Post-inquiry terminations and resignations hit Crown Resorts Limited

In Australia and the Consolidated Press Holdings Proprietary Limited (CPHPL) vehicle of billionaire businessman James Packer has reportedly severed its boardroom ties with prominent casino operator Crown Resorts Limited.
According to a Tuesday report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the investments enterprise holds a preeminent 36% stake in the casino firm although it has now nevertheless terminated the consultancy contract it held with Crown Resorts Limited non-executive director John Poynton.
Voluminous vacuum:
The broadcaster reported that Poynton was the last remaining CPHPL appointee left on the board of Crown Resorts Limited following the Tuesday resignations of fellow non-executive directors Guy Jalland and Michael Johnston. Although the experienced businessman is to remain on the Sydney-listed casino firm’s board, the move purportedly means that its largest shareholder now effectively has no direct representation.
Rapid response:
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that CPHPL’s blow came only hours after a special inquiry being conducted by former New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Patricia Bergin had determined that the Melbourne-headquartered casino firm was currently unfit to hold a gambling license for its Crown Sydney development. This decision is purportedly now headed to the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority with its release having immediately sent the value of individual shares in Crown Resorts Limited down by some 9%.
Suitable step:
Philip Crawford (pictured) leads the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and he reportedly told the broadcaster in advance of yesterday’s Johnston and Jalland resignations that Crown Resorts Limited would have to ‘blow itself up to save itself.’ When subsequently informed about the departures, he purportedly proclaimed that ‘somebody is listening to us and that’s really positive’ as the moves are destined to send ‘a big message to me and the media.’
Pertinent patience:
The Premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, reportedly pronounced that the findings of the Bergin inquiry had been direct, thorough and clear and that she was now prepared to wait for specific recommendations and advice from the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority before proceeding further.
Berejiklian reportedly told the broadcaster…
“It’s all there in black and white and I’m sure both Crown Resorts Limited and any other organization will read that report carefully and accept what action has to occur before anybody is able to have a licence in New South Wales. Anybody who wants to operate a casino in New South Wales has to stick to the rules, has to stick to the law. The government doesn’t apologize for upholding those high standards.”


Posted on 11:41 pm

New standard of player protection at gaming venues

A team of Australian experts has set a new global standard to protect gaming organisations and venues, their customers, and their communities against gambling-related harm and money laundering.
Known as Senet Assure and Senet Assure Premium, the compliance accreditation launched today has been developed by Australia’s leading specialist gambling law, regulatory, and compliance advisory, Senet.
The announcement follows a warning this month by the NSW Crime Commission that the Australian economy could become a greater target for financial crime due to its successful management of Covid 19, and concerns that poker machines would be exploited as a money laundering option for criminals.
Senet regulatory and gambling specialist Paul Newson said the certification addresses the distinct challenges facing the industry in 2021.
“The certification will only be awarded to operators who can demonstrate the highest level of vigilance” Mr Newson said.
“Our team has developed this accreditation based on our deep knowledge of the complexities and challenges in 2021 facing gambling operators committed to responsible gambling outcomes and staying a step ahead of criminal activity.”
“The accreditation is a way for industry leaders to demonstrate they are meeting the highest standards of accountability and exceeding best practice in protecting their customers and their staff in cultivating a workplace culture of compliance and social responsibility.”
Mr Newson said that as well as safeguarding corporate reputation and minimising the risks of gambling harm and financial crime, achieving accreditation via the program developed by his team would demonstrate an organisation’s commitment to responsible gambling culture.
The Senet team has unmatched regulatory and legal expertise across the gambling sector including in respect of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulation.

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Posted on 11:36 pm

The Secret Coach: Seven free players who could move to Premier League this summer

With the January transfer window closing around Europe, plenty of big names with just months left on their contracts will be looking for a new club this summer.These superstars of the game include Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Angel Di Maria, but could these players and more move to the Premier League? Let’s take a deeper look with the help of our contact in the sport, The Secret Coach.The Secret Coach is a professional football coach in English football… who will remain anonymous. The Secret Coach has worked with some of the biggest names in the game, been through the coaching badge courses and is currently part of the coaching team at an English league side… and that’s all we’re telling you. As ever, this week, The Secret Coach pulls no punches!Last week, we talked about who might win this season’s UEFA Champions League, but this week, it’s some of the many stars who have graced the tournament who will be looking for a new club in just a few months. We have to start with Lionel Messi. After dominating La Liga, it looks like the mercurial Argentinian might be on his way to Manchester City in the summer. What does The Secret Coach think he’ll bring to the Premier League and will he be as effective as he is in Spain?“I can’t wait to see him in the Premier League!” says TSC. “It will answer questions on who is the best – him or Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi has been a fantastic one-club man club and achieved so much. He’s a fantastic player but Ronaldo has been in four countries and achieved it all, so to see how Messi would get on in Prem would be amazing. Ronaldo has done a cold wet evening on the South Coast and delivered – can Messi?”Lionel Messi is currently 3/1 to sign for Paris St. Germain and 7/2 to sign for Manchester City. One of the youngest players who is currently looking like he’ll be available ‘on a free’ is Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, aged just 21. It feels like every club could do with him joining them, but who could use him most and where would he suit?“He’s interesting – a good keeper for sure and young, but a few clubs have tried and failed to sign him and I wonder why.” Says TSC. “I haven’t seen any ‘Big Six’ sides try to sign him on a pre-contract basis. I feel there are better keepers.”One to avoid, maybe. Memphis Depay is one of two ex-Manchester United names on our radar, but could the Lyon player really make it in the Premier League second time around or does The Secret Coach think he’d rather play for a La Liga side such as Barcelona?“Depay didn’t hit the heights that he promised at United, but like all good players, he didn’t let it affect him and has gone away and reestablished himself for club and country, showing the form that got him his United move. The question for me is whether he wants to prove the doubters and himself to some degree wrong and show that he can make it in the best league in the world. He’ll either do that or cash in on his good form and go to Spain.”Angel Di Maria also spent a year in the EPL but has since been one of PSG’s star performers in Ligue 1 and the Champions League. Is there a way the gifted Argentine could make it in the Premier League and if so, which team would suit him best?“He’s a talented player,” says TSC. “I personally feel he is not suited to the physical nature of the Premier League as he showed in his spell at United. It feels like he’s been around for so long and at big clubs, too. I’m not sure if any of the current top six would take him.”Someone else who has played for Real Madrid is Galacticos lifer Sergio Ramos, who seems to have played the Premier League off against Real Madrid in a bid to get another contract more times than he’s been red carded in his career… and that’s saying something. What if Ramos really did come to the Premier League?“A love him or hate him player! If you play with him, he’s loved as he is a good defender who can score goals and has a winning mentality. If he’s not on your team his ‘dark arts’ and desire to win can be frustrating and annoying for others as can his competitive nature.”Ramos has a combative style that might suit the Premier League, but The Secret Coach thinks that he might pay for that aspect of his game more than it counts for him.“With his red card count, could he spend more time on the sidelines? I’d love him in the Premier League, again to see how a one club player at the top of his game can cope in another league. I’d liken him more to Thiago Silva in his consistency rather than a David Luiz-type, but I think London clubs might be tempted!”PSG winger Julian Draxler has weirdly never played for a Premier League club. In a league where wingers are so highly valued, could he make a real difference at the age of 28?“He’s a good player that’s been off the radar since moving to PSG. I like his energy and potential as a goalscorer; I can see a ‘Big Six’ side taking a punt on him as a squad player, but not a starter as the Big Six are full of good midfielders and wingers. Could the middle pack like Leicester make him a star?”Finally, we have to talk about Zlatan. Legendary former Manchester United and current A.C. Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be in his late 30s, but he was brilliant at Old Trafford a few years ago. Does the Secret Coach think he star for a Premier League club if he came back… and would he want to?“The man is a legend! Even at his age who would not want him? He proved at United as he has done at Milan he can score goals regularly. I’d love to see him back but would he go to a team who aren’t in the Champions League? I would imagine it would be a last season for him, but he’s a great player who I love to watch. He suits the Premier League as he is physical and clever and can score a range of goals, but I can’t see him moving, especially if Milan beat Juventus to the Serie A title.”And that’s all this week from The Secret Coach, who will be back next week here on Calvin Ayre.Imagine Zlatan back at a Premier League club. We’d all enjoy seeing another set of highlights like this from the superstar Swede!

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Posted on 10:47 pm

Match for the Ages: Negreanu Challenges Hellmuth to Heads-Up Duel

February 10, 2021
Gossip, Rumors & Buzz

Daniel Negreanu might already have his next heads-up poker opponent in mind. And it’s none other than Phil Hellmuth, who was critical of “DNegs’” play against Doug Polk.
Will Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth face off on the felt in a winner-take-all heads-up match? Don’t bet on it. (Image:
Negreanu lost $1.2 million to Polk over 25,000 hands of $200/$400 no-limit hold’em on He wasn’t expected to win, so it didn’t come as a surprise to many. The GGPoker ambassador entered the match as more than a 4-1 underdog.
Despite virtually every poker expert expecting a Polk victory, Hellmuth ripped into his fellow Poker Hall of Famer’s play on the new PokerGo show, No Gamble No Future.

Wow! @phil_hellmuth doesn’t mince words breaking down @RealKidPoker’s game versus Doug Polk
— Poker Central (@PokerCentral) February 10, 2021

Co-host Brent Hanks asked the “Poker Brat” for his thoughts on the recently completed heads-up poker match. The WSOP bracelet record holder didn’t mince words.
“Yeah, I was disappointed in the way that Daniel played,” Hellmuth said. “But I know his coaches, his coaches are brilliant.”
Hellmuth then went on to criticize Negreanu for trying to play a GTO-like strategy against Polk, who specializes in game theory optimal play. He then said he told Polk that he’d love to face him next, although Polk said recently that he no longer has interest in playing additional matches.
Negreanu, however, would gladly face the “Poker Brat” if he’d accept. He called out Hellmuth on Twitter for the critical comments about his play against Polk.

Yo @phil_hellmuth you said you watched “zero” of the match but seem to have strong opinions on the play.
I’ll play you a heads up match live, online, at any stakes you feel comfortable with for as many hands as you would like.
Wanna play big guy?
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) February 10, 2021

“Yo @phil_hellmuth you said you watched “zero” of the match but seem to have strong opinions on the play. I’ll play you a heads up match live, online, at any stakes you feel comfortable with for as many hands as you would like. Wanna play big guy?” Daniel Negreanu wrote on Twitter.
Don’t Bet on It
Polk vs. Negreanu was highly popular among the poker community. On most days during the 36-session challenge, the live-streams on YouTube combined to reach more than 10,000 viewers. But that heads-up match would likely pale in comparison to Phil Hellmuth vs. Daniel Negreanu.
Polk and Negreanu are arguably the two most popular and polarizing figures in poker history. So, you know this match will generate massive interest, especially from the poker boom era crowd and the casual poker audience.
But there’s one issue we haven’t yet addressed, and that is, will it ever take place? It’s clear that Negreanu is down for the challenge. Hellmuth, however, we don’t yet know and even if he accepts, don’t bet on it being a 25,000-hand challenge or even close to that lengthy.
The 15-time WSOP bracelet winner, in the above video touted his supposed impeccable record in heads-up poker.
“I’ve won 29 of my last 30 heads-up matches,” Hellmuth claims. “I won the last heads-up tournament I played in, and so I think I’ve only lost once to Cary Katz.”
On the surface, Hellmuth’s heads-up resume is quite strong. In 2005, he won the NBC National Heads-Up Championship and finished runner-up in 2013. He recently defeated Antonio Esfandiari on PokerGo in three straight matches. And he even beat Doug Polk and Dan “Jungleman” Cates in a four-player “King of the Hill” competition on Poker Night in America.
But what he isn’t mentioning in the video is that those wins, albeit impressive, were small sample sizes. The matches only lasted a couple hundred hands, or less. Negreanu, on the other hand, faced Polk three times a week, two tables at a time online, over three months.
So, until we see Hellmuth win at heads-up over a reasonably large sample size, it’s difficult to assess his true abilities in that poker variant. Would he be willing to compete against Daniel Negreanu in a lengthy match of 20,000 or more hands to prove his skills? Don’t bet on it. And also don’t bet on Negreanu accepting a small sample size challenge.
With that said, if somehow they both come to terms and play, it would become the biggest match in poker history.

Written by

Jon Sofen

Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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Posted on 10:45 pm

Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore Believes Chinese High Rollers Gone for Good

Posted on: February 10, 2021, 02:26h. 
Last updated on: February 10, 2021, 02:26h.
The parent company of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) expects China’s crackdown on cross-border gambling to impact its casino operations.
A Resorts World Sentosa employee scans a guest’s temperature last year. The casino resort in Singapore welcomed far fewer visitors in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Image: Resorts World Sentosa)China President Xi Jinping has directed law enforcement agencies across the People’s Republic to better prevent mainlanders from traveling overseas to gamble. China is threatening foreigners who market and organize international gambling trips to Chinese people with severe penalties, including prison terms up to 10 years.Xi’s goal is to keep more money in China, and less from flowing outside its control to casinos located throughout Asia. Genting Singapore owns and operates Resorts World Sentosa, and is a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Genting Berhad. Genting Singapore says China’s embargo on cross-border gambling will result in fewer VIPs at its multibillion-dollar resort in Singapore.After releasing its full-year 2020 financial results, Genting Singapore issued guidance warning gaming analysts of China’s impact on its operations.China Calls on Mainlanders to AssistChina is doing everything in its power to stop an estimated $150 billion annually from moving out of the country via gaming channels. The People’s Republic claims to have already charged 35,000 people on cross-border gambling crimes.Gambling is illegal everywhere in the mainland, the lone exception being China’s state-run lottery. China’s wealthiest gamblers frequent Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China, but also casinos throughout Asia.RWS was allowed to increase operating capacity from 50 percent to 65 percent from December 28, 2020, but Genting Singapore still does not expect its GGR to improve markedly on lack of foreign gamblers. Furthermore, Genting Singapore also does not expect the VIP market to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels due to China cracking down on anyone enticing mainland Chinese to gamble overseas,” commented Maybank analyst Yin Shao Yang.China is offering immunity for its citizens who have participated in cross-gambling activities in exchange for assisting with the infiltration and apprehension of such operatives.Worst Year in RW HistoryGenting Singapore conceded in its annual report that 2020 was its worst financial performance since Resorts World Sentosa opened a decade earlier.COVID-19 slashed net profits and shareholder earnings by 90 percent. Gross gaming revenue was down 57 percent.The Singaporean government closed its borders to outsiders for much of 2020 to keep the coronavirus out. The island city-state has confirmed fewer than 60,000 COVID-19 cases, and only 29 deaths.“We are most grateful to the Singapore Government for providing various support measures in assisting our resort to weather through this crisis,” a Genting Singapore statement explained. “Notwithstanding the Government helping us and the Group’s implementation of cost containment measures, the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic to our businesses was still devastating.“This led the Group to record the worst financial performance since the opening of our Singapore Integrated Resort in 2010,” the release revealed.RWS holds a duopoly on casino gambling in Singapore with Marina Bay Sands. Prior to the global pandemic, both casinos agreed to further invest $3.3 billion into their complexes in exchange for maintaining their duopolies through at least 2030.


Posted on 10:31 pm

Push Gaming agrees “extensive content deal” with SoftSwiss

Player focused software development studio Push Gaming has added another new partner to its growing portfolio, having inked a content agreement with online casino software brand SoftSwiss.
The collaboration will see the Curaçao based iGaming company integrate directly with Push Gaming’s platform, which is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission (UKGC), benefitting from the developer’s library of premium games, including its most recent release, Wheel of Wonders, along with the soon to be launched, Land of Zenith and Dinopolis.
Like values:
Partner Managers Team Lead for SoftSwiss, Nikita Keino, had this to say about the new collaboration…
 “We aim to provide cutting-edge technology solutions to the sector to ensure the success of any iGaming project. So being able to offer products like those from Push Gaming aligns perfectly with these values.

We have earned ourselves a name in the iGaming industry thanks to the professionalism of our team and expertise every step of the way, and this deal simply adds more of this for us. We’re really pleased to have them onboard.”
Proper balance:
The “extensive” content deal further marks Push Gaming’s significant growth in its continuing effort to extend its reach into even more jurisdictions with more top-tier operators.
This latest partnership also sees the British supplier join in excess of 70 providers and more than 10,000 games featured in SoftSwiss’s impressive library. The deal will additionally serve to significantly boost the London-headquartered studio’s footprint across key European markets.
Also commenting on the new partnership, Head of Sales for Push Gaming, Fiona Hickey, added…
“Our core ethos is to put the player first, so we’re delighted with this deal that sees us collaborate with a brand like Softswiss which resonates with that.
We’re an entertainment company at heart and we’re sure that this partnership is going to provide the right balance of player consideration both in terms of responsibility and offering the highest level of gaming satisfaction for those that love our signature experiences.”
Growth spurt:
Over the past 12 months, Push Gaming has been shortlisted for a number of EGR and SBC Awards, establishing itself as an in-demand slot supplier in the industry and has gained a reputation for developing some of the most entertaining titles. The studio also added more than 10 tier one partnership agreements in 2020, including such industry leaders as Norsk Tripping, LeoVegas, Gamesys, William Hill, and The Rank Group, and plans to further grow its global presence this year.


Posted on 10:09 pm

Sports betting reclaims Denmark’s gambling revenue crown in Q4

Sports betting reclaimed its role as Denmark’s top revenue vertical in the final quarter of 2020, despite online casino apparently having the devil in its corner. Figures released Wednesday by Denmark’s Spillemyndigheden regulatory agency show locally licensed gambling operators generated revenue of DKK1.72b (US$281.2m) in the three months ending December 30, up 6.6% from the final quarter of 2019 and 12.5% better than the market reported in Q3 2020. Sports betting led Q4’s charge with DKK724m, up 16.6% year-on-year and a damn sight better than the DKK558m reported in Q3 2020. In fact, Q4 was betting’s best quarter last year, which otherwise suffered from pandemic-related shutdowns that began in the latter part of Q1. Online casino revenue ranked second with a devilish return of DKK666m, up 16.2% year-on-year and a slightly higher sequential gain from Q3. But Q4’s total was slightly below the DKK673m peak in Q2, when the absence of major sports pushed Danes to explore other gaming verticals. Slots claimed a nearly three-quarter slice of Q4’s casino pie. Denmark’s land-based gaming verticals weren’t nearly as fortunate in Q4, as the nation headed into its second pandemic lockdown in November. Gaming machines in slots halls saw revenue fall more than one-fifth year-on-year to DKK266m, better than the DKK100m low-water mark reported in Q2, but still. Land-based casinos suffered a similar fate, falling 23.3% to just DKK69m. It’s worth noting that Q4 saw the rollout of state-run Danske Spil’s new Sikkert Spil (Safe Play) player ID system, so land-based gamblers were facing increased regulatory hurdles in addition to social gathering restrictions.  For 2020 as a whole, sports betting revenue totaled DKK2.29b, down 8.5% from 2019 and the vertical’s first annual revenue reversal since the regulated market’s 2012 launch. Despite the sports disruptions, online casino revenue rose only 5% to DKK2.45b, well below 2019’s 8.1% year-on-year improvement and the lowest annual gain since 2012. Both slots halls (DKK986m, -29%) and casinos (DKK239m, -31.5%) reported all-time lows in 2020. All told, Denmark’s overall gambling market (not counting horseracing and lotteries) saw its annual revenue fall 9.2% to just under DKK6b.

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Posted on 9:57 pm

Is Online Poker Rigged? The Definitive Answer

If you check on some poker forums or Reddit, you’ll find hundreds of threads discussing the subject of online poker being rigged, usually with one very angry individual who’s certain that online poker is, at its very core, rigged. What other explanation could there be for his series of bad beats?Discussions usually have some sort of evidence, and if you’re don’t have very much knowledge about the game of poker or about mathematics, chances are that some of this evidence will seem factual and will raise an eyebrow.At the center of all complaints about online poker being rigged is an overestimation of one’s own chances to win a hand, or, more precisely, that a certain hand must win. After that, everything else is a conspiracy theory that attempts to explain why that player lost. In short, people complain that online poker is rigged because they had a few bad beats and are angry. There was never any solid evidence that online poker is rigged, and even if something came up, it would be specific to a single poker site that’s doing something shady.We’ll discuss this in detail. But first, let’s give you a list of quality poker sites where only your ability as a poker player, and luck, will determine the outcome of your hand.USA Poker sites that are definitely NOT riggedIf you’re simply cautious about playing poker online and want to make sure you’re playing at a poker site that is not rigged, here are 10 sites we recommend. Pick one that suits your specific needs.Visit these recommended, honest sites:Ignition Casino – Highest poker traffic and fast-clearing bonusSB Poker – Superb Mac and mobile software but also runs on Windows of courseBovada – The same poker as Ignition but also hosts a sportsbook and racebookIntertops – 36% rakeback paid daily, weekly rake race, and many other profitable promotionsBetOnline – Full-featured poker room, casino games, and sports bettingAmerica’s Cardroom – Best tournament site for AmericansJuicy Stakes – Weekly 36% rakeback, loyalty program, reload bonuses, et ceteraBlackChip Poker – Sister site of Americas Cardroom that offers 27% rakebackSWC Poker – Broad game selection, including NLHE, PLO, 8-game, Badugi, HORSE, OFC, – Get free chips with no deposit neededIf any of these operators would do anything to make us doubt their RNG or their business practices in general, they would no longer appear on the list. Meaning, if you see an operator on the list now, you can be certain the poker site is fair.Theories why online poker may be riggedIn an attempt to justify their belief that online poker is rigged because they had a bad beat, people usually end up with one of these arguments:Poker is rigged to create more action and ensure no one wins too muchTo keep bad players playing, cards are rigged to let these players winPoker is rigged to build bigger pots so the poker site gets more rakeWhy would poker sites rig their games?Poker sites would only have an incentive to somehow rig cash games, as there’s nothing to be gained by rigging tournament play as tournaments have buy-ins, and the poker site couldn’t care less who wins.Poker sites are in the business of raking hands, and to keep that business going, all they have to do is keep the game fair. In fact, that’s the one thing that’s expected of them and the number one reason why they even exist. That is why no poker site has yet tried to rig the RNG and risk their business by doing so. It would just make no sense.Besides, wouldn’t a poker site benefit the most if it prevented people from entering a series of bad beats that leads to them complaining about poker being rigged?Rigging online poker would be unbelievably difficultEven if we’d assume that some poker site would want to rig the RNG to achieve the above, it would take a serious machine learning algorithm, AI almost, to successfully rig the game to benefit the operator.The hand histories are constantly data-mined by the players and thoroughly analyzed, and any deviation from the norm would quickly be noticed. So if any poker site would manage to achieve this, it would be quickly noticed and there would be real proof about that poker site being rigged.Instead, any charges against poker sites are coming from players who display a lack of understanding of the game of poker and the mathematics behind it.Understand what the numbers meanEven the strongest possible starting hand in poker, AA, has an 85% chance to win the pot (against one opponent’s random two cards). AK, another strong starting hand, has a chance of just slightly over two in three, 68%, to win the pot. One of weaker starting hands, 22, still has a 51% chance.Those numbers mean exactly what they mean. 85% is 85%, not “almost a sure thing” as so many players wrongly assume. AA is not an automatic winner of all pots – only roughly 85% of them.The math behind the game of poker is much more complex than pure percentages. For example, it’s perfectly possible to lose many hands with pocket Aces in a row, or/and to have a winrate of only 60% with them over an incredibly small sample size such as 100 hands – which is what most angry players who scream that poker is rigged are basing their assumption on.Random Number Generator (RNG) and expected outcomesIn our editorial Online Poker Rigged? A Thorough, Informed Discussion, we explain how even a sample of 200,000 hands wouldn’t be enough to make conclusions about the Random Number Generator (RNG) that’s used to deal the cards. With a winrate of 2 bb/100 and a standard deviation of 90bb/100, there was a really wide range of possible outcomes, and even with these parameters, the probability of a loss after 200,000 hands was 16%.If even 200,000 hands with a solid winrate doesn’t guarantee a profit in the long run, then it’s obvious why a player who’s (too) confident about winning would be deterred by a string of bad beats in a small sample size.Shady poker sites do exist, but rigged RNGs do not (anymore)We have been playing poker for decades, and as explained in our editorial Online Poker Rigged? Part 2, there has been all kinds of shady behavior at poker sites, including:Not once in our careers have we encountered a faulty or rigged RNG, and only heard of it once – Planet Poker, the first poker site in existence. All other sites that came after it, to the best of our knowledge as poker professionals, had and have fair RNGs.You might want to check the blacklist of poker sites and make sure you’re not playing at any of them.Online poker allows for riskier playAlmost everyone tightens up in a real, live tournament, but online, there is a larger percentage of people who play loose, sometimes very loose, almost care-free, pushing their luck to the maximum. This is particularly true in micro-stakes games. Combine this with a much larger number of hands per hour, and it’s obvious why there are more bad beats online than there are in live tournaments.Online, a loose player likely won’t be criticized for his bad play, or it won’t hurt much; it will just be a message by a total stranger in the chat box that’s quickly forgotten as you switch to another table. Live, the situation is different, and no one wants to be laughed at in person.This means that online players tend to be willing to take a risk with lower winning odds more often than live players do, so the chance of losing to a weak starting hand with pocket Aces increases. A live player won’t push his 22 to the limit. An online player who’s playing poker for the first time just might.Good players don’t complainNo good poker players, much less professional players, complain about online poker being rigged.And this is why. Pros understand the mathematical implications of variance, constantly guard against biases in their own mental processes, have sufficiently sized bankrolls that the odd bad beat here and there doesn’t send them into a rage, and have seen enough hands over the course of their careers that they are unfazed by the downswings and upswings that are an inherent part of poker.Frequently Asked QuestionsWe’ve encountered plenty of people who swear that internet poker must be rigged. We disagree entirely, and we have compiled a series of questions and answers below to attempt to dispel these kinds of myths about the game.

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Posted on 9:20 pm

GGPoker Pennsylvania FAQ

The GGPoker network is one of the few poker networks that made its inception post Black Friday. It launched as a B2B network in 2014 and debuted its own poker client GGPoker in 2018.

Today it has grown to become one of the largest online poker networks in the world and is the main competitor of online poker giant PokerStars. The network is represented by some of the biggest names in the poker industry, including Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier and Fedor Holz.

It made a big stride in 2020 by partnering with big live tours such as the World Series of Poker to host the WSOP online bracelet events for international players for the first time. It also collaborated with the World Poker Tour (WPT), Asian Poker Tour (APT) and Battle of Malta (BoM) live tours.

GGPoker Network is regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. It also holds a gaming license from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and also has a B2B license from the Malta Gambling Authority (MGA)

The network is now eyeing the US online poker regulated market. It recently obtained an Interactive Gaming Manufacturer license in the state of Pennsylvania.

When is GGPoker Expected to Launch in Pennsylvania?

On February 10, GGPoker’s parent company NSUS Group was awarded a license for Interactive Gaming Manufacturer by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

The manufacturing license allows NSUS to offer software technology for online poker or online casino.

Before it could bring its services to the Keystone State with its own branding, it would first need to partner with a land-based casino or one of the approved Qualified Gaming Entities. It would then have to obtain Interactive Gaming Operator’s license.

Given that the process is expected to take time, it looks unlikely that GGPoker will be up and running in Pennsylvania before the second half of 2021.

What Sign Up or Welcome Bonuses Will be Available at the Time of Launch of GGPoker PA?

With PokerStars already established in Pennsylvania and with more operators coming up, GGPoker is likely to have to up its game when it comes to offering bonuses to new players.

In the dot-com client, GGPoker offers one of the best welcome bonuses in the industry so expect a similar generous sign up bonus once it goes live in Pennsylvania.

As of now, players on GGPoker’s global client are welcomed with two options:

100% Deposit Match Bonus up to $600
$100 in rewards when they make their first deposit of $20 or more.

Similar welcome bonuses are likely to be available to Pennsylvania players once the site goes live.

What Kind of Promotions Are Expected to be Offered on GGPoker PA?

There is no shortage of promotions on GGPoker’s global dot-com client.

The promotions can differ a bit due to regulatory reasons but poker players in the Keystone State can be rest assured that compared to its competitors, GGPoker PA’s promotional offers are likely to be very generous.

Look for GGPoker PA to offer a constant stream of promotions covering all game types every month.

Expected promotions on GGPoker PA:

Leaderboard races covering both Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha
Constant giveaways
Jackpot prizes
Big-size online MTT series

What Tournament Offerings Will be Available on GGPoker PA?

GGPoker offers a strong line-up of tournaments for its international players. It runs all kind of formats including:

Freezeouts & Re-Entries
Bounty Hunters
Short Deck MTTs
Short-Stacked Progressive Knockouts
High Rollers

Pennsylvania players should hope to see a similar type of tournament offerings once GGPoker PA is launched.

Will GGPoker PA Offer GGMasters in Pennsylvania?

This seems very likely. GGMasters has been one of GGPoker’s most successful tournament brands. It is the operator’s signature freezeout tournament brand that started as a single tournament featuring a $250,000 guarantee for a buy-in of $150.

Today, it has expanded to seven tournaments running every day and boasting weekly guarantees of at least $2.5 million. It now comes in three different buy-ins: $25, $150 and $1000.

Pennsylvania players should definitely look out for GGMasters once it goes live.

How Good is GGPoker’s Software?

GGPoker’s online poker software is considered one of the best online poker platforms in the industry. What makes it different from its competitors is that it comes up with dozen of unique features not seen anywhere.

It has its own poker analysis and financial tool, PokerCraft, available to all players for free. It also has its own built-in Heads Up Display (HUD) with basic statistics on opponents such as lifetime tournament winnings and win/loss personal record in cash games, preflop playing style, and more.

It also supports the Tournament Staking platform, a Final Table Betting feature, SnapCam, which lets players record short “reaction” videos and send them to players at the tables.

Additionally, GGPoker also offers an All-In Insurance feature allowing players to protect themselves from a bad beat by insuring their hands.

However, most of these features will require regulatory approvals before they can become available to Pennsylvania players.

We believe the following features will be available once GGPoker PA goes live:

Run It Thrice
Rabbit Hunt
Bubble Protection/Early Bird
Card Squeezing
Smart Betting
Dance Emotes

What Kind of Game Offerings are Expected to be Available on GGPoker PA?

GGPoker is yet to launch in Pennsylvania so it is hard to tell which games and tournaments will be part of the game offerings with certainty.

However, based on the operator’s game offerings on its global client, we can assume that Pennsylvania players will have a similar game selection but with some limitations.

In the dot-com client, GGPoker offers one of the most diverse game offerings in the industry. These include the traditional cash games and tournaments in both Hold’em and Omaha variants; a fast-fold cash game variant which it calls Rush & Cash; a preflop game called All-In or Fold where players only have two options at the start of hand; a lottery-style Sit & Go tournament dubbed Spin & Gold and Flip & Go—operator’s unique tournament offering in which players straight away jump into the money.

Besides, GGPoker also offers ultra-popular progressive knockouts, multi-flight tournaments, freezeouts & re-entries, short deck tournaments, hyper turbos. Expect all these tournament formats to be part of GGPoker PA offerings along with the standard affair of cash games.

Games such as the fast-fold variant require liquidity so it is unlikely to be part of GGPoker PA’s initial offering. Spin & Gold is another format that is unlikely to be offered to Keystone players due to regulatory reasons.

No traditional Sit & Go’s are offered in the dot-com client, so it is unlikely this format will be available on GGPoker PA once it goes live.

What Poker Variants are Likely to be Available on GGPoker PA?

The international GGPoker client currently offers Hold’em, Omaha and Short Deck poker variants. The site is considering adding 5 Card Omaha and Pineapple Open Face Chinese variants too.

However, it is expected that the GGPoker client in Pennsylvania will initially only offer

Will Players on GGPoker PA be Able to Play Against the International Pool on GGPoker?

No. Regulated online poker in the US is ring-fenced, meaning players can only compete against other players within the state. There is Multi State Internet Gaming Agreement in place that allows operators in states where online poker is regulated to share the player pool with other states within the country.

As of now, the interstate shared liquidity agreement is signed by three states: Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Pennsylvania is expected to join the agreement with other states.

However, for GGPoker to share its player pool, it must be operating in at least two states. There is no indication yet the the operator has sought approval in other states as yet.

Latest News on GGPoker PA:

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Posted on 9:17 pm

Playing With Fire: Nova Scotia Shutters Gambling Awareness Program While Considering Legal Online Casino Gaming

Dreamstime/Andres Barrionuevo Lopez

Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia (GANS) is no more.
Nova Scotia’s Department of Health (DOH) quietly shuttered the non-profit, arms-length government organization in late 2020. Its functions were research, prevention, and awareness campaigns related to gambling addiction. GANS was responsible for receiving and distributing funds to support communities in their efforts to reduce problem gambling’s damaging effects.
Those funds come from a percentage of video lottery terminal (VLT) revenues, matched by Gaming Nova Scotia. The money, along with GANS’s core functions, have been folded back into the general coffer for Mental Health and Addictions at the DOH.
The move’s timing is being panned by critics. They cite the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s (ALC) plans to expand online casino gaming to most Atlantic provinces.
“This is the time when people are most vulnerable,” says Bruce Dienes, chair of Gambling Risk Informed Nova Scotia, a non-profit aiming to reduce harms associated with gambling, in a recent report by the CBC on GANS’s dissolution. “In the middle of COVID … isn’t there more of a need to do this prevention work and community awareness work?”
ALC adds casino games amid pandemic profit crunch
ALC launched online casino games in New Brunswick as a pilot project in August 2020. Six months later, spurred by falling profits, it is preparing to do the same in Nova Scotia and PEI. So far, there are no similar plans for Newfoundland.
The high stakes limits it has set have been the focus of much of the criticism. Currently, ALC’s online casino allows players to gamble up to $100 per pull on slots. One blackjack games allows bets of up to $500 on a single hand. By contrast, New Brunswick VLTs are capped at a maximum of $2.50 per spin.
ALC defends the higher maximums as necessary to compete against offshore sites. These operate in largely unregulated fashion and often have no limits at all. Nonetheless, those on the front lines of gambling addiction predict that the increased limits and new products will compound the problem.
Another CBC report on the proposed expansion included comments from Elizabeth Stephen, a Halifax-based therapist with over 20-years of experience treating gambling addictions. She says that the ALC’s online casino will further legitimize gambling. She fears it will attract players who would never brave an offshore site.
Stephen believes that if the provinces allow online gambling, the regulations should be even stricter than in person play. Since the opposite seems to be the case on ALC’s pilot site, she expects addictions to soar along with profits.
“From my perspective, the risks far outweigh the profits,” says Stephen. “Someone has to lose in order for us to make money.”
Stakes are high as federal government eyes sports betting
Stakes are exceptionally high as the federal government has seemingly changed its tune on sports betting. Members of the ruling Liberal minority now back the push to legalize single-event sports betting in Canada. They had previously resisted the call from opposition parties since coming into power in 2015.
To date, the only legal form of sports betting in Canada has been parlay tickets such as Pro-Line, offered through provincial lotteries. But, with the tabling of Bill C-13 by Minister of Justice David Lametti in late November 2020, it looks as though the Federal Government is getting closer to removing the federal prohibition on single-game wagering. The goal is to recapture some of the estimated $14 billion Canadians spend annually on sports betting on offshore sites.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on Canadian gambling revenues, as it has across industries. A year in, operators and governments are feeling the pinch more than ever. Moreover, the nascent US sports betting market is growing explosively. This, in turn, is making it harder for Canadian casino operators to compete with cross-border competition, especially as states like Michigan enter the fray.
It’s a problem, however, that provinces are clawing back much-needed supports just as the Canadian gambling industry is set to explode. Online casinos and sports betting represent a huge opportunity. However, they come with additional risks. If provinces are going to pursue this opportunity, they have an obligation to mitigate those risks at the same time.
Provinces hedge their bets
Nova Scotia’s move to dissolve GANS isn’t the only example. In 2019, Ontario shuttered Gambling Research Exchange Ontario. As the name suggests, this organzation was dedicated to studying problem gambling. Doug Ford’s provincial government shut it down just as the province began its push to privatize online casinos.
More troubling still are recent legislative changes by New Brunswick (2019) and Nova Scotia (early 2020). These are designed to protect the government, its ministers, lotto corporations, and operators from class-action lawsuits and punitive damages related to gambling.
(The Nova Scotia Department of Health did not respond to inquiries about the shuttering of GANS, ALC’s proposed expansion, and changes to liability legislation).
One of the main advantages legalized, regulated gambling has over the black market is its potential to be safer for players and communities. Realizing that potential, however, requires that legislators and regulators take their responsibilities seriously.
If they fail in their jobs, even regulated markets can exhibit the same sorts of problems that plague the offshore industry. In Canada, such problems are already apparent in British Columbia, where lax government oversight of high-stakes betting opened the door to money laundering.
The goal is to build a sustainable gambling industry, both retail and online. Doing that means striking the correct balance between profitability and harm reduction. Increasing government revenue through legal gambling is good only so long as some of that money goes towards addictions support, awareness and other initiatives.
To get there we need industry and regulators to work together to raise the bar, not lower it. If we can do that, we may all win.

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Posted on 9:16 pm