Posts Tagged ‘US online poker market’

PokerStars’ US Fast-Fold Patent gives them a Tremendous Advantage

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

PokerStars has struck out three times in their efforts to enter the US online poker market. Nevada flat-out denied them, New Jersey said wait two more years, and Delaware didn’t want an operation without an online casino. But while Stars has watched fellow competitors like 888 and partypoker enter the US market, they still hold the trump card.

The Rational Group, PokerStars’ parent company, managed to gain a patent on fast-fold poker, which bodes well for their Zoom Poker product. Patent Number 8,727,850, listed as “Computer gaming device and method for computer gaming,” gives Stars exclusive rights to offer fast-fold variants. This means that 888, which offers Snap Poker, and partypoker, which offers FastForward, both need to worry about their fast-fold variants from a legal standpoint.

Apparently, all it took for PokerStars to gain the patent after hundreds of rejections was a meeting with a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examiner. The examiner explained that Stars should change the phrase “folding out of turn” to refer to “when gameplay is at a position of another one of the first plurality of players.”

Thanks to this simple change, PokerStars now owns a key chip with regard to success in the Untied States. Many poker networks around the world are using fast-fold versions to attract more recreational players. After all, fast-fold poker moves players to a new table with fresh cards when they fold – thus allowing for more hands and less waiting.

With the US market still in its infancy, Stars figures to gain a big upperhand once a state does accept their gaming application. The world’s largest poker site definitely has a good opportunity to enter California. Many believe that the Golden State will legalize poker within the next year. And with Stars heavily lobbying politicians in a state with no major casinos – unlike Nevada and Atlantic City – they’re less likely to get shut out of California.

So whenever PokerStars does get accepted into the US, they’ll definitely have one big advantage over everybody else – as if they didn’t already with their massive size and resources.

PokerStars wants to build $10 Million Poker Room in Atlantic City

Friday, October 4th, 2013

PokerStars isn’t giving up on Atlantic City yet. Just months after their failed deal with the Atlantic Club Casino, PokerStars’ parent company, The Rational Group, is seeking to build a $10 million poker room in the East Coast gambling hub.

The $10 million complex would be housed in Resorts Casino Hotel, which hasn’t had a poker room since 2010. Resorts spokesman William J. Pascrell III discussed The Rational Group’s plans for his casino through the following statement:

As soon as the license is in hand, they’re ready to start building. It will be the PokerStars poker room at Resorts. PokerStars is committed to investing significant resources to put in a brand new poker room at Resorts Casino Hotel. In addition to the poker room, they are committed to driving traffic to Atlantic City through their marketing.

Of course, obtaining licensing anywhere in the US has been a chore for PokerStars from day 1. The big reason why The Rational Group lost out on buying the Atlantic Club is because they couldn’t get the state of New Jersey to approve them before a set date. This allowed the Atlantic Club to walk, as per their contract, leaving Stars with millions of dollars in lost money.

It’s a good bet that Stars has learned their lesson this time around, and they likely have a rock-solid contract with Resorts Casino. Assuming The Rational Group gains approval to build their $10 million poker room, it’ll give them a headquarters in the United States.

More importantly, it will put PokerStars in line to serve the ballyhooed US online poker market. Many companies are clamoring to get into New Jersey’s legalized online poker market, which launched on November 26th. And any company that gets in now will have access to multi-state pacts that New Jersey makes with other states. Of course, Stars is mainly focused on accomplishing the first thing: getting a license for their live poker room.

Is Everleaf Gaming going to pay US Players?

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

A few months ago, the online poker world suffered another blow when the Everleaf Gaming network decided to pull out of the US market. Their reasoning was that the US Department of Homeland Security sent them a cease and desist letter, which made banning Americans reasonable. However, what’s not reasonable is the fact that – three months later – no serious efforts have been made to refund players’ money.

Following their pullout from the US online poker market, Everleaf Network sites claimed that American deposits were safe. In fact, a Minted Poker rep even posted a statement in the ever-popular TwoPlusTwo forums that read, “I really understand how this will worry our players especially those in the US, but I also wish to reinforce that ALL monies held by ALL poker players, US and rest of world, are secure and ring-fenced.”

And while US money may be secure, it’s ring-fenced in the pockets of Everleaf Gaming sites. When asked about how players can expect to get their money back, the network offered these two very unhelpful suggestions:

1. Open a Moneybookers or NETeller account, then transfer funds to it.
2. Open a banking account outside the US.

Both of these suggestions are very unrealistic because A) Americans aren’t accepted at Moneybookers and NETeller, and B) traveling to set up a bank account outside of the US pretty much defeats the purpose of getting your money back in the first place.

Poker writer Haley Hintze, who was instrumental in reporting on the injustices of UB Poker over the years, is also active in discussing Everleaf’s lack of effort. She believes that the poker network is essentially letting US players pay for Everleaf’s failed risk. Furthermore, she thinks the Malta license jurisdiction bares some blame here after writing, “As for the LGA (Malta Lotteries and Gambling Authority), its minimal response to recent player complaints leaves little expectation it can proactively move Everleaf toward a prompt payment resolution.”

Long story short, if you’re a US player wondering about Everleaf Gaming payouts, you’re going to be waiting a long time!