PlayTech Offers Discounted Shares In Order to Raise Funds

For popular online slots developer, PlayTech, expansion is the name of the game. Recently, the company has been expanding into a wide range of online gambling markets around the world but these numerous transactions have just not been enough. PlayTech hopes to raise over $150 million to fund additional joint ventures and acquisitions.

In order to raise this money, PlayTech has decided to offer 27.7 million shares at the discounted price of $3.35. Brickington Trading Company is currently considering underwriting the entire amount if all 27.7 million shares are not purchased.

While the idea sounds plausible, it has been criticized by industry analysts. According to market analyst Ivor Jones, the plan is an underhanded way of the company’s founder to increase his stake in the company.

Founder Teddy Sagi owns Brickington Trading Co, which ended up buying nearly $60 million worth of shares after additional investors bought $40 million. As a result, Sagi now has an additional 3% stake in the company. Should no investors have taken up the opportunity to buy the discounted shares, Sagi’s stake would have increased by 9%.

This new deal is expected to allow PlayTech to expand its online operations. The company is already one of the largest online gambling operators, and PlayTech could see even more business from around the world.

Full Tilt Poker Acquired by Groupe Bernard Tapie

After weeks of negotiation, Full Tilt Poker has been bought by Groupe Bernard Tapie. Together, the two companies will work towards refunding players from around the world and resuming the online poker website’s operations.

It has been long time coming, but things are finally beginning to improve for the once renowned online poker operator. After being implicated in the Black Friday scandal of April 2011, the website experienced several difficulties getting back onto its feet.

First, Full Tilt had trouble refunding its players. While Poker Stars and other sites implicated in the scandal had begun paying back their players, Full Tilt struggled. This led to the website having its licensed revoked by the Alderney Gaming Control Commission.

Now, Full Tilt Poker is looking at finally resuming its online operators with the help of Groupe Bernard Tapie. American players will be able to receive their long-awaited refunds while Australian poker players can look forward to resuming their activities at the popular online poker website.

With the local government currently considering revamping the Interactive Gambling Act and the legalizing online gambling, it is likely that online poker websites like Full Tilt will become regulated by the government.

Local Athlete Acquitted of Match Fixing Charges

In New Zealand, a major concern among gambling operators is the potential increase in match-fixing and sports corruption that is occurring in the sports market. However, one recent case of the crime has been thrown out in court. John Elias, a former NRL player and coach was accused of taking part in a match-fixing scandal, but evidence of such a crime taking place did not hold up in court.

Elias was accused of attempting to unlawfully gain $98 000 from TabCorp during the summer of 2010. He placed $5500 worth of bets on a rugby game between the Cowboys and the Bulldogs, wagering on the possibility that the first goals scored in the game would be penalty shots.

Upon first glance, these wagers certainly seem suspicious, which is why Elias was brought up on charges in the first place. However, the penalty kicked did not play out according to Elias’ wagers and there was no real evidence that match-fixing had occurred.

The prosecution believes that the case would have been more successful if Elias had been brought up on charges of conspiracy. The local police are actually considering appealing the court’s decision, as they believe some sort of illegal activity had taken place.

Gambling Reform Will Not Do Significant Damage to Clubs

Labour MP Jenny Macklin states that Andrew Wilkie’s gambling reform will not hurt clubs as much as operators would have us believe. Since Wilkie announced his plans to enact poker machine reform, clubs across the country have claimed that over 30% of profits would be lost, having dire effects on the local economy.

Macklin believes that these claims are a bit exaggerated, stating that gaming clubs across the country will be able to recover from poker machine reform. While it is inevitable that profits will be lost and revenue will decline, pokie reform is not the be all to end all for clubs across the country.

Quoting a recent report by Clubs Queensland, Macklin states that clubs will continue to thrive even after gambling reform is passed as a law. Gambling activity will continue to take place, but on a lesser scale. She believes that clubs will be able to deal with these changes and compensate for lost revenue in other ways.

Some clubs have already started to prepare for the reform. Rooty Hill, for example, announced recently that it is working on becoming less reliant on poker machine revenue. There are plenty of other opportunities out there for clubs to generate revenue, and politicians believe that club owners and operators should take advantage of them.

New Zealand Casino Profits on the Increase

New Zealand-based Sky City Entertainment expects that, by the year’s end, its profits will be up by 7%. With several positive signs indicating that 2011 will have been an incredibly profitable year for the company, Sky City is confident about the profit increase.

At Sky City’s annual meeting, CEO Nigel Morrison stated that he expects 2011’s full year profits to reach over $140 million. Last year, profits were just over $130 million and Morrison believes that the company will fare much better this year.

The company has recognized the substantial effect that the Rugby World Cup had on its profits earlier this month. Bringing in a wide range of tourism dollars, the Cup saw a great deal of visitors spending their money at local casinos like Sky City Auckland. Presenting a place for punters to place wagers on the Rugby Cup and a venue in which to spend some down time, the casino saw a great deal of activity during the competition.

The company also hopes to a significant return on the investment made in order to renovate Sky City Auckland. Just months after the revamp, the casino is seeing improved profits. This increase in revenue will certainly help Sky City reach its 7% increase goal by the end of 2011.

Match-Fixing Now A Crime in Australia

The Australian federal government will make match-fixing into a specific crime. According to, those involved in match-fixing schemes could face up to 10 years in jail and significant fines.

In recent years, Australia’s sports industry has been plagued with many scandals – and local politicians are fed up with the market’s increasingly dubious reputation. Earlier this year, Australian territories announced their dedication to eliminating corruption in sport. Drafting this new legislation is just one of many steps that the government is taking to eliminate sports corruption.

In the past, there was no legal framework for match fixing offences. So, it was easier for athletes and other sports professionals to fix the outcome of particular matches. Now, things will be more difficult with the possibility of ten years in jail hanging over their heads.

Local governments are currently drawing up drafts of the law. They hope to have a legislation passed sometime next year, but some politicians want the law to come into effect before the next National Rugby League season starts.

Around the world, politicians are taking a similar stance against sports corruption. The recent influx of betting scandals has prompted local governments to get serious about the issue.

New Zealand Casino Recovers from Smoking Ban

Last year, a smoking ban was imposed on Darwin’s SkyCity Casino. After profits took a massive dive, the gambling venue is beginning to recover, as patrons come crawling back to the casino.

SkyCity issued a statement, indicating that profits are on the rise again, despite a challenging time after the introduction of the smoking ban. The company believes that Darwin SkyCity has a great deal of potential and, despite the ban, will continue to provide a significant source of revenue to the company.

The casino has also seen trying times due to a waning tourism economy. The dry season and the rising dollar have encouraged locals to seek out vacation spots overseas, so the local gambling industry has seen a difficult period of time.

SkyCity Darwin will be undergoing extensive work to help rejuvenate the property. The five-star Lagoon Resort is currently under construction, which will include a spa, a restaurant and a heated lagoon. There will also be two VIP villas and gaming pavilions.

The huge renovations that were recently completed on SkyCity Auckland’s property helped the company boost its profits. The operator hopes that the new addition to SkyCity Darwin will have the same effect, continuing to improve the casino’s revenue after the results of the smoking ban.

NZ Developer Launches Online Slot Machine

IGT is one of the top providers of poker machines in New Zealand. Aside from Aristocrat, it is the only source of high quality electronic gaming machines in the country. For over a decade, the company has provided casinos and other gaming venues across the country with a wide range of slot machines and poker machines. Recently, the company has decided to branch out into the online gambling market and has experienced a great deal of success.

The online gambling developer’s latest online launch is Siberian Storm, a conversion of one of IGT’s land-based games. The company has been taking this approach with many of its online releases, as it can ensure that there is already a fan based for these games.

Siberian Storm is a MultiWay online slots game, which requires the player to wager on the whole game board rather than betting on individual paylines. The result is an increased chance to win incredible prizes, and MultiWay games normally offer players 243 ways to win with a single spin.

However, Siberian Storm offers players even more ways to win. The game also offers Xtra Reels, which means that reels 2, 3 and 4 have extra slots. This means that players have 720 different ways to win every time they spin the game’s reels!

These are just a few of the features that made Siberian Storm so popular in land-based casinos. With an existing fan base and some incredible gaming features, the game is likely to experience a great deal of success at land-based casinos as well!

TAB Proposes Stand-Alone Gaming Venues

Currently, gambling laws in New Zealand prohibit the placement of pokies in stand-alone gaming venues. However, TAB is seeking an amendment to the law, having made an in-depth presentation to the Grey District’s Council earlier this week.

The prohibition of pokies in standalone venues was aimed at reducing rates of problem gambling. TAB adhered to the laws, moving toward the pub-model of poker machine placement, but now believes that there is a better way to control problem gambling rates.

According to the New Zealand Racing Board, TAB is being responsible by wanting to create standalone gaming venues. Solicitors for the group claim that there are definite links between problem gambling and alcohol consumption, so discouraging residents from taking part in gambling activities in pubs is a more effective solution.

New Zealand’s Problem Gambling Foundation does not support the idea, however. The organization believes that the last thing the country needs is more pokie machines. Citing statistics that show national gambling spending is more than $4.4 million in just the West Coast alone, the Problem Gambling Foundation does not support TAB’s proposal to build more poker machines in standalone venues.

Infinity Gaming Society in Trouble With The Law

New Zealand has some very strict gambling laws, and operators are very keen on following them closely. The penalties are steep for anyone who violates these laws, so it is quite uncommon for there to be any legal breaches. However, the Infinity Foundation Gaming Trust has recently been accused of doing that very thing.

An audit conducted by New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs have revealed that Infinity has breached its own policies concerning the allocation of gambling funds to organizations across the country. According to the audit, the company funded organizations that would directly benefit The goal of the funding to help the New Zealand community rather than benefiting operators and Infinity’s activities has violated these terms.

The report found that $600 000 was allocated to trotting clubs across New Zealand. While this seems harmless, Internal Affairs discovered that there was an ulterior motive. The clubs had ties to various horse racing professionals, and Infinity funded them in order to ensuring continuing business with these individuals. The company has also been accused of having its funding influenced by local pub owners.

If the allegations are proven to be correct, Infinity could have its license revoked. The consequences for violating these laws are very serious, and Infinity seems to be in very big trouble.