This week's news roundup brings you news of a unique partnership between William Hill and Mastercard, a new research initiative from the Responsible Gambling Authority on addictive behaviour in Bingo and a guilty plea from the operator of a rogue Bitcoin site.
For Everything Else, There's Mastercard
William Hill has always been a big player in the gaming world, so it comes as no surprise that they are once again at the cutting edge of the industry with their brand new Mastercard partnership. The alliance was created to solve a widespread problem in gambling – the uncomfortable waiting time between winning a bet and having the funds in your account to spend. This is where the all-new priority access card comes into play.
This is a pre-paid card, which allows customers instant access to their William Hill casino funds to use as payment in any store that accepts credit and debit cards. This is clearly a huge step in the gaming market and was recognised as such at the 2015 eGaming Review Marketing and Innovation Awards, for which it won best innovation of the year! That's not the only thing William Hill have been up to recently however. Stick with this article to find out more…
RGT Launch Research Into Bingo
The Responsible Gambling Trust has begun new research into the ‘nature and extent of problem gambling behaviour' in licensed Bingo operations in Great Britain. The folks at the RGT certainly have the best interests of the general public in mind, seeking to identify potentially addictive forms of gambling and provide support to those people with gambling-related issues.
The RGT and the Bingo Association have extended a request to all licensed bingo retail operators to provide data and practical support to the research programme, which will have a total budget of up to £125,000. Research is scheduled to begin in September and a final report is expected in spring 2016.
RGT has developed and maintains good relationships with the bingo industry and the Bingo Association has confirmed that bingo operators will participate in this project. For more information on responsible gambling please check out our self-exclusion guide.
Rogue Bitcoin Operator Pleads Guilty
Whilst many in the industry will believe Micon deserved a harsher punishment, this is certainly welcome news in an area of the gambling industry plagued by fraudsters and woolly casino outfits, which aren't properly safeguarding customers.
Micon faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted, however it is reported that he agreed to plead guilty in order to avoid jail. As such, he will now complete an undetermined probation on a felony count of operating an unlicensed interactive gaming system, in addition to paying a $25,000 fine and giving up computers, $900 in cash and 3.0996 Bitcoins seized during the raid earlier this year.
Free Real-Time Poker Rounds with NYX
NYX Gaming Group have announced a nice new feature for fans playing real-time poker. They will be adding free rounds at the casino as a prize for players reaching new achievements. This new reward comes off the back of NYX launching new Instant Rewards Technology and the acquisition of Ongame Poker Network by NYX.
Players will be given the instant rewards to be use at the brand spankers NYX OGS casino at the NYX Poker Client. As they progress through the various different achievements on on real time poker they will accrue these new bonuses. Players will be challenged to reach various achievements, diversifying their gaming experience and hopefully making the game more exciting as a result.
Bet365 Introduces Slots Club
The proviso of Bet365‘s Slots Club is that players earn at least 50 ‘comp' points across 10 different days in the same month, with the next qualifying period beginning on on July 1st and lasting until the end of the month.
Bet365 Casino has implemented a system in which you receive a larger bonus for generating more points across more individual days. Therefore, based on the structure in place, players will accrue at least £5 for generating 50 comp points over 10 days. For players who manage 4,000 points over 25 days, the reward will be a staggering £1,000. Bet365 has also set the wagering requirements at just 8x the bonus amount, which is far more attractive than many of the dedicated slots casinos on the market.
So how do you generate your points? Bet365 have also, somewhat generously, based their system on the amount wagered as opposed to the amount spent. This means you don't have to continually pump fresh money into your bankroll to gain comp points. Every £10 wagered will result in 3 points being gained. Fantastic stuff from Bet365!
William Hill Launches Start-Up Scheme
And now back to William Hill for yet another collaboration from this gaming giant. It has partnered with investment fund L Marks to create WHLabs, a scheme which will offer up to eight fledgling technology start-ups a place on their twelve-week accelerator programme running from September to December 2015.
Each successful applicant will win an initial investment of £25,000 along with office space for the duration of the programme in either William Hill’s digital innovation hub in Shoreditch, East London or in its Tel Aviv office. This is undoubtedly a fantastic move for William Hill, as not only will the move encourage industry innovation (something we all know they're great at), but they will also have their finger on the pulse of the hottest new industry talent.
The start-ups will be granted access to William Hill APIs, as well as being mentored by William Hill leaders and third-party entrepreneurs. They will also be competing to win up to £150,000 in further investment. A very shrewd move on William Hill's behalf.