In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
Isle of Man license for GGPoker
Players and the public were informed on 12th January that GGPoker will from now on operate under an Isle of Man license. Up until now GGPoker had been operating under a Curacao licence. As we have reported in the past, licensing in Curacao is going through some changes and this will probably have been a reason for GGPoker to look for different licensing options.
The Isle of Man Supervision Commission is well respected in the online gambling world. Also, taxes are lower and the Isle of Man is included in the whitelist of the Commonwealth, which strengthens operators’ positions in the UK. GGPoker will therefore become more trustworthy and this will pave the way to further licensing in other markets. So, being licensed here will have benefits for the operator.
But what does this mean for the players?
Overall, the switch to an Isle of Man license can only be positive for players. First of all, having a regulatory body overseeing operations (which Curacao hasn’t) greatly increases player protection. Players won’t need to do anything other than accepting the new T&Cs and send in KYC documents if they haven’t done so previously.
However, chances are that GGPoker will have to leave some gray areas in the next few months in order to comply with licensing rules.
GGPoker’s Flip & Gos
While we’re at GGPoker we need to mention a new exciting tournament format the operator has launched this week – Flip & Go. The principle of this is not new, but GGPoker shows once again that they are quick on their feet to implement interesting twists to popular poker formats.
Flip & Gos are basically like the old Flipout tournaments that had been presented by Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars in the past. All players are forced all-in preflop every hand until enough players have been busted to be in the money. And from that point on the tournament resumes like a normal tournament in the money. It basically takes out the “boring part” of trying to get to the money.
GGPoker’s twists to this are these:
- Variable buy-ins, receive more chips for multiple buy-ins
- Players receive three hole cards and discard one pre-flop
- Bonus Game: If you have a 3-card flush or straight or trips in your hand you can win bonuses – more chips for your stack
The Flip & Go tournaments start every hour at :30 and are available with $0.01, $0.15, $2 and $25 buy-ins.
Entain refuses MGM takeover bid
U.S. casino giant MGM Resorts International has made an attempt to acquire partypoker mothership Entain Group, formerly GVC Holdings. This doesn’t come out of nowhere as a partnership already exists in the U.S. sports betting market with BetMGM.
However, the bid of $11 billion was rejected by Entain, saying that the offered amount was way too low.
In a surprise move, Entain CEO Shay Segev left the company right after the rejected bid. It is being said that it has nothing to do with the takeover attempt so what the exact reasons are will probably never be known.
“This changes nothing with respect to the Board’s view of the recent proposal from MGM Resorts International to acquire Entain,” Chairman Barry Gibson said.
Experts assume though that Segev’s exit makes a takeover more likely and this will pave the way for Entain to be able to more widely serve the hot U.S. sports betting market. More and more fusions are happening as licensing requires a land based casino operation. Most recently Caesar’s Entertainment got into deal discussions with William Hill.
Things are moving and shaking in the U.S. and wherever licenses will be given out for sports betting we can only hope that poker will follow.
Michigan will join interstate online poker liquidity
More positive news from the U.S.: Michigan will join the interstate online poker legislation. So far New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have been sharing poker players since 2018. Pennsylvania has not joined the group yet.
Senate Bill 991 will take effect at the end of March and make it possible for the states to share liquidity. So far the only poker sites operating inside the interstate legislation are Caesars Interactive Entertainment and its 888 Holdings partner.
We can only keep our fingers crossed for American poker that more states will legalise poker and join the interstate agreements in the near future.
WCOAP on partypoker
WCOAP (World Championship of Amateur Poker) is a product of the British company Amateur Poker Association & Tour (APAT). They have been hosting amateur events across Europe and North America since 2006.
Usually, their World Championship is being held at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, but due to ongoing Covid restrictions the event is now moving online. WCOAP Online will take place between 23rd January and 2nd February.
There will be 16 WCOAP bracelet events. The highlight is the $150, 2-day main event with a $150,000 guaranteed prize pool.
You can find all further details on the WCOAP website.