The battle to legalize online poker continues across the globe. This week, we will start off in Germany and finish off in Massachusetts as we survey the landscape.
Online Poker Coming To Germany?
The current German State Treaty on Gambling has been reconfigured recently, which could pave the way for the arrival of online poker. While it appears it works for them, it still isn't good enough for the European Union, so they have to work on some amendments that appease them. The best proposal seems to have come from the state of Schleswig-Holstein, which had its own licensing system under its previous government.
The European Union Commission has rejected 10 German bills in regards to online poker so far, but Kenny Alexander, the CEO of Gaming VC, really feels strongly that it will get done in 2017. Alexander has a very high stake in this battle as PartyPoker is run by GVC. If he's cautiously optimistic, though, that's a great sign for the poker community in Germany.
Amaya Posts Record Revenues
It's been a rough couple of weeks for Amaya. However, some good news will help lift their spirits. Amaya has reported on their 2016 numbers and the results show record revenues. Getting into the specifics, Amaya saw a $45 million net profit for the fourth quarter of 2016, which is a huge gain on the year before. The fourth quarter of 2015 saw a loss of $15.2 million. On the whole, revenues increased by 5.9 percent to $310.4 million.
Amaya swung to a US$45 million net profit or 23 cents per share for the fourth quarter, which ended December 31, up from a year-earlier loss of $15.2 million or 11 cents per share. Revenue increased 5.9 per cent to US$310.4 million. Now they are estimating that their revenues will rise in 2017 to over $400 million.
While their poker numbers are slumping, they expect to grow their sportsbook and online casino business to offset any losses. Poker revenues were down 5.1 percent in the fourth quarter while sports betting and casino action was up 63%.
Boston Globe Comes Out Against Poker Legalization
And in Boston a newspaper is fronting the battle against the legalization of online poker, as the Boston Globe does not believe that the state should get in on the action. The paper, though, was in favor of gambling via the lottery, which is controlled by the state.
The article claims that no one is going to go to Boston to get a hotel room and play online poker. However, that reasoning omits the fact that someone might travel to Boston to play in an official tournament - that happens quite commonly in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, the three states that have allowed online poker to date.
The article also doesn't mention that many poker players will start online, because going to a casino when you really don't know what you're doing can be intimidating.