The news in brief for the week of May 1-7
At The Races concluded an agreement with Magna Entertainment and Churchill Downs Simulcast Network to broadcast in the UK and Ireland some of America’s top tracks, including Gulfstream Park, Great Lakes Downs, Golden Gate Fields, Lone Star Park, Portland Meadows, Remington Park, Santa Anita, The Meadows, Thistledown, Flamboro Downs, Hollywood Park, Ellis Park, Calder and Hoosier Park.
Betcorp, owner of BetWWTS and Sinsational Intertainment, announced unaudited results for the first quarter of 2005, showing a considerable improvement in net profitability compared to the same period in 2004 and despite a lower turnover.
Horse jockey Patrick Valenzuela cancelled the sponsorship agreement he had with BetCRIS to wear the bookmaker’s logo on his clothing, after being pressured by track regulators who did not feel it was appropriate.
Betfair to offer a £1 million bonus as an additional incentive to lure Kicking King and Best Mate, both Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, into direct combat at the inaugural Betfair Chase at Haydock on November 19.
CYOP Systems International, a developer of games and services for the online gambling industry, to launch Red Felt Software, a poker software licensing wholly owned subsidiary based in the United Kingdom.
Britain’s largest bingo operator Gala has appointed three investment banks, Merrill Lynch, UBS and Deutsche Bank, to advise on its options in advance of a widely expected floatation on the London Stock Exchange. The company, which is currently owned by two private equity firms, Candover and Cinven, is expected to launch its online bingo site shortly.
Gaming Transactions, owner of keno portal Keno.com, launched Kenobook.com, a site offering a full range of sports betting options powered by Futurebet.
Ladbrokes adopted NimBUS, an enterprise management solution developed by Nimsoft. The bookmaker, which serves over 600,000 registered customers from 160 countries through its website plus a network of nearly 2,000 licensed betting shops, will gain advanced monitoring capabilities for end-to-end visibility of its IT infrastructure, which allows for efficient detection and resolution of application outages that could affect any individual customer.
Magna Entertainment announced a 13.5% decrease of revenues to $252.4m in the first quarter 2005 compared to 2004, with a net loss of $4.1m in 2005 compared to a net income of $21.1m in 2004.
As reported by Casinomeister, software provider Playtech will improve player dispute communications by setting up a dedicated channel, following RTG’s Montana example.
Talarius, a cash-shell company, announced the acquisition of RAL Holdings for £39 million, including a cash balance at completion of £2.3 million and an institutional placing of 30,000,000 new Ordinary Shares. RAL operates 129 Adult Gaming Centres branded Quicksilver, with over 5,500 gaming machines in the UK, and the online brand Cyberslotz.
Tabcorp offered to cut the settlement fee that Tote Tasmania pays to the Victorian betting agency by half, providing Betfair is not granted a license.
UltimateBet and AbsolutePoker are launching multimillion-pound advertising campaigns on the UK poker market. In a separate news, UltimateBet has signed a deal with US TV channel Fox Sports to sponsor a live poker tournament with players derived exclusively from online tournaments hosted by UltimateBet.
World Gaming has agreed a placing of £2.5m worth of new ordinary shares with institutional investors upon proceeding with listing the company’s shares on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. The software provider released its results for the year ended December 2004 showing increased operational profit, diminished operating expenses and strong cash reserves.
Youbet.com signed an agreement to be the exclusive horse racing content provider for CBS SportsLine.com, a leading sports website. Youbet’s offering, including live racing video, race replays, handicapping products, racing tutorials, games and contests, will be accessible to the millions of sports fans who visit SportsLine.com every month.
According to the Korea Times, about 13,000 South Koreans who habitually gamble online are facing criminal charges. Police arrested 7 suspects, while 26 others, including a diplomat, were booked without physical detention.
A gambling law conference, to be held in London on June 22, will help businesses to take full advantage of the opportunities allowed by the new Gambling Act. Tom Kelly, CEO of the Association of British Bookmakers, will discuss the changes relevant to betting shops. Clive Hawkswood, General Secretary of Association of Remote Gambling Operators, David Zefferman, Partner at Olswangs, Nick Nocton, Partner at Jeffrey Green Russell, will discuss the implications for remote gambling operators as a result of the new law. Ewout Keulers, Attorney at ULYS Brussels, will give a complete perspective on the future of European gambling laws. Susanna Fitzgerald, QC, and Hilary Stuart Jones, Partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, will inform on the legal compliance for the issuing of new licenses. Andrew Tottenham, an independent consultant to the casino industry, will give his view on regional casinos. Tom Kavanagh, CEO of the British Gaming Board, will discuss compliance and enforcement and Greg Chalmers, Gaming Bill Team at DCMS, will tell what the Government is hoping to achieve. Andrew Lee, gambling analyst at Dresder Kleinwort Wasserstein, will tell which companies are likely to be the winners and losers. Michael Smeaton, a former Gamcare executive, will discuss social responsibility and the Government’s view of pathological gambling.
Racecourse bookmaker David Money, commonly known as ‘Zoot’, is attempting to sell his pitch N° 27 at Market Rasen by advertising on eBay, the world’s biggest online auction site.
Giacomo, an underdog ignored by the handicapping experts, won the 2005 Kentucky Derby against 50-1 odds. Bellamy Road went off as the 5-2 favorite, but finished seventh. This year’s Derby become the first individual race in the US to attract total betting on-track and off-track of more than $100 million.