Penthouse Teams to Launch Worldwide Online Gaming Site to be Licensed by Australian Government

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Source: Business Wire

By: Company Press Release

(NEW YORK, NY)–Penthouse has teamed up with casino industry veteran Ed Fishman and a leading Australian technology firm to create penthousecasino.com, an Internet casino gaming site that will blend sports and wagering with the magazine’s sexy Web content.

Mr. Fishman, a well-known gaming executive who was Chairman of Players International, Inc., has begun the license application process in Australia to operate a real time gaming and wagering casino that will accommodate thousands of players simultaneously. Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione says his company will conduct a vigorous marketing campaign for the site, which is geared to the estimated 25 million people who currently gamble online, a number expected to grow to 300 million by 2005. Online gaming is legal in most countries of the world, with the notable exception of the United States, where penthousecasino.com will offer "play for fun" but will not pay winners in cash.

When launched in the Spring of 2000, penthousecasino.com will employ sophisticated programming and encryption developed by Gaming & Entertainment Technology (GET Group) of Sydney, Australia, a world leader in the development of government regulated online casino gaming technology.

A preview of the site will be available January 26-27 in London at the International Casino Exhibit at Earl’s Court Exhibition Center, Technical Casino Services Booth # 5505.

Mr. Fishman, who will be the licensee and operator of penthousecasino.com, helped develop, operate and market major gaming and entertainment complexes in Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri and Nevada. Marketing on behalf of Penthouse will be coordinated by New Jersey attorney John Daniels.

"Given the brand name quality and worldwide marketing power of Penthouse, the absolute credibility of a license from Australian authorities, the proven track record of Ed Fishman, and the quality of the technology developed by GET, we have solved the biggest question a gambler has – is it safe and honest?" Mr. Guccione said. He noted that in addition to gaming, the casino will offer services such as a sports book, handicapping, fantasy league tournaments and a variety of other betting from all over the world. Plus, when a gambler wants to take a break from gaming, the site will be fully integrated with the Penthouse Website, www.penthouse.com, where bettors can chat with the Penthouse Pets, visit the photo library, read Penthouse articles and columns, visit gift shops, showrooms and seek advice on matters ranging from wagering to sex.

"This can quickly become the largest online casino in the world," said Mr. Fishman, "when you consider the power of the Penthouse marketing expertise and the fact that more people in most countries throughout the world can play with us simultaneously, at any hour of the day or night, than at any other online casino anywhere." He said that because of U.S. legal constrictions, visitors from the United States to penthousecasino.com can play for fun and win prizes, but will not be permitted to make monetary wagers.

According to Bear Stearns, global revenues from Internet casinos were an estimated $1.2 billion in 1999 and could grow to more than $3 billion in 2002. Australia is the only developed nation to regulate Internet casinos, and it has established a rigid licensing and compliance system designed to provide consumer confidence in the solvency and integrity of online casinos and their sponsoring companies.

Penthousecasino.com has retained KPMG Australia, a division of one of the world’s largest accounting and auditing firms, to authenticate Internet security, systems and procedures of the site.. A leading international law firm will offer legal counsel to the enterprise.

GET Group, based in Sydney, was formed in 1995. It has developed a suite of proprietary state-of-the-art casino games using Java technology as well as banking facilities for several Australian-government regulated online casinos. GET Group founder and Chief Executive Officer Tibor Vertes is a business lawyer and international business consultant known for his skill in identifying products and services to meet niche market needs. He is also CEO of software developer of TransGlobal Interactive, Ltd. listed on NASDAQ (TGBR) and the Australian Stock Exchange.

Throughout the world, Penthouse is the most recognizable name in adult entertainment. Penthouse operates one of the most profitable and popular sites on the Worldwide Web, produces video and DVD productions that regularly make Billboard’s list of best sellers, and licenses films that are international pay-per-view favorites. A Penthouse magazine is published in over 17 foreign editions from England to Hong Kong. Mr. Guccione has led the fight against encroachment on First Amendment rights in numerous court cases for more than 30 years.