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While industry changes dominated the fall and winter months, other stories have unfolded throughout the year.

And some stories are likely to be important over the next decade.
The biggest story of 2006 could turn out to be one such problem.

1) US bans internet gambling, other countries regulate internet gambling

Congress took the step of banning internet gambling under the Enforcement of Illegal Internet Gambling Act of 2006. The law does not actually ban internet gambling, but it does prohibit banks and financial institutions from processing transactions for internet gambling companies. As a result, several large online businesses, including Party Poker, stopped accepting American plays in October.

Meanwhile, many in the European Union have taken steps to regulate internet gambling. The U.K., Spain, and Italy have all turned to regulation, while France and Germany have taken similar positions as the U.S. Pass a bill to make internet gambling illegal.

Meanwhile, British Culture Secretary Tessa Jewell led a 30-nation conference that discussed the best ways to manage internet gambling (the U.S. did not participate). There was little agreement from the group, except for deciding that a ban would do nothing more than underground the industry.

This story is here to stay for a while, and in 2007 the world must provide a number of exciting developments to tackle internet gambling.

2) Hara has been sold

On Dec. 19, two private equity firms acquired Hara Entertainment for $17.1 billion. This proves once again that ground-based gaming is one of the most profitable industries in the world.

Internet poker is struggling with regulatory issues, while Internet-based gaming is booming. Most major casino companies are expanding their operations. And reports of televised poker games are at an all-time high, which is firmly led by the Harrah-owned WSOP.

Harra’s purchase price is worth more than the entire online gaming industry ($12 billion). And Harra employs more than 80,000 people across its network of 39 gaming regions around the world.

3) Harrer’s New Orleans to reopen after Katrina

Hara’s New Orleans reopened Feb. 20 just in time to welcome back more than 1,500 employees for the tourist-rich Mardi Gras event.

Once the crown jewel of the Hara Entertainment business, the New Orleans casino was forced to close in August 2005 after flooding from Hurricane Katrina shut down most of the city.

People once questioned whether New Orleans could bounce back from the tragedy, but staff-oriented venues like Harah’s and Superdome reopened, ending some of the speculation and bringing the city much needed revenue.

In May, the South’s largest poker room became the host of a successful World Series poker circuit event, proving that Hara’s New Orleans and the city itself were back to business as usual.

4) Sands Opens Online Casino

Later this year, Las Vegas Sands surprised the international gambling community by announcing it was working with Canter Gaming to open online casinos aimed at the European market.

UIGEA’s already upset internet gamblers are fuming. Taking American players risks arresting them, but Sands, an American company, is free to enter European and Asian markets. Sands online casinos do not accept American players when they open.

Other American brick and mortar casinos have opened online casinos in the past (for example, MGM), but have never found themselves profitable. Apparently, the mood has changed enough that the Sands believe it’s worth another try.

5) Macao

According to Francis Tam, Macau’s economy and finance minister, the former Portuguese colony earned more gaming revenue than Las Vegas in the third quarter. It was the first time the small Asian territory had overtaken it in the sector. And some experts said Macau beat Las Vegas, making Macau the world’s largest gaming hub during that time.

Macau games grossed more than $6.25 billion in 2006, and some analysts expect them to surpass Las Vegas this year, which earned just over $7 billion in 2006.

Macau already has 24 casinos and is expanding quickly. Construction is already underway for the $975 million MGM Macau. And as major gaming brands such as The Sands and Wynn Casino focus on Macau, it will be a top gambling destination for years to come.

6) The owners are going crazy

While many countries were taking steps to regulate or ban internet gambling, France and the United States supported the pros’ conversation by arresting internet gambling executives. The United States caught David Carruthers, a former CEO of BetOn Sports, and Peter Diggs, a non-executive chairman of Sporting Bet. Diggs was later released when New York Governor George Pataki refused to extradite him to Louisiana. Carruthers is still awaiting trial in Missouri. Meanwhile, France arrested two CEOs of Bwin, Manfred Bodner and Norbert Teufelberger. Both CEOs have been released, but they are unlikely to return to France anytime soon.

7) Seminole Nation Rocks

A Seminole Tribe in Florida bought the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino brand for $965 million in December.

The deal includes four hotels, 124 restaurants, and the world’s largest collection of rock and roll memorabilia. One of the world’s largest, the Hard Rock brand spreads Seminole Nation’s interests across the United States and across Canada, Europe, Australia, and Puerto Rico.

More than 3,300 Seminole Americans are benefiting from tribal gaming interests, a major turnaround the U.S. dreamed of for those once in need.

8) a poker-tech table

PokerTek may have planted the seeds for the future of offline casino poker in 2006, brokering deals with casinos in Michigan, Australia, and even Carnival Cruise ships. Automated poker tables eliminate the need for dealers and increase the number of hands per hour by 50 percent, bringing more rakes to casinos and more benefits to winning players.

9) The Rise of WSOP Brand

The biggest World Series in poker history proves poker’s legitimacy as a sport and the WSOP brand’s viability. Raising a whopping number of players and cash prizes, WSOP officials won their first $12 million championship and guaranteed returns on their merchandise, television broadcasts, video games, and circuit tournaments.

The WSOP has also cemented poker’s standing as an international cultural icon. Jamie Gold, the 2006 main event and main event champion, was sued for breaking a contract with professional player Crispin Leyser. As poker entered the new era, it shed its simple gambling image and entered the realm of big business sports.

Finally, the 2006 WSOP incorporated the coveted idea of “gold bracelets” into mainstream American consciousness. Fanfare followed Phil Helmus’ quest for the tenth gold bracelet and poker statistics (who has the most gold bracelets, who is the oldest champion in the sport, and so on).

10) Hockey Betting Scandal

Of course, there was also an underground gambling center larger than the February bust of Rick Tochet, assistant coach of the Phoenix Coyote. But there is no bigger name in hockey than Wayne Gretzky. And while Great One appears to have avoided the investigation, his wife seems to have placed more than $500,000 in bets placed during the investigation, including $75,000 in the Super Bowl.슬롯사이트 추천

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