Ladbrokes has been finding the time to have a little bit of fun with the upcoming election in the United Kingdom and is getting a chance to take a dig at the current government. After being committed to making a difference in the online gambling environment in the U.K. and in Europe the firm is now trying in a tongue and cheek way to make a difference in the political arena. In Ladbroke's shops it's new and latest advertisements, are featured. The first of which shows a Tony Blair look alike betting against Gordon Brown. The highly topical British general election adds a reason to smile for people recently stalled by the British economy. The campaign created by Alison Jackson, the photographer famous for other look alike advertising shoots, and who three years ago produced a spoof image of Gordon Brown and Tony Blair pulling a Christmas cracker for Schweppes, Jackson has been commissioned to produce a series of film ads playing on the election and the upcoming World Cup of football. The first clip is 45 seconds long where a look alike of Tony Blair is "caught" on shaky hand-held camera footage going into a Ladbrokes betting shop to place a hefty bet on David Cameron to win the election. " I always back the winner, you know," says look alike "Blair" to the bookie taking his bet. When leaving the character pushes over a life size photo cut out of his former Chancellor. The three month campaign, called "What are the Odds?", and will include at least six films with "look alike" celebrities. It is great to see that public humour is being tickled as it also takes a clean swipe at the Brown administration with maybe a little business thrown in for a sobering moment. Ladbrokes online operations had to leave the U.K. because of the current government, now maybe Gordon Brown will have to leave office in part because of Ladbrokes.

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Ladbrokes will get a little back on its taxes this year, welcome news to a company that is experiencing it's fair share of the economically challenging times. This veteran gambling company origins date back to 1886, and it employs 15,000 people in six countries and it is adjusting nicely to the new way of wagering with the internet. The company has a market lead in retail bookmaking in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Spain where it operates a combined total of more than 2,700 betting shops. The Company also operates betting facilities at eight F.A. Premiership grounds and nine racecourses, including Ascot. The firm has lots of experience in telephone and web betting so it is a world leader in remote betting. Call centres in the United Kingdom and Malaysia, service as many as 100,000 customers, and Ladbrokes.com, has more than 765,000 active clients. Not one to shrink away from it's fair approach to business Ladbrokes pursued a tax question it had with the government and has recently announced that it will receive compensation in a settlement. A win of approximately $123 million covering almost all of the outstanding items in the tax years back to December 2007, will result in the credit on Ladbroke's 2010 income statement. Finance charges will also be reduced this year to reflect the interest payments connected to the settlement. Ladbrokes is pleased to have the government pay them for a change, Ladbrokes recently moved it's online gambling headquarters to Gibraltar in a move that will cost the U.K.'s Treasury millions of pounds. Like rival bookmaker William Hill, Ladbrokes defied a "gentleman's agreement" to keep running its internet operations in the U.K. The swing to Gibraltar was blamed on "intense competitive pressures" and as it looks now the move was a good idea. Ladbrokes is definitely looking for international opportunities and at all times is ahead of the curve on many fronts.

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Coming up fast in the world of online gambling is the GiGSE, or the Global iGaming Summit & Expo to be held at the Palais Des Congres, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Strategic Key Stakeholders Conference will run May 12th and 13th 2010 with Pre-conference Workshops on May 11th. The list of speakers that have been invited is long and impressive. Executives from all aspects of the online gambling industry will be giving their opinions. Ed Andrewes Managing Director Ladbrokes eGaming Jacob Appelsmith Bureau Chief, Special Assistant Attorney General Department of justice, Division of Law Enforcement, Bureau of Gambling Control Phill Brear Head of Gambling Regulation Gibraltar Regulatory Authority are just but a few of the invitees. This conference looks like it will be one of the most interesting yet mainly because it is happening in Montreal on the North American continent where for the most part online gambling is prohibited by law. It will be a varied group with everyone represented basically from Leslie Lohse, Chairwoman from the California Tribal Business Alliance to Chris Gallardo, Legislative Director Poker Voters of America and the CEO of Harrahs Entertainment, Mitch Garber. The web site for the conference promises critical updates on the legislative progress from the key influencers and decision makers on the US political scene. Starting the conference with the intense workshops scheduled for the day before the conference should get participants motivated to learn as much as they can about the moves planned by provincial politicians in Canada and the legislators of individual U.S. States such as Florida and California. The first day of the conference should prove exciting as right after the opening remarks by the CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association Bill Rutsey, there will be a Strategic keynote debate, key stakeholders discuss the pros and cons of regulating online gambling – envisioning the shape of the regulations and its beneficiaries. The two day event wraps up with a brain storming session to give the participant a head start for a North American online gaming operations or for global expansion.

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The Gambling Portal Webmasters Association announced recently a hardy welcome back to Rome Partners as silver sponsors. The online gaming software developer, and provider TopGame has created Rome Casino’s cutting edge technology, which is geared for today’s fast paced online gaming clients, with state of the art, excellence in all sectors. In 2009, Rome Partners experienced a series of significant payment processor confiscations which escalated into a GPWA suspension of the Rome Partner's GPWA sponsorship noting that Rome Partners would not be permitted to return as a sponsor unless there was a significant change in direction with respect to the then-ongoing affiliate payment issues being resolved and communications improved. The research on Rome Partners progress with these conditions concluded that the prior payment issues have been resolved and that Rome is placing a new emphasize on communication with the affiliates community. Rome Partners sponsorship has been reinstated. The Rome Casinos website states, 'We want our casino affiliates to succeed and will do every step it takes to ensure your success, whether you are a large or small affiliate.'

The TopGame software is impressive to look at, and very player friendly with a broad selection of games, from keno and roulette, to video poker and many entertaining slots. The interesting 'multi-tabbing' option enables a player to play up to 10 games at once which is great for slots of course. In the frequently asked questions tab on the Rome Casino web site an option available that would seem valuable to responsible gamblers is the 'I want to see my deposit, withdrawal and game history tab' It states, 'We have a very detailed information section in our software, designed to give the player a full history of his or her deposits, withdrawals, and game sessions. Simply click on 'menu' then 'my reports' or 'game history' to review all your information.' Rome Partners and the Casino have done their very best to repair a thorny issue and with the GPWA approval affiliates will try their luck with Rome Partners once again.

 

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Chartwell Technology Inc., the Calgary, Alberta, Canada headquartered platform provider for regulated online gambling games and casinos, has recently announced that the company will be installing it's flash based internet casino operating platform in Casinos Austria International which will extend it's product reach even further than before. Casinos Austria International is a gaming and entertainment company based in Vienna currently operating 38 land-based casinos in 16 countries, 8 shipboard casinos, 15 slot rooms and a range of lottery products in Argentina. CAI posted aggregate revenues of 860 million euro for 2009. Dave Acorn, Chief Operating Officer at Chartwell Technology, commented,
"Over the past 18 months we have refocused our efforts on delivering the most exciting online casino gaming platform", adding, "Confirmation of the success of our strategy is clearly evident by the selection of our gaming platform by this pre-eminent casino operator". He concluded "The vast structure of the CAI operations presented numerous technological challenges," "By overcoming these obstacles we have enhanced the ability to provide our flash-based online casino platform to geographically diverse casino operators". Paul Herzfeld, Chief executive Officer of Casinos Austria International, said, "Tapping into the world of online gaming is an important as well as a natural step for CAI as we continue to diversify, integrating new innovative products into our portfolio," adding, "We are delighted to have Chartwell Technology as our trusted technology partner in this new venture and look forward to the launch of the customized casino platform as we further develop our activities as a trusted provider in regulated online gaming markets." Chartwell has impressive credentials with it's gaming platform providing a full suite of advanced flash-based gaming content developed around an open architecture, which is designed to provide the efficiency and flexibility demanded by today's leading gaming brands. Chartwell is licensed by the U.K. Gaming Commission one of the strictest regulated gaming markets in the world.

 

 

 



 

 

 

 



 

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Integrity in sports is always being challenged wherever there is gambling in the world. No where is the need for education on the rules for betting more important than with the players of the various sports. The European Union Athletes' Association has combined it's efforts with the European gambling industry and online sports bookmakers to enlighten professional athletes about the consequences and definitions of betting on sporting events.

The educational campaign is aimed at "helping professional sportspeople better understand and deal with issues surrounding the integrity of sport and betting" and is supported by the code of conduct on sports betting for athletes which was developed by the European Union Athletes Association, the European Gaming and Betting Association and the European Sports Security Association, complementing the rules provided by national laws and or sport specific regulations. The Code of Conduct sets out the guiding principles and provides general advice to all athletes throughout Europe on the issues surrounding the integrity of sport and betting. The code of conduct provides advice on how to avoid or address specific risk situations, such as when an athlete has sensitive inside information on team tactics. The education initiative will target a number of member associations for cycling, handball and basketball in France, Germany and Spain. Secretary-general of the European Union Athletes Association, Walter Palmer, commented that the, "pilot programme will develop best practice in player education on sports betting issues across Europe".

Secretary-general of the European Gaming and Betting Association, Sigrid Ligné, commented also that these initiatives present "a very important first step" in preventing situations that could damage the integrity of sports and fair play. Athletes are warned that online betting operations have sophisticated systems in place that can detect any wrong doing. Bart Ooijen from the European Commission's sport unit commented that "integrity in sport is about openness and fairness of competitions on the one hand and about physical and moral integrity of athletes on the other".

 

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In Australia the advantages and the disadvantages are many for legalising online gambling. The advantages certainly outweigh disadvantages especially in the Asia Pacific Australian district where things are progressing now. Most individuals who were asked contend that moving towards legal and regulated online gambling in Australia is the best move, and will accomplish much for the safety and integrity of the games. Financial analysts predict it will bring wealth to the nation as well as much need jobs in the media and technology sectors. With legalisation also comes transparency, and if the industry remains illegal damage is done with no recourse or way to counter organised crime within the industry. People are going to gamble online anyway and the more it is above board the more advantages there are for the general population to reap the tax benefits. A recent report on the growth of online gambling globally suggested it will expand by approximately 42% to $32 billion by 2012 from 2008 levels. Australians spent $790 million on online gambling through overseas websites in 2008 reports corporate researcher KPMG. Nick Xenophon a Senator in the Australian parliament who has been actively trying to stop the "inevitable," legalisation of online casinos and poker rooms, says, "If you open the floodgates to online gambling you will see a new tidal wave of problem gamblers, particularly younger people. Governments shouldn't cave into the temptation of regulating this on the basis that they can get taxes". Much evidence has been put forward by various university professors and research institutes that say that the Senators arguments do not hold water. If the government is in control at least then problem gamblers can find help without the risk of prosecution for breaking the law. In the U.K. as well as Australia the subject of online gambling has become an election issue with parties in both countries playing it safe for the time being. None are willing to risk loosing an election over the issue. Taxes are needed by these governments and regulating online gambling is good way to obtain the funds, but it is unlikely current governments will challenge the status quo for now, because for some it is just too big a gamble.

 

 

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Most players are aware of the newest bonuses and perks available to gamblers online so when something new comes along to entice the consumer to a particular web site it better be good. Full Tilt Poker has announced recently that it will be launching the Steps Tournaments. By working up the steps of a progressive series of tournaments, players get the chance to win an entry to larger buy in tournaments and claim a share of much larger prize pools. Full Tilt Poker is the host of a worldwide virtual poker room service. It is not in the business of betting or wagering and does not participate in the games as a player. It only provides a service to those who wish to test their skills against other card players for enjoyment money and prizes. Full Tilt Poker is fully regulated and licensed by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. Although it is not legal to play in some jurisdictions a download of the software to play at any skill level is available from the Full Tilt Poker web site by anyone interested. It is however the responsibility of the player to determine whether or not it is legal within the laws of the players location. Starting with a buy in as low as $3.30, the Steps Tournaments play like a regular tournament. except that players compete for Tournament Tickets to the next Step in the tournament series. Even if players don't advance to the next step, Steps Tournaments also award seats at the same level or a lower level. Players can also buy in directly at any step they choose or purchase Tournament Tickets. Player progress to the next level moving up for a chance to win a $12K Main Event Prize package. Steps to the Main Event tournaments runs around the clock so anyone anywhere can play anytime and move up the tournament steps. Players can also buy in directly at any step they choose or purchase Tournament Tickets as another option for those who want to buy in to their favourite tournaments, which feature a wide range of denominations and options. Each Tournament Ticket is worth a specific buy in amount. Players can also win Tournament Tickets through Steps Tournaments, a variety of Satellite Tournaments and promotions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Charges alleging that Daniel Tzvetkoff, an Australian national, assisted illegal online gambling companies by processing an estimated $500 million in transactions between gamblers in the U.S.A. and international web gambling sites by disguising the banking transactions so they would appear to be other than those from internet gambling. Arrested and detained in Las Vegas Nevada the young twenty seven year old and now broken entrepreneur faces years in prison if convicted on the four counts, including bank fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to operate and finance an illegal gambling business and to process electronic funds transfers in violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge, Lewis A. Kaplan. Tzvetkoff is no stranger to court action against him as his company payment processor, Intabill, was recently sued in Australia by the Kolyma Corporation for $52 million. Intabill allegedly handled online poker transactions for the most part with the company at one point reaching more than 5,000 customers across 70 countries making as much as $1 million per day. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has instigated the legal action, which focuses on “hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions with U.S. gamblers between February 2008 and March 2009.” After a devaluing of his vast asset base and leaving millions in outstanding balances to some of the industries biggest poker rooms Tzvetkoff filed for bankruptcy in the midst of addressing a $100 million lawsuit by his former business partner Sam Sciacca. It seems like a foolish move on Tzvetkoff's part to be in the U.S.A. after many other high profile online gambling executives have been detained and jailed in that country. An anonymous source told Poker News Daily, “He was going to get caught somewhere by someone. I’m just surprised it was in the U.S. by the Feds. Given the level and scale of the crimes he committed not only in the U.S., but also stealing from the online poker rooms, it would be the last place in the world he should be.” Tzvetkoff will apply for bail as soon as possible.

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Chartwell Technology, the online gambling software provider announced recently the release of nine new games including five slots, one branded table game, linked progressives, a local progressive and two multiplayer table games. A spokesperson for Chartwell commented that these new offerings are now available to licensees and represent "one of the most comprehensive releases in the industry for 2010." They added, "Chartwell's renewed focus on its casino product is bearing fruit as the company launches the broadest mix of products and features the online casino industry has seen this year," The Canadian firm states that it is committed to delivering rapid revenue growth and accelerated earnings to ensure maximum shareholder value. Chartwell specialises in the development of leading-edge games, gaming systems, and platform for the regulated online casino gaming industry. Chartwell is certified and licensed to offer a range of services in all of the leading regulated online gaming markets.

Chartwell is not a gaming operator, its clients own their brands and databases entirely and exclusively. Chartwell is offering three table games including the industry's first Flash-based multi-player blackjack, baccarat games, and Texas Hold 'Em Bonus. Established in 1998 with over 100 employees in Calgary, Vancouver, Canada, London (UK), Singapore and Malta.

Chartwell is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CWH. It's strategy of taking the best in class from various software developers and combining it's own proprietary software offering have created the five new slot games. The new offerings include the four-level mystery Agent Max Cash progressive. A trio of proven slots from Astra Games Limited and a 100-line offering from Ash Gaming rounds out the new release of slot action. Coming to the field with an industry-first, the multi-currency local progressive permit’s the customer to configure their own games and prizes including multiple currencies all within the same prize pool. Chief Executive Officer, for marketing subsidiary Chartwell Games International, Dan Phillips, commented, “Chartwell's focus on innovation delivered through regular quarterly software releases allows licensees the ability to attract, retain and expand their player bases as well as drive new revenues through the introduction of new gaming products.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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