Archive for September, 2011

$500 Slots and Games Bonus at Lucky Red Casino

Friday, September 30th, 2011

It’s the weekend, which means it’s time for another weekend bonus promotion at Lucky Red Casino. The popular online casino holds regular promotions every day. Aside from permanent promotions that are always running, they generally run two to three other promotions each week, including one to cover the weekend. This weekend is no exception.

This weekend, the casino is running the LUCKYRED500 promotion, which runs from Friday, September 30 to Monday, October 3. During the promotion period, if you deposit $150 the online casino will give you a $500 bonus. The bonus is intended to be spent on slots only. The deposit and bonus must be wagered a minimum of 45 times before you can withdraw the money. Only bets on online slots count toward the wagering requirement. The coupon code for that bonus is LUCKYRED500.

There are two permanent bonus offers also going on during this time. One bonus is for slots players and the other for players of table games. For the slot players, there is a 65% deposit match coupon. Unlike the LUCKYRED500 coupon, which can only be redeemed once, this one is unlimited, so you can take the bonus as many times as you want. The deposit and bonus must be wagered at least 20 times before you can cash out. Only wagers on slots, keno and scratch cards count toward the wagering requirement.

The other promotion is for players of online blackjack, video poker and other games. Lucky Red is offering a 55% deposit match bonus. This bonus is also unlimited, so you can redeem it as many times as you want. The deposit and bonus must be wagered at least 25 times before you can make a withdrawal. To find more information, see the promotions page on Lucky Red Casino.

Top German Court Upholds Gambling Ban

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

germany3In a blow to the online gambling industry and anyone who wants a liberalized market, Germany’s highest court on Wednesday ruled in favor of the state monopolies. On Wednesday, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice upheld the nation’s ban on private-sector companies operating online gambling sites. The ruling protects the monopolies at the expense of competition and free enterprise.

Currently Germany’s 16 states control the online casino market with their monopolies. Private operators are not allowed to do business in the country and are banned by law. Online gambling operators throughout the world, and particularly in Europe, are pushing for a liberalized market that allows private competition, especially offshore private competition.

The ruling by the Federal Court of Justice can only be overturned by Germany’s constitutional court. The law banning private competition can also be amended or repealed. In the meantime, the 16 states are currently negotiating a gambling treaty. As part of the treaty, they have proposed awarding up to seven licenses for sports betting companies that could operate nationwide.

While Germany’s highest court upheld the monopolies, the European Union’s highest court disagrees. Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that the state-run monopolies are not compliant with EU rules and said that the industry must be liberalized.

One German state, Schleswig-Holstein, has split from the other 15 states when it comes to the gambling treaty. The state voted to regulate online gambling at the state level and will adopt rules that are more generous than those proposed by the other states. Schleswig-Holstein hopes to become the gambling hub of Germany and is already being called the “Las Vegas of the North.”

Autumn Gold Promo at Virgin Casino

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

virgin-casinoAutumn is the time of year when things finally start to cool down. You can finally open the windows and let some fresh air in. You can start stuffing your face with candy corn and other Halloween candy. It’s also a time of change, with leaves dropping from the trees. Virgin Casino is also looking at it as a time to drop some cash on you with a giveaway that could definitely change things for you.

It is time for the Autumn Gold tournament. It is a slot tournament with £15,000 giveaway. To qualify for the promotion, you only need to wager at least £500 on selected slots between September 26 and September 30. There is a long list of eligible games and you can find the entire list on the promotions page of Virgin Casino. Some of the most popular are Tomb Raider II, Cleopatra, Star Trek, Monopoly YITM, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

This is a promotion that rewards you for money wagered during normal gameplay. It is not a tournament, so there is no entry fee and you do not compete against other players. You simply wager real money on any of the eligible games, winning or losing real money while you play, and the online casino tracks the amount of money you bet. The casino will then reward your wagers as follows:

  • Wager £500 get £10
  • Wager £2,500 get £50
  • Wager £5,000 get £100
  • Wager £7,500 get £150
  • Wager £10,000 get £220
  • Wager £12,500 get £300
  • Wager £15,000 get £360
  • Wager £17,500 get £430
  • Wager £20,000 get £500
  • Wager £25,000 get £650

Terms and conditions apply to the promotion, as always. Be sure to read the promotions page for more details. To take advantage of the deal, visit Virgin Casino.

Internet Poker Hearing in Las Vegas

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

NevadaOn Monday the Nevada Gaming Control Board held a hearing on proposed regulating for intrastate online gambling. The regulations would only take place if the federal government opts to allow it, so it will be a moot point if Congress doesn’t change its mind on the industry. Still, the law passed by Nevada earlier this year required the state to put regulations in place by January 31. Monday’s hearing was a step toward accomplishing that.

The proposed regulations were released at the end of August. On Monday, the Gaming Control Board spend over an hour talking to the public, including gaming lawyers, consultants, and representatives from Nevada’s casinos. Mark Lipparelli, chairman of the Gaming Control Board, said that the board is planning to hold additional public hearings in November and then vote on regulations in December.

Lipparelli said that the board currently has “a solid foundation for regulations” and that proposals from industry professionals resulted in some “cleanup language revisions and changes.” The board received comments on the proposals by a number of companies, such as Cantor Gaming, International Game Technology, Caesars Entertainment and Boyd Gaming Corporation. Most of the companies that commented on the proposed regulations have asked their comments to be private.

In one of the questions of concern to the casino operators, the board stated that anyone who currently has a Nevada gaming license would have to apply for and pay for a second license to operate an Internet casino. Currently the major casinos pay $500,000 for their initial license and then another $250,000 each year.

Poll: Californians Support Online Poker

Monday, September 26th, 2011

californialocationmapTrying to get their fiscal situation in order, the U.S. state of California is considering legalizing and regulating online poker. Two separate bills that would accomplish that have been delayed until the state’s next legislative session in 2012, but proponents of the legislation are pushing as strong as ever.

On Saturday the Field Poll released survey results in one of the first indicators of the public’s feelings toward regulated online gambling. The poll found that the majority of Californians are supportive of regulating the game in order to bring more revenue to the state. According to the poll, 53% of registered voters favor regulating online poker, while 41% oppose it and 6% have no opinion.

Age, gender and political party played a part in the results. 73% of voters between the ages of 18 and 39 favor online poker regulation, with only 25% opposing it. Support among voters aged 40 to 64 falls to 48%. Only 35% of senior citizens favor online poker, with 57% opposing it. Politically, 56% percent of Democrats favor the legislation versus 43% of Republicans. 58% of men support it versus 49% of women. Most obviously, people who play poker are more likely to support it. The poll showed that 66% of voters who have played poker in a casino support online poker regulation. For those who have never played poker in a casino, only 50% support it, 44% oppose it and 6% have no opinion.

Though the numbers are not overwhelming, having a majority voter support for an issue can help lawmakers as they try to pass the bills next year. It may be tougher for Republicans like John Campbell, though, with 49% of their base opposing it.

One thing is for sure, though. California needs the money. Over the years, the state has mismanaged its economy about as badly as possible. The state is $375 billion in debt, has a 19% debt to GDP ratio, and a budget deficit of approximately $10 billion.

Peppermill Casino Resort Goes Green With Geothermal Heating and More

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

green casino peppermillI don’t care if you think global warming is real or not. As far as we’re concerned over here at Online Casino Suite, efforts to improve the environment and live more sustainable lives are only for the better. In other words, what’s it going to hurt to be less wasteful and use resources more efficiently? If you really want to answer that question and think you can point out why it is a bad thing to be less wasteful and more efficient, then by all means, let’s step outside like real men and take it to the comments section.

That’s all we’re going to say on that, ’cause the rest of this post is all about Reno’s Peppermill Casino is going green. Recently becoming the first and only property in the United States (and a casino resort at that) to receive 100% of it’s heating via geothermal energy produced on-site, Peppermill Casino certainly deserves some free press for their environmental efforts. Not only that, Peppermill has retrofitted all of their resort lighting with energy saving LED lights, transitioned their HR department to become virtually paperless, implemented a greywater recycling system, purchased a cadre of electric powered maintenance vehicles and replaced water-thirsty grass on the resort grounds with artificial turf in their quest to save resources and go green.

Watch the video below to see just how huge this project is, not to mention how beautiful the Peppermill Casino Resort is:

For anyone unfamiliar with geothermal heating, it refers to the natural heat energy that can be found in pockets, called “geothermal systems”, that are found shallow enough in the Earth’s core to naturally bring hot water and steam to the earth’s surface, as is the case with the famous Yellowstone Forest geysers. For those geothermal systems that have not broken through to the surface, they can be reached by drilling. Once tapped, the hot steam and water is pumped under high pressure to the surface, and then used to power turbines for generating electricity.

All things said, the only emissions from geothermal energy production in the atmosphere is steam. Only one-sixth the amount of carbon dioxide produced by relatively clean natural gas power plants is produced by geothermal fields, while virtually no nitrous oxide or sulfur bearing gases are emitted. Furthermore, due to the constant heat production from the earth’s core, geothermal energy has availability of 90% or higher, compared to 75% for coal plants.

While the building of geothermal systems can be expensive (Peppermill spent nearly $10 million), the long-term savings are phenomenal – especially in colder locations. Considering that Peppermill is framed by the Sierra Mountains and operates a ski resort, it’s a given their monthly heating bill dwarfs other commercial resorts and casinos. According to the EPA, commercial buildings can save up to 70% in heating costs, 50% in cooling costs, require a fraction of the maintenance of other heating systems, are highly reliable and built to last for decades.

Obviously, the owners of Peppermill Casino have a lot of faith in geothermal energy, and in true Nevada form, were willing to put a huge gamble on it. The fact that the drill hole was deeper than average (over 4,400 feet) and that there wasn’t even a guarantee the drilling would produce a usable geothermal resource, goes to show that the odds are always in favor of the casino!

PPA Advises Full Tilt Victims

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

full-tilt-poker11As news continues coming in that makes Full Tilt Poker look worse and worse, people in the online gambling community are distancing themselves from the disgraced poker company. Poker pro Phil Ivey publicly bashed the company and is suing them. Congressman Barney Frank said he is disappointed in them and that he will return the campaign contributions of the three indicted executives if they are found guilty. Poker players and online casino owners are throwing Full Tilt under the bus, angry that a seemingly bad apple is giving the entire industry a bad name. And now the Poker Players Alliance is piling on.

The powerful U.S.-based poker lobbying group has issued advice to American Full Tilt customers who have been unable to get refunds from the company. In a statement issued Friday, the PPA urges those players to “contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator at the U.S. Attorney’s office and ask that you be afforded the rights of a crime victim.”

This comes on the heels of the Justice Department adding to the charges against Full Tilt, alleging that the board members and executives were taking money from the accounts of players as payment. One U.S. attorney said that Full Tilt Poker was less of a legitimate business and more like a “Ponzi scheme.”

If those allegations prove to be true, it’s something from which Full Tilt can never recover. The problem is that it will also stain the credibility of other poker rooms that are legitimate. Full Tilt was one of the biggest names in the industry and they were trusted by many. For that reason, it is wise for PPA to distance themselves from the company. In the past, they had received contributions from the Interactive Gaming Council, a group funded by Full Tilt.

Barney Frank’s Reaction to Full Tilt

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

barney-frankOn Tuesday, U.S. federal prosecutors added to the charges facing Full Tilt Poker, one of the poker websites whose indictment was unsealed on Black Friday. In addition to the previous charges of money laundering and wire fraud that the company allegedly engaged in to avoid UIGEA, the justice department dropped another bombshell. The poker company had been ripping off its own customers, with board members allegedly taking money from the accounts of players as payment. One prosecutor described the Full Tilt business model as a “Ponzi scheme.”

The association of online poker and a Ponzi scheme is the last thing the industry needs and many gambling opponents have jumped on the association. Barney Frank, the U.S. congressman most associated with the push to regulate online poker, has been put in the crosshairs, but he is not backing down.

It has been reported that Frank received $18,600 in campaign contributions from the three Full Tilt executives who have been indicted and are accused of running a Ponzi scheme, Howard Lederer, Rafael Furst and Chris Ferguson. When criticized for his ties to the company, Frank said that if the three are convicted he will return their campaign contributions, but he will not return money contributed to him by other parties at Full Tilt. Frank has received tens of thousands of campaign dollars from Full Tilt and others in the community connected to Full Tilt, such as the Poker Players Alliance Political Action Committee.

Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics has said that with Frank taking campaign money from an industry he would regulate “there’s certainly the potential for conflict of interest here.” Several Republicans have echoed that sentiment, but Frank insists that the Full Tilt scandal only proves that he is right and that the government needs to regulate the industry. Frank also seemed to trivialize the scandal, saying that the Full Tilt investigation is a waste of resources. “The U.S. attorneys haven’t done enough about mortgage fraud. They should be spending less time on full houses and more time on empty houses.” Frank’s close relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has also been criticized as one of the reasons for the mortgage crisis.

German State Luring Online Gambling Operators

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

germany3After one German state broke with the other 15 on online gambling regulation, it is poised to become the next big gambling hub of Europe. Opponents are calling Schleswig-Holstein the “Las Vegas of the North,” even though it’s a state while Vegas is a city and it is not north of Las Vegas (though it is the northernmost German state).

Earlier this year, the European Union’s highest court ruled that Germany’s betting monopoly violated EU rules. To be in compliance, they have to liberalize the market and allow competition. Though they are not required to, each of the states normally agrees to a treaty on gambling so that each state’s laws are the same. That treaty will end this December and the states are negotiating a new one. The other 15 states want a nationwide online gambling framework, but last week one state broke from the pack.

By a slim 46 to 45 vote, the state of Schleswig-Holstein voted to regulate online gambling at the local level. That allows them to adopt more generous rules than those proposed by the other states for the new treaty, which many online casinos in the industry have called too restrictive and bad for business. As a result of passing their own regulation that is more enticing for gambling operators, many think that Schleswig-Holstein will become a major European gambling hub.

Stefan Zenker, a spokesman for betting company Jaxx SE, told Businessweek that he wants to “make the same business as we do now, just we do it in Germany, instead of in Malta.” Betfair and bwin.Party are two major online gambling sites that have criticized the proposed German regulations. Both have shown interest in getting into Schleswig-Holstein as a base for their German operations.

Full Tilt License Hearing Resumes

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

full-tilt-poker11On Monday the licensing hearing on Full Tilt Poker resumed. Held at the Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel in London, England, the Alderney Gaming Control Commission met with executives of the poker room to decide the fate of the company. To the disappointment of many in the industry, the commission decided to hold a private hearing behind closed doors. Though the results of the hearing will eventually come out, a poker community that has been rocked by the scandal had hoped for more transparency.

There is a lot of stake, most notably the existence of Full Tilt Poker and the money the company has yet to return to players. More than $150 million in customer money has been frozen and players are still waiting to withdraw their accounts. Full Tilt has said that they don’t currently have the money to pay everyone back.

The Alderney Gaming Control Commission suspended Full Tilt Poker’s license earlier this year. In the hearing, they will decide whether to reinstate the license, keep it under suspension, revoke the license or put off the decision until a later date. If the commission revokes Full Tilt’s license, the company would also lose their licenses from France’s ARJEL and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. In effect, that would result in the extinction of the once powerful poker company.

That decision would be the strictest one, but most experts don’t think the commission will hand down the death penalty. A more likely scenario would be allowing Full Tilt to operate on a restricted basis, where their actions are under strict control and the watchful eye of the commission. Allowing them to operate would bring in money, which could attract investors. At the very least, it could allow Full Tilt to play back those players who are demanding their money.

Many in the online gambling community think that the most likely outcome is an extension of the suspension. In this scenario, the commission would decide to keep the license suspended but will save further judgment until after the U.S. Department of Justice’s court case is resolved.