March 28, 2008

Silent Auction For Domain Names

Florida-based domain asset management firm has announced that it will host the first online silent auction for some of the most sought-after Internet site names during the upcoming Casino Affiliate Convention (CAC) in Amsterdam next week.

The firm, a subsidiary of marketing site, is headquartered in Pompano Beach firm and pioneered the auction of domain names, hosting over ten live and silent auctions since 2004 generating over twelve million dollars in revenues.

CAC 2008 will take place at the NH Grand Krasnapolsky Hotel from May 3 to 5 and all attendees will have exclusive access to the auction. Conference attendees will be provided with a free password granting them access to the online auction and bidding, which will be hosted at

Confirmed domain names that will be up for grabs include,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

For those not attending CAC 2008, absentee bidder registrations are available from for $99 and all of the auction’s official auction rules and procedures can be found at

“As individuals continue to participate in online gaming and entertainment, the need for a marketable domain name is now more important that ever,“ said Monte Cahn, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of

“Events such as this silent auction at CAC 2008 are critical events for online gamers who are interested in increasing the scope and reach of their online business.'

Thailand Cracks Down On Sportsbetting

In Thailand, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is reportedly gathering evidence in order to track and shut online gambling and sportsbetting websites based in the Asian nation.

According to a piece in the Bangkok Times, Permanent Justice Secretary Jarun Pakdithanakul stated that his Ministry had received new information on websites connected to betting on soccer matches and that the DSI would be working with the nation’s Anti-Money Laundering Office in order to arrest any wrongdoers before seizing their assets.

Gambling on soccer has become increasingly popular with teenagers in Thailand with the Secretary stating that players were required to spend around $95 opening an online account before they were allowed to gamble. He said data from the DSI shows that there are more than 10,000 subscribers in Thailand with many of these based in Chiang Mai, Songkhla and Bangkok.’s Latest White-Label Deal

Gibraltar-based online gambling group has announced a white-label deal with games design studio NextGen Gaming for the supply of some of its interactive wagering titles. stated that the agreement would allow it to make popular NextGen titles available to its customers and those of other white-label partners from the third quarter of 2008 while the content would be 'localised' to appeal to the specific countries that it serves around the world.

The games will be provided through’s Integration Platform, which enables third-party develops such as NextGen to swiftly connect to its gaming environment, leveraging its brand strength and robust multi-channel marketing to reduce a game’s time to market.

'We are constantly expanding our games offering to customers through internal innovation and the integration of third-party games with the emphasis on new games and branded content,” said Gabi Campos, Senior Vice-President and Head of Offering for

“The integration of NextGen's most popular games into's gaming environment will provide a significant boost to this area of organic growth.'

'Through this strategic agreement, NextGen is proud to offer some of its best performing titles such as Eastern Dragon and Dr Love,” said Matt Davey, Chief Executive Officer for NextGen Gaming.

“We are excited by the opportunity to work with such a professional and progressive company as and look forward to delivering an exciting entertainment package.'

Betfair wins High Court judgment in Australia

Betfair has won a groundbreaking judgment in the Australian High Court in relation to allowing online bets by Western Australian residents.

The Tasmanian-licensed betting exchange won its challenge against Western Australia laws that banned residents from using the Betfair service. The High Court has ruled that the legislation contravenes section 92 of the constitution.

The unanimous decision prompted Queensland’s tote operation Unitab to say it was considering setting up a rival betting exchange. Barrie Fletton was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying “if it looks like something the public embraces we'll set up our own service, similar to Betfair. That would stop any revenue leakage going from Queensland into Tasmania.”

March 20, 2008

Bwin enjoys 'record' Q4 and full year revenues

European sports betting and poker giant Bwin this morning published its preliminary fourth quarter and full-year results and said it had experienced the strongest organic growth across the European industry over the 12-month period to the end of December 2007 and had enjoyed record gross and net gaming revenues during the fourth quarter of 2007, as well as achieving revenues higher than those achieved before the company’s exit from the US and Turkish markets.

Quarterly gross gaming revenues for 2007 increased 24.9% to €102.3m, compared with €81.9m over the same period in 2006. Gross quarterly sports betting revenues were up 30.2% to €59.5m on 2006’s €45.7m, and the company enjoyed quarterly margins of 9.6%. Net gaming revenues were up a record 28.3% to €89.4m, compared with €69.7m in 2006. The number of active customers for the quarter dropped to 894,369, from 916,104 over the same period in 2006.

Gross gaming revenues for the year were up 21.4% to €350.5m, compared with €288.6m. Sports betting gross revenues were up 19% to €191.9m, from €161.2m on 2006, annual margins were 8.7%. Poker revenues for the year were up 38.6% to €82.3m, from €59.4m during the whole of 2006. Net gaming revenues for the year were up 25.9% to €309.7m, compared with €246m in 2006. The number of active customers for the year also dropped, to 1,659,819, from 2,162,250 over the same period in 2006.

The company said current trading in early 2008 meant it expected another record quarter, with gross gaming revenues up 4.7% on the previous quarter so far.

Bwin said the record gross gaming revenues it had enjoyed were down to the strong performance of its core sports betting and poker products, which it said justified its “strategy of investing in proprietary poker and sports betting platforms to safeguard future earning potential, and of cautious regional diversification”.

Bwin shares were up 4.9%, €0.9 to €19 in early trade on the Vienna stock exchange.

March 13, 2008

Bwin Argentina ordered to close as confusion reigns over licence coverage

Reports that a Buenos Aires court has ordered European online betting giant Bwin to close down its Argentina website have been confirmed by the Vienna- and Gibraltar-based operator.

A spokesperson for Bwin confirmed the story but said the company was licensed to operate throughout Argentina. Bwin holds a licence from the Instituto Provincial de Loterias y Casinos in the Misiones province in the north east of the country, which it says allows it to operate across the country.

Bwin’s spokesperson said: “We are looking into it and will try to discuss the matter with the authorities in the coming days to resolve it in the best possible way. But we believe we are operating legally in Argentina.”

Bwin was the first online gaming operator to advertise nationally in Argentina through the daily newspaper Clarin. At the time, Bwin boss Manfred Bodner would not comment on the story “for competitive reasons”, but the advertisements may have brought Bwin’s activities to the attention of the Argentine authorities, as well as the country’s gambling monopolies. Consultant Tim Phillips of Buenos Aires-based Tamarind Media added that the legal structure whereby licenses are provincial rather than national, leaves advertisers in a potentially grey area.

“The advertising may have brought our activities to their attention,” the Bwin spokesperson said, “while the local monopolies will always try to defend their territory”.

March 12, 2008

888 goes live with European sportsbook

Online casino and poker firm 888 has launched, its online sportsbook. The company has gone live in the UK, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Austria, with localised versions of the sportsbook for those markets.

The company said the launch of its sports betting offering was a significant step in its objective of providing its client base with a one-stop-shop for gaming and betting products. More specifically, it hopes that many of its recreational low-to-medium staking clients would welcome the opportunity to have a bet with

Matt Robinson, brand marketing director at 888, said: “’s entrance into the sports betting market represents a significant milestone in the progression of our diversified, multi-channel strategy to grow customer reach and appeal globally. We believe that although our sportsbook addition will result in existing clients betting on sports with us, it will also provide an opportunity for new clients to experience our award winning brand.”

The company will look to make the most of the sponsorships agreements it has with Seville Football Club and the World Snooker Championships.

Added Robinson: “Sports sponsorship has always been a significant part of’s marketing strategy and now that we are offering clients an opportunity to bet on activities like football and snooker, we will be looking to offer plenty of markets on Seville FC games and World Snooker Championship matches in the coming months.”

888 developed its sports betting product in partnership with Blue Square. Martin Belsham, managing director of Blue Square, said the deal would strengthen both parties. “We will benefit from 888’s international experience and liquidity as we extend our reach beyond the UK; and 888 will complete their customer offer by adding Blue Square’s innovative range of betting products.”

March 05, 2008

Sportingbet acquires Bulgarian partner

Sportingbet Plc, the Web bookmaker that owns Paradise Poker and Turkey's, bought its Bulgarian marketing partner to expand and said it plans similar takeovers in Greece and eastern Europe.

The purchase of Belmond International Ltd. will cost as much as 11.2 million pounds ($22 million), Sportingbet said yesterday in a statement. Second-quarter profit jumped 14-fold from a year earlier, when earnings were held back by a U.S. crackdown on Internet gaming.

Sportingbet aims to enter more markets as it rebuilds sales after the U.S. ban wiped out more than half of revenue and forced the bookmaker to sell its local unit for $1. The company took over its Turkish marketing partner and Italian unit last year to expand and compete more effectively with rivals such as 888 Holdings Plc, the owner of the Pacific Poker brand.

“Spain, Greece and certain eastern European states remain under the marketing partner model,” Sportingbet said in the statement. “Where the opportunity arises to take further control of these markets on acceptable terms, the group will continue to do so.”

Rise in net income:
Net income jumped to 2.9 million pounds in the three months through January from 200,000 pounds a year earlier. The amount bet by customers gained 30 percent to 364.7 million pounds as more European and Australian gamblers made wagers.

Sportingbet stocks lost almost nine-tenths of their value in 2006 and has dropped 10 percent in 2008. Sportingbet shares rose 10 percent on Feb. 25 after the Sunday Express said former suitor Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG was considering a bid.

The Bwin speculation is “a load of old rubbish,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew McIver, who started the job in October 2006, told journalists. “I can categorically say at the moment Bwin has no intention.”

The amount staked by European customers on sports betting climbed 35 percent to 212.4 million pounds during the quarter. Australian gamblers wagered 136.3 million pounds, up 24 percent.

Garber to leave PartyGaming as yearly net revenues rise 41%

PartyGaming chief executive Mitch Garber will not be renewing his contract with the company beyond 1 May 2009. Garber, a Canadian national, said he planned to return to North America with his family and will remain with the firm until a successor is found.

Garber said: “PartyGaming is an extraordinary company. The challenges we have faced and overcome over the past 18 months have been no less extraordinary. There is never a good time to announce that you intend to leave a company, but I personally take great pride in the fact that the Company is delivering on its business strategy and is in great shape to exploit its full potential in the future.”

PartyGaming announced a 41% rise in net revenue from continuing operations for the 12-month period to the end of December 2007 to US$476m, compared with US$325m in 2006. Total group revenue however dropped 57% to US$476m, compared with US$1.1bn in 2006, reflecting the company’s exit from the US market after UIGEA.

The company recorded a drop in after tax profits to US$41.6m, compared with US$128.4m during the same period last year, while pre-tax profits came in at US$6.7m, compared with a loss of US$77.4m in 2006.

Clean EBITDA rose 119% to US$111.7m, compared with US$50.9m last year.

Non-executive chairman Michael Jackson commented: “These results are a testament to our chosen business strategy, keep us at the forefront of the industry and provide us with a robust and scaleable platform for growth. This has all been achieved whilst adopting a conservative, but we believe responsible view of the regulatory environment. Whilst our approach means that we continue to forego revenue opportunities in the short-term, we believe that such revenue streams are at risk and we remain confident that our chosen strategy will generate superior returns for shareholders over the long-term.”

Commenting on Mitch Garber’s decision to leave PartyGaming, Jackson said: “The board respects his decision to return to North America. Mitch has been instrumental in refocusing and rebuilding the business and delivering strong financial results in challenging circumstances. He will remain as CEO until a successor is found and has also agreed to remain available thereafter to ensure an orderly and seamless transition.”

March 04, 2008

Luzzi fifth Italian banned for betting on tennis matches

The ATP banned during the weekend Federico Luzzi, the fifth Italian tennis player to be banned for betting on tennis matches. According to the report, Luzzi placed 273 bets on 836 matches between May 2004 and April 2007. Federico Luzzi, who is the world number 139, was fined $50,000 and banned for 200 days. Although Luzzi was not found to have tried to alter the outcome of matches, his behavior was deemed to have been contrary to the ATP's anti-corruption program. ATP also said that the tennis player had placed only one bet on himself - that he would win - for the small amount of $4.50.

Luzzi is now the fifth Italian tennis player to be suspended recently for betting on tennis. Fellow Italians Giorgio Galimberti, Potito Starace, Daniele Bracciali and Alessio Di Mauro were also banned for tennis betting. Galimberti was suspended for 100 days and fined $35,000 by the ATP for wagering on matches, although it's not clear if he bet on himself. Starace was suspended in December for six weeks and fined $30,000, Bracciali was banned for three months and fined $20,000, and Di Mauro drew a nine-month suspension in November and fined $60,000. All of the players bet on other players' tennis matches.

Net profit rises 52 pct at Irish betting company Paddy Power

Paddy Power PLC, Ireland's dominant betting company, reported a 52 percent surge in full-year profits Monday because of growing business on the Web and a string of losses by locally favored sports stars.

For the year ending Dec. 31, the Dublin-based company registered €62.8 million (US$95.3 million) in net profit, up from €41.2 million a year earlier. Its betting volume rose 13 percent to €2.03 billion (US$3.08 billion), led by increased online business.

The company said it was strongly positioned to weather the global economic downturn, because financial fears do little to deter gamblers from trying to forecast the future.

Investors agreed. Paddy Power shares bucked a broadly negative market to rise 1.8 percent and close at €21.53 (US$32.68) on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Paddy Power rolled out several new products and markets in 2007, including a Spanish-language Web site, casino-style games and financial "spread betting," which permits online gamblers to wager on the movement of stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities.

But the company's 3-year-old Web site for German gamblers is shutting down on March 17 — St. Patrick's Day — following German authorities' efforts to outlaw Internet gambling there.

Chairman Fintan Drury said the company was now attracting a majority of bets over the Web, not in traditional corner shops, but would keep opening retail outlets in gambling-friendly Ireland and Britain, where face-to-face business continues to grow.

He said Paddy Power planned to double its number of British outlets within the next three years. Paddy Power has 58 British shops, chiefly in London, but plans to expand into the largest Scottish city, Glasgow, and the northwest English city of Manchester this year.

The company's profits soared thanks, in part, to a string of Irish sporting failures in 2007, both on Irish and British horse racing grounds and in the Rugby World Cup, when Ireland's highly rated team failed to get beyond the first stage.

Drury said Paddy Power did suffer its "biggest-ever payout" when Dublin hometown favorite Padraig Harrington won his first major golfing trophy, the British Open, in July.

Paddy Power — which was formed by the merger of three Irish betting firms in 1988 and is not named after a real person — has thrived on Ireland's deep-seated passion for horse racing and sports betting.

It was one of the first European bookmakers to gamble on the Internet, and has grown steadily despite the efforts of authorities in the United States and some European countries to prevent their citizens from betting on line. People with U.S.-based credit cards are barred from depositing money on Internet gambling sites.

Paddy Power also attracts international attention with its exceptional irreverence, offering odds on political and celebrity futures. Its current site on the U.S. presidential race, for example, offers gamblers the chance to identify the next scandal to hit campaigning: "Adultery" is the favorite, while "bigamy," "shoplifting" and "terrorist link" are rated least likely.

Becker launches poker career

Former world number one tennis star Boris Becker has begun a career as a professional poker player, according to a report in Sunday's edition of Germany daily newspaper Die Welt.

"I have already been playing intensively since last year," said the 40-year-old who won Wimbledon three times and has signed a sponsorship contract with an internet poker company.

"What fascinates me about poker is the psychology: what is my opponent thinking of me and what do I think of him," added Becker, who retired from tennis in June 1999.

Becker says he learned to play the card game while on the ATP circuit, especially at Wimbledon during the rain breaks.

And the German big-hitter says he is keen to recruit other former tennis stars to the poker table.

"I would like to know how people like Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl or even Jimmy Connors, manage to keep their cool at poker," said Becker.

Becker is hoping to take part in Europe's grand final this April which will bring together 800 professional players in Monte Carlo.