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Online Casino News courtesy of InfoPowa

This Month:
A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE 25 June
KAHNAWAKE PROSPERS 25 June
FLASHING THE LADIES 25 June
PLAYTECH SELECTED BY GP 25 June
PARLEY - DCEG INKS IGW DEAL 25 June
KAHNAWAKE BOUND? 25 June
CASINO CAUTIONS 25 June
BINGO LAUNCH 25 June
ANONYMOUS HOUSEWIVES 25 June
ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND COMPETITION25 June
PLAYTECH JACKPOT SITE 25 June
FOUR NEW CONTRACTS FOR VIRTGAME 25 June
MORE SITES FROM ANGELCITI 25 June
BACHUS BREAKTHROUGH 13 June
GOOD PROFITS OFF WILL HILL 13 June
SUPREME ON THE LAUNCH PAD 13 June
NEW FUNDING FOR UK BETTING 13 June
ISLE OF MAN MELTDOWN? 13 June
KAHNAWAKE BOUND? 13 June
CASINO CAUTIONS 13 June
NEW JURISDICTION 13 June
BRIT GAMBLING REFORM DELAYED 13 June
VISITING VIPER13 June
SUPER PAI-GOWS 13 June
FORTUNE LOUNGE MODESTY 13 June
PUTTING ON THE RITZ 13 June
WHAT'S IN A NAME? 13 June
CENTREBET SALE 13 June
SHOCK CLOSURE OF MGM MIRAGE 7 June
SETBACK FOR INTERNET GAMBLING BAN 7 June
THE BARE FACTS 7 June
BRIT GAMBLING REFORM DELAYED? 7 June
BRINGING IN THE HEAVIES 7 June
NEW NIGHTMARE FOR SPAMMERS 7 June
CASINO CAUTIONS 7 June
UK BETTING LAUNCHES NEW POKER SITE 7 June
ANGELCITI LOOKS TO ASIAN MARKETS 7 June
$50 GETS YOU $130K!7 June
POKER PROGRESS 7 June
A STAR IS BORN 7 June
IS THIS A REAL INTERNET GAMBLING LICENSE? 7 June
FORTUNE LOUNGE KUDOS 7 June
TRUEGAMBLER STATS DUE THIS WEEK 2 June
WIRELESS WINDWARD 2 June
KNOW YOUR SUBJECT 2 June
IQ-LUDORUM RESPONDS 2 June
BEWARE HACKERS! 2 June
ONLINE POKER PLAYER THE WORLD'S BEST 2 June
MEMORABLE DAY 2 June
CREDIT CARD CLASS ACTION 2 June
YOUR TELLER NO MORE 2 June
THE NEKKED TRUTH, OLE! 2 June
HAMMERING SPAM 2 June
AMERICANS LOVE TO GAMBLE 2 June
NEW CARD FROM AT&T 2 June
VIRTGAME SET FOR REGULATION 2 June


A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE
25 June 2003

Player protection the primary objective

The new player assurance body, eCOGRA (e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) held an important press conference during GIGSE week to launch its new Generally Accepted Practices, also known as "eGAP," for the online gaming industry.

The eGAP standards constitute a comprehensive list of minimum requirements and suggested practices through which casinos can effectively address critical issues such as player protection, fair gaming and responsible operator conduct.

Andrew Beveridge, chief executive of eCOGRA, says that the organization's intention is that eGAP will form the minimum standards for regulated online gaming and potentially open a dialogue with gaming regulators and policy makers with regard to the eventual global regulation of online gaming.

"While various online gaming jurisdictions have done a good job of drafting rules and regulations for online gaming, in many cases the implementation of these rules has been flawed as few regulators recognize the fundamental differences between land-based and online gaming, an important consideration when implementing regulations in an online environment," said Beveridge.

"The primary objective of eCOGRA's eGAP is player protection; by providing comfort to the player that the games are fair, the player will be paid in a timely manner and treated fairly, and that the operators will behave responsibly," he said.

From a player perspective the principles represent an important step forward, with a fair, responsive and balanced player complaints structure part of the overall plan, and ISO 9000-like procedures for payouts and other operational matters.

On the software front, eCOGRA has adopted a highly comprehensive system testing methodology, known as an outcome-based verification approach to verify randomness and payout percentages. In contrast to source code testing, the outcome-based verification process entails a thorough analysis of every transaction for every game by an independent and trusted third party with expertise in this area, such as an auditing and/or games testing firm.

The first outcome-based review is ongoing, allowing for important player protections while at the same time providing online gaming software suppliers flexibility to offer exciting games and new options through ongoing system changes and development.

A seal certifying that a particular site has met the exacting requirements will appear on participating gaming sites, which must use software supplied by a member of eCOGRA and comply with the eGAP, documented by a review of the site's procedures by eCOGRA's Audit Panel. The sites will also be checked for player protection policies, technical capabilities and anti-money laundering measures.

International audit house PriceWaterhouseCoopers is a member of the Audit Panel, and other respected accounting firms will be added as members in the near future.

The eCOGRA initiative is supported by industry giants Microgaming and Casino On Net, and these companies have made substantial financial commitments to make the concept a reality.

John Anderson, CEO of Virtual Holdings, Ltd., owner and operator of Casino-on-Net comments: "In the absence of appropriate player protection by regulators on a global scale, we are confident that players will visit reputable online gaming operators that display the eCOGRA seal. It will become an instant symbol to the players that they can trust the site to offer fair games and honest, timely payment transactions."

Bill Galston, a former Chief Inspector of the Gaming Board for Great Britain and an independent director of the new body emphasised that the eGAP standard is about credibility "....a level of credibility that can only really be achieved when standards affecting player protection, fair gaming and responsible behavior are applied in an appropriate manner where the priority is the interests of the players, but at the same time is satisfactory to regulatory jurisdictions, software providers and operators,"

eCOGRA membership is open for application by any reputable online gaming software suppliers that shares the organisation's vision of fair and responsible online gaming. The constitution ensures that the independent directors are solely responsible for determining which online gaming software suppliers and operators ultimately qualify for membership and the seal, respectively.

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KAHNAWAKE PROSPERS
25 June 2003

Hosting facility to double in size

The major Got2bet conference (GIGSE) in Montreal last week provided a good backdrop for a well-timed article on the Kahnawake licensing and hosting jurisdiction, situated close to the city.

Writing in the Montreal Gazette, author Allen McInnis reported that Kahnawake and Mohawk Internet Technologies grand chief Joseph Norton, standing in an exhibition hall full of computers demonstrating Internet-based betting games, was all smiles.

The First Nation tribe was a sponsor of the three-day Global Interactive Gaming Summit and Expo, but doesn't run betting operations per se. Instead, MIT's computer servers host about 60 Internet gambling ventures from around the world.

"MIT created a heck of a lot of employment and has potential for more in the future," Norton, the company's chairman and the community's political leader, said in an interview.

MIT, owned by the band council of the South Shore reserve, has 100 workers and is responsible for another 200 spinoff jobs. Last year, revenue hit Cdn$ 4 million. Another Cdn$ 500,000 came via licensing fees, Kahnawake being the only North American jurisdiction that issues online casino licenses.

Its rivals are offshore jurisdictions, many Caribbean.

With Kahnawake's history of confrontations with Quebec authorities, MIT had a rocky launch in 1999. The provincial government warned it would not tolerate Internet casinos operating in Quebec, arguing only it can sanction gambling. Provincial police investigated MIT.

Nothing came of the threats.

So it has been business as usual at MIT, with 50 per cent of revenue now from such non-gambling services as Web hosting. In fact, MIT is in expansion mode. By August, it expects to begin work on doubling the size of its 12,000-square-foot facility.

"We have an aboriginal right to an economy and it doesn't have to be hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering," Norton said. "We can't do that for a living any more where we live. We don't have any more natural resources. The only thing we can do is to get into mainstream economic development."

Part of the plan is to create a much bigger "technology park" focusing on electronic commerce. It could create hundreds more jobs, Norton said.

Referring to recent US Congress moves to hamstring the use of credit cards for Got2bet by US players ( some 60 to 70 percent of the market) Frank Catania, a former director of New Jersey's gaming regulatory agency who helped Kahnawake set up a similar body, said no evidence has been presented of US political claims of money-laundering, terrorist or mob involvement on internet gambling.

"It's almost impossible to launder money through Internet gambling because you have the paper trail," he said. "If they take away credit cards, they're losing that, they're making it more susceptible to laundering. They're making it easier for the mob to make more money."

A tough U.S. law will slow growth temporarily, but players will find other ways to bet, he added. "People will use e-cash through foreign banks," he said. "It's not that difficult to do."

Got2bet is here to stay, he said, adding: "People get enjoyment out of gambling."

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FLASHING THE LADIES
25 June 2003

Four in a row for Golden Palace marketers!

Golden Palace marketers have earned a sort of respected notoriety for their daring and innovative marketing tactics - particularly the recent use of streakers to publicise the group at world class events through media coverage. This week it was the turn of that bastion of the British establishment Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot horse racing.

Serial streaker Mark Roberts was hired this time to crash Royal Ascot while sporting temporary tattoos advertising the Internet casino.

The move was particularly effective because Royal Ascot is renowned for its strict dress code. Ladies are asked to wear formal day dress with a hat covering the crown of the head. Only black or gray morning dress with the top hat or service dress is acceptable for gentlemen. In general, most people attending Royal Ascot take the opportunity to put on their best threads.

Not surprisingly, naked Roberts caused a major furore. The infamous streaker arrived at the event dressed in elaborate drag, wearing a full-length black batwing dress. At 3:40 p.m. local time, he jumped onto the track as the horses and riders were warming up for the main race.

Pretending to be intoxicated, Roberts stumbled around the track while slowly performing a strip tease for an increasingly appreciative crowd. Then, in an hilarious display, Roberts removed the rest of his clothing and ran along the track smacking his rump and galloping along with the horses that sped past him. Predictably, it was not long before security removed him from the track, the incident being captured on TV and press cameras.

This is the third time Roberts has streaked a major sporting event while displaying the cyber casino's net address. The first was at the UEFA Cup football final where he ran on to the field disguised in a tear-away referee uniform; the second was at the ATP French Open tennis championship where he leaped over the net wearing nothing but strategically placed tennis balls. And the gambling company similarly drew attentiuon to itself at the major US Open golf tournament with a topless female streaker called Brittney Skye offering roses to one of the startled golfers.

Streaking major sports events is the casino's latest campaign to exhibit a flair for dramatic marketing....the question is how long before the authorities lower the boom on what is a clearly disruptive tactic for commercial gain?

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PLAYTECH SELECTED BY GP
25 June 2003

Staying with the Palace, look who's their latest software supplier.

Golden Palace also chose the GIGSE week to announce their latest choice of gambling software.

The group released a new version of flagship operation Golden Palace Casino on the Playtech platform along with four other casinos-Grand Online Casino, Flamingo Club Casino, Aspinalls Online Casino and Gold Nugget Casino. All the casinos will continue to operate on licenses from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission while using the Playtech software.

It appears that the Golden Palace group intends to build on its success by offering its operations with a choice of gambling softwares.

"Despite our taking the online casino market by storm for several years in succession," says CEO Richard Rowe, "we felt that the time was right to offer a second version of our product to provide customers with a choice."

Rowe revealed that finding a third party vendor that could provide the flexibility he had grown accustomed to with a proprietary platform was not easy.

"It wasn't until we began talking to Playtech," continued Rowe, "that we found a third party vendor who shared our vision, had the resources to address our requirements, and were willing to mold their product around our business model instead of the other way around."

Playtech Marketing Director Dana Ziv spoke of the delicate balancing act involved in replicating such popular brand names:

"Replicating these casinos on the Playtech platform meant preserving the look and feel of the original, while simultaneously offering a new user experience with over 55 games like progressive jackpot bonus games, multi- line/multi-spin slots, and Playtech's exclusive Blackjack Switch. There are also a host of other features like refer-a-friend for cash, real time game and transaction histories, as well as the latest payment options and multi-player chat."

Unique among software providers, Playtech's universal platform enables its growing range of gaming applications to be freely incorporated as stand-alone, plug-and-play devices-all accessed by players through the same user account and managed by the operator through a single powerful management interface.

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PARLEY - DCEG INKS IGW DEAL
13 June 2003

Online bingo and casino games for major sportsbook supplier

DCEG subsidiary Parlay Entertainment Limited has announced the signing of a letter of understanding to form a strategic alliance with IGW Software, a leading provider of software to online sportsbooks and horsebooks.

Parlay provides a full range of topflight online bingo and casino software to a number of major Internet operators worldwide. Under the agreement, IGW Software will offer Parlay?s Flash-based casino games, including a downloadable Flash-based casino version scheduled for release in 60 days, across their customer base. IGW customers include leading sports betting sites Bet Game Day.com, VIP Sports.com and Sirbet.com.

Bryan Abboud, President of IGW says that his company did an extensive survey of providers before reaching their decision.

?Like IGW, Parlay is focused on offering value and a high level of responsiveness to customers. By merging the synergy of Parlay's skill-set in casino and bingo game development with IGW's strengths in sportsbook, horsebook and backoffice integration, we now offer greater revenue opportunity and diminishing administrative expenses to both current and future clients.?

?With the signing of this agreement to ?white label? Parlay software, we have accomplished one of our key corporate objectives for 2003,? said David Outhwaite, Parlay?s CEO.

IGW Software is a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Entertainment Holdings/Equities Inc and is a leading, experienced provider of innovative software and services for the online gaming industry. Founded in 1996, IGW offers online casinos, sportsbooks, horsebooks and private label sites to entrepreneurs and land-based casinos worldwide.

Global Entertainment Holdings/Equities, Inc. (OTCBB: GAMM), is a leading publicly traded holding company that provides business development support and administrative assistance for technology-driven subsidiaries that license, develop and host Internet software applications and operate web publishing sites in the online gaming sector.

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CASINO CAUTIONS
25 June May 2003

No support here
Turnkey online casino provider Chartwell Technology out of Calgary and Vancouver in the Great White North has been around for long enough to know better, but still refuses to accept its responsibilities to players when its licensees go into a nosedive. It has happened recently with Six Gun Casino and with Carib Sunshine. InfoPowa spoke to software development VP Dave Acorn at the GIGSE conference and he confirmed that the company was maintaining its "hands off" position, but that it has also "been burned" by recent events and had tightened its licensee selection processes. Chartwell's optimum-target client is apparently now well-funded, land-based and European. None of which helps players stiffed by failing casinos, and there is little doubt that Chartwell's attitude will not sit well with them.

Clouding the issue
Recent bad treatment of players at RTG-powered Crystal Palace Casino.com has evoked memories among many players of the notorious Warren Cloud of Rated Player and Casino Extreme group infamy, and discussions by several observers with industry people in the know have confirmed that Oliver Curran is yet another alias of this reputation-challenged casino operator. The question now is how long RTG intend to let this sort of activity go on - it's not good for their reputation to have players insulted, cheated and have their privacy breached.

Screwed
5 Dimes Casino has been involved in several recent player disputes, and there has probably been some vengeful satisfaction on the Sports911 news that a trusted manager of 5Dimes Sports out of Costa Rica has apparently cleaned them out for a quarter of a million dollars... and then attempted to extort the book into paying him even more! Further details are being sought on this remarkable tale.

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BINGO LAUNCH
25 June 2003

New worldwide bingo network from Playtech

The first of a new generation of online bingo games, Ruby Bingo, has been launched by Intercontinental Casinos Limited and will be the first to join a new world-wide bingo network branded BingoLand, planned to become the online bingo venue of choice during 2003.

T

he announcement follows over 12 months of extensive research and development by market-leading gaming software developer, Playtech. BingoLand is taking the first bingo network license from Playtech and Ruby Bingo will be the first game on the new network. It is the first bingo game to be developed specifically for the new generation of online bingo players, with compelling graphics and animation, fully featured chat with player photos, powerful tools to enable players to review past games or buy into future games and even to continue playing when their PC is turned off. As well as classic American 75-ball bingo, Ruby Bingo includes built-in scratch cards, slots, multi-line, multi-reel progressives and video poker. Additional features include unparalleled player reward, referral and affiliate programs.

InterContinental Casinos Limited holds a portfolio of online gaming sites including market-leading brands such as BingoFun, Zany Bingo, Zodiac Bingo, USA Casino and New York Casino.

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ANONYMOUS HOUSEWIVES
25 June 2003

GA claims growing number of gambling housewives

Housewives in the UK are becoming hooked on Internet gambling, spending hours every day and going thousands of pounds into debt, according to the UK?s largest gambling support groups.

Gamblers Anonymous, an international fellowship for compulsive gamblers, and GamCare, a UK charity which promotes responsible attitudes towards gambling, report that more and more housewives have access to a computer and are logging onto casino and betting sites between household chores.

Both groups have reported an increase of between 10% and 20% over the past year in the number of women approaching them for help with an Got2bet addiction. Internet gambling is perceived by Gamblers Anonymous as more female-friendly than betting shops or land-based casinos.

The concerns raised by the groups are also supported by a recent report issued by NetImperative, an online market-research company, which found that 39% of online gamblers are women: more than a quarter of these are in the 35-49 age group. The year-long study found that almost 2,000 British housewives were regular online gamblers in March 2002, compared with about 1,100 a year earlier.

A spokesman for Gamcare called the findings 'very worrying'. She added: "Twenty-four per cent of problem gamblers who come to us for counseling are online gamblers. A lot of these will be housewives who can fit in gambling round cooking meals or putting the kids to sleep. 'It's even more worrying because there is such a stigma attached to female gambling, which means that women often won't come forward and admit that they have a problem. These figures probably don't tell half the story".

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ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND COMPETITION
25 June 2003

Betfair in Betfanatic's sights

Online betting exchange Betfanatic launched this week, hoping to take a slice of the person to person (P2P) betting pie from the established Betfair.com.

UK based Betfanatic will mount a six-week marketing push to create brand awareness in a bid for early positioning amongst the top sites. It will charge a maximum of 3% commission to winning punters, who can back and lay bets on a variety of sporting events.

The technology is provided by TradingSports, which floated on the London Stock Exchange?s AIM in May this year. TradingSports is preparing to launch more exchanges over the coming months. The growth of P2P betting has been phenomenal and shows little sign of slackening despite opposition from more traditional betting organisations which oppose betting exchange operations.

Only three years after P2P betting arrived, it now accounts for up to 15% of the UK gambling market, with Flutter making most of the headlines in 2000 after it secured ?27 million ($45 million) from investors. Flutter merged with Betfair in December 2001, since which time Betfair's weekly betting revenues have grown fivefold. It now processes about ?50 million ($84 million) in bets per week, putting it on course for an annual turnover of ?2.6 billion ($4.3 billion).

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PLAYTECH JACKPOT SITE
25 June 2003

Progressive Portal launched

Playtech continued a busy week with the launch of a new progressive portal for their progressive jackpot network titled WinAJackpot.com, dedicated to broadening the appeal of the providers progressive jackpot games and to generating more traffic for its licensees. The WinAJackpot site provides an ideal platform for Playtech to showcase players' favorites like FruitMania, MegaJacks and the giant Sunny Progressive, and will soon feature revamped versions of other popular progressive games boasting themed, interactive bonus stages with 3D animation. Games, which Playtech Marketing Director Dana A. Ziv believes "will set a new benchmark in player involvement and entertainment."

The WinAJackpot.com site will also feature real-time progressive counters, a 'latest winners' list, game previews and player testimonials, plus profiles of all Playtech licensed casinos connected to the progressive network. First time users will be able to get a detailed look at the various games on offer before choosing to play for fun or for real money in one of Playtech's licensed casinos profiled in the site.

Word on the street is that Playtech will shortly be launching new poker room software, too.

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FOUR NEW CONTRACTS FOR VIRTGAME
25 June 2003

Sportsbook wagering system selected by Nevada casinos

Open architecture gaming software supplier VirtGame Corp. this week successfully completed installation of its sports wagering system in four casinos in Nevada. Three of these casinos are owned and operated by Herbst Gaming and they include: Terrible's Hotel Casino, Terrible's Town Casino and Terrible's Lakeside Casino. The fourth casino is owned and operated by CIRI Lakeside Gaming Investors, LLC d/b/a Casino MonteLago located adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel that recently opened at Lake Las Vegas Resort.

"We are pleased that the three Herbst gaming casinos and Casino MonteLago are up and running using our Windows based, open source architecture sports wagering software with easy to use full functionality for risk management. These successful installations would not have been possible without the efforts of LVDC, our Nevada partner and distributor," said VirtGame's President and CFO, Bruce Merati. "The systems we have installed in these casinos have the capability to be marketed across various digital platforms such as Intranets and kiosks as well as the potential to be integrated with our other suite of gaming products such as casino games."

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MORE SITES FROM ANGELCITI
25 June 2003

But player dispute rumbles on

AngelCiti Entertainment subsidiary Worldwide Management announced what appeared to be affiliate online casino building contracts that it has entered into for undisclosed parties. RedDevilCasino.com and SharkCasino.com and will provide affiliate support to help drive traffic and customers to those sites. It is anticipated that the sites will be integrated and fully operational within the next 30 days.

"We continue to seek out and bring on additional gaming sites to expand the Company's reach and increase profitability," remarked AngelCiti president George Gutierrez. "We are proud to provide services to these two new gaming sites and anticipate bringing on additional sites in the near future, with a particular emphasis on the Asian markets, which are currently experiencing explosive growth in both high-speed internet penetration and online gaming."

Meanwhile the unfair bonus disqualification dispute with several players continues. This week independent mediators approached Angelciti's new Chief Operating Officer Wilson Lee at the GIGSE conference.

Lee said that following extensive consideration the major shareholders at the company were not agreeable to paying out the players who claim they were stiffed. Wilson agreed to apply his fresh mind to the dispute and assured mediators that he would take an objective view, but the position did not look encouraging.

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BACHUS BREAKTHROUGH
13 June 2003

Anti-online gaming Bill passes in the House

The legislative situation vis-a-vis Got2bet in the key US market continued to capture industry attention this week with the unwelcome news that the Bachus version of the Leach Bill - with carve-outs - had passed in the House of Representatives.

The Bill disrupts online payment solutions by banning the use of US financial instruments in internet gambling - unless it involves all those vested interest exceptions such as horse and dog racing and lotteries of course. The vote passed 319-104.

Associated Press reported what appeared to be some astute political manouevring in getting the Bill through. Apparently the bill carries no criminal or civil penalties because House supporters were forced to take out any reference to punishment to keep it away from the House Judiciary Committee, which had previously successfully eliminated the carve-outs for American gambling establishments in committee. Instead, it zoomed through the Financial Services committee and to the full House for passage. Supporters say they plan to place criminal penalties back into the bill once it reaches a House-Senate conference committee.

Some lawmakers said the exemptions -- while aimed at protecting existing legal gambling operations like horse racing, lotteries and dog racing -- could expand American gambling operations to the World Wide Web. Opponents said the legislation's broad language opened the door to U.S.-based Internet gambling.

"A carve-out for horses and dogs and lotteries and jai-alai and Lord knows what else means that people will be able to use the Internet and use their credit cards and place bets and lose a whole lot of money," said House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

Supporters said that passing the ban without the exceptions would practically kill horse racing -- which relies heavily on credit card transactions -- and that states always have had the right to regulate gambling within their own borders.

A total ban "would prevent a state from accepting paramutual betting or one of any other forms of gambling that have been recognized and declared permissible by state law," said Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala.

The Bill now goes to the Senate, where there will no doubt be further argument if it gets on the roll this season. It is not known when or whether the Senate will consider its own version of the bill, which also has the American gambling carve-outs.

STOP PRESS: As we went to press this week, Sue Schneider was issuing an IGC comment on these developments, saying that the IGC was obviously disappointed and reiterating that there was a substantial "misunderstanding" in legislators' minds regarding internet gambling. Schneider asks, "Why do policy makers continue toward a policy of prohibition with regard to online gaming when such a policy only prevents the most responsible and experienced companies from entering the market?" She makes the point that MGM MIrage proved that the necessary controls can be implemented and that thousands of US gamblers were turned away by MGM, showing that there is no lack of willing consumers. Referring to the Conyers Bill, she says, "Rep. John Conyers recently reintroduced a bill to establish a study commission to look at the possibility of legalizing and regulating Got2bet. Unfortunately, Rep. Conyers legislation has been given little or no consideration by the House leadership."

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GOOD PROFITS OFF WILL HILL
7 June 2003

Investors make a cool $240 million from shares in top Brit bookie

The champagne corks must have been popping in London this week as execs from private equity houses Cinven Ltd. and CVC Capital Partners added up their profits from the sale of a substantial shareholding in betting shop chain William Hill plc.

They pulled in over ?145 million ($240 million) in reducing their holdings below the 3% threshold where future sales must be disclosed.

The deals, involving 55 million shares took place on Friday at 265 pence a share but were only disclosed Monday.

The sale is the last chapter of an investment that goes back to March 1999, when the two firms bought the business from Nomura International's Principal Finance Group for ?825 million enterprise value after Nomura could not take the company public. Cinven and CVC acquired 45% each, with the remaining 10% left in management's hands.

Three years later, the two investment firms floated William Hill on an IPO at 225 pence a share, the funds earning an additional 17.8% on the shares since last June. Cinven retained 9.24% and CVC 8.72% at the time of the IPO.

Although only CVC's sales had been announced on the stock exchange late Monday, a source close to the deal said both groups had reduced their holdings by about 75%. CVC sold about 25.6 million shares and Cinven about 29.3 million.

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SUPREME ON THE LAUNCH PAD
13 June 2003

Doors set to open this month

The deal to supply an online casino between Chartwell Technology and Irish sportsbook Supreme Odds Limited was reported only a month ago, and the turnkey provider has clearly not wasted time in building the operation.

Supremeoddscasino.com will launch before the end of June according to Supreme Odds parent group Leisure Spread, a three year old, Irish registered telephone and internet gaming company that offers spread betting on stocks and sports along with fixed odds wagering. Leisure's chief, Conor Foley is bullish on internet gambling, describing growth in the industry as "explosive", and claiming that other internet bookies are getting as much as fifteen to twenty percent of their revenue from online casino operations.

Euro 3.2 million funding has been secured to enable Leisure to expand further in the UK, the companys main source of business and the location of part of its infrastructure. Because it is registered in that country, it is regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority, allowing it to advertise in racing media.

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NEW FUNDING FOR UK BETTING
13 June 2003

Dynamic Brit betting group plans an online casino, too

The London business press carried reports this week that gaming operator ukbetting.com has been successful on the open market in raising over ?4m as additional working capital.

Both institutional and private investors were keen to subscribe for some 15 million new shares priced at 29p each. Vice chairman Peter Dubens clearly has confidence in the company and is understood to have personally bought a further ?250,000 worth of shares.

The company will use the ?4.35m - before expenses - raised for working capital purposes as well as to strengthen its balance sheet.

Ukbetting recently claimed that the launch of its first online poker product, using Wagerlogic software had been a success, and is expecting to roll-out a web casino over the next two months to capitalise on demand for online games. The company's poker and casino products will be promoted across its stable of websites, which include sportinglife.com, teamtalk.com and bettingzone.co.uk.

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ISLE OF MAN MELTDOWN?
13 June 2003

Island officials sound despondent

The shock announcement that MGM Mirage was pulling out of the Got2bet scene took Isle of Man (where it was licensed) officials by surprise, it seems. And according to a report in New Media Zero, an air of despondency is abroad.

In the article, the author Dominic Dudley says that the Isle of Man has admitted its fledgling offshore casino industry could be facing meltdown and that officials are now warning that others could soon follow.

Quoting Derek Cannon, gaming inspector with the Isle of Man Gambling Control Commissioners, the article reports, "The fact that MGM has pulled out could lead to a domino effect, not just in the Isle of Man. We're quite shell-shocked, it was a complete surprise. It's a very great disappointment."

Rank Interactive, which runs its Hard Rock Casino from the island, said it's now considering its options. Commercial director Ed Andrewes said, "At the moment we're assessing what the future might be. It is difficult, as MGM found, to drive customer registrations if you're not running it from a sports book." Rank is now considering linking a casino to its sports betting arm, Blue Square.

The Isle of Man now has just two of a possible 12 casino licences operating. The other, Littlewoods, was unavailable for comment as NMA went to press.

However, the situation appears different in Alderney, the only other local base for the industry. It has issued six licences to date and Andr? Wilsenach, CEO of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, said, 'I'm generally positive. We're currently considering two others as well, with major parent companies behind them.'

He said both were from land-based casino operators in the US and Europe and decisions should be made next month.

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KAHNAWAKE BOUND?
13 June May 2003

Will Angelciti follow Bet Us move?

The Prescription this week reported that Angelciti-related sportsbook Bet Us.com is dumping the Costa Rican licensing and support jurisdiction for that of the Kahnawake sovereign Indian nation outside Montreal, Canada. The report ignited speculation that Angelciti may follow suit.

The news that BetUs, also known as "Little NASA" is in the process of setting up operations in Kahnawake first broke on Majorwager.com.

The Prescription reported that BetUs.com and its affiliated site Angelciti, have been thrust into the spotlight of late. Angelciti angered several online casino players after refusing to honor its advertised bonus policy while BetUs.com admitted to withholding funds from at least one big sports bettor.

The Kahnawake jurisdiction is host to some of Got2bet's best and biggest online casinos from top turnkey providers. Apparently BetUS is not just setting up a so-called "mirror operation" (also known as a satellite operation). The plans call for this sportsbook to move completely out of Costa Rica and set up a full service call centre. The company currently employs over a hundred people in Costa Rica and it is thought that very few are likely to be transferred.

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CASINO CAUTIONS
13 June 2003

Deja vu?
Bos Casino.com, an online casino owned by Big NASA, a sportsbook with a poor reputation has reportedly been up to some nonsense this week. It appears that the management is in dispute with a player and is withholding legitimate winnings on a US$25,000-plus jackpot at their site due to an alleged "fault" in IQ Ludorum's software which powers their gambling suite. Bad communications are exacerbating the issue (as usual!) If you get a sense of deja vu reading this, it's because Angelciti allegedly tried this move by calling RTG software into question when they were making a large winner jump through the hoops recently. Hopefully Bos Casino and IQ Ludorum will not keep their player waiting for ten months the way AC did!

Chartwell
Last week we reported on the demise of Chartwell-powered Carib Sunshine casino, leaving players unpaid in a reprise of the Six Gun casino mess. In the absence of the owner, players are understandably anxious to obtain a little assistance from the software provider, like where they can find the operator. Yet once again Chartwell is allegedly ignoring all emails on the topic. However, they will find it more difficult to ignore the physical presence of several mediators and webmasters who will be attending next week's GIGSE conference in Montreal. They will be paying Chartwell a visit to find out why business courtesy and responsibility is apparently so lacking. For a company with a stated strategy of servicing big, responsible, land-based European gambling groups (they will shortly be launching a site for an Irish company) this is strange behaviour.

Luck has nothing to do with this
This week a new and very questionable practice surfaced at the Lucky Emperor and Zodiac casinos. Industry observers and players alike could scarce believe their eyes when a new ruling appeared that compels players to accept the T&Cs in force at the time of cashout rather than those at the time of the wager. At first everyone assumed this was just another of those CSR screw-ups in interpretation, and complaining players were told it would all be straightened out by the management. But a leading webmaster mediating the issue (Casinomeister) has issued a caution and confirmed at the end of the week that LE and Zodiac were serious about this nonsense. It throws out of the window any concept that a contract between player and casino exists ie the casino offers the player certain T&Cs, he accepts by depositing and playing and the T&Cs in force on the promo offer are honoured by the casino. Imagine a scenario like this, to name just one: Player deposits and wagers on a promo offer with a x15 WT requirement. But when it comes to cashout time, the management inform him or her that

they have boosted the WT to x40...or more. Even the bonus-hungry will shy away from this one. Return to Top

NEW JURISDICTION
13 June 2003

Ever heard of Cagayan?

Operators and providers in the Asian regions may be interested in a new licensing jurisdiction launched this week. In close proximity to Taiwan, China, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, Cagayan claims to have a commercially attractive business model for online gaming operators to "...target the untapped Asian markets and international gambling community."

Internet gaming licenses are now available from the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Free Port, located in the north eastern corner of the Philippines, following approval of the government approved Interactive Gaming Act. ?Effective immediately, First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation are accepting applications from operators who wish to capitalize on the competitive licensing regime, cost-effective regulatory framework and disciplined operator and player protection policies here,? says Mr Albee Benitez, President of First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation.

Note: "....and player protection policies".

First Cagayan has been appointed sole Master Licensor to develop and regulate internet gaming by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). To expedite the processing of licenses, CEZA has the legal authority to independently approve applications without the prior acceptance from a national government agency, including PAGCOR.

?We believe that we have developed an online gaming model containing the perfect balance of regulations and controls in a well regulated jurisdiction. Our solution is designed to be financially and commercially desirable to both large and small internet gaming operators,? comments Benitez.

The fee structure comprises a nominal application fee, a competitive annual fee and a 2% interactive gaming tax on gross win.

First Cagayan is also responsible for probity checking, audit trails and checking of software to ensure that all games conform with the random number generator standard, as games of chance. The press launch press release did not elaborate on the scientific testing of RNGs or by whom this will be done.

The jurisdiction has appointed International Casino Services to assist in the process of licensing and developing the interactive gaming zone. The companys chairman, Brian Feltham says that ICS has a history of some 15 years managing and operating Asian casino and gaming operations.

For further information contact Mr Justin Casey, First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation, Tel: 63 2 638 5556

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BRIT GAMBLING REFORM DELAYED
13 June 2003

Twelve month hold due to busy Parliament

More substance has emerged on the previously reported hold-ups on British gambling reform.

According to Sports Minister Richard Caborn the delay is unlikely to be for more than twelve months and is due to a legislative traffic jam in the British government, but the reforms are still on course.

'These changes are evolutionary, not revolutionary,' said Mr. Caborn. 'That is very important for those who have genuine doubts about betting. There is a lot of potential for inward investment, regeneration and tourism and it will create jobs - it will be done in a sensible way.'

Gaming deregulation could generate up to ?800m of tax revenue, estimates investment bank CIBC. The bill is expected to become law in the 2004-05 parliamentary session. Pre-legislative scrutiny ?will start as early as September with a potential end date in February or March next year?, said Caborn.

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VISITING VIPER
13 June 2003

Overview of an innovative gaming product

Since its introduction earlier this year Microgaming's new Viper software has excited a lot of interest and comment...much of it favourable but as always there are dissenting views.

Why has it become such a talking point? Viper is a new version of the well established MGS casino software and one of its features is the large choice of quality download and Flash games - 119 of them, including 10 new offerings. Among the newbies are a Blackjack High Limit Table, Red Dog, Monster Mania and Oriental Fortune Slots.

Then there are what might be termed revolutionary facilities of choice like Autoplay and Expert Mode, and play speed and navigation have been improved. Many feel that it represents a significant technological advance in Got2bet technology.

When using the software, which is currently available at large operations like Captain Cooks Casino, Crazy Vegas Casino, Lucky Nugget, and Riverbelle, players who select Expert Mode can let the casino software choose the cards to keep in Video Poker, or decide when to draw in Blackjack. Expert Mode will automatically play the best strategy, allowing for optimum return. In doing so it teaches players with more information about the games. Expert Mode will prompt the player if a mathematically unsound decision is made, and allow the player to change that decision if required.

The software can also be set to function in Autoplay Mode. No more mouse-work. The player can even leave the room for a few minutes and it will continue playing to the optimum strategy. There will be no disconnections from the game or time outs, because the software continues to *play*. This mode allows the user to automatically play a selected number of consecutive hands or spins without having to interact with the software. For example, in slots, Viper can be "told" to play 10 hands or until the jackpot is won. In roulette, betting strategies can be set with the Autoplay Game Strategy option and the computer does the work.

Many players like Viper because it gives them the opportunity to take a break or even leave the machine to do the repetitive stuff. There are some "advantage players" who like it because it can speed up their play and thereby their turnover. More inexperienced gamblers say it helps them not only to play correctly and perhaps saves making expensive mistakes, but to improve their skills in the process. Others cannot see the value, and argue that features like Autoplay take the thrill out of gambling because it becomes an automated, hands off process.

Whatever the view, Viper has made a noticeable entrance into the industry as an innovative concept that gives the player more control options and a wider choice of improved games.

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SUPER PAI-GOW
13 June 2003

Victoria's Poker adds new game

Recent arrival Victoria?s Poker.com has introduced the betting action of Chinese poker with the playing style of the popular Asian game Pai Gow in a novel combination called Max Action Pai-Gow!

The online poker room claims that Max is a simple game to learn, there are no special poker skills required, and players have even odds against all other players. Both Asian and North American gamblers will find the game appealing, enjoyable, and quick to play, they say.

In Chinese poker, a player has a wager with every other player at the table. The same is true with Max Action Pai-Gow?there is no ?house? or ?bank? involved, the players wager with each individual player at the table.

?We are excited about the uniqueness of our product and the launch of Max Action Pai-Gow. The game plays beautifully and the response of our players has been overwhelming!? a manager for Victoria?s Poker reported. Max Action Pai-Gow is an exclusive to Victoria?s Poker. All games offered by Victoria?s Poker can be played on both Macintosh and Windows platforms.

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FORTUNE LOUNGE MODESTY
13 June 2003

Online casino group has been hiding it's light

Fortune Lounge, an online casino group comprising Seven Sultans, Vegas Villa, Vegas Palms, Royal Vegas and Fortune Room casinos has been playing it cool it seems.

According to a player who posted on several portal sites this week he was one of a fortunate group who were invited to a dinner hosted by FL execs who not only bought dinner and told the guests something about their company but handed out free chips, too! And the accomplishments of the company are considerable.

It is the third largest online group of casinos in cyberspace.

Its business volume is larger than many of the casino groups combined.

It has a staff of 180 full-time people.

It has software from an industry leader (Microgaming), payouts reviewed by a major third party (Price Waterhouse Coopers) and highly responsive 24/7 toll free customer service.

Lastly but most importantly, says the player: they treat their customers right! That top management team had taken the trouble to go out and meet their prominent clients and talk about their operation. It certainly impressed the poster.

We can say this for sure...players have noticed that Fortune Lounge management are smart enough to monitor the main message boards closely. And they have the integrity to 'fess up to shortcomings upfront and do something about them to improve their service. That's a big plus for us.

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PUTTING ON THE RITZ
13 June 2003

Another company that values its players

It seems that Fortune Lounge group is not the only Got2bet operation that values its players. This week surprised but delighted punters of the Ritz Club received snazzy invitations from the head honchos at Dunhill and the Ritz Club inviting them to a salubrious champagne and canapes casino evening in an upmarket London venue.

Not much more is known about the event other than the fact that it takes place on the 26th June, when we hope that our spies will report back and give us the detail.

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WHAT'S IN A NAME?
13 June 2003

iTV terminology confusion

There are usually problems associated with evolving new technologies and betting concepts, and Brit bingo hall and casino operation Gala was trying to overcome one them - terminology - this week.

Gala has apparently been forced to postpone launching its new iTV gaming service because of legal concerns, and the hassle centres on the difference between fixed odds betting (which is allowed over the internet) and "gaming" that has to be conducted in person and on licensed premises. It is unclear exactly which category some of the bingo and roulette games that Gala has been developing fit into.

The assistance of the British Association of Bookmakers and the regulatory organisation Gaming Board has been inspanned to lobby in order to have the rules clarified by the British High Court.

Gala announced last year that it was preparing to spend E7m on new media, including over E4m marketing its interactive games.

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CENTREBET SALE
13 June 2003

The merger is agreed, but no Centrebet decision until July

Toward the end of this week, Australian gaming and casino company Tabcorp Holdings Ltd. reported that it has finalized merger terms with casino operator Jupiters Ltd, with the sale of the Centrebet sports betting division to be negotiated in July.

Potential buyers have already been short-listed and due diligence work is believed to be in progress.

In terms of the merger terms stiff multi-million dollar penalties can be exacted from either party if the major fails as a result of their actions. Tabcorp claims the merged group will be Australia's largest gambling and entertainment company with 18,000 gaming machines and Keno operations on the east coast of Australia. It will also have four casino and hotel facilities in Queensland and New South Wales in addition to off-course wagering and sports- betting operations in Victoria.

The merger is subject to approval by Jupiters' shareholders, the Supreme Court of Queensland and the Queensland government.

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SHOCK CLOSURE OF MGM MIRAGE
7 June 2003

Vegas giant's online venture canned.

The Got2bet industry reacted with shock and dismay this week to the news that MGM Mirage Online is to discontinue its Isle of Man-licensed online casino operations at Play MGM Mirage.com on 30 June 2003.

The closure is the third this year involving online operations owned by major land-based operators. Kerzner International closed down Atlantis Fortune and Kerry Packer's PBL shut down Crown Games earlier in the year due to weak business and the uncertainties of the US legal situation - the main market for online gamblers.

"We set out to prove that online casino gaming could be implemented with the same high standards of regulatory integrity as land-based operations," said Terry Lanni, Chairman and CEO of MGM MIRAGE. "We were successful in demonstrating a working model that provided the proper checks for jurisdictional control, age verification and the necessary security and responsible gaming measures required to function in a regulated market," Mr. Lanni said.

The company established MGM MIRAGE Online in September of 2001 with the stated purpose of developing an operational model that would ensure against money laundering while providing customers with the same exciting game content found in Las Vegas and other U.S. gaming markets.

MGM MIRAGE confined its activities to jurisdictions in which online wagering was permitted and did not accept customers from the United States and other jurisdictions which do not permit such activities.

"Unfortunately, even in light of a successful working model, the legal and political climate in the U.S. and several countries around the world remains unclear. The fact is that millions of U.S. citizens currently participate in online gaming in an unregulated environment. We believe that a more sound and realistic public policy would be to regulate the activity and hold operators to the highest standards of probity and integrity. MGM MIRAGE Online has clearly established that the regulatory model works.

"In the meantime, millions of U.S. citizens who are currently playing casino games online every day must continue to do so without the protections provided by common sense regulations that we believe should be implemented. The day will clearly arrive when this activity will be legalized and regulated and we will participate fully at that time," Mr. Lanni said.

As a result of the announcement, the company will record a loss from discontinued operations of approximately $5 million, net of tax, in the second quarter related primarily to (1) unrecoverable costs of software and hardware utilized in the operation, (2) second quarter operating losses of MGM MIRAGE Online, and (3) tax benefits related to the above items and to prior period operating losses.

"We have proven critics wrong who said that online gaming could never be properly regulated. We greatly appreciate the efforts of our staff who have paved the way for the implementation of a regulatory structure from a technological perspective. We simply have to wait for the political climate to change and reality to set in," Mr. Lanni said.

In a professionally coordinated communications exercise, MGM Mirage asked webmasters to pull their advertising without refunds and sent players emails advising them that any remaining cash in their accounts can be used for play or withdrawn anytime before midnight on June 30th 2003. Any remaining balance after that date will be refunded back to the instrument used for the last deposit whenever possible, otherwise a cheque will be issued. These refunds should be completed by July 10th, 2003. The casino will not be accepting deposits into the casino after midnight on June 17th 2003.

Founder Members will be able to continue to earn points until midnight on June 17th 2003. Any points earned up to midnight on June 17th 2003 will be able to be redeemed for PLAYMGMMIRAGE Cash or Complimentary Services through midnight on June 30th 2003. There will be no opportunity to earn points after midnight on June 17th 2003 and any points that are not redeemed by midnight on June 30th will be forfeited.

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SETBACK FOR INTERNET GAMBLING BAN
7 June 2003

Lack or support disrupts Leach Bill vote

The much disputed Leach Bill was pulled from consideration in the US House of Representatives midweek after House leaders concluded that it did not have sufficient support to pass.

Surprised House staffers said they would try to work out their differences and bring the bill back for a vote, possibly as soon as Thursday this week. Earlier, House leaders pulled the bill prior to any vote after two Republican committee chairmen and several prominent Democrats said they would vote against it for a variety of reasons.

The move underscores the difficulties lawmakers face as they try to shut down the offshore Web sites that are expected to take in roughly $2 billion from U.S. residents this year, while not interfering with legal gambling businesses such as lotteries and casinos regulated by the states.

Despite widespread support, attempts to outlaw Internet gambling have stumbled in Congress for years due to infighting among casinos, dog tracks, horse tracks and those who oppose gambling in general.

Reuters reported that the bill pulled from consideration Tuesday sought to block credit-card payments to gambling Web sites, an approach that has found widespread support in Congress and been taken up voluntarily by many credit-card providers.

But squabbles between the House Judiciary and Financial Services committees resulted in three competing versions of the bill. After the Judiciary Committee took out language that would have exempted lawful casinos and state lotteries last month, the Financial Services committee passed another version that removed criminal penalties, a move which enabled the new bill to bypass Judiciary.

The bill was scheduled for a vote under a special process that prohibits any changes, but requires a two-thirds vote for approval. But it appeared unlikely to pass without the support of Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, who wants tougher criminal penalties, and House Democrats who oppose an outright ban on Got2bet, House staffers said.

"There were a lot of people who had various problems with it," said Judiciary Committee spokesman Jeff Lungren.

STOP PRESS: Shortly after we went to press news came through that a further attempt was made to take the Financial Services favoured version of the Bill (with carve outs) to a vote on Thursday. Continued division over the question of exemptions resulted in the vote again being delayed, which will result in a carry-over to the week commencing June 9, where a further attempt could be made on Tuesday. But disputes over who should have exemption, or indeeed whether there should be any exemptions at all continued to seriously divide the legislators and the various parties interested in the progress of this Bill.

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KNOW YOUR SUBJECT
7 June 2003

Streaker postscript

The audacious Golden Palace casino marketing ploy we reported last week had an interesting postscript when a spokesman for the group revealed that the UEFA Cup stunt could turn out to be one of their more successful marketing adventures. The spokesman said in an early comment that the site had "a little more traffic than usual" after the stunt and the subsequent media coverage.

And what coverage it was. In addition to getting the crowd publicity and the actual game, which was televised live in primetime throughout Europe, Golden Palace received extra coverage on Fox Sports World, which was carrying the game in North America. The broadcaster made a reference to the online casino as cameras showed the streaker running around the field.

If that wasn't enough, ESPN ran highlights of the streaker throughout Wednesday evening and night during its popular sports highlight program SportsCenter.

One of the most interesting results of the incident, though, was the amount of potential streakers that sent e-mails to Golden Palace wanting to be the next person to use his naked backside as a billboard.

In a surprising development which could well result in more naked runners, the spokesman said the streaker wasn't arrested and is not facing any charges. After being wrestled (carefully!) down by security, he was escorted out of the stadium and let go.

"He was tempted to go in and do it a second time, (but) he had no ticket to get in," the spokesperson concluded.

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BRIT GAMBLING REFORM DELAYED?
7 June 2003

Legislative overload may cause hold up

Speculation is mounting in the United Kingdom that the government may be forced to postpone the deregulation of the gambling industry. Observers point to a serious legislative overload facing Parliament with the need to introduce more pressing bills such as political asylum legislation, in a move that will likely disappoint the industry.

Many still hope that the gambling bill will be mentioned in the Queen's speech in November, heralding a new dispensation that is expected to cut much of the gambling red tape introduced in the 'sixties to discourage organised crime.

Despite determined pressure from the gambling industry, informed sources reluctantlt concede that other government business is likely to take precedence.

Shares in casino and betting shop operator Stanley Leisure slipped 9p to 309p, while casino and bingo group Rank fell 6.25p to 258.75p on the news early this week. Privately owned Gala, which operates bingo and casino houses would also be hit by any delay.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which is overseeing the drafting of the bill, is expected to issue a guidance paper on gambling in the near future. A spokesman for the department said a 20-strong team was continuing to work on the bill and that there had been no change to internal civil service deadlines.

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BRINGING IN THE HEAVIES
7 June 2003

Players threatened by processor

Got2bet's unregulated status spawns many irregularities but this week an unpleasant processor practice surfaced that was both alarming and questionable.

At least two players were called by one John Grey of the Fraud Department at e-cash company PrePaidATM and allegedly subjected to unwarranted and abusive threats of extradition to Nevada and other penalties if they did not pay up immediately on disputed charges.

One of the infuriated players contacted the company to protest and was put through to a member of management who, after checking the records confirmed that there was no problem with the account. The player reported that this manager apologized for the rough behaviour of John Grey and then said, astonishingly for a presumably respectable financial company manager that the player should understand that Grey worked with collections all day and "...isn't paid to be a sweet guy."

This type of behaviour is not only guaranteed to deter players from using this financial vehicle as the story makes the rounds, but management's apparently indulgent attitude toward an employee who seems to merit supervision is shocking.

PrePaid ATM's top man Allen Ross was contacted for comment on the story, and in a rather long and rambling conversation insisted that these allegations were "exaggerated". In summary, this is the PrePaidATM response:

1) PPATM has a way lower rate of chargebacks than most Got2bet operations (less than 1 percent) due mainly to their determination not to be screwed by players. He claims that because their clientele are exclusively North American, defaulters can be successfully pursued for fraudulent behaviour and he does not hesitate to do that. Criminal fraud can be used as grounds to seek extradition from other US States to Nevada for trial, he claims and it was this to which Grey was referring.

2) He is emphatic that his Frauds manager John Grey does not use vulgar language and does not call players at 06h00 in the morning. He further does not make illegal threats and does not cross the line of "acceptable behaviour for a financial institution employee". He is however "relentless" and "aggressive" in looking after the affairs of the company.

3) Effectively, Ross denies the allegations, which he describes as "exaggerated".

Interestingly, Ross's name came up on another message board linking him to Unified Gaming, and we asked him about this connection.

He confirmed that he was one of the pioneers in the Got2bet industry and started Island Casino in 1996, selling the operation in order to found Unified Gaming the turnkey provider in 1998. He says he has not been involved on the operator or provider side of the industry for over two years.

Reliable sources inform InfoPowa that Ross was one of 19 operators indicted at the time of the Jay Cohen prosecution, and that he took the plea-bargain option and was on probation at one time. He is a well known personality in the Got2bet industry.

Ross's final comments concerned players with problems regarding PPATM. He strongly urges them to email or call him to sort issues out before they turn ugly and are handed over to the Fraud section and the attentions of Mr. Grey....

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NEW NIGHTMARE FOR SPAMMERS
7 June May 2003

Challenge - response systems mooted

In an interesting sequel to our report last week on the increasing threat of spam, C-Net published a report on a new product called Spam-Arrest.

Apparently desperate to can spam, many email users are signing up for challenge-response systems such as this. These systems detain mail from unfamiliar senders until the sender proves they're human, typically by clicking a special link or typing in a code word.

Legitimate bulk email senders, such as opt-in newsletter publishers, hope these systems don't become popular in their present form. Answering the flood of challenges will be too great a task.

TidBits, a Macintosh newsletter with 50,000 subscribers, has already put its readers on notice that it won't answer any challenges, and EarthLink, the third-largest ISP in the United States, says it will roll out a challenge-response system to its members within days.

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CASINO CAUTIONS
7 June 2003

Whistle Dixie
Sports911 has warned online casino players to beware of ClubCasino24.com. Apparently the man behind this business is none other than Daniel Dix, who is accused of leaving a bunch of sports bettors high and dry through his old operation Sportsbook Paradise. The casino has been spamming players recently and is part of the Gambling Federation network of iCrystal-powered, multi-lingual internet casinos.

Not a great future
Many Futurebet-powered online casinos/sportsbooks/fantasy sportsbooks have been getting a sustained hammering from players lately for slow-no pay, and the latest to take flak are Fox Gambling.com and Play 4 Treasure.com with delays of up to a month or more. If it's a system fault the operators need to kick some FB butt into gear before business is lost. Players experiencing FB casino payout delays could try service@worldwidesupport.com - and ask for Marc Linehan.

Check your accounts
Were you aware that at Cryptologic casinos you can end up paying financial charges if you leave your account in credit and idle for too long? It's in the T&Cs. This practice came to light this week when players received emails from 49er casino informing them that as they had not played their in-credit account for 90 + days they would be charged a dormant account fee by E Cash Direct (we believe around $5) This was accompanied by a suggestion that it was a better idea to go back and "play a few hands of your favourite casino games". In at least one case the amount in-credit was fifty cents! Either this is bureaucracy gone mad at the risk of alienating clients, or it is an ill-considered marketing attempt to get players to return. There has to be a better way of doing it than this!

Check that fine print
Suppose you were fortunate and skilful enough to turn a $100 deposit and a matchplay bonus into a really exciting win of a few thousand dollars...or more. Delighted with yourself, you try to cash out only to be told by the casino that there's a limit to the amount you can take away calculated at your deposit multiplied by 15 and that all winnings over this are VOID! (Progressives not included). This sort of scenario is possible at Crown Vegas Casino.com according to emailed promos received by players. Lesson 1 - carefully read the conditions. Lesson 2 - eschew bonuses.

Identity-shy
Online casino detectives and certain affiliates unwilling to believe the believable clashed this week over the true identity of new casino Cirrus.com. Using some intriguing new programs, Bryan Bailey at Casinomeister assisted by other knowledgeable webmasters proved conclusively that the new arrival was at the very least closely connected to the notorious Virtual Casino.com and its clones. Downloading Prism/Virtual/cirrus casinos and installing them through the detectives' new tool showed that these all connect to affiliate.cirruscasino.com to run. Confirming the findings, other webmasters revealed that Cirrus Casino's stats are sitting on the same installation of Webalizer on the same server that Virtual Casino Group uses to track all its domains, and an email trap indicated strongly that Virtual was supplying Cirrus with player emails to spam. The findings are important because many players refuse pointblank to have any dealings with Virtual Casino or its relatives due to a poor reputation. More here:Our Newsletter

IQ-L alert
We don't want to kick an outfit when it is down, but players are complaining about significantly large payment hassles at failed IQ-Ludorum-powered operations, and that troubled provider is not responding to them. Unresponsive software providers who are reportedly in financial difficulties are not something the modern player or creditor needs or appreciates, so caution is indicated.

And Chartwell, too
Chartwell has had a number of casinos fold in the past, but the recent Six Gun Casino.com and now Carib Sunshine Casino.com failures are ringing alarm bills because they have left unpaid players in their wake. The provider has again ignored emails on the issue and should be treated with caution.

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UK BETTING LAUNCHES NEW POKER SITE
7 June 2003

Wagerlogic software goes into two more European sites

Another leading European customer has launched new multiplayer online poker offerings powered by CryptoLogic-developed software.

UKbetting plc has introduced Internet poker at its well-known betting sites, UKbetting.com and Totalbet.com. A licensed and regulated online sports book and the UK's largest independent Internet sportsbook, ukbetting targets its interactive wagering and sports content services to a monthly user base of 3.5 million European sports fans.

ukbetting's new online poker sites bring the land-based poker room experience, live to the Internet, and a fast-growing international customer base can now enjoy the most popular poker games - Texas Hold'em, 7-Card Stud, Omaha High and Omaha High/Low - with players from around the world, anytime of the day. The scalability and liquidity of WagerLogic's centralized poker software ensure that players can always find a game at their desired stake level. Players also have the convenience and choice of currency - U.S. dollars, British pound sterling or Euros - all at the same table. Single table tournament capability is the most recent enhancement, providing a popular marketing feature that increases player appeal and traffic.

Watch the UKbetting space for further developments, too - the company has a mobile-gaming deal with GIG signed and sealed.

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ANGELCITI LOOKS TO ASIAN MARKETS
7 June 2003

Lee appointed new COO

Embattled AngelCiti Entertainment has hired Wei Hsin Lee in the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer to help manage what it claims is its ongoing growth and expansion.

Angelciti has been the focus of severe player antipathy in recent months following questionable management decisions on winner payouts and promo disqualifications. Although one large winner has been paid, a number of players are still in dispute with the casino operating company over winnings and bonuses payouts. "Mr. Lee helps to fill a huge gap that will enhance the Company's ability to expand its reach on the internet, with a particular emphasis on expansion into the Asian markets," stated AngelCiti president George Gutierrez.

Prior to joining AngelCiti, Lee was the founder and president of Web Venture Asia (WVA), a management consulting services company providing business development expertise to technology and gaming-related companies. He has also worked in senior positions in Japan, China and the United States, and has been integrally involved in the online gaming industry since its inception.

According to the WVA website, Lee is also known as Wilson Lee and founded Corplay Inc. a Hongkong-based management training services company. In 1995 Wilson joined San Francisco-based Electrogig, a video-editing software publisher, specializing in Asian Business Development. He was educated at the University of British Columbia, Canada in Chemical Engineering and is fluent in Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese. His native tongue is English.

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$50 GETS YOU $130K!
7 June 2003

Now this is what you call a lucky streak...

Player 'Muttong' at Intercasino won $130,010.25 this week from a start of a bonus $50 over the weekend.

After receiving her bonus cash, Muttong embarked on a lucky streak that culminated in her pulling a Royal Flush, thus trumping the dealer and winning a progressive jackpot worth $130,010.25.

Muttong's $50 bonus came from simply having said 'hello' to InterCasino Manager Ryan Hartley during their ongoing "Find RyanH" promotion. The simple start led to her winning the Spice Island Poker progressive jackpot.

"I was at the poker table when Muttong said 'hi', said Casino Manager Ryan Hartley. "After watching her play a few hands I could tell that she was a good player, but Spice Island Poker isn't only a game of skill - it's also a game of chance. Muttong got herself onto a hot streak and by playing smart and through a hint of good luck, she rode that lucky streak all the way to the bank. Never in my wildest dreams did I think she would turn my $50 bonus into $130,010.25, but I'm overjoyed that my $50 appreciation bonus helped her win a life-changing jackpot," he added.

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POKER PROGRESS
7 June 2003

Update from Glusing

Poker.com Inc's latest press release is more of interest for its update content than the main subject, which is their new Skill Poker venture.

In the release, President Mark Glusing announces the launch of a free play version of its poker software prior to the *real* thing - the launch of the real money Skill Poker system. The free play system will give players the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new software. The free play version became available as of June 5th, and can be seen at www.skillpoker.com.

With respect to the real money version, Poker.com Inc. is still in the process of completing the development of the back end software and will begin beta testing soon. The component of the Skill Poker system which will be tested is the tournament management tool which incorporates the patent pending technology owned by Skill Poker.com Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Poker.com Inc.

Of more immediate interest in the corporate news sense is the disclosure in the release that the company has lost licensee FocusNet Capital Inc., which decided to no longer use the software under license from Poker.com Inc. The non-exclusive license with FocusNet Capital Inc. commenced in 2001 and was paid in full. The decision by FocusNet Capital Inc. to change software providers will result in the Glusing's company no longer collecting royalties from it.

Also of interest is a reference to the dispute involving the domain poker.com, where Glusing advises that Poker.com Inc is awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court of British Columbia concerning jurisdiction in relation to Corporation Services Inc. and is awaiting commencement of arbitration on the matter involving ALA Corp. Poker.com Inc. remains hopeful of a positive resolution to the dispute and will release details of the respective decisions as they take place.

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A STAR IS BORN
2 June 2003

Stanley Leisure's latest internet casino launched

UK betting group Stanley Leisure has launched its latest online casino site, Star City Casinos.com equipped with "no-download" Flash technology new games in a gambling software suite developed by Manchester-based interactive specialist company Zendor.

The site has been designed to replicate the look and feel of Stanley's new land-based flagship facility The Star City Casino, in Birmingham, England.

Augmenting the usual casino faves, Zendor has developed several new online challenges for the website including six slot machines, a multi-hand poker game and a unique game combining cards and roulette, known as Rouladeck.

Stanley Leisure clearly has plans for the promising mobile market - the infrastructure of the games has been designed in a way that will allow them to be hosted via mobile applications in the near future.

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IS THIS A REAL INTERNET GAMBLING LICENSE?
7 June 2003

Costa Rican licenses under the spotlight

Many online casinos - particularly those powered by Real Time Gaming who are offered a "package" including a license by the provider, claim that they are "legally licensed and fully insured" through the Costa Rican jurisdiction. But is this true?

Not so, according to research and enquiries by a group of concerned players, industry observers and webmasters. In fact, it appears that Costa Rica issues "internet business permits" rather than gambling licenses and has no probity procedures, discipline or complaints infrastructure to support a genuine internet gambling licensing facility.

Costa Rica's Supreme Court and Attorney General have ruled that gambling does not take place in Costa Rica if no bets are accepted from locals and the company's merchant account is in another country. Consequently, Got2bet operations are not subject to any specific regulation. As a result of this and Costa Rica's modern infrastructure, a large number of online casinos and sportsbooks operate out of the country.

According to Offshoresite.com as long as Costa Ricans cannot connect to gamble (accomplished by firewalls /filters eliminating Costa Rican i.p.addresses), there is no "gambling presence" or " gambling activity" in Costa Rica to regulate. And the site CostaRica.com says, "...on-line casinos are registered as technology corporations, and not as on-line casinos."

Despite moves in April, 1998, when the Costa Rica Assembly passed a law authorizing the granting of concessions to private corporations to take wagers on all sports, either in person, by phone or using the Internet there has thus far been no implementation.

In late 2000, a new proposal to license, tax, and regulate the online gaming industry was introduced in the Costa Rican Assembly. It did not pass, but a new bill was planned.

The new initiative is apparently a tax and not a casino license. And it's only on sportsbooks. There is no apparent infrastructure in place appropriate to a serious licensing jurisdiction.

On Feb 11, 2003 Costa Rica's government announced an intention to establish a registry of Got2bet companies in an effort to impose a tax on such operations, international news agency AFP reported. The initiative arises as a result of congressional legislation that established taxes targeted at online gaming companies. Costa Rica's online bookies must register with the economy ministry and pay 10mn-24mn colones (US$26,000-63,000) depending on the number of employees, the ministry stated.

But it is not, it seems an internet gambling license with teeth and penalties.

Editor's note: More here: Our Newsletter

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FORTUNE LOUNGE KUDOS
7 June 2003

Negative database improvements

The Fortune Lounge group of five or six Microgaming-powered casinos has come in for some criticism in recent weeks regarding payment hassles centred on cancelled checks, and instead of ignoring the exchanges, the management has been an active and constructive participant.

For example, following the exchanges FL managers were big enough to admit to a shortcoming in their system and promise to fix it, and in one exchange a major step forward was acknowledged by players regarding negative databases. A player had experienced a problem brought about by his appearance on a negative database that he claimed wrongly identified him as a chargebacker. He needed to know which casino had put him on the database so that he could check his gambling records to defend himself.

Astonishingly, it transpired that there was no facility in the database to provide this information, a situation which the FL management promptly addressed and rectified, sending the player this email:

"I also want to thank you for opening our eyes on the issue of informing players of which casino listed them for charge backs. We do indeed have a responsibility to give players this information as it may give them the opportunity to restore their "creditworthiness" with MicroGaming casinos. It is time that we as casino operators start showing responsibility and demonstrate that we care for our valued players."

Amen to that!

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TRUEGAMBLER STATS DUE THIS WEEK
2 June 2003

The word is that Blackjack from the main providers is the focus this time.

Many players and industry observers were anticipating the release this week of the latest tranche of Online Casino Analyser statistics.

The project, initiated by Truegambler owner Chris Hughes involves many players in a voluntary testing program using unique analytical software developed by Hughes. This participation enables a spread of gambling softwares to be extensively tested (millions of hands are analysed) in a short space of time.

According to reliable sources the results will be presented in a more conclusive fashion this time around following extensive debate and some confusion on the interpretation of the last tranche on VP.

It is understood that the blackjack games of Microgaming, Real Time Gaming, Odds On and Random Logic are the focus of the current tests. These gambling platforms power hundreds of top Got2bet sites across the Internet and are played by thousands daily. InfoPowa is informed that Playtech blackjack was also slated for testing, but that this will have to be done later.

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WIRELESS WINDWARD
2 June 2003

Parley and Phantom make mobile gambling a reality

Parlay Entertainment Limited, a member of the DCEG Group of Companies announced this week that one of its customers, WinwardCasino.com, will become the first to hit the market with its new real-time, real-money, full-function wireless suite of online casino games by end June 2003. "The launch of the world's first real-time, real-money, full-function wireless casino suite by WinwardCasino.com will be a milestone," said David Outhwaite, Parlay's Chief Executive Officer. "Offering wireless functionality will allow our customers to extend their brand to the vast and growing market of wireless gamers."

Developed in conjunction with wireless partner Phantom Fiber Inc., WinwardCasino.com's wireless casino suite offers 17 games including blackjack, slots and video poker for real money wagering on phones and PDAs powered by the PocketPC? or Palm OS?. Future enhancements will include new games, such as bingo, roulette and craps, and support for additional handheld device platforms like Symbian and J2ME.

"Our players will have the capability to play from their PC or wireless device with a single account, providing the best in online gaming entertainment," said Cristie McCrory, President of WinwardCasino.com. "I am astounded by the casino suite that our software partners, Parlay Entertainment and Phantom Fiber, have been able to package on these small handheld devices."

Parlay will make its wireless offering, which uses Phantom Fiber's wireless middleware framework technology, available to its entire customer base.

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KNOW YOUR SUBJECT
2 June 2003

Words of wisdom for Sen. Jon Kyl

Respected top gambling executive Bill Hornbuckle, president of MGM MIRAGE Online had some wise words for the tenacious US legislator Jon Kyl this week:

"The core issues here are not understood. If you are going to try to control Internet gambling, I suggest you please try to understand it. This won't stop Internet gambling."

Addressing a Financial Executives Gaming Forum, Hornbuckle was referring to persistent Kyl attempts over the past eight years to ban internet gambling or render it unworkable through the withdrawal of US financial instruments. The MGM-Mirage exec said that a federal effort to regulate Internet gaming will limit legitimate companies while allowing unscrupulous offshore operations to continue. "What he has tried to do is take the banking and financial institutions out of Internet gaming," he said. Without such payment methods available, MGM MIRAGE's Isle of Man Internet gaming operation would not be able to expand to serve U.S. gamblers should other legal hurdles be cleared.

It would do nothing, however, to limit other, unregulated offshore Internet sites from soliciting U.S. business. Those operations use unregulated online billing plans to operate customer accounts, and because Kyl's bill was pared down in an effort to gain momentum, the bill lost its enforcement strength, Hornbuckle said.

In the end, the Congressional effort illustrates a lack of knowledge of the gaming industry, he said.

Hornbuckle revealed that MGM MIRAGE's Internet gaming efforts market to about eight countries. Those countries, he said, are the only ones that have no statutory regulations banning or limiting the activity.

Before the operations were launched, the company established more than 3,000 pages of operational procedures, he said. That effort was necessary to ensure the jurisdictions that licensed MGM MIRAGE casinos in the United States -- Nevada, New Jersey and Mississippi -- would be comfortable with the operation, Hornbuckle said.

"The task at hand was to tell how we are going to do this business and how we can make it work," he said. "What we had at stake was our reputations and our licenses. ... We've proven that we can regulate the space."

That is done, Hornbuckle said, by treating the Internet casino like a Strip operation.

"We treat the online casino as if it were the casino sitting out front of the Bellagio," he said.

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IQ-LUDORUM RESPONDS
2 June 2003

Troubled provider blames it all on competitors

With rumours flying around the industry concerning the apparently parlous state of their corporate finances and cutbacks, it has surprised many that IQ-Ludorum has remained silent in the face of reported retrenchments, hassles with creditors, office disturbances, changes of accommodation, loans from its own CEO and mysterious discussions to raise further capital.

This week Sports911 managed to get a comment from the company which was remarkable in ignoring these issues that have become so public over the past month or more. Instead, the once successful turnkey provider blamed "...one or two people who work for a specific new competitor," for the rumours. An IQL spokesperson who declined to be identified said, "They (the competing company) are struggling and will do anything to make us look bad."

This representative admits things are far from perfect on the IQL front, but insists his company is still a leader in the sportsbook software industry, claiming that the products are first class and that their licensee had an exceptional football season in 2002.

Remarking on the company's silence, the spokesman said, "We've been biting our tongues and haven't replied to the rumours. We've made sure our clients are aware of our situation and keep in close contact with them. If anyone wants the truth, all they need to do is contact us."

Pointing out that World Wide Tele Sports (WWTS) out of Antigua remains an important partner and has signed on for yet another year while World Gaming's second biggest online casino and sportsbook licensee, Sinsation Intertainment, is moving to IQL, the spokesman said these were signs of good things to come.

"We have lost some sportsbook clients but we've also picked up several new ones," the representative stated. "Our client base is pretty much even right now."

Unfortunately the spokesman failed to factually refute the specific rumours, and had nothing to add regarding the ongoing discussions by his company with unidentified parties aimed at raising further capital for IQ-L which is reputed to need around $2 million. And IQ-L have still to release their way overdue financial numbers.

Editor's note: At press time, IQ-LUDORUM has failed to respond to a number of inquiries concerning a failed casino Betzz.com. All emails have gone unanswered.

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BEWARE HACKERS!
2 June 2003

Gambler's Avenue goes down

The alleged hacking attack on Funtime Bingo recently sprang to mind again this week as reports of another attempt to hold an Got2bet site to ransom surfaced.

This time it is Gamblers Avenue, where the site was inoperable for several days and the management received the following ransom demand:

"Hi. As you can see - your site is under attack. It was only small demonstration of our opportunities. That it did not repeat - you need to transfer to us 1000 $ USA. We know, that for you it is the small sum.

"Try to understand - that as we do it does not deliver to us of special work. Therefore your site will be attacked until you do not pay. And you lose your money. So in your interests to solve it is faster. When you will ready to pay - write us. Have a nice day."

The rather cheap and clearly not English speaking attackers have been successfully repulsed and GA is back up and running.

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ONLINE POKER PLAYER THE WORLD'S BEST
2 June May 2003

And a cool $2.5 million reward, too

Associated Press reported this week that it was fitting that a man named Moneymaker would put down $40 and ultimately walk away with $2.5 million and the title of champion in the 34th annual World Series of Poker.

And accountant Chris Moneymaker, 27, became the first person to win the prestigious tournament by qualifying on the Internet with only three years of playing experience. Players and experts said Moneymaker's win will revolutionize poker, solidifying the merger of the Internet and big-name casinos and boosting the game's popularity.

"This is the sonic boom of poker," said Nolan Dalla, media director for the World Series of Poker. "This means anyone in their home can become a poker player."

Amid cheers of "Go Money," the Spring Hill, Tenn., resident faced off against Ihsan "Sam" Farha in a final round that began Friday afternoon and ended early Saturday, at Binion's Horseshoe Hotel & Casino.

After seven other players had been eliminated, $2.5 million in cash was placed on the green-felt table and the final hands were dealt. Moneymaker, with his metallic wraparound shades, clutched a small crystal in his hand for good luck. Farha of Houston, Texas, had an unlit cigarette in one hand and a tiger figurine by his side.

The game was No-Limit Texas Hold'em, in which the players are dealt two cards each and share up to five additional cards that lie face up on the table. On the final hand Farha bet a million...and Moneymaker matched it and won.

In his first "live" poker tournament, Moneymaker beat a handful of former World Series of Poker champs, including Dan Harrington, who was at the final table and finished third with $650,000.

The tournament began Monday with a record-breaking 839 players. A surge in Got2bet and a rise in the game's popularity drew dozens of unknowns and a 33 percent increase in attendance over 2002. A number of players qualified on internet sites like ParadisePoker.com, ultimatebet.com, PokerStars.com and PartyPoker.com.

Dan Goldman, vice president of marketing for PokerStars.com, credited Moneymaker's win to his natural card sense and the experience he gained while playing online.

"We've proven that people who play on the Internet are just as good as those who play in casinos," Goldman said.

Moneymaker, who donated $25,000 of his winnings to cancer research, said being an unknown worked to his advantage.

"I was a little underestimated because no one knew who I was," he said. "If I can win it, anybody can."

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MEMORABLE DAY
2 June 2003

More big hits at Intercasino

The Memorial Day holiday weekend in the States was good news for two internet gamblers at Intercasino who scooped up a total of $251,505.40 from the Rags to Riches Progressive Slot Machine.

The long-weekend's biggest winning players are nicknamed 'tsuedos' and 'Jesper' and they spent just a portion of their time-off indoors.

'Tsuedos' cracked the jackpot at the start of the long weekend on Friday. Her jackpot paid the princely sum of $147,000.84. Undaunted by the recent win, player 'Jesper' persevered on the Rags to Riches machine and was rewarded with a very useful $104,504.56 just two days later.

Was it a Memorable Memorial Day? For these lucky players you can bet it was.

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CREDIT CARD CLASS ACTION
2 June 2003

Merchants fight back

The UK publication "The Register" carried a fascinating story this week that may be of interest to the Got2bet industry - a class action lawsuit against credit card firms alleging merchants are unfairly left to shoulder the burden of credit card fraud has begun in the United States.

The suit, filed by North Carolina-based law firm Triangle Law Center, in the US States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, alleges all manner of misdeeds on the part of credit card companies. Visa, MasterCard International, American Express and Discover Financial Services are all named in the suit, which certainly doesn't pull its punches.

The complaint charges that "Visa, MasterCard and their co-conspirators (i.e., their issuing and acquiring banks) violated Section 1962(c) and 1962(d) of the Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act, Section 16 of the Clayton Act, Section 2(a) of the Robinson-Patman Act".

Credit card firms and banks engaged in "unlawful business practice violations by conspiring to commit fraud and theft through means of wire and mail when processing merchants' Internet, telephone and mail order transactions," it is alleged.

According to the suit, the "Defendants breached their contract, their implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, duty of care and fiduciary duty as a banking institution by failing to take appropriate measures in addressing fraud and theft in the Internet, telephone and mail order industry".

The complaint further alleges that Visa and MasterCard failed to disclose certain transactional and penalty fees to merchants and forced retailers to pay such these fees using an "abuse of their monopolistic powers".

Furthermore, the complaint alleges that in "cyber-shoplifting" scenarios, there "are virtually no set of facts or documentation in which an Internet, telephone and mail order merchant could argue to prevent defendants from debiting penalty fees from their merchant accounts".

As a result of these "unlawful acts", according to the complaint, merchants have been forced the bear the burden of credit card fraud while credit cards firms and banks made millions of dollars from their transactional and penalty fees.

The Honorable Terrence W. Boyle has been appointed as judge in the case (number 5:03-CV-372-BO(3)).

Lawyers in the case are inviting merchants to join the class action lawsuit online or by contacting attorney Mark W. Ishman, of Ishman Law, directly. His number is +1 919 942-1410.

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YOUR TELLER NO MORE
2 June 2003

But they seem to be back in a new guise...

After weeks of speculation it appears that processor Your Teller has gone out of operation, but has seemingly been replaced by another entity which even uses the same corporate identity!

This week saw some pretty tense exchanges on the Start Casino message board from operators who have apparently been screwed by Your Teller immediately before it simply vanished, with one guy accusing Marc Lesnic of actively and personally vouching for them, an allegation that he denies.

It now appears that YourTeller has been "resurrected" under a new title but with the same owners, and is now being marketed as Cash-Financial at http://www.cash-financial.com.

Your Teller's software was owned by a Bank in Lebanon, and there were two US based reps that hired a consultant to promote the product to operators as "rock solid". They advertised on StartCasino.com and signed up as a sponsor at the January 2003 ASROC.com conference in Costa Rica, but in December this sponsorship was pulled and things were very quiet when it came to returning calls, it is claimed.

The bank is apparently in Beirut, Lebanon with the following contact details, if readers have a specific claim and interest:

Address : 121 Riad El-Solh
Sehnaoui. Bldg. 2nd Floor
P.O.Box : 116-5214
Beirut - Lebanon
Phone : (961)1 821368 /69 /70 /71
Fax : (961)1 821366

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THE NEKKED TRUTH, OLE!
2 June 2003

Golden Palace marketers come up with another original

From public toilet advertising to tattoo'd boxers and sponsored baseball, Golden Palace Casino marketers have used unusual vehicles for their message. The latest is no exception and featured a naked Spanish streaker at a major soccer game!

It seems there is no limit to the creativity of Golden Palace when it comes to promoting their online casino.

This week in Sevilla, Spain during the UEFA Cup final between Scots team Celtic and FC Porto from Portugal, an unidentified male streaker made his play to roars of approval from the large crowd. Players looked somewhat confused as the man, initially dressed as a referee ran to center field, presented a mock red card to the real referee, then tore away his "quick release" strip to reveal the words ?GoldenPalaceCasino.com Click Here? on his buck-nekked back. He then took the ball at midfield and made his way down for a shot at goal -- which the keeper saved.

The man was escorted from the field, having achieved almost worldwide TV coverage and subsequent print media publicity.

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HAMMERING SPAM
2 June 2003

US legislators turn up the heat

Unsolicited and persistent email is the bane of every e-mailer's life, and it looks as if the USA is going to do something about it with an anti-spam Bill that is likely to move quickly through Congress according to political experts.

The Reduction in Distribution of Spam Act, as it is known, establishes tough penalties for e-mail marketers who lie about their identities or engage in other deceptive tactics, but otherwise does not prevent businesses from contacting anybody with an e-mail address.

Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin have signed on as co-sponsors, making it likely that the bill will encounter few hurdles on its way to a full vote and could be voted on by the end of June.

The RID Spam Act has also drawn backing from technology giants like Microsoft Corp. and trade groups like the Direct Marketing Association.

Unsolicited commercial e-mail is now widely viewed as a serious threat to the Internet as a whole, flooding users' in-boxes and costing businesses billions of dollars in wasted bandwidth. Internet providers and filtering companies say spam now makes up between 40 percent and 80 percent of all e-mail.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that two out of three of these messages contain misleading information of some sort, such as false return addresses, misleading subject lines, or pitches for miracle cures and other questionable products.

The new Bill seeks to cut down on deceptive spam by requiring e-mail marketers to disclose their online and physical addresses and honor customer requests to be taken off their mailing lists. Pornographic e-mail would be labeled as such, and marketers would not be allowed to "harvest" e-mail addresses from sources that say they will not resell customer information.

Those who violate these guidelines could face fines of up to $1.5 million and jail time of up to two years. Internet providers, state attorneys general and federal-law enforcement agencies such as the FTC and the Justice Department could go after suspected spammers, but the bill does not allow individual lawsuits or class-action suits.

Providing a double-whammy to spammers is the news that the US Senate is also expected to act soon on a similar bill.

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AMERICANS LOVE TO GAMBLE
2 June 2003

New report from CCA

Americans spent $68 billion on gambling last year, according to new figures from Christiansen Capital Advisors. This is the equivalent of $230 for every American over 18 years of age. Americans spent more on gambling than on movies, videos, music and books combined.

Christiansen Capital Advisors publishes the Gross Annual Wager report. The report is available at http://www.cca-i.com/

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NEW CARD FROM AT&T
2 June 2003

A handy financial option

News of a new card-based financial option came from "Gambling Law Update" this week, which says that Internet gamblers are increasingly faced with the stress of credit card rejection as their issuing banks reject gaming transactions at a disproportional rate.

The newsletter claims that over the past 12 months credit card rejection rates at online casinos have approached fifty percent, contributing to considerable stress and embarrassment for cardholders who are otherwise in good credit standing with Visa and MasterCard. Adding to player stress is the fact that their successful credit card purchases are placed through un-regulated intermediaries who are not subject to the high degree of regulatory scrutiny as their land-based bank.

In response to this situation, AT&T is set to introduce prepaid cards for online purchases. Their new Prepaid Web Cents cards will be sold in varying dollar amounts with each containing a serial number and authentication PIN to be entered online. The cards, introduced this month, are so far being sold for separate sites, and though AT&T is gearing them toward parents who don't want to fork over credit card numbers to their kids, Internet watchers believe an equal or greater profit may lie in tailoring this type of card toward the last things most parents want their kids going anywhere near: Internet gambling and adult sites.

AT&T expects the cards to be available in 4,000 Uni-Marts and Speedway SuperAmerica stores by May, 2003, with more stores and Web sites added in coming months. Although several previous ventures have offered alternatives to credit cards for online purchases, this is believed to be the first and only prepaid digital-content card sold in retail locations by a major company.

Another solution may lie with a UK-based company. Moneybookers has developed an e-wallet solution, which allows players to transfer funds into a secure and fully regulated account, and subsequently fund Internet casino purchases through that account. Moneybookers reportedly uses advanced fraud screening systems to help qualify cardholders thus reducing embarrassing rejections, and Moneybookers submits itself to UK Financial Services Act (FSA) regulation - the only e-wallet to do this insuring financial security.

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VIRTGAME SET FOR REGULATION
2 June 2003

Framework in place, experience available

Software provider VirtGame Corp. has completed its Gaming Compliance Plan appropriate to regulated gaming jurisdictions. The plan is set up to comply with the requirements of Nevada licensing and gaming laws.

Joseph P. Dorsey, a gaming consultant with over 20 years of regulated gaming compliance experience, will be advising VirtGame and its gaming compliance committee, which consists of General Paul A. Harvey, former Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, Glenn E. Wichinsky, a Nevada attorney and gaming businessman, and Bruce Merati, VirtGame's President.

"Our Gaming Compliance Plan has received regulatory approval from the Nevada State Gaming Board and should meet the requirement of other jurisdictions with the highest gaming standards. It is established to give VirtGame the opportunity to conduct its business with integrity and to achieve the high standard reputation that major U.S. regulated and licensed gaming companies enjoy. The appointment of a compliance committee that has over 60 years of regulatory gaming experience equips VirtGame with the expertise to achieve this goal," said VirtGame's President and CFO, Bruce Merati.

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Online Casino News courtesy of InfoPowa

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