Casino Watch - January

7 January 2003
Golden Palace Live

Many I-gaming operators talk about plans for launching "live" games, but the industry has been generally slow to adopt such technology., one of the largest and longest-running Internet casinos has broken from the pack

GP teamed up with gaming software company Casino Reality to develop live-play versions of blackjack and roulette. Players will observe the games using a video feed similar to the systems already implemented by and Hamburg Spielbank. Roulette players watch a real person spinning the wheel; blackjack players watch an actual person dealing the out the cards. Users can also chat with the dealers in real time.

The system is based on video feeds and technology that Casino Reality developed more than a year ago.

Golden Palace has branded the software "Golden Palace LIVE." The games can be played at GP said the live games have been refined enough so that players with dialup connections can participate.

Richard Rowe, the CEO of, feels adding live gaming to Internet sites is a logical next step for the interactive gaming industry.

"The goal for our industry has always been to create the most realistic interface possible," he said. "With Golden Palace LIVE, we have evolved from a computer game to a virtual link between casino and player. It's not like the real thing, it is the real thing."

Rowe added that for all the sophistication of a live system, Golden Palace has created a very user-friendly platform. After downloading the original software and registering for Real Play, players can select Golden Palace LIVE from the main menu and begin enjoying the live games almost immediately.

Not only is the technology advancement important in the evolution of the Golden Palace site, he said, but having a live feed should increase the site's player base, as skeptical players can now have proof that online games aren't fixed.

"Golden Palace LIVE is ideal for people who enjoy the convenience of online gaming, but still prefer to watch a real person deal their cards on a real table," Rowe said. "It truly is the best of both worlds."

Casino Reality has also licensed its software to

Binion's Joins Ranks of Online Operators

Add Binion's Horseshoe Hotel & Casino to the growing list of Las Vegas-based casinos adding virtual casino games to their Web sites.

The company joined fellow Vegas-based operators Harrah's, MGM Mirage and Hard Rock Cafe in rolling out a play-for-fun online casino accessible at its Web site.

The new site also signifies Access Gaming Systems Ltd.'s (AGS) first relationship with a U.S.-based operator. In addition to developing the software for the virtual casino, the Irish gaming technology company is hosting the site--the first time it has done that since 1996.

Binion's is one of the better-established brands in Las Vegas, most notably as the long-time host of the World Series of Poker, one of the most prestigious poker tournaments in the world.

The site doesn't yet feature table poker, but Binion's will have the option of integrating AGS's new multiplayer poker software upon its release in the first quarter of 2003.

32Red Casino Helps Jackpot Madness Reach New Heights

Microgaming's enormously successful progressive jackpot portal site, Jackpot Madness, reached new heights last month, thanks in large part to a new online casino.

The site has exceeded $80 million in total payouts in 28 months of operation. 32Red pushed the total over the $80 million mark when it paid out more than $166,000 to a winner on its Cyberstud Poker.

Stanley Leisure Given Extension for London Clubs Bid

Hoping to get a deal done within the first quarter of this year, U.K. officials have given Stanley Leisure a Jan. 22 deadline to make a decision regarding its bid to purchase London Clubs International.

England's Takeover Panel has told the company to either make an offer or withdraw the bid, which was made jointly with private equity group Hg Capital.

In December, LCI rebuffed the companies' £250 million bid, calling the offer "ridiculous."

The bid valued LCI at 25 pence per share; the rejection meant it had to come back with a better offer to avoid taking the bid hostile.

But Stanley said it would only proceed with the deal on an amicable basis. Under the original proposal, Stanley would take over the London-based casino properties, while Hg Capital would take over the company's international properties.