In America the ban on online gambling is enforced by making it a federal offence to process the financial transactions of online gambling activities. Recent announcements by Visa and Mastercard that they will no longer be processing online gambling receipts or deposits comes as no surprise to anyone watching how things are working in the USA. Now it has been reported that a German national Mr.Michael Olaf Schuett who is twenty nine has allegedly transferred over $70 million in online poker winnings to 23,000 mostly American citizens, within the last few years. Authorities were alerted by banking staff that became suspicious after customers cashed large cheques issued by Schuett’s firm MCM Capital Management. When questioned by bank staff as to the origin of the money customers proudly said the payments were from their online poker winnings. Employees at the FedEx delivery company became suspicious after noticing an abnormally high number of packages being shipped from Schuett’s home address. It was noted by a federal agent that, “Federal Express employees became suspicious of Schuett’s activity when Schuett began mailing over 150 parcels per week. FedEx employees opened several of the parcels and determined that each contained a check.” The ensuing investigation revealed that Schuett had been using at least 40 accounts he had opened at the Bank of America, as well as numerous other accounts with Wachovia, Shamrock, CNL, Fifth Third and Northern Trust Bank of Miami to receive wire transfers and transfer funds. Schuett was also the registered agent of a network of 424 businesses throughout Naples, Tampa and Bradenton State, including MCM Capital Management Corp, MI Global Inc, South Naples Escrow Co, Southwest Florida Payroll Co, Woodhouse Systems, Mathew’s Trade Corp and Internet Payment Services Group Inc. all within Florida. Schuett tried to pass himself off as a real estate investor when questioned by banking officials. Schuett is now in a Lee County jail being held without bond while federal agents search for more evidence and seize his assets allegedly purchased by his alledged illegal money processing activities.

 

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China is a massive country with a huge population that is rapidly becoming prosperous and sophisticated. With all the new wealth being made in China the population wants desperately to be free of political influences on their lives. Unfortunately for some the gap between the rich and the poor seems to be getting wider by the day. The Chinese government officials decided recently that they would make China a better place if they could stop people from gambling on the internet. Chinese law forbids online gambling that is allegedly moving massive amounts of money out of the country.

Investigations by various police forces in China have revealed that almost all of the big international gambling operations have websites offering Chinese translations that effectively targets Chinese gamblers, and some have gone so far as to send their agents into China, to recruit new business. Officials in the country have announced that their efforts to crack down on online gambling are yielding results already with police breaking two hundred and ten online gambling cases and have arrested 918 suspects. Eight ruling Party departments, government ministries and financial regulatory bodies are part of the seven month push to stamp out online gambling. The government of China's cyber security bureau has warned that more arrests are coming with the intent of making online gambling a thing of the past. This is a really tall order for the police when one looks at the large number of gambling site available to the public via the internet. Vice director in the Ministry of Public Security, Gu Jian, indicated the government will increase the pressure on what he referred to as illegal Internet gambling entities from offshore locations. The Xinghua news agency reported that online gambling is present in all of the territories, municipalities and autonomous regions to "varying degrees." Jian pointed out that the Pearl and Yangtze river delta area which is China's industrial heartland plus the border areas of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province were areas of concern for the investigators.

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The 2010 Olympic winter games is very well watched in more ways than one. The International Olympic Committee is watching closely for any signs of match fixing in these games. It may seem like something that these athletes would never dream of doing but it has been known to happen and it is possible it could happen again. Doping and cheating is something that the International Olympic Committee is constantly on the look out for. They have exposed teams and individuals that are so keen to win they break the rules for an advantage. In today's world where big money can be had by endorsements and from wagering on a 'sure' thing, the IOC has it's work cut out for them. The IOC has installed a unique system that will monitor betting patterns throughout the games, similar to the system used during the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing China.

The Swiss based International Sports Monitoring Group will collect betting data from over 400 sports betting outlets and report any irregularities to the International Olympic Committee. Jacques Rogge, the IOC, President, said, "Illegal betting is as serious a threat as doping," adding, "It's a very serious concern for the future. Sooner or later it will happen during the games."

Dick Pound, the Canadian representative with the IOC, commented, "As leaders of the Olympic movement, we should recognize and take on the board the fact that betting and match fixing and other forms of corruption rank equally with doping in the sense of destroying or having the potential to destroy the fundamental integrity of sport," adding, "It is a very real and growing problem that can affect the future of sport." It is interesting to note that no unusual betting action took place on the 2008 Beijing Games, and so far everything is on the up and up with regards to these 2010 Olympic competitions. When things are fair things are right for everyone playing.

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The respected quality control organization for the online gambling industry eCOGRA has offered to step in to the fray concerning an old battle with online gambling affiliates and the now defunct, Grand Prive Affiliate Program. Back in 2008 the group's affiliate program closure caused allegations by affiliates that they were not being paid. The dispute went no where for a time and then eCOGRA became involved when it offered to deploy its professional accountants in an impartial investigation into the closed Grand Prive Affiliate Program as a free "service to the industry." Andrew Beveridge, chief executive officer of eCOGRA stated at that time that there would be total cooperation from GrandPrive and restitution and a resolution would be forthcoming. Fifty eight claims were submitted by affiliates seeking an adjustment to their claims. eCOGRA made public it's report on the issue, in early February detailing its methods and findings, which included compensation. Grand Prive began making the eCOGRA recommended payouts,to twenty six of the claimants. Affiliates immediately indicated that there was widespread discontent and serious reservations regarding the accuracy of the payments. Questions raised concerns for eCOGRA as to the quality of information it received from Grand Prive. With information from the affiliates Mr. Beveridge initiated another more in depth look at the Grand Prive issue. At this point Grand Prive is refusing to cooperate further. This has led to even more speculation by various groups that perhaps Grand Prive has orchestrated this outcome by giving eCOGRA selective information thus skewing the resulting eCOGRA report. The company has made it clear it will not let the investigation go any farther. This puts the efficacy of eCOGRA in jeopardy and shines a poor light on the Grand Prive Group's honesty. Affiliates from the program are again furious and very disappointed that the resolution was not fair. Who will they turn to next is anybody's bet.

 

 

 

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BalkanBet.com is a sports book that is now using Microgaming, Orbis and WagerWorks software to support and run the site. It is owned by Eurofootball Limited and is a online bookmaker incorporated and licensed in the jurisdiction of Malta established in 2006. Eurofootball Limited (Balkanbet Group) is a company with a lot of experience in the land based casino industry providing land based betting operations in the Europe since 1990. The Microgaming Prima Poker Network will now be available through the BalkanBet site joining other Microgaming sites like 32Red Poker, SpinPalacePoker, and other notable poker rooms. Poker is growing fast in the Balkan region and this offering by a respected and large software provider like Microgaming is bound to make a lot of players feel secure and excited.

 

Eurofootball Limited offers a wide range of possibilities for sports event betting, massive coverage of all major football leagues, competitions and international sports events, comprised of over 1500 events per week. Commenting on the new deal with BalkanBet, the Microgaming Poker Network said that the move would “serve to expand its online offering and capitalise further on the significant growth potential of the Balkan gaming market”. In 2003, Eurofootball Limited introduced a new centralized computer system for on-line betting, a big leap in the development of the company. The investments related to this introduction amounted to approximately 10,000,000 euros . The newly introduced system significantly raised the attractiveness of the games, the reliability of betting and the possibilities for players to win.

Martin Simeonov, chief executive officer, of Eurofootball Limited said “The development of our online offering is a key part of our growth strategy. With Microgaming on board, we are able to deliver a market-leading product to our sportsbook players. This partnership will enable us to cement our position as a key player in the Balkan online gaming market”.

 

 

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Sports betting online has never been more exciting than right now. The world is watching the 2010 Olympic Winter Games being held in Vancouver Canada with all kinds of sports to place your bets on although there is one that is by far more popular than all of the rest. Ice hockey is called a Canadian sport but it is played in every corner of the globe. The Olympic hockey teams are made up of the best and strongest players from the leagues in the competing countries. During the tournament for the Gold Medal the teams have battled for supremacy with a pride that shows in spades.

The day of the big showdown between Canada and the United States is upon the us and gamblers are making their choices. The days of the great Russian Canadian rivalry are behind us as Canada beat the Russians handsomely a few games back. Canada was beaten at the beginning of the round robin tournament by the USA but went on to knock off the other contenders Russia and Slovakia. The United States Olympic Hockey team has now become Canada’s worst threat to their international hockey crown. A game for gold is always one that fans and players alike look forward to being part of. Team USA is a consistently strong and well balanced team with great ability in offence and defence. They play hard to win and correct their problems quickly. Team USA will be tough to beat especially on the home ice advantage that the Canadian Team is enjoying. The Americans are the youngest team on the rink and they have proved they are capable by punishing the opposition with speed and agility. Team Canada is also transformed itself into a different team from the original version presented to the world two weeks ago. The young men on this squad have come forward and shown us some amazing hockey. It will be a tough choice for a willing punter to call this one, with all the pressure on Canada to win will they choke or make the grade. American's would love to take this one, but they are up against Canadian national pride and a team that knows they just can't let their country down.

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Belgium born star point guard for the San Antonio Texas Spurs basketball team Tony Parker, has been signed with BetClic as the newest addition to it's online poker team roster. Parker is an excellent, very keen poker player and famous in Europe as a one of basketballs greatest players. His marriage to the Desperate Housewives television show star Eva Longoria has kept him in the spotlight in the world of entertainment. Now Parker will show the world of online poker that he can handle his cards as well as he does the ball on the court. BetClic is a new online poker site in France eager to get media attention for it's poker room. Pokerstars and other online poker networks are looking for well known individuals such as recently recruited Boris Becker from the sports world to help them get media attention in a very competitive market. Tony Parker has played in various charity poker events, as well as the World Series of Poker lately. Parker said, "This will be a great adventure. BetClic is a leading company with big ambitions and I am very happy to contribute to its development in the sport during the coming years." BetClic also signed top French-Canadian poker player Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier taking her away from the Pokerstars stable. BetClic founder Nicolas Beraud is optimistic that this action will further enhance the poker rooms already good reputation. Beraud commented, “Tony represents the strong values of excellence and ethics in sports that we share. This new partnership reflects our commitment to continue our development in the sport by adding great champions to our team." Online poker is a high stakes game with millions of players and billions of dollars, as more stars are brought to the table the intensity of play will keep going up and so will the excitement.

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In a recent report in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper in Florida USA the Allied Veterans of the World Inc. & Affiliates announced they are launching a law suit against the city of Longwood. Raids by police on the Internet cafe premises operated by the group resulted in the café being shut down. The law suit is seeking an injunction prohibiting the city from interfering with the gaming centre, and monetary restitution for funds that have been lost since the closure. The internet café was offering sweepstakes action operating within the law in Florida claiming that the sweepstakes were just like the prizes offered by fast food outlets in the state. The Allied Veterans of the World Inc. & Affiliates, headquartered in Jacksonville Florida, claims that Longwood police and Seminole County deputy sheriffs actions were uncalled for and excessive last summer. Forest City operations were also a target of the police but were reopened almost immediately. The Longwood location has remained offline since the raids. Obviously knowing that their allegations were suspect the city officials and police from Longwood took the liberty of threatening the landlord of the establishment GS Realty Inc., with criminal prosecution if it did not comply with the request to lock out the Veterans group. The newspaper confirmed this after speaking with Longwood police Sgt. Richard Griffin. A judge last October ordered some items that were wrongly seized to be returned proving that the police actions were excessive and beyond the search warrant limits. Kelly Mathis an attorney for the Allied Veterans of the World Inc. & Affiliates said that more seized equipment was returned a day after the lawsuit was filed on February 2nd 2010. In another attempt to keep the shop closed the city of Longwood did not renew the group's business license. It is interesting to note that all police departments in Florida do not share the same point of view. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office, has taken the position that the centres are operating totally within the law.



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The Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010, or S3018 sounds like a good thing for online gambling regulation in the USA. Legislators in the US have proposed a bill which could make online gambling a regulated activity charging the operators a 2% licensing fee on the monthly receipts. Republican Senator Judd Gregg and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden put forth the tax proposal together in the US Congress. The bill primarily addresses changes to simplify tax codes and brackets but has the added component of taxing online gambling within the legislation. It is hoped by many that this will be perceived as a win, win situation for both parties with a compromise before a long and heated debate. Michael Waxman, from the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative spoke about the development, “With so much media focus on the differences between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, this bipartisan initiative highlights the growing support on both ends of Capitol Hill for replacing the failed prohibition on Internet gambling with a system to regulate the industry, protect consumers and generate billions in new revenue.” Good public relations for the countries two parties that are usually consider at opposite ends of the political arena. The proposed bill came with a qualifying statement: “Internet gambling in the United States should be controlled by a strict Federal licensing and regulatory framework to protect underage and otherwise vulnerable individuals, to ensure the games are fair, to address the concerns of law enforcement and to enforce any limitations on the activity established by the States and Indian tribes.” Barney Frank's proposed bill is similar in approach and has in depth the ways and means to accomplish legalization. The Poker Player’s Alliance has already said this is positive with John Pappas saying, “We’re pleased with it. The prospects of this legislation are unclear. This is a sign of things to come, perhaps seeing internet gambling being added as pay-for in other bills.”

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Times are tough in the search engine business as Google continues to dominate the online industry. Besides getting our attention with the usual side bar and banners and pull backs, offering a deal or a place to buy what your looking for, there is all the information you provide along with your service provider location. Online advertising targets search engine information, a small but very important factor in the sales world, this is expected to benefit to some extent from Yahoo and Bing’s recent partnership. Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing are joining forces to try to make a dent in Google's locked in superiority. Together they will account for about thirty percent of the search engine activity. Google has a massive sixty five percent share. With more competition for Google it may make things a little faster and cleaner, when surfing for a casino or card room or any thing else on the internet. Researching bonuses and games offered with your own style in mind should be made easier and faster with this partnership. It is an ocean of knowledge about online casinos with portals offering how to instruction and reviews on all the sites. Yahoo Bing will be providing users with more efficient access to a quality experience while on the net. This will keep online casinos and portals striving hard because if the products are not full of interesting, targeted, useful, and accurate information they won't keep people coming to their sites. The information highway should add another lane for online gamblers who demand the best there is in the form of great gaming. The online gambling industry is already far ahead in the world of cyber entertainment, employing many different creative and technical industries from security to actual game software.

 

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