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Andrew Tottenham Consultant at Las Vegas Sands

Britt Boeskov COO of Unibet

David Yeo CEO/Founder of iSBN (iSportbet.net)

Tracey Collins GM Rank


Interview with

Tracey Collins

General Manager at Rank Group INFINITY GAMING MAGAZINE caught up with Tracey Collins, general manager at Rank Group about her role within such a pres gious and widely respected firm. First things first, Tracey firmly believes that her team are her first priority because “unless you have a happy team you won’t have happy customers so mo va ng my team and coaching and developing them to reach their full poten al are extremely important to me.” She speaks to us about her previous industry achievements, including being crowned Grosvenor GM of the Year for the second me as well as receiving the accolade of Leader of the Year at the inaugural Women in Gaming Awards in 2010. As a leading woman in the gaming industry, she thinks “being a woman in a male dominated industry made me more determined to succeed. Here’s an interes ng, quirky li le fact about Tracey, if she wasn’t in the gaming world, she would “probably a tearoom selling homemade cakes and a ernoon teas…” Q: Thank you for your me today it is truly appreciated. Can you firstly tell us what your role involves? A: As a General Manager of a large casino my primary commercial objec ve is to meet and exceed the financial targets set by Grosvenor. To achieve this it is important that we con nually reassess and improve our offer to ensure that we are offering the best products and services to our customers. However unless you have a happy team you won’t have happy customers so mo va ng my team and coaching and developing them to reach their full poten al are extremely important to me. I think it is vital that you have a clear vision of what you are achieving and that every member of the team understands the role they have to play in achieving it. I have worked to create an engaging, open and honest environment in my casino and every member of the team is encouraged to contribute new ideas to ensure we con nue to drive the business forward and remain the best in the business.

Q: Where were you rooted before you took up your current role and why did you decide to make the change? What was it that drew you towards the gaming industry? A: I trained as a chef but decided not to follow that path and moved to London to work in pub/restaurant management. A er 3 years of working around London I moved back to Portsmouth to pursue a new career. When I saw the advert for croupiers in the local paper it appealed to me as the thought of working in a casino sounded really exci ng and unusual. My mums friend reassured me that my percep on of glamour and skimpy ou its were a myth which put my mind at rest to apply. I joined the training school in 1985 and worked my way up through the ranks over the following years. During my me as a dealer/inspector I had 3 children which was perfect working for Grosvenor as the hours allowed me to look a er them during the day and develop my career at night. I was appointed General Manager of Grosvenor Portsmouth in 2005 and then moved to Grosvenor Southampton in 2008.

Q: You are a General Manager of Grosvenor Casinos, what does your firm specialise in and what would you say is your speciality within strengthening the firm? A: Grosvenor Casinos is part of the Rank Group Plc which is a leading European gaming and be ng business, based in the UK and listed on the London Stock Exchange (RNK.L). Its principal ac vi es are the opera on of bingo clubs and casinos with complementary interacve gaming and bookmaking services. My casino, Southampton, was the highest provincial club earner (profit) in 2011 and I am proud to say that I have increased net profit by 111% and employee engagement from 71% to 92% over the past three years. My aim now is to maintain the most dedicated and customer focused team within the UK casino market and to use best prac ce to share this vision with fellow managers within The Rank Group. I would say my speciality is how to engage and inspire a team so, they enjoy their job and realise their full poten al, which makes my job a pleasure and in turn is beneficial for Grosvenor.

Q: What can we expect to see from Rank Group soon? Any big plans on the horizon? A: Grosvenor has con nued to invest in the quality of its casinos estate. Last week Grosvenor opened a new casino in the G casino format in New Brighton, on the Wirral. Grosvenor now operates 19 casinos in the G casino format and there are plans to open three more over the next 18 months.


Q: As a woman within a predominantly male based gaming industry, did you face any obstacles in your gaming career? A: I have never really faced any problems that I haven’t been able to overcome. Being a woman in a male dominated industry made me more determined to succeed. Progressing through the inherited structure I realised that with my female perspec ve and empathy for both customers and staff I could improve the delivery of service to customers and create a more conducive environment for staff co-opera on and buy in. Plus I absolutely love my job. I’d say experience, along with the training I have received from the company, has helped improve my leadership skills and I’m now great at influencing the team to achieve our common goal which is ‘to give the best experience in gaming ….but having fun along the way.’ Q: What has been your highlight in your career so far? How has it shaped you? A: There have been many but I am immensely proud that I have just been crowned Grosvenor GM of the Year for the second me as well as receiving the accolade of Leader of the Year at the inaugural Women in Gaming Awards in 2010. However I am keen not to rest on my laurels and I was delighted to be selected as one of the first group of students to study for a unique gaming-based management diploma called Leaders in Leisure which the Rank Group has developed in conjunc on with Birmingham City business School. I believe par cipa ng in such a programme is a fantas c opportunity to stretch myself further in my own development which in turn will be used to lead my team to even greater achievements and also enable me to contribute more to Grosvenor and jus fy their faith in me. It will give me a formal qualifica on, enable me to have a deep understanding of how to develop my leadership style and get the very best from my team. I love to experience new things and challenge myself to see what is possible Q: How do you think online operators and landbased gaming establishments can fully u lise the evolving gambling industry? A: At Grosvenor, we invest heavily in customer insight so that we can meet and exceed our customers’ expecta ons. This insight has led to the evolu on of the Grosvenor G format, which provides a more mainstream leisure entertainment experience, and also to the development of other opportuni es to enjoy the Grosvenor brand online. Q: What would you have been doing if you weren’t engrossed within this exci ng industry and what do you think has shaped you in regards to career pinnacles? A: I would have liked to be running my own business, probably a tearoom selling homemade cakes and a ernoon teas. I love making bespoke celebraon cakes as I really enjoy the design and innova on process. Moving to Southampton Casino and having such a successful 3 years has made me realise that anything is possible.


Interview with

Britt Boeskov COO of Unibet

INFINITY GAMING MAGAZINE spoke to Bri Boeskov, COO of Unibet about how she maintains her gaming exper se and professionalism within a fiercely compe ve global gaming sphere. She joined Unibet in 2005, driven by her ambi ous aspira ons and being intrigued by what the industry had to offer. Bri also told us why Unibet is big on mobile gaming and what lies on the horizon for the firm this year. As a leading lady in the industry, she advises that her success is down to a simple yet effec ve mind-set: “Network with and learn from male colleagues, rather than compe ng with them – I’ve had excep onal guidance and support from my male managers and co-workers through the years.” Q: Thank you for your me today it is truly appreciated. Can you firstly tell us what your role involves? A: I’m responsible for Unibet’s product teams and our overall user experience. Addi onally I chair a number of strategic projects, o en related to entering re-regulated markets. Q: Where were you rooted before you took up your current role and why did you decide to make the change? What was it that drew you towards the gaming industry?

dinavian mind-set. I’ve been given excep onal opportunies to grow and take on new challenges. I see this trend con nuing for my female colleagues through our leadership programmes and in our daily work. For example, our fast-growing female gambling brand Maria.com is run almost en rely by women. Q: How do you think women can stay two steps ahead of their male colleagues in the online and landbased gaming sector?

A: I joined Unibet in 2005 as a trainee – I was intrigued by the opportuni es and the growth in the industry, and in Unibet in par cular, which in turn meant that I was allowed to take responsibility and work on really interesting projects from day one.

A: Network with and learn from male colleagues, rather than compe ng with them – I’ve had excep onal guidance and support from my male managers and co-workers through the years. I would also recommend for all women to proac vely volunteer for challenging projects and tasks, even if it’s slightly out of your comfort zone or current exper se. You learn faster than you think, and the experience will be rewarding.

Q: You are the COO on Unibet, what does your firm specialise in and what would you say is your speciality within strengthening the firm?

Q: What has been your highlight in your career so far? How has it shaped you?

A: Unibet is an online-only gambling operator – we’re mul -brand, mul product, mul -lingual and increasingly mul -channel, as the mobile segment grows. Throughout our offer, we want to put our customers in the centre, giving them that extra feeling of belonging. This mind-set guides everything from the way we implement player-safety and responsible gambling, to new product launches or adapta on to local regula on. Together with my teams, I support this by conver ng these various challenges into opportuni es for customer improvements.

A: As a Dane, seeing the Unibet logo go up in Parken (the Danish na onal football stadium) was a symbolic highlight of how far we’ve come in terms of legi macy for our brand and for our industry. That was simply unthinkable a few years ago. Of course legisla on has paved the way, but we have also had to grow immensely as a company to handle the complex technical and regulatory requirements in Denmark and other re-regulated markets.

Q: What can we expect to see from Unibet this year? Any big plans on the horizon?

A: I think it is more probable that the individual states will regulate poker and other online gambling ac vi es – unfortunately this will result in a very fragmented market. We have to respect that the US is a very different playing field from Europe with many strong stakeholders, who will influence ma ers even if a federal law passed.

A: As you know, we’ve acquired quite a few companies in regulated markets recently (Solfive Group in November 2011, Betchoice in February 2012 and Bet24 in April 2012), and we look forward to delivering good results with these new en es. Also, the mobile is such a great tool for our customers, so we really want to broaden their experience of Unibet in this channel. Q: Can you tell us what Unibet’s plan is in regards to acquiring Bet24 for 13.5m? A: We want to dominate the Danish market and solidify that market as yet another Scandinavian core market for Unibet. We respect Danske Spil, but we want to provide an exci ng alterna ve. Q: As a woman within a predominantly male based gaming industry, did you face any obstacles in your gaming career? A: I have been lucky that Unibet has retained a very equality-based Scan-

Q: Do you think the US will see online poker legalised any me this year?

Q: What inspired you to enter the gaming industry? What would you have been doing if you weren’t engrossed within this exci ng industry and what do you think has shaped you in regards to career pinnacles? A: I would like to think that I’d be involved in the social media wave – among many other things it provides new and game-changing powers to the consumer, which our industry needs to acknowledge and adjust to.


Seven Keys to Improving Casino Customer Service, Part 1 By Martin R. Baird I can’t walk into a casino without encountering a stream of management quesons related to customer service. How do we improve our guest service? How do we make our guest service training work? How can we build a long-term customer service solu on? We can’t outspend the compe on, so how do we outservice them? Casino execu ves who ask these ques ons are on to something. They know that no ma er what else is going on in the world, their guests always want one thing: a great gaming experience. Guests want an experience that is wonderful and memorable. They consider their me and money well spent. Guess what? Good customer service and the outstanding gaming experience that comes from that also have an effect on your bo om line. Guests who enjoy themselves will come back and play again. Having said that, I want to pass along seven keys to improving customer service that I’ve learned from nearly 20 years of helping the gaming industry. These seven keys will set you on the right path to crea ng a customer service culture at your property and reaping the rewards.

Key #1: Change is Difficult For some reason, people in the gaming industry lose sight of the fact that change is difficult. When I ask execu ves about ge ng players to try new games, they tell me how hard that is to do. They give examples of how slowly players get around to doing something new. Players and employees are the same when it comes to change. Human beings do not quickly accept change unless they experience a major event or have some other good reason to change. Therefore, when you’re trying to develop a guest service culture among your employees, you’ll find it won’t happen quickly or easily. Some casinos think they can “change” their people by marching them through a three-hour orienta on or training session. Wrong! Change takes a high level of repe on and it needs to be of interest to those on the receiving end. You must iden fy what will mo vate your people to perform the desired behaviors you’re looking for. Yes, a very small percentage of your staff members will change just because you ask them to. The challenge is ge ng a cri cal mass of employees to see that this change, this guest service culture, is in their best interest. If it’s not important to them, most will not invest the effort needed to change. Developing a guest service culture is an evolu onary process.

Key # 2: It Starts With Hiring, But That Is Not Enough All casinos work hard to hire the very best candidates to fill job openings at their property. Unfortunately, that’s just the beginning. Hiring the very best is a great place to start, but it simply isn’t enough. If hiring the “right” person was all it took, there would not be a mul billion-dollar training industry. A company invests in training because it needs and wants more out of its people. All of us face budget crunches on an ongoing basis, but what is your budget’s alterna ve to training? If you’re like most proper es, you don’t have a choice. You find and hire the best of the best and they s ll need improvement. Just for fun, take a day and look at the amount of me and energy you spend hiring people. Now look at what it would take to turn your employees into truly great guest service ambassadors. It’s much be er to invest in training than it is to throw money out the window hiring people and then firing them for not providing the level of guest service that will allow you to compete. Key #3: All Training Is Not Created Equal Isn’t it odd that people will spend $30,000 for a specific automobile because

they recognize the quality of the brand but when it comes to inves ng in the growth of their employees through training, they shop it based on price alone? Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with going to a discount store and buying paper towels and napkins. That, to me, is good business sense. But I would not buy something as cri cal to my overall success as the guest experience and purchase it on price alone. Automobiles are not created equal and the same goes for training. I’ve attended training sessions that did not use the principles of accelerated learning and within 10 minutes I was looking for the escape hatch. I couldn’t stand it. It was boring and slow and those were the good points. Learning 101 dictates that people learn when they say it and do it. Unless you’re trying to teach your employees how to sleep, the training needs to have more interest. People retain new informa on the least when all they do is listen to a lecture. You need to invest in training that makes the experience fun, that encourages par cipa on. The trainers also need to know the industry. They should understand that most gaming employees only make money when they offer their guests a great experience. I’ve heard hundreds of stories about casino employees ge ng ps from people who were losing money. Employees know that they will not always be compensated for their efforts. But they know they will win over me if they put in a consistent effort. Good training gives them the skills they need to make that effort. A er all, this is the entertainment business and if your employees are not part of the entertainment, your guests will make the choice to spend their dollars elsewhere.You should also hire a company that specializes in customer service training for the gaming industry. Some casinos say they have one of their other vendors provide guest service training. That’s shocking because these are the same people who would never consider opening a window with a brick. Companies that don’t specialize in customer service training can help you reach an outcome. It may not be the exact outcome you desire but they will help you to a point. The problem is they don’t always leave things in the best condi on. A brick will open a window. The cleanup may not make it worthwhile, but the window will now be open. So why would you trust your guest service needs to a company that doesn’t specialize in guest service consul ng for the gaming industry? If you need to improve guest service, don’t grab the closest tool or hire the most available company. Invest a li le me audi oning to make sure you find the best soluon for your guest service needs. Coming up next: keys four through seven (The Fun Factor, It’s An Investment, You Need to Start With An Accurate Perspec ve and People Are Not Born With the Guest Service Gene). Mar n R. Baird is chief execu ve officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc., a Boise, Idaho-based consul ng firm to the global gaming industry that is dedicated to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability. Robinson & Associates is the world leader in casino guest experience measurement, management and improvement. For more informa on, visit the company’s Web sites at www.casinocustomerservice.com and www.advocatedevelopmentsystem.com or contact the company at 208-991-2037. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Associa on and an associate member of the Na onal Indian Gaming Associa on.


To buy or not to buy? You know the saying that goes, ‘if I had £5.00 for every me….?’ Well, if I had a fiver for every me someone having card acquisi on issues said, ‘why don’t we don’t we just buy a bank!’ I might not be able to re re but I could eat out extremely well for a year. So, the ques on is, is buying a bank really all it takes? Well, it all depends but probably not so in reality. At the very core of the card system, on an issuing level, is the understanding that, whilst Issuers become members of the schemes and are cer fied by them, local regula ons usually take precedence over scheme governance. In prac cal terms this means Issuers are looking at the risk of overseas transac ons, the use of DCC (Dynamic Currency Conversion), the vola lity of their currency and always the cost in terms of scheme fees for transacons outside of their domes c environment. These concerns are part of the prac cal everyday life of an Issuer, something acquirers have no control over and not necessarily having complete informa on about. Aside from these commercial and regulatory thought processes there are the technical aspects of the Issuing Processor, what informa on they receive, how that informa on is technically received and assessed, what risk/fraud detec on systems maybe present at the Issuing Processor. For instance a system may see a transac on for the same amount and same merchant ID appear for the 3rd me in a day and choose to reject that transac on. These types of declines are not necessarily transparent to the consumer and certainly there are no rules the merchant can refer to in order to iden fy how, and indeed which, issuers might react in any given circumstance. When there is returned informa on how clear are the messages, par cularly declines, and how consistent are they? So, as the acquirer how much really is within your control? What are the commercial challenges of becoming an Acquirer? Probably most underrated is the overall cost of assuming the risk of becoming an Acquirer. It is en rely possible to obtain the relevant regulatory status, within the EU for example, and become an acquirer without becoming a deposit taking bank. However, whilst ge ng the relevant regulatory status may not be as expensive, overall, as buying a bank, the costs of obtaining scheme membership and se ng up with an acquiring processor will be the same. The catch is as a small newly purchased bank, or a newly regulated en ty in the EU, you represent a greater risk to the schemes. A er all if something were to happen the scheme would be le foo ng the bill. So within the business plans that suggest a successful acquirer processing millions in transac ons each month there needs to be a funding line taking into account the collateral that will be ed up indemnifying the schemes risk. Now comes the interes ng piece; costs of the transac ons. Now as a fairly new en ty, or as an en ty just launching into their business plan, volumes will be smaller. The smaller the volumes the higher the price of the transac on and remember an authorisa on is a transac on, so even declines a ract fees. Plus as you are probably, at least to begin with, outsourcing your acquiring processing (the bit that plugs into the scheme) and your volumes are only just ramping up your costs will be rela vely high per transac on.

The biggest cost could well be interchange fees; dependent on where your transac ons are coming from this could represent a challenge for a competi ve pricing structure. If all the transac ons flowing through your systems are from another region, then interchange will most likely be higher. So what am I saying? Is it really cost effec ve, worthwhile and profitable to become an acquirer? As the acquirer do you truly control enough to make a defini ve difference for your business? How deep are your pockets? So, what can you do? Find a large, flexible acquirer or number of acquirers in the right countries and regions. Build a good working rela onship, get close and understand the technology pla orms they are working with and the informa on they can provide you with. Understanding the customer/merchant base you are dealing with. Is the overall solu on totally reliant on cards, what can be done to minimise that reliance? First and foremost research, and research some more, the real costs and challenges before buying that Bank or se ng up that Acquirer.

By Sarah Francis Payments Advisor Produc ve Payments


2012 Royal Ascot dress code announced FORMAL a re should be flaunted at Royal Ascot this year as part of the “cherished” dress-code. So no mini-skirts, hats should be 4 inches at the base and men should get their best black or grey morning suits dusted off. Although Royal Ascot is some mes seen as a pla orm in showcasing bold and brassy ou its, a endees have been urged to tone it down. The dress code may come as a call to make the event classier than it usually is. Especially a er a brawl broke out at last year’s Royal Ascot Ladies Day, which saw champagne bo les flung around the place. Charles Barne , Chief Execu ve at Ascot, said: “We have worked extensively with experts in the world of fashion to define be er what formal dress means, with the overarching inten on of being as helpful as possible to our visitors and assis ng everyone in understanding what is expected and, we believe, cherished about the dress code at Royal Ascot. “It isn’t a ques on of eli sm and not being modern in a world where there is less and less requirement to dress smartly – far from it. We want to see modern and stylish dress at Royal Ascot, just within the parameters of formal wear, and the feedback we have received from our customers overwhelmingly supports that.”

Royal Enclosure - Dresses and tops should fall just above the knee or longer and have straps of one inch or greater. - Jackets and pashminas may be worn but clothing underneath must s ll comply with the dress code. - Trouser suits should be full length and match material and colour. - Hats should be worn but a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is an acceptable alterna ve. - Fascinators are not. - Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghe mi ed.

straps are not per-

- Midriffs must be covered. - Gentlemen must wear black or grey morning dress, including a waistcoat, e (no cravats), black or grey top hat and black shoes. - Hats may be removed within enclosed space but may not be customised (with, for example, coloured ribbons or bands). - Overseas visitors can wear the formal na onal dress of their country or service dress. - Serving military personnel are welcome to wear service dress or equivalent. Grandstand - Ladies are encouraged to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion. - A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all mes. - Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permi ed.

- Trousers must be full length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines. - Jackets and pashminas may be worn but clothing underneath must s ll comply with the dress code. - Midriffs must be covered. - Shorts are not permi ed. - Gentlemen are required to wear a suit with a shirt and e. Sarah Harris, Fashion Features Editor, Vogue added: “Royal Ascot is one of the most pres gious events of the season and improving the dress code wording will ensure that the event remains iconic and a strong part of the fashion calendar.”


Interview with

Andrew Tottenham Consultant at Las Vegas Sands ANDREW To enham spoke to INFINITY GAMING MAGAZINE about the latest developments within Spain’s gaming sector and why it’s edging closer towards a “go/no go” decision, which has created “quite a s r.” Speaking to us about powerful women in gaming, he thinks that “women in business generally do not get the credit or recogni on they deserve. I am of the opinion that you should employ the best person available for the job regardless of sex, gender, race or sexual orienta on.” From landing a job in gaming, by accident during his gap year, Andrew has progressed and succeeded throughout his career. Read on about why he believes, “when everything around you appears to be going wrong and failure is looming, just ignore it a carry on.” Q: Thank you for your me today it is truly appreciated. Can you firstly tell us what your role involves? A: I am “in country project lead” for Las Vegas Sands new proposed development in Spain. This means I currently project manage the pre-development phase in Spain; all of the consultants, nego a ons with land owners, discussions with government, etc. etc. Q: Where were you rooted before you took up your current role and why did you decide to make the change? What was it that drew you towards the gaming industry?

someone with a problem that we stop them from gambling and direct them to an organisa on that can help. Q: You play a vital role within Las Vegas Sands. What are the latest developments on expanding Las Vegas Sands in Spain? A: We are ge ng very close to a “go/no go” decision and if it is a “go” whether it will be Barcelona or Madrid. We had not quite realised the intense rivalry between the two ci es and it has created quite a s r. Q: Within your role, what would you say is your speciality? A: Two skills probably; strategy development and nego a on.

A: I have, for many years, worked in development. Even as a consultant I assisted clients outside of a market to enter that market. My last job was with Caesars, heading up European Development. Last year Caesars decided to reduce its commitment to European Development and so I le and fortunately for me this was about the me that Las Vegas Sands started to move forward with its plans for Spain. Q: What was your role within The GREaT Founda on? How do you think you have shaped the posi ve and worthwhile cause? A: It seems like a long me ago. The RET Review had concluded and was recommending a levy. It appeared the industry was sleep-walking to a levy that was outside its control. History show us that over me levies only go one way…..up! I thought, and s ll do that giving money voluntarily is much better than it been taken by a levy. My old friend and colleague, Russell Hoyle and I realised that if we could get the industry leaders to agree to a voluntary dona on system based around a formula we might be able to stave off a levy. Over the next few months Russell and I worked diligently to get sufficient pledges to convince the government that the industry was serious, that a £5 million target was achievable and to call off the threat of a levy. In the end we managed it and the Minister agreed not to impose the levy. At the same me we had to nego ate with trustees of the RIGT about the new role of this charity as well as the rela onship and funding agreement with the new Responsible Gambling Fund. Once up and running we had to convince people in the industry to give to this cause and thankfully they did. As it turned out the structure was too cumbersome and the role of the RGF has been taken over by the GREaT Founda on. I think the industry should be proud of its achievements; no other industry does as much on a voluntary basis. Q: How do you think the online and landbased gambling industry can emphasise and demonstrate safer gambling prac ces? A: Most operators in the regulated sector have no interest in having problem gamblers as customers. We need to ensure that where we can iden fy

Q: You have dubbed yourself as an entrepreneur…can you tell us a li le about this unique a ribute of yours? A: I tend to see business opportuni es, the steps required to exploit the opportunity and I am not afraid to take risks. Entrepreneurs need something else too – obs nacy and single-mindedness. When everything around you appears to be going wrong and failure is looming, just ignore it a carry on. Q: Do you think it’s slightly more challenging for women to take up a prominent role within the gaming industry? A: Women in business generally do not get the credit or recogni on they deserve. I am of the opinion that you should employ the best person available for the job regardless of sex, gender, race or sexual orienta on. It staggers me that in this century people are s ll subject to such discrimina on. Q: Point of Consump on tax; what are you views on this? Do you think it will posi vely or nega vely have an impact on the UK’s gambling industry? A: Nega vely. This is a backward step. Europe should understand we are in a global compe ve market. Stopping one country from compe ng with another only means investment will go elsewhere and we need investment to create jobs. The online world allows customers to shop around; Europe does not exist in the online world. Q: What do you think the main appeal is for gaming operators to get their foot in the Macanese gambling door? A: More than 1 billion Chinese people on their doorstep and no gambling available in China. Q: What inspired you to enter the gaming industry? What would you have been doing if you weren’t engrossed within this exci ng industry and what do you think has shaped you in regards to career pinnacles? A: It was an accident – I was looking for a job in my gap year, too many years ago.


Driverless cars NEVADA has granted America’s first self-driven vehicle license. The first car to hit the road will be the Toyota Prius, modified by Google. The search engine is currently leading the way for driverless car technology and could set a trend. Video cameras mounted to the car’s roof along with radar sensors and a laser range helps the vehicle “see” other traffic. Engineers at Google have previously tested the car on the streets of California, including crossing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The BBC reported that during those tests, the car remained manned at all mes by a trained driver ready to take control if the so ware failed. Nevada changed its laws to allow self-driven cars in March. The longterm plan is to license members of the public to drive such cars. Google’s car has been issued with a red licence plate to make it recognisable. The plate features an infinity sign next to the number 001. According to so ware engineer Sebas an Thrun, the car has covered 140,000 miles with no accidents, other than a bump at traffic lights from a car behind. Bruce Breslow, director of Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles, says he believes driverless vehicles are the “cars of the future”. “The vast majority of vehicle accidents are due to human error,” said California state Senator Alex Padilla, when he introduced the legislaon. “Through the use of computers, sensors and other systems, an autonomous vehicle is capable of analysing the driving environment more quickly and opera ng the vehicle more safely.”


Interview with

David Yeo

CEO/Founder of iSBN (iSportbet.net) INFINITY GAMING MAGAZINE spoke to David Yeo, CEO/Founder of iSBN about how his latest venture is set to target the masses, ac ng as a “one stop shop” by crea ng an individual experience to match their individual gaming tastes. Being inspired by Apple’s ‘i’ concept, David believes his venture “makes perfect sense.” David also wants us to “think of iSBN being the ESPN for the sports be ng world, that is the iSportbet brand.” Speaking about the future of iGaming and land-based sectors, David emphasised that “convergence is the answer. Convergence on every single level of the user experience. The user demand of past is not the user demand of future. Anyone that thinks this is not happening will be le in the dust…” Q: Thank you for your me today it is truly appreciated. Can you firstly tell us what your role involves? A: iSBN which is short for “iSportbet.net”, is being created from the ground up, similar to another hi-tech firm that I started from my kitchen table and within just a couple of years became a mul -million dollar business. My role at iSBN is Founder and CEO, I am building the blocks for iSportbet to transi on to a live sportsbook and the most important role for me right now, is to get this brand to market. Q: You are close to launching your new venture, iSBN, could you explain to us what your latest venture entails within the gaming world? A: iSBN or “iSportbet.net” is built on the “I” concept from Apple, what came from this was the basis for the en re site. The “ibet” formula. iSportbet is targeted to the masses, it is a “one stop shop” by providing convergence and individualiza on into the market place. Everyone is an individual and every person has very individualis c tastes, why not give them and extensive individualized experience? Think of iSBN being the ESPN for the sports be ng world, that is the iSportbet brand. Q: What made you want to explore and develop this venture? How will it take the industry by storm? A: A er having a very successful hi-tech company, I got the itch again, the itch to build another business, it needed to be exci ng, sexy and extremely lucra ve. I have always had the a rac on to Casinos and Sports Be ng but I never really got into actual gambling, it was more of understanding how the business works. A er brainstorming the concept and the fact that Apple was gaining massive market share with their “I” products, I decided that was it, the “ibet” concept fell into place and it made perfect sense. How will the iSportbet Brand take the industry by storm? I think it starts by building a brand that could become the biggest, most extensive individualized sports book, the industry has ever seen. By being exclusive to your sport of choice, by giving the user the ul mate individualized experience iSBN will also be the first sportsbook in history to be launched on the social media network. Q: You are currently looking for an established sports book operator to bring this brand to market…have you got anyone in mind to make the vision a reality? A: The iSBN brand is already a reality. iSportbet is on the social media network and internet landscape is carved out. It also is an interna onally regulated business and has a trademark within the United States, pre-posi oning prior to the legaliza on of online gaming within that country. iSBN is in consulta ons with a Sportbook Operator and we are also in consulta on with gaming licence regulators and service providers in the event that we need to go that route. Obviously partnering with a sportsbook or gaming operator will bring this brand to market faster, which is my current focus.

Q: How are you u lizing social media to further boost your upcoming brand? A: Great ques on! iSportbet will be launched on the social media network. iSBN is con nuing to building a successful “rep” on the net through a number of individualized ini a ves, once we have a ained the awareness that we are looking for, then will come the launch party! iSBN and iSportbet.net have a great ring to it and so do all of the many sites underneath it, it is the perfect pla orm for social media and it is perfect ming for the convergence that is happening in the industry! Q: Do you think the US will see online poker legalised any me this year? A: I certainly hope so! I have posi oned ibetPOKER.com, along with a number of other sites for that market! But seriously it already is legal within the State of Nevada and they control that by loca on services on your mobile device through a company called LOCAID TECHNOLOGIES, so it is only a ma er of me before other States jump on the band wagon. What you will eventually see is a makeup of the usual powerbrokers that will engage and be successful and the other more conserva ve States will not. I don’t think that it will be legalized at the Federal level any me soon. Q: How do you think online operators and landbased gaming establishments can fully u lise the evolving gambling industry? A: Tough ques on. Let me rephrase this just a li le. With the on going evolu on happening not only within the gaming industry but in every facet of our online experience how will the operators that have been conduc ng business for the last number of decades keep up with the consolida on that is being created by Social Media and the online demand for a more heightened user experience? Convergence is the answer. Convergence on every single level of the user experience. The user demand of past is not the user demand of future. Anyone that thinks this is not happening will be le in the dust. Whether the user is in a hotel on the strip, in a great Poker Palace, walking down the street, si ng watching their favourite football game in the comfort of their own home or lying on a beach in Tahi , the user demands a heightened level of their individual experience and this can only happen through convergence. iSportbet was built on this founda on. Q: How do you plan to expand a global gaming presence with your brand? A: Through a calculated carving out of domain presence in the industry and crea ng solid global partnerships that are in line with the vision that iSBN has. Q: Do you have plans, once iSportbet is launched, to expand this brand into a media group or are your plans to focus on gaming? A: Gaming is the current focus and will con nue to be un l our goals are met but iSBN and the way this is built from the ground up, coupled with my vision, no ques on iSportbet.net is a Media Company in the making!


iGaming News FEATURED

Fate of FTP decided in court, leaked e-mails and Wynn winning PokerStars? FULL ROUND-UP REPRESENTATIVES from Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars have reportedly attended a US court to allegedly discuss their next step in its massive poker plan. We contacted Barry Boss, the Full Tilt Poker lawyer, who told us: “I can confirm that there was a court hearing yesterday, but it really just dealt with scheduling. No other developments that I can share at this me.” Of course, this has sparked further specula on about when and if poker players will be paid back. As far as previous reports and rumours go, it is s ll believed that players may see their cash in less than 90 days, however, both have not yet confirmed anything un l this “scheduling” is finalised. Previous to this, the FTP talks were hea ng up as Tapie’s posi on in the poker equa on was being ques oned. An e-mail reportedly leaked to Diamond Flush Poker appears to show Laurent Tapie of Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) talking about se ng up a new poker site, with the help of the FTP employees, claiming he has the money to do so.The e-mail also defends his tac cs for player repayment, in the a ermath of last week’s PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker HUGE revela ons. The e-mail was apparently sent to 6 upperlevel employees of Full Tilt Poker. Part of the e-mail reads: Dear all The deal with DOJ is off, and the nego a ons are terminated. Ul mately, DOJ refused to accept GBT’s proposal for repayment of the ROW players – a proposal that we thought had been accepted – and, on 14 April 2012, informed my lawyer that they could only agree on an agreement where GBT would repay 100% of the 184M$ value of ROW players balance in a maximum of 90 days. I know that any such step requires a leap of faith, so here is my offer: as of May 1, I will hire the en re Pocket Kings key staff – every single one of you – at your current salaries and with your accumulated benefits intact. I also will include stock op ons in the new company, so that weall will share in what I believe to be the exci ng upside this opportunity represents. We will write a new poker so ware pla orm based on your knowledge and relaunch using a new brand, with an offer to former FTP ROW players that will allow them to recover their lost balances if they come to our new site, just as we had planned in our agreement with DOJ. I have the money to make this happen and am working with the Alderney licensing authori es on obtaining a license and ge ng their help on the repayment plan. I am also nego a ng with Poker Strategy to resurrect an affiliate arrangement similar to that which I was nego a ng with FTP. In order to make this work, I need commitments from you all very quickly. I am sorry to put this pressure on you, but ming is cri cal if this is to work. I need to know whether I have sufficient cri cal mass to move forward no later than the end of THIS WEEK.

If I do, I will schedule a mee ng in Paris with the top 5-10 key peopleat the end of this week. We will take care of your travel and accomoda on. I look forward to partnering with each of you to help build the best poker site in the business. Laurent Tapie Directeur Général BLT Développement In response to this, PokerStrategy said: “Due to the recent publica on of an allegedly leaked email from Laurent Tapie to key Pocket Kings stakeholders and employees, PokerStrategy.com can confirm that representa ves of our company previously visited with GBT and the Full Tilt Poker staff in Dublin to discuss poten al partnership, consul ng, and liquidity building ini a ves for a re-launched Full Tilt Poker brand. Prior to its closure in June 2011, Full Tilt Poker had been a major business partner of PokerStrategy.com, with over 30% of Full Tilt Poker’s ac ve players having originated from our website. As such, a large number of our community members are currently unable to access the bankrolls they held with Full Tilt Poker. Although we were only at the preliminary stages of our discussions, we hoped to be instrumental in ensuring that a re-launched Full Tilt Poker would allow for swi repayment of previous player balances, incorpora on of an open and transparent approach to the segrega on of player funds, and the elimina on of possible future cash flow issues. We at PokerStrategy.com frequently review partnership opportuni es from a wide variety of poker rooms with the ul mate goal of adding value for our users. Since the news that their deal fell through, our conversa ons with GBT have been limited and we are unaware of their actual plans for establishing a standalone site.” To add to the FTP mix, Steve Wynn’s name has also been thrown around amidst these reports. Before the whole Black Friday fiasco came to light, Wynn was actually in advanced talks with PokerStars. According to a press release da ng back to March 25 2011: “Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ: WYNN) announced today that it has entered into a strategic rela onship with PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker business. The companies will first work to secure the passage of federal legisla on that will finally and conclusively define illegal internet gambling, provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to stop illegal internet gambling, protect consumers by establishing a robust regulatory environment for the safe opera on of online poker by experienced operators, and establish a regime for the assessment and collec on of taxes. “ According to an ar cle da ng back to 2011 from Forbes, “Nearly two years ago billionaire Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn met Isai Scheinberg, the founder of PokerStars, the world’s biggest online gaming firm, for the first me. Over a three-hour lunch, Scheinberg tried to convince Wynn that the two of them should work together to regulate online poker in the U.S. with an eye toward se ng up a joint venture.” He also said: “Wynn says Reid (Nevada Senator) told him: “Steve there are millions of people playing poker and it’s as American as apple pie. I want my office to look into this and see if we can regulate it.”


Playtech revenue doubles PLAYTECH has stated that its first quarter revenues have doubled, with the help of a strong growth of its casino business. It posted a staggering and impressive 104 per cent increase for the first quarter of 2012. They also said that its plans to shi its lis ng to London’s main market were progressing well.

To con nue its success and prosper within the gaming sphere, it has also launched a pack of new online slots and one of them features the sport of ice hockey. The Playtech Ice Hockey slot game begins with the player choosing two teams. The flags of the chosen teams will appear on the appropriate symbols. This is not a mere formality. The players of one team pay le to right and the players of the other team pay right to le . There are three players for each team and they pay out when like players appear in ac ve paylines. Players from the same team also pay out in mixed combina ons. The high value card symbols are cra ed with ice hockey accessories and pay out in both direc ons. The wild symbol is the goal. It does not subs tute for the other special symbols and does not par cipate in the mixed combinaon payouts. It offers the largest fixed jackpot of 10,000 coins. The Ice Hockey logo is a sca er symbol and offers sca er payouts. One of the advantageous features of Ice Hockey is that the high paying symbols offer payouts only when two of them appear appropriately aligned on ac ve paylines.

In the first three months of 2012 gross income rose 90% to €88.4m from €46.6m in the corresponding period of 2011, ahead of a forecast of €84.1m by broker Panmure Gordon. Revenues grew 104% to €75.1m from €36.7m the year before, and were up 8% on revenues seen in the final quarter of 2011. However, the group added that it was dropping plans to buy some social social gaming assets owned by founder and Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, and would instead enter so ware license agreements. Reuters reported that it plans for a deal with its top shareholder - Sagi which s ll owns 48 percent of the company - was announced in April.

The Chief Execu ve Mor Weizer says he expects a slowdown during the tradi onally weaker summer months but the company “is well posi oned to maintain the momentum into the rest of the year.”


iGaming News 888 under fire and “cautious on the US market.” 888 ONLINE had been in the firing line over its high executive pay packets. The Evening Standard reported that the gambling firm is under fire from Pirc, the corporate governance consultancy, for failing to give any details on the targets its bosses have to hit to guarantee huge bonus payouts. Pirc is also unhappy with how executives, after quitting, can allegedly still have access to big payments and bonuses. In light of this, the watchdog has urged its members to vote down the company’s remuneration report. It says the price at which shares are granted under the company’s “long-term incentive scheme” is not detailed. “In 2011, Aviad Kobrine received 2.6 million nil costs options, of whose value cannot be ascertained due to lack of disclosure of the underlying share price at grant date,” Pirc said. It also criticises a pay-off to former chief executive Gigi Levy.

In other 888 news, 888 Holdings had recently released its Q1 results for 2012, revealing an impressive 25% increase in revenue to $94 million from $75 million in the same period a year earlier. When speaking about the US prospects, CEO Brian Mattingley of 888 said it was ready to launch a realmoney offering in the US market, but warned: “I’m very cautious on the US market. It will open. When it will open, nobody is sure. We want to concentrate more on territories where we know they are opening.” He added: “Our focused strategy has led to another excellent quarter, with on-going strength in Poker driving March to the highest ever monthly revenues in the history of 888.” Going forward, 888 concluded: “Trading during the first three weeks of the second quarter continued to be strong, with average daily revenue 1% higher than Q1 2012, and 26% higher than Q1 2011. Although we expect to see a return to the historic seasonal pattern as we move through the quarter, given the strength of the business and our continued strategic focus we are confident of further progress during the year.” Spain is also being kept an eye on. CEO Brian Mattingley revealed that he & a fellow executive from the company had travelled to Madrid recently to assess the current situation. They came away appearing to sound disappointed, having found “...a little bit of confusion out there, so we are not sure when the market is going to open up.”

Betfair appoints Ladbrokes expert BETFAIR has appointed Craig Mucklow as director of trading where he will lead the trading team responsible for managing all of Betfair’s risk products, including the company’s forthcoming new sportsbook product. Mucklow joins Betfair from UK bookmaker Ladbrokes where he most recently served as head of

sports trading product, managing a team of sixty sports traders. He has also held roles with Paddy Power, Stan James and Betonsports.com. “Craig is a superb addition to Betfair’s management team and his appointment reflects the commitment we have for offering a comprehensive and world class risk product to our customers,” said Ian Chuter, Betfair’s group operations director. “We have been offering risk products for a number of years, but the arrival of the new sports betting product will be a game changer for Betfair.” Betfair’s “next generation” sports product is designed to complement its core Exchange, allowing customers to get ‘house’ prices where liquidity isn’t available between customers, such as some ancillary in-play markets, or early prices on main markets where liquidity may not form until nearer the event. “The introduction of the new sports product has the potential to not only revolutionise Betfair’s business but also the whole industry,” said Mucklow, who will be based in Dublin. “Everyone knows that Betfair’s Exchange offers consistently the best value on the vast majority of markets, but there are areas it can’t cover and we will be working to plug these gaps for customers. I am really excited to be joining Betfair at this time.” In other Betfair news, the online gambling firm is expected to smash records during the London Olympics with £150million wagered through its website. The Games will benefit by being held at convenient times for America and Asia, but the relatively short events and lack of interest among gamblers in athletics will restrict the amount wagered.

Betsson sets up subsidiary BETSSON has decided on the distribu on of all of the shares in the wholly-owned subsidiary, Angler Gaming plc. The distribu on of shares in Angler is in line with Betsson’s technical and marketbased focus. Angler’s opera ons will be based on technical solu ons for which Betsson has decided to discon nue development work and on geographical markets lying outside Betsson’s core areas. The company Angler, based in Malta, owns a gaming company which has a gaming license in Curaçao. This company will, ini ally, target approximately 30 markets in South America, Africa and Europe, based on client bases and technological pla orms acquired from Betsson. The revenues for Betsson in these markets comprise less than 0.1% of Betsson’s total revenues, whilst the number of registered clients comprises approximately 5% of Betsson’s total number of registered clients. In conjunc on with the distribu on, the value of an independent Angler will be made apparent, which will benefit the shareholders. At the same me, Betsson will now be able to commit more development in finalizing a group-wide technological pla orm, and also to concentrate on its chosen focus markets. In addi on to the technological pla orms and client bases men oned above, Angler has an amount of cash totaling MEUR 2.5, which is expected to be sufficient to cover costs un l the company has a posi ve cash flow, which is expected to take place during 2014. Michael Benne has been appointed CEO of Angler. Michael was born in 1945, resides in Malta and has extensive experience within the gaming industry.


Bwin.party and United Auburn Indian Community enter poker agreement

Devilfish to take over Purple Lounge after mystery e-mail?

BWIN.PARTY digital entertainment plc and the United Auburn Indian Community (‘UAIC’), which owns and operates the Thunder Valley Casino Resort near Sacramento, California, announced recently that they have entered into a formal agreement to offer online poker services in California if suitable intrastate legisla on is enacted in the state.

RUMOURS are circula ng about Purple Lounge Poker possibly being taken over by Devilfish Gaming. It was reported on the online poker informa on eatmystack.co.uk that a blank email from Devilfish was sent to registered users of Devilfish Gaming plc with “Devilfish Welcomes Purple Lounge Players” in the subject line.

As a federally recognized California Indian tribe that already operates a casino resort within the state, UAIC would be a qualified license applicant under legisla on proposed in the California State Senate and would secure and maintain the necessary licenses to operate online poker services in California. bwin.party would provide the technology and opera ons exper se to power the services plus related support. The Agreement would be for a 10-year period from the date that online poker services are launched. Commen ng on the announcement, Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, the Co-CEOs of bwin.party, said: “California is the largest state in the U.S. in terms of popula on and is known to have a significant number of poker players who like to play poker online. Combining our own significant assets and resources with those of UAIC will create a strong partnership that is well-placed to seize the opportuni es that will arise if appropriate online poker legisla on is enacted in the Golden State.” David Keyser, Tribal Chairman of UAIC commented: “We see the legaliza on of Internet poker and other Internet gaming as being inevitable. Having met with representa ves from a number of different online gaming companies, bwin.party was our first choice as partner. With its unrivalled exper se in online poker, proven technology and player loyalty we are confident of being able to maximize the revenue opportunity from a regulated online poker market in California and to con nue to enhance the long-term prosperity of our community.”

The online poker and casino website was pulled offline by parent company Media Corp. The short-no ce move by the company happened when it became, “…clear that the Purple Lounge is trading materially behind the same period of the previous financial year which will result in increased losses for the division and, as a result, the Company as a whole,” according to a trading statement issued by the company. It has been reported that Media Corp loaned the online poker room £900,000 in the last few months; it also claimed it never received cash dividend from Purple Lounge. Players are s ll in limbo, despite Purple Lounge sta ng that they would be paying them back a er seven days. Seven days have passed and it seems as though players are s ll wai ng. The online poker site had advised more than a week ago, on their homepage, that they would be in contact with players over the next seven days. Currently, players have no online means to contact the management or support with their anxious enquiries, triggering specula on that the PL support centre may have been shut down.

On 24 February 2012, Senators Wright and Steinberg introduced legisla on to regulate online gaming within California. The Internet Gambling Consumer Protec on and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2012 (SB 1463) proposes, inter alia, to regulate license and tax internet poker within the state of California. The current proposed rate of tax is 10% of gross gaming revenue.

In regards to Devilfish gaming, it has not been clarified by either company whether this is just a rumour of whether there is a grain of truth in it. Requests for statements have been sent. The site also reports: “It remains to be seen whether Purple Lounge accounts would be moved in to Devilfish Poker, enabling those with balances currently trapped on Purple Lounge to access them once more. The email message was most likely sent in error, but the informa on behind it is likely to be valid.” Could the lack of any message in the email indicate it was sent out prematurely & in error?


iGaming News

Optimal Payments wins Best Mobile Billing Application Op mal Payments Plc has been chosen as the winner of the Best Mobile Billing Applica on Award at the inaugural mGaming Awards on Wednesday 25th April. The mGaming Awards are ed in to the mGaming Summit (www. mgamingsummit.com), a one day event dedicated to the online mobile gambling market – a growing and profitable sector. This event brings together brands, marke ng agencies, rights holders, operators, federa ons, mobile suppliers, payment & billing services in the mobile gambling market. “We are very pleased to be recognised for our efforts in bringing mobile solu ons to our gaming customers. The ability to take payments across different devices is key to making gaming offerings more accessible to customers. Op mal’s solu ons enable merchants to do this while ensuring security for the customer and managing fraud for the operator” says Danny Chazonoff, Chief Opera ng Officer of Op mal Payments. Op mal Payments also presented to a packed audience in the eCommerce theatre at Internet World 2012 on the importance of a mobile wallet in mul -channel selling. This included case studies of mobile payment soluons developed for two of its major customers, Shop Direct Group and RSA’s MoreTh>n. The full presenta on is available on its corporate website at www.op malpayments.com under Investors, Reports and Presenta ons.

Revolt in the face of “one hell of a job?” WILLIAM Hill has fought back against “Shareholder Spring” and leapt to the defence of Ralph Topping’s pay package, claiming that he “has done one hell of a job” according to reports in The Telegraph. Gareth Davis claimed that investors have voted blindly against the company’s pay policies and was “surprised” at the scale of the revolt. It has also been reported that Davis said too many investors are quick to listen to shareholder advisory bodies.

The Associa on of Bri sh Insurers issued an ‘amber top’ alert signaling concerns about the pay report while advisory group Pirc told investors to vote it down. “Without that we would have seen a much more normal vo ng

result,” said Davis. “We’ve got the best chief execu ve in the business.” In the on-going story, The Telegraph reported that Gareth Davies had “no inten on” of backing down on the 31.2m bonus for Ralph Topping, chief execu ve. This is in the face of 49.9% investors failing to approve the remunera on report. 59% of investors refused to back Aviva’s pay policies. At William Hill’s annual mee ng, Mr. Davis reportedly told investors they had to “differen ate the William Hill scenario” from the wave of investor protests. “This is not an under-performing company, this is not a failure... this is a true, defini ve success story,” he said. “He’s not a rota ng CEO. This guy has been with the company for 41 years,” he said. He insisted that the pay was jus fied since William Hill’s share price had risen 30pc in the past year, its earnings per share were up 12pc and its dividend rose 16pc.

Spanish licenses to be issued 1st June IT has recently been announced by the General Directorate of the DGOJ that online gaming licenses will be awarded on the 1st June. The statement indicates that these updates will be communicated to applicants licensing on the website of the DGOJ. If approved, sites will be required to operate through a dot.es domain and won’t be allowed to offer in-play betng yet. The transi on stage is set to develop the next day. Back in April, we reported that licenses were set to be handed out in June. We reported that the latest specula on coming from the director general of the Spanish online gambling regulator, Enrique Alejo, said that processing the 59 applica ons was taking more me than expected.


TAX BLASTED CHANCELLOR George Osborne announced within the Budget that the MGD standard rate is to be set at 20 per cent when it comes into effect on February 1, 2013. It’s been reported that the government had previously indicated to the industry that it would not be a revenue raising measure, with many operators predic ng that it would most likely be set around 16 to 17 per cent.

NEW JERSEY CLEAR WAY FOR ONLINE GAMBLING

“Treasury said it was to be a tax neutral rate and it is disappoin ng, when the industry has made clear that the tax neutral rate is lower than 20 per cent, that they have gone for 20 per cent,” he said. “I only hope that they take this into account when they consider the Triennial Review so we have a chance of earning it back.”

Online gambling in New Jersey took another step closer Monday with the legisla ve commi ee giving it the green light. The online gambling bill was released by the Assembly Budget and Appropria ons Commi ee Monday a ernoon, clearing the way for a full vote by the Assembly.

According to Global Be ng and Gaming Consultants, they believe that the industry will “struggle to understand” how the duty rate of 20 per cent corresponds with the government’s earlier statements on the subject. MP, Philip Davies, has spoken out about tax on the be ng industry to be slashed from 15% down to 2 – 3%. Davies has claimed: “…three of the largest be ng providers – William Hill, Ladbrokes and Be air – have moved their online be ng facili es offshore… For every £100 profit they make online, they will pay just £1 or £2 in tax offshore, instead of £36 in the UK.” It has been widely reported that most UK land based establishments believe that the UK tax structure is unfair and gives more offshore businesses an edge within the industry. Bingo clubs are one of the hardest hit with the 20% tax rate. The UK budget in March confirmed that the tax system would be changed in the next few years so that it is based on the point of consump on. This will mean that the companies will pay UK tax regardless of where they are located. The only problem with Davies suppor ng the gambling industries is that, according to industry insiders, he may have his own personal reasons for his lobbying. He receives thousands of pounds from Ladbrokes, and a group called Peninsula Business Services Ltd. Peninsula, who is headed by Peter Done, who is also the co-founder of Be red.

Supporters say internet gambling will help boost revenues for Atlan c City’s casinos, which have suffered from repeated declines as gambling expands in neighboring Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and Maryland. Opponents, including Assemblyman Ralph Caputo want gambling to be offered in other parts of the state, not just confined to Atlan c City. He also advocates having racetracks such as the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park to host internet gaming rooms. But Gov. Chris Chris e, who proposed an overhaul of the resort town’s tourism district, has said he will veto any measure that cuts into Atlan c City’s poten al recovery. To address Chris e’s concern, this bill would prohibit bars and restaurants from hos ng or adver sing internet gambling. Only games offered in the casinos would be available online and proponents said so ware would ensure minors would not have access. “Most everything has migrated to the internet and taken advantage of the consumer and revenue op ons it offers and New Jersey’s gaming industry should be no different,” said Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, who is a supporter for online gambling. The bill has already cleared the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Commi ee and has a companion measure in the Senate. As it currently stands, the bill would allow Atlan c City casinos to accept Internet bets from gamblers in other states, as long as such ac vity is consistent with federal law.


Landbased News FEATURED

Bally record revenue of $229m as they look towards expansion BALLY Technologies has posted its third-quarter record revenue of $229m for the three months ended March 31, compared with £191m in the previous year. EBITDA increased 22 per cent to $74m.

ternational reach and what steps they had previously taken to achieve this. He said: “It required big investments in people, staffing, product and design changes as well as feature changes. International growth is a pretty big story for us. When I got here, 6 percent of our revenues were from outside North America. Today, it’s 20 percent, yet our total revenues doubled. The rate of international growth has been quite rapid. We’ve been making some pretty big investments over the last five years to do that, and it puts us in a pretty good position going forward where we believe we can grow that international percentage to north of 30 percent in the next three or four years.”

• Revenues increased 24 percent to $79 million as compared with $64 million last year, driven by higher unit sales and ASP. • Revenues increased 16 percent to a quarterly record of $93 million as compared with $80 million last year, driven by growth in the installed base of premium and wide-area progressive games, as well as placement of games at the recently opened Resorts World Casino New York. • Operating income increased 21 percent to $131 million compared with $108 million last year. Operating margin increased to 21 percent from 20 percent last year.

Speaking about Macau and Singapore, he thinks that gaming in Asia is rapidly growing, with casinos potentially cropping up in Vietnam and Japan. Their focus is on Australia, “For us, we recently entered the Australia-New Zealand market, so that’s exciting. From a systems point of view, we’re the leading provider across Asia.” The hottest topic on every gaming insider’s lips is poker. If it’s ever legalized, Bally thinks that they will have an important segment if the market. “Internet poker is one relatively modest part of the Internet and social gaming experience. We see for our U.S. customers the broad spectrum of Internet gaming is evolutionary and not revolutionary. We think it’s going to be important, but it’s not going to be an overnight explosion for most of our customers.” “The past several months have been momentous, with DM Tournaments helping set two Guiness World Records, numerous product awards received and record attendance at our Systems Users Conference,” said Richard Haddrill, the company’s CEO. “Most importantly, our third quarter financial and operating results are showing the pay-offs from multiple investments as we execute on our growth initiatives. Bally continues to have a bright future as we partner with our customers to innovate the gaming experience.” “We continue to thoughtfully allocate capital to invest in our growth, as well as to enhance shareholder value,” said Neil Davidson, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer. “This quarter represents the 18th quarter in a row that we have repurchased stock. Since December 31, 2011, we purchased approximately 1.2 million shares of common stock for $54 million at $45.69 per share, of which $41 million was in our third quarter, all while remaining under two turns of leverage.” Bally said it anticipates record fourth quarter earnings. Following on from their latest success, CEO of Bally Technologies, Richard Haddrill, has been speaking about the firm’s plans to expand and grow its international presence. According to the Vegasinc.com, the regions local press, Haddrill spoke about how Bally is looking to attract a bigger and better in-

He also spoke about how they are hiring 300 global employees in an attempt to expand its mobile platform and how the future looks in terms of this, “We’re hiring and relocating people from Europe here. We’re hiring people for our mobile platform. To the extent that Nevada can be a leading state in regulating gaming, either through regulating casinos or hosting here, we would hire at an even faster pace. So we’re hiring now, but we see that accelerating as Nevada takes a leadership role.”


Landbased News TCSJOHNHUXLEY appoints new Business Trump: legalising casinos is harmless Development Manager DONALD Trump believes that TCSJOHNHUXLEY is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. JeanPaul Symeonidis to the position of Business Development Manager-Canada, commencing 23rd April 2012. Reporting directly to Brad Broderick, Chief Operating Officer-North America, Jean-Paul (aka J.P) will be based in Montreal, Quebec and be responsible for sales across Canada. With 12 years experience in business-to-business Account Management, J.P has developed a wealth of understanding and knowledge in business development and customer relationship management in the gaming sector, telecommunications and advertising. His most recent tenure with a leading company in the gaming industry has placed him in good stead for this new and exciting role, servicing the needs of TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s Canadian customers and growing the business there. Brad Broderick comments, “ J.P’s experience in the gaming sector along with the business relationships he has formed with many of the Casino Operators and Lottery Corporations across Canada, will play a major role in developing and strengthening our presence in the region. Please join me in wishing him much success with his new appointment.” TCSJOHNHUXLEY has also been celebrating the work they have done with the recently opened Revel and the company seems to be going from strength to strength. The eagerly awaited Revel opened its doors at the beginning of April. The first new casino to open in Atlantic City since Borgata in 2002, Revel is a lifestyle destination featuring 145,000 square feet of gaming space and at 53 stories, the tower is the second tallest building in all of New Jersey and the second tallest casino tower in the United States. Working with internationally renowned entertainment design firm Scéno Plus, Revel have designed a gaming floor that is welcoming, intimate and bathed in natural light. As the sun rises, guests will be treated to a sweeping view of the Atlantic. As the day evolves, both the view and the feeling on the floor shift with the light. When dusk arrives, theatrical lighting sets the stage for captivating nights. With such high quality finishes and detailing being specified for the venue it was fitting that casino would only want to use the highest quality gaming equipment. TCSJOHNHUXLEY is extremely proud to have been awarded the prestigious contracts for many facets of the casino floor including the manufacturing of 125 high end custom designed gaming tables which feature corian inlaid drink rails with plush player armrests for added comfort. As the market leader in Integrating traditional products with innovative technology TCSJOHNHUXLEY also supplied 29” e-FX Elite Displays, Chipper Champ 2 units, EL LuminAR Panels & Saturn roulette wheels with a rich piano black finish. In addition, the first US installation of Inspired’s Sabre electronic roulette system, featuring two live dealer roulette podiums, each with 12 Sabre cabinets and two TCSJOHNHUXLEY Saturn roulette wheels has been creating great interest with record play figures noted. Brad Broderick, TCSJOHNHUXLEY Chief Operating Officer, comments, “From our first meeting with the team at REVEL and subsequently Scéno Plus in Montreal, we knew that REVEL would be a Casino Resort like no other! Working closely with the design team, we created and delivered sleek and advanced products that will enhance the overall guest experience. Everyone has been a delight to work with and we wish REVEL much success”.

Atlantic City will benefit casinos being legalised. Speaking to the nydailynews.com, he said that the legislation is “happening all over” and that “The playing field is a lot different than it was 10 years ago.” In light of his recent thoughts, it seems as though he is betting that legalizing casinos in New York won’t hurt Atlantic City, even transforming it into a gambling mecca. “Atlantic City will be a place that will have giant casinos, and those giant casinos, because of their location to each other and the ocean nearby, will do just fine,” Trump told the Daily News. Trump and other Atlantic City gambling interests helped scuttle the last serious effort to legalize casinos in New York, in 1997. He also said that he will not try to thwart Gov. Cuomo’s casino push. “It’s happening all over,” Trump said of legalized gambling. “The playing field is a lot different than it was 10 years ago.” New York already has several Indian-run casinos upstate as well as virtual casinos at nine tracks statewide, including Aqueduct in Queens. And there is competition from neighboring states, like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. “Wherever you look, you have gambling casinos popping up,” Trump said. “I’m not sure it’s a great thing for the country, (but) that’s something the country can worry about.” He called the prospect of a New York City gambling den “a mixed bag.”

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Landbased News Elaine Wynn goes to court on sale of Station Casinos Owners launching online gaming site this week shares The Owners of Sta on Casinos in Las Vegas are launching a free online gaming site later this week, beginning with poker and according to the owners the most authen c poker experience in cyberspace. Fer a Interac ve today announced it would launch Ul mate Poker as the first step in preparing to move between social games, such as those on Facebook, and taking cash bets as the company applies for licenses in states that will eventually legalize online gambling. Ul mate Poker will launch Friday on Facebook as a free social game that Fer a hopes will drive an eventual market for real money games. Within weeks, the company will begin marke ng its Ul mate Gaming brand through Ul mate Figh ng Championship broadcasts, owned by Frank Fera III and Lorenzo Fer a.

The ex-wife of Steve Wynn, founder and chairman of Wynn Resorts has asked for a court order invalida ng a stockholders agreement blocking her from selling her 10 percent share of the casino operator. Elaine Wynn, in a filing Tuesday in federal court in Las Vegas, said the restric ons on her shares were similar to those on the shares held by Kazuo Okada, the board member whose 20 percent stake in Wynn Resorts was forcibly redeemed a er he was accused of making improper payments to Philippine gambling regulators. Okada has denied the allega ons. The ini al 2002 stockholders agreement, which s pulated that Okada and Steve Wynn would vote their 25 percent stakes in the company as a block, gave Steve Wynn control over who was elected to the company’s board, according to Elaine Wynn’s filing. The agreement was amended when Elaine Wynn became a separate shareholder as a result of her divorce. “The shareholder status of Mr. Okada’s company, Aruze, was a fundamental premise of Ms. Wynn’s decision to enter into the January 2010 stockholders agreement,” according to Elaine Wynn’s filing. “Ms. Wynn would not have agreed to give her ex- husband the poten al ability to restrict the market for her stock if not for her desire to support and not undermine the exis ng alliance between Mr. Wynn and Mr. Okada.” Elaine Wynn, who is also a board member of Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts, is a cross-defendant in the case ini ally brought by Wynn Resorts against Okada alleging that he is developing two casinos and three hotels in Manila and seeking to lure “high- limit, VIP gamblers” from China, in direct compe on with Wynn’s casino in Macau. The Japanese billionaire filed counterclaims against Wynn Resorts and the board in March, challenging the redemp on of his shares at a 30 percent discount. The future for Mr Wynn looks like being in court a lot, he is sure to challenge his former wife on this claim strongly, along with figh ng hos other former partner Mr Okada. The ques on is would Elaine Wynn look to join up with Mr Okada to oust the founder of the company?

UFC fights have the poten al to reach 1 billion homes in 148 countries, with a predominantly male audience that is also drawn to online gaming, developers said during a news conference. “It is almost the same demographic as online poker,” said Tom Breitling, chairman of Fer a Interac ve. Fer a will control all of the content of its products, which also include a bingo game. All the games are being developed by CyberArts, a company Fer a Interac ve bought last year. Chris Derossi, who oversaw development of the Macintosh 7.01 opera ng system for Apple and founded CyberArts, said the Ul mate Poker game will be more familiar to players of the real card game than other online versions. “We are trying to provide an authen c experience for people who care about the game,” Derossi said. “As we move from the social side of gaming to a real money space, we will have serious players.” Tobin Poster, chief execu ve of Ul mate Gaming, said the new brand will use the UFC’s knowledge of building social networks — UFC has a community of 8 million on Facebook and 2.4 million Twi er followers — in developing games that reach across online pla orms. Ul mate Gaming plans to launch a mobile applica on later this year. “We’re also going to u lize Sta on Casinos’ customer rela onship model, which is very important in any online enterprise,” Poster said. “You need people to return to your product.” Fer a Interac ve is developing its social games with an eye toward offering the same brands as they pursue government regulatory approval. “We’ll be ready to go from Day 1,” Breitling said. “We view this as a global opportunity,” Breitling said. “When looking at online gaming, it’s going to be a domino effect with Nevada leading the way.”


Blackberry 10 leaked images & mystery device BLACKBERRY 10 OS was recently unveiled to the Smartphone world at the BlackBerry World event, but is it enough to lure users away from giants Android and Apple? The brand is hoping to change their downbeat luck, as their sales lag behind its major compe tors. RIM highlights its key “wow” factor amongst app lovers and believes it could be the deciding factor in becoming frui ul again. “BlackBerry 10 builds upon the core values and excep onal user experiences that have a racted more than 77 million BlackBerry customers around the world today,” said Alec Saunders, Vice President, Developer Rela ons and Ecosystems Development. “Developers building for BlackBerry 10 will be able to easily create the kind of cu ng-edge apps that deliver truly engaging experiences and ‘wow’ customers, whether through integra on with na ve features and other apps like BBM or by leveraging the new signature design elements of this new and powerful mobile compu ng pla orm.” However, cri cs have described it as a mash-up of Palm’s WebOS, Android, Apple iOS and Windows Phone. Whether that’s a posi ve or nega ve aspect is s ll yet to be decided.

Apple to build its own restaurant to keep spies out? APPLE is reportedly seeking to build its very own restaurant, so that its employees can talk freely about their work. It’s been rumoured that the tech giant want to keep their secrets…secret. According to the Mercury News, Apple got permission in planning commission mee ng to start building a 21,468-square-foot restaurant in Cuper no: “We like to provide a level of security so that people and employees can feel comfortable talking about their business, their research and whatever project they’re engineering without fear of compe on overhearing their conversa ons,” said Dan Whisenhunt, Apple’s director of real estate facilies, said at the mee ng. “That is a real issue today in Cuper no because we’ve got other companies here in our same business.” According to TIME, the two-story facility will mainly service Apple employees who work in satellite buildings of Apple’s main campus and should expect around 228 visits per hour during its mid-day lunch peak. The gauntlet has been thrown, Google and Facebook; let the ba le of Internet company lunches begin.

10million Tweeters THERE are 10 million tweeters in the UK, out of 140m across the world. There is also 80% of those who use it via their mobile phone. The global average for Twi er users logging on via mobile is 55 per cent, so the UK usage rate is unusually high. The UK is said to be the fourth highest user of Twi er in the world, with the US, Brazil and Japan coming in the top three posi ons. In February Twi er announced it had 500 m global users, with 140m ac ve users (people using Twi er once a month or more).

When founded in 2006, Twi er was designed to be used via SMS, which is why tweets are limited to 140 characters. Its high mobile use represents a return to its early genesis. The site also experiences a high level of content genera on from its users, with 60 per cent of users contribu ng to the site, whether by twee ng, retwee ng or pos ng pictures or other content. Twi er UK tweeted about the results, saying “snapshot of Twi er in the UK: 10m ac ve users, 80 per cent of which are also ac ve on mobile. And an office that’s been open almost a year!”

Intel’s brain chip? INTEL is rumoured to be looking into connec ng mobile technology to users brains. An Intel-commissioned white paper released on the future of mobile technology concludes that connected devices interfacing with the human brain is inevitable. Here’s how the paper’s authors, from consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, claims it could work: “As convergence connues across device types, func ons, and capabili es, the melding of mobile technologies directly into the human body becomes the logical next step.” They add: “By harnessing the processing power and capabili es of mobile devices, for example, our biological brain will be augmented exponen ally by a digital counterpart.”


Pay to be popular

Oh no! He wore a hoodie!

IF you want more people to take more no ce of your Facebook content, then you may have to dig deep and pay for it. Currently, the ‘pay to promote’ systems is being trialled in New Zealand; users can boost their posts popularity instantly by flashing the cash. This could have a posi ve impact on the iGaming sector. If various billionaire companies are able to pay to boost the popularity of their posts, then our newsfeeds could be saturated with the latest games on offer, as opposed to what your friend had for breakfast.

MARK Zuckberg has been raising eyebrows lately and it’s all down to his hoodie. The oh-so relaxed and chilled out co-founder made a visit to Wall Street to discuss Facebook’s upcoming IPO.

Facebook spokeswoman Mia Garlick confirmed to Stuff NZ that the idea was a new “feature” it was tes ng. “We’re constantly tes ng new features across the site. This par cular test is simply to gauge people’s interest in this method of sharing with their friends,” she said. However, in light of the news, many think that the danger here is that we could see our newsfeeds flooded with adver sers desperate for us to no ce them. We recently reported that Playtech has dipped into the social gaming market. It also plans to buy what it called “play for real” products such as casino and mobile poker so ware for selling to online gaming firms and a 20 percent stake in a social gaming opera on targeted directly at consumers. With this big investment into the social gaming market, then surely they can take advantage of targe ng poten al players through Facebook. Zynga is another strong contender within the online gaming world, with social gaming and real-life be ng contempla ng whether the two can become a match-made in heaven. Even though Zynga and Wynn has not reached an agreement as of yet, it doesn’t mean other gaming operators won’t. According to seekingalpha.com “Facebook’s IPO, slated for May 18, could provide a short-term catalyst for Zynga. Going forward, growth in the user base and online gaming could make this stock a solid long-term investment. If you look at the long-term trends Jim Cramer talks about in mobile, cloud, and social media strategies, Zynga is in a great posi on in all of these areas. Zynga accounts for 15% of Facebook’s revenue, yet Zynga is only worth about $6 billion with a li le over $1 billion in cash. Facebook will likely be worth over $100 billion a er its IPO.”

Whilst everyone else was s ffly suited and booted, the young CEO was cri cized by some for showing up to speak to some of the country’s most influen al and investors in jeans and a so-called “hoodie” sweatshirt. It was definitely not the suit and e that the financial types are used to seeing corporate execu ves wear. In a videotaped interview with Bloomberg News, Michael Pachter, managing director with Wedbush Securi es, said Zuckerberg’s decision to wear his “signature hoodie ... is actually showing investors he doesn’t care very much.” “He’s going to be him and he’s going to do what he’s always done. I think that’s a mark of immaturity,” Pachter added. “He’s got to show [investors] the respect that they deserve because he’s asking them for their money.” He suggests that Zuckerberg demonstrated a lack of respect for the process, he thinks that the CEO might not be perfectly suited for the CEO post in a company that’s expected to complete one of the biggest IPOs in tech history.

Caesars, MGM Resorts, and Boyd have all entered into partnerships with online gaming companies to prepare for the eventual legaliza on of online poker in the U.S. One of the strengths of casino companies is their ability to manage and grow their player database to increase gambling volumes. Not being short of cash, these gaming firms are certainly in a strong posi on of paying to allow users see their posts. If Facebook’s ‘pay to be popular’ scheme pans out, the iGaming sector could a ract a whole load of new players into its fold.

“He most certainly is a genius and he really has done something that no one else could do,” said Pachter. “I think he is well suited to be the chief product officer, the chief user experience officer ... to decide every feature that goes in. I’m not sure he’s the right guy to run a corpora on and to answer to shareholders.”

Furthermore, it looks as though Facebook is slowly le ng its barriers down when it comes to online gambling businesses adver sing. The company has since relaxed those rules – the Facebook Adver sing Guidelines webpage has a specific online gambling clause under the Gambling and Lo eries subsec on of the Ad Content sec on: “Ads that promote or facilitate online gambling, games of skill or lo eries, including online casino, sports books, bingo, or poker, are only allowed in specific countries with prior authorizaon from Facebook.”

The 3rd WIG Award Winners to be announced with extended coverage coming in the July Edition

The latest changes stem from Facebook users struggling to make their posts stand out. The Telegraph reports: “Facebook is set to go public on the stockmarket with an ini al valua on of $96billion, and is likely to look over me at a range of other ways in which it can earn money.”


Samsung king of smartphones SAMSUNG has surpassed its compe tors by becoming world’s number one handset vendor for the first me ever. In the latest research by Strategy Analy cs, global handset shipments grew a modest 3 percent annually to reach 368 million units in the first quarter of 2012. Samsung was the star performer during the quarter, capturing a record 25 percent marketshare.

Entrepreneur Mike Lynch looking at online gambling next? (cont)

Alex Spektor, Associate Director at Strategy Analy cs, said, “As volumes contracted in key developed markets like Western Europe and North America, global handset shipments grew just 3 percent annually to reach 368.0 million units in Q1 2012. Samsung was the star performer, shipping 93.5 million handsets worldwide and capturing a record 25 percent marketshare. Five years a er it captured the number-two spot from Motorola, Samsung has finally become the world’s largest handset vendor in volume terms.” Neil Mawston, Execu ve Director at Strategy Analy cs, added, “Nokia’s global handset shipments declined a huge 24 percent annually to 82.7 million units in Q1 2012. Volumes were squeezed at both ends, as low-end feature phone shipments in emerging markets stalled and high-end Microso Lumia smartphones were unable to offset the rapid decline of Nokia’s legacy Symbian business. Nokia was the world’s largest handset vendor between 1998 and 2011, for 14 years, before finally yielding top posi on to rival Samsung this quarter.” Tom Kang, Director at Strategy Analy cs, added, “Apple shipped a healthy 35.1 million handsets worldwide in Q1 2012, nearly doubling from 18.6 million units in Q1 2011. Apple achieved its highest ever marketshare in the overall handset category, capturing 10 percent of global shipments during the first quarter of 2012. Demand for the new iPhone 4S model remained strong in the United States and Japan, while the recent launch of the 4S in China was a mely contributor to Apple’s rapid growth. We expect Apple to grow further in the second quarter of the year, but the upcoming launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy S3 flagship model could slow iPhone’s growth in some regions if it is well received by operators and consumers.”

Entrepreneur Mike Lynch looking at online gambling next? Bri sh entrepreneur Mike Lynch is keen to jump back into building a company and maybe online gambling could be next, he said in an interview just weeks a er he was shown the door by Hewle Packard the U.S. computer giant which last year bought Autonomy, the company he founded. Lynch, who founded so ware firm Autonomy in 1996 and grew it into a company which was bought for $11 billion, declined to discuss his shock departure from Hewle Packard or give details of his future plans, but he did make it clear he wasn’t going to waste any me licking his wounds.

When asked whether he’d like to embark on the journey of building up a company from scratch again, he said “yes”, adding: “When I first did it, no-one would give me any money, I had no idea how to run a business and no-one would talk to me, so I am hoping those three are now fixed.”

Money is unlikely to be a problem for the 46 year old, who ne ed about 465 million pounds from the sale of his stake in Autonomy, and is passionate about the poten al of Britain’s technology scene. “One of the things that excites me is being back in the UK - I was having to spend all my me in California - because I think there’s a great untapped reservoir of great technologies here,” Lynch said. Whatever the reason for his departure from Hewle Packard - the Silicon Valley giant stressed the Autonomy division’s poor performance, while an unnamed Autonomy execu ve blamed a difference in ways of doing things - Lynch’s experience at the U.S. company seems to have reawakened his entrepreneurial drive. “I’m much more interested in fundamental, early-stage technology. It’s so exci ng when you’re working with the enthusiasm of people in a small company and then making it a big company,” Lynch said. Lynch, does not live far away from Cambridge, the university where he completed his PhD, and the birthplace of some of Britain’s best known technology firms, meaning high-tech investment opportuni es are never far away. “I’m always interested in looking at small companies that have really superb, high-quality technology and if I see some of those, it’s a great opportunity if I can invest in some of them,” he said, adding that his preference was for opportuni es with a “fundamental mathema cal science-base”. He said he had already par cipated in a 1.5 million pound investment round for a company which fits that bill, a Cambridge-based company, which he says uses advanced mathema cs to understand human behaviour in online gambling and fraud amongst other things. Indeed, Featurespace was launched in 2005 and offers customers interac on data through the deployment of event-based analy cs for risk management or marke ng purposes. The company, whose customers include online be ng exchange BetFair are expec ng their products to expand a lot further in the online gambling world.


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Optimal Payments wins Best Mobile Billing Application Op mal Payments Plc has been chosen as the winner of the Best Mobile Billing Applica on Award at the inaugural mGaming Awards on Wednesday 25th April. The mGaming Awards are ed in to the mGaming Summit (www. mgamingsummit.com), a one day event dedicated to the online mobile gambling market – a growing and profitable sector. This event brings together brands, marke ng agencies, rights holders, operators, federa ons, mobile suppliers, payment & billing services in the mobile gambling market. “We are very pleased to be recognised for our efforts in bringing mobile solu ons to our gaming customers. The ability to take payments across different devices is key to making gaming offerings more accessible to customers. Op mal’s solu ons enable merchants to do this while ensuring security for the customer and managing fraud for the operator” says Danny Chazonoff, Chief Opera ng Officer of Op mal Payments. Op mal Payments also presented to a packed audience in the eCommerce theatre at Internet World 2012 on the importance of a mobile wallet in mul -channel selling. This included case studies of mobile payment soluons developed for two of its major customers, Shop Direct Group and RSA’s MoreTh>n. The full presenta on is available on its corporate website at www.op malpayments.com under Investors, Reports and Presenta ons.

Revolt in the face of “one hell of a job?” WILLIAM Hill has fought back against “Shareholder Spring” and leapt to the defence of Ralph Topping’s pay package, claiming that he “has done one hell of a job” according to reports in The Telegraph. Gareth Davis claimed that investors have voted blindly against the company’s pay policies and was “surprised” at the scale of the revolt. It has also been reported that Davis said too many investors are quick to listen to shareholder advisory bodies.

result,” said Davis. “We’ve got the best chief execu ve in the business.” In the on-going story, The Telegraph reported that Gareth Davies had “no inten on” of backing down on the 31.2m bonus for Ralph Topping, chief execu ve. This is in the face of 49.9% investors failing to approve the remunera on report. 59% of investors refused to back Aviva’s pay policies. At William Hill’s annual mee ng, Mr. Davis reportedly told investors they had to “differen ate the William Hill scenario” from the wave of investor protests. “This is not an under-performing company, this is not a failure... this is a true, defini ve success story,” he said. “He’s not a rota ng CEO. This guy has been with the company for 41 years,” he said. He insisted that the pay was jus fied since William Hill’s share price had risen 30pc in the past year, its earnings per share were up 12pc and its dividend rose 16pc.

Spanish licenses to be issued 1st June IT has recently been announced by the General Directorate of the DGOJ that online gaming licenses will be awarded on the 1st June. The statement indicates that these updates will be communicated to applicants licensing on the website of the DGOJ. If approved, sites will be required to operate through a dot.es domain and won’t be allowed to offer in-play betng yet. The transi on stage is set to develop the next day. Back in April, we reported that licenses were set to be handed out in June. We reported that the latest specula on coming from the director general of the Spanish online gambling regulator, Enrique Alejo, said that processing the 59 applica ons was taking more me than expected.

THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL GAMING AWARDS COMING NEXT MONTH The Associa on of Bri sh Insurers issued an ‘amber top’ alert signaling concerns about the pay report while advisory group Pirc told investors to vote it down. “Without that we would have seen a much more normal vo ng


Landbased News

CANTOR GAMING DO CASINO SAN REMO DEAL WITH SILVERTON TO OFFER LIVE ONLINE CASINO DEALERS

Cantor Gaming and Silverton Casino Hotel, announced Monday that they have reached a long-term agreement for Cantor Gaming to build and operate a race and sports book at the Silverton Casino Hotel, which will include Cantor Gaming’s mobile gaming offering. Under the terms of the agreement, Cantor Gaming will build a race and sports book that offers sports wagering fans a sleek and sophis cated wagering environment that includes the very latest in technological advancements and convenience. Cantor Gaming’s mobile sports wagering, and its proprietary wireless gaming system which will be available across the en re resort area, including hotel rooms. Construc on of the new race and sports book is targeted for comple on by the third quarter of 2012. Lee M. Amai s, President and Chief Execu ve Officer of Cantor Gaming, said: “I am excited to announce our strategic partnership with Silverton Casino Hotel. We look forward to building a premier race and sports book, introducing the latest in mobile gaming technology and offering an exceponal gaming experience to its guests and customers.” Craig Cavileer, President of Silverton Casino Hotel, said: “Silverton Casino Hotel prides itself on offering our guests a quality gaming experience with a broad selec on of entertainment op ons. By partnering with Cantor Gaming to build a sleek race and sports book that incorporates leading technology, style and service, we are bringing to our guests an enhanced gaming experience.”

MediaLive have reached an agreement with Italian operator Casino San Remo which will see the casino offering online dealers to their external customers using MediaLive technology. MediaLive will stream its ac on on Casino San Remo.it in real me from its grand casino floors, making it possible for online & land players to gamble together. MediaLive, is already licensed in Italy to offer online services and now Casino San Remo internet ac on can also be streamed to third party MediaLive licensees in terms of the agreement between the two companies. “We have decided to offer live games from Casinò di Sanremo tables as a part of our online segment relaunch strategy, which we will finalise in summer through a wider game offer”, said Giuseppe Di Meco , president of Casino di San Remo parent Casinò Spa. Angelo De Gobbi , sales & marke ng manager of Media Live Casino, said: “Up to now no real Italian casino has been so far-sighted; online games were considered as compe tors. Casinò di Sanremo has been the first to grasp the huge poten al of broadcas ng the games directly from its presgious rooms.”


iGaming News

5050 POKER SUSPENDED FOOTBALLER FINED FROM MICROGAMING POKER OVER PADDY POWER NETWORK

FLASH

Microgaming Poker Network has suspended the opera ons of licensee 5050 Poker in a statement issued saying: The Microgaming Poker Network regrets that it has suspended all game play with immediate effect on the poker room of 5050Poker Ltd, for a material breach of its contract. The directors of 5050Poker Ltd have been aware of the breach since 14 June 2012. Game play will be reinstated once the breach is sa sfactorily rec fied. The network does not appear to have completely wri en off its licensee off, however - the statement notes that: ‘Game play will be reinstated once the breach is sa sfactorily rec fied.’

Denmark’s Nicklas Bendtner has been banned for one match and fined £80,000 for flashing the sponsored waistband of his underpants while celebra ng a goal against Portugal at Euro 2012.

No details of the breach have been given.

Bendtner revealed the logo for Paddy Power during celebra ons of his second goal, a move which appeared a clear viola on of Uefa rules. Regulaons ban any adver sing on players’ kits during the Euro 2012 finals.

5050 Poker Limited’s website shows the owner as 5050Poker Holding AB, whose stock is available on the Nasdaq OMX First North exchange. The company was founded in March 2007, based on the concept of offering loyal players shares in the company.

Uefa imposed the fine, and the suspension from Denmark’s next compe ve fixture, a er the celebra on during last Wednesday’s match against Portugal.

The company licensed their poker with Microgaming back in August 2009, along with casino & sports be ng services under LGA Malta & Curacao licensing.

UEFA last week announced disciplinary proceedings against the player for “improper conduct during the Group B game in Lviv, Ukraine, that Denmark lost 3-2.

THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL GAMING AWARDS COMING NEXT MONTH GAMING-AWARDS.COM

The waistband of Bendtner’s green and white underwear clearly had Paddy Power showing and has to be one of the Irish firms most daring marke ng exploits to date. The company said on its Blog that they were his “Lucky Pants” sadly not that lucky as Denmark lost the match 3-2, but s ll a great move by the Bookmaker, who always finds ways to promote themselves.


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