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NEW LICENSEE FOR QUICKFIRE
OKLAHOMA TRIBES OPT OUT OF POKER TRIBES.COM
The sole tribal gambling groups showing any real interest in Universal Entertainment Group's online gambling proposal Poker Tribes.com have backed away from the project amid internal power struggles and financial questions regarding the $9.4 million already paid over to UEG.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma have decided to forego participation in the free-to-play online poker venture that had ambitions to morph into real-money action at some future stage (see previous InfoPowa reports).
At one point - as recently as last year - things looked rosy as the tribes signed a controversial compact with the Oklahoma state government that would have permitted online gambling...but only by punters located outside the United States.
That all appears to have flat-lined after federal officials objected to the proposal, prompting the tribes to initiate litigation against the feds last December.
At least one of the factions now vying for power in the tribal hierarchy no longer wishes to proceed with the legal action.
Part of the problem within the tribes is the internecine struggle for power between two groups, a situation exacerbated by the fact that the Bureau of Indian Affairs hasn't taken sides in separate electoral bids engineered by both factions and claiming legitimacy.
In the midst of the political boxing, one faction has called for independent investigators to look into the $9.4 million paid over to UEG for the PokerTribes project, a payment allegedly signed off by former governor Janice Prairie Chief-Boswell...now out of power.
What has emerged is that neither faction are enamoured of the PokerTribe project, so there at least appears to be some unanimity on that issue.
888POKER UPDATES APP
888poker's newly updated app now gives players multi-table tournament options along with sit n'gos and cash games.
The Android version is available globally, while iPhone users in specific countries will have access to the newly released app.
888poker said the updated app falls in line with its Play Different entertainment poker strategy offering more accessibility, bigger game variety and bigger prizes for mobile players.
Inbal Lavi, vice president of 888poker, said: The new 888poker Application is another great milestone for our poker offering. We continually strive to give our players the most entertaining, easy poker experience and now they have full access to more games and prizes while they are on the go.
MAJOR ATLANTIC CITY CASINO READY TO JUMP INTO ONLINE GAMBLING
Executives from the Borgata land casino in Atlantic City and its parent group, Boyd Gaming, told reporters Wednesday that they are keen to enter the legalised online gambling market in New Jersey once regulations have been finalised and preparations are completed.
The publication Press of Atlantic City reports that the executives believe the new business opportunities will complement Borgatas land-based games and draw new visitors to Atlantic City.
Keith Smith, president and chief executive officer of Boyd Gaming, said Borgata will quickly introduce online wagering once New Jersey officials finish the regulations.
We intend to be among the first to offer online gambling in the state of New Jersey and are confident the Borgata brand will allow us to capture a substantial share of this lucrative market, Smith said during a conference call on Boyds first-quarter earnings.
Although he declined to give specific figures, Smith said that analysts and state officials have widely estimated Internet revenue from $200 million to $1.2 billion annually (see previous InfoPowa reports). He did, however, opine that the actual figure may fall somewhere near the middle.
New Jersey regulatory officials have said that the new regulations could be ready for implementation as early as November this year. The state Division of Gaming Enforcement is currently in the process of crafting the regulations.
Smith told reporters that his company does not believe Internet gambling will cannibalise business from Borgatas brick-and-mortar operations. In some cases, particularly with poker players, it could actually drive more visitors to Atlantic City, he observed.
We think its going to be a great addition to our land-based platform, Smith said.
Borgata land gambling profits were down in the first quarter compared to last year. Net revenues fell 6 percent to $165.6 million, while gross operating profits plunged 27 percent to $28.4 million compared to the same quarter in 2012, Boyd reported Wednesday.
The Borgata operation is the most successful in the embattled land gambling market in Atlantic City, and there are hopes that the introduction of online gambling will help revitalise the industry.
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