Evolution Of Online Poker – Increasing Interest In This Game of "Skill"

Posted by Gambling News | Poker News | Thursday 30 August 2012 10:00 am

While there has never been a doubt that the online gambling industry has a massive interest in offering online poker games to the public; this game has also evolved to such a degree, that there is on-going growing interest from the public also. If there had not been so much interest from the paying public, this game would not have grown as it has.

There has been much ado about nothing happening, regarding playing online poker in the USA for a few years, where the department of Justice has insisted that playing this game was illegal. So much so, that they closed down the biggest online poker sites in the US last year in April 2011. In the process, the DoJ managed to put most of these sites out of business – the only survivor being PokerStars. But then again the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA enacted 2006), also put paid to plenty of poker potential.

What is so paradoxical about the online poker situation in the USA, is the fact that the game is as American as apple pie. However, that having been said, the Poker Players Alliance and many other protagonists for the game, have been trying to prove that it is okay to play online as it is a game of skill, not gambling.

Now all kinds of worms are coming out of the woodwork, the DoJ has had a change of heart, but are still prosecuting people who were indicted under UIGEA. They have also said that the only gambling game not allowed is online sports betting, so, we are in the dark about what’s real any more in the states.

A recent scientific research from the University of Rotterdam (Department of Economics), Holland, sees poker classified as a game of skill. And now a Judge in the USA – Federal District Court Judge Jack Weinstein – has agreed. Poker is a game of skill!

The fact of the matter is, that the lawyers defending a gentleman who was running a home poker game, put up such a good argument, that the judge simply had to agree. They argued that – "increased proficiency boosts a player’s chance of winning and affects the outcome of individual hands as well as a series of hands. Expert poker players draw on an array of talents, including facility with numbers, knowledge of human psychology, and powers of observation and deception." We already know this to be true.

John Pappas of the Poker Players Alliance – said they have waited very patiently for the right opportunity to arise to take the game of poker to a Federal Court. This was the right opportunity, where this association of poker players, played a major role in securing the “not guilty” verdict. They believe this federal court ruling is a most important victory for the game.

The judge noted that "poker has a long history in the United States, has been embraced by many political and other public figures. " Finally… perhaps something has now got to give?!

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Will Nevada Lead The US Online Gambling Revolution?

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Wednesday 29 August 2012 12:33 pm

Over a decade ago, products such as Party Poker and Party Casino started providing the ability for punters to take a bet, and to do this online. At the time this industry was frowned up by the US Government, but they could not do much about it. Offshore websites were being licensed in Kahnawake, The Virgin Island and Caribbean territories and this kind of made them legal, but also untouchable.

However, the US Government got their thinking caps on and came up with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This was promulgated virtually overnight and it effectively banned online gambling, by making payment transactions illegal through the auspices of an out-dated Wire Act from way back in 1961.

Now Nevada is the First US state to make online gambling legal, even despite the fact that UIGEA is still in force. The Department of Justice had a change of opinion on the basis of the act, and now interprets it as only online sports betting being illegal. The Federal Government has made it clear that States may decide themselves on whether or not to make online gambling legal.
Nevada has forged ahead and the first legal online gaming in the US will be online poker. Experts are of the opinion that Nevada is now equipped to lead the way with the US online gambling revolution.

Being a multi-billion dollar mainstream industry, the regulation and legalization of online gambling can have a huge business, and beneficial fiscal impact on the US economy. There is also the argument that online poker should be classified a game of skill rather than a gambling game, so, this makes it so much more attractive. If you think that since UIGEA was enacted – $72 billion has left the hands of online gamblers in the US and gone into offshore (foreign) pockets; Federal and state-wide coffers are losing out on a great deal of taxable revenue.

It is not easy to understand UIGEA, there are a ton of grey areas, but basically what it does is stop interstate wire exchanges of money. However, foreign money exchange is not a problem, although it’s becoming tougher as less of the reputable online casino will accept players from the US. While there is more than one way of skinning a cat, this becomes more complex as technology advances.

Gamblers like to play online, there have always been gambling games and a punter will bet on anything if they think they have a chance of winning. Basically, no matter how hard the US government buries their head in the sand, online gambling is not going to just go away. Prohibition has never worked and we see now that it never will. Nevada has the opportunity to get a leading edge in what ostensibly could become a very lucrative industry. All they have to do is keep leading the way. Battle it through the red tape and pave the way for other US states. Other states are going to want to hang onto their coat-tails.

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Fold The Cards and Lose The Dice, It’s Time To iPhone Gamble

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Wednesday 29 August 2012 12:30 pm

Just like the Kindle has done away with the need for the paper-back novel (although books are still really nice, think of all the trees these devices save), dice and cards could also soon be a thing of the past. All you need to gamble online today is a mobile phone. Now iPhone together with Big Fish games, the very first virtual real money gambling games will soon be released on the i-operating system, and they are scheduled to be released in the UK.

We have all heard that Zynga is scheming its way into real money casino games online, but Big Fish has – believe it or not – beaten them at their own game. The UK debut will feature Self Aware Studio titles, powered by the Betable software engine. Big Fish acquired Self Aware in March of 2011, and also acquired one million (or thereabouts) active real money online gamblers.
The platform will be a first of its kind, features many familiar titles from Card Ace Casinos, and is slated to be available in the iTunes store, sometime in the next couple of weeks. Download the software and iOS devices will be able to give you Big Fish slots, Texas Hold ‘em, video poker, blackjack and roulette.

The company believes that being first in the market with their virtual product will give them the competitive edge. Betable have catered to the Europen market on mobile before, and this was a Betfair app. CEO of Betable – Christopher Griffin – said they couldn’t be happier with the Big Fish Casino app, but as well as these pay-for-play games, free version of Big Fish Casino will also be available for the non-gambling fraternity who like having a flutter without spending a penny. Also members outside of the UK will be able to play these games for free. It is available in 4 app stores including Amazon’s app store, Google Play, Facebook and Apple iTunes.

The online gambling marketplace is estimated to turnover approximately $32 Billion dollars, and is seriously growing. It is a massively lucrative market and more social gaming companies are looking into real money gambling. But by the same token, real money online gambling firms are taking a serious look at the social gaming marketplace.

Hasbro and Zynga have entered a partnership which sees the virtual and real world of gambling combine, and with this, the new Big Fish launch, we can only assume that Zynga will benefit from another company’s exploration of a newer and much wider horizon. Experts are of the opinion that social gaming companies should have explored this avenue far sooner. Zynga’s beleaguered share price might be indicative that the social gaming market could be bottoming out.

The bottom line at the end of this tale is that Big Fish is still a big fish, and if Zynga does not get something gainful going quite soon, they may well be left far behind.

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PokerStars/FTP Deal – Will 600 Irish Employees Get Their Jobs Back

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News,Poker News | Tuesday 21 August 2012 10:00 am

In the world of online poker – there has been so much drama taking place ever since April 15th last year. That is 15th April 2011 – now more infamously known as Black Friday. We have all heard of Black Friday, but the biggest impact this day probably had was for Full Tilt Poker (FTP). This brand unfortunately had made some huge mistakes in their management of the site, and despite the fact that they had grown into the second biggest online poker operator still doling out services to the USA marketplace; they also crashed the hardest. Sometimes it is true what they say – "the bigger they are, the harder they fall".

Anyway, not to harp on what was a huge misfortune for the FTP brand and thousands, and thousands of members who could not withdraw their funds from the site.PokerStars also took a knock on black Friday, and unsurprisingly bounced right back. This was chiefly because PokerStars was positioned properly to hit the European market hard after the loss of their USA fan-bases, and because they had their fiduciary responsibilities taken care of.

Now after eighteen months and a whole lot of heartache for FTP fans, and owners; their biggest rival in the online poker industry has taken the steps to save their collective bacon. What this also means is that 600 Irish employees, might not all lose their jobs completely.
How is this relevant to two online poker sites?

Well, despite what the rest of the world might think, the world of online poker is no longer a niche product. It has grown into a mainstream industry, together with most forms of online gambling over the past decade and a half. Today more people gamble online than (we would hazard a guess), than gamble in live casinos.

This knowledge tells us that because it is such a huge industry, there must be people employed to help run it. The World Wide Web might be clever, but at this point in time, people still need to be employed to make sure that the job gets done. The Company that provided IT handling and software development for FTP is situated in Cherrywood, Co Dublin, they are called Pocket Kings, and FTP was probably one of their biggest clients. With 600 Irish employees on the job, while we are not sure who will be re-hired, or fired, but at least these jobs are no longer so much at risk. Obviously some staff has already been let go.

The Irish Times, and other Irish-based newspapers have been spreading the news, so, we believe that it is good news.

In another aside, while criminal charges were filed against owners of both Full Tilt Poker, and PokerStars which caused Black Friday, and it is PokerStars that have done the deal with the DoJ, we would love to be privy to what the deal entails. However, we believe that it is highly unlikely that we will ever know what truly went on behind closed doors. PokerStars took a huge gamble, it’s bound to pay off, because gamble is what they do best.

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Facebook Bets Real Bucks On British Bingo

Posted by Gambling News | Bingo News,Gambling News | Sunday 19 August 2012 11:00 am

While there has been no doubt about the fact that real money gambling online is here, and here to stay, and this is a well-entrenched industry in the UK; Facebook so far, has not wished to get in on the action. However, now there seems to be a reversal of roles, while this social media application with gaming capabilities wants in on the real money action; real money gambling sites want in on the social gaming aspect.

But that also having been said, Facebook have recently launched their first real money gambling app. They are betting on the British industry because it is more or less a sure thing, and they are hedging their bets even further, by putting their money on bingo.

Bingo has enjoyed massive popularity in Britain over time; first in the live gambling game, and more recently with online bingo. The new Facebook bingo is rather fetchingly called "Friendzy Bingo". Clever little play on words that!

This app allows users to bet on real money games, where obviously they win real money prizes. Although how good the prizes actually are remains to be seen as it is early days yet. Generally speaking the better liquidity (more money) a gambling game has poured into it, the better the prizes will be, and one thing Facebook has never had a problem with is raising a fan following. The more paying traffic there is, the better this bingo will be for all concerned.

CEO – Mark Zuckerberg is launching the product in the hopes that it will boost revenue – that much is obvious. So it is not like all the other virtual money apps, it is a true gambling app. Now UK Facebook users aged 18 to 80 and older can make gambling stakes in real British pounds, and expect to be paid winnings in these. According to the Financial Times the app was launched last Tuesday.
So far this global social networking giant has been precluded from the gambling sphere due to legal restrictions outside the UK. But this does not explain their slow up-take into the UK market. However, Clive Hawkswood of the Remote Gambling Association explains the move as being an obvious match for Facebook. This is chiefly because bingo is of the ‘soft gambling’ ilk, and has always had the reputation of working hand-in-hand with chat forums. Many people are driven to play online bingo by the fact that it is such a social game.

Slots will be coming to Bingo Friendzy in the not too distant future – one assumes they will see how Facebook fans take to the bingo games first. One of the biggest things going for it is the fact that the software platform is powered by Gamesys, an exclusive software brand which powers only a very few sites. Their biggest claim to fame being Jackpot Joy, and Sun Bingo, two of the biggest online bingo brands in the land.

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