Poor Odds Run Free in Iowa Slots

In Iowa, slot machines that tender the worst odds for gamblers are on the rapid rise. Iowa’s 10 casinos now account for just under 25% of slot machine earnings.

In the last year, the number of 1 and 2-cent slots has doubled. This statistic stems from a review of Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission records. Known as penny machines, they allow players to bet up to $2 per spin and yield horrible odds.

As recent as two years ago, they accounted for only 4% of slot machine earnings, or $70 million. So far,  for the year that ends this June 30, casinos are on track to earn $184 million from the grouping that includes these penny machines.

Riverboat spokespeople state that the slots are still in high demand. They state that these machines include more entertaining games and make customers’ money last longer because they permit smaller bets.

Even two years ago, the Mississippi Belle II didn’t even have penny machines. As of January, 40% or its machines on the casino’s floor allowed penny bets, accounting for 66% of its slot earnings.

In January, though still less in number than 5-cent slot machines, the grouping that includes penny machines was a reported 2,339 machines.

Penny machines can vary to a great extent from traditional slot machines where, if a symbol pops up on three reels, it sets off a payout to the player. Instead, players bet up to 10 credits on each of 20 possible winning lines on the penny slots, setting off animated graphics and interactive bonus screens.

Many players to the wise know that penny machines are just another enticement for casinos to get people in the door. Knowing that a greater number of gamblers will move-on to more expensive machines.

Records illustrate that some casinos keep two times the amount of money from a $1 wager on a penny machine than from a $1 wager on a $1 slot machine.

Spokespeople for some of the casinos in Iowa say that they will even be providing 1/2 cent and 1/4 cent games in the future. Player be aware.

UK Casinos Restricted to Remote Locations?

If the U.K. builds new casinos, they might be constrained to out-of-the-way or poorer areas where potential U.S. casino companies aren’t interested in building. As it is, these would-be casinos wouldn’t be open for business until the year 2008.

Casino companies would most likely be allowed to apply for licenses in 2006 or 2007 after an autonomous government panel figures on which areas will be proper for casino construction.

U.S. casino giants that include the Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage, Las Vegas Sands Corp., Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and Ameristar Casinos Inc. have tentative plans to construct Las Vegas-style resorts in Great Britain.

There are U.K. casino operators that are against the bill, believing it will give preferentiality to Las Vegas and other investors from other outside countries, infringing on U.K. businesses. The issue of problem gambling has caused British lawmakers to strictly limit the number of casinos to only allow 8 for each category developed. The categories are based on the size of the casino – small, large and resort destination casinos.

London, which is obviously a highly populated area, could possibly only permit two casino sites, leaving other prospects to build in far -off locations that are less populated and have lower income families.

If this is to be, many would-be casino companies will most certainly pull out of any further planning, leaving only a few real brave companies willing to develop in these designated areas. While it is known that building casinos in the poorer areas would no doubt help local economies, casino companies will be leery of any profits.

PokerRoom.com Gets Award

For the Inside Edge Awards 2005, PokerRoom.com won the prominent prize of Best Online Poker Site.

Inside Edge magazine surveyed its readers for the awards through two separate voting rounds and the sites included in the category were judged on three topics –  their ease of use, speed of pay-out, variety of games and tournaments.

Inside Edge says that it asked its voters/readers to tell them how they ranked and rated their online poker sites in the three different areas. The top scorer was PokerRoom.com.

PokerRoom.com is said to be excited and proud to have been chosen in this way.

After hearing of the win, PokerRoom.com was so happy with the award that they donated over £10,000 to the charity auction in aid of SPARKS.

Playtech Sends Mission to Sri Lanka

Playtech and its licensed companies have publicized that together they will supporting a large humanitarian relief mission to send $1.8 million in medical supplies to victims of the tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka.

The mission is being prepared by Knightsbridge International, a non-governmental organization, in union with other non-governmental organizations. For about a month,  Knightsbridge has been sending desperately needed medical supplies, medical personnel and food to the stricken area. Playtech and its licensed companies will pay for one of these undertakings. The mission includes a fully-loaded 747 jet airplane designed for operations of relief.

Knightsbridge International, co-founded and chaired by philanthropist Sir Edward Artis, supplies humanitarian help and disaster relief worldwide.

The medical supplies being sent by the relief mission will help over 10,000 people for more than a year. When the aid arrives, it will be distributed through a huge, highly organized association of local centers. Volunteers are said to include heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield and Cincinnati Reds owner Carl Lindner.

Back on January 3rd, Knightsbridge International quickly sent a team of three people on a 14 day relief mission to India, Sri Lanka and Sumatra.

Gambling Federation Goes Slots Crazy

With the popularity of online casinos growing and growing these days – it isn’t hard to see why in the last four months, Gambling Federation has created 7 new slots games.

During the same period of time, the company has totally redesigned their software too. The company doesn’t have any plans to stop development of its slots either. In 2005, the company has many new plans in the works for new slots.

At this time, all the progressive slots the company has have 5 scatter symbols and players can get up to 5X the progressive jackpots on the maximum wager. Jackpot levels start at $25,000 and could possibly escalate to amounts over $150,000. Progressive and traditional slots both feature specials bonus symbols, if aligned in one of the 3 bonus patterns, players can win up to a 100X of their original wager.

The new slots that have been introduced are Chicken Ranch, Big Top Bonanza, Lucky 888, Mad Professor, Golden Goal, Jackpot Quarterback, and Atlantis.

Here’s the run-down of these hot new slots:

Big Top Bonanza – Here you have the traditional 20 line table with a circus feel to it. It has elephants and cotton candy icons.

Mad Professor – Just what you would imagine – a mad professor and his off-the-wall experiments. A 25 line table slot.

Golden Goal – The first progressive with a 15 line table and has a soccer sporting theme.

Lucky 888 – This is an Asian themed slot that is fully customized.

Chicken Ranch – This slot has the 15 line (traditional) table slot. Themed to reflect ranch life.

Jackpot Quarterback – The next progressive released after Golden Goal features a 20 line table and has a great football theme to it.

Atlantis – As you would expect, this popular new slot has an underwater theme with great sounds and even mermaids.

Gambling Federation is an independent company focused on complete operational services for the online casino industry.

Wyoming Questions Online Sweepstakes

In Casper, every day patrons enter a nearby Internet cafe to log-on to the cafe’s computers for chances to win sweepstakes by playing many different types of online casino games.

Basically, the players are using phone cards that have sweepstakes points on them and they are using the points to win actual money. All this is done using the computers that are rented at the cafe.

This sounds easy enough, but the state attorney general deems it to actually be illegal, and a nearby prosecutor for the state is asking questions. Operators of the cafe contend that it is totally legal. They feel that it is a genuine promotion plan. The operators also feel that the campaign is really not much different than the popular instant-win twist-off caps you see on soda bottles all over the country. The company holding the campaign states that it’s just trying to excel sales of their legal products which are phone cards and Internet time.

As it stands, Wyoming is one of 8 states in the US where these sweepstakes are played. The other 7 states are South Carolina, Florida, Texas, California, Alabama, Hawaii and Massachusetts. 2 other states in line to start these sweepstakes are Utah and Arizona. The games are yet another vague area in the on-going free-for-all over what illegal gambling really is.

The sweepstakes work like this, customers can either buy Internet time only, or a combo deal that includes both Internet access and a phone card. For example, 5 bucks gets you a 100-minute phone card, 1 hour of Internet access and 100 sweepstakes points. Customers can only use the points to play games on the computers at the actual cafe. Points that the customers win playing the casino games can be turned-in for additional more long-distance minutes or cash. Because the games are free to play, the gray area presents itself.

Online Casino Sites and Software Lucrative for Poker Pros

For the past few years, many of you may have noticed the endorsements of poker pros on some of your favorite online casino sites. Well, it’s becoming very lucrative for these pros to sign-on and plug a good online casino site. You may have even witnessed these pros talking about the online casino sites at poker junkets and personal appearances.

One fine example of an online casino endorsement by a pro happened in an area just inside the Rio resort when Doyle Brunson, a well known and very successful poker player, made an appearance to sign copies of his book SuperSystem 2 for his fans. While there, Brunson proudly mentioned Doyle’s Room, a new online poker site he is a paid spokesperson for. Brunson, who is actually from Las Vegas, even sports hats with a Doyle’s Room logo right on it!

Brunson, who does admit he is even putting together a book about online casino gambling strategy, says he plays poker online on a regular basis.

It really comes as no real surprise that many of the most famous poker players now play online regularly.

In fact, most of the world’s best-known poker players live in the Vegas area like Brunson does. Still, they are attracted to the online casino sites because many offer jackpots just as high as the biggest and best land casinos.

Online poker can definitely add to a poker pro’s income. If you are good at a casino on land, you are good online, too. Travel expenses to stay at home really don’t exist either.

Keep in mind that these poker pro’s you see endorsing an online casino site are merely paid spokespeople, they have no ownership in the online casino sites. This is mostly due to the fact that the laws surrounding online poker sites are vague.

Another example of a famous endorsement for and online casino-type site is  Howard Lederer, he is famous for poker as well. He promotes Full Tilt Poker. Lederer also has part ownership in a gaming software company.

The list of pros endorsing online casino sites is a long one. The list of pros branching out in the gaming software industry is gaining quickly too.

Ill. Senate Gives Go-ahead to New Program for Internet Lottery Sales

If everything goes to plan, Illinois gamblers would be able to purchase their lottery tickets from a computer. Today, the Illinois Senate approved the bill to develop the new pilot program.

The bill, brought to light by Sen. John Cullerton, a Democrat, is set to pilot a new program to experiment with online lottery ticket sales. The Senator believes that Internet lottery ticket sales might possibly fuel as much as $100 million in revenue for the state of Illinois.

The new lottery measure, which passed 32-24 now goes to the House for approval.

As far as opposition to program goes, Republicans fear the measure could generate problem gambling and raise personal debt. This is being pointed out because, online, credit cards would be accepted as a form of payment.

Expansion Plan for Gaming Gets Noticed

In Illinois, the latest plan to expand gambling includes a grant to help the state’s horse racing. Additionally today, Gov. Rod Blagojevich showed an interest in the idea.

The plan brought to fruition by Rep. Robert Molaro, a Democrat, is a variance of the very plan the Governor himself implied in March.

The plan would permit the state’s casinos to have up to 3,000 slot machines and also have table games. Currently, Illinois only allows up to 1,200 slots. In return, casinos would give the state $20,000 for each new machine. No new casinos would be allowed.

It is approximated that the state would generate between $500 – $600 million next year alone, in additional taxes and earnings from permitting more space to gamble in the casinos.

The difference between the governor’s plan and the Representative’s plan is that, Molaro’s plan includes giving 3% of the casinos’ gross earnings to the state’s racing industry. Molaro idea is to save the racing industry from the extra competition created by the state.

Additionally, the Rep’s plan asks for the top tax rate on Illinois casinos to drop down to 50%. Currently it is 70%, which the Governor supports.

The plan is likely to get a conservative response from lawmakers who are in favor of opening new casinos.