The two week Australian Open produced by the not for profit federation Tennis Australia will receive a percentage of wagers placed through online betting firm Betfair. it starts January 18 in Melbourne.

Officials of the Grand Slam tournament and Betfair report the sum of money the Open makes from the sponsorship deal is very small. This is the closest commercial link between betting and a sport that has been under the watchful eye of the Tennis Integrity Unit, for suspicious wagering activity.

Simon Chadwick, a professor of sport business strategy and marketing at Coventry University Business School in England commented on the arrangement, ''You're opening yourself up to allegations from the general public that you're condoning online gambling or are complicit in online gambling scandals,'' adding, ''You have to make sure that the public knows everything is monitored very carefully.'' Andrew Twaits, CEO for Hobart-based Betfair Australia, said, ''The key to managing integrity is giving the relevant authorities complete access,'' and, ''Everything is out in the open.''

At a news conference in Adelaide Australia recently, eight-time Grand Slam singles champion John McEnroe stated, ''If you were one of these guys who wants to try to fix a sporting event, it would probably be easier for you to get one person rather than say 10 people if you were playing a cricket match or soccer game or something. So that's a huge concern.''

Promotion by Betfair began last year at stadiums and now fans will be able to sign up for Betfair accounts at the event but won't be able to bet on the Open. The sponsorship deal does not give Betfair courtside signs.

Steve Wood, CEO for the tournament said, revenue for the Australian Open is forecast to grow to $152 million this year, up from $84 million in 2005. He added, ''We're not immune to the world economy,'' Wood said in an interview. ''We've had our challenges, but we're navigating through them.'' This move is one that is one that is sure to draw considerable criticism.

 

 

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Realex Payments is a leading European payment service provider. With offices in Dublin, Ireland, and Hammersmith, London, the company has an exceptional track record especially in terms of expansion. Founded in 2000, by Colm Lyon, the company provides a broad range of payment services to small and large businesses as well as other financial institutions.
Realex Payments processes transactions amounting to billions of euros every year for a variety of merchants both domestically and internationally. Servicing a wide range of industries including airlines, mobile carriers, utilities, insurance firms and gambling operations. Cryptologic the well known now Irish software developer and provider for the gaming industry has signed a three year deal with Realex to supply processing services for Cryptologic's growing customer base. Realex Payments has an impressive list of clients including Virgin Atlantic, Vodafone and online gaming firm Party Poker. It will reportedly custom fit it's services for Cryptologic to provide increased functionality and additional capacity, across a variety of currencies, regions and cards.

Cryptologic's head of finance, Kieron Nolan, commented, “Although we had a very tight deadline and an extensive wish list of specific requirements, Realex was able to implement the solution quickly and efficiently, meeting our demands in the timeframe required. As well as providing an impressive cost-effective solution, Realex offered a high level of support and consultancy.
Compared with other solutions on the market, the Realex technology and operational approach is far more advanced, modern and fitting to our needs. We receive concise and easy-to-follow monthly reports and we always deal with a very professional, prompt and responsive dedicated account manager.”

Colm Lyon CEO of Realex Payments, said, “We are delighted to announce this deal with Cryptologic. They are a dynamic, fast growing company, who like Realex Payments focus on delivering innovation to their clients.” This move by Cryptologic paves the way for future expansion with added security and capacity ready to respond.

 

 

 

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Microgaming the online gambling software developer from the Isle of Man and it's Microgaming Poker Network has announced it will no longer produce reports that rely on Data Mining for it's content. Members of the poker network have been advised that the practice will be ended immediately. Measures to back the company's assertions include moves to stop the storage of hand histories on observed tables on the computers of players, and the practice of downloading and storing hand histories in bulk quantities. It was suggested by a firm spokesperson that what used to be useful in creating knowledge of the weaknesses in a player's game has now turned to a tool with which a person with the most information can exploit those weaknesses and have an advantage over the weaker player.

Head of Microgaming's poker operations, Andrew Clucas, said, “Concern has been rising over the long-term effect of third party software upon the poker industry as a whole, and in particular the negative effect it has on the recreational player demographic. The decision to put a stop to the practice of data mining on our poker network is part of Microgaming’s overarching network strategy to support operators in attracting and retaining recreational players." Mr. Clucas added, "It further demonstrates commitment in providing a secure and fair playing environment. What we are trying to achieve is a more level playing field for all the players.” Microgaming's contribution to the online gambling industry is huge and anything this company initiates is sure to be followed by like moves from other poker networks wishing to stay ahead of the competition. These measures are not there to penalize the winning players but to make the games fair and reasonable to everyone, winners and losers alike. Microgaming changed its rake allocation method from Average Contribution to Weighted Contribution, recently in a move to get Microgaming's licensees to promote the attraction of more recreational players to the fold.

 

 

 

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Kiplinger a Washington, D.C. USA based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, available in print, on line, audio, video and software products has a new tack on investing, the Texas Holdem Investing concept. This concept is new to many but as articles published by the magazine which appears each Sunday in The Washington Post and online everyday suggests with firm resolve that poker and especially Texas Holdem is just like real money investment banking. Comprehensive Kiplinger articles discuss the merits of using “free” poker to learn to invest and how this is at odds with a core part of the Texas Holdem Investing idea, learning to invest by playing poker with real money at risk. One article describes why Texas Holdem is the closest form of gambling games to investing because players with greater skill levels will generally “outperform the market” compared to less skilled players. Frank Murtha states that the goal of Texas Holdem is “to accumulate capital based on decisions with imperfect information” which is a very close description of investing. It goes on to describe how the various phases of Texas Holdem are similar to the various stages of an investment decision. Evaluation of your starting hand for example is similar to reviewing the investment opportunities available to you. The small and big blinds are an analogy for your costs of an information and investing platform. It states that making a bet is similar to making an actual investment and then the investment "flop" begins when a review of your investments comes due with the advent of new but incomplete information. If you are still with a particular investment at the turn and river stage then it should be a very good security because you by now are firmly committed with a fair chunk of your capital. Every element of Texas Holdem poker can be related to the investment game. Risking capital new or old is based on information and minimizing risk is part of the skill in both poker playing and investing. While it is not totally necessary to play poker with real money playing for real creates both fear and elation and both of these kinds of thinking can affect your decision making performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Serious consequences may evolve from a recent ruling over a patent infringement law suit. A few years ago a dispute erupted over a patent held by a company called 1st Technology and the Bodog Online Gambling Group. The Patent # 5,564,001 for online gambling over the Internet was proved at least to Bodog strong enough and comprehensive enough to make the gambling company settle 1st Technology's claim out of court. The dispute triggered a request that 1st Technology's patent be re-examined, and the word has come down that the patent had survived this test.
The company received notice recently that all of the original claims of the patent were confirmed and a number of additional claims also conclusive.

Scott Lewis, 1st Technology's CEO, said in an interview with Gambling911 that, "We are very pleased that our core ‘001 Patent has not only passed the re-exam process but that additional claims have been found patentable, making the ‘001 Patent stronger and more secure than ever." "This all is good news for the many current 1st Tech licensees in the industry who acted sensibly in negotiating licenses with us early on, and bad news for the dozens of hold-outs who received and ignored our infringement notices over the past ten years: since the stepped up licensing enforcement will be accompanied by higher licensing fees reflecting the true value and cost of the infringement," says Lewis.

Leisure & Gaming a publicly listed gaming group is the next firm to be served with serious patent infringement liability. Lewis recently received a U.S. Federal Court default judgment of over $5 million and a court injunction for any future infringement of the specific patent. "Also those new players in the Internet gaming industry which have been infringing on our patent and hoping that it would be invalidated, can now expect to be receiving infringement letters from us shortly," Mr. Lewis warned.


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Christopher Bell, the chief executive officer of Ladbrokes one of the U.K.'s biggest gaming operations has announced he will be vacating his post. Mr. Bell is a veteran chief and will be hard to replace. He has been according to the press one of the longest serving CEO's of a U.K. listed firm. Investors in Ladbrokes hope to find a suitable new head to help drive the company's plans to expand it's online division.

Bell has come under fire over the past 12 months. James Hollins an analyst for Daniel Stewart, reportedly said, "for overseeing a difficult period in the group's history, culminating in a punitive equity raise in October 2009" The company has under performed especially in it's online operations. Bell's departure paves the way for a new wave of optimism that Ladbrokes will pull up it's market share and resist the competition with added strength. Peter Erskine, Ladbrokes Chairman said in a statement, "Bell has made an invaluable contribution to the growth and development of Ladbrokes during his 20 years with the company." "It has been agreed between the board and Chris that this is an appropriate time to seek new leadership for the business. The board is currently engaged in the search for a new Chief Executive to fully capitalise on Ladbrokes' brand strength and position the Company for a new era of profitable growth,"

Bell said, "very good people" are available at Ladbrokes to replace him. Bell suggested anyone who would fill his shoes would have to be "hugely passionate" about the gaming industry and be up with the latest technology. Ladbrokes is a large and diverse company that will take an experienced and confident individual to take over the helm. Whether the new CEO will come from within the ranks or from somewhere else is still speculation at best. A further announcement is sure to come soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NHL franchised hockey team the Calgary Flames has signed a sponsorship deal with an online casino. To celebrate this ground breaking event they are offering players the chance to win tickets to the March 11 game against the Ottawa Senators. The tournament is open only to US and Canadian players. UltimateBet the Kahnawake-licensed online poker room is thrilled with the move that will see it's logo appear on dual rink boards at Calgary's Pengrowth Saddledome. Millions of viewers watch these hockey games on television so the exposure is very significant. The Calgary Flames currently sits on top of the Northwest Division just above the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks and is almost certain to make the post-season playoffs which start in April of 2010. The online gambling web site is currently holding eight daily Texas hold’em satellite tournaments at three hour intervals beginning from 6am with the top 100 players from each event receiving a seat into one of four Sunday main events set to take place throughout January. In addition to a pair of tickets, the four winning players will each also take away $1,000 in cash for travel expenses. This deal between an online casino and the NHL may break the ice for future relationships, contests and giveaways. The online casino industry is a competitive one, like NHL players, teams and fans. The relationship between the two industries represents an interesting new partnership for Canadian and US consumers of online poker and will in all likely hood prove to be successful. This will be especially true if other online casinos and NHL teams follow suit and offer more sponsorship deals giving the customer a chance to win even more prizes. In addition to the poker tournament winners UltimateBet.com is also offering one lucky hockey fan another pair of tickets for the luxury hospitality suite at the March 11th game. The random winner will be chosen at one of eight upcoming Calgary games. The lucky player will take away the tickets if they can beat Phil Hellmuth in a game of ‘truth’ or ‘bluff’ by guessing which facts are true or false.

 

 

 

 



  

 

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Microgaming Software Systems, Ltd.is one company that is on the leading edge of reliable and functional innovations for the online gambling industry. The company since 1994 has been one of the largest suppliers of online casino systems. In the world of online gambling the most important aspect of any company is its honesty and reliability with Microgaming remaining at the top of the list offered by operators and customers. Reports developed independently by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, gives the consumer a running account of the payouts given by the company. This openness and transparency gives Microgaming an advantage that makes the player comfortable in his seat. The knowledge that this firm doesn't keep any cards up it's sleeve creates a trusting and more pleasurable experience. Besides generous payouts, players are keen to follow the development of new games and improved features.

Microgaming's commitment to constantly improve and expand the depth of its programming has kept the games alive and the competition scratching their heads looking for new ideas. The company offers more games than any other provider, with as many as 400 different game titles available in a typical Microgaming powered casino. Microgaming has been introducing around four unique and innovative new games each month. Viper, an interface that allows players to set the skill level of the games they play so that they are always competitive is one item players enjoy using giving Microgaming games a larger scope and extending the games length of play. Microgaming has been very busy developing its software platforms that already allow gaming to be accessed on cell phones and other mobile devices through many of its Euro Casinos. As the world continues to become increasingly more mobile this option will be a significant element of the online gaming industry’s future growth, It is sure Microgaming will remain a leader in innovation and creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

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The recent snow fall in the U.K. is keeping people indoors and playing bingo online. That is great news for an otherwise slow bingo industry.

Rank Group the bingo and gaming mega firm has announced increased overall sales as a result of its new brand of casinos. The positive results are a direct contrast to the results reported in Spain and in the land based bingo halls. The company, one of the biggest operators of bingo clubs in the UK, under the brand of Mecca Bingo, and the Grosvenor Casinos said that revenues grew by 3 percent in the year 2009, with the last three month earnings showing a modest six percent increase.

Greg Johnson an analyst for Shore Capital said, "The consumer side is not bad as far as previous years are concerned when the bingo industry was hit by the smoking ban and wasn't a growth industry. If you look historically at bingo they have seen sharp declines in spend." Adding, "Rank has seen improvements in recent weeks and its online division has gone up."

A declined of 9 per cent was reported by Rank's Spanish arm, Top Rank Espana, which has 11 bingo clubs. Johnson commented, "Bingo in Spain draws ABs, rather than the Cs here. Bingo players in Spain are more likely to have a decent glass of wine rather than players, say, in Glasgow. Adding, "The Spanish economy has been hit far harder than us. While like-for-like sales are down 4 per cent over that last three months it looks worse than it is because of the movement in the euro currency."

The company has reported a 29 percent increase in the number of people playing bingo since the start the start of the bad weather.

Wink Bingo has seen an increase in players, including many first time players. There has been more than a 50 percent increase in the number of players online participating in low cost and regular bingo games.

“With the bad weather, people seem to be looking for more ways of keeping themselves entertained indoors,” said, Marketing Director for Wink Bingo Maurice Karpes.

 

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In 2008 Bwin recorded gross gaming revenues of over 420 million Euros. That's a massive amount of money and it's going into making more profit for the progressive online gambling operation. Arguably one of the largest firms offering products for the wagering public Bwin uses all the means available to bring it's name to the top of the heap. Just a quick look at the brand names on the shirts of Premier League and European football teams and you get a good idea of which commercial sectors are feeling positive enough to support the high costs of football sponsorship. In the Premiership this year teams such as Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton display online gaming sponsors to name just a few. Bwin, which already sponsors AC Milan and Real Madrid and was thought to be interested in sponsoring Newcastle United in the U.K.

Thomas Kiessling the CTO of Bwin commented on the company's profile and it's future direction. "Our strategy is to be a house of games like poker, sports betting and casino games." "At peak times we have 8000 poker tables open concurrently." The Bwin team of 700 people in IT, says a lot about how technical development is keeping the company at the top of it's game.

"We are a technology company in that we develop our products ourselves. The technology is our differentiator." Kiessling said. His team develops the games, the betting platforms and the transaction engines which supports 65 different payment methods. A tall order for any technical platform where considerable investment is also made into the game experience, but a huge factor for technology investment is the regulated environment in which all online gambling operators must conduct business. Bwin uses a distributed architecture to simplify matters with more effective results. "Italy opened up to online poker last year, so our Italian poker offering has to be only accessible to Italians. The architectural complexity of that is huge. Each region of Germany has different requirements for gaming." Passionately interested in the newest forms of service oriented software Bwin's CTO Thomas Kiessling is making playing online with Bwin an enjoyable and safe experience.

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