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Anne Lindner
 

Nambling Notes - March 15, 2002

15 March 2002

New Stuff -- Racing-Network.co.uk launched a WebTV betting platform at http://www.rnlight.tv this week. The service will be available to more than 5 million digital television subscribers in Britain, who will now be able to watch and bet on live races through television set-top boxes. The company also recently announced the availability of its quick-fix betting and form service RNLight in traditional Chinese at http://www.horses888.com. To promote its new affiliate program, Spain-based CyberCroupier Casinos launched the "Putting Webmasters First" campaign to make people aware of the importance of giving Webmasters good customer service. "How often have you had a problem and been unable to contact anyone," said Julian Shinn, the company's affiliate manager. "And, if you get a response, it's either from a robot or a hassled customer support person who doesn't have a clue what you're asking." In response to this perceived problem, CyberCroupier said it offers a technical support team and regular information updates to members of its Webmaster affiliate program.

Tidbits from Asia -- Betandwin.com formally announced its intentions to pursue the Asian I-gaming marketplace. The Austrian company said it is embarking on a policy of long-term regional expansion, with the aim of developing regionally based distribution centers in countries with underdeveloped betting markets. In a news release, betandwin.com said the Philippines is the most suitable country to enter because of its citizens' fondness for gambling and sports betting. PLUSLottoTM also announced its plan to expand into the Asian market. The lottery, bingo and scratch-card site already offers games in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The company cited China's large population and its "culture pre-disposed to games of chance" as two of its reasons for launching an Asian site. The Chinese government will announce the results of its public consultation on soccer betting by mid-year, a government official told the China Daily this week. W.K. Lan, the secretary for Home Affairs, announced a consultation paper in June, which was to be followed by a study of gambling behavior three months later.

Makin' Deals -- Rimpac Resources Ltd. has hired HI-TEK Multimedia Inc. to provide marketing, production and consulting services as Rimpac promotes lottery portal InternetLOTO.com throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. San Diego-based Rimpac said it chose HI-TEK for its familiarity with those locations. Virgin Mobile is said to be in talks with Playboy to offer the U.S. adult entertainment giant's content via mobile phones. Virgin Mobile is the fifth largest cell phone operator in the United Kingdom, the Financial Times reports. If a deal is reached, U.K. Virgin customers could be able to download soft-core porn and strip-poker games to their cell phones.

Tidbits from the UK -- Richard Caborn, the United Kingdom's minister for sport, is increasing the Gaming Board's license fees for the bingo, casino and gaming machine industries as well as society lotteries. The changes, which come every year, are effective April 1. Caborn said he regrets having to increase the fees, but must do so because of the cost of issuing licenses. "The Gaming Board has recently gone through a comprehensive value for money audit by the National Audit Office and has acted on their recommendations," he said. "I am satisfied that there is no scope for further significant savings." The Financial Times reported this week that British Sky Broadcasting may not be able to submit a lower bid than what it is paying for Premier League football rights the next time the contract is negotiated. A Premiership club chairman told the newspaper that a clause in BSkyB's contract specifies that if it bids for a second time it cannot bid less than it paid on the first contract.

A Tidbit from Down Under -- New South Wales Minister of Gaming and Racing Richard Face said this week he will not run for re-election in March 2003. Face is the state's longest serving MP, and his exit from politics brings months of speculation about whether he will run for office again to an end.

Legal Stuff -- Mandalay Resort Group won court orders to stop six Web sites from using its trademarks and has filed four more lawsuits in connection with alleged misuse of its Mandalay, Luxor, Excalibur and Gold Strike brands, the Las Vegas Sun reports. Among the companies Mandalay received court orders protecting its trademarks were: Highland International Investment Ltd., Coventry Investments Ltd., Cambridge Capital Investment Ltd. and New Orleans-based More Unused Domains.

Tidbits from the US -- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is evidently moving the eradication of betting on college sports near the bottom of his to-do list. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Senator failed to mention the cause during an appearance on Don Imus' national radio show on Wednesday. Later in the day, when asked, he said that while a possible betting ban on college sports for Nevada sports books is still important to him, "all issues are second to getting campaign finance reform done." One of the leading gaming system testing firms was granted approval on Tuesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board to implement "ticket in/ ticket out" (TITO) testing. BMM North America was given the accreditation by the Board to begin testing of slot machines. Specifically, BMM will verify gaming device compatibility with the many TITO systems being installed in Nevada. As part of their accreditation, BMM will work with the Board to develop standards and test plans and procedures to ensure a complete assessment of the interface between slot machine TITO systems.

Names and Faces Changing Places -- Although Youbet.com had much to look forward too with the passage of account wagering laws in California, the company continues to suffer strife among its executive channels. Only months after being named co-CEO, Ron Luniewski resigned his position after former CEO and co-founder David Marshall was reinstated as CEO after loaning the company $750,000. The loan will pay 12 percent interest and is secured by all of the assets of the company. Luniewski's co-CEO, Phillip Hermann, will stay with the company as president, COO and CFO. As part of the deal, Robert Fell, Caesar Kimme and William Roedy will resign from the Board. Mitch White and Randy Peterson resigned from the board of Bingo.com. White said he is planning to direct more of his attention to his chairmanship of CYOP Systems International; Peterson's resignation is due to personal and professional commitments, the company said.

Nambling Notes - March 15, 2002 is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Anne Lindner
Anne Lindner