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Mark Balestra

Nambling Notes - Feb. 11, 2000

11 February 2000

A Great Week for Turkish Punters -- (UK) Plc, announced this week the signing of a joint venture deal with a Turkish company that will result in a Turkish version of Sportingbet's online sportsbook. The Turkish betting industry is estimated to be worth over $5 billion per year with the bulk of interest on European football and horse racing. The company, a U.K.-based Turkish consortium called Superbahis (UK) Ltd., will provide with insight on cultural and commercial differences in the Turkish market, enabling to market its services directly to the Turkish consumer.

European gaming software provider Q-Seven Systems, Inc. has announced the signing of a new licensee. The management of Q-Seven and Futura Internet Services Limited, Bahamas, signed a contract this week to launch two new online casinos. Club 7 Casino ( will cater to the English speaking market, and Yeni Casino ( will provide a special site for Turkish customers.

Makin' Deals -- is seeking to globalize its website by signing an agreement with SDL International's multilingual content management system SDLWebFlow. Combined with SDL's extensive localization services, SDLWebFlow will provide a complete, global solution to maintain's multilingual website. The system functionality includes automatic detection of changes on the original site; an alert system that notifies members of the localization process, and provides information on status as the project progresses; and use of "Translation Memory" software to prepare files automatically and ensure consistent re-use of previously translated content.

MDI Entertainment, Inc., the company that recently purchased The Lottery Channel with hopes of eventually using it to launch an Internet lottery (pending legislation), announced this week that it has signed a deal with the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) to enable the lottery to introduce MDI's Harley-Davidson(R) instant scratch off lottery ticket this year. WCLC becomes the second of five lotteries in Canada to introduce an MDI licensed game. In March 1999, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation became the first Canadian lottery to enter into a contract with MDI. reports that U.K. broadcasting rivals NTL and BSkyB are competing with each other to form an alliance with Net betting company Sports Internet. NTL originally approached Sports Internet, however, BSkyB, recently got in the game. Licensed in Alderney since June 1998, Sports Internet is planning to go live with soccer betting in early March. The group is also looking into the online casino business.

PlayandWin Inc. and Autotote Systems Inc., a division of Autotote Corp have reached a licensing and marketing agreement in which the two companies will implement a multi-step roll out of PlayandWin's Racingo (R), an interactive pari-mutuel "bingo-style" wagering game. Racingo will be launched to North American racetracks, followed by expansion into the international and online market. No target date has been set for the launch yet.

Globalvest Partners Inc., a subsidiary of software developer Dotcom 2000 Inc., has entered into an agreement with television personality Jo Jo Savard to provide two online gaming sites. One will be in French; the other in English. Both will be called "Jo Jo's Casino."

Editor's Note (Jan. 2, 2002): Globalvest Partners Inc. is in no way related to Globalvest Management Company, LP. As per an agreement with Globalvest Management Company, Dotcom 2000 has changed the name of the subsidiary to "Crown City Inc."

M&A West, Inc., a company that develops, invests in and operates Internet and technology-related companies, has announced the sale of its online gaming portal, (, for $1.2 million to a "gaming concern" from Europe. Company CEO and President Scott Kelly says the company is also currently negotiating the sale of its two dozen gaming and sportsbook-related domains.

New Faces -- Starnet Communications International Inc. has announced the addition to the company's management team of Helmut Biemann as vice president, operations and Martin Mullally as vice president, strategic planning. The company says the appointments are to help the company manage its rapid growth and "reflect management's commitment to executing on its strategic plans, building its online pari-mutuel operations and maintaining market leadership." The company additionally announced the promotion of Ed Starrs to president of Starnet Systems International Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary that focuses on the licensing of Starnet software. announced the appointment of A. L. Frank, founder and former president of Onyx Software, as company president. Robert Fell, who had held that title, remains as chairman and CEO.

Investors' Corner -- Gaming software developer, Interactive Gaming & Communications Corp. (formally the operator of Sports International) has changed its name to Globespan Technology Partners, Inc. The name change is said to be part of the company's corporate restructuring plan. The company's new business model, in their own words, is "similar to what is currently recognized as an ECONET company, with investments in several technology and e-commerce enterprises." Part of the restructuring plan calls for an upgrade in the company's listing and in December of 1999 the company made application for a listing on the Amex. The company has enlisted the consulting services of Ignosh & Associates of Reston, Virginia to assist the company in its restructuring efforts and funding requirements. The restructuring plan further calls for the corporate development of separate enterprises for the company's existing products and technologies. The resulting companies will be wholly owned subsidiaries and/or portfolio companies of GlobeSpan Technology Partners and will sell and support their respective products and services to targeted markets. Funding for the successful operation of these companies will come from a private placement of up to $5 million, which GlobeSpan will offer to the public in February. Each of the new companies will operate autonomously and will rely on GlobeSpan to provide ongoing capital funding, some management, accounting and services as needed.

Araldica Wineries will acquire Interactive Solutions Corporation and rename itself Interactive Solutions Corporation. The new entity will undergo a 1:1,000 reverse split effective February 14, 2000.

Venture Catalyst Incorporated, a "full-service consultant and incubator for emerging Internet businesses," boasts that it has been added to the Internet Stock Review "Watch List" for 2000. The Internet Stock Review Online is an online newsletter designed to give broad coverage to Internet related publicly traded companies.

Mercantile Management Corp.,a subsidiary of Tropika International Limited, has agreed to sell 10 percent of RC Securities in an arm's-length, all-cash transaction of US$1million. The purchaser, Croesus Investment Management Limited of the British Virgin Islands, will be a passive investor, without position on either the Tropika or RC Securities boards. The transaction is to close on or about February 20, 2000.

Redundantly redundantly named GIC Global Intertainment Corporation announced that its combined wagering revenues for Cyberbetz Casino & Sports Book in January 2000 is $6,928,272.50. Cyberbetz reportedly enjoyed a 35 percent increase in new players over the previous month and approximately a 3.5 percent increase in wagered revenues from those reported for the same period a year ago. Inc. announced that it has achieved full reporting status under the new NASD Rules 6530 and 6540 and SEC Release No. 34-40878. The upgrade resulted in the resumption of trading of the company's common shares on the OTC Bulletin Board, effective February 9.

Despite American Wagering, Inc.'s woes of late, the company's stock is alive and kicking. Shares reached a new high yesterday of $13 1/2.

Starnet's stock is on the rise again. Yesterday, it closed at $8 5/8, up over 43 percent on the day. Today, it finally reached the $10 mark.

A Tidbit from Oz -- Will there or won't there be land-based wagering in Australia this year on Olympics events? Right now it looks like the answer is no, but things could get interesting. Bookmakers in New South Wales have made an appeal to the Carr government to let them accept wagers on the games in Sydney games. Current policy forbids wagering on the Olympics but the bookmakers are charged up by the fact that they stand to lose a whole bunch of money. If land-based bookmakers are not given the green light, online bookmakers will surely be licking their chops.

Promotional Stuff -- Virtual Gaming Enterprises, Inc. has initiated an aggressive media program for Vegas Book, an offshore gaming operation providing a sportsbook and Internet casinos. Through the plan, Vegas to sponsor "The Winning Line," a radio show featuring former Mirage race and sports book director Jimmy Vaccaro. The sponsorship began with the Super Bowl show and will continue with specifically targeted, large audience programs including three shows tied to the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

A Wisconsin man on Feb. 3 became the second person in 10 days to win the CashSplashTM Jackpot at the online Colosseum Casino. The man won $113 449.35, bringing the total year 2000 Jackpot pay out to more than $500,000. A Pennsylvania man won $91,000 just days earlier. All CashSplashTM casinos are powered by Microgaming Systems (, a true specialist when it comes to odd-ball bets, announced Tuesday that it has begun taking wagers on the 42nd annual Grammys. The online sportsbook has listed Santana as the clear-cut favorite to walk away with Record of the Year at 11/10 odds, Song of the Year (4/5), and Album of the Year (1/2) honors.

A Grand Achievement in Tastelessness -- announced this week that it is taking wagers on whether Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will be found guilty or not guilty of murder charges relating to the slaying of two men in Atlanta during Super Bowl weekend. Congrats boys, that's a new low!

On the Interactive Race Wagering Front -- Pennsylvania's The Racing Network has been told that it no longer can carry live signals of New York Racing Association signals from Aqueduct, Belmont Park or Saratoga because of NYRA's contractual alliance with Television Games Network. Hal Handel, CEO of Philadelphia Park, which operates TRC, said he didn't consider the move good business for NYRA or TRC, understandable in view of the fact that Philadelphia Park handled more than $50 million on NYRA racing last year. If its customers now want to see NYRA action, they will have to do it at the track in Philadelphia or at its five off-track facilities. Ladbroke Racing's Call-A-Bet system also had to cut off NYRA signals Feb. 1 to residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and Virginia residents as a result of a simulcasting contract signed with NYRA, thereby affecting wagering information on NYRA races at, which has a working arrangement with Ladbroke. and its wagering partner Ladbroke Racing Pennsylvania have announced a new compensation scale for the 35 tracks currently using Youbet's service. The two now will offer host tracks 10 percent of all bets made by people within 25 miles of the host on that track's races; 7 percent on bets by customers within 25 miles of the track on other tracks' races; and 3 percent on all bets placed on the track's races outside the 25-mile radius. Tracks formerly got 7 percent to 8 percent on bets by state residents and 5 percent to 6 percent on bets by out-of-state customers.

New Stuff -- Boss Media opened the doors this week to its latest online casino. InterContinental Casino, set in an ocean liner during the Roaring Twenties, features the full suite of Boss games, including roulette, blackjack, standard and progressive slots and draw poker. Baccarat, seven-card stud, Texas Hold'em, Pai-Gow poker, Caribbean poker, craps and keno will be added soon.

Tidbit from the U.S. -- According to Casino Journal's Gaming Industry Daily Report, England's John Huxley Casino Equipment Ltd. has received Nevada Gaming Control Board approval for a distributors license. For those keeping score, John Huxley also happens to have a software distribution alliance with Online Gaming Systems, Ltd. Considering the Board's previous relations with Nevada licensed companies that are involved in Net betting, this could be very interesting.

eConnect has announced that, as part of its global e-commerce initiative, the company has entered into the second software licensing agreement with eFunds, a subsidiary of Deluxe Data. According to eConnect, CONNEXTM on IBM(R) and CONNEXTM Management System software will be used to process Internet credit and ATM card (with PIN I.D.) transactions through eConnect Ireland's eConnect SystemTM. In addition to facilitating local transactions, Irish consumers will be able to utilize Internet cash payments to American based e-commerce merchants. American consumers will also be able to access the Irish network of eCashPad compliant Web sites, enabling secure online purchasing of Irish goods. To promote the new service, eCashPads will be supplied free to preferred customers of e-commerce and gaming companies serviced by eConnect Ireland. eConnect also says that it is fast tracking the installation of the eConnect host processing center in Dominican Republic, with Hong Kong and Australia to follow shortly thereafter.

Nambling Notes - Feb. 11, 2000 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.