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Latest Posts

Latest Posts

Prepare for the Hollywood-themed casino, Studio City

Written By Carla Harris

Hollywood Casino

Melco Crown Entertainment has released additional information about its fifth casino that will be opening its doors in mid-2015 and with it a spectacular array of offerings that are surely a world’s firsts in their own right.

The casino is set to capitalise on vacationing Chinese and has its sights firmly set on the middle class after the Macau gambling industry experienced its worst year in 2014, following Chinese anti-corruption policies being implemented by President Xi Jinping that effectively curbed high-rollers from frequenting the gambling mecca.

Studio City is set to boast a number of family-friendly activities as well as a rather unusual star attraction that is speculated to lure the masses – the casino is set to boast Asia’s highest Ferris wheel at a staggering 130 metres high. The ride will be nestled between the two hotel towers of the resort and was inspired by ‘two asteroids shooting through a Gotham city building’ according to developers.

In addition the resort has signed a deal with Times Warner that will allow them to include a slew of DC Comics superheroes and Warner Bros. characters in its rides and activities. Batman features prominently with a Batman Dark Flight virtual reality ride as well as a Batman climbing structure for children.

The $3.2 billion complex naturally also caters for adults and according to Bloomberg, who interviewed Lawrence Ho, chief executive officer of Melco Crown Entertainment, the casino will initially aim to have 400 gambling tables and 1600 hotel rooms available. On top of that the resort will feature a Pacha nightclub, a TV broadcast studio and a 5000-seat centre for events.

Despite the financial setbacks of 2014, Ho is optimistic about the development as close to 2 million mainland tourists visited the former Portuguese colony in November, an increase of 28 percent and 70 percent of the total, according to government figures.

Only time will tell if Melco’stourism gamble pays off.

Casino heavyweight James Packer loses $1.8 billion on the stockmarket

Written By Carla Harris

Australian Dollars

Some of Australia’s richest men have fallen on hard times, well by their standards anyway! In the past 12 months, shaky economic circumstances and a fall in share prices have caused a loss of more than $5 billion among the country’s wealthiest, but one of the hardest hit by the financial decline is businessman James Packer. The gambling bigwig and chairperson of Crown Resorts, one of Australia’s biggest entertainment and resort groups, is now $1.8 billion poorer on paper, according to Sky News Australia.

Packer, son of Kerry Packer, the late media mogul, inherited the family company, Consolidated Press Holdings Ltd. He soon tired of the traditional press and began forging a future in international gambling and tourism with Crown Resorts, a group that not only has two of the biggest entertainment complexes in Australia (Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex, Melbourne and Crown Perth), but also resorts in Macau, the high-end Aspinall’s Club, London, and is currently invested in a building in Sri Lanka that was set to be completed this year.

As reported by New Zealand’s Business Day, Crown Resorts has seen a 28% fall in share price and operations are not running as smoothly as they did in the past. ‘Crown's two Australian casinos have been hit by sluggish consumer spending while plans for a $US400 million casino development in Sri Lanka look to have stalled after a change of government.’

This is not the first time billionaire Packer and his Crown Resorts have faced an uncertain future. Back in 2008, an attempt to enter the Las Vegas gambling industry resulted in losses of US$250 million investment as Fontainebleau Resorts ended up filing for bankruptcy. It was reported in the Sydney Heraldin 2009 that this was one of a number of failed bids to crack ‘the coveted Las Vegas market’.

Packer was not the only member of the ‘Rich List’ to feel the pinch. Andrew Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, was the hardest hit with the fall of mining stock taking $2.5 billion of his paper wealth. This also affected Kerry Stokes, chairman of Seven Groups Holdings, another one for the mining industry.

Mining aside, the fall in share price for Crown Resorts does say something about the current state of Australia’s gambling industry. Does this mean that Australians would rather choose convenience and play their Pokies online than go through the effort of visiting a land-based casino or resort?

The Industry Innovations of Australian Gambling Mogul Len Ainsworth

Written By Carla Harris

Jackpot Slot Machine

When Len Ainsworth took over his father’s dental equipment company as a young man, he had little idea that he would ultimately transform the gambling industry and become one of the richest people in Australia. Now in his 90s, Ainsworth devotes a great deal of his AU$1.35 billion fortune to a variety of philanthropic efforts. A cancer survivor, he donates substantial sums to support cutting-edge medical research.

His firm dedication to innovation has served Ainsworth well over the course of his 62-year gambling industry career. He founded the slot machine company Aristocrat Leisure in 1953 and soon grew into a global market leader. Never one to be satisfied with the status quo, he always looked forward to the latest advancements in the industry.

As modern technology expanded beyond the world of traditional spinning-reel slot machines, Ainsworth consistently kept pace with the progress. Over the years, Aristocrat began to produce a wide range of linked jackpot systems, electronic card game simulations, and computerised table games. The company has also created revolutionary digital gaming systems that are able to manage entire networks of slot machines.

Aristocrat is perhaps been known as the manufacturer of the iconic, Egyptian-themed “Queen of the Nile” slot. A great deal of the company’s revenue, however, is generated through its popular linked jackpot brands “Jackpot Carnival” and “Cash Express.” These hyperlink systems are able to synchronize as many as 256 machines, allowing them to do display a common progressive jackpot.

After his cancer scare, Ainsworth handed ownership of Aristocrat over to his sons to begin Ainsworth Game Technology. At an age when most people are thinking about retirement, he continues to push the hi-tech envelope, offering a range of global gaming solutions and progressive linked terminal systems. In 2010, Macau Business Magazine presented Ain

Will ISP Filters Create a Headache for British Bettors?

Written By Carla Harris

David Cameron

Online poker players and other gamers will soon be required to jump through an extra hoop — and they have a new policy spearheaded by Prime Minister David Cameron to thank for it.

Cameron has been lobbying the U.K.'s largest Internet service providers to install automatic browsing filters in an effort to protect minors from violent, racist and adult material.

Customers must manually opt out of such filters by making a request to their ISP.

The U.K.'s four largest ISPs have responded to the lobbying in different ways. Sky and TalkTalk have agreed to require opt-out filtering, but Virgin Media and BT, the country's two other major ISPs, have yet to introduce opt-out filters. Both are under pressure to do so, though, and BT now uses an opt-in filter.

While the filters are primarily designed to prevent minors from accessing violent or adult material, online gaming sites are also affected. Some ISPs attempt to filter all gaming sites, while others only filter gaming sites with adult content.

That could be a significant problem for some online gaming fans, who may not be able to opt in to the filtering system without blocking their favourite gaming sites.

Some critics have assailed this "broad brush" approach, claiming that too much content is being inadvertently restricted. Some businesses and even charities have complained that their sites have been unwittingly placed off limits because of software mix-ups. There's also considerable confusion on the consumer side, as the filtering policies of ISPs are not uniform.

There's also a question as to whether gaming is being unfairly lumped in with adult or objectionable content.

While the value of opt-out filtering can certainly be debated, one thing seems beyond question — poker and other games have nothing in common with violent or adult content.

To lump them together is poor policy — and a unnecessary headache for British gaming fans.

Lucky Fire Online Slots Review

Written By Carla Harris

Lucky Firecracker Online Slot

It is said that the person who launches the first fireworks on Chinese New Year will be awarded good luck. This New Year, be the first to offer this explosive new video slot from Microgaming and all the luck in the world will be yours. This Chinese New Year-themed Slot is crammed with exciting features and boasts truly entertaining gameplay.

Not only does the Slot feature amazing animations but also a bevy of fantastic graphics - Lucky Firecracker is an explosive celebration of Chinese tradition, replete with bright fireworks, traditional coins and paper lanterns. The base game is accompanied by an atmospheric soundtrack that harks back to traditional oriental music and once the Free Spins feature is initiated a frenetic percussive soundtrack takes the lead.

This 5-Reel Slot offers 243-Ways-to-Win, Wilds, Scatters as well as an explosive maximum win of 90,000.

The Wild is represented by the Lucky Firecracker symbol and appears on Reels 2 and 4 during the base game, this symbol substitutes for all symbols except the Scatter symbol.

When 3, 4 or or 5 sparkling Scatter symbols appear anywhere on the Reels, prepare for the Free Spins fuse to be lit and a winning extravaganza to begin. You’ll be rewarded with 15 Free Spins with a 3x Multiplier and on top of that Free Spins are retriggerable which could lead to further wins and Spins, on top of all the action Wild symbols will once again substitute for any symbol save the Scatter symbol.

For those looking for even more action and entertainment, a Gamble Feature is sure to hit the spot. You stand to double your win when you accept the challenge of placing your bet on the correct card colour.

Get ready to celebrate as the fireworks light up the night sky and your winning potential soars to new heights with this amazing Video Slot.

Golden Era Online Slots Review

Written By Carla Harris

Double Era

Join the all-star cast of Golden Era for a trip down memory lane where the icons aren’t just the character symbols but also the fantastic features that this Video Slot holds. This classic Hollywood-themed Slot boasts an all-star cast that are intent on sharing their glamorous lifestyle and wealth with you.

Golden Era is sure to immerse players with its distinctly cinematic artwork, animations and audio. This Slot combines crisp graphics with vintage design which is accompanied by a charming cinematic score that is both old-fashioned and upbeat.

This 5-Reel, fixed 15-line Slot offers the traditional fare of Base Game features with the main attraction being the phenomenal payouts and the Bonus features.

Get ready for an outstanding performance when 3, 4, or 5 Scatter symbols appear on the reels revealing two Bonus features from which to choose which are guaranteed to steal the limelight: Free Spins with Merging Wild Reels or the Double Feature Bonus.

Free Spins
This Bonus feature grants you access to 12 Free Spins and you’ll witness the debut of an exciting new Wild feature, Merging Wild Reels. Each Wild Reel features 1 of the 2 sophisticated stars and with every spin the Wild Reels move towards each other incrementally till they meet and combine in the middle of Reel 3 with the Merged Wild Reel awarding a 2x Multiplier on all participating wins.

Double Feature This feature epitomises vintage Hollywood with a selection of classic motion pictures posters. The aim of the game is to pick as many posters as you can until the game is ended with the pop item which awards cash value before ending the Bonus. Each poster you successfully pick is loaded with a spectacular cash prize, and there a chance to discover the Bonus Multiplier that doubles all Bonus wins.

Don’t miss a second of the action in Golden Era. With an accessible minimum bet of 0.15 bet and wins of up to 106,000 in the Base Game, 66,000 in the Free Spins Bonus and 14,000 in the Double Feature Bonus, everything is in place for box-office brilliance.

Loaded HD Online Slots Review

Written By Carla Harris

Loaded Slot Machine

The popular Loaded Slot is reintroduced as a fully HD, optimised Video Slot with sharp, modern graphics and the same solid engine as its predecessor. Microgaming has done a brilliant job in redesigning the graphics giving it a truly modern feel and the high definition dimensions substantially increase the player interaction.

This classic hip-hop themed 5 Reel, 25 Payline slot is the same game players know and love with a new soundtrack, revamped visuals and modern functionality to further pay homage to the tongue-in-cheek take on the hip hop music industry, complete with gold-plated turntables, huge music awards, and a royal purple Cadillac.

This ghetto-glamorous Video Slot offers players the chance to reap a wealth of bling and tricked-out prizes ranging from Free Spins features to a Gamble feature.

The Free Spins feature is activated when 3, 4 or 5 Scatters represented by the Bling Bling symbol appears on the reels. This unlocks the Free Spins chamber where three foxy mamas each represent a Free Spin and Multiplier combination: 12 Free Spins at a 4x multiplier, 16 Free Spins at a 3x multiplier, or 24 Free Spins at a 2x multiplier.

If players are fortunate enough to land on the Triple 7 gangster Wild symbol, it triples any win it contributes to, prompting the dollar dollar bills to dramatically increase.

As in the original game, players are given even more opportunity to fill their money clip and test their street smarts with a Card Gamble Feature that can double or quadruple their win. All they have to do is wager on red or black to double their wins, or live life on the wild side and bet on a card suit to quadruple their cash.

This Slot is ideal for those older thugs who know what they’re doing and are looking for higher stakes – the minimum bet sits 0.01 and a maximum bet sits at 125, with a dope jackpot of 210,000.

Take to virtual streets and run with this posse now.

Forsaken Kingdom Online Slots

Written By Carla Harris

Forsaken Kingdom

For those with a penchant for adventure and ancient lore pertaining to King Arthur and the Round Table, this game title is sure to tick all the boxes. Introducing Forsaken Kingdom ™ where the player takes on the esteemed character role of King Arthur.

Players will be confronted by dark and hostile environments depicted in Hollywood-like blockbuster orchestration but as always the hero will have access to weapons and tools to get through the most trying predicaments.

In keeping with the Arthurian-theme, players will be delighted by the extra features which all touch on popular elements of the fable including the romantic Eternal Love feature, the eye-pleasing Guinevere Stacked Wild feature and the mighty Epic Battle Bonus.

The Free Spins feature is initiated when three or more Shield symbols appear on the reels. The Free Spins feature is sure to astound players when King Arthur himself appears on screen and pulls Excalibur from the stone revealing between 5 and 12 Free Spins. All these tremendous highlights are rounded off with the Excalibur Win symbol that proves superb winning opportunities.

The crowning glory of this Slot can be found in the form of the Round Table of Fortune feature. The main objective of the game is to summon all twelve knights to the Round Table by collecting their corresponding shield symbols. Once all twelve are present the feature initiates and a bountiful treasure is unlocked with aid of Multipliers.

This Slot is truly amazing, not only does it boast great gaming features but also phenomenal graphics and fantast animations that create the perfect ambience for a dark medieval Slot.

Take up arms with this 5-Reel Video Slot and traverse the medieval landscape for a mythical adventure.

*One must note though that this game is only available on Flash.

Online Poker player wins big

Written By Carla Harris

Play Poker Online

An astonishing win was recently awarded in New Jersey after a player struck it lucky on the online Poker variant, Let it Ride. The man who preferred to remain anonymous smashed the previous online jackpot record held by Cathy Ruela of $1,3 million with his mighty $1,52 million jackpot.

The New Jersey man won with the hand with a Royal flush after wagering $500 on his three initial bets, as well as a 3 Card-Bonus side bet. It was reported that the man won the grand sum through 1000:1 payout on the three $500 bets as well as a 40:1 pay out on his 3 Card-Bonus bet for a Straight Flush.

The Let It Ride game offers players a relaxed pace in contrast with other Table Games which has proved to be an excellent candidate for older players as well as beginners.

The popular Let it Ride game is a variation of the Five-Card Stud with the game based on three player cards and two community cards. The community cards are initially dealt face downwards and the player is given two chances to withdraw a third of their initial wager. The first opportunity is offered after the player has had a chance to view their cards before the first community card has been revealed. The second opportunity follows after the first community card has been revealed. The player can decide to reduce their wager on both of these instances, a single instance, or they can opt to keep their original wager intact – this move is then termed as “letting it ride”.

It certainly appears that New Jersey’s decision to legalise online gambling in November 2013 has paid off as reported revenues for the fiscal year of 2014 amounted to $122 million with a number of players also reaping in the rewards.

Online gambling opponents a no-show at CPAC debate

Written By Carla Harris

The recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was meant to see two sides of the online gambling legalisation issue in America square off in a debate, but the team of online gambling’s opponents simply didn’t pitch up.

The two organisations that were meant to go head to head at the CPAC conference, a political conference for conservative activists and elected officials, were the self-explanatory Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) and the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). The former, an organisation bankrolled by the hugely contraversial casino magnate and Republican Party mega-donor, Sheldon Adelson, supports a bill which would effectively cement the illegal status of online gambling across the United States, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA). The 81-year-old Adelson has made little secret of his dislike for the very concept of gambling online and has rallied an unlikely alliance of conservative groups with the formation of CSIG, consisting of many organisations which seem outwardly opposed to gambling in its entirety.

PPA Executive Director John Pappas was present at the CPAC event to defend online gambling and relaxing the current prohibition in all but a handful of states. The debate was titled “Full House: Whose Got the Winning Hand? A Debate on Internet Freedom and the 10th Amendment: Should Congress Shut Down State-Authorized Gambling Websites?” However nobody from the other side of the debate, representing Adelson’s CSIG, made an appearance. Las Vegas Sands Vice President of Government Relations, Andy Abboud, was meant to be in attendence but as the scheduled time came and went there was no sign of him or anyone else to speak on behalf of the CSIG. Of course the debate had to be cancelled.

Pappas released a statement soon after in which he said, “I guess when the rubber meets the road prohibition supporters realize they can’t backup their fear-mongering PR campaign with actual facts. I was looking forward to an open and fair debate on the future of online gaming, and not just because the facts are on our side. Before Congress votes on any legislation that would impose a broad prohibition, like the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, I think American voters deserve to hear both sides clearly articulate how such a ban impacts consumers, states and the economy.” He added that the fact primary RAWA supporters refused to join the debate indicated to him that they want the bill rubberstamped without having to debate its merits.