Archive for June, 2011

Full Tilt in Trouble; PokerStars Doing Fine

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

There have been stories in the news since yesterday that Full Tilt has had their license suspended by their regulating body, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC). While this is true, it is not a reflection on online casinos, online poker or online gambling in general. As an example, PokerStars is doing well and is rebounded from the April indictment.

It seems that Full Tilt’s suspended license has more to do with how they ran their business as opposed to any poor gambling practices. In a statement the AGCC said: “The decision to suspend these licenses follows a special investigation prompted by the indictments unsealed by US Attorney General’s Office in the Southern District of New York on 15 April 2011, during which grounds were found to indicate that these licensees and their business associates were operating contrary to Alderney legislation. The nature of the findings necessitated the taking of immediate action in the public interest.”

Such a statement alludes that operations were not up to par with Alderney laws, which is a separate consideration from whether or not online gambling and online poker is legal win the United States. But the announcement of ceasing all activities on Full Tilt’s site sent a wave of worry through the online poker and online gambling communities. After all it was only a couple of months ago that Full Tilt was one of the three online poker sites to be seized by the Department of Justice.

And while that indictment prompted a separate investigation on the AGCC’s part, it was only limited to Full Tilt. This means that players at other online casinos and online poker sites do not need to worry. PokerStars, one of the other sites indicted along with Full Tilt, issued a statement after the AGCC announcement to reassure their players: “PokerStars wishes to assure our customers that their funds are completely safe and that our operations are completely unaffected.”

To further reinforce that the AGCC’s announcement and action was an isolated, business related event, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission made their own announcement: “The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission wishes to make it clear that the licensing status of PokerStars…remains unchanged following today’s statement from the Gambling Control Commission in Alderney. Alderney is a separate jurisdiction from the Isle of Man and the operation in question is separate from PokerStars. PokerStars continues to demonstrate compliance with its license condition.”

Given that both PokerStars and the IOM Gambling Supervision Commission issued statements to reassure their customers, those in the online poker and online casino communities should not be worried that there is a move against online gambling. As it stands other sites in under the AGCC are still operational. The Full Tilt suspension is limited to that site only. So play on, online poker players!

DC Online Gaming Bill May Not Launch as Early as Planned

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

More and more details about the Washington DC online gambling bill are coming to light. A hearing was held yesterday to allow the public to vet about the bill, which some are trying to cast in a shady light, saying that council member Michael A. Brown snuck it into December’s supplemental budget on the sly and unbeknownst to his fellow council members. Brown has defended both himself and the bill, saying that council members were aware of the bill’s presence in the budget before they voted on it. And to date no council member has said otherwise.

However outside the DC council there does not seem to be many who knew of the bill until it passed into to law this past spring. To assuage worries and to allow the public to vet the bill a hearing with the DC council’s finance committee happened yesterday.

Prior to the hearing, concern seemed based on Brown’s actions. Now post-hearing and with knowledge that the other council members were aware of the online gambling bill’s presence, focus has shifted to the speed with which the DC Lottery is implementing the bill and about the “hot spots.”

DC residents are concerned that with the rollout of the online gambling bill their neighborhoods will shift. Those who attended the hearing voiced concerns that they had not had the opportunity to tell the council that they did not want hot spots in their neighborhoods.

Also of concern is the infrastructure of the I-Gaming system itself, and the DC Lottery was on its toes with responses to questions. The infrastructure for the implementation of the online gambling bill requires that each player’s age be verified to ensure that they are at least nineteen years of age or older. The IP address of those logging in from outside the “hot spots” must also be verified as being within the DC city limits. Concerns over problem gambling were also addressed; players can only deposit a maximum of $250 each week and may only make deposits using debit cards or by linking their bank accounts. In other words, no credit cards. DC’s online gambling bill will also require that the I-Gaming system include self-exclusion lists to allow players to keep themselves from playing.

It certainly sounds like the DC Lottery is all set to move forward, and there was nothing in the hearing that will definitely delay the launch of the play for fun games. But we here at onlinecasinosuit.com will keep you posted on the happenings in DC with their online gambling bill. With concerns about “hot spots,” the launch of real money gambling may be delayed but there is no official word as of yet that a delay will happen; it is only a possibility.

New Online Gaming Standards Released

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Online gambling is taking off around the world. Considering that this form of gambling is all done over the Internet, the world has never been brought closer together in pursuit of this hobby and profession. But with the increase in popularity and demand for new markets in the global community there is concern about differences in regulation standards.

Enter Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) who is the top gaming test laboratory. Of all of GLI’s companies, Technical Systems Testing (TST) is the one that handles the testing of online casino games to ensure their quality and randomness. GLI and TST have been conducting a review of the major established online casino markets, including those in Alderney, the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom. After more than a year of in depth research and reviews of established online casinos and online gambling markets, GLI and TST have released the first global online gambling regulatory guidelines which they have named GLI-19.

GLI-19 is only a guideline that can be used by new and emerging online gambling markets as well as those markets that are in the process of reevaluating their online gambling. The GLI-19 is meant to help countries set up their online gambling markets and is now available on their website. Remember these are only guidelines, not laws; they are meant to help structure gambling regulations, but not function as regulations.

One of the positive features of the GLI-19 is that it is split into two parts, each separate from the other. One part is guidelines for suppliers, including software developers, and the other part is for operators. The spilt was deemed necessary because suppliers and operators function differently in the online gambling market. Neither part of the GLI-19 has seen any drastic changes in the normal practices of how online casinos and online gambling markets work; GLI and TST only took the best practices of existing markets and combined them.

It is highly possible that the European Commission will use the GLI-19 as they work on bringing member countries’ regulations into harmony, making playing, taxing and regulation easier. It could even possibly be used by the US if federal lawmakers pass legislation to regulate online gambling.

Washington DC Council Plans Hearing Two Months after Gambling Bill’s Passing

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

There has been a lot in the news as to whether or not the bill that will give Washington DC online gambling will succeed. While there is no doubt that residents want this popular pastime to be legalized, there are questions that have been brought up about the legality of the bill’s passing.

The bill for online gambling on an intranet system that would only operate within DC city limits was slipped into the budget back in December, when the budget was passed. At that point, Congress had a limited time frame to review and approve the budget, including the bill. Unfortunately Congress was in a heated argument over the country’s budget and not looking at what was happening in DC. The time limit ran out and the bill for online gambling inside of DC passed. Once its passing hit the news, questions started popping up.

Among the questions was whether or not the bill’s inclusion was legal or not. Council member Michael A. Brown was the one to slip the bill into the budget. But now the question is being raised about whether his actions were on the level or not. With so many questions about the bill and the lack of public vetting before it passed a hearing has been called for. DC Council finance committee chairman Jack Evans has said, “We did not even know it was in there. This was requested to be put into a supplemental budget back in December, without any hearing, without any notice, without any anything.”

The DC Council’s finance committee will meet today for a hearing that will cover not only Brown’s actions in slipping in the bill, but what implications an intrastate gambling system could have both positively and negatively for the city. It is possible that the bill could be repealed, but hopes are high that it will not be and that the revenue generated will keep the bill in the law.

After all, regulated online gambling is wanted in the city. The DC Lottery is still moving forward to implement the gambling bill and set up and intrastate gambling system. It still plans to launch two games in late July with four more to follow on August 20th; playing for real money is expected to begin in September. This is a sure sign that DC wants online gambling in their city. The DC Lottery definitely does not seem overly concerned with the hearing. I suppose to them the bill is law now and the only step is forward.

Positive Step for Bodog and Online Gambling

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Want to see some good news for online gambling? Well-known Real Time Gaming powered online casino Bodog has just announced their sponsorship of the West Bromwich Albion football team. This would be European football, not American.

The deal with WBA is one of the longest in the club’s history: two years. The two year contract will officially begin on July 1st. This means that for two years the WBA players will carry the Bodog logo on their jerseys and the Hawthorns, the home stadium of the WBA club, will carry banners and other forms of advertising for Bodog. Typical football club sponsor ships only last a single year. But here is Bodog with a two year deal.

The online casino and online gambling community sees this as a positive step forward for online gambling. Not only is a British Premier League football club making a sponsorship deal with an online casino and online sports betting site, but it is one of the longest heard of. To top the sponsorship deal off, the deal has now made Bodog the official betting partner of the WBA. This means there will be a lot of exposure for Bodog and real money gambling online in general. This will show the world that there is nothing wrong with online gambling and online casinos. After all if there was something wrong, such a high profile club such as this Premier League club would not have made such a long sponsorship deal with an online casino.

But not everything comes for free. It is rumored that this sponsorship deal has cost Bodog an amount in the seven figure range. Agreeing to such a deal is representation of how well Bodog is doing as a company. And doing well must also mean that this is an online casino is enjoying success. This could be in part that they are an online casino that accepts US players and a solid reputation.

The exposure that Bodog and online gambling in general that will happen with this deal could result in a positive move forward for online gambling and online casinos.

Dates and More Details for DC Internet Games

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

News about the online casino games in Washington DC is heating up. This is like when New Jersey was sending their online poker bill through their Assembly and Senate. Little bits are announced and in turn reported. Well dates to debut the six online casino games have been announced. In addition the games that will be debuted first have also been announced.

What was originally supposed to be a three game debut with the initial roll out of the DC online casino intrastate system will now only be two games. While a specific date has not yet been named, the time frame has been narrowed to the end of July. The two games that have been selected to begin DC’s intranet online gambling are blackjack and Victory at Sea; Victory at Sea is said to be similar to the classic board game Battleship but with an online gambling set up to it.

But come August 20th the remaining four online casino games will be launched. The remaining four games to go live at that point would be bingo, poker, e-scratch offs and random number games (think keno). While the date announcement did not name what kind of online poker game the poker option would be, Texas Hold’em has been the title to make the rounds the most.

This brings us up to August 20th. At that point all six top online casino games will be live, however these will be free play games. Officials want DC residents to be able to adjust to the presence of online casino games in their city as well as to playing them before putting any money on the line. The games real money function will be turned on in September. The exact date has not been announced because the software must pass muster, meaning the network cannot be accessed outside of DC limits as well as no one under the age of 19 can play on the network.

None of the six online casino games that will be offered will be high stakes games. The purpose of the online gambling bill in DC is to legalize and regulate a popular form of entertainment while generating some revenue from it. But even though revenue generation is one of the goals of the bill, officials do not want it to be to the detriment of players. Putting in safe guards such as limiting how much can be wagered, officials hope to curb problem gambling.

Check back here at onlinecasinosuite.com for more news on the DC online casino games. We will be reporting as we hear more.

Card Counting and Online Blackjack

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Card counting is one of the most popularized skills for playing blackjack. It has been burned into popular culture thanks to movies like ‘Rain Man’ and ’21.’ Often times people have heard of card counting and know it has something to do with gambling and card games, but many do not know exactly what card counting is. But there are some things that the up and coming online blackjack player should know about this extremely popular blackjack skill.

For starters and for those who are just getting their feet wet with online blackjack play, card counting is a skill that blackjack players use in land casinos to help tilt the odds in their favor. This skill employs a counting system of some variety of another; some are more complex and others are very simple. Good card counting requires hours of practice in order to keep the count and do the math in your heard without any outward sign of what you are doing among the distractions of a casino floor. The purpose of card counting is for the blackjack player to know whether or not the remainder of the unplayed cards are rich in cards that favor the player, such as 10’s, face cards and Aces. When the count indicates that the cards are there the player will increase his wager in order to win more from the house.

Sound like a pretty neat trick, right? But this is a skill that must be done without the casino staff detecting that you are counting. While card counting is not illegal by any law, casino very much frown on it and will throw players out of casinos and even ban them for using it.

So what does this have to do with online blackjack? Well for starters I can tell you that you have no worry about getting caught counting cards in online blackjack and banned from an online casino for it. You do not have to worry because there is no physical casino to be thrown out of. The reason that online blackjack players do not have to worry about being thrown out of an online casino for card counting is because card counting cannot be used in online blackjack.

The thing that makes card counting possible is that cards are discarded from play once a round is over. In online blackjack, because of the Random Number Generator (RNG), there is an effect as if none of the cards are discarded. When a new round begins and the player clicks ‘deal,’ the RNG will pull a starting hand from all possible starting hands; no cards are excluded from the possibilities. Because none of the cards are excluded and any starting hand is possible at the beginning of each round, it has the effect as if none of the cards had been discarded. With no cards discarded, card counting becomes futile.

So even at the best online casinos card counting cannot be used. It is not the fault of the online casinos, but in the nature and programming of online blackjack. Instead online blackjack players should focus on using basic strategy, the math and odds of the game and their betting strategies to make the most out of their potential to win in online blackjack.

Update on DC Online Poker

Monday, June 27th, 2011

According to a statement made by Michael A. Brown, the online casino games, which include online poker, are supposed to go live in only four to six weeks. Now these are the play for fun games, not the real money games. The play for fun games are meant to serve two purposes. That is if they are allowed to launch.

DC officials want to move forward and launch the play for fun games to not only allow residents to try out and become accustomed to the new casino games, but to also test the programming of the gaming infrastructure. As it stands right now, these online casino games can only be played within DC city limits at public terminals which are now being called ‘platinum sponsors’ these playing locations were originally referred to as ‘hot spots.’ DC officials want to make sure that the infrastructure cannot be hacked and accessed from outside of DC.

Also to be tested are the age restrictions. Players must be at least 19 years of age in order to register for a player account. The age restriction was a new detail that was released this past Friday. The idea, according to Brown, is to exclude those who could still be in high school from partaking of online gambling, while not excluding the college market. This is a rather interesting take on applying an age restriction, and one that we here at onlinecasinosuite.com have not heard of before. The most common age restriction is 21which is a result of the alcohol that is served in land casinos. Online it is fairly normal to have an age restriction of 18, which is the most widely accepted age of being considered an adult.

While all of this is welcome news the DC online poker action is not out of the woods quite yet. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has openly said that he will not support the efforts to legalize any online gambling. Holder has brought up the Johnson Act as the grounds for him to poke at the DC online poker bill.

The Johnson Act is a federal law that does not allow for the manufacture, possession, use, sale or transportation of any device that is used for any gambling within DC. Such a law could make the implementation of the DC online poker bill a little bit trickier than originally thought. But so far DC officials are still moving forward with implementing their online poker bill. This was evident in the publishing of the regulations and rules of the online poker bill. They are still targeting to launch the play for free games in four to six weeks with the real money games to come as soon as September bar any hiccups in the infrastructure during the testing/free play period.

The Latest Weekly Bonus Worth $3K Free at Club USA Casino Online

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

New Players at Club USA Casino are entitled to $777 Free

New Players at Club USA Casino are entitled to $777 Free

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New Weekly Bonuses at Slots Jungle

Friday, June 24th, 2011

It is another Friday and that means checking out the new round of Special Weekly Bonuses at Slots Jungle. This week the theme is Jungle Book. Do not worry, reading the book or watching the animated film are not necessary. Like always there is a set of coupon codes for our online slots players and a set of coupon codes for our table game players. Slots players, you are the apes, and table gamers, you are the tigers.

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