Monday, July 04, 2011

Is The Trial Balloon Filled With Hot Air Or Laughing Gas?


It was surprising to hear Alise Mills, who Rick Cluff described as a "BC Liberal Party strategist", float an expectations-lowering trial balloon this morning on CBC radio about how Christy Clark will not be calling an election this fall.

After setting that mini-Hindenburg aloft, Ms. Mills then back-peddled furiously and stated that it may only be her opinion, but that folks should remember that she called the federal election correctly too.

Or some such unchallenged by the host type thing.

But here's something interesting that I have never heard mentioned by a proMedia panel host and/or interviewer who has spoken to Ms. Mills about matters political....

According to the outer reaches of the Google cache, and David Baines in the business pages of the Vancouver Sun, it turns out that Ms. Mills does not apparently always get things quite exactly right in a very different realm.

....(Vancouver -based) Veridigm was purportedly developing an online gambling business. In March 2007, Jeffrey Eng, who was president in name, if not in fact, announced the company had "successfully completed a letter of agreement" to license online gambling software from a private company called Dimensions Inc.....

{snippety doo-dah}

...About this time, Alise Mills, a Vancouver public relations specialist and occasional radio and television political commentator, became a director and vice-president of corporate communications.

Her arrival was the first hint that (Howe Street promoter Louis) Dion was working behind the scenes. Two years earlier, Mills had held a similar position with the World Bingo League Co. Inc. (a.k.a. World Entertainment Corp. and World Mobile Network Corp.), which featured Dion as president and controlling shareholder.

World Bingo was a disaster for investors. As detailed in my column last Saturday, Dion told prospective investors that, within three years, the company's online bingo games would generate $54 million in revenues and $17 million in net profits. In fact, the company didn't generate a cent of revenues.

In June 2007, Mills announced "the upcoming launch" of Veridigm's newly developed game, Megaz Bucks, which she described as "the largest progressive jackpot game ever to be offered on the Internet."

Not mentioned was the fact that the domain name,, had been registered the previous month by Kerrie Naples, who is Dion's daughter.

On July 12, 2007, Mills announced the official launch of the Megaz Bucks game, with a "progressive jackpot that would begin at $5 million and grow from there."

About that time, Eng quit as president and was replaced by Rowland Mosser, a businessman from Lucerne, Calif., who was said to be "currently working with some investors to build a 100-unit resort hotel and restaurant on Clear Lake in Lake County in Northern California."

Not mentioned was the fact that his joint venture partner was the Boardwalk Group of Companies, a Vancouver company whose president is Louis Dion.

In September 2007, Veridigm announced a master licensing agreement with Cannes Games. According to Mills, the agreement would enable Veridigm "to further position itself as a leading international provider of progressive online gaming software." No further details were provided

Mills also announced the company would move its head office from Vancouver to Dublin, which she described as "a leading city in the online gaming software and entertainment industry."

Mills said about 35 Veridigm staff would relocate to Dublin from Vancouver. "Our plan is take on an additional 25 to 30 people with software skills and see us eventually employing over 100 people," she said. (There is no indication in any of Veridigm's public filings that the company had anywhere near 35 employees.)

All these boosterish announcements were difficult to reconcile with the company's financial statements, which showed the company failed to generate a single cent of revenue during the year ending Dec. 31, 2007.

Furthermore, the company had no capacity to generate any revenue. As of Dec. 31, 2007, it had zero cash and its total assets consisted of office equipment valued at $3,471.

So what happened to the $4.5-million financing that the company had announced in March 2007? Mills confessed in a news release in December 2007 -some nine months after the fact -that the financing never happened.

She also admitted the company never consummated the deal with Dimensions Inc., which was supposed to provide access to a gaming platform that generated $125 million annually in betting revenue. Ditto for the deal with Cannes Games. In February 2008, the company announced it had removed Mills as a senior officer and director. By that time, the stock -which traded as high as 22 cents in June 2007 -had sunk to two cents....


Given all that, one can only wonder why Ms. Mills' extensive strategizing for online gambling interests is never, ever mentioned by the proMedia folks who seek her out for her vast knowledge and insight on the provincial political scene.




Tony Martinson said...

What leaves me absolutely dumbstruck is that people who tell bald-faced lies are repeatedly put in positions where their word is trusted. Like, hello? Rabbit hole?

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Does not leave me the teensiest bit dumbstruck. Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince" still hits the mark here and there 498 years later. How about this one? - "Nothing feeds upon itself as liberality does."

West End Bob said...

I heard Ms. Mills on the Cluffmaster this morning and was rather surprised by her comments regarding a fall election.

Sure seems like he should have pressed her more on her credibility in the matter. Perhaps she was waiting for him to call "I-24" or N-17" or some such Bingo lingo . . . .

Anonymous said...
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RossK said...

Troll removal, above.


Anonymous said...
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RossK said...

Troll removal, above.