Southland Patk Expands

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Just outside of Memphis, in West Memphis, Arkansas, Southland Gaming and Racing has announced a major expansion of their gaming setup and gaming floors. While this space is more than just a casino, it is becoming something that can host many more gamers and many more tourists.

The casino boats on the Mississippi River have been a boon to local economy for quite some time. However, the best destination for tourists has all of the amenities that are coming to Southland. With over 500 new gaming machines, tourists are going to be able to play as much as they want inside the building without ever going out to the track.

Most times, casinos do not have a track attached, but this tourist hub will be able to host gamers who like a little of sports betting as well as traditional gaming.

The facility is also going to focus on having more restaurant and entertainment options inside the facility. With these new amenities, the track hopes to draw in more people then they would with just the track. Extra gaming machines are supposed to make the hub into more of a casino and gaming center in the Mid-South. This will allow for tourists in the area to do more than just hop on a riverboat. Now they can bet at the track and game at the same time.

Greek Gambling Taxes Vex Online Poker Players

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The Rational Group, which operates popular online poker sites PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, announced in November that it will begin withholding taxes from Greek player winnings in order to comply with local tax codes. This change drew the ire of Greek players, many of whom expressed their feelings in a thread on popular poker forum Twoplustwo

Tax Withholding Details

Under the Greek gambling taxation scheme, all winnings of less than €100 are tax-free while a 15 percent tax is applied to all winnings between €100 and €500. Winnings over €500 are subject to a 20 percent tax rate. The appropriate amount of taxes is withheld on a daily basis by the poker room itself. What makes this arrangement especially odious to players is that losing days cannot be used to offset winning days thus making the effective tax rate on winnings much higher than it may seem at first glance.

A Cumbersome Workaround

Affected players quickly realized that tournament registrations are countedaces-cards-poker-gamblingagainst winnings for the purposes of tax collection even if the tournaments in question are scheduled to occur on a future date. Tournament unregistrations count as profits for the days during which the unregistrations take place.

A player who has won €120 on a given day could register for a future €22 tournament in order to bring his daily profits below the €100 threshold. On a future date, when the player has a daily profit below €78, that player could then unregister from the tournament effectively juggling his profits around to minimize tax liability. By this process, dubbed “Taxes hold’em” by online wits, players from Greece can make thousands of euros of taxes per year disappear completely.

An Uncertain Future

The future of Greek online poker looks grim especially for those poker professionals who rely upon the game for their income. Loopholes may be closed in future thus subjecting players to the full brunt of the tax code. Only by allowing players to subtract their losing days from their winning ones will Greece enable a flourishing and sustainable online poker ecology.

European Lotteries React to Philippines Typhoon Disaster

Organizations involved with European lottery funds have faced some pressure starburst wheelto donate funds to Philippine typhoon relief. In at least one case, the lottery fund has responded.

The Philippines were devastated by typhoon Haiyan in November, 2013. The storm left more than four million homeless, and destroyed large parts of the island nation’s infrastructure and industry. Total damage has been estimated at at least £500 million (€590 million).

The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) will make up to £5 million (€5.9 million) available to UK charities for typhoon relief. The fund disperses income gained from the UK’s National Lottery. Typhoon aid distributed from BLF through its International Community Programme will be targeted for rebuilding communities and infrastructure.

Peter Ainsworth, BLF Chair, explained that the fund’s mission supports people and communities most in need. The BLF is coordinating its efforts with a number of UK charities, and its donation will complement other UK relief and rebuilding efforts already underway in the Philippines.

In a related effort, more than 130,000 people signed an online petition asking that an unclaimed £12 million (€14.2 million) prize in the EuroMillions Lottery be donated to typhoon relief efforts. The organizers have been unable to agree to this, due to regulations on how unclaimed prize funds are to be used. The EuroMillions lottery is available in the UK, through the National Lottery, and eight other European nations.

Lottery organizers explained that the money cannot be donated, because it will rollover into the next Lottery prize drawing. While expressing sympathy with the petitioners, a EuroMillions spokesperson explained that the money must be considered the property of lottery players, and used for prizes. As a result, the money from the unclaimed prize will roll over into the next jackpot.

About 28 percent of National Lottery proceeds go to charitable causes and organizations. According to Lottery organizers, this has involved more than 400,000 individual grants total £35 million (€41.5 million).

Organizations involved with European lottery funds have faced some pressure to donate funds to Philippine typhoon relief. In at least one case, the lottery fund has responded.

The Philippines were devastated by typhoon Haiyan in November, 2013. The storm left more than four million homeless, and destroyed large parts of the island nation’s infrastructure and industry. Total damage has been estimated at at least £500 million (€590 million).

The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) will make up to £5 million (€5.9 million) available to UK charities for typhoon relief. The fund disperses income gained from the UK’s National Lottery. Typhoon aid distributed from BLF through its International Community Programme will be targeted for rebuilding communities and infrastructure.

Peter Ainsworth, BLF Chair, explained that the fund’s mission supports people and communities most in need. The BLF is coordinating its efforts with a number of UK charities, and its donation will complement other UK relief and rebuilding efforts already underway in the Philippines.

In a related effort, more than 130,000 people signed an online petition asking that an unclaimed £12 million (€14.2 million) prize in the EuroMillions Lottery be donated to typhoon relief efforts. The organizers have been unable to agree to this, due to regulations on how unclaimed prize funds are to be used. The EuroMillions lottery is available in the UK, through the National Lottery, and eight other European nations.

Lottery organizers explained that the money cannot be donated, because it will rollover into the next Lottery prize drawing. While expressing sympathy with the petitioners, a EuroMillions spokesperson explained that the money must be considered the property of lottery players, and used for prizes. As a result, the money from the unclaimed prize will roll over into the next jackpot.

About 28 percent of National Lottery proceeds go to charitable causes and organizations. According to Lottery organizers, this has involved more than 400,000 individual grants total £35 million (€41.5 million).

Sources:

BigLotteryFund

MetroCoUk

NationalLoterryUK

BigLotteryFund

MetroCoUk

NationalLoterryUK

Conor Murphy Wins $1.5 Million

Conor Murphy was just another stable hand working for a man who trained and raced horses. After watching his boss work with a number of different horses, he realized that one of those creatures stood out amongst the rest.

When he heard that his boss entered the horse in an upcoming race, he sat down and decided how much he could afford to bet.Conor Murphy Wins Just a few months before the race, he put down $75 on the animal and hoped for the best. His bet also covered the other four horses owned by his boss, which led some to question if he even looked at the odds. The odds of all five horses finishing in the top spots was slim to none.

Many people don’t realize that betting in advance can increase the odds of winning. With three months to go before that race, Murphy didn’t know if the track would disqualify the horse based on any issues or if the horse would even be healthy enough to run the race. When race day finally arrived, Murphy walked away with a check for $1.5 million, proving that betting on his boss’s horses was a smart idea.

The Best Bets: Learning What Casino Games Have The Best Odds

Some games at the casino have better odds than the others. You might think that it is all luck based, but there are some specific things that you can look at to help improve your odds at winning money.

Take a look at this infographic to learn about factors like house edge, odds, machine games versus table games, and what games have the best odds. By playing games that minimize the edge the casino has, you can increase your chances of winning.

INFOGRAPHIC - Which Casino Games Have The best Odds

Arm you and your friends with the infographic below and be better prepared the next time you’re at the casino. Thanks to the great folks at Casino UK for producing this insightful piece!

A fan favorite Blackjack

Many people love to play hands of blackjack. It has long been a fan favorite. The game is easy to learn how to play, and people love it when they are able to bring home a little profit with them from the game. The thing about blackjack is that it has long been a game that people were only able to find in brick and mortar casinos for a very long time. That is not the case anymore. Now, the online casinos are getting in on the act, and they are providing players with the chance to play this much loved game whenever they want.

Online Blackjack

The online version of blackjack is played just the same way that it is played in the brick and mortar casinos. The difference is that thereblackjack-cardcounting are more opportunities for bonuses when playing online than what one might find if there were playing in a traditional casino. This is why so many are now logging onto their computers to play the games rather than going to their local casino.

Other Advantages

There are other advantages to playing online that do not have to do with bonuses. This would include the fact that many people like to play online in order to avoid the noise and crowds that come with going to a traditional casino. For some people that is the appeal of the whole experience, but there are many others who are not as interested in that kind of thing.

Those who like to be in the comfort of their own home but still want to gamble should give online gambling a try. They can simply deposit some of the money that they would like to play with into their online account and see what is able to come of it. Some are able to even turn a profit for themselves.

Fast Action

The online casinos offer the fastest possible action when it comes to blackjack because it is all done electronically. There is no wait time for the human dealer to scoop up the cards and there is no lag time for the dealer to shuffle. Everything is done on the computer screen, so the action is fast and continuous. Many players like this for the simple fact that they are able to continue playing and playing without having to waste any time waiting on the above mentioned things.

How to Research an Online Casino

grantThese days, there are a number of online casinos out there. While there are probably one or two that you frequent and that you know is legitimate, the truth is that there are also a lot of scam casino websites out there. Hopefully, this will change in the future as an increasing number of laws and regulations are put into place regarding online casinos and gambling. In the meantime, however, those who enjoy partaking in online gambling must exercise caution as as to avoid getting scammed.

One of the best ways to go about determining whether or not an online casino is legitimate is to simply take your time and do some research into the casino itself. This way, you can ultimately make a well informed judgement regarding whether or not you want to spend your hard-earned money on the online casino’s services. Below are some helpful tips for researching any casino.

Start with the Website
You should begin by checking out the casino website itself. Browse the site and look for anything that seems odd to you. Specifically, you should check out the “contact” section of the site to see what kind of customer service they have to offer. If there are phone numbers available to call, test them out to make sure they are working numbers. If there is no visible way of getting into contact with customer service through the online casino, this alone should be a huge red flag.

Read Reviews
If everything on the website itself appears to be legitimate, then the next thing you are going to want to do is to read some online reviews from others who have actually used the casino website before. In looking for reviews, be careful where you read them. Do not trust reviews that you see on the casino’s website itself, as these could be easily fabricated. Instead, look on reputable online gaming message boards, forums, and their respective websites for honest and legitimate reviews.

Go with Your Gut
At the end of the day, you should only spend your money on an online casino website if you truly feel as though it is legitimate and trustworthy. If all else fails, go with your gut instinct. You usually cannot go wrong with that, and when it comes to putting your hard-earned money on the line, it is better to be safe than sorry.

 

An easy strategy for jacks or better video poker

JacksorBetterWith every single casino game, there is an optimal way to play that will help maximize your ability to walk away a winner. This even applies to video poker games, and if you’re going to be a winning jacks or better player, you need to remember a few key strategies. The following strategy is one that’s both easy to remember and simple to apply. Whether you’re going to be playing video poker in a casino or online, these things can bring about the best results.

Hands to get rid of
You should recognize some critical hands that might be attractive when they’re dealt to you. Good strategy says that you should exchange the cards in these hands in some way. A ten and ace of the same suit might look promising, but you should only keep the ace. If you are dealt three high cards not of the same suit, then you should keep only the two lowest of those high cards. If you have four low cards to a straight, and the card you need to make your straight is inside of your four cards, then you should discard everything. This will give you a good start, and other bits of strategy will sustain your approach.

It’s always best to chase the big hand
Jacks or better is a game where you should be chasing big hands whenever you have the chance. With most machines, the payout for your flush will make it worth your while against simply collecting pairs or three of a kinds. The way to win at video poker is by taking home a huge win whenever you get the chance. If you’re ever confronted with the choice of keeping hands that lead to a flush or a straight flush, you should opt for this approach versus keeping your small pair. The math says that this will lead to a better result over time.

Unsuited high cards are worth very little
Too often, jacks or better players like to stockpile those high cards. You’re taught in most games that having high cards is good, and that’s true in this game if those cards are connected or suited. If you find yourself with a hand full of unsuited high cards that don’t connect, do not hesitate to exchange them. You should be looking for flushes, straights, and four of kind hands. Simply trying to nickel your way up with small pairs will leave you losing in this game.
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Pokies, who knew…

Did you know that early Pokies would award the player with beer or a cigar? Read and share Casino-Mate’s info graphic, A Brief History of Pokies in Australia, to learn more about the fascinating history of gaming down-under and the evolution of the Automated Poker Machine.

A-brief-history-of-pokies-InfoGraphicStrategie

Asian Casino Companies Building In Russia

Some very wealthy casino moguls from Macau are starting to buy into casinos in Russia. Companies that are controlled by Lawrence Ho Yau-lung have made it their mission to start to buy large stakes in these casinos. For a sum of $130 million US dollars, this gentleman has purchased a 51% stake in Oriental Regent which is a Hong Kong company that owns large stakes in Russian casinos.
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Massive CasinosThe casinos that are being built all through Asia are huge, as are the ones that are being created in Russia. Many of the companies from areas like Hong Kong are the ones that are building casinos in Russia. This is why they are being formed in a larger and more explosive way than what they probably would have looked like had they been built by domestic companies in Russia. The Hong Kong companies simply have the money to throw around to build casinos that are massive.

Taxes

The expansion into Russia is not by accident. People are investing in casinos in Russia because the tax environment in the country is very favorable. People are able to pour a lot of their money into building these casinos and profiting from them without having to worry about having taxes take as large of a bite out of the total.

Getting There First

Some of these business people are very smart in terms of the business that they are doing with these casinos. They are opening up what will likely be the first legal casinos in the Far East Region of Russia. This means that people are going to have to turn to them for their gambling wants if they are living in that particular part of the country of Russia. If they have no other place to go, then they are obviously going to want to go to these places.

The Hong Kong business people are hoping that people who have been starved of any opportunity to gamble will want to come to their casinos to play the games. Often, when a casino is the first in the area, it is one of the most profitable in relations to casinos.

Growth of casinos in Russia has primarily been based in other regions of the country. Many have opened in Western Russia, but the Eastern part of the country has largely been ignored. Hong Kong companies are looking to change that.