Categories: IndustryPoker

Weekly Poker Roundup: November 12, 2018

Casino Gambling Legalized in Arkansas

Voters in Arkansas legalized casino gambling on Tuesday, passing ballot Issue 4 by a vote of 54.07 percent to 45.93 percent. The measure automatically gives Oaklawn Racing and Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Gaming and Racing in West Memphis casino licenses. Two more licenses will be available through an application process.

Governor Asa Hutchinson wasn’t too happy about it, lamenting, “I did not support this initiative, and I continue to have great concern over the immediate and negative impact on the state’s budget. But the people have spoken, and I respect their will. Time will tell as to what this means for our state, and it remains to be seen as to whether the communities affected will consent to the gambling initiative.”

Two groups against the measure had sued to keep it off the ballot, but the Arkansas Supreme Court ultimately ruled against them. They argued that the wording of the issue was confusing and misleading.

PokerStars Launches Fusion

PokerStars has introduced a new cash game called Fusion, which is a combination of Hold’em and Omaha. Like its other novelty cash games, Fusion will be a temporary option in the Pokerstars lobby.

Fusion begins as Hold’em. Looks exactly like it – everyone is dealt two hole cards and there is a pre-flop betting round. After the flop, though, it all changes. Each player still in the hand is given another hole card. Then, after the turn, everyone is given a fourth hole card. At that point, Fusion is Omaha. The winner at showdown is the player with the best five-card hand using two hole cards and three board cards.

By my count, this is PokerStars’ fourth novelty game of 2018, following Split Hold’em, Showtime Hold’em, and Unfold.

PokerStars Takes PokerStars VR Out of Beta

PokerStars has also launched PokerStars VR, a virtual reality poker game, after a small beta test. The game is available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Steam. Though it is a PokerStars game, PokerStars VR was developed by Lucky VR. It is only available for play money, not real money.

While PokerStars VR – or any virtual reality poker product, for that matter – will never be mistaken for real poker, it is as realistic a version of poker as you will get while sitting on your couch. The game is played in the first person – what you would see with your own eyes live is what you see in the game. You can look down at your cards, look around the room, throw your chips into the pot (kind of), stare down your opponents, etc. Of course, it is cartoony, as well, as PokerStars aimed to make it entertaining.

“When we showcased the product it was amazing to see people really enjoy and become engrossed in the game,” said Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations at PokerStars, in a press release. “We wanted to venture into the world of virtual reality because we believe it is an exciting avenue of technology to explore and something that our players would appreciate. I highly recommend that everyone tries out the game as it can only truly be understood and enjoyed by experiencing it.”

Florida Voters Pass Amendment 3

Back to the elections, Florida voters will now have control over future casino expansion as they favored Amendment 3 this past Tuesday by a massive margin, 71.44 percent to 28.56 percent. The ballot measure gives Florida residents the “exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling by requiring that in order for casino gambling to be authorized under Florida law, it must be approved by Florida voters.”

It sounds like a good idea, but in reality, it is going to make any sort of gambling expansion extremely difficult to bring to a reality. A petition to get a gambling measure on the ballot will require hundreds of thousands of signatures (nearly three-quarters of a million if done right now) and then to pass, 60 percent of voters would need to vote for it. Critics of Amendment 3 also don’t like how voters in one part of the state will be able to influence casino measures in another part of the state.

Amendment 3 was backed by Disney and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, who poured a combined $45 million into the effort. Disney doesn’t want competition for its theme parks and the Seminole Tribe has almost a monopoly on casino gambling in Florida and naturally doesn’t want more competition.

Share
Dan Katz

Dan Katz, one of our poker experts here at GamblingSites.org, is a man with many interests. While he spends the majority of his down time hanging out with his family, he is also a self-proclaimed world-class fisherman who owns several sea vessels. Dan once caught a 70-pound marlin while fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. Although he hooks sea creatures on the daily, Dan is a big teddy bear and aims to protect nature at all costs; letting all his catches go at the end of the day.

Recent Posts

  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Small Bookies in Ireland May Receive a Tax Break

Lawmakers in Ireland have been taking a close look at the gambling industry. Reports indicate that gambling addiction here is… Read More

July 18, 2019 11:53 pm
  • Industry
  • UK

UK Gambling Crackdown Affects Betting Shops

For the past seven months, lawmakers in the United Kingdom have been increasing regulations on the land-based and online gambling… Read More

July 17, 2019 4:18 am
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

No Special Session for Maine, Sports Betting Bill on Hold Until 2020

On June 19th of this year, Maine’s proposed sports betting bill passed both legislative chambers on the last day of… Read More

July 15, 2019 3:00 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

DC Takes a Closer Look at Intralot Betting Contract

Washington, DC is coming under scrutiny for its recent sports betting licensing procedure. The Council of the District of Columbia… Read More

July 9, 2019 11:26 pm
  • Industry
  • Sports

Sports Betting in Puerto Rico Is Just Around the Corner

Puerto Rico is falling on hard times. A major debt crisis and Hurricane Maria have devastated this territory. Sports betting… Read More

July 5, 2019 10:33 pm
  • Gambling Laws
  • Industry

Sports Betting in Indiana to Launch on September 1st

Regulators and operators in Indiana hope to open their sports betting operations on the first day permissible under the new… Read More

July 5, 2019 10:04 pm