Posts Tagged ‘us online gambling’

MGM Supports New York Online Gambling Market

Monday, December 1st, 2014

While New York has been on the cusp of legalizing various forms of online casino gambling, and has been one of a handful of states that industry insiders believe will be the next to go live with real money wagering online, the fact of the matter is that the fuel supporting the latest push for legalization in the Empire State is coming from out West.

Let NY Play, is the latest proponent slogan for iGaming in New York. Social media outlets have been fanning the flames through this organization, which is actually coming from none other than MGM Resorts International. MGM is a huge gaming brand based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

So then why all the backing from a casino brand that doesn’t even have a land-based property or a stake in New York?

Well, New York is getting ready to move forward with granting four different licenses to develop online outlets, and while MGM is interested, it has no hand in the game other than possible future interests. MGM has lobbied in the state of New York before – specifically in support of the legalization of online poker.

While Let NY Play is gaining social interest online, MGM surely cannot be embracing the idea that New York will generate enough revenue from the get-go to stimulate the expansion of online gambling a la New Jersey, which is still struggling to generate increased online wagering income even though there are more than a dozen online casinos there.

But wait, in New York it’s about poker specifically. New York is a state that loves poker. MGM knows that New York residents bet as much as $110 million in non-regulated online poker activity. Further believing that NY could generate between $50-80 million in revenue each year, MGM may have designs on the future indeed. This estimate does not consider additional revenue the state would gain from the licensing process itself.

Still, is there something else propelling MGM in its support of NY so much? NY’s neighbor, New Jersey, has come nowhere near earning the revenue it originally predicted it would when gambling online went live over a year ago.

Needless to say, MGM officials are taking the “slow and steady” road, and believe that while there has been a slow start to the industry, the tables will turn eventually. After all, there are online casinos that are not based in the US still taking wagers from US players, and thereby cutting into the market.

Interest by many offshore and European online poker giants to move back into the US market may be the solution to the needed income. But the question remains whether or not US markets such as NY are ready to grant permission for the world’s most successful online poker brands to move in.

The fact that MGM owns half of the Borgata, which hosts the most popular online casino in New Jersey at this time, may be another factor. Perhaps MGM will go live via the Borgata, creating a site related to its New Jersey destination. There are rumblings in the industry that this is a possible outcome in the near future, but New Jersey is not New York.

Whatever MGM’s motives may be entirely, the state of New York is on the verge of legalization, indeed. As casino licensing gets underway, there are sure to be further developments regarding MGM’s support of online poker in New York. Time will tell what they are.

Online Vegas Makin’ News With Bonuses and Tournaments

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

If you like online casino slots, blackjack and video poker tournaments, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Online Vegas. Hosting a wealth of tournaments, many of which are either free to join or cost chump change (excuse my French), Online Vegas is an approved and highly recommended online casino here at OCS. Not that it’s hard to “make news” in the world of online gambling – what with just about every play-for-money site out there billing their welcome bonus as “news” – Online Vegas certainly qualifies for newsworthy status right now.

Yes, Online Vegas does indeed offer a generous welcome bonus to new players. Worth over $5,000 on the first 10 deposits ($500 just on the first), it is one of the best out there. In addition to this, Online Vegas offers a fantastic loyaly promotion giving up to 20% cashback on losses and weekly deposit bonuses. In short, over $11,000 is given away here every month – no matter if players opt for reload bonuses or not.

But what’s even better about Online Vegas – if you ask me (thanks for asking) – is the deluge of free tournaments taking place here all the time. In fact, there is a free slot tournament offered here every day. Of course, what’s the value in a free tournament if there isn’t plenty of cash to be won? Well, that’s where Online Vegas’ reputation and experience comes into play. In business for several years running, Online Vegas has managed to attract quite the following – so much so that it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say it is one of the most popular U.S. facing online casinos in business today.

You see, with more players participating in tournaments, Online Vegas is able to guarantee more…well…guaranteed winnings. For the month of September this tally was worth over $425,000 in guaranteed tournament winnings. In fact, it’s still not too late to stake a share of the prize money this month. The last of the Weekender Madness tournaments guarantees $30,000 in winnings, and goes down from Friday, September 24th to Tuesday, September 28th.

And September isn’t a fluke either. It’s been like this at Online Vegas for as long as I can remember. Granted, my memory isn’t the best (no thanks to my…err…habits), however, for at least the last two years Online Vegas has been guaranteeing hundreds of thousands of dollars in tournament winnings every month. Fueled by a large wide area progressive jackpot network that includes the likes of Go Casino and Crazy Slots (linked via Vegas Technology’s CFG fairness certified software platform), the winnings here are for real.

Naturally, the slots tournaments are the most popular and more frequent, yet there is also a great selection of daily video poker and blackjack tournaments paying out pot percentage winnings, as well as guaranteed bonus bucks. Everything from pot percentage 24 hour $0.99 Blackjack tournaments to three-day Jacks or Better video poker tournaments are available round the clock. So what are you waiting for? Don’t say more news, because let me tell you brothers and sisters (to quote my cousin from the backwoods of Tennesse) it ain’t get no better than this.

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.

Vocal Opponent of U.S. Online Gambling Regulation Does About Face

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
I HAD to put this picture in... just couldn't help myself.

I HAD to put this picture in... just couldn't help myself.

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid is hard to pin. I mean, let’s face it, he’s a politician is he not? The Nevada Democrat who holds the reigns in the U.S. Senate has made a “surprising” turnaround, recently citing he stands behind the regulation of online gambling. Now, it would be another thing if Reid, who obviously knows something about the casino gambling industry, was indifferent or even undecided in his views about online gambling. However, Reid has been nothing but the opposite, in fact, actively taking an outspoken stand against the legalization of online gambling in the States.

So what, my dear friends, has caused Reid to change his mind? I’ll give you one guess. It smells like paper and rhymes with funny. You see, while Reid has a little man on his left shoulder, letting him know how important Las Vegas is to Nevada, there’s a louder, larger man on his other shoulder telling him that Nevada needs tax revenue – and the constituents of Nevada far outweigh the sway of the casino operators. Right? Errr, it could very well be the other way around given other circumstances and a different time, i.e., when the mob ruled Vegas, which is exactly why Reid deserves at least some credit. I mean, he is supporting the regulation of online gambling, is he not?

Granted, one of the largest players in Las Vegas, Harrahs Entertainment, has come out of the closet to proclaim support of online gambling regulation, also formerly taking an open stance against online casinos. So, even with some vocal disappointment being expressed by some of Las Vegas’ casino operators (mainly the smaller guys), the big dogs like Harrah’s and most likely MGM are waiting patiently for the time to pounce and launch online versions of their bread and butter offering.

Also, Congressman Barney Frank’s bill to overturn the UIGEA recently passed the House of Representatives and is serving a dual purpose of helping educate lawmakers on why it’s more important to regulate than ban and how online gambling can be effectively regulated, in particular, preventing underage and problem gambling addictions. In other words, Reid could very well be coming around simply because it’s the right thing to do. Hopefully, more U.S. Senators will do the same.

Over $13 Million Settlement Reached Between U.S. Feds and Online Poker Payment Processor

Thursday, August 19th, 2010
Apparently the U.S. government wants to be "allied"

The US government wants to be allied

It’s getting to the point where I’m starting to find it difficult keeping up with all the money the U.S. federal government is seizing. Don’t get me wrong my fellow U.S. citizens and pro-online gamblers – I’m not saying the feds can just swoop in at any time and seize all of you online gambling funds. Okay, maybe they can. But the chances of it from happening are pretty slim. Besides, even if they were to commit such a rude act, you would still get your money back. That is, of course, if you were playing at a reputable site to begin with.

Anyhow, I preface this blog post with such an anecdote because – you guessed it – U.S. Federal officials have once again reached a big-money settlement for (lack of a better phrase) lost wages spent online gambling. Getting their greasy paws on some badly needed cash, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan (who else), has successfully strong armed the payment processor, Allied Wallet and Allied Systems, into coughing up $13.3 million said to be deposited into a bank account between January and May of 2009.

More specifically, the funds were traced back to the “world’s largest online poker room”, Poker Stars, which everybody knows is open to doing business with U.S. online poker players. Said account was with Goldwater Bank in Scottsdale, Arizona, and was apparently tagged for receiving wire transfers from undisclosed offshore locations.

Poker Stars, which is legally regulated in the Isle of Man, has not been shy to broadcast they will continue doing business in the U.S. in accordance with legal counsel. In other words, Poker Stars maintains that no U.S. laws are being violated. Granted, they are on record stating, “PokerStars does not condone efforts by processors to conceal the nature or purpose of funds used to play online poker,” and that, “PokerStars has taken steps to ensure that processors properly disclose the nature of their business to their relevant financial institutions.”

Yes indeed, the guys who specialize in a game all about calling bluffs and checking opponents, know how to deal with the U.S. government. Interestingly enough, the feds haven’t directly gone after big operators the likes of Poker Stars, but have instead focused on where the money is – the payment processors. This was the case with the Neteller seizure, recently mirrored by the high profile settlement of $583 million with Canadian payment processor, Douglas Rennick (again, money traced to Poker Stars, as well as Full Tilt), and capped off with a sweet $13.3 million deal with Allied Wallet.

It’s been a pretty good run for U.S. authorities don’t you think? Of course, all this money is truly pocket change to the big players in the multi-billion dollar industry that online gambling is. While the likes of Neteller ran for the border and Allied will likely close up shop, it won’t be long before another payment processor opens an intricate web of accounts even better than Allied, and racks in billions before getting caught and forced to cough up a small dent compared to the real profit these companies are making. Of course, if the U.S. government opts to regulate, in which case they will be making exponential tax revenue compared to these little FBI raids, well, that’s another story.

Do You Know 100% for Sure You’re Getting a Fair Hand at Online Casinos?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

I don’t want to be one to gloss things over or shy away from accepting the “big picture”, so let me just say that many a U.S. online gambler is getting ripped off and doesn’t even know it.

How’s that you ask? How could I ever know such a thing unless I myself was doing or taking part in said ripping off? Well then, for all of you who would find it hard to believe that an unregulated online casino would do such a thing as steal money from under your nose, I beseech you to break out the smelling salts.

While the internet certainly breeds a convenience factor for online gamblers, not to mention all sorts of “free” promotions, the sheer fact that anyone can launch an online casino from just about anywhere in the world, means there’s a greater chance of coming across a shady enterprise.

This is nowhere more apparent than the waves of business activity that befall the still-in-demand U.S. internet betting market. Even with the dropping out of the top online casino software developers from the American market, there have been plenty of online casinos to sprout from thin air and take in millions of dollars from the coffers of gambling hungry Americans.

And no, not all of them are doing so honestly. If you look thoroughly enough at an online casino’s website, there is a good chance you will find something about “fairness”. I mean, let’s face it, you should, should you not? Any online casino that doesn’t brag about it’s fair odds isn’t doing much to earn player trust.

However, saying the games are fair isn’t enough – at least not in today’s unregulated American market. Sure, if the casino was being regulated by an esteemed gambling commission, this would speak for itself. However, even those online casinos which are regulated in strict jurisdictions are still forthright with their credentials and ongoing performance on the odds front. In other words, making payout percentage reports available for perusal should be a given.

However, many a so-called US online casino does not publish monthly payout reports, nor provide details about their regulatory requirements.

Now, some people will point out this doesn’t necessarily mean the online casino is cheating anyone. One could theorize that if an online casino never paid it’s players out, it would eventually go out of business due to word of mouth. However, the grim reality is that online casino operators have the capability of changing the software source code and subjecting players to unfair odds. That way, nobody gets paid out because there is no money to be paid out.

In a way, online gambling is like living in New York City. A slum lord doesn’t care if you move out and proclaim to everyone how sleazy of a landlord he is. The slum lord knows there will be another commuter, another transient, another life coming and going through the city that never sleeps, and who will rent out your old apartment, never the wiser…that is, until the person reaches the day in which the truth of the landlord becomes clear…and the vicious cycles repeats itself yet again.

So what’s the big deal about publishing a monthly payout report anyway? If you ask me, to not publish a payout report is prone to cause suspicion. What is the online casino hiding? Why are they holding back? I mean, come on, it’s not that difficult to have a payout report published. Apparently, these online casinos do not honor the concept of earning player trust, but rather, are in the business of taking money from uneducated bettors. But you can’t really blame ’em, can you. If players are willing to cough up their money, no questions asked, of course they are going to take it.

Remember, lot’s of these online casinos are not even being properly regulated. There certainly are a handful of honest operators, who despite not being required to meet certain regulatory standards, do so anyway on their own accord. These online casinos are the minority, however. The fact of the matter is that the other 90% of US facing online casinos could or could not be offering a safe and fair hand. Do you want to take that risk? Or would you rather get educated first. If it’s the latter, by all means, stick around here at OCS. Join our Online Casino Forum and start asking questions.

Atlantic City Casino Operators Apparently in Talks With Online Gaming Software Devlopers

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Atlantic City must be hurting. I mean – come on – there’s no denying all of Atlantic City has been hurting for a long time now. Err, I suppose ever since the day casinos first opened on the boardwalk.

But really, Atlantic City had it’s heyday, and the idea now is to get back to that place before Playboy Casino was shut down and Donald Trump got the idea that he could rule AC with just a hotel and a bad hair piece (it never gets old!). Considering how the casinos have been faring, you can’t really blame him, can you?

Anyhow, now that there is a glimmer of hope for online gambling regulation in the States, land-based casino operators in Atlantic City (not to mention Las Vegas) are looking into the prospects of running a counterpart online casino. Business is not great, and quite frankly, the World Wide Web is stealing billions of dollars from brick ‘n mortar casinos.

You would have thought online casino gambling was legalized several years back, would you not? Oh but wait – the technology itself came about during the Bush administration, and instead of giving it a proper study, Republican conservatives and the religious right had their say in getting online gambling (well, at least some forms) banned.

Never mind the fact that England has been successfully regulating and taxing internet betting for over five years – without rises in problem and underage gambling mind you. But don’t get me started. Believe me, I can go on about this not only until the fat lady sings but also when the cows come home.

Anyhow, back to Atlantic City.

The President of the New Jersey Casino Association, Mark Juliano, has alluded that New Jersey casino operators are indeed working with software providers in preparation of legalized online gambling. Okay, scratch that. Juliano didn’t allude (as reported elsewhere), he outright said it. He even said the Association thinks it is “inevitable” that legislation will pass “at some point”.

And not that this is a big surprise, really. Harrah’s was adamantly opposed to regulating online gambling when the idea first presented itself. It took several years of losing revenue and a budding realization that regulation really does work for Harrah’s to turn on a dime and direct their efforts toward getting online gambling legalized.

So yes, when online gambling is finally legalized in the U.S. a virtual Atlantic City is likely to show up very soon thereafter. Whether or not the online gaming package will be any good (AC casino operators are years behind the game), is anybody’s guess.

There are Those Who Would Stand in the Way of Regulating Online Gambling in USA

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

The fight to get online gambling legalized in the United States, or rather, getting the UIGEA online gambling ban overturned (which just so happens to be marked by carve-outs for various forms of internet wagering, such as horse racing), is far from over folks. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but while getting Congressman Barney Frank’s Internet Gaming Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (IGREA) marked up for a vote in the Senate is a huge victory, the war – yes, it’s a war – has only just begun.

The fact remains that many U.S. politicians are opposed against regulating online gambling for one reason or another. Well, I suppose the more succinct statement is that many U.S. politicians do not understand the protocols and effectiveness of regulating online gambling. And the sad part is that many of them do not even want to understand. In other words, those politicians who represent constituents who tend to take a negative stance toward gambling, whether it be kitchen poker games or online casino gambling, will simply preach what the choir wants to hear, and ultimately, what will get them into office or reelected.

And what’s that that’s getting preached, you ask? Well, according to Idaho First District Republican candidate, Raul Labrador, it’s that regulated online gambling will “prove disastrous for families across the nation.” Besides impeaching Nancy Pelosi, Labrador believes (like a good dog), that children and adults with addictive personalities will be just “one click away from throwing thousands of dollars away.”

And while it’s more like several clicks and several faxes (just to prove identity) away from wasting your money gambling at online casinos, (see, I’m not actually refuting that you could indeed throw thousands of dollars away), Labrador and others from his camp (guess which one), refuse to see that actually regulating something will make it harder for illegal activity to take place, i.e., prohibition in the twenties.

Just like you could very well walk away a winner or a loser at a Las Vegas casino, online casinos play by the odds, which yes, are mostly in the favor of the casino. However, you might be surprised to find that the best online casinos actually offer better odds than their land-based counterparts. Just take a look at the monthly payout percentage reports to see for yourself. And if you really need to see a tangible example of online gambling actively and effectively being regulated, just look at Mother England, where the latest UK Gambling Prevalence Study still shows no increase in problem and underage gambling since online casinos were legalized in 2005.

Really folks, it’s important to know who those politicians who adamantly stand in opposition to regulating online gambling are. If you happen to reside in the district they either represent or hope to represent in an upcoming election, do your part to ensure they can’t cast a biased and uninformed vote against online gambling regulation. In the potato State, Idaho, the name is Raul Labrador. Don’t vote for him. Instead, cast your vote for Walt Minnick, who was one of the seventy co-sponsors of the IGREA.

What Does a U.S. Online Gambling Ban Mean to Me and the Industry at Large?

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Alright, it’s time to vent.

What is the UIGEA to me? Thanks for asking. The UIGEA, to me, is just another prime example of what happens when religion and politics mix.

Wait, but I thought there was supposed to be a separation of church and state in America.

Listen folks, if Bill Frist (the politician responsible for getting the UIGEA passed) was ever elected President, I think I will make good on my word to become an expatriate and move to Canada or Europe or the Caribbean – heck, I’ll even give Japan a go.

All these unsubstantiated worries about increased underage and problem gambling aside, online gambling regulation allows for “unparalleled transparency”. And the U.S. government, cough, cough, the UIGEA, actually makes it easier for the black market to thrive by banning online gambling. The same thing happened with prohibition in the twenties.

What about other taboo topics like pornography? It’s legal, is it not? I mean, come on, you’re more likely to get a pornographic spam email than a free bonus offer from an online casino.

It goes to show that money is the real reason why the right wants to ban online gambling. Obviously, it would be way too immoral for the right to profit off pornography, although I’m sure most of them partake. But considering the land-based interests and all the kick-backs – yes, Frist received campaign contributions from Harrah’s – it’s clear as day why the UIGEA was passed under the Bush administration.

Oh, and while Harrah’s was adamantly against online gambling at one point (when Frist pushed to pass the UIGEA), now they are all for it. Looks like they figured there is no stopping online gambling in America. If you can’t beat em’ join ’em, right?

The UIGEA will get overturned…eventually. Let’s just hope the Dem’s have the balls to do it…or rather, that they get desperate enough to get this economy going again.

Greater Transparency With Vegas Technology Online Casinos; New Casino and More

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Vegas Technology Casinos Now with Monthly Payout Reports

Vegas Technology Casinos Now with Monthly Payout Reports

I’ve been talking a lot about Vegas Technology powered online casinos this week – And guess what? I’m still not done talking. What can I say, I like to smoke ’em if I got ’em. And let’s face it – Vegas Technology Casinos are smokin’ hot right now. And no, it’s not just because they are one of the few software licensors whose online casino operators are still open to U.S. players.

What makes Vegas Technology Casinos popular these days is, quite frankly, a large and diverse guaranteed tournament schedule, lots of free bonus cash, and a pretty great customer service track record. Now, I’m not saying they are entirely spotless – and what software licensor is for that matter? However, considering the amount of business Vegas Tech online casinos like Go Casino, VIP Slots and Online Vegas are doing with U.S. players, their reputation is impressive.

Furthermore, many of Vegas Tech’s operators have been boosting their transparency. As mentioned in the previous blog post, online casinos licensed through Curacao eGaming are now required to display a Validation Seal on the homepage of their website. As for Online Vegas and Go Casino, they are now publishing monthly payout reports prepared by the independent software testing house, Certified Fair Gambling (CFG). How does a 96% average return on all games sound?

As for Vegas Technology’s flagship network of online casinos, English Harbour Gaming Ventures (EHGV), they too are certified fair by CFG. However, their certification only goes so far as the software platform, and does not include monthly payout reports. This is something which EHGV is going to need to do if they want to remain at the top of their game and in the running for U.S. player’s business – Players, mind you (cough, cough, pay attention) who are becoming more educated about online casino operator transparency.

For anyone not in know, Go Casino and Online Vegas are owned by the same company – Favian International. As for Golden Casino, it is thought there is some connection with Go Casino, although there is no proof other than their names being similar. Even if they are, who really cares, if you ask me. Eustacia International is the registered owner of Golden Casino with the Curacao eGaming licensing authority. They also own the OCS approved online casino, Crazy Slots.

And now there’s yet another addition to the family. Introducing Grand Vegas Casino. Not to be confused with the RTG powered Grande Vegas Casino (just one letter, I know), Grand Vegas is certainly going with a Vegas-esque theme. Decked out in red, white and blue, their website is obviously catering to U.S. players. And with good reason. Grand Vegas’ sister casinos has already proven very successful on that front. While we haven’t given an official recommendation to Grand Vegas (just yet), rest assured OCS believes in their experienced management team and will nonetheless be paying close attention to their early beginnings and ongoing track record.