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Haley Hintze

Poker News Brief: New Jersey Online Poker Bill Seeks to Add International Players

by Haley Hintze

New Jersey’s Lesniak Seeks International Players – New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak, one of the state’s most instrumental legislators in getting New Jersey to authorize and offer intrastate online poker, has now proposed legislation which would allow the state’s licensed online sites to accept players from other countries in addition to New Jersey residents and visitors. Lesniak’s new S980, with State Sen. Jim Whelan as co-sponsor, renews a bill sponsored by Lesniak in late 2013 which would allow the international players, though players from other US states would still be barred.

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Poker News: Atlantic Club Casino Closes, Cancellation of Borgata Tourney and more

by Haley Hintze

FIRST EVENT IN BORGATA WINTER POKER OPEN FROZEN AFTER BOGUS CHIPS CONFIRMED

The Borgata’s annual Winter Poker Open suffered a blow when New Jersey gaming regulators ordered the cancellation of the WPO’s opening event after a large quantity of counterfeit chips were discovered. Twenty-seven players remained in the event, a $560 buy-in tourney which drew a massive 4,814-player field, when the full extent of the cheating was uncovered. No arrests have been made in the matter, nor has a final resolution been made regarding a possible distribution of more than $1.4 million in prize money to the event’s remaining players.

ATLANTIC CLUB DOORS CLOSE AFTER TUMULTUOUS FINAL YEAR

Atlantic City’s Atlantic Club Casino closed permanently on January 13th after court approval of an asset purchase by two AC competitors, Caesars and Tropicana. The Atlantic Club entered bankruptcy proceedings last year, shortly after backing out of a deal with PokerStars that could have kept the casino, Atlantic City’s oldest, open—pending regulatory approval for PokerStars, which may have been unlikely. The Tropicana claimed the gaming equipment while Caesars assumed ownership of the hotel and land itself in the accepted deal; the closing of the Atlantic Club itself resulted in layoffs for the casino’s approximately 1,800 workers.

PARTYPOKER SIGNS MARKETING DEAL WITH 76ERS, DEVILS

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Poker News Briefs: Counterfeit Chips Cause Cancellation of Borgata Tourney

by Haley Hintze

The Borgata’s annual Winter Poker Open suffered a blow when New Jersey gaming regulators ordered the cancellation of the WPO’s opening event after a large quantity of counterfeit chips were discovered.  Twenty-seven players remained in the event, a $560 buy-in tourney which drew a massive 4,814-player field, when the full extent of the cheating was uncovered.  No arrests have been made in the matter, nor has a final resolution been made regarding a possible distribution of more than $1.4 million in prize money to the event’s remaining players.

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Poker News: Wynn’s Boston-Area Billion-Dollar Casino Project Moves Forward and more

by Haley Hintze

WYNN RECEIVES MASSACHUSETTS APPROVAL FOR CASINO

Wynn Resorts emerged as the clear favorite of the developers of a Boston-area casino after the company was deemed “suitable” by Massachusetts gaming regulator. Wynn plans a $1.2 billion casino complex in Everett, an inner Boston suburb, but will likely have to outlast legal challenges by rival Caesars Entertainment, which had competed for the same single Eastern Massachusetts license, but was forced out over questionable and modest business ties to a suspect New York hotelier. Caesars responded to its ouster by suing a prominent Massachusetts gaming official with alleged close ties to Wynn, meaning that despite the recent Wynn approval, matters aren’t quite settled.

POKERSTARS CLAIMS CONFIDENCE IN INVESTING IN US ONLINE POKER MARKET IN 2014

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Poker News: American Gaming Association Adds New Members and more

HOUSE HEARING SCHEDULED TO BANKRUPTCY AUCTION

The Atlantic Club Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, will close on January 13th after a bankruptcy auction failed to find a bidder willing to operate the casino. The only bid, which was duly accepted, was a $23.4 million joint offer by Tropicana and Caesars that will see the two NJ competitors divvy up the Atlantic Club’s equipment and physical assets, with Caesars holding the rights to the property and attached casino. Roughly 2,000 workers will be unemployed through the Atlantic Club’s closure. The Atlantic Club’s failure came after casino owners Crown Colony LLC backed out of a 2012 sale to PokerStars parent Rational Group, which sought a point of re-entry into the US market. The casino’s closing leaves 11 operating properties in the state.

LAS VEGAS SANDS, ADELSON ABANDON SPANISH EUROVEGAS PROJECT

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Poker East and a Little West of the Mississippi

by Barbara Rogers

13 DAYS OF POKER, 21 events: Delaware Park brings it bright and early New Years Day. With the first event starting at 9 am, if you’re hung over, not to worry... The next event is at 11 am! Still hung over? Go to the poker room at 3 pm and play that tournament. This is the Winter Poker Classic in Wilmington, at the very hot spot on the second floor, considered to be one of the best run poker rooms in the country. Say hi to Kevin Castora, Calvin, and the rest of the GQ-looking floor; they dress for success. Check out Delaware Park's ad on page 3 of this issue of Poker Player. [Download the PDF]

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Poker News: Thirteen Sites Approved as New Jersey Online Poker Debuts and more

by Haley Hintze

SEVEN NJ CASINOS GRANTED INTERNET GAMING APPROVAL

 A late rush in approvals by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement saw seven of the state’s 12 casinos and a total of 13 online sites approved for the state’s soft launch of real-money online gaming, which began as scheduled on November 21st. The sites approved included www.Borgatacasino.com, www.Borgatapoker.com, www.NJ.Partypoker.com, www.HarrahsCasino.com, www.WSOP.com, us.888.com, us.888poker.com, us.888casino.com, www.CaesarsCasino.com, www.tropicanacasino.com, www.virgincasino.com, www.betfaircasino.com and www.ucasino.com. The late additions included six Caesars affiliated sites, with Caesars owning four of the state’s 12 land-based casinos.

VADIM TRINCHER, TWO SONS PLEAD GUILTY IN NYC GAMBLING CASE

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Poker News: New Jersey Online Scene Dominates Headlines

by Haley Hintze

FIVE JERSEY CASINOS APPROVED TO LAUNCH ONLINE POKER SITES

As of early November, five of the 12 land-based casinos in New Jersey have been approved by state gaming regulators to offer online poker and other internet gambling to residents and visitors to the state. The Borgata, which received the first license in October, has since been joined by the Golden Nugget AC, Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, and the Tropicana AC in receiving the go-ahead. These five casinos will soft-launch online sites on or around November 21st, with the first real-money gaming scheduled for November 26th. A number of sites connected to the licenses awarded have already begun accepting player registrations, including Betfairnj.com (Trump Plaza), Borgatacasino.com, Goldennuggetpoker.com, Letsplaynj.com (Trump Plaza), Partypokernj.com (Borgata), Tropicana.net, and Ucasino.com (Trump Taj Mahal, Ultimate Poker).

DELAWARE LOTTERY DEBUTS ONLINE POKER, GAMBLING SERVICES

Hopeful online bettors in New Jersey’s neighbor Delaware had to wait one extra week as last-minute wrinkles were ironed out, but on November 8th, the Delaware Lottery and the state’s three licensed land-based casinos (Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway) went live with real-money offerings. Players age 21 and over and located physically within the state were able to play poker in addition to several casino games; Delaware thus became the first US state to offer officially authorized online casino games. Traffic was reported as light to moderate in the sites’ early days, with users occasionally reporting the same sort of geo-location verification problems that plagued Nevada’s online-poker launch earlier this year. Delaware officials continue exploring the possibility of multi-state compacts to increase player liquidity and revenue. DICRISTINA VERDICT APPEALED TO US SUPREME COURT Convicted New York City poker-game operator Lawrence DiCristina has announced an appeal of his 2012 conviction to the US Supreme Court. DiCristina, a bike-shop owner who ran a smallstakes poker room in a Staten Island warehouse, was convicted by a jury of violating IGBA (the Illegal Gambling Business Act), though the verdict was set aside by presiding judge Jack Weinstein in a landmark ruling, citing poker’s skill attributes. However, Weinstein’s decision was overturned by an appellate court in August, which ruled 2-1 that the skill aspects cited were irrelevant to the case. The Supreme Court appeal represents the last hope for DiCristina, and it’s a slim one; SCOTUS, as it’s often abbreviated, only accepts a tiny percentage of the appeals submitted to it.

POKERSTARS, WYNN LEFT WAITING AS NEW JERSEY AWARDS WAIVERS TO OTHER SOFTWARE, HARDWARE PARTNERS

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Poker News: Caesars Bows Out of Boston Casino Proposal and more

CAESARS EXITS MASSACHUSETTS CASINO RACE AFTER RUSSIAN MOB LINK EXPOSED
A minor link to an alleged Russian mobster was enough to torpedo the efforts of Caesars Entertainment to snag a sought-after Boston-area casino license, according to published reports. Caesars had planned to partner with Suffolk Downs Racetrack in a planned billion-dollar casino project, but exited after Massachusetts regulators recommended that Gansevoort Hotel Group, another partner of Caesars, not be recommended for any Massachusetts license. Gansevoort, a Caesars subsidiary which operates Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, has seen one of its investors, Arik Kislin, tied to Russian Mob money laundering operations in German court documents. Caesars subsequently terminated its relationship with Gansevoort, but bemoaned the strictness of Massachusetts regulators in citing an unrelated business deal in its background checking.
GOLDEN NUGGET ANNOUNCES SOFTWARE DEAL WITH AMAYA GAMING

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Poker News: Borgata Receives First New Jersey Interactive Gambling License and more

by Haley Hintze

 BORGATA, OTHER NJ ONLINE POKER SITES PREP FOR NOV. 26TH OPENING

 Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa received the first interactive gambling license to be issued by New Jersey state gambling regulators. The license, granted in early October, means that the Borgata will be among the Atlantic City casinos expected to launch real-money online gambling, including poker, on Tuesday, November 26th. The live date for realmoney action will follow a brief, five-day soft launch for final software and hardware testing. The Borgata is a collaborative venture owned by Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts International, and its online brands are expected to be powered by bwin.party software. All 12 Atlantic City casinos are seeking approval to launch online versions of their brands, which will be available to anyone age 21 or over who is physically present in New Jersey.

 ZYNGA WITHDRAWS NEVADA IGAMING APPLICATIONS

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