partypoker Posts Incredible Growth for 2020, Can Chris Moneymaker Start a Second Poker Boom?, and Las Vegas Sands Sell Up on The Strip

Entain, the parent company of partypoker, has announced incredible figures from 2020 showing 50% growth. When the lockdowns started exactly a year ago the online gambling industry got a much-needed shot in the arm, with major platforms reporting five-year high traffic figures.

By: Mark Patrickson

By the end of the year the boost had started to wane, but not so much at partypoker, apparently. Online poker was by far the biggest contributor to this growth with the management team saying it was “driven by an increased focus on the recreational customer base and targeted marketing.”

One slight niggle towards the end of 2020 was the new German Tolerance Policy. Operators were given very little time to adjust to the new legislation framework to remain legally able to service customers resident in Germany, and hence the Q4 figures took a hit.

We heard that partypoker now expects weaker growth in the German market during 2021 with a potentially super high tax rate on the horizon.

Will Moneymaker Kick Off Boom v2?

Chris Moneymaker is often credited with being the man who made poker what it is today. The accountant from Tennessee famously qualified for the WSOP Main Event via a satellite tournament, and then went on to win the big one. Observers around the world thought that if a regular guy like him can do it then why not them.

Moneymaker has now been brought into a team of poker pros acting for a marketing agency called Above the Felt Entertainment. Faded Spade founder Tom Wheaton intends to use the poker icon to help promote poker within the world of business, along with Jamie Kerstetter, Matt Berkey, and Darren Elias.

Wheaton explains that his new project is a: “new-age experiential talent and marketing agency focuses on connecting poker players, fans, and businesses across industries.”

And added: “Above the Felt combines leading poker personalities and influencers with a specialized ability to elevate events, businesses, and more through innovative partnerships.”

Moneymaker said he has known Wheaton for many years and is impressed with his business skills.

“As a person, I cannot wait to see what he does in this space with Above the Felt. The poker community has an enormous amount to offer, and I’m thrilled to be working with Tom and the team at Above the Felt to expand poker’s reach to companies around the world.”

Matt Berkey is excited that there will now be third parties active on the business side of poker who have the best interests of the players in mind. This, he thinks, is something that is sadly lacking right now.

Las Vegas Sands Sells up

Las Vegas Sands Corp. has finally sold up their remaining properties in Las Vegas and will now concentrate on the Asian market in Macau. The iconic company name will now even change its name to Sands Corp. to reflect the beginning of this new era.

This new direction was already in place before the recent passing of Sheldon Adelson, the long-time CEO. Adelson didn’t think the future was looking so bright for Las Vegas, even before the start of the COVID-19 disaster. But he did think the Lone Star State had potential.

Always an active political donor, Adelson was lobbying for legalised brick-and-mortar gambling in Texas, a position Sands Corp. will continue to push for.

After selling the Venetian Resort, Palazzo and the Sands Convention Center to a private equity firm and a real estate investment trust, Sands Corp. may once again rise to be a power in the gambling industry of the United States. For now, the company who proved to be a long-time enemy of online poker, will no longer have a presence in the country.

World Poker Tour to Complete Postponed 2020 Events

The WPT is to finally complete the three outstanding events that were shelved during the 2020 lockdowns.

The WPT Gardens Poker Championship finished on Sunday night after a whopping 422 days. The chips were last bagged up on January 14, 2020 and Markus Gonsalves put the story to bed by winning what is the longest-running poker tournament in history.

The WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open and WPT L.A. Poker Classic will now finish up between May 16-18 in Las Vegas. 

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