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Mark Balestra

Nambling Notes - Oct. 26, 2001

26 October 2001

Tidbits from the US -- The Internet gambling prohibition movement on Capitol Hill is alive and well despite a failed push to attach a prohibition measure to the recently passed anti-money laundering bill. Rep. James Leach's, R-Iowa, Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act had been attached to the anti-money laundering bill, but the provision was removed Oct. 17, hours before the bill was voted upon in the House. Next week it will be re-introduced as a standalone bill. The legislation is expected to go before the House Financial Services Committee for markup most likely on Wednesday. A Washington source told IGN that the re-introduction of the legislation is a "formality" to reestablish it as a standalone bill and that it won't be opposed because the committee has already debated the legislation. The source added that it's unlikely the bill will come before the full House before Congress adjourns for the year.

Following Indian gaming discussions held at last week's World Gaming Congress in Las Vegas, Donald Chapman, treasurer of Connecticut's Mohegan tribe, told that he was "real interested in Internet gambling." The Mohegan tribe operates the Mohegan Sun casino, one of two highly successful Indian-run casinos in Connecticut.

A Tidbit from New Zealand -- In announcing the decisions of the New Zealand government's Gaming Review, Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins said last week that the country's TAB will retain its monopoly on race and sports betting. As part of that monopoly, Hawkins said, the TAB will be the only New Zealand gaming provider allowed to operate over the Internet.

Tidbits from the Far East -- Victor Chandler and Tiger Pools International, Ltd. (TPI) are teaming to launch an online and telephone-based betting operation in Korea. Tiger Pools, the majority owner of Tiger Pools Korea Co., Ltd., has been granted an exclusive license to run sports promotion games in Korea through August 2006. In February 2001 the government granted the company the rights to launch a sports promotion ticket business called "Sports ToTo."

While Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho takes the I-gaming industry by storm with his highly successful virtual casino, the future of his land-based gambling empire is up in the air. Ho's monopoly on casino gambling in Macau will come to a close at the end of the year, and a number of hopeful operators are jockeying for the three casino licenses that will become available. The government said Monday that, in addition to Ho's Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STMD), 22 potential licensees have expressed interest in getting in the game, including the likes of Vegas mega-resort companies MGM Mirage, Wynn Resorts and The Venetian. Reuters reported Monday that one of the 23 companies has been disqualified. The other 22, according to Reuters are:

  • STDM (Macau)
  • Macau Leisure World Resort Limited (Macau)
  • Sociedade de Importacao e Exportacao Silver Faith (Holdings) Limited (Macau)
  • Baia da Nossa Senhora da Esperanca Real Estate Development Company Limited (Macau)
  • Moon Valley Inc. (Macau)
  • Agencia Comercial San Tai Son Ltd. (Macau)
  • Genting International Consortium (Macau, Malaysia)
  • Asiawide Holdings Limited (Macau, Hong Kong, Britain)
  • Grand Macau International Development (Macau, Hong Kong)
  • Kao U Holding Ltd. (Macau, Hong Kong)
  • Wynn Resorts (Macau) Limited (United States, Macau)
  • Sun Entertainment Holding Company Limited (United States, Macau)
  • Genton International Ltd. (Malaysia)
  • Environmental Energy Investment Limited (Hong Kong, the Philippines, New Zealand)
  • Golden Island Limited (Hong Kong)
  • Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd. (Hong Kong)
  • Art Concept International Foundation for Cultural Study (Hong Kong)
  • Aspinall's Club Ltd. (United Kingdom)
  • Crown Group, Inc. (United States)
  • Macau-Las Vegas East Development Corp., Inc. (United States)
  • The Venetian (United States)
  • MGM Mirage (United States)

New Stuff --, Inc. announced today the launching of its highly anticipated pay-for-play skill-bingo game at The new pay-for-play site will operate in conjunction with the existing advertising-supported bingo portal. "We want to make the home of Internet bingo for all types of bingo games and players," CEO Tarnie Williams said. "The development of skill bingo is a giant step for us in the pursuit of additional revenue sources and profitability.''

Makin' Deals -- Orbis Development, Inc. announced Thursday that its WWW Global Interamericana LTDA subsidiary has signed a deal with Racing Services de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Racing Services, Inc. (RSI), under which its Global Pari-mutuel Network will be able to provide Internet off-track betting operations with direct access to major U.S. race tracks. RSI, one of the largest independent providers of simulcast, pari-mutuel and other racetrack wagering services and equipment, will provide a package that includes telecommunications and operating services. The agreement facilitates online pari-mutuel wagering directly into more than 80 race tracks. Specifically, the Global Pari-mutuel Network will provide players hosted by Internet off-track betting operations access to pari-mutuel pools, real-time odds, scratches, daily results lines, daily race programs, past performance programs data and other handicapping data and information concerning available pools.

Mobile games developer Air Games Wireless announced today the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement with Telecom New Zealand for the delivery of wireless games to Telecom New Zealand customers. Among the several offerings will be Air Casino, a full-service play-for-fun mobile casino. More than a million Telecom New Zealand customers will have access to the new suite of wireless games, which are designed and published in house. reports that Morgan Grenfell is preparing an auction of Coral Eurobet in the first quarter of next year. British betting firms Stanley Leisure and Rank Leisure, along with an unnamed, non-British operator, have been rumored to be interested in acquiring the business. Corp. announced Monday the signing of an agreement with Alliance Gaming Corp. to "explore development of forward-looking interactive games with rich graphics and sound media resources."

eLOT, Inc. announced Thursday that it has received a notice of allowance of a patent covering a system and method for purchasing and receiving state lottery tickets over the Internet from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The company has submitted the formal drawings and paid the issue fee required for the patent to be granted and expects it to be granted within 60 days. eLOT and its eLottery Inc. subsidiary filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code on Oct. 15.

New Faces -- Sungold Entertainment Corp. announced Thursday that Mike Bennett and Alan Weinrib have been appointed to the company's board of directors and have assumed management roles with the company's Horsepower Broadcasting Network Inc. subsidiary. Bennett, 55, has over 30 years senior management experience in the casino industry in the Far East, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the United Kingdom. Most recently he served on the boards of 18 companies within the Ladbroke group. Weinrib, 57, started a betting company, Playmate Racing, in 1980 and built betting shop chains that were sold to Coral and Mecca. He sold his bookmaking interests in 1997 to set up Easybets, one of the Web's first fully interactive betting sites.

Nambling Notes - Oct. 26, 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.