Jungleman on cryptopoker, plans to tax online poker in Germany, and PokerStars getting rid of sponsored pros such as Chris Moneymaker and Celina Lin are the big headlines in this week’s industry news!
By: Andrew Burnett
Moneymaker and Lin leave PokerStars
We’ll kick off with those surprising PokerStars departures, starting with 2003 WSOP Main Event champ Chris Moneymaker, the man credited with starting the 21st century poker boom.
Moneymaker has sported the Red Spade logo for 17 years, but his New Year’s Eve announcement ended that partnership “effective immediately” although he thanked Stars for everything it had given him…
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) December 31, 2020
With lesser-known names such as French live pro Kalidou Sow and Russian online pro Mikhail “innerpsy” Shalamov, as well as three streamers leaving on the same day as Moneymaker, it still wasn’t the end of the departures.
Less than a week into 2021 and Celina Lin was next to go, the Chinese-born pro ending a decade-long relationship with PokerStars, representing them in their Team Asia squad.
I will start by saying 👋 to @pokerstars & all the amazing ppl I have met & worked with over the years. I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to travel the 🌏, play 🃏🃏 & call it work.
2021 let’s hope for more freedom, more adventures & more quality time with our ♥️ ones pic.twitter.com/WBnn1r7wUq
— Celina Lin (@CelinaLin) January 6, 2021
Cates on Crypto
Doug Polk may be the biggest poker name to turn to cryptocurrency matters, but Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates was in the news this week discussing all the connection between poker and crypto.
Speaking to Yahoo finance, Cates explained that “Crypto is more aligned with the risk-reward that poker players train for and get excited about.”
Jungleman Dan also thinks the Blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrency and trading transfers well to poker and other games.
He explained: “Blockchain is actually a great use for gaming as the immutable contracts can ensure the proper winner of a hand or contest is paid in full.”
Germany eyes Online Poker Tax
A proposed 5.3% tax on online poker games has been reportedly doing the rounds on German media, the draft law also looking at an 8% levy on online slot spins.
A new federally-regulated market is due to kick in this coming summer, the 16 German states ratifying the treaty individually with this week’s report focusing on ‘finance ministries of the states of Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Berlin’, according to the Suddeutsche Zeitung.
Previous reports have highlighted how different the online poker rules will be, players allowed to play a maximum of four tables simultaneously.
A €1,000 monthly deposit limit and a “panic button” to self-ban for 24 hours will also be implemented.
Caesars sell casino to Cherokee tribe
Caesars Entertainment have agreed a $250million pricetag for their Southern Indiana casino, selling it to the North Carolina-based Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
The Harrison County venue is one of three that Caesars have decided to offload to meet an Indiana Gaming Commission order on the back of the Caesars and Eldorado Resorts merger last year.
The casino operated in a three-floor riverboat until 2019 before moving into the $85million land-based building, according to the Associated Press report. It is expected that the WSOP Circuit stop will continue at one of the former Caesars properties.
Macau struggling despite $7.6 billion year
In a sign of just how much money is involved in the gaming capital of Macau, the 2020 figures for casino revenue of $7.6billion show a 66% drop in year-on-year figures.
Although the market had picked up recently after suffering heavily from the coronavirus pandemic, December numbers were still heavily down, only $979million according to the Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau.