Feb 15

Evolution Gaming proves live casino games are still hot.

Latest Award for Evolution Gaming proves Live Casino Games are still HotLive dealer casino games have been around since 2003. It took some years for technology to catch up to their capabilities, delivering a high-quality product players could appreciate, but if there’s any one company that can take credit for it, it’s Evolution Gaming. Once they came along, live casinos became all the rage. That was more than 10 years ago.

Have digital gamers finally burned out on the live dealer realm? Apparently not. In fact, Evolution Gaming‘s performance over the last 12 months proves that the live gaming vertical is hot as ever. At least, that’s the perception we got last week when Evolution won yet another prestigious trophy at the Global Gaming Awards.

Evolution Named 2019 Best Online Casino Supplier

Founded in 2006, Evolution Gaming quickly became known for two things; having the top live casino product in the world, and the most impressive trophy case to back it up. This year’s Global Gaming Awards ceremony, held at the Hippodrome Casino in London on February 4, has taught us something new about Evolution and the industry as a whole. Live online casinos are now the ‘norm’.

Taking home the Online Casino Supplier of the Year award is a tremendous accomplishment for the group. For more than two decade, the term ‘online casino‘ was a general classification for RNG-based games. When referring to live video broadcasts of real dealer tables, the term ‘live casino‘ was applied.

The fact that Evolution—the leading live casino supplier for the last decade—with a trophy case to prove it—took home the award for the best 2019 ‘Online Casino Supplier‘ speaks volumes.

Latest Award Proves Live Casino Games are Still Hot

Evolution Gaming - Global Gaming Awards 2019 Best Online Casino SupplierNot only does it point to exponential growth in the popularity of live dealer games, it gives credit to the company for its expansion into the RNG-based gaming market. As of last year, Evolution now offers a small assortment of RNG-based casino games, but nowhere near enough to be worthy of a ‘online casino’ award, by the traditional meaning of the term.

It’s worth noting that Evolution’s 3-day foray at ICE Totally Gaming, which kicked off at the Excel in London the very next morning, saw the company launch 10 new gaming titles, including 8 new live casino games and 2 new RNG-based titles, which they refer to as ‘First Person‘ games; First Person Dream Catcher and First Person Lightning Roulette.

Proud Moment for Evolution Gaming

Martin Carlesund, CEO of Evolution Gaming, was beyond pleased to comment on the company’s reception of yet another benchmark award. “We are thrilled to have won this award,” he said. “The past twelve months have seen some landmark product launches from Evolution, with the runaway success of Lightning Roulette, the launch of our First Person range of games, plus three new studios opening worldwide.”

Carlesund was especially proud to accept such a prestigious award on the eve of ICE, precluding the company’s exciting revelation of 10 new gaming titles. “We are continually pushing to enrich our offering and provide our operators and their players the next generation of Live Casino games,” he concluded.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 18

Live casino table games launch at Toronto’s Casino Woodbine.

Live Casino Table Games launch at Toronto's Casino WoodbineCanada’s land-based gambling industry has been thriving for decades. Several major casinos from British Columbia to Nova Scotia deliver the same great gaming experience you’d expect to find in a Las Vegas casino. But all this time, the great city of Toronto, Ontario—the largest city in Canada—has been lacking.

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is home to three popular OLG Slots destinations. They include the Casino at Woodbine Racetrack, on the outskirts of Northwest Toronto; Casino Ajax, about 50km east of Downtown Toronto in Ajax, ON; and Great Blue Heron Casino, nearly 100km northeast of Toronto. For nearly two decades, this was the closest you’d find to a genuine casino experience in GTA, and it was a long drive to Casino Niagara for anything better.

That finally changed earlier this month when, upon approval from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG), Casino Woodbine was authorized to install the city’s very first live table games.

Live Casino Table Games Launch at Woodbine

One Toronto Gaming (OTG), subdivision of Great Canadian Gaming and operator of Casino Woodbine, went all out for the launch of Toronto’s first live dealer casino games. Not only have they opened 50 tables with live dealers, they’ve also installed 200+ electronic table games and a ‘stadium’ gaming format that can accommodate 100+ players.

Patrons can now enjoy a wide range of more than a dozen live casino game titles at the Toronto casino. According to the Casino Woodbine website, current live dealer tables include:

  • Blackjack

    • Spanish-21 Blackjack

    • Blazing 7’s Blackjack

    • Freebet Blackjack

    • Switchbet Blackjack

    • 21+3 Blackjack

  • Baccarat

    • Squeeze Baccarat

    • Regular Baccarat

  • Roulette

    • Roulette American Style

  • Miscellaneous

    • Casino War

    • High Card Flush

    • Caribbean Stud Poker with Linked Progressive Feature

    • Mississippi Stud Poker with Linked Progressive Feature

    • Let-it-Ride with Linked Progressive Feature

    • Three Card Poker with Linked Progressive Feature

More Live Table Games Coming to Toronto Casino

As previously stated, OTG went all out for the launch of the first casino table games in Toronto, and they’re not done yet. According to reports, an additional 50 live tables are coming to the casino floor sometime in Q4 2018. Another 300 slot machines are also on the list for installment, bringing the casino’s total to 3,000 slots.

“This is another important achievement for One Toronto Gaming,” said OTG President and CEO Rod Baker in the press release. “This not only is a significant step in the expansion and overall development of Casino Woodbine, but this additional gaming amenity has generated over 400 new jobs, and will create another 300 by the end of 2018.”

Players Response Positive, Request for Live Poker Tables

Just over two weeks into the new live casino table games, the response has been very positive from players. They’re getting a lot of action, with most agreeing it’s a necessary change that’s “finally” come to pass.

City native Mark M. said: “It’s about time we have live tables in Toronto. Treat adults like adults!”

The one thing Woodbine is still lacking, as several players were quick to point out, is a live poker room. Woodbine previously hosted electronic poker tables, but they were removed in January 2018. There seems to be a strong push from the community to bring poker back to Toronto with live tables. So far, there’s been no comment from Woodbine on that subject.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Feb 21

Online casino reviews are helpful, but due diligence is better.

Online Casino Review and Due DiligenceEvery single day, countless people rely on the information of online gambling review sites. Some of these websites are great, detailing every worthwhile aspect of an operator, its software, and its payment systems. Unfortunately, these types of sites fall into a very small minority.

Most online casino surveyors don’t go nearly that far. They will skim over the basic topics, hitting harder on the promotional aspect than anything else. These sites are managed by indifferent affiliates who are just looking to make a buck. So long as they can convince you to join a casino and make a deposit, they get paid. That’s the only thing they’re interested in.

Only Trust Thorough Online Casino Reviews

A thorough online casino review will cover a lot of topics. They’ll tell you the basics, like software supplier and game variety, welcome bonuses and other promotions, and what payment methods are available. But they go way beyond that.

The reviewer will note the operating company of the casino, its year of establishment and reputation during that time. You’ll learn about where that operator is licenced, and if the software supplier is certified for fairness. The reliability of customer support and modes of contact will be on display. In rare cases, the writer will detail actual communication between them and the online casino support team.

These are the best online casino review sites, and are the first place you’ll want to gather information when seeking out a new gaming site to play at. But once you’ve read enough to select a casino, don’t stop there.

Even the best online gambling site reviews rarely go far enough to deliver 100% peace of mind to their readers. For that, it takes extra due diligence on the player’s part.

Investigative Reviewing of Online Gambling Sites

There are three things you want to investigate for yourself.

Casino Licence: First, go to the casino website, scroll to the bottom and double-check on the licencing info. If they claim to be licenced in Malta, for example (MGA), click on that icon to make sure it goes to the regulator’s websites, and shows that the company is indeed licenced there. If the licencing info/image isn’t linked, chances are the licence either doesn’t exist, or is expired.

Software Certification: Software certification is generally listed at the bottom of the online casino website, near the licencing info. Microgaming-powered casinos, for instance, will always display the Microgaming logo and the eCOGRA Safe & Fair logo, right next to each other. Microgaming is the software supplier, eCOGRA is the auditor that certifies it. Click on the certification link to ensure the software is actually certified by that third-party company. You can even go a step further, investigating the auditing firm to make sure it’s reliable, as well.

Payment Processor: Just knowing the payment methods available is helpful, but what about the company that the casino employs to process its payments? Sometimes, it’s not the casino’s fault for security flaws or slow withdrawals, but rather the payment processing firm that’s to blame. Online casinos that fall under group operation (i.e. Digimedia operates over a dozen brands) often host proprietary payment services, ensuring the payments are as reliable as the casino operator itself. For those that outsource processing companies, you’ll want to check on the reputation of that firm.

If all of these things check out, you can rest assured that you’ve done your homework. Combining the information of unbiased online casino reviews with a little elbow grease will provide ultimate peace of mind.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Feb 13

Canada online games host collects bevy of 2018 gambling industry awards.

Canada Online Games Firm Stars Group 2018 AwardsThe most famous online gaming group in Canada, The Stars Group (formerly Amaya), showed off its superiority last week in London. The ICE Totally Gaming conference attracts anyone and everyone with a vested interest in the land-based and online gambling industry. It also sets the scene for a trio of major gambling industry awards.

The ExCel London played host to ICE and all three awards galas, including:

Canada Online Games Firm Takes 5

The Stars Group outshines the competition in 2018, collecting a total of 5 awards, plus 3 spots on the GIA’s Hot 50. The parent company of PokerStars, it’s little surprise that the company continues to collect trophies. But this year’s categories weren’t all typical takings for the Canadian gaming firm.

PokerStars earned the GGA Poker Operator of the Year Award, swiping the honor back from 2017 winner, PartyPoker. It was a celebratory moment for the company, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The company also took home the IGA award for 2018 Gaming Operator of the Year – Americas. That honor was bestowed upon Stars Group for its PokerStars NJ (New Jersey) platform. Again, a great honor, but no big surprise.

Over at the GIAs, The Stars Group scooped three awards, tying Scientific Games and Playtech for the most. This is where the company shined so brightly, earning the following titles:

  • 2018 Poker Operator of the Year – PokerStars
  • 2018 Casino Operator of the Year – PokerStars Casino
  • 2018 Operator Innovation of the Year – Stars Rewards

PokerStars Casino Soars to Stardom

For more than a decade, PokerStars has been the top online poker room in the industry, by leaps and bounds. When the operator entered the online casino vertical a few years back, it was a slow start. Now, PokerStars Casino isn’t just a viable operation, but a proven, award-worthy entity.

The Stars Group has taken great strides to increase the viability of its casino offering. The company now employs a throng of the industry’s most respected software brands, including Microgaming, NetEnt, NextGen, PlayTech, and many others, with Evolution Gaming‘s elite Live Casino in the mix.

Stars Rewards Recognized for Best Innovation

The icing on the cake this year is Stars Group’s recognition for best Operator Innovation. This category is among the most diverse, as any new concept is worthy of notice. This year, the GIA judges felt the company’s new Stars Rewards customer loyalty program was the most notable innovation of all.

“I am proud to see the industry recognition of our company and particularly for our Stars Rewards customer loyalty program which we just launched last July,” said Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi.

Stars Rewards “has quickly become popular with our customers as one of the most innovative loyalty programs in online gaming.”

Trio of Stars Group Execs make GIA Hot 50

The Gaming Intelligence Awards go one step further than most ceremonies, honoring the managerial staff members who work so hard to for each gaming company. This year, the Canada online games development firm saw three of their esteemed colleagues make the list.

  • Robin Chhabra – Chief Corporate Development Officer, The Stars Group
  • Jerry Bowskill – Chief Technology Officer, The Stars Group
  • David Carrion – Director of Poker Marketing, PokerStars

Ashkenazi was “delighted to see members of our senior management team on this year’s Hot 50”. The CEO lauded the team’s honors, “as it shows that people are watching for the potential innovation and inspiration that we can bring not only to our customers but to the industry as a whole.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Feb 08

Hard Rock brings casino table games to Rideau Carleton Raceway.

Casino Tables Games now at Rideau Carleton RacewayLet the competition begin! That’s the cry of Ottawa gamblers-in-the-know this week as two of the areas casinos are now competing for customers on the felt. CTV News reports on Wednesday confirm the Hard Rock’s Rideau Carleton Raceway is now offering a full layout of live table games for their casino goers.

The Rideau Carleton has been hosting slot machines since it first cut the ribbon in 1998. But it’s taken two long decades to get any table games on the floor. That final step also took a few years to accomplish, thanks to the lobbying efforts and lofty investment of universally-renowned Hard Rock International.

The announcement was made in May 2017 that Hard Rock would take over day-to-day operations, and 51% ownership, of the Rideau Carleton Raceway in Gloucester, Ontario, just south of Ottawa. Hard Rock won the favor of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) with a “master plan” to invest millions of dollars into the property, turning it into a full-fledged, integrated entertainment resort.

Hard Rock and OLG agreed to pool their resources, dropping $320 million into the project. This includes the construction of a 250-room hotel, signature Hard Rock music venue, four new restaurants, and an all new 140,000sf gaming floor. There are already 23 live table games installed; a number Hard Rock can increase to 35 in time.

Live Tables Games at new Hard Rock Ridaeu Carlton Casino

New Casino Table Games at Ridaeu Carleton

Hard Rock went all out when initiating its master plan for the Rideau Carleton Casino. They’ve installed a wide range of table games that goes well beyond the usual favorites. The Ottawa casino now boasts over 1,200 sot machines and the following list of live table games.

  • Blackjack
  • Casino War
  • Craps
  • Mini-Baccarat
  • Mississippi Stud
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Roulette
  • Three Card Poker
  • Ultimate Texas Holdem

Competition Heating Up w/ Casino du Lac Leamy

There are now two Ottawa casinos offering table games for customers. Hard Rock’s installment eliminates the long-time monopoly on tables held by Casino du Lac Leamy, situated just across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec. Needless to say, operators there weren’t too thrilled by the news that Hard Rock would become a major competitor.

Operators of that casino are preparing for the competition with a few renovations of their own. Casino du Lac Leamy is set to undergo a $47.3 million rejuvenation, mostly to remind visitors that it’s the number one destination for gaming around Ontario’s capitol.

The Gatineau casino already boasts a much wider variety of casino table games than Hard Rock’s new resort. The current list of electronic and live tables games at Casino du Lac Leamy includes:

  • Blackjack
    • Traditional Blackjack
    • Blackjack Switch
    • Free Bet Blackjack
    • Spanish 21
    • Interactive Blackjack
  • Baccarat
  • EZ Baccarat
  • Caribbean Stud Poker
  • High Card Flush
  • Let It Ride Poker
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • EZ Pai Gow Poker
  • Roulette
  • Interactive Roulette
  • Texas Hold’em Poker
  • Three Card Poker
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em

Will Hard Rock’s Reputation be Enough?

While the Rideau Carleton Raceway is sure to be a hit in the early days of launch, will it be able to sustain a steady flow of customers? Casino du Lac Leamy may be across the river in Quebec, but it’s still closer to downtown Ottawa than Rideau Carleton. Plus, their game variety goes well beyond that of the Gloucester casino.

Then again, the Hard Rock brand is known throughout the world. The company is renowned for bringing an unrivaled level of entertainment to its properties. The casino table games alone might not be enough, but overall, I think the competition between these Ottawa casinos is going to be fierce!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 23

Sifting through the attributes for the best CA online casinos of 2018.

Best CA Online Casinos 2018We want the best of everything in life. If we go shopping for a car, we don’t just want an engine that starts. We want a car with low mileage, good tires, regular service maintenance, and an engine that purrs like a kitten. Only the best car will do. We want to know that we’ll be safe and secure, and won’t break down on the side of the road. But we also want one that’s aesthetically appealing and fun to drive.

This applies to everything in life, from clothing to kitchen appliances. So why shouldn’t we demand the best from Canada’s online and mobile casinos? If we’re paying for entertainment, we deserve the best in every aspect. Skimping is not an option!

Finding the Best CA Online Casinos of 2018

There are multiple factors to weigh, just like buying a new car. You’ll want a casino website that is safe and secure. It needs to have a proven performance record, as well as an appealing game variety and lucrative promotional package. The following aspects should be scrutinized closely.

The Bonus

Although not the top priority, I know bonuses are important to everyone, so I’ll start here. We all want a big, fat bonus that will at least double our starting bankroll. But the size of the bonus is equally important as the terms involved. Can you cash out the winnings? Does it have a reasonable expiration date? Can you play all the games you want with it? Read the terms – know the terms – abide by the terms!

Reputation

An operator’s reputation is crucial to a positive experience. You need to know that your deposits and withdrawals will be honored. A site with a bad reputation is obviously the wrong choice, and reputations are all-too easy to come by in this day and age of social media. It won’t take much digging to learn an operator’s true reputation.

However, to obtain a reputation, good or bad, a site must have longevity. Don’t sign up with an operator that just launched. Stick with tried-and-true CA mobile casinos that have been around for years, and have built a good reputation based on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Safety & Security

Today’s gambling websites are much more secure than they were ten or twenty years ago. Technology has come a long way. The most responsible operators employ the highest standard of security measures, including 128+ bit SSL data encryption. This ensures all personal and financial information is ivisible to prying eyes during transmission.

Game Selection

This is more of a personal preference than anything. What types of games do you expect to play? If you’re a slots lover, you’ll want a site with a wide variety of slot machines – classics, video slots, multi-feature slots, etc. If you prefer table games, make sure all your favorites are available. Check out the live casino offerings as well. Live dealer blackjack can be way more interesting than the traditional, RNG-inspired games.

Software & Compatibility

This is another crucial aspect to look into. If the software is slow or twitchy, it will undermine the entertainment value. It also needs to be regularly tested and certified for fairness. Choose a brand that provides RTP transparency, exhibiting the theoretical payback percentage for each game within its information tab.

You’ll also want to make sure it’s compatible with any and all devices you intend to play on. Is a download required, or even offered, for desktop play? Can you login and play from a smartphone or tablet? Is it optimized for your mobile operating system (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry, etc.)?

Payments Options

Take a look at all the payment options available. Make sure you have a convenient and cost effective way to get money in (deposit) and out (withdrawal) of the casino. What brands of credit/debit cards are accepted? Can you use a web wallet like Skrill, or a prepaid card/voucher? You should always plan ahead. Know what withdrawal method you’ll use before you make your first deposit.

Local vs International Regulation

Last but not least is the matter of local versus international regulation. Several Canadian provinces offer a home-grown gambling website. Let me start by saying both are perfectly legal. By law, players cannot be penalized for choosing to deposit and play real money casino games at an offshore gambling website. However, there are benefits to both sides.

Playing locally guarantees compliance with the regulations of your province. There’s no question as to whether payments will be honored, or whether the games are fair. Local regulation provides the ultimate player protection package.

As for international websites, the best CA online casinos of 2018 offer the exact same assurance, and provide a much wider variety of games. They are also able to deliver regulars bonus promotions you won’t find at local websites. The key is to follow the guidelines above to ensure you’re playing at a safe, secure, and reputable website.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 12

A glance at the best online casinos of 2017, shortlisted for this years eGR Operator Awards.

eGR Operator Awards Shortlis of Best Online Casinos of 2017Every year since 2010, eGaming Review has held its annual eGR Operator Awards ceremony. It’s become the industry’s identifying pinnacle of success. To win such a prestigious award shows phenomenal merit, while appearing on the shortlist of nominations is an immense honor in itself.

Last week, eGR released its shortlist for the upcoming 2017 eGR Operator Awards. Billed as the “Oscars of the egaming sector”, these go out to the companies that operate the best internet casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks, bingo sites, etc. It does not include the software companies that supply the games – only the operators of the websites where players enjoy them.

As players, this is a great opportunity to discover the best online casinos of 2017, long before the awards ceremony takes place at London’s Grosvenor House on October 26. Without further ado, we’ll take a look at those who made the shortlist for one of the most prestigious awards of them all, Casino Operator of the Year.

eGR’s Best Online Casinos of 2017

Below is the complete list of shortlisted operators for this year’s award, followed by a brief description. Note that they are in alphabetical order – no preference suggested.

888Casino

888Casino is one of the oldest operators in the online gambling business, originally launched by 888 Holdings in 1997 as Casino-On-Net. This company has appeared multiple times on the eGR shortlist, and has taken home two awards in the past. These include 2013 Operator of the Year and 2013 Poker Operator of the Year.

GVC Holdings

GVC Holdings is a major operator in the egaming space, responsible for a large quantity of top online gambling websites. GVC operates big names like bwin, Sportingbet, CasinoClub, partycaino, partypoker, Foxy Bingo and more.

Kindred Group

If the name Kindred doesn’t ring a bell, you may remember this operator as Unibet Group Plc. Following a strategic focus on acquisitions, the company changed its name in December 2016. As of now, Kindred Group operates 13 brands, including Unibet, Stan James, 32Red, Roxy Palace and others. The company made out very well at the 2016 eGR Operator Awards, bestowed with the three titles: Best Marketing Campaign, Best Socially Responsible Operator, and the highest honor of all, 2016 Operator of the Year.

LeoVegas

LeoVegas was launched in 2011 with one single goal in mind—to become the world’s #1 mobile casino provider. They’ve done a pretty good job of it so far, having taken home industry awards every year since 2013; nine of them in all. They includes eGR’s 2014 Best Mobile Product of the Year.

Mr Green

Mr Green is one of he most decorated online casino suppliers in the business. Since launching in 2008, the company has been awarded 20 times already, including 7 from eGR, and 7 more from IGA (International Gaming Awards). Mr Green is known for its social responsibility, and for pioneering the employment of multiple software brands.

PokerStars

No list would be complete without PokerStars, the long-time leader in online poker operation. PokerStars Casino came along in 2016 with the integration of NetEnt software, expanding again in 2017 with Microgaming‘s Quickfire platform. PokerStars is a common name on eGR shortlists, but this is their first appearance on the Casino Operator of the Year shortlist.

Sky Betting & Gaming

Sky is one of the most recognized online gambling brands in the UK, operating Sky Bet, Sky Casino, Sky Vegas, Sky Poker, and Sky Bingo. Another regular at the eGR awards, Sky took home three trophies in 2016 for Best Bingo, Sports and Mobile products.

William Hill

Originally established in 1934 as a land-based bookie in the UK, William Hill spread its wings into the online realm and never looked back. The company hosts all varieties of internet gambling, collecting the eGR Best Online Casino Operator, Slots Operator, and Operator of the Year awards in 2014.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , ,

Aug 22

Two decades (and one rebranding) later, 888 Casino celebrates 20 years!

888 online casino celebrates 20 years

Take a step back in time to 1997. Times were much different back then. Mexico repaid a $12.5 billion loan ahead of time. The US economy was deemed ‘strong‘. 68 nations actually agreed on something at a Geneva conference. O.J. Simpson lost his court trial (the civil suit, not the criminal one). The European Union banned Turkey from membership. And a 63 year old woman gave birth – successfully!

Yes, it was quite a year. Russia’s Mir space station was repaired, damaged, and repaired again. The US landed a rover on Mars. And Nevada stripped Mike Tyson of his boxing license, fining him $3 million for biting off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a heavyweight title fight.

These were all memorable moments in 1997. What you won’t remember in those days were things like smartphones—still 10 years in the making. Social media didn’t exist. Amazon and Google were but twinkles in the eyes of their beholders.

There was one thing going on that would change the gambling world forever. The online casino industry was being born. And among its founders was a little-known company called Casino-On-Net. You may not recognize that name, but you’ve probably heard of them by their current title, 888 Casino.

Birth of 888 Online Casino

The 888 casino brand was the brain child of two pairs of Israeli brothers, Aaron and Avi Shaked, and their partners Ron and Shay Ben-Yitzhaq, who established Virtual Holdings earlier that same year.

As the story goes, Aaron Shaked had an epiphany while attending a dentistry conference, and decided to fund an online casino operation. They called it Casino-On-Net, and operated the business out of Antigua.

Building of an Omni-Channel Brand

Following the turn of the millennium, the company founded several more online gambling websites and moved its base operations to Gibraltar. Among the new domains was 888 Poker, which saw almost instant success and would go on to be the catalyst for further 888 branding. Casino-On-Net became 888 Casino, and the company branched out into other iGaming venues with 888 Bingo, 888 Sports. and 888 Games.

In 2005, 888.com gained ultimate recognition as the ‘Best Casino Operator of the Year‘, and ‘Best Overall Online Gaming Operator‘. The internet gambling giant has won multiple awards since, including its latest honors as the ‘Best Digital Operator of the Year‘ at the 2016 Global Gaming Awards in Las Vegas.

888 Casino Today

Roll the clock forward, and the 888 online casino brand is one of today’s most popular operators, especially in Canada and parts of Europe. It’s the most prominent operator in the heavily restricted US market, operating in all three states where internet gambling is regulated (Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey).

The stale software and stagnant game variety of old has been replaced with graphically-rich, HD-quality gambling for all users, on desktop and mobile. Live casino games are now on the menu, giving players the most realistic at-home (or on the go) casino gaming experience ever witnessed.

Happy 20th Anniversary to 888 Online Casino!

Celebrating a 20th anniversary is always a momentous occasion. But when the industry you serve is only two decades in the making, that’s something extra special. Happy 20th anniversary to one of the iGaming world’s founding fathers, 888 Casino. Here’s to another 20 years of pioneering success!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , ,

Aug 21

Parq Vancouver Casino Resort, opening Fall 2017, elevating the bar for Canada’s integrated resorts.

The Autumn months are just around the corner, and that means visitors to downtown Vancouver will soon have a new playground to romp. I’m referring to the Parq Vancouver Casino Hotel Resort, scheduled to open this fall.

Parq Vancouver Casino Canada Integrated Resort

In the works since mid-2015, the team behind the upcoming Canadian casino project has one clear goal in mind. They are determined to raise the bar for integrated resorts in Canada, and beyond.

How do you evolve a key industry into something new, revolutionary and ultimately appealing? They’re doing it through innovative design and boutique-style offerings, minimizing the gaming aspect while focusing on the delivery of today’s most attractive amenities. It’s a concept that’s recently worked wonders in major gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Macau.

The company behind the project, Paragon Gaming, has been specializing in the Canadian market for the last decade. It also has deep roots in Las Vegas, giving them insight to the most modern efficiencies in successful resort properties.

First Downtown Vancouver Casino

Scott Menke, the co-founder and CEO of Paragon Gaming, is especially proud of what they’ve developed in British Columbia. The Parq Vancouver casino will be the first in the downtown area. Menke believes the property’s vast amenities and luxurious design, combined with the city’s diverse culture, will draw countless visitors.

“We just fell in love with the city,” said Menke. “It’s so diverse, with so much to do. We had an opportunity to build a property that would be additive, bringing a luxury hotel product and restaurants to an entertainment destination.”

Location, Location, Location…

The company heads were very careful when selecting the location for the property. It’s purposefully situated next to BC Place Stadium and Rogers Arena, which host popular sporting teams like the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and BC Lions, as well as numerous live concerts and other special events.

This mimics the synergy casino tycoons are attempting to create between gaming and major league athletics in Las Vegas with the new T-Mobile Arena and Las Vegas Stadium, home of Nevada’s first NFL team, the Las Vegas Raiders.

Parq Vancouver Casino

The Parq Vancouver Casino Hotel is also mimicking the sleek, boutique-style arrangement that’s been so successful in Macau. The sky-scraping facade, clad entirely in reflective glass, dips low in the middle to form a U-shape. This presents a unique, recognizable design, and also separates the property’s dual hotels.

On one side is the JW Marriot Parq Vancouver, the first of that brand in Western Canada. The other side belongs to the first Autograph Collection hotel in the region, The DOUGLAS, named for B.C.’s abundance of beautiful Douglas firs.

Besides the Vancouver casino and 517 luxury guest rooms and suites, the property will also feature five restaurants, and a trio of bars and lounges. These amenities are specially designed by Blau + Associates, direct from Las Vegas, which puts great emphasis on the use of regional ingredients and culinary tastes. Another 60,000sq.ft. Of space is devoted to meeting and event space, and the largest hotel ballroom in the city.

Parq Vancouver Casino Opens Fall 2017

Deviating from the past gambling-centric design, into a more modern integrated resort structure, has proven successful already. Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands (by Las Vegas Sands Corp) and Maryland’s MGM National Harbor are perfect examples.

With the grand opening of the Parq Vancouver Casino Hotel just around the corner, Menke’s enthusiasm is at an all-ime time. “We want to bring the Las Vegas sense of community to Vancouver. We understand that to be successful, we have to be respectful to the environment and community we are building in” he said.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , ,

Aug 18

Stars Group real money online casino and sportsbook revenue up 50%.

Real Money Online Casino and Sportsbook Revenue Up 50% at Stars GroupAt the end of June, PokerStars parent company announced its official rebranding as The Stars Group (formerly Amaya). Not even two weeks later, the company issued its first quarterly revenue report following the strategic rebrand and relocation of its head office to Toronto.

Among the findings, which were mostly positive, it was determined that the company’s poker room is no longer the only big earner for the group. PokerStars is still the most profitable parallel for Stars Group, by far. But its real money casino and sportsbook offerings are soaring up the proverbial ladder.

In fact, PokerStars revenue actually decreased in the second quarter of 2017, down 5.9% to $202.9 million compared to Q2-16. The firm’s real money online casino and sportsbook products, on the other hand, rose a phenomenal 50.2% to $89.6 million. Casino and sports betting products now account for 29% of the firm’s overall revenue.

The Stars Group also lauded a substantial decrease in company debt, following a number of multi-million pre-payments. The company’s debt skyrocketed in 2014 with the $4.9 billion acquisition of PokerStars via The Rational Group (now Stars Interactive). Under the leadership of CEO Rafi Ashkenazi, who made debt reduction a priority following his appointment in May 2016, the company now owes $2.55 billion in debt.

“Our evolution and transformation into The Stars Group continued as we completed our name change and head office move, while our second quarter saw the strengthening of our core senior management team and continued solid revenue growth led by our real money online casino offering,” said Ashkenazi.

As for the future, he said, “We plan to use this momentum to continue improving and strengthening our business and pursuing our strategic objectives.”

Focus on Real Money Casino & Sportsbook

The “strategic objectives” Ashkenazi spoke of include a new focus on mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the real money online casino and sports betting arena. With PokerStars leveling out for the time being, the immense growth in the company’s other parallels clearly deserves more attention.

“Now that we are out of this quite tight financial framework, we feel more comfortable to start allocating more budget towards supporting casino and sportsbook acquisitions,” said Ashkenazi during a conference call on August 9.

He noted that the online sports betting side of the business is a “primary focus” for mergers and acquisitions. This should come as no surprise following last year’s brief, and ultimately unsuccessful, merger talks with UK bookmaker William Hill.

The CEO has different plans for the real money online casino side of the business. Stars Group announced their intent to roll out 150 new casino games before the year is out. That will more than double the existing games menu, currently at 99.

“When it comes to casino, and I’ll also include the sports betting, I believe we are just at the beginning of the journey,” Ashlenazi assured Stars Group shareholders.

Flat Future for Online Poker Revenue

He’s not concerned with the latest decrease in online poker revenue. Although Ahskenazi doesn’t anticipate a rise in yield in the impending Q3 report, he isn’t expecting further losses, either. Having just implemented a new loyalty program that revolves around recreational player acquisition, the CEO is predicting a flat margin in that department.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , ,