Sep 09

Influence of sports on Canada slot machines online and on land.

Influence of Sports on Canada Slot Machines Online and On Land

You wouldn’t think sports betting and traditional casino games, like slot machines and table games, would have much in common. Yes, they’re both forms of gambling. And yes, both can be enjoyed at most of the world’s casinos; especially here in Canada, since single-game betting was legalized earlier this year. But the similarities end there… or do they?

In truth, sports have impacted the casino gambling market quite a bit. We’ll take a look at the influence of popular Canadian sports on different types of gambling, and how it’s helping to attract more players to the tables and machines; not just in land-based casinos, but online as well.

Sports in Canada Slot Machines Online and On Land

This is the most obvious casino gaming genre influenced by fan-based sports. Think about the types of athletics Canadians enjoy most. Of course, we absolutely love ice hockey. Seven of the NHL’s 32 teams are based in Canada. We’re also big basketball and baseball fans, home to the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies, and the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays. We don’t have an NFL football team, but we do host our own Canadian league, the CFL, and many of us enjoy watching (and betting on) American football, too. That’s not to mention soccer, tennis, golf, etc.

These are just the most popular sports in Canada. And if you’ve been to any casinos lately – especially the online variety – you may have noticed just how many slot machines integrate these sports themes into their gameplay.

Sports Themed Online Slots

Basketball Slots - Basketball Star

All the major gambling software companies have built slots for NHL fans. We have Break Away by Microgaming, the Ice Hockey Slot from Playtech, Hockey League and Hockey Hero by Pragmatic Play and Push Gaming, respectively. There are far more basketball themed slots to choose from; Microgaming’s Basketball Star, iSoftBet’s Slam Dunk, Playtech even has a license-branded slot machine called Dennis Rodman. Dozens of baseball themes exist as well. I’ll never forget the first time I came across Microgaming’s farcical 3-reel gem, The Umpire Strikes Back.

Even Table Games Incorporate Sports Themes

Surely you’re familiar with roulette, but have you ever played Touchdown Roulette? It’s a standard American roulette game with a side bet that goes into play if the ball lands in 0 or 00. If this happens, a simulated football game is played using four spins of the roulette wheel. Each qualifying player chooses a team – red or black – and the results of the next four spins determine which team wins.

There’s an exciting Touchdown Blackjack game, too. It’s a traditional game of blackjack on the surface, played hand by hand. At the same time, players start on the 20 yard line, gaining yardage for successful splits and doubles, or losing yardage when the dealer gets blackjack. Once a touchdown is scored, the player can kick the extra point and start another drive.

The most interesting sports-themed table game I’ve seen yet is Evolution Gaming’s Live Football Studio. It’s not the football we’re used to, but rather European football; a.k.a. soccer.

Sports Themed Table Games Live Football Studio by Evolution Gaming

What they did was take the traditional Asian table game, Dragon Tiger, and gave it a sporty twist. Instead of betting on Dragon or Tiger, players bet on the Home Team or Away Team. Otherwise, the rules are identical. What makes it really interesting for football/soccer fans is that the background displays live games, assuming any are actively being played. It’s especially fun when a big game is on. The crowd (of online players) really tends to get involved as the dealer commentates on the live game.

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

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: , , , , , , , ,

Aug 06

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino Business

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino Business

If you’ve spent any time gambling in an online casino, you may have noticed a few things. For one, the games are extremely entertaining. There are hundreds to choose from, with rules and themes to appeal to anyone and everyone. With so many online casinos vying for your membership, there’s clearly some healthy competition in the industry. Perhaps most important of all, you’ve recognized that the house has a distinct advantage in every game.

If casino games are designed to win more money for the house than they pay out to players, wouldn’t it make sense to play on the side of the house? And what better way to do that than to own the house? With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at how to start and online casino. It’s not easy, and it’s certainly not cheap, but if you’ve got the means and the drive, it may very well be worth your time and effort.

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino

While the concept above – the casino always wins, so I’ll just open my own casino – is a common theory, it’s not necessarily a realistic one, which is why most people don’t do it. The truth is, there’s a lot that goes into opening an online gambling site; much more than most people realize. It’s a lengthy, step-by-step process, and an expensive one at that. The very first thing you’ll need to do is…

Register and Host Your Online Casino Domain

The first step is to choose a domain name. It should be something quick and catchy, and directly to the point. The shorter the name, the more likely people are to remember it. Betfair, LeoVegas, PokerStars – they all meet this easy-marketing requirement.

Once you choose your domain name, you need to register it with a domain registering service. Then you have to pay a server to host it.

Even if you don’t intend to launch your casino for a year or two, registering the domain should come first. Search engines take into account the longevity of a domain when indexing. Simply put, a website created two years ago ranks better than one launched two weeks ago.

Apply for an Online Gambling License

This is going to be the most expensive step, by far. Your operation must be licensed to garner any respect from the iGaming community. Where you obtain your license from will directly impact the cost and reputability of the operation.

Some jurisdictions, like Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, pretty much anywhere in Central America, offer very little in the way of regulation. You pay a smaller fee, but sacrifice the respect of strict player protections. Obtaining a license from the Malta Gaming Authority carries much more respect, as you’ll have to comply with their high standards. But, you’ll also pay a lot more for that license.

Also consider which countries you want to accept players from. Black markets, including much of the US, require lax regulation, but could get you into trouble down the line. To accept players from the UK, the world’s most productive iGaming market, you’ll need a UK license, which comes with the strictest standards, and highest price tag. A Maltese license will grant you access to most legal markets, including Canada.

Every license comes with fees. Expect them to be in the five-figure range. Then there’s financial reporting and taxes to be considered. Think very carefully about which way you want to go here, and do your research.

Employ One or More Casino Software Suppliers

Every online casino needs an assortment of games to offer their players. There are dozens of highly respected content studios to choose from. You may wish to go with a single platform with a large portfolio of games. Or, you could employ a collection of software brands to offer more diversity. Just keep in mind, you’ll pay a separate fee for each casino suite you integrate. Then there’s always the option of going beyond csaino games and into the field of poker, bingo, sports betting, etc.

Another thing to consider is just how involved you want the software supplier to be. There are generally three options.

  1. Casino Games Only: Employ the casino suite only, granting you a license to supply its games.
  2. Games + System Platform: This option comes with the casino suite license, plus a back-end platform that administers and manages player account services.
  3. The Whole casino Package: If you take the full package, you’ll get the casino suite license, the player account system, plus integration of security features, software certification, and a dedicated customer support / tech support team.

The more you want, the more you’ll pay for it, but the less you’ll be responsible for managing in the long run. Choose a full package from a major content supplier like eCOGRA-certified Microgaming, and you can rest assured everything that needs to get done, will get done.

Payment Processing – Choose Your Banking Methods

As any avid online casino gamer knows, the security and availability of payment methods is paramount to attracting new player sign-ups. Today, iGamers expect a wide selection of banking options for deposits and withdrawals.

Some players are very picky, and will only use eChecks, or Paypal, or Instant Banking methods like Interac or Citadel. Others are esteemed supporters of the cryptocurrency movement. If you want to cater to these types, you have to supply a long list of trusted payments to hit all niche players. And of course, credit and debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) are a must.

Once again, consider your options, do your research, and know your intended customers.

Catering to the Mobile Generation

Ten years ago, the mobile casino movement was hardly a quiver. Today, it’s rushing ahead like a locomotive. You don’t have to build a mobile app for your casino, but you could miss out on an entire generation of would-be customers if you don’t.

Now You Must Build It…

With all these steps out of the way, it’s time to put all the pieces together. You may want to hire a web design team for the website, as well as a mobile app developer. That’s more money going into your project. And once you get the casino up and running, you’ll need to factor in software and licensing renewal fees, plus additional costs like marketing and employee salaries.

As I said, this will be an expensive venture. There are cheaper routes, but as the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for”. Like any successful business, the more you’re willing to invest into a quality product, the more you’re likely to get out of it.

If learning how to start your own online casino business was enough to make your head spin, maybe it’s not the right choice for you. Maybe playing those online slots and table games, despite their slight disadvantage to the player, weren’t so bad after all?

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: , , , , , , , ,

May 04

Pragmatic Play Floating Dragon Hold and Spin online slot review.

Pragmatic Play, one of the online gambling industry’s hottest digital slot machine platforms, is putting out a lot of new games lately. Part of the credit goes to there independent partner studios, like Reel Kingdom, who’s been churning out, on average, one new game every month. Among them is a unique Hold & Spin Slots series; the Hold & Spin referring to a special feature functioning within these games. To date, there are three of them, including the latest and greatest release of “Floating Dragon”.

Pragmatic Play’s Floating Dragon Hold and Spin Online Slot Review

This latest addition to the Pragmatic Play portfolio is an interesting new arrival, carrying with it a theme that’s proved incredibly popular among slots fans all over the world. I’m talking, of course, about Ancient Chinese culture, exhausted for its mystical charm and sibylline ability to bring good fortune to beholders. Whether you believe in prophetic lore or not, the game’s 96.71% RTP ensures a high chance of profitability.

Floating Dragon Hold and Spin Online Slot Review

Floating Dragon is the third edition in Reel Kingdom’s Hold & Spin series, following the release of 777 Ultra Hold & Spin in late August 2020, and Hot to Burn Hold & Spin in February of this year. The only difference between this latest version and its predecessors (aside from not being a ‘fruit machine’) is that the first were second-comings of an original online slot. 777 Ultra H&S is the sequel to the Ultra Burn Slot, while Hot to Burn H&S follows the original slot of the same name.

Floating Dragon H&S revolves around the culture’s vibrant Chinese dragon and the lovely Geisha Princess. It’s packed with exciting features, including re-triggers, free spins, multipliers and, of course, the Mystery Hold & Spin. We’ll talk more about these in a moment…

The game is a 5×3 reel affair with just 10 betways. It offers a wide betting range of $0.10 to $250. Its high volatility is best suited to veteran slots fans with a large enough bankroll to outlast potentially long swings without a strike. On the plus side, most of those wins will be worth waiting for, especially when the game’s features kick in.

Symbols, Bonus Games & Features

Reel Kingdom Adds to Hold & Spin Slots Series

Floating Dragon’s high paying symbols are kites, imaginatively designed to resemble colorful objects and creatures, like butterflies, peacocks, and koi fish. The Geisha is the wild, substituting for all standard symbols. The Chinese dragon is the scatter. When 3, 4 or 5 of these appear anywhere in a single spin, it triggers 10, 15 or 20 free spins, respectively.

Generally, free spins are a game’s most beloved feature, and while it can be very valuable, triggering Floating Dragon’s Hold & Spin feature can be far more exciting. It happens when the golden Coin symbol, which only appears on the middle reel, occupies all three of its positions. Those golden coins hold in place as all other reels fade to blank. You get three ReSpins to land another gold coin. Each time one or more coins lands, you re-spin meter resets to 3. In addition to gold coins, diamonds can also appear during this feature. When a diamond lands, it will display a multiplier on it, ranging anywhere from 100x to 4993x the triggering bet. Once no additional gold coins or diamonds appear in three consecutive spins, all current values are collected and paid out, and the bonus ends. You’re guaranteed to win a minimum of 20x your stake each time the Floating Dragon Hold & Spin online slot feature triggers.

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Apr 23

Canadians go wild for new wildlife slot machines at online casinos.

Of all the different genres of casino games, there’s nothing that quite compares to slot machines. They are the most popular of all games in the world, occupying vastly more floor-space than all other gambling amusements combined, despite the fact that a slot cabinet takes up far less space than any single blackjack, baccarat, craps or roulette table ever could. More importantly, slots are so unique that they are capable of being developed with limitless styles, themes and payout schedules. They are the only casino games available that can pay out millions of dollars for a single play, for a cost of nothing more than pocket change.

New Wildlife Slot Machines at Canada Online Casinos

Slot machines with a wilderness motif have long captured the hearts of Canadian gamblers. Not only do we love the outdoors, we have access to an abundant variety of nature’s finest; for many of us, right outside our doorstep. IGaming studios like IGT, the world’s largest creator of physical and digital slot machines, are catering to that distinct love with more new wildlife themed slots than ever.

Kodiak’s Roar Slot by WMS / IGT

Kodiak's Roar Slot

Kodiak’s Roar is a new 5×4 reel, 1024 ways video slot from the creative minds of WMS, subsidiary of IGT. It’s loaded with features, has a max payout potential of x2,500, and offers a medium-high volatility that any true slots fan can appreciate. Its 96.2% RTP is on point with today’s average for online slots.

Aesthetically speaking, Kodiak’s Roar has a lot to offer wildlife fans. It’s main symbol is, of course, the roaring Kodiak bear. A calmer, watchful Kodiak is the wild. Other nature-themed symbols include a moose, owl, red fox, and the bear’s favorite afternoon snack, salmon.

Safari Sam 2 by Betsoft

Safari Sam 2 Slot

If you prefer something a little more off the beaten path – or at least, farther from home – Betsoft’s new Safari Sam 2 might do the trick. Launched in April 2021, it’s a suped-up sequel to the original 2012 release. This 5×3-reel video slot takes players on an adventure into the wild plains of Africa. It comes with a medium volatility, max payout of x505, and an average RTP of 96.3%. All this can be yours for a bet range of $0.20 to $100 per spin.

The game’s 3D animated graphics are a big selling point, following the adventures of Safari Sam and his trusty female sidekick. It comes with two main features – Call of the Wild and Free Spins. Call of the Wild is random, filling up to 4 reels with all wilds. 3, 4 or 5 Acacia Tree Scatters award 7, 12 or 20 free games, during which Call of the Wild triggers on every spin.

Shimmering Woods Slot by Play’n Go

Shimmering Woods Slot

Step into the Shimmering Woods, where magical crystals grow, delighting the enchanted creatures of the forest. Released in March 2021 by Play’n Go, this traditional 5×3 reel slot comes with 243 ways to win, a medium-high variance, and a profit-potential of x25,000 the bet size. Unfortunately, the RTP comes in on the low side at just 94.2%.

The base game is all about the beauty of the forest and the radiant crystals that grow from its foliage. During free spins, the reels have the potential to split from 5×3 to 5×6, boosting the paylines to as high as 7,776 ways to win, multiplied by a Cascading Wins feature.

Buffalo Hold and Win by Booming Games

Buffalo Hold and Win Slot

Netxt up on our wily wildlife-themed slots list is Buffalo Hold and Win, an adventurous 5×3 reel, 25 payline video slot with the ability to pay up to x1,000 coins in a single play. This is a high volatility slot, so the wins don’t come often, but when they do, they tend to pay in large amounts. However, it does have a slightly below average RTP of 95.91%.

The buffalo theme is one the online slots industry has put through the ringer more times than just about any other theme. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand – players demand it, so developers keep on supplying it. This one’s packed with free spins, a hold and win bonus game, and a quick hit feature.

Jaguar Super Ways by Bad Dingo

Jaguar Super Ways Slot

Bad Dingo is a small, independent studio that teamed up with Yggdrasil to build interactive slot with the latter’s patented SuperWays slots feature. Jaguar Super Ways draws players deep into the jungle, where wild cats and exotic creatures rule the land. It’s default 5×3 reels can expand up to 9×9, increasing to as many as 387,420,489 ways to win. A relatively generous 96.25% RTP combines with a medium volatility to award a massive max win of x22,457 on a single spin, costing anywhere from $0.40 to $10 per play.

Jaguar Super Ways runs on the Cacading Wins mechanic, exploding all winning symbols to fill the reels with new ones, creating up to 15 simultaneous wins on a single spin. While that’s enjoyable to watch when luck befalls, this game really falls back on its Super Ways feature – by far the most prominent aspect of the game. Jaguar paws randomly appear across the reels to trigger the feature, highlighted by a 3×3 Mega Paw symbol and the ability to open up all 9×9 reels and max pay ways.

Jaguars Super Ways was launched exclusively at Unibet Casino on April 1, 2021, and makes its way to all Yggdrasil powered online casinos on May 21.

Mega Moolah (Safari) by Microgaming

Mega Moolah Jackpot Poised to Pay at least $12.7 Million

This last one’s not new. In fact, it’s one of the oldest surviving slots on the iGaming market today, released by Microgaming circa 2006. It’s the industry’s most celebrated, highest-paying, millionaire-making progressive. The Mega Moolah is the harbinger of safari-style wildlife slot machines at online casinos, responsible for paying more than $1 billion in progressive prizes to date.

You can learn more about Microgaming’s famous Mega Moolah and other progressive online slots here.

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

Jan 29

Can an online casino refuse to pay out your withdrawal?

Can an Online Casino Refuse to Pay Out Your Withdrawal

Online casinos provide the world’s gaming fans with a quick, easy way to play their favorite gambling amusements for real money, from home or anywhere else their travels may take them. It’s all so easy. Sign up an account, make an instant deposit, and start playing. Convenience, entertainment, the thrill of the risk – these are all things we can easily understand. What’s difficult to wrap our heads around is that sometimes, after winning a little money, the online casino may refuse to give it to us. What’s even harder to understand is that, 99 times out of 100, they’re correct in their refusal to pay up.

Can an Online Casino Refuse to Pay Out?

The simple answer is yes, they can, but not for the reasons you’re probably thinking. Rogue casinos are not nearly so common as they once were. Yes, they do exist, and if you didn’t bother checking on the legitimacy of your chosen online casino before signing up, well – you may be a victim of fraud. More likely, if your online casino is refusing to pay out, it was your own fault.

The following is a list of the top 10 reasons online casinos can deny a withdrawal, in order of most to least common. If your withdrawal got canceled, odds are the reason is on this list.

1. You violated the terms of a bonus.

The most common reason of all is that players have violated the conditions of a bonus. Far too many players don’t bother reading the fine print. There are game restrictions, bet size limits and wagering requirements to comply with. Read the terms. Know the rules. Follow them.

2. You haven’t finished bonus play through.

This is a direct follow-up to the last issue. Maybe you’re following all of the rules of the bonus, but you didn’t complete the wagering requirements yet.

Example: If you have to complete 40x WR on a $50 deposit, that’s $2,000 in wagers that must be placed before you can withdrawal any winnings. You have two options; finish WR, or run out of bonus money trying. Only then can you cash out anything you have left.

3. You haven’t verified your account.

Somewhere between the time you register your account, and the time you request your first withdrawal, you will need to verify your identity. This is true of all legitimate, reputable licensed online casinos. They’ll need you to upload a picture of your photo ID, a bank statement or utility bill, and, depending on your method of deposit, maybe proof of that as well. It’s all standard KYC practice. If you don’t do it, they can’t pay you.

4. You used someone else’s identity / payment info.

Identity theft is a big no-no! If you read #3 above, you know you’re going to have to verify your identity at some point. Fake IDs rarely work anymore. The person you stole the ID and/or banking info from will get their deposit refunded eventually, and you’ll get nothing (except maybe some jail time).

5. You typo-ed your own information during sign-up.

I’ve said this a thousand times. Double check your information when you sign up an online casino account. If you misspell any part of your name or address, you’re effectively signing up with a fake ID. You can’t sign up with false information, even if it was an innocent goof up on your part. If you’re lucky, your account will be closed with original deposits refunded.

6. You gambled as a minor.

Adjusting your date of birth to play as a minor won’t get you anywhere either. Casinos can get in severe trouble for allowing underage gambling. And, thanks to the ID verification rules, you’re going to get caught anyway. Once caught, you don’t get paid.

7. You have multiple accounts with the online casino.

This is incredibly common, but rarely done on purpose. If you read the terms of any online casino, they’ll tell you that multi-accounting is not allowed. That is, one person cannot have two accounts with the same casino. In fact, you can’t have two accounts from the same household or IP address, either.

Short version: “One account per casino, per household.”

8. You claimed multiple bonuses with the same operator.

This is similar to the above problem, but goes deeper, and only involves bonus collection. We’re not just talking about having two accounts with the same online casino, but the same operator. For example, DigiMedia operates Royal Vegas Casino, plus around a dozen other online casinos, like All Slots, Euro Palace, and Platinum Play. You are allowed to have one account with each, if you wish, but you can only claim the bonus from one.

Short version: “One bonus per operator, per household.”

9. You used a VPN to sign up and gamble.

Online casino gambling is illegal in some parts of the world. But where there is prohibition, there are always a determined few who think they should be able to do it anyway. Using a virtual private network (VPN) to mask your IP address / location, making it appear you’re in a country players are accepted from, is illegal. It rarely works these days, anyway. Geo-location systems are constantly getting smarter. If you get caught using a VPN, don’t be surprised when your online casino is refusing payout.

10. The casino is not reputably licensed and can’t be trusted.

In the least of cases, the online casino is to blame. Rogue operators do exist. They aren’t licensed by a strict regulator that demands compliance with player protection laws. Therefore, they can refuse to pay out a large amount of winnings simply because they don’t have to. They have no obligation to obey a higher authority.

Once this type of online casino refuses to pay out, there’s not much you can do. The only good news is that these situations are easily avoidable. All you have to do is take a moment to check up on a brand before signing up an account and making a deposit. To be honest, anyone who’s willing to give all of their sensitive information to some random website without verifying its reputation first is just as guilty as the website that’s ripping them off.

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.

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