Betinternet receives takeover bid

5/18/2001 (By Saskia Wirth, FTMarketWatch.com) LONDON – Shares of U.K. online betting company Betinternet.com [UK:BET] surged up to 40 percent on Thursday after it said it had received a takeover bid. The company, which is quoted on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), said it had received approaches from third parties which could lead to an offer for its share capital, and that it was currently reviewing the bid. Shares surged up to 40 percent following the announcement before falling back. They closed up 14.3 percent at 28 pence. Betinternet.com added it also continued to examine various other strategic options for the development of the company, and that one of them was to remain independent. Its business is dominated by football bets which total more than 70 percent. Its fastest growing area is the Far East, where it believes its market penetration will give it a competitive advantage when the soccer World Cup is co-hosted by Japan and Korea in 2002.

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Australian Online Casino Stung By Fraud

Perth, Australia-based Online gamer My Casino [ASX:MYC] was taken for A$4.3 million (US$2.14 million) in what it describes as a “well-organized” fraud using faked credit cards last year. The scam “severely undermined the marketing position of the casino in international markets,” the company says in a report to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). It offers no other details of the fraud. Meanwhile “the entrance of many more gaming sites online has further compounded the situation over the past nine months. This increased competition has reduced industry margins and the number of players visiting our site,” the company says. My Casino has taken steps to reduce staff and running costs, the company said. Directors are said to be considering “various options” that will allow the best possible return on the company’s investment in the online casino industry. Operating revenue for the year to December 31 2000 was A$3.5 million ($1.74 million) but abnormals, including the fraud loss, cost A$8.6 million ($4.28 million). This resulted in a net loss of A$11.26 million ($5.6 million).

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