Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Disney Under Fire In Florida For Gambling Policies

The issue of gambling is one of the more contentious issues for all governments. The U.S. has been in the headlines in the last year and a half as it is in the process of formulating a new gambling policy that already involves three states that have legalized internet gambling. The remaining states are still up for grabs with both legislators, casino operators and anti-gambling voices all trying to win the moral debate. Whichever side comes up trumps, the bottom line like anything else revolves around money. With gambling in the U.S. this is particularly clear as online gambling is seen as a threat to may existing state casino licence holders who also include the native American tribes who certainly do not want the online competition. An article in the New York Times raises the debate of gambling in the state of Florida as well as the seemingly vested interests that various parties try to hide or deny. Traditional gambling conjures up smoke filled rooms where heavy gamblers spend fortunes on poker, blackjack or roulette. This perception is however far from the reality of modern day gambling. In fact anyone playing online gambling is hard pressed to find big differences between high end video games and slot machines. In fact many land casinos feature slot based machine games that are inspired by blockbusters like Avatar or television hit series like Pawn Stars. Another major theme in slots and scratch cards are that of comic based games. As a major player there is no larger comic maker than Marvel who were acquired by no less then Disney in 2009 for $4 billion. As we mentioned slots and even lotteries are utilizing these Marvel comic characters in many of their most popular games and critics are asking the question if the merging of superheroes and gambling is an acceptable situation for a family orientated company like Disney. The debate of expanding gambling in Florida has raised this question as supporters of expanding gambling point out the apparent hypocrisy of giant companies like Disney who are against expanding gambling in Florida based on the reasoning that it would affect the state’s reputation for being a family location. To counter the criticism regarding the use of Marvel comic characters in many slots and lottery games, Disney claim that they are planning to end their connection to slot games as soon as the various licencing agreements expire over the next few years. Supporters of gambling expansion like COO of the Las Vegas Sands, Michael A. Leven believe Disney is less than honest in their intentions,” Disney’s internecine warfare against integrated resorts in Florida under...

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Zynga’s Roller Coaster Rides Sees Them Enjoying Some Highs In Third Quarter

Like many we have been pretty harsh on the once undisputed social gaming developer Zynga. Like EA mobile Chief Frank Gibeau it is difficult to overlook Zynga’s miscalculation when it comes to the importance of focusing on the mobile market. With smartphones becoming standard for most of us for a couple of years already, how is it that all the brainpower at such a huge company overlooked this simple fact? Well enough negative criticism has been hauled at them, their just released Quarter Three results do show some positive signs for the future. With the newly pointed CEO Don Mattrick warning of volatile results, it came as no surprise that it would be an interesting ride as he made significant changes to the infrastructure of Zynga. The good news for Zynga is certainly in their better than expected revenues. Revenue was $203 million, down 36% from a year ago Bookings were $152 million, down 40% from a year ago. While these may seem bad analysts expected revenues to be only $143 million and report a loss of 4 cents a share. Zynga themselves only expected revenues of $175 million to $200 million with a net loss of $14 to $43 million. Added to that good news is the fact that Zynga did not report any further job cuts which has plagued them in the last year. They even added a new Chief Operating Officer, Clive Downie to their team. With these better than expected results Zynga’s stock was trading up by 15% to reach $4.08.CEO Don Mattrick has got his work cut out for him but with the latest results being positive there is still many betting on Zynga reclaiming some of its past glory. Zynga was quick to point out that three out of the top ten Facebook games were still theirs based on daily active users. These were FarmVille 2, Zynga Poker and Words With Friends. To keep things in perspective, it is still amazing to see how Zynga has failed to retain their player base in the last year. Some of the figures include: Daily active users falling from 60 million in the third quarter last year to 30 million now which is a drop of 49%. Monthly active users fell from 311 million a year ago to 133 million in this third quarter representing a 57% drop. One worrying factor has got to be Zynga’s fall in the social casino arena, Zynga Poker used to be right up there as the top social casino game but has now been replaced by Caesars Interactive whose games like Slotmania now reign supreme. It was not too long...

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Big Fish Games Partners With BlueStacks

Social gaming giant Big Fish is the largest social gaming producer with over 2 billion games distributed on multiple platforms including mobile since their founding in 2002. Their Big Fish Casino app alone is the largest social casino app with revenues of over $35 million for the third quarter of 2013. They are trendsetter both in social gaming and the ever growing crossover of real money games in which they have partnered up with the like of Betable to platforms like Facebook. Today they have announced their partnership with BlueStacks who specialize in bringing Android games to Windows and Mac computers, Utilizing the BlueStack technology Big Fish will now be able to deliver all of their popular mobile apps to the existing desktop pc’s that run on Windows and iOS.Like many other gaming developers Big Fish games have dedicated most of their resources to mobile games with Big Fish generating more than half of their revenue. This partnership is good news not only for desktop users but also Android developers who now have the chance to monetize their mobile apps without having to go through a complex process. Big Fish CEO Paul Thelen said,” This throws open the doors of Big Fish’s PC and Mac app store to mobile developers all over the world. It means extra distribution and monetization with no development work.” BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma explained how the merging of Android and other operating platforms have been inevitable,” The Android and PC galaxies have been hurtling towards each other for at least a year now. Before today, it just wasn’t worth it for Android developers to take the risk porting to PC. Now they’ve got not only a huge distribution opportunity, but Big Fish users are also extremely high-monetizing. The ‘no work’ aspect is just whipped cream on the...

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Delaware Set To Launch Online Gambling On October 31

The state of Delaware is one of the three U.S. states that have legalized online gambling. With Nevada already in full swing Delaware is set to provide the ultimate “trick or treat” option when they launch online gambling on Halloween, October 31. Unlike Nevada where only online poker is legal, Delaware will offer other gaming options. With New Jersey Set to launch in Nov.26 Delaware will become the second state to offer real money games following their free-to-play online games that were offered in August via the state casinos’. Delaware is a relatively small state with only 900,000 residents and for this reason they have managed to fly under the radar in terms of public hype for the launch. With New Jersey being the largest market of the three states there are discussions amongst the trio to create some sort of interstate compact which would make it more profitable for all. Like in Nevada and New Jersey only residents physically located within the state will be permitted to gamble online. Industry experts have asked the question whether smaller states like Delaware will be able to sustain a large online player base as Nevada is learning the hard way. It is for this reason that major moves are underway to get larger states like California to legalize online gambling in one way or...

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EA Mobile Chief Blasts Zynga’s Mobile Performance

The pace at which the tide can turn for gaming developers is astounding. Whether it be social games or real money games the mobile sector is critical for any gaming company looking to capture the widest audience possible. To prove this one does not have to look further than Zynga who we always use as a prime example of how a single decision can bring down even the biggest gaming powerhouse. The last year in particular has been tumultuous for the San Francisco based company with everything from the CEO being replaced to mass job losses. While we have covered these extensively an article in the New York Times recently with Electronic Arts Mobile head Frank Gibeau solidifies what many have said was the downfall of Zynga. Former CEO Mark Pincus himself has admitted on many occasions that their dependency on Facebook was a major mistake. He went further to state that could he do it all again he would build Zynga games around mobile devices. Gibeau held no punches while speaking to the New York Times by saying,” Zynga blew it. They’re not a mobile business. We’re six or seven times their size in mobile. Zynga fell into a hole because they were completely focused on one platform, which is Facebook.” EA themselves have directed their main focus to mobile sector as according to Gibeau “every smartphone, every tablet, is a gaming-enabled device.This simple dose of reality is what former Zynga need a few years ago and many are questioning if their mistake of ignoring the mobile sector will be able to be rectified or perhaps will be the mistake of a lifetime from which there is no...

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