Hacker Steals $1 Million of Bitcoin: Learn How to Protect Your Cryptocurrency

This week, a young American man, Nicholas Truglia, has been charged with 21 accounts of felony after hacking several Silicon Valley executive’s phones. In doing so, he stole $1 million worth of Bitcoin. This was all done by exploiting a tactic called SIM swapping. Read on to learn more about how SIM swapping works and how you can protect yourself against it.

bitcoin phoneBitcoin security has been hurtled into the headlines once more this week, as a young man in America faces 21 counts of felony after he went on a hacking spree.

Nicolas Truglia successfully hacked into six different smartphones and managed to steal $1 million worth of Bitcoin off one victim.

The crime is known as ‘SIM swapping' and it's on the rise. So, with more and more people now investing in cryptocurrency, how can you make sure you're safe?

In today's post, we discuss how the thief was able to steal bitcoin, what a bitcoin hack may look like, and what you can do to protect your cryptocurrency wallet.

The Hack

Bitcoin Hacked PhoneOn the 26th of October, Robert Ross noticed his phone had lost signal for an unusual length of time. Confused by this, Ross visited his nearby Apple store and later contacted his network operator, the American brand AT&T.

However, sadly Robert Ross was not quick enough to foil a bitcoin attack.

Nicholas Truglia lifted $1 million worth of Bitcoin from Ross' phone. Ross was storing $500,000 in two separate accounts at Coinbase and Gemini, and Truglia managed to get to them both.

Ross isn't the only person to have been hacked, unfortunately. Truglia himself had various other targets too. In the summer, a Californian man sued AT&T after hackers stole $24 million worth of cryptocurrency he had stored on an online exchange.

How Did the Hack Happen?

Truglia was targeting Silicon Valley executives – people he believed would have cryptocurrency stored on their smartphone.

Erin West, the deputy district attorney of Santa Clara County, called this a ‘whole new wave of crime', however the schemes which allowed Truglia to access Ross' smartphones aren't actually that new at all.

SIM Swapping Schemes

SIM Swapping PhonePhone hacking isn't a new crime, yet it now puts people at a much greater risk due to all of the apps we use – currency exchanges, pay by phone casinos, mobile banking and more.

Criminals are able to access phones by exploiting a tactic known as ‘SIM Swapping'.

Essentially, they dupe phone operators into getting phone numbers reassigned.

How Does SIM Swapping Work?

Should you want to replace a SIM card or have your mobile number transferred to a new SIM, you can call up your network operator and answer a few security questions. The whole process takes a matter of hours and is relatively simple.

However, hackers are buying the answers to these security questions on the dark web. They then relay this information to the phone operator employees, convincing them that they're speaking to the owner of the phone number.

Once the SIM swap is complete, the hacker simply opens up the apps from their own device. Although many of these apps use two-factor verification, which asks for a separate security PIN code, the hacker now controls the original phone number. This means that he will receive the security code, and can, therefore, access the apps without raising suspicion.

Can Bitcoin Be Traced?

Blockchain Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, are sadly untraceable.

Whilst the beauty of the blockchain means that all transactions are recorded on a public ledger, one of the biggest appeals of cryptocurrency is that users remain anonymous.

This means that whilst a hacking transaction may be able to be found, there's no way of identifying who made the transaction and so, finding out who the hackers are is difficult.

How Can You Protect Your Cryptocurrency?

So, if phone hacking is this easy, how can you make sure you're not at risk?

Be Vigilant

In order to stop SIM swapping schemes, cybersecurity and phone network experts say that all phone users should treat their phone number in the same way as they do with a password.

Stay Alert SignObviously, we all give away our phone numbers all of the time – whether that's when signing up to a new service or because we've made a new friend at the bar.

However, it's now more important than ever before that we are vigilant with who receives our contact details. Always make sure that you truly trust who you give your phone number to and, if you're entering your phone number into something online, make sure you're doing so via an encrypted server.

You can check if your server is safe by looking out for the padlock symbol in the URL bar of the page you're visiting.

Make Sure Your Passwords Are Unique

Password EntryVery few of us will not be guilty of using similar passwords for everything in life. Using the same password for everything makes life easier, and ensures that you don't forget login details.

However, this does leave you vulnerable to hacking crimes.

If you're creating a password for something very sensitive, like your phone, make sure it's completely unique. You should also change it regularly, and make sure it isn't based around a personal detail which scammers could guess or find out.

Invest in a Hardware Wallet

When you invest in cryptocurrency, there are essentially three ways to store your new money:

  • In a currency exchange
  • In a digital wallet
  • In a hardware wallet

Hardware WalletIn terms of security, the hardware wallet comes first and the currency exchange comes last.

Both currency exchanges and digital wallets are online, and therefore very vulnerable to hacks. Instead, cryptocurrency investors should always store their money in a hardware wallet.

This is a wallet which isn't connected to the internet, a bit like an external hard drive. These wallets are also known as ‘cold storage' and they allow you to store your bitcoin away from the grips of the internet.

What is 5G and How Will It Help Mobile Gamers?

5G may be available to UK mobile users from as soon as 2019 – which means that we can all expect to have faster mobile internet in the near future. 5G will also bring many benefits to mobile casino players, who can use the new service to experience even smoother gameplay and to access new technologies. So, how does 5G work and how can you start using it? Read on to find out.

5G mobile logoSuper fast mobile streaming is coming to the UK in the next year… maybe. 5G services are currently being tested out around the country, and the first 5G ready smartphones are expected to be released by early 2019.

But what does this all mean – what is 5G and how will it help the average mobile user? In today's blog post we'll tell you everything you need to know about this new mobile network, including:

  • What exactly is 5G
  • When we will be able to use it in the UK
  • Why you should care about 5G services as a mobile gamer

What Is 5G?

5G is short for ‘fifth generation mobile networks' and that's exactly what it is. Currently, most mobile users use 4G to connect to the internet on their mobile devices. In fact, you may even be old enough to remember when we used 3G services (come on, it wasn't that long ago!).

So, essentially, 5G is a supped up network services which will ensure faster mobile use. This includes calls, texts and getting online.

What is Different About 5G?

we've just mentioned, most mobile users in the UK will currently be using a 4G service. Whilst for most people this is completely sufficient, the 5G service will be faster and more capable of handling a large number of users.

5G vs 4G Download Speeds

Current 4G download speeds average at around 100 megabytes per second, whereas 5G networks have been demonstrated to run at up to 100 times that speed. This means that they will offer a download speed of 1-10 gigabytes per second.

This may all be going over your head. Megabytes and gigabytes are hard to get to grips with so let's put the data into a real-life example:

On a 4G network, it would take you around 10 minutes to download a full HD film. On a 5G network, this would take you about 30 seconds.

How is 5G so Fast?

Existing mobile networks use radio waves to process mobile usage. However, 5G will be much faster as it will utilize parts of the electromagnetic spectrum too. What's more, 5G will also use higher and lower radio frequencies.

These parts of the spectrum aren't currently being used by mobile networks and so they have remained uncluttered. This means that they are able to carry information faster.

When Will 5G Be Available in the UK?

As we've just mentioned, the beauty of 5G is that it utilizes uncluttered radio waves. However, this means that the spectrum is finite (it has a set ability for processing payments.) This means that the spectrum has to be allocated.

5G Spectrum Auctioning

UK Mobile NetworksBack in April (2018), the UK communication regulator, Ofcom, auctioned off some of the spectrum Uk mobile operators.

In that round of funding, the operators paid close to £1.4bn – with Vodafone, o2, EE and Three all picking up slices of the action.

5G Trials and Roll Out

When 5G networks were first announced, it was expected that they'd be first put into use in 2020. However, as the competition to be the first mobile operator offering 5G is so fraught, we could expect the new technology to be available much sooner.

Three have already announced that they intend to launch their first 5G services as soon as the middle of next year (2019). At the same time, EE has implemented trial sites in London, which means they could be well on their way to offering the service too.

Will I Need a New Phone?

Apple and Samsung LogoOf course, all of this planning is all well and good, but it's a bit pointless if no one can access the 5G service on their mobile device. Unfortunately, the switch to 5G does mean you will need to buy a new phone.

At the moment, no 5G-enabled phones are available in the UK market, but this is set to change by early 2019. Qualcomm, the company who produce the chips for most mobile phones, have already created a 5G-ready modem which should be added to all new phone releases next year.

It's likely that Samsung will launch their first 5G smartphone in February 2019, when their Galaxy series of phones is due to have an update. Apple, however, is rumoured to be lagging behind. A 5G iPhone may not come to market until 2020.

How Will 5G Benefit Mobile Gamers?

The biggest benefit for mobile gamers will be the speed that 5G will offer. Not only will 5G enable you to download things quicker but it will also have a much lower latency rate.

Smoother Gaming

Man Playing On PhoneLatency is essentially the same thing as lagging. This means that games will be faster to load and you shouldn't experience any delays between the buttons you click and what happens in your favourite pay by phone casino games.

Of course, this isn't really a problem on 4G and the changes will be undetectable as a user. However whilst 4G has a latency of 45 milliseconds, 5G will get this delay down to 1 millisecond. This means your games will run much smoother.

Virtual Reality

As the new 5G network will be much more competent than 4G, it's likely that the service will bring about new virtual and augmented reality apps.

At the moment, the 4G network struggles to process these HD and data-heavy technologies, yet 5G should manage just fine. This means that the market for VR games is expanding, as more users will have access.

No More Broadband

Broadband ConnectionOk so this one seems unlikely, yet many 5G enthusiasts have expressed the hopes that 5G will ultimately replace home broadband.

David Dyson, the CEO of Three, has stated that he thinks ‘5G will be a genuine alternative' to broadband, as it will offer a comparable download speed. What's more, as new broadband lines are expensive to fit, it may be a cheaper option too.

How PayPal Can Help Problem Gambling

As much as we all love online gambling, it cannot be denied that problem gambling is a very serious issue.

Stories of problem gambling are, unfortunately, commonplace, and many health officials are deeply concerned about the increasing numbers of those with very serious gambling addictions.

As we all know, the PayPal casino is ubiquitous in the online gambling market, and many of us love the ease of using this trailblazing electronic payment service.

However, we don’t think PayPal’s value stops there. We believe that if PayPal is used in the right way it can be help curb problem gambling and overspending. In this article, we will explain why.

UK Problem Gambling – The Figures

  • UK problem gambling on the rise according to the Gambling Commission and NHS figures
  • Problem gambling can lead to serious harm on many levels
  • Political figures such as Tom Watson and Tracey Crouch have called for more action to be taken on the issue

Tom WatsonThe numbers and statistics of problem gambling make for some grim reading. The Gambling Commission has stated that there are 430,000 problem gamblers in the UK and 2 million are currently ‘at risk’.

The National Gambling Helpline says that it took 29,889 calls in 2017-18, a significant increase from 22,875 in 2013-14.

The Daily Telegraph recently revealed that NHS figures show that a record number of gambling addicts were hospitalised last year.

Problem GamblerMore than 100 people were admitted due to severe pathological gambling addiction which required hospital treatment – that was a 50% increase on last year.

The effects of serious gambling problems can be disastrous both for the individual and their families. Problem gambling can lead to higher levels of physical and mental illness, significant debt issues, relationship problems, criminality and worse.

Evidently, problem gambling is an increasing problem and, in our opinion, as an industry and society, we need to tackle the problem more forthrightly.

Problem Gambling – How PayPal Can Help

PayPal might not be the first thing which springs to mind when you consider problem gambling, but we think that if it is utilised in the right way, it can certainly aid problem gamblers.

PayPal can be a great tool not only for problem gamblers, but for those who would like to impose sensible limits on their gambling spending.

Problems With Bank Accounts and Problem Gambling

Card Payment Online CasinoIf a gambler uses their bank account to fund their gambling they have all their account balance and overdrafts to play with. Ultimately, gamblers have access to a big chunk of money which is not exactly ideal for problem gamblers.

Simply put, if players have access to more money, this makes problem gambling and overspending more likely.

PayPal Without a Linked Bank Account

We can all agree that whilst PayPal is definitely a payment service, it certainly isn’t a bank account. Indeed, PayPal can be used in an altogether different way.

So, the trick is to sign-up for a PayPal account without linking a bank account or credit/debit card to the account. That way, PayPal purchases can only be funded through your actual PayPal balance.

This type of account will still allow you to receive money and payments from other PayPal users, but your PayPal spending will be limited to what is actually in your PayPal account.

So, players could ask a friend or relative to send money to their PayPal account. Players could then use this money to deposit at their casino of choice.

PayPal On Laptop And Slot CharactersOf course, we are not suggesting that gamblers don’t immediately pay the money back to their helpful friend after the money has hit their PayPal account; This is an essential ingredient to the recipe!

This approach to casino depositing allows you to use your PayPal account as a casino depositing voucher system of sorts, where you can only deposit the money which is sitting in your PayPal balance, and no more.

This little trick allows gamblers to think twice about how much they can realistically afford to spend at a casino, rather than mindlessly adding to their casino bank balance with a swift click of a button.

And, let’s be honest, most of us would probably not want to ask for hundreds, or even thousands of pounds from our friends and relatives to fund our gambling in one chunk.

So, not only will casino spending be limited to what is in your PayPal bank balance, it will also make you think twice about how much you spend at the casino in the first place.

What this all amounts to is responsible, sensible and safe gambling, and that is what we should all be striving for.

UK Problem Gambling Going Forward

There are no easy solutions to problem gambling, and it appears that more needs to be done on many levels to tackle this growing problem.

There will almost certainly be changes at some level within the online gambling industry to help tackle the issue, with more and more worrying stories and trends circulating in the media.

When The Fun Stops StopInventive ideas and approaches can help steer players away from the very slippery road of gambling addiction.

We think that if PayPal, or any other service for that matter is used in a creative way, overspending can be curbed, and players can control their gambling in a more structured and concrete manner. We believe that such approaches could be especially helpful for gamblers who are ‘at risk’.

Do you have any ideas of how problem gambling can be tackled or anything you would like to share? Just comment in the box below to start the conversation.

 

Was PayPal Right Raising Venmo Prices? Our Thoughts

PayPal LogoYou may not have heard but PayPal recently acquired the payment service Venmo, a fast-growing payment app which many people use around the world. It's a fast, handy way of paying people and some gamblers use it at mobile casinos.

It has come to light, however, that PayPal will be increasing all Venmo fees by 1% in an effort to make more money. This has caused a lot of backlash from avid Venmo customers, who say that the increase is both unfair and unnecessary.

How does this affect mobile gamblers? Should we be worried about further increases? Find out our thoughts by reading on.


What Is Venmo?

venmo success paypalWhile not widely used by mobile players, Venmo is handy for making quick, easy payments. In principle, it's very similar to PayPal but unique in that users can share and like payments and the purchases they make. Think of it as a financial transaction/social media hybrid.

It's very popular among young people, especially millennials, who have reported the service to be extremely convenient and simple to use.

Here are the sort of things you can do with Venmo:

  • Make payments by linking your bank account, debit/credit card to your Venmo balance
  • Transfer Venmo balance to your bank account balance
  • Transfer money quickly with just a phone number, email address or username
  • Split payments with friends and family
  • Share payments and purchases on a social feed with a quirky comment so the whole business seems less dry

The Backlash

Many have taken to this new development with less than kind opinions.  Indeed, a lot of loyal Venmo users took to Twitter to protest PayPal's decision to raise the price on using it, some even going as far as deleting the app altogether.


In an effort to defend themselves, PayPal responded  with the following statement:

“The change reflects the value that Venmo’s services offer […]  There’s a lot left in front of us. It’ll be a multiyear journey.”

It would seem that this is a multiyear journey not many Venmo users want to share.

Our Thoughts

While few mobile gamblers may be impacted by this fee (as this largely affects US users for the most part and it's not clear what kind of transactions will be charged), it does seem an awful way of PayPal trying to squeeze more money out of users.

Venmo users aren't too pleased with it. Yes, convenience is a priority but should that come with an increase in transaction fees? We honestly don't think so. Unless you're exchanging money overseas then there shouldn't be any hidden transaction fees from the consumer.

We here at Fable Casino prize transparency above all else. Check out our mobile casino and make a deposit yourself and see!

Google Pixel 3 Released – Should a Mobile Gambler Buy It?

google pixel 3 mobile gamblingThe Google Pixel 3 smartphone was just introduced to the public. It’s the newest Google mobile phone available in the US, the UK and Australia.

Many people are praising it for its camera, which is easily the best one that Google has ever offered. However, there’s much more than that.

So, today, we’re taking a look at this brand new mobile device from the gambler’s perspective. Is it worth the price or is it better not to throw away your old mobile for gambling just yet?


Google Pixel 3 News

google pixel 3 xl specsThe new smartphone was introduced on the 9th of October, 2018. It comes in several sets of hardware, including different storage capacities and phone size.

You’ll be able to choose between:

  • 64GB and 128GB internal storage
  • 5’5 screen (Google Pixel 3) and 6’3 screen (Google Pixel 3 XL)

It is also coming in three different colours, namely black, white and mint. This is one of the few things about this phone that’s actually nothing out of the ordinary. That is, as far as previous Google releases go.

Now, here’s the most important part. How much does the device cost? The price is far from modest as UK customers can have it for £739 and £839. The prices apply to the 64GB version and 128GB internal storage version respectively.

Is Google Pixel 3 worth it? Let’s find out.

What’s New About This Smartphone?

google pixel 3 sizeAside from the dual lens front camera, Google Pixel 3 XL has a resolution of 1440×2960. This results in a good PPI density too, which is above 500. These characteristics are much lower on the non-XL version, though.

The device will come with Android 9.0 OS and an Octa-Core, which should run many apps simultaneously with ease. While you don’t really need internal storage for playing online, even the 128GB option is rather low in today’s standards.

Not only that, the internal storage will have to do because there’s no microSD slot on the device. All versions of Google Pixel 3 will have 4GB RAM, which is also not an improvement in general.

Better than Galaxy Note 9 or iPhone XS?

samsung galaxy note 9 mobile gamblingBased on these basic statistics, Google Pixel 3 does not outdo the newest mobiles from other brands. For example, both Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone XS have 512GB storage. The Android also has twice as much RAM and a microSD slot.

True, the Samsung is more expensive than the new Google device. However, the price difference isn’t as big as the hardware differences, which put Google Pixel 3 behind.

Google Pixel 3 in Online Gambling

Unfortunately, it isn’t the very best phone in the market today. However, Google Pixel 3 is still an amazing choice for mobile gamblers. It’s a high-end device that will run your games flawlessly and serve you for hours on end.

However, when its price adds to the equation, we just don’t think it’s the best option right now. There are some cheaper alternatives that will give you the same advantages.

Besides, there are quite a few disadvantages of Google Pixel 3 that punters on mobile won’t enjoy:

  • No 3.5mm jack
  • No microSD card slot
  • 4GB is enough, but there could be more
  • Non-XL version has only 1080×2160 pixel resolution

depositing by phone billAs a result, you’ll need wireless earphones or headphones to play casino games in public. The low storage will limit the ways you can use the phone. You might also experience problems on casinos with downloadable software.

Also, you could get a mobile with more RAM for the same price. This would run your installed software, such as casino apps, more smoothly.

Finally, the larger your mobile screen size, the easier, more comfortable and immersive the gameplay is. With the non-XL version, you won’t get the best experience possible.

In Conclusion

No, Google Pixel 3 isn’t worth its price, especially for mobile gamblers. However, it will still run all the games well. Therefore, if you want the new Google smartphone, by all means, buy it and have fun. We aren’t here to spoil that!

Google Pixel 3 is a decent device for mobile gambling. However, there are better options in the same price range, such as Galaxy Note 9.

Everything You Need to Know About the iPhone XS: Is it Really Worth the Price Tag?

Apple WWDC Logo 2018Last night, Apple held their annual WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in California. With it, CEO Tim Cook unveiled that the brand will be launching three brand new iPhones this year: The iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR.

Each one of thee phones is said to be better than the last, yet each also comes with a brand-new, mind-boggling price tag. In fact, the iPhone XS Max will be Apple's most expensive phone to date. So what makes it so special?

In today's blog post, we're talking about what new features each new iPhone has, and whether or not they're worth buying.

2018 Apple Event – The Key Announcements

Before we get into discussing each new phone in detail, we first thought it was best to take an overview of what was announced at the event:

  • Apple revealed the new iPhone XS, which starts at £999
  • They also revealed the XS Max, a larger version of the XS, which will retail for between £1,099 and £1,449 – making it Apple's most expensive iPhone  ever
  • There will be a cheaper option (thank god) too, which will be the XR. This also comes in six colour options
  • All new phones will run on iOS 12 which will be available for download on the 17th September
  • Apple killed off three old iPhone models: the iPhone X, the iPhone 6S and the iPhone SE

The iPhone XS and XS Max

iPhone XS and XS MaxThe biggest news of the 2018 Apple event was that they will be releasing a new smartphone this week. Of course, this news was to be expected, but we didn't know until yesterday what it would be called or what new features it will offer.

The new Apple smartphone is named the XS (pronounced as the 10 S, and not as the ironic sounding ‘excess'), and it will come in three colourways; Gold, Silver and Space Grey.

The iPhone XS will also come in two sizes, 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches, with the latter being named the XS Max. The XS Max will, therefore, boast the biggest iPhone screen in existence.

iPhone XS and XS Max New Features

Both new phones come with several new features:

  • They will run on a brand new A12 processor, which should run up to 50% faster than their previously newest chip.
  • The iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max will both come with facial recognition technology, allowing you to unlock your phone by scanning your face.
  • Both new phones will also boast Dual SIM support, which allows you to use two SIM cards at once and therefore, two phone numbers too.
  • Both new phones will feature dual 12-megapixel cameras, which offer stabilization, 2x optical zoom, and portrait mode – which allows depth control when taking photos.
  • Both new phones will run on the new iOS 12 software. This includes ‘Siri Shortcuts' which allows you to carry out multiple tasks with a single command. Siri Shortcuts can also be linked to non-Apple apps, such as home heating devices and other brands of music speakers and equipment.

How Much Does the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Cost?

As is to be expected, the new Apple smartphones come with wince-inducing price tags. Both phones are available in three different memory sizes and will be priced as follows:

  • iPhone XS (64gb) – £999
  • iPhone XS (256gb) – £1,149
  • iPhone XS (512gb) – £1,349
  • iPhone XS Max (64gb) – £1,099
  • iPhone XS Max (256gb) – £1,249
  • iPhone XS Max (512gb) – £1,449

When Will the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Be Available to Purchase?

Both phones will be available for pre-order from the 14th of September and will be shipped from the 21st of September.

The iPhone XR – The Budget Buy

In addition to the iPhone XS and XS Max, Apple also unveiled that they'll be launching a third new smartphone – the iPhone XR. Designed to be a more ‘budget' (and we use that word with a touch of cynicism), the iPhone XR will boast most of the same new features as the XS and XS Max, but with a lower-quality exterior and screen.

iPhone XR Features and Differences

iPhone XR

The iPhone XR will include many of the same features as the other two new phones, including:

  • The all-new A12 processor
  • Facial recognition
  • iOS 12
  • Dual SIM Support

There are, however, some notable differences between the XR and the XS and XS Max. Some of these differences are beneficial, yet some explain why the XR has a cheaper price tag:

  • The iPhone XR is available in six different colours: white, black, blue, yellow, coral and red.
  • Whilst both the iPhone XS and the XS Max will boast OLED screens, the XR will come with an LCD screen, which means that graphics won't appear as sharp.
  • The iPhone XR will come with cheaper, aluminium casing, as opposed to the stainless steel casing of the XS and XS Max.
  • The iPhone XR has only one 12-megapixel camera, which means it doesn't offer the same stabilisation or 2x optical zoom as the XS and XS Max models. However, it will still offer the Portrait mode depth of field controls.
  • The iPhone XR offers 1.5 more hours of battery life than the XS and XS Max.

How Much Does the iPhone XR Cost?

Touted as a budget-buy, the iPhone XR is significantly cheaper than the XS and XS Max – and therein lies it's appeal.

That being said, the XR is still, definitely not cheap. It comes in three different storage sizes, and the prices are as follows:

  • iPhone XR (64gb) – £749
  • iPhone XR (128gb) – £799
  • iPhone XR (256gb) – £899

When Will the iPhone XR Be Available to Purchase?

The iPhone XR will not be available to pre-order until the 19th of October. Shipping of the phone will then commence on the 26th of October.

So, Which New iPhone Should You Buy?

Verdict StampEssentially, unless you're in desperate need of a new smartphone, you shouldn't buy any of the new iPhones listed above. Here at GoWin, we wouldn't like to encourage consumer capitalism, yet if you are in the market for a new iPhone, you may want to hear our verdict.

The iPhone XS is the newest, standard, model and it's the phone we'd go for if we were to purchase one of the three phones mentioned above. It provides an array of new features and a high-spec design which will suit all our pay by phone casino needs.

Alternatively, we'd also recommend the XR. It's cheaper, it looks great, and although it doesn't have the same high-quality screen, graphics still appear bright and crisp.

That being said, owners of last year's iPhone X may feel that a new purchase is unnecessary, as none of these new phones offers enough new features to explain their new, much higher, price tag.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals: How Do They Work

Fixed odds betting terminals, also known as FOBTs, have been among the most popular gambling machines in the UK since 2001. There are tens of thousands of these terminals in the country and people love them for their high payouts, fixed odds, high bet limits and incredible speed. One can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on these machines featuring games like roulette, blackjack, poker, virtual sports and slots. Unfortunately, this has also led to many cases of addiction.

fixed odds betting terminals rouletteNowadays, gambling comes in many forms, one of which is gambling machines. These can be distinguished even further into slot machines, sportsbook booths and various other gaming machines.

One type of these arcade-like booths is the FOBT, which stands for fixed odds betting terminals. This type of gambling terminals is relatively new compared to other types of casino and gambling games.

They appeared in the UK in 2001 and have spread throughout betting shops as wild fire. As of today, more than 34,000 FOBTs are available throughout the country and thousands of people gamble on them every single day.

Yet, this doesn’t really explain what they are and what makes them so popular. That's what we do in this article, so you know all there is to know about FOBTs, how they work and why they provide great entertainment. As with every type of gambling, you should exercise caution and stay in control of your budget at all times, though!


What Are Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

what are fobtsFixed Odds Betting Terminal is actually a very broad term that describes machines offering various games. FOBTs offer games like roulette, blackjack, poker, slots, simulated horse racing and other virtual sports.

However, all of these games have something in common that makes them FOBTs. You’ll know you’re playing on an FOBT machine if it fits all of the following descriptions.

  1. They have fixed odds – duh

Obviously, this is the most important characteristic of FOBTs. What this means is that all payouts are fixed and have the same chance of triggering. This is self-explanatory in games like roulette or blackjack.

However, even FOBT slots have fixed odds, unlike other fruit machines or online slots. The fixed odds on slots are achieved by altering the odds according to the bet size. The more you bet – the greater the odds of a win.

  1. They have fixed maximum stakes and payouts

There are different categories of fixed odds betting terminals, but all of them have a maximum win of £500. The maximum stake, however, differs with each category.

For example, B3 terminals have a maximum stake of £2. B2 terminals offer better odds by allowing much larger stakes up to £100.

  1. They allow players to bet every 20 seconds

These gambling machines are very popular, because they are very fast. This means that you could win big money in a matter of minutes.

The fixed payouts, high maximum wins and incredible speed turned fixed odds betting terminals into very popular and lucrative games. However, they’re usually more lucrative to the bookies than the players.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals Addiction

fixed odds betting terminal addictionHigh stakes, high speed and big wins turned out to be quite addictive and, as a result, FOBTs are now infamous for causing many people to get addicted and even bankrupt in the UK.

It wasn’t far off to call these terminals ‘crack cocaine of gambling’, a label which stuck to these games after they reached a yearly revenue of well over £1 billion. In fact, it has recently surpassed the £2 billion mark!

The undeniable danger these gaming machines bring has been noticed a long time ago, actually. In 2005, when the Gambling Act came into force, all betting shops were restricted to only four FOBTs per outlet.

However, the industry found a way around this rule and opened up more shops in the same locations to fit more of these terminals, because they were so lucrative. To this day, various people and organizations are trying to minimise the harm made by these games. And they’re actually getting close to a solution.

Recent News on FOBTs in the UK

uk gambling commissionAs you may have heard before, fixed odds betting terminals have been directly linked with problem gambling in the UK. As a result, there have been several attempts to decrease the harm by lowering the maximum stake available on these games in the recent months.

The main goal of the anti-FOBT campaigns has been to reach a £2 maximum stake instead of the current £100. As of today, there’s no definite outcome yet. However, Gambling Commission and other organizations have agreed to lower the maximum bet to somewhere between £2 and £50.

In fact, the UKGC has stated a few days ago that they would propagate a maximum bet of £30. The £2 limit would only be applied to fixed odds slot machines, but many aren’t satisfied with this as slots aren’t nearly as popular as fixed odds roulette.

And if you’ve ever played a FOBT, you know that betting £30 every 20 seconds can still accumulate almost £1,000 losses in mere 10 minutes if you’re super unlucky. We’ve yet to see how this ends and whether the needs of society will come before the profits of businesses and the government. We have a strong feeling that it won't, unfortunately.

Setting Limit Per Bet

roulette fobt limitWith all this noise about bet limits of fixed odds betting terminals, you might think that every FOBT player only stakes the maximum amount all the time.

Naturally, such a statement couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s the sheer number of players of these games that contribute to their cosmic annual profits. As a result, some people don’t believe that even the £2 limit would help much.

Players can change the bet size every single round and it’s only the £100 limit that stops them. Unfortunately, there’s no other way to set a lower limit on these games, so even the staff won’t help here. The only thing they can do is exclude you from betting for a period of time altogether.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals Tips

fobt betting tipsIf all this notoriety related to FOBTs didn’t scare you off, there are several ways to increase your chances to fill your pockets on these games.

  • Don’t gamble with more than you’re ready to lose

This is an obvious tip you’ve probably heard before, but it really works. You might not win as much with a lower budget, but it won’t affect your life as deeply if you lose either.

  • Walk away while you’re still in the lead

If you do come out on top, cash out and leave the shop. And don’t come back any time soon, because you’re likely to lose all your winnings and then some if you’re still excited about your last good run.

  • Understand the odds

Fixed odds betting can’t be played well without actually understanding the odds. After all, these games are entirely based on odds, so coming up with a strategy might prove more lucrative than just betting randomly.

Bitcoin Casino Apps — Cryptocurrency Gaming Heaven

Bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency out there and people have really started taking advantage of Bitcoin to gamble safely, anonymously and hopefully profitably. When it comes to Bitcoin Casino Apps, there aren’t any or many, anyway. However, what we can do is to advise you as to which Bitcoin casinos are available to be played via your browser on whichever mobile device you happen to be playing on. No need to compromise on the levels or the availability of entertainment in the shape of casino games and slots — Bitcoin casino apps are just around the next corner!

Bitcoin-casinoThe rise of Bitcoin has created a world of possibilities for an unprecedented number of businesses to nurture. Mobile casinos are no exception. With mobile payment methods increasing in popularity and with mobile casinos growing as a form of entertainment, it would make sense for the two to evolve together with the adoption of Bitcoin.


Best Bitcoin Casinos

When searching for these apps, it became clear that things weren’t as easy as that. Finding a trusted Bitcoin casino app proved impossible — no site seems to have invested in creating an Android or an iOS app for people to access Bitcoin casinos via an app.

Luckily, we know the market pretty well and you can easily circumvent this issue by simply playing at whichever Bitcoin casino in your browser. Sure, it's not as convenient as having an app and you'll have to log in each time, but it's better than nothing!

mBit Casino

mBit casino is the first Bitcoin casino on our list. Its popular services include video slots as well as the traditional three-line and some classic five-line slots too. Other games include live dealer casino tables, allowing for a more immersive experience and creating a great social hub for players to enjoy each other's company at.This casino allows players to place a variety of wagers:

  • Fraction of a Bitcoin
  • Whole Bitcoin
  • Multiple Bitcoins

This allows the people to feel unrestricted in the amount they have to front to enjoy a game. When gambling on any site, it's important for players to feel their money is safe. For mBit Casino, this is accomplished by ensuring the player's cards, or dice, are verified through ‘rfid’ chips each time a round is played.

Bitcasino

Bitcasino.io Casino LogoFeaturing an incredible 1,300 games to choose from, Bitcasino has one of the largest libraries of mobile casino games on the market. Thankfully, the site breaks these down into categories, which are sorted by trending, new and featured.

Presenting the most popular games and a live casino, Bitcasino highlights all the best promotions and biggest jackpots they have to offer. The site offers a gracious welcome bonus and a second deposit bonus as well, for when you've blown through the first one.

Once those have been played through, there's also a 25% reload bonus, plus many more promotions ready to be claimed. This site is compatible on all devices: just open up your internet browser, sign in and you can start betting.

VegasCasino

Now, for another fan favourite site – VegasCasino. They have a selection of over 300 games for users to play, which are all optimised for Apple, Android and Windows devices. The games include slots, cards lotteries and a live casino giving any type of player a selection to choose from.

Like a lot of online casinos, VegasCasino offers a welcome bonus, where new players can reap a 100% deposit bonus of up to one Bitcoin. Meanwhile, regulars get a reload bonus of 25%. On top of this, players can bet anywhere from 0.01 Bitcoin to 12.5 Bitcoin, but if you don't feel confident enough to gamble right away, you can play a few demo rounds first.

BitStarz

BitStarz Casino LogoBitStarz possesses two features that makes it stand out: the number of certificates of trust from gambling authorities and their bonus system. They give out a bigger welcoming bonus to all new players than most of their competitors.

With a 100% bonus of up to €100 or 1 BTC upon your first deposit, players also get 180 free spins on a selection of games. Most sites would end it there. Yet BitStarz also offers a 50% bonus on the second deposit of the same value, then go on to offering a third and fourth deposit bonus as well.

Navigating through the site is made simple by breaking down the games into two categories – new and top games. This will help explorers seek out and try the latest games while also letting casual players interact with games they're more likely to recognise, such as Wolf Gold or Aztec Magic.

FortuneJack

BitcoinJack Casino LobbyFinally, we have FortuneJack, whose main goal is to streamline the whole Bitcoin casino experience as much as possible. They also offer an impressive 500 games available on all mobile devices, which are categorised for players' convenience. These categories are broken down into dice, roulette, blackjack, jackpot slots, live dealer games, poker and more.

FortuneJack have also implemented the ability to purchase Bitcoin straight from the site, thus saving their players valuable time and effort.

Things To Look For In Best Bitcoin Casino

Bitcoin casino sites have, naturally, been a huge success. As a result, there are more of these sites popping up. If you fancy traversing this Bitcoin casino world for new casino experience, then it's best to be prepared. Here, we compiled a list of factors to think about when looking for new sites:

  • Mobile compatibility: one of the easiest and most convenient ways to play at casinos, especially with Bitcoin, is through a mobile device. Some sites offer a poor experience for mobile users due to an unclear layout or a user experience that simply doesn’t work. So, make sure the site is tailored for your mobile before accessing it.
  • Fairness tested: there are a lot of scams online, so it's a good idea to ensure you're protected from fraudsters and cheaters. Any site that has been tested and verified has a clear certificate of this on the web page, so be sure to look out for it.
  • Easy to claim bonuses: it's important that players get the most for their money. Usually, the top casinos offer instant deposit bonuses for players to use. Make sure to check the fine print though, to ensure the bonuses are instant and without a catch.
  • Browser friendliness: the biggest names in Bitcoin casinos understand the importance of being able to have their sites visited by any device- mobiles or computers. While unusual, there are some sites which will require Flash, meaning Apple mobiles can't access it.

NetEnt Free Slots & Best Casinos 

NetEnt stands for extremely high quality in the gambling industry. There is little wonder why they are so popular in online and mobile casinos everywhere — they produce some of the very best slots there are. Most of those slots you can play for free in the demo mode, which is perfect for those not willing to spend any money of their own just yet. And when you’re ready to try out your good fortunes, make a deposit and head to one of the best NetEnt casinos we’ve listed in this article!

NetEnt LogoTo nobody's surprise, the number of online casinos has dramatically increased over the past decade. So much so, in fact, that it can be hard to know which ones you should go for. Thankfully, software developers like NetEnt have been in the industry long enough to know how to make a winner. 

With over 100 of the world's leading online casinos using the NetEnt technology on their sites, it can be daunting to know which game to play first and why. Obviously, each casino offers their own rewards and benefits to joining, as well as playing. 


Best Free Slots 

One of the many genres of games, which NetEnt provide are their free slots. These range from colourful arcade slots, to movie or music inspired gaming experiences.  Thankfully, over the years, a large number of these have been made so there's one suited to everyone's tastes. A brief look into some of the contemporary online casino game rosters and the player will quickly spot all of the fan favourites such as the following games listed.

Starburst 

Starburst WildsWhile  a number of these games across many sites, there are a select few which have stood out for mobile slot veterans. Some of the NetEnt games that are released start out quite well, but are soon abandoned, deemed to be duds. Meanwhile, the others are incredibly popular and these particular versions quickly become fan favourites. 

Starburst is simplicity made perfect and precisely because of this, it is featured on almost every NetEnt casino homepage. The game doesn't have any particular features, no progressive jackpot or extra spins, which is unusual for a mobile slot game.  

Usually, the lack of features is the hallmark for a game that would get down-voted into oblivion.  This time around, however, this is the exact reason that Starburst has become such a popular take on the genre within mobile gambling communities.  It blends high-paced slots with a colourful layout, making it an enticing and enjoyable experience. The high chance of winning doesn't hurt either! 

Planet of the Apes 

The Planet of the Apes slot features music from the series, keeping you invigorated. Every so often, depending on the symbols that appear on the reels, there is a fun animated  event that takes place, such as a group of chimps running across your screen is to let you know that you're in for a chance of a big pay-out! It may not seem like much, but it does add a deeper layer to the game and mixes up the traditional formula for a slot game.  

Blood Suckers 2 

Blood Suckers 2 Slot LogoNow for another fan favourite – Blood Suckers 2. Clearly inspired by the folklore and Bram Stoker, the artwork of Bloodsuckers 2 is very Gothic and the music is ominous.  The enticing features for this slot come in the form of: 

  • Wild substitutions 
  • Free spins 
  • A hidden treasure bonus game  
  • Two Shot features 

With these in play, players should find it a breeze to score high and plunder the treasure from the Vampires. 

Guns N' Roses 

Finally, we have the Guns N' Roses video slot. If you're a fan of this legendary band and have a particular taste for slots, then you will be sorry that you haven't played this sooner.  

The game features an easy to navigate design and replaces the traditional images on the slot wheels. Instead of fruit or gems, there are avatars of the iconic band members, the famous Guns N' Roses logo, plectrums and a record as the ‘bonus'.  

An added feature, whilst playing this particular slot, is the selection of the band's most famous tracks. This will help any player get into the groove of spinning whilst letting them head-bang to victory. 

With such a wide range of scenarios for players to jump into, it becomes quite transparent as to why so many online casinos are integrating NetEnt software. Pandering to any taste from art style to music, there literally is a slot game for anyone. 

Best NetEnt Casinos Of 2018 

Determining which casino is best can sometimes be a hard task, especially for newcomers. Players have to factor in joining bonuses, range of games, support and usability into their opinion. Here are some of the favourites from veterans in the mobile industry. 

Each of these sites feature a range of games, from the NetEnt suite, for you to sink your teeth into and all include different benefits to those joining. Some have a greater selection of NetEnt games, others have a significantly larger welcoming bonus while some include an infinite number of promotional offers up for grabs. 

Betsafe Casino

Betsafe offers a very generous 100% welcome bonus up to 250 EUR for those who sign up to their mobile casino. This is a great entry point for players that also want access to almost every NetEnt game on offer. The casino offers NetEnt local and pooled jackpots allowing players to try and get the most for their money.  

Karamba Casino

Karamba Casino LogoKaramba, on the other hand, may feature a smaller selection of NetEnt games than Betsafe, but it makes up for this with a 200% welcome bonus of up to 500 EUR! The added bonuses to this site include free spins and regular tournaments for a variety of their games. 

888  Casino

Next, we have 888 Casino, who are so big they've practically become a household name in the industry. 888 also feature a decent welcome bonus, with the chance of up to five reload bonuses. Featuring almost all NetEnt games but no jackpots, this is a great site to play around for free. 

Pots of Luck Casino

Finally, there are Pots of Luck –  an easily recognizable online casino due to their famous leprechaun logo. This site offers a constant flow of promotional offers and welcome packages, with the chance of reload bonuses as well.  

Known for their excellent customer service and availability to help those having technical issues, players will truly appreciate why this company chose to have ‘Luck' in their name.  

Go And Vote For The Three Best Online Bingo Sites In WhichBingo Awards!

WhichBingo Awards 2017Do you feel like your opinion as a bingo fan is too often overlooked? Well not this month, as the WhichBingo Awards ask you to vote on which you think are the very best bingo sites out there today.

This is both an opportunity for you to get your voice hear, and a chance to get recognition for some great bingo brands. Three of the nominated brands are particular favourites of ours, and we’d be grateful if you could help them to the top spot by giving them your vote! Read about these brands below, and find out how to vote!


 

ABC Bingo – Best Dragonfish Bingo Site

ABC Bingo LogoTaking it back to your alphabet basics with our first best bingo site suggestion of ABC Bingo. This site has been delivering great bingo games and slots for an awfully long time, but all this has been taken to the next level in the last year with an overhaul of the site’s appearance, and a brand new welcome package that boasts and incredible 400% deposit bonus. We strongly believe that ABC Bingo is the currently the Best Dragonfish Bingo Site, and if you share this belief, please go and vote!

 

WOW Bingo – Best Cozy Games Bingo Site

Wow Bingo LogoIt’s been too long since you visited WOW Bingo. How do we know this? Because even if you just left the site to come read this, it’s always been too long since you visited WOW Bingo. The site makes our life easy with a welcoming and accessible design, and makes your life a little brighter by offering you a 500% first deposit bonus to get you going. Vote for it as Best Cozy Games Bingo Site and help it get the recognition it deserves.

 

Zingo Bingo – Best Jumpman Gaming Bingo Site

Zingo Bingo LogoOur final suggestion that we would strongly compel you to vote for is the effervescent and hugely exciting Zingo Bingo. Its logo is stars, its personality is welcoming, and its navigation is super user-friendly. Best of all? You are in with a chance of winning a staggering £2,500 when you first sign up and get to take a spin on the site’s infamous wheel of fortune! We think this is the Best Jumpman Gaming Bingo Site, and if you agree, please vote!

 

How To Vote

Hopefully you’re as hyped up as we are and ready to get voting! If you want to, just head to the WhichBingo Awards page, choosing ‘Vote Now’ when you get there. Then all you need to do is choose your picks for best bingo sites in the different category drop-down lists, and submit!

Make sure you get your voting out of the way before 31st of May, otherwise your choices won’t be counted. This is a really important event in the industry, and a great chance for you to have your say!