Posts Tagged ‘euro casinos’

William Hill Vegas on a Winning Streak With Big Jackpot Winners

Thursday, September 16th, 2010
See the Recent Winners List at William Hill Online for a dose of payouts.

See the Recent Winners List at William Hill Online for a dose of payouts.

William Hill’s virtual Las Vegas online casino, William Hill Vegas, recently scored it’s largest winner to date. Or perhaps I should say a lucky player at William Hill Vegas has scored the largest jackpot to date – for both Will Hill and the player! Coming in at nearly half-a-million pounds, let’s just say it’s one of the largest jackpots to be won online, period!

The lucky player – referred to as Eni O. – hails from London, which is precisely where William Hill is headquartered. Even though the big win was hit one month ago, it’s still making news at a number of online gambling news sites – including OCS, obviously!

Eni had this to say in regards to the win: “I’m absolutely over the moon. I’ve had a few small wins on williamhill.com in the past, but this is incredible – I’m lost for words! I just want to hug that plucky little leprechaun.”

What’s even more newsworthy is that while Eni’s £420,948.21 jackpot win (on the Leprechaun’s Luck slot machine, hence the shout out to the plucky little leprechaun) is an impressive feat, the fact of the matter is that jackpots in the hundreds-of-thousands take place all the time at William Hill Vegas. Within the last year, there were twelve wins that nearly hit or surpassed the £100,000 mark.

The three wins that hovered just below 100K were for £85,000 on the Pharaoh’s Treasure progressive video slot, £76,000 also on Pharaoh’s Treasure and £74,000 on Alice’s Wonderland. The “Chests of Plenty” slot has produced three different £100K+ wins (the largest coming in at £176,000 last October), while “Alice’s Wonderland” has scored the fifth and second largest wins at £150,000 and £256,000. The third largest jackpot within the last year was for over £234,000 on the Leprechaun’s Luck slot, which as mentioned, was home to the largest jackpot to date at nearly £421,000.

William Hill Vegas is part of the William Hill Online network of internet wagering sites, offering everything from sports betting and casino games to bingo, poker and skill games. Will Hill Vegas is is owned and operated by WHG International Ltd. and is licensed and registered with the UK white-listed Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, which on a side note, is proving to be a more fitting regulatory jurisdiction than the UK Gambling Commission for an increasing number of UK/Europe based online casino operators. Read the OCS William Hill Casino Review for more information.

Playtech-Powered Euro Partners Online Casinos Integrate Fifteen New Casino Games

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

When it comes to the best Playtech-powered online casinos catering to the European online gambling scene, there is hardly any network better than Euro Partners. At one time some of the leading U.S. facing online casinos in business (pre-UIGEA), Euro Partners has managed to develop a large and varied clientele throughout all of the European online gambling hotspots.

One might think that after dropping out of the U.S. market, Euro Partners had to change its course in terms of the overall gaming package available for European online gamblers. And while there may be a few more versions of European Roulette than what might have been had the UIGEA online gambling ban not been passed into law, nothing has really changed other than geo-targeted marketing and advertising.

Euro Partners has simply continued doing what made them successful in the first place – offering a great overall gaming package. FYI, some of their online casinos, such as Casino Tropez, have been around for almost a decade. Other properties, like Europa Casino and Casino Bellini, have been enormously successful catering to specific European countries, such as Germany, Italy and Spain.

One of the qualities befitting a top online casino is the selection of games. While this is largely because of software developer, Playtech, Euro Partners has always been amongst the first to integrate new games into their Playtech online casinos. And with Summer at hand, which is apparently a “great time to introduce new games to players”, according to Euro Partners Marketing VP, Marc Kenigsberg, Euro Partners now has fifteen more titles to add to its repertory of 100+ casino games.

True to form, Playtech has come out with some uniquely themed, entertaining and loaded slot machines, including two movie themed games, “Pink Panther” and “Rocky” (yes, the guy who yells Yooooooo Andrieeeeeene!), as well as “Penguin Vacation” and for the more action inclined players, “Punisher: War Zone”. As alluded to earlier, there is also a series of Premium Roulette games available, including Premium American Roulette.

For more information on the gaming package offered through Euro Partners online casinos, please see the OCS Playtech Software page.

Eastern European Governments Open to Prospect of Regulating Online Casinos

Monday, July 12th, 2010

These days, the benefits of regulating online gambling are looking, well, more beneficial. Especially in countries that are experiencing more hardship during these tough economic times, any way to generate more tax revenue to keep government programs afloat is more readily embraced, even by those who would normally be in opposition.

Such is the case in Eastern Europe, where the governments of both Romania and Moldova are seriously considering the prospects of legalizing and regulating many forms of internet betting, including online casino gambling. In Romania alone, it is estimated that $500 million Euro’s are spent wagering online.

Secretary of State for the Finance Ministry of Romania, Bogdan Dragoi, has openly stated that the Finance Minister is seeking to investigate the prospects of regulating online gambling. Doing so would assuredly help Romania’s ailing economy, which was hard hit by the global recession. Currently the law prohibits gaming operators from doing business with operators, but does not prohibit Romanians from partaking in online gambling activities, which many assuredly do.

Giving promise to the potentially positive effects of regulating online casinos in Romania is last year’s amendment to a law regulating brick ‘n mortar casinos. By simply raising the tax rate on casinos, the government was able to substantially increasing gaming revenue. Although applying to the land-based industry, the principle of taxation coupled with a demand for gambling by many Romanian’s cannot be denied.

In nearby Moldova, the Ministry of the Economy has initiated a project with funding from the European Union to amend current gambling regulations. Becoming compliant with EU trade laws is helping to facilitate the project, which currently is making slow progress. If and when a majority consensus is obtained regarding how to go about setting up effective regulatory framework, it is rumored that both Party Gaming (Party Casino) and Poker Stars will be amongst the first to apply and likely be issued online gaming licenses for doing business in Moldova.

Party Gaming Merger With Bwin Could be on the Near Horizon

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

PartyGamingBwinAs reported by Reuters, Party Gaming is on a mission to consolidate the online gambling industry. Or perhaps I should say take over the online gambling industry. Of course, consolidation is the more politically correct way to put it. Side not tangent: Don’t you love how the term “politically correct” is such a misnomer, being political, yet always incorrect. Is that what they call an oximoron?

Anyways, I think I’ve lost track of my mind, and also of how many betting companies Party Gaming has already taken over. I’m sure it’s impressive, none the less. I mean, the fact that the world’s largest online gambling group is now in talks with the likes of Austria-based Bwin (a formidable European facing online betting giant in their own right), says a lot.

And while said consolidation, err…takeover has been slower than expected – at least according to Party Gaming’s expectations – the Gibraltar based conglomerate says it is very confident in its future crusades, the greatest of which is a merger with Bwin.

In fact, online gambling industry analysts concur that a merger with Bwin will likely act as a catalyst for a “wave of takeover activity.” It’s a tough claim to dispute, considering the very nature of the fragmented internet betting industry. In many ways, it will serve the industry in a greater light, providing more uniform regulatory guidelines, which needless to say, Gibraltar has done an excellent job promulgating. It will also provide greater operator transparency at large.

Oh and one more thing – it will definitely provide a boost for Party Gaming’s stock value on the London Stock Exchange. Although Party Gaming has seen a 2% decline in revenue for the second quarter this year, market analysts expect full year earnings (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) at about $150 million. In other words, not bad if you ask me.

Here at Online Casino Suite, we can’t be too upset over what amounts to the beginnings of a monopoly. The fact of the matter is that 1) it really will never become a monopoly in the truest sense of the word – the industry is way too diverse for that to take place, and 2) Party Casino is a great online casino to play at. All things said and done, they are one of the top non-US facing online casinos out there.

Virgin Casino Launches Noah’s Ark Slot; More Weekly Promos

Friday, June 4th, 2010

noahsark2Virgin Casino, a gaming arm of Virgin Games, has announced the launch of a new video slot machine from WagerWorks. Noah’s Ark is the newest offering from this incredibly popular online casino. Noah’s Ark is a 30-payline video slot game that has a unique Split Symbols™ feature. The Split Symbols™ feature counts as two different symbols instead of just one. This offers a twist to the traditional video slot game where a winning payline can has over 10 matching symbols.

Warren Eloff, Product Manager at Virgin Casino, is quoted as saying, “WagerWorks have created yet another fantastic slot. Noah’s Ark is one of many great recent additions to our ever expanding casino, which offers games from a number of top developers. With the delightful animating animals that celebrate wins, the Split Symbols feature and free spin bonus, slot fans will love playing Noah’s Ark and enjoy winnings of epic proportions!” Virgin Casino has over 200 casino games and it is one of the most popular online casinos in the UK and throughout Europe.

Virgin Casino has a new slot game, which despite it’s name, isn’t just for the devout. Well, then again that all depends on what one is directing their devotion toward. If its spinning the slots, then by all mean, this new game is sure to please. Introducing “Noah’s Ark” video slot – a highly entertaining game with 30 paylines of action and a unique split feature that can create up to ten matching symbols per payline. Along with a free spin bonus, the action at Noah’s Ark is nothing short of biblical proportions.

If you need to see for yourself, just Visit Virgin Casino and open a free account to test Noah’s Ark out for free with unlimited fun money credits. Heck, while you’re there, be sure to check out their Recent Real Money Winners. You might even be inclined to take advantage of their standard 100% Match £100 free welcome bonus with 25x play-through on all slots, instant win games, Phantom Belle video poker and Ten Play Bonus Video Poker.

And if you are totally blown out of the water by Noah’s Ark (no pun intended), Virgin Casino is offering a special promotion from Monday, June 7th through Friday, June 11, 2010, in which they are giving away 20,000 in bonus cash. Simply wager a minimum of £175 on Noah’s Ark (as well as other select games) to earn a £5 bonus and a maximum of £3,500 to earn a £100 bonus (subject to wagering conditions) each day during the promotion period.

If you don’t want to wait until June 7th to get started playing with free money at Virgin Casino, and would rather pass on the 100% Match Bonus, Virgin is giving away a solid reload bonus right now. It’s worth 50% up to 75 Free and has a play-through of 20x. The bonus code is RELOAD, and while there are several game restrictions, this is a good offer for anyone who has played at Virgin before and still has an account in good standing.

With a name like Virgin Casino, one might just wonder if experience has got anything to do with running a successful online casino. And not that Virgin Casino hasn’t experienced the roll of the dice, the tossing of the roulette balls, obtaining a BJ on the felt tables (okay, I’m going a little bit overboard with the sexual innuendo’s aren’t I?) – the title of “Virgin” simply comes from parent company, Virgin – you know the one that has business ventures in everything from transportation to music.

More specifically, Virgin Casino is a branch of Virgin Games, which was launched in 2004 and also manages a poker room and online bingo room. One of the top UK facing online casinos in business today, Virgin Casino also has good “cred” due to their licensing of Wager Works online casino software. Wager Works is a subsidiary of the renowned land-based slot machine manufacturer, IGT, whose reputation precedes itself. Furthermore, Wager Works is a beacon for regulatory compliance, having received accreditations from Technical Systems Testing (TST), Gaming Associates and ongoing compliance with the UK white-listed Alderney Gambling Control Commission.

Our only complaint about Virgin Casino is their slight lack in transparency. For one, they do not provide links to monthly payout reports. Perhaps, with a branded name like “Virgin”, management thinks there is no need to be transparent with players. However, in this day-and-age of competitive and sometimes dangerous online gambling waters, it would serve Virgin Casino to be more forthright with the online gambling community. A good example would be 32Red. Better yet, just visit the OCS Best UK Casinos page for our top picks.<

Chartwell Technology Receives eCOGRA’s Certified Software Seal

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Chartwell joins eCOGRA in fostering casino software transparency

Chartwell joins eCOGRA in fostering casino software transparency

Chartwell Technology – the Calgary-based, Toronto Stock Exchange listed online casino software developer – is now one of a growing number of white-label software platforms to receive the eCOGRA Certified Software Seal. No easy feat, getting the nod from eCOGRA is akin to going through a U.S. Supreme Court hearing. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but there’s some serious transparency compliance requirements all the same!

For anyone unfamiliar with eCOGRA, or better yet, the eCOGRA Certified Software Seal, it stands for the highest degree of operator transparency in what can oftentimes be a highly nontransparent industry – the internet betting industry, that is. Originally reserved for online casino licensees of Microgaming Software (an original founding member of eCOGRA back in 2003), accreditations are now available for all manner of online casinos, poker rooms, sports betting sites, bingo rooms, network operators of such sites and software developers powering and licensing their wares to independent operators. At the time of writing, eCOGRA certifies over 150 internet betting site operators, and with the addition of Chartwell, has certified twenty software providers.

Now, just because an online casino or software company can afford to pay for an eCOGRA accreditation, does not mean they will pass the course! Of course, eCOGRA will work with all operators to get them up to speed. However, it is reasonable to say there are online casinos out there that could certainly afford to go through the motions of being accredited, but choose not to do so as they would prefer remaining nontransparent. Needless to say, that means they are hiding something, and more likely than not, cheating their players.

In the case of software developers like Chartwell, the mission is to be as transparent as possible in order to foster player trust. And when eCOGRA is called in to help make this a reality, it all being with a thorough on-site inspection and assessment of Chartwell’s facilities. As eCOGRA’s Compliance Manager, Shaun McCallaghan said, “The Chartwell team was completely cooperative and well prepared with all documentation and systems ready for compliance testing…meeting all requirements over several days of testing.”

Such testing is in accordance with eCOGRA’s eGAP (Generally Accepted Practices) procedure, which in the case of software developers, includes an assessment of internal management controls, internal controls over IT security, software functionality, control environment and network structure integrity (for poker platforms), and assessment of the randomness and fairness of the games.

The latter, of course, is what every online gambler wants to know. Are these games fair and is this online casino safe to wager at? Although this is the software platform we are talking about (eCOGRA has another seal – the Safe and Fair Seal – that is strictly awarded to online casino operators), it is the software platform which indeed has the built-in security protocols for handling transactions through the online cashier, as well as the RNG governing hand outcomes.

Granted, eCOGRA gives no absolute guarantee that approved operators are going to give a fair hand. They say on their website, “While eCOGRA does its utmost to ensure compliance with its principles, it cannot offer 100% assurance that the operation of any games at any given site is at all times in accordance with the eCOGRA requirements.” However, this is exactly why eCOGRA enforces ongoing monitoring and requires all accredited parties to undergo annual compliance review. In the case of online casinos, this amounts to monthly payout percentage reports, which all approved casinos must display on their website.

Speaking of which, Chartwell powers some pretty heavy hitter gambling sites in the European market. Mostly all-in-one betting sites using multiple software platforms to power poker, sports, horseracing, bingo and online casino gaming under one roof, Chartwell licensees include BetFair, Victor Chandler, Stan James and bwin. As for Chartwell’s gaming package, it mainly consists of fixed odds games for online casinos, available in both mobile and live dealer modes in addition to a standard desktop download platform.

Live Dealer Online Casinos Growing in Popularity as Operator Transparency Lags

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

If you’ve been around the block a couple of times, there is a good chance you’ve heard of – possibly even tried out – live dealer online casinos. One of the next big modes of iGaming, live dealer online casino gambling could very well supersede mobile cell phone wagering in popularity over the next ten years. Of course there will always be those who prefer the autonomy and flexibility of online casinos. However, in a time when there are no international standards of operator transparency, going with live dealers seems to be the proper fix.

Even with online gambling regulation being embraced throughout Europe (and more on the way), some Euro online casinos offer players more assurance in terms of odds and fairness than others. While much of this can be traced back to the software developer responsible for imposing licensing conditions on operators, the real crutch lies with the regulatory bodies. In Europe alone, there are over ten jurisdictions – all with slightly different regulatory provisions. This doesn’t necessarily mean that players are at a greater chance of being cheated; However, it does mean that player trust will likely lag as a result.

For some players – and rightfully so – there are simply too many unanswered questions when it comes down to guaranteeing fair odds. For example, just because an online casino links to a published payout percentage report (as required by it’s regulatory license), if said payout report is several months old, what’s to say the current payout is anything but what was last published? In other words, while an outdated payout percentage report doesn’t  necessarily equate to being cheated in the here and now, it necessarily doesn’t mean you are getting fair odds either!

This is precisely why more players are turning to live dealer online casinos, and why the live dealer sector is expected to grow over the years. What you see is what you get. Live dealer gaming is pretty much the same experience you will find in a brick ‘n mortar casino, save larger cards and a slightly slower play time – which is something you won’t find me complaining about. Live video feeds are synced up between the virtual online casino and a player’s personal computer, revealing everything from an initial card count and verification to uninterrupted play being monitored by a floor manager.

Although there are no live dealer online casinos currently open to U.S. residents, rest assured that when it happens there will be a floodgate of traffic for the live dealer sectors. No other online wagering jurisdiction is more prone to scams and could fare better with heightened transparency and player trust – the aftereffects of attempting to ban online gambling.

Dragonfish Enters Italian Online Gambling Market by Way of Bwin

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

There is hardly a hotter European iGaming market right now than Italy. Although opening its online gambling sector in stages, Italy is expected to become one of the more liberalized, not to mention, largest profit bearing nations in the European iGaming industry.

Bwin, which holds the largest share in the European iGaming market (8%), has been very busy of late getting set up in Italy, including the launch of it’s Ongame poker network, now boasting an estimated 5 million players. Fueled by an acquisition of the Italian gaming operator, Gioco Digitale, in September last year, Bwin’s presence in Italy will now be overseen by Dragonfish – the B2B division of 888 Holdings, which Bwin just signed an agreement with.

As part of Dragonfish’s wide range of Total Gaming Services package, Bwin will receive marketing, operations, epayment, and of course, the best in casino gaming technology from Dragonfish during its first foray into the Italian online gambling market.

What makes Dragonfish especially capable to handle the Italian market is the diversity of its platform. Enabling seamless cross platform integration (casino, bingo, poker, sports) under a single ePayment solution, Dragonfish offers it all. And with access to over 1,000 multi-lingual games from a variety of software platforms, Dragonfish provides a comprehensive selection of the best online casino games available today.

Just how well things turn out in Italy for Bwin, and consequently, Dragonfish, remains to be seen. As is the case elsewhere throughout the 8.3 Billion European iGaming market, the restrictions imposed against foreign online gambling operators may end up being too tight for comfort.

Last Day to Claim 100% up to $8,000 Free at Casino Tropez

Sunday, February 28th, 2010
Casino Tropez Gives More Bank for Your Buck!

Tropez Gives More Bank for Your Buck!

Today is the last day to take advantage of Casino Tropez’s amazing $8,000 bonus. Seriously folks, I don’t use the word “amazing” if it’s not warranted, especially when I’m talking about online casinos. There’s more bombastic claims about online casinos out there on the internet than there is cow bell at bobsled races. On that note, go USA – the first Olympic gold in bobsled in the last 60 years!

As for Casino Tropez, they have been online for eight years, hence the $8,000 bonus figure. Now, eight years doesn’t sound like a long time, but in the world of online gambling, that’s a real long time. In fact, eight years in business makes Casino Tropez in the top 25% of the Web’s oldest online casinos. When you weigh in their reputation, customer service ratings, player loyalty and spotless track record, eight years in the online gambling business is a noble accomplishment. In other words, we’re not just talking about any 8 Year Anniversary.

So yes, Casino Tropez is giving away a 100% bonus up to $8,000 Free. They’ve been doing it all month long, which we told you about in our Newsletter (uh ya, not trying to be biased or anything, but if I were you I’d subscribe to the OCS Online Gambling Newsletter). Nonetheless, if you are reading this now and the clock hasn’t struck 12:00 Midnight on March 1, 2010, you can still claim this amazing free bonus offer at Casino Tropez. Sorry U.S. players, Casino Tropez is not open for your business. They used to be – thank your politicians.

If you want to claim this bonus, sign up for a real money account at Casino Tropez and contact customer service. They will need to send you an email invitation. Once you make your deposit and claim the bonus with the cashier, simply wager the bonus and deposit amount 40 times through (25x for VIP Members), and you’ll be on your way to cashing out some free money.

Remember, if you are not from the UK, you CANNOT claim this bonus if you are playing with Gross British Pounds Sterling. Game restrictions for meeting the play-through are: all versions of Baccarat, all versions of Roulette, all versions of Sic Bo, all versions of Darts, Heads or Tails, all Video Poker games, Blackjack Switch, Blackjack Surrender, Pontoon, and Craps. The following games will count one-third of each wager toward the play-through requirement: Blackjack, Blackjack Live, Lucky Blackjack, Progressive Blackjack and 21 Duel Blackjack.

Read the OCS Casino Tropez Review for more information or Visit Casino Tropez directly.

Europa Casino Hosting Online Slots Tournaments for Bonus Cash

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Even More Bonus Money at Europa Casino

Even More Bonus Money at Europa Casino

Popular Euro Casino, Europa Casino (what’s in a name, go figure, right?), has long been known as a great place to go for free bonus cash. If you haven’t heard already, Playtech-powered, Europa, offers up to $/£/€2,400 in free bonus money over the course of one year (not counting VIP loyalty rewards), broken down into a welcome bonus of either 50% up to $/£/€500 Free or 100% up to $/£/€100 Free, monthly bonuses of 100% up to $/£/€100 Free and weekly deposit bonuses worth 25 Free.

Now, Casino Europa has announced another inventive way to dish out fee bonus money to real depositing players. Catering to slots fans and tournament players, Europa says it will be offering free weekly online slots tournaments every Wednesday and lasting a full twenty-four hours. Indeed, when I say free, that means it’s a freeroll and there is no cost to join. However, if you want to be one of twenty players to be spotted with $/£/€50 in free bonus money, you are going to have to wager on the reels. The good news is that Europa Casino offers over fifty of the most cutting edge online casino slots today, including Playtech’s recently launched Marvel series (Blade, Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic 4 and X-Men).

Furthermore, it only takes one lucky spin to rank on the slots leader board. And since the tournaments are live, players can see their ranking in real time on the Top 20 Leaderboard. In other words, it’s like any other online casino slots tournament. However, I would imagine the competition is a little less stiff considering the cash prizes come in the form of bonus money (still not a bad thing in my opinion).

As with all bonus money, it’s important that you are aware of the full terms. The wagering conditions are pretty reasonable on Europa Casino’s bonus cash, which is currently set at 20x for the 100% bonus and 40x for the 50% High Roller bonus, which really isn’t that much of a high roller bonus, if you ask me. Similar to most slots bonuses being offered today, wagers on Baccarat, Roulette, Craps and Video Poker and Blackjack do not count toward meeting the wager requirement. However, what’s different about these bonuses is that certain varieties of Blackjack count one-third toward meeting the play-through, while certain table games normally exempt from the play-through meet the play-through in full. Please read the terms posted on their website for details, or read the OCS Europa Casino Review.

The only term which I find annoying at Europa Casino is that they impose a maximum monthly withdrawal limit of $9,900 even on progressive jackpot wins. Don’t ask me how or why, but it’s in the terms. Weekly and monthly withdrawal limits are not uncommon at all for regular winnings, but that’s not the case on progressive jackpot wins. In any case, Europa Casino is very popular with players, except of course, those in the U.S. The Recent Winners list speaks for itself – be sure to check it out to see what games are hot.