Daily Nambling Notes - June 24, 2002

24 June 2002

Makin' Deals -- Las Vegas Strip tycoon Steve Wynn signed a contract with the government of Macau today, the Associated Press reports. The 20-year contract will require Wynn Resorts to spend $521.8 million during the course of seven years on an entertainment and resort complex. Macau gave Wynn one of three available casino licenses four months ago. Mobile phone operator Orange and Ladbrokes today announced an agreement wherein Ladbrokes bettors will be able to use credit or debit cards at betting offices that formerly only took cash. Orange will be putting courtesy phones at the offices so that bettors can call Ladbrokes and place bets by telephone.

Asian Tidbit -- Hong Kong will review the efficiency of its gambling laws after the World Cup ends, said Secretary for Home Affairs Lam Woon-kwong Monday. His comments were in response to a recent survey that found that many people in Hong Kong don't believe gambling laws are being enforced properly. The survey, conducted June 7-17, found that 42 percent of those surveyed think that police have not been able to stop soccer betting. In addition, sixty-seven percent of respondents said they were in favor of legalizing football gambling.

Names and Faces -- EssNet, a Swedish firm that develops online lottery and gaming systems, recently appointed Ralph Gelfgren as its managing director. Gelfgren joins EssNet from Sweden's national lottery, Svenska Spel, where he had been responsible for development of retail and direct sales channels.

Legal Stuff -- The parent company of TV Games Network, Gemstar-TVG Guide International, lost a patent-infringement case on Friday. International Trade Commission Judge Paul Luckern decided that Gemstar's patent for its on-screen interactive program guide has not been infringed upon by its competitors, which include Pioneer Electronics and EchoStar Communications. A Gemstar spokeswoman called the ruling "erroneous."

US Tidbit -- According to Roll Call, a Capitol Hill publication, the son of Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., has been lobbying Congress about Internet gambling. Chet Lott, Sen. Lott's son, is a member of Lott & Associates, a firm that represents the interests of BellSouth and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The trade group hired Lott & Associates to help it counter Internet gambling legislation that could affect its ability to take bets from multiple states.

UK Tidbit -- U.K. bookmaker betinternet.com announced today that its World Cup trading is ahead of expectations. The company said its customer accounts have increased 40 percent during the second quarter, which includes the World Cup, over the first quarter. World Cup transactions are numbering about 10,000 per match day on the company's Web site.

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