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Posts Tagged ‘gambling’

Atlantic City casino district to fall under state government control

July 22, 2010 Leave a comment

The Reuters news agency reports that New Jersey governor Chris Christie is about to announce a state takeover of Atlantic City’s casino district, removing local government functions such as police and refuse pickup.

News of the proposed take over of the beleaguered gambling mecca was leaked anonymously by a state government official.

The plan includes keeping revenue from a gaming tax within the city rather than paying it into state coffers; taking over the city’s convention and visitors’ bureau, and seizing control of Boardwalk Hall, an entertainment venue.

Christie will also apparently announce plans to sell or close the battling Meadowlands Racetrack in northern New Jersey, to minimise the role of the authority that runs it, and to refinance a $2 billion entertainment and retail complex near the New Meadowlands stadium.

Reuters reports that the plans were drawn up by a commission created by Christie in response to plunging revenue in Atlantic City, which has been hit hard by competition from new casinos in neighbouring Pennsylvania, and the losses suffered by the horse racing industry at Meadowlands.

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PhilWeb Corporation inks joint venture agreement with Cambodian operator

July 19, 2010 Leave a comment

The Manila-listed online gambling technology provider PhilWeb Corporation scored a significant coup this week, inking a joint venture agreement with the Cambodian firm 5P Corporation with the goal of breaking into the online and mobile gambling sector in the country, which boasts a population of some 15 million.

5P has influence arising from principal shareholder Hun Sun Ny, the sister of Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen.

“The Cambodian joint venture is consistent with PhilWeb’s focus on an international expansion strategy,” read a statement from the Manila-based firm.

“PhilWeb is also working to obtain gaming licenses in other countries including Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Guam, Saipan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Nepal and others.”

Eighty percent of the joint venture is owned by PhilWeb Cambodia Limited, a subsidiary of PhilWeb, which estimated that total capital investment over a five-year period would reach five million US dollars.

PhilWeb acts as the enabler of the State-run Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and revealed that its latest venture had already secured a Cambodian gaming licence in order to operate lotteries and online casino cafes.

The Philippines government recently indicated that it was considering the privatisation of PAGCOR.

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Finnish state gambling monopoly renews Atletico Madrid shirt sponsorship

July 19, 2010 Leave a comment

The Finnish gambling monopoly Alands Penningautomatforening (PAF) has signed a one year extension to its sponsorship agreement with Spanish football club Atletico De Madrid.

PAF launched Apuestasrojiblancas.com, the official online gaming site for the La Liga team, last year.

“The fact that we are extending the contract for another year is proof of a long and successful partnership,” said Inger Holmstrom, public relations director for PAF.

The deal will see star players Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero visit Stockholm next month prior to the start of the Spanish league season for promotional activities, while PAF will be empowered to offer match tickets, VIP packages and access to star players such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup duo.

“Extending our partnership means that our customers in all markets will be able to win football trips to Madrid, meet some of the club’s star players and sit in the best possible seats at the Vicente Calderon Stadium to see Atletico De Madrid play against other major clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona,” said Albin Tiusanen, head of Spanish activities at PAF.

Atletico De Madrid is one of the most successful teams in the history of Spanish football having won the league and Copa Del Rey on nine occasions, including the double in 1996. It has also been triumphant in Europe, taking home the European Cup Winners Cup in 1962, the Intercontinental Cup in 1975 and the UEFA Europa League title last season.

“We were convinced that the relationship between PAF and Atletico De Madrid was going to be more than promising and it was,” said Enrique Cerezo, president for Atletico De Madrid.

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British Columbia’s online gambling site succumbs to overuse within hours

July 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Proof that there is a super-abundance of demand in Canada for legal and government regulated gambling over the internet was dramatically afforded Friday, when the official Play Now website launched that day by the British Columbia provincial government’s BC Lottery Corporation crashed within the first day due to popular demand.

BC Lottery president Michael Graydon said the Openbet-powered gambling software generated so much business that the site had to be temporarily closed for maintenance.

“It’s been an overwhelming success with people in British Columbia to the point where we hit 100% capacity in the first day,” Graydon said late Friday.

“So we decided to close the site down for a half a day, and add some new hardware and servers to the system to be able to accommodate the demand. We’re in the process of doing that. Our IT people are working very hard to get it up and running again.”

The gambling pages on the site were still not operational by early Saturday morning PT, with the website still sporting a notification that read: “We are experiencing technical difficulties and will have the matter corrected shortly. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you.”

Billed as the first government-sanctioned online casino in North America, the site has generated some political and anti-gambling criticism as being more about raising money for the provincial government than protecting BC players by offering a government regulated facility.

B.C. Minister of Housing and Social Development Rich Coleman says that the estimated Cdn$100 million the site is expected to generate will help funding for education, social programs and health care by capturing gambling revenue that would normally flow to illegal offshore gambling websites.

The standard sign-up bonusing common in the international industry has particularly inflamed some opposition politicians.

New players who sign up get Cdn$10 to gamble with, and anyone who spends Cdn$100 before the end of August gets another Cdn$100 free, with wager-through conditions.

NDP house leader Mike Farnworth objected to this, telling reporters Friday: “No one says, ‘Why don’t you pop into a B.C. liquor store and we’ll give you a free case of beer.’ I don’t think they should be offering incentives for people to go try online gaming.”

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European Commission critical of Polish gambling proposals

July 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Poland’s controversial proposed new gambling legislation has suffered a setback, raising negative comments from the European Commission to which it was submitted for approval earlier this year.

Provisions involving online gambling and betting have already attracted criticism from the UK and Malta governments

After studying the European Commission’s comments, the European Gambling and Betting Association trade association noted that, whilst the initiative to properly and fairly regulate online gambling was laudable, the current draft contained a wide range of stumbling blocks which could prejudice companies licensed in other EU nations in the pursuit of a Polish licence.

EGBA urged the Polish government to revise the draft to bring it into compliance with the European Treaty.

Provisions which require particular attention include:

  • The requirement for licensees to be established in Poland either in the form of a joint stock company or in the form of a limited company with a very high share capital
  • The possibility to exclude companies whose shares are quoted on the stock exchanges
  • The requirement for online betting companies to install and store their servers in Poland;
  • The obligation for all transactions related to the betting services to be carried out through a Polish bank or in a branch of a foreign bank established in Poland
  • The unjustified exclusion of certain games such as online poker
  • The significant differences (in terms of financial guarantees and license fees) required for online and offline operators

“Some of these provisions seem to stem from a legitimate wish to regulate and enforce the rules for the online gaming market, but they duplicate requirements already fulfilled in other jurisdictions,” said Sigrid Ligné, Secretary General of EGBA.

“EU licensed and regulated companies can fulfill all necessary requirements on fraud prevention and consumer protection without being necessarily established in Poland. This draft law would leave Polish consumers without a fair, secure and competitive online gaming market,” she added.

In addition, some of the provisions such as the licensing requirements and advertising restrictions also beg the question as to whether the law will be economically attractive for EU licensed operators, Ligné pointed out.

The Polish draft law was notified to the European Commission and Member States on 14 April 2010. The current detailed opinion extends the standstill period until 16 August 2010, during which time Poland cannot adopt its draft legislation.

Poland is required to respond to the Commission’s views, and if it fails to take into account the Commission’s objections, infringement proceedings are an option.

There are also problems with the land-based requirements in the new law. The bill establishes the use of slot machines outside of licensed casinos as illegal and introduces significantly higher taxes on the gambling industry.

Commission spokesman Fabio Pirotta observed that certain provisions may be in conflict with European law.

“The Commission has studied information sent by Polish authorities and the Gambling Bill project. After a deep analysis it has decided to ask for more information in order to investigate whether the bill is compliant with EU law,” he said, declining to elaborate.

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Royal Joker online casino closing

July 16, 2010 Leave a comment

A Microgaming-powered online gambling operation in the the Jackpot Factory Group, Royal Joker Casino has informed its players that effective July 21st 2010 its services will no longer be available.

The management has given players a choice of transferring to either All Slots Casino in the same parent group, or Intertops, an online casino firm that was once powered by Microgaming and launched Royal Joker in February 2009. It is understood that when Intertops left the Microgaming fold, Royal Joker was taken over by Jackpot Factory.

Both choices offer special incentive ‘transfer offers’, details of which are available on the Royal Joker website.

Licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and operated by a company branded Beresford Ltd, Royal Joker boasts that it is accredited by the independent player protection and standards body eCOGRA.

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Globet to add Chartwell games to its invenotry

July 13, 2010 Leave a comment

The half a million claimed players who use the well established Globet online casino and sports betting operation will have access to the wide range of games in the Chartwell Technology gambling software soon following a deal finalised this week.

Globet’s main markets are in Southern and Central Europe, and the company recently announced that it is to relocate from Gibraltar to the UK, where it will seek licensing in order to expand further.

For Calgary, Canada-based Chartwell the deal is a reunion rather than a new partnership. Chief operating officer Dan Phillips says that the two companies enjoyed a business relationship between 2003 and 2006, and are therefore familiar with each other’s business models and operating philosophies.

Globet md Enrico Salvatori says that the decision to return to Chartwell was based purely on the quality of its games and software.

Last month Chartwell added Australia’s Centrebet to its list of clients.

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