The all-in-one online gambling site, BetUS, is making some more cutbacks. Dozens of their Costa Rican staff were laid off (apparently via a telephone conference call), thus giving another major hit to Costa Rica’s online gaming industry. The biggest of these hits came when Bodog and BetOnSports both closed down their shops in Costa Rica.
BetOnSports completely closed shop and laid off 1.500 employees following the U.S. arrest of their CEO, after which, the U.S. Justice Department made it practically impossible to do otherwise. Bodog, whose headquarters are now based on the online casino friendly Caribbean island of Antigua, only recently relocated their operations from Costa Rica. Now, BetUS seems to be following in similar fashion.
Whether or not BetUS executives have decided to relocate is not known, although it is safe to say they have considered it as an option. Currently, there is a rumor they may be opening a call center in Antigua possibly. What is known is that BetUs is doing some serious downsizing. With business going on as usual at the BetUS online casino, sportsbook, racebook and poker room, it is suspected that BetUS may be feeling the pressure of anti-online gambling laws in the U.S., much like Bodog.
There is a strong sentiment that Costa Rica is not doing all they can to resist extra-jurisdictional affairs brought on by the U.S. Department of Justice. Despite being the third largest industry in Costa Rica (employing some 5,000 people), online gambling operators are apparently not getting the protection they feel they are entitled to. It could be very soon that BetUS is feeling the same.
Intralot and Gidani Bringing South African National Lottery to Life
Following a court ruling in early March of this year that brought the South African lottery to a standstill, big money jackpots appear to be right around the corner. With a re-examination of company shareholdings complete amongst lottery partners Intralot and Gidani, South Africa’s 43 million citizens will soon have a chance to play the National Lottery once again. Intralot has reported that its partner, Gidani, is ready to begin operations without delay, and hopes to have 11,000 points of sale in South Africa within three years.
Now holding a seven year, eight month lottery license, Gidani has a future filled with potential. Intralot, who is a majority shareholder in Gidani, has already published a plan for taking the lottery forward, including an installation and training system on the new Coronis lottery terminals and Lotus operating system. 7,500 terminals have already been installed while 27,000 people have been trained to operate the new machines.
With Intralot in control of the training and transactions, Gidani will be responsible for operating and expanding the lottery into more lottery shops, convenience stores, cafes, post offices and supermarkets. A network of 7,626 retailers will be offering lottery tickets from the get go, and an additional 3,000 more retailers will likely do the same within the next three years.
An ambitious task to say the least, Gidani plans to increase the number of lottery retailers by offering better commissions and charging less. Furthermore, Gidani says that “good causes” will benefit even more with increased lottery funds.