Author: Petesede

UK law forces online casinos to use fair and honest advertisements

As part of a consumer protection policy aimed at online casino customers, the UK has brought a hefty fine against one of the most popular and well marketed online casinos that operates in the UK, BGO.com .   As most news involving online casinos, what happens in one country usually has ramifications everywhere in the world since, like in this case, the casino will have to change their online presence in order to comply with the new regulations in the UK.  Another reason to pay attention to what is happening in other countries is that usually governments take cues from each other when it comes to enforcement of laws and if the laws are worth writing. The fine filed against BGO is expected to be around half a million dollars, so will immediately open the eyes of all online casinos in regards to advertising methods and false or misleading claims.  In the case of the UK laws, the new regulations required that the casino must prominently advertise any restrictions or limitations to promotions, especially regarding free money bonuses.  It is a very common practice for online casinos to advertise ´free money´ or 500% deposit matches without explaining the limitations of the free money. With BGO, and with many casinos, the free money comes with a ton of restrictions including the fact that it cannot ever be withdrawn.  Only the...

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Skill based gambling, coming soon to online casinos?

In recent weeks, the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas has expanded the appropriately named ´Level Up´ lounge, an area of the casino marketed towards younger gamblers.  The Level Up area does more than just cater to different tastes of younger voters like a craft beer bar, but also is where the MGM Grand has chosen to host it´s first skill-based real-money games.   There are currently only two games available, but they can be played in different ways, either teams against teams,  teams against the house, player against player or player against house.   Team-based games, be either fully cooperative or competitive have become a staple part of video games the last decade with games like Call of Duty and League of Legends being some of the highest earning games of all time.  Add to this the e-sport phenomenon with games such as StarCraft filling arenas with young people paying to watch skilled players compete against each other and it is easy to see why major casinos who offer mainly lifeless slot and video poker machines just are not exciting or attractive to millennials. No matter how many bells and whistles get added to a slot machine, most younger people are quickly going to recognize a few things.   First is that there is nothing they can do to improve their odds of winning, and second is that...

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Poland makes online gambling legal, but an impossible business model

Polish politicians have found a way to give the people what they are demanding, but still do what they wanted to do anyway.  Due to insider conflicts and the effects of big money, the legislature of Poland has been firmly opposed to online gambling, however, that contrasted drastically with a population pushing for a legal way to gamble online, especially young voters who made waves on the issue over the last decade.  But as politicians often do, those in Poland found a way to appease the masses while at the same time keep the money and support from big donors. How are they doing it?  mainly through two measures that were part of the original legislation that allowed online gambling to begin with.  It is unclear if they wrote the original legislation intentionally at the time with wording that allows for what they are doing now, or they are merely taking advantage of the wording of the original.  In any event, whether it was intentional or not, the group that oversees only gambling is taking advantage of two easily manipulated rules to basically make online gambling non-viable for any company. The first manipulation is simply with the fees and how they are charged to online casino operators.  Many online casinos are actually owned a single company.. in some cases a single company can own five or more online casinos that...

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New Record for Mobile Progressive Jackpot win at $8.7 million dollars

Microgaming, one of the leading providers of games for online casinos this week has confirmed that a record jackpot has been won off of a mobile device of $8.7M dollars on the progressive jackpot named Mega Moolah.  Microgaming is based out of the Isle of Mann, a small island off the coast of the UK.   The casino where the jackpot was won is the Tipico Online Casino based out of Malta. The record haul of $8.7M barely tops a progressive jackpot win of $8.6M which was won last summer.  The bet size to win the $8.7M was about $7.  While real casinos often require annual payments to receive the full jackpot amount, or a drastically reduced amount for a one-time payment, Microgaming and most other operators of progressive slots stay true to the marketing and pay a full one-time payment of the total jackpot amount.  While there are debates whether annual payments are better for winners, either way it is a life altering occurrence. The progressive jackpot win for the mobile device of $8.7M still does not even come close to the $20M win obtained a few years ago in a computer-based online casino along with many other wins of more than $8.7M.  As mobile devices become more popular for users and online casinos, expect to soon see mobile device wins topping even PC jackpot wins. Progressive Jackpots...

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Delaware and New Jersey online casinos, a tale of opposites in 2017

In March of 2017, online gambling in the state of Delaware has plummeted more than 40% despite neighboring New Jersey showing a 45% increase in profits while offering very similar experiences.  As the online gambling market in New Jersey continues to expand and mature, profits are quickly becoming a major par of the casino industry in the state, account for over 10% of all income earned by casino in the state. In the state of Delaware, however, officials and business leaders are scrambling to determine the cause of the rapid reduction in profits.  In some cases, individual online casinos are reporting a shift among games, with players moving towards games with smaller house advantages, while others are point to weather as a cause.   In March of 2016, the weather was bad in Delaware resulting in more online gambling which made year over year comparison to March 2017 difficult because of better weather this year resulting in more people outside the home. The gambling industry in Delaware is obviously not nearly as mature as New Jersey and the companies operating there do have have the large backing of brick and mortar casinos so the rapid decline in profits in 2017 is a major concern for the long-term survivability of the industry.  Delaware currently has three companies operating online casinos in the state and the two largest reported huge drops...

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions considers overturning DOJ online gambling decision.

In 2011 the Justice Department made a decision that the American Wire Act only prohibited online sports gambling and did not cover online slot machines or other online parlor games.  This decision largely allowed individual states to decide how to regulate online gambling within their own borders and allowed states like Delaware to quickly jump into the game. However, during his confirmation, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was shocked by the 2011 decision and did not necessarily agree with it.  He also stated it was a decision he was likely to revisit once becoming Attorney General, which he now is. The story gets even more murky ( welcome to politics) since Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Casino owner reportedly donated $5M to the Trump Inauguration Fund, along with $11M to the Trump campaign and another $20M to a Republican senate PAC.  One of Adelson´s main issues is the rise of online gambling, so you can imagine a lot of influence was bought with that $36M in campaign funding over the last 12 months. An act by the Department of Justice might be necessary since very little progress has been made in either the senate or house in regards to restricting online gambling with Republicans believing it is best left as a state issue.  President Trump has also stated in the past that online gambling is unstoppable, so either the...

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Online Gambling enemy Rep. Jason Chaffetz not running again

Rep. Jason Chaffetz who is the current chairman of the House Oversight Committee and has been a long-time antagonist for the online gambling community announced last week that he will not be seeking re-election.  Chaffetz district in Utah is largely Mormon so it is very unlikely that it will go Democratic or to a moderate Republican, but more importantly it means a much less powerful person will be taking the seat.  Chaffetz has been a close ally to billionaire Sheldon Adelson and received substantial campaign contributions for Adelson in exchange for introducing legislation to restrict online gambling. Chaffetz was the author of the RAWA, the restoration of the american wire act, a ridiculous law that attempted to transfer laws written for the telegraph and apply them to online gambling and other online issues.  The bill was largely ignored by the house and no similar bill ever appeared in the senate, but the departure of Chaffetz means that items and restriction in RAWA will probably not find their way into appropriations or tax laws in the near future. Chaffetz largely become known because of his use of the Oversight Committee to cause media attention against Hillary Clinton on a variety of issues from her private email servers to Benghazi.  it was mainly Chaffetz who made sure that for the past few years, there was always an open house investigation into...

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Florida Supreme Court approves gambling amendment to state constitution.

As one of the largest states in the USA, the gambling debate in Florida has been getting a lot of attention with a ton of different groups all have substantially different stakes in what happens.  Florida has a long history with gambling debates with more than 50 different attempts by its´congress to pass bills to allow gambling.  Some of the more important groups involved include the obvious,  big casinos and religious group, but also involves the Seminole Indian Tribe who currently operate a handful of casinos including some HardRock Cafe Casinos on their lands. The constitutional amendment came about largely because the bills passed by the state senate and the state house are very different and no middle-ground can be reached.  One of the bigger issues involves which games are allowed, if online casinos will be allowed and the locations of games.  The senate bill mainly just allows slot machines and video poker machines to be placed at horse and dog racing tracks, the house bill allows almost full placement of casinos throughout the state.  And as mentioned, the Seminole tribe is against both bills for fear of competition, but also completely against the house bill because the current Seminole tribe gambling laws require profit-sharing with the state, something that would not be required by other new casinos opened under the house bill. But the writing is on the wall and Florida does...

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Understanding the rules when accepting bonus money from deposit matching codes

One of the more controversial topics discussed in online gambling forums is whether or not you should use promotional deposit matching codes when you make a deposit.  A good portion of experienced players will tell you that the rules that come with the bonus money codes make them not worth it.   In my opinion that is not correct if you understand the rules and the rules don´t require you to do anything you wouldn´t want to do.   But if you do use a promotion bonus code and accept bonus money it is vital that you read the restrictions and completely understand them… and that is the purpose of this article.  Before we get into it, it is important to know that every casino has different rules, and even if they have the same rule, they might implement it differently than other casinos.  In this article we will try to show you all of the most common variations of each restriction. To get things started, we will talk about the most devastating of all of the rules, the ´ restricted games´ rule.  The reason this rule is so devastating is that if you break it, you forfeit your winnings, end of story.  With the other restrictions, if you break a rule or don´t meet a requirement, it usually means you just have to play longer until you can...

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Starting slow with online gambling, penny slots

I came across this casino in my travels and it made me wonder why there aren´t more casinos set up for casual, low risk type of players.  It is obvious from the free game sections at Facebook and Google that free online casino games, especially slots and video poker are very popular and you would think that online casinos would be making more of an effort to covert those free players into players who come to a real online casino and bet real cash.   But that transition is tough because most online casinos generally promote themselves to the high-rollers offering big promotion bonuses of deposits of $1000 and promoting tournaments that require huge amounts to be wagered.  I guess that business model makes sense, but so does Winaday Casino´s plan of marketing to casual players who don´t want to have to make a huge deposit and don´t want to have to wager $1 or more on every spin of the slot wheel. There is more to attracting casual players than just penny slots, Winaday Casino also offers minimum deposit and withdrawal limits of only $25 while most online casinos require at least $100 for a cash-out.  Furthermore, the major promotion and origin of its name is a lottery that is made every day and does not require huge wagering amounts to be played ( like most tournaments), instead...

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Online Casino Tournaments, how to really compete

As you search around the internet for an online casino at which to play, one of the promotions you will often see are high prize tournaments.   While many people see these advertisements and think they are like poker tournaments as seen on TV, in most situations the tournaments at online casinos are a completely different concept.  Instead of competing with your fellow players in an elimination style contest, these online tournaments consists mainly of races to see who can wager the largest amount within the time frame of the contest by playing only the games allowed by the contest. The main setup is something like this.  The ten players who have wagered the highest amount on the particular games allowed all receive a prize with the higher placed winners receiving a bigger portion of the overall price pot.  So for example the winner might receive $10,0000 while the 10th place person may receive $100.  With this type of tournament, obviously the biggest determiner of who wins is who has the biggest bank and can constantly make high wagers in the selected games in a short amount of time. When the tournament involves games like slots, there is not really much of a strategy you can use other than starting the tournament with a high bank and hoping for some luck that allows you to keep wagering high amounts...

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Pennsylvania, the intersection between gambling and politics

Watching the plight of Pennsylvania House Bill 649 can be a learning lesson both in regards to the business model of many casinos, both online and real, as well as the games played in politics.  In the most basic terms, HB 649 would legalize online gambling in Pennsylvania.  The law was primarily aimed at making Pennsylvania competitive with its´neighbors, mainly New York and New Jersey as well as to get ahead of Ohio who is also undergoing a chaotic political process regarding gambling, and especially online gambling.   Of course Pennsylvania is also highly impacted by the proximity of...

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The locations of online casinos and the effect Brexit will have.

One of the more interesting things when researching online casinos is from where they are based.  Like many internet based businesses, there is no need to be physically located next to resources or even infrastructure.  This gives online casinos the freedom to choose in which countries to register based mainly on two criteria. The first the the corporate tax rate and the ease of doing corporate taxes.  In the many developed countries, including the USA, it is fairly easy to get a corporate tax rate down into single digits, however, it requires a ton of work, understanding regulation and possibly even lobbying to do it.  Meanwhile, there are other countries which you will see mention on the ´about us´ sections of many online casinos such as Panama, Gibraltar and Malta which offer a very low corporate tax rate, with no struggle required.  Every company gets the low tax rate without resorting to loopholes and voodoo accounting.  The is probably the main reason why many virtual companies choose to locate themselves based out of these rather obscure places. It is also an important point that because these countries have gone out of their way to create hospitable environments for virtual companies, andecosystem of companies are available inside of those companies to help support you there.  It is very easy to find support services that a typical virtual company would need....

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Progressive Slot winner receives over $17,000,000 payout from Microgaming

An online slots player from the UK recently hit what all of us dream of, the jackpot of a progressive slot that has been peaked for a long time.  The slot in question was appropriately names Mega Moolah.  For those who are not aware of how progressive slots work, and in particular progressive online slots  this may be your cue to start learning. Progressive slots have a jackpot that keeps going the longer the machine goes without anyone winning.  In real world casinos, progressive slots are often linked together mainly so customers don´t fight for a seat at the slot with the highest jackpot, but also they are linked so the jackpots grow more rapidly and get to higher amounts, which attracts more customers. It is this second reason that makes progressive slot machines so attractive for online casinos.  Not only are the slots linked at the casino, so every player playing the same slot machine will build the jackpot for that slot, but the casinos are often linked together, so you can have hundreds of players from multiple casinos all working together to build up a huge jackpot, which is what happened in the case of the player who won $17M. One of my favorite Microgaming casinos is The Lucky Emperor One thing to be careful of when playing progressive slots is that they very often are excluded from...

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Paypal and Online Casinos, where do we stand?

As someone who deals with a lot of online gamblers, especially those new to online casinos, one of the first thing that gets asked is about Paypal, and the ability to use Paypal to make deposits as well as collect winnings.   The answer is a confusing we used to, we can´t currently, but things are starting to look more promising and we should be able to use Paypal with online casinos again soon. In 2006, the US congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. (UIGEA) which made it illegal for US banks and payment processors to transfer money back and forth between gamblers and online casinos.  In an ironic, and probably planned twist, credit cards were for the most part excluded from this law. The law itself is vague about some things and has allowed many smaller payment processors to risk it.  So even know if you visit any online casino, more than likely you will see a handful of companies with similar business models as Paypal available for use. The main reason Paypal never took the plunge to test the waters was  because their size and popularity and most importantly because they functioned as a subsidiary of Ebay.  Paypal dwarfs their competition, and so while the smaller payment processors were able to sneak under the radar, a company as big as Paypal would get noticed and would...

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