Streaks into Space
By staff
In another first for the online casino industry, gaming site will boldly go where no casino has gone before with the Space Program: Powered by The da Vinci Project (

This will be the Canadian entry in the Ansari X Prize $10,000,000 competition for the first team to privately finance, build, and launch a spaceship carrying three people to a 100 kilometer altitude (62.5 miles), return safely to Earth, and repeat the launch with the same ship within 2 weeks. The casinoís brand will also appear on the ship itselfóthe Wild Fireóduring its historic flight to the very edge of Space and into the history books. The Ansari X Prize is intended to promote the Space tourism industry through competition among the most talented entrepreneurs and rocket experts in the world.

'This is a momentous occasion that will really place on the world stage,' said founder and CEO Richard Rowe. 'This will go down in history as one of the key moments in humankindís race to Space. Years from now, children will be learning about this event in school along with the moon landing.'

Just as the building of the city of Las Vegas turned the Nevada desert into a city of lights, hopes to do the same in the final frontier just as they pioneered the online casino industry in 1997. Team leader and pilot Brian Feeney will be bringing a laptop along for the ride in order for his team to enjoy the casino games on their trip to sub-orbital Space.

'As this technology progresses, we want to set up junkets so players can enjoy our games from high above the Earth,' said Rowe. 'We are going to be the first casino to visit Space; we also want to be the first casino IN Space. Then youíll really see some casino action that is out of this world.'

For the Space Program: Powered By The da Vinci Project, this is a classic David and Goliath match-up as their main competition for the prize is Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allenís Scaled Composites team. Although the project is on a smaller scale than Allenís multi-million dollar investment, they believe that Feeney and his dedicated group of over 600 specialized volunteers have the ability to win this historic competition. is extremely proud and excited to be a part of the evolution of spaceflight, and believe this will be something that will be talked about for years to come.

'Brian has an exceptional team working for him and I have every confidence in this project and the successful flight of the Wild Fire,' said Rowe. 'From a marketing perspective, this is an incredible opportunity for us but it is also a way to give something back to the hundreds of volunteers that have worked so hard and committed 150,000 hours to make this dream a reality. Their determination, perseverance, and innovative thinking have raised the bar in the pursuit of progress, and we are proud to be a part of a team thatís moving forward. Regardless of which team wins this competition, the benefits to the human race will be considerable as we move another step closer to viable commercial spaceflight. We would like to thank Brian and his team, and wish Godspeed to the Wild Fire crew.'

Although the rules of the competition state that a three passenger load is required for the flight, also plans for a stowaway to make the trip. The casino recently made headlines when they purchased the 'Beckham Ball' on eBay from the ecstatic fan that caught the ball during the Euro 2004 match. The ball that superstar David Beckham sent sailing over the net to dash Englandís hopes of victory will now sail higher than anyone expected, streaking into space.

'This is one of The Ballís stops on a world tour to raise money for charity,' said Rowe. 'We will be setting up promotional events so that people will get to participate in penalty shoot-out style competitions using The Ball. Now they will also be using the first football to have been in Space.'

'Itís important to us to always be on the cutting edge, whether in casino gaming, marketing, or technology,' said Rowe. 'I believe future generations will consider the Space Program: Powered by The da Vinci Project to be akin to the founding of Las Vegas. This truly is a historical event and we are proud to help make it happen. Maybe sometime in the future weíll even find a way to make history with the first streaker in Space wearing a tattoo.'

The launch of the Wild Fire is scheduled for October 2, 2004; the world will be watching.

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