Troubled Road Ahead for Loto Quebec

Loto Quebec, the official body for gambling in the state of Quebec is going ahead with its plan to blacklist close to 2,200 online gambling operators in the state. Last week the state passed a very controversial legislation under the name of bill 74. This bill prohibits any online player who fails to stick to the compliances. Even ISPs would be required to pay a heavy fine if blacklisted companies are allowed to operate in the state without the Quebec Government’s approval.

Bill 74 is expected to be legally challenged by a number of online players in the province. This bill is seen as extremely unconstitutional and violates the federal communication law of Canada. This move will give Loto Quebec undue advantage over its competitors. The reason cited by the state for bill 74 is to eradicate the black market in this space.

Whether Loto Quebec will force the ISPs to follow the legislation and start fining heavily from next month remains to be seen. ISPs have till mid of next month until their fate gets sealed. Many officials from the Loto Quebec and the Federal Office have continued to push the legality of Bill 74. The reason claimed for this bill is to ensure public health. The real reason however is monetary. The official body now receives 10 percent of the revenue earned in the state where as 90 percent goes in the black market. Loto Quebec is eyeing at the extra dollars by completely ceasing the operations of most online players that provide popular games such as Tiki Island slot and creating a monopoly. At the moment the state only earn revenue of close to $27 million a year.

Loto-Quebec is expected to on board 3 online gambling players as official partners. Games provided by these players would in turn be used by the Loto-Quebec official site- Amaya, a Montreal based online gambling site is expected to receive an official license from Loto-Quebec.

For ISPs however, there is a little breather. The first task would be to deactivate all the non-license players in the online space. Post this all the ISPS would be given a month to follow compliance. Failure to do this would lead to a fine of close to $100,000.

There is another complication though. Most of the European countries tried this blacklist approach in the past decade but it did not work. Most online players switched their base location from the parent country to a different address in the virtual world. Thus the move became a futile exercise as soon as it was released. There are very good chances that bigger online gambling companies would follow suit yet again.

Another strong challenge could be faced from the Kahnawake Reserve- a combined body of Mohawk Internet Tech and Kahnawake Gaming Association. This body offers regulatory immunity for a host of online companies that Loto-Quebec is trying to suppress. Although the Canadian Government has already declared that Kahnawake Reserve is illegal in the country, they have never quite disappeared. On the contrary they are running an extremely profitable business since 1999.

It remains to be seen how this move unfolds in the coming days.

Gambling Addiction Takes a New Turn As an Ex-Policeman Managed to Embezzle £27,000 from a Well-Known Bar in Aberdeen

Addiction to gambling is not uncommon as more and more people turn to gambling in an attempt to make some quick bucks. But what many gamblers don’t realise is the effect it can have on them and their families. Small wagers often turn into bigger amounts, and all of a sudden they are staring at a huge debt – all because of gambling. The main issue here is that in the hopes of winning more and clearing their gambling debt, they wager more money. It’s a vicious cycle, which is difficult to stop.

An ex-policeman turned bar manager was in a similar situation recently. To feed his gambling addiction, Conor Summersgill managed to embezzle £27,000 from the bar that he worked at. In the course of a year, he carried out 100s of fake refunds. The incident only came to light when another staff member noticed a high amount of refunds in one night. That night he had refunded almost £2,000.

He questioned what he was doing and reported the incident. After an internal investigation, the bosses at the Paramount bar discovered that Summersgill had embezzled £27,760 between 1 April 2014 and 7 February 2015. When he was confronted, he immediately admitted to the offence. Apparently, this father-of-one is thousands of pounds in debt.

To be sentenced, he appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. He was already warned that he will face jail time when he admitted to the offence earlier in the month. Summersgill is originally from Inverurie and the defence agent, Jamie Baxter said that his client was very regretful for what he had done. In fact, he has already paid back £11,600.

A social work report had been prepared. Reading from it, Mr Baxter said that his client, Mr Summersgill really had nothing to show for his offence, but only a huge debt, damaged personal relationships and a criminal record. He went on to say that his client was addicted to online slot machines. It was a problem that spiralled out of control very soon. So, in an attempt to feed his addiction and also pay off his piling credit card debt, he started taking money from the bar where he worked.

Mr Baxter said that this particular scheme was not sophisticated at all. All Summersgill had to do was hit the refund button, which was available to all the managers who were on the till. This made him unable to control his gambling and betting urges. This further led him to take money easily.

The court also heard that when he was finally caught, he told his partner – also the mother of the child. This led to an end in their relationship. He moved in with his parents and started attending specialist counselling sessions that were paid by his parents. The facility viewed his gambling addiction like any other addiction to drugs or drinking.

He had been put on a customised plan and he was doing very well until he relapsed in December 2015. At the time, his parents were away and he was alone at home with access to a laptop as well as money. But since then provisions were in place to make sure that he no longer has any control over his cash.

The court heard that Summersgill has managed to get a job as a skilled joiner that pays him about £300 per week. From that he managed to repay £400 to his past employers and £340 towards his credit card debt amount.

Under usual circumstances, this 26 year old would have faced some jail time. But because he has already taken responsibility right from the beginning and has managed to pay back his ex-employers more that £11,600, he has been ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work within the following year. He has narrowly avoided jail by rectifying his intentions and deeds immediately.

The Polish Government Decides to Revamp the Country’s Gambling Laws

The Polish Government has decided to revamp the laws of gambling in the country. The Government has decided to include online slots games like Tiki Island slot in its portfolio. This will come as a huge relief for the local players and will cheer up the bigger players in the space. While this will cheer the gambling community, nothing has changed for the local licensed players. The long expected tax break for the locally operating casinos is nowhere to be seen.

Last week, the Finance Minister of Poland expressed the country’s interest to break free the online gambling players. The only condition attached to this is that the gambling companies needs to stick to the responsible gambling norms in order to protect players’ interest and who wish to play casino games like Tiki Island slot.

The Ministry of Finance also mentioned in a statement that the land based gambling establishments would be monitored and regulated by a government body to ensure they are kept under control. The reason cited for such a move was that these casinos are extremely addictive and if not monitored, they can be harmful for regular punters.

The new legislation will also loosen the strong restriction that was previously imposed on poker. Previously only the land based casinos could host poker and there was strict restriction on other mediums. The new legislation will ensure that poker can be played at home as well as public establishments. What’s more, the online betting companies would now be able to offer poker in their portfolio with the responsible gambling norms in place.

The Polish Government will track existing IP to ensure that companies who stick to the regulatory compliance get an edge over those foreign players who doesn’t stick to compliance. The Finance Minister said that the Government will impose heavy penalties if any company is found guilty of license fraud or not sticking to regulatory compliance.

While the new changes brought a ray of hope for the online gambling players, the existing players are still stuck at a 12 percent tax bracket which is on the higher side. Many European countries have friendlier policies to encourage land based casinos and their online counterparts. According to sources the legislation could levy up to 20 percent. 10 percent from the revenue collected will go to the Olympic Association. 3 percent from here will go to the gambling addiction support groups. While these are high tax brackets, the permission to go public without restriction will easily make up the tax worry.

Poland changed its mind about the present regime of online gambling due to a court ruling in Italy where the judge ruled that online gambling cannot be restricted citing Criminal law. Italy allows its players to participate in any gaming portals across the world as long as the gambling company sticks to responsible gambling norms.

The Ministry revealed that few improvements and revisions have been suggested in the present legislation. The changes have been sent to the respective departments of the Government and the same should come back by the year end. Poland is hopeful that the new legislation could take effect from the first day of January 2017.

Playtech Acquires Quickspin AB

Online gambling software company, Playtech have made a deal to buy Quickspin AB. Playtech has been providing software to casinos, bingo, sports betting, dealer games, sports related betting and poker rooms since 1999. The company is listed in LSE and is a member of the FTSE 250 list. Having started its operations as a small time design player, it has become one of the largest player online gambling software space. Quickspin on the other hand is a Swedish slot maker known for their video slots. The company has close to 20 high quality slots and close to 40 customers in their portfolio. Quickspin has some tier 1 companies as their major clients.

In a media statement released a couple of days back Playtech declared that it has made consensus with the board to acquire Quickspin in an all cash deal of € 24 Million. This cash would be paid up front. A further payment of up to a maximum of € 26 Million would be paid to Quickspin. This is based on the earning of Quickspin’s 2018 earning. According to the deal, Playtech has agreed to them 6 times of their 2018’s earning. This is considered to be a healthy acquisition since Quickspin made revenue of € 2.1 Million in the year 2015.

The founders of Quickspin have agreed to stay on board for three years after the merger. At present the company is headed by Daniel Lindberg, Joachim Timmermans and Mats Westerlund. They serve as CEO, CPO and CCO respectively. This is a wise move since companies often see an organizational turmoil after a merger. The founders would be able to streamline the ship and address any concern that employees might have.

Mor Weizer, CEO, Playtech expressed his delight and said that the process of Quickspin acquisition was going on for a long time and this deal will help them in expanding quickly in the Nordic market. Playtech has plans to penetrate a large section of the B2B market in Norway and surrounding countries. This could prove to be very strategic investment from the company.

Playtech is on acquisition mode for the past few years. Since it is sitting on a very good cash reserve, it is looking out for companies which fit well in its current scheme of things. The company wanted to acquire its rival, OpenBet Group sometime back but failed in the bid. NYX Gaming group acquired it with the help of Sky Betting and William Hill. The deal was closed at a staggering 270 Million in the form of equity. This being said, the company also had to pay the market debt of OpenBet which is estimated to be somewhere in the range of 95 Million. With this deal NYX got access to OpenBets offices in 14 countries and 1400 talented stuffs.

However, Playtech has indicated that it will keep looking for such companies to acquire in the near future. With a very healthy cash reserve the company is considering to return some of it to its shareholder in the form of dividends.

Need for Bookies to be More Accountable as Gambling Industry Expands

Bookmakers in the United Kingdom have never had it so good thanks to the boom in the industry brought about by the mobile gaming revolution. Punters can gamble at any time of the day or night using their PCs, and increasingly, their tablets and mobile phones. In fact, the industry has raked in money thanks to the introduction of ‘in-play’ technology that enables punters to place wagers during the course of a game. An interesting development is that the industry has managed to widen its customer base to include college students and women.

Online operators in the UK offer a basket of gambling options including casino games, poker, bingo and sports betting. Slots are also very popular with online gamblers, and games such as Tiki Island slots are able to attract gamblers thanks to their excellent animation and big prizes.

There was a time when gambling was limited to high street shops since only the really wealthy people stepped into casinos. Today, the internet has brought gambling directly to their phones, and that too via extremely reliable sites. Furthermore, online casinos have become very high profile and they have been able to rope in high profile spokespersons such as the athletes Neymar and Ronaldo for PokerStars, and Victoria Pendleton for Betfair. In fact, gambling companies are spending a huge amount of money on advertising because their profits margins are incredibly high.

The biggest operators in the business have only become larger over the past couple of years, and most companies are worth hundreds of millions of pounds while the largest ones are worth billions of pounds. As a matter of fact, the wealth of the richest individuals owning these businesses has gone from £16 billion to £19billion in the last year alone. Michael Tabor of BetVictor is now worth around £600 million and he has accumulated many of the accoutrements of a wealthy lifestyle such as racehorses and a luxury yacht. Bet365 head honcho and Stoke City chairman Peter Coates is worth a whopping £3.76billion.

It has to be admitted that the gambling industry has given rise to a few problems as well. While betting is without doubt a thrilling activity, it is also extremely addictive. There have been many examples of people whose lives have been destroyed by their addiction to gambling. The NHS estimates that there are more than 500,000 gambling addicts in the United Kingdom. It is also believed that children are beginning to gamble online because of its accessibility and attractiveness.

The profile of gambling addicts tends to be predominantly male and young, but this is changing. It is becoming increasingly common to encounter female addicts. There have also been instances of educated and well-employed people falling for the lure of gambling. While the most common result of this addiction is impoverishment, there have also been many suicides because of gambling losses. There are increasing calls to regulate this industry more closely and to take it out of the mainstream. Self regulation doesn’t seem to be very successful in this industry as the many tragic instances of bankruptcy and suicide indicate.

Bitcoin-The Perfect Currency for Internet Gambling

The gaming industry has changed so much over the past decade as to become almost unrecognisable. In fact, it has embraced all the latest technologies with passion and speed, ensuring that it provides customers new and improved ways to gamble. We’re not just talking about the spectacular games available these days that have high quality animation, exciting themes and big prizes. Games like Tiki Island slot have indeed managed to grab the attention of online gamblers and keep them coming back for more. However, other important developments in the industry are the ease and security with which one can gamble these days. In fact, the use of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin has massive potential to change the way the gambling industry is run.

The gaming industry is not without its problems. In fact, it has to deal with regulatory impositions in many different parts of the world. Online gambling operators are constantly on the look out for ways to circumvent these restrictions. Bitcoin is proving to be very popular with online operators because it provides effective solutions to many of the problems faced by the industry.

People living in countries where online gambling is banned can use Bitcoin to gamble to their heart’s content. It provides them with much needed anonymity and flexibility, enabling them to visit any site of their choice. Many governments are tracking the monetary transactions to gambling sites from traditional money transfer methods, and some governments are even taking steps to ban these transactions, but Bitcoin transfers are proving to be very elusive.

The other advantage of making payments using Bitcoin is that this currency is very cheap. In fact, deposits can be made practically for free. In comparison, credit card fees can be extremely high. Therefore, players can get better value for money when using it to gamble on the internet. Interestingly, casinos that deals predominantly in Bitcoin tend to lower their fees in reflection of their reduced costs.

There is also a higher level of security associated with using Bitcoin. It is almost impossible to make chargebacks on this currency and the speed with which it processes payments ensures that users can verify that everything is in order. Furthermore, it protects the personal data of users and does not leave any paper trail that gambling-unfriendly governments can use to target them. International transactions with online businesses have been made very easy by the use of Bitcoins.

Bitcoin was introduced in 2009 and it has rapidly increased in popularity since then. This currency has become so popular with the gambling industry that large numbers of online gaming providers have adopted it. In fact, many sites have chosen to accept only Bitcoin because this is clearly the currency of the future. Many experts even believe that this currency has helped the internet gambling industry expand at a furious pace. The introduction of online multiplayer casino role playing games has also been attributed to the impact of Bitcoins. The number of people and sites using Bitcoins is only set to increase in the near future.

Brazil Lawmakers Vote on Online Gambling Bill in June

Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies is unlikely to let the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff on major corruption charges get in the way of a vote on a proposed gambling bill. The bill, known as SB 186/2014, is currently in the final stages of drafting and it is expected to be put to the vote in June this year. If the bill can eventually become law, then it will have a major impact on the economy of the country. In its current form, the bill proposes to permit the introduction of around 35 land based casinos, 600,000 terminals for video bingo, 1,200 bingo parlours, in addition to a number of licenses for online sports betting, bingo, and casino.

Lawmakers will also be considering another bill, PL 442/1991, which has been written to revoke the ban on the immensely popular game jogo de bicho. Also known as the animal game lottery, this game hasn’t lost any popularity even though it was banned by the federal government in 1946!

The planned votes had been the subject of much discussion during the recently concluded Brazil Gaming Congress 2016. Industry experts are no doubt eager to see gambling legalized in the country but there are concerns that the ongoing political upheavals in Brazil will put a spanner in the works. Lawmakers in the country voted 55-22 to suspend sitting President Dilma Rousseff in order to make way for her eventual impeachment trial. However, this shouldn’t be a problem because the government is functioning under the leadership of Vice-president Michel Temer. In fact, Social Democratic Party lawmaker Herculano Passos even said that Temer is likely to have a positive impact on the vote and will play a role in loosening up the gambling industry in the country.

If Brazil can reduce the existing restrictions on gambling then it will have a major impact on the industry as a whole. The legal gambling operations in the country include lotteries run by the federal and state governments as well as betting on horse racing and this amounts to an impressive $4 billion per year. The Federal Lottery makes up the lion’s share of this business at $3.85 billion, and the rest almost evenly divided amongst state lotteries and horse racing.

What the gambling industry as well as lawmakers is more interested in is the illegal gambling industry. This industry eclipses the legal gambling market at almost $6 billion. More than half of this money comes from jogo de bicho. There are also lots of illegal slot machines in the country, with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion. Illegally run bingo operations also generate $370 million annually. Brazilians also like to visit online gambling sites where they wager approximately $875 million every year.

The Brazilian government stands to earn approximately $5 billion in taxes every year if all gambling operations here can be legalized finally. Furthermore, Brazilians who visit online sites to gamble on Tiki Island slots and other games will also be assured of increased safety thanks to better regulation.

Illegal Online Betting Network Busted by Italian Authorities

Police in Italy have unearthed an extensive ring of illegal online betting sites operating out of Malta, according to a report in the Malta Independent. The extensive operation, called Master Bet, has uncovered the participation of hundreds of people spread over Italy and Malta. It has resulted in 13 people being placed under house arrest in Italy. At least 46 other people nabbed as a consequence of it have had their commercial assets detained by the authorities. An additional 107 people have been questioned by the police because of their links with the gambling ring.

Francesco Airo, originally from Agrigento in Sicily and a well known businessman from Malta, has been placed under house arrest because of his involvement in the illegal gambling operations. In fact, the 37-year-old is believed to have moved to Malta after Italian authorities began operations against online gambling operations that were nothing but a front for money laundering. Furthermore, he had also been arrested earlier on account of his business dealings with the Italian underworld organization known as the Camorra.

While the focus of the operation was Catania, arrests have been made in places in Italy as widespread as Catania, Messina, Milan, Napoli, Trapani, and even Roma. Interestingly, there was no mention of arrests in Malta. The police investigation was conducted by keeping track of the communication between the two illegal gambling rings by tapping their telephone calls as well as other forms of communication.

The authorities in Catania, Sicily told the media that the online gambling scams were conducted as part of a complex network. The two criminal gangs that operated the gambling websites from Malta are believed to have used their sites to launder millions of Euros on a monthly basis. Interestingly, the websites in question were designed to cater to the Italian market and they made use of Malta registered platforms even though they did not have the permission to do so.

This crackdown on what are presumed to be Mafia-backed online gambling operations comes on the heels of another one that was uncovered in March. Criminals associated with the Camorra crime group from Naples had set up a very successful illegal online gambling ring that skimmed money from customers by rigging the games they played. The ring included more than 10 sites that offered attractively big pots on poker, casino, and slot games such as Tiki Island slots, but rigged the games to ensure that no one won them, ensuring that the criminals were able to take away millions of Euros.

Prior to that, 41people with alleged links to the ‘Ndrangheta organised crime group were arrested and €2 billion worth of assets were seized in a police operation conducted the previous year. In fact, that police operation also resulted in a number of Malta-licensed companies such as Betsolution4U Ltd and Uniq Group Ltd having their licenses suspended by the Malta Gaming Authority.

It is clear to see that authorities in Italy have their work cut out for them since the ballooning online gambling business is proving to be very attractive to mafia gangs.

A Detailed Insight into the Kentucky Derby of 2016

Horse racing, the sport of kings has today become a major source of profits. If you have not thought of placing an online wager on horse racing yet, then it is about time. Yes, a bet on your favorite nag can bring a giant win to you.

At present, Kentucky Derby has gained the attention of entire media. The classic horserace is going to take place on May 6 in America. Millions of fans are waiting eagerly for the event, as Kentucky Derby is going to run for the 142nd time. The first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown is expected to take place on coming Saturday at around 5.30 pm at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

About the Horse Race

While talking about the Grade I stakes horse race, ‘The Run for the Roses’ will take place for just 3 year old horses that are thoroughly bred. The race will take place on the dirt racetrack of Churchill Downs and the horses will cover the distance of almost one and one-quarter miles long. When it comes to different sets of horses, fillies are going to carry around 121 pounds while geldings and colts will carry 126 pounds in the race. Without a doubt, winning the Triple Crown is not at all an easy task for any of the horses. It will require immense energy and passion of the equestrian.

Schedule of the Horse Racing

The Kentucky Derby is will remark the onset of the racing marathon followed by Preakness, which will be held after two weeks. Later on, Belmont Stakes is expected to take place after three weeks after the earlier two races. In the year 2016, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course is May 21 while the Belmont Stakes and Maryland on June 11. In 2015, the winner of The Triple Crown in Kentucky Derby was American Pharaoh. It is a fact that only 12 horses have won the title by far in the past 141 years. This simply means that winning The Triple Crown is not a cakewalk.
While mentioning the amount of stakes, around $194.3 million was wagered in the Kentucky Derby last year. It is the most popular horse racing all around the globe. However, players must keep in mind certain tips and tricks before placing a bet on any of the horses. You can first sign up at the site that offers welcome bonus and acquire knowledge about different horses.

The Bottom Line

Without a doubt, placing a bet on horseracing can keep your pocket sufficed. However, you can even try other casinos games that can bring in great cash for you. Although the variety of casino games is endless but Tiki Island Slot is the most popular of all. It is a 5-reel game with a feature of free spins and giant jackpot. Puffer Fish Bonus and Tiki Nuts Bonus will make you addicted to this amazing slot. With the right tricks, you can win 10,000x of your stake in Tiki Island.

Thus, what are you waiting for? Try your luck at Kentucky derby and other online slots now!

Blueprint Gaming Slot Titles Grace the Online Casino Games’ Catalogue at Casino Kings

Popular online casino, Casino Kings recently declared that they have added some new Blueprint Gaming titles to their catalogue. In fact, this is not their first announcement in 2016. They have already added quite a few games, much to the delight of their customers. Since the beginning of 2016, they have been adding a number of mobile and desktop games.

Due to their constant expansion in terms of games, they now have close to 300 games on their website and almost 200 for their mobile gamers to pick from!

As far as the Blueprint Gaming titles are concerned, they have added seven from their inventory. The seven slots are as follows:

  1. Fortunes of Sparta
  2. Jewel Strike
  3. Slots O’ Gold
  4. Casper’s Mystery Mirror
  5. Wild Antics
  6. Jungle Jackpots – Mowgli’s Wild Adventure
  7. Top Cat

All of the above slot games are available via their website as well as through their mobile version as well. If you’ve played slots developed by Blueprint Gaming earlier, you’ll see the resemblance across all of them. They have been consistently following one theme – cartoon cum slot adaptation.

Out of all these slot games, the one that has really stood out and become a favourite among the players is Top Cat slot. It has three rows, five reels and 20 pay lines. This slot offers a fair percentage during its base game. But the slot really shows its true potential through its bonus games.

Top Cat slot is based on the 60s cartoon by the same name. And so the four bonus features that are randomly triggered stars either one or all the characters from the iconic cartoon series. But the main bonus feature that you need to look out for is The Masterplan. The canned laughter and the comedy sounds of the famous cartoon are evident all through the slot game.

Taking inspiration from famous movies and books is a pattern that Blueprint Gaming has been following and it has worked to their advantage. If you look at their other slot games, Wild Antics and Jungle Jackpots, both of them use an interesting combination of dedicated and randomly-triggered features to bring life to the gameplay.

While Jungle Jackpot takes its inspiration from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Wild Antics is based on Disney Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. Like Top Cat, both these slot games also pay homage to the characters from their original stories.

The Marketing Manager of Casino Kings, Nathan Howes is of the opinion that Blueprint Gaming’s unique and innovative aspects of their game designs have a lot to do with the success of these releases. He feels that just like Blueprint Gaming is all about development of slots in an innovative way, Casino Kings is about offering excellent slots.

He further goes on to say that the players at Casino Kings really look forward to playing pioneering games and that’s exactly what they would like to provide too. He mentioned that their mobile games are also quite popular. In fact, the number of games for desktops and mobiles are almost similar at Casino Kings. This just proves the fact that the trend for mobile gaming is here to stay.

About Blueprint Gaming

Blueprint Gaming is a part of the NYX Gaming Group. They are a multi-national group that use third party providers such as Blueprint Gaming to develop games. They release these games under the NYX umbrella. The other developing studios that form a part of the NYX Gaming Group are Elk Studios, 1×2 Gaming, Leap Interactive, Thunderkick and NextGen Gaming among many others.