My Gambling Book
March 11th Casino news ... My Gambling Book at mygamblingbook.com
BETFAIR CLAIMS AN ONLINE GAMBLING COUP WITH SNAPCHAT
The publication MarketingWeek reports that UK online gambling group Betfair has scored a first-to-market coup with the imminent introduction of the photo-messaging app Snapchat, and is to use the technology to serve exclusive football odds to smartphone users.
The new service will debut Saturday 22 February, when Betfair will push odds for the Chelsea v Everton and Crystal Palace v Manchester United Premier League fixtures, targeting mainly the social media channel.
The SnapChat campaign will encourage punters to follow the Betfairofficial Snapchat profile. Rather than the current odds of 6/4, users will be able to place a maximum GBP 10 bet on enhanced doubles odds, following a similar promotional template the brand used when it first began offering exclusive odds via its Twitter profile.
Betfair says the trial is for this weekends matches only but promises that the company will look to extend the service if it proves successful.
Betfair brand manager Mark Ody told MarketingWeek: Snapchat is a relatively new, yet rapidly growing social media platform, which Im certain will play a huge role in the marketing mix of companies going forward. To be one of the first brands, and the first betting company, to make use of the platform is very exciting. It has huge potential for us as a business.
The gambling firm, which has placed mobile at the core of its off-line marketing activity though apps and social media, has also been experimenting with other emerging channels such as Vine.
In other industries, Unilevers Lynx brand became one of the first to use the SnapChat app last summer, and has since ramped up efforts to push its advertising offering with the appointment of former Instagram commercial chief Emily White.
SnapChat recently spurned a reported $3 billion offer from Facebook.
GAMBLING CONSULTANCY MAKES U.S.ONLINE PREDICTIONS
In an assessment of the US online gambling market prepared for the publication iGaming Business this week, the respected H2 Gambling Capital consultancy makes some interesting predictions for the region:
* This year the US i-gaming market will generate $300 million in gross win.
* That has the potential to grow to $351 million by 2015.
* There is considerable untapped potential in populous US states on both the West and East coasts.
* 58 percent of the potential value of the onshore-regulated US i-gaming market could be concentrated in just 10 states.
* The speed with which states legalise will be influenced by how major states like California, New York and Florida act going forward.
* Further legalisation beyond New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada could take as long as 2016, but by 2018 there could be up to nine additional individual states taking the intrastate legalisation route.
* With 12 states offering legalised online gambling, the gross win could be expected to soar to around $4.8 billion.
* At a predicted 4.9 percent of total onshore US gaming, the i-gaming industry is hardly a threat to the established traditional land-based industry. That compares to an average 17.7 percent in the EU, and 8.4 percent across the world.
ONLINE GAMBLING BUST IN BULGARIA
A special operation undertaken at the end of last week by Bulgarian authorities has revealed an illegal online gambling network operating out of Dimyan Casino on the Varna Coast.
According to the Bulgarian State Gaming Commission and the State Agency for National Security, Dimyan Casino, whose gambling licence was previously withdrawn, is alleged to have been running online gambling with participants mainly from Turkey and Israel.
AUSSIE SOCIAL ONLINE GAMING FIRM TO EXPAND
Australian InfoPowa readers may recall the name Lawrence Escalante, the young Perth entrepreneur who raised capital online to launch his Facebook social gaming company Virtual Gaming World and its Chumba Casino subsidiary.
Escalante used a typically social gaming business model to generate revenues, allowing his online players to buy extra chips for premium action rather than playing the slots and card games for rewards.
The Australian Financial Review reported over the weekend that Escalante now plans to take the Chumba action wider and for real-money within the next few weeks, using a recently acquired Philippines internet gambling licence.
Escalante additionally has expanded his Facebook action by offering Chumba's 200,000 active monthly users sweepstakes action. Apparently two thirds of his player base is US-resident, where laws pertaining to sweepstakes-style gambling are ambivalent - pursued in some states and permitted in others, and Escalante is exploiting this.
The idea is to allow users to buy virtual credits with which to gamble on his slots, enabling them to "cash in" any credits they win for a variety of prizes.
Escalante hopes that the new venture will increase the revenues per head he currently makes from around 15,000 active daily users, along with attracting more punters to his Facebook casino.
There is some cause for optimism already - Escalante claims that after one month, with no marketing, he is already seeing sweepstakes users deposit more and play far more often than those in the social casino.
The Australian entrepreneur raised $A2.5 million in private investment and says he is mid-way through raising a further A$5 million from as yet unnamed investors. He has gathered experienced managers around the company, including Steve Parker, the former general manager of slot manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure, and ex-studio manager Edgar Pau, who has recently designed for US company Bally, and is the start-ups head of slot machine design.
Innovative slot design is a key objective. Better slot games are the biggest monetiser of a social casino, says Escalante.
ONLINE GAMBLING FRAUDSTER GETS TWO YEARS IN JAIL
A 27-year-old accounts manager at Cisco in the UK has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to defrauding his clients out of a total of GBP 130,000 and using most of it to feed his online gambling habit.
Leigh Jones was earning anything between GBP 50,000 and GBP 100,000 a year in Northwich when he started swindling clients out of tens of thousands of pounds.
This week the Honourable Mr Justice Tim Holroyde, a visiting High Court Judge at the Chester Crown Court heard how, over a three-year period, Jones transferred the money out of the accounts of numerous customers into his own bank account and blew it online.
He was caught when another member of staff took over his accounts while he was on an expensive Caribbean cruise with his wife and young child in February this year.
Jones had only been working as an accounts manager for a month when he started to gamble online and began stealing money from the accounts.
Jones sold his GBP 27,000 Mercedes to repay some of the money, but it was soon discovered he had stolen money from more accounts, including GBP 84,000 in a single transaction.
In his position he had access to customers money which he was able to divert to his personal account whenever he needed it, said the prosecutor in the case. If he had not gone on holiday it would not have come to light for some time if not at all.
In mitigation, Jones' attorney said that his client has repaid GBP 42,000 to Cisco; that his wife had left him; and that he was seeking help from Gambler's Anonymous.