Open or Shut Case: Casino and Cardroom Reopening Tops the Industry News

Plenty of moving and shaking in this weeks industry round-up and most of it concerns the re-opening – or not - of the world’s casinos and cardrooms, and what they will look like if and when they do...

By: Andrew Burnett

Kings Casino to open for cash games

Europe’s biggest cardroom, Leon Tsoukernik’s King’s Casino in Rozvadov, opened its doors this Monday, but tournaments won’t be on the menu just yet.

The host venue for the WSOP Europe, Kings announced that, “Poker cash games, live games like Roulette and Black Jack and Slots will be available,” with the King’s Casino Prague, and Admiral Casino in Rozvadov also re-opening after a 6-week layoff.

The King’s Facebook page states that: “Tournaments won’t take place for now, but we hope we can start with them soon as well.”

The Czech Republic has been largely insulated from the massive death toll in some other parts of Europe and the US, but the important (for poker players and general trade) border with nearby Germany remains closed.

Derby Lane rescinds plan to re-open

Across the Atlantic, the S. Petersburg, Florida, racino at Derby Lane looked like being the first to re-open its doors, Monday 11th May the scheduled date.

However, plans to run from 10am to 10pm with just a quarter of its 52 tables in play, games restricted to 6-max and players required to wear masks during play, were shelved last week.

Derby Lane Spokeswoman Alexis Winning had told local TV reporters: “Players that do not follow our social distancing requirements or act in a way that would cause concerns to other players will be asked to depart company property immediately.”

Their website now states that although racing will commence, the proposed cardroom opening will no longer happen.

Nevada outlines casino reopening rules

In Nevada, the opening restrictions will be much tighter, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) releasing policies for reopening that will restrict poker tables to just 4-max.

That’s the same number as they will allow at roulette, with craps tables set at 6 players and blackjack just 3 players, and the casino will only be allowed to operate at 50% of its capacity overall.

Basing their new rules on health and safety regulations, the casinos will have to provide the NGCB with detailed plans before being allowed to open.

Enhanced hygiene signage and detailed disinfection routines will be mandatory, as well as clear social distancing enforcement and training for staff.

No dates have yet been set for Nevada casinos to re-open.

Venetian Deepstack Championship Poker Series postponed

Tournament poker, as at King’s Casino in the Czech Republic, won’t be back any time soon it appears – the Venetian postponing its Deepstack series one week before it was due to kick off.

The 10-week extravaganza has been put on hold, a tweet from the cardroom stating: “We can confirm that the DeepStack Championship Poker Series will not take place on its originally scheduled dates, May 4 – July 26."

They added: “However, as the current situation evolves, we will review new dates and announce them as soon as they are available.”

With the summer WSOP also postponed until late autumn at earliest, the live poker world looks set to have only short-handed cash games in the foreseeable future.

Matchbook licence suspended and £740,000 fine issued

Away from the open or shut cases of bricks and mortar cardrooms, the Triplebet-owned sportsbetting exchange Matchbook has been fined close to £740,000 the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings.

The sportsbook breached its duty of care and licensing terms in numerous instances according to a UKGC investigation, including a syndicate matching bets of $55m ‘without any documented risk assessment.’

The publication of Matchbook’s failings also highlighted a player who gambled over £2million in one day ‘without any interaction whatsoever’ from the company.

The suspension ‘will remain in place until Triplebet can prove it has implemented the remedial measures required by the Commission.’

UKGC Chief Executive Neil McArthur stated: We will not hesitate to use our regulatory powers, including the suspension and revocation of licences, if we need to do that to protect consumers and the public from gambling related harm.”

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