Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Malware Danger To PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker Players Exposed

We have covered in detail the real and present danger of online security vulnerability in the internet gambling industry. It can be a carefully planned DDoS attack aimed at blackmailing the gaming company or a simple lack of sufficient security measures in place to protect the online gambler. We all remember the DDoS attack on Sheldon Adelson’s Sands Corporation which led to thousands of credit and other personal details of customers getting into the wrong hands. A new report coming from San Diego Based security experts Eset gives further concern to the scope of this problem. According to Eset hackers are using malicious spyware to gain a peek at player’s online poker hands and join the games to beat the victims on their hands. Even more alarming is the fact that this security breach affects players at the biggest online poker site in the world, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. The spyware is called Win32/Spy.Odlanor and like other malware is normally installed when users download apps that masquerade as other programs. Other methods of infection are from poker-related programs like Smart Buddy, Poker Office, Poker Calculator Pro etc. The malware works in a simple manner, one installed it sends screenshots of the poker clients to the hacker’s remote computer. These screenshots literally how the hackers the exact online virtual hand of the unsuspecting players as well as their player id. According to Eset several hundred users have fallen victim to the Win32/Spy.Odlanor from as early as March 2015. Most of the attacks originate from East European countries but can affect any online poker players. In terms of protection online players can avoid the malware by ensuring their anti-virus software is fully updated and of course can also report any suspicious activity to PokerStars and Full Tilt…

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New Jersey Online Gaming Revenues Up In August

The progress of online gambling in the Garden State is still nothing to get excited about and still generates a fraction of what supporters of legalizing online gambling claimed it would be. However it is still important to follow as much of the future expansion of online gambling will be determined by the success or lack of in New Jersey which is the only one of three U.S. states who have a viable market. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) have released the August figures which show a 15.8 % rise on the $10.5 million posted in August last year to reach $12.2 million. This brings the total online gaming state revenues to around $96.7 million for the year to end of August. While there are positive signs for the online market in New Jersey, the land based sector is still struggling as total casino wins in August were down 16.3% at $246.4 million from the $294.5 million from the same period last year. Total gaming wins were also down 15.2 % to $258.6 million from the $305 million last year. This figure however is a bit misleading as many of the state casinos have closed so overall revenues were…

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Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. Wants Hearing On Fantasy Sports

The explosion of daily fantasy sports led by DraftKings and FanDuel is definitely one of the hottest topics in the gaming world. The phrase gaming and not gambling in this market is exactly what stands at the heart of the growing calls to regulate this industry. Anyone watching any major sporting event in the U.S. cannot miss the massive publicity and marketing campaigns of daily fantasy companies who are spending more on advertising that major global brands. This has led to calls by many to regulate the fantasy sports sector and declare it the same as real money gambling. The latest to voice these sentiments is New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone Jr. who sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He sent a letter to his Republican counterparts on Monday in which he requested a hearing to examine “the relationship between professional sports and fantasy sports to review the legal status of fantasy sports and sports betting.” Pallone went on to point out the heavy media presence of commercials for fantasy websites especially with the start of the NFL season. Pallone believes that fantasy sports companies are exploiting a legal loophole to in essence offer real money gambling. He asked what may others are beginning to voice as well,” You know, put down a bet and get a high return by betting on a team, players, whatever. How is it any different from sports betting? I don’t see it; what, because you call it…

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Zynga Acquires Rising Tide Games From Former Exec Maytal Olsha

The roller coaster ride of social gaming giant Zynga has been well documented by our team. The once undisputed social gaming powerhouse had had a lot of ups and down in the last few years. One thing that is apparent is that they never disappoint in making surprising moves. Last September we reported on one of many high profile Zynga execs leaving in somewhat of a “strange manner”. One such exec was Maytal Olsha who at the time quietly left Zynga. She was a former 888 executive and was one of the many departures under the reign of the then CEO Don Mattrick. The comeback of former CEO and Founder Mark Pincus has been interesting to say the least and he is not shy to admit mistakes. It has been announced that Zynga has acquired Rising Tide Games which Maytal Olsha started. Zynga confirmed the acquisition of the social casino company which is part of a market that is expected to grow to $4 billion in 2016 according to Eilers Research. Of course this is not the first acquisition of a social gaming company as they acquired Spooky Cool Labs in 2013 who are behind the Hit It Rich! Slots. Pincus commented on the acquisition and said,” We are excited to welcome the deeply talented Rising Tide Games team to Zynga, as we continue to expand our Social Casino game offerings. Zynga has a long history in the Social Casino space, as Zynga Poker is the original social game and remains the world’s largest free poker game. We look forward to our Poker and Slots teams continuing to deliver games that delight our players.” Olsha in turn gave her side of the deal,” I am excited for Rising Tide Games to join forces with Zynga. I look forward to once again partnering with Mark, the talented Spooky Cool team and the Zynga Austin Studio to create authentic and truly social free-to-play games. Together, with our amazing Rising Tide Games family, I believe we can deliver fun, unique Social Slots experiences to players around the world in the growing Social Casino gaming space.” While their share price still remains about 70 percent lower that their $10 IPO price, Zynga have succeeded in growing their social slots franchise bookings by 274 percent between Q2 2014 and Q2…

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Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Charged With Embezzlement

The collapse of one of the largest bitcoin exchanges Mt. Gox last year almost put an end to the virtual currency. According to reports, Japanese prosecutors have now formally charge for Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles with embezzlement. Karpeles was arrested in August for what Japanese authorities claim was the misuse of clients’ deposits and allegedly creating $1 million worth of fake bitcoins. The victims of Mt. Gox have no real chance of getting their money back but thy have still made clams for around $22 billion against Mt. Gox. One of the reasons that they will not be able to retrieve their money is that a Tokyo District Court issued a statement in which it said that bitcoin is not “subject to ownership: so the victims of Mt. Gox could not seek compensation. As we reported Karpeles claims to have been victim to a security breach which lead to the disappearance of almost $500 million worth of the virtual currency. He subsequently claimed to have mysteriously ben able to recover bout 200,000 of the lost bitcoins. This latest blow to Karpeles should bring him closer to justice and for Bitcoin proponents hopefully put an end to the Mt. Gox fiasco that almost single handedly destroyed the ideal of virtual…

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