Theme Park: Tickets of Fortune Slot Now Available At Online Casinos

For the past month, the online gaming market has been all abuzz with news of Net Entertainment’s upcoming release, Theme Park: Tickets of Fortune. The teaser trailer for the game generated plenty of hype for the title, and players have been eager to give this game a spin. Now, they finally have the chance, as the latest Net Entertainment slot is now available at online casinos.

The new Theme Park: Tickets of Fortune online slot is a 50-payline game that provides players with a wide range of ways to win big. Betting is fixed at 25 coins, and players chance choose denominations between 1c and $1 – and there is also the opportunity to adjust the bet level between 1 and 10. As such, there are many ways to wager, so both high rollers and penny slots players will feel right at home.

The main draw of this new online slot is its Carnival Game bonus feature. As players earn tickets throughout the game, they can choose to spend them on one of six different bonus rounds, each of which are based on a classic fairground game:

–          Punchbag

–          Sledgehammer

–          Can Tower

–          Skee Ball

–          Fishing Game

–          Duck Shoot

Each of these rounds is a fun mini-game that provides players with the chance to win cash prizes, multipliers and free spins.

“With the release of Theme Park: Tickets of Fortune, NetEnt is making sure that players have the slot game ride of their lives,” says Simon Hammon, Chief Product Officer at Net Entertainment. “Its vivid graphics, and fantastic range of mini-games and features, bring all the fun of the fair to our customers’ platforms.”

The new Theme Park: Tickets of Fortune online slot from Net Entertainment is now available at online casinos on both desktop and mobile devices.

Maori Man Wins $10m Jackpot At Online Casino

Gambling at online casinos is a popular pastime among New Zealanders. We spend quite a bit of money at online gambling sites every year, so it is always great to see a lucky local player win big. That is certainly the case for Rawiri Pou, who has just earned a $ $10,144,395.82 jackpot prize.

Rawiri is a 27-year-old man from Matamata, who spent $250 at an online casino to play slots. He initially won $1500, but decided to try his luck by wagering on the Jackpot round. It was then that he cashed in on the life-changing prize. He was recently awarded with a cheque in front of the national media, and he was promised that the money would be in his account by the end of the week.

“We’re all thrilled for Rawiri. It’s a life-changing amount of money and we wish him the very best for the future,” says a spokesperson at the online casino where the generous prize was won.

The lucky winner has not yet made any specific plans for his winnings. However, he does know that he will be spending much of his prize to help out his parents and three siblings.

“I still can’t believe this is real. I’ve been in shock since I won and it is literally going to change my life,” he said in an interview with Maori Television. “There is so much my family and I can do with this money and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We are so overwhelmed and happy.”

This is great news for Rawiri and his family, and we wish them all the best with their newfound wealth!

NZ Clubs to be Paid Pokie Commission

Across the country, responsible gambling advocates are working hard to enact measures that will reduce problem gambling rates. However, a new government initiative that offers bars and clubs a commission on poker machine turnover could have the opposite effect.

Effective in October, the new measure will provide bar and club owners with a commission based on the amount of money that their poker machines make. It is aimed at compensating the 966 venues across the country that host pokies, providing the owners with a commission worth up to 1.28% of the weekly turnover on their pokies.

The new measure has responsible gambling advocates concerned. With club owners being offered a commission based on the amount of money that players spend on pokies, staff members are less likely to intervene when they suspect that a player is exhibiting problem gambling behaviour.

Denise Roche, spokesperson for The Greens expresses these concerns:

“You have got a guy sitting there for hours obviously in distress and you have got staff who may want to intervene but the venue owner is saying ‘no, no we want to get our 1.28 per cent’.”

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has also acknowledged this issue, stating that ‘venues may be incentivised to maximise income relative to costs’. He also notes that this may lead to a ‘risk of some venues being less likely to intervene when problem gambling is suspected or occurring’.

Dunne has suggested counterbalancing the issue by offering fair and adequate pay to gambling venues. This would provide the venues with the resources necessary to combat problem gambling among their players, intervening when appropriate to offer them potential assistance.

The new commission scheme will take effect in October 2016, and it is likely to spark up plenty of debates. We will keep you posted as this story develops.

New Monopoly Branded Online Casino from GameSys

There are some brands in the online casino world that are very popular among players. Monopoly is one such brand, which is why we tend to see so many online pokies based on the classic board game. Now, GameSys is taking things one step further by launching a whole new casino based on Monopoly.

The new Monopoly Casino will be powered by GameSys and Scientific Games. It will feature a wide range of slots based on the board game, along with some table games that include elements from Monopoly. Every aspect of the site has been designed with the Monopoly theme in mind.

Even the bonuses are based on the board game, as there is a Free Parking Slot. This is a free slots game that changes every day, so players can test out a great new game on a daily basis. There are also Community Jackpots (based on Community Chest), which offer players the chance to cash in on life-changing prizes.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with SG Interactive and Hasbro to launch MONOPOLY Casino,” says Simon Mizzi, Marketing Director at Gamesys. “It’s been such a strong and successful brand within iGaming for years and the gameplay lends itself perfectly to a truly immersive and differentiated gaming experience, which is exactly what Gamesys is all about.”

GameSys’s new Monopoly Casino has been specifically designed for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, so players can take this new gambling destination with them wherever they go. However, there is also a desktop version that players can access from the comfort of their own homes.

Monopoly Casino is currently only licensed in the United Kingdom, and we hope that it will be launched in other markets around the world soon.

BetSoft Launches New Birds Online Slot

BetSoft continues to be one of the leading online slots developers in the casino market, providing dozens of NZ gaming sites with a fantastic range of games. This month, the company has added yet another fun title to its collection with the launch of Birds!

Birds is a cute and quirky online slots game that offers players a fun online gaming experience. It is 25-payline game that has a Free Flights format. This means that all birds that are involved in winning combinations will fly away and new birds will take their places. This can lead players to triggering even more winning combinations in a row.

When four consecutive wins (or Free Flights) occur, the player will trigger the free spins round. There is no limit to the number of free spins that the player can receive. The round will keep going until the player can no longer hit anymore Free Flights.

All wins on this game can be gambled. After any win occurs, you can click the Double Up button to play a Heads or Tails game. If you guess correctly, then you’ll double your prize. You can continue to double up as long as you continue to guess correctly.

“The artists have cultivated an enjoyable, extremely friendly atmosphere in our new Slots3 title,” says Stephen Jackman of Betsoft. “This game is a true delight to the senses and introduces an innovative reel mechanic that we are proud to share with the iGaming industry and community of players.”

The new Birds online slot from BetSoft is now available at a wide range of online casinos across the web. Players will be able to access this fun and exciting new game from their tablets, smartphones or desktop computers.

Odobo Closes Its Doors

Since 2011, Odobo has been one of the online casino world’s leading distribution networks, providing online casinos with some of the best games from independent slots developers. Now, the company has sadly decided to shut its doors due to some financial difficulties.

While Odobo experienced a great deal of success in the online gaming market, the company found itself unable to keep up with the rising costs of running an online gaming business. As the industry continues to rapidly expand, it becomes more and more expensive for gaming companies to stay afloat – and, Odobo experienced this difficulty first-hand. In fact, earlier this year, the company’s senior executive team was looking for someone to buy Odobo.

“We needed to recognise that the velocity with which the business was growing was outpaced by the costs associated with providing the services that Odobo offered,” reads a statement from Odobo. “As a result, we have made the very difficult decision to close the business”.

The company also ran into difficulty due to the fragmented nature of the online gaming industry. Each country around the world has its own rules for regulating online casino games. Since Odobo provided games developers with all of the tools required to operating in any jurisdiction where online gaming was legal, the differing laws around the world made it difficult for Odobo to stay on top of things.

The statement continues:

“It has become clear that marketplaces like ours require wider scale to survive in an increasingly complex and fragmented regulatory landscape”.

Odobo will cease transacting by May 31st , and the company’s offices will be closed on June 10th. The company has thanked the online gaming market for its support and is grateful for the opportunity it has been offered in the casino industry.

Quickspin Acquired by Playtech in Multi-Million Deal

Playtech is one of the biggest online gaming providers in the online casino world, and it just keeps growing. This week, the company has announced its plans to purchase online slots developer QuickSpin for over $55 million.

The deal will kick off with an initial payment of almost $30 million to Quickspin, when Playtech purchases 100% of the company’s shares. The remaining payment will be based on Quickspin’s EBITDA in 2017 and 2018. Overall, the deal will be worth six times Quickspin’s income before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Quickspin is a relatively new company in the online casino market – but the firm has been growing very quickly. Over the course of the past few years, Quickspin has developed over 20 games for real-money and play-money online casinos and, in 2015, the company generated profits of over $9 million.

By teaming up with Playtech, Quickspin can look forward to even more growth as its games will be able to reach a wider audience. Playtech has over 100 online casino partners, and Quickspin will certainly benefit from being exposed to even more prestigious operators in the gaming market.

“Quickspin is a fast-growing and leading supplier of the highest quality games to the highest quality operators, strengthening Playtech’s position as the leading platform and content provider in the industry,” says Mor Weizer, CEO of Playtech. “We look forward to working with the Quickspin team and to see the Quickspin brand continue to flourish within the Playtech family”.

This is yet another great acquisition by Playtech, and the company continues to look for new partnerships with leading games developers and operators. It will be interesting to see what the next year brings for Playtech.



New Film, ‘Broke’, Discusses Gambling Harm

Gambling addiction continues to be a major issue across New Zealand. Rates are on the rise, but problem gamblers are failing to seek help because of a stigma attached to this particular addiction. Now, a new film called Broke will premiere with the goal of communicating the message that ‘gambling harm can happen to anyone’.

The film Broke was directed by Heath Davis and stars Steve Le Marquand as Ben Kelly, a former champion footballer who has turned to gambling and is struggling to get by. The film has received plenty of praise from film critics around the world, and local responsible gambling advocates applaud Broke for its honesty in depicting gambling addiction among athletes.

It helps to bring attention to the issue and lets problem gamblers know that they are not alone. Many problem gamblers refuse to come forward and seek help because it is viewed less sympathetically than other addictions. It is important for people who have been affected by gambling harm to feel comfortable with coming forward so that they can get the help necessary to kick their addiction.

“It’s good to get it out in the open as it breaks down stigma and barriers to help-seeking,” says PGF Communications Director Andree Froude. “Gambling harm can happen to anyone, even to those we idolise. Sport players are people at the end of the day.”

A special screening of the film will be hosted by the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGF), the New Zealand Rugby League and the League 4 Life Foundation on 1 June. It will take place at 6pm at the Rialto Cinemas in Newmarket. Tickets are just $11 and $1 from each ticket sale will be donated to the League 4 Life Foundation.


PokerStars Sponsors E-Sports Team, Team Liquid

Esports betting is becoming a major trend in the online gaming market. Over the course of the past few years, we have seen more and more online sportsbooks offering players the chance to wager on e-sports matches and tournaments like League of Legends and StarCraft. Now, one of the world’s leading online poker operators is getting involved in the market, as PokerStars has struck up a sponsorship deal with Team Liquid.

Team Liquid is a professional esports organisation whose players engage in online gaming at the highest level, such as international tournaments. Members of Team Liquid engage in many different kinds of esports like League of Legends, DOTA, Halo, Hearthstone and CS: GO. The team has plenty of sponsors include Twitch, HTC, Hyper X and Alienware.

PokerStars will join this extensive list of sponsors in a mutually beneficial deal with Team Liquid. The first step will see several members of the team engage in online poker games that will be broadcast to their viewers via Twitch. The first members to do so will be Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen, Jeffrey “Sjow” Brusi, and Dario “TLO” Wünsch.

“I’m happy to announce that I’ll be streaming poker under the PokerStars flag,” says ‘Sjow’. “I used to play a lot before I started my eSports career and it’s a very interesting and complex game. If you want to see an old poker player relearn the game, tune in to my stream.”

In return, PokerStars will be exposed to a wider range of players. Individuals who may not normally be interested in poker will now see their favourite eSports stars engaging in the game. This will increase awareness of the PokerStars brand across a completely different kind of gaming market, and it could be the start of a new trend across the eSports market.


LottoNZ Considers Online Scratchcards

Around the world, more and more state lotteries are offering up online lottery sales that also provide players with the chance to play scratchcards online. Lotto NZ wants to follow suit, but the Problem Gambling Foundation has expressed some concerns.

Recently, Lotto NZ has issued a tender that calls for gaming companies to create ‘instant win games’, which will be offered through the MyLotto online platform. The company has recognised the popularity of online scratchcards, and hopes to improve revenue by offering them to MyLotto players.

Currently, there are 400 000 registered users on the platform, which will certainly yield some significant returns if this new product is introduced. Instant win games account for 15% of all LottoNZ sales, so it only seems natural to make these games available online, where players can access more conveniently.

The Problem Gambling Foundation is concerned about players being able to access scratchcards on the internet. With mobile technology become more advanced, responsible gambling advocates feel as though vulnerable players will use their smartphones or tablets to play instant win games at any time and from virtually anywhere.

“In an online environment, there is real potential for this to be quite harmful,” says a spokesperson for the foundation. “It would mean that 24/7 you’re carrying around the opportunity to gamble like this in your pocket.”

LottoNZ has addressed these concerns by stating that strict responsible gambling measures will be enacted. For example, some online lottery sites limit users to only player a certain number of instant win games a day; others offer players the chance to set limits so that they don’t spend more than they can afford on lottery tickets or scratchcards. While these seem like plausible solutions, the Problem Gambling Foundation has yet to respond.