Industry News

New Vegas slots millionaires, a naked poker player and German banks taking flack

Nevada poker rooms see best September since 2013

Recently released figures by Nevada’s gaming regulators show that Nevada’s poker rooms saw a strong uptake in revenues in September, generating $8.7 million, the best month-on-month performance since September 2013 say poker rooms state-wide pull in $8.9 million.
With some 62 registered poker rooms across the state, and 589 tables, the revenue growth was all the more significant in light of the fact that the state had 80 poker rooms and 755 tables in 2013, when the last record was set. September 2013 also saw the World Series of Poker launch its online site in Nevada, where it remains the states only internet poker operator.
The Silver State has seen year-on-year poker room gains since May, with the state’s monthly poker revenue record having been set back in 2006, when, at the height of the state’s gambling boom, poker rooms grossed $12.6 million.
The recent up tick and expectations of the trend continuing have been fueled by the legalization of online poker in Pennsylvania, as well as a three-state liquidity sharing deal between Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware boosting the combined player pool.

Naked guy attempts poker buy-in in Las Vegas

Players got a bit more flash/flesh than they bargained for last month at the Bellagio in Las Vegas after a muscular, middle-aged, tattooed man in glasses was seen walking around one of Sin City’s largest poker rooms completely naked. Walking around the poker room with his bundled clothes covering his groin area, high-stakes poker pro Doug Polk, who was at the casino at the time, said the man was apparently trying to register to get into a game.
After onlookers pulled out their phones and snapped pictures, the man was peacefully lead off the premises by security guards and asked to put his clothes back on.

Maine shoots down 3rd casino proposal

The proposal to bring another Indian casino to Maine that pitted two of the state’s four registered Indian tribes against a third failed to garner voter support.
Out of state gambling entrepreneur Shawn Scott and his company Capital Seven had funded an expensive campaign to woo the state’s voters to cast their ballots in favor of the casino plans, promising the Aroostook Band of Micmacs tribe economic growth and opportunities in exchange for allowing the casino to be built on tribal land.
The move was vociferously opposed by the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy native American communities, who already operate the Oxford Casino under a voter approved revenue sharing agreement and who feared a third casino in the small state of 1.2 million would seriously impede their revenue stream.
Casino developer Scott had promised the casino would provide local jobs as well as money to boost education and aid seniors and veterans. But the suggestion of a third casino in the state was not without controversy. The states gambling opponents claimed Scott was a shady dealer and “carpet bagger” who was attempting to buy his way in to a casino franchise with plenty of promises but few substantive results.
In June, the state’s Ethics Commission imposed a $500,000 fine against four political action committees supporting the casino for missing deadlines regarding who was funding the groups. Rumor has it that it was Scott himself.
Local media reported that Republican Gov. Paul LePage said that the proposal was motivated by greed and that a state with 1.3 million people couldn’t support a third casino. He called it “another case of big-money, out-of-state interests using Maine voters to get a sweet deal.”

Colombia blocks online sites to boost brick and mortar casino revenue

Colombia, once the land of narcoterrorist Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel and more famous for cocaine and riot police storming favelas to stave off rampant violence and stamp out organized crime than its beautiful forests and diverse ecosystems, has decided to turn its law enforcement community loose on a new threat, online casinos.
Colombia’s gambling regulator, Colijuegos, recently announced plans to block some 325 online casinos from being used by the state’s citizens in a move to boost regulated brick and mortar casino revenues.
Last year, Colombia passed new gambling laws that require online casino operators to pay tax on all revenue generated in country as well as six figure licensing fees. Major online casino operators balked at the proposal and the tax was scrapped. Operators also showed little interest in the superlatively expensive licenses.
Currently, the future effectiveness of the crackdown remains unclear, as operators have traditionally found it easy to bypass state wide site blocking in other countries.

German banks take flack over online casino transactions

The release of the Paradise Papers, a trove of documents reviewed by the Consortium of Investigative Journalists highlighting the offshore banking activities of the world’s elite 1%, has German banks reeling after the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcaster NDR revealed that DZ Bank, Postbank, Hypo-Vereinsbank and Wirecard have been processing online casino transactions in violation of German laws.
The banks immediately denied that their activities violated Germany’s online gambling laws, which prohibit online gambling with the exception of sports betting.
At the same time, questions over the legality of Germany’s online gambling laws linger due to legal ambiguities at the state and EU level. Like the legal marijuana laws in the US, where individual states have legalized the drug for medical and recreational use while the federal government maintains a nation-wide ban, Germany’s laws pit the state and federal government against each other. For example, the state of Schleswig-Holstein has passed a more liberal online gambling licensing regime, rather that adhere to the federally mandated ban approved by Germany’s 15 other states in 2012.
Only last month a Federal Administrative Court upheld the nation-wide ban enshrined in the Federal Gambling Treaty of 2012, and slated to come into effect in 2018, along constitutional lines, even as the German Sports Betting Association issued a statement explaining the court still hadn’t approved the issuance of 20 sports betting licenses, leaving the country in legal online and sports gambling limbo.
Among the operators singled out in the news reports fingering German banks were Bwin, Tipico, Royal Panda and Casino Club, two of which, Bwin and Tipico actually hold legal online gambling licenses in Schleswig-Holstein.

Wheel of Fortune slot in Las Vegas makes another millionaire

San Antonio resident Sylvia Tejeda was in Las Vegas on vacation last week when she entered the Paris Las Vegas casino and took a seat at the classic three-reel Wheel of Fortune slot. A progressive jackpot machine, with jackpots regularly reaching over $1 million, Sylvia had only taken a few pulls when she hit the major progressive jackpot at $1,268,990.50.
The last time a Las Vegas slot made a millionaire was in September at Caesars Palace, also on the Wheel of Fortune progressive jackpot slot. Progressive jackpot slots work by pooling players money over a series of networked machines to increase the overall jackpot. While they are known to pay out minor amounts less frequently, as a percentage of what players deposit goes into the progressive jackpot, the jackpots themselves can be phenomenal.
Other recent Las Vegas jackpot slots wins include $787,842 won in September on the Willy Wonka: World of Willy Wonka penny slot at Harrah’s Las Vegas and $944,337.37 won in June on the same Harrah’s Las Vegas slot.
In light of the recent wins, Caesars Entertainment announced that it has created 777 millionaires since 1987, with player winnings nearing the $2 billion mark.
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