Dutch Charitable Gaming Group Launches UK-Based Betting Exchange

10 September 2003

When Dutch international charity lottery operator Novamedia launched its Internet lottery, Goodlot, on Nov. 16, 2001, then CEO Boudewijn Poelmann saw his dream realized.

With a license in the Netherlands Antillees and endorsement by Goodlot's ambassadors--Nelson Mandela, Anita Roddick, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nafis Sadik, Ruud Gullit and Anna Roosevelt--a bright future lay ahead.

Due to technical problems and under-estimating of the new Internet marketing techniques, however, Goodlot had to be re-launched several months later. And the second try was bound to be unsuccessful as well.

This week, the third edition was introduced--this time not as a charity lottery, but as a U.K.-licensed charity sports book offering exchange betting. London-based Novamedia UK Ltd. runs the service using MARS (Managed Risk Sportsbook) technology, developed by 1X Inc. of Ontario

According to Novamedia's press release, "GoodLot offers the first exchange-based sports betting platform that looks and feels like a sports book, giving novice punters an easy access. Unlike traditional exchanges, there is no commission to pay on winning bets, making it easy for the punter to see how much she or he will actually win on a bet. These features will open up the multi-billion dollar exchange betting market to retail users, many of whom have found existing exchanges too intimidating."

1X will add to the total liquidity of the exchange by seeking more partners to the network in coming months. It will also add a "back/lay" interface for sophisticated bettors and a user-friendly interface for novice bettors.

The 1X exchange-based software has been under development for almost three years.

John O'Malia, CEO and co-founder of 1X Inc., said Novamedia is an ideal partner for launching the network.

"We are extraordinarily proud to be working with a company with the quality, charitable record, and long-term vision of Novamedia, O'Malia said. "They have proven their gaming expertise time and time again with market-leading charitable lotteries, and they recognized immediately that adding our platform to their site was the logical next step."

Annemiek Hoogenboom, CEO of Novamedia UK, said compliance is a "No. 1 priority" for Goodlot, particularly because of their involvement with charities.

"The sports exchange is built from the ground up to be compliant with 'know your customer' and other stringent regulations, Hoogenboom explained. "We as an operator own our customers. The ease of use of the betting platform for the user is unmatched in the market. It is a winning combination, and we look forward to a long and successful future with 1X."

GoodLot will contribute 10 percent of its sports betting proceeds to charity, in keeping with the remarkable record of charitable contributions set by the fundraising lotteries operated by the Novamedia group. These lotteries, based in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, contributed over EU3 billion over the past 10 years to charities such as Unicef, Amnesty International and the World Wildlife Fund.

Novamedia has a player base of 6.7 million in the Netherlands and Sweden and employs over 500 people.

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.