason behind this probably lies in the fact that PokerStars is looking to promote its brand in Michigan, where it launched only in January.

When it comes to Pennsylvania, it’s where PokerStars is the only licensed online poker room. Pennsylvania seems to be the golden goose for this company, which generated $25.7 million in the last fiscal year.

Over in New Jersey, the online poker market is ruled by three companies. In addition to PokerStars, NJ players can also play poker at WSOP.com and BetMGM.

Online Poker Market Ready to Grow

The fact that the PokerStars Summer Stacks Festival will have $2.5 million in prizes suggests that there’s a lot of interest in online poker in America. The trouble is that people can play online poker only in a couple of US states.

In addition to the three states where the PokerStars summer tournament is taking place, there are three other online poker-friendly states – Nevada, Delaware, and West Virginia.

As per the current law, only three states in the US allow their players to play online poker against players from a different state. Players from NJ, NV, and DE can play poker online against each other.

The same isn’t the case with players based in MI, PA, and WV, who can only play against the players based in their own state.

The obstacle on the road of getting all the six states in a shared liquidity network is the 60 years’ old Wire Act. However, that might change real soon, as the Biden Administration might decide not to get on board with the Wire Act expansion.

Only one week is remaining for them to ask for a Supreme Court review. If they don’t do that, it will signal that the new administration isn’t too keen on the Wire Act.

As a result, the state governments of MI, PA, and WV could decide to join the other three in a shared poker liquidity network. From there, the sky is the limit for the online poker business in the US.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Resorts World Las Vegas to Launch ‘Kardashian Kloset’ Boutique

Las Vegas is on the road to complete resurrection after the COVID-19 pandemic put Sin City on its knees. Things aren’t going to be as before; they’re going to be even better! Las Vegas is getting some major additions in the form of some new exclusive hotels, such as Resorts World Las Vegas.

The $4.3 billion-worth complex is opening on June 23, ready to offer visitors a high level of entertainment. In addition, Resorts World Las Vegas’ plan to attract the crowd is to get some A-list celebs involved.

Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, and Katy Perry are just some of the superstars who will take the stage in Resorts World Las Vegas. On top of that, the resort will also give visitors a chance to buy some Kardashian memorabilia in a retail outlet named Kardashian Kloset.

Kardashian Kloset to Sell Clothes Previously-Worn by the K Family

A day after the grand opening of Resorts World Las Vegas, Kardashian Kloset is going to start working. It’s actually a second-hand store, in which all the items were previously worn by the members of the Kardashian clan.

Kardashian Kloset isn’t meant to be necessarily a high-end store, although there are going to be some luxury items on sale. According to the store co-owner, Cici Bussey, people will get a chance to buy Atelier Versace clothes worn by Kim Kardashian for as high as $6,500.

On the other hand, the store will also offer more affordable items, such as Kim’s Lululemon leggings, which could cost as little as $40.

This isn’t the only store in Las Vegas that offers Kardashian second-hand clothes. Kardashian Khaos at The Mirrage, has been offering Kardashian-branded items, either worn or endorsed by the first family of reality TV.

A-List Celebs Going to Resorts World Las Vegas

Celine Dion is going to be the first headliner to get on the stage at Resorts World Las Vegas. The Canadian singer who holds the record for the highest-grossing residency artist in Las Vegas is starting her job in November. A month later, Carrie Underwood is getting on the stage, followed by Katy Perry.

All of the aforementioned artists will perform at the 5,000-seat Resorts World LV theatre, which is just one of many venues in the complex. In addition to music halls and discotheques, Resorts World will also have 40+ bars and restaurants.

The complex will have a total of 3,506 rooms across three hotels operated by Hilton – Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World (1,774 rooms), Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World (1,496), and Crockfords Las Vegas (236 rooms).

The casino floor of Resorts World Las Vegas stretches over 117,000 square feet, where visitors will get to choose from thousands of slots and table games. The complex will also have a sportsbook at Dawg House Saloon & Sportsbook.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Ohio Launches COVID-19 Vaccination Lottery

“Ohio Vax-a-Million” starts in less than two weeks! Five lucky winners will get $1 million. The conditions to take part in the lottery? Getting a jab!

On Wednesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced that starting May 26, the Ohio Lottery will run its vaccination draw once a week. Adult citizens who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be automatically placed in the draw.

The funding for the lottery comes from the federal COVID-19 relief packages. That’s the reason why some believe it’s a waste of money. For others, it’s a creative way to get more people interested in vaccination.

“Ohio Vax-a-Million” to Boost Vaccination

Even though vaccination started in top-gear in Ohio, the Buckeye State has seen a major drop in the number of vaccinations over the last week. Official data shows that the average number of vaccines given was over 140,000 in early April. In early May, the weekly average is slightly above 52,000.

At the moment of writing, Ohio has about 4 million people fully vaccinated. Sounds like a large number, but that accounts for only about 35% of the entire population of the state.

To get the vaccination on the fast track, Ohio Government has decided to think outside the box and offer a $1m-worth of incentives to get the jab.

Something similar is done in Kentucky, which is also struggling to get the people interested in the vaccine. Governor Andy Beshear (D) has an idea of how to solve this puzzle – Kentucky Lottery is going to give a free play in Cash Ball 225 drawing to every vaccinated citizen.

Neither Ohio nor Kentucky is doing particularly well with vaccination. In fact, both states have a vaccination rating that’s below the national average.

One state that’s doing better than most others is New Jersey. The Garden State is #6 when it comes to the percentage of the vaccinated population.

As a result, the COVID-19 pandemic is almost completely defeated in this state, which means that things can get back to normal. Even casinos can return to full capacity!

Atlantic City Casinos to Return to Full Capacity on May 19

Starting next Wednesday, things are back to normal in Atlantic City casinos. At least as close to normal as possible at this point.

As per Governor Murphy’s instructions, casinos in AC will be allowed to operate at full capacity for the first time since March 2020.

However, some anti-coronavirus rules will remain in action. Face masks, for example, remain mandatory, and the same foes for the six-foot social distancing rule.

The good news is that even those rules could end soon. New Jersey’s goal is to have at least 70% of people vaccinated by the end of the next month. What this means is that about 4.7 million people in the Garden State need to receive two jabs of Pfizer/Moderna vaccines or one shot of Johnson & Johnson.

At the moment, New Jersey has slightly over 3.26 million vaccinated residents, meaning that getting to 4.7 million in six weeks does not seem impossible.

A similar scenario is expected in Nevada, where Las Vegas has already started working on 100% reopening.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Las Vegas Getting Ready for 100% Reopening in May

Since the COVID-19 pandemic took out “sin” from Sin City, Las Vegas has been suffering heavy financial losses. However, good days area head and everyone in Nevada is preparing for 100% reopening sometime this month.

In the pre-pandemic era, Las Vegas was having 40+ million visitors per year (in 2019, 42 million visited Sin City). However, in 2020 only 19 million people visited Vegas. The same year, the city saw its unemployment rate skyrocketing from 3.9 to 34 percent.

About a year ago, all the venues in Las Vegas were shut. Since then, the city’s started reopening, although very slowly.

It all started with a 25% capacity. Then, in February, the Government of Nevada increased the percentage to 35. Finally, in March, the capacity was lifted to 50%. At the start of May, everyone’s hopeful that the next stop if 100%.

Tourists Start Flocking to Las Vegas

People have started returning to Las Vegas. Over the last couple of weeks, the city has witnessed a significant increase in arrivals from other parts of the US. Not only is this good news for the city but it’s also something that’s encouraged by the city officials.

A few days ago, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) released a TV advert inviting tourists to return.

With the officials sending signs that Las Vegas is starting to open up, things are expected to come back to normal over the next couple of months. Judging by what we saw recently, such a scenario does not seem unlikely.

In March over 2.2 million people visited Las Vegas, which is a significant increase compared to only 1.5 million tourists in February.

New Resorts Open in Time for the Summer Season

Saying that things are about to get back to normal in Las Vegas might not be completely true – things are going to get even better than before the pandemic!

There is a wind of optimism coming from Sin City as several new casino resorts are getting ready to shine.

Circa Resort & Casino

One of the biggest additions to Las Vegas is Circa Resort & Casino, an adults-only establishment that is the biggest of its kind in downtown Vegas.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas

What used to be Hard Rock Hotel is now Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, after more than $200 million were invested in the project.

The venue will feature a 60,000-square-foot gaming floor operated by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. What this means is that for the first time in history, Las Vegas has a tribal casino.

Resorts World Las Vegas

The most ambitious of Las Vegas’ 2021 projects is Resorts World Las Vegas, whose development cost more than $4.3 billion. It’s still not open, but that’s supposed to happen in summer.

Las Vegas Casinos on a Hiring Spree

Last year, we saw Las Vegas casinos laying off their employees at a higher rate. For instance, MGM Resorts furloughed about 40% of their 2019 workforce, reducing the number of employees from 70,000 to 42,000.

However, with Las Vegas being ready to reopen 100%, MGM is on a hiring spree. It’s expected that in the following weeks, the casino company will return back to its 2019 levels.

The same goes for all the other companies operating casino resorts in Las Vegas. Further, with new casinos opening ahead of the summer season, the city is expected to get tens of thousands of new job posts.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

NFL Names Caesars Its First Casino Sponsor in History

In the past, NFL had kept itself away from anything remotely connected to gambling. However, the league has softened its anti-gambling stance after the PASPA was overridden by Supreme Court in 2018. Three years later, NFL has named Caesars its first-ever casino sponsor.

In addition to making a sponsorship deal with the casino chain, the NFL also made a pack with an online sportsbook. The website in question is DraftKings, which will be the league’s official betting partner from now on.

Caesars & DraftKings Get Rights to NFL Media

According to the deals signed between the NFL and the two gaming giants, Caesars and DraftKings will get rights to the league’s logos, marks, and data. The two companies will also be able to use the media available on NFL.com, as well as on its official mobile app.

Caesars will use the agreement to push on their online sports betting business, rather than using the deal for promoting their retail sportsbooks.

When it comes to DraftKings, the company already has a deal with the NFL, which was signed in 2019. The new deal is thought of as an extension of that agreement, which will see DraftKings getting many additional perks.

For example, the online sportsbook will be allowed to use NFL stats and present game highlights on its platform.

Caesars’ NFL Story Continues

This is the first time Caesars Entertainment has signed a contract directly with the NFL. However, the casino company has been sponsoring seven NFL teams for a while now. Those teams include:

  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints

As per Caesars’ deal with the New Orleans Saints, the team’s stadium could get a new name this year. Currently called the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the arena is expected to bear Caesars’ name during the next NFL season.

The 2021 NFL deal is meant to cement Caesar’s reputation as America’s favorite casino operator. It’s also meant to help the company with its online sportsbook, which is currently available in three states – Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Still, the company’s ambitions are much higher than that. Caesars would love to expand its online betting business to other states in the near future and the NFL deal is bound to bring them the much-needed exposure.

DraftKings Launches a Massive Marketing Offense

Same as Caesars, DraftKings is also planning to expand its online sportsbook network around the United States. The company is already considered one of the top players in the internet gaming market and it seems that things can only get better for DraftKings.

The reason is that the company has made several big-money sponsorship deals with leading sports organizations in the United States. Apart from the deal with the NFL, DraftKings also sponsors the UFC.

It also has partnership deals with WWE, who made DraftKings the official betting partner of WrestleMania 37, which took place last weekend.

The online gaming giant also sponsors the NBA franchise Detroit Pistons, MLB’s Chicago Cubs, and the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

DraftKings Becomes the Official Gaming Partner of WrestleMania 37

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., better known as WWE, has recently signed a deal with DraftKings, making it its official gaming partner.

According to the chief business officer of the Boston-based gaming company Ezra Kucharz, the deal is meant to “fuel the engagement and drama of WWE’s signature matchups and storylines, as audiences enjoy the second-screen experiences our products provide.”

DraftKings Sportsbook will not be able to offer WrestleMania betting to its users, considering that these sorts of bets are not allowed in the United States. Instead, the platform will direct wrestling fans to its free-to-play contest.

No Betting on WrestleMania 37 at DraftKings

The US gambling law prohibits betting on events whose outcome is known before the start. This way, the law keeps the integrity of competitions, while also ensuring fair play.

Considering that professional wrestling is scripted, betting on WWE events such as WrestleMania 37 would be illegal. However, it seems that betting is not the reason why Draft Kings has decided to team up with WWE.

Instead, the company’s goal is to get on the radar of as many Americans as possible. Knowing that WrestleMania’s viewing figures are super-high, it appears that the partnership deal is going to bring DraftKings exactly what they wanted.

Since making its debut in 1985, WrestleMania has been one of the most successful pay-per-view (PPV) events in the United States. Some of the milestones it’s achieved over the years include:

  • With 91,173 fans inside Pontiac Silverdome, WrestleMania was the highest-attended indoor sports event in history before losing the title to the 2010 NBA All-Star Game.
  • WrestleMania 32 holds the record for the highest attendance in the history of professional wrestling with 101,763 fans.
  • WrestleMania 28 is among the top 30 most successful PPV events in history, with 1.217 million buys.
  • Former US President Donald Trump made an appearance in WrestleMania 23.

On top of everything, Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen said that it’s estimated that WEE had nearly 40 billion digital video views in 2020, making it one of the most powerful media companies in the world.

DraftKings Has Made a Similar Deal With the UFC

DraftKing’s marketing strategy of making itself visible to a wide sports-loving audience is a plan that’s already in motion. The partnership deal with WWE is not the first deal they’ve inked. In 2019, DraftKings became a partner of the NFL, while also sponsoring several teams from the top US leagues, e.g., the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL), Chicago Cubs (MLB), and Detroit Pistons (NBA).

More recently, the company did something similar with the UFC. The deal in question is meant to last at least five years, with its total value being somewhere in the ballpark of $350 million.

The DraftKings-UFC partnership seems like the best deal for the online gaming company. According to it, DraftKings is the “sportsbook and daily fantasy partner for UFC.”

Considering that MMA is a real sport, in which the outcome of the fight is not known until the fighters actually get into the octagon, nothing is stopping DraftKings Sportsbook from offering UFC betting.

More news for DraftKings Sportsbook comes from New York, where lawmakers are working hard on the legalization of online betting. If everything goes according to plan, DraftKings could go live in the Empire State in about a year.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Poll Reveals the Support for Mobile Betting in NY is at All-Time High

Earlier this week, a poll conducted by the Siena College Research Institute revealed that New Yorkers are in favor of the legalization of mobile betting.

The findings showed that 51% of the respondents would vote for lifting the ban on online sportsbooks in New York State. Eighteen percent said that have no opinion, while only 30% said they would vote against such a bill.

With more than half of surveyed people being in favor of mobile betting legalization, it seems that a new era is on the horizon. Considering that Governor Andrew Cuomo and NY lawmakers are working on a proposal, it wouldn’t be surprising if the ban was lifted before the end of the year.

What’s the Status of the New York State Gambling Bill?

At the moment of writing, New York is still one of the states where online gaming is illegal. However, land-based casinos (and sportsbooks) are permitted in the Empire State. The status quo would probably remain for years if it weren’t for COVID-19. Due to the pandemic, NY Government decided to implement a casino curfew.

For months, New York casinos weren’t allowed to operate. Although Cuomo promised to lift the casino curfew on April 5, the fact that those businesses spent months with their doors closed, a huge hole was created in the state budget.

Cuomo’s idea of fixing that hole is to lift the ban on online betting, which would serve as a nice source of revenue tax. However, Cuomo’s idea differs from the one proposed by other legislators.

Governor thinks New York should have a single state-run online sportsbook based on the lottery model. Other lawmakers believe the best option would be a free-market approach, which would enable New Yorkers to choose from several operators.

The latest news from the New York State Assembly suggest that the latter option is more likely to be accepted.

NY Assembly Adds Mobile Betting to Its 2021 Budget

On Sunday evening, the lower chamber of the NY State Assembly released its budget proposal for 2021-22. One of the parts of the plan is focused on the revenue generated from mobile betting. The fiscal projection suggests New York State could make over $180 million in 2022 from this industry.

What’s interesting is that the projections were based on the open-market model, in which there would be up to 12 mobile skins.

Each land-based casino would be allowed to apply for a license for two online skins. The cost of an operating license would be somewhere in the range of $12 million. On top of that, mobile sportsbooks would have to pay a 12% tax.

When Will Mobile Betting in NY Become a Reality?

Considering how things are going at the moment, it’s only normal to assume the NY lawmakers will come up with a mobile betting bill in a few months’ time. The next step is for the voters to approve that bill.

If they do it, the seven land-based casinos (four commercial and three tribal casinos) in New York will get the right to apply for an operating license. To do that, they will have to partner up with a software provider, which will have to fulfill a number of conditions meant to ensure fair betting, as well as privacy and security of the players.

Only when they get a license will online casinos be permitted to go live. So, when should you expect such a thing to happen?

Judging by the experiences from other states, the entire process usually takes about a year and a half. For instance, online gaming became legal in Michigan in 2019, but it wasn’t until January 22, 2021, before the first mobile sportsbooks were launched.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

200+ US Casinos are Now Smoke-Free Following COVID-19 Shutdown

Dr. Brian King from the CDC has recently confirmed that more than 200 casinos around the US have returned from the COVID-19 shutdown as smoke-free facilities. King, who is the deputy director for research in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health, called this fact “a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

However, King shouldn’t be too optimistic about it as most of those casinos are planning to return to their old ways once the coronavirus is completely out of our lives. At least that’s according to gaming historian David Schwartz, who believes smoking and gambling go hand-by-hand.

Still, the fact is that the US gaming capital Las Vegas now has more smoke-free casinos than any time before, the most notable example being Park MGM.

Park MGM Casino Leading the Way

According to the president of MGM Resorts Las Vegas Portfolio, Anton Nikodemus, there is a strong desire among non-smokers to gamble at smoke-free casinos. As a result, the company has decided to make one of its Las Vegas properties entirely smoke-free.

The casino in question is Park MGM, which has been a smoke-free zone since returning to business on September 30, 2020. When it re-opened its doors, the casino became the first property on the Las Vegas Strip where smoking is banned.

The no-smoking rule, however, was in force in other Las Vegas casinos in the past. Probably the best example is the old Silver City Casino, which banned smoking in 1991. However, gamblers did not react very well to that decision, so the ban lasted for only a couple of months.

More examples of short-lived casino smoking bans come from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Last summer, when those two states decided to allow the casinos to return to business after the COVID-19 shutdown, one of the rules was to ensure a smoking-free environment on the premises.

The rule, however, did not last too long. One of the reasons why casinos lifted the ban as soon as the state officials allowed them is that gamblers seem to have a love affair with smoking.

Gamblers Say Yes to Smoking

Over the last couple of decades, smoking prevalence has declined sharply in the US. According to the CDC, only about 14% of Americans smoke, or roughly 34.1 million people. What this means is that a big majority of people living in the United States are non-smokers.

The data differs a lot when casino gamblers are concerned. As it turns out, a large percentage of US casino patrons are smokers. Former UNLV professor who specializes in gaming history, David Schwartz, thinks that smokers generate more revenue to the casino industry than non-smokers.

He believes that that’s the reason why most casinos are going to allow indoor smoking to return as soon as the pandemic is over. Still, casinos might come up with a different solution. Rather than banning/allowing smoking entirely, they might decide to separate the gaming floors to smoking and non-smoking ones.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Wynn Resorts Stocks Now Up for Sale at $118

Last year was “annus horribilis” for practically everyone involved with the casino business. However, some have managed to rebound in the last couple of months of 2020. One of those companies is Wynn Resorts, which closed out the last year on a relatively high note – they reported a positive adjusted property EBITDA of about $39.4 million.

The casino operator now wants to cash in on the euphoria, for which, Wynn Resorts decided to put a portion of its stocks up for public sale.  About 6.32 million Wynn Resorts stocks have been made available for purchase, which is expected to raise as much as $5.5 million.

The money collected through the sale of Wynn Resorts stocks is going to be used for “general corporate purposes.”

Wynn Stocks Traded at ~$118 on Robinhood

The timing is great for Wynn to sell its stocks. At the same time, it also seems that it’s still a good time for investors to start buying them. At the moment of writing, the price of one Wynn Resorts stock on Robinhood.com is $118.

Wynn stocks at Robinhood
Screenshot: Robinhood

The lowest price of Wynn Resorts stocks was recorded in late January. On Friday, January 29, the price for one stock was $99.53. Since then, the price has been constantly going up.

Last week, we saw the price for one stock going above $116, while this week, it went over $117 before reaching the current price on early Saturday morning.

The reason why buying Wynn Resorts stocks at $118 seems like a good business move is that the price is still way below $136.82, which was its price before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring.

Wynn Stock Improvement Led by Macau Rebound

Things still aren’t in order in Las Vegas, with COVID-19 still causing troubles for the casino industry. Good days seem to be ahead as, from February 15, Nevada will ease its COVID-19 measures. As a result, casinos will be allowed to increase their capacity from 25 to 35%. Not a very big improvement but knowing that the vaccination is ongoing, the end of the crisis seems to be on the horizon.

What this means for Wynn Resorts is that their two properties on the Strip (Wynn Las Vegas and Encore) are expected to return to their full glory within a couple of months. Once that happens, millions of dollars will start pouring in the company piggy-bank, which is bound to make its stocks go up.

Until that happens, the main driving force behind Wynn Resorts will continue to be the operation in Macau. Wynn’s CEO Matt Maddox was full of praise for the company’s property in Macau, calling it “the sweet spot of our company.”

In addition, the company has big plans for its online sports betting brand WynnBET. According to Maddox, the internet operation saw its “revenues growing almost 50 percent over the last three months.” WynnBET was recently made an official sponsor of the Memphis Grizzlies in an effort to make the brand a household name among American sports fans.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Las Vegas Sands Hires 51 Lobbyists to Push for Casino Legalization in Texas

Even though there were speculations about the future of Las Vegas Sands following the death of its founder Sheldon Adelson, the company seems to be on the same route. At least, that’s the case when it comes to its involvement with casino legalization in Texas.

For the last couple of years of his life, one of Adelson’s main preoccupations was to persuade Texas lawmakers into ditching the laws that ban casino gambling. In late 2020, he hired 10 lobbyists with the intention of pushing his Texas casino agenda.

After Adelson’s passing, his successors in Las Vegas Sands decided to up the ante – they hired 51 lobbyists with the same intention.

Sands Becomes Second-Largest Lobbying Group in Texas Behind AT&T

With Adelson gone, the man in the spotlight is Andy Abboud. The vice president of government relations at Las Vegas Sands is the man in charge of the lobbying operation the aim of which is to make casinos legal in Texas.

In Abboud’s words “Texas is considered the biggest plum still waiting to be out there in the history of hospitality and gaming.”

The lobbying team has never been this big – with 51 people involved and about $4.5 million spent, the Las Vegas Sands lobbying group is the second-largest of its kind in the Lone Star State. The only other company with a larger and more powerful lobbying group is AT&T.

With so many invested in this project, Las Vegas Sands is expecting results. However, Texas legislators remain silent on this matter for the time being. However, all the signs are there that there’s a bright future for the Texas casino industry.

What’s the Destiny of Casino Legalization in Texas?

Old Westerns might have given you the idea that gambling plays a pivotal role in the culture of Texas. Add to that the fact that one of the most popular variants of poker bears the name of the state and you’re in for a surprise – casino gambling has been banned in Texas since 1903.

Still, there are some notable exceptions. Parimutuel wagering is legal at racetracks, while there are also a couple of tribal casinos within the state borders. Commercial casinos, however, remain banned. The question is for how long?

The tide seems to be moving in favor of casino legalization in Texas, and it’s not just because of Las Vegas Sands lobbying. It’s also because the COVID-19 pandemic has created a big hole in the state’s budget that gambling tax could fill.

Another reason is that the establishment of land-based casinos in Texas would mean more jobs for locals. The thing is that the unemployment rate in Texas is pretty high and casinos could solve the problem for at least a couple of thousand people.

Finally, it appears that Texans are in favor of casino legalization. A public poll by the University of Houston this January showed that about 70% of people are in favor of casino legalization. Knowing all this, it seems like a safe bet to say Texas is going to get its first commercial casinos real soon.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

The Future of Sands/Crown Deal in Question After Adelson’s Passing

On Monday night, the owner of Las Vegas Sands and one of the richest men in the world, Sheldon Adelson, passed away at the age of 87, following complications from his cancer treatment.

Adelson will be remembered as one of the most powerful people in the gaming industry, whose company owns and operates a number of luxury casinos around the world, including properties in Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore, where the iconic Marina Bay Sands resort is located.

Adelson’s empire has been constantly growing since 1989 when he launched Las Vegas Sands after purchasing the struggling business of the Sands Hotel. The company did suffer during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but not too much – Las Vegas Sands continued paying salaries to its employees as if they were working.

Not only that but the world’s largest casino operator also reportedly planned to spread its empire to Australia through the purchase of a 36% stake in Crown Resorts. There’s a big question mark hovering over that deal, following the death of Adelson.

Rumors About Sands/Crown Deal

As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, Shane Adelson spent New Year’s Eve with James Packer, one of the owners of Crown Resorts. The two casino magnates were seen docking their superyachts next to one another – Packer’s $200m-worth Arctic P and Adelson’s $70m-worth Queen Miri.

Although there’s nothing strange in two billionaires socializing on their superyachts, the rumor about Sands acquiring a share of Crown Resorts doesn’t seem too farfetched. The thing is that Packer and his casino group are currently under an investigation in New South Wales, where officials are checking whether the company was suitable to hold a gaming license.

There’s speculation that the Aussie businessman is looking to get rid of his 36% stake in Crown Resorts. However, there aren’t too many companies in the world that have the kind of money for this kind of purchase. But, Las Vegas Sands definitely has!

The trouble is that with Sheldon Adelson gone, it’s not sure whether the new decision-makers in Las Vegas Sands will be willing to start off with such a big investment.

The Future of Online Gambling in the US After Adelson’s Death

Sheldon Adelson was arguably the most important person in the gaming industry. We’re not talking just about the United States, but the entire world. It’s not only because his company owned properties around the world, but also because Adelson was a very influential person in world politics.

Adelson will be remembered as one of the main backers of Israel’s current PM Benjamin Netanyahu. With Adelson’s help, Israel persuaded the United States to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

This happened during Donald Trump’s Presidency, who was also responsible for brokering a deal that would see two other countries moving their embassies to Jerusalem, namely, Serbia and Kosovo.

Speaking of Trump, Adelson was one of his main supporters. In fact, ahead of the 2020 Elections, Adelson donated $75 million to Trump’s campaign. One of the reasons behind Sheldon’s love for the leaving President is that Trump was his ally in the crusade against US online gambling.

There’s no surprise that the owner of land-based casinos was one of the main opponents of the legalization of online casino gaming in the United States. However, unlike many other casino owners, who have been trying to adapt to the modern world by embracing internet gaming, Adelson wanted to ban it entirely.

Over the last 15 years, he had been pushing for the reenactment of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which would make internet gambling illegal again. Still, despite his efforts, it seems that good days are coming for American online casinos. The number of states that are working on making this gambling form legal keeps growing.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Pornstar Stormy Daniels Asking for Your Help to Blow Up Trump’s Casino

One of the worst years in history for the gaming industry (and otherwise) is finally over. And over in Vegas, they’ve blown the sign saying “2020” with dynamite. Speaking of blowing things up, Stormy Daniels wants to be the one to push the demolition button on Donald Trump’s former casino in Atlantic City.

To do that, she will need to enter an auction organized by the government of Atlantic City. The bids are still coming in, but at the moment of writing, the highest one stands at $175,000.

Stormy doesn’t feel too good about paying the money on her own, which is why she’s asking for your help – anyone who wants to see Stormy blowing up Trump Plaza can fund her GoFundMe campaign.

So far, Stormy’s campaign has raised only $1,935 thanks to 91 donors. Still, the goal of the campaign is to reach $1,000,000. For those who think it’s a bit much to pay to see Trump’s former sex partner blow up his former casinos, we need to remind you that the money is going to charity. All the proceeds from the auction will go to Atlantic City’s branch of Boys & Girls Club.

Philadelphia Casinos to Return to Business on Monday

In other casino news, Philadelphia Governor Thomas Wolf has signed a decree allowing all of 14 casinos located within the state borders to return to business starting Monday, January 4. They’ve been closed for three weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic that’s been making a comeback in the Commonwealth.

Once they re-open their doors, casinos will have to operate under different conditions. They will have to make certain adjustments inside the venue in order to adhere to the social distancing rules. Casinos are also required to use high-tech air purification systems, as well as clean the premises on a regular basis, while also providing hand sanitizers for the guests.

The biggest change that Pennsylvania’s casinos will go through over the next period is 24/7 surveillance. At any given moment, the state police and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) need to have a presence in each of the 14 casinos, either in-person or through surveillance cameras.

Casino Industry Hopeful of a Big Comeback in 2021

The return of Pennsylvania’s casinos is definitely very good news, but more good news are expected to follow in the upcoming weeks. With the COVID-19 vaccine available, the end of the pandemic is near.

Sure, it might take some time for things to get back to normal but a general consensus is that 2021 is going to be much, much better than the last one.

Some of the things casino aficionados should be excited about include the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Over in Hawaii, officials are thinking about changing their stance on gambling. If everything goes according to plan, the construction of Kapolei casino resort.

Finally, more and more states are going through the process of sports betting legalization. There are also some that plan to make online casino gambling legal in 2021.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

You Can Now Bid on Auction to Blow Up Trump’s Casino

Formerly owned by former President, Trump Plaza is to be demolished in 2021. You have a chance to be the one to press the button. For that to happen, all you got to do is bid the highest bid at the auction.

The Trump Plaza demolition auction has already attracted a lot of media attention, with comedians like Jimmy Fallon talking about it in their shows.

However, the auction wasn’t meant to be a dig at the former President. Instead, the purpose of it is to raise money for charity. As announced by Atlantic City Mayor Marty Smalls Sr., the city is going to give all the proceeds from the auction to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City.

Atlantic City is Auctioning the Demolition of Trump Plaza

Atlantic City officials have put an independent auction house in charge of the auction regarding the destruction of Trump Plaza. Bodnars Auction is the name of the organization that will take care of the auction, which has already started on the internet.

Anyone with a couple of hundred thousand dollars to spare can enter the online auction through this link. At the moment of writing, the highest bid is $28,000, with 11 people taking part so far. However, the Trump Plaza demolition auction has only just started this week, with more than a month left to go.

The auction will end on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, just 10 days before the previously-planned date of demolition. However, as confirmed by Atlantic City Mayor, the implosion of the 39-floor building (the 15th-highest building in Atlantic City) is going to be postponed for a couple of weeks. The most likely time for it to happen is mid-February.

The End of Trump’s Reign in Atlantic City

At one point, Donald Trump owned some of the most successful casinos, not only in Atlantic City but the entire country. However, those days are long gone, with the ex-US President offloading some of his New Jersey businesses, while others fell apart on their own.

One of those that belong to the latter category is Trump Plaza. Located on the iconic Atlantic City boardwalk, it was Trump’s first investment in the casino business. The year was 1984 when it was launched, just a couple of years after Atlantic City became East Coast’s gambling hub.

After the initial success of Trump Plaza, Trump’s Castle was opened. In, 1990, Trump and his associates decided on an even bigger project – the construction of Trump Taj Mahal. In fact, their ambitions didn’t end there. They launched Trump World’s Fair six years later.

At one point, almost half of all casinos in Atlantic City had something to do with Donald Trump. The problem was that they turned out to be each other’s competitors. When profits started dropping, Trump decided to sell Trump’s Castle (renamed Trump Marina in 1997).

For the other three casinos, he decided to file for bankruptcy. Trump Taj Mahal closed down in 2016 (reopened as Hard Rock Casino in 2018). Trump World’s Fair was demolished in 1999, and the same faith awaits the last remaining Trump-branded casino in Atlantic City.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Michigan to Get Online Casinos and Sportsbooks by the End of 2020

On Wednesday, December 1, the Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) approved the regulations proposed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). The regulations in question are meant to regulate online casinos, sportsbooks, and daily fantasy sports (DFS) platforms in Michigan.

As a result, Michigan bettors are going to be able to bet and gamble online as soon as land-based casinos launch their web-based platforms. That’s something that’s expected to happen by the end of the year.

Everyone seems to be cheering for this to happen as soon as possible. The reason is that Michigan’s land-based casinos have been closed due to COVID-19 regulations. As per Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) orders, casinos will remain shut down until at least December 9.

Three Detroit Casinos to Go Online

In Q2, the three land-based commercial casinos in Detroit – MGM Grand, Greektown Casino, and MotorCity Casino Hotel – reported a gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $0.

Over summer, they rebounded, albeit only slightly. Then, in November, COVID-19 came back with a vengeance, with the number of new cases going above 16k near the end of the month. That prompted Governor to put the state in another lockdown.

As a result, Detroit’s casinos are suffering again. However, their suffering might come to an end by the end of December. The thing is that they are given the green light to launch their online casino and sportsbook apps.

In order to be allowed to do that, the three casinos need to team up with providers of online gaming software. This is why we’ve seen the creation of some new partnerships in Michigan’s casino landscape.

MotorCityCasino & FanDuel

MotorCity Casino Hotel formed a partnership with FanDuel, which is going to result in an all-in-one platform, allowing the players to bet, play casino games, and take part in daily fantasy sports, using a single account.

According to FanDuel, the sportsbook/online casino will launch soon, with the launch date still not being released. However, the operator has already started accepting registrations from users based in Michigan. Those who do it will receive $100 worth of free bets ($50 for casino and $50 for sportsbook) to use up once the platform goes online.

Greektown Casino & IGT & Barstool

Greektown Casino is going online with the help of IGT and Barstool. The role of IGT is to power Greektown’s online casino, while Barstool will provide sportsbook solutions.

MGM Grand Detroit & BetMGM

MGG Grand Detroit and BetMGM are both owned by the same company, hence it’s no surprise they’re working together on launching a Michigan online casino and sportsbook.

Once these three online casinos launch, Michigan is going to become only the fifth state in the US where this gaming activity is legal and licensed. At the moment, the states where online casinos are permitted are New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

When it comes to online sportsbooks, there are nine when this activity is legal, but that number is going up in the near future. It’s because, in November, Americans voted to liberalize gaming laws in several US states.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Atlantic City Casinos Expecting a Big Thanksgiving Feast Despite COVID-19 Worries

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated all aspects of life, including leisure and entertainment. Once again, the virus is in the news, with the outbreak threatening to cancel Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States. A number of states have already decided to go with new measures, some of which include shutting down non-essential businesses such as land-based casinos.

New Jersey, however, still does not belong to those states. According to Governor Phil Murphy, the state has no plans of shutting down the Atlantic City casinos. Gaming fans will be welcome at all nine AC casinos, but there won’t be any turkey on the menu. At least not in the evening as bars and restaurants in casinos now have to close every night at 10 pm.

Governor Phil Murphy Backing Atlantic City Casinos

With the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 going up in New Jersey, a question arose regarding shutting down Atlantic City casinos. Governor Murphy shut them down on March 18 and kept them closed until July 2, but this time, he believes there’s no need for such a measure.

Even though the number of new COVID-19 cases per day is considerably higher than it was in March when casinos ended up closed, Murphy thinks these sorts of venues do not add to the coronavirus risk.

“We believe, based on the evidence that we have, that they’ve been able to responsibly manage their casino floors” – Murphy said during a briefing with other state officials.

The thing is that Atlantic City casinos seem to be doing a very good job keeping the environment coronavirus-free. Furthermore, recent stats show that casinos rank #44 in the list of places where you’re most likely to catch the disease.

Atlantic City Casinos Would Not Survive Another Lockdown

Another incentive to keep the Atlantic City casinos open is the local economy. The gambling industry has suffered big losses as a result of the outbreak, especially in parts of the United States that rely on this industry.

Atlantic City definitely belongs to this category, as the city’s gaming revenue is keeping the local economy healthy. At least it was in the times before the pandemic. Since COVID-19 came to Atlantic City, the gaming revenue plummeted.

As evident from the figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Atlantic City casinos generated $186.1 million in revenue this October, which is an 8% decline compared with October 2019.

Not everything is doom and gloom in New Jersey’s gaming world. Online gambling sites have been making a lot of money during the pandemic. Last month, online casinos and sports betting sites generated $118 million.

As a reminder, New Jersey is one of only four US states where online casino gaming is legal and regulated at the moment of writing. The other three states are Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

American Voters Approve Sports Betting and Casino Gaming Expansions

On Tuesday, Americans weren’t just choosing their new President between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Some of them were also casting votes that would decide the future of the US gaming industry. Three states voted to make sports betting legal, while three decided to approve/expand casino gaming.

The states in question are the following:

  • Maryland
  • South Dakota
  • Louisiana
  • Virginia
  • Nebraska
  • Colorado

Of those states, the top three listed have made sports betting legal. In Virginia, the voters decided to approve casino gaming in four locations. Nebraska voters approved adding casino games to the racetracks in the state, while the voters from Colorado made their state’s casino gaming laws more liberal.

Three New Sports Betting-Friendly US States

The voters in Maryland, South Dakota, and Louisiana voted to make sports betting legal in their states. As a result, the United States is going to have at least 25 states, together with the District of Colombia, where sports betting is legal in some form.

Online betting still remains illegal or unregulated in most of those states, although many are working on changing that. At the moment of writing, there are nine states where internet/mobile betting is legal.

The road to sports betting legalization in the US started in 2018 when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, a federal law that practically made this gaming form illegal everywhere apart from Nevada and tribal lands. The Supreme Court’s ruling made it possible for individual states to decide the legality of sports betting on their own.

Three States Expand Casino Gaming

The voters from Colorado, Nebraska, and Virginia decided to liberalize their casino gambling laws. Virginia is going to make gambling legal in four casinos within the state. Over in Nebraska, the voters have decided to allow racetracks to turn into racinos, that is, racetracks that have certain types of casino games on the premises.

In Colorado, the voters decided to get rid of some wagering limits, while also expanding the list of casino game types available at land-based casinos. From now on, Colorado casinos will be allowed to add craps and roulette to their gambling offers.

Online gambling was not on the ballot, although the voting results are certainly putting wind in its sails. At the moment, here’s only a couple of states where internet casino gaming is possible. New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are the states that already have online casinos, while a few more will get their gaming websites in the near future.

Online casinos remain illegal in Nevada, a state that relies on land-based casinos. The state’s stance towards internet gaming probably isn’t going to change anytime soon, partially because of the pressure legislators are getting from Las Vegas casino owners. One of biggest opponents of online casinos in Nevada is the owner of Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson, who’s recently gotten in news headlines for making a $75 million donation to Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Saracen Casino Resort Makes an Unofficial Debut before Oct 20

The Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Arkansas made an unofficial opening on Thursday, October 15 and is tipped to open to the general public tomorrow Tuesday, October 20.

Saracen Casino Resort Completed, Grand Opening for October 20

Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, made an unofficial opening Thursday night, welcoming special guests and residents from the state. The casino resort which has been developed by the Quapaw Nation since August 2019, announced its grand opening will be October 20.

Billed as the largest commercial construction project in Arkansas, the casino resort soft opening attracted interest from Gov. Asa Hutchison, as well as other elected officials, among which Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington and Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson, along with Quapaw Nation’s Chairman Joseph Tali Byrd and Tribal Princess Kristal Glass.

The 200,000 square foot casino will house 80,000 square feet of gaming space, offering 2,000 slot machines, 30 table games, a poker room and a sports book. The resort will offer amenities such as a 300-room hotel tower with luxury accommodation options, 6 restaurants, an outdoor venue for special events, as well as 15,000 square feet of event facilities for indoor concerts, special events and banquets.

The casino resort built in a region which was once home to the Quapaw Nation has already hired over 700 people and is further looking for around 100 more, as the tribe wants to contribute to the thriving of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County by its homecoming, feeling proud of the economic development it would bring to the region.

Divvying up the Tax Revenue

According to a constitutional amendment voted by residents in Arkansas, Pine Bluff will receive 19.5% of the gaming revenue from the casino resort, while Jefferson County will get 8% of it. Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington noted that further infrastructure projects will be funded by the increase in receipts due to the addition of the casino.

“I think this money is going to help us give those increases to our first responders that we’ve been looking to for so many years so we can have that level of retention that we need.” Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington

Shirley Washington further outlined that the city could not attract a lot of industries and should make the most of this opportunity by making Pine Bluff a destination city. Furthermore, the Mayor expressed hopes that due to the new jobs created and the opportunities for people to afford nicer homes crime levels would be driven down.

Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson expressed his expectations things would start to evolve fast around Pine Bluff, as due to the revenue from Saracen Casino Resort, “we’re building three new buildings, the new health department, a new veterans service building and were also building a new coroner’s office”.

The casino will open following strict guidelines for health and safety, and wearing of masks will be mandatory, as well as temperature checks at the entry. Slot machines are divided by plexiglass barriers and table games are limited to 3 to 4 seats.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Trump Receives a Major Cash Injection From Las Vegas Sands Owner

The COVID-19 pandemic has finally stepped from the throne of the most discussed topic in the world. The topic that took its place is the 2020 Presidential Election. Even in the world of casino gambling, the Trump vs Biden race is heavily discussed, especially after the news that the owner of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson has donated $75 million to the current President’s campaign. Will this cash injection help Trump save his job?

According to offshore sportsbooks, the chance is very low that Trump will stay in the White House for another four years. Instead, with the odds of -210, Joe Biden is the favorite. Still, an even more drastic situation was back in 2016 when Trump took on Hillary Clinton, who was, at one, point a -500 favorite, America did not get its first female President.

Can Trump upset the odds once again? He might, but he’ll need more money for that as his opponent’s campaign currently has way more funds on their hands. This is why Adelson’s donation of $75 million is certainly appreciated in the Blue part of the US.

Who is Sheldon Adelson?

With an estimated net worth of $33.5 billion, Sheldon Adelson is one of the richest men in the United States. The 87 years’ old businessman is the owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which has several iconic casinos in its domain, including the following:

  • The Venetian Las Vegas (a luxury hotel and casino where the company’s headquarters are located)
  • The Venetian Macao (the second-largest casino in the world)
  • Marina Bay Sands in Singapore (the world’s most expensive integrated resort at the time of the opening in 2010)
  • Sands Macao (the first Vegas-style casino to open on Chinese soil)

The casino magnate used to be a member of the Democratic Party until 1996, before establishing himself as one of the biggest backers of the Republicans.

What’s Behind Trump’s Relationship With Adelson?

According to an article published in the New Yorker in 2013, Adelson changed his political affiliation after having trouble with labor unions in Las Vegas. The same article quoted him complaining about the current tax system in the United States, which makes taxes higher for those with more money.

Why is it fair that I should be paying a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?

An even bigger reason for Adelson to back the Republican candidate lies in the Wire Act. The proposed bill is supposed to reverse the current online gaming laws in the United States, practically outlawing online slots and all the other popular internet casino games. Adelson is famous as the #1 proponent of this bill, which would secure a prosperous future of his land-based casinos.

The relationship between Adelson and the Republican Party is not a one-way street. Donald Trump has previously called Adelson his friend on many occasions, not to mention that Sheldon’s wife, Miriam Adelson, received a Presidential Medal of Honor from Trump in 2018.

The Trump-Adelson relationship reached its lowest point in August when the President reportedly berated the casino magnate for not donating enough money to his cause. Adelson eventually decided to pay-up, but the question is whether it’s already too late?

 

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

GGPoker Banishes 40 Players Over RTA Use, Seizes $1,175,305

Earlier this week, the online poker platform GGPoker announced its investigation on the use of real-time analysis (RTA) has concluded. Following the results of the investigation, the company decided to ban a total of 40 accounts, 13 of which had their winnings seized. The total amount of money seized from those accounts is $1,175,305.43, all of which will be returned to the players who fell victim to the RTA-using players.

One of the players who’s found guilty of using the RTA is the German player Fedor Kruse. Even though the poker platform did not mention its name explicitly, it’s almost certain that he’s lost all of his recent winnings as a result of the GGPoker RTA investigation.

The player who made a name for himself playing Call of Duty on Stream has been playing big-money poker lately on the GGPoker platform, with stakes as high as $200/$400. And he won most of them! Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t his poker skills or his luck that brought him the fortune. Instead, it was an RTA tool that he nicknamed the Dream Machine.

The Story Behind the GGPoker RTA Ban?

As per the rules set up by the GGPoker platform, it is forbidden to use any sort of RTA software. Players know this, so using such tools is going to result in account suspension every time GGPoker notices it.

“At GGPoker Network (‘GGPN’), we firmly believe Poker to be a battle of wits that is meant to be experienced without the use of any Real-Time Assistance (‘RTA’) whatsoever. To this end, we were among the first to prohibit heads-up displays, and we have been quick to ban players in the past that were using prohibited software.“

The problem is that figuring out who’s using it is not easy. However, since recently, it seems that GGPoker has cracked the code, as evident from the fact that 80 players have found guilty of using the RTA, half of which ended up with their accounts suspended.

GGPoker is definitely an enemy of RTA, but many poker players believe it should be the case. For many people involved with online poker, the use of real-time analysis is not a form of cheating. They argue that the use of RTA is no different from having a rules book by your side while playing.

How it works is that the RTA is actually a database of pre-solved poker hands, with literally thousands of potential scenarios. The software gives the player an opportunity to compare the hands similar to the one that’s currently on in the game. This way, the RTA can give the player an edge over others.

PokerStars to Help Little Fish

GGPoker wasn’t the only poker platform in the news headlines last week. Its main rival, the largest poker platform in the world, Poker Stars, has also decided to do some good deeds recently. The company has decided to help out “fish,” that is, inexperienced players who often lose their money to pro poker players looking to make some easy money.

The solution to prevent predatory behavior is to keep inexperienced players separated from experienced players in cash games. To do that, PokerStars has created Active Waiting Lists, which should prevent poker experts from robbing newcomers of their money. How it’s meant to work is that in order to be allowed in a waiting list, a player needs to have played games with the same stakes.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Las Vegas Gets Its First Smoke-Free Casino on September 30

Once it reopens on the last day of September, the Park MGM Casino on the Las Vegas Strip is going to become the first smoking-free casino in the area. No other casino in this part of the United States has ever made such a decision, even after Las Vegas came out of the COVID-19 shutdown.

In other parts of the country, casinos did have to ban smoking temporarily as per the state orders. The decision to banish smoking out of the casino was not forced to the Park MGM casino by anyone. Instead, the casino management decided on this step following “guest demand.”

Casino Patrons Want Non-Smoking Environment

According to the president of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas Portfolio, Anton Nikodemus, the reason behind this decision lies in “recurring guest demand for a fully non-smoking casino resort on The Strip.”

Nikodemus insists that this thought has been on the casino executives’ mind since the casino resort opened in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic just confirmed that a non-smoking Las Vegas casino would be a good idea.

Anti-smoking advocates have been calling for an indoor smoking ban in Las Vegas casinos after the COVID-19 shutdown. The main reason cited was the fact that smoking simply doesn’t go together with the face mask rule. One can’t smoke and weak a face mask at the same time.

Nevertheless, all the Las Vegas casinos that have reopened do allow indoor smoking, while still requiring the patrons to wear face masks inside the venues. This includes all the other MGM-owned casinos in Nevada, including the MGM Grand Las Vegas, The Mirage, and Mandalay Bay.

Las Vegas Entering a New Era

Smoking in casinos has been the imagery associated with Las Vegas since its early days. The author of 11 books on Las Vegas, David G. Schwartz, agrees, but also adds that times are changing in Sin City. One of the sins that the city might get rid of in the future is smoking.

According to him, banning indoor smoking in Las Vegas casinos is something several companies have tried in the past. It’s needless to say that all of them failed in the endeavor. An example he points out is the old Silver City Casino, which went smoking-free in 1991 but decided to give up on that decision after only a couple of months. The reason to back down was a drastic decrease in the number of visitors.

Almost two decades later, smoking is no longer trendy, but many casino patrons still seem to indulge in it. For many of them, smoking is something they do only when on vacation, following the mantra of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Still, recent experiences have shown that smoking is not as an essential part of the casino experience as previously believed. The anti-COVID-19 measures set up in many states have banished indoor smoking in casinos, something which most patrons did not mind.

Smoking Is Back in Atlantic City Casinos

Atlantic City casinos reopened just before the 4th of July weekend, but in the first two months after the shutdown, they had to do business differently. Until early September, the AC casinos had to work at 25% capacity, as well as banish drinking, dining, and smoking out of the premises. However, starting Friday, September 4, those bans are lifted.

Indoor smoking is officially back in casinos in Atlantic City, but the same is not the case in other parts of the US. Commercial casinos in New York have returned to business earlier this month but will have to fulfill certain anti-COVID-19 conditions in order to remain open. One of those conditions is the smoking ban.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.