Author: Petesede

Current Bovada Promotions and Special Events, July 2017

If you are new to online casinos, you may quickly find out that many online casinos offer very similar products and provide the same level of security and game selection.  In the end, many times the major thing that differentiates the casinos is their promotions and loyalty programs.  Some players will want to enjoy huge new player bonuses, while others may want to build their loyalty with the casino in order to earn lucrative perks down the line.  This article is going to outline the promotions and loyalty program of Bovada Casino, one of the most respected out there.  With this article, everything is presented in a concise format with special attention to the restrictions and requirements so that you can make an informed decision without missing any important facts that might be apparent on the casino´s own website. Bovada Casino offers two different new player bonuses depending on if your deposits are made with Bitcoins or not, with the Bitcoin promotion being more substantial.  For players making normal non-Bitcoin deposits, the promotion is still very generous, offering a 100% match on your first three deposits up to a maximum of $3000.  This comes with a 25x play-through requirement which can be fulfilled using any games except craps, with some games offering fractional credit.  With Bitcoins, the casino match is improved to 150% with a maximum of $4500.  The...

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Las Vegas East? Viva Vladivostok Russia!

Russian President Vladimar Putin would not be someone you would think of when talking about gambling or casinos.  Once quoted as saying that casinos preyed on the dimwitted and compulsive, Putin has essentially outlawed gambling for Russians, but apparently he is more than happy to profit from dimwitted and compulsive foreigners.  The Russian Government under Putin has poured billions of dollars into the eastern seaport of Vladivostok in an effort to transform it into a clone of Las Vegas and Macau.  Vladivostok is located on the pacific ocean just north of China, the Koreas and Japan and across the ocean from Alaska and British Colombia. The selection of Vladivostok as the destination is an ideal strategic location because of the proximity to three economic powerhouses in South Korea, China and Japan, all of which have very stringent restrictions against gambling inside their own borders.   The situation is similar to what occurred with Windsor, Canada, which is located just across the border and with easy access to several US states with strict gambling laws. At this point ( Summer 2017) there is only one casino operating in Vladivostok, with between four to eight more in various states of construction or planning.   It is obvious from the restaurants and themes that the target audience are rich asians traveling north rather than Russians traveling east.   It goes so far...

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Jeff Sessions recuses himself after revelations regarding personal lawyer

Is the glass of water half-full, or half-empty?   When evaluating the shocking turn of events this month in regards to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the American Wire Act it is hard to feel very optimistic.  Just a brief history, in 2011 President Obama´s Department of Justice decided that large parts of the American Wire Act did not apply to the internet, which instead was ruled to be a public utility rather than a media source.   Basically their decision was that the internet should be treated more like electricity rather than public TV.  This decision drastically changed a lot of the regulations placed on internet service providers and helped protect privacy and also increase the ease of providing internet service to rural areas.   At the time, then Senator Jeff Sessions was ´shocked´ by the decision.  Fast forward six years and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, very quickly in the Trump Administration has been a strong proponent of the so-called  RAWA ( Restoration of the American Wire Act) which basically does nothing more than return the internet to where it was in 2010 with an added green-light for ISPs to collect and sell personal information about customers and their browsing habits.  Another part of RAWA would directly go after online gambling at a federal level. However, early last month, revelations began to appear that Jeff Sessions had...

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Mayweather gets the odds, McGregor gets the bets.

Floyd Mayweather Jr is a heavy favorite in the mega-fight next month at the Las Vegas MGM Grande, but that is not stopping people from betting on McGregor who some reports are saying is pulling more than a 2 to 1 advantage in number of bets made.  Of course this could easily be explained by the heavy betting odds in favor of Mayweather, where a $50,000 bet would net less than $7000. As the trash-talk and wagering information gets heated up, it will be interesting to see how the lines move.  While McGreggor is getting a lot more bets made on him, they are mainly small bets made by new or infrequent gamblers,  the big and more experienced money is overwhelmingly going for Floyd Mayweather Jr and most boxing experts believe it is unlikely that McGregor will be able to even touch Mayweather who is currently 49-0 and who is considered by man the best defensive boxer of all time, and many say the greatest overall boxer of all time. Of course the one-punch power of McGregor is almost legendary at this point, with the highlight being a 13 second, one-punch knock-out of long-time champion Jose Aldo.   But of course the question remains if McGregor will be able to even touch Mayweather who has rarely been hit hard in his 49 professional fights, and certainly not in the...

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Hard Rock Atlantic City set to open in late spring 2018

As any regular gambler can tell you,  winnings come and go in cycles and the good days can be really good, and the bad days really bad, and the same can be said for the famous Trump Taj Mahal which seems to be set for another high point next summer as it re-opens under the famous Hard Rock name.   Now President Trump made the Taj Mahal a spectacle, well before it ever opened its doors.   The casino was reported to have cost more than a billion dollars to build, and financial planners familiar with Atlantic City casinos have stated that at that price tag, the Taj Mahal would have had to earn over a million dollars in profits every day just to break even. Of course that did not happen and the Taj Mahal quickly became somewhat of a joke among the Atlantic City community as repairs were not made, contractors were not paid and even the local unions were not allowed to operate within the casinos, all with a failed purpose of keeping the overpriced casino profitable, which it never was.  The Taj Mahal originally opened under a slew of controversy and misinformation and in the end, the local zoning regulators prevented a huge section of the casino, including most of its´slot machines, to be closed at the time of its´grand opening because of building violations....

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Marijuana legalization in Nevada creates dilemas for casinos

In last Novembers election, voters from Nevada decided to legalize personal, recreational use of marijuana.  While the vote passed in November, legalization does not begin until July 1st, which has given casinos and the Nevada Gaming Commission little time to prepare for what will certainly be a major event in history of Las Vegas gambling.  For reasons unknown, the Nevada Gaming Commission took and anti-pot stance and continues to warn casinos against allowing marijuana use on their properties.   The powerful gaming commission even went so far as to say that casinos that allow marijuana use could be putting their licensing in jeopardy since marijuana is still illegal at a federal level. Some relief and sanity came recently when by chance, the owner of a casino in Colorado filed for a gambling license in Nevada and was questioned by the five person panel.   Of course Colorado was the first state to make recreational marijuana legal and so far studies have shown little negative impacts, but with significant upside tax revenues for the state.  When asked about the interaction with legalized marijuana and casinos, Jacobs Entertainment representatives stated that at their Colorado casinos, marijuana is treated similarly to alcohol.   When an incident occurs with an employee, they are tested for both alcohol and marijuana and disciplinary action is taken accordingly.  This is of course the stance taken by...

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Realtime Gaming continues the move toward mobile, online games

In the past year, Realtime Gaming has been updating its´older games to allow them to be played through websites and on mobile devices rather than just through the downloadable application.   Realtime Gaming, which is one of the earliest pioneers at providing online casino games, has gone back through they library of games only available as a download and is updating the most popular games.  Back in the earliest days of online casinos, games were not available for mobile devices, and there were security concerns about allowing games to be played through a browser, so most casinos operated by requiring the player to download a computer application that ran the casino games.   But obviously because of the rapid increase in the use of mobile devices, as well as more techniques to make website flash games secure, having to download a program to your desktop seems very archaic.   But rather than just retiring these older, earliest games, Realtime Gaming has gone back and given them a facelift. The two old but popular games that have been refitted for mobile and website play are Double Ya Luck and Penguin Power.   Double Ya Luck has consistently been a favorite at Realtime Gaming Casinos because it features a very elaborate bonus level system which operates more like a board game that a slot machine.  But one of the biggest reasons...

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Microgaming progressive jackpots again on the rise.

One of the more exciting aspects of online gambling is the huge jackpots available from progressive jackpots, especially those administered by the largest gaming developers such as Microgaming.  In March, jackpots were hit in excess of $9.5 million dollars which triggers a reset of the jackpots.  However, due to the publicity created by the winning jackpots, the new jackpot is already pushing $9M again. The Progressive slot machine in question is called Mega Moolah and it available at almost every online casino that offers games made by Microgaming.   Progressive slots are unique in that not only do the jackpots increased until someone wins them, but also because the data and jackpot is shared across multiple online casinos, even those with no affiliation with each other.  This sharing of resources means that jackpots grow rapidly since there can sometimes be more than a dozen online casinos contributing to the same jackpot total. As of early in 2017, Mega Moolah has paid out nearly $200M in main jackpot winnings to about three dozen winners, with the average winner walking away with about half a million dollars.   But as publicity rises of the big winnings that can be won at these progressive slots, the jackpots grow more rapidly after each reset.  With Mega Moolah the reset value is only $40K, but it usually takes only a few days now until...

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Sheldon Adeleson shifts focus from online gambling to renewable energy

Online Gambling and Renewable Energy have something significant in common, they both are enemies of billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adeleson who has spent a decade and millions of dollars preventing online gambling from getting a foothold in Las Vegas.  But numbers being reported regarding lobby spending in Nevada are showing that in the past year, Adeleson is now spending more money lobbying against new renewable energy laws than laws against online gambling.  Nevada is considering a law that would require the state to produce 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.  It is hard to see Adeleson´s reason for opposing the bill since current technology, operating in sunny states such as Nevada should not effect energy prices for the casinos, especially given such a low threshold of 50% over the next 13 years. There is some hope, probably naive, that Adeleson´s hatred of renewable energy or laws that require the use of renewable energy will take his focus away from online gambling, which he has almost single-handedly been able to thwart with every attempt.  Online gambling is a much more clear and present danger to Adeleson so it is unlikely the latest bill regarding renewable energy will be much of a distraction.   Adeleson takes one of the hardest stances against online gambling, refusing to acknowledge that online gambling can become an important revenue stream for tradition...

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Silk Road founder has life sentence upheld.

Online gambling has always been a legal murky area in many countries, especially in the USA where each state often determines its´own way of handling the future of gambling, with many states not even have a firm grasp on their own way of legislating normal gambling.  For many online casinos that operate or have customers in jurisdictions without clear laws regarding online gambling, it makes normal operations risky especially in regards to payments and banking in general.  For this reason, many online casinos are moving toward and promoting Bitcoins as a preferred payment system.  And for this reason, the recent court decision regarding Ross Ulbricht is important to the world of online gambling. Silk Road was an online marketplace for illegal activity, the majority of which were drug related, but as the FBI will point out it also was used for much more sinister things such as human traffic, child pornography and even murder-for-hire.   This last part is paramount to the life sentence against the founder of Silk Road because not only was he accused of facilitating illegal drug trading and profiting from it, but as the investigation against him heated up, he was accused of trying to hire hitman to kill key witnesses.  In the end, and after two years, the FBI was able to infiltrate the deepest layers of Silk Road and collect evidence against Ulbricht....

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South Africa cracks down against online gambling

While most of the world moves forward with the inevitability of online gambling, with many countries and US states even embracing the potential tax revenues,  South Africa is going the other route.  South Africa has always had a zero tolerance approach to online gambling, with laws against online gambling existing almost as soon as the first person thought of opening an online casino.   But those laws were ignored and mostly unenforced, as reports are pointing out that even 5 years ago, public confessions were often not followed up.  All of that has recently changed with a huge and swift crackdown against online gambling In a series of moves, multiple big winners have recently had their bank accounts seized by law enforcement and their winnings confiscated.  New regulations placed on banks require them to report bank transfers of online activity linked to online casinos.  The penalties against the banks are severe enough that the banks are forced to comply and have willingly  or maybe reluctantly turned over evidence against their customers.   The latest crackdown may be one of the reasons that many casinos that are available outside of South Africa have begun promoting the use of Bitcoins. The campaign against online gambling in South Africa goes even further with recent legislation that holds companies such as internet cafes and even popular wi-fi destinations like a corner Starbucks responsible...

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Bitcoin valuations make online gambling risky

Talking about Bitcoins online is a bit like talking about religion or politics, no matter what you say, a lot of people are going to disagree.   There are those who see Bitcoins as nothing but a Ponzi scheme created by some unknown group of people, while others see it as the ultimate form of liberty.   But one of the really interesting debates is when people try to both justify it as a currency, but then in the same breath say it is a great investment tool to make a lot of money.  In reality, both cannot be true.   Currencies are investment tools, but they are usually the safest, most marginal ways to make money, where large hedge funds use huge investments to make tiny profits in a very predictable way.   Currencies generally move in small fractions of 1% per day.  However, Bitcoins are more often equated to investing in a tech or bio-medical start-up where you are lured by the chance off doubling your money in a few months, or even weeks.  This type of speculation and price movement is not something you want to see in something used as a currency, and this problem is showing up in online casinos. Online Casinos are one of the few places where you can actually give and receive bitcoins very easily and frequently.  The problem with the...

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New generation favors games of skill, online gambling over resort gambling

As the next generation of gamblers meet the legal age to gamble, resort casinos are seeing a drastic decrease in those willing to travel to real casinos to part ways with their money.  Don´t get me wrong, for now, resort casinos are doing well with the baby-boomers hitting retirement age and the increase in sports related travel to Las Vegas, but the future is more murky for the pure casinos. Obviously one of the biggest changes for the youngest generation that can legally gamble is that they have grown up their whole lives knowing the internet.  This has a greater impact on resort casinos that most people realize.  The most obvious difference with young people is they can now gamble directly online.  Obviously there is an appeal to going to a huge resort casino, but there is also an appeal to gambling when you want, wherever you want with no huge upfront travel expense.  Spend a couple thousand on airfare and hotels? or use those thousands to add to your bank at an online casino. But the more subtle difference caused because of the internet is knowledge.  The average 20-something gambler knows right away that slot machines are heavily tilted towards the house, that you can download a standard play chart for Blackjack or how to research which casino has the best comps system.  All of those things make...

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Huge Ransomware attack misses online casinos

For those who have a large amount of money currently in online casinos, you can breath a sigh of relief regarding the huge ransomware attack that occurred earlier this week.  Ransomware is accurately named, in essence the worm/virus will encrypt all of the files on your computer and prevent you from accessing anything until you pay the bribe.  In the case of the latest attack, the price was $300 which had to be paid in Bitcoins which the ransomware creators thought would make the transaction untraceable, but that turned out to be untrue.   In any event, the ransomware was only able to infect people who were using old operating systems and who had not updated their OS.  The irony is that the country hardest hit was China, where software, including operating systems is often pirated, and thus cannot be updated with security fixes.   The UK was also hit hard with some high profile companies such as a major hospital being hit. But for those of us who use online casinos, there was very little risk.  Online casinos are constant targets of hacking and malware attempts and thus usually have a very advanced security team, and certainly an online casino that is constantly under attack would never be operated on fifteen year old operating systems or pirated operating systems.  Despite the huge scale of this latest ransomware attack,...

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New York online gambling, halfway there.

A bill has been submitted to the New York State Senate that would allow online gambling for the first time.  The bill singles out poker as the only game allowed, and furthermore only two varieties of poker Holdem and Omaha.  These are the two games that the bill´s sponsor has deemed to be the two least luck-based games, or conversely the two most skill-based forms of poker currently available online. The bill still face substantial obstacles including from tribal casinos.  The influence of native american tribes vary from state to state and as many of them derive a lot of income from their ability to host casinos, they are almost always against any expansion of gambling within their state.  In Florida, for example, the Seminole tribes poses a lot of political power and for decades have thwarted many attempts at gambling expansion.  The tribes in NY do not have anywhere near the political power and this can only really influence their local congressmen.  The lobbying and campaign financing done by the NY tribes is minimal. In previous years, the NY State Senate was able to pass a similar bill by a large margin, however, it became bogged down and eventually pulled by the state house because of confusing over skill-based verses luck-based gambling.  This year the sponsor of the Senate bill has gone through great lengths to clarify the...

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