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Mark Balestra

Nambling Notes - Dec. 7, 2001

7 December 2001

New Stuff -- Simon Bold (Gibraltar) Limited this week launched an online casino based in Gibraltar. The sports betting firm was granted permission to operate an online casino under a five-year sports betting license granted by the government of Gibraltar in 1999. The new site,, offers 20 games, including roulette, blackjack, Sic Bo and craps, as well as several slots and video poker games. The company, which was acquired by, said all games will be available without lengthy downloads in English and German.

InterCasino, one of the world's first online casinos, has debuted new software that enables its customers to play casino games in a virtual reality environment. Using CryptoLogic's "Global Edition" software, the revamped casino is divided into two navigable casino floors with avatars representing players in a virtual multi-player setting. The new software also introduces tournament play to InterCasino customers. With the system comes two new progressive mega-jackpot games: "Shoot-o-Rama," a video slot machine, and progressive keno.

Just when you think it's all been done, brings cow crap into the equation. The self proclaimed "world's first cow casino" launched Thursday with a version of roulette involving the bowel movements of cows as its main attraction. The game features a giant 65-foot roulette table marked out in a field with the traditional red and black numbered squares. Visitors to the site simply choose any one of the four "crapiers," including "Let-It-Go" Flo and Thora "The Turd," and place their wagers as they would on a roulette table. The selected cow is then released in the marked field and goes about its business while customers follow the action via the "Cow Cam." Once the crapier does its business, the "pat boss" marks the winning number and removes the cow's movement with a golden shovel. Winners are paid real roulette odds, 35-to-1, for picking the winning number. The defecations are filmed at a secret location in Europe, and the pre-scheduled Web casts will be aired twice weekly. Customers can play for real money or compete in the free competition for weekly and monthly prizes.

A Tidbit from Ireland -- Hours after Ireland's decision on Thursday to cut its betting tax from 5 percent to 2 percent, a few of the country's top bookmakers, Boyle's Bookmakers and Paddy Power, announced they will stay in Ireland and offer tax-free betting to their customers. The policy change is a bitter sweet development for bookmakers, who have pushed for a tax cut, but wanted the rate to be lowered to 1 percent. Power Leisure, Paddy Power's parent company, initially said it would charge its customers the full tax if it wasn't reduced to 1 percent. Following the announcement, however, Ross Ivers, the company's finance director, said, "We are happy to absorb the new 2 percent taxation and offer tax-free betting in all of our shops across the country." Earlier this year Power Leisure moved its telephone and Internet betting services to England, where they will remain. The new taxation policy will go into effect May 1, 2002.

Makin' Deals -- Australian lottery operator Tattersall's has chosen British sports betting software firm Orbis to provide the technology and infrastructure to support its move into the online sports betting market. Tattersall's, the oldest private gaming operator in the English-speaking world, is one of two operators in Australia with a state lottery license. The company's site,, currently provides lottery results, lottery ticket sales and interactive casino gaming. Using Orbis' OpenBet(R) Interactive Gambling System, the site will now provide sports betting as well.

Aspinalls Online plc on Monday announced a joint venture with British lifestyle magazine FHM and its associate Web site, Through the deal, Aspinalls has created a micro-site targeting the FHM audience, from which customers can download the casino software. Corresponding with the launch of the site is a marketing campaign consisting of advertisements in FHM as well as banner and e-mail ads targeted at the member base. Russell Foreman, CEO of Aspinalls Online called FHM "the perfect partner to help us target the key younger male gambling audience." Forman said the venture will concentrate on the U.K. market, but that it will extend to other FHM strongholds--such as the United States, Australia, France and Germany--if it proves to be successful.

Bentley Communications Corp. announced Tuesday the signing of an online casino software license agreement with Global Internet Technologies LLC of Rhode Island. The deal gives Bentley the right to sell turn-key e-commerce solutions and back-office proprietary operating systems owned by Global Internet Technologies to brand-name brick-and-mortar casinos operating in the State of Nevada. "The advantage to the Nevada casinos is that they do not have to spend months to engineer and test their software systems that can be very costly and time consuming to develop," Bentley CEO and President, Gordon Lee said. "Likewise, the millions of persons who now enjoy using the Internet for gaming will have the confidence in knowing that they are dealing with American regulated gaming in the State of Nevada, which is obviously a substantial advantage over placing bets with offshore, unknown online casinos."

In a statement made Thursday Bentley said it has targeted the college market as part of its master plan to become "the premier entertainment and gaming online destination." Lee said college students in the future will flock to gamble online with each instead of holding poker games at frat houses. "Outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, probably the largest population of active casino game players can be found on college campuses," Lee said. The company has followed through by setting up dozens of college-branded Web sites, including BostonUCasino, HarvardCasino, StanfordCasino, UofAlabamaCasino and UofMichiganCasino.

Legal Stuff -- According to a paper published in the Managerial and Decision Economics journal, the harmful effects of gambling in the United States could result in class-action lawsuits similar to those filed against tobacco companies. The paper is titled "The Costs of Addicted Gamblers: Should the States Initiate Mega-Lawsuits Similar to the Tobacco Cases?" The author of the paper, University of Illinois business administration professor John W. Kindt, writes that evidence that casinos and video gambling machines creates "problem gamblers" makes the gaming industry susceptible to such suits. "The gambling industry appears to be vulnerable to various types of mega-lawsuits," Kindt wrote. As reported Monday by Ascribe News, Kindt, who specializes in gambling research, said the industry's efforts to promote gambling among vulnerable groups, such as teen-agers and the elderly, make it potentially liable for the harm its product causes the general public.

Concerned over the effects of Internet gambling pornography on children, the government of Taiwan has drafted new rules placing restrictions on Internet cafes. The policies, approved Wednesday by Taiwan's Executive Yuan, would limit government-registered Internet cafes to areas away (at least 50 meters) from elementary and high schools, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported Thursday. They would also require Internet cafes to refuse entry to children under 15 years old unaccompanied by an adult during school hours and after 10 p.m. Fines for non-compliance would range from 50,000 to 250,000 Taiwan dollars. The rules now await legislative approval.

Nambling Notes - Dec. 7, 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.