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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Suspension of Play by Full Tilt Poker

July 7th, 2011  |  Published in Casino News

On April 15th, 2011, the top three American online poker rooms were indicted and subsequently shut down by the Department of Justice. This sudden elimination of these poker powerhouses came as a shock to the online gambling community. It had such a profound impact that the day has been dubbed, “Black Friday.” Poker Stars, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker immediately enacted damaged control to safeguard their gaming reputation and operations.

Effects of the Indictment

Unfortunately, Full Tilt Poker has not been able to withstand the impact of the indictment. As a result, the casino recently suspended all operations which affect players across the globe. Following the indictments on Black Friday, the licensing authority of Full Tilt Poker (the Alderney Gambling Control Commission) announced it would review the situation.

The Alderney Commission Investigation

Almost three months later, the Alderney Commission released the findings of its investigation and determined that it was necessary to suspend Full Tilt Poker’s license which inevitably suspends all operations. During the investigation, the Commission found that Full Tilt Poker was operating contrary to Alderney legislation.

Full Tilt Poker’s Current Activities

Currently, Full Tilt Poker’s servers are inactive and all play on the site has been immobilized. There is however plenty of chatter regarding the incident at the poker forums. The common reactions are of resignation, not anger. The Full Tilt website simply states the system is shut down due to maintenance and advises players to check back at a later date.

Return of Deposits

This suspension could not have occurred at a worse time for the poker site. Following the indictment, the poker room progressed to the advanced stages of negotiations with a third-party financier that would allow the company to return all deposits made by online American players since they were no longer able to play at the site.

PokerStars Reaction

The other leading American online poker room, PokerStars, reacted to the recent new about Full Tilt and assured the online gambling community that it does not face the same complications. More specifically, representatives announced that operations would continue as usual and all funds in player accounts are safe and available for withdrawal at any time. Also, the Isle of Man Gaming Commission remains intact and PokerStars is in full compliance with licensing requirements.

Not surprisingly, traffic on PokerStars has increased by five percent following the Full Tilt suspension. To become available, Full Tilt Poker may have to switch regulatory bodies which could take many months to become approved. Unfortunately this move by the Department of Justice could cripple Full Tilt Poker.

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The iGaming Super Show in Dublin

May 27th, 2011  |  Published in Casino News

Following the successful iGaming Super Show 2010 in Prague, the second event was held Tuesday, May 24th through Thursday, May 26th in Dublin, Ireland. Hosted by publishers of iGaming Business and iGB Affiliate, the show is aimed at vendors, media, affiliates, operators and regulators. There will be multiple conference streams discussing topics such as business strategies and online marketing.

Focus on Customer Acquisition and Retention

The show featured over 100 stands where the online gambling industry will meet to conduct business and networking. The conference was separated into two with the first focusing on marketing and acquisition. The primary topic was the conflict between customer acquisition and retention. Online gaming sites acquire customers from the Internet through search engines and social networking so search engine optimization will be reviewed.

Focus on Trend and Regulation

The second conference discussed trends and regulation within the industry. Topics that were discussed include the seizure of online poker rooms in the United States on April 15th and the impact of Black Friday on business. Additionally, online gambling regulation in Canada, the European Union and Ireland was discussed. Several roundtables were devoted specifically to the situation in the United States.

Sponsors of the Show

There are many big name sponsors of the iGaming Super Show. However, the majority of sponsors are affiliate programs and operators such as, Golden Palace, Bodog Affiliates and Euro Partners. Alderney was the only regulatory body that sponsored the event. Also, the only software provider to sponsor the show is Microgaming. Payment solution provider sponsors include Paysafecard, Entropay, Neteller and Skrill.

Neteller’s Message

Neteller recently distributed an email to all account holders informing them of the upcoming Dublin iGaming Super Show 2011. Also, the affiliate team has explained their plan to increase commissions and easy methods of paying customers. Therefore, by promoting the Neteller service as a secure, reliable payment option in addition to online casino promotions, affiliates would be able to receive two commissions for one referral.

There was also quite a bit of partying occurring at the iGaming Super Show. One of the biggest events was Calvin Ayre’s 50th Birthday Bash which featured hundreds of excited participants partying at the show. Due to the success in 2010, the iGaming Super Show is growing in number of attendees and number of vendors setting up. The show is expected to improve every year in the future.

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