Time for a bit of e-gambling

Rattled around London on the Tube earlier this week, and saw an advert for GetMinted.com, the Leamington Spa-based developers of Monopoly Online and Monopoly Mobile.

These guys developed the versions of Monopoly that various Web portals, ranging from the National Lottery through to Paddypower, the online bookies, use to prise money out of punter's electronic wallets.

Actually Monopoly on a mobile phone is pretty damn good, as its Java-based download. You still lose money, of course, but you do so at 20 pence a pop on your mobile, which isn't that bad.

Anyway, it seems that GetMinted has finally obtained an online gaming licence in its own right and has set up its servers - for some bizarre reason - in Alderney, in the Channel Islands.

Unfortunately for GetMinted, the Internet connections in to Alderney are rather strange, with many IP connections routed via a satellite (VSAT) link and peered onto the North American Internet, as well as via fibre connection to Jersey and then on to France.

Sadly for GetMinted, its licence prohibits it from signing up customers from the US, where many states have outlawed online gambling.

If, however, you attempt to sign up for GetMinted's service from several UK ISPs, including Pipex, America Online and BT Internet, chances are that your IP routes go via the US, and so onto the satellite connection back to Alderney in the Channel Islands.

Coupled with the fact GetMinted's servers cannot differentiate between a peered and a point of origin IP connection in the US, this means you can't sign up and gamble with these ISPs.

I know, 'cos I've tried.

"It's a major problem for our customers," said the nice guy at the call centre for GetMinted.

Yes, well sack your IP programmers is what I say...