Tuesday of this week saw an unusual casino robbery in Latvia’s city of Jekabpils. According to reports, Five armed robbers, four of which were active police officers in uniform, stormed the “Fenikss” casino in the eary hours of Tuesday morning in what ended up being a botched heist attempt. In the ensuing car chase and shoot-out a pursuing police officer was killed and numerous people were injured.
After arrests were made it was established that two of the robbers were members of the Tukums Regional Police force and another two were part of the “Alfa” elite police response squad. The Tukums police officers had previously been discharged for accepting bribes but had been reinstated after pressure from the police union.
Latvia’s Interior Minister Murniece called for immediate police department checks across the board stating that many people could lose their jobs. The Minister also expressed his disgust at what he labelled “Serious problems with discipline” within the Alfa elite police force and suspended the Alfa Chief of Police Andris Zaušs, as well as the chief of police in Riga, Ints Kuzis from service. Murniece has since come under pressure from the unions and the Council of the Home Office has been called in to deal with the situation.
Latvian Prime Minister, Valdis Dombrovskis, has given assurance that the interior minister’s job is not on the line over the incident and has pledged his support and agreement in her calls for police reform. He reportedly stated that there had been numerous instances where the police union had forced unfit officers to be reinstated regardless of the circumstances and that this practice should come to an end
Microgaming powered casinos routinely launch 4 new casino games each month. This month was no different and the offering included the Hot Ink, Retro Reels – Diamond Glitz, Private Eye and Monkey King online slots.
While much of the launch information made it seem impossible to choose which one would be the best, and many of the early reviewers made each game seem really amazing, after some dedicated testing on our part, we can tell you definitively that it is the tatto parlour themed Hot Ink Slot. Not only is this game visually spectacular with graphics that are slightly racier than usual, it also features Microgaming’s unique 1024 ways to win concept as well as an all new re-spin feature, both of which ensure maximum entertainment.
When it comes to the other games in this release, while they are definitely not terrible, none of the other three really stand out the way Hot Ink does. Retro Reels – Diamond glitz is a rather generic 5 reel, 25 payline machines which is perfect if you enjoy that kind of thing with no real surprises. Monkey King has an intriguing theme based on an old Asian fable so the graphics are quite cool, but as for the actual game, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. Finally, the Private Eye slot would seem to be the one with the greatest potential with 243 ways to win a bonus game within the bonus game, but unless you actually hit the combinations to access these, it’s quite honestly, well…boring.
To read more about the Hot Ink slot, visit our slots reviews section now, or play any of the above mentioned games at Roxy Palace now.
Online gambling was officially legalized in 2005 in the United Kingdom when Labour’s controversial Gambling Act was legislated, but recent concern over millions becoming addicted to gambling has prompted Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to launch a dramatic crackdown which will prevent companies not operating in the UK to halt advertising campaigns. According to sources, Hunt is also considering a ban on the use of credit card payments to fund online casino and gambling player accounts, which will ensure that people no longer risk money they do not have.
This sentiment is echoed by senior government officials who are said to be concerned about the explosion of internet gambling advertising since Labour relaxed the gambling laws. It is sure that if enforced, these policies will drive thousands of foreign operators out of the British online gambling and casino markets altogether, but the government has cited concerns over the welfare of UK citizens for the proposed actions and is making every effort to protect the public from gambling operations that do not meet the required UK standards but have profited from Labour’s soft approach to internet gambling.
Under the current Gambling Act, any organisation that holds a licence for online gaming in the UK is subject to regulation and stringent measures which have been put into place to prevent children from playing highly addictive casino games. However, only operators who are based in Britain are required to be licensed by the Gambling Commission. This means that countries on Britain’s white list (including the Isle of Man, Alderney, Antigua and Tasmania) and those across Europe are able to advertise their services without being subject to any regulation.
According to statistics, consumers in the UK have spent in excess of £2.5 billion on internet and telephone gambling, and less than a quarter of this figure was generated by operators licensed by the British Gambling Commission. A government source stated that it is believed that UK consumers aren’t being as well protected as they could be and while this may be true, the alternative and more likely government concern could be the loss of tax revenues on the billions spent at offshore properties.
The concern has been shared by other European countries including France and Italy which have recently introduced licensing and taxation for companies based in their own countries rather than those abroad and others like Spain and Greece look set to follow suit in the near future.
Should Jeremy Hunt succeed in overhauling the current Gambling legislation so that all internet and telephone gambling is fully regulated, any casino or sportsbook company operating within the UK market be subject to licensing and regulation by the Gambling Commission and will be subject to operation within the full provisions of the law.
Playtech powered casinos have always been known for their exciting live casino games, so it’s no surprise that there has been massive excitement in response to Euro Partners recent announcement of the addition of new live dealers to their newly updated live dealer casino games.
In an effort to offer players the most realistic casino experience possible, casinos in the Euro Partners group recently released a new live gaming platform. According to company representatives, “Europa Casino, Casino Tropez and Titan Casino’s Live Casino Games facilities have been fully renovated and now feature improved lighting for increased clarity, better camera angles for an improved view of the live action, as well as a new overall casino layout (including table positioning) for improved game flow”.
However, they add that the most noteworthy improvement is the addition of the new first-rate, highly experienced live dealers who are top of the game and provide the best service in the industry and add to the realistic feel of the live casino games.
Marc Kenigsberg, VP of Marketing for the Euro Partners group stated that “Online casino players have always enjoyed playing Live Games. It’s the perfect way to capture the thrill of land-based casino gambling from the comfort of home. Now, we’ve upped the ante and made the experience even better, delivering a higher quality gaming environment and even classier, more attractive, professional live dealers. Online gaming doesn’t get any better than our Live Games casinos.”
The group plans to release more new live dealer casino game variations in the years to come, so the excitement is sure to continue for some time but don’t delay, check out the new live dealer games now.
Nearly every we report on a progressive jackpot that has been won, it is on a slot machine, which really is no surprise given that the majority of progressives are linked to online slots and the fact that these are way more popular amongst casino players than video poker machines. However, Microgaming’s most recent progressive wins, which hit within hours of one another, were both on Progressive Video Poker games!
The wins on Jackpot Deuces and Supajax Progressive Video Poker games were for the outstanding amounts of $45,781 and $51,444 respectively. The latter being rather significant as it is the highest progressive prize hit on the Supajax game variation in the last eight months. In general Supajax pays out every 17 days on average, while Jackpot Deuces is hit every 2 days on average.
The hit rate on these games is not the only thing that sets them apart from one another, Supajax is a variant of Jacks or Better where the lowest payout is for a jacks or better hand but the pay table differs slightly from the original game in that a Full house and flush pay out lower than usual at 7 to 1 and 5 to 1. This is largely due to the SupaJax option which means that the playing deck contains an additional card called SupaJax. If the final hand dealt contains the SupaJax card and four regular jacks then the progressive jackpot is hit on condition that the maximum wager of five coins has been played.
Jackpot Deuces on the other hand, is a variant of Deuces Wild where the deuces in the deck are wild and substitute for cards of any denomination and suit to complete a winning hand. Payouts start from three of a kind, and like Supajax, the standard payouts are lower to accommodate the progressive jackpot feature which is hit when the player is dealt a natural diamond royal flush (a Royal Flush achieved without the help of wild deuces). Again, the maximum of five coins must be played to be eligible for the jackpot win.
So if you’re a video poker fan, why not head on over to Jackpot City Casino and try your hand at these progressives, you may just be the next big winner!
Playtech has long been one of the online casino industry’s leading software providers, and with strong third quarter results in 2010 and solid plans for growth and expansion in 2011 it’s safe to say they will retain their illustrious reputation for another year.
According to Wor Meizer, the CEO of Playtech, the group will continue to provide outstanding software to their existing casino partners but will also be broadening their focus to include local operators and former monopolies in newly regulated online casino markets including France and Italy. Both countries have recently regulated their online casino markets which, like the UK’s regime, are expected to mature and grow in the coming years. The group is also in discussions with other countries regarding licensing which should be awarded this year.
To date, Playtech has 10 new licenses lined up for its online poker network as well as bingo and casino games, which is sure to see figures up from it’s strong revenues in the last 2 quarters of 2010 which experienced an average of 30% growth on those of 2009.
Playtech powered properties like Europa Casino and EuroGrand Online Casino are set to remain firm player favourites in 2011 and are already reporting large volumes of traffic and some significant winners just 3 days into the New Year. You could be next so play today!