Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Caesars Entertainment’s Bet Smart Recieves Accolades

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Caesars Online Casino Play Responsibly

Caesars Entertainment, whose Caesars Interactive Entertainment subsidiary is operating three online casinos within the New Jersey online gambling market (read the OCS review of Caesars New Jersey Online Casino), is continuing to garner praise with its successful Operation Bet Smart program. This year’s Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW), held last week, honored Caesars Entertainment for its continued efforts to support healthy gambling, online and off.

Caesars was the initial casino brand to break new ground in combating problem gambling, and in fact, has been an advocate of this topic for some 25 years, even before online casinos took off. Operation Bet Smart was created many years ago and is still working diligently to ensure Caesars players at its online casinos and brick ‘n mortar locations are safe, secure and educated properly about problem gambling.

As the computer age has inherently changed the landscape of gambling, Caesars has kept up without missing a beat where proper game play is concerned. As technology has changed, policies and programs surrounding responsible gaming have changed as well – And Caesars Entertainment strives to continue with its award winning advocacy and awareness initiatives.

In 1998, The American Gaming Association (AGA) created RGEW to promote responsible gambling across the board in order to enhance awareness about improper gambling issues within the ever changing industry. What is interesting here is that Caesars was already anchored with the pro-healthy gambling environment even before the AGA created RGEW.

Caesars Entertainment has a history of working together with the US National Council on Problem Gambling since 1995 to develop the first resources to promote healthy casino gambling. In fact, Caesars helped the Council establish utilitarian resources, such as the first phone help lines. Caesars has since been awarded by the Council many times over.

Most recently, Operation Bet Smart has morphed into a major sector of the brand, and Caesars now heavily markets its awareness brand and continues to develop new initiatives and outreach programs designed to ensure that its business practices encourage responsible casino activity.

Caesars has used Operation Bet Smart to effectively train and certify more than 200 Responsible Gaming Ambassadors (RGAs) throughout the US gambling market. In addition to Operation Bet Smart, Caesars works to combat underage gambling with Project 21. These types of advancements have come in very handy since the online casino gambling industry has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Caesars’ notable achievements regarding responsible gaming include developing the very first self-exclusion feature where online casino and land based players are able to remove themselves from the ability to gamble online or off. They have even worked with developing software that tracks unstable behavior when placing bets online. These initiatives include the policing of proper banking transactions and services.

Caesars has spent nearly $3.5 million to develop defenses within technology to enforce its innovations and has even taken to the TV screen for advocacy of proper gambling whether from home or at a casino in person.

Last week’s Responsible Gaming Education Week is the perfect platform for both consumers and casino brands to better understand the very importance of safe gambling online and at casino properties located within regulated markets.

The three online casinos in New Jersey where Caesars Interactive Entertainment hosts gambling from include the aforementioned CaesarsCasino.com, WSOP.com and HarrahsCasino.com. All three casinos online have the support of all resources regarding safe, secure and healthy gambling.

While all major casino operators have various features in place for safe gambling, success-wise, there is no relative comparison to the support of proper online or land-based play that we see from the Caesars brand. The video below says it all:

Zynga and Facebook – The Latest Outlook for Online Gambling

Friday, July 12th, 2013

There has been much continued speculation within the iGaming industry regarding the future of gambling for real money online. The market is opening slowly in the US, and the projected shift toward social and mobile gaming is picking up some steam after a somewhat shaky start. If you have a Facebook account (and who doesn’t?), you probably know about Farmville and Mafia Wars…or at least remember them.

Ever since the heyday of Farmville, there have been several “Ville” cousins developed, and now Zynga is looking toward the online gambling industry – the speed of which is finally gaining some traction.

Gambling online has become more portable and more social than ever before thanks to Facebook and smartphones. It would only seem natural for a gaming company like Zynga to take a leap of faith into the US market where gambling online is budding. With the massive following Facebook has, not to mention its existing movement within the (already legal) UK market of real money social gaming, the world of social online gambling is looking ripe.

After a rough spot between dwindling interest in such fad games as Farmville and the impending regulation of online gambling (in the middle of which Zynga went public with a less than stellar stock debut), it seems things are looking up again as interest in the potential of Zynga is being realized more.

Zynga recently let more than 500 employees go (including its CEO, who stepped down on the 1st of the month) in efforts to save its sinking ship. It seems the waiting for its next venture (online gambling) was a time period too long and too costly. Perhaps a life raft known as new CEO Don Mattrick has arrived just in time. After the announcement of the high profile new leader at Zynga, eyes have started to open wider. The prevcious CEO, Mark Pinkus, is still around in the Chief Products Officer position.

It was formally announced this week that the company fully intends to bank on the online gambling industry via Facebook. And while investors are attracted, Facebook hasn’t formally agreed to a plan…yet. However, at a World Gaming Executive Summit in Barcelona, Facebook’s Sean Ryan was previewing Zynga Plus Poker and Zynga Plus Casino.

Investors can only imagine how much potential there is in the pending US market. Three months ago, Zynga released online and downloadable versions of its two real-money games in the UK via established British poker company, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, which has had its own problems within the US market. Zynga’s Facebook and mobile versions of these games are coming soon.

UK (as well as US) players can already take part in Zynga Poker on Facebook. At this time, players are simply limited to playing for “real money chips” that they cannot withdraw. The future holds the ability to play for real money with withdrawal-able winnings.

While Facebook still holds the key, investors are waiting with baited breath for any news of solidarity between Facebook and Zynga that would create the highly anticipated social gambling for real money platform in the US.

The UK market is actually a great starting point for the Zynga concept, with it’s high concentration of experienced online casino players that generate over £2.3 billion (over $3.4 billion US) in revenue. Yes, in the UK alone.

Suit Filed to Combat Nevada Gambling Tax

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

As the 2012 presidential election gears up, the ongoing battle between democrats and republicans over how best to tax successful corporations rages on.  Republicans contend that lower tax rates encourage businesses to invest more of their profits back into the economy.  Democrats argue that taxing extremely successful companies at a slightly higher rate would not lead to less economic growth, but simply allow the government to avoid turning to austerity measures in order to deal with our ever-growing deficit.

This philosophical debate will most likely continue to be fought all throughout this year’s presidential election – and probably far beyond that until either the cows come home or the fat lady sings.  But in Nevada, a battle over a possible tax hike is taking place right now, that some argue will have a potentially huge outcome for the state.

Last month, an initiative was filed that seeks to raise taxes on Nevada casinos that take in gambling revenue exceeding $250K per month.  Monte Miller, a Las Vegas businessman working in conjunction with an organization called Nevadans For A Fair 9 Percent Gambling Revenue Tax, filed it.

On Wednesday, the Nevada Resort Association filed suit in a Carson City District Court in an effort to stop Miller’s initiative in its tracks.  The association represents many big-time casino owners who stand to lose great sums of money if their casinos’ revenue is taxed at a higher rate.

The previous rate of 6.75 percent would be raised to 9 percent if Miller’s initiative ultimately passes and goes into effect.  One of Millers representatives explained how the suit filed this week came as little or no surprise to them considering the financial interests involved.

If Judge James Todd Russell agrees with the Nevada Resort Association’s claims that the initiative petition is misleading, he could insist that supporters stop collecting signatures at once.  This would effectively put an end to the initiative’s supporters’ hope of having their petition considered by the state’s legislators next year.

Halloween Horror Nights Shows Gambling Is Scary

Monday, October 10th, 2011

lady-luck-halloween-horror-nights-211If you are truly scared by gambling, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. The thought of possibly losing money should make you tense, and that drama is part of the appeal of casino gambling, but if you are actually scared to lose money, it sounds like you shouldn’t be wagering it in the first place. That didn’t stop Universal Studios from depicting casino gambling as a horror story, though.

Each year, Universal has a new theme for Halloween Horror Nights, the popular Halloween event when the park transforms itself into one giant scary attraction, full of haunted houses and actors trying to scare you at every turn. This year, since it is event #21 for HHN, the company has decided to play up the blackjack angle and give it a casino theme.

Lady Luck is the main villain and she starts out looking nice enough, as a glamorous stage performer who straps a man to a roulette wheel. She then turns out to be some type of zombie or demon. The slogan for this year’s event is “Nobody Beats the House.”At the park, there are haunted houses with casino themes, which visitors can enter at their own risk.

At the park, there is a scare zone called “Your Luck Has Run Out.” According to the Halloween Horror Nights website, player enter the zone and “your choices will determine if you make it out alive. Witness Luck’s deadly wrath. Will she choose you to be her next victim?” So the zone seems to be based on games of chance like roulette, but instead of winning or losing money, you win or lose your life. Talk about high-stakes games!

There are a lot of other exciting haunted houses, scare zones and shows, in addition to the regular rides. If you are able to, I suggest checking out Halloween Horror Nights and seeing how Lady Luck treats you. Halloween Horror Nights is held at Universal Studios, with one in Hollywood, California and the other in Orlando, Florida. The event runs from September 23 to October 31.

Alderney Was Ignorant of Full Tilt’s Problems

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

full-tilt-poker11According to a top official at the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, the regulators were unaware of Full Tilt Poker’s problems until the U.S. Department of Justice indicted its executives. Andre Wilsenach, CEO of the commission, said that Full Tilt kept them in the dark, which doesn’t exactly make the regulators sound good.

Up until the United States government indicted executives at Full Tilt Poker, the online poker room was still one of the most popular in the world and the Alderney regulators still thought they were a viable company, despite cash flow problems. At a Las Vegas conference on Saturday, Wilsenach said that “what wasn’t known to us is that the Department of Justice had frozen funds associated with the operation of Full Tilt.” The Alderney regulators thought that money was still available to the company and the players.

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission has been heavily criticized for allowing Full Tilt to continue operating as long as it did. Hearing that the group responsible for ensuring the safety and legitimacy of Full Tilt was so in the dark about their operations is far from reassuring. Though they weren’t the only company targeted by the United States, Full Tilt has received the bulk of the attention lately. While the other poker rooms are not accused of in any way mistreating their customers, U.S. federal prosecutors have accused Full Tilt of running a Ponzi scheme.

Last week, the commission announced that it had revoked Full Tilt’s gambling license because the company had lied about having access to enough funds to pay its players. The company currently owes more than $300 million to players across the world.

Betfair May be Crossing the Italian Border

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

The online gambling and online casino industry is a highly competitive arena. It means that operators need to be on their toes at all times and finding the best to offer their players. It also means working the laws and loopholes of regulation to their max. There is a risk with pushing the law though if you push too far.

Given the highly competitive nature of a real money online casino it stands to reason that they will push the envelope each chance they get so that they can reach all their interested audiences. And it is possible that this is what Betfair may be up to.

The situation is not clear as of yet, but we here at onlinecasinosuite.com do our best to bring you news as soon as we hear of it. That being said let’s talk about what we have heard lately from Betfair. Recently we did tell you all about Betfair’s new partnership with Britain’s Olympic volleyball team. The partnership has the company placing a QR code on the backside of the women’s playing uniform. The placement of the QR is suggesting that Betfair is ready to push the envelope and move ahead in an environment that is a little rocky right now as a result of the US indictments and Full Tilt’s investigation by Alderney.

But Betfair could be showing a fearless side. Back in October of 2010 Betfair stopped offering its online casino services and games to Asia. But now a player who lives in Asia and plays in Asia claims to have been offered by Betfair to sign up for a real money player account…through their Italian site. I know, Asia and Italy are not really neighbors.

There is no word yet if this is a real case or if the Asian player is just spinning a story. While we would like to see the Asian online casino market open up some more, we would not want Betfair getting into any trouble. But if this should prove not to be a tall tale Betfair could be in some trouble as their Italian license explicitly says that they are only allowed to operate in Italy if they only accept Italian taxpaying citizens who reside in Italy.

While we like to see a real money online casino pushing forward and trying to climb to the top of the competitive online gambling arena, we do not like to see them in trouble. So here is to hoping crossing the border story is just that: a story.

Could India be the Next Big Online Gaming Market?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The online gambling and online casino industry is about innovation. For online casino operators this means offering the best and carving out a place in each market they enter. Part of this is offering the latest in online casino games. The other part is to keep a close eye on the each market and potential market, and then moving in t gain a place in emerging markets.

Right now online casino operators have their eyes busy watching all kinds of markets. They are watching to see what happens in the US, the UK, Greece and Italy and more. But now there is a new market to watch. Actually it is not an established market yet, not like how the UK is established or even how the US is. This new market is being watched because of its potential. The new market is India.

This really should not come as a surprise. India is the second largest country in the world. It is likely that the only reason India was already not an established market is because everyone was waiting for their Internet usage to climb. And climb it has. The Media Entertainment Consulting Network (MECN) has issued a report that shows that India’s Internet usage has climbed twenty percent over the last five years. This is a sign that the country is strongly moving into the computer age. MECN also reported that if India were to establish an online casino market it would be worth around $60 billion. And that was in 2009. With a continually growing Internet use, that number is sure to have climbed.

Asia as a whole as gained a more prominent place in the land casino industry. Land casino operators have been increasing their presence the last couple of years. This is a sign that Indians are in favor of gambling and would likely be receptive of online gambling. Some online casino operators are already feeling out partners in preparation to enter the Indian market should it open up. With the second largest population in the world, India would be a good place to set up a casino online. A population that large and with its land gambling and Internet usage growing, establishing an online casino market is bound to be a profitable venture. But for now all anyone can do is wait, watch, speculate and start building ties with potential partners.

Betfair’s Controversial Volleyball Sponsorship

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

British beach volleyball stars rent out their rears in unique advertising campaignOnline sportsbook Betfair has a new advertising campaign that is sure to get people’s attention. The company recently announced a sponsorship deal with the British Olympic female beach volleyball team. As part of the sponsorship, the sportsbook will roll out a new unique advertising campaign that will please some while offending others.

This week in London the volleyball team will take part in trial events for the Olympics. During the trial event, Betfair will be sponsoring Zara Damphney and Shauna Mullin, who will wear a special uniform that displays a quick response code. According to Betfair, this will be “the first time QR codes have been used in in-play sports advertising.”

For those unfamiliar with quick response code, it is a matrix barcode that, when scanned by a QR reader, displays hidden text, a URL or other data. In this case, during the live beach volleyball game, betters will be able to take pictures of the QR code on the players’ uniform. On their smartphone they can then use Betfair’s online gambling website to unlock the hidden page of the website that will offer a free wager on the game.

All of that sounds fun and harmless, but here’s where it gets controversial. The female beach volleyball players will be wearing the standard skimpy bikini bottoms. That QR code will be blazoned on the backside of those bikini bottoms. So that means Betfair is encouraging people at the beach volleyball games to take photos of the players’ derrieres in order to win a free wager on the game. As Betfair spokesman Andy Lulham said, what better way to test the effectiveness of a live QR code campaign than “by putting them on one of the places that is likely to get photographed the most.”

Yes, that's the QR code

Yes, that's the QR code

Women’s beach volleyball is already a controversial sport due to the sexualized nature of the game and its uniforms. Those who object to perceived objectification of women will surely cringe at this advertising campaign. On the other hand, that kind of controversy, along with the excited participation of many men, is sure to help Betfair.

Online Gambling News from Germany

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

The big names that have been in the online gambling news of late have been Italy, Greece, Full Tilt and a few states in the US. So while we are all up to date with those countries, we here at onlinecasinosuite.com have realized that we have not heard from Germany in awhile. Time to check in.

Last we heard about Germany was that their treaty for gambling was coming due at the end of this year. The German states have to come together to find an agreement on how best to manage an online gambling expansion and their state-run monopoly on online gambling.

Well the latest German State Treaty on Gaming has not met with approval from the European Union, who say that the new draft is “incompatible with European law.” So now Germany has extended its standstill period for online casinos and online gambling operations. At present Germany is waiting to hear the opinions of the European Commission, the UK and Malta. Seeking the opinion of the EC is understood given the lack of agreement between what the Germans want and what the EU says is law. As for seeking the opinions of the UK and Malta, the UK is one of the strongest operating markets in Europe and Malta is one of the top online casino licensing bodies in the industry.

But the Germans definitely are not opposed to online gambling. Recently one of the German football clubs, Türkiyemspor Berlin, made a sponsorship deal with leading online casino operator Betfair. As a part of the sponsorship deal, the Betfair logo will appear on the front of the club players’ jerseys. This sponsorship is to be for the forthcoming football season and will last for a year; after a year there is an option for renewal, which would be discussed at that time.

Italy Looking to Tap Into Online Gambling to Help Solve Debt Crisis

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Debt crisis seems to be the news du jour the last couple of weeks. First Greece, then Italy and Spain, and then the United States. Different approaches are being discussed and new laws being passed. But two of those countries are looking to online gambling for some relief from their money woes. Those two countries are Italy and Greece.

We have already been reporting about Greece’s endeavors to use online gambling to raise some money. But now we are going to take a look at Italy.

Turning in part to real money online casinos seems to be one way Italy is going to use to bring in some revenue to help pay down their debt. The Italian national debt, when taking into each country’s relative size, is twice as much as the US national debt. Italy is in some trouble and has already passed an emergency austerity budget this past July. Part of that emergency austerity budget was a provision that will allow up to two hundred online casinos to obtain licenses and operate in Italy.

Gambling is fast becoming a popular form of entertainment in Italy. Last year alone saw an increase in gambling of 12.9%. The increase is expected to be a double digit expansion for this year. Clearly gambling is worth scrutiny in terms of finding a source of revenue. Already online casino operators are applying for licenses to offer Italians their online casino game lineups. One of the first big names in European online casino operations, 888 Holdings, has already received their operation license and it gearing up to open their Italian offerings.

Italy is not the first country with financial woes to look to online casinos as a potential source of revenue. Greece is in the process of selling portions of its gambling monopoly OPAP and is working on an expansion into online gambling. Spain has already opened up to online gambling earlier this year. It remains yet to be seen if the US will consider online casinos as a possible source of revenue.