Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Zynga Poker Gets Major Overhaul On Mobile
Mar03

Zynga Poker Gets Major Overhaul On Mobile

Only a few years ago you could have named the number of social casino company’s on one hand. Since then there are social casino startups sprouting up everywhere. While Zynga were the biggest only a few years ago they now trail behind Caesars’ Playtika and IGT’s Double Down. Even though Zynga have fallen from their number one spot their Zynga Poker is still one of the top free-to-play casino apps with over 350 million downloads and millions of daily users. It is no secret that former CEO and Founder Mark Zynga admitted to making a fatal strategic error when building Zynga. He admitted to having been too reliant on Facebook while not investing enough resources in the mobile market. The challenges of Zynga are well documented in out many posts but they seem to be on somewhat of a recovery from their $10 IPO launch. Currently they are making bold moves and the share price has recovered to trade over $5. At an all-time low the share price was trading under $4  .Zynga’s new CEO Don Mattrick has been optimistic from the get go when he replaced founder Mark Zynga. The latest bold move by Zynga is to change the interface of their top app Zynga Poker on mobile. Instead of the cartoon like graphics we are accustomed to from the social gaming giant, there will be real photos aimed at creating an “immersive” social gameplay. Zynga have decided to undertake the changes in response to customer’s demands who want to get the feel of being in a real life casino. With the new mobile game your playing experience will be faster and it adapts to your skill levels, patterns and gaming preferences. The mobile game is aimed at transporting you to a casino floor which is helped by graphics packed with gold and red as well as dynamic audio. The man responsive for the revamped Poker Mobile app is Nick Giovanello who explained the thinking behind the game, Poker is a 200-year-old game,” Giovanello said in a chat at Zynga’s headquarters in San Francisco. “How do you reinvent that experience? We wanted to create an app that was rearchitected for mobile and reimagined. It’s not trivial to do that.” Zynga Poker has been around since 2007 and is regarded by many as the inspiration for other social gaming companies joining the party. Many online gambling companies like Caesars with Playtika and IGT with Double Down have realized the importance of having a social gaming subsidiary for their overall gaming strategy. It remains to be seems if this latest gamble by Zynga will pay off or send them back...

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Revenues in Macau Up 40 Percent In February
Mar03

Revenues in Macau Up 40 Percent In February

The Chinese gambling hub of Macau continues to lead the way in record breaking revenues. As reported last year saw revenues increase by 18.6% to reach $45 billion. The latest gaming figures for February have just been released and there seems to be no slowing down as gaming revenues reached $4.8 billion which given a boost by a week-long national holiday and well to do gamblers . Analyst estimates were between 29-35 percent and the 40% spike is more good news for the world’s largest gaming hub. To put things in perspective the annual revenues of Las Vegas are less than two months of Macau’s revenues.  The good news for major shareholders like Sheldon Adelson in this area is that the forecasts expect further growth as more infrastructure is planned which will enable even more Chinese to gamble. Macau is a former Portuguese colony until 1999 where it was given over to China and is currently the only place in China where casinos are...

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Culture Minister Maria Miller Lays The Law Down For UK Bookmakers
Mar02

Culture Minister Maria Miller Lays The Law Down For UK Bookmakers

Friday saw the beginning of stricter regulations coming into play in betting shops. The issue of fixed odds betting terminals remains a key campaign mission for politicians on all sides. The effects of FOBTs are in the headlines constantly and government is being forced to react to pressure from concerned groups. As we discussed en earlier reports, the bookmakers themselves acknowledge that change is underway and that tit is more beneficial for them to cooperate with government plans to regulate the industry. As of Friday the much talked about voluntary code came into effect which basically called for staff at bookmakers to look for potential problem gamblers as well as force gamblers to take breaks. Culture Secretary Maria Miller has said that she want thee voluntary measures to be made compulsory. As of now warning messages appear when players have spent more than £250 or have been playing for more than 30 minutes. Miller mentioned various measures she would want implemented by law in order to ensure a safer gambling industry. Miller is looking to the Gambling Commission to enforce tougher regulation that includes placing spending limits on gamblers, time restriction on the length of play and going as far as making these restrictions a prerequisite for bookmakers obtaining their licence. She also addressed the issue of advertising and has ordered the Advertising Standards Authority to review regulations surrounding gambling adverts. Miller explained her rationale behind the new tough stance,” We want a successful gambling industry but not at the price of public protection. Player protections must be made mandatory so that every bookmaker must abide by the new rules. I have asked the Gambling Commission to make this happen. In the future, these rules will therefore form part of the operators’ licence conditions and bookmakers will have to accept them or not be able to trade.” Not that they have much choice but the Association of British Bookmakers said they welcomed the government’s...

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Damaging Report Shows England’s Poorest Areas Hit Hardest by FOBTs
Mar01

Damaging Report Shows England’s Poorest Areas Hit Hardest by FOBTs

Those campaigning for a crackdown of the FOBTs have just received some more ammunition. A report in the Guardian sheds additional negative light on what are been blamed for social decay and gambling addiction. According to the report obtained by the Guardian over £13 billion was gambled on FOBTs in England’s poorest areas. This is more than double the amount in the richest areas. These findings support the theory that many claim is a deliberate tactic of the UK bookmakers. The report details are to be fully released next week to parliament where measures are being considered to tackle this burning issue that has become a major political football. In 55 of the most deprived boroughs of England over £13 billion was gambled of which £470m was lost in 2013. This is in stark contrast to the £6.5 billion gambled and £231 million lost in the richer areas of the country in the same period. For a long time the bookmakers have come under fire for exploiting low income areas where unemployment and crime are rife and punters are resorting to desperate measures in order to survive. The bookmakers of course vigorously deny these accusations. As we reported bookmakers will be implementing measures to make players aware of the dangers of excessive gambling. Whether these will satisfy critics and the government seems unlikely. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport issued a statement saying,” Problem gambling is a serious issue and we are determined to help tackle it. The new player protection code is a positive step in the right direction, but we think more could be done. We want there to be a competitive gambling sector but not at the expense of public protection. We are currently reviewing what measures, if any, are needed concerning planning and further protection for those most vulnerable and will report back in the spring.” As we have mentioned in previous reports, the revenues from FOBTs are huge and make up to 40% of bookmakers like Ladbrokes annual revenues. The fight to hold on to as many of these high speed cash machines is only going to get dirtier. It seems that the UK bookmakers will have to innovate and look to other global markets to compensate for the seemingly inevitable crackdown...

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