According to the Business Mirror which comes to the world via Philippine Business Daily Mirror Publishing, Inc., in Makati City, Philippines, the Cagayan unique zone defies the global downturn in the economy. The district of Cesa, because it is a free port, operates similar to Hong Kong, Singapore, Labuan in Malaysia or Hamburg in Germany.

It is the only economic zone in the Philippines with the legal capacity to host and issue licenses to offshore companies for the purpose of web gambling. The zone has been declared Asia’s first and only interactive gaming jurisdiction by the International Association of Gaming Resources. Online-gambling licenses are given only to offshore-based corporations so as not to overlap the operations of Pagcor, the only national agency allowed to operate gambling in the country. The idea of proxy players who represent foreign clients or players are the only ones allowed to place bets in the facility. Only foreign clients or players who are brought in or introduced by agents of a licensed operator are allowed to play.

The development of the IT facilities and telecommunications has been a priority for the regional government. Infrastructure costs have run into the millions proving that this area is committed to creating a vital long term economy based on online gambling. According to the in depth article from the Business Mirror over 47 Online Gambling Lottery Licenses have been issued by First Cagayan, a Filipino corporation with more applicants waiting. The fee is $40,000, with $25,000 refundable should the applicant not be successful. The application fee includes the first year’s annual fee. In the second and subsequent years, annual fees are set at $40,000 per annum, and includes up to $15,000 as an advance against future taxes. Ceza tax per operation is set at 2 percent of the gross win. Gaming licenses are granted only after the operator’s gaming software has been tested and certified. Operators are also required to maintain a buffer of funds to meet pay outs to players.

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Deval Patrick, the State of Massachusetts governor has been vocal about his opposition to gambling, now in a surprise turn around he is urging legislators to request an independent cost to benefit analysis of the proposed gambling expansion within Massachusetts. Gambling expansion is the trend for revenue strapped states, and Massachusetts may be next to allow new forms of entertainment within their borders. Online gambling could be one of those forms of entertainment. Neighbouring states such as Connecticut, already have casinos up and making money which has residents expecting a benefit from the inclusion of casino gambling on land, and possible online wagering.

According to an Associated Press article recently, it explained that the state deserves more detailed information before "dramatically expanding gambling."

Lobbyists from both sides of the expansion debate are being heard with opponents to gambling working hard to convince people of the evils and perils associated with the past time of wagering. Two former government employees ex-Governor Michael Dukakis and former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger have now come out as being anti-gambling. The United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts group has been busy gathering its anti gaming individuals together so they can make their stance known.

Online gambling is only one aspect of the cost benefit study that is being urged by Democrat Deval Patrick.

Increased crime, increased addiction to gambling, underage gambling, and certain financial ruin for those that are householders already in a serious financial pickle are the usual detractors words of wisdom. Those who see that gambling can have a positive side have declared in it's defence there will be more jobs, more tax revenues, and the increased option of a good experience close to home. Maintaining that in other parts of the world gambling does not cause significant social problems. Both sides keep the argument for or against wagering alive and vital to individual communities.

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Some online gambling buffs would know who runs the Bodog online gambling operation in the Mohawk jurisdiction of Quebec, Canada, others don't know or probably don't pay much attention to the personalities behind the industry. In the Olympic World there are few that have made it to the top of their chosen sport and taken home a medal or two. Well recently in the world of the Olympics coming to Vancouver Canada in 2010 there was a controversial move made by the Director of the Olympic Committee.

VANOC CEO John Furlong had to defend the choice of an online gambling executive to carry the Olympic flame through a Mohawk reserve near Montreal, Quebec.

Alwyn Morris, CEO, of the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, was the subject of the demonstration at Kahnawake, Quebec. Mohawk leaders refused to allow VANOC's RCMP security team escorts with the torch relay onto the reserve. Natives held banners opposing the Olympics, showing that this band of Natives does not support the Olympic stand. It is ironic that Hugh Fisher a doctor from Whistler, British Columbia and Morris shared a gold medal for canoeing at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in the USA.

Morris went on to run the hugely successful North American operations of Bodog, a multi-billion-dollar online sportsbook and poker gambling company founded in Vancouver Canada by the infamous Calvin Ayre.

The U.S. government seized $24 million from Bodog accounts in June 2008 as part of a money-laundering investigation. Federal law in Canada do not allow for private online gambling. Mohawks of the Mohawk Nation however, consider their territory to be separate and sovereign and therefore they conduct their online gambling without police interference.

Furlong commented in defence of his decision, "Alwyn Morris is a great Olympic champion, one of the best, he's a role model for First Nations children across the country," adding, "The children on that reserve love him, he was their choice and our choice. It has nothing to do with his business."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Consolidation was the hot topic of discussion recently at the big online gambling conferences with executives predicting that the media and online gambling rivals would come together and create mega companies controlling vast sections of the online gambling industry. In a recent article written by Rebekah Lillias at Betastic this prediction is definitely coming true. The article states that Gibraltar-based gambling firm PartyGaming is in merger talks with Austrian rival Bwin, which could create the biggest Internet Gambling organization in the world.

 

It is rumoured that the two companies have been engaging in private discussions over the past few months and are expected to be asked of to clarify their positions as the financial sector opens for business next week. PartyGaming’s investors, who have had a rough time lately are expected to welcome any positive news regarding the direction of the company. Investors saw the value of their stock disappear in 2006 when the U.S.A. introduced the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. At the time 90% of the players at PartyGaming sites were from North America. The company has recovered in recent years, by purchasing valuable web sites and investing wisely in new ventures.

Bwin on the other hand has continued to grow stronger in Europe and is currently valued on the Vienna stock market at 1.3 million euros (£1.2m). The company’s primary strength is SportsBetting, especially in Austria. Recently it has added poker rooms and casino action to its online offering, which has seen players number’s grow in spades. If this merger takes place it would create a company that will have a worth of approximately two billion BPS. Soon we may see more unique mergers and we will be all placing our bets on one gigantic web site that offers everything a gambler could possible desire. The creation of mega companies may not be the best thing for consumers though as competition helps provide variety and unique value.

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The latest package of new games from Ireland based software provider Cryptologic includes iconic super heroes of some note. Superman is probably one of the best known super heroes on the planet. Four other slots, together with three new table games will round out the Christmas package of fun provided by the innovative company Cryptologic.

Braveheart, the freedom seeking hero from Scotland immortalized in the movie will have William Wallace battling the English oppressor Longshanks. When Braveheart wins so does the slot player. Braveheart has a five level progressive jackpot.

Forrest Gump is another smash hit at the movies that has been transformed into a online slot game, with a 25 pay-line that is like a box of chocolates, full of surprises and prizes. There are two bonus games, the Box of Chocolates feature and a Run Forrest Run game that simulates Forrest Gump's dash through a football field as in the film with an interactive element that enables players to help Gump manoeuvre.

Just Vegas is the second in Cryptologic's 'All Pays' slot game series, The symbols and animations emulate the glamour of Las Vegas, and give the player a choice of three casinos, Asian, Egyptian and Roman.

On the really wacky kind of fun side of things themed around a Japanese game show Fumi's Fortune, has hosts Fumi and Aki rolling out the adventure.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack, Sic Bo and Double Double Bonus video poker are the newest online offerings of table games by Cryptologic. Perfect Pairs Blackjack is like the blackjack games available at the land based casinos, with an optional side-bet based on the player's first two cards and the popular surrender option which is still included. Sic Bo is a popular Chinese game, where players can place many types of wagers on the outcome of each round of rolling three, six-sided dice. Bets are placed on individual dice, combinations of dice, and the totals of the three dice combined. All and all an impressive new group of games for Christmas fun from Cryptologic.


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Mobile gaming and content enabler Mobenga has partnered with Agility Interactive which is a leading provider of advanced technologies for media, gaming and technology to enter the Australasian market. The Swedish mobile gambling technology provider Mobenga has announced it has signed a deal with the Tote in Australia shortly after the Tote was taken off of the market because it did not receive any viable offers. When commenting on the Agility Interactive partnership the CEO of Mobenga, Christian Rajter said, "The partnership has already produced very positive results." He added, "We are excited to work together with Agility Interactive to target the Australasian market. They have an impressive knowledge and network in this geography and combined with our experience and expertise we will have a very strong foundation for our offering".

iGaming France and Overwatch Tasmania report that the deal with the Tote was recommended by Agility Interactive, a consultant to Tote Tasmania.

State Treasurer Michael Aird said recently, “Tote Tasmania has identified the need to find new markets, increasingly offshore, and alternative forms of revenue, based around its core activity, betting,"
“I expect Tote to announce some exciting initiatives in the New Year which will clearly demonstrate the internationalisation of the company, among these will be a new international brand, along with an expanded business operation through acquisition and strategic alliances."
Dennis Verrios, Agility Interactive's Chief Operating Officer commented, "Agility has had a long history of dealing with mobile products and understand that the secure and timely transactional and intense data needs of wagering make it imperative to find a product suite that was "built for purpose". We are very excited to collaborate with Mobenga and intend to roll their platform out across Asia Pacific".

Mobenga will provide full mobile services to Tote Tasmania which is sure to boost their revenues looking at the huge growth in mobile gaming in that part of the world.

 

 

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Paris-based Mangas Gaming group's Expekt.com has announced a major re-organization of it's corporate structure. The future direction of online gambling company Expekt.com which is part of Mangas Gaming Group was a bone of contention within the executive ranks of that division. Along with Betclic and Bet-At-Home Mangas Gaming has made significant changes that have resulted in the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer leaving their posts immediately. The differences of opinion about how to best move the company Expekt forward is sited as the reason for the major overhaul of the gambling outfit. Mangas Gaming Malta Limited is licensed and regulated by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) of Malta and runs Expekt with the customer in mind. Expekt.com is one of the leading international gaming brands and has offered secure and competitive online betting since 1999. Expekt is eager to improve their customer relations and requests input from the consumer at every turn.

In a brief statement issued mid-week, Mangas chief exec Isabelle Parize revealed that former Expekt Chief Executive Officer Per Widerström and Chief Financial Officer Joe Sanchez had handed in their resignations from the company. Parize advised that this would result in new appointments to the company's management team.

Nicolas Béraud will be installed as interim CEO of Expekt in addition to his current responsibilities as Mangas Gaming Group's chief operating officer. Thomas Winter will be acting as interim COO of Expekt in addition to his current responsibility as Betclic COO reporting to Beraud. Maarten Vanhecke who is a senior professional that has experience in structure within organizations will take over as Expekt's interim CFO. Tarquin Henderson becomes acting marketing chief along with his current responsibility as Mangas Gaming CMO. Lisa Lombardi has joined the management team as Legal and Regulatory Manager. The Mangas statement said, “Their departure is due to different strategic views in how to move Expekt forward. We thank them for the work and commitment they have shown and wish them success in their future endeavours.”


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The often seen as glamorous world of gambling with the high drama in the mega stakes games and the agony of defeat, someone looses someone wins. This has been used by the writers and film makers as a money maker since the idea of gambling hit the shores of North America.

Now that venerable institution CNBC will provide an inside look at "Illegal gambling" come this December 16, 2009. The network is recognized as a world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage to at least 340 million homes worldwide, including more than 95 million viewers in the USA and Canada. CNBC viewers can even manage their individual investment portfolios and gain additional information from on-air reports by accessing the CNBC web site.

"CNBC Investigates: The Big Business of Illegal Gambling" is produced by Kurtis Productions. Sharon Barrett is the Executive Producer and Mike West is the Senior Producer. Charles Schaeffer is the Executive Producer for CNBC. Ray Borelli is the Vice President of Strategic Research, Scheduling and Long Form Programming.

Melissa Francis takes viewers inside this high-stakes business that brings some people immense wealth, while others pay the ultimate price. CNBC also looks at how gambling is moving onto the Internet where it's more difficult for law enforcement track. Technology has made illegal gambling easier to access, by using computers at work or at home people can wager at any time illegal or not. CNBC interviews Jay Cohen, an entrepreneur who started a 200 million dollar offshore gambling operation and became the first US citizen to be prosecuted for running an internet bookmaking operation. This program concludes with a debate over a bill introduced by a Democrat from Washington State, Congressman Jim McDermott that would regulate and tax online card games and a Republican from Virginia, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who has authored the current but yet to be fully enforced "The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act." It should be an interesting hour to watch to see which side of the coin comes up.

 

 

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The United Kingdom based games developer Mazooma Games Ltd. has announced a new strategic direction for the company. It is re-launching its brand as a digital content provider for the online gambling industry. A member of the Bell-Fruit Group Mazooma, which was created in 1997 with a primary purpose to develop digital content. The company distributes its games across a number of platforms including Orbis, GTS, GGP and The Global Draw. Based in Nottingham, England, Bell-Fruit Games is best known for it's quality coin operated gambling machines. Its world famous 3-Bells logo is instantly recognized and respected. Bell-Fruit Games produce machines for the domestic and export markets, with great success.

Mazooma Games, specializing in the domestic market, has built and maintained a large share of the UK market. Mazooma also has developed products for export, with great success in the Germany. All Mazooma products are manufactured and backed up by Bell-Fruit Games.

Tony Oliver, managing director of Mazooma said about the new plan, “This will provide incremental revenue for the group to compliment its strong machine sales in both the UK pub and export markets. So far we have secured partnership agreements with top brands such as Coral for the LBO sector and Skyvegas.com in the online market with more to follow.”

Richard Flint, of Sky Betting & Gaming, said, “Mazooma is a key partner and we are delighted to bring their well known brands and gaming expertise to enhance the experience for all of our customers.”

Gala Coral,'s representative said, “We’ve been delighted with our partnership with Mazooma. The first game, Cops N Robbers has been a great success and we are looking to build on this with the B2 version.”

Director of games design at Mazooma, Paul Malt, who was pleased with the announcement said, “Our games are designed to offer the player a familiar and exciting gaming experience by taking the best titles and features from our extensive analogue back catalogue and then transferring them into a digital game. We approach each game design from the player’s perspective and so far the results have been extremely positive.”



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The war on internet gambling is still going on in the USA as authorities continue to crack down on operators in various states in that great nation. Recently a story has surfaced concerning a fifty five year old former bookmaker named James Giordano. He was indicted in 2006 for running a sports betting website in the Caribbean that did a thriving business taking bets from players in the USA. In 1996 he had the idea to launch an offshore Internet gaming company. Giordano moved himself and his wife, to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, which had legalized sports betting. He found a partner, obtained a license through the government of the Netherlands Antilles, and 1997 opened a sports betting business. Eventually, Giordano says, he was making $12,000 to $40,000 a week, serving somewhere between 600 and 2,000 gamblers per week.

In March 2005, local police noticed brochures and other documents at Giordano's offices suggesting they had stumbled upon a gambling operation. These local authorities notified the FBI, and the dominos began to fall. In November 2006, a series of search warrants were served in New York, Las Vegas, and Florida. Authorities arrested Giordano, his wife, daughter, and 24 other people. Three companies were also charged.

Authorities in New York, who led the investigation claimed Giordano's company, booked more than $3.3 billion in sports wagers over 28 months, which Giordano says is 'preposterous'. The Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown commented on the case as the first to charge a web designer and an offshore Internet company with involvement in a criminal enterprise. He stated, "Internet gambling is a multibillion-dollar worldwide industry that for too long has operated with impunity,"

Eventually, Giordano pleaded guilty to promoting gambling and accepted a sentence that would put him in jail for five months. He agreed to give up over $1 million but he got to keep his house and feels that he has put his family through enough trouble. His 26 co-defendants gave up more than a million total. Some of them did received minimum time in jail.

 

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