Electronic Arts bring gambling to video gaming - 22nd
Gambling has come to the video-game console
in your living room.
Virgin Gaming, a division of Sir Richard Bransons
Virgin empire, announced this past week that it had
signed a deal with Electronic Arts (EA) to support
a majority of popular sports games, including the
wildly popular Madden NFL 11 and FIFA 11, using its
online wagering system.
announcement affects everyone from government regulators,
who are trying to decide how to best control the expansion
of Internet-based gambling, to parents who must now
keep an even closer watch over their childrens
allows video gamers to wager on the outcome of their
video -game challenges and then tracks the players
as they play on an Xbox 360 or PS3, ensuring no one
is cheating. The winner is then handed the payout.
Prizes can be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
company said it already has 170,000 users from 30
countries signed up to use its online services.
far, the Virgin system only allows organized tournaments,
sort of like online poker tournaments meaning
players can buy into a tournament and then play their
way through it, with the champion claiming the jackpot.
tournaments, including a recent Maxim Magazine event,
would see gamers skip paying the entrance fee. However,
in the coming weeks, Virgin plans to open up a game-by-game
wagering system, which will allow gamers to create
their own tournaments and challenge others online
for real cash prizes.
is the biggest deal that weve had, said
William Levy, president of Virgin Gaming.
have the entry fee-based tournaments. We also have
sponsored tournaments. Lets say there was a
$10 entry fee tournament, you could click enter
now, agree to the terms and conditions and then
we deduct the $10 from your account and put it towards
begin wagering on Virgins tournament-play system,
a player must sign up for an account at the companys
website. Registering requires a credit card.
a handful of game tournaments have already been offered
on the Virgin system, including Halo: Reach and NBA
2K11, the addition of EA is set to greatly boost the
profile of the service and open Virgins wagering
system to fans of sports betting.
will also allow the company to begin offering new
services, such as Madden NFL 11 Red Zone, which will
be introduced in the coming weeks and will allow gamers
to create tournaments whenever they choose.
are going to be releasing user-generated tournaments
within the next month or so, said Levy.
video games represent big business.
Madden NFL franchise is the best-selling sports video
game in the United States, having sold more than 1.81
million copies in its first month on store shelves
in August. According to EA, fans of the title have
played more than 190 million games of virtual football
over the Internet on Xbox Live since the title launched
11 is the worlds best-selling sports game; more
than 2.6 million copies of the title were sold in
its first five days on store shelves in November.
On Jan. 14, EA announced the game had been awarded
a Guinness World Record. More than 775,000 people
participated in the FIFA Interactive World Cup this
past summer, making it the biggest Internet-based
gaming tournament ever held.
Littman-Sharp, manager of the problem-gambling service
at Torontos Centre for Addiction and Mental
Health, said the Virgin Gaming service should send
up a number of red flags.
said while small, infrequent wagers can be a fun way
to pass the time, large wagers on a regular basis
add up to a problem.
said addiction counsellors are already helping to
treat problem gamblers and they are also working to
treat people hooked on video games. Combining the
two creates a new problem, she said.
bridging the gap between online gaming and online
gambling, she said. We already see people
who have problems with both. I can already see this
being one more element that we are going to start
to be seeing in treatment.
Levy said the company has created a number of safeguards
to ensure underage players are barred from wagering
and problem gambling is flagged.
said the system only allows people to load $500 per
week into their Virgin accounts without contacting
a customer service agent.
on a real spending spree will also have their accounts
temporarily locked out until they speak to a customer
service agent about their account activity.
on sports is one of the largest segments of gambling
spending worldwide. More than $2.57 billion was legally
wagered in Nevada sports books in 2009, according
to the American Gaming Association.
is believed to represent less than one per cent of
all sports betting nationwide. Nevada is the only
state that allows sports gambling on all major sports
leagues in the United States. The FBI estimates that
more than $2.5 billion US is illegally wagered annually
on the March Madness college basketball tournament
to that is the more than $1.5 billion US wagered on
fantasy sports leagues annually, according to a study
by Kim Beason, a professor at the University of Mississippi.
stands to collect a chunk of that market thanks to
opening up sports betting to armchair quarterbacks
playing on a virtual pitch.
news comes at a time when governments around the world
are still trying to figure out how best to respond
to the growth of Internet gambling.
July, the provincial government in British Columbia
became the first in North America to begin offering
a government-run online casino.
move was made to cut back on private-sector encroachment
in the Internet-gambling space.
many governments have laws prohibiting wagers on games
of chance, such as slot machines, or even a mixture
of chance and skill, such as poker, there doesnt
seem to be anything prohibiting wagering on a game
of skill, such as a game of Madden NFL 11, over the
Internet, according to the RCMP, who are responsible
for policing Internet-based gambling in Canada.
Internet gambling is an issue that has been examined
by provincial and federal governments, there has been
no new legislation in Canada to specifically address
a bid to reduce exposure to Internet gambling sites,
in 2006 the Ontario government made it illegal for
Internet-based casinos and web-based poker games to
advertise in the province.
2004 report from the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba,
called Internet Gambling in Canada Waits in Legal
Purgatory lamented the lack of updated legislation
to deal with online gambling.
foundation said little has changed in the past six
years to deal with the issue.
Lottery and Gaming Corp. chairman Paul Godfrey has
publicly stated that the gambling regulator is loosing
as much as $500 million annually because it has turned
a blind eye to online wagering.
Cup 2010 Breeds Biggest Sports Bets in History, by
Greg Tingle - 2nd June 2010
years World Cup is shaping up to be the biggest gambling
event in history. Media
Man and Gambling911 check out the field with this
billions, likely multi millions, will be wagered n
the 2010 World Cup. AUD, CAN, FR, DE, USD...et al...
all four corners of the world.
timing of the games and the super marketing and media
machine is tipped to drive the massive betting. Cafe's
from South Africa, to Vegas, South America, Bondi
Beach and beyond are a buzz with soccer fever, and
everyones looking for where the "smart money"
billion - $AU3 billion turnover
much illegal betting occurs this year is anyones guess
a Media Man spokesperson said.
is going to be a massive betting year for us,"
tells Mr Graham Sharpe, spokesman for Britain-based
bookie William Hill.
by definition, turnover increases exponentially every
four years. We are very optimistic that there will
be 1 billion or more pounds bet with British bookmakers."
points to England's presence in the tournament fueling
the bets. He said "even though we expect (England)
to go out in the quarterfinal or semifinal as they
scorers bets remain popular. Who will be ahead at
a certain point in a particular game, the time of
the first goal scored and the first player to be seriously
used to be big to bet on what color David Beckham's
hair would be," Sharpe said. "There are
easily hundreds and possibly into the thousands of
possible bets to make."
Ed Randall, a former casino manager and now a marketing
executive in London, has been "gambling since
I was old enough to get into betting shops" and
expects to make 30 - 40 different wagers, risking
a total of about $1000, by the time the tourney is
done. He's picking Germany - currently at 14-to-1
odds - to win it all. Spain, at 4 to 1, is the current
the outright winner, it is more of a gut feeling,"
he said. "They have a strong defence, talented
young midfielders and good scorers. And you can never
write off the Germans."
at 80 to 1, the "US could do well, too,"
he added. "It is underrated by a lot of people,
especially in England."
is also putting 50 - at 66 to 1 - behind Antonio di
Natale of Italy to become the tournament's top scorer.
punters are expected to be in the top 3 betting spend
as always bet with your head, not over it, and have
fun...and No Riots!
Nine Australia: 60 Minutes report on Harry Kewell
(text and multimedia)
writer is a special contributor for Gambling911
Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet
portal development company. The gaming sector is just
one of a bakers of dozen of industries they cover.
World Cup 2010 Group Odds Released
on Thursday evening released updated FIFA World Cup
2010 group odds as the biggest sporting event of the
year quickly approaches in just a matter of days.
four years the FIFA World Cup rocks fans the world
over and 2010 is no different. As we approach the
launch date of June 11 in South Africa, there is a
palpable buzz and excitement on just about every street
and every pub from New York City to Cape Town and
fans are looking for answers.
is part of an industry that anticipates taking in
billions of dollars in World Cup bets over the course
of a one-month period.
Tingle, a special contributor to the Gambling911.com
website, reports that over a billion dollars will
be wagered on the FIFA World Cup 2010 in the United
Kingdom alone when all is said and done.
is the most popular and fastest growing sport in the
world," stated BetUS.com spokesman Reed Richards.
"The amount of action in unique visitors to our
site is a testament to how passionate these fans are
as they log in for the most accurate information,
and to show support for their teams."
a FREE $75 in CASH when you open an online betting
account with $200.
at BetUS.com posted the following odds on group by
FIFA World Cup, occasionally called the Football World
Cup or Soccer World Cup, but usually referred to simply
as the World Cup, is an international association
football competition contested by the men's national
teams of the members of Fédération Internationale
de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global
governing body. The championship has been awarded
every four years since the first tournament in 1930,
except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not contested
because of World War II.
current format of the tournament involves 32 teams
competing for the title at venues within the host
nation(s) over a period of about a month this
phase is often called the World Cup Finals. A qualification
phase, which currently takes place over the preceding
three years, is used to determine which teams qualify
for the tournament together with the host nation(s).
the 18 tournaments that have been held, seven nations
have won the title. Brazil have won the World Cup
a record five times, and they are the only team to
have played in every tournament. Italy, the current
champions, have won four titles, and Germany are next
with three titles. The other former champions are
Uruguay, winners of the inaugural tournament, and
Argentina, with two titles each, and England and France,
with one title each.
The World Cup is the most widely-viewed sporting event
in the world, where an estimated 715.1 million people
watched the final match of the 2006 World Cup held
in Germany. The next World Cup will be held in
South Africa, between 11 June and 11 July 2010, and
the 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil.
History of the FIFA World Cup
Previous international competitions
The world's first international football match was
a challenge match played in Glasgow in 1872 between
Scotland and England, with the first international
tournament, the inaugural edition of the British Home
Championship, taking place in 1884. At this stage
the sport was rarely played outside the United Kingdom.
As football began to increase in popularity in other
parts of the world at the turn of the century, it
was held as a demonstration sport with no medals awarded
at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics (however, the
IOC has retroactively upgraded their status to official
events), and at the 1906 Intercalated Games.
FIFA was founded in 1904, there was an attempt made
by FIFA to arrange an international football tournament
between nations outside of the Olympic framework in
Switzerland in 1906. These were very early days for
international football, and the official history of
FIFA describes the competition as having been a failure.
the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, football became
an official competition. Planned by The Football Association
(FA), England's football governing body, the event
was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously
as a show rather than a competition. Great Britain
(represented by the England national amateur football
team) won the gold medals. They repeated the feat
in 1912 in Stockholm, where the tournament was organised
by the Swedish Football Association.
the Olympic event continuing to be contested only
between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton organised
the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in
1909. The Lipton tournament was a championship between
individual clubs (not national teams) from different
nations, each one of which represented an entire nation.
The competition is sometimes described as The First
World Cup, and featured the most prestigious professional
club sides from Italy, Germany and Switzerland, but
the FA of England refused to be associated with the
competition and declined the offer to send a professional
team. Lipton invited West Auckland, an amateur side
from County Durham, to represent England instead.
West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911
to successfully defend their title, and were given
the trophy to keep forever, as per the rules of the
In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament
as a "world football championship for amateurs",
and took responsibility for managing the event. This
paved the way for the world's first intercontinental
football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics,
contested by Egypt and thirteen European teams, and
won by Belgium.
won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924
First World Cup
to the success of the Olympic football tournaments,
FIFA, with President Jules Rimet the driving force,
again started looking at staging its own international
tournament outside of the Olympics. On 28 May 1928,
the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to stage a
world championship organised by FIFA. With Uruguay
now two-time official football world champions (as
1924 was the start of FIFA's professional era) and
to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930,
FIFA named Uruguay as the host country of the inaugural
World Cup tournament.
national associations of selected nations were invited
to send a team, but the choice of Uruguay as a venue
for the competition meant a long and costly trip across
the Atlantic Ocean for European sides. Indeed, no
European country pledged to send a team until two
months before the start of the competition. Rimet
eventually persuaded teams from Belgium, France, Romania,
and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In total thirteen
nations took part: seven from South America, four
from Europe and two from North America.
The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously
on 13 July 1930, and were won by France and USA, who
defeated Mexico 41 and Belgium 30 respectively.
The first goal in World Cup history was scored by
Lucien Laurent of France. In the final, Uruguay
defeated Argentina 42 in front of a crowd of
93,000 people in Montevideo, and in doing so became
the first nation to win the World Cup.
Cups before World War II
After the creation of the World Cup, the 1932 Summer
Olympics, held in Los Angeles, did not plan to include
football as part of the schedule due to the low popularity
of the sport in the United States, as American football
had been growing in popularity. FIFA and the IOC also
disagreed over the status of amateur players, and
so football was dropped from the Games. Olympic
football returned at the 1936 Summer Olympics, but
was now overshadowed by the more prestigious World
issues facing the early World Cup tournaments were
the difficulties of intercontinental travel, and war.
Few South American teams were willing to travel to
Europe for the 1934 and 1938 tournaments, with Brazil
the only South American team to compete in both. The
1942 and 1946 competitions were cancelled due to World
War II and its aftermath.
and media coverage
also: List of FIFA World Cup broadcasters
The World Cup was first televised in 1954 and is now
the most widely-viewed and followed sporting event
in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games. The
cumulative audience of all matches of the 2006 World
Cup is estimated to be 26.29 billion. 715.1 million
individuals watched the final match of this tournament
(a ninth of the entire population of the planet).
The 2006 World Cup draw, which decided the distribution
of teams into groups, was watched by 300 million viewers.
FIFA World Cup since 1966 has its own mascot or logo.
World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 competition,
was the first World Cup mascot. Recent World Cups
have also featured official match balls specially
designed for each World Cup.
article: FIFA World Cup records
Two players share the record for playing in the most
World Cups; Mexico's Antonio Carbajal and Germany's
Lothar Matthäus both played in five tournaments.
Matthäus has played the most World Cup matches
overall, with 25 appearances. Brazil's Pelé
is the only player to have won three World Cup winners'
medals, with 20 other players who have won two World
overall top goalscorer in World Cups is Brazil's Ronaldo,
scorer of 15 goals in three tournaments. West Germany's
Gerd Müller is second, with 14 goals in two tournaments.
The third placed goalscorer, France's Just Fontaine,
holds the record for the most goals scored in a single
World Cup. All his 13 goals were scored in the 1958
Mário Zagallo and West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer
are the only people to date to win the World Cup as
both player and head coach. Zagallo won in 1958 and
1962 as a player and in 1970 as head coach.
won in 1974 as captain and in 1990 as head coach.
Italy's Vittorio Pozzo is the only head coach to ever
win two World Cups. All World Cup winning head coaches
were natives of the country they coached to victory.
of the end of the 2006 tournament, Brazil and Germany
have both played 92 matches, the most by any nation,
with Brazil scoring the most goals, 201.
The two teams have played each other only once in
the World Cup, in the 2002 final. (Credit
is an Australian bookmaker licensed in the Northern
originated from Alice Springs, Northern Territory
and was the first bookmaker to be licensed in Australia
in 1993 and the first bookmaker to go online in the
Southern Hemisphere. Centrebet was acquired by its
biggest domestic rival, the SportOdds Group in 2003
for the sum of AUD$46.55 million. In 2005, SportOdds
merged its Centrebet, SportOdds.com and SuperOdds.co.uk
businesses into one entity, known as Centrebet.
Kafataris is the CEO of the company while Peter Foot
acts as chief bookmaker.
is the second largest private bookmaking company in
Australia (Sportsbet is the largest) and one of the
biggest bookmakers in the world, with betting across
all sports (both within and outside of Australia),
horse racing and other events, including Australian
elections and television shows. The Centrebet Group
offers over 4000 individual betting options every
Centrebet Group has recently commenced expansion of
its core operations to include online gaming, including
poker and casino. However, due to Australia's Interactive
Gambling Act 2001, the Group are not permitted to
offer gaming products to Australians. In 2006, the
company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
has flagged strong profit growth next year, as it
takes a bigger share of the country's online wagering
is well positioned to deliver strong profit growth
in the 2010 financial year, supported by continued
growth in the Australian market, a rationalised cost
base and marketing investment adjusted to reflect
the change in industry dynamics," deputy managing
director Michael McRitchie said.
company also confirmed full-year profit guidance for
2008-09 at the upper end of its April forecast of
between $10 million and $11 million.
February, Centrebet said it was on track to deliver
a full-year profit of $14.3m, but two months later
it downgraded this forecast by 30 per cent.
company was stung by an $800,000 bad debt from one
of its customers, former Billabong chief executive
Matthew Perrin, who filed for bankruptcy in March.
McRitchie said deregulation had forced Centrebet to
spend more on marketing, reducing profits.
has now completed an extensive cost rationalisation
process to mitigate the cost impact of industry changes
and refocus on key priority markets -- total annualised
saving of over $2m is expected on a pre-tax basis,"
company has trimmed costs and cut staff numbers by
15 per cent, resulting in 34 job losses.
director Con Kafataris said: "While deregulation
of the industry has presented some short-term cost
challenges, it has created an attractive outlook for
Centrebet to grow market share.
expect the overall industry to show strong growth
over the medium term and Centrebet is well positioned
to maximise our share of the growth through customer-focused
product offerings, targeted marketing investment and
disciplined risk and cost management."
February, Centrebet made a $22m offer for International
All Sports but was rebuffed. Darwin-based Sportsbet
and its parent, Irish betting group Paddy Power, have
since made a takeover bid for IAS.
on unaudited accounts, Centrebet said its total revenue
had risen 6 per cent to $66.2m, driven by growth in
the Australian online wagering market.
online revenue rose 23 per cent to $32.9m -- 50 per
cent of total revenue. Its on-course revenue fell
31 per cent to $3.3 million, which only made up 5
per cent of revenue.
revenue, excluding poker, remained flat at $26.1m.
European poker revenue decreased 17 per cent to $3.8m.
successful launch of its fixed odds management contracts
with West Australian, ACT and Tasmanian TABs was a
company would manage more than $200m a year in fixed
costs betting turnover on behalf of the TABs.
share price rose 3c yesterday to close at 93c.
all economists would punt on Australia falling into
recession, but betting agency Centrebet is offering
good odds on the economy bottoming out.
bookmaker has Australia a $1.12 favourite to fall
into recession in the next 12 months and $5.50 if
it is avoided.
media chief Neil Evans said the effects of the production
meltdown in industries such as car manufacturing had
yet to hit Australia's economy.
global financial downturn has not even gone close
to bottoming out through Australia's economy,"
Mr Evans said in a statement on Tuesday.
for fearful retail and wholesale forecasts through
the Christmas-New Year period, it will be a miracle
if Australia avoids recession."
forecasts from JP Morgan and Citigroup both predict
Australia will suffer a technical recession - face
two quarters of negative economic growth in early
economists predict the economy will be flat, avoiding
recession through measures like the federal government's
economic stimulus package and cuts in interest rates.
this month, the Australian Business Economists executive
committee, including economists from Westpac, nabCapital
and Reserve Bank of Australia, placed the chance of
recession at 40 per cent.
has also released its latest market for the Reserve
Bank's next interest rates decision, with a 75 basis
point rate cut the favourite at $2.35, ahead of a
50 basis point cut at $2.40, and 100 basis point drop
Northern Territory betting outlet was yesterday asked
to withdraw a market framed on the return to race
riding of convicted jockey Chris Munce because it
threatened to inflame the strained relationship between
Hong Kong and Racing NSW further.
bookmaker Centrebet prepared to bet $5.50 about the
Melbourne Cup-winning jockey riding a winner and making
a fairytale return to the racetrack at Randwick's
Kensington course today. Punters could take $1.15
about Munce going winless on his first day back at
(Northern Territory) Government stepped in and put
an end to the market before it had a chance to see
the light of day," said the source, who did not
wish to be identified. "The authorities felt
it was too sensitive, given all the tension between
NSW and Hong Kong."
considered Sheezvalue, in the fifth race, the best
of Munce's rides. His book of mounts was reduced to
two yesterday when trainer David Hayes withdrew Swoop
And Destroy from the opening event on the twilight
clearance by Racing NSW will be a topic of discussion
at the Australian Racing Board's monthly meeting this
morning in Sydney.
NSW elected not to acknowledge a 30-month disqualification,
handed down by the Hong Kong Jockey Club this month.
Backdated to March 1, 2007 and still with 10 months
to run, the disqualification would normally have been
routinely endorsed in Australia.