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Online gambling, likely to be legalized in Ireland

European countries are all trying to find solutions to counter the economic crisis and to ensure the welfare of their citizens. The online gambling is a very lucrative industry and several countries are now working on new legislation that will put and end to state monopolies and liberalise their markets.
Unlike some of its neighbors, Ireland realised that this industry could benefit to the country. According to a study carried out by the Irish consulting company DKM, a national regulated market would generate approximately 5.000 jobs in an industry being worth € 2.2 billion. If Ireland decided to establish an appropriate infrastructure and adopt a new gambling law, the country could collect 5% of global online industry revenues.
At the moment, the debate is particularly political. Online gaming is still banned in Ireland, victim of an outdated law, which entered into force in 1956. A local political leader even called the law "a relic of a social history quite inadequate to regulate the online casino industry in a modern European state".
In other European jurisdictions, this subject is also a very disputed issue. The closest to a legalized industry is France, which is likely to open its market next year. The bill on which the future of online gambling depends will be examined by French deputies in October.





Unibet Open welcomes poker players in Prague

After a thrilling London Open won by Doan Quang Thanh, the fourth stage of Unibet Open will spring up in Prague, at casino Atrium, from 17th to 20th September 2009.
The popularity of poker among players from central Europe is becoming increasingly large. Now, thanks to the undeniable quality of Unibet Open, the tournament will host nearly 440 attendees. The players are expected in Prague, for an impressive prize pool of €600 000.
The tournament will run for 4 days and the players will be entertained from the beginning to the end by the staff Unibet, with many complementary activities. In their spare time, they can visit Prague, enjoy a pleasant evening downtown and of course, play some extra poker hands. The welcoming attitude of the staff and the parallel activities scheduled by Unibet make this tournament a popular destination for the players.
Latecomers wishing to try their luck at the last minute can win a place in the tournament through a €270 super-satellite, held on 16th September.



Online poker room PKR has a new payment option

The online poker site PKR announced on August 18th that the company would accept deposits via PayPal. In fact, the terms of the equation should be read conversely: the giant of the financial transactions online accepted PKR in its exclusive circle of gaming operators.
Paypal
is a viable solution for the safe payments on the internet. Since its establishment, in 2000, PayPal has been proven to be also the appropriate mean to making deposits on the online poker rooms.
For the moment, deposits on PKR via PayPal are available only to users from UK, Denmark and Ireland. The company is working up to implement the system in France. PKR players may also deposit and withdraw money using the other payment methods such as Click2Pay, ClickandBuy, PaySafeCard, MoneyBooker and Neteller.
There are multiple benefits of using PayPal services and PKR was very inspired to sign a contract with it. With PayPal, customers enjoy protection against identity theft. Furthermore, unauthorised payments from their accounts are 100% covered by an insurance.
Launched in 2000 as a small structure, it only took two years to become a tempting purchase for Ebay, which acquired it in 2002 and transformed into the giant it is today. Seven years ago, PayPal worthed one and a half billion dollars. In 2009, its value is ten times greater.
As to online gambling and especially poker and casino websites, PayPal, via Ebay, used to have a fairly lax perspective. This enabled an entire industry to work through PayPal platform. So it was until 2003, when, following thousands of complaints from players relating to online casinos, Paypal decided to shoot the door to online casino operators.
But the group has gradually selected some operators considered fair and secure offered them its payment solution. So, this year, PKR joins 32Red, PartyGaming, Paddy Power and 888 and can now turn to much bigger and targeted public.



Americans love playing poker online

Despite all the legal impediments to free online gaming, we can't say that online poker players have disappeared from the United States. It's quite the contrary! According to a recent study, three years after the entry into force of UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act), American poker players remain the most important on the web, far before their European fellows. This is a classic example of a social phenomenon that defies the law.
The study reveals that 10 million Americans form the online casinos customers community in US, versus 2 million in United Kingdom and 1,3 million in France.
In 2006, when the ban on online gambling was decided in US, we could see a completely open market counting tens of thousands of players, where the competition between operators was so tough that players could become its victims. Some states previously tried to regulate the market at their level, but how to deal with a field that knows no borders or limits?
This is why the federal government decided to put an end to this "Wild West" of Internet gaming and enacted the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act to prohibit any form of online games and especially online poker.
Since then, no major operator hasn't taken the risk of generating traffic on their sites by way of American players. Three years later, it appears that more than 10 million Americans are still playing poker on the web, despite the federal law. Operators having defied Washington are not numerous and until the unlikely revocation of UIGEA, they risk severe penalties from the federal government.



Kiev will host the EPT tournament planned for Moscow

When they chose the city of Moscow to start the 6th season of the European Poker Tour, the organizers decided to shoot off and to capitalize the resounding success of the Russian Poker Tour. The result would have been the biggest live tournament ever organized in Russia.
But the project was meant to be stillborn. At the beginning of July,  the law changed in Russia and the poker was ousted by the Russian government from the sports list, so the possibility of a tournament is in fact nonexistent.
PokerStars, the EPT promoter and organizer, weighed up the situation and made its decision by transferring the first stop of EPT to Ukraine. The city chosen is its capital Kiev. The move was made possible with the approval of the Ukrainian Ministry of YYouth, Family and Sports and the support of the Ukrainian Federation of Poker. In May, The Parliament of Ukraine planned to follow the Russian example and to ban the poker and all the other games on its territory. The reasons  for the Parliament's anti-gambling bill were the terrible fire which broke out in a casino in Dnepropetrovsk, killing nine people, and the danger of addiction among young. Fortunately, the Parliament went back on its decision.
The EPT stage will be held in the Kiev Palace of Sports, at the sames dates, from 18 to 23 August. It will be considered a sports tournament and will be named officially "EPT Kiev Sports Championship". The players already registered may use theirs buy-ins for this event or even another EPT tournament. It is also possible for a player to exchange his package for money. The buy-in stands at € 5000.



Hard Rock Entertainment plans to open a big resort in Hungary

The U.S. casino operator that owns the chain Hard Rock Café is paving the way to build in Hungary the largest gaming resort in Europe.
"This is a huge project with a € 5 billion investment in ten years", said Jim Allen, the Chairman of Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment at a press conference in Budapest.
The resort will be built at the border with Austria and Slovakia. The ambitious project is expected to recreate in Eastern Europe the incredible look and atmosphere of Las Vegas. It will be achieved by stages.
The resort should include 316 hotel rooms, more than 1.500 slot machines, hundreds of table games and ten poker rooms. The workings are supposed to be finalized by 2012.
In 2006, Hard Rock Entertainment obtained from Hungary an operating license for twenty years, which can be extended for a further ten years. In return, Budapest can expect € 500 million in tax revenues in ten years, according to Mr. Allen.
Thanks to its position, the resort will be located at 200 km from Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava. The casino will be the first operated in Europe by Hard Rock Entertainment. The group is owned by Seminole tribe, which acquired the Hard Rock Café chain in 2007.



MGM Mirage has a new partner

After a first quarter of financial stability, the casino company MGM Mirage has a new investor. This is no other than Genting Group, a Malaysian corporation specialised in casinos and hotels, renown as a leader in this field.
Genting Group, the largest Asian casino owner, has acquired 3.2% of MGM Mirage for $ 100 million at the placing on the stock market of 1 billion shares in mid-May. Kirk Kerkorian maintained his participation with 39%. Before the operation, Kerkorian owned 58.8% of the shares.
For MGM Mirage, which is not in the best form, Genting capital is timely and could open up new perspectives. Jim Murren, the CEO of MGM Mirage, talked about this hypothesis in an interview to Wall Street Journal. In this interview, he states that the company has started negotiations with Genting to forge strategic partnerships. But the discussions are only preliminary.
Gentig, which is said to be very interested in Macau, could profit from the opportunity of a partnership with MGM. It could enter the joint venture formed by MGM Mirage and Pansy Ho.
But in early June, a manager of MGM invalidated the rumours on a joint venture with Genting and reaffirmed its confidence in Pansy Ho. They will nevertheless "explore all options in Macau". The group seeks also to establish branches in Japan and Taiwan, where the government intends to authorize the casinos. A spokesperson form MGM Mirage said in a conference that the managers were in talks with investors to build casinos. Moreover, according to Wall Street Journal, MGM would have signed contracts allowing the company to open luxury hotels in Thailand, China and Egypt.



Leo Margets is the only woman standing in 2009 WSOP Main Event

The professional poker player Leonor "Leo" Margets is the last woman in competition this year in the World Series of Poker - a range of poker events taking place in Las Vegas and described as the Olympics of poker. Leonor Margets could become the first woman at the final table of Main Event, since Barbara Enright in 1995. At that time, the Main Event drew only 273 players. Given the scope of the current Series, Margets performance could surpass that of her forerunner, if she reaches the "November Nine" table.
In six days, Leo Margets rose to 18th position in a tournament counting no more than 62 players from 6.492 participants at the outset. Margets was one of the latest competitors to register these WSOP. She made the decision after a conversation with her colleagues:"I came back from Vegas a few weeks ago after attending the Ladies Event and I felt that if I returned for the Main Event, I would make a good job. It was just intuition, but it has proved correct! I contacted 888.com who sponsored me for Ladies Event and asked them if they wanted to sponsor me for the Main Event. They have very kindly agreed and I am pleased to have been worthy of their trust!".
Nevertheless, the young woman from Barcelone is aware that there is still a long way to cover, even at this relatively advanced stage of the tournament and despite her nice chip stack being worth €3.6 billion: "Paying poker is somehow like running a marathon - you need the right tactics and pace. This WSOP tournament is quite comparable. I am well placed, just behind the top players, but if the pace is accelerating now, I cannot fold my arms if I want to get my seat at the final table. But I am proud to be the only woman remaining in the tournament" concluded Margets.



Russian Government closes casinos across the country

The gambling industry recently suffered a big blow in Russia. From 1st of July, all the gambling establishments are prohibited on its territory, excepting four regions pre-established by the Government. From now on the gaming operations will be confined to these specific areas which are expected to become the Russian copy of famous Las Vegas. This is the result of a law proposed in 2006 par Vladimir Putin, the ex-president of the country and the current Prime Minister. The proposal was made following the uncovering of connections between the gambling industry and Georgian organised crime.
In Russia, the gaming industry was generating €5 billion annually. The amount of taxes totalled each year more the €700 million. This is why its advocates ensure that the ban will suppress 300 to 400.000 jobs (not 11.500 according to the Russian government). The casinos owners failed to obtain a delay. Even worse, the four zones are not ready to receive the potential investors, which make impossible any development in the near future. "We have kept our commitments by closing our casinos, but the government did not respect its own since these areas are nor ready. The law stipulate that these play areas should have been created", one operator said.
To play in Russia, the gamblers will have to go to the "enclaves" of Kaliningrad, Krasnodar-Rostov, in the Altai region in Siberia and that of Vladivostok. The development of these areas could cost €40 billion.



Las Vegas pays tribute to the King of Pop

After the tragical passing away of the King of Pop Michael Jacskon, the gambling capital of the world announced a mega-show in his memory. This show is intended to pay tribute to the anniversary of MJ, that should have happened on 29th of August. It is a big concert to be held in the heart of Nevada, in the "Pearls" room of "The Palms" resort. The profit will be donated to the "VH1 Save The Music" charity foundation, specialised in promoting musical education in all public schools in the country.
Eric Bergen, co-producer of the event, said that many stars will take part in the concert as well as several big names from the music industry and some groups such as "Jersey Boys". The full schedule will be announced at a later date.
In the last days of his life, Michael Jacskon had many projects in mind, including the launch of a huge casino in Las Vegas, with background inspired by the clip Thriller. He visited on several occasions the gambling city in the desert, but even if he liked the place and the games, it is not the passion for gaming that gave him the idea. In fact, he had great expectations from such a profitable area.
Many online casinos have also paid tribute to Michael Jacskon on their sites by telling his life story, posting anecdotes about his concerts and news on his albums.





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