iGB Diary: Amaya-Stars, Cali long time coming, Betting ads too seductive shocker!, Quick guide to Gigse

30 May 2014

Stars in their eyes
Has to be said, congrats to Calvinayre.com for, err, running a rumour about Canadian-listed gaming supplier and Ongame owner Amaya allegedly mulling over a multi-million dollar acquisition/reverse takeover of PokerStars. Amaya issued a cloaked denial not long afterward it broke but the story remains shrouded in mystery. We have our doubts as to whether it is true or not. Certainly both companies and senior executives know each other, while you can also see the upside for both parties: Amaya get the world’s biggest poker site and can safely ditch the failed Ongame in exchange for a bottle of Labatt’s at the local Mountie hangout, while Stars’ owners and inner circle receive a ton of cash so they can sponsor more bike rides on the Isle of Man, plus another route back into the US gaming market. It’s a win win! CA we salute you for potential rumour and, if it turns out to be true, story of the year. If only we didn't have to stand up stuff like that. Ed? How about we change our editorial policy? Ed? HellooooOOOOO???

Long time coming
Speaking of US igaming, does the recent agreement between some Indian tribes (San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians etc.) over online poker regulation in California: excluding racetracks from being licensed, including a bad actor clause; mean it’s game over for PokerStars and business partners (Morongo Band of Mission Indians and card rooms Commerce Casino, the Bicycle Casino and Bay 101 among others) for a Golden State licence? One assumes Stars n’ tribes n’ clubs will oppose them with everything they’ve got. Does that mean stalemate with no legislative movement in 2014 or can the bill still pass with bad actor clause included and leave Stars n’ co on the sidelines? Impossible to say, as one contact told us: “Both scenarios are possible. There is also the issue of the thoroughbred racing industry, which is seeking to amend the bills to allow tracks as eligible licensees. Tribes are generally opposed to the tracks, but a number of legislators want them in the bill. There are a lot of moving targets which prevent from predicting passage in 2014. It's also an election year. With a major turnover in 2015, it may take another two years.”

Can I seduce you?
We’re a bit bored of gambling ads being banned because of alleged links to risking individuals’ money and ‘seduction’. Clearly gambling sites should know better than to head down this well-trodden path but the Advertising Standards Authority should perhaps reconsider its approach. Is a woman dressed in a jockey’s outfit really the worst thing anyone’s ever seen? We know it doesn’t turn us on or make us want to put our life savings on a few bets. Also, there are hundred other betting ads that should have been and still should be banned for being either plain terrible or simply offensive and we all know which ones those are.

Giggsy keeps on going [get your coat – Ed]
Our 'experts' provide you with the quick answers to the long questions that will be debated at Gigse 2014 in July.

In-depth focus: Taking a leap to interstate gaming
Answer: There’s no depth to interstate gaming, it doesn’t exist

Rolling out the iGaming domino effect - are the first launches in NJ, NV and DE successful enough to inspire other states to legal and regulatory action
Answer: err, not particularly?

Gigse Mobile Gaming: should you circumvent online/PC to jump straight into mobile?
Answer: Is that your strategy for the US??

Visionary debate: Future of US iGaming in the context of recent launches
Answer: we refer you to our oracle-like predictions about California today 

Gaming Standards Association briefing: making the worldwide harmonisation of online gaming possible (by invitation only)
Answer: Start with one country/region before going for world peace

NB: Of course we're joking and we thoroughly recommend attending this year's Gigse