Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Vircurex Becomes The Latest Bitcoin Exchange To Implode
Mar23

Vircurex Becomes The Latest Bitcoin Exchange To Implode

Just when you thought it was safe to venture into virtual currencies another Bitcoin exchange is following in the footsteps of Japanese based Mt. Gox. The implosion of Mt. Gox along with hundreds of millions of dollar’s worth of Bitcoins was a major blow to the credibility and stability of virtual currencies. The main appeal of Bitcoin is without a doubt the potential to win big in a short space of time. The volatility of any commodity that can trade from $12 to $1200 in a twelve month period is the ultimate thrill for many investors or more accurately speculators. The latest Bitcoin exchange to announce it will halt all withdrawals of Bitcoin, Litecoin and other virtual currencies is the Beijing-based Vircurex. In a case of de javu ,Vircurex will from tomorrow freeze all user accounts. This is not the first time Vircurex has made the headlines for the wrong reasons as last year they were plagued by two hacking incidents. Now unlike Mt. Goxm Vircurex are not abandoning ship as of now but have come up with some sort of strategy that involves locking down its existing accounts  while gradually paying back the affected customers.  They have come up with what they call “Frozen Funds”. What his means is that customers won’t be able to withdraw or trade in this account but will gradually be paid back. In a statement released Vircurex said,” Unfortunately we had large fund withdrawals in the last weeks which have led to a complete depletion of our cold wallet balance and we are now facing the option of either closing the site with significant unrecoverable losses for all or to work out a solution that allows the exchange to continue to operate and gradually pay back the losses.” This creative” risk management tactic” adopted by Vircurex is based on the premise that new users will continue to sign up with them despite the fact that they are insolvent. It also has to ensure that they are not hacked for a third tine.  Any objective outsider would not give Vircurex a third chance but with Bitcoin mania still at its peak even this shady operation might just beat the odds and continue to...

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Playtika Amongst First Developers In Yahoo’s Games Network
Mar22

Playtika Amongst First Developers In Yahoo’s Games Network

With social gaming at an all-time high and growing by the day it stands to reason that major internet companies like Yahoo want to get in on the action. With revenues reaching $2 billion last year the free-to-play gaming market offers real money opportunities for gaming developers. One of the driving factors of this market is the simple fact that most of us all own smartphones and tablets which were once considered a luxury. Yahoo announced this week that it intends investing heavily into games with the launch of their Yahoo Games Network platform for developers and its Yahoo Classic Games site for online users. The main rationale for Yahoo being able to offer third-party gaming developers an advantage is simple. They claim to have over 800 million users of which 400 million are mobile uses. Given this customer base you would think that success is a sure thing. Well think again as they will have to work hard to compete with established brands like Zynga, Big Fish Games to mention a few. Besides offering developers a massive customer base Yahoo is able to offer their resources and expertise which will help developers monetize their games, authenticate players, and provide analytics and social sharing. Yahoo is trying to appeal both to developers as well as end-users, Their Yahoo Classic Games is an assortment of classic games but also includes their own branded social casino games like Yahoo Poker, and Yahoo Bingo. Here we get to the interesting part of their assortment of games on offer. Yahoo claim that all their games run “seamlessly” on both Android and iOS platforms which is an essential element of online gaming. Social casino games are featured prominently which is not surprising. One of their developers is that of Playtika , the gaming subsidiary of Caesars, with their Slotomania brand. Playtika are the first major social casino developer to feature in Yahoo’s Games Network platform. This is worth noting as they are the biggest players in the social casino market followed by IGT’s Double Down and...

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Bitcoin Developers Upgrade Software Code To Prevent Another Mt. Gox Fiasco
Mar21

Bitcoin Developers Upgrade Software Code To Prevent Another Mt. Gox Fiasco

The turmoil surrounding virtual currencies like Bitcoin has got the entire online gambling world interested as many real money casinos are popping up in a Bitcoin version. This clever little legal loophole is for the moment enabling many online gamblers to enjoy legal real money gaming in the form of Bitcoin. Despite countries like Russia, Singapore and Japan restricting the use of Bitcoin the gamblers among us still would like to believe that innovation will overcome government efforts to interfere in what could possibly lead to a revolution not only in the online gambling world but the entire financial system we have become accustomed to. Unfortunately bad publicity like that of the one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges Mt. Gox has done the virtual currency no favors. The good news is that Bitcoin is still in its infancy stage and it is better that problems arise at an early stage where they can be fixed. The collapse of Mt. Gox has certainly got those invested in Bitcoin eager to implement new controls that would ensure Bitcoin does follow the crash of the dot.com era. It has now emerged that the software developers who are responsible for contributing to Bitcoin’s open source software are implementing a newer and improved version (0.9.0) of the “Bitcoin Core” infrastructure which should prevent another debacle like that of Mt. Gox. There are five changes in the new software that are aimed at preventing what is believed to have caused the fiasco of the missing Bitcoins in Mt. Gox. The root of the problem that caused Mt. Gox to collapse was due to what is called “transaction malleability attack”.  In a nutshell these malformed transactions look like the real thing except for the fact that the illegitimate records do not sync with the Bitcoin blockchain. This in essence results in a disparity between the exchange’s records and the actual location of the funds. Now for some bizarre developments from the now infamous Mt. Gox themselves.  It seems that officials at Mt. Gox have decided to mark April fool’s day 10 days early. They announced this morning that they have “found” 200,000 Bitcoins in a wallet which they thought was empty. This means that until the next revelation from them they have “lost” $116m less than the nearly $500m originally thought. Without boring our readers too much Bitcoin is one of the few commodities where you don’t want it lying around anywhere where there is a network or internet. Here old school prevails and according to Mt. Gox they moved online wallets on March 7 to offline wallets in the middle off the month for security...

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William Hill Forecasts Bigger Losses Than Expected Due To New Tax Regime
Mar20

William Hill Forecasts Bigger Losses Than Expected Due To New Tax Regime

Just when you thought the worst was over for UK bookmakers the fallout from yesterday’s tax rise continues. Finance Minister George Osborne’s tax rise from 20 percent to 25 percent sent the share price of William Hill and Ladbrokes tumbling yesterday. Ladbrokes was hit hardest with a 12 percent drop and William Hill a 7 percent drop. William Hill announced today that their expected losses due to the new tax rate are set to be higher than the estimated 16 million pounds. The largest UK bookmaker said that it will likely lose 22 million pounds a year due to the new tax regime. This statement further impacted William Hill’s share price which fell another 3 percent to 340.9p. Ladbrokes continued to take the heavy hits as well with a further 5.8 percent drop from yesterday to 132.2p. As we previously reported Ladbrokes will feel the impact of this tax more than William Hill as it makes up to 40 percent of their revenues are from FOBTs. In a formal statement William Hill said,” The total impact of this increase in MGD (Machine Gaming Duty) would be 22 million pounds (based upon 2013 machines gross win) as opposed to the previously guided 16 million impact,” The expected revenue losses for all UK bookmakers have resulted in analysts downgrading the gaming sector. Ladbrokes in particular have not built up their online business in comparison to their main rival William Hill. They are still heavily dependent on their high street shops of which fixed odds betting terminasl play a vital role. Analyst James Ainley of Citi summed up the problematic dilemma Ladbrokes is facing. He said,” Ladbrokes is most affected given the dominance of UK retail in its business mix. We see a dividend cut as unavoidable at this point and we reiterate our Sell...

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UK Bookmakers Hit Hard By Tax Rise On FOBTs
Mar19

UK Bookmakers Hit Hard By Tax Rise On FOBTs

Despite the fact that UK bookmakers were prepared for a crackdown on the infamous fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), today’s tax rise by Finance Minister George Osborne sent their share prices plummeting. In his annual budget  Osborne announced an increased tax rate from 20 percent to 25 percent on what is dubbed as the crack cocaine of gambling. To put things in perspective there are about 33,000 FOBTs throughout the UK. The biggest bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes see a significant portion of their profits from these high speed machines.  About 40 percent of Ladbrokes earnings are from FOBTs while about 26 percent of William’ Hill’s. Ladbrokes are feeling the pressure from all sides as they have not managed to find as many alternative revenue resources as William Hill have particularly in the online gaming market. For them the latest duty rise is a serious blow. While both William Hill and Ladbrokes attempted to work with the government in an effort to soften the blow, today’s decree sent William Hill’s share price plummeting by nearly 7 percent and Ladbrokes fell by a whopping 12 percent. Investec analyst James Hollins summed up the gloomy day,” The news is a surprise and a clear negative for both stocks. “Forecasts will have to change and this is a massive blow, particularly to Ladbrokes, placing significant pressure on group returns, the turnaround of mobile and the dividend that the group had stated was secure for 2014.” UK bookmakers will have no time to lick their wounds as the much talked about point of consumption tax is set to come into play at the end of the year. All UK bookmakers are doing everything to increase their market share as the battle for every gambling pound rages...

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