Weekly Poker Roundup: December 5, 2015
Paysafe Owns Up Getting Hacked Years Ago
The parent company of popular e-wallets for online poker, NETeller and Skrill, has admitted that two separate hacking events in 2009 and 2010 were the causes of millions of customers having their personal information compromised.
Paysafe Group plc, said in a press release on Monday that cyber attacks resulted in 7.8 million customers being the victims of “illegally-obtained” data – 3.6 million from Skrill and 4.2 million from NETeller. Less than two percent of those accounts were active in the six months leading up to November 2015, which we suppose implies that the vast majority of current customers need not worry. Additionally, “Such data does not include passwords, card data or bank account information.”
Paysafe also noted that 1,500 customers did have their accounts compromised since the 2010 attack and by saying, “The Company immediately took action to restore these accounts and all customers were reimbursed,” it sounds like they actually had money stolen. There have been no requests for reimbursement since 2011, though that doesn’t necessarily mean more funds weren’t lost.
Portugal’s Online Poker Sites Will be Separate from Rest of World
Manuela Bandeira, Director and Head of Online Gambling of the Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), Portugal’s gaming commission, said on Monday that the country’s upcoming new online gambling regulations will have online poker ring fenced from the rest of the world. The European Union is expected to approve the regulations later this month and the first licensed sites in Portugal may launch in February.
The comments by Bandeira, made at the GamblingCompliance Regulatory Briefing in Lisbon, came as a surprise, as there was no hint of this happening when details of the regulations were announced this past February. At that time, it was said that internet gambling operators would need to be licensed in Portugal, but it appeared that players on those sites could sit at tables with others from around the world.
With the news that Portuguese online poker players will be restricted to playing against only players residing in their own country, online poker is likely doomed in Portugal. Online poker financial figures have declined in France, Spain, and Italy since those countries ring fenced themselves and since Portugal is smaller than all of them, this move does not bode well. On top of that, poker sites will be taxed at 30 percent of gross gaming revenue, an extremely high number.
888 Tries to Take Advantage of PokerStars Boycott
While a couple thousand online poker players boycotted PokerStars this week, rival 888poker decided it didn’t want them to NOT play poker, so the site drummed up a few special promotions to try to bring some of those players over. Nothing particularly special, but it was likely a welcomed effort by at least a few players.
Possibly the most attractive change (all likely temporary) was the halving of the rake at the $200 Pot-Limit Omaha tables from five percent to two and a half percent. As high stakes players will be the ones negatively affected by the PokerStars VIP program changes (which is why players are boycotting), it is probable that 888 was able to draw at least a handful of players with the discounted cash game rates.
On the tournament side of things, 888poker increased the guaranteed prize pools of more than twenty scheduled tournaments. It also added two special daily tourneys.
888poker is ranked as the second largest poker site on the internet according to PokerScout’s cash game traffic figures. With a seven-day average of 2,400 cash game players, it is an extremely distant second to PokerStars and its 14,500 cash game players. These temporary changes were a good idea by 888, as even though it won’t catch PokerStars unless a meteor hits PokerStars’ servers, it could certainly end up keeping some of the players that decided to try out the site this week while abstaining from PokerStars.
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