Online Casino News From Around the Globe

Italy’s Mafia Exploiting Legal Gambling Oppurtunities

The idea of legalizing gambling is generally to reduce the criminal elements which thrive on an undergrounds illegal gambling market. In Italy at the moment the government is coming under fire for what was supposed to reduce the influence of the mafia in underground illegal gambling. The Italian government like many others is cash strapped and is in desperate need of revenues. In the last few years  they havesoftened their restriction on legal gambling. The estimates are that up to $86 billion a year is wagered by Italian gamblers. A lot of this comes from video slot machines. Much like the infamous FOBTs in the UK these video slot machines which number about 400,000 have popped up in espresso bars alongside the coffee and pastries Italians enjoy. Having legalized gambling according to prosecutors has in fact strengthened the Mafia who have invested in what is now legal gambling. In the past legal gambling was largely restricted which led to the Mafia investing their efforts in racketeering, money laundering or trucking. Now the ability to run a legal gambling business has offered the mafia the perfect channel to expand their reach from Italy’s poorer south into the richer North. The gambling industry itself acknowledges that the illegal elements are taking advantage of the legal opportunities to operate legal gambling but insist that the idea of nationwide legalization still reduces the opportunities for criminal organizations. They cite the days of Prohibition which created a larger and not smaller illegal market. They also point out the fact that legal gambling provides jobs for more than 25,000 people involved in the industry. The president of Italy’s main gaming lobby Massimo Passamonti does acknowledge that the sheer amount of slot machines that have popped up across Italy is having a negative impact on society and “can turn everyone against us.” Like in the UK the Italian government is considering implementing new restrictions aimed at reducing the number of slot machines available to Italian...

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Greentube Acquires Social Casino Maker AbZorba Games

Social casino games are an integral part of any real money gaming company’s repertoire these days. Top gaming giants like IGT and Caesars started off the trend when they invested hundreds of millions of dollars collectively in their social casino subsidiaries Double Down and Playtika. The proliferation of mobile devices and a younger audience which do not leave the house without their devices makes any social casino mobile company a sought after entity. This week saw Greentube a subsidiary of Austria’s Novomatic Group AG acquire a 100 percent stake in the U.S. bases AbZorba Games LLC who are a mobile social casino gaming company. In a statement NNovomatic said,” he purchase of Abzorba and its portfolio of leading product lines in the field of social casino game apps for mobile devices perfectly supplements Greentube’s current social casino portfolio and will further strengthen the Novomatic Interactive branch in this important market,” Greentube has been on an acquisition spree which includes last month’s purchase of Canadian BlueBat Games who also offer technology for mobile social casino...

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Bwin.Party Confirm “Serious Talks” Involving Possible Acquisition

The rumors surrounding the possible sale of have led to much speculation and their share price taking a knock. The latest update from is that they have confirmed that the talks involving the possible sale have “become more serious.” Bwin’s share price has dropped about 32 percent in the last 12 months as regulated markets in Europe continue to decline. As we reported the owners of PokerStars, Amaya Gaming are reported to be one of the interested parties looking to acquire Bwin. Bwin’s chairman Philip Yea confirmed that “the board has entered into a further stage of discussions with each party with a view to assessing the relative attractions of these proposals.” Bwin reported a drop of 6 percent in underlying earnings last year making it the third consecutive annual drop, According to CEO Norbert Teufelberger revenues fell from €652 million in 2013 to €612m in 2014. Factors contributing to the fall included the Greek government blocking gambling sites and weaker overall European poker market. Teufelberger went on to say that Bwin are focusing heavily on their mobile offering while continuing to cut costs and markets which are not viable for them in the long run. On the positive side Bwin said that the trading for 2015 was in line with...

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Anti Online Gambling Senator Lindsey Graham Never Sent E-Mail

The Restoration of the American Wire Act sponsored by amongst others like Sen. Lindsey Graham is seen by many as just another move by gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson to buy political support for his agenda. As we have discussed in previous reports Adelson has poured millions into an extremely well-funded campaign aimed at getting online gambling in the U.S. banned. One of his main claims is that the technology available is not sufficient to combat the dangers of underage gambling. Keeping that in mind one would assume that those like Sen. Lindsey Graham who voice similar concerns would be technically savvy and aware of the basic modern online possibilities. Well think again as the South Carolina republican Lindsey Graham gave NBC’s Meet the Press a quote which will come back to haunt Lindsey for a long time. When questioned what he thought the growing controversy over Hilary Clinton’s home based email server at the time she acted as Secretary of State, he said,” I don’t email, No, you can have every email I’ve ever sent. I’ve never sent one.” After seeing the host Chuck Todd’s amusement at the answer Lindsey realized the absurdity of such a statement and added,” I don’t know what that makes me.” While this revelation provided many laughs from just about anyone not living in the Stone Age there is a much more serious side to this. There are billions of dollars being invested in ensuring that online gambling remains safe and regulated. The least you could expect from any party looking to question the gaming world’s commitment to this is to know how to send an email. One can only hope that other decision makers are “slightly” more in tune with technology trends in the 21st Century before they make decisions that affect all of...

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Scotland Politicians Join The Anti FOBT Brigade

The leader of the Scottish Labour Party Kim Murphy has added his voice to the growing calls to reduce the maximum stakes of fixed odds betting terminals which currently offer punters the chance to stake up to £100 every 20 seconds. Latest figures coming from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFG) paint a worrying picture of the impact of FOBTs on Scotland. According to them over £3.4 billion was wagered in 2014 among 170,000 punters. Over 37,000 of these lost £63 million making it an average of £1683. Spokesman for the CFG, Adrian Parkinson said, “We are still seeing growth in FOBT revenue with £158 million snatched out of local Scottish economies last year. But it is how sustained the losses are year on year that mask what is happening among users of FOBTs. Since 2008, over £8 billion has been lost on FOBTs, with Scotland contributing about £800 million of those losses.” Parkinson went on to point out the addictive nature of the FOBTs which generate new waves of players each year of whom many lose everything they own. Leader of Scottish Labour Party Murphy made it clear how he felt about reducing the maximum stakes, ““I want to see a change in the maximum stake. People betting a couple of pounds a time would be a lot more sensible, rather than blowing all they have in a gambling spree lasting a few minutes.” On the other side of the debate the Association of British Bookmakers countered the claims by saying that they have already implemented responsible gambling messages on the machines as well as continue to work closely with the government and Gambling Commission to implement responsible...

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