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HOME > > Playboy.com Joins with Ladbrokes to Develop Online Sports Book

Playboy.com Joins with Ladbrokes to Develop Online Sports Book

15 February 2001

NEW YORK – (Press Release) -- Playboy.com, Inc., the wholly owned subsidiary of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: PLA), today announced it has signed an agreement with Ladbrokes eGaming Limited (Ladbrokes) to develop PlayboySportsBook.com, an online sports wagering site.

Under terms of the agreement, Ladbrokes, the betting and gaming division of Hilton Group plc (London: HG), will fund all operating costs, providing hardware and software, management and customer support. Playboy will provide marketing, branding, user interface, design and content. The site will be licensed and operated out of Gibraltar.

PlayboySportsBook.com will use the expertise of Ladbrokes, the world's biggest bookmaker, to offer a full-range of fixed odds sports wagering, allowing international consumers to bet on American sports including football, basketball, baseball, boxing, tennis and golf and international sports including soccer and rugby.

In addition, the site will allow participants to wager on events ranging from elections to Playboy's Playmate of the Year. The site will have safeguards to prevent taking bets from the United States and other places where online sports wagering is illegal. The site will launch in English and will add Chinese, Spanish and Italian.

Lawrence R. Lux, President of Playboy.com, said, "The site will bring Playboy's unique brand of sexiness, excitement and fun to online sports wagering. For example, we'll be inaugurating a Playboy Betting Bunny, a live Playboy Playmate dressed in the classic Playboy Bunny Costume, who will serve as the site's interactive hostess, including giving tips.

The proposed look of PlayboySportsBook.com.

"In addition, PlayboySportBook.com will offer a range of distinctive features, including highlights of daily sports wagering events, video event coverage, sports commentary, scores and stats and a chat 'lounge.' "

"This venture brings three powerful assets to online gaming: a globally recognized brand, gaming expertise and access to an enormous online audience," said Christie Hefner, Chairman of Playboy.com. "This combined with the expertise of Ladbrokes' and Playboy's Gaming Group will allow us to create an online gaming experience that is exciting and fun, as well as safe and fair."

John O'Reilly, Managing Director of Ladbrokes eGaming, commented, "Playboy's audience profile fits well with the Internet gaming audience. We believe that the combination of Ladbrokes' knowledge and expertise in gaming and Playboy.com's expertise in online entertainment makes for a powerful proposition. This marriage seems to be a perfect match."

"We already have 6.5 million non-U.S. visits to Playboy.com each month and will be adding international sites tailored to regional tastes and interests," said Lux. "These sites, our 16 international editions of Playboy magazine and Playboy television networks in Asia, Europe and Latin America will generate significant international interest and potential."

Playboy said that it believes that the online gaming market outside of the United States includes as many as 3 million players generating revenues in excess of $1.5 billion and will grow to 10 million players generating revenues in excess of $6 billion by 2004. As a result the company said that it expects to add both casino games and pari-mutuel wagering to its online gaming initiatives in the coming year.

Ladbrokes has received authorization from the Gibraltar government to launch the site and PlayboySportsBook.com is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2001.

About Playboy.com

Playboy.com, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: PLA), an international multimedia entertainment company, is the #1 lifestyle and entertainment destination Web site for men. Playboy.com operates Playboy-branded Web sites targeting the entertainment and lifestyle interests of young men, including: Playboy.com (http://www.playboy.com) an advertising and e-commerce-supported Web site that offers a range of entertainment information and e-commerce (http://cyber.playboy.com);

Playboy Cyber Club, a members-only subscription site featuring premium Playboy content and exclusive online events; the Playboy Store (http://www.playboystore.com) which sells Playboy-branded products; and Playboy Auctions (http://auctions.playboy.com) which auctions Playboy-branded merchandise and admission to exclusive Playboy events, and allows fans to auction their own Playboy memorabilia and collectibles. Playboy.com also operates Cyberspice.com (http://www.cyberspice.com) a site featuring premium adult entertainment under the Spice brand.

About Ladbrokes Ladbrokes, the world's biggest bookmaker, provides its customers with a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week service via 2,500 licensed betting shops in the UK, Belgium and Ireland, state of the art call centers in London, Liverpool and Gibraltar and its rapidly developing eGaming services. Ladbrokes offers internet betting at http://www.ladbrokes.co.uk, and its permanently tax-free betting site http://www.ladbrokes.com.

Ladbrokes was the first to launch betting via interactive TV with its product `Vernons Matchball', and offers interactive services via NTL, CWC and OnNet. Ladbrokes was the first company to broadcast live pictures of greyhound races on a betting Web site. It offers WAP betting at http://wap.ladbrokes.co.uk and http://www.ladbrokes.com, and has signed an agreement to develop next generation mobile betting services with BT.


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