New ‘Babelfish’ Technology A Game Changer for Poker

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Poker News | Monday 26 January 2015 10:37 am

Microgaming announces the launch of a revolutionary new technology for poker software.

Babelfish, named after the fictional creature which performed universal translation, is a brand-new API which allows any software developer to create poker client software and run it securely on the MPN. Operators can develop software in any programming language, and using the Babelfish API, join in the MPN’s liquidity pool, giving them access to all of the network’s cash games and tournaments (both real money and play money).

"Babelfish is definitely a game changer for poker," comments Alex Scott, Head of Poker at Microgaming. "It allows operators to customise their poker software to a higher degree than has ever been possible before, without having to go standalone. Furthermore, it allows them to do this without having to worry about expensive hosting costs, random number generators, or any of the other complexities that come with developing server software.

"Babelfish also has many other advantages. For example, operators can build software for almost any conceivable device – from specific mobile devices, to games consoles, to smart TVs. If you were so inclined, you could even build poker software for a smartwatch, a connected fridge or an in-car entertainment system. The only limit is your imagination."

Operators can tailor their bespoke client as much as they wish in order to customise the software to the specific market they are targeting; any language can be supported.

The first operator to make use of Babelfish, a well-known major operator in the poker marketplace, will be going live imminently using a client that they have designed and built from scratch. This operator’s completely custom-built client is carefully tailored to meet the needs of their players. The new operator will be migrating all of their players to the MPN, offering a mix of private and shared-liquidity games, providing mutual benefits for both the operator and the network.

"With this new operator on board, our network will grow significantly. But this is not the only exciting news that the MPN has for 2015", continued Alex Scott. "This year we want to be at the pinnacle of the poker industry – this is just the first step!"

The first operator to go live with Babelfish will be announced in the coming weeks.

Visit the Microgaming team at ICE Totally Gaming, 3rd – 5th February 2015 at ExCeL, London, stand N5-220.

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New Regs Set to Take Effect for UK Online Gambling Firms

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Monday 29 September 2014 10:16 am

It has been a long time coming, but the end of 2014 is now in sight when new Parliamentary regulations in the UK will change for online gambling firms. First of October is D-Day!! The online gambling industry is turmoil over the decision made for all offshore licensees to apply for a secondary license to offer services to UK residents, as well as be liable to pay 15% tax. All these many years companies such as William Hill – just for example – have been operating out of Gibraltar and other White Listed "British" territories, just to avoid having to pay such heavy tax.

Gaming firms are now compelled to announce plans to stop offering services to UK-facing resident, or adjust what they offer inside British borders. This bill – the U. K. Gambling, License and Advertising Bill, was passed in May. It will effect Online bingo websites, casinos, pokers rooms, lottery sales, you name it – any gambling activity. Already several popular websites have pulled out, announced plans to pull out of the market, or substantially altered what they are able to offer to the UK public.

How these businesses can possibly expect European only operations to fill their coffers without the player-base of millions of British players, we have no idea. But they are obviously willing to take the risk. Gambling is after all a high risk industry for everyone concerned. One of the first to make an announcement was Mansion Poker, who intends to withdraw completely. Reasons for the withdrawal have been attributed to the new regulations, and all members have been advised to withdraw their bankrolls. These members have also been encouraged to switch to Titanbet Poker, where their loyalty points will be transferred. Pokerstars on the flip side of the coin, are opening a dedicated UK-facing poker site.

We believe this might just be the first in an exodus list of firms to take the same decision. However, but the same token Best of Breed British firms such as Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes, 888, Foxy, and many more would never be able to take such a risk. We believe they are going to have to thank their lucky stars for the tax break they have enjoyed for such a long time, and bite-the-bullet.

This is not a nationalization exercise – everyone, and every other land based business has to pay tax, and unfortunately these businesses should be made to pay too. There are going to be some interesting times in the online gambling industry for the next few years.

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Online Gambling – Positive Player Protective Strategies

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Monday 29 September 2014 10:11 am

There is always someone saying something about the dangers of gambling online. Many "abstainers&quot from these games believe that gambling is a social problem, whilst the majority of gamblers know the truth – this is a form of entertainment. So, studies have been conducted on whether gambling habits have changed since the introduction of this industry, and if problem gambling is on the increase. Not many changes have been extrapolated from most of these problem gambling studies. However in a first in its kind research from Nottingham Trent University, leisure gamblers have now been studied, and in this case are referred to as positive players.

Fundamentally positive players have been found to take personal responsibility for their gambling experiences. They make use of protective strategies and stick to these. For example they may go out to gamble with a certain amount of money, and leave all bank cards at home, in the case of live casinos players. Online gamblers might use similar strategies such as setting strict limits, or self-exclusion for periods of time. Leisure gamblers who are positive players only gamble away what they can afford to spend. They budget for this form of entertainment in the same way as they might for going to movies, or out for dinner.

The premise of this study is that it counters a negative focus. In other words – the study of positive player looks into practices and/or motivations which neutralises a negative focus. Negative emphasis of any activity often encourages a "forbidden-fruit-effect". However by focussing on the positive, this may resonate with players who might pooh-pooh messages regarding the risk of gambling.

Results were extrapolated from an online survey where 1,484 leisure gamblers participated, and 209 problem gamblers did too. Most positive players were found to enjoy other leisure activities too, and that their motivation for playing was quite simply to have some fun. In fact the desire of catching a really big win is part of the fun for these players.

They predetermined their own risk limits in both time and money terms, as well as preferred playing on the internet. In fact 93% of the study group preferred to gamble online. The knock-on effect of this knowledge has led to a re-think that online gambling can be more dangerous than playing in a land casino. While leisure gamblers were happy to go it alone, problem gamblers were often found to need a more social environment, which indicated that gambling in isolation was not necessarily as unhealthy as previous studies had supposed. Food for thought we believe!

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NetEnt has signed an agreement with major gaming operator Betfair

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Monday 25 August 2014 11:34 pm

NetEnt, Net Entertainment NE AB (publ) has signed an agreement with UK focused operator Betfair which is one of the world’s largest international online sports betting providers.

Founded in 1999 Betfair is a pioneer within online gaming holding gambling licenses in Gibraltar, Malta, Spain, Italy, the United States and Australia. Betfair’s revenues amounted to £387m in 2013 and the company has more than 950,000 active customers.

"We are very excited that Betfair has selected us as a partner and I wish them a warm welcome as a customer. This agreement will further strengthen NetEnt’s exposure on the UK market but also in other parts of Europe." comments Björn Krantz, Managing Director in Net Entertainment Malta Ltd.

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Microgaming’s Mega Moolah Strikes Again

Posted by Gambling News | Casino News | Monday 23 June 2014 7:06 pm

Microgaming’s Mega Moolah Jackpot has been hit by a Spin Palace Casino player; Jorge S has won a mammoth 2,384,388.87 Euros!

Jorge S hit the Mega Moolah jackpot on the evening of Wednesday 18th June. Amazed as this mind-blowing sum flashed upon his computer screen, Jorge’s reaction when Spin Palace’s host called to congratulate him on his jackpot win was "Is this for real, did I win? I can’t believe it, how can it happen like this?"

A spokesperson from Spin Palace said: "As a regular player on Spin Palace Casino, we are overjoyed that Jorge S has hit the jackpot and won such an enormous amount! A big congratulations to him on behalf of the entire team at Spin Palace."

Jorge S. is one of a number of Spin Palace players to have hit the jackpot on Mega Moolah, Microgaming’s largest progressive slot. Other winners include Gary L who won £3,744,513.08 – the largest ever jackpot win on a mobile device!

Roger Raatgever, CEO of Microgaming, commented: "It is always very exciting when a progressive jackpot gets hit – not only for the player, but for the operator and the whole team at Microgaming too! What makes it even more rewarding is that the player will receive a single cash payout in full rather than an annuity, so Jorge has become an instant millionaire!"

Since its launch in 2006, the Mega Moolah jackpot has been extremely popular and created many millionaires. Following this most recent Mega Jackpot win, Microgaming has improved the progressive element of the game so that players will see jackpots accrue to more significant, life-changing amounts in the future. All wins on Microgaming’s Progressive Jackpot Network will continue to get paid out in one single payment. To date, the network has paid out over €440 million.

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