Weekly Poker Roundup: July 2, 2018
PPA Sold, Name Changed to Poker Alliance
The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) announced on Wednesday that is, in fact, no longer the Poker Players Alliance, rebranding itself as the Poker Alliance. Along with the name change comes new leadership, as Mark Brenner, a “longtime business development and government relations executive,” now the organization’s president.
The site’s FAQ hints at it, but the announcement does not actually mention that the PPA was actually acquired by Poker Central. The upshot of this is that with the new corporate ownership and other corporate sponsorship, the advocacy group will no longer need to rely on player donations for its funding. Thus, the dropping of the word “Players” from the name. In February, the PPA said that it needed $25,000 in donations by the end of March to continue operations and only raised about one-fourth of that amount.
“As gaming culture and the laws around it have shifted, so too has our focus,” said Brenner. “Poker players deserve to be able to play poker with confidence and safety, and we will expand the PPA’s incredible effort by strategically advocating for our members.”
Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Celebrate Opening Weekend in Atlantic City
Arguably the most exciting weekend in recent Atlantic City memory is coming to a close today, as the gambling resort town has been celebrating the grand opening of not one, but two casinos: Ocean Casino Resort and Hard Rock Atlantic City. Both opened on Thursday, June 28th.
Neither of the casinos are new properties. The Ocean Resort Casino is the former Revel, which cost $2.4 billion to build and was only open for less than two and a half years before closing in September 2014. It was purchased by Glen Straub for $82 in April 2015, who sold it to Bruce Deifik for $200 million early this year. Straub’s ownership was nothing but conflict and squabbling and it never seemed like he truly had plans to re-open the property, but Deifik appears to be all-in and quite excited to be part of Atlantic City’s revival.
The Hard Rock is the former Trump Taj Mahal, which used to be the place to be for poker on the east coast (readers may remember it featured in the movie Rounders). It was transferred to Carl Icahn’s Tropicana Entertainment when Trump’s company went through one of several bankruptcies and then closed in October 2016. Icahn sold it to Hard Rock a bit more than a year ago.
Atlantic City went through some rough times in the last decade, as four casinos closed in 2014 and the Taj closed in 2016. The re-branding, remodeling, and re-opening of Ocean and Hard Rock, though, have brought back thousands of jobs and signify a definite upswing in the city’s economy.
Plans in Motion to Legalize Online Gambling in Netherlands
The Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security announced plans for the legalization and regulation of online gambling in the Netherlands, emphasizing player protection measures. One of the most significant aspects of the plan is that operators who are not licensed in the EU/EEA can apply for a Dutch license, but must establish an office in the country. Those already licensed in the EU/EEA can operate in the Netherlands, but must have someone in charge of addiction prevention in the company.
The plan also requires that “games” and “games of chance” be separated.
“Recruitment and advertising activities for games of chance through games are further limited,” the Ministry said in an announcement. “New games of chance must not have a suction effect on vulnerable groups. That is why gambling products must be subjected to a risk analysis for addiction before they enter the market. This also looks at the recruitment and advertising activities around these products.”
Currently, the Holland Casino has as government-run monopoly on gambling in the country. The Ministry suggests selling the Holland Casino in order to “open up the market in a controlled manner.”
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