Casino Watch - April 2003

27 March 2003
CCC Software Returns

One of the most successful casino software systems during the early years of online gaming is making a comeback.

Officials with the Antigua & Barbuda government announced last week that CCC Casino software hopes to be up and running again by the second quarter of this year, marking the return of one of the most popular online casinos.

The software was used to run CCC Casino until the site was purchased in 2001 by Aspinalls, who switched the site to IQ-Ludorum software as part of the takeover.

Aspinalls wasn't able to continue the success of the site and later turned it over to Golden Palace before the accounts were eventually merged to Golden Palace accounts.

Now one of World Gaming's (formerly Starnet)most successful licensees, Sinsational Intertainment Inc. (SII) will be opening up a new casino using the CCC Casino software.

SII, which has operated since June of 1999, said the software will be updated to reflect modern gambling trends and technology issues.

SII also said it will offer customers affected by the insolvency of CCC their outstanding gaming balances, available to them for play.

Ritz Club Partners with Tote

The Ritz Club London Online, the Internet mirror of the famous London casino, has announced a partnership with giant U.K. betting organization the Tote in an effort to cross promote the Tote's new betXpress Web site.

The partnership gives players at Cryptologic-powered Ritz access to pooled, horse and sports betting from betXpress. As part of the deal betXpress' players can join and play at the Ritz. The co-marketing arrangement is intended to increase traffic to both sites and to offer a more complete gaming experience for users.

Keith McDonnell, channel manager for betXpress, said Ritz was a carefully chosen partner.

"We reviewed a number of potential partners to link up with to provide an online casino element to our website," he said. "The brand association with The Ritz Club London Online, and its related audiences, played a major role in our decision to enter into this partnership and we look forward to working with them."

Aussie Banking Group Against Internet Betting Ban

Australian government authorities carrying out a mandatory review of the country's Internet gambling ban received unwelcome news from the country's financial sector: It is opposed to measures aimed at banning the use of credit cards in online gambling.

Banking regulations are emerging as a flashpoint in the federal government's review, in which politicians are looking at whether gambling transactions can be invalidated as a means to hamper the offshore business.

The financial industry is opposing moves to block Internet casino credit card transactions, warning that liability issues and difficulties in identifying gaming payments would make them too difficult.

MGM Kicks up Marketing Campaign

With its new license from the Isle of Man in hand, wasted no time in gearing up its U.K. advertising efforts.

The company announced earlier this month that it was starting its first mainstream push to acquire new players for its site.

The aggressive campaign started with advertising through one of England's most popular football teams, the Everton Football Club.

The advertising, which runs to the end of the season, consists of two perimeter board treatments featuring the sites URL address, at the ground.

The signs are placed at the 40,200 capacity premiership club for five major fixtures and will end on May 11.

Gala adds P2P to casino

Bingo and online gaming firm Gala Group is banking on peer-to-peer (P2P) gaming to give its site the edge.

Developed by Carlton Interactive and launched in December, the site is designed to recreate the look and feel of the bricks-and-mortar casinos in London and Edinburgh. To date the site has featured casino-style games, such as roulette and black jack, in which the user plays the house.

The first P2P game, Winning Circles, has players challenging each other head-to-head to win a pool of money.

Last month, after being bought by private equity firms Candover and Cinven, Gala said it would begin to market its online properties aggressively.

World Gaming Tests New Software

World Gaming announced last week the trial phase of its newest software. The new games are available for trial as part of a two-phase rollout at the company's own online casino site, A global release will soon follow.

The package offers an expanded suite of downloadable games, 17 in all, and 16 no-download Java offerings with "significant upgrades graphically and functionally."

The Java suite is compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer, AOL Browser or Netscape Navigator Version 4 or greater, and is compatible with Mac, Linux, and Windows operating environments.

Also incorporated is a new jackpot option where the games Hook Line & Sinker, Free Ride, and Bermuda Poker will all be offering Progressive Jackpots, typically starting at $10,000 and expected to reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It is expected that major licensees of World Gaming like Sportingbet, Real Entertainment or IIE Ltd will sign up for the latest package after the trial version is completed at World Gaming's site.