Online Casino News From Around the Globe

PokerStars’ Shutout From New Jersey Gives Competitors Head Start

You would think that being the largest online poker site in the world, PokerStars would have a distinct advantage in the U.S. online poker market. With over 50 million registered players and seemingly having put their legal woes behind them all seemed positive for them to flourish in the newly opened up new Jersey online gambling market. Well think again as it seems that the old demons of their founder Isai Scheinberg have come back to haunt them. In a surprise development the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement suspended the review of PokerStars’ online gambling application for two years. This shutout from the lucrative New Jersey online gambling market is a serious dampener to PokerStars efforts to re-enter the U.S. gambling market. The official reason for the decision is PokerStars’ continued links to their founder Isai Scheinberg who was indicted by Federal prosecutors in 2011 for violations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act as well as the Illegal Gambling Business Act. Scheinberg has still not made himself available to face the music in the U.S. For those who do not remember the U.S. Federal government shut down online poker operators in 2011 with PokerStars being the most popular online site at the time. Despite the settlement reached regarding the civil charges Scheinberg had to resign as part if the direct management. The New Jersey  Division Of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) explained their reasoning behind the decision,”The Division’s determination is based primarily on the unresolved federal indictment against Isai Scheinberg for the alleged violation of federal gambling statutes, namely, the Illegal Gambling Business Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), and the involvement of certain PokerStars executives with Internet gaming operations in the United States following the enactment of UIGEA.” PokerStars’ spokesman Eric Hollresier responded to the developments,” We are disappointed that the N.J. Division of Gaming Enforcement has suspended the review of our application at this time. We note that the DGE will resume the review of our application if our circumstances change. We will remain in open dialogue with the DGE and will update them on changes in our situation as they occur.” In the interim PokerStars will have to sit back and watch their rivals MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment continue to build their brands without having to worry about the world heavyweight to contend with in online poker. We look forward to following this story as it will have serious ramifications for the online poker market in the...

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Skrill Stopping To Process Canadian Online Gambling Transactions

Online payments solutions processor Skrill have been making a play to expand their online operations in the U.S. We reported on their CEO’s Joe Hall ambitious plans to add to their 36 million account holders with the expansion of online gambling in the U.S. While the U.S online gambling market is definitely in the process of expansion, questions have been raised as to the situation in Canada. There is currently a lot of mystery surrounding an email received by some Skrill customers informing them that they will no longer be processing online gambling payments as from January 02. The story broke when a poker player named as Benjamin Sulsky posted an email he received from Skrill in a forum. According to reports Skrill will be notifying active gamblers next week with further details. This has led to speculation as to the reasons behind this move. This has led to many asking the question as yo whether Skrill are privy to some sort of insider information which would point to new anti-online gambling legislation in Canada. So far despite some digging around there is no sign of any legislative changes in the works or even any serious media debate regarding online gambling. In the meantime Skrill have released a statement in which they said they opted to pull out of the Canadian market after it had “reviewed its operations”. They went on to advise their customers to liaise with appropriate departments within your business to communicate this development and to articulate any impact across your organization.” It remains to be seen if Skrill have some rationale behind this curious move or whether they are just gearing up to focus on more lucrative markets like that of the U.S. online gambling...

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IGT’S DoubleDown Casino Scores Big With Women Players

Social casino games are big business as major gaming companies like IGT use them to strengthen their real money brands as well as to attract new comers to casinos. Double Down Interactive is one of the largest social casino offerings and was purchased for a whopping $500 million by IGT in 2012. In a sign of just how popular social casino games are one only has to look to Facebook. They have just released their top 23 games for 2013 and free-to-play casino games made up five of the twenty three. DoubleDown casino is one of the largest and most popular social casino games with over six million monthly active users. In an interesting twist DoubleDown gave a rare peek into their numbers or “social casino index.” This is interesting as it shows just where and how players are choosing to play their games. One of the surprising findings is the fact that contrary to popular belief women who play DoubleDown actually bet 30% more than men on average, According to global marketing VP at IGT John Clelland. women tend to bet more but when it comes to spending men dish out much more cash. If it sounds confusing then think of it as women willing to risk their virtual casino currency but men are likely to spend real cash on extras like the purchase of bulk cash packs. Another point worth noting according to Clelland is the fact that social casino game play is more prevalent in states that offer players the chance to gamble legally and in areas where Native American casinos are...

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Gov. Chris Christie Takes Sports Betting Case To Supreme Court

Without being cynical there are few personalities as big as Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. He is not only a rising political star but is one of the strongest supporters of online gambling in the U.S. Due largely to his efforts he has managed to bring New Jersey to the forefront of U.S. gambling and is looking to take his state to global heights. You cannot but be swept along with his charisma and his unique way of creating hype to further his ambitions. While New Jersey has just recently launched online gambling, their attempts to offer online sports betting have so far being unsuccessful. Whatever you think about Gov. Christie you have to admire his determination as even after losing three times in Federal court to the NCAA and the nation’s professional sports leagues. Christie is taking his case to the Supreme Court. He will have until mid-February to appeal to the Supreme Court to permit sports betting in New Jersey. Christie’s main argument is that legal online sports betting would generate hundreds of millions in gaming revenues. His other point of attack is that of challenging the Federal statute that bars states from legalizing sports betting with the argument that the Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 is unconstitutional. State Sen. Ray Lesniak who is pushing for New Jersey to become a “Mecca for gambling” also believes that the Supreme Court may well agree with Christie and himself. He was quoted as saying,” I do believe that the Supreme Court does give us the best chance for it because they have been going in a direction of recognizing states’ rights over recognizing federal mandates.” It will be interesting to follow the outcome of the appeal as it will have far reaching consequences for the entire U.S. online gambling industry. While Gov. Christie has been questioned about his “generous” $1 billion gaming revenue estimates, there is no doubting that with sports betting being possibly legalized this number might be closer to reality then it currently...

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Japan Focus Of Global Casino Giants As Potential New Market

While currently Macau is the largest gambling market in Asia and in the world, there is a possible contender to challenge the status quo. We reported on the effects of the successful  Tokyo Olympic bid back in September. According to a recent report in the Wall Street journal Japanese lawmakers are set to introduce a bill to legalize gambling within the next few days. While proposals to legalize gambling in Japan have been around since as far back as 2002, the current political environment in Japan is in a good position to make this a reality. Tokyo is set to host the 2020 Olympics and casinos could be just the tool to promote the government’s growth plans. Betting and gambling is reportedly popular amongst at least 30 percent of Japanese enjoying betting on anything from lotteries, horse racing to motorboat races.According to analysts like Citigroup Japan could generate gross revenues on anything from $13.4 billion to $15 billion which would make it the second largest market after Macau in Asia. The potential for such a lucrative market has got gambling groups like the Las Vegas Sands highly interested in adding Japan to their existing global portfolio. According to chief executive of the company’s Marina Bay Sands resort, George Tanasijevich, Japan is “the biggest opportunity in our industry right...

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