GalaxiWorld Enters the WebTV Frontier

21 May 1999
Thanks to the increasingly popular "set-top box" platform, a market dominated by Microsoft's WebTV, hundreds of thousands of non-computer users were introduced to the World Wed Web in 1998. The trend of growth will continue, and interactive gambling businesses are dying to tap into the market, but most remain on the outside looking in because the platform cannot read Java and its users don't have the option of downloading hefty gaming software packages. GalaxiWorld Limited, however, has recently introduced new technology that bridges the gap.

The company's software developers have created an interface that enables WebTV users to play its Java games, and the first games using the interface are available at the company's "Play 4 Fun" site ( Five video poker games and five slot games that are WebTV-compatible were rolled out this week and will remain on the free site as part of a testing phase.

WebTV users were more than 700,000 strong last year and some believe there will be 2 million to 3 million users by the end of 1999. Larry Weltman, CFO and Executive Vice President of GLC (GalaxiWorld's parent company), is elated at the prospect of reaching so many new customers. "We look at it as the ultimate opportunity to bring the experienced, mature gambler to the Internet," Weltman said.

The reconfigured WebTV-compatible games at GalaxiWorld have the same look and feel as the Java games available on the Internet, although the WebTV-compatible version takes advantage of that platform's graphics capabilities. Because Set-top boxes have limited PC capabilities and the versions in the U.S. use telephone lines, the biggest challenge for developers was making the games move quickly. Weltman is satisfied that they've accomplished this task.

The company expects to begin offering its WebTV-compatible games at its real-money site,, in June. It plans to eventually make all 35 of its games available in this format.

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.