Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Sheldon Adelson Ready To Spend “Whatever It Takes” To Enter Japan

It seems that Sheldon’s Adelson’s now infamous slogan of “whatever it takes” from his anti-online gambling crusade has become his new motto. Speaking on Monday the Las Vegas Sands Corp Chief Executive said they were ready to spend “whatever it takes” to set up shop In Japan which is considered by many as the second largest gambling market after Macau. When asked at an investor seminar in Tokyo if he would invest $10bn, Adelson said yes but jokingly said “would I prefer to do it at 7?Yes.” The Las Vegas Sands groups is considered one of the favorites to obtain a gaming licence in Japan as it already has a strong presence in Singapore and Macau. Competition is stiff for the licence as estimates are that the Japanese market could be worth up to $15 billion in annual gaming revenues. Adelson is facing competition from MGM Resorts International, Macau-based Melco Crown Entertainment and Malyasia’s Genting Bhd. We reported back in December last year on the efforts of legislators to introduce gambling legislation to parliament which is set to come up for debate in May, Should it pass a second bill will follow which could ultimately mean the bill passing in 2016. The Tokyo Olympics in 2020 are a big reason for this recent push for gambling as this could be another major draw card for global...

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Ladbrokes Joins William Hill In Effort To Soften Government Crackdown On FOBTs

British bookmakers are feeling the heat from both politicians and anti-gambling voices like the Church to start cutting down on what has become dubbed as the “crack cocaine of gambling.” The fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTS) are one of the most burning issues facing gambling companies. To put things in perspective there are over 33,000 FOBTs in the UK and they make up £1.6bn of the industry’s in-store takings of £3bn. For bookmakers like William Hill and Ladbrokes these high speed cash eating machines are a vital part of their businesses.  It is estimated that FOBT’s make up 40% of Ladbrokes company’s earnings and 26% of William Hill’s according to to analysts at Barclays. With this in the background the picture becomes a lot clearer as to why the planed and inevitable government crackdown on these machines could expose the dependency of gaming companies on this sector. Shareholders in both companies are putting pressure on management to work with government to minimize the planned changes. Politicians from all sides of the political spectrum are under fire from their constituents to reign in the bookmakers before the problem is irreversible. An article in the Guardian discusses the issue from the side of Ladbrokes who plan to setup a board committee to tackle the issue. Ladbrokes also announced they will start promoting a code of player protection which will feature in shop windows from next week. The minister responsible for gambling, Helen Grant said in a statement,” On Tuesday, we will also announce that the Ladbrokes board has decided to formalise a number of responsible gambling performance measures into senior executives’ remuneration. A committee will be established, reporting to the main PLC board, to oversee this and put the measures into practice from 2015 at the latest.” Bookmakers like William Hill are quick to refute the claims that gambling levels have reached epidemic proportions in the UK and even claim that the half percent of the population that have problems is a lot less than the international average. It remains to be seen how the approach of engagement rather than confrontation that Ladbrokes and William Hill have adopted will lessen the imminent blow set to come from the...

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Study Shows Social Casino Monetization Dependant On Customer Service

Social casino games are all the rage on mobile devices and social networks like Facebook. With over a billion users gaming companies have one of the largest and most engagd audiences to promote their products. With free-to-play casino games featuring prominently both in the App Store and top Facebook apps, it is no wonder that revenues continue to grow and generated billions of dollars last year. Whether it be IGT with their $500m acquisition of Double Down or Caesars with their gaming subsidiary Playtika the stakes are high to monetize these games to the maximum. It is here where companies like Traffic Generation come into play. They assemble data and analytics which are partnered with marketing tools designed to max out monetization goals. Social casino companies are in constant need for the latest trends and analytics in order to stay ahead of their rivals in this highly competitive market. One of their recent studies shed some interesting light on the connection between customer service and monetization. Most would think that excellent customer service is important but having a high quality game is the main key to success. Well think again, as a study conducted that cross referenced direct user feedback from nearly a million social slots players on Facebook proved. The findings came up with surprising and potentially vital information for gaming developers. One finding was that 39% of social slots players that interacted with customer service were monetizing users. This group of monetizing users made up 37% of the entire game’s total revenue. Simply put this means that customer relations could directly affect over a third of the entire game’s monetization rates. If that’s not enough to get companies investing heavily in pleasing their customers Traffic Generation conducted their own survey on a group of 1824 social slots players. Here a whopping 35% of players said that the level of customer service by a social casino game is “extremely important to me.” A further 27% said the same thing when asked if a personal contact for the social casino game developers was important to them. Another telling point was 37% of players stated that they would play the game again should they receive good customer service from a social casino. Traffic Generation have a detailed infographic that delves deeper into the issue. The telling conclusion of the study is that good customer service is not just an added bonus for players but a vital part of the equation when and if they decide to play a social casino...

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Sen. Dean Heller And Sheldon Adelson Reading From Same Hymn Sheet

Politicians are known to change their views on just about any topic according to their own interests. This is no more apparent than with the ongoing debate over online gambling in the U.S. We all know that there is a major push by most gambling companies to expand online gambling in the U.S. Besides the three states currently offering limited internet gambling, there are over 10 other states looking into the issue. The two main anti-online gambling proponents are that of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and recently Steve Wynn. These two are small in numbers but have unlimited resources. Sheldon Adelson’s public campaign and declaration that he will do whatever it takes to stop online gambling in the U.S. has got politicians jumping on the bandwagon. To put this story in perspective it must be remembered that Adelson contributed over $100m in an effort to get Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney elected. This is by far the biggest amount of money ever spent on campaign financing. It therefore is not surprising that U.S. Sen. Dean Heller who is a Republican is looking appease the party caucus while also joining forces with the Democratic Sen. Harry Reid to come up with a bill that will restore the Wire Act of 1961. Sen. Heller is working to introduce legislation in Mach which is aimed at outlawing online gambling except for online poker. This is not the first time that Heller has attempted to introduce legislation but his timing coincided with Adelson’s much talked about crusade. In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Heller was quick to praise Adelson and said,” I think Adelson brings up some reasonable concerns. And to have the wild wild West as an empire of gambling for the country would have some serious social implications. And I think that’s what he’s concerned with.” As if out of Adelson’s hymn sheet Heller cited the exact reasons Adelson did when opposing online gambling. He said,” I think the devastation for bricks and mortar (casinos) in this state … would just be a final nail, I think, in keeping these businesses healthy.” Heller wants Nevada to become the nation’s online poker hub. Currently Nevada only permits poker in their online offering. It is no secret that Nevada is struggling to build a viable online poker base and is way behind the New Jersey market. As reported the addition of a third online poker site in Nevada only complicates matters. Heller also made a point of emphasizing that the issue is not confined to Nevada by saying,” We’re trying to keep it from being just a Nevada issue. So Harry...

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Playtech Feeling Generous To Shareholders After 2013 Earnings Rise

Playtech announced their full year results for 2013 and the numbers were excellent. In fact so good that they announced they will be paying a special dividend of $167 m to shareholders. Among the highlights were adjusted core earnings that increased by 17% to €159.4m which excludes the profits received from their sale of William Hill in March 2013. Revenues increases to £367.2m.Playtech announced that due to their 29% sale of William Hill online for £424 they would pay an addition £100m on top of the usual 2013 dividend of 23.2 cents per share. Chairman Alan Jackson understandably was delighted at the excellent results and said,” Playtech has further strengthened its position as the world’s leading supplier of technology and services for the online gambling industry and the board looks to the future with confidence and optimism.” Their acquisition of poker community PokerStrategy in July helped them with daily average revenues for the first seven weeks of 2014 which were up by 15% from the first quarter of...

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