In a report from the Associated Pres, Frankford Kentucky USA is the location where the Kentucky Supreme Court will decide if the state has the power to seize Internet domain names involved in online gambling after hearing arguments from lawyers representing both sides of the issue. The problem stems from clarification issues stemming from the seizure of over one hundred internet domain names. The State claims the online gambling businesses registered domain names are just gambling devices such as slot machines under a different name. The State is maintaining it has the authority to seize the domain names on that premise.

 

A district Kentucky court, has heard the case as well as a panel of three judges in the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The Kentucky Supreme Court with a panel of seven judges is now weighing it's decision. Opposition is being mounted to the State of Kentucky's appeal by the Interactive Gaming Council, and the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, Inc.,both associations have been active in their rebuttal to the State's seizure of Internet domain names. These trade groups claim the State is contravening the rights of ownership and the freedom of the internet.

Eric Lycan, an attorney representing the Kentucky Justice Cabinet stated in court, "They (the domain owners) have been using these (domains) to violate the law in Kentucky. They are subject to forfeiture."

The attorneys representing the domain owners disagree, saying that online gambling isn't illegal in the state. They maintain the Kentucky General Assembly has not taken any specific action to declare it unlawful. Also putting forth the argument that the state doesn't have jurisdiction over firms beyond the state and that domain names cannot possibly be described as gambling machines or devices.

Bill Johnson a lawyer representing a number of the domain owners, argued that the state has improperly mixed civil and criminal elements in the case. He said, "The ultimate issue in this case is whether a domain name is a gambling device under the statute," Johnson told the court. "This case should have never proceeded in the beginning."

The Poker Players Alliance's executive director John Pappas issued a statement regarding the case which could take as many as four months to conclude,  "The PPA looks forward to a positive ruling from the Kentucky Supreme Court and hopes to work with lawmakers in the Commonwealth on the common sense solution of licensing and regulation."

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It comes as a huge surprise to those who have placed their private information in the hands of online gambling operators, that that information has been compromised and is for sale by some unscrupulous vendors. Some suggest this practice has been going on for a long time and is most would be purchasers of the information feel it is relatively useless. People in the industry are allegedly obtaining this personal data by downloading data bases at the involved companies. This is done without the knowledge of the businesses retaining the information.

Webmaster Nick Haslem of the Australian gambling information portal AustralianGambling.com.au has opened an internationally sensitive issue by exposing the sale of full customer details, available to him. Haslem says the information made available to him was described as personal. Things such as details including full names, residential addresses, dates of birth, email addresses and other financial information including amounts deposited and lost or won, is being sold for an agreed price to whoever has the money.

Some insiders believe this activity is commonplace and almost routine. Online gambling affiliates are offered information about customers on a regular bases some claim. The information sales are documented by the webmaster Haslem  and  offers a fully detailed written report on the transactions including industry names. Most of the information leak is from Europe with some from online bingo sites from the U.K. only.

This a clear and loud wake up call for the online gambling industry and for governments to seek proper and strict regulation of the operators and their employees. Information is a powerful force these days and we are all at risk when it comes to our identity security. When the trust fails, so will the industry. Online gambling web sites that are regulated and scrutinized suffer along with the ones that lack the proper measures to make personal data secure. In this case one or two bad apples can spoil the whole barrel.

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PartyGaming is going to be a little different once the shares that co founder Anurag Dikshit divests himself of the last of his holdings on PartyGaming. He says he will donate all of the money he gains from the sale to his favourite charity. The gentleman owns 28 percent of the shares in the company of which he has posted two thirds on the London Exchange as for sale. Forbes Online recently reported that  shares had fluctuated in a downward trend until settling at a minor loss. the 75 million shares are on the block now with the remaining 35 million shares coming up for sale at a later date.

The charity the entreprenuer wishes to donate all funds to is the Kusuma Trust. The expected $150 million dollars will go to the Trust in total. Still very much in its infancy, Kusuma is addressing a wide number of issues concerning education and children at risk with the intention of narrowing our focus in a few years time. At that point we intend to direct funding to fewer initiatives proven to have the most dramatic impact on society as a whole. Currently the Trust provides financial support and education to children in India, Britain and Gibraltar.
These actions by the shareholder distancing himself from the company suggests that this is a move for PartyGaming as it may try it’s luck in securing a licence in the USA. The former co founder pleaded guilty in America and paid a $300 million dollar fine to the Department of Justice. PartyGaming paid out a $105 million fine as part of a non-prosecution agreement. The company seems to want a clean slate in the USA expecting future consideration in that market.

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Press release from Vancouver British Columbia. There is a new kid on the block and they have launched a new online gambling web site. The latest digital; online gaming brand is called GR88.com and it's creators International Arts Management hope that it will garner international attention from customers. Poker and casino games will be available 24 hours and 7 days per week with superior customer service and excellent rewards for players.

GR88.com is very involved in the digital entertainment and social media world with its own proprietary social networking platform that enables gaming strategies to develop around their technology.

Peter Karroll, CEO, of the global entertainment marketing firm International Arts Management, was the former head of marketing and President of Bodog Entertainment. In 2005, IAM was on top of the marketing world of online gambling with their massively successful Bodog.com model. As a result, IAM was able to bring Bodog from less than 1% audience awareness to a margin of 42% in just 24 months. The plans are to implement a similar strategy for GR88.com.

Karroll said of the strategy, "Taking a look at what people do with their time, both online and offline has been a very important aspect of the GR88.com strategy. We know our customers are intelligent, caring, hard working, professional, competitive, and love to win," Adding about the launch, "We know they want a better online environment and we believe that GR88.com can offer that setting by handpicking the best gaming software available and bringing them under one domain. The launch is just the beginning and we have tremendous plans for growth in GR88.com's future."

 

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One of the UK's leading international online bingo software providers Parlay is showing signs that the firm is growing in strength in leaps and bounds. Parlay has the only international remote gambling software licence, and is the only provider of online bingo gaming solutions. That means that Parlay can provide their software to anyone who wishes to use it. This new ability to share its software internationally means that all countries can now take advantage of the software's ability to translate multi-language and multi-currency transactions.

Scott White, Chief Executive Officer for Parlay said, in a Bullet Business interview "Creating a fresh look and feel for a site develops it's personality to players. Parlay5 software offers operators the ability to market, brand and theme any of their bingo rooms without additional customisation from us. They can update their sites as often as they want- without our help- giving the operator complete control. This is a key feature to get that unique feel that players want in their online community and only each operator knows what they will want to do in terms of marketing. Players want to feel comfortable and have a sense of belonging and developing something unique gives that to them".

The white label software took ten years to bring to market and it capabilities are indeed formidable. Companies looking to cash in on the expanded possibilities of online bingo are going to need the tools provided by Parlay. Player retention is an essential ingredient to aim for, the company stresses.

White went on to say, "The bingo chat room creates the atmosphere players look for in a site. The community is the most important aspect on a site and that will not change - however we see a new generation in sophisticated loyalty programmes as a product requirement in the years to come".

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Fox news network decided to do a little poll on how Americans feel about the issue of gambling in their fair country. As with many many surveys conducted in the States on the subject this weekly news poll came up with the same conclusion, Americans think they should have the right to wager if they so choose.

Thirty seven percent of those asked if they opposed gambling said they did. Although a larger majority fifty two said they were in favour of gambling in their state of residence. Seventy five percent of those polled responded that they had gambled at a casino at some time in their life. Many surveyed also thought that if a casino were to be built in their town the crime rate would not increase.

A USA Today survey resulted in over ninety percent of respondents making the point that online gambling should be legal. The American right to liberty seems to be in question in the polls as many people who responded to the polls were not necessarily the gambling public but those who felt it should be a right of the individual to choose if they want to gamble or not. Online gambling continues to be as popular as ever in the USA. Illegal or not people in the USA support the right to choose no matter what the government says.

Polls are a sort of micro sample, usually of the general population, so they usually can be taken at face value. It is a serious matter, in the USA, the right to choose, what you are allowed to do in your own home, with your own money. Playing a game of poker online seems like a friendly thing to do, why should it be illegal the pollsters ask.

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According to the news in Queensland Australia people in that part of the world spent $478 million dollars on the 'pokies' in the last three months. The latest figures from the State's Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation show nearly 44,000 poker machines in Queensland clubs and hotels have had $1.36 billion put in them this year. The Productivity Commission's draft report on the social and economic impacts of gambling in Australia were surprised that Australians in Queensland had gambled so much. The report, to be released in Canberra, is expected to focus on problem gambling.
When the commission last examined the issue in 1999, it found that 2.1 per cent of adults or more than 290,000 people had a gambling problem.
But in one of more than 260 submissions to the current inquiry, the clubs industry argued problem gambling involving poker machines had decreased, citing declining demand for counselling services.

The earliest mechanical gambling machines, going back to the 1890s and early 1900s, featured pictures of playing cards, and hence became known as "poker machines." Australians went off to the pub to play the pokies in huge numbers until the mid-1990s, when the online casino was invented. Now, instead of going down to the pub or the casino to play the pokies, the punter can stay at home and let the pokies come to them. It's a lot more comfortable and a lot more convenient to play the pokies online, and besides, the online casinos could offer a much greater variety of Aussie pokies than could possibly fit into any pub or land-based casino. Clubs Australia said, the much bigger problem was online gambling. Pokies researcher Charlotte Fabiansson called for electronic controls on pokies, forcing players to take a break every two hours.  Restricting the time players were allowed on land based real slot machines seems to help people realize their limits. This is not applicable to online gambling activities though. The calculations for online gambling on the 'pokies' in Australia was not part of the research.

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In a report from the Northern Territory news of Australia the government of that region has decided to cut taxes for bookies in their jurisdiction. Obviously a step to keep the existing online books in the Territory. Tasmania has put the pressure on the other areas of Australia that have some form of legalized online wagering by offering an incredibly good deal to those operators who want to set up shop there. Looking to be a major post for many online gambling operators Tasmania is saying $250,000 a year is it's tax ceiling for books. According to the NT news report there are eleven online bookmakers already in the Northern Territories, and at a cost of millions of dollars to the NT government these operations are going to benefit from the NT government's price matching.

Matthew Tripp owner of Sportsbet said he would keep his operation in Darwin even though Tasmania has offered the tax ceiling. Mr Tripp commented that the Northern Territory Government had been "very welcoming". "They've been very hospitable, as opposed to authorities in some of the southern states. The NT Government earns a good dollar out of us. But they're entitled to because they've shown they are in favour of economic growth."

The eleven companies employ about 250 people and contributed $10.5 million to the NT economy last year.

Delia Lawrie Treasurer for the NT Government said, "The potential of bookmakers leaving the Territory is a major concern for the Henderson Government as it would cost valuable jobs, support to the local racing industry and revenue," The minister went on to say, "That's why, after careful consideration and in order to preserve an industry presence in the Territory, the Government is proposing to reform the bookmakers' turnover tax regime so that it remains competitive with other states. While these measures will reduce tax revenue, on balance, inaction would have seen many corporate bookmakers leaving the Territory, costing jobs and would have severely impacted the local racing industry."

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Internet gambling is a complex and delicate area according to the World Trade Organization. Of course this was a while ago but it appears that not much has been said since this partially true declaration last July. When it comes to free trade on the internet the WTO is dragging it's feet preferring to keep the lines of communication open rather than putting it's foot down and demanding action. The US and China have been keeping their cards very close their chests and are not sure what it is they should do about making the internet an international business venue.

In China's censorship campaign aimed at ensuring social stability in the vast country it will simply not allow certain western influences or businesses to enter their web space. Not terribly different from the USA and it's prohibition on online gambling, both stop the use of the internet as a commercial vehicle. Is this the same aim that America has to see that it's cultural fabric is not destroyed by the online gambling going within it's borders? Protectionism is a word that seems to coincide with national pride, buying locally and keeping the hard earned dollars at home seems like a good idea in tough economic times. How does that work when agreements to allow free trade among nations through the World Trade Organization have been signed by the governments of participating countries? The European Union investigation concluded that America did violate WTO rules with it's new ban on online gambling companies in the USA, reportedly initiated as a result of a complaint by UK trade group the Remote Gambling Association. All progress seems stalled as the various regulatory bodies are just waiting for someone to take a crack at the problem again. Who will come forward and do this no one seems to know. Perhaps the RGA will lodge another complaint and more talks will begin.

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Share prices for both Cryptologic, the originally Canadian online gambling software developer and Rank Interactive, Rank Group's online gambling division were up slightly on the announcement that they have penned a long term deal. The agreement is for Cryptologic to supply Rank Interactive with at least ten of it's online wagering games.

Orbis Technology, a global platform solutions provider to the betting industry, will provide CryptoLogic with recurring revenue based on wagers placed by Rank Interactive's customers. The platform will power all of the games for Rank Interactive's, Blue Square, Mecca Bingo and GC Casino. Two of the games are live now and before the end of 2009 more are to come. All are expected to be online by the first part of next year. Twenty eight licensees are now in Cryptologic's portfolio with the Rank Interactive addition.

The Vice-President of Cryptologic Justin Thouin, said in a statement, "Demand for our games remains strong as illustrated by this agreement with Rank Interactive, a well respected UK brand. With each new licensee, we open up a new recurring revenue stream that will improve our profitability and long term growth prospects."

The Gaming Director at Rank Interactive, Angus Nisbet, said, "At Rank Interactive we have been looking to build on our success and expand our increasingly popular games offering. By striking this deal with Cryptologic our customers is gaining access to the very best and most innovative betting games on the market, enhancing our relationship and revenue prospects going forward."

Cryptologic Limited continues to be a leader in the online gambling software industry. It has more than 280 games, with one of the most comprehensive casino suites on the Web. Its licensees include many of the world's best known Internet gaming brands already and can now be proud to include Rank Interactive as one of them.

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