Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Betable Continue To Be A Thorn In The Side Of Zynga

We reported on the downward spiral that Zynga has had recently with the latest blow being their announcement that they are abandoning any aspirations of real money gaming in the U.S. Besides the reasons that we have already mentioned and are known to all, there is one startup that has had a direct impact on the fortunes of social gaming companies like Zynga. Until recently gaming developers could only fantasize about converting their free-to-play games into real money versions. This is due to the fact that the expertise, infrastructure and cost of attempting such a venture were out of reach to just about any gaming company except for the big boys. Zynga is just such an example of how they enjoyed a monopoly like status on Facebook which enabled them to capture one of the largest playing audiences. This has all changed largely due to smaller companies now being able to utilize the services of the startup Betable which as we have covered before essentially handles all the legal paperwork needed to offer real money gaming and allowing the gaming developers to concentrate solely on providing top quality games. It is no coincidence that many of Zynga’s top former management have being poached by Betable who are directly working to break monopolies that companies like Zynga once enjoyed. The latest high ranking Zynga employer to make the transition is former VP of revenue operation Ryan Linton who is now Betable’s chief revenue officer. The timing is quite ironic as it coincides with one of the sharpest dips in Zynga’s share price history. Linton was quoted as saying,” There are very few companies that can claim to have created a truly disruptive business model. Betable is one of those companies. The significance of providing developers with the ability to overcome a tremendous barrier to entry, while at the same time giving them the power to offer real-money play within their own games, can’t be stressed enough.” Betable’s CEO Christopher Griffin was delighted with the new addition to their growing team,” I have no doubt that Ryan’s deep experience with payment providers and world-class brands will lead us in exceeding our commitment to offering best-in-class experiences for both developers and players.” It comes as no surprise that Betable recently succeeded in gaining additional investors as they are currently offering a service which is tempting many social gaming companies to cross the Rubicon and enter the real money...

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Massachusetts Couple Throws $1 Million Lottery Ticket In Trash

How many of us have purchased a lottery ticket and thrown it away without checking it? This is exactly what happened to a Massachusetts couple who almost lost a winning $1 million lottery scratch card that they discarded. According to lottery officials Joanne and Joseph Zagami from North Attleborough purchased the lucky ticket for only $5 from a vending machine while doing their routine shopping. They forgot about the scratch ticket and stuck it in one of the grocery bags. Only the next day did Joseph ask his wife about the scratch ticket. They then went through the trash and discarded plastic bags in order to find the ticket. Understandably they could not believe their luck and claimed their prize in a one sum payment which means they will walking away with a cool $650,000. When asked about their plans on spending their new found fortune they stated they intend to go on a vacation, settle outstanding bills and pay off their...

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Zynga Shares Tank After They Abandon U.S. Gambling Aspirations

Just when you thought social gaming giant Zynga was on the comeback trail, the announcement yesterday that they are abandoning any plans to enter the U.S. real money gambling market has led to their greatest share price drop since October 5. The shares price dropped as much as 17% to  trade around $2.90. This latest blow could well be the final nail in the coffin of what was once the undisputed heavyweight of the social gaming world. Investors could not be blamed for wanting to get off  the roller coaster ride that Zynga has taken them on in since their IPO launch. While closing the door shut on the U.S. real money gambling market, Zynga has still kept their options open in the U.K which is seen as the global testing ground for any social casino gaming companies looking to get a taste of the real thing,” While the company continues to evaluate its real-money gaming products in the U.K. test, Zynga is making a focused choice not to pursue a license for real-money gaming in the U.S.” What makes this decision somewhat baffling was the fact that Zynga’s share price actually rose by 48% for 2013 with many betting on real money gambling saving their sinking ship. They had even taken active steps to enter the U.S. market which include applying to Nevada Gaming Board to get a license. The U.S. online gambling market is admittedly opening up at a slow pace but no one denies that the there are billions at stake for those who succeed in establishing their presence in the market. It is no secret that one of former CEO Mark Pincus fatal misjudgments was the fact that he devoted too much time to their one time partner Facebook and not enough on mobile devices. The new CEO Don Mattrick will have his hands full in revving Zynga who has been battered by massive staff layoffs, key executives abandoning ship and their online player base shrinking. Mattrick seemed upbeat despite the investors thinking otherwise and was quoted as saying,” The next few years will be a time of phenomenal growth in our space and Zynga has incredible assets to take advantage of the market opportunity. To do that, we need to get back to basics and take a longer term view on our products and business, develop more efficient processes and tighten up execution all across the company. I’m privileged to lead Zynga and I look forward to spending more time with our players, employees, and shareholders.” The next few quarters will prove if Zynga can succeed in pulling off a comeback to somewhere near...

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IGT’s DoubleDown Casino Records 105% Boost In Q3 of 2013

The Nevada-based International Game Technology (IGT) is one of the leaders in manufacturing and distributing of gaming machines and systems for online gaming markets. One of their most controversial acquisition in recent years was that of social gaming company Double Down Interactive. When they acquired Double Down interactive in 2012 for a whopping $500 million many eyebrows were raised but they seem to have had the last laugh. With their release of Q3 earnings ending June 30 for 2013 this acquisition seems to have been a prudent move w. Their Q3 earnings were excellent overall. The highlights include: – A revenue rise of 8.7% to $579 million due largely to their growth of their social casino gaming division including DoubleDown Casino. – Net income of $65.7m which is an increase of 40% from the $46.6m of the same period last year. – Earnings per share rose from $0.23 to $0.33. – Slot Machine sales increased by 12% to $259.2m due largely to unit replacements in North America with IGT having over 56,700 slots in the market. The most interesting data was from their DoubleDown Casino product which reported an increase of 13% rose from Q2 but more significantly a massive 105% rise from Q3 in 2012.DoubleDown’s other impressive figure included: – DAU’s rising by 25% to 1.7m in Q3 – MAU rising by 28% to 6.7m. – Revenues per user rose 50% to 60 cents per day. CFO John Vandermore was delighted with the revenues as they were higher than analysts expected in a tough international market. On the social network arena DoubleDown Casino performed excellently as well and are the third highest grossing app on Facebook which as Vandermore pointed out is impressive as they are not restricted to social casino aps. DoubleDown also overtook rival Zynga Poker to make them the top grossing social game on Facebook. With all these positive results the only dampener could be IGT’s gaming operations which fell by 4% to $247.3m which IGT CEO Patti Hart blamed on consumers watching their budgets. Another area in which DoubleDown is expanding is their convergence with land based casinos. The trend of partnering social casino games on brick and mortar casinos websites has dual advantages for both sides as they each get to expand their target audience and provide an improved overall gaming experience. CEO Hart summed up their aspirations saying that IGT intend on becoming,” a global gaming ecosystem that is ubiquitous across platforms and devices, where scale and breadth of product and broad distribution of content will...

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Andy Ashkar Sentenced To 25 Years For Stolen $5 Million Lotto Ticket

There are few nightmare scenarios worse than that of being cheated out of a jackpot win that would instantly change your destiny and that of your children and grandchildren. For an unlucky man this is exactly what happened but the story has a happy ending with justice seemingly prevailing. For many the dream to win the lottery and instantly transform our lives is the exact reason why we purchase tickets despite the astronomical odds against us. This could not be more true for a maintenance worker who was robbed out of $5 million in the New York lottery by a father and son team. Andy Ashkar, 35 who was an autoshop dealer was convicted today to up to 25 years in prison for conning Robert Miles out of his dream ticket. Miles purchased the scratch ticket in 2006 and when checking at the store that was owned by Ashkar’s father was told that he only won $5000 of which $1000 was taken by the Ashkar brothers as a “handling fee”. They then cunningly waited a couple of years until 2012 to cash it just before it expired. Miles blamed his mishap on the fact that he had smoked crack cocaine the night before. The judge dished out harsh justice to Ashkar as the maximum sentence was imposed. The judge had some fiery words for the stunned Ashkar and was quoted as saying,” You exhibited some of the most rapacious greed I’ve seen in a long, long time.” Andy Ashkar is going to find it hard receiving sympathy from anyone who partakes in the lottery as his greed almost went unpunished and would have been the ultimate crime. Ashkar’s father is set to go on trial for conspiracy in September. The moral of the story should be if you are going to smock crack cocaine make sure that someone who is not high checks your ticket to avoid any...

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