Sep 06

Bring On Fall: A quick review of cool autumn online slots games.

The leaves are changing. The air is cooling. There’s pumpkin spice products flooding every market! Summer is finally giving way to fall, and we’ve got some interesting ways to celebrate the change of season.

Of the tens of thousands of digital slot machines dominating the iGaming industry, only a few have incorporated the autumn theme. In fact, it’s one of the most scarce themes in the business – odd, since the season is beloved by so many. I’m convinced that the lack of autumn themed-slots has everything to do with the gross over-abundance of holidays themed games. There are more Halloween and Thanksgiving themed slots than I could possibly care to list on a single page; certainly not with reviews and stats.

Celebrate the Season with these Cool Autumn Online Slots

Today, we’ll take a look at what’s out there, who made it, and where you can play it. As I said, there aren’t too many fall slots for mobile. It is easily among the most overlooked themes in the business, especially when you consider just how many people absolutely adore the season (and the pumpkin spiced products it brings).

So without further ado, here my top 5 favorite autumn themed online slots. I’ve provided a very brief review and some basic details for each, like reels, paylines, and return to player (RTP).

Seasons by Yggdrasil

Seasons Autumn Online SlotsThis quirky little game features all four seasons. Each season represents its own game mode. Each game mode comes with its own wild features and free spins modes. The fall season features Random Walking Wilds. When a wild owl lands, it triggers free respins where the owl travels one reel to the right, along the top, middle or bottom. Respins continue until the owl leaves the screen. During free spins, the Random Walking Wilds are even more likely to appear. The other seasons are interesting too, but fall is my absolute favorite!

Reels: 5×3 Paylines: 20 RTP: 96.10%
Where to Play: You can find the Seasons Slot at any Yggdrasil powered online casino, including LeoVegas Mobile.

Moonshine by Microgaming

Moonshine Autumn Online SlotsIt’s harvest time down on the farm, but this is no ordinary farm. Alongside the fields of pumpkins and cabbage, shotgun-toting granny and the rest of her backwoods bootlegging brood are making moonshine! Humor and profitability to go hand in hand with this 5-reel video slot. Granny is the wild, taking the place of all other standard symbol to line up wins. The sheriff is a scatter, awarding scatter pays. The moonshine bottle is the bonus, awarding free spins. Before you start, you’ll pick from a number of moons to collect extra free spins and increase the multiplier. The feature starts when the block labeled ‘Star Free Spins’ is chosen.

Reels: 5×3 Paylines: 25 RTP: 96.02%
Where to Play: You can find the Moonshine Slot at most Microgaming powered online casinos, including Royal Vegas Casino.

Monster Mash Cash by Habanero

Monster Mash Cash Autumn Online SlotsGet your autumn groove on with Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, and all their ghoulish friends as they do The Mash, slot machine style! This fiendishly fun video slot comes with expanding Jekyl and Hyde wilds that double all prizes they help to line up. He only appears on the first reel in the base game, but virtually guarantees a win when he does. During free spins, the expanding wild can appear on reels 1, 3 and 5. The Dracula Bonus scatter pays out multipliers of the total bet for 2 or more, and awards 8, 20 or 30 free games when 3, 4 or 5 appear. Add in a catchy musical score, and it all comes together with Habanero’s bar-setting flare for the dramatic.

Reels: 5×3 Paylines: 50 RTP: 96.00%
Where to Play: You can find the Monster Mash Cash Slot at all Habanero powered online casinos, including LeoVegas Mobile.

Sweet Harvest by Microgaming

Sweet Harvest Autumn Online SlotsHarvest time is the best time of year on the farm, but when the farmers happen to be super cute, it’s all the sweeter. The buxom beauty is the farmer’s daughter. The studly cowboy with the 6-pack abs is the ranch hand. They’re high paying symbols in the base game, but during free spins, they both become wilds that can stack on any reel. When the farmer’s daughter and ranch hand appear next to each other, they’ll pay out winnings with a 2x multiplier. To trigger those free spins, you need to see 3 or more barn house scatters land anywhere on the reels. If a scatter appears on reels 1 and 2, but nowhere else, those reels will hold in place for one respin of reels 3, 4 and 5, in hopes of trigger the feature.

Reels: 5×3 Paylines: 20 RTP: 96.29%
Where to Play: You can find the Monster Mash Cash Slot at all Microgaming powered online casinos, including Jackpot City and Royal Vegas.

Autumn Gold by Eyecon

Autumn Gold Online SlotsIf you like slots that are simple to understand and play, this one is a sure favorite. Autumn Gold, released by Eyecon in 2018, is a classic 3 reel game with the max number of 9 paylines. It’s packed with all the symbolic items of a beautiful fall day – from colorful leaves, pumpkins and acorns, to mushrooms, owls, and squirrels, to rain boots, umbrellas and homemade jam jars. Unlike most 3-reel classics, this one has features built in, too. The fall leaves are the scatter, awarding 8 free spins with triple payouts. You can even re-trigger the bonus up to 15 times. The umbrella is another scatter, activating the prize pick bonus for landing 3 anywhere on the reels. Prizes include instant credits wins of up to 111x the triggering bet per pick. Although the RTP on this one is a little below average, but Eyecon hit a bullseye with the cool autumn online slots theme.

Reels: 3×3 Paylines: 9 RTP: 95.41%
Where to Play: You can play the Autumn Gold Slot at all Eyecon powered online casinos, including 888 Casino.

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

Jul 23

Anticipating the launch date for legal sports betting in Canada.

FAQ & Expected Launch Date for Legal Sports Betting in Canada

Like most major countries of the world, sports is a very big deal here in Canada. We love our ice hockey, just as Brits love soccer, Australians love Aussie rules, and Americans love baseball (and basketball, and football, and boxing – I could go on.) It doesn’t have to be hockey, though. Like Americans, we Canadians are drawn all sorts of major sporting leagues, from CFL and NFL football, to NBA basketball. (Go Raptors!)

Now, like so many other major countries, Canadians will soon have a legal and locally regulated means of betting on sports. Not just low-odds parlay bets, either, but real, bettor-friendly, single-event wagers. The kinds of bets that attract genuine sports fans. We’re talking about everything from game winners and point totals, to futures and live in-play betting.

Speaking of futures, now that the government has legalized single-game betting, what’s the future look like for Canadian sports fans?

Canada Sports Betting FAQ

This FAQ will answer some of the most common questions, including how soon we can expect live and online sportsbooks to launch in Canada. But first…

Is Single-Game Sports Betting Really Legal in Canada?

Yes! On June 22, 2021, The Senate passed Bill C-218, otherwise known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act. Exactly one week later, on June 29, 2021, the measure received Royal Assent, officially enacting it into law.

The Summary of the legislation reads:

This enactment amends paragraph 207(4)‍(b) of the Criminal Code to make it lawful for the government of a province, or a person or entity licensed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of that province, to conduct and manage a lottery scheme in the province that involves betting on a race — other than a horse-race — or fight, or on a single sport event or athletic contest.”

Wait – was sports betting illegal before?

Not exactly. It was illegal for any provincial regulator to provide anything more than multi-pick, parlay betting. Provinces have done this for years, promoting it as a sports lottery. And it was illegal for any Canadian-based company to offer any form of gambling without provincial authorization. However, there’s nothing illegal about placing bets with international sports betting websites. So long as they have no physical presence in Canada, they are not bound by Canadian law.

The only real difference before and after the passage of Bill C-218 is that Canadians will now be able to place single bets with locally licensed and regulated sportsbooks (not just the international variety), and our own government will profit from it.

Will All Provinces and Territories Adopt Single-Game Sports Betting?

Most likely, yes, with the sole exception (maybe) of the territory of Nunavut. Nunavut is the only region that may choose to refrain, simply because commercial gaming has never been authorized there.

At present, Canada’s 10 provinces, plus the Northwest Territories and Yukon, offer the current parlay-style sports lottery. Most of of them also provide casino games and lotteries, either online, on land, or both. It would certainly make sense that these jurisdictions would want to work quickly to convert to single-game sports betting in the digital and retail space.

Will There Be Online Sportsbooks in Canada?

Absolutely! As previously stated, most jurisdictions already promote a locally operated online gaming portal. There’s no doubt that the new rules will be applied to both retail and online sports betting operations. In fact, some provinces were so eager for legalization, they were prepared for launch the moment the law went into effect.

British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) has already made clear its intentions to launch an online sportsbook the moment they are legally capable and prepared to do so. It says it right on their iGaming portal, PlayNow.

Is There a Launch Date for Sports Betting in Canada?

This is the question everyone wants answered – when will single-game betting arrive in Canada? Unfortunately, no one is talking about actual dates yet. In fact, regulators aren’t talking much at all, except to say that sportsbooks are coming. That leaves us with little more than the obvious speculation that a launch could and should occur sometime this Fall.

Why in the Fall, you ask? Well, for one, regulatory guidelines and licensing stipulations must still be written, and there isn’t a lot of summer left to work with. Second, provincial regulators are hoping to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible, because as the old saying goes – “time is money”. And third, the 2021-22 NHL season gets underway October 12. This should light a big enough fire beneath local legislators to get the job done, post haste.

What Commercial Sportsbooks are Coming to Canada?

There’s little doubt that all of Canada’s provincial iGaming portals will launch a sportsbook. What makes this new legislation so interesting, however, is that commercial operators are being given permission to compete – not just in the retail market, like casinos, but in the virtual market. Never before has Canada’s online gambling industry been allowed to host competition within jurisdictions.

It’s too early to devise a definitive list of what companies are going to compete in this upcoming market, assuming provinces choose to let them. Licensing guidelines have yet to be finalized, and until they are, license applications cannot be submitted for appraisal. Even then, there are no guarantees – except maybe one. Canada will cater to its home-town-hero sports betting brand, theScore Bet.

Of all the commercial operators looking to expand from the US market into Canada, theScore is the only one with roots deeply embedded in the Great White North. Another highly-likely competitor is PointsBet. That company recently launched an all new Canadian Operations team, appointing CEO Scott Vanderwel and CCO Nik Sulsky. If nothing else, PointsBet’s determination to penetrate the market is indubitably clear.

Here’s a list of operators you can expect to see opening Canadian sportsbooks (in order of most-probable), and why we think they’ll be approved to do so.

theScore Bet – Based out of Toronto, theScore runs one of the nation’s most popular sports media brands. This company might as well already have the license in hand.

PointsBet – These guys have set up an entire Canadian division for their company, complete with executive figureheads. They’ll stop at nothing to get a foot in the door.

DraftKings – This brand already operates online and mobile DFS betting in Canada, and is a respected member of the Canadian Gaming Association.

FanDuel – This is another brand that already operates online and mobile DFS betting in Canada.

Caesars – A global brand, this one owns and operates Caesars Windsor in Ontario, one of the largest integrated resort casinos in the country. It’s also an active member of the Canadian Gaming Association.

Hard Rock – An American based company, they own and operate the famous Hard Rock Vancouver in BC, and will soon open another Hard Rock Casino in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. They’re also is a member of the Canadian Gaming Association

BetMGM – Because Wayne Gretzy said so

What Sports Will Be Available for Betting?

Sports availability is sure to mimic the major events already available in certain US states. As we’ve seen there, variety will surely differ from one operator to the next. You can expect to find all major sportinging events and tournaments, including the following:

  • Baseball (MLB)
  • Basketball (NBA)
  • Football (CFL, NFL)
  • Golf (PGA Tour)
  • Hockey (NHL)
  • Olympic Games
  • Soccer (European, MLS)
  • Tennis (Grand Slam)

What is the Legal Age to Bet on Sports in Canada?

The legal age to gamble in Canada varies from one province and territory to the next. The following alphabetical chart shows the appropriate age for sports betting across the country.

Provinces and Territories of CanadaLegal Betting Age
Alberta18
British Columbia19
Manitoba18
New Brunswick19
Newfoundland & Labrador19
Northwest Terrorizes19
Nova Scotia19
Nunavut19
Ontario19
Prince Edward Island19
Quebec18
Saskatchewan19
Yukon19

What Payment Methods will be Available?

Like the sports categories themselves, availability of banking options will be determined by each operator. No doubt, debit cards will top every list, just as they do now on Canada’s provincially run iGaming portals. Canadian exclusive payment methods like Interac eTransfer are sure to get some attention, along with major web wallets like Paypal. If the US market is any indication, Canada’s sportsbooks may also look to employ the versatility of a Play+ prepaid gaming card.

All in all, I believe the payment options list for most Canadian sports betting sites will look something like this:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Play+ Prepaid Card
  • Interac Online
  • eCheck EFT
  • Online Bill Payment
  • Paypal
  • Web Cash
  • PayNearMe

Can I Still Bet at International Online Sportsbooks?

Yes. From a legislative perspective, there is still no reason Canadians can’t do their online betting with offshore operators. It’s never been illegal before, and recently enacted amendments to the law don’t change that. All they’ve done is make it legal for provincial regulators to offer the same single-game sports betting options we’re already able to access via international websites. If you’ve established a report with one of those operators, building your way up the VIP ladder as a loyal member, there’s no reason to stop now.

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

Jul 02

Is there a trick to playing online slots? What you need to know.

Online casinos aren’t the shady, unreliable, slow-loading operations of decades past. At the turn of the century, internet gamblers didn’t really know what they were getting into. Now days, iGaming is a global industry, embraced by the tech-savvy, secured by government regulation. The games that were once questionably partisan are now certified fair by respected watch-dog services. Slot machine jackpots aren’t just for show. Multi-million dollar payouts really do happen. With the clandestine smoke of yesteryear cleared, and player apprehensions faded, there’s really only one question left. Are there any real tricks to beating online slot machines?

Is there a trick to playing online slots

Is There a Trick to Playing Online Slots?

I’ve been asked this more times than I can count. The answer is, “Yes and no”. It really depends on what you mean by “trick”. If you’re asking if there’s a way to swindle, deceive, or conspire against the online casinos to win money – to somehow cheat the system or trick a digital machine into paying more prizes – then the answer is a steadfast, “No”.

Not only would that be fraud, which is rightly illegal (and the very thing people were so upset with rogue online casinos for doing in the late 1990s), it would be impossible to succeed without getting caught. Technology is far more advanced these days. There are security systems monitoring everything that goes on at online casinos. If a game’s software malfunctions, by chance or by tampering, the payout is void. Leave any trace of evidence, and you’ll be in deep trouble before you know it.

Then there’s the noble variety of winning slot tricks…

Honorable Tricks to Beating Online Slot Machines

These aren’t deceptive tricks at all. They are the kind that come with great knowledge of the way iGaming software works. These tricks will increase your chances of winning, but will not break any laws or breach any moral codes in the process.

With that in mind, it’s important to understand that you cannot increase a slot machine’s payout percentage above 100%. The payout percentage is the theoretical return to player (RTP), a figure that represents how much a machine will return in winnings, compared to how much players bet on that machine. For example, a 97% RTP slot would pay back 97% of it’s intake (i.e. $97 for every $100 wagered).

That’s a theoretical figure, of course, and only holds true in the long-term, over the course of millions of spins. In the short term, a machine could pay more or less than its intended RTP – in some cases, a lot more or less. This is how players are able to beat casinos.

The other thing you need to understand is what “fair” means in the casino industry. Players like to think that “fair” means they have a 50/50 chance of winning or losing. That’s not the case. Fair simply means the casino isn’t cheating. Remember, casinos are businesses, and businesses have to make money. Thus, a 97% RTP slot machine guarantees, over time, that the casino will earn a 3% profit on all bets made on that game. And if the casino wins, then the players must collectively lose. Some will win, sure, but more will lose than win. And that is what is considered “fair”.

With this knowledge in tow, let’s take a look at 3 valid tricks for playing online slot machines.

#1 Know the RTP Before Playing Online Slots

This is one of the greatest advantages of playing slot machines online. Land-based casinos rarely reveal the RTP of their slot machines. They might say they have 98% RTP slots, but they won’t say which slots pay that high. It could just be a single slot, mixed in a sea of low-paying games. Online casinos, on the other hand, will almost always reveal the RTP of each game. If you find one that doesn’t, don’t play there. You can always find a better casino that does.

It should be your right as the customer to examine a game’s payout percentage, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you should play or not. The best slot machines are always going to be the ones with the highest RTP. A game that pays out at 97.2% is more likely to be profitable than a game with a 94.3% RTP. Knowing what we know about the “fairness” of casino games, at the very least, you should be able to play a higher RTP slot machine longer than a low RTP slot, before your bankroll runs low.

Average Slot RTP and Where to Find It

The industry’s more reputable iGaming software labs will list each game’s RTP within its pay table info. If you don’t see it there, try going to the manufacturer’s website (Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, etc.) and look up the game title. Again, if it’s not easy enough to find, don’t play. It’s their loss, not yours.

The average RTP for online slots these days is about 96.15%. Anything above that is good – the higher the better. The only exception is progressive slots. Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, for example, is networked across a wide selection of games with RTPs ranging from 88.12% to 93.45%. Having a million dollar jackpot seed and an average hit rate of $6m every 8 weeks, it’s understandable that the RTP would be lower.

#2 Play High Volatility Slots, Carefully

Today’s slot machines have what we call “volatility”, or “variance”. A high-volatility slot machine does not hit winning combinations very often. However, when it does, the payout for those wins tends to be a lot better. A low-volatility game, on the other hand, will pay out very frequently, but in very small amounts – most often smaller than the amount you’re betting per spin.

The reason you should stick to slot machines with a high variance (or at least a medium variance) is because low-volatility slots are more likely to drain your bankroll dry. The wins you do hit won’t be very significant, which (purposely) convinces most players that they should just keep going. As they do, their bankroll slowly bleeds out. They get a good deal of entertainment for their wagering dollars, as the game tends to last longer, but the chance of profitability is slim to none.

If entertainment value is your goal, by all means play the low-volatility slots. But if you really are hoping to strike a big win, it’s the high-volatility slots you should be playing.

Remember, I said to play these games “carefully”. That’s because your bankroll is going to drop faster between winning spins. Make sure you have enough money to play with that you can spin the reels at least 100 times (i.e. minimum $100 bankroll at $1 per spin). Anything less, and the probabilities are stacked against you.

#3 Don’t Get Greedy, a Small Profit is Better than None

You have to go into your online casino experience with realistic expectations. Set a reasonable profit goal, maybe 15-20%. That might sound low, but when you consider the casino is happy to earn just 1-3%, not only is 15-20% more than reasonable, it’s actually rather high. Even blackjack players, who play games with average 0.5% RTP or better, rarely expect to make more than 10% in a session. Fortunately, slot variance makes it more reasonable to shoot for up to 20% profit.

If you hit your win margin, cash out and walk away. This is the most neglected trick to playing online slots. Most people get caught up in the excitement of the win, and lose sight of the real goal – to actually win something. If you keep going, you’re only helping the casino to reach its inevitable long-term goal of beating you.

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

May 10

Microgaming’s Absolootly Mad Mega Moolah pays ‘absolutely huge’ world record online slot jackpot worth €19.43 million

Enormous jackpots are nothing new to Microgaming, its software-licensed casinos, or the countless players who access them. Microgaming is especially famous for its online slot machine jackpots; in particular, the Mega Moolah. That progressive network has paid out so much money, on so many occasions, it’s earned the rightful nickname, the “Millionaire Maker”. Now, it’s becoming just as well known for breaking online progressive jackpot records. Before long, we’ll be calling it the ‘World Record Setter’.

Another World Record Online Slot Jackpot

In a press release issued last week, Microgaming confirmed that one of its Mega Moolah networked online slots was responsible for paying out a new world record jackpot. The game that unleashed the massive prize was Absolootly Mad, a game released hardly a year ago. The “absolutely huge” jackpot it paid was worth a mind-blowing €19,430,723.60.

That life-altering sum of money was paid to one very lucky Belgian member of the Napoleon Sports & Casino online and mobile gaming operation. While the numerical value may not seem as high as the January 2019 payout of $20,057,734 to a Canadian player at Zodiac Casino, the currency conversion rate (Euro versus CAD) makes this latest strike more valuable.

As is often the case with virtual gambling prizes of such size, the winner has chosen to remain anonymous. However, he did provide a few juicy details worth passing on. The lucky Belgian chose to make a small deposit at Napoleon Casino after hearing of another player who’d won two million on the site. His intuition was definitely on point.

On April 27, he was spinning the reels of the Absolootly Mad Mega Moolah Slot when fate rained down upon him with ultimate favour. The randomly triggered bonus wheel game activated, and spun to a stop on the Mega sized prize of €19.43 million.

The fortunate winner found it hard to describe his feelings at that exact moment, saying only that he felt utterly overwhelmed by the experience. Never did he even dare to dream of winning a jackpot of world record-breaking magnitude.

Microgaming / Napoleon “Abbsolootly” Delighted

Both Microgaming and Belgium’s Napoleon Group were quick to acknowledge and congratulate their monumental winner. In last week’s press release, Microgaming CEO John Coleman was up first.

“We’re absolootly (sic) delighted to see Mega Moolah make history once again with its latest record-breaking win, and what an incredible win it is – €19.4 million!”, Coleman enthused. “That’s the largest jackpot payout in an online slot of all time. Congrats to the player, and well done to Napoleon Sports & Casino on their second Mega jackpot win on our network in as many weeks.”

Tim De Borle, CEO of Napoleon Sports & Casino, commented on the new record online slot jackpot as well.

“This is a historic day for Napoleon Sports & Casino. We are completely over the moon. The winner of the Mega Moolah jackpot read about our player winning €2 million+ with the WowPot and pursued his own dreams and luck on the other Microgaming jackpot-giant Mega Moolah,” he said. “It almost feels like our site has become “the home of the jackpot“. This record breaking jackpot is the absolute highlight of the amazing partnership we have with Microgaming.”

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

Jan 25

What happened to Nova Scotia gambling awareness funds?

What Happened to Nova Scotia Gambling Awareness Organization?

All across Canada, gambling is big business, especially for the provincial governments that profit from it. Gambling proceeds make up a remarkable portion of the revenue that funds education, health and community projects all across the country. It makes sense that, while gambling addiction is a concern, governments would want to keep that money rolling in. But some people were outraged to learn, months after the fact, that Nova Scotia has quietly done away with direct funding for its long-time gambling awareness program.

No More Funding for Nova Scotia Gambling Awareness

The program in question, Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia (GANS), is no in operation. The NS government didn’t mention it was doing away with the organization. In fact, no one seems to know exactly when GANS was stricken from the legislative record. What we do know is that it’s gone, and it has been for a few months, at least.

Bruce Dienes is the chair of a non-profit group, Gambling Risk Informed Nova Scotia, that strives to minimize the social harms of gambling within the community. Dienes said he learned of GANS dissolution in the fall of 2020, and that regulations for the program were officially altered in October.

When Dienes contacted the Department of Health and Wellness to inquire about it, he was told that “new information” had surfaced, indicating that the relationship between gambling and mental anguish, depression and anxiety, is far broader; the idea being that the funds once allocated for the prevention and treatment of gambling would better served funding the broader mental health spectrum.

Consolidating Nova Scotia’s Mental Health Budget

The government’s media relations advisor, Marla MacInnis, confirmed that GANS funding will be pooled into the province’s overall mental health and addictions budget, which comes to around $300 million per year.

“Problem gambling often occurs with other mental health and addictions issues, and due to the stigma, people often initially seek help for other issues,” MacInnis defends the government’s decision. “It’s best if people can access support that addresses these issues together.”

Dienes disagrees. “The idea that this is new information is ridiculous,” he said. “We’ve known this for decades.” He believes the choice to do consolidate funding was a much more calculated one, primarily aimed at resolving the “profound lack of funding for mental health in Nova Scotia.”

Research Favors Problem Gambling Services

Igor Yakovenko is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at Dalhousie University. He says that, according to research, one of the common barriers between problem gamblers and treatment programs is a lack of information; especially information regarding where to turn for help in the first place. In his expert opinion, Yakovenko believes harm reduction and problem prevention programs are the most effective resources for curbing and curing addiction.

“We need services and public health resources that minimize problems from developing in the first place or, if you’re already gambling, they prevent you from escalating that gambling,” Yakovenko told CBC News.

This comes on the heals of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s (ALC) intent to expand its New Brunswick online casino to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The ALC’s online casino presents gamblers with the ability to wager amounts up to 40x higher (up to $100 per play) on online games compared to legal restrictions that limit a single bet on VLTs to no more than $2.50. All things considered, some would say there’s no better time for programs like Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia to remain funded and heavily promoted.

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

Jan 06

TheScore Eyes Future in Canada Mobile Sports Betting Market

TheScore Eyes Lucrative Future in Canada Mobile Sports Betting Market

It’s virtually guaranteed that single-event betting is on its way into Canadian law books. With it will come a massive new market for sports gambling. Every casino will be looking to install a sportsbook. Assuming federal laws will closely mimic those in the United States, opening the doors to competition between operators, provincial regulators will be racing to authorize and license as many online and mobile sports betting brands as are willing to pay the no-doubt-exorbitant fee.

Our southerly neighbors have already legalized sports betting in 20 states and the District of Columbia (a.k.a. Washington, D.C.) Competition is fierce down south, with big names like DraftKings, FanDuel, WilliamHill, and BetRivers dominating the region’s industry. Those same brands are expected to flock northward when the time comes, but they may find a more formidable foe in Toronto-based Score Media.

TheScore Eyes Canada Mobile Sports Betting Market

Score Media & Gaming, owner of the sports news mobile app and media giant, theScore, and the sports wagering app, theScore Bet, may be flagging against major competitor brands on US soil, but in Canada, its popularity is unrivaled. On Wednesdays, the free sports mobile app jumped into the #1 position on the CA Google Play Store.

According to a report in Bloomberg, Score Media says it currently caters to around 4 million active users, with over 1.4 million logging in from Ontario alone.

Bear in mind, Canadian users are not (yet) able to place bets via theScore’s mobile applications. For now, they are privy only to the popular sports news network. The good news for Score Media is that, being so adored by local sports fans, if and when its Canadian mobile betting app goes live here, it could easily jump into the number one spot, surpassing the biggest companies operating in the U.S. market.

Plans Underway to Launch theScore Bet Canada

Score Media CEO John Levy and his son, COO Benjie Levy, are already making plans to launch theScore’s real money sports betting app in their home country of Canada. For now, the mobile sportsbook app is available only in three US states – Colorado, Indiana, and New Jersey.

The Toronto firm saw its stocks rise 111% on the year. Most of that came in the final weeks of 2020, following the late-November introduction of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act by Federal Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada, David T. Lametti. That bill introduce the one thing Canadians have never had legal, local access to, straight-up, single-event sports wagers.

According to analysts with Credit Suisse, “Assuming full legalization in Canada, we think this could be a $4 billion revenue opportunity.” The bill, which is being hailed as a sure-thing by political experts, will be a major topic of discussion when Parliament reconvenes later this month.

MP Irek Kusmierczyk (Windsor-Tecumseh) is optimistic that the legislation will move quickly, and with an affirmative response. “We’re hopeful that we can actually move this process along quickly,” he said in a statement. There’s always the possibility of opposition, but Kusmierczyk added, “it does feel as though there’s support among all three parties.”

If and when the Canada mobile sports betting market opens, Score Media CEO John Levy says his company will introduce “the best damn sports media company in the betting space.”

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

Jun 08

Following a spectacularly well-received debut at ICE 2020, Evolution Gaming officially launches Live Power Blackjack.

Evolution Launches Live Power Blackjack Following Spectacular ICE 2020 Debut

There aren’t too many ‘new’ casino games that are received with fanfare these days. New blackjack variants, in particular, generally lack anything unique enough to perk the brows of avid players. But every once in a while, something comes along that actually generates a double-take from the game’s biggest fans; or, in this case, maybe a triple-take or quadruple-take.

I’m talking, of course, about Power Blackjack, the newest addition to the Evolution Gaming live casino menu. As the name cleverly implies, this exceptional variation of 21 gives players more power. “
More power to what?”, you ask… the power to bet, and win, (or lose) more money! Instead of the usual Double Down, players can take it a step or two farther with options to Triple Down or Quadruple Down.

Evolution Launches Live Power Blackjack

It’s been four months since Power Blackjack Live debuted at the ICE 2020 expo in London. Late last week, it was officially launched under the wing of Evolution’s live dealer ‘Infinite Blackjack’ wing. The Infinitive suite of games delivers an unlimited player experience, wherein a single table can accommodate an infinite number of players.

With this game giving all players the power the win up to 4x their wager, it’s sure to become one of the hottest new blackjack games of the year. At least, that’s what Chief Product Officer, Todd Haushalter, and the rest of the executive crew at Evolution Gaming are hoping for.

“The mission was to give players more of what they love about Blackjack without changing the underlying gameplay,” explained Haushalter in a press release regarding last week’s launch.

“We know that players love classic Blackjack, but we are always looking for new ways to keep it fresh,” he said. “Creating a version where players can triple and quadruple down, instead of just double down, felt like a great way to do this.”

The CPO went on to explicate the series of events that led to their production of live dealer Power Blackjack.

A few years ago we created Infinite Blackjack, which is simply a Blackjack platform that allows an unlimited number of players at just one table, instead of the standard seven seats. Building on the success of our proven Infinite format, we have created further new Blackjack game types such as Free Bet Blackjack and now Power Blackjack, with more to come in the future.”

How to Play Live Power Blackjack

The rules of the game follow that of traditional blackjack, except for a few minor alterations. Having such a player-friendly advantage, the game’s creators were required to skew the rules back into the casino’s favor. The end result was a set of rules that look like this:

  • 8 Decks
  • Dealer Stands on All 17s (Hard and Soft)
  • Double/Triple/Quadruple Down on any two-card hand
  • Split once, up to 2 hands
  • Double/Triple/Quadruple after split
  • No drawing to split Aces
  • Dealer peeks
  • 6-Card Charlie pays 1:1
  • Blackjack pays 3:2

By these rules, the house edge gives the casino a 1.2% advantage, equivalent to an RTP of 98.8%. That’s higher than the average online blackjack game, but not a terrible trade-off for players who value the entertainment factor above a strategically rendered return on investment.

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

Apr 16

Four new online slots from Play’N Go in April 2020.

Two New Online Slots from Play’N Go, Two More Coming this Month

Not everyone is sitting home bored these days. The creative minds behind Play’N Go slot machines are busier than ever. We’ve already seen two new games from the creator in April, and you can expect to see two more before the month is out. These new slots and their respective release dates are as follows:

  • That’s Rich Slot – April 9, 2020
  • Ring of Odin Slot – April 16, 2020
  • Annihilator Slot – April 23, 2020
  • Rally 4 Riches Slot – April 27, 2020

Four New Online Slots from Play’N Go in April

Let’s take a brief look at the new games currently or soon-to-be gracing the slots menus of Play’N Go-powered online and mobile casinos.

That’s Rich Online Slot

That's Rich Online Slot from Play'n Go

That’s Rich is a game that embodies all things affluent, from extravagant mansions to luxurious yachts, and stacks of cash to pricey accessories. These and more spin the circumference of the reels as palm leaves sway and gentles waves crash upon the shore of a tropical background. It all takes place on a 5×3 reel, 10 line video slot with a high variance and a 94.3% RTP.

Without a progressive jackpot, the returns seems awfully low. There aren’t many features to spice it up, either. The supermodel is an expanding wild, and three golden trophy scatters unlock the Win Spins feature (free spins), wherein a winning combo is guaranteed to land with each spin.

Ring of Odin Online Slot

Ring of Odin Online Slot from Play'n Go

This new title is sure to attract the masses, both thematically and aesthetically. The Greek mythology motif is one of the most popular of all slots themes worldwide, and Play’N Go has done a fantastic job designing its dark and alluring graphics. It’s all rolled up into a 5×3 video slot with 20 pay lines and a high-volatility RTP of 94.2%.

Again, we’re seeing a game with a low return, but this time, the features just keep coming. The randomly (and frequently) triggered Odin’s Ring initiates a respin with mirrored symbols that increase win rate and offer a chance to trigger the much more lucrative Draupnir Respins. Triggering Foresight Free Spins awards 4 free games with the Odin’s Ring feature active for each.

Annihilator Online Slot

Annihilator Online Slot from Play'n Go

Canadians especially will enjoy this upcoming title from Play’N Go, themed around the 1980’s heavy metal thrash band. Featuring the vocals of John Bates and lead guitarist Jeff Waters, Annihilator is the highest selling Canadian thrash metal band in history. Now, they’ve been immortalized on the 5×3 reels of this epic video slot.

While the license-branded theme is sure to appeal to a niche market, the games features may draw less enthusiasm. Similar to the games above, the Annihilator Slot comes with 10 pay lines, a high variance, an RTP of 94.2%, and only two notable features – free spins and expanding wilds.

Rally 4 Riches Online Slot

Rally 4 Riches Online Slot from Play'n Go

This game remains a mystery in almost every way. The only clues we can gather information from are the name and the teaser graphic, both of which imply a racing theme. Sources indicate it will come in a standard 5×3 reel package, but even that hasn’t been officially confirmed.

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

Apr 09

It’s coming! Betting on Trivia Crack Video Gambling Machines.

Future of Casinos: Betting on Trivia Crack Video Gambling Machines

For about half a decade now, Las Vegas-based GameCo has been doing its part – and then some – to change the way gamers look at casinos. It all started with the creation of signature video gambling machines, or VGMs for short; a new wave of skillful video games designed to appeal to millennial-generation gamers.

As everyone knows by now, there’s not a land-based casino in North America that’s open for business at the moment. However, when operations return to normal, a new series of VGMs may be rolling out across the casino floors, based on the immensely popular mobile app known as Trivia Crack.

Betting on Trivia Crack Video Gambling Machines

If you own a smartphone, and have ever downloaded a gaming app for it, odds are you’re among the hundreds of millions of people all over the planet that have downloaded Trivia Crack, or the digitally renovated Trivia Crack 2. It’s the number-one trivia-based gaming app for both Android and iOS, not just here in Canada and the US, but in over 125 countries worldwide. It is the crown jewel of Argentina-based development studio, Etermax.

The game has enjoyed such monumental fanfare that GameCo came up with a unique way to capitalize on its popularity among millennials. They’ve decided to recreate the platform as one of their trademark VGMs. The games are just now in the early phase of development, but if progress goes as planned, these new machines could be lining the walls of land-based casinos from Buenos Aires to Saskatoon before the year is out.

The partnership between Etermax and GameCo just made sense for the two companies. Etermax said that its goal in the progressive development of Trivia Crack, from day one, was bring the game to where players are. That began with the original development of the smartphone app, and continued with integration to new devices, like smart watches, voice-powered utilities, consumer merchandise, etc. Assimilating to the video gambling market is nothing more than a natural progression in their eyes.

GameCo was more than willing to play the role of catalyst in this endeavor, and why not? Skill-based video gambling is their specialty, after all. The trick for GameCo’s programmers is, and always has been, turning a traditionally 100% skill-based game into something where players are still given a sense of control, without removing the casino’s ability to control wins and losses (eg the house edge).

How Will Developers Sustain RTP when Gambling Trivia Crack?

This is the big question surrounding the partnership between these two brands. Neither has commented publicly on the matter, but an article in VentureBeat confirms, “you will be able to play solo, head-to-head, or take part in tournaments”, per a statement from GameCo head of programming Rich Maryyanek.

Anyone familiar with the company’s past installments knows that GameCo thrives on its unique ability to combine video game style amusements, where a player’s skill impacts the payouts and winnings, with the same basic mechanics and economic values of slot machines.

So how might GameCo sustain predetermined RTPs for players betting on Trivia Crack video gambling machines? For head-to-head and tournament games, the answer is easy. Set it up like any other tournament. Present a buy-in/entry fee for all players. The casino skims a percentage off the top. But for solo-play, we’ll just have to wait and see what GameCo comes up with.

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

Mar 13

Internet Casino Gambling: Can I win real money at online casinos?

Internet Casino Gambling: Can you win real money at online casinos?

As a long-time iGamer, it seems strange to me that people still ask this question. Online casinos have been around so long, the industry itself is of legal gambling age! They actually started popping up in the mid to late 1990s. But alas, I do realize not everyone has been spinning digital slots reels and flipping virtual cardboard as long as I have, so let’s start from the top…

“Can I win real money at online casinos?”

Yes! There are thousands of internet gambling sites that permit customers to deposit money, make real wagers, and withdrawal their winnings as cash. But it’s not as easy as all that. You can’t go to Google, search “online casino”, click the first link you see and start playing. You can’t even type in “real money online casino” and get the right links these days.

In the next few paragraphs, I’ll explain (in brief) how the system works, how to know if you’re eligible to gamble online, and how to find the right sites to do it safely, securely, and fairly.

Internet Casino Gambling – The Basics

There are two types of internet casinos. The first and most common is a “social casino”. Their games are free to play, but will never award real money. Most of them are mobile phone apps with in-app purchases. You can pay cash for chips, but you can’t trade your chips back for cash. This is not gambling.

Online gambling can only be only done at “real money casinos”. They won’t offer the option to register your account via Google or Facebook. You have to fill out an inclusive registration form, complete with your real name, real address, real date of birth, etc. Once you do this, you’ll need to make a deposit from a financial account or credit/debit card belonging to you.

Once you’re account is funded, you’ll get a nice bonus of some sort to enhance your bankroll. You can then browse the full menu of casino games – slot machines, table games, video poker, etc. you’ll have the option to play the games for real money, or for free in demo/practice mode.

How do I know if it’s legal for me to gambling online?

Every jurisdiction has its own laws that apply to online gambling. They come in three distinct varieties:

  • Expressly Legal: These are explicit laws that specifically address the act of gambling online to be legal. Certain European countries (UK, France, Spain, Italy, etc.) and US states (New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, etc.) have these laws in place. These laws will define the age requirements for gambling in their respective jurisdictions.
  • Expressly Illegal: Like the section above, these are express laws that specifically name the act of gambling online – or certain forms of gambling online – to be illegal. In these jurisdictions, residents are not permitted to participate in real money online casino games. Australia, for instance, explicitly legalizes online sports betting, but expressly prohibits online poker and casino gambling.
  • Not Expressly Defined / Grey Market: The term “grey market” applies to a jurisdiction in which the laws do not explicitly permit or prohibit an activity. In short, it is not illegal, therefore it is legal. Canada is a perfect example.
    The laws in Canada are so unclear that it is considered legal to gamble online at offshore casinos, as well as the government-run casinos of certain provinces. The only ones that are truly “illegal” are online casinos operating within Canada, but without the regulatory consent of their local government.

If you’re still not sure, check with your local authorities for clarification.

How to Find Real Money Online Casinos

This has been one of the most frustrating problems for novice players. As I mentioned above, you can’t just search for a relevant key phrase on Google and expect to find one. While there are around 4,000 gambling sites online, there are literally millions of affiliate websites competing for your traffic. Thus, these affiliate sites will appear in the search engines long before an actual casino operator does.

The best advice I can offer is to be very specific in what you’re searching for, because most affiliate sites cater to anyone and everyone. Look for operators that apply to your situation. They should accept players from your country, process deposits and withdrawals in your preferred payment methods, offer the games you like most, etc. If they don’t fit your needs, they’re no good to you.

Use those affiliate links to make a short list of possible candidates, but you don’t have to take their word at face value. After all, affiliates are looking to make money, and to be honest, most of them don’t care about the players nearly so much as they do the profit. You can protect yourself by performing a bit of due diligence on the sites you shortlist.

Here’s a bit of reading material that should help you out with this.

If you find the above challenge too daunting, you can always skip all that and do your online gambling at Royal Vegas. Don’t trust me just because I said it. Trust me because Royal Vegas is 20 years old, employs the industry’s oldest and most respected software brand, Microgaming, is licensed in the immensely respected European jurisdiction of Malta, and offers upwards of 1,000 games, including live dealer casino games. Internet casino gambling doesn’t get any safer than that.

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