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Emily D. Swoboda
 

Nambling Notes - Feb. 25, 2000

25 February 2000

On the E-Commerce Front -- Wachovia Bank has decided not to allow any of its customers to use their credit card for online gaming. "The risks are greater than we would like to assume," Jay Reed, a spokesman for the company, said. Reed expects the decision to affect a very small percentage of Wachovia customers.

Legal Stuff -- Wayne County Sheriff Robert Ficano is miffed about a billboard located outside Detroit along I-96. The sign, according to Ficano, promotes an Internet casino and sportsbook site, and he has asked the prosecutor's office to have it removed. Authorities haven't yet determined whether the advertisement is legal, so it remains in tact for now. Ficano says the domain in question is "aloha.com," however, the website located at www.aloha.com promotes businesses located in Hawaii, none of which appear to have anything to do with online gambling.

Makin' Deals -- The California racing board has approved a Santa Anita request to provide its signal to Youbet.com, with the proviso that Youbet will not accept bets from California residents. Youbet reported revenue of $1.4 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $165,000 a year ago, with net loss of $10.8 million for the quarter, up from $2.6 million a year earlier. The company's cash balance as of Dec. 31 was $62.3 million, with 14,500 subscribers, up 26 percent, who bet $61 million in 1999.

Looking to get leaner and meaner, online casino operator Go Call Inc. has sold off its ownership of Country Star Restaurants Inc. Go Call CEO Irving Moon said the divestiture was part of the company's plans of ultimately concentrating on Internet gaming.

Lottery.com, a company with plans of capturing the online lottery market in the U.S. upon legalization, has signed a deal with OracleMobile.com, a new subsidiary of Oracle Corp., in which Oracle will provide Lottery.com's content and services to wireless devices.

JellyWorks, a U.K. Internet investment fund, bought more than 5 million shares of Sportingbet.com this week, according to This Is London. Sportingbet.com reportedly will use the £7.5 million investment for marketing and software development.

New Faces -- Firststake Plc, an independent betting shop operator, has appointed Simon Grieve, the former NTL marketing director of online and interactive services, to head the group' new Internet betting service at www.firststake.com. The company also recently appointed Damon Lambert, a broadcast media expert, as the company's business development manager. Lambert previously worked for Eurosport, MTV and Zenith Media. The company's new online and telephone betting service will launch in June 2000.

Same Old Faces -- Venture Catalyst (formerly Inland Entertainment) recently cut all of its ties to online gambling. So what happens to the casinos formerly operated by the company? The employees involved in the company's Net betting division have parted and formed a new group--Worldwide Net Services N.V.-- and have picked up the operation of the casinos. The group plans to debut several new casinos in the near future.

Investors' Corner -- Toronto-based software provider CryptoLogic Inc. has released its financial standings for the fourth quarter and year end. Total revenue grew by $9.8 million in the past year and net income grew 23 percent to $20.6 million.

Online casino operator and software sub-licenser Total Entertainment has become a fully reported company to the SEC effective as of February 14, 2000. The company passed through registration without delays.

Will Ladbrokes separate from Hilton Group plc? That's the rumor according to Bloomberg News. Hilton is reportedly considering demerging the betting and gaming group, since it acquired Stakis Hotels. If so, Ladbrokes is certainly looking rosy right now, after launching two new online betting sites and announcing numerous media relationships that will surely launch the company into betting's future.

New Stuff -- The self-proclaimed "first dedicated worldwide football Internet betting service," www.VIPsoccer.com, made its debut this week. The new site offers customers completely tax-free betting and accepts bets from anywhere in the world on a wide range of major football leagues, including U.K. premiership and Italian Serie A, as well as leagues in Argentina, Spain and Brazil.

Interactive Gaming Corporation, a subsidiary of GlobeSpan Technology Partners Inc. and the former operator of Sports International, has release the Internet/Intranet version of Totemaster, a pari-mutuel racetrack wagering and tote system.

Trancos, an online multilingual entertainment destination, just debuted www.trancos.com, a website that offers "virtual tropical island entertainment." Among several nifty attractions is the "TroppoLotto" lottery sweepstakes, a multilingual online lottery. The site is currently only available in English, however, Spanish and French versions will launch soon.

Jackpots -- Colosseum.com's president hand-delivered checks to two Microgaming CashSplash jackpot winners last week. A Wisconsin man won $113,000, while another in Pennsylvania received $91,000. CashSplash jackpot payouts total more than $2.6 million since its October 1998 debut, with over $500,000 paid so far this year. Colosseum is one of 40 Internet casinos connected to CashSplash, Microgaming Systems progressive slot machines.

Beware... -- The Directorate of Offshore Gaming of Antigua and Barbuda recently released a statement advising the public that Emutualfun.com and Emutualfuncasino.com are not licensed in Antigua, despite claims to the contrary. "These companies are unknown to us and do not now nor have they ever held a gaming license of any kind in this jurisdiction," Director of Offshore Gaming Gyneth McAllister said.

Money laundering through gambling operations in offshore locations has been targeted in the United Nations Drug Control Program's 1999 report, Comtex wrote this week. The UNDCP is concerned about the relationship between money laundering and drug trafficking, and suggests that these problems are predominant in Central America and the Caribbean. The report places blame on governments' liberalized approach to offshore banking and gambling, which could be used to launder funds. The UNDCP could not be reached for further details on the report.

Nambling Notes - Feb. 25, 2000 is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda