Wednesday, June 30, 2004

InterCasino FINALLY launches a UK version

Cryptologic software's pride and joy, Intercasino finally launches a UK version of their casino - offering UK pounds.

Intercasino were one of the very first online casinos and have gained a pretty good reputation through the years, coming through Internet gaming's Wild West relatively unscathed. However, after years of being the flagship casino of Cryptologic's portfolio - despite having William Hill, Ritz and Littlewoods also on their books - Intercasino never seemed to make the leap from US Dollars to UK Pounds. Until now that is.

And its about time too.

Gone is all the US tackiness that seemed to dominate the original website. Instead, a nice understated design appeals to a slightly more serious crowd. Gone also is the infamous and enigmatic (yeah, sure, whatever) casino manager 'Ryan Hartley'. In his place is 'Jane Bentley' who seems to have a slightly more generous cleavage than Mr Hartley would have had.

The games are still the same though - and the one thing you can be sure of is that Intercasino will have all the latest Cryptologic games first - including a heap of new video slots - if Vegas-style slots is what you crave

The usual bonuses apply...if you like that kind of thing

Latest Euro 2004 Odds

From William Hill

Correct Score Match Odds
90 Minutes

Portugal             Holland
1 - 0   7 / 1       1 - 0   15 / 2
2 - 0   9 / 1       2 - 0  12 / 1
2 - 1   9 / 1       2 - 1   9 / 1
3 - 0   25 / 1     3 - 0   40 / 1
3 - 1   16 / 1     3 - 1   18 /1
0 - 0   13 / 2     1 - 1   9 / 2

Correct Score Match Odds
90 Minutes

Greece                 Czech Rep.
1 - 0   10 / 1       1 - 0   6 / 1
2 - 0   25 / 1       2 - 0   5 / 1
2 - 1   16 / 1       2 - 1   15 / 2
3 - 0   80 / 1       3 - 0   10 / 1
3 - 1   50 / 1       3 - 1   11 / 1
0 - 0   7 / 1         1 - 1   11 / 2

Outright Odds
Holland 5 / 2
Czech Republic 11 / 8
Portugal 11 / 5
Greece 10 / 1

Top Euro 2004 Goalscorer
R van Nistelrooy 11 / 4
M Baros 2 / 7
J Koller 50 / 1

MP's yellow card swiss ref

MP's working hard on education, NHS and Euro 2004

Good to see MPs have too much work to do. They've tabled a motion to say the 'quality of the refereeing' in Euro 2004 wasn't good enough.

They also praise Gerrard for resisting a big money move to Chelsea - lost out on a bunch of tax on that one, guys...

Racing UK to charge viewers

Racing Channel goes back to days of old

So once again, after the mess that was Arena Leisure/Channel 4 racing channel, the new and unimproved Racing Channel is to charge a monthly subscription fee to watch racing. And at £25-30 a pop no less.

So for the average punter, that probably hits their monthly margins before they even start betting.

Maybe its just me, but of all channels that would have potential income outside of subscription and advertising - it would be betting. Or am I missing the point?

I understand what went wrong last time - but a little thought or creative thinking would put all the betting problems right, surely?

Maybe some interactive TV games in between perhaps..alternative betting revenue streams....allowing all bookies the chance to promote their prices?

Maybe not, but at the end of the day, thats a huge amount of money to pay for the pleasure of watching horses run - time to take a mosey on down to the nearest bookies instead..

Euro 2004 Semis

The countdown to the final begins tonight and i'll stick with the predictions I made yesterday

Czech to beat Greece (good on the Greeks for getting this far, but I don't think they'll take out the Czechs like they did France)

and I think the minor shock tonight will go to Holland to beat Portugal

You won't get good odds on anything - except 5/1 for Greece - but a small double on the Czech Republic and Holland to go through could be interesting

Federer vs Hewitt

Betfair is showing Hewitt as 9/2 to beat Federer in the 1/4 finals. In a two horse race, with Hewitt showing signs or a return to his imperious best, 9/2 is more than generous.

Virgin launches a.....Games Site launches their casino/games/poker thingy

So Branson has finally got in on the act and launched a casino/games/poker thing - Its too late at night to think of a name to describe the site - 'thing' will do for now.

Essentially, it offers a mix of traditional casino games (like the ones you get at Get Minted - those cute video-style flash ones), as well as very typical online poker and some strange - well what can only be described as - 'kiddie games'. In other words, a combination of different games design and options. Not a bad idea - but its a bit of a muddled pot at times.

Like the games mix itself, the website is a bit of a mishmash between clean, colour-coded boxes that were popular with website designers about 2 years ago and a bizarre smudgy background blur that is a total turn-off

However, the good news is that if I decide I need some Virgin Wines, or if I win a few grand and want to book a flight to somewhere warm - it appears there's plenty of ads available throughout the site to tempt me

All in all, its not bad, but I doubt it'll set the world on fire. It'll be interesting to see how people take to Virgin as a 'casino' brand.

More Links: Virgin ventures into internet gaming market

Monday, June 28, 2004

Euro 2004 dead-lines

A Vietnamese man has killed his wife after she complained of his gambling on Euro 2004 matches, police said

Nag nag nag nag nag nag hmmmph

Yet another Gambling Movie

Pacino May Gamble on 'Money'

Do we care? Is there such a word as 'sports booking'? I'm sure those questions and more will all be answered if and when this gets released

8**.com Paradise or hell

Apologies for those of you that live outside london - but I don't know what the situation is outside our fair capital city - and if it isn't the same, I'm truly envious.

So after the long-winded beginning - what the hell am I referring too?

Well, for those of us poor beings that travel via London Transport these past few months, I'm referring to the hell that is the current advertising from 8**.com and Paradise Poker.

Far be it from me to insult these hugely successful sites - but I am sick and tired of seeing a barely-clad Caprice (who?) offering me the virtues of playing poker online. Who exactly is this aiming at? I must admit to 2 things - firstly, I didn't have a clue who it was and secondly, I didn't have a clue what this woman was advertising - until someone pointed it out.

Now, Paradise Poker was the very first poker site I ever played at - for freeplay. And it got me hooked from the outset - about 3 or 4 years ago now. The software wasn't great graphically but it was totally playable. However, I can honestly say I probably wouldn't give this site a second look nowadays. With advertising aimed solely at the pre-pubescant schoolboy, i'm not too sure exactly who they're aiming at. Granted the potential winnings are huge - but come on PP - the average player would have as much chance of hooking up with Caprice as they would winning the World Series. Whilst TV is making the game more 'glamourous' - we want to see the real poker player, both male and female (hey newsflash PP people, poker attracts women nowadays. Shock. Horror), complete with shaded glasses, facial ticks, dodgy hats and real, unwashed sweat. Thats what poker is all about. Playing the 'page 3' card is a total turn off - and the fact that I saw one tube ad half ripped out from the frame shows me exactly who this ad is attacting..

As for 8**.com - do these ads actually go through any senior management before they go live? Put another way - one ad says "97.9% payout" - another says "better odds than vegas". And these are the ones shown to the 'great british public' - more commonly known as the 'mass market'. Sometimes I'm embarrassed I've ever got involved with online gambling.

My issue here, despite the fact that they've been designed by a blind monkey on bad acid (sorry to all those blind, stoned monkeys out there), is that the average Great British person wouldn't have a clue what a payout return is. And if they do - they sure as hell wouldn't be going to visit 8**.com without a little research first. I understand these ads going into 'gaming' magazines or gambling websites - but a 'mass market' train station? Maybe its me not understanding who the ads are actually targeting here - all I can see is a total wastage of money and position - seemingly quite common with 8**.com advertising

Anyway, onto hell. Seems like a good option to me. Or has 8**.com got that market wrapped up as well?

Rant Over.
Normal broadcasting will resume shortly....

OK - I'm gonna post a little addendum to this. Before any smart alec points out that a semi-naked Caprice is perfect for advertising poker to 'blokes' - its this... I have no issue with Page 3, FHM - heck, I have no problem with Hustler or 'readers wives'. My point is that this ad does not 'promote' poker. In fact, on second look - i'm still trying to figure out why the cast of 'Antz' is climbing the tree. I've asked a few people and not one knew what it was advertising. Most - who had a vested interest in gambling or gambling advertising - had to look a few times before realising it was a poker ad. Yes - it attracts blokes. But not to poker...

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Czechs or Danes and Timmy the Tiger

Well, 2 out of 2 ain't bad. But I'm playing safe tonight - Czech Republic all the way for a lousy odds-on

Afer seeing "Tiger" Timothy Henman play at Wimbledon today its a wonder British sports fans aren't seeing their heart doctor more often - the last great hope of the english summer of sport once again muddled his way through what should have been a fairly easy win - this from the man who was once banned from a Wimbledon doubles event for hitting a ballgirl
Federer the whole way through methinks

Saturday, June 26, 2004

New US Show: The Casino

The Casino
This oddity of a new US reality series is about 2 chaps with more money than brains (yeah, ok, they made their money from selling their site to Expedia) who decide to pour it all into buying a hotel/casino in vegas. This follows their er... exciting (?) story

Bored yet? We gonna see a UK version? Does anyone care?

The Cooler (2003) with William H Macy

The Cooler (2003)
Now, I really want to see this movie - despite it being nearly a year old - and I can't actually find it playing anywhere. But I have a love/hate relationship with casino movies.

After the ridiculously overrated Croupier (so sue me - I was so disappointed with this) and the terminally dull Owning Mahoney I'm convinced one of these movies is gonna be good one day

Sweden V Holland

OK - i doubt i'll get 2 in a row here. And I really can't call this one cos Holland are the ultimate under-achievers.
So i'll play a dull game and take the draw in 90 mins - get about 15/8 for that

Friday, June 25, 2004

AOL employee arrested and charged with stealing list

AOL employee arrested and charged with stealing list 2004
Who says entrepreneurialism is dead.
Some chap nicks all of AOL's user IDs and sells them to a gambling site - I love it. There's something truly amusing about this story - and it being AOL being shafted makes it all the more satisfying.

Ben Affleck wins poker tournament

Affleck Jacks Up Poker Competition
When i'm that rich and that famous, I too want to enter a poker tournament and win $350k...Think it helps that everybody gawks at you whilst you figure you out their play?

Greece @ 7/1?

OK - being the sucker that I am for the underdog (ok, the sucker's bet), how can anyone resist 7/1 for Greece to beat France? I don't rate the French performance at all this year - including the not so mighty Zidane. So shoot me

UK Betting and Gaming Blog

Its finally time to set up a betting and gaming blog - since apparantly thats what I do most