Thursday, May 25, 2006

Africa Is Coming Online!

Internet connectivity in Africa is growing at a faster pace than any other region in the world according to information from AllAfrica Global Media. Of course, it should be noted that this growth is coming on top of an extremely low base. Reports from a number of sources indicate that in terms of Internet connectivity, online advertising and e-commerce, many parts of Africa are making progress.

ClickZ, citing the CIA "World Factbook," reported that there are 23.5 million Internet users in Africa, "Of just over 900 million African residents, about 2.5% are online, compared to the worldwide average of 16%. Since 2000, the number of Internet users in Africa has grown 400%."

Many African users access via Internet cafes and other multi-user locations such as schools and offices, making an exact count difficult, but the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) estimates that the largest population of Internet users resides in Egypt with 3.9 million users, followed by South Africa with 3.6 million, Morocco with 3.5 million, Nigeria at nealy 1.8 million and Kenya with 1.5 million users.

Online advertising in South Africa, is expected to total R183m in 2006 ($29 million) and to be more than R200m in 2007, despite a reluctance within the country's advertising industry to spend money online. A survey conducted by World Wide Worx found that South African advertising agencies are either unaware of online advertising or doubt its effectiveness.
Nevertheless, "Online advertising is one arena of online activity in which SA has seen more growth than the US over the past four years, and where the growth rate for 2006 is similar to that in the US," said Arthur Goldstuck of Worx.

Because of the high cost of broadband Internet access, however, South African online retail sales grew by only 20% in 2005, down from a 25% growth rate of 2004. And, according to "Online Retail in South Africa 2006" from Worx, another 20% increase is likely in 2006.

"The biggest obstacle to growth identified by all the executives we interviewed continued to be speed of Internet access, and more specifically lack of affordable access to broadband," said Mr. Goldstuck. "But there is a realization that the growing experience levels of users will make a significant impact. We call it the 'Experience Curve,' and believe it's the key to online retail in South Africa."

The total spent on online retail goods in SA in 2005 was R514 million ($81 million), up from R428 million in 2004.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

ONLINE FRAUD IS NO HIGH THAN OFFLINE FRAUD

Online shoppers can breathe a sigh of relief and so can online merchants. Since the early days of e-commerce, consumers have feared that their financial information is less secure online than off. This has fueled concerns in the South African online market that caused late adopter consumers to avoid purchasing online. This however seems to be a concern no greater than using your credit card at the local brick and mortar shopping centre, according to a new study, from the Merchant Risk Council (MRC), which shows that the fraud rates for online stores are now similar to the fraud rates suffered at conventional stores.

MRC figures indicate that card-present fraudulent chargeback rates in stores are usually less than 0.1% of sales. In the recent survey, 48% of the online retailers who responded said that their chargeback rates match that level, representing a significant improvement over previous years when online fraud outpaced card present fraud by as much as five times.

According to Julie Fergerson, these figures show a positive trend but she is quick to add that although there is an improvement, online retailers need to be vigilant when ensuring their consumers safety." In recent years online merchants like Piggs Peak Internet Casino have adopted fraud prevention tools such as address verification systems and customer follow up and this has clearly helped prevent fraud. All new accounts opened at Piggs Peak are followed up with a phone call to verify all details including Identity number and Address. Players at Piggs Peak are also required to send a copy of Identity the first time any cash out transaction is made at the online casino.

Online gaming, which is fast becoming a world wide phenomenon, is sure to arouse concerns about safety when playing online. Using reputable sites like Piggs Peak Internet Casino is a must when gambling on the Internet. Piggs Peak uses state of the art software powered by Microgaming Systems, the world leader of online gaming technology since 1994. The software works through Secure Socket Layer (128-bit SSL) Digital Encryption, Microgaming’s built-in tried and tested fraud protection software. This is the standard for all security transactions over the internet, and means you can trust in the security of your game play and banking transactions at Piggs Peak Casino.

This relevance of safety measures is high due to a number of sources reporting that in terms of Internet connectivity, online advertising and e-commerce, many parts of Africa are making progress. According to information from All Africa global Media, Internet connectivity in Africa is growing at a faster pace than any other region in the world.

Clickz, citing the CIA "World Fact book," reported that there are 23.5 million Internet users in Africa, "Of just over 900 million African residents, about 2.5% are online, compared to the worldwide average of 16%. Since 2000, the number of Internet users in Africa has grown 400%."

Consumers are waking up to the fact that online transaction equals greater convenience. In a market orientated economy, satisfying consumer needs in a more efficient and effective way translates into a win-win for consumers and companies. Gambling Online at Piggs Peak casino is so appealing due to its inherent convenience. Dynamic gambling is available at the click of a mouse, anytime and virtually anywhere, with no compromise on online purchase safety and total peace of mind.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Five local players win World Series of Poker Seats

Piggs Peak Casino, Swaziland is becoming synonymous with making millionaires and for good reason. In the 5th tournament of the All Africa Poker Series, Africa's second poker MILLIONAIRE cashed in. The event was hosted at the Orion Piggs Peak Hotel and Casino, in Swaziland on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th May 2006.

After twenty five hours of Texas Hold-Em Poker, and in excess of 2,700 hands being played, Peter Vermaas revealed his winning hand as having King High Club Flush at 01.55am on Sunday morning, walking away with one Million Rand in cash and a package worth R100,000 to the World Series of Poker being held in Las Vegas in July 2006.

Play commenced on Friday 5th May 2006 at 4pm, with a field of 90 players travelling from as far as Canada, St Francis Bay and Zambia to battle for the title of Africa’s Poker champion.

With 17 players knocked out on Friday night, the atmosphere was intense and the remaining players settled in for 16 challenging hours of poker. By 22h00 on the Saturday night, the top 10 were revealed and the final hours of poker action commenced.

The top 10 players shared a prize pool of R2,250,000, and the top 5 players each walked away with a package to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas worth R100,000.

Peter Vermaas, having placed in the top 10 twice previously, showed that his lengthy poker career and experience placed him in a perfect position to play his winning hand.

The All Africa Poker Tournament launched a new era in poker when the February Tournament was filmed and packaged into 6 exciting episodes, and was screened on DSTV Channel 111 in April this year!

Players were distinctly aware that they were in the new realm of televised poker and potential poker celebrities raised their game and their TV persona, providing both exciting and compelling viewing. The next series of All Africa Poker is scheduled to run on DSTV Channel 111 from 10th July 2006. Be sure to watch your screens for all the action.

Tournament organizers announced the next Tournament from 18th -20th August 2006.

For further please contact Leanne Godden on Telephone : (011) 407 8700, email : Leanne@piggspeak.com or log on to www.allafricapoker.com.

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Origins and History of some of your favourite games

Gambling has become such a way of life in modern society that little thought is given to how these game forms developed, there have also been huge strides in innovation and technology when one looks at the area of gambling. One only has to review the humble beginnings of gaming to see these noticeable advances.

To begin lets review the ever popular slot machine. It was invented in 1895 by Charles Fey but only perfected in 1907, when Charles teamed up with the Mills Novelty Company to produce the first slot machine called the “Miss Liberty Bell”. This prehistoric slot machine was made in a cast iron case and the machine's reel strips depicted playing cards’ king, queen, and jack. The machine also originally had a bell that rang when you hit a winning combination, but this was scrapped. The initial concept, however was not lost because now-a-days, modern slots have a bell that ring as an indicator that a player has just hit the jackpot. Although Fey invented the slot machine in the late 1800’s, it’s popularity only soared when Busgy Siegel peppered his Flamingo Hilton Hotel with them in the late 1940s. Virtually anyone who visits a casino, even for the first time, is familiar with a slot machine and how it operates: just put in your money, pull the handle and wait a few seconds to see if you win, but the original purpose in Bugsy’s hotel was to keep the wives or mistresses of high rollers entertained.

This "Liberty Bell" is the primary predecessor to all modern American slot machines as its basic design continues to be used in mechanical gaming devices today. The simple mechanical device with three old-style reels holding 20 symbols has evolved into microprocessor-controlled devices with up to five spinning reels holding hundreds of symbols. The popularity of the slot machines can also be accounted to the fact that it is less intimidating to play and requires little on no skill as opposed to table games.

The “Miss Liberty Bell” is a far cry from the slot machines on offer today, technology has advanced to such a degree that every computer has the potential to become a slot machine. With companies such as Piggs Peak Internet Casino using software from Microgaming, gambling is possible anytime and anywhere as consumers log on to the net to get in on the action. Internet gaming software provides interactive and dynamic play on slots, a far cry from the cast iron slots dinosaur.

At Piggs Peak Internet Casino, from the spin of the roulette wheel, being dealt an awesome hand of cards in Blackjack or Poker card games, to exciting promotions and winning huge slot jackpots, online gaming has captured the imagination of many people. You can enjoy hours of entertainment, sitting in the comfort of your own home, with the best casino games at your fingertips. With over 100 exciting slots games to choose from, over 20 top class tables games, 34 Video Poker games and 19 progressive games, Piggs Peak Internet Casino creates an amazing real life experience with the help of state of the art software supplied by Microgaming, who have been the world leader of online gaming technology since 1994. Gambling has never been so convenient, where else could you play your favourite slot machine from a comfortable arm chair in your home, as you puff on a cohiba cigar, swig down some scotch and have entertainment at your fingers only a click away? One has to wonder if Charles Fey ever envisioned his Liberty Bell going through such a metamorphic process and turning into the explosive slot experience available at Piggs Peak Internet Casino.

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