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Anne Lindner
 

Nambling Notes - June 7, 2002

7 June 2002

News from Hong Kong -- Macau's leaders have yet to openly criticize Hong Kong's new law that bans offshore gambling, including Internet gambling. The South China Morning Post reports that Macau officials have stated privately that the ban might have only a limited effect on the SAR's betting industry because enforcing it could violate telecommunications rights. Casino mogul Stanley Ho, however, has called the law "totally unacceptable," saying it could put his Macau Jockey Club out of business. The recent passage of a law banning all offshore gambling in Hong Kong will likely increase ferry traffic between Hong Kong and Macau, as people seek a place to gamble legally, said Pansy Ho, managing director of Shun Tak Holdings, which operates a ferry service. She is the daughter of Stanley Ho, who operated Macau's casino monopoly until the SAR awarded additional gambling licenses in February. He is the managing director of the Macau Gaming Company. On June 3, the Macau Jockey Club said its turnover from the preceding Sunday had been cut in half due to three factors: Hong Kong's new law banning offshore gambling, the World Cup and bad weather. A spokeswoman for the club said turnover had been down 46.7 percent from the previous week. A representative from Macauslot, which offers football and basketball lotteries, said its turnover from last Sunday had fallen 50 percent and that for the Macau Greyhound Racing Company had fallen 40 percent. On June 2, police in Hong Kong arrested six people for allegedly taking $2.6 million worth of bets on the World Cup. Hong Kong police are engaged in an operation designed to prevent betting on the World Cup since race wagering and lotteries are the only forms of gambling allowed there.

New Stuff -- Ladbrokes this week launched a German-language wagering site that will cater specifically to Germans, offering bets on German football and horse racing. John O'Reilly, the managing director of the company's Internet gambling section, said the new site is sure to attract the attention of Germany's regulatory authorities. Under German law, independent bookmakers can only take wagers on horse races. O'Reilly said Ladbrokes has applied for a license that would allow it to offer sports betting as well. He said the situation is "almost certain to end up in the European Court." The Black Rhino Casino, a gaming Web site that's calling itself the first charitable online casino, made its debut on Friday. According to its press release, the casino will contribute 10 percent of its net profits to groups that work to protect endangered species. The casino software was designed by Futurebet Systems Inc. InterCasino launched a Spanish casino on Thursday. The site offers more than 35 games. Grand Virtual launched WagerCity, a P2P betting site, on Tuesday. The site offers betting in 16 languages. On May 30, Jackpot Madness awarded its largest jackpot to date, $1,594,649.21, which was paid out in a single cash payment.

UK Tidbit -- The Rank Group said this week that its newest online casino, which will be launched from its Isle of Man I-gaming license, will be branded one of its other business endeavors, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Rank said it expects HardRockCasino.com to start taking wagers this summer.

Makin' Deals -- To promote the launch of Winneronline.co.uk, Vancouver-based Winneronline.com is partnering with FreeWorldCupBets.com to offer people free bets on World Cup games with reputable online bookmakers. The new, United Kingdom-based Winneronline site will offer players easy access to Europe's most respected bookmakers. Winneronline.co.uk will only feature betting sites that offer secure Internet betting in pounds sterling or euros. Chartwell Technology announced Tuesday that its subsidiary, Chartwell Games Corp., has been chosen to license and design software for Turkbet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wilson Sports and Racing. Turkbet operates sports betting shops, an interactive sports book and land-based casinos in Cyprus. Youbet.com inked a deal with Winnercomm Inc. , a television production company that operates Web sites related to horse racing. Youbet.com will provide the company with online content. The Los Angeles-based company also this week announced an agreement with the California Authority of Racing Fairs.Youbet.com will now be able to market its services at CARF events.

Names and Faces Changing Places -- Global Entertainment Holdings/Equities Inc. recently appointed Jonathan Shatz as CFO. Shatz, a chartered accountant, has more than 20 years of experience in banking, brokerage and investor relations. Youbet.com on Thursday said it hired Gary Sproule as CFO. Sproule was most recently the CFO of Disney Interactive, where his responsibilities included strategic planning, controllership and information technology. Power Leisure changed its name to Paddy Power in an effort to pump up brand awareness. The Irish group's stock ticker symbols will remain the same.

Tidbit from Down Under -- The Victorian state government banned Tabcorp from contributing to a school field trip that would have allowed seven students to travel to Florida to conduct an experiment on sending spiders into space. The government called Tabcorp's donation to the field trip inappropriate. Thirteen students are scheduled to visit the space shuttle Columbia in Florida; seven of those 13 will not be able to go unless money for their airfare is donated.

Tidbit from the US -- The leader of a group that pushes for litigation against tobacco companies warned casino executives this week that their industry could be the next focus of class-action lawsuits focusing on product addiction. Scott Harsbarger, president and CEO of Common Cause, said lawsuits against gambling companies will eventually come about as more Americans have their lives affected by gambling addiction. Harshbarger is calling for gambling in America to be regulated by the federal government instead of state governments, which currently regulate gambling.

Say What? -- "Countries want to restrict gambling for reasons of social protection, but what it is really all about is the protection of state monopolies. That's what we are challenging." -John O'Reilly, managing director of Ladbrokes e-gaming division, in the Financial Times on June 3.

Nambling Notes - June 7, 2002 is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Anne Lindner
Anne Lindner