Canadian-based Optimal Group Inc. known to most online gamblers as 'FirePay' has reached a non-prosecution agreement with US Justice Department. The agreement includes a forfeiture of $19.2 million dollars to be retained by the Department of Justice. The electronic processing company, FirePay, operated in the US market between 2004 and 2006 and has ceased all operations since then.

In 2007 FirePay had it's assets seized by the DOJ as that agency began to target processing companies in their efforts to enforce the prohibition of online gambling activities in the USA. The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan said, “Optimal, operating an electronic wallet called FirePay, processed more than $2 billion worth of illegal gambling transactions for United States customers,” That's serious money for anyone who thinks that online gambling in the USA is insignificant. Reuters news agency reported U.S. prosecutors said that Optimal acknowledged that internet gambling merchants broke U.S. criminal law by offering gambling in the United States. This has opened the door it is suggested for the DOJ to target the online gambling merchants mentioned in the statement who themselves were deemed to have violated federal law because of their connection with FirePay.

The Optimal statement read that the sum agreed represented a “disgorgement of property involved in and proceeds received from the payment processing services that were provided by the company’s subsidiaries to Internet gambling merchants in relation to U.S. customers of such merchants.”

In return for an assurance of non-prosecution Optimal confirmed in its own statement that it would forfeit the $19 182 418.82 already seized to the U.S. government.

Optimal stopped taking transactions from customers in the USA in October of 2006 when the UIGEA was signed into law. Now the company is mainly a toy and consumer electronics firm.



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Poker superstar Phil "Poison" Ivey has decided that it may be good for poker to start to endorse the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP). After winning a position at the WSOP Main event table four months ago Ivey has begun to say positive things about being a poker player and playing at the WSOP event about to re-commence very soon. The games start again on Saturday, November 9, with publicity starting for Ivey on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time in the USA. Interviews can be seen on the television program "E:60" on cable sports network ESPN. Ivey, 33, was followed around by an ESPN camera crew as he flew in his private jet to casinos and personal appearances around the world.

Ivey is seen playing high-stakes, at $50,000 a roll, craps in casinos in Montreal and Connecticut, signing autographs in Austria and sliding over to Amsterdam for a diversion. The latest issue of "ESPN the Magazine" will feature Phil Ivey on it's cover with an in depth interview about his love of other gambling past times, playing craps and sports betting. According to the magazine which is already out for public consumption when Ivey is not flying all over the globe in his jet he stays home to play as many as six online games of poker at the same time in his Las Vegas office.

ESPN is to televise the final table action commencing in just days. ESPN plans to televise the final table action after it concludes, airing highlights to the public the next day. This event could earn Ivey $8.5 million if he wins it. The poker superstar has not said much about the WSOP up until now.

Ivey's manager said in the magazine interview, "I've convinced Phil to pull back the curtain just a little,"



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Microgame provides gaming solutions for fixed odds betting, horse race betting, skill games and poker, instant lotteries, bingo and National totalizer games. In Italy, Microgame is the leading service provider for the remote gaming market. Utilizing innovative technologies Microgame develops high quality products and services focusing on the needs of both the clients and the game users. The company operates on a national and international level having the necessary licenses and authorizations in order to operate according to the regulations in force in the respective markets. Now Microgame one of Italy's largest remote gaming providers has signed an agreement with Swedish online gambling software developer and provider Net Entertainment. Net Entertainment uses the proven CasinoModule platform. This deal gives Net Entertainment a useable base in the growing Italian online gaming market.

Microgame was founded in 1996 and claims more than 1.3 million game accounts, with a market share of 25 percent in online poker and a 28 percent share in online sports wagering. The company generated over eighty five million euros last year. The company operates under the licensing and authority of Italy's Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies.

The Net Entertainment CasinoModule gives Microgame access to an extensive range of market leading casino content to complement its existing products portfolio. Fabrizio D'Aloia, CEO of Microgame says; “we are very happy to join Net Entertainment to our exciting gaming project for the new emerging Italian casino games market. The worldwide recognized Net Entertainment's expertise in the casino games development and marketing will be strategic for Microgame to maintain the leadership in the Italian online gaming market”. Net Entertainment's Chief Executive Officer Johan Öhman, says of the agreement, “Gambling is huge in Italy and is expected to generate a gross gaming yield exceeding Euro 17 billion in 2009, making it the country’s third largest industry," adding, "In light of this, it is obviously extra encouraging that one of the dominant incumbents selects Net Entertainment as their strategic casino partner.”

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Gaming VC subsidiary Betboo is about to launch a new idea in the online gambling world on December 1st this year. The free service will allow online gamblers to create their own casino, poker room, bingo parlour, or sportsbook. Although this concept is really not the first to hit the web, with Microgaming launching it's player created online casino just last year.

The Mybetboo brand, is introducing their new software allowing the player to make a personal gambling experience custom built according to ones own tastes. Users can import their contacts from Gmail, Yahoo and MSN straight to their private members list and start attracting friends immediately. The social networking aspects are important to many online gambling patrons. Guto Araki, a member of the creative team, says that the software furnishes users with a control panel through which sign-ups and amount of money wagered can be monitored in real time.
Gaming VC Holdings SA. the parent company of Betboo, principal activities are the operation of online gaming in three segments. The Group offers online casino games to their customers based in German speaking countries and publishes a quarterly club magazine. The Group mainly operates in Germany, Austria and Switzerland but also in Malta and Italy. Betboo group provides online betting and gaming services focusing on bingo, poker, casino, card, table, slots and arcade games. The company was founded in 2002 and is based in Netherlands Antilles. Chief Executive Officer of Almir Ribeiro, commented that the Mybetboo concept promotes the open development of drag and drop games and applications, also known as "pills."

Mybetboo has a very user friendly and intuitive interface through a unique grid system patented by it's developers. This is a vertical rectangle of 54 empty spaces where users can drag and drop different elements as they build their sites, including the insertion of Youtube videos, Flickr galleries, Twitter feeds and games from the Playtech casino and poker inventory.
Users are offered a minimum of 5 different presentations, and even a dedicated url with audience metrics and promotional aids.





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The board of directors for World Poker Tour Enterprises put the brakes on quickly when they heard the announcement made by Mandalay Media, Inc that it has increased its proposal to acquire WPT for $36.5 million, consisting of $28.5 million in cash, $5 million in Mandalay Media stock and perpetual revenue participation rights, guaranteed to be at least $3 million. The estimated value to shareholders per share is $1.77, including the guaranteed portion of the revenue participation rights. The proposal represents a premium of approximately 61% over the closing price of WPT`s common stock on October 26, 2009 and a premium of approximately 28% over the implied value at closing of WPT`s pending asset sale with Peerless Media Ltd. a subsidiary of PartyGaming.

Mandalay`s Co-Chairman Robert Ellin stated in a letter to the WPT's board of directors that Mandalay proposal is a "Superior Proposal." Mandalay stated that the proposed asset sale with Peerless provides no payment or distribution of any kind to WPT`s shareholders. The Mandalay proposal would provide significant cash and stock directly into the hands of WPT shareholders.

Mandalay Media is a publisher and distributor of branded entertainment for 3G mobile networks as well as TV programming and games. It has a network for distribution through one hundred and twenty mobile operators in forty five countries. The Mandalay Media offer looks very promising for share holders of WPTE. Mandalay has is ready and very capable of delivering a superior experience for the poker player. It has a team of experts that are making efforts to tap into the mobile and social networking components of playing poker online. Existing platform technologies as well as the firm's existing contracts and contacts will propel the WPT into a new era of connectivity. All this sounds almost too good to be true for poker players and the shareholders. Mandalay Media states this is not a binding agreement but urges the Board of Directors for WPTE to move quickly on this proposal.

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The online gambling company PartyGaming was dealt a severe blow recently when it's co-founder decided he would sell his stake in the firm. Analysts in the world of finance have weighed in with various opinions and are now coming to a consensus on the company's prospects in the market. It was noted by one analyst while the shares have suffered in recent sessions, the outlook for the group "has not deteriorated". This seems mainly due to the a situation developing in Germany where the state of Schleswig-Holstein has announced it wants to opt out of the Interstate Treaty on Gambling, which prohibits internet gambling. A little less than twenty percent of PartyGaming's revenue was from sources in Germany in 2008.

"The treaty needs to be unanimously ratified in January 2012 if it is to continue," one broker continued. The company has been on a slide since the huge sell off of it's shares. Brokers have had a hold ticket applied to the firm but now feel that the changes forthcoming in other markets such as the USA for the PartyGaming product will boost revenues and create a stronger company. Most of the analysts are saying that the slide has gone a bit too far and are now proposing the stock be tagged as a buy product thus turning the tide in PartyGaming's favour. The stock in the company rose with this news by a modest 4p higher, at 228.9p in London. In August 2009 PartyGaming entered into an agreement with the US Department of Justice to pay a settlement of one hundred and five million dollars to avoid prosecution in that country. It is still unknown whether the company will try to enter the US market should it open up. It is speculated that this is the reasoning behind the settlement payment which is spread over a three year period.

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Tain AB has been around for a long time in the world of internet gaming. Since 1999 the technologically driven company has been developing platforms for online gaming as well as solutions for sportsbook operations. Expekt's sportsbook was built by this company and is considered a real success in the world of online sports betting. The betting exchange was developed by them too with casino games introduced back in 2003. Then Tain developed their own poker software and started the Tain Poker network in 2005 moving from being just a product provider for one company to being a full supplier of services, support, banking and promotions.

The Tain Commons Platform (TCP) will be expanded it’s product, by integrating white label sportsbook OddsMatrix. OddsMatrix, established in 2008, is part of the EveryMatrix group of companies that also includes GamMatrix, a vendor neutral gaming management and payment processing platform, providing all the required back office tools needed to manage player accounts effectively and also BanaMatrix. Clients of OddsMatrix include Chili Gaming, Tower Gaming, NoiQ, BetFriends and others.
Stian Hornsletten, Chief Executive Officer of OddsMatrix, said, “We believe this a great opportunity to gain access to new clients and grow our customer base. Tain has a unique set-up with poker and casino sites, which will greatly benefit from accessing our fully managed sportsbook.”

Tain Chief Executive Officer, Christer Fahlstedt commented, “With the Poker industry currently undergoing significant changes it is increasingly important for operators to have a full offering. A sportsbook is an additional customer acquisition and retention tool as well as a route to new markets. OddsMatrix has quickly established itself and will be a very interesting addition to the range provided by the Tain Commons Platform.” Tain AB, offers a full range of hosting and support services in multiple jurisdictions including Malta, Kahnawake and Curacao. Currently seventeen operators are live using the Tain TCP/TPG systems.

















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A company that specializes in the online gaming sector, Play LA Inc. operates a network of multi-language websites across the UK and Europe for those looking for the unique sports betting news and odds. The advertising and publishing company also provides gaming tips and advice, tournament information and promotions on various online gambling web sites.

The United Kingdom and European established publishing firm has announced on it’s website that it will partner with online betting company Betfair as an advertizing partner for the Breeders Cup horseracing event 2009 coming up on November the sixth and seventh at the Santa Anita Racetrack near Los Angeles California USA. Betfair has also recently confirmed a partnership with Tracknet Media to offer US pool betting access to Betfair's 2.5 million customers during the race. One of the primary focuses for TrackNet Media is enhanced wagering integrity. TrackNet Media headquartered in Louisville, invests significant resources to monitor the entities that have access to the companies’ racing content and wagering pools. TrackNet Media ensures content offered is being used appropriately and in ways that provide compensation to horsemen and racetracks that produce the content.

The Betfair, Tracknet agreement will be good for next year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes horseracing events that will generate millions of dollars in new revenue for American wagering pools. Play LA is confident that the Betfair offerings will make both companies more visible and profitable with their joint venture approach. Expecting the search volumes and traffic to increase significantly the company will gain revenue from it’s advertizing spots.

Play LA operating eleven websites in Europe and the UK has also recently hired UK based digital agency Branded3 to manage the search engine optimisation and marketing for three of it’s UK websites, and is looking to improve its search rankings and increase traffic.









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Sports are really hot these days in the online gambling world. Sportsbooks are surging with early bets on the exciting matches coming. The NBA championships and the World Series are the peak of the sports betting season. October’s end and November’s beginning marks the start of the busiest time of the year for both the wagers on sports websites and for punters around the globe. The NFL season which continues, and the MLB world series along with the best basketball has to offer makes the options for the punter enormous.

The Breeders' Cup stirs as gambler’s imagination as those horses usually do. In Europe the local soccer championships are under way, along with the UEFA tournaments. No matter the sport of choice for wagering the largest array of sports betting options are going to be available very soon.

Apparently the NFL season has been a right off for most sports books. Mainly due to really good odds offered by the books. Many gamblers took home sweet sums of cash as the predicable performances by some of the teams this year has caused the sports books major grief.

Sportsbooks are attempting to recover by trying to get bettors to put their money on other sports. The World Series this year is an outstanding battle between two outstanding baseball teams. Wagering on the series is expected to garner three times the attention it got last season. The NBA season is just going fine with many underdogs pulling ahead and giving the punter something to bet on. Horse racing is making gains in interest by more and more average bettors. The ponies still attract a solid group of hard core racing fans. European football is a mainstay of sports books worldwide. To attract the wagerers to other sports, bonuses are being offered and the competition is strong for your dollar. Place your bets wisely there is a lot to choose from.

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Online gambling sites are being stopped by being not allowed to make transactions with their customers. The federal government, continues to seize consumers funds and is using fear as a destructive tactic to get consumers to not play at online casinos. Accounts allegedly connected to online payments from casinos have been seized by officials. The Baltimore City Paper, recently reported that $365,000 in two accounts owned by Atrium Financial Groups were taken under warrant.

The affidavit within the warrant shows that there is a deliberate intent being made by the Federal Government of the USA to disrupt and prevent payment from Internet casinos. Issued by U.S. District Judge, Beth Gesner, this warrant is not sealed and is available to the public.

Bank accounts are being located by undercover agents requesting payouts from online gambling sites. In a sting operation an officer from the Louisiana State Police opened a gambling account with online Golden Casino, then requested a payout. This is how Atrium was detected.

The police from Louisiana total swamped the Golden Casino with many tries to enter the casino and gain an account. Golden Casino has a good reputation for keeping its debts paid and it well established record always within the law. Protective software did not keep the police from slipping in. The officials have seized the accounts of Atrium but allowed deposits to continue and debits refused. This will continue to fuel the fears that some online gamblers in the USA that the issue of online gambling will continue to be debated but in the mean time the customer must remember to beware the banks and payment companies may be a little slow in getting your cash back knowing that once the government has your money it takes just about forever to retrieve it.

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