Posts Tagged ‘online poker software’

Atlantis Internet Group Signs With Cake to Power Tribal Online Poker

Monday, September 13th, 2010

AtlantisInternetGroup2In what could be a sign of things to come for online casino gambling in the United States, Las Vegas-based Atlantis Internet Group has signed an agreement with the popular Cake Poker Network (powering U.S. favorite, Doyle’s Room), to create a wide area online poker network for players residing in regulated tribal casino State’s.

While this may seem, at first, a bold and dangerous move in light of the UIGEA – albeit an ineffective online gambling ban – Atlantis Internet Group Chief Executive, Donald L. Bailey, says the agreement will give the Tribal Gaming Network (a patent pending intratribal/intrastate online casino network) an “immediate and legal solution” for tribes seeking to offer internet betting.

That’s because the UIGEA has exemptions for Indian Casinos, intertribal internet gaming, as well as State’s with intrastate online gambling laws. Personally, that’s news to me – I thought the only carveouts in the UIGEA were for horseracing, lotto and fantasy sports betting.

TribalGamingNetworkBut according to the National Indian Gaming Commission, which oversees tribal casino regulations in the State’s, the Tribal Gaming Network is 100% legit. It’s also 100% loaded. Synced with over ten tribal casinos and potentially allowing players in thirty State’s to play online casino games, the Tribal Gaming Network has the potential of offering one of the largest wide area progressive jackpot networks on the Web.

For now, Atlantis Internet Group has it’s sights on online poker, which currently holds the greatest potential of becoming regulated in State’s where tribal casino gambling is legal. California leads the way with an amended poker bill scheduled for legislative action before the year is out, while both New Jersey & Florida are considering similar options.

The Cake Network is certainly a great choice for launching an online poker network. With thousands of players online at any given moment and an open door to the U.S. online poker market, Cake will give the Tribal Gaming Network instant liquidity, not to mention credibility, while a giant surpluss of players will only serve to strenghten Cake in return.

Playtech Posts Impressive 2010 Results; Online Casino Product Still Strong

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

What can I say, Playtech Software has been making some news this past week. Well, let’s face it, Playtech likes to make news all the time – and why wouldn’t they? Being one of the top, white label online casino software developers in business today, Playtech has no choice but to keep broadening it’s reach across the many, vast sectors of the online gambling industry if they are truly serious about staying on top of their game, not to mention procuring the profit margins necessary for continued expansion.

Well, that’s exactly what has made Playtech such a successful software developer…Err, I take that back. Playtech is not just a software developer for online casinos and poker rooms – they’re more like an online gaming solutions B2B supplier.

Case in point is Playtech’s first-half financial results for 2010, which compared to many of it’s top competitors, is quite impressive. Gross income was up a massive 31% from last year, tallying in at €87.9 Million, while total revenue was up by 29% with a price tag of €72.9 Million.

Much of Playtech’s growth has come from B2B partnerships with leading online betting companies, such as William Hill, as well as acquisitions of up-and-coming niche B2B gaming companies, such as Virtue Fusion. Regarding the William Hill partnership formed in late 2008, which gave Playtech rights to power online casino and poker software solutions for Will Hill Casino Online and Will Hill Poker, cash revenue generated from Will Hill doubled to €60.8 Million from 2009. The fruits of Virtue Fusion’s acquisition in February of this year are yet to be fully realized (generating over €4 Million in less than six months), however, future activity looks promising, with Playtech reporting there are several online bingo licensee prospects in the UK and abroad in development currently.

Elsewhere in the world, Playtech says it will be gaining a foothold and expanding in newly regulated internet betting markets, including Italy, Spain, Finland and perhaps, France. Due to a turn in regulatory policies in France, Playtech’s revenue generated from online casinos will be impacted, however, counterbalanced with new licensees and growth in Playtech’s French online poker network. In the U.S. (if and when regulation opens up here), expansion will manifest via partnerships with Scientific Games and Sportech (see previous article: Playtech Sets Sights on U.S. Market).

Playtech online casinos, which are the company’s principal product offering, has continued performing strongly, increasing revenue by over 30% (€49.1 Million) from 2009. The only area in which Playtech saw a revenue loss, which has been in line with the rest of the industry, was online poker. Down by 5%, poker revenue came in at €15.8 Million, which Playtech’s Chief, Mor Weizer, attributed to the World Cup. FYI, anyone familiar with Playtech’s iPoker network knows the World Cup isn’t entirely to blame. If there has ever been an area where Playtech has lagged behind, it has been online poker.

As for the remainder of 2010 and beyond, Playtech says a launch of Betfair’s Flash online casino is on schedule for September, while the launching of RAY in Finland is set for the fourth quarter and Casino Gran Madrid will go live in early 2011.

How High is the Hype for Regulating Online Poker in California?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Introducing the chest...err...face of California's poker scene: Jennifer Tilly

Introducing the chest...err...face of California's poker scene: Jennifer Tilly

With all the talk about the impending enforcement date of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) this upcoming Tuesday, it seems that motions to consider regulating online gambling both on a federal and State level are springing up left and right. Well, if there ever was a time when online gambling in the States stood a good chance of being regulated, now is it.

The only thing I’m wondering is this: Since when were individual State’s permitted to offer online casino games under their own jurisdiction? Apparently, since forever. Making all the internet poker headlines right now is a bill being penned at this very moment that would essentially legalize online poker in the State of California.

Following last week’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing to consider the prospects of taxing internet betting (which apparently went over pretty well), the word on the streets is that although the UIGEA bans “illegal online gambling” on a federal level, State’s still have the right to regulate on their own accord. Okay, so maybe I’m the only one that has been in the dark about this, but I thought that State’s couldn’t do anything to regulate online gambling so long as the UIGEA was in effect.

But than again, perhaps it all amounts to hesitancy on the part of State government officials faced with trying to pass a highly controversial issue which the federal government and no other State  has even attempted doing. Whatever it comes down to, just as is this is the best time to get regulation going in the States, no other State is better suited to pass online gambling legislation than the State of California.

Stepping up to the plate on behalf of California, is Senator Rod Wright, who leads the committee that overseas gambling in California. Senator Wright’s aforementioned bill, specifically calls for the regulation of online poker, which would no doubt make a huge dent in the State’s $19.1 billion budget gap through June 2011.

Differing from a tribal initiative that would create an intrastate poker network, Wright’s bill would give the State Department of Justice the means to award 5-year contracts to three California-based online poker room operators, who would obviously have to meet financial and technical requirements. No doubt, there are online poker rooms monitoring the situation very closely and ready to set up shop in California. They certainly aren’t knocking on the Dept. of Justice door just yet, as getting an online poker network up-and-running could take two to three years, especially if there are challenges to the legislation.

Possible resistance could come from tribal leaders, some of whom fear that legalized online poker would steal revenue from their land-based casinos. Furthermore, there is speculation that Wright’s bill violates past agreements that limit competition from casinos. As for getting California poker players to buy-in, that’s another matter altogether. The bill would make gambling at non-State licensed online poker rooms a crime. Needless to say, if the State-licensed rooms aren’t giving players enough incentive, they will likely be inclined to play somewhere else online, regardless of being illegal or not.

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Top Online Betting Site Domains Leave Cake Poker for Merge Gaming

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Unless we’re talking about Poker Stars or Party Poker, the future of online poker is really all about the poker network. Not just a stand-alone poker room, poker networks are conglomerates of sorts, made up of several poker rooms networked into the same platform, resulting in larger player pools, more tournaments and more guaranteed winnings. But (as I said), that is, of course, unless we’re talking about giants like Poker Stars, who bring thousands of players together through a single roof.

Giants like this, however, are much fewer than the online poker networks currently in business. One of these poker networks is the Cake Poker network, which has become one of the fastest growing, US facing online poker networks since first being launched in 2004. In fact, the Cake Network, boasting such big name clients as Doyle’s Room, has been steadily growing year after year….that is, until now. And no, it has nothing to do with the quasi US online gambling ban.

Cake Poker is now shy three recognizable online betting destinations – PlayersOnly.com, SuperBook.com and Sportsbook.com – each owned by Antigua-based Jazette Enterprises, which announced it will be joining the Merge Gaming poker network. A small but substantial network now made even more substantial with the addition of Jazette, the Kahnawake licensed Merge Gaming said in a press release, “this is an industry-changing deal”.

At the time this post was going to press, Cake Poker had twice as much players online than Merge Gaming (just under 6,000). As you can imagine, these figures will likely shift. As for the guaranteed pool money at Cake Poker ($6 Million in monthly tournaments, including $250,000 Sunday’s), this may also see a change depending on just how many players decide to move over to Merge Gaming.

The good news is that Cake says they intend to honor all Gold Card and Gold Chips, which make up the backbone of Cake’s Rewards and Loyalty program, after the three sites leave the network. Cake is also urging players who would be affected by the transition and who would still like to play online in the Cake network, to contact customer support after the transfer is complete. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like an exclusive bonus offer if you ask me.

Microgaming to Change Rake Calculation for Online Poker Rooms

Sunday, December 27th, 2009
Poker_Chips

Microgaming Likes to Feed Fish to the Sharks!

I don’t know about you, but it kind of rubs me the wrong way when I hear that an online gambling company is actively looking for ways to make more money off of players. Now, I’m no spring chicken and I’m certainly not naive to the fact that online casinos are in the business of making money. Heck, that’s the law of the land for any business. For that matter, I understand there are lots of operating costs for online casino operators, and that finding ways to maximize return is essential to staying in business.

However, when a casino is already making good money, but still finds it necessary to bring in even more revenue, even if it means stealing from the poor, so to speak, that doesn’t sit well with me. In fact, it prompts me to take my business elsewhere, no matter how “large” of a free cash bonus is being offered. Perhaps this is a little extreme and high-minded. Believe me, I know I can be a snob. So, let me share with you where I’m coming and going with all this, so you can judge for yourself about the workings of doing business in the online gambling sector.

Microgaming, which initially started off as a developer of online casino software (consequently helping found the online gambling industry), has since developed a thriving poker network fittingly called the Microsoft Poker Network. But it’s apparently not thriving enough. Microgaming recently announced it will be changing the method of rake calculation (effective January 6, 2010) from that of splitting pots between the total number of players to what is called the weighted method, which calculates rake per room proportionally to the amount of wagers players contribute to every pot.

What this means is that more loose, casual players will help generate more return for poker rooms in Microgaming’s network. Microgaming’s decision to change their rake calculation essentially incentives poker rooms to encourage casual players to participate more in poker games. Although that could mean more winnings for casual players, the reality is that casual players who tend to be forthcoming with their bankroll, tend to lose more overall.

And that, my friends, is great news for card sharks, in addition to the poker networks who are following suit to adopt this new method of rake calculation. These now include the Boss Media network and Bodog, both of which impose fines on poker rooms whose payouts exceed stakes by more than 99.8%. Although Microgaming isn’t going to that far of an extreme, it is hardly probable Microgaming would be making these rake calculation changes if Boss and Bodog were not leading the way.

Like I said, business is business, and overall, the players themselves should not be adversely affected. It’s just kind of disappointing that Microgaming would sink to the depths of Bodog and make revenue growth the bottom line.