Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Aristocrat Launches Facebook App Heart Of Vegas

In the last few years traditional gambling companies have aggressively pursued the social casino gaming market or what many of us know as free-to-play casino games. These games are highly popular on social networks like Facebook and have been the topic of hot debate. Gambling giants like IGT with DoubleDown Casino and Caesars with Playtika have been quick to set the standard for other gambling companies to follow. The approach of merging these two worlds is almost par for the course today. While only a short time ago it was taboo to thing about any real money casino games on social networks like Facebook, this all changed last year in July when Facebook started offering real money gambling for players in the UK. A recent addition to this club is that of the land-based gaming and technology supplier Aristocrat which have just announced their launch of their first Facebook application Heart of Vegas since their acquisition of social casino Publisher Product Madness last year. They are off to a flying start with over half a million installs already. Like DoubleDown Casino Heart of Vegas features replicas of its “real money big brother” Aristocrat. Players get to enjoy all of the popular classic slots while being rewarded with bonuses and free chips to play with. Aristocrat’s managing director of strategy and business development Craig Billings commented on the successful launch,” Social gaming is an important pillar in Aristocrat’s online strategy, so it’s very exciting to see our first game with the Product Madness team achieve such success.” Product Madness co-founders Jose Brotons and Lior Shiff gave their comments on the partnership,” When we first joined the Aristocrat team, our vision was to combine Aristocrat’s popular game library with our powerful social technologies and expertise. That vision is already coming to fruition, and we expect even better results in the near future.” While both gaming companies and social gaming houses are enjoying the fruits of these growing partnerships, critics are quick to point out the inherent dangers of presenting replica slots games on social networks. Concern over creating gambling addicts and normalizing gambling have been raised and the topic still remains contentious in many…

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Despite Protests UK National Lottery Price Set To Double

Despite a public uproar the UK Lottery price is set to double from £1 to £2 as from Saturday October 5. This highly controversial move was anything but a given as opponents pointed out that this is the ultimate sin tax on people who can least afford it. It is no secret that worldwide the majority of lotto players are in no position to spend any more cash than the minimum necessary. UK Lottery Operator Camelot have been on a public relations blitz which is aimed at calming the masses. They have thrown out the argument that the average Saturday jackpot will rise up from £4.1 million to £5 million. Camelot Managing Director Andy Duncan stated,” New Lotto will give players more ways to win more money and we have two fantastic events planned to celebrate the launch. Not only will we have a massive £10million jackpot two Saturdays in a row but we will also be creating 1,000 guaranteed winners of £20,000, twice. It’s not to be missed.” Other changes include an increase for those matching three numbers which will go up from £10 to £25. Anyone matching four numbers will also get an increase from £60 to £100. On the down side anyone matching five numbers will take a hit as they will only get £1000 which is a decrease of £500. Those guessing five numbers and the Bonus will also get only £50,000 which is half of the current rate. Another change will be that all lotto tickets will contain a raffle number which will give players the chance to win £20,000 with no less than 50 guaranteed payouts a week. This is set to start two weeks after the new launch in October. Camelot argues that these changes are overall aimed at providing more cash to more players. However this dramatic price hike is still set to be a hot topic amongst millions who up to now did not think twice before laying out a single…

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RealNetworks Unveils Real Money U.S. Social Casino Gaming

With the U.S. online gambling market still a minefield, there are always interesting ways which legal real  money gambling can be offered in a way which does not conflict with the law. Where the law restricts, innovation is the key to overcoming the obstacles.The who’s who of social and casino games are gathered at the Casual Connect Conference in San Francisco. Over 40 leading players are speaking at the conference from July 30 to August 1. Already some interesting headlines have come out. While Zynga got cold feet with the U.S gambling market, other players are keen to take the plunge. Following IGT’s aggressive approach on which we reported yesterday, RealNetworks has announced their first social casino gamed called GameHouse Casino Plus. What makes this game different is the fact that players in the U.S. get to play for a $100,000 prize which will take the form of a sweepstakes format each month. CEO Rob Glaser explained their thinking being the launch at the conference,” The social casino space is ripe for innovation. Now all games on GameHouse Casino Plus — slots, video poker, blackjack, and roulette — will offer players the opportunity to collect Golden Tickets, which they can use to enter the Golden Dreams Sweepstakes and have a chance to win $100,000. This goes far beyond the industry standard of virtual coins and makes a fun game even more exciting.” At first the game will be available on Facebook with mobile versions to follow. In line with regulations there are stringent measures that have been adapted in order to ensure that those entering the $100,000 sweepstakes are indeed eligible to…

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IGT Undeterred By Zynga’s Retreat From U.S. Real Money Gaming

Last week we covered IGT’s impressive Q3 results for 2013 which were boosted by their social casino gaming division led by DoubleDown Casino. While players like Zynga have seemingly given up on pursuing real money gambling in the U.S., IGT have made it clear that they are not going to follow in Zynga’s lead. In an article in AllThingsD, IGT’s  executive VP Robert Melendres was quick to clarify that they are in a different league to Zynga in that they are global leaders in in real money gaming already and should not have difficulties in converting their social casino base of players to real money gaming when it becomes legal. He said,” What Zynga’s finding out is that breaking into real-currency wagers is a difficult thing. They built their business as more of a causal social gaming business. We are well situated to take advantage of [real money], just as we’ve done in Europe.” Like all social casino companies, IGT is banking on the fact that fans of their free-to-play DoubleDown Casino will make the transition to the real thing with the thrill of playing for real cash. It is also no coincidence that the games on offer on DoubleDown Casino are identical replicas of casino games available in brick and mortar casinos. The stakes in online gambling are getting higher all the time and conservative estimates from research companies like H2 Gambling Capital place the value at over $30 billion. Anyone in the gaming industry knows that this figure is lower than the actual amount of cash spent by online gamblers as there is a black market of illegal gambling which is impossible to gauge. IGT have got a strong foothold in the social gaming and real money gaming industries and the payoff is almost guaranteed. Traditional gambling companies like IGT and Caesars realized the need to invest in social casino gaming with their DoubleDown Casino and Playtika products respectively. This forward thinking is what could well separate them from the real money “wannabes” who underestimated the resources and planning needed in order to be the last man standing when real money gambling opens ups on a wider…

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Locaid Set To Cash In On Legalised U.S. Online Gambling

Geolocation or location verification services are set to become a hot commodity especially in the U.S. where online gambling is making a comeback. While there are still many hurdles ahead for interested parties to comply with legal requirements, any operator looking to start offering online gambling will have to comply with geolocation requirements. We reported earlier this month with about GEOComply USA signing a deal with to provide their services in Nevada and New Jersey where internet gambling has been legalized. Another location verification company to watch is that of Locaid (Location-as-a-Service) who are also set to cash in on the U.S. online gambling cash cow. CEO Rip Gerber recently gave an interview to Forbes Magazine in which he discussed Locaid’s future as regards paying a major role for gaming companies to comply with legal requirements need to successfully attain a gaming license. Locaid is the largest Laas company and provides its services to some of America’s top carriers including Bell, AT&T, Rogers, Cricket and others. Gerber explained the way it works,” It’s a location data delivery model where privacy protected physical location data acquired through multiple sources including carriers, WiFi, IP addresses and landlines is hosted in the cloud and made available to enterprise customers through a simple API.” In a nutshell they provide accurate location details for anyone using a mobile device for online gambling ensuring that they comply with all the legal requirements needed to do so. Gerber dubs Locaid as “the Amazon of location” and with that in mind they are well placed to grow as more and more U.S. states look to enjoy the benefits of legalized online gambling which seems to be coming to a state near you…

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