Software developer Orbis Technology Ltd., established in 1996, develops game concepts with management and reporting tools, enabling operators to maintain a competitive edge in the ever changing wagering and gaming industry. The Orbis OpenBet software platform is an integrated gaming software solution with the ability to access complete analysis of customers via one centralised database for all transactions and viewable data across all products and platforms. Now Orbis has launched its latest technology product, LiveOdds. This new product has the ability to give live pricing and event updates directly to customers via their web pages and betslips. Operators can custom build their own unique application and have LiveOdds stream price updates as they occur. Orbis is licensed and regulated by the U.K. Gambling Commission and is headquartered in London. A company spokesperson commented, "LiveOdds is built on Orbis’ new LiveServ technology which enables the delivery of live messages, content and data directly to customers," adding, "As a pivotal element of OpenBet, LiveServ has been designed as a highly scalable and flexible ‘push’ server which provides support for the widest range of browsers and front-end technologies." The ability to stream data directly from the database to the players’ screen in real time, without the need to refresh is at the core of the new development. LiveChatroom, is almost ready for a launch based on the LiveServ technology. It opens up LiveServ to allow for conversations in both directions. "LiveChatroom can be used anywhere on an operator’s site, from the home page to live betting portals, through to side panels on fixed-odds games," "LiveChatroom connects customers to a community, enhancing the experience and improving customer retention," the company said. CTO of Orbis Technology Ltd., Pete Boyle, explained, “By providing operators with the ability to stream live content in real time and open up more channels of communication amongst customers with a product like LiveChatroom, we are confident that LiveServ and its new products will change the face of live betting."

 






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The Government of Ontario, Canada one of the most populated provinces in the country has hired a new director for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation. Paul Godfrey, is president and CEO of the National Post newspaper, was the former chair of Metro Toronto, and former head of the Toronto Blue Jays and now head of the OLG. The Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, is considering allowing Internet gambling in Ontario. Since Quebec, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia, have made a partnership to offer online gambling, Ontario feels it must join the group or loose out to possible tax revenues generated by the activity. Godfrey has announced that he would like to explore the possibility of offering online gambling. McGuinty says Ontario would have to make a decision on the subject sooner or later and was pleased it was sooner because the government does not have to ability to control online gambling the same way as it does alcohol. While most believe this issue will not be an easy sell in Ontario's legislature and will take some time to get used too, Godfrey, believes that online gambling would be profitable for the OLG. Canadians spend millions of dollars with online gambling operators based elsewhere and he thinks that the OLG could definitely profit from the industry. “Money is going out of this province to other provinces as well as offshore sites,” Mr. Godfrey explained. The Opposition in the legislature says the government would need to make sure there are controls in place to restrict the age of those playing and make it secure and safe and fair. Online casinos are already operational across the country, but they are regulated by private commissions such as Kahnawake in the Mohawk Nation near Montreal. The provincial governments of Canada are getting into online gambling because it's the only way they can control it. People are playing at the web sites already so why not let the local governments have a piece of the pie.




 

 

 

 

 

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Good news for online gamblers in Poland. Recently there was a media announcement that the Polish government was planning to use web censorship to deny it's citizens their surfing rights on the internet. Many categories of websites, including the usual ones with offensive content as well as online gambling sites that are not licensed to operate in Poland where included in the plan. This is bad for a country that just a short while ago removed it's shackles and became free. The government wanted to keep it's people safe from the ways of the world. People on the net immediately formed a politically charged campaign with the use of social media outlets such as Facebook to give the Polish government a piece of their collective minds. The power of the internet has brought officials to listen to the voice of the citizens and after lengthy talks with select non governmental organizations the Prime Minister Donald Tusk has publicly stated that all plans to filter or censor the internet are to be abandoned. The possibility that online gambling sites were to be filtered brought the players together with a petition that was signed by thousands. Apparently a proposed draft of the web censoring system had been already sent to the Constitutional Tribunal which immediately threw it out calling it unconstitutional. Tusks actions are at best a smoothing over of the gambling publics' outrage. His quick action saved face but did it make players confident that some other form of freedom may be next. This is a clear example of the power of the internet with large numbers of people starting to feel that it's a right to have an open society with open access to information and entertainment. Online gambling may face other issues in Poland, but at least for now the player can go around the world on a computer playing whatever game they want at any time.

 

 

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“Can and must be regulated” is the title of the Facebook debate page on online gambling. This social networking venue does provide valuable interaction and opinions on this very difficult subject, but does it come to any hard and fast conclusions, no. That's the job of politicians and lawmakers who are struggling with the facts and figures. On one hand there is proof that regulation and licensing works to the benefit of the consumer and the public purse as in the United Kingdom. On the other hand proof is evident in the opposite example in the USA where prohibition has created an underground online gambling economy where the money leaves for parts unknown and the government looses out on taxing the funds. In Europe the debate rages on as to how to make it fair for all members in the European Union. British Conservative, Malcolm Harbour, who is Chair of the Internal Market Committee, said recently in a response to questions from members of the E.U.'s parliament, “it is absolutely the right time for the Commission to be coming out with a clear strategy”. adding that online gambling. “can be regulated and must be regulated.” Harbour pointed out the importance of giving the people the right to a choice, “We must also respect our citizens and the fact that many of them want to access online gambling” “it can’t be right to ban online gambling with a company from outside your own country.” Conversely, German Socialist, Evelyne Gebhardt, stated, “member states should not be forced to open market up if their controls are strong and effective and we want the Commission to finally understand this.” Michel Barnier the new internal markets commissioner was quick to respond, “make no mistake; I have come to talk about a new approach.” Barnier went on to say, “these are not services just like any other. Fighting cross-border crime without a European approach is impossible. We have to have strict limits so that minors can’t play and on this we need E.U. coordination.”

 

 

 

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It has been suggested that Full Tilt Poker is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the USA. Full Tilt Poker.com is licensed and regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. With the full enforcement of the prohibition on online gambling in the USA looming the Feds are moving rapidly to have someone ready to prosecute once the June first 2010 deadline arrives. FBI agents have been making their presence felt in Washington state interviewing online gambling patrons of the Full Tilt Poker room. Small stakes players have been visited without any warning by FBI agents asking pointed questions about the player's transactional activities with the Full Tilt poker web site. Setting the tone for the inquires the agents for the government are saying they are just gathering information not on the players but on the Full Tilt operation. It is speculated by poker forum patrons that this is a fact gathering exercise that will lead to a case against Full Tilt Poker in the near future. Washington state is one of only a handful of U.S. states that actually has a law prohibiting online poker. This seems like the perfect venue for an FBI investigation because the law against playing poker online could result in real convictions for firms offering gambling to those living in Washington State. Besides the legal implications of playing online poker there the act is a felony, providing leverage for the agency to get gamblers to testify, something that has proved difficult in other states. Full Tilt Poker is operating just on the legal edge in the USA and should the Department of Justice proceed to a court case against the company and win, it could create precedent that may be a disaster for not only Full Tilt Poker but for the entire movement to repeal the current ban on online gambling in the USA. It remains to be seen if any of this comes to pass but logical deduction is pointing to the possibility.  

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Wagering on just about everything these days seems to be the normal way to play for a lot of punters. What makes all this betting interesting is when it gets into the political sphere. Australian's love their various forms of vice and gambling is no exception. In Australia people are placing huge wagers on who will win the next election in that art of the world. Online gambling has become a hot issue with the current government doing it's level best to control offshore wagering with draconian and unfair methods. The productivity Commission will soon hand down it's recommendations regarding the status and future of the activity in the county. Meanwhile people are betting the government of the day may be toppled by it's proposal to filter the internet and stop punters from accessing their favourite internet casinos. The very fact that internet censorship may happen has many Aussies crying foul, and looking for a change in leadership. Unfortunately when it come to political situations there is no such thing as a guaranteed result.

Australian bookies and the average man on the street has determined that there's at least a reasonable chance that the Labour Party will be thrown out of office at the next election. Current Prime Minster Rudd has even publicly and privately said that there's a chance they will loose the election. Although Mr. Rudd is still the odds-on favourite, returning just $1.20 from Centrebet if he stays in The Lodge. But the Coalition with Mr. Abbot has tightened to $3.85 - the first time it has been under $4 in more than a year. The betting market suggests a modest turnaround in political fortunes. Centrebet's Neil Evans said the agency had been forced to reassess its prices after several big bets recently. Mr. Evans said, "It's the first crucial sign the Coalition is getting right back into the battle after the Labour government had dominated with punters for two years."

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The Norwegian government has passed a law banning the processing of online gambling transactions from unlicensed operators in the Nordic country. This is a move that is sure to raise a few questions about the monopoly maintained on online gambling in Norway. The new law requiring payment transactors to verify any online casino payments are processed only for operators licensed in Norway.

Protests came from various sectors claiming that the act does not conform to European Union regulations. The state monopoly Norske Spil will benefit from this new legislation that received Royal assent after the Storting, Norway's parliament, had passed the bill. Norway is not a member state of the European Union, but is, in effect, required to adopt most legislation created by the EU, due to its participation in the European Economic Area as a member of the European Free Trade Association. Pontus Lindwall the chief executive officer of Betsson the Swedish gambling group which operates extensively in Scandinavia, recently downplayed the threat to the industry, suggesting that online players will choose other avenues for their deposits and withdrawals. Other online casino operators in Norway do not consider the law to be a threat. Various institutions in the Norwegian financial services sector have indicated they will remain abreast but will not act on the requirements dictated by the Payment Act, and will continue to do business as usual. Norway is going the same direction as the USA in attempting to prohibit the transactions between customer and casino. June first 2010 is set as the day when the full force of the ban on online gambling comes into play in the USA. Coincidentally the Norwegian law is due to take effect at the same time. The war on online gambling seems to be advancing in areas where there is a protectionist attitude and little regard for what is fair for everyone.

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With a population of almost seventeen million people Chile has a growing market for online gambling. Gambling in Chile is completely legal and popular. Chileans enjoy casinos, sports betting, state lotteries, horse racing, and other gaming past times. Casino gambling was banned up until 1990, although the country already had several major casinos operating. Poker a strong game elsewhere is not nearly as popular in Chile but is gaining considerable momentum. Sports betting in Chile is very strong, and horse racing which was the only form of gambling that was legal during the ban has remained very well attended. The Chilean government is open to internet gambling with few if any restrictions. While the government does not license companies to operate online gambling sites within Chile, players are not prohibited from playing at offshore gambling websites. There are thousands of websites, that offer casino games, poker, bingo, sports betting, and other gaming activities. Most of the sites available in Chile are in English, with some offering Spanish as well. Chile’s Superintendent of Casinos, Francisco Javier Leiva, who is watching the statistics says, the latest figures show that the revenue from gambling is growing steadily. Gross monthly winnings have increased to $24.8 million in 2009, up $14.86 million from earlier in the year. It was reported that a total of $224 million was grossed during 2009. More casinos are to be opened this year to meet the expanding market with online casinos and sports books gaining ground too. Currently there are fifty seven online casinos offered to players in Chile, most offering the USD as a currency and the Spanish language. With the government being on the soft side of online offshore wagering it may be that Chile could become a South American hub for internet gambling in the future. Meanwhile the gambling public in Chile has a chance to play to their hearts content where ever and when ever they desire.

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Party Poker, registered in Gibraltar, is advertising for a head of marketing in Australia. This comes as a surprise to Australian lawmakers who have made it an offence for a company in Australia or overseas to provide online casino games to any person who is ''physically present in Australia''. Fines for a breach are up to $220,000 a day for individuals, and $1.1 million a day for companies. Why some would ask is Party Poker being so bold as to flaunt the law of the land and risk heavy fines? The federal government has made no moves to enforce its own internet gambling law the Interactive Gaming Act of 2001. The advertisement posted is looking to hire a head of marketing in Australia, based in Sydney, to ''leverage the brand at the forefront of the poker market in Australia and New Zealand''. Although it is a binding law it has never been enforced, and the government makes no attempt to restrict the activities of online poker games or online casinos. A recent draft report commissioned by the Productivity Commission into gambling estimated that $790 million went offshore to illegal online gambling sites in 2008 with no funds returned to the country of origin. Internet based gambling is considered to be gaining rapid popularity and is estimated to have grown three fold in the last five years as Australians take to the web for their gambling needs. With the Productivity Commission's final report due out soon those in the industry are expecting it will recommend the government overturn the online gambling prohibition. A few of the opposing members of parliament are sure they will be able to block any changes in the current legislation. Anti gambling Senator Nick Xenophon, an independent, is hoping to get the Green's party representative Senator Steve Fielding onside to stop future online gambling companies from making their mark in the country. Looking at the Australian market and it's proximity to Asia it makes perfect sense for a firm like Party Poker to try getting it's foot in the door there. Party Poker's advertisement says it is a ''growing online poker business in Europe with plans to enter the Australasian market''.

 

 

 

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According to a report from the Sioux City Journal in Iowa The House State Government Committee is planning on having a hearing on a proposal to legalise and regulate online sports wagering and maybe even other forms of internet gambling.

Omitting betting on colleges in Iowa, Democrat Brian Quirk, told the newspaper that the proposal may expand the sports betting sector approved by a Senate committee to include legalised betting on collegiate sports. Mary Mascher, State Government Committee Chairwoman, has voiced stiff opposition to the proposal, threatening to remove any referral to the proposition from any gambling bill that comes before the committee. Quirk who as member of a seven person bi-partisan committee told the Sioux City Journal, "The time for debating whether Iowa is a gambling state is long past. Either we're a gambling state or we're not, and with seventeen casinos I'd say we're a gambling state."

The state's monetary shortfall may persuade lawmakers to consider the proposal even though the opposition is very strong against expanding gambling in Iowa. Quirk has explained that a possible 80,000 people already play poker online. The idea is that the customer registers for an online account at a licensed land based casino gets a password and is able to play games from a home based computer. Deposits and withdrawals of funds would have to be done in person at the registered casino, ensuring compliance with federal laws regarding financial transactions for online gambling.

Republican Representative Jeff Kauffman, is a staunch opponent of gambling expansion and said that it was unlikely that legislators who have consistently voted against gambling expansion will change their position. The USA is on the verge of making internet gambling a complex issue as the various states start to make their own rules justified in the need for tax dollars.

 




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