UK Gambling Commission Cracks Down on Slot Features

The online casino industry is continuously growing reaching record numbers every year.
With groundbreaking innovation, modern technology and exciting online casinos, it’s a virtual dreamworld compared to when it first started.
With the new advancements, increase in online casinos and growing numbers of online casino players, small issues are arising.
UK Gambling Commission Acts Fast
As the industry evolves the need for better regulation increases with the growing numbers of problem gamblers.
As such, the biggest issue in recent years has not been providing better gaming, but rather better safety measures to accompany the advanced gaming options available.
Gambling authorities around the globe are jumping at the opportunity to provide players with a better gaming environment. With the UK Gambling Commission being a leader in creating a safer gambling environment, setting an example many others in the industry tend to follow.
Their latest course of action includes a package of strict measures meant to strengthen the protections and controls for all who participate in online slot gameplay.
The package includes a range of new limits including permanent bans on features that speed up play and limits for spin speeds.
Operators will now be required to implement these new player protection measures which will instantly create fewer intensive games which are safer by design and award players more control over the games.

A Slot-Focused Strategy
The Commission focused its efforts on slot games partly because of the popularity of these games as well as the high intensity of the gameplay it provides.
Statistics show that slot games have a higher intensity resulting in putting more players at risk due to the features they provide. These are the games that award the most losses within the online gambling industry.
According to the new rules, four features are banned from the get-go. These include:

Spin speeds on slots that are faster than 2,5 seconds
Sounds or images providing the feel of a win when the amount is less than the stake
Any other features that speed up your gameplay or provide a ‘winning’ illusion

Some of the other changes include a permanent ban on reverse withdrawal. Thus, players will no longer be able to re-gamble money they requested to withdraw on a previous occasion.
Through all game sessions, operators will be obliged to display the win/loss amounts of the sessions along with the time players have spent on the game.
A Safer Slot Spinning Future
All these enhanced protections are expected to be put in place by the 31st of October 2021 by all online operators licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.
The Gambling Commission Chief Executive, Neil McArthur said that the ban on features that create the illusion of control over the outcome or speed up your play is necessary along with bans on autoplay, losses disguised as a win, and spin speeds faster than 2.5 seconds.
After hours and hours of research, the body has concluded that these steps are necessary to reduce the risks of harm brought to players.
For the UK Gambling Commission, the single focus is to ensure a safe gambling space is accessible to all online casino players and operators.

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Posted on 9:03 pm

Partypoker Michigan FAQ

Since internet gambling has gone live in Michigan early in 2021, only one operator has acquired the necessary license and launch online poker in Michigan: PokerStars MI. Today, it is the sole provider of 100% legal, regulated remote poker games in the state.

However, this could change in the near future with the arrival of the partypoker US network in Michigan.

Parent company Roar already has the necessary licensing to go live, and partner BetMGM is operating a BetMGM Sports and BetMGM Casino in the state.

When it does launch, the Partypoker MI network will likely feature three rooms sharing a player pool together, just like it does in New Jersey: BetMGM, Borgata Poker, and partypoker.

Awaiting the arrival of partypoker to the state of Michigan, this page offers answers to some frequent questions and our predictions of what players might expect at the launch.

Some of these predictions might change as the launch date gets closer, and we will update the page accordingly.

While you wait, you can sign up for a casino account to BetMGM in Pennsylvania. There you can get your account verified, make a deposit, experience casino games and its online sports book, and be ready for the first day it goes live in the market.

BetMGM Casino is live in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Iowa!Best bonusUp to $1000 deposit match bonusTop-rated slots and casino gamesGreat iOS and Android appsAward-winning M Life rewards program.CHOOSE YOUR STATE:Pennsylvania »Michigan »

When Will partypoker Go Live in Michigan?

Although there is still no definitive launch date, the partypoker network is likely to go live sometime during the first half of 2021.

The stage is set for partypoker to join PokerStars in the battle for the player pool. The company has already launched the online casino and sportsbook via their BetMGM brand, and poker seems inevitable.

The room meets all conditions to set up an online poker room thanks to their partnership with Roar Digital, their partner company in the US, and MGM Grand casino.

Will Michigan Players be Able to Play Against partypoker Players in New Jersey?

The question of the interstate shared liquidity still hangs in the balance for Michigan. Amendments to the 2019 gaming bill have made provisions for this to happen, but it will mostly depend on how quickly the regulator will moving following the recent clarity around the Wire Act.

Given the option, partypoker MI will likely jump at the opportunity to combine player pools and create more liquidity on the network. By the time the room actually goes live, we might have more information on this subject.

What Kind of a Welcome Bonus Will partypoker MI Offer?

There is currently no concrete information on the welcome offer that partypoker will feature for new MI players. However, they are likely to try and make it competitive to the one offered by PokerStars MI and similar to what is offered to players in NJ.

Boost Your First Deposit by up to $600

Right now, new players in New Jersey can claim a fairly generous welcome bonus of 100% up to $600 on their first deposit. This is in line with what PokerStars is offering, so MI players can expect at least this, and partypoker might even go bigger for the first few months after the launch.

To qualify for the first deposit bonus, you need to deposit at least $10.
The bonus is awarded in 10 equal installments released as you acquire required points.
You will earn $1 towards the next installments of the bonus for every 4 points generated playing poker.
The bonus needs to be released within 60 days.
You can earn points towards the poker bonus playing casino games as well.

For Pennsylvania, there are rumors that players will be able to get $25 free and up to $1000 on their first deposit, which is an even better offer. Given the fact partypoker will have to compete with PokerStars and make up for some lost time, the odds of an improved welcome bonus are quite high.

What Banking Options Will partypoker MI Accept at the Launch?

Players on the partypoker network have no problems getting their money to and from their accounts. There should be plenty of convenient options for the players to use right from the get-go.

Deposit Options for partypoker MI

You will likely have a range of options to get money into your partypoker MI account quickly and at low costs. From the experience thus far, online banking transfers seem to be the best and the safest method for this, but you will also have a variety of other options at your disposal, such as:

Popular debit and credit cards: Amex, MasterCard, Visa, Discover
E-wallets like Skrill and PayPal
Cash in hand via the PayNearMe system available at all 7-Eleven stores

Withdrawing Money from partypoker Michigan

To cash out your winnings, you can simply request the withdrawal from your partypoker account and select your preferred method.

In addition to PayPal, Skrill, and online banking (which is also the best method for withdrawals in general), you can also request a withdrawal via check by mail. This option is not as popular these days when you have so many other options to get your money, but it is nice to have it nonetheless.

It pretty much goes without saying that you will need to verify your partypoker account before making the first withdrawal by submitting required documents such as a photo ID and anything else the room might require (a proof of address, a photo of the card(s) used, etc.).

For the least amount of hassle, it is a good idea to withdraw money using the same method you used to deposit, if this is an option.

What Type of Games Will partypoker MI Offer?

The range of games offered by in Michigan is likely to be similar to what is available at partypoker NJ and what they have planned for PA. So, there will be cash game tables, scheduled MTTs, SNGs, as well as fastforward tables. In terms of variations, you will probably find Hold’em, Omaha, and some Stud tables.

Will I be Able to Play on my Phone?

Partypoker offers mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and Michigan players will certainly have access to these once the operator launches in the state. The mobile app is very intuitive and player-friendly, so you can expect a top-quality experience playing poker on the go from your phone and/or tablet.

Are There Any Other Promotions to Look Forward to at partypoker MI?

While it is impossible to say for sure, partypoker MI will probably look to claim its market position and offering interesting and generous promotions is the best way to achieve this goal.

The room will likely offer their popular Sit & Go leaderboards, giving players an opportunity to earn some extra cash for their performance at the tables.

Beyond this, we do not know at this point in time, but it is fair to assume partypoker will have some strong promotions going, especially during the first few weeks. So, keep up with the new information and make sure you hop on board early on so you do not miss out on anything.

Latest News on partypoker MI:

Read more on partypoker MI »

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Posted on 8:54 pm

Newly proposed VLT hall to aid “long-term sustainability” of Resorts World Catskills

Orange County in New York State could soon become a major gaming hub if Resorts World Catskills’ plan to open a new electronic gaming casino at the struggling Newburgh Mall come to fruition.
The project was originally set for the former Nepera Chemical plant in the village of Harriman, however, those plans fell through after an environmental review of the land showed that it was more contaminated than was previously thought and would not be buildable for nearly a decade.
Long-term vision:
In a recent statement to the Times Herald-Record, Genting, the parent company of Resorts World said…

“Developing a video gaming machine facility in Orange County has, for many years, been part of Resorts World’s long-term vision for Hudson Valley and the Catskills. It will create hundreds of good-paying unions jobs, generate significant revenue for New York’s public schools, and is an important step in ensuring the long-term sustainability of Resorts World Catskills.”
Enabling legislation:
Legislation sponsored by state Sen. James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) was passed in June 2019 allowing video-lottery terminals (VLTs) from gaming operations at Monticello Raceway in neighboring Sullivan County, which ceased on April 22, 2019, to be relocated to Orange County. And while it [the bill] did not specify a location, Skoufis had reportedly pushed for Resorts World to build its VLT hall at the former chemical plant that closed in 2005.
Contamination concerns:
As part of the deal for the original project, the senator required that the chemical plant property be cleaned by Resorts World parent company, Empire Resorts, which is 88.7 percent owned by Kien Huat Realty Sdn Bhd of Genting Group, and that it pay taxes in full to the Monroe-Woodbury School District, Town of Woodbury, and villages of Harriman and Woodbury. Both of the conditions were agreed to at the time.

Citing a press release from Skoufis’ office, a source reports that the senator said at the time…
“I’m not particularly pro- or anti-gambling so I used this opportunity to deliver real, substantive economic benefits to the constituents I represent. The former Nepera Chemical Plant property has been a contaminated blight in our community for years; as a result of this project, it will now be cleaned, put back on the tax rolls and employ approximately 400 local residents.”
Newburgh site:
According to the Times Herald-Record, the gambling hall in Newburgh is expected to employ as many as 225 people and be completed within a year once Resorts World has received the necessary approvals from the city of Newburgh and the New York State Gaming Commission. It has yet to be determined just how many electronic gaming machines will be housed at the proposed Newburgh site, which is located on Route 300. When gaming operations ended in 2019, Monticello Raceway reportedly had 1,100 VLTs, which it had hosted since 2004.
Plans for the current project are scheduled to be presented to the Newburgh Town Board by Resorts World on Feb. 22. Meanwhile, Town Supervisor Gil Piaquadio said that in order to allow gaming in that area, the board would have to amend its zoning, and would also require approval from the Planning Board once an environmental review is performed, as reported by the news agency.


Posted on 8:45 pm

Hawaii Legislators Reject Casino Proposal

Plans for a casino in Hawaii are not moving forward after a recent proposal was rejected by lawmakers. On Friday, members of the House Economic Development Committee voted to reject a proposal to bring a casino to Kapolei. The plans was submitted by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and would have created a gambling venue to support the state agency in charge of placing Native Hawaiians on homestead property.
House Bill 359 was deferred indefinitely as lawmakers rejected the measure last week. Chairman of the Committee, Representative Sean Quinlan, was in charge of announcing the ruling. The bill will now be shelved until the 2022 session.
There is a companion measure in the Senate that still has potential to pas into law. However, there is reportedly opposition in the Senate as well which could harm the bill’s chance of survival. With the House side, the DHHL felt like the proposal would be a new way to bring revenues to the agency.
Without a new stream of funding, the department says it could take 180 years to build the homes and necessary infrastructure to stop Hawaiians from waiting to access their home lands. Unfortunately, it seems the effort does not have any support. Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki are not in favor.
Quinlan decided to defer the legislation from the House Committee but at the same time, stated his displeasure at the Legislature for not providing enough funds for DHHL. The lack of funding has been a problem for many years and it comes after a state court told lawmakers that the department must be funded appropriately.
The Senate bill will be heard this week, so there still is hope, however, the outcome is not expected to be positive.
Efforts have been made for quite some time to see Hawaii provide casino gambling to residents and visitors. Hawaii is one of only two states in the US that has strong anti-gambling legislation in place. Currently, the state only allows social poker games to take place and no one can make a profit.
The state has zero casinos, charity gambling, lottery, and sports betting. The lack of options is severe and many people living in the state would like to have the option to wager on something. Lawmakers see gambling as a way to bring in a new source or revenue. However, other lawmakers see gambling as an issue, one that could potentially harm families.
The first real effort for gambling legislation changes came back in 2010. Bills were introduced at the time to legalize online poker. Of course, the measures did not get anywhere. Then, in 2012, an effort was made to look at online poker gaming via a committee study. However, the opposition was strong and this again, came back with no change.
This year may be the same outcome. If legislation cannot get enough backing to support moving through committees, then you will have the same outcome where legislation does not move forward and Hawaii continues to one of only a small number of US states without gambling.

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Posted on 8:44 pm

This Weekend’s Big Games Award Massive Prizes

Our trio of Big Game tournaments awarded some massive prize this week. The champions of The High Roller Big Game, The Big Game, and Mini Big Game shared almost $130,000 between them!
Davison Tops Star-Studded High Roller Big Game
The High Roller Big Game drew in a 118-strong crowd this weekend and the top 20 finishers shared the $300,000 prize pool.
Recent Mike Sexton Classic champion Daniel Dvoress bust in 21st place and popped the all-important money bubble, locking up at least $5,309 for the surviving players. Pascal Hartmann and Team partypoker’s Isaac Haxton were the first players to bust in the money places. Alexandre Reard, Nathan Talsma, and Roberto Romanello followed that duo to the rail.
Jans Arends, Andrii Novak and high stakes specialist Matthias Eibinger crashed out before Koray Aldemir, Christian Rudolph, and Russian pro Artur Martirosian followed suit.
Only two of the nine finalists didn’t walk away with a five-figure haul for their $2,600 investment. Christoph Vogelsang and Pim Gieles being those stars.
Daan Mulders and fellow Dutchman Wietse Hasper were the next casualties before Shawn Daniel ran out of steam in fifth-place. Marius Gierse’s tournament ended in a fourth-place finish before Vladimir Kravchenko’s exit in third left only Ami Barer and Robert Davison in the hunt for the huge top prize.
Barer would have been the favourite to win with the neutrals thanks to the Canadian having won several million dollars from poker. Davison overcame the odds to claim the $73,494 top prize for himself and resign Barer to a $47,291 consolation prize.
Satellites for this week’s High Roller Big Game are available in the lobby right now starting at only $3.30!
The High Roller Big Game Final Table Results


Robert Davison
United Kingdom

Ami Barer

Vladimir Kravchenko

Marius Gierse

Shawn Daniels

Wietse Hasper

Daan Mulders

Pim Gieles

Christoph Vogelsang
United Kingdom

Vamos! Vicente Locks Up Big Game Title
Brener Vicente of Brazil is the latest in a long line of partypoker players to win the $530 Big Game. A field of 485 entrants ensured the $200,000 guarantee was smashed by $34,100 and it was the top 79 finishers who got their hands on a slice of this prize pool.
Dominic Nitsche burst the money bubble, paving the way for such luminaries as Preben Stokkan, Niklas Astedt, Sam Grafton, and Anton Wigg to pad their bankrolls with some prize money.
Nobody at the final table won less than $3,844 for their efforts, with the final four finishers scooping five-figure prizes.
Adrian Mateos was the first player to net this juicy amount, namely $13,155. British pro Ben Jones fell in third for $19,863, which left Jeppe Bisgaard and Vicente heads-up for the title. The final two players struck a deal that saw Vicente crowned champion and collect $37,563, with Bisgaard officially finishing in second place with a prize of $32,517.
The Big Game Final Table Results


Brener Vicente

Jeppe Bisgaard

Ben Jones
United Kingdom

Adrian Mateos
United Kingdom

Lee Amestoy
United Kingdom

Julien Perouse

Aleksejs Ponakovs

Padraigh Lally

Igor Dursel
United Kingdom

*reflects a heads-up deal
Esparza Outlasts Monster-Sized Field in Mini Big Game
Abel Esparza helped himself to the $18,424 top prize in the Mini Big Game after he outlasted a massive field of 2,493 opponents. Esparza’s heads-up opponent, Matheus Graciolli, was the tournament’s other recipient of a five-figure prize, namely $12,506.
A special mention for everyone else who reached the final table, which was no mean feat considering the size of the field. Daniil Nabokov (9th – $1,397), Kyle Jones (8th – $1,795), Michele Tocci (7th – $2,266), Eric Neves (6th – $2,928), Jamie Munro (5th- $3,843), Jakub Maryska (4th – $5,652), and Mauricio Silveira (3rd – $8,529).
You can win your way into this week’s tournament for a mere $5.50 outlay, good luck!
The Mini Big Game Final Table Results


Abel Esparza

Matheus Graciolli

Mauricio Silveira

Jakub Maryska
Czech Republic

Jamie Munro
United Kingdom

Eric Neves

Michele Tocci

Kyle Jones

Daniil Nabokov

Other Weekend Highlights
There were plenty of big scores enjoyed on February 7, thanks in part to the new PLO Daily Legends tournaments. Check out some of the highlights below.

OelaPaloema – first-place in The High Roller One Shot for $49,678*
arowana – first-place in The 300 for $24,057*
MrLuckyMan – first-place in The Weekender for $17,445*
SeeUiN1HouR – first-place in The One Shot for $14,293*
Muilpeertje – first-place in The Gladiator for $13,215*
Killer K – first-place in The Great Game for $8,584
Vindruvan_ – first-place in The Fortress for $4,960*
Oksiee – first-place in The Steel Wheel for $2,700*
AllMeMaybe – first-place in The Chieftain for $1,680

Love poker? Join party!
If you’re ready to jump into the action, then click here to download partypoker and get started!
If you already have an account with us, click here to open partypoker and hit the tables!

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Posted on 8:29 pm
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Bad play begets bad play?

I played a long session of live $1/2 last weekend. It was brutal, total rollercoaster train wreck.I sat down with $300 and started bleeding immediately. I had a ton of suited connectors that didn’t pan out and was getting beat by slow played KK and there was one a-hole that was totally picking on me. He slow played AKdd and hit a flush on the river. Reraising me, putting me all-in. The straw that broke the camel’s back is that I went all-in for my last $150 with QQ and he beat me with 85o when he double-paired the flop.He was also annoying, complaining about every single dealer. Mostly how they were ‘disrespecting’ him by, as he claims, looking surprised when he won. IDK, but I switched tables and this fucker is still staring me down. I was going to flip him off, but I just waved instead and he finally looked away.Anyways, I’m at the new table and I’m still getting owned. I would bet my draws on the flop and turn and get reraised 3x. I would bet with top pair-top kicker, and get beat by a slow played two-pair or set. This table was FULL of talk between 3-5 players that were talking GTO strategy, and how to bet in previous situations. One guy bluffed a guy off a huge pot when he went all-in with 88 and guy laid down two pair, when a straight was on the board.Finally, I said fuck it, and thought, it’s time to fight fire with fire. BTW, I have a TERRIBLE table image and I’m in the game for $800 with maybe a little over $250 in front of me.I bet $10 from LJ with TT and get two callers.Flop is Ts4c5d.It’s not super dry, but I decide to check. Hijack makes it $25, CO calls. I call.Turn is 9s. I check, Hijack makes it $50, with both call.River is Jh. So, I’m a little annoyed that I let the Straight get there. I check. HJ goes all-in for $165. CO doesn’t take too long and calls. I have it barely covered and call.I win when HJ showed QTss for a pair and busted flush/straight draw. The CO had 45hh.So, I’m thinking that I shouldn’t have slow-played from the get-go. I’m thinking that I should’ve bet on the flop, and Cbet at least one street. I’m not unhappy with the check on the River as I was in bad shape. Any pointers to how to play it better?One other hand in this vein was when I opened to $10 with A5hh and get one caller from a guy that was habitually reraising me. A guy that was talking game theory with the other guys, and the one who bluffed huge and won before with 88. (BTW, this guy busted later when he went all-in preflop, got called and lost when his 44 got beat when AJ paired on the flop)Flop is Qh2h6cI check and he checks.Turn is the 9h. I check my nut flush and he bets $25 and I call.The river is a 3c and I bet. I didn’t even count my chips; I just grabbed a handful of chips and placed them over the line and the dealer counts $55.The guy looks at me incredulously and asks, ‘what in the world do you have?’ He then says he has to see what I have and calls. I turn it over and he says, ‘ah, figured.’These hands got me back on track. I ended up booking a win for +$52.I’m not sure that I played either hand correctly, but I played a lot hands like this…passive and trappy, and won. But results be damned, that can’t be the way to play good poker, right? But what happens when the rest of the table are wild, trappy aholes (under the guise of GTO experts) and you keep losing when you get reraised when you bet draws and strong pairs?

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Posted on 8:27 pm

Kindred Group reveals share of revenue from ‘high-risk’ gamblers

Online gambling operator Kindred Group has gone public with the share of revenue it derives from ‘harmful gambling’ by its high-risk players, while explaining its efforts to eventually reduce this share to zero. Last Friday, Kindred announced that while around 98% of customers of its various online brands were deemed to gamble responsibly, the company still derived 4.31% of its Q4 2020 revenue from so-called ‘high-risk’ players. Kindred said it would continue to release such statistics in future as it strives to reduce the percentage to zero by 2023.Kindred released stats showing that Q4’s ‘high-risk’ revenue rate was a modest improvement from 4.39% in Q3 and the 4.72% in Q2, but represented a significant gain from the 3.88% in Q1. The company said Q4 showed a 75.7% improvement in the share of detected ‘high-risk’ customers who changed their behavior after the company intervened in response to signs of excessive play. The stats show more significant decreases in ‘low-risk’ and ‘medium-risk’ revenue share, with a corresponding rise in the ‘social’ category, suggesting Kindred’s responsible gambling tools have a far greater impact on individuals who already possess the personal tools needed to keep their gambling in check.Kindred’s head of responsible gaming Maris Catania acknowledged that the company’s goal of zero revenue from problem gambling might not be achievable, but the aim was to get as close to zero as possible. Kindred touts its Player Safety – Early Detection System (PS-EDS) as invaluable in its quest to identity signs of problem gambling before they spiral out of control. The goal is to steer players to Kindred’s in-house tools (deposit/time limits, time-outs, self-exclusion, etc.) but if players continue to display problematic signs, their accounts will be closed.There is a certain self-interest in Kindred going public with its numbers, as CEO Henrik Tjärnström suggested that the most important contribution policy makers could make to assist Kindred’s quest would be to “reduce the flight to unlicensed gambling operators, who fail to provide players with any safety measures whatsoever. The so-called channelization must increase.” Catania rejected criticisms of Kindred’s authenticity in revealing its numbers, saying gambling operators shouldn’t “shy away from the negative side of gambling but instead work towards minimizing it as much as possible.” Catania expressed the hope that Kindred’s rivals would “understand the need to focus on safer gambling, rather than just profits.”  

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Posted on 7:53 pm

What Will the Poker World Look Like in 2021?

February 08, 2021
Mo Nuwwarah

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints, and official policies of
All the way back in 2016, which seems like half a lifetime ago at this point, I took over a PokerNews tradition started by old-timer Rich Ryan, offering predictions for the coming year in the poker industry. There were hits and there were many misses, but fun was had by all — me as I tried to divine the craziness in this wacky culture and the readers as they laughed at my whiffs.
This year, that tradition must come to a sad end. This piece will start off normally enough as I run through last year’s calls, but after that, it’ll take on a new look.
Specific predictions for what’s to come in 2021 seem rather pointless, because pretty much everything hinges on the balance between COVID-19 and the availability of the vaccines for said coronavirus. For all I know, we’ll all be vaccinated and firing away as normal in six months, though I sincerely doubt it.
Instead, I’ll offer a more freeflowing look at where I think the industry will head in the coming 10 months. And I’ll close with one crazy prediction that I’ll totally ignore for future purposes unless it actually happens.
First, let’s see how everything from 2020 came out. Just know I’ll be grading these on a very generous curve since in January 2020 when this was written, I had barely heard of the coronavirus. Certainly, like most, I had no concept of how radically the world was about to change.
1. Phil Crushes the Galfond Challenge — Sooo. Rough start to this one. Definitely did not anticipate Phil Galfond falling almost $1 million behind before storming back. But, storm he did, and he’s posted a flawless record thus far, even winning mini-challenges against tough competition. I said Galfond would win seven figures, and he’s already there after laying waste to Chance Kornuth.2. The WSOP Main Grows, the PSPC Shrinks — Well, the PokerStars Players Championship certainly shrank. It went from $26,455,500 in the prize pool to not being held at all. Does GGPoker getting into the Guinness World Records for the largest online poker tournament ever — dubbed the WSOP Main Event at the time before a late bait and switch — count? 3. Someone Off the Board Wins WSOP Player of the Year — I thought a formula switch would open things up big time here, but, well, the WSOP as we knew it didn’t happen, so the usual fun surrounding the points chase was off the table.4. Phil Ivey Falls Out of the Money List Top 15 — COVID-19 shutting down live poker made it so this admitted long shot had zero chance. Ivey seemingly putting his legal woes behind him mean this one’s probably off the board for future use.5. Legislation Sets Up the Breakthrough Year (But It’s 2021) — This one is on its way to coming home, although it actually got a boost from coronavirus. Legislatures are more inclined than ever to pass online gambling bills right now, and the potential end of the Wire Act reinterpretation that threatened to shut online poker down in the U.S. means exciting things could be brewing. Giving myself another credit here.
Now, where do I see things progressing in 2021?
Not Hopeful for Major Live Events
The year 2020 brought unprecedented changes to the poker world as it did to pretty much every industry.
The most noticeable thing, of course, was the glaring absence of major live poker tournaments. The European Poker Tour was basically absent aside from a Sochi event that isn’t easily accessible for most players. The World Poker Tour held just a handful of events before shutting down live operations for the year in early March. And the World Series of Poker shifted basically its entire schedule online barring a surprising hybrid Main Event to end the year.
Unfortunately, at this stage, there’s not much reason for optimism that things will be back to normal for 2021.
COVID-19, despite the emergence of a vaccine, remains a significant problem in most of the world.
In some locales, poker operators have chosen to soldier on. Look no further than the WPT event taking place in Florida this week. It made headlines for a strong turnout of 1,573 entries. No doubt, that may embolden some to try put on a big event. Hell, there’s another WPT coming up just around the corner at Venetian.
The WPT packed the house at Seminole (photo c/o of WPT)
However, that seems likely to be more of an oddity than the norm, at least in the foreseeable future.
While the potential for the vaccine to help clear things up is exciting, the glacial pace at which it’s being distributed makes me less than hopeful it have a discernible impact this year. Less than 2% of the U.S. has received the full vaccination at the time of writing. I know in the state where I live, nobody that I know of under age 70 who doesn’t work in health care has even gotten a first dose scheduled.
Other than the aforementioned Venetian event, the WPT has nothing on the schedule aside from online stuff.
The EPT has only another Sochi event officially on the docket. The much-anticipated second running of the PSPC, which was supposed to take place at Barcelona in 2020, still has only the original postponement announcement as its last major update. It seems unlikely PokerStars will run the event if it can’t hold a candle to the first iteration, a never-before-seen spectacle redefined what a $25K tournament could look like.
As for the biggest tournament series of all, the WSOP…well, usually by now, PokerNews has the ball rolling in terms of planning coverage for the summer bonanza. I can share that this isn’t the case for 2021 as of right now.
I do know at least one major Vegas poker destination has a big series planned for the summer, so I’m not ruling out a WSOP in some form. If it happens, though, I think it will be heavily slanted to online events with some mixed and non-hold’em formats that the client can’t support potentially playing out live, along with some big final tables. I’m not even sure those smaller fields would be feasible with the current international travel situation.
I don’t anticipate anything that resembles a normal schedule of live major tournaments until 2022. I could see some things creeping back toward normal in the later months of 2021, but I feel like if anything big was coming before then, we’d have heard about it by now.
Mid-Major Tours Scattershot
While the live poker situation in Europe seems certain to remain pretty much on ice as lockdowns remain prevalent and international travel remains somewhat limited and difficult, it’s a bit easier for smaller tours to get traction again here in the U.S.
Still, everything seems certain to be more regionalized as venues and operators cautiously dip their toes back in. And even that will only occur in certain states, as others remain firmly against large gatherings, the likes of which a decent-sized poker tournament would fall into for sure.
Bally’s has hosted a few series.
It seems the M.O. for now will be stuff like the Bally’s Main Event Mania from late last year — schedules of events that look something like a WSOP Circuit but with smaller guarantees that may cater more towards local players.
This kind of thing can give the venues the chance to rake in a few dollars while whetting the appetite of local players without the bad optics of thousands of players flooding in, potentially raising the ire of local regulators and media.
As for what events players can hope to circle, it seems the Mid-States Poker Tour has the most ambitious schedule laid out with something like their normal number planned. The Heartland Poker Tour, on the other hand, still has a planned event from last August listed on its website, so it’s anyone’s guess whether it will even come back. The WSOP Circuit seems content to shift things online, where they can raise revenue with zero risk.
All of that is to say, you might be able to find a halfway decent tournament series somewhere nearby, but the chance to win six figures for a modest buy-in won’t be too common.
More Good News Online
While things are looking grim both stateside and around the world in terms of live poker, the online scene paints a much different picture.
With the dearth of available live poker in 2020, the online operators stepped up and provided some incredible tournament series. Hundreds of millions in guarantees were produced by international operators GGPoker, PokerStars and partypoker. Even domestic operators like with smaller player pools provided huge guarantees with six-figure prizes available.
It looks like much the same will be on the horizon for 2021. GGPoker shows no signs of slowing, having just wrapped up a whopping $100 million WSOP Circuit series. Its competitors will be looking to keep pace and that means more huge prize pools everywhere.
Promotional dollars shouldn’t be hard to come by either. PokerStars executives have already made rumblings about committing more dollars to the business, promising “investments in poker” ($) that can only mean good things for the players. Run It Once has just rolled out what one industry expert called “the most lucrative welcome package in recent history.”
Exciting happenings are also afoot in the U.S. with the door wide open for continued growth. Michigan has come online thanks to PokerStars and will hopefully soon be pooling players with the other states.
Not only is Michigan bringing in a sizable population of about 10 million, but it also offers a potential drive-and-play destination for Midwesterners who had no such sanctuary before, what with everything previously located closer to the coasts.
Prize pools in the U.S. should be bigger than ever, and rest-of-world options should be about on par with 2020 as well.
Final Crazy Prediction
GGPoker will buy the WSOP. This is definitely not based on any inside info or anything like that.
It just feels like this could be the year the WSOP is finally sold after years of rumors but nothing actually coming to fruition. Several employees appear to have been laid off and not replaced, and the future of the flagship series looks as uncertain as ever with 2021 having been the last year anyone said on the record it would remain at the Rio.
Many have suggested in the past that PokerStars could be the ones to fire off, but GGPoker would seem to make more sense at this point.
GGPoker and WSOP already have a strong relationship with all of the bracelet and ring events that have been running on there. Furthermore, there are a few small clues that GGPoker may be looking to enter the live arena at some point in the near future.
What better way to do it than go all the way with their partners?
Hey, ya never know in this crazy industry.

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Posted on 7:52 pm

888 New Jersey Online Casino Review

888 Casino was among the first operators to offer real money online casino games to players located in New Jersey when the market first opened up back in November 2013.

888 Casino NJ is fully licensed and regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), offering a rich and diverse spread of various card games, slots, roulette, blackjack, and live dealer games.

It is owned and operated by 888 Holdings, a Gibraltar-based gambling giant which also runs 888Poker and 888Sport. 888 is a pioneer in the world of online gambling with over 20 years of experience. The company has grown to become one of the largest online gambling brands in the world, operating licensed online gambling services in several countries.

The company has won multiple awards including the Casino of the Year in 2012 and the EGR Award for Best Online Casino of the Year in 2013 and then again in 2015.

In New Jersey, 888 has a partnership with Caesars Entertainment Interactive, allowing them to bring their casino and poker brands to New Jersey. In fact, 888 is the only network to operate in the first three US states (Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey) that regulated online gambling.

It is expected to launch its online casino and poker brand in the newly launched Pennsylvania and Michigan markets soon.

Sign up to 888 Casino NJ today and claim a $20 bonus with no deposit! »

888 Casino NJ No Deposit Bonus

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You can use this money to try out any casino games. The only rule is that you must wager or “turn over” the bonus 30 times to be able to withdraw it and any winnings you generate from it. Also note that table games contribute less towards the wagering requirement.

So, that means you need to wager a total of $600. However, you have 60 days to do this, so it is a pretty leisurely place and more than enough time to try out the various games 888 has to offer, entirely on 888’s dime.

Deposit Match Bonus

In addition to the free sign up bonus, 888 Casino NJ also offers a 120% deposit match bonus up to $500. You can deposit anything from $20 upwards, and 888 will match this with 120% up to $500.

Key points:

No bonus code required—your first deposit will be your qualifying deposit.
If you deposit $20, 888 will match this with an extra $24.
Deposit $417 to maximize the offer. That will trigger a 120% bonus of $500, the maximum permitted.
30x wagering requirement on the bonus—but not that some games contribute less to the clearance rate.

Like the no deposit bonus, to withdraw the bonus, players must wager 30x the bonus amount. And each of the online casino games has a different playthrough requirement to clear a bonus.

Game Type
Wagering Contribution

Poker table games

All versions of Blackjack, Live Casino Games, Video Poker, all versions of Baccarat, all versions of Roulette


Video Slots & Slots, Arcade, Dice, and all other games not mentioned above

As of 2021, the operator does not have an ongoing loyalty program for its casino in New Jersey.

However, it does have regular reload bonuses and promotions that can frequently be very generous. Keep an eye on here, on official emails and on the site and you should get some pretty generous ongoing bonuses.

Software Provider

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When it comes to online casino games, giants like IGT, NetEnt, NextGen provides their games on the 888 New Jersey casino.

888 casino software is available for both Mac and PC users. It is also compatible with iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

Mobile App

The 888 Casino App is available to both Android and iOS devices.

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888 Casino NJ Games

888 Casino via its new gaming platform, Orbit, offers a unique slot selection with over 230 slot games most of which are not available on other platforms in New Jersey. These slot games include Adventures in Orbit, Irish Riches, City Life, Knights and Maidens and Panda Manga.

The casino also offers 15 table games and 13 live dealer tables including four versions of Roulette, four versions of Blackjack, Baccarat as well as four versions of video poker.

Banking Options

888 Casino NJ offers dozens of options for deposits and withdrawals. They include Visa, Mastercard, online banking transfers, electronic checks, cash at Caesars in Atlantic City’s cage. Besides, the casino also supports several eWallets including Neteller, PayPal.

The table below provides an overview of the deposit and withdrawal methods available at 888 Casino NJ.

888 Casino NJ Banking Options

Banking Option

Bank Transfer (ACH)


VISA Debit


Bank Draft/Cheque

Online Bank Transfer





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Posted on 7:46 pm

China to ‘Paralyze’ Foreign Casino Operatives Who Entice Mainlanders to Gamble

Posted on: February 8, 2021, 11:31h. 
Last updated on: February 8, 2021, 11:31h.
China is continuing its crusade to stop its citizens from traveling abroad to gamble.
Two parliamentary police officers stand on a road in Beijing in 2019. China is directing law enforcement to infiltrate foreign casino groups that seek to lure Chinese high rollers to casinos based internationally. (Image: Getty)Last week, China’s Ministry of Public Security announced that it has directed its law enforcement agencies to infiltrate gambling networks outside the People’s Republic targeting mainland residents. Lioa Jinrong, director of the international cooperation department at the ministry, says 35,000 Chinese people are already facing charges of cross-border gambling.The Public Security office is urging China residents who have engaged in “cross-border gambling crimes” to turn themselves in by April 30. Those who adhere the call will be afforded legal immunity if they assist in the wider ongoing investigation into the offshore gambling syndicates the agency seeks to dismantle.GGRAsia was first to report the ministry’s plea.Gaming analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein said the operation is focused on international casinos marketing to Chinese people. It isn’t thought at this time to involve Macau casinos. Macau is one of two Special Administrative Regions in China.China Seeks Full CrackdownChina announced last year that it would embark on a major effort to hinder money from flowing outside the mainland to foreign casinos. The Ministry of Public Security said in October that it estimates around $150 billion was moved out of the country for gambling purposes in 2020 alone.China President Xi Jinping says such a large amount of Chinese money being gambled internationally is a threat to its national security.Our goal is to completely paralyze the soliciting networks by the gambling groups working outside our country that targeted our people, and we will not give up until we achieve our goal,” Liao said at a briefing last Friday.Liao revealed that law enforcement is currently investigating numerous groups that have allegedly marketed gambling trips to Chinese people. He added that the “backers and investors” of the gaming ops are also being sought.Effective March 1, China’s Criminal Code will include much harsher penalties for those found guilty of organizing overseas gambling trips. Prison time will range up to 10 years for the most serious violators.Macau CooperationWhile China isn’t seeking to limit its people from visiting Macau, the People’s Republic government wants to limit foreign entities in the gaming enclave from poaching high rollers to other casino markets throughout Asia.“The extent of direct impact on Macau is that China does not want Macau used as a hub for illegal activity with criminal elements targeting Chinese visitors in Macau to go overseas or sign up for illegal online gambling applications,” added the note from Bernstein. “As a result, Macau will cooperate with the China authorities most certainly to crack down on any such potential activity.”China’s high rollers are the most coveted VIPs throughout all of Asia. Multibillion-dollar casino resorts in Australia, South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore all prize the Chinese guest.“Overseas casinos that rely significantly on junkets are clearly in the cross hairs and will suffer the impact — especially if China has plans for long-term enforcement of the existing policies (which we believe China does),” the Sanford note concluded.


Posted on 7:40 pm