Recently in France the company Unibet lost it's fight in court with Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT), or the French Tennis Federation. The company was ordered to pay a fine of 1.3 million euros, a substantial sum of money.

Unibet is considering it's options and may take the action to the Supreme Court in France or seek another judgement from the European Court of Justice. In a quote obtained by Gaming Intelligence Paul Van den Bulck of McGuire Woods, the legal representative for Unibet said, “We are reviewing the decision. There are a lot of decisions about trade marks and gambling that have to be analysed.” With this ruling by the Court of Appeal legal opinion is now divided with those on the side of the gaming operators and others going with the sporting organizations. In the arguments against Unibet the FFT were successful in maintaining they have a monopoly on the profiting rights of their events. Unibet thought that the existing Code de Sport only covered audio-visual rights.

France's new legislation regarding online gambling will be affected by the decision creating a new right for sport betting. Unibet was also found to have infringed the FFT’s trademark. Unibets lawyer argued it was not the use of a trademark but the just the use of the football club name. Unibet has been successful in defending it's use of the name of the football clubs Juventus and Paris St.Germain.

Unibet which is headquartered in Malta is owned by the Nordic OMX was first established in 1997 and has since grown into the Unibet Group. Together with the Nordic region, Belgium, Netherlands and France constitute their key markets with approximately 18 percent market share in France. Through their website and other platforms including mobile phones and digital TV Unibet offers various products associated with online gambling such as sport odds, live betting, supertoto, various casino-games, poker and bingo. The company's turnover in 2008 was GBP 123.4 million, and claims over 3.1 million customers worldwide. As of January 2009, Unibet has registered customers from more than 150 countries. It is hoped the company will continue it's battle in the courts.

 

 

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GTECH is a leading gaming technology and services company. with 6,200 people working in over 50 countries. The firm provides innovative technology, creative content, and responsible service delivery to manage today’s evolving gaming markets. GTECH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lottomatica, one of the world’s largest commercial lottery operators. With it's recent introduction of a new division called GTECH G2 the company is bringing together an offering of interactive games and services, from some of the world’s leading gaming companies.

GTECH G2 provides core platform gaming engines, innovative content and flexible support services to operations of all sizes and maturity. GTECH G2 under one brand combines the expertise of GTECH and its extensive lottery knowledge with leaders in the internet gambling industry. GTECH G2 puts together talent and experience to offer flexible and efficient solutions.

GTECH G2 group, which includes Dynamite Idea, Finsoft, Boss Media and St. Miniver in its subsidiaries, has recently launched Casino 4.10, the newest software upgrade and games bundle. Announcing that the recent additions will go online with the likes of Sportingbet and Gaming VC soon in November with seven new games and upgrades to it management system.

Head of casino operations at GTECH Dominic Mansour, said of the launch, “Our acquisitions of Dynamite Idea, Finsoft, Boss Media and St. Miniver have added a group of stand alone games to the existing Boss Media core casino products”.

Casino 4.10 gives the industry improved liquidity as well as promoting a tighter social network and better and larger tournaments bonuses with increased flexibility. Management System upgrades allows for player data to be offered in a single aggregate form giving operators a safe and fast ability to customize the offering to a huge variety of customers. The seven new games are all powered by the software update’s new slot machine and video poker engines, also supporting additional currencies on demand in addition to Dollar, Euro, Pound Sterling transactions, and caters for in excess of twenty languages.

 

 

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Watercooler, founded by a team of social networking and community software professionals in Mountain View, California USA, in November 2006, was then considered to be just another application. Now the company is making a play with online gambling concern Betfair. The Australian operations of Betfair are about to put the some faith into the social networking supplier. The social networking application has enrolled 26 million punters in just 2 years in Australia, with the company boasting that it has 40 million worldwide connected sports and TV entertainment fans.

Watercooler's extensive network of online fan communities around sports and TV entertainment spanning the TVLoop.com website with sites including Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, Google, Bebo, Friendster, and hi5 makes this a comprehensive application second to none. Now the prospect of an online gambling community linked with like minded poker players, sports punters and others will enhance the gaming experience for everyone enjoying the social aspect of the games.

Back in August the company began offering fantasy football on Facebook. Bryan Bennett, Watercooler’s general manager of fantasy sports said back then about 15 million Americans play fantasy football, “and it made sense for us to develop the game further and leverage the Facebook communities,” Bennett added, “From a business perspective, brands want to be more contextual and integrated for users, and this addresses their needs because brands will be front and center.” English football enthusiasts are now utilizing Watercooler applications on Facebook. Watercooler makes it's money from advertising, subscriptions to premium content, including live score tallies and sports related goods.

Betfair is sure to benefit greatly by using this application to expand it's socially connected market. The efforts made by Watercooler thus far have given them a sure footing in the social networking world and they are experienced in providing what the new gambler likes and wants today.

 

 

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According to the Independent newspaper, Betfair and William Hill and unconfirmed Bwin are moving for licences in the jurisdiction of India. It's a little like a horse race, the thoughbreds are the post and ready for the gates to open. India is a huge and ready market for online gambling. These two seasoned businesses as well as others are primed for the action. India's growing population of 1.2 billion is also becoming some what wealthier in certain states. The Net has only come so far in rural areas, but is expanding in strides in the richer regions.

The region of India known as the Province of Sikkim will be the first area to offer online gambling licences. The Independent also reported there were thirteen companies competing for the possibility of three licences. It is expected that the granting of these licences in Sikkim will give the holders the ability to offer the services in the whole of India.

It is the law in India that any new initiatives in the country must have a local partner involved. The Independent reported that William Hill is rumoured to have talked with Global Torrent International, from Sikkim. Betfair, is thought to be partnering with Agilisys Managed Services.

Other potential licence holders have been keeping quiet for the most part, and it looks like some are waiting for the chips to fall before jumping in. There is a great deal of uncertainty related to the permits. The questions are many, how will Sikkim roll out it's regulations for the permits, will it permit multi state operations, will the people in Sikkim benefit from the introduction of the licences? These are a few examples of the hurdles that follow the obtaining of the permits. It is a potentially massive market that is going to go to the companies that have hit the ground running.

 

 

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The new Chief Technology Officer at Bettorlogic, which publishes a range of feature, preview and in-play editorials with analysis among other attributes, is Steve High. Known in the industry as the architect of some of former employer Betfair’s most innovative and revolutionary features.

Bettorlogic, backed by industry pros Andrew Black and Nigel Payne, has grown in great strides and is in need of a leader for the new team of developers. Starting on another innovative path for Bettorlogic, will be another goal for Mr. High as well as additions to Bettorlogic's current Form Lab bet stimulation and Trader Lab ranges.

 Steve High was one of Betfairs star employees among the first seventy people to join the team there. He is responsible some say for the huge success of Betfair's core platforms. When asked about his new position with Bettorlogic High said, “I’ve had a tremendous time at Betfair over the past seven years and it fills me with immense pride to see how successful some of the products I’ve developed have become.  I’m still absolutely passionate about new betting technologies, so applying what I've learnt now within Bettorlogic is a fantastic new opportunity. Their product range is already top class and together we can do some great things.”

Chief Executive Officer of Bettorlogic, Mike Falconer, said, “The word ‘genius’ is bandied around a bit too much these days, but in Steve’s case it really isn't an over-claim. He's designed and developed some of the most groundbreaking betting products ever seen and his enthusiasm to build more is inspiring. This is a major coup for Bettorlogic.” Bettorlogic is backed by former co-founder of Betfair Andrew Black and Nigel Payne who used to be the CEO of Sportingbet. The company develops unique state-of-the-art betting tools allowing users to analyse form quickly and easily before the event and during an event.

 

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According to a recent report from Pokernews.com the Australian Productivity Commission recommends legalization of online gaming and repeal of the Interactive Gambling Act. Owned by iBus Media Limited, which is one of the largest poker media companies in the world. PokerNews is very happy with new draft recommendations. PokerNews submitted the 37 page report of stats and recent findings in April of 2009. Two hundred and sixty three other organizations also put forth arguments to the Commission.

This is what appears to be a victory for online poker as the Australian Productivity Commission, released a draft report a few days ago supporting the managed liberalization of online gambling in Australia.

 The Australian Productivity Commission, is the Australian Federal Government's independent advisory body for microeconomic reform. Recommendations by the Productivity Commission are not always heeded or do they result in Government action. The P.C.'s initiatives are considered carefully by the Australian Government.

Chief Consultant for PokerNews Damon Rasheed, confirmed, "delighted with the PC's main draft recommendation, in regards to online gambling, to repeal the Interactive Gambling Act. We agree with the PC's draft findings that risks associated with online gambling are lower than generally supposed and that changing to a system of managed liberalisation will reduce the effects of problem gambling in Australia. We look forward to the final report and urge the Australian Federal Government to consider the recommendations put forward".

Primarily the report points out that if there is regulation and controls introduced in Australia on a national scale that problems associated with gambling would be brought to light and managed properly. The way the company put forth the argument for liberalization for online poker also pointed to the fact that Australia already allows certain forms of online gambling and that it is being unfair to the people in Australia who want to play poker online, regarded by many as a game of skill.

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Absolute Casino.com is a new kid on the online gambling block and this one is just a little different. Advanced Games Lab claims to be "a newly established and unique, community enabled online casino operator", which has developed an innovative business model centred on social groups, networks and communities, all embedded in the gambling experience.

Alderney-based Advanced Games Lab, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guernsey firm HC Capital Limited. The Strata engine which powers the unique web site is based on the latest cloud and grid computing technology, allowing scaling on-demand to meet constantly changing business volumes. This proprietary software took a year to develop in house and claims "massively multiplayer" capacity. The software can be modified for a large variety of languages, currencies and regulatory requirements which makes it a flexible fit for social networking.

Advanced Games Lab Limited says it transcends the one-dimensional, single player games out there, adding a social aspect to the games and that adds fun with the ability to connect with friends.

The firm claims,” Our model harnesses the infinite scalability necessary to exploit the real synergies generated by combining the power of social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other national and regional brands with a state-of-the-art online casino experience,"

Absolute Casino.com purports to be the first in the world to offer this kind of gambling maybe this is the future of online gambling, a web gambling site that you and your friends can follow on twitter. Imagine a friendly game of poker with your Facebook friends.

 

 

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Google is good at keeping us all informed and it is doing very well in the advertizing department too. Google ads are everywhere or so one may think but it is not true when it comes to promoting online gambling. Google policy states that advertising for the promotion of online gambling websites is not permitted to target locations outside Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales), Italy, Austria, Belgium, Australia (limited to wagering & sports betting), and Republic of Ireland. Ads for online gambling will not be displayed in other countries except those for state licensed entities in Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand, and Sweden. Google's definition of online gambling includes, but is not limited to, the following, sports books and sports betting lotteries, bingo, poker, sites that provide tips, odds, and handicapping, software facilitating online casinos and gambling, gambling tutoring online, gambling-related eBooks, 'play for fun' gambling or casino games of skill, including sites where the primary purpose is 'play for fun' gambling, or affiliate sites with the primary purpose of driving traffic to online gambling sites.

That doesn't leave much room for any confusion as far as promotion of the industry. Google must see this huge potential and be spending a significant amount of money trying to penetrate these markets. Advertizing for online gambling has grown massively but within certain limitations. Even if an operator has a licence from a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) other than lets say Italy, it still is not sufficient authorization for showing online gambling ads in Italy. In Australia for example Google AdWords allows online wagering and sports betting advertisements to target Australia as long as the advertiser is a licenced operator registered with an appropriate Australian State or Territory and provides a valid licence. For online betting operators the list of hoops a company must go through to get the word out on Google that your in business is long and complicated. It is easy for companies registered in the jurisdictions of Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales), Alderney, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Malta, or Antigua and Barbuda. Google says it may add to the list in the future, most gambling operators think that future is very near.

 

 

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The Panama based online gambling site, BetOnLine is keeping the news media busy these days. Speculation is running rampant that anyone connected to the company is involved with the “mob.” It is possible that the indictments and subsequent arrests of several individuals connected with the firm are fuelling those impressions in the New York Media.

Joseph Fafone, arrested while trying to fly out of Rochester recently, has maintained close ties with many other bookmakers and is considered well liked by associates in the online gambling industry.

District Attorney for Queen's New York, Richard Brown was pleased with the progress in capturing online gambling executives who try to move in or out of the USA. Brown said that the arrests were a win against illegal online gambling. Brown in his statement on online gambling said, "It's highly addicting and easy to get hooked on," adding, "In this case, I believe that we will make a significant dent in the illegal gambling nationwide."

Fafone, set up his operation in Costa Rica in 2000 as a means of "operating lawfully". "I got tired of having my door busted in by the police all the time," Fafone told web site Gambling911.

Originally named Best Line Sports, BetOnLine.com brought marketing to the mix with partners who knew that aspect of the business. The company was one of the first online gambling businesses to begin operations in Panama City, Panama where regulations have been in place for quite some time. Some insiders feel that the media in New York has painted a picture of Fafone as a "crime" boss linked to a well known family of gangsters. People who know Joe Fafone think he is a nice person who is soft spoken and a gentleman with a good reputation in the online gambling industry.

Hand delivering a large sum of cash to a client in a New York Hotel is thought to be the reported deed that officials in the State used to arrest Fafone.

 

 

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An Associated Press article out of London U.K is reporting that Tennis Authorities are investigating a WTA Tour match at the U.S. Open. Caroline Wozniacki apparently caused punters to wager excessively on her opponent when she was close to losing in straight sets.

The nineteen year old Danish born Wozniacki, is ranked the sixth best tennis player in the world. Her wise decision to withdraw from the first-round match at the Luxembourg Open was caused by a hamstring injury sustained while leading Anne Kremer of Luxembourg. A simple explanation for the betting surge was the overheard conversation that Wozniacki's father, Piotr, had with his daughter during the match. He apparently told his daughter to stop playing in his native language of Polish. He felt her leg injury would jeopardize her chances of being able to play the next round.

While speaking to Danish radio Piotr Wozniacki said, "I went onto the court and said to her: 'Caro, it does not matter whether it's going to be 5-0, 4-1 or 3-2. You can not play the next round, so you shouldn't take the risk," "I'm very proud of Caroline, because she stopped the fight and gave her opponent a chance."

The newly formed Tennis Integrity Unit is not commenting on the issue nor is Betfair who works with the unit to look into possible problems. WTA spokesperson Neil Robinson said, "We're just looking into everything that happened in this match,"

Betfair spokesperson Tony Calvin said, "Under the terms of our memorandum of understanding with sporting bodies worldwide, it is up to the sporting authorities to comment,"

Ekstra Bladet the Danish newspaper reported that Wozniacki professed her innocence and said, "So, people bet on my matches. Some win, others lose. I just know that I am clean. It is most important to me," adding, "And if anyone is in doubt about my injury, I can both produce scan from the hospital and a report from the tournament physiotherapist."

The young player could still face fines imposed by the International Tennis Federation for 'lack of effort.' There is really no evidence to suggest that Wozniacki conspired to fix the match.

 

 

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