The Isle of Capri Casinos Company is currently being sued by an 87 year-old woman from Illinois after she hit a $42 million jackpot playing slots, which was actually nothing more than a computer malfunction.
This occurred on July 2, 2011 when the woman was playing on the Miss Kitty slot machine at the Waterloo, Iowa-based Isle Casino. While she was playing, the bells and lights started going and the staff came over to congratulate her on her win. But, it was soon after that the staff noticed something was not right because the top payout of the slot was only $10,000 but it had said she won $41,797,550! The casino informed her it was a computer error and she would not be winning any money.
These errors are quite rare. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission noted that they only investigate maybe one or two of these slot malfunctions every year across the entire states. There have also been stories of other players around the United States thinking they won big but it was only a malfunction in the slot machine. One recent one was Bill Seebeck who was playing at the Tampa, Florida Seminole Hard Rock Casino and the slot said he won $166 million, which in fact, he did not.
After the incident at the Isle Casino, the casino sent the slot machine to Gaming Laboratories International to be analyzed. It was then noted that it was “highly likely” that it was a communication board error causing the false bonus.
However, this is not stopping the woman from Iowa. Just last week her attorney filed suit claiming consumer fraud and breach of contract. The attorney is also preparing the argument that the Isle Casino did not regularly act upon any of the programming updated that were available for this slot machine.
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Many casinos are hoping to definitely cash in the weekend of the Super Bowl, which pits the New York Giants against the New England Patriots. It is considered to be the biggest single-day sporting event. Many casinos believe that the crowds on Super Bowl day will surpass the crowds they had during New Years Eve. There is also a possibility that the Super Bowl this year will be heading in to sportsbooks’ record history.
Everyone has their own reasons for betting on a different team – they are either from the area or have strong ties to the area where the teams are from, they like a team that did not make it to the Super Bowl so they are rooting for their next favorite, or they do not like one of the teams and are therefore going with the others. Some people are relying on their gut emotions to place bets while others do a lot of hardcore strategizing and scouring over stats before placing their bet.
It does not matter if these men and women place just $20.00 or hundreds of dollars on the win, the biggest winter of the day will be the casinos. These are two of the most popular NFL teams going at it, one sportsbook director said, and therefore, people are making much larger bets than normal.
Everything is being betted on, not just who wins. Bets include the number of passes, who will have the ball first, who will have it last, which player will fumble first, and even who is going to have the first interception in the game.
While most bets that are coming in are favoring the Patriots, bets for the Giants are still coming in, making the point spread much greater.
With $87 million wagered on the Super Bowl last year, it is becoming evident that this will be surpassed this year.
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Three poker players from Italy were recently arrested for marking up a deck of cards using invisible ink and then wearing pairs of infrared glasses to see the marked cards at a casino in Cannes. As well, a French player, and two casino employees (one being the dealer), were also arrested for being a part of this scam.
There was suspicion about the Italian players as early as August when they left a casino with over $60,000 in just one night. There was no way the officials at the casino could confirm their suspicions and instead set up an undercover sting operation to catch them if they tried again. And try they did at the Les Princes Casino where they tried to get away cleanly after pocketing over $40,000.
The cheaters are alleged to have connections with organized crime groups. The French gaming officials are currently investigating any possible leads that may show if these con men were running the same scam in other casinos throughout Europe.
For this type of casino scam to be affective, the employee charged with dealing the cards must also be in on the scheme as they have to make sure the marked cards are in the deck.
This scam is very well known throughout the United States but not so much in Europe. If caught in the United States for this kind of ruse, poker dealers and player not only face a long prison sentence, but they will be barred from entering any casinos throughout the country. The punishment in France for this type of scam is not yet known.
Unfortunately, this is not the first casino scandal to come out of Europe in the last year. In 2010, a German poker professional, Ali Tekintamgac, was disqualified from the final table at the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event after the authorities at the tournament accused Tekintamgac of working with others posing as reporters for the tournament to walk around the floor and send signals regarding his opponents’ hole cards.
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The current draft gambling law in Germany has recently come under the microscope by the European Commission. At the present time, the European Union has been raising a number of very serious doubts about whether or not it will decide to officially end the state’s monopoly over online gaming.
In a statement that was released in July of this year, the European Commission emailed a statement that they feel that Germany should not, at the time, adopt a draft gambling treaty. The email pointed to the fact that the regulations provided by Germany were in direct violation of a number of laws under the European Union.
It was not made abundantly clear the aspects of the proposed gambling regulations by Germany were considered to be offensive. Other reports have stated that these gambling regulations would actually get rid of the monopoly the 16 states in Germany hold over lotteries and sports betting. However, earlier in July, one online gambling firm did file a complaint that new laws created would actually limit the number of licenses private betting companies would be able to obtain.
Weighing in on this current debate is the European Gaming and Betting Association. Sigrid Linge, the Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association, stated that the current German draft treaty, which the federal states in Germany agreed upon, did have a number of listed provisions that were in direct conflict with laws created by the European Union.
Linge said that looking at the prohibitive tax on some wagers, which the incumbent monopoly is exempt from, as well as a number of other provisions, will “slam the door” on a number of operators in the European Union from other European Union member states, thereby actually extended the monopoly for not just online games, but offline ones as well.
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Even though Phil Hellmuth has a long list of wins, including eleven World Series of Poker bracelets, this year, he has developed quite the reputation of coming in at second place, including to other fellow big-name players like Brian Rast and John Juanda. Epic Poker League’s Annual Charity Event to aid Fallen Heroes USA was no different, as Hellmuth came in second to Michael Craig. However, even though he lost, followers of Hellmuth’s Twitter account could see he was having a good time playing cards and raising $25,000 for this charity that supports families of fallen policy officers killed while on duty in the United States.
There were a total of 45 players at the tournament, which began as the Pro/Am qualifier into the Main Even of Epic Poker League closed. Those playing for entries included Andy Bloch, Erik Seidel, Nam Le, and Huck Seed.
Between the 45 players at the charity event, they managed to retain an additional 138 re-buys as well as 30 add-ons. Randy Dorfman, a fellow poker pro, donated an additional $3,700 to the total to ensure the event reached its $25,000 goal.
Craig, the Editor-and-Chief of Epic Poker won the event as he called a “desperate” shove by Hellmuth at a time when Hellmuth had 450K in chips against Craig’s 500K in chips. Craig had a ten of hearts and six of spades, and the ten of diamonds on the flop allowed him to pair up and win the event. At first place, Craig won $1,500 Pro/Am seat plus the Champion’s Bracelet. Hellmuth still left with a $1,500 Pro/Am seat, as well as Brian Castillo, who came in third at the event. Other players who came in fourth place to ninth place won prizes, including a Palms Casino Resort Weekend Getaway and two tickets to any Cirque du Soleil show.
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In the last few weeks, a number of concerns have been raised regarding the new initiative introduced by the Washington D.C. council to including regulating online gambling throughout the district. One of the major concerns has been the silence Congress has maintained about the issue. However, DC Lottery is moving ahead with new plans to implement online gambling.
In a recent report from the Washington Times, six online casino games are to be launched in the initial round, including Bingo, Texas Hold’em and Blackjack. During the first few months, the games will be placed in demonstration mode – players can get acquainted with the game for free and not spending real money. The demonstration mode will also allow officials to work out any kinks in the system. In about six weeks, players will then be able to actually gamble at the public terminals, which will be known as “platinum sponsors.” 19 is the minimum age requirement to play these games and individuals will have to log on to play from within the borders of the District.
The most important thing is trying to get the technology just right. For example, the system set up will have to prevent players located outside the District from logging on and playing.
A number of proponents have said that regulated, legalized online gambling will bring a lot of money in revenue to Washington D.C. Many have argued that online gambling will provide much needed income to boost the economy.
Currently, there is a scheduled hearing end of June by the Committee on Finance and Revenue. They are going to look at the online gambling measures and put it through public vetting. The testimony at the hearing will discuss how exactly the online gambling program will work, why no other country has thought of this idea yet, possible problems and how to work them out, and the overall benefits it will provide to the District.
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Cryptologic, a development company of online casino games looks to be making its way out of the online casino industry abyss from where it once was. Over the last few years the online casino game development company has continually struggled to remain ahead of the industry but always ended up way behind. Regardless of the fact that they have created a number of popular games, including Blade and Bejewelled, it is only through a very large decrease in the company’s expenses that has allowed it to remain alive the last few years.
Currently, Cryptologic has reported that they have received a four percent bump in their revenue. For numerous online casino game development companies, this increase in 2011’s second quarter is not much, but it does show that Cryptologic is beginning to improve. Their revenue increased to $7 million (USD) and recorded the first received profits in three years. It also needs to be factored in that in June of 2011, the Millionaires Club winner received a massive payout of $4.2 million in prize money.
Cryptologic’s Board of Directors has been encouraging these positive results to maintain overall positive performance during this next business quarter. The development company is poised to continue to maintain focus on increasing revenue and managing current costs. In the online casino industry’s early days, Cryptologic was seen as a leading online casino games developer and was a force to be reckoned with in terms of integrity and innovation. The hope of the development company is to get back to that spot once again.
In March 2011, the conclusion of the first business quarter, Cryptologic announced that they would be undertaking a strategic review of the company. They are currently working with a Deloitte corporate finance advisor to see how they can better the business, increase revenue, and stay away from the edge of the abyss.
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Everyone who knew of American football knew the great player Charles “Bubba” Smith, especially when he played for the Baltimore Colts and helped them get to Super Bowl victory in 1970. By others, his is best known for portraying the larger-than-life cop Moses Hightower in the first six “Police Academy” movies. However, what many did not know was that Bubba was considered one of the very first celebrities to maintain ownership of an online casino and sports book, which he opened during the late 1990s. The online casino was aptly named BubbasCasino.com.
However, his continued participation in the online gambling industry cost him a number of personal achievements. For example, Bubba was banned from his alma mater Michigan State. It is where he played university football. The reason cited was his ownership of an online gambling website. And even though this may have seemed like bad publicity for this once great football player, he decided to keep his online casino open for use by the public.
Those with accounts at BubbasCasino.com, who logged into the website since the published news of Bubba’s death, were greeted with a new announcement on the home page of the online gambling website. The announcement noted that members’ accounts with the online casino have been moved for the time being to the sister casino of Belmont.com. There has been no official announcement regarding the future of BubbasCasino.com, but many sources are saying that this recent move to the sister casino points in the direction that BubbasCasino.com may be closing its “doors” due to the death of its owner. Those with accounts at BubbasCasino.com should keep an eye out for any further announcements regarding this manner to see if someone will step up to succeed Bubba.
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Over the last few months, the online casino industry has taken quite a few hits as numerous critics continue to point out minor, isolation occurrences that paint the online gambling industry in a bad light, including the recent Full Tilt incident. They utilize these examples as further points in regards to the blocking, and even banning of the online casino industry. However, the internet gambling industry have been working feverishly to provide naysayers with the correct picture of the industry – that it works hard to provide safe, flawless, as well as socially responsible environment for gambling. The industry shows that this outnumbers the minor snafus a number of startup gambling companies have cased. The fact is that all the major online gambling companies continue to actively seek governmental support and approval prior to entering into the market. These companies abide by all local laws and European standards that were created by standards bodies.
In fact, a majority of the online casinos are doing everything they can to prove they are following the law. They make their companies malleable and willing and able to adjust to all rules and regulations set up, as well as meet the continuing and growing needs of all online players within their market. The truth is that a number of these online gambling companies will jump through any regulation and licensing hoops to follow the jurisdictions set up by that market. While these businesses are operating in a number of closed markets, they do it only because of an increasing regulatory void. Many online casinos are quick to mention that if governments were to set up a legal operation framework, they would be quick to abide by it.
Current anti-online gambling sentiments claim that online gambling websites are unscrupulous. However, this is not true. The most reputable, professional online gambling companies will do whatever it takes to accommodate all local laws despite some of the crazy demands certain countries, like Sweden, France, and the United States, for example, make.
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In the coming months, individuals can be expected to see a number of changes made to United Kingdom online gambling laws. Currently, they are looking to remove the White List, a system recognizing licenses that were approved by certain jurisdictions, with a number of new requirements for obtaining and keeping licenses.
After the news of the crackdown in online gambling in the United States and the suspension of online casino Full Tilt Poker’s license, which was in the jurisdiction of the White List, it has become clear that the United Kingdom needs to make a number of changes to online gambling laws. The new laws will force companies that access the United Kingdom online casino market to apply to receive a United Kingdom license. The current system under the White List provides licensing for online casinos within the European Economic Area as well as other jurisdictions written down. Of course, a number of these licenses are offshore. The new system looking to be installed will bare similarities to online casino licensing laws in Italy and France, countries that require domestic licenses and do not use companies with offshore licensing.
The changes being proposed in the United Kingdom were established to offer more protection to consumers in the United Kingdom utilizing online casinos from overseas operators. By implementing these changes, United Kingdom online gambling fans do not have to worry about licenses written in foreign languages. Furthermore, the changes will help local companies get a leg up in the competitions against foreign-based online casino companies. These overseas companies do not have to pay the same taxes as United Kingdom based online casino companies. John Penrose, Economic Development Minister and the official placed in charge of gambling, stated that the overseas competitors have an advantage as they can gain access to the United Kingdom market without having to pay the same in regulation costs. And while it is unlikely that all online gambling companies will operate within the borders of the United Kingdom, the Gambling Commission will instead have to look at slowly replacing the White List but still respect legitimate operators and jurisdictions.
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