So, let’s starts with the good news first. Paris Fashion Week took place and it was, as always, extravagant: extravagant models, extravagant designers. Speaking of which, ex Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham had a speech at the UN at the same time her new fashion shop opened in London. A new social network, “Ello”, popped-up and apparently wants to be serious competition for Facebook. India has put a satellite on orbit around Mars and they are the first country in Asia that managed to do that on first attempt. For the first time a woman played prince Hamlet of Denmark in Manchester and congratulations are in order for actor George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin since they are now husband and wife.
On a not so happy side of the rainbow, The Shellshock bug made us change passwords again and iPhone 6 has an… unexpected bendable headcase.
Good and bad news for gambling too, I guess, but you can check that yourselves, in the pics below.
1.They keep saying that gambling is an art… The owner of the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania reinforces the saying by planning to build a casino on the island.
2. Poker player Achilleas Kallakis thought he can play bankers as well but the game isn’t over and he’s looking at another seven years in jail unless he returns GBP 3 million within six months.
3. Steve Wynn won the licence for building a casino in the Boston area and started rubbing his victory in competition’s face because that’s just what some winners do.
4. All week-long, football fans and punters checked the odds for matches taking place on Wednesday in Champions League. Online bookmakers are waiting you to place your bets.
5. UK bookies had their share of problems in 2014. But sunnier days have to arrive because as long as there is Britons and football, there will be UK betting.
6. A drug smuggler was finally captured and the, now safer, world owes it all to poker. Robert Knight, one of UK’s most-wanted couldn’t stay away from the game and police just had to exploit his weak spot.
7. Campaign managers most definitely should start visiting online betting sites more often because, apparently, political oddsmakers are the best sources for predictions on the 2016 Presidential Election.
So, that was last week but gambling news are always fresh. Check our top stories section!
Japan is getting closer and closer to that critical point where casino developers will lose their patience and turn their backs on any investment opportunity in the country.
Since experts estimated that Japan has the potential to become Asia’s second largest casino market, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration has been pushing for a change in Japanese gambling laws to open the door to major casino developers before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. With the way things are going, it looks like the big dream is not going to happen anytime soon.
For Japan, it’s not a matter of “sooner or later”. If investors don’t have sufficient time to make their plans, obtain approval and start building, the effort will not be worth it. Having a favorable regulatory system as soon as possible was crucial for the success of the country’s gambling market. It’s becoming increasingly unlikely that everything will be ready in time for the Olympics.
Reuters: Costs, politics erode chances for a Tokyo casino by 2020
Japanese casino supporters are starting to panic as plans to change the country’s gambling legislation don’t seem to be coming together. As time passes and authorities are still undecided whether to approve the new casino bill, plans to open the first casino in Tokyo before the 2020 Olympics are becoming increasingly unlikely.
Even though Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly stated that legalizing casino games is one of his main objectives, recent gambling news say building costs are skyrocketing, and the city government is not treating casino development as an economic priority anymore.
For months, casino companies have courted the governments of Tokyo and Osaka, hoping that they will convince them to open the market. Analysts have touted Japan as one of the world’s biggest untapped markets for gambling, but authorities are still undecided.
Major casino operators like Las Vegas Sands, Genting Singapore, MGM Resorts and Melco Crown Entertainment have proposed billion-dollar plans for the area, in order to position themselves as potential candidates for a license, should the casino bill be approved.
The parliament just began its autumn session, and the casino bill should be debated. Supporters of the idea are hoping that politicians will make a decision, giving the administration enough time to approve the bill and start making plans by 2015. But costs have become an issue and the Tokyo government is considering scaling back its plans for the Olympics.
Satoshi Okabe, a senior manager at a project being developed by Dentsu, said: “The reality is that preparations for the Olympics are going to be pretty challenging. Casinos are secondary. Building costs are going to spike and foreign casino operators are going to find investment returns inefficient.”
Meanwhile, Osaka is making progress with its plans for a casino and Caesars Entertainment is still interested. “We are actively in talks with potential Japanese partners about an Osaka project,” said Steve Tight, president for international development for Caesars.
Forbes: Japan Forms Casino Task Force To Boost Flagging Momentum
At the end of August, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government announced that it was going to create a task force help speed up preparations for casinos in Japan. Decision-makers have postponed the issue for a while now, but the Abe administration is hoping the task force will revive momentum for the resorts to be open in time for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo.
Some major gaming companies said they were willing to spend as much as $5 billion or more to build integrated resorts in the country’s largest cities, but financial experts doubt that the Japanese market is worth that level of investment.
The casino legalization bill was introduced in December 2013, but the Diet didn’t include it in its June voting session. The issue was brought up for debate just a few days before the session closed, so there is still hope that it might come up again during the special session held in autumn.
A report released by Morgan Stanley says Japan is facing many issues in its ambitions to build integrated casino resorts. Analysts Praveen Choudhary, Thomas Allen and Alex Poon have concluded that the country’s gambling market may not be as profitable as casino developers are hoping.
GamingZion: Major Casino Developers Eager to Join the $40 Billion Japanese Casino Market
Experts agree that a casino industry in Japan could potentially generate a yearly profit of $40 billion. The news has convinced the world’s largest casino developers that they must have a share of that juicy revenue, so developers like Melco Crown Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and Caesar’s Entertainment Group have all pledged to invest billions of dollars.
Melco CEO Lawrence Ho said the company was willing to spend as much as $5 billion on a new investment in Japan, should the new law pass. The developer sees it as the perfect opportunity to expand outside of Macau.
Las Vegas Sands, Wynn and MGM are also interested in the Japanese casino market, and Caesars Entertainment has already presented its plans for a $5 billion resort, as Chief Executive Officer Gary Loveman said the company “will have no trouble raising the finance for a world-class facility in Tokyo.”
David Walsh, who owns the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, has asked for permission to open a casino.
The Tasmanian Government it now seeking advice on whether to allow the millionaire to open a gambling venue targeted at high-roller tourists. The founder of the museum is planning to build a hotel in northern Hobart, at the Berriedale site, and has recently proposed to add a small casino to the hotel.
At present, the Federal Group has monopoly on operating gambling venues in Tasmania. The company has an arrangement with the local government, giving it exclusive rights to operate casinos here for a period of 20 years. The contract is due to expire in 2018.
According to local gambling news, Walsh’s proposal is for a pokie-free gambling venue for high-rollers, with a maximum of 12 gaming tables.
The Guardian: David Walsh plans mini casino for Tasmania’s Mona
Walsh made a fortune playing card games and now he hopes to offer tourists a small gambling facility that offers his type of entertainment: high-stakes casino games. The millionaire has begun to discuss his project with stakeholders.
“I would be very happy indeed to have a little high-roller, tourist-only, no-pokie casino to be part of the Mona package,” Walsh told reporters at the Mercury newspaper.
The casino would be called Monaco and it would have no more than 12 gambling tables for wealthy international art lovers to enjoy. The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) opened in 2011 and has built a global reputation since, helping the Tasmanian tourism sector grow. Walsh thinks visitors would get a kick out of playing blackjack in highbrow surroundings.
A casino would certainly boost the museum’s profits, but for now the Federal Group has an exclusive license to operate the state’s two gambling venues. While Walsh does not believe his business would have a negative impact on the current casino operations, he still needs government approval to implement his project.
ABC News: MONA casino plan: Tasmanian Government seeks advice on proposal for high-roller tourists
The State Government received a proposal for a high-roller, no-pokie gambling venue and is now seeking advice on whether to allow it or not. Giving Walsh the green light would break the Federal Group’s 20-year monopoly on operating casinos in Tasmania, so it’s not an easy decision. On the other hand, the company’s exclusive arrangement expires in 2018.
Mayor Stuart Slade said he was surprised by the idea, but welcomed the absence of poker machines.Federal authorities have refused to comment on the casino issue, for now.
“We do have a number of poker machines in the City of Glenorchy, and of course that would just add further to that,” Slade said. “It’s my understanding… this is for a select group of people who wish to participate in a form of gambling and pokies wouldn’t be a part of that,” he explained.
David Walsh’s museum has brought thousands of tourists to Tasmania and has helped boost the local economy. The owner of the venue has been planning to expand accommodation for a while now, but recently added a small casino to the proposal.
With or without a casino, the hotel will be a huge success, says the Tourism Industry Council’s Luke Martin.
“I think everything MONA does is absolutely cutting edge, it’s innovative, it captures attention. Ultimately what that incorporates, whether that’s a casino or business events space, MONA is within its rights to look at the options and investment,” he said.
“Whether it does incorporate something like a casino, that’s obviously got a regulatory issue and they’re going to have to pursue that with the State Government.”
The Monthly: At Home With David Walsh, The Gambler
Most people didn’t hear the name David Walsh before 2009, when the man made global headlines thanks to a strange and somewhat macabre bet he placed. It was not your usual wager, where players try to guess football sports scores or place their money on a horse; Walsh had instead put money on the life of French artist Christian Boltanski.
The Monthly describes the details of the unusual wager placed by Walsh, this mysterious figure from Tasmania. Even in his home country, people know little about him apart from the rumor that he made his fortune by gambling.
Walsh built the highly successful Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, a private art museum dedicated to sex and death. The building resembles a post-apocalyptic fortress and it opened in January 2011, becoming a major attraction for art lovers.
Achilleas Kallakis will serve an additional seven years in jail unless he returns GBP3 million within six months.
After fooling bankers into loaning him money which he then used to buy property and build a super-yacht, 46-year-old Achilleas Kallakis was sentenced to jail at the beginning of 2013, along with his partner Alexander Williams, who helped him forge financial guarantees.
Now the judge ordered Kallakis to pay back GBP3 million within the next six months. If he fails to do so, he’ll be facing another seven years in prison. His partner in crime Alexander Williams also has three months to return GBP477,000, or else he will be forced to serve a three-year sentence.
Both of them were originally sentenced to jail in January 2013, after the court found them guilty of conspiring to defraud banks through deception and forgery. The biggest victim was AIB.
DailyMail: Poker player who stole £750 million in property fraud to fund millionaire lifestyle of private jets, yachts and luxury villas is ordered to pay back just £3million
A high-rolling poker player who committed a GBP750 million bank fraud so he could fund a luxurious lifestyle for himself has been ordered to pay back just GBP3 million of that money. Achilleas Kallakis, 46, conned two banks into advancing huge loans so he could purchase 16 landmark properties in the UK.
The buildings bought by Kallakis, the nephew of a Greek shipping magnate, included the GBP225 million London headquarters of the Daily Telegraph, as well as a GBP100 million Home Office building located in Croydon.
Known for his impressive poker results after winning $1 million in one game, Kallakis teamed up with “prolific forger” Alexander Williams, also 46, in his scheme to defraud two major banks: the Allied Irish Bank (AIB) and the Bank of Scotland.
The pair operated out of an office in Mayfair, calling themselves the Pacific Group of Companies. Lenders were tricked into advancing loans totaling GBP766 million, all backed by forged or false documents.
Using the money he got conning banks, The Don then spent millions of pounds on an extravagant lifestyle. The man claimed to be a San Marino ambassador and called himself “his Excellency”. He spent GBP27 million on a private jet, bought a helicopter worth GBP5.2 million, owned a yacht moored in Monaco, a fleet of chauffeur-driven Bentleys, as well as a villa in Mykonos.
Last year, the man was finally convicted of two counts of conspiracy to defraud banks and sent to prison to serve a seven-year sentence, but now he was ordered to pay just GBP3.25 million of the money he got his hands on. If he doesn’t return it within six months, he will serve a default sentence of seven years.
Irish Times: AIB fraudster told to pay £3.25m or face seven more years in jail
After being convicted and sentenced for defrauding AIB and Bank of Scotland for GBP61 million (EUR77.9 million) in 2012, two fraudsters have been ordered to return a total of GBP3.7 million (EUR4.7 million) by Southwark Crown Court judge.
His Hon Judge Andrew Goymer ruled that Greek businessman Achilleas Kallakis has to return GBP3.25 million within the next six months, or he’ll have to serve another seven years in jail. His partner Alexander Williams also has six months to pay back GBP477,000 (EUR610,000), otherwise he’ll be spending another three years in jail, on top of his current sentence.
In a statement published in Britain’s latest gambling news, Serious Fraud Office (SFO) chief Mark Thompson told reporters: “The SFO is committed to ensuring fraudsters do not retain the benefit of their crimes. We will take steps to make sure the order is satisfied but if he does not pay, he faces a further lengthy term of imprisonment.”
The confiscated money is supposed to go to Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service, which will then distribute it in accordance with orders issued by judges. The victims may also receive part of it as compensation.
During the trial, the SFO said: “This was an audacious, persistent fraud that enabled these defendants, Mr Kallakis in particular, to lead the lifestyle of the super-rich.”
Independent.ie: Judge brands AIB ‘careless’ as EUR920m fraudsters jailed
In January 2013, the judge handling the case of Achilleas Kallakis sharply criticized AIB for its practices during the boom. The judge said bank employees acted “carelessly and imprudently” when they decided to lend the fraudster money. Both Kallakis and his partner were jailed for the fraud they committed. Damages added up to EUR920 million.
The Greek businessman was sentenced to seven years in prison and Alex Williams was handed a five years sentence. The pair was found guilty of orchestrating a fraud in which fake documentation was used to obtain bank loans. The money was used to purchase a number of high-end properties across the UK.
The pair was found guilty by a unanimous verdict of the jury of conspiracy to commit fraud related to the loans, which were taken out between 2003 and 2008, mainly from AIB but also from Bank of Scotland. Judge Andrew Goymer said they had taken advantage of the lax standards in place at that time, but he added that bankers failed to act responsibly. The fraud was discovered five years after the first of 16 loans was approved by AIB.
The judge said: “The two banks, Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Scotland, have undoubtedly acted carelessly and imprudently by failing to make full inquiries before advancing the money. It is, however, quite apparent that both defendants took full advantage of the prevailing banking culture in which corners were cut and checks on applications were superficial and cursory.”
17th to the 23rd of the month went fast and full: Scotland said ‘no’, choosing to stay in the UK, New York said ‘green’, marching for climate in record numbers, Milan said ‘wow’ hosting the Fashion Week. Europa League and Ryder Cup made fans say ‘I bet’ and Nintendo turned 125. What’s your saying on that?
Meanwhile, in the gambling sector we spotted great pieces of news as well. Check the week out in the following pictures!
A letter sent to the Directory of Social Change (DSC) announced that the UK Government refunded part of the Olympic Lottery Distribution Fund, GBP69 million to be more precise.
Before New Jersey players can legally enjoy the delights of betting, there are few more legal snags to take care of.
Ben Affleck admitted counting cards. The gambling tycoon from ‘Runner, runner’ either did a thorough research for the movie or he was ‘a natural’ for the part to begin with.
The Senet Group has become the watchdog of bookmakers in the UK, pledging to promote responsible gambling standards.
Europa League made its début with great matches and even greater betting opportunities, keeping fans connected for all the right reasons.
The ‘No, thanks’ campaign prevailed! After more than 300 years as part of United Kingdom, Scots vote ‘No’ in independence referendum, proving betting odds right.
Waiting for a ‘blue Sunday’ in Premier League! Odds and stats are keeping fans busy until then, when real football is set to steal the scene.
Officials say GBP69 million have been returned to the Olympic lottery distribution fund.
Last year Hugh Robertson, the former minister for sport and tourism, promised to pay lottery distributors part of their money back by July 2014. The Government official promised to return between GBP100 million and GBP150 million of unspent funds and proceeds from the sale of the Olympic athletes village.
Now Helen Grant, who has taken over his position, announced that money has been placed in the Olympic Lottery Distribution Fund. The news came through a letter sent to the Directory of Social Change (DSC).
According to gambling news, the previous government raised GBP675 million from lottery distributors to help pay for the 2012 London Olympics, with the biggest part of it coming from the Big Lottery Fund. After the end of the Olympic Games, National Lottery minister John Penrose said contributors would most likely be paid back by 2030 or 2031.
Third Sector: Government says £69m of Olympic money is set to be returned to lottery distributors
Earlier in July, the Government paid back an initial GBP79 million of the promised GBP150 million. Back then, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the rest of the money would come “later in the year”.
This month Helen Grant, minister for sport and tourism, sent a letter to the DSC saying that the GBP69.2 million sale of the Olympic Village was completed on August 6. The money resulting from these proceeds has been placed in the Olympic Lottery Distribution Fund, Grant said.
“The process for the final closure of the OLDF is now under way, and the balance will be moved to the National Lottery Distribution Fund for allocation in the usual proportions to good causes,” she wrote in the letter.
Under the country’s gambling laws, the National Lottery distributes good-cause money to lottery distributors such as the Big Lottery Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sport England.
DSC policy and research director Jay Kennedy said: “It is a good thing that now we know the village deal has concluded, the GBP69 million refund is happening and it isn’t going to drag on further into the end of the year.”
“But the government had originally said that this money from the athletes village sale would be coming back in July along with the GBP69 million in unspent OLDF funds.”
UK FundRaising: Big Lottery Refund campaign secures £148m refund
Led by the Director of Social Change, the Big Lottery Refund campaign to persuade the Government to return GBP425 million of Olympic money to the lottery fund was supported by 3,600 charitable organizations. The first signs that the campaign was making an impact came at the end of July, when authorities made an initial payment of GBP79 million out of the amount owed.
Considering that former sports minister Hugh Robertson promised to pay GBP150 million by July 2014, the partial refund was paid only at the very last minute. Out of the GBP79 million returned, GBP60 million is going to the Big Lottery Fund, and the rest to other lottery distributors.
“This is a brilliant victory for our supporters – their hundreds of letters to MPs and Ministers, statements to the press, and awareness-raising have held Government to account,” Jay Kennedy, Director of Policy and Research at DSC said in a statement.
“I want to thank them for their efforts. Without their support and pressure, I honestly believe Government might have just siphoned this cash off somewhere else. Now that it has been returned to the Lottery it can benefit charitable good causes across the country.”
The Telegraph: We want our share of the £528million Olympic surplus now, say charities
After the UK Government used money from lottery funds to organize the 2012 London Olympics, charities are asking for the money back. Last July, some organizations have accused ministers of pocketing hundreds of millions of pounds instead of returning what they borrowed.
This happened soon after sports minister Hugh Robertson disclosed that GBP528 million had been saved from the Olympics’ and Paralympics’ budget. The Government was planning on giving the money to the Treasury, but charities have criticized the decision claiming that part of the money should be returned to the Big Lottery Fund, after officials raised GBP425 million from lottery causes to help fund the Olympics and Paralympics Games.
Jay Kennedy, director of Policy and Research at the DSC told reporters: “Now that this money has gone unspent there really is no morally defensible reason why charities should not be paid back. There is a concern that the Government is playing politics with this money and using it to bring down the headline deficit figure.”
In its defense, the Big Lottery Refund argued that, despite having nothing to do with elite sports, it became the biggest Olympic lottery contributor. The amount it raised could have funded more than 10,000 charities, the organization said.
Officials had plans to open a sports betting service at the New Jersey race tracks as soon as possible, but it looks like they need more time.
At the beginning of September, Governor Chris Christie’s administration took one more step to help New Jersey’s gambling industry grow, by issuing a directive that made it legal for casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting services.
But it looks like there are more hurdles to pass before New Jersey players can legally place wager on sports scores, as the decision was challenged by professional sports leagues. These are the same organizations which fought the state’s efforts to reverse the ban on sports betting, when the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
The governor said he did his research and found no trace of previous federal court rulings prohibiting casinos and horse racing tracks from offering sports betting. Now the topic has become a widely debated issue, with a federal ruling expected on October 6.
Miami Herald: New Jersey track extends date for sports betting
The management of the racetrack had plans to open the sportsbook in 45 days, or at least by the end of October. Dennis Drazin, a legal adviser to Monmouth Park, was even more optimistic, hoping to get things going on the first weekend after the directive was issued.
Now the racetrack announced it was taking its time with the big launch, giving the federal judge time to rule on the legality of the directive issued by the New Jersey administration. The court decision is expected to be issued on October 6.
Recent online gambling news wrote that Monmouth Park needs more time to set up phone lines and Internet connections for the operation, as well as to hire 111 new employees. The racetrack is planning on establishing its own private association to regulate sports betting, since the state hasn’t taken care of this. Other casinos or racetracks will be welcome to join the group.
While the legal adviser said he would start taking bets as soon as possible, a Meadowlands Racetrack spokeswoman for the said the establishment wasn’t planning on offering such services for now.
Houston Chronicle: Q&A: New Jersey’s sports gambling push
After Government Chris Christie issued an order this September, saying that racetracks and casinos won’t be prosecuted for taking wagers on sports event, legal issues are still waiting to be resolved before establishments actually start accepting bets. The Houston Chronicle offers answers to some of the most common questions surrounding the issue.
If you want to know why no one is offering sports betting yet, you should know that racetracks and casinos are still waiting for a federal judge to rule on the legality of the new directive. The New Jersey Legislature might also need to take further action before operators launch these services.
The professional sports leagues who sued Christie in 2012 to stop sports wagering in the state have not taken any legal action against the September 8 order yet, but they are probably also waiting for the judge to rule on the issue before proceeding.
Monmouth Park Racetrack officials have already indicated they’d be willing to take bets as soon as possible. The racetrack is even working with a sports betting firm, preparing a room to be used for the new service.
NJ.com: Quigley: Sports betting banned? Don’t bet on it
Good news for New Jersey players eager to put money on sports event. Governor Christie made sportsbooks legal in the state, and Monmouth Park promised to offer these services real soon. Some limitations might be imposed, such as betting on games played in state or being played by New Jersey colleges, but apart from that, sports wagering might get the green light through racetracks and casinos.
In 1992, when Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, sports betting became illegal in all but four states. Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana already permitted such wagering, so they were exempt from the rules. A recent poll showed New Jersey residents were two-to-one in favor, but until recently the activity has been illegal.
After four Atlantic City casinos closed this summer, reread an old court decision and concluded that as long as New Jersey did not officially “authorize” sports betting, the state would not get into any legal trouble. This is how the Governor decided he would issue an order saying that entities running sports betting activities would not be prosecuted.
The state treasury is bound to gain from ordinary corporate business taxes, while racetracks and casinos will benefit from an increased client base.
Just when everyone thought Ben Affleck’s blackjack adventures were long forgotten, the actor admitted to counting cards.
Until recently, the Hollywood movie star refused to comment on rumors that suggested he was addicted to gambling. Now Ben Affleck says he wants to clear things up once and for all, offering to talk about why he was kicked out of Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, how much he gambles and what his wife Jennifer Garner has to say about it.
Yes, he counted cards when he was at the casino, he admitted; but apart from blackjack, he is not interested in betting on sports scores and doesn’t gamble “at all”. All news about him being addicted to casino games were made up, the actor added. He also denied rumors about his wife threatening to leave him because of his habit of playing blackjack.
The actor is now at the center of attention in the latest online blackjack news, after openly talking about how casinos refuse to allow good players to sit down at the blackjack table.
Daily Mail: ‘That’s all bulls***!’ Ben Affleck says wife Jennifer Garner has no plans to leave him over his gambling
Ben Affleck has recently denied what several tabloids and newspapers wrote months ago, that his wife Jennifer Gardner was at the end of her tether after he was kicked out of a Las Vegas casino for counting cards.
In a recent interview with Details magazine, the actor fumed: “See, that’s tabloid s***. That’s all bulls***. They completely lie.”
At the end of April, Ben Affleck was caught counting cards at a Las Vegas blackjack table, and tabloids suggested Jennifer was considering leaving him because he was gambling too much. However, the new Batman has assured fans that his wife is neither unhappy with their marriage of nine years, nor about to divorce him.
ABC News: Ben Affleck Admits to Counting Cards in a Casino
Referring to the incident that took place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas earlier in April, when Ben Affleck was banned from the blackjack table, the 42 year-old actor had no trouble admitting that he counted cards while playing the game.
“That is true,” he told Details magazine. “I took some time to learn the game and became a decent blackjack player. And once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack.”
“I mean the fact that being good at the game is against the rules at a casino should tell you something about a casino,” he continued. “There’s a lot of hospitality, backslapping, when they think you’re gonna come in and dump money, and if they think you might leave with some money, it’s like, ‘You know what? Why don’t you try craps or roulette?”
The actor also denied rumors suggesting he was addicted to gambling: “I get to correct the impression that there’s something wrong with it or that it demonstrates some, like, compulsive activity.”
“I don’t bet on football games, and I don’t gamble at all, really, outside of that. But I knew with blackjack that there’s a way you can improve your odds. And so I started trying to learn. And then I just got to a point in my life where I’m like, ‘If I’m going to do something, I’m going to try and do it really well.’”
While counting cards is not illegal, casinos frown upon it because the strategy helps players lower the house edge and significantly increases their chances of winning.
“I will say this: There were a number of casinos that said, ‘Hey, you can’t play blackjack here. We know you count cards. But, you know, you’re welcome to come, do whatever you want, see a show, have dinner. We’ll comp ya. Play roulette, we know you don’t play craps, but hang out, we still want your presence and business.’”
People: Ben Affleck Sets the Record Straight About Gambling Rumors
After it was reported that Ben Affleck was a problem gambler and that his wife Jennifer Garner was considering leaving him because of his bad habit, the Hollywood actor is not holding back in expressing how he feels about tabloids and the rumors they spread.
The movie star is determined to set the record straight about stories claiming that his wife Jennifer Garner was fed up with his gambling, after Affleck was reportedly banned from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
“That’s tabloid s–––. That’s all bulls–––,” he told Details. “They completely lie … My only hope is that people with any common sense recognize that those stories are false.”
The 42-year-old actor clarified that he was not banned from the venue, but simply asked to refrain from playing blackjack, a game he became skilled at.
“I wish I could say they were afraid of me in every capacity. But they only said, ‘No blackjack.’ I mean, the fact that being good at the game is against the rules at the casinos should tell you something about casinos,” he added.
Furthermore, Affleck insisted that blackjack is the only casino game he plays: “I had always liked blackjack. I don’t play any other games of chance. I don’t bet on football games, and I don’t gamble at all, really, outside of that.”
In efforts to maintain a more transparent approach with their gaming practices, some of the biggest bookmakers in Britain believe it is in their best interest to establish a supervisory watchdog. This newly formed group will aim to keep them in line with responsible gambling and other relevant standards that the industry calls for.
The Guardian: Bookmakers sign up to voluntary watchdog
With the current industry demands to create a higher standard of gaming and increase efforts to engage in responsible gambling, several high-profile firms are looking into setting up a watchdog. William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power are all among the gaming providers that want to implement the new group to oversee their practices.
They have come up with this plan in order to help them with avoid statutory measures for offering “free money” on many of their gaming machines and in betting shops. All of these big firms have agreed to remove all advertisements for touch-screen roulette machines from their respective shops starting from next month.
Additionally, they will also install responsible gambling messages that will be visible across a fifth of their shops’ space. Advertisement that promote “free bets” and “free money” for players to claim will not be aired before 9pm.
Latest gambling news reports that the new overseeing association will be called the Senet Group. Among their many responsibilities will be to fund educational advertising campaigns on problems that are associated with gambling. The group will also make sure to alter their TV commercials to contain more messages that are oriented towards responsible gambling.
Latest gambling news reports that Silver is determined many states that are currently experiencing financial difficulties will want to follow the model set by Nevada. The gaming state allows sports betting and is showing a steady growth.
Financial Times: Britain’s biggest bookmakers to create gambling watchdog
In order to follow through on tougher gaming standards that are being imposed by officials, four of the biggest bookmakers in Britain will create a new overseeing body. Problem gambling has become a heated debate in the industry, so establishing a board should help them curtail issues associated with that.
The self-regulatory body will be titled the Senet group (named after a board game in ancient Egypt), and its purpose will be to help maintains the standards that are sought by the industry today. The group will have the capacity to “name and shame” and also impose fines for any companies that don’t follow through on the missions and objectives set by it.
Other big name gaming providers like Bet365 and BetFred have also been invited to participate and sign-up for the new supervisory entity. The planned date for its launch is currently believed to be in January after several important steps pass completion.
Chief executive of Gala Coral, Carl Leaver, stated, “Actions speak louder than words. That’s why the Senet Group will be given the independence, budget and purpose to hold the betting industry to account.”
Recently, government official have expressed concern about the increased number of betting shops and the effect that they have on Britain’s society. This has seen them launch initiates to reduce problem gambling which is heavily linked to gambling advertisements and high-stakes betting machines that are provided by many betting shops.
Express & Star: Bookies back responsible gambling
William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power have all come together to form a new overseeing entity that is intended to help them maintain responsible gambling practices. Many corners of the country believe that gambling providers should be held accountable for problems that may arise due to intense gambling pursuits.
Therefore, the new body titled the Senet Group will be tasked with implementing strict guidelines and measures for all the gambling providers to follow. The key goals that have been put forward by the firms involve the voluntary ban on advertising various gambling offers such as “free bets” and “free money” before 9 pm.
Betting shops will also remove all advertisements of gaming machines from all their windows. Additionally, they will convert a fifth of their shop window advertisement space into messages that will bear responsible gambling points, according to gambling news.
The aim is to protect “vulnerable” gamblers from spending all of their money, while the new group will also have the power to “name and shame” and impose fines for any provider that doesn’t follow the regulations.
Although currently there are four founding companies looking to establish a watchdog, others have also been encouraged to join. Chief executive of Ladbrokes, Richard Glynn, commented, “Gambling has long been a leisure pursuit and part of the cultural fabric of the UK, but we are alive to the concerns of the public to keep gambling a responsible and fun activity.”
PoliticsHome: Four bookmakers set up watchdog to keep themselves in check
A total of four gaming providers have come up with a plant to set up an overseeing body that will make sure all the companies are running socially responsible operations. William Hill, Ladbrokes, Gala Coral and Paddy Power have all agreed to start the new Senet group to keep them in line with the guidelines demanded by government officials and the public.
All of the big four companies are already member of the Association of British Bookmakers, and the new group will help them maintain leverage over BetFred, which the largest non-member of the Association.
The Gambling Commission was established by the government to oversee and make sure all practices are scrupulous and responsible towards the society at large. However, up until it has not done much with its powers but instead has managed to receive criticism from some corners of the public for not doing any effective work.
No fines or penalties like loss of license have been issued to providers for breaching regulations on gambling. The Commission has not been able to discipline the perpetrators for not following the rules which has propelled the government and the public to seek a better regulating body to ensure all runs according to the guidelines.
New Zealand’s horse racing association has imposed new rules preventing jockeys from betting on days when they are riding.
A few weeks ago, New Zealand gambling news were raging over Central Districts jockey David Walker’s involvement in a betting scandal. The 38-year-old rider had placed a wager on a race he was competing in at the Awapuni course, but put his money on a rival horse.
His mount Watch Your Man finished two-and-a-half lengths behind St Ransom, and the Race Integrity Unit (RIU) said the jockey had deliberately tempered with the sports scores by restraining his own horse to ensure he would win the wager.
Following the national betting scandal, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) decided to forbid jockeys from placing wagers on days when they are competing. Under the old regulations, riders were allowed to bet, but only on their own mount.
Stuff.co.nz: Jockey betting scandal forces NZTR rule change
In addition to forbidding jockeys from betting when they’re riding, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing is also trying to stop them from using anything but traceable electronic betting accounts. This way, officials will be able to easily verify that no one breaks the rules.
The changes were prompted by the David Walker betting scandal, which challenged the integrity of New Zealand horse racing. Newspapers revealed that the Central Districts rider admitted to placing wagers on two rival horses before being charged with pulling up his two mounts.
Matthew Goodson, chairman of NZTR, promised that the strengthening of rule 707 would provide greater protection for gamblers who bet on sports in New Zealand, and this is critical for the industry. He added that the organization would consult again in the future, to establish whether more drastic rules are needed and to ensure that New Zealand’s regulations are consistent with other important racing jurisdictions.
“This may result in a ban on jockeys betting on races held under our rules of racing without exception,” he added.
3News: Betting rules tighten for jockeys
Jockeys participating in New Zealand horse races are banned from betting on the days they are riding. The fresh regulations have put an end to a practice which drew a lot of criticism, as jockeys were allowed to place wagers on their own horses, as well as on any race they’re not competing in.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing representatives say the changes were initiated in 2013, but the issue of riders betting on races has been in the spotlight over the past few weeks, after jockey David Walker was charged with two counts of placing wagers on another horse in a race he was competing in. His and a hearing is scheduled to take place on September 18 at Trentham.
“The appearance, as well as the practice of integrity, is critical against a backdrop of rapidly evolving gambling options which are creating issues for many sports,” NZTR chairman Matthew Goodson said in a statement. “The strengthening of this racing rule will provide greater protection for punters, which is critical for our industry, and support our integrity services.”
The new rules came into effect on Thursday, after being approved by all stakeholders, including the New Zealand Jockeys’ Association.
The Informant: New jockey betting rule comes into force
NZTR announced changes to Rule 707 of the Rules of Racing, namely the one referring to jockey betting privileges. In addition to banning riders from placing wagers on races they’re competing in, officials have asked that all bets be placed exclusively through electronic accounts, via the New Zealand TAB.
The changes are meant to help protect the sport’s integrity. They were initiated in 2013 and have received approval from all stakeholders, including the Minister for Racing and the New Zealand Jockeys’ Association, as well as the Racing Integrity Unit, Racing’s Judicial Control Authority and the New Zealand Racing Board.
NZTR chairman Matthew Goodson said: “NZTR is committed to continue reviewing the potential impact of other factors on racing integrity such as growing international linkages and the role of offshore betting organizations and websites.
We hold significant reservations regarding the current information that is available to the Racing Integrity Unit from these offshore organizations and there is a clear need for New Zealand legislation that deals with the current reality of global wagering on many domestic and international competitive events.
NZTR will recommence a consultation process on the need for further changes to the Rules to ensure New Zealand’s Racing Rules are consistent with other major racing jurisdictions. This may result in a ban on jockeys’ betting on races held under our Rules of Racing without exception.”
Dave Taylor, president of the Jockeys’ Association added: “New Zealand racing and jockeys have the very highest levels of integrity and we acknowledge and understand the need for both the practice and perception of the highest standards of integrity.”
The second royal baby is on its way, and thousands of punters have already rushed to the bookies to place wagers on its name.
This week started off with great news for fans of the Royal Family, as a statement from Clarence House announced Prince George is going to be a big brother. As Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child, online gambling news sites predict a new betting bonanza.
When Kate and William got married in April 2011, 24.5 million watched their wedding on TV. Soon after the news got out that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant, bookmakers started offering odds on the royal baby’s name, hair color and even his future job, with bettors placing over $2.4 million in wagers.
Betting companies are expecting even bigger profits this time around, as the second royal baby has started to draw new clients just after the announcement was made. Next to the usual sports scores listed at bookmakers, players can already place wagers on the name, weight and hair color of the new royal baby.
The Wire: People Are Already Betting on the Royal Baby
British newspapers have announced the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a second child. Kate will not be accompanying Prince William on a previous engagement in Oxford, as she is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum – a severe form of morning sickness – and is under medical observation.
Meanwhile, punters are already placing bets on the baby’s name, hair color, weight, and even whether Kate is having twins or triplets. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has released a statement saying players have already spent more than GBP10,000 by Monday midnight.
“If there’s one thing that baby George taught us it’s that the British public love a punt on a Royal offspring and we’re bracing ourselves for another baby betting bonanza. Money is already pouring in by the pramload and we expect this to be the biggest novelty betting market of the year,” Paddy Power said in a statement.
According to the company’s latest odds, the safest bet is on Kate and William having a brown-haired baby at birth. Odds on hair color are: brown (6/4), blonde (5/2), red (3/1) and black (5/1). Odds for multiple birth are 33/1 for twins and 250/1 for triplets. As for the weight of the baby, Paddy Power is going with 5/1 for less than 6lbs, 6lbs to 6lbs 15oz, or 9lbs to 9lbs 15oz; 11/8 for 7lbs to 7lbs 15oz; 11/8 for 8lbs to 8lbs 15oz; and 8/1 for the baby weighing 10lbs or more.
As far as names go, Elizabeth, Henry and Victoria are top favorites with odds of 10/1, followed by Charlotte, Arthur, William, Alice, Philip, Alexandra, Catherine or Kate, and Charles, all given 12/1 odds; James, Mary and Frances are at 16/1, while Albert, Alex/Alexander, Diana and Spencer are at 20/1. The last option – Macbeth – is a long-shot with odds of 500/1.
E! News: Royal Baby No. 2 Names and Gender Already Sparking Major Betting Frenzy — Check Out the Odds!
Merely hours after Clarence House revealed the good news that Kate Middleton and Prince William are expecting their second child, bookmakers have started taking wagers on the baby’s gender and name.
“The royal baby betting frenzy is back in full swing. With one correct gamble already in the bag, punters are quickly reinvesting their winnings on the couple having a second son called James,” Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes told E! News.
James, the duchess’ brother’s name, is at the top of the list with 6:1 odds, followed by Elizabeth, Arthur and Victoria at 8:1. Ladbrokes has posted 4:5 odds that the duke and duchess will have another boy, and it seems highly unlikely that Kate is carrying more than one child, with odds being at 20:1 for twins and 100:1 for triplets.
Either way, punters will have to wait until next spring to meet the second royal baby and find out if they won.
People: Royal Baby’s Name and Sex: Bookmakers Taking Bets
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced that Kate is expecting their second child and all bets are on, as bookmakers are already taking wagers on the baby’s name and sex.
“The Royal Baby betting frenzy is back in full swing,” Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes told reporters. “With one correct gamble already in the bag, punters are quickly reinvesting their winnings on the couple having a second son called James,” she added.
Ladbrokes is offering 4:5 odds on the new child being a boy, and James (Kate’s brother’s name) is the top favorite for a first name, with odds at 6:1.
NBC News: Royal Baby Boom a Bonanza for British Economy
The British economy is getting a boost from the second royal baby. Money has already started pouring into the betting industry, and economy experts are expecting tourism and souvenir sales to increase.
When Prince George was born last July, it was predicted that the food, drink, tourism and media industry would make an extra $400 million in sales. The birth of the second baby is expected to reach the same level, but economist Howard Archer warns: “There may be a small feel-good factor when it is born and some buying of souvenirs but that is as far as it will go.”
Gamblers have already started to place wagers on the baby’s name, gender and weight, which can only mean good news for the betting industry.
CNN: Betting gets a bump from Royal Baby #2
Gambling companies are preparing for another betting bonanza. Paddy Power said it was expecting this to be the biggest novelty betting market of the year, and Ladbrokes has also announced it was taking bets on the new baby’s name, with James being favorite at odds of 6:1. Betfair is going with Victoria as top choice for the second child’s name.
Players from all over the world have placed more than GBP1.5 million ($2.4 million) in wagers on the birth of the first royal baby, trying to guess its name, hair color and future career. Bets started pouring after the palace announced that Kate had gone into labor.
Wagers on a sibling for Prince George have been open for some time, and betting companies said hundreds of people have already won thousands of pounds.
“587 people have correctly predicted that the couple would announce they are expecting a second child in 2014, all of those punters have now collected [their] winnings,” Ladbrokes announced.
Despite still facing an upward challenge from the US government, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is confident that sports gambling is about to become a reality pretty soon. He is assured that the league won’t be downgraded as some sceptics have stressed, but rather it will benefit and more importantly profit from the new undertaking.
Boston.com: NBA Commissioner Envisions Legalized Sports Gambling
Latest gambling news reports that Silver is determined many states that are currently experiencing financial difficulties will want to follow the model set by Nevada. The gaming state allows sports betting and is showing a steady growth.
Silver commented how gambling in sports is simply inevitable and the negative economic climate will dictate a need for a new revenue source. Considering just how lucrative the business is, it is easy to see why the Commissioner believes it will benefit them and the league.
“It’s inevitable that, if all these states are broke, that there will be legalized sports betting in more states than Nevada and we will ultimately participate in that. If you have a gentlemen’s bet or a small wager on any kind of sports contest, it makes you that much more engaged in it. That’s where we’re going to see it pay dividends.”
Silver brings a fresh approach to the question of sports gambling to the NBA, as the league didn’t seem too fond of the plan before he came to his position. The previous Commissioner David Stern disapproved of the idea and many other objectives that were proposed by Silver before.
However, now it seems that Silver’s aims may come to fruition should everything work out according to plan. He indicated that NBA teams already have the right to enter marketing deals with casinos, so sports gambling should be the next step.
“If people are watching a game and clicking to bet on their smartphones, which people are doing in the United Kingdom right now, then it’s more likely you’re to stay tuned for a long time.”
Bloomberg: NBA’s Silver Says Legal Sports Gambling in U.S. is Inevitable
Adam Silver wants the National Basketball Association (NBA) to profit from the fresh idea of sports gambling. On previous occasions the NBA seemed reluctant to allow the business to form into reality as they blocked New Jersey from introducing sports betting as a business.
Despite the fact that the NBA did not support New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in his intentions of introducing sports gambling, the league is looking to profit from the broadening of legal sports betting in US. “It’s inevitable that, if all these states are broke, that there will be legalized sports betting in more states than Nevada and we will ultimately participate in that.”
Silver has been part of the NBA for over two decades and managed to take over from the spot of former Commissioner David Stern in February of this year. He asserts that he doesn’t see anything morally wrong with sports betting, and highlighted that teams already make marketing and licensing deals with casinos, therefore the NBA would only profit from it.
ESPN: Adam Silver: Betting is Inevitable
Unlike previous indications made by the world’s best basketball league, sports betting is looking to become a reality according to new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. He is convinced that it is “inevitable” as it is only a matter of time before it happens.
Merely two years ago, the NBA joined the rest of the professional sports leagues in the US in efforts to prevent an Eastern state from offering any sports betting activities. The NBA, NCAA, MLB, NFL and NHL were all part of a group that blocked New Jersey from pursuing their sports gambling aspirations.
In a court room hearing former NBA Commissioner David Stern criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for lack of morality and only being interested in money. “The one thing I’m certain of is New Jersey has no idea what it’s doing and doesn’t care because all it’s interested in is making a buck or two. They don’t care that it’s at our potential loss.”
The NBA managed to have their way in court as the Department of Justice also weighed in on the matter which eventually led to the judge ruling in their favor and dismissing New Jersey’s hopes of sports betting. Nevertheless, the state is pursuing its ambitions to legalize the business, and considering the recent change in NBA leadership that may very well happen.
The Washington Post: The NBA went to court to stop expanded sports gambling. Now Commissioner Adam Silver says he’s fine with it
According to gambling news, New Jersey pushing hard to implement sport gambling in the state, however it got pulled on the side by a group professional sports leagues. Two federal courts took the side of the league and prevented New Jersey from fulfilling its aims. The state tried to have a hearing with the US Supreme Court, but they got declined in June.
At the time when the NBA was against the introduction of sport betting, David Stern was the Commissioner of the league. However, now things have changed quite a bit considering the new and completely opposite stance that the NBA is taking.
New Commissioner Adam Silver assumed his new position as the head of the league and has expressed support for sports gambling. He asserted that the NBA stands to benefit from the spreading of sports betting in the US, despite not backing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Christie is an avid supporter or sports gambling, however recently he stated that the state should follow federal law. He said the New Jersey needs to “determine if a different approach towards sports wagering would comply with federal law.”
He also added, “While I do not agree with the Circuit Court’s decision, I do believe that the rule of law is sacrosanct, binding on all Americans. That duty adheres with special solemnity to those elected officials privileged to swear and oath to uphold the laws in our nation.”
Although analysts estimated that business would pick up again in Macau, revenue hit a new low in August. Latest gambling news say this was the third consecutive month when the world’s largest gambling hub posted a decline in profits, after China’s anti-graft campaign kept VIP gamblers away. As a consequence, casino shares also dropped.The downward trend began in June, when the city’s casino revenue saw the first decrease. July brought more bad news, and that’s when analysts jumped in to say it was only because of the FIFA World Cup, which had supposedly kept gamblers away from the casino table. Industry experts said profits would most likely increase again in August, but recent figures reveal a new drop in profits.
The 3.7% revenue decrease reported in June was the first drop Macau saw in five years. The former Portuguese colony is the only place in China where gambling laws allow casinos.
Reuters: Macau gambling revenue declines for third consecutive month
This August, gambling revenue in Macau fell 6.1% on a year-to-year basis. News reports say this was also the third consecutive month when profits declined. Many believe it has something to do with China’s campaign against corruption, which extends to the world’s largest gambling hub and keeps VIP gamblers away.
According to a financial report released by the local government on Monday, total gambling revenue fell to 28.9 billion patacas in August (the equivalent of $3.6 billion) from 30.7 billion patacas in the same month of 2013. Industry analysts were expecting a decline of 2 to 6%.
There are 35 casinos operating in Macau at present. The former Portuguese colony is part of Chinese territory, but it’s still a special administrative region, just like neighboring Hong Kong. Gambling is not allowed on the mainland, but casinos are legal in Macau and the area has developed a lot over the past decade, becoming the world’s largest gambling hub.
During the past two years profits have seen a major increase. Revenue reached a total of $45 billion in 2013, but the latest figures have plummeted to lows last seen in 2009.
Bloomberg: Macau Casino Revenue Misses Estimates on China Probes
Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau recently announced that August’s total gross gaming revenue has declined 6.1% to 28.9 billion patacas. The percentage is much higher than the median estimate of just 2% promoted by seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered authorities to look into corruption and lavish spending in Macau. Officials suspect mainland residents are trying to find ways around the law, in order to spend more money on casino games than they’re allowed to. They are not looking into methods some gamblers use to transfer money from China, which has caused VIPs take their money somewhere else.
Although the number of visitors hasn’t changed much in Macau, Hong Kong-based analyst Philip Tulk said: “China’s anti-corruption campaign seems to be keeping some high-rollers out of Macau, and that’s unlikely to change much in the fourth quarter.”
Meanwhile, this has caused Sands China’s shared to drop 3.2%, while Galaxy Entertainment Group has seen a 2.9% decrease in shares.
Japan Times: Macau casino dealers take industrial action for first time
While company shares are dropping and high-rollers are looking for other places where they can spend their money, Macau dealers working for one of the most popular casinos in the region have started industrial action against their employers. The protest is a first in Chinese history.
More than 1,000 dealers from SJM Holdings are asking for better salaries and benefits spreads. Some of them have shown up late for their shifts, while others have stopped working overtime.
“SJM has mobilized additional manpower support to handle the situation and promised that today, if workers are willing to go to work, they will guarantee compensation three times the salary,” baccarat dealer Ieong Mang Teng told reporters. Teng is also the head of a labor group called “Forefront of Macau Gaming”.
Despite all of these problems, eight new resorts are expected to be built in Macau over the next three years.