Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
As the tourist season in Dubrovnik reaches its peak the city seems to be returning to pre-pandemic levels. In the first part of this week, there were close to 16,500 tourists in Dubrovnik, which is almost three times more than at this time last year, and 73 percent of their number from the same period in 2019.
According to the received registrations and deregistration’s of tourists through the eVisitor system, the most numerous tourists in Dubrovnik this week were from Great Britain, the USA, Germany, France, Ireland, Croatia, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland and Finland.
There is no denying that not all slot machines in online casinos can be called honest. There have been cases in the past that have proved it possible for developers to obtain licences but still cheat players. Based on this, it cannot be ruled out that even now some of the developers are making money in an illegal way.
Inexperienced players are often in a hurry to jump to conclusions, and they perceive common losses as cheating. Therefore, the experienced gambling community itself is sceptical of claims of possible slot machine cheating. So, you have to be very persuasive just to have the case considered seriously. By default, however, many people tend to think that slot machines from licensed developers are honest.
If a slot machine eats up your deposits one by one, that doesn't mean its fairness is in question. It is more likely that you are just unlucky. But sometimes suspicions turn out to be true, and it is historically proven.
There have been those in the past who doubted the honesty of Sheriff Gaming, and they ended up being right. In a high-profile scandal, the testimony of a programmer and other evidence that the developer had tampered with slot machine results surfaced. At the very least, the developer cheated with progressive jackpot draws. Which turned out to have been paid out to friends and family of the company's owners.
Sheriff Gaming executives were arrested back in 2013 and in December 2018, five years after the investigation began, the company executives were sentenced. The three main defendants received a total of five years and three months in prison and fines of €100,000 each. Tax officials calculated a debt of 13 million euros and the company's assets were confiscated.
The investigation revealed that the owners of Sheriff Gaming were in a position to decide to whom and how much the slot machines would be paid. They didn't bother with the small stuff, but they didn't allow big winnings and jackpots to go to the side. Therefore, fake accounts were created that belonged to the owners of the company and their cronies. These accounts were used to generate the jackpots.
The former programmer said that one day there was a program failure and an ordinary player hit a big jackpot, which infuriated the director. As a result, the winner never received the full amount of the winnings.
It would have been surprising if the denial of the huge progressive jackpot had not caused a stir and a subsequent investigation. But according to programmer Sheriff Gaming, the developer in such cases claimed that the win was due to a software error or the winner was accused of foul play.
By doing so, they usually managed to negotiate a much smaller payout. If the players did not agree, they got nothing.
The developer had an Alderney licence, which is considered trustworthy. Even the UK had whitelisted the jurisdiction, showing it could be trusted. Then why didn't the regulator do anything?
A former employee of Sheriff Gaming said that the regulator came to them with an audit, and so that the audit didn't reveal that they were cheating players, the developer had fixed all the files and statistics that could indicate this beforehand. Therefore, nothing was known about the cheating.
There was an attempt on the part of the company owners to sell the property in favour of Blue Gem Gaming. But the Dutch government did not allow the transaction. The assets were confiscated, then sold to Novomatic. Sheriff Gaming, together with its parent company Bubble Group, went bankrupt.
There was another telling case. GameART, licensed in Curacao, tweaked the demo mode of at least one game. As a result, players made incredible winnings time after time when they ran the test game. Playing for real stakes, on the other hand, was a different story.
Through Videoslots casino representatives, it became known that the developer had confessed to the deception. But, unfortunately, no action was taken against them. How to believe in the honesty of GameArt slot machines after this?
Here you can act on the principle of grading iphone casinos. The more solid the licence of the developer, the more confidence in the fact that he provides fair slot machines. Let's compare the two extremes of Igrosoft, which has no licence at all, and NetEnt, which is licensed in nine jurisdictions, including the strictest. The difference is obvious.
Curacao is the most unreliable jurisdiction, Malta has gained a pretty good reputation, the UK and Alderney are among the most reliable. But sites with licences can still be checked by reviews, but casinos without a licence at all should definitely be avoided.
There's no doubt that the developer supplies fair slot machines, but there's also the risk that a particular casino site offers fake software. Confirmed reports of such cases appear regularly. For example, the case of the Bet21 operator who accused the aggregator of having fake slots on their site.
There is a way that is guaranteed to show whether slot machines are original or not. This is done by checking the server where the games are downloaded from. Each software provider has one or two servers. They are the only ones that host their official games. If you open the slot machine, you can check which server it is downloaded from.
If the server addresses do not match, it means that the software in front of you is fake. And this means only one thing - someone wants to deceive you by shoving fake slot machines.
Slots give random results and sometimes those results can seem unbelievable. However, that does not mean that there is anything wrong with slot machines. The main thing is not to jump to conclusions, check your doubts, check the licence of the developer and the server from which the games are loaded. If you want to find fair casinos, check BestAuCasinosOnline.
The horticultural revitalization and greening of the plateau in the Dubrovnik “City Park” project will participate in this year's competition for the CEMEX International Construction Award, which will be held for the 31st time in Mexico at the end of 2022.
The competition seeks to encourage creativity and the development of better construction practices and highlights innovations that will become new standards of construction in the future.
The total area of the plateau of 2,400 square metres which serves as an outdoor parking lot, and the investment was carried out by the City of Dubrovnik.
The Gradac Park is an extremely important part of the panorama of the city of Dubrovnik. Due to its position within the contact area of the historic core, the coverage of the plateau in Gradac Park belongs to the zone of protection of cultural assets of landscape and architectural values.
The entire project was designed by architect Lea Đurović Ruso and landscape architect Mia Erak from Proto-Arch d.o.o. it was made in accordance with the strict guidelines of the Conservation Department in Dubrovnik.
From January 1, 2023, citizens will be able to withdraw their first euros at slightly more than 3,000 ATMs or 60 percent of the currently active ATM network in Croatia, in 10 and 20 banknotes, and in some 50 euros. Until January 15, the euro will be available to citizens at all ATMs in the country.
According to the latest available data of the Croatian National Bank, as of March 31, 2022, there are slightly 5,049 active ATMs, and this number exceeds 6,500 ATMs each year in the tourist season. The Governor of the CNB, Boris Vujčić, also confirmed that on the first day of 2023, most ATMs will be filled with euros, and by January 15, all of them.
In agreement with the banks from December 5 this year, Payten, a company that maintains 50 percent of the total ATM market, is starting the process of their adjustment to the introduction of the euro. According to Payten 60 percent of ATMs will be configured in the first phase of adjustment.
The global aviation sector will recover more strongly from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic this year than previously estimated, and could find a plus next year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects.
With its annual general meeting in Doha, IATA on Monday released estimates of falling global losses this year to $9.7 billion, up from $42.1 billion last year. The association previously predicted a $11.6 billion drop this year.
In estimates for 2023, IATA CEO Willie Walsh expects profitability to return.
While North American airlines could make a profit of $8.8 billion this year, losses will continue to be recorded in other parts of the world, Walsh said.
European airlines could reduce their annual losses by about two-thirds, to $3.9 billion, and Asia-Pacific expects losses to drop to $8.9 billion.
Continued restrictions on measures to combat re-pandemics in China have slowed demand recovery, IATA said.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has also pushed profits, increasing fuel costs and forcing airlines to bypass routes between Europe and Asia, according to IATA.
From Bauhaus to Contemporary architecture, the world’s landscapes are lined with a rich tapestry of architectural styles which are loved (and complained about) by many. But which style is most favoured in Croatia?
Using social listening data, new research by comparethemarket.com.au has revealed the architectural designs spoken about most positively across the internet, as well as the ones which sparked the most negative conversations.
Victorian is the architectural design Croatia takes to the web to speak about the most positively, compared to colonial-style which is negatively spoken about the most.
In fact, in Croatia, searches for 'Victorian architecture' have increased by +100% in the past 12 months.
Comparing the data across the globe, Gothic is the most positively spoken of architectural design in X countries, whereas X is the topic of the most negative conversations in X out of the X countries analysed.
Commenting on the research, Simon Downes spokesperson for comparethemarket.com.au, says: “Architectural styles are reflective of historical and cultural movements over the years, and their unique features foster diversity across each country’s landscape. When it comes to property, popular architectural styles can raise the value of your home considerably, and the age and structure can even affect your home insurance quote. Therefore, it is important to consider these factors when choosing the most appropriate home insurance deal for you.”
According to the announcement, the first cruise ship to sail under the new Pelješac Bridge should pass on Thursday under the command of Dubrovnik Captain Jozo Glavić.
The cruise ship, named Bolette, is moored today in Gruž, and tomorrow should be the first ever cruise ship to sail under the new bridge, reports Dubrovački Vjesnik.
After the ship sails under the bridge it will be anchored in front of Neum, and passengers will be able to visit the nearest tourist destinations such as Medjugorje or Mostar.
Bolette is a little more than 237 metres long and 32.5 meters wide. It has 12 decks, can sail at a speed of 25 knots and can accommodate 1,380 passengers.
The height from the water to the highest point on the ship is 48.1 metres, and the allowable passage height under the Peljesac Bridge is 55 metres.
The Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac, said on Tuesday that "we can be very satisfied" with the current part of the tourist season, with Croatia currently at 94 percent of overnight stays of the record breaking 2019.
In a statement before the Government session, Brnjac pointed out that tourism is recovering well, including domestic guests, which are four to five percent more in June than in the same month before the 2019 crisis.
The value of fiscalized accounts is also an indicator, which was 20 percent higher than in 2019, said Brnjac.
In addition to the preparation and realization of the season, the Ministry is also turning to long-term strategic goals, i.e. green and digital transformation, the Minister pointed out.
"I hereby call on everyone in the tourism sector to respond to the public consultation, with the aim of making the applications as good and concrete as possible, because all projects must be completed by the end of 2025," Brnjac appealed.
The focus is on quality and sustainable tourism, and the goal is to distribute the arrival of tourists evenly throughout the year, both on the coast and on the continent, said Brnjac, citing the example of spa tourism as one that creates opportunities for developing Croatia as a year-round tourist destination.