UK Mobile Betting Firm Seeks Float


A UK-based mobilephone gambling firm is close to appointing advisers for a flotation next year.

Million-2-1, which runs text message lotteries for charities and sports gambling games, is expected to be valued at about £50m.

Chief executive Chris Sheffield is holding talks with Arsenal and its shirt sponsor mmO2 over match-day lotteries for the club.

Sheffield, a former IT consultant with Deloitte & Touche, said the firm was within days of finalising a £2m pre-flotation shares deal.

Until now he has funded the firm with the proceeds of the sale of web design group Eunite to N Brown Group in 2000 for £18m, 15 months after it was launched.New Zealand Seeks Slots Monitor

Two giant companies are bidding for the lucrative rights to monitor New Zealand’s gaming machines.

The New Zealand-based telecommunications company Telecom and Australian company Unitab, put in a joint tender to the Internal Affairs bitcoin dice  Department. The job would involve connecting New Zealand’s 22,500 non-casino gaming machines to a central monitoring system. This would put the industry within the Gambling Act 2003.

Unitab is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has a market capitalisation of about $A800 million ($NZ900 million).

Clients include more than half of Queensland’s hotels and clubs and an exclusive monitoring licence for the Northern Territory.

Unitab developed its Queensland monitoring system in-house and has more than seven years’ experience in the gaming monitoring business.

The International Affairs Department has adopted Unitab’s Queensland Communication protocol as its monitoring standard.

Unitab was hailing the bid — its first step overseas — as a “significant” growth opportunity.

Prohibiting Problem Gamblers

A new “Responsible Gaming List” has been created by Park Place Entertainment, which would bar problem gamblers for life from all of its casinos.

Problem gamblers on the list would also lose any jackpots they win on return visits to Park Place casinos, which include Caesars, Bally’s and Hilton properties.

“By creating this innovative, industry-leading program, we are making the strongest possible statement about our company’s commitment to responsible gaming,” said Bernard E. DeLury Jr., Park Place executive vice president and general counsel.

People can be placed on the company’s “Responsible Gaming List” by voluntary self-exclusion – or involuntarily if casino employees learn any of its patrons are problem gamblers.

A bard person could be kicked off casino property and forced to forfeit all winnings, and will not be able to receive credit, cash checks or receive complimentary services.

Voluntary, statewide self-exclusion lists have gained popularity as more states turn to gambling for revenue. Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey and New Mexico all have self-exclusion lists, said Kevin Mullally, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission.

Park Place owns, manages or has an interest in 29 gambling properties, operating under brand names including Paris, Flamingo and Grand Casinos.

Park Place will begin implementing the program in January 2004.