Creating Your Own Online Casino: A Quick Guide to Gaming

The online gaming world has experienced impressive growth over the last few years. After coming to life in early 2000, the industry experienced a boom in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker, an amateur poker player from the US, won the World Series of Poker and $2 million. After winning his seat online, Moneymaker went on to beat the best professionals in the world and, in the process, became a household name.

Seeing Moneymaker’s success, millions of people around the world decided to go on to the Internet in search of gaming riches. All keen to experience the new wave of gaming options and, potentially, win big like Mr. Moneymaker, these of players held turned the iGaming industry into a billion dollar economy.

Indeed, from a global market value of around $7.4 billion in 2003, the industry is now worth more than $40 billion and it’s still growing. Indeed, thanks to constant innovation and a greater acceptance of virtual gaming, people are now looking for more ways to ante-up online.

Naturally, with so many opportunities out there just waiting to be seized, you might be wondering how you can get in on the action. Starting you own online casino is by no means a simple process; however, if you can cover some fundamental bases, there’s no reason you couldn’t create your own online gambling platform.

Get a Licence

stamps” (CC BY 2.0) by  Joelk75 

Before you can do anything in the iGaming world you’ll need to start the licensing process. Every legitimate online casino will be licensed by at least one governing body. To legally offer games to paying customers, casino operators need to have a licence which verifies that they are safe and fair. Because of the way the iGaming industry has evolved, certain jurisdictions now have different licensing bodies.

For example, if you’re looking to serve casino customers in the UK, you’d need to have a licence authorised by the UK Gambling Commission. Similarly, if you’re aiming for the New Jersey market in the US, your product will have to be verified by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Although you will need to have a fully function platform to get through the final stages of the licensing process, you will need to start the process before you do anything else.

Find a Software Supplier

Once you’ve set the licensing wheel in motion, the next thing you need to do is find a software supplier. Because the industry is now more than a decade old, there are dozens of software supplier who will supply all the games you’ll need to offer an online casino. From blackjack and roulette to scratchcards and slots, suppliers such as Microgaming, SoftSwiss and Playtech will provide interactive and certifiably random (i.e. fair) games.

Of course, choosing a supplier is easy and there’s a lot of paperwork required before you even get into the technical stuff. Fortunately, there are now companies out there who will liaise with suppliers for you to get the best deal possible. Companies such as GBO International will arrange deals with software suppliers that will fill your site with more than 400 games that are certified by eCOGRA (a company that checks each algorithm is random) and highly engaging. In fact, using this service is the most efficient way to obtain your games because it means you won’t have to handle the research, the paperwork or the legal issues and, instead, you can simply focus on designing your interface.  

Choose Your Payment Options

Visa” (CC BY 2.0) by  DeclanTM 

Once you’ve enlisted the help of GBO and secured a suite of casino games, the final major feature you’ll have to think about is your payment options. Again, it’s possible to use a financial services company such as GBO to help arrange payment options; however, it’s also possible to partner with payment processors such as Skrill, Visa and MasterCard.

So long as you’re a registered company, own a business account and have all the necessary licenses, you’ll be able to utilise the services of credit, debit and eWallet provisions from a range of processors. Doing this is not only necessary in order to satisfy iGaming regulatory standards, but it will give your platform a much greater level of credibility.

Promote Your Product

Does Facebook Advertising Really Work” (CC BY 2.0) by  Joe The Goat Farmer 

After covering the main bases (plus a few smaller ones we haven’t mentioned), you’ll then need to promote your casino. Through a combination of sign-up deals, social media campaigns and press coverage, you should, with a little luck, be able to tap into the lucrative iGaming market.

Image via “IMGP2117” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  mattbuck4950 

Online Casino Offering Stronger Than Ever in 2016

Online casinos have come a long way in their 20-year history, and in 2016 the experience of playing at the leading sites is more immersive, exciting, and varied than ever before.
Two decades of development and innovation followed the online casino phenomenon’s tentative first steps back in 1996, when the first real money wager was played at a site with 18 casino games in total.

Two decades later, thousands of online casino destinations have since launched, and millions of players around the world have turned the online casino sector into one that claims a significant chunk of global gambling market revenues every year.

This success has been built on constant innovation and the careful shaping of a gambling experience that might once have attempted to emulate the atmosphere and excitement of land based casinos, but now offers players advantages and benefits that have earned online casinos an audience all of their own.

Going live

For over a decade, online casinos lacked an edge that players could only find by going into a land based casino – the interaction with live dealers and hosts.

While broadband technology was still being developed and improved, there simply wasn’t the bandwidth to support live dealers, and top destinations were still developing an audience big enough and profitable enough to make it worth their while to invest in the resources required to offer live dealers.

Now, players have come to expect live casino experiences online as a standard option, and live rooms are amongst the most popular at casino destinations everywhere.

Flexible payment options

One of the main hurdles online casinos had to overcome in order to achieve the staggering levels of engagement from players all over the globe was that of payment security and flexibility.
In the early days of online gambling, players were reluctant to deposit at sites where it was difficult to know exactly where the transaction was being handled, and whether the site was genuine and reputable.

Since then, payment security has improved dramatically and the option to use various online payment handlers, such as WorldPay have put the power back in the hands of the players. Sites like Vegas Casino also offer players the option to make payments at the click of a button using the online currency BitCoin.

It is rare that cases of unscrupulous behaviour by online casino sites are heard of, and when they are, the community of online gamblers quickly outs the culprits and ensures they are held to account.

Casinos that never close

One of the biggest developments to shape the fate of online casinos in their short history was the arrival of slick mobile gaming software.

It isn’t so long ago that online casino operators were pondering the conundrum of how to translate their engaging, classic games onto a mobile format. But now sites cater for users of iPhone, Android, Blackberry.

The option to log on and play casino games from anywhere has been nothing short of revolutionary, and it is now every bit as common to see players on their morning commute to work playing a bit of mobile roulette as it is to see folks reading the paper on the tube.

Image via4 “Solar Casino Night (11)” (CC BY 2.0) by  IanMurphy

Security Firm Sued For Incorrect Forensics Report

Remember when you are watching those TV shows, you know the ones, where government agencies are trying to track down bad guys who have breached a “secure” network? Happens in real life too, with companies like Affinity Gaming finding out the hard way.

Affinity gaming is a Las Vegas-based casino operator who discovered back in 2013 that their network had been breached and people were able to get to the credit card data. Sounds familiar right? Affinity Gaming hired the security firm Trustwave to investigate and isolate the breach, effectively fixing the problem. At the end of the investigation, they claimed that the data breach was “contained”, then adding comments on how to “fend off future data attacks”.

Affinity Gaming then found that they were suffering another data breach, for which they hired the data security firm Mandiant to investigate. It was during Mandiant’s investigation that they worked out the work previously done was only on a “subset of Affinity Gaming’s data security”. This coupled with the fact that they “had failed to identify the means by which the attacker had breached” their systems meant that overall Affinity Gaming believes Trustwave was responsible for “misrepresentations and grossly negligent performance” which in turn they believe cost them “significant out of pocket losses”.

Listing 76 steps outlying their interactions between the three companies and now the complaint, you can see why if one company promised to protect your data and then was found to have failed this task, you would want your money back.

Is Video Gaming the Future for Bricks and Mortar Casinos

Is Video Gaming the Future for Casinos?
As a general rule, casinos have lost considerable sums of money over the last 18 months. While the region of Macau may have experienced slight gains during the second financial quarter, it recorded an annual loss for the time at the beginning of 2015 amid ongoing money-laundering investigations. This is not the only issue to impact on the region, however, with the popularity of online gaming also causing considerable cause for concern.

The Rise of Online Gaming and the Response of Brick and Mortar Casinos
The emergence and continued population of online gaming has provided a considerable challenge for bricks and mortar casino brands, with a number of innovative methods used to overcome this. Some of the larger brands have decided to diversify their operation online, for example, in order to compete and optimise their resources against independent casinos. Others have taken gradual steps to replicate the flexibility provided by online gaming, initially by accepting additional and virtual currency measures such as Bitcoin.

This has proved successful, and provided inspiration for others who are keen to combine the advantages of virtual and physical gaming. As a response to the fading popularity of traditional slot machines, some casino brands are integrating video game representations to appeal to new player demographics. Outlets such as Virgin slots are incredibly popular in the modern age, and the use of video slots helps traditional casinos to capture a new target audience while also diversifying the traditional gambling experience.

Will these measures prove Successful? The Future for Brick and Mortar Gambling
This strategy has polarised opinion among traditional gamblers. While some see it is as crucial to the survival of bricks and mortar casinos, others feel that it contradicts the spirit and heritage of traditional gambling. Many also feel that a better approach would be to accentuate the unique advantages of brick and mortar gambling, rather than simply trying to replicate popular elements of online casino gameplay.

This misses a rather important point, however, as the integration of modern technology and video gaming platforms can add diversity to the traditional gambling experience. It can therefore supplement the natural adventures of physical gameplay, just as corporeal interaction with others, a celebratory ambience that the unique thrill that defines bricks and mortar gameplay.

In this respect, the integration of technology appears to offer a way forward for offline gambling in an increasingly digital age.

Microsoft’s Privacy Website Hacked

Digital privacy is a topic of hot debate at the moment. Covering topics from terrorism to hacking, people are more aware of what’s happening and who’s reading their messages in greater detail. Digital Constitution is Microsoft’s website dedicated to enforcing the concept of digital privacy. It would seem that security was not a topic priority with the website though.

First discovered on the 18th June, the site is seen (as above) with a list of keywords focusing on gambling that hyperlinked to several online casino websites. Even several hours after the initial hack was reported several pages within still linked to gambling related sites.

At the time of the breach being discovered the site was using an outdated version of WordPress, running at 4.0.5 (the current being 4.2.2).

The sites initial purpose was in response to the Edward Snowden revelations regarding the extent of observations being conducted by governments. Containing information about digital privacy cases, legal actions taken around privacy and Microsoft’s stance on people’s right to digital privacy.

From the style, execution and content the hack appears to have been done by somebody rather than done by an organisation for a specific reason. Hopefully, this reminds Microsoft to keep all of their websites up to date, as we all should with all our software.

Thank you ZDNet for the information and image.

New Report Suggests That Smartphone Gaming Will Overtake Console Gaming in 2015?

There’s long been talk of mobile gaming overtaking console gaming but, according to a report by market research firm Newzoo, that day could finally arrive in 2015. The report estimates that mobile games revenue will reach $30.3 billion next year, an increase of over $5 billion from the $25 billion revenue in 2014. And by 2017, it’s anticipated that mobile gaming revenue will surpass $40 billion.

The figures aren’t that surprising when you stop to look around you in almost any public place. People are almost always on their phones, and they’re not all chatting, using their phone for its original purpose. According to a report by the Entertainment Software Association report earlier this year, 44% of gamers now play on their smartphone rather than any other device. The types of mobile games that are played vary. In the same ESA report, the games played most often on a mobile were listed as follows: casual and social games (46%), puzzle, board games, game show, trivia and card games (31%), action, sports, strategy and role play games (11%) and persistent multi-player universe games (4%).

You can see why so many people choose to play on their mobiles. The games that are available to play on a mobile platform fit better with a busy lifestyle than playing on a pc or console. If you have five minutes to spare you can enjoy a quick fix of gaming wherever you are on a mobile; whether you choose to play bingo at a site like 32red or Gala or a game on Facebook like Farm Heroes Saga or Hay Day.

The ESA report suggests that the number of female gamers aged over 50 has increased by 32% from 2012 to 2013, and, without generalising too much, it’s unlikely that this particular group will be playing action or shooter games on a console. They’re far more likely to be playing casual social games or games of bingo on their mobiles. One of the biggest attractions of playing games on a mobile is that you can just jump in and get playing without having to read any rules of ‘how to play’. Click here to play at 32red and you’ll see that bingo is a great example of a game that people can play instantly, without having to learn how to play.

Newzoo’s revised forecast for this year is 42% higher than mobile game revenues achieved in 2013. The Amsterdam-based company predicts that the market in Western Europe will grow by 47%, while the North American market will grow 51 % year on year. The biggest increase in mobile games revenue will be in the South East Asia and China market, where it is predicted to rise by 86%.

It’s also anticipated that Apple will produce double the games revenue to Nintendo this year. Nintendo revenues were $2.4 billion in 2013, but the revenue this year is anticipated to be smaller. Meanwhile Apple is forecast to have games revenues of $4 billion from the games in its iTunes App Store this year, while Google’s annual revenue is likely to be £3 billion for 2014.

When the report was issued, the CEO of Newzoo indicated that in the western markets, where mobile gaming is already mature, the battle for dominance between iOS and Android is no longer over the smartphone, it’s more about tablets. While iOS stays ahead of Android overall in mobile gaming spending because of the iPad, the Android market is more fragmented across different devices and operating systems.

Newzoo acknowleged that its report may seem contrary to recent sentiment that the mobile gaming market is becoming saturated in mature western markets such as the USA. However, according to the Newzoo analysis it seems that the increase in mobile revenue growth is dependent on both organic growth but also cannibalistic growth – where mobile increases at the cost of other markets, such as consoles, handheld consoles and online gaming. Instead of spending on online pc games or console games, people are choosing to spend more on their mobile gaming.


Playtech’s Unrolls Campaign Manager to Optimise Offers

Playtech technology makes for more tailored gaming

Playtech is perhaps the most important name in online gaming. Established in 1999 and floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2006, Playtech is the world’s leading provider of online gaming software. Many of the top brands online and offline are supported by Playtech. That means that when Playtech trial a new product, the gaming world takes notice.

International market leaders on the scale of Ladbrokes, SkyBet, William Hill, Bet365 and Titanbet are supported by Playtech’s turnkey products and support services. In effect, what is presented to users is simply a branded skin that masks the generic machinery that different operators hold in common.

Campaign Manager

Over recent months Playtech have been trialling a new Campaign Manager which is designed to enable operators to more successfully target their clients in terms of bonuses, incentives, cross-game appeals and direct messages. From the client’s perspective, what the Campaign Manager delivers is a series of offers, products, games and messages that are ever-more perfectly attuned to their individual gaming interests, habits and spending levels.

Rather than being distracted with messages or options that are of little relevance, what the Campaign Manager is designed to achieve is a gaming environment in which the player’s own preferences and gaming history determine what he or she is presented with online. As part of that process the new Campaign Manager assesses and inform the marketing of different initiatives offered by a particular provider.

Positive feedback

Anouck Chazelas, CRM Division Manager at Titanbet casino, was enthusiastic in describing Titanbet’s experience with the new Campaign Manager. She was quoted on Playtech’s website as saying:

“Campaign Manager has allowed us to fully automate many of the conversion, retention and reactivation cycles which we previously performed manually, allowing us to focus our resources on optimising our offers and improving our targeting. It’s also helped us significantly increase productivity within our marketing operations teams and gives us a faster time-to-market for new ideas.”

Technology development

Ordinarily, players are not too concerned with what happens behind the scenes at their favourite online casino or betting provider. It is in the nature of digital technologies that their interest horizon is limited to the specific gaming opportunities at their fingertips. Nonetheless, the level of sophistication and the extent of the market analysis that goes into making online gaming so popular in the first place are not to be underestimated. It is what makes the gaming experience user-friendly in the first place. The move to handheld technologies is merely the latest evolutionary step in that process. Inevitably, Playtech’s designers have factored that into their calculations. Ultimately, what results are better games and more satisfied gamers.

Global growth

The rate at which the online gaming industry is expanding across the globe is testament to the quality of Playtech’s products and services. It is estimated that mobile gaming will account for as much as 40% of the world’s online gambling spend by as early as 2018. Given that the online gaming industry has only been in existence for a little over 10 years, that degree of penetration speaks volumes.

Playtech is formally based in the Isle of Man and employs approximately 3,500 individuals worldwide. In 2014 its revenues increased by 21.2% to €214.4 million, resulting in a profit of €96.8 million.

New Study Shows Shy People Make More Friends In Online Gaming

A new study confirms what many of you may have already assumed/believed about shy people who frequently play video games online: They are more likely to gain friends in a virtual setting than in real life.

According to VG Researcher, the study—it was performed by a German university (the University of Münster)—focused on “the relationship between online videogame [sic] involvement and gaming-related friendship among emotionally sensitive individuals.” They polled a total of 396 respondents through a telephone survey in March and April 2013, during which they found that “emotionally sensitive players are using online gaming spaces differently from their less emotionally sensitive counterparts.”

In other words, they are creating more friendships online than they more socially active counterparts. Part of the reason for that, the study claims, is that shyer people “overcome their traditional social difficulties and generate new friendships as well as strengthen old ones.” Without being thrust into sometimes-awkward face-to-face interactions, people with social anxieties can exercise more freedom in an online setting. They can speak with whoever they want and however they want, though more important than that is the fact that they’re talking to others about something they all find interesting: the game itself.

Just look to the latest Bungie game, Destiny, for example. While this first-person shooter can be enjoyed as a single-player experience through the campaign mode, it (like many other games of its ilk released of late) is far more entertaining when played with others online. And it’s not difficult to imagine that the shyer people out there playing the game are forging new relationships while also trying to grind their character to the next level for a new weapon, armor upgrade, etc. To be frank, can you think of a better way to accomplish all of this? Surely doing it by yourself can be fun, but is it as much fun as doing it with other players? No.

Although it may seem obvious, the importance of anonymity also helps for shy people in feeling more comfortable at the gaming aspect, too. This is something stressed at InterCasino, an online gaming platform where users can disclose as much information about themselves as they’d like. As long as you sign up with the proper details, the rest of how you present yourself is in your hands, and that goes for whether you do something single-player like slots or go up against actual opponents in the live casino. It’s the latter that can be a bit more intimidating to players, so playing online feels more comfortable and relaxed as you can go at your own pace and choose how involved you want to get.

What do you, the reader, think about this study and its results? Does it simply confirm what you already thought or do you think it was worth putting a study like this together? Let us know in the comments!

BitCoin Slot Machine Now Available from BetCoin

Online gambling is big business, with millions of players on many major websites everyday wagering through huge amounts of money, but big things are about to happen to gambling as one site is now letting your spin the reals using a Bitcoin wager.

Online gambling site BetCoin has revealed that their latest slot machine called BetCoin Reels will accept the digital currency. The 5-line slot is said to by “provably fair”, which is obviously a very important factor in any gambling system. This will no doubt put the hairs on the back of a few politicians necks up, especially with many governments being worried about cryptocurrency money laundering. With the gambling community now taking note, it looks like the future of Bitcoin and other coins like it is still pretty bright.

“The company is not resting on its laurels, however, and new games and new features are already in development,” noted BetCoin officials.

BetCoin now has four online betcoin-themed products that offer instant payouts, 3D graphics and other such attractions that prove popular with online gamblers, with a growing number of site now accepting BitCoins, it will be interesting to see what else crops up for the currency in the near future.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Gamification on the Rise

Technological changes have revolutionised many industry sectors and none more so than the games industry – something that now crosses over into many other sectors with the rise of gamification of everything from online shopping to personal fitness.

The last few years in particular have transformed the way games – and by this we mean those ranging from traditional console games, social media game apps, casual games for tablets, smartphones and laptops and everything in between – are developed, published and marketed.

What is quite striking is that now independent developers are also given a chance in this market. It’s not just the big players anymore.

Independent developers on the rise

Statistics gathered in the GDC 2013 State of the Industry survey show that small teams and independent game developers are increasing in a way never before seen. More than half of the survey respondents categorised themselves as indie developers, showing a marked sea change from the days of major publishers like EA and first parties like Nintendo and Microsoft holding budgets and influencing the direction of the games made.

Around 46% of the developers surveyed work in companies with less than ten people and just 24% worked with a publisher at all on their previous project. This represents a massive change in developers taking control back, choosing to self-publish their games and taking the opportunity afforded by social media and online marketing to get the word out there.

Smartphones and tablets most popular platforms

Technological developments and advances has allowed a cross platform revolution to seriously change the way people play games and, in turn, how developers make them. Not long ago, all video games were on PCs and consoles, a major focus in the industry is now on developing apps and games for smartphones and tablets.

The ability to play games on tablets and smartphones have allowed for the games industry to infiltrate other sectors in subtle and useful ways. There are apps and websites that allow consumers to measure their fitness progress, shop online, or enjoy online roulette with live dealers, throughout Europe and the UK. These companies are again utilising technology to provide products that have quickly become indispensable. All this has meant a hugely increased target demographic, allowing for a resurgence of development and a boost to a struggling industry.

It is, of course, the increase in affordable technology both for the consumer and the developer that is allowing these changes to go ahead. Access to WiFi, 4G and powerful technology has allowed a cross platform revolution to seriously change the way people play games and, in turn, how developers make them.