NZ Gambling Amendment Could Negatively Affect Charities

In the days following the re-introduction of the Gambling Harm Reduction bill, residents and politicians have expressed a great deal of support for the legislation. While most people are caught up in the positive aspects of the bill and what it means for problem gamblers, there are some downsides. Charities across the country are speaking out against the bill, as it has the potential to cut their funding.

In the first reading of the bill, which would give local authorities the power to reduce the number of pokies in their jurisdictions, it was passed by a vote of 83 to 7. It presents a new alternative to gambling reform, and many politicians are on board with the idea.

“I hope that the not-for-profit sector will speak out about this because the community needs our support,” says Kate MacMillion of Riding for the Disabled.

It is a well-known fact that profits from poker machines are used to funding local charities and not-for-profit organizations. Over the course of the past few decades, millions of dollars have been awarded to benefit good causes. Unfortunately, this means that many charities have become dependent on the resource, and will suffer if pokies profits decline.

InterCasino Gives Away Walk-On Role in Film

Summer is always the time of year when blockbuster movies are released. So, there is no better time for InterCasino’s InterMovieStar promotion. As part of this incredible promotion, InterCasino will be awarding one lucky player with a walk-on role in a Hollywood movie.

To enter the promotion, all you have to do is enter the bonus code ‘ROLE’ each time you deposit $25 at the online casino. After wagering that cash, you’ll receive one entry into the draw. The promotion will last until April 29th, so you have plenty of time to earn entries into this exciting promotion.

The player who is picked will receive an exciting trip for two to Hollywood. The prize will cover flights, accommodation and walk-on role in a movie. The total value of the prize is estimated at an impressive $20 000.

InterCasino is well-known for its online casino bonuses, and the gambling operator certainly does not disappoint with its new InterMovieStar promotion. It is easy to enter and easy to win; so, you should certainly take part!

Study Shows that Gambling May Not Be An Addiction

When you think of problem gambling, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘addiction’; however, a new study by researchers at the University of Sydney suggests otherwise. Instead of calling it an ‘addiction’, they believe that it is more of a ‘misguided obsession’.

Dr. Fadi Anjoul of the University’s Gambling Treatment Clinic notes that common symptoms of addiction are not associated with problem gambling. Withdrawal and tolerance are issues that affect alcoholics and drug addicts; however, problem gamblers do not experience these features. As such, Dr. Anjoul has reason to believe that problem gambling does not fall into exactly the same category.

“We are dealing with habitual and poorly informed choices rather than biological processes that are beyond individual control,” says Dr. Anjoul.

While the distinction may not seem significant at first, it could have an important impact on the treatment of problem gambling. While counselling and even medication have been used to treat patients who are ‘addicted’ to gambling, this research may reveal that these are not the most effective options.

As such, Dr. Anjoul has devised a unique cognitive therapy approach, which differs from the type of counselling used to treat other types of addicts. He states that it has seen a great deal of success, as patients see lower relapse rates.

Table Games and More Available at DoubleDown Casino

When it comes to social gaming, it is still a market that is wholly unexplored by online gambling operators – even though it presents them which access to a previously untapped audience. IGT has become the first online casino developer to venture into this world with the launch of the new IGT-backed DoubleDown Casino, a social gaming casino platform which offers up a fantastic online gaming experience.

DoubleDown Casino existed on its own by IGT came along, but the partnership of the two companies has created something truly unique. The new casino platform is the perfect combination of social gaming and online gambling, providing players with the best of both worlds.

There is a wide range of casino games available for all players to enjoy. While the largest collection of titles is current online slots, there are table games for players to choose from, which aim to make players feel as though they are actually sitting at a blackjack or roulette table.

In addition to presenting players with high-quality software, DoubleDown Casino also enhances the excitement by giving players the chance to interact with their social networks using the platform. They can share their progress, invite friends and earn special badges, just like they can in most Facebook Games.

Second Leg of ‘InterHeroes Assemble’ Starts

Coinciding with the release of the new Avengers movie, InterCasino has launched a fun and exciting promotion based on its Avengers-themed slots. The second leg of InterHeroes Assemble has started, offering players the chance to earn generous cash prizes simply by playing the following online slots: Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and The Hulk.

It is a simple slots tournament, that lasts until May 27th. During this time, players can earn comp points by playing these games that will put them on the promotion’s leaderboard. By the end of the promotional period, the player with the most points wins an impressive $1200 prize. For the remaining players, prizes range from $100 to $1000.

To enter the competition, all you have to do is deposit $25 and quote the bonus code “VEL”. Then, anytime you play the four games that are part of the promotion, you will earn points. When you play the promotion’s featured games, you earn double the points, allowing you to climb the leaderboard even faster.

InterHeroes Assemble is yet another innovative slots promotion from InterCasino. If you enjoy playing Cryptologic-powered Marvel slots, you will certainly enjoy your time at this online casino.

New Amendment Could Jeopardize Sky City Deal

Last month, Sky City Casinos agreed to spend $350 million building a conference centre in Auckland in return for 350 – 500 new poker machines. However, a new bill has been introduced which could give the public more power decide to reduce the number of pokies in the community – and it could have dire consequences for Sky City.

The new bill will receive its first reading today. It would allow local authorities to use community feedback to determine the impact of poker machines in various areas of the country. From there, they can decide if they need to reduce the number of pokies in specific neighbourhoods.

According to Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell, the passing of the new bill could have a negative effect on the Sky City Deal. Even though city councillors have granted the operator the right to add up to 500 new pokies to Sky City Auckland, the public may now be able intervene. It could mean that casino would not be able to add the new poker machines after all.

However, this is just the first reading, so nothing is set in stone. If the bill does not pass, the Sky City deal is likely to carry on as planned

Apple Beating Out Android in Mobile Gaming

Last year, there was talk that Android was going to dominate the mobile gaming market; however, this year has seen Apple forge ahead of the Google-powered mobile operating system. According to recent reports, Apple now has 84% of the mobile gambling market, leaving Android in its dust.

Over the course of the past year, the mobile gaming market has increased from 75 million to 101 million. The majority of users (69%) take part in mobile games via their smartphones while the remainder use their tablet computers.

What’s most important about these statistics is that more users are paying to play mobile games. This is because by joining the Apple Marketplace, you are automatically required to enter your payment details. This makes it much easier for players to purchase games; as such, paying mobile players has increased by 35% over the course of the past year to $37 million.

This is great news for online gambling operators, as companies like Microgaming, PokerStars and Aristocrat have launched their own mobile applications. With mobile and social gaming on the rise via Apple, we will certainly see an increase in the mobile gambling world.

Diamond Lounge at Sky City Comes Under Fire

Healthcare groups and The Problem Gambling Foundation have made their case against the Diamond Lounge in Sky City Auckland. The high roller gambling venue contains an ‘open air’ smoking area, which anti-smoking groups believe violates health codes.

The Diamond Lounge is a high-stakes, high-roller gaming area at Sky City Auckland. Patrons can only gain access to it by earning hundreds of loyalty points and proving that their gambling behaviour is not detrimental. It contains several table games and pokies, in addition to a smoking lounge that is considered by many to still be indoors.

According to the Smoke Free Environment Act, smoking areas must be completely outside. Due to the layout of the Diamond Lounge, several healthcare groups believe that the area is in violation of the act.

The Salvation Army, Cancer Society and anti-smoking organization ASH have joined forces to file a complaint about the room. Even The Problem Gambling Foundation has gotten on board with the cause.

Despite all of the opposition, however, the Diamond Lounge will remain in its current state. According to Sky City, Auckland Regional Public Health has deemed that the smoking area is not in violation of any laws.

NZPT Queenstown SnowFest Announced

It’s that time of year again: Snowfest is here! During this time, one of the biggest poker tournament to hit New Zealand will occur, offering players in the country the chance to compete for some amazing cash prizes. The event will be held from July 24th to July 29th, and it will take place at Sky City Queenstown.

The buy-in for the main event is $3000, but players can also qualify via live and online satellites. Live satellites will be held at Sky City Casino in the weeks leading up to the main event. The buy-in for these satellites is just $35. There will also be free satellites available on PokerStars.net.

Players will begin with 20 000 chips and the levels begin at 50/100. Blinds increase every hour for Days 1, 2 and 3.

Already, players from across New Zealand, Australia and Asia have expressed interest in competing in this exciting event. So, there is the chance that this could turn out to be a thrilling poker tournament, attracting attention from top players in the country.

Problem Gambling on the Rise at Sky City Casinos

By the time this year is over, Sky City Casinos may have a difficult time getting out of the hole it has dug for itself. Scandals have rocked the casino since the end of 2011, and the problems have not stopped there. It is not only the casino management that is having problems with the casinos; so are the players.

A recent report prepared by Sky City Auckland shows that problem gambling rates at the casino have risen by 300% from 2008 to 2012. Over just 4 years, nearly 2000 new problem gamblers have emerged among the patronage of Sky City Casinos. In 2008, there were 600 and in 2011, there were over 2500.

By educating employees about identify signs of problem gamblers and offering a self-exclusion program, Sky City Casinos believes that it is doing its part. However, it seems that the operator will have to make more of an effort if it wants to avoid any more trouble in the future.

According to TVNZ, a problem gambler named ‘John’ joined the self-exclusion program in 2010. However, he was allowed to enter the casino on multiple occasions without ever being questioned.

Sky City has yet to comment on these reports. However, the casinos will have to make some changes to deal with the issue of rising problem gambling rates.