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Gambling Planet News Briefs 17 February 2011

888 Sponsors Premier League Darts
British online gaming site 888.com will sponsor the 2011 Premier League Darts tournament season.  The series of darts tournaments started this week and will continue for fifteen weeks.  Arenas around Great Britain will host the popular events.  The finale will be held on 19 May at Wembley Arena in London.  The company also sponsored the inaugural season in 2005.

888 also announced that it would launch a 3D online darts game to commemorate the start of the new sponsorship agreement.  At this week’s kickoff party, 888 staff members gave out 12,000 pairs of special 3D glasses for customers to wear while playing the new game.  The game has a “medieval forest” scene and will serve as a companion site to the company’s online casino, sports betting and poker sites.

Report: PlayNow.com Failed to Protect Users
A report from the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commission found that PlayNow.com, the online casino operated by the British Columbia Lottery Commission (BCLC), showed “inadequate protection of customers’ personal information”.  The repot cited “a number of security gaps” that allowed customers to view other players’ sensitive data, including real names, addresses and credit card numbers.

PlayNow.com, the first state-operated online casino site in North America, launched on 15 July 2010.  Operators shut down less than two days later when they identified over a hundred “data crossovers” in which players could access other visitors’ information. BCLC President Michael Graydon said that his office is in the process of following many of the recommendations made in the Privacy Commission report.  

Bodog Poker Blocks Data Mining Software
The online poker site Bodog Poker is taking steps to protect recreational poker players from the predatory practices of “data miners”.  The site announced that it would block access to its hand history files from sites such as SharkScope and Poker Table Ratings.  These sites compile data on players and create statistical profiles on player tendencies.

Bodog is also following the trend set by major online poker sites, such as PokerStars and Full Tilt, in banning these applications.  Bodog President and CEO Patrik Selin said that these sites are having such a negative effect on online poker that they are “assisting in its own demise”.

Willis, Timberlake to Star in Online Gambling Movie
A new screenplay based in the world of online sports betting has attracted some Hollywood A-list talent.  Bruce Willis, Justin Timberlake and Catherine Zeta-Jones have been mentioned in connection with the film “Lay the Favorite, Take The Dog”.  The basis for the script comes from the book by Beth Raymer, a former Las Vegas cocktail waitress who became involved in one of the biggest online sports betting operations.

Willis has agreed to play a professional gambler on a losing streak, with Zeta-Jones slated to play his wife.  Timberlake is scheduled to play a young oddsmaker who develops his own offshore sports gambling business.  British director Stephen Frears, the man behind such films as “High Fidelity” and “The Queen”, has agreed to direct.  The film should start shooting this spring and will be released in 2012.

WSOP-Europe Moves to Cannes
Officials with Caesars Interactive Entertainment have agreed to move the popular World Series of Poker Europe from London to Cannes, France.  Caesars will also hold several satellite tournaments throughout France during the spring and summer.  Qualifiers in those tournaments will win seats to the Texas Holdem Main Event in Cannes starting 7 October.

A Caesars representative said that the move to Cannes, a resort city on the French Riviera known for its annual film festival, would allow for more room and more tables than the cramped quarters players experienced in London.  The WSOP Europe will have two primary sites: Casino Barrière de Cannes Croisette and the Hôtel Majestic Barrière.

Ladbrokes in Talks to Merge with Playtech
British sports oddsmakers Ladbrokes is in the process of discussing a merger with online casino software developer Playtech.  Ladbrokes is a leader in the sports betting parlor industry, but the company’s online business has not met with industry expectations.  If the merger occurs, the companies would have a combined value of over US$3.5 billion.  

Playtech currently has a joint venture underway with William Hill, one of Ladbrokes’ leading competitors, in which they own nearly thirty percent of William Hill Online.  The venture could add complications to merger negotiations as Playtech would likely have to divest from the William Hill Online operations.

17-Feb-2011, 03:54

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