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Emily D. Swoboda
 

Nambling Notes - Mar. 17, 2000

17 March 2000

New Licensing Opportunities --

The Western Australian government recently amended its bookmaker licensing regulations to include online sportsbooks. "Internet betting has been established as an extension of normal bookmaking activities,"said Gordon Muir of the WA Betting Control Board. "Therefore, Internet betting must be conducted as a sole trader, authorization from the Betting Control Board and the racecourse controlling authority is required, and all Internet bets must be received at a racecourse." UnitedBet.com reportedly has received the first such online bookmakers permit. The WA government has no plans, however, to establish online casino licensing.

The Maltese government is processing numerous licensing applications from international betting businesses wanting to set up virtual shop, according to The Malta Business Weekly. Last month, the government amended its public lotto ordinance to allow international betting offices to locate online betting services in Malta. The government reportedly will charge 0.5 percent tax on each bet and Maltese residents wll not be allowed to wager online. Earlier this week, U.K. casino operator Stanley Leisure announced that they will operate an online sportsbook from Malta.

When will the Vanuatu parliament pass legislation permitting interactive gaming? Originally expected to pass last week, discussion has been delayed until March 20 following budget and appropriation bills. Vanuatu is an island west of Australia, in the South Pacific Ocean.

Progress Reports -- Sanctioned online betting recently moved a step closer to becoming a reality in Hong Kong after it was revealed that talks between the Jockey Club and Hongkong Post on issuing digital certificates "were at an advanced stage." The Post, or mail, is the only certification authority that can issue e-certificates to individuals or businesses to authenticate the identity of subscribers in the context of e-commerce. The Jockey Club is studying "extranet" betting.

Global Technologies, Ltd. announced this week that the initial game and business system of the Internet segment of its U.K. charity lottery (through a partnership with eLOT, Inc.) has received a favorable review by the Gaming Board for Great Britain. Specifically, the Board cleared for play the companies' pick three "Daily game via the Internet immediately following the launch of the charity lottery March 27.

Global Net Entertainment has announced the launch of the Gamebodia National Lottery in Cambodia. The first game is a 5/36-paper lotto game, with additional games following. Additionally, Global has signed a joint venture with NorAm Gaming and Entertainment Co. to build and manage traditional, televised and Internet bingo operations internationally. The first games will offer traditional bingo in Cambodia, with locally produced games to televise in Central and South America under consideration. The announcements are the first stage in Global's initiative to capture territories for eventual Internet offerings.

Tidbits from the U.S. -- The Birmingham News, delving into a story that the Birmingham Racing Commission says is none of the commission's business, is reporting more details about an arrangement in which Birmingham Race Course is acting as a hub for Racing and Gaming Services Ltd., a phone betting operation on the West Indies island of St. Kitts. The newspaper says the track's fee for acting as a hub ranges from .5 percent to 1.75 percent, and how much it earns from the relationship is unclear, since the commission says details about the relationship "fall outside its regulatory authority over the track" and do not figure into what the track pays in local wagering taxes. The paper says that track officials have declined to divulge earnings from RGS, and that RGS officials have not returned telephone calls, but that "those familiar with RGS" say the service caters to big bettors. A printout of RGS betting on Churchill Downs races last November, handled thru Birmingham, showed $24,795 bet in less than 40 minutes. Birmingham hubs some 15 tracks for RGS, according to the story.

Further action on Tennessee's house and senate online gambling prohibition bills (HB SB2287 SB2151) was deferred this week to March 28 and 29 respectively.

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, a pioneer of sorts when it comes to litigating Internet matters, has won another jurisdiction-related Internet battle. The Missouri Court of Appeals in St. Louis upheld a lower-court ruling that Hog's Head Beer Cellars, a microbrewery in North Carolina, violated the Missouri's consumer protection law by selling beer over the Internet to Missourians. Beer Nuts Ltd., which operates the brewery argued that the sales took place when the delivery firm took possession of the beer in North Carolina. Nixon, who sued the company back in '97, maintains that the sales are completed upon delivery. Nixon said the ruling establishes that "once and for all, companies that do business over the Internet with Missourians are subject to Missouri consumer protection laws." Nixon neglected to comment, however, on whether he intends to protect Missouri consumers from the sale of beer that's manufactured, distributed and sold within state lines.

A thirst for knowledge is a good thing, especially when the Nevada Gaming Commission decides to sign up for lessons about Internet gaming. The proposed event, a one-day seminar tentatively scheduled for April 13 in Las Vegas, is designed to provide a general outline of online betting around the world and will included arguments for both sides of the issue. IGN will keep you updated when more information becomes available.

Investors' Corner -- Canadian auto parts manufacturer Magna International, soon to break into the interactive race betting business, is expected today to spin off about 20 percent of its gaming interests into a separate company, Magna Entertainment Corporation, that will be listed on Nasdaq. The subsidiary specializes in pari-mutuel betting and owns six of the biggest horseracing tracks in the U.S. Magna International will retain 78 percent of the new company's equity. The new company will expand its services to include Internet betting and interactive television channel. The company currently operates a phone betting service in the U.S.

Gaming software developer Chartwell Technology Inc. announced that the $10,075,000 special warrant private placement announced Feb. 4 has been fully subscribed and closed.

Redundantly, redundantly named online casino and sportbook operator GIC Global Intertainment Corporation announced today that its February 2000 combined wagered revenue for Cyberbetz Casino & Sports Book is $3,199,580.

Makin' Deals -- dot com Entertainment Group, Inc. announced this week that its wholly owned subsidiary corporation, dot com Antigua Inc., has launched a sub-license arrangement with an unnamed land-based casino and bingo operator in Quebec, Canada, which makes use of the company's proprietary CyberBingoTM software system, to promote and develop a French language bingo portal. dot com called the launch of the French language BingoEnReseau.com site (translation NetworkBingo), featuring the company's bingo software, a key step in dot com's execution of its proprietary "sub-license" business model. BingoEnReseau is focused on the generation of enhanced game traffic into the company's licensee in St. John's, Antigua, which allows players to play bingo in French, while participating in the CyberBingo game system. The sub-license concept is designed to create the world's largest online Bingo hall at dot com's licensee www.cyberbingo.net. French speaking Bingo enthusiasts will access the BingoEnReseau Bingo Portal at www.BingoEnReseau.com. Sub-licensees receive a royalty fee for introducing entirely new player-bases into the CyberBingo software system.

Alderney online bookmaker Sportingbet.com has signed a joint venture to provide online fixed odds betting services to SportsMAD, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gaming Internet Plc. The two companies will develop a new version of the Sportingbet site, SportsMAD.com, to provide an own-brand online sportsbetting service.

Sportingbet will operate and manage the site's technology and content for 12 months, while SportsMAD will receive commission payments of 33 percent of gross profits. The SportsMAD.com site, launching in April, will feature news, trivia quizzes, chat, fanzines and league tables for the site membership. Future SportsMAD sites are planned, including FootballMAD.com, CricketMAD.com, TennisMAD.com, GolfMAD.com, FishingMAD.com and MotorracingMAD.com.

A New Face -- Starnet Communications International Inc. announced this week the appointment of Chris Thompson as the company's new vice president of finance. In that position, Thompson will help Starnet manage its finances and growth.

New Stuff -- William Hill's online casino, driven by software by Cryptologic Inc., has gone live. To celebrate the launching, the new casino is dishing out $25 sign-up bonuses.

Interactive Solutions Corporation announced this week the launching of its new corporate website at www.isolutioncorp.com. The site lists information on its flagship products: "The Book," a virtual sportsbook application, and "The Bet" a multi-player casino application.

From the 'Frightening Excerpts' Dept. -- "If the USA, the world' leading economy and another gambling nation is prepared to hang back on Internet gaming as demonstrated by the introduction of the Kyl bill, which attempts a ban, then so should Australia."

- taken from a report by Australian senators Brian Harradine and John Tierney issued as a supplement to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Information Technologies' recently released report on Internet gambling.

Nambling Notes - Mar. 17, 2000 is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda