Online Gambling Websites

WSOP Drives Up American Visits To Online Gambling Websites

October was a busy month at online gambling websites and that is largely thanks to the World Series of Poker. The 2010 edition had people checking out who was set to play at the final table of the main event, as well as picking up other news on the Internet gambling industry.

For October, traffic to online gambling websites doubled on the way to the midterm elections in early November. The increase in traffic is not surprising to industry insiders, who understand that the online gambling industry is still growing.

“The bottom line is that no matter what the government tries to do to keep prohibition of Internet gambling, US residents are still seeking out sites to place their bets,” said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. “The more the issue is in the mainstream news, the more Americans want to learn about online gambling.”

Jeff Hackett, Executive Vice-President of comScore Media Matrix, believes that the midterm elections had a lot to do with increased traffic to political websites, which is to be expected. Beckett also cited the WSOP as the driving force behind the online gambling traffic, with the WSOP final table playing out with live updates online.

The most traffic for any sites were again Google and Yahoo. Microsoft was third, and the trio will almost always top the list with their being the link between US residents and the information highway. Facebook.com, the social networking giant, passed 150 million visitors, gaining on the top three.

Google sites had over 180 million visitors, while Yahoo sites were right behind at 179.6 million. Microsoft had 170.6 million visitors for October. Further down the list of the top ten traffic sites, but still gaining much attention are Apple Inc., Amazon sites, and Viacom Digital.

Full Tilt Poker

Full Tilt Poker Lawyers Claims Company Wants To Pay Players Back

Full Tilt Poker has gone from one of the most trusted, well respected online poker sites in the world, to a company that has millions of online players irate, in less than a year. Black Friday has started a downward trend in the company’s reputation, one that their attorney tried to clean up over the weekend.

Jeff Ifrah has been called upon to help Full Tilt get out of the legal mess that has arose since Black Friday. When the US Justice Department indicted executives of Full Tilt, nobody knew the long term implications. Today, the fallout from the indictment is coming hot and heavy at the company.

Ifrah took to the popular Two Plus Two forums over the weekend to answer questions, many of which ccame from poker players who are still owed money from the poker site. After Black Friday, Full Tilt halted operations in the US, and shortly after, they were stripped of their gaming license in Alderney.

Still, the company claims they are looking for investors with the urpose of paying customers back. Whether that is true or not, nobody knows except the select few executives that are in the negotiating sessions with various investors.

The lawyers also was quoted as saying that Full Tilt has made it a rewquirement that any deal completed with potential investors will have a payment plan included for former players. That may cut heavily into the amount of money the company would pull from any sale, with hundreds of millions of dollars owed to players.

Full Tilt has been hit with several lawsuits since Black Friday, most notably one brought on by poker legend Phil Ivey. The poker pro represented the company on their site and at tournaments all across the world. When Full Tilt did not pay players back immediately after the indictment, Ivey boycotted the World series of Poker, saying he would not attend until the players were paid back.

Online Gambling Law

William Hill Continues Preparations For US Online Gambling Law

William Hill has taken a different approach than other foreign gaming companies when it comes to entering the US online gambling market. While other companies have started to partner with US gaming companies, William Hill has chosen to purchase land-based gaming operations in the country.

Last month, the UK bookmaker announced the purchase of two Nevada sports book businesses. Today, the company revealed that they would also be acquiring Brandywine Bookmaking, a company that has sixteen sports books in Nevada. The move is further evidence that William Hill is attempting to become a presence in the US gaming market.

“These foreign companies have waited for a long time, until they were almost certain that the laws in the US were going to change regarding online gambling,” said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. “Now, with change appearing imminent, the UK companies are moving in with the hopes of gaining a license if the laws change.”

There has been a growing number of lawmakers in Washington in favor of ending online gambling prohibition. Representative John Campbell, a Conservative, has proposed legislation that would overturn the Unlawful Internet gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, and set up a regulated Internet gambling model in the country.

US gaming operators that entered into deals with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in recent months were hurt a couple of weeks ago when an indictment came down against top executives from both countries. Steve Wynn had partnered with PokerStars, while the Fertitta family partnered their Station Casinos company with Full Tilt. Both partnerships were terminated after the indictment.

Analysts understand why these foreign operators are making their move at the current time. Companies like William Hill have impeccable reputations in countries where they are licensed, and in buying US gaming companies, WH can start building that reputation in the US, further adding to the possibility that they will gain a license if the laws in the US change in the coming years.

Columbus Casino

Voters In Ohio To Decide Location Of Columbus Casino

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In November, voters in the state of Ohio did something they had never done before, they approved casino gambling in the state. Now, those same voters will have to go back to the polling booths to determine the location of a Columbus casino.

After voters approved four casinos, one each for Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati, there were groups that opposed the location of the Columbus casino. The original ballot question had specific locations for the casinos.

The arena District was chosen for Columbus, but business owners did not want the casino built in that area. They felt the casino would be best-served in another location in Columbus. The mayor suggested several potential sites to Penn National Gaming, the developer of the casino.

Penn National agreed to build the casino on the former Delphi Corp. plant, but the city and the developer did not have the right to change the location of the casino. In order to change the location, another amendment would have to be voted on by residents in the state.

On Wednesday, the Ohio House voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal for the May ballot. The House voted 71-26 on the issue. The Senate had already approved the measure on Tuesday, leaving the House as the only hurdle.

The other three cities have had no such issues with their casinos. The four casinos are expected to bring thousands of jobs to Ohio residents and millions of dollars to the state in tax revenue.

Gambling Transactions

Visa Follows MasterCard, Bans Online Gambling Transactions

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The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act may not go into effect until June, but already major credit card companies have stopped processing online gambling transactions. Visa, the biggest credit card supplier in the US, has become the latest company to block the transactions.

MasterCard was the first of the major credit card companies to block online gambling transactions, but that effect was not felt strongly with many people using Visa credit cards. Now, millions of players in the US will be affected by Visa’ decision to block their transactions.

Representative Barney Frank is leading a charge in Congress to have the UIGEA overturned. He has gained the support of many lawmakers, and successfully lobbied the Treasury Department in December to delay the publishing of the rules for the UIGEA until June.

With the focus of Frank’s Financial Committee being on the economy, the lawmaker from Massachusetts has been unable to find time to have a discussion on his proposed legislation. With June just a few months away, Frank must move quickly to have his Bill passed.

There is always the chance that Frank once again asks the Treasury Department for a delay. If granted, Frank would most likely have to the end of the year to pass his legislation.

The credit card companies, in the meantime, have made the decision to start abiding by the UIGEA already. MasterCard shocked many a few weeks ago with their decision, and now both MasterCard and Visa are taking big risks.

The online players will survive by finding another method to deposit money into their online casino accounts, E-wallets have become a popular deposit methods. The credit card companies, however, may lose millions of dollars after their recent decisions.

Online Gamblers

Verizon iPhone Will Bring Online Gamblers Closer To Their Action

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AT&T users have had the ability now for years to go to their favorite online gambling sites from their iPhone devices. Now, gamblers on the Verizon network will be allowed to do the same.

After months of speculation, it has finally been confirmed that the iPhone 4 is coming to Verizon. The news was met with cheers from Verizon customers, even though the phone will not have some of the capabilities that mobile users have come to expect.

“This is a great day for me,” said Mark Halifax. “For the past couple of months, I have been using my girlfriend’s iPhone to access my online poker sites. Now, I can get an iPhone for myself and not have to bother her. I can’t wait until the iPhone’s are released.”

Verizon will use the devices similar to how AT&T has used them, to get customer commitments. Any person buying the iPhone 4 from Verizon will have to commit to a two year service contract. That is the same term limit as the AT&T contract. The phone will officially be available on February 10th at Verizon retailers.

One problem that online gamblers may run into is the connectivity to the Internet. Every time a new call comes into the phone, the connection to the Internet will be lost. This will be dangerous for online poker players who may be locked into hands when their phone rings and disconnects from the poker site.

An advantage for customers of other networks is that their existing numbers will be able to be transferred to the new Verizon iPhone. The process of transferring the number may take up to four days.

Mobile gaming has become popular in recent years, with many sites developing apps specific for the iPhone and other mobile devices. In New Jersey, lawmakers yesterday passed legislation that will regulate online gambling, creating an even bigger market for mobile gaming.