News

First Blockchain Casino Being Planned for Macau

Blockchain technology is already being integrated into the online poker market, with many sites now accepting cryptocurrency payments. Now, there ate two companies that want to take things a lot further by expanding the reach of blockchain into land-based gaming world, as DeClub and Wide Rich Global makes plans to launch a blockchain casino system in Macau that will link online and land-based gaming destinations.

Together, Wide Rich Global and DeClub will build a blockchain-backed casino with funds from an initial coin offering (ICO) that aims to raise $1 billion. Once the sale of DEC tokens is completed, DeClub will apply for a Macau Junket Promoter license and aim to acquire several land-based casinos in Macau. 35% of the total has been raised so far, and the companies plan to expand their reach to acquire land-based venues in other Asian countries and across the Caribbean.  Over time, the network will include a wide range of land-based venues that are all linked across a blockchain network.

The DEC coin will then be launched as a way to carry out transactions at both online and land-based casinos. Players will be able to convert DEC into other types of cryptocurrencies, and stablecoins will be offered as a way to help power the online casinos that are integrated with the online casinos.

This isn’t the first time that a land-based venture has attempted to make blockchain gaming technology work. In 2017, Dragon Corp’s ICO aimed to raise $500 million for its Dragon Coin. The money raised was to be used to build a floating casino. While it looking like a promising idea, the main contractor pulled out and the plan fell apart.

Since Wide Rich and DeClub aim to raise $1 billion, they are taking twice the chance and they could be setting themselves up for a big fall. However, since they are already over a third of the way to their goal, it may be a more successful venture than Dragon Coin.

Why Blockchain?

Blockchain is considered a great match for the online gaming market, as it presents players with a way to interact with venues in a transparent manner. The same pros can be applied to the land-based casino market, as well, which would also link the two types of gaming in a “pan-gambling business ecosystem”.

Should a gambling site run on blockchain technology, all transactions must be verified using a public ledger. The ledger cannot be edited or manipulated which means that no fraud can take place on the network, adding another layer of safety to the gaming world.

There is definitely huge potential for blockchain technology to change both the online and land-based gambling markets. DeClub and Wide Rich are taking the first step towards this revolution, and only time will tell if they will be successful.

Bitcoin Cardroom Launches “Green” High Five Tourneys

America’s Cardroom is taking advantage of the expanding legalization of marijuana with a new set of tournaments themed around the drug. With the news that Canada has joined states like California, Nevada and Colorado in allowing the recreational use of marijuana, now seems to be a good time to appeal to poker players who enjoy the occasional toke.

High Fives All Around

It’s called the High Five Tournament, and it will take place from October 31st to November 4th. Every day that week, players will be able to take part in events with a total prize pool of $1.5 million. During the main event, the guaranteed prize pool is – you guessed it – $420 000.

It’s an interesting way to promote an online poker tournament, and we’ve never seen it done before. However, it is known that poker players do enjoy some recreational marijuana use while grinding it out online, so this event is sure to appeal to a niche market. In fact, the taglines are pretty catchy:

  • Stock up on munchies, Smoke the tables
  • Trick or Treat – It’s munchies time
  • Instead of candy, we are handing out the green’.

How could you resist? There is even going to be a “courtesy break” at 4:20 each day.

A Popular Cryptocurrency Poker Site

In addition to being popular with marijuana smokers, America’s Cardroom and other sites within the Winning Poker Network are also the first choice for cryptocurrency users – enhancing their appeal with two niche markets.  In fact, over 60% of users at WPN sites use cryptocurrency to make their deposits.

In 2015, WPN sites were some of the first to embrace cryptocurrency technology. They have always promoted the use of it in the online poker world, and are now beginning to reap their rewards. With more and more poker players preferring the use of bitcoin when playing poker online, sites like America’s Cardroom are well-positioned to become leaders in the gaming market.

Cryptocurrency has continued to gain popularity among online poker players thanks to its ease of use, anonymity and speed. Players don’t have to worry about any of their personal details being shared when their make deposits, and the standard processing times for credit cards and e-wallets don’t apply so players can have their withdrawals processed instantly.

We’re only going to see bitcoin gain an even larger presence in the online poker market in coming months. As sites like America’s Cardroom continue to promote the use of cryptocurrencies in the online gaming world, we’re sure that bitcoin will soon become a staple at poker rooms across the web.

World Poker Tour Teams up with Blockchain Sportsbook

The worlds of gambling and cryptocurrencies and bitcoin are colliding once again, as the World Poker Tour has teamed up with FansUnite Entertainment, an innovative new sportsbook that is powered by blockchain technology. This will be the WPT’s first foray into the blockchain market, while providing FansUnite with more exposure through a leading international poker brand.

A Multi-Pronged Partnership

We’ll be seeing FansUnite and the World Poker Tour collaborating in a number of different ways. Firstly, the two companies will be engaging in cross promotion on social media and international TV distribution will be provided to FansUnite through the World Poker Tour’s programming. FansUnite will also provide the WPT with promotional tie-ins from the Leicester City Football Club, the sportsbook’s official partner.

Another aspect of the deal will be in the introduction of “Plays of the Week”, on Super Channel’s Heads Up Daily. The show broadcasts news and features related to the eSports market, so this will be the first time the WPT will get involved with this emerging sporting industry.

As you can see, this will be a mutually beneficial partnership. Both the WPT and FansUnite will be able to expand their reach across new markets, promoting themselves to viewers who are currently unfamiliar with their products.

“The sports betting and blockchain industries continue to provide applications to the gaming world, and the World Poker Tour is proud to name FansUnite as an official partner,” says Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour.

According to Darius Eghdami, the World Poker Tour has been on the forefront of gaming entertainment for the past 20 years, gaining instant name recognition and making it the perfect partner for the cryptocurrency-powered sportsbook. Pliska is just as thrilled with the deal, excited about introducing FansUnite to the millions of WPT fans and players around the world.

Poker and Blockchain, Working Together Once Again

This year has seen plenty of interaction between the blockchain and poker worlds. In September, the World Crypto Con at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas hosted a blockchain poker tournament. It was only the second time that the world markets interacted, after a similar blockchain poker tournament was hosted at the Blockchain World Conference.

Blockchain technology continues to be a be perfect fit as a partner in the poker market. The technology offers both online and land-based players a new way to experience their favourite game, and there is plenty of opportunity for more interaction between these two industries. The recent deal between the World Poker Tour and Fans Unite will only serve to strengthen the bond and make way for many more similar partnerships to be formed in the future.

“Imminent” Drop of Bitcoin on the Horizon

Bitcoin is known to be volatile, but things are about to get really crazy for the popular cryptocurrency. According to experts in the field, the price of bitcoin is about to drop drastically and they warn of an “imminent slump” in its value.

Why Has a Slump Been Predicted?

Yesterday, the price of bitcoin was $6571, which was the highest we’ve seen in quite some time. Over the course of 24 hours, the price dropped by 2% to $6436. According to experts, a drop below a key price point is called “horizontal support” and it may be a sign of bitcoin’s value dropping significantly in the near future.

Cryptocurrency expert Nikola Lazić states that the situation “could get really bad”, and bitcoin could reach a “lower low” below $5767. However, bitcoin still has a healthy floor price, which means that the market is invested in the growth of the cryptocurrency. So, while a slump may be on the horizon, it is likely that bitcoin will be able to bounce back quickly, or that it won’t be a huge decline in the first place.

Still, some investors are confident that bitcoin will see a positive end to 2018. Tom Lee of Fundstrat believes that bitcoin has been holding, which could mean that the decline will start to reverse. It’s all speculation, however, and we won’t know for sure until bitcoin starts to move either upwards or downwards later this year.

A Very Volatility Year

Over the course of the past year, bitcoin has seen some huge ups and downs. Back in December 2017, the price of bitcoin nearly doubled to $19 800 but quickly dropped by 45% back down to $14 300. Yves Mersch of the European Central Bank compared bitcoin to buying flowers and having them wilt immediately.

Since then, bitcoin has seen plenty of movement in terms of price. In September 2018, the price of bitcoin plummeted about 10% from $7300 to $6300 and it has remained around that price for the past month. Now, we could be looking at an even further decline in the value of bitcoin.

Despite the difficult year that bitcoin has had, there is still no telling how the cryptocurrency will perform in coming months. We have plenty of arguments on either side, but bitcoin is known for being quite unpredictable.

So, if you have any bitcoin in your online poker account, it might be a good idea to hold onto it for the next little while. Consider keeping it in your account until a little more information about whether or not bitcoin will continue to decline is confirmed.

 

Virtual Reality Poker Product on the Horizon

Bitcoin isn’t the only new technology to take the poker world by storm. Virtual reality has also made quite the impression on poker operators – so much so that PokerStars is currently developing a new product that allows players to take part in poker games using a VR headset.

PokerStars VR

The new VR poker software provides players with the chance to play online poker games using virtual reality technology. By donning a headset, players will be able to transport themselves to unique locations and compete in cash games and tournaments with other virtual players.

Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations at PokerStars, says:

“PokerStars VR is a chance for us to take this amazing technology and bring something totally unique to poker players. Poker is about interaction. It’s been bringing people together for well over a century. We’re really excited to invest in the next generation of the game and to give players the opportunity to meet in a brand new virtual reality dimension.”

There will be some unique modifications that players can make to their gaming experience. For example, they can customise the look of their 3D avatar, and they can choose to play in all sorts of interesting locations, like a yacht in Monte Carlo or an Old West saloon. They can also engage in other activities like order drinks or even throwing food at their competitors.

Currently, the technology is being tested by over 100 players around the world. It is able to use on Steam with either Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headsets. At the moment, there is no word on when PokerVR will be made available to the public.

Virtual Reality in the Wider Gaming Market

Virtual reality has been gaining ground in the wider gaming market for a couple of years now. We have seen large gaming development companies experimenting with this technology to create a wide range of immersive video games. There are puzzle games, shooters, arcade game and all sorts of different titles that use virtual reality to engage players in a brand new way.

Even the slots market has embraced virtual reality. NetEnt is one online slots developer that has been working hard to bring VR slots to life. Several of the company’s most popular games, including Gonzo’s Quest and Jack & the Beanstalk, have been given the virtual reality treatment, immersing players in the characters’ worlds while vying for the chance to win generous prizes.

While virtual reality is becoming a big hit in the larger, video game market, there is no telling how it will fare in online poker rooms and at online casinos. It will be very interesting to see how players respond to being able to play poker games and tournaments while wearing VR headsets.

UK Treasury Committee Says It’s Time to Regulate Bitcoin

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom feel that it’s about time that bitcoin is regulated. They have highlighted the potential risks of trading and spending cryptocurrencies, and believe that the next step is to develop a framework that would protect users.

Protecting Consumers

A committee of MPs have come forward to urge London’s Financial Conduct Authority to supervise “crypto-assets”. They are concerned about the number of risks involved for investors. For example, the price of cryptocurrencies is incredibly volatility and there are few consumer protection protocols in place. There is also the potential for cryptocurrencies to be hacked and there is also the danger of it being used to launder money.

There are major concerns that individuals who choose to invest in cryptocurrencies are putting themselves in danger. While it is becoming more widely used around the world, there is still plenty of work that needs to be done in order to protect investors and ensure that bitcoin and other crypto-assets are safe to trade.

Nicky Morgan, Chair of the Treasury Committee says:

“It’s unsustainable for the government and regulators to bumble along issuing feeble warnings to potential investors, yet refrain from acting. At a minimum, regulation should address consumer protection and anti-money-laundering.”

The Right Decision

There are varying opinions in the debate of cryptocurrency regulation. Some experts state that regulation could help cryptocurrencies grow while other believe that it would stifle their growth. There are many different sides to the debate, and it is time for regulators to weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Some experts argue that cryptocurrencies won’t be able to grow without regulation. This is because many potential investors are wary of putting their money into bitcoin without knowing that they are protected.

There are others, however, that are concerned regulation could stop further development of cryptocurrencies. If regulators try to apply traditional rules to bitcoin, then there is the chance that it may limit the ways in which cryptocurrencies could branch out and innovate.

It will be interesting to see how the UK government plans to go about regulating bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, if they decide to go that route. There are plenty of opportunities to help protect consumers using regulation but, at the same time, it would have to be done in such a way that cryptocurrencies can continue to grow and develop.

Plenty of work needs to be done before a working regulatory model is introduced. Lawmakers will need the input of developers, investors and bankers in order to create a framework that benefits all parties involved.

Blockchain Poker Tournament to be Hosted at Aria Casino

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are quickly becoming ingratiated into the poker world. Providing players with safe and secure gaming, they have been embraced by players and operators across the web. To help strengthen this bond, World Crypto Con will be hosting a Blockchain poker tournament.

Bringing Land-Based Poker and Blockchain Together

The Blockchain Poker tournament will integrate blockchain technology into standard poker tournament play. While few details have been announced so far, we are hoping to see some exciting innovations, for example, wagering using cryptocurrencies.

It is anticipated that many talented poker pros will be in attendance. Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari are on the list of rumoured runners, and there is speculation that Phil Hellmuth may register since he is known to have a close relationship with the Aria Casino.

This will be the second time we’ll see blockchain technology integrated into a poker tournament. The first was in July, when Blockparty hosted an event at the Blockchain World Conference. 100 runners competed in the tournament, and the winner walked away with a two tickets to the next Blockchain World Conference and three nights’ accommodation – worth a total of $10 000.

Blockchain in the Online Poker World

The online poker market is quickly embracing blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. There are now dozens of online poker sites that accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as deposit methods, and players are pleased with the development. Cryptocurrencies are well-known for the privacy that they award users, as they are completely anonymous. They are also renowned for their quick processing times.

There are also many ways that online poker sites are planning to use blockchain in their overall operation. Smart contracts can make peer-to-peer payments an integral part of tournament registration and payouts. For example, if it costs 1 BTC to enter a tournament, the player’s buy-in is kept in escrow with every other player’s entry fee. Players who win will be paid out from the escrow account, so no money is ever passed through a third party.

Another benefit of blockchain technology is that it is audited by the community itself. All changes and developments can be viewed by members of the community, who are on the lookout for any suspicious activities – so, you can definitely rely on blockchain to make the online poker world a safer place.

Blockchain is already making a significant impact on the online poker world, and it is sure to start having an effect in the land-based poker market. World Crypto Con’s blockchain tournament is just one of the first few steps that needs to be taken in order for poker and blockchain to become completely integrated for a whole new gaming experience.

Bitcoin and Other Crypto Prices Plummet Suddenly

We all know that cryptocurrency is a volatile market, but what just happened is ridiculous. Overnight the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Ripple have dropped by about 10%.

A Big Crash

Over the course of the past 24 hours, the value of bitcoin dropped by $1065. Now one bitcoin is one work about $6313, as opposed to yesterday’s value of $7378.

There is no particular reason as to why the coin’s value dropped, but it could be related to Goldman Sachs’ announcement that it would not be opening a cryptocurrencies desk. Executives from the company noted that there was a lot more work to be done before it was ready to begin trading bitcoin, and that there were several factors outside of the firm’s control. It was shortly after that when the decline began.

The value of bitcoin has actually been on the rise for the past few weeks, so this recent decline comes as quite a blow. It is likely that the increase was due to Goldman Sachs’ original intention to begin trading bitcoin, causing investors to snatch up the cryptocurrency. Now that the firm has cancelled its plans for working with bitcoin, investors are likely to have started to sell off their bitcoin.

As a result of bitcoin’s decline, other cryptocurrencies have felt a knock-on effect. As bitcoin’s value continued to drop, so did Ethereum and Ripple. Both saw a fall in their value worth about 10%. Other smaller currencies have also seen a decline, with Litecoin and bitcoin cash falling by 4%. It seems that investors in these cryptocurrencies have taken bitcoin’s decline as a sign that all digital spending methods are not viable for trading on a traditional level.

Advice for Bitcoin Poker Players

If you’re a poker player using bitcoin, then it might be a good idea to keep your coins where they are right now. It might be wise to wait until the price climbs back up before you withdraw any of your winnings. Since cryptocurrencies are known for being quite volatile, it is likely that their value will increase again soon, so be sure to keep an eye on their prices for the time being.

Poker continues to be a popular market for bitcoin, as players appreciate the anonymity and safety awarded by the cryptocurrency. It is easy for players to instantly deposit and withdraw to their accounts, and it makes for a unique way to experience online poker games. We anticipate that the popularity of bitcoin will spread to other areas of the online gaming world, and that the value will bounce back after this recent decline.

Treasure Island’s Poker Room Closes

A Las Vegas poker institution is shutting it’s doors, and the local gaming market just won’t be the same without it. Unable to compete with the big boys, Treasure Island has permanently closed, leaving 17 other poker rooms on the Las Vegas strip.

Too Much Competition

There are only seven tables at the Treasure Island poker room, which certainly pales in comparison to places like Rio and Wynn that have huge venues to host thousands of players and large tournaments. The only games that were run at Treasure Island were $1/$3 no-limit hold’em games, which was limiting for the potential player base.

In recent years, the venue didn’t host a summer poker series. This is likely because bigger venues had more prestigious tournaments on offer. However, there were daily tournaments available, the most recent of which had a $45 buy-in and a $250 guaranteed top prize. Still, these types of tournaments just weren’t enticing for players and Treasure Island was unable to maintain a steady stream of players and runners.

Treasure Island simply couldn’t stay competitive with the rest of the casinos that offer poker on the Las Vegas strip. It’s unfortunate, but a harsh reality that venues in Sin City have to face. There is fierce competition in Las Vegas, and if you can’t keep up, you’ll have to close down. Over a dozen other poker rooms still remain, so players should have no problem finding another venue.

History of Treasure Island

The Treasure Island poker room originally opened in 2006 under the management of MGM. There were eight poker tables available, and it was a destination for players who wanted to experience niche games like badugi and crazy pineapple. Over the years, however, the selection of games became watered down and, as we mentioned above, there only typical Texas Hold’em games were table.

The Treasure Island poker room was known for its quaint interior. However, it also had that gritty feel to it that you would expect from a home game with high rollers. There was definitely something unique about the venue, and players who frequented it will certainly miss its presence on the strip.

Now, there are 17 poker rooms available in downtown Las Vegas. The best known destinations are the Bellagio and ARIA, both of which are world-renowned for their luxurious designs and the prestigious tournaments that they hold.

It is unlikely that another poker room will take the place of Treasure Island’s. With nearly 20 places to play poker on the Las Vegas Strip, there really is too much competition for another venue to open up and experience significant success.

First Three Online Poker Licenses Handed Out in PA

It was only in July that Pennsylvania casinos were required to submit their online gambling applications, and progress is quickly being made. The first three online casino licenses have been handed out, with Parx, Mount Airy and Harrah’s being the first three venues to be given the go-ahead to launch online gaming services.

PA Poker Partners

Parx Casino is home to the biggest and most profitable poker room in Pennsylvania. So, when it comes to offering online poker services, it is likely going to be the first one to see significant success. The players that already visit Parx Casino to play poker in person will likely sign up to its online poker site.

The company that Parx will be partnering with is GAN, a UK-based gaming operator that runs a number of sites in Europe. The two companies will be working together to build an online gaming platform that will engage Pennsylvanian players. The only drawback seems to be that GAN has focused more on betting and casino games rather than poker so, from a software perspective, the other casino licensees in PA may have an advantage.

One such company is Mount Airy, who has partnered with PokerStars. Together, they will launch PokerStars PA – which will be a tough brand to compete with. PokerStars is one of the most recognised online poker brands in the world so, even though Parx is a more popular land-based venue, its online brand may struggle to captivate local players.

Finally, there’s Harrah’s, which is associated with Caesars Entertainment. As such, the company’s online poker site is most likely to operate on World Series of Poker software. Like PokerStars, this is a widely recognized brand name, so there is going to be some steep competition among Harrah’s and Mount Airy. So, Parx will have to work hard to capture a significant portion of Pennsylvania’s online poker market.

Still a Long Way to Go

While three online casino licenses have been granted, there are still six more applications in need of processing. On top of all this, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will also have to vet the online gaming partners of the local casinos. So, while things are moving along quickly, it is still going to take a few months before Pennsylvania players will have the chance to play poker and other casino games online.

Once everything is all ready to go, Pennsylvania will benefit hugely from the introduction of online gambling. Licensees are required to pay $10 million for their licensing see, and they will be tax 16% on all table games and poker activities. A 54% tax will apply for slots and a 36% tax will apply for sports betting. Daily fantasy sports will be permitted, as well, with a tax of 15%.