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Mark Balestra

Nambling Notes - Jan. 7, 2000

7 January 2000

A Tidbit from Oz -- A December report by Macquarie Equities ( offers some interesting observations on the ripples generated by the recent passing of online gambling legislation in Tasmania. Steeper competition throughout Australia, says the report, will be the end result. Macquarie indicates that Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory regulators are considering removing limits on the number of sports betting licenses granted in their respective jurisdictions in an effort to remain competitive. Likewise, the report suggests that tax rates will also play a significant roll in competition between jurisdictions. Macquarie's recommended ASX buys: TAB Ltd. (TAB), Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. (TAH) and TAB Queensland (TQL).

Investors' Corner -- eBet Ltd., a gaming and Internet group and a listed Australian company, has extended its option to buy player loyalty system developer and marketer Netcash Gaming Systems. The 90-day extension is intended to allow eBet to finalize its application for a New South Wales gaming machine dealer's licence. eBet signed a term sheet in July 1999 to acquire Netcash subject to due diligence and regulatory approvals, and the option had been due to expire last week. The company committed a further non-refundable deposit of $50,000 in extending the option to buy Netcash.

Redundantly reduntantly-named Dominica-based site operator GIC Global Intertainment Corporation boasted last week that its combined wagered revenue for the month of November was $3,090,508, a 19.8 percent increase from those reported in October., Inc. has scheduled its next investors conference call for January 10 from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). The informative update is open to all investors or prospective investors and can be accessed by calling toll-free 1-888-689-9350 and using the pin code 4575. A 48-hour playback for those unable to participate can be reached at 1-800-577-6980 with pin code 15400.

Success Amid the Hunt for Content -- eLottery, Inc., a subsidiary of Executone Information Systems, Inc. announced last week that it has entered into an agreement with iSyndicate, a provider of dynamic and relevant Web content designed to help drive commerce and build community on the Internet. eLottery Vice President of Sales and Marketing Charles Degliomini says the agreement "accelerate our roll out of additional content and consequently should enhance the already impressive 'stickiness' of the FreeWay.", Inc. has teamed with Akamai of Hawaii in an effort to improve the speed, performance and reliability of's recently debuted portal site by utilizing Akamai's FreeFlowTM Internet content delivery service. The FreeFlow system is designed to enable all viewers to experience consistently faster page loading worldwide. Akamai has 1,700 servers in over 30 different countries.

Wheelin' & Dealin' -- Kudos to LivePerson for bagging its first Net betting client. In case you didn't catch the IGN feature story " LivePerson Delivers Innovative Customer Service Solutions and Advice," we'll get you up to speed: LivePerson offers Internet businesses real-time customer service solutions in the form live operators and a real-time text chat protocol. Word got out Tuesday that the company signed a deal with online casino/sportsbook "This is a great new way for us to interact with our customers," said's customer service manager, Silvia Vasquez. "Once we have customers on our site, we want to make sure they have all the information they need, and LivePerson helps us give it to them. They can contact one of our representatives and get an immediate answer to their questions without having to disconnect from the Internet. We can guide them through the site while talking to them."

Software provider Online Gaming Systems, Ltd. (OGS) announced Wednesday the signing of its first European licensing agreement through its distribution alliance with U.K.-based John Huxley Casino Equipment Company. The deal calls for a currently unnamed company to utilize OGS bingo, sports betting, casino and lottery software. OGS will receive up-front licensing fees of more than $400,000 plus incremental recurring revenue streams and maintenance fees for the duration of the agreement. Further details regarding will be released at a later date under the terms of the agreement. OGS President and CEO Richard Iamunno said details of the agreement will be available within a few weeks. Although he couldn't name the company, he was able to confirm that the new site(s) will be operated from somewhere in Europe. Iamunno also indicated that more announcements are on the way.

International Pursuit Corporation announced Thursday that it has entered into a letter of intent with Holdings Ltd. to acquire 50 percent of the equity in Ltd. in exchange for shares of pursuit representing 40 percent of the issued and outstanding shares of pursuit upon completion of the transaction. has its sights on being "the first financial betting site on the Internet to offer fixed odds financial bets." The site, found at, is operational in beta with all the requisite software programs in place. The operators plan to go live "as soon as its usage is formally approved by appropriate jurisdictions." The preliminary timetable is three months.

Riptide Technologies Inc., a leading fraud management company, announced Thursday that it has been selected by the Uthingo consortium as the preferred transaction auditing supplier for the South Africa National Lottery. "This contract award gives Riptide the unique opportunity to participate in the first on-line lottery on the African continent, which will benefit lottery beneficiaries and the citizens of South Africa," said Michael Meeks, president of Riptide Technologies. Uthingo was selected as the preferred bidder following a competitive bid, among three consortia bidding for the South Africa National Lottery license. It will operate all aspects of the lottery, including such diverse tasks as provision of a country-wide, dedicated communications network, selection, licensing and training of retailers for start-up and implementation of all marketing activities in support of the lottery. The Uthingo consortium is a combination of local South African empowerment groups and international lottery experts. The three international partners from the lottery industry are CISL Ltd., the sister company to Camelot, the operator of the UK National Lottery; Tattersalls, Australia's premier lottery and gaming operator; and GTECH, the world's leading online lottery equipment and services provider.

A New Face -- In an effort to protect the security and privacy of its customers, Go Call Inc. has appointed Ira Winkler, one of the world's leading experts in Internet security, to its advisory board. Winkler, CISSP, is considered one of the world's leading experts on Information Security, Information Warfare, investigating information-related crimes and Industrial Espionage. He was previously with the National Security Agency (NSA) and was the director of Technology with the International Computer Security Association ( He's presently the president of Internet Security Advisors Group (

On the E-Commerce Front -- According to a story published by American Banker, a California company called Kaosc ("killer applications on smart cards") has developed a smart card system to accommodate online gambling transactions. The new system facilitates wagering via remote devices such as personal computers, cellular phones, or palm organizers. "The actual playing of the game doesn't have to be online anymore," Kaosc President and CEO Gavin Shenker said. "The growing smart card infrastructure being driven by companies like Microsoft and American Express creates an ideal base on which to piggyback a system such as smart card gaming." To prove how secure the system is, the company is offering $1,000 to anyone who can penetrate its security controls.

Promotional Stuff -- In the modern-day Super Bowl era, the factors having nothing to do with the game always seem to end up being talked about more than the game itself. For example, how many times have your heard folks exchanging insights about what those idiotic Budweiser reptiles are going during commercial breaks? In recognition of the hugeness of the events surrounding the event, is has released a line on TV ratings for this year's championship game. Bettors can wager on whether they believe the national television audience will exceed 40 percent of all American households or fall short of that mark, currently listed at 10/11 odds. Ratings have historically landed in the mid forties, but this year's ratings are expected to be low.

Gambling software developer MicroGaming Systems announced Wednesday that its progressive Cash SplashTM jackpot has reached the plateau of $100,000, a new all-time high. The fattest jackpot awarded so far went to an Alaska resident who turned a $3 bet placed on November 18th into $91,645 in winnings.

A Tidbit from Nevada -- The Las Vegas Sun reported Tuesday that heavy-weight slot machine manufacturer International Game Technology, as expected, is dropping its stake in Access Systems, the software supplier for Lasseters online casino in Northern Territory, Australia. The decision is a result of warnings from the Nevada Gaming Control Board that Lasseters wasn't blocking bets from Nevada customers--a big-time no-no that could jeopardize the status of IGT's license in that state. The Board has already filed a complaint against American Wagering Inc. for the same violation. IGT expects the selloff to be completed within three months.

What Others Are Saying -- Will there or won't there be an online gambling tax in Antigua and Barbuda? The answer remains a mystery, and the Antigua Sun--despite the insistence by the Directorate of Offshore Gaming that all is well--contends that the natives are restless. According to the Sun, the disappearance of a proposed 2 percent levy is a direct result of a wide-scale threat by licensees to take their business elsewhere.

The Survey Says... -- Someone should do an Internet survey or research report on the dramatically increasing presence of Internet surveys and research reports. It's getting to the point where there's too much qualitative, quantitative, administrative and demonstrative findings in terms of Internet usage, buying habits and all that jazz to make any sense of it all. Starting Wednesday, IGN will lend a hand by delivering a weekly rundown of surveys that are pertinent to professionals in the interactive gaming biz.

Nambling Notes - Jan. 7, 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.