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Industry news about online real-money gambling
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Interview: Lou Castle, Shuffle Master, t.washington at eGR North America

Interview: Lou Castle, Shuffle Master, t.washington at eGR North America | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Shuffle Master’s automatic card shufflers and table games are popular all over the world, but a move into online gaming takes the company well out of its comfort zone. eGR NA talks to former Zynga VP of studios and now Shuffle Master’s chief strategy officer, Louis Castle, the man charged with guiding the business in the right direction.

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Met Police Facing Up To Online Gambling ‘Bonus Abuse’, Gambling Compliance

The abuse of online gambling bonuses by criminals, highlighted by the conman jailed last month for defrauding operators of £80,000, is a widespread, cross-border problem, according to the Metropolitan Police Gaming Unit. Police from the Gaming Unit, which has traditionally dealt with bricks-and-mortar casino scams, discovered 350 hand-written notes when they arrested Osipau, detailing the stolen identities.

Some 5,900 scanned ID documents were also found, largely purchased from a Russian broker.

 

The EU’s executive agency is also in talks with gambling regulators across Europe about producing a best practices guide for consumer protection, as part of its 2012 online gambling action plan. The robustness of an operator’s know-your-customer (KYC) controls, anti-money laundering and security systems are being tested all the time.

 

However, operators argue, ID checks that are too strict can strangle the use of regulated companies and push players towards the black market. In France, early online gambling licensees have complained that the multi-stage verification process, which prevents players from fully activating their accounts until they receive a code in the post, has deterred as many as two-thirds of customers from signing up.

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Shuffle Master Is "All In" For Online Poker, David Saito-Chung

Shuffle Master Is "All In" For Online Poker, David Saito-Chung | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

In March, Shuffle also signaled it's "all in" for online poker. It agreed to an all-cash buyout of Sweden's Ongame Network, which provides poker systems to online gaming operators.

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Jaxx sells lotto business after securing Schleswig-Holstein licence, Robin Harrisson

Jaxx sells lotto business after securing Schleswig-Holstein licence, Robin Harrisson | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

German operator JAXX SE has completed the sale of its lottery business to a group of private investors for €12.5m. JAXX’s  is comprised of its JAXX GmbH (Hamburg), JAXX GmbH (Lustenau), Vendo Spielsysteme GmbH, flux.com Telewette GmbH and JAXX UK Ltd subsidiaries, JAXX domains, brand names and naming rights are also included and, as a result, JAXX SE will change its name to mybet Holding SE.

 

The decision to sell the lottery business was taken in order to allow it to focus on sports betting, casino and poker products. JAXX had become one of the first three operators to be awarded a licence to offer online sports betting in the northern Land of Schleswig-Holstein, alongside Betfair and Die NordwestLotto Schleswig-Holstein, with casino and poker approval expected to be handed out in the coming weeks.

 

Other sources:

http://www.igamingbusiness.com/content/jaxx-completes-lottery-sale

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Poker down at Playtech, InsidePokerBusiness

Poker down at Playtech, InsidePokerBusiness | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Poker revenues at software firm Playtech revenues fell 6% to €5.3 million (down 3% year-on-year) despite its iPoker network maintaining its position as the second largest poker site.

 

Total revenues at Playtech were up 104% to €5.1 million, and up 8% on Q4/11 with casino continuing to be an impressive performer rising 35% against Q4 2011 to €34.5 million. The next largest component of revenue was from Playtech's services division, which contributed €25.7 million.

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Instant Action, interview with Lou Castle in iGaming Business

Instant Action, interview with Lou Castle in iGaming Business | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

In March, Las Vegas firm Shuffle Master agreed to buy the Ongame Network from bwin.party for €19.5 million. The purchase was intriguing with Shuffle Master joining the growing ranks of US companies gearing up for regulation with a further €10m payment due to bwin.party if and when the US doors open to regulation. One of the key men overseeing the deal is Shuffle Master's chief strategy officer Lou Castle.

 

If Castle's name seems familiar, it could be because he co-founded video game developer Westwood Studios, which created the legendary Command and Conquer series and sold over 10 million copies worldwide. In this exclusive interview he looks at the current online poker industry and suggests how it may be in need of radical change. You can read the full interview in the lastest issue of InsidePoker Business.

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New York Lottery celebrates twelfth year of growth, iGaming Business

New York Lottery celebrates twelfth year of growth, iGaming Business | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

The New York Lottery has released its unaudited financial results for the twelve months up to the end of March showing that it had sales and net win of $8.44 billion and generated a profit of nearly $2.9 billion.

 

The New York Lottery began operations in 1967 as the nation’s third modern lottery and its profits are put towards helping to fund education programmes throughout the eastern state. The organisation revealed that its most recent returns will represent approximately 15 percent of the total aid given to local school districts.

 

Total sales and net win excluding extraordinary items over the New York Lottery’s most recent financial year increased by 7.3 percent or $571.3 million when compared to the previous twelve-month period while profits rose by $234.1 million or 8.8 percent year-on-year.

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Just what sort of games is Playtech playing? Alistair Osborne Telegraph.co.uk

Just what sort of games is Playtech playing? Alistair Osborne Telegraph.co.uk | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Phone up chairman Roger Withers to discuss the gaming software group's latest strategic U-turn and he hangs up. "I'm not having this conversation with you, thank you very much, goodbye," was Wednesday's response to a requests for more information.

 

Withers says he is "not particularly impressed" with reporting about Playtech, a company 48pc-owned by Teddy Sagi, its Israeli founder. But with each new announcement, the same issues crop up: related-party transactions, transparency and governance. Just the sort of stuff that any company shooting for a main market listing has to get right.

 

No one is quibbling with Playtech's products or client list, which includes Bet365, Gala Coral and Sportingbet. But, in the City, even buyers of the stock – such as Peel Hunt analyst Nick Batram – admit "Playtech is not straightforward".

 

The main issue is not the fact that here is a company founded in Israel, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, headquartered in the Isle of Man and operating mainly out of Estonia, Bulgaria, the Philippines and Israel. No, the key conundrum is Sagi.

 

Since March 2006's float, he has taken more than £500m out of the company, largely from selling businesses he owns back to the quoted group. That will rise if, as Playtech suggested on Wednesday, he pockets his earnout from March 2011's sale of PT Turnkey Services (PTTS), a clutch of gaming services businesses. That's almost half Playtech's £1.1bn value.

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Impact of High-Speed Online Poker Games, Pocket Fives

Impact of High-Speed Online Poker Games, Pocket Fives | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

In the last few weeks, we've seen several variations of high-speed online poker games introduced.

 

PocketFives asked McLoughlin for his take on the future of rapid-fire games like Zoom Poker: "It'll be based on skins rather than networks and may be a brand new business model. I think it's common sense that you'd want this type of product in your client. Poker room operators are looking for any opportunity to increase their rake yields and provide any product they can to have their customers stay and play longer. With Zoom Poker, they can rake more per hour than any other option available."

 

"More poker room rake could be considered a win-win. As posters on PocketFives have pointed out, increased rake opportunities in fast fold games allow players to achieve VIP goals faster. And from a poker room's standpoint, player juice is a primary revenue source. "It's good for loyalty," McLoughlin argued. "It's good for rake yield. It's good across the board."

 

Other sources:

http://www.egrmagazine.com/news/betsafe_and_stan_james_in_fast-paced_poker_push

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Unibet completes Bet24 acquisition, Robin Harrison EGR Magazine

Unibet completes Bet24 acquisition, Robin Harrison EGR Magazine | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Unibet has completed the acquisition of rival Scandinavian operator Bet24 from Modern Times Group as it looks to challenge former monopoly Danske Spil’s market leading position.

 

Following the announcement of the deal last month, Unibet has now paid 80% of the €13.5m (£11.25m) acquisition price in cash, with the final 20% to be paid by the end of June. Bet24’s players will ultimately be migrated to Unibet’s platform and the site rebranded, but will remain on its current platform for an interim period.

 

Bet24 becomes the third operator to be acquired by Unibet in the past six months,  acquired EurosportBET owner Solfive in November last year, and Australian operator Betchoice for AU$20m in February.

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Online poker for Massachusetts in 2013, Jon Yarker EGR Magazine

Online poker for Massachusetts in 2013, Jon Yarker EGR Magazine | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Online poker sites could go live in Massachusetts next year, according Representative Dan Winslow who is pushing for amendments to state gambling laws for the second consecutive year.

 

The amendments would see licence holders pay a fee of US$10m dollars and be subject to a 25% gross revenues tax.

 

Massachusetts, which recently legalised three casinos and one slot machine parlour, has already established a state gaming commission for regulatory purposes and the state treasurer has created internet gaming taskforce to examine the issue.

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Young Players Turn Their Backs on Poker in France, Pokerfuse

Young Players Turn Their Backs on Poker in France, Pokerfuse | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Overall revenue from poker has declined slightly in France, according to the latest quarterly report from French regulator ARJEL. The migration from cash games to tournaments continues, and poker’s popularity has declined among key demographics.

 

Gross gaming revenue for online poker on all regulated French sites declined from €86m to €83m compared to the same period last year. The amount wagered in cash games down almost €100m and tournament entries up 26% to €75m, continuing the trend of players switching from cash games to lower-raked tournaments.

 

The total number of active players fell by 3% and in the critical 18-24 age group by 20%. Even in the dynamic tournament sector there is bad news. Player numbers fell for all groups who enter more than €3k worth of tournaments a quarter. High volume player numbers for those playing over €50k in tournaments a quarter collapsed by 49%.

 

There was growth in the mobile sector. Market leader Winamax has applications for Android and iOS devices. Growth can be expected in the next quarter with PokerStars recently rolling out its popular mobile client in France and other countries in Europe and beyond.

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Shuffle Master Deals Wall Street Strong Hand In Q1, Marilyn Much

Shuffle Master Deals Wall Street Strong Hand In Q1, Marilyn Much | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Shuffle Master also announced a deal last month that would give it a foothold in the fast-growing online poker market. The company signed a pact to buy Ongame Network from bwin.party Services. It paid $25.7 million cash, plus a possible additional $13.2 million within five years, contingent on the legalization of real-money online poker games in the U.S.

 

Ongame, based in Stockholm, Sweden, is an online business-to-business poker network. It's one of the world's largest poker providers to online gaming operators. The acquisition could be a game changer for Shuffle Master, which leases, licenses and sells everything from card shufflers and chip sorters to slot machines and electronic versions of table games.

 

"This provides us with a way to participate in the European iGaming market," said Boguslawski. "Given our many licenses, the potentially larger opportunity for us is in the U.S., where we believe it's only a matter of time when, not if, online poker and other forms of online gaming are legalized."

 

Shuffle Master plans to capitalize on regulated online gaming purely as a business-to-business provider and not as a provider of content directly to consumers.

"The way we want to compete online is to offer services and products to online casinos," said Boguslawski.

 

"As for acquisitions, we continue to look for strategic intellectual property that we can easily tuck into our portfolio," said Boguslawski. "Intellectual property is our lifeblood."

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Uncertainty remains after Schleswig-Holstein election

Uncertainty remains after Schleswig-Holstein election | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

The three licences were issued to Betfair, Jaxx, and Oddest for sports betting by the previous coalition government. This coalition was made up of the Christian Democrats and the Liberal Democrats. The opposition party, the Social Democrats (SPD), has been strongly opposed to online gambling regulation and indicated in the run up to the election that it would repeal Schleswig-Holstein’s regional gambling act which was passed in October 2011.

 

No clear majority can be found in the election results: http://bit.ly/schleswig-holstein

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Japan threatens social gambling clampdown, EGR Magazine

Japan threatens social gambling clampdown, EGR Magazine | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency has threatened to heighten its scrutiny of social gambling games over concerns they violate the country’s laws.

 

According to Bloomberg the games in question, known as ‘complete gacha’, allow players to win virtual items for an outlay of around 300 Yen (£2.33) at a time, with prizes on offer for those who obtain a certain combination of items.

 

Following the news, Japanese social gaming company Gree saw its shares fall by a record 23% yesterday. Gree’s net income would drop by as much as 18% if such a ban came into force.

 

Other companies to see share prices drop include video games developers Konami and Capcom, which also have social arms. Konami and Capcom would drop 10% in revenues if ‘complete gacha’ is banned.

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Increased advertising impacts bet-at-home’s net profit in Q1

BetClic Everest Group subsidiary bet-at-home.com has reported a 16 per cent increase in net gaming revenues to €18.9m for the first quarter of 2012, with further investment in advertising continuing to impact the company’s bottom line.

 

Euros Q1 2011 Q1 2012
Betting & gaming turnover 427.2m 527.7m
Gross gaming revenues 18.3m 21.1m
Net gaming revenues 16.3m 18.9m
Advertising expenses 8.0m 11.1m
EBITDA 3.8m 1.9m
Net profit 2.5m 1.4m

 

Other articles:

http://www.4-traders.com/BET-AT-HOME-COM-AG-464743/news/bet-at-home-com-AG-Continued-success-in-the-1st-quarter-of-2012-14314680/

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bwin.party signs 10-year California poker agreement, Gaming Intelligence

bwin.party digital entertainment has signed a 10-year agreement with the United Auburn Indian Community to power an online poker site in California if suitable intrastate gaming legislation is enacted.

 

The company said Tuesday that it would provide the technology and operational expertise to power the online poker site for a 10-year period from the date that online poker services are launched following enactment of suitable legislation.

 

The United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC) operates the 144,000 sq. ft. Thunder Valley Casino Resort near Sacramento, California, qualifying it for licensing under legislation proposed in California’s State Senate.

 

Other articles:

http://pokerfuse.com/features/in-depth/californias-latest-online-gambling-bill/

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IGT believes in US online poker, InsidePokerBusiness

IGT believes in US online poker, InsidePokerBusiness | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

When US-technology firm IGT bought Swedish poker network Entraction for $114 million it raised more than a few eyebrows in the poker industry. This was a major US technology firm entering into the online poker space in a very visible way. There could only be one conclusion. They knew something: online poker legislation was on its way soon.

 

But that is to diminish the potential for growing what was previously known as the Entraction Network, and is now known as IGT Poker, in Europe. IGT Poker is currently the 13th largest poker network on PokerScout, but as Peter Laverick, director of marketing at IGT Interactive, notes it has a huge amount of growth potential if it can target some of its rivals big clients.

 

Nonetheless it's the US market that remains the biggest opportunity. With IGT having close relationships with many US casino groups it is well placed to cash in on any regulation stateside.

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Lock Poker to Acquire Cake Poker Network, Pokerfuse

Lock Poker to Acquire Cake Poker Network, Pokerfuse | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Lock Poker is in the process of acquiring the assets of the Cake Poker Network in order to launch their own online gaming network. The network will be rebranded to Revolution Gaming. The change is expected to take place on June 1, with existing Lock players transitioned to the new platform on May 31.

 

Lock Poker is currently a skin on the Merge Gaming Network, but previously it was itself a Cake Poker skin, leaving for Merge in May 2010.

 

The Cake Poker Network will continue much as before under the new name, with all skins invited to continue on the rebranded poker network.

 

Most skins on both Cake Poker and Merge Gaming Network—including Lock Poker—accept players from most states in the United States, so presumably skins on Revolution Gaming will do the same. Along with Bodog, Merge and Cake make up the largest networks that still cater for US players.

 

In March 2011, Cake Poker struck a deal with poker portal PokerListings.com, a “strategic partnership” with the aim of driving at least 2000 new depositing players to the network, according to a PokerListings press report. Other reports suggest that the portal purchased 50% of the network.

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Business News | Social Gaming to Reach Critical Mass Within Two Years

Business News | Social Gaming to Reach Critical Mass Within Two Years | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

The reason that predicting the future for social gaming is so important is obvious – it’s a huge potential market. How to go about doing so is not easy. However, despite still being in its infancy, social gaming has created a set of numbers from which we can draw a variety of conclusions from. These conclusions will also be key to those looking to make informed decisions on how to go about making their own way in the social gaming world.

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Zynga And Online Gambling: Not An Option, Seeking Alpha

Zynga And Online Gambling: Not An Option, Seeking Alpha | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

I often read articles that keep mentioning that online gambling could be the Zynga (ZNGA) salvation. It won't happen and can't happen and seems to be a marketing ploy. Perhaps in 10 years after all of the State and Federal laws change, online gambling might happen for Zynga.

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EGR MAGAZINE ISSUE #96 - EGR Magazine

EGR MAGAZINE ISSUE #96 - EGR Magazine | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

eGaming Review Issue #96. May's issue of eGR is now available online.

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MGM to launch social gaming site, Tom Victor EGR Magazine

MGM to launch social gaming site, Tom Victor EGR Magazine | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

United States-facing casino operator MGM will soon roll out a social gaming site exclusively featuring its brands.

 

The CEO Jim Murren hopes the new development “will be superior to what you currently see in the market and will be a strong customer acquisition and brand extension tool for us.”

 

At this stage it is unclear whether any of bwin.party’s brands, which include PartyPoker, bwin and the World Poker Tour, would have any presence on MGM’s planned social site. The World Poker Tour brand is already active on Facebook via an app developed by Hands-On Entertainment which boasts 170,000 monthly active users.

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Unibet Pulls Out of Spain, Will Transfer Players to PAF, Nick Jones Pokerfuse

Unibet Pulls Out of Spain, Will Transfer Players to PAF, Nick Jones Pokerfuse | Poker & eGaming News | Scoop.it

Another big online gaming brand Unibet, that operates an online poker room on Microgaming internationally and in France, is withdrawing from the Spanish market. The move comes in advance of pending legislation in the country that will regulate online poker and other online gaming.

 

However, a deal has been struck with PAF—who runs a poker room on the Ongame as well as the GTECH G2/Boss Media platform—to offer online gaming services to Unibet customers once the belated Spanish online gaming licenses are finally issued.

 

At least 40 operators thought to be hopeful applicants, including all the major players: PokerStars, PartyPoker, iPoker, Ongame and GTECH G2 are all touted to be on the list. Microgaming will be present at least with Ladbrokes, who extended their existing agreement with the software provider to bring poker to Spain when it goes live.

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Betfair secures German online licence, Gerrit Wiesmann

Betfair of the UK and Jaxx, its German rival, are the first commercial betting companies to be awarded licences for web-based sports bets in Germany in addition to the state owned operator Oddset. The license only apply in the state of Schleswig-Holstein and covers sports betting. Licenses for poker and other casino-style games will come during the coming weeks to some of the 37 applicants.

 

Betfair has led the charge against the gambling monopolies of Germany’s 16 regions, a regime which was declared in breach of European laws guaranteeing companies freedom to do business across the region.

 

Schleswig-Holstein plans to tax online betting companies’ gross profits at 20 per cent, shunning a more weighty tax on customer bets, which the other states are aiming for – and providers say would be unworkable.

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