Nambling Notes - Feb. 15, 2002

15 February 2002

New Stuff -- Despite its recent legal woes, PayPal went ahead with its IPO today. The secure online payment company is hoping to raise $70 million on the Nasdaq; its shares opened at $15.41 and closed at $20.09, selling 9 million shares. The IPO had been delayed due to a lawsuit filed against PayPal by CertCo, an online risk-management group, for patent infringement. According to the Wall Street Journal, between 10 and 15 percent of PayPal customers use the service to pay for Internet gambling and pornography. World Gaming launched the first site targeted at motor sport pari-mutuel betting this week. Called, the site offers real-time betting on auto racing events including NASCAR, Formula One, IRL and CART races. The site's debut is just in time for auto racing's most popular event, the Daytona 500, which takes place on Sunday. Quova released a new version of its geolocation technology this week. GeoPoint 4.0 contains the new generation of IP mapping technology, the company said. GeoPoint enables online businesses to know the geographic location of their Web sites' visitors. Jackpot Madness announced this week that its 65-site network of casinos has paid out a collective $55 million distributed among 2,000 progressives players since launching in September 2000.

Tidbits from Down Under -- PBL Gaming Operations (Vanuatu) Ltd. has chosen BMM, an independent testing agency, to test and certify the gaming software for its online casino, CrownGames. Hugh Monypenny, managing director of BMM International, said his company will check the site's new games on an ongoing basis against the Tasmanian Gaming Commission's Internet Gaming Technical Requirements 2.0. In other CrownGames news, Stargames has been selected to provide the casino site with games it has already developed as well as games exclusively designed for PBL. Ainsworth Game Technology is also under contract to provide CrownGames with gaming software. Stargames said it is planning to install the first of its games to PBL's Internet casino in the first half of the year. Australia's ecorp and Microsoft are renewing their commitment to their 50-50 ninemsn joint venture in an effort to bring the next phase of MSN services Down Under. As part of the next phase of services, Microsoft will introduce enhancements to current services such as premium storage for Hotmail accounts and expansion of services to online computer games.

Makin' Deals -- announced an agreement this week whereby it will supply with co-branded gaming content. The companies plan to share revenues generated from the backgammon Web site's online matches and tournaments. is teaming up with to promote online gambling to the world's Chinese population. The gaming company will sponsor's games section during Chinese New Year. For four weeks, will advertise on SINA's U.S. site as well as its global network. It wouldn't be Nambling Notes without mention of a VirtGame deal. The border-control company announced this week that it's pairing with Europa Software to integrate Europa's secure Internet transmission protocols into VirtGame's gaming transaction system. said this week that it has acquired portal site is licensing the site to Syzygy Enterprises for operation of both poker and casino games. Las Vegas's Venetian Resort Hotel Casino is enlisting the services of SSP Solutions. The Venetian will be using SSP's Trust Assurance Network, which creates a secure backbone for digital transactions. announced this week that it's signing up to use CryptoLogic's online betting and casino technology. The sports Web site is one of the world's largest--it's available in five languages and has the highest-trafficked digital network for sporting information in Europe. In addition, is the primary provider of sports content to well known news sites around the world, including Yahoo! , AOL and Lycos. A spring launch is planned.

Breakin' Deals -- Taking a cue from the headlines, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is dumping its accounting firm, Arthur Anderson. The auditing company recently admitted to shredding documents for Enron, the energy trader whose recent bankruptcy triggered a congressional investigation. Reuters reports that Anderson audits most of the Strip's big names, and that so far MGM Mirage, Harrah's Entertainment and Mandalay Resort Group are retaining the accounting firm.

Names and Faces Changing Places -- Jockey Chris McCarron is resigning from's board of directors. McCarron, who is resigning because of increased demands from the Jockey's Guild, will remain a corporate spokesman and product advisor. E-cash company SureFire is setting up an advisory committee of gaming and e-commerce experts to help the company form new partnerships. Its members will include Robert McMonigle, former executive vice president of sales for International Game Technology; Frank Catania, former chairman of the International Association of Gaming Regulators; Charles Crawford, an online payment processing expert; Steve Shaper, former CEO of TeleCheck International Inc.; and Mitchell Garber, SureFire's executive vice president of business development. Garber will chair the committee. Rimpac Corp. is appointing Sheldon Silverman to its board of directors. Silverman is the CEO of Inc. Rimpac is in the process of developing, a global Internet lottery portal.

Tidbits from the US -- The U.S. government has shut down its first Internet bank. The honors fell upon NextBank, a Phoenix-based company that issued credit cards via the Internet. According to government officials, the bank's customers were of lower credit status than they had expected, and the bank made several bad loans. NextBank had no branches or checking or savings accounts and solicited only certificates of deposits of $100,000 or more. Two state Senate committees in Hawaii approved a bill yesterday that would spend $400,000 to study the social and economic effects of gambling. Sen. Donna Kim, chairwoman of the Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, said the state's voters need to be prepared should the issue of legalized gambling come to a vote. "Maybe some of the things going on in the Mainland are not applicable to Hawaii because we're an island state," she said. Sports channel ESPN's efforts to shut down Costa Rica-based have proven somewhat fruitful. The site was taken down several days ago. However, the site is still accepting wagers through, which in turn is linked to

Anne Lindner can be reached at