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Archive for May, 2016

Merge Gaming Restricts New U.S. Players

Merge Gaming stopped accepting new U.S. players, according to players and two site representatives.  The U.S. country option was removed from the new account form last week at Carbon Poker, PlayersOnly, Sportsbook.ag and SuperBook.  The decision affects the poker platform, casino games and sports betting products. The policy may not be a permanent one, as noted by one representative’s response and past Merge Gaming actions.  Players with an existing account on Merge Gaming will be permitted to stay on the network. Merge Gaming First Restricted New U.S. Players in 2011 In May 2011, PlayersOnly, Sportsbook.ag and SuperBook stopped accepting new U.S. players.  Carbon Poker followed in June 2011. At the time, Merge Gaming was the largest U.S.-facing online poker network.  This was due to the influx of players after Black Friday forced PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Cereus out of the U.S. market.  It was thought at the time that the

Israeli Software Company Creates Facial Recognition Program, Uses It To Identify Professional Poker Players

In this day and age, there are many things or people that we would like to be able to identify simply from their appearance. From judging whether someone has donned a disguise to more sinister implications, such identification would be critical for particular situations. A software company in Israel says it has developed a facial recognition software that they claim can identify terrorists and pedophiles, proving it by identifying…poker players. According to Yahoo! Tech writer Dyllan Furness, The Israeli company Faception (which is a startup that is currently looking for funding) has developed this software and demonstrated it at an unnamed poker tournament. Yahoo! states that the software analyzed 50 amateur players that were in the tournament and, after comparing them to a database of poker professionals, picked four players that the software determined would excel in the event. Of those four players, two of them – amateurs, mind you

Québec Budget Bill Passes, Gambling Site Blacklist May Follow

The Canadian province of Québec passed its budget bill, Bill 74, two weeks ago, an occurrence that would not normally be of much interest to us to anyone outside of Québec. This time, though, things are a bit different, as included in said budget was an authorization for the province to require internet service providers (ISP’s) to block all online gambling sites that are not expressly licensed by the government. This isn’t simply a situation in which unlicensed sites are considered illegal; this is the provincial government mandating internet censorship and deputizing the ISP’s as involuntary cops. The language in the budget bill that puts the ban into place reads as follows: To monitor online gambling, the Consumer Protection Act is amended to require Internet service providers to block access to illegal gambling sites entered on a list drawn up by the Société des loteries du Québec, which must report

Montreal Nationals, London Royals atop GPL Conferences as First Half of Season Closes

The first half of the Global Poker League season has come to a close with a couple of surprising teams atop their individual conference standings. In the GPL Eurasia, the London Royals have slowly been grinding it out and now are in the lead, while the GPL Americas has seen the Montreal Nationals ascend to the pole position of the conference. In the GPL Eurasia, the Royals have been stalking the top of the leaderboard for the past few weeks. With the Moscow Wolverines hitting their stride to take the top slot, the Royals were in a fight with the Paris Aviators for the second place slot in the conference. With one week to go in the first half schedule, the Royals decided to strike and seize the conference lead. The amorous partnership of Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree from the Royals led to a great deal of success for

Pennsylvania Online Gambling Bill Doesn’t Pass; Re-Vote at Future Date

It was a weird day in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Tuesday as legislators voted on whether or not to legalize online gambling, including online poker, in the Commonwealth. It was generally thought that Tuesday would be a close win for the online poker community, but it strangely wasn’t. The conclusion, though, is yet to come. Rep. John Payne introduced HB 649, a bill which would legalize and regulate online gambling, in February of last year. One would have thought that it would be this bill that the representatives would vote on, but instead, up for a vote were two amendments to a different online gaming bill, HB 1925. The two amendments, A7622 and A7619, are quite similar, save for one major difference. A7622 includes language – in addition to online gaming – that would permit non-casinos to have video gaming terminals (VGT’s) on their premises. VGT’s are video slot,