A Tidbit from the U.S.
-- A spokesperson from the executive secretary's office of the Nevada Gaming Commission told IGN that Nevada licensed sportsbook operator American Wagering Inc.
was given an extension until Feb. 28 to answer a complaint, regarding AWI's Australia-based Internet sportsbook, filed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board in December.
Makin' Deals -- Gemstar International Group shareholders will vote March 17 on the company's proposed $7.72 billion acquisition of TV Guide that will combine interactive program guide technologies and include substantial publishing assets. TV Guide is the owner of Television Games Network (TVG). Under the proposed agreement, Gemstar Chairman and CEO Henry Yuen will retain those posts for five years and own three percent of the combined company, according to a recent Gemstar SEC filing. TV Guide Chairman/CEO Joachim Kiener and President/COO Peter Boylan will sign four-year contracts effective March 1 to serve as co-presidents/COOs and will receive options to purchase 1.5 million shares each. Liberty Media and News Corp., from which United Video Satellite purchased TV Guide last year, will each own 21.5 percent of Gemstar. The acquisition is scheduled to be completed by March 31, although the closing can be extended to Sept. 30 if regulatory approvals aren't received in time to meet the closing deadline. The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the proposed merger but has not yet signed off on the deal.
New Stuff -- Cbet.com Ltd., a subsidiary of Exbet.com will be offering a tax-free fixed-odds financial betting site from the Cook Islands, a self-governing jurisdiction of New Zealand. The company will offer fixed odds on bets ranging from one-touch, no-touch, range and win, place, and quinella on combinations of market indices selected by customers. The Cbet.com site is expected to go live once beta-testing via www.gamebet.com is completed.
Additionally, Exbet.com is pursuing a bookmakers license from the Vorarlberg, Austria government to operate a financial betting site at www.finanzwetten.at through a new subsidiary, Exbet.com Finanzwetten GmbH.
Net betting software creator Online Gaming Systems Ltd. recently announced the formation of a subsidiary called CycloneEntertainment.com. The new company will form joint ventures with Media Partners World-wide to mix its traditional and non-traditional gaming and wagering products to selected media companies.
dot com Entertainment Group, Inc. and Intercontinental Cyber Ventures Limited are teaming to develop and implement "low-denomination" games on the Internet, including bingo, keno and pull-tabs. ICV will market the products in Scandinavia and Europe. The first suite of games is due before May 31, 2000 with a startup date coming two months later.
Ivestors' Corner -- A Reuters story reports that Hilton Group Plc is expected to show a ten percent rice in annual profits next week, thanks to the recent launching of its Ladbrokes sports wagering websites. The company's shares rose to over 230 pence this week, up from last week's 160 1/4p.
Playandwin Inc., owner of the rights to Racingo(R) pari-mutuel bingo game, has completed and turned in all the forms to the Security and Exchange Commission necessary to comply with the Nasdaq Eligibility Rule.
Intranet race wagering provider Youbet.com, Inc. this week reported revenue of $1.4 million for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 1999, compared to $165,000 for the fourth quarter a year ago. Revenue for the quarter increased on a sequential basis from $1.1 million recorded in the third quarter. Revenue for the year was $3.8 million compared to $264,000 in 1998. Net loss for the quarter was $10.8 million or $0.56 per share, as compared to a net loss of $2.6 million or $0.24 per share for the comparable quarter in 1998, and compared to a net loss of $7.2 million or $0.38 per share recorded in the third quarter of 1999. Net loss for the year was $24.5 million or $1.45 per share compared to a net loss of $13.9 million or $1.32 per share in 1998. Youbet.com's cash balance as of December 31, 1999 was $62.3 million. The number of subscribers to the You Bet Network was approximately 14,500 on December 31, 1999, a 26 percent increase from the last quarter. During the course of the year, Youbet processed in excess of $61 million in handle.
eLOT, Inc. announced this week its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 1999. The net loss from continuing operations for the fourth quarter, including special non-cash charges totaling $4.1 million, was $6.8 million, or $0.11 per share, compared to a net loss of $21.8 million, or $0.44 per share, in the fourth quarter of 1998. The results for 1998 included special charges totaling $25.5 million, offset by a $5.3 million gain on a litigation settlement. The net loss from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 1999 including the special non-cash charges noted above, was $12.0 million, or $0.20 per share, compared to a net loss of $26.7 million, or $0.54 per share for 1998.
A New Face -- Starnet Communications International Inc. recently announced the addition of Fred Hazell to the company's board of directors. Hazell is president and CEO of the PCL Financial Group Inc., where he is responsible for the institution's management consulting, project funding and offshore banking and investments. Starnet also announced that former CEO Mark Dohlen has resigned from the company's advisory board.
On the Move -- Go Call Inc. has relocated its headquarters to Costa Rica, where its Go Cash e-commerce division has offices. Indexus.com Inc., Go Call's comparison shopping search engine, will remain in Toronto.
Promotional Stuff -- Sportinglife.com is and Ascot racecourse have teamed to broadcast Europe's first live Internet horse race. To celebrate the race, Totalbet.com Totalbet.com, an online race book jointly owned by PA Sporting Life and the Tote, is offering tax-free betting on all bets placed tomorrow.
Prognostication of the Week -- The Internet could generate $1 billion in new income for Europe's top soccer clubs over the next 10 years, an expert told UEFA, the European soccer governing body. Mark Oliver, a consultant, told Reuters that money will come from "some betting, merchandising and access to income streams." The UEFA spent two days in Lake Geneva discussing ways to generate new income.