Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Japanese Pachinko Parlors Could Be Victims Of Their Own Success

Back in August we reported on the move by pachinko parlors to modernize their operations in order stay current and appeal to the younger population. To put thing in perspective there are over 12,000 pachinko parlors in Japan alone. These machines go back to the 1920’s where pachinko was a popular children’s toy. The amount of revenues these seemingly archaic machines generate in Japan is staggering. Although being in decline the last few year’s revenues for pachinko were $175 billion last year. This is more than double Japan’s motor industry export revenues. Currently Pachinko is still not considered gambling as it is considered a form of amusement. A report in Business Insider sheds some light on the Pachinko industry’s dilemma. With Japan set to legalize gambling, pachinko operators might well be a victim of their own success. The government has turned a blind eye to these revenues but many are predicting that the Japanese government would prefer to have these establishments classified as gambling in order to collect billions in tax revenues. Added to this is the fact that the pachinko industry itself is looking to reinvent the image of old men engaging in a traditional game by modernizing the facilities and building resorts around these popular machines. This will put them on par with luxury casinos. This upgrade of the somewhat traditional seedy parlors could well fall into the plans of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who wants casinos to become family resorts. With the proposed upgrades to the pachinko parlors this could well mean the Japanese Government could place them alongside casinos which would mean gambling taxes. It remains to be seen if the planned upgrade to the existing pachinko parlors hinders or help this massive money making...

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PlayStudios Offers Cruise Ship Prizes For myVegas Rewards

Last year we reported on Social casino developer PlayStudios offering real- world rewards which includes stays at the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage and other MGM Las Vegas hotels. Free-to-play social casino games are one of the most profitable sectors in the gaming market. The crossover to real money versions of the games is very quick and simple to implement as soon as it become legally possible to do so. In the interim companies like PlayStudios are offering players the chance to win more than just virtual currency which a lot of real money gamblers like. PlayStudios latest rewards program is with Royal Caribbean International. In a partnership they have agreed to offer the users of their myVEGAS app the opportunity to win accommodation and other perks on the Cruise ship operator. Players will be able to redeem their loyalty points from myVEGAS for a variety of cruise packages ranging from cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean. Player tokens and beverage packages will be offered alongside discounted prices from credits earned. Chief Executive of PlayStudios Andrew Pascal explained their new real-world partnership,” Royal Caribbean International provides a wonderful vacation experience. Their ships are state-of-the-art and their service is top-rated. We know that our players are going to be very excited to access these new travel rewards.” This latest marketing tool from PlayStudios is yet another example of how social casino developers will do just about anything to attract the real money gaming audience even if for the moment it is in the form of real-world prizes and not cash...

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PokerStars Reportedly Terminating Affiliate Programs

For PokerStars their acquisition by Canadian based Amaya Gaming has meant that they need to distance themselves from any legal grey areas. The comeback of the world’s largest poker brand into the mainfold has been quick and the changes expected are already showing their effects. PokerStars made itself a global force in online poker due largely to their affiliate programs. While shunned in many parts of the globe, affiliates helped PokerStars to grow their brand into what it is today. However now being part of a respected corporate brand they have to play by new rules. PokerStars have reportedly started terminating affiliate contracts. Affiliate forums started reporting on Wednesday that members had received notification that their affiliate agreements would be terminated within 7 days which is allowed under the affiliate agreement. While this is permitted under the affiliate contract, many along time affiliates are expressing their outrage at being kicked to the curb after years of promoting PokerStars. The reasons for this sudden change of heart are not clear from PokerStars‘ side but speculation is that they are looking to keep their image squeaky clean and to ensure they are 100% compliant with the regulations of the countries they operate in. The US market in particular is where PokerStars are setting their focus on and any potential grey areas are being shutdown. This would be backed up by PokerStars withdrawing from markets like Canada which is considered a grey area. Here they are reportedly in talks with the Loto- Quebec provincial gambling monopoly which permits PokerStars to operate solely in the province and not in the rest of Canada. It seems that the bad boy image PokerStars once “enjoyed” is exactly what is driving it to become the role models for compliance in jurisdictions they plan to operate and expand...

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Boyd Gaming Launches Mobile Sports App In Nevada

Sports betting in the U.S. is facing the real possibility of becoming legal nationwide. As we speak the status quo is still up in the air as to whether New Jersey’s attempt to bypass the Supreme Court in allowing legal sports betting will in fact work. As we have reported in the past sports betting in the US and Canada is hardly restricted to a niche audience. There are conservative estimates that over 40 million people engage in some sort of sports betting activity. The negative stigma of sports betting is largely gone and is considered a legitimate leisure activity has resulted in a boom phase which shows no signs of slowing down. Nevada is one of the three US states that have some sort of legal online gaming available. Currently in Nevada there are mobile sports betting operators include William Hill, Cantor Gaming, Station Casinos and South Point. The latest player to launch their new mobile sports betting application in Nevada is Boyd Gaming. Their new product called B Connected Sports requires punters to personally enroll at any of the six Boyd properties in the Valley: The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam’s Town, Fremont or California. Once they have deposited cash in their accounts they can place bets via B Connected anywhere in Nevada and can cash out at any Boyd sports boom. The app is available for download on both Android and iOS devices. In a statement Boyd sports book Director Bob Scucci commented on their new launch,” This new app, designed with speed and unparalleled ease of use in mind, combines the experience of our proven international mobile gaming partners and a large amount of customer testing feedback to provide the newest mobile betting experience in the market today — one that is quick, easy to use and...

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Ladbrokes Exiting Canadian Gaming Market

Canada’s igaming regulations are continuing to force out online operators who find it not worth their while to operate there. This year has already seen Betfred and sports betting operator pull out of Canada. The latest bookmaker is that of Ladbrokes who announced on Tuesday the withdrawal of their sports betting operations from Canada. In a statement issued in Tuesday Ladbrokes instructed all Canadian players to withdraw their funds from their accounts within 30 days while also stating that they will no longer accept deposits or wagers from players and bank accounts in Canada. The reason why many online operators are pulling out of Canada is due to online betting services being restricted to province lottery corporations. While it is still possible for a few foreign online operators to work in Canada it has become no longer viable for many like Ladbrokes. A formal statement from Ladbrokes themselves explaining their reasons for withdrawal from Canada has yet to...

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