Daily Nambling Notes - June 12, 2002

12 June 2002

Tidbit from the US -- The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee is expected to finally markup Rep. Bob Goodlatte's Internet gambling prohibition bill on Thursday. Allegations that marketers from the Venetian rigged a promotional drawing so a high roller could win have some Las Vegas gambling experts wondering whether the town's reputation for fair gambling could be tarnished. "That's central to Vegas," said University of Nevada professor Bill Thompson said. "We might as well close our shops down if people think the games are dishonest."

Tidbit from New Zealand -- New Zealand TAB is reporting a record amount of bets on the World Cup. Spokesman Joe Locke said Tuesday that $7.4 million has already been wagered on the soccer tournament, easily surpassing the $5 million bet on the last soccer contest in France. "This Cup is only about halfway through so we would expect to double that and hit about $15 million. New Zealand has gone soccer crazy," he said.

Makin' Deals -- SureFire Commerce, a secure e-payment service provider, and Intuit Canada, a developer of business management solutions, on Tuesday launched QuickBooks 2002 Direct Deposit, a program that allows small and medium sized business to automate payroll deposits into employees' bank accounts. SureFire expect to process between $50 million and $100 million in payroll deposits per year. Interspace Enterprises Inc. is partnering with iMustPlay.com to market Planetlotto to European players. Planetlotto is a weekly progressive lottery site.

Tidbit from Europe -- EUROMAT, the European Federation of Coin Machine Association, decided at its annual meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Berlin on Friday to finalize its position paper on telecommunications-based gaming by the end of June. The paper, titled "Telecommunications Based Gaming - Bases for an Enforceable Regulation," covers emerging gaming technologies, including Internet gambling, that can't be governed by traditional gambling laws. The group's president, Eduardo Antoja, said EUROMAT wants to eliminate any unfair competition. "Any activity taking place at a public location must comply with the applicable regulations and be subject to the appropriate controls," he said.

New Stuff -- Cirsa Interactive is planning a debut for its new for-fun wagering application, Cirsagames. The company specializes in developing games for the Internet, interactive TV and mobile phones. Dukesgaming.com, one of CryptoLogic's newest licensees, is up and running. As part of its launch strategy, the site will give away a $1 million to one lucky player on Dec. 31. Players will receive one sweepstakes entry for each point they gather under Duke's rewards program. iCrystal Inc. is calling the newest edition of its online casino software a success. iCrystal Virtual Casino 4.01, which was released to the company's licensees earlier this year, has increased licensees' revenue on average by 20 percent, iCrystal said.

Congratulations -- Frank Stronach, chairman of Magna Entertainment, will be inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame on Aug. 29 in Toronto. Stronach, 69, was born in Austria and moved to Canada with his family in 1954. His success in building Magna International, an auto parts manufacturer, allowed him to invest more time in his passion, thoroughbred racing.

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