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Casino.com is running a promotion called The Bond Experience for new players in November 2012.
The winner of the draw, which will take place on December 7th, will get a weekend holiday for two people to London, New York, or Sydney. This weekend includes a two day rental of an Aston Martin DB9, two nights in a luxury 5 star hotel, dinner and drinks at the city’s most exclusive casino, and the two of you get a day at a Spy Academy where you receive training in surveillance techniques and get to use the latest spy gadgets.
You will get a draw ticket for every $50 you deposit at Casino.com from now until November 30th. You don’t have to deposit $50 at a time, if you deposit $200 in one shot you will get 4 tickets to the draw.
To enter for this promotion, simply go to this page and follow the instructions provided. You must opt in to the promotion before you make your first deposit, and tickets will automatically be given to you each time you deposit.
Looking at the Terms and Conditions for this promotion, there are a few things to point out. This promotion is only available to players who have never made a deposit at the casino. The winner must take the holiday before December 31st 2013, so you have a year to take it before it expires. The budget for the promotion is $5200, so based on where you live, you may have to choose a destination that fits within the budget. The prize cannot be exchanged for cash or bonuses and it is not transferable.
Casino.com has been online since 2008 and they have a great reputation, if you would like more information about the casino, read my Casino.com review. By the looks of it, you can still claim the welcome bonus of a 100% match on your first deposit which is always available to new players.
The Saskatoon Star Phoenix released a story earlier today (Nov. 5th, 2012) about a former Chief of the White Bear First Nation who is planning to open an online casino tomorrow, named the Northern Bear Casino. Bernie Shepherd plans on running this online casino from his office on the reserve which is about 150km southeast of Regina, and is doing so without permission from the federal or provincial government. At the time of the story, the provincial government had no comment other than the fact that they are monitoring the situation.
A few hours later, CBC News released a story stating that Donna Harpauer, the minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), has said online casinos will not be allowed to be hosted in Saskatchewan. She apparently said this to reporters when they asked her about the Saskatoon Star Phoenix story.
This isn’t the first time that Shepherd has opened a casino without permission from any level of government. In 1993 an RCMP SWAT team raided a casino on the White Bear reserve that was started by Shepherd, who was chief at the time, and other residents of the First Nation.
They were charged with operating a common gambling house. The charges against him and the others were dropped, and the incident led to the creation of the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) which now has casinos in six communities in the province, including one at White Bear. Shepherd says he is opening the Northern Bear Casino without any involvement of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) or SIGA.
Running an online gambling company in Canada has always been illegal, but when the people running it are First Nations, things tend to get complicated. One side says it’s illegal, the other side says it’s within their treaty rights. Take the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (in Quebec) for example, they have been licensing, regulating, and hosting online gambling companies for over a decade. There have been questions about the legality, but no charges have ever been filed. The Kahnawake people have basically declared themselves as being a sovereign nation when it comes to Canadian laws they don’t want to follow.
The federal and provincial governments in Canada have been relatively quiet when it comes to these issues, and rather than fight against them, they have been opening their own provincially run online casinos. BC and Quebec have their own online casinos, and Ontario was supposed to have one earlier this year but I haven’t heard much about it. Saskatchewan has also been toying with the idea, but who knows when that would ever happen. Things tend to move slowly in this province.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, I will definitely be keeping a close eye on the news tomorrow and will keep this story up to date with anything that happens. Based on how past events have played out, could this be the start of many Canadian online casinos run by First Nations? Will the government finally decide what the rules are when it comes to online casinos being run by First Nations? Stay tuned to find out.
Update: The Star Phoenix just ran a follow-up story elaborating on what was said by the SLGA minister during her interview with reporters. She was quoted saying that the Northern Bear online casino is “probably” illegal, but didn’t say whether or not any action would be taken. “Once I see it and what they’re doing, we’ll look at our options at that point in time,” Harpauer said. “We’ll have to get advisement, I’m sure, because there are legal issues.”
CBC News said she “shut the door on the idea” making it sound like immediate action would be taken if the online casino opened. They were talking more about things said six months ago by Harpauer when the SLGA was considering launching a provincial online casino, than what she said about this situation today.
Update – Tuesday Nov. 6th: The Northern Bear Casino has launched and is accepting new players. The casino is part of the GEOBet Gambling Network which is operated by Golden Arrow Entertainment, based in the Tsuu Tina Nation (Redwood Meadows, Alberta, Canada). GEOBet.com was launched in September 2012 and the site offers an online casino, online poker, and sports betting. So apparently the Tsuu Tina Nation in Alberta has been offering online gambling to the world for a couple months already, and I never heard much at all about it. GEOBet is licensed in several jurisdictions including Malta, Curacao, and Kahnawake.
Northern Bear Casino appears to just be a simple skin of GEOBet, because when you visit the website, everything you click on takes you to a GEOBet page with just a bar across the top that says Northern Bear Casino. The slots are powered by Microgaming software, and only the instant play games are available, I don’t see any option to download.
I don’t really see the point of playing at this new Northern Bear Casino, you might as well just play at GEOBet since it looks like you are playing there anyway.
By the looks of things, these casinos will likely be here to stay, and there will probably be many more popping up in First Nations all over Canada.
The Lord of the Rings slot was also changed last year to add progressive jackpots, which is the first time a Microgaming slot has ever been changed.
They normally release another version of a slot with progressives added, and they have done so with several different slots, adding the Mega Moolah progressive jackpot which is linked to all Microgaming casinos. I’m sure it had something to do with the license agreement as well.
I enjoyed the LOTR slot when it first came out, but when they added the jackpots, they also changed the free spins bonus feature and made it harder to hit a big win. I still played it once in a while, but mainly because I’m a big fan of the books and movies.
Microgaming was also planning on releasing slots based on the other Lord of the Rings movies (this slot was based on Fellowship of the Ring), but I’m assuming that is no longer going to happen. With “The Dark Night Rises” coming out soon, we may see another slot from Microgaming based on that movie.
The Dark Knight is quite similar to LOTR, and at first glance I thought they simply replaced the symbols and other images with Batman themed images. The paytable in The Dark Knight looks better, which is one thing I didn’t like about the LOTR slot from the beginning, I always thought it was quite cheap. It also doesn’t seem to have the “Cinematic Spins” which had clips from the Lord of the Rings movie playing in the background when the reels were spinning.
The Mega Moolah progressive jackpots are available on The Dark Knight which has a minimum top prize of a million dollars. Other similarities include stacked wilds, a free spins feature with 15 free spins starting at a x2 multiplier, and the Batman or Joker feature which is similar to the Gollum feature on LOTR. Batman or the Joker can appear at any time during regular and free spins to award you with a random prize, including increasing the multiplier of your free spins, holding a reel that’s stacked with wilds and giving you a free spin, or giving you cash prizes.
Other than the improved paytable and lack of movie clips in the background, it is basically the same slot. Since the Lord of the Rings slot was so unique, there really was no point throwing those features out and starting from scratch, so I don’t blame them keeping most of it the same.
I am quite glad they improved the paytable, and I am looking forward to trying this slot when it is released.
You will be able to play The Dark Knight on June 28th, 2012 at any of these Microgaming casinos.
Update: I guess I was mistaken, it is pretty much the exact same game as the LOTR slot. The only difference I noticed was with the Batman or Joker feature – Batman adds wilds to the reels, either full reels or single wilds in different spots. Gollum never added wilds to the reels. Other than that, it does have the Cinematic Spins, and the paytable is basically the same as far as I can tell.
That being said, I gave it a shot and enjoyed it. I seemed to get more playtime out of it than I did with the LOTR slot, and I’ve spun the reels over 1000 times on The Dark Knight so far.
For the past few years, Ayre has been able to avoid US law enforcement as he continued to offer casino games and online sports betting to residents of the United States. The sports gambling site, Bodog.com, has also been seized by the government. On Feb, 22, 2012, Ayre and three other Canadians were indicted in Maryland by a federal grand jury.
The four individuals have been accused of conducting illegal betting acts and money laundering.
Many online gamblers from the United States were being paid with funds that were moved through various accounts in Europe and Canada and more than $100 million had been sent through checks and wire payments. Despite the fact that Bodog.com was registered in Canada, the indictment against Ayre is based on the movement of funds outside of the United States, and this was enough to prosecute the billionaire.
The four accused individuals are currently facing a 5 year sentence for illegal gambling as well as 20 years for laundering money. In addition, Bodog.com faces a fine that could be as much as $500,000 for the same charges. While Ayre and his three partners are not in the US at this time, a warrant for their arrest has been issued.
Ayre is not in agreement with the charges and has released a statement saying, “I see this as abuse of the US criminal justice system for the commercial gain of large US corporations. It is clear that the online gambling industry is legal under international law and in the case of these documents it is also clear that the rule of law was not allowed to slow down a rush to try to win the war of public opinion.”
The federal indictment covers business that has been conducted from June 2006 to January 2012. In addition to more than $100 million being paid to online gamblers, the Bodog site is accused of spending more than $40 million on advertising specifically targeting US players and attracting them to the site.
Since 2006, Ayre has been skirting and avoiding the laws on online gambling in the US. He was quoted in Forbes magazine, saying “Catch me if you can.” After years of taunting the US government, it all comes crashing down with this indictment and the seizing of the ever popular Bodog.com site. The investigation that eventually led to this indictment was comprised of an informant that once worked for Bodog as well as law enforcement officers working undercover, making wagers on sporting events and requesting payouts from Bodog.
Take a spectacular game of poker, combine it with an ever-growing progressive jackpot and voila! You have the perfect game. Caribbean Draw Poker Gold Progressive is based on 5-card draw poker and is played against the dealer.
A standard deck of 52 playing cards is used and both you and the dealer receive five cards when the cards are dealt. The dealer qualifies with a pair of eights or higher.
There is an optional bonus bet, too, which is played simultaneously with the ante game. Bonus game payouts are based on the main hand dealt. Once you have received your cards, you can opt to stand, draw two additional cards or fold.
The rewards are massive and the game is astonishing. However, it only starts here!
Taking the bonus bet opens up an opportunity to play for the progressive jackpot. This jackpot you do not want to miss. If you have a Royal Flush with the first five cards dealt to you, then you will win the progressive jackpot.
If you hit a Royal Flush with your additional cards dealt, you can win on odds of 100:1. A straight rewards you with 50:1 and 4 of a kind pays out 20:1. Play with coins between 1.00 and 100.00 for maximum rewards. The realism and sophistication of Microgaming’s Gold Series is brought out as you play on this large-as-life walnut burr table and become part of the excitement in the game. Enjoy Progressive Poker at its best in this table game.
The sweeping indictment that took place April 15th 2011 took down some of the biggest names in online poker including Pokerstars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. Since then other poker rooms have followed suit and took their business out of the USA marketplace.
It just got worse as time went on and we have seen more and more casinos and poker rooms removing themselves from the USA market and going all out to make sure they stay away from the watchful eye of the Department of Justice. It’s nowhere near over as far as the legislation is concerned, however, Pokerstars seem to be thriving more now than in the past.
Full Tilt Poker was not as lucky. They have completely closed down shop to all players causing speculation of money troubles and legal woes. The truth is still not completely black and white and the details are being kept private as there is some hope that another brand will purchase FT in the near future. Some of the claims against FT are quite scary but I won’t go into detail until things are proven.
Absolute Poker and UB.com, both owned and operated by the same management, are still going strong as well. It will take more than a criminal indictment to bring them down as we all have seen the brand behind the group in very compromising positions in the past and they still somehow made it in the industry without affecting their bottom line.
As far as other poker rooms, there are still a few that are accepting USA players like Luvin Poker, Cake Poker and Carbon, however; there is a final blow to the industry coming very shortly. Bodog Poker is halting all business with USA players in the next few weeks and it will be interesting to see how they do without the huge USA player base.
It all boils down to making it and survival and it seems that Full Tilt just couldn’t handle the pressure. Only time will tell just how much impact the industry will sustain due to the Black Friday events. For complete details keep checking back to TheCanadianGambler.com as updates will be added when they become available.
Personally, I don’t think it’s a huge loss. I’m not much of a poker player, but I have heard many bad things about these big online poker sites and it makes me wonder how often the games were actually fair. It seems to me that you have a better chance of a fair game by playing at smaller online poker sites.
The arrests were made up of the founders and payment processors that were illegally processing USA player transactions for real money bets at the sites listed. They will face criminal charges such as fraud and money laundering, amongst other charges that could still be laid, you never know with US law enforcement.
No one knows what the future may hold for the four poker rooms affected by this, but it is starting to look as if it is trickling down into some online casino decisions regarding USA players.
Rival Gaming, one of the leading online casino providers, has announced shortly after the happenings with the poker rooms, that they will no longer be accepting new USA player registrations. This is big news for all US based players as there were already a limited amount of choices for them to place their online bets. The Rival Gaming brand has not officially released a statement for players regarding this issue, however; emails were sent to a few players which they posted on numerous message boards.
It’s really too soon to tell what will happen in the next few weeks regarding other USA friendly brands, and it’s only speculation that other poker rooms will also be shut down. The most important thing players should remember when playing online is that there are still poker rooms and online casinos that welcome the business of American players.
In fact, Absolute Poker and UB.com have stated that they are only waiting to find more means to process transactions for USA players and business will be back to normal fairly soon. Is it wise for players to keep placing bets at these poker sites? Not really, it’s likely that the government will only crackdown harder on these sites and lock accounts or seize player funds. It’s probably better for USA players to find alternative poker sites to get their poker fix online, at least for the time being anyway. I apologize to any US visitors, but I don’t know of any off hand.
A quick web search or a quick visit to a reputable online poker portal will assist players in finding one of these sites that weren’t affected by the Black Friday ordeal. These sites will probably be safer to place real money bets than those under the watchful eye of the Department of Justice.
PokerStars and Full Tilt have taken another route and decided it best to halt all USA player transactions and game play. This may prove to be a smart move when it comes time to regulate and license online gaming operations in the USA. PokerStars and Full Tilt are the biggest names in online poker and it would be a shame to see them taken away from the USA player forever, like so many online casinos that no longer accept players from the US
If you’re looking to place a bet on Super Bowl XLVI, I suggest checking out Sports Interaction. This online sportsbook is one of the few that I have found that focuses more on North American sports than European sports.
Their main focus is Canadian sports, since Americans are not allowed to place bets with them, but the NFL and Super Bowl are popular here in Canada so they have put a lot of effort into making your betting experience easy and enjoyable for the event.
After the Super Bowl, feel free to check out all their other betting options. If you’re a big hockey fan like me, you’ll enjoy the many options they have for betting on hockey all over the world, including junior hockey in Canada (OHL, WHL, and QMJHL).
Sports Ineraction is licensed in Canada by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
Here are some direct links to the special pages Sports Interaction has put together for betting on the Super Bowl:
Add even more excitement to the weekend and bet on the 2010 Grey Cup game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Alouettes.
This is a rematch of last year where the Alouettes beat the Riders due to a major blunder on the last play, the Riders had too many men on the field. This was of course made into a big joke since the “13th Man” (Riders home crowd) was always a great asset to the team and that phrase was used many times when the Roughriders were the topic of discussion.
Montreal and Saskatchewan met twice in the regular season, both games were very exciting and very close, needing overtime to decide the winner of each game. The first matchup ended with the Riders winning 54-51 in overtime, and the second game saw the Alouettes win 30-26 in double overtime.
Saskatchewan ended the season with a record of 10-8, while Montreal ended it with a better 12-6 record. The Riders looked rough heading to the playoffs and many thought they wouldn’t make it this far, but they managed to beat BC and Calgary to get them to the Grey Cup where hopefully they will get revenge for the loss last year.
Many feel the Alouettes are the favorite heading into this Grey Cup rematch, but I’m picking the Roughriders to edge them out in another close game that may even need overtime to decide the winner again. They could have won it last year, and I don’t think they’ll be making the same mistake again.
Update: Well I was right about it being a close game, but Montreal got the win 21-18 after a bad play by Darian Durant, the Saskatchewan quarterback, with under a minute left in the 4th quarter. He was almost sacked after having plenty of time to get rid of it, made a poor throw in an attempt to get it out of bounds, it was intercepted and the game was over.