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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The Gazette newspaper in Quebec Canada has reported that the Quebec government in Canada may be offering a safe and secure online poker website by next year.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission. which is part of the Mohawk Nation within the Quebec province has over two hundred 200 "permit holders" that offer online gambling.

Chairman of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission Dean Montour was reported as saying he welcomed the news that the Quebec government was getting involved in the industry. He said, "The fact that Quebec is now entering the online gaming business in partnership with the Atlantic provinces and British Columbia is an indication that the industry is thriving and is gaining wider acceptance," He commented, "For over 10 years, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission has had a positive working relationship with online gaming regulators throughout the world and looks forward to sharing its knowledge and experience with the Régie des alcools des courses et des jeux."

Cousineau gave some opinion on the decision for the partnership stating, It will be a socially responsible alternative to the 2,000 illegal gaming sites, virtually all foreign, now available to Quebecers and patronized by growing numbers of internet players. Adding that the growth of unsupervised online gaming "has negative consequences for players and the general population," which includes no controls for problem gamblers or proper age verification.

Cousineau in a speech said that Canadians bet an estimated $675 million online in 2008 and the total is expected to top $1 billion in 2012. Cousineau said the gaming corporations of other countries already have moved to provide secure sites for online wagering, including Finland, Norway and Sweden.

The Quebec government profited $1.4 billion from Loto-Quebec’s revenue of $3.9 billion. It seems like the governments in the provinces of Canada are starting to see regulation is good for everyone.

 

 Chief Executive Officer and President of the Loto-Quebec organization, Alain Cousineau, has submitted a proposal to the provincial government of Quebec to offer web based gambling in partnership with the province of British Columbia and four Atlantic provinces already offering online gaming.

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GameAccount in Italy, recently has been very successful and hopes to reap even more rewards from it’s experience there as it enters the French market. The expected opening up of online gambling opportunity in France will usher in many applicants for this prime European market. GameAccount is one of them and it well placed with it’s skill game network already proven in the Italian jurisdiction.

GameAccount was introduced to the industry in 2001 and is one of the largest games communities in the world where players can choose to play against other players for cash prizes. The site and all games are developed by people who are serious players of online games. GameAccount is headquartered in London, U. K. and is licensed by the UK’s Gambling Commission. There are players living in over 130 countries worldwide that can and do play the numerous GameAccount games. Whether it’s dominoes, multiplayer blackjack or backgammon it will be available online in France soon. The site plans to offer localised games to the opening French market, such as Belote., similar to what it local games it produced online for Italian gamblers. International sports and lifestyle firm Born.com has partnered with GameAccount in France.

Eric Guedj, GameAccount’s new French Account Executive is responsible for local business development and maintaining government communication links.

Guedj was quoted, “It’s a very exciting role and I’m pleased to be working with GameAccount at such an important time both for the company and for French skill gaming in general,” adding, “The success with which the Italian network developed puts a lot of pressure on us to achieve a similar rate of growth, but it’s a challenge that we are confident about and very well equipped to meet.”

Kevin Dale, GameAccount’s CEO also commented, “The French territory is our next priority and Eric will be working with potential partners and the French government to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. We have every belief that our portfolio of skill games will be as popular as they are elsewhere – if not more so.”

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Linden Lab, the Second Life virtual world creators and Dragonfish, online gambling’s Group 888’s business to business division have come together on a major e-Payments processing deal that will extend Dragonfish’s range into another sector besides gaming.

Dragonfish will provide Linden Lab with e-Payments , security, customer support and management services, delivered via the functional and advanced cashier interface in Dragonfish’s back office capabilities.

The agreement with Linden Lab represents an extension of Dragonfish’s offering into the wider retail environment; adding ‘Total Payment Services’ to the existing ‘Total Gaming Services’ product and strengthening it’s position in the regulated PSP market.

Linden Lab, founded in 1999, invented and continues to be a leader in the virtual three dimensional world on the internet. Since Second Life went online in 2003, residents have logged more than one billion hours and generated more than $1 billion USD in user-to-user transactions on it virtual world platform in cyberspace. Second Life boasts the largest user-generated virtual goods economy in the world. A huge cross section of society and business is involved in generating the content on Second Life.

Managing Director of Dragonfish, Gabi Campos, said, "We have many gaming partners interested in our e-Payment solutions but this is a giant step beyond our core operations into the retail environment. It’s an excellent complementary business for Dragonfish which will provide incremental revenue.”

Mark Kingdon, Chief Executive Officer of Linden Lab, commented, "Second Life residents log into the virtual world from nearly every country around the globe and participate in a virtual economy that will exceed US$500 million this year," adding, "Dragonfish has a strong track record in unlocking new markets through its unique and secure payment processing solutions, and as Second Life continues to grow internationally, we're pleased to work with them to provide easy and secure payment options for our users outside the United States."

 

 

 

 

 

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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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