OPR Bulletin: Week of June 17th, 2013

Get the OPRB in your inbox hours before it’s posted online – sign up for our email list.Stories to watch this week#1. PokerStars filed a request for interlocutory appeal late last week in connection with their attempt to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino. This week could bring a response from either the ACC or the NJ courts. Read an in-depth analysis of PokerStars’ filing on OPR here.#2. New Jersey regulators set a deadline of June 30th for casinos to ink online gambling partnerships. With more than half of the state’s potential operators still unaffiliated, the new deadline could spark a series of deals in the brief window that remains. A deal involving Trump and an as-yet-unnamed partner could come this week.#3. Illinois lawmakers will convene for a special session this week to address the state’s pension crisis. Gambling expansion and pension reform have been joined at the hip politically in Illinois, meaning that if pension reform is on the table, gambling expansion probably is too. Movement on online gambling is a long, long shot, but not completely implausible in a session that could potentially produce unexpected results.… + the week that was
PokerStars CEO Mark Scheinberg reached a $50mm settlement with the U.S. government.
Former Absolute Poker principal Brent Beckley was reportedly released from prison.
A key Pennsylvania legislator said online gambling was a dead issue until 2015.
PokerStars began investigation of an alleged case of forced disconnection attacks.
An interesting attempt to “short” the market for staking poker players failed.Recently on OPROn this week’s Rabbit Hunt, Mark and I talk PokerStars’ appeal, Scheinberg’s settlement and controversy over the the growth of hold’em at the WSOP.And I offered up 5 Reasons Rep. Peter King’s Online Gambling Bill is DOA. Finally, I have a new article in the June issue of CEM – “Player Segregation in Online Poker: Fad or Future?”Picks#GoodRead – Missed this one while I was on vacation, but Grange95 has the most in-depth writeup of thePokerStars Purchase Agreement with the Atlantic Club Casino that I’ve seen anywhere.

OPR Bulletin: Week of June 17th, 2013

Genting Poker Bails on Hendon Mob Players, Then Backtracks

Genting Poker has been under siege by The Hendon Mob online poker community since Friday, thanks to a post by Genting Poker Room Manager James Lowe stating that Genting was cancelling their Hendon Mob Tournament $ promotion – effective immediately.So Lowe’s post was effectively saying that all players who joined Genting Poker (a part of the iPoker Network) through The Hendon Mob would have all unused Tournament $ rescinded – meaning they would receive zero value for earned tournament currency that was basically as good as cash.Obviously this went over about as well with Hendon Mobbers as Ben Mezrich lecturing the poker world on the virtues of Absolute Poker.Genting retracts policy change, claims errorFortunately for Hendon Mobbers it looks like Genting and their new Poker Room Manager James Lowe have come to their senses.After nearly three days of silence Lowe returned to the forum just hours ago to backtrack on Genting’s new position [bold mine]:Now, compare that to the original post: “This does mean that any points you have accrued and not used are no longer valid,” and you’ll see why the word backtrack is getting thrown around a lot.But the good news is that everything appears to have been worked out in the end.Severe backlash over original decisionThe initial decision is all the more baffling when you consider James Lowe’s work experience in the world of online poker; with his resume he must have known the blowback he would receive for what is essentially a bait and switch tactic.As one Mobber “neilcaterham” said, “This is starting to sound like one of them Yank sites,”The cancellation so shocked the community that posters on the forum thought it was a level, or some diabolical plot to besmirch James Lowe’s name. One poster “4K Suited” hypothesized:Unfortunately, it wasn’t a joke or an “ill-judged statement.”Several players attempted to redeem their tournament dollars and/or contact support to see if the promotion was in fact cancelled, and all signs pointed to yes, the promo was just cancelled out of the blue.Even The Hendon Mob wasn’t notified, and had to read about the cancelled promotion on their own forum:Another poster “AKHater” explained how the cancellation of the affiliated deal would have a real-world impact on players like himself:

Genting Poker Bails on Hendon Mob Players, Then Backtracks

OPR Bulletin: Week of June 24th, 2013

Get the OPRB in your inbox hours before it’s posted online – sign up for our email list.Stories worth watching#1. New Jersey – With a weekend deadline for potential licensees to announce partnerships, expect a flurry of activity – and possibly even the announcement of a casino sale agreement – in the next few days. Keep a close eye on Station / Ultimate Gaming, who have hinted they’ll be live in New Jersey at launch, and also the Trump properties.#2. DiCristina – The general sense of observers is that the DiCristina hearing went well for poker players. Read a synopsis of the hearing at TwoPlusTwo (start at post #18) and at Diamond Flush, and then read Grange’s sober assessment of exactly what impact a favorable ruling would have on the legal status of online poker in the United States. There is no firm timeline for a decision, which could come as early as this week.#3. Sheldon Adelson – The LVS CEO raised the hackles of online poker players with an opinion piece at Forbes slamming online gambling regulation and a follow up interview with Bloomberg. Expect more information / insight in the days to come into why Adelson is choosing to publicly attack an industry he once embraced at this particular point in time – and perhaps another blast from Adelson.The week that was
John Mehaffey issued a warning regarding play on the Revolution (Lock) Poker Network.
PartyPoker removed benefits for high-volume players without notice.
CalvinAyre.com explored the complicated question of Playtech’s potential in the U.S. market.
Swedish state gambling operator Svensa Spel refunded around a half a million USD to players who were victims of an alleged bot ring. Background on the story from PokerFuse here.
Zynga bolstered their real-money gambling team by acquiring Spooky Cool Labs.Recently on OPROn this week’s Rabbit Hunt, Mark and I cover Adelson’s slam of online poker, WSOP happenings of note and the DiCristina hearing.And here’s the latest installment of OPR’s comprehensive Online Poker in the States, providing regulatory updates for all relevant states in the U.S..Picks#GoodRead – Kim Lund articulates the Migratory Patterns of Online Poker Players in an interesting piece over at QuadJacks.@Follow – Great land-based casino coverage from David McKee over at @StiffsGeorges.

OPR Bulletin: Week of June 24th, 2013