We have a mixed bag for you this week with the industry’s top stories including a tax boost for Dutch poker players, a Russian online cardroom closing its doors and the Crown casino woes continuing in Australia…
By: Andrew Burnett
Dutch poker players hit the tax jackpot
We’ll kick off with some welcome good news, as poker players in the Netherlands finally cracked a complex problem that has seen them paying more than 30% tax on their poker winnings – with millions of euros now due in reimbursements from the tax authorities.
The age-old “poker is gambling” approach has been the Dutch way since the early 1960s, but E.U. rules take a different view. That had seen numerous “contradictory” court rulings based on whether PokerStars.eu was actually an E.U.-based company for tax purposes.
According to Poker.org, a lawyer acting on behalf of a large group of players finally fought through the mess and the Dutch tax authorities recently, “decided to sign settlements with the 130-ish plaintiffs and ruled that PokerStars.eu was based in Malta.”
Russian online cardroom bwin.ru closes
News out of the Russian poker market has revealed that Bwin.ru seems to have closed down, its player accounts apparently being switched over to Parimatch.ru.
Starting life as an Entain (formerly GVC Holdings, partypoker’s parent company) cardroom, Bwin.ru was sold in 2019 and has reportedly been underfunded in marketing, reflected in low player numbers.
The players switching to Parimatch.ru are in line for a “unique bonus offer” according to reports, with a transition that CEO Ruslan Medved hopes will be “as painless as possible”
Pokernewsdaily reported Medved as saying of the Bwin.ru closure: “Not all companies are now able to compete with the mastodons and, no less important, with the market itself and its realities.”
partypoker US and WPT launch learning tool
US players looking for free poker strategy and analysis are in for a treat with the launch of “For the Player”, a collaboration between partypoker’s US arm and the WPT’s coaching partner “LearnWPT”.
Subscribers to the free, US-centric poker advice will “have the opportunity to take part in live Team LearnWPT training with Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger, Tony Dunst, Vanessa Selbst, Jared Tendler, and Nick Binger,” according to a press release this week.
The content will be made available “through a series of newsletters and a dedicated blog” focusing on aspects of the game such as ‘Strategy Episodes,’ ‘Poker Decision Hands,’ and the ‘WPT GTO Trainer Hand of the Week.’
Nick Binger, LearnWPT Founder and President, also stated: “LearnWPT is thrilled to work with partypoker US Network to bring the latest in educational poker content to its network of players.”
Ray Stefanelli, Director of Poker, partypoker US Network added: “‘For The Player’ is partypoker US Network’s latest initiative supporting our players and the larger online poker community.”
For more information and to sign up for exclusive ‘For The Player’ content, players can visit learnwpt.com/partypokerus.
Australian Crown Casino saga sees CEO resign
Ken Barton, CEO and managing director of the Crown Resorts casino group in Australia, is the latest to jump ship after a damning inquiry report highlighted problems including money laundering and relationships with criminal organisations.
The inquiry, led by Commissioner Patricia Bergen, noted that Barton had been in charge of two accounts embroiled in money laundering claims. Bergen’s report found that Barton had displayed a “breath-taking lack of care” and wrote, “He is no match for what is needed at the helm of a casino licensee.”
As we reported recently, the Crown Resorts group is under fire from many sides, but Barton will leave with a healthy payout – a 12-month termination period will see him pocket his $3.3million annual salary and his share options are worth a potential US$56.5 million.