Issue N49, 2011

December 22, 2011

Microgaming Releases New Mobile Gambling Applications

Microgaming, the giant online gaming software provider, announced that it has released eight new games that can be played on mobile platforms. The games can be accessed on Android smart phones and tablets and marks a further expansion of Microgaming into the world of mobile gaming, where it already has a strong presence.

“Microgaming has always been at the forefront of mobile technology within the e-gaming industry and our ‘swipe and tap’ interface is yet another advancement which is set to delight both operators and gamers alike, “ said the Head of Product Channels for Microgaming, Neill Whyte.

“We are looking forward to the next developments in the mobile arena and are confident that Microgaming will, once again, be ahead of the curve.”

The new games that will be available on the Android-enabled smart phones and tablets include popular slot titles such as Avalon, Ladies Night, Break da Bank Again and Agent Jane Blonde. In addition, players can enjoy other casino games such as Aces and Faces and Deuces Wild video poker games.

New Online Slot Game at Betfred.com

Betfred Casino, the online gambling group, has announced the release of a new online slot game at its bingo site. The new Desert Treasure II slot game debuts from Playtech, the online casino software provider, and is a five reel, 20 pay line gem. The game, according to Betfred.com, was created “due to the popularity of the original Desert Treasure” slot game. The video slot game also comes with “an oasis of free spins, bonus rounds and expanding wilds”.

“Furthermore, super graphics and sounds will take players on an epic journey across the vast terrain of the desert,” said the gambling group in a statement this week after the game was released at its site. “The Oasis Bonus round is triggered when three or more bonus symbols appear anywhere on the reels, then the player is asked to pick their treasure box that features cash prizes up to 100 times the original bet.”

The group explained that Desert Treasure II’s free Games Bonus feature is activated when three or more scatter symbols appear anywhere on the reels, giving players the chance to spin the reels 15 times free of charge.

“Additionally, any wins from this round are multiplied by two to create endless opportunities for stunning jackpot wins.”

Playtech Declares Intention to Buy Ash Gaming

Another merger in the online gambling industry will take place next year, following news that casino software giant, Playtech will be purchasing Ash Gaming, a games developer. Ash Gaming, which came onto the gaming scene in 2002, has steadily been growing and the London based group now employs forty people and has developed around forty titles which it supplies to top gambling operators around the globe.

The deal will set Playtech back around £23 million, with £15.5 million paid out immediately and another £7.5 million paid out over the next three years as a deferred payment.

The deal, according to Playtech’s Chief Executive Officer, Mor Weizer, “enhances Playtech’s wholly-owned content library and value chain economics; complements Playtech’s technology leadership with additional premier content capability.”

“We see this as complementing our strategic actions by ensuring class leading content alongside our leadership in technology,” said Weizer. “Together this makes a powerful combination and by owning significant games content we will maximize both revenue and earnings across the value chain. In newly regulated markets both in Europe and other territories such as Canada, Ash Gaming’s content is set to gain considerable traction.”

Guilty Plea for Absolute Poker’s Beckley

Brent Beckley became the first out of the eleven men indicted by the US Department of Justice on Black Friday this year, to plead guilty to cases of conspiracy to commit fraud. The co-founder of Absolute Poker faces charges of up to 18 months in prison in the plea deal that he reportedly reached with the Department of Justice, after a hearing in a Manhattan court on Tuesday. Sentencing will take place next year, around the one year anniversary of Black Friday, when authorities swooped on the US online poker industry and charged poker executives from Absolute Poker, Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker.

According to federal prosecutors, Beckley and his colleague Ira Rubin, another of the eleven men charged “arranged for the money received from U.S. gamblers to be disguised as payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants purporting to sell merchandise such as jewelry and golf balls.”

During the hearing, Beckley said that it was he knew that it was “illegal to accept credit cards so that customers could gamble on the internet.” He also said that he “knew it was illegal to deceive banks”. Neither Beckley nor his lawyer would comment after the hearing.