Casino Watch - September 2005

25 August 2005
$5 Million Jackpot this week introduced a slot machine that yields a $5 million jackpot. The company says the jackpot payout for its aptly named "Five Million Dollar Slot Machine" is the largest ever offered online. "We've received tons of feedback from our players about our new jackpot slot," said CEO Richard Rowe. "They love the new $5 million machine, because of the huge potential jackpot, of course, but also because it has a unique twist that makes it more fun and interesting than a normal slot machine."

TV Gambler Gets Violent

Moira Murray's plan to keep her husband Billy from squandering his gambling winnings resulted in a tirade and a night spent behind bars. The British couple's troubles started when Moira hid the television remote control from Billy after he won £75,000 gambling on Sky's Vegas Live TV game show. The ploy to keep her spouse from gambling his winnings away worked for a short time, but eventually drove him to a violent rampage in which he tore up the house looking for the remote. Billy Murray, a 57-year-old grandfather, was sent to the local jail for the night and appeared before Greenock Sheriff Court the next day. Murray, whose TV gambling problems began last month after winning a record-breaking jackpot playing Sky's Super Keno numbers game, admitted he was guilty of disorderly behavior and breach of the peace and was given one year by the sheriff to either clean up his act or face sentencing.

Win a Few Hands, Own a Few Shares

A new poker site due to launch in September will offer frequent players an incentive that's never been seen in the industry: ownership in the site. boasts an awards system in which players' acquired user points can be redeemed for a percentage of ownership. The site will be powered by software from the Excapsa Poker Network, which includes the likes of and

WPT Showcases Young Guns

The World Poker Tour has announced a made-for-TV event that will showcase some of youngest up-and-coming professionals in the poker world. All under the age of 30, the young guns have been setting the poker world on fire. Participants will include law-student-turned-poker-shark Joe Cassidy, 25; East Coast prodigy John D'Agostino, 22; Scott Fischman, 24, named one of the top ten players by Card Player Magazine; Thomas "Thunder" Keller, 24, WPT Boot Camp Instructor; Pete Lawson, 24, nicknamed "Pac Man" for his non-stop talking; and David Williams, 24, often called "The Future of Poker." Travel Channel will carry coverage of the event starting Aug. 31.

CryptoLogic Names New CFO

Online casino and poker software developer CryptoLogic Inc. has announced the appointment of Stephen Taylor as chief financial officer. The new CFO has more than two decades of experience in financial and business management, public markets and mergers and acquisitions. In the last 20 years, he has managed businesses, financed large transactions, spearheaded mergers and acquisitions and helped companies go public and meet the requirements of capital markets. A chartered accountant having qualified in the top 1 percent in Canada, he spent the first 11 years of his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers (formerly Coopers & Lybrand) auditing multinational clients in the manufacturing, mining and financial services sectors. His subsequent posts include senior financial and corporate roles at Derlan Industries, a TSX listed aerospace company; president and COO of Spellcaster Telecommunications, an early-stage private software company; and vice president of mergers and acquisitions with Ernst & Young's corporate finance practice. Gives

Online gambling site is partaking in a charitable program to raise money for fighting starvation in Africa. The online casino began donating money to select aid organizations in July and will continue to do so through the end of August. The "Help Africa" campaign was inspired by Bob Geldof's Live 8 efforts to convince world leaders to significantly boost financial support given to Africa. Through the end of August, is donating a sum equal to 10 percent of all new-player deposits. As an added incentive, is automatically rewarding new customers with a bonus matching 100 percent of their first deposits. The aid organizations are chosen democratically by customers via a player's poll.

PokerStars Bound for IOM

Pokerstars, the world's second biggest online poker company, announced this month that it's moving its operations to the Isle of Man. Industry analysts say the move might have been necessary for the company to explore a float on the London Stock Exchange as it is rumored to be doing. The group, which is controlled by the Scheinberg family of Israel, joins a host of gambling companies eyeing LSE listings alongside Coral Eurobet, Gala Group, Betfair and Cassava Enterprises. PokerStars, currently based in Costa Rica, has secured a license from the Isle of Man government and plans to relocate to the island before the end of the year.

Belle Rock Auctions

Belle Rock Gaming this month added online auctions to its stable of products. Belle Rock Gaming Auctions enables players to bid online on a wide variety of sought-after and collectable items. The auction currency is free "Auctions Points" earned by playing at any of the Belle Rock Gaming online casinos or for a variety of interactions with the casinos. With no reserved bids, players can secure any items at a fraction of their real costs without spending any money. Items on offer include electronic equipment, jewelry, appliances, trips and tickets, home wares, sports equipment and rare collectables. New items are added regularly, and an average of 10 new auctions are hosted every day. One of the hot items on offer this month is a brand new SUV.

InterCasino Awards $1 Million-plus Jackpot recently reported its largest progressive slot payout to date: a $1,067,836 jackpot hit on the site's Lucky Progressive in July. The online casino also recently launched its new CryptoLogic-powered software, Version 7, which features several new games, including two scratch cards and 12 slot games.