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Best of Ken Adams

Gaming Guru

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Internet and Interactive Gaming

30 April 2003

It is difficult, at least for me, to get a "handle," pun intended, on Internet gambling.    Bills to prohibit it come up in each session of Congress but have yet to pass.  The major banks and credits cards have stopped processing "gambling" charges.  Several major groups have retreated from licenses in the UK.  Australia is reconsidering its regulations.  And yet, all of the published numbers show an industry growing dramatically.  Certainly it is a maturing industry.  There are lobbyists, a formal standards group and some interesting new applications bubbling to the surface.  Somehow this feels like the Prohibition Era to me.  Whatever tactics government uses only further illustrates an underlying principle: people like to gamble; the Internet helps satisfy that desire.

For five years, they helped New Jersey enforce its laws on gambling at Atlantic City casinos.  Now Frank Catania and Keith Furlong are fighting for a far less esteemed segment of the gambling industry. As consultants for the Interactive Gaming Council, they are pushing a highly skeptical Congress to give up its attempts to ban Internet gambling.  Laurence Arnold, Associated Press, Las Vegas Sun, 4-16-03

While the U.S. Congress considers legislation to keep Americans from using online gambling sites, a U.K.-based nonprofit group backed by the largest licensor of Internet casinos is organizing to provide "online players with high levels of assurance of fair, honest, and responsible gaming."  E-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) plans to issue "seals of approval" to online casinos….  Roy Mark, Internet News, 4-16-03

The applications of the technology seem limitless.  You can bet the lottery in Europe, participate in the World Series of Poker or host your own Kentucky Derby party.  Yahoo wants to give you instant horse betting opportunities.  Oh, what a country!

Europeans can now satisfy their gambling urges on the spot -- with their cell phones.  …Government-approved mobile lotteries have recently been introduced in the Netherlands and Sweden, and the United Kingdom is likely to follow.  Douglas Heingartner, Associated Press, Las Vegas Sun, 4-14-03

The 34th annual World Series of Poker at Binion's Horseshoe is expected to draw as many as 8,000 players from around the globe as well as hundreds of tourists who will watch an event that has become the gambling industry's top spectator sport.  For the first time this year, hundreds more are expected to watch the event live from their homes thanks to Internet technology that is less than a year old.  Liz Benston, Las Vegas Sun, 4-18-03

TVG can offer your guests a high-tech way to wager   …Last year he and a buddy transformed the basement of his Prospect home into a miniature off-track betting parlor — featuring tables equipped with small TVs for unfettered viewing, and racing programs and betting slips for guests to track their wagers.  A few days before the Kentucky Derby, Ilnick stopped at Churchill Downs to deposit $1,000 into his interactive wagering account with TVG, the horse-racing cable channel, to cover his party's bets.   Grace Schneider, Louisville, Courier-Journal, 4-28-03

Yahoo….survived dot-com disaster and crowed last week over unexpectedly strong first-quarter sales and profits.  …Yahoo quietly added betting to its main horse-racing page in September through a partnership with Penn National Gaming, an operator of horse tracks and casinos.  Mike Langberg, Mercury News, 4-21-03

Now if you think all of that sounds like fun, Kerry Packer, you remember him, the whale that twice single handedly changed the results of an entire month for the Las Vegas Strip, has an idea for you.

Feel like a bet on the cricket even as you watch the game live on digital television? Think Ricky Ponting is heading for another ton and wouldn't mind laying a few bob on the Punter?  That could be in the cards if Kerry Packer gets the Federal Government to change its interactive gambling laws.  Under the Packer proposal, a message would pop up on the screen inviting viewers to bet on the next wicket taker or the next batsman to get out. Viewers would use their remote control to place the bet.  Cosima Marriner, Sydney Morning Herald, 4-28-03

The United Kingdom certainly wants to be a part of this new world, though no one seems to know exactly how or when that will happen.  But this mobile thing looks to be a part of the future, at least in the UK.  Worried about the coming competition, the first Internet jurisdictions are trying to strengthen their position with some bricks and mortar.  There has been "lots" of revenue, but not much profit; that too is changing.

The UK government is set to allow online gambling companies to set up shop in the UK proper, and hopes to turn the country into a global center for gambling, according to a report on IT news website New Media Zero.  The site is reporting that a new regulatory regime will be installed in the UK come the winter session of parliament that will include new laws on 'remote gambling' – meaning mobile gambling as well as its internet cousinLeigh Phillips, Europe Media, 4-28-03

BetWWTS.com…today announced the grand opening of its land-based operation in the majestic Grand Princess Casino located in…Antigua.  The new BetWWTS.com race and sports book offers wagering on all major sports leagues and events…24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. …"Opening a traditional sports book in a casino resort adds to the portfolio of gaming properties managed by BetWWTS.com while providing a distinct market advantage over other Internet gaming companies."  PRNewswire, Yahoo Business, 4-28-03

Youbet.com, Inc., a leader in online account wagering, today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended December 31, 2002. Youbet posted record fourth quarter revenues of $9.1 million and its first quarter of positive operating cash flow since the Company's inceptionBusiness Wire, Yahoo Finance, 4-15-03

While the NCAA tries to keep Las Vegas from taking bets on any college game and the NFL disdains any casino advertisements, Major League Baseball seems to be willing to join the Internet. 

Popular Internet casino GoldenPalace.com recently broke new ground by becoming the first cyber casino to sponsor a Major League Baseball team -- the Montreal Expos.  "We are extremely grateful to GoldenPalace.com for their participation and financial support in making this transaction a reality…," said Claude Delorme, the Expos Executive Vice President of Business Affairs.  …"Our involvement with an American institution like Major League Baseball can only help solidify our place in the competitive world of online gaming," said Richard Rowe, the CEO of GoldenPalace.com.   Newswire, 4-9-03

It is all very confusing for me: Where is it going?  Who will regulate it?  In the conventional wisdom of casino operations, this could be the worst of all worlds: Competition moves into the very homes of your best customers and the federal government gains an entree into national gaming regulation.

Ken Adams

Ken Adams is the principal in the gaming consulting firm, Ken Adams and Associates. Formed in 1990, Ken Adams and Associates specializes in information, analysis, and strategic planning for Indian tribes, casino operations and gaming manufacturers.

Ken spent over 20 years in the hotel-casino industry, prior to founding Ken Adams and Associates. He held the positions of: Director of Casino Operations, Casino Manager, and Keno Department Manager. During this time, he developed numerous innovative marketing and customer development programs and systems for evaluating casino performance. Some of those programs, such as slot clubs and tournaments, have become industry standards.

Ken is also actively involved in gathering and disseminating information that is important to the gaming industry. He is editor and publisher of and the Adams' Report, a monthly newsletter specializing in identifying trends in casino gaming, regulation and manufacturing, the Adams Daily Report, an electronic newsletter that provides electronic links to the key gaming stories of the day, and the Adams Review, a special report distributed by Compton Dancer Consulting that provides editorial commentary on gaming trends.
Ken Adams
Ken Adams is the principal in the gaming consulting firm, Ken Adams and Associates. Formed in 1990, Ken Adams and Associates specializes in information, analysis, and strategic planning for Indian tribes, casino operations and gaming manufacturers.

Ken spent over 20 years in the hotel-casino industry, prior to founding Ken Adams and Associates. He held the positions of: Director of Casino Operations, Casino Manager, and Keno Department Manager. During this time, he developed numerous innovative marketing and customer development programs and systems for evaluating casino performance. Some of those programs, such as slot clubs and tournaments, have become industry standards.

Ken is also actively involved in gathering and disseminating information that is important to the gaming industry. He is editor and publisher of and the Adams' Report, a monthly newsletter specializing in identifying trends in casino gaming, regulation and manufacturing, the Adams Daily Report, an electronic newsletter that provides electronic links to the key gaming stories of the day, and the Adams Review, a special report distributed by Compton Dancer Consulting that provides editorial commentary on gaming trends.