It has been quite some time since we’ve seen a new online pokie from Playtech – but, it seems that the company has been taking its time for a good reason. After months of development, Playtech has released its new Age of the Gods series, which offers players the chance to win hugely generous progressive jackpot prizes.
The Age of the Gods series is based on various Greek Gods and Goddesses who are famous mythological figures. The first three games in the series are:
Age of the Gods: a 20-payline pokie with four different free spins rounds
Age of the Gods Furious 4: a 20-payline pokie with four free spins bonuses
Age of the Gods King of Olympus: a 25-payline pokie that offers up plenty of generous prizes
Each of the games in the new Age of the Gods series from Playtech is linked to a progressive jackpot network that is linked across several online casinos. There are four jackpot levels, each offering up their own life-changing prizes.
These are just the first three in what is expected to be a large series from Playtech. It might even rival the Marvel Jackpot series from this operator, which already consists of over ten games.
“The Gods have most certainly arrived but there are many more to come,” says PlayTech COO Shimon Akad. “Our licensees and their players can expect a whole stream of Age of the Gods content to be launched across the rest of this year”.
To celebrate the launch of the new Age of the Gods series, Playtech is offering up a generous promotion. At any Playtech-powered online casino players can earn entries into a $250 000 prize draw simply by spinning the reels on any of the three new Age of the Gods pokies.
More and more online gaming brands are diversifying their offerings. We are seeing plenty of companies that have one specific specialty branching out into other arenas, which aims to attract a wider range of players from across the web. The latest online gaming brands to do so are LeoVegas and Mr Green.
LeoVegas launched its online sportsbook earlier this month. The company is proud to bring a new product to its players, which can be accessed on both mobile and desktop devices. It allows them to place wagers on their favourite sporting events without having to open a new account with another operator.
“In the short term, we look at our sportsbook as a great acquisition and retention tool,” says LeoVegas CEO Johan Styren in an interview with Gambling Insider. We now have a reason to talk to the sports-betting community about something that they are really passionate about. For the retention part, we are now able to keep customers on our platform for all their bets – be it casino, live casino or sports.
A few weeks later, Mr Green announced the launch of its own sports book. The new product has been created in conjunction with Kambi Group as the two companies work together to provide players with a great online gaming experience. CEO Per Norman noticed that more players are exhibiting a desire to bet on sportsbooks, and decided to meet the demand.
“By launching a sportsbook, we are meeting our customers’ demand for betting and odds,” he says. “We have built a sportsbook of the same high quality as our online casino and I’m happy that we can launch the sportsbook ahead of the European Championship.”
This is an exciting time for the online casino market. We hope to see more operators launching a wider range of products, which will make for a much richer and more diverse online gaming world.
Promotions and offers are common in the online gambling market, as players are offered generous bonuses for being patrons at certain sites. It is up to operators to be responsible and honest with their promotions, but sometimes gaming companies find themselves in hot water for acting irresponsibly. Such is the case of Bet365, which was recently fined $2.75 million for a misleading promotion that was offered to Australian punters.
Between March 2013 and January 2014, Bet365 offered new players $200 worth of free bets. In order to claim the bonus, players had to deposit the $200, wager their cash a number of times over before being able to withdraw anything. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) did not take issue with the promotion itself, but was not impressed that the gaming operator did not inform players of the limitations.
“In this sense, if the restrictions and limitations had been appropriately brought to consumers’ attention, they would have been able to recognise that there was no ‘free’ bet, particularly given that they had to risk their own money before making such a bet,” says ACCC Chairman Rod Sims.
Justice Jonathan Beach presided over the case, and ruled that Bet365 was in the wrong for offering up such a misleading promotion, especially since it was targeted at new players who may not be familiar with wagering requirements. The $2.75M fine will serve as a caution to other online gambling companies, ensuring that they are upfront with their promotions and bonuses in the future.
“These penalties should serve as a warning to all businesses that is it not acceptable to promote ‘free’ offers as a headline offer without ensuring that any restrictions or limitations are disclosed in a prominent way that ensures consumers are fully informed,” Beach says.
Microgaming operates one of the largest collections of slots in the online casino world, with hundreds of games that players can enjoy. The company is always adding new games to its collection and this month will see two new titles in the Microgaming catalogue: Pretty Kitty and Win Sum Dim Sum.
Pretty Kitty is an All Ways online slot that offers players 243 Ways to Win which each spin of the reels. Players place one single wager on the entire set of reels to activate all potential winning combinations, which offers up high volatility and an exciting online gaming experience overall.
The high-paying symbols are stacked on the first reel, which helps players trigger wins more easily. Expanding wilds can also appear during the base game to further boost the player’s chances of winning big. A bonus round that offers up 10 free spins can also be triggered when three or more scatter symbols land on the reels.
You can check out the teaser trailer below:
The next new release from Microgaming is called Win Sum Dim Sum, and it is a tasty food-themed slot. It has just 9 paylines and a classic format, so it should appeal to fans of traditional style casino games.
In Win Sum Dim Sum, the base game offers players the chance to trigger expanding wilds that help to increase winning potential. There is also a generous bonus round that offers players up to 15 free spins. Expanding wilds are added to reel 2, 3 and 4 so there are some hugely generous bonus prizes up for grabs in this online slot.
Both Pretty Kitty and Win Sum Dim Sum will be made available at online casinos throughout May.
This week, QuickSpin has announced the launch of its new online pokie, The Wild Chase. The game will now be available at a wide range of online casinos, where they can spin the reels on this fun new game for the chance to win some great cash prizes.
The Wild Chase is a 10-payline pokie with a heist theme, as players set off on an adventure to claim jewels, money and sports cars. The graphics feature a unique art style that is modern, which will appeal to all types of online pokie players.
While the overall look of the game is very attractive, it is the generous bonus features that will really captivate players. Whenever players hit a winning combination, re-spins with locked reels are triggered. The symbols that make up the winning combination are locked in place while the rest of the reels spin. If more symbols are added to the win, then the re-spins will continue.
The base game also offers up wild multipliers. On an initial spin, they are only regular wild symbols, but if they land during a re-spin, then they can offer players multipliers worth up to 5x – which can trigger some very generous payouts. Free spins are also available, when three bonus symbols land on the reels.
This is the second new online pokie release from this developer in 2016. It comes just a couple of months after QuickSpin launched Genie’s Touch in January. Both titles have been met with a very positive response from players and casino operators alike, so the gaming industry is eager for more new releases from QuickSpin in the near future.
This new game will be available across all gaming platforms. So, you’ll be able to play The Wild Chase on both desktop and mobile devices, that run on iOS, Android or Windows.
Gambling companies have to stay up to date with the times and the changes that take place in communities and the nation. Some changes impact the gambling industry and others have little to no affect. One recent change that has been taking place is certainly grabbing people’s attention- more and more gambling and casino companies are turning to online games as their primary method of marketing and sales. This is largely due to the popularity of digital games and the ease of staying connected online – Aussie companies like TAB have seen massive growth recently due to online betting. This switch is also partly due to the fact that traditional casinos and gambling locations have been on the decline in Australia and New Zealand for as many as 20 years.
Recently, world gambling experts met for a special global conference as they gathered in Auckland. The largest issues they feel threatening the gambling industry today is that now online betting is becoming the preferred way for gamblers to place their bids rather than traditional poker machines. Gambling companies are moving quickly to find ways to adapt and offer digital games contests, prizes and incentives to keep customers coming back and to try and offset some of the profit loss that is occurring year after year now.
Times change and any business or industry must adapt and change to meet those changing needs in order to stay ahead of the competition. The casino, pokies, and gambling industry is no different and in order to survive in a digital age, changes must be made and the shift to a more digital mindset and outlook must be embraced. Only time can tell what will happen to the Australian gambling industry in the near future but it promises to be an exciting and fast paced time indeed! So buckle in hold on and get ready for a money winning, wheel spinning, card dealing time!
It is no secret that Zynga has had a difficult time in the social gaming market lately. Since its IPO in 2011, the company’s revenue has greatly declined, forcing Zynga to pull popular games and lay off hundreds of employees. Now, the social gaming operator can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and is expecting to turn a significant profit this year.
By the end of September 2013, Zynga’s revenue had declined by $203 million from the previous year. It was a 36% drop, and the company was still struggling to recover from its financial hardships. The social gaming operator had seen a steady decline in profits, but new CEO Don Mattrick anticipates that things will turn around by the end of the year.
“We are seeing sightlines to growth, and I am proud of the progress that we are making to compete more aggressively on the web, make our move to mobile, and develop new hits,” Mattrick said in an interview with Venture Beat.
This new direction sets Zynga up to explore new opportunities in 2014. According to Mattrick, the company will not only focus on growing and sustaining existing titles but also creating new hits and venturing into the mobile gaming world. These projects have the potential to make Zynga into one of the world’s most successful social gaming operators once again.
With regards to existing titles, Mattrick notes that the company’s highest priorities are Zynga Poker, Words With Friends and Farmville. The company hosts many other games, but these three will be its main focus in the new year. It is likely that Zynga will work on bringing these titles into the mobile gaming market, producing apps for iOS and Android devices. Mobile gaming is a huge trend, and Zynga is currently missing out on some great opportunities to appeal to new players.
In March, PartyPoker introduced a new scheme to protect beginner online poker players from the site’s regulars. Using segregated player pools, PartyPoker attempted to ensure that experienced players would not be able to prey on new players. The plan worked well for the first few months, but it has been revealed that some players are exploiting the system.
“New and inexperienced players enjoy the game more and continue playing for longer if in the early stages they play with players of a similar ability, this includes, but is not limited to our welcome lounges,” reads a statement from PartyPoker. “These players are free to play on any table they chose”.
As part of the system, there are some cash games that are invisible to players who show a regular profit on PartyPoker – but there are concerns that there are winning players who have access to these games. According to Poker Fuse, players using fake accounts from Romanian and Hungary are exploiting the system to make easy money from losing players.
The concerns were highlighted by a poster on the Two Plus Two poker forum. He outlined the way the system works and noted that there is some fishy behaviour in these games. Some losing players have access to a selection of games that are not available to players who regularly win. However, some experienced players are accessing these games by purchasing defunct accounts from players who are eligible for the segregated games.
This behaviour defeats the whole purpose of creating a pool for inexperienced players, and members of the poker community are not pleased. Players on the Two Plus Two forum have not only demanded an investigation into the claims but they have also request that the segregation system be disbanded.
Segregating experienced and inexperienced players was never popular on PartyPoker, and now we may finally see the end of it. Party Poker has yet to comment on the case.
It is no secret that punters across Australia commonly wager money at online gambling websites that are based in offshore locations. Even though there are plenty of local options available, offshore bookmakers have infiltrated the Australian gambling market – and Victorian Premier Denis Napthine wants to do something about it. He has called on the federal government to place stricter regulations on offshore gambling operators, ensuring that they contribute their fair share to Australian coffers.
At the moment, international bookmakers do not need to pay taxes to the Australian government. They are not licensed in the country so they are not regulated by the government nor do they have to pay local licensing fees. However, this does not stop local residents from placing wagers on various sporting events using the bookmaking services offered by these websites. Dr Napthine feels that this is unfair to local bookmakers, and wants offshore companies to compensate.
“We also firmly believe that offshore betting agencies should pay their fair share back to the industry in order to fund integrity services, stakemoney, safety, welfare measures and infrastructure upgrades,” he says.
Dr Napthine wants federal politicians to establish a more ‘national approach’ for managing offshore betting operators. He believes that there should be consistent rules and regulations for all gaming sites that operate in Victoria, regardless of where they are based. So, whether they are located in Victoria or in Gibraltar, they should have to submit to the same rules and pay the same licensing feeds.
His campaign has received support from local betting firms across Australia, including TabCorp. David Attenborough, the bookmaker’s CEO, backs Dr Napthine’s request. He hopes that federal politicians will even the playing field for both offshore operators and those that are based locally in Australia.
It has recently been revealed that Echo Entertainment is looking for buyers for its Jupiters Casino in Townsville. There are rumours that several operators are interested in acquiring the property, including gaming firms from overseas.
Echo Entertainment owns and operates a number of casinos across Australia, including Jupiters Gold Coast, Brisbane’s Treasury Casino and The Star Casino in Sydney. Each of these existing casinos is located in very large cities that attract a great deal of tourism. As such, it seems that Echo Entertainment is interested in focusing on its larger projects and wishes to offload its Townsville property to another company.
According to the Townsville Bulletin, the sale price is estimated at $75 million. However, there is speculation that some bidders may spend up to $100 million to acquire Jupiters Townsville. At the casino, there is a 194-room hotel, a spa, health centre, three restaurants, five bars and a conference centre. As such, it could be a very profitable property for its new owner.
Sources indicate that Lasseters is interested in purchasing the property. The Singapore-based operator already operators the Lasseters hotel and Casino in Alice Springs, and the purchase of Jupiters would present the company with the perfect opportunity to expand in Australia’s gambling market. There are also rumours that SkyCity could also be interested in bidding on the property. It is unlikely that Crown Casinos will enter the bidding war, since the gaming firm already has its sights set on expanding into Brisbane.
Industry experts 9 News are criticising Echo’s decision to put Jupiters up for sale, since the company is facing increased competition from Crown Casinos. Echo’s rival has already been granted a license in Sydney and is now prepared to enter Brisbane. Should Crown Casinos receive a license to operate in Brisbane, experts believe that Echo CE John Redmond may regret selling its property in Townsville.