BUSINESS

BRIEFLY: ARJEL bans more sites; Iowa to research poker; Galaxy Q1 results

TAGs: arjel, Galaxy Entertainment Group, intrastate poker, Iowa, Macau

news-briefsFrench gaming regulator ARJEL has reportedly ordered internet service providers to block three more online gambling sites – Digibet, Oddsmaker and Paris-based Bet4Fight – after the sites continued to serve French customers despite the lack of a French gaming license. The sites have been added to the ongoing court case against Costa Rica-based 5Dimes, which continues to thumb its nose at ARJEL from across the Atlantic, despite the Gallic Gestapo’s furious foot-stomping. The ISPs, however, are facing fines of €10k/day for not obeying ARJEL’s orders. That’s certainly one way of raising government revenue. Bombing Libya ain’t cheap, you know…

By a vote of 38-12, Iowa’s Senate has approved the gambling bill that calls for the state’s Racing and Gaming Commission to conduct research on regulating online poker. The research would focus on the current state of non-regulated poker in Iowa and how best to protect the state’s players. The collected data would be delivered to the legislature on Dec. 1. The Dept. of Health would be tasked with conducting its own study on the societal effects of online gambling. However, the bill still has to pass the House before any of Iowa’s researchers sharpens their first pencil.

Galaxy Entertainment Group’s Q1 numbers are out, showing a 71% rise in earnings (before interest, et al) to HK $712m (US $91.5m). This not only beat analysts’ expectations, it marked Galaxy’s 10th consecutive quarter of earnings growth. Revenue hit HK $5.72b, a 45% gain year on year, but Galaxy did not announce a net profit figure for the quarter. Nevertheless, Lui Che Woo, Galaxy’s Hong Kong owner, was justifiably chuffed at seeing “strong results across all the group’s divisions,” and Woo expects even stronger results when the new Galaxy Macau opens next month.

The massive amount of money that flows through Macau is not only fattening the bottom lines of people like Steve Wynn, it’s also raising the cost of living among the locals. With inflation running at 4.7% annually, the Special Administrative Region (SAR) government is doling out about US $375 to every permanent resident, while non-permanent residents will get around $275. The plan is called “Wealth Sharing,” so we assume somebody on Fox News will eventually get around to blaming it on Obama.

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