Page 1



Japan to have casinos moving closer, operators scouting locations.


Melco signs Russian Casino Resort deal

Sheriff Gaming license suspended

InfinityGaming | ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013


Enters online gambling

SRI LANKA NEW CASINO New deal signed for casino resort in Colombo


Mitch Garber Interview


To grow by 5.5% over 5 years


In online casual games usage

contents InfinityGaming


3 Melco sign Russia deal 27 Golden Nugget online 28 gambling 41 Michael French Women overtake men 55 EDITORS LETTER

Welcome to the June edition

We spaek to Neil Erlick from Optimal


Manila Resorts release CEO

Online casual game usage


04 Mitch Garber 08 A tale of two cities Want Great Service? 16 The Good, The Bad & 20 The Ugly Exclusive Interview

Professor Nelson Rose

Martin R Baird


Paul Herzfeld article

Gambling Control 30 The Bill JJ Woods

want to earn how 36 You much? InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013

Ellen Learmonth article

02 2


Facebook & Twitter tips Get your business booming


Latest Gaming Awards News Find out the latest


EDITOR’S LETTER Lana Thompson - Chief Editor



EDITORS NOTES Welcome to the September edition of the Infinity Gaming Magazine and hope you all had a great summer. As Autumn turns up we all know that relaxing and sitting by the beach is over and work begins (well for some of us). As nights draw in we all know that means exhibition time and the first one is just around the corner. But do not despair we have a great magazine for you to ease you back into the swing of things, firstly want to welcome Paul Herzfeld, a well known Gaming Executive to our contributing writers rosta. I know Paul will be telling you straight how it is and very much look forward to reading his articles.

Ellen Learmonth and the superb Martin Baird. I would also like to thank Professor Nelson Rose for his very insightful article, which will conclude next month. Finally a World Exclusive for you with Mitch Garber this month, that lovely man who we have had the pleasure of meeting at the Gaming Awards, he is a smart cookie. With just hours to go before the launch in Nevada we speak to Mitch all about online poker and pressures. Enjoy the magazine and DO NOT forget get nominating for the awards, there is less than a month to go! Enjoy

Lana x

Along with of course our resident writers this Month JJ Woods,

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Paul Herzfeld Martin R. Baird Rohin Malhotra Ellen Learmonth J.J. Woods CONTACT US Clever Duck Media Suite 105 Park Plaza Point South Hayes Way Cannock WS12 2DB UK Tel: +44(0)1543 578 689 PRODUCTION Clever Duck Media Suite 105 Park Plaza Point South Hayes Way Cannock WS12 2DB UK PUBLISHING Infinity Gaming Magazine is operated by © Clever Duck Media Ltd ® Company Reg. No. 687 1018 (Registered in England) ADVERTISING: Sponsorship Opportunities

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in all external articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Infinity Gaming Magazine Any content provided by our feature writers or authors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.



Business Partnerships



Exclusive Interview with Mitch Garber - CEO Caesars Interactive Entertainment

With just a few hours to the launch of the second online poker site in Nevada, we speak to the CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment Mitch Garber on the World Series of Poker brand and the hopes for the future.

InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013



: Mitch thank you for speaking to us today and wanted to firstly for our global readership to ask you if you can to explain what is your position and what is Caesars Interactive Entertainment all about and what is the company involved in?

the executives in the land-based business, and the chance to leverage the land-based assets in the online business. Certainly we benefit from the WSOP events, the Total Rewards database, and the network of rooms and entertainment across our hotel portfolio.

MG: Certainly. Caesars Interactive Entertainment has three main businesses; we own the World Series of Poker, we have a social and mobile games business, and we offer real money gaming in the U.K. and have license relationships in France and Italy. We also have a license in Nevada as an online gaming operator and just about to launch in that state on September 19.

Q: Your company is also responsible for Playtika, which was purchased in 2011, what does Playtika do?

Q: Caesars is a huge company, with many land based casinos and the biggest poker event in the World, The World Series of Poker (WSOP), how does the interactive part of the company work with the land based business, is there any cross over marketing etc? MG: This is one of the main reasons I joined Gary Loveman and Caesars. The opportunity for me to work with

MG: Playtika is a company which today numbers nearly 450 employees and along with Buffalo Studios, in Santa Monica, which it owns, produce several apps on social networks, iOS and Android. We focus on virtual currency apps like those with which you would be familiar on Facebook, and ours all have some casino-style theme to them. Slotomania, Caesars Casino and Bingo Blitz are three of our leading games. Q: When was Caesars Interactive setup and how fast has the business grown over that time? MG: I joined Caesars in late 2008 and we formed Caesars

On the eve of the WSOP online launch Interactive in May 2009. We are not at liberty to disclose figures, but the growth has been faster than at any of the previous companies I have run.

MG: CIE is not IBM…so when you think of headquarters in the traditional sense, we are not in a big campus somewhere. The headquarters of the WSOP is in Las Vegas. The headquarters of social/mobile is in Tel Aviv. And I am in Montreal overseeing the real money gaming strategy and the overall business, splitting my time between here, Vegas and Tel-Aviv. Q: What are the challenges for Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) given that the online gambling market is now quite mature? MG: The biggest challenge is like any business, it’s execution. Whether it’s a relatively small state like Nevada, or a new app we release in our social mobile business, it’s execution. Well executed businesses, especially in gaming and games will succeed. Q: What advantages do CIE have over their competitors would you say Mitch? MG: The biggest advantage are the brands. WSOP, Caesars, Slotomania. These are the leading brands and our advantage is also our challenge, which is to monetize them and maintain their leadership status.

Q: The company has already launched a product in the UK market, can you explain what that is and how it is fairing at present? MG: The UK was a mature and crowded market when we arrived there and our goal was simply to have our brands in the market and not make a huge a splash or spend a lot of money on marketing, so that business is modest but important. Q: Mitch you have great experience in the online gaming industry, with partygaming and Optimal payments previously in both senior executive roles, would this current position be the most challenging you have undertaken? MG: They have each been challenging in their own way. Keep in mind that I joined Optimal in 1999, so I have 14 additional years of experience behind me today and I’m approaching 50 pretty quickly. That said, no role will ever be as challenging as PartyGaming. Four months after I arrived there, UIGEA

No role will ever be as challenging as PartyGaming. Four months after I arrived there, UIGEA passed. We turned off 80% of our business and laid of 50% of our people, and then went on a M&A spree to build the European business. Caesars is most fun, and it is at the top of the mountain of gaming and entertainment companies, but Party was most challenging”


Q: The headquarters are based in Canada, what is the reason for that as opposed to Nevada?



Always In Play In real-money and free-play jurisdictions, at home or on the go, Williams Interactive provides the end-to-end platforms, products and services that empower your operation to keep players in the game.




WILLIAMSINTERACTIVE.COM/G2E KISS © 2013 Kiss Catalog Ltd. G2E is a registered trademark of Reed Exhibitions, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc., and the American Gaming Association. © Copyright 2013 Williams Interactive LLC.

Mitch Garber Interview continued

Q: Over recent months there has been much debate on whether online social media sites like Facebook really are useful in advertising, what are your thoughts on using social media?

Europe, so I feel I have the best of all worlds. Of course you also know that the Eiffel Tower is in Las Vegas. Q: Canada for a long time now, ever since online gambling was launched has a long history with online and technology, is the technology and entrepreneurial spirit still there in the country? MG: I always say that the technology part of this business is dominated by Canadians and Israeli’s. More recently I would add Eastern

MG: I’d like to know who is taking the other side of the debate. Between Facebook and Twitter, is there really a better way to reach people today, and to target the people you know are interested in what you are selling? Q:The launch of the WSOP poker site in Nevada is just a few hours away, it must be an exciting time for you and the team Mitch? MG: Very exciting, the team is pumped and we expect to be very competitive. Q: As mentioned you were CEO of PartyGaming do you miss Europe or are you now happy back in Canada? MG: I am privileged to not have to miss Europe. I am frequently in London and Paris for business, and my family spends a lot of time in Greece and Israel. Montreal is the most European city outside of

It’s the second era of online gaming. The first era was made of visionary entrepreneurs, which paved the way”

Q: On a more lighter note, as CEO of a major online gaming company could we ask you what are your top 5 favourite apps you have on your mobile? MG: Slotomania, Starbucks, Twitter, NHL Gamecenter, Bingo Blitz Q: Before we let you go Mitch, generally how do you see the online gaming industry, is the future bright for the sector, do you see enough inspirational people coming through TO PROPEL THE INDUSTRY forward in the years to come?

Europe. As for social/mobile games, it’s the U.S. and again Israel. Q: Can you tell us of the plans for New Jersey online gambling once operational, will Caesars be launching early in the state hopefully? MG: We hope to be among the first to launch, provided we are granted a license. We have the luxury of having a family of well known brands, so we’ll keep the strategy close to our vests for now, and New Jersey allows both poker and casino products, which offers a great opportunity.

MG: It’s the second era of online gaming. The first era was made of visionary entrepreneurs, which paved the way to professionalize some of those companies and take them public, and have them grow up corporately. Now we have professional executives, a compliance and license driven business, and a new crop of entrepreneurs in the social/mobile space. Robert Antokol, CEO and Founder of Playtika is an amazing example. I am fortunate to have met him, and am thrilled to be helping grow his dream company.


passed. We turned off 80% of our business, and laid off 50% of our people, and then went on an M&A spree to build the European business. Caesars is the most fun, and it is at the top of the mountain of gaming and entertainment companies, but Party was most challenging.



A Tale of Two Cities, Macau and Las Vegas Part 1

By Professor I. Nelson © 2013, I. Nelson Rose. Prof. Rose is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on gambling law, and is a consultant and expert witness for governments and industry. His latest books, INTERNET GAMING LAW (1st and 2nd editions), BLACKJACK AND THE LAW and GAMING LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS, and the recently published GAMING LAW IN A NUTSHELL, are available through his website,

On June 27, the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission held a hearing in the U.S. Senate Office Building on developments in Hong Kong and Macau. The second panel focused on “Money Laundering in Macau and Implications for the United States.” I was asked to testify, along with A.G. Burnett, Chairman of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, and James H. Freis, Jr., Former Director of the U.S. Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). This article is an expanded version of my written and oral testimony. It is based on some of my prior published writings, including “China’s Gambling Problem,” “Does Macau Create Legal Risks for American Operators?” “Victim Of Its Own Success.”

InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013



t is the best of time and the worst of times, for the Nevada-licensed casino companies that have expanded from their bases in Las Vegas to Macau. The casinos in this Special Administrative Regions (“SAR”) of the Peoples Republic of China (“PRC”) make six times as much as the casinos in Las Vegas. The Great Recession drove revenue down so much that Nevada casinos were offering free rooms to residents; in Macau the downturn merely meant that growth rates slowed to single digits. But the billions in gross gaming revenue have been accompanied by stories of Chinese organized crime triads being involved with the junket operators who are so essential for Macau’s high-roller rooms. Part of the problem arises from outside observers painting all of Macau’s casinos with the same black brush. In practice, there are two separate regulatory systems working in Macau. There are the casinos that are subject only to Macanese regulations. And there are those that are also subject to controls by states and nations outside of the PRC, in particular, the three casino operators who are also licensed by Nevada and other states.

Macau has had legal gambling for centuries. For much of that time, there was literally no regulation by the Macanese government. Throughout most of the 20th Century, the casino industry was a monopoly run by a single company, which allegedly had ties with organized crime. After the PRC slammed down its bamboo curtain, cutting off most contact with the West, most of the patrons to Macau’s relatively small and definitely run-down casinos came from Hong Kong. When Portugal returned Macau to the PRC in 1999, the casino monopoly was broken up, apparently on orders from Beijing. Three concessions were offered, including, for the first time, to non-Chinese operators. Eventually, the three concessions became six, with three subconcessions. But each concession-holder could operate as many casinos as it wanted, and could be in partnership with operators who had not been approved by the government of Macau. The last monopoly concession-holder was Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, S.A.R.L. (“STDM”).

Best and worst of times for operators Although Stanley Ho was the public face of STDM and clearly had a major ownership interest, there were other investors, including allegations that the Kung Lok triad was somehow involved. The first American-owned casino opened in Macau in May 2004. The Las Vegas Sands (“LVS”) company’s Macau Sands was fantastically successful. The money poured in, mainly from high-roller patrons from the Mainland, who played baccarat in VIP suits.

The three American companies now operating casinos in Macau were all first licensed by Nevada, and sometimes by other states. State regulators can and do take licenses for conduct by casinos that bring disrepute upon the industry. The penalty for a casino knowingly do-

ing business with an individual who is unsuitable is the death penalty: Loss of a license in Nevada would prevent the casino company from being in the gaming business everywhere in the U.S. and in much of the rest of world. Companies that are only operating in Macau have business arrangements that would never be approved by Nevada regulators. These do not necessarily involve organized crime. Nevada, for example, would never allow one of its licensees to turn over 100% of the operation of a Macau casino to a separate syndicate in return for a share of the revenue. Yet this sort of setup is common among what are called the legacy casinos in Macau. When the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission writes its report to Congress on casino gaming in Macau, it is important that it distinguish between casinos that are also licensed by U.S. states and those that are not. The Commission was established by an Act of Congress. Its respon-

sibility is therefore not to judge whether China was right or wrong in accidentally creating the largest casino market in history of the world. Rather, the Commission has to determine whether the Macau of 2013 presents risks to the economy and security of the United States that call for further federal actions. Risks have to be weighed against benefits. Macau has certainly contributed in many ways to private and public sectors of the U.S. The most obvious are the billions of dollars in revenue that are generated by the U.S. companies doing business in this Special Administrative Region of China. The beneficiaries have not been only shareholders. Three large American corporations now make a majority of their income from casinos in Macau. Two of those, MGM and LVS, would probably have gone bankrupt during the recent great recession, without the enormous profits generated by their


In 2005, the U.S.’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) discovered that a North Korean bank was using a bank in Macau to help launder money. That and the presence of billions of dollars in cash led to increasing pressure from the U.S., England and other countries. Eventually, the PRC and Macau bowed to political pressure from outside China, including from American casino companies that wanted to do business in Asia, but did not want to endanger their Nevada-state licenses. Almost every year, the government of Macau imposes ever more stringent regulations on its casinos, including to prevent money laundering. But those restrictions, and many more, were and are already in place for casinos licensed by U.S. states.



A Tale of Two Cities, Macau and Las Vegas


roperties in Macau. The bankruptcy of MGM, one of the largest if not the largest employer in Nevada, would have particularly devastating for that state, which was already reeling with the nation’s worst unemployment.

InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013

Other benefits have been more subtle. I first visited Macau in 1981 and Mainland China in 1987. It is almost impossible to believe the economic development and other progress that has occurred, in part from China opening its doors to the West. And the West has opened its doors to China. It is important to put into perspective the problems the U.S. has today with the government of the Peoples Republic of China, by thinking about what the relationship between the two countries was like 40, 50 and 60 years ago.


But the risks do exist. The PRC may not be rabidly communist any more, but it is still Marxist. There is a tendency by some in the business community to over-glamorize the efficiency of this totalitarian government. It is easier to make decisions when there is only one political party, and rulers don’t bother with hearings or votes. The major risks here, besides the loss of freedom, are the potential for corruption and of harm to large parts of the population for the benefit of a few. A good example is the widespread pollution generated by unregulated industrial expansion. Focusing on Macau, the major problem for American policy makers comes from the complicated history and legal status of the SAR’s casinos. While gambling has been legal in Macau for centuries, it has not only

been illegal but viewed as a sin in Mainland China. So, while this SAR receives billions of dollars in bets each year from Mainland residents of the PRC, there are few legal ways for those billions of dollars to get to Macau. Casinos and other lenders cannot sue on the Mainland to collect gambling debts. Casinos are not even allowed to advertise. As Prohibition in the U.S. proved, when there is a great demand for a product or service that is illegal, criminal organizations will arise to meet that demand. There is no dispute that Macau had severe problems with organized crime, usually described as Chinese triads, prior to its return to China in 1999. The legal structure of the monopoly was the concession, derived from the Portuguese legal system. The structure had been created in 1937, when the Macau government legalized casinos and first gave the gaming concession to a single company. But the company and its successors, including STDM and

Stanley Ho’s current holding company, Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (“SJM”), were allowed to open as many casinos as they wished, limited only by the availability of land and the demands of the market. This created a unique situation: Macau is probably the only jurisdiction in the world that licenses the operators and not casinos. The main danger here was that the concession holders were free to enter into as many partnerships as they liked; regulators gave little scrutiny to those partners, or even to who was actually running the casinos or sharing in the casinos’ profits. A second area of concern arose due to the establishment of what is commonly called the junket system. Credit reporting had always been poor in the People’s Republic of China, and gambling debts were not legally collectable. Casinos were not allowed to issue markers. And the PRC had severe limits on taking or sending money out of the Mainland,

Triad Kingpin Broken Tooth Wan Kuok Koi

Professor Rose looks back at the history of Macau

An elaborate system of dead-chips and separate high-stakes rooms was created to enable the VIP gaming promoters to share in the money lost by Mainland players. Allegations arose that VIP gaming promoters had ties to triads, and used threats and violence to collect gambling debts. These claims, that Stanley Ho’s company had unsuitable partners and ties with VIP gaming promoters who had connections with organized

crime, have tainted current operators. Especially at risk are companies directly doing business with SJM. But so are anyone connected with Stanley Ho’s children. Stanley Ho’s daughter, Pansy Ho, is in partnership with MGM Mirage. His son, Lawrence Ho, is the CEO of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. Its City of Dreams features major American companies, including Hard Rock and Grand Hyatt. Melco Crown until recently had ties with Harrah’s. The problems for American operators go beyond associations with Stanley Ho and his family. The systems of concessions and VIP gaming promoters still exist. The fact that there is no limit on the number of casinos, except for arbitrary declarations by Macau’s Chief Executive, creates economic uncertainties and the desire to make as much money as possible as fast as possible, since a concession holder does not have merely five other competitors, but faces literally a potentially unlimited number of other casinos. The concessions and VIP gaming promoters supposedly also have brought organized crime directly into at least one casino owned by a U.S. casino company.

The idea of concessions was simply carried forward and expanded after Macau became a Special Administrative Region of the PRC, and the government in Beijing decided to end STDM’s casino monopoly. Since Stanley Ho’s SJM won one of the concessions, and continued the partnership arrangements of STDM, it was only fair for the other two companies winning the new concessions to also be allowed to operate more than one casino. But it is easy to overstate the problems with the present system for the U.S. In practice, there is the base system of casino control in Macau, which, although getting stricter, would still not meet American standards. For example, some of SJM’s operations are called “legacy casinos.”

PART 2 of this intriguing review of Las Vegas and Macau in the October edition.


even to Macau. So, junket operators arose under the monopoly operator to make all of the arrangements to get high-rollers, and their money, to Macau. Although “junket operator” is the generally accepted term used in the Western English language press, the title is misleading. They are actually called “VIP gaming promoters,” which is slightly more accurate. They are nothing like the traditional junket operators associated with American casinos. In Nevada, junket operators are more properly called “independent agents,” because they act as agents of casinos, to bring in patrons. True junket operators are more like travel agents, often being paid a flat fee per head to bring in players. The Macau VIP gaming promoters, on the other hand, are more like casino operators themselves: They can do virtually every part of the gambling transaction. On the Mainland, they recruit players, arrange transportation and provide credit. In Macau, they often operate the VIP gaming room itself. Back on the Mainland, after the player’s visit, the VIP gaming promoter collects the gambling debt.



InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013


Aspers Casino Stratford take on the Howletts 5k Fun

This year, General Manager Richard Smith and ten of his team at Aspers Stratford will be participating in the Howletts 5K Fun Run, with a fundraising target of £2500. The FunRun is a fantastic and rare opportunity to run through the Wild Animal Park and enjoy the early morning sights and sounds of the animals waking up before the Park opens to the public. By supporting and participating in the event, Aspers’ Stratford will help to raise vital funds for Elephant conservation programmes at the Wild Animal Parks and overseas.

No strangers to fundraising, earlier this year, Aspers team members also took part in the National Lottery Anniversary run, which was held as the first race in the Olympic Park after the 2012 Olympics closed. As a result the team is on target to hit their annual target of raising £20,000 for The Aspinall Foundation.

‘I’m delighted to be part of the Aspers Stratford team, taking part in this event in such a wonderful location as Howletts raising money for such a worthy cause’ – Richard Smith, General Manager Aspers Casino Stratford.

The future of many endangered species is in our hands, please help us to make a difference today by donating at:

Richard Smith (left)



spers Casino Stratford are proud to support the Aspinall Foundation and the work they do in saving animals and returning them to the wild.



Yggdrasil Gaming new Gold Sponsor of IGA7


lever Duck Media has announced Yggdrasil Gaming as their latest new Gold Sponsor for the 2014 International Gaming Awards Ceremony (IGA). The ceremony will take place at The London Savoy Hotel on 3 February 2014 and will be judged by 29 global industry experts. Colin Thompson organizer of the International Gaming Awards

commented: “We are very pleased that Yggdarsil Gaming a new and innovative business within the lottery vertical has chosen to sponsor the IGA and showcase their games in front of their respected industry peers. It once again proves that the IGA event is not just the biggest charity Gala and global Awards ceremony, but a great business platform to introduce your products.”

European Parliament


InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013

he European Parliament adopted with an overwhelming majority its report on online gambling, calling for the EU to take greater leadership and action.


The report, led by British Conservative MEP Ashley Fox, puts forward a wide range of proposals for the EU and Member States to take forward in view of the upcoming new European Parliament and Commission in 2014. “Today’s vote, which is the third report on gambling in the man-

date of this European Parliament, highlights once more the growing interest of the EU to take action and responsibility in this area,” said Maarten Haijer, secretary general of the EGBA. “While the report does not call for harmonisation of the sector yet, it supports new EU action in many areas such as customer e-verification and improved cross border cooperation. These initiatives are crucial to streamline identification procedures, simplify licensing procedures and remove unnecessary administrative burden for cross border operators.

Delaware goes live

Wednesday the 28th August at 6am local time saw the smallest state to legalise online gambling go live with free to play slots, poker, bingo and all casino games. Delaware along with Nevada and New Jersey has legalised gambling and unlike Nevada all types of online gambling are allowed compared to Nevada which has only legalised online poker. With a population in the state of less than 1 million residents officials will want to join compacts with other states quickly when real money online gambling starts proper in November.


Famous old Nevada resort to be restored


rank Sinatra’s old hotel and casino is to receive a major makeover to bring it back to its former glory. The Cal Neva hotel-casino on Lake Tahoe which is on the California/Nevada state line will get a multi-million dollar upgrade. The ten storey hotel that has 219 bedrooms and the 6,000-square foot casino was owned by Frank Sinatra and was a regular haunt for his Rat Pack gang consisting of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford, it was famed for its celebrity visits including Marilyn Monroe who stayed there on her last weekend before she died of a drug overdose in Los Angeles in 1962.

Since its heyday in the early 60’s the casino and hotel fell victim to Las Vegas and its ever expanding resorts, until it closed its doors in 2012 when much of the resort was in urgent need of renovation. Frank Sinatra renovated the place in his time as owner and is rumoured to have several underground tunnels which he used to smuggle mobsters and celebrities in and out of the development without being noticed by the general public. The showroom will be improved with modernized equipment, painting and new carpets, Radovan said, and the tunnels will be preserved. Public tours of the cabins and tunnels will resume after the project is completed. Bigger plans are in store for the showroom. Once completed the developers hope that the resort will be upgraded from a 4 star resort to a 5 star. In 1963 the resort lost its gambling license when owned by Sinatra because infamous Chicago gangster Sam Giancana was seen gambling in the casino.

Grosvenor Casino Southend ready by summer 2014

Grosvenor Casinos new 24 hour casino in Southend’s seafront location in the Park Inn Palace Hotel will open in the summer of 2014. The £6.5 million development will have 27,000sq foot of gaming space spanning two floors, creating over 100 jobs. Following the major redevelopment of the Park Inn Hotel which is slated to be complete at the end of 2013 the casino will also include a VIP room, 100 seat poker room, bars, restaurant and the hotel will also offer space for a Mecca Bingo. John Lamb, deputy leader of Southend Council, said: “The major investment made by the hotel’s owners over the last decade has completely transformed the Park Inn Palace Hotel. “Now further investment by Grosvenor Casinos will see a vibrant new addition to this historic building, along with the valuable jobs it brings.”


Robert Radovan, co-owner of Criswell-Radovan who now own the property said, “Our goal is to bring it back to its former glory and to make it what it was like in Sinatra’s day,” Radovan continued. “It has such great soul and character, and it’s needed this redo for many decades.”



Want Great Guest Service?

Call in the Reinforcements!

Our feature writer Martin Baird talks about “Great Customer Service” and how to ensure your training is inspirational to make sure your employees keep on track with the philosophy .

By Martin R. Baird


recently read a book about changing behaviors. One important point in the book is that wanting to change is not enough to actually make it happen.

Many of us want to make a positive change in our lives – lose weight, stop smoking, have a better relationship with our family – but we don’t do it. According to this book, the challenge does not revolve around the desire to change.

InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013

The problem is the reinforcement. Let’s say you’ve adhered to a particular behavior for years. You know it feels great to eat a bowl of ice cream after dinner. You feel full, complete and satisfied and you like that. But you also have the desire to lose weight.


To get beyond mere desire and actually break the behavior pattern of eating dessert after dinner, you need an equal or stronger positive feeling. With that powerful reinforcement, you just may change desire into action. Do you get that same feeling from exercise? Do you feel complete and satisfied? Energized instead of sated? How long will it take for exercise to become anchored in your behavior pattern so you think of working out before you think of ice cream after dinner? Changing a habit is not easy. So what does this have to do with guest service and employee training? The answer is simple. Training is the first step in creating a new habit and that new behavior pattern is providing outstanding guest service. Once training creates

the desire to provide great service, strong and positive reinforcement is the catalyst for changing desire into action. Casino employees get pumped up about stellar guest service when training shows them what’s expected of them and how to do it. But time can erode the aspiration to focus on guest service. As the training slowly becomes a fading memory, employees may start slipping back into their old behaviors. They don’t have the long-range vision that’s needed to make the goal of great guest service a reality. But management does and it has the responsibility of providing the reinforcement that keeps employees on track. During a recent training program, I was asked how to keep the process going and my answer was simple and straightforward: take responsibility for it and lead. After ALL employees learn their new guest service skills, it’s time to kick things up a notch. All managers and supervisors, all of management from the top down, must be trained on how to manage exceptional guest service. Most managers function under the dictator approach. Do it or get fired. That isn’t a great way to motivate or to encourage a positive guest experience. At some level, we all know we get more with praise than we do with fear, but do we practice it? Most people don’t know how to manage from a position of positives and rewards. Many of us have had less-than-great managers and, unfortunately, we use them as role models. I wish we had more good examples to follow.


(Continued) Managing for great service is a learned mindset and it requires a commitment to using a carrot rather than a stick. Find people doing things right! Look for that person who is smiling at guests and recognize them for that immediately. Find the employee that has a great attitude and praise them in public so they know it was noticed. This approach isn’t limited to a particular department. Find people in any department of the property doing things the right way and recognize them. Even employees who have no direct guest contact have an impact on service by the way they perform their jobs and support staff members who do. Reinforcement of great guest service is not limited to front-line managers. It needs to be done at all levels of management so it becomes part of the culture.

Employees know that the manager is only on the floor during certain times. They also know that when they see a manager, they better smile like they just won the lottery or they won’t be rewarded. A third-party system for rewarding the new behaviors also is needed. This is an essential element of that ongoing motivation that people need to perform new, positive behaviors instead of the old ones that probably seem much easier. For example, it’s easy to stand at a dead table and look like an angry statue. It takes a reward to change that old, non-productive habit into one that benefits the dealer, the guest and the casino. People don’t change for the fun of it! It takes effort and when they’re asked to make that effort, management must create positive situations along the way to make it more fun. This will also make the effort seem easier. Use mystery shoppers to get unbiased, useful observations of employees on the job. What they see is the real thing, not faked performance because a manager is nearby. These shoppers look for specific behaviors that were covered in the training. They then rate employees based on management’s criteria. From this shopping, people have additional opportunities to be rewarded for doing the right thing. The reward doesn’t need to be huge but it should happen as

close as possible to the time the behavior occurred. Management involvement in guest service and thirdparty shopping – this is the reinforcement I mentioned earlier. It tells employees that the new behaviors are recognized and appreciated. It could also give them that great feeling inside that so many people are looking for. Ice cream is no longer top of mind. Guest service is. If you want your property’s guest service to be second to none, it’s time to send in the reinforcements for success.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Martin R. Baird is chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc., a Boise, Idaho-based consulting firm to the global gaming industry that is dedicated to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability. Robinson & Associates is the leader in casino guest experience, management and improvement. For more information, visit the company’s Web sites at www. and or contact the company at 208-991-2037. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association and an associate member of the National Indian Gaming Association.


But managers can’t work 24 hours a day and observe all employees nonstop.



InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013




The good, the bad & the ugly By Paul Herzfeld We are delighted to introduce our latest featured writer, Paul Herzfeld has been in the gaming industry for 35 years and much of that time in the role of CEO. Here Paul offers his thoughts regarding regulation for all is good for business.


hen the internet took off it did not take long for the first gaming sites to open for business. Anything goes, was the general feeling and the internet a place of absolute freedom which should not and, more so, could not be regulated. It was probably no coincidence that this went along with a general belief that regulations are bad and the market takes care of itself. Well, we know now that led to the great financial crisis, banks collapsed or had to be rescued with tax payers’ money. Today as a consequence it is more about how to improve regulation and to regulate areas that have so far not been regulated like shadow banks.

InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013

Interesting enough many online operators have chosen off shore places as the home base for their business. They did so certainly for tax reasons but probably also because they knew running an online gaming site may not be legal in many countries. Nevertheless they were adamant in arguing that this is the era of freedom and it is more or less ridiculous to regulate online gaming.


It took most countries a considerable amount of time to react to these developments with the US being among the first to introduce legislation prohibiting online operators from offering online gaming in the US. The big difference to other countries at that time which had also at least by law online gaming forbidden was that the US implemented measures such as shutting down money transfer via banks and credit card institutions and – what may be even more important – followed up with enforcement of the law. While not 100% effective

it was the turning point and shows that online gaming can be regulated. Regulation has been part of the gaming industry since its inception. For once it shall ensure a secure and controlled gaming environment and on the other side it provides for proper tax collection. And regulation shall allow for a level playing field where all operators act within the same framework. Are casino (or lottery) operators always happy about regulation? Well, there are from time to time parts of regulation which they feel are not adequate but all in all they appreciate to work in a regulated environment which ensures fair competition and protection from rogue operators. Are consumers happy about a regulated gaming industry? Not sure there is a study or poll to answer this question but the guess is that consumers want to be sure that they are not ripped off and that everything is handled in a proper way according to rules which apply to all, and rules they can call for if something goes wrong. Consumers want, no, they need to have trust into what they are buying. So regulation per se is not a bad thing and as long as it is not excessive or fails to include the important points of a business. Therefore the good news is that countries have started to regulate online gaming over the last few years. This clarifies what is possible and what is not possible. Some countries still prohibit all or some forms


(Continued) of online gaming, other have chosen to issue licenses which carry obligations as well as rights with them. Consumer protection and a safe and secure gaming experience are important. Fit and proper operators and control of the business will help to establish a sound online gaming industry that people can trust. And sure, taxes have to be paid which is fair instead of syphoning all revenues to tax havens. The other good news is that some big players in the online gaming market have already acknowledged that this is the way forward by deciding to operate in regulated markets and to retreat from unregulated markets. And it is also good news that regulation creates a level

their guests over the years. It is a chance to refresh their business and to grow be it on their own or be it in cooperation with one of the existing online gaming operators or suppliers. Not an easy task for them as the online world works in some ways different than the brick and mortar world but it is a good business opportunity. The bad news is that still a lot of online operators act as if anything goes as long as you are not caught. This is bad for the industry, bad for consumers and bad for countries allowing this to happen. As said before regulation is one part but enforcement is the other part of creating a sound and secure business. Despite even now wide spread belief that enforcement ends where the internet begins it is possible to enforce online gaming regulations. Some countries have shown that with the right measures illegal online gaming can be minimized in order to protect consumers but also license holders. Without enforcement laws and regulations become null and void. Blacklists together with some measures are an effective tool. Illegal or non-licensed operators are put on a blacklist and all financial transactions to and from their accounts via banks, credit card companies etc are blocked. Furthermore internet providers have to block access to gaming sites which are on the blacklist. Media companies are not allowed to publish anything that would advertise for a blacklisted gaming site. Gaming authorities in Belgium, Denmark and other countries are using blacklists and quite successfully so. So what is the ugly news? Well, some online gaming operators which have decided to do business only where it is regulated are selling their ‘grey’ business part rather than to just shutting it down. This is neither responsible business behavior on the seller nor on the buyer side.


Paul Herzfeld has been CEO of an international casino and gaming group, responsible for its expansion into new markets and the development of projects in Europe, Middle East, Australia, South Africa, Canada and South America. With his company Herzfeld Consulting ( and based on more than 35 years of experience in the gaming industry he provides services for international gaming companies. Herzfeld Consulting is specialized in the fields of strategy consulting, identifying suitable business models, efficient search for investors, launching productive cooperations and entry into new markets. Herzfeld Consulting is an associate member of the European Casino Association (


playing field in the online world for incumbent land based operators. Previously, as licensed land based operators, they would not and could not enter a market that was not regulated. Now they have the opportunity to participate in the online gaming market, to capitalize on their brand and the trust they have built with



Sheriff Gaming B2B license suspended


heriff Gaming has had its B2B license suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) until a hearing on the 29th October in London and has told the company it must cease trading and offering their online gaming services until that time. The suspension follows raids by Dutch police into Sheriffs parent company the Bubble Group and its owners for suspected drug dealing, illegal gambling operations and money laundering. Our sister publication The iGaming Post reported exclusively at the time the raids taking place and confiscating properties, vehicles and bank accounts.

The Dutch firm supplies services to operators such as Betsson, Bet 365, Gala Coral, Unibet, Microgaming BetClic and many other, but will now have to suspend these services until the hearing takes place and a final decision on the B2B license is made. It is a major blow to Sheriff Gaming and observers question if the company can return after such serious allegations even if they have their license restored, also will so many high profile customers as the company has want to be associated with them after such an investigation? It is very bad times at present for a company that was doing so well.


etsoft Betsoft Gaming the 3D online slot developer has announced its latest deal, this time with Asian focused online gaming operator


Betsoft only recently announced a deal with Boyle Sports, but this time the developer is offering its games into the expanding Asian Market. The agreement means that Fun88 will offer Betsoft Gaming’s entire gaming suite of games to its customers throughout Asia. Nathan Walker, director of Fun88, said: “We are pleased

to announce a deal where our customers get to immerse themselves in a whole new gaming experience that is rich in entertainment value, presented in stunning animated graphics and most importantly produced by partners whom have only the highest standards for their games.” Adam Daniel, BetSoft director of business development, added: “As we move ever forward in developing the 3D games that will define the future of iGaming, we can assure Fun88 that they will continue leading the competitive Asian market by always offering the freshest, cutting edge entertainment to their customers.”


Betsoft new deal with Funn88



Japan closer to casinos on mainland


apan is moving further along to legalizing casinos on its mainland with most of the major casino operators now scouting the country for preferred destinations to build resorts. Las Vegas Sands, Caesars, MGM, SJM and Melco Crown are all sending representatives to the country to review their options once the country passes legislation allowing for casinos to enter the country. Since Japan was selected to host the 2020 Olympic Games recently excitement has been raised among the large casino operators that gambling casino style will be present in the country before the Olympic Games begin. It is estimated that allowing casinos into the country could generate over $10 billion in revenues per year along with creating thousands of jobs. “Victory for Tokyo’s Olympic bid will

be beneficial for legislation to legalize casinos,” said Mr Jay Defibaugh, an analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets in Tokyo. “We have all the ingredients to make it happen, so anything that gets the administration to put a high priority on casinos versus all the other issues they’re dealing with is good.” With Japan struggling economy since the Tsunami bringing in casinos would help with rebuilding the infrastructure again ready for the costly Olympics. All the operators interested in what could be one of the last big sectors for gambling in the World would most likely have to partner up with a Japanese based company with names for partnering

up given as Mitsui & Co, Mitsubishi Corp and Itochu Corp and gaming machine makers Sega Sammy Holdings and Konami Corp. Observers in the region believe that casinos could be up and running by 2017 should the Japanese government push through legislation allowing for games of chance to be operated within a casino enviroment.

Dutch government fines online gambling company


lobalstars a Curaça license online gambling firm has been fined for offering online bingo and roulette to Dutch online customers without a license to do so hence vilating current Dutch laws on overseas operators targetting nationals within Holland.

The Dutch gambling commission issued a number of warnings to online companies about their illegal practices a year ago now, but some online operators are still continuing with their online offerings to Dutch nationals. It is reported that new rules are being drawn up to licence online gambling companies which are expected to come into force in 2015, currently the Dutch state operates a gambling monopoly which is expected to be liberalised creating more competition within the sector.


The fine imposed on Globalstars of €100,000 is payable immediately, however what ability the Dutch government has with enforcing the fine and payment is questionable because of the location of Globalstars.



Melco Crown sign deal for Russian Casino Resort


elco Crown Entertainment CEO Lawrence Ho has signed an agreement with the government of the Russian state of Primorye to build a $700 million casino resort, while in Vladivostok for the Far Eastern Investment Congress. I am very optimistic about the potential of our investments in the Russian Far East,” Mr Ho said at the signing of the agreement.

Primorye Maritime Territory governor Vladimir Miklushevsky said the gaming zone planned for the territory would bring in a new economic impetus along with Asian tourists. The location of the resort is located next to China’s Heilongjiang province which is in the North East and it is hoped the new development will attract some 12 million visitors once completed a year. Under the company name of Summit Ascent Holdings Mr Ho has currently a 37% stake in the resort, which will climb to 51% once near completion. Other investors in the development are Firich with a 19% stake along with Elegant City which

has a 30% share. Firich is a wholly owned subsidiary of FEC, a Taiwan-listed maker of electronic gaming machines, multiplayer gaming terminals, video lottery terminals and lottery pointof-sale terminals. Russian businessman Oleg Drozdov owns Elegant City which is a construction and development company. The initial resort will consist of one hotel and one casino which is hoped to expand into two other

phases consisting of another casino which could be under the full control of Lawrence Ho and his holding company along with two more hotels under separate control, which would see more investment of another $630 million. The first phase of the Russian resort is to have a hotel with 119 rooms, approximately 800 slot machines, 25 VIP gaming tables and 40 massmarket gaming tables, according to the developers plans. The investment is expected to be completed by 2017,” said Mr Drozdov. “None of the partners

Following the announcement last month that Italian fashion house legend Versace were to design the new SJM Casino hotel, it has been confirmed that the hotel and casino will be ready by 2017 along with some changes to the hotel style to attract mass market Chinese customers. Versace CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris said this week that the five-star Palazzo Versace hotel would retain the company’s “neoclassical style.” But he added, “clearly there will be some fine tuning with the local culture.” Donatella Versace herself will oversee the design of the hotel. Casino company SJM which is the biggest operator in Macau and controlled by Macau gambling legend Dr Stanley Ho has said the new resort will open in 2017 with a cost estimated at $322 million. This is the first ever hotel design in Macau for Versace and the company hopes it will generate interest and more business on mainland China for the famed fashion house.


Versace & SJM confirm new Macau resort open in 2017



Golden Nugget enters online gambling business Gambling debt recovery website comes under scrutiny


he Golden Nugget casino company owned by Landry’s Inc has hired Thomas Winter, former CEO of Betclick to launch their push into online gambling in New Jersey and Nevada. Previously there was talk that the company would sell its position as a land based US operator to a company wanting to enter the online gambling space, however that has now been dismissed as the gambling company has also hired Bally Technologies as the service provider for online games.

InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013

Steve Scheinthal the Executive Vice President of Landry’s said, “Recruiting Winter, 39, will advance Houstonbased Landry’s plan to introduce Internet betting in New Jersey and Nevada as early as this year.”


The company hope with the securing of Mr Winter’s position as Vice President of online gaming for the company will see the success he helped bring to Betclick that saw revenues soar from $20 million to $200 million in just three years. Landry’s hope to have both Nevada

and New Jersey online gambling for the company live by the end of 2013.

SHFL Q3 profits down near 39% SHFL Entertainment the gaming equipment manufacturer which is being purchased by Bally Technologies for $1.3 billion has announced its third quarter results with profits down by 38.9% but revenues up 16%. The company announced revenues of $73.5 million for Q3 that represents a rise of 16% compared to the same period in 2012. But profits fell to $6.4 million compared to the same period of last year, with the company blaming the drop in profits on the acquisition to Bally along with an increase in operating expenses as the firm expand their online gambling offerings. Some good news was that SHFL said that that they saw a large increase in business for Asia due to increased sales in slots

A website focussing on bad debtors who play in the gambling hub of Macau and do not pay up their gambling losses are being named and shamed with photos, personal details and names being displayed. The name of the website, Wonderful World in English is in both Chinese and English languages, which has already managed to recoup over $8 million (50 million Yuan) for casino operators but has now come under the scrutiny of law enforcement officials in China. Most of the names on the website are Chinese nationals who have a ranking on bad debts from 90 which could mean they owe a small amount and likely to pay to 100 which means have a high amount of debt and are very unlikely to pay. But with so much personal information given about the players police in China say that the website could be breaking the law over privacy concerns. Casino operators in Macau cannot reclaim bad debts from Chinese players under current laws.


Las Vegas to lose “Sin City” tag?

Inspired Gaming Group announced the senior appointment of Vitaliano Casalone. Mr Casalone has over 20 years experience in the Italian gaming industry in various respected gaming and lottery organisations such as SOGEI, Lottomatica and Gamenet – and will be focusing on building Inspired’s success in Italy.

Interblock carried out another installation of G4 Organic Live Roulette™ with 07 play stations in mid-July, which is also first supported product on Appolonia.

MICROGAMING HEALTH & CARE TRUST SUPPORTS THE HOSPICE The Microgaming Health & Care Trust has donated £5,000 to equip the Hospice Isle of Man’s new minibus with everything that it needs for wheelchair use. The Hospice’s minibus is used on a daily basis for patient care, predominantly to transport patients in and out of The Hospice’s Scholl Centre day unit. It is also used to transport patients to and from Hospice appointments, for therapy services such as aromatherapy.


he name Sin City may be moving to Atlantic City from Las Vegas after the announcement that the Palazzo Hotel Casino is trying to evict a nightclub from its premises for what the Palazzo say violate obscenity laws. However the club which has only been there 10 months is trying to acquire a restraining order to prevent the Palazzo from closing them down. The casino resort says the clubs actors — some nearly naked — toss condoms into the crowd and simulate sex acts and bestiality on stage. Casino officials “were well aware of our brand,” said Sean Dunn, special events director at The Act, in an email statement, adding that representatives of the hotel-casino have frequently attended shows and did not complain. In a recent report by our sister news site the iGaming Post highlighted the fact that Atlantic City Casino resorts were encouraging more burlesque and stripper clubs in their complexes to attract a more adult orientated customer, how times change.

Currently while the legal wrangling’s continue the club remains open, but how things change as Las Vegas that built itself on a racy, no-holds-barred destination, is seems no there are limits. “I think there’s the perception that anything goes in Vegas — there’s no boundaries, no lines,” said Lynn Comella, a professor of sexuality and women’s studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.” Anyone that has been to Las Vegas knows there are plenty of strip clubs, no will be found on the main strip or indeed in any of the casino resorts. “The goal for Las Vegas was to be naughty enough to attract you but not naughty enough to repel you,” said Michael Green, a history professor at the College of Southern Nevada. Should Las Vegas lose its mantel of “Sin City” and be transferred to Atlantic City? Maybe not in the immediate future but who knows further down the line.


Inspired welcome Vitaliano Casalone


SPECIAL Feature Ireland

Ireland: The Gambling Control Bill 2013 More Restrictive than Regulative? By J.J. Woods J.J. Woods is an industry veteran with a wealth of experience in the gambling industry, here JJ discusses the latest offering from Ireland on the 2013 Gambling Control Bill. Introduction


InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013

n 15 July 2013, Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, announced government approval for the General Scheme of the Gambling Control Bill 2013. This Bill is a preliminary step towards legislation, which if enacted will provide a significant overhaul of the law in this area and a comprehensive new licensing and regulatory framework for gambling, both land-based and online. It is important to note that the Bill has no legal effect at this stage but it does give us an insight into how the Irish Government is thinking on the whole issue which been going on since 2006.


The present legislation and existing Act’s are the Betting Act 1931 which applies to bookmaker shops and the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956. The Act’s are archaic by any standards and they fall way behind one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The Bill deals with both land-based

services, such as bookmakers’ premises and gaming arcades, as well as gambling via “remote” services. Remote gambling is defined as gambling via the Internet. The proposed new legislation would apply to all forms of gambling made available in the State. It would also apply to those companies which make gambling services available through services located in Ireland, even where these services are not available to Irish players. The Bill establishes the Office for Gambling Control Ireland (“OGCI”) as the regulator responsible for controlling gambling in Ireland. It would act, under the control of the Minister for Justice and his office as the licensing body for the different categories of licences.

Overview and opinion. The Bill itself covers all the areas that you would expect with the exception of taxing the Industry,

however it has not been thought out and bar a few unique suggestions regarding numbers of table games and gaming machines this is overall a dull rollout of what should have been a new exciting and competitive legislation. For this report I have concentrated on the Casino and Slots part of the Bill. Slot Arcades / Amusement Centres have existed in Ireland for some decades now and originally when operators started to apply for these licenses the Government was concerned that these locations could become ‘’Gambling Dens’’ so in their wisdom they decided to issue these licenses but insisted that the operator offered other forms of amusement. The new form became games aimed at children and the result was Candy floss meets hard gaming all under the same roof! Astonishingly one of the 1st principals of any gaming legislation (to protect the young and vulnerable) was allowed to carry on like this for many years and still does today, So

it is no surprise that the Bill needs to address this embarrassing issue and this is part of the new proposed regulation : ’’ Where category 2A (Gaming arcade license) and 2B (Amusement arcade licences are being operated in the same premises there must be separation between the two types of machine (Gaming, Amusement) and there cannot be any connecting passages or doorways (even if locked) between the two facilities’’

Slot Machines and Fobt’s The Government have always been vehemently against Fobt’s and have defined fixed odds betting terminals in the Bill like so : “fixed odds betting terminal” is an electromechanical device that: • allows players to bet high stakes, at a high frequency, on the outcome of various games and events with fixed odds, • Where the games and events are in virtual format. • Where the outcome of events is pre-determined by a random number generator, Generally located on a server separate to where the terminal is located. It is extraordinary that the Bill takes

such a strong stance against Fobt’s because in my opinion this form of gambling has been in Ireland for many years in the guise of Virtual Racing in all Bookmaker Shops, the only difference is that instead of sliding the money into a terminal you simply give the money to a Cashier, everything else works exactly on the same principle that the Bill has outlawed. Has anyone ever wondered why the Fobt’s have had such bad press? All they have done is highlighted the same addictions of a High Street Arcade. This form of gambling was relatively secretive and carried out in large areas with other forms of Gaming until Fixed odds betting terminals arrived. Fobt’s are located in much smaller areas, the payouts are bigger and because there is only 4 machines per shop, this attracted a public gallery because people were waiting to use the Machines and in turn created the curiosity and discussions

regarding them, but in truth any form of Gambling that is located in the High Street and is opened during the daytime is highly addictive. If bookmakers stuck to Racing and Sports they would not be experiencing the backlash they are receiving from local council and residents in the UK but neither would they be making the large profits. On the other hand if Slot Machines were located in Casinos only and not in the High Street then I believe addiction would be reduced and to a large extent the vulnerable protected. It is also mentioned in the Bill that there may be allowances for Takeaway’s and Bars to have a small number of machines which in my opinion demonstrates a proposed Bill with problems ahead. The Government cannot ‘’dance around’’ (continued next page)


In relation to the above it should be remembered that most Arcade / Amusement operators separate to those who operate at Holiday and beach destinations included the children’s amusements to simply gain a license.



InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013

Ireland: The Gambling Control Bill 2013

Private Members Clubs or Casinos started opening in Ireland about ten years ago and today there is approximately 35 Clubs in the country, however it should be noted that the majority of the club’s differ vastly from Casinos worldwide in that they are small and unimpressive in design and lack the excitement and ‘’ wow’’ factor that we associate international casinos with. If you have worked in a grey jurisdiction in the gaming industry you will know the picture that is drawn here. The Gambling Bill almost applauds their existence stating that there are 34 Clubs registered under the Anti Money laundering Act and goes a stage further by suggesting that the proposed number of casinos to be allowed in Ireland would be 40. Is the Bill suggesting that there are 6 licenses to be allocated as we have 34 Clubs registered? I believe an explanation to this part of the proposed Bill to be critical if Ireland

intends to roll out a proper regulated and respected new gaming legislation. To begin with I and the Gaming world know that Ireland could not possibly sustain 40 Casinos regardless of table and machine size. The Bill proposes that the minimum amount of table games should be three with a maximum set at fifteen tables, so is the Bill already trying to cater for the existing tiny clubs that we already have? And at what cost to the industry and the country’s reputation. The Bill also proposes that the maximum allocation of slot machines in any Casino building be set at Twenty Five and yet again we have a restrictive policy that has not been thought through, most operators would have difficulty building a business model around these proposals. Summing Up As per most 1st proposals for a new gaming legislation the Gambling Bill 2013 needs to be re-examined and one would hope that after the submissions period that Ireland would move closer to a new and exciting Gaming Legislation.

its entirety is a fast paced exciting business, People will visit a country and talk about an experience they had in a Casino in the same way they will talk about visiting a national monument or tourist attraction. A Casino can be an added facility and attraction at a Horse Racing track or Golf Club and especially when situated in a fine Hotel, they also have a positive effect regarding Tourism and they attract operators and investors which leads to Jobs and formation of other companies who supply to the Industry and in my opinion the Gambling Bill has not recognised the positive side of the Gaming Industry. The Bill is mostly negative and restrictive and at this point would certainly not attract International Interest or Investment to this land. The real end game is the Taxing of the industry and bearing in mind that Ireland has ignored this Industry for such a long time making us one of the last countries to legislate, we might well find that to be competitive we may have to offer tax incentives just to get the industry off the ground! The Bill it its entirety is available on

Casinos and the Gaming industry in

JJ Woods was born in Ireland but left in the 1970’s to live in London and he started his career in banking. After four years in Banking in London JJ trained in the Casino Industry. Over the last 30 years JJ has dedicated his career to the setting up, including: design, opening and management of Casinos around the world. Throughout his time in Ireland JJ has also done several Radio, Television and Newspaper interviews on the subject of Casinos and gaming, he is above all extremely passionate about the Casino Industry and Completed a gaming submission to the Irish Government during Legislation Research. He is a leader in respect of the responsibility of customer care He was responsible for the following Casino designs and set ups in Ireland : Macau (Cork), Silks (Dublin). Email:



his issue any longer and should look at this opportunity to clean up a mess that has been festering for years and largely because previous Governments ignored the issue and were completely ignorant to the whole Gaming Industry.



InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013


2UP Gaming agree price for Atlantic City Casino


UP Gaming has claimed that it has agreed in principal the purchase of a Casino in Atlantic City to move forward with their plans to enter the States online gambling sector. As previously reported by our sister news site the iGaming Post back in July the UK based online gambling company has received major funding of some $330 million by un-named Asian backers to be able to seriously move into the fledgling online gambling sector in the US.

However with only two casinos on the boardwalk that have not yet partnered up to enter the online gambling business, they are The Revel and the Atlantic Club Casino. There is another casino, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino that is looking for a buyer after the proposed collapse of a deal worth $20 million fell through earlier this year. Observers believe the most likely candidate is the Atlantic Club Casino which was involved in a well publicised deal with PokerStars before that deal also falling through and then the court battle that followed. An insider in Atlantic City that spoke to the iGaming Post says that it is possible the Atlantic Club Casino was approached before the deal was finalised with PokerStars and made a higher offer for the Casino. This is not confirmed however by any of the parties, but out of the three candidates the Atlantic Club Casino would be the easiest to manage along with the ability to reduce costs there without major overhaul and all at the right price. According to Vince Crandon the company will announce the deal once the major investors in 2UP Gaming have met with the casino and agreed on the final price.

Galaxy Entertainment Group coming to London

Clever Duck Media welcomes Galaxy Entertainment Group as the new Gold Sponsor for the 2014 International Gaming Awards Ceremony. The ceremony will take place at The London Savoy Hotel on 3 February 2014 and will be judged by 29 global industry experts. Colin Thompson organizer of International Gaming Awards commented: “We are thrilled that Galaxy Entertainment Group, the award winning resort operator, will sponsor IGA for another year. It means that IGA is truly the only universal Awards ceremony recognizing excellence globally and supporting international charity at the same time. “ Details can be found a


Vince Crandon, managing director of New York-based MidOil, an investment firm partnered with 2UP Gaming has said that the company has agreed the purchase of a casino on the boardwalk in Atlantic City but refused to name who it was until the deal was full approved by all involved investors.



You want to earn how much??? By Ellen Learmonth


InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013

find myself thinking sometimes when I negotiate the next deal with an overly eager affiliate. Affiliate marketing is supposed to be the most cost effective marketing channel in the mix with a guaranteed return on investment, but a program could become a cost factor if you are not careful.


As far as the potential affiliate is concerned, the variety of compensation structures on offer can be a serious source of income and a potential gold mine for relative little outlay. The gambling affiliate world has focussed on the more risk free structures, such as CPA, Revenue Share or a hybrid of the two options and unless you work with an affiliate network that caters for other verticals also, you won’t find structures such as CPM or CPC, which are quite common in the media buying space. So the question to all you affiliate programs out there is, do you think you are safe offering CPA or Revenue Share? Think again! The market is still swamped with inflated CPA’s paid by operators building a database of players without worrying about a return on their investment and up until now probably didn’t need to. There are still affiliates out there demanding them regardless of the quality of

player they are referring. The fault here lies with the affiliate program and not the affiliate, so it isn’t regardless of quality, more in spite of the quality of player they are referring. Like most things in life a “try before you buy” policy is the tried and tested route to any long term commitment, so why do so many operators pay these inflated prices for affiliates that only just deliver. The order of the day should be quality over quantity and as such I highly recommend you test the quality with a small amount of players before you let the affiliate refer any high volumes. You might be lucky and find that the referred players like your product and it turns out you achieve a good ROI. The importance of a good affiliate deal is often overlooked and to safeguard both affiliate and affiliate program the perfect partner match should surely be the revenue share right? We would think so, but that could leave a gap in the funding of some of the affiliates where a quick buck is an essential part of their psych or indeed business model for funding their marketing. Most operators have the revenue share as their standard affiliate commission and mostly it varies between 15 to 40% of net revenue that the affiliate can earn. An affiliate that prefers a revenue share comes with the air of confidence

– Expert tips and tricks for affiliates

Good affiliates are worth doing a little extra for so rethinking a deal with an affiliate that can deliver should be possible as long as it’s not outrageous. However, you do get the one that demand a 40-50% share. Now usually the net revenue does not include deductions for costs such as personal, rental, software, hardware or utilities. So how good is a 50/50 deal for the operator when a lot of affiliates work from their home with no overheads? Exactly! How did we end up in situations where we are afraid to say no or implement some performance features?

share deals on a life time basis became the norm. With the start of the regulation and the closure of markets the big happy bubble burst. Affiliates started to sellup or stop promoting and in some cases the operators where still paying a life time revenue share commitment. Failure to do so would lead to a public slaughtering in the forums. A big learning curve began and operators started to introduce some clauses in their T&C that would even the risk again. Obviously these were met with harsh criticism but most operators have now come to adapt their expectations from their affiliate partner and there is hardly a new program out there that hasn’t got some performance related triggers in place before they pay the big dollar. However, every now and then in negotiations you still get it, the demand that takes your breath away but you know what, some are actually worth it.

Well at the start everything was rosy. There were no market restrictions and offering high CPA’s and revenue ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ellen Learmonth has been active in digital media for over 14 years covering all disciplines of online marketing with strong expertise in acquisition and affiliate marketing. She is passionate about innovation and new technology with a strong drive for creativity. Her 2006 World Cup Campaign earned two prestigious creative design awards at the New York Festival (Bronze) and The International Davey Award (Gold). Now living in London, Ellen is lending her expertise to some of the major gaming operators.



hat they can refer depositing players that will earn, or the affiliate won’t. That is a good thing. But wait, that air of confidence comes at a price that’s not always the standard deal offered, so affiliate program here’s a heads up. Be prepared to offer a deal that is outside of the norm.



Facebook & Twitter - The 10 best ways to promote your business Knowing how to conquer social media in the world of gambling can really help your bottom line, but really how many know the tricks of the trade? In our September edition of Technology we offer some expert help to both land based gambling companies and online operators.


t seems every company on the planet needs a Facebook page, you have to get people to “like it”, but what about Twitter does that help companies improve their presence and profits, experts are divided on that one. For those entering the social media sector for their business or looking to enter the sector, how can you make

designed to be free for users but not necessarily as free advertising platforms. For both businesses, the mobile phone is ever more important. These small screens are how most mobile users will encounter Facebook and Twitter, which makes them pivotal tools for a small business looking to increase their presence. With the larger amount of information offered by mobile phones, any company can advertise specifically to potential customers in their local area and can also very easily tailor offers to entice specific sorts of people.

InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013

On a mobile screen, the power of an advertisement done well is much more palpable. That makes mobile advertising more important than ever, but it also makes quality more important than ever, too. If an advertisement is poorly pitched on a large screen, its failure is more conspicuous on a little one.


the most out of it, And what should a small business do now that Facebook is giving increasing visibility to, as it calls them, “suggested posts”? These are, in truth, “suggested” only because a business has chosen to pay for them to be, but either way many firms fear that their own pages are being squeezed out by paid content. The answer, for many companies, is that paying is the only option. Facebook and Twitter are both, after all,

Facebook alone accounts for 15% of all mobile advertising, and is likely to further encroach on Google’s 53% share. This underscores the growing importance of such advertisements, and with that in mind, there are at least 10 tips worth remembering: 1) Get real – advertising on social media, whether it is paid or unpaid, is a chance to put a human face to the brand, and an opportunity to engage with customers in just the same way that great service can in your business. 2) Not too real thou – But if you’re running a small

– Not all bosses are like Steve Carell

3) The right people to follow –Every business should follow those who are already customers, and those who could be. Knowing what your customer or future customer is up to and what they are discussing helps you keep updated and able to communicate with them more effectively. 4) Engage in the conversation – if a fan on your Facebook page says you’re great, re-tweet it. If they say you’re rubbish, ask for more details. 5) Don’t be too public – there’s no shame in asking a customer to email you if you want a little more privacy, not everything is for public consumption and people under-

stand that. 6) Be multimedia – pictures, video and even audio are all almost effortless thanks to the wonderful gadget the smartphone. If you operate from a particularly interesting venue, or a customer doesn’t mind you using them, then use it, the power of customer referrals is amazing. 7) Be careful on quality – a badly made video, communication or badly written blog damages your credibility, be careful. 8) Stay updated – few things are worse and less forgiving to those visiting is a site that hasn’t been updated in weeks, especially on Facebook or Twitter. These are living, breathing places, not simply billboards. 9) Put someone in charge – would you forget to open up for business one day? No, so think of updating

Twitter or Facebook as similarly important. It’s a valuable tool for retaining and recruiting customers, after all. And it may be a good chance for a bright young employee who would benefit from “social media experience”. 10) Communicate – How many twitter accounts have you seen that talk to their followers but never reply back? Yes there are so many out there that use it to talk, but only at followers not with them. Do not make the same mistake or your followers will soon disappear. These tips will not automatically make you top of Google rankings, but it is the first step in the social media progress. Making a sound platform for your presence on these platforms along with the process to conduct your company on them gives you a great start. Good Luck to you.


business, you’ll only make your customers annoyed by discussing global politics. But it never does any harm to highlight that, say, your company has won an award, even an IGA Award!



InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013


Manila Resort & Casino release Michael French


loomberry Resorts who own the Solaire Manila Resort & Casino have terminated the management agreement of Global Gaming Philippines LLC (GGAM) along with its resident Chief Operating Officer Michael French in what Bloomberry said was “on a material breach.” In a statement to the Philippine Stock Exchange Bloomberry said, “GGAM has not spent any material time in attending to the management of Solaire and has failed to

perform its obligations and deliverables under the MSA.”

casino executive role.

In response to the announcement GGAM said, “Bloomberry has materially breached that agreement and GGAM is pursuing its rights under that contract in arbitration in Singapore.” Bloomberry did say that other members of the GGAM management team were very capable and would remain along with the company now looking for a replacement for Mr French in a senior hotel

Sri Lanka confirms new casino deal


Under the partnership name of Lake Leisure Holdings the company will now move full steam ahead to ensure the resort is up and running for the target completion date of 2015. However there is some opposition to the deal when the government announced it had given incentives to Mr Packer in return for the huge investment in the country. A local newspaper has said that the government had offered Lake Leisure Holdings a 10-year income tax holiday along with the casino only being charged 6% tax for another 12 years.

That deal says a local MP in Sri Lanka as crazy with Macau’s tax rate for casinos at 40% with other gambling destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines all charging similar rates. MP Harsha de Silva said, ““Sri Lanka goes into the record books as the first country in the world that exempts casinos from tax.” He also added that there were irregularities in the casino licensing process.


he Sri Lankan government has rubber stamped the approval for a $350 million casino resort in the countries capital Colombo, which will be owned by Australian billionaire businessman James Packer. The development is slated to be open by 2015 according to Mr Packer’s company Crown Entertainment which will operate the casino along with their partner Rank Entertainment Ltd.



InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013


Playtech announced their half yearly results with a 15% increase from the same time last year, the gambling software giant saw revenues rise to €176.8 million for the first half of 2013, compared to €153.8 million for the same period in 2012. Its interim figures for the six months ending in June 2013 the company said that gross income had shifted up by 10% to €194.9 million to generate an adjusted net profit of €84.9 million, up 0.5% on the corresponding period of last year. Playtech also showed a strong cash reserve of €576.2 million allowing to offer shareholders a dividend of 7.8 cents on a share. “Once again Playtech’s tenacity and drive have been demonstrated in these results as it has focused on deepening its licensee relationships; creating innovative new content; and providing its customers with cutting edge products and services,” non-executive chairman Roger Withers said. “As online gaming continues to focus on mobile, it is pleasing to see our investment in this increasingly important market paying-off across many product areas. “The company continues to capitalise on its customerfocused strategy and strong balance sheet: Playtech remains the world’s leading supplier of technology and services for the online gaming industry and can look to the future with confidence and optimism.”


tlantic City look towards strippers to help revenues


tlantic City having seen years of falling revenues has looked towards the stripping industry to help bring back more adult orientated customers to the gambling state. Scores, the famous New York strip club, will soon be opening an establishment inside the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort— the first strip club in an Atlantic City casino in the 35 years of legal gam-

bling in the state. The struggling Revel casino resort has offered the Royal Jelly burlesque show since it opened, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa hosts a burlesque show every Thursday. “We feel this is the third leg of the Atlantic City triangle: gambling, alcohol and adult entertainment,” said Bob Gans, Scores’ managing partner. “It’s a natural.”

New Jersey and Atlantic City has seen revenues tumble over the six years from 2006 when revenues were over $5 billion to 2012 where they stand at $3 billion. Gans is investing $25 million in the newest Scores, which will open on the 12th September with five private VIP rooms, 11 stripper poles and an ultra-VIP room for celebrities and highrollers.



Playtech show strong first half results



InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013


New Jersey deadline set but how realistic?


eports in New Jersey have confirmed that the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) are confident that the 23rd November will see online gambling live in the state, however this date is expected to be for live online free to play gambling and NOT for real money. When the state said that online gambling would be live nine months from the February 26th it seems New Jersey was well on track to make its target. Currently there are 37 applications for online gambling licenses in the state and as of today non have been announced as passed and cleared to proceed with testing and installation, which many observers believe the November deadline is very

ambitious. Also the regulatory framework is still far from completed and we are heading into the middle of September. Clearly New Jersey wants to get into the online sector fast and as Nevada drags along with regulations, it is New Jersey that offers not just online poker but online casino games aswell, so the need to be up and running is evident. One online gambling supplier involved in the New Jersey applica-

tion process said that he cannot believe the deadline will be met and online gambling in real or free to play will be live in November, but more realistically the first quarter of 2014.

Online gambling to grow 5.5% for next five years enues now at $133 billion, it is also expected to show that the current year will grow by 3.2%.


ccording to new research by the “Global online gambling market” it is estimated that the online global gambling sector will grow by 5.5% from 2013 to 2018. From 2008 to 2013 the average global revenue for online gambling increased by 2.4% annually, with rev-

The boom in growth that is forecast has factored in the US market which given its current pace of expansion past the three state that have already legalized online gambling (Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey), it is forecast that the US market will be worth $173 billion or a growth rate of 5.5% annually by 2018. The final point of the research says that now the signs of global recovery are clear to see the number of gambling operators will grow in the next five years by 2.1% or to 5,008 by 2018.


By far the largest growth is in sports betting across the globe accounting for $11.5 billion in revenues in 2012, with Asia, the Far East expanding the most, but also Europe showing greater growth than expected.


European Parliament calls for EU to take greater leadership The European Parliament adopted with an overwhelming majority its report on online gambling, calling for the EU to take greater leadership and action. The report, led by British Conservative MEP Ashley Fox, puts forward a wide range of proposals for the EU and Member States to take forward in view of the upcoming new European Parliament and Commission in 2014. “Today’s vote, which is the third report on gambling in the mandate of this European Parliament, highlights once more the growing interest of the EU to take action and responsibility in this area,” said Maarten Haijer, secretary general of the EGBA.

Williams Interactive to Provide Affinity Gaming Williams Interactive LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of WMS Industries Inc. (NYSE:WMS), announced an agreement to provide its next-generation Play4Fun Network iGaming and Marketing platform to premier casino operator Affinity Gaming® customized to their A-Play™ loyalty program. This first-of-its-kind deal empowers Affinity Gaming to leverage the free-play Play4Fun Network online gaming platform to build an engaged online community by providing players at the twelve Affinity Gaming casinos and resorts spread across four states new ways to enjoy their favorite casino slot content between visits to the casino floor – on their computers, tablets and mobile devices. Affinity Gaming’s Play4Fun Network is scheduled for launch by the end of 2013.

Read the full report

Social Gaming Association to join forces with the International Social Games Coalition The Social Gaming Association and the International Social Games Coalition are pleased to announce the merger of their respective organisations to create a unified international voice to educate the public and policy makers on the social games industry and to represent and further the interests of the industry. from their existing platform to BETSYSTEMS. The newly consolidated organisation, to be named the “International Social Games Association” (“ISGA”), will represent social games companies worldwide, from established global operators to up-and-coming start-ups. The ISGA will provide a powerful and effective voice for the global social games industry at a time when many changes in the way people access, play and pay for games are taking place. makes Winning Upgrade Popular online casino operator CasinoRedKings has completed a major upgrade in time for autumn and the busy winter season. With over 200 games on offer the upgrade comprised a brand new website design and the addition of an advanced Instant Play no download feature along with Live Dealer. Commented Jack Simons, RedKings Casino Marketing Manager, “ has great recognition factor because of the popularity of sister Brands online poker room RedKings and online sports betting Brand BetRedKings. Being online now for over 4 years this facelift adds new features highlighted to attract recreational Casino players and make the navigation even easier for our existing players”

“Betradar extends its live betting program with Live Odds for Darts and Rugby Union” Betradar is pleased to announce the extension of its live betting program and will also be offering Live Odds for Darts and Rugby Union.For more information: Betradar’s live betting turn-key solutions provide the biggest variety of sports available in the market today. The current live betting solutions include the coverage of Football, Tennis, Basketball, Baseball, Ice Hockey, American Football, Handball, Badminton, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball and Futsal. The launch of Live Odds services for Darts and Rugby Union extends Betradar’s live coverage to 13 sports.

BetTech Gaming grows international presence as it forms partnership with Ugandan operator 256Bet BetTech Gaming has secured a partnership with Uganda-based land and online operator 256Bet. The South African company is providing its flagship BetTech Sports product to significantly upgrade and re-launch alongside the introduction of a brand new mobile betting offering for the African sports entertainment company. A wide range of fixed odds opportunities across a multitude of in-play markets have been implemented and 256Bet is the first BetTech customer to launch the Betradar-integrated Virtual Football League, which enables a close-to-reality fixed odds betting experience at any time.

Second Edition of Casino Customer Service Book ‘Gaming Guest Service from A to Z’ Released By Casino Consultant Martin R. Baird As Ebook Since the original release of the casino customer service book “Gaming Guest Service from A-Z” in 2003, the face of gaming has changed significantly. To bring the book up to date, casino consultant Martin R. Baird just released the second edition with all the original chapters plus over twenty more. In another new development, the second edition has been released as an electronic book for reading on Kindles, iPads and computers. Those interested in purchasing the book contact Lydia Baird, director of business development for Robinson & Associates, Inc., at

Glitz and Glamour as Stake Me to Play Launches August saw the poker world saw revolutionary new staking company Stake Me To Play launch with a bang. The glitzy launch event, held at Aspers Casino in Stratford London, saw hundreds of people turn up to celebrate the company’s official beginning. The VIP guest list was made up of the crème de la crème of the poker community – industry and media experts, as well as professional poker players with an interest in being staked. In particular, there was immense variety in the players who attended. Pros of all levels made an appearance, from micro-stakes grinders all the way to famous tournament sharks including Paul “The Marbella Kid” Zimbler. Drinks were flowing freely from Aspers’ famous Sky Bar, as well as bite-size versions of British classics such as beef burgers and fish and chips.


Barrière Poker throws in chips


ucien Barrière and French lottery operator Française des jeux who in a partnership operate Barrière Poker have announced the site will close at the end of September following poor results over the last two years.

Galaxy Entertainment Group coming to London

However it has been announced the company will instead offer their services now to the B2B market with their partnership with US operator Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) being the main customer with the World Series of Poker (WSOP) platform.

In a press release the company stated, “Before the law regulating the market (May 2010), a number of operators had already established their positions for several years with French players, gaining business experience and consolidating player databases. From this point of view, the lack of market growth did not lead to a redistribution of the cards in favor of the new French players like Barriè “The company draws the lessons from an internet market sensitive to economic conditions and structurally bearish for over a year now, with (its performance) worsening quarter after quarter.”

Clever Duck Media welcomes Galaxy Entertainment Group as the new Gold Sponsor for the 2014 International Gaming Awards Ceremony. The ceremony will take place at The London Savoy Hotel on 3 February 2014 and will be judged by 29 global industry experts. Colin Thompson organizer of International Gaming Awards commented: “We are thrilled that Galaxy Entertainment Group, the award winning resort operator, will sponsor IGA for another year. It means that IGA is truly the only universal Awards ceremony recognizing excellence globally and supporting international charity at the same time. “ Details can be found a


The company put the failure of Barrière Poker down to other online poker operators establishing themselves prior to online regulations in France, allowing those operators to secure a strong foothold in the region and hence making it extremely difficult for them to compete.



Aspers have huge hit in Milton Keynes Senator John Macain plays online poker Former Republican Presidential candidate John McCain was caught playing online poker on his smartphone while taking part in a senate hearing on Syria. said: “It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend and very encouraging to see so many people coming through our doors and having a great time.

The Casino MK is the largest casino outside of London with 22 live gaming tables, 108 slt machines, 76 electronic gaming terminals, 150 seat poker room along with a 40 seat restaurant and sports bar.

New PartyPoker site goes live

The casino which is open 24 hours a day and 364 days a year believes that some 40% of its visitors will not even gamble but enjoy the leisure and entertainment facilities only. Many UK casino experts believed that Milton Keynes was going to be a big success, as it geographical location to London along with the affluent residents that reside in and around Milton Keynes ensuring a steady flow of clientele. General manager Nigel Hartland

“The responses have been very positive and we have really been welcomed in the city as a new, exciting and vibrant 24/7 entertainment venue.”

Following’s results at the end of August the company have now launched their new look partypoker platform in the hope it will revive the companies fortunes after a disappointing first half year. The new format includes a focus on casual poker players with improved social elements and a player development tool. According to the company the live launch is the first phase of a much broader poker platform from the company which will include in the coming weeks an improved tournament schedule

The one time candidate for the White House back in 2008 tried to brush off the picture taken by Washington Post photographer Melina Mara by joking he had sat there for 3 hours listening and even lost at poker. The game the Senator was playing has been identified as VIP Poker which is a social gaming app connecting thousands of players from around the World by new start-up company TinyC. A great advert for them of course and some Twitters users wondered if the Senator has any stocks in the company or just likes playing poker. Much of Twitter attacked the Senator as the Senate hearing discussed the possibility of air attacks on the Middle East nation he was more interested in getting a royal flush that considering how to stop Syria using chemical weapons again.



spers have a huge hit on their hands after opening their latest casino in Milton Keynes, the Casino MK has reported it has had over 12,500 visitors in its first four days of business since opening on Thursday 5th September. It is still getting more than 3,000 visits per day says General Manager Nigel Hartland.



Paddy Power Head of Ops leaves


illiam Reeve the Head of Operations at Paddy Power is stepping down from the Irish bookmaker, after being in the position for just a year. Prior to his current role Mr Reeve had been a non-executive director for the company. The reason for his departure is to pursue other business interests. As operations director, Mr Reeve oversaw technology, risk and trading, human resources and corporate strategy with Paddy Power. His track record as an internet entrepreneur will no doubt be missed by the company – online sales delivered over three-quarters of the bookmaker’s profits in the first six months of this year. A spokesman for Paddy Power confirmed that Mr Reeve had advised the company of his plans to leave the bookmaker. “He wishes, as a next step, to pursue opportunities

in the commercial area,” said the spokesman. “Paddy Power is grateful to William for his contribution to the management of the infrastructure of the business and wishes him well in his future endeavours.” Mr Reeve is a well known entrepreneur, he founded Lovefilm which he sold to Amazon in 2011 for a

huge amount. Along with his first company Mr Reeve co-founded was Fletcher Research, which became one of Britain’s top online research companies before that was also sold to Forrester Research in 1999.

Optimal announces improved results

InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013



ptimal Payments has announced improved results in its interim report for the six months ending June 2013.

The company posted $118.4 million in revenues, representing a 50% increase from the same period last year and a profit of $14.4 million compared to a loss of $800,000 in the same period for 2012. The company pointed to a major turnaround in its NETELLER Stored Value business, with revenues up by $28.3 million representing a rise of 74%. Optimal said that it would continue to invest in research and development focusing on new mobile payment functionality, product enhancements, regional growth, and an enhanced US online gaming payments solution. Joel Leonoff, the company’s president and chief executive officer, described the interim results as “exceptional”.

He continued: “We are particularly encouraged by the performance of the NETELLER e-wallet with monthly revenues almost doubling from the first half of 2012. Our current focus and investment reflects our excitement about leveraging key opportunities including enhancing our mobile payments functionality, developing new innovative products, continuing with our on going geographic expansion and fortifying our paymentrelated services for the emerging regulated US gaming market.” Mr Leonoff also indicated that Optimal would continue to consider possible mergers and acquisitions opportunities “that provide a strategic fit at the right valuation to further accelerate our growth.”


Phil Ivey latest in Crockfords dispute


he dispute between Phil Ivey, the world famous poker player and Crockfords casino owned by Malaysian gaming giant Genting took another twist recently after court filings by Mr Ivey’s lawyers said that he did actually see a flaw on the decks of the cards in his argument regarding unpaid winnings while playing Punto Banco at the swish London casino earlier this year.

Crockfords claim he “acted to defeat the essential premise of the game”, but Mr Ivey is adamant that the process of “edge sorting” is legal and well-known in the casino industry. The poker pro also went on to say that many casinos allow such techniques so not to deter other big gamblers. The argument is destined for the UK courts later this year, unless either side reaches an agreement which seems highly unlikely at present.


Caesars to launch online real money poker in Nevada Friday

Caesars Entertainment have announced that they will launch Friday 19th September with real money online poker in Nevada and so being only the second operator to do so in the gambling state that went live with online poker back in February this year. The first was Ultimate Poker which said last month they had already dealt over 10 million hands on their site. Branding of the online poker site will be under the companies famed “World Series of Poker” (WSOP) name. The company will also hope to raise as much as $1.2 billion in selling stock in the brand through their holding company for the online brand, Caesars Acquisition Co. It is estimated that by 2017 the online gambling sector in the US could be worth as much as $7.4 billion and Caesars are hoping through their famed brand to get a major slice of the action.


Mr Ivey won £7.8 million while playing at Crockfords but the casino believed that he was cheating and did not pay out and instead only paid him his original stake of £1million. However following a report in the Sunday Mail newspaper which claims they have seen Mr Ivey’s court filings it is said that Mr Ivey was well aware of the marked cards and used it to win, it is claimed that he was not cheating but using a technique called “edge sorting” which means he looked out for decks of cards that were not asymmetrical on the back, once his companion who is only known as Kelly spotted the flaw on the newly opened decks he requested to up his stake from the normal £50,000 up to £150,000 which the casino allowed.



InfinityGaming • ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2013


Women overtake men in causal game usage 27% of women play online casual games compared to 24% of women in recent survey. Industry worth over £1.7 billion in the UK alone. Figures also show that women prefer tactical, puzzle based games over shoot’en up games.


Although the new figures show an increase in women playing online games, the number of people admitting to being “hardcore gamers” are still men with 13% of men compared to 6% of women saying they think they are heavily involved in the gaming culture. Even when the survey asked if you consider yourself a moderate user of online games the figures still showed men believe they are a moderate user with 24% saying they were compared to 15% of women. The casual gaming industry in Britain is worth £1.7bn currently and with the increase of women now using their smartphones to play, the gaming industry is looking at more games to attract the growing number of female gamers. Indeed of many women surveyed the indication was that they are not into “shoot’em up” games like the fella’s they want more tactical, puzzle-based games which are more common on smartphones, hence the increase in usage. In a recent survey among the sexes when it came to gaming consoles where “shoot’em up” games are dominant the figures showed that women playing those games had dropped. It is clear from the numbers that if gaming developers want to tap into the growing number of women playing gaming apps, they have to adapt their games to suit.

Google rumoured to purchase online gambling firm

Rumours circulated in September that Google could make a bid for online gambling company bwin. party following recent poor results from the online gambling giant. The Daily Mail broke the news that several traders are speculating that Google are looking to enter the online gambling business with a 200p offer per share for the public listed company. However neither Google or executives have confirmed the rumours or denied them, but industry observers say that the deal would be an unlikely one as are soon to go live in the US again and the hope of turning around the fortunes could be close. Also in the newspaper article was the option for Google should they fail with the acquisition to try for William Hill, given William Hills success over recent times many feel that deal is wide of the mark. Ralph Topping CEO of William Hill went of Twitter to dismiss the rumours saying, “Google to bid for BwinParty? Who makes this up? Alice in Wonderland or someone out on licence from an institute for the bewildered?”


omen are now playing more casual online games than men according to a new survey by Mintel, figures show that 27% of women play games such as Candy Crush and other Facebook game apps than 24% of men.


Two new awards added to nominations

Galaxy Entertainment Group coming to London

Clever Duck Media Ltd, the hosts and organisers of the International Gaming Awards have added two more categories to the 7th annual event after huge demand from stakeholders looking to take part in the nominations process. The new categories are “Innovator of the Year” open to both operator and supplier. The second new category for this year is “Online Gaming Operator,” this category will be awarded to a company that has a full portfolio of outstanding games, offering the very best in customer service, software, branding and a great gaming experience for the customer.

Clever Duck Media welcomes Galaxy Entertainment Group as the new Gold Sponsor for the 2014 International Gaming Awards Ceremony. The ceremony will take place at The London Savoy Hotel on 3 February 2014 and will be judged by 29 global industry experts.

Full details can be found on the categories list here

Colin Thompson organizer of International Gaming Awards commented: “We are thrilled that Galaxy Entertainment Group, the award winning resort operator, will sponsor IGA for another year. It means that IGA is truly the only universal Awards ceremony recognizing excellence globally and supporting international charity at the same time. “

The Judges

Yggdrasil latest Gold Sponsor of IGA7

The Social Gaming Association and the International Social Games Coalition are pleased to announce the merger of their respective organisations to create a unified international voice to educate the public and policy makers on the social games industry and to represent and further the interests of the industry. from their existing platform to BETSYSTEMS. The newly consolidated organisation, to be named the “International Social Games Association” (“ISGA”), will represent social games companies worldwide, from established global operators to up-and-coming start-ups. The ISGA will provide a powerful and effective voice for the global social games industry at a time when many changes in the way people access, play and pay for games are taking place. the digital economy.

Yggdrasil are the latest online gaming company to see the value and prestige of the International Gaming Awards and have joined forces to become the new Gold sponsor for the 3rd Feb ceremony. About Yggdrasil: Yggdrasil Gaming incorporated in 2013 is headquartered in Malta. The business has quickly developed a unique and compelling suite of online desktop and mobile games within the lottery vertical which are licensed to regulated gambling operators under the company’s dual licenses from the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) of Malta and Curacao eGaming authority.

GAMING AWARDS NEWS Latest updates to the build up of the greatest awards ceremony for the gambling industry 3rd February 2014 Savoy Hotel London Optimal Payments join the Gold Sponsor list

Outstanding Contribution award

The 3rd February will be a very special evening for one outstanding person that has contributed to the success of the gaming industry. As always the award is kept secret to the recipient and all attending till the presentation is announced. Colin Thompson, Co-Founder of the IGA said, “every year the highlight of the evening is the Outstanding Contribution award, we work with those close to the recipient to ensure complete secrecy and more importantly we have all the information about their achievements. We are already preparing for 7th IGA presentation, but everyone will have to wait till the evening to find out who it is.” See previous recipients here:

VIP Sponsorship available


This year we have announced a new category sponsorship opportunity, the VIP Sponsorship will offer one company the chance to host the very special guests at the exclusive Savoy bar for their own private before and after party. The venue will be branded to the companies needs and on offer is £10,000 worth of free drinks all night long for those very special VIPs along with some amazing entertainment. Entry is by invitation only and offers their customers the luxury and surroundings that can only be given at the stunning Savoy Hotel.

Wow, we have been informed that Clever Duck Media have arranged some of the most spectacular entertainment for the 7th IGA event. Given that last time we had the superb Gypsy Kings, it is going to be something to beat that, but we are assured that the 3rd Feb event will have some very special attendees, of course we are not allowed to say who, but if you have ever been to the IGA you will know it is always classy, elegant and well worth attending the ceremony for the entertainment alone!

OptimalPayments was again confirmed as a Gold Sponsor for the 7th International Gaming Awards this month. This is the second year the payments processor giant has supported the IGA and both parties look forward to another superb ceremony. A little about Optimal Payments: Since 1996 Optimal Payments has been a pioneer in the evolution ofpayments for the regulated online gaming industry in North America andEurope. We provide endto-end solutions that ensure an exceptional player experience, reduce operational costs and minimize fraud exposure and liability.

For information on this unique sponsorship contact:

Stay tuned to the Gaming Awards news for all the latest every month on the build up to the event of the year.

September infinity gaming magazine  

The September edition of the Infinity Gaming Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you