Holland Issues Warning To Catena Media Cease and Desist

Holland has been struggling with online gambling regulation since last year when the Lower House in the country’s government voted in favour of a regulated market for internet betting. Since the vote however the Senate has yet to approve of the resolution which is expected to take a considerable time before the state sorts out the licensing process and tax regime. According to Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice officials it will not be before July 2018 that this happens.

The so called grey area in Holland has seen offshore operators targeting the Dutch gambling market and succeeding in attracting punters from that nation. The Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit has implemented a new set of rules to stop the raiding of the market which include the prohibition on using typically Dutch symbols such as tulips and windmills to attract players from Holland to international online gambling web locations. Also .nl affiliate websites are banned from directing Dutch players to .com gambling websites.

To drive home the point the Dutch regulator has issued a cease and desist order to performance marketing company Catena Media. The company was found to have advertised different brands in a manner that had violated the gaming regulations set out by the government. Malta based Catena Media is a lead generating firm that through a network of affiliate websites, promotes online gambling services to players globally.

The Netherlands Gaming Authority told Catena Media that it would be imposing a fine of up to €21,000, if the company did not comply with the recently issued order to stop it activities. It appears that the order was significant enough to halt access to the websites in question including pellenoverzicht.com, gokoverzicht.com, and netentcasino.nl. The Netherlands like other countries in the region have been slow to respond to the changing times presented by the internet gambling trends.




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Intense Wagering Expected On Mayweather McGregor Match

It is not often that a sport such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the traditional sport of boxing come together to compete. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts production based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that was owned and operated by parent company Zuffa. The growth of the sport is reflected in the recent sale in 2016 of Zuffa to William Morris Endeavor  for over $4 billion USD.

The latest test for the sports world will be experienced when the current champion of the UFC Conor Anthony McGregor born in 1988, an Irish professional mixed martial artist and professional boxer is pitted against Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. an American professional boxer and promoter. Both of these competitors are sure they will be victorious during the August 26th match in the T-Mobile arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada USA.

Bookies around the world are lining up their odds for the match which is expected to be viewed by millions of fans. Some books immediately predicted that Mayweather will win. William Hill put the veteran as a 1/11 favourite. He's now 2/9 with just over a week until the fight.

"Realistically if we were just putting up a number and didn't have to take bets on it, Floyd would be 1/100," oddsmaker Bogdanovich said. "But this will be a very, very big betting fight for sure, one of the biggest ever."

Meanwhile BetVictor has announced it will offer new customers odds of 100/1 for McGregor to come out on top in his much-anticipated fight with boxing legend Mayweather.

Head of sports book at BetVictor, Eoin Ryan, commented, “Mayweather was for a long time pound-for-pound the best boxer in the world, but he is not the force of old. Can McGregor win? You bet and we are giving new customers the opportunity to put their pound on the younger two-weight UFC champion at 100/1.”










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UltraPlay Claims First Live eSports Betting Solution

The latest gambling trend to hit the internet is eSports and the interest in the activity has gained massive traction.  To accommodate the growth a number of firms have taken on the task of bringing the action to life and creating a platform for eSport fans.

The Bulgarian firm UltraPlay, a tech company, founded in 2010, with a focus on eSports, sports betting, casino, live betting and bitcoin solutions is providing  an innovative approach to the online gambling industry. The operator claims the UltraPlay eSports solution is ready to accommodate the millennial generation of punters. A recent post now ignites interest in Ultraplay which is said to set an industry first with esports live betting.

The company is to be the first provider of betting products to offer live betting on the Grand Final of esports tournament  of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2017. Featuring teams from around the globe the competition is organised and run by EA Sports in partnership with FIFA . The exclusive live betting option will be made available for all FIFA interactive players around the world.

Head of esports trading at UltraPlay, Peter Ivanov commented,  “Led by the mission and experience of building a betting brand that appeals to eSports fans, UltraPlay is constantly improving its eSports odds provision and betting options to offer the next level of gaming experience. Ivanov continued to explain, “That was the core idea behind the company’s decision to become the first igaming provider offering live betting on the FIFA Interactive World Cup Grand Final - the highly ranked and prestigious international tournament followed by millions of fans worldwide.”

UltraPlay eSports has created a unique approach by combining traditional sportsbook techniques with innovative game analysis. The firm claims to be doing the impossible. With over 500 in-play variables for some of the games, statistical, mathematical models don’t reveal to complete betting image. UltraPlay is on the leading edge of the new wave in gaming.




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Sweden's Svenska Spel Online Gambling Fears Exposed

A few months ago the Swedish government made the decision to scrap the monopoly on online gambling in Sweden. A government-appointed commission was set up in 2015 to review the Swedish gambling industry and report on possible changes to improve tax revenue and offer more selection for online gambling players.  Offshore online casinos have been infiltrating the gambling market in Sweden and not paying associated taxes or licensing fees.

The state owned and regulated gambling company Svenska Spel is experiencing growth with Swedish households spending 2.3% of disposable income with Svenska Spel. Unregulated online betting saw larger expansion which increased by 16% last year.

Now after reviewing the results of the review there has been new development. Svenska Spel has issued its own regulatory recommendations via the Swedish media outlet, Dagens Samhälle.  Fredrik Schulte who is a member of the Swedish Moderate Party has labelled Spel’s input as ‘serious mischief’ and is concerned the monopoly holder Svenska Spel is trying to sway the politicians into accepting the favoured position of the government’s online gambling provider.

The government run gambling provider’s CEO, Lennart Käll and Chairman, Erik Strand responded by pointing out the two areas that need attention when creating new legislation for gambling. The business men were of the opinion that the minimization of problem gambling risks and the introduction of effective mechanisms to combat illegal gambling were the main issues to contend with. They also said in the news article that offshore firms offering online gambling services and products should be fully vetted before being granted a license to operate from the country’s regulator.

As it stands now Svenska Spel is the only authorised operator of online gambling services in Sweden and have been taking profits from the local market prompting Svenska to ask for a ‘fair set of regulations to create fair competition’. It will not be until early 2019 that the new regulations will come into effect.





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Kindred Group Focuses On Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling is the key to a good time while not enduring any repercussions or harm caused by excessive or compulsive betting. Gambling operator Kindred Group is a participant in the effort to find the best ways of dealing with issues caused by problem gambling. Recently the company commissioned two researchers in the gambling industry professors at Nottingham Trent University, Michael Auer, the director at Neccton, and Mark Griffiths who will utilize anonymous customer information for research in responsible gambling.

The former Unibet Group, now called Kindred will take measures to improve the quality of gaming practices and move towards a more responsible gaming environment. The discussions are now on the front burner for the company which is making an effort to comply with expectations and protect its customers from problem gambling issues.

Kindred Group is attempting to ensure safe and secure customer participation.  Professors Auer and Griffiths have been researching the gambling field for about five years prior to the request by Kindred Group. The experts have been publishing studies that have investigated the methods and various apparatus needed to improve the responsible gaming model. The work they have done has prompted a variety of online gambling operators to review and make necessary changes to their platforms products and services to enable a quick response to developing gambling issues.

Some of those improvements include the time spent playing and fund limits for a single online game, the availability of real time custom feedback to improve a gambler’s habits, along with the offering of expert advice and professional assistance. Online gambling operator Kindred Group consists of 13 brands, among them Unibet, Maria Casino, Stan James, 32Red, iGame and it is on the leading edge for consumer safety and security. The research that Kindred will finance will go a long way for operators and consumers in the new age of wagering.


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Ontario Lottery and Gaming Awards 20 year Casino Contract

The Canadian gambling jurisdictions are varied with a number of provincial governments offering betting venues across the country. One of the most valuable properties in Canada is the huge and populated province of Ontario which holds massive potential for the gambling industry.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has been undergoing changes to make the offerings in the jurisdiction more profitable which includes the introduction of online betting. The OLG decided to put out a call for proposals to acquire an operator for the potentially large wagering market. It was not surprising that the call attracted some of the industry`s biggest operators.

Companies such as Caesars Entertainment were considering Ontario`s projected expansion of an underdeveloped gambling business model. Genting Group was also in the running for the 20 year contract. The Malaysian based company Genting has reportedly lost its bid for the operator contract. Hard Rock International also expressed interest in running the OLG casino expansion plans but left the competition in order to continue with development plans in Cyprus. Another company Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management lost the bid for the three casino venues currently available now in Ontario.  

The Great Canadian Gaming Corp and Brookfield Business Partners have acquired OLG Slots at Woodbine, Ajax Downs and at the Great Blue Heron Casino located in the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and other gambling venues according to the OLG report.

The new deal with the Great Canadian Gaming and Brookfield Business Partners L.P. will see each company hold 49% of the interest, while Toronto based private equity management firm Clairvest Group Inc will hold the last 2%.  Trading of Great Canadian Gaming Corp stocks were temporarily suspended by regulators due to the expected news the bidding for the lucrative contract had been obtained. This news gives new hope for gamblers in Ontario who have not been given much opportunity over the last few years.








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Aristocrat Leisure Acquires Social Gaming Firm Plarium Global

Aristocrat Leisure Limited is an Australian gambling machine manufacturer headquartered in Sydney Australia with marketing and development offices in Russia, USA, United Kingdom, South Africa, India, New Zealand, Mexico and Macau. The company has approximately 2,080 people employed. The Video Gaming Technologies firm was purchased by Aristocrat Leisure for about US$1.3 billion in 2014. The acquisition increased its gambling machine collection in North America from 8,200 to 28,400.

Now Aristocrat has acquired Israeli social gaming company Plarium Global Ltd, giving more traction to Aristocrat’s tech sector. The firm recently announced that it has signed a binding agreement to purchase 100 percent of Plarium for US$500 million in cash, still subject to customary completion adjustments.

The acquired firm will augment Aristocrat’s exposure “to the fast growing digital market,” This move is expected to grow Aristocrat’s digital properties to 22 percent of its overall revenue. Plarium is a privately owned free-to-play mobile, social and web-based game developer.

Aristocrat Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Trevor Croker commented, “The acquisition of Plarium allows Aristocrat to expand our addressable market into logical adjacent segments in the fast growing mobile gaming market,” The market is expected to expand from US$3.2 billion in the social casino segment to US$25.4 billion.  Croker continued to explain, “It also provides us with a stronger platform to target the US$43.6 billion overall mobile and web games market as growth segments,”

Plarium was founded in 2009 and began by developing games for the Eastern European casual gaming market.  In 2011, Plarium began developing Massively Multiplayer Online Strategy and then the firm launched Total Domination used by 20 million players. In 2014 was mentioned as one of the top global gaming companies on the Facebook platform and in the same year Plarium was named one of Europe's most promising start-ups.




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Global Online Gambling Market Expanding Fast

There are not many industries where the impact on the environment is small, the profits fairly good, some governments encourage it, yes there aren’t many like the online gambling business.

The 2016 Global $35.97 Billion Online Gambling Market is expected to grow to $66.59 Billion USD by 2020 but that growth is very geographic specific. It is interesting to note that the estimations are based on a legal framework and do not take into account the underground internet betting activity.

Where does all the money generated by these casinos go? The average profit suggested may not be very accurate and calculating the costs of running an internet casino is basic speculation. The biggest expense most online casinos have is software after all the games are virtual and are required to follow certain regulatory rules while remaining creative. It has been suggested that the Playtech, Microgaming and Net Entertainment platforms power sixty percent of the online casinos of course there are many other to fill the void that expands daily. These providers charge large to lease their software and they receive a 15% portion of the casinos win.

The operator’s expenses are many with most online casinos running what’s known as an affiliate program. IN order to remain on the best seller list in the internet betting business casinos need traffic directed to their particular web location. Most information portals advertise casinos in exchange for a commission on each player. There is the Cost Per Acquisition flat rate that the casino pays the affiliate for each player which signs on and deposits. Then there is revenue sharing or revshare where the casino pays the affiliate a percentage of the players’ losses.  

The list of costs and the factoring in of other regulatory and government fees and taxes the possibility of a casino thriving may look bleak but in fact around twenty percent of the casinos are making eighty percent of the profits.


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Bodog Founder Appointed ‘Special Economic Envoy’ to Antigua Barbuda

The name Calvin Ayre comes to mind whenever someone thinks of Bodog and the massive influence the man has had on the online gambling industry. The Canadian entrepreneur calls the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda his home now with dual citizenship and the recent appointment honours the man who has created a business that deals with the virtual gambling world. Calvin Ayre is being made the ‘Special Economic Envoy’ to Antigua Barbuda’s government.

The Bodog founder will be advising Antigua and Barbuda on policies relating to blockchain technology and digital currencies.  Antigua and Barbuda has a solid history for being progressive when it comes to adopting an edge in the international business community. In the 1990’s it became an early leader in offshore banking and Internet Gaming.  Now with this new appointment  Antigua Barbuda intends to do the same in the blockchain technology using the global private sector. The Calvin Ayre .com web site explained the reasons behind this move by the government. “His efforts are expected to re-invigorate the Internet Gaming industry in Antigua and Barbuda which, in 1999, provided more than US$100 million to the economy and employed over 2,000 people. Today, the online gaming business is worth in excess of US$37.9 billion annually with markets throughout Asia and Europe.”

The new Envoy commented, “I’ll continue to focus on being an online gaming industry analyst, a tech investor, and a philanthropist. Most importantly, I’m just going to continue enjoying life to the fullest,”

Mr. Ayre has also invested a great deal in the virtual currency industry with Mr. Ayre operating a tech company that handles Bitcoin transactions on the public ledger. A recent press released stated that Ayres’s business group “processes more Bitcoin transactions than any other platform in the world today.”

Bitcoin has not been universally adopted as legal in all countries but currently a Bitcoin is worth nearly three times as much as an ounce of gold.


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Australia Prohibits Online Poker and Casino Gambling

Australia has finally come to grips with a debate that has been ongoing for a long time now. The issue of online gambling legality has come to an end with the Australian Senate approving the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016. The move which will ultimately place a nationwide ban on online casino and poker availability was contested by poker and gambling fans which testified on why the game should be excluded from the nationwide prohibition on internet betting.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, introduced the legislation that will ban unlicensed online casino and poker operators from focusing on the Australian market. There are no provisions in the gambling regulatory framework to allow for licensing of offshore online gambling operators.  

Sen. David Leyonhjelm has attempted to have online poker made exempt from the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill and that online poker should be regulated.

Sen. Leyonhjelm has maintained that online poker should be classified as a skill game and different from casino games. The Senator says a regulated online market with proper monitoring tools and a tax framework would be beneficial and better than a ban.

An attempt to block unlicensed online gambling operators has been made by some of Australia’s jurisdictions but they have found the approach to be ineffective. Operators however have found ways around the ISP blocking efforts. The new laws will come into effect within thirty days of the signing of the bill and it will see an exit from the Australian market by more poker rooms. Operators 888poker, 32Red, and Gaming Innovation Group have already made the move to leave the Australian online poker scene with an announcement expected that PokerStars will also withdraw services in the country.

The new rules are bound to cause some stress for avid poker and casino participants who will be looking for alternatives to access the activity.




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