Massachusetts Casinos Blame Poker’s Absence on Dealer Shortage

Encore Boston Harbor Casino
There is a shortage of poker dealers in the Massachusetts casinos.

This was revealed by a casino executive during a Thursday hearing by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The issue was raised after the commission had received complaints from customers demanding the reintroduction of poker games at Massachusetts’ casinos.

Encore Boston and MGM Springfield, the two casinos in the state, resumed mostly normal operations last May after a difficult 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But since their full reopening, the two casinos have not brought back poker games and the commission started to notice after receiving customer complaints.

Although the two casinos said that they will make a decision on poker before the end of the year, they also insisted that they have not abandoned poker games and are currently adjusting their services based on the client demand and the capacity of their manpowe.

Said Encore Boston Harbor vice-president and general counsel Jaqui Krum to the commission:

“To be clear, we did not say never to poker. We have said just not at this time. We’re constantly readjusting our offerings based on guest demand. Throughout this difficult time, we have really tried to be agile and responsive. However, we do have limited space, and the former poker area is currently occupied by some of our highest-performing slot machines.”

“Simply Cannot Find Enough Dealers”

Krum said that reopening poker tables would cause the closure of other table games. She said that the casino just doesn’t have the staff to operate both right now. According to Krum, Encore “simply cannot find enough dealers” or other workers and has been running dealer schools almost non-stop.

The Encore executive also told commissioners that the casino has a standing offer to all of its poker dealers that the casino will pay for dealer school if they need to be trained to deal a different game in the casino. She also emphasized that Encore is not trying to cut jobs but rather to fit its offerings around the staff that it has available.

Increasing Customer Complaints

Investigations and Enforcement Bureau assistant director Bruce Band told the Commission during Thursday’s hearing that his office has received an increasing number of customer complaints. According to Band, the complaints about the lack of Poker games at Encore have grown from 4 to 5 per month to 40-50 per month in its most recent tally.

Despite that, the Commission decided that it would not take action related to poker just yet with commissioners saying that they want to give the casino operator deference to run the facility in a way that will maximize tax revenue to the state while preserving jobs that come with poker games. The commission however, asked for regular updated of the situation from Encore.

South Dakota Gaming Commission Approves Deadwood Sports Betting Rules

Two Attractions Near Deadwood South Dakota

The South Dakota Gaming commission approved on Tuesday the revised rules for the legalization of sports betting in Deadwood beginning July 1st.

The new guidelines will now head to the state Legislature’s Interim Rules Review Committee for a June hearing before it becomes active. According to Deadwood Gaming Commission attorney Douglas Abraham, applications will be available on the Commission’s website by Friday but they will not be approved until July 1.

Said commission attorney Mike Shaw:

“The commission will need additional rules before sports wagering can start sometime after July 1. We’re on track to get sports wagering rolling as quickly as we can.”

New Rules

Among the new rules created on Tuesday was a $5,000 application fee for Deadwood sports betting service providers. Another prohibits associated equipment licensees and sports betting providers or licensees hired by sports betting providers from placing bets on sporting events. The rules also added sports betting to the list of legal gaming in Deadwood.

A third addition was the monitoring of Deadwood sports betting areas via closed-circuit surveillance systems during operating hours. Another amendment offered during the discussion was to define how the adjusted gross revenue for Deadwood sports betting would be computed. The change was made to clarify that “free play” rewards and excise tax would be deducted from revenue figures.

Senate Bill 44

In November 2020, South Dakota voters approved Constitutional Amendment B, which authorized the Legislature to enact a law that would legalize Deadwood sports betting. The amendment also extends to Native American casinos in the state, as provided by law.

Following the will of the voting public, The Legislature passed Senate Bill 44 which was supported by the Department of Revenue in consultation with the Deadwood Gaming Association. Gov. Kristi Noem signed the bill into a law last March 18, to take effect on the 1st of July this year.

Ho-Chunk, Inc Launches New Gaming Division For Nebraska Racetrack Casinos

Closeup of Person Counting Money With a Casino Background
The economic development unit of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska has announced the launching of WarHorse Gaming LLC to operate and manage the three Nebraska casinos it plans to open next year.

Said WarHorse Gaming executive director Brian Chamberlain:

“This is an exciting time for Nebraskans. Our team is working tirelessly to bring first-class gaming and entertainment to the state. Though there is still a great deal of work to be done, we’re excited for the chance to bring a new industry to the state, and with it, an entirely new source of tax revenue and career opportunities.”

Added NHBPA executive vice president Lynne McNally:

“We are thrilled to partner with a world-class organization like Ho-Chunk, Inc. It’s been a very long process getting to this point, with a lot more yet to do, but we’re very much looking forward to what this will do for Nebraska.”

Partnership with NHBPA

Ho-Chunk, Inc. says that WarHorse Gaming will partner with the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) for the planning and development of Nebraska casinos at the three state-licensed horseracing tracks in Omaha, Lincoln, and South Sioux City.

Under the agreement, WarHorse will be responsible for the overall gaming operations in the three Nebraska casinos while the NHBPA will continue to be the overseer of all horse racing events at the tracks. WarHorse management anticipates that expanded gaming will be available in the latter part of 2021 with full casino operations commencing in 2022.

Nebraska Initiative 430

The Plans are taking shape now after 65.01% of voters approved Nebraska Initiative 430 or the Authorizing Gambling at Racetracks Initiative which was on the ballot in Nebraska as an initiated state status on November 3, 2020. At the time of election, the only form of gaming allowed in Nebraska were the state lottery, licensed raffles, and bingo.

Initiative 430 authorizes gambling at licensed racetracks with licensed gaming operators. The Initiative established the Nevada Gaming Commission to enact the rules to license gaming operators and regulate the state’s gambling industry. Under the measure, anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from playing on gambling devices or participate in gambing at the racetracks.

WSOP Launch in Pennsylvania Pushed Back To Early 2021

Poker Cards and World Series of Poker Logo
Pennsylvania online poker players were excited about the possibility of having the popular WSOP platform in the Keystone State. However, a representative from Caesars confirmed that the reported WSOP launch has been pushed back to early 2021.

The WSOP’s site now has a page advertising signup bonuses for real money online poker players in Pennsylvania. 888 has also began sending promotional emails to potential customers in the Keystone State. But despite these welcome developments, 888 still has some matters to address before a full launch.

Issues That Need to Be Settled

There are however a couple of PA-related issues that need to be settled. One of those involved the need for WSOP to establish a separate server for the Pennsylvania site as per regulatory requirements. The other issue involves the question of whether or not the WSOP can share player liquidity with its other sites in different states. 

It’s uncertain right now whether the WSOP wants an interstate compact already in place before its Pennsylvania launch. But that is definitely a plus for the WSOP because PA players can play against larger fields including players from other states. With these compacts in place, WSOP players in Nevada and New Jersey were able to compete against each other for WSOP online bracelets last summer.

Pokerstars Finally Has a Competitor

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved 888 Holdings’ application for an interactive manufacturer’s gaming license in the Keystone State. The move came after the online poker market in the United States posted record revenue numbers in the previous months. 

888 is a longtime online poker partner of Caesars and is a solutions provider to the popular World Series of Poker  or WSOP.com. With the approval of its license, WSOP.com online poker could be launched in Pennsylvania. 888 and Caesars officials refused to comment on when they will actually launch in Pennsylvania but rumors are pointing at early 2021 as their targeted date.

The entrance of 888 in the Keystone State means that Pokerstars will finally have a competitor. Since its launch in 2019, Pokerstars has been the only real money online poker site in Pennsylvania. Despite the pandemic, Pokerstars registered a revenue of $2.7M in August and $2.9M last month. 

 

BetMGM and NASCAR Forge Partnership for In-Race Betting

BetMGM in iPhone
MGM Resort International’s BetMGM App and NASCAR have entered into a multi-year sports betting partnership that will offer in-race betting options for racing fans across the United States.

Authorized Gaming Operator

In an announcement made on Tuesday, NASCAR Managing Director for Gaming Scott Warfield said that NASCAR will be collaborating with MGM to create and promote engaging sports betting experiences. Said Warfied:

“Partnering with a best-in-class operator like BetMGM positions NASCAR to build on the positive energy and momentum we’re seeing around gaming and in particular the live in-race experience. We’re excited to have such an iconic brand on board to expand our offerings and deepen our engagement with the most passionate fans in sports.”

As an authorized gaming operator, BetMGM will have the rights to use NASCAR marks and will promote NASCAR betting markets on BetMGM’s mobile app, BetMGM.com, BetMGM social media channels, and in BetMGM retail sportsbooks. BetMGM and NASCAR will offer cross-promotional opportunities that could include the promotion of BetMGM on NASCAR’s digital platforms, NASCAR.com, the NASCAR mobile pp, and NASCAR’s social media channels.

BetMGM will expand the betting markets currently available on its mobile app throughout the NASCAR season. The inclusion of pre-race and in-play bets are among the top markets being discussed. Other bet types that are being explored include top-finishing drivers, drivers matchups, stage bets, and over/under bets tied to the winning car’s number.

In Race- Betting Option in 2021

To strengthen its position around in-play sports betting, live betting on NASCAR races will be offered in 2021. This live betting option will be established by BetMGM with the partnership of Betgenius, the sports betting division of data company Genius Sports. Aside from this, BetMGM and NASCAR are also working on developing a free-to-play NASCAR game.

Said BetMGM Chief Marketing Officer Matt Prevost:

“We’re excited to work with the Nascar team to build immersive sports betting experiences that 21st-century racing fans crave.BetMGM’s unparalleled betting technology combined with Nascar’s iconic races will create a superior betting experience for racing fans all over the US.”

BetMGM is the gambling app of MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings. It is the only betting app to offer sports betting, online poker, and online casino game all under one login. Established in 2018, it is currently available in seven states in the U.S. and will be up in an additional four more states next year.

BetMGM’s growth has lagged but it has began to pick up over the last year with improved selection of bets, live betting menu, and mobile app. Earlier this month, BetMGM also entered into an agreement with golf’s PGA Tour to become an official betting partner. MGM Resorts International got a fresh $1B investment from Fox Broadcasting founder Barry Diller recently.

IFMP Nations Cup Attracts the World’s Best Poker Players From Twelve Countries

IFMP Logo

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak and social distancing protocol, the IFMP Nations Cup will be played across a digital platform for the first time ever this weekend. IFMP President Patrick Nally said this in response to questions about the event, 

“We must adapt and respond to the global pandemic by hosting the Nations Cup in a manner that allows all team members, from around the world, to play from the safety and security of their own homes.” 

Technology Provided by Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex will be providing the technology for the match play throughout the entire tournament this year. Founded in 2007, this company develops and sells video conferencing and web conferencing tools. They are a trusted company that produces high-quality products and always strives to update their technology to ensure their products are top of the line.

Countries Participating in the Nations Cup This Year

Twelve countries are participating in the Nations Cup this year. Competing teams include last year’s victor, Ukraine, plus Spain, India, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, Belarus, Ireland, Germany, Poland, and Lithuania. Expect to see 120 competitors playing 450 hands of poker over two days.

The event will be streamed on Twitch, and score updates will be published on the IFMP website and PokerNews. This Nations Cup is the end of a three-part series that began with the European Nations Cup in Ukraine and was followed by the Asian Nations Cup.

Match Poker Overview

Match Poker is a variation of Texas hold ’em. Each team will be separated into two different tables, with one player from each team sitting in a different position than their teammate. All players start each hand with the same amount of chips and with the same amount of cards. 

Each team’s combined chips are compared, and points are granted accordingly. The team with the most points at the end of the tournament wins.

Wrap Up

The IFMP Nations Cup will be played on a digital platform designed by Cisco Webex. This will be the first time this event will take place online instead of in person. Twelve countries will come together electronically to play in this event, and I can’t wait to see who takes the Nations Cup this year. Will it be the reigning champions from Ukraine or an unexpecting country this year? 

I’ll do my best to keep you guys posted, be sure to check back for more news here at BestUSCasinos.org!

Free Poker Training Courses Offered at Rounder Casino

Rounder Casino Logo

Allow me to try and paint a picture for you. You’re playing poker online, you’re losing hand after hand, and you’re frustrated. All of a sudden, you think to yourself, “Wow, I wish I knew more about poker.” 

Have you ever thought that? No? Oh well, I tried. I still have some news for you.

Rounders Casino is offering two free poker training courses. There are a few different ways that you can take advantage of this great offer. But before we dive into that, we should go over some other details.

What is Rounder Casino?

Rounder Casino is a relatively new player to the market that specializes in real money Poker. They also have what they call a stream team. They utilize streaming software to show their team members playing poker live. 

If you want to find them, you can look up #ChipBandits on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitch. 

What Classes Are Available?

There are two different classes that you can take. 

The first course you can take on Youtube. It’s an introduction into Texas Holdem Poker Strategies for beginners. 

You can view that course in the video embedded below. Talk about convenience!



The second course that you can sample is an advanced strategy for No-Limit Texas Holdem.

This one isn’t as easy as signing into Youtube, but it’s still very easy. All you need to do is head to Rounder University! I don’t think it’s an accredited university, though.

We live in a day and age where casinos now also have universities that go along with them. Strange times indeed. But, in this crazy universe, the tuition is…free? Score!

More Promo Offers from Rounder Casino

Rounder Casino has tons of different real money promotions going on to take advantage of. One most noteworthy is the $100 freeroll tournament that is held every night! You can get into this tournament at 6 PM eastern time with no strings attached. Anyone can get in at any time.

There is also a $1,000 freeroll that is held each week that starts at 3:05 PM.

The Wrap Up

Rounder Casino is offering two free courses for beginner poker players and advanced players alike. Be sure you take advantage of these courses while you can. The beginner free course is on Youtube, so that will probably be around for a while. However, the advanced course might not be around forever, be sure you check it out now!

If you have any questions or comments, you can reach out and let me know. Enjoy everyone!

World Poker Tour and Theta Labs TV Launching a 24/7 Poker Streaming Channel

Do you ever just stop and think, “man, I wish I could watch poker for 24 hours straight.” If you’re a normal person, then probably not. 

World Poker Tour Logo

But, if you do wish there was a way for it to be possible to watch poker matches and have them more easily accessible, you’re in luck!

Theta Labs, the creator of Theta.tv, is in works with the World Poker Tour to create a streaming channel that will have an “always-on” approach to showing poker.

“Theta Labs and WPT are innovators in our respective industries and this global partnership will provide our users with a new, ground-breaking way to watch the best televised poker product in the world, all powered by our peer-to-peer Theta blockchain technology, We’re looking forward to deeper integration of the Theta Network within WPT.” – CEO of Theta Labs, Mitch Liu

Who is Theta Labs?

Okay, but who exactly is Theta Labs? Are they poker experts?

No, not exactly poker experts, but they are experts in the world of streaming. 

Theta Labs, or Theta.tv, is best known for being a streaming channel that has a network with its own blockchain. This is designed to incentivize people to share bandwidth.

Theta.tv is a p2p network that is working to help with the issues of VDN’s having little to no reach in lesser developed countries.

Why Poker?

This is a move down by Theta Labs in an attempt to broaden their horizons outside fo their traditional esports market. Expanding a portfolio is by no means out of the ordinary for companies. While I’m not exactly sure why they started with poker, I’m definitely not going to complain about it!

During this time of pandemic in the world right now, streaming services and virtual playing of games will only become more and more important.

The Wrap Up

So, now we have another streaming platform to be able to enjoy poker. We will be able to us Theta.tv to watch the following:

  • World Poker Tour Seasons VIII through XVI
  • WPT Alpha8 Seasons I-III
  • WPT Greatest Season I-III
  • King of the Club

Hopefully, we continue to see a rise in streaming content that compliments fans of the online gambling world. 

If you guys have suggestions for some, or just have any questions or comments in general, feel free to drop a comment down below!

Matt Berkey Stars in Poker Central’s New Series “2020 Hindsight”

Poker Cards and Chips on TableProfessional high-stakes poker player and Solve For Why founder Matt Berkey is teaming up with Poker Central for a new original series titled “2020 Hindsight.”

Streaming exclusively on Poker Central’s subscription-based media platform, PokerGO, the new show features in-depth analysis of the World Series of Poker’s $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament, better known to poker fans as the Main Event.

PokerGO initially launched in May 2017, featuring original programming, live event streaming, and archival content from iconic shows like “Poker After Darkand “High Stakes Poker.”

Early subscribers to the streaming platform may remember Berkey previously starred in an original series titled “Dead Money,” which documented his come-up in the high-stakes poker world, as well as his preparation for the third annual Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB), following a fifth-place finish and cashout of $1,100,000 in 2016.

Breaking Down the Main Event

The first episode of “2020 Hindsight” premiered on April 21st and features Berkey analyzing the final table of the 2010 WSOP Main Event. Pros Joseph Cheong and Jonathan Duhamel feature in a teaser clip from Episode 1, in which Cheong fires away with A7 off-suit only to run into Duhamel’s pocket queens.

Berkey explains how 2010’s online aggressive tendencies may have prompted Cheong to defy the Independent Chip Model (ICM) implications of shoving in this spot. While Berkey has been known to play a bit looser than the average pro, the often-dapper dude clearly has a deep theoretical understanding of the game.

With the advent of game theory optimal solvers, machine learning bots, and in-depth online strategy courses, it’s clear there’s been a significant shift in how professional pokers think about the game. “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em,” will only get you so far at the table these days.

Accordingly, for novice poker players, the concepts discussed in “2020 Hindsight” may be a little overwhelming. However, PokerGO is providing subscribers with a downloadable tutorial on advanced poker theory as supplemental material for understanding Berkey’s approach to poker.

Teaching Poker Theory

“This is a great forum for us to introduce advanced concepts to the masses,” Matt Berkey said of PokerGO’s new series. He also stated that,

“Understanding where mistakes were made on the biggest stage can be useful to players across all skill levels.”

Poker Central’s Chief Business Officer, J.R. McCabe, explained the importance of the new show’s analytical format, saying,

“This new series will provide teachable moments to sharpen individual gameplay, all while reliving some of the most iconic WSOP hands.”

Streaming “2020 Hindsight”

Five additional episodes of “2020 Hindsight” are scheduled to premiere on PokerGO in the coming weeks, and each episode is approximately 40 minutes long.

The 2020 World Series of Poker has been postponed, but poker aficionados and fans alike can get their fix of Main Event moments via “2020 Hindsight” by subscribing to PokerGO. The streaming service is currently offering $30 off the cost of an annual subscription. Just use the promotional code POKER30 at checkout.

2020 World Series of Poker Postponed

World Series of Poker (WSOP) announced on Monday, April 21st , that the 51st poker series, which was scheduled for next month on May 26th, will now be postponed for later this year. The reason for this, as stated by the WSOP, is the current crisis that we all are facing globally, the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Series of Poker Logo

The poker event was going to be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and was going to start on May 26th and run through the middle of July. With 80+ tournaments and $293 million in cash, this six-week long event invites the best, the elite, and the newcomers to compete at the same tables for glory and fame.

The highlight of this event is a $10,000 Texas Hold’em tournament, which sees players from all across the globe. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the shutdown of most Las Vegas casinos, leading to the event’s postponement. No new dates for the event have been announced yet. However, the World Series of Poker officials have informed that they will soon announce the format and updated schedule for the poker event.

In a statement released by Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker, Stewart said, “We are committed to running the World Series of Poker this year but need additional time to proceed on our traditional scale while prioritizing guest and staff well-being.”

Players Agree With Decision to Postpone

Some of the event attendees agreed that this decision by WSOP was the right one. The federal government recommends that certain steps must be taken for reopening businesses. The main guideline is to follow social distancing measures and limit crowd sizes. Hosting an event as big as the World Series of Poker, while keeping up with social distancing guidelines, would be quite challenging.

In another statement released by Ty Stewart, he said:

“In the interim, official WSOP competitions are expected to be played online this summer, and we will soon announce details of an expanded series of tournaments to be played on WSOP.com and through a partnership with international operators, which will allow players to chase WSOP glory from their homes.”

Online Poker Tournaments Available

Although in-person poker tournaments won’t be happening anytime soon, it’s still not a complete loss for the WSOP. They have announced the other WSOP competitions to be held online. Right now, the online event is legally available only for the residents of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Participants who choose to play online must be 21 years old and above.

The actual WSOP poker tournament cannot be held online as of right now, considering the legality of casino games around the world. Any news regarding this and any other competition held by the World Series of Poker will be updated on their official website at WSOP.com.