Thursday, November 1, 2012

Year of Innovation for Online Casinos

This past year has been a great one for the online casino industry with the introduction of a number of fresh innovations.  This year’s innovations include 3D animation, new tournaments, and a unified account system.

The newest advanced in graphics technology are slowly becoming a standard at online casinos.  Users are demanding, now more than ever, that the quality animation, graphics, and sound that they’ve grown accustomed to on other platforms now be present at the online casinos.  The apparent leader in 3D animation technology for online casinos seems to be Betsoft.  Their 3D slots have unparalleled graphics in the online slot world.  A close second, however, would have to be CTXM, followed by Rival Gaming, who both have made significant advances in this field as well.

Though slots and blackjack have been around for generations, the idea of creating online tournament style play for these classic games is fairly new.  All Slots Casino, Royal Vegas, and Platinum Play have all begun to introduce this exciting element of competition to these solitaire-esque games.  One of the ways tournament style play is introduced to these types of games is by having all the players pay into a pool, and the player who individually performs the best takes the pot.  Alternatively, the players are ranked and the winnings divided accordingly. 

The new unified account system, known as a one wallet account, is a fantastic way for allowing mobility between casinos.  The new system, offered at most major online casinos, allows users to enjoy multiple game types at multiple casinos all on the same account.  This makes it easier to keep track of expenses and earnings.  William Hill Online is a good example of an operator that offers mobility between various sites.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lucky Player Wins Big (1.1M ZAR) at Casino Tropez

A very lucky South African named Andrew won a whopping 1.1 million ZAR (South African Rand) at Casino Tropez playing the Hulk online slot game.  On the 25th of September, Andrew landed on the Marvel Ultimate Power progressive jackpot, which hadn’t been hit in the last 3 months.  Andrew’s luck doesn’t end there.  Just one day prior he won 842,850 rand playing Wild Games, an Olympics based online slot.  Despite the fact that the Olympic Games are finished, the online slot still has quite the popular draw.  Both games are from leading software company Playtech.

Andrew wasn’t the only lucky South African emptying out Casino Tropez’s coffers.  Petrus had the luck of wining big three times.  First, on September 22, he won 51,870 rand playing Bonus Bears.  Then, on September 25, playing the same game, he won another 111,185 rand.  Bonus Bears is a fairly new release recently made available at Casino Tropez.  The theme is based around bears in a national park.  The symbols include a bear, a ranger, a beehive, a picnic basket, and a skunk wearing a gas mask.  The game has a certain comical feel.  During the Honey Feature bonus round, the player is presented with five different trees for the bear to climb in the hope of finding a pot of honey.  Petrus’ third win, which was also his smallest, came on the following day while playing Fantastic Four.

Next on the list of lucky winners is Rudi, also from South Africa.  He won 65,358 rand playing Desert Treasure.  This online slot game has an Arabian theme.  Casino Tropez is the flagship Playtech casino and has a fantastic reputation as being one of the most upstanding brands in the business. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Europe Gaming an Betting Association Wants Unified Regulation

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) again calls for unifying the regulation of gambling across the European Union.  The call comes in advance of the EU’s European Commission Communication and Action Plan soon to be released.  This is the EGBA’s last attempt to pressure the EC before the release.  Their goal is create a single regulatory mechanism in effect among all EU member states.  EGBA Secretary General Sigrid Ligne criticized the current situation of twenty-seven individual, different regulatory realities spread throughout Europe, each creating its own separate market.  She demanded a more transparent and fair Europe-wide licensing process for all operators in the EU.

The EGBA deplored the situation in Germany citing that local operators there have repeatedly ignored formal complaints about violations of EU agreements.  Michele Barnier, head of the EC, said in his most recent speech to the European Parliament that there is a commitment on part of the EC to ensure that each individual member state conforms to the EU treaty requirements.   Ligne pressed the EC to deal with the German states’ violations while they were still in the licensing stages.  The EGBA, explained Ligne, has clear evidence that the licensing process illegally excludes other European operators.

Ligne concluded that although the case with Germany is severe, the solution is not in citations and complaints against Germany, but rather EU-wide legislation with teeth.  Similar to the other forms of broad legislation that already exist, the EGBA seeks to enact a single system of legislation, regulation, and licensing in an equal way throughout Europe.  These steps would, in addition to creating a fair business environment, would also help protect consumers.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Big Winners at Slots Oasis – Goldbeard Pays Out!

Looking back at last months payouts, nobody’s been breaking the bank at Slots Oasis Online Casino.  The biggest payout came for the popular slot title Goldbeard.  Player Brian L. won $9,865 from the evil pirate Goldbeard who is based on the famous Blackbeard character.  However, unlike the typical dreadful, dark image associated with pirates, the Goldbeard slot game is actually quite bright and inviting.

The pirate Goldbeard is the wild symbol, the multiplier, and the trigger for the bonus round.  When a player gets a wining combination, Goldbeard shakes his behind as if he’s getting the money.  During the bonus round, players can get up to twenty-four free spins with a 3x multiplier.  The game’s other symbols include a gold coin, treasure chest, cannon, parrot, and pirate ship.

The next biggest winner from Oasis was Bill L. who raked in $5,506 playing online slot game T-Rex.  T-Rex is a dinosaur themed game; the symbols include volcano, dinosaur egg, triceratops, stegosaurus, plant, and T-Rex.  The latter is the wild symbol.  Though it can only appear on the third reel, when it appears with a winning combination, it doubles payouts.  The bonus round is activated via the dinosaur egg.  During the bonus round, players can choose eggs in order to win up to ten free spins (per egg).  During the free spins, the T-Rex symbol turns all the other symbols into wild ones.  This is represented by an animation of the T-Rex devouring the other symbols. 

Number three on the list of winners if Michael S. who won $5,083 playing Wok and Roll, and Chinese themed online slot game.  Wok and Roll, following a Chinese cuisine theme, has symbols such as noodles, fortune cookies, Chinese pancakes, and a chef who is chopping a duck.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Schleswig-Holstein Looking to Revoke Licenses and Gambling Law

The saga of the legalization of online casino games in Schleswig-Holstein continues to unfold in a dramatic way. This week members of the new ruling coalition have brought a bill to the government that calls for the northern state to rejoin the other German states under the country’s Gambling Treaty.

The main issue is that the state has already issued a number of online casino games licenses to various top online casinos and is still considering more applications.

As the new ruling coalition holds a small majority over the government, they are being cautious on this issue. Interior Minister Andreas Breitner. who brought the legislation to the government said that the process to pass it could be quite long as it first needs to go through European Commission approval. It could be three months or beyond before any change is made.

In the waiting period, the law that upholds the right of some the best online casinos to operate within the German state will be enforced. Schleswig-Holstein will continue to give licenses and review applications. The licenses that have already been awarded are in place for six years.

There have already been some top online casinos that have issue with the process in the country. A couple of operators have gone to court over delays over the application process.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Republicans Take on Online Gambling

Politics are heating up across the United States as Americans head to the poles in November. People across the political spectrum are looking for government to weigh in on specific issues, online gaming legislation among them.

The Republican National Committee expressed its views on online casino games at the Republican National Convention with a manifesto document that makes clear that the party is not changing its tune. A portion of the document, entitled, “Making the Internet Family Friendly,” says that there are many Americans who are addicted to online casino games playing and it continues to destroy families. Because of this, the Republican part opposes online gaming.  

Additionally, the manifesto calls for a reversal to the Justice Department’s recent re-interpretation of the Wire Act, which gave online casino games playing a legal entry. Specifically, the manifesto states that casino games online are “distorting the formerly accepted meaning of the Wire Act.”

The main frontrunner trying to push legalization forward, the Poker Players Alliance, commented immediately on the manifesto by calling it a step backwards in the process to finalize online casino games legislation.

Rich Muny, Vice President of Players Relations at the Poker Players Alliance, commented on the contents of the manifesto and said that it is not a reflection of the many supporters within the Republican party who want to see the legalization and regulation of online casino games move ahead, nor does it reflect the feelings of the general public.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More Casinos Receive Licenses in Schleswig-Holstein Despite Controversy

The German state of Schleswig-Holstein is pushing forward with its distribution of online casino games licenses despite recent tries to create a unified no-gaming policy in the country. The northern state gave five online casino operators licenses to operate in the state. Ladbrokes, 888, Admiral Sportwetten, Admiral Sportwetten and Cashpoint Malta Ltd. have all been accepted.

The Interior Ministry of Schleswig-Holstein has made the licenses valid until 2018.

The new licenses mean that in total twelve online casinos are able to legally operate within the state. Schleswig-Holstein recently passed online casino games legislation that made online casino games legal within its borders.

Germany’s government recently underwent a change that saw a coalition government take over power. The coalition is in favor of aligning Germany under the Intrastate Gambling Treaty.

This means that the Coalition is looking to Schleswig-Holstein to return to the Treaty and rescind the licenses it distributed.

Earlier in the year, Schleswig Holstein left the Treaty and the other unanimity of the other German states by legalizing online casino games playing and awarding casino licenses. The move has since been analyzed and deemed controversial.  

Despite the effort to discount the already distributed licenses, Schleswig-Holstein is pressing forward. It was also reported that government authorities within Schleswig-Holstein ‘s Interior Ministry are in the process of reviewing twenty-two other sports betting operator applications with an additional twenty-two applicants seeking a license to offer online casino and poker.