UK Gaming Regulators Slap Stan James Online with £80,000 Penalty

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 31 October 2017 3:15 pm

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is slapping UK-based operator Stan James Online with an £80,000 fine for failure to comply with anti-money laundering regulations and stop gaps meant to prevent problem gambling.

Stan James Online’s trouble with the UKGC date back to the period between November 2014 and October 2016. That’s when the commission overseeing UK gambling says the company fell well short of its obligations to protect problem gamblers from accessing the site. This is what’s known in UK parlance as a violation of the, “social responsibility code.”

In this case, that failure to adhere to the social responsibility code involved a failure to react to what the Commission sees as signs of problem gambling; as well as allowing a self-excluded player to gamble large sums of cash at the site. . Even then, according to the UKGC, Stan James Online took only limited steps to limit his play.

The Commission also found that Stan James Online failed to properly implement regulations designed to keep stolen cash from being laundered through casinos. In particular, the UKGC points to the case of a UK man who gambled £137,000 in funds stolen from his employer on the site.

It’s worth noting that the bulk of this activity occurred well before Stan James Online’s current owner, the Kindred Group, acquired the company in July of 2015. Early in 2017, the Kindred Group group announced that it would be dissolving the Stan James Online portion of its portfolio.

It’s also worth noting that, in their report on the matter, regulators praised company officials for their cooperation with the investigation and their willingness to address the issues in a timely manner.

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Ladbrokes Coral Stops Honoring Newspaper Odds

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 29 October 2017 3:17 pm

Ladbrokes Coral announced this week that they are saying goodbye to a practice that’s survived the internet era much longer than anyone would have suspected. On Monday, company officials stated that the UK operator will no longer honor horse racing odds that appeared in the newspaper.

While the practice seems desperately antiquated, it’s been a mainstay of UK horse race wagering since the dawn of online gambling. In short, sharp punters could lay bets on odds that may have changed drastically over the course of the day. After all, the horse racing odds appeared as early as 8:30 a.m. for races that were run much later in the day.

In a statement to the media, as reported on in The Racing Post, Ladbrokes Coral spokesman Simon Clare explained the company’s rationale for abandoning the practice saying:

These days more feature races than ever before are being priced up several days before the race, and prices are constantly moving from the time they are first published until the race going off. Given this context, to then guarantee to lay an advert price, that was finalised some 16 hours earlier due to newspaper print deadlines, often means the bookmaker ends up with precisely the opposite position in the market to the one intended.

In the end, it simply didn’t make sense for Ladbrokes Coral to offer wagers using desperately out-of-date odds.

As a form of compensation to sharp bettors who took advantage of this sweet situation, Ladbrokes Coral will continue accepting wagers of up to £5,000 on any horse to win. These wagers must be placed at a shop and before 9 a.m.

To gauge the overall mood of punters impacted by the new policy, one need only read the headline of a commentary on the subject in The Racing Post, All Good Things Must Come to an End.

The new policy will take effect at the end of the month.

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Phil Ivey Loses UK Edge Sorting Case: Must Pay Crockford’s £7.7 Million

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Friday 27 October 2017 3:14 pm

A UK high court has ruled that Crockford’s does not have to pay US poker pro Phil Ivey the £7.7 million he won while playing baccarat, and edge sorting, at the London casino. The judge’s ruling in the case will not only hurt Ivey’s wallet, it could have a huge impact on UK law.

The case has its origins in a marathon baccarat session Ivey and a female companion had at Crockford’s back in August of 2012. At that time, the poker prodigy used an advanced form of advantage play called edge sorting to learn what cards would be dealt during the game. (Ivey insisted that the croupier use the same dcck of cards both nights he played.)

Ivey’s technique was successful, he won £7.7 million, but was it legal and honest? That’s where the UK courts come into the story.

When officials at Crockford’s figures out what Ivey and his companion were up to, they refused to pay out his winnings. In their view, and in their legal defense, they said that while edge sorting wasn’t necessarily illegal, Ivey should have known that it was considered a form of cheating.  That, it turns out, is a big deal for UK law.

Since 1982, UK juries have had to consider both whether a defendant’s conduct was dishonest by ordinary standards and whether or not the defendant knew their actions would be seen as dishonest by ordinary people. The Ivey ruling walks that concept back and suggests that the standard actually helps people who knowingly act in an aberrant manner.

“What Mr Ivey did was to stage a carefully planned and executed sting. That it was clever and skillful, and must have involved remarkably sharp eyes, cannot alter that truth,” the judge said. That means that Ivey both knew that Crockford’s would think edge sorting was cheating; and went ahead and did it anyways.

From a legal standpoint, Ivey seems out of options for collecting his cash from Crockford’s. Fortunately for Ivey, he’s got another shot at collecting edge sorting cash from a nearly identical case involving edge sorting at the Borgata in Atlantic City.

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Malaysia Cracks Down on Online Gambling

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 25 October 2017 3:14 pm

Malaysian government authorities are doing their best to make accessing online gambling sites as hard as possible for their citizens. As part of their efforts, lawmakers in the Southeast Asian country are looking at shutting down legal loopholes that have allowed some operators to exist in a legal grey area.

According to reporting by CalvinAyre.com, Malaysian authorities are looking to make significant changes to the country’s Common Gaming House Act 1953, which regulates gambling. The law was written in the pre-internet era and included loopholes that allow Malaysians to access online gambling sites with minimal effort. Lawmakers are currently deciding whether to amend the current law, or to just write an entirely new code that covers modern online gambling in a more thorough fashion.

Whatever they decide, it’s certain to have an impact on operators who focus their efforts on Malaysian gamblers. Over the past few years, hundreds of sites have point at Malaysia while authorities scramble to block access to them. According to published reports, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) received 940 requests to block gambling sites in 2015. Under current laws, law enforcement officials can request that the MCMC block sites under an amendment to the existing act which allows authorities to respond if online gambling becomes a, “public concern.”

In a statement to the press, Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi summed up the situation saying, “Special attention should be given to improve online gambling laws because online gambling activities, which can be conducted via smartphones, are becoming rampant right now.”

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ESRB Won’t Classify Loot Boxes as Gambling

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 23 October 2017 3:15 pm

The line between video games and gambling has been blurred quite a bit in the last few years with the introduction of games featuring “loot boxes.” But the line isn’t blurry enough for the the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to classify the practice as gambling, yet.

Though not a formal ruling, that decisions was made clear in response to an inquiry from the gaming site, Kotaku about the status of the practice, which is becoming more and more common.

For those who aren’t in the know, loot boxes are virtual prizes awarded to players in video games such as Shadow of War and Counterstrike: Global Offensive. Loot boxes can contain anything from new weapons to use in the game to “skins”, which are used to decorate weapons and characters. The value of these prizes can vary dramatically with rare items fetching large amounts of real cash on aftermarket sales sites.

What throws loot boxes into a grey area is that players can buy opportunities to get loot boxes, without actually know what’s in them. That’s where critics have blasted the practice as a form of gambling that’s aimed squarely at young video game players.

But that’s not what the ESRB thinks. In a statement to Kotaku, a representative stated, “ESRB does not consider loot boxes to be gambling,” said an ESRB spokesperson in an e-mail to Kotaku. “While there’s an element of chance in these mechanics, the player is always guaranteed to receive in-game content (even if the player unfortunately receives something they don’t want). We think of it as a similar principle to collectible card games: Sometimes you’ll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you’ve had your eye on for a while. But other times you’ll end up with a pack of cards you already have.”

While the ESRB’s ruling may calm anti-gambling critics for a moment, loot boxes remain controversial with video players. There’s plenty of players who think the practice of selling loot boxes via microtransactions gives players with access to real cash, a real advantage.

Regardless of what anyone thinks, loot boxes have proven to be both popular and profitable, so they’re not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon.

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New Jersey to Share Online Poker Liquidity with Nevada and Delaware

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 21 October 2017 3:14 pm

Online poker players in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are about to experience a major change in their environment. That change will be the result of the State of New Jersey’s decision to enter an interstate compact that shares players pools from the three states.

This latest development could provide a much needed shot in the arm for a segment of the US online gambling market that’s struggled to find an audience. Despite seeing regular revenue gains in its online casino market, New Jersey has yet to see any significant gains in its online poker market.

It’s a very similar story in Delaware, where online poker revenue was an anemic $ 18,000 last month. In Nevada, regulators have stopped reported online poker revenue entirely, which is definitely a bad sign.

In a statement to the press, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sounded enthusiastic about the arrangement saying:

New Jersey has been a pioneer in the development of authorized, regulated online gaming, which has been a budding success since its launch in late 2013. Pooling players with Nevada and Delaware will enhance annual revenue growth, attract new consumers, and create opportunities for players and Internet gaming operators. This agreement marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for online gaming, and we look forward to working with our partners in Nevada and Delaware in this endeavor.

While interstate gambling compacts are generally good news for operators, there are some operators who won’t be invited to the party. In states like Nevada, that have “bad actor” clauses in their gaming regulations, certain operators who offered play to US players before it was legal, won’t be eligible to participate in the the player pools.

As of this writing there’s been no specific timetable set for the beginning of pooled online poker play. All sides, however, have stated that they’re moving as quickly as possible.

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Nevada OK’s eSports Parimutuel Wagering

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 19 October 2017 3:16 pm

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed off on a bill this week that legalizes parimutuel wagering on esports. It’s a big move that both solidifies the state’s status as an esports betting hub, and frees regulators from some major headaches.

Bookmakers in Nevada were already pretty far ahead of the curb when it came to esports betting. Several local casinos have been actively courting the esports crowd. But accepting wagers on unregulated events like video game tournaments was not without its headaches.

In parimutuel wagering, punters are really wagering against each other and the odds of any wager are determined by the number of people betting on a certain outcome. The odds (and subsequent payouts) are not fixed and can vary wildly based on how people are betting.

Parimutuel wagering is a good tool for sportsbooks to help manage the uncertainty that comes with events that are generally classed as, “others.” This group includes, but is not limited to, wagering on the outcome of awards ceremonies or beauty contests.

The bill was the brainchild of students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law. As part of their coursework, some students participate in crafting gaming legislation that’s sometimes submitted as an actual law. In this case, former UNLV law student and current Nevada State Senator Becky Harris sponsored the bill.

In an interview with eSportsBettingReport, Harris explained why she was on board with esports parimutuel wagering saying:

The hope is that this bill, along with other legislation, will encourage growth in the gaming, hospitality and events industry statewide. Esports events are events that we would like to encourage in Nevada as I believe that our state has the best combination of available event locations, technological infrastructure, lodging, and additional entertainment offerings for esports event operators and fans.

As of this writing, no Nevada sportsbooks have signed on to offer parimutuel esports wagering.

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Auditor’s Alarming Find: FanDuel Hemorrhaging Cash

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 18 October 2017 3:57 pm

Auditors looking at the financials of daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel are finding that the company is losing money at an alarming rate. Their findings are just the latest in a string of bad news reports that have dogged the once high flying sports operator.

According to published reports on insider.co.uk and CalvinAyre.com, auditors from Deloitte Touche found that FanDuel lost $ 186 million the two quarters leading up to December 2015. These losses are believed to be the result of exploding legal expenses that came on top of massive marketing expenses. (Americans may recall the heady fall of 2015 when FanDuel and DraftKings advertising blanketed the country across all forms of media.)

Unfortunately for FanDuel, and DraftKings, bringing daily fantasy sports to the world has been incredibly difficult and shockingly expensive. For example, during the period in question, FanDuel saw a gross profit around $ 49.8 million. That profit didn’t come close to covering the $ 336.3 million in administrative costs the company saw during that same period.

One of the biggest drains on FanDuel’s resources is paying lawyers who are battling on the company’s behalf across the country. Ever since an insider trading scandal rocked the company, and the daily fantasy sports world in the fall of 2015, the company has been fighting for its legal life in almost every US state. As of this writing, only 16 states have formally legalized daily fantasy sports.

Adding to FanDuel’s headaches is the fact that US trade regulators slammed the brakes on the company’s plans to merge with rival DFS operator DraftKings. That partnership would have made life easier for both companies, but now both are forced to go it alone. In FanDuel’s case, life on its own is something that’s proving easier said than done.

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