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Online Gambling News

 http://www.gamblingtimes.com/writers/skernaghan/skernaghan_summer2002.html

Online Gaming News
by Stuart Kernaghan

Sunny Group and Microgaming Part Company
The Sunny Group of Companies announced in late March that it was severing ties with software provider, Microgaming. Sunny, which operates Casino Fortune (www.casinofortune.com) and six other casino sites, claimed it had concerns with Microgaming’s payout percentages; Microgaming countered by accusing Sunny of not paying its licensee fees.

Sunny is now using software from relative newcomers, Playtech, for its casinos, and that move may be a sign of things to come. Playtech with its vast selection of quality games and robust management tools has now secured its position as part of the Big Five (which also includes Microgaming, CryptoLogic, Boss Media, and World Gaming).

Vegas Casinos Hit the Net
Several major Las Vegas hotel/casino operators have decided to cash in on the online gambling market with their own casino sites. Station Casinos got into the game in February when it paid $5 million or a 50% share of SunOnline’s Casino Atlantis (www.casinoatlantis.com) venture. The buy-in has put Station on the Net ahead of many of its larger competitors on the Vegas Strip—without all of the licensing hassles.

Vegas heavyweight, MGM Mirage, is also gearing up to launch its own real-money casino. MGM has phased out the points program on its play-for-fun site (www.playmgmmirage.com) as of May 1 in anticipation of that launch; company reps expect the new casino will go live later this year.

Aspinalls Packs It In
U.K. casino operators, Aspinalls (www.aspinalls.com), launched its own wagering site less than a year ago, but the undertaking proved to be more than the brick-and-mortar veterans could handle. Aspinalls handed over control of the site to Golden Palace in April, citing greater-than-expected costs and a desire to focus on land-based interests. Golden Palace will operate and promote the casino using the Aspinalls name, and Aspinalls will receive a cut of the profits. Golden Palace hasn’t decided at this time whether it will switch the Aspinalls site over to its proprietary software.

Write Your Congressman
A rewritten version of Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) online gambling prohibition bill was approved in March by a House subcommittee. The bill would update the 1961 Wire Act to include Internet wagering and is likely appear before a full Judiciary Committee this summer, but it doesn’t have to become law. Contact your local representative at www.house.gov/writerep and tell them you oppose any ban on online gambling.

Things have gone in a different direction in the United Kingdom, where Net wagering was just given the green light after the government concluded, “the prohibition of online gambling by British consumers would be an entirely unrealistic objective.” The Canadian government also seems to be interested in the revenue opportunities associated with regulated online wagering, and a pro-Internet gaming bill could be before the Canadian parliament by this fall.

A New Kind of Internet Millionaire
Tony P. of the United States is $1,594,649.21 richer after winning the biggest jackpot in online casino history. He became an instant millionaire on May 30 while playing the all-new Major Millions progressive slots game at Captain Cooks Casino (www.captaincookscasino.com). Tony also gets a first-class trip to Monte Carlo, complete with helicopter tour and $2,000 spending money, to pick up his lump-sum cash prize. The Major Millions jackpot resets to $250,000, so don’t be surprised if there’s another big-money winner this summer.







 

 

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