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Anne Lindner
 

Nambling Notes - March 29, 2001

29 March 2002

Tidbits from Asia -- The Macao government is reportedly coming close to jettisoning two of the three companies that won casino licenses from it in February. The Chinese SAR has told MP Entertainment to be ready to step in should Wynn Resorts and Galaxy Casino fail to sign their licensing agreements by April 1. Wynn Resorts and Galaxy Casino have asked for five-year extensions to their 15-year contracts with Macao. Hong Kong's new gambling laws, which are being drafted, will outlaw handheld devices that provide odds on football games, the Hong Kong government warned this week. The warning follows Telecom Digital's introduction of the pages and score service, which costs $298 per month. Students in Thailand are being warned by the Education Ministry that their use of telephones, pagers and the Internet will be closely monitored to make sure they don't bet on the World Cup Finals. The Thai government will also make use of student networks to help teachers gather information about students' gambling habits.

Makin' Deals -- SunOnline's Casino Atlantis Web site is partnering with Dennis Interactive to provide online gambling to Dennis site users. As per the deal, Casino Atlantis links will be placed on the U.K. Web sites of Maxim Magazine and Auto Express. It looks like Ladbrokes is going to share its Balls after all. The bookmaker announced Monday that it will license the popular online betting game to its competitors. The high-speed lottery game allows players to win up to £100,000 with an entry fee of only 10 pence. Ladbrokes eGaming business manager, John O'Reilly, said the company hopes that by licensing the game it can take Balls to an even wider audience. The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Power Leisure may bid on Coral's betting shop chain, which is owned by Morgan Grenfell Private Equity. Power Leisure is interested in 40 of the chain's 870 shops, according to the newspaper. Horsepower Broadcasting International Ltd. is allying itself with Irish spread-betting company Sports Spread. Horsepower Broadcasting, which is owned by Sungold Entertainment Corp. , will offer its wagering game, www.Horsepower2.com, on Sports Spread's new fixed betting site. MIS Innovation Technology, also known as MIT, has signed a deal with Australia's Next Generation Gaming for exclusive rights to its Internet and extranet gaming systems. Peter Greenhill of MIT said the addition of Next Generation's games to MIT's gaming library will greatly enhance its international gaming offerings.

Tidbits from the UK -- The U.K. Financial Services Authority is investigating whether a £6 million financial spread bet constitutes market abuse. The bet was placed by an entrepreneur who goes by the name "the Plumber" two days before his company floated successfully on the AIM. The Plumber placed the bet with spread-betting firm City Index. As expected, the U.K. government's response to Sir Alan Budd's Gambling Review Report did not include a recommendation to allow side bets on the National Lottery. A spokesman for William Hill told the U.K. Independent that it was peculiar that "the only thing in Britain on which betting was prohibited was not, for example, the assassination of the prime minister but the National Lottery." In the government's White Paper, it said that betting on the lottery might reduce ticket sales. Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. and Tabcorp are said to be interested in opening resort-style casinos in England following the country's impending gambling deregulation. The Age reports that PBL and Tabcorp are both looking into casino acquisitions in Britain.

A Tidbit from the US -- The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports that the number of visitors to the city dropped 4.8 percent in January to 2.67 million from 2.82 million during January 2001. The agency says it's the smallest monthly decline the city has seen since Sept. 11.

New Stuff -- Rank.com launched the United Kingdom's first £1 million jackpot this week. Part of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's recommendations on changing the country's gambling laws is an end to the restrictions on payouts on bingo winnings and slot machines. Online Gaming Systems released the Beta version of Fully Integrated and Regulated Environment, or FIRE, which is casino software designed to complement its line of ICE software. FIRE is a java system that focuses on security, performance and third party integration and scalability.

Names and Faces Changing Places -- Fred Hazell, the chairman of World Gaming's board of directors, and Jason Bolduc, its director, both resigned their positions this week. CEO Mike Aymong will temporarily fill in as chairman. Aymong called the resignations a "generous decision to step down in order to facilitate a renewal at the board level that will meet the needs of the company at this time." World Gaming is looking for directors who can further establish the company in Europe, he said. Online Gaming Systems made a few changes to its management staff this week. Lawrence P. Tombari has been promoted to president of the company; he will retain his position as CFO. John Copelyn will be appointed as CEO; he is presently the CEO of Hosken Consolidated Investments Ltd. Gary Ramos, the former president and CEO, resigned to pursue other interests. City Index this week appointed a new chief executive, Clive Cook, and a new COO, Simon Price. The spread-betting firm said the appointments are unrelated to the investigation into a million-pound bet on a company, Cyprotex, that could have affected its float on the AIM. Jim O'Mahony, CEO of Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd. , has resigned and will leave the company at the end of June. Len Ainsworth, the group's chairman and founder, is expected to name a replacement in the near future. Rimpac Resources Ltd. has named Owen Bethel to its board of directors. Bethel is the president and managing director of Montaque Securities International Ltd. , which is based in the Bahamas.

Say What? -- "The new proposals favour economic and commercial considerations at the expense of important social ones. They are presented as providing choice for punters, when actually their purpose is to incite them to take part and keep going."
- Emanuel Moran, adviser on gambling to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, on the deregulation of the gambling industry in the United Kingdom.

Nambling Notes - March 29, 2001 is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Anne Lindner
Anne Lindner