An Overview of Shockwave Poker Video Poker Variant

August 19th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

Shockwave Poker is the newest video poker variant created by CTXM, an online casino software developer. It is now only available through the instant play mode at Bodog Casino. The video poker variant can be played in real money games or practice mode.

Visual Differences from Other Variants

The game differs from standard video poker variants in several ways. First, it is visually different as the arena is set to a futuristic background with different cards. All picture cards such as Kings, Queens and Jacks are crafted like alien robots. Also, the regular card pictures are arranged differently to attract new players.

Payout Table

Also, the payout table for the game begins at Jacks or Better, but not the regular Jacks or Better most players are accustomed too. Instead, Shockwave Poker offers the 8/5 variant where a full house pays 8-to-1 while the standard versions offer 9/6 Jacks or Better with a 9-to-1 full house payout and 6-to-1 flush payout.  Additionally, the payout for two pairs has been reduced to even money from 2-to-1.

Directions for Playing the Game

The game begins similar to any other video poker variant. Players are first required to select the number of coins and denomination from $0.10 to $5.00. The first hand is dealt and players must select which cards to hold. All remaining cards are replaced and the final hand is tallied. Gameplay can be controlled through the usual buttons in other variants. Also, a doubling bonus is available after each win which allows players to stake their entire win to double up.

Shockwave Mode Bonus Round

Shockwave mode is triggered when the player acquires a four-of-a-kind hand. During this mode, the player receives ten free hands immediately beginning with the next hand following the four-of-a-kind. If the player receives a second four-of-a-kind during the Shockwave mode, the player is paid at a bonus rate.

Final Determination of the Game

The greatest limitation of the game is that the bonus rate is never displayed or is not present in the help files. Therefore, players are completely unable to conduct a cost-benefit analysis and decide whether the lower payouts are adequately compensated. Unfortunately, to acquire two four-of-a-kind hands within only ten or less hands is extremely rare. Therefore, based on the little information provided, it is best to play Shockwave Poker in the practice mode only.

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Online Gambling Bill Passed in Greece

August 16th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

In the recent months, the Greek government was racing against the clock to implement financial reforms which included online gambling. These alterations had to be in place prior to the next round of auditing by the IMF which is scheduled for the end of August 2011. Luckily the Financial Minister was able to get the bill passed by a voice vote following three straight days of debate.

Complete Change of Heart

Surprisingly, the Greek parliament did a complete U-turn on many of the controversial features from the draft proposal that was originally rejected by the European Commission. One proposal that was missing from the final legislation is the six month blackout period required before legislation and regulation are implemented. This is designed to protect the state-owned gambling monopoly OPAP. Also, the section that eliminates the number of licenses granted is also absent.

Blackout Period Proposal

The blackout period proposal has changed to allow European Union-licensed operators to function freely in Greece. Also, these operators will be permitted to advertise via the Internet and offline media outlets. Another favorable change from the government is that private online operators will be allowed to target Greek customers from servers located overseas during the initial six month transitional period. Once licenses have been awarded, companies may be required to relocate.

Tax Requirements

All European Union-licensed online gambling operators will be required to pay 30 percent GPT while players will pay only 10 percent tax on winnings. The transitional period will soon be established by the Control Committee. Online gambling industry experts expect to begin seeing an advertising war between operators for the Greek market once licenses are granted.

The Future of OPAP

Currently the Greek government has a 34 percent stake in OPAP. In this legislation there are articles to enhance the value of OPAP. For instance, in a new section OPAP will receive a license to operate all 35,000 video lottery machines set up across the country. Since the Greek government is considering selling OPAP to private operators, perhaps this is an effort to raise the valuation of the online casino to negotiate a better price.

This is a major step in the right direction for Greece. Just a few months ago it looked as if the country would never legalize online gambling due to the rigid government requirements in the bill. Apparently authorities have turned over a new leaf and become more flexible.

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An Introduction to the Gambling Goes Mobile Report

August 12th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

Well-known research organization H2 Gambling Capital specializes in different sections of the gambling industry. For the past year, the company has been developing an in-depth analysis of the mobile gaming market. H2 Gambling Capital recently announced the release of the report titled, “Gambling Goes Mobile.” This research is viewed by experts as being comprehensive and authoritative.

Factors of the Analysis

The analysis reviews every aspect of mobile gambling with such topics as historical roadblocks, network technologies, software delivery, devices, operating systems, mobile and smart phone penetration across all markers, social platforms, operators, forecasts and market size. The report also provides conclusions and recommendations.

Assigning a Monetary Value

The report also places the mobile gambling market value at 2.22 Euros from 2010. The company forecasts that by 2015 the figure will double, which equates to an annual growth rate of 19.3 percent which shows considerable growth. Furthermore, when compared to other forms of gambling, the mobile gaming market was 9.8 percent of the entire interactive gambling market and 0.6 percent of the total global market.

Percentage Figures

The company has made a conservative prediction that the share of mobile gambling within the interactive market will grow to 12.9 percent and its share of the total global gambling market will increase to 0.9 percent by 2013. This is clear evidence that mobile gaming is growing faster than all other forms of gambling.

Betting on Races

Gambling Goes Mobile also reviews the market by sectors. For instance, the report found that wagering on racing significantly contributes to the overall gambling market. This proportion is around 77 percent. The Japanese Racing Association accounted for approximately 57 percent in 2010.

Major Shift

Additionally, the report is predicting a major shift to mobile gaming and mobile lottery over the next five years. The primary reasons for this are the development of player-friendly technology like improved networks, connections and innovative equipment such as tablets and smart phones. Furthermore, by 2015 physical betting’s share of the market will drop to 50 percent while mobile casino gambling will increase to 40 percent with mobile lottery equaling 10 percent.

H2 Gambling Capital Company Information

Based out of the United Kingdom, H2 Gambling Capital has developed proprietary software to monitor all online gambling information that crosses the web. The company then reviews and supplies this information while acting as a consultant to eh gambling industry.

This report shows significant growth for the mobile gambling industry in the coming years. As technology continues to improve, it is likely this number will skyrocket. Soon, laptops and desktops will be technology of the past when wagering online.

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Black Friday Affecting Online Casinos

August 10th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

In April 2011, the United States Department of Justice forcibly closed several major online poker rooms on the grounds that their processing payments were conducted in an illegal manner. That event created a ripple which resulted in a major online casino group or software provider exiting the U.S. Internet gaming market on a weekly basis. This has continued for approximately the past four months.

The latest news is from Rival Gaming which has announced that its casinos will no longer accept U.S.-based players. This statement was confirmed by AffiliateWide, an affiliate program for the company. They stated, “We have received notification from our software provider, Rival that from 7th August we will no longer be able to accept new U.S. players. Please note your existing US players will still be able to deposit and you will continue to earn commission on player generated revenues.”

AffiliateWide currently has a large U.S. client base which is the reason the company has decided to switch to Top Game, another online game software developer. As of this moment, Top Game will continue to operate in the U.S. marketplace. Online casinos that are powered by Top Game include:

  • Box24 Casino
  • Spartan Slots
  • Black Diamond Casino

The message provided by AffiliateWide members detailed that the migration to Top Game will be completed by August 15th, 2011. Luckily, the switch will not cause any hiatus and the online gaming sites will provide Rival games until the migration is complete. This means that affiliates will be able to access Rival statistics on the AffiliateWide website. Once the changeover is complete, players will be able to bet on Top Game software and affiliates will login using the Top Game Affiliate system.

Furthermore, affiliates will be able to download new marketing tools and tracking codes. Unfortunately players who wish to continue betting on Rival games will be required to close down their accounts and find another Rival Gaming casino.

In addition to the news of Rival Gaming, another announcement was made as a result of Black Friday. Intertops online casino released a statement indicating that it will change its domain extension from .com to .eu. According to the company the reason for this change is to improve accessibility, reliability and the level of service. The real reason is due to American federal authorities who can easily act against .com’s.

Black Friday has and continues to have a significant impact on online casinos that operate within the United States market. If this trend continues, there will be no online casinos left to cater to the American client base.

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New Changes at Sloto’ Cash

August 9th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

Sloto Cash online casino recently announced that there will be some upcoming changes. The changes are a requirement due to the decision of Rival Gaming to stop accepting United States-based players. Associated affiliate marketing management programs of the software developer have had to make adjustments based on this decision. For instance, Affiliate Wide online casinos have completely switched providers to collaborate with Top Game software.

Members will Remain Active

Sloto Cash has reassured existing American players that their affiliate members will remain active without change and the casino will continue to provide Rival Gaming games. The email distributed to affiliates declaimed, “We invite you to subscribe to our revamped weekly newsletters so you can stay tuned to all retention and conversion campaigns we are running for your active players and new potential customers.”

Information from the Deck Media

The weekly newsletters titled, “The Deck Media”, have always provided affiliates and players with a valuable source of information during volatile times. Currently Sloto’ Cash has not yet detailed the upcoming changes. The only indication from the casino is that its new live support will soon be available. The newsletter did indicate that the changes will be extremely exciting and take effect in September 2011.

Bad News for Deck Media

On the other hand, there was bad news from the affiliate program Deck Media in early 2011. The affiliate management company lost GATM eCheck processor which processed all financial transactions for the company. Unfortunately when the eCheck company went under, Deck Media lost a significant amount of affiliate’s money. When affiliate programs lost eWalletXpress and MasterCard, the program absorbed the costs.

In the situation with eCheck, Deck Media was unable to absorb the losses. Therefore, those affiliates who generated earning from eCheck deposits had to surrender their earnings to the payment processor. Players and affiliates are hoping that the changes next month will settle down the activity at the casino and brands of Deck Media.

Sloto’ Cash Company Information

Licensed in the reputed gambling jurisdiction of Curacao, Sloto’ Cash online casino permits customers from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Japan and many other European countries.

Black Friday has played a significant toll on the online gambling industry. Almost every provider, affiliate or affiliate management company has been affected by the actions taken by the U.S. Department of Justice almost four months ago. Hopefully all online entities will be able to recover from this incident.

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Online Gambling News from Greece and Finland

August 8th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

There were recently new developments in the online gambling situations in Finland and Greece. Unfortunately the news from both countries is not good. In Finland, a new coalition government has indicated that stricter restrictions will be imposed on foreign gambling operators. Therefore, state-owned monopolistic operators will greatly benefit from the restrictions placed on outside online casino operators.

Finnish Restrictions

The government has not yet discussed the exact measures that are being considered. However, the executives of the gambling monopoly, RAY, have implied such measures as Internet blocking, advertising restrictions and the disruption of financial transactions with illegal foreign companies. These measures will be difficult to implement because of the extensive resources required to conduct such an operation.

Finnish Government Considerations

Also, the definition of an illegal operator continues to be vaguely-defined so the likelihood of legal actions taken by overseas operators is high. Unfortunately the Finnish government is considering these actions regardless of the advice given by online gaming experts which have identified these measures to be detrimental to the industry. Aside from giving players a choice, these restrictions limit business growth and eliminate local players from receiving the best odds.

Greek Gaming Proposals

On July 7th, 2011, the European Commission (EC) responded to Greek proposals to regulate online gambling and expressed strong concerns regarding the compatibility of the recently drafted legislation with European Union (EU) laws. The most questionable provisions are those brought forth by the European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA) which indicates the requirement for EU licensed operators to be established in Greece and backed by a Greek bank.

Other Questionable Provisions

Also, the law limits the number of issued licenses while imposing a minimum capital requirement on new applications. Additionally, financial transfers are to be limited to local banks. The draft also contains many legal, technical and practical uncertainties which could cause problems down the road. For instance, the types of games to be offered by operators have not been clearly identified. The draft has also been reviewed by Malta which has stated the same opinion.

The original laws were submitted to the EC on April 5th, 2011. However, the EC has extended the submission period to August 8th. During this time, the Greek government will be unable to adopt the draft regulation and are required to reply to the EC’s objection. If the country proceeds without the approval of the EC, Greece could receive infringement proceedings. Ultimately Greece has a short amount of time to amend the draft to comply with the EC.

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New Gaming Category for U.S. Tribal Land Casinos

August 2nd, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

The Tribal Gaming Network is a private gambling system that connects Indian land-based casino across the United States while providing Class III, Class II, progressive and online games. Operated by the Atlantis Internet Group Corporation (ATIG), the network recently expanded its game offerings by entering into an agreement with Tabcorp, an Australian betting organization, to supply the simulated racing game Racetrax.

The Contract

The agreement is for a multiple year license at multi-millions of dollars. This is the first time Racetrax has been available in any state with the exception of Maryland. Racetrax was develop internally by the Australian company and has slowly gained popularity across the globe. The game has already been successful in Croatia, Denmark and Sri Lanka in addition to the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria.

Combination of Racing Types

The primary reason for its popularity is the game combines thoroughbred and greyhound racing with car racing and a simple payout structure. Racetrax offers fixed returns on typical racing wagers such as Win, Place, Quinella and Trifecta while providing customers with an opportunity to win money on virtual races.

Statement from the Tribal Gaming Network

A representative of the Tribal Gaming Network released a statement confirming that Racetrax will go online during the fall of 2011. Once live, players will be able to wager on the game at various terminals located at tribal casinos. The terminals across 28 states will be linked and also available at truck stops, smoke shops and cyber cafes on reservations. The game will be available via casino Intranet and satellite television.

Statement from ATIG

The CEO of ATIG stated that since there is no federal or state legislation to provide nationwide game through the Intranet medium, the Tribal Gaming Network is in a class alone by featuring innovative games like Racetrax. As a result, Indian casinos across the United States will be able to offer some of the largest jackpots since Powerball.

Statement from Tabcorp

The CEO of Tabcorp further added that he was excited about the expansion of Racetrax throughout the Native American gaming market because of its innovation and technology. Additionally, he looks forward to providing high-end virtual racing games to Indian land casinos in the future.

This is an excellent opportunity for Tribal casinos to be more competitive in the gambling industry. By offering an innovative and exciting product through a technological channel, this is sure to increase the number of players at the casinos across the United States.

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An Introduction to the International Slots League

July 25th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

Royal Vegas online casino recently announced the launch of the International Slots League, a continuous stream of slot tournaments. The casino has created six weekly tournaments that are collectively valued at $10,000. This increases the weekly share to over $40,000.

Monday Night Freeroll

Each Monday night, the Kings of Legend freeroll tournaments will be conducted at the Royal Vegas online casino. The designated game is Avalon which transports players to the period of King Arthur. The prize pool is guaranteed at $200 with no entry fee. However, players are required to pay for rebuys and other add-ons.

Tuesday thru Friday Night Freerolls

Each Friday, the casino hosts the Strike it Rich freeroll tournament on the popular Microgaming slot Thunderstruck. This tournament has the same structure as the Kings of Legend freeroll. The Wednesday tournament will feature the Spring Break freeroll. Finally, Tuesdays and Thursdays is the Night on the Town freeroll with the designated slot game, Ladies Nite. Male players are free to also participate.

Triple-7 Bling Freeroll

On the weekends, the casino increases the prize pool with two fantastic slot tournaments: Triple-7 Bling Fest freeroll and the Weekend Treasure Hunt Splash tournament. The Triple-7 Bling Fest freeroll will be played on Loaded, a popular online slot game packed with bling. The guaranteed prize pool is set at $5,000 with no entry fee. Royal Vegas players should take full advantage of this opportunity.

The Weekend Treasure Hunt Splash Tournament

The Weekend Treasure Hunt Splash tournament is the only tournament of the six that is not a freeroll. However, the entry fee is only set at $10. The invitation to the tournament was published reading, “Swing back into the spinning action with Lara Croft and Tomb Raider in the Weekend Treasure Hunt Splash tournament at the International Slots League to get your share of $3,000 guaranteed!”

Frequency of Tournaments

These tournaments will be regularly held each week until further notice. The International Slots League is also held at several other online casinos in the Fortune Lounge Group. All casinos are powered by Microgaming software and licensed by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta, a reputable jurisdiction.

Since five of the six weekly tournaments are freerolls, players will have an opportunity to win large amounts of cash with only the investment of time. The other competition only requires a small entrance fee so players should advantage of this tournament as well.

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An Overview of the Flash Velocity

July 15th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

Cryptologic recently released a new online slot game entitled “The Flash Velocity.” The game is the fifth release in the branded DC Comics super hero slot series. The Flash possesses the power of speed that can be found in the game. For instance, the Speedster Wilds function shows The Flash darting across the reels, randomly changing the icons to wild which enhances the payouts. The game is a 50 payline slot game with four rows of characters.

The Flash Symbol

The characters on the reels are from series with The Flash representing the wild symbol which pays out the highest jackpot of 10,000 coins. The animation of hero involves tripled payouts. The scatter and bonus symbol are represented by a flash of lightning. If five of these icons appear on the reels, the player is awarded a scatter payout of 100 coins.

Three Villains

The game also features three Villains: Captain Cold, Mirror Master and Gorilla Grodd. Each villain exhibits super powers through the animations. Captain Cold freezes opponents, Mirror Master generates many mirror images of himself and Gorilla Grodd ferociously taunts his opponents. Other important symbols include a stopwatch, The Flash logo and his shoes. Additionally, high value symbols appear and are crafted to appear as if they are moving quickly.

Bonus Bet Feature

Since the game is a Cryptologic DC Comics branded game, the Bonus Bet feature is available. To activate this function, the player must enable all 50 paylines while wagering an extra 10 coins. This increases the payout multiplier to five times and gives players’ access to the Rogues Feature.

Rogues Feature

Depending on the selected rogue, players can be awarded up to 12 free spins based on the villain’s specific super powers. For instance, Captain Cold will freeze a specific reel creating a wild reel for a single respin if The Flash icon appears. Mirror Master replays the previous four spins by transporting the player into the past. Finally, Gorilla Grodd transfers the Flash symbol to a randomized position in each of the free spins.

The game is currently available at all Cryptologic-powered gaming sites with the most popular being InterCasino and VIP Casino. InterCasino is currently hosting a super hero promotion. The Flash Velocity is a well-crafted game right down to the smallest detail. Stop by one of the many excellent Cryptologic casinos to wager on the game.

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A Review of Chests of Plenty

July 14th, 2011  |  Published in Inrodution

Virgin Casino recently released a new pirate-themed online slot game entitled, “Chests of Plenty.” Developed by Ash Gaming and supplied through the Gaming Technology Solutions (GTS) platform, the game is filled with highly-detailed, thematic pirate features. For instance, the sound of waves breaking against the boat and the squawking of a parrot in the background of the game adds to the enjoyment.

The Symbols

One of the most important icons in the game is the girl which represents the wild symbol. When part of winning combinations, the girl becomes animated by firing her pistol and blowing the smoke from the barrel. Her character offers the highest jackpot valued at 10,000 coins. Another vital symbol is the pirate which also acts as a wild icon when appearing next to the girl.

The Chest Bonus Game

The Chest bonus game is activated when three chest icons appear anywhere on the reels. Unfortunately there are not scatter payouts related to these characters. In the bonus game three chests move to the center of the screen and automatically open to reveal the prize of three gems. If they are identical the player will receive a bonus award which will continue until the gems are different.

If the gems are not identical, the chest will not open. If all nine gems from the three chests are diamonds, the player will automatically win the progressive jackpot amount which is typically the highest payout in the game.

The Treasure Map Bonus Round

Another exciting and profitable bonus round is the Treasure Map bonus which simulates a treasure hunt. The bonus will begin when three, four or five map symbols appear on any of the reels. Unlike the Chest bonus game, these symbols will award scattered payouts. Three map icons will transport players to Booty Island while four move players to the Isle of Plenty and five equates to a trip to Jackpot Island.

The islands have higher prize amounts depending on the number of maps icons. Each map on each island displays a trail which has different prizes along the way. Also on the map is a number from one to seven and a “Skull and Crossbones.” The number acquired is the number of spaces moved along the trail. Movement continues until the Skull and Crossbones are drawn.

Chests of Plenty is an exciting game that features a variety of ways to win. Virgin Casino is also currently running an event entitled, the “Pirate Treasure Promotion” to draw players to the new game.

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