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Emily D. Swoboda
 

Nambling Notes - June 15, 2001

15 June 2001

Legal Stuff -- The latest Las Vegas Strip properties finding themselves in domain name battles are Treasure Island and New York-New York. Treasure Island is suing Knot Investments of Belize in a U.S. District Court in Las Vegas for violating the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Knot has a gaming site accessible through the domain "wwwtreasureisland.com." MGM Mirage, which owns Treasure island, says that Knot also owns the domains wwwbellagio.com," "wwwmgmgrand.com," "wwwford.com" and "wwwmiamidolphins."

New York-New York, meanwhile has sued the owner of two Costa Rican companies, a Nine Mile Falls, Wash., man and a business in Antigua in an effort to prevent them from using several domains. Dan Gallagher, who owns International Commercial LLC and International Commercial Financial LLC of Costa Rica, is being sued for linking the domains "casino-nyny.com," " casinonyny.com" and "nylivecasino.com" to an online casino called New York Casino & Sportsbook. Mike Sattler of Washington is being sued for linking "nynycasino.net" to an online casino called NYNY Casino.net. Media One of Antigua is being sued for linking "wwwnynyhotelcasino.com" to an online casino called bettingExpress.

Tidbits from the Far East -- Inquirer News Service reports that the new Macapagal administration in the Philippines has scrapped plans to privatize the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor). The government has reportedly instead opted to pursue securitization of the gaming company's earnings. The publication reports that the plan is to securitize Pagcor's earnings for the next seven years or the remaining years of its franchise--a process that's estimated to raise about P115 billion for the government.

The government of Taipei has drafted legislation to regulate the Internet cafe business in an effort to protect teenagers from online pornography and gambling. If passed, the bills would ban the opening of Internet cafes within 200 meters of schools. They would also require anyone who is 15 or younger to be accompanied by a parent when visiting Internet cafes. Cafe owners who break the rules could be fined as much as 100,000 Taiwan dollars (US$2,940 US) and have their shops shut down for up to six months.

And once again, authorities in an Asian jurisdiction where gambling is off limits are struggling to keep interactive gambling off limits to residents. The Straits Times reports that bookmakers in Singapore are using palmtop computers to take illegal 4-D bets. Police there recently raided two incense shops where they found three palmtop computers with programs for recording Singapore 4-D and Malaysian Magnum wagers. They also found pieces of paper with entries and containers with printed results of past draws. Fifteen people were arrested and more than $4,000 was seized. Authorities in Singapore have indicated that they will continue to crack down on illegal betting.

Tidbits from the UK -- Great Britain's Office of Fair Trading will conduct an inquiry into the British Horseracing Board's (BHB) supplying of pre-race data to Internet gambling sites. The inquiry comes on the heels of William Hill's complaint that the BHB is abusing its dominant position as the sole provider of race and runner data on U.K. horse racing. The sports betting firm says that the BHB's position has enabled the board to set excessive and discriminatory pricing and restrictive licensing terms. In February, the High Court ruled that William Hill must pay for using the BHB's pre-race data on its Internet sites. An appeal against the decision is scheduled to be heard July 16.

The Racing Post reports that the 10 U.K. racecourses that sold their media rights to GG Media instead of Go Racing have formed their own racecourse alliance called the Independent Racecourse Group. "We will definitely still be part of the Racecourse Association, and I think this will assist them in sounding out opinion," said Tim Hale the group's newly elected chairman. "There are already groupings such as the RHT, Northern Racing and Arena Leisure, and it will be an advantage to formalize the GG Media grouping."

As Go Racing's competition aligns, the consortium continues to deal with pressure to drop its plans of operating in Gibraltar. The latest hit game from the Tote, which recently voiced its reluctance to work with the Go Racing if it goes offshore. A portion of Go Racing's offshore betting turnover would be pumped into Tote pools, an the Tote is leery of the Treasury's disapproval.

Makin' Deals -- Licensing and marketing company Poker.com recently sold a single and multiplayer Internet casino license to Butterfly Corporation Ltd. The new site will feature Caribbean poker, Battle Royale, baccarat, Let it Ride, Pai Gow poker, craps, roulette, slot machines and video poker. Butterfly Corp. and its affiliates have been involved in the gaming market for several years and have a large database of players. Using the prepaid card system, its customers from the Middle East will be able to play for real money without using credit cards.

International Thunderbird Gaming Corporation has parted with its Internet gaming division for $175,000 and will now focus on its rapidly growing casino and gaming facility development and management activities. The group's online casino, FiestaCasinos.com, was bought by the company that owns Blackjack.com and Bingohour.com. Thunderbird, the owner and manager of gaming facilities in South and Central America, was approached by the purchaser; the sale is subject to final closing documentation although it should be completed within days. Thunderbird also announced that all shareholder proposals were approved by substantial majorities at its annual general meeting June 12 in San Diego.

TrackPower, Inc. announced that it has entered into a exclusive worldwide distribution agreement and a management services agreement with Post Time Technologies, Inc. (PTT). TrackPower will become the exclusive re-seller of PTT's RaceVisionTM Kiosk product when combined with an ATM solution in any racetrack or gaming facility, including sportsbooks, casinos and all off-track betting locations, as well as thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racetracks. RaceVisionTM is a horseracing digital video replay and archiving system available to customers via touch-screen kiosks located within a racetrack or gaming facility. PTT will receive 100,000 common shares of TrackPower as a commission for every location that places joint kiosks/ATMs. The non-ATM Kiosk profits will be shared between TrackPower, PTT and the racetrack. PTT and TrackPower will each receive an equal share of the ATM revenues.

Tidbits from the US -- Gemstar-TV Guide International execs were settling in for a relaxing weekend last Friday when, after the market closed, Reuters reported that the Justice Department is investigating whether Gemstar has violated antitrust laws. Gemstar's stock fell as much as 5.5 percent Monday morning, according to TheStreet.com, but rallied to finish the day at $37.77, down 2.9 percent. Gemstar called the Reuters story "a substantial mischaracterization of the situation."

As expected, Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn signed AB 466, the state's recently passed Internet gambling bill, Thursday. The measure sets up the framework regulating Internet casinos based in Nevada.

New Stuff -- How are things going at Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho's DrHo.com? The casino's live-betting software is apparently holding up pretty well, as its operators have committed to putting it to the test next month by hosting a live blackjack tournament. Bettors from all over the world will chase US$10,000 at the BlackJack World Championship, to be held July 6-8 at www.DrHo.com. Participants will be able to join and leave as they please throughout the tournament with prizes awarded on accumulated rankings instead of by leagues and knock-outs. The format is designed to give any player, big or small, the chance to win the main prize of US$7,500 since rankings are based on total percentage increase over original stakes placed, and not absolute values.

Cyberview Technology Limited and Ladbrokes Racing Limited have inked a deal through which Cyberview will install 1,000 of its new fully downloadable, touch-screen fixed-odds betting terminals in Ladbrokes betting shops throughout the United Kingdom. The terminals will be linked to a central monitoring and control facility operated by Cyberview. The system will enable Ladbrokes customers to play several fixed-odds games, including Golden Track(c)", a greyhound racing game using video recordings of real races, and "Penalty," a computer-generated soccer game. There's also a keno game with individual prizes of up to £50,000 per play.

Global-Player Casino and GameMaster Online have joined forces to present their first blackjack tournament. Consisting of two stages, the tournament will commence June 25 at midnight. The first-place prize is US$500.

Names and Faces Changing Places -- Sportingbet.com has done away with its ".com." The AIM-listed company is now know as "Sportingbet."

Additionally, the company has introduced Colin Walker as the newest member of the group's executive board. Walker, who has played an integral part in the successful expansion of the company, was recently named director of operations. He joined the company in January 2000 as managing director for Sportingbet.com (Alderney) Ltd where he was responsible for the day-to-day running of the Alderney operation. Before moving to Sportingbet.com, Walker spent seven years at Ladbrokes Racing, first as marketing director and then as divisional managing director of the telephone betting division. His new responsibilities will include overseeing the marketing of the Sportingbet brand on a global in preparation for the World Cup in 2002 in Korea and Japan.

In addition to the aforementioned deal between TrackPower and PTT, the two companies have entered into a management services agreement. Hardave Gill, president of PTT, will become president and a director of TrackPower, with Vicky Stickwood-Hislop, vice president of PTT, also joining the board and becoming managing director. For their services, Post Time will receive a management fee of US$25,000 per month and warrants to acquire 2 million common shares at $0.10. Hardave Gill will receive an additional 1 million shares personally and Vicky Stickwood-Hislop will receive 500,000 shares, both at $0.10. Effective immediately, Stephen Cussons has resigned as president and CEO of TrackPower, but will remain as a director of the company. While Cussons will continue to work closely with the company in executing the TrackPower ATM strategy, John G. Simmonds will assume the CEO position. Lawrence Aziz and Charles Cernansky have resigned to make way for Gill and Stickwood-Hislop.

World Gaming plc (formally Starnet Communications) announced two key appointments as new CEO Michael Aymong continues to execute the company reorganization, with a focus on product development and customer service. Mike Steele has been hired as managing director of Inphinity Interactive; Liam Gillen has been promoted to managing director, Antigua Operations. Steele now oversees all maintenance, upgrades, support and development of the company's proprietary software products, as well as the team that implements software integration at Inphinity Interactive, an operating subsidiary of World Gaming that is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. His immediate priority is to deliver World Gaming 3.2, the company's new gambling software package. Gillen, who has managed the company's data center and electronic transaction processing facility in St. John's, Antigua for the past year, has taken on the added responsibility for World Gaming's licensee relations and player service.

Nambling Notes - June 15, 2001 is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda