Nambling Notes - Feb. 5, 2004

5 February 2004

ECF Meeting at ICE -- Casino Austria joined the European Casino Forum last week at one of the ECF's semiannual general meetings at the International Casino Exhibition in London. The ECF's meeting addressed several important issues, including the European Commission's proposals to harmonize both traditional and online gaming laws throughout the EU, the revision of the European Money Laundering Directive, and the upcoming E.U. legislation on tokens. The ECF, which covers 14 countries and has 360 casinos as members, appointed Luigi Valle from the Portuguese Casino Association as Chairman, and Heliodoro Giner of the Spanish Casino Association was reappointed secretary general for another year.

University Investigates Gambling -- Ohio State University is investigating allegations that its star running back Maurice Clarett's benefactor had been gambling on Ohio State football games during the school's championship 2002 season. Clarett was suspended from the team in 2003 for accepting money in 2002 from Bobby Dellimuti, who according to the Associated Press is a self-proclaimed father-figure and friend of the Clarett family. has obtained cell phone records showing that Dellimuti made 27 calls to Costa Rican Sports Book SBG Global during the season. The records, however, do not indicate what sort of wagers Dellimuti made. 20 year-old Clarett, who was a freshman during the 2002 season, will be allowed to enter the NFL draft in April.

Tote Gets Seven Years -- The Horserace Betting and Olympic Lottery Bill passed its report stage and third reading in the House of Commons on Monday, which means that the Tote will secure its exclusive pool betting license for seven more years after it is sold. An amendment by chief lobbyist Jim Paice to establish an independent enquiry that would advise whether the license should be extended past seven years was defeated. The bill will now go to the House of Lords with a clause removing the Tote chairman from the Levy Board after Tote is sold to racing.

The Price Is Right -- Software developer WagerWorks and Fremantle, the company that owns The Price is Right, are working together to launch this month. The site will target U.K. users with games resembling those from the popular TV show as well as some slot games from Play Your Cards Right, which is another Fremantle property. Priceisrightgames will be offered on mobile devices later in the year. Hardrock Casino, SkyBet Vegas, and Lycos Gamesville already feature successful The Price is Right-branded games, and Fremantle and WagerWorks hope that the standalone site will be just as popular. Claire Tavernier, senior Vice President of Fremantle Interactive, said, "The Price is Right is an incredibly powerful brand, but we want to change its image from a fun-but-old TV brand into a new hi-tech brand. We believe it has huge potential both in the U.K. and abroad, in territories where online gambling is also legal."