From the Editor's Chair - v10

28 January 2004

What was the New York Racing Association thinking when it cut of its nose... err, it's signal... in England via the attheraces interactive television service? I understand why they did it--to assure that betting exchanges, particularly Betfair, aren't profiting from NYRA races--but frankly it will do more harm than good. The move translates to a loss in revenue for both attheraces (which is already hurting) and the NYRA and I don't see Betfair shaking in its boots.

More on Betfair... The world's leading betting exchange provider apparently isn't satisfied with dominating only the P2P market. They recently announced this that they're moving into the very lucrative online poker space via a licensing deal with CrypoLogic. With ample funds and a huge stable of players to go along with one of online gambling's biggest brands, Betfair could be in line for a sizable slice of the poker market.

OddsOn made the right choice by agreeing to compensate bettors slighted by Forty Something, a licensee that recently shut down its online casino and went AWOL. This is the price software licensors pay for not doing due diligence on potential partners. Suppliers have been tasked with upholding the integrity of I-gaming, and they don't accomplish this by providing services to operators who shouldn't be in the business. The collapse of Forty Something is also another example of why operators should be required to post a bond or establish a fund designated for paying off customers just in case the business fails.

Why weren't memorandums of understanding between bookmakers and sports and racing associations not popular before betting exchanges came along? If these agreements are so effective, shouldn't they have already been in place?

The recent actions of authorities in South Korea are disturbing. The government is determined to put an end to the sale of lottery tickets online to its citizens and in doing so is going after the casual bettor. I don't know what method(s) of enforcement they're using, but I can't imagine it not entailing a gross violation of privacy and maybe even civil rights. I thought North Korea was supposed to be the oppressive state.

The upcoming pay-per-view "Lingerie Bowl" is getting some play this week on the Howard Stern radio show, but the event's main sponsor, online poker site, is not. Upon reading an E! channel plug in which the event was referred to as the " Lingerie Bowl," Stern immediately ripped his writers on the air, asking them what was, what it has to do with the event and why the name was included in the spot. He plugged the event again today, this time referring to it multiple times as the "Lingerie Bowl" with no mention of Infinity Broadcasting, which syndicates the Howard Stern show, was one of many major media outlets to cease taking I-gaming ads last fall in the wake of warnings from the U.S. court in the Eastern District of Missouri. Online gambling sites, most prominently Golden Palace, were major sponsors of the show, but have been subsequently dropped. So, was his taking exception to using the name "" a typical Stern rant in reaction to a non-advertiser getting a free ad or was he perturbed because he could have gotten himself into hot water by accidentally plugging an online gambling site? Either way, kudos to for penetrating Infinity's not-so-infinitely effective blockade. isn't the only operator to sneak its way into mainstream media lately. If you happened to catch, former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman's recent appearance on ESPN's "Hot Seat" segment and you were able to look beyond the tattoos and piercings, you might have noticed he was wearing a Golden Palace hat. The boxers... the streakers... the bridge climbers... GP is decisively unstoppable.

Mark Balestra

Mark Balestra is the Managing Director at BolaVerde Media Group. He previously worked at Clarion Gaming and the River City Group where he was the publisher of iGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.