In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
Spring Festivals everywhere
Once upon a time there was only one notable big spring poker festival. Now it has become an industry-wide phenomenon. PokerStars, partypoker, GGPoker and Sky Poker have announced online poker festivals spanning across several weeks and buy-ins. Here are the main details.
PokerStars Spring Championship Of Online Poker (SCOOP)
The industry leader PokerStars announced the biggest SCOOP ever when it comes to guarantees. $100 million are up for grabs this spring with 306 events on offer. The festival is running from 4th to 28th April.
GGPoker Network Spring Festival
The music festival themed Spring Festival on the GGPoker Network is really making a mark here and throwing down the gauntlet to PokerStars with an impressive $150 million in guarantees.
The event is running from 4th to 25th April, offers 300 events and even features the famous DJ deadmau5 for some activities.
Despite the Powerfest not using a spring-related name or theme, it is also running during the same time slot from 9th to 27th April. A schedule is yet to be announced but we know about a $1 million Main Event.
When spring really fully hits the Northern Hemisphere it still remains to be seen if people really want to sit at home, playing online poker or if they’d rather go outside and enjoy a maybe more Covid-free vaccinated life.
Unibet’s Birthday Gift Drops
All that tournament action is great, but what about the cash game players? Well, Unibet has the answer. They are celebrating their seven years anniversary as an independent poker platform and are offering random gift drops at their cash game tables.
A total of €95,000 are being distributed amongst their players from 18th March to 30th April. The gifts will mainly contain MTT tickets, HexaPro games and bonus points that can be used to purchase tickets. There are 73 gifts per day with bigger prizes at higher stakes.
Flutter loses Kentucky appeal
Remember those news about the state of Kentucky suing PokerStars for $1.3 billion for Black Friday wrongdoings? Yeah, that didn’t actually go away. Flutter, PokerStars’ parent company, had appealed to rehear the litigation, but this has now been denied by the Court of Appeals.
“Flutter is disappointed by the denial of its rehearing petition and continues to strongly dispute the basis of this judgment,” it says in a Flutter statement.
“Together with its legal advisors, Flutter will continue to consider its position in relation to the judgment, including potentially appealing the ruling of the case to the US Supreme Court along with other legal avenues which it may pursue thereafter.
“Flutter remains confident that any amount ultimately paid to resolve this matter will be a limited portion of the reinstated judgment. Further announcements will be made in due course as and when appropriate.”
This is a decade-long dispute about $870 million for unlicensed online poker wagers between 2006 and 2011. And in all this time the amount has been cushioned by a hefty 12% interest per year.
The issue here is not just for Flutter having to pay this amount to Kentucky. If the state is successful with this there might be more US states jumping on the bandwagon, suing for more money. This could have severe consequences for PokerStars.
888Poker grew 48% in 2020
Even 888Poker who had been fairly quiet in the beginning of the Covid-related online poker boom last, have now announced that they have indeed also gained in growth, just as their competitors.
888 Holdings has shared their full-year report and it states that the group’s revenue grew 52%. Their poker product went from $43m to $63m in revenue, which is a growth of 48%.
“Our product-leadership strategy delivered outstanding results in 2020, with the launch of our ground-breaking Control Centre, our first-ever in-house sportsbook, and a totally new poker platform. Our focus on delivering safe, intuitive, content-rich, and entertaining products helps us deliver a differentiated customer experience and support our market share gains in key regulated markets,“ said Itai Pazner, CEO of 888.
As many other online poker platforms, 888 Holdings is going to focus strongly on the US market in 2021 and beyond. The group has a partnership with Caesars Entertainment, which also includes the WSOP brand, and this can mean big things for the global industry’s 8th in online poker traffic.