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Anne Lindner
 

Nambling Notes - May 3, 2002

3 May 2002

Tidbits from Hong Kong -- The Hong Kong government is not guaranteeing the privacy of individuals who may be investigated for Internet gambling violations. The Legislative Council has been considering a bill that would outlaw offshore bookmakers from offering their services to Hong Kong residents and is expected to pass the bill by the start of the World Cup at the end of May. The Sing Tao Daily reported that Home Affairs Deputy Secretary Stephen Fisher did not reply to a Legco member's request to protect individuals' privacy and freedom to use the Internet. Victor Chandler Worldwide officials this week said they have approached the Hong Kong Jockey Club about working together to operate soccer betting services should the Chinese SAR legalize soccer betting after the World Cup. Meanwhile, VCW chief executive Michael Carlton said if Hong Kong prohibits offshore gambling, it would only cause illegal operators to flourish. "It will actually produce the worst of all solutions. It's going to result in a charter for illegal bookmakers," he said.

Makin' Deals -- I-gaming software maker dot com Entertainment Group has finalized a licensing agreement with Sportingbet. As per the deal, dot com will provide the U.K. Sportingbet with a minimum of five online gaming systems, three of which will be casino-related and two of which will be bingo-related. dot com's Inferno Media will also handle Web development and branding services for Sportingbet. Internet Marketing Agency of New York is licensing Lemonbox's ClusterTraffic marketing tool. The Swedish software developer created ClusterTraffic to help Web site owners make use of visitors to their sites who don't buy anything. Lemonbox describes the product as "an afterburner to all other marketing efforts." GTECH has inked a deal with Akamai Technologies, an e-business infrastructure and software provider. Akamai will be providing GTECH with its geolocation product, EdgeScape. VirtGame is teaming with NetBooth, a Las Vegas company that provides public Internet access, in a joint venture to produce a wagering kiosk.

Tidbits from the UK -- The United Kingdom's Bingo Association is welcoming Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown's decision to continue tax-free bingo. Prior to Brown's decision, the bingo industry had been concerned that gambling reform in the United Kingdom could result a decrease in bingo clubs' popularity. Said a spokesman for the Bingo Association: "The industry has argued strongly for several years that the rate of bingo duty was too high and should be reduced. Other areas of gaming have seen levels of taxation decline but bingo has been left the most heavily taxed game." In conjunction with the launch of attheraces' digital television channel on Wednesday, Channel 4's racing channel is re-branding itself as "Channel 4 attheraces." David Kerr, head of Channel 4's sport division, said the change is aimed at attracting a younger audience. "This is all about creating a more contemporary feel to our racing coverage that will make the sport more attractive to younger viewers."

New Stuff -- InterCasino on Tuesday launched a German version of its online casino. The company said the games include progressives and were designed with the European consumer in mind. Payment is in euros. MGM Mirage launched wireless Internet access to its hotel-casino Web sites. MGM customers will now be able to book rooms and access information about the company's gaming and entertainment offerings from their cell phones and PDAs. A new medical treatment for problem gambling is on the horizon. Studies at South Australia's Flinders University are showing that the drug naltrexone can reduce the urge to gamble in problem gamers, said Malcolm Battersby, a psychiatrist affiliated with the university. The drug is also used to treat people with heroin and alcohol addictions.

Tidbit from Korea -- Korea's Ministry of Information and Communication will devote $14 million to further the country's Internet gaming industry, Newsbytes reported on Monday. Of that money, $11 million will go toward the development of new gaming technology including 3-D games, and $3 million will be used to train online gaming specialists who will both monitor the regulatory environment and help fight gaming addiction. A NetValue study revealed that during one month in 2001, at least 65 percent of Internet users in Korea had visited Internet gaming sites.

Tidbits from the US -- American Indian tribes in the United States can now use the ".gov" suffix in their Internet domain names. The U.S. Interior Department Bureau of Indian Affairs announced that tribes' Internet domains would now be permitted to consist of "www.tribesname-nsn.gov." Guess that means www.casino.gov isn't a possibility. On Thursday at the Equine Law Conference in Lexington, Magna Entertainment Corp. President Jim McAlpine announced that his company will launch a 24-hour television channel focusing on horse racing. McAlpine said the endeavor will be called "Horse Racing TV" and is scheduled for a June launch. "Basically, we are going to build a betting channel of MEC-owned tracks, which will be supplemented by other tracks both in the United States and around the world, that will fill our 24-hour wheel of programming," he said.

Names and Faces Changing Places -- SureFire Commerce is announcing the appointment of two new board members: Brahm M. Gelfand and Michelle Ann Cormier. Gelfand is a senior partner at the Montreal law firm Lapointe Rosenstein and served on SureFire's board from 1990 to 1999, and Cormier is executive vice president and CFO of TNG Capital Inc. John Corcoran is retiring from his position as chairman of the board of directors at Power Leisure, the company said in its AGM statement last week. CEO Stewart Kenny is scheduled to replace Corcoran as soon as a candidate is found for Kenny's position.

Nambling Notes - May 3, 2002 is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Anne Lindner
Anne Lindner