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Rivers Casino, Penn., Fined for Underage Gambling Violation

Jan 30, 2010
Slots in Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh

Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is currently being fined a total of $16,000 by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board due to two counts of Underage Gambling violation. A 14 year old girl and 15 year old boy managed to play slots in the casino where state law dictates no one is permitted to play under the age of 21.

MSN Money: Pa. gaming control board fines Rivers Casino

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has levied a $16,000 fine against Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh for underage gambling. The fine is an agreement between the board and Holdings Acquisition Co. LP, the casino operator, regarding 2 incidents in October and December.

A 15-year-old girl was able to play on a slot machine for about 17 minutes before being caught in October, and in December, a 14-year-old boy played slots for about 4 minutes.

Rivers Casino says it “takes this incident very seriously. We join the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in this and every effort to prevent underage gaming. That’s why we monitor our floors 24-7 and immediately report any occurrence, such as these, to the state.”

Extensive employee training and security are in place to prevent underage access, along with signs throughout the property. Parents and guardians are reminded that bringing minors onto the gaming floor is not allowed. State law prohibits anyone under 18 from entering the gaming floor of a licensed facility; anyone under 21 is barred from playing.

During the past two years, the Gaming Control Board says, it has levied fines statewide on eight occasions for violations of underage gambling or minors on the gaming floor totaling $232,500.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Pittsburgh casino fined for 2 teen slots players

State gaming regulators are fining a slot machine casino in Pittsburgh because a 15-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were able to gamble for a few minutes each last year. The gaming board says a 15-year-old girl gambled for around 17 minutes on Oct. 15, while a 14-year-old boy played slots for about four minutes on Dec. 13 before he was caught.

The $16,000 fine imposed on the Rivers Casino on Wednesday was part of an agreement between the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and Holdings Acquisition Co. L.P., which owns the casino.

State law prohibits anyone under 21 to play slot machines and anyone under 18 from being on the casino floor.

PR Newswire: PA Gaming Control Board Fines Casino for Underage Gambling Violations

A $16,000 fine was levied today by the Commonwealth’s gaming oversight agency on a Pennsylvania casino operator for underage gambling violations. The fine was part of a consent agreement between the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and Holdings Acquisition Co. L.P., operator of the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. The penalties occurred at Rivers Casino in October and December of 2009.

Under the agreement, the casino must pay a fine of $16,000 for two incidents. The first was on October 14, when a 15-year-old female gained entry to the gaming floor and placed wagers on a slot machine for about 17 minutes. The second instance was on December 13, when a 14-year-old male gained entry to the floor and placed wagers on a slot for nearly 4 minutes.

The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act dictates that it’s unlawful for persons under 21 to operate or use slot machines and that individuals under 18 may not enter the gaming floor of a licensed facility.

During the past two years, the Gaming Control Board has levied fines statewide on eight occasions for violations of underage gambling or minors on the gaming floor totaling $232,500.

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Sportech to Buy US-Based Scientific Games Racing for $83 Million

Jan 28, 2010
Sportech Playtech Football Pools

UK-based football pools operator Sportech today struck an acquisition deal with Scientific Games Racing (SGR) worth as much as $83 million. SRG is a subsidiary of Scientific Games, which itself recently combined forces with gaming software provider Playtech. This three-way partnership will make the newly-enlarged Sportech one of the world leaders in pari-mutuel betting.

Times Online: Football pools operator gambles on $83m US deal

Sportech, a football pools operator, today sealed an $83 million (£51.4 million) acquisition deal with SGR, a US-based pari-mutuel betting company.

The new deal will allow Sportech to provide technology to the tote-betting operators at half of America’s racetracks, and will give them a direct window into tote betting operations in the state of Connecticut and the Netherlands.

Sportech is buying the business from Scientific Games Corporation for an initial sum of $65 million. Half will be paid in cash and the rest in Sportech shares issued at 50p. In the end, Scientific Games will hold a 19.99 per cent stake in the newly enlarged company.

Gaming software supplier Playtech also just announced a partnership with Scientific Games, and intends subscribe for shares as well. Playtech will emerge with a 9.99% stake in Sportech.

The acquisition comes shortly after Sportech’s entry into the Indian market by means of a joint venture with the country’s biggest gambling group.

Some are suggesting that the presence of both Scientific Games and Playtech together on the share register might spark merger speculation in upcoming years.

Sportstech chief exec Ian Penrose said: “If anything happens in the future, then we’ll deal with it, but at the moment we’ve got our hands full making all of this work.”

Financial Times: Sportech to buy US pool better

Sportech, a football pools and gaming business, just announced that it will soon be giving up close to a purchase one of the main providers of pool betting on horse racing in the US.

Liverpool-based Sportstech is paying $75m in cash and shares deal to acquire Scientific Games Racing (SGR), a division of the New York based gambling services provider Scientific Games.

SGR is the provider of pool betting systems for half all racetracks in North America, and is also the equivalent of the UK’s Tote in the US state of Connecticut and Holland.

The deal involves a $32m cash payment along with the placing of $33m of new shares that will be purchased by Scientific Games, which will come out of the deal holding a 20% stake in the expanded Sportech.

Playtech, an online gambling software provider which last week forged a joint venture deal with Scientific Games, is also contributing £10m. This will give them a stake of just under 10 per cent.

Sportech hopes that through the deal, they will become a major player in pari-mutuel betting across the globe, with the help of the technologies and networks that its new partners provide.

Ian Penrose, chief executive, said: “The transaction leaves us as a leading business in the global pari-mutuel marketplace, with representation in Europe and in North and South America.”

Mor Weizer, chief executive of Playtech, says: “We share many of Sportech’s goals in growing our business in regulated markets.”

Sportech shares dropped 2½p to 54p on Wednesday. Playtech shares fell marginally to 514p.

Reuters: Sportech buys SGR betting unit for up to $83 mln

British gaming company Sportech is to buy US racing and venue management business SGR from Scientific Games Corp for as much as $83 million in cash and shares as part of their drive to become a world leader in pari-mutuel betting.

Sportech will an initial $65 million in cash and shares, followed by $10 million in 2013, and up to $8 million more if SGR meets its targets over the next three years.

Pari-muteul or Pools betting is a sports gambling system where all bets are placed in a pool, and then payout odds are calculated by sharing the money in the pool with all winning bettors.

Piers Pottinger, chairman of Sportech, says: “This is a transformational transaction for Sportech. It catapults the business onto the international stage.”

Internet gaming software company Playtech intends to buy a 9.99 percent stake in the enlarged group, and has already signed a letter of intent to provide gaming products and services to the SGR business.

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Gambling Expansion Proposal Fails in Kentucky Senate

Jan 27, 2010
Kentucky Online Gambling Laws

The people of Kentucky came very close to having a say in all gambling expansion issues in the state this week. Unfortunately the law proposal was conquered by the democrats in the state senate. It seems as though horse racing is going to remain the top form of gambling for the time being.

ABC News: Dems Kill Counter-Gambling Proposal in Ky. Senate

Thursday in Kentucky’s Senate, Democrats killed legislation that would have given voters decision making power on all proposals that would expand gambling in the state. The measure received only 21 of the 23 needed votes, all from Republicans. The defeated measure was sponsored by Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville.

The proposal called for an amendment to the state constitution that would’ve required all gambling issues placement on the ballot for Kentucky voters to accept or reject. The vote came during an election year in which 19 of 38 Senate seats could be up for grabs.

There are currently 2 different measures being processed in the Senate and House that would legalize slots at horse tracks without a voter referendum. Under those proposals, the state would sell gambling licenses and then tax the revenues from slots to generate $780 million over the next 2 years.

The House would use raised revenue on specific initiatives, including a massive school construction program that would create work for thousands of jobless Kentuckians. The Senate’s version would put revenues into the general fund to help stave off budget cuts and potential employee layoffs.

Kentucky’s political leaders have been reluctant to legalize forms of gambling, outside of horseracing.

Thoroughbred Times: Kentucky Senate does not pass Williams’ VLT bill

This year, Republican State Senate President David Williams sponsored a bill that would have taken the issue of gambling expansion out of state lawmakers’ hands by requiring state voters to approve any gambling expansion in Kentucky. The bill fell short of approval on Thursday.

Due to voting along party lines, the bill received a majority of votes at 21-16 but failed to acquire the needed 23 votes to reach the three-fifths standard for a constitutional amendment.

The horseracing industry opposed the bill because it would have added an additional step before tracks could add video lotteries. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway ruled that state lawmakers could approve adding video lotteries without voter approval, last year.

A Senate bill proposed this year would place video lotteries at racetracks to raise revenue for horse racing. Money from taxes and fees would be placed in the state’s general fund as opposed to being targeted to any specific area.

WLKY: Democrats Kill Counter-Gambling Proposal In Senate

Democrats in the Kentucky State Senate failed legislation that would have allowed voters to have a say in all state gambling proposals. The measure needed 23 votes to pass but only received 21, all of which were from Republicans.

Sixteen Senate Democrats voted along party lines Thursday and defeated the measure which was sponsored by Republican Senate President David Williams, of Burkesville. The bill would have ruled that all gambling issues be placed on the ballot for Kentucky voters to accept or reject.

Pro-gambling state Sen. David Boswell, a Democrat from Owensboro, said Williams knew the bill had no chance of passage in the senate and sponsored it so that Republican challengers could make an issue of it in upcoming elections.

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Dikshit cleans his hands of PartyGaming

Jan 26, 2010
Dikshit Sells Partygaming stock

Anurag Dikshit, one of India’s richest men and co-founder of online gambling giant PartyGaming, has just sold his remaining share in the company. Dikshit’s history with PartyGaming includes a legal battle with the US Department of Justice in 2008. The sale generated over 100 million pounds, which Dikshit intends to give to his charitable organization.

Financial Times: Dikshit sells remaining stake in PartyGaming

Anurag Dikshit, the co-founder of the online gambling company PartyGaming, has just sold the remainder of his stake in the group that he started in 1997.

In brief statement to the stock exchange, Dikshit’s vehicle Crystal Ventures said that it had sold the remaining 9% stake of about 38.8m shares at a rate of 270p per share. The shares were sold via an accelerated bookbuilt offering available only to institutional investors.

The sale came just days after Partygaming announced it was in preliminary discussions with several other companies in the industry regarding possible consolidation. Among those including in the talks is Bwin, an Austrian-based online gambling group.

In 2006 Dikshit stepped down from the board at Partygaming. Back in October, he sold two-thirds of his stake in the company for £188m, which he then donated to his charitable foundation.

Dikshit paid authorities $300m (£183m) after pleading guilty to an online gambling charge in the US in 2008. Taking this money into account, Dikshit has gained about £540m since PartyGaming floated in June 2005.

Bloomberg: PartyGaming Founder Dikshit Sells Remaining Stake

PartyGaming founder Anurag Dikshit sold his remaining stake in the PartyPoker online gambling site that he helped start in back 1997. After the sale, shares fell as much as 7% in London trading.

Dikshit sold 38.8 million shares for 270 pence per share to institutional investors through an accelerated bookbuild. The sale of the 9.5% holding generated about 105 million pounds.

This liquidation follows Dikshit’s sale of two-thirds of his stake already in October. “This is simply about moving on,” said Shimon Cohen, his spokesman. “It’s been a process over four years since he first withdrew from the board. And that’s now it.”

In December 2008, Dikshit pleaded guilty to involvement in unlawful online gambling operations in the U.S., and agreed to cooperate with the US Justice Department in its probe of his company. He paid $300 million in fines, and is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

“It’s brought its fair share of issues,” Cohen said. “We have the court hearing and sentencing still hanging over us. Anurag voluntarily went to America and pled guilty so that he could move on.”

PartyGaming shares fell as much as 20.5 pence to 273 pence, and traded at 276.4 pence at 9:23 a.m. in London, giving the company a total market value of 1.12 billion pounds ($1.82 billion).

Telegraph: PartyGaming founder Anurag Dikshit severs ties with company after £114m share sale

Indian software expert Anurag Dikshit asked Goldman Sachs to sell his remaining 38.8m shares in the online gambling operator PartyGaming via a bookbuilding exercise. The sale follows a similar move last October when Dikshit sold a £188m holding in the company. PartyGaming shares rose 8 to 293.5p.

Mr Dikshit was responsible for developing PartyGaming’s online gaming software, but he became concerned about the company’s operations being declared illegal in America when laws changed in 2006. The US was once PartyGaming’s biggest market.

In December 2008, under pressure from the US Department of Justice, Dikshit pleaded guilty to breaking US gambling laws and agreed to pay a fine of $300m (£185m). Dikshit may still face a two-year jail.

One of the richest men in India, Dikshit is estimated to have already taken out more than £700m from the company since its float in 2005, though most of it is has been donated to his charitable trust.

Last week, PartyGaming confirmed that it is “continuing to hold discussions with a number of companies in the gaming sector regarding potential consolidation opportunities”, including a possible tie-up with Austrian rival Bwin.

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Bet on Sports Online Former Executive Headed to Jail

Jan 12, 2010

Bet on Sports Online owner jailed

David Carruthers, the former head of the online sportsbook Bet on Sports Online, has just been sentenced to 33 months in jail.

He was arrested three years ago by FBI agents for running a company that let US players wager on sports over the internet. Carruthers was charged with racketeering and conspiracy.

Telegraph: Bet on Sports Online executive jailed 

David Carruthers, the former head of an online sportsbook company called Bet on Sports Online, has plead guilty to charges of racketeering and conspiracy, and has been sentenced to 33 months in jail.

The charges are connected to the company’s operations in the US, where online gambling is restricted. The fiasco follows the government’s crackdown on offshore online gambling sites that illegally accept wagers from American players. Bet on Sports Online saw profits of $3.5bn (£2.2bn) between 2002 and 2004, and most of that revenue came from players in the US.

Carruthers has been living under house arrest in a hotel in Missouri for the last three years, ever since he was detained by the FBI at Dallas Airport while on his way to Costa Rica, where Bet on Sports Online is headquartered.

Assistant US Attorney Steven Holtshouser said: “Previously, executives, owners and investors believed that they were immune from the reach of US law enforcement. Both the conviction of, and sentence handed down against Mr Carruthers should send a message to any foreign business conducting illegal activities in the United States, that geography does not render it untouchable.”

Last year, founder of Bet on Sports Online, Gary Kaplan was sentenced to more than four years in prison after agreeing to forfeit more than £43m.

Bet on Sports Online Boss Jailed

A SCOTS gambling executive has been sentenced to almost three years in the US after pleading guilty to charges of racketeering. David Carruthers has spent the last three years under house arrest at a hotel in Missouri for violating American gambling laws.

Edinburgh-born Carruthers was chief executive of the massive internet sporstsbook BetOnSports. Carruthers appeared in court on Friday, where he was sentenced to 33 months after striking a deal with prosecutors.

Carruthers read a prepared statement at the hearing, apologizing for breaking US gambling regulations in a prepared statement to the hearing. He said: “I understand now that the business was operating outside the laws of the United States. I realize I made the biggest mistake of my life. I am sorry for the actions of BetOnSports and the trouble it caused.”

He was arrested by the FBI agents in July 2006 as he passed through Dallas Airport on his way to the company headquarters in Costa Rica. His wife Carol was with him at the time, and was also detained.

Carruthers is accused of breaking US law by presiding over a company that accepted illegal sports bets on the internet from American bettors.

Gambling Executive Sentenced to Prison

David Carruthers, the former chief executive of the online sports betting company Bet on Sports Online, has just been sentenced to 33 months in prison.

On Friday, Carruthers pleaded guilty racketeering conspiracy. Carruthers and 10 other individuals, including the company’s founder Gary S. Kaplan were indicted in 2006. Each was accused of violating an old federal law that forbids the placement of wagers by wire.

“I understand now that the business was operating outside the laws of the United States,” said Carruthers in a statement he read to the judge Carol during his trial.

Bet on Sports Online saw $1.25 billion in profits in 2004, with 98% of that revenue coming from bets made across the internet by players in United States.

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Las Vegas sports betting goes wireless

Jan 06, 2010
Las Vegas Sportsbetting goes wireless

A Las Vegas based company called Cantor Gaming recently introduced a mobile gambling device that lets patrons of participating casinos wager on sporting events and play games like blackjack and baccarat while wandering around the casino property. Credits are purchased ahead of time, and a special security chip that players keep in their pocket makes sure no other users can access their device. It is quickly catching on, and Cantor hopes to expand the system throughout Vegas over the next few years.

The New York Times: In Las Vegas, Sports Books in a Pocket

In the past, sports bettors in Las Vegas had to line up at sports book windows and pay cash for paper tickets in order to place bets. At the M Resort, things work a little differently, and betting is happening through hand-held devices not much bigger than an iPhone.

The new technology comes from Cantor Gaming, and lets gamblers wager on sporting events from anywhere in the casino. Live betting is also available, letting gamblers wager on the outcomes of events as they happen.

Casino operators love the new system. “All of a sudden, these same people who were betting once or twice a game at the beginning of a sporting event can place wagers every minute if they want,” says Anthony A. Marnell III, chief executive of the M Resort. “Having this technology changes the entire equation for everyone involved.”

Bettors must still hand cash over to ticket writers, but the money gets converted electronic credits that show up on the wireless hand-helds, called eDecks (or in some places, PocketCasino). These devices can be taken almost anywhere in the casino. The only restriction is that bettors cannot use them while playing table games.

All eDeck users must obtain a plastic card with an ID chip embedded in it. The eDeck will only work within a few feet of that chip, so no other bettor can pick up the device and wager on another user’s account. The devices were approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission in 2008, but are only now being rolled out to casinos.

Vegas News: Cantor Gaming Launches Mobile Gaming Throughout The Venetian and The Palazzo

Cantor Gaming announced yesterday that the PocketCasino, available at The Venetian and The Palazzo casinos in Las Vegas, is now offering casino games in addition to live sports betting. The PocketCasino lets gamblers play casino style games in most areas of the resorts, including the casino, bars, lounges and restaurants.

Cantor Gaming launched the PocketCasino sports betting system in September at The Venetian Race and Sports Book and Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. PocketCasino now also gives players access to games such like blackjack, video poker and slots. These games offer special propositional bets that calculate odds dynamically based on the cards dealt.

President and CEO of Cantor Gaming Lee Amaitis said, “The inherent flexibility of the mobile platform provides a new type of social gaming experience, where a group of friends can sit together yet all be playing different games: blackjack, poker, slots or baccarat. And for casino operators, mobile gaming has shown it can convert traditionally non-gaming areas of the property into revenue-generating areas, resulting in incremental income for the property.”

Robert Goldstein, president and COO of The Venetian and The Palazzo, added, “Pocketcasino gaming is the perfect way to enjoy the excitement of casino without missing the fun your friends are having at the bar, lounge, or in one of our amazing restaurants. It’s a multitasker’s dream come true.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Sports bets at your fingertips

A live, mobile betting system called “PocketCasino” recently debuted at The Palazzo and The Venetian casinos in Las Vegas. It lets bettors place live wagers on sport events, like whether a team will make the next goal. Standard bets are also offered, like point spreads and money lines on selected games.

Las Vegas-based Cantor Gaming introduced it in the spring at M Resort during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Gregg Layman, a Palazzo patron from Panama, works for an online gambling website. Palazzo found the PocketCasino system to be similar to what online sportsbooks are offer.

“This is going to grow in popularity,” Layman said. “I wish I could use it from home.”

Another casino patron, Danny Tubiolo of New York, is hooked on the new system. “It’s fun to bet if a kicker will make or miss a field goal,” he said.

Mark Goldman, director of race and sports at the two casinos currently offering the PocketCasino, said that interest in the product is steadily increasing. “We have ambassadors working the room, handing out information,” says Goldman. “Once people understand it, it’s pretty easy to use. I think it adds to the excitement.”

Customers check out the devices, place money on a special account. When finished, gamblers return the device and cash out. The device is active throughout the casino.

Cantor is the first company to bring hand-held wagering devices into Las Vegas casinos.

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Online Sports Betting Operation In New York Pleads Guilty

Jan 04, 2010
online sports betting

Joseph LaForte, a 39 year old New Yorker, admitted to the US Disctrict Court last week that in 2005 and 2006 he played a role in an illegal online sports bettingoperation.

LaForte directed players to an internet sportsbook hosted offshore, supplying them with user names and passwords for online sports betting. The website gave LaForte a share of the profits. LaForte now faces a possible prison sentence.New York Man Admits Role in Sports Betting Ring

A man from New York admitted last week that he helped to run an illegal online sports betting website that offered services in several US states, including New Jersey.

Joseph W. LaForte admitted to the crime in U.S. District Court in Trenton last Wednesday.

LaForte, 39, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate an illegal online sports betting business. LaForte is already serving time in New York on separate charges, and now faces a sentence of up top five years in prison along with a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced April 6th.

Online sports betting

LaForte’s admission said that between 2005 and 2006, he and several others helped punters to place wagers through an online sportsbook hosted outside the United States, then shared in the profits from the sports betting business.

NY man admits role in sports betting ring

A man from Staten Island, New York, recently pleaded guilty to setting a former employee’s Mercedes-Benz on fire in 2004 out of revenge.

James LaForte Jr., 32, also admitted last Wednesday to offering high-interest loans, then using threats and violence to collect on them. Loan sharking carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Additionally, LaForte’s brother Joseph W. LaForte admitted to a federal court that he had participated in an illegal online sports gambling business in New Jersey, New York, Florida and elsewhere. Joseph LaForte, 39, is currently serving a sentence in New York state prison on unrelated charges.  He admitted to conspiring with others in 2005 and 2006 to helping bettors to place wagers at a foreign internet gambling site. They provided punters with user names and passwords so they could wager on online sports betting, LaForte admitted. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; sentencing is set for April 6.

Breaking Local News from Staten Island, NY: Staten Island man admits role in sports betting ring

Joseph W. LaForte, a Staten Island native who most recently lived in Huguenot, admitted on Wednesday that he helped operate an illegal online sports betting ring in New Jersey.

Joseph W. LaForte made this admission Wednesday at the U.S. District Court in Trenton.

Thirty-nine year old LaForte pleaded guilty to charges he was accused of, including conspiracy to operate an unlawful online sports betting business. LaForte, currently serving a prison term in New York on unrelated charges, faces up to five years and a fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced on the 6th of April.

In his admission, LaForte revealed that in 2005 and early 2006, he and his associates directed bettors to a particular online sports betting website located outside the United States. LaForte shared in the profits from the online business.

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