iGB Diary: Stars back in the US, Germany open for business, Tindall's scary takeover and what goes on in Vegas...

2 October 2015

It's Friday, it's the Diary and you know it makes sense. Stars and Tilt are back in the US (ok it's New Jersey but it's a start), Germany's open for business, Betway and Tindall early for Halloween?, and Vegas, where some things are just better left unseen.

PokerStars back in the US
Ok not the US entirely, but surely Amaya will be looking to build on the New Jersey momentum, while breathing big sighs of relief and steeling itself for further regulatory legwork. It was certainly a long time comin’ but Amaya finally has its licence for New Jersey (never in doubt!) and will be able to market and offer PokerStars and Full Tilt to players there. Timing of the launch still isn’t clear but it will be fascinating to see how much market share it manages to glean off WSOP, 888 Poker, PartyPoker and Borgata, the sites currently operating in the Garden State. As far as the industry is concerned, the new arrival is welcome, with 74% of respondents taking part in our poll confident it will boost the market and 48% saying existing operators should be “somewhat worried but they’ll up their game”. All round a positive outcome for the sector in the US, but will Amaya’s New Jersey entrance in the east of the coutnry be felt all the way over on the west coast in California? Disagreements run deep between stakeholders there; will New Jersey granting a licence to PokerStars have any kind of positive impact on California’s chances of regulating online poker?         

German laissez-faire?
All igaming roads lead to Berlin at the end of October, the old saying goes (does it?, Ed) and as we exchanged emails with Berlin Affiliate Conference speaker Andreas Blaue, chief legal officer at Constantin Medien AG and director, entertainment & DRTV for Sport1 Media, we thought we’d find out what the situation was like for operators advertising and working (fairly) openly in the market (paywall). He said: “I am of the opinion that all operators who have applied for a licence on the basis of the current state contract in Germany can act without interference and will be tolerated. To a large extent this also applies to operators holding an EU licence”. His statement certainly reflects the reality on the ground, operators (licensed or not) are openly targeting the market without any major consequences up to now. This surely illustrates the inability of the German authorities to come with up an adequate regulatory framework, a situation that is mirrored in most other EU markets, regulated or otherwise; where punters are able to access unlicensed sites easily and many of the latter more than happy to accept their custom. If you want to find out more about operating in one of the biggest igaming markets in Europe, Andreas Blaue will be taking part in the Germany Country Focus panel at Berlin Affiliate Conference

Tindall can take over…
… whatever he wants with a face like that. Betway hosted an excellent ‘Tindall Takeover’ yesterday where Rugby World Cup winner Mike Tindall gave his tips and insights on the upcoming rugby action this weekend, with the England-Australia clash tomorrow on everyone's minds this side of the pond. Now we know sportsmen looking scary and serious is all part of the marketing game, take a look at any football club advertising its new kit for players looking like hitmen, but the picture Betway put up of Tindall shook us out of our mid-morning torpor alright. Mind you, no need for a haka or anything as mundane with the likes of Tindall around (have you seen the Aussies yet?, Ed). 

What happens in Vegas…
With G2E shenanigans going on aplenty in Las Vegas at the moment, we thought we’d shine the Facebook spotlight on the nice and mellow Michael Corfman, because basically all the stories we’re hearing are just too inappropriate for a family outlet like iGB (such as the footage of iGB editor-in-chief Michael Caselli pole dancing the night away; some things are just too disturbing to show). We particularly like the caption on the group picture on the right, where Michael Corfman is stood next to… none other than James Bond! A classic picture we’re sure you’ll agree.

Have a great weekend!