July 23, 2013

Lotto Plus 5 to be Scrapped

As part of the changes announced by lottery operator Camelot earlier this year, not only will UK National Lottery ticket prices be doubling and the prize structure revamped but, the side game Lotto Plus 5 is to be scrapped as well. Thus, Lotto Plus 5, which offers players another chance of winning, will be replaced by the new Lotto Raffle supposedly guaranteeing more prize winners per draw.

Lotto Plus 5

Lotto Plus 5 comprises a side game to the Lotto which offers players a further chance of winning. Whilst it features 5 tiers like the Lotto, the Lotto Plus 5 draws are held 5 times throughout the week (everyday excluding Saturday and Wednesday) thus, the cash prizes correspond to a smaller amount. It costs an extra £1 per play however, lottery hopefuls are automatically entered into five separate lotto Plus 5 Draws. To take part, players need to play Lotto. When they complete the Lotto slip they simply select the “Plus 5” checkbox next to the Lotto line of their choice. As is the case with the Lotto, 3 or more numbers need to be matched to claim a prize which ranges from £2.50 to the top prize of £25,000. Lotto Plus 5 Rollovers are a frequent occurrence, with no first prize winner for (sometimes) weeks, as lottery hopefuls still have to match 6 out of a possible 49 lottery numbers.

New Lotto Raffle

All this is soon to change after the UK National Lottery announced the discontinuation of the Lotto Plus 5, which will be replaced by a new Lotto Raffle. The 3 major differences between Lotto 5 Plus and the new Lotto Raffle are as follows:

1. Similarly to the Euromillions UK Millionaire Raffle, the new Lotto Raffle will be obligatory. You can not opt out of playing.

2. Players will receive one raffle number for every line of Lotto that they purchase. Their raffle entry will automatically be selected from a pool of numbers and printed on their Lotto ticket.

How to Play Lotto Plus 5 3. Finally, the received raffle number(s) will remain the same for all draws that players enter in a single transaction. For example, if a lottery hopeful plays two lines for two weeks on both Wednesday and Saturday in a single transaction then their two raffle entries will remain the same for each of the four draws. Similarly, if four Lotto lines are purchased separately then the player will receive four different Lotto Raffle numbers, one on each Lotto ticket, corresponding to four entries per Lotto Raffle draw.

According to the UK National Lottery, the new side game will guarantee that at least 50 players scoop a £20,000 prize per draw, whilst many more winners in the rollovers will be produced. In the meantime, Lotto Plus 5 will still be available to players up until Autumn, when the various changes announced by the UK National Lottery finally come into effect.

July 22, 2013

More Delays Loom For Full Tilt Player Reimbursements

Poker players in the US that have been expecting to get their long overdue reimbursements from Full Tilt Poker should probably sit tight and wait a little longer because it looks like a resolution to that year’s old issue is no closer to getting resolved anytime soon.

According to Bob Pajich of CardPlayer, the Garden City Group, the organization that has the responsibility of handling the reimbursements have yet to move past identifying player information obtained from the U.S. Department of Justice. With no progress still being made in that front, a sourced told Pajich that significant steps forward regarding the whole reimbursement issue could still take more than two years before players who lost their funds almost two years ago can get their money back. In that case, that would be around 2015, which is still a long ways away.

Player identification is just one problem, though. There are a myriad of different issues that still need to be worked, not the least of which includes determining which players get settlements and how much these players stand to get. Garden City Group is working through two government agencies – the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the Department of Justice and the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York – in trying to determine a resolution on this problem. It’s more than likely that a lot of the players who lost their money when Full Tilt closed down in September 2011 won’t be getting their full lost shares back. It’s been an estimated that the full reimbursement amount has been pegged at $184 million, which clearly won’t be enough for the 1.3 million or so players that are in line to get a piece of that pie.

And then there’s the issue of getting the issue moving when it hits the courts. Pajich notes that even if Garden City Group gets the federal green light allowing the company all the information it needs to do its job of handling all the reimbursements to FTP players, Garden City Group still needs to go through the proper channels (in this case, the courts) before it can actually begin the whole process of giving the money back to all the players who lost it.

So if you happen to be sitting on your desk and waiting for your FTP funds to be returned to you, you’re more than likely going to sit a whole lot longer than you’d want. If you want to expedite the process a little bit in your favor, you can register at fulltiltpokerclaims.com and wait for Garden City Group to contact you regarding the next steps that need to be taken before the reimbursement returns to your account.

July 18, 2013

Betting firms to fund anti-match fixing programme

An education programme which aims to stamp out corruption and match-fixing among athletes has been extended after funding from three betting firms.

The Professional Players Federation (PPF) has signed a three-year gambling education partnership with bookmakers bet365, Betfair and Ladbrokes.

The PPF is an umbrella organisation representing more than 15,600 sportsmen and women in the UK.

Now some 7,500 UK professional athletes will learn about gambling integrity.

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson MP said the arrangement would "help safeguard sport from cheats".

"Educating players on betting integrity is a vital tool in the fight against corruption." he added.

John Coates, joint chief executive of bet365 and chairman of the Remote Gambling Association, said major betting operators understood the importance of having corruption-free sport.,

This is the second three-year deal between the PPF - which represents 11 sporting bodies - and the betting industry.

An earlier programme delivered face-to-face betting education to 5,620 athletes, and also established e-learning programmes.

"Over the next three years we will expand the programme to reach more sports; find new ways to keep the messages fresh; and continue to make sure that British sportsmen are some of the best educated in the world about the dangers of match fixing," said PPF chairman Brendan Batson.

July 16, 2013

FTP to offer more than poker

According to sources close to the process, Full Tilt Poker is in the initial stages of a rebranding and expansion.

Details are still scarce, but the gist of the change is that FTP will be expanding its roster of offerings beyond poker.

Exactly how far beyond and in what direction remains unclear. But I would imagine casino games would be at the top of the list.

As for the name, expect a shift rather than a complete change.

A likely scenario: The “Full Tilt” remains, but “Poker” is dropped in favor of something broader like “Gaming.”

Juventus Signs Three-Year Sponsorship Deal With Bwin.Party

Italian Serie A champions Juventus have had quite a busy transfer season. Already fielding the deepest team in Italian football, I bianconeri moved quick and fast to bolster its attack, plucking world-class strikers Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente from Manchester City and Atletico Bilbao, respectively, and defender Angelo Ogbonna from series rival AC Milan.

Any team that adds three players of this caliber should be in-line for another championship season. But Juventus wasn’t done wheeling and dealing and their latest deal should be considered the cherry on top of the proverbial sundae on what has become quite a strong offseason for the Italian giants.

The club didn’t sign a player this time; they signed a sponsor, specifically with gaming giant bwin.party. The deal, which was announced earlier this week, will make bwin.party the official online gaming and betting partner of the club. It’s a notable signing on multiple fronts because Juventus’ status as Italian football champions will give bwin.party plenty of exposure for the coming season – and two more beyond that – not only in Serie A, but in all the other tournaments the team participates in, including the Champions League.

“Working with the greatest names in football is all part of our strategy to offer customers a premium gaming experience with great and unique content,” bwin.party CEO Norbert Teugelberger said. Hard to argue against the man considering that the online gaming company has had into deals with some of the world’s finest clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Now you can add Juventus to that list.

For the club, the partnership with bwin.party was a case of perfect timing as it attempts to continue marketing the club on a global stage with the hope of attracting more fans from all corners of the world. The strategy has worked wonders for United and Madrid and Juventus is looking into tapping bwin.party’s reach to help expand its own name and brand.

Giuseppe Marotta, Juventus CEO, explains: “Being together with other top football teams in Europe makes us very proud and encourages us to continue our work with more and more passion.”

July 12, 2013

Caesars Interactive Entertainment beats Zynga

Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) has for the first time surpassed Zynga as the leading online social casino game, according to a report by Eilers Research.

It is another blow to the once leading online social gaming company, which has recently installed a new CEO to help bring back the good times to Zynga.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment, is a subsidiary of Caesar Entertainment, a part of the world’s largest gaming company. The CEO of Caesars Interactive Entertainment is Mitch Garber, with also from CIE will be launching their branded World Series of Poker for real money in Nevada later this summer.

According to the report CIE now holds over 18% of the global online social casino market in the second quarter of 2013, with Zynga holding a 15% market share.

The overall online social casino market is expected to grow by 67% to $2 billion by the end of 2013 says Eilers. While the expected growth is encouraging, the market has the potential of becoming over saturated.

Playtech buys PokerStrategy

Playtech have acquired PokerStrategy for just over 38 million euros from parent company Etruvian Holdings.

In a surprise announcement on Thursday 11th July Playtech said it would further strengthen its position in the online poker market.

PokerStrategy has a poker community and school that has a 6 million membership, that Playtech would certainly view as a strategic asset in its quest to ensure a strong player liquidity pool.

PokerStrategy made pre-tax profit of €19.5m in the last calendar year though it has lost two of its biggest customers recently.

Irish government to allow casinos

The Irish government will introduce new legislation to block super casinos but will allow small casinos to open in the republic.

Micheal Lowry an independent legislator had hoped the government would consider opening up to larger style gaming developments to increase tourism and jobs, but the government have decided against that move.

Under the new legislation new casinos will have a limit to the amount of tables they can install, locations for casinos will be strictly controlled and also all casinos will have to contribute to a socially responsible gambling fund to help and protect addictive gamblers.