Fantasy Sports Same as Online Gambling says Harry Reid

20 November 2015 by Elgin Masterson

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Can’t Harry Reid just retire and quit mucking things up. He embodies the quintessential definition of a politician – “what’s in it for me?” Depending on what day of the week it is, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev), is either for legalized online gambling or against it. In his latest rant, Harry Reid attacks daily fantasy sports as “unregulated, illegal gambling” and depending upon fantasy sports sites to self-regulate their industry is total nonsense.

Of course, Harry Reid was referring primarily to DraftKings and FanDuel, the two largest, most successful websites in the daily fantasy sports industry. And in particular, he was commenting on an open letter from FanDuel CEO Nigle Eccles that was addressed to FanDuel’s players and was posted on the website.

In the letter, Eccles said that the industry needed “strong, common sense, enforceable” regulations to protect consumers. He referred to sensible state regulation that’s already in place but didn’t name the state. Legislation such as third-party audits, age and location verification and safeguards against insider company information being used in contests are excellent examples of how the industry can police itself. Eccles went on to say “these are steps I have always advocated for — and now is the time to memorialize them in law for FanDuel and the entire industry.” The letter also noted that “some lawmakers are seeking to prohibit your right to play fantasy sports as you know it.” While Nevada wasn’t named specifically in the letter, gambling regulators recently decided to require fantasy sports sites to be licensed the same as a casino or sports book. Those sites without a license would not be allowed to operate in Nevada.

The controversy surrounding daily fantasy sports is over whether or not this is gambling. The industry points to an exemption for fantasy sports in the federal law (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) that banned online gambling in 2006. Proponents say that even though money is involved, it can’t be considered as gambling because there is a component of skill that is required when putting together a sports team.

Harry Reid agrees with Eccles that insider betting, age and geo location are bonafide aspects that need to be in place to ensure public safety, but that the state needs to be the one to enforce it, not individual companies. And the only way for the state to enforce it, is to charge huge licensing fees. In other words, Reid feels that if the state can’t get a piece of the action from an online gaming site, then it should be banned. In his statement, Reid said “without strong oversight, there is nothing stopping these terrible things from happening and we will continue to see more corruption from this unregulated, illegal gambling.” In referring to online fantasy sports as “what is essentially gambling by another name”, Reid is urging state and federal authorities to regulate the industry.

Nevada Declares Fantasy Sports to be Gambling

12 November 2015 by Elgin Masterson

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online-gambling-NevadaSo far, five states have enacted a total ban on daily fantasy sports. But Nevada falls somewhere in between a yes and a no by allowing fantasy sports companies to operate if they are fully licensed. This of course, becomes a new chunk of revenue for the state. If anyone is going to gamble in Nevada, the state wants their piece of the pie. So, really, it’s not a question of ethics and gambling, but rather, who gets the revenue.

Individual states aren’t the only ones interested in the legality of this issue. The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice are looking at possible violations of federal law. Recently, Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, said “maybe we need to start treating online fantasy sports gaming like traditional sports betting, which has safeguards in place to protect the player.” Menendez has called for new regulations within New Jersey for daily fantasy sports. No doubt this is an effort to help make up the shortfall from the decline of casino revenue in Atlantic City that New Jersey has experienced in the last few years.

The Nevada gambling licensing process involves extensive background investigations and could take six months. In order to be compliant, DraftKings will disable its product in all Nevada gambling jurisdictions and said in an e-mailed statement “we strongly disagree with this decision and will work diligently to ensure Nevadans have the right to participate in what we strongly believe is legal entertainment that millions of Americans enjoy.”

In recent years fantasy sports have mushroomed in popularity, no doubt caused by the efforts of DraftKings and FanDuel. Fueled by huge investments from Major League Baseball, Time Warner Inc. and others, sports fans have been bombarded by fantasy sports advertising .

Fantasy sports were included in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. It stated that fantasy sports games didn’t count as betting as long as certain caveats were met. A company had to have set prize pools, the contests had to be skill based and they couldn’t rely on the outcome of any single sports event. FanDuel and DraftKings constructed their games to conform to these points to construe an exemption from gambling laws.

Silver Oak Casino Weekly Promos, Codes and Considerations

11 December 2014 by Devon Chappell

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SilverOak Weekly BonusesSilver Oak is not an online casino short on player bonuses and promotions, with more than a dozen different offers on hand at any given time. Looking beyond the New Player provisions, this casino’s ongoing offers are worth a look. As such, before you choose from Silver Oak’s menu (specifically regarding the Weekly Bonuses taking place throughout each month), you’ll want to learn the pros and cons for each offer.

Weekly Deposit Bonuses

At Silver Oak, as the weeks within each month roll on, this online casino will increase your Deposit Bonus by 20% up to a maximum bonus of 160%.

During each month’s first week, 1st – 7th, existing Sliver Oak players are offered a 100% deposit bonus match. Use casino coupon code: 1MONTH7 at the cashier when you deposit.

Each month of the year from the 8th – 14th, existing Silver Oak casino patrons get a 120% deposit bonus match. Use casino coupon code: 8MONTH14 at the cashier when you deposit.

Following that, and through the 3rd week, from the 15th to the 21st, Silver Oak gives players a 140% deposit bonus. Use casino coupon code: 15MONTH21 at the cashier when you make deposits during this time.

At the end of each month, from the 22nd until the end of the calendar month, Silver Oak gives existing players a 160% deposit bonus. Use casino coupon code: 22MONTHEND at the cashier when you decide to make a deposit.

The fine print: As with all bonuses, the weekly bonuses offered at Silver Oak come with wagering requirements and/or stipulations. These are not new player deposit bonuses. The Weekly Deposit Bonus promotions at Silver Oak are only offered for players who already have accounts and have deposited at least once prior to taking advantage of the weekly bonus schedule.

These bonuses are geared toward players looking to play slots, blackjack and video poker for the most part – imposing a very typical 30x play-through for games of chance such as slots, while games of skill like Blackjack and Video Poker, impose 60x the bonus value before withdrawal from winnings is allowed. A very important consideration for any of these bonuses is that Roulette, Baccarat, Craps, Pai Gow, Poker War and Sic Bo do not count nor contribute toward meeting wagering requirements. However, this online casino has no max withdrawal once wagering stipulations have been met.

Happy Holidays

Don’t forget to take a shot or two at The Naughty List, Sliver Oaks’ Christmas-themed slot. You are able to use deposit match bonuses to play this game.

Daily Promos

For even better gaming selection offers beyond the typical slots-based deposit matches, be sure to check out the Promo Crazy Days section in this casino’s promotions section for daily offers like Happy Hour, Terrific Tuesdays, 3x Wednesdays, $55 Thriller Thursdays, Friday Freebie, Super Saturdays and Free Chip Sweet Sundays.

This Realtime Gaming (RTG) software powered online casino is US player friendly.

MGM Supports New York Online Gambling Market

1 December 2014 by Devon Chappell

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While New York has been on the cusp of legalizing various forms of online casino gambling, and has been one of a handful of states that industry insiders believe will be the next to go live with real money wagering online, the fact of the matter is that the fuel supporting the latest push for legalization in the Empire State is coming from out West.

Let NY Play, is the latest proponent slogan for iGaming in New York. Social media outlets have been fanning the flames through this organization, which is actually coming from none other than MGM Resorts International. MGM is a huge gaming brand based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

So then why all the backing from a casino brand that doesn’t even have a land-based property or a stake in New York?

Well, New York is getting ready to move forward with granting four different licenses to develop online outlets, and while MGM is interested, it has no hand in the game other than possible future interests. MGM has lobbied in the state of New York before – specifically in support of the legalization of online poker.

While Let NY Play is gaining social interest online, MGM surely cannot be embracing the idea that New York will generate enough revenue from the get-go to stimulate the expansion of online gambling a la New Jersey, which is still struggling to generate increased online wagering income even though there are more than a dozen online casinos there.

But wait, in New York it’s about poker specifically. New York is a state that loves poker. MGM knows that New York residents bet as much as $110 million in non-regulated online poker activity. Further believing that NY could generate between $50-80 million in revenue each year, MGM may have designs on the future indeed. This estimate does not consider additional revenue the state would gain from the licensing process itself.

Still, is there something else propelling MGM in its support of NY so much? NY’s neighbor, New Jersey, has come nowhere near earning the revenue it originally predicted it would when gambling online went live over a year ago.

Needless to say, MGM officials are taking the “slow and steady” road, and believe that while there has been a slow start to the industry, the tables will turn eventually. After all, there are online casinos that are not based in the US still taking wagers from US players, and thereby cutting into the market.

Interest by many offshore and European online poker giants to move back into the US market may be the solution to the needed income. But the question remains whether or not US markets such as NY are ready to grant permission for the world’s most successful online poker brands to move in.

The fact that MGM owns half of the Borgata, which hosts the most popular online casino in New Jersey at this time, may be another factor. Perhaps MGM will go live via the Borgata, creating a site related to its New Jersey destination. There are rumblings in the industry that this is a possible outcome in the near future, but New Jersey is not New York.

Whatever MGM’s motives may be entirely, the state of New York is on the verge of legalization, indeed. As casino licensing gets underway, there are sure to be further developments regarding MGM’s support of online poker in New York. Time will tell what they are.

Big Gambling Brands Dying by Way of Netflix?

22 November 2014 by Devon Chappell

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CVC Capital Partners, the largest private equity firm in Europe, has recently given their vote of confidence on behalf of the online gambling industry. The private equity investors agreed to purchase a hefty controlling stake in the online gambling company, SkyBet. In fact, it was the largest purchase made by private investors in the quickly changing industry that is iGaming. At a sizable $1.25 Billion, this purchase secured for CVC Capital Partners is roughly 80% of SkyBet.

Seeded by the UK’s Sky Satellite Broadband Company (much beloved for their SKySports sector), SkyBet initially made it’s mark via online sports betting, and has since established itself in the realms of online poker and other online casino games. Having such a robust and respected private equity firm place it’s bet in favor of the company says a great deal about the shift that is taking place in general perception concerning the online gambling industry’s ability to be a thriving, dependable economic powerhouse.

This shift can be observed in multiple similar investments and partnerships that have begun to dot trade publications in recent years. For instance, when software conglomerate, Amaya, made their $4.9 billion buyout of the popular PokerStars, the credit division of the world’s largest private equity firm, Blackstone Group, backed the deal with a $1 billion credit line. This groundbreaking change in how mainstream business regards online gambling put banking heavyweights like Deutsche Bank and Barclays in the position of holding assets rooted in the online gambling industry. Not surprisingly, Amaya’s shares have enjoyed a swift upswing since.

What is of main interest here is the somewhat less hearty investment being made by private equity into the online division of the land-based casino giant, Caesars Entertainment. It has yet to be confirmed if this is a reflection on the current struggle Caesars’ finds itself in, or if it is a preference for the specialization that companies solely focused on online gambling offer. For example, which company would likely woo more investment at this point? Twitter, or a new Short form social media product created by Microsoft?

Well, it probably wouldn’t be going out on a limb to say that Twitter would win due to its advantage of having established the first product of this nature (nor ro mention the fact that all of the company’s assets are focused in that single area). This preference differs a great deal from the original predictions that land-based casinos would overwhelm the online market and take over with brand power.

Could land-based casinos go by the way of Blockbuster vs Netflix ? Luckily, given that Caesars is already working to get ahead of the curve, they are more likely to ensure their survival in a digital future. Other land-based companies do not seem to be quite as prepared. One way or another, a simple prediction to make is that as the world’s money holders become invested in the success of online gambling, the governmental resistance to the legalization of it will surely wither.

Weekly Casino Promos Roundup

7 November 2014 by Devon Chappell

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If you wish to use various bonuses and promotions to lengthen your online casino gambling, here is a roundup of the most prevalent offers currently on hand for a very limited time. Remember, you are never required to use any bonus or promotion. That said, it is not recommended that you take part in any promotion or bonus unless you are well versed on the specific requirements and stipulations that come with bonus money and promotional events offered by online casinos. If you have any issue with wagering requirements, you can always play with your own money exclusive of any deal on offer.

Club USA Latest Offers (click to see more)

This week at Club USA, players can take advantage of several casino coupon codes that will provide deposit matches for online slots play. From November 6th through November 9th, Club USA players can use the following 4 codes one after another:

First promo: 65% Slots Deposit Match Bonus using online casino code: RPLS65COMBO1. 

Second promo: 67% Slots Deposit Match Bonus using online casino code: RPLS67COMBO2.

Third promo: 67% Slots Deposit match Bonus with 25 Free Spins on Voodoo Magic using online casino code: RDLS67COMBO3.

Fourth promo: Get 100 Free Spins on Enchanted Garden using online casino code: RSLS100COMBO4.

The fine print: The first two promos come with a 25x wager requirement, which must be met before any withdrawal from winnings can be completed. Only slots and Real Series video slots count towards meeting the wagering requirement for these two promos. Each of the first two promo codes will work one time and are only valid November 6-9.

The third promo also comes with a 25x wager requirement. Only slots and Real Series video slots are included and the code will work one time during November 6-9.

The fourth promo code also comes with a 25x wager requirement, with a max withdrawal of $200. The 100 free spins is for Enchanted Garden only, and at a rate of $0.20 for each spin, totaling $20.00. Only slots and Real Series video slots are valid with this promo and the code is valid one time during November 6-9.

Slotter Casino Latest Offers

Friday, November 7th, Slotter Casino is running its popular TGIFriday promo, wherein players can use online casino code: FRINIGHT to get a 75% Deposit Match bonus up to $1000 playing slots. Additionally, players can also use code: TGIFRI for a 55% Deposit Match on all games.

The fine print: The slots bonus code will work one time and the all-games code will work up to ten times. Both promos come with a 25x wager requirement. Be aware that beyond slots, each casino game is governed with variable percentage rates that work toward meeting your 25x wagering requirement. These promos have no max cash out. Simply refer to the Slotter Casino Terms and Conditions section if you have questions about what percentage any casino game you wish to play counts toward meeting your 25x wager requirement.

New Jersey to Regulate Skill Based Games

28 October 2014 by Devon Chappell

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In a move to boost online casino revenue, the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) is now taking applications from casino operators seeking skill-based provisions. This new decision comes even with less regulative standards (relatively speaking), while the processing of applications is to be done faster in order to meet the needs that the DGE is conveying in order to get the ball rolling. New Jersey regulators and operators alike have sought ways to integrate new advancements in gaming technology into the regulated market.

The massive popularity of online skill-based casino games calls for demand. Meeting this demand, the DGE is clearly willing to get in on the action more sooner than later. Skill-based casino games – wherein players are able to be engaged and socialize with one another – have become very popular. And it’s the software companies that should be thanked for the new technology-oriented generation of online gambling fans who are looking to wager more because the games are the most realistic they’ve ever been.

The new announcement coming from the DGE is of particular interest in the fact New Jersey regulators will be better prepared to process new skill based gambling online applications, thus ensuring operators faster results when seeking a license of this kind.

Currently in New Jersey, skill games fall under a New Jersey statute – that if approved – would permit casinos to launch their new platform games within two weeks. This is an impressive detail and one of great interest to entice current online casinos in the state to provide games with better odds. This speed of approval will make the state of New Jersey the absolute fastest processing of its kind in the US to market online gaming platforms of skill.

In essence, this new development is a ringing dinner bell for all online casinos to come forward with new skill based offerings for players, knowing the state will eagerly work with them.

While this is a great way to increase internet gambling revenue in New Jersey (perhaps a way to boost lagging income from less than impressive results in the nearly one year since gambling online became regulated in New Jersey), this type of enticement and speedy licensure for skill based games will be met with some resistance, as online casinos are typically more in favor of launching games with less favorable odds. However, new technology making skill based games very attractive to consumers demands results. The timing here is good.

Non real money wagering games are also part of the reason as to why casino games of skill with real money have become so popular. The social component of skill based games that are not being wagered with real money (yet), like Candy Crush and Words With Friends, is very helpful to the rise of online casinos providing more skill based. New Jersey seems to be responding to the trend of skill based popularity quickly. Other markets in the US should, too.

Applications are now being accepted. As such, games of skill could be launching at various New Jersey online casinos by early November.

Club USA Halloween Events and Codes

21 October 2014 by Devon Chappell

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Club World CasinosWeekend Slots Action

This weekend, Club USA Casino is hosting a generous 69% Deposit Match style slots promotion from Thursday, October 23 through Sunday, October 26. This unlimited slots only bonus will activate using online casino bonus code: RPLS69SLOTS

If you are reading this after the fact, there are slots and all game promotions taking place at Club USA every day of the week. In fact, right after this event ends, there’s another new slots event the following day.

As with any online casino promotion, this one has stipulations. The deposit match is for slots play only, so if you plan on playing other types of casino games, this is not the promotion for you. As with all bonuses, this one has a wagering requirement (25x) before a cash out from any winnings is allowed. Highly active players should be pleased to know the bonus code can be used an unlimited amount of times during this event.

Halloween Themed Promotion

Who needs candy and a costume when there are two promotions taking place during the week leading up to Halloween? We won’t bother you with all the puns and silly, scary names, but starting Monday, October 27 through Wednesday, October 29, Club USA casino players will have access to two different promotions.

Promo 1: There’s a 1x Deposit $50 Play With $100 For All Games promotion taking place. This is great for those wishing to play slots and/or other casino games at Club USA Casino. At the casino cashier, simply enter casino bonus code: RFLA50TREAT1 for use.

Promo 2: There’s a 3x 66% Deposit Match Slots Bonus taking place. Simply enter casino bonus code: RPLS66TREAT2 at the cashier when depositing.

These two promotions have separate requirements as follows:

The 1x Deposit $50 Play With $100 For All Games promotion comes with a few stipulations. The deposit and the bonus has a pre-set wagering requirement of $2,500 before a cash out is allowed on any winnings. This coupon code will permit players to take part in all casino games at Club USA Casino, but each game comes with a different contribution percentage towards meeting the wagering requirement. If you have questions as to what the specific percentages are, a chart is available in the Terms and Conditions section online. This particular promotional code will be valid only one time during the promotional period.

The 3x 66% Deposit Match Slots Bonus also comes with typical online gambling promotional stipulations. A wagering requirement of 25x is required before any cash out is allowed from winnings. This promotion is only valid for slot game play, however, the bonus code can be used an unlimited number of times during the promotional period.

Additionally, Club USA has a variety of other bonuses for new players and continually hosts slots tournaments and other player rewards. Simply visit this casino’s promotions section and the OCS blog for the latest information.

Betfair Gets Six Month Extension in NJ

10 October 2014 by Devon Chappell

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New Jersey online gambling regulators have share some developments that will keep Betfair in the fold for at least another six months. Together, Betfair and Caesars Entertainment have reached a deal that will keep the online casino software company running in the Garden State for another half year or more. The deal has already been accepted by the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement.

Just under a month ago, when Trump Plaza – Betfair’s brick ’n mortar partner for online casino wagering, closed up in Atlantic City – it was largely thought that Betfair would set up shop through another Trump property in Atlantic City – the Trump Taj Mahal. After all, both properties are owned by the Trump Entertainment Resorts. Betfair even had backend facilities for online wagering set up at the Taj Mahal.

Not so fast was the case, as Trump Entertainment resorts itself went under last month. Alas, Betfair has had its eye on the ball ever since learning of potential bankruptcies with the Trump casino brand. Within a few days of that news, Betfair was dealing with Caesars.

Because licensed software providers are required to work with one of Atlantic City’s land based casinos to legally operate online sites taking real money wagers in New Jersey and because so many casino properties in Atlantic City are already online with software brands, the need to find a new home could have been a bit dicey for Betfair.

The Department of Gaming Enforcement permitted Betfair to keep a license to operate for a short period of time while seeking out a new partnership. The new deal with Caesars will give Betfair some time to work out a longterm plan for its future in the largest online casino market the US currently has to offer.

The approved extension allows Betfair to run online from Bally’s Atlantic City, which is a well known Caesars sub-brand.

Betfair is based in the UK and is a long standing, yet somewhat beleaguered brand (as of late). The UK holds one of the most highly regulated and largest online gambling markets in the world. Interestingly enough, Betfair has had its share of battles regarding revenue generation in the steady but not entirely growing New Jersey market. A partnership with an aging Trump casino brand was probably not the best situation for the brand.

This could all change if Caesars takes the brand to its consumers with a fresh, new marketing strategy. After all, Caesars online casinos are the most successful thus far in New Jersey. BetfairCasino.com brought in a mere 7% of the overall New Jersey online gambling revenue just two months ago in August, which lands at a few thousand dollars over $700,000. It’s safe to say that the online gambling industry in NJ did not save the Trump properties in its last ditch chance to stay afloat.

Betfair’s Ultimate Gaming withdrew from New Jersey previously after the fledgling Trump brand had little ability to promote it in the manner that other operators were marketing their casinos online.

Another thing to consider is Betfair’s online poker site, which is another struggling site that even uses competing software – Ongame – with Caesars own poker room. Caesars powers its more successful WSOP.com poker room using 888 software.

Will Caesars move forward with two rooms using two different software platforms? That’s anyone’s guess, as the industry waits to see how the Caesars brand actually serves it to the market, perhaps in another, more successful way.

Online Application Still Down for UK Tax Regime

1 October 2014 by Devon Chappell

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In the latest development with the impending, controversial taxation about to hit the UK online gambling industry, operators are now left wondering if regulators are waiting until the last minute to take their applications online. With little over two months to go until the new taxation policy is to go in effect, the online website for registration is not even operational yet. And many folks are now wondering if there is more to this delay than bad planning.

As it currently stands, internet-based casino operators will be required to start paying a stiff new taxation of 15% to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on wagering, casino gaming and any remote gaming activities carried out by players/bettors who live in the UK, regardless of where those operators are based in the world. This is a major upset to operators based outside of the UK, who have not been required to pay any gambling taxes in the UK thus far.

HMRC has stated that casino operators already registered for taxation within in the UK will be auto-enrolled for the new 15% point of consumption taxation. For those operators looking to come aboard, transfer, or inquiry, HMRC said it would be contacting those businesses to get their details integrated into the new taxation scheme.

What is compelling right now is that online casino operators based outside of the United Kingdom and not currently registered for UK tax have indeed registered for the new taxation plan with HMRC. Leading up to the deadline, HMRC has stated that operators who are subject to the new tax regime but do not complete proper registration, face steep and potentially unlimited fines or the loss of their license altogether and will not be able to accept wagers from UK residents. But with the online registration not yet ready with less than two months (and one month for application) left until the deadline to apply, many are left wondering what gives.

The UK’s new point of consumption taxation is being met with great resistance in Gibraltar, where a formal complaint has been filed, sighting unlawful taxation under EU rules. Subsequently, several well-known online casino operators from the UK have threatened to pull up stake and remove their operations from the UK market if they are forced to pay the higher tax rate.

The point of consumption tax was created with a new regulatory and licensing framework for remote gambling in the UK. However, it is a separate tax.

Interestingly, even with the online registration site not yet underway, HMRC has stated that any applications need be submitted and/or completed more than one month before the deadline of December 1st for applicants outside of the UK, and more than two weeks before the deadline for those operators located inside the UK, EU, as well as various outlying UK territories, such as Alderney and Guernsey, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man.

There is quite some skepticism surrounding the online process availability with the respective deadlines swiftly approaching. In August, HMRC said that online registration would be available in early autumn. In its latest update since that time, HMRC the system will open “soon”, and that further instructions will be available at that time.

Nothing wrong with waiting until the last minute we suppose. We’ll just have to wait and see.