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Emily D. Swoboda
 

Nambling Notes - Sep 8, 2000

8 September 2000

Makin' Deals -- A freshly sealed deal between Satellite Information Services in London and The Racing Network is delivering live horse racing to the U.K. According to Harness Tracks of America, the deal will bring six hours of live coverage of North American thoroughbred racing every evening to Britons via satellite television. Explained TRN President Bill Hogwood: "It is a project I have been working on for several years and the challenge has always been how to get a proportion of the wagering revenue back to the tracks in the U.S. We have resolved this issue by developing software that will provide a pari-mutuel gateway to enable bets to be transmitted into the North American pools." A similar deal is in the works to deliver harness racing signals to Europe.

fluxx.com AG saw its stock rise 5 percent after announcing it's taken a large stake in Software-Entwicklung GmbH, an IT consultant, book and data firm. As part of the deal, fluxx will acquire 55 percent of the company initially and purchase all outstanding shares by early January. Financing comes partly from borrowed funds and partly from a capital increase against contribution in kind from the approved capital of fluxx.com AG, with no resulting effect on liquidity. Additionally, a management buyout allowed fluxx to divest its advertising agency division. "Our origins are in the field of traditional marketing, we have grown up with the Internet, and we perceive our future in the domain of online gambling," said Rainer Jacken, chairman of the fluxx managing board.

The operators of celebrity site Larry Holmes' Sportsbook and Casino have chosen Wiremix Media Inc. to handle media buys, branding strategy and long term marketing development. "Celebrity endorsed sites will encourage the growth of the online gaming industry and improve credibility," said Patrick Smyth, Wiremix CEO and president. "This is a unique opportunity for both parties and we are excited to oversee all marketing initiatives."

On the Legal Front -- Starnet Communications International's legal battles with longtime foes Claude Levy, Gambling Magazine and Las Vegas Casinos may be winding to a close. Starnet President and CEO Meldon Ellis announced that the company has been making "significant progress" in their defamation case against Levy, who reportedly lives in Belgium. Following a judgement against Levy by the Belgian courts, Starnet officials this week dropped similar action in the Canadian courts. Levy, however, sees the situation a little differently, saying, "I didn't see any judgement against my publications for the simple reason that I don't have any publications." Nonetheless, Starnet officials are hopeful. "With respect to the credibility of Mr. Levy's claims and allegations against Starnet, we urge all our stakeholders to review the judgement against Mr. Levy issued by the.Supreme Court of British Columbia on October 15, 1999, which refers to Mr. Levy's claims against Starnet as 'fanciful.'" In that case, Levy's Las Vegas Casinos had been pursuing a $1 billion judgement against Starnet after being dropped as a licensee.

New Stuff -- Thierry Burgess has joined smart card supplier Oberthur Card Systems as executive vice president for smart card integration in North America.

Lottery News -- Border Capital Corp. is changing its name to iTVGames, Inc., pending final approval by regulatory authorities. The name change reflects iTVG's new focus on delivering interactive games via online or offline government lottery systems, broadband Internet or interactive television systems.

Canadian lottery operator Interprovincial Lottery Corporation (ILC) has asked the Ontario Superior Court to declare Earth Future Lottery's (EFL) operation unlawful. EFL is operated by Earth Fund, a federally registered charitable organization on Prince Edward Island. According to a Canada News Wire story, ILC contends that by selling and distributing lottery tickets over the Internet, EFL is violating the Criminal Code of Canada, which prohibits the sale of a province's lottery tickets in another province without permission. Additionally, a charitable organization cannot use computers to operate a lottery, ILC further contends.

Ananova reports that Australian gambling foes are crying foul over a Victoria gambling group's intention to reward credit card users with a lottery ticket for reaching monthly spending goals. "Any sort of incentive scheme can encourage people to overspend on their credit card, but it is particularly problematic when they are offering some sort of gambling opportunity," said Sharon Barker, a spokesman for the Financial and Consumer Rights Council.

Odds & Ends -- The odds makers at William Hill are prognosticating big money for the 2002 World Cup. Spokesman Graham Sharpe said, "The 2002 World Cup is certain to stimulate a worldwide betting turnover in excess of 100 million pounds sterling, making it the biggest betting event of all time." William Hill favors Argentina and Brazil 5-to-1 to win the tournament. One American punter, however, has pegged the U.S. to win in 2002. "An America client has staked $100 on USA to win the 2002 World Cup at 100/1 giving a profit of $10,000," said Betinternet plcMarketing Manager Mark McGuiness. "What a long time to tie your money up!"

Harrah's Entertainment's recently announced purchase of Iwin.com plopped the company right next to MGM/Mirage in the race for top positioning if and (more likely) when Nevada legalizes online casinos. A closer look, however, shows that the company could actually be the sole leader. The company announced this week that it has received the 2000 Leadership in Data Warehousing Award from the Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) in recognition of the highly successful Total Rewards customer-loyalty program. The award recognizes Harrah's Entertainment as a world leader in the area of data warehousing, and is the company's second such award this year; in July, the TDWI presented Harrah's with its Best Practices In Data Warehousing award. "Our company has spent tens of millions of dollars to develop the information technology that serves as the foundation for Total Rewards, the gaming industry's only nationwide customer-loyalty program," said COO Gary Loveman. "This commitment has generated increased cross-market play, higher frequency of visits and greater profitability per visit from Harrah's customers. . . . The result has been double-digit increases in same-store revenues over the last six quarters." The company's player database houses information on more than 19 million customers. On top of that, the company will accumulate more than 6 million registered online game players through its purchase of Iwin.com. They obviously have a vast player base on hand and they obviously know how to manage it. Anybody got some software to sell them?

Nambling Notes - Sep 8, 2000 is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda