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.

Poker Stars and Full Tilt Leave Markets

24 September 2014 by Devon Chappell

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With there being no real secret to the agenda regarding the world’s most (in)famous online poker brand’s desire to relaunch in several legitimate online gambling markets, namely the UK and US, PokerStars has begun to remove itself from questionable markets that may prohibit it from becoming part of the UK and US iGaming regimes.

The markets affected by this new move are of relative obscurity, including a handful of countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. These areas of the world have casinos online, but are considered to be grey markets, and thus, not as reputable as markets like that of the UK.

After it was announced that PokerStars would be asking players to close accounts in countries such as Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Nigeria Malaysia, and Turkey, executives at the company issued a statement asking that existing players in these markets cash out and close their accounts “at their convenience,” and to take advantage of any upcoming tournament entries and Frequent Player Points before making a final withdrawal. This new move out of unsavory markets for PokerStars is an important one that comes at a crucial juncture in the UK market, as the impending UK Gambling Act (Licensing and Advertising) expected to go into effect next month requires that any online operator intending to seek a remote gambling license does not receive more than 3% of its gaming revenues from unlicensed markets.

The UK casino market online is one of the largest and most lucrative in the world, generating about £2.5 billion ($4.26 billion US) in yearly revenue, with £329 million ($559 million US) of that income generated by online poker. Needless to say, this is the online poker market to go after for PokerStars.

Amaya Gaming purchased PokerStars months back with the plan to give the brand a new image and draw attention aways from its rocky beginnings of taking wagers from illegal markets in the past. The US market was very lucrative for the online poker giant until the Department of Justice targeted its operations, charging the brand with unlawful dealings i.e. taking real money wagers from US players.

PokerStars is undisputedly the largest online poker hub in the world, with a player pool unrivaled. Since Amaya bought the company, it has launched a full-fledged marketing campaign to make the poker site legitimate in the eyes of major regulated markets. With the UK market a big possibility – and very soon at that – industry insiders are speculating as to whether the PokerStars name will make its way back into the US market now that Amaya, one of the most highly respected casino operators in the world, has taken the reigns.

One notable country that PokerStars did not remove itself from in this new announcement was Canada, where several well-known operators such as Betfred, Ladbrokes, Matchbook, and EuroPartners have recently stopped taking wagers. Since Amaya is a Canadian company with a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, this should come as no surprise that the two top poker brands are staying put in Canada.

Microgaming to Launch New 5 Reel Slot

17 September 2014 by Devon Chappell

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Microgaming powered online casinos have a new online slot to look forward to as early as Oct 5th. The new game, Red Hot Devil, is a video slot with 5 reels and 25 different pay lines. The Red Hot Devil slot boasts the latest content rich technology fans of this software platform are accustomed to, yet unlike many other types of themes we see online at casinos, this one boasts one sexy female devil.


When playing this game, which happens to be launching at Platinum Play on the 5th, and other various Microgaming casinos such as Crazy Vegas, Go Wild, and Jackpot City, players will be paid for adjacent symbol combos on a pay line. These wins will be multiplied by the wager amount per line. The scatter symbol stands-in for all of this slot’s symbols, and wins from the scatter symbol are multiplied by the total wager placed and are supplemental to pay line wins. During the Red Hot Multiplier Free Spin Round, the scatter symbol will only show on reels 1 and 5. The same concept applies in the Red Hot Wild Reels feature.

As most video slots do, Microgaming’s new Red Hot Devil also features a Wild Symbol which stands-in for all the game’s symbols (except the scatter symbol). Unlike the Free Spin Round’s scatter symbol that appears on lines 1 and 5, this Wild Symbol shows on lines 2, 3 and 4.



During the Free Spins with Red Hot Multiplier feature, players will be given 10 free spins starting at a1x multiplier level that will then increase in value between 2-10x. The number of Scatter Symbols shown will determine the x value. During this feature, all wins in will be multiplied by the active multiplier, too.



During the free spins feature of the new Red Hot Devil slot, players will also be given 10 free spins starting at a 1x multiplier level that will then randomly turn wild each spin when on reel 2, 3 or 4. When the scatter symbol appears on reel 1 or 5, that whole reel turns wild in value. Should a player get lucky enough to see the Scatter Symbol on both lines 1 and 5, the Free Spins feature will be triggered yet again to give another 10 free spins to the player.



The Pick Until Pop style Wheel of Fire feature that is included with this new Microgaming slot obliges the player to choose from 10 different orbs of fire, each of which embodies a special offer until they pick unsuccessfully.

Many of the casinos we have rated and reviewed do feature Microgaming technology, but most of them do not accept US players. Lastly, if you do chose to accept a deposit match style bonus to play this new slot at any online gambling casino, be aware of wagering requirements, as always.

California Online Poker Progress On Hold

10 September 2014 by Devon Chappell

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After a 5-year continuation of one unsuccessful attempt after another to legalize online poker in California – the once considered most favorable state to enter the online gambling market in the US – proponents are once again scratching their collective heads wondering when and if.

One of two bills that have been created in an effort to legalize online poker play in California was put on hold recently, with several lawmakers taking the position there was not enough time left before the current 2014 legislative session to make changes to the law and add further meticulous standards required to get the bill passed successfully through the House.

The delayed bill, SB 1366, was drafted by Senator Lou Correa, who happens to be the chairman of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee (the same committee that oversees gambling in the State), has seen a tough battle in regards to interstate compacts and tribal casinos.

AB 2291 is the other bill, and us widely considered by industry insiders as an answer to most everything that initial goals failed to use in persuading a positive outcome from the get-go. It seeks to permit and regulate online poker legislation, and is currently waiting a hearing date.

Three US states are already live with websites offering a variety of online casino games. California is seeking online poker legislature only at this point. California was initially considered to be one of the top three states to legislate, yet roadblocks from tribal communities looking to stave off land-based gaming failure should online casinos become legal, as well as disagreements over interstate game play, have gotten in the way of any legislative success at this time. Now we wait once again.

Still, there is room for optimism, as there are several lawmakers in favor of online poker. But whether they will get a bill passed before succumbing to opposition and political pressure from the other side of the house floor is of some concern.

The bottom line is that the main failure in getting a bill passed stems from various arguments over specifics in the two existing bills. Lingering issues between lawmakers and several casinos and poker sites that operated within California before authorities cracked down on them remain. Bad actor clauses are being considered to ensure sites that operated improperly before the crackdown are not permitted to legally operate in the state, and is creating a lot of argument.

California’s tribal casinos are the other main roadblock. There are dozens of land-based tribal casinos in the state of California which provide all the gambling services available in the state. Understandably, they are very concerned that online poker sites will greatly affect the revenue generated at these brick ‘n mortar casinos.

Earlier in this year, the outcome of a bill getting passed seemed very probable. Then, waning income and less-than-stellar earnings from existing online casinos in the US led to a slower urgency to get a bill passed. While in wait, California lawmakers will certainly be keeping close tabs on the online casino operators in the three states where online gambling is regulated. We are likely looking to the very beginning of 2015 before any bill could get a casino online in California.