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September 27th General news ... Picks Daddy Pro at picksdaddypro.com
LGA SUSPENDS WANTEDPLAY REMOTE GAMING LICENCE
WantedPlay Limited's Class 3 on 4 remote gaming licence LGA/CL3/800/2012 has been suspended by the Maltese Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA).
The LGA declined to release the reason for the suspension saying "no further information will be released at this stage in order not to compromise any investigations that may need to be performed".
WantedPlay Ltd. has been directed by the authority to suspend all gaming operations, cease to register new players, not take any further deposits, not offer any games falling under the Authoritys licence, provide registered players access to their accounts, settle all players dues and remove any reference to the Authority on all unapproved websites.
Players with outstanding payments due to them under the licence are urged to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org providing their name and surname, registered address, date of birth, copy of passport or ID card, contact numbers, username and a screenshot of Balance or any pending Cash Outs.
In related news, the LGA advised it has no connection with tipbet-franchise.com and any reference to the Authority is false and misleading.
NEW GAME FROM SWEDEN
Swedish online gambling content developer NFL Betting Lines Yggdrasil Gaming has some fun with fungi in its latest slot unveiled Thursday and titled Magic Mushrooms.
The game is a fantasy world-themed slot where players can win on an unchronological draw slot a first for a high performance casino product, a spokesman claimed.
The majority of standard online slot games have paylines on one side and reels that stop in sequence. Magic Mushrooms, however uses intuitive gameplay with 40 paylines, 20 from the left and 20 from the right of the game, spread across a diamond shaped 3-4-5-4-3 reel position and with the five reels drawn in an unchronological order of 1-5-2-4-3.
Players are also treated to a number of distinctive in-game ambient sounds and music created by specialist sounds artists, while the characters themselves were created in-house and first modelled as clay figures before making it to the big screen.
Fredrik Elmqvist, chief executive of Yggdrasil Gaming, said: This game is unique in every way, from the reel structure and the characters weve created to the sounds and music weve encapsulated.
DUTCH LOTTERY C.E.O DEPARTS
Observers of the Dutch gambling scene are speculating on whether the departure of Dutch lottery De Lotto chief executive Joost Otterloo last month will impact the reported merger talks with national lottery operator Staatsloterij, a project designed to meet the competitive challenges presented by the imminent legalisation of online gambling in the Netherlands.
Otterloo has left the industry for a management post with TNT Express, and his interim replacement at De Lotto's helm is Pieter Kuipers, a veteran businessman with ample experience, and one more than capable of pursuing the merger strategy formulated by Otterloo.
Among Kuipers' many talents is experience with mergers, following his involvement in bringing together the Television and Radio Broadcasting Foundation and the General Radio Broadcasting Association whilst he was an executive with the former body.
PENNSYLVANIA ONLINE GAMBLING HEARING GENERALLY POSITIVE (Update)
Tuesday's hearing before the Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Community, Economic and Recreational Development on intrastate internet gambling was generally positive, according to local media reports, despite Andy Abboud, a Sheldon Adelson lieutenant, again voicing the objections of his employer's land casino group to any legalisation.
The majority of witnesses appeared to support properly legalised and taxed online gambling, although some were more cautious in approach than others, suggesting delays to assess how other states were doing.
Abboud's claim that legalised online gambling in Pennsylvania would steal customers from his company's Bethlehem land casino were countered by Michael Cohen from Caesars Entertainment, who said that broadening empirical evidence has now shown that punters who gamble online do not typically frequent land casinos.
The Internet is a new distribution channel, tapping a new customer, Cohen said.
Pennsylvania represents an important opportunity for online gambling due to its populous nature. The state already has twelve land casinos and is regarded as second only to Las Vegas in terms of revenues, but faces rising competition from other Eastern states like New York and New Jersey, which have either legalised online gambling or are actively considering the possibility.
A spokesman for Parx Casino in Philadelphia, Robert Green, was concerned about the 20 percent drop in revenue at his company's land poker tables since online poker was legalised in neighbouring New Jersey late last year.
I dont think you can say with any authority that there is not an impact on bricks-and-mortar casinos, he said.
A report by Econsult Solutions earlier this year estimated that Pennsylvanian online gambling operators could generate $184 million in first-year revenues $307 million annually after that (see previous InfoPowa reports).
But Adam Ozimek, Econsult Solutions director of research added: "We don't include any license fees in there. And really, those revenues should be thought of as illustrative because we don't know what the tax rates are going to be."
Robert Pickus, chairman of the Valley Forge Casino Resort, felt the projections were reasonable and demonstrated why the state should move quickly to take a lead in the industry.
Stephen Mullin, the Econsult's president, said legalising online gambling isn't expected to eat into the profits of brick-and-mortar casinos.
"It's a different audience out there," Mullin said. "Not to say that there isn't somebody who plays I-games and also goes to a casino, but it is a very different audience."
A number of managers from Pennsylvania's 12 operating casinos say they'd be fine with online gambling as long as it were offered exclusively by existing casino licensees.
Pennsylvania lawmakers have proposed several bills, including one to prohibit any expansion of gambling without a referendum or two-thirds vote of the legislature, and another to allow online bets for many casino-style games.
Senator Edwin Erickson announced last week that he plans a state Senate measure to legalise only Internet poker.
Pennsylvanias land casino revenue fell 1.4 percent to $3.1 billion last year, the first decline since the state began opening land casino operations in 2006.
INDUSTRY VETERAN APPOINTED C.E.O. AT RANK GROUP
The British land and online gambling group Rank plc has announced the appointment of industry veteran Henry Birch (45) as chief executive of the group.
Birch will succeed Ian Burke (57) on May 6, when Burke takes up the responsibilities of non-executive chairman of the company.
Birch was most recently CEO of William Hill Online, a now dissolved joint venture between Will Hill and internet gambling software company Playtech, a post he held for four years.
Burke has been in the chief executive hot seat at Rank for the last eight years, and said Thursday that he had made the decision to relinquish his post.
"The Rank board believes it appropriate to ensure that the company benefits from some continuity to ensure a smooth transition of executive responsibilities," a company announcement said.
"With his track record in the online betting and gaming sector, the Rank board believes that Henry is well-equipped to lead Rank's continued exploitation of growth opportunities in the gaming and leisure markets."
Birch is currently a non-executive director of the AIM-listed CFD trading platform operator, Plus 500 plc and has more than 20 years experience in the industry.
Prior to working at William Hill Online, he was the chief executive officer of Leisure & Gaming plc, an AIM-listed company that owned and operated a number of online and retail betting and gaming subsidiaries.
Previous to that, Birch was the chief operating officer of Bettingcorp Ltd, an Israeli company focused on the development and operation of online and interactive TV gaming platforms, and in earlier years of his career he held management roles at Time Warner, Turner Broadcasting and Riffage, an early digital music operator based in Silicon Valley, and started his career working in the House of Commons.