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Alderney Gambling Control Commission Issues its first Three On-Line Casino Gaming Licenses

11 April 2002

Alderney, British Channel Islands, Apirl 10, 2002. - The Alderney Gambling Control Commission has issued three interactive gaming licences, under The Gambling (Interactive Gaming) (Alderney) Ordinance, 2001, as amended, to the following three applicant companies and its key personnel:
Littlewoods (Alderney) Limited
Ritz Interactive Ltd - a subsidiary of The Ritz Club based in The Ritz Hotel, London
and WagerWorks Alderney Ltd.

Commenting on this announcement, André Wilsenach, Chief Executive Officer of the Alderney Gambling Commission said: "These are the first interactive gaming licences issued by the Commission and will allow these companies to conduct interactive gaming from Alderney on a regulated basis." He explained that "In terms of regulations, the above licensees will be required to obtain approval from the Commission for their interactive gaming systems, all games to be made available for play and their control systems, prior to conducting interactive gaming."

"We very much look forward to working with the Commission to launch an online casino under The Ritz Club brand." stated Kelly Moulton, Chief Executive Officer of Ritz Interactive Ltd. We are pleased to be working with André Wilsenach within the stable regulatory environment provided by the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the States of Alderney." Ritz Interactive Ltd. is a subsidiary of The Ritz Club based in The Ritz Hotel, London.

In July 2001 legislation was enacted to permit Internet or e gaming. The maximum number of licenses was to be fixed at six and each license holder would have been entitled to employ a maximum of ten staff based on the Island. Licences were issued for a three year period and are subject to an annual fee of £75,000.

These are the first, three online gaming licences to be issued specifically for Internet gambling. Several more applications for online gaming and electronic gambling licences are currently being processed and are expected to be issued shortly. In response to the keen interest and growing number of applications, the States of Alderney took the decision at last month's States Meeting to remove the capping as to the number of electronic gambling or interactive gaming licences to be issued.

In 1997 Alderney led the field with the implementation of legislation to permit electronic betting, using the Internet, e-mail, telephone and fax (Electronic Betting Centre Licences). The maximum number of licences was fixed - four at present - two of which were operated last year. These separate licences were issued for a five-year period and are subject to an annual fee of £50,000. The licences are specifically for betting and sports book business.

In May 2000 the States of Alderney established an independent, non-political, commission, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, to take over the regulation of the licensed businesses from the Island's Policy and Finance Committee. The Commission has built upon and developed the policy of ensuring its regulatory and supervisory approach meets international standards. The Commission engaged in regular dialogue with other international regulatory bodies and participates in the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF) and the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR). The Commission works closely with other agencies, particularly in the prevention of financial crime.

"We consider Alderney's compliance and technical standards to be among the best of the fully regulated interactive jurisdictions, and are very pleased that the Alderney Gambling Commission has granted WagerWorks a license for interactive gaming," said Paul Matthews, vice president of government affairs for WagerWorks. "As one of the only technology and content suppliers to have secured interactive gambling licences in two of the world's most highly regulated online gaming jurisdictions, WagerWorks continues its commitment to be the most compliant provider of online gaming solutions for established operators in fully regulated markets."

States Member John Postlethwaite said that "Alderney has gained worldwide recognition for a highly regulated gambling industry and as a result we are attracting reputable businesses who will only operate within a well-regulated environment."

Alderney ,the third largest of the British Channel Islands has its own government, legislature and company laws and is an offshore centre for investment, finance, e-commerce, e-gaming and e-betting.

Alderney is a self-governing, democratic territory and one of the principal islands of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The island is outside the EC and is also a British off-shore finance centre to the larger islands.

The Channel Islands have never been subject to the British Parliament and have always been self-governing units under the direct rule of the Crown acting through the Privy Council.

According to constitutional custom, the Crown does not interfere in Island politics, save when some vital constitutional change is necessary, and never in local affairs. The government's web site advertises that "Bureaucracy barely exists in the Channel Islands and least of all in Alderney." and that, "in this respect the political position of Alderney is unique in the British Commonwealth."

The island which is in the English Channel, is just 1.1/2 miles (3km) wide and 3.1/2 miles (5km ) long and has a permanent population of 2,400 residents.

Sportech plc is the holding company for Littlewoods Leisure, the UK gaming company. A spokesperson said : "Sportech is developing the Littlewoods gaming and leisure business, utilising new channels of distribution to bring more games to more players in the home, capitalising on the strength of the Littlewoods brand, namely its association with the values of trust and integrity."

WagerWorks, Inc. develops and markets a complete Internet gaming solution which enables established casino companies in regulated markets to leverage their market position and brand equity online. As a veteran of the traditional casino industry, WagerWorks has adhered to the highest standards imposed by the U.S. regulatory authorities. Founded in April of 2000 by Silicon Gaming, Inc., the company has implemented a broad line of products with unparalleled integrity and unmatched quality, including the Odyssey slot machine and accompanying library of innovative game titles.

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