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Online Gaming Sites Now Targeting Mac Users

By Gene J. Koprowski MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
May 2, 2006 5:00 AM PT

Own a Macintosh and want to play online poker? Your options are swiftly expanding. A number of Macintosh online gaming Web sites, including MacOnlinePoker.com, are enhancing their casino games sections. Henceforth, Mac users will have access to almost every casino game, including blackjack, roulette, slot machines, video poker and more.

Online Gaming Sites Now Targeting Mac Users

Previously, many Macs, except those using Intel chips, were incompatible with the software being run at the online gaming sites.

Furnishing access for Mac and iMac users to online poker and casino games is what MacOnlinePoker.com is all about.

"There was a void, and we filled it," said Derek Criddle, a spokesperson for the site, based in Vancouver, B.C. "Now we receive e-mails on a daily basis from Mac users, thanking us for helping them find some poker or blackjack software that actually works properly on their computer."

Filling the Void

The popularity of online poker and online gambling has exploded right alongside with televised poker tournaments. People of all ages and from all around the world are getting involved in the poker fun. Now, Mac users are finally able to join in.

"All the games we provide access to work right in your Macintosh's Web browser, so there's nothing to download or install," says Criddle. "It's as easy as signing up, logging in, and picking a game. Nothing complicated at all."

One site, CompatiblePoker.com, has created a very large list of Internet Mac poker rooms, but some users still aren't satisfied with their possible selections.

Mac online poker players say they want better and more options to play poker at sites like Party Poker and Poker Stars, said CompatiblePoker.com founder Roger Shriver.

"There are really only 3 good Mac compatible Internet poker rooms. The ones I prefer are Pacific Poker, Full Tilt, and PokerRoom because their software works really good on the Mac. Those are really the only sites that have good traffic and are trustworthy," says one Mac Internet player.

Mac users are finally coming out and speaking their mind about "getting the shaft" about playing online poker, said Shriver. The consensus among Mac poker players is that they are still waiting for the big poker rooms to step to the plate and offer Mac users some great software for free, he added.

Interest Growing

The interest of American adults in online gaming is growing, according to a recent poll by Harris Interactive, but security remains a key issue. Seventy six percent of those polled somewhat or strongly disagree that online gambling sites are completely safe today. About 64 percent of American adults don't think online gambling can be effectively regulated.

Public perceptions may be lagging behind industry efforts, however. As a result of testing and technology services and standards, "online gaming is conducted in a secure environment," Peter Marcus, a spokesman for Intercasino.com, told MacNewsWorld.

Younger Americans are more supportive of online casinos, with 33 percent of Echo Boomers, those aged 17 to 27, saying online gaming can be effectively regulated, and 30 percent of Generation X members, those aged 28 to 39, saying the rules can work, according to the Harris poll.

To assuage public concerns about the safety of online gaming, leading online gaming standards organizations are increasing their cooperation, as they implement sophisticated player protection measures, making it safer than ever for consumers who frequent Internet casinos and poker rooms, across the globe.

Ensuring Fairness

Last month, The Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta and the independent standards organization eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCogra) agreed that, subject to certain conditions, online gaming sites located there that use software and technology certified by eCogra will be deemed safe, and will receive an expedited review of new gaming license applications.

The island nation of Malta is home to a growing number of gaming sites, including www.betfair.com and www.WorldMatch.com.mt, which was the first online gaming site to be fully regulated by a European Union member state, the government of Malta. Overall, there are 71 Internet gaming sites located on Malta, a small nation in the Mediterranean Sea. Others are eyeing Malta as a location for new Internet gaming sites.

"We share a common purpose," said Mario Galeo, the chief executive of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta (LGA), "in seeking to ensure that the player is given fair gaming and efficient, courteous service by casinos and poker rooms."

The London-based eCogra, the independent industry regulatory group, is quite famous for its "Play it Safe" seal, which is seen on more than 75 online casinos and poker rooms, which have passed probity, game fairness and operational efficiency tests. The organization also runs a "dispute resolution" service, which can arbitrate conflicts between online sites and customers, if they should arise.

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