GPWA Times :: WEBMASTERNEWS Russiangamblingmarkettakesahit Bingsteps intosearchenginebattleagainstGoogle QUOTABLES “Internet gambling in the United States should be controlled by a strict federal licensing and regulatory framework to protect underage and otherwise vulnerable individuals, to ensure the games are fair, to address the concerns of law enforcement, and to enforce any limitations on the activity established by the states and Indian tribes.” —Apassage fromabill introducedbyBarney Frank (D-Mass.) andPeterKing (R-N.Y.) “WPT Slovakia is a unique and exciting addition to the World Poker Tour’s expanding international tournament offering.” —SteveLipscomb,WPTFounder andCEO.WPTSlovakiawill be thefirstWPT event inCentral and EasternEurope. A crackdown on gam- bling in Russia that hasbeen in theworks for nearly three years finally becamea reality inJuly. Prime Minister Vladi- mir Putin proposed the legislationwhenhe was president back in 2006, citing he want- ed to wipe out what he termed an “im- moral industry.” The new law bans gam- bling on the Internet and in gambling halls as well asat airports, supermarkets and any other sites. All gam- bling activity is now confined to four remote areas -- the Primore region in Russia’s far east, the Baltic region of Kaliningrad, the Altai region of Siberiaand theAzovSea in theSouth. The news got worse weeks later when Russian officials announced that an error was made in 2007 when poker was added to the list of official sports inRussia. As a result all pokerclubsin Russia were closed and the Poker- Stars-spon- sored Euro- pean Poker Tour, which was sched- uled to hold its first event in Moscow this summer, was forced to change itsvenue. “We are in mourning,” said Dmitry Lesoni, the head of theRussianSport Poker Fed- eration on the federation’s Web site. “We lost. But we fought until the last cardwas laiddownon the table.” The popularity of poker has erupted in Russia over the last 10 years. Last year, Rus- sian professional Ivan Demi- dov became the first player in history to reach the final table in theMain Event of both theWorld Series of Poker and the World Series of Poker Europe. And this past summer in Las Vegas, VitalyLunkin took the WSOPby stormwhenhewon the special $40,000Hold’em Eventandhad twootherTop- 5 finishes in gold bracelet events, including the pres- tigious $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. WorldChampionship. T he search engine wars are heating up. In June, Microsoft launched Bing in an effort to revive its mori- bund search engine busi- ness. And in July, Micro- soft and Yahoo! reached a 10-year agreement inwhich Yahoo! will use Bing as its search engine. Themoves thrust Bing, which opened to generally good re- views, into the role of Google challenger in the search en- gine business. In July, Bing increased its U.S. marketplace share to 8.9 percent, a .5 per- cent increase from the previ- ousmonth.MeanwhileGoogle marketsharedipped .3percent to64.7percent andYahoo! fell .3percent to19.3%. Google is still well ahead of Bing, and the eventual Ya- hoo!-Bing partnership. But it isn’t standing still. In Au- gust, Google released “Caf- feine,” a test version of its new search engine for Web developers. The caffein- atedversion of Google is designed to “push the envelopeon size, index- ing speed, accuracy, comprehensive- ness and other dimensions,” according to an entry on the Google Webmaster Central Blog. As the Google and Bing press ahead with their search engine plans, tools to helpwebmasters keep up with the changes are crop- ping up. At bing-vs-google. com, webmasters can type in a search term and com- pare results from Bing and Google in side- by-side panes. And compare- google.comdoes a similar thing with caffeinated and decaffein- ated versions of Google.