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Australian Online Casino to List on Stock Exchange

21 November 2000

Sydney-based Internet gaming company Australian Online Casino (AOC) is planning to list its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). However, to date, online gaming companies bets on the ASX this year have not been a sure bet. In fact, Access Gaming Systems, Lasseters and Go Bet have all pulled their listings. Gocorp succeeded in going to market, but saw its shares slump 54 per cent on its first day of trading and is now trading at 9¢, well below its issue price of 50¢. Those still on the ASX like Gocorp have seen their shares fall, despite a dramatic increase on the first day of trading, and they’re currently trading at 9¢, well below the issue price of 50¢, while shares in My Casino have fallen to 11¢ against an offer price of 20¢. Although AOC has an eight-year online gambling license from the Australian Territory of Norfolk Island and a three-year license from the Republic of Vanuatu, it has not begun to operate a site yet which planned for launch in February 2001. It intends to include video poker and keno in its games menu. Although the Norfolk license prevents it from taking Australian bets, according to director Graham McVean, "being an Australian regulated company is a good thing in South-East Asia and Europe". The company is seeking to raise $10 million, selling 50 per cent of the company at 20 cents per share, with subscibers getting a free option with each share taken up. AOC will have about 80 million shares on issue after the float, valuing it at about $16 million. The finance raised will be dedicated to the development and promotion of the site in Asia and Europe. The new site faces stiff competition from over 850 sites including large interests like Tabcorp and Kerry Packer''s Publishing & Broadcasting. The Australian Federal Government plans to introduce legislation may impact on the lauch of the site, as it would prohibit the start-up of any new online gambling services.

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