Weekly Poker Roundup: September 2, 2017
Global Poker League India is Born
Mediarex S&E, the company that owns the Global Poker Index, has announced the launch of the Global Poker League (GPL) India. While no schedule has been released yet, the league will made up of six teams: the Delhi Diehards, Mumbai Jetsetters, Bengaluru Hackers, Chennai Sharks, Kolkata Creators, and Ahmedabad Alphas.
Alexandre Dreyfus, the founder and CEO of Mediarex S&E, wrote in his announcement, “GPL India will take all the lessons learned in GPL’s 1st season, as well as GPL China’s current successful rollout, to create the most legitimate – and perhaps more importantly most appealing – poker competition witnessed in India until now.”
One of Dreyfus’s ideas for GPL India, aside from the continued “sportification of poker,” is to invite the GPL India champion to play in the yet-to-be-publicly-fleshed-out GPL World Championships to compete against the best teams from the Americas and Eurasia league, as well as presumably GPL China. GPL China, announced in December 2016, has yet to have any competitions.
Gaming Violations Cost 888 Holdings £7.8 Million in Penalties
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has penalized 888 Holdings, the parent of 888poker, £7.8 million for violating problem gambling regulations. This is the largest penalty the UKGC has ever levied against an internet gaming company.
There were two main missteps at issue for 888. The first was the company’s inability to keep self-excluded players off of 888’s bingo platform. The bingo platform is separate from the poker/sports betting/casino platform and between October 2015 and September 2016, 7,010 players who self-excluded from the latter were inadvertently allowed to create accounts and deposit £3.5 million on the former.
The other big violation was permitting a player who displayed blatant problem gambling characteristics to bet £1.3 million from September 2014 to October 2015. This player stole £55,000 from their employer (and was imprisoned for it) and played three to four hours per day, placing 850,000 bets. The UKGC says that 888 never made an attempt to contact the player or further investigate this curious gambling behavior.
The UKGC is requiring 888 to pay back the problem gambler’s employer, including money 888 profited from the customer’s play, reimburse the bingo players who were supposed to be self-excluded, and pay an additional penalty of £4,250,000, which will go to a “socially responsible cause to invest in measures to tackle gambling-related harm.”
Ron Paul Scolds Rep. Charlie Dent for Online Gambling Ban Attempt
Former Congressman and Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has publicly criticized Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent for efforts he will supposedly be making to try to ban online gambling in the United States. According to reports from June, Dent will attempt to tack on an addendum to an Appropriations (government spending) bill that would effectively nullify the Department of Justice’s 2011 clarification of the Wire Act which stated that the Act only made sports betting illegal. This clarification opened the doors for states to regulate and legalize online gambling.
In an op-ed on PennLive.com, Ron Paul wrote, “The fact that supporters of the online gaming ban are trying to sneak it onto an appropriations bill suggests that they know that the arguments for banning online gaming cannot stand up to public scurrility [sic]. Otherwise, they would work to have their bill considered under regular order with a full and fair debate.”
He also added, “Sneaking this bill onto the Appropriations bill is exactly the type of political “trick play” that has made so many Americans disgusted with Congress. This is especially so given that it is an open secret that much of the support for this bill comes from one billionaire caisson owner who is also one of the country’s largest political donors.”
Dent tried this move last year, but after his colleagues found out about it, he only introduced his amendment to save face before pulling it back. It is widely assumed that he is doing it to curry favor with billionaire Republican donor and Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, the person to which Ron Paul referred in the quote above.
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