Archive for May, 2012

2012 iGaming Super Show Comes to Close

Friday, May 25th, 2012

iGamingSupershow2012One of the largest gatherings in the internet betting industry – the third annual iGaming Super Show – has come to a close after four days of in-depth conferences, learning clinics and non-stop networking. Organized by iGaming Business (iGB), the iGaming Super Show is largely aimed at bringing together affiliates with betting site operators (much like the iGBAffiliate.com conferences). But what sets the iGaming Super Show apart from other conferences, including the long-running Casino Affiliate Convention (CAC), is that it truly is deserving of the title “Super Show” in that it has become the largest event in the iGaming industry.

This year’s iGaming Super Show was split into two main tracks – an affiliate track on Day 2 and an operator track on Day 3. The affiliate track included conferences pertaining to online marketing, while the operator track covered a broad range of issues facing betting site operators. Two supplemental programs – “Professional iGaming Management and Education (PRiME)” and “Betting Trends & Strategies” – were hosted on Day 3, the former aimed at new entrants in the online gambling market. Limited to 30 places, PRiME was an an all-day intensive that covered everything from payment processing and marketing to fraud and player recruitment.

Learning clinics were hosted for four hours each day of the show, giving both affiliates and operators the opportunity to receive one-on-one consultations on topics covering online marketing (SEO and PPC), social media, payment processing and Word Press. But just like all affiliate conferences, the most popular events were the networking parties. Even non-operators, such as the Isle of Man’s Gambling Supervision Commission, were pleased with the opportunities surfacing around the events of the show.

Once again hosted in Ireland, the 2012 iGaming Super Show was expected to be even larger than last year’s record breaking attendance. However, early numbers indicate the turnout was no larger than the 2011 event. As reported by InterGameOnline, the rumor on the streets is that there is talk about holding the next iGaming Super Show in Amsterdam at a slightly later date. Needless to say, Amsterdam is quite the popular place for holding iGaming conventions. The aforementioned CAC was, for many years, held in Amsterdam.

Wherever the 2013 iGaming Super Show is hosted, rest assured that iGaming Business will be working hard to bring together the online gambling industry in due proportion.

Online Gambling Regs on the Table in Illinois

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Add the State of Illinois to a growing ledger of U.S. States considering the prospects of legalizing online gambling to one extent or another. With just over two weeks before a scheduled adjournment at the end of May, and amidst debate over Medicaid and pension reforms, Chicago Democrat and Illinois Senate President, John Cullerton, has introduced legislation to create a Division of Internet Gaming within the Illinois State Lottery. Not going so far to introduce legislation to regulate online casinos, per say, Cullerton said his goal is to make Illinois nimble enough to adjust to the reality of online gambling and position itself to capture the widest audience possible before federal regulation is implemented.

Cullerton, like several other State politicians, believes there is great value in being one of the first State’s to regulate online gambling. First, Cullerton believes that the sooner Illinois establishes itself in the iGaming industry, the more advantage it will have for long-term success and making a stake at what could be hundreds of millions of dollars. As first reported by CBS News, in his letter to Governor Pat Quinn and other legislators, Cullerton said, “The state could organize the first major poker pool, garner worldwide popularity, and position itself as a hub for multi-state and international iGaming”.

Secondly, Cullerton believes that it is imperative to pass regulations before the federal government takes the lead. Currently, there is legislation pending in the U.S. Senate that, if passed, could preclude State’s from reaping financial benefits if motions are not already underway if and when a federal law to regulate online gambling is passed.

While Cullerton has support from some of his colleagues, like Illinois Senate Gaming Committee Chairman, Terry Link – who cited Cullerton’s legsilation as having “unlimited potential” that would not cut into business – others, like Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, have expressed caution rushing into a vote on Cullerton’s proposal. Nor does Governor Quinn appear too keen on the idea of expanding gambling – in any form, at that. Having already expressed opposition to a proposal that would expand casino gambling and permit racetracks to offer slot machines, Governor Quinn’s office openly stated they will not take a position on Cullerton’s proposal so as not to distract from more pressing issues – namely, health care and public employee pensions.

Despite Cullerton’s pressing, his proposal will very likely have to wait until the Senate commences once again. Whether or not this “delay” will put Illinois at a disadvantage in the long-term remains to be seen. In the meantime, Cullerton can rest assured that the Illinois State Lottery is liking this whole internet thing. Since March of this year, when online lottery sales went live in Illinois ¬†for the first time, the State has brought in almost $2 million in online sales alone.

Casino Bonus Tips – Reading Through the Casino Terms

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Always read the red tape before claiming a bonus at an online casino

Always read the red tape before claiming a bonus at an online casino

When it comes to wagering with free bonus money at online casinos, one can never be too cautious before claiming said free money. In other words, no matter how many terms and conditions you have to dig through and read, ensure that you understand all of the conditions, or better yet, red tape, that will impede just how fast and likely you will be able to cash out any winnings derived from bonus play BEFORE you claim a bonus and start wagering.

For the seasoned pro’s out there, it’s likely you’ve heard this time and time again. Believe me, I’ve written about it so many times that I could probably recite it in my sleep. Nonetheless, there is always somebody new on the scene who runs into a snag at the time of trying to cash out (due to breaking casino bonus terms), and who consequently, makes a big stink on the forums about being cheated and denied rightful winnings.

Granted, there are some jilted newbies out there who wouldn’t have known better anyhow, because of a lack of disclosure of bonus terms. Needless to say, any online casinos that do not properly disclose their terms, including general and promotional terms, should be blacklisted. And yes, there have been plenty of blacklisted online casinos over the years.

These days, the word has gotten around so much thanks to reputable online gambling portals such as Your’s Truly, that you are much less likely to find an online casino withholding bonus terms on their website – albeit some sites will require you to dig around more than others. Instead, you will find some casinos that mail out unsolicited promotional postcards showcasing free bonus chips (without disclosing terms) and directing players to a stand-alone signup page that offers no direct links to the specific bonus terms. Free bonus chip offers are especially bound by terms, so you can imagine what a mess they can make when a player is not aware of the cashout restrictions.

When you are combing through bonus terms and conditions, be sure to verify the following:

1) The play-through or wager requirement – This is the number of times that you will be required to wager over the sum total of your bonus and accompanying deposit BEFORE eligible to cash out winnings (minus the original bonus amount). All casino bonuses have a play-through. Be sure to verify what it is.

2) Minimum number of wagers – If you’re a high roller or risk-taker, do not think that you can drastically increase your wager amount so that you can meet the play-through in just a handful of wagers. Most online casinos deem this to be bonus abuse. If there are no stated minimum wager amounts, ask customer service to explain their bonus policy more in depth. And remember, if you get an incompetent customer service rep who doesn’t know what your asking about (and just keeps telling you what the play-through amount is), demand to speak with a casino manager.

2) Restricted Games – In conjunction with the play-through, all bonuses will restrict certain games from being wagered until the play-through has been met. Be warned that the casino software will not automatically block you from playing these games. Nor will you be notified that you have played a restricted game. It is your responsibility to ensure which games are restricted. If you are unclear, contact customer service and get it in writing. Slots bonuses are the most common, however, even these may restrict certain slots wagers, such as tournament play and progressive jackpots. Again, if you are unclear, contact your casino rep or customer service.

3) Maximum Cashout Limitations – Although some casinos, do not impose maximum cashouts on winnings earned with bonus play, most do. Free chip bonuses ALWAYS have a maximum cashout amount. That means you are limited to the maximum cashout even if you hit a jackpot while using bonus money. Please note, in order to ensure you are free of any bonus restrictions after meeting the play-through, it is advised to withdraw all winnings earned from said bonus and make a new deposit. Again, if you are unclear about the extent of withdrawal constraints, contact customer service. Two great casinos that do not impose a max cashout on their welcome bonus are Club USA ($777 Free) and Lucky Red ($4,000 Free).

4) Time Constraints – Most bonuses require that the play-through requirement be met within a specified timeframe. On average, this is 90 days, which is reasonable. This is especially important for low-stakes bettors (penny slots, anyone?) to know, as it’s important to ensure that your time spent wagering online is sufficient to meet the play-through requirement within a designated timeframe.

In summary, if you can’t any validate any and all of the above terms (that means getting it in writing), take your business elsewhere. There are plenty of great online casinos out there offering free bonus money. Don’t buy into the hard sell.

Latest OCS Approved Site – Mona Casino

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

MonaCasinoMona Casino is a name you’ve probably already come across if you’ve visited Online Casino Suite in the last month. Grandfathered in our reviews directory, Mona Casino was given a top-rating right from the get-go due to the track record of Mona’s experience management team…not to mention an outstanding welcome bonus package and VIP program.

Owned and managed by the same team behind Rome Partners – Top Game Software’s most successful and reputable licensee – Mona Casino – offers a reliable playing experience for U.S. bettors. Unfortunately, there are not that many reliable online gambling destinations for U.S. players these days. Needless to say, much of this has been caused by the U.S. government’s unwillingness to regulate and efforts to make the processing of funds more difficult for offshore online casino operators.

For some operators like Mona, however, efficient payment processing protocols have been independently developed, resulting in fast and reliable payouts. Furthermore giving Mona a good dose of credibility is their use of a TST verified software platform. For anyone unfamiliar with TST, it is a renowned testing lab facility with experience validating the fairness of software platforms in both the terrestrial and online betting worlds.

The OCS Mona Casino review shares details about Mona’s welcome bonus offer and VIP loyalty program. As mentioned, these two components are that extra incentive making Mona can provide for U.S. players. The welcome offer is a slots bonus worth 400% up to $400 Free (available on four recurring deposits as well), or 25% cashback on losses incurred playing table games and video poker (also available on recurring deposits). See our Mona Casino Review for full bonus terms.

Regarding the VIP Loyalty Program, it is structured in four tiers, and offers some great benefits for a minimal amount of deposits. For example, the second threshold, Florence Class, is achieved on just four deposits, and provides access to daily promotions, special slots tournaments, quicker withdrawals, and best of all, a personal account manager.

Last but not least, another good reason to go with Mona Casino is that a rep will be active on our Player Discussion Forum, and will be around to answer questions and provide solutions.