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Resurgence of televised poker tournaments
Thursday June 6,2013 : MORE TELEVISION COVERAGE FOR LIVE POKER EVENTS
Thanks to US developments in online poker legalisation, we could see a resurgence of televised tournaments
Ten years ago, poker shows proliferated on TV, but political and legal events caused the games popularity to fade, says an article published by Reuters this week, which opines that the US trend toward state-by-state legalisation of online poker has motivated the networks into extending coverage once more.
"Online poker will introduce a lot of new people to the game and I think that will bring another big wave to television," Jamie Horowitz, vice president original programming and production for Walt Disney's ESPN, told the news agency.
ESPN televises the popular World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament, currently taking place in Las Vegas, and will air 26 segments on WSOP starting on July 23.
This week, CBS's Showtime will air for the first time on TV a 2009 documentary called "All In - The Poker Movie," about how poker has come to be part of the mainstream culture.
Reuters reports that Hollywood agents, TV executives, poker and gaming executives have been meeting to discuss and pitch new poker programs, from reality shows about female tournament players, to shows potentially featuring new online gaming companies.
In the wake of Black Friday, US networks slashed shows, but then the DOJ in late 2011 changed its policy on what constituted illegal gambling under the Wire Act, conceding that it applied only to sportsbetting. That provided the impetus for many states to start considering online gambling options, with Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey introducing new legislation permitting the pastime under licence and regulatory requirements.
Larry Gerbrandt, principal of Media Valuation Partners, told Reuters that the last poker TV boom helped offshore online poker sites to drive viewers to their sites, and he observed that it will take similar investment by fledgling online gaming companies to fuel television, although he believes poker show ratings are already rising.
Comcast's NBC Universal's E! Network told Reuters that it is developing a new reality show called "Queens are Wild" that follows four top female poker players who room together as they travel the world and compete to win millions.
Ben Spector, of Los Angeles-based Tollin Productions, said he was approached by top Hollywood agency CAA to pitch the reality show on female poker players to networks.
Gary Quinn, vice president, programming, NBC Sports Group, said the unit is in discussions about different poker projects. It airs the "National Heads Up Poker Championship" and brought back "Poker After Dark" in 2012 after withdrawing it a few years earlier.
Reuters reports that new online gaming companies are mulling TV opportunities. Station Casino Inc's Ultimate Gaming, the first company to present online poker in the U.S. in Nevada, is in discussions with networks.
"We are speaking with NBC and Fox and several other networks to see what the appetite is for the category over the next 24 months," Joe Versaci, Ultimate Gaming's chief marketing officer, told Reuters.
Versaci said that he and others are watching California closely because of its size and the possibility of online poker legalisation. "What happens in California in late 2014 and 2105 will be key, not only because it's the epicenter of where TV is produced, but because it's like a country itself and can support a large poker market," he said.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
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