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Microgaming Announces Release of Reel Spinner

Microgaming, supplier of award-winning casino, poker and bingo software, has announced details for the upcoming release in July of Reel Spinner, a five reel, 15 pay-line fishing-themed game which features colourful maritime symbols, an exciting soundtrack, and a brand new game feature.

The game is set to go live on 9th July 2016 to Microgaming and Quickfire operators on desktop, mobile and tablet. This follows the successful launch in June of Pretty Kitty, a cross-platform 5.3 reel slot game with 243 ways-to-win.

Three or more scatter symbols trigger a novel two-stage bonus round, whereby players must first choose a boat to reveal the number of free spins awarded, with a maximum of 20. They then spin the fishing reel in order to reveal the free spins multiplier of up to 5x. With the availability of wins worth 112,500.00 credits, in-built achievements and free games, the slot is set to be quite a catch with new as well as existing players.

“This game combines a great theme with a solid maths engine, containing a fun and new-fangled feature,” commented Neill Whyte, Head of Product Channels at Microgaming. “We know players like fresh content with unique features, so we expect Reel Spinner to be a popular addition to our ever-growing games portfolio.”

BetVictor Casino Announces Real Cash Giveaway of £100,000

BetVictor Casino, an independent bookmaker, has announced that it will be giving away £100,000 in real cash over a course of four weeks.

The offer began last Thursday and has already paid out £25,000 to 500 lucky players, and there are still three weeks remaining for players to get their share of the Real Cash Giveaway.

Players will be selected at random to a share of £25,000 in cash for each of the four weeks, with prizes ranging from £10 to the £5,000 weekly jackpot. In order to qualify, players simply have to opt in and place a minimum of 20 real-money bets during the weekly promotional period.

This offer complements BetVictor’s ongoing Million Pound Goal campaign, which will see a guaranteed giveaway of £1,000,000 on the final of Euro2016.

The offer also marks the start of a new direction for BetVictor Casino, which has stated that it will deliver more similar offers in the coming months.

Emma Tompkins, Head of Casino at BetVictor, commented: “The Real Cash Giveaway will guarantee that 500 of our customers will win their share of £25,000 each week, over the next four weeks. We’re delighted to be able to offer this kind of outstanding value to our customers; Simple As.”

BetConstruct Plans to Challenge the UK Market Status Quo

BetConstruct, an award-winning developer and provider of online and land-based betting and gaming solutions, has said that it is going to challenge the status quo in the UK supply chain now that the UK Gambling Commission has granted it a Combined Remote Operating License.

Vale Baloulian, CEO of BetConstruct, said: “The Combined Remote Operating License by the UK Gambling Commission widens the path for BetConstruct to one of the most important gaming and betting markets – the United Kingdom. Although this market is mature and somewhat saturated, we believe what BetConstruct has to offer is quite unique and can be the differentiator the operators are looking for.

“Being headquartered in the UK, we have studied this market for a long time now. We look forward to challenging the status quo there with the new technologies and services we have developed in recent years.”

This license adds to BetConstruct’s other licenses granted by the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gambling Authority, as well as other jurisdictions that allow BetConstruct to help its partners to meet necessary requirements to operate in different regions.

The UK regulator has just announced that Tim Miller will be joining as Executive Director with oversight of corporate affairs, stakeholder engagement, and the evidence and analysis team. Currently, Miller is the Head of Policy and Communications at the Local Government Ombudsman and is to join the Commission at the end of August.

Sarah Harrison, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Tim to the Gambling Commission leadership team. He brings excellent communications, policy and research expertise to the Commission’s vital work to help keep gambling fair, safe and free from crime.”

Meanwhile, the Commission has announced that, trading as Blue Riband Bet, the Blue Riband Gaming and Leisure Limited is no longer operating and has surrendered its operating license and personal management licenses. The boutique bookmaker had been overseen by a previous management team from Marathonbet.

BetConstruct will be one of the exhibitors showcasing at SiGMA16, Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year. If you are interested in joining this iGaming summit in November and seeing BetConstruct along with other exhibitors, click here to register.

William Hill –England v Wales Betting Expects £35m Turnover

Due to an unfortunate late goal, England’s Euro 2016 might not have started as well as planned, but Wales enjoyed the exact kind of start that they had been hoping for.

In a game that is expected to attract around £35million worth of turnover for the betting industry, William Hill, a bookmaker based in the United Kingdom, has priced England at 4/7 to defeat Wales.

Joe Crilly, William Hill Spokesman, said: “£35million worth of turnover would far surpass the total takings on any match this season. Despite England being clear favourites to win this match we expect anything but a rarebit of Welsh cash as they back their boys to beat the old enemy.”

Russia’s late goal against England sparked a £5million swing for William Hill, as well as projected a £25million swing for the industry.

Crilly went on to say: “An England defeat would have been around a £3m loser for us yet ended up as a £2m winner. England’s failure to defeat Russia was perhaps the best result we have seen after the favourites have largely done the business for our punters.”

888poker Signs the World’s Greatest Online Tournament Player

888poker yesterday announced that Chris Moorman, the best player in the history of online poker tournaments, has been newly signed as an ambassador for the brand.

With more than $13 million in winnings as well as a record breaking 25 triple crowns, it’s no surprise that he would be in demand to represent a prominent internet site such as 888poker.

Moorman, now easily found online under his new screen-name “888moorman”, spoke about the opportunity to join the site, saying: “My manager started speaking with an 888 representative and when she proposed the idea to me I was incredibly excited. 888 is doing big things and really is working hard to expand their reach in poker. Things like sponsoring the WSOP and the Super High Roller Bowl have shown they are committed to their growth of the brand and I can’t wait to see what they have coming up in the future.”

Back in February, as a member of the Global Poker League’s London Royals, Moorman topped a field of 777 entries to win the 888 Sunday Challenge for $18,840. Not only was this the score that put him above the celebrated $13 million mark in online tournament winnings, but it also marked his second largest score on the site; he had won the same event on 20th December 2015 for $19,720.

His biggest online cash ever was in 2011 when he finished third in the Full Tilt Poker Special $1,000 Monday event with $235,592; marking one of his four six-figure online scores.

The signing comes exactly one year after 888poker brought Dominik Nitsche on. Moorman is excited to join him, as well as the likes of Kara Scott, Sofia Lövgren, and former Brazilian World Cup star Denilson, as members of Team 888poker.

“They are all great players and ambassadors of the game,” Moorman said. “Also they all gave such a warm welcome to the team and I am excited to represent the site alongside them. Dominik is one of the best players in the world; to have won 3 bracelets at his age is an incredible achievement. I’ve known Kara for a long time and [she] does an incredible job presenting and is a great poker player as well.”

Moorman also revealed that he will start streaming some 888poker final tables on Twitch, which his many fans will surely follow.

888Poker will be showcasing at SiGMA16; Malta’s biggest upcoming gaming event of the year. If you would like to come and see 888Poker along with other exhibitors at this iGaming summit in November, click here to register.

Francesco Rodano Joins Playtech

Playtech, a gambling software development company, has today announced that former Italian online gaming regulator, Francesco Rodano, has joined the firm’s executive management team as Chief Policy Officer.

Working out of the UK office, Rodano will report to Mor Weizer, the group’s chief executive officer.

Rodano’s new role will see him engaging with policy-makers to advise company executives on governmental policies at local, state, national and EU levels. Rodano will also be tasked with seeking out new business opportunities for Playtech’s growing international presence.

Playtech is set to benefit from over 18 years of experience that Rodano has gained from working with a number of different online businesses, with his last nine years spent at AAMS; the Italian gambling regulatory authority, where he was responsible for managing and leading the country’s online gaming regulation.

While at AAMS, Rodano reformed the Italian regulatory framework and oversaw the introduction of a comprehensive range of regulated online products, including poker in 2008 and casino games in 2011, attracting over 100 licensees to the market.

During his tenure, Italian gross gambling revenue grew to above €800 million, making it Europe’s second largest regulated market, with Italy becoming a successful case study for other regulators whose countries have or are soon to be regulated. In 2008, he was also awarded the IMGL’s Regulator of the Year award.

Since 2012, Rodano has been a member of the European Commission’s Group on Gambling Services, where he supported a draft of the formal initiatives recently adopted by the Commission.

Mor Weizer, CEO at Playtech, said “Thanks to his professional achievements and his personal stature, Francesco has become a highly influential figure in the international online gambling arena. We’re delighted he has chosen to join Playtech and I’m sure he will provide an invaluable contribution to the further growth of the company.”

Francesco Rodano said “After many years spent as a regulator, I’m excited to move to the industry side and to join Playtech at a time when focus on regulated markets is a global priority. Playtech has a talented and respected management team and I am really looking forward to supporting them on public policy matters.”

DIY SEO for brand & reputation management

In today’s dog-eat-dog world of online gambling, Brand Protection and Reputation Management has become one of the top “paid-for” services. Search Engine Optimisation (a.k.a. SEO), Paid Search, Email and Retention used to be the model of a successful internet marketing plan. In 2014 the spend on Reputation Management and Brand Protection has nearly equalled SEO and PPC spend for the companies that invest heavily online and offline to promote their brand. Add to this Social Media and you have a very full plate to be concerned about.

Brand Protection and Reputation Management are like driving a car; Better to be on the defensive, not the offensive side. Being proactive as opposed to reactive can mean thousands or millions, depending on your approach.

Brand Protection

Brand Protection is sometimes needed because someone is ‘cybersquatting’ on your domain name with a different extension (e.g..net, .it or .com.mt). They are either holding you hostage over the domain or, as an Affiliate or competitor, attempting to draw traffic by using your brand. It could even be a disgruntled but SEO-skilled individual as I have seen many times. But that’s more about Reputation Management and I’ll cover that later.

Proactive Strategy – The truth be told, anyone can buy a domain with your brand in the domain or not, have advanced knowledge of SEO and rank for your brand name. Then they either build traffic and attempt to sell you the site, or they sign up as an Affiliate through you or a third-party and steal your traffic. PPC, although not as effective as in the past, used to be a goldmine for this type of strategy: They bid on your brand.

The obvious solution is to copyright your name, regulate your A

Example: Dragonara Casino Search

Example: Dragonara Casino Search

ffiliate agreements and enforce the DMCA when necessary. The not-so-obvious solution is to use a domain monitor tool like DomainTools.com. This tool takes your brand (or keyword) and monitors any domain purchases that include it and notifies you. While this may not be a solution to the problem it gives you the information you need to know to help deter the buyer from DMCA actions. TIP – Google has a tool that will allow the site owner to manually remove a page/ website. This may be a useful if you have fallen in to the next category.

Reactive Strategy – In most cases the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) can protect you against a direct violation such as using your copyrighted brand in their URL (website address), using your logo or selling your goods or services using your brand. Usually this can be accomplished without the “Lawyer Letter” needed in the past. In fact many blackhat SEO’s regularly send fake DMCA violation reports to big names like GoDaddy and 1&1 to get sites taken down for a short period. Unfortunately this ‘short period’ for some can amount to millions.

Reputation Management

Reputation Management is necessary in many situations. Some of the projects we have worked on have deserved the negative posts, whether from an individual, an organization or a watchdog site. Others are simply victims of a competitors questionable practices meant to slander their rivals in an attempt to scrape clients away from them. In either case we approach them the same.

I have seen these types of seemingly rare cases escalate into full-blown war, fuel a blow-back that cost a company millions, and yes, even put some out of business all together.

The internet and the inception of Social Media has changed the playing field from a one-on-one phone call or email, to a completely public forum where everything is exposed to the public and can sometimes go very wrong for a company if not handled appropriately. We have seen teams of people posting bogus negative reviews on websites like ScamVictimsUnited and SiteJabber and these same teams visit the other members posts and “agree’, ‘vote’ or ‘like’ them to the point that it takes on a viral head of steam that gets completely out of control. These services are for sale right now.

Unfortunately in some cases the company does not deserve this type of slanderous feedback, but a disgruntled punter on a gaming site, a guy that didn’t meet his soulmate on a dating site, or a traveller that got a bad waiter one night and they decided to vent it publicly. Even worse is that in this day and time in an online environment a company receives good feedback from 1 out of 10 clients. They receive bad feedback from nearly 8 out of 10.

Then you have the overly outspoken drama-king, the “I’m having a bad day” guy, or of course the individual that no one could ever please under any circumstances.

 

Proactive Strategy – Of course a proactive strategy is difficult to incorporate if you don’t know when or where this negative feedback will show it’s ugly head, but there are ways to proactively spend time putting things in place that could help minimize any negative aspects due to actions taken, or not taken on your part.

The first thing that we do before undertaking a new project is to evaluate the damage that is done. Not necessarily the story or the credibility behind it. (That is left for when everything else has been done and you just need to pay them off if possible, or make them happy…but we have never reached that point…knock on wood).

Then we look at the top 100 search results and categorise them into the good, the bad and the ugly. Here’s the difference;

• The Good – Very few social media sites showing in top 10-20 positions. Neutral or positive comments/feedback or reviews – Proactive Campaign

• The Bad – A derogatory comment or single review ranking top 10 – Reactive Campaign

• The Ugly – Multiple negative listings in the top 1-20 results, multiple user-generated negative comments, bad reviews on review sites, negatives like WOT ratings and Google ratings/ votes, brand-smashing websites created by competitors, etc.

– Reactive Campaign: The Proactive strategy here is to dominate the top 5, then the top 10, then the top 20 for your brand search. The way we do this is by dominating search results with a mixture of social media, press releases, optimized images, pdf renderings, doc files, sub-domains, subdirectories, multibrand domains, multiple domain name extensions and aggressive posting on various other sites like Wikipedia that rank high due to natural trust and authority earned through Google algorithms.

The strategy here is to create and/or push your YouTube, Facebook, Twitter accounts, website images, press releases, reviews etc. up in to the top results because they represent your brand, and they will prevent a dual-listing from say a disgruntled client or an evil competitor from showing up in any search results.

These Social Media sites usually adapt a ‘DMCA-style’ approach. So if you have a copyrighted brand it is possible to get a rogue Social Media account (your brand) back, or even get these sites/accounts taken down or banned. Another proactive measure would be to monitor your brand on multiple levels. When your brand is mentioned you need to know about it…good or bad.

Google Alerts – Create a Google Alert to monitor your brand or website and email you immediately when it finds any results. This will be in real-time. When I have a new client the first thing I do is add multiple specialised and global monitoring tools;

• Technorati – Blogs

• YackTrack – Social Media

• TweetBeep – Twitter mentions

• Filtrbox – only delivers most relevant and credible mentions

• SocialMention – searches user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos, and microblogging services

All of these services can email or send you an SMS immediately. This is the best time to handle the problem. But if you are notified of negative content you have unfortunately dropped into the Reactive Strategy category.

Reactive Strategy – At the end of the day there will always be the one that you couldn’t manage to budge a bit. We have had situations where somehow someone upset a person to the point of no return, and even the offer of a cash settlement wasn’t an options. We have also had clients that had ruthless competitors that would stop at nothing to become more successful or hurt the clients rankings or reputation. Posting bad reviews, pointing bad links, hiring voter-teams to steer a negative results or creating a website specifically naming & shaming you, all of these are real threats.

Unfortunately in these cases, when you have done everything else you can to protect your interests, you need to fight fire with fire.

The mission here is to get the top 10 results showing for a brand search and purge the unwanted.

This is where SEO comes in to play.

You have a few options; black hat, grey hat, white hat, and the natural order of things. We are going to concentrate on the white-grey versions.

Pointing bad links using SENuke, posting banned keyword links on 1000’s of blogs with Scrapebox, buying nasty links through services on Fiverr or creating your very own relevant website network, get it penalised, then starting your own little blackhat network is not what I want to tell you about… that’s Blackhat after all.

Google’s Universal Search and their endless updates (the last being the 4.1 Panda) mean that fresh, quality content from trusted sources are websites that carry an unnatural bit of Google Goodness and are considered to be more trustworthy and authoritative in Google’s eyes. Done tactfully you can create or push more of your desired results in to the top 10.

In a few cases we have even created sites that rank top 10 for a certain brand to fill the results with positive content.

Some examples of these sites are Facebook (Pages and Corporate), Twitter, LinkedIn, PRWeb, ABNewswire, Local Directories, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, VK (Russia), Flickr, Vine, Google Images, Google News, Wikipedia and PPC.

All of these referrer sites have the potential for a top 10 listing for your brand, but keep in mind that many websites dominate the rankings with their brand and brand strength. 888 Casino for instance dominates the results with alternate properties as well as subdomains. A search will result in these sites as the top 5 on Google;

1. 888Casino.com 2. 888.com 3. us.888.com 4. 888games.com 5. 888casino.sg There are very effective ways to duplicate this strategy and even take it to the next level and dominate the top 10 with nothing but brand and positive non-brand results.

Conclusion

Losing a top 3 position to negative feedback can be a huge blow. The top 3 non-paid results are funnelled-out to thirdparty sites like iWon, Netscape and AOL.

Additionally they take that traffic from your website. This could amount to thousands of visitors. Losing one spot in the top 10 results can also result in an equal loss, especially if the culprit knows what they are doing and create a damning headline like “YourCasino.com is a Scam!”, so it is important that your strategy towards online marketing includes not only a budget for SEO and PPC, but also content, social media, brand protection and reputation management.

Many companies have watched their hard-earned foundations crumble or revenue earnings undermined due to poor Reputation Management and negative content and/or poor Brand Protection due to a lack of attention.

Cybersquatting, a few indiscriminate Affiliate sites, and competitor efforts prey on these types of companies and look for the weak spots. Many could have been prevented. (i.e. UltimateBet) Get your overall website health in check, monitor 100% of what is online in real-time, take control of the assets you have accessibility to, and have an emergency fund set aside for this sort of thing in case it comes to a worst-case-scenario situation.

At the very least I recommend you have a full-time internal or external Brand/Reputation Management Specialist in your operating budget.

This person/Department/Agency handles everything I have mentioned here, but most importantly he/she/they have experience in negotiation and are very detailed. But most importantly they are not afraid to use hardcore methods required sometimes to win. Put a plan in place now rather than later.

Consider what a few months of losing 40% of your revenue is worth…This is your annual BPRM budget. It is significantly easier and faster to act proactively rather than spending a lot more on fixing the problem already in place. As an Agency 100% of our clients have consistently required problem-fixing rather than defending themselves against these increasingly common negative tactics.

Like they say, “It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it”. Unfortunately the majority of our clients are in the reactive category. And that gets expensive.

This article was submitted by Vanguard Online Media, a specialist in Gaming SEO.