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May 26th General news ... Picks Daddy Pro at picksdaddypro.com
NEW GAME FROM SWEDEN
Swedish online gambling content developer Yggdrasil Gaming has some fun with fungi in its latest slot unveiled Thursday and titled Magic Mushrooms.
The game is a fantasy world-themed slot where players can win on an unchronological draw slot a first for a high performance casino product, a spokesman claimed.
The majority of standard online slot games have paylines on one side and reels that stop in sequence. Magic Mushrooms, however uses intuitive gameplay with 40 paylines, 20 from the left and 20 from the right of the game, spread across a diamond shaped 3-4-5-4-3 reel position and with the five reels drawn in an unchronological order of 1-5-2-4-3.
Players are also treated to a number of distinctive in-game ambient sounds and music created by specialist sounds artists, while the characters themselves were created in-house and first modelled as clay figures before making it to the big screen.
Fredrik Elmqvist, chief executive of Yggdrasil Gaming, said: This game is unique in every way, from the reel structure and the characters weve created to the sounds and music weve encapsulated.
DUTCH LOTTERY C.E.O DEPARTS
Observers of the Dutch gambling NFL Odds scene are speculating on whether the departure of Dutch lottery De Lotto chief executive Joost Otterloo last month will impact the reported merger talks with national lottery operator Staatsloterij, a project designed to meet the competitive challenges presented by the imminent legalisation of online gambling in the Netherlands.
Otterloo has left the industry for a management post with TNT Express, and his interim replacement at De Lotto's helm is Pieter Kuipers, a veteran businessman with ample experience, and one more than capable of pursuing the merger strategy formulated by Otterloo.
Among Kuipers' many talents is experience with mergers, following his involvement in bringing together the Television and Radio Broadcasting Foundation and the General Radio Broadcasting Association whilst he was an executive with the former body.
PENNSYLVANIA ONLINE GAMBLING HEARING GENERALLY POSITIVE (Update)
Tuesday's hearing before the Pennsylvania Senate Committee on Community, Economic and Recreational Development on intrastate internet gambling was generally positive, according to local media reports, despite Andy Abboud, a Sheldon Adelson lieutenant, again voicing the objections of his employer's land casino group to any legalisation.
The majority of witnesses appeared to support properly legalised and taxed online gambling, although some were more cautious in approach than others, suggesting delays to assess how other states were doing.
Abboud's claim that legalised online gambling in Pennsylvania would steal customers from his company's Bethlehem land casino were countered by Michael Cohen from Caesars Entertainment, who said that broadening empirical evidence has now shown that punters who gamble online do not typically frequent land casinos.
The Internet is a new distribution channel, tapping a new customer, Cohen said.
Pennsylvania represents an important opportunity for online gambling due to its populous nature. The state already has twelve land casinos and is regarded as second only to Las Vegas in terms of revenues, but faces rising competition from other Eastern states like New York and New Jersey, which have either legalised online gambling or are actively considering the possibility.
A spokesman for Parx Casino in Philadelphia, Robert Green, was concerned about the 20 percent drop in revenue at his company's land poker tables since online poker was legalised in neighbouring New Jersey late last year.
I dont think you can say with any authority that there is not an impact on bricks-and-mortar casinos, he said.
A report by Econsult Solutions earlier this year estimated that Pennsylvanian online gambling operators could generate $184 million in first-year revenues $307 million annually after that (see previous InfoPowa reports).
But Adam Ozimek, Econsult Solutions director of research added: "We don't include any license fees in there. And really, those revenues should be thought of as illustrative because we don't know what the tax rates are going to be."
Robert Pickus, chairman of the Valley Forge Casino Resort, felt the projections were reasonable and demonstrated why the state should move quickly to take a lead in the industry.
Stephen Mullin, the Econsult's president, said legalising online gambling isn't expected to eat into the profits of brick-and-mortar casinos.
"It's a different audience out there," Mullin said. "Not to say that there isn't somebody who plays I-games and also goes to a casino, but it is a very different audience."
A number of managers from Pennsylvania's 12 operating casinos say they'd be fine with online gambling as long as it were offered exclusively by existing casino licensees.
Pennsylvania lawmakers have proposed several bills, including one to prohibit any expansion of gambling without a referendum or two-thirds vote of the legislature, and another to allow online bets for many casino-style games.
Senator Edwin Erickson announced last week that he plans a state Senate measure to legalise only Internet poker.
Pennsylvanias land casino revenue fell 1.4 percent to $3.1 billion last year, the first decline since the state began opening land casino operations in 2006.
ISRAELI SUCCESS FOR BRITISH BETTING SOFTWARE SUPPLIER
British sports betting software provider LVS Ltd and its French counterpart, lottery solutions specialist Lotsys SAS (a member of the FDJ group) have announced that the Israel Sports Betting Board (ISBB), exclusive rights operator for sports betting in Israel, is now live with their systems.
LVS and Lotsys won an international tender to supply advanced betting and lottery platform technology to ISBB in the form of a customised sportsbook, a transactional engine, web and mobile site now live at Winner.co.il.
This solution provides the foundation to sustain ISBBs growth for the next decade, said Zach Fishbein, chairman of ISBB.
The project is part of ISBBs strategy to upgrade its offer to customers and distribute a much broader range of sports and markets. ISBB is enhancing productivity with the sportsbook automation suite and open architecture to enable real-time integration with satellite systems and online services.
ISBB is a very interesting customer; they are sharp and highly skilled in sports betting and IT, said Simon Ordish, LVS CEO. They know what they want and this project was a great opportunity to boost our roadmap.
The ISBB platform is a new generation of betting solution developed on modern yet proven technologies, such as Java and Oracle for the backend and Ruby on Rails for the frontend, and exposes all its services through an open REST API, considerably facilitating integration processes.
Pascal Blyau, LVS managing director and FDJ development director said: While the advanced betting and lottery platform was initially designed for online betting operators, this kind of project allows us to extend the concept into a much more global and multi-channel solution purpose-fitted for sports betting and lottery operators. This is a new class of gaming solution and is becoming a best-seller in the lottery world.