MORE YOUNG PEOPLE GAMBLING ONLINE, U.S. SURVEY FINDS


Online gambling is soaring among young Americans, according to the results of a national telephone survey.

The survey, conducted first in 2008 among 835 respondents and again among 596 respondents this year, found that monthly use of gambling Web sites by college-age males rose from 4.4 percent to nearly 16 percent.

The respondents ranged from 14 to 22 years of age.

Projected nationally, the findings suggest that more than 400,000 males aged 18 to 22 go online to gamble at least once a week, and more than 1.7 million gamble at least once a month. About 530,000 high school-aged males go online to gamble once a month.

Among high school-aged females the rate of use jumped from 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent.

When offline gambling was included, the monthly and weekly rates declined from 2008 to 2010 among high school- and college-aged males and stayed about the same or fell among college-aged females. However, the rate of monthly and weekly gambling of all types among females aged 14 to 17 rose more than 9 percent during the survey period, although the gambling rate of both high school- and college-aged females was much lower than that of their male counterparts.

The survey was conducted by the Annenberg Adolescent Communication Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and was reported by Bloomberg.



BODOG SCORES ADS AT GALAXY STADIUM



Emulating a widespread trend in Europe of promotional tie-ups between big-name football clubs and online gambling sites, Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy, home of U.S. national team star Landon Donovan and former England captain David Beckham, has signed an advertising agreement with Bodog’s free-play Bodog.net site.

The dollar amount of the deal was not disclosed, but it calls for Bodog to receive prominent ad placement at the Galaxy’s 27,000-seat stadium, The Home Depot Center, located just south of downtown Los Angeles. This includes LED field boards, in-stadium TVs and ad spots on the stadium’s scoreboard.

“Both the LA Galaxy and Bodog brands are recognized around the globe, making this partnership not only mutually beneficial but a perfect synergy between brands across the United States and beyond,” said Ed Pownall, global PR director of BodogBrand.com.

Bodog.net hosts free-to-play poker games and fantasy sports contests with weekly cash prizes.

“The fantasy sports industry has grown exponentially in recent years and is showing no signs of stopping,” said Pownall, “and soccer, with its many dimensions, offers itself perfectly to fantasy sports games.”



ONTARIO SEARCHING FOR LOTTERY WINNER CHEATED OF MILLIONS



Ontario police last month were looking for the rightful owner of a winning lottery ticket who was cheated of the C$12.5 million prize, while the family accused of stealing the winnings bought homes, luxury cars and jewelry.

“We don’t know the identity of the person who bought the ticket because, historically, lottery in Canada has been anonymous,” said Paul Godfrey, chairman of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. “But if someone can come in and tell us everything we already know about the ticket, down to the last detail, there’s a good chance we’re looking at the rightful owner.”

OLGC and Ontario Provincial Police say the Super 7 ticket that won the Dec. 26, 2003, draw was bought at a video store in St. Catharines and validated at a convenience store in nearby Burlington, where it won a free play. But the father and son retailers who sold the original ticket never gave the free ticket to the customer, police say. The ticket hit the jackpot, and the father gave the ticket to his daughter, who claimed the prize, denying any connection to a lottery retailer, according to police.

Jun-Chul Chung, 60, Kathleen Chung, 29, and Kenneth Chung, 28, face several charges, including fraud over $5,000. They were released on bail. Police have seized or frozen about $10 million in assets.

In June, the convenience store owner, Hafiz Malik, was sentenced to one year in jail for stealing and claiming a $5.7 million prize.

The OLG said it uncovered the alleged 2003 theft thanks to new technology introduced earlier this year to track and detect patterns in ticket sale data back to 1999.

Police say they are investigating other potential cases.

The Ontario government has been rocked in recent years by allegations of corruption at the OLGC. Police were called in three years ago following a report by the province’s ombudsman that accused unscrupulous lottery retailers of collecting tens of millions of dollars in dishonest winnings.

The scandals led to changes in the lottery system, which now requires winners to sign their ticket before handing it over to a store clerk, bans clerks from buying tickets in their own store, and plays loud music when a winning ticket is scanned to make sure everyone knows the ticket is a winner.



EX-TRIBAL CHAIRMAN ADMITS TAKING BRIBES



The former chairman of Southern California’s Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, owners of the 2,000-slot Soboba Casino, admitted he accepted nearly $875,000 in bribes from vendors who had contracts with the tribe and the casino.

Robert “Bobby” Salgado, 68, who faced 36 felony counts, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles last month to two charges of bribery and filing a false tax return, according to news reports. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

The gambling-rich Sobobas had poured tens of millions of dollars into capital improvements on their reservation and casino near San Jacinto in Riverside County and expanded their real estate holdings, which include a country club. Salgado, who had led the tribe off and on since 1976, took advantage by forcing vendors to bribe him in exchange for contracts and skimming money from real estate commissions.

An investigation was launched into his activities after he was reported by another member of the tribe. He was arrested by FBI agents last year and placed on leave by the tribal government after he was indicted. A new tribal chairman was elected last spring.

No other tribal members have been charged.

 Four vendors accused of paying bribes have pleaded guilty and one other was awaiting trial at press time.



PROVINCE SAYS NO TO WEB GAMBLING



Nova Scotia will not be joining other Canadian provinces in legalizing online gambling, the government said.

Chief executive of the Nova Scotia Gaming Commission, Marie Mullally, said that online gambling will continue to flourish even if the province doesn’t get involved. But in announcing the decision last month, Premier Darrell Dexter said, “We don’t think it’s consistent with our goal to try to reduce the harm that is done by gaming.”

The decision comes in the wake of other provinces - notably Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia - moving forward to introduce online gambling in order to increase public revenues and provide player protections not afforded by commercially operated sites, most of which are based outside the country.

Finance Minister Graham Steele, who had advocated a provincial gambling site as a means to protect Nova Scotians from unregulated sites, has since backed off that position.

Newfoundland and Labrador recently announced it would be opting out as well.



GTECH WINS RENEWAL OF FLORIDA CONTRACT



GTECH has signed a four-year contract extension with the Florida Lottery.

The agreement is valued at $135 million to $145 million for the Rhode Island-based lottery giant, a subsidiary of Italy’s Lottomatica Group, and calls for the provision of online technologies and services and additional instant ticket vending machines.

GTECH currently supplies the Lottery with a full range of products, including its Enterprise Series system solution, plus more than 13,000 Altura terminals, 6,650 ES MultiMedia digital advertising displays, 2,550 Ticket-Scan machines and 1,000 instant ticket machines.

As part of the new agreement, GTECH will install and maintain 500 additional Instant To Go 24-bin self-service vending machines. The company also will continue to maintain its primary data center in Tallahassee, Fla., and a backup data center in Orlando, Fla.



SPACE SELLING FAST AT BIG MEXICO SHOW



ELA 2011 stands to be another success, say organizers of Mexico’s big gaming industry trade show.

Ninety percent of the floor space at the Exposición Latinoamericana de Juegos de Azar, to be held May 4-5 at Centro Banamex in Mexico City, is already spoken for by last year’s exhibitors, according to organizers Monografie.

General sales for the show, which is entering its fourth year, commenced last month.

Most of the Mexican casinos and slot arcades will make their presence felt through Latin America-based manufacturers such as Zitro, Metronia, Shock Machine, DEK International, Gaming Signs, Bingames, Grupo Amusgo, Legendary Gaming, Hanco and Litogama.

Among the U.S. suppliers who have reserved space are WMS Gaming, Shuffle Master, VGT and Arrow. Joining them from Europe will be Atronic, Alfastreet, Apex, Belatra, Gold Club, Betstone, Merkur, The Global Draw, EGT, Zest Gaming, Ludicus and others.

Monografie is the company behind the South American Gaming Suppliers Exhibition, which is held every autumn in Buenos Aires and in Panama City in early summer.