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GAMBLING NEWS : The Latest Online Gambling Industry News Provided By InfoPowa News
Welcome to Bet Sage's Online Gambling News Section, featuring the latest breaking gambling industry news courtesy of InfoPowa News. This is your one stop source for all and any of the latest developments concerning all aspects of the Online Gambling Industry. InfoPowa News headed up by senior partner Brian Cullingworth are recognised as one of the leading and most respected independent gambling news services in the online gambling industry.
 
21 DECEMBER 2007 : HEADLINES Add to My Yahoo! Add BetSage Gambling News Headlines to My MSN Add to Google BetSage Gambling News - RSS Feed BetSage Gambling News - News Now  
 

Party Gaming.com and Paramount Films team up
Online slot gamblers with a penchant for blockbuster movie action will soon be able to combine their entertainment faves following a major deal signed this week between online gambling group Party Gaming and the world famous Paramount movie producers.

Think the thrill of jet fighter combat, the influence of the capo dei capi and the fun of Saturday Night Fever in the world of online slots, because that's where Party Gaming is going with brand new slots themed under license from Paramount and capturing the essence of major thrillers like Top Gun, The Godfather, Mission Impossible and Saturday Night Fever.  more...
   

Major US companies pay millions in settlement, agree to halt online gambling ads
The US Department of Justice has scored another victory in its war against online gambling, intimidating US giant Internet companies Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! into paying millions in fines and to desist from carrying online gambling advertising.

The US Attorney's office in St. Louis announced the settlements, believed to involve some $31.5 million today (Wednesday), saying that the companies concerned "did not admit or deny" federal prosecutors' claims that as much as a decade of the advertising aided and abetted a crime � specifically online gambling.  more...
   

Concessions accepted in return for the US changing its trade obligations are unlikely to assist online gambling firms
European Union negotiators, probably in one of the strongest positions yet in the World Trade Organisation conflict with the United States, have accepted a disappointingly milk-and-water package that does little to compensate online gambling companies for the damage done by unilateral American trade decisions.  more...
   
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Deal includes Canada and Japan, claims US Trade Representative; Costa Rica, India and Macau hang in
Judging by conflicting statements from the EU and the US Trade Representative, there appears to be some doubt as to whether the concessions given by the United States are "new" or merely "maintain" it's "liberalised" position.

And further news reports from Associated Press on the EU compensation deal with the United States on Internet gambling indicate that Canada and Japan have also folded their cards, although Costa Rica, Macau and India are holding on for a better deal.  more...
   

Despite the EU - US deal, companies could press charges against US discrimination
With the disappointment of an unsatisfying World Trade Organisation compensation deal between the USA and EU still bitter, European online gambling groups are set to file a discrimination complaint against the Americans, reports The Times Online today (Thursday)

The companies say that the US Department of Justice has violated international trade law by forcing them out of the US market and taking legal action while allowing domestic online gaming operators to continue trading.  more...
   

WTO arbitration findings to be released midday
The final chapter in the long-running online gambling trade dispute between Antigua and Barbuda and the United States is scheduled to take place today (Friday) when the World Trade Organisation arbitration panel announces what retaliatory trade measures the Antiguans may take in response to the discriminatory trade practices of the Americans regarding online gambling restrictions.  more...
   
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Now lobbyists warn US Treasury that regulations present major compliance problems
US Treasury drafters of the proposed regulations supporting the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act faced further opposition this week as their work was criticised by banking lobbyists. The Financial Services Round Table, an expert body representing many top banks and financial services companies, warned that the regulations present major compliance obstacles unless the Bush administration clarifies its conflicting views on online betting.  more...
   

Recently promoted US politician enters AG letter in Congressional Record
The recently promoted Senator Jon Kyl has been active against online gambling again this week, going after Barney Frank's HR 2046 IGREA before it hits the political floor, and presumably worried about the growing number of co-sponsors the IGREA has accumulated (now 45)

On Tuesday this week (Dec. 18) Kyl wrote the following letter to Congressional leaders, asking that it be read into the record, accompanied by a letter decrying IGREA signed by 45 Attorneys General:  more...
   

Gextech's "Fantastic League" is well named.
Two years back, visitors to the International Casino Exhibition in London were amazed and intrigued by the sheer quality of an online gaming software product from Gextech which enabled operators to set up international virtual football matches in a variety of the worlds top stadiums. Players, their strips and even the environmental ambience could be customised, and dynamic camera views captured the look and feel of top football contests.  more...
   
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Yet another delay in decision on trade dispute
The industry's hopes for positive news from the World Trade Organisation were dashed Friday when Reuters news service reported yet another delay on the trade body's long-awaited decision regarding the amount of retaliation that Antigua and Barbuda can impose on the United States in their Internet gambling trade dispute.  more...
   

Four year appointments confirmed by Department of Culture, Media and Sport
The controlling body for all British gambling, the Gambling Commission has announced that it is to retain the services of Eve Salomon, Ben Gunn, Gill Milburn and Bill Knight as Commissioners, following confirmation of their re-appointment by the UK minister for sport, Gerry Sutcliffe.

The second term for the Commissioners will be for four years from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2011.  more...
   

Gambling Commission gives guidance on gambling competitions
The UK Gambling Commission this week gave advice to licensees offering foreign gambling as prizes in competitions, following evidence that a number of UK operators are offering seats at overseas poker tournaments as prizes in UK based competitions.

Using as an example a poker tournament played either online or at a UK Casino which offers the winner the chance to play in a cash prize tournament held outside the UK, a Commission spokesperson said that the offering of such a prize amounts to advertising of non-UK gambling, as defined by section 327 of the Gambling Act 2005.  more...
   
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UK marketing company announces intentions...but where's the detail?
Although no firm arrangements have yet been made, the Latin American region could be another international poker contest destination if plans by Vega Promotional Systems, a listed "penny stock" company in the UK, come to fruition. The contest could feature stops in eight Latin American countries, specifically Puerto Rico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica.  more...
   

Jaxx builds more Web 2 marketing momentum with a possible 10.8 million users
The German business publication Finanztreff reports that the recently launched (see previous InfoPowa report) British online bookmaker Jaxx UK has boosted its marketing presence in the UK market with a deal to become Lycos UK's exclusive betting and gaming partner.

Jaxx UK is a fully owned subsidiary of German betting giant Fluxx AG,  more...
   

80 percent skill and 20 percent chance?
The British Broadcasting Corporation has joined the poker skill vs. luck debate with a piece which examines the topic from the perspectives of a professional poker player, a statistician and a regulatory authority spokesperson.

Risk management analyst and expert poker player Graham Newman, who recently won $230 000 in an online poker tournament, supported the much publicised view of Gutshot private poker club owner Derek Kelly that the game is primarily one of skill. Kelly lost the case when he sought support for the skill view from the courts earlier this year, claiming that he did not need a licence.  more...
   
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Online gambling tax proposal thrown out
Controversial Bulgarian government proposals to alter the tax structure on gaming in the Eastern European country were at a stalemate this week as lawmakers criticised and rejected the cabinet's proposals.

The amendments bill proposed to tax betting firms a flat 10 percent on profit, rather than the current 10 percent of turnover, and sparked a heated debate on the parliamentary floor (see previous InfoPowa report). The finance ministry's rationale for the proposal was that the change would leave a bigger share of the revenues with the State Lottery and State Raffle, which are used to subsidise Bulgarian athletes.  more...
   

American independent bankers appear to like the UIGEA regulations, if noone else does!
US Treasury drafters who recently released proposed regulations to support the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act seem to have hit the right note with bankers, mainly because their efforts do not impose unduly burdensome obligations on payment system administrators.

The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) commended the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Board this week for writing "narrow and reasonable" proposed regulations to implement requirements that financial institutions identify and block payments in connection with "unlawful" Internet gambling as required by the UIGEA.  more...
   

Governor Deval Patrick will attempt to persuade state politicians to accept casino plan
Controversial state legislative proposals to license and tax casinos in Massachusetts, including a buried protectionist clause to outlaw online gambling, are to be extensively debated by lawmakers this week.

Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas M. Menino, as well as several casino executives, are expected to headline a hearing at the State House on the financial impact of the governor's casino proposal. The hearing will be the highest-profile to date on expanded gambling since the governor unveiled his proposal to license three casinos in September, reports the Boston Globe.  more...
   
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Taiwanese online entertainment giant invests in Korean game developers
Taiwanese online gaming and entertainment company GigaMedia, which owns the Everest online poker enterprise and acquired turnkey provider Grand Virtual some time ago, has invested in two Korean online gaming companies: the first is in game development studio XLGames, and the second in independent game studio Neostorm.  more...
   

Frenchman victorious over field of 500
Over 500 poker players registered for this weekend's inaugural PokerStars.net European Poker Tour Prague Main Event, an indication of the keen following the game has in the region. But it was French backgammon master Arnaud Mattern who emerged victorious, claiming Euro 708 400 in his first-ever EPT cash.  more...
   

Credit union compliance with proposed rules to crack down on illegal online gambling would be difficult if not impossible
The influential US national credit union, CUNA has responded the the proposed UIGEA regulations, asking that the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve hold off on the proposed new regulations, which are supposed to enforce the ban on financial transactions with online gambling companies.

The CUNA letter commended the drafters for trying to meet the timing requirements involved, but said that the proposal raises a number of serious and practical concerns that will make compliance for institutions extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible.  more...
   
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Aussie Grant Levy victorious in inaugural Grand Final in Sydney
The Pokerstars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final at Sydney's Star City Hotel and Casino packed 'em in this weekend as the Grand Final was played out and won by local pro Grant Levy, earning him a million Australian dollars and ensuring that the trophy remained in the country.

Levy eventually prevailed in a tough 60 hand heads up against Jeremiah Vinsant from Tennessee, and before that against a big initial entry field that included most of the top international poker stars. Just a few who were noted were former WSOP champs Scotty Nguyen and Joe Hachem, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Lee Nelson, Mark Vos, Mel Judah, Terrence Chan and local favourite Eric Assadourian, the Sydney-sider who won the APPT Macau High Rollers event last month (see previous InfoPowa report).  more...
   

British Player Wins $220 000
Luke Cahill, who hails from Manchester, England, captured first place and a $220 000 prize last week at the European Championship of Online Poker's $1 000 000 GP Main Event (ECOOP) staged by Titan Poker on Playtech's iPoker Network.

Cahill defeated a field of 992 players competing in the $1000+$60 Texas Hold'em No Limit Freezeout tournament, which was the climax of the ten-day ECOOP series. The ECOOP tournaments awarded more than $2 500 000 in total prizes.  more...
   

Entraction Holdings AB is born
The shareholders of 24hPoker Holding AB have decided to change the name of the company to Entraction Holding AB. The name change is a consequence of the company's decision to separate the supplier organisation from the gaming site operation.

Earlier this year the 24hPoker Group separated its business into a B2B operation and a B2C operation; Casablanca Gaming Group, which is operating the gaming sites 24hPoker.com and Martinspoker.com (see previous InfoPowa report). As a consequence of this the shareholders of 24hPoker Holding have decided to change the name of 24hPoker Holding AB to Entraction Holding AB to avoid confusion with the gaming site.  more...
   
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Heavy fines if you're caught
Online gambling in Turkey will be punishable by fines of hundreds of lira, the local newspaper Zaman reported over the weekend in a front page story headlined "Virtual Gamblers Will Be Severley Punished."

The report claims that Turkish police have identified some 3 500 people who gamble online and that these individuals will be fined YTL 100 for each game they played on the Internet.  more...
   

Malta and East European operators will soon be online
Swedish turnkey provider Net Entertainment has signed two new license agreements with Goldvictory Ltd. and an undisclosed Eastern European operator for delivery of its CasinoModule management and gaming system. The new licensees will bring to 16 the number of operators signed up for the system this year.  more...
   

Malta licensee signs up for Net Entertainment's Casino Module product
Swedish turnkey provider Net Entertainment seems intent on seeing the year out under full steam, announcing its third new Casino Module licensee this week, and 17th this year, in a statement today (Wednesday)

The company has signed an agreement with the Malta licensed Stryyke Entertainment Ltd. for delivery of its award winning CasinoModule product early in the new year.  more...
   
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Monopolistic nature and conduct of Danske Spil requires attention
The European Gaming and Betting Association, which counts big-name online gambling firms like Party Gaming, Bwin, Unibet, bet-at-home.com, The Carmen Media Group, Expekt, Interwetten Gaming Ltd. and digibet among its members, has come out strongly in support of calls for the European Commission to take the Danish government to the European Court of Justice on its monopolistic and exclusionary industry practices.  more...
   

Internal Affairs Department investigating
A Pokerstars.net advert screened on New Zealand's TV3 television channel has sparked a row in the country, resulting in an investigation being launched by the Internal Affairs Department, reports the New Zealand Herald.

Among other biewers, the ad was spotted by the nine year old daughter of Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive John Stansfield, who was watching The Simpsons program.  more...
   

Operation "Net-Bet Blitz" carried out by combined police task force
New Jersey has again been the scene of an online web-based gambling ring bust. Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne J. Forrest and New Jersey State Police Superintendent Joseph Fuentes announced at the weekend that five individuals have been arrested following a four month gambling investigation dubbed Operation �Net-Bet Blitz,� so named because it resulted in the dismantling of a Internet sports betting gambling ring.  more...
   
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William Hill the venue for Millionaire's Club win of the year
Last week's big million pound sterling winner of the Millionaire's Club progressive (see earlier InfoPowa reports) has been announced, with William Hill's online casino rightly claiming that Christmas has come early for the lucky winner, a 55 year old electrician from Oxfordshire, England who wishes to remain anonymous.  more...
   

Virtual cards to fly high on JetBlue
Another airline has announced its intention to launch an airborne online gambling service in the near future. US domestic outfit JetBlue says that it is to offer WiFi in-flight gambling services via the Internet.

It is understood that the new service will include the ability to place halftime and other interactive bets on televised games through DirecTV at every seat, with a heavy focus on sports-related channels such as ESPN. NFL networks, Fox and CBS, are also well represented.  more...
   

CEO of sportsbetting site found dead in Vancouver street
The Vancouver Sun reports that the bullet riddled body of 45 year old CEO of the Costa Rica-based online sportsbetting website 777betz.com, James Po Ho Cheung, was found in his car parked outside his residence Saturday. The police have yet to establish who killed him and the motive.

Residents in the area reported gunshots in the early hours of the morning, leading to police patrols finding the dead man. An autopsy was performed Monday and both the crime scene and Cheung's vehicle are undergoing forensic inspection.  more...
   
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Authorities blow the whistle on Underground railway ads
Paddy Power's "Where Have All the Women Gone?" themed bingo adverts intended for London's Underground railway system have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority and by Transport for London officials. Bans are not a new experience for the online betting company, which in the past has had two adverts pulled by the ASA.  more...
   

Canadian provincial government lotteries warn against giving tickets to minors
Lottery tickets are a dangerous stocking stuffer, Canadian lottery officials have warned parents as the annual season of giving approaches.

Being both relatively cheap but acceptable as an opportunity to win large amounts of money, lottery tickets have apparently become a fave stocking filler at Christmas, with up to 30 percent of tickets being purchased and given to minors, a new University of McGill survey has shown.  more...
   

Poker fans have a new destination for watching top poker action
The massive popularity and success of "YouTube" shows that video sharing has become an important element in the Web 2.0 marketing concept of increased online community interactivity, and the publication Poker News.com has entered the field with its own poker video project.

The publication has entered into a joint venture with poker-video sharing site PokerTube.Com to screen PokerNews videos on the video sharing site's first dedicated 'channel'.  more...
   
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GBP 270 million offer dead
Entertainment and gambling machine maker Inspired Gaming Group plc announced today (Wednesday) that the Icelandic investment firm FL Group no longer plans to buy it, and negotiations have been abandoned.

In September Inspired received an indicative GBP 270 million ($543.6 million) cash takeover offer from FL Group (see previous InfoPowa report) but subsequent and protracted talks have come to nought.  more...
   

Some of the real winners get their cash....at last
The scandal over an extraordinarily high level of wins by retail ticket sellers in the Ontario provincial goverment lottery earlier this year (see previous InfoPowa reports) had a happier sequel this week when four school board employees, allegedly cheated out of their winning lottery ticket by a retailer who claimed the prize money as his own, received a cheque for $5.7 million - plus interest - from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.  more...
   

Killing two birds with one stone....
If you're travelling to London for the International Casino Exhibition next month (and who isn't?) here's an opportunity to add another important event to your itinerary.

Taking place on January 21-22 at The Royal Garden Hotel - a few minutes from ICEi - is the Fourth Annual Mobile Gambling Summit, organised by Bullett Business.  more...
   
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