Casino Watch - Apri

17 March 2008
Playtech in Licensing Deal with Buzz

Playtech has agreed to supply its casino gaming platform to Buzz Casino. Buzz Casino is owned by Buzz Technologies, a Thailand-based group listed on the Pink Sheets.

Devilfish Floats

Online poker company Devilfish Gaming floated on London's PLUS Market on March 5, raising £1.2 million for an initial market capitalization of £3.2 million.

Named for international poker champion Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott, Devilfish Gaming has been operating since December 2005, and according to CEO Paul Barnes, they intended to go public in 2006. Unfortunately, the company's plans hit a snag when the U.S. Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which forced the offshore I-gaming industry out of the United States.

Devilfish chose to list on PLUS because it was a bargain compared to listing on the Alternative Investment Market. The site does not accept U.S. customers.

Indian State Grants First Casino License

The State Government of Sikkim, India, has already agreed to grant one operating license to allow casino gambling and reportedly aims to offer more.

The government has tentatively given the go-ahead to The Royal Plaza, which is expected to begin operating in six months. On the other hand, DLF Hotel Holdings has just acquired land for the resort, according to GP Upadhaya, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Sikkim Tourism.

DLF Hotel Holding is reportedly planning to build a five-star facility and has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sikkim Government to do so.

MGM Goes Big with Networked Slot Offering

The MGM Grand at Foxwoods, which opens May 2008, announced on March 12 that it will feature high-speed Ethernet capabilities for a fully-networked casino floor powered by Bally Technologies, involving at least 1,500 slot machines. Charles Nelson, Portfolio Manager at the Vice Fund, said they are about a year out from fully replacing the machines.

Harrah's Orders WSOP Entrants to Show 'Em . . . Identification

Harrah's Entertainment has announced that those who pay cash to enter the World Series of Poker this year will be required to provide a Social Security or Tax Identification Number.

The new rule is the result comes from a change in federal code that requires financial institutions to report large cash transactions in an effort to track terrorists, and casinos are considered financial institutions.

The World Series of Poker that is set to begin May 30.

PokerStars Launches Latin Land-based Tournament

PokerStars has announced the launch of its Latin American Poker Tour, an event the group called a first-in-kind for the region. The tour begins in early May in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before moving on to Costa Rica and Uruguay.

Everest Picks up WSOP Sponsorship

Everest Poker has picked up the sponsorship of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, edging out PartyPoker, tournament sponsor for the last two years.

Everest and Harrah's Entertainment, the owners of WSOP, announced last week a multi-year sponsorship agreement that includes table felts and satellite tournaments, which means Everest will be able to give away seats to the Main Event.

The two companies said this agreement will help reach a global audience of 200 million while enabling Everest to offer its player base new channels to the WSOP.