The news in the US about online poker keeps getting better. Nick and Mike bring you the latest developments surrounding the Wire Act and interstate liquidity sharing. The guys also discuss the latest round of updates to the Run It Once software and the news out of Europe about legislation that affects online poker in Switzerland and the Netherlands.
- The latest on the DOJ’s enforcement of the Wire Act
- Run It Once poker updates its software
- Legislative news about online poker in Switzerland and the Netherlands
- Outro – Nick’s birthday plans
Mike: Hello and welcome, everybody, to the 18th edition of the Pokerfuse Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Gentile, along with my co-host, Nick Jones, who has a birthday today. Happy Birthday, Nick. How’s it going?
Nick: Thank you very much. Yes, I’m doing very, very well. Thank you very much. Having a good birthday. I’m very excited to be recording on my birthday. Obviously, that’s a dream come true.
Mike: Yes, ticking a box on your bucket list.
Nick: It’s a big bucket list item that I can say is done now. Just this climbing Everest and I can die a happy man, sir.
Mike: [chuckles] All right. You know what? I have some questions to ask you about your plans for your birthday, but why don’t we save that for the outro since we’re always lacking some interesting things to talk about on that end of the podcast.
Nick: That’s some tantalizing foreshadowing, Mike. Excellent. Excellent work. We [crosstalk] to this.
Mike: A lot of things to talk about this week?
Nick: There’s a lot to talk about this week. Being that I have exactly one hour until my birthday celebrations commence, we better crack on and get through it.
Nick: Big news that just happened in the last 24 hours that I, myself, having been off for a birthday celebration, haven’t quite caught up on. Mike, I hope you can fill us in with the details. We’ve got more developments and positive developments for US online poker that just happened.
Mike: Yes. Late yesterday, we got a new memo from the Department of Justice extending the enforcement deadline until the end of the year or after the time when the New Hampshire Lottery Commission judgment is officially entered, whichever is later is what they claim. Basically, we are looking at 2020 before the DOJ will look to enforce any type of charges related to the Wire Act.
Nick: This is a huge news from my perspective. Initially, this new interpretation, they put out a memo saying a deadline to 60-days time, you have to bring your operations within that time frame. They added a 30-day extension to that. Now, we’re looking at a six-month extension in what seems to be in direct response to what we talked about a couple of weeks ago on the podcast, the New Hampshire lottery ruling.
Mike: Yes. The previous deadline was actually tomorrow, June 14th. They have come out and they’ve extended it. A couple of interesting things that I’ve noted in the memo which will be in a forthcoming article on Poker Industry PRO. A lot of this case revolved around the language of the Wire Act. Did it include sports? Did it not include sports? Well, now, I’m looking at the language of the Department of Justice and I’m starting to have questions in regard to that as well.
They have been very careful not to call the period of time any kind of grace period because grace period by definition implies that there’s no penalty for any actions that happened during that period. In the memo itself, they are very careful to call it a forbearance period, which just extends the time that they choose to prosecute and still reserve the right to look back and say to someone, “Hey, you broke the law during this period of time. Perhaps we will pursue charges at a later date.”
Nick: I mean, what a ridiculous gray area that they’re constructing there then. They basically think we probably won’t look at this time, but we withhold the right to “maybe we will.”
Mike: Similar to what they told the New Hampshire lottery in an attempt to try and get their case dismissed, they said, “Well, you know what? We’re not going to pursue lottery. Therefore, you don’t have standing to take us to court on this issue,” which, obviously, the judge did not agree with.
Nick: You’re saying the date is either the end of this year or when— I mean, is the implication there for that they’re going to be appealing this New Hampshire ruling and it’s going to be what happens in that scenario?
Mike: Right. There is no indication of whether or not they intend to appeal. The official language of the memo says that the forbearance deadline has been extended until December 31st, 2019, or 60 days after entry of final judgment in the New Hampshire litigation, whichever is later. I’m assuming that that final judgment will happen prior and that the December 31st deadline will be the new deadline going forward.
Nick: This, to me, really adds some clarity to the situation and to the ramifications for this New Hampshire decision because when it came across, there was definitely some divide and some mix of reporting about whether this was a significant deal or not. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago, and we certainly came down on the side that this had quite wide ramifications despite the ruling and not having— the judgment didn’t expand beyond the companies.
The implications of what the judge was saying seemed to ultimately still have implications on, for example, the World Series of Poker and their operations. We got some support of that interpretation when the WSOP last week decided that they would continue their operations in New Jersey, crossing state boundaries in Nevada through the WSOP bracelets and beyond. Certainly, the DOJ’s decision just underscores that this ruling in New Hampshire does have an impact in the wider industry.
Mike: Yes, so the conservative opinions about the New Hampshire decision were that this applies only to New Hampshire and their vendors as they operate in States across the US. I was a bit surprised, given that conservative opinion being out there, that the World Series decided to go ahead and say, “Hey, we are going to continue to offer play to people that are in New Jersey because of that pending deadline,” but perhaps, they knew something that we didn’t because in the end, prior to that deadline being met, the DOJ once again extended that enforcement deadline.
Nick: Yes. This six-month period seems like a lot of time that other cases similar to the New Hampshire one could be brought against upon the justice if necessary.
Mike: Right. As we talked about previously, being that now, even if the New Hampshire case does only apply to them and their vendors, it still sets a precedent. The World Series of Poker Caesars, for example, could come right up and file a similar lawsuit and expect similar results.
Nick: I think we talked about it last week, there is nothing really in this court case that was brought by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission that really pertained to lotteries in particular. They just talked about that they operate across state lines, the payment processing occurs across the state lines, “Judge, can you rule on whether what we currently do? It breaches this new interpretation of the Wire Act.
The judge said that the interpretation late last year is bunk, and the one that they made in 2011 stands. Caesars must be sitting there now and other operators must be sitting there now, even like someone like PokerStars that’s in New Jersey. It’s going to launch in Pennsylvania as soon as next month. It will ultimately want to combine their playing polls if and when Pennsylvania joins a multi-state iGaming agreement.
They’re going to be looking now and going like, “Well, we want a decision also on the book saying that our operations can cross state lines in the Wire Act interpretation made last year.” It doesn’t have standing.
Mike: Yes, you would think so, especially because they are publicly traded companies looking to protect the interest of their shareholders. I would think that they would want to definitely have something on the books when it comes to reading the tea leaves, so to speak. It’s interesting that we didn’t see any pullback from any of the financial institutions. They’re typically some of the most conservative when it comes to putting their business in jeopardy. We did not see that.
That’s an indication to me that perhaps, there’s not thoughts throughout the industry and beyond that this new DOJ interpretation is going to stick. Another event to look forward to in the next six months is what, if anything, does Pennsylvania do? Now, they had originally stated that they were not going to join the multi-state agreement to share liquidity with New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware initially at launch.
However, David Rebuck, the director of the DGE in New Jersey, has stated previously that he has been in conversations with Pennsylvania and that he expects them to join. Over the course of the next six months, that’s something that I’ll be looking at to see if Pennsylvania makes any move or indication that they are going to start to move forward with joining the other states and sharing liquidity.
Nick: Yes, very well said. There we are. A couple of fantastic pieces of news really, back to back with the New Hampshire decision and then the Department of Justice’s latest position and extension that they’ve got. Great to see some good news for the US online poker and online gaming. Yes, I suppose you’ve got to be optimistic really about the future of US online poker now.
Mike: Yes. It’s looking like it’s trending in the right direction. We’ve got Pennsylvania coming online this year. We’ve got West Virginia that also legalized it. That’s starting to create some momentum. The piece that’s really going to make a difference is if and when Pennsylvania joins the multi-state agreement and we start seeing the revenues in the other states rise. That’s really going to be the impetus for other states to join. Let’s not forget, we also have partypoker GVC pursuing license and getting a license in Nevada. Yes, things are definitely trending upward for online poker in the US.
Mike: Run It Once is making news this week with a new update to their software. I saw that Phil Galfond put out a video of him playing on the test bed. I’m not sure, have those upgrades gone live yet, Nick?
Nick: Yes, they finally have. The deployment of this update was not a smooth process. I think they actually had a full 24, maybe 36 hours of downtime last week. It’s been out now a week. Now that it’s been fully deployed, it is a much more stable build. We haven’t really talked about Run It Once much since they launched back in January, February time. They’ve been around a while. They made quite a big splash when they launched back then, the client was—
Mike: I see what you did there, big splash.
Nick: Yes. They have some really interesting features, Splash the Pot being one. Also it is just quite an opinionated client, did a lot of things that people wanted to see. I don’t want to say it felt polished because it was buggy, but the bits that weren’t buggy were very polished like the UI, in my mind, felt very good. We had quite a lot of coverage, we talked about it quite a bit, and they’ve been quiet over the last four or five months. I think one of the reasons is they were putting together this new build.
Mike: What are some of the new features that we see? As you have stated earlier, the stability of the software, in general, was greatly improved. From watching Phil talk about it, that seemed to be the thing that he was most proud of, but there’s been other improvements as well. What more do we know?
Nick: Definitely, yes. The behind the scenes stuff was the biggest— the visible changes. They have a light theme to go along their dark theme. They have multiple colors in their themes. There are a few just like nice quality of life improvements, just things you’d expect in other software. There’s no major, big new feature. They definitely haven’t done any of the big features that they ultimately need, like they don’t have resizable tables, they don’t have tournaments or Sit-and-Go’s, they don’t have a mobile client.
All these are still outstanding. They’ve been so marred by stability problems that if this is the big build that fixes all that and lays the groundwork, and now they can hopefully iterate a bit faster, this might be a real key deployment that they’ve had.
Mike: Yes. Phil referred to it as “foundational improvements,” which could definitely support, like you say, quicker iterations and more improvements to come.
Nick: Yes. One big thing they have actually done which, I think I did a tweet thread a couple of months back about it. One of the biggest problems that they have with this client is that it didn’t have automatic update. Every time they wanted to deploy a new version, it popped up saying this new version, you had to go to the site, download it, sometimes, even uninstall the old client.
That’s just a huge issue for all your players to have to go through this, particularly when these updates are fixing, ultimately, small bugs. It’s a lot to ask from your players. Having built-in updates that the customer doesn’t have to go through that process, it’s hugely important. That was included in this build. That’s a big step forward. In fact, what they’ve done, also, with the launch of this, they’ve launched a big promotion called 101% Week which started yesterday and it runs for a week.
Normally, they give back 51% of all already collected through the splash the pot system, which is their rewards program. For this week, they’re giving back 101%. They’re giving back just more than the entire rate they’ve collected through a variety of promotions throughout the week.
Mike: That sounds like they’re definitely trying to get the players’ attention with this new update that they’ve deployed. I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on just the future of Run It Once? I know that when they came out, there was a lot of buzz. Then, it seemed like things died down pretty quickly because of some of the problems they were having.
Nick: Yes. This is definitely the big question in my mind. In lots of people’s minds, it is, Did they launch too early?” They launched with a client that they knew was nowhere near the level that they wanted it. Even today, it’s not. As I say, resizable tables, that’s the basic thing you need to have. A mobile client, in my mind, you need to have that. They’re not live in certain markets that they probably really want to be, Denmark and Sweden being probably the top two.
There’s just lots of stuff there that they haven’t got. Should they have waited until they got to that point. Now, the reasons to wait are, of course, when you launch, there’s a lot of buzz. You want your product to look great and the players to stick around. Of course, if you wait, then you can end up waiting forever and you never get to the launch day. You want to launch early, then you can collect feedback from customers, but are you just going to annoy customers this whole time because they’re basically working on a beta client?
These questions are very interesting. I’ve seen a lot of comments in social media of people saying that they should have waited and they should have launched. What we’ve actually seen, so this promotion only started yesterday. It’s definitely the biggest promotion they’ve ever done. They’re not giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars or anything, it’s just quite a nice promotion, quite fun. Yesterday’s traffic, and this is just a single day traffic, it tripled.
When they launched, they had about 100 concurrent cash game players, a pretty solid start. It since, over the last five months, dwindled to almost nothing. We’re talking like 20 concurrent cash game players. The reality there is during off-peak times, there might be no tables running. I tried to play a couple of games yesterday morning. I was testing out this new update. I couldn’t get a no limit hold’em game going at 10:00 in the morning UK time.
There was one game going. In the evenings, there might be a few tables but that’s it. That’s not where you want to be with an online poker room. Yesterday, they launched this 101% week, and they had— I think they averaged 97 concurrent players. That’s like almost back to their launch amount. It’s not costing them that much. This new stable client plus this promotion, it’s looking like— and it’s just one data point. We’ll have to see how it goes. Basically, you don’t just lose the interest of players.
Players still have their money on the site. You say you got a new client, you got a cool promotion, people are going to come back and try it. Maybe they haven’t burn that bridge and they haven’t burned that launch buzz that you only get one time. They might be able to continue iterating and growing. In my mind, it just comes down to how long their runway is. They are not making money right now, I doubt. This is, I doubt, a profitable enterprise for them. I expect they didn’t think within six months it would be. I don’t know. From a business perspective, it’s how long can they go until they hit that critical mass where they are covering their bills.
Mike: Right. Looking at it from that aspect, it really doesn’t matter much if they launched or not. The key there is that they’re not wasting that goodwill or the goodwill capital that they’ve built up with the community. That’s evident by how quickly they just snapped back to their traffic numbers that they had achieved at launch.
Nick: Yes. It must be incredibly frustrating for Phil Galfond and the team to be— You’re getting all this feedback from customers. The one thing they have done is their customer support has remained excellent throughout. People give you all these feedbacks. Just simple things like, “Why can’t you just make this change or have this color or make this tweak?”
You just have to say like, “Yes, that’s coming.” You just spent four months going, “Yes, that’s coming.” Plus, the customers, they are obviously going to get frustrated, but you’re sitting there going, “Yes, of course, we could get a couple of developers to do a different theme or change that bet slider, but we’re working on this big and new stable build which hopefully will fix all of these bugs.”
It takes weeks and weeks and it gets pushed back and it gets slower and slower and, “You need a mobile club,” but you don’t want to divert your attention to that. I can understand how frustrating it is. This update, the reality is I don’t think it’s fixed most people’s big complaints. No one was sitting there going, “We need a light theme.” No one was sitting there going, “I don’t think—” One of the bugs they fixed was that nobody was getting picked a female avatar when they sat at the tables.
You’ve got to fix that because you don’t want that hanging over . Probably, no one’s going, “I’m coming back to play Run It Once now because I randomly get picked a female avatar,” I doubt, but you still need to have it. There’s still a bug that I’ve seen in their release notes, which is if you try and sign up and your first line in your address has two spaces in, then it errors out. You don’t want that.
It probably took us almost as long writing the FAQ that that’s a problem than it would have been getting them to fix it, but you’ve got to try and balance these things. I’ve never run a development team that large, but I can empathize with the frustration from Phil and probably his tech lead. I’m just hoping that this is a big one has worked out a lot of technical debts that they probably inherited. I think they’ve gone through basically two development teams, then they can move forward and it’s way faster.
Mike: Yes. It sounds like what they’re doing is they’re building quality software at its core. No matter what the initial response is from players, I think that that will benefit them as a company in the long term, whether they choose to try and recreate the buzz around the launch that they had, or even if as a company, if they decide that they want to license out this software to other vendors in emerging markets such as the US space. I think that there’s a lot of opportunity for a solid piece of online poker software in the industry.
Mike: We’re seeing some progress with regulation in Europe recently. I see that Switzerland is in the news, along with the Netherlands now. Just to bring our listeners up to speed, Netherlands have been pushing to get online gaming law implemented for years. I was under the impression that they had finally cleared the big hurdles at the end of last year and that we were on track to see something happening either by the end of this year or early 2020. What’s the latest on that front, Nick?
Nick: Yes, so Netherlands is still happening. I’m not sure if we would have talked about it once in this podcast, again, because the timelines is so long that even if we’ve been doing this for like five months now, I’m not sure there’s been an update in that period of time. It is still happening. Last year, we did finally see after years and years of kind of maybes, one bill did pass house, and then questions were asked and questions were answered. It seemed like it was on a legislative path. It still is.
What we saw this week is that the regulator, there was a gaming in Holland conference and it was attended by the chairman of the— I’m not going to try and pronounce the name of the regulator in Dutch. It’s called the KSA, is the abbreviation. Rene Jansen addressed the crowd and talked about their timelines going on. There is still some legislative steps to take which are outside the KSA’s powers, but they said that that is proceeding.
There is a building drafted for the lower house is the final step, I think. Once that’s done, they can start drafting regulations. They said the timeline that they are working to is that— Let me just get the dates right. They expect the market to go live on January 1st, 2021. We’re 18 months out. They think in a year’s time, the licensing process will commence, and then they will have a six-month licensing and application process. Still 18 months away. Everyone’s been waiting six years, so what’s another 18 months? [chuckles]
Mike: Wow. I got some questions. It’s not finalized because they’re waiting for additional legislation and they’re refraining from drafting regulations until that is passed? It seems like if they’re that confident that this is going to pass and be put in place, that they would have already started drafting regulations. It’s not like they’re recreating the wheel here. There’s plenty of jurisdictions for them to draw expertise upon.
Nick: Yes. There’s still some open questions, and a big one is— so the law that passed had specified that illegal gambling operators that targeted the Dutch market must face a cooling off period. What this is defined by is pretty critical to the industry, and the regulator doesn’t know. It’s basically— I want to see if I can find the quote here, but Jansen basically said, or it might be Jansen, so I apologize, I may be getting that wrong, but they basically said they need to get that clarification from the lawmakers how to interpret this, because it has not been clearly defined. Now, what everyone’s assuming— Jansen basically said in his speech that it’s going to be something like that. They currently have these—
Mike: Three criteria or something.
Nick: Yes, they have these prioritization criteria, which is similar to what we talked about in the first segment about gray area legality. It’s so bizarre because they’re basically saying, “Anyone who takes Dutch customers is, in effect, breaking the law. Our law states that you can’t offer online gambling to customers in this country, and so you’re breaking the law.” As it stands today, everyone operates in the Netherlands.
Everyone takes bets and takes deposits from poker players from customers in the Netherlands, A, because they’re in the European Union so they can’t prohibit access under EU free trade law. Also, because they can say, “Well, we can’t really stop Dutch customers from playing. I think that some argued that’s obviously somewhat preposterous. The regulator said , “We’re going to prioritize enforcement,” which is giving out fines to people who do certain things, including if you have a .NL domain name or have a domain name that has any Dutch symbolism in it.
If it’s got like windmills in your domain name, and then that’s like you’re targeting Dutch customers. If you have websites in the Dutch language or customer support in the Dutch language, and obviously, if you advertise in our country or use affiliates in this country, then you’ll face fines. That’s where we’re going to prioritize our enforcement. Operators for years and years and years have abided by this. PokerStars, there is no pokerstars.nl.
They do not have their website in Dutch, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Regulation is very good for the industry because they’ve not been doing this the whole time. Also, there’s been increased enforcement about using local payment processing. There is a system called— the name is going to be… it’s like Paysafe or something like that, but it’s used by everyone in the Netherlands. It’s the paying process you use whenever you go. To the shops, you use this and it directly connects with your bank account.
Recently, all online gambling operations had to stop using this card because that was considered targeting Dutch customers too much. They will open up payment processing, they’ll open up apps in the App Store, they’ll open up advertising opportunities. It’s very good for the industry that it happens. It’s obviously very good for the consumers because they’ll get safe offerings. It’s very good for regulators in the tax men because they get tax money.
Obviously, it’s a win for every single stakeholder and there is basically no opposition in the country from doing this other than a few very minor Christian parties who are opposed to any online gambling proliferation, but they’re not really forcing the issue. It’s just been the procedural nature that has slowed this down so much. Then, you have Holland Casino, which is the currently nationalized casino in the country. They’re the only operator that really doesn’t offer anything online.
They’re obviously saying, “You can’t allow all these foreign companies who’d been operating illegally.” We’ve seen all these arguments being made in the United States. They even said— I think it was the chairman of Holland Casino who was also at this conference and also made a speech and said, “We’re very interested in how this illegal operators clauses are interpreted because, obviously, it’s not fair for legal operators to use their illegal proceeds to have the databases to start operations, and we won’t be competing on an equal footing.”
That question definitely still remains. I think it’s the first real statement this week from the KSA that they’re confident of this timeline, which is 18 months, which I think feels realistic given how slow things are. I think operators, and I also think for people who haven’t been fined by the KSA, so PokerStars haven’t, 888 haven’t, partypoker GVC haven’t. They should all be fine. Some operations, Betssib has been fined, a few other— I don’t want to say their names.
Now, I think Kindred are okay. I was going to say .. , then I held my tongue. A few slightly smaller operators who are casino-oriented have been fined.
Mike: Didn’t one operator get in trouble and then win a lawsuit to clear their name?
Nick: That rings a bell.
Mike: I’m not sure either.
Nick: That rings a bell. That’s still to work out, but that’s where we are with the Netherlands. It was, broadly speaking, positive news this week.
Mike: It strikes me as a pretty tough sell for the government to say these are our discretionary enforcement guidelines, and now, we’re going to penalize you after the fact for operating within those guidelines.
Nick: But again, it’s like with the DHA, they said explicitly, even if you follow this, you’re still breaking our law, but we’re just not going to be focusing our attention here. Again, it’s just leaving it open. Ultimately, if the lawmakers wrote the law that says, “No, everyone who’s operating now taking any Dutch customers are breaking the law there,” there’s not much the regulator can do. It’s just currently being written as fairly ambiguous, probably for own purpose, for good reason.
Mike: At least it’s positive news and we have a light at the end of the tunnel even though it’s 18 months out. What’s the situation in Switzerland? I haven’t heard a lot about them regulating their gaming market.
Nick: Yes. Broadly, Switzerland is a smaller market. It’s just not going to make the headlines like the Netherlands is, which I think is pretty big, particularly in sports betting. Switzerland has a new gaming law. It came into force in January the 1st of this year. I think the actual enforcement of the law, as in if you’re not licensed, then we will take legal measures to stop you, including IP blocking, it comes into force in July, next month.
In January, some operations withdrew their services from the market. PokerStars withdrew its casino offer but not its poker offer. PokerStars said about nine months ago that they were pursuing a license. The interesting thing about Switzerland is they have a similar model to the Belgian system and similar models to the US system, which is only existing licensed brick and mortar casinos can basically extend their services online. It’s not open to just international operators like the Dutch system will be and what we see in the UK and Sweden and so on.
Mike: Will they be segregated or will they be sharing liquidity on the .com?
Nick: From everything that I understand, it’s going to be a shared liquidity, but because it’s such a small market, it’s possible that only PokerStars will offer online poker. There are 21 casinos in Switzerland, there are potentially 21 licensees for online. What happened this week is four casinos were granted a license pending authorization of their online software. They had been granted licensing and could go live any day now.
There wasn’t really a timeline given but presumably this side of the July date. Now, of those four casinos, we don’t believe one of them is partnered with PokerStars. Now, it was stated by the regulator that these were the first four casinos to apply. It’s somewhat surprising in my mind that PokerStars was not in the first batch because, obviously, they certainly champion getting as many licenses as they can in as many markets as they can.
Nine months ago, they very much talked about how important the market was for them. They said that they controlled about three-quarters of the Swiss online gambling market, which is pretty incredible. Not surprising for poker, they control that almost globally, but in terms of online casino, that’s quite something. Of these four casinos, one of them is partnered with Playtex. In theory, we might see an iPoker skin regulated in Switzerland.
One of the casinos, its parent company has worked with PokerStars in Belgium, and that’s how PokerStars has their license in Belgium, is partnered with Casino Namur which is owned by one of these companies which has just been granted a license through their Swiss casino. Potentially, that’s PokerStars’ partner, but they certainly haven’t said so, and they would’ve mentioned it by now. This seems fairly important.
As it stands right now, there is four casinos. One of them might be iPoker, but nothing yet from PokerStars, which is interesting because I think come July, they have to make a call on their online poker, every money online poker that they still offer in the country.
Mike: Do we have an expected timeline of if and when online poker is going to be offered to people in Switzerland when that’s going to happen?
Nick: Well, no, that’s it. From this point on, we’ll see a trickle of the casinos in Switzerland receiving their license. As soon as their games are authorized, they can come online for real money. I would expect the first batch in real money casino to happen this side of the July enforcement date. Again, it’s just almost surprising that PokerStars isn’t among that first batch.
Mike: Regulations are in place, they’re all set to go, we’re looking at July?
Nick: Yes, that’s it. Regulations were already in place apparently. Once they’ve passed the testing, then the first online casinos will go live. That could, as I understand it, includes online poker. We could, in theory, see an iPoker skin on swisscasinos.ch any day now. One casino put out a press release welcoming its license. It’s a small market. It’s not like we’re going to …
GVC pokerpoker hasn’t said anything about pursuing a Swiss license, or 888, they were fairly happy to duck out when the regulations came into force. Yes, that’s where we are. Maybe pokerstars.ch will be happening in the next few months, but it’s a wait and see to see which other applications are given out.
Mike: All right, that’s another wrap on the Pokerfuse Podcast for this week. As promised earlier on, Nick, tell me a bit about what your plans are for your birthday weekend?
Nick: I hope you haven’t built this up too much and we don’t have listeners who just struggled through 40 minutes of podcast just to hear my super exciting birthday plans.
Mike: Come on, people are always looking to hear about your personal life. I get questions about it all the time.
Nick: About my personal life?
Nick: [laughs] I am doing a 24-hour team relay running race for my birthday this weekend.
Mike: Wow. Do you get to sleep at all or you have to be awake that entire time?
Nick: I will be trying to do some sleep, so you camp, it’s a five-mile, eight-kilometer trail course through the woods, and you keep a team member on the course the whole time. As a team, we’re a team of seven, you see how many laps you can do in a 24-hour period.
Mike: Wow. Is this your first time taking on a challenge like this?
Nick: No. We did exactly this one a year ago, and one year ago, the weather was just absolutely gorgeous. It wasn’t too hot but really dry, and we had a lovely time camping and it was fantastic. This time, it is just pouring with rain and it’s going to be horrendous.
Mike: Wow, so a true challenge then, I guess.
Nick: Yes, so that’s my birthday fun.
Mike: All right. Well, that’s definitely interesting. Yes, for future inquiries into the life of Nick Jones, you can tweet at him @PokerProJones. I’m sure he will be quick to respond as he normally is.
Nick: Yes, thanks very much.
Mike: [laughs] All right. Well, that’s a wrap for us. Thanks, everyone, and we will see you next time.