Casino City's Friday Five: Everything ever edition

16 February 2018

Are there any studies on why everything seems to happen at once? (We looked and couldn't find anything appropriately scientific. However, the internet did lead us, as it often does, to some great cat videos, so we consider it time well spent.)

As you may have guessed, a lot of things happened at once this week. And they were big things: WSOP's live broadcast schedule, the opening of the MGM Cotai, and the U.K. Gambling Commission putting its foot down with regards to unfair online promotions (about time!). For some extra flavor, we threw in news about Massachusetts political intrigue. We know, it's a lot to chew on for a weekend.

5. Poker Central, ESPN unveil 2018 World Series of Poker live broadcast schedule
The ever-popular World Series of Poker Main Event will once again air on ESPN from 2-14 July, totaling about 40 hours of live coverage and 130 additional hours of originally produced episodes. PokerGO will offer exclusive coverage not broadcast on ESPN.

As a bonus, there will also be coverage of the Big One for One Drop tournament.


4. Online gambling wagers to eclipse $1 trillion by 2022
Numbers have been crunched, data has been compiled, and the projections are clear: Online gambling is big, and it's only going to get bigger. So says Juniper Research, who reported that online gambling wagers will surpass $1 trillion by 2022. Yes, trillion. This year alone, wagers are expected to reach $700 billion, which makes last year's $620 billion in revenue seem puny.

The report also calls attention to chatbots, those handy little AI services that may just play an important role in online betting in the future as they become more widespread.

There's much talk of "disruption" on the horizon as new technologies emerge, a claim that we have no reason to doubt.

(Something else to mull over: How much have you contributed to that approaching total? We shudder to think.)

3. MGM Cotai opens doors to the public
We talk about decadence in Las Vegas quite often, but Macau takes the crown as the land of the truly outrageous. For instance, the MGM Cotai, which opened earlier this week, is a $3.4 billion effort featuring a dynamic theater that can apparently transform into different configurations "with the push of a button." (The press release calls this theater a "meticulously engineered column-free, long-span diagrid structure, which will seem to be alive." Uh, geez.) We've also been promised some never-before-seen dining options from a series of globally acclaimed chefs.

Visitors looking to scratch their cultural itch can check out the more than 300 pieces of art that will be on display throughout the resort, 28 of which are Chinese imperial carpets from the Qing dynasty – so they could be from about 1600 to 1900.

We don't know about you, but we'd be absolutely afraid to touch anything in this place, lest we break something expensive.


2. Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates call for expanded Gaming Commission probe
Three Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates – Jay Gonzalez, Bob Massie and Setti Warren – requested that the state's Gaming Commission investigate Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts' financial support of Charlie Baker in his 2014 gubernatorial election, citing the campaign contribution as a breach of Massachusetts gaming laws. This investigation would be included in the state's ongoing review of the company's casino license, which began after sexual misconduct scandals involving Steve Wynn came to light.

The Massachusetts Democratic Party also announced a petition to include the investigation of these donations in the Gaming Commission's probe.

1. UK operators must stop unfair promotions, says CMA
This one's been a long time coming.

The Competition and Markets Authority and the U.K. Gambling Commission have been hard at work to overhaul the way the games industry operates, aiming for higher standards of fairness.

Most recently, online operators have been told to clean up their act regarding bonuses, which can sometimes be confusing or misleading. According to the press release:
  • Players won’t be required to play multiple times before they can withdraw their own money.
  • Gambling firms must ensure that any restrictions on gameplay are made clear to players, and cannot rely on vague terms to confiscate players’ money.
  • Gambling firms must not oblige players to take part in publicity.
Ladbrokes, William Hill and PT Entertainment have already made moves to adopt these new standards, and other operators must follow suit, under pain of fines, says the Gambling Commission.

Related Links
MGM Cotai Details
Massachusetts Gambling

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