Posts Tagged ‘ecogra online poker rooms’

888’s Second Quarter Earnings Report: Online Casino and Bingo up; Poker Down

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Man Alive! What’s to be done about the online poker slump? You mean you didn’t hear? Okay, well maybe the players aren’t in a slump, per say. However, the leading U.S. facing online poker rooms (at least the one’s who used to do business in the States) are beginning to see just how bad the online poker industry depends on Uncle Sam.

Granted, I’m not referring to the poker rooms still doing business with American citizens. For them, it’s business as usual. In other words, lots of money to be had. Poker Stars and Doyle’s Room, for instance, are experiencing gains in poker activity, while rooms like 888 Pokrt are being hit with all-time record losses.

Just how bad is the damage? Well, according to 888’s Chief Executive, Gigi Levy (don’t you love that name?), who announced company earnings last month, pre-tax profit is down 43%, which equates to a difference of $6.3 million from last year’s profit of $14.9 million. Let me put it another way – 888 earned more revenue from online bingo than poker.

Uh ya, so apparently 888 is going to be undertaking some cost cutting programs in order to prevent further losses ($6 million overhead reduction), although Levy didn’t say exactly how that will be obtained. Granted, much of 888’s loss in online poker revenue can be attributed to a slumping global economy and the World Cup, which is what William Hill’s CEO blamed for his company’s losses as well! 888 has been closed to the U.S. for some time now, which goes to show that market shifts do indeed take place as a result of factors other than government infringement.

However, one can only surmise just how much this loss would have been offset if 888 was still tapping into the lucrative U.S. online poker industry. Just how lucrative you ask? Well, let’s save that for another blog post. The latest issue of iGaming Bussiness magazine has some very interesting things to say about online poker in the State of California alone – and I definitely have some things I want to share regarding this in another post. In other words, stay tuned.

As far as talks about 888 going into a merger this year, Levy reiterated his earlier comments in the year that consolidation looked “highly likely”, and after being pressed for hints, did not rule out the option of merging with Ladbrokes. Following the merger between giant’s, Bwin and Party Gaming, 888 certainly needs to do something in order to stay in the games. Thus far, things are looking better – online poker revenue for August jumped 15%, in line with normal levels. As for online casino revenue, it was up for the second quarter.

Boss Media Achieves eCOGRA Online Wagering Software Fairness Certification

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Boss Media, which powers the OCS approved Casino Club, is the latest top-tier online casino software developer to receive an eCOGRA certification, following the likes of popular European betting site and software licensee, Bwin – approved in January of this year. Now making a total of eighteen eCOGRA approved software platforms offering mobile wagering, sports betting, poker games, bingo and online casino gambling, there is no denying the growing need and importance of eCOGRA in the European iGaming industry.

Better yet, eCOGRA’s role is more essential to the legally regulated online gambling sector, which is precisely why you won’t find any U.S. facing online casinos with an eCOGRA certification. If you ask me, I think eCOGRA is smart to keep away from the U.S. In other words, any country who willingly doesn’t play fair, opts to ban rather than regulate, and who attempts to give online betting a bad name simply does not deserve eCOGRA.

What eCOGRA does is provide the groundwork for achieving the highest standards in gaming operator responsibility, while ensuring safe, fair and overall transparent online gambling standards are met in all gaming operations – everything from software provider to online casino operator. As most people know by now, the software platform is where fairness begins, as this is contingent on the programmed source code and a properly functioning Random Number Generator (RNG).

As mentioned, Bwin is a licensee of the Boss Media platform, and takes part in the International Poker Network – one of the largest European facing online poker networks out there currently. This may explain why Boss Media’s certification with eCOGRA followed Bwin earlier in the year. It’s a perfect example of how when the bar gets raised, those who don’t follow will be left behind. And not that there aren’t any good non-eCOGRA approved betting sites out there (let’s face it…getting certified is no easy task), yet the fact remains that an increasing number of established gaming businesses are turning to eCOGRA. This especially became the case when eCOGRA opened its certifications to other software platforms other than Microgaming and online casinos powered by Microgaming.

As Boss Media’s CEO, Johan Berg eloquently stated, “The company (Boss Media) has always been committed to the highest possible quality in both products and operational conduct. Our achievement in meeting eCOGRA’s demanding software certification standards reaffirms that commitment and provides us with a useful and internationally accepted benchmark against which we can measure our performance.”

Online Poker Network Receives the Esteemed eCOGRA Certification

Friday, December 4th, 2009

eCOGRA Online Poker Software

Whenever an online gaming software developer receives an eCOGRA certification, it’s pretty big news. Besides the fact that there are little over ten software developers boasting the eCOGRA Seal of Approval to begin with, for the first three years in which eCOGRA was in operation (2005-2008), there was one lone software developer (Microgaming) which online casinos could license, and consequently be eligible to receive the “Play it Safe” Seal of Approval, which is now called the “Safe and Fair” Seal of Approval.

Indeed, many things have changed at eCOGRA in the last couple of years. In addition to developing an approval process for software developers – a necessary move to remove stigmas that eCOGRA was favorably biased toward Microgaming, who was a founding member of eCOGRA – the leading non-profit group for enforcing online gambling best industry regulatory standards also implemented an approval process for bingo rooms and sportsbooks – extending beyond the original mainstay of online casino sites and poker rooms. They also have a reputable portals list, which Online Casino Suite is proud to be included on.

So…going back to my original point about software developers receiving an eCOGRA certification, the CEREUS online poker network is the most recent software platform to get a green light from eCOGRA. This is especially impressive considering CEREUS’s young but spotted past track record.

CEREUS should be considered a relatively young poker network. Apparently taking twelve months to develop on the backend, CEREUS was launched in 2008 and soon after saw several large poker rooms join, or rather, form the network, including Tokwiro Enterprises Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. Tokwiro Enterprises, by the way, owns and operates the CEREUS network, and is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which they also

Well, if you play online poker already or at least keep up on the latest poker news – and considering you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last two years – there’s a good chance you caught wind of the cheating scandals that took place at both of these poker rooms. No small incident, the scandals resulted in players being cheated out of $20 million, with former WSOP champ, Russ Hamilton, caught up in the middle of it all. FYI, do yourself a favor and stay clear of ANY online gambling site connected with Russ Hamilton in any way. He was found by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to be the main person responsible for and benefitting from the cheating scandals.

While Tokwiro Enterprises nor the Kahnawake Gaming Commission did nothing to punish the offenders (a tricky legal matter to say the least), they did compensate all of the players who were affected by the cheating (traced back to super-user, fake accounts). Now, with an approval from eCOGRA, Tokwiro has taken an even larger step in damage control, and in rebuilding its reputation with poker players – many of which are U.S. residents.

According to eCOGRA’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Beveridge, “Cereus management’s complete cooperation and commitment to an in-depth inspection and monitoring process involving the network’s transaction records and its software has been remarkable. Going forward, we are confident that the network’s adherence to our standards and best business practice requirements will prevent any reoccurrence of the unfortunate incidents of the past.”

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