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Global ATM Pulls out of some Online Gambling Sites

June 6, 2011

Sad news for online gamblers looking for safe and reliable options for financial transactions; ECHECK, a well-liked and trusted online payment processor, is reportedly being pulled off some popular gaming sites after the site allegedly went offline and is unable to be contacted.

Apparently the payment processor’s name, GATM or Global ATM, has been advertised on various online gambling websites. Global ATM was unhappy with this, not approving of the some of the websites’ conduct, thus deciding to pull their services off of these sites. So far, money owed by the company has not and will not be paid, forcing affiliates to absorb some of the losses. Players that use eCHECK on these sites will definitely have a hard time trying to withdraw their winnings or making deposits.


Permanent Link to Online Casino Strategies

June 1, 2011

It is the opinion of some that it is not necessary to have a strategy when gambling online. On the contrary, while no strategy can guarantee a player will win, using a smart strategy can sharpen a player’s edge and increase their odds of success.

There are many legitimate websites that offer online gambling enthusiasts their favorite games to play. It is important that players choose the sites that are reputable and can provide a safe as well as fun gambling experience. A good way to know is to check that the software provider for the site is a reputable one, such as Crytologic, Playtech and Microgaming. After choosing a reputable site, you will also want to acquaint yourself with the basics of the site such as payout methods, customer service and game style.

Another important strategy to have is to have a specific amount of money you are willing to bet with ahead of time. One of the worst things a player can do is to play willy-nilly with their hard earned money. Putting limits on yourself a head of time will help you to ward off a potential financial disaster if you decide to go off the deep end and blow your savings.

Having a good understanding of the game you are playing is also a great strategy to keep in mind. Read about your favorite games and learn techniques and strategies that will increase your odds of winning. Some sites will allow you to play practice games for free. This can be a great way to try out your new strategies without any risk to your bankroll.

One of the most important things to remember is that online gambling is meant to be fun. There is no guarantee that you will win, so it is best to go into it with a relaxed, fun-loving attitude. While these strategies may seem minor, they can make a big difference in your online gaming experience.


Permanent Link to The WinLoss Slot Player’s Diary, a Useful New App from iTunes

May 27, 2011

An app was released on the iTunes site this last January targeting slots players. After having some time on the market, the app has proved useful and popular among users, frequently being mentioned in online casino forum discussions and related blogs. The app, created by David Walstead’s company Sandcroft Inc., is called the WinLoss Slot Player’s Diary and costs only $8 on iTunes.

The idea is that slots players can keep a record of their wagering wins and losses and be able to access this information easily so that they can plan their future wagers. Many players do this already, but had to hand write notes, or enter data. Walstead created the app to do that work for the player so that they can have the information at their fingertips any time they need.

The WinLoss Slot Player’s Diary will generate reports for players that can give them information about their gambling activity at different casino sites. The app does this by recording the information during a player’s game, and also comes with the option of full data backup and restoring functions. Players can sort the information by what suits their needs, by date/time, type of slot, location of slot or by a specific game. The app was also recently upgraded to allow unlimited entries. Players can access information such as which casino’s games are the most profitable, and also give them an accurate report for tax purposes. Players can see the information on their device, either the iPod or the iPhone, or export the information from their device to a computer in a PDF format.

Players using the WinLoss Slot Player’s Diary have many good things to say about the app and appreciate its helpfulness to them as slots players. The app is easy to use and gives players a world of useful information at their fingertips.

Cyprus Trying to Bank Online Casinos

May 20, 2011

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is a major host to many online gambling operators, most of which offer online casino portals. Because Internet connections are readily available within the country, and brick-and-mortar casinos are sparse, online gambling has thrived.

Christos Christofides, deputy government spokesperson, told the Associated Press that under current laws, the rapidly growing business on the island has become a “social wound”. The issue is that online gambling is not exactly illegal, thereby making it legal by exclusion. Ionas Nicolaou, chairman of Legal Affairs Committee in Cyprus summed up the problem by saying, “Ninety five percent of electronic gambling services in our country operate legally because they are provided over the Internet and there is no authority [on the island] where one can apply for a permit.”

Cyprus’s government has wanted to remedy this situation for some time; however, the European Union’s requirement of providing free movement of commercial services across the borders of the member countries is getting in the way. Cyprus’s gambling laws have not been updated since 2007, and was done to try to meet the European Union’s requirements; however, some details obviously managed to slip through the cracks. Since then, the country seems to be caught in limbo. Portugal was successful in receiving exemption from the European Union’s policy, and Cyprus is trying to use that as a precedent when asking for exemption as well.

In the mean time, Cyprus’s government has been taking steps to ban certain kinds of online gambling, and the Cabinet has recently approved a draft bill that aims to bring massive changes. The bill, however, still needs approval from the legislation. If passed, the law would ban all online gambling on casino games and poker, while still allowing lotteries and sports betting for citizens that are 18 years or older. The law would also mean serious fines for any violators such as €170,000 and/or five years in prison.


Online Sports Betting to be a part of the 2012 Olympic Games

May 17, 2011

Despite recent scandals involving betting on sporting events, such as the Australian Rugby League last year and the cricket spot-betting scandal, the International Olympic Committee has announced that it will be endorsing regulated sports betting for the 2012 Olympics. President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge stated, “Specifically, we are in favor of a system where betting operators have to be licensed by the government. Sports organizers, national federations, and international federations would have a fair return for all their efforts for organizing the sport. They should be recognized with a return from financial income.” It is speculated from his comments that there may be a re-distribution of the profits, possibly some going to the teams.

Rogge believes that by regulating the market, it will make it more difficult for scandalous operations to set up shop, thus protecting those interested in placing bets. The IOC will be able to put safeguards in place and be able to detect illegal operations sooner.International Sports Monitoring is set to oversee sports betting for the 2012 London Olympics. Agreements are already in place with major sportsbooks online within Europe.

While the plans are in place for the upcoming event, nothing is set in stone yet. Final agreements will have to be made to fine tune their plans for a “drama” free Olympic games. One thing is for sure, the Olympics are a major sporting event and will be sure to draw in sports betting enthusiasts from all over the UK; here’s to it being a safe and profitable event for all.


New Basketball Themed Slot Game Released

May 12, 2011

Realtime Gaming, a leading provider of online gaming software, has just released its newest addition to its American-sports themed slots. Basketbull is an NBA themed slot game that takes a comedic approach to the sport with various characters and animals true to RTG’s style, much like their other well-liked sports slots.

In Basketbull, the wild symbol is represented by a bull dressed as a basketball player, appropriately named Basketbull. This wild symbol offers 10,000 coins, the highest fixed jackpot in the game. Basketbull is a fun character that playfully spins a ball on his finger when he shows up on the slot lines. The scatter symbol is a basketball that sprouts bull’s horns and offers scatter payouts that are multiplied by the total bet amount. Other fun characters in this game are the ram as a referee, a cheerleader cow, and coach bulldog. Completing the theme are high value card symbols that look like jerseys, and the basket and milk carton symbols.

If the player gets three or more basketball symbols anywhere within the reels, free spins are triggered and is names the Free Throw Feature. The player gets three free spins initially, and basketbull will throw a free throw for each basketball that appears on the reels. If basketbull makes the basket, the number of free spins is doubled. If five scatter symbols show up, there are five free throws. If all of the throws are good the player will receive 96 free spins. During the free spins payouts are tripled and free spins can be retriggered.

Basketbull is similar to the other slots in this series in that it offers two progressive jackpots that are randomly triggered after any spin. Also, the symbols do not need to be aligned on the reels. The Win-Win aspect is also offered, where all 25 pay lines need to be activated in order for this to come in to play. This is great for those who did not do well during Free Throws so they can receive payouts under the Win-Win feature instead. Also true to Real Time Gaming slots’ style, players are able to customize certain features of the game such as Auto Play and Turbo Play.

Basketbull is offered at all Real Time Gaming Casinos, such as Club World Casino and Lucky Red Casino.


Alderney Speaks Out Against Media Scrutiny

May 8, 2011

Following the release United Kingdom Gambling Commissions 3rd Prevalence of Gambling survey, the British media reported that the Alderney Gambling Control Commission did not offer the level of protection to its online players at its licensed online gambling sites than those that were licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has issued a statement defending itself from the media fire, stating that it is white listed by the United Kingdom authorities, proving that its licensed online gambling sites offer equal protection as those licensed in the UK.

One issue brought up by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission was the way the AGCC tackles problem gambling. The AGCC’s chief executive, Andre Wilsenach, responded by saying “At the moment we are putting in funds at a rate in excess of £1 million per annum. Our licensees are multinational, and are able to propose a charity or research vehicle relevant to their player base; but currently the majority of the money goes to the UK’s GREAT Foundation. He also revealed that this was one of many steps taken by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission to control the matter of problem gambling. In order to obtain a license the AGCC checks to make sure that a site has top notch player identification software, mandatory self-exclusion systems and systems and staff with the ability to recognize the characteristics and behaviors of problem gamblers. Wilsenach also proposed ideas on how to increase player protection further. He suggested that common standards be formulated to create a higher level of protection for the underage and vulnerable as well as rejecting jurisdictions and operators that cannot or are not able to meet the requirements for these standards. “We believe that the UK’s white-list approach is an excellent method of erecting such a fence,” added Wilsenach.

The AGCC’s chief executive believes that the media has gone too far in their scrutiny of problem gambling issues as declared in the Gambling Prevalence report, suggesting that the analysis of such reports be left to experts and not to the layperson. He also identified that the miniscule increase in problem gambling was more due to an increase in volume of online gambling. Wilsenach finished by suggesting that the policy should look to protecting those British consumers who utilize online sites that do not offer affective regulation.


Blackjack: A Brief History

May 1, 2011

There are many players that enjoy the game of blackjack, but few know the history behind this popular game. The blackjack that we currently know and love has a long history, and has changed over the years dating all the way back to 17th century Europe. Although the game was played differently depending on where it was in its evolution, one thing always remained the same: the objective is to reach 21.

The first time the game was referenced (that we know of) was in a story written in 1601 by Spaniard Miguel de Cervantes. Two of his characters were skilled cheaters at a game named “Ventiuna”, which in Spanish translates to “21”. The game Ventiuna was very similar to our present day blackjack, where players objective was to reach 21 without busting and aces counting as either 1 or 11. The difference lies in the Spanish playing deck which does not include 8s, 9s or 10s.

In France, the game was called Vingt et Un, meaning “21” in French. In this game dealers were allowed to double and players able to bet after each round. In Italy, the game was known as Seven and a Half. This game used only face cards and 7s, 8s and 9s. The objective was for the player to end up with 7 ½ points, where the numbered cards were each worth 1 point and face cards valued at ½ point, with the exception of the Kind of Diamonds, which was used as a wild card.

Blackjack finally made its way to the US sometime after the French Revolution, and was not well accepted by gambling houses at first. In order to draw more popularity to the game, owners offered players bonuses. One of the more popular bonuses was one that gave players a 10 to 1 payout on hands that equaled 21 and consisted of the ace of spades and a black jack, thus creating the name “blackjack” that we all now know the game as. Later the bonus was modified to a 3 to 2 payout and was given for hands having any ace and card whose value was 10. Later, the game was outlawed, forcing blackjack players to do so in secrecy until 1931 when the United States legalized gambling in Las Vegas.

Because blackjack involves skill, many were unable to figure out what moves were optimal for winning. Rodger Baldwin saw this and decided to publish a manual in 1953 that helped players with their strategy, singlehandedly bringing down the house’s edge in the process. Card counting made its premier in the 60’s when Edward Thorp brought this new technique to light in a book entitled “Beat the Dealer”. Needless to say, his book became an instant best seller. At first casinos were wary of the book but soon realized that card counting was a skill that many could not master and would not hurt their overall profits. It wasn’t until the 90’s when a team from MIT took card counting to the next level, forcing casinos to make such changes as adding more decks and introducing early shuffling.

Finally, blackjack made its debut online in the mid 90’s, allowing fans to play from the comfort of their homes. Currently, software providers are constantly developing new versions of blackjack to help keep the interest of the public in this long-loved game.


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