Refusing to testify before a Grand Jury investigating illegal online gambling in the USA has landed a player in the slammer.

Nicholas Zicarelli was jailed for saying he will not testify, his lawyer, Kenneth Hensley, said at the contempt hearing in Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Zicarelli who was a customer at a particular gambling establishment being looked at by authorities claims to have been nothing more than that. His lawyer pointed out before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays that his client is a law-abiding citizen who doesn’t want to be dragged into this investigation. Mr. Hensley asked the judge for a two week recess and to get the prosecution working on real evidence to support their allegations against Nicholas Zicarelli.

The defendant Zicarelli had invoked his 5th Amendment right not to give evidence earlier that would have implicated him in a criminal activity. Even after a judge then gave him immunity from prosecution, Zicarelli still refused to talk.
Judge Kays jailed him for as long as eighteen months after declaring the defendant in contempt of court. Three other men have been put in prison for similar offences last summer.

Paul Becker, Assistant U.S. Attorney, said the Grand jury has a right to hear evidence about violations of U.S. laws. Becker argued, “A law-abiding citizen has to make a decision,” “Do I obey the law, or do I protect my bookmaker?”

Apparently in a dramatic confrontation at the courthouse Anthony Zicarelli, the defendant’s father confronted Becker, “It’s amazing how much power you have to destroy my son’s life,” Anthony Zicarelli said, “You’re putting all these young kids in jail.” He challenged the Assistant U.S. Attorney, to investigate serious crimes. Becker listened to the criticism and left without comment.

 

 

 

 

 







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Third Bullet Poker was part of the Cake Poker Network which is based in Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. The Cake Poker network is one of the 10 largest in the online gambling industry. It is owned and operated by parent company Cake Gaming N.V. and is hosted by Cyberluck, a Curacao based Regulating and Gaming Licensing & Hosting provider operating under the gaming license of Cyberluck Curacao N.V. Recently Third Bullet Poker, announced that it was merging its player base with the network’s flagship site. Cake Poker. The official e mail sent to Third Bullet customers states, “Cake Poker has been operating and hosting our games for quite some time now. I’m sure you will agree that they have done a fantastic job. We are happy to announce that we are merging our players with Cake Poker.”

Third Bullet Poker customers will be transferred to the Cake poker site without delay. The e mail promises a seamless transfer of player information and funds from one site to the other. Many reasons are sited for the switch over, mentioned in the email communication “You will have access to an increased technical and marketing support team that will make your play experience even better.” management added, “We have full confidence that you will find continued play on Cake Poker to meet or exceed the level of professionalism and customer service you have come to know at Third Bullet.” Cake Poker has a large variety of choices for players in the tournament section and cash games. An offering of satellite events for stops on the European Poker Tour and a chance to play at the Aussie Millions in January 2010, Cake Poker offers cash games that gives poker players a chance to play with some of the biggest names in poker. The Cake Poker Network encompasses 43 poker rooms some of which feature the top names in the poker world.

 

 

 

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Noble Poker established in 2004 is regulated and licensed by the Government of Gibraltar. Noble Poker is included in the UK's White List of approved jurisdictions now allowed to advertise gaming services in that nation. The site is one of the industry's leading fully supported interactive poker rooms.

Members of the online poker room Fair Poker have now had their accounts transferred to the Noble Poker iPoker network. Players on Fair Poker recently received an e mail notice informing them of the change and offering a deposit bonus as a welcome to the new site. The Fair Poker website has already been re-branded as Noble Poker and does not explain why the change has occurred.
Antigua-based Fair Poker was established in 2004 and is best known for its Jackpot Sit and Gos and action at the cash game tables.

Noble Poker, which is a substantially larger site than Fair Poker, also has a reputation for fast and lucrative cash game tables in addition to its ever-growing multi-table tournament schedule. Noble Poker offers users a range of Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha High-Low cash games.

The European Championship of Online Poker V is about to be launched by fellow iPoker site Titan Poker. The online tournament series starts November 23rd with satellites already running on Noble and other iPoker affiliates. The upcoming two-week long series features 14 tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $100 to $2,500 with more than $4.5 million in guaranteed prize money available. Sites on the iPoker Network, run by Playtech, software currently do not accept U.S. customers. Fair Poker players who have earned iPoints will have them transferred over to Noble Poker. Those iPoints go towards eligibility in Noble’s VIP Crown program of which there are six VIP Crown levels based on how many points that players earn each month. The iPoker Network, which hosts over 30 online poker rooms including Titan, Noble, Chili Poker, William Hill Poker, and Expekt has not posted any explanation for the suggested upgrade to the Noble Poker site.


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A deal with the French gambling monopoly Pari Mutuel Urbain and online gambling group Paddy Power from Ireland is expected to create a landing spot for the company as the French gambling market is opened up in 2010. The results of Paddy Power’s announcement that it would meet target market expectations for this year and the deal with PMU yielded a 5.6 percent increase in it’s stock value.

According to a Reuters news agency report the agreement with PMU will see Paddy Power committed to a five-year outsourcing deal to provide betting technology and pricing to the French horse racing operator, the largest betting organisation in Europe with 9.3 billion Euros in turnover for the year of 2008.

Reuters also reported that Paddy Power's financial director Jack Massey expects the deal with PMU will come into effect around May or June 2010, adding some 3 to 5 million Euros in revenue by 2012. This is just the beginning for Paddy Power as this deal when it comes online will trigger other partnerships and more business to business opportunities for the company.

Massey said in an interview with Reuters, "The strength of the deal is the quality of the partner which gives us an excellent calling card of other such opportunities that may emerge,"

Patrick Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer at Paddy Power said the agreement with PMU was an impressive start for the company's new B2B division, and that the firm would be capitalising on its expertise and technology to close agreements with other major betting companies.

Philippe Germond Chief Executive Officer of the Pari Mutuel Urbain had this to say about the deal, "This partnership is going to enable PMU to offer sporting bets online under its own brand and retain direct management of its client database. Paddy Power will provide us with its expertise in sports betting. Through this partnership PMU is given the means to be ready for the opening of the online betting market in France next year."




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D. Brett Hale, will become the Churchill Downs senior vice president of corporate and government relations. Recently a staff member at the American Gaming Association as Vice President, of Government Affairs. Hale's extensive Capitol Hill experience began in 1993, where he worked in the office of U.S. Senator. Mitch McConnell Republican from Kentucky. Since then, he has worked with organizations including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Friends for Slade Gorton, the Republican National Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Hale received a bachelor of arts degree from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He also studied at the Kentucky Institute for International Studies in Munich, Germany.

As a casino lobbyist he will represent Churchill Downs in legislative matters, including regulated online gambling and the online casino prohibition in the USA.

There is speculation that hiring Hale by the Churchill Downs racetrack will pave the way for the organization to be in the loop when online gambling becomes regulated in the USA. It is also thought that the addition of Hale to the administration of the Churchill Downs group will help get the company over legal hurdles in Washington as the Department of Justice continues to clamp down on online gambling activities in the USA.

The American Gaming Association has opposed Internet gambling, even though recently some members, including Harrah's Entertainment, have reversed their positions and now pursue regulation of online casinos and gaming. The recent acquisition of Youbet.com by Churchill Downs will certainly shake things up during lobby efforts in Washington by the American Gaming Association.

Churchill Downs Chief Executive Officer, Robert L. Evans, said that Hale, “ will make a valued contribution to advancing our business strategy and performance at both the state and federal level.” It is thought that Hales power broker position will in some ways protect Churchill Down’s new business strategy from competition from other online gambling interests.

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Another Congressman, Democratic Representative Jared Polis has publicly joined the fight to have online gambling legalized in the US. In an article for Roll Call News, the congressman states the issues adamantly for the proposed "Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act." This recently introduced bill would permit and regulate online gambling in the USA. Polis grasps the moment to put aside arguments from the far right who oppose the liberalization of internet gambling in the USA. Polis is rejecting outright the idea that legalization will start a major epidemic of compulsive online gambling and the break down of all moral order especially among the youth of the USA.

Polis points out that fact that in countries permitting online gambling, widespread gambling obsession and over use of the online casinos is not the normal trend. Polis goes on to say just the opposite, it is true that regulatory systems force online casinos to actively prevent underage playing, addiction, money-laundering and cheating. Regulations protect consumers more effectively than the UIGEA prohibition protects Americans, from themselves and a few offshore operators that are sometimes a little less than honest. Freedom of the internet has a great deal to do with whole issue of gambling online. Many conservative old school politicians are afraid of the internet and the power it has in today’s world of commerce. A letter in support of net neutrality from Polis states, efforts in ensuring net neutrality will allow a free and competitive market for internet content and preserve a free and open internet. The FCC can ensure that the internet remains a level playing field for innovative content, services, and applications. Those applications include online gambling and other entertainment activities that much of the world already enjoy. It is definitely a good idea to keep the internet open and free regulate online gambling tax it and use the money to keep people healthy and happy.

 

 

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Income Access has sent a message to a software group from San Diego USA that there are some payment problems or concerns as it was cited. Affiliate programs are usually at the sharp end of the pencil when it comes to the online gambling industry. The best of affiliate programs seem to have difficulty with payments from time to time.

Income access sent out this advisory to the Mahjong Time client, "The programme will be closing due to our concerns that this program will no longer be able to cover payment of affiliate commissions. As a result, we felt it imperative to act now and ensure you get your payments. Please remove all of the MahjongTime affiliate links from your site as soon as possible, they will be deactivated once the program closes on November 30th.


Mahjong Time is a California based company founded in 2004, that is a provider of mahjong software and complete turnkey solutions. The company also operates a gaming destination web site which offers real four player mahjong to players from around the world. The Mahjong Time in-browser platform is available in seven languages and provides multiple mahjong rules sets. Offered features include advanced subscription and tournament play, and player connectivity including the ability to establish more than one friendly network and to create private game rooms. Mahjong Time has several licensees of its customizable platform InterMahjong.

Income Access Affiliate program offered a good deal for affiliates at, $20 CPA for every new player who either subscribes or deposits the fees Plus lifetime commission rates of 30% to these players. Through its affiliate programme, Mahjong Time says it gives affiliates an opportunity to be one of the first to capitalize on the explosive growth of the leading online skill-based game, played by hundreds of millions across the globe. According to the Mahjong Time web site it is actively seeking white label licensees and is open to other types of corporate partnerships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The software industry in the world of online gambling is huge, and in many ways the industry is totally reliant on the innovations of these developers. It is an extremely competitive business to be in with this fast and expanding age of technology. One of those innovative and creative companies is Cryptologic now based in Ireland.

 

The firm has just released third quarter numbers that show revenue down by 32% to $9.95 million compared to $14.05 million a last year. A set back for the company for sure but this is accompany that has seen a few changes in it’s history before. Massive restructuring and a move from Canada to Ireland not that long ago have put the firm into a spin. Poker revenues are down everywhere so this is not the fault of management but more a state of the industry as a whole. This is the lowest per share value quoted on the London Stock Exchange for Cryptologic in fifty two weeks.

A company spokesperson commented, “Uncertain macroeconomic conditions and sluggish wagering activity contributed to a significant decline in wagering volumes in both casino and poker compared with the previous year. While the third quarter is traditionally the slowest season for Internet gaming, the seasonal up tick in demand normally seen in September was well below historic trends.”

CryptoLogic’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Brian Hadfield, was still optimistic saying, “Despite a disappointing third quarter, CryptoLogic’s business strategy is delivering tangible progress, albeit at a slower pace than anticipated. With a lower cost base, the largest customer roster in CryptoLogic’s history and our third consecutive quarter of increased revenue from branded games, we remain focused on executing our plan - and returning to profitability and long term growth.” CryptoLogic also made the point that there were positive results in it’s efforts to cut spending with their third quarter expenses at $13.09 million, down 38.2% from the comparable period in 2008 at $21.17 million.

 

 

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Poker has been everywhere it seems for the last four or five years. Poker is on the internet, in casinos, on television, in the bars, every media imaginable. It is even in some players’ dreams of hitting a lucky streak and winning big money. That dream seems to be fading for some gamblers as a recent report from Mintel states.

Mintel International Group has been providing the some of the world’s leading businesses with targeted and successful marketing strategies for over 30 years. It is an internationally recognised market analyst. The Group produces approximately 600 Reports for European, US and UK, specific markets each year.

The incredible growth of 72%, in the 2004-2007 period has now imploded with the forecast for 2009 predicting a further 7% fall in gross gaming yield to £247 million, down from £265m last year.

Senior leisure analyst for Mintel, Matt King, commented, “Poker revenues have clearly peaked. The recession is the most obvious culprit, with around a third of poker players now playing less often or for lower stakes because of the economic downturn.” It the average spend per annum that was down by 20% during the past two years. This type of activity indicates a change in consumer spending habits primarily due to the recession. Paul Leyland, a gaming analyst at Collins Stewart, commented on this trend, “The problem you face with poker, as opposed to other forms of gambling, is that you need volume to make the model work. You can’t just focus on high rollers, as you might with a sports book or a casino. You have to bring volume in to supply your higher rollers with people to play.” It was pointed out thought there were other problems in the industry that was impacting the economy of poker. Free time being one of them noting that people are busier than ever during the tough times.

Some reports are suggesting that this is just a slow down of the unstoppable poker trend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Louisville, Kentucky-based Churchill Downs, the very horseracing park that Governor of Kentucky has been trying hard to protect is buying a major online gambling site. Welcome news for some but a stab in the back to others. Governor Steve Beshear made it clear when he went after the Internet gambling community that betting from one's computer at home would hurt Kentucky's horse racing industry. Despite his support for casino gambling, Beshear's administration litigated an unsuccessful lawsuit to seize control of 141 online gambling domains in an attempt to block Kentucky residents from accessing those websites. The Democratic representative has been Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky since 2007. The Republican party was dead against Beshear’s attempt to get casinos into Kentucky. They issued a poster with a Beshear look alike with a glass of wine next to a roulette wheel in a white suit. The negative ad campaign did not work and Beshear was voted in.

Churchill Downs that has been struggling financially for the past several years has agreed to buy YouBet.com Inc. for an estimated $127 million USD. The proposed acquisition would give Churchill Downs approximately $700 million USD worth of the available $1.4 billion USD online horse race betting market. Not the Governor or his office have yet to react to the news about the Churchill Downs deal. YouBet.com as an independent company, located in Burbank, California. President and Chief Executive of Churchill Downs, Bob Evans, has said in the past that he expects online gambling on the horse to continue to grow. The racetrack had to do something or disappear. The Churchill Downs administration understands that online betting is the way of the future and they are likely to survive because of it. YouBet.com is a diversified provider of technology and pari-mutuel horse racing content for consumers through Internet and telephone platforms.



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