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.
Learn more

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.


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.
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.


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.

South Australia’s SkyCity casino gets new exclusive license

Special legislation passed in South Australia has given Adelaide’s SkyCity Entertainment Group the go-ahead to create an A$300 million riverside complex expansion. Some are calling it a game-changer when it comes to the entertainment group’s bottom line and casino gambling in South Australia.
The South Australia government put into play legislation extending an exclusive caino license to the entertainment group and casino. This amendment of the existing caino authorization law enables the group to extend its excessive franchise to the year 2035. It also paves the way for cashless gambling and ticket in, ticket out, or TiTo, technology. The amendment lowers tax rates for gambling and allows an increase in the number of slot machines from 1,000 to 1,500. The number of gaming tables also increases to 200.

The A$300 million expansion along the River Torrens banks will bring about new gaming facilitates, dining and a 6-star casino hotel. The development is coming attached to a lot of hype with government officials labeling it the crown jewel of the riverside gambling complex. Officials believe it will be a considerable boon to local job creation and increase tourism.

Nigel Morrison, SkyCity CEO, says the new casino complex expansion is important to bringing in Asian high rollers, especially Chinese gamblers. The expansion will aid South Australia in tapping the lucrative and evolving high end Asian market, according to Morrison.

SkyCity receives other perks under the newly revised expansion law. The company has greater leeway in assigning maximum bet parameters as well as maximum jackpots and cashless gaming opportunities in the high-end VIP gaming rooms. The new tax rates are going from 41 percent to 34 percent even as the number of non-VIP electronic games are increased with a tax rate set at nearly 11 percent. Non-VIP table game taxes go from just less than 1 percent to 3 percent.

The changes in slot machine taxes and machine numbers are needed to make the Adelaide casino competitive with other Australian casinos, according to analysts. Whereas currently Adelaide slots have a daily win rate set at A$180, the daily win rate at Queensland casinos is A$300 and A$360 at Auckland.

The market responded to SkyCity moves with stock traded around A$4 after gaining more than 10 percent this year. Analysts contacted by Reuters said the stock was a “buy” with a target price of around $5.

Gambling industry continues to grow in Macau

The only area in China with legalized gambling, Macau is booming, betting analysts say. Gambling has been allowed in the former Portuguese colony since the 1860s. It has changed a lot of course, transforming from the small-time card rooms and gambling venues run by criminal gangs to a world class gambling center rivaling even Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Macau gambling venues reeled in more than $37 billion in gross casino revenue in 2012. That reprints more than five times the revenue generated by Las Vegas casinos in 2012.

Macau is close to mainland China and Hong Kong. It takes an hour, or so, to get to the Oriental Las Vegas from those places. That means some 14 million tourists came to the waterfront city during the first six months of 2013 looking for fun and casino action along the ornate and well-developed casino strip. Of those visitors, the latest Chinese Statistics and Census Bureau accounting found more than 85 percent came from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

While gambling has become the name of the game in Macau, it comes with a downside. True, Macau residents have reaped the rewards of better jobs and living conditions. However, the new money and conditions have created soaring living costs. Social welfare systems have been stretched while transportation and health care services have to been improved. Property has become more costly to buy meaning smaller businesses have been pushed out of the marketplace and some residents even have had to declare bankruptcy. some residents have been forced to move away from Macau or share housing.
Casinos in Macau
Some gambling analysts call Macau a Las Vegas on steroids. The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau said gambling revenues in July 2013 had increased some 20 percent over the month before while 2013 gambling revenues were rubbing 15 percent greater than the same period in 2012. July 2013 Macau gambling revenues were around $3.5 billion, or MOP$29.5 million. Even though China’s economic growth has slowed in 2013, tourist and gaming traffic in the island showcase has continued strong, analysis added.

The number and quality of Macau gambling venues is projected to rise. Gaming magnates are putting in $25 billion worth of new projects. That translates into 30,000 more workers and a projected $5 billion in additional gambling revenues moving forward, experts say.