Archive for June, 2012

Royal Vegas Casino Taking Customer Service to the Next Level

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

skype las vegas casinoWhen it comes to rating accredited online casinos, the foremost factor in getting the highest rating (here at OCS, at least) is customer service. Let’s just say we’ve seen (and mediated) our fair share of player disputes, and that a timely and professional online casino goes a long way in this industry.

One component of online casino customer service is availability. Not just referring to hours of operation, i.e., 24/7 access to games and live help, availability also spans the actual methods of making contact with customer service. Generally, online casinos offer at least two forms of contact – email and toll-free telephone, and a growing number of casinos are now offering a third: Live Chat.

And wouldn’t you know it, but now there’s a fourth method of contact being offered by none other than the the Australia branch of top-rated online casino Royal Vegas. We’ll give you a hint. This form of contact also has its roots in Australia. If you didn’t know that Skype started out in Australia, well, now you do.

Indeed, Royal Vegas has launched a Skype customer service branch for it’s Australian customers, and will be providing all English-speaking customers the option of dialing in directly through a computer, or any other Skype enabled device for that matter. Perfectly suited to online gamblers, who are already sitting at their computers for long periods of time to begin with, the option of using Skype to contact customer service is actually a first for any online casino group.

A member of the eCOGRA approved Fortune Lounge group (which also includes the likes of Platinum Play Casino, Vegas Palms and 7 Sultans), Royal Vegas holds esteem accreditations, including an eCOGRA certification and Microgaming software license. The option of Skype as a means of contacting customer service is icing on the cake for what has already proven to be one of the best online casino networks in business today.

A spokesperson for Royal Vegas said that, depending on demand, Skype service is being considered for its Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Portuguese and Dutch customers as well.

Back to Drawing Board for Online Poker in Cali

Monday, June 18th, 2012

california-flag-bear2The race to become the first U.S. State to legalize online poker has taken a detour in California. One of the more likely States to be able to sustain a formidable online poker network, California still has some kinks to work out in the legislation – the Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2012 (SB1563) – that was introduced earlier this year.

While there is no denying that Californian’s support online poker, the problem in California is that there simply are too many interests. With both private companies and tribal gaming operators seeking a cut of what is estimated to be a $13 Billion industry, generated in annual wagers by California’s 2 million online poker players, it’s been very difficult to make everyone happy.

Trying to make this happen is California Senate Policy Committee Chairman, Roderick Wright, who introduced the current bill on the table, along with Senate President pro tem, Darrell Steinberg. It was Wright who also pulled the bill before it’s first committee hearing scheduled tomorrow, commenting that, “the bill needs more work”.

Largely opposed by California gaming tribes who have exclusive rights to offer gaming on video devices, SB1563 has a lot of language that opens the door for the private market – namely, the California Online Poker Association, whose coalition of 46 casino operators, including the popular Hollywood Park Casino, have been pushing hard for regulation. But Indian tribes, like the Morongo and San Manuel bands of the Mission Indians, are also members of the Coalition, and have been pushing just as hard.

The coalition as a whole has made nearly $8 million in political contributions and gifts to lobbyists in Sacramento. In the last year alone, California casino operators have made over $1.3 million in contributions to the Democratic State Central Committee, which Senator Steinberg will heavily rely on for his campaign to maintain control of the California legislature.

Needless to say, it’s going to be difficult to make everyone happy in California. Perhaps the next draft of SB1563 will do a better job at it.

Bally’s to be Nevada Gaming Board’s First Internet Supplier

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

nevada gaming control boardThe Nevada Gaming Control Board is wasting no time whatsoever in putting the wheels in motion to regulate online gambling. With their recent recommendation of an application submitted by Bally Technologies to provide B2B services to Nevada gambling operators, the Gaming Control Board seems to be playing a very strategic hand in it’s bid to become one of the first State’s to tax and regulate online gambling.

Dependent on two U.S. House bills that would give the Commerce Department the authority to permit U.S. States the right to regulate online gambling activities (other than sports betting), the path to regulation in Nevada looks very promising considering the big players already established here. While California, Florida and Massachusetts are taking similar steps to capitalize on internet betting just as soon as the green light is officially given, Nevada certainly has the most going for it in terms of the likelihood of voter approval.

The recommendation of Bally Technologies to receive an interactive online gaming license by the Nevada Gaming Control Board is just the start of what will likely amount to recommendations of other notable brick ‘n mortar casino brands, such as Caesar’s, Wynn and Boyd Gaming. The only big name likely to not show up is Sands, whose controversial owner, Sheldon Adelson, has openly opposed online gambling regulation, as he claims it foster underage gambling. While it’s painfully clear that Adelson is simply trying to protect his brick ‘n mortar interests, that’s another story for another time.

The Nevada Gaming Commission will be reviewing the Board’s recommendation of Bally Technologies on Thursday, June 21, after which a final decision will be made. When all is said and done, Bally would be licensed to supply casino operators with an open architecture software platform that will give operators custom options in building their own unique gaming package. Designed for mobile online gambling integration as well, Bally’s iGaming platform already offers their most popular games (available through iTunes), and via a recent partnership with the OnGame Network, Bally will be pooled together with what will arguably be one of the largest online poker networks around.

Again, all of this weighs on getting the necessary federal laws passed to further clarify the Wire Act. But if and when that time comes, Bally Technologies will undoubtedly be holding a strong hand dealt by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

UK Online Casino, Virgin Games, to Offer More

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

virgin-casino

Two leading internet gambling brands – Playtech and Virgin Games – have sealed a deal in which Virgin will license Playtech’s online casino platform.

Long powered by Wager Works software (now an IGT Interactive company), Virgin has been steadily expanding it’s suite of casino games integrated into their custom open betting platform. Through licensing agreements with a multitude of software platforms, including Cryptologic, Ash Gaming, Freemantle and Virtue Fusion, Virgin has done an outstanding job offering their players a wide variety of games.

Coming soon are games from Playtech. This is actually a big deal, as Playtech is one of the oldest internet gaming companies in the business. Not only that, their games are top notch. Exceptional graphics, entertaining slots and giant progressive jackpots is what players will get from Playtech. The diversity in slot machines will especially give Virgin Casino players a well of entertainment.

This is precisely what Virgin Games CEO, Simon Burridge, said is the companies main goal, “…to provide our customers with the widest range of top-tier entertainment through online casino games.” He went on to stress how crucial it is for Virgin to offer a large range of games from the “best-of-breed” gaming software’s.

Well, it certainly appears that way. Virgin now boasts one of the largest span of online casino games in the UK. With nearly 400 casino games offered under one roof, it’s also one of the largest portfolios, period. If you’re reading this, are from the UK (or Europe for that matter), and are looking for a UK online casino to open an account with, you can’t go wrong with Virgin Casino. A big brand (yes, it’s Richard Branson’s Virgin) with the best credentials (Alderney and Malta), Virgin also comes through with a steady promotions and bonus lineup.

Check them out here if interested. Here’s our review of Virgin Casino