Online Casino News From Around the Globe

King Digital Entertainment Plan To Raise $500m In IPO Launch

We reported back in December on the cautious approach of King Digital Entertainment regarding their much talked about IPO offering. The similarities between King and former social gaming giant Zynga are strikingly similar. As we pointed out Zynga’s 2011 IPO launch was one of the most hyped and expectations were high. Since then Zynga has had a difficult time with their share price and have dropped by up to 70% of their $10 IPO launch price. The mistakes of Zynga are well documented and while they have a tough road to get back to their former glory days, there are some positive signs that they just might be heading in the right direction. King are best known for the global hit Candy Crush Saga which since its 2012 launch has accrued over 500 million downloads on mobile devices and has over a billion monthly active users.  While Candy Crush Saga is their biggest hit, King are no slouches as their revenues have skyrocketed from $164.4m in 2012 to $1.9 billion in 2013. Their profits have also gone through the roof with $568m in 2013 which is up from the $8m in 2012. It is also worth pointing out that King are more than a one hit wonder. Their Pet rescue and Farm Heroes titles feature in the top 10 grossing apps on the iOS platform with 15m DAU’s and 8m DAU’s respectively. Despite this record breaking figures King opted for the cautious road in an effort to avoid following in Zynga’s mistakes. They delayed their IPO launch until now. In a statement released they have announced they intend to raise up to $500 million in an initial public offering. Some of the lead underwriters for the IPO include Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and BofA Merrill Lynch. In a statement released King said,” We believe the inherently social nature of our games, our data-driven marketing processes, our cross-platform technology infrastructure and massive player network are key competitive advantage.” It will be fun to watch if King succeed where Zynga failed and if they manage to live up to the hype surrounding...

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Camelot Under Fire For Loss Of Good Causes Revenues

National Lottery operator Camelot came under fire for their decision to double the price of a lottery ticket from £1 to £2 in October 2013. At the time many predicted that sales would fall and revenues aimed at funding good causes would decrease. Figures just released from the National Lottery Commission show that £417.2m was paid out to good causes by the National Lottery for the period between October and December 2013. This amount is £121m less than the £538.1m for the same period in 2012. Camelot spokesman was quick to deny the link between the price hike and the decrease in good causes revenue. According to Camelot the decrease in the amounts was due to a record breaking sales record in the period between October and December 2012. This was largely due to an unclaimed £64 million EuroMillions prize. Commenting on the period between October and December 2013, the spokesman said this included a cash-flow adjustment needed to launch the new Lotto system. He said,” The fall in returns to the good causes (Quarter 3 2013/14 versus Quarter 3 2012/13) cannot be attributed to the changes made to the National Lottery’s flagship game.” Lotto officials have always claimed that the new pricing system is better overall for players and were quoted as saying,” On the contrary, new Lotto has rekindled player interest in the game, delivering tens of millions of pounds more in prizes to winners, and has led to immediate sales growth and a significant increase in returns to the good causes – which is exactly what it was designed to do.” Time will tell if these statistics bore out what Camelot claim to be...

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William Hill Deny Reports That CEO To Be Replaced A Year Earlier

Britain’s largest bookmaker William Hill is facing tough challenges in 2014. As we reported earlier one of the main issue is that of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals or (FOBTs). William Hill like other British bookmakers are well aware that they will have to concede to reforms being proposed by the government. These could impact their earnings heavily as a large portion of their overall revenues come for these machines. In another development William Hill have denied reports that they intend replacing long-time serving CEO Ralph Topping this year already. Topping who has worked for William Hill for over 43 years was according to The Times supposed to be replaced this year which is a year earlier than previously thought. William Hill were quick to deny this report and said they were sticking to their original plan to replace the CEO in 2015. They also intend looking for appropriate candidates both within and outside of the company. The current CEO Topping has played a large part in expanding William Hill’s international reach with entry into the Australian and Spanish markets. The full year company results are expected to be published on...

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The Trials And Tribulations Of Bitcoin Continue

Any new technology especially one that challenges establishments that have been in place for hundreds of years will experience a period of trials and tribulations. One such technology and innovation is that of virtual currencies like that of Bitcoin. Even thinking of taking on the global financial system is enough to make most think twice. In the last few weeks we have reported both on the positive and negative developments that Bitcoin has faced. On any given day there are new reports of businesses and online sites embracing this virtual currency. However there have also been serious setbacks which literally have the potential to bring Bitcoin trading to its knees. A month ago we reported on a vulnerability in the Bitcoin structure as the largest collective of Bitcoin miners almost manages to take control of more than 42% of processing power needed to run the Bitcoin network. Added to that was last week’s report on one of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges, Mt. Gox halting trade. It has now emerged in a statement from Mt. Gox that the reason for the halting of trade was a “bug in the Bitcoin software makes it possible for someone to use the Bitcoin network to alter transaction details to make it seem like a sending of Bitcoins to a Bitcoin wallet did not occur when in fact it did occur.” If this wasn’t enough the largest Bitcoin exchange, BitStamp halted customer withdrawals as a result of a denial 0f service attack (DDoS). According to BitStamp this attack resulted in “inconsistent results reported by our Bitcoin wallet.” To top off Bitcoin’s disastrous week Silk Road 2.0 which essentially are an online black market drug site was reportedly hacked and over $2.7 million of Bitcoins were stolen. Silk Road 2.0 is the reincarnation of the notorious Silk Road online black market site that was shut down by FBI authorities last year. Here again the theft was possible due to inherent flaws in the Bitcoin protocol. As we post this article one of the downed Bitcoin Exchanges BitStamp has announced they will allow customers to redeem their Bitcoins later today. As a result of these major fluctuations the trading price of Bitcoin was wild and plunged as low as $302 on Friday. On the Mt. Gox exchange Bitcoin was quoted at $647.12. The intriguing question is just how long Bitcoin can sustain such volatility without losing consumer confidence. What seems to be an ideal solution to regulated banking systems has turned into a commodity that can literally disappear in your hands. We can’t wait to see what will happen next and still believe that the...

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Conspiracy Theories Rife As Las Vegas Sands Websites Remain Shutdown

It is hard to believe that it is almost four days since Sheldon Adelson’s Sands’ casino websites have been offline. This prolonged outage has got tongues wagging as to what the real cause behind the outage is. The theories range from politically motivated hackers to Sheldon Adelson himself being behind the shutdown. There were snapshots released just before the sites went down showing Adelson with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu which led those to conclude that the site was hacked due to Adelson’s well-known support for Israel and its stance on Iran. The more interesting conspiracy theory is that Adelson could have planned the entire shutdown as part of his anti-online gambling campaign. As reported earlier Adelson has made it his mission to stop the expansion of online gambling in the U.S. stating among other reasons the moral issues as well as the shortfalls of technology to effectively control it. This of course could not have been made clearer then with the Sands’ websites going down. The good news for Adelson is that despite all his current woes, Sands China recorded an increase in net revenues by 37% to reach $8.59 billion. Whichever theory you choose to believe there is no doubt that online gamblers will be even more wary of handing over their personal and credit information. We are four days into the crisis and still authorities cannot and will not exclude the possibility that customer’s data and credit card information might have been compromised. While Adelson will recover from this setback, the damage caused to the campaign to expand online gambling in the U.S. could seriously be damaged. One still has to marvel at the negative publicity online gambling has got thanks to the biggest anti online gambling voice out there who in other circumstances would be crying foul...

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