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Mark Balestra

Nambling Notes - Aug 17, 2001

17 August 2001

Legal Stuff -- An Internet poker room operator has been pressured to cease referencing Las Vegas's Four Queens casino in promotions for its online poker tournaments. promoted its "4 Queens Poker Classic " satellite tourneys by placing ads in recent editions of print magazines Poker Digest and Card Player. The company ran similar promos on its website as well. The campaign prompted a Gaming Control Board investigation, which ultimately resulted in the competitions being renamed the "UltimateBet" tournaments. The board is looking into a possible connection between and Four Queens, however, both companies deny the existence of any ties.

Fitzgeralds is the latest gaming company to embark upon a cybersquatting lawsuit in Nevada. The operator of Fitzgeralds properties in Reno and Las Vegas has filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop the operator of from using the domain to divert Web traffic to its shopping and gambling website. A South Korean business allegedly owns the domain name. According to the Las Vegas Sun, this is the second effort by Fitzgeralds to recover it. The first suit was filed March 29 against the site's Antigua-based operator, Derek Bowlin.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, the government of China's Guangdong province is struggling to survive in the presence of underground lotteries, which are responsible for severely hurting legalized lotteries' revenues. Authorities have taken action, however, and in doing so have raided 89 gambling dens and arrested more than 360 people. Telephone, fax and e-mail lotteries, because of their evasiveness, have been particularly difficult for police to stop. Guangdong is home to China's oldest legalized lottery.

A Scandinavian Tidbit -- The Financial Times reports that Hilton's Ladbrokes betting division will challenge the Swedish government's gambling monopoly by applying for a gaming license with an unnamed Swedish partner.

New Stuff -- reports that Fair Grounds Net Bet, the Louisiana-based online betting arm of Fair Grounds Race Course, will expand its services to accommodate bettors in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Wagers from the two countries will be included in on-track wagering pools at North American tracks.

Digital World Cup (DWC), a Toronto-based electronic sports entertainment company, announced this week the launching of what it's calling the "world's first big-stakes online golf tournament, a skill-based, pay-for-play competition" with a top prize of $100,000. The Pro 18 Online Tour is based on the PC game "Pro 18: World Golf Tour," originally distributed by Sony's Psygnosis subsidiary. DWC has acquired the worldwide Internet licensing rights and partnered with game developer Poptronik Entertainment to convert the game for Internet play.

Interspace Enterprises Inc. announced this week that it has completed the backend lottery engine for its lottery website. The worldwide service enables users to purchase lottery tickets for a shot at winning $1 million. Over the next several weeks, the company will perform alpha, beta and stress tests to ensure the integrity of the lottery engine. The PlanetLotto lottery engine is an extension of Microsoft(R) Commerce Server 2000. The inaugural draw is scheduled for Fall 2001.

Kenilworth Systems Corporation reported this week that, during its first annual meeting in 13 years, its shareholders approved the necessary organizational steps to meet 34 Act requirements following its emergence from Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September 1998. The company will thus now be able to move forward with "Project Roulabette," a plan to develop technology for live casino wagering via interactive TV. "We have requested advice from the Nevada Gaming Control Board on the permissibility of broadcasting live in-progress casino table games from well-established casinos in Las Vegas, under the existing horse/dog simulcast regulations," Kenilworth Chairman Herbert Lingo said. "The deputy attorney general for gaming is awaiting a court review of a Louisiana court decision which seeks to interpret the relationship between Internet casino gaming and the 'Wire Act.' (Wire Act of 1961, 18 usc 1084). Although it is our belief that the transmission of wagering information or wagers, is not involved with, nor does it require a 'wire communication facility,' we are awaiting that ruling."

On the International Commerce Front -- The Financial Services Authority this week signed a partnership with the National Criminal Intelligence Service in a cooperative effort to better fight financial crime. The agreement is geared to curb money laundering, with a focus on domestic banking; online stock broking; spread betting; credit unions; independent financial advisers and offshore funds; and international banks with clients from countries not covered by the Financial Action Task Force. reports that the upcoming Pacific Island Forum meeting in Nauru will be used as a platform for Pacific Island tax havens to assess demands and threats made by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Most notably, Niue and the Cook Islands have been blacklisted by the OECD for conducting what the organization calls "harmful tax haven practices."

Makin' Deals -- ukbetting plc on Monday signed an exclusive sports betting agreement with Sportal, a leading global provider of interactive sports content. Through the partnership, ukbetting will have the exclusive right to market its services to Sportal's 2.4 million monthly users over the coming 10-month season of sports events.

Online bookmaking firm (UK) plc this week signed a five-year strategic partnership with Royaltons (Gibraltar) Limited, a specialist gaming company. Under the agreement, Royaltons on July 30 launched, a service focusing on giving a pan-European customer base the opportunity to bet on all major global sports, including all European football leagues and competitions., Inc. on Thursday announced the sale of a poker card room license to Seascape Software Solutions Ltd. The card room, currently being beta tested, is scheduled to go live within 30 days at Seascape, a marketing firm, will target North America, South America and Europe players. Under the agreement, will provide Seascape with a full multiplayer poker card room offering several variations of poker games, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha hi-lo, five-card stud and seven-card stud.

Names and Faces Changing Places -- Gaming system service company Multimedia Games Inc. today named Craig Nouis chief financial officer, replacing Frank Rehanek who will serve as vice president of finance. Nouis most recently served as audit partner for an international accounting firm. Rehanek requested the position of vice president to focus on areas of finance he finds more interesting.

Interactive race wagering service provider Inc. today reported that Executive Vice President of Racing Steve Molnar, who has been with the company since 1996, has announced his resignation. "Steve Molnar was instrumental in the early development of the Youbet Network and our brand recognition in the industry,'' Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Luniewski said. "The fact that our network now has virtually 100 percent of all tracks in America is due in large part to Steve's efforts." Luniewski also noted that the company presently does not plan to appoint a successor to Molnar. Prior to his tenure at, Molnar was president and chief operating officer of McKinnie Systems, and was involved in horse racing for over a decade before joining the company.

Quote Worthy -- "Credit card companies are very competitive, they are very much compensated by how much people spend on their cards. It's not in their interest to go around finding out who is spending what on what."

--Thomas Cash, former head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Florida and the Caribbean, on the presence of tax evasion among holders of credit cards issued by Caribbean banks.

Nambling Notes - Aug 17, 2001 is republished from
Mark Balestra
Mark Balestra is the Managing Director at BolaVerde Media Group. He previously worked at Clarion Gaming and the River City Group where he was the publisher of iGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
Mark Balestra
Mark Balestra is the Managing Director at BolaVerde Media Group. He previously worked at Clarion Gaming and the River City Group where he was the publisher of iGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.