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Aussie Media Man Talks Domain Names: Gambling.com, Poker.com.au, by Greg Tingle - 7th January 2011

G'day punters, entrepreneurs, gambling and casino tycoons, journalists... one and all. Today we explore the world of internet domain names. We look at both generic and general domain names as well as those in the news media, entertainment, adult and gambling sector. Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 give you the heads up on domain names so you can try to make heads or tails of all the domain name news and gossip currently going on down under in Australia and everywhere else in the internet universe.

All of this fuss about internet domain names. Well, your reading about it on either Gambling911 or Media Man Int, two very strong domain names and companies, if there ever was.

This week or so everyone's been buzzing about domain names Gambling.com and now Poker.com.au So, just how good are the names, how much is hype, speculative, and how much is of substance and lets call it "real big business", and will deliver profits and return on investment.

MediaManInt.com Says Gambling.com Is High Risk; Name Already Lost Money In Past!...

The internet domain name www.gambling.com, owned by a Pommie casino group, is up for auction and it don't come cheap.

Introducing Media Corporation, which would you believe paid a massive $US20 million ($19.8 million) for the domain in May of 2005 and earned a cool$US5.5 million from advertising on the website a year later, hopes to fetch more than $US10 million for the name.

The domain name's depreciation in value is largely due to a ban on internet gambling in the United States in October 2006. In some other counties such as Australian and New Zealand, some legal eagles talk of "grey areas" (which are legally untested).

It's worth pointing out that for the record our Media Man Int is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. We cover over a dozen different vertical markets including news, political, travel, lifestyle, technology, community, property, entertainment, a wee tad of adult (and games... both land based, video games and online).

As well informed readers might have picked up on, many industries are intertwined. Many brands such as Marvel Entertainment, Sony, News Corporation and yes, Media Man, have a number of business arms. Marvel has books, comics, lunch boxes and super hero costumes. They are pump out DVDs and even new release blockbuster movies. And, who has not heard of Marvel slot games, which can be found across the Media Man website network. Companies such as PartyGaming, Virgin, Playtech and Centrebet feature the branded Marvel games. The games from Marvel are often featured on website portals. See how it gets complicated. Back to matters at hand, no, Marvel.com is not for sale, nor is Marvel - they are owned by Disney. Yes, the company famous for Mickey Mouse and friends.

Gambling, sex and the internet go hand in hand, pardon the pun.

The porn friendly nation of Germany is home of tech giant and domain name firm, Sedo. It was Sedo in fact that arranged for the sale of www.sex.com for a record $US13 million last November and its now having a crack and flogging gambling.com, pushed along with a big of media buzz by Media Man and Gambling911 we might add! An ambitious reserve price of $US9 million has been set, but how many genuine takers are out there in a financial climate which is pretty depressed, or as they say in Australia, up the shit.

The actual word "gambling" is ranked No. 1 by out friends at Google via searches and the gambling.com site gets more than 300,000 hits each month which is pretty impressive.

Gambling.com yes, a great name, but what's it worth? The market will decide and your can bet your bottom dollar that the Media Man network and Gambling911 newshounds will be following up in hot pursuit.

Australian Poker Domain Name Sells For $100,000; Good Or Bad Value Compared To CasinoNewsMedia.com and MediaMan.com.au...

The attractive Poker.com.au domain sold for $100,000 less that 24 hours ago, but experts are saying the price tag was reduced thanks to complex online gambling laws down under in Australia.

The Aussie domain name market has continued to heat up with Poker.com.au selling for $US100,000. However some industry experts reckon the names value may have been reduced because of Australia's restrictions on online gambling.

Legislation released a decade or so ago "restricts" the advertising of interactive gambling services in Australia. David Nye, who runs domain name auction house NetFleet, says the laws means Poker.com.au has sold for considerably less than it would have otherwise.

"There is a Canadian equivalent, Poker.ca, that sold for $400,000 last year. Now, Canada has one-and-a-half times the population of Australia and that site commanded a price much, much higher. One of the aspects involved in all of this is the legislation, and the legislation specifically prohibits the advertising of online interactive gambling. In theory, you cannot have an Australian website advertising these interactive gaming services, and the fines are large."

The current laws also state that it is illegal for any online gambling site to offer services to Australians located in the country...but the current law does not make it a criminal act for Australians to engage in these services.

The Australian Government has even restated last year that it would not lift the restrictions, despite a Productivity Commission report recommending the restrictions should cease.

Nye says that if interactive gambling advertising were allowed in Australia, "you might see prices that were worth 10 times the amount... the legislation has obviously deflated the price".

The poker domain name has been purchased by sports gambling company 888, which operates various gambling - (poker, casino and sports betting) websites internationally and sports Shane Warne as an ambassador. So far, the company hasn't used Poker.com.au for any new service but the website states that "a seriously exciting new poker revolution" is "coming soon".

Nye points out that online gambling is one of the most lucrative practices on the internet, and that continued government opposition to liberalised gambling laws will keep prices down.

"There is huge money in online poker. Some of these poker rooms are bringing many thousands of dollars," he said on the record.

But the Government hasn't budged from its position, with communications senator Stephen Conroy saying last year that the online aspects of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 wouldn't be changed, in fact going against the Productivity Commission's recommendations.

"The Australian Government does not agree with the Productivity Commission recommendation that the Australian Government amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to allow for a liberalisation of online gambling, starting with allowing the provision of online poker games to Australians. The existing rules will continue to apply," the senator went on record with last year.

A Media Man Int spokesperson said "The Australian government needs to get up to speed with the rest of the world. It reminds me a bit like the Wikileaks saga of which Prime Minister Julia Gillard said was illegal, which is complete B.S. The Australian punters and business folks alike are sick of all the B.S and spin coming from the government. The internet is a global industry. Most domain names are dot coms. Most companies in this space have a global presence, global marketing, business and media plan. The world is their audience, whether the founder or director of a companies is a Canadian, American, Australian, South African, Indian or New Zealand resident. It shouldn't matter. The internet is global period, as so is online casino, poker and sports betting. We even have a Casino Legal section on our websites which cover off on some of the legal and technical stuff, but its all pretty complex, and the United States seems to head up much of the confusion, followed by Europe. Someone needs to help the Australian government get with the 21st century".

Now, get this...some have even called for even stricter regulations on the industry. Australia's Independent senator Nick Xenophon said in a submission to the Productivity Commission that the recent arrival of sites such as Betfair, which "allows for an expansion of gambling by virtue of the product that is offered", highlights the need for a more "comprehensive regulatory approach".

Senator Xenophon is currently not returning the calls of Media Man.

Our switched on friend Nye advised the issue is timely given the domain name industry is heating up and approaching red hot, if not white hot levels.

Onto other industry sectors, given Media Man covers basically all of them, it was just last month that retain giant Woolworths (also involved in gambling) purchased Hardware.com.au for $33,000, and Nye expects Electricity.com.au...which just came back on the market – to sell for around $50,000!

"The theory of relaxing these laws is that you're allowing access to poker rooms, you're getting tax revenue which could be in the realms of hundreds of millions per year, and you can regulate the industry. This is one of the most lucrative areas on the internet... but the legislation means the price is lower than it would have been overseas."

For the record, Media Man International is not currently looking to sell any of their domain names in a portfolio which spans over 25 names, many of which are gold and listed on very high ranking website portals and measuring sticks like Hitwise. Media Man has done media coverage and b2b for firms such as Messages On Hold, PartyGaming, Virgin, James Packer's Betfair and Crown, and also Centrebet and Betezy, DGM Affiliates, and more! Oh, readers, if you have what you think is a very attractive offer you can let us know, but don't loose any sleep if we don't get back to you overnight. Still, you have to be in it to win it, so let us know what's on your mind.

Take the time to research and learn games before placing down money

Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com Casino News Media http://www.casinonewsmedia.com and Gambling911.com are website portals. Not casinos as such, however are recognised as world leading websites that cover the sector and act as central points to games, news, reviews and more. Media Man's Casino News Media covers casino news, reviews, games, multimedia and more.

Know the odds, set limits and have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

 

Welcome to the Media Man Domain Name Resource

Securing, owning and operating the right Internet domain names is an important part of the Internet landscape, or the business landscape, for that matter. We hope you find the following information of interest and benefit to you.

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Online gaming companies in for huge 2011, by Greg Tingle - 23rd November 2010

Could online gaming firms be in the mix of the top stockmarket investments to make in 2011?

The listing of Betfair (BET) at the conclusion of October on a fancy multiple and the $3.3 billion megamerger between PartyGaming and Bwin (PRTY), due to complete in the first quarter of 2011, appears to have added spark to the industry of late.

Then there is the prospect, albeit slight, of the liberalisation of the US igaming market which has put the industry firmly on investors' watch list, including ours, for next year.

It is understandable, as even a snapshot look at the stockmarket gains of the world’s biggest online gaming companies between circa 2004-2006 reveals just how quickly fortunes were made and lost.

The iGaming Global Top 30 Index, an index of the stockmarket performance of the biggest 30 online gaming companies, surged 40% between July 2004 and August 2005. This was followed by 12 months of extreme volatility before sinking thanks to a controversial piece of legislation in the US.

Since 2006, online gaming’s real story has been dominated by America’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

The multibillion-pound global industry virtually collapsed in a heap after its biggest market - the US - was closed down overnight when Congress introduced a surprise clause to legislation in September 2006, in effect making internet betting illegal. Not only was that a blow for investors - it was a hugely expensive one.

British-based companies were among the biggest casualties.

As soon as the London Stock Exchange opened the following Monday morning, shares in PartyGaming - then a FTSE 100 member - dived by 58%, while rivals 888 Holdings (888) and Sportingbet saw their shares slide by 26% and 64% respectively, wiping an estimated £4 billion off the sector's value.

The companies were forced to focus on opportunities in other parts of the world, but the businesses have never fully recovered from the impact of losing their most lucrative market. Last year, online gambling was worth an estimated $5.4 billion (£3.5 billion) overall, a figure that could rise to $12-$16 billion if the market was opened up, analysts say.

Despite the recent loss of a sympathetic Democrat majority in Congress last month, there is renewed hope of floated gambling companies being dealt a good hand on both sides of the Pond.

The new Republican chairman of the House financial services committee is likely to be an old-style Alabaman named Spencer Bachus.

Yet he is likely to listen to the prospects of a reinvigorated gambling sector for the ailing US economy. The Federal government’s non-partisan accountants, the Joint Committee on Taxation, have estimated online gambling could generate between $10 billion and $42 billion in new revenue by 2019, depending on the number of states that opt into a federal regulatory programme.

Yet he is likely to listen to the prospects of a reinvigorated gambling sector for the ailing US economy.

The Federal government’s non-partisan accountants, the Joint Committee on Taxation, have estimated online gambling could generate between $10 billion and $42 billion in new revenue by 2019, depending on the number of states that opt into a Federal regulatory programme.

And you can see why if you glance at the forecast numbers.

With the US nationwide unemployment rate at 10%, 48 of 50 states facing budget shortfalls and a Federal deficit approaching $1.3 trillion, the economic backdrop against which to promote regulation and taxation of internet gambling has arguably never been more favourable.

Yet those companies poised to get a real boost should America legalise online gambling, such as the impressive PartyGaming/Bwin combine, are getting excited about the future.

"We are seeing things from a legislative perspective that are quite exciting for us," says Jim Ryan, chief executive of PartyGaming, whose comments undoubtedly reflect the mood of a growing contingent of gambling operators on both sides of the Atlantic.

There has been speculation that PartyGaming and Bwin have decided to merge at this time precisely because they will be better placed than any other operator to seize a huge market share should the US decide to legalise online gambling. You only have to look at the market share that Party was able to capture by becoming one of the first operators into the online poker market back in 2001.

Analysts agree the enlarged company is in a strong position to exploit the opening up of the US market.

In a note to investors recently, the Morgan Stanley leisure analyst Vaughan Lewis said: "The overall political tide is moving firmly in favour of regulation, rather than prohibition.

"With its expertise... market-leading technology, strong marketing capability and good brands, we think the combined entity of PartyGaming and Bwin would be extremely well positioned to benefit from any market opening in the US. We include nothing in our forecasts for the US, so any new market here is pure upside."

And in a recent Barclays Capital research note, the investment bank said: "In the event of Federal regulation, we believe PartyGaming would be the likely key beneficiary.

"Under this hypothetical scenario, we estimate the potential [underlying profits] uplift could be 94% for PartyGaming and 58% for Bwin and 888. On a state-by-state hypothetical scenario, we estimate the uplift for the group would be considerably lower, but still meaningful."

Meanwhile, at the end of October analysts at Numis published a note saying there is 50% upside potential at Party when the merger with Bwin completes in March 2011. With the shares trading at around 230p at the beginning of November Numis have put a price target of 400p on the stock.

The PartyGaming/Bwin merger has got the other big companies in the sector scurrying around to do similar deals. They don't want to be left behind in what will become a gold rush should the US legalise online gaming.

888 and Sportingbet are also possible future takeover targets as the industry consolidates, but only once their legal liabilities in the US market are cleared. Serious negotiations in the PartyGaming/Bwin merger were only concluded once Party had secured a $105 million settlement with US authorities.

Analysts say a resolution would clear the way for 888 and Sportingbet to re-enter the lucrative US market should moves to overturn the 2006 legislation succeed.

Sportingbet has already acted telling shareholders at its latest results meeting that it had made a £22.8 million settlement with the US Department of Justice over an investigation into illegal internet gambling. The agreement means the firm will avoid being prosecuted in the US for accepting online bets made by Americans between 1998 and 2006.

Sportingbet would hold the most appeal to potential bidders, analysts reckon, pointing to its very strong market positioning in Australia and commenting that Ladbrokes (LAD) and William Hill (WMH) could be interested in a takeover.

Liberum Capital analyst Richard Taylor recently highlighted the strength of Sportingbet’s sports betting business, which he said had one of the best gross margins in the sector at around 10%. In addition, he said Sportingbet’s management was open to a bid, having previously stated up to 55% of their cost base could be removed.

Another former giant of the sector, now somewhat depleted thanks to the UIGEA, is 888.

Analysts say 888's attraction would be the potential for cost savings in a tie-up with a rival online gaming operator, and that Party/Bwin might be a possible buyer. What would make it attractive is that both Party and Bwin use 888 as a supplier.

However, the Shaked family who founded the company, and who control over 50% of the shares, would be looking for a price significantly above the 40p at which the company currently trades.

There have been whispers among London traders in the last few weeks that a £262 million, or 76p a share, cash bid from a much bigger industry player, possibly US entertainment giant Harrah's, which already has close business links with 888 could be on the cards.

Certainly 888 chief executive Gigi Levy has said recently that he looks at consolidation as one of the possible routes to realising shareholder value.

Another giant of the industry looking to become bigger still is the mighty Betfair. Having listed on the LSE at the end of October at 1,300p, the shares soon touched 1,600p-plus, as tracker funds piled in confident it will canter into the FTSE 250 index at the December review with a market value above £1.6 billion.

If things are hotting up at the Federal level for the online gaming industry there are also some exciting developments at state level.

So far in 2010, four states have considered whether or not to legalise some combination of online poker, casino gaming and sports betting: Iowa, Florida, California and New Jersey.

The state making most headway is New Jersey, where internet gambling has been under consideration by lawmakers since 2001. It is finally receiving serious consideration in the state Senate where two bills, which would legalise internet sports betting and casino gaming respectively, have already passed the committee stage this year.

From California to New Jersey to Florida, more state and federal congressmen are taking the reality of a legal online gambling regime a lot more seriously.

Whoever wins the race, state or federal, one thing is clear: more and more stakeholders in the US are finally coming around to understand the risks and implication of a ‘do nothing’ strategy. This is an opportunity cost and gambling companies are getting their bets on regardless.

But ongoing political deadlock clearly poses a real threat to regulatory efforts at all levels of American government. But even as gambling industry stakeholders duke it out in the halls of legislatures around the country, as well as on Capitol Hill in Washington, the very fact that the conflict between them is intensifying signals that interest and investment in pushing for online gaming regulation is rising.

With billions of dollars out there to harvest and market share to win, the entire online gaming sector looks ripe for an upturn in coming months. Investing in online gaming companies has always been a white knuckle ride - and there looks to be every sign this particular circus is once again rolling back into town.

News

Gambling and Porn Addiction Caused by Drug: Lawsuit, by Greg Tingle - 3rd June 2010

Readers, what's your vice or addiction? You may not necessarily have one, but countless research papers suggest many people are hooked on something...or super passionate about X... its just a matter of what X is. It could be gambling, porn - sex, or just a favorite hobby or sport, like wrestling, surfing or dancing, which would constitute a healthy addiction. Media Man and Gambling911 don our doctors jackets, grab our stethoscope and spy a drug which experts say is causing addiction to gambling and porn...

In excess of 100 victims who claim a drug treating Parkinson's Disease has given them gambling and porn addictions are suing the companies that sell them.

The group has launched a class action lawsuit against Pfizer Australia and Aspen Pharmacare after developing addictions following taking pills to deal with tremors, the Sydney Morning Herald, NineMSN and a host of wires reported.

Multitudes of claimants have said they lost thousands of dollars and experienced family and relationship breakdowns after developing gambling addictions from taking the drugs entitled Cabaser and Permax.

Others reportedly developed compulsive sex behaviour including, but not limited to, addictions to internet pornography.

A recent study in the US demonstrated a connection between the dopamine agent in drugs treating Parkinson's Disease and compulsive, risk-taking behaviour such as problem gambling, shopping and binge eating.

The Australian class action writ filed in the Federal Court said Pfizer and Aspen Pharmacare breached a duty of care by failing to research possible side effects of their drugs, or by failing to heed research into side effects.

Media Man and Gambling911 have been advising for months that people, being people, can have a number of problems, and gambling - excessive gaming is just one problem. Drugs are well known to cause behavior in a persons actions. Even one or two drinks at a pub, hotel or casino may facilitate a person risking greater amounts gambling for example. The effects of some drugs are not as well understood as they are for every day stimulates (technically drugs) such as coffee, beer and cigarettes.

The legal case against Pfizer Australia and Aspen Pharmacare has its "directions hearing" today.

Readers, please bet with your head, not over it and be mindful of potential dangers of mixing drugs and gambling (or sports betting). Of course, don't forget to have fun.

*The writer is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. The gaming sector is just one of a bakers of dozen of industries they cover.

 

News

Australia Gets New Gambling Watchdog in Town: Woof!, by Greg Tingle - 3rd June 2010

Australian gambling remains politically red hot. With the changes in town comes a new watchdog... yep, a man of a different breed who appears to be a shoot straight, and takes a balanced view of the industry. Media Man, Gambling911 and our pack of sniffer dogs pound the pavement and sniff out the story... Ruff

Meet Mr Ches Baragwanath, Australia's new Gambling Watchdog. No, he's not affiliated with our unmet friends at Affiliate Guard Dog (or CAP or GPWA for that matter).

For the unacquainted, Baragwanath, is a former auditor-general of Australia circa 1990.

This watchdog has a reputation of not taking rubbish from the animals in Parliament or in the gambling sector.

Via Fairfax Media we learned of a previous masterstroke and key happening re today's new sheriff in town ....the Victorian government before last November's election, Mr Baragwanath let it be known to the house he has accepted an invitation to become a commissioner for gambling regulation.

His appointment, announced just yesterday, comes at a pivotal time for the Australian gaming and gambling industry. Shakes ups of late include James Packer's Crown Casino growing, politicians are open to seeing the proposed Mildura "Jewel" Casino happen on their watch.

Baragwanath has his finger on the pulse. No spring chicken, at 75 years of age, he's wiser and more experienced than the best of them, and is understood to process a brilliant mind, understands the typical man in the street (and boasts outstation credentials and business contacts). Insiders say he's expected to make fair but tough rulings, and is not a casino lover nor casino hater. Controlled growth and suitable regulation, maintaining balance, are understood to be high on his priorities.

Mr B says "I've spent a bit of time in Las Vegas; it's a soul-destroying place. I would hate Melbourne to become the Las Vegas of the southern hemisphere. Pokies are the most mindless and boring pastime I could imagine". Still, he respects people to play the pokies, and other legal casino games of their choosing.

The personable, hang on, likable, Mr B (Big) loves the horses, having a beer and is known to even try his luck having a punt on Tattslotto, if you believe the media gossip around town.

The Melbourne Age was able to get this rip snorter quote from the man..."Despite what political parties might say in opposition, once they get into government they are fascinated by the revenue that flows from nicotine, booze and gambling - wait until they decide how to tax sex! The Victorian government - and most governments, for that matter - do very well out of problem gamblers, they do very well out of problem drinkers and they do very well out of problem smokers, so they've got a moral obligation to support those people who are harmed by gambling, nicotine and alcohol. I haven't read the Bible for some time, but I seem to recall the Roman soldiers were rolling dice underneath the crucifix. I would say to them, look, 97.5 or 98 per cent of the population enjoy a mild flutter on poker machines. Should they be penalised because 2 per cent can't control themselves? I enjoy a drink. Should I be penalised because some people can't hold their liquor? If gambling went underground, the criminal element could take over. I can remember when I was a kid growing up in Brunswick just near the Union Hotel, the bigwig in the area was the local SP (starting price) bookmaker. Do we really want SP bookmakers back on the scene? To some extent it (the role) is to ensure the criminal element is kept out of this field - you know, we don't want the bloody Mafia buying into hotels with poker machines".

Whether "Blueys" err, Mr Big's bark is bigger than his bite remains to be seen. Insiders meantime question who let the dogs out, and what side of the fence will "Mr Dog" prefer?

Media Man remains a proud shareholder in Crown Casino, understood to remain a focus point of the new sheriff in town. "Mr Big" will also be acutely aware that the funds the pour into the likes of Crown Casino flow back into the community and create real and sustainable employment opportunities, some of which tie in with celebrated employment initiative GenerationOne, a project of which Media Man remains in close contact with.

Casinos remain a key element in the Australian tourism, entertainment and employment landscape, and "Mr Big" will no doubt remind himself of these facts when it comes to the hard decisions that will be coming his way for as long as his holds the top dog position.

Loyal readers of Gambling911, as always bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.

*The writer is a special contributor for Gambling911

 

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. The gaming sector is just one of a bakers of dozen of industries they cover.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

 

Media Man is not a legal advisory service.

Media Man recommends:

Addisons Lawyers

Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and portal development company

 

International Internet Betting Laws

It may seem difficult but it is important that all citizens across the world stay updated with Internet Betting laws. Below you will find what we understand as the laws to online betting in certain areas of the world.

US Internet Betting Laws
The United States of America has the most ambiguous online casino laws in the world. They have passed laws to ban banks from allowing transactions that are deemed illegal, but no one has any idea what the United States considers legal or illegal. Currently, all US citizens are advised to check with local laws before gambling online. Even the online casinos aren't sure if you should be allowed to bet at their site. Some companies don't allow US players, others allow some US players, and some could care less where a player is from.

UK Internet Casino Laws
The UK is the first major country to completely legalize and regulate online gambling. The Gambling Act of 2005 was passed while Prime Minister Tony Blair was in office. Blair had a flair for expanding gambling, but when Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister in the UK he provided a tax structure that was so high that most online casino companies were not urged to relocate to England. Today, all web branded casinos that are in a UK approved jurisdiction are legal for UK citizens to play at.

International Online Betting Laws
As the world gets deeper into the 21st century and the Internet becomes a more common cultural tool more and more countries are realizing the reality that is Internet gambling. Currently, Spain, Italy, Germany and other countries have moved to legalize and regulate the industry, while few still look to protect their homeland gaming monopolies. It is extremely important to check all local, state, and federal laws before participating in any online gambling activities.

 

Media Man is not a legal advisory service.

Media Man recommends:

Addisons Lawyers

Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and portal development company