The competition for the online gambling Scandinavian market is heating up with companies positioning and consolidating to gain an edge. Cherryforetagen, the land based casino arm of Sweden's publicly listed gambling group Cherry, is said to be acting according to a plan that includes going online by acquiring Coys, a major player in the online gambling market in that region. Malta-based COYS Ltd. markets casino games in partnership with Betsson Services Ltd in a white label solution in which Betsson is responsible for aspects such as technology, customer management and payment processing.

In February of 2008 the company launched an online operation branded, which will now be integrated into the Coys operations. Along with Betsson and Net Entertainment, Cherryforetagen, Cherry group is achieving it's ultimate goal of capturing a larger part of the market in Scandinavia. The Swedish group now includes brands like DanmarksAutomaten, NorgesAutomaten and SverigeAutomaten, which combined have some 55 000 registered customers.

Gunnar Lind, CEO for Cherryföretagen, commented, “This is a strategically important acquisition which gives Cherry access to established brands in online gaming and enables it to reach critical mass. We see great opportunities for continued expansion in both existing and new geographic markets. From a long-term perspective, we feel that physical games and online games will be linked together, creating new opportunities.” The acquisition could turn a significantly bigger profit margin for Cherryforetagen even with the cash payment of 50 million SEK and the deferred payments deal which will be based on performance over the next three years to shareholders. It is obvious to investors that a deal that promotes the integration of land based entities and the new trend towards an internet offering by those institutions is a move that many gambling operators are looking into. The market for web based gambling is growing rapidly and companies that don't look progressively at the situation are going to be left behind. Consolidation is a necessity in the online gaming market today.



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Polish laws regarding internet gambling are in a state of flux as they are in many countries throughout eastern Europe.

In Poland online gambling is unregulated and there are no Polish internet gambling sites running right now because the government is not in a position to licence operators yet. In fact, the government in Poland has established a ban on offshore online gambling sites although the ban is loosely enforced. Polish people like to gamble online regularly. The Polish government has recently come to the conclusion that there is money to be made be regulating online gambling so they are looking into a regulatory platform for licensing in the country. Polish land based casinos are also pushing for the right to offer their services on the internet. It a dramatic turn of events deep in the Tatra Mountains, in a town called Zakopane, arguably the largest ski resort in Poland the country’s winter capital is facing heavy fines from the Polish Customs Chamber for recently advertising a French online sportsbook called “Bet-at-home”. During the recent FIS Ski Jumping World Cup events, being held in Zakopane on the 22nd and 23rd of January, the “Bet-at-home” name and logo appeared on contestants' uniforms as well as on banners hung around the Wielka Krokiew ski jumping venue. The Cusatoms Chamber is trying to uphold new laws implemented on the first of January 2010 making advertising of online gambling interests illegal. Zakopane now faces a fine as high as 1.2 million zloty or 300,000 euro.
The organizer of the World Cup events in Zakopane, Lech Nadarkiewicz, said, “If we pay the fine, not only won’t the World Cup bring any profit, but it will make losses,”

The Tatra Skiing Association is arguing that the advertising contract with the French gambling company was signed before the law changed, while Bet-at-home is arguing that Poland’s new gambling laws violate EU free trade standards. This move by the Polish government is a clear violation of E.U. rules for free trade between members and will most likely end up in the European Commission's court, where Poland may be fined for it's restrictive actions.

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The Spanish online player, who goes under the pseudonym JOSE M, started 2010 by walking away with €800.527 in the first week of January.
The lucky punter managed an incredible eleven wins on four individual slots: Thrill Seekers, Desert Treasure, Lotto Madness and A Night Out. JOSE M celebrated the single largest triumph, €227.875, when gambling at A Night Out on January 6th. He has gained a top place in the casinos history of winning players. Playing slots as a Casino Tropez Flash client and Casino Tropez Mobile has made this Spaniard a wealthy man who may try other games at the casino such as video poker, roulette and blackjack, all offering serious jackpots and major fun. Casino Tropez Mobile provides initial depositors a £3.000 Welcome Bonus, together with other prizes, such as a 20% match, up to $1.000 bonus, for all deposits made via cell phone. Casino Tropez Mobile is powered by the PlayTech technology, with safe and secure access 24 hours a day seven days a week and is promoted by Euro Partners. Casino Tropez Mobile was recently crowned the ‘Top Mobile Gaming Platform' - winning the Gold Award at Gambling Online Magazine's celebrated ceremony in London. Euro Partners is a leader in the industry this affiliate marketing company provides the highest yielding online games. Casino Tropez Mobile is one of the latest additions to the Euro Partners brand. It's association with one of the strongest casinos online Casino Tropez makes it the most favourable mobile casinos available. Casino Tropez Mobile offers you a selection of nine different slot and card games as well as an option for "Practice Play" or "Real Money Play". The sign up process is easy and fast and you may login with your existing Casino Tropez username and password. Individual download per game is available and is faster than your PC. In the new age of online gambling, the mobile casino has proved profitable for JOSE M and many others who enjoy the freedom of being able to play wherever you want, whenever you want.

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Just about a week away is the big game when the best that American football has to offer gives us a chance to place our bets. The Super Bowl is being played in Miami Florida and it is always a punters favourite in North America and around the world.

The New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts will duke it out on the gridiron February seven 2010. The odds are in already but each wager is still s personal choice with lots of things to bet on from the coin toss to the point spread it can be a fun gambling time for the sports enthusiast. The betting odds on the Super Bowl 2010 are tight and bettors will have to work this time around to make the easy money. In this the 44th edition of the Super Bowl the spread, along with the lines, are as tight as it gets for such a prized competition. Currently the Indianapolis Colts are considered the favourite to win the game with odds -230 and the New Orleans Saints are underdog with odds +190. For those who are new to NFL betting, the -230 odds on the Colts mean that a bettor must wager $230 to win $100, while the odds on the Saints says that a player will get $190 for every $100 wagered if New Orleans wins the Super Bowl this year.

It will be very interesting to watch as

Peyton Manning, a New Orleans native son and the NFL's dominant player at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, take to the field as quarterback for the opposing team the Indianapolis Colts. Fans of the game see this as an ironic twist of fate that couldn't be more of strain on the loyalties. This is a match up that is sure to get the Saints fans fired up while Manning is there to spoil the fun and take the Colts to a victory. Since Katrina New Orleans has been getting itself back on track and the Saints are showing the rest of America that it can be done. Nothing has provided quite the boost that the Saints' ascendancy has done for New Orleans.

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In the USA there are many contradictions in regard to the idea of legalized online gambling. The USA has many venues to gamble, such as the world class Las Vegas and of course the well known Atlantic City casinos, and in many states online betting on the horses and lotteries is common. New Jersey, the host of much gambling activity may be the first state of the union to offer legal online gambling to it's residents.

A sports wagering bill is being considered by Atlantic City lawmakers that if approved could result in New Jersey being on the leading edge of changes coming rapidly in the country. Competition is strong with Pennsylvania and California currently planning their own forms of legalization of online gambling within their respective borders.
Which state will offer legal casino gambling favourites such as poker, blackjack, roulette or slots, is anybody's guess at the moment with each state waiting to see what the other does and how they do it.

Reasoning behind the proposed bill is that the law does not reflect the reality that exists now. According to statistics there are currently 500,000 online poker players in the state of New Jersey. State Senator Raymond Lesniak says, "we're missing out on around $100 million in revenue". Adding, "It would be a big boost to the casino industry in Atlantic City. It's a bold move, and in this economy we need bold moves." With an estimated annual tax bite of twenty percent on the gross revenues from online casinos that would add significant revenue for cash strapped jurisdictions. There are the usual concerns that online gambling in New Jersey will lead to more problem gamblers but there are those who think that once regulated it would be easier to help those with troubles. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission said it would open a new online division to oversee licensing and operations for the new operators.



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The Remote Gambling Association was established in 2005 as a result of a merger between the Association of Remote Gambling Operators (ARGO) and the Interactive Gaming, Gambling and Betting Association (IGGBA). Since then the organization has played an important role in the online gaming industry. The RGA represents most of the world's largest licensed, and market listed remote gambling firms and provides the industry with a single voice on all the issues of importance to regulators, legislators, and key decision makers globally.

The RGA and it's 28 members are committed to promoting a regulated and non discriminatory environment for responsible licensed operators. The Remote Gaming Association has released a 170-page report recently containing the results of a study on the relationship between online gambling, sports, and corruption. Contained in the report, it asserts sports corruption from gambling influences is overblown with other significant factors contributing to the breakdown of the integrity of the industry. The report found that sports has no need of funding from online gambling operators to fight corruption. In the report the RGA states that supporting an already well funded cause such as sports operations is adding an extra burden to an already highly taxed industry.

Clive Hawkswood, of the RGA, said that the gambling industry already contributes $4.75 billion each year to European Union sports. Adding, "In fact is it something of an irony that this figure would be even higher if so many EU Member States had not decided to ban advertising and sponsorship by private sector gambling operators," The RGA press release said that "whilst engaging with the sporting movement, they have not engaged with the licensed gambling industry to any meaningful degree, and as such those policymakers are in danger of producing unilateral and flawed policy decisions in this area." The RGA claims it's report is factual and makes the request that legislators consider actual evidence in making decisions.






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Microgaming has partners in every sector of the online gambling industry but one that is becoming increasingly important because it is growing so fast is Spin3 a specialist associate in the mobile gambling sector. Matti Zinder, chief of Spin3 has inked an Eastern European deal for a mobile casino with gambling company Rocketspin. The agreement includes the industry's first use of NetWallet, a secure WAP mobile billing facility in that region of Europe.

Zinder, commented, “Eastern Europe is a hugely exciting region offering great potential for growth. The market is virtually untouched with a strong desire from consumers for mobile casino games and entertainment.”

The system enabling players to deposit money into a virtual ‘purse’ using Premium SMS where the player is billed through the operator will be pivotal in making this offering viable. Integration with WebMoney allows players to buy pre-paid credits online or at any WebMoney terminal. A player’s payments will then be processed and transferred directly to their mobile casino account and can be used to play at any time. Mr. Zinder added, “It is only through innovation and technological development that we can enable our clients, like RocketSpin, to access new and lucrative markets. We are the only mobile casino solutions provider to offer a secured WAP mobile payment solution specifically for Eastern Europe.” It is a fact the market in Eastern Europe is a largely untapped one that is ready for the industry. Eastern European countries are making moves to attract online gambling and the revenues that can come from it if regulated. Smart operators are going in that direction as was seen recently in the new agreement between the Greek operator Lex Online Entertainment Limited, and Dragonfish, the B2B division of 888 Holdings. The offering is aimed at territories in the South and Eastern European market.

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The latest gadget to come off the inventor's bench recently is the Apple iPad.Steve Jobs Apple's co-founder and current CEO has introduced the new devise to the world. It is being hailed as one of the coolest little communications and entertainment machines available to the everyday consumer. Jobs described as being “So much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone.”

This is another example of Apple being ahead of the consumer smart world that is demanding a more tactile feel to the business and entertainment machine environment we live with today. On November 5, 2009, Jobs was named the CEO of the decade by Fortune Magazine and is a very successful entrepreneur to say the least. The good news with this new offering by Apple is the effect it will have on the enjoyment of online gambling. Available everywhere from the end of March, and the price basically within most peoples reach at about 500 dollars or so for a basic 16GB Wi-Fi model. Sharing pictures, watching video, communicating via e mail, reading ebooks and browsing the web are the applications that the iPad are best at.

Desktop computer, a laptop, or a mobile phone are the only ways to access online gambling at the moment but as the new devise becomes common more people will be able to get close to their game and feel comfortable while playing. The advent of new technology always brings applications and with iPad the punter doesn't have to download software to play. Developers will be creating more and more games that can be played with the touch screen features. This would make for much more realistic tactile games where the sweep of your finger could move your chips or the wave of your hand could fold your cards. Wishful thinking and consumer demand will eventually bring these applications to the market place. Online gamblers will be watching with interest.

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Francaise des Jeux, the state gambling monopoly, and Lucien Barriere, the land-based casino group, have reportedly teamed up to release an online poker room. As French internet gambling slowly becomes a reality the online gambling industry is watching with great interest as various scenes unfold. This particular partnership between these companies is getting a lot of attention. The pre-existing software agreements, that Francaise des Jeux has with Cyberarts, a U.S.A. based poker software provider may be looked at by corporate lawyers in search of infringement suits. It is suggested that the French government has encouraged Francaise des Jeux, to partner with Barriere in order to take advantage of new legislation. Barriere launched a 3D casino last year called LeCroupier at considerable expense. The Cyberarts contract will be watched intensely by Intralot, a large Greek lottery company that holds a 35% stake in Cyberarts. With the play already in motion it won't take long for the legal eagles to crunch the words and look for problems. Cyberarts has a proven track record for successful poker software applications where as the Barriere has no experience in the field.

The European Gambling and Betting Association and the Remote Gaming Association of the U.K. are definitely not happy with the French situation. Both organizations are watching with an intense gaze the unfolding of the French legislation on online gambling. Existing online poker operators are concerned with the partnership as it poses a serious threat to their offerings. The partnership deal represents a very large consumer base that could spell a competitive advantage over smaller operations in France. The French Senate Finance Committee’s legislation is controversial in so much as the representative gambling groups don't think that the rules that are coming provide fair, free and open markets for E.U. member states. The RGA has even threatened to take legal action if the present law is implemented and Stanleybet has already initiated legal action with regards to the new French law. The RGA has stated that the bill is “disproportionately restrictive and anti-competitive”



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The European Union's Advocate General has brought down a decision on the betting case involving Winner Wetten before the Court of Justice in the E.U. that will have far reaching effects on the online gaming industry there. The decision was that E.U. law holds primacy over national legislation, confirming that the primacy of E.U. law over national legislation was without exception and did not allow a transitional period for nations to comply with E.U. law. This implies that all member nations must immediate put a halt to national legislation that excludes E.U. compliance laws. The European Gaming and Betting Association, has applauded the decision, EGBA Secretary General Sigrid Ligne said the organization welcomes Advocate General Bot's decision. Winner Wetten, a German company accepted bets on behalf of an online betting service provider Tipico Co, based and licensed in Malta. The E.U. court considered North Rhine-Westphalia´s law on sports betting in force in 2006 to be inconsistent with the freedom to provide services as interpreted in the Gambelli legal precedent. The Advocate General said that inconsistent legislation was "inappropriate for the protection of consumers." The different German states are at odds on the issue of online gaming and this opinion by the Advocate General will clarify that there is support for the online gambling industry claim of inequality among European member states. Ligne also said opening another debate, "We agree with the conclusions of A.G. Bot. Essential is A.G. Bot's confirmation that it is detrimental to consumers to have national gambling legislation that doesn't offer consistent and systematic protection. Many Member States do not have consistent and systematic gambling legislation; this opinion clearly strengthens our argument." It still remains to be seen whether any dissenting member nations of the E.U. will comply with clear cut and needed fairness rules. Countries that do not follow the set program for online gaming are slow to respond and risk fines for their inconsistent behaviour. Fines may not be enough to make them do the right thing, at least not right away.




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