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Mark Balestra

Nambling Notes - Sept. 24, 1999

24 September 1999

Promotions --Los Angeles-based, an intranet pari-mutuel race betting service provider, has launched a radio advertising campaign executed by The Syndicate. Syndicate partners WONGDOODY L.A. and Oglivy L.A. are handling the account. Three humorous radio spots by WONGDOODY L.A. began airing September 6 in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego and San Francisco. Los Angelas and New York began airing them September 23. Online, direct response and other plan elements by Ogilvy L.A. will roll out in September. Plans for a television campaign will be announced in early October.

Three online casinos developed by Switzerland-based Radiate Software are now offering the mildly insane "You Can't Lose!" promotion in which bettors are reimbursed for losses up to US$200. Players can keep all of their winnings and enjoy genuinely risk-free gambling. The participating sites are,,

New Stuff -- Players Network, a live interactive TV network for the gaming industry, recently made its World Wide Web debut at Currently in the "preview stage," the new site is a full-service, gaming information, e-commerce and interactive hub. The company will be combining their Interactive TV Network with print information, advertising, e-commerce and affiliate information. The site includes : Tourism and Travel, Sports and Racebook, Players General Store, Gaming Guide, Entertainment and Events, Players Golf Guide, City Directories, Players Network Affiliates, Web Events and Company Information directories. It will eventually include instructional videos from the company's extensive library both on a streaming full motion video basis and on-demand.

Affiliate hotels of the Players Network TV network will receive advertising and information services on the website. Live Webcasts will be held including live gaming stock information from Alan Woinski, President of Casino Journal Publishing Group, Inc. and editor of The Gaming Industry Weekly Report and Gaming Industry Daily Report. There will also be live Webcasts of events such as casino openings, gaming tournaments, gaming trade shows, live chats with gaming experts, handicappers, entertainers and other newsworthy personalities.

Legal Stuff -- The highly anticipated September 13 court date for Jay Cohen came and went without any action. This time around, the delay came at the request of the defense. (A member of the defense team had a death in the family.) A new date hasn't yet been set, although it's expected to be in a week or two. The case had previously been delayed by the prosecutor for several months. Cohen, one of the operators on online sportsbook World Wide Sports Exchange was among 21 sportsbook operators busted on the receiving end of criminal complaints filed by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in March 1998.

E-Commerce Issues -- The U.S. Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce voted September 15 to continue with plans to improve online retailers' ability to collect e-commerce taxes. According to Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, the Commission is asking states to solve the tax collection problem by finding a technology that can work. The proposal was initially opposed by Virginia Gov. James Gilmore and two other commission members. The group will next meet in San Francisco in December, where representatives of state governments will likely testify.

IBM has released a new version of its Consumer Wallet software. The new digital wallet, available from financial institutions in alliance with MasterCard International, speeds up online shopping by allowing consumers to store their credit card and shipping information securely in a desktop icon for future shopping. The product is available in 24 languages.

Wheelin' & Dealin' -- Virtual Gaming Enterprises, Inc. is purchasing websites like they're going out of style. Its latest buy is Omni Casino, along with the registration of the domain of "" Virtual Gaming President and CEO Virgil Williams says Omni Casino will be the first operation gaming site to specifically target the singles market. It will compete with, a newly signed licensee of, which announced similar intentions as well this week. The site will offer singles lifestyle adjuncts such as personal postings, chat rooms and other related activities. Virtual Gaming's objective is to cover all the bases in terms of its customer base. "Virtual Gaming Enterprises, Inc. is committed to offering Internet gaming themes that appeal to virtually every market segment, every age group and every interest group," Williams said. The "" domain will become a portal to Virtual Gaming's seven websites. Omni Casino was previously owned be WWTS.

In the House -- A bill to permit telephone account wagering in California died in committee when the legislature recessed for the year on September 10. Sources in California say the bill, Assembly Bill 1405, will be reintroduced when the legislature reconvenes for the second half of its 1999-2000 session next year and that every effort will be made to put the bill on a "fast track" for approval.

Another Reason to Love this Great Game! --'s recent addition of NFL betting has already proven to be a fruitful endeavor. The beginning of this year's football season has panned out to be one of the most successful two-week periods for the company since its website was launched October 1998. The site has opened more than 1,500 accounts since pre-season started in August. "We have always recognized the importance of the North American sports market to our business," Managing Director Mark Blandford said. "It is gratifying to see that expectation translated into customers who have been attracted to"

Investors' Corner -- Atlantic International Entertainment, Ltd. shareholders voted today in favor of changing the gaming software company's name to Online Gaming Systems, Ltd. The name change will take effect immediately with a new symbol pending approval from NASD.

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.