Consolidation was the hot topic of discussion recently at the big online gambling conferences with executives predicting that the media and online gambling rivals would come together and create mega companies controlling vast sections of the online gambling industry. In a recent article written by Rebekah Lillias at Betastic this prediction is definitely coming true. The article states that Gibraltar-based gambling firm PartyGaming is in merger talks with Austrian rival Bwin, which could create the biggest Internet Gambling organization in the world.


It is rumoured that the two companies have been engaging in private discussions over the past few months and are expected to be asked of to clarify their positions as the financial sector opens for business next week. PartyGaming’s investors, who have had a rough time lately are expected to welcome any positive news regarding the direction of the company. Investors saw the value of their stock disappear in 2006 when the U.S.A. introduced the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. At the time 90% of the players at PartyGaming sites were from North America. The company has recovered in recent years, by purchasing valuable web sites and investing wisely in new ventures.

Bwin on the other hand has continued to grow stronger in Europe and is currently valued on the Vienna stock market at 1.3 million euros (£1.2m). The company’s primary strength is SportsBetting, especially in Austria. Recently it has added poker rooms and casino action to its online offering, which has seen players number’s grow in spades. If this merger takes place it would create a company that will have a worth of approximately two billion BPS. Soon we may see more unique mergers and we will be all placing our bets on one gigantic web site that offers everything a gambler could possible desire. The creation of mega companies may not be the best thing for consumers though as competition helps provide variety and unique value.

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The latest package of new games from Ireland based software provider Cryptologic includes iconic super heroes of some note. Superman is probably one of the best known super heroes on the planet. Four other slots, together with three new table games will round out the Christmas package of fun provided by the innovative company Cryptologic.

Braveheart, the freedom seeking hero from Scotland immortalized in the movie will have William Wallace battling the English oppressor Longshanks. When Braveheart wins so does the slot player. Braveheart has a five level progressive jackpot.

Forrest Gump is another smash hit at the movies that has been transformed into a online slot game, with a 25 pay-line that is like a box of chocolates, full of surprises and prizes. There are two bonus games, the Box of Chocolates feature and a Run Forrest Run game that simulates Forrest Gump's dash through a football field as in the film with an interactive element that enables players to help Gump manoeuvre.

Just Vegas is the second in Cryptologic's 'All Pays' slot game series, The symbols and animations emulate the glamour of Las Vegas, and give the player a choice of three casinos, Asian, Egyptian and Roman.

On the really wacky kind of fun side of things themed around a Japanese game show Fumi's Fortune, has hosts Fumi and Aki rolling out the adventure.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack, Sic Bo and Double Double Bonus video poker are the newest online offerings of table games by Cryptologic. Perfect Pairs Blackjack is like the blackjack games available at the land based casinos, with an optional side-bet based on the player's first two cards and the popular surrender option which is still included. Sic Bo is a popular Chinese game, where players can place many types of wagers on the outcome of each round of rolling three, six-sided dice. Bets are placed on individual dice, combinations of dice, and the totals of the three dice combined. All and all an impressive new group of games for Christmas fun from Cryptologic.

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Mobile gaming and content enabler Mobenga has partnered with Agility Interactive which is a leading provider of advanced technologies for media, gaming and technology to enter the Australasian market. The Swedish mobile gambling technology provider Mobenga has announced it has signed a deal with the Tote in Australia shortly after the Tote was taken off of the market because it did not receive any viable offers. When commenting on the Agility Interactive partnership the CEO of Mobenga, Christian Rajter said, "The partnership has already produced very positive results." He added, "We are excited to work together with Agility Interactive to target the Australasian market. They have an impressive knowledge and network in this geography and combined with our experience and expertise we will have a very strong foundation for our offering".

iGaming France and Overwatch Tasmania report that the deal with the Tote was recommended by Agility Interactive, a consultant to Tote Tasmania.

State Treasurer Michael Aird said recently, “Tote Tasmania has identified the need to find new markets, increasingly offshore, and alternative forms of revenue, based around its core activity, betting,"
“I expect Tote to announce some exciting initiatives in the New Year which will clearly demonstrate the internationalisation of the company, among these will be a new international brand, along with an expanded business operation through acquisition and strategic alliances."
Dennis Verrios, Agility Interactive's Chief Operating Officer commented, "Agility has had a long history of dealing with mobile products and understand that the secure and timely transactional and intense data needs of wagering make it imperative to find a product suite that was "built for purpose". We are very excited to collaborate with Mobenga and intend to roll their platform out across Asia Pacific".

Mobenga will provide full mobile services to Tote Tasmania which is sure to boost their revenues looking at the huge growth in mobile gaming in that part of the world.



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Paris-based Mangas Gaming group's has announced a major re-organization of it's corporate structure. The future direction of online gambling company which is part of Mangas Gaming Group was a bone of contention within the executive ranks of that division. Along with Betclic and Bet-At-Home Mangas Gaming has made significant changes that have resulted in the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer leaving their posts immediately. The differences of opinion about how to best move the company Expekt forward is sited as the reason for the major overhaul of the gambling outfit. Mangas Gaming Malta Limited is licensed and regulated by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) of Malta and runs Expekt with the customer in mind. is one of the leading international gaming brands and has offered secure and competitive online betting since 1999. Expekt is eager to improve their customer relations and requests input from the consumer at every turn.

In a brief statement issued mid-week, Mangas chief exec Isabelle Parize revealed that former Expekt Chief Executive Officer Per Widerström and Chief Financial Officer Joe Sanchez had handed in their resignations from the company. Parize advised that this would result in new appointments to the company's management team.

Nicolas Béraud will be installed as interim CEO of Expekt in addition to his current responsibilities as Mangas Gaming Group's chief operating officer. Thomas Winter will be acting as interim COO of Expekt in addition to his current responsibility as Betclic COO reporting to Beraud. Maarten Vanhecke who is a senior professional that has experience in structure within organizations will take over as Expekt's interim CFO. Tarquin Henderson becomes acting marketing chief along with his current responsibility as Mangas Gaming CMO. Lisa Lombardi has joined the management team as Legal and Regulatory Manager. The Mangas statement said, “Their departure is due to different strategic views in how to move Expekt forward. We thank them for the work and commitment they have shown and wish them success in their future endeavours.”

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The often seen as glamorous world of gambling with the high drama in the mega stakes games and the agony of defeat, someone looses someone wins. This has been used by the writers and film makers as a money maker since the idea of gambling hit the shores of North America.

Now that venerable institution CNBC will provide an inside look at "Illegal gambling" come this December 16, 2009. The network is recognized as a world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage to at least 340 million homes worldwide, including more than 95 million viewers in the USA and Canada. CNBC viewers can even manage their individual investment portfolios and gain additional information from on-air reports by accessing the CNBC web site.

"CNBC Investigates: The Big Business of Illegal Gambling" is produced by Kurtis Productions. Sharon Barrett is the Executive Producer and Mike West is the Senior Producer. Charles Schaeffer is the Executive Producer for CNBC. Ray Borelli is the Vice President of Strategic Research, Scheduling and Long Form Programming.

Melissa Francis takes viewers inside this high-stakes business that brings some people immense wealth, while others pay the ultimate price. CNBC also looks at how gambling is moving onto the Internet where it's more difficult for law enforcement track. Technology has made illegal gambling easier to access, by using computers at work or at home people can wager at any time illegal or not. CNBC interviews Jay Cohen, an entrepreneur who started a 200 million dollar offshore gambling operation and became the first US citizen to be prosecuted for running an internet bookmaking operation. This program concludes with a debate over a bill introduced by a Democrat from Washington State, Congressman Jim McDermott that would regulate and tax online card games and a Republican from Virginia, Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who has authored the current but yet to be fully enforced "The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act." It should be an interesting hour to watch to see which side of the coin comes up.



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The United Kingdom based games developer Mazooma Games Ltd. has announced a new strategic direction for the company. It is re-launching its brand as a digital content provider for the online gambling industry. A member of the Bell-Fruit Group Mazooma, which was created in 1997 with a primary purpose to develop digital content. The company distributes its games across a number of platforms including Orbis, GTS, GGP and The Global Draw. Based in Nottingham, England, Bell-Fruit Games is best known for it's quality coin operated gambling machines. Its world famous 3-Bells logo is instantly recognized and respected. Bell-Fruit Games produce machines for the domestic and export markets, with great success.

Mazooma Games, specializing in the domestic market, has built and maintained a large share of the UK market. Mazooma also has developed products for export, with great success in the Germany. All Mazooma products are manufactured and backed up by Bell-Fruit Games.

Tony Oliver, managing director of Mazooma said about the new plan, “This will provide incremental revenue for the group to compliment its strong machine sales in both the UK pub and export markets. So far we have secured partnership agreements with top brands such as Coral for the LBO sector and in the online market with more to follow.”

Richard Flint, of Sky Betting & Gaming, said, “Mazooma is a key partner and we are delighted to bring their well known brands and gaming expertise to enhance the experience for all of our customers.”

Gala Coral,'s representative said, “We’ve been delighted with our partnership with Mazooma. The first game, Cops N Robbers has been a great success and we are looking to build on this with the B2 version.”

Director of games design at Mazooma, Paul Malt, who was pleased with the announcement said, “Our games are designed to offer the player a familiar and exciting gaming experience by taking the best titles and features from our extensive analogue back catalogue and then transferring them into a digital game. We approach each game design from the player’s perspective and so far the results have been extremely positive.”

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The war on internet gambling is still going on in the USA as authorities continue to crack down on operators in various states in that great nation. Recently a story has surfaced concerning a fifty five year old former bookmaker named James Giordano. He was indicted in 2006 for running a sports betting website in the Caribbean that did a thriving business taking bets from players in the USA. In 1996 he had the idea to launch an offshore Internet gaming company. Giordano moved himself and his wife, to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, which had legalized sports betting. He found a partner, obtained a license through the government of the Netherlands Antilles, and 1997 opened a sports betting business. Eventually, Giordano says, he was making $12,000 to $40,000 a week, serving somewhere between 600 and 2,000 gamblers per week.

In March 2005, local police noticed brochures and other documents at Giordano's offices suggesting they had stumbled upon a gambling operation. These local authorities notified the FBI, and the dominos began to fall. In November 2006, a series of search warrants were served in New York, Las Vegas, and Florida. Authorities arrested Giordano, his wife, daughter, and 24 other people. Three companies were also charged.

Authorities in New York, who led the investigation claimed Giordano's company, booked more than $3.3 billion in sports wagers over 28 months, which Giordano says is 'preposterous'. The Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown commented on the case as the first to charge a web designer and an offshore Internet company with involvement in a criminal enterprise. He stated, "Internet gambling is a multibillion-dollar worldwide industry that for too long has operated with impunity,"

Eventually, Giordano pleaded guilty to promoting gambling and accepted a sentence that would put him in jail for five months. He agreed to give up over $1 million but he got to keep his house and feels that he has put his family through enough trouble. His 26 co-defendants gave up more than a million total. Some of them did received minimum time in jail.


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The latest knowledge coming out of university research about gaming is very positive indeed. A study recently conducted by McGill University in Montreal Quebec Canada is suggesting that online gaming activities are actually good for your health. This comes as surprise to some but to others who enjoy gaming online or even gambling a few dollars they know it reduces stress levels significantly. The fact that stress kills is well known to doctors and anyone who has experienced that out of control feeling while waiting in line or in heavy traffic. Playing online games including casino games not only had players feeling less stressed but also that the stress hormone, cortisol, fell by an average of 17 percent. This is proof for some behavioural scientists that playing online games is a viable method for reducing harmful and counter productive stress levels. Stress causes destructive behaviours such as over eating and drinking in excess, causing heart problems and social instability.

In an Eastern Carolina University USA study conducted over six months and including 134 subjects they found computer games were able to reduce stress and make people a little happier in general.

A Oxford University U.K. study found that gaming may be effective in dealing with post traumatic stress syndrome. Playing online can be an escape mechanism that researchers are convinced is good for the player diverting the individual's mind and allowing a relaxed mood. Stress can lower the immune system's effectiveness causing headaches and irritable bowel syndrome, and there are studies suggesting links between stress and cancer. So it is possible that one may live longer if they play games on their computer.

An online casino conducted it's own informal research of individuals playing blackjack on their web site revealed that 74% of the players felt that the games were a way to ease stress and have fun. Those who reported that the game didn’t help with stress were generally playing for higher stakes. An earlier survey of roulette players had roughly the same results with 77% finding the game a good way to release stress. While some high stakes games may cause some stress, playing a friendly game of poker or bingo has for many been a great escape from the daily grind.


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The youngest winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event Joe Cada will travel to Capitol Hill to tour with the delegates and put his two cents worth on the airwaves. This twenty two year old young man will be hosted by the Poker Players Alliance organization and will be introduced to several lawmakers in pre-planned meetings. This is a media blitz for the Champion poker player, who according to his agent and Poker News Daily will be introduced to entire House of Representatives on the chamber’s floor. The $8.5 million winner will meet with various Congresswomen and Congressmen that enjoy playing poker and get a chance to give them some insight into the positive aspects of poker playing professionally and for fun. The PPA is expertly lining up these meetings in their lobbying attempts to have online poker declared a game of skill and made legal in the USA.

Joe Cada has just arrived in Washington DC after he finished video taping the PokerStars. net Million Dollar Challenge in Los Angeles. Cada, when asked about his relationship with the Poker Players Alliance organization said, “I’m all for what they’re doing. I haven’t had too much contact with them, but hopefully that can change very soon. It would be good to meet a bunch of Congressmen and speak with the PPA a lot more. It’s something I hope I can help with.”

Young Joe has certainly been made a media sensation, he has appeared on David Letterman and ESPN news franchise SportsCenter and with this kind of endorsement he may win over a few more of the Congress delegates to the bright side of the street. The PPA scored well in media points recently when they saw several members of the WSOP Main Event final table don patches for the tournament’s conclusion, which aired on ESPN.

This is great support for the poker players cause and a real boost for home town hero Joe Cada.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the USA has been under fire lately with the recent disclosure that U.S. law enforcement had not discussed online poker problems with officials in other countries where poker is completely legal. Shawn Henry, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, said, “The FBI has not engaged in this discussion with our foreign partners.”

It comes as a shock to many who are watching this story unfold in the USA that the opponents to online gambling regulation and taxation seem to be making things up as they go long. The FBI letter to senator Bachus touches on all the points that the opponents are trying to make. A portion of the letter concerned with underage web gambling says, “While the vendors claim that they can validate age and location, they are more than likely relying on credit card information and geo-location to gather this information. Both can be spoofed… The simple act of owning a credit card number does nothing to validate someone’s age.” Today there are many ways to detect underage gambling the technology is being used effectively in other parts of the globe.

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA), has scrutinized the FBI communication and determined the document to be full of holes. All of the concerns addressed in the letter were things that can only be aided by regulation of online gambling in the USA.

John Pappas PPA Executive Director of an organization that has over a million members has a strong mandate from his group, and is making it very clear what the best direction is for the States. In a recent press release Pappas said, “Every concern the letter raises is better addressed by licensing and regulation than by prohibition. The letter misconstrues much about the current state of online poker, but it does so in a way that clearly makes the case for why federal oversight is necessary.”

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