Weekly Poker Roundup: October 29, 2018

Poker Alliance Warns Against Florida Amendment 3

There are loads of measures up for votes on state, county, and local ballots this November and the Poker Alliance has come out against one of them: Amendment 3 in Florida. Amendment 3 sounds good on its face – it would give future say about gambling expansion to the voters instead of lawmakers – but the Poker Alliance and most media outlets in Florida believe it is a bad idea.

Amendment 3 is backed by Disney and the Seminole Tribe, interestingly for different reasons. Disney, as a family-oriented company, doesn’t want more gambling in the state. The Seminole Tribe has almost a monopoly on casino gambling in Florida and doesn’t want more competition.

The main argument against Amendment 3 (aside from the big clue as to who backs it) is that it would make gambling expansion – including online poker legalization – extremely difficult. To get on a ballot, a measure would need hundreds of thousands of signatures and then would require 60 percent votes in the affirmative. Additionally, it would give voters in one part of the state too much say in what happens with gambling in another part of the state.

“Amendment 3 will make it very difficult — if not impossible — to expand gaming opportunities in Florida,” said Poker Alliance President Mark Brenner in an e-mail to members. “If Amendment 3 passes it means there will be no new poker rooms, no chance to add new games at existing cardrooms, and, it forecloses on the opportunity for Florida to legalize internet poker and sports betting.”

WPT, partypoker LIVE Release 2019 Schedule

The World Poker Tour and partypoker LIVE have announced the five joint, co-branded tour stops for 2019. The partnership between the two live tournament festival entities was unveiled in August, as they said as many as seven events in Europe and Canada would be a combined effort between the two.

“The World Poker Tour is pleased to add more locations to our growing footprint in Europe and further expand our relationship with partypoker LIVE,” World Poker Tour CEO Adam Pliska said. “This partnership’s inclusion of multiple WPT offerings at each festival is a monumental achievement for the WPT toward providing players across the globe with the opportunity to play in World Poker Tour events at all buy-in levels.”

The first WPT/partypoker LIVE stop of 2019 will be Sochi, Russia (WPT Russia) in January. Next will be WPT Barcelona in March, followed by the WPT European Championship at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, UK, in April. The World Series of Poker will be given space in early summer, but after that, it’s WPT Germany at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic in August. The fifth stop will be WPT Montreal in October. This year’s WPT Montreal is going on right now at the Playground Poker Club and is also part of the WPT/partypoker LIVE partnership.

Sports Betting Killing Online Poker in New Jersey

The most exciting development in the gambling world this year as arguably been the overturn of PASPA in the United States, which paved the way for states to legalize and regulate sports betting. New Jersey, the driving force behind the lawsuits that led to PASPA’s cancellation, was naturally quick to open sportsbooks; this past week, Tropicana became the seventh Atlantic City casino to do so. The upshot of all of this is that sports betting revenue in the state has eclipsed that of online poker and it’s not even close.

In September – and this obviously does not count Tropicana, as its sportsbook just opened – gross gaming revenue from online sports betting alone was about $12.8 million, generating about $1.7 million in taxes. For comparison, the total revenue from online poker was only $1.6 million. In the entire year, online poker has only made $16.4 million in total revenue, barely more than sports betting for a single month.

While we clearly feel online poker is an enjoyable pastime, this is further evidence that online poker is just not the moneymaker for casinos that sports betting or online casino games are.

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