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Australian Casino Bets on Global Audience

An Australian Internet casino is using its safe regulatory environment and a wad of cash to attract punters from across the globe.

Lasseters Online Casino, based in the Australian town of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, will reportedly spend over AUS$500,000 (US$330,000) on Web-based advertising with US-based ad agency DoubleClick.

Lasseters is the only regulated casino in the world, but through a legal quirk in the conditions of the NT government's assent for the company to operate, it cannot offer its services to Australians outside the territory.

The company hopes to make this a virtue by attracting many overseas players, particularly by taking advantage of a late amendment to the so-called "Kyl Bill" in the U.S. which outlawed online gambling operations, but allowed citizens to wager on non-American sites.

David Ohlson, Lasseters executive manager for special projects, said the casino had registered 4,000 players from 82 countries in its first three months of operations.

"We have taken a responsible approach by using online advertising to develop relationships with targeted market segments and individuals who are most likely to enjoy the entertainment offered by our site," he said.

The amount Lasseters is spending does not sound significant in global terms, but it represents a significant percentage of the Australian Web advertising market, which is estimated to be only AUS$12.5 million (US$8.3 million) this year. DoubleClick claimed it was the single largest account yet signed for an Australian online media buyer.



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