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Tax Collections Bullied the Spanish Online Gambling Industry

After something we may call a minor setback in the form of a bully online betting in Spain can be considered completely legal. Although the Tax Agency of the won a battle against online gambling businesses in regards of back taxes, they are now able to perform all their operations under the Spanish law.

Several betting companies such as Bwin, Betfair and Pokerstars had to go through a legal process against the Tax Agency as it claimed earlier this month something along the lines of “if they wanted to play, they had pay”. With the approval of the new gambling law last year, they could now conduct their online gambling businesses in a legal way, however they were all required to get a licensed and also to domains to be able to provide services to thousands of Spanish players. Their tax rate was set at 25% of their net revenue.

They were basically on their way to a fully legal destiny, ye there as another surprise in store for them: A couple of months ago, the Investigating Office Against Fraud (ONIF) started claiming taxes payment from the previous four years companies operated without legal coverage. Although licenses and taxes have no relation to each, they were put in the position of basically pay the old taxes or there is no license.

The association of online gaming firms JDigital then claimed the government’s legal case is based on two laws: one approved in 1966 and the other in 1977, that apparently have absolutely no relation with online gambling. Due to this delicate matter, online gaming firms issued a veiled threat to pull out of Spain if the government insisted in its efforts to collect the old taxes from the previous four years.

Of course that was not going to happen so they had an agreement and the big companies settled on different amount to pay in order to continue conducting businesses.
Online betting became officially legal on June 5 this year, and all companies were given a deadline of June 15 to adapt their websites and operations to the new Spanish regulations, for example the .es domains.

Online Slots Terminology

Are you a new slots games player? Not sure you are getting the right grip of the game? It is a well known fact that casino games tend to have their own slang and terminology, it is always important to get familiar with them in order to play the game wisely. Slots have their very own terms as well, and as a player it is imperative that you know it by heart. We have created a small list of the most common online slots terminology to help you understand the game a little better.

The terminology we are including on this article could come in handy for every type of player: beginners and veteran players might encounter a couple of things that they were probably not so familiar with and improve their game a little. Let’s take a look at our online slots terminology “dictionary:

Coin size: This does not refer to the size of the coin as well; you don’t really use coins to play online slots. This is referring to the amount you want to bet per line on your game.

Credit meter: This is a little screen that tells you how much credit you have to play with. It is more often seen on land based slot machines; however it is also used on the online slot versions in some cases.

First deposit bonus: If you are playing at an online casino for the first time, they will provide you with a sign up bonus which increases the amount of money you will be playing with.

Max Bet: The maximum bet you are allowed to play on each spin.

Onesies: Players that who bet only one coin per spin.

Pay-line: These are the directions or ways in which the symbols can be lined up in order to get a winning combination. These can be tricky on online slot machines that have many paylines; it is recommended that you check how are the pay lines on each game you play for the first time before hand.

Payout: When you are playing at any slot machine, winnings pay out in relation to the amount of money that is put in, stated as a percentage (payout percentage).

Progressive Jackpot: The top jackpot that grows progressively as more players bet on the game. This is something very interesting: Slot machines are often linked together among several online casinos which mean more players put in more money in and create all together a much larger combined jackpot.

Static Jackpot: A jackpot that is pre-determined and doesn’t change.

Scatter Symbol: These are symbols specifically related to a game. How they work I when two or more of them appear anywhere on your reels, which means a bonus game is activated or features free spins.

Wild Symbol: This is a term was stolen from Poker: as you probably know, in Poker certain cards in the deck can substitute any other card make a winning combination, it works the same in online slots. The Wild Symbol can substitute for any other symbol (except for Scatter symbols) and help you win.

Things you probably didn’t know about picking an online casino

Fan FlourishTo make a perfect selection for an online casino is not a simple process. As there is a huge list online casinos available out there, because of this wide selection some times make it complicated to opt for a best one. But once a player decides  to play then there are several factors that need to be taken in consideration.

Online casino software is a software for any online casino, it is always good to find out your selected casino is powered by which software provider. There are many leading software providers that have provided many years of experience. Some major software providers are Microgaming, Playtech, Cryptologic, amongst others.

Before signing up for an account at any online casino site you should check what payment options they are supporting and whether your suitable payment method is in that list or not. Some common payment options are Paypal, Neteller, and some casinos accept US credit cards etc.

The most important factors you should need to know is the customer support. Because in case of any problem you need to consult customer service of that casino and if they are there to help you then you need not to worry; it is the perfect selection!!

So before making a perfect selection spending few hours in investigating your options will definitely pay off in the long run. And once you find a place according to your gambling needs then you will have the best gaming experience full of fun and entertainment with lots of jackpots.

Gambling on the iPad and GoogleTV: The Future of Online Casinos

Nowadays online gambling has become very trendy in both superiority and popularity. As technology and social habits have changed, gambling on the web has seen increasing recognition across many continents and has enticed a rising player base from both traditional and non traditional gambling backgrounds. There comes so many advancements since last twenty year but today no-one can see into the future but its fun to make predictions. We cast a playful glance into the future and imagine how online casinos will look like in next few years.

Software: One simple prediction is that the online casino software will go on to further enhancements like improved game graphics and sound, keeping pace with online gaming technology and mobile devices such as the iPad, the iPhone, Android phones, etc. In future players will scan photos into their profile and will be used to create life like 3D images around the card table and they should be able to use their TV Screens for online gambling through GoogleTV and ConnectedTV from Yahoo.

Games: In future you will see games more based on movies and lifestyle theme based that will attract a larger crowd and multiplayer interactive games will continue to capture the imagination of players. Some online casinos will introduce individual games that will go down the route of specializing their service to particular age groups, themes, game types, playing levels or buy-in levels. It won’t be uncommon to see games themed after the World Cup, the Olympic games, or after technological advances such as cloning, virtual reality, etc.

Into the Mainstream: Gambling bans will be a thing of the past and may continue with the same in few regions. Hopefully online casinos will enjoy worldwide licensing agreements and regulation will settle down the playing field. Players around the world will enjoy a safe and secure playing environment and governments will get profit from the steady flow of revenue the industry generates.

Land-based vs. Online Casinos: The difference between online and land-based casinos will come together. In future high streets, airports and stations all will have casino cafes which pull in the crowds with their linked terminals that support multi player games. Land based casinos will still survive in the mix but also present live streaming and virtual involvement to players at home.

Social Communities: Online casinos will build up their own ‘Facebook’ type social networks, using online gambling as the lynchpin and common interest of all. An importance on social interaction, local meet-ups and social events will create an ever more social viewpoint to the online gambling scene. Online casino communities will not only be livelier but will be improved by increased independence.

A Social Conscience: in future players will earn points for good deeds such as donating money to charity as well as volunteering at the youth centre for a night.

Poker Players Alliance challenges US laws

Recently, the Washington State branch of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) decided to challenge a law in this state which makes engaging in online gambling, both poker and casino, a felony. The case came up for hearing before the Washington Supreme Court after moving on from the trial court and the appeals court. Lee Rousso lead the arguments on behalf of the PPA.

At the hearing Rousso challenged the Washinston state law under the Commerce Act. This Act forbids any state to pass legislation that discriminates against a section of any industry. Rousso tried to argue that the Washington legislation discriminates against the online gambling industry. He claimed that a person playing poker or blackjack or any other game at a brick and mortar casino is considered engaging in a legal activity but the same person doing the exact same thing online is considered a felon.

Rousso pointed out that the only persons to benefit from making online gambling a felony were the tribal casinos regulated by the state. This was because a competing sector was being prevented from operating.

Attorney General Jerry Ackerman represented the State of Washington and he told the court that online gambling cannot be regulated, hence it is unsafe. The defense argued that it was not enough for the state to claim that online gambling cannot be regulated.

The judges questioned Ackerman extensively and they seemed not to be able to understand why to discriminate between land and online casinos. “Aren’t these the same games that are played in Indian casinos?” asked Justice Jim Johnson. Justice Gerry Alexander said the state allowed many forms of gambling, and prejudice against online casinos may be a “generational thing.” Ackerman tried the argument that the state supported the Indian casinos because federal legislation required them to do so. However, the judges quashed this argument by pointing out that the state received a hefty fee from the Indian casinos.

Online gambling scores again and we are still waiting to see what the situation will be in the US concerning regulation of the activity.

Online Gambling in Spotlight in Australia

Being the highlight of this weekend online gambling has become the talk of the town popping up in newspapers across the Australian content facing severe probing by the Australian Government. The report clearly states that the regulation and strict laws regarding Online gambling are there for the betterment of the Australians as several analysis indicates a loss of A$ 1 billion this years on sites that are illegally operated and are currently working under shadows.

With the usage of poker sites increasing at a rate of 20% every year another update reveals the fact that the government is trying to implement laws and regulations to ensure that only reputable and trustworthy sites are available to the Aussie market. As of now the laws being implements prohibit the use of sites that offer poker, bingo and casino games  but allow online gambling sites that showcase games related to sport and racing. The age newspapers quoted that though severe repercussions are being faced by illegal operators it is in fact the Australian Police that has failed to lay any charges against these entities.

Blatantly showcasing different advertisements despite the current ban in Australia Full Tilt Poker , Poker Stars and 888 are now offering lucrative promotions which sponsor rugby league teams and free pub poker leagues , not to mention these poker websites have started to hire sports stars such as Shane Warne and Brenda Fevola to market their products.

Placing more obstacles in the path of the Rudd government is the current news that Senator Nick Xenophon has prepared a bill that would stop the usage of credit cards to pay off online gambling operators and has blocked  the processing of payments to offshore online sites effective immediately.
The reports clearly state the new denominations suggest an expenditure of A$968 million in 2010 on online casino, poker and bingo by the Australian public.

A Break-Up Between Online Casinos and Online Poker? Part I

The online gambling industry is co-formed by online poker and online casino. When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006 both parts of the indutry were opposing the ban un unison. Representatives from both, online poker sites and casino operators, spoke out in one voice. This was because the issue at stake concerned both of them, the right to gamble online from the comfort of your home.

The Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) and the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) filed cases against the UIGEA arguing that everyone should be free to gamble from the privacy of their homes and expected to overturn the UIGEA. However, it did not take long for the industry to realize that this issue had more depth to it and that it was not an open and shut case in their favor. As its next move, the online gambling industry started offering a deal with regulation and taxation of both online poker and online casino.

It was only when the online poker sites realized that they had a different card to play in this argument that the online gambling industry faced a rupture. Online poker sites began pushing an argument forward that did not apply to online casino sites. The PPA began to make big stress in the skill factor of poker. Poker is being promoted as a game of skill, the PPA does not argue that there is no element of luck, but they claim that skill plays a greater part in poker and that a good player will consistently succeed in the long run. They have also made some scientific studies that prove this and helps them in prosecutions against land based poker players.

This is an argument that online casinos cannot use because in games like roulette, slot machines and craps are completely dependent on luck. Even games like blackjack and video poker which have some skill into them are mostly based on luck. Also, the fact that players gamble against the casino and not other players which takes even more away from this argument for online casinos.

Come back to the blog tomorrow to read about how a rupture within the online gambling industry would affect online casinos with financial concerns and the UIGEA.

Online Casino and Online Poker Break Up? Part II

The issue that arises with this is the division of the online gambling industry, will it want to divide itself? The other question is what will happen to the online casino industry should the online poker faction succeed in getting poker declared legally as a game of skill and get itself extricated from the UIGEA mess before any concerted action bears fruit?

If online poker and online casino split up in the case that poker is declared a game of skill legally and gets extricated from the UIGEA, then the money power required to fight the administration would be unavailable to the online casino world. This is because the revenue from online poker is a lot greater than the revenue from online casinos as they have a larger share of the market too.

The silver lining is that it would be costly and inefficient for the authorities to pursue UIGEA against only online casino and if they lose online poker then they may drop the whole thing altogether. At the moment this situation is only hypothetical because neither the law nor the government is likely to accept that poker is a game of skill in the near future.

Source: Casino Advisor

Denmark opens to foreign online casino operators

With the implementation of new gambling laws in Denmark starting from the 1st of July 2010, the Danish online gambling Industry is all set to rid themselves of the diseased customs  of the state held gaming Provider Danska Spil. This concerns some of the online players as they believe that they might not be able to get their hands on the money they have won before then. On a more positive front Denmark’s licensing techniques does not impose expensive taxation regulations that often provoke foreign businesses to reconsider their decisions as is the case with the newly introduced French gambling laws.

One the negative side the law implemented consists of a weak link therefore even if the law goes into effect from the 1st of July foreign operators will not be provided a license for the next six months i.e. till January 1st 2011, giving Danska Spil the upper hand. Before this law takes it full effect Danska Spil will be the only legal gaming arena in town.

Ranging slightly over the €8.3 million mark annually the amount of online gambling in Denmark provides a large sum of money to non Danish website operators. Denmark’s popular gaming magazine “Ace” recently published the news that the government will be taking initiatives to ensure that players are prevented from going to online casinos that do not possess a valid Danish license.

A more fear-provoking situation for the current Danish players is the report that the government is considering making withdrawals from the non-licensed sites after July 1st even if the winnings were rewarded before the new law is implemented. Clients of these sites are cautioned to only keep a minimum of their winnings in their accounts.

US Congress bills would Legalize and Regulate Online Gambling

With the recent tug-o-war on full heat between Land-based US gambling companies and foreign online casino operators there was only one way to end this feud, with the introduction of a dramatic change in US Law. Luring online casino operators to prepare in advance for the uplifting of the US regulation on internet gambling and it will  bring  millions in revenue. To obtain the US online gambling license, land based casinos are creating an alliance with the overseas internet gaming operators.

Only a short while ago big names such as Harrah’s and MGM were battling endless wars with foreign online gaming operators but with the advent of change in the online casino regulations by the US, both sides are finding a new place in their lives for one another.

The passing of the UIGEA in 2006 petrified many legitimate companies and they had to pack their bags and leave the US market. Maltreatment and bullying by the justice department continued to whip up more companies leaving, only a few foreign companies to operate under shaded garbs.

John shepherd of Party Gaming, one of the online gaming companies looking forward to making a comeback to the US online gambling market recently gave a statement to Bloomberg News that when the act was signed into law it resulted in a deprivation of 75 % users as they have to stop taking wagers from the US online market depriving their business of essential cash inflow.

US online gambling regulations were expected to create waves among the online casino owners thus they are bound to impose certain requirements that will favor the domestic land operators present under state regulatory rules while online casinos receive the advantage of being associated with US interests.