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Mark Balestra

Nambling Notes - Sept. 18, 1999

18 September 1999

Promotions Galore -- In the presence of increasingly heavy competition within the Net betting business, has come up with an outrageous new promotion: For a limited time, the online casino is refunding players' losses. The casino is encouraging players to experience its software technology by offering the "You can't lose " promotion, which allows gamblers to play for real money at no risk. Players who win get to keep all of their winnings. Now that's a deal.

Taking a page out of Intertops' book NASA International is offering betting on the bizarre. The company's online sportsbook,, is taking wagers on the events such as: Hillary leaving Bill within six months of their leaving the White House; Pamela Anderson leaving Tommy Lee; Warren Beatty winning the Democratic nomination; and John Ramsey being indicted of Jon Benet's murder. "We've opened the door for a new market of leisure bettors by introducing exciting and interesting topics on our website's menu of betting options," said Greg Champion, manager of wagering at NASA International. "If the odds are there, you can wager on it here." Inc. recently announced the launching of its phase one online international advertising campaign. The company signed an agreement with the 24/7 Network that will see banner ads placed on Internet sites around the world. The campaign's objective is to drive traffic to's portal site as well as the company's international wagering game. Banner ads will appear on international websites that focus on games and entertainment.

Wheelin' & Dealin' -- Aggressively expanding Virtual Gaming Enterprises, Inc. announced Monday the purchase of Masterpiece Casino, bringing the company's total number of sites to six. Masterpiece Casino presents an "ambiance" incorporating fine art, soft music and subdued lighting designed to appeal to new market segments, including women specifically. The site's grand 'reopening' is scheduled to coincide with the launching of other sites recently acquired by Virtual Gaming within the next four weeks. Masterpiece Casino is operated on a server located in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Icrystal Inc., formerly known as Softnet Industries Inc., jumped on the bingo wagon by acquiring Metrobingo Inc. for $1.45 million. The purchase includes proprietary software, graphics and 20 bingo domain names. Icrystal Inc. plans to license the Java-based software to exclusive interactive Internet bingo sites.

Investors' Corner -- The redundantly redundantly named GIC Global Intertainment Corporation (OTC BB:GGNC) boasted combined wagering revenues of nearly $12.5 million for the months of May, June, July and August. "We expect this upward trend to continue based on our renewed marketing initiatives around our Y2K Lottery campaign," CEO and President James Chu said. "Furthermore, we expect significant increases in wagering revenues from our sportsbook as we embark on the new pro-sports season."The company's websites are, and

New Stuff -- Australian Media Company Pty Ltd (AMC) Thursday formally introduced the Visa TravelMoney card to its Net Pirates Casino customers by issuing the card to its top 100 winners. "This pilot project is the prelude to issuing every Net Pirates Casino player with a Visa TravelMoney card, so that every player will receive their winnings automatically and without the delay," AMC Director John Brown said. "Our gaming industry experience tells us that the cost, sometimes up to $US40, delay and inconvenience of receiving winnings from online casinos is the biggest obstacle for players. All this is now a thing of the past at Net Pirates, the only online casino to meet the standards of a Visa partnership. " Access to the Visa TravelMoney cards is through the software licensor and service provider,, through its 50 pecent ownership of IBIS (a New Zealand savings and loan).

A new site using software by Global Games launched this week. Global Games will receive 20 percent of net win as its license fee. The site offers a sportsbook and is expected to offer 23 casino games within the next two weeks.

Atlantic International Entertainment, Ltd. unveiled its version 2.0 webSports international sports wagering system and version 2.3 of its casino games platform this week at the World Gaming Congress & Expo in Las Vegas. The company will soon be operating under the banner of Online Gaming Systems, Ltd.

Global Internet has proclaimed its sports betting site,, the first online sportsbook to release odds on which NCAA football team will win the National Title Game (the Sugar Bowl).

Starnet Communications has changed the name of its software developing subsidiary from Softec Systems Caribbean Inc. to Starnet Systems International Inc..

New Perspectives on Cyber Gambling -- The October issue of Reason magazine features an in-depth analysis of online gambling. Included are articles by Tom W. Bell , an assistant professor at Chapman University Law School and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute; Nick Gillespie, the executive editor of Reason; and James Ledbetter, the New York bureau chief of The Industry Standard. The gist of the three stories: Net betting is relatively safe; Net betting can be fun; and it's impossible to enforce prohibition. The magazine's coverage of Net betting can be viewed online at

Legal Stuff -- An online gambling domain name war has found its way to the courts in Australia. According to a recent story at ZDNet Australia, SportOdds ( has issued rival company, International Allsports (IAS), a cease and desist notice, in an attempt to stop it from using the domain name SportOdds claims that IAS registered the domain name in 1998 and has been using it to funnel traffic to its site at "Allsports is obviously trying to capitalize on our traffic flow and our name," said SportOdds CEO Con Kafataris. "… IAS' use of our name would be akin to Woolworth's putting a David Jones shingle above the door, but when the customers entered they found they were only in a Woolworth's after all." SportOdds has complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Northern Territory Department of Consumer Affairs over potential breaches of the Trade Practices Act.

Nambling Notes - Sept. 18, 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.