The news in brief for the week of April 3-9
Arena Leisure recorded its best-ever financial results in 2004. For the first time since the company was formed in 1997, shareholders are to receive a dividend of 0.3p per share. Arena and BSkyB relaunched the At The Races channel which now has average weekly audience of 1.045 million individuals.
BetandWin extended its commitment to the MotoGP World Championship. It will sponsor curves at the Grand Prix of Spain and will be appearing on numerous banners and various positions along the track in addition to the press board and the winner’s rostrum.
Casino and Gaming Television, the first 24-hour entertainment channel devoted to the gaming world, entered into an agreement with eMuse Technologies, a leading producer of single screen interactive television advertising content. Some of CGTV’s productions are already equipped with interactive functionality, allowing viewers to play along with casino games being played in the program.
Computerized Bookmaking Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Wagering, successfully completed the first installation of the CBS race/sports software using the Hewlett-Packard AlphaServer computer hardware platform, the only system to offer a 64-bit processor to the Nevada sportsbetting industry. The sheer speed of this processor will dramatically increase throughput and reduce the amount of time required to perform administrative functions such as game analysis and report generation.
Dynamite Idea, developer of innovative fixed-odds games, has announced the launch of a new hi-lo game, Break the Bank, on Ladbrokesgames.com, the soft-gaming site of UK bookmaker Ladbrokes.
Casino and bingo operator Gala Group is considering an initial public offering that could value the company at up to 1.8 billion pounds. Analysts believe Gala will seek a listing at the end of 2005 or in the first quarter of 2006.
Gaming Corporation appointed William Grimes to the Board of Directors. Grimes, a formerly senior executive of London Clubs International, will bring 35 years’ experience in the betting industry.
Keeneland Racetrack has cut off five simulcasting sites from its pools because of concerns about their betting practices, including the use of computerized wagering systems. The sites are: Racing and Gaming Services in St. Kitts, Euro Off-Track in Isle of Man, a site run by the Tonkawa Indian tribe in Oklahoma, Capitol Sports in Australia, and Elite Turf Club in Curacao.
MobileGamingNow announced the launch of the world’s first interactive multi-player mobile phone gaming system for poker. Called the Mobile Gaming Platform, the software creates a turnkey gaming platform for poker to be played on a mobile phone. The first game available on the platform is MGN Mobile Poker, an interactive multi-player version of the popular Texas Holdem poker game.
NETeller has announced plans to take on Western Union to become the world’s leading money transfer service. The firm is hoping to set up a joint venture with a bank by the end of this year.
Paddy Power has launched two new soft games developed by software firm Electracade as part of a new trading agreement with Orbis Technology to utilise Orbis Fixed Odds Games Framework. The Irish bookmaker is already using Orbis OpenBet system. In a separate news, John O’Reilly, the company’s chief executive, declared the intention to quit his £800,000-a-year job for personal reasons. Finance Director Ross Ivers is the leading internal candidate to replace O’Reilly.
Swedish site PokerRoom.com announced the launch of the first ever Java-based mobile poker room, which is scheduled to go live on April 11.
As reported by eGaming Review, Costa Rica-based Poker Stars is to recruit a new chief executive in advance of a long-awaited move to the Isle of Man. Rumours say the poker firm, which has an estimated 8% market share, is looking to list on the London Stock Exchange for a valuation in excess of the US$300m attributed to Paradise Poker (5% market share).
SkillJam, a subsidiary of FUN Technologies, teamed up with Inspired Broadcast Networks to power Inspired’s online skill-gaming offering and offer SkillJam’s skill-gaming content through Inspired’s network of 8,000 UK ‘itbox’ terminals. The two companies will also look at working together on mobile opportunities, as well as a number of other channels.
VIPCasino.com launched a revamped website based on Cryptologic’s award winning Version 6 software, which has added a host of new features and is now offering more than 180 games in all.
Following the elimination of the 30% withholding tax on foreign wagers in the US, Canadian-based Woodbine Entertainment Group applied to send wagers directly into commingled pools at tracks in New Jersey and Florida. The company also plans to purse applications at tracks in California and New York.
World Gaming announced the addition of two new licensees for its sports betting and casino solution together with a 5 year contract extension for one of its major existing customer. The firm, which is believed to seek a listing on the London Stock Exchange later this year, said both new licences are start-up sportsbook and casino operators.
As reported by the Antigua Sun, some of the largest internet gaming companies in the island are looking to relocate executives to other jurisdictions due to the new burden of income tax.
As reported by The Age, the Australian Government is planning to introduce gambling-related classes to schools, where to teach young students the odds of winning in various forms of gambling.
As reported by the Economic Times, Australia’s Tabcorp is now investigating opportunities to expand into the Indian market.
A new survey has revealed that Glasgow has more betting shops per head of population than anywhere else in the UK. The city has 115 bookmakers, one for every 4,463 adults. Manchester is second with 4,840 adults per betting shop and London is third with 4,844.
In Jamaica, the Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Commission has closed 57 bookmaking outlets, specialized in horse race betting. The Commission’s Chairman, Walter Scott, said their licences came up for renewal at the end of March but that he had decided against renewing them because they ignored the opening hour regulations.
As reported by the New Straits Times, the Malaysian Government is looking to ban all forms of gambling.
As reported by Kommersant, four Russian citizens were charged for the hackers attacks on Canbet and other betting companies in 2003. Russian police determined the IP addresses of the hackers’ computers after the British police asked for their help. The suspected hackers, which were arrested in July 2004, could face up to 15 years in prison for organized blackmail and the use of harmful computer programs.
Thijs Waterink of regional league side Paderborn SC has been found guilty of “unsporting behaviour and passive corruption” by the German Football Association, becoming the first player to be banned in connection with Germany’s match-fixing scandal. The player admitted accepting 10,000 euros from an unidentified man before the side’s Cup match against Hamburg SV earlier this season.