The wait is finally over. Rival Powered casinos were updated today with the release of Ten Suns, a new slots game themed around Chinese folklore. The game tells the tale of Hou Yi, The Divine Archer, whose enchanted arrows were able to obliterate Nine of the Ten Suns scorching the planet.
As the story goes, the Emperor and Moon Goddess, who asked Hou Yi to perform this unimaginable task, looked on as the nine suns were shot down. One by one, each sun burst with a brilliant light, then magically transformed into a legendary Phoenix before flying off into the now lone sunset.
While I generally groan at the adaptation of yet another oriental themed slot machine, I have to admit, I really enjoyed the mythological folklore behind this new slots game. Rival Powered did a great job integrating razor-shard graphics and animations to accurately relay this epic tale.
Ten Suns Slot Features
Ten Suns is a 5 reel, 25 payline slot machine design in HTML5 for optimized compatibility with all major operating system, including PC, Mac and Linux/Ubuntu desktops, as well as Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices and tablets.
The dominantly red and gold motif is highlighted by a plethora of symbols, all relating to the ancient Chinese legend. These include the Divine Archer, the Emperor, the Moon Goddess, the Phoenix, golden frogs, dragons, lotus flowers, treasure chests, lanterns, gold coins and more.
Following Chinese tradition, the golden frogs are some of the luckiest symbols in the game, awarding 1,000 coins for 5 on a line. The Divine Archer is the wild, the Dragon is a Scatter, and Treasure Chests are a scatter-style Bonus symbol.
Expanding Wilds: The Divine Archer follows the basic rules of wilds, taking the place of any other standard symbol needed to create the highest possible winning combination. He only appears on reels 2, 3 and 4. However, being a heavenly powered archer, he also has the ability to shoot arrows onto the reels whenever he substitutes for a win, randomly turning other symbols into wilds.
Scatter Free Spins: To unleash the free spins feature in this new slots game, players will need to see 3, 4 or 5 Dragons on the reels, awarding 5, 7 or 10 free games respectively. To make free spins more profitable, the five lowest paying symbols are all removed from the reels during this time.
Furthermore, free spins include a ‘Drop Icons‘ feature, which works like cascading reels. Anytime a winning combination occurs, the symbols involved in it will drop out of play and new symbols will fall into place, potentially creating more wins. The Drop Icon feature continues to drop symbols off the reels until no win is recorded.
Treasure Chest Bonus: This bonus game is triggered whenever 3 or more treasure chests appear anywhere on the reels. If a wild appears and expands, turning a treasure chest wild, the chest will still count towards activating the bonus round.
This is a Pick Me Bonus game, where the player is shown a series of treasure chest to choose from. The prizes within are instantly credited.
New Slots Game Arrives Today
As promised by its creator, the new slots game Ten Suns arrives at Rival Powered casinos today, March 29, 2017.
Did you ever search for real money mobile casino apps in the Google Play Store (for Android) or on Apple iTunes (for iOS)? There’s plenty of them out there, and the competition is quite fierce. But is it a good idea to choose the first mobile casino app you find?
The sad truth is – unlike standard search engines – app stores like Google and iTunes do not divulge how they rank the indexing of apps. Clearly, it’s not based entirely on user reviews. If I search ‘real money mobile casino‘ at the Google Play Store, the first and second listings have 4.4 stars, while the third has 4.7.
Likewise, the first option has between 10,000-50,000 installs, while the more popular third was installed between 10 million and 50 million times. The latter was also updated more recently (Jan 2017, as opposed to Aug 2016). And of course, both offer similar in-app purchases of $0.99 to $149.99.
To make matters worse, neither of them – nor any among the top 20 – actually offer real money mobile casino games. You’ll have to dig a lot deeper for that. And be careful, because not all apps in the stores are designed by their supposed namesakes.
The biggest problem is, due to age and regional restrictions, app stores often limit content to free-to-play, ‘social‘ casino games only. Fortunately, there’s a way around this. Players will have to access the real money mobile casinos apps directly from their source, such as Royal Vegas Mobile, LeoVegas Mobile, etc.
This is actually the better option, and it’s all because of that little problem we mentioned above. No one knows what incites app stores to index their mobile downloads the way they do. Instead, you’re better off looking up genuine user reviews of various real money mobile casino apps.
Researching Real Money Mobile Casino Apps
You’ll want to make sure you’re gathering your information from a reliable source. I could tell you myself that I trust Royal Vegas. It’s been around since 2000 with no major complaints, employs the strictest security measures, and offers a vast collection of popular slots, table games and live casino options. But is that going to convince you it’s the best?
Probably not – and it shouldn’t.
Every player is different. We all have individual preferences and needs. We may be from different countries, use different currencies, speak different languages, prefer different deposit methods, etc. What I find most appealing may not be your cup of tea.
The best way to find good real money mobile casino apps is to visit internet gambling forums, where real users share their experiences. If you’re not finding any complaints, and the mobile app has been around for at least a year or two (the longer the better), it’s probably a good one.
Next, you’ll want to try it out for yourself. If you’re still a bit wary, don’t deposit right away. Take advantage of the free play option. See what games are available and how well the app works. With a little personal testing, you should be able to find the best mobile casino app to suit your style and needs. When you’ve found it, then you can make a deposit and play for real money.
Thousands of desktop and smartphone casinos exist in today’s digital gambling market. Logically speaking, they can’t all be top-tier sites. Only the most prestigious, well-built and finely tuned operations can claim such status.
In the last few years, mobile casino popularity has grown to phenomenal heights. Desktop gaming sites are still well-visited, and won’t be disappearing from the iGaming realm anytime soon. But with the majority of the world’s population carrying one touch-screen mobile device or another, smartphone casinos are becoming the primary focus of the industry’s software developers.
The shift to mobile began just a few years ago, and surprisingly, most of the sites that once ruled the roost in desktop gaming have found themselves descending the proverbial ladder. It’s not that they aren’t converting their systems to support gaming on smartphones and tablets. It’s that they’re forced to take a backwards approach to it.
They’ve started with a stellar desktop platform, and that’s good. But ordering their programmers to transition that technology to something that’s ultimately compatible with all the major mobile phones and tablets – Android, Apple iOS, Windows Phone, etc. – that’s obviously easier said than done.
The key was to convert all desktop web pages to HTML5. However, as these operators began boasting that their platforms were fully optimized for mobile, the inevitable bugs began to rear their ugly heads. An error here, a miss-sized page there, a menu that didn’t agree with the programmer’s tap-to-open language.
Best Smartphone Casinos Built On Mobile
While all of these mishaps were being untangled, new smartphone casinos were appearing. These websites were being designed with a mobile-first approach, ensuring that their platform loaded seamlessly on all devices before they ever went live.
In 2012, a new mobile casino called LeoVegas hit the market. New gambling sites don’t often get a lot of attention. It can take years to establish a distinguished reputation, especially in a business such as this one. But by using the exact strategy described above, LeoVegas didn’t just make waves, it crashed upon shore, employing a phenomenal marketing campaign that drew countless players and decimated the competition.
LeoVegas Proves Mobile-First Works
The company’s mobile strategy was enormously successful, earning LeoVegas a trophy case full of awards over the next few years. It started when EGR Nordic Awards named them ‘Best Innovation in Casino‘ in 2013, followed by ‘Best Mobile Product‘ in 2014.
The next year, LeoVegas took home EGR Nordic Awards for ‘Slots Operator of the Year‘ and ‘Affiliate Program of the Year‘, as well as the ‘Grand Prize Award‘ from the GP Bullhound Summit.
In 2016, LeoVegas scooped seven more awards, including EGR Nordic’s best ‘Mobile Operator‘, ‘Casino Operator‘ and ‘Nordic Operator‘ awards. International Gaming Awards named them ‘Online Casino Operator of the Year‘, Gaming Intelligence awarded them with ‘Casino Operator of the Year‘, and EGR bestowed them with dual titles of ‘Best Mobile Marketing Campaign‘ and ‘Best CRM Campaign‘ of 2016.
One of the companies lead managers explained why he thinks LeoVegas has become on of the best smartphone casinos in the world.
“I think what makes LeoVegas different is that we had mobile in mind before we launched as a website,” he said. “Most companies do it the other way around. They launch the website with desktop in mind and then have a problem to solve when they realise they have to offer a mobile version as well…
“Because we were always thinking ‘how will this look on mobile?‘ or ‘will this create a problem on mobile?‘ from the very start, we were prepared for all that already when the app came.”
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Today’s industrial market is filled with competition. Pick any business, and you’ll likely find two juggernauts leading the way. In mobile technology, it’s iOS vs. Android. In eMerchanting, it’s Amazon vs. eBay. Even the toothpaste industry has Crest vs Colgate. In Daily Fantasy Sports, we have the two leading DFS betting giants, DraftKings vs. FanDuel.
For the last few years, these DFS sites have competed directly against one another to be the top fantasy-based, real money sports betting operators in the world. While their operations were aimed solely towards the US and Canada for a long time, they both branched out into the UK market last year, each seeking eventual global domination.
According to ESPN, DraftKings and FanDuel spent more than $750 million combined on television ads, encouraging DFS betting enthusiasts to choose one operation over the other. It was a grueling, no-holds-barred campaign from both directions. And I must say, it did work, attracting an estimated 56 million users to their DFS sites from North America alone.
But as is often the case with huge companies in a dead heat for first place, we’ve learned that the two largest fantasy-based real money sports betting companies are now about to merge.
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em!
That’s right – it’s Serius and XM satellite radio all over again. DraftKings and FanDuel have already negotiated the terms of a merger. All that’s left now is that pivotal moment when government regulators stamp their seal of approval on the deal.
That’s expected to happen in the coming months, lining the DFS sites up to finalize the merger shortly into the second half of 2017; probably just in time for kick-off of the next NFL season.
Being relatively equal in size, the merger will see both companies splitting their responsibilities right down the middle.
Jason Robins, current CEO of DraftKings, will maintain his role, becoming the new CEO of the merged brand. Nigel Eccles, current CEO of FanDuel, will hop into the seat of Board Chairman. And, to keep it fair, each operator will get three seats on the new company board.
“This merger will help advance our goal of building a transformational global sports entertainment platform,” said Robins in a press release commenting the intended merger.
Eccles was equally enthusiast about the deal on ESPN.com. “Being able to combine DraftKings and FanDuel presents a tremendous opportunity for us to further innovate and disrupt the sports industry.”
“Disrupt”? Wait Just A Darn Minute…
Did Eccles really use the word, “disrupt”, to describe the DFS sites’ merger? Yes, he did, and that’s exactly what government regulators could be thinking, too.
You see, in order for a merger to be approved, it must not create a monopoly that would devastate other businesses operating in the same industry. And that could pose a huge problem for these real money sports betting aficionados.
But assuming the merger is approved – and it probably will be, just as Serius/XM was – it begs to question how punters will be effected.
As Kevin McGuire of The Comeback pointed out: “Reducing competition… could be dangerous for the consumer… there’s less incentive to keep prices (in this case, the portion of the fantasy pot taken by the company) down when there’s the perception that the player has nowhere else to play.”
“Commission Will Absolutely Not Increase”
In response to growing concern among the DFS betting community, Robins told ESPN on Friday, “The commission will absolutely not increase as a result of this merger.
“We always try to balance what’s the right commission rate to make the games fun and exciting and make everyone feel like they have a chance to win and also to create a healthy profitable company. And those are the same objectives that will exist post-merger,” he said. “We’re not foolish enough to think that we can raise commission to a level that players will just accept.”
Yeah, well, Richard Nixon said, ‘I am not a crook!‘, and George Bush senior said, ‘Read my lips – No new taxes!‘
There are no guarantees as to what will or won’t happen if/when DraftKings and FanDuel become one. But if we use the example of Serius/XM just once more, it’s worth noting that company did not issue a price hike following it’s 2008 merger until 2011, and that was based solely on inflation.
Casinos have been around for hundreds of years. Thanks to the computer geniuses that brought us the world wide web, online gambling showed up about two decades ago. As technology progressed, we gained the ability to play the same games on a mobile casino for real money in the late 2000’s.
Mobile gambling has actually been around longer than that. I believe it was 2003 Microgaming launched the very first mobile casino app, but that was in the draconian days of flip-phones with arrow-keys to make selections. In terms of modern, touch-screen technology, mobile casinos didn’t begin to flourish until about five years later.
Now days, everyone uses their Android and Apple iOS smartphones and tablets for gaming. Some prefer social games, like Candy Crush or Words with Friends. I prefer something with a bit more of a bite to it, and there’s nothing quite like the exhilaration that comes with playing a mobile casino for real money.
Every game you can imagine is available these days. Hundreds of classic and 5-reel video slots grace the menus. Video poker and table games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps, three card poker, ultimate Texas holdem; I could go on and on. Thanks to HTML5 optimization, mobile casinos have it all, and you don’t even have to download an app to access them (although it is an option).
Sounds great, right? And it is – but just like those social games I mentioned above, mobile casino games can be quite addicting. The thrill of the win can be like a drug-induced high. And if we’re not careful, we could find ourselves spending a lot more money on these games than we ever intended.
It’s awfully easy to keep clicking the Spin button on the slots, or doubling up a blackjack bet to regain the previous loss. But we can avoid such problems by simply being aware of what we’re doing, and how much we’re doing it, at all times.
Appreciating the Entertainment Value
The golden rule to gambling is to appreciate it as the entertainment option that it is. You don’t go to the movies expecting to win back your price of ticket and popcorn. Playing a mobile casino for real money affords that opportunity, but you should never play with expectations of a profit.
Those who think they can just play until they win are what critics and statistical data collectors refer to as ‘problem gamblers’. No one wants to end up in that category, and if we’re conscious of our actions, we never will.
Set Strict Deposit Limits
Think about how much money you make each week. Think about the bills you have to pay each month, and the amount you spend on other necessities like food, fuel and toiletries.
Now, think about what you have to spend on entertainment. Maybe you have an extra $200 each week. You’ll want to hold onto some of that for random things, like date night or a spontaneous outing with your friends.
If you split it in half, that gives you $100 to play around with. You know you can log onto your favorite mobile casino and deposit that $100, confident that you can afford to lose that much.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a negative way of thinking. It doesn’t mean you are going to lose, or that you’re even planning to lose. It just means that if you do lose, it’s okay. That’s a huge positive in my book.
It’s also a good idea to set time limits. If you only spin the reels or play blackjack for 15 minutes at a time, chances are your bankroll will last a lot longer. And if you do run out of funds before the week is out, that’s okay, too. There’s an easy solution for that.
Switch To Free Play Mode
You don’t always have to play a mobile casino for real money. All of those games – well, the vast majority of them, at least – are also available to play for free. The only games you won’t have access to are the live dealer casino games. Because the operator pays to maintain the studio and hires professionally trained dealers to run the tables, they like to make sure there’s always cash flowing in.
All of the other games, though, can be played anytime you like without spending a single coin of your own money. Yes, the overall experience may lose some of the exhilarating bite I spoke of before, but it’s still entertaining, and it’s a great opportunity to learn how to play new games you never tried before.
Practice Before You Play for Real Money
Would you go to the track and bet on a race if you didn’t know anything about the odds or horses that were running? Hopefully not. The same goes for casino gambling. Why would you risk real money on a game that you know nothing about?
Practice mode is the perfect way to learn the rules for any game you’re unfamiliar with. You may decide you don’t like that game, or you may find it’s your new favorite. Either way, knowing how to play is imperative before you try any game at a mobile casino for real money.
Be An Opportunistic Player
Free play mode is also a great way to incorporate and fine-tune your strategies. Maybe you know all the rules of blackjack, but do you know the best times to hit, stand, double or split your cards? Intuition is a wonderful thing, but it would be unwise to deny the law of probability.
If you really want your bankroll to last as long as possible, with the highest chance of actually winning some money, developing a solid strategy is the only way to go.
If your bankroll runs dry, don’t contemplate depositing more than you can afford to lose. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to improve your play until the next payday rolls around.
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Your good at math. You have a tidy bankroll stowed away. You’ve decided it’s time to turn your stash into more extra cash by playing real money blackjack online. That’s not a bad idea, seeing as blackjack is the most profitable game in any casino – but let’s back it up a moment.
Ask yourself a few questions first. Have you ever played blackjack? Do you truly understand the rules of the game? Are you aware that there are dozens of rule variations you could come across? Have you developed an optimal strategy for the type of blackjack game you intend to play?
If you answered ‘No‘ to any of these questions, you’ll want to keep reading.
Usefulness of Free-To-Play Blackjack Apps
I know you want to play real money blackjack online, where you can actually win cash. But the best way to learn the rules and develop a proper strategy is to practice. Playing free blackjack games just for fun is the best way to accomplish that.
Not just any blackjack app will do, though. You need one that allows you to set the various rules, and provides optimal strategic data for all hands. There are some great blackjack training apps out there that offer these features, compatible with all iOS and Android mobile and tablet devices.
Some of my favorite blackjack apps include:
Know The Rules You’re Going To Play
Selecting only the best rules for the lowest house edge isn’t going to get you anywhere. There’s no casino out there that’s going to provide all the best rules on a single table. Instead, you’ll need to see what rule variations are available at the online casino you intend to play at (see next section for more info).
Because these free-to-play blackjack apps allow users to set the rules, you can enter the exact rules in the settings menu before you start practicing. This way, when you do start playing real money blackjack online, you know you’ll be working with the best possible strategy, giving you the lowest house edge and, therefore, the highest possible win rate.
Real Money Blackjack Online
Never assume that all internet blackjack sites are created equal. For every reputable operator out there, there’s a rogue operator hoping you’ll deposit with them instead. Take your time. Do your research. Find an operator with a long-standing reputation for honesty, integrity and quick, reliable payouts. Royal Vegas is a good example, as it meets all of these standards.
Also make sure players from your country are accepted, and that the deposit/withdrawal methods meet your needs. Then, peruse the available blackjack games and see what rules they offer. If the rules are appealing, make sure the pay table is too.
A natural blackjack should always pay 3:2. If the payout is anything less than that, find a better game. Decreasing the payout for a natural blackjack is the easiest and most covert way for casinos to hike up the house edge by as much as 2.27%.
Finally, remember that it’s impossible to turn the tides completely into your favor. If it were that easy, casinos would be out of business. The best you’ll manage playing real money blackjack online is a house of about 0.4%. With the right knowledge and strategy, you’ll only need a bit of luck to overcome that minuscule edge.
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Real money gambling over the internet, via desktop or mobile, is a highly controversial subject mong global governments. In some regions it’s legal, others its prohibited, and for the rest, it tends to fall into a gray area of the law. The Netherlands falls into the second category, and has made its legal stance clear to the makers of Apple smartphones and tablets.
Back in May 2016, the nation’s gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), sent an official request to Apple, Inc. asking that real money gambling apps be removed from the service’s Dutch-facing App Store.
The request was more of a demand, really, as the regulator crisply reminded Apple that online wagering is still illegal in the Netherlands. Although the government is currently working on a draft bill to legalize internet casinos, the KAS was adamant that, until the Remote Gambling Act is passed, and licenses awarded to individual operators, the App Store’s provision of real money gambling applications could be interpreted as a direct violation of current law.
Apple Removes Real Money Gambling Apps
It took the tech giant – the renowned maker of Mac, MacBook, iPhone, iPad and other popular computer products – several months to fully comply with the request, but a recent publication on the Dutch regulator’s website confirmed that Apple has finally obliged.
KAS stated that “one” company (no doubt referring to Apple) successfully removed 55 real money gambling apps from its Dutch-accessible App Store, including those from major iGaming operators like Bwin and Unibet. Note that Google Play did not receive a similar request, as that company did not offer these betting apps to Dutch customers in the first place.
“One of the app stores heeded the request of the Gaming Authority and deleted initially 49 and later six so-called real-money gambling apps,” read the announcement on the KSA website.
The regulator maintains that Bwin, Unibet and other betting operators of their nature may not lawfully provide their services to anyone physically located in the Netherlands. Therefore providing their mobile apps to Dutch customers is also a violation of the law.
Higher Fines Convince Operators, App Stores To Comply
Assisting companies like Apple to comply with that law was a move by the Dutch government in 2015 to triple the penalty for illegal online gambling from €50,000 to €150,000. In the past three years, at least iGaming operators have been fined by the KSA, with some operators being slapped with as much as €200,000 in individual fines.
According to reports, only three of the penalties were actually collected. Other operators were apparently able to avoid the fines by ceasing acceptance of Dutch players and confirming their intent to apply for a Dutch license once remote gambling becomes legal.
Two iGaming operators in particular became aggressively targeted victims of the KSA’s wrath. Total E Soft Ltd. and XKL Ltd., both based in the UK, were hit with a combined total of €180,000 in fines after being charged with providing illegal online gambling services to Dutch players via 14 different online poker, casino and sports betting sites. The KSA compiled strong evidence against them, as the websites were written in Dutch and boasted the Netherlands flag within their graphical layouts.
Remote Gambling Act Coming in 2017?
The government has been working long to pass a Remote Gambling Act, and is expected to finish the job sometime next year. The draft legislation is currently working its way through Parliament’s upper house, and will finally give private companies a chance to proffer licensed, real money gambling apps and websites within the country, eliminating the existing monopoly.
As always, Microgaming is delivering new internet slots this month to all of its licensed operators. The latest addition is called Shanghai Beauty, introduced in October 2016, and the name alone tells us they’ve added yet another Oriental-themed game to the constantly growing line-up of real money slots.
I’m all for playing new titles, and always look forward to the start of each new month because I know Microgaming will deliver a few new games. But I was ultimately disappointed to see one of the most overused themes slapped atop the same old cookie-cutter slots set-up, yet again.
That’s not to say the game itself isn’t a good one, just blatantly repetitive. And of course, they didn’t get too imaginative with the symbols either, filling half the reels with generic playing card symbols of 9, 10, J, Q, K and A.
Now that I’ve gotten my rant out, let’s look a bit deeper at what else these real money slots have to offer in the way of features.
Shanghai Beauty Features
The new internet slots employ Microgaming’s typical 243 Ways to Win interfaces on a 5×3 reel set. The background music is fairly enjoyable – not too rambunctious, or slow enough to put you to sleep. It’s also multi-system compatible, so players can access the new game via desktop, mobile and tablet. It’s even available in ‘Portrait Mode‘ for smartphones (i.e. turn the phone to rotate the screen).
Shanghai Beauty follows the oriental theme well enough, filling the reels with images like the Geisha, Junk (oriental ship), Woman playing a Pipa (Chinese lute), Gold Bowls and Silver Bowls, along with Wilds (Shanghai Beauty Logo) and Scatters (Jade Box).
In the base game, things are fairly standard, except that Wilds pay 2x on all wins in which they are involved. Otherwise, because there are no actual paylines, all wins are paid as a derivative of the total bet placed, divided by all possible ways to win.
The game’s most notable feature is free spins, which are triggered by landing 3, 4 or 5 Jade Box scatters anywhere on the reels during a single play. This automatically triggers 15 free spins, regardless of the number of scatters that appeared (i.e. 4 or 5 won’t deliver more free spins). However, the player will receive Scatter pays, which do give nice payouts on their own (2 scatters = 18 credits, 3 = 45, 4 = 180, 5 = 4,500).
While the free spins are active, all winning combinations will pay at a 3x multiplier rate, based on the stake that triggered them. Free spins can also be retriggered at this time by landing 3 or more scatters during free spins.
Shanghai Beauty Slots Worth A Spin?
Not only did Microgaming’s latest internet slots fail to pique my interest in terms of thematic overlay, it doesn’t seem to bring anything interesting or innovative to the table either. There are no special bonus features outside of free spins, and no exceptional graphics or animations to draw players in.
If you’re a big fan of Oriental themes, you may want to give it a go, just to see if you like it better than the dozens of other similar games out there. Otherwise, give it a pass. You can find lots of more interesting real money slots at Royal Vegas, or any other Microgaming powered online casino.
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If you’ve ever played fantasy or daily fantasy football with any degree of vigilance, you know what it’s like trying to keep up with all of your drafted players. You watch the 8-Game Mix or NFL RedZone, while scrolling through stats apps on your smartphone and tracking live scores on your laptop or tablet, all at the same time.
The people over at DraftKings know exactly what that’s like, and they’ve introduced a new DFS mobile app that will surely simplify the lives of their most dedicated members. It’s called DK Live, and it delivers all of the big plays, the scores, and those pivotal red zone moments, all in one place.
DraftKings is promoting the DFS mobile app as a digital version of “NFL RedZone”, specifically geared towards daily fantasy football fans. Because the truth is, there is a big difference between your average football fan – the ones who want to see every score and highlight from every game – and fantasy football fans – who are only interested in scores and highlights that involve the players they’ve drafted for that week.
That’s exactly what DK Live brings to the table, all wrapped up in one nice, free, 32.4 MB package.
What’s Included in DK Live
We’ve already discussed most of the features in brief, but there’s more packed into this DFS mobile app you’ll want to know about.
In the Highlights section, DK Live offers players a ton of filters to see only the stats they are most interested in, like touchdowns, field goals, turnovers, redzone plays, or any play that involves a 20+ yard gain.
Over in the Scores section, players can view all scores for all games, updated in real time. Alternatively, a user can watch a single-game scoreboard with play-by-play feeds.
Tapping on News gives players up-to-the-minute information on the latest player news and injury updates from major sports new sources like FantasyLabs, RotoWire and more. DK Live also offers analysis on injured players to examine the projected impact on a game or season.
Customization is by far the most significant feature, and the one that dual users of the DraftKings and DK Live mobile apps will surely appreciate most. Any daily fantasy football participant can manually filter the results to see only players and teams they are interested in, but for those who also use DraftKings, they can instantly filter only their drafted selections for that week.
The DFS mobile apps are separate, meaning you can’t login, draft your players, then watch the highlights on a single app. But that isn’t necessarily a negative. Narrowing your usage of multiple devices – television, apps and websites – down to just two apps that get the job done will surely be appreciated by sports fans.
Plus it gives them the option to watch their favorite team play on the big screen, instead of tuning in to NFL RedZone for the whole day. It also means daily fantasy football fans who use a rival app, like FanDuel or Yahoo, can still make use of DK Live (although it will require manual draftee filtering.)
Overall, I’ve only found one real negative for DK Live thus far, and that’s mobile optimization. Unfortunately, the DFS mobile app is only available for Apple iOS devices at this time. You download DK Live free in the Apple Store right now, but there’s no Android or Windows Phone edition available yet.
According to sources, an Android version will be released somewhere down the line. There’s no word on optimization for other mobile operating systems to come.
As usual, there’s a lot going on behind the closed doors of Apple, Inc. The long-awaited release date of the new iPhone 7 has been expectantly set for next week – cause for much rejoicing. But there’s little time to celebrate as the leading smartphone company has been slapped with a class action lawsuit and a lofty back tax payment of EUR €13 billion (USD $14.5b).
iPhone 7 Release Date set for September 7
For the last 5 years, Apple has held its big reveal in the month of September, unveiling new products to the world. While the company didn’t outright state that the Apple iPhone 7 will be released next week, it’s pretty safe to assume that September 7, 2016 will be the day of launch.
The company sent out myriad invites to the press Monday evening, asking that they be present in San Francisco that day. And if this year mirrors all of their past September events, the iPhone 7 will just be the tip of the iceberg in terms of new item debuts.
It’s expected that the Apple Watch 2 will also be revealed next Wednesday, and with all the media attention focused in their direction, a throng of smaller releases will surely be on the menu as well.
But not all the media attention will be positive.
Lawsuit Over iPhone 6 “Touch Disease”
If you purchased an iPhone 6, you’ve probably heard of – if not personally experienced – what’s being dubbed Apple’s ‘Touch Disease‘. The issue became so widespread that the company has been hit with a class action lawsuit from customers effected by it.
The lawsuit claims that Apple knowingly and willingly sold defective models of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Touch Disease occurs when the smartphone’s touchscreen becomes unresponsive, making the device unusable. It’s effected countless iPhone owners, and according to the lawsuit, its was a design flaw on Apple’s part that caused it, having failed to properly secure one of the device’s internal chips.
Supported evidence states that the fault lies within the connection of the touchscreen chip to the logic board. If the phone is bent (which often occurs when its placed in a pocket), the chip can become disconnected. But most customers who complained to Apple were turned away; told nothing could be done because the phone’s one-year warranty had expired.
The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified cash damages, legal fees, and want the court to order Apple to recall, repair and/or replace all defective iPhone 6 models. That would be a very expensive process for the company, but perhaps not as expensive as the back taxes it owes in Europe.
EU Slaps Apple with Billions in Back Taxes
According to the European Union, Apple accepted illegal tax breaks from Ireland dating back more than a decade. An investigation by the European Commission revealed that the tax cuts saved the company €13 billion (USD $14.5b), ordering them to pay back every bit of it.
It was “concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enable it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years,” confirmed the EU’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager. The progressive tax break saw Apple’s levies fall from 1% GGR in 2003, to just 0.005% in 2014.
Both Apple and Ireland’s Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, disagree with the EU’s claims and have vowed to appeal the decision, although in Ireland’s case, it will take Cabinet approval to launch an appeal.