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Mark Balestra

Nambling Notes - May 31, 2002

31 May 2002

New Stuff -- Toronto-based gaming software provider CryptoLogic Inc. announced Thursday the launch of its real-time bingo application, CryptoLogic Bingo. Emulating the traditional 75-number bingo game played in bingo halls around the world, CryptoLogic Bingo offers five play-for-money halls and one play-for-fun hall with themes customizable to the preference of each licensee. The new software is being showcased by Crypto's first bingo licensee, InterBingo, at CryptoLogic's president and CEO, Jean Noelting, said CryptoLogic Bingo represents "the next phase in our strategy of leadership in a broad range of vertical gaming markets to meet the needs of licensees and players looking for a variety of entertainment options." The company additionally announced the the expansion of language and currency support in its Version 4 Plus casino software. Now available are localized versions in German for play in euros, Spanish for play in euros or U.S. dollars and Japanese for play in U.S. dollars. Chinese, French and Italian versions are in development and are scheduled for release later this year.

Names and Faces Changing Places -- With an increasing focus on the tech sector, Playboy magazine this week appointed David Zucker to the newly created position of president and chief operating officer. Zucker, who will report to chief executive Christie Hefner, previously served as the managing director at Walker Digital LLC, where he oversaw development of online games, e-commerce and Internet gaming and gambling businesses. He was also chief executive of DIVA Systems Corp., a provider of video-on-demand systems for cable TV operators, and spent eight years at ESPN, where he helped launch the ESPN2 channel. Playboy, which last year broke into the online gambling business through the launch of three gambling sites, has stated that its future growth is in electronic media because the print magazine is a mature product. The company said it wants to stem losses at its online unit to break even by the end of 2002.The losses had narrowed to $3.6 million in the first quarter of 2002 from $5.1 million in fourth quarter of 2001. Specifically, the company wants to "boost subscription-based Web revenues, ignite online sales of Playboy products and build Internet gambling businesses in countries where it is legal." Hefner said Zucker brings Playboy "a particularly compelling mix of experience in new technology as well as traditional businesses." The Chicago-based parent of Playboy magazine, founded by Hugh Hefner, has not had a president since the late 1970s., Inc. announced Wednesday the appointment of Steve Moriya as senior account executive in charge of advertising sales. Moriya has extensive online experience as both a media buyer and seller. He has worked for a number of interactive gaming and online organizations, including popular entertainment destination Moriya will be responsible for driving's revenue growth from both existing and new clientele. The company, which earns 100 percent of the revenue from advertising sales at its Web site, has altered its strategy to deliver ads at a significantly reduced cost. "Steve will be instrumental in reestablishing the advertising revenue stream that is capable of achieving," CEO Tarrnie Williams said. PokerStars, an online poker site, this week announced it has signed "Amarillo Slim" Preston as the its host and spokesman. Preston will promote the poker site and participate in online tournaments.

Makin' Deals -- Rank Interactive Gaming Ltd. on Wednesday announced it's been chosen to provide content for's gaming channel. Users browsing can access a number of gaming sites, which, the first online gaming site from Rank Interactive Gaming. The parent company, The Rank Group Plc, is one of many land-based gaming and entertainment giants to enter the Internet space in the last two years. The company's land-based interests include Mecca Bingo, Grosvenor Casinos and Hard Rock Café. Based on the idea of matching supply and demand, offers consumers "last minute" opportunities to acquire airline tickets, hotel rooms, package holidays, entertainment tickets, restaurant reservations and delivery, specialty services, gifts and auctions in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia and South Africa. According to a survey published in December 2001 by independent research company NetValue, is the most visited Web site in the travel and tourism category across Europe. announced Sunday that its marquee poker event, the Million II tournament, has been selected as a charter event for the newly formed World Poker Tour (WPT). With an estimated total prize pool of $1.5 million, is the first Web-based card room to join the WPT ranks, which includes Bellagio, the Bicycle Casino, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Lucky Chances Casino, Horseshoe Casino and Hotel, Reno Hilton and others. As a charter member of the WPT, will receive substantial television, print, Web, and on-location promotion for the Million II, of which the finals will be held in March 2003 aboard a luxury cruise ship sailing the Caribbean.

A Tidbit from Oz -- Online Gaming Systems Ltd. has announced that submission of FIRE V1.0 (Fully Integrated and Regulated Environment), its premier casino software product, for certification by the Northern Territory Treasury, Australia. The company said the submission is part of the ongoing approval process by the Northern Territory Treasury for Casino Paraiso, which is owned by Sydney-based International Gaming & Entertainment Corporation. The FIRE software system has been submitted to Global Gaming Services (GGS), the authorized, independent testing laboratory for the Northern Territory Treasury for compliance testing against the Northern Territory Treasury regulatory requirements. GGS provides consulting, audit and testing services to the gaming industry, principally in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and the British Isles.

Winners Circle -- Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. has been awarded a Best Practices Award from The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) in the "Justifying a Data Warehouse" category for the company's Enterprise Data Warehouse. The company was nominated for the honor by Cognos, a business-intelligence consulting company that worked on the project. The Harrah's Enterprise Data Warehouse is the analytical driver behind the company's award-winning Total Rewards(C) customer-loyalty program.

Nambling Notes - May 31, 2002 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.