In a recent report in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper in Florida USA the Allied Veterans of the World Inc. & Affiliates announced they are launching a law suit against the city of Longwood. Raids by police on the Internet cafe premises operated by the group resulted in the café being shut down. The law suit is seeking an injunction prohibiting the city from interfering with the gaming centre, and monetary restitution for funds that have been lost since the closure. The internet café was offering sweepstakes action operating within the law in Florida claiming that the sweepstakes were just like the prizes offered by fast food outlets in the state. The Allied Veterans of the World Inc. & Affiliates, headquartered in Jacksonville Florida, claims that Longwood police and Seminole County deputy sheriffs actions were uncalled for and excessive last summer. Forest City operations were also a target of the police but were reopened almost immediately. The Longwood location has remained offline since the raids. Obviously knowing that their allegations were suspect the city officials and police from Longwood took the liberty of threatening the landlord of the establishment GS Realty Inc., with criminal prosecution if it did not comply with the request to lock out the Veterans group. The newspaper confirmed this after speaking with Longwood police Sgt. Richard Griffin. A judge last October ordered some items that were wrongly seized to be returned proving that the police actions were excessive and beyond the search warrant limits. Kelly Mathis an attorney for the Allied Veterans of the World Inc. & Affiliates said that more seized equipment was returned a day after the lawsuit was filed on February 2nd 2010. In another attempt to keep the shop closed the city of Longwood did not renew the group's business license. It is interesting to note that all police departments in Florida do not share the same point of view. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office, has taken the position that the centres are operating totally within the law.



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The Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2010, or S3018 sounds like a good thing for online gambling regulation in the USA. Legislators in the US have proposed a bill which could make online gambling a regulated activity charging the operators a 2% licensing fee on the monthly receipts. Republican Senator Judd Gregg and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden put forth the tax proposal together in the US Congress. The bill primarily addresses changes to simplify tax codes and brackets but has the added component of taxing online gambling within the legislation. It is hoped by many that this will be perceived as a win, win situation for both parties with a compromise before a long and heated debate. Michael Waxman, from the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative spoke about the development, “With so much media focus on the differences between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, this bipartisan initiative highlights the growing support on both ends of Capitol Hill for replacing the failed prohibition on Internet gambling with a system to regulate the industry, protect consumers and generate billions in new revenue.” Good public relations for the countries two parties that are usually consider at opposite ends of the political arena. The proposed bill came with a qualifying statement: “Internet gambling in the United States should be controlled by a strict Federal licensing and regulatory framework to protect underage and otherwise vulnerable individuals, to ensure the games are fair, to address the concerns of law enforcement and to enforce any limitations on the activity established by the States and Indian tribes.” Barney Frank's proposed bill is similar in approach and has in depth the ways and means to accomplish legalization. The Poker Player’s Alliance has already said this is positive with John Pappas saying, “We’re pleased with it. The prospects of this legislation are unclear. This is a sign of things to come, perhaps seeing internet gambling being added as pay-for in other bills.”

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Times are tough in the search engine business as Google continues to dominate the online industry. Besides getting our attention with the usual side bar and banners and pull backs, offering a deal or a place to buy what your looking for, there is all the information you provide along with your service provider location. Online advertising targets search engine information, a small but very important factor in the sales world, this is expected to benefit to some extent from Yahoo and Bing’s recent partnership. Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing are joining forces to try to make a dent in Google's locked in superiority. Together they will account for about thirty percent of the search engine activity. Google has a massive sixty five percent share. With more competition for Google it may make things a little faster and cleaner, when surfing for a casino or card room or any thing else on the internet. Researching bonuses and games offered with your own style in mind should be made easier and faster with this partnership. It is an ocean of knowledge about online casinos with portals offering how to instruction and reviews on all the sites. Yahoo Bing will be providing users with more efficient access to a quality experience while on the net. This will keep online casinos and portals striving hard because if the products are not full of interesting, targeted, useful, and accurate information they won't keep people coming to their sites. The information highway should add another lane for online gamblers who demand the best there is in the form of great gaming. The online gambling industry is already far ahead in the world of cyber entertainment, employing many different creative and technical industries from security to actual game software.

 

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Devilfish Gaming takes it's name from celebrity poker professional David "Devilfish" Ulliott who has won the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour and is actively involved in promoting the online gambling company. The London-listed Devilfish Gaming has penned an agreement with Germany’s Gauselmann leisure and entertainment group with the goal of launching a new Italian-facing online casino and poker brand at Gauselmann's Merkur Win. Devilfish Services, a business-to-business consultancy unit. The company will develop and consult with Gauselmann on marketing strategies for the new Merkur Win brand. In addition Devilfish will design and set up the site’s affiliate program. The Gauselmann Group founded in June 1957 by Paul Gauselmann, is family owned and operated from Espelkamp in the North Rhine Westphalia area of Germany. The Gauselmann Group has around five hundred entertainment centers in Europe and has sold as many as two million gaming machines. Last year the company generated approximately 1.2 billion euros and employs as many as six thousand people. Devilfish Gaming's chief executive officer Paul Barnes, said, “We are very happy to be involved with Gauselmann’s famous Merkur brands,” adding, “Devilfish has a lot to offer because we both operate an online gaming business and share that know-how with selected strategic partners who are entering the market. In addition, we own the valuable Devilfish brand, which we also license to third parties in non-competing markets.” Gauselmann Group has been expanding at rapid pace with one of it's subsidiaries Atronic being the first European company to acquire a licence to manufacture gambling machines for the State of Nevada, USA. This is a significant agreement for Devilfish Services that is sure to lead to bigger and even more profitable contracts for the company. Quite possibly the well known smiling ”Merkur sun” logo is going to shine in the online world in the near future

 

 

 

 

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Software developer Orbis Technology Ltd., established in 1996, develops game concepts with management and reporting tools, enabling operators to maintain a competitive edge in the ever changing wagering and gaming industry. The Orbis OpenBet software platform is an integrated gaming software solution with the ability to access complete analysis of customers via one centralised database for all transactions and viewable data across all products and platforms. Now Orbis has launched its latest technology product, LiveOdds. This new product has the ability to give live pricing and event updates directly to customers via their web pages and betslips. Operators can custom build their own unique application and have LiveOdds stream price updates as they occur. Orbis is licensed and regulated by the U.K. Gambling Commission and is headquartered in London. A company spokesperson commented, "LiveOdds is built on Orbis’ new LiveServ technology which enables the delivery of live messages, content and data directly to customers," adding, "As a pivotal element of OpenBet, LiveServ has been designed as a highly scalable and flexible ‘push’ server which provides support for the widest range of browsers and front-end technologies." The ability to stream data directly from the database to the players’ screen in real time, without the need to refresh is at the core of the new development. LiveChatroom, is almost ready for a launch based on the LiveServ technology. It opens up LiveServ to allow for conversations in both directions. "LiveChatroom can be used anywhere on an operator’s site, from the home page to live betting portals, through to side panels on fixed-odds games," "LiveChatroom connects customers to a community, enhancing the experience and improving customer retention," the company said. CTO of Orbis Technology Ltd., Pete Boyle, explained, “By providing operators with the ability to stream live content in real time and open up more channels of communication amongst customers with a product like LiveChatroom, we are confident that LiveServ and its new products will change the face of live betting."

 






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The Government of Ontario, Canada one of the most populated provinces in the country has hired a new director for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation. Paul Godfrey, is president and CEO of the National Post newspaper, was the former chair of Metro Toronto, and former head of the Toronto Blue Jays and now head of the OLG. The Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, is considering allowing Internet gambling in Ontario. Since Quebec, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia, have made a partnership to offer online gambling, Ontario feels it must join the group or loose out to possible tax revenues generated by the activity. Godfrey has announced that he would like to explore the possibility of offering online gambling. McGuinty says Ontario would have to make a decision on the subject sooner or later and was pleased it was sooner because the government does not have to ability to control online gambling the same way as it does alcohol. While most believe this issue will not be an easy sell in Ontario's legislature and will take some time to get used too, Godfrey, believes that online gambling would be profitable for the OLG. Canadians spend millions of dollars with online gambling operators based elsewhere and he thinks that the OLG could definitely profit from the industry. “Money is going out of this province to other provinces as well as offshore sites,” Mr. Godfrey explained. The Opposition in the legislature says the government would need to make sure there are controls in place to restrict the age of those playing and make it secure and safe and fair. Online casinos are already operational across the country, but they are regulated by private commissions such as Kahnawake in the Mohawk Nation near Montreal. The provincial governments of Canada are getting into online gambling because it's the only way they can control it. People are playing at the web sites already so why not let the local governments have a piece of the pie.




 

 

 

 

 

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Good news for online gamblers in Poland. Recently there was a media announcement that the Polish government was planning to use web censorship to deny it's citizens their surfing rights on the internet. Many categories of websites, including the usual ones with offensive content as well as online gambling sites that are not licensed to operate in Poland where included in the plan. This is bad for a country that just a short while ago removed it's shackles and became free. The government wanted to keep it's people safe from the ways of the world. People on the net immediately formed a politically charged campaign with the use of social media outlets such as Facebook to give the Polish government a piece of their collective minds. The power of the internet has brought officials to listen to the voice of the citizens and after lengthy talks with select non governmental organizations the Prime Minister Donald Tusk has publicly stated that all plans to filter or censor the internet are to be abandoned. The possibility that online gambling sites were to be filtered brought the players together with a petition that was signed by thousands. Apparently a proposed draft of the web censoring system had been already sent to the Constitutional Tribunal which immediately threw it out calling it unconstitutional. Tusks actions are at best a smoothing over of the gambling publics' outrage. His quick action saved face but did it make players confident that some other form of freedom may be next. This is a clear example of the power of the internet with large numbers of people starting to feel that it's a right to have an open society with open access to information and entertainment. Online gambling may face other issues in Poland, but at least for now the player can go around the world on a computer playing whatever game they want at any time.

 

 

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“Can and must be regulated” is the title of the Facebook debate page on online gambling. This social networking venue does provide valuable interaction and opinions on this very difficult subject, but does it come to any hard and fast conclusions, no. That's the job of politicians and lawmakers who are struggling with the facts and figures. On one hand there is proof that regulation and licensing works to the benefit of the consumer and the public purse as in the United Kingdom. On the other hand proof is evident in the opposite example in the USA where prohibition has created an underground online gambling economy where the money leaves for parts unknown and the government looses out on taxing the funds. In Europe the debate rages on as to how to make it fair for all members in the European Union. British Conservative, Malcolm Harbour, who is Chair of the Internal Market Committee, said recently in a response to questions from members of the E.U.'s parliament, “it is absolutely the right time for the Commission to be coming out with a clear strategy”. adding that online gambling. “can be regulated and must be regulated.” Harbour pointed out the importance of giving the people the right to a choice, “We must also respect our citizens and the fact that many of them want to access online gambling” “it can’t be right to ban online gambling with a company from outside your own country.” Conversely, German Socialist, Evelyne Gebhardt, stated, “member states should not be forced to open market up if their controls are strong and effective and we want the Commission to finally understand this.” Michel Barnier the new internal markets commissioner was quick to respond, “make no mistake; I have come to talk about a new approach.” Barnier went on to say, “these are not services just like any other. Fighting cross-border crime without a European approach is impossible. We have to have strict limits so that minors can’t play and on this we need E.U. coordination.”

 

 

 

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It has been suggested that Full Tilt Poker is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the USA. Full Tilt Poker.com is licensed and regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. With the full enforcement of the prohibition on online gambling in the USA looming the Feds are moving rapidly to have someone ready to prosecute once the June first 2010 deadline arrives. FBI agents have been making their presence felt in Washington state interviewing online gambling patrons of the Full Tilt Poker room. Small stakes players have been visited without any warning by FBI agents asking pointed questions about the player's transactional activities with the Full Tilt poker web site. Setting the tone for the inquires the agents for the government are saying they are just gathering information not on the players but on the Full Tilt operation. It is speculated by poker forum patrons that this is a fact gathering exercise that will lead to a case against Full Tilt Poker in the near future. Washington state is one of only a handful of U.S. states that actually has a law prohibiting online poker. This seems like the perfect venue for an FBI investigation because the law against playing poker online could result in real convictions for firms offering gambling to those living in Washington State. Besides the legal implications of playing online poker there the act is a felony, providing leverage for the agency to get gamblers to testify, something that has proved difficult in other states. Full Tilt Poker is operating just on the legal edge in the USA and should the Department of Justice proceed to a court case against the company and win, it could create precedent that may be a disaster for not only Full Tilt Poker but for the entire movement to repeal the current ban on online gambling in the USA. It remains to be seen if any of this comes to pass but logical deduction is pointing to the possibility.  

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Wagering on just about everything these days seems to be the normal way to play for a lot of punters. What makes all this betting interesting is when it gets into the political sphere. Australian's love their various forms of vice and gambling is no exception. In Australia people are placing huge wagers on who will win the next election in that art of the world. Online gambling has become a hot issue with the current government doing it's level best to control offshore wagering with draconian and unfair methods. The productivity Commission will soon hand down it's recommendations regarding the status and future of the activity in the county. Meanwhile people are betting the government of the day may be toppled by it's proposal to filter the internet and stop punters from accessing their favourite internet casinos. The very fact that internet censorship may happen has many Aussies crying foul, and looking for a change in leadership. Unfortunately when it come to political situations there is no such thing as a guaranteed result.

Australian bookies and the average man on the street has determined that there's at least a reasonable chance that the Labour Party will be thrown out of office at the next election. Current Prime Minster Rudd has even publicly and privately said that there's a chance they will loose the election. Although Mr. Rudd is still the odds-on favourite, returning just $1.20 from Centrebet if he stays in The Lodge. But the Coalition with Mr. Abbot has tightened to $3.85 - the first time it has been under $4 in more than a year. The betting market suggests a modest turnaround in political fortunes. Centrebet's Neil Evans said the agency had been forced to reassess its prices after several big bets recently. Mr. Evans said, "It's the first crucial sign the Coalition is getting right back into the battle after the Labour government had dominated with punters for two years."

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