Nambling Notes - GIGSE Edition

14 June 2005

Montreal is once again the center of the I-gaming universe, as the industry congregates for the seventh annual Global Interactive Gaming Summit & Expo. Naturally, Nambling Notes focuses on highlights from the event, and today's edition rounds up days one and two.

The Keynote - Frankly Speaking?

Following a very thorough--and somewhat nostalgic--review of U.S. I-gaming prohibition over the years, American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf candidly expressed his group's continued adamant and passionate neutrality on the Kyl bill, which has gone retro in '05 with its revisited "no exemption" format. He added, however, that the AGA's position could change should the language of the bill change.

GIGSE Delegates Wake up Hacking

You probably won't see it resurface as Disney's newest reality thrill ride, but Nikolaus Hottenroth of SEC Consult offered a simulation of a live DDoS attack--undoubtedly a gut-wrenching experience for those who have been hit in the past and an educational one for those who might one day find themselves in harm's way. Judging by the number of people who rolled out of bed early to attend the session (it started at 8:30 a.m.), DDoS attacks are still an extremely important issue for the industry.

GP through the Years

Golden Palace 's Steve Baker presented a chronological overview of his company's very unconventional--and hugely successful--branding strategies. Baker walked through the evolution of GP's marketing ploys--from tattooed boxers to streakers to blessed sandwiches to child-naming rights--and wrapped up by stressing that they will continue to reinvent themselves in this area. . . . On a side note, IGN's Bradley Vallerius made his speaking debut during the same session and to our knowledge offended no one. (Way to go, Brad!)

Beyond the Conference Sessions

In the expo hall, Realtime Gaming's contortionist-for-hire did things that your average GIGSE attendee wouldn't have dreamed were possible. Words would not do it any justice, so we'll leave it at that.

The award for bravery and dedication goes to River City Group's Rosalee Echele, who managed to not only survive, but remain focused and on task as crazed Segway pilots crashed into the nearby silent auction table, where she was attempting to raise money for the California Council. Amazingly, the entrance to "River City Speedway" (where delegates partook in time trials and races for the charity Segway Grand Prix) was approximately eight feet from Playtech 's beer and wine bar. Sorry Rosalee.

Things to Watch for on Day 3

The policy track kicks off at 9:30 with Kaye McDonald from Antigua's Financial Services Regulatory Commission and Mark Mendel, Antigua's head attorney in its WTO case against the United States speaking to their experience as David taking on Goliath. That will flow into session two, which will cover legal issues related to advertising I-gaming services in the United States as well as the United Kingdom.

The final plenary session, meanwhile, will feature longtime industry veterans Calvin Ayre (, James Blackledge (USA Casino), Hasu Jani (Direct Merchant Services) and Mark Blandford (Sportingbet) and River City Group's Sue Schneider taking a nostalgic look at where the I-gaming industry was a decade ago and how far it has come.

In the expo hall, meanwhile, David Flynn from Poker Network, will demo the group's impressive new mobile poker game.

The expo will conclude with grown men and women racing against each other on Segways. The charitable event has already brought in over $50,000 in pledges for the California Council on Problem Gambling.

And of course, there will be more contortion in the Real Time Gaming booth.

As for the news . . .

Ladbrokes in Finland -- Finland's Supreme Administrative Court has ordered the Finnish government to again review a betting license application filed by U.K.-based Ladbrokes. The Council of State rejected similar applications last year by Ladbrokes and European Sports Betting Consultants. The court has ruled that the Ministry of Internet did not take decisions from the European Court of Justice into account when rejecting the original license bids.

New Games -- Toronto-based I-gaming software provider CryptoLogic Inc. announced Monday that it has rolled out 14 new online casino games: 12 multi-line video slots games and two scratch-card games.

Quoteworthy -- "The attorneys generals' request that the U.S. 'withdraw gambling from the trade agreement' violates any sense of fair play. It's outrageous to suggest that after a ruling that it doesn't like, the U.S. would just say 'Oh, never mind. We're no longer including this subject in the deal.'"

- Rick Smith, executive director of the Interactive Gambling Council, in response to a letter addressed to the U.S. trade representative and signed by 29 U.S. attorneys general suggesting the gambling services be removed from the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services.

'Bond. . . GamBond' -- GamSure, the world’s first bond guarantee provider for the remote gaming gambling industry, has re-branded itself "GamBond" in an effort to better reflect the company's focus. "We were looking for a new brand that would become synonymous with the bond scheme and the industry, and GamBond provided us with a perfect match for both," the company's founder, Gareth Wong, explained. "In recent months there has been a definite consolidation and globalization of the market, and GamBond is ideally placed to deliver the transparency that the industry so desperately needs." . . . GamBond also announced the appointment of Jack Wigglesworth to its board as an independent non-executive chairman. Wigglesworth, 63, has 42 years of experience in the financial services and banking sectors.

Related Links
Global Interactive Gaming Summit & Expo (GIGSE) 2005