-- Gaming software developer Cryptologic Inc.
is slowly building upon its status as a force to be reckoned with in the online gaming industry. The Toronto-based company announced today that it has received approval for a listing on the Nasdaq National Market. It expects trading to commence under the symbol "CRYP" on March 20.
The Financial Times reports that English bookmaking giant Coral is planning to float and is aiming at a valuation of about £1 billion. The firm entered the interactive betting business in November 1999 when it purchased Eurobet Group and plans to offer Internet and phone betting from Gibraltar. Coral was purchased by Morgan Grenfell Private Equity in February 1999.
eLot, Inc. (ELOT), a provider of online lottery and e-commerce software, announced this week that it has entered into an agreement to acquire gaming software developer Virtgame.com Corp. (VGTI). VGTI shareholders will receive one share of ELOT for every three VGTI shares they own.
Tidbits from the U.S. -- The Ohio Lottery Profits Review Commission is still debating whether it should recommend bringing the state lottery to the Internet. The Commission's final report is due at the next meeting which is scheduled for March 9.
Also mark March 9 on your calendar as the next day of action on the prohibition front. That's when the Kyl bill's house companion, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, will be the subject of a subcommittee hearing. Of course, don't put it pass Congress to postpone the hearing again.
An update on Tennessee HB2151/SB2287 (a bill to ban Internet gambling): Both the Senate and House versions of the bill have been put on hold in committees until later this month. The Senate version has been scheduled on its Judiciary Committee for March 14, while the House version has been place on its Judiciary Committee calendar on March 29.
American Wagering Inc., recently on the receiving end of an Internet gambling-related complaint filed by the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, has been given another deadline for filing its response. The Nevada Gaming Commission has given AWI until March 20 to respond to the complaint.
Fun Fact of the week -- While World Sports Exchange President Jay Cohen awaited his destiny in a New York courtroom, online sportsbook World Wide Tele-Sports was taking bets on the verdict. The line was +200 to win. Incidentally, WWTS didn't receive much action on the bet.
This Just In... -- IGN has confirmed through extensive research and communications with officials from countries on five continents that the United States law indeed does not apply to the rest of the world in terms of adjudicating Internet matters. The U.S. government, however, hasn't yet confirmed this predication and reserves the right to extend its jurisdictional reach wherever it deems necessary.
A Tidbit from Africa -- The Anjouan Registrar of International Companies announced that Internet gaming licenses in Anjouan have been reduced from US$40,000 annually to $20,000.
The Panic Button -- A few unnamed sources have told IGN that the European online wagering industry is in a state of pandemonium, thanks to Tuesday's reversal of the Victor Chandler decision. Several company's have invested a lot of money in online gambling under the assumption that advertising in Europe is okay.
Tidbits from the U.K. -- Totalbet, the Tote's online pari-mutuel race wagering service, announced last week that it has abandoned plans of setting up an Internet betting operation in Alderney. On January 14, the group received the fourth Internet gambling license to be awarded by Alderney. The U.K. Treasury previously voiced its disapproval of the planned move, however, Totalbet declined to comment on whether the Treasury was a factor in the decision to stay put.
Reuters reports that the "mystery third bidder" for the national lottery in Great Britain has dropped out of the race. Consequently, Camelot and The People's Lottery now stand as the two top contenders. The National Lottery Commission will announce the winner of the seven-year contract by the end of June. The license will come into effect October 2001.
New Stuff -- Wembley, a greyhound tracks-to-gambling leisure group, has announced that it will be entering the Internet gambling business this summer by launching a live greyhound racing website.
Bloomberg reports that Veikkaus, a Finnish lottery and betting operation (which also operates a betting service on the Internet) may soon be taking bets on the performance of stocks on the Helsinki stock exchange. If all goes as planned, bettors will soon be able to bet on the exchange's 16 biggest companies.
Casino-On-Net has released a new version of its software, which features "Logic" - Live-Online-Gambling-Chat. The upgrade includes 3-D graphics and multi-player capabilities. The company refers to the new Casino-On-Net experience as "going out while staying in." A free download of the new
software is available at www.casinofreeware.com/free.html.
Makin' Deals -- Could Starnet Communications International finally be ridding itself of its adult entertainment division? The company reports that it has signed a letter of intent with an unidentified purchaser. Starnet says the sale has been delayed "due to a prior purchaser's failure to meet transaction deadlines."
firststake.com, a U.K. online betting service by Firststake Plc to open in June 2000, has hired Netspin, a Bristol-based Internet specialist, to build an online betting engine. Firststake says the emphasis on the software will be user-friendliness. Netspin, an approved supplier of secure electronic commerce sites by Barclays and WorldPay, has already developed numerous commercially effective intranet, extranet and Internet sites, all with a strong emphasis on functionality and usability.
Internet Sports Network, Inc. and PlayandWin Inc. have entered into a software development and co-marketing Agreement in which Internet Sports will develop the online version of PlayandWin's Fantasy Racingo(R) pari-mutuel bingo game. ISN will develop the game and all related software, applications and systems for its full functional operation.
Q-Seven Systems Inc., a provider of Internet casino solutions, has reached an agreement to license its software to Global Net Gamble Ltd. (Bahamas). A new online casino featuring Html, Java and Shockwave games will be launched within the next two months.
Bingo.com Inc. announced this week that it has closed its office in Antigua and thus shut down its betting operations. It will now exist only as a play-for-free website.
New Faces -- Starnet this week announced the addition of Matthew E. Stasior and Brownell Combs II to the board of directors. The two are established leaders in the Internet and horse racing industries. Stasior is currently vice president of worldwide distribution at MyWay.com, a CMGI owned company. Combs is a former Chairman of the Kentucky State Racing Commission and has extensive experience in the horse racing industry.
On the E-Commerce Front -- Wegamble.com, the brainchild of Mardi Gras Holding Group, Inc. (yes, the same group that just launched a Net betting legalization campaign this week via a report submitted to Congress), has developed a new payment solution--Paper Chips--for online gambling transactions. Managing Director Bob Vernon called the proprietary product "the ultimate fool-proof payment method for Internet gaming." The system is designed to eliminate children from exposure to Internet gaming and to identify and bar problem gamers.