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Emily D. Swoboda
 

Nambling Notes - Oct. 22, 1999

22 October 1999

Wheelin' & Dealin' -- Lasseters Online, the first government licensed online casino in Australia, announced this week plans to revamp its computer systems to improve performance and meet the gambling demands of its growing international membership. The company has signed a multi-million dollar deal with Solution 6 in which Solution 6's CVSI IT services will construct a complete IT infrastructure that will ensure 24-hour operations and faster gaming at the casino. Work has already started on the primary site for an initial fee of A$2.2 million (US$1.42 million). "The site is attracting a rapid increase in player registrations and financial transactions and the new system will give us the capacity to support this expansion without any down time," said David Ohlson, Lassters Online's executive manager, special projects. "It will also improve the speed of the operating performance for our players."

Investors' Corner -- Global Entertainment Holdings/Equities Inc. (GAMM) announced Tuesday that it has filed its Form 10-SB with the Securities and Exchange Commission through the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval "EDGAR" system, in appropriate compliance with the amended NASD Eligibility Rule 6530. The company anticipates filing for a Nasdaq Small-Cap listing early in 2000 utilizing its audited financial numbers for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 1999. The Form 10-SB filing is a necessary step prior to qualifying for a Nasdaq listing.

The company additionally announced results for its third fiscal quarter and nine months ended September 30, 1999. Revenues for the nine-month period increased five fold over the same period last year as it expanded its licensee sites to ten, up from only one a year ago. Revenues for the three months ended September 30, 1999 were $332,981 versus $121,473 for the comparable period last year, an increase of 174 percent. For the third quarter, a loss of $381,586 or $0.04 per share was reported, compared with a loss of $7,575 or $0.00 (breakeven) per share for the same period in 1998. The company attributes the loss to increased hardware expense and additional staffing needed to expand the company's capacity and upgrade its systems to maximize performance. While the company has added several new licensee web sites and has capitalized the cost associated with its increased capacity, it doesn't expect significant revenue from those new licensees to be realized until fourth quarter.

Costa Rica-based E-Vegas.com Inc. announced today that, due to its inability to file its Form 10-QSB within the necessary time frame as pursuant to NASD Rule 6530, it was delisted from the OTC Bulletin Board on October 20, 1999. While the Company did file its 10-QSB on October 19, 1999 with the SEC, it was not filed in time to meet the SEC's timeline which included dealing with the government agencies comments. The company had filed at this date based on advice that it believed was accurate. The company's common stock will trade on the National Quotation Bureau's Pink Sheets until such time as the SEC has cleared any comments on the company's filing to become a fully reporting company. Advisors to the company are now dealing directly with the SEC, NASD and National Quotation Bureau to develop the shortest approach to remedy the situation. The company says it's committed to pursuing all options to resume trading including filing a revised 15C211 and submitting current financial statements to September 30, 1999. The company's accountants will be in Costa Rica next week to complete the most recent financial statements.

Tropika International Limited has posted record gross revenues (wagers plus other income) in the first quarter ending August 31, 1999. Gross revenues reached $14.4 million, a 1,723 percent increase over gross revenues of $838,200 for the first quarter of fiscal 1999 and a 48 percent increase over $9,718,422 in the preceding quarter. Net revenues for the quarter totaled $510,163, up 333 percent from $153,251 for the same quarter in the prior year. The company posted a net loss of $711,242 ($0.01 per share) versus the previous year's first quarter loss of $110,838, ($0.005 per share). The company attributes the majority of the loss to the costs related to the development, administrative, and marketing expenses associated with the anticipated launch of RC Securities, a web-enabled, off-shore brokerage service, and Zorro Systems, the developer of a comprehensive web-search tool for online shoppers, which will be available for public beta testing in November.

New Stuff -- Britain's largest betting shops chain Ladbrokes International has launched a tax-free telephone betting service for UK punters from an offshore-based company in Gibraltar. The company, owned by Hilton Group Plc, said a freephone bet with its offshore company will incur a three percent handling charge compared to the nine percent deduction payable in the UK to cover general betting duty and levy. In August, the group announced its intention to launch the service in response to bookmakers like Victor Chandler who moved their telephone betting business to Gibraltar in May, and Irish telephone operators who have captured business in the UK after a betting tax cut in Ireland. Ladbrokes expects the staff count at its Gibraltar office to top 200 within the next few months from its current 100. The group established its Gibraltar based business in 1993, but previously restricted the service to non-UK residents. The group will also be launching a tax free Internet betting service in the first quarter of 2000.

BingoMania has launched a new low-rollers version of its online bingo game: "NickelBingo." Members can download the new game and play at www.nickelbingo.com. More new games--LatinoBingo and YankeeBingo--are one the way.

It looks like CasinosBuilders.com is joining the "celebrity" sites club. The company just announced the sale of an AVATAR Casino to an unnamed client who is putting together a platform of celebrity sites to launch in the new year. CasinoBuilders expects to name the new client next week.

Advertising --An exclusive study by Editor & Publisher/Competitive Media Reporting, published in E&P's October 16 issue, shows revenue from online companies advertising in newspapers jumped to $39.77 million in the first half of 1999 up from $5.24 million in the first half of 1998, a surge of 659 percent. The study included the top 50 online advertisers in newspapers and spot television.

The 'Other' Gaming Industry -- J. Terrence Lanni announced this week that he's resigning as CEO of MGM Grand Inc. Lanni, who said he's leaving Las Vegas-based MGM so he could be closer to his family in Pasadena, Calif., raised a few eyebrows in the online gaming industry when he said that his next venture could be an Internet business. Lanni said the "future of 21st century commerce is on the Internet," and that he "might well lead an Internet company." He's currently on the board of PurchasePro.com, a Las Vegas-based Internet company.

Legal Stuff -- Will the Jay Cohen trial ever happen? The latest trial date was set this week for February 14, 2000. Cohen is one of 21 sports book operators on the receiving end of criminal complaints filed by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in March of '98.

Following recent court settlements in which Visa and MasterCard agreed to forgive the online gambling debts of Californian Cynthia Haines, Providian National Bank, the entity that originally sued Haines, has officially banned all Internet gambling-related Visa transactions.

Nambling Notes - Oct. 22, 1999 is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda