According to a recent news article in the Montreal Gazette authors claim that the Mohawk Gambling operations in Kahnawake Quebec, are being politically stalled in Canada. The article even says that certain political voices are stating the businesses operated by the Mohawk nation, are illegal. When politicians say things, not everyone listens, but the press has a great time interpreting what it all means. In this case it is obvious that the government does not favour the idea of a successful industry thriving without that industry getting permission to do so from the State. Aboriginal online gambling in Canada has grown into a global hub that services a large number online gambling clients. Mohawk Internet Technologies provides servers for a wide selection of online casinos and sports books offshore. "Turning away from the issue and remaining silent will continue to, and ultimately, undermine First Nation communities, their economic ambitions, political autonomy, health and prosperity," a Montreal lawyer wrote in an soon to be released issue of Gaming Law Review and Economics. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission and MIT are inquiring about being listed in the British 'white list' of online regulators and casinos. Being listed means the company is a regulated operation with proper standards which translates into more business. When the official regulating 'white list' inclusion asked the Federal Government about MIT they were passed onto the Provincial government of Quebec quoting jurisdictional concerns. The legal limbo that the Canadian government leaves aboriginal gambling will not change overnight. This kind of inaction chills the dialogue and imposes containment, sticking one's head in the sand doesn't make the problem go away. American politicians have worked out compacts and partnership agreements with about two-thirds of the Aboriginal Nations. Quebec and a number of other provinces are planning to dive into the online gambling business, effectively creating competition for native gaming initiatives.

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The Hungarian government has made it clear in it's laws that that it's all right to play poker in the country but you have to give the tax department a fair share of any profits. This is forcing many poker rooms to close and give up, contending there is no money to be made once the government takes it's slice. The already severe restrictions the government held in place since the passing of the 1991 Hungarian Gambling Act has been made even more dramatic by recent changes to the legislation. The new amendments to the act placed heavy regulations on local poker clubs, and put a big tax on poker winnings. The amended laws also limits the profits of poker clubs to 15%, and requires the clubs to give 30% of its revenues to the State. Poker players have turned to sites that are operated offshore because Hungarian sites are not licensed. The Hungarian Poker Association suggested that this was a strategy by the Hungarian government to move players into the live casinos away from local card rooms and small clubs that players organized themselves. The high taxation rates caused little hardship for the larger casinos which had other revenue streams from other gambling games to make a profit from. This notion was confirmed by statements from Laszlo Detrekoi, the Ministry of Finance State Secretary who said that the new Act was designed to create a compromise between the two major players in the gambling industry in Hungary, the Poker Houses and the live Casinos. Hungarian poker players have moved to playing online which has confused government officials who realize now their plan misfired because they failed to consider today's online casinos and poker room availability. The new government in Hungary may or may not amend laws to prohibit online gambling. Sceptics believe the government will try to block online poker sites through filtering. A progressive regime would licence and regulate operators and create a sustainable future for the Hungarian economy.


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The Poker Players Alliance has petitioned the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Board to clarify the regulations pertaining to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which is about to be fully implemented on June 1st 2010. The Poker Players Alliance is making a point of noting that legally the Act does not mention peer to peer games that requires skill. The PPA has sent a petition to the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Timothy Geithner, the U.S. Treasury Department Secretary asking that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act be amended to clarify a number of issues. The sub paragraphed amendment concerns the regulation stating that the term "bet or wager" does not include a bet or wager on "certain peer-to-peer games where the outcome is determined predominantly by the skill of the players, such as poker, chess, bridge, mah-jong, and backgammon." The petition also wants to make it clear the Interstate Horseracing Act will be not affected by the UIGEA. John Pappas, executive director of the PPA was please to note that twenty two members of Congress sent letters of support to Bernanke and Geithner. Pappas commented, "The PPA is grateful for the support of the 22 members of Congress who wrote Secretary Geithner and Chairman Bernanke in support of our petition to exempt peer-to-peer gaming from the UIGEA regulations," He added, "We are still strongly supporting legislative efforts to license and regulate online poker and provide the consumer protections that the UIGEA will not, and are hopeful of the passage of bills like Frank's HR 2267, but believe our petition is the best bet to address the short-term issues facing online poker." The PPA petition maintains the UIGEA is not definitive enough with the phrase "unlawful Internet gambling," The PPA contends tha the financial institutions are to bare to burden of clarification. The legality of Internet poker especially in America is questioned constantly where in fact there is no federal law and very few state laws specifically prohibiting a person from playing online poker.

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Responsible Gambling Council Research from the province of Ontario Canada suggests that Ontario gamblers have a 'blind spot' when it come to recognizing the symptoms of problem gambling in themselves. New findings from the Responsible Gambling Council sheds light on gambling attitudes and behaviour in the province before the provincial governments gets into the online gambling and casino industry. The survey revealed that Ontarians are very knowledgeable at recognizing problematic gambling behaviour in others, but do not show an aptitude for identifying their own unhealthy and potentially harmful activities when gambling. Ipsos-Reid conducted the research which concluded that 92% of Ontario's gambling adults could recognize at least one risky gambling behaviour in someone else. When responding to questions about their own gambling experience, only one in five bettors reported that they engaged in at least one risky behaviour in the past 12 months. Common problem gambling conditions were reported by respondents with 13% tending to go over their preset spending limit, 12% lost track of the amount of time they were spending while playing and 11% did what many gamblers tend to do, they tried to win back money lost while playing. Punters were not as aware of these risky behaviours as were the general public. Responsible Gambling Council's CEO Jon Kelly, said, "Experiencing any of these blind spots at one time doesn't necessarily add up to a gambling problem," "The important thing is, if you see a number of these blind spots in your life, or in the life of someone you care about, give yourself a reality check. In Toronto, an estimated 68,200 people are experiencing a moderate to severe gambling problem. RGC wants people in Toronto to check their blind spot now - to avoid a problem in the future." Paula Antoniazzi, Program Director, for the RGC says, "A gambling problem isn't something that suddenly appears," adding, "In our research, people with firsthand experience with a gambling problem have told us, 'I didn't see it coming.' There are usually early warning signs that can tip you off to a potential problem." This research may prove to be ammunition for detractors of the proposed online gambling liberalization steps being taken by numerous provincial governments in Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

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Orbis the online gambling software provider and developer has ventured into the land based realm with the acquisition of Surrey based Alphameric Solutions. Alphameric's primary business is to provide retail technology solutions to land based bookies from high street mostly in the U.K. and Ireland. Clients include William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and the Tote with a variety of independent betting services.

Orbis Holdings, is a subsidiary of NDS Group, which is a private company owned by the Permira Funds and News Corporation. It's proven technologies allows secure delivery of digital content to various media outlets. Orbis provides integrated gaming and betting solutions to customers including William Hill, Ladbrokes, Betfair, BlueSquare, Paddy Power, SkyBet, Centrebet and Slot Macau. The merger will allow Orbis to combine retail and online gambling systems at the retail locations of bookmakers. David Loveday, chief executive officer at Orbis said, "With our expertise in online betting technology we are confident this acquisition will drive the retail betting sector in a new and exciting direction," Loveday added, “Alphameric Solutions will be a good fit for Orbis, especially as we already share a number of customers. Together we will have the skills, product innovation and technical excellence to take advantage of increasing opportunities across the global gaming sector.”

It has been proposed to the shareholders of Alphameric Solutions to re-brand the company as Timeweave and to move the firm’s listing from the London Stock Exchanges’s Official List to the more junior AIM market. A cash payment of 15.475 million GBP subject to adjustment to take account of ASL's net asset and net debt position at completion of the deal. Alphameric's chairman, Peter Bertram, said that the board of directors is in support of the disposal of Alphameric Solutions and feels it is in the best interests of the group and its shareholders. Bertram said, “We wish the management, staff and new owners of the business every success in the future,”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The second annual Malta iGaming Seminar, scheduled for the 13th and 14th of May 2010 will attract the top executives in the online gambling industry to attend. Considered a premier internet gaming regulated and licensing jurisdiction Malta is on top of the new methods people use to bet online. The seminar will provide participants with information on what Malta has to offer potential operators. Not only are attendees going to make interesting connections but will also have some fun at the social events planned on the sunny Mediterranean island.

Delegates to the convention are from some of the world's largest and most successful companies in the  industry. Executives such as Magnus Silfverberg, Chief Executive Officer of Betsson will tell those interested about reasons for choosing Malta as the jurisdiction that provided Betsson with all the regulatory tools needed for success.

The two-day executive networking event will also feature round table discussions where clients, vendors & authorities discuss at length current market conditions. Dr. Eberhard Dürrschmid, CEO Greentube, Rainer van Beckum, CEO at Megabyte Ltd, Reuben Portanier, CEO at Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority, and Rafael Arnold of Netrefer will all be featured as speakers willing to share their experience and knowledge. The St. Julians Hilton Hotel will be humming with activity says conference organizer Jeffrey Buttigieg who added, "This is an igaming event after all," "So there will be plenty of opportunities for social networking in addition to an excellent line-up of speakers."

Along with information and networking opportunities there will be a night of live poker at the Portomaso Casino with a three-hour trip on the Sunseeker 'Quantum S' speed boat featured in the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace as a prize with free champagne as a bonus. A pool party will be held at the exclusive beach club at the Hilton Malta hotel.

Then Club 22 at the top of the Portomaso Business Tower has been booked for the evening for further socializing and networking. For any company that is interested in setting up in, or moving to, Malta as an online gaming jurisdiction, this event is highly recommended.



  

 

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Cryptologic is a leader in innovative online gambling software and has a many noteworthy games to it's credit. The originally Canadian firm now headquartered in Ireland has reported it will show a lack lustre first quarter return in 2010. Better returns from branded games and marked savings in costs was the saving grace in the financial performance record.

Following the first quarter results comes the announcement that Huw Spiers will be the new Chief Financial Officer for Cryptologic. Spiers takes over from Stephen Taylor, who for five years has been in Ireland and will return to Canada in August. The company's financial summary revealed that the decrease in revenue was a reflection of slow wagering activity and a reduced contribution from a key customer. Operating expenses, plus general and administrative expenses were reduced significantly offsetting the losses in revenue and creating projected gains in the near future.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Cryptologic, Brian Hadfield, commented, "While subdued wagering activity impacted our revenues in the first quarter, the outlook for 2010 as a whole remains encouraging. Operating costs have declined further while our revenue base is showing signs of improvement in the second quarter." He added, " The start of the World Cup soccer tournament in June provides short term uncertainty, however with a strong backlog of new business we expect our results to improve gradually as the year unfolds. As would be expected, the company continues to assess its revenue streams, costs, and strategic direction as it moves towards profitability." On the addition of Mr. Spiers and his 20 years of experience to Cryptologic's team Hadfield said, "First, I would like to thank Stephen for his commitment and dedication to CryptoLogic, in particular during it's move to Ireland, and for assisting in implementing the management's restructuring programme. We wish him and his family all the best for the future." "I would also like to welcome Huw Spiers, who brings extensive management experience and a background from the high growth technology sector. His appointment will help to revitalise the Company's management team following a period of radical change and we look forward to his contribution with much anticipation."

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Costa Rica is commonly known as the 'Switzerland of Central America' with it's peaceful political outlook and tax free status for industries such as online gambling. May 8, 2010 marks an event in the history of Costa Rican politics like no other. The country has elected it's first female President. Succeeding Oscar Arias Sanchez, 51 year old Laura Chinchilla Miranda won with 46.76% of the vote in the recent election. Chinchilla has been elected on a platform that promises to fight the rise of violent crime in Costa Rica along with putting more young people in classrooms in order to stem the migration of talent from the country. In order to make these promises a reality more revenues through taxation have been proposed and the online gambling industry may be on the target list to obtain those funds. Online gambling operators have had a good ride in the free trade conditions of Costa Rica. According to the Economist the government collects just 14.8% of national income in taxes, and its deficit is 4% of GDP. Mrs Chinchilla says she hopes to increase revenues by taxing casinos and online gambling, which her officials hope would bring in an extra 1% of GDP. More radical financial reforms will be postponed a few years in order for the economy to regain strength. The massive online gambling industry in Costa Rica was established about fifteen years ago with successive governments over that time proposing taxation with little consequence or success to date. The fly in the ointment with Chinchilla's plan to govern will be reliant on a pact with the right-wing Libertarian Movement, whose leader, Otto Guevara, won 21% of the vote. “The door to negotiation has opened,” says Mr Guevara. In return for supporting the Chinchilla government, he demands tougher sentences for petty criminals and the publication on the internet of the names of those who receive state benefits. Guevara vows to veto any sort of tax increase so just maybe the online gambling industry there is safe for awhile longer.

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PartyGaming is again looking forward to a part of the market in the renewed French online gambling jurisdiction. The global gaming company has announced that a deal has been struck for a white label online poker service for the Aviation Club de France making this the third business to business arrangement in France. This is apparently a long term agreement with the newly branded ‘ACFPoker’ network.

Once the licensing is in place the seamless use of facilities and offerings will mesh for the PartyGaming.fr poker network and the Aviation Club de France which has a sterling reputation as one of France's most prestigious card rooms and private members clubs. Founded in 1907 by four pioneering French aviators today the club has over 100,000 members. AFC's presence is large as a host of gambling venues such as the World Poker Tour and the Grand Prix de Paris.

Chief Executive Officer of PartyGaming, Jim Ryan, speaking about the recent announcement commented, “ACF is a great addition to our French poker network and allows us to directly connect with France’s offline poker players. This deal is a great strategic fit and together with our other B2B alliances in France, we are determined to establish a strong position in what we believe will become one of Europe’s largest poker markets.”

A prime example of thinking ahead PartyGaming executives are looking to situating themselves in potentially lucrative online gambling markets by striking deals with other major players in the industry ensuring a consolidated success. The company has been playing their cards safe in the American market with rumours flying they are looking to possibility of entering the USA once again. Analysts believe the overturning of the ban on online poker in America is far from a done deal even though some companies are planning on a return to the once very lucrative US gambling market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Internet Gambling Federal Lobbying Report for the first quarter of the year 2010 has revealed that a considerable amount of money is being spent in Washington D.C. to reverse the current prohibition on online gambling activities in America. The BolaVerde Media Group compiled collected data that states 36 different parties spent a combined amount estimated to be around $5.16 million USD. Harrah's Entertainment Inc. spent the most at an estimated $1.22 million USD. The report went on to explain that Harrah's increased it expenditure on lobbying by 73% from the fourth quarter of 2009. Harrah's Interactive division, located in Montreal Canada operates an online casino and poker room for customers in the U.K. Contributions from the Poker Players Alliance was at $785,000, UC Group at $717,239, U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) at $664,442 with the Interactive Gaming Council at $412,580. The total for the first quarter of 2010 was reduced by 16% since the last quarter of 2009. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce made a significant 66% cut in its lobby spending over last year's final quarter. The first quarter 2010 Internet Gambling Federal Lobbying Report is full of detailed information that ranks the amount of influence each organization is having on the Federal lawmakers in Washington. Recently Nevada Representative Dina Titus came on board as a supporter of the Bill before the Senate to overturn the ban indicating the land based casinos in Nevada are looking at the possible benefits of online gambling regulations in the States. Commenting on the details of the report by the BolaVerde Media Group, Managing Director Mark Balestra, said, "Anyone interested in the global Internet gambling industry needs to take notice of the bigger picture in the United States, including who is plotting entry and who might be reconsidering their positions, as well as the financial weight being thrown around. In this sense, an evaluation of lobbying strategies and spending trends lends pretty good insight into how things could pan out in Washington."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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