Eye on Europe - Jan. 30, 2006

30 January 2006

Makeover -- Danish Monopoly Dansk Tipstjeneste A/S, will change its name to Danske Spil A/S, and its logo and housestyle will be completely redesigned. Tipstjeneste stood for "tips" (football pools) and "tjenester" (services), and the new name Danske Spil means Danish Games. Dansk Tipstjeneste was founded on 21 July 1948 following the passing of a special Danish Pools Act by the Danish Parliament on 9 June 1948. Shareholders' equity today totals DKK 427 million. Dansk Tipstjeneste's shareholders are the Danish State (80%), the Danish Sports Federation (DIF) (10%) and the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Association (DGI) (10%).

Jackpot -- There was once again no Jackpot winner in the cross border EuroMillions lottery last Friday. The next chance to win comes this upcoming Friday when the European record will be broken again with a jackpot of 183 million euro. Participants in EuroMillions include the lotteries of France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal and Ireland.

Interactive Sales -- According to information from GTECH, the percentage of lottery sales that come from the interactive channels of the following government-sponsored lotteries are: Austria - 20%; Finland - 15%; Denmark - 11%; United Kingdom - 3%.

PAF -- The gaming association, Ålands Penningautomatförening (PAF), well known for its legal battles with the authorities of its motherland Finland, has executed a research project focusing on the German speaking online market. According to this report, less than one percent of all German language online bets take place in Germany itself. In 2004, the total market for the German language online betting market was 2.7 billion euro. That means that the German tax authorities are missing out on 70 percent!

MEPs -- Speaking to the Members of the European Parliament, Austrian FinanceMinister (Austria is now the rotating presidency) Martin Bartenstein said that the troublesome dossier of internal market would be a priority. For two years the Parliament has discussed the single market, the so-called Service Directive, which is so important for the gambling industry. However there is again a delay for further consultation.

EU -- In the house magazine of the European Lotteries (EL), I read by the hand of the President of the EL Dr. Winfried Wortmann (Managing Director, WestDeutsche Lotterie GmbH & Co. OHG, Germany) the following information: "Accompanied by a small delegation, we will presumably speak to Commissioner McCreevy personally on 6 December. This will enable us to learn more about the key topic of the penalization proceedings of the individual States than was previously possible." Wortmann continued: "We have received clear indications that the General Directorate for the Single Market takes a very positive view of our cooperation."

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.