Nambling Notes - March 29, 2004

29 March 2004

totesport League -- Totesport has signed a sponsorship deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board to become the official sponsor of the next two seasons of matches in the totesport League (formerly the National Cricket League), which consists of 162 matches each season, 31 of which are televised while 22 are floodlit. The deal is totesport's first major sponsorship outside of horseracing. Just two weeks ago the tote announced a £5 million facelift that created two new brands: totepool for horse racing pools and betting and totesport for other sports betting. The tote's managing director, Peter Jones, said, “Following hard on the heels of our recent rebranding, this is a very exciting development, which allows us to be recognized as the broad betting organization that we are. Totesport is keen to spread its success by widening its portfolio to other high profile sports. We hope that the benefits we have brought to the sport of horseracing can be developed elsewhere and look forward to being part of what is expected to be a great season for the totesport League."

English Football MOU -- The Football Association has become the fifth sports organization to sign a memorandum of understanding with betting exchange Betfair. The agreement allows the Football Association to access customer account information from Betfair in situations where the organization has reasonable suspicion about corrupt betting by players or other individuals involved in English football. Betfair has reached similar agreements with the UK Jockey Club, the International Cricket Council, the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the Darts Regulation Authority. It is also rumored that the Irish Turf Club may soon sign a memorandum of understanding with Betfair.

Grad School -- The University of Salford in Manchester, UK claims to offer the only post-grad course for the gambling industry in Europe. The part-time course, which until September was available only to licensed industry workers, is now open to everyone, and recent graduates are encouraged to apply. The course lasts for two semesters and covers every aspect of managing in the gambling industry, including online gaming.

Watchdog Files Complaint -- Gambling Watch, a New Zealand web site that provides "info and help for communities facing gambling expansion," has complained to Internal Affairs about unsolicited gambling information that Internet provider Xtra is attaching to outgoing e-mails. Gambling Watch alleges that customers are receiving personal e-mails that have messages at the bottom prompting users to "check out the Xtra gaming servers," where online card and board games-- in addition to links to play for money games and online casinos-- can be found. At least one woman is concerned that the message may have been attached to e-mails she sent to children. Gambling Watch says minors can easily reach the site, which is violating the Gambling Act. Officials with both Internal Affairs and Xtra are looking into the matter.

Streaking Skater -- On Saturday another Golden Palace-tattooed streaker crashed a major sporting event, this time the women's figure skating world championship in Dortmund, Germany. A man leaped onto the ice just as American Michelle Kwan was beginning her performance. The man skated to center ice where he removed his shirt, revealing the now famous Golden Palace tattoos, and then put on ski goggles and a gold tutu as he commenced a short figure skating routine of his own. The man was later identified as Ron Bensimhon, a 30 year-old man from Montreal. According to a Golden Palace press release, "Sources have revealed the identity of the streaker to be Ron Simon, the self-proclaimed 'World's Best Drummer.' Rumors circulating report that music fans within the Golden Palace team may have originally backed Simon in his lifetime goal of a record deal drumming debut, and that in celebration for the support, he has since taken his own streaking initiative."

Emily Swoboda is the senior staff writer at IGamingNews. She lives in St. Louis, Mo.