eBet Exits the Virtual Casino Biz

22 December 2000
Unlike most Australian e-casino operators eBet Ltd. didn't have to shut down its online casino to comply with that nation's newly implemented moratorium. Instead, the company decided to sell off its Internet casino subsidiary, eBet Casino, and casino website, www.casinoebet.com, to Cyprus Management Company N.V., operators of VIP Casino.

The eBet casino site, licensed in Antigua, will continue to operate its Australian online sports wagering sites, which offer sports and race wagering and lottery ticket sales.

"Under the federal government's recent Internet gambling moratorium which comes into effect today, we determined the most practical course of action was to sell the casino," explained eBet Managing Director Keith Cullen. "The terms of this sale ensure that we are well within the moratorium requirements and provide us some real flexibility should the legislative environment improve in Australia when the moratorium is over in May next year."

VIP purchased the casino and its operations, along with its customer database for US$250,000. VIP will continue using the eBet name for the casino under a trademark licensing arrangement. The sale was completed on Friday, giving VIP immediate control of the site. A condition of the sale gives eBet the option to buy back the site between May 18, 2001 and September 7, 2001 or earlier should Australian law permit eBet to operate an online casino.

"The sale price represents full recovery of all establishment and operational costs associated with the casino and, if legislation permits, we have the right to exercise our buy back option and pick up where we left off. In the mean time, VIP is an experienced and competent operator who we are confident will do well with this valuable asset," Cullen added.

The Australian interactive gambling moratorium, which just went into effect on Friday, prevents any new interactive gambling services from launching during the moratorium period of May 19, 2000 to May 18, 2001. The moratorium also prevents real-time betting on sporting events once the event has commenced. Exempted from the moratorium are interactive wagering services that are an extension of current offline betting services, including betting on horse races, harness races, greyhound races and sporting events.