New Stuff -- Intertops.com is taking bets on which African country will host the World Cup in 2010. The six countries in the running are Libya, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and South Africa. The betting site says South Africa is the favorite, with odds of 1-10. The outlier seems to be Libya, with odds of 100-1. "A lot of things could happen in the next few months to dramatically change these odds," said Michael Maerz, the site's chief bet manager. "Here at Intertops, we can't really imagine Colonel Mu'ammar Gaddafi presiding over the opening ceremony at the 2010 World Cup, which is why Libya is definitely the long shot."
From the UK -- Cinven Ltd. and CVC Capital Partners, two London-based private equity houses, have sold a large portion of their holdings in William Hill plc for more than $240 million. The 55 million shares were sold on June 6 for 265 pence each. With the sale, the equity houses have reduced their share ownership in William Hill to below the 3 percent cutoff at which share sales must be reported. ... BT yesterday announced that it would like to connect 1 million customers in the United Kingdom to broadband Internet services. The company would like 90 percent of the country take advantage of its broadband service by late 2005. The company said it had 145,000 high-speed Internet connection customers in January of this year. To help accomplish these goals, BT is extending its broadband capability in rural areas.
US Bit -- Youbet.com Inc. said today that it handled $2,133,399 on the day of the Belmont, a 100 percent increase from what the California-based group handled last year. Youbet.com also reports that it had 7,371 unique race bettors in race day and that the average wager was 40 percent higher than on race day in 2002.
Quoteworthy -- "It's like anything else with crime -- it'll cut way back on it. Will it prevent it 100 percent? Not, it won't, but it'll basically bring what is a $6 billion industry, we think, to less than $100 million." -- Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., as quoted in Family News in Focus, on June 6. Bachus has proposed a bill that would curtail payment options for online gambling in the United States.