Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Mt. Gox Files For Bankruptcy After $473M Of Bitcoins Go Missing

It has now been confirmed that the Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox that once controlled 80% of the global Bitcoin trades has filed for bankruptcy. After a week of hiding away the 28-year old CEO Mark Karpeles filed for bankruptcy in a Tokyo court on Late Friday. The worst fears have been confirmed as almost the entire 850,000 Bitcoins owned by Mt. Gox has “gone missing”. To put this in perspective this amounts to 7% of all Bitcoins that have been minted. With the current Bitcoin rates this “misplacing” of these Bitcoins amounts to almost half a billion dollars. The exact events that led to such a cyber-heist are something out of a Hollywood movie. There is speculation which ranges from hackers, DDoS attacks and the more intriguing theory that the entire theft was a once in a lifetime cyber heist which will go down in the history books. Forget about armed robberies and start thinking cyber pirates who with a touch of a button are able to commit what is a faceless crime. This development is not only significant for Bitcoin in general but puts the focus on the dangers of not having enough measures in place to prevent a hack or a DDoS attack. We all remember Sheldon Adelson’s sites going down mysteriously for over a week. In that case as well the conspiracy theories were wild and you would be a fool to rule out anything when looking at the bigger picture. The flaws in the Bitcoin structure are not unknown and were pointed out in previous reports. Experts believe that Mt. Gox were simply lax in fixing the loopholes where other Bitcoin exchanges did just that. If Bitcoin was an unknown entity to a lot of people, this latest heist will certainly expose Bitcoin and virtual currencies to the mainstream market. It’s all very well do try and describe exactly how Bitcoin works but the bottom line is when nearly $500 million goes missing there is nothing virtual about these hard dollar bills. Mt. Gox of course continue to maintain a deafening silence and are sticking to their guns by claiming the theft was due to hackers and a weakness in their system. Whether it be the reported document floating around the internet claiming Mt. Gox had a “malleability-related theft which went unnoticed for several years”or hackers, the burning question is if investors looking to get rich in today’s modern Gold Rush will be deterred from risking their…

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William Hill Succeeding In Overcoming Obstacles That Cause Ladbrokes To Stumble

The largest British bookmaker William Hill has just released their2013 earnings and the number show why they are the leading gambling company in the UK. As reported the two main challenges facing British bookmakers are the proposed offshore betting taxes and the imminent crackdown on fixed odds betting terminals or (FOBTs). The recently released 2013 figures for Britain’s second largest bookmaker Ladbrokes were less than impressive to say the least and have lead for calls for the CEO to be sacked if things don’t turn around by the Soccer World Cup in Brazil. William Hill is still dependent on the revenues from FOBTs as they make up something in the region of 26% of their earnings which is a lot less than the estimated 40% of Ladbrokes. Instead of complaining William Hill have announced they will cut costs by up to 20% as part of their effort to minimize the impact of the new tax regime for offshore online operators. Estimates are that the loss of their current offshore tax befits will cost William Hill anything between 60-70 million pounds annually. Here again William Hill are choosing to look at the brighter side and believe that being the largest bookmaker in the UK will give them an advantage over smaller companies who will struggle to overcome the new tax bill regulations. In a statement the company said,” While it will lead to a significant additional cost for the group … we do believe there is potential for larger-scale operators to benefit from increased market share as smaller operators may be squeezed out of the market by the additional tax burden.” The operating profits of William Hill for 2013 were up 3% from 2012 to reach £335m. This is in stark contrast to Ladbrokes who lost a whopping third in operating profits for 2013 which they largely credit to the technical glitches in their online platform. The share price of William Hill rose 2.8% on the positive earnings to 385.5p. Another major factor in William Hill’s successful winning strategy is to focus on overseas markets like that of Spain and Australia which reduces their dependence on the UK…

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Subpoenas Issued To Mt. Gox And Other Bitcoin Exchanges

Following the disappearance of one of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges Mt. Gox, the Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara as announced that they are sending subpoenas to Bitcoin exchanges. While up to now Federal authorities did not know how to deal or if to deal with Bitcoin companies, the reported theft and mismanagement of millions of dollars from exchanges like Mt. Gox have forced government to intervene and scrutinize the volatile industry. Among the issue the Bitcoin exchanges will have to address are the measures they employ to prevent distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) which reportedly led to major exchanges going offline and preventing investors from withdrawing their funds. The future of the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox seems bleak as they would need a miracle in order to restore investor confidence. As we reported they initially were nowhere to be found and contacting them was mission impossible. . The chief executive Mark Karpeles has surfaced and is doing his best at damage control. On Wednesday he released an impassioned or desperate plea depending on where you sit and said,” As there is a lot of speculation regarding Mt Gox and its future, I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan, and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issue.” Industry insiders are understandably skeptical of anything that comes out of Mt. Gox as many believe that the issues that led to their current situation were long going and were not a surprise. A report in Reuters quotes Bitcoin developer, Mike Hearn as saying,” Mt Gox has been broken and it was obvious there was something really bad going on there for nearly a year. They were processing withdrawals very slowly and generally being very opaque about what was going on there.”According to sources there is also an investigation ongoing by U.S. federal law enforcement into Mt. Gox as well as reports that the FBI is watching developments carefully. The speculation as to the future of Bitcoin is anyone’s guess. There are schools of thought that believe that the collapse of Mt. Gox can be a good thing for the overall long term future of virtual currencies as it has forced the industry to implement controls on themselves if they want to continue to attract investors. With the potential rewards so mesmerizing it is certainly conceivable that even Mt. Gox can make a return as high stake gamblers are always looking to make a fast…

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Zynga Breathes Collective Sigh Of Relief As Lawsuit Is Dismissed

Struggling social giant Zynga breathed a collective sigh of relief as a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by shareholders where it was alleged that company officials deliberately misled investors about the true financial state of the company before the December 2011 IPO. As we all know Zynga was one of the most hyped companies at the time and their IPO share price was $10. Since then it has tanked up to 70%  of the launch price but has since “recovered” to trade at around $5. This legal complication could have not come at a worse time for Zynga as they are on somewhat of a recovery path of late. While U.S. District Judge Jeffery White dismissed the lawsuit for now the plaintiffs intend to proceed with an amended complaint. Judge White stated that the 110 page complaint failed to include “relevant, basic factual details” to support their claims against Zynga. The Judge went on to also dismiss additional claims that were linked to a 2012 stock offering. The shareholders based their initial case on the fact that Zynga concealed essential information which inflated the value of the Zynga stock price. This included concealing changes in the Facebook platform, product delays and drops in user activity. According to the shareholders by concealing these figures Zynga succeed to enable selected insiders to earn a fortune as they sold over $593 million of stock in the two months before the IPO lockup expired. This resulted in them saving a fortune as the stock fell nearly 75% in the four months following the IPO launch. Zynga released a statement after the temporary relief saying,” Today the court granted our motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s class action complaint in the securities litigation. We are pleased with today’s order and continue to believe in the merits of our defense. The focus for Zynga is on our forward-looking business and delivering on our 2014 goals of growing and sustaining our proven franchises and creating new hits.” With all the changes Zynga has done in the last year it seems that things might be turning around for them as we saw in their last fourth quarter results in 2013 that led to a surge in their share…

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Nevada And Delaware Sign Landmark Online Poker Agreement

Online poker in the U.S. received a major boost on Tuesday as a historic iPoker compact was signed between the state of Delaware and Nevada. Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware signed an agreement which would enable online poker players from both states to play in a combined pool. This step is seen by experts as essential in order to create a player base that is financially viable. Unlike New Jersey the online poker markets in Nevada and Delaware are still small and with the aid of a compact they can grow into larger operations that will benefit both states. There are three main points in the agreement. Firstly online poker operators in both states will be allowed to open their game to all players in both states with revenues been evenly distributed depending on the location of the player that generated the rake, Secondly players from both states will be subject to the respective laws and regulations of their individual states. Thirdly there is a structure in place that would enable other U.S. states to be added in the future. Gov. Sandoval of Nevada was pleased that his state was instrumental in this landmark agreement,” This multi-state Internet agreement is the first ever of its kind. I consider this a landmark intersection in the road of gaming history. … [Nevada is] proud to have the first state as our first partner.” Gaming heavyweights like vice president of corporate communications for Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Seth Palansky expressed his delight at the agreement,” We are very pleased with agreement between Delaware and Nevada. It’s another case of forward thinking and an endorsement of the importance of pooled liquidity especially for lesser populated States. As Nevada set the blueprint for regulation, they now are setting the blueprint for inter-state collaboration.” Executive director of the Poker Players Alliance expressed what many feel is essential for the future expansion of online poker in the U.S.” It is terrific progress and hopefully can serve as a model for future Internet poker partnerships as more states regulate the…

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