Online Casino Landmarks in 2010By: Ryan Alders, Friday December 31st 2010
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Events take place that have the potential of changing the future for better or for worse. Some such events related to the online casino industry that occurred in 2010 are analyzed.
The Democrat losses in the U.S. midterm elections in November 2010 do not auger well for online gambling in America. It is common knowledge that by and large the Democrats favor regulation of online gambling whereas the Republicans do not. In the November elections the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives. This puts Barney Frank's bill for legalization and regulation of online gambling in a limbo. Though the bill cleared the House subcommittee it may now not even come up for discussion before the full House. There was a lot of hope riding on this bill and it is now dashed.
On the other hand the legalization and regulation of online sports betting and poker in France is a small step in the right direction. It is true that the French have kept online casino gambling out of the law but players and operators should take what they get for now. Italy too had started without legalizing online casino gambling but plans to do that in 2011. Following the footstep of France and Italy a number of other European countries have online gambling regulation in the pipeline.
Meanwhile the demand for online casino gambling is getting stronger. Nothing signals this more than the purchase of the domain name Slots.com by Bodog brand owner Calvin Ayre for a whopping amount of $5.5 million. Ayre is a shrewd businessman and he will definitely earn a handsome return on this investment. Owners of gambling oriented domain names who were dormant till now have been shaken up and many idle domain names will come into the market in 2010.
The launch of the Microgaming QuickFire platform was a landmark of sorts. It allowed operators on other software platforms to offer Microgaming slots on a selective basis to their customers without having to license the complete Microgaming software. This was not a path breaking concept. WagerWorks and Cryptologic had been doing it for some time. But Microgaming has always been protective of its products, restricting them to only its licensees. Now with Microgaming having relinquished this position this signals the beginning of the end of single software product online casinos. The future belongs to those operators who offer the best games from a number of software providers.
The announced merger of PartyGaming and Bwin was the biggest online gaming event of 2010. Two of the biggest online gaming operators have joint hands to form the largest listed online gambling entity. This clearly signals that the online gaming market no longer belongs to the small fish. In order to be competitive one will have to reach a minimum critical size through acquisitions and mergers. Those who cannot do so will have to sell out. That this will be trend has been confirmed by similar talks having started between Ladbrokes and 888.
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