Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has confirmed that his state is more than willing to enter into an online poker shared player liquidity with New Jersey in order to boost the online poker industry in both states.
The Nevada Gaming Policy Committee held a meeting earlier this month to discuss two key topics. The first topic was the eSports industry which dominated most of the discussion but the second was the future of the online gaming industry in Nevada. It was during this discussion when Gov. Sandoval expressed his interest in collaborating with New Jersey to expand the online poker industry and his views received immediate support from A.G. Burnett, the Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Nevada has already entered into a shared player liquidity agreement with Delaware, the only other state apart from Nevada and New Jersey to legalize online gambling. With a population of just under 3 million, Nevada stands to gain a lot more by a shared player liquidity agreement as New Jersey has a popular close to 9 million, thereby giving Nevada a much bigger market to tap.
However it is not clear for New Jersey would be willing anytime in the near future to enter into a compact with Nevada. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) pondered the concept of shared liquidity back in 2014 when there was a push to collaborate with Nevada and the United Kingdom but that did not work out in the end.
Ray Lesniak, a New Jersey senator who campaigned hard for the legalization of online poker believes that one of the main reasons why New Jersey has not been too keen on embracing shared liquidity is due to the influence that Sheldon Adelson, billionaire and Las Vegas Sands Chairman wields over New Jersey’s politicians. Adelson is one of the biggest opponents of the online gambling industry.
The popularity of poker in India continues to grow with every passing month as a number of online gambling providers are looking at investing and expanding their operations in the second most populated country in the world.
Pokernation.com operated by Playwin recently decided to launch operations in India and will specifically cater to the online poker industry. The site is focused on launching online poker programs that will cater to educating beginners on how to play poker online. The site offers both free and paid matches which will be available on a 24/7 basis.
Indians in general over the years have shown a preference for the game of rummy. Pokernation.com has decided to target the younger generation who are keener to learn new games. Before launching Pokernation.com, Playwin conducted a market analysis on 5,000 young adults revolving around free poker tournaments and found that there was a lot of interest in the game of poker.
Playwin decided that a teach, learn and play model would work very well and as a result decided to launch Pokernation.com which will focus on educating and equipping individuals on how to succeed at playing poker.
In a statement, Sree Ram Somayajula, AVP – Marketing Pokernation.com said, “Apart from its single minded focus on the sport of poker, what sets pokernation.com apart from other players in the market will be it’s emphasis on teaching the finer nuances of the game to beginners and amateurs alike and providing them with a platform to experience the game in all its varied colours”.
The online poker industry in India has continued to grow at a rapid pace and Adda52.com, India’s biggest online poker website has contributed to its growth by hosting a number of tournaments during the past twelve months that have had attractive cash prizes.
Howard Lederer the founder of Full Tilt Poker (FTP) surprised a lot of people in the poker community when he decided to release a lengthy statement via Daniel Negreanu’s blog at FullContactPoker.com. The state was an apology for the collapse of Full Tilt Poker and the numerous problems that FTP players in the U.S had to face in recovering their funds.
There are many who question the timing of Lederer’s apology as the site went bust back in 2011 but Lederer did not tender any apology back then. When he did sit down and provide PokerNews with a seven hour interview in ‘The Lederer files’ he never took responsibility for the collapse and always deflected the blame away from himself. This time around Lederer did not dance around the topic but put his hand up and admitted to failing FTP players in a big way.
In a statement, Lederer said “I take full responsibility for Full Tilt’s failure to protect player deposits leading up to Black Friday. The shortfall in player deposits should never have happened. I should have provided better oversight or made sure that responsible others provided that oversight. I was a founder in the company that launched Full Tilt, and I became the face of the company’s management in the poker community. Many of our players played on the site because they trusted me.”
The collapse of FTP tarnished Lederer’s reputation on the poker circuit and as a result Lederer has preferred to stay away from major tournaments preferring to play a few high stakes games every now and then. The timing of this apology could mean that Lederer is finally ready to get back to playing on the main circuit and his first big tournament could be the 2016 World Series of Poker.
PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world recently announced that it will sponsor eSports franchise Team Liquid, which is one of the biggest eSports franchises in the world.
The collaboration will also result in the game of online poker being introduced to Team Liquid players as poker sessions and strategy lessons will be streamed via Twitch to get more eSports players interested in online poker.
Team Liquid will also send a number of players to take part in PokerStars tournaments all over the globe this year. One of those tournaments will be the European Poker Tour (EPT) which is scheduled to take place in Barcelona, Spain.
In a statement, Steve Arhancet, co-owner of the Team Liquid franchise said “We’re excited to partner up with PokerStars, and we are proud to be able to introduce this giant to the industry. Our players will be streaming poker, playing tournaments, and we will come up with lots of other fun activities throughout the year. There is tremendous overlap between the game of poker and esports, and many of our players have a background and history in both.”
The eSports industry has grown at a rapid pace over the last few years as eSports games such as the League of Legends, Starcraft II and Hearthstone have created a new demography of gamers worldwide. PokerStars is looking to take advantage of this new market of gamers and introduce the concept of online poker considering that poker and eSports have a number of similarities and the crossover is not very hard.
PokerStars will also get Daniel Negreanu, a member of Team PokerStars who has over $32 million in career prize money to give Team Liquid players a special coaching session on online poker.
India’s online poker industry is slowly gaining momentum largely due to a young population which is keen to experiment with online poker. Adda52.com is India’s biggest online poker company with an estimated 8,00,000 registered users. The company is aggressively marketing and campaigning to promote poker in the country and recently announced an INR 10 million tournament available to poker players all over India.
To help Adda52.com’s cause, the legality of online poker in India is now being relaxed, as more states are considering poker not as a form of gambling but as a game of skill. Should more states relax the norms on online gambling, Adda52.com will be able to attract more customers.
The World Poker Tour (WPT) realizes the potential of the Indian poker industry and recently signed a partnership with Adda52.com. With this deal the company now has exclusive rights to use the WPT brand to attract sponsors, to sell WPT related merchandise and also gains the right to broadcast WPT TV shows in India. A big advantage for players who play on the Adda52 platform is that they will now be able to qualify for and participate in WPT held tournaments around the world.
This partnership is seen as crucial for both the companies. The WPT which was recently acquired by Hong Kong based Ourgame International Holdings Ltd who believes that the poker industry will explode in the Asian market. The company is looking to expand their footprint in Asian countries including China and India.
The deal with the WPT will also boost Adda52.com reputation and image in the Indian market as the WPT is considered as one of the biggest poker brands in the world.
In a statement, Anuj Gupta, Founder & CEO of Adda52.com said, “The association with the World Poker Tour comes at a very crucial time in India. There is a poker boom and the Indian poker community is looking for a better tournament experience. With this tie-up, we want the poker community to be exposed to international standards of poker with better structures, well-defined tournaments, and the knowledge the WPT brings to the table.”
China based Tencent Holdings Limited roped in Swedish professional poker player Martin Jacobson to promote the poker in Mainland China by appearing on a TV show. Tencent Holdings is a multi-billion dollar behemoth which has several subsidiaries including Tencent poker. The company has never before hosted a player of such magnitude as Jacobson, who is a World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event winner.
Jacobson is now considered one of the top poker players in the world and has won an estimated $15 million in his career. His biggest victory was in 2014 when he won the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas which netted him $10 million. He has a huge fan following from all over the world and Mainland China is no exception.
Even Jacobson was surprised at the hordes of fans that greeted him when he and his girlfriend traveled to China to promote the Tencent brand and to increase the channel’s viewership in poker. In a statement, Jacobson said “Starting at the airport in Changsha, I was greeted by poker fans who wanted me to sign anything from a set of red tens playing cards to their bare skin. I later got told that some guys had been driving for hours just for the opportunity to shake my hand”. He believes that he must have had his picture taken more than a 100 times and signed more than a 100 autographs during his few days in China.
Jacobson believes that China is a hot market for poker the poker industry and believes the next poker boom will be in China. Alex Dreyfus, the CEO of Mediarex, a sports entertainment company which owns the Global Poker League and Global Poker Index had earlier stated that he believes the next poker explosion will be in China. The Global Poker League recently signed a deal with Sina Sports, a Chinese Television Company in a bid to expand the Global Poker League in China.