Makin' Deals -- Blue Square and Orbis announced a partnership this week that will result in the British interactive betting group using the I-gaming technology maker's software for its new phone betting service. Blue Square already uses Orbis' OpenBet Internet gambling platform for its 200,000 registered Internet, interactive digital TV and WAP phone users. The telephone betting operation will enable users to bet on "in-running sports" and financial markets.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Monday that Park Place Entertainment is hatching a $30 million deal with Cox Communications that will result in the placement of high-speed Internet access and digital cable in the hotel company's 27,000 rooms in its 18 hotel-casinos in the United States. The move could open the door to other types of in-room entertainment, including gambling and shopping. Park Place executives, however, said a few issues need to be addressed before gambling is brought to hotel rooms. "You're still looking at the age issue, making sure the person on the other end of the gaming device is who he says he is," said Park Place Chief Information Officer Bob Conover. The company's hotel-casinos include Bally's, Caesars Palace, the Las Vegas Hilton and Paris Las Vegas.
As of Jan. 1, Global Internet TV Corp. and Cirsa Interactive Corp. will be one company. The two groups announced the merger on Tuesday. Cirsa Interactive has a staff of 120 and operates on-line systems and terminals for instant lotteries, interconnected bingo halls and sports betting operations. The companies said the merge will allow them to expand their technology and Internet offerings. Internet lottery operator Zabadoo on Tuesday announced a partnership with LuckySurf.com Inc. , which operates a free-play site. Zabadoo has operated PLUSLotto.com since 1995 and has recently endeavored to raise its profile to promote its sites and technology. LuckySurf.com has more than 8 million registered players and is based in the United States. It has a daily $1 million jackpot, among other cash prizes. iCrystal Inc. , a maker of gaming and lottery software, announced a license agreement with Happy Lucky SA this week. As per the agreement, iCrystal will develop an Asia-themed casino for Happy Lucky that will consist of its games package tailored for Asian players.
Kiel, Germany-based fluxx.com said Gontard & MetallBank AG is its new, designated sponsor. The bank, one of the largest sponsoring banks in Germany, replaces Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. KG, the betting site's previous sponsor. Virtgame.com Corp. is teaming up with Digital Envoy for a deal that will integrate the two companies' geo-location products. Virtgame will be integrating Digital Envoy's NetAcuity geo-targeting software with its own product, which is called VirtBorder Control. The combined products will be able to tell the geographic location of players as well as their Internet connection speed. Polish software design company ATSI S.A. this week entered a partnership with Access Gaming Systems Ltd. to become a game development partner. ATSI specializes in making customized software for a variety of industries including the gaming business. Boss Media is selling a gaming software license to Futura Internet Services Ltd. , a European Internet company. Boss will supply Futura with both English and German versions of its games, for a casino that will primarily target the German market. TAB Ltd. and eBet Ltd. have settled their disagreement over a broken deal. The dispute arose in November of 1998 after TAB terminated an electronic agents agreement the two companies had formed in March of that year. The settlement remains confidential.
New Stuff -- Apsinalls.com launched its Sports Casino on Tuesday. The site is aimed at players who would like to play casino games while enjoying the "sights and sounds of top international sports," the company said in a press release. The site is linked from Aspinalls.com and offers traditional casino games in 12 popular sports locations such as tennis baccarat at Wimbledon, keno soccer in Brazil and craps on an ice hockey rink in Montreal. The grand opening of E-Commerce Park in Curacao took place today from 6-8 p.m. For more information on the hosting facility, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Vancouver-based LasVegasFromHome.com flipped the switch to real-money play on Tuesday. The company designs and owns its software, which is patent-pending. The software can be seen at http://www.gutspoker.com. Interspace Enterprises Inc. launched what it is calling the first progressive online lottery on Thursday. The site, Planetlotto.com, will have a progressive jackpot and a bonus play jackpot for $2 per ticket. The first draw will be on Jan. 18 and will continue on a weekly basis. Online Gaming Systems Ltd. is planning to launch an Internet casino linked to UnoDosTres.com Internet Television Network. The casino will be financed by affiliates of Hoskin Consolidated Investment Ltd. , which will be a principal shareholder. Online Gaming Systems will manage and market the casino.
Tidbits from Asia -- On Sunday Macau's Secretary for Economy and Finance, Francis Tam Pak Yuen, said all 21 companies that are applying for the enclave's three new casino licensees are fit to tender. The Macau government had planned to announce the winners of the licenses by the end of 2001, but due to the number of tender documents submitted by bidders, the administration decided to lengthen the bidding period. Tam said examination of the proposals would begin Tuesday and would take about a week; on Jan. 2, he said, the commission would call the bidders to address any questions about their applications. The opportunity for legalized casinos in Thailand may soon present itself. This week three of the country's cabinet officials said they want to hold public hearings on proposed gambling legislation in Thailand. "We need to listen to comments from all parties concerned and consider good and bad points first. Public hearings should be done to find a clear conclusion," said Pongpol Adireksarn, deputy prime minister.
Tidbits from the U.S. -- Gambling in Nevada casinos was down in October, the Las Vegas Sun reported last week. October was the second-worst month in three years for the state's gambling operations, particularly for those on the Strip. Gov. Kenny Guinn said casino winnings were down by $41.5 million compared to October 2000. The downturn is being blamed on fallout from the Sept. 11 attacks as conventions were canceled and high rollers cut short their time in the city. Nevada sports books should be on the lookout in 2002 for efforts from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who said this week that he plans to resume his campaign to end betting on college sports. The senator has hired two new lobbyists--Abe Frank, who will now be the National Collegiate Athletic Association's director of federal relations in Washington, D.C., and Lisa Kinard, who is a former director of government relations for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. McCain's spokeswoman said banning college sports betting is one of the most important items on the senator's agenda.
New Face -- Sungold Entertainment Corp. said Monday that its subsidiary, Horsepower Broadcasting Network International Ltd. is appointing Joel Laykin, president of Laykin Communications, to lead the launch of the Horsepower2 wagering game in Asia. Laykin has 24 years of marketing experience in Asia.
Jackpots Etc. -- InterCasino says it's giving out the biggest online Christmas present ever--a $152,488.36 jackpot for its Rags to Riches video slot machine game. The lucky winner of the holiday-themed prize is a player the company said goes by the username FLAGG04. InterCasino said the player had this to say about his winnings: "I can tell you for sure, there is no feeling in the world like winning a massive amount of money." Global-Player Casino and GameMaster Online are launching their fifth annual blackjack tournament. The qualification period took place from Dec. 15-18, and the final game will today at 8 p.m. EST between the winner of the qualification period and the so-called "GameMaster," who, according to the two companies, is one of the better-known and highly skilled blackjack players in the world. The player who beats the GameMaster will win $2,500. Progressive wins on Jackpot Madness' network have reached a record $50 million, the company said Thursday. The progressive total was reached in little more than a year.