The Isle of Man is leading the way in proving that having an online gambling industry located in your territory improves the economy. Last year 2009 was a growth year for the Isle of Man's e gaming industry marked by a significant increase in the revenues gained through taxation of the operations licensed by the jurisdiction.



The Manx eGaming Association, has published results of a survey which revealed employment within the remote gaming sector grew by 18 percent in 2009. This astounding rise in available jobs is expected to make another twenty percent leap again in 2010. Taxes being remitted to the government doubled to 11.2 million GBP in 2009 and are expected almost double again in 2010.
The Manx eGaming Association, which is a group of Isle of Man located online gaming firms, has made the survey available to the press to point out significant benefits that the online gambling industry has brought to the islands' people and way of life. Spending by members of the group climbed by 35 percent last year and next year by a possible 26 percent. The members of the Manx Association actually expected even more employment growth but were not surprised by the higher tax revenues and increased industry spending. A weak economy and certain changes in the hiring policies of some members of the MeGA lead to the less than stellar employment increases. Optimism is strong in the industry located on the Isle of Man with the group forecasting a larger boost in employment for the 2010 year. The yearly report by the MeGA is intended to not only show the government that online gambling is profitable but also sustainable even through a turndown in the economy. Having jobs has made life better for the jurisdiction and for the welfare of the people. Much needed taxes are contributing to many aspects of everyday living in an environment that is struggling for survival. Since 2006 the organization has not only promoted it's worth but has given the industry valuable insight into the needs and future developments available to the online gambling industry on the Isle of Man.

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Will people stop gambling online even if measures to make the practice illegal are enforced in the country they live in, the answer is definitely no. Recent studies in America where the effort to ban online gambling has failed in more ways than one show that playing in casinos on the web is still an active form of entertainment for many gambling people in that country.

The Mintel research organisation found that 12 percent of adult respondents to their survey had visited a gambling site in the past 12 months despite laws and enforcement actions forbidding financial institutions from doing business with online operators. Research revealed that men are more likely to play poker and that they visited online gambling venues five time more often than women. Certain movies and cultural influences have glamorised gambling in Las Vegas. This has not however led to an increase in the interest Americans have with terrestrial casinos shown by the slow but steady decline in attendance in casinos on the ground. Online activity is picking up the slack with a slow but steady increase in internet use. Billy Hulkower, who is a senior analyst at the Mintel organisation, confirmed, “This shift has been gradual, which suggests that this is not a result of the recession. Casinos may be losing audience to the increasingly compelling entertainment offerings in the home; such as HDTV, high-end video game systems and the Internet, including internet gambling.” People can visit many casinos right from home on the net, and risk little time and money checking out the new games and venues available. The demographic age of between 25-34 were the most likely to visit a land based casino in the past year, that's 56 percent of the respondents. Most had planned the trip well in advance and had a definite budget to work with. It was suggested that the young people who were mostly male were not as affected by the tough economic times facing many in America today.

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Cyprus's failure to legalize gambling establishments on the island has created a burst of activity on casino web sites. The activity in Cyprus reached approximately €2.5 billion in 2008 and it is expected top over €5 billion by 2012, a government official has commented recently. Cyprus is struggling with it's identity as Turkish politics invade it's space and calls for more action to protect Turkish cultural influences. The government of the island has steadfastly refused to give a legal face to land based casinos and gambling on the grounds that it is immoral and not in keeping with the principles of the people. Online casinos are widely available in Cyprus operating through legally registered servers in other EU countries. The House Legal Affairs Committee, chairperson, Ionas Nicolaou, said, “Ninety-five per cent of electronic gambling services in our country operate legally because they are provided over the internet and there is no authority (in Cyprus) where one can apply for a permit,” Most of those servers are located very close to Cyprus on the island of Malta. The absence of any specific legislation, creates a loophole in Cyprus that makes organized online gambling illegal and the offence chargeable but only if the perpetrators are caught in the act. Individuals who are playing online casinos from their homes are not breaking the law. Global Betting and Gambling Consultants, have completed a study on internet gambling in Cyprus that has shed light on the number of Cypriots that are playing and how much they are spending. The numbers are revealing and have prompted the House Legal Affairs Committee to discussed the problem and have suggested that legislation was coming to get the situation under control. Lawmakers propose to amend the law with a proposal that would exclude electronic gambling from this list of services that the E.U considers universal.

 

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John Kelly, the chief executive officer of the Responsible Gambling Council in province of Saskatchewan, Canada says recent studies have found that students are in the fastest growing segment of the population to develop problems with gambling Apparently young men between the ages of 18 and 24 have a high rate of obsessive gambling behaviour, compared to other groups in the province. The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority is funding an advertising campaign to educate young people about the dangers of gambling. The Responsible Gambling Council has recently rolled out the program at the University of Regina an obvious choice considering it's target audience. The experts say young people who are experiencing their first taste of freedom at university are especially vulnerable to online gambling and the stimulation of the games.

"People who are 18 to 24 are the most at risk to have a gambling problem," Kelly said, "Same as many other problems that people who are 18 to 24 can get into. So if you are 20 years old and you're going to have a gambling problem, you are much more likely to develop it at 20 than you are at 50." The new program is designed to educate not to preach, called "Know the Score" the campaign has one area that specifically speaks to those who gamble on the net. Video gaming has introduced many young people to the use of the net for entertainment and has made the youth of the day comfortable with gaming on the web. Unfortunately when it come to gambling online you don't have the same control that comes with mastering a video game. Kelly stated the goal of the "Know the Score" campaign is to help students consider all the potential costs, and repercussions of their actions before they start to play for money.

 

 

 

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Internet criminals have reportedly infected as many as 12.7 million computers according to the Associated press. Authorities in Europe have finally brought down one of the world's worst cases of theft of sensitive information on the internet. The system stole credit cards and online banking information from infected computers around the globe.

Dubbed the 'Mariposa' botnet, the virus has infected at least half of the Fortune 1000 firms and more than 40 banks. According to investigators in Spain in co-operation with private computer-security firms, they say they have three alleged ringleaders in custody after cracking the largest incidence of cyber crime ever experienced. A captain with Spain's Guardia Civil, Cesar Lorenza, told the Associated press, that the arrests of cyber criminals is a rare event and is significant. The suspects in this case were not smart hackers but were associated with some people who were and they are the ones still at large. This criminal enterprise surfaced way back in December of 2008 and the masterminds have been building their network of information gathering botnets ever since. The article revealed that the suspects were not flashy criminals with big cars and fine clothes but were seemingly ordinary Spaniards with no criminal past. According to researchers the criminal activity spread to more than 190 countries.
Software firm Panda Security headquartered in Bilbao, Spain was a partner in bringing down these botnet operators, along with information from Canadian based Defence Intelligence and researchers from the Georgia Tech Information Security Center. Senior research adviser with Panda Security, Pedro Bustamante, said, "I don't think there's anything about this guy that makes him smarter than any of the other botnet guys, but the Mariposa software, it's very professional, it's very effective," adding, "It came alive and started spreading and it got bigger than him." The three individuals "netkairo," 31; "jonyloleante," 30; and "ostiator," 25 if convicted may face six years in jail. It is not known yet how much money the group stole of whether any of the funds will be recovered.

 

 

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The old Indian card game 'Teen Patti' is gaining new popularity in a new world, the internet. Online audiences across India are turning to the old game for fun and entertainment in droves. The social network portal Ibibo in India has been promoting a movie starring Ben Kingsley, using the card game as a hook. A version has been introduced that caters to a large and diverse audience that spans many demographic sectors, while keeping the integrity of the game in tack. Ibibo CEO Ashish Kashyap, says the game is immensely popular among thousands of youthful players while they interact socially at the same time they play. Kashyap commented that, "The game is built with the vision of getting people connected and network via this live multiplayer gaming format. The uniqueness of this game is that it is social. Rather than being one-player platform, Teen Patti allows six players to play live simultaneously on a virtual table while sitting anywhere in India," he added, "Since then the game has seen a phenomenal response across different genres of players and is growing by 200 per cent per month on month active users," India is considered a new and open market opportunity that may be able to return huge profits to those companies entering the industry there. India has recently opened up to online gambling licenses available for the Internet and has some top international operators trying to secure India's first online gambling license. The popularity of online gambling in India is obvious with the value of the market reported to be $5 billion and the overall betting market at as much as $40 billion. Other media companies are cashing in on the trend with Nazara Technologies a mobile entertainment company planning a version of 'Teen Patti', said, CEO, Nitish Mittersain. Take a movie, a popular old card game, and a few entrepreneurs and your sure to find a success story.




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Microgaming is growing it's poker network once again.

Goldbet the online gambling group 365's poker division has announced it will join the reliable and popular Microgaming Poker Network. In business now for ten years GoldBet is owned by 365 Media Group licensed in Austria, which is one of the leading online bookmakers in Europe. Goldbet a prominent sports book will be able to give it's sports book customers access to online poker with it's deal with the Microgaming. The GoldBet, casino and poker director, Luigi Amadio, said, “We are delighted to be entering into this new partnership with Microgaming and have found that its online poker product offering more than lives up to its reputation as best in market. With simplicity, usability and security being key parts of our mission statement, Microgaming software delivers in every respect. CSR is also a key component of the way we operate as a business, and we were delighted to find that our values in this respect were reflected in Microgaming’s own socially responsible programmes and activities.” GoldBet has been a member of ESSA, an association dedicated to the guardianship of sports integrity across the sports betting industry for a long time. The company takes part of it's profits and applies them to it's charity of choice the “Children’s Villages” an international organisation working to help orphaned children. The CEO of Microgaming, Roger Raatgever, commented on the partnership, “We are proud to welcome yet another established and respected sports book operator to the Microgaming Poker Network. We are working closely with Goldbet to ensure that our product is completely tailored in order to ensure smooth integration with their existing platform.” Microgame SpA's dedicated People's Poker Network for Italian players will continue to be offered by Goldbet in that jurisdiction. Goldbet accepts Neteller and Moneybookers in the Euro currency and is available in several languages.

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In most online gambling sectors last year revenues were not at an all time high. Consistent with the trend Cryptologic one of the original software providers for the online gambling industry made less money. This actuality was caused by and large by lower wagering activity across the boards, adverse currency fluctuations and a reduced contribution from one of Cryptologic's major licensees. The company has undergone growth potential adjustments and has been responsible in reducing it's base fixed yearly operating costs by $20.6 million. Prepared now for increased revenues, the company has signed deals with DC Comics to develop wagering games featuring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman; and with Paramount Digital Entertainment for more games based on 20 movies including Braveheart, Forrest Gump and Ghost. Cryptologic has expanded it's licensee portfolio by 20 to more than 30 Internet gaming operators including, Betfair, Sportingbet, Totesport and Virgin Games. These are some big players in the online wagering world and are sure to prove profitable for Cryptologic. The company's investment in a major rebranding of the software a new look and more targeted advertising are positive steps to stimulate larger revenues. Brian Hadfield, Chief Executive Officer, of the firm said, "2009 was a tough year as a number of adverse factors including a global economic downturn overshadowed the company's progress in implementing its innovative new strategy to reduce costs and return to growth." Adding, "We have entered 2010 in better shape with a substantially reduced cost base that will continue to be managed tightly. At the same time, new business momentum remains encouraging as branded games continue to roll out and hosted casino licensees implement new initiatives. With new licensing activity staying strong and the overall online casino/gaming market showing some improvement, we look to the year with cautious optimism." Ever popular branded game development for BetClic, Rank Interactive and UniBet will also push Cryptologic's growth in the 2010.

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Canada or rather some provinces in that vast dominion are set to make legal playing poker for money online. It has been reported recently how the Atlantic, Quebec, British Columbia and now even Ontario provincial governments are set to legalize online gambling. This action has a few other provinces looking at their current approach to the issue. Alberta in the west seems to have invested a great deal of thought into not allowing Native bands to operate the way Quebec has allowed.

The Alexander First Nation sovereign Indians of Alberta were denied the right in 2007 to host online gambling websites within it's own territory. Gambling911.com reported recently that the Mounties have been notifying some websites to watch there actions if they have concerns in the online gambling sector. It has also been suggested that a few high profile payment companies recently charged with offences in the USA regarding the processing of funds from the online gambling sector were located or had some connection in the province of Alberta. It's not unlikely that the US Department of Justice may have had a talk with the RCMP in Alberta to maintain a vigilant police watch on online gambling. Alberta is known for it's research into gambling addictions and problems. The Alberta Gaming Research Institute is a consortium of the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge. Its primary purpose is to support and promote research into gaming and gambling in the Province of Alberta. The efforts from this Institute makes it's findings available to countries around the world as well as businesses and teachers. Valuable insight is gained by the academics who pursue this research avenue that is backed by tax dollars. There are facilities available across Canada in every province and territory to help with addiction of all sorts, gambling being one of them. Gambling responsibly is the highest priority and the first rule of all gaming.

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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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