Online Casino and Gambling News: December 2009

Betsson forced to close Stockholm betting shop

The defiance of Swedish online gambling group Betsson in opening a land betting shop in Stockholm in the face of gaming authority threats has ended, eighteen months after it began. This week the group closed its betting shop in Stockholm following an adverse decision by the Swedish Administrative Court of Appeal (Kammarrätten) and the threat of 2.5 million kronor ($343,000) in fines.

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Ladbrokes Italian poker licence application successful

The online division of UK gambling group Ladbrokes reports that it has secured a licence from the Italian regulator AAMS to operate a dedicated poker tournament service in Italy. The group plans to launch the service early in January 2010, following the path of its sibling sportsbook service, which started operating in Italy last year.

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Gigamedia reports small 3rd quarter loss

Gigamedia, parent to major online companies like Everest Gaming, has announced its Q3,2009 results, reporting on the second and third quarters, with Q2 revenues at $37.7 million and EBITDA of $2.3 million, but less encouraging third-quarter revenues of $37.2 million and negative EBITDA of $10,000. The management is forecasting a "small double-digit" fall in its Asian online games business revenue in the fourth quarter.

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Net Entertainment upgrades stock market listing

Effective January 4, 2010 the Swedish online gambling software provider Net Entertainment will be upgraded from the Nasdaq OMX Stockholm small cap list to the mid cap list. The company was introduced on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm's small cap list as recently as January 13, 2009, and the change is a measure of its success. Less than one year after its introduction the share is now moving to the list for companies with a market cap between €150 million and 1 billion.

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Manila: Korean high roller loses $2m case against PAGCOR

A decision in the Philippine Supreme Court this week will do little to reassure foreign high rollers taking advantage of 'whale' junkets to the Asian region. The case involved a Korean high roller who claimed the right to redeem $2.1 million in chips he had accumulated after four trips to a Philippine land casino in Manila on junkets run by the Philippines casino gambling monopoly PAGCOR and its partner ABS Corporation.

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New bid for control of Gala Coral group

The battle for control of the UK online and land gambling group Gala Coral took an unexpected twist this week when the US-based private equity firm Apollo made its unexpected move, offering £250 million to secure 50% of the gambling company's shares.

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Gambling Commission suspends license of Paradise Bet

The UK Gambling Commission has announced the suspension of its licence to Paradise Bet Limited, a Hounslow bookie firm that also operates websites such as ParadiseBet.com and Bet 1128. The suspension is whilst a review under section 116 of the Gambling Act 2005 takes place as part of an ongoing Commission investigation.

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NBA considering legalised sportsbetting

The US national sports leagues have long opposed Internet gambling, but a recent Sports Illustrated interview with NBA Commissioner David Stern gave the perception that attitudes may be softening. Stern told SI writer Ian Thomsen that legalised sports betting in the United States could be a "huge opportunity," setting the stage for a closer relationship between reputable sports betting and the NBA.

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North Carolina bank manager embezzles to pay gambling debts

The Statesville Record & Landmark nespaper in North Carolina reports that the former branch manager at the Piedmont Bank in the city has been dismissed and stands accused of stealing money from her parents and customers to pay online gambling obligations.

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Ladbrokes expands into mobile sportsbetting

The online division of the Ladbrokes betting group has expanded on earlier reports that it has taken on board the mobile Mfuse iPhone sportsbetting technology. A company spokesman said this week that the new application offers a 'complete betting service' featuring a 'comprehensive range of betting markets' including an 'extensive range' of in-play wagers.

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