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Mark Balestra

Nambling Notes - Nov. 19, 1999

19 November 1999

Tidbits from Oz -- IGN reported yesterday that Next Generation, a new Australian company started by two former IGT execs, has recently announced plans to develop the world's first game design studio. According to the Australian Financial Review, the new company also has its sights on a float on the Australian Stock Exchange within 12 to 18 months. The company has secured start-up funding from an unnamed Australian-based media organization and a venture-capital group, which has taken a 51 percent ownership. Co-owners Tony McAuslan and Mario Castellari retain the other 49 percent.

As reported by Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ABC Online, Consolidated Gaming's Mark Rainbird recently conceded to a parliamentary committee investigating the impact of Internet gambling that Net betting increases the potential for social problems. "We certainly have a social obligation and I guess that is ultimately reflected in a financial obligation," Rainbird said. "The committee has raised with a number of the witnesses whether operators should contribute to funds for problem gambling and our company's position is very clearly that we should." The Senate committee has heard presentations from Lasseters Online Casino, Centrebet and Consolidated Gaming, the owners of Sportsbet, at a public hearing in Alice Springs.

Odds Are... --, well known for giving odds on stuff that's not exactly conventional sportsbook material, announced Tuesday that it's accepting wagers on where Seattle Mariners mega-star Ken Griffey Jr. play next season. The Atlanta Braves, despite their statements indicating that the Mariners' asking price was too high, top the list with 5/2 odds. The Mets (7/2), the Yankees (7/2) and the Reds (6/1) are close behind. Meanwhile, is already accepting wagers on which team will win the 2000 NCAA Championship. The favorite so far is Michigan State at 7 to 1.

New Stuff -- The long awaited, highly anticipated multi-player casino software by Boss Media has finally arrived. Boss licensee Gold Club Casino is offering members a sneak peek at the new software, which features blackjack, roulette, slots, and video poker. The rest of the Boss games--Pai Gow poker, Caribbean poker, baccarat, and craps--will eventually be added to the multi-player version as well., Inc., an online casino operator a few notches down the Starnet ladder, recently debuted the fourth of its five online casinos at The company also plans to launch a casino portal that offers gaming enthusiasts extensive information regarding gambling, news, polls, and much more.

Oberthur Card Systems, a provider of e-commerce solutions, has introduced what it calls "the world's first Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-enabled smart card, ConnectIC(R)." The company says the new card will give telecom operators, banks and commercial organizations a platform for the rapid introduction of user-friendly and secure WAP-based Internet services and multi-applications. Oberhur proclaims itself "the world's No. 1 supplier of VISA and MasterCard cards, and a global leader in the development and delivery of electronic and mobile commerce solutions" as well as "the No. 1 global supplier of Pay-TV smart cards." The company supports Java Card, the Visa Open Platform, MULTOS and Microsoft Windows Card. Of interest to the Net betting biz , Orberthur is wholly owned by Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire, which is a major worldwide producer of instant lotteries.

Prize Central has unveiled new broadband Java craps game with high-quality audio and 3-D graphics. The new game is part of the Prize Central network of games in which gamers can earn points as they play and redeem them for cash.

Investors' Corner -- The redundantly redundantly named GIC Global Intertainment Corporation announced this week that its combined wagered revenues for the month of October was $2,578,362.40. The company additionally announced that its first live Internet broadcast of the Greyhound Derby Cup from the Macau Canidrome Club via its newly launched portal November 14 was a success. reported this week its results today for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 1999, along with significant progress made across all areas of its online gaming and technology development businesses. Gross revenues were $119,411, compared to $124,970 for the 1999 second quarter, against $82,628 for the same quarter last year. Net revenues were $80,466, compared to $114,464 in the1999 second quarter, against $76,175 for the comparable period in 1998. The net loss for the quarter decreased by 22 percent to $958,359, or $0.11 per share, on 8,975,253 weighted average shares outstanding, compared with a loss of $1,228,961, or $0.15 per share, on 8,121,327 weighted average shares outstanding, for the comparable period last year.

Wheelin' & Dealin' -- and dot com Entertainment Group, Inc. announced today a joint venture focused on providing bingo products, featuring 3D avatar technology to a global marketplace. The flagship product of the joint venture will be "Bingo GalsTM", a bingo gaming portal that will feature 3D avatar technology developed by Lost Boys Interactive, Netherlands combined with the technology of bingo software developed by dot com Entertainment Group.

U.S.-based VentureTech, Inc., a high technology investment and finance company, has signed a letter of intent to acquire CyberDome Entertainment Inc., a privately held company located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. CyberDome operates the futuristic 25,000 square foot "CyberDome Virtual Reality Theme Park" in Eastern Ontario's largest indoor mall. The entertainment center features motion simulators, virtual reality rides, interactive games, laser tag arena, etc. Cyberdome's intention is to become "the leader in online/onsite multi-player (non gambling) gaming." The company will officially launch its gaming website, in the first quarter of 2000. Global Net Entertainment Corp. has entered into a Letter of Intent with Loteria Nacional-Mayor y Menor, an agency of the government of Honduras, to provide 200 retail lottery terminals. The agreement calls for s Global to supply, install and support the lottery terminals, central gaming system hardware and software license. Global estimates the costs to deliver the system at US$2.1 million. Global will receive 15 percent of gross revenue from the system for period of seven years. Inc. announced Wednesday the formation of a promotional partnership, with COX Interactive Sales, that will create more then 12.75 million impressions per month and place advertising on sites including, and COX Interactive Media, as well as on the Prodigy Internet service.

The Survey Says... -- From avatar chat rooms to Beannie Baby Auctions, the World Wide Web has given us lots of great stuff. What it's yielded more than anything else, however, are studies, studies and more studies. Marketing and research firms are coming out of the wood work with reports full of demographic, psychographic and geographic data gleaned by surveying Web surfers abound. Perhaps privacy is the hottest topic of online surveys, which is ironic, because in order to milk information from the consumers, you have to... well, invade their privacy. Anyway, the big debate is whether it's prudent to extract personal information from consumers in order to serve them better (and make lots of money). The latest study skimmed by IGN's crack research department, conducted by IBM, concludes that companies offering a detailed privacy policies will gain a business advantage. Sixty-three percent of 3,000 consumers in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Germany said that they'd refused to five information to a website that doesn't post a privacy policy. IBM also reports that almost half of the American and British consumers polled say they want e-commerce vendors to post a privacy policy outlining how personal data is used. Meanwhile, E-Commerce Times reports that 66 percent of Internet users believe that privacy should be market-regulated and not legislated.

Nambling Notes - Nov. 19, 1999 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.