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Emily D. Swoboda
 

Nambling Notes - Jan 21, 2000

21 January 2000

Tidbits from Down Under -- The Australian Capital Territory has proposed lowering online gaming taxation rates to levels comparable to those of land-based betting operations. According to Des McKee, the commissioner for ACT Revenue, the government is amenable to the suggested rates, which have been presented to Parliament in writing. No word yet on when a vote will take place.

Gocorp, a software company licensed to develop online casinos in Queensland and Tasmania (yes, the same Gocorp that found itself submerged in a whopper of a scandal last summer over the awarding of its Internet gaming license in Queensland), has completed its multi-million dollar data center and has launched an e-commerce site designed to handle fast business-to-business transactions. Chief Executive Paul Appleby called the data center "the most secure Internet transaction facility available."

This Week in Crime -- A Malaysian anti-crime group, the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation, is calling for tighter controls on cyber-cafes to prevent teenagers from viewing pornography and gambling online. Lee Lam Thy, vice president of the group, told the state Bernama news agency that police have identified at least 20 cyber-cafes being used for online gambling in the Klang Valley area surrounding Kuala Lumpur. New Sunday Times reported earlier this month that three teenagers had gone into hiding after receiving threads by operators of illegal virtual casino.

A Tidbit from the U.K. -- Totalbet, an Internet betting service operated by Sporting Life and Tote, has its sights set on becoming the fourth licensed bookmaker on the Channel Island of Alderney. The company will offer tax-free Internet betting if a license is obtained. It's currently awaiting clearance by the island's Policy and Finance Committee. If all goes as planned, the group will begin operating on Alderney in June 2000.

New Stuff -- GlobalNetFinancial.com, Inc., a provider of online financial news, content and transaction execution services, announced Tuesday that it will launch a spread betting service through its wholly-owned U.K. website at www.UK-iNvest.com. Leading U.K. spread betting firm IG Index will operate the service.

Planet Poker, a longtime provider of online multi-player Texas Hold'em poker, just introduced 7 Card Stud. The limits for the new games, developed by ASF Software, are $2-$4, $4-$8 and $8-$16. Players can choose between fixed-limit versions of 7 Card Stud High and 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo (8 or better for Low).

Wheelin' & Dealin' -- Online Gaming Systems Ltd. (OGS) announced Tuesday the signing of agreements for the licensing of its Bingo Blast and Lotto magic products to an unnamed Caribbean-based privately held gaming operator. OGS will receive up-front payments totaling $225,000, plus an ongoing stream of recurring royalty and maintenance fees.

Chartwell Technology Inc. subsidiary GamingTech Corporation has entered into agreements to license its Internet based gaming software, CasinoCasino, to Paradox Investments Ltd. and Virtual Data Ltd. The new deals brings the number of GamingTech's licensees to 15. Chartwell additionally announced that its Java-based multi-player, multi-card BingoBingo software with live chat has been deployed for beta testing. The company expects the new bingo games to be released on its website for free play within the next two weeks. The suite of games will initially feature four variations of online bingo.

According to a Guardian story, GTECH Holdings Corp will return to form part of British lottery operator Camelot Group Plc's bid for a second term. GTECH would be a Camelot supplier, not a shareholder. During the bidding for the last license, GTECH was accused with trying to bribe entrepreneur Richard Branson in 1993 to drop his bid to run the lottery on a not-for-profit basis. Branson, head of Virgin Group, later successfully sued GTECH chairman Guy Snowden for libel.

New Faces -- John Lopes, president of Noble House Communications Inc. of Toronto, has joined the advisory board of GoCall Inc. For the last 20 years, Lopes has had exposure in private and public sectors that have availed him many successful experiences as a financial advisor, franchiser, manufacturer and distributor, both domestically and internationally in various industries. Lopes also helped Playstar Corp., an Internet gaming-based company, develop its customer base.

eLOT, Inc. has named Philip D. Gunn interim CEO of the company's wholly owned subsidiary, eLottery, Inc. Gunn has been a member of eLOT's board of directors since May 1999.

Interactive race betting provider Youbet.com, Inc. announced Wednesday the appointment of Nour-Dean Anakar as managing director, international. Anakar's responsibilities will center on international business development. His initial focus will be to explore business opportunities in Latin America.

Investors' Corner -- Go Call Inc. announced Monday plans to restructure the company in order to "better leverage its existing resources to focus on e-commerce and Internet-related businesses." The company has spent the last few months divesting itself of non-performing assets and non-Internet-based businesses in order to focus on its technological capabilities in e-commerce and Internet-related businesses. "the most secure internet transaction facility available."

Fun Fact of the Week -- Nearly thirteen-and-a-half (13.45) percent of the persons participating in the "Online Trader's Survey" conducted by 1-800-Gambler admit to being Internet Gamblers.

Quote Worthy -- "It is perhaps not Big Brother we should be worried about, but big browser. We need to be fearful that the aggregation of information, if it is misused, is very terrifying."

-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, on the dangers presented by the Internet, speaking at the National Association of Attorneys General Internet conference last week in California.

Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda