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Asian Jurisdiction Now Offers Internet Gaming licenses

11 June 2003

THE PHILIPPINES -- (Press Release) -- Manila Philippines, June 11, 2003: Internet gaming licenses are now available from the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Free Port, located in the north eastern corner of the Philippines, following approval of the Government approved Interactive Gaming Act.

In close proximity to Taiwan, China, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, Cagayan offers a commercially attractive business model for online gaming operators to target the untapped Asian markets and international gambling community.

“Effective immediately, First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation are accepting applications from operators who wish to capitalize on the competitive licensing regime, cost-effective regulatory framework and disciplined operator and player protection policies here,” said Mr Albee Benitez, President of First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation.

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority is mandated by law (Republic Act No. 7922) to manage and supervise the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Free Port.

First Cagayan has been appointed sole Master Licensor to develop and regulate internet gaming by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). To expedite the processing of licenses, CEZA has the legal authority to independently approve applications without the prior acceptance from a national government agency, including PAGCOR.

“We believe that we have developed an online gaming model containing the perfect balance of regulations and controls in a well regulated jurisdiction. Our solution is designed to be financially and commercially desirable to both large and small internet gaming operators,” commented Mr Benitez.

The fee structure comprises a nominal application fee, a competitive annual fee and a 2% interactive gaming tax on gross win.

As the only licensor for this Freeport Zone in the Philippines, First Cagayan is also responsible for probity checking, audit trails and checking of software to ensure that all games conform with the random number generator standard, as games of chance.

“First Cagayan also offers assistance for online gaming operators that are not experienced in dealing with Asian jurisdictions or internet gambling in general,” said Mr Benitez.

“We understand that internet gaming is currently targeted towards the Western world. To assist licensees to focus on the lucrative Asian gaming market, we have appointed International Casino Services to assist in the process of licensing and developing the interactive gaming zone,” he said.

International Casino Services (ICS) has a history of some 15 years managing and operating Asian casino and gaming operations.

“The Cagayan model is designed to streamline the application process with sensible levels of regulation, while maintaining the necessary confidentiality, checks and measures required to compete in today’s market environment,” said Brian Feetham, Chairman of ICS.

“We believe that our experience in the Philippines and Asia will assist foreign-based corporations who are looking at targeting this region, and in particular Cagayan as one of the very few Asian internet gaming jurisdictions.”

For further information contact Mr Justin Casey, First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation, Tel: 63 2 638 5556

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