Posts Tagged ‘online sports betting’

William Hill and Sports Betting in the US

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

williamhillWith the recent increase of interest within the US sports wagering market, online gambling enthusiasts in New Jersey (and perhaps beyond) have a future that seems bright. Well, at least maybe.

William Hill US, the Nevada-based auxiliary of Britain’s largest bookmaker, has displayed some serious success in New Jersey with its recent sponsorship of the 46th running of the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park last month.

William Hill, known affectionately as Will Hill to those who bet, says that its interest in New Jersey reaches far beyond this one event. The large bookmaker will become the racetrack’s exclusive betting provider if New Jersey’s effort to legalize sports betting succeeds (as we all hope it eventually will despite the four professional sports leagues and NCAA being sternly opposed to it).

Until legalization, Will Hill offers a free-play (wager for fun) option for sports wagering to US citizens interested in checking things out. William Hill now runs a sportsbook, where participants can pick NFL games against the spread without wagering real money, while still being eligible to earn prizes.

As mentioned, the four main pro sporting leagues in the US are all opposed to wagering on sports for real money whether online or not because they jointly feel that sporting events will become susceptible to cheating and fixing. This is certainly a good argument, and yet what professional sports league hasn’t experienced its fair share of scandals?

As it stands, at least two of the four top pro sports leagues in the US have been raining-down massive scandals, ranging from high crimes committed by players to several cheating scandals spawned from extensive steroid use. Proponents of sports betting claim these sports are no more susceptible to game fixing than they currently are anyway.

With no pre-legalization swaying of regulators in mind, Will Hill has firmly stated that if betting on sports in New Jersey becomes legal, it fully intends to make a considerable investment in building a Las Vegas-style race and sportsbook in the state to accommodate wagers.

This is where we start to see the political wrangling about. Sure, you have the pro leagues firmly against the legalization of sports wagering – crying fowl and displaying major concern over corruption to the tune of game fixing and diminished reputation. And you also have big brands like Will Hill touting huge would-be revenue promises and a shot to the economy, which New Jersey so desperately needs. But a promise is just that. A contract is binding.

The fact that online casino action starts in a few short months in New Jersey will certainly open the sports wagering issue further. The opposition to wagering on sports from the pro leagues is not just limited to New Jersey, so this one will be an uphill battle, indeed.

Ireland to Double the Tax Rate on Internet Betting Operators?

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Seemingly following in the footsteps of Great Britain, lawmakers in Ireland are apparently considering reaping more revenue from online gambling activity. And just like the UK, Ireland could be setting itself up for a loss in business if said “reaping” is too much for online betting operators.

As reported by the Irish Examiner, Ireland’s Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan is considering doubling the current tax rate on remote gaming revenue with a 2% tax on all wagers made through Ireland-based and regulated betting sites. Of course, the operative word here is “speculation”. But considering the history of online gambling regulation, if Ireland does indeed impose a 2% winnings tax, it certainly wouldn’t be a big shocker.

When you have the likes of Paddy Power and the Irish Bookmakers’ Association (IBA) voicing concern about such a tax, the reality is that there is indeed some truth behind the speculative claims that Minister Lenihan is, himself, seriously considering the tax spike. IBA’s chairwoman, Sharon Byrne, commented, “We believe that 400 of the 1,200 would shut up overnight. It would kill jobs in the industry”, while a Paddy Power spokesperson said that passing the tax would be “insane”.

Not surprisingly, all of the betting sites and online bookmakers operating out of Ireland, highly oppose the tax. The one exception could possibly be land-based horse racing and dog tracks, which the Irish government has apparently shorted some 30 million Euro’s in government funding.

The idea behind imposing such a spike is that it could generate 60 billion Euro’s in tax revenue per year. Therefore, it would seem the online betting industry would be the most conducive place to turn to for generating some badly needed funds. The gamble, however, is that by increasing the tax rate, many operators will either leave Ireland to do business elsewhere, or simply shut their doors for good. It has been estimated that some 33% of operators will have no choice but the latter.

Wager Works to Supply New Online Casino Games to UK’s Betfred

Friday, August 20th, 2010

wagerworkssoftware

Wagerworks has long sought to make a name for itself as a cutting-edge, white label online casino software developer. Well, for anyone who has followed the growth of Wager Works over the last few years, you will likely agree that the International Game Technology (IGT) subsidiary has certainly lived up to this goal.

Solidifying yet another partnership with an industry leading internet betting provider, Betfred,Wagerworks continues expanding it’s reach across the vast sea of online casinos, poker rooms and all manner of wagering destinations on the Web.

As for Betfred, they are more known for their sports betting than anything else. However, such as the trend is these days, Betfred has become something of an all-in-one online betting destination, offering bingo games, poker, skill games, lottery and online casino games in addition to a large sportsbook offering.

Wager Works specializes on the online casino front and specialty games (many of which are IGT trademarks), and as such, will be supplying Betfred with four new titles to begin with. These are “Wheel of Fortune Hollywood Edition”, “Cluedo”, “Cleopatra” and “Monopoly with Pass Go Bonus”. Along with these, the UK/Gibraltar regulated Betfred offers an eclectic portfolio of the best performing games from a variety of online casino software developers, including Microgaming.

In Light of a Bill to Regulate Online Gambling, Another Internet Bookie Goes Down

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

In light of the positive developments regarding the Internet Gaming Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (HR 2267, otherwise known simply as IGREA), which after successfully passing through the U.S. House of Representatives is to go under the knife in the Senate (I have an in-dept article about this in the works), it’s cases like the one below that reiterate why online gambling needs to be regulated in the United States.

Meet James L. Dicapo – a fifty-seven year old “businessman” from the Heart of America’s West, err, Kansas. Dicapo, whom I’m assuming is Italian, recently pleaded guilty to operating an online gambling business. Bringing in more than $3.6 million spanning approximately three years (2006-2009), this was no skimpy business either. Basically, it was your standard bookmaker getup offering phone lines for, well, betting one’s lines on a range of sports events.

These days, phone-in bookies like this are also often inclined to go the way of the Web, if you will. Sports betting online is big business, and the internet is simply helping it become bigger. But rather broadcast their services for all to see, this operation consisted of handing out toll-free digits and a website to sign up. Dicapo and three other men (also charged in the investigation) would simply handle the money, and from what I can understand, actually do the rounds and deal with customers face to face.

Dicapo has attested that the customers for whom he specifically dealt with wagered approximately $1.2 million between 2006-2009. All of this money would then be routed to an offshore business in Costa Rica (where many a sports betting business is set up, I might add). The actual wagers would go through here, and all winning bets would be paid out accordingly.

On that note, while everything Dicapo was doing was deemed illegal, this does not necessarily mean there was shady business taking place internally. In other words, Dicapo and his operation was, for all intensive purposes, a legitimate sports betting service with a base of satisfied customers. I suppose you could say satisfied “clients”, if DiCapo was dealing with a small handful of whales. That hasn’t yet been determined yet, but I’m sure it will be brought to light if that’s indeed what happened.

In relation to what’s going on with the aforementioned IGREA, you might wonder if cases like this will continue happening in the U.S. Well, to make a long story short, the answer is yes. One small provision in the IGREA is that sports betting will not be included with online poker, bingo and online casino games in having the possibility to be regulated on a State level. Online sports betting simply is illegal and will remain illegal even if the IGREA is passed into law.

But that won’t stop operations like Dicapo’s from sprouting up, many of which may not even be caught. The fact of the matter – and this is one reason why sports betting was left out of the bill – is that most sports fans love to wager. And for the millions of these folks who do not have the luxury of making trips to Vegas every time they want to make a wager, the telephone and online bookies serve as a very convenient option for placing the bets on one’s behalf

Rank Interactive’s Blue Square Developing iPad Online Sportsbook With Mkodo

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

I’m pretty sure everyone could have predicted that Apple’s iPad would be yielded as a tool for gambling at online casinos…eventually. Heck, when it first came out, I was surprised there wasn’t already an online betting application designed to seamlessly integrate with the iPad browser. But then again, why would there need to be? The iPad is essentially a lighter and more manageable laptop…..err, handtop.

I suppose this is where we begin charting deeper into the world of user-experience. Sure, you can still log onto any online casino or your favorite poker room through the Safari browser on the iPad. However, just as there is a difference between a mobile version of a website and the regular website, you will have to scroll around more to find what you are looking for – the main reason being differences in screen size.

If you want to see what I’m talking about in action, well, first you will obviously need to get your hands on an iPad. Secondly, you should navigate your way over to BlueSq.com – the online sports betting division of London-based Rank Interactive. One of the UK’s leading online leisure and entertainment company’s, BlueSquare is licensed out the UK Gambling Commission’s whitelisted Alderney jurisdiction, and accounts for a large share of the sports betting traffic generated in Europe.

A recent agreement with Mkodo Limited to develop an iPad sportsbook is just another innovative addition to BlueSquare’s already impressive lineup of mobile application platforms. In fact, BlueSquare reports “fantastic growth” over the past year on the mobile front. A partnership with Mkodo now is certain to bring in more mobile traffic, especially with Apple’s range of products, which account for over half the traffic handled on the Mkodo platform.

Google Android Starting to Show it’s Face in Mobile Online Gaming Sector

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

To debate which smart phone is better – Google Android,  iPhone or Blackberry – is kind of a pointless, albeit fun debate. Where one phone lacks, another excels – and vice versa. Me personally, I am an iPhone user. Call it loyalty, laziness or a three-year contract :), all I know is that when I picked up an iPhone for the first time, I realized that I had officially entered “the future”.

As for a close friend of mine, he has had all three of the aforementioned smart phones, and currently is the proud owner of the Android. And while he will be the first to admit that the Android does some pretty cool stuff (like take a photo with flash), there is some user-experience that he misses about the iPhone, which his wife is still the proud owner of. So yes, the debate I referred to is one which I have personally witnessed take place between a happily married couple – only to end in name-calling and smashed furniture. Just kidding. As I said, it’s a friendly and fun debate.

In terms of online gambling, both the Android and iPhone are equally available. In other words, both phones are available through applications built by the leading online casinos, poker rooms, bingo rooms and internet sports books today. The most recent example I can think about of an online gaming operator developing applications for both the iPhone and Google’s Android is Unibet. The Malta-based operator just announced the launch of a client-specific (Android user’s) application for it’s popular sportsbook, which covers everything from the World Cup to U.S. politics.

On the heels of an iPhone application launch (last October) with Swedish mobile games developer, Mobenga, Unibet has become one of the first developers to launch a sports betting app specifically for the Android. Once again partnering up with Mobenga, Unibet revealed that the application was designed to convey the “feel” of Unibet, while still resembling the previous mobile app developed for iPhone users. In other words, the user-experience quotient still remains high.

So, on behalf of all mobile phone user’s (even those without the Android, yet still likely to adopt the Android), I say thanks Unibet and Mobenga for showing us it can be done. And with that folks, expect to see many more Google Android mobile gaming applications from your favorite online casinos and betting sites in the very near future.

Apple Approved Apps Coming Soon to an Online Casino Near You

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Check out Will Hill Casino's Mobile Phone App for iPhones

Check out Will Hill Casino's Mobile Phone App for iPhones

The race for online betting App’s is on! Following William Hill’s recent announcement the online casino operator had submitted an application to Apple for a downloadable app that would allow user’s to make real money wagers on Will Hill’s online sportsbook, three more rival internet betting operators – Bwin, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power – have announced their intent to do the same.

William Hill‘s app is called the “World Cup Predictor”, and apparently gives up-to-the-minute odds on matches, as well as the ability to log into one’s account to post live wagers. The details of Ladbrokes’ app has not been revealed as of yet, but considering the company is planning to get an approval before the World Cup – beginning on June 11th – there’s a good chance it is similar to Will Hill’s World Cup Predictor app.

Ladbrokes’ John O’Reilly says that while their mobile online casino betting suite is compatible with iPhone’s (as is Will Hill’s), launching an iPhone app is a whole new ballgame. ” It’s one thing having a web application, another thing having one through the iPhone Store – it has a different functionality”, said O’Reilly.

As for Bwin and Paddy Power, they aren’t in a total rush to get their iPhone app’s approved. Bwin’s Tomer Katz said his company is hoping to launch their app soon after the World Cup (pending an approval from Apple), while Paddy Power’s Darren Lovern said they are thinking about launching an app (ideally before the World Cup), but are weary of potential problems getting their application approved by Apple.

A taste of the mobile online casino action on your Smart Phone

A taste of the mobile online casino action on your Smart Phone

These concerns certainly aren’t without merit, albeit Apple did reverse their stance on gambling apps – having initially rejected apps submitted by Betfair and Tabcorp, only to later approve both applications. The main concern on Apple’s part, it would seem, pertains to children. One of Apple’s criteria for approving app’s is that it isn’t inappropriate content for children. Well, considering there are plenty of apps that are essentially pornography, Apple apparently has a standard by which to keep tabs on the more adult stuff.

Other criteria Apple looks for when reviewing app’s is whether or not the app crashes frequently (obviously), if it has buggy software in general, if there are unauthorized API’s being used, privacy violations and (get ready, this is the big one), whether or not the app “degrades the core experience of the iPhone”. As revealed by Apple recently, there is a forty person team reviewing some 8,500 new apps and updates to existing ones each week. Eighty percent of app’s are approved without changes needed, while 95% of all applications are approved within a two week time period.

In short, the likes of Bwin, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power need not worry about their app getting denied by Apple. All you supped up online gamblers be on the lookout. There’s bound to be an app coming out soon from your favorite online casino.

Online Entertainment Betting Offers Odds on American Idol and More

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Got a hunch who the next American Idol will be?

Got a hunch who the next American Idol will be? Calling all bets!

Sick and tired of wagering at the same old online casino games? Okay, okay, so that’s impossible (wink, wink). But, for all the serious, regular bettors out there, it can’t be denied that sometimes you just simply need to mix things up, whether that’s a new casino game, and in some cases, a whole new form of wagering altogether. That said, how about mixing up television fun-fare with your online wagers next time?

Introducing pop culture online gambling. Okay, maybe that’s not necessarily the term for it, but as far as I know, there is no term. Hold on a sec – this just in – I am apparently referring to entertainment betting. There’s a term after all. And not that online entertainment betting isn’t popular, it’s just a little unconventional. In fact, most every reputable internet sportsbook offers one category or another of entertainment betting. And yet, there is one category (or show, if you will) that has more lines on it than any other entertainment wager online.

Alright already, whatever am I referring to? I’ll give you a hint. Try bellowing out this sentence in your worst possible falsetto voice and tell yourself it’s the best singing you’ve heard in your life. Oh, and then turn to your best friend “Simon” and let him tear you down to the core of your being and completely shatter all of your dreams of fame and fortune.

Maybe that’s not completely fair to Simon of “American Idol”. For anyone who has watched the popular “reality” television contest/show, you have to admit that American Idol offers some great entertainment. Whether it’s great live performances or the worst “staged” auditions ever to be caught on tape, American Idol will definitely move you.

For most fans of American Idol, everyone has their favorite, and as such, is “betting” that person will win the competition. Even if it’s not necessarily shaking hands or putting money on a winner, the unspoken hope in each and every fan is essentially a wager. As long as their is hope, it is possible!

So, if you have an eye for talent, online entertainment betting, i.e., American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, Academy Awards etc, may just be the perfect diversion if and when you ever get tired of watching that roulette ball spin round and round, sick of seeing the dealer hit Blackjack or simply just can’t take the sound of another slot machine. There are several online sportsbooks offering entertainment wagers, including next elimination rounds for American Idol.

But with just six contestants left in the competition for Season 9 of American Idol, odds on the winner will not pay off nearly as much as they would have early on in the competition. In case you are wondering, here are the lines found at a leading sportsbook offering online entertainment betting:

Crystal Bowersox: 4 to 7
Lee Dewyze: 3 to 1
Casey James: 7 to 1
Siobhan Magnus: 8 to 1
Michael Lynche: 18 to 1
Aaron Kelly: 30 to 1

Eye on Gambling Online Sports Portal and Forum Founder, Passes Away

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The owner and founder of a popular online sports betting portal, Kenneth Weitzner, has been found dead inside in his Virginia home, along with his wife, Jackie Weitzner. Ruled a double-suicide, the death of the Weitzner’s not only comes as a shocker to the departed’s family and loved one’s, there is also a sense of disbelief brewing within the internet betting industry.

An avid and gregarious voice amongst the ruling elite in the professional sports betting arena, Weitzner was largely known for his podcasts and presence on his online sports betting portal, EyeOnGambling (EOG), which Weitzner used to publish sports betting news and live lines, as well as recruit online bettors for sportsbooks and poker rooms.

Widely regarded as a player advocate and purveyor of strict gambling standards, Weitzner was a friend to online gamblers and sometimes-foe to the Costa Rican based sportsbooks seeking to levy deals with Weitzner – many of whom Weitzner would call out for unethical business practices. The fact is, Weitzner certainly wasn’t afraid to shoot from the hip, which is precisely why some of his colleagues are speculating whether his death was truly a suicide, especially considering the murder of PokerListings.com owner

Another variable to consider is speculation from some of Weitzner’s colleagues that he owed large amounts to business contacts. Whether from gambling debts or business dealings, it’s hard to fathom that Kenneth Weitzner would be strapped for cash. One of Weitzner’s first successful online betting portals, ThePrescription.com (theRx.com) sold for $2 million in 2002. As for EOG, it was and continues to be thriving portal site, no doubt pulling in good money for affiliate referrals.

A tragedy all the same, Kenneth and Jackie Weitzner will certainly be missed by many. Weitzner’s legacy – EOG – will be business as usual, and is currently being manned by one of Jackie Weitzner’s sons. The forums were recently shut down for a designated time period, serving as a moment of silence for the Weitzners.

A touching announcement on all sub-forums reads,”There are times in everyone’s life when the unimaginable becomes reality, thus has been the case for those of us here at EOG. We have lost two wonderful people who touched many lives and will never be forgotten. Before we can begin to move forward from these moments we must first reflect upon our own feelings and personal thoughts regarding this tragedy. While we may never truly know the reasons why this tragedy happened, we will always have with us the fond memories, the laughter shared, and the wisdom given by both Ken and Jackie. We live our lives day to day often forgetting to tell those we love and care about how we feel. If nothing else, take this time to let those you love know how much they mean to you. You never know when it may be too late…”.

Tiger Woods Turns His Back on Paddy Power Online Sportsbook

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Paddy Power, what are you thinking offering Tiger Woods $75 million to be a spokesperson for your online casino and sportsbook over the next five years? I mean c’mon, he just lost his sponsorship deal with Gatorade – the man needs at least $200 million.

But seriously, what are you thinking Paddy Power? Perhaps you are thinking that the real Tiger Woods was only coming out of his shell and the whole sex scandal was just the tip of the iceberg? That Tiger Woods was going to live the playboy lifestyle from here on out, become a high roller on your site and serve as a role model for all the twenty/thirty something guys who want to cheat on their wives?

If you ask me, Paddy Power’s offer for Tiger Woods is nothing more than a publicity stunt, which considering the fact I’m writing an article about it at this moment, it’s a pretty damn good publicity stunt. Does Paddy Power, let alone anybody, really think Tiger Woods would take Paddy Power up on this offer? The guy has put himself in a clinic and is trying to keep his marriage alive. Furthermore, he’s made it clear that he plans to return to playing golf. And last time I checked, being a professional athlete and a spokesperson for a sportsbook is a conflict of interest.

Not surprisingly, Tiger Woods has already turned down Paddy Power’s offer. But, keeping the publicity stunt alive, Paddy Power has announced they will be making a more “lucrative” offer for Tiger, but no details as to what exactly that is. My guess is a hybrid deal with Donald Trump to get Tiger on “The Apprentice”.