Nambling Notes - May 10, 2004

10 May 2004

Free Racing Soon -- Executives with The Horse Racing Channel have indicated that they could take their channel live within two weeks as a free-to-view station. Though the original plan had been to present the channel as a subscription service, THRC is now reviewing plans to launch on an already existing free Sky channel so that it can be on the air as soon as possible. According to THRC spokesman Rod Fabricius, "Revenue from subscriptions is a big part of our long-term business plan, and we may evolve into a subscription channel. We'll be reviewing the situation." THRC says it is negotiating with many parties and has several options with Sky channels and production companies, including Highflyer, the former producer of Attheraces. Next week looks like an ideal time for launch because there will be three days when three different THRC course will be holding afternoon fixtures. Punters and racing enthusiasts in the United Kingdom must surely be rejoicing since the news means they will soon have two free horse racing networks. At The Races Mark II intends to go live and free in June.

Makin' Deals -- A new deal forged between FOXSports.com and MSN will make FOXSports.com the primary sports content destination on the massive MSN network. The alliance, which will feature exclusive video and editorial content, is likely to generate more traffic to the already popular FOXSports.com. Among those to benefit from the deal are Pointspread.com and its sports book clients who supply betting lines to FOXSPORTS.com. As a result of the likely increase in exposure to advertisers, Rich Jardine, CEO of Pointspread.com, expects to see an increase in contract costs for his company, which will then pass the cost on to the sports books. FOXSports.com is expected to integrate into the MSN network on July 1. Pointspread.com will begin supplying odds for another sports network, The Insiders, as soon as it sells one more ad spot.

Gambling Science -- A team of researchers in the field of psychology have published a study that hypothesizes about the relationship between the neurotransmitter dopamine and situations such as gambling where an individual is not sure whether he will be rewarded. Called "Dopamine Transmission in the Human Striatum during Monetary Reward Tasks," the study was posted online in the Journal of Neuroscience. The team that performed the study examined nine different individuals, monitoring the release of dopamine in three different situations. The researchers found that dopamine transmission increased in situations where the person was not sure whether he would be rewarded, as opposed to situations where he was certain that he would or would not be rewarded. Ideally, further studies on dopamine and gambling could lead to a better understanding of problem gambling and perhaps even a cure.

Play-for-Fun for Now -- Avi Resort and Casino, a licensed Nevada casino located 90 minutes south of Las Vegas, has launched a free play-for-fun online casino on its Web site at www.avicasino.com. The software has been provided by Atlantis Internet Group Inc, a company based in Henderson, Nevada. Atlantis says it believes online gaming will soon become legal and regulated in the United States, and the company plans to begin supplying play-for-fun online gaming software for land-based casinos so that it will have a large subscriber base when regulatory legislation finally passes.

10 Million Customers -- Casino On Net (www.888.com) announced that it has signed its 10 millionth customer. Commenting on the achievement, John Anderson, CEO of 888.com, said, "Breaking the 10 million mark is a huge milestone for 888.com and the online gaming industry. Few Internet brands have achieved what 888.com has, our rapidly increasing number of members across both of our products clearly demonstrates that our brand, products and customer service is well liked and trusted by the consumer.”

Quoteworthy -- “Following our listing on the Alternative Investment Market, which was one of the largest new technology listings in Europe since March 2000, we have great plans for growth and we look forward to employing many more on Island to help develop the business. Not only are the Isle of Man’s tax benefits and regulatory environment suitable for NETeller, but it is also a great place to live and bring up a family.”--
Gord Horman, chief executive of NETeller. The transaction processor has officially announced its relocation from Canada to the Isle of Man.

Specialists in Gambling Law -- Julian Harris and John Hagan, previously of British law firm Pinsents, have established their own firm, Harris Hagan, which specializes in the UK's gambling industry. Marie Stevens, a former member of the Gaming Board for Great Britain, will also join the firm. John Hagan will speak at next week's Global Interactive Gaming Summit and Expo in Toronto on the topic of advertising in Europe. The firm's Web site can be viewed at www.harrishagan.com.