Posts Tagged ‘online gambling in costa rica’

Visionary iGaming is Bringing Web 2.0 and More to Online Casinos

Saturday, September 4th, 2010
Visionary iGaming is Bringing Web 2.0 to Online Casinos and More

Visionary iGaming is Bringing Web 2.0 to Online Casinos and More

Last month, OCS got all gushy over live dealer online casinos. In fact, we went all-in with our bankroll, betting that live dealer gaming will actually become more popular than traditional RNG online casinos. While we’re not exactly sure when that will take place (largely depending on regulation and technology penetration), you can certainly except to see more live dealer casinos in the next five years or so.

Doing our extensive research on live dealer gaming (as we always do, don’t you know), we recently came across Visionary iGaming (visionaryigaming.com). This Costa Rica based proprietary 2.0 casino solutions developer has been making some great advancements in the live gaming sector, which we here at OCS believe warrants some attention. In other words, be on the lookout for Visionary iGaming. Here’s why:

Being a proprietary developer, not only is Visionary’s package of casino games available for live play with real dealers, many of these games cannot be found anywhere else on the Web. For example, Visionary’s Blackjack Early Payout (BJEP) is one which any smart gambler and strategist would be wise to play.

Taking a spin on the “Insurance” rule, Blackjack Early Payout gives players the opportunity to take an early payout on their Blackjack hand, based on the probability on their hand beating the dealer’s. Furthermore, the game itself automatically follows Basic Blackjack Strategy, thereby giving players the opportunity to keep the Casinos Edge down low. In this case, we are talking about a 0.5% edge on any given hand, which amounts to a payout of 99.5%.

Another impressive aspect about Visionary iGaming is that they are focused on Web 2.0 solutions. For anyone out there unfamiliar with Web 2.0, it is the term primarily used to refer to web-based communities where mainstreamed information sharing is the “law of the land”. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twiter, and blog sites like Thoughts and Blogger are perfect examples of Web 2.0.

Visionary iGaming is essentially bringing Web 2.0 to life with live dealer online casino gaming. Truly bringing the casino inside your home, Visionary uses a hosted Rich Internet Application to seamlessly stream video and audio with only a sub 2 second delay. You don’t even have to use a mouse or keyboard to place your wagers! And when the game is in session, you can chat with other players sitting in at the table. Heck, you can even tip the dealer if you like (which you should, by the way)!

Current happenings at Visionary iGaming include development of a live poker platform and expansions on the marketing front. Taking a look at Visionary’s news page, just last month, the company announced that former DublinBet and AbsolutePoker exec, Gian Perroni, has been appointed to Senior Vice President of Marketing. Perroni will be in charge of building global marketing strategies, building Visionary iGaming’s image and brand, while also developing marketing solutions for partner’s, including affiliate programs, rewards and media buying. Prior to this, an article by Visionary iGaming founder and CEO, Martin Reiner, was featured in leading industry magazine, iGaming Business (May/June, 2009).

Costa Rica Could Actually Start to Regulate Online Casinos Before 2011

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Can you really blame online casino operators from locating in Costa Rica?

Can you really blame online casino operators from locating in Costa Rica?

As you may or may not know, Costa Rica is a haven for internet betting operators, ranging from sportsbooks to online casinos. That said, Costa Rica is also a haven for illegal activities, i.e., running sham online casinos – or at least online betting operations with no experience keeping a place of internet wagering from going out of business and owing bettors money they will never ever see so long as they gamble online.

Basically, Costa Rica offers betting site operators just about every incentive to be based from the Central American tropical paradise, not the least of which is just that. If you haven’t been to Costa Rica, it’s a magical place. Just don’t try to get in the way of any drug lords. 🙂 Furthermore, since online gambling isn’t actually regulated and taxed, and all that is required to set up shop in Costa Rica is the acquisition of a data processing license (fill out some paperwork), there is hardly a more affordable option running an online casino.

In other words, to many betting site operators, earning player trust and committing to transparency and responsible operational standards is not so important. Heck, if players aren’t bothering to get educated and asking the right questions, why should they be? This doesn’t necessarily mean that all online casinos operating out of Costa Rica are crooks. Some of them most certainly are. But there are other sites taking it upon themselves to foster transparency, obtaining accreditations and even publishing monthly payout reports – despite not be required to do so, as is the case in jurisdictions where true regulation takes place.

Considering how young the online gambling industry is, the word is just now really starting to get out about Costa Rica, which could eventually mean a loss of business and credibility for any online casino based from here. This is precisely why some operators support a recent bill proposed by Costa Rica’s new President, Laura Chinchilla, to begin taxing and regulating internet betting operators in Costa Rica. Obviously, this would provide more credibility for operators. The downside is that it will cost more for operators to do business out of Costa Rica. In other words, it’s the price one pays for credibility.

Although the bill hasn’t been passed into law (it is still lacking approval from the Costa Rican government), it is practically a given that the bill go up for a vote in September, 2010. And considering how badly Costa Rica needs more tax revenue to aid a badly hurting economy, if you ask me, it’s practically a given that Costa Rica will begin taxing online casino operators before the year is out. And at that point, we’ll start to see which online casinos are committed to earning player trust and which will be dodging town to set up shop elsewhere in a non-regulated, area of the world.

The Lack of Transparency of Technical Systems Testing (TST) Online Casino Fairness Certifications

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Handing out RNG Certifications Quick and Easy, but so what?

Handing out RNG Certifications Quick and Easy, but so what?

First off, let me just say that I’m in somewhat of a bad mood. Therefore, if I come across as a little caustic and biting in regards to what I’m about to pontificate on, you’ll know it’s not entirely without merit. Heck, I’m probably not giving myself enough credit, considering I’m generally a very nice guy. Living here in Brooklyn, NY, some people would even say “too nice”. In other words, I think many of you may very well agree that I have a goddamn right to be pissed off.

Let’s begin then, shall we? So, about a month ago, the team here at Online Casino Suite (small but powerful, let me tell ya) decided to start an in-depth blog series uncovering the finer points of online gambling regulation. In particular, we thought it would be most helpful to explore the range of independent fairness certifications being awarded to online casinos regulated in “iffy” jurisdictions or those not receiving any regulation whatsoever, i.e., Costa Rica. I’ve said this a million times over, but I guess one can’t say it enough – Costa Rica does not regulate online casinos. They simply hand out business licenses. Woo Hoo! Go Costa Rica! Right?

Anyhow, we decided to contact these online casino software “fairness certifiers” one by one, asking them if they would be so kind to explain just how far these certifications can guarantee a safe hand, and depending on the type of certification and the regulatory jurisdiction, whether or not some online casinos are potentially offering less fair odds than others.

The big software fairness certifiers – as you may already know – are Technical Systems Testing, Certified Fair Gaming, Gambling Associates, Price Waterhouse Coopers, BMM International and eCOGRA. And of course, many of the top government-run regulatory jurisdictions, such as the UK, Gibraltar and Malta, do certifying of their own.

Of all of these aforementioned companies, we decided to start with Technical Systems Testing, otherwise known as TST – the main reason being that we have come across more irregularities with online casinos boasting a certification with TST. For example, the most popular group of online casinos operating on the Top Game Software platform, Rome Partners, sports a TST fairness logo on the homepage of their sites. However, not only does this logo link to a press release from nearly a year ago (not an actual certification), the press release describes an accreditation of the Top Game software platform, not of each individual online casino.

Why does this matter? Well, for one, it is unclear which regulatory jurisdictions allow online casino operators to change the source code of their RNG. This is essentially what delivers a fair hand or more or less fair hand. So, for an online casino “licensed” in Costa Rica, where ongoing audits are not enforced, a TST certification of the software platform means absolutely nothing. The online casino operator could very well go in and change the source code at any time.

I dare anyone to challenge me on this and explain how this is NOT possible. Believe me, I’m not saying I know without a doubt. But where’s the information pointing to the contrary. Nobody is taking the time to explain anything. And to be honest, it should be freakin’ TST!!!! They’re supposedly handing out the certification, are they not? But guess what? All TST wants is for Online Casino Suite to do a positive write-up about them.

So ya, after contacting them with these questions, they replied and said these were “very good” questions, albeit the answers to said “very good questions” would be lengthy and require some time to prepare. They then proceeded to suggest a phone conversation as an alternative, but have since stopped replying to our emails to set up such a phone conversation.

So, where are you TST? Can you please explain the validity of your certifications? Can you please explain why online casinos like Rushmore Casino, Silver Oak, Aladdin’s Gold are not given a certificate to link to, but just simply say they are TST Certified. I’m not saying they are not – All of the aforementioned online casinos are great in my book. But where’s the transparency? It’s freakin’ ridiculous that a company as global as TST (tstglobal.com) does not have a policy in effect governing how casinos may or may not display a TST certified logo.

So, please get in touch with me, TST – devonchappell [at] onlinecasinosuite.com. In the meantime, I’m onto the next phase of this blog series and will be contacting Certified Fair Gambling (CFG), which also just so happens to accredit a large number of U.S. facing online casinos. Maybe they can provide some better answers. Or should I say, answers period?

DiCaprio Flick About Online Gambling in Costa Rica Gets the Green Light

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Sans UB jersey, Leo's making an online gambling movie.

Sans UB jersey, Leo's making an online gambling movie.

I’ve blogged in the past about a film in the works with Leonardo DiCaprio about the underground world of online gambling in Costa Rica. Other than the fact that Paramount Studios was getting involved to help produce the film, that’s pretty much all that was known about the project.

Looking back, I wasn’t all that excited upon hearing the news myself, for being very familiar with the film making industry, let’s just say I didn’t have my hopes up that such a film would even get made. In the movie making business, many projects are announced, most of which never get made while some – which despite getting made – don’t find distribution and never see the light of day.

Now, however, things look very promising that the online gambling flick with DiCaprio starring in the lead role will indeed get made. Just the fact that a celebrity the caliber of DiCaprio is on board (as is his production company, Appian Way), is reason enough to give the project a green light. And with Paramount Studios set to distribute the flick, it’s a sure thing you will be able to catch this yet-to-be-named film in theatres next year.

In the meantime, the film is simply known as the “Untitled Brian Koppelman and David Levien Project” (the screenwriting duo known for penning the casino gambling-esque movies “Oceans 13” and “Rounders”, not to mention “Rounders 2” currently in the works). While the film is still in the writing stage, there is a good chance it will go into production this year and slated for release in 2011 (according to iMDB Pro).

So yes, I am definitely excited to see this. In fact, if written well, this film could help to educate U.S. online gamblers about the dangers of betting at online casinos based in Costa Riva. Contrary to what many of these establishments will have you think, there is no regulation in Costa Rica. So when an online casino says they are licensed in Costa Rica, all that simply means is that they have a business license and nothing else.

DiCaprio himself seems to know how the industry plays out in Costa Rica. When asked whether or not he likes to gamble online, he stated that he used to enjoy “a little” online gambling before it became illegal in the U.S., but that he nonetheless thinks the concept of playing at an online casino that may or may not pay out makes for an interesting film subject.

Indeed, the stakes are high in this business – befitting for some action-packed, crime-thriller movie fare. And although I don’t personally engage in the backend world of operating an online casino, I do know that organized crime and various underground mafia’s have a presence in the internet betting business. Maybe not so much in places like the UK (where online gambling is government regulated), but certainly in places like Israel and Costa Rica.

My only fears are that this film either becomes all about car chases and explosions and or is another flick about playing online poker. If there is any truth at all to this movie, it should be very revealing to online gamblers, and hopefully, will even get the attention of law makers and light a fire under their butt’s to pass regulatory legislation in the U.S. and put the crooks in Costa Rica out of business.