Business news sponsored by SG Digital

With Victoria's wagering licence set to expire in 2012, the Australian state government has announced that the shortlist for the state's new multi-billion dollar twelve-year wagering licence is down to just three applicants - with UK bookmaker Ladbrokes up against Australian gaming giants Tabcorp and Tatts Group.

As The Weather Lottery continues to expand into online gaming and considers plans to relocate its FC Betz.com business to the Isle of Man, the company has announced the signing of its fourth deal in recent months, becoming the official gaming partner of Championship football club Leicester City under its FC Betz.com brand.

Alongside publication of the company's second quarter results, Playtech Limited has announced the addition of Italian gaming operators Snai and Gala Coral's Eurobet to the company's Italian online bingo network.

AIM listed betting and gaming operator Leisure & Gaming plc has agreed the sale of its principal operating subsidiary Betshop Group, having concluded that it has insufficient working capital to continue trading.

NetPlay TV issued an unscheduled trading update Thursday in an attempt to stem the sharp decline in its share price, which has seen over 50% wiped from its value during July.

Online scratch cards provider NeoGames Limited has signed a partnership deal with Kamay Holdings Ltd, owner of the LuckyAce branded online poker and casino sites, to launch a new soft-gaming offering under the Superscratch.com brand.

MDI Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scientific Games Corporation, has extended its successful licensing agreement with U.S toy making giant Hasbro until 2013, through which the company will continue to offer lottery games based on popular brands such as Monopoly, Scrabble and Clue, including versions on the internet and other digital platforms.

Norway's ban on gambling related financial transactions is causing problems for Norwegian credit card holders as they travel abroad this summer, blocking payments for goods and services such as ice cream in Sweden and hotel rooms in Las Vegas.

British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) said Tuesday that no timeline has been established for the reactivation of its PlayNow.com online gaming site following the discovery of a technical glitch two weeks ago that forced the lottery to shut down the site after more than 100 players were able to access other players' accounts.

In what the company described as a response to increased competition from betting exchanges and rival offshore operators, William Hill plc said Monday that it will close its telephone betting operations in the UK and transfer the business to William Hill Online in Gibraltar in order to benefit from significant cost savings.

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