LuckyMe


LuckyMe

LuckyMe was part of a large multi-year, multi-strategy initiative by USA casino operator Harrah's Entertainment to enter all sectors of the United Kingdom gambling market. [cite web|url=http://www.gambling911.com/vb/archive/index.php/t-800|title=Harrah’s betting on Internet gaming|accessdate=2007-05-18]

In addition to the LuckyMe Internet offering, Harrah's simultaneously launched a highly-publicized and promoted effort to win license approval from the UK government to build massive, USA-style casino resort destinations in government-selected locations such as Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow. At the same time, Harrah's also entered into a joint-venture with the large, successful UK bingo-hall operator Gala Bingo to together develop a number of smaller, regional, bingo and casino gaming locations. In addition, Harrah's also entered negotiations with UK satellite-TV operator BSkyB to launch an interactive-TV gambling channel.

In the end, only the LuckyMe initiative came to fruition, and that only for a few months.

Opened in March 2004 only to adult British citizens (in order to comply with USA gaming regulations) the LuckyMe web site offered an innovative web gaming product and model, designed to feel familiar and desirable to the huge population of UK gamblers.

With traditional UK-style bingo as its core offering, plus several other games and betting products surrounding the bingo platform (as is commonly offered in UK land-based bingo locations), the LuckyMe site was available to consumers as a unique subscription-model -- where a flat monthly fee allowed subscribers unlimited play and winnings. The site offered over 300 games a day with payouts ranging from £1 per game to £10,000 per game, and the aggregate chance to win £100,000 a month. [cite web|url=http://www.gamblinggates.com/news/casino/item398142.html|title=U.S. casino giant launches betting site in UK|accessdate=2007-05-18] [cite web|url=http://www.casinos.co.uk/news/gambling-news.html?story=1082|title=Harrah's launches LuckyMe|accessdate=2007-05-18] Subscription fees ranged from £9.99 to £27.99 a month, with the first week free of charge.

The entire LuckyMe service, platform and all games were designed and created by a then-new USA games and gaming technology developer GameLogic, under exclusive contract to Harrah's.cite web|url=http://www.generalcatalyst.com/news/view/180|title=GameLogic Powers Harrah's UK Internet Venture|accessdate=2007-05-15]

LuckyMe was licensed by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. At the time, several other high-profile gambling websites were also based in Alderney, including Sky Bet Vegas, Virgin Games and Hard Rock Casino. Harrah’s also acquired a UK bookmaking permit in order to run betting applications on the LuckyMe site, which launched with an innovative GameLogic-developed offering named Wingo, another subscription-based service wherein gamblers placed a single bet each month, but were entered into literally thousands of betting games each month (and were eligible to win any and all of them) and were notified and paid out automatically if and when they won. [cite web|url=http://www.casino.co.uk/textonly/harrahs-to-launch-womens-gambling-site-from-uk.htm|title=Harrah’s to launch women’s gambling site from UK|accessdate=2007-05-18] .

Also developed by GameLogic to ensure LuckyMe enforced all UK, Alderney, and USA gaming regulations, the LuckyMe site featured a sophisticated player identification system that screened prospective gamblers in real-time and prohibited bets from the USA and other countries where Internet gambling was then prohibited. [cite web|url=http://www.quova.com/page.php?id=33&news_id=84|title=Harrah’s Chooses Quova|accessdate=2007-05-18] .

Problems

In October 2004, as Harrah's negotiations with BSkyB had failed to secure a satisfactory agreement, and the company was terminating its Gala Bingo joint-venture over disagreements over how to move forward, and had failed to acquire any of the licenses awarded to develop large destination resorts, Harrah's suspended the operation of LuckyMe, effectively abandoning its entire UK initiative. Though at the time the company announced its intentions to return to the UK, it has not yet done so.cite web|url=http://www.uspages.com/companyID396.htm|title=USPages - Harrah's Entertainment Inc - the best of US business|accessdate=2007-05-15] .

References


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