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PENANG POLICE DESTROY 786 GAMBLING COMPUTERS
More computers seized by Malaysian police have been destroyed to prevent their reappearance in the online gambling market.
This time it was the police in the Penang district who crushed the 786 machines under a bulldozer, supervised by local police officers. The machines had been confiscated in police raids on illegal online gambling dens between 2010 and 2014, a police spokesman revealed, noting that the goal was to ensure the computers did not reappear on the internet gambling scene.
Penang police chief Abdul Rahman Ibrahim commented that once the owners of the machines had been convicted, police were authorised to destroy their equipment. He revealed that Penang police are currently holding another 800 computer sets pending the conclusion of investigations and court proceedings.
EUROBET ITALY TAKES EVOLUTION LIVE DEALER ACTION ON BOARD
Eurobet Italy, a subsidiary of the Gala Coral online and land gambling group, has launched Evolution Gaming's mobile version of its live dealer product.
The company is restricting the roll-out to its mobile channel, although it has the option to extend the product to its desktop offering at some future point.
The product includes roulette, blackjack and baccarat live dealer tables across Android and iOS devices, and will hopefully boost the Italian subsidiary's penetration of the market, says m.d. Paolo Bazzocchi, who stressed his strong focus on the growing popularity of the mobile channel.
Gionata La Torre, head of Evolution operations in Italy, commented:
With its widespread presence across Italy and its sharp focus on web services and mobile, Eurobet Italy is a true multi- channel operator. As Evolutions mission is to deliver a flawless live casino via multiple devices and channels in regulated markets, our two companies are very well matched.
Evolution also serves major companies like Betsson, Bwin.Party and Betclic in the Italian market.
BETSOFT SIGNS CONTENT DEAL WITH SOCIAL GAMING START-UP
The latest content deal signed by online gambling software provider BetSoft is with Virtual Gaming World, an Australian company that owns the MMO social gaming casino Chumba.
The deal will see Chumba, which reportedly has a following of over 200,000 monthly active users on Facebook, carrying the complete suite of games produced by BetSoft, which embraces both desktop and mobile channels under the company's ToGo brand.
Chumba Casino exploits the elements that have made social gaming popular, such as microtransactions and achievements, making it an ideal platform for BetSoft's two new Slots3 product lines of Slots3 Arcade, including the successful SugarPop! with its recent first level expansion pack, and Slots3 Interactive, which offers games like Whospunit?.
Both lines endeavour to make the most of the evolving social gaming world, featuring level progression, bonus objectives and persistent game scores.
"Chumba Casino is an entirely fresh take on the concept of i-gaming," said Anthony Locke, BetSoft's head of product development. "We have never seen anything like it, and we are always on the hunt for unique and exciting new ways to present our games.
"The social gaming and gambling markets are converging at a rapid rate."
Laurence Escalante, founder and CEO of Virtual Gaming Worlds, said that the integration of BetSoft games should be completed in the second half of February.
Escalante's Virtual Gaming World raised the $2.6 million it needed to develop Chumba Casino from private investors led by Triple C Consulting, a boutique investment firm in Perth.
This followed a controversial and still unexplained incident which saw VGW arbitrarily removed from the Kickstarter crowdfunding site after just four days of exposure despite Escalante's claims that his application to raise $50,000 had been thoroughly vetted by site management before its introduction (see previous InfoPowa reports).
The massively multiplayer online Chumba allows users to become the house and build their own casinos, slot machines, games tables using avatars as their characters. Other players can join in and play at casinos, allowing owners to make virtual money which can be converted the real cash (with Virtual Gaming Worlds taking a cut).
In more recent developments, Chumba received a Philippines online gambling licence licence late last year, with Escalante saying he has ambitions to extend the scope of Chumba outside Facebook and for real-money action.
Escalante has also told media that there are opportunities in sweepstakes style gaming, where this is legal, and where he claims users tend to spend more and play more frequently.
The young Perth-based entrepreneur has big ambitions, including growing his daily active player base from 15,000 to 100,000 by mid-2014, producing annualised revenues of around $3 million and competing head to head with big-company subsidiaries like IGT's DoubleDown Casino.
Late last year the former financial planner told media that he was making good progress on raising a further $5 million in investment capital.
Escalante has surrounded himself with experienced i-gaming managers such as former Aristocrat execs Steve Parker and Edgar Pau, and is on record as saying that the development of compelling games will be one of the pillars on which his company's growth will be secured, along with good marketing.
GAMBLING PAYMENT PROCESSOR IN RUSSIAN DEAL
Skrill, one of Europes largest online payment processors, has inked a new partnership with Russian payments service Yandex.Money in a collaborative move that will enable the company to expand coverage of the Russian payments market while allowing Yandex.Money to be integrated as a payment option for Skrills 140,000 merchants worldwide, offering a local payment solution to a global customer base.
Yandex.Money is one of Russias most popular payment services: 84 percent of Russians are familiar with it and 17 percent use it to make payments at least once every six months. Currently Yandex.Money is accepted by over 20,000 online stores in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Mohamed Omaizat, VP group corporate development at Skrill, said Friday: Partnering with Yandex.Money will provide Skrills expansive global merchant base with access to consumers in Russia. It will also enable us to grow our global payment network even further with another popular local payment option, ensuring we stay at the forefront of the digital payments market.
We want to give our users an opportunity to pay with Yandex.Money in any internet store anywhere in the world," said Maria Gracheva, business development director at Yandex.Money. "Some of the internets most popular services, such as Skype, Facebook and McAfee, are already using Yandex.Money for payments in Russia."
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