Daily Nambling Notes - Aug. 5, 2002

5 August 2002

From Down Under -- Australian banks' Internet gambling policies may start looking a lot like American banks' policies. After the country's federal government banned Internet gambling last year, the tide of Australians gambling with credit cards at offshore sites has not stemmed--Nielsen Netratings reports that 9 percent of Internet users in the country gambled online last year. Commonwealth Bank said it was part of an industry group studying the issue and considering the option of banning online gambling transactions. National Australia Bank said it has started consulting with the community about the matter.

Makin' Deals -- Last week, online gaming and sports content group ukbetting plc said it is selling its majority interest in Radio Tara to RTE for a nominal amount of money. RTE had formerly owned 20 percent of Radio Tara, which used be called Atlantic 252 and then was renamed TEAMtalk 252 this year. ukbetting bought its share in Radio Tara when it purchased TEAMtalk Media Group plc recently and said that Radio Tara was a "significant cash drain" on its resources. ... Sports handicapping company Global Sports & Entertainment (GWIN) is entering a strategic alliance with the Off Shore Gaming Association and Gamblers World.com. Wayne Allyn Root, chairman and CEO of GWIN, said that as more gamblers venture online, they will look to both the Off Shore Gaming Association and Gamblers World for handicapping information.

Tidbits from the US -- Today is the first day of Responsible Gaming Education Week, and to mark the occasion, the American Gaming Association is urging its employees and the public to take the interactive quiz on gambling awareness on its Web site, www.americangaming.org. The Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders at Harvard Medical School's Division on Addictions helped create the quiz. ... The Washington Post reports today that more and more states in the union may look to gambling to fill holes in their budgets. The article states that this fall voters in Tennessee, Nebraska, Arizona and Idaho will likely vote on gambling policies this fall and that at least 26 other states are expected to address gambling in the upcoming year.

Wildlife Not Winning -- Charity gaming site WildlifeWins is crying foul over credit card transaction problems related to Internet gambling. The site donates a portion of its proceeds to help endangered species. "It's a shame that credit card firms are not utilizing the foresight in their gaming ban to separate legitimate online businesses that fund good causes from the sham operations that they are looking to stop" said Carl Pretorius, the site's co-founder. "If you take a look at our business you will see that we are online to help the animals. This year alone we have raised over $20,000 towards our goal of $945,000 to help save four species of animals including Mountain Gorillas and rare Sumatran Tigers. Unfortunately, through the credit card ban, Americans are increasingly less able to make a contribution."

Anne Lindner can be reached at anne@rivercitygroup.com.