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MORE RUSSIAN MOVES TO BLOCK INTERNET GAMBLING BLACKLISTED SITES?
Addressing Russia's top annual technology and security conference - InfoForum 2015 - last week, Russia's Information Policy and Communications Committee chairman Leonid Levin hinted that the national parliament would consider laws designed to prevent anonymous Internet surfing in order to exclude citizens from undesirable websites - including online gambling enterprises - appearing on the nation's federal blacklist.
Roskomnadzor, Russia's federally mandated agency for the supervision of communications, is charged with maintaining the blacklist of undesirable websites, and for identifying sites that do not comply with national laws.
Once Rozkomnadzor has placed a site on the blacklist, the operator-owner is required to stop access from Russian citizens, but this has become increasingly problematic due to the unilateral nature of the process, and allegations that it has been abused by officials to censor content that is not to the liking of political leaders like the autocratic president, Vladimir Putin.
The result has been what many see as undeserved inclusions on the notorious Russian black list, for example the high profile online poker site Pokerstars, which reportedly has a large following in Russia.
Determined Russian punters have resorted to Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Tor anonymous technology to continue to access the banned sites, and this circumvention now appears to be the next target for Russian apparatchiks.
Whilst observers point out that it may prove to be a nut difficult to crack for officialdom, given the constantly evolving nature of the sophisticated software available, more restrictive legislation in Russia is not an attractive prospect for either punters or the industry.
The warning signs went up several months ago, when Russian officials were offering monetary rewards for information useful in resolving the Tor problem, perhaps motivated by the need to suppress views on the Ukrainian situation that do not jibe with Putin's rhetoric on his ambitions for territorial expansion.
MISSOURI POKER PRO WINS LAST OF THE PRELIMS AT WORLD SERIES OF POKER
Missouri poker pro and primarily NFL Lines cash game player Pat Walsh enjoyed a profitable weekend after claiming his first winner's bracelet and the $923,379 first prize in event 64 of the 2014 World Series of Poker, an excellent return for his $10,000 buy-in for the Pot Limit Omaha competition.
The event, which lasted for 29 one hour levels over three days, was the last of the preliminary competitions leading up to the main event, and attracted an entry field of 418, building a prize pool of $3,929,200.
Walsh turned in a polished and successful performance throughout the event, either holding the chip lead or not being far from it as he powered his way onto a talented final table that was populated by Javed Abrahams, Miltiadis Kyriakides, Isaac Baron, Marko Neumann, Matt Marafioti, Michael Shklover, Michal Maryka and Jonas Entin.
On the way he eliminated aces like Alex Kravchenko and Tom Marchese, denying them the opportunity to join the final table action and heading the final nine players in chip counts, an advantage he managed to retain for much of the final phase of the event.
Heads up, Walsh faced Javed Abrahams, who gave the Missouri pro his first serious challenge by briefly taking the chip lead from him, but it was a temporary lapse for the on-form Walsh, who 18 hands later claimed the honours, leaving Abrahams with the still-impressive $570,284 second prize.
Walsh has two other WSOP cashes on his resume...but none paid as much as this victory.
Other final table pay checks were cut for:
Miltiadis Kyriakides $412,408
Isaac Baron $301,369
Marko Neumann $222,549
Matt Marafioti $166,087
Michael Shklover $125,223
Michal Maryka $95,361
Jonas Entin $73,358
ILLINOIS ONLINE GAMBLING OFF THE TABLE FOR NOW (Update)
Difficulty in reaching a consensus on land gambling expansion with the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemens Association has resulted in state legislators stripping an internet gambling legalisation provision from SB1739 in order to secure agreement.
It is not the first time that politicians in the state have initiated online gambling legalisation proposals, but all have fallen by the wayside.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the current drive for legalisation has not been entirely abandoned, however, and that an internet gambling legalisation proposal is still possible as a stand-alone bill to be introduced in the state Senate soon.
Given the clout of the horseracing faction, which can take online wagers on its races thanks to carve-outs in US federal law, such a move will likely also be strongly opposed.
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FERTITTA CLOSING IN ON INTERNET POKER
Online gambling provider Fertitta Entertainment has moved a step closer to online poker following a deal between its new Ultimate Gaming online brand and Los Angeles-based Central Account Management System (CAMS) that will help it maintain regulatory compliance and accept payments online.
CAMS is to provide Ultimate Gamings new Ultimate Poker online poker enterprise with its Intelligence Suite product and gateway functionality solutions containing IP and mobile geo-location services along with device intelligence, player age verification, payment connectivity, chargeback representment and tokenisation via a single integration to a centralised platform.
Chris Derossi, chief technology officer for Ultimate Gaming, said Thursday:
By working with CAMS we are able to reduce our internal programming costs, centralise many of our daily operating functions and at the same time reduce nearly 30 percent of our upfront and ongoing monthly costs from the same vendors we intended to work with.
Last year saw CAMS become the first service provider to receive a Class Two gaming licence in Nevada so that it could assist potential online operators in complying with KYC requirements, geo-location services and payment connectivity.
CAMS supports the creation of a safe and secure payment environment for casinos, lotteries, brands and players and helps meet or exceed regulatory and compliance requirements," said Matthew Katz, chief executive for CAMS.
Our solutions are specifically tailored for partners like Ultimate Gaming and will become increasingly critical as new United States regulatory markets continue to develop for the online gaming world.