According to a story today in the Wilmington News Journal (delawareonline.com) IGT’s DoubleDown has launched the first phase of online gaming. The free play games including slots, poker, blackjack and roulette are available to players in any jurisdiction. The expected launch of real money games is seen to be coming at the end of October. Only players within Delaware’s borders will be able to play the money games. Dover Downs Hotel & Casino CEO Ed Sutor is quoted in the article. Delaware Secretary of Finance Tom Cook is quoted extensively.
The free games are expected to draw players to Delaware casinos, but more importantly, the Double Down launch is designed to get real money players who frequent land casinos accustomed to an online gaming environment. The provider of real money games in Delaware will be a coalition comprised of Scientific Games (the state lottery contractor) and 888 Holdings; the legendary rogue casino operator infamous for their predatory bonus money traps (stealing players winnings) and guerrilla marketing techniques. 888 is also well known in the affiliate community as bad dealers. A list of internet articles outlining their history of less than fair play can be found on the pages of “Games and Casino” although a simple search will yield similar results.
Informed readers will recall that although 888 was granted the first license for Nevada online gaming, it was a subsidiary of Station Casinos, Ultimate Gaming, that launched the first poker games in the Silver State. We have not researched the ultimate holder of that license at this point. The Nevada launch was not without hiccups. Aside from the unfortunate choice of brand names (UltimateBet was found to be cheating players with “super user” accounts about 5 years ago) the brain trusts at Station decided to hire Iovation for identity verification. Iovation is headed up by former UltimateBet CEO Greg Pierson. This resulted in an inquiry from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB). Not a great way to enter the fray. There will be stumbles, but it’s not like they didn’t have 7 years to prepare for the day, you know?
According to Delaware Secretary of Finance Tom Cook mobile access to the games is expected soon and although not quoted specifically, “...he hopes to sign an interstate compact with Nevada in early 2014 that will allow online poker players in both states to sit at the same virtual tables.”
Stay tuned as we report on any developments in regulatory approval in Nevada in regard to opening up the rest of the games approved by the law there. So far only poker has regulatory guidelines, but all casino games are authorized. We will also be commenting soon on New Jersey’s decision to tap the founder and current chief of the Malta Lotteries and Gambling Authority (LGA) as their consultant for online gaming. The LGA has a terrible reputation as a rubber stamp organization with no actual oversight of operators and is currently being audited by the Maltese government over their handling of Everleaf Poker and other matters; presumably Purple Lounge. Everleaf players have been waiting a year and a half for their “ring fenced” funds to be returned. Purple Lounge had their license canceled by the LGA in the self same moment that the authority could have moved to restore player’s funds.
If you know of an operator behaving in a way that is unbefitting of the trust you gave in regards to the simple contractual obligation of paying a bet laid, please drop us a note on the WorldCasinoDirectory forums and we can talk about it. If we know of a way to help we will point you in the best direction.
editors note: Our host has graciously suggested that I use the past tense of “lay” rather than the past participle of “lie” in regards to what has occurred with your money when you get screwed by a casino. I concur and have changed “lain” to “laid” because the humour could have been lost on some readers and the impropriety and injudicious use of language may have been construed as a faux pas or a socially awkward or tactless act as well as making the author seem clueless. The author has a clue, and thanks our host for correcting this grammatical error. We have decided to send Lars to grammar camp for the rest of the summer.