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In Mumbai, seven lottery parlours across different locations were raided for tax evasion. The police also found big irregularities, like some lottery operators issuing hand-written lottery tickets instead of the mandatory format of having tickets printed on government or RBI paper.
In other headlines, billionaire casino owner Phil Ruffin’s enthusiasm for gaming doesn’t seem to stop. 83-year old Ruffin recentlyadded another casino to his list of properties with the acquisition of Casino Miami.
Speaking of acquisitions, 888 Holdings now fully owns the All American Poker Network (AAPN) after buying out shares of its investment partner in AAPN, Avenue Capital for $28 Million. Also, in U.S., we saw the National Basketball Association (NBA) officially announcing The Stars Group (TSG) as it`s second gaming partner.
RunGood meanwhile, has also brokered a deal with Poker Central, one that will allow preliminary RGPS tour event winners and final table players to win seats into a freeroll satellite at Hard Rock Tulsa. The deal doesn’t end here and there’s more on offer for RGPS players, like playing a High Roller in the PokerGO studio among other perks.
In Russia, the telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor has fined Google for refusing to remove forbidden material, including international gambling sites from it`s Russian search results.
Mumbai police has raided seven online lottery parlours across several locations and seized a large number of computers, hard disks and other paraphernalia.
According to a PTI report, investigating these centres for possible tax evasion, police teams also arrested 11 persons for allegedly selling hand-written lottery tickets.
The online lottery centres are mandated to sell printed lottery tickets as specified under the Lotteries (Regulation) Act and Rules. Such tickets are supposed to be printed on government or RBI paper and evidently operators of these parlors were not following the rules.
Lottery distributors have been up in arms against the dual taxation on the sale of lottery tickets that has them having to dish out 28% GST on the face value of lottery tickets. Such high tax ratesoperators claim makes the lottery business a loss-making enterprise. However, the government has not buckled under the lobbying and demands of the lottery sector.
An official, on the condition of anonymity is reported to have divulged that, “During the raids, police have recovered 11 computers, hard disks, CPUs, five mobile phones and cash worth over Rs 1 lakh. The owners of the online lottery centres used to give hand-written tickets, of the various online lotteries, including Goa’s authorised lottery ‘Lucky Four’, instead of the printed tickets.”
Operators of these online lottery terminals have been booked under relevant laws for GST evasion in addition to Section 294(A) of IPC, 1860 for selling lottery tickets illegally, as well as Sections 4(A) and 7(3) of the Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998.
Phil Ruffin is a known name in the casino industry for his business interests in casinos and his love for poker. The octogenarian who is reportedly close to U.S. president Donald Trump and owns the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino is now looking at entering the gaming market in Miami.
Ruffin has in fact, already made his move for this purpose. He has acquired the Casino Miami, and entered the South Florida gaming market in a big way. “I look forward to entering the Miami gaming market through this acquisition. We have exciting plans for Casino Miami that we will be revealing in the near future,” Ruffin said.
Ruffin has at one time, owned the Frontier Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip. He has also participated in a number of poker tournaments and co-owns the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.
Ruffin’s latest buy sits on a good location near the Miami International airport and though the figures haven’t been officially disclosed, the property was last sold to its previous owners in 2014 for $155 Million. Ruffin plans to re-do the interiors of Casino Miami.
888 Holdings have bought the shares of Avenue Capital in the All American Poker Network (AAPN) to acquire solo ownership of the network. This is a big strategic investment for the 888 brand, strengthening its stake and presence in the online poker market of U.S.
“The acquisition of the remaining stake in AAPN is an important strategic step towards 888 achieving its exciting long-term potential in the US,” 888 CEO Itai Frieberger said, in an official statement. Avenue Capital held 53% interest in AAPN and 888 Holdings have reportedly bought their shares off for $28 Million.
Avenue Capital had, along with 888 established AAPN in 2013, at a time when online poker was still in its nascent form in the U.S.
“Taking outright ownership of AAPN gives 888 additional operational, technological and commercial flexibility to develop innovative and exciting new partnerships and launch in new states – through both B2B and B2C channels – as and when future regulation allows,” Frieberger’s statement read.
Notably, 888 Poker is the only online poker site that currently serves all three U.S. states, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. With plans to launch in Pennsylvania as well, 888 looks well poised to leverage its presence in the U.S. markets for a bigger share of the fast growing online poker market.
This summer, the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA) had announced MGM Resorts International as its official gaming partner. The league has now entered another partnership with international gaming giant, The Stars Group (TSG).
ESPN has reported that NBA has reached a multi-year deal for promoting TSG at its outlets including the NBA TV, NBA.com and over it’s different social media outreach efforts. For its part, TSG will promote the NBA on its popular poker site, PokerStars, as well as its other gaming outlets.
Talking about the new partnership, Scott Kaufman- Ross, the head of fantasy and gaming at NBA said, “This dynamic partnership will be another way to create authentic fan engagement with league logos and official NBA betting data, while leveraging Stars’ global expertise to further optimize the fan experience.”
TSG senior VP of strategy and operations for U.S., Matt Primeaux said, “Our partnership with the NBA, including access to NBA’s real-time data and intellectual property, further enhances consumer confidence in our offering and acts as an official endorsement of our BetStarssportsbook offering here in the States.”
Meanwhile, MGM Resorts International has been aggressively pursuing expansion in new sports betting territories in the U.S. through partnerships with professional sports leagues. Apart from this deal with NBA, it also has strategic partnerships in place with theWNBA, NHL and Major League Baseball.
Poker Central, the parent company of PokerGO has entered a deal with RunGood Poker Series (RGPS), as part of which RGPS players will soon be able to find their way into the popular poker show – Poker After Dark (PAD).
What’s more, winners of preliminary RGPS tour Main events and players who manage to reach the final table in RGPS Main Events will wins seats to freeroll satellites at the Hard Rock Tulsa, where two $5,000 Sit & Go seats will be up for grabs. If that was not enough, players can also win their way into a special High Roller event that will be hosted at the PokerGO studio in Las Vegas.
The 2019 RGPS kicks off in February from the Council Bluffs, IA stop where it will run from February 5-10 before moving to Joplin. Through an action packed RGPS schedule right till the end of May, Poker Central promises to dole out exciting goodies for the winners.
In a statement, president of RunGood, Tana Karn said that for many, it had been a dream to compete in front of thousands of people. Now, with the new partnership with PokerGO, she added, it was exciting for RunGood to make that dream come true for two people.
The state-run telecom regulator of Russia, Roskomnadzor has been warning Google for some time now, asking it to remove forbidden material from its Russian search results. Taking cognizance of Google’s continued ignorance of the issue, Roskomnadzor has now imposed a fine of RUB 500K ($7,500) on Google.
Among the prohibited content that Google was asked to remove were international licensed gambling sites. The financial penalty it seems has also been issued to Google for its failure to connect its Russian search results with the country’s federal state information system (FGIS).
Late in November, Roskomnadzor has initiated an administrative case against the technology giant after repeatedly bringing to notice that the search engine was allowing banned Internet resources to be shown to Russian users. Thousands of online gambling sites that Roskomnadzor has been blacklisting on a frequent basis were included in these results. In the month alone, close to 13,600 domains were blocked and blacklisted by Roskomnadzor and another 3,200 domains were added to the blacklist.
On Tuesday, chief of Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov said that Roskomnadzorhas “repeatedly explained these legal requirements to Google, which repeatedly claimed that its activities were in compliance with Russian law.”
Zharov rejected Google’s claims, saying the presence of prohibited sites in Google’s Russian search results was “irrefutable proof filtering is not carried out.”
While Google has not been imposed the maximum penalty by Roskomnadzor, the move is a warning sign that unless Google manages to play by the rules in Russia, the country’s regulatory authorities will continue to take it to task.