ONLINE bingo software provider BingoTek has partnered with Micro gaming to deliver premium Online Bingo Games to their network of licenses.
      BingoTek’s range of licensing features include advanced Flash gaming and business management technology, website integration, affiliate program management and market testing, with pay-to-play and free-play online bingo game options that include 75-ball US bingo and 90-ball UK bingo products.

      BingoTek’s online bingo games include round-the-clock chat management and support, a selection of chat features and sounds, a regular newsletter and consistent e-marketing as well as chat games, promotions and side games.
      Graeme Levin, one of the BingoTek founders and consultant, said: “We are very excited to be working with Micro gaming and are confident that we can assist them to deliver continued innovation in this area. ”
      BingoTek’s first licensee was Bingodrome, which recently picked up the ‘Best Bingo Overall’ award from BingoAwards.com for January and February 2006.
     “We are delighted at this recognition because it is online gamers who have made the voting decision – not industry insiders,” Levin said.
      Microgaming   chief  executive Roger Raatgever said: “Our mission is to provide effective software and management systems for our operators so they can run the fairest, most reliable and most profitable online action. We believe the addition of BingoTek demonstrates microgaming’s ability to explore new boundaries for our operators in global online gaming.

Betfair aims for female poker vote

BETFAIR is trying to introduce women to with a pink ladies microsite on its website, and the chance to win a home visit from handsome male poker dealer.
      Betfair will also run a series of five weekly online tournaments, where the overall winner will go on to play at Warld Series of Poker Ladies Event in Las Vegas in the summer. Betfair will train the overall winner through tutorials for the Las Vegas final.
      In addition, a women player will be selected at random every week to win The Ultimate Night In, where an attractive male dealer will go round to the winners house complete with chips, cards and a branded table cover, food and wine for an evening with friends.

      Betfair will also set up live chat on the site where three experienced female players will be at hand to answer email questions from players who can opt-in to receive emails about future events.
      The microsite is aimed to promote the tournaments but could remain a permanent fixture if it becomes an important resource for Betfair.
      Ben Fried, betfair’s head of poker, said:  “We are trying to give women what they want- an opportunity to learn the game in a less testosterone- driven environment. ”

Segal leaves Party as Payne denies links

PARTYGAMING  chief executive Richard Segal is to stand down after turning down a move to Gibraltar, but will reflect on a year that saw the company boost revenues by 63 per cent.
     “Given the rapid growth of the company, he and he board agree that the chief executive now needs to be located in Gibraltar along with all the other executive directors,” PartyGaming said in a statement.

     “Following discussions with his family, Richard has declined a request by the board to move to Gibraltar and will therefore be leaving the company,” it added. Revenues grew to US $977.7m in 2005 from $601.6m the previous year.
      Night Payne, chief executive of Sporting bet, has denied rumors that he might be taking the job.

*    SPORTINGBET, the UK’s second-biggest online gaming group, reported a 72 per cent increase in a second quarter pretax profit and saw poker commission rise 107 per cent.
      Second quarter pretax profit was £ 27m in the three months to January 31, said sportingbet, which owns the Paradise poker and Sportsbook website.
      Sportingbet said its ‘shared purse’ technology, which allows players to switch easily between games, was bearing fruit, with over 23,000 of its US sports betting customer’s playing poker in the second  quarter, up 30 per cent on the first quarter.
“We now have over 3.9 million registered customers, who placed 290 million sports and gaming bets in the first half of this year and played 339 million games of poker,” said chief executive Nigel Payne.
During the first three weeks of the third quarter, organic growth and trading was strong for all products, with margins in the line with expectations, and for some games slightly ahead of average, said Sportingbet. “Should the current level of strong performance continue throughout the second half of the year, then the board intends to reinvest any such excess in furthering the organic growth of the business,” it said.


GAMEBOOKERS.COM has made a sponsorship offer to Bayern Munich which would see the online gaming company cover the difference in wages between the current salary of German star Michael Ballack and money allegedly offered by Cheisea to take him to England on a free transfer.
      The unprecedented deal would see the company pick up the difference per week in wages Gamebookers a key sponsor of Bayern Munich. Ballack, out of contract in the summer, is currently on around £ 60,000 a week at Bayern and is believed to have been offered a £ 121,000-a-week four-year deal by Chelsea.
      Gamebookers recently signed a deal with Greek Basketball club Aris in which the company bought Vadimir Petrovic for Aris last November, and pays the player’s wages.
      Ballack is the German national team captain and is also target for Italian club Internaciondle.
      John O’Malia, chairman of Gamebookers, said: “We figured, why buy the front of a shirt when you can buy a player?  Ballack is the finest player of his generation in Germany, and if Bayern lost his services it would be a great loss to both Bayern and to the Bundesliga. If Bayern accept out offer, it will be the beginning of a fantastic new partnership with Munich and to keep Ballack in Germany, especially with the 2006 World Cup finals coming up, would represent achievement for sport in Germany and for Gamebookers. ”

Antigua concerned at lack of US action

ANTIGUA has blasted new US efforts to outlaw Internet gambling and claims that the US has ‘done nothing’ to implement a World Trade Organisation ruling against current restrictions.
      The tiny Caribbean state has been trying to build up its online gambling industry but has found itself at loggerheads with the US, where federak law bars it.
      Antigua challenged that ban in 2003 as a violation of service sector commitments the Us made when the WTO was formed in 1995.
      Both sides claimed victory after the WTO Appellate Body released a final decision in the case in April last year.

      In a letter to US trade representative Rob Portman, antigua’s ambassador to the WTO John Ashe expressed concern about two US legislative proposals to outlaw the online gambling industry.
     “Each of the bills is in key respects expressly contrary to the rulings and the recommendations of the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation,” Ashe said.
      He also complained the US had made no move to comply with the April 2005 ruling.
     “As of today, with less than two months remaining on an 11-month and two-week compliance period, to our knowledge no legislation has been introduced into the Congress that would seek to bring the United States into compliance. ”

      Neena Moorjani, a spokeswomen for the US trade representative’s office, claimed that the US was exploring ‘a number of different avenues ’ to clarify there is no discrimination.
     “The issue is a very narrow one. The time period for compliance has not yet expired,” she said.

UK companies face legal fight with Italy

UK gaming companies are threatening legal action against Italian regulators unless they reverse the decision to prohibit access to gaming sites outside Italy.
      Italy’s ministry of Economy and Finance passed a law threatening to fine any Italian ISP allowing access to a list of gambling sites.
      The Remote Gambling Association released a statement in November objecting to the changes which they claim breach five categories of EC rules.

      European Commission laws allow governments to restrict cross-border services on moral grounds, but not due to competition.
      The full list of ISPs is available at www.aams.it.

* Playtech floats

PLAYTECH is set to raise US $ 300m in its IPO on London’s AIM. The company’s pre-IPO value is expected to total around $950m.
      Founded, in 1999, Playtech posted a pre-tax profit of $ 35.6m in 2005, up from $ 8.2m in 2003.

      Playtech licenses casino, poker, bingo and sports betting software to 37 online gaming groups that operate 89 online casinos, 16 entrnet poker rooms and 14 online bingo sites. The company’s IPO will be managed by UK brokerage firms Collins Stewart and Seymour Pierce.
      Playtech was originally established by NAV New Age Investments, a company controlled by businessman Teddy Sagi, which was delisted from the Tel Aviv stock in 2003, and three entrepreneurs   from central Israel.
      Playtech employs around 230 staff, a third of whom focus on R & D activities. The company employs around 70 staff in Israel through its local marketing arm, Playtech Marketing. The company’s branch in Estonia employs 100 people, many of whom are also believed to minority shareholders.