JERSEY SPORTSBETTING INJUNCTION UPHELD
New Jersey’s controversial 2012 challenge to the federal-level Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), approved in a voter referendum, was ruled invalid by a federal appeals court in late September. New Jersey had been sued by the NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, with those states successfully gaining an injunction earlier this year preventing New Jersey from implementing Nevada-style sports betting, which was grandfathered in under the 1992 federal law. New Jersey officials now face the non-guaranteed prospect of a US Supreme Court appeal in hopes of implementing sportsbetting, with the niche’s increasing popularity having reverberating effects on casino-development plans in Jersey and elsewhere. The three-judge court ruled 2-1 against New Jersey’s interests in the latest decision.
WYNN AND 888 ANNOUNCE SOFTWARE DEAL
Wynn Resorts has announced a software deal with Gibraltar-based software giant 888 Holdings that will see 888 power Wynn’s online-poker offerings in Nevada and elsewhere. Wynn-branded sites will operate as part of 888’s previously announced All-American Poker Network (AAPN), which has yet to launch officially in any jurisdiction. 888 has snagged several US-based online partners, including Caesars (below), Treasure Island, and the Delaware Lottery (in a partnership with Scientific Games and Williams Interactive).
WPT MOVES SEASON-ENDING CHAMPIONSHIP TO BORGATA
The World Poker Tour has announced that its 2014 season-ending $25,000 WPT Championship will be moved from Las Vegas’s Bellagio to the Borgata, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. No official reason was given for the move, though the Borgata has always been a premier and favored WPT venue while the Borgata has experienced player dissatisfaction and declining event attendance in recent years. PartyPoker has signed on as official sponsor of the Borgata stop, which will be held in May of 2014. Wynn to Enter New Jersey Online Market from Caesars Property Bloomberg reported an unusual agreement in the fledging New Jersey online gambling market, where prominent US casino brand Wynn Resorts has reportedly reached an agreement with Caesars Entertainment to base its gaming services on a Caesars property within the state, as required by NJ law. Wynn, a prominent US casino, would otherwise be unable to enter the New Jersey online-poker market, as it lacks an Atlantic City property of its own. Spokesmen for both companies declined to officially confirm the deal, according to Bloomberg. Like Wynn (above), Caesars have also has a non-exclusive software deal with 888 Holdings, which is establishing itself as the leading platform provider to official US online casino interests.
2013 POKER HALL OF FAME FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
World Series of Poker officials have announced this year’s ten finalists for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame, owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment. Seven former finalists return as finalists: Chris Bjorin, David Chiu, Thor Hansen, Jennifer Harman, Tom McEvoy, Scotty Nguyen, and Huckleberry Seed. The seven are joined by three-first time finalists: Humberto Brenes, Mike Matusow, and Carlos Mortenson. A panel of 37 living inductees and media representatives will vote on the finalists, with two of the ten expected to be enshrined this November.
GAMBLING LEGEND ARCHIE KARAS ARRESTED FOR CARD MARKING
Las Vegas gambling icon Archie Karas (real name Anargyros Karabourniotis), was arrested at his Las Vegas home and faced extradition to California following official allegations of card-marking at the San Diego-area Barona Resort & Casino’s blackjack tables. Karas, who became part of Vegas gambling lore in the early ‘90s by running a $50 bankroll into somewhere between $20 and $40 million before losing it all, was alleged to have cheated the Barona facility out of $8,000. News reports quoted Nevada Gaming Control Board security chief Karl Bennison as stating that Karas had been investigated on multiple occasions and arrested four times in Nevada (1988, 1992, 1996, 2007), taking a plea deal each time, and called Karas “a threat to the gaming industry in many jurisdictions.”
Veteran poker-industry writer/editor Haley Hintze is the author of an upcoming book on the Absolute Poker and UltimateBet online cheating scandals, to be released later this year.