Friday, June 6
US News -- Horse race betting company Youbet.com said today that it broke three records in May. The Woodland Hills, Calif., company said it took in record handle of $27.6 million during the money, up from the former record of $20.9 set in March 2003. Customers put a record $7,067,625 into their Youbet.com accounts, and the company received bets from 12,285 customers, up from the former record of 10,357 during October of 2002.
News from Asia --A Hong Kong judge recently slapped five members of an underground betting syndicate with two-and-a-half year sentences for money laundering, illegal bookmaking and handling the proceeds from a crime. The illegal operation took in more than HK $400 million in three years, the South China Morning Post reported today. ... A random telephone survey of Hong Kong residents has found that three-quarters of those polled were in favor of legalized soccer betting. The study was conducted by the University of Hong Kong and 600 people were questioned. "I assume they have been persuaded by the argument that it's better to control it than to leave it in the hands of illegal bookmakers," said John Bacon-Shone, the study's director.
UK Bit -- The public relations director of the U.K. Jockey Club, defended betting exchanges recently but said that owners and trainers of horses should not use the exchanges to bet that their own horse won't win. "In looking into this," John Maxse said, "it has become clear that sometimes owners use an exchange to lay their own horse, not to see it lose, but to cover the expense of the day should it not win."
Thursday, June 5
New Stuff -- Global Interactive Gaming Ltd. , a wholly owned subsidiary of Interactive Systems Worldwide Inc. , said today that ukbetting is launching the new cricket betting version of GIG's SportXction technology. The software enables punters to bet on a variety of events during a five-day cricket match.
US News -- The Nevada Legislature wrapped up its session without passing a bill that would have allowed the Department of Human Resources to use $250,000 of the state's funds to help problem gamblers. Carol O'Hare, the executive director of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling said a similar bill may be introduced at the next session. "We can't take 'no' for an answer," she said. "We know these people struggle to have access to the resources they need."
Names and Faces -- Premierbet.com is appointing Mark McGuinness as its director of marketing. He was previously the marketing controller at betinternet.com plc.
Wednesday, June 4
New Stuff -- U.K.-based bookmaker ukbetting plc is launching CryptoLogic's poker software today on its sites, www.ukbetting.com and www.totalbet.com. CryptoLogic licensed the software to ukbetting through its wholly owned subsidiary; WagerLogic Inc. ukbetting also operates the United Kingdom's largest independent sports content provider, www.sportinglife.com. Lewis Rose, president and CEO of CryptoLogic, said ukbetting is one more brand-name customer to expand into online poker. "Since the launch of our poker product last fall, hundreds of players worldwide play at our customers' sites every day, and have taken home tens of millions of dollars in winnings," he said. "We have quickly proved ourselves as a market-leading provider of online poker entertainment."
Names and Faces -- Johann F. Graf, the founder of the Novomatic Group of Companies, was recently honored with the title of "professor" by the president of the Republic of Austria. According to a press release put out by Novomatic, "The title of professor is one of the most desirable titles in Austria and that the recipient is an entrepreneur is absolutely extraordinary." Austrian Gaming Industries, which is part of Novomatic, has contributed to the development of interactive live gambling games in Austria.
Making Deals -- Scientific Games Corp. said today that its Austrian subsidiary, Scientific Games Austria, is going to provide SWISSLOS with an online gaming system that will be a Swiss version of the ODDSET sports betting products.
Tuesday, June 3
US News -- In the wake of the MGM Mirage money-laundering report debacle, two former executives of the casino-hotel are suing, claiming they were unjustly fired. Robert Kocienski is the company's former CFO and Brian Burtenshaw is the former controller. Both were let go in February after it was discovered that the company had failed to file up to 15,000 money-laundering reports. MGM Mirage has already made a deal with Nevada gambling authorities to pay a $5 million penalty.
New Stuff -- Poker.com said today that is offering a free version of its new skill poker game at www.skillpoker.com on June 5. The company said the free trial will give players the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new software.
Quoteworthy -- "I don't think you can regulate personal behavior, and I don't think Congress can do it. There are problem gamblers. You can drive it even more underground. All these sites are illegal already. They're offshore. And I don't see how Congress controls it. The online Congress may be able to step in is if they find a link between Internet gambling and al Qaeda, maybe; then they can do something." -- Eleanor Clift, on the news-analysis television show The McLaughlin Group
What Others Are Saying -- "Prediction: Cyber gambling is here to stay, but like any other activity, it needs referees on the playing field. Those referees will come in the form of Internet police. Without them, chaos and crime will reign." -- from an editorial by Jack Anderson and Douglas Cohn published by United Features Syndicate
Monday, June 2
US News -- The United States Trotting Association said today that it is supporting HR 2143, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act, which was proposed by Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. The bill will be voted on tomorrow in the full House of Representatives. The group is supporting the bill because it contains exemptions for lawful Internet bets that are authorized by a state.
Legal Stuff -- Adrian McPherson's trial on charges of using the Internet to gamble on professional and college games, including some in which the former Florida State quarterback played, begins on Wednesday. The former college athlete is also being charged with stealing a blank check, although that matter will be tried separately from the gambling charge. The Associated Press reported today that the prosecutor in the case, Georgia Cappleman, is the daughter of one of the most celebrated quarterbacks in Florida State history, Bill Cappleman.
Names and Faces -- AngelCiti Entertainment Inc. is appointing Wei Hsin Lee as its chief operating officer. Lee was formerly the president of Web Venture Asia, a gaming management consultancy that he founded.