Casino Watch - October 2004

30 September 2004 Sponsors Curling Team, an Internet casino, announced today that it's the new title sponsor of Team Geurts, a competitive curling squad from Canada. The sponsorship will help fund the team's 2004/05 season and be a part of the World Curling Tour. The team's goal is to represent Canada at the Winter Olympics, either in 2010 in Vancouver or 2006 in Turin, Italy. The terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

South Africa Getting Closer

South Africa has taken took a major step toward becoming the latest jurisdiction to regulate online casinos. The government has published the National Gambling Bill, an all encompassing piece of legislation that includes language enabling the operation of online casinos.

College Poker Championship Announced

A new non-profit group is looking to give away college scholarship money through online poker tournaments. The online College Poker Championship tournament series, announced last week, will give away thousands of dollars in scholarships and will also crown the "Best Texas Hold'em, No Limit College Poker Player in the World."

In conjunction with the online tournaments, players can vie for a spot in the College Poker Championship, which will be a land-based tournament held during spring break in Cancun, Mexico. The grand final tournament will be held on March 16, 2005.

Students can get into the online tournaments at no cost on the site, which is hosted by noted poker author Lou Krieger.

More than $84,500 in scholarship awards will be issued at the final event, with the winner taking home $40,000.

Inspired in Ireland

Inspired Broadcast Networks, one of the leading providers of interactive, networked entertainment terminals, announced plans this month to expand into Ireland. The company intends to roll out its digital broadband-enabled entertainment terminals and jukeboxes across Ireland over the coming months. The broadband connection makes it possible for IBN to update contest with new games, services, promotions and real-time tournaments. The "itbox," Inspired's entertainment product, has fueled a 40 percent increase in takings per terminal across Europe since last year, and the total value played per day is currently in excess of £10 million.

CryptoLogic Taps Morrow for Poker Guidance

Online gaming software supplier CryptoLogic Inc. has hired Paradigm Poker Consultants' Steve Morrow to assist with the design and development of Crypto's product plans for online poker. With 15 years of poker experience, Morrow directed the world's largest land-based tournament, the 2002 World Series of Poker, and the largest online tournament, the 2002-03 World Championships of Online Poker. With his extensive knowledge of tournament formats and poker gaming, Morrow will lead further development in the company's online poker offering, including emphasis on large-scale tournament structures that drive increased player traffic and larger cash prizes as well as enhanced customer support capabilities. Poker is a major growth area for CryptoLogic, which has grown rapidly to account for 15 percent of the company's revenue in the first half of 2004.

VIP Casino Wins Award for Bonus Program

Last week slot and video poker publication Strictly Slots named VIP Casino's 10%/1% Cash Reward Program the Best Player Reward Program for 2004. The winner was determined by a survey of 50,000 readers. Through the program, players are refunded 10 percent of their monthly closing net losses, and winners get 1 percent of their monthly closing winning balance added to their accounts.

Firm Gets License to Operate in Margarita Island

Senticore, Inc., a Florida-based holding firm with a wide-ranging portfolio of interests, announced today that it has been awarded a permit to operate a complete land-based and Internet casino in Margarita Island, a territory of Venezuela. The company hopes to launch an online gambling service by the end of the year. The site will offer a complete sports book and a casino with table games, poker, slots and more.