LASSETERS HALTS SERVICE TO US ONLINE GAMBLERS

15 October 2006

THE AUSTRALIAN
October 16, 2006

ONLINE casino operator Lasseters Corp Ltd has halted services to the US following legislation introduced there making it illegal to accept online bets from US-based players.

Lasseters said the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act would eliminate about half of the world’s estimated $US10 billion ($13.34 billion) online gaming industry.

“We have received legal advice from the United States, and, unfortunately, see no alternative but to cease operating in the US market,” Lasseters managing director Peter Bridge said.

The US market accounts for about 70 per cent of Lasseters’ revenue.

Lasseters said its profitability for the 2007 financial year was likely to be materially adversely affected by the fall in revenue, costs associated with initiatives to diversify services and improve competitiveness, and writedowns.

Mr Bridge said Lasseters was reviewing its operations from its non-US-based markets and would expedite its plan to diversify products in non-US markets.

Lasseters would continue to compete in the remaining online global gaming market but would need to significantly change its operations to remain competitive.

Lasseters shares last traded at 4.3 cents.

Australian online gaming company Betcorp also announced today it had suspended its US operations after the enactment of the new restrictions.

THE AUSTRALIAN