Gabi Campos exits PokerStars, destination unknown
The week started off with a high-profile departure, as PokerStars admitted widespread rumors about CEO Gabi Campos fleeing the coop had merit. While further rumors had Campos returning to his former role at 888 Holdings, the exiting exec has yet to make his intentions known.
Zynga moving closer to real-money online gambling
First, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus suggested his social gaming company’s position on offering real-money play had changed following the DoJ’s Wire Act flip-flop, then confirmed that Zynga was having “active conversations” with potential real-money gambling partners.
New US copyright laws opposed, old ones enforced
The White House signaled its lack of support for pending copyright legislation in its current form; then mass ‘blackout’ protests by prominent sites like Wikipedia caused a few US congressional types to also withdraw their support of the PIPA and SOPA bills. But none of this stopped US law enforcement from bringing the copyright infringement hammer down on file-sharing site Megaupload, and PartyGaming was singled out in the indictment for their multi-million dollar advertising support of a site the US considers a “worldwide criminal organization.”
Aussie deal on pokie pre-commitment falls apart
Early in the week, Australian PM Julie Gillard hinted that Labour’s deal with Independent MP Andrew Wilkie to introduce pre-commitment reforms to the video poker machine business was on shaky ground, then she flat out admitted it was dead, prompting Wilkie to withdraw his support of Gillard’s government.
Harry Reid wants people to understand he hasn’t given up on passing federal online poker law in 2012; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie set up a federal court fight after he signed the state’s sports betting legislation; Pennsylvania threatens to usurp Atlantic City’s position as the US #2 gaming market; Monarch Gaming becomes second company to apply for a Nevada online poker operating license, Black Friday defendant Ira Rubin pled guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges while DC Council members were cleared of any wrongdoing re their approval on online gambling legislation.
UK minister John Penrose suggested online gambling reform may not happen until 2014; William Hill’s 2011 year-end figures looked good; Ladbrokes acquired a US toehold with a 65% stake in sportsbook software outfit Stadium Technology; Bwin.party may push its CQR payments arm into the public markets; Betfair’s living la dolce vita on news that Italy may allow exchange wagering; JAXX SE decided to sell its lottery business and Francaise des Jeux subsidiary LVS inked a sportsbook deal in Côte d’Ivoire;
In the week’s least surprising news, baccarat = money in Macau; Pagcor broke monthly income records six times in the last eight months of 2011; Melco Crown looks to raise $2b to finance Macau Studio City project; booming casino business created increases in visitors to both Macau and Singapore; China’s internet population topped the half-billion mark and questions remain as to what Taiwan’s election results mean for its resort casino plans.
Calvin Ayre’s psyched for Ayr United FC’s upcoming Scottish Communities League Cup Semi-Final against arch-rivals Kilmarnock. Mon the Ayr!