Meet the online millionaires

Iqbal Khan has a job most men would kill for. As a freelance fashion designer and stylist, he dresses up pretty women for a living and is surrounded by the glitz and glamour that is films and advertising, but the smile on his face in the middle of a high-energy shoot is for a different reason. He just won a pot of $1 million in poker. Online, that is.

Playing from his smartphone, Khan manages to sneak in a bit of poker whenever he gets the time. Whether it’s while travelling, in between a boring movie, or in this case, in between shots at the shoot. And no, he doesn’t consider it an addiction. “As a freelancer, I don’t have a set schedule. It was in between work in 2008 when I found Poker on Facebook, and it was a good time filler. I didn’t even know how to play poker then, so I learnt how to play it online.

The social aspects of it, and winning, of course, is addictive. I used to play 8-10 hours before but now I play when I am bored, so I wouldn’t say I’m addicted anymore,” laughs the 41 year-old. Given its portability and rewarding nature, online gaming was always a sure-fire hit. Today, it’s emerging as a popular choice for leisure amongst housewives and senior citizens as well.

Addicted to score
Thirty year-old Manisha Chaudhury, a freelance content developer who works from home, prefers to spend her time on the computer, gaming, when she isn’t working. “I have always loved experimenting with software programmes and indulge in a fair bit of social networking to keep up with the buzz. Since a bulk of my work requires me to be on the Internet, my leisure activities, too, tend totake place online. I read e-books, play games, chat with friends and stream movies,” she says.

Chaudhury is currently hooked to rummy sessions online, though she considers herself a rookie. “A couple of hours every alternate day would be my average time on gaming. I do keep scores occasionally, especially when I am winning, but so far I wouldn’t be able to quote a significant achievement,” she says, with a twinkle in her eye. 

On the other hand, 28 year-old Sonia Kochar has been gaming for nine years now, and while her 17-month old daughter keeps the homemaker busy for most of her time, gaming is still very much a part of her life. “I was looking for crosswords and scrabble online, when I came across Literati — a word game by Yahoo. It took me a month to understand the game and then I was on a winning spree, competing online with players from across the globe. I play a lot more games,” she confesses, admitting that she is addicted to online gaming.

“Getting a good score or high rank is captivating,” she adds. “Once you achieve a high score or rank, you want to either maintain or improve on that. On Literati, the highest band is Red. Once you achieve that you tend to either improve your rank or at least retain the red tag. On an average I spend three hours each day playing online games,” she says.

Lady gamers
Charandeep Singh Hattar, country head of operations, Mango Games India, notes that online gaming in India is on an upward trend. “With the improvement in technology and advancement in Internet speeds and connectivity, online games have moved from basic block-breaking or Tetris to the likes of Farmville and Angry birds, etc. There are now elaborate story lines that take numerous days to play.

The art and animation make today’s online games look like no less than a full movie. So the casual single player online games have evolved to the social games that are easily accessible via the Internet and can support many players playing together,” he says. Interestingly, like many other things in India, the Internet, earlier seen as a male-dominated field, is now giving way to women.

“Look at the gender-wise numbers of people who play social games. In the USA, 55 per cent of games on Facebook are played by women. In the UK, 65 to 70 per cent of social gamers are women,” says Hattar. “In the Indian context, there is a lot to be done with regards to gaming content which will appeal to female audiences.

There is a strong case to be made for computer-literate homemakers or working-from-home ladies who have both the time as well as the income to play social games. Games based on fashion, shopping and pet care have all done really well here because their main consumers are housewives. It’s a perfect way for them to relax or take a break from their hectic schedule,” he adds.

Balancing act
Kochar agrees, but believes that you should be careful not to let the game take over your life. “Playing online is a great way to keep yourself occupied, but when you are about to achieve a new score or level and you know a couple of more games will take you there, you end up spending hours trying to achieve that, starving your family of your time and company. I try to maintain a balance between my hobby and family life,” she says.

Manisha Chaudhury is a freelance content developer who works from home and is hooked to online rummy in her free time. Pic/ Rajeev Tyagi

Where one might feel that playing games with ‘friends’ online actually defeats the whole purpose of the activity, our gamers say they have increased their social circle thanks to their online habits. While the women have “made a couple of friends online,” Khan hangs out with more than a hundred friends on the Internet.

Promise ahead
So how does the online experience compare to the real one? Chaudhury explains it best. “Playing games online is more of a personal hobby while watching movies is a social one. So when I am not with friends or family, this is a great a pastime. I would rather indulge in gaming than watch a movie alone in a theatre. It is a relaxing pastime without the necessity of having to disclose my identity, register for online subscriptions and pay huge amounts of cash to become a member.” She adds, “In fact, gaming has given me a thrilling new set of challenges, without the danger of gambling. It’s also helped hone my social media interaction skills.”

The limits you set for yourself define what your gaming means to you. The future is full of promise. Chaudhury and Khan are sure their gaming is just a hobby, while Kochar takes it a step ahead. “Online gaming has become a part of my daily life,” she says. “Just like sleeping and eating food, I don’t forget to spend some time playing online. In fact, if given the right chance in the future, I would love to game professionally,” she says.

Hattar smiles knowingly at this promise of games changing lives. “With technology evolving all the time and people needing to find easy yet engaging modes of relaxation, the future of online gaming, especially, social gaming, is very bright. If we go with the numbers, housewives and females audiences in general are definitely ruling the social gaming scene,” he sums up.  

Nevada companies receive first online gaming licenses

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The Nevada Gaming Commission gave Las Vegas-based Bally Technologies the first internet gaming license in United States history on Thursday. IGT, based in Reno, received the second license.

Online poker will return to Nevada – but not overnight.

“I think we’re probably months away as opposed to years away,” said Mark Lerner, general council for Bally Technologies. 

The approval means Bally can now develop online poker games, but those games, and all casinos who want to operate online games, must first be approved by the commission.

“We have a ways to go yet. Operators have to get licensed, products have to be approved, submitted and approved,” said Lerner. 

At the beginning of June, Bally teamed up with the Golden Nugget to release an online poker game that, for now, is free.

“We can transition that play for free site for the opportunity to play for money,” said Golden Nugget’s Vice President of Marketing Amy Chasey.

Bally tells FOX5 that the pay site could be online by the end of 2012, or early 2013.

Casual poker players like Terry West, who have only been able to play live games since internet poker’s ”Black Friday” of 2011 are eager for the approval.

“A small-time guy who doesn’t want to invest a lot of money,” said West. “He can play a little bit of money and win big.” 

By federal law, the online poker games approved in Nevada would only be able to be played within Nevada’s borders. Only an act of Congress could approve online gaming to cross state lines.

Other types of gaming will be considered in the future, but there’s no fear this could slow down casino business by eliminating a need to come to casino properties.

“We don’t think it’ll hurt business at all in Las Vegas,” said Chasey. “It’s just gonna add to awareness, and gaming, and poker.”

Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcast Corporation). All Rights Reserved.

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Casino Games Played Online are Estimated to be a $30 Billion Industry


(EMAILWIRE.COM, June 22, 2012 )
London, UK — According to statistics, the total annual revenue earned by online casinos is approximately $30 billion. This figure, which comes from data compiled in 2010, is much higher than the 2005 estimates, which listed the online games industry at about $12 billion. Clearly, online casino games are incredibly popular.

In some cases, a specific instance explains why a certain form of online gambling suddenly took off in popularity. For example, the growth in online poker sites can be linked to 2003, when the World Series of Poker hit the airwaves.

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Casino Gambling Guide also offers helpful tips and strategies about online casino games, as well as interesting and educational articles that look at various topics related to the industry.

For example, an article titled “Why Gamble Online” examines the phenomenon of online gaming and why it has grown to be so popular in recent years.

“One of the biggest benefits of playing in the online casinos is the convenience,” the article noted, adding that players do not need to travel anywhere and they can play the games whenever and from wherever they want.

“The best thing is that you can play from the comforts of your own home and customise your surroundings according to your liking. Where else will you get the advantage of taking a break in the middle of a game?”

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Using the Casino Gambling Guide website is easy; category tabs like “Casino Sites” and “Casino Games” help visitors to the site find what they are looking for quickly and easily. The home page features a list of recommended casinos, as well as detailed information about what makes each one special.

About Casino Gambling Guide:

The new Casino Gambling Guide website links players directly to some of the most popular casino sites and provides an array of information regarding casino games, casino guides, tips, strategies and more. The site also features in-depth reviews of a host of casino websites and games to help players find their best-suited options. For more information, please visit http://www.casinogamblingguide.co.uk

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Read more Press Releases from Greg Bettridge:

  • Players Can Predict the Winner in Euro 2012 and Win a Share of 100 Credits Every Day at Royal Vegas Online Casino
  • Top Online Casino Winners at Platinum Play Australia and the Fortune Lounge Group

CryptoLogic Clinches New Licensing Deal with BetClic Everest Group Subsidiary New contract with Everest Gaming Ltd.

2012-06-20 15:09:34 –

DUBLIN, IRELAND — (Marketwire) — 06/20/12 — CryptoLogic Limited (TSX:CRY)(TSX:CXY)(NASDAQ:CRYP), an Amaya Gaming Group company and a leading developer of online betting games, announces that it has expanded its relationship with BetClic Everest Group, one of the world leaders in online gaming, by signing an additional multi-year deal with its Everest Gaming Ltd. (“Everest”) subsidiary.


Under the terms of the new agreement Everest will launch a minimum of eight of CryptoLogic’s award winning casino slot games. The first game went live in May and the remaining titles will be launched during this year. These eight new games will be available on all Everest brands, including the flagship brands EverestCasino.com, ImperialCasino.com and Casinoelegance.com.


Ian Price, Vice President Operations at CryptoLogic, said: “This expanded agreement strengthens our existing relationship with BetClic Everest Group, and will enable millions of their players to enjoy an even broader variety of CryptoLogic games. BetClic Everest Group have been a successful licensee with CryptoLogic since December 2009 and their desire to gain access to a wider range of CryptoLogic’s thrilling games once again illustrates the quality of our content.”

Etienne Leroy, Director of Casino at Everest, commented: “At Everest, we pride ourselves on the variety of games we have on offer to our customers, and we are therefore delighted to release the additional CryptoLogic games on all our seven Casino brands. By delivering value and entertainment for our online customers, it is no surprise these games have proven popular on our sites thus far, and we are pleased to be building on our relationship with CryptoLogic for the future.”


About CryptoLogic® (www.cryptologic.com)


Focused on integrity and innovation, CryptoLogic Limited is a leading developer and supplier of Internet gaming software. With more than 300 games, CryptoLogic has one of the most comprehensive casino suites on the Internet, with award-winning games featuring some of the world’s most famous action and entertainment characters. The Company’s licensees include many top Internet gaming brands. CryptoLogic’s leadership in regulatory compliance makes it one of the few companies with gaming software certified to strict standards similar to land-based gaming. The CryptoLogic Group licenses gaming software and services to blue-chip customers that offer their games to non-US based players around the world.


CryptoLogic’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CRY, CXY) and the NASDAQ Global Select Market (CRYP). The Company was acquired by Amaya Gaming Group Inc. of Canada in March 2012.


About Amaya Gaming Group


Founded in 2004, Amaya Gaming Group Inc. is a technology based gaming provider for the regulated gaming industry. An expansive global organization, present in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia, Amaya is an innovator in the gaming world.


Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Amaya provides a host of services and solutions that range from: online and mobile gaming casino games and platforms, traditional and mobile lotteries, networked electronic gaming systems, hospitality in-room entertainment systems, management systems, content suites, advisory and management services, and integrity monitoring and auditing systems for the regulated gaming markets. For more information please visit www.amayagaming.com : www.amayagaming.com or www.amayaonline.com.


About BetClic Everest Group


BetClic Everest Group, one of the world leaders in online gaming, has a unique portfolio comprising of four diverse and complementary international brands: Everest Gaming, BetClic, bet-at-home.com and Expekt. Led by Ignacio Martos, BetClic Everest Group is owned equally by Lov Group and La Societe des Bains de Mer. The Group operates a broad on-line gaming offer: sports and horse-race betting, poker, casino and bingo. This is backed up by customer service facilities which are available in 25 languages. Active in 100 countries with more than 12 million customers worldwide, the Group boasts more than 1,000 employees spread over 25 countries. BetClic Everest Group is committed to promoting secure and responsible gaming and is a member of several international professional associations including the EGBA (European Gaming and Betting Association) and the ESSA (European Sports Security Association).


CRYPTOLOGIC FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT DISCLAIMER:


This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Statements in this press release, which are not historical are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend”, “may”, “will”, “would” and similar expressions and the negative of such expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements are based on certain factors and assumptions including expected growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities, foreign exchange rates and effective income tax rates. While the Company considers these factors and assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available, they may prove to be incorrect. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Risks related to forward-looking statements include, without limitation, risks associated with the Company’s financial condition, prospects and opportunities, legal risks associated with Internet gaming and risks of governmental legislation and regulation, risks associated with market acceptance and technological changes, risks associated with dependence on licensees and key licensees, risks relating to international operations and risks associated with competition. Additional risks and uncertainties can be found in the Company’s Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011 under the heading “Item 3 – Key Information – Risk Factors” and in the Company’s other filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian provincial securities commissions. Given these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are given only as at the date of this release and the Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.

Contacts:

CryptoLogic Limited

Ian Price

VP Operations

+44 (0) 207 616 1947

For Amaya Gaming Group Inc.

Equicom

Jeff Codispodi

+1 (416) 815-0700 ext. 261

Luther Pendragon

Neil Thapar, Alexis Gore

+44 (0) 207 618 9100

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