Biggest Ever WCOOP Starts Next Week, WPT Launches Content Service on Smartcast

It’s that time of year again when the World Championship of Online Poker kicks off and the best tournament players on the planet head over to PokerStars to fight for all the bragging rights. This year’s edition promises to be bigger and better than ever before with 306 events and a whopping $100 million in guarantees.

To celebrate this 20th anniversary edition, and crossing the $1 billion in guarantees line, PokerStars will also be handing out up to $1 million in giveaways to its customers.

The 306 events will be spread across three buy-in levels—low, medium and high—to make this series accessible to as wide a range of players as possible. That’s a cool 102 events for each division.

As a nice touch, all of this year’s winners will win an exclusive WCOOP trophy. Two different types will be handed out: one for the main event champions and overall Player of the Series, and the other for the High, Medium and Low event winners and the High, Medium, and Low Player of the Series champions.

  • 102 events; 306 tournaments
  • $100 million series guarantee
  • $5K buy-in Main Event with $10 million guarantee
  • 62 tournaments costing $11 or less to play
  • Trophy for all champions

WPT Content Now Available on Smartcast

WPT Studios has announced they are to offer more content on the VIZIO WatchFree+ streaming service on Smartcast. The World Poker Tour channel, Channel 635, is now full of great content with continuous reruns of all the WPT seasons gone by.

Loc Sondheim, Executive Director of Ad Sales and Distribution for WPT, said: “WPT is thrilled to continue providing the best poker content in the world to VIZIO SmartCast users. VIZIO is continuously enhancing the platform with new features and content, so users have endless entertainment options, including hundreds of hours of the World Poker Tour.”


Gambling VIP Schemes Under Threat in UK

Rumours are persisting about sweeping changes to the UK’s Gambling Act 2005 following a government review to bring the legislation up to date. No official announcement has been made but sources say that as well as new betting limits being imposed VIP schemes could be killed off.

This is obviously worrying news for British gamblers, especially poker players. Many players rely on VIP rakeback deals to keep them in the game, or at least at their current stakes.

There are already complaints from UK-based customers of GGPoker who have been harassed by support asking for proof that they can afford to lose the money they’re trying to upload. If this kind of restriction is tightened, then a country that was once seen as the most liberal place in the world to gamble online could turn into a poor option, tax free for gambling or not.

It is impossible to disagree that 16-year-old laws are no longer fit for purpose in this digital age where gambling providers are under pressure not to prey on the vulnerable and under-age. Campaigners are insistent that these firms are held to account.


American Casinos Target Record Year & Macau Keeps Casinos Open

In an incredible turn of events, casinos in the US are poised to hit a record year even with international travel restrictions still in place. The American Gaming Association posted Q2 data showing revenue for the sector wasa a record $13.6 billion, beating the previous record of $11.6 billion set in Q3 of 2019. For the first half of 2021 a total of $25 billion has been spent in US casinos.

Bill Miller, president and CEO of the AGA told Forbes: “The gaming industry is on its way back. In any other environment, these quarterly numbers would be a victory lap. But there are still a few missing pieces to the puzzle. A full recovery requires the meaningful return of meetings and events, as well as the revival of international travel. It requires everyone working together to move beyond the realities of the past year, and the Delta variant has reminded us that we’re not there yet.”

Casinos in Macau also remain open even though the government has taken a tough stance on most other industries. It looks as if politicians are under pressure not to completely kill off the economy which is heavily reliant on the gambling sector, although revenue figures are unlikely to look as impressive as their American counterparts.


MGM Resorts Donates Land to Build Mass Shooting Memorial

MGM Resorts is to give two acres of land to build a memorial for the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017. On October 1 of that year Stephen Paddock fired over 1,000 rounds killing 58 people and injuring over 800. It remains to this day the largest mass shooting by a single individual in history.

Discussions are currently underway to agree what form the memorial will take and exactly where it will be placed. Many residents of the Las Vegas Village, where the shooting took place, claim to have post traumatic stress disorder and feel the memorial might be too close to home.

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