Category Archives: Games

Scratching backs: poker and the law of reciprocity

Lee Davy talks about Robert Cialdini’s Law of Reciprocity and how poker companies could use it to forge better relationships with writers and avoid brand calamities.

You wouldn’t believe how many layers I am wearing. It’s February. You would think it was December; I swear it’s global warming. Donald Trump and his cronies don’t have a clue. But I don’t get it. If the world is heating up because of factory farming, car fumes and Port Talbot Steelworks then why am I so cold?

Scratching backs: poker and the law of reciprocityThe itch.

I can’t reach it.

It would mean taking off my backpack, my jacket, my fleece, my hoodie, my checkered shirt, and my t-shirt so my crusty warted finger could scratch. So I ask my wife.

You scratch my back.

I’ll scratch yours.

If you’ve read Influence by Robert Cialdini, you will be aware of the theory of reciprocity. If not, let me enlighten you.

Occasionally, online poker rooms invite me to attend live events. They pay for my travel expenses and accommodation. It’s savvy business for them because while I am there, I am thrusting their branding into my articles on a daily basis. But there is another subtle ploy at work. The online poker rooms understand the theory of reciprocity. They know that if they treat me well I am going to feel a psychological urge to help them pick up the apples once they flip over the cart.

It’s utterly brilliant, especially if you aren’t aware it’s happening.

A Day in the Life of a Writer 

I wake up at 6 am; meditate, stretch, make warm lemon water with apple cider vinegar, take my supplements, turn on the radiators and settle down to do some research.

I go through my Google Alert feeds, check my emails, drink my pre-made smoothie, have a poo, trawl some key social media feeds, and cut and paste potential stories into an excel spreadsheet.

At 7.30 am, I head to Coffee #1 and start writing the first of four articles that will appear on CalvinAyre. Some days are easier than others. It’s a delight to wake up to an inbox full of stories. More often than not there are no stories. The clock ticks. My journey to the edge of the night seems to take an eternity. I feel like someone has my eyelids held apart while someone else kicks the shit out of my eyeballs.

Outside of my work for CalvinAyre I have my other contracts, my Truth About Alcohol business, and a wife and two kids that I need to pay attention to if I want them to remain a part of my life for the foreseeable future.

In short, I am busy.

The CoinPoker Debacle 

I believe it’s essential for poker companies to understand how a writer thinks, feels and operates on a daily basis. They also need to follow the law of reciprocity.

Let’s take the recent CoinPoker debacle as a prime example.

Alex Weldon, who works for GameIntel and provides content for PartTimePoker, recently wrote an opinion/research piece suggesting that CoinPoker’s security was as tight a snail’s arsehole after a date with a donkey and that something very odd was going on regarding player numbers after spotting someone playing 42 tables for eight hours straight.

Before Weldon posted his piece, he approached CoinPoker about his findings.

CoinPoker ignored him.

Weldon posted his article.

I wake up at 6 am, do all of the things above, and read Weldon’s piece. Brilliant. I have something to write. I send a note to CoinPoker asking for a response. Nothing. I write a similar article based on Weldon’s hard work.

Another writer does the same.

Then another.

Now the poker community is buzzing with the news that CoinPoker is a den of thieves and buggerers.

The next day, CoinPoker respond in Medium refuting some of Weldon’s claims, and doing a half-arsed job of telling the public that something odd was happening, they are dealing with it, you should feel okay about using the site, but we won’t tell you what we found out during our investigation.

I received an email from CoinPoker.

PokerNews received contact with CoinPoker.

New articles emerge considering CoinPoker’s reaction by which time the sticks and stones have already battered the brand.

It reminds me of the Coronation Street star accused of rape who a judge later declared was innocent. Nobody cared. In their minds, he was guilty because the headlines said he was, and that’s all that flashed through the neocortex. By the time the judge delivered his verdict, we had forgotten about the whole incident.

Two years later, you see the celebrity in a bar.

You point to him and tell your mate – “That guy’s a rapist.”

The Point 

Scratching backs: poker and the law of reciprocityIf CoinPoker had paid Weldon some respect, and, recognising the gravity of the situation, spoke to him and promised him an angle before he published his work, I am sure they could have found a mutually beneficial way forward.

Ignoring him, and then trying to fix it later, is poor form.

I know it’s not easy, but if poker companies want to stop writers inking incorrect information and assumptions, then there needs to be more of an effort to forge relationships and open up instant lines of communication.

When you ask for a quote and receive the bog standard corporate response it’s not worth blowing your snot into.

The poker community is not a child.

It needs to be treated like an adult.

CoinPoker found a problem with it’s security. Why else would it close three accounts? Then tell us what the issue was. You have to earn trust, in the same way you want to earn writer reciprocity.

Be open.

Be free.

Be available.

Scratch our backs, and we will scratch yours.


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PokerStars, GVC, Paddy Power Betfair join US casino lobby

american-gaming-association-pokerstars-stars-groupAmerica’s top casino lobby group has welcomed six new members, including a company the group once called “a business built on deceit, chicanery and the systematic flouting of US law.”

On Thursday, the American Gaming Association (AGA) announced that it had added six new companies as Board-level members, including BMM Testlabs, Oklahoma-based tribal casino operator Choctaw Casinos and Resorts, Nevada’s Golden Entertainment, UK-listed operators GVC Holdings and Paddy Power Betfair, as well as The Stars Group, parent company of PokerStars.

AGA president/CEO Geoff Freeman said the newly “diverse membership reflects the interest of the casino gaming industry.” Freeman said the addition of these six “industry leaders” would allow the AGA to better serve as “an effective advocate for the industry as a whole.”

The AGA announcement is proof that, if you wait long enough, the world eventually turns on its head. In 2013, the AGA actively campaigned against PokerStars being issued a New Jersey online gambling license, marking the first time the lobby group had ever felt the need to intervene in a licensing process.

Stars, then under its original ownership, had sought to participate in New Jersey’s regulated online market after reaching a $731m settlement with the US Department of Justice to resolve its civil liabilities stemming from the 2011 ‘Black Friday’ online poker indictments.

That settlement stated that the DOJ saw no legal reason why Stars should be excluded from future participation in US regulated markets. But the AGA insisted at the time that the settlement hadn’t “altered in any way” the rank odor of criminality wafting off the Stars brand.

To be fair, the AGA was then under the command of Frank Fahrenkopf, who handed the reins of power to Freeman just one month after making those pejorative comments toward Stars. But it does vividly illustrate how much the US gambling landscape has changed since those days.

PokerStars did eventually get licensed in New Jersey (as did GVC Holdings’ PartyPoker brand) and the AGA has since reversed itself on a number of other positions, including its recent support for overturning the federal ban on single-game sports betting outside Nevada.

The AGA’s welcoming of online gambling operators into the fold will almost certainly revive concerns that Las Vegas Sands will withdraw its membership from the AGA. Sands boss Sheldon Adelson, who hates online gambling the way Donald Trump’s hair hates gusts of wind, previously threatened to withdraw his financial suppport unless the AGA reversed its position advocating for online legalization, which prompted the AGA to knuckle under.


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Digitain ties up EGT’s interactive portfolio

Leading provider integrates another exciting new suite

Digitain ties up EGT’s interactive portfolio15th March 2018, Yerevan – Multi-channel casino platform and sports betting supplier Digitain is set to integrate the full suite of global gaming software and solutions provider EGT Interactive into its flourishing platform.

The new agreement adds a high-quality range to Digitain’s existing portfolio, which recently shattered the 3,000-games mark on its casino platform, and continues to go through the gears.

Among the games made available to their operator partners via the deal will be EGT Interactive’s latest release 40 Mega Clover, as well as popular titles like Almighty Ramses II and the classic Burning Hot.

The integration brings extra muscle to the supplier’s casino platform, as it widens its sphere of influence throughout international markets, from CIS-facing territories to Asia and Africa.

Suren Khachatryan, Digitain CEO, said: “It’s very pleasing to make this announcement. We have launched some fantastic content over the past 12 months on casino, with a wide variety of themes, features, and maths models to ensure improved gameplay. We hope they’ll readily become firm favourites with operators and players alike.”

Todor Zaharief, EGT Interactive’s Manager, added: “It’s great news to partner with Digitain, which has progressed its global reach significantly in recent months. It’s a deal which also allows our products to be promoted via a thriving sportsbook station. EGT Interactive’s heritage is based on innovation and advanced gaming software which already powers some of the world’s top casino operators. So we can’t wait to see how our games perform across what in many cases are new markets for us.”

Digitain has broadened its influence across Europe, central Asia and Africa over the past year, with its state-of-the-art sportsbook (offering odds on 65 different sports, 7,500 leagues, and more than 3,000 betting markets) gaining progressive traction.

For more information, please contact:

Square in the Air Communications
Robin Hutchison, Director, 131-151 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 5BB | +44 (0) 20 3586 8272 |

About Digitain:

Digitain is a sportsbook and casino platform provider offering best of breed turn-key and white-label solutions. The company’s primary focus is on the regulated European market, with ambitious plans to expand its geographical footprint into the Americas and Asia. It employs more than 800 of the brightest minds and creative talents in the gaming industry, with the aim of providing a one-stop-shop for its customers. The multi-channel Digitain Gaming Platform allows operators to plug-in sportsbook, casino, live dealer and virtual sports modules, and includes an integrated payment gateway, bonus engine, CRM system and dedicated customer support. Its sportsbook product covers 65 sports, taking in 7,500 leagues, and offers more than 3,000 betting markets. It also offers odds on 30,000 live events each month, while its casino solution has 3,000-plus games from major casino suppliers.


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The proliferation of the playwright poker player

Inspired by a passage in Charles Bukowski’s ‘On Writing’ Lee Davy questions the decision to stick with the status quo in writing, in poker, in life.

I’m sitting in a renovated attic. The wooden chair is taking the skin off my sit bones. I tower over my laptop, neck craning to see the words. When I slip down to eye level, my coccyx rubs uncomfortably against the wood. A man wearing glasses sits opposite me locked into a murder-mystery, fist embedded in his temple. Occasionally, he looks at me when he thinks I’m not looking. To be fair, I type with the grace of an elephant at a disco. I bet he’s thinking, “Why doesn’t this prick fuck off elsewhere?”

I can’t.The proliferation of the playwright poker player

I have to write this.

I don’t know how to write. My wife laughs when I tell her I don’t understand the difference between a verb or an adverb. I have no clue what a noun is, how to use ‘was’ or ‘were,’ and I never know when to put a comma in a sentence.

I never set out to be a writer. I wanted to be a professional footballer. I thought the only thing I needed to learn to write was my signature. I never made it. Alcohol got me. And now I spend most of my time in coffee shops worried that someone is going to send me a tweet saying, “I read your article, and it’s shit.”

To help with this fear of not being good enough, I have been reading Charles Bukowski. I love the way he uses words and phrases like ‘hot fuck’, ‘toenail,’ and ‘cockroach’ in his poetry. A spectrum has two ends. At one, you have a thing like the Alchemist, stitched together by Paulo Coelho and twenty of the most common words in the English language, and then you have Bukowski pulling crackers out of his knackers (that one is mine).

I’ve been reading his letters before my daughter starts snoring like a drunk, and one of them stood out like a holed sock in a posh person’s house. Bukowski wrote it in December 1965. Addressed to Gene Cole, Bukowski writes:

I am afraid that the problems of our playwrights are the same as everybody else – that is, they are trained, they are TOLD the proper way to do a thing.” 

He continued.

“It can help bad playwrights become almost good ones, but how to do it will never create an art, it will never shake the old skin, it will never get us out of here.” 

Bukowski doesn’t want to see an end to books and training course that improve the skills of playwrights – Let the people do as they please – but he’s not too enthusiastic about the success of student mass.

“If they are able to create art and make a lasting theatre with these methods, I will be most happy to be called a liar.” 

I’m not saying this gives me a free pass to be a horrible writer (blame Grammarly). But it injects confidence to take my colouring pens and venture outside of the lines, and poker players should do the same thing.

Why Poker Players Should Stray Outside of the Lines 

When I first learned to play poker, I knew that I had to seek out the very best in the game and ask him to teach me. A lack of belief prevented me from doing this. But I did seek out the best online training schools.

Back then everyone was teaching the same way to play poker. Within no time, the weaknesses of unschooled poker players became history. The ABC of poker spread like the joy of children on Christmas Eve.

Today, when I speak to the very best in the game, we talk about artificial intelligence (AI), algorithms and the right way of doing things. It has a playwright school feel to it. And who am I to argue with these people? They earn millions of dollars, and I’m sitting here, bony arse hurting like fuck because I stole a free cup of tea voucher.

But where is the art?

Where are the two fingers to the establishment?

Who is drawing outside of the lines?

I think this is why I’m attracting to the work that Matt Berkey is doing at the poker coaching academy Solve For Why. The very premise behind what he does begins by straying outside of the lines. For starters, he offers coaching on the live game, and very few people do that and do that well. But it’s his drive to teach people to think and act differently that ultimately turns me on.

The man Berkey wants to scrub your bones clean.

Tip the peroxide all over that mother fucker.

We want to help people abandon the crutches of assisted learning – Matt Berkey. 

And it’s the same with life.

It’s the Same With Life 

The proliferation of the playwright poker playerI’m writing a book.

I’ve just finished the framework.

It’s a combination of theories from Dr Melanie Joy, Robert Fritz and Jeremy Griffith combined with a large dollop of personal experience. But I can’t merely copy their methods verbatim as that’s called plagiarism. Add the experience into the field, and a wild stallion emerges. Different. Sexy. Ready to rock n roll.

Yeah, seek out the leaders. It’s important. But use them as a way of independently thinking of ways to improve upon that knowledge. Climb underneath the wing, but don’t rip the fucker off and glue it to your body Icarus style.

Try something different.

Jump out of a plane.

Invest in cryptocurrency.

Tell him to get the fuck out.

The world of the mundane is like a cross – we all hang there. There is so much agony in the crowd. It’s killing us softly. We are constipated. We keep our creativity, and our individuality congealed in our gut thanks to the fear of looking like the clear glass window in a church full of stained glass jobbies.

The guy reading the murder-mystery novel has gone.

Max Richter is sending me to sleep.

I just nearly choked to death sipping the cold remnants of my free cup of tea.

It’s time to go somewhere else and write something else.

Set fire to the status quo and dabble your fingers in the ashes of mundanity one final time.

Are you going to be a playwright poker player, or a fucking maverick?


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Dragon announces strategic partnership with 7Luck

Dragon is honored to announce another strategic partnership that paves the way across the ASEAN entertainment industry. Dragon will be partnering with 7Luck, South Korea’s premium gaming enterprise to bring Korea’s first Dragon blockchain platform to the entertainment industry with its sights firmly set on VIP Junket rooms.

Dragon Announces Strategic Partnership with 7LuckWith key focus on the new paradigm of sales & marketing for the casino business based on the blockchain system with Dragon global chips and the Introduction of the 7 Luck Casino as a Casino owned and operated by GKL of Korea Government, which include 3 branch locations in the heart of Seoul ,7 Luck in Coex Intercontinental, 7 Luck in Millennium Hilton, 7 Luck in Busan Lotte Hotel.

The marketing force behind the Dragon platform and Dragon Junket has been made possible through the collaboration of highly respected and experienced licensed junket operators from Macau and Thailand. They are now bringing this wealth of experience combine it with the hugely successful and world renowned Korean gaming scene.

The newly operating Dragon VIP rooms will be adopting the Dragon Blockchain platform along with Dragon global Chips to increase speed, security, convenience while reducing fees for both the to Dragon operators and the High rollers. This will ignite interest from players around the world to choose South Korea and 7 Luck as the place enjoy prosperity and great fortune. Dragon will see many more strong and successful partnerships like this throughout 2018 initially in the ASEAN region but late 2018 will see Dragon secure a stronghold throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Dragon will hold several promotional events throughout Indochina from the mid to end of March to promote these partnership. The first of these will be held in Bangkok then Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao before expanding across the region to Japan and mainland China.

7 Luck also shares Dragon’s social responsibility mission through charitable contributions, Grand Korea Leisure (GKL) which owns 7 Luck said: “As a government-owned company, we take our responsibility to the community very seriously, and are dedicated to helping those in need. We dedicate 2% of all pre-tax revenue to charity, which currently amounts to KRW 10,000,000,000 (approximately US$8,600,000). That’s not profits, it’s revenue”.

Hospitality & Entertainment is an iconic economic stabiliser and makes up an important part of South Koreas vibrant and tech savvy pioneering innovation hub, coupled with its rich history and forward thinking Government, South Korea, is set to establish itself in the global marketplace by delivering Blockchain technologies not just to its people but far beyond, sending a strong message throughout the world that South Korea’s move towards new era of Fin tech and Blockchain technology is here and now.

The Dragon Team are most honoured that our partnership brings a new era of Blockchain technology to the entertainment industry while increasing economic prosperity’s .

Paul Moynan co-founder of Dragon added:

“This is the ultimate game changer for both casinos and high rollers, using the cutting edge technology of Dragon blockchain platform we can enhance the entertainment industry, while supporting the increase of tourism and provide a path for many additional Blockchain innovations across South Korea. We look forward to the opening ceremony with Junket Agents and VIP players which is planned for April 2018”.

Seven Luck Casino —

Dragon Inc. —


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Kansas, Xavier seek payouts on conference tournament odds

For the ACC’s Virginia Cavaliers (28-2) and Big East’s Villanova Wildcats (27-4), top seeds in the NCAA Tournament appear locked up based on their regular-season performance. But for others such as the Big East’s Xavier Musketeers and Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks, there is some work left to be done this week during their respective conference tournaments in order to prove they should earn No. 1 seeds as well.

Odds courtesy of

Kansas is favored to win the Big 12 Tournament at +200 while Xavier is the +325 second choice to win the Big East Tournament behind favorite Villanova.

The top-seeded Musketeers (27-4) – who are also ranked third nationally – will play the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between the eighth-seeded Georgetown Hoyas (15-14) and ninth-seeded St. John’s Red Storm (15-16) in the quarterfinals on Thursday, and they might need to win the championship game to get a top seed in the Big Dance on Selection Sunday.

The Wildcats are the No. 2 seed in the Big East Tournament and ranked second in the country with two winsKansas, Xavier Seek Payouts on Conference Tournament Odds over Xavier during the regular season.

The Jayhawks (24-7) are the top seed in the Big 12 Tournament but ranked just ninth nationally after getting swept by the Oklahoma State Cowboys (18-13) in their regular-season finale. Kansas may meet Oklahoma State for a third time in the quarterfinals if the eighth-seeded Cowboys can get past the ninth-seeded Oklahoma Sooners (18-12) on Wednesday.

A loss in the conference tournament, especially before the title game, would likely end any talk of the Jayhawks as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Arizona Wildcats (24-7) are ranked 15th in the country with an identical overall record as Kansas, and they are the top seed and favorite in the Pac-12 Tournament.

The Wildcats are listed at +175 to win the Pac-12 Tournament and will play the winner between the eighth-seeded Colorado Buffaloes (16-14) and ninth-seeded Arizona State Sun Devils (20-10) on Thursday in the quarterfinals. The Sun Devils may be a solid sleeper pick to win the Pac-12 Tournament at +850 considering they might need to win two games to get into the Big Dance, including an upset of Arizona.


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Malta Blockchain Summit inaugural launch

Inspired by the recent initiation of Malta’s Virtual Currency Act, the Malta Blockchain Summit will be held for the first time this year on the 1st to 2nd November at the Malta InterContinental.

Malta Blockchain Summit inaugural launchBoasting over 2000 delegates, 100 speakers and 150 sponsors and exhibitors, it promises to be an innovative and momentous opportunity for global influencers to network, forge new connections and debate the potential applications of Blockchain across a myriad of industries such as health, entertainment, government, and banking.

With the opportunity for custom built stands and packages at various competitive price points, exhibitors will be spoilt for choice. The pinnacle of which is the exclusive Platinum package which is cram-packed with tempting lures: such as a four-page interview with photo shoot and company profile in Blockchain Magazine, a double page advert and 20 hours of consultancy by Malta Blockchain Summit.

There are also exciting sponsorship deals to be found from a WiFi Sponsorship package  to the Exclusive Main Entrance package, all offering an unmissable chance to get your brand seen by the people that matter.

Delegates can expect their business to be sweetened with a much-anticipated Networking Poker Tournament, sumptuous evening meals, a decadent Champagne Brunch, and a Rum & Cigar Night –all scheduled on and around these dates.

The agenda for the event will also include a Hackathon and a riveting ICO pitch. The pitch will see 10 start-up hopefuls pitch their projects, followed by an interactive question and answer session between audience and investors.

Closing Night will offer a welcome opportunity to unwind, relax, and celebrate the culmination of a successful summit.  Delegates will have the opportunity to experience the limpid Mediterranean waters and ancient, craggy coastline through a Crypto Cruise followed by an enviously luxurious crypto party.

An illustrious melting pot of global speakers has already been confirmed to take part, including prominent individuals such as: Carla Maree Vella , James Catania, Max Krupyshev, Gordon Einstein, Alex Lightman, Joseph Cuschieri, Sally Eaves,  Tugce Ergul, Karl Schranz, Pavel Kravchenko and Vince Vella.

Peruse the floor plan to this event and check further opportunities when you visit

Tickets are to go on sale early May, but with ticket reservations already generating a marked interest, it’s worth booking early to avoid disappointment.


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Putting it all on black: PokerStars marketing Cody style

After Phil Galfond shares his thoughts that PokerStars is becoming nothing more than a casino, a Norwegian poker player wins $1.6m playing the slots, and Jake Cody puts it all on black – Lee Davy pens an op-ed about it all.

I’ve always wanted to hold a sponsored poker player’s Roles & Responsibility Statement in my hand. It’s an itch. No, more like a gnaw. I know there is a headline and then nothing beneath. I know it. It’s the reason those who are supposed to write them never produce one.Putting it all on black: PokerStars marketing Cody style

Isaac Haxton is proof personified.

The former PokerStars darling and new partypoker squeeze is busy doing the media interview rounds, celebrating his new position, giving his new employer some air time, and telling all and sundry that the beauty of his contract is he can do what he wants, go where he wants and play what he wants.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

And sometimes, one of your trusted steeds shines your brand underneath the eyes of your market, quite accidentally, like a flashlight into the eye of an investigative toddler.

Jake Cody is PokerStars’ best piece of marketing this year (granted, it’s early). Somewhere, somehow, Usain Bolt is supposed to be battling Kevin Hart in a social media war. Who cares? All anyone is talking about is Jake Cody.

I called my cousin last night to discuss sleeping arrangements for my 70-year-old uncle’s party.

“Did you hear about that idiot who put £42k on black.” He squealed down the phone. “You must know him; he works for PokerStars or something.”

Cody’s decision to place his partypoker LIVE UK Poker Championship High Roller first prize on black, and then watch as it came in, doubling his score, has gone viral.

The newspaper is a mighty weapon.

Phil Galfond Wouldn’t Have Done That 

He wouldn’t.

The man is not a degen.

Entrepreneurial. Business-like. Galfond is too busy building an online poker site. He doesn’t have time to wait for a ball to drop into a black number. Needs must and all of that.

Poker’s darling did have time to write a blog post offering his two cents on the Daniel Negreanu/PokerStars/Rake Debate. You can read about it by clicking the little blue line between these brackets (The Discussion on Rake That Nobody is Having)

In the op-ed, Galfond intimates that if PokerStars continues to increase rake, while at the same time, introducing more softer style game types, then they stop becoming an online poker site, and become PokerStars Casino.

I don’t think many within PokerStars will disagree with him.

PokerStars stopped being a poker site a long time ago.

I don’t think they’re hiding that fact.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? 

Seven-figure winners on PokerStars are as familiar as cotton candy at the fair, and they have crowned the first one of 2018. A Norwegian won $1,608,448.03 playing on the $10 per spin Genie Jackpots Slot game. It’s the first time anyone has hit a progressive slot jackpot on PokerStars Casino.

The Norwegian’s name is “zetheriver”, and back in 2014 he finished fourth in the Sunday Million for $120,000, so you can be sure that some of that $1.6m will filter down through the slot and table carcasses and end up in poker.

PokerStars believe they’re giving their players what they want. A recent study by the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC) published a report earlier this month claiming 46.3% of poker players experienced gambling problems in the past year, and they spend more money on average than ten other tranches of gambling groups.

I spoke about this to a high stakes poker player over tea the other day, and he replied, “It’s not that people come to poker and then develop a proclivity to gamble. Poker attracts gamblers.”

Yesterday, I covered another brilliant case of cross-pollination when I told you how BetStars and PokerStars planned to merge marketing muscle to host a poker tournament where the winners win free BetStars bets and get the chance to have a sweat in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in a marketing campaign called the Big Game.

Maybe I’m not giving PokerStars enough credit.

It’s not a secret that a few sponsored pros have recently left. Things are changing. A new direction and all of that. Perhaps, the person responsible for the Roles & Responsibility statements of the PokerStars Ambassadors finally filled in the blanks beneath the headline.




Methinks Jake Cody was one of the first people to get his fresh new copy, and fair play to the lad, whatever you think about gambling, he’s single-handedly showed the world how cool it could be.


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Betfair Australasia begs Aussie states for tax relief

betfair-australasia-tax-relief-pleaBetfair Australasia is warning Australian state governments that their plans to impose online betting point of consumption taxes (POCT) are going to blow up in their faces.

On Friday, the Brisbane Times disclosed the existence of a report prepared by the Betfair Australasia betting exchange urging the state governments in South Australia and Western Australia to rethink their decision to impose a 15% tax on all online wagers placed by their states’ residents.

South Australia began collecting its POCT last July, while Western Australia’s new tax is set to take effect on January 1, 2019. Australia’s federal government is also mulling imposing a national POCT in order to harmonize the country’s online taxation system.

Betfair Australasia, which is owned by casino operator Crown Resorts and licensed in the Northern Territory, warned the states that the tax hikes would force it to hike its own commission fees, which will cause “leakage” of its customers to internationally licensed online gambling sites that aren’t subject to the states’ tax grab.

Betfair CEO Tim Moore-Barton claimed to have endured numerous instances of high-volume bettors who shifted their action off his site in response to previous fee increases and in search of better value for their wagering dollar.

Moore-Barton further claimed that this leakage will not only reduce his company’s revenue – which will in turn reduce both the states’ tax take and contributions to racing bodies – but will also create an integrity “black hole” through the inability of state gaming regulators to monitor real-time betting data for suspicious patterns.

As ever, the Philippine-licensed CITIbet betting exchange was singled out in the report as the most likely beneficiary of customers forced off Betfair by fee hikes. CITIbet is often cited as the bête noire of Australian betting operators and racing stakeholders.

Other NT-licensed Australian online wagering sites will also struggle under the weight of the new taxes, possibly leading to a wave of down under consolidation. William Hill recently put its Australian operations under review, citing the POCT as well as new restrictions on both online in-play and credit betting.

Betfair Australasia’s future is marked by other uncertainties, including how long its owner Crown intends to keep it in the fold. In December, Crown announced it was selling its 62% stake in the CrownBet online betting site, part of Crown’s ongoing effort to reduce the scope of its operations to just its domestic resorts.

The CrownBet sale reduced Crown’s digital division to just Betfair and a Texas-based social gaming operation, neither of which seems to qualify as a land-based casino.


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AGS receives regulatory approval to offer its gaming products in Ohio

Company to enter market with Class III and Table Game Products

LAS VEGAS, February 23, 2018 – PlayAGS, Inc. (“AGS” or the “Company”), a leading designer and supplier of electronic gaming machines (“EGMs”) and other products and services for the gaming industry, today announced that the Ohio Casino Control Commission has approved the Company’s application to begin selling and distributing its Class III EGMs and table game products to commercial casinos throughout the state.

AGS Receives Regulatory Approval to Offer its Gaming Products in Ohio“We are very pleased that the Ohio Casino Control Commission has approved our license application and are confident in our ability to grow our Class III and table game product businesses within this robust marketplace,” said David Lopez, President and CEO of AGS. “This approval will allow us to leverage our already established relationships with many of the state’s casino operators who are eager to begin offering our consistently high-performing products like OrionSM, ICON™, and Bonus Spin™.”

The Ohio Casino Control Commission oversees all commercial gaming in the state, which includes the Hollywood Casino Columbus and Hollywood Casino Toledo, both owned and operated by Penn National Gaming, and the JACK Cincinnati Casino and JACK Cleveland Casino, both owned and operated by JACK Entertainment. Upon approval of its Ohio license, AGS’ total license count has climbed to include 257 different jurisdictions, a 102% increase in total available market opportunity since 2012.

About AGS
AGS is a leading designer and supplier of electronic gaming machines (“EGMs”) and other products and services for the gaming industry. Historically we have focused on supplying Class II EGMs to the Native American gaming market. We have recently expanded our product line-up to include: (i) Class III EGMs for commercial and Native American casinos, (ii) video bingo machines for select international markets, (iii) table game products, and (iv) interactive social casino products. 

Forward-Looking and Cautionary Language

This press release contains, and oral statements made from time to time by our representatives may contain, forward-looking statements based on management’s current expectations and projections, which are intended to qualify for the safe harbor of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements identified by words such as “believe,” “will,” “may,” “might,” “likely,” “expect,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “believes,” “continues,” “projects” and similar references to future periods, or by the inclusion of forecasts or projections.  All forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections of future events. 

These forward-looking statements reflect the current views, models, and assumptions of AGS, and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or qualified and could cause actual results in AGS’s performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the ability of AGS to maintain strategic alliances, unit placements or installations, grow revenue, garner new market share, secure new licenses in new jurisdictions, successfully develop or place proprietary product, comply with regulations, have its games approved by relevant jurisdictions and other factors set forth under “Risk Factors” in the registration statement on Form S-1 and its annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 10, 2017, as amended on December 18, 2017. All forward-looking statements made herein are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results, events or developments referenced herein will occur or be realized. Readers are cautioned that all forward-looking statements speak only to the facts and circumstances present as of the date of this press release. AGS expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise. 


Julia Boguslawski, Chief Marketing Officer & EVP of Investor Relations, AGS
o: 702-724-1125


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