Casino operator Wynn Resorts is renaming its half-finished Massachusetts casino project to further distance itself from its former chairman’s sexual harassment allegations.
On Friday, Wynn CEO Steve Maddox met with members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) to discuss removing Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn’s name from the gaming license of the $2.4b Wynn Boston Harbor resort casino project in Everett, just north of Boston, which is scheduled to open in June 2019.
Wynn Resorts suggested in March that a rebrand of the property was likely. At Friday’s hearing, Maddox announced that the property would now be known as Encore Boston Harbor. Encore is the name of a resort property that opened in 2008 as the second phase of the Wynn Las Vegas resort.
Maddox told the MGC members that while “the Wynn brand is strong,’ he also understood “the cultural sensitivity” surrounding the numerous harassment allegations brought against Steve Wynn this year by female staff members.
Steve resigned in February and has sold off his entire holdings in the casino company. Maddox told the MGC that the company now had “no business association with Steve Wynn,” yet this separation, whether in terms of business and branding, may not be enough to ensure the company retains control over the Everett project.
The MGC hope to make a ruling on removing Steve’s name from the gaming license next week, but that’s a separate issue from the ongoing probe the MGC is conducting into how much Wynn’s senior management knew about the allegations against their former leader. Should the MGC not like what its probe uncovers, it could declare Wynn Resorts unsuitable to operate gaming in Massachusetts.
Should that worst-case scenario play out, it’s unknown who might take over the unfinished Everett project. On Thursday, rival MGM Resorts, which is opening its own Massachusetts casino this August, played down reports that it was planning on swapping projects, insisting it was committed to its own MGM Springfield project.
The Mohegan Tribe, whose casino properties include the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and which unsuccessfully vied for the sole Boston-area casino license that Wynn received, told The Day that it remained interested in setting up shop in Boston, should that sole license go back on the market.
However, the MMCT Joint Venture between the Mohegans and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation that is building a casino in northern Connecticut close to MGM Springfield, shot down media reports that it would be interested in taking over the Springfield property should MGM take over the Everett project. An MMCT spokesperson called such reports “rumor mill trash.”
Americans want individual states to control legal sports betting, not the federal government, according to a new poll.
On Thursday, the latest Seton Hall Sports Poll revealed that 62% of respondents believe state governments should be overseeing legal sports betting activity if the Supreme Court overturns the longtime federal betting ban, compared to just 27% who want federal oversight.
The poll, which was conducted this week with 736 randomly selected adults, found that 55% of respondents favor legalized betting versus just 35% who are opposed. The numbers match a Washington Post-University of Massachusetts Lowell poll last September that found 55% support and 33% opposition.
Far more men (63%) than women (47%) in the new Seton Hall poll looked favorably upon legal wagering, and support was also highly dependent on age, with 68% support among those aged 18-29 years compared to just 37% of those aged 60 or over. Those who failed to finish high school were also far more likely to support (71%) legal wagering than those with post-graduate degrees (39%).
The NCAA has been fighting New Jersey’s efforts to authorize legal wagering and, should the Supreme Court overturn the federal prohibition, the NCAA will likely continue to fight for a carveout that bans wagering on college athletics. But 49% of the Seton Hall respondents believe college sports should be fair game for wagering versus just 36% who want college games off the board.
When it comes to the faux controversy over the alleged impact that legal wagering will have on the integrity of sports contests, a plurality (48%) of respondents felt integrity will be negatively impacted compared to 42% of those who said the opposite.
That negative view was echoed in a 2017 Seton Hall poll regarding the NFL’s Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas, which found 46% of respondents believed the relocation would “increase the likelihood of players, referees or team officials gambling on the outcome of games.”
Incredibly, one-third of those who favor legal wagering believe it will negatively impact the sports. Poll director Rick Gentile described this contradiction as “outrageous … It comes close to saying ‘We don’t care about the legitimacy of the games, what matters is being able to bet on them.’” God bless you, ‘Murica… You rarely disappoint.
Week 35 of the Premier League sees Arséne Wenger wave the white flag; Stoke slides closer to the abyss after failing to beat Burnley at home and Man City humiliate Swansea with a 5-0 drubbing.
Arséne Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups. Considering he won most of these competing with Sir Alex Ferguson at his pomp he deserves a hat tip.
Ferguson devoted 26-years of his life to the dressing room. Wenger is in his 22nd year. But there is one primary difference. The United manager left the club as a champion; Wenger leaves feeling alienated, unappreciated and unwanted.
On Friday, Wenger told the press that he would finally step down at the end of the season quoting the global status of the club as a brand as the primary reason, given that most of the focus on Arsenal seems to be on Wenger.
If only the man had moved on after his last FA Cup win.
At 68-years-old, it’s time to send his football boots to the charity shop. The Premier League is no place for an old man. With Arsenal 11-points behind Spurs despite beating West Ham 4-1 at the weekend. Unless they win the Europa League, they will miss out on Champions League football for the second successive season.
The Premier League will never see the likes of Wenger again.
Arsenal’s CEO Ivan Gazidis said the next Arsenal manager has to be “Open minded, brave and bold.”
Here are the odds.
Odds on the Next Arsenal Manager
Luis Enrique 5/2
Carlo Ancelotti 5/1
Joachin Loew 7/1
Brendan Rodgers 8/1
Patrick Vieira 9/1
The Battle For Relegation
With only three/four Premier League games remaining on the calendar here are the relegation odds.
Almost all bookmakers have stopped taking odds on West Brom’s demise despite picking up another point this weekend coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Anfield, a week after beating Man Utd at Old Trafford.
Danny Ings and Mohamed Salah had put Liverpool into a commanding 2-0 position with 18-minutes of the game remaining. Jake Livermore and Salomon Rondón struck in the 79th and 88th minute to steal a point.
Ahead of Stoke’s home tie against Burnley, Paul Lambert said his team needed to win three of the remaining four games to avoid relegation. Badiu Ndiaye gave Stoke the start they required finding the bottom corner in the 11th minute, but Ashley Barnes scored his sixth goal in eight games to stop Stoke from winning their first game in 11 matches.
“There are still a lot of twists and turns to come,” Lambert told the press after the match.
Stoke’s Remaining Games
Crystal Palace (H)
Southampton picked up a solid point in a goalless draw against Leicester at the King Power Stadium, and three of their final four games are at home. If the Saints can beat Bournemouth and Swansea, and collect something at Goodison then who knows. There is also the after-effects of losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup Semi-Final. Will the day out at Wembley inspire them, or will the loss see them play the final four games winded?
Southampton’s Remaining Games
Man City (H)
Swansea was never expected to beat Man City, but Carlos Carvahal won’t be happy with his side conceded five without reply. The drubbing means Swansea are winless in six in all competitions, and they lie two points clear of the drop zone (David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus scored for City). Those home games against Southampton and Stoke will decide the fate of the Welsh side.
Swansea’s Remaining Games
Huddersfield didn’t play this weekend, but they did pick up a point against Watford in midweek with a goalless draw. Scoring remains the Terriers Achilles heel and looking at the fixture list they won’t penetrate any of these defences. The only saving grace for Huddersfield is the difficulty in obtaining points of those around them.
Huddersfield’s Remaining Games
Man City (A)
Results in Full
Brighton 1 v 1 Spurs
Bournemouth 0 v 2 Man Utd
Burnley 1 v 2 Chelsea
Leicester 0 v 0 Southampton
West Brom 2 v 2 Liverpool
Watford 0 v 0 Crystal Palace
Arsenal 4 v 1 West Ham
Stoke 1 v 1 Burnley
Man City 5 v 0 Swansea
To Be Played (Mon)
Everton v Newcastle
Premier League Table
1. Man City – 90
2. Man Utd – 74
3. Liverpool – 71
4. Spurs – 68
5. Chelsea – 63
6. Arsenal – 57
7. Burnley – 53
8. Leicester – 44
9. Everton – 42
10. Newcastle – 41
11. Bournemouth – 38
12. Watford – 38
13. Brighton – 36
14. Crystal Palace – 35
15. West Ham – 35
16. Huddersfield – 35
17. Swansea – 33
18. Southampton – 29
19. Stoke – 29
20. West Brom – 25
April 20, 2018
The first time David, 19, of Jersey City, NJ, was sexually assaulted, he was a high school student minding his own business on a train. A man sat down next to him, showed him nude photos of himself and started touching him inappropriately. A year later, while a senior in high school, David was raped. The following year, while David was traveling abroad, a man sexually assaulted him. David had been having a rough time dealing with his identity as a gay male and blamed himself. “Because I was engaging in sexual behavior, I immediately thought I was at least partially at fault,” he says. After lots of reflection and therapy, he now states with confidence, “If you’ve been assaulted, it’s not your fault.”
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We recognize this month as a time to have conversations about sexual assault, to educate ourselves and others about how to give and ask for consent and to support survivors of sexual assault. Because sexual assault is such a traumatic event, survivors often need support that can help them heal and regain self-esteem.
Sexual assault had a huge impact on David’s self-worth. “None of my first sexual encounters— consensual or not—were good and that fed into longstanding fears and shame about my sexuality,” he says. As a result, David reflects, “These experiences shook my confidence…and they have also affected the ways with which I handle relationships and sex.”
As a male survivor of sexual assault, David is not alone. According to information from the U.S. Department of Justice and cited by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), there are, on average, 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault annually in the United States, and one out of every 10 of these victims is male. 1in6.org, a website designed to support male survivors of sexual assault and abuse, reports that at least one in six men experience “unwanted sexual experiences” before the age of 18. Despite the significant number of guys who face sexual assault, David has observed that the narrative around it tends to center around women and girls’ experiences. While he recognizes the importance of these stories, David notes that “LGBT+ survivors and men are often shut out.” One important way to support these survivors is to include them in the discussion and validate their stories as much as those of cisgender women and heterosexual people.
Reaching out for support was very difficult for David. He didn’t start going to therapy until he had a breakdown. Now two years into therapy, David is learning that despite the way his experiences colored his view of himself and his relationships, there are plenty of people out there who “respect you, your body and your wants.” Through self-reflection, therapy and support, David has recognized that “fear and guilt, whether well-placed or not, are powerful. But self-forgiveness and inner peace is more powerful. And that’s what I’m working towards.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE) or visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
In this week’s Calling the Clock we round-up the partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final in Barcelona, cover PokerStars launch in India and much more.
The sun is out. The woman who looks like a cross between Alison Moyet and Toyah Wilcox is bent over, cleaning the tables. Across the road, the builders stop work and lean on their spades to collectively stare at the young girl’s ass.
Grinning great big grins.
I order my Matcha Latte and swallow hard at the added 50p for oat milk while considering telling her about the builders. I don’t, because then she’ll think I’ve been staring.
I take my number #42 and sit down to write this.
I’m going to begin my weekly round-up with partypoker. The MILLIONS Grand Final is no longer a concept. It’s a bona fide live tournament classic.
The players came (as they always do in Barcelona), and won more than $30m. Nobody won more than Pascal Lefrancois. The stud from Montreal outlasted a field of 1,175 entrants in the €10,300, €10m GTD Main Event to take the €1.7m first prize. Brits Adam Owen and Stephen Chidwick picked up €1.3m and €1m for second and third. Chidwick’s cash saw him overtake Adrian Mateos as the Global Poker Index #1.
After the Main Event ended, Pedro Cairat beat 1,163 entrants to win the €195,000 first prize in the €1,100 Finale a year after beating 4,557 entrants to win €432,178 in the PokerStars National Championships at the same venue. And Fahredin Mustafov topped a field of 194 entrants to bank the first prize of €400,000 in the €10,000 High Roller.
And as the scent of fly spray sticks to my nostril hairs, I have two more significant pieces of partypoker news for you.
partypoker ambassador, Patrick Leonard, managed to convince his leaders that it would be a wise branding move to remove the rake applied to the bounty element of the Progressive Knockout tournaments. The six-month trial begins during the $40m GTD POWERFEST tournament and will become a permanent fixture if the players support the move by exchanging the time spent playing on their roller skates for more online poker.
I wrote about the play here – Gambling Marketing Musings: The Hidden Message Behind Party’s PKO Rake Reduction.
And finally, as predicted by yours truly, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, is the newest member of the partypoker ambassadorial team and will spearhead partypoker’s move into the shared liquidity market currently being pieced together in Europe.
PokerStars open up tables in India; sign Muskan Sethi and more
PokerStars employees reliably tell me that they don’t spend too much time focusing on the shenanigans over at partpoker towers. Perhaps, it’s because they’re too busy?
This week, the largest online poker room this side of the ridiculously sized salt and pepper pots fucking up my table chi, opened up their cyber doors for business in India and hired Muskan Sethi to help them spread the word.
Sethi rose to prominence when she qualified for the PokerStars TV show, the Shark Cage, a few years back and was recently honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind for being an inspirational woman.
It’s 5,000 km from India to South Korea as a ballastic missile flies, and that’s where we head next with a brief round-up of the Asian-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Korea.
Two people, in particular, must have been touching the heads of deities made from cement.
Michael Soyza, Christopher Soyza, I don’t know what the hell is name is, but I do know he made money in four events; made three final tables, and won two trophies – the biggest of the two being the KRW 100,000 buy-in Main Event. Soyza defeated 449 entrants to win the $148,629 first prize before going on to also win a side event.
Yuki Ko made the final table of the Main Event, finishing eighth, and he also had a ridiculous run of form in Incheon. Beside his Main Event exploits, Ko won two events and banked over $100k in the process.
Moving sharply to Brazil, and PokerStars continues to receive more press coverage from Neymar Jr than when he worked for them. This time, the most expensive footballer in the world posted a photo on Instagram of him playing two PokerStars tables while watching football on TV.
There was only one problem.
The match on TV was Paris St Germain beating Monaco 7-1 to win the league, and Neymar was 8.8 km away in Brazil.
It seems the rumours that Neymar Jr may be on his bike in the summer may be true.
And on the eve of PokerStars second attempt to host a $10m GTD Sunday Million Anniversary special, I sat down with Severin Rasset to talk about that decision, and their newest game Split Hold’em. Check out the interview, right here.
World Poker Tour
The World Poker Tour (WPT) has also been as busy as a Los Angeles motorcycle cop this week.
Scott Margereson destroyed 1,306 entrants on his way to the most significant score of his career by winning the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Florida.
Margereson’s bank manager is going to have a surprise when $696,740 drops into the line of code. The payout is more than Margereson has earned in a live tournament career that spans more than six years.
The Brit beat Faraz Jaka in heads-up action. Brian Hastings finished third, Joey Couden fourth, Matt Stout fifth, and Jeff Fielder sixth.
Had Jeff Fielder finished five places higher he would have become the first player to win both WPTDeepStacks and WPT Main Event titles. And over in Amsterdam, another player also came close to achieving the same feat.
Chino Rheem is not everyone’s cup of lemon and apple cider vinegar, but he knows how to spin it up. The three-time WPT Main Event Champion finished 4/250 in the WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam Main Event. First time live tournament casher Christos Economides took the title and €75,760.
Bits and Bobs
Alex Dreyfus explained why he has been missing from the poker world for so long with a blog post on Medium this week. The French entrepreneur and owner of the Hendon Mob and GPI announced the creation of chiliZ, a fan-controlled esports experiment inspired by the Spanish socios movement. Dreyfus has managed to persuade investors to part with $27m and change, so it seems like a stickler.
The chiliZ project is one that embraces blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, and another horse in that race showed up in the news this week. CoinPoker, who last week announced plans to sponsor the Asian Poker Tour, this week added the 2018 Japan Poker Cup as a second partner.
Poker fans desperate for news of the emergence of RunItOnce (RIO) Poker received a Phil Galfond warble this week. Galfond announced plans to launch RIO Poker in two phases, the first – online cash games – will arrive in the summer. Galfond’s blog post shared the news that their rewards system would favour professional poker players; they wouldn’t cannibalise unused rewards and many other golden nuggets.
Check it out #1: An Update and a Plan right here.
888Poker announced plans to sponsor the Women in Poker Hall of Fame (WiPHOF) induction ceremony in Las Vegas this summer. One of the ladies on the shortlist is Lupo Soto, and this week Soto formed the Women’s Poker Association (WPA) in a bid to help the female of the species navigate the male-dominated poker industry.
Leon Tsoukernik was in the news again.
The owner of the Rozvadov Casino and the first person to commit to play the Big One for One Drop doesn’t want to pay the legal fees in his dispute with Matt Kirk over an unpaid $2m debt accrued after Tsoukernik had a few too many and lost the GDP of a tiny nation to the Australian during a heads-up cash game match at the ARIA. The latest court reports name Bobby Baldwin as Kirk’s primary backer, and fellow conspirator.
Despite Leon’s dubious reputation within the high stakes community, it hasn’t stopped the WSOP partnering with him. This week the iconic brand was in the news again, after deciding to alter the Player of the Year formula for the umpteenth time. The new way of doing things is similar to the way they do things at the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC), and so far the cry from the naysayers seems more like a whimper.
Last but certainly not least, my guest this week on Poker Routines was the Unibet Ambassador, Dara O’Kearney. Find out how a man without goals makes a living play poker right here.
Time ladies and gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.
PokerStars’ launch in India got a boost this morning after the online gaming giants announced that Muskan Sethi would join Aditya Agarwal as a brand ambassador for the company. And we have a round-up from the Asian Pacific-Poker Tour in Korea.
I wonder if Muskan Sethi’s publicist has a spot under his or her wing?
What an incredible four years for a young woman whose personal mantra is to make a life, and not just a living. The story is a classic one, the highly intelligent and learned young woman struggling to find her place in the world. It’s an inspirational story we should consume greedily alongside our sugar-laden Starbucks trips and sneaky packets of crisps from the gas station.
Sethi was born in the midst of 1.3 billion people.
That’s a challenge, alone.
And yet she somehow managed to create a personal brand that has attracted the most significant online poker room in the world.
The dogs bark.
The church bells ring.
And this magnificent madam keeps hitting home runs.
From the catwalk to the president to PokerStars
Sethi is the latest face of PokerStars.IN.
The 27-year-old joins Aditya Agarwal with the responsibility to promote the PokerStars brand in a region that struggles to believe that poker is nothing more than a flip of a coin and a potential problem for the Indian community.
When Sethi first began considering a career, she set her heart on commerce. Then the space between the beats slowed down, and only fashion quickened them. Sethi earned a diploma in fashion journalism and brand management from the London School of Fashion.
And then the tick-tock-ticking of her heart began to slow once again.
Then, in 2014, Sethi qualified for the PokerStars Shark Cage promotion while playing online and headed to Barcelona to appear alongside her idol Liv Boeree for the chance to win €1m – she finished second in her heat, but a star was born.
From there, Sethi was picked up by the Indian online poker room Adda52, and from out of nowhere, President Ram Nath Kovind honoured her amongst 100 pioneering females who had carved out careers in male-dominated environments.
Cue Indiana Jones style boulders.
Most recently, Sethi joined the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), in a bid to help promote poker and other forms of skill games in her country.
Sethi has earned a smidgen over $50k playing live tournaments, so she is still a pup. Her best score to date was a final table appearance in last year’s £1,000 buy-in Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) Main Event in the Vic where she finished eighth for £10,400.
PokerStars.IN teamed up with Sachiko Gaming to officially launch in India on 17 April. The newly appointed CEO, Ankur Dewani, spoke to Glaws of the need for poker to be patient, stating that the lawmakers are not as familiar with the game as they are with the likes of rummy and chess.
“Sure there will be some challenges,” said Dewani, “But it is our job to educate and work with the government to provide information, case studies, research reports, to ensure states and the central government understand this beautiful mind sport.”
Or you could hire one of the President’s best buddies.
A Round Up From The Asian-Pacific Poker Tour in Seoul
Moving from India to South Korea, and it’s safe to say that Christopher Soyza had a reasonably decent run at the Asian-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Korea festival.
Soyza, who came into the festival as a top Malaysian multi-table tournament (MTT) player with over a million in cashes, made money in four events, made the final table of three and won two including the coveted Main Event.
The Malaysian star finished 36/377 in the Kickoff event cashing for $575. He followed that up with a 3/55 finish in a No-Limit Hold’em Turbo event for $1,258, before beating 449 entrants to win the $148,629 first prize in the Main Event. Not content with topping a final table that included Randy Lew, Soyza hopped into a No-Limit Hold’em/Pot Limit Omaha mix and took it down for $9,815.
In addition to his buckets of cash, Soyza also earned a $30,000 Platinum Pass for the 2019 PokerStars Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship, the most significant $25,000 buy-in event in the world.
Here are the final table results of the APPT Korea Main Event.
1. Christopher Soyza – $148,629
2. Mitsuhiro Shiga – $93,156
3. Diwei Huang – $57,485
4. Tomita Ryo – $43,615
5. Randy Lew – $31,721
6. Toru Wakamatsu – $25,109
7. Kojiro Mizukami – $19,827
8. Yuki Ko – $16,521
Soyza wasn’t the only player who earned a Platinum Pass during APPT Korea. The Japanese pro, Yuki Ko, will also be flying to the Bahamas after beating 226 entrants to win the $31,647 first prize and Platinum Pass at the APPT National Event.
Like Soyza, Ko also had a magnificent APPT Korea, winning $62,236 after beating 62 entrants in the Single Day High Roller and making the final table of the Main Event, finishing in eighth.
Ko beat the New Zealander Tae Han in heads-up action. Incredibly, the pair also met in the heads-up phase of last year’s PokerStars Festival Main Event in Korea. Han won that one earning $73,954 in the process.
Here are the final table results from the National Main Event.
1. Yuki Ko – $31,647
2. Tae Han – $20,671
3. Simon Burns – $13,305
4. Pete Chen – $10,339
5. Sheng Li – $8,399
6. Ryu Jaebok – $6,781
7. Kunimaro Kojo – $5,490
8. Masakazu Okamoto – $4,200
Live Gaming has become a game changer in the gambling industry. Live gaming itself was a product of the operators desire to innovate and improve the way people play the games.
Recognizing the talent behind every live games, organizers of the second annual Live Gaming Summit will fete the best performing live gaming operators with the inaugural Live Gaming Awards on April 26, 2018, at the Casino Barcelona.
“Live Gaming has become a mainstream product. From the pioneer work 10 years ago–Live Roulette & Blackjack have become a key income generator for the Remote Gaming Industry,” Live Gaming Summit 2018 organizers said. “For the first time ever, the fast-growing live gaming industry will be able to celebrate its very own award show.”
The first Live Gaming Awards will feature three categories: Best Overall Live Dealer Overall Product; Best Branded Studio; and Best In-Casino Streaming Provider.
Nominees for the Best Live Dealer Overall Product are 1xBet, Asia Live Gaming, Authentic, BetConstruct, Evolution Gaming, Extreme Live Gaming, Ezugi, Media Live Casino, NetEnt, Playtech, and Vivo Gaming.
The Best Branded Studio category, on the other hand, is packed with the crème de la crème of the gambling industry. The nominees for this category are 888 (inc. Elite Lounge), Bet 365, Betsson, Bwin, Coral, Gala, Genting, Golden Nugget, Grosvenor, GVC Shared Tables, Ladbrokes, LeoVegas, Marathonbet, Mr. Green, Paddy Power Betfair, Pokerstars, Sky Casino, Unibet, and William Hill.
There are at least six operators vying for the Best In-Casino Streaming Provider Award. These operators are Authentic Gaming, Evolution Gaming, Extreme Live Gaming, Ezugi, Media Live Casino, and Portomaso Gaming.
The winners of the inaugural Live Gaming Awards will be determined by a public poll, according to the organizers. They added that all gaming and betting industry professionals are welcome to cast their votes.
Operators may be able to cast their vote in the official website, www.livegamingsummit.com/awards.
For those who are interested to attend the conference on April 26, you may as well register on the Live Gaming Summit website.