Zoom Poker Out of Beta

This week, Zoom Poker has come out of Beta mode. After successful testing and trials, PokerStars’ Zoom Poker is an official offering from the online poker giant. To mark the occasion, Stars has also released Zoom Poker as a mobile application.

During the beta testing period of Zoom Poker, over 300 million hands were dealt. Despite being in a trial mode, players flocked to the application, as it seemed to be a suitable replacement for Full Tilt Poker’s Rush Poker application. It seemed to have exceeded players’ expectations, as it offered up a wider range of games and stakes than Rush Poker.

If you don’t already know what Zoom Poker is, it is a face-paced online poker application. Players can fit in more hands as they are move to a new table every time they fold. It allows players to get in the volume when it comes to grinding it out in the online poker world – and is a fun way for beginners to learn the basics.

The mobile version of Zoom Poker is only available for Android devices from the .net, .com and .co.uk PokerStars domains. There is no word yet on whether or not it will be released for .com.au; however, New Zealand and Australian players can still take part in Zoom poker on the downloadable suite of PokerStars.

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.

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.

IGT Sees Increase in Interactive Market

A recent report indicates that IGT has seen some significant financial increases over the course of the past few months. From the first quarter to the second quarter of 2012, the company has seen a 13% increase. The company attributes this increase to a rise in sales in the interactive gaming market, which includes mobile and online gaming.

While IGT was originally a land-based operator, popular in clubs across New Zealand, the company has worked hard to establish itself as a leader in the online gaming world. With the release of its Star Trek online slots game in 2011, the company became one of the top online gaming providers – and has been on an upswing ever since.

IGT is looking to expand its place in the online gaming market by getting involved in social gaming. The company has recently teamed up with Double Down Interactive, a popular Facebook games developer. Together, the two companies will create social gambling solutions that will appeal to Facebook users and those belonging to other social networks. Since social gaming is becoming one of the most profitable online entertainment markets, we can expect to see even more profit boosts for IGT in 2012.

Auckland Residents Concerned About Sex Tourism

City Councillors in Auckland are excited about the prospect of having a new convention built for them by Sky City Casino at no cost. The only catch is that the casino will be allowed to install 500 new pokie machines. While this is the primary concern for most residents of Auckland, new worries are arising about other issues, such as sex tourism.

Local politicians are determined to build the new convention centre as a means to increase revenue by attracting hundreds of thousands new visitors each year. They were aware that tourists would be spending their money on typical forms of entertainment but did not consider the fact that the new convention would present a huge boost to the sex tourism market.

A study from the United States demonstrates the prostitution rates are higher in area tourist areas. These types of activities are more likely to occur where they are hotels and convention centres. This is also true on a local level, as Christchurch business owners state that gentlemen’s clubs see more activity when conventions are in town.

While his it certainly something to be concerned about, politicians have yet to respond to this new revelation. Since they seem very dedicated to the cause, it is likely that his new information will not phase them.

New Sky City Pokies to Pay Off Convention Centre

While $350 million is a lot of money for one company to spend on the construction of a new convention centre, Sky City does not seem very worried at all. While it seemed liked the casino operator was getting the short end of the deal by offering to build the new centre, Sky City will actually benefit the most from the deal.

Goldman Sachs has recently conducted a report outlining the exact cost of the new poker machines in Sky City Auckland. According to the company’s calculations, the machines will bring in at least $143 000 each year, providing an overall profit of $350 million by 2017. It will only take Sky City 5 years to pay off the cost of the new convention centre, so the deal certainly works out in the casino’s favour.

Unfortunately, the general public is not as pleased about the news. Most citizens are worried that the deal will make Auckland look as though it is obsessed with money, rather than caring about the well-being of its citizens. However, city councillors do not seem overly concerned with this image perception and are very dedicated to the deal with Sky City.

Is Full Tilt Preparing to Return?

It has been quite some time since Full Tilt Poker has made headlines, but the company is finally back in the public eye. A recent report claims that Full Tilt Poker has reapplied for its gambling license, a positive step forward for the infamous online poker operator.

The first sign that the company had started its re-launch plans came with an influx of job posting for Pocket Kings, the company that operators Full Tilt Poker. Several career listings for the company were posted earlier this week, leading players to believe that Full Tilt was readying itself for a return to the online gambling world.

Another sign is the fact that Orinic has applied for a new gambling license. While this may not seem like big news, the company is actually very closely related to Full Tilt, as Orinic previously had plans to launch Full Tilt Poker in the Swiss gambling market.

While it may just be wishful thinking, we have reason to believe that Full Tilt Poker is preparing to make a triumphant comeback to the world of online poker. Over the course of the past few months, other companies have failed to take its place has a high-quality online poker website – and many players eagerly await its return.

$26 Million Winner Will Stay A Grocery Store Clerk

When someone wins a million-dollar jackpot prize, one of their first announcements is that they will quit their day job – but that is not the case for the most recent Powerball winner. 34-year-old Trevor from Waikato is a grocery store clerk, and he plans on staying in his position despite winning a $26 million lottery jackpot.

Trevor is this week’s winner of the Powerball jackpot, which has been climbing over the course of the past few weeks. As such, it is one of the biggest jackpots that the NZ Lottery has ever paid out. Despite winning this record-breaking lottery jackpot, Trevor does not want to make any changes to his current career.

“Everything will go on the way it is,” says Trevor. “It’s just a lot easier.”

He stated that he has recently completely a management course for his job. So, he is more interested in working towards a promotion at work rather than quitting his job completely. He has made a few small plans for his money, however; they include purchasing a new car and home as well as getting involved in motor sports.

Prime Minister Prefers Casinos Over Pubs

Prime Minister John Key has stated that casinos are a safer alternative to pubs which host poker machines. This seems to be his case for justifying the recent agreement he’s made with Sky City, offering the casino group more pokies in return for the construction of Auckland’s new convention and conference centre.

The deal will give Sky City the construction contract for the new convention centre, which is estimated at costing around $350 million. In return for this favour, the Prime Minister has allowed Sky City to install new poker machines in its local casinos. Key has yet to announce how many new poker machines will be permitted, but residents are already upset over the plan.

Across New Zealand, several groups have worked hard to impose a sinking lid policy on poker machines, decreasing the number of pokies across the country. Key’s new deal offsets and contradicts the policy, upsetting several politicians and responsible gambling groups.

However, John Key defends his actions by stating that it is more beneficial to install new pokies in casinos rather than pubs or gaming clubs, offering a safer environment for players. He states that the overall number of pokies will decrease while casinos in particular are able to install new machines – but very few residents are convinced.

Five Auckland Players Take Home Lotto Prize

It is a fine day in Auckland today, as five lucky winners from the city have struck the huge jackpot offered by the NZ Lotto. What you would normally think is that all five players bought into a lottery pool; however, that’s not the case – each player has won a separate prize!

Two players in the City of Sails won $500 000 from the Lotto First Division while two Strike Four winners won $750 000. The final winner was a student from Auckland who took home to $1 million grand prize from the Winning Wheel.

Daniel is the first million-dollar winner for 2012, and still can’t believe he’s won the prize. He is a student from China, who has been studying English in Auckland for the past three years. He is into video games and soccer, and wants to study to become an electricians. He plans on using some of his winnings for his schooling.

There are even bigger prizes up for grabs next week, as the Lotto Powerball Jackpot will be up to $14 million. We anticipate there will be some very lucky wins for this draw, as players from across the vie for the chance to claim this impressive cash prize.