My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Supreme Ventures and Online Gambling - The Return of the King

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Supreme Ventures and Online Gambling - The Return of the King

Nothing left to say
No more ace left to play
The winner takes it all
The winner standing small
Beside the victory
That’s our destiny

Excerpt from the song “The winner Takes it All” by Swedish Group ABBA

France, of all places, was the least of the European Union (EU) countries from which I expect to hear any news that would be of interest to Betting and Gambling interests, and yet here it is, in plain black and white: France has decided to liberalize Internet Gambling as per story “
France opens its market to online gaming”, published Tuesday June 8, 12:03 pm ET by PARIS, AFP, Yahoo! News.

This announcement from a country whose haute couture rates very highly on my radar, especially after my interaction with a graduate from Immaculate Conception with whom I interacted at the Embassy of Japan a few days ago while turning in my relevant documentation as it relates to an application for the Monbukagakusho Scholarship from the MEXT (Ministry of Culture, Education, Sports, Science and Technology), whose diction in Standard English and her manners makes me think of the French….and naughty French thoughts.

Indeed, the French, though so highly rated, are not the first to consider this move, as the United States of America has apparently beaten them to it, as evident from reading the article “Congress may roll dice, legalizing Net Gambling” published May 18, 2010 11:14 PM PDT by Declan McCullagh CNET News - Politics and Law, in which the support for Internet Gambling, as laid out in a bill being championed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) in a bill titled H.R. 2267.

This would allow Internet casinos to obtain licenses from and be regulated by the Federal Government. Combined with the H.R. 2268, which would impose a 2% federal “Internet Gambling fee” and require that the IRS be notified of taxpayers' winnings and H.R. 4976. This would allow the State Government to impose a 6% Gambling tax, the Government of the United States of America stands to collect fifty eight billion (US$58,000,000,000) dollars in tax revenue by the year 2015 and create thirty two thousand (32,000) jobs in the process based on a study done by the H2 Gambling Capital, a gaming consultancy.

However, it is the arguments of Michelle Minton, a policy analyst at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, who states that “the fundamental issue is consumer choice - it is not the place of Government to tell adult citizens what activities they can and cannot engage in from the privacy of their own homes”, that carries weight as pointed out in my blog article entitled “MNP, Supreme Ventures Limited, Internet Gambling and the Royal Flush of Smart phones”.

These legislative attempts in both countries will serve to net billions in taxes, especially in France, now reeling under the worst Recession since World War II and the 1973 Oil Crisis involving the standoff with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. France especially will stand to benefit from a more liberalized Gambling sector.

Unlike the United States of America, Internet Gambling was banned by President George W. Bush in 2006 by making a vague connection to Port and Homeland Security, which now libertine creatures in the form of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and the Democrats (sounds like the name of a band!!!) and a motley crew alliance made up of similarly libertine (and cookie-jar peddling) individuals such as Ron Paul (R-Texas), have been trying to reverse this previous ruling.

In France it had been under a State controlled monopolization of the national lottery and horse racing by the aptly named PMU for the past four hundred and seventy one (471) years on the say-so of King Francois I in 1539 AD, not to be confused with Francois St. Juste of Fame FM, with whom he has no relation as of the time of perusing my archive in cribbing these stenciled lines for my blog.

Here in Jamaica, from an anecdotal point of view and verandah conversations, the fight has mostly been against the Churches, both Sabbath Keeping and Sunday observing, who are opposed to Gambling of any sort and have constantly lobbied against the adoption of legislation as it relates to Casino Gambling and Sunday Racing in Jamaica, in an apparent defense of their Principles but is most likely related to the loss of revenue that they would experience such legislation were to be put to book.

It seems that they have, as albeit the Church successfully blocked Sunday Racing they were bound hand and foot when it came to beating down the big money spinner of Casino Gambling which ironically was signed into Law by the Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, who as luck would have it, is a Seventh Day Adventist, most staunch of all Churches in their opposition to Gambling of any sort.

The Church has been losing its credibility with a past peppered with numerous anecdotal reports of incest in the local tabloid or “yellow press” as I like to call it in the guise of the Daily Star as they are had attempted over the years to block Casino Gambling and Sunday Racing and yet have paid scant regard to the prevalence of Cash Pot, Lotto, Lucky 5 and other games of chance introduced by Supreme Ventures.

More fuel to the fire that the church is really more interested in protecting its revenue base as opposed to being the vanguard of Morality and Christian Principles, as after all, they are in the business of selling salvation and hope in exchange for your offering in any form, be it, as I liked to say when I was a churchgoer, in Cash, Cheque, Debit or Credit.

My lack of referenced articles is obvious, but explainable, as issues relating to the Church do not register so well in my radar as in my eyes they have long been enemies of technology and its adoption and thus their arguments tend to be archaic and thus not worth my time to regurgitate, especially as they are so contradictory in their public utterances. On one such point I would posit, is the now successful introduction of Sports Betting to Jamaica in the guise of Just Bet offering from Supreme Ventures.

But with the advent of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, this issue after the controversy surrounding the signing into law of the Bills related to Casino Gambling is now coming silently to the fore, as there is quiet murmuring with regards to Supreme Ventures latest baby, that of Sports Betting launched under the brand name, Just Bet as stated in the article JusBet Media Lyme”, December 13 2009, The Jamaica Herald, Pure Class, Pg. 10.

Supreme Ventures Just Bet is now making its presence felt in its debut during the Greatest Show on Earth by doing healthy business for Supreme Ventures, as suggested by the article “Punter's Paradise”, published Thursday 17 2010 by Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Writer, the Jamaica Star.

Albeit not sufficient evidence, this resurgence in possibly the oldest past time, based on betting on Sports Events, and possibly later just Ordinary Events not related to Sports from the comfort of your own home via either your smart phone or even your television set, when DSO  (Digital Switch Over) is finally achieved as suggested in the article “Slow road to Digital switch-over - Cable Groups mum; FLOW ahead but network coverage behind”, The Saturday Gleaner, Saturday, August 15, 2009, by Mark Titus, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Coincidence, as this very point I had argued previously in my blog article entitled “Piracy Solution via MNP, DSO and legislation

Evidence of this coming gamble-anywhere-anytime scenario can be seen from the expansion of 3G Wireless Broadband Internet offering by Telecom Providers Digicel and the now rolled out 4G Wireless Broadband Internet as stated in the article “Digicel goes 4G”, published Saturday, August 21, 2010 By ROSS SHEIL Online co-ordinatorThe Jamaica Observer.

ZTE Corp of China as their build out partner of their new WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) network as stated in the article “Digicel signs ZTE as 4G Mobile WiMaX Internet partner”, published Sunday, September 27, 2009, The Jamaica Observer.

This is evident from the increasing interest in Blackberry’s locally in Jamaica as stated in the article “LIME launches the Blackberry Curve 8900 smartphone with Free Service Offer”, published February 10 2010 by Blackberry Cool.

Telecom Provider Digicel also introduced the same Blackberrys, such as the Blackberry Curve 8900 and the Blackberry Bold at the same time as stated in the article “Digicel introduces the New Blackberry Curve 8900 smartphone to the Caribbean”, published Monday, 09 February 2009 by TechJamaica.com, indicating that Jamaica has caught smart phone fever!

Telecom Provider CLARO is not to be outdone, carrying the full lineup of Blackberry’s and competitively priced Data Plans, namely:

1.      Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220
2.      Blackberry Curve 8900
3.      Blackberry Gemini 8520
4.      Blackberry Bold 9000
5.      Blackberry Bold 9700 (finally they got rid of the trackball!!)
6.      Blackberry Storm 9500 (Apple iPhone imitator, its flattery most sincere!!)

Of course, the only “smart” phone in the line-up and definitely NOT a Blackberry, the Apple iPhone, my obvious bias towards Apple eruditely displayed for all to see.

The Apple iPhone, despite being third (3rd) in the United States of America, if not the World as confirmed by statistics by NPD as stated in “CNET Buzz Report”, aired May 13 2010 by Brian Cooley, CNET News.

The Apple iPhone is hugely popular worldwide, Apple’s confidence in its product showing by readying another twenty four million (24,000,000) Apple iPhones running the new improved iPhone OS 4.0 as stated in the “Report: Apple readying 24 million units of next iPhone”, published May 17, 2010 10:25 AM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker even dropping the price on the Apple iPhone 3GS to US$97 on a two (2) year contract from AT&T as stated in the article “Get a new 16GB iPhone 3GS for US$97”, published May 25, 2010 5:18 AM PDT by Rick Broida CNET News - The Cheapskate.

This is based on the soundings in the market place that indicates an increasing demand for smart phones as stated in the articles “Prepaid wireless outpaces contract services”, published April 5, 2010 3:35 PM PDT CNET News - Signal Strength by Marguerite Reardon and stated in the article “Smart phones come to prepaid wireless market”, published May 19, 2010 4:00 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength, has yet to make an impact in Jamaica, mainly due to the lack of support for Apple Products.

This is not even mentioning the game changing potential of the Apple iPad  as suggested in the article “Crowds gather for UK iPad launch”, published Sunday May 30 2010, BBC News and as stated in the article “Crowds gather for UK iPad launch”, published Sunday May 30 2010, BBC News and as shown in the YouTube Video entitled “Excitement as iPad reaches Europe”, by Chalie Angela, Al-Jazeera and “Fanfare greets Global Debut of iPad” by Millar Sega, VOA News.

With similar bleary eyed jubilant long lines of Apple Fanboys in Tokyo Japan as shown in the YouTube Video entitled “Tokyo fans snatch Apple's iPads” by AFP News.

There is even the coming of Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) as I have also suggested in my article as being a possible thorn the side of the Big Three (3) Telecom Providers as Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) is an ignored market segment made possible by the presence of the above gadgets, all of which are enabled with Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n).

Smart phones are the most obvious choice for Mobile Handset manufacturers to enable with Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) according to a report that ABI Research published in March 2010, stated in the article “Wi-Fi smart phones to dominate”, published March 23, 2010 3:01 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - CTIA 2010.

The research firm, In-Stat, expands this further, however to a virtual armada of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) enabled devices. In-Stat postulates that with the prevalence of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) enabled smart phones, netbooks and laptops being projected to increase from five million (5,000,000) to sixty five million (65,000,000) by 2014 based on statistical data collected from Research firm In-Stat in May 2010 as stated in the article “More people buying Wi-Fi enabled devices”, published May 4, 2010 10:03 AM PDT by Lance Whitney CNET News – Wireless.

The strongest growth area being smart phones, projected to be embedded in five hundred and fifteen million (515,000,000) such devices.

Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) is now creeping into other devices that never had Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n), such as 3-D HDTV’s set to launch this Summer of 2010 as stated in the article “Samsung, Panasonic start selling 3-D TV's this week”, published Tuesday March 9 2010, 11:04 am ET, By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer, AP, Yahoo! News.

Game consoles, Receiver Boxes for Broadband Cable and even picture frames, a curious correlation to Telecom Providers AT&T’s plan to connect everything to their 3G, GSM and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) Networks as stated in the article “AT&T connects everything to its network”, published March 24, 2010 6:55 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon CNET News - CTIA 2010.

Telecom Providers AT&T has been expanding its network of free Municipal Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) “hotspots” in possible anticipation of the traffic loads from the Apple iPad, even placing one oddly enough of all places, in empty New York’s prosaic Time Square.

This as Molly Wood, Executive Editor from CNET indubitably opines while sarcastically twisting the knife in AT&T soon-to-be-obvious, is probably being done for the “Wal-Mart” people!

For those who joined late, this does bear repeating, as albeit explained in my blog article entitled “Telecom Provider CLARO and the coming of Municipal Wi-Fi - Shadows of the Empire” my fear is that the Big Three (3) Telecom Providers are not taking seriously enough the possible impact this potential threat to their dominance in Wireless Broadband Internet will have, as local Entrepreneurs can offer Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) can successfully compete on the basis of price in much the same way that cable operators are now doing to Big Three (3) broadcasters.

Thus it seems that my idea for porting online gambling as well as a revisit to the issue of Sunday Racing can be indeed portable on smart phones via the coming of 3G Wireless Broadband Internet offering by Telecom Providers LIME and Telecom Provider CLARO and the now rolled out 4G Wireless Broadband Internet as stated in the article “Digicel goes 4G”, published Saturday, August 21, 2010 By ROSS SHEIL Online co-ordinatorThe Jamaica Observer on offer by Telecom Provider Digicel.

This I had previously slyly hinted at in my opening salvo in my blog article entitled “Supreme Ventures and Mobile Phone Platform for Gambling”, and then later polished off in my blog article entitled “MNP, Supreme Ventures Limited, Internet Gambling and the Royal Flush of Smart phones” showing the connection to MNP (Mobile Number Portability).

MNP is also a potential financial windfall for the Government of Jamaica in the form of increased Tax revenues, as now evident from its all but confirmed adoption by the Government of the United States of America and the Government of France.

It seems that we must sit and wait for further word from the OUR, who are now seeking to have the Law changed so as to make it difficult for Telecom Providers to challenge the OUR’s future rulings as stated in the article “No more Rate Cut from Appeal Ruling”, published Friday June 11, 2010 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, Gleaner as it relates to the Return of the King  - in the form of lucrative Online Gambling.
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