BetStars Hire a New MD; Somerville Debates on CNBC; Cali Online Poker Bill Pulled From Assembly Floor

BetStars Hire a New MD; Somerville Debates on CNBC; Cali Online Poker Bill Pulled From Assembly Floor

BetStars has appointed Zeno Osskó to the position of Managing Director, Jason Somerville debates with an unhappy Reverend on CNBC, and the California Online Poker Bill gathers dust.

BetStars have a new man at the helm of the ship and Rational Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rafi Ashkenazi, believes he is the right man to lead them into the future.

BetStars Hire a New MD; Somerville Debates on CNBC; Cali Online Poker Bill Pulled From Assembly FloorZeno Osskó is the new Managing Director (MD) of Rational Group’s sports betting brand. Osskó arrives from the German online betting outfit mybet and brings with him a decade’s worth of experience to the men in red.

Osskó replaced Sven Ivo Brinck as CEO of mybet in 2015. Before that he was Head of Gaming/Chief Operating Officer (COO) for seven years. He joined mybet after five years working at the information technology and services company Datango.

“I am looking forward to leveraging PokerStars’ existing base of more than 103 million’ users,” Osskó stated in a press release issued by the Rational Group.

Osskó resigned from his position at the end of July with the board sad to see him go despite reporting €8m in losses during a troubled 2015. He will take up his new position on Sep 12 and report directly to Ashkenazi.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Markus Peuler takes over Osskó’s duties at mybet until they find a permanent successor.

Jason Somerville Makes an Appearance on CNBC

Do you remember the days when professional poker players were hired to represent an online poker site and then did nothing except play online poker?

Well, that’s history.

Jason Somerville is not one of those people. He doesn’t have an idle bone in his body. Say what you like about PokerStars, Somerville loves the company who hired him back in February 2015, and he loves poker.

The Twitch star recently appeared on CNBC’s Power Lunch debating the legalisation of online poker with Rev. James Butler of the California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion (CCAGE). Somerville was the guy wearing the PokerStars patch. I say that because most of you have probably never seen him without his baseball cap.

The debate itself was blah.

We have heard it all before.

Butler told the panel that studies indicated that state’s that have gambling laws suffer economically citing a $3 loss for very $1 gain model. He also explained how the introduction of gambling produces an increase in negative social consequences.

“It’s a bad economic model.” Said Butler.

In his theory, if you turn citizens into punters the money that would have gone into the economy will just head to the coffers of PokerStars and co.

When the pillow passed to Somerville, the PokerStars Team Pro argued that the majority of countries around the world have a fully regulated online gambling marketplace where people aren’t becoming destitute by the millions.

The old argument that people already play online poker in the US on the poorly run, unregulated sites was used. He even admitted to playing, and losing “tens of thousands of dollars’ on those sites, and when questioned on whether that was a wise choice, he dodged the question like a real politician.

“I had no choice.” Said Somerville.

Back to Butler who said that there are other ways to protect citizens from the unregulated sites. He believes state authorities should close them down and if they don’t have the technology to do it today, then who’s to say they will have it in the future?

“Some people can’t control themselves, and it’s the role of the government to protect them.” Said Butler. “There will be no escape for people who have pathological problems with gambling. There is already over a million people suffering from gambling issues.”

Somerville ended the debate by explaining how he was forced to flee to Canada so he can play on

“My streamers ask me why can’t they play in a $1 buy-in tournament?” Questioned Somerville.

Summarising, I think Somerville did an excellent job and is a shoe-in for his position as king of poker should Daniel Negreanu ever step down from his throne. He spoke confidently, assuredly, and was a great voice for the community.

California Online Poker Bill Pulled From Assembly Floor

And talking about online poker in California, legislation to legalise the game in the state (Assemblyman Adam Gray’s AB2863) has not been the topic of conversation within the halls of political power this week, as was hoped.

There is hope that the bill will get the once over on Thursday but don’t hold your breath.