Weekly Nambling Notes

14 September 2003
Friday, Sep. 12

Antigua/Barbuda vs. U.S. -- The World Trade Organization dispute panel arbitrating the case between Antigua and Barbuda and the United States has decided upon its working procedures and timetable. The islands are scheduled to deliver their first submission to the panel on Oct. 1. The panel expects to issue its final report in February.

Board Review -- Sportingbet is beginning a formal review of its board and is prepared to make any necessary changes to "reflect the forthcoming needs of the Sportingbet Group." Alfred Ballester already submitted his resignation yesterday and will leave Sportingbet on October 23 at the annual shareholders meeting.

Dealin' -- Scientific Games Corporation has signed a definitive agreement to acquire IGT OnLine Entertainment Systems, Inc. from International Game Technology for $143 million in cash. Scientific games will also acquire IGT's Advanced Gaming System video lottery system contracts, certain intellectual property, and a license to some of IGT's slot brands for instant and online lottery games.... Parlay Entertainment Ltd. has signed a letter of understanding with TransAct-Online-- a gaming sales portal for Global Funding Alliance in the United Kingdom-- that enables Parlay licensees to attain a direct bank-issued merchant processing account for their gaming sites. Parley will use Global Funding's software in order to enable credit card acceptance for gaming transactions.... NorStar Group, has signed a letter of intent to acquire Gaming & Entertainment Group, Inc. The parties expect to conclude their due diligence investigations in the next few days before entering into a definitive agreement.

Lotto Bids -- Games International of the US, Itralot of Greece, Austrian Lotteries, and EsNet of Sweden have placed bids for the privatization of Bulgaria's State Lottery. A committee will assess whether the candidates meet the proper requirements and whether their financial and technical capacities fulfill the procurement. After the committee submits its findings to the minister next month, the bidders who pass the preliminary round will enter negotiations.

Thursday, Sep. 11

Quoteworthy -- "Internet gambling could not be stopped without cutting New Zealand off from the rest of the world," said United Future Member of Parliament Marc Alexander, as quoted by www.stuff.nz.co. New Zealand's Gambling Bill went into effect today, permitting the state-run Lotteries Commission to set up Internet gambling. Claiming that gambling problems have not been properly addressed, the Progressives plan to introduce a Private Member's Bill in order to reform the laws and protect families.

Spam Police -- According to Xinhua News Service, Internet Society of China (ISA) has announced that it has blocked 127 spam servers around the world. It has blocked 90 servers in Taiwan, 29 outside China, and eight in mainland China.

Latino Bingo -- ValCom, Inc. has announced it will launch Latino Bingo, America's first live interactive Hispanic television game show. Contestants will compete for prizes at home via their television and telephone. Broadcasting will begin Oct. 25, 2003 from seven Telemundo affiliates in Palm Desert, San Diego, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Santa Barbara-Santa Maria, Yuma-El Centro, and Bakersfield.

Dealing -- Global Interactive Gaming, a sports betting company that is wholly owned by Interactive Systems Worldwide, Inc., has signed a Strategic Relationship Agreement with Hauppauge Computer Works Limited, a European distributor of digital video boards which plug into computer monitors and enable them to display a TV window so that a user watch and bet on an event at the same time using only a computer. The terms of the agreement state that both of the companies will promote awareness of the other's products…. DataStream Card Services Ltd. and Gateway Financial Services Ltd. have formed a strategic alliance, whereby the two companies will develop and manage custom debit and credit card products and systems. DataStream will contribute its card products and Gateway will provide Central Coin, its E-Wallet platform, its full Payment Connections Payment Processing Outsourcing service, and other products to the venture, which will be marketed under the brand name DataStream Cards.

Wednesday, Sep. 10

Law Suits -- AVN.com reports that PSW Billing has threatened to sue Visa, Visa International, MasterCard, Inc., and MasterCard International on the grounds that the companies' chargeback policies and retroactive fines against certain adult businesses are deceptive and unfair. One of PSW's chief complaints is that even though the credit card companies admit that about 85 percent of chargebacks are "friendly fraud," they still charge adult businesses $100 chargeback fees retroactively on these transactions…. After having lost an Appeals Court decision to Holland's De Lotto regarding the provision of cross-border gambling services, Ladbrokes expects a parallel "test of merits" case to be decided in November, according to the Racing Post… U.K.-based Wembley plc has been indicted by a U.S. court for allegedly conspiring to pay lawfirm McKinnon & Harwood up to $4.5m over six years to influence public officials. Wembley's CEO, Nigel Potter and Nick Bucci, the head of subsidiary Lincoln Park, have also been indicted and will step down from their positions to concentrate on the court proceedings. Share prices in Wembley dropped today by 14 percent.

Adults Only -- Peak Entertainment 's software has become the first online casino to receive a rating from The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). ESRB ratings are a standard rating system for console and PC video games. The rating Peak received is "Adults Only," precisely what it wanted.

Do's and Don'ts -- Now that American football season is underway, BetonSports.com has offered a list of do's and don'ts for online bettors. It recommends researching a site before you placing a bet, setting wager limits and sticking to them and asking questions. It also advises against borrowing money to gamble and against gambling as a source of income.

Gridlock -- A recent study by Web performance firm CatchFire Systems indicates that 90 percent of online consumers in the United Kingdom have at least once abandoned online shopping because an e-commerce web application failed. Seventy percent of the transactions were worth £200 or more.

Tele Ban II -- The U.K. Jockey Club in has proposed alterations to its policy that prohibits jockeys from making mobile phone calls in changing rooms. According to the new rules, jockeys may use their own phones without restrictions up to half an hour before racing, but from that time on jockeys must make calls and check messages from a designated phone zone. The jockeys, who were appalled by the restrictions implemented last week, have asked for more time to consider the new policy.

Tuesday, Sep. 9

Mobile Lotteries -- Mifal Hapais of the Israel National Lottery requests information about systems for the selling and transmission of lottery games via interactive channels. The official request for information document can be obtained by contacting Mrs. Iris Arditi at fax number 972 3 6505061 or by e-mail at irisa@pais.co.il…. Mobile News reports that Ireland's National Lottery intends to launch products that can be accessed by mobile phones. The lottery is now seeking offers from technology experts and suppliers to develop new game initiatives and to make the semi-weekly lotto mobile.

Quoteworthy -- "We don't want banks to play cops. The onus should not be put on us to enforce this," said Katherine Pulley, a spokeswoman for the American Bankers Association. Pulley was commenting to the New York Post about bills in the U.S. House and Senate that would require banks and other financial institutions to prohibit payments to online gambling services.

NDS Booth -- At this year's International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam Sept. 11-15, the NDS booth will feature a broad range of technology demonstrations, including low-cost interactive set-top boxes, integrated with NDS VideoGuard conditional access and NDS Core. Visitors will be able to see the latest in PVR developments using XTV, as well as how to produce an interactive application with the NDS@ValueTV Production Suite.

Australian News -- Onenews.nzoom reports that a memo recently leaked from the New Zealand Labour Party council says that United Future has too much influence on the new gambling laws. The government dismisses the claim although other parties feel United Future had a large role in imposing changes to the Gambling Bill that would allow the Lotteries Commission to run Internet gambling and permit gambling machines to accept banknotes…. Meanwhile www.stuff.co.nz reports that despite the ruling council's concerns, Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins indicated in Parliament yesterday that no more changes would be made to the Gambling Bill.

Lords -- Eight Lords have been appointed to join the Commons' Committee in considering and reporting on the United Kingdom's draft Gambling Bill. The Lords are L. Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, B. Golding, L. Mancroft, L. Wade of Chorlton, L. Walpole, L. Donoughue, V. Falkland, and L. Faulkner of Worcester. They are scheduled to first meet on Sept. 16.

Monday, Sep. 8

Pre-Approved -- The Alderney Gambling Control Commissiontoday issued Chartwell Technology a certificate of prior approval, reflecting the jurisdiction's satisfaction after an extensive due diligence enquiry into Chartwell's officers, directors and business structure. According to Darold H. Parken, president and CEO of Chartwell, "The certificate of prior approval now provides Chartwell with the ability to confidently enter into negotiations with major gaming operators that seek the reputability and protection of the tightly controlled regulatory environment afforded by Alderney."

Charity Bets -- Novamedia UK has utilized 1X's Managed Risk Sportsbook (MARS) system to launch sports betting at www.GoodLot.com. In keeping with the principles established by its fundraising lotteries, Novamedia will contribute 10 percent of its sports betting proceeds to charity. The exchange-based platform takes no commission on winnings bets.

New Stuff -- InterCasino (www.InterCasino.com) has redesigned its Web site to offer several new features, such as a winner section that celebrates its biggest winners since 1996, movie-style game previews, and Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese and Chinese translations. . . . Parlay Entertainment has developed a downloadable, Flash-based casino suite that can be custom designed to consumer specifications. It features a flexible menu system while offering full integration with customers' existing gaming sites and Parlay's House Edge back-end. WinwardCasino.com, the first customer to launch the new downloadable suite, will feature 21 games.

Arkadium -- Oxygen Media, a 24-hour cable network and online site for women, has contracted Arkadium Inc. to offer nine interactive games at www.Oxygen.com. Arkadia's Gamedek, which enables players to challenge opponents in a games of skill like chess and checkers while securely wagering on the outcome, can be downloaded at www.Arkadia.com.

Chile -- Intralot, a Greek gaming system operator, has agreed to supply Chile with a telephone and Internet platform for its pools, lottery, and betting games. The contract could be renewed for a further two years.