Casino Watch - December 2004

28 December 2004
Caribbean Poker Classic Popular among WagerLogic Players

The first ever Caribbean Poker Classic tournament turned out to be a major success for WagerLogic and its licensees. Hosted by WagerLogic on the island of St. Maarten, the tournament featured 110 online qualifiers and an additional 47 players who put up $5,100 to cover the buy-in. John Earle, a Betfair qualifier from Essex, won a cash prize of $213,205 and the event's first championship gold bracelet. He defeated Aleksander Vathne, a William Hill qualifier from Norway, in heads-up play to take the prestigious title. Vathne walked away with $137,061 for second place, while Sharbel Koumi, representing Littlewoods, placed third and took home $83,760. The tourney, concluded in early December, also featured a pro-am event in which three World Series of Poker champions and three European champions faced off against three Internet hopefuls. The made-for-TV event included world-renown poker players Chris Moneymaker, Robert Varkonyi, Russ Hamilton, Steve Vlader, Xuyen Pham and Simon Trumper. Steve Vladar took first place and won the $50,000 prize in that competition. The events will be broadcast in 2005.

WPT Coverage Expands to 60 Countries

WPT Enterprises Inc. has announced a deal to widen its footprint to nearly 60 countries through an agreement to distribute its World Poker Tour show to the Caribbean and Latin American markets via Discovery Network's Travel and Adventure Network. The agreement advances the relationship between Discovery and WTO, which together launched the wildly successful show in the United States on Discovery's Travel Channel. Discovery will air the World Poker Tour in Latin America on Wednesday nights at 9 pm, bringing the WPT brand into more than 10 million homes. The WPT continues to be seen in the United States Wednesday nights on the Travel Channel at 9 pm ET. The new agreement will have the World Poker Tour airing in : Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Uruguay and Venezuela.

GP Continues eBay Spending Spree

Golden Palace's eBay purchasing team followed its well publicized acquisition of a nine-year-old grilled cheese sandwich dawning the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary by spending $65,000 on the Internet auction site to buy a haunted walking cane. The cane's former owner claimed it was possessed by her dead father's ghost and was frightening her five-year-old son. "This is a fascinating situation, as the seller honestly believes in the supernatural nature of this item," Richard Rowe, CEO of explained. "We felt that this would be an incredible opportunity to show the world the cane and let people decide for themselves. We also hope the seller's family can now finally be at peace and we wish them all the best."

Crypto Names Corporate Broker

CryptoLogic Inc., a software supplier and developer for the I-gaming industry, last week appointed the firm Bridgewell Limited as its U.K. financial adviser.

VC Poker Teams Up With Dennis Publishing

Dennis Publishing, the publisher of men's magazine Maxim and gambling glossy Inside Edge, has announced a six-figure cross-promotion deal with Victor Chandler Poker. Maxim will host the Maxim King of Poker Tournament in London in June. The magazine will offer a poker supplement with poker advice and will hold an online tournament for readers every week from January to June 2005. Tournament winners will qualify for the Grand Final tournament event. The deal comes a few weeks after Maxim's leading competitor, FHM, announced a plan to launch an online poker room.

Nevada Says No to Wireless Funds Transfers

The Nevada Gaming Commission this month nixed a plan that would have allowed gamblers to withdraw funds from their bank accounts wirelessly from the casino floor. Cash Systems Inc. of Burnsville, Minn. and Las Vegas-based Mikohn Gaming Corp. proposed to field-test a portable wireless device that could be brought to a player in a casino and operated by an attendant to arrange for the transfer of cash debited from a bank account or advanced and charged to a credit card. The commission said the wireless technology may be too risky to implement--even on a trial basis--without a study exploring the possible detrimental impact on problem gamblers.

WagerLogic Rolls out New Games

WagerLogic released version 6 of its casino software in November. The new suite is highlighted by Pontoon (a British variation of Blackjack) and two new U.K.-style Fruit Machines (a British variation of the slot machine).

The fruit machines--the boxing-style "Fruit Fight" and the circus-themed "Super Sideshow--were inspired by the hugely popular, land-based fruit machines found all over England. Both offer complex second-stage betting features, nudge features and bonus spins--all of which translate to more opportunities to spin and win. WagerLogic has added more than 30 new games (including a variety of new video slot themes, more multi-currency progressive jackpots and additional card games such as Casino War, Casino Solitaire and Super Fun 21) to its online casino suite in the last year.

Casino Fortune Makes Offer to Buy Cavaliers

Casino Fortune is trying to buy an NBA team for the second time this year. The company, which failed in a bid to purchase the Phoenix Suns for $380 million in April, last week offered an estimated $375 million to buy the Cleaved Cavaliers after Gordon Gund, who bought the Cavs in 1983 for $20 million, said he was in serious negotiations with a potential buyer. The team had no comment on the offer.