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Monthly Archives: October 2017

e-Gaming Still Thriving

Bear Stearns’ latest gaming industry report,E-Gaming Revisited, provides insightful analysis on the past, present and future of Internet gambling. We’ll take a two part look at what the report has to say, starting with the current state of the e-gaming industry.

According to the report, the days of easy entry into the online gambling business are gone. Investment capital is much harder to come by, successful advertising is more expensive and the cost of acquiring real-money players is increasing. Operators must now have sufficient capital to “incentivize mature surfers to switch their loyalty.”

Directly related, of course, is the fact that competition between online casinos is intense and there is a general “shake-out” happening between e-gaming companies “causing those with minimal resources and less capital… to disappear into thin air.”

Estimates indicate that there are about 1700 casinos and sportsbooks competing for something like 4 million online bettors. It’s worth noting that a large casino can have as many as 200,000 registered players or more while smaller casinos are left to struggle along with only a few hundred or less.

Around the world the various e-gaming nations remain in a high state of flux insofar as their e-gaming laws and regulations are concerned. Antigua and the U.K. stand out as legislative leaders, opening up their marketplaces to access from e-gaming interests.

Meanwhile, Europe has a strong and growing technological lead, especially in the wide distribution of WAP-capable cell phones and a rapidly evolving high-speed telecommunications infrastructure.

The dominant position held by the USA in terms of overall numbers of e-gamers has eroded. Approximately 46% of e-gamers now originate outside of the US — up almost 10% from Bear Stearns’ 2000 report.

The report also provides some interesting profiles of the online gamer. “The majority of customers visiting casino sites are retired.” Further analysis indicates that females gamblers were more numerous than their male counterparts, making up 53-55% of the online gambling population. Men did, however, tend to dominate the high-roller and VIP categories.…

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Cybergambling Tip Beware of Imposters

Things are not always what they appear to be … particularly on the World Wide Web. And as we’ve learned over time, the anonymity that comes along with the Internet isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

It’s fairly well known that online gamblers are better off playing at high-profile sites operated by reputable gaming companies. Recognizable brands are always a plus, but keep in mind that brands are hijacked quite frequently on the Internet.

If I wanted to set up an offshore online casino called “Caesars Palace” or “Harrah’s” it’s doubtful that anyone could stop me. I wouldn’t fool everyone, but there’s definitely a fair share of Internet users who would mistake bogus sites like this for the real deal. It’s dirty and it seems ridiculous that it’s so easy to get away with, but such fraudulent activity is not uncommon.

This isn’t so much an effort to scam players as it is a deceptive means of drawing traffic to sites, but fraud is fraud and such sites should obviously be avoided.

The perpetrators use two tricks. One is to purchase a domain name that contains a brand name but isn’t owned by the same operator that owns the brand. For example, if I owned a popular site called BalestraClub.com, anyone could easily set up a site at BalestraClubCasino.com or TheBalestraClub.com to divert traffic. They might even steal the graphics from my site to make it look identical to my casino.

The second trick is to purchase “typo” domains. For example, an online casino located at the domains “www.CeasarsPalace.com” or “www.Harahs.com” could attract stray Web surfers who type carelessly. (In case this went over your head, the correct spellings are “Caesars” and “Harrah’s.”)

So, what can you do to avoid these sites?

Averting the second trick is no big secret: Be careful what you’re typing and make sure you’ve got the right spelling.

As far as avoiding the first trick goes, your best defense is to do some homework. Doing a “whois” search at NetworkSolutions.com to double check a site operator’s identity might uncover a rat. The only problem is that I could easily register my look-alike URL under a bogus company name, so it’s not a flawless solution.

It would also be beneficial to read consumer publications from time to time to stay up on what’s happening online–particularly publications that feature watchdog/consumer protection pieces.

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