Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Online Bookmakers Look To Soften Proposed UK Tax Hike
Aug26

Online Bookmakers Look To Soften Proposed UK Tax Hike

Where governments intervene and bureaucracy increases shrewd online bookmakers look for new and untapped hunting grounds. With the 15% Point of Consumption Tax (POC) set to come into play in the UK on December 2014, many experts are expecting a “seismic shift” in the online gambling industry. As we said increases in tax rates like the 15% proposed on operators in tax havens like Gibraltar who up till now have paid 1%, mean that smaller bookmakers might be forced out of the UK market. Gaming analysts at Davy Research commented on this likely change,” The introduction of the POC tax is likely to cause a seismic shift in the competitive landscape of the U.K. online gaming market.” While the lobbyists try and get the proposed tax hike reduced, other online markets are being scoped out in an effort to reduce the impact this tax hike will have on the gaming companies. Citi analysts James Ainley and Josh Lipman believe that up to 80% of the impact of the new tax rate could be softened through cost cutting and developing new overseas markets. When it comes to attractive markets Europe is a natural choice with Italy and Spain being particularly attractive. This according to Ainley and Lipman is due to the fact that the markets are large, gambling is highly popular, tax rates are low and the market is not too saturated. Another market which is ready to be tapped is that of Australia where sports betting in particular is highly popular and enjoys a up to 4% annual growth rate Currently online gambling is banned down under many believe that this is set to change soon. European operators are most comfortable in a highly regulated market like that of the UK and Australia has both a sustainable and sizable market which would make doing business there a worthwhile...

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Up To Half Of Bitcoin Transactions Are From Online Gambling
Aug25

Up To Half Of Bitcoin Transactions Are From Online Gambling

While generally talking about currencies and economics is pretty boring and not what you’d like to spend your time doing, there is an exception to this rule with the advent of virtual currencies like that of Bitcoin. While sounding more like science fiction Bitcoin does not fall under the control of any government or other body and is traded online. This simple yet ingenious way of banking has got the attention of global governments and institutions as they struggle to come to terms with a currency unlike any other. While the benefits are clear to all, the potential dangers are coming more and more under scrutiny. Without any centralized control or regulation many dubious transactions by the likes of drug dealers or others looking to launder their ill-gotten gains via Bitcoin are giving it a bad name. Online gambling is one of those sectors which has taken a lot of flak as it is still largely regulated and strictly controlled in many parts of the world. However with Bitcoin the legal situation is a grey one with no absolute certainty on its legality. In fact as we speak there are more and more internet gambling sites who are accepting Bitcoin as a legitimate form of currency. This has led to many in the US and other parts of the globe to start drafting guidelines and eventually legislation that would clearly define what Bitcoin really is. In the meantime a fascinating piece of data was released by Jeremy Liew, a partner in a venture capital firm called Lightspeed Venture Partners. He claims that the largest Bitcoin online gambling site SatoshiDice accounts for up to 50% of all Bitcoin’s overall transactions during the month of June.Whether this figure is accurate or slightly exaggerated, the fact remains that Bitcoin offers an innovative solution for online gamblers but is also creating headaches for legislators who have yet to come to grips with a currency they cannot see or...

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Ultimate Poker Site Receives Software Upgrade
Aug25

Ultimate Poker Site Receives Software Upgrade

April 30, 2013 will go down as a ground breaking date for online poker in the US as the first legal online poker site Ultimate Poker site was launched by Ultimate Gaming in Nevada. This is remarkable in light of the fact that only a short while ago online gambling in the US was shut down with no signs of being re-opened. Only in late 2011 after the US Justice Department changed their stance on the Wire Act of 1961 have we seen the online gambling industry being revived. While still only legal in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey online gambling is here to stay and poker is leading the way. Ultimate Poker has since its launch already dealt more than 10 million hands of real money poker and shows no signs of slowing down. They have just released an upgrade to their software which features some major improvements. These include changes to the player’s award programs, the tournaments, the lobby and the virtual tables. The graphics have been given a major boost with players able to adjust the size of the tables and avatars. All the playing cards are larger which makes playing a lot more fun and easier. Player awards programs or VIP programs are a must for all top gaming sites. This is now available on Ultimate Poker with their VIP program called Color UP. This program is made up of multiple tiers which are broken down into monthly and yearly tiers. Chief Marketing officer at Ultimate Gaming, Joe Versaci commented on the software upgrade,” This is just the first step. We are dedicated to listening to our customers and are working hard to continually enhance and enrich the product by introducing new features and upgrades.” We look forward to following Ultimate Poker as they will always be known as the first legal online poker site launched in the US and seem to be setting a high standard for their...

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UK Offshore Gaming Taxes Set To “Rock” Gibraltar
Aug24

UK Offshore Gaming Taxes Set To “Rock” Gibraltar

The recent declaration by the UK government to declare a 15% gaming tax on offshore operators has far reaching ramifications. One of the more interesting affected parties are those of the tiny British territory of Gibraltar or the “Rock” as it is affectionately known. While only 2.6 miles in size and a population of only 30,000 residents, the proposed online gaming taxes are set to impact heavily on this piece of British territory. To recap in a nutshell, the British Government is planning on shutting down the “party” that British based gaming companies have enjoyed up to now by operating in tax havens like Gibraltar. Currently there are dozens of UK gaming firms that have a presence in Gibraltar and include all the top gaming firms like William Hill, Betfair, Ladbrokes, Stan James, Corals and others. As the situation stands at the moment these British companies enjoy a tax rate of only 1% on online gambling revenue thanks to Gibraltar’s government which enjoys a wide scope of autonomy regarding trade and industry issues. Residents of Gibraltar are well aware of the importance of a thriving online gaming industry on their tiny little island of paradise as it makes up about 15% of Gibraltar’s $1.89 billion economy. It also is a major source of employment for locals with over 2,500 jobs being directly associated with gaming. While the proposals are only set to come into effect in December 2014, the potential devastating economic price residents could feel are worrying many already. So much so that there are those accusing the UK Government of a “tax grab” and intend to challenge the proposals in the European Union as they claim that it violates the EU’s free market rules. Online gaming companies operating out of Gibraltar have voiced their unhappiness at a change to the status quo. Head of Ladbrokes operations in Gibraltar said,” The change would put “a huge and unwanted cost on our business”. Besides the massive tax incentives offered by Gibraltar for online gaming companies they also apply a no VAT policy on advertising. Here you are talking about millions of pounds spent by UK gaming firms in marketing and advertising and which has a 20% levy in the UK. Opponents to the new regulations also point out the fact that the good intentions of the UK government to rake in more revenue and level the playing fields could in fact backfire as it could force online gamblers to patronize less regulated online markets. Comparisons even to the days of Prohibition in the US have been mentioned. Whatever the final outcome of the proposed changes are, it will be...

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Syndicate Of  Welsh Zoo Workers Win £1 Million Lottery Prize
Aug23

Syndicate Of Welsh Zoo Workers Win £1 Million Lottery Prize

There is no monkey business for a group of zoo workers from the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay who have just won a £1 million lottery prize. This fantastic jackpot will be shared amongst a syndicate of 16 workers who all plan to use their winning share for lifetime dreams. Naturally the lucky winners were stunned at their win with the animal collection manager Peter Litherland stating,” We’re still all absolutely stunned. We cannot believe that something like this could happen to us. I’ve always wanted to go and see the wildlife and the zoos in that part of the world. It will be something of a busman’s holiday but Sydney has one of the best zoos in the world.” Another member of the syndicate Jen McDonald who is the marketing officer at the zoo stated what she will do with their win,” I’ve been engaged for six years and we’ve been saving up for the wedding. I can certainly have my big dream wedding now!” When asked about the animals reaction one of the trainers Zoe Sweetman stated,” We still have plenty of animals who depend on us to feed and look after them, so it’s business as usual. They are sensitive to our moods, so I’m sure they’re aware that there’s a different atmosphere around the zoo...

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