New York Senate Set to Pass Online Poker Bill for Third Straight Year

New York Senate Set to Pass Online Poker Bill for Third Straight Year

It’s déjà vu all over again in New York, where the state’s Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering voted 10-1 in favor of a bill legalizing and regulating online poker.

Senate Bill 3898 was forwarded on January 23 to the Senate Finance Committee for further review, where it’s expected to receive similar levels of support.

Last year, an identical bill was passed unanimously by Racing, Gaming, and Wagering, before a 28-9 vote moved it to the full Senate. The 2017 version of SB-3898 passed through the Senate by a 53-9 margin, marking the second consecutive year that online poker was authorized by one half of New York’s legislature.

But despite widespread support from the Republican-controlled Senate, the bill stalled out in the Democrat-dominated Assembly without ever receiving a vote.

State senator John Bonacic (R-42), the chief sponsor of SB-3898, spoke to his colleagues ahead of the committee vote to reiterate his justifications for legalizing online poker:

“There are many media reports that the [commercial] casinos aren’t meeting their revenue expectations.

This would be another tool in their toolbox to enhance revenues, if we allowed them to do it. This will be the third time that the Senate has passed this bill, and I know Assemblyman [Gary] Pretlow, who chairs the Racing and Wagering [Committee] in the Assembly, is supportive of the bill.

I know he will continue to use his best efforts to move it in the Assembly.”

For his part, assemblyman Pretlow (D-89) has promised to use his powerful position as chair of the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee to champion SB-3898.

Even so, Pretlow has previously expressed personal reservations on the integrity of online gambling, going so far as to visit neighboring New Jersey to “study” the Garden State’s thriving iGaming industry in 2016. His hesitance to embrace the issue was widely cited as a factor in the first bill’s demise, but Pretlow reversed course last year after his fact-finding mission confirmed iGaming to be safe and secure.

In a recent interview with Online Poker Report, Pretlow laid the blame for last year’s inaction on women in the Assembly who he believes oppose gambling expansion in any form:

“It seems women are opposed to gambling or gaming, and it got a little heated.

There’s opposition to the legislation by a lot of female members of the Assembly, and the Speaker decided we should wait to get it straightened out. But now I know which ones to deal with and that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to redouble my efforts, as the expression goes.”

Assuming the Senate passes SB-3898 for the third time in as many years, Pretlow and his colleagues in the Assembly would reexamine A-5250, a version which essentially mimics Bonacic’s bill.

As he told Online Poker Report, Pretlow foresees several months of inaction while legislators address more pressing matters, including the state budget:

“It will probably end up being a June push again, unless there’s reasons for otherwise.

Right now we’re going into budget mode, and all February we’re lost in the budget. Then the middle of March we’ll be fighting over things, and on April 1 the budget is passed.

Then April, May and June is when all the work gets done.”

Pretlow also pointed out that New York has become increasingly isolated from a regional iGaming industry. Along with New Jersey, which recorded $ 245 million in iGaming revenue last year alone, Delaware also operates regulated online gambling. And following the passage of comprehensive gambling expansion last year, Pennsylvania is preparing to become the fourth state to establish an iGaming industry later this year.

As Pretlow frames the debate, New York can’t afford to fall further behind its regional neighbors:

“We’re surrounded by online gaming. I guess eventually we will come around.

It’s just like with marijuana. Many states are legalizing marijuana, and two years ago the governor was totally opposed.

But since we’re surrounded by Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey heading toward legalization and probably Pennsylvania, he’s going to rethink that. Times and situations do change.”

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Bovada Offering Bonuses and Prop Bets to Celebrate Super Bowl 52

Bovada Offering Bonuses and Prop Bets to Celebrate Super Bowl 52

Just days remain until the New England Patriots defend their title against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52, and the Bovada online sportsbook is rolling out the red carpet for football fans.

To get the Super Sunday festivities started in style, the site is offering $ 250 in bonus funds when making your first deposit. If you’re new to Bovada, simply register your account and begin the deposit process to claim your Welcome Bonus. You’ll score a 50 percent match, up to $ 250, on your initial deposit, providing the perfect supplement for your Super Bowl bankroll.

After securing your free bonus funds, it’s time to pick a side and place your bets on either the Patriots or Eagles to win it all.

New England opened as 6-point favorites a little more than one week back, which is understandable given the pedigree of this Patriots dynasty. But even with five Super Bowl rings to their credit, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady haven’t inspired the betting public just yet.

As of January 31, early betting on Philly has dropped the line to New England (-4.5). That number does come at a cost, however, with the (-115) odds suggesting that a market correction back to (-5) may be in the cards.

As for the Eagles, their (+4.5) point spread offers odds of (-105), so the market seems to have settled for Philadelphia backers.

Moneyline bettors will find the Patriots at (-175), while the Eagles are offering (+155) on the upset. Those numbers opened at (-215) and (+193), respectively, providing further proof that Philly fans are hitting the sportsbook in full force.

The total opened at 47.5 points, but early betting on the Over has nudged the number to 48.5 as of today. But with a (-115) surcharge attached to the Over, expect to see 49 points posted sometime soon.

The Bovada betting board also features hundreds of specialty wagers, ranging from the extra entertainment on hand to prop bets based on player performance.

Serious football fans may be focused on the big game for 60 minutes, but Bovada knows that the Super Bowl is a spectacle unlike any other. To that end, the site spreads several bets that prioritize fun over football, including how the pregame coin toss will land, the color of pop singer Pink’s hair, and the length of her national anthem performance to name just a few.

You can wager on the number of times President Donald Trump will take to Twitter on gameday, with the Over on five tweets set as a (-120) favorite. And with the Eagles second-year standout at quarterback down and out with an injury, Bovada has set the line on announcers mentioning Carson Wentz at 3.5.

Wentz put himself in contention for Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors during the regular season, but it’s backup QB Nick Foles with a (+325) shot to win Super Bowl MVP honors. Of course, with four Super Bowl MVP awards already, Brady is the big-time favorite for this prop bet at (-110).

Brady has won the Lombardi Trophy without claiming MVP status just once, when wide receiver Deion Branch collected 11 catches for 133 yards in Super Bowl XXXIV. On that day, Brady, Branch, and the Patriots defeated none other than the Eagles to take the title, and Bovada offers several bets based around the rematch implications.

The broadcast team will surely show clips from that 24-21 Patriots victory, but with the line set at 2.5 clips, the Over is a dog at (+150).

And if you think New England will wrap up its sixth Super Bowl victory of the Brady/Belichick era, check out the Over of 1.5 (+150) on a prop asking how many times the word “dynasty” will be mentioned during the broadcast.

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Jumanji by NetEnt and Playboy Gold by Microgaming Highlight Latest Online Slot Releases

Jumanji by NetEnt and Playboy Gold by Microgaming Highlight Latest Online Slot Releases

Based on a pair of press releases issued last week, leading online slot designers are leaning toward branded content in 2018.

After reaching an agreement with Sony Pictures Consumer Products, iGaming software developer Net Entertainment (NetEnt) announced that the jungle hijinks of Jumanji would serve as the inspiration for a new virtual slot game.

NetEnt is set to debut its new Jumanji slot on February 6 at the upcoming ICE Totally Gaming expo in London.

The game will be based on the original “Jumanji” film, which was released in 1995 with the late Robin Williams in the lead role. The first Jumanji has since become a beloved family flick, and late last year “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” was released to rave reviews.

The latest incarnation of Jumanji – starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black – became a surprise smash, garnering more than $ 676 million at the worldwide box office.

According to NetEnt’s chief product officer Henrik Fagerlund, nostalgia for the first film combined with the sequel’s rousing success prompted the company to seek a deal with Sony:

“The original Jumanji movie, which debuted in 1995, remains a moviegoer favorite and continues to demonstrate its cross-generational appeal more than 20 years later!

Also, with the recent release of the new film, the Jumanji brand is more popular than ever. We’re excited for the game launch in 2018.”

NetEnt isn’t new to licensing pop culture properties for its online slot library, with Planet of the Apes, Guns N’ Roses, and Motörhead among its more popular branded content titles.

Considering the astounding popularity of the latest Jumanji movie, Fagerlund was understandably proud of NetEnt’s ability to land top-tier licensing opportunities:

“Being able to secure a deal for another high-profile title showcases the moves we’re making in diversifying our roster of games.”

One of NetEnt’s chief competitors in the online slot space hopes to keep pace with an adult-oriented theme, as Microgaming also announced the upcoming launch of its Playboy Gold game.

Microgaming and Playboy have history together, as the iGaming software supplier previously partnered with the men’s magazine to create an online slot in 2013. Microgaming also developed a Playboy Live Dealer studio, which connects players at home with the magazine’s signature “bunnies” while the latter deal live table games.

Playboy Gold will be also be unveiled at the ICE Totally Gaming expo in London between February 6-8.

Valerie Golson – who serves as Playboy’s senior vice president of gaming and location based entertainment – issued a statement to hype the company’s latest flirtation with Microgaming:

“For decades, gaming has been one of the most popular and iconic parts of the Playboy Lifestyle.

From our successful Playboy Clubs and Casinos and land-based games to our VIP player events and our online gaming properties, Playboy’s unique and exciting take on the world of gaming have been some of the most successful in the industry.

We’re thrilled to be working with Microgaming to expand our partnership and introduce a new gaming experience for players around the world.”

The six-reel slot concept was developed in conjunction with Triple Edge Studios, the designer behind popular online slots such as Oink Country Love and 108 Heroes Multiplier Fortunes.

Microgaming games publisher David Reynolds commented on the company’s relationship with Playboy, along with Triple Edge Studios’ ongoing commitment to creating the Playboy Gold concept.

“To work with Playboy again has been a real pleasure.

They are one of the most recognised and popular consumer brands in the world and Triple Edge Studios has worked tirelessly to bring the brand to life in Playboy Gold.”

Playboy Gold will officially go live on the Microgaming network March 7.

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Alabama Mother Receives a hundred dollars,five hundred Perk Internet gaming Gambling Animals

Alabama Mother Receives a hundred dollars,five hundred Perk Internet gaming Gambling Animals

After scoring $ 100,000 playing lottery games online, a mother in Michigan can finally bring her kids to meet Mickey Mouse.

The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous at this time, fired up the 25 Card Cash game offered online by the Michigan Lottery. While wagering $ 10 per ticket, she watched her card fill up with five of the “gold coin tree” symbols connected together – triggering the game’s grand prize payout.

Here’s how she described the incredible moment during a winner’s interview with the Michigan Lottery:

“I was playing the 25 Card Cash game on my son’s laptop, and when I saw I won $ 100,000 I didn’t think it was real.

I had the strangest feeling come over me. It was like I died and came back to life!”

The 25 Card Cash game begins with wagers of just $ 0.20, but players can up the ante to $ 0.50, $ 1, $ 2, $ 5, or the $ 10 maximum bet.

The game scrambles 25 playing card graphics, along with special symbols, before revealing their random arrangement to determine a winner. Players hope to string three or more matching symbols together along horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines. The game offers overall odds of 1 in 3.85 to win any prize, but the anonymous mother managed to beat a much bigger longshot.

Winning the top prize in 25 Card Cash – a multiple of 10,000X the wager amount – is a one in a million lightning strike.

The winner seemed to know just how improbable her jackpot was when recounting the big win to the Michigan Lottery:

“I’m still in shock. I work two jobs to make ends meet, and this helps take a lot of pressure off my shoulders.”

She told lotto officials that her plans for the windfall include purchasing a new home, sharing the luck with her parents, and taking her kids on a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

In late 2014, the Michigan Lottery began selling tickets to major draws like Powerball, Mega Millions, and Lotto 47, along with instant games like 25 Card Cash. Players can enjoy the action for as little as $ 0.05 per play, with betting capped at $ 20.

According to the Michigan Lottery, over 718,000 players have registered online lotto accounts, and in 2017 alone, online games paid out more than $ 535 million in prizes.

The new year has been highlighted by several six-figure scores landed online, with the anonymous mother joining a Genesee County man who pocketed $ 100,000 two weeks ago.

Matt Goss of Flushing was playing the Multiplier Max Out game when the stars aligned for a life-changing jackpot.

As he told the tale, Goss kept grinding and added another payday before closing out the session:

“I was playing online and when I won, I shouted ‘No way! I think I just won $ 100,000!’

I had to look at my phone a few times and I even took a screenshot to make sure it was real. After I won, I played a little more and won another $ 7,500 on a Keno game!”

The 38-year old also explained why online games are a perfect fit for modern players:

“It’s nice to be able to play at home and not have to go out for entertainment.

I like the games that have the bonuses and I like playing Mega Millions and Powerball online because when you win, the money is deposited automatically into your Lottery account.

Winning $ 100,000 online was a great experience, and it will be nice to have the extra money to invest in my business.”

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Six Poker Players at Detroit Casino Share Largest Bad Beat Jackpot in U.S. History

Six Poker Players at Detroit Casino Share Largest Bad Beat Jackpot in U.S. History

An old saying holds that success is written in the stars, so when Kenny Tallent watched the skies above Michigan set ablaze with an unfamiliar flash, he hoped the rare sight offered good fortune to come.

It was January 16 and the Battle Creek native found himself driving to nearby MotorCity Casino in Detroit to play poker. Suddenly, the night sky lit up with starlight as a meteor fell to Earth and burned up in spectacular fashion.

As he later told his hometown Battle Creek Enquirer, Tallent had a feeling that the meteor sighting was a good omen ahead of a night competing at the Texas Hold’em tables:

“I remember thinking, what are the odds of that. Maybe it would be good luck.”

A little while later – when Tallent’s pocket Queens connected for top full house on the Q-3-3 flop and improved to four of a kind on the turn – his premonition seemed to be prescient. His hand was unbeatable, so Tallent was guaranteed to win each and every chip his opponent happened to put in the pot.

But when the other player in the hand turned over his own four of a kind with 3-3 in the hole, Tallent took down his share of the largest poker jackpot in U.S. history.

The collision between two “quad” hands triggered the MotorCity Casino poker room’s bad beat jackpot, which requires four of a kind to be beaten by another four of a kind. As a result, Tallent pocketed $ 213,712 – or 20 percent of the massive bad beat jackpot that had been built up to $ 1,068,590.

The loser of the hand, who has been identified only as “Scott,” claimed 40 percent of the jackpot for a $ 427,452 score. And to cap the historic hand off, the other four players seated at the table were each awarded a 10 percent “table share” for $ 106,856.

MotorCity Casino’s senior vice president of operations Phil Trofibio issued a statement celebrating the largest bad beat jackpot ever paid by an American poker room:

“There are winners every day on the floor, but it’s not every day that a jackpot that big hits. Congratulations to all the players at the table.”

Most poker rooms offer a bad beat jackpot promotion, which removes a dollar or two from every pot of a certain size and adds the funds to a running jackpot kitty. These jackpots can be claimed by meeting certain hand requirements that qualify as a “bad beat,” meaning one extremely strong hand happens to lose against an even better holding.

In most cases, the requirement is Aces full of Kings beaten by four of a kind or better, or perhaps quads beaten by anything better. But with the strict “quads over quads” requirement used at MotorCity Casino, the jackpot became much harder to hit, allowing it to swell to over $ 1 million.

An aspiring poker pro, Tallent recognized the long odds against two players winding up with four of a kind during the same hand:

“That kind of bad beat, with the kind of jackpot they have at Motor City, is kind of rare.

I guess I hope it’s not a once-in-a-lifetime thing because I’d love to have it happen to me again, but it is rare.”

Asked about the moment that a bad beat could be brewing, Tallent clearly relished reliving the experience:

“It never even crossed my mind that he could have four of a kind.

But then I went all-in and when he called my all-in so quickly, I figured out he might also have four-of-a-kind. We then looked at each other and I said, ‘you got it?’ and he said, ‘you got it?’ and we both said yes.

We realized what had happened and we all just started jumping up and down. Everybody in the poker room figured out what had happened and gathered around, there was this buzz everywhere.

I guess the stars just aligned perfectly that night.”

 

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NJ iGaming Profession History $245 Million in Takings Over 2017 for 24.9% Uptick

NJ iGaming Profession History $245 Million in Takings Over 2017 for 24.9% Uptick

New Jersey’s online gambling industry ended 2017 in style, as state-licensed iGaming sites posted monthly revenue of $ 20.75 million for a 12.9 percent increase year-on-year.

December marked the third straight month of revenue growth, capping off a record-breaking year that saw New Jersey iGaming generate $ 245.6 million in annual revenue. The figure easily surpassed last year’s annual revenue of $ 196.7 million, good for a year-on-year gain of 24.9 percent.

When net gaming wins were divided by game type, the casino segment – comprised of table games and slots – was the clear market leader. Casino games accounted for $ 221.3 million, or more than 90 percent, of the annual revenue haul. With more than $ 50.1 million in annual revenue added, the casino segment grew by 30.1 percent year-on-year.

On the other side of the coin, poker revenue dropped slightly from $ 26.5 million in 2016 to $ 24.2 million last year, down 8.5 percent on the year.

The Golden Nugget licensing group – which includes GoldenNuggetCasino.com, BetfairCasino.com, and PlaySugarHouse.com – was the overwhelming leader in December. Golden Nugget licensees posted $ 6.08 million in combined monthly revenue, well ahead of the Borgata licensing group (BorgataCasino, BorgataPoker, and PartyPoker among others) at $ 4.3 million.

The Golden Nugget has dominated New Jersey iGaming since August of 2016, all without an affiliated poker product. Instead, the group rolled out the state’s first Live Dealer table games, which connect players via live stream to human dealers operating genuine casino equipment from within a dedicated onsite studio.

Golden Nugget licensees combined for $ 68.6 million in annual revenue across 2017 – up an astounding 62.3 percent over 2016 – handily beating out Borgata at $ 48.5 million (3.2 percent increase year-on-year).

In early 2011, lawmakers in the Garden State voted to authorize regulated iGaming, but Governor Chris Christie rejected the plan as unfeasible under federal law. At the time, the Department of Justice (DOJ) interpreted the Wire Act of 1961 – a federal ban on sports betting via the telephone – loosely enough to apply the law to all forms of online gambling.

That changed in December of 2011, when the DOJ released a memorandum limiting the Wire Act to sports betting only. As a result, individual states were free to legislate iGaming on their own terms, and by 2013 a newly passed bill was signed into law.

By 2014, the industry generated $ 122.9 million in annual revenue, a figure which has grown by at least 20 percent in every year since. The market’s monthly revenue peaked at $ 21.7 million in March of 2017.

Given Attorney General Jeff Session’s previously stated opposition to online gambling legalization, and recent attempts to revive the “Restore America’s Wire Act” effort to ban iGaming on the federal level, New Jersey’s political establishment has rallied in bipartisan fashion to save the state’s cash cow.

In a letter sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of the DOJ, New Jersey’s senior U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and nine colleagues representing both sides of the aisle directly referenced the record-setting run of revenue growth:

“Since 2011, New Jersey has enjoyed robust revenues from online gambling.

In fact, 2017 has already shattered records with $ 200 million in revenue in the first ten months.

This has coincided with a rebirth of Atlantic City. This growth in revenue is in large part due to significant capital investments by the state in online gaming facilities, equipment, and technology that makes online gaming safe and secure.”

With gross gaming revenue taxed at a 15 percent rate, December’s totals sent $ 3.3 million straight into the state’s coffers. Since the launch of regulated iGaming in 2013, New Jersey has generated $ 126.6 million in tax revenue.

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Region Legislature Direct Written request Recommending Department of justice to maintain Online gaming Constitutionality

Region Legislature Direct Written request Recommending Department of justice to maintain Online gaming Constitutionality

Members of the Congressional delegation from New Jersey wrote to the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week, advising the agency to uphold a current policy which legalizes online gambling on the federal level.

In a jointly written letter dated January 11, a group of 10 Senators and Representatives from the Garden State defended the right of individual states to run regulated iGaming industries.

The letter was signed by a bipartisan coalition of legislators, including U.S. Senators Bob Hernandez and Cory Booker (both Democrats), along with Representatives Frank LoBiondo (R-02), Leonard Lance (R-07), Tom MacArthur (R-03), Josh Gottheimer (D-05), Albio Sires (D-08), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-09) and Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10).

The lawmakers addressed their letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was appointed in January of 2017 by President Donald Trump to serve as the DOJ’s second in command under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

During his own Senate confirmation hearings, Sessions expressed willingness to revisit a 2011 ruling by the DOJ. That ruling reinterpreted the federal Wire Act of 1961, limiting its scope to online sports betting only – thus allowing individual states to legalize other forms of online gambling.

Sessions was forced to recuse himself from any DOJ rulings pertaining to online gambling based on those comments. As a result, Rosenstein has become the political point man for the controversial issue.

In the wake of the 2011 reversal, a lobbying effort led by Sheldon Adelson – the Las Vegas Sands casino mogul and billionaire donor to conservative causes – has been launched to “Restore America’s Wire Act (RAWA).”

In December, four Republican congressmen sent a letter to the DOJ supporting the RAWA movement. That missive followed a RAWA-favorable letter written by Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and Dianne Feinstein (CA) last November.

The December letter sent to Rosenstein included several talking points criticizing online gambling, all of which have been proven to be erroneous through intrastate legalization:

“With the stroke of a pen, an unelected lawyer in an obscure office fundamentally changed our nation’s gambling policy – taking an activity previously confined to distinct, controlled, and monitored physical locations and permitting it to be offered 24/7 on mobile devices, laptops, tablets, and home computers.”

Internet gambling carries with it significant law enforcement implications, as the pervasive nature and anonymity of the internet makes it ripe for exploitation by criminals.”

The New Jersey delegation sought to counter the pro-RAWA messaging with their letter, which pointedly observed that online gambling bans have been proven to be ineffective:

“Placing a blanket prohibition for online gambling would be an antiquated approach to a 21st century issue, punishing states like New Jersey – which have invested in creating a safe and secure online gaming structure – while also permitting black market operators to put millions of Americans at risk.”

Following the DOJ’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act, New Jersey authorized brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City to operate iGaming platforms – including online casinos, poker rooms, and slot parlors – in 2013. Per the most recent financial reports released by the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), the state’s iGaming industry generated record-breaking revenue of more than $ 245 million throughout 2017 – good for an increase of 24.9 percent year-on-year.

Lawmakers offered the proven economic contributions derived from legalized iGaming as justification to preserve the current DOJ interpretation of the Wire Act:

“This growth in revenue is in large part due to significant capital investments by the state in online gaming facilities, equipment, and technology that makes online gaming safe and secure.

New Jersey has some of the strictest online gaming regulation protocols in the world, featuring technologies which were developed or implemented for state-mandated requirements, including precise geolocation and regulatory monitoring of all operated platforms. Additionally, players are guaranteed that the online games in the state meet regulatory standards and requirements, thus ensuring that they are protected from cheating and fraud.”

Late last year, Pennsylvania became the fourth state to legalize online gambling. Several states, including New York, California, and Illinois, have explored similar measures in recent years.

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