How Web-based casinos are beating the odds -

There are too many other choices out there for players,” he said.

Even so, Starnet, which is based in Vancouver, B.C., is careful to do all bet-processing and money transactions on servers here to guard against Canadian and U.S. GLC Ltd., which does business on the nearby island of St. The company, which has headquarters in Sweden, employs 30 people locally, mostly in telephone support and risk analysis. servers, one for each of the gambling sites he runs for other companies.

Software development costs are the biggest expense for Internet gambling firms. Gun-toting local police also watch the premises 12 hours a day.

“You play my game, and it’s a real live transaction taking place,” he said. police action. “We deal with other people’s money and must have backup procedures and a fire-safe area and strict rules.

The four information technology people at Boss Casinos all are transplanted Swedes.

Starnet, for example, posted $1.8 million in sales for its most recent quarter and showed $248,000 in profit.

Terry Bowering has paid his $100,000 annual license fee to Antigua and scoffs at the idea that online casino executives run a crooked business, hide from the law or fleece naive Internet users. Her E-mail address is kim_nash@cw.com.

More than 1,200 registered players placed $3.1 million worth of wagers in GalaxiWorld’s first month in action.

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Last year, Starnet’s casinos group saw 6 million hits daily; the average spent per bettor visit was $200, he said. Page hits totaled 3.2 million. Internet gambling

operators must gird their sites for multiple simultaneous users who pound

through rounds of blackjack and online roulette — at 40, 50 and 60 clicks

per minute. Antigua is one of just a few countries to legalize online gambling. Moreover, the U.S. We’re the future. An estimated 200 Web sites currently lure surfers to virtual slot machines, craps and other Las Vegas-style games.

Nash is a Computerworld senior editor.

Murphy says he sees himself as something of a cybercop, enforcing licensing laws and chasing away lawbreakers. Wire transfers, credit cards, bank drafts, personal checks, electronic currency, even cash: They all are forms of payment acceptable at one gambling site or another. The credit card, passport and other data requested of players “never leaves this building.

For Bowering, vice president of offshore operations at Starnet Communications International Inc., Internet gambling is a legitimate form of electronic commerce that lawmakers just don’t understand.

But as usual, the house is raking in the cash. Instead of having to download fat software files before playing, users spend one to three minutes installing various Java applets, he said.

So gambling entrepreneurs from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Israel and other countries have set down roots on Caribbean islands, particularly this one. Operations were down for more than two days. “We tried to recruit from locals but they don’t have the skills,” Bengtsson said.

There’s just one problem: U.S. We’re MBAs.”

For example, some companies have hired Big 5 accounting firms to sign off on their business plans and certify, as best they can, that the software is fair to players.

“Gambling provides revenue to the country but also employment and indirect economic benefits,” said Vere Murphy, commissioner of the Free Trade and Processing Zone, which licenses and regulates Internet gambling companies here. That’s different from Amazon.com, where “one customer buys two books, and it may [take] two or three weeks to deliver,” added Weltman, a former lottery company manager.

Hiring programmers well-versed in Sun’s Java language is expensive but worth it, according to Weltman, 37.

“We gotta be fast. JOHN’S, Antigua (IDG) — Here among the storefronts made of plywood

and painted ice-pop colors, there grows a strain of electronic commerce

that faces obstacles even Amazon.com couldn’t imagine. So far, he’s collected $6 million to $7 million in license fees from the 32 online casinos and sports-betting sites he has sanctioned.

“Security we take quite seriously,” Bengtsson said. Congress is expected to outlaw Internet casinos outright.

Cost of doing business

They also must support many languages besides English to attract players in Europe and Asia, where online betting isn’t so legally iffy. servers running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT process bettor payments.

COMPUTING

From…

Computerworld

March

4, 1999

Webposted at 8:08 am EDT

by Kim S.

ST.

Perhaps most nettlesome are the financial transactions. in San Diego, which runs three online casinos, like to point out that they’re publicly traded firms that must report detailed company data. “We’re not typical bookies. Inland isn’t profitable yet. It’s almost a bank.”

Playing by the rules

Meanwhile, Starnet and rival Inland Entertainment Corp.

“We don’t sit here drinking umbrella drinks,” said Peter Bengtsson, managing director of Boss Casinos Ltd. Kitts, has spent $20 million in the past three years to set up its GalaxiWorld online casino, said Larry Weltman, chief financial officer at the company in Gibraltar, U.K. In fact, Antigua invites it.

Managing risks — financial, legal and security — is what the business is all about.

“We’re pioneers. All staff is cleared by Interpol,” he said. Online gambling is a $535 million industry worldwide that’s expected to grow to $10 billion in three years, according to Datamonitor PLC, a market researcher in London. police say online gambling is illegal under a 38-year-old law — and they’re starting to prosecute.

Two Compaq Computer Corp.

In the new locale, Bengtsson plans to set up a locked and guarded server room in which to house six Sun Microsystems Inc. (Boss Casinos charges maintenance fees and takes an additional cut of the revenue from each client.)

Each of the 14 gambling executives interviewed by Computerworld claimed to be bringing a businessman’s order to the largely untested world of Internet wagering. Bengtsson, a 30-year-old ex-blackjack dealer in banker’s clothes, runs Boss Casinos, which is one of the biggest online gambling operations here.

Boss Casinos moved into a snow-white, five-story building — one of the tallest in this capital city — after Hurricane Georges blew the roof off its former quarters in September. We’re sticking to a marketing strategy and a business plan,” said Bowering, a 38-year-old former stock broker and financial consultant.

And Amazon.com doesn’t have to worry about how to pay out $50,000 jackpots.

. English Harbour Casino Ltd., on the southern tip of the island, uses Deloitte & Touche LLP, while Boss Casinos employs PricewaterhouseCoopers. Nash

Hitting the jackpot

Starnet wouldn’t mind being a takeover candidate for land-based casinos: “Once the smoke clears, they will look at a company like us to get them online,” Bowering said

China soccer boom sparks online gambling craze | Reuters

It only takes a few hours from the first to the last step,” said spokeswoman Miranda Shek, adding the firm was looking to add more anti-gambling staff.

The organizer of an online gambling group, who only gave his name as Bao, said he and four other organizers had a pot of 5 million yuan ($750,706) and that dozens of people would join for each game.

Reiterating a previous statement, Tencent said it is doing more to stamp out gambling on its platforms like WeChat, including restricting groups suspected of gambling behavior and punishing individual account holders. “For the final, we’ll probably go to Macau or Hong Kong and spend the whole week in the presidential suite.”

By Tris Pan

| HONG KONG

On Sunday, the Public Security Ministry said it had detained 236 people across four provinces involved in illegal online betting on the championship.

HONG KONG In China’s eastern city of Hangzhou, Mr Li could barely watch as Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo lined up a penalty kick in a finely-balanced Euro 2016 group match against Austria. Amid a surge of Chinese interest in global soccer, a side-effect has been a record spike in illegal gambling online, prompting multi-million dollar busts by police on betting rings, and tech giants like Tencent and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd cracking down on gambling activity on their apps.

A soccer investment boom in China has helped propel interest in the game. Especially when Ronaldo missed the penalty – I almost passed out,” he said.. Big investments and star names create a real lure,” said Hu Naijun, an assistant professor at the University of Science and Technology Beijing.

“In one night there will be millions placed in bets,” he said, adding it had become a lucrative business. Winnings were distributed via bank transfer, Alibaba-linked Alipay, WeChat or ‘red packets’, digital versions of traditional envelopes stuffed with cash.

“With the European Cup everyone’s betting on soccer, but also over the last couple of years China’s soccer market has developed rapidly. Chinese firms have invested in overseas clubs, player agencies and media rights firms, and global soccer stars have moved to China in multi-million dollar deals.

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

“If we find suspicious accounts, then we are going to freeze the account directly. It said it has put limits on more than 8,000 WeChat groups, and has limited the payment and ‘red packet’ capabilities on more than 6,000 accounts.

Alibaba and Tencent acknowledge the issue and have anti-gambling systems in place to spot illegal behavior. Li had reason to be nervous: he had bet tens of thousands of yuan on Portugal to win.

Li says he’s still backing Portugal – who are through to the semi-finals – for Euro 2016 glory.

“I often can’t watch, my heart just can’t take it, I feel nervous at every chance.

In the run-up to the UEFA European Football Championship final in Paris next Sunday, Chinese police say they have seen a surge in illegal gambling online. In a single bust last week, police in southern Guangdong arrested 147 people and froze funds worth nearly 100 million yuan ($15 million).

With 10 minutes to go in the game in Paris, Real Madrid star Ronaldo hit the post, the game ended in a draw, and Li lost the money he had bet using Tencent Holdings Ltd’s popular messaging app WeChat.

“There are so many gamblers, groups and platforms during the European Cup, though, that I think it’s really hard to find all of them,” said Li, who asked only to use his surname as most gambling online in China is illegal.

SOCCER BOOM

Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliate which operates Alipay, has a three-tiered system to spot gambling, with computer systems analyzing user behavior and a line of human checks.

Li said he used a private chat group on WeChat, where most of the betters were friends

Cybergambling returns — and this time it’s legal

Legalizing gambling across the U.S. Chris Christie validated the vice in the waning weeks of 2013, saying he hoped to rake in $1 billion in casino revenues this year, of which the state will collect a 17 percent tax.

But analysts are mostly rolling with Christie and the casinos. In online casino gambling, it’s about the game more than the bet.”

What happens online, stays online

Six other firms, including popular companies like WSOP.com and Ultimate Poker and other casinos like Caesars and the Golden Nugget, participated in the “soft play” launch of online gambling in New Jersey in November, the state’s Department of Gaming Enforcement Director Dave Rebuck said during a recent conference call.

And New Jersey isn’t alone; eight other states have bills in the works that will allow Internet gambling as well. market could be worth as much as $9 billion in the coming years as other states, including California, legalize online wagering.

Many Americans simply ignored the ban, he noted, as the country did during Prohibition in the ’20s.

Globally, the business is even more lucrative. “If we are unable to determine that you are in New Jersey, you will be unable to play on Virgin Casino,” the site notes. “The federal government has tried the prohibition approach – specifically the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 and the Wire Act – and through multiple Justice Department crackdowns on offshore operators as well.”

“Those from other states can play, but they cannot wager,” Fenton said. To put that into further context, Americans accounted for nearly 10 percent of the entire $33 billion worldwide online gaming market,” Freeman said.

“In sports gambling, it’s about the bet,” DeGaris said. That doesn’t translate online,” DeGaris told FoxNews.com. Gov. Not just poker.”

Not everyone agrees with the odds. Virgin could be holding a full house, but it could also fail before the flop.

‘Last year, before a single state authorized legal online gaming, Americans spent nearly $3 billion.’

“Last year, before a single state authorized legal online gaming, Americans spent nearly $3 billion on illegal, unregulated offshore gaming sites. market research firm H2 Gambling Capital, which focuses on the gaming industry, predicted about $300 million for New Jersey’s online casinos — or about $45 million in tax revenue, according to the New York Times. 10. If your phone is off, or if you’re too near state borders, you may not be allowed to play.

“Prohibition simply does not work,” Geoff Freeman told a House panel on Dec. “That’s where I see the huge potential in online gambling, and I reckon the U.S. H2 said the industry was worth $33 billion in 2013, with $4.5 billion coming from mobile gambling on iPads, iPhones and smartphones.

“It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out,” said Laurence DeGaris, associate professor of marketing at the University of Indianapolis and an expert in Internet culture.

To prevent unauthorized access, Virgin Casino physically locates gamers’ cellphones periodically. They play against the house at Virgin Casino, and they can finance their wagers with debit cards, credit cards, or in person.

Congress banned online gambling in 2006. “The technology is rolling out this week.”

Players must be at least 21 years old, and either reside in New Jersey or be in the state when they place their bets. Nevada and Delaware also began offering some online gambling last year, but New Jersey is the first state to “fully” legalize it, said Lee Fenton, the chief operating officer of Gamesys.

Freeman said the Department of Justice has relaxed its views toward online gambling since 2011, and this could open up even more opportunities in the U.S. “Blackjack, slots. will catch up to the rest of the world and allow it at some point.”

. But new laws across the nation are rolling the rules back — and lawmakers think they’re holding a royal flush.

“Slots and roulette are very visceral games, lots of bells and whistles. U.K. — notably sports betting.

“There will be many games to play online in New Jersey,” Fenton told FoxNews.com. “Blackjack and poker have a very human element that’s lost online. Others predict the overall U.S. will generate – in addition to tax revenue from the proceeds at casinos – approximately 22,000 new online gambling-related jobs, Freeman testified.

- Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association

Prohibition failed – again

Last month, the president and CEO of the American Gaming Association testified before Congress and urged legislators to repeal their 7-year-old ban on Internet gambling.

Mega-entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is the latest entry in online gambling, teaming with the Tropicana Resort in Atlantic City and online game maker Gamesys to bring online poker, blackjack and slots to New Jersey this week