May 2013 was another big month for the online gambling industry as the march towards legalization in the United States moved forward – and turned into the War by the Shore. Of course there were also the usual outbursts of European liberalization, and even some layoffs.

Here’s the headlines that had the industry talking last month:

Nevada Online Gambling Success  - All right, maybe it’s too early to be calling it a success, but the first few days definitely went well for Ultimate Poker. Within just a couple days of the initial launch, Ultimate had already logged over 100,000 hands and signed up thousands of new players.

Whether Ultimate can sustain this blistering pace or is just enjoying the perks of being able to sign up players at the Stations Casino chain is another question entirely. But, for now, let’s all just raise a glass the initial success of Silver State online gambling.

The War by the Shore

PokerStars is desperate to get a toehold in New Jersey and is dumping buckets of cash on the decrepit Atlantic Club Casino to do so.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) is still steamed at the company for taking US action after 2006 and is doing everything they can to keep the poker giant out of the Garden State.That effort includes filing legal briefs calling the Rational Group (PokerStars’ corporate owner) every name in the book.

When two major players like this go head-to-head, you know that the lawyers will be keeping very busy. It’s a legal drama between parties with some pretty deep pockets and serious financial interests, so don’t expect it to be resolved anytime soon.

California Online Poker Bill

California is nowhere near as far in the igaming race as Nevada/New Jersey, or even Delaware, thanks to constant hectoring from tribal gaming interests. The tribes made that very clear in a proposed poker bill that keeps the state out of interstate gambling compacts; opts out of Federal regulations; and has one of the toughest bad actor clauses we’ve ever seen.

Suffice to say, Californians won’t be (legally) gambling online anytime soon.

More NJ News

New Jersey also took another big step forward in their legalization efforts by publishing a draft version of their online gambling regulations. There weren’t any big surprises but speculation based on the draft suggests that NJ could go live sometime in the fall.

Ladbroke Layoffs

Across the Pond, in the United Kingdom, as many as 100 Ladbrokes employees are staring down redundancy notices. It’s all part of a massive restructuring plan that’s shifting the company’s operating centers towards Tel Aviv.

The bloodletting is an unfortunate necessity given the company’s sluggish profits, especially on casino games.

Dutch Draft Regulations

Over in the Netherlands, the shift towards liberalization has actually been plugging along at a very steady pace. Last month the Dutch Government released a set of draft gambling regulations that, among other things, will shut down De Lotto’s monopoly on sports betting.

Operators facing the lowland lovely will be taxed at 20% of their gross profits and will have to pay around €50,000 ($64,500 USD) for a license.

What impact did these stories have on your business? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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