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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The Geisha Wonders slot at the Bet 24 web site paid off big recently as a lucky individual from Denmark took home the cash. The slot machine delivered 264,667. euros to the winner known as Casper P of Copenhagen Denmark. The online gambler hit the jackpot while playing this type of slot game for the first time. The good fortune that the winner has experienced has left him speechless and a little taken aback. Plans to spend the prize have not been made by Casper P as yet but are in the making.

Bet 24 is company that began in 2001 and is ninety percent owned since 2006 by the Swedish media company Modern Times Group. MTG is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and operates television broadcasters to many eastern European countries from Scandinavia to the Baltic region MTG provides programming in sports and other entertainment. Powered by Parspro software which is a complete betting system and service provider. Operators that operate betting on the Internet, Live betting, Mobile, WAP, KIOSK, and Digital Television all use this platform. The Parspro LiveBetting solution enables the betting operator to run live bets during a sports match. One of the fastest growing betting segments, Parspro provides betting operators with a turn key solution from hardware to software and services. The Geisha Wonders slot has a colourful oriental theme as its backdrop and is an action-packed, entertaining and rewarding as Casper P can confirm. This 5 reel 30 pay line game has all the trimmings, Players can qualify for the coveted top prize, the progressive jackpot. The game has regular features like wild symbols, scatters and bonus symbols. The Tranquillity Buddha is the wild symbol that substitutes all other symbols except the scatter and jackpot symbols to complete a winning combination. The Geisha is a scatter icon and three or more of them interspersed in any direction on the five reels trigger the rewarding free spin bonus round.

 

 

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Social networking as potent marketing platform for online gambling seems like a logical step in the right direction. After all social networking on Facebook and Twitter and other well used networks is the way people are connecting around the globe. GameLogic Inc., provides a wide variety of interactive marketing products and services based in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA the company was founded by the creators of Gamesville, a pioneering online entertainment, marketing and promotion system. The company has announced it’s PlayAway, PlayerVantage, and New Play product suite will be integrated with the social networking platform Facebook.

John E. Taylor, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of GameLogic said of the integration process, "Regulated gaming operators face a myriad of challenges in building an effective presence in today's many media channels. Media is more fragmented than ever, but social media sites are emerging as robust interactive channels with direct access to the consumer," adding, "With GameLogic's new Facebook integration, casinos and lotteries can now effectively harness this popular media channel with little or no effort." These programs extend GameLogic's Internet player/database marketing platform. Taylor, concluded, "Gaming operators must associate themselves with content that engages, coupled with a marketing strategy to effectively monetize those interactions. Through our integrated approach, a gaming operator's most active players become viral advocates within the social space. This is a truly revolutionary step for land-based casino and lottery marketing initiatives. We see a unique opportunity to help our clients immediately leverage this growing channel in a way that is material to their bottom line." Facebook has over 300 million registered users, with a demographic majority who are age 35 years and older, the perfect target age for interactive gaming operators. Facebook may well become the foundation for richer player engagement with more up to the minute information and social interaction. The future of web based gambling is in your social network.

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Lyceum Media is a public relations and events services company dealing with online gambling operations in general. The company has decided to partner strategically with advertising consultants Wholemeal Brains.

Wholemeal Brains, has a reputation for it’s highly creative advertising teams based out of London U.K. The team has worked with an impressive group of multinational brands including BBC, Disney, MTV, Sony, Coke, and Adidas. Their offer extends advertising consulting for a complete list of communication mediums that include TV, print, direct, radio, experiential and internet formats.

 

Lyceum Media since 2002, has offered Public Relations and events services to a host of leading gaming brands.
Lyceum Media partners Jodie Thind and Michael Caselli and a team of creative account managers offer clients an in depth look at the online gambling industry and it’s major players. Together with publications and portals Lyceum Media generates outstanding media value for clients that includes casino and poker site operators, software developers and affiliate programs.
Now with this teaming up with Wholemeal Brains, Lyceum Media, will be able to expand its business to include creative advertising for other mediums.

Wholemeal Brains founders, Andy Howarth and Ben Stafford work with clients to first define audience, creative messaging and communication mediums. Developing a core idea to ensure consistent messaging and visuals wherever the brand appears the team can deliver full advertising campaigns across multiple mediums as well as one-off executions for single outlets.

Ben Stafford commented, “This is a fantastic move for us and we’re delighted to be working with Lyceum Media. Wholemeal Brains has experience in all forms of advertising within numerous sectors so we’ll be able to offer Lyceum Media’s clients the sort of out-of-the-box creative thinking that will vastly separate them from their competitors. We look forward to bringing our seasoned expertise to the online gambling industry to hopefully produce fresh new directions for gaming branding and advertising,”

 

 

 

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The Financial Times, in the U.K has become a solid promoter it seems of online gambling. In an editorial opinion the word is that online gambling will definitely have investment potential because of a number of factors in play within the industry and within the political attitude that is changing in the European Union. An accelerated liberalization and opening of the market in Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden, with some signs of positive change in Germany are positive signs for sustainable growth.

Since the ban on online gambling in the USA and the demise of some of the top earners in the US market coupled with the enforcement by countries like the USA to prosecute those executives who were in violation of rules within some of those countries, there was an element of risk for the industry. Banks and financial institutions which were targeted as the means for restrictions in the USA, stayed away from anything connected with web based gaming. Now as consolidation continues to be the way forward online gambling operators are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Technology that gives the gambling public a full range of gambling products in their own home has driven an expanding market. The recession has caused the travelling public to diminish and land based casinos are suffering with the web based operators picking up the slack. Non smoking policies has also driven attendance down in Bingo Halls and Casinos only to have online sites excel. Broadband proliferation in Central and South America twinned with newest available mobile technology will propel online gambling to even bigger markets on those continents. Some of the most successful and largest land based casino industry leaders see the writing on the wall and are moving ahead to solidify their positions in cyberspace. While the opening of the USA market is a long time off some say it is still a possibility. China on the other hand is still too tough a nut to crack for the time being. Optimism is based on facts and in the case of online gambling the facts support the trend.

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The Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk is dead set on making online gambling a thing of the past in the nation. Poland which has been a member of the European Union since 2004 has been embroiled in political scandal for several weeks now. Legislation that will prohibit outright any form of gambling other than that in land based casinos will be presented as a first draft in about fourteen days. The reformed laws will also place a bigger tax burden on existing forms of gambling that are currently legal in Poland.

Polish customers of web gambling sites don’t feel too threatened by the latest news that their ability to play online will be banned if the legislation passes. The Polish punters have seen restrictions come and go before in other E.U. countries. This proposed removal of all forms of internet gambling comes after the Prime Minister has lost much of his government over a gambling scandal.

Four high officials in the Polish government have been forced to submit to public scrutiny and resign their positions after being accused of letting the gambling industry sway the decisions of their related departments. The former Minister for Sport, Miroslaw Drzewiecki, was a suspect in an investigation into alleged political corruption. The investigation dubbed ‘Operation Blackjack’ also brought down the Minister of Justice and the Deputy Prime Minister.

There have been just a few rumours floating that Poland needs more money from the proposed surtax on the existing land based casinos, to shore up it’s finances as it comes time to co host, with the Ukraine, the 2012 European Football Championship. Efforts have been accelerated to get things finished on time. Online gambling regulations with appropriate taxation would achieve the same thing but the Prime Minister is trying very hard with his tough stance to regain some credibility for his government.

 

 








 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bingo it seems is getting a lot more attention than usual these days with online versions coming on very strong. Now from the Costa Rican jurisdiction the oldest and one of the most established North American online bingo sites, paying out over $100,000 per day in bingo jackpots across its six bingo rooms, 123Bingo has announced it will launch the new 'Million Dollar Bingo Room. This new product will offer a million dollar jackpot to players everyday, on all bingo games.

Manuela Stephan, the general Manager for 123Bingo said about the launch recently,"123Bingo has always given its players a reason to rejoice, be it the launch of 123 Treasure Island featuring all new casino games, or facilitation of online bingo community on Facebook or the launch of the Million Dollar bingo room." Stephan went on to say, "We always claim an edge over competition- the million dollar prize money is the biggest online bingo jackpot in North America!" The million dollar bingo room at 123BingoOnline is accessible to all depositing players. In addition to that, all the games are coverall, which means the players will need to mark off all the numbers on their cards to win. The site does not offer play to those from Armenia, Azerbaijan, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, or Turkey. Nor from it's host jurisdiction Costa Rica. Europeans will be not allowed from the countries of Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, or the Ukraine.

This bingo web site is ranked third of three hundred and five in English speaking bingo halls, fifth of two hundred and twenty six Costa Rican sites and fifty ninth of the over two thousand online gambling sites.

 

 

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There are dozens of card counting systems out there for Blackjack, systems like the Red Seven or the KO Count don't require a true count conversion but the Hi Lo Card counting system takes a bit of learning. In the movie '21' students from MIT the well known academic institution in the USA decided they would learn the Hi Lo system and play at the Las Vegas casinos and try their best to beat the dealer.

Now as we all know movies are movies and are not always as factually accurate as we would like. All card counting systems rely on statistics to provide a player with the advantage over the house. When there is a greater chance of getting high card from the shoe, the player gains the advantage. The casino must hit below 17 and has a greater chance of going bust if there is a high percentage of ten cards in the shoe. Card counting seeks to capitalize on this fact by keeping a simple history of the cards played. The idea is to bet more when you have the edge.

In the Hi Lo system you begin a running count at zero when the cards are shuffled and placed into the shoe. For each card played, you add a corresponding point value to the running count. For the Hi Lo Card Counting system, the points go as follows, card face value of 2 through 6 = -1 point, card face value of 7 through 9 = 0 points, card face value ten through king, and the ace cards = +1 point.

With the Hi Lo Card Counting system, you must convert the running count to a true count. You calculate the true count by dividing the running count by the number of decks left in the shoe. The true count is what you use determine when you adjust your wager. To determine how many decks are in the shoe, you estimate the number of decks in the discard pile and subtract that number from the number of decks in play. Really, card counting offers only a slight edge over the casino. The best way to learn to card count quickly and for free is to go online and let the computer teach you card counting while you play.

 

 

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The London International Gaming Expo, ICEi is coming up soon in January of 2010. Plans are in place to host the Gaming expo and it is attracting a greater percentage of online gambling operators than ever before. Veteran gaming expo presenters Clarion Gaming expects IGE’s remote gaming exhibition participation to grow by 13.4 percent over last years stats.

This coming January from the twenty sixth to twenty eighth, the Earls Court Exhibition Centre will be the scene for one of the online gambling industry’s biggest events. Organisers from Clarion Gaming report that the event already has seen no less than forty four companies from twenty jurisdictions confirming show debuts at ICEi. That’s a big difference in numbers from 2009 say event promoters.

These newcomers will join a wide range of blue chip brands in remote gambling adding that extra portion of excitement to an already established event. New exhibitors will include Apex Asia, Auctionbringer, Betgenius, Betradar.com, Bettracker, Big Bang, Blue Ash Holdings, Certus, Contact Advisory Services, DOW Networks, Ecapay, e-Management, eToro, Euro Engineering, Everymatrix, Fair Champions, Fenlex Corporate Services, Gaming Solutions, Glue Finance, Iforium, Income Access, inpay, JBC, Kahnawake Gaming Commission, Laverock Von Schoultz, Living It Loving It, Mamo TCV Advocates, Numbers Play Hungary, Otto Malta, Pan-Index, Press Association Sport, Random Consulting, RSM Malta, RunningBall, Safenames, SecureBet, SGS Universal, Sherriffgaming, Star Partners, Studio 7 Productions, Tote Direct, UGSPay.com, Vasco Data Security and Vuetec. Some of these new kids on the block are possibly going to be up there counting their lucky stars and making a lot of the gambling public happy they came on board.

The Expo will give these groups valuable contacts and networking knowledge that only an international gathering can provide. The expert advise from the older established online operators is invaluable and time saving for those looking for answers to all their operational questions.

 

 

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