Short Stacks: BetMGM Poker Championship Begins, NC Getting Online Sports Betting

4 min read

The BetMGM Poker Championship at the Aria starting, a new sports betting market in the US, and a weird record being made in Pennsylvania are some of the short stacks CardsChat picked up in its latest orbit of poker news.

PokerGO studios
The PokerGO studio outside of the Aria. (Image: Bob Pajich)

The $3,500 BetMGM Poker Championship hits the Aria this weekend, with the first of two day-ones starting today. The $2 million guaranteed event will include at least 100 players who won their prize packages though BetMGM’s online poker sites in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada.

The final table is set to take place on June 13, and will be live-streamed by PokerGO from its studio at Aria.

Sports betting coming to North Carolina

Legislation that would allow online sports gambling has cleared the two chambers of the North Carolina government and is heading to Governor Roy Cooper’s desk for his expected signature. If he signs, and he said he will, the industry will launch there in January.

“The Governor believes that North Carolina taxpayers should benefit from sports wagering which is already occurring, and this legislation provides a way for that to happen within the bounds of the law,” Jordan Monaghan, a Cooper spokesperson, said in a statement. “Additional work needs to be done to make sure the NC Lottery Commission has what it needs to set up and regulate this industry.”

More than half the states now have some form of online sports betting, while online poker is legal in seven, with only five of them hosting rooms.

NFL may face wave of player suspensions for gambling

NFL insiders are predicting a wave of players suspensions will hit several teams for gambling violations. This is seven weeks after four Detroit Lions were suspended for placing bets from team facilities.

The NFL even asked retired QB and newly minted Las Vegas Raiders owners Tom Brady to “to help educate players on what they can and can’t do when it comes to gambling.” How? He record a video message.

If it all sounds a little hollow or that the cat is already out of the bag, it should. The NFL did a complete 180 on its views about sports betting in the last decade or so, and now many teams count online casinos and sports books as official partners.

Sad watermark hit in Pennsylvania 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported that on June 5, it received its 20,000th request to be banned from entering and participating in gaming activities at all commonwealth casinos and retail sports wagering locations under the agency’s Casino Self-Exclusion Program.

That’s more people than fits into PPG Arena, the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who partners with Rivers Casino and its online platform, BetRivers.

According to a press release, “established in 2006, the Casino Self-Exclusion Program permits an individual to request that they be banned from entering and gambling at a Pennsylvania casino or retail sports wagering location for one year, five years or a lifetime.

While a person is on this list, gaming facilities in the Commonwealth must refuse wagers from and deny any gaming privileges to that person, and deny check cashing privileges, player club membership, complimentary goods and services, junket participation and other similar privileges and benefits.”

Not only that, if a person on the list gets caught in a casino, they are arrested for trespassing and forfeits their winnings.

Here’s some of the facts the PCGB shared:

  • 4,335 (21%) of the 20,000 individuals in Pennsylvania have chosen the lifetime ban
  • There are a total of 12,811 males and 7,189 females that have enrolled in the self-exclusion program
  • Individuals on this list range between 21 and 102 years of age
  • 1,026 self-excluded individuals chose to reenroll in the program after previously removing their name from the list, including 307 who selected a lifetime ban at re-enrollment

An individual who wishes to enroll in any of the self-exclusion programs can complete the enrollment online by going to

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