When you think of Google you think of the internet and a search engine like no other. We are so happy to be able to Google questions and receive anything imaginable on the net. Now a new and very innovative idea is about to be hatched from the Google wizards; Google TV. With your home entertainment system attached to Google the experience of playing online poker and casino games will be enhanced ten fold.

Instead of fumbling with a little screen and minimal sound your home entertainment TV and sound system will have full search capabilities supplied by Google. Google TV will offer an on screen search box which will allow viewers to search for their favourite shows or any other web content. Google TV will make television viewing less complicated and will make it more fun to gamble on a big screen in high definition from locations around the planet. Sony has partnered with Google to have the chip installed in new TV's and is speculating the advanced TV sets will be ready by late this year.

Google has only recently started accepting online casino adverts in their search engine which Google TV may also be a revenue generator. TV gambling is already available in the UK with Netplay TV and it has been successful so far. Google has a much larger network and will change the future of online gambling expanding it's presence to millions more gamers. For anyone seeking the latest in techno tools Google TV will be the way to go.

Online gambling companies are already jockeying for position for the Google TV advertising slots, knowing the power of TV and the internet plus Google will be an unbeatable combination. This kind of opportunity is seldom seen in the world of TV and will influence many aspects of the online gambling world.

 

 

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It has been suggested that increased TV coverage of sporting events in Australia has led to a boom in wagering on sports in that country. Gambling on sports outcomes has seen the most rapid growth in the betting industry over the past five years. Comparing 2004 2005 stats which pegged punting at $1.6 billion, Australians are predicted to gamble $2.9 billion on matches and leagues this financial year, according to figures recently produced by analysts IBISWorld. The growing trend represents annual average growth of 12 per cent, far out weighing the increase of 1.2 per cent spent on pokies and the 0.5 per cent increase in wagers on horseracing.

The IBISWorld spokesperson, Sam Ellis, said, " The increased popularity of online gambling is one of the main factors behind the increase. There are more and more people who don't buy into that culture of going into the TAB or pokies for a bet but who are happy to go on the internet and to bet online," Ellis added, "Sports betting and betting on something you know about is particularly appealing to this younger demographic of gamblers and when you compare sports betting to putting money in pokies, there is certainly a sense of a test of knowledge rather than relying on luck." 

Bookmaker Alan Eskander, agrees, "Sports, whether you are talking about the NRL, AFL or soccer, if it gets huge media coverage then it really gets people talking. Most offices have a footy tipping competition and people have an opinion on the big games. It's no surprise that more people want to bet on something they have a knowledge and understanding of rather than sports like horse racing which, unless you've been brought up going to the track, can be more difficult to get a handle on."

Gerard Daffy, a spokesperson for online bookmaker Sports Alive, said, "There has been tremendous growth in sports betting recently. A large part of this has to be put down to increased coverage on TV. When digital channel OneHD began showing netball, we suddenly found there were people who wanted to bet on that sport."   

 

 

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William Hill the prominent and prosperous online, on land gambling operator has announced it will spend 128,500 GBP on advertising with Play LA Inc.

Play LA Inc. is an international online publishing company that owns and operates a global network of multi-language websites. Play LA currently has 19 websites with a broad reach across the UK and Europe. The site targets those gamers who are specifically looking for the unique sports news, advice and tournament information published throughout Play LA’s websites for the Sports, Casino Games and the Poker industry. As part of the agreement, Play LA Inc. is required to send William Hill a minimum number of new players during the term of the arrangement. William Hill is one of twenty-five top bookmakers that Play LA promotes throughout its websites.

The Chief Executive Officer of Play LA, David Hallonquist, commented, “This advertising agreement is our largest to date, in terms of value. In addition to the paid placements, we will continue to earn commissions on the traffic we send to William Hill. Based on our 2009 earnings with William Hill, the combined value of this year’s business could exceed US $250,000.” Coverage will include content on the company's major websites like Betting Choice.co.uk, Opcionde Apuestas.com and Das Wettan Gebot. Play LA Inc. was formed to address the needs of two converging groups namely avid internet users and betting and gaming enthusiasts. It has translations of it's offering in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish with a French language translation in the works.

William Hill announced recently that it will be withdrawing it's offering from the newly regulated French market. Unfortunately William Hill will not be able to benefit from wagering on the upcoming World Cup but will definitely benefit from their large budget advertising on the international PlayLA web sites.

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Rome Casino has had a few difficult times in the past but is setting out on a new path that is looking at strengthening it's brand and image. The online casino will re-launch Diceland with an Alice in Wonderland theme. TopGame software will power the refreshed Diceland web site offering a delightful group of new games.

Rome Casino's chief executive officer, Josh Cartu, reported, “ We acknowledge the payment problems some of our players and affiliates experienced last fall and rest assured, we wouldn’t be re-launching this brand using the same Topgame software if we weren’t 110 percent satisfied that the issues it had last year are resolved. We’ve been back to quick processing and hassle-free withdrawals for months now.”

Stephen Corfman of the Gambling Portal Webmasters Association had this to say after the organization welcomed Diceland back online as silver sponsors, " As far as I've seen they're very interested in operating responsibly and I'm not aware of specific issues that are open from the problems they had last year. And from a conversation I had with their CEO they seem to be taking an affiliate-friendly route with respect to treatment of funds confiscated by payment processors, as opposed to some other sites recently that are viewing those problems the same way as a chargeback."

Diceland's new look and feel are going to be watched closely by veteran players who keep a keen eye open for payment or service problems that may arise. Diceland's welcome bonuses are substantial as are some of the prizes offered by the progressive slots and casinos games. Classic casino games like blackjack, roulette, slots, and video poker are all available with new games being added all the time. The Alice in Wonderland theme for Diceland seems appropriate and timely just as the Tim Burton movie starring Johnny Depp debuts with rave reviews.

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It is always fun to report big wins at online casinos but it is even more exciting when that win is super large. Recently a fellow going by the pen name of 'Yukon' took home a major jackpot from the online slots and video poker site Slotland.com. The progressive Golden 8 slot put out a staggering $163,476.

Yukon who has been playing for a little over a year said, "Of course you always hope you’re going to win a big one someday." He added, “After all, that’s why we play. But, I honestly never really expected something like this to happen to me. Even when I saw it on my screen I could hardly believe it. It wasn’t until the customer service representative from Slotland.com contacted me that it really started to sink in.” Yukon plans to use his winnings to pay off some debts and go on a holiday ‘someplace sunny and warm’. Nearly $800,000 was paid out last year in progressive jackpot wins and this is the second for the Golden 8 slot.

The Slotland.web site features 15 one-of-a-kind slot and video poker games powered by a Proprietary Slotland Software that is exclusive to the casino. Players enjoy the Slotland experience stating, “I don’t waste my money trying to win million dollar jackpots at other sites,” Adding, “The reason some of those other jackpots are so big is that they are rarely, if ever, actually won. But, Slotland.com has a big winner every few weeks it seems so I feel like I actually have a chance to win here.” The new progressive jackpot is already at approximately $58,000 and is growing rapidly. Slotland's twin site WinADay offers a prize of more than $180,000 after paying out $224,420 recently.

There are more good news stories from the Slotland site with management pointing out that its Treasure Box game has produced three big winners and two players have taken major coin home from the Jacks Or Better video poker slot game.

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Australia has been debating it's rules regarding internet wagering for a long time now and have come to realize that there are no easy solutions to this complicated issue. The current government in Australia is looking for ways to be responsible to the community and made efforts to keep it's population safe from the social pitfalls associated with gambling. Accountability is something that the public demands and the government is attempting in every way to accommodate that request.

 A new centre for gambling research in Adelaide will play a key role in developing a national response to problem gambling. The Flinders Centre for Gambling Research will be launched and is expected to focus on all current forms of gambling, and in particular online gambling which the researchers claim poses potential problems for the community at large. The Director of the Flinders Centre for Gambling Research, Professor Malcolm Battersby, said," the centre is aimed to provide a better grasp of gambling habits and their effects on South Australians, helping to head off associated health, social and economic issues. Professor Battersby also said, "We already undertake some research, but there is an urgent need to quantify and define the extent and nature of broader gambling-related issues in our society," The professor added, "The centre will be part of the national research response, enabling us to devise a preventative approach at a population and public health level to the problems gambling can create."

The centre's research is expected to provide statistics that will help to create an informed basis for future policy developments and industry standards. The government of Australia has a plan in place for online gambling, with key objectives and a national policy for the regulation of online gambling operators. Battersby commented that while problem gamblers represented a small proportion of the gambling public, "Collateral damage from problem gambling can lead to relationship breakdowns, broken families and economic hardship that can include the loss of the family home."

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Turkey is part of the E.U. but has not adhered to E.U. rules regarding provisions for e commerce equity within the Union. Gambling is illegal in most Muslim countries, with Turkey as a notable exception. It was recently announced the Istanbul High Criminal Court will hold a fresh hearings in a case that dates back to May of 2008, when two Sportingbet employees were detained by Turkish police as part of a crackdown on online gambling.

Details were contained in the prospectus released by Sportingbet in relation to its upgrade from Aim to the main market of the London Stock Exchange scheduled to happen this month. The Istanbul Criminal Court of First Instance, decided in 2009 that it did not have jurisdiction to hear charges against those arrested in the 2008 crackdown. The new hearing involves three of Sportingbet's current employees, including the pair detained in 2008 and it was added in the prospectus that they would not be attending court in Istanbul. "The group has been advised that prosecution outside Turkey or extradition from the UK is highly unlikely,"

Online gambling in Turkey is currently prohibited, with the exception of the state-owned sports betting company, IDDAA, which is the only Turkish entity that is allowed to offer gambling services over the internet. There are now laws that prevent Turkish banks from authorizing transactions to online casino accounts, and laws that try to keep Turkish players from accessing foreign gambling websites. The laws are not effective, however, and Turkish players continue to gamble online regularly.

The current leadership, the Islamic Welfare Party, has vocalized its stance against gambling, and public opinion has turned to be now anti-gambling. Sportingbet derives 17 per cent of its gross gaming revenue from its Turkish language web sites. Turkey is one of its top four markets, along with Greece, Spain and Australia. Turkey is currently trying to privatise its state-run lottery, Milli Piyango so far proving unsuccessful. Revealing the last legal problem for Sportingbet in Turkey wiped 7% from the company’s market value. The share price for Sportingbet is expected to be impacted by this latest legal news.

 

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Focusing on legislation to tax internet gambling the short but intense hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee fell short of coming to any predictable conclusions. Barney Frank (D-MA) was the first to put forth his pro online gambling position speaking to the Ways and Means Committee’s assembled membership, “We do know that gambling will go on in America. The question is should we continue to give those who gamble the complete immunity from taxation. We talk about avoiding teacher layoffs and this would be a way to do that.”

Another advocate speaking for a positive change regarding taxation of internet gambling was Jim McDermott (D-WA) who responded to questions from the ranking minority membership which questioned the importance of discussing internet gambling when the latest jobs report showed nearly a 10% unemployment rate nationwide. “Regulating internet gambling would create jobs. An April 2010 study found that it would mean 32,000 additional jobs. Regulation and taxation has proven to be a better policy for our country when it comes to alcohol and the same will be true for online gambling.”

On the other side of the online gambling fence was one of the politicians who produced the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). Goodlatte said that creating a federal regime of regulation and taxation is contrary to his beliefs in the rights of the 'States'. “Traditionally, states have had the authority to permit gambling that occurs in their borders. HR 2267 turns states’ rights on their heads. In addition, the revenue estimate by the Joint Committee on Taxation is premised on trumping current state laws.”

Certain members of the Ways and Means Committee Charles Rangel (D-NY), Dave Reichert (R-WA), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), had many questions and Blumenauer admitted he may have made a mistake voting for the UIGEA in 2006 explaining, “I voted for it the first time, but it’s probably not practical and it’s probably inconsistent.” Jobs, tax revenues, safer platforms for American players, freedom of choice, are all benefits should the prohibition be lifted in the USA. Money going offshore, no taxes gained, no safety net, no recourse, no jobs, it all sounds obvious to everyone but the lawmakers.

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Neteller was at one time a significant player in the online gambling world in North America. Thousands of online casino players and poker enthusiasts used the money processing service without hesitation, trusting that their transactions were safe and secure. Then, in 2006 the market in the USA was closed almost immediately and Neteller made an swift exit from the U.S. market. After a delay of several months they did eventually pay players funds owing under an Approved Distribution Plan according to directives from U.S. authorities and a final notice was sent out in July of last year stating paybacks would no longer be honoured.

Now the Off Shore Gambling Association has reported that a scam involving the Neteller name is being perpetrated by unknown persons who appear to be looking for personal information by calling former Neteller account holders and saying there is more money to be had if personal ID is given to initiate the return of funds. After contacting the Neteller offices a statement was issued confirming a scam is in place. The e-mail response from Neteller said, “All former NETELLER account holders in the US have been contacted by NETELLER as part of the Approved Distribution Plan for residual account balances. A final notice was issued by email to registered email addresses on 15 – 16 July with the final acceptance date for receipt of withdrawal requests being 26 July 2009. Other than for requests already received and/or being processed, any contact after this date would not originate from NETELLER.”

It appears that who ever has been trying to gather personal information from former customers has been partially successful but will now be stopped by a quick response from diligent players. This is a good lesson for anyone who goes online to be suspicious of calls offering something that sounds too good to be true. Vigilance pays off, protect your identity and be absolutely sure without exception when giving out personal information it is to a reputable operator.

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The United Kingdom has come a long way in making online gambling safe, regulated and somewhat profitable. The U.K. has paved the way and created a standard of excellence for any country to follow, having proven that through proper regulations and by keeping a close eye on gambling activities sports have remained mostly untouched by scandal in the UK. Recently some headway is being made in Germany where the government for the most part forbids its citizens from betting online, unless they do so with the State monopoly provider.

The Olympic Sports Federation has finally called upon the German government to legalise sports betting. Joining forces with the Bundesliga, the country's major football league the OSF wants to overturn the German Interstate Gambling Treaty (2006). Good news for the German consumer of wagering products. The consolidation of these major sports organizations may prove to make a critical mass for change in Germany. Not only do sports clubs miss out on sponsorship money but the consumer is not given a choice of betting options which reduces the odds of winning and creates a stagnant playing pool. Sporting bodies and the betting industry share a common interest in making sure that all forms of sport are free from corruption and fraud. This shared ambition of unwavering integrity was highlighted recently in the U.K. when the Professional Players Foundation signed an historic agreement with several major betting operators to educate professional athletes on the dangers of making the wrong choices.

German betters with only Lotto Bayern as a choice would be subject to very low odds compared with those offered by other European gambling operators. Betting operators show a strong commitment to the integrity and transparency of their businesses, weeding out any unscrupulous operators immediately. German punters deserve a better shake and hopefully the sports organizations will make a difference.



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