The next stop of the latest season of the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) will be in the Bay Area in Northern California and players won’t have to wait long as the action officially kicks off on September 13 at Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park.

RGPS Contenders Bay Area Main Highlights

The “RGPS Contenders Bay Area” features multiple tournaments of different formats including NLH, Limit Omaha Hi-lo, HORSE, and PLO. The series opens with a $250 buy-in Seniors event, a $250 6-Max NLH event, and a $200 Guest Bounty NLH.

The schedule also includes a $250 buy-in, $50K GTD NLH event (Sep 14) which will award a seat into the 2022 All-Stars ProAM tournament at the PokerGO studio in December.

The series culminates in the $600 buy-in Main Event which offers $200,000 in guarantees. The multi-flight tournament gets underway on September 16.

Championship Rings Return

The Bay Area series will award the coveted Championship Rings which the RGPS has re-introduced this year. The stop wasn’t part of the original schedule but the RGPS team decided to add it, alongside another stop at Jack Casino in Cleveland scheduled for September 22 to October 2.

After its Cleveland stop, the RGPS will head over to Horseshoe Tunica (Oct 4-9) and then Hard Rock Tulsa (Oct 11-16). The series will also drop by Horseshoe Council Bluffs and Jamul Casino San Diego in October and November, with a grand finale taking place at Thunder Valley Casino from November 25-December 5. It will feature a $1 million guaranteed Main Event.

As Liz Truss takes over as the UK’s new Prime Minister, the publication of the Gambling Act Review could be postponed much longer. This means it could take quite a while before a wide-ranging gambling regulatory reform is implemented in the country.

More Delays Expected

The government launched the review in 2020 in a bid to make the UK’s gambling laws fit for the digital age. Two years have passed and the White Paper has yet to be approved, facing a series of delays. It was due to be released in July, but a political turmoil that resulted in the resignation of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson meant gambling reform needed to be postponed for the fourth time.

Truss’ appointment led to a government re-organization which brought Michelle Donelan to her new role as gambling minister. Donelan is a well-known gambling industry critic and a staunch supporter of gambling reform, being one of the MPs who voted for the implementation of the £2 maximum stake limit on Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

White Paper Still Open to Changes

As to what reforms will be rolled out under Donelan’s watch remain to be seen. With the review still ongoing, the White Paper is still subject to changes. Among the reforms believed to be included in the review are reducing the betting limits for online casino games and banning VIP programs and loyalty schemes. But all these will remain as speculations until the official document is published.

MGM China Holdings, which operates casinos in Macau, recently announced a HKD60.6 million ($7.7 million) reversal in the first six months of the year concerning a joint liability with junket operators, also known as gaming promoters, amounting to HKD202.7 million which the company incurred in December 2021.

MGM China Makes $7.7M Reversal

In its latest report published on September 8, MGM China said it reached a final settlement of legal actions regarding its joint liability with gambling junkets that resulted in the HKD60.6 million reversal. The company is still on the hook for HKD6.3 million in financial liabilities by June 30, 2022, relating to the remaining cases.

Two junkets previously operating at MGM China’s MGM Macau resort had been hit with three civil cases involving player deposits. Under Macau’s gambling laws, gaming concessionaires are jointly liable for the actions and conduct of the junkets operating in their casinos.

In March this year, MGM China acknowledged it could be required to pay HKD202.7 million ($25.8 million) arising from those legal actions. The company already lost one of the cases back in February at Macau’s Court of Final Appeal.

Junkets Can’t Reimburse the Money

MGM China stated that while gaming promoters involved in the case are obliged to reimburse the amount that the company had paid to the plaintiffs, it does not expect them to do so, saying the chances that it would recover the losses are remote.

Macau’s decision to provide a gaming tax incentive to operators attracting foreign customers into the peninsula will not guarantee positive results for the industry, according to gaming experts. That’s despite Macau becoming the first gaming location in Asia to introduce such a scheme.

Macau’s tax rate for casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) is currently set at 35%, but operators are required to pay an additional 5% for social causes.

Change In Policy Will Not Have Major Impact

Under new gaming laws, casino operators could avoid paying the extra 5% levy if they attract customers from overseas. The Macau government, headed by the chief executive, will still have the final say on its implementation. But gaming consultant David Green, who formerly provided advice to the Macau government on casino-market liberation, doubts if such a policy would work.

He said there needs to be transparency, certainty, and fairness as to the calculation of the rate reduction, adding that lawmakers should consider implementing a progressive rate reduction with specified threshold metrics.

Macau’s Tax Rate Still High

Wang Changbin, director of the Centre for Gaming and Tourism Studies at the Macao Polytechnic University also said that even if the government proceeds with rolling out the tax incentive, it still doesn’t hide the fact that Macau has one of the highest gaming tax rates in the world. He said it isn’t enough to just introduce tax reductions to draw more customers from abroad, as there are other factors that the government must consider, including culture and location.

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.