Entertainment these days is just a simple click away, with the internet providing everything imaginable from shopping, movies, music or fantasy gaming that has more variety available all the time. In this huge and sometimes overwhelming volume of content it is easy to get your wires crossed and make a wrong turn on the internet highway. There are a few such situations that even the federal government of the USA seems to look down a different path even thought the road looks the same, almost. Such is the case of Fantasy gaming, which some think this is gambling under a different name with all of the same attributes as real online gambling.

In a report by the Wall Street Journal, white-collar employees are being terminated by firms for breaking company rules against gambling, specifically playing fantasy sports. Something that surprises many because the government seems to allow the activity without penalty to operators or participants.

Fidelity Investments, was used as an example by the paper reporting that four employees were sacked for participation in a fantasy sports pool which violated company policy on gambling in the workplace. No company resources were utilized and the workers had glowing work records. The investment company said playing in office pools and leagues was a clear violation of those rules. Fantasy sports gambling is compromised by the fact that cash or prizes are offered as incentive for performance that is mostly given to chance. Lawmakers and law enforcement are keeping a safe distance from the popular past time making sure they are not seen as too harsh when it comes to curtailing the freedoms of the American public. To go from a wager on a fantasy game of football to a real bet on a real game of football doesn't seem like to big a leap for most but for the government that would be just unthinkable. After all what would America be without fantasy.




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Facebook has a few games within it's vast network mostly fantasy games that offer entertainment and most definite fun. Now in order to keep it's all pervasive squeaky clean image Facebook will be banning any and all advertisements to do with gambling on it's network. It is speculated that Facebook will grow to as many as nine million participants in the near future, that's a lot of people connected and a huge market for what ever that company decides to promote. Gambling is not one of those activities that the youth oriented social network will condone.

Google recently rescinded it's position on listing online gambling operations on it's search engine which is the biggest on the planet. Facebook has gone in the opposite direction and removed any reference to gambling including all forms of online gambling from their web pages.

In America, the home of Facebook, the debate for and against regulation and legalization of online gambling rages on without end. It is perhaps because gambling is considered a vice by a majority of everyday people today that the network has decided to keep away from the taboo subject. This is speculative at best considering the fact that Facebook has a number of applications through which poker rooms can be accessed and casino games played, although these applications do not involve real money. These activities are naturally ones that contain a social aspect which makes them a perfect match for a Facebook user. Again it sounds like there may be some pressure on the company to keep the image of their social networking operation as free of controversy as possible. It is probably a good move politically for the firm staying in the middle of the road by keeping their image within the margins of the moral majority. Besides they can always change their policies should things ever change in the USA.

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In the United States of America there are conflicting views on where the use of the Internet as a tool to wager is legal and where it is not. In a new series of events the public in the USA are beginning to see that some state officials are finally realizing that the web is a way to keep their lotteries and horseracing action viable. The Virginia state Lottery hopes to introduce online gaming in the near future.

The Virginia Lottery is opening up to the new world of online gaming, and is speculating that people will soon be able to play the lottery games online. Despite the crack downs on online gambling shops in some parts of the state other jurisdictions within Virginia are calling for legalized and regulated online betting there. Paula Otto, Executive Director of Virginia Lottery said recently, "There are billions of dollars being spent online in gaming activities. When it is legalized I think we in Virginia want to be ready to offer games to our players,"

Lottery sales have continued to decline since America went into the biggest recession since the depression era. Enlightened officials see the use of ever popular and available technology as a way to boost those flagging sales and return to pre-recession revenue levels. Commenting on the use of electronic media to play the lottery in Virginia, Otto said, "Instead of scratching off a ticket that you would buy at a retailer and having to brush away the latex, you might do that electronically,"

"In Europe there are some models where you do see some sort of scenario play out. Maybe it's a horse racing game, and then there is an electronic horse racing game," added Lottery Director Otto. There are some hurdles to overcome before the Lottery goes online in Virginia. Betting limits and age verification methods must be established first to make sure the activity is not abused. Congress is slow to change the laws so state officials feel it is their job to get on with making the internet a viable source for online gaming.

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Magnus Oldby, Unibet's former head of online marketing is leaving the firm for a new and challenging position with Bodog Europe. The experienced executive will head up the marketing management team starting next March in 2010. Mr. Oldby started his career in 1999 with four and a half years as an investment portfolio manager at Skandia Banken, and then as a key account manager for SEO company Jajja Communications. Joining Unibet in 2005, as online marketing manager for new markets quickly moving up to executive management as regional manager for Southern Europe and then to take over online marketing for the Unibet group, planning and managing activities using a comprehensive range of marketing techniques and media tools at his disposal. Keith McDonnell, who is now Managing Director of Bodog Europe was pleased with the hiring of this seasoned professional knowing that the new Bodog brand will be in capable hands. This is one in a series of marketing posts currently being filled by the Bodog Europe group to launch at least three or four new product additions to it's already extensive portfolio as Bodog operations in Europe begin to be introduced.

Bodog Europe is the newest addition to the trusted BodogBrand which was created in 2005, billed as an entirely new model in venture partnering. A model that respects the entrepreneur and understands that “ventures synergies” is the potential for the foundation of an entirely new way of doing business. This global brand, retains its home grown values and spirit and is united by common values, bound together by a shared vision. Bodog Europe has recently been launched and is offering online games and sport betting to Canadians and the growing European market.

Mr. Oldby will be responsible for keeping the new Bodog Europe brand on the front burner and making the it one of the most popular sites for poker, casino games, horserace betting or sports wagering.



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The Los Angeles Times has recently reported that the Morongo Band of Mission Indians is making an attempt to consolidate it's efforts to get the state of California, to give them exclusivity on intrastate legalised online poker.

Earlier this year the Morongo Band representatives were at the first hearings in the Senate opposing any attempt by Barney Frank to regulate online gambling in the USA. Mr. Frank challenged their position as being one which in had selfish gain in mind. The band were opposed to regulation because they felt it would be unfair to existing gambling operations in California that provide profit to the Mission Indians.

The newspaper reported that, with the state of California in serious budget deficit a consortium that includes the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and a group of casinos is offering Californian leaders a portion of the money to be made if they allow Web based poker sites to operate legally. The newspaper reveals the importance of the online gambling market and it's money earning possibilities. Morongo spokesperson, Patrick Dorinson said the consortium proposes that the state regulate such games in California to "ensure their legitimacy and protect players privacy," and that a measure of the revenue be shared with the state.

Online gambling expert Professor I. N. Rose has advised the Commerce Casino, a card club involved with the Morongo, that California would be exempt from federal restrictions if the businesses were operated entirely within state lines and made it's product available only to citizens of California. State law in California gives Indian tribes the exclusive right to operate electronic games of chance. Attorneys for the Federal government feel different about the proposal and advise that the state lawmakers should be careful not to violate the current laws.

It is estimated that as many as four hundred different groups may apply for licences to operate internet based card games which may or may not become legal and regulated in the state of California USA.

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In Europe the highest court one can go to for a settlement in any dispute is the European Court of Justice. The Advocate General of this court has given the world his opinion on the online gambling operators Betfair and Ladbrokes suit against the Dutch government. His opinion is a early win for the state run monopoly De Lotto in the Netherlands which holds all the cards as the sole supplier of internet gambling in that country. Although the Advocate General's opinion is not a final legal one it is an indication of the direction the court will take in regards to legal cases such as this one. As in the case of Portugal the Advocate General Mr. Bot has commented that European Union member nations are allowed to legally maintain state monopolies regarding internet gaming if the country finds that it must do so in order to prevent fraud or protect it's citizens from excessive gambling activity. This conclusion also gives monopolies the right to make new games available to it's citizens if it is a move to keep customers from accessing unregulated or offshore sites.

The managing director of Ladbrokes remote gaming and betting division John O'Reilly stated,  " We continue to believe that the European Court of Justice should uphold the principals of free and fair competition across borders as there is no logic in fact that the Dutch monopoly could freely compete against us in the U.K. but we are prevented from accepting bets from any Dutch resident that finds us on the internet."

Secretary General Sigrid Ligne of the European Gaming and Betting Association a lobby group representing Bet at Home, Bwin, Interwetten, Unibet, PartyGaming, Digibet and Expekt, commented on the AG's opinion, " This is a key question for the ECJ given that the exclusive licence has repeatedly been handed to De Lotto without any form of tendering. Unfortunately the ECJ will not provide a judgement until next year but in most cases the court does go with the opinion of the Advocate General.

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Croatia is an old world country on the edge of big changes. Over fifteen years ago there was war in that country before that there was communism, now there is the European Union coming and the country true to it's nature has adapted to change and is making some economic headway.

Gambling in Croatia has always been a popular activity and with the newest forms of online technology available in the country online wagering is coming on strong. The market in Eastern Europe is one that online operators are watching with great interest. Combined income from gambling on the internet in this area will reach at least five hundred million euros. If Croatia follows the U.K. and regulates online gambling and provides licences for operators to set up shop on Croatian soil they could build an economy based on the gambling revenues. The gambling industry makes billions of dollars every year world wide. According to research, the gambling industry in Croatia in combination with the rest of the Eastern European countries could be worth an estimated 4.5 billion euros.

According to current laws in the now independent country it is legal to gamble both online or on the ground. Very strict regulations concerning how the gambling industry is controlled do exist, and the official methods for licensing are arduous and difficult to obtain with all gambling in Croatia being monitored by the state organization Hrvatska Lutrija. Casinos are the only legal place to play card games and games of chance for money. Back in 2002 a few attempts were made to establish online gambling on Croatia but because of technical and business difficulties the ventures failed. It is perhaps a more opportune time now to start such an operation with huge growth in popularity and online advancements since that time.





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There are new words being created daily in this fast changing global economy. One I have heard recently was ' webisode' which refers of course to an experience on the internet. One that has been coined lately by students is 'bexting' which is betting or gambling on your cell phone. This comes from the New Jersey area in the USA where some journalists claim sports betting has spread to every high school in that state.

The teens are texting messages to their bookies to bet, which is likely a fellow student in the same school. The youth of today are wired to the phone twenty four seven, and content is available free from parental or supervisory detection. There have been accounts reported on how the process works, through the cell phone, a student reportedly bets between $60 and $100 each week on sports outcomes whether it was football, basketball,or other popular sports, the player could owe as much as two hundred dollars at any one time. Students that do graduate from high school go on it is claimed to gamble in college or university, maintaining their secret wagering ways usually unknown to the parents.

This activity is considered the dark side of cell phones and the internet and is illegal according to the laws of the state of New Jersey and yet it is rare that the authorities come across it or look for evidence to prove the activity is happening. Authorities also state that those adults who are prosecuted for illegal gambling started out as youthful gamblers. Even though the young players are having a good time betting on the various sports they may be unaware that the activity is illegal. More education on that front is needed officials point out at election time. Experts propose that these young players get 'addicted' to the online activity. It is thought that there is a problem brewing in New Jersey and before you know it the law will be censoring your cell phone use if you are a young person. That's the job of parents for the most part not the government.


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Despite glitches and complaints from various groups in Australia, the government will be moving forward and implementing the internet filtering program that has caused much controversy there. The Sydney Morning Herald reported recently that ISP-based censorship of the Internet is to proceed despite errors already experienced. Government trials found that filtering out a blacklist of banned sites constructed by government agencies was accurate and would not slow down the internet at all.

Electronic Frontiers Australia has voiced concern over this treatment of the internet stating that this is not good for freedom on the web.

Greens political party communications spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam, said the policy of the government was still fundamentally flawed.

Stephen Conroy, the Communications Minister, said that he would introduce legislation just before next year's elections to force Internet Service Providers to block a blacklist of "refused classification" websites for all Australian web users.
Enex Testlab, conducted a test study of ISP internet filters that according to Senator Conroy, blocking banned material, "can be done with 100 percent accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed." The Senator claimed without specifying which countries he was referring to that 15 western countries had encouraged or enforced internet filtering, and there was no reason why Australians should not have similar protection.

Colin Jacobs, spokesperson for Electronic Frontiers Australia, said, "Any motivated user will be able to get around it, it will be quite easy, so who is this being targeted at?" Calling into question the effectiveness of the censorship filter. Jacobs added when discussing the plan, "Although it may address some technical issues, what it leaves out is far more important, exactly what will be blocked, who will decide, and why is it being attempted in the first place?"

Conroy said that the next step would be for the government to start a public consultation process with the release of a discussion paper on additional measures to improve the accountability and transparency of processes that lead to sites being placed on the blacklist.

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Well known and award winning online casino operator 32Red has announced the launch of its new online sports betting service, 32RedBet.com. All of the major online gambling activities including casinos, mobile casinos, poker rooms, bingo, rummy and spread betting, are now available on the 32 Red Betting web site. The platform is powered by the Global Betting Exchange giving the customer odds on all sports and events from around the world, including Horseracing, Soccer, Tennis and Golf.

Ed Ware, Chief Executive Officer of 32 Red said, “We are very pleased to be launching a 32Red online betting service ahead of what should be an interesting year with England’s participation in the 2010 World Cup. Adding sports betting to our existing range of online gaming services goes a long way to completing our product range and, apart from encouraging our existing players to use 32Red for their sports betting requirements, will also allow us to target new areas in our existing markets.” Mark Quayle, Head of Marketing for 32Red, commented, “32RedBet means players can go from thrilling casino games, in the online casino to playing poker or betting on sports within just a few clicks, making 32Red the one stop destination for exciting, professional and trusted online gambling.”

Based in Dublin, Global Betting Exchange was founded in 2000 by leading Irish businessman Dermot Desmond, and provides the technology behind BETDAQ - The Betting Exchange. GBE has leveraged this experience as the developer and operator of one of the Industry's leading betting exchanges to build a unique sportsbook platform, iBroker, which will provide 32Red with a first-class sportsbook platform and a sophisticated risk management engine.

32Red the recipient of the Best Casino title awarded by Casinomeister six times now. 32Red has 350 casino games, including over 250 online slots, online roulette and others. 32Red is licensed and regulated by the Government of Gibraltar.

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