Bovada Poker Dies and August’s Gambling Industry Review
The month of August will go down as a sad one in the online poker world, as it was when we all said good-bye to Bovada poker.
That piece of online gambling news was without a doubt our biggest nugget in a pretty quiet August. The silver lining, of course, is Bovada players can still transfer over to Ignition Casino (which has gotten solid reviews) and Bovada will also stick around by offering sports betting and other online casino games.
While Bovada poker’s untimely death takes the cake to kick off our August industry recap, it’s not the only online gambling news piece worth re-hashing. Let’s dive into everything that caught our attention in August:
DFS Back in NYC
Daily fantasy sports has had a touch and go experience with the state of New York, but that is no longer the case. The DFS Kings – DraftKings and FanDuel – got back into the state in August when lawmakers made daily fantasy sports officially legal.
The top five DFS sites were granted temporary permits and were allowed back in immediately. Going forward, all DFS sites will be subject to a 15% tax on revenue, as well as licensing fees.
With New York – seen as one of the biggest obstacles – out of the way, the DFS industry can move ahead with confidence as the 2016 NFL season arrives.
DK Goes Deeper
Sticking with big daily fantasy sports news, DraftKings recently took a big step toward taking a piece of the season-long fantasy market with the addition of “Leagues” to their site.
With the new Leagues platform, users can create and join leagues on the site while tracking their success and winnings against specific opponents. The big change keeps the “daily” in daily fantasy football, but adds a new season-long effect.
FanDuel quickly followed suit with a very similar “fan” experience, while both sites have been pumping out promotions and giveaways at full volume as they prepare for a massive 2016 NFL season.
California Online Poker Update
The attempts to get online poker legislation passed in California continue to hit snags, with a recent meeting once again ending without any progress.
The main snag continues to be a “bad actor” clause in a bill that has gone back and forth for the past six months. Language that would penalize any online poker companies that remained active in California beyond the passing of the 2006 UIGEA could carry a five-year “freeze out” if passed.
That understandably has caused a serious hiccup in talks, and with August coming to a close with no resolution, it’s starting to look very likely that we won’t have a California i-poker answer until 2017 at the earliest.
New Jersey Cracks Ceiling
New Jersey made the headlines this month, as the state was able to top previous online gambling revenue for a single month. NJ was able to accomplish this despite the worst month for online poker company, PokerStars.
New Jersey topped June’s production, but went even further by setting a new record. Their previous high came back in April at $17 million. They ended July with $17.5 million in revenue.
Live Online Dealing
There were two big pieces for the online live dealer trade in August, as Evolution Gaming and London’s Ritz Club joined forces to provide the club with an online live dealer service. The service figures to be pricey for those seeking a membership, as it aims to bring luxury to the online gambling realm.
We’ve got live online dealers in the states, too, as Atlantic City’s own Golden Nugget is bringing the idea into reality. The casino is slated to become the first ever U.S.-regulated site to offer live online dealer gambling games. The Golden Nugget’s live online game package is currently set to include blackjack, roulette and bacarat. More games are subject to be added in the future.
Amaya Moves On
It took a while, but popular online gaming company Amaya finally moved on from former CEO and Chariman David Baazov this past month. Baazov was caught up in a scandal earlier this year and was forced to step down from his post.
Despite the murkiness of Baazov’s situation and the fact that he actually still has ownership of the company, Amaya continues to do quite well. They also settled on new direction, with Rafi Ashkenazi taking over as the new permanent CEO. Divyesh Gadhia will operate as Chairman.
William Hill Denies 888 and Rank
William Hill, the top sportsbook in the United Kingdom, reportedly received and denied a massive offer by a group consisting of members from 888 Holdings and The Rank Group this past month.
Per reports, William Hill was issued a £3.2 billion offer to sell the company, but it’s Board of Directors ultimately decided to turn it down. William Hill later stated they felt the offer undervalued the company and came off as “opportunistic”.
Paddy Power Outage
A merger between Paddy Power and Betfair was supposed to be a good thing, but upon the two companies joining, Paddy Power accumulated a whopping $65 million in losses.
Per reports this past month, the loss came at the end of June when the popular gambling entity put up over $264 million to swallow the cost of the merger with Betfair.
While the step back wasn’t ideal, the company did enjoy a recent revenue jump and should be looking forward to positive gains moving ahead.
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