It was another busy week in poker as we saw several major developments take place across the globe. A few of them happened on Friday, as PokerStars added a license in Malta and Chiligaming entered the U.S. market by partnering with the Golden Nugget. We'll cover those stories and more in this edition of the Nightly Turbo.
In Case You Missed It
How was the high-stakes action at the PokerStars tables this week? Read the Online Railbird Report to find out the week's biggest winners and losers.
Thursday's hearing in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs focused on the DOJ's opinion on the Wire Act and what it means for Indian tribes. Matthew Kredell takes a look at the first poker-related Senate hearing of 2012.
Poker scenes in movies and television are becoming easier to pick apart these days. Rich Ryan discusses why fictional poker is so painful to watch.
Miss anything this week? We've got you covered. Sarah Grant and Kristy Arnett get you caught up on the latest news, views and gossip in the PokerNews Weekly.
Everleaf Withdraws from U.S. and France
On Thursday, players in the United States and France were informed that they can no longer access any of the 100-plus skins on the Everleaf Poker Network. The network updated its Terms and Conditions on to read the following:
"No person who is resident in Malta, France and USA may open an account, play, or in any other way participate in the ELG offerings and/or services."
According to a post by a Minted Poker rep at TwoPlusTwo, Everleaf decided to withdraw from the U.S. after the network received a cease and desist order from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
"The network owners have today sought legal advice and also met with the LGA, the Maltese Licensing Authority, who have advised them that due to the nature of the threat and the current climate, the network needs to withdraw its services from US customers," said the representative.
For more, check out the story at PokerNews.com.
PokerStars Adds Another Gaming License
PokerStars was granted an operating license in Malta this week, paving the way for the company to roll out a new site which will benefit players in several European markets.
PokerStars.eu is expected to launch in the next few weeks. The site will not be segregated from the other PokerStars sites; its purpose is to better serve the needs of its European players. More details on the new site are expected next week.
"We expect our Malta license will immediately benefit players who have told us they want to share in the benefits — such as clarity around taxation — that some jurisdictions offer to sites with a license from European Union nations," said Eric Hollreiser, head of corporate communications at PokerStars.
Read more at PokerNews.com.
Online Poker Traffic Report
PokerScout.com has released its online poker traffic rankings for the previous week. The tracking site reported an overall increase of 11 percent, with each of the top 10 sites climbing from the prior week.
PokerStars held strong at No. 1 and was also the biggest gainer of the week. The site's traffic rose by 18 percent, mostly because of its 75 Billionth Hand promotion. As many as 75,887 players were playing real-money cash games on PokerStars before the 75 billionth milestone hand was dealt on Saturday, Feb. 4. Even more amazing, PokerStars' traffic for the week was down only 2 percent from the same point last year and that's without its largest market — the U.S.
As for year-over-year numbers, online poker has seen a worldwide decline of 24 percent since this time last year. Most of that falloff can be attributed to the departure of Full Tilt Poker and the CEREUS Network, but the Entraction Network (down 51 percent) and PKR (down 27 percent) have seen a significant decline.
Among the biggest climbers over the past year are the Merge Gaming Network (up 99 percent), 888poker (up 79 percent) and Bodog (up 49 percent).
Read the full report at PokerScout.com.
Chiligaming Enters U.S. Gaming Market
In a joint statement on Friday, Chiligaming and the Golden Nugget announced a gaming partnership that will help position both companies for legalized online gaming in the United States. The deal will see Chiligaming provide a free-to-play online poker site for the Golden Nugget later this year.
"Chiligaming is thrilled to partner with Golden Nugget, which has a very strong brand presence across the U.S.," said Chiligaming founder and CEO Alexandre Dreyfus in a press release. "With its Las Vegas, Laughlin and Atlantic City properties, it is ideally and uniquely positioned for all of the online developments that lie ahead."
Read the full story at PokerNews.com.
Another Extension for the Big Three
PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker have been granted another extension to respond to the amended complaint filed by the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York on Sept. 21, 2011.
Three separate Stipulation and Orders filed on Feb. 8, 2012, state that the three sites have until March 19, 2012, to answer or otherwise respond to the amended complaint. The same extension date was given to Full Tilt Poker board members Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer and Rafe Furst last month.
For a closer look at the Order of Stipulations, visit PokerNews.com.
"The Hand" Premiers on Velocity Tonight
The Epic Poker League $20,000 Mix-Max Event premiers Friday night at 10 p.m. on the Velocity Network. You won't want to miss this one: as you may recall, Joe Tehan, Faraz Jaka and Vanessa Rousso played a hand on the money bubble that will be talked about for years.
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