The online poker industry in Germany is going through a catastrophic change that threatens to derail the entire sector of the country. On July 1, following the adoption by the Bundestag, a 5.3% rollover tax law came into force, which ignored the opponents’ demands for a rethink.
The new tax legislation targets online poker and online slots and is considered excessive, driving players into the unregulated market. Affected companies have accused German politicians of deliberately preferring stationary casinos by making competition virtually impossible for online operators and risking not generating any significant income if the industry collapses.
The main problem is switching to a rollover tax from one that only takes into account revenue and profits. The rollover tax treats every hand or slot machine as a special event that inflates the tax bill many times what would be due in a normal casino when we would normally expect it to be the other way round.
The result is that many large operators are currently sorting out the range of games for residents of Germany and drastically reducing traffic. We hope that common sense will prevail and some kind of agreement will be reached to find a workable solution.
The Las Vegas tournament scene is on the rise
Even without the World Series of Poker kicking off the summer in Las Vegas, reports are coming in on how well supported the card rooms are on the Strip. The Wynn and the Venetian, in particular, deserve a lot of credit for the events they host every day.
The city seems to be full of great poker names from many different eras. Bryn Kenney was led on Day 1B of the Wynn Millions, while Johnny Chan represented characters from a bygone era.
Cash games are reportedly not as popular right now as they were 18 months ago, but the situation is quickly improving as the US pulls out of the pandemic.
WPT sales more complicated than expected
The World Poker Tour (WPT) sale has finally closed with Element Partners, LLC, the proud new owners of one of the largest poker brands. This ends a saga that includes a bidding war and shareholders who cannot agree whether to sell or not.
Late last year, Element Partners, an American private equity firm, submitted a $ 78.25 million offer to acquire the WPT brand, which was initially accepted. The deal was slated to close in January 2021, when out of the blue the gambling and betting company Bally’s Corporation jumped in with a counter offer that sparked a bidding war.
Eventually, Element Partners revealed who had the deepest pockets by increasing their offering to $ 105 million and selling back on track. But then a civil war broke out between the executives of two of the WPTs-controlling companies.
Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc. was the parent company of WPT, but Ourgame International Holdings, Ltd. held a nearly 50% stake in this company and did not agree to the distribution of the proceeds. The differences of opinion are murky, typical boardroom gimmicks, but eventually everyone got what they wanted and the sale went off.
Phil Ivey gets into NFTs
Phil Ivey moves with the times by signing a partnership with NFT sales platform Ethernity Chain to produce unique merchandising items that promote his image. The “Ivey Collection” is a series of digital collectibles that are not only unique, but also offer the opportunity to compete against the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner yourself.
“Ethernity Chain Collectors can collect all 5 Phil Ivey Editions (10, J, Q, K and win the Ace) to achieve a“ Royal Flush ”.
“If you hit the royal flush, you will have the opportunity to play a charity poker game with Phil Ivey. This will be a highly curated, real-life game on board a luxury yacht in Miami in the coming Fall / Winter 2021. ”
In case you’re wondering how expensive this equipment will be, the Ace cards are auctioned off at $ 4,000. Fortunately, the ten-card is a cheaper $ 199 for fans who don’t want to spend a hefty sum.