Chinese authorities have been getting tough on internet activities, that are considered inappropriate for their citizens. Now the government in China is stepping up it’s efforts to keep the firewalls strong.

Chinese authorities are concerned that there is corruption gaining influence in the country’s football leagues. Claiming that game fixing is ruining the games competition in the nation, the official word is that it is the fault of online gambling and the growth of illegal internet casinos that is causing the problem. Players are tempted by the large money available if they co-operate with illegal sports gambling operators by playing at less than their top levels or deliberately throwing matches.

The Ministry of Public Security is launching a national effort to end illegal football gambling, and severely punish players who get involved with illegal gambling operators. The Great Firewall, as it is known in China tries to prevent online gambling, as well as other web content thought to be inappropriate by China’s current government.

Economic conditions and the low pay for players on lesser-known teams makes them an easy target for criminal gambling action. Chinese authorities assert that gambling, and not the country's economy, is the reasoning for the illegal and harmful match fixing. The Ministry of Public Security has arrested several well-known players, such as Leng Bo of the Shandong team, for influencing young players to sell their teams out and take the money for themselves. He is a retired player who was looked upon by the youthful team players as a good influence. Wang Po, the former general manager of Shaanxi Guoli, was arrested after details of a plan to influence and derail games came to the attention of officials. Sports betting at online casinos was said to be responsible for the match fixing episodes by Chinese authorities.

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Calling it a new event in the world of online gambling, a conference has been arranged by EGR magazine. Providing the forum for free, all those connected to the industry are invited. E Gaming Review is saying EGR Live will be the must go to event of the year with new dates and a new venue. The congress will commence on November 30 and continues to December first 2009 at the Old Billingsgate in London U.K.

Now in its 5th year, the EGR awards are truly established as the premier event associated with the best of the online gambling industry. With as many as forty five commercial sponsors this event is a real gala affair. Considered the ‘Oscars’ of the online gambling industry the shortlist for the awards has been announced. Those operators in the many categories are honoured at the gala dinner and receive the praise of their peers. For the casino operator of the year  

32Red, 888, Betsson, Ladbrokes, PartyCasino, and William Hill Online have been short listed. Casino operator of the year will go to the casino operator that has consistently and decisively dominated the casino sector during the year. The judges will be looking for operators that have the global reach and scale to set them apart in the crowded market. The judges will be looking at originality, brand identity, marketing, payment processing, usability and scale to make their assessment.

In other categories such as rising stars of the casino world names such as Amuso, Betboo, Chilli Poker, Gaming Media Group (Poker Channel Europe, Poker Heaven), and Tower Torneos have been put on the short list. One of the more interesting awards is for Innovation. This award recognises the operator that has successfully implemented a product or feature which showed the most originality in 2008, 2009. The judges are looking for methods of maximizing revenue alongside new revenue-generating models. The product must have been in operation in a live environment for at least three months to be considered. Criteria considered by the judges for this category, include, originality, implementation, revenue growth, and market appeal. All in all this event adds some class to the industry and is sure to bring together those in the know and those who seek excellence in the field.

 

 



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It gets a little confusing for the online casino customer when one goes to a casino and tries to research some of it’s origins and history. One casino seems to be moving around quite a bit in the world of licensing and jurisdictions. Recent news has surfaced that Buzzluck casino is moving it’s operations from Malta to Panama City Panama.

The online casino claims to be the world’s first online super casino. The casino is according to sources licensed in Costa Rica, with company offices in Uruguay South America. Though it was officially launched in March 2009, the casino has been online since January of 2009.

Alex Czajkowski, a respected member in the online casino industry and known marketer of innovative new products including an appealing promo for his players through a competition where the ‘winner’ will be virtually detailed to become part of the casino's virtual 3D lobby. The unconfirmed comment that "All staff terminated; office for rent; Alex and family relocated to Panama, and affiliate and player payments 'not coming'. was apparently posted on the net recently. The CEO of egaming 2.0 and the developer of Buzzluck has been a member of e consultancy since 2001. The Real Time Gaming powered casino offers live chat and video streaming along with comparable bonus offers to players. In regards to the rumours a staff member at Buzzluck responded by confirming that there will be some staff relocating to Panama with the brand, and assured that players, staff and affiliates were being paid while operations at the site continued as normal. More postings claiming to be from Czajkowski hinted that the cause for the move was to 'take the company to its next phase.' No firm reasons or details were presented only that players would be 'pleased with the results' of the changes, adding the company would issue a statement at the appropriate time. This is one of those online mysteries developing as we speak. Hopefully everything will turn out well for affiliates and players alike.


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The Australian football clubs have been given a clean bill of health from the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation after months of suggested corruption and match fixing allegations. For a long time rumours have been circulating that officials and members were making money throwing games but what comes as a great relief to players and gamblers alike there is no evidence to support any of the rumours. The watchdog and regulatory organization the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation came into operation on 1 July 2004 following the proclamation of the Gambling Regulation Act of 2003. The Commission assumed responsibility for the regulation of gambling from the Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority, Director of Gaming and Betting and the Director of Casino Surveillance. Developing and reinforcing the Government’s commitment to responsible gambling through measures that assist and protect problem gamblers and those at risk of becoming problem gamblers, their families and the wider community is one of the Commissions mandated activities. The Commission also accepts gambling as a valid activity for many Victorians who are entitled to expect ongoing high standards of service, transparency and accountability from the gambling sector.

The National Rugby was scrutinized by the Commission after allegations surfaced regarding match fixing at a game between the Sydney Roosters and North Queensland Cowboys. Although the Roosters were at the bottom of the tables, TAB Sportsbet opened them as favourite, with the option of betting on the Cowboys to win by 13-points-plus, the best odds, except for a draw. The Sydney Roosters led 16-6 at halftime, but lost at the end with the North Queensland Cowboys winning the game 32 to 16. The NRL said it has fully and properly investigated the matter and recognised the importance of protecting the integrity of the sport.

The NRL was approved by the VCGR last year as a body that could offer sports betting and control all forms of corruption. The approvals were granted only after rigorous measures were put in place to protect the integrity of football.

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The December first deadline looms closer day by day and as yet there is no legislation in sight to stop the full force of the ban on online gambling in the USA being implemented. As the press and president Obama are suggesting we believe the recession is on it’s way out and the good times are starting to roll once more. Las Vegas hotel and casino owners are not as optimistic. The slump in casino revenues and hotel visits is expected to take a few years yet to recover, according to the president of the American Gaming Association who also says his land-based casino membership may look closely at online casinos as the industry’s future.

President of the terra based American Gaming Association, Frank Fahrenkopf, Jr., told an audience at the Global Gaming Expo that, "Without a doubt, the gaming industry is facing a long road to recovery," He pointed out that just because the decline in revenues has slowed considerably, is not the same as increases, adding the return to figures to the same level as before the recession may be as far away as four years from now.

The cost of setting up an online casino and maintaining it is a fraction of a land based operation, the new age gamblers likes the online accessibility which land based casinos are now seeing as a possible revenue source. Harrah's arguably Las Vegas’s largest gambling operations has already prepared an online poker arm, through it’s new interactive division based in Canada.

The AGA membership has opposed online gambling for a long time but now as the stakes get higher the membership is going into survival mode and the stance of the membership has softened during the tough times during the last year or so. Fahrenkopf has noted there is more of a balanced approach within the organization. It is hoped that the AGA will discuss the reintroduction of online gambling within the USA and possibly get behind and show real support for new legislation regulating gambling online.

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Canadians are going to make the world sit up and notice soon as they embark on a journey that their southern neighbours the Americans are struggling to contain. As the province of Quebec prepares to partner with other provinces in the vast but not too populated country to legally provide online betting to it’s citizens it is a sure thing that there will be growing pains. The USA will at some time or another get around to regulating online gambling there but in the mean time Canada will make progress sorting out what’s what. Case in point the mid west province of Saskatchewan.

 

In Saskatchewan the government is waging an advertizing campaign appearing in restaurant and bar washrooms, universities and bus shelters, stating unfavourable facts about video gambling slot machines, "Every spin gives you the exact same chance of winning or, more often, losing." declares one of the posters. the health ministry is responsible for the negative ads. Rick Kilarski, a director in the ministry's community care branch responsible for problem gambling said, "We are not anti-gambling, but we want people to know the myths so they can make informed choices," adding every Video Lottery Terminal in Saskatchewan has a sticker with a problem gambling hotline number.

 

Apparently 1.2 per cent or up to 13,200 people, are considered problem gamblers, according to the health ministry. Low to moderate risk gamblers range somewhere between about 87,800 to 122,200 people. Provincial income from its 3,991 machines reached $195.6 million in 2008-09, up from $185.2 in the previous fiscal year and $175 million previous to that, according to statistics from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority. The province has put aside $2.5 million annually for its problem gambling strategy, which includes about $1.3 million for treatment, $800,000 for prevention and $100,000 for research. The recent campaign ran for a month, last year and been run periodically in 2009 and could run again next year, costing $300,000 annually.

 

 

 

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German police have cracked a large network of international match fixing that have paid bribes to influence the outcome of football games in nine European countries. The prosecuting officials have identified and arrested seventeen individuals who they say fixed soccer matches in the leagues participating in games in Germany Switzerland and Turkey. The investigation identified as many as two hundred people believed to be involved in the scheme. The European soccer governing organization UEFA said that they were also looking into qualification matches for the Champions League and Europa League competitions. Peter Limacher from UEFA commented about the situation at a conference in Bochum, Germany saying, “We’re facing the biggest scandal in soccer,” adding, “We’re content this is cleared up now, but we’re also devastated by the extent of the manipulation.”

Friedhelm Althans of the Bochum Germany police said that evidence gathered from wiretaps and as many as fifty investigative intrusions conducted in Germany, Switzerland and the U.K. has uncovered that the suspects have been working together since early in the year and it is possible they have made as much as ten million euros, by defrauding betting companies. In a statement on the UEFA Web site, the governing organization said, “UEFA will be demanding the harshest of sanctions before the competent courts for any individuals, clubs or officials who are implicated in this malpractice, be it under state or sports jurisdiction,” In all, thirty-two matches, including two in the country’s second-highest league, may have been fixed.

Football matches in Turkey, Switzerland, Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Bosnia and Slovenia are also being looked at for suspicious activity. A sixteen member task force was set up in London U.K. to monitor suspicious gambling patterns. This problem has been made even worse by the growth of online gambling and live betting on matches. UEFA has been attempting to get the online gambling industry to share the costs associated with monitoring the 29,000 matches per season in Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bwin, the company that has set records in growth lately has announce huge profits for it’s third quarter results for 2009.

 

The Vienna listed Austrian online gambling operation’s active customer base grew 18.7 percent to 1.1 million users, up from 892,000, as new active customers grew an amazing 39.1 percent to 258,000, from 185,000 users.
The intense growth rate in the popularity of live betting has created a new trend away from traditional sports betting to live betting. Live betting has garnered a greater share of the gross gaming revenues increasing revenues from 57 percent for the last quarter, up from 55 percent in the third quarter of 2008. This live betting trend is one that many online gambling operations are experiencing and are trying hard to acquire new software and networks that support the activity.

The newly opened and liberalized Italian market, has allowed Bwin to gain a strong position through its recent acquisition of Gioco Digitale, a major Italian online gambling group. Bwin is extremely optimistic as their numbers have indicated that this year may well be one of the very best in the company’s history. In a statement to the press Bwin talks about the booming Italian online gambling market there, and how responsive the Italians have been to the Bwin product. They also pointed out that the new regulations in Italy are modern and proactive. Meaning the system is working fine there and is a bell weather for other European nations to take note of.

Bwin’s amazing 75 percent profit growth is due mainly to it’d forward thinking acquisition of Gioco Digital. The last quarter of the year promises to create similar good results with gross gambling revenues during the first six weeks of the quarter excluding Gioco Digitale revenues is at 1.45 million Euros almost a third better than the 1.1 million Euros over last years results. Including the funds generated by Gioco Digitale, this figure rose to Euro 1.63 million Euros which surpasses last years fourth quarter figures by 48 percent.

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Featurespace is a pioneer in dynamically modelling human behaviour, and that’s what has given this company a sound knowledge base in what many online gamers think is a possible threat to their safety while online. The company’s unique technology provides an analysis of behavioural data previously impossible in traditional rules based anti-fraud systems. This innovative and unique approach has a proven track record in successfully detecting fraud and identifying other problem behaviour, offering a significant increase over other traditional techniques.

Featurespace Ltd is a Cambridge U.K. based company, founded in 2005, which was born in the Cambridge University engineering research laboratories. Its staff is made up of software engineers, data modellers, statistical experts and business professionals. This combination of skills lets Featurespace provide unique analysis and detection techniques designed to combat fraud in all its forms. The company’s premium product, ‘FS Anti-Fraud’ is used by one of the world’s largest sporting exchange to monitor both transactional and ‘system use’ processes. Featurespace is setting the benchmark in anti-fraud technology which is especially important when fraud is on the increase. The firm is small at the moment but continues to make strides in gaining new accounts Recently it announced a deal with King.com, a company specialising in skill gaming. Games such as puzzle games, action games, strategic games, sports, card games and bingo.are all available through King.com. Featurespace is going to supply the technology that will protect players from computer bots that might otherwise compete with human players for the cash prizes that King.com has to offer. Featurespace has also signed a contract to provide their technology to Betfair one of the biggest online gambling firms in Europe. FS Anti-Fraud employs unique behavioural analysis algorithms, which takes anti-fraud tools to the next level beyond the competitors such as Oracle and IBM. When reputations are at stake and millions of dollars worth of transactions in the works having a company that knows what it’s doing helps take the fear out of playing online.

 

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The South African government's initiative to legalise and license online gambling seems to have it a few snags in what officials are calling their lack of knowledge in developing their ‘IT’ skills. Even after a delegation was sent to Antigua and Barbuda from South Africa to study the way online gambling works the country is not any closer to regulating operators. Legal and technical challenges persist in the country with loopholes in the law and IT systems. Aimed at being responsible and safe these problems are not being solved by legislators and politicians. They were making progress in 2008 when the South African government passed amendments to the National Gambling Act allowing for the implementation of regulations and licensing for web based gambling. After the proposed regulations were presented to the public for discussion the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry requested that the new regime be delayed. Now Parliament and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are holding public hearings on online gambling regulations and will only table the final proposition once all the public scrutiny has been completed. The DTI says, it has issues with the technical aspects of online gambling and the legislation needs to be revamped to deal with specifics, such as software tampering, cyber crime and money laundering.

Officials from the department have said that licensed operators would have to comply with Financial Intelligence Centre Act stipulations, to protect personal information that would be made available to them during the course of conducting online business. The Act requires that players must disclose personal details, such as an identification number and proof of residence in South Africa. Players would also have to create an account linked to a credit card or cheque account and present a bank stamp, as no cash transactions are to be permitted. There is a maximum of 20,000 Rands allowed in the individual’s gaming account at any one time. The National Gambling Act is preparing to take on a huge responsibility for online gambling within South Africa’s borders. They want to get it right the first time and be sure they are doing the right thing.

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