As most of the betting world shifts their focus to college basketball and the March Madness tournament this week, there are a few online poker headlines that are important to know. Here is a look at a number of stories that we've tracked this week from around the world.
Kyllonen Thinks Online Poker is on Decline
Finnish poker player Jens Kyllonen has announced his retirement from playing poker in order to go back to school. Well, technically, he is just continuing with his schooling full-time as Kyllonen went back in 2015, but back then he continued to play poker while he was studying. The most interesting part of his announcement was that Kyllonen said he thinks online poker is on the decline and will continue to do so. He believes that is the case because improving poker software will make the game only beneficial to the sites themselves, not the players, and the pros will either leave or destroy the recreational players. An intriguing take from Kyllonen.
He says that he might try to sneak in a live event every once in a while if he has the time for it, but he is deciding on going into finance and he wants to get into an Ivy League school in America, and that takes a lot of time and dedication.
Online Poker is Struggling In Italy
Moving on to Italy, it appears that online gaming is doing well in the country but the poker numbers are sluggish. Online sports betting brought in over $883 million last month, between online and brick-and-mortar casinos. Almost $461 million of that came from the online sector, an increase of 30% from February 2016, and 7% more than January. Bet365 is the king of the online betting world in Italy, with Eurobet, Sisal, Snai and William Hill coming in the top five, but those four combined don't bring in more than Bet365.
However, if there is something to worry about it, it's online poker as the tournament fees for February suffered a drop of 16.5% from January and cash games declined by 11%. Maybe the retiring Kyllonen has a point. However, the big winners of all this is the Italian government, who brought in $14,491,336,915 from their revenues in 2016.
Few Conservatives Support Adelson's Aim To Keep Online Gaming Banned
Finally, it is on to the United States, where the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) took place in February. Internet gaming was brought up as Pennsylvania, New York and California seem to be leading the charge to join Nevada and New Jersey in legalizing online gaming. A whopping 90% (give or take) said that they were opposed to banning online gaming.
Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, is one of the leading proponents of keeping it banned because he's worried about losing foot traffic in his Las Vegas casinos. Adelson is also a big proponent of the RAWA, which is the Restoration of America's Wire Act, and the Federal Wire Act of 1961. In short, he just wants to make online gaming either illegal or as difficult to access as possible.