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Emily D. Swoboda

Nambling Notes - Aug 11, 2000

11 August 2000

Tidbits from the US -- Australian online betting company eBet Ltd. is joining forces with Penn National Gaming to offer a new interactive racing service in the United States. Punters will bet on the ponies via the Internet, Web-TV and various wireless devices such as Palm Pilots. "Penn has shown great vision in teaming with eBet to lead the U.S. racing industry in technology development and innovation that is certain to result in a real expansion of at-home betting," commented eBet's Chief Executive Keith Cullen.

A week after cutting ties with the DISH Network, TrackPower, Inc. has announced the signing of a letter of intent with Inc. in which Inetcable will become TrackPower's primary satellite services provider. Under the terms of the agreement TrackPower will become the exclusive interactive horse-wagering information and video service on Inetcable's satellite-to-Internet broadcast service. Inetcable is providing the capacity to carry TrackPower's entire programming schedule from racetracks in the United States. Moreover, Inetcable or its affiliates will provide technical operations and management services to TrackPower, including all necessary compression, encoding, encrypting and related work necessary for up-linking TrackPower's programming for redistribution by broadband Internet service providers. In exchange for the services, which will include free satellite transponder bandwidth for one year, TrackPower will issue Inetcable capital stock having a value of approximately US$750,000 to $1.0 million. TrackPower will also make an equity investment in Inetcable in the range of US$250,000 and $500,000. Upon formal closing of the transaction, exact financial considerations will be announced.

Lakes Gaming, Inc., a publicly traded casino management company, is taking the plunge into Internet gambling. Company officials said they're working with an unnamed company to develop at least one Internet betting site. The company is also negotiating a two-year licensing deal with an experienced provider of online gaming technology to develop and maintain gaming sites. "This business complements our existing expertise in casino gaming, new game development and direct marketing to large consumer populations," said Lyle Berman, Lakes Gaming CEO and chairman of the board. "While we are extremely cautious in complying with all regulatory and license requirements, we see Internet gaming as an industry that will only continue to grow and we would like to be part of that growth.'

Taking a page out of the Lasseters Online book, the state New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is proposing a "self exclusion" program that would allow gamblers to ban themselves from the state's casinos. Under the plan, as reported by the Associated Press, a compulsive gambler could register with the state and provide a photograph of himself or herself, which then would be required to deny them access to games, credit, complimentary items, check cashing privileges, player club perks, direct mail promotions and other benefits. The plan, similar to ones proposed or introduced in Connecticut, Missouri, Michigan and Louisiana, did not please gambling's number one critic in America, Rev. Tom Grey. He called it window dressing, saying that while he wouldn't slam any recognition of the problem by casinos, "if this is the best they can do for a diseased person, telling them, 'We are going to rely on you to treat yourself,' then the problem will persist."

Makin' Deals -- Australian gaming software developer Access Gaming Systems has signed a license agreement to provide its interactive gaming system to the French national lottery, La Française des Jeux (LFDJ). The system will provide the lottery with a transaction processing architecture for interactive gaming via the Internet, interactive television and wireless networks. It'll also connect to LFDJ's new planned on-line lotto system offering players access to traditional lotto games. In addition, the Access Games Development Kit will enable leading game developers to deliver a broad range of new and exciting lottery games. With an annual turnover in excess of $5 billion, LFDJ is the world's 5th largest lottery.

EFS International, the merchant transaction arm of Starnet Communications International Inc., has announced that it will implement the eFalconTM fraud detection solution from HNC Software In. into its EFS2000 Enterprise online software solution. The augmented software system will provide EFS clients with Internet fraud detection technology and offer a "one-stop-shop" for all their e-commerce processing needs.

Gaming Internet Plc has signed a deal with Kingsoccer, a Chinese soccer website, in which Kingsoccer will make Gaming Internet's ZapCasino website available in hotels across South East Asia. Kingsoccer will additionally work to maximize Gaming Internet's exposure on Chinese-language search engines. Kingsoccer will get a share of ZapCasino revenue. The two websites will also participate in a banner swap.

A Tidbit from Down Under -- Australian policy makers on the prohibition march could soon bump into a little wall with which their counterparts in the U.S. can surely relate: discontent among ISPs. InternetNews reported this week that the Internet Industry Association (IIA) and national law firm Minter Ellison are asking the Australian government to nix its pending ban on Internet gambling. Members are concerned that ISPs will be forced to police anti-Internet gambling laws. "Forty percent of our members are ISPs with no connection to the gambling industry," IIA Executive Director Peter Coroneos said, "yet they look like bearing the brunt of this ill-conceived, politically inspired exercise." The association has called a meeting at the ISPCON conference in Melbourne to discuss the matter further.

New Stuff -- Paramount Trading, Inc.'s this week launched a fantasy football league offering a grand prize of $7,500 and weekly bonus prizes. Everyone who signs up gets $20 free "Blackjack bucks" to use at any of the site's 26 tables!

The Name Game -- Littlewoods Leisure has a new owner and a new name, This is London reports. The newly christened Sportech was acquired by Trevor Hemmings through Rodime, a shell company, for a tidy £161.8 million. As part of the deal, Rodime announced a two-for-three rights issue to raise about £17 million, while the Hemming's company Newby Manor will subscribe for £11.8 million, giving Hemmings 28.4 percent control of the new company. Most of Littlewoods' management will remain, including executive chairman Roger Withers who will join the board as an executive director. Inc. announced this week that it has changed its name to 1st Inc. The company's new trading symbol is 'FGNX.' The company also announced that it has named Paul Holm, the founder of the Social Register of Las Vegas, to its board.

Nambling Notes - Aug 11, 2000 is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda