The news in brief for the week of May 8-14

By Bookmakers Review15 May 2005
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The news in brief for the week of May 8-14

The news in brief for the week of May 8-14

Abiro and MobVision launched a mobile casino with a number of unique features, including Nintendo-style one-button play.

The Association of British Bookmakers responded to a report by GamCare, which revealed an increase in the number of clients citing Fixed Odds Betting Terminals as the gambling medium associated with their problems, emphasizing the fragile nature of the statistics and the effort being made by bookmakers to promote social responsibility within the industry.

Caledonia Investments acquired a 22 per cent stake in Satellite Information Services (SIS) from Thales for £18m in cash. SIS produces coverage of UK and international horseracing, greyhound and other betting events which it packages in a suite of dedicated services and distributes to over 9,000 licensed betting offices in the UK and Ireland. Other investors in the company include William Hill, Ladbrokes, United Business Media, the Racecourse Association and the Tote.

Casino Connection International, the publishers of Global Gaming Business magazine, announced the launch of PokerBIZ, a publication dedicated to the poker industry.

Channel 4 is expected to announce if it will continue to broadcast horse racing, in an association that dates back to 1982, at the end of May. C4 demanded £8m to the British horse racing industry, but the Levy Board and the British bookmakers are reluctant to provide the funding as it would benefit only the tracks linked to that channel and set a "dangerous" precedent.

CryptoLogic announced that its first quarter revenues rose 33 per cent to $20.3m, with profit up 27 per cent to $4.8m on continued strong growth of internet poker. In a separate news, CryptoLogic subsidiary, WagerLogic, signed an exclusive agreement for the internet rights to the slot version of the popular online puzzle game Bejeweled.

FUN Technologies entered into a licensing agreement with Victoria Real, the creative communications producer and part of Endemol UK, to build and support on all interactive platforms, skill-based games based on three of Endemol's popular television shows: 'Fear Factor', 'Big Brother' and 'Last Man Standing'. In a separate news, FUN technologies subsidiary, Skill Jam, signed a distribution deal to promote skill games on SINA's network of Chinese-language sites in North America.

British bookmakers are taking bets on whether Prince Harry would complete his 44 weeks course in the British Army at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

GameAccount announced a partnership with Digital Gaming Solutions, a sportsbook software provider, to supply them with a full suite of skill games. 

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority could fine at least four jockeys who wore advertising for online betting companies at last week's Kentucky Derby. One of them, Afleet Alex jockey Jeremy Rose, had a ParadisePoker.com logo displaying on his pants.

English soccer club Manchester United entered into an agreement with Las Vegas Sands to build a resort and casino near the team's Old Trafford stadium.

PokerBook Gaming Corporation, the only US publicly traded corporation focused on organizing land and internet-based charity poker tournaments, launched the beta test version of its newly enhanced, proprietary, online poker tournament software, PB25. The company is planning to launch PB Turbo, a faster and more robust gaming platform, in June.

Victor Chandler launched a new innovative offline campaign on London’s bars, red buses and tube lines to promote VCCasino.com.

Victor Chandler launched a new innovative offline campaign on London’s bars, red buses and tube lines to promote VCCasino.com.

Win Win Gaming, a Las Vegas-based operator of international lottery games, completed the acquisition of Pixiem, a developer of wireless mobile games. The company is looking to expand lottery-related wireless games in China and other Asian markets.

WPT Enterprises announced revenues for the first quarter of 2005 were $4.1m, equivalent to revenues for the first quarter of 2004, with a net loss of $1.6m. The company signed agreements to distribute its World Poker Tour television show to France and Italy.

YooMedia launched 'The 24 Hour Drop', a new fixed-odds betting game developed by Victoria Real, an Endemol UK company, for UK digital TV gaming channel Avago.

Youbet.com set new records for daily handle and customer deposits during last week's Kentucky Derby. The company said it handled approximately $4.2m in wagers on Saturday, May 7 and contributed $2.6m to Churchill Downs pari-mutuel pools for the day.

Punters in Australia reported that the competition between ThoroughVisioN and Sky Channel on the racing's television coverage has caused TAB betting pools to drop by more than 20 per cent.

China introduced Article 303 of the Criminal Law aiming to further specify the scope of gambling crimes and give more severe punishment to people involved in gambling. According to the article, whoever sets up gambling websites on the internet or acts as an online gambling agent will be punished. Furthermore, whoever knowingly offers capital or internet services and telecommunications facilities to gambling participants or organizers, will be regarded as accomplice of gambling criminals. The Ministry of Public Security will further strengthen controls on the prohibition to use credit cards or bank accounts to transfer funds to betting websites.

The Department of Trade and Industry of the Isle of Man appointed Bill Mummery as Head of E-Gaming Development. He will be replacing John Gilmore. The island recently introduced a zero rate corporation tax for betting companies, in a move to attract businesses considering to re-locate to a high-quality jurisdiction.

Media reported that Massachusetts State Representative David Flynn wants to ban online gambling, and its continuing expansion, in order to protect traditional horse racing.

In March 2005, Nevada's casino industry recorded the first monthly gaming win of over $1 billion. The win total announced by gaming regulators surpassed the previous record of March 2004.

Slovakia introduced a new gaming law which raised betting shops' taxes and put an end to the state monopoly on scratch cards and other gaming products.

Minister for sport Richard Caborn has been handed back UK Government responsibility for gambling, in a move welcomed by betting and racing industries alike.

Snooker's governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, is set to investigate allegations that Quinten Hann accepted £50,000 to lose a match at the China Open. The Sun reported Hann made a deal with one of its undercover reporters, who was posing as a frontman for an illegal betting syndicate. The newspaper also alleged that Hann had offered to fix the result of a match at the recent World Championships in Sheffield. The 27-year-old Australian denied the accusations as they are part of a campaign to discredit his character.