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Anne Lindner

Nambling Notes - Feb. 1, 2002

1 February 2002

Legal Stuff -- ESPN is taking legal action against an Internet sports book that is using its name. The sports network's spokeswoman, Ashley Swadel, told Bettorsworld this week that her company is confident it will be able to get to stop using the ESPN name. The sports book is based in Costa Rica. The executives at Internet betting company My Casino are embarking on a legal battle concerning the composition of the company's board. The Australian Supreme Court will next week hear from two companies with connections to Austrian investment manager Andi Reitmeier. At it issue is whether shareholders should be allowed to vote to remove chairman Mike O'Donnell. Switzerland and Monaco are joining forces in the fight against money laundering. The money-laundering control authority of Switzerland recently signed a pact with Monaco to exchange information about international money laundering. Switzerland has made similar agreements with Belgium and Finland.

New Stuff -- on Thursday kicked off the semi-finals for its Million Online Tournament. During the semi-final rounds, 2,504 poker players around the world will compete for 100 spots on the Million cruise in March. Top prize in the tournament is $1 million. Big Flash Casino launched a new non-download gaming site on Thursday. The Internet casino features 47games that load in less than one minute. Big Flash Casino is one of the five Jackpot Factory gaming portals. Golden Palace Online Casino is introducing a million-dollar slot machine. It's the first of its kind on the Internet, company officials said.

Tidbits from the US -- Magna Entertainment's XpressBet wagering system was "overwhelmed" by users during its first few days of operation, a company representative told racing news site this week. Andrew Gaughan, the company's vice president for new media initiatives, said the site had to post warnings about possible delays in processing applications. The Internet and telephone betting operation launched late last week after receiving a license from the California Horse Racing Board. Magna also said this week that it is starting a new "territorial fee" system, in which it would pay a racetrack partner in its XpressBet system up to 60 percent of the takeout if the wager takes place within 25 mils of the track.

Rams, Patriots, Bono and a Groundhog -- While most online bookmakers will be offering bets on the outcome and score of the Super Bowl, which will take place on Sunday in New Orleans, one bookmaker has come up with a different bet. VIPsports is offering bets on what song U2 will begin its halftime show with. IGN would like to hear "Elevation," from the band's album of the same name, but VIPsports said "Beautiful Day" is the 2-1 favorite. Saturday is Groundhog Day, and is listing odds heavily in favor of the groundhog seeing his shadow. As tradition has it, if the groundhog sees his shadow when he emerges from his hole on Feb. 2, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't, spring is on its way.

Makin' Deals -- VirtGame and Sindhara SuperMedia Inc. , a developer of multimedia technology and platforms for desktop and wireless applications, signed a memorandum of understanding this week. The agreement establishes a framework for the two companies to work together on a wireless multimedia gaming platform. "We believe wireless gambling will be the next Killer Application," said Scott Walker, VirtGame's president and CEO.

Names and Faces Changing Places -- Peter Dean is the new chairman of the International Association of Gaming Regulators, replacing J.P. Suarez.

A Tidbit from Asia -- Genting International plc is said to be a top pick for one of the three available casino licenses in Macau. The casino company bid on the license through its 90-percent owned Macau Star SA. Genting is the owner of Malaysia's only casino license. The Macau government plans to announce the winners of the licenses by the Chinese New Year, which is Feb. 12.

Tidbits from the UK -- British Sky Broadcasting is teaming up with TotoPools to offer new interactive television betting services on Sky Active. In spring TotoPools will bring its soccer pools to digital television; the service will complement Sky Active's fixed-odds betting on football. TotoPools is the first pools betting company to make wagering available on Sky Active. The end of the betting duty in the United Kingdom has been bad news for the country's treasury. According to the Customs and Excise department, the government received £35.1million in betting taxes between Oct. 6 and the end of November. In the same period of 2000, the government received £78.3 million.

Say What? -- "We were profitable from Day One. Barring some nuclear event, I put my money on online gaming being the biggest source of online revenue for us in five years." -- Christie Hefner, chairman of Playboy Enterprises, as quoted by the Chicago Tribune, Jan. 28, 2002

Nambling Notes - Feb. 1, 2002 is republished from
Anne Lindner
Anne Lindner