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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Only rumoured to be entering the online gambling world a short time ago and then the confirmation with their application submission to the Alderney Gambling Control Commission back in March, and now the action will begin. SEGAGames Ltd. has been granted a full interactive online gambling license in the Alderney jurisdiction and may begin operations as of October 2009. The company is a good match for online gambling, software and interesting games are the firms strong suits.

Software developer Playtech is partnering with Sega and will come together with SEGA's existing SEGAPass platform to provide the power for the SEGA Casino and SEGA Poker web sites. Branded characters making their appearances on the virtual scene, Sonic the Hedgehog, Virtua Fighter and House of the Dead, all iconic SEGA images that are sure to attract some attention.

A spokesperson SEGAGames has commented, "The Alderney Gambling Control Commission provides the most comprehensive gaming regulations with the strictest requirements and as such is recognizes as the most reputable online gaming jurisdiction. This provides as excellent fit with Sega's regulatory compliant strategy and we are pleased to be approved by this leading authority." SegaGames is a subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. which is experiencing a little financial drop from it usually strong position. It is expected that the introduction of online casinos and poker to the line up of offerings will boost their revenues significantly.

After a licence is issued and paid for in Alderney the licensee must conclude the games testing and systems documentation processes. It is important to note a licensee cannot legally become fully operational until all games have been tested and their systems documentation fully approved. Within twelve months of live activation of the site, and annually thereafter, the Commission will visit the main operational centre of the licensee to check that the relevant licence conditions are being upheld.

Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. is a Japanese company with operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Taiwan, and Singapore. Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. was founded in 2004.

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An old Chinese proverb says, "If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: The rules of the game, the stakes and the quitting time." Good reasoning on most accounts but are the Chinese gamblers practicing what they preach? The government of China does have a very large territory to deal with and a connected public is a need in a nation so large.

The number of Chinese internet users increased by over 40 million during the first half of 2009, representing a 13.4% growth rate compared to that of 2008. By June, 30, 2009 the total number of Chinese internet users has reached 338 Million. Of those 338 million 320 million have broadband access. 45.9 percent use their mobile devices to go online which has increased by 37 Mil. or 28% in the first half of 2009.

Entertainment, online research and communication account for over 50% of all online activities while levels of online shopping and payment are still comparatively low. Online gaming grew by 30 Million users and in total 181 million Chinese now write their own blog.

While people in general believe the Internet broadens their horizon and it allows them to save time and share information studies have pointed out that one in six users has the tendency to become an Internet addict. Many believe their life is invariably linked to the Internet. The average number of time consumers spent online per week has for example gone from 16 to 18 hours in the last 6 months. Over 80 percent of the internet users in China consider the 'Internet' the most important and most trustworthy source of information available.

Internet gambling is quickly spreading across the Far East, bringing with it games that never end, rules that are very much in flux and, and stakes best suited to players with near-bottomless pockets. The difficulties moving money is the only challenge keeping this gambling market from exploding.

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The laws of Illinois, USA are about to change a great deal. People in that State who want to gamble on the horses online are about to have that choice given to them. Three companies are reported to be in the running for a possible licence to provide this service legally. Many changes have been made and will soon be up and operating. Bars in the state of Illinois were recently given the right to put video gambling machines on their premises.

The Illinois Racing Board is deciding today to legalise online gambling. The government of the State is siding with the same idea a number of other US states have gone with, and seen the reality of online gambling and it's financial worth.

The online gambling will allow players to place wagers on the horse races from their homes, via the world wide web. Unregulated operators are taking bets on the races online, while not giving the state or the racetracks a dime. The proposed licenses will allow players to still play online while some of the money played will remain in Illinois.

The lawmakers in American states are finding their own voices and looking at the internet as the way the world is doing business these days. Certain European countries are doing their best to keep old laws alive regarding gambling monopolies, while in the USA individual states are creating their own laws to regulate online gambling. This new law is very minimal in it's scope actually. Those who are all for online gambling legalization in the USA are still saying this is a step on the right path. To be able at least to bet on the horses online and not have to put your snow boots on and scrape the ice off your car and find a parking spot, to place your wager, will, for the punters of Illinois feel pretty good.

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Microgaming, which is one of the world's largest providers of online gambling software, has announced that one of its Mega Moolah Progressive Jackpots has been claimed by a Polish player. The Mega win is worth over $1.2 million dollars.

Radoslaw Maculewicz placed a small .25 cent bet on the Mega Moolah Progressive Jackpot and took home the Mega prize. This prize is awarded just months after the largest online Mega Moolah Progressive Jackpot slot win ever of over €6.37m back in May 2009.

October 5 2009 is a day that the 29 year old online casino gambler will remember forever. He says he has enough money now to follow his dreams and live a life he thought was impossible only a short time ago. The online casino Betway, in operation since 2002 was reportedly flying the Mega Moolah winner Radoslaw and his fiancé to London where they will be presented with a cheque for $1,242,561.85. When the Betway team called to inform him of his cash win he was in shock. "I was afraid to touch my computer, I was so shocked!" He said. "I'm so happy, I don't know what to say!" Now the young man can get married in style and live in luxury.

Microgaming's Mega Moolah Progressive Jackpots are 5 reel, 25 payline multiple coin video slot games and they are one of the most popular progressive slots in existence with one of the richest jackpots available anywhere online. Radoslaw Maculewicz had been a customer at the online casino for about eight months before the impressive win.

Other large prizes have been awarded to Mega Moolah players, $5.5 million to a Finnish online player in 2008 and in May 09 from a €5 bet on Mega Moolah Progressive Slot resulted in a €6,374,599.92 win. Georgios M. was playing at Belle Rock Entertainment's River Belle online casino when he rewrote the record books with the largest online jackpot ever paid out. It is a sure bet that Radoslaw will now play a few more online casino games in the hope that lady luck will smile on him again.

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PartyGaming has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since June of 2005 and is regulated and licensed in jurisdiction of Gibraltar. The PartyGaming world is made up of PartyPoker, PartyCasino, and PartyBingo, and other web sites. The company last June decided for the first time to use sponsored professionals to attract players to the games. Poker pros are now a standard in many poker rooms on the net.

Recently PartyPoker has signed Formula One driver Giancarlo Fisichella to the PartyPoker Italian web site. Known to his fans as 'Fisi', Giancarlo Fisichella, gained some fame in the poker world during the PartyPoker sponsored Sports Challenge IV earlier this year. The tournament pitted online players against sports celebrities in themed competitions. Fisichella played well as he displayed his keen knowledge of positioning and aggression. Scott O'Reilly, an online qualifier ultimately took the win but the people at PartyPoker were impressed by Fisi's skills.

Fisichella commented on his new position, "Poker has become a very popular pastime in the paddock in recent months with many of the drivers. I have joined two new teams recently and am delighted to be in pole position as a new ambassador for PartyPoker.it!"

Serving as a spokesman for PartyPoker Italy both online and at major live poker tournaments, Fisichella will by finding it a tight schedule as he is also signed to drive for the Ferrari team, beginning in September of this year.

The site is looking forward to having this famed Formula One driver with them. A company spokesperson commented on Fisichella's  potential playing poker, "Giancarlo is the fantastic new ambassador for PartyPoker.it. Many commentators have already said that they believe that he is on track to be one the best ‘celebrity' players on the poker circuit."

Italy is one of the new markets opening up to online poker. Promotions offered to players celebrating the new sponsor spokesman are available only to Italian players online. Italy passed new laws regulating and licensing online poker in 2008 and, since then, sites have had to create online poker rooms specific to Italy and only open to Italian customers. PartyGaming is on the right track and is sure to get ahead with this well known Italian Poker playing racing star.

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For some taking time to slow down for a little break means connecting to the internet and playing a few games to relax. Now many of us have experienced the frustration of not being able to go on the internet. Is it that we are addicted to the net or are we just enjoying that past time too much. A little of both research suggests. Professors in each and every corner of the planet are doing massive studies on the effect of online gambling on young people today. Some of the advisors to industry suggest that the research is flawed in the way it's conducted.

Is gambling online more of a social habit than anything else? Facebook for example has sort of encouraged online poker, and many other social networking companies have attempted to exploit the interest people have in poker on the web. Experience teaches a valuable lesson.... when it's working everyone is happy and when it's not there is misery. The internet is different, it feels like people are connected and when a lot of people are all having a good time, the world doesn't seem like such a bad place.

That's when research steps in and tells us that gambling is becoming a college pastime for young men a trend they say by the rush young people get when they see success. We are training a generation through the media of all sorts to seek the thrill of success on the internet. Even before, the media of old used the slogan for sports TV " the thrill of victory,the agony of defeat." Researchers may be making a mountain out of a mole hill but at the same time it is prudent to keep tabs on the progress of problems that could develop especially among youth on the internet playing for money. When this becomes an obsession creating financial difficulties then the administrators should not turn a blind eye to the issues of online gambling or internet addiction. These are serious concerns for the parents and the lawmakers. It is also very difficult to take the part of human nature that likes to feel connected out of our behaviour. Research on online gambling can keep us all informed of trends, and then be able to forestall any problems down the road. Keep those facts and figures coming we need the knowledge to make things better.

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