There may be another mega-merger on the horizon. Ladbrokes and 888 are talking about merging to form a mega online gaming company. Powered by Microgaming, Ladbrokes offers all online gambling products. The company, 888, owns software provider Dragonfish. Ladbrokes has valued 888 at around $314 million. Both companies have also told the London Stock Exchange they are in preliminary talks. Talks Initiated in 2006
Despite the excitement, this is not the first time these two companies have discussed a merger. In 2006, talks were initiated but did not proceed due to the passage of the UIGEA in the United States. At this time, 888 was nearly double its current value. One potential issue that could arise is the fact that 888 does not have a non-prosecution agreement with the United States Department of Justice for activities before the UIGEA.
The Decline In Share Price
At the end of May 2010, 888 posted a profit warning which caused a 13 percent decline in share price. Since that time there has been a great deal of speculation as to who will bid on their stock. In August 2010, the CEO of 888 stated the company will be talking with other gaming operators as well, one of whom was Ladbrokes. At that time Ladbrokes highlighted that it was too early to speculate on specific conclusions. The Future of Online Gaming
The future of online gaming is currently a huge topic in the industry and is constantly being discussed at expos and conferences. These discussions are based on the national regulation of online gambling in Europe and the expectation that it will become legal in the United States. Therefore, the prediction has been made that the online gaming market will eventually be cornered by a select few operators and smaller operations will shut down.
As the industry is currently seeing, this prediction is becoming a reality. Just this past year, PartyGaming merged with BWin to form a massive online gaming company. If Ladbrokes and 888 merge, this will be another step in that direction. Although larger companies will have the resources to entice new and retain old players, there will be a lack of selection and choice which could result in a lack of innovation and hurt the industry.
A large bearing on the gaming industry moving in this direction will be the legalization of online gambling in the United States. This could result in plenty of new companies opening their virtual doors adding new selection.
In the not-so-distant past, slot machines paid out by spilling quarters into a tray at the bottom of the machine. The player then collected the quarters into a bucket and drug them to the cashier stand where they could be traded in for larger bills. Recently, most casinos have switched to a voucher system for their slot machines. These ticket systems benefit both the casino and the players in many ways, but there are some downsides to the system.
Losing Your Ticket Is The Same As Losing Your Wallet
For some reason, most people have an easier time keeping track of actual cash than they do their slot machine ticket. This could be due to the fact that the ticket is only one small piece of paper and it can easily get lost if placed in a pocket or tossed casually in a purse. Be sure to keep your ticket safe, those little pieces of paper can mean big money and there is nothing you can do if you lose one.
If You Forget To Redeem Your Ticket, You Could Lose Your Winnings
If you walk out of the casino with your slot machine ticket in hand, forgetting to cash it out, you may be risking losing your winnings. Most casinos have a limit on how long the ticket is good for, but typically, this range falls within thirty to ninety days. This is fine if you plan to visit the casino again, but if you were on vacation and leave with the ticket, you face some difficult times ahead. Some casinos offer a mail-in policy. If you mail the ticket in with all of your information, they will mail you a check equal to your winnings. However, not all casinos have this policy and some require that you show up in person to redeem a ticket.
Sometimes You May Forget Your Ticket Is Actually cash
The ticket system makes it easy for people to forget that they are playing with their money and not just “credits.” This can cause players to spend more than they intended, play a machine longer than they wanted, or go over their betting limit. Remember that your ticket is worth money and so are the amount of “credits” you see on the screen.
If you are careful with your ticket, the voucher system on coin-less slot machines may actually be a more enjoyable experience for you at the casino than the traditional slot machines.
Gambling in an online casino is exhilarating. Modern technology has made it possible to visit a casino any time we want, day or night. Unfortunately, modern technology also made it possible for your identity to get stolen online, your computer to be hacked, and viruses to destroy your hard drive. You probably know it is a good idea to protect your computer while you are playing in an online casino, but do you realize how important it is?
Your Identity Can Be Stolen
When you sign up for an online casino you give the casino a lot of your personal and financial information. Your full name, home address, phone number, date of birth, bank account number, routing information, and credit card numbers all go into the application of your new online casino membership. While most online casinos employ the height of security protection, online hackers may still be able to retrieve your information. This means, that a hacker could have access to all of your private information and charge up a storm on your credit card or bank accounts before you even realize what has happened.
Websites Can Have Worms
Worms in a way are very similar to that can of worms you use to catch fish. A worm is deployed on a website and it hooks personal information. While not all of this information is used to steal your identity, it can be. Even if your identity is not stolen, you still open your computer to a whole host of other problems if you catch a worm while browsing the internet.
Downloads Can Carry Viruses
Most online casinos require you to download their software. This software allows you to play online casino games seamlessly. Despite the best efforts of the casino’s IT department, a virus may occasionally be attached to these files. Once you execute the file onto your computer, you execute the virus as well. This virus can eat away at your computer’s internal system, making the device unusable. It will take a vast knowledge of computer software and hardware, or a lot of time and money to correct the problem once the virus has worked its way into your computer. While most online casinos are completely safe to browse and play in, it does not hurt to take the extra step and protect your computer yourself.