Nambling Notes - Nov. 9, 2004

9 November 2004

Project Endurance -- Britain's National High-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) this week initiated Project Endurance, a three-year £2 million campaign to improve public awareness about safety from cyber-crime on the Internet. With assistance from the Cabinet Office, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Home Office, Microsoft and several banks, the NHTCU's initiative aims to make the UK unattractive to organized crime groups. One of Endurance's main goals is to educate home and small business Internet users to secure their computers so that they could not be used as zombies by hackers launching denial of service attacks or phishing scams.

Seal of Approval -- eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) has awarded five more seals of approval to Internet casinos that have gone through independent testing and inspection by PriceWaterhouseCoopers to ensure they comply with the organization's requirements of operational efficiency, fair gaming and player protection. The five new eCOGRA-approved casinos—All, All, Casino, First Web Casino and Wild—are all powered by Microgaming software.

Social Responsibility -- Ladbrokes has begun a corporate social responsibility program in Ireland that is based on a similar model that it has already operated for eight years in the UK. Part of the program includes a free phone helpline linking problem gamblers to GamCare and a service through which gamblers can have themselves barred from Ladbrokes betting offices or from using Ladbrokes' Internet services.

Compromising -- Richard Caborn, a deputy of British culture secretary Tessa Jowell, expressed today at the Gambling Bill's committee that Jowell is now willing to drop the initial number of large casino licenses to less than a dozen, compared to the figure of 20 to 40 that was anticipated last summer. The Guardian today quoted a source in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport as saying, "We are looking at ways by which we can prevent proliferation and we need to be clear about the impact of large casinos."

Mobile Hill -- William Hill and Swedish software developer Boss Media have signed an agreement to set up a pilot installation for a mobile gaming system that will allow William Hill's customers to play casino games on Nokia and Sony/Ericsson mobile phones. The games were developed in Java and should be live within a few weeks.

Commission Policy -- Irish betting exchange Tradesports has initiated a new commission policy that doesn't take fees from bets that are not immediately accepted. The new policy should increase liquidity for members who prefer to accept bets that are already available.

Ads Canceled -- British betting company Sportech announced last week that it was canceling a £4 million advertising campaign aimed at recruiting new players to its Littlewoods football pools game, which has been in decline ever since the introduction of the National Lottery ten years ago. The campaign did not attract enough new players and had to be terminated, costing Sportech an estimated £3 million. Yesterday Sportech announced that Managing Director George Rushton was resigning in order to pursue other interests.