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Australia's Packer Takes Offshore Bet on Internet

22 February 2002

AUSTRALIA --Feb. 20, 2002 –As reported by the Computer Daily News: "Australian media mogul Kerry Packer - a casino owner and himself a big gambler in U.S. casinos - is continuing to thumb his nose at the Australian government's ban on Internet gambling, with two of his companies revealing plans to increase their investment in an offshore online casino - and planning further global online gambling ventures.

"Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd (PBL) and online offshoot Ecorp have 50:50 ownership and joint operational control of the Vanuatu-based CrownGames online casino, the two explained in statements filed with the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) today.

"Ecorp will toss in 2.7 million Australian dollars (US$1.39 million) for its share of costs to date.

"…A PBL subsidiary, PBL Gaming Technologies, will develop software and license it to the venture.

"…The venturers are unfazed by the Australian government's ban on Australians gambling online. The CrownGames Web site, hosted in Vanuatu, bars access from jurisdictions that disallow online gambling, including Australia, New Zealand and the U.S…"

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