Ocean Resort Casino Atlantic City Launches Online Casino

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In just two weeks, New Jersey’s gambling options have seen a significant expansion that began with the relaunch and grand openings of Atlantic City’s previously closed casinos. Hard Rock and Ocean Resort went live on June 28 with Hard Rock launching its online casino offering later that day. Ocean Resort has not been left behind and on Tuesday the casino operator officially unveiled its much-anticipated online gaming platform when it removed the “under construction” banner from OceanOnlineCasino.com.

The online casino is currently in the process of a soft launch with the limited gameplay being imposed for the first few days. There are already a number of promotions available on the websites as well but the online casino is yet to begin featuring the “full offering” of its online gaming services.

Big Gain for GAN

For its online casino venture, Ocean Resort Casino partnered with GAN, a B2B internet gaming software developer, and supplier. Ocean Resort will be utilizing GAN’s technology to deliver a converged online and on-property gaming experience to the casino’s guests via its Ocean Premier loyalty program. The offering will allow the guests to trade their reward points earned from on-property gaming for cash when they switch to the online casino. Similarly, the Ocean Resort online casino customers will also be able to redeem the rewards points earned from online gaming at the brick and mortar Atlantic City casino.

“Ocean Resort Casino is a fabulous casino property, unarguably offering the best quality gaming & hotel in Atlantic City, which has now been optimized for success by the new ownership and leadership. We’re privileged to bring this immense property to life online, just as it relaunches in the traditional retail casino market. We’re excited to deliver not just another ‘me too’ Internet casino, but to also bring online for the first time the capabilities unlocked only by GAN’s convergence Patent which may give casino patrons in New Jersey a compelling economic rationale to play online with Ocean Resort Casino rather than established incumbent casino operators already online in this fast-growing market. Ocean Resort Casino is anticipated to be material to GAN’s revenue and earnings in H2 2018,” commented Dermot Smurfit, the CEO of GAN.

What to Expect

At launch, the casino began by offering over 50 slots, a decent number of table games including blackjack and roulette as well as 8 different versions of video poker. The online casino also includes a dedicated section where customers can access online games which can also be played in the land-based casino.

“GAN delivered efficiently and cost-effectively for Ocean Resort Casino and possesses a strategic patent which will give Ocean Resort Casino a competitive advantage with casino guests in Atlantic City who also choose to gamble online. Furthermore, GAN’s proven platform, ‘dual-mode’ Simulated Gaming, as well as real money Internet gaming and track record of client success in the New Jersey market, are among the many reasons we chose GAN to bring Ocean Resort Casino online in 2018,” Ocean Resort Casino CEO, Frank Leone pointed out.

Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Casino Starts Online Gambling Site

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Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Casino and Ocean Resorts Casino went live last Thursday in some of the biggest grand openings in a very long time. This takes New Jersey’s thriving gaming market to a whole new level and it is even about to get better.

Atlantic City’s Hard Rock casino on Tuesday afternoon quietly rolled out its online gambling operation just five days after its highly anticipated land-based casino opened its doors to patrons. Reportedly, this will not be the last time we are hearing of the launch of online gambling operations in the city – Ocean Resort Casino is apparently also preparing itself to offer online gambling to the New Jersey market.

According to the director of the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck, Hard Rock’s equipment and systems all passed the necessary tests and were thus cleared for operations. The operator’s online gambling site is now the 26th operational legal gambling site in the state. As for Ocean Resorts Casino’s supposed online offering, Rebuck confirmed that it is still in its testing phases with the New Jersey gambling regulators.

“Our online gaming team has done an amazing job launching one of the most dynamic online gaming experiences in the industry,” said Hard Rock’s Atlantic City president, Matt Harkness. “We’re excited to extend the Hard Rock brand beyond the Boardwalk and let casino players (play) across the Garden State.”

Hard Rock joins six other online casino gambling licensees including Resorts, Tropicana, Caesars interactive-NJ, Borgata and Golden Nugget. The state’s new gambling regulator also approved a number of companies that partner with the Atlantic City casinos.

New Jersey’s internet gambling begun officially in 2013 and has grown steadily since then into a very huge revenue source for both the state and the operators. In 2017, internet gambling brought in a whopping $245 million for Atlantic City casinos – this translates to about 10 percent of their total revenue.

Things are certainly looking up in this regard especially considering the fact that sports betting which kicked off in New Jersey last month will also be in the mix. This will without a doubt take the state through a quick period of recovery as these two new revenue sources – online gambling and sports betting – were lacking during the two-year period within which five of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos shut down. Already, two of them, that is, Hard Rock and Ocean Resorts casino, have been reopened and this proves that the state is indeed about to regain its former glory.

Resorts Casino Partners with SBTech for Sports Betting

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As sports betting in New Jersey and the United States as a whole continues to pick up steam, Resorts Atlantic City has been busy adding a number of partners to support its bid to offer services to the sports betting market. Just a little over a month after landing a sportsbook partnership with renowned daily fantasy sports provider DraftKings, it was announced that Resorts on Monday, July 2 had inked a deal with SBTech, an industry-leading sports betting solutions provider for the regulated online gaming industry.

The deal will see SBTech “provide its sportsbook solution across on-property, online and mobile channels” in New Jersey. It also marks the second partnership agreement that SBTech has gotten into since the United States Supreme Court ruled to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May. The first partnership deal was with Churchill Downs – both deals are quite similar since both casinos will be leveraging the SBTech platform for their full omnichannel offering across all channels. There will be a lot of focus on on-property solutions that will hopefully provide a land-based solution for the future.

Resorts, through the partnership, will now be able to launch a fully-integrated omnichannel sports betting solution with an emphasis on mobile-friendly features like bet builder solution Your Bet or SBTech’s live betting innovation Pulse Bet.

In addition to this, Resorts will also be outsourcing its risk management and trading SBTech – SBTech will implement a bespoke risk management strategy that will be enabled by proprietary trading operations. This will, in turn, allow Resorts Casino to achieve genuine differentiation and at the same time achieve control of its liabilities will avoiding the influence of the wider pool-based risk management.

“After conducting a comprehensive selection process to find the right sports betting supplier, we feel that SBTech offers the right combination of deep regulatory expertise in the world’s most dynamic and demanding markets and the scalability to support our ambitious multi-vertical plans,” Resorts Casino Hotel president and chief executive, Mark Giannantonio said.

Partnering with SBTech is going to be great for Resorts Casino not just because the solutions provider provides players with uninterrupted access to sports and casino products from a wide range of devices but also because SBTech has superbly flexible gaming solutions. Resorts will benefit immensely from the exceptional configurability of the SBTech platform that is further supported by the very best business intelligence and reporting capabilities.

“Our strategic partnership with Resorts represents the next stage of our long-planned penetration of the US market. SBTech’s renowned commitment to delivering leading-edge solutions across all channels and intelligent responsible gaming infrastructure will help us develop a sports betting offering that will benefit our partners and promote best practice and the strongest levels of consumer protection,” SBTech CEO, Richard Carter stated during the Monday announcement.

32Red Caught Red-Handed In a Problem Gambler Scandal

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British online casino brand 32Red had been slapped with a £2 million penalty for having failed to uphold the industry’s problem gambling practices. After a meticulous investigation conducted by the controlling body, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), have revealed that there’s still more to be desired when it comes to integrity from the industry’s best-known names.

The UKGC had been forced to pursue this course of action as a result of identifying 22 cases where the casino had failed to conduct basic money laundering checks or advise a customer exhibiting reckless gambling habits against playing, even though they had been reaching out with their qualms about their habits.

The investigation examined a period spanning the time between November 2014 and April 2017. During the said period, there had been multiple indicators that the customer exhibited symptoms of reckless gambling, which should have been looked into earlier.

In fact, 32Red only looked into the proceedings of the customer in January 2017 when the customer managed to win £1 million. The provenance of the customer’s money was also unknown, which indicated serious breaches in 32Red’s anti-money laundering practices.

All the Signs of a Problem Gambler

What’s unnerving on this particular occasion is that the customer may have been aware of his condition. On one occasion, he even shared with 32Red staff that he had wagered too much, which in turn failed to elicit an action from the operator.

When the operator finally began to examine its customer’s finances, it took it nearly five weeks and the produced written proof was disconcerting insofar as it showed volatile finances, but also glaringly indicated that the customer neither has the means to support his gambling habits and that he has far exceeded his net salary of £2,150.

His income in the submitted document was shown as £13,000 and at the same time, the average monthly deposits exceeded £45,000. Of course, some of this amount was won at the casino, but the UKGC has refused to accept the furnished proof as credible.

The UKGC was even tougher on 32Red, arguing that “The source of the customer’s wealth was not known to 32Red because they failed to fulfill their anti-money laundering obligations. We cannot comment on any other proceedings that may be active”.

UKGC Executive Director Richard Watson has been vociferous about the case arguing that what 32Red did was exactly the opposite of what they were supposed to be doing. A failure to help a customer and to check the origin of the money wagered indicated grave lack of accountability within the structure of the operator.

Furthermore, it showed that 32Red would only care to help its customers if they seem to be winning and willing to withdraw. Why was a check not initiated earlier but only after the customer managed to score £1 million is anyone’s guess, but if the answer is obvious, that doesn’t bode well for the operator’s reputation.

Meanwhile, the proceedings from the fine constitute £709,046 divestment of the financial gain, £1.3 million allocated to the National Responsible Gambling Strategy, and £15,000 covering legal expenses.

Mobile Betting Drives Growth in Australian Online Wagering

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According to Roy Morgan, an Australian market research company, the country’s mobile gaming industry is currently thriving. More and more Australians are using mobile devices to place bets at a steadily increasing pace year-by-year. However, the report also reveals that despite the tremendous rise in the number of bets placed using mobile devices, the overall number of punters has seen a not so slight decline in the last few years.

The Specifics

Roy Morgan reveals that a total of 3.4 million Australian punters wagered on sporting events, horse racing, greyhound racing, harness racing and many other events in the past year. In comparison, between March 2011 and March 2012, over 3.7 million Australian citizens placed wagers on the same or similar events. Interestingly, the report reveals that more of these punters seem to be shifting to the online space for their gambling needs as mentioned earlier – the number of people who placed bets on the internet increased by over 50 percent which sums up to about 34.1 percent of the total number of Australian gamblers.

The massive increase in online gambling, as reported by Roy Morgan, is all thanks to the increasing popularity of mobile devices especially mobile phones, or to be more precise, smartphones. To be more specific, more than one-fifth of Australians use their mobile phones to place bets. On the hand, the number of people who still prefer to place bets online on their computers has remained unchanged when compared to the figures that the research firm reported in 2012, that is, 15.1 percent.

“What is clear from these figures though is that a majority of Australians who bet still don’t bet via the Internet. Over two-fifths of Australians who bet have not used the Internet to place a bet and these are the key market companies offering online betting need to target to grow their revenue,” the Roy Morgan chief executive officer, Michele Levine said in an official statement.

Consolidation in the Australian Gambling Market

As it stands, the Australian gambling industry is undergoing a period of elongated consolidation and therefore, the numbers presented by the Roy Morgan report are encouraging to say the least. In fact, there is a lot of great things ahead including more technologically up-to-date options and products.

Roy Morgan reports that the Australian betting market is being dominated by two operators. The two market leaders include Tabcorp Holdings whose online betting site boasts of nearly 18 percent local customers. Tabcorp Holdings runs a decent number of betting websites each offering various kinds of betting services to the market.

The other operator dominating the Australian gambling market is Sportsbet.com.au that is used by close to 13 percent of the Australian gambling markets. Coming in third is Crownbet which caters to about 6.5 percent of the Australian gambling population.

BlitzPredict Debuts App to Predict World Cup Match Results

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BlitzPredict, a blockchain-based application that aims to help sports betting fans receive “reliable and transparent” betting advice has recently launched its main platform just a few days after the FIFA World Cup kicked off in Russia. The platform aims to provide these revolutionary solutions to some of the most daunting issues that have plagued the sports betting industry by recording predictions on the outcome of sporting events on an immutable blockchain.

The Las Vegas-based company will be responsible for time-stamping against true market odds in order to create what the BlitzPredict team refers to as a “verifiable, public record of everyone’s predictions.” Hopefully, the technology will make it harder for experts to hide their record, lie about the prices they receive and delete their losses altogether thus giving the users the opportunity to make informed decisions on the betting strategies they choose to back.

The blockchain would, in essence, provide the public with the transparent figures of any expert’s return on investment which is a great indicator of the expert’s past performance. Usually, due to the lack of such insight, the bettors usually end up risking their money by following bad advice from “experts” whose prediction histories and return on investment are not verifiable.

BlitzPredict will also allow users to purchase World Cup betting advice using its XBP bitcoin which is built on the Ethereum network and is ERC-20 compliant. In addition to this, the platform will be offering blogging functionality and a Major League Baseball (MLB) model to complement its current offer, that is, soccer. The company believes that the MLB model has had a 25-8 start which has, in turn, resulted in a 76 percent win percentage – in fact, the BlitzPredict has confirmed that it has already “recommended plenty of underdogs that have come through.”

BlitzPredict’s XBP token is also doing quite well as it is already being listed on a number of exchanges that include Bancor, HitBTC, Idex, and Bankor. This means that for users of the platform it will be very easy to make deposits, trades, and withdrawals.

Taking Advantage of the Changing US Market

Since the United States Supreme Court ruled to allow the states to decide on whether or not to legalize sports betting, there has been a lot of buzz with many companies moving to take advantage of the new opportunity and the emerging market that comes with it. BlitzPredict has not been left behind and they even go further ahead to admit that they had been eagerly waiting for the judgment.

BlitzPredict says that the rejuvenated demand for legal sports betting offerings will be accompanied by an aggressive appetite for high-quality content as well as tools that can help enhance the bettor’s chances of winning the bets they place. As far as the company is concerned, blockchain-driven tools are the way to go.

New Bill Could Finally Bring Online Gambling to Michigan

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On Tuesday night Michigan lawmakers voted 68-40 for two main bills that are intended to create a Lawful Internet Gaming Act that would responsible for regulating online renditions of the state’s licensed brick-and-mortar casino games. Introduced last year by Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Portage, the legislation, if passed, will see to the establishment of a Division of Internet Gaming within the existing Michigan Gaming Control Board.

This new division will be tasked with issuing internet gaming licenses thus allowing the state’s operational casinos to accept online bets – it will also include sports betting supposing the board decides to legalize statewide sports betting following the recent Supreme Court ruling that paved way for the activity.

All online gambling will be made through the existing land-based casinos that will receive the licenses from the new division, which implies some partnerships are bound to surface as a result. The same will go for the existing tribal casinos that will be working with the state to achieve the new technology.

“People in Michigan are already gambling over the internet, but they are doing so at risky and illegal websites,” Rep. Iden pointed out. “The Michigan websites will have strict state oversight, unlike the illegal and unregulated sites our resident use now, at great risk to their finances and personal information.”

Michigan plans to impose an 8 percent tax rate on online gambling revenue – 35 percent of this tax revenue will go to the Internet Gaming Fund that will be tasked with enforcing the online gambling regulations. The lion’s share of the revenue (55 percent) will go to the city of Detroit which hosts all three of Michigan’s commercial casinos while the remaining 10 percent would be shared equally between the school state aid fund and the Michigan transportation fund.

Tribal Casinos Not Left Out

On condition that their compacts are either recreated or amended, the bill will also allow Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos to offer online gambling. The tribe’s quest for inclusion was among the most pressing concerns and impediments to the bill during the initial stages of its launch. Fortunately, they did get what they wanted thanks to a “poison bill” that would effectively rescind online gambling and sports betting in the state in case the federal government decided to bar the tribal casinos from participating in the new online venture.

The bill still has a long to go though. Michigan residents will have to wait until the Senate session resumes this fall that is the next step towards legal and regulated online gambling in the state.

“When we come back in the fall,” said Iden. “This is going to be at the top of the agenda. Michigan should be at the forefront of that.”

Chinese Government’s Gambling Ban Is Still Almost Intact

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As it stands, all forms of gambling save for two types of lotteries are still officially victims of the gambling ban that has been imposed by China’s government. While horse racing operations are allowed albeit to a very limited extent, sports betting has been banned completely with all the forms of gambling being confined to the autonomous region of Macau, the only place in China where casino gambling is allowed.

Hundreds Arrested in Illegal Online Gambling Ring

As part of the efforts to implement the gambling ban, the country’s authorities have recently dismantled a major illegal gambling ring and in the process arrested over 100 suspects – this was done in two separate and effectively coordinated operations. The antigambling administration of China has also been working diligently against land-based gambling operators.

The raid on online gambling rings reportedly involves 13 different gambling websites with over 100,000 registered users who had collectively wagered over RMB350 million ($55 million) before the crackdown. The investigation began in February after Chinese authorities received a tip that a local firm had been renting out its servers and providing technical support for unauthorized online gambling operators. Since then, the number of people that have been arrested for being suspects in the online gambling rings has reached 453, and this could be an indication how deep-rooted the activity is.

Is Moving Gambling Operations to Hainan the Answer?

A number of industry experts do not believe that the country’s island of Hainan could become the next Chinese casino hub, much like Macau. The experts believe that such a decision would be made by the government and at the moment it would be a long shot to think that the Chinese government would allow such a thing. However, if by some miracle this goes through, the casino industry experts have expressed a lot of optimism that the island, which is considered to be China’s “Hawaii” could open doors for several kinds of sports lotteries.

A couple of months ago, there were reports that the government had been considering legalizing some forms of gambling on Hainan Island. This came to pass later in April 2018, when the government officially revealed that it was going to officially legalize horse racing as well as many other types of sports lotteries on the island. The move was part of the country’s bid to turn the island into the largest pilot free-trade port.

While this would have effectively ended the gambling monopoly of Macau, it will take some time before it officially begins. In fact, according to Su Guojing, gambling sector expert, and founder of the China Lottery Industry Salon, casino gambling outside Macau contradicted to the overall ideology and legislation in China. As such, it was nearly impossible for the Chinese government to allow the establishment of land-based casinos outside Macau, at least not for the moment.

Sweden to Tighten Grasp on Online Gambling with New Measures

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The Swedish government is hoping to implement tighter regulatory oversight for online gambling in the country through proposed legislation that if passed will take effect in 2019. The proposed new legislation is meant to institute a revamped licensing system, establish stronger prohibitions against illegal operation as well as instate more effective consumer protection measures. According to an official press release by the Swedish government, the proposed measures will introduce a fee of nearly $84,000 for both an online casino license and a sports betting license.

The issue of unregulated online gambling in Sweden has been a major concern for the country’s government for a very long time. Ardalan Shekarabi, Sweden’s Public Administration minister spoke about this in a recent interview where he emphasized that new regulatory measures needed to be put in place.

“Unregulated gambling has taken over and gambling is used in criminal activities. It is 14 years since the first in a line of gambling inquiries was appointed. It is now time for us to move from words to actions and regain control of the Swedish gambling market. We are reinforcing the Swedish Gambling Authority, granting it more and sharper tools. Unlicensed operators will be shut out of the market and license-holders must conduct their activities in accordance with the law,” he said.

The minister and other officials have also affirmed that the new regulations would go a long way in ensuring higher levels of consumer protection. For instance, all online gambling operators will be required to offer the players the choice of excluding themselves. Similarly, the operators will be restricted to offering bonuses on only the first deposits.

Furthermore, if the proposed measures that are currently being considered in the Swedish capital are passed online gambling operators will be prohibited from marketing their wares in the Swedish market. The measures would also give Sweden’s gaming operator the power to order the country’s local internet service providers to display warning messages on sites that are not licensed and block any associated online payments.

The proposed legislation would also introduce a new “gambling fraud” criminal offense which would, in turn, lead to the establishment of a government commission for the sole purpose of handling instances of match-fixing.