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Crypto gambling firm Stake.com is facing a $400 million (£346m) lawsuit filed by a former business partner of the company’s co-founders. 

Florida resident Christopher Freeman stated in the lawsuit that he along with Ed Craven and Bijan Tehrani, founded the Bitcoin gaming company Primedice which he claims had provided the blueprint for Stake.com, which is currently being run by Craven and Tehrani.  

Stake.com Co-Founders Accused of Bullying and Unlawful Tactics

Stake.com, which is now worth more than $1 billion, has grown to become one of the world’s leading crypto gambling platforms, securing major partnerships and sponsorship deals, the most notable of which is its link-up with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Canadian rapper Drake, who is among the world’s best-selling music artists. Apart from that, Stake also has ongoing sponsorship agreements with Everton FC and F1 driver Pietro Fittipaldi.

Freeman has alleged that Craven and Tehrani used bullying and unlawful tactics to edge him out of the business. He said the concept of building a crypto casino website based on Primedice came from him. Freeman has accused his former business partners of stealing his idea and now demands they pay him his fair share, which, according to the suit, could amount to over $400 million.

Stake.com Denies the Allegations

In response to the lawsuit, Craven and Tehrani have denied Freeman’s allegations, saying they were provably false, internally consistent, and intentionally misleading. Stake.com rejected the claims as merely a desperate attempt to spread lies and extort money from the company. 

The US Championship of Online Poker (USCOOP) is back on PokerStars this September, with the latest edition set to award $4.5 million in guaranteed prizes across the online poker operator’s three US markets. 

$2M on Offer in Championship Events

The series kicks off on September 9 and runs through September 26 in New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, featuring at least 60 events for each state. More than a dozen of those events come with the prestigious “Championship” label with almost $2.2 million in combined guarantees up for grabs.

The Pennsylvania series offers the biggest guarantee of $2 million, followed by Michigan ($1.5 million), and New Jersey ($1 million). Buy-ins throughout the festival range from $20 to $1,000. For the Championship events, players can get in for as low as $50 (Pennsylvania), $25 (New Jersey), and $100 (Michigan). 

Biggest-Value Events

You might be interested to know what events carry the biggest value in each state. As expected, they come from the Championship events and there are at least two of them in each US market. 

In Pennsylvania, there’s the $100 buy-in, $100K GTD Sunday Championship and the $50 buy-in, $35K GTD Mini Main Event Championship. The Michigan series also has a $100 buy-in, $70K GTD Sunday Championship, and a $200 buy-in $80K GTD Sunday Special Championship. The New Jersey schedule includes a $25 buy-in, $7,500 GTD Mini NJ Championship, as well as a $100 buy-in, $25K GTD NJ Open Championship.

It’s been three months since the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) agreed to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), however, it remains unknown when interstate poker would finally go live in the state as the latest developments show operators won’t be able to merge their player pools just yet. 

While we wait for that one big announcement, let’s take a look at the changes that could happen to the US online poker landscape once Michigan players are allowed to compete with their counterparts in New Jersey. 

Massive Increase in Cash Game Traffic

The most obvious outcome of interstate poker becoming active in Michigan is the significant increase in cash game traffic. Players in the Wolverine state will see more cash games running, with more than 700 cash game seats expected to be filled. 

The race to US online poker dominance will also intensify, and PokerStars in particular will see its position improve considering that it leads the Michigan market by a wide margin, currently accounting for more than 50% of the market. At the moment, it ranks third in New Jersey, with WSOP well ahead, holding a 60% market share. BetMGM meanwhile is in second place both in Michigan and New Jersey. 

WSOP Still Leads But PokerStars Jumps to No. 2

The WSOP/888 will lose its edge as the only online poker network connecting multiple states in the US, though it will still lead the market (44%) when Michigan players are added to the pool. PokerStars jumps to second place (32%), while BetMGM drops to third place at 25% but it could still very well elevate its market status.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tried for years to host a Fight Night card in France but was unable to do so as France had banned the sports of mixed martial arts (MMA). That ban was lifted in 2020 but the UFC could not head to France due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UFC has finally found the perfect time to visit Paris, France and host an exciting Fight Night card at the Accor Arena in Paris, France on Sep 3.

Gane vs. Tuivasa

The UFC is expecting a packed arena for its inaugural Fight Card which will be headlined by France’s biggest MMA superstar in heavyweight Ciryl Gane who will fight Aussie Tai Tuivasa. Gane is the former interim heavyweight champion who is coming off a loss to the current champ Francis Ngannou. 

Gane is the better technical fighter but Tuivasa has shown that he can change the fight with one big shot!

Other Exciting Fights 

MMA fans in France will be happy with this fight card as it features a number of exciting fighters such as Robert Whittaker vs. Marvin Vettori and Charles Jourdain vs. Nathaniel Wood.

The Macau government has decided to limit the total number of gaming machines in the city to 12,000, and the number of gaming tables to 6,000. The new changes will be in effect from January 1, 2023. Additionally, the minimum annual gambling revenue has also been set at MOP$300,000 per gaming machine and MOP$7 million per gaming table.

Casino Operators Could Pay Higher Taxes

The caps will be implemented under new gaming laws which also include certain provisions that would require casino operators to pay a special premium if they miss the minimum annual revenue target. This is primarily aimed at encouraging concessionaires to make good use of their approved gaming machines and tables.

The new limits and minimum revenue requirements laid out by the government present a huge challenge for operators as casino GGR has been heavily impacted by ongoing pandemic-related restrictions and the recent COVID-19 lockdown implemented back in July. 

Concessionaires would need to generate minimum annual gaming revenue of $45.6 billion across their gaming tables and machines as per new requirements announced by the government, but they may not achieve that if the current situation persists. 

Macau Gov. Can Adjust Revenue Requirements

Macau’s casino sector would only generate MOP$34.0 billion per year under present conditions. That means operators could be subject to gaming taxes of as high as 54%. The government has found a way to address this though, with the Chief Executive authorized to make adjustments to the minimum revenue targets when necessary.