Estonia is the country in Europe that is making all the wrong moves in the implementation of it's new "liberalized" online gambling regulations. The European Union is trying hard to give all of it's members a fair and equitable set of e commerce rules to go by and then there is the administration in Estonia which has decided it's legalization of internet gambling activities will include a black list of gambling operators that need not apply for a licence. Estonian players are able to gamble using locally licensed online gambling sites until 2011, when Estonia’s internet gambling market will then be opened up to foreign operators. The Estonian Tax and Customs Board has moved to block access to foreign gambling sites that do not hold Estonian licensing but are still attempting to enable the counties online gamblers. Not really a smart plan with the idea of legalisation being to get companies and the public to invest in internet commerce and create a tax base for a very shaky economy. Estonia was one of the worst hit by the economic meltdown with it's net worth being reduced by 36 percent. A list of approximately 200 domain names whose locations are from outside the borders of Estonia that internet providers are now being told to block, or face a fine of 40,000 Lithuanian Litas ($15,600). Included on the list are major online gambling operators, such as PokerStars, PartyPoker, Full Tilt Poker, Unibet, and Bwin. Estonia is sure to get some flak from the E.C. but is trying to avoid that by stating it's current protectionist policies are temporary. The Olympic Group, which has a successful online casino has been granted a local license. Estonian gamblers will have to make do with smaller offerings for now until the world comes to their doorstep in 2011.

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According to an interview published by The Card Player online the American Gaming Association has decided it is “open to the concept of legalized internet gambling,” The AGA opened its office in Washington, D.C., in 1995 with the fundamental goal of creating a better understanding of the gaming entertainment industry by bringing facts about the industry to the general public, elected officials, other decision makers and the media through education and advocacy, The AGA represents the commercial casino entertainment industry by addressing federal legislative and regulatory issues affecting its members and their employees and customers, such as federal taxation, regulatory issues, and travel and tourism matters. In addition, the AGA has an aggressive public education program designed to bring the industry's message to target audiences both in the nation's capital and across the country. The AGA provides leadership in addressing newly emerging national issues and in developing industry wide programs on critical issues such as disordered and underage gambling. The association serves as the industry's national information clearinghouse, providing the media, elected officials, other decision makers and the public with timely, accurate gaming industry data. The association has done some serious research on the availability of technology to regulate and maintain safe standards for operating legal online gambling. It's research ability of the AGA was used to form three working groups that AGA members participated on to research three critical issues, one, technology, two, would online regulation mean an end to land based casinos and three, should it be regulated on a federal or state level? The decision to be open to the idea of legal online gambling in the USA by the American Gaming Association took serious thought and research using proven systems in other jurisdictions carried on by American based companies. The reasons for abolishing online gambling in America have been resolved now it's time to lift the ban and make it legal.

 

 

 

 

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MegaCasino.com is the latest online casino offering in the European jurisdiction. Powered by a small but powerful games provider company called SkillONet Casino Software this new operation is already rolling out adverts for it's products in major European centres. CasinoRedKings.com.and EU casinos are already up and running with the SkillONet software solution. Prime Gaming is responsible for marketing the Mega Casino Brand with already successful brands such as Prime ScratchCards, Prime Casino and Prime Backgammon. With the software and casino is available in many European languages and the MegaCasino manager was please to comment on the casino's choice of the SkillONet's platform, "With an established and well respected P2P Backgammon platform....it wasn't difficult to choose the SkillONnet software package for MegaCasino.com. Many of the games are new, well designed and easy to navigate and play. The graphic interface is superb and every two weeks there is a new slot game introduced which is definitely going to keep our customers coming back for more." SkillONnet, founded in 2005 focuses on speed and ease of use while keeping the front end looking fresh and modern. The software also provides a fully managed turnkey service with multi-lingual support, processing, payments and an affiliate backend for marketing companies. The SkillONet Software only comes in a downloadable format but the download is fast and easy. All deposits and withdraws are secured with 128 bit data-encryption technology with the SkillONnet Software tested and certified by Australia's iTech Labs. iTech Labs consultants have tested and certified all types of games on a wide range of online gaming platforms for over 12 years. Vice President of Marketing at SkillONnet, Simone Levy, commented, "We are delighted to be involved with Prime Gaming in bringing our third online casino to market. Their expertise in marketing is already proven and we look forward to adding them to our growing list of online marketing partners"



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The price of Alabama's efforts to find and prosecute illegal gambling operations has left the state holding the bag for $538,115. The argument is instead of taxing the activities

the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling has run up legal bills for this large sum of tax payer's dollars. The Montgomery Alabama Advertiser has reported that administration contracted with the law firm Matt Lembke and Michael Pennington, attorneys based in Birmingham, Alabama. According to the current administration, the money was well spent as $1.3 million dollars was taken after raids on bingo halls. Unfortunately the accounting doesn't make a lot of sense when the costs of the police task force also include salaries of the police involved as well as administration and benefits. The head of the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling John Tyson, has stated under oath in court that he does not benefit financial at all from his duties as the head of this force. Online gambling continues to attract many players in Alabama as well as other states in the USA without compensation to local tax authorities. It is costing money for the Department of Justice to enforce an unenforceable activity. Even with the seized assets and funds from illegal bingo halls and cyber cafes the numbers don't add up. Millions of dollars leave for offshore companies without a trace left behind for the local communities where the money was originally generated. The online gambling industry in the USA must be regulated in order to control that flow of funds to out of country operations. Instead of creating criminals out of people that just want to play bingo online or otherwise seems unjust and in need of some review. The America where the citizen has the right to sit down to a friendly legal game of poker for money online looks to be a long way off on the political horizon.

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The Italian online gambling market has become the most lucrative in Europe recently. Bwin entered this new market by acquiring Italian poker operator Gioco Digitale, the Italian poker network boasting over five million players. Bwin Italia has made a deal with Dragonfish, 888’s Business 2 Business wing. The agreement will see Dragonfish provide Bwin with in-house and third party games expanding Bwin's Italian casino product range. A complete casino site including games of chance such as slots, video poker, video slots and table games will all be packaged with Dragonfish’s flexible gaming platform. Bwin's General Director in Italy, Paolo Di Feo, commented, “We have chosen Dragonfish as our online casino technology provider so that we can ensure a premium gaming experience for our customers. We believe 888 is a top brand and Dragonfish will be able to capitalise on the experience they have and help us in offering our clients a very strong and secure entertainment line-up.” Bwin’s Ongame Network launched an Italian Poker Network recently with five million players hosted by recently acquired Gioco Digitale. This deal is Dragonfish's first venture into the newly regulated, since 2007, Italian online gambling market. Gabi Campos, Managing Director of Dragonfish, said: “The synergy of bwin’s brand presence and our premium casino offering provides a potent combination, and is an ideal way to enter the growing Italian market. ” “Signing an agreement with such internationally renowned operators shows the quality of the Dragonfish offering and our capability to provide the ideal platform from which to launch a casino offering in newly regulated markets.” The Italian market is a competitive and fast moving one, with many other large and powerful networks also trying their luck in Italy. Microgaming, for one has announced it will be launching an Italian poker network. Microgame a leading service provider for the remote gaming market in Italy also signed a deal recently to incorporate virtual sports games into it's People’s Network, the biggest online player community in Italy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In Britain there is an organisation that takes proper care of the public interest when it come to advertising in various media mostly television.

 

The Advertising Standards Authority recently has banned a prime time television spot that was promoting a Bingo operation called Tombola. Comic aspects of the advertisement included a white gentlemen attired in a suit and a black gentleman in casual dress sitting around a fire on the beach with the black man playing a ukulele and singing what ever the white man says. It does sound just a bit typical but really in today's world one would agree that keeping these images of negative racial stereotypes alive is unacceptable by any standard. The complaints said that the relationship between the two characters was ''defined as the power of the white man over the black man.''The two people that protested the airing of the Tombola Bingo advertisement should be pleased at least along with all those that are on the ball at the Advertising Standards Authority. Not the only advertisement to be removed for inappropriate content presented by a gambling outfit recently a spot for Prime Scratchcards featured a mum and baby suggesting the lady depicted had achieved riches and security from her internet endeavours. The ASA ruled the spot "suggested gambling was a solution to financial worries and encouraged gambling behaviour that could lead to financial and emotional harm, " The Tombola ad forces the cliché over edge, the Advertising Standards Authority has decided, ''We considered that the ad could be interpreted as humiliating, stigmatising or undermining the standing of the black character and was therefore likely to cause serious offence.'' Tombala was reprimanded and told to be more responsible in the future. The company has done so and it has probably received more exposure than they bargained for.

 

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According to the Proactive Investor online edition a company named Play LA Inc. has made a good move by acquiring Arsenal-mania.com which has a huge presence in the world of football in the U.K. Play LA Inc. is a leading advertising and publishing company specializing in the online gaming sector. The company owns and operates a network of multi-language websites for those who are looking for information and promotions, published daily. This is a significant move to tap into the potential of online sports fans. According to Play LA. the Arsenal-mania website already has an impressive following, with around 250,000 visitors per month, 40,000 registered users and nearly 9,000 followers on Twitter. Those 250,000 visitors generate around 4.5 million page impressions per month. Nice tap for an advertising company, that already services some of the biggest online bookies, such as Ladbrokes, William Hill and Party Poker. CEO of Play LA Inc., David Hallonquist, commented, "the transaction will help it expand its reach into the United Kingdom’s sports audience, but the strong following of football fans at Arsenal-Mania.com opens up the potential of similar deals in this space, which could generate substantial readership for the group’s wider network of sites." In recent months Play LA has announced a revamped U.K sports news website Bettingchoice.co.uk just in time for the Winter Olympic games in Vancouver Canada and the Summer Olympic games in London U.K. Made available on a publisher friendly platform with more interactive features and data capture. Hallonquist said, “The improvements we have implemented are yielding the results in increased traffic that we had hoped for. This gives us the confidence to apply these same improvements to the other sites we own and operate. As our revenues are closely tied to website traffic, we are optimistic about the effect these improvements will have on future revenue growth,”

 

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William Hill was optimistic in it's first quarter results for 2010 considering the weak economy.

Chief Executive Officer of William Hill, Ralph Topping, commented, “In terms of 2009, the scale and breadth of our business ensured that we were well-placed to ride out the extra volatility in sporting results and the areas affected by the economy were counteracted by good growth in gaming machines and our improving online performance. “We have transformed key parts of William Hill in the last year. William Hill Online is almost unrecognisable from a year ago, with highly competitive gaming products, proven marketing expertise and a Sportsbook that has more pre-match and live betting products. ‘Storm' machines will shortly be available across much of the estate, giving us 22-inch HD technology to enhance the customer experience. In addition, we have addressed the balance sheet issues to leave us in a much stronger position.” This statement seems to have given brokers and analysts have given William Hill a positive investment rating. According to a report the financial newspaper Barron's William is expected to grow as much as thirty percent over the next year. This is good forward thinking looking at the revamped William Hill company turning lemon's into lemonade has never been made to look so easy and this is one old school company that knows where to turn it's attention. Online gambling is the future and now William Hill is positioned to take advantage of it's new resources. It sounds like a safe bet that, expertise, passion and commitment to customer satisfaction, will give the William Hill investor returns year after year. William Hill is one of the U.K.'s leading betting and gaming companies and employs more than 16,000 people. The London Stock Exchange is home to William Hill stock that looks right now to be an exceptional buy.

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South African gambling commission officials have travelled to Antigua the see how the online gambling operations work. The government has studied the various aspects of regulations and control measures and have done serious studies on impact and tax benefits. The gambling community has been talking for a long time about the issues in South Africa and how all the deferrals have resulted in a missed opportunity in the sometimes contentious but profitable world of online gambling. Even though it is supposed to be illegal in South Africa to participate in internet gambling millions of people do and enjoy it. Playing in S.A. rands is a limiting choice so many people open a foreign bank account and deposit and play on any one of thousands of web sites offering all sorts of betting action from all over the globe. It is here that an investigative journalist from South African television looked for a story and found a good one. In a scathing documentary called Carte Blanche the producers and reporters went inside the African Palace Online Casino and it's people to find out why one now well documented winner was not paid in full.

African Palace.com, was reported by the documentary as being licensed in the Netherlands Antilles, with gambling servers in the United Kingdom.The winners suspicions were raised when the casino asked her to open an account in Cyprus to receive her funds. The casino also suggested that the winner not declare where then funds originated. During the scathing television show the casino was less than forthcoming and did not come off appearing co-operative about the situation. The acting CEO of the National Gambling Board, Thebi Moja, who was adamant that online gambling remained illegal in South Africa despite the high profile advertisements for African Palace are televised in the country. Moja did not satisfactorily say why there was inaction against companies advertising online gambling in the country for years. The Carte Blanche program has asked more questions than it answered and unfortunately the online gambling situation in South Africa has some pressing issues.





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Kentucky USA has been one state that keeps writers of online gambling news up all night wondering what legislators are going to do next in that part of America.

The state's Supreme Court has issued a surprise ruling on the legal technicality of whether the iMEGA and the IGC had standing to pursue the state after it tried to seize and confiscate 141 international internet gambling domain names, the court ruled that the organizations did indeed not have any standing. The issued statement by the courts bench said, “Although all such arguments may have merit, none can even be considered unless presented by a party with standing. No such party has appeared at the original proceedings in Franklin Circuit Court, the writ petition at the Court of Appeals, or on the appeal here to this Court.” Joe Brennan, chairman of iMEGA commenting on the court's finding, which overturned an earlier court of appeals ruling in favour of iMEGA and the IGC said, “In the written decision, the Court clearly indicates they agree with our arguments and are inviting us to re-file so that the technicality of the standing issue can be resolved. He added, "It’s unfortunate, but I can’t imagine that Kentucky’s lawyers will celebrate a ruling that says, ‘Bring us an owner so we can rule in your favour,'" The lack of standing was because both trade organisations had not disclosed its membership details. The state Supreme Court made mention of the fact that, “Just as with real property, a domain name cannot own itself; it must be owned by a person or legally recognized entity.” This ruling places the writ of prohibition in peril and could open domain owners to the possibility of seizure and confiscation. Brennan said it is probable that if they specify even one owner as a party at risk it would allow the requirement of standing to be addressed and the case could go back to the Supreme Court of Kentucky to be heard without further problems.

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