It wasn't that long ago that the online poker world was shaken up by the scandal involving the Absolute Poker network.

Tokwiro Enterprises which is solely owned by Joseph Tokwiro Norton runs two poker rooms Absolute and Ultimate Bet from the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory did admit problems existed. As of November 2008, they jointly operate under the name CEREUS Poker which is one of the ten largest online poker networks in the world. In October of 2007 widespread Internet allegations of cheating led to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission beginning an investigation. It concluded that there was cheating and fined the company Absolute Poker $500,000. The cardroom also refunded $1.6 million to players affected by the incident.

UltimateBet had a cheating scandal similar in nature to that of Absolute Poker. In May 2008, the company released a statement about the scandal, claiming that cheating had taken place from March 2006 to December 2007. Cheating actually began in January 2005, long before Tokwiro Enterprises ENRG acquired UltimateBet from the previous owners.

After just a short time eCOGRA, the standards watchdog for the online gambling industry, has announced that the Cereus online poker network has met the required standards for its Certified Software accreditation seal.

Quad Dimensions, the network's software provider has made new key product developments and substantial improvements to its security and safety measures designed to protect players.

The professional eCOGRA auditing and technical staff has put CEREUS through rigorous testing encompassed every aspect of the company’s software with the Cereus software achieving full compliance of eCOGRA's benchmark practices.

Compliance Manager at eCOGRA Sean Roberts, stated, "Cereus' management’s commitment to compliance, specifically player safety, facilitated an efficient review and certification process,"

Chief operating officer, for Tokwiro Enterprises, Paul Leggett, said, "Their inspection team was extraordinarily thorough, looking at a wide range of elements in our software. We are proud that our product passed the tough requirements to achieve this important accreditation. We have learned a great deal from eCOGRA, and we respect and support their ongoing efforts to make the online poker industry more accountable,"

 

 

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Microgaming is well known in the online gambling world for it's interesting and creative software that performs flawlessly for the player and the operator. The Isle of Man located company has been on the forefront on the industry for a long time. Now and without surprise the firm is being honoured with the 2009 Isle of Man Newspapers Award for Innovation and Independent Thinking. Last year Microgaming's Chief Executive Officer, Roger Raatgever, was named Business Person of the Year and Microgaming received the Company of the Year award. In 2007 the New Business and Programme Development prize was awarded to the firm.

 

Microgaming has been lauded for it's efforts in promoting responsible gambling worldwide as well as locally with the establishment of the Microgaming Health and Care Trust. The company's research and development department have come up with many inventive 'firsts' for gaming enthusiasts. The Isle of Man became Microgaming's home in 2001. The island is known for it's intelligent work force with high IT skill levels. Mr. Raatgever, commented on the award, “We are honoured to be recognised for our innovation and independent thinking as these attributes have been central to our growth over the last decade.
"This award recognises our ability to harness the creativity and passion of our team to inspire the most inventive and cutting-edge games on the market. The Isle of Man is a dynamic place both to work and live, and is a leading jurisdiction in the e-Gaming industry. We are proud to call it home. We look forward to playing an ongoing role in contributing to the economic and social success of the Island for a long time to come.” The media recognition brings about a certain pride within the company as well as within the community that the business supports. Microgaming's success brings with it a prosperous outlook for the people of the Isle of Man.

 

 

 

 

 

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The banking system in the USA has enough on it's plate for now. They were part of the recent request by several business sectors in the States for the postponement of the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act. The banks are the ones that are to enforce the prohibition by not allowing transactions related to gambling on the internet.

Congressman Barney Frank, Kentucky politicians, horseracing organizations and the Poker Players Alliance seem to be garnering all the credit for getting the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve to postpone the implementation of the UIGEA. The regulations and definitions of illegal Internet gambling are vague at best say the banking institutions which poses problems for the administration of the UIGEA demands.

In a joint statement by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department they publicly declared, "The agencies acknowledge some of the challenges regulated entities are experiencing with the act's definition of 'unlawful Internet gambling," "Moreover ..., several members of Congress have indicated interest in revising the Act.
The agencies are thus persuaded that a limited extension of the compliance date for regulated entities is appropriate,"

Named among the submissions the Fed and Treasury considered were Wells Fargo, the American Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association and a large group of businesses associated with the gaming industry in America. CreditCards.com reported in it's latest issue an evaluation of what the financial organizations are up against, "a thicket of confusing and often contradictory definitions and rules." Among other things, the UIGEA never got around to defining the term "illegal Internet gambling."

Of course there was opposition to the delay in implementation of the law from the usual suspects the Republicans. In a letter sent to the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., they maintained, "Simply delaying the compliance date serves no interest except that of the Internet gambling enterprises that have long evaded American gambling laws and will continue to do so until effective enforcement is in place,"

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The internet has changed from being something just young people used to keep in touch and play video games to something the older generation has taken to as their own means of connecting. Most land based casinos are frequented by with the aging gambler who has the time and some disposable income to play the slots or poker and many of the other casino games. Now as the web becomes more accessible to more and more people retired pensioners and the elderly are learning to use the laptops that their grandchildren have given them for Christmas and are joining facebook and other social networking groups in an effort to stay in touch. The skill of being able to negotiate the mouse has created a new consumer group for online gambling, the senior.

"Elderly people are beginning to understand that not knowing how to use a computer is like living in a country where you don't understand the language," said, Keith Cleaver who is sixty three and a teacher of computer skills to seniors. A University of Toronto professor says that playing online keeps the brain tuned up and keeps aging minds sharp and alert. The social aspect of online chat while playing poker, bingo, keno, or other casino games adds to the seniors feeling of being connected and not isolated by their age. Solitary games played alone at home are not nearly as stimulating for older people as connecting to online sites that offer a variety and greater range of information for the new older consumer. To be able to stay on top of a game and talk with friends while doing it has a positive effect on the brain's memory functions.

Ronald Baecker is Professor of Computer Science, at the University of Toronto has gathered a group of fourteen researchers to delve into a project called TAG, Technologies for Aging Gracefully and are planning to begin testing an online poker game that would allow seniors to chat and strategise with a partner online. Online gambling is a new sport for the older demographic and it is sure to be made easier as online casinos see the trend develop.

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Gala Coral Group is a victim of the latest round of changes in the world of Bingo in the U.K. Between the Gambling Act 2005 and the Smoking Ban land based bingo halls are taking a beating and efforts to keep the bingo player coming out are failing, creating a serious problem when there is a building to maintain and a staff to pay. Gala Coral Group has been looking at the online aspect of the bingo business but has not moved fast enough to capitalize on the trend. Online bingo is showing the most rapid growth in the online gambling industry. Taxation is a big issue which is crippling the land based bingo operators. The recent hike in GPT by 46% and the removal of VAT has caused much controversy in the U.K. parliament, considering the fact that land based bingo is the softest form of gambling but is now the highest taxed.

Gala Coral Group staved off a hostile take over bid by Harrahs Entertainment the large American gambling operation about four years ago. Now Gala is again looking for an influx of cash to keep their heads above water and are again being looked at by an American investment company. Blackstone Group has made a bid of £300m (€332.56m) in return for a 40 to 60 per cent stake, in the Gala Coral Group operation. According to rumours in the financial world there are eight other private equity firms looking at Gala assets.

Blackstone is a leading global alternative asset manager and provider of financial advisory services listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Total fee earnings assets under Blackstone's management was $96.3 billion as of September 30, 2009. Services by Blackstone include the management of corporate private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge funds, funds of funds, debt funds, separately managed accounts, collateralized loan obligation vehicles and closed-end mutual funds. If accepted, Blackstone’s bid would disrupt an agreement drawn up between Gala’s junior lenders and its current private equity owners, Cinven, Permira and Candover. The agreement was intended to keep the company’s gaming and bingo divisions together. This bid for control may not transpire and Gala Coral will remain out of American hands for a while longer.

 

 

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Montreal Alouettes will give us a great game to watch and wager on this Sunday November 29, 2009 in the open to the elements McMahon Stadium in Calgary Alberta Canada. According to the weather forecast it will be a sunny day with relatively warm temperatures of 10 c, good for Canada in November.

Roughriders' head coach Ken Miller who at sixty eight years old speaks from the heart, said, "This is really a dream come true," adding, "Being a head coach in a Grey Cup game . . . I can't think of anything better, or anything higher, or anything else I'd rather be doing right now." Quarterback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders Darian Durant, who once played at the University of North Carolina in the USA said, "I've definitely played in front of more people, played against some first-round picks or whatever, but this is for all the marbles,"

Statistics say the Montreal Quebec Alouettes are a superior football team. They are favoured in the odds by books online. One really outstanding asset for the team is quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who's record for the year has been outstanding with 396 completions in 550 attempts, 4,639 yards, 26 touchdowns, six interceptions. Marc Trestman the Alouettes' head coach says that Calvillo's work ethic has paid off as the quarterback seems to get better with age.

With respect to his opponents in the big game Saskatchewan's defensive end Stevie Baggs, said, "Those guys deserve to be favourites, just because of their record alone,"

The Roughriders are known for their back to the wall performances and will be sure to fill the bill as a team that gets going when things get tough. In this case the underdog may have a vicious bite and could very well pull the rabbit out of the hat this time.

There seems to be a weak link in the Alouettes' armour and they may not be as strong on the field as their glorious history suggests. They are just 1-5 in the championship game and have lost in their last four attempts for the cup. McMahon Stadium's capacity of 46 thousand people is sure to be filled and those with an eye on wagering on this game are going with either their heads on the Alouettes or their hearts on the Roughriders.

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Players Investment Club's chief executive officer Chuck Kidd has publicly stated that the payment dispute between the PIC Club and the Merge online poker network seems to be headed for the courts. Outstanding funds owed to players has now been taken care of although the PIC Club still claims fees that are outstanding and has handed the matter over to it's lawyers to collect.

The recent action by Kidd to apparently get Merge Online Poker Network to own up to it's obligations advising members that, "This issue has now been turned over to the lawyers for further collection."

Mr. Kidd has made the issue a very public one, "Since early July, I have been trying to get the Merge Network to pay not only the arrears on fees that were owed to PIC Club but also the money to fund the Players cash out account," Kidd was scathing in his e mail address stating, "During this time I made many concessions to Merge in an attempt to get them to pay. At every promise they made to pay the arrears and acknowledging that the money was indeed owed they kept stalling and sending me the 'Checks in the Mail' story over and over. Adding, "One excuse even involved their CFO being caught in a Typhoon in Japan. It soon became evident that they had no intention of paying their debt and worse they were going to stiff the players. I sought council with many people I respect in this industry and to a person they agreed that I needed to make this issue known. Not only as a possible means to collect our funds but also to expose that Merge was either financially in trouble or was operating unethically,"

Even though it is rumoured that Merge has only paid out approximately one third of the funds owed to PIC Club the public exposure seems to have paid off for the PIC Club.

"Well they finally sent enough money to cover the players cash outs. It is unfortunate that it took shaming them in a Public Arena for them to do what was right by the players and the attacks on PIC Club and I personally are still going on." Mr. Kidd said recently.

 

 

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In today's socially diverse world, where the internet is allowing people all over the globe to connect and even play together it is no wonder there are shrewd business people out there that can see the trends and are poised to capitalize on it. One such company is definitely on the cusp of reaping a fortune should online gambling be made available to the public in the USA once again.

That firm is known as Zynga and was founded in July 2007 with the vision of connecting the world through games.

Zynga Inc. which is the largest developer of social games, announced last May a strategic alliance with the World Series of Poker (WSOP) to leverage poker fan bases in the social networking world as well as the poker players universe. Zynga and WSOP are working closely together to bring the largest online and offline poker brands and communities together. Zynga’s free-to-play Texas Hold’Em Poker game is Facebook’s top game application with over 12 million monthly active users. Currently players are playing online poker for virtual money but should the prohibition be lifted in the States the company could offer real money gaming and make a nice profit in the process. The Chief Executive Officer and founder of Zynga, Mark Pincus said this when the alliance was formed, "We built our Texas Hold’Em Poker game into the largest game on Facebook by keeping an eye on what is important to our players,” adding, “We know that poker is a lifestyle which includes playing online and offline, and watching it on TV. This partnership is an opportunity to bring those worlds together.”

Pincus added, "With the popularity of virtual goods today, we are in the early stages of a new economy that could grow and shape the future of the Web." Investors in companies that offer online gaming products could do well when choosing a company like Zynga, social networking and gaming are intertwined with a potential that is hard to beat.

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Grafix Technologies which is a leading edge developer of online games and gambling solutions is about to launch a comprehensive real-time visitor tracking solution for websites. Grafix Softech S.A. is a privately held company located in San Jose, Costa Rica.

This sort of tool is one that online gambling operators are reliant on for their advertising and customer tracking updates. Delivering real-time insight into website traffic, the 'Grafix Visitor Tracker' will offer instant visibility into customer habits as well. Not only will the new system deliver live visitor information and website feed for marketing analysis, but will also allow webmasters, business managers and marketing professionals make more sense of the exhaustive web analytics information available to them.

Chief Executive Officer and founder of Grafix Technologies, Tej Kohli says, "The World Wide Web is now a decisive tool in a marketing mix, as an increasing number of marketing professionals are looking for hands-on reach to data and their e-visitors. Grafix Technologies puts these professionals at the steering wheel and enables them to make optimal use of their sites' efficacy through the 'Grafix Visitor Tracker'." In addition he said, "The functionalities of the Grafix Visitor Tracker will offer important up-to-the-minute business intelligence about who is visiting the website and why which is especially valuable to gaming and online gambling sites." The software will also augment the potency of marketing efforts and lead to improved sales performance. Kohli pointed out that the information gathered by getting to know the online visitor is paramount in managing a viable and useful web site. The development of a cohesive approach to market planning, will guarantee that target consumer are ready and informed to interact play or shop at the selected web location. Kohli concluded in a very positive way, “It is imperative, now, more than ever, to maximize the commercial prospect of every e-visitor in the present-day economic climate.”

 

 

 

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Gaming VC Holdings S.A has announced a new online gambling product launch. Gaming VC was established in 2004, and is headquartered in Luxembourg. The company is licensed in Malta, the Netherlands Antilles, and Italy. The firm is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the AIM market. Branded Betaland is the new web based product powered by Canadian software developers Chartwell Technology. This company is a leading developer and supplier of Internet gaming software systems to the online and mobile gaming industry. Established in 1998 with over 130 employees in Calgary, Alberta Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, London (UK), Singapore and Malta. Chartwell is rapidly expanding its current base of branded clients as the online gaming sector continues to grow.

Chartwell is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Back in 2008 Chartwell launched it's first Gambling Commission (UK) licensed online casino Extrabet, for IG Group Holdings. Chartwell's Java and Flash based software products and games are designed for deployment in gaming, entertainment, advertising and promotional applications. Chartwell does not participate in the on-line gaming business of its clients.

Chief operating officer for the company, Dave Acorn said, “We are seeing increased demand for the benefits offered by an open architecture platform. To fully realize global growth opportunity and preserve the investment operators have made in their existing infrastructure to date was one of our key considerations during the development of the latest version of our Chartwell gaming platform. Betaland will be the first client to launch on our new state-of-the-art Chartwell Games Platform in Alderney."

The Betaland.com website offers a wide range of online betting methods that include poker from Boss Media, and downloadable casinos from Net Entertainment, virtual horseracing, live dealer betting and of course sports wagering. It is one of seven available online gambling web sites offered by Gaming VC Holdings.

 


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