Gamble With Asteroids, Centipede And Other Atari Games

Atari Casino
Hey, It’s The Atari Casino

It looks as if the Atari Casino will be launching online in just a few months.The casino will offer gambling for real and virtual currency.  Atari Casino will be considered a social gaming platform since gambling is a dirty word more than simply an online casino. The casino will available on the Web, as well as Facebook and mobile devices.

Even though I never owned an Atari video game system when I was growing up (I was a ColecoVision guy) I played their games way too often. Older brands like Atari are a link to my childhood and that’s what they’re is banking on to acquire players.

The idea of gambling online isn’t very attractive to me because I prefer gambling with some form of human interaction. Having said that I might consider playing craps, slot machines or blackjack at the Atari Casino if it’s branded with Centipede, Missile Command or Asteroids for a little while. This might not be Atari’s only gambling play. Last year at G2E I reported that IGT was re-introducing skill-based gaming with a Centipede branded slot machine for Vegas Chatter. We shouldn’t expect to see anything in casinos until next year. Photo: Engadget

I Lost $2,300 Because Covers Scammed Me

Over the weekend a reader emailed me to let me know he was scammed by Covers.com and BetEd. He asked me to pass the information on as a caution to others. Here’s his note:

I lost $2,300 becauses Covers scammed me through BetEd.

Now here’s another example of what the crooks did recently: http://bit.ly/HzlOuo

People need to know all the terrible things Covers does, how they take advantage of those who don’t know better.

PLEASE, write an article to warn people about them.

XXXX

Online sports betting has a bad reputation and there has been talk about this in forums for a while now. The article referenced above discusses more about Covers.com business practices.

Commission Junction, North America’s largest advertising affiliate network, has issued a warning to affiliates that it has deactivated the account belonging to Covers Experts, the handicapping arm of sports betting info site Covers.com. Affiliates were informed that they would no longer receive commissions for traffic driven to the site via Covers’ banners, text links and/or other link types, and suggested that affiliates replace these links with those of active advertisers as soon as possible.

I don’t have first hand experience with Covers.com in either of these manners. For full disclosure I’ve been using Covers.com content for a while now. When I was doing Free Picks and Fun, I used to share some of their free picks because they were written by legitimate handicappers. While I used affiliate sportsbooks I didn’t link with covers.com since the idea behind the site was free picks not “here’s a free pick, but you can buy more.”

I also reference their statistics pretty often. I use trend data when I bet, and they have useful information that’s easy and quick to digest.

I don’t know if Covers.com are scammers or if they’re legit and these stories are anomalies, but I thought this was something important enough to share as a warning. Bottom line: Always be careful with your money and watch where you’re putting it.

Wire Act Only Applies To Sports Betting Now

Last week the Department of Justice (DOJ) gave online poker players reason to be excited as they made specific note to mention that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting.

“The Department of Justice’s view is and has been for some time that all forms of internet gambling, including sports wagering, casino games and card games, are illegal under federal law. While many of the federal statutes do not use the term ‘internet gambling,’ we believe that the statutory language is sufficient to cover it,” then U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway told Congress. “As we have stated on previous occasions, the department interprets existing federal statues, including 18 U.S.C. Sections 1084, 1952, and 1955, as pertaining to and prohibiting internet gambling.”

But last week, that all changed.

“The Department’s Office of Legal Counsel has analyzed the scope of the Wire Act, 18 U.S.C  Section 1084, and concluded that it is limited only to sports betting,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote in a letter to the two states.

Combine last weeks announcement that internet poker was made legal in Nevada with the statement from the DOJ above and you can see why online poker players (and websites) would have reason to think positively about their future.

While Nevada will be the first state allowed to have legal online poker, it’s hard to imagine that once Nevada residents work out the kinks that the rest of the country won’t be allowed to join in the fun.

I give the DoJ and poker companies until the beginning of 2013 to work out any problems with legal online poker in Nevada before opening it up to the rest of the country.

As a sports better I’m guessing that we won’t see legal, nation-wide sports betting until 2014 or 2015. The government isn’t too good at acting on more than one thing at a time.

Internet Poker Legal Again!

Internet poker is legal again…but only in Nevada. Yesterday the government in the great state set the first regulations for legal online poker play in the United States – as long as you a playing in Nevada with other people in Nevada.

The Nevada Gaming Commission approved the nation’s first regulations for Internet poker play today, opening the door to the licensing of companies to offer online play within the state.

Play across state lines still wouldn’t be allowed because of restrictions imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

This is just the beginning of legal online gambling and should clean up what was a pretty shady business. The first companies on the block for online poker licenses are all large and legitimate businesses:

Six companies already have applications in the regulatory pipeline for licensing: Cantor Gaming, Shuffle Master, International Game Technology, Bally’s Technology, Caesars Entertainment and the South Point.

This was bound to happen. While there were legitimate problems with the companies that were taken down on Black Friday, there may be something to the conspiracy theory that Black Friday was all coordinated by the large gaming companies in the United States.

Look for the online poker licenses to be approved (or denied) in the spring of 2012. In the meantime, I wonder how many online poker players will be moving to Nevada. Living is still cheap.

Gary Loveman Talks Legalizing Online Gambling on CNBC

Gary Loveman from Caesars Entertainment was on CNBC‘s Kudlow Report on Friday night.  Loveman, wants gambling legalized and Caesars would start with poker since it’s just providing a service for people to gamble their own money against each other.  There’s nothing here that comes across as surprising or sensational.  The interview is quick.  Enjoy.

Worst Bookie Ever!

I’ve been around gambling most of my life.  My first real exposure to a bookie was when I worked next door to one working at a candy store when I was around 12 or 13.  They were serious dudes that scared me.  They were also the kinds of guys that made lots of loot – like every bookie I’ve ever met.

Last year I moved to Las Vegas and I’ve been learning about legalized sports betting more and more.  Yesterday I learned that there is a company, American Wagering Inc. (AKA Leroy’s) that takes wagers on sports that a) went bankrupt and b) lost $1.8 million in 9 months.

Despite its dominance in Nevada, American Wagering’s balance sheet is anemic by comparison. The company reported a loss of $1.8 million for the nine months ended Oct. 31 and generated revenue of only $14.5 million for the year ended Jan. 31, 2010. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2003 and emerged in 2005, only to see business decline in the recession.

American Wagering is being purchased by a British company, William Hill, so I’m guessing that whatever advantage a bettor might have had is going to go away pretty quickly.

William Hill this month announced an $18 million deal to buy Nevada bookmaking chain American Wagering Inc., which operates Leroy’s sports books and provides the sports betting systems many Nevada casinos use to run their books.

For as long as I’ve been interesting in sports betting I’ve only heard of Leroy’s because they had the first legal sports betting app for mobile phones (not iPhone…boo!).

Still, how can a bookie lose money!?  This is unprecedented as far as I know.  As the article states, this is a future move for William Hill for when online gambling is legalized in America.  For the time being it will be interesting to see how they effect sports betting in Nevada.  It should be only for the better.

ESPN Running Scared From Poker

After last weeks breakup of three major online poker sites ESPN (and their parent company, Disney) has announced that they are removing all poker from the network for the time being.

Walt Disney’s ESPN sports cable channel will remove poker advertising and programming after the U.S. indicted gambling websites that sponsor televised tournaments and froze their bank accounts.

“We are aware of the indictment only through what has been announced publicly,” Bristol, Connecticut-based ESPN said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “For the immediate future, we are making efforts to remove related advertising and programming pending further review.”

This is a very safe play for ESPN.  They were going to lose most of the advertising for their poker programming anyway since Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and Poker Stars made up the bulk of advertising on the shows.

ESPN didn’t state that they’ve canceled all contracts and are out of the business forever.  They are just putting things on hold for TV.  The poker page on ESPN.com is still up and running.  I expect ESPN to seek out other World Series of Poker advertisers and will hold off on committing to airing the tournament until they know how they stand financially.

This is all, still, just the beginning of what’s probably going to be legal online gambling in America…it’s just a matter of when.

UPDATE: ESPN will be airing the 2011 WSOP, but they have removed old programming. Thanks for the heads up BluffMagazine.com