Comparing Online Bitcoin Casinos in 2017

13 November 2017 by Devon Chappell

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2017 has been the year of Bitcoin and there are now hundreds of online bitcoin casinos where you can gamble with bitcoins on your favorite casino games. The boom in bitcoin gambling sites comes as the price of a single bitcoin skyrocketed from around $700 in the beginning of 2017 all the way up to $7,800 in November before taking a pause and pulling back into the $5,500-$6,500 range. Many people see gambling online with bitcoins as a crazy idea when the price has been so volatile and rising so quickly. However, bitcoin’s rise among online casinos is largely due to its use as a tool for making payments and sending money. Traditional online gambling sites can be difficult to make payments to using credit cards and bitcoin casino sites have made it much easier to make payments.

Bitcoin GoldOnline Casino Suite has watched this wild ride from afar this year and our site still doesn’t have a section for bitcoin casinos yet but that will be changing soon. The simple fact is that the demand for making payments to Internet casinos through bitcoin is rising and players are looking for the best bitcoin casinos to gamble with. We are soon going to be adding a section for bitcoin casino reviews to onlinecasinosuite.com where people can compare online casinos accepting bitcoin payments.

We are currently in the process of reviewing the various bitcoin gambling sites offering casino games that you can wager bitcoins on. In the mean time we recommend visiting some of the popular bitcoin gambling resources available on the web. Bitcoin.Casino offers a guide to the top bitcoin casinos where they provide bitcoin casino reviews alongside reviews of traditional online casinos accepting payments through credit cards and bank wires. The popular forum community at Reddit.com even has a sub forum (subreddit) specifically for bitcoin gambling where people post information on bitcoin gambling sites like BTC bonuses and information on new bitcoin casinos. Bitcoin dice games are something new to online casinos where people roll the dice for a chance to win fractions of bitcoins.

Our goal at onlinecasinosuite.com is to be a comprehensive resource for all things dealing with online casino gambling. Be on the lookout for our new bitcoin casino review guide that will be coming soon. As always, you can read up on classic online casinos in our Online Casino Reviews guide and find that latest industry news in our regularly updated casino blog. If you want to start gambling now at classic online casinos you can find the best online casino sites on the OnlineCasinoSuite.com homepage.

Online Gambling Grows in Philippines, but is it on Steady Ground?

26 August 2017 by Devon Chappell

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s shocking reversal on his crack-down against online gambling in favor of a much more lenient regulation and taxation policy, makes one wonder that if there was a way for him to make legal money off of meth-addicted drug addicts, his “values” driven killing spree would screech to a halt.

The shift from last summer, when Duterte seemed willing to lump online gaming business owners into the same pile as the rest of the “enemies of the state” he’s targeted, to now when he spoke recently about how the best course of action was to “tax them” rather “than fight them” has been astounding and has cemented his reputation for being unpredictable.

Many argue that it was not because “you can’t stop them”, as Duterte stated, but because he realized what a financial blow it would be if he continued on his tirade against the online gambling industry within the Philippines. Not only that, but President Duterte has seemed to lock in on the potential to grow the industry even more in the area of regulating online casinos that only cater to non-Filipinos. In a single year the Philippines has registered and licensed 45 such online gambling companies and collected $58 million in taxes. This is at a rate of ten percent what the industry accumulates in revenue.

Even the Filipino real estate industry has received a boon due to President Duterte’s change of heart. In the first half of the year, online casino companies accounted for 30% of the office space being rented in Manila during that time, and in the second half that percentage doubled to 60% of all the new leases being signed. And it is reported that this year many developers will have rented 90 percent of their stock, which in turn, has begun to see an uptick in residential properties sales as well.

Even the Philippine stock market has seemed to buoy with the burgeoning of this newly “in favor” industry. But as many in the online gaming industry can attest, markets and governing bodies can be fickle and Duterte has already proven his volatility. The rug could easily be pulled out from beneath this quickly growing cottage industry taking formation around the relative acceptance of online gambling by the Duterte administration.

Illinois Online Gambling Gets Fighting Chance

20 August 2017 by Devon Chappell

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Daily Fantasy Sports have existed in a floated in a legal limbo in Illinois ever since the state’s Attorney General Lisa Madigan penned in 2015 that the popular pastime was illegal in her opinion. She wrote, “ Absent legislation specifically exempting daily fantasy sports contests from the gambling provisions, it is my opinion that daily fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling under Illinois law.”

Representative Michael Zalewski, a vocal proponent for online betting and daily fantasy sports, was not deterred by the Attorney General’s less than enthusiastic assessment. He issued a statement thanking Madigan for her clarity and expressed his intention to continue finding a way to bring regulated online gambling to Illinois.

“Now that we have more clarity, I look forward to working with all involved in the upcoming legislative session to allow Illinoisans to continue to play these contests and provide the necessary strong consumer protections for safe, fun play.”

Zalewski kept his word and introduced a piece of legislation that would legalize online gambling, and in turn, fantasy sports, by proposing rigorous regulation of the industry within the state. The bill passed the Senate easily, but became stymied shortly thereafter in the House. But ever the determined optimist, Representative Zalewski has become more focused on the necessity of convincing Illinois’ land based casino’s that they could also benefit from the legalization of online gaming. “I’ve come to the conclusion this needs to be a collaborative approach.”

The shift in favor by the state’s land based casinos could help the House’s committee move toward a more supportive position on online gambling and internet betting, which would then allow the increasingly popular pastime of fantasy sports betting to gain legal standing. The Illinois state House is expected to move toward considering the legislation this November or possibly early 2018.

Illinois now stands to be in an undeclared race with Pennsylvania to be the first of the two to legalize online gambling next. Both states are primed with a track record of kicking the can down the road when it comes to the potential of utilizing the tax potential of regulating online gambling. When it come to the future of daily fantasy sports and internet wagering, only time will tell.

New Jersey Senator Wants to “Get In the Pool”

12 August 2017 by Devon Chappell

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New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak wants the Garden State to invite more people to their online poker and online gambling party. Specifically, he announced to reporters that he has authored a bill that will expand New Jersey’s online gaming industry to include any other companies that are located in jurisdictions where online gambling is already legal and regulated, no matter the state or country. Senator Lesniak plans to introduce the bill to the New Jersey senate and hopes it will increase the state’s tax revenues and foster an industry driven by innovation.

Tax revenue from online gambling and from land based casinos has been steadily growing in recent years and the democratic Senator sees the state’s legalization of online gambling in 2013 as a major reason that Atlantic City’s land based casinos have begun to come back to life. Since that time, online gambling has garnered over $600 million in revenue for the state of New Jersey. And this trend seems to be continuing with over $20 million being raked-in within the past four months alone.

In a way, the proposal that Senator Lesniak is introducing is a plan to structure New Jersey’s online gambling industry much like it were an online version of Las Vegas’ land based casino industry. Much in the same way that tourists come from all around the world to gamble at Las Vegas’ glamorous casinos – with Nevada reaping the reward – New Jersey hopes to invite players (from wherever online gambling is legal) to play at their online poker rooms and casinos and help introduce an influx of incoming tax revenue reminiscent of the tourism industry. He explained what he saw as a benefit to the state’s economy and innovation: “Online gaming has helped Atlantic City to revive its casino sector with a success that we can expand in ways that will generate more revenue, create jobs and fuel technological innovation in gaming.”

Lesniak has placed emphasis on the states of Nevada and Delaware. He sees the fact that they have already created a pooled player agreement as the reason why New Jersey’s online poker revenue has taken an 8.4% dip since the year before. Lesniak feels confident that opening up New Jersey to be a part of this existing online poker player pool will enliven the industry and the subsequent revenue for the Garden State.

This would make considerable sense, given that there are many online poker players who would find it attractive to live close to the New York metro area while also being able to access the excellent online poker action located through tournaments hosted by Nevada-based companies. Perhaps if that were the case, New Jersey could even hope to see an increase in income tax from online poker players looking to get out of the desert heat.

Google Store Open to Online Gambling Apps

5 August 2017 by Devon Chappell

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The Google Play Store, has had an on-off relationship with online gambling apps for quite some time now. For the longest span of time, the Play Store was expressly off limits to applications that served sites participating in real money gambling. And then – unceremoniously – Google allowed for-money, fantasy sports apps onto their platform leading up to the 2015 NFL season.

When asked about the addition, Google stated that the two apps, FanDuel and DraftKings, were part of a “closed, limited pilot program”. But from that point on, despite speculation that the addition of for money online gambling would soon be allowed in the Play Store, the prohibition remained in place beyond those two applications.

Now, as of August 2nd, it has been reported that for money gambling apps are now officially allowed in the Play Store, as long as they are geo-targeted to residents of the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France. Google has also laid out several other regulations that must be fulfilled by the applications in order to be granted access to the Play Store.

There is a thorough application process that each company must satisfy and have approved by Google, in which the applicant must prove their app fulfills all laws and industry standards currently set for online gambling in the countries in which it will be distributed. This has to be proven by supplying a valid online gambling license for these countries. Also, the app must have technology that prevents underage persons from gambling on the application as well as residents who live outside of the designated licensed areas.

Google prohibits the use of any Google affiliated payment services. The app must be free to download, rated as “Adult Only” and provide easily accessible information on responsible gambling.

These type of regulations mirror some of the oness that have long been in place on the Apple App store in regard to for money online gambling applications. As regulation on a country-to-country basis expands, it will be interesting to see which of the two application platforms will be the first to allow a similar expansion of online gambling applications. It will also be interesting to see if this expansion will continue to shape how online gambling companies develop their products.

Christie Writes Resolution in Hopes to Protect NJ Online Gambling

28 July 2017 by Devon Chappell

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Remember when Donald Trump and Chris Christie were bros? You know, right after they tore each other apart during the Republican presidential primary race? It was a brief and passionate stint during the lead up to Donald Trump choosing his Cabinet and White House administration. Chris Christie became one of his fan-boys, one could assume, in order to flatter his way into the White House. Unfortunately for Christie, the sacrifice in self-respect did not seem to pay off, and he was left out in the cold.

Christie found himself right at home with other New Jersey residents who thought Donald Trump had their back, only to end up sad and lonely on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Chris Christie then returned to his post as New Jersey Governor.

Since that time Christie has not made it easier for himself to win back the hearts and minds of New Jersey residents who were appalled by his willingness to fall in line with the ‘Trump Train’ in order to serve his own political aspirations. He was caught taking his family to a beach on Fourth of July that had been closed because of a state government shut down – only the government was back up and running at that point. He had them keep the beach closed so he and his family could enjoy a private beach. Nothing like celebrating Fourth of July without all of those pesky constituents that you represent.

After such a cataclysmic PR debacle, Christie’s approval rating bottomed out in the Garden State. Now he finds himself faced with the task of protecting the state’s online gaming industry from a president that some assumed would have had a more favorable view of online gambling, given his own foray in the casino industry. But as we know, opening a land based casino does not necessarily make you a proponent for online casinos.

Donald Trump’s ties to Sheldon Adelson and to Jeff Sessions began to worry Christie that the president may begin to consider a federal ban on online gambling, which would gravely affect New Jersey’s tax revenue and the economic climate of Atlantic City. In an attempt to use whatever meager sway he may have had on the Forty-fifth president, Chris Christie issued a resolution to the administration and to Congress, imploring them to abandon any plan to ban online gambling on a federal level. He cited the negative impact it would have on his state of New Jersey:

“A federal prohibition against Internet gaming would directly and negatively impact New Jersey by dismantling the investments that the State and Atlantic City casinos have already made to implement and regulate Internet gaming, taking away the economic and employment opportunities already realized by the State and its residents, and foreclosing the future potential of Internet gaming to generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, create high-tech software jobs, and foster valuable business ventures for Atlantic City casinos in this State.”

Considering their track record, it remains to be seen if such an appeal from Chris Christie will have a positive sway on the infamously unpredictable President Trump.

Online Poker Bill Passes Committee Vote in NY

10 February 2016 by Elgin Masterson

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Online poker has been talked about in the New York legislature since 2012 but wasn’t actually considered seriously till 2015. New York Senator John Bonacic first sponsored a bill to legalize online poker in 2012, but it never made it to committee, the first step necessary on the way to legalization. Senator Bonacic, chairman of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, said that he never intended to push the bill through at that time. He just wanted to get the ball rolling so that legislators could start discussing the pros and cons of internet gaming (iGaming). The bill was re-written by gaming committee chairman J. Gary Pretlow and introduced in the gaming committee in 2015, but it stalled and never made it out of the committee.

Fast forward to 2016 and it’s a different story. This time the bill, S.5302-B, sailed through on a 9-0 vote. The vote for the online poker bill did not take place publicly, with the entire hearing lasting only four minutes. Sen. Bonacic issued a brief statement on the legislation: “S.5302-B took a necessary step forward today with its vote out of the Racing Committee. The Bill now goes to the Finance Committee and I anticipate having ongoing discussions with my colleagues in both Houses regarding this bill as session moves forward.”
There now appears to be real momentum for online poker in New York. This comes in spite of the fact that there has been so much negative publicity concerning New York’s Attorney General declaring daily fantasy sports as illegal online gambling. So, it doesn’t seem that New York is anti-gambling online at all. They just want to make sure that everything is regulated to guarantee player protection. And, of course, to insure that New York gets its share of tax revenue.

The executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, John Pappas, offered this statement after the vote: “The PPA thanks Chairman John Bonacic and the Committee for acting quickly to pass iPoker legislation through the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering. If passed into law, the bill would provide New Yorkers who play poker online with a safe and regulated environment, while bringing in revenue for the state. We encourage the Finance Committee to move quickly to usher the legislation through the Senate, and also urge the Assembly to move forward with their respective legislation.” Pappas also said that “It would be a mistake for New York to wait for its brick-and-mortar casinos to go online. Moving Internet poker legislation now would establish an existing customer base of poker players for brick-and-mortar casinos when they open their doors for business.”

The Senate Finance Committee will next host the bill, but that hearing has not yet been scheduled.

New York Gaming Commission Licenses Three New Casinos

24 December 2015 by Elgin Masterson

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New York state gambling regulators on December 21, 2015 approved licensing for three new casinos. Preliminary construction for the casinos had already started in Schenectady, the Finger Lakes and the Catskills. Now, with formal licensing approved, full scale construction and financing can proceed unencumbered. The five members of the New York Gaming Commission unanimously approved all three licenses with no formal comments attached other than noting that all financial, legal, environmental and criminal background checks were satisfactory. Sixteen applications for these three licenses were submitted in 2014. The Gaming Commission took a full year for careful review before announcing licenses for the new casinos.

The Montreign Resort Casino will be built in the Catskills town of Thompson in Sullivan County. The Rivers Resort & Casino will be built in Schenectady at Mohawk Harbor. The Lago Resort & Casino will be built in the Finger Lakes town of Tyre in Seneca County. All three areas will experience a significant boost to the local economies. More than 3200 full-time jobs will be created to support the casinos. Projections of $265 million in taxes along with $136 million in licensing fees are estimated on an annual basis.

The awarding of the Lago Resort & Casino didn’t come without controversy. The Turning Stone Resort Casino is located only 65 miles away in the town of Verona and is operated by the Oneida Indian Nation. The tribe’s attorney says that the decision to build Lago was flawed and that its’ revenue will be siphoned off Turning Stone. They will be going to court to try and stop the construction of the new $425 million casino which will include a spa, restaurants, a 207 room hotel, 85 gaming tables and 2000 slot machines. The owners of Lago Resort, Wilmorite and Peninsula Pacific, say the entire Finger Lake area with all of its local businesses, wineries, breweries and farms, will benefit from increased tourism and that Turning Stone Resort shouldn’t worry.

The Mohawk Harbor project of Rivers Resort and Casino is part of a larger redevelopment effort of the industrial riverfront. Work had already begun on the blighted area in anticipation of licensing by the Gaming Commission. The $300 million project will have a hotel, high-end steakhouse, 1100 slot machines and 66 gambling tables. The River Resort and Casino is expected to be an economic engine for the area and a magnet for new businesses.

The Montreign Resort Casino project comes in at $630 million and includes an 18-story hotel and casino complex, meeting spaces and an indoor waterpark. The developer for the project, Empire Resorts, operates through a subsidiary of the nearby Monticello Casino & Raceway. It’s located at the site of the old Concord resort outside Monticello.

 

Online Gambling in Massachusetts Getting Close

12 December 2015 by Elgin Masterson

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Plans for casino expansion in the state of Massachusetts are well under way. Along with those plans, consideration is being given to legalizing online gambling. Bruce Tarr, the state Senate Minority Leader has been lobbying the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to grant internet gaming licenses to the states’ two planned new casinos, Wynn Everett and MGM Springfield. The option to offering online wagering with its additional revenue stream, is thought to be paramount in getting the new casinos off to a good financial start. Without it, it is feared that other states with legalized online gaming, especially the nearby states of Delaware and New Jersey, will undermine the new casinos potential success. This proposal does not allow for new casino licenses other than those that have already been approved. It was thought that this would be a great opportunity to provide sanctioning for fantasy sports, but such a provision has not been addressed in the new proposal.

The construction of three new regional casinos and a slot parlor will take place over the next four years. The new $1.7 billion Wynn Everett Casino will be 24 stories and located on the Everett waterfront. The price tag for the new MGM Resorts and Casino has already increased from $800 million to $950 million before construction gas even started. MGM Resorts is also currently involved in a campaign to challenge the legality of Connecticut legislation that could potentially the success of their new casino. The state has hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to assist. The Connecticut legislation has granted exclusive rights to two Indian tribes – the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan – to open a casino near the Massachusetts border. Meanwhile, Connecticut doesn’t think that there’s anything Massachusetts can do about it and are expected to award a construction contract by December 15 for the new casino. They are currently considering bids from East Windsor, East Hartford, Windsor Lock and Hartford.

Supports of Senator Bruce Tarrs’ proposal for online gambling feel it would be an excellent way to attract more players. But others feel that the option for internet gaming would diminish the new land based casinos chances for success by taking away potential players. The coming year of 2016 could see big changes for the online gambling marketplace in the United States –especially if Massachusetts and other states currently contemplating legalization do vote to legalize internet gambling.

World Series of Poker Won by “Average Joe”

25 November 2015 by Elgin Masterson

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The World Series of Poker was concluded in Las Vegas with Joseph McKeehen winning the Main Event and taking home $7.68 million.

If ever you needed a definition of “Average Joe”, look no further than Joseph McKeehen. Nothing dramatic stands out when describing McKeehen, he’s just a regular guy who is 24 years old and hails from the outskirts of Philadelphia. He’s proof that you don’t have to be a good looking movie star or a big time professional athlete to excel at poker. His relentless wear-‘em-down playing style and a love of numbers was just too much for the competition.

The final head-to-head showdown featured McKeehen and Joshua Beckley, another youngster at only 25. Beckley drew a pair of fours which gave him a slender edge over McKeehen’s Ace-10. He decided to go for it and went all-in. Then came the flop and a 10 gave McKeehen the hand and the tournament. Jack Effel, the World Series of Poker tournament director said, “I love seeing a dominating force come in with the chip lead, hold the chip lead, continue to play well, continue to overcome obstacles and win. That shows the true skill of the game.”

A total of 6,420 players entered this years’ World Series of Poker Main Event. The entry fee was $10,000 for which anybody could enter who had that kind of cash. The World Series started in May and to make it to the Main Event, a player had to get through 68 events in 51 days. Making it that far put a player in the Main Event starting during the summer where the field was whittled down to nine players, for the “November Nine”. McKeehen started his competition in the November Nine with the chip lead, having a total of 63.1 million chips. With the leverage that the lead brought him, he just started knocking off players one-by-one, winning six of eight head-to-head showdowns. By the time he got to the final two remaining opponents, he had three times as many chips as them, with 128 million. Game over!

Beginning as an invitation only event, the World Series of Poker started in 1970. Now, anyone can enter, as long as they can pony up the five figure entry fee. Tournament poker hit it’s heyday in the mid 2000’s when it was extremely popular and the subject of countless books and movies. Then, the federal government’s crackdown on internet gambling with the passage of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), really curtailed interest in poker online. But now, almost ten years later, with legislation against online gambling starting to loosen up, and the fact that an ‘average joe’ can win, tournament poker seems to be making a comeback.