Welcome to our latest edition of Pearl Digest for the week of April 3, 2007. In this week’s newsletter, we bring you more good news from the European Union as well as hopeful prospects headlining in the US. Also, the WTO verdict is in, ruling against the US. NETeller has remained in the spotlight, now limiting their services to residents of Canada and Turkey. Learn more in the Internet Gambling News and Payment Processor New sections.

We put together some great tips on how to obtain maximum SEO through proper balancing of text and graphics on your web site. In addition, Pearl Gaming has added several new Templates for our affiliates. More details are available in our SEO Secrets and New Pearl Gaming Software Feature sections. Be sure to check out the Announcements below concerning the upcoming CAC in Amsterdam this May. You may also view Pearl Gaming’s Site of the Month and Property of the Month winners below. Have a great week, and happy reading!

The annual Casino Affiliate Convention (CAC) is set to kick off May 3-5, 2007. Pearl Gaming’s very own CEO, Karim Dahmani, will be attending. He would like to encourage all of our affiliates to join in as well. Karim is looking forward to meeting many of our Pearl Gaming Affiliates in person at the event, which is being held at the NH Grand Krasnapolsky Hotel in Amsterdam. For more details, visit the CAC Amsterdam 2007 web site.

New Pearl Gaming Software Feature

Web Site Templates

Pearl Gaming offers a wide variety of Templates in many unique designs and colors. To view these Templates, log into your Affiliate CMS Admin Panel and click Templates from the Menu. You may click on any template image to see a larger view. To install a new template, click the circle next to the desired Template, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Install.

When choosing a Template for your web site, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most importantly, you don’t want to change your Template too often. If regular visitors don’t recognize your web site, they may think they’ve gone to the wrong web site.

Another important thing to consider is the position of the Directory Menu in relation to optional Banner Positions. Each Template has its own banner positions that determine where banners can be installed. For instance, some Directory Menus are on the left, some on the right. Banners may be placed on the opposite side of the Directory Menu, and under the Directory Menu. A few of the Templates do not contain an “opposite” side from the Directory Menu. In this case, you will not be able to add banners to this position. All Templates allow banners to be placed above or beneath the content.

When selecting a new Template, be sure to adjust your web site so that the layout and color schemes match. For example, if you use a text or link color that matches your Template, you may need to change the text or link color to match the new Template.

Pearl Gaming SEO Secrets

Symmetry Of Text & Graphics

When designing your affiliate web site for maximum SEO, quality text content greatly outweighs graphical content. However, omitting graphics can be damaging to your SEO and overall enjoyment of a web site. Search engines read the tags within your images, making them an essential tool in keyword density. Visitors to your web site enjoy a clean, crisp page that is not only interesting and informative, but also appealing to the eye. This requires developing a proper balance of readable text and graphics into your web site.

For the best results, your entire HTML content should consist of about 50% readable text and 50% graphical text. As mentioned in previous editions of the Pearl Digest, your text should contain all of your keywords, located at the beginning, middle and end of your page, they should be emphasized with bold or italic text decoration the first time each one is used, and <hi> tags should be utilized above the opening paragraph. Your keyword density for the page should be around 5% - 7% for each keyword phrase.

Graphics can be used in the form of banners, logos, buttons, etc. Images should be crisp and clear, adding a professional look to your web site. Each image should contain an Alternative Text Tag, also known as an ALT Tag. This is the text that will appear when you mouse-over the image. By adding strong keywords into the ALT Tag, you are raising the keyword density for your page. Every image on your web site should have a purpose, with the ALT Tag describing that purpose. Note that if using a logo, it should not be placed above the first paragraph. This paragraph is extremely important in SEO. (See Pearl Digest issue06-07 – SEO Secrets: Optimizing Your First Paragraph). For this reason, logo images are not recommended.

To see how well balanced your text / graphic content is, test the Keyword Density with this tool. Test once with ‘Include Meta, Alts & Title’ turned on, then again with it turned off. Look at the Keyword Count. In the first results with Metas, Alts and Titles, there should be about twice as many as in the second results. If your text contains more than 50% of your keyword density, this is okay, but your graphic/link Tags should never make up more than 50% of your keyword density / SEO. If your textual keyword density is much higher (75% or more) than your graphical SEO, you might consider placing more keyword-rich content into your Graphic ALT Tags and Link Title Tags for the added SEO.

Internet Gambling Law News

WTO Rules Against US

Antigua and Barbuda argued to the World Trade Organization (WTO) claiming the US had failed to change gambling regulations following a previous ruling in 2005. The WTO ruling has come back, stating the US has in fact failed to change legislation, which unfairly targets offshore gambling operations. The WTO cited that the US may only prohibit such web sites if laws are equally applied to US based operations providing off-track betting on horse races.

Antigua’s Finance Minister, Errol Cort, was pleased with the WTO’s ruling. “It vindicates all that we have been saying for years about the discriminatory trade practices of the US in this area, and we look forward to the US opening its markets.”

While this appears to be a great boost for those in favor of regulating online gambling in the US, analysts point out that the US may easily implement such laws, further constricting gambling rights within the US, rather than allowing competition from outside their borders. They may also choose to appeal the decision, though it is not expected to yield alternative results.

Poland Legalizing Online Gambling

More good news erupted from the European Union last week as Poland announced they plan to legalize online gambling. Tthe European Courts ruled recently that Italy may no long ban gambling operations from other EU states. The Polish government is now falling into suit with these same laws, developing regulations to license online gambling.

This comes as great news to online gamblers and online gambling operators. It is yet unclear when the new laws will take effect. Poland, as well as a few other members of the European Union, were informed earlier this month that they have two months to change their internet gambling policies, allowing open market from other EU states, before the matter is taken to court. Poland has been the first reported to respond.

Online Gambling A “State’s Right Issue”?

With more politicians who oppose the UIGEA entering US Congress, there is a new buzz in the air concerning legalization of online gambling. It is now speculated by experts that Congress will pass laws to make Internet gambling a “state’s right issue”. This would give individual states the right to decide, whether Internet gambling should be allowed within their borders.

Nevada, home to the largest network of casinos in the US, is currently promoting legislation to legalize online poker for residents of California. It is hoped that other states will follow suit, helping to lobby towards the goal of repealing the UIGEA. This comes as very good news for online poker players in the US who are becoming more and more hopeful of a positive outcome.


Payment Processor News

NETeller Declares More Changes In Service

NETeller has made quite a few changes of late. The Board of Directors has been evaluating risk factors involved in serving various jurisdictions, and has thus decided to close their doors to online gambling transactions from Canadian and Turkish customers, as of March 25, 2007.

Residents of both Canada and Turkey will still be offered service from NETeller, but are restricted to non-gambling related transactions only. This decision is expected to have great repercussions on the company’s financial outcome for 2007, as Canadian online gamblers made up a significant percentage of NETeller’s customer base.

The impact will be felt at NETeller, but they are confident of a successful future. They intend to focus their business on growing markets in Europe and Asia. There are no plans to further reduce staff members within the company, as they believe they are appropriately numbered to handle their remaining customers. In light of the recent uncertainties surrounding NETeller, their shares on AIM remain suspended from trading.

In addition to these reports, NETeller has issued a statement concerning their agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office to return funds to their US customer accounts. Apparently there was some confusion as to whether US clients would have their funds returned within the 75-day period.

In an effort to clear up any misconceptions, the e-wallet giant stated that the 75 day period referred to an “agreement of a plan of distribution with the USAO. It would remain to be determined, as part of that plan, the precise timing of the distribution of funds to US customers.”

Pearl Gaming Site of the Month

Nolan A – Beating Bonuses

From all of us at Pearl Gaming, we offer our proudest congratulations to Nolan, webmaster of www.beatingbonuses.com, and winner of Pearl Gaming's second Site of the Month. To win the Pearl Gaming Site of the Month, a web site must achieve maximum SEO, a high traffic rate, unique content and the most players. This can all be attained through the use of Pearl Gaming's innovative tools and features.

Nolan's Beating Bonuses web site is very unique and offers interesting content that draws multiple players to his web site. The web site is beautifully designed and is very easy to navigate. Visitors find excellent advice for novice and veteran players, including Odds Calculators, strategies, rules and other information on many of the most popular casino and poker games. As the name implies, you'll also find detailed tables describing the sign-up bonuses for each gaming site he offers. Bonus details can be viewed by all casinos, casinos offered by a particular software provider, game type, or by best casino bonuses.

Pearl Gaming spoke with Nolan about his web site, and asked him how he felt about winning Site of the Month. He replied, “I am happy and proud to receive Pearl Gaming's Site of the Month. There are many quality sites on Pearl Gaming, so the recognition is quite meaningful to me.” Nolan, who joined Pearl Gaming on Dec. 9, 2006, commented on Pearl Gaming's customer support, “Pearl Gaming's customer support has been outstanding, better than any other affiliate program I have been with. Karim and the team have gone out of their way to assist me on several different occasions.”

We at Pearl Gaming think Nolan has done an amazing job on his web site and are proud to have him as an affiliate of Pearl Gaming. Beating Bonuses will receive a featured link on the Pearl Gaming web site as our newest affiliate Site of the Month. Way to go, Nolan!

Pearl Gaming Properties of the Month

Pearl Gaming is proud to announce Manchester United Poker as this month’s winner of Pearl Gaming Property of the Month. Manchester United Poker has gained a magnificent reputation as one of the elite online poker sites. As part of the Betfred network, Manchester United Poker offers high quality entertainment, absolute security and great overall customer satisfaction.

At Manchester United Poker, players enjoy the finest poker games available, like Omaha and Texas Hold'Em. Powered by PlayTech software, game play is uninterrupted, providing streaming 3D graphics and an authentic poker playing experience. Promotions include Red Devil Loyalty Bonus, which accumulates points determined by the players VIP Level. The points are converted to Red Devil Bonus Dollars and added to the players account at the first of each month. Security and customer support are both excellent, with no problems reported in either department.

Another unique quality of Manchester United Poker, and one certainly worth promoting on your affiliate web sites, is that they offer Satellite Tournaments and Super Satellite Tournaments into the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Satellite tournaments offer lower buy-ins, allowing players to win their way to the WSOP, while the Super Satellite Tournament takes a higher buy-in of $375 ($350 + $25). However, the winner of the Super Satellite Tournament is automatically awarded a seat at the WSOP Main Event. The prize package, worth $14,000, covers buy-in, flight and accommodations.

As Pearl Gaming Property of the Month, we greatly encourage our affiliates to highlight Manchester United Poker as one of the elite online gaming properties available today! Manchester United Poker will be receiving a featured link on our web site as Pearl Gaming Property of the Month.

We at Pearl Gaming hope you've enjoyed and can put to use the knowledge contained in our Weekly Newsletter. In addition, if any affiliate of Pearl Gaming would like to contribute material to our future Newsletters, please feel free to contact and/or send the material to [email protected] Any material provided by our affiliates that is published in the Pearl Gaming Newsletter will receive a backlink to the affiliate's site. Please note that the content provided must be your original work.

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