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Emily D. Swoboda
 

Nambling Notes - Dec. 17, 1999

17 December 1999

Investors' Corner -- Net betting's favorite media magnet, Starnet Communications International Inc., announced that it has formally engaged Ladenburg Thalmann to provide the company with investment banking services, including advice and assistance on corporate strategic planning and financing options. Headquartered in New York since its formation in 1876, Ladenburg Thalmann (www.ladenburg.com) is one of America's oldest investment banking firms and has significant experience in the gaming and Internet industries.

Meanwhile, Starnet reported Wednesday that it's net revenues for the current quarter increased 377 percent, and for the six months rose 382 percent, over the comparable periods last year. Gaming-related revenues for the second quarter were $4.3 million, a 20 percent increase over first quarter revenue of $3.6 million. Six-month gaming-related revenue totaled $7.9 million. Royalties and fees from existing and new licensees rose by $1 million, or 44 percent, to $3.4 million in the second quarter from $2.4 million in the first quarter of the current year. Revenue from licensing was down in the quarter compared to the first quarter ended July 31, 1999, from $1.3 million to $0.9 million.

BingoGold.com, a company specializing in the design, sale, and licensing of gaming software, recently changed its name to GameWeaver.com, Inc. Coinciding with the name change, the company began trading under a new symbol, "GMWR," this week. The company says the name change "reflects the broader business development and expansion the company is currently undertaking within the entertainment industry on the Internet."

As long as we're on the subject of name changes, Inland Entertainment Corp., (INLD) announced Tuesday that its shareholders approved a change of the company's name to Venture Catalyst Inc. (www.vencat.com) at the company's annual meeting of shareholders December 10. The company's stock will begin trading under the new symbol, VCAT, in approximately two weeks. "It is a proud day for all of us who have worked so hard to diversify and expand Inland Entertainment. We believe that the name change will formally recognize our expanded focus on the Internet and on other emerging start-up companies," said Don Speer, the company's founder and CEO.

Wheelin' & Dealin' -- Poker.com, Inc., an online gambling licensing and marketing company, is staying busy as always. (We wouldn't have it any other way.) Last week, the company named poker writer and theorist John Vorhaus as a strategy consultant. Today it announced the sale of five casino licenses. The licensees--Net Attractions Inc., Cyberzine Publishing, Barracuda Enterprises Inc., Antico Holdings S.A., and WebLink Marketing S.A.--are all expected to debut Java-based online casinos within 30 days. Each will have eighteen games, including blackjack, roulette, craps, Pai Gow poker, Caribbean poker, baccarat, four video poker games and eight slot machines. Multi-player games such as bingo with chat, baccarat, pai gow poker, blackjack, and craps are under development.

Players Network, a digital 24-hour gaming and entertainment network which specializes in producing customized television programming for the gaming industry, announced Wednesday the signing of an agreement with Play Streaming Media Group whereby Players Network receives the rights to utilize the GlobeCaster Internet television technology. Programming will consist of a 24-hour television network on Players Network's gaming and entertainment Internet portal website at www.playersnetwork.com. The deal has nothing to do with online gambling, but from a branding standpoint, it sure gets their foot in the door.

New Stuff -- Online sportsbook betmaker.com yesterday unveiled its "one-of-a-kind bet-frequent loyalty program," a rewards program that awards customers free prizes and merchandise for gambling on the company's website. The program is similar to Las Vegas casino comp programs where gamblers are "rated" and can earn free lodging and meals. The company teamed with e-businesses such as SharperImage.com and ShopSports.com to provide some of the prizes.

Germany-based gambling software developer Q-Seven Systems, Inc. announced this week the completion of its customer's casino, the Seaside Online Casino, at www.seasidecasino.com

Moving northward (and eastward), Sweden-based Boss Media has debuted Oriental Casino (www.orientalcasino.com.), a new Far Eastern-themed online casino.

New Faces -- Sports Internet, a provider of sports content, statistics and betting over the Internet, has appointed a team of five betting professionals to assist in the development of the group's Internet betting operations. The group will be headed by Michael Norris, currently the Compiling and Liability Director for William Hill. Norris will become managing director of Surrey Racing, which was acquired by Sports Internet in September. The other members of the team are Athos Christodoulou (senior compiler, sports), Richard Browning (senior compiler, football), Greg Vince (liability controller) and Keith Oliver (marketing controller).

In the Courts -- XtraNet Systems Inc., a third-party e-commerce provider which happens to do credit card processing services for gaming sites--has been targeted in a lawsuit, filed November 29, 1999 in the U.S. District Courts of Los Angeles. The suit seeks damages of approximately $2 million punitive damages and other penalties, and injunctive relief against the parties involved in the credit card processing services. Also named in the suit were DataBank International Ltd. and William L. Shaw. Click here to view the lawsuit.

The Responsible Section -- The joint partnership between GamePlanit Interactive Corp. and ProblemGambling.com has completed its problem gambling risk quiz, which can be viewed at www.problemgambling.com.

What Others Are Saying -- "So far, the Federal Government has talked tough about one gambling type only: the Internet. Just as it did with online porn, it is promising tough measures; just as with Internet porn, there is nothing the Government can do except drive it offshore. This will effectively do nothing to prevent people accessing it. It simply means whatever positive spin-off there is in terms of profits will go offshore too. It is typical Howard Government window-dressing."

-Mike Seccombe, Sydney Morning Herald (referring to Australia Prime Minister John Howard's recommendation for the federal banning of online gambling).

Poll, Anyone -- Also following the big announcement from the Prime Minister, SMH polled readers on the topic, "Should the Government try to ban Internet gambling?". Surprisingly, 87 percent of the 2000 readers who responded were against Net betting. One thousand eighty-eight answered "Yes," while only 237 were against a ban.

Nambling Notes - Dec. 17, 1999 is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda