Thursday, September 29, 2005

Poker Chef Wins $1 million

Move over Jamie Oliver, here's a guy that not only cooks, but wins big at poker as well.

Lee Biddulf had only ever won £28 before at poker, but this week arrived home $1 million richer after taking on 8 opponents at a poker tournament final in Costa Rica. 39,000 had entered the tournament

Biddulf started playing poker in 2002 and felt the nerves. His final hand was a flush - as was his final opponent. But he kept his head and took the pot, and the overall tournament as he held the higher card

Not a bad way to make a living - now can I have 2 eggs on toast to go with that?


888.com Valued at $1.08bn

Online casino giant, 888.com -or Cassava - finally floated today, albeit at the lower end of their valuation prediction.

The float makes 888 worth just over $1bn. Not quite as big as expected, and nowhere near PartyPoker, but still pretty large. The price was set at £1.75 per share.

So thats 3 down in recent weeks, albeit with the slight blip of 32Red's shaky floatation last week in which it did float, but not with any fundraising.
It'll be interesting to see how many more come to market in the coming months


Gala and Coral talk to create gambling empire

Looks like a new gambling empire may be born in the UK - and it isn't between online websites.

Number three bookie, Coral and bingo and casino group, Gala, are apparantly in talks to create a £4bn gambling empire. This is in reaction to the deregulation of the new Gambling Act - a joint operation could take advantage of this

The government is set to allow one 'super-casino' under the new act - by including Coral in the mix, Gala could essentially offer a one-stop shop for punters, under one very large roof

Coral are still looking to float - and have been for years. And they will continue to pursue this if the Gala interest fails.

Is the world ready for an all-encompassing gambling empire? Does anyone care? Point of fact - Ladbrokes got rid of their casino product (sold it to Gala) a few years back to concentrate solely on betting - are they regretting that decision in light of the deregulation or was there a reason for it? Finally, is there really any synergy between betting, casinos and bingo - or is it essentially an ego boost for the 2 companies involved?
I think i'll be quiet now and wait to see what happens.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Its Another Boom for Mobile Phone Gambling

Gambling by mobile phone is booming

Someone once asked me when I thought mobile phone gambling was going to 'take off' - I said within 2 years - but don't ask me which 2 years.

So once again, research groups are trying to earn their money by telling us that mobile phone gambling has 'exploded' or 'rocketed' or is 'booming' or any other supersonic adjective we can think of.

They actually measure these figures by the number of 'pages downloaded'. For an industry that is run by real financial numbers, thats an amazing research technique - and tells us nothing we need to know about the actual real amount of betting or gambling that actually takes place.

But for the research companies its a good living - and for the betting companies, these kind of numbers look good to the shareholders.

So mobile gambling - boom away.


Casino Goes up in Smoke

Wow - I feel like i've been away for weeks - and I probably have. Although in all this, I was at the G2E casino expo in Vegas - so all wasn't too bad.

I dount I've missed much though - Chelsea is still unbeaten, of course The Ashes is noteworthy (and fantastic), Cryptologic has announced plans to launch Marvel comic slots to rival Microgaming's Lara Croft game and Senator John Kyl finally got told to shut up with his plans to ban online gambling - although I still can't see the US make any progress on legalising it instead.

So instead, here's a real Internet stalwart - collapsing buildings.
If you've ever wanted to see a casino go up in smoke, here's the controlled implosion of the Grand Casino in Gulfport, that was ravaged in Hurricane Katrina and was flung somewhere on a highway