Tag Archive | "gaming sites"

How to Spot a Rogue Casino

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How to Spot a Rogue Casino


How to Spot a Rogue CasinoThe online bingo industry has been relatively free of scandals and criminal activity. For the most part online bingo sites are safe and the games are fair and random. Unfortunately there are a few bad apples out there but they are usually quickly discovered and put out of business. The UK has a large regulated online gaming industry and online gamblers in the UK enjoy a level of consumer protection that is the envy of gamblers in unregulated jurisdictions. Rogue bingo sites and casinos are easy to spot and here are a few tips to help players ‘spot the rogue.’

Google is a gamblers best friend. Google is easily the best browser for any kind of online research. Players should never search for a casino name. Most likely they will see a long list of sites promoting the casino. It is better to type in other words along with the casino’s name such as “casino x problems” and so on.

Players should take a long hard look at the casino’s website. Are there spelling and grammar mistakes? If so it is probably better to avoid the casino. Avoid sites with generic names. A website name can reflect on how many resources the operator has invested in while setting up the site. The site should contain the following information;
The software provider.
The licensing jurisdiction.
What company owns and operates the casino.

Most reputable casinos display their software provider prominently on the home page. If a casino does not divulge its software it should be considered a red flag. Licensing jurisdictions are important. Most sites from Central America are unlicensed. Use extra caution when dealing with casinos licensed in Central America.

Make sure the terms and conditions are written in easy to understand English. Rogue casinos will attempt to outsmart players. The old adage “if it’s too good to be true it probably is” can be applied to many bonus offers. Make sure to get everything in writing. Accepting bonus offers is not obligatory at most reputable gaming sites.

Players need to be alert and do their homework before signing up at any online bingo site or casino.

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Gaming Sites Targeted by Criminals

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Gaming Sites Targeted by Criminals


Gaming Sites Targeted by CriminalsThe creation of the internet is easily one of the most important inventions of the late 20th century. The internet has changed society in ways that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Unfortunately criminals have also adapted to the internet. Identity theft is rampant and the damage done can take years to correct. Malware is becoming increasingly common and viruses, trojans and other malware are no longer confined to porn, gambling and file sharing sites. Today popular sites such as the New York Times site and USA Today have been the targets of cybercriminals.

Online gambling sites are still targeted by scammers and in recent years there have been cases of stolen player accounts being sold on global black markets. Rootkits such as the infamous Zeus Trojan are designed to steal banking and other account information. Keyloggers record every keystroke revealing passwords and account numbers. Zeus is usually installed via drive by downloads. The computer hides in the background and when any accounts are accessed the program goes into action to perform its dirty work.

Virus Analyst Christian Funk of Kaspersky Lab, an internet security firm, compiled a report titled “The Underground Economy of Online Gaming Fraud.” Funk told reporters “Online gaming has evolved into a fully-fledged economy with well-developed demand, specific customer requirements and different sectors, including ‘premium.” Phishing emails are popular with scammers. Many scammers are talented graphic artists and can duplicate the look of just about any website. They will send fake emails pretending to be from a legitimate company and once the victim replies and provides information their accounts are drained in a matter of hours or days.

Ransomware is a major nuisance on the internet. Ransomware will slow or stop a computer until a ransom is paid. The current FBI Moneypak virus has infected about 11 million computers in the United States. The virus locks the computer and the scammers demand victims pay a ‘fine’ to have their computers unlocked. In most cases other malware is installed at the same time and even if the victim pays the ‘fine’ their computer remains compromised. Mobile gamers are not immune to malware. Given the massive growth in mobile gaming cybercriminals have realized there is money to be made exploiting the mobile market.

Those playing at online bingo sites and casinos need to be vigilant and watch for the signs of infection. These can include a slowdown in computer speeds, redirects and an excessive number of popup ads. Players should make sure they have one or two antivirus programs installed and should scan their computers weekly.

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A History of Online Gaming Sites

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A History of Online Gaming Sites


the-history-of-ridiculously-complicated-online-gaming-20100720104158670People were playing computer games long before the internet was invented. Many players used computers that are now collector’s items like the Commodore 64 and other early models capable of using game software. In the early 90’s the invention of the internet changes everything. Suddenly users could access a huge variety of websites and could play interactive games on the net. It was just a matter of time before an enterprising businessman would figure out how to offer real money gambling on the internet. At first sports betting was the most popular form of online gambling. In the mid 90’s poker was introduced and was an instant hit. In 1996 the first online bingo site was launched offering free games.

In the beginning the small nations of Antigua and Barbuda played a major role in the development of internet gaming. The small island nations became the first to license online gaming operators in 1994. Soon other countries started to issue online gaming licenses. The international nature of the web and online gambling made it sticky situation in many countries. Although perfectly legal and licensed in several countries some governments tried to prohibit online gambling without much success.

In the UK the government took a rational approach and the gambling act of 2005 created a lucrative regulated market worth billions annually. Online bingo alone brings in over one billion dollars annually. Many EU nations have legalized online gaming and the industry has spread across the European continent. Unfortunately the United States chose a different path. In 2006 congress under pressure from religious extremist groups bowed to pressure and passed a law that prohibited banks, credit card companies and third party payment processors like PayPal from processing transactions related to online gambling.

As could be expected the US policy has been ineffective and disastrous. Americans still spend billions every year at offshore websites that pay no taxes in the US. In 2011 the US government seized several popular poker sites and court trials are still ongoing. For the most part most online gambling sites are reputable but there have been a few bad apples out there so it is always a good idea for players to check the reputation of any online gaming site. The industry has moved into social gambling and experts say that mobile gambling will be the next big thing.

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Bitcoins and Online Bingo


 

 

Most people have never heard of bitcoins but they are gaining popularity in the online world. A few years ago Bitcoins got a bad rap because of their association with the drug selling website Silk Road. Bitcoins are designed for anonymous transactions and have fluctuating exchange rates just like real world currencies. Unlike other currencies bitcoin has no central issuer and a peer to peer network regulates bitcoin balances. For some people bitcoin may sound silly but some online gaming operators are taking a second look at bitcoins.

 

Once players find a bitcoin trader the coins have real value. Bitcoins can be converted into most major currencies like the British Pound or the United States dollar. Bitcoins are gaining popularity among some online poker operators and it is only a matter of time before some online bingo operators’ start accepting bitcoins. About a year ago one popular poker site gave players the option to start using bitcoins on the site. The move was so well received that the site is launching a bitcoins only section. Bitcoins have attracted a growing group of devotees that prefer using the e-currency.

 

Online gaming sites are not the only businesses accepting bitcoins. The WordPress online publishing service announced that it will start accepting bitcoins to pay for various upgrades. WordPress spokesman Andy Skelton stated “PayPal alone blocks access from over 60 countries and many credit card companies have similar restrictions … “Players using bitcoins face no restrictions since the currency is not controlled by any governments. Some people believe that bitcoins are safer because they are not connected to the gold standard. There are some pessimists that think bitcoins are destined to fail as a currency. One online poker operator uses bitcoins as a method for players in the United States to get paid. At the present time online gambling, including online bingo, is illegal in the US.

 

Infiniti Poker founder Michael Hajduk stated “In the worst case scenario, if [the US Department of Justice] seize our domain name your Bitcoins will be safe because there’s no central authority controlling the currency.”  For many the cyber currency is a perfect form of exchange for the online gaming industry. Some believe that the bitcoin could easily become the poker chip of the future. The bitcoin peer to peer network is made up of millions of computers and servers located throughout the world. One government was inspired by the bitcoin to create its own virtual currency. The Royal Canadian Mint’s Research & Development department created the MintChip which is a completely digital method of payment. For many players in Europe the bitcoin is preferable to the troubled Euro. It looks like virtual currencies are here to stay.

 

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iPad Mini Offers New Possibilities for Online Gaming


Online bingo and gambling fans are calling the tablet computers iPad casinos. Players have found that the iPad offers players an attractive online gambling platform. The touch screen interface and browser capabilities allow players to access their favorite online games. Recently Apple launched the new iPad mini which is prefect for on the go gamblers. The new device is small enough to carry in a pocket and will connect players to their favorite online bingo site or casino 24/7. The iPad mini offers players portability and gamblers can play no matter where they happen to be.

In the past the small screen size of many mobile devices limited players in their choice of games. The original iPad measured 9.7-inches and had limited portability. Its screen size was big enough for most games but its size sacrificed comfort and portability. It also had a screen too small to accommodate many game interfaces. The new iPad mini offers players a happy medium providing both convenience and high screen resolution. The development of mobile gaming applications for mobile devices has created a new industry within the online gaming sector.

Gaming experts say that mobile gaming will develop rapidly and provides a smart investment opportunity for online bingo sites and casinos. Just about everyone owns a mobile device of some sort and people take their mobile devices with them everywhere. In the UK where online gambling is legal it has been estimated that about 50% of all mobile phone users own a smartphone with web capability. Today smart phone users can sign in to their favorite gaming site and win real money. Mobile gaming is perfect for players who live in rural areas without local access to bingo halls and casinos. Rural bingo fans can satisfy log on to their favorite sites using the newly developed apps.

Gaming experts say that the mobile sector will be the most lucrative during the next few years. Recently social media giant Facebook launched a new online bingo game that is also accessible to smartphone users. The growth of the mobile gaming sector shows no signs of slowing up anytime in the near future.

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The Importance of Bingo Software

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The Importance of Bingo Software


Those that follow the online gaming industry know that online bingo is increasing in popularity. But what makes bingo and casino sites so popular and entertaining? The answer is the gaming software that powers the site. Since there may be hundreds of players online at once bingo sites need strong reliable software to keep players coming back for more. The entire site depends on the software. A random number generator is essential to keep all games random and fair. The invention of electronic random number generator enabled the development of the first video poker machines in the 1970’s and random number generators are still used today by gaming sites.

In most cases random number generators are regularly tested to ensure that all games are fair. The testing is usually done by the licensing authority. The generator powers all of the games including side games at online bingo sites. Players should always make sure that the random number generator is certified by a regulatory body. Most reputable bingo sites clearly pose the name and contact details for the regulatory body doing the testing. The software must be good enough to handle multiple players.

The speed of the software is critical to the operation of any online gambling website. Software developers create special algorithms to make sure that all games are quickly processed and that there are no slowups or freezes. Nothing is more annoying to players than software that freezes in the middle of a game. Faulty software could cause a site to lose players and operators have invested huge amounts of money to provide players with state of the art game software. The reputation of a bingo site is at stake if there are any programming errors.

There are several software providers that specialize in gaming software. Bingo sites that employ superior software will always have a good look and layout. All of the applications and features provided by a gaming site depend on the software used. Software that provides an easy and convenient gaming experience will enhance the player’s playing experience. Some bingo sites have their own proprietary software which enables the operator to offer players something unique and different. Networked bingo sites generally share the same gaming software and the games are the same throughout the network. Today, players no longer have to download any game software and most bingo sites use Flash or Java technology to power the games. Stiff competition in the online bingo industry has triggered many innovations and experts say this trend will continue well into the future.

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Online Gambling Regulation in Europe

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Online Gambling Regulation in Europe


European Union regulations mandate a uniform flow of services and good throughout member states. Many believe that the mandate should include a legal and regulated online gaming industry in the EU but unfortunately this is not the case. The European Commission has been trying to establish an online gaming regime among member nations but has not had much success. At the present time individual EU nations have their own positions on internet gaming. In 2005 the United Kingdom was the first country to establish a taxed and regulated internet gaming industry. The UK Gambling Commission was established to regulate online gambling and so far the move has been a big success.

Shortly after the establishment of the Gambling Commission the UK created a ‘white list’ of online gambling jurisdictions. Up to now online bingo sites and casinos located in these licensing jurisdictions have been allowed to advertise their services in the UK and solicit business from British players. These offshore operators pay lower tax rates but this is about to change. Recently the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK government will implement a ‘point of consumption’ tax. This means that every online gambling transaction that takes place in the UK will be subject to taxation.  The government hopes to level the playing field for gaming sites licensed and located in the UK.

In 2009 Italy became the first European mainland country to establish a legal and regulated online gambling regime. The first games introduced were online bingo, poker tournaments, skill games and fixed odds sports betting. The move was a success and in 2011 the Italian government introduced cash online poker games and online casino gambling. Industry observers expect the turnover of internet gambling to double in 2012. Italy only permits operators that have been licensed by the country’s regulatory body AAMS. The Italian government is also trying to block unlicensed offshore gaming sites.

In 2010 France established the country’s first online gaming regulations. Private operators were allowed to offer games after getting a license from ARJEL, France’s regulatory body. For now online gaming in France is limited to sports betting, horse racing and poker. Spain was the next country to legalize online gambling. Currently Spanish online gaming companies are trying to keep foreign competition out. Online bingo has been a big hit in some parts of Spain. For now it looks like the European Commission will have its hands full trying to establish an EU wide regulatory regime for online gambling.

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UK Bingo Operators Not Happy With Facebook’s New Bingo Games

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UK Bingo Operators Not Happy With Facebook’s New Bingo Games


With 800 users around the globe Facebook is the undisputed leader in social networking. For young people Facebook is an aspect of daily life and anyone can easily set up their own Facebook page. Facebook users can also play a variety of games on the site. In January when Facebook announced plans to launch real money bingo games on the site many online bingo operators saw the move as a serious threat. In fact, Facebook’s decision was a matter of grave concern for UK based online bingo operators. Many online gaming operators opposed the move saying it would encourage underage gambling but these claims were dismissed as hypocritical and blatant self-interest. Opponents of the underage gambling concerns say that since online bingo operators and other gaming sites advertise their services on Facebook the concerns are hypocritical.

Industry competition in the internet bingo industry is fierce and Facebook online bingo games could easily be seen as a major threat to the industry. In February social gaming giant Zynga announced the launch of their own version of bingo on Facebook. Zynga has had great success with Farmville and Zynga poker on Facebook. Until last year Facebook prohibited any advertisements for internet gambling services but has now reversed course. Currently online bingo operators outside of the United States may advertise their services on Facebook. Facebook guaranteed that gambling ads would only be shown to users over 18. Many online bingo operators were quick to take advantage of Facebook’s potential as a new advertising medium. When Facebook announced plans to offer their own bingo games many advertisers withdrew their ads on Facebook.

The online bingo industry has good cause to fear Facebook’s latest move. One senior executive at a major player in the online bingo industry pointed out the advantages Facebook has over its competitors. The unnamed executive pointed out that advertising online bingo services and products is very expensive and even after spending millions bingo operators cannot be sure they are reaching their targeted audiences. Statistics show that over 50% of the UK population has Facebook accounts and the site will be able to advertise their services to a wide audience at no cost to the company.

Gambling addiction experts are also unhappy with Facebook’s decision to offer real money gambling. Dr Robert Lefever, director of Promise Rehab Clinic says that the introduction of gambling on Facebook could lead impressionable and vulnerable children to believe that the games have the approval of Facebook.

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Why Online Bingo Has Profited From the Economic Crisis

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Why Online Bingo Has Profited From the Economic Crisis


During the ongoing global economic crisis many companies and corporations saw declining revenues and profits. Several studies showed that the online bingo and gaming industry as a whole seemed immune from the effects of the recession. In face many stock analysts and investment advisors said that stocks of publicly traded online bingo and gaming companies are sound investments. History has shown that in times of economic turmoil gambling and substance abuse increase. Many turn to gambling as a quick way to resolve financial problems. There are other factors in play that can help to explain the growth of the online gaming industry during the global recession.

Many online bingo sites and casinos have upgraded their game software and are offering larger jackpots and player perks to entice new players. For most online bingo companies marketing efforts have been highly successful. Volatile currency exchange rates also prompted players to take advantage of favorable exchange rates at offshore bingo and gaming sites. In the UK the pound fell against other major currencies and British players using dollars and euros could increase the size of their winnings. In the UK and Europe most people pay more attention to exchange rates that people in the United States.

By improving game software online bingo games have become much more entertaining and bingo operators are constantly adding new bingo and side games to their sites. Online bingo is considered by many gaming experts as one of the best online gaming options available to players. Online bingo is incredibly inexpensive compared to most forms of internet gambling. At many online bingo sites cards are available for as little as a penny and the jackpots can be substantial. Since bingo is a random game of chance players do not have to learn complicated game strategies and each player has an equal chance of winning the game jackpot.

A night out clubbing or at a local pub can be expensive and online bingo offers an attractive alternative. Land based bingo halls are also expensive compared to online bingo. People are going out less to save money and the only thing needed to play online bingo is an internet connection and a modest deposit. Today there are about 400 online bingo sites competing for the same player base. Because of this online bingo operators have been compelled to offer players more bang for their bucks and most gaming experts say this trend will continue well into the foreseeable future.

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How Online Bingo Benefits the Economy

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How Online Bingo Benefits the Economy


While the recent economic crisis hurt many industries the online gaming industry seems recession proof. Online bingo and gaming companies consistently reported positive figures even during the height of the global recession. History has shown that gambling always increases during times of economic crisis. Gamblers hope to win enough money to get themselves out of their financial straits. Other factors are also in play such as improved software and incentives designed to lure players. Volatility in currency markets prompted some players to take advantage of favorable exchange rates at offshore bingo and gaming sites.

In the UK the online bingo industry is the fastest growing sector of the internet gambling industry. Bingo operators have improved their selection and quality of their games. Mobile bingo has become immensely popular with players. The recession has caused changes in consumer spending habits. People are seeking less expansive forms of entertainment and online bingo is a perfect fit for these players. Strangely enough some analysts say that the recession has been responsible for the growth of online bingo and other forms of web based entertainment.

Although most bingo players are playing for fun and entertainment there is also the lure of large jackpots at many online bingo sites. Several online bingo players have won life changing amounts of money. Online bingo has also benefitted the UK economy. The bingo industry has created thousands of living wage jobs and contributes a significant amount to the government in the form of taxes. Game creators, advertising and marketing firms have been kept busy by the demands of the expanding online bingo industry.

In the United States the door has been opened for the online gaming industry. The prospect of entering the lucrative US market has excited gaming operators around the world. The US market could stimulate even more growth and create thousands of new jobs for the online bingo and gaming industry. Several states have announced plans to offer online gaming licenses. Many states are going to allow online poker but most gaming industry experts believe that online bingo games and other casino games will be available in the US in the near future.

Online gaming will provide states with extra revenues and may help to avoid tax increases. The online bingo and gaming industry in the UK has clearly shown that economies benefit from legal internet gaming. The UK was one of the first to regulate online gaming and their policies could easily serve as a template for regulators in the United States.

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