Police revealed that Peter Foster scammed investors out of more than $10 million, in an international ponzi scheme.
The man allegedly ran a betting scheme called the Sports Trading Club, conning hundreds of Australian families. According to online gambling news, Foster told investors that he could make them a fortune through the sports betting site, an operation he ran from a hideout located in the Byron Bay area.
Using the alias Mark Hughes, the conman tricked his victims into giving him millions of dollars. Newspapers said he had raked in more than $10 million in the last few months alone, and he spent part of his illegal income on a yacht.
Police found several computers in Foster’s home office, as well as multiple mobile phones registered to different names. The equipment was all part of the plot.
The Age: Peter Foster implicated in international betting scam
Hundreds of investors could lose millions in an international betting scheme run by Peter Foster, following the notorious conman’s dramatic arrest at a luxury property near Byron Bay. The man was hiding from Australian authorities and it is believed he operated the Sports Trading Club from his hiding place.
Police raided his house on Tuesday afternoon and found six mobile phones, as well as several computers in his home office. Foster tried to flee but crashed into a neighbour’s fence and got tackled by a police officer. He allegedly tried to grab the officer’s gun and was charged with assaulting him.
The betting syndicate has offices in London, Sydney and Hong Kong, but Foster’s hideout is said to have played a key role in the operation. Sports Trading Club takes investments between $50,000 and $250,000 and places bets on sports scores, in major events around the world.
In June, the company’s UK communication manager, Patrick McMahon, told reporters that investors had received a 1900% return since January 2013. “We don’t gamble, we trade,” he said. “We make money out of other peoples’ mistakes. When one side gambles and the other trades, it is like owning the casino.”
In July, the trading company said it had gained $150 million by backing Germany to win the FIFA World Cup. It also scored a “multi-million-dollar win” by betting against Serena Williams and Novac Djokovic at the Australian Open.
Brisbane Times: Conman Peter Foster tracked for a month before arrest
Serial conman Peter Foster spent more than a year on the run before police finally arrested him in his hideout near Byron Bay. The conman had been wanted since September last year, when he failed to show up for his court date at Brisbane Federal Court. The judge found him guilty of contempt of court.
NSW Superintendent Stuart Wilkins told reporters: “We had information from the last month or so he was in and around the Byron Bay area but not a specific location so this is a good result all round. As the result of excellent community consultation and a group of people working together this person has been arrested and will be now going before courts.”
Foster, 52, is known for a series of weight loss product scams, including a nasal spray called Sensaslim. His most recent appearance in court was for breaching a previous order to stop selling these products. Over the past year, the man had been telling the media that he was in Fiji, even sending photos of himself relaxing in a chair and reading a newspaper printed in Fiji.
The police said they were not sure how long he had been hiding at the Ewingsdale property where he was caught and arrested this week. He was chased by local detectives and a TV camera crew before being tackled.
He was charged with assaulting police officers and resisting arrest, but Detective Senior Constable Gary Sheehan told reporters: “He did show a great deal of concern about his mother…but other than that he was quite cooperative. He was very cooperative, quite remorseful and, in fact, he actually apologized to me in the courtroom.”
Daily Telegraph: Con man Peter Foster pleads guilty to assault after grabbing detective’s gun
While authorities have their doubts about Peter Foster’s claim of looking after his ailing mother, the conman pleaded guilty of assaulting detectives during his arrest at Byron Bay. He was transported to the Arthur Gorrie prison in Brisbane.
Foster blamed his actions on the news crew’s “Rambo style” pursuit, and his solicitor said he had been “confused” after attempting to run away from the cameras and escape through a back gate.
“He had an adrenaline rush. He wanted to get away from the film crew,” solicitor Terry Fisher explained.
According to Fisher, Foster had been looking after his mother and living the life of a “monk” for the past 11 months. “He has effectively been living like a monk. He should have just blended in with the locals (in northern NSW). The fact that he’s separated from his mother is causing him a great deal of pain. That is ffecting him quite deeply,” he added.
On the other hand, Tweed-Byron Local Area Commander Superintendent Stuart Wilkins claimed that Foster had been living with a male friend. Authorities did not want to comment on the allegations that Foster was running an online betting operation.
Australian newspapers say Crown Resorts and the New South Wales government are hiding information on the new Barangaroo VIP casino.
James Packer’s plan to build a high-roller casino in Barangaroo has received a lot of scrutiny. There was so much attention surrounding the project that everyone just assumed that all details of the agreement had been revealed, in a perfectly transparent approval process.
As it turns out, this is not entirely true. Word got out that both partners of the deal – the government of New South Wales and Crown Resorts – have been keeping important details away from the public eye, and now online gambling news outlets are raging over it.
The Barangaroo casino has received approval last year and is scheduled to open in November 2019. The venue is targeted exclusively at VIP customers and high-rollers.
Sydney Morning Herald: James Packer casino documents referred to committee after NSW government fights public release
The New South Wales government is refusing to reveal redacted information from an agreement with James Packer, regarding measures to combat organized crime and corruption at his new casino in Sydney. The question of whether the information should be made public was referred to a parliamentary committee, which will discuss the matter soon.
Greens MP John Kaye, who has been pushing for the public release of the information, said: “The Parliament has set up a secret committee to look at secret documents. The public is being kept in the dark about critical anti-corruption and organized crime penetration measures at the casino. Neither the public nor the Parliament can have an informed debate about the adequacy of these measures without knowing what they are.”
According to Labor leader Luke Foley, the opposition is in favor of releasing the documents. “The opposition has a bias in favor of public release of all relevant casino documents. When the expert arbiter recommends release, that confirms our view,” he said.
Packer’s company, Crown Resorts, was recently awarded a license to operate a VIP-only casino at Barangaroo, starting November 2019. Significant parts of the deal, the so-called “VIP gaming management agreement”, were kept hidden from the public eye.
After a motion by Kaye, MPs were allowed to see the full document, but they were forbidden from disclosing its contents. However, it was revealed that the deal between Crown and the gambling regulator talks about measures to prevent organized crime infiltration and corruption at the casino.
Casino.org: Packer Sydney Casino License Docs Kept Secret from Public
Newspapers say certain documents related Packer’s license for a new casino in Sydney were stamped secret by New South Wales’ gambling regulator, the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.
The documents in question relate to official agreements between Crown Resorts, the NSW government and the authority responsible for overseeing the local casino industry and making sure that companies abide by the state’s gambling laws.
Eight of these were particularly interesting, as they were referring to operations that were to be executed when the license was issued. In seven out of eight documents, the names of all those involved were revealed. However, one of them was fully censored. Even the title of the agreement was kept a secret, along with the names of all parties.
The regulator said it was only allowed to reveal information related to the Casino Control Act, and only if it’s in the public interest. The authority added that it was obligated to hide all information that could cause commercial damage, which is why it hid details in the eighth agreement.
A spokesperson for the authority said: “The information redacted in the VIP Gaming Management Agreement document would, in the view of the authority, not promote the objects of the relevant act and be commercially damaging to the licensee or related entities if released. It was the authority’s view the public interest in its disclosure did not outweigh that potential harm.”
The Greens are planning to subpoena the documents in the NSW Parliament next week. “If this is entirely innocent, then the government should be happy to allow upper house MPs to see the documents,” MP John Kaye said. “If not, then it’s clear that they are running cover for James Packer and Crown.”
Premier Mike Baird added: “There’s no secrets. I know the Greens like to talk about conspiracy and secrets but there is none, as much as they look.”
ABC: High Rollers – High Risk?
Law and security experts claim Australian casinos that target Asian VIP customers risk exposing themselves to organized crime. There is a lot of money to be made in the gambling industry, and a large part of profits come from regular players, but Australian casinos seek to attract more high-rollers, particularly gamblers from China.
Since casino games are illegal on the mainland, these players often choose to spend their money in places like Macau or Australia. They are usually brought to the casino by companies called junkets, which locate, transport and provide credit for gamblers.
Crown Resorts, the Australian casino operator led by James Packer, has recently won approval to develop a six star hotel and VIP gambling venue at Barangaroo, on the shores of Sydney Harbour. According to the media, there is evidence linking junket companies to organized crime syndicates, which is why locals fear Packer’s new business will expose the country to illegal operations.
A gambling expert told reporters that junket companies “turn to organized crime to enforce gambling debts, using violence or threats of violence. It looks like casino operators relying solely on VIP customers for its profits could be facing huge difficulties, leaving the government with a problem too.
We take a look at the top five promotions from amongst the ghouls, goblins and ghosts on offer this Halloween around the web.
The witches are taking to the air, the ghosts are practicing their spooky “Wooooo” noises and the goblins are massing for raids that will only be foiled by an oddly carved Jack ‘O Lantern that smells slightly charring and reminds you that your kids are going to need a trip to the dentist after all that candy. Halloween has changed a lot over the centuries but it remains one of the most popular holidays for children and adults alike.
The traditions of dressing up, giving out treats, playing tricks and telling (sometimes quite tall) tales of frightening occurrences of the supernatural variety have all developed over the years into the night of excess we now all enjoy, so if you’ve already stuffed yourself with candy corn, had enough of the roasted pumpkin seeds and want to quietly relax we thought we’d give you the heads up on some of the best promotions on offer this Halloween.
Bet365: Halloween Treat At Bet365
Running throughout the final week of October those fabulous people over at Bet365 have allowed the spirit of the season to haunt their site with a range of games giving a very straight forward offer of free spins. There’s no “opting in” here, just turn up and grab those free spins, plus some of the other little spooky treats that await you within. They’ve even got a video up to explain it all to you and wet your appetite for more than candy.
The free spins are available on a great selection of their games. You can mount up on Frankie Dettori’s Magic 7, pick a winner on the Funky Fruits Farm, find the big money on Halloween Fortune, battle it out on Iron Man 3, let out your inner animal on Kong, get lucky on Mr. Cashback, net yourself something cool on Spider-Man, gain the upper hand on The Avengers, have a slash with Wolverine or get wrapped up on The Mummy. So, something for everyone.
BetVictor: Trick Or Treat At BetVictor
The duality of trick or treating stems from a few different influences ranging from the revelry of Samhain, the Christian religion and the practical jokers of the Victorian age. But whilst soul cakes have given way to candy, and the practical jokers have become far younger than once they were, that two-sided coin still spins in the air each All Hallow’s Eve, and at BetVictor they’re abiding by the spirit of the occasion.
They’ve chosen a good cross section of their superb array of slots and added in both a trick and a treat for you this Halloween. The Trick, as such, is that you get 10% of you net losses back in cash, real cash, up to a value of 20 GBP, and the Treat is they’ll add 10% onto your net winnings on any of the qualifying slots. They’ll total up on November 2nd and simply hand over the appropriate cash to you instantly. Can’t say fairer than that.
MrGreen: 4 Spin Chilling Days at MrGreen
Over at Mr Green Casino they’re taking it to a new level but issuing a challenge to all those who think there’s nothing to be scared of this Halloween. They’re giving you just 96 hours to beat the monsters, wipe out the witches and do away with any zombies you might come across in their 4 days of spookily fabulous gaming. You don’t have long, but if you’re one lucky punter you could well walk away with 4,000 EUR and that’s not to be sniffed at.
There are a number of games to beat at Mr Green Casino, each with their own unique theme and styling rendered in superb graphics with an amazing sound track to keep your Halloween as atmospheric as possible. Tighten your neck bolt in Frankenstein, take possession of your destiny in Voodoo Vibes, make sure you survive the hoard in Zombies and then cast a spell or two to see off the Wild Witches. The games are great and the rewards even greater, so this Thursday isn’t a kick-off to miss.
BetatCasino: Grab Your Bonus At BETAT Casino
BETAT Casino is keeping the magic alive with a great reward for all those that love their games. Just wager 400 EUR on each of seven days throughout the month of October and you’ll get a cool 50 EUR credited to your account as if a wizard waved his wand and thrust the money upon you. Yup, that’s right, just turn up and play on seven days and the cash is yours to collect automatically. Now you can’t get a better deal than that.
Players do have to “opt in” of course but that’s hardly an onerous task and once you have you’re guaranteed to get that bonus if you qualify over the time. The range of games on offer is a great cross section of the genre and of course there’s a few other Halloween treats, and indeed tricks, that one shouldn’t miss out on. So as the candy frenzy approaches and you wonder if that’s roasting pumpkin or the neighbors have set fire to their pool again, check out this great offer.
Unibet: Gold Rush Halloween Special at Unibet
At Unibet they’re making sure they get you both coming and going with a stupendously double edged promotion that sees you rewarded with cash prizes and invitations to their famed free rolls. Once you opt in there’s a great duality to greet you, with both the number of days you play, AND the number of points you earn combining to give you a bigger prize and greater chance to win the superb 3,000 EUR in their special Halloween tournament at 18:00 CET on Halloween.
The number of days are split up into fives, so play five days in October and you’ll get entry to a 2,000 EUR free roll, 10 days a 3,000 EUR and from 15 days play on a 5,000 EUR free roll, and for each one of those categories of time, your points score can win you a larger and larger cash prize. 1400 points over five days gets you 60 EUR, over 15 days it’s 225 EUR, and that continues all the way up to a staggeringly good 3,000 EUR top prize.
There wasn’t a dull moment last week as big events rolled across the global headlines so lets take a look back and who did what and where
Radicalized Canadian, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, opened fire with an automatic rifle at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada, killing one of the ceremonial guards on duty. The self-styled one-man jihad then took possession of a motor vehicle at gunpoint and, pursued by police, drove to the Parliament building where upon he ran inside shooting randomly as he went. He was cornered, rushed, shot and killed by security staff leaving Canada in a state of shock.
Shock didn’t seem to be much in evidence as Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in jail by Judge Thokozile Masipa for the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in their bathroom on February 14th 2013. Found guilty of “culpable homicide” and also of discharging a firearm in public (a separate incident) the para-Olympians faced a suspended 3 year sentence even once his five years are served, although he’s expected to spend only around 10 months in custody.
Kaci Hickox, on the other hand, will have to spend three weeks in custody of the state of New Jersey after the Ebola hysteria reached new heights of stupidity in the US. The nurse who had been treating victims in West Africa is the first to suffer the human rights abuse that is the mandatory quarantine isolation period despite testing negative for the virus and displaying no symptoms whatsoever because in America freedom isn’t a right unless you’re rich.
And talking of rich, the Queen of England decided to get with the program and sent her first tweet. Despite having had an account for some time this was the first time she, instead of palace staff, had sent one out, in this case noting the opening of a new exhibition at London’s Science Museum that focuses on the information age and the changes it has wrought upon us all. She was a little overly polite and verbose but she’ll get the hang of it.
In sport, of course, it was a week of high drama with Serena Williams beating Simona Halep to win her fifth WTA finals and end the year as world number one for the fourth time, will the Men’s WTA Finals be as superb a competition to watch and wager on? Keep track on our daily news pages, but whilst we wait for them to sort that out lets take a look back at some of the pictures and stories that made our headlines last week.
1. Two distinguished ladies at the top of South Africa’s National Gaming Board have been suspended due to accusations of corruption, abuse of power and an impressive number of illegalities, which they rewarded themselves for with a 46% pay rise.
2. Battle of the attorneys – the fate of sports betting in New Jersey is now in the hands of Judge Michael A. Shipp, and it looks like this boat is sinking.
3. Sheldon Adelson has bought a lot of political influence over the years, but some still see through his attempts to fight for the “moral good” by banning online gambling.
4. The illegal betting bomb dropped on the Indian Premier League in 2013 is about to explode, as the police will soon present its findings. The next court hearing is scheduled for November 10.
5. Some of you still think that wearing a lucky hat to the next baseball game will help you win a bet; but experts have facts, information and math on their side.
6. Two casino operators have opened gambling venues in the center of Madrid, and now visitors have a chance to play in fancy new Spanish poker rooms. Olé!
7. Warren Buffett has placed his bet on the 2016 US Presidential Elections: Hillary Clinton will run and win.
Meanwhile Nazi war criminals have been living on US social security benefits in Europe having been bribed to leave US jurisdiction, and a Google Executive, one Alan Eustace, plummeted to the ground from 135,000ft leaving only some critics of the internet giant disappointed because he was wearing a parachute and setting a new world skydiving record. Will anything else drop out of the sky unexpectedly? You better read our GamblingResults’ news pages, just in case.
A federal judge intervened to temporarily block New Jersey’s plans to allow sports betting at the state’s racetrack and casinos.
State lawmakers have been trying to find ways to bring sports betting to New Jersey for years, but it looks like all attempts are destined to fail. A few weeks ago, officials passed a bill allowing licensed casinos and racetracks to accept wagers.
After Governor Chris Christie signed the document into law and Monmouth Park said it was ready to start taking bets last Sunday, professional sports leagues challenged the decision in court, asking the judge to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent this from happening.
U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp decided to grant the request made by the National Football League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and other sports groups, but did not rule on the merits of the issue yet. A full hearing will be scheduled in the future.
A spokesman for Christie emphasized that the restraining order is temporary and added: “We continue to have full confidence in the strength and appropriateness of our position as we move forward in the litigation.”
USA Today: Judge: New Jersey can’t launch sports betting
Latest gambling news announce that a federal judge decided not to allow casinos and racetracks in New Jersey to start taking sports bets. In his ruling late Friday, US District Court Judge Michael Shipp put in place a temporary restraining order to prevent state operators from offering such services last week.
Monmouth Park was planning on giving its bookmaking operations a test run on Sunday, when it would have accepted bets on NFL games, but the court said Governor Chris Christie can’t launch sports betting in the state for now.
Monmouth Park officials were expecting about 10,000 people to rush to the track this Sunday to bet on Jets-Bills, Eagles-Cardinals, as well as on other NFL games. The track was going to open as early as 7 am, in order to allow visitors to place wagers on the Lions-Falcons game played in London at 9:30 am E.T.
But the NFL and other American sports leagues have filed a complaint asking the judge to stop state operators from taking bets immediately, invoking a 1992 federal law restricting sports betting to Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana.
A final decision will be made only after a full hearing, but for now the judge has issued a restraining order stopping Monmouth Park from going ahead with its plans. Attorneys representing the racetrack have argued that the business won’t survive without this new source of revenue.
NESN: Judge Grants Leagues’ Request, Stops N.J. Sports Betting Temporarily
Following a request from four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA, a federal judge issued a restraining order preventing New Jersey operators from taking sports bets for now. The request was made by the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, Major League Baseball and the NCAA, who went to court over a new bill signed by Governor Chris Christie, allowing casinos and racetracks in the state to offer betting services.
Under current gambling laws, Nevada is the only state allowed to offer betting on individual games at local bookmakers. Delaware also offers multi-game parlay pools, requiring players to pick several games correctly before winning any money.
“More legal gambling leads to more total gambling, which in turns leads to an increased incentive to fix plaintiffs’ matches,” Shipp said in court last Friday, adding that sports betting in New Jersey “would engender the same ills” that lawmakers sought to combat when they came up with the 1992 federal law.
Attorneys representing the sports organizations have argued that the leagues would suffer irreparable harm if such offers were available in the state. The lawsuit will proceed and the court will schedule a full hearing, but Shipp said a temporary restraining order was necessary to make sure that the matter is properly debated in court first.
Wall Street Journal: Judge Blocks Bid to Legalize Sports Betting in New Jersey
A previous attempt to overturn the sports betting ban and allow New Jersey players to bet on sports failed, and officials are not sure what will happen next. For now, Nevada continues to remain the only state where sports betting is fully legal. Delaware has a few similar operations, but the state only offers multi-game parlay pools.
While Atlantic City casinos said they would wait for the judge’s decision before starting any bookmaking operations, Monmouth Park Racetrack had originally planned to begin sports betting this weekend. The venue’s plans were put on hold by the restraining order.
Dennis Drazin, the operator of Monmouth Park, wrote in a recent statement: “While we are disappointed not to be able to start this Sunday, we are confident that sports betting will be coming to New Jersey in the very near future.”
While preventing the racetrack from starting its new operations, Judge Shipp also requested the five plaintiffs to put up a $1.7 million bond, to cover New Jersey’s potential revenue losses should the state eventually win the argument. The judge also said the temporary restraining order only applies to sports scores at events run by the four leagues and the NCAA.
The team investigating the 2013 Indian Premier League betting-fixing scandal is expected to submit its report soon.
All eyes are on the cricket industry this week, as latest gambling news reveal more information on the betting-fixing scandal involving the Indian Premier League (IPL). Over the next four days, the police team that investigated the case will present its final report to the Supreme Court. The next hearing is scheduled for November 10.
The police submitted its first report earlier in February, along with a sealed envelope containing the names of 13 people thought to be involved in the scandal. Only one of those names was disclosed – that of Narayanaswami Srinivasan, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – but it was more than enough to show how deep the corruption scandal runs.
Six international cricketers are said to be among the 13 accused. Rumor has it the list includes India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina, as well as three first-class players. Dhoni and Raina were recently questioned in Delhi. Gurunath Meiyappan, the BCCI presiden’t son-in-law, is also said to be involved, along with Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh and Raj Kundra, coowner of Rajasthan Royals.
India Today: 2013 IPL betting-fixing scandal: Cops to submit report today
A team of four policemen is currently running all investigations, and the Mugdal committee will most likely base its report on their findings. The group is led by 1983 batch IPS officer Bibhuti Bhusana Mishra, who is also the Deputy Director General (Operations) of the Narcotics Control Bureau.
“The panel will submit the report based on whatever they [the police investigators] have found. It will discuss the evidence and their report, and will then come to a conclusion,” a source said on Sunday. “The final discussions will start tomorrow and will go on for the next three days consecutively after that – from October 27 to 30. And the report will be submitted to the Supreme Court on November 3.”
Regarding the identity of the 13 persons currently under investigation, the source said: “There are six international players and three non-internationals. We cannot name them because if their names don’t come out [as guilty]… we cannot spoil their careers.”
Srinivasan’s name was officially disclosed by the Supreme Court itself. The source added that, in addition to Vindoo and Kundra, another person would “obviously be Meiyappan”.
DNA India: Gurunath Meiyappan, Vindoo Dara Singh’s voice sample confirmed in IPL spot-fixing case?
English newspapers have revealed that Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan’s voice was heard in a tapped phone conversation. The information was confirmed by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. Experts also heard the voice of Vindoo Dara Singh and other people who were arrested under the accusation of spot-fixing.
An internal investigation ordered by the BCCI cleared Meiyappan and Raj Kundra of corruption. Soon after, Justice Mudgal was appointed to investigate the IPL scandal. He said allegations of illegal betting against Meiyappan stand proven.
Meiyappan, who is son-in-law of BBCI president and Chennai Super Kings owner Narayanaswami Srinivasan, was accused of providing inside information to bookmakers, as well as of placing wagers on IPL matches.
Srinivasan is also said to be involved. The Supreme Court has suspended him from his position as head of the BCCI until investigations are over. Now he is President of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Wall Street Journal: Police: Indian Cricket Team Owner Admits to Betting
The police in Delhi confirmed that Raj Kundra, co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals cricket franchise, has admitted to placing illegal bets on IPL matches, through a business associate who runs a bookmaking operation. Kundra was questioned as part of a broader investigation into illegal sports wagering in the country. Although Indian gambling laws forbid betting on cricket, the businessman was not arrested.
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar told reporters: “He has admitted to betting. We have also come to know that he has lost a lot of money in betting.”
Three players were arrested in May last year for allegedly colluding with bookmakers to fix certain moments in cricket matches.
In a statement released after the accusations were made public, the Rajasthan Royals said: “We are completely taken by surprise…We will fully cooperate with the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation. The management at Rajasthan Royals has a zero-tolerance approach to anything that is against the spirit of the game.”
Kundra owns a nearly 12% stake in the franchise, through Jaipur IPL Pvt. Ltd. Although he admitted to placing wagers on matches, there was no evidence that he was involved in spot-fixing.
GamingZion: Just How Deep Does the Indian Cricket Betting Scandal Run?
The scandal broke out in May 2013, when cricket players Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by the Delhi police. More arrests followed, as the police suspected 11 other people of being involved in the scandal. The BCCI said it had very strict policies against betting corruption and decided to suspend the three players just a few hours after they were arrested.
A few days after the arrest, actor Vindu Dara Singh and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) former team principal Gurunath Meiyappan were also taken in. Meiyappan was initially released on bail, but then he was caught asking team members for information on matches and passing it on to bookmakers.
A report by Justice Mukul Mudgal’s committee said: “The role of Gurunath Meiyappan in Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the team official stands proved and the allegations of betting and passing of information against Meiyappan stand proved.”
At the end of May, BBCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke resigned after criticizing the way the board handled the matter and conducted its investigation. Rajeev Shukla, chairman of the IPL, followed their example.
While being headed by Meiyappan’s father-in-law, the BCCI cleared the owners of Rajasthan Royals and CSK, but the Bombay High Court established that the committee appointed by the board was constituted illegally. Srinivasan eventually stepped aside, forced by public pressure, but the measure is only temporarily.
Adelson has managed to turn many politicians against online gambling, but supporters of the virtual industry are not giving up.
The battle over internet gambling in the US continues. While opponents of online casinos are becoming louder and more aggressive, Erik Telford, senior vice president at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity in the United States, has expressed concerns about the influence industry representatives seem to have on politicians.
A few days ago, Telford made his voice heard too and came out strongly against casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s political influence, in his bid to put an end to most forms of online gambling in the US. “When powerful gaming interests are spearheading the fight to ban online gambling, it should give you pause,” he wrote in an opinion piece published in the political newspaper The Hill.
CEO of Sands Vegas, Sheldon Adelson is one of the largest campaign contributors in America. With elections being held this year, several politicians have withdrawn their support for the online casino industry just to get on the billionaire’s good side.
“Their main policy objective is focused on federal legislation to ban online gambling outright – stifling their competition before it ever reaches the market. It is a glimpse of crony capitalism in its most naked form, and represents a very troubling assault on Internet freedom, giving government a foot in the door for a broader regulatory regime and usurping our federalist system,” Telford warned.
The Hill: Ending the cycle of casino cronyism
Online gambling news revealed that, in his campaign to restore the 2011 Wire Act, the casino mogul has drawn Sen. Lindsey Graham and Representative Jason Chaffetz on his side. But Telford characterized this as “a pretense to advance a moral good”, adding that “this policy would undermine the free market, encourage crime, and erode the constitutional concept of states’ rights.”
Telford quoted free market advocates, who believe that a regulated market would help protect players from fraud and concluded: “Just like Prohibition in the 1920’s, banning this vice would actually incentivize criminal behavior. Those fearful of fraud, child participation, and profits diverted to gangs or terrorists should push for legalization in every state to make the industry as transparent as possible.”
In a letter sent to US congressmen, representatives of the Institute For Policy Innovation wrote: “In this black market, where virtually all sites are operated from abroad, consumers have little to no protection from predatory behavior.”
At the end of his article, Telford reminded readers that legalizing this “multibillion dollar business” would make things more transparent, allowing authorities to verify industry revenues, as well as to profit from tax revenue.
Vegas Inc: At G2E, Sheldon Adelson reiterates disdain for Internet gambling
Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson continued his crusade against online gambling at this year’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E), telling those present at the trade show that internet casinos make it easy for underage users to play because “when you’re on the Internet, you cannot know your customer.”
Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business, defended the online gambling industry, claiming that the internet allows operators to authenticate players’ identities. When hearing the argument that internet gambling should be legal because it already happens, Sheldon replied: “Then why don’t we legalize prostitution? Why don’t we legalize cocaine and heroin? That’s not a good reason, to say that they’re doing it anyway.”
Soon after Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware legalized online casino games, other states started to talk about doing the same thing. Adelson then set up the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, a nonprofit organization dedicated to outlawing the business once and for all.
The casino mogul wants US gambling laws to completely ban online casino games and often argues that he fears online gaming will exploit the poor by making gambling too accessible.
“I don’t want those people to get abused because when I look at people like that I see the faces of my parents,” he said in his speech. “I just don’t see that there is any compelling reason to put an electronic casino in 318 million hands.”
iGamingPlayer: New Jersey Assembly Committee Opposes Federal Online Gaming Ban
As one of the three states that have already legalized online gambling, New Jersey is trying to send out a message to Congress, urging officials to reject a federal ban on internet casinos. The industry is already established in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, and other states have announced their intentions to join them in opening the market.
A resolution from Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, who represents Atlantic City, says such a ban would not only damage New Jersey’s casino industry, but also infringe on its state’s rights.
“A federal prohibition against internet gaming would directly and negatively impact New Jersey by dismantling the investments that the state and Atlantic City casinos have already made to implement and regulate Internet gaming, taking away the economic and employment opportunities already realized by the state and its residents, and foreclosing the future potential of internet gaming to generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, create high-tech software jobs, and foster valuable business ventures for Atlantic City casinos in this State,” it said.
“Internet gaming has begun to yield benefits for our state’s economy, over $80 million has been wagered, and that’s generating sorely needed tax revenue that’s serving as a stimulus for Atlantic City at this critical time,” Mazzeo explained in his statement.
While fully aware that the industry hasn’t reached its full potential, officials believe a federal ban would have a negative impact, rendering a number of investments useless and taking away millions of dollars in tax revenue.
The resolution opposes the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act” bill strongly backed by Sheldon Adelson, which is now before both houses of Congress.
New Jersey residents might have to wait a while longer before they can place bets on sports and horse races in the state.
With Governor Chris Christie approving a new gambling bill and rumors of the Taj Mahal closing later in November, New Jersey continues to be at the centre of attention in the US. At the end of last week, state authorities gave casinos and racetracks the green light to start accepting bets, but professional sports leagues have challenged the decision in court.
Monmouth Park is prepared to start taking bets at the racetrack this Sunday, but punters might have to wait a while longer because the country’s four professional sports leagues and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have filed a lawsuit on Monday, seeking a temporary injunction to stop local gambling venues from opening sports books.
On the other hand, industry representatives argue that allowing sports betting in the state could help thousands of former Atlantic City casino employees find a new job.
NY Times: Sports Betting in New Jersey Is Challenged
For a while now, New Jersey has been trying to come up with ways to circumvent a 1992 federal law banning state regulators from handing out sports betting licenses. Last week, an important step has been taken in that direction after Governor Chris Christie signed the new gambling law partially repealing the statewide sports wagering ban. But then came the bad news: professional leagues are seeking an injunction from Judge Michael A. Shipp of Federal District Court.
New Jersey’s first sports book is schedules to have a soft opening this Sunday at Monmouth Park. The racetrack’s operators said they’re planning to have 10 tellers take bets, only on the National Football League for now, all by hand. Both the track’s managers and state leaders expect thousands of people lining up to place their bets on football Sundays.
Dennis Drazin, a legal adviser for Monmouth Park, told reporters: “As we speak, we are geared up to start taking bets.” Lawyers representing the NCAA, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League and the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball declined to make any comments at this point.
The challenge argues that New Jersey has tried this trick three years ago, when attempts to legalize gambling on amateur and professional sports failed. “Because this effort is no more lawful than New Jersey’s past ones, it, too, should be enjoined,” lawyers wrote in the complaint.
On the other hand, State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak said: “I have a hard time believing that a judge will determine that the leagues can prove they can be irreparably damaged by Monmouth racetrack’s taking bets, when people are betting every single day legally in Nevada,” adding that sports associations are looking to secure a monopoly.
USA Today: NFL, other leagues move to stop N.J. sports betting plan
In the complained filed earlier this week, the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and the NCAA said New Jersey was “in clear and flagrant violation of federal law.” Attorneys representing the leagues are expected to ask the judge for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction, to prevent local businesses from taking bets.
According to track consultant Dennis Drazin, Monmouth Park is planning to take bets on sports scores as early as October 26, during the Jets-Bills game, as well as for other NFL match-ups scheduled for Sunday. The operator is likely to add a $100 bet limit for the first day. Records will initially be kept by hand, and the track expects 5,000 customers to rush to the bookies this Sunday.
“We won’t be able to have everything set up electronically for 3 or 4 weeks,” Drazin explained. “My own take on this is the people have been clamoring for this for so long that we want to introduce them to it even if you can’t do it full scale just yet.’”
Legal analysts said it’s hard to predict if all this will actually happen on Sunday.
“The leagues loaded up their complaint with buzzwords to paint a picture of immediate and irreparable harm to the plaintiffs if bets start being taken, and they’ve won injunctive relief in the past,” gaming attorney Christopher Soriano said.
According to Drazin, the track could earn as much as $1 billion per year from sports betting, giving the state’s gambling industry a much needed boost.
Philadelphia Business Journal: Hundreds file for unemployment after casino closures
Atlantic City saw its last wave of casino workers filing for unemployment at the beginning of September, following the closure of two casinos over Labor Day weekend. More than 5,000 employees lost their jobs in the process.
An assistance center was set up at the Atlantic City Convention Center, and officials from the state Department of Labor and union representatives from Local 54 of Unite-HERE were there to offer them help in filing for unemployment. They were also given information on how to sign up for health insurance.
“We’re working every day to create solutions,” Mayor Don Guardian told reporters. “As a city that cares about its residents first, we want you to know what steps we’re taking to assist in transitioning individuals losing jobs.”
Officials added that laid-off workers would be getting all the necessary training “to help ensure [they] have a smooth, quick transition to new employment.”
Job-training initiatives will be held at the Atlantic Cape Community College, aiming to train up to 1,200 employees every year. Officials plan to open a job placement center by October, assisting all Atlantic City residents.
Atlantic City started the year with 12 casinos, but their number has dropped to just eight by mid-September.
The world last week wobbled between the tragic and the blessed, the diseased and the drunken, so lets look back at what went on
The tragedy of the numerous avalanche that struck Nepal last week has left 39 people dead so far and more are likely to be recovered in time. A mammoth rescue effort was swung into action as trekkers and climbers were slowly rescued by locals, guides, the emergency services and military. Over 400 people were taken to safety as the search continued throughout the weekend in this remote mountainous kingdom which is a favorite with altitude junkies.The successful negotiations in Nigeria, on the other hand, have been hailed as a major diplomatic victory for both sides with the upshot being that the schoolgirls so alarmingly kidnapped from their schools in the summer may well be back with their friends and families in the very near future ending their months of captivity. The negotiations had been rumored but were only confirmed after the successful arrangement of the truce last week.
There’s no sign of a truce on the street of the Mong Kok district of the modern metropolis that is Hong Kong with the authorities having sent in police to remove barricades and protestors from blocking major streets within the city. However successful they were initially by the end of the day many of the protestors and their obstructions had returned leaving the Chinese-run government with an ever decreasing number of options.
Which is probably true of the crew of the Russian submarine the Russians are strenuously denying has got itself into trouble off the coast of Sweden. The denial rang a bit hollow when the Swedes claimed to have picked up a Russian distress signal and launched a search and rescue operation involving hundreds of troops, boats and aircraft to find the submarine Moscow refused to admit ownership of perhaps gambling that it will yet slip away.
Here are some pictures of the gambling events that made the news last week, on GamblingResults.
1. Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino was shut down due to an armed altercation involving different groups of Indian tribes.
2. Taj Mahal Casino’s Fate was the subject of another round of discussions. In order to save the gambling venue and more than a thousand jobs, owners and union members are analyzing all the options.
3. Can’t stand to be looked at while you’re receiving an over-sized check? A Chinese lottery winner used a disguise to make the handing out ceremony more… bearable.
4. Japan might get its casinos before the Tokyo Olympics, but the government remains committed to its mission: stopping locals from having any fun in there.
5. Swedish politicians took too long to ponder on what the country’s new gambling laws should look like – apart from… you know… liberal – so the EC is dragging them to European court.
6. Former WSOP champion Darren Woods is accused of opening 13 fake accounts on a poker site. Now there’s no need to jump to conclusions here, this doesn’t necessarily make him a fraudster; he could just be suffering from multiple personality disorder.
7. Researchers have picked the brains of problem gamblers, only to find that they don’t get much of a kick out of a normal day at the casino. Apparently, their brains are only satisfied once they’ve spent way too much money!
Meanwhile President Obama has appointed an Ebola Tsar to assist in combating the hysteria sweeping his country that might well explain why New Hampshire had a pumpkin festival turn into a full scale riot. Will this week be as crazy? Take a look at the daily news on GamblingResults and stay up to date.
The Trade and Industry department wrote an angry letter detailing the Gambling Board’s alleged graft and financial mismanagement.
Last month, South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies suspended the entire Gambling Board, accusing its members of corruption, intimidation of staff, theft of evidence, wasteful spending of funds, as well as other illegalities.
The department’s oversight committee asked the minister to provide his reasons by Friday, and chairwoman Joan Fubbs received a letter detailing the accusations. Lionel October, the department’s director, said the suspension had been a “precautionary” measure. He spoke on behalf of Davies, who was traveling abroad.
Another letter written by the two administrators appointed by Davies after the suspension and addressed to Fubbs said the former board’s problems went even deeper.
IOL Independent: Call for probe into graft at gambling board
The reasons behind Davies’ decision to suspend the board include corruption, intimidation and bullying of employees, running up an overdraft on the board’s bank account, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Former members of the board have also been accused of theft of evidence and illegally designating a member whose term had expired to serve as a consultant.
According to online gambling news, a whistleblower also revealed that chairwoman Linda de Vries and deputy chairwoman Nana Magomola were both members and executive director, respectively, of the National Responsible Gambling Foundation.
The two had never disclosed this information to the minister, as required by law. Members of the board have allegedly run up an overdraft without asking the finance minister for permission, and failed to audit the trust fund or to disclose this.
Further investigations revealed that the board had signed a 9-year lease for an office space, although it only had 16 employees and was already occupying premises in the trade and industry department’s building, at a cost of R23.2 million over 15 years. The new space was leased at an additional cost of R58.4 million, which could not be justified.
The board reported a loss of R4 million in 2013-2014, and a deficit of R4.8 million during the previous year. At present, its liabilities exceed its assets by R8.1 million.
Casinos-Online: South African Minister Opens Up On Gambling Board Scandal (Update)
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies belatedly briefed the parliamentary committee on the reasons why he chose to suspend the entire South African National Gambling Board six weeks ago.
Joan Fubbs, chair of the parliamentary trade and industry portfolio committee, demanded details on the scandal, describing the government’s actions as lacking transparency.
Allegations of maladministration, wasteful spending and corrupt activities were included in a written brief put together by the minister and presented by the DTI director general.
As a first step, Davies ordered an investigation into the board’s conduct and appointed two temporary administrators to run the organization until investigators shed some light on the issue.
In his brief, the minister described the suspensions as a “precautionary”. A report by the auditor-general indicated possible contraventions of the Public Finance Management Act, claiming that the board had “…failed to prevent irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and made overdraft on the entity’s bank account without the approval of the minister of finance”.
Other allegations include breaking the state’s laws by “allowing members whose term of office had expired to continue participating in the board’s activities and representing the NGB”, unlawful staff appointments, corrupt activity, tyrannical behavior toward staff and the theft of evidential material.
Spokesman Dean Macpherson MP added that members of the board had increased their own salaries by a “staggering” 46% over the past year, spending an additional R2.7 million on international travel. Macpherson said his party would propose that criminal charges be laid against any illegal behavior that can be proved.
The NGB is responsible for overseeing South Africa’s entire gambling industry, which made a total profit of R21.8 billion in 2013 and generated R2.2 billion in tax revenues. Most of it came from land based casinos.
MailandGuardian: NEF boss stays put as auditors probe graft claims
The chief executive of the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) appeared in the newspapers after being accused of corruption, fraud and breaking the country’s gambling laws. An investigation is under way, probing the allegations.
Following instructions given by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, the board of the NEF has appointed an auditing firm to “determine the veracity of the allegations”. Deloitte is now looking into the matter to find out if the accusations brought against Philisiwe Mthethwa and two senior officials are true.
An anonymous whistleblower claimed the organization’s senior manager has committed fraud and was guilty of corruption. It was speculated that Mthethwa would be suspended during the investigation, but the board then decided against it.
“After having taken independent legal advice, after a considered deliberation and pending the results of Deloitte’s report on the veracity of the allegations, the board of trustees decided not to suspend any of the individuals who are the subject of the allegations,” a statement said.
“We are confident that no member of the NEF will do anything to compromise the integrity of the investigation, and have received commitments from the affected individuals to that effect.”
Scientists have come up with a new theory on what causes gamblers to get addicted to casino games.
Whether we’re talking about alcoholism, drug abuse or gambling, all forms of addiction are linked to biological alterations in the brain. For many years, scientists have studied these issues, coming up with several theories explaining the various chemical reactions that cause people to lose control of their habits and fall prey to addiction.
According to online gambling news, a recent study suggests that the brain’s opioid systems may respond differently in pathological gamblers, influencing their control, motivation, emotional behavior, as well as the way they respond to pain or stress.
The study was presented this weekend, at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress in Berlin.
MedicalDaily: Gambling Addicts’ Brains Don’t Have The Same Opioid Systems As Others
The study was conducted on 14 pathological gamblers and 15 healthy volunteers, whose opioid receptor levels were measures by researchers with positron emission tomography scans.
At first, the scans showed no difference between the two groups, but when the subjects were given an amphetamine tablet and researchers scanned their brains again, the pill caused a high known as an endorphin rush, revealing that gamblers weren’t able to release as many endorphins as healthy subjects. Participants then answered a questionnaire which revealed that gamblers experienced a lower feeling of euphoria.
Lead researcher Dr. Inge Mick explained: “From our work, we can say two things. Firstly, the brains of pathological gamblers respond differently to this stimulation than the brains of healthy volunteers. And secondly, it seems that pathological gamblers just don’t get the same feeling of euphoria as do healthy volunteers.”
“This may go some way to explaining why the gambling becomes an addiction,” Mick concluded.
Gambling is very popular among US citizens. Reports have shown that about 2 to 3% of the country’s population is addicted. The population spends up to $5 billion on casino games every year, although gambling laws ban sports betting and online casinos in most parts of the US.
BBC News: Gambling addiction linked to brain reward system
A recent study concluded that the “high” or feeling of euphoria that comes from addictive behavior is less obvious in the brains of problem gamblers. This means that, for them, being a lucky punter is not enough to get an “endorphin rush”, so they have to search harder and play more in order to get a kick out of it.
Human brains have a natural opioid system which controls pain, reward, as well as addictive behavior. London and Cambridge researchers scanned the brains of 30 volunteers – including problem gamblers – in order to find out more about how their reward systems respond.
The small study involved 14 problem gamblers and 15 healthy volunteers, and used scans to measure the level of endorphins released under the stimulation of an amphetamine tablet. Lead researcher Dr Inge Mick, from Imperial College London, explained that gambling addicts have to work harder in order to get the same feeling of euphoria as the average person.
The way the opioid system responds could be different in alcohol or cocaine addiction, she added, but the findings could help researchers come up with treatments for problem gamblers. Around 300,000 UK players – less than 1% of the population – are suffering from this health problem. They are treated with drugs such as naltrexone and nalmefene.
Dr Mark Griffiths, professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University, said: “This is an interesting study which backs up what we already know from previous research. Gambling is a behavioral addiction which is influenced by biological, psychological and social factors.”
MedicalXpress: Pathological gambling runs in families
Researchers at the University of Iowa have confirmed that pathological gambling runs in the family. According to the study, first-degree relatives of gambling addicts are eight times more likely to develop this problem than people who don’t have this sort of issue in their family.
Donald W. Black, MD, professor of psychiatry in the UI Carver College of Medicine explained: “Our work clearly shows that pathological gambling runs in families at a rate higher than for many other behavioral and psychiatric disorders.
“I think clinicians and health care providers should be alerted to the fact that if they see a person with pathological gambling, that person is highly likely to have a close relative with similar or the same problem. That is a teaching moment and they should probably encourage the patient to let their relatives know that help is available.”
The study involved 95 pathological gamblers and 91 control subjects from Iowa, matched for age, sex, and level of education. Researchers also studied their first-degree relatives, totaling another 1,075 participants – parents, siblings, and children.
According to the results of the research, 11% of the gambling relatives suffered from pathological gambling themselves; the health issue was present in only 1% of the control relatives.
“People have always thought pathological gambling ran in families – anecdotal evidence certainly suggested it. But when you finally do a study like this, which is the largest of its kind, and come up with figures like this, it is quite striking,” says Black, who was lead author of the study.
Between 0.5 and 1.5% adults living in the US suffer from gambling addiction at some point during their lives.
Darren Woods became a star in the poker industry after winning a world championship. Now he is accused of opening fake accounts on poker sites.
The 29-year-old from Healing allegedly used other people’s personal details to open fake accounts on virtual poker rooms. According to the latest gambling news, 13 fraud charges were brought against him between January 2007 and January 2012. Woods, of course, denied them all.
The court heard he not only used a false name when he signed an e-mail asking for proof of his supposed identity, but also submitted a copy of someone else’s passport as part of an alleged con. In other words, he tried to fool gambling operators running the poker sites, by pretending to be someone else.
His father, 56-year-old Morteza Gharoon, is said to be involved in four of these cases. He is now facing fraud offences, in addition to being charged with money laundering through credit billings, on behalf of his son.
Grimsby Telegraph: Claims poker star from Healing used other people’s identities to open fake accounts
Using 13 fake accounts gave Darren Woods an advantage, allowing him to gain benefits and commissions he wouldn’t have had access to by using just his own account.
He was made bankrupt in 2006 but made a fantastic financial recovery in July 2011, when he became a poker champion after winning a world series of poker game in Las Vegas. He took home $213,000 in cash for his efforts.
Woods’ father Morteza Gharoon, an Iranian national, was once a successful property investor. His impressive portfolio included several properties in the Grimsby area. The pair allegedly used the names and personal information of real people, in order to open fake accounts on internet gambling sites and virtual wallets.
The prosecution said Woods tried to open an internet poker account in 2010, using the name of Lloyd Stockley-Bond. But gambling laws require online operators to take measures to verify the identity of their users, so a Blue Square manager sent him an e-mail asking him to provide a copy of his identification, as well as proof of his address.
In order to “fool the systems”, the poker player allegedly bought private networks, as well as several computer, using them to disguise his online identity. The poker player is accused of fraud by false representation and the trial continues.
OnlinePoker: WSOP Winner Darren Woods Charged With Online Poker Fraud
UK WSOP winner Darren Woods appeared in Sheffield Crown Court after being accused of committing online poker fraud between January 2007 and January 2012. With a total of 12 charges brought against him, Woods went from a respected limit hold’em coach to an alleged fraudster.
In 2011, he was a coach at pokerstrategy.com, after having won $213,431 at the WSOP $2,500 Limit Hold’em Six Handed Event. His success also brought him a very lucrative affiliate sponsorship deal with online poker operator 888.
But the fame didn’t last long, because Darren ‘Dooshcom’ Woods was accused of colluding with another player who went under the username ‘Benkaremail’, to win hundreds of thousands of dollars against several high stakes online players.
His father, Morteza Gharoon is also accused of helping him on four occasions. Charges include money laundering, but the dad said his son has reassured him that his actions were perfectly legitimate.
An article published by the Telegraph explains: “Woods allegedly made money from the fraudulently opened accounts by playing at the same online poker table at the same time using different identities, giving him an advantage because he would unfairly know the hands of some of the other players.”
It’s unclear whether the alleged cheating formed the basis of the prosecution or whether the trial focuses solely on the accusations of Woods scamming 888 to gain $236,994 in affiliate commission.
PokerStrategy: Coach Darren Woods Accused of Collusion
In September 2011, PokerStrategy published statement on the allegations of collusion – at the Push-or-Fold tables at 888poker – brought against Darren ‘DooshCom’ Woods, who was a coach at the website. The company announced it was suspending him from his position.
A group of high stakes players had accused DooshCom and another player of sharing hole cards in 3 and 4-handed games to gain an unfair advantage. The pair was playing high stakes, at blinds of $500 or $1000.
Players became increasingly suspicious of Dooshcom and his “unknown” partner, which is why they started gathering information, compared histories and unanimously concluded that they were being cheated. Eventually, they wrote about it on forums, in an attempt to warn other players.
PokerStrategy decided to investigate the matter alongside 888poker, and after making it clear that it does not tolerate unfair play, decided to suspend Woods from his position as coach.
The European Commission started legal action against Sweden, for failing to comply with European gambling laws.
Sweden is in trouble. After issuing a number of warnings, the European Commission (EC) is finally fed up and is dragging Swedish legislators to court over the country’s conservative and monopolistic gambling laws, which fail to comply with the European requirement of free movement of services.
The EC has referred the Nordic member state to the highest European court in two separate cases related to the restrictions imposed on the licensing process. Under the current legislation, Swedish authorities only welcome domestic and state-owned operators.
The Commission released a statement explaining its decision: “Sweden is referred to the Court of Justice for imposing restrictions on the organization and promotion of online betting services in a way which is inconsistent with EU law. Changes to the Swedish gambling law in order to make it compliant with EU law have long been envisaged but never implemented.”
Daily Mail: EU Commission sues Sweden over online betting, poker laws
According to the latest gambling news, the two cases concern licensing for online betting and poker sites. European laws require all 28 member states to allow cross-border supply of such services. They may however impose restrictions to protect local players from the harmful effects of online gambling, but only if they prove that these measures are necessary and applied in a suitable and consistent manner.
In its first case against Sweden, the EC has criticized the country’s licensing system for online betting, claiming that it was not applied in a systematic way. Upon analyzing the current legislation, as well as reports and other documents, the Commission found that Swedish authorities don’t supervise the exclusive betting provider adequately.
Sweden’s government has responded to these accusations on Thursday, saying that its intentions were “to speed up the work that has been carried out for a long time in order to find a licensing system that could be introduced in Sweden”.
The second case is about the Nordic country’s regulation of online poker sites. To be more precise, the EC has suggested that Swedish authorities had turned a blind eye to the unauthorized offer and promotion of poker games on the local market.
The European Gaming and Betting Association is happy with the Commission’s move and has calling it “a breakthrough decision”. The two cases marked the first time when Brussels took a member state to court over gambling laws. The EC had previously asked Sweden to change its laws in 2007, giving it a final warning in November last year.
Europa.eu: Commission requests Member States to comply with EU law when regulating gambling services
In a press release issued on November 20, 2013, the European Commission has called on a number of Member States to adapt their national laws on gambling to ensure compliance with the fundamental freedoms granted by the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.
While Member States are free to set certain restrictions and limitations on cross-border supply of gambling services to protect the public and prevent fraud, these measures need to be objective and sustained with arguments. The necessity and suitability of these restrictions has to be demonstrated, and all laws have to be consistent with this mission.
In a Communication dating from October 2012, the EC announced that it would complete an assessment of national provisions in the pending infringements cases. As a consequence of the assessment, the Commission has requested Sweden to comply with European rules on the free movement of services and get rid of the state monopoly on gambling services.
Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and Romania have also been asked to provide further information on national legislation restricting the supply of gambling services.
GamingZion: EGBA Says Swedish Gambling Laws are not in Compliance with European Regulations
A report issued by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) shows that Sweden needs to change its current monopolistic gambling laws. Over the past few years, European officials have sent out several written warnings to authorities in Sweden, asking them to ensure compliance with Europe’s rules on free movement of services.
If the country fails to comply with these requests, it will be referred to the European Court of Justice.
“Evidently the best option for all concerned, and especially for Swedish consumers is that Sweden will commit to re-regulate its market and allow online operators to apply for online licenses,” EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer told reporters.
The EGBA officials added that a change in legislation is “inevitably the future”, as there is a rising demand for online and land-based gambling services in Sweden.
“If the status quo remains, it is clear that the European Commission (EC) will have no other option than to refer Sweden to the European Court… The commission is clearly convinced that Sweden’s gambling monopoly is not in conformity with EU law,” Haijer said.
Poker News: Sweden’s Gambling Law to Change in 2014: “We Hope the Commission Will Not Sue Us”
Even though the European Commission has warned Sweden about its monopolistic gambling laws a long time ago, authorities are asking for more time and said that “changes are imminent”. Decision-makers promised to draw up a new set of norms, adding that they could be ready as early as next November.
EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer rejected the proposal and said “immediate sanctions” would be imposed. Erik Thedéen, Sweden’s Treasury Undersecretary admitted in an interview that the government is trying to buy some time, hoping to avoid being sanctioned.
Olivier Guersent, Head of Cabinet for Commissioner Michel Barnier, met with Thedéen to talk about the issue. Officials said new regulations could be drawn up by the end of 2014, provided there are no unnecessary delays caused by the EC.
Thedéen added that he “explained Mr. Guersent that with the current schedule Sweden aims to be ready by November or December” and added: “The European Commission gave no indication about their future behavior. Parties agreed to hold a dialogue at the official level. We hope they will not sue us.”
Supporters of casino gambling in Japan have agreed to consider imposing limits for local players.
After a very long debate, Japanese lawmakers are finally ready to agree on the details of the country’s new gambling laws. Politicians have long said they were considering following Singapore’s model, a state which allows casinos, but makes them off-limits for locals. This is seen as a solution to protect citizens from the potential harms of problem gambling and addiction, while at the same time making profits from a flourishing industry.
Politicians fighting for the legalization of casino games in Japan have had a lot of pressure to deal with from opponents, who threatened to block the entire process unless similar limits were set for locals. They said in order for the new regulations to pass, it was essential that lawmakers address the issue of problem gambling.
The revision would boost chances that the bill will be passed this year as proponents hope, although it is not yet clear whether enough anti-casino lawmakers will be persuaded to provide the support it needs in both houses of parliament.
Analysts have predicted that the Japanese gambling market would be worth tens of billions of dollars a year and local authorities are hoping the newly-opened industry will help revive and boost the economy. But experts added that these figures are based on the participation of Japanese players too, and without them casino resorts would struggle to make a profit.
Reuters: Japan lawmakers say open to limits on casinos in push for bill’s passage
The Japanese Parliament is expected to discuss the matter the next week. According to online gambling news, adopting the legislation would be an essential first step to unlocking a highly profitable gambling market. Amendments have been proposed to the draft bill, which was shown to reporters on Thursday.
“The government, for the purpose of preventing the negative effects of casino facilities by non-foreign visitors, will take necessary measures regarding admittance and capacity…,” said the amended section to the bill.
If the revised regulations pass, gambling venues will be limited to tourists. Japanese media wrote casino supporters might accept these terms, to make sure the law passes. But while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping that casinos will boost the economy, researchers say these businesses will struggle without Japanese players.
Sheldon Adelson, chief operating executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp said: “From our standpoint, I will say that we will not be interested in Japan or any other country on a foreigners-only basis. We can’t do that. Our business model won’t allow it.”
The Diplomat: Casinos and Japan’s Gambling Addiction
Pachinko parlors have been very popular in Japan for a long time now. These businesses make an estimated $187 billion every year, making them the most profitable leisure activity in the country.
Pachinko is considered to be “gaming” not gambling, but the Japanese are known to be huge fans of all forms of betting, which is why US investors are pushing for politicians to lift the ban and adopt new legislation favoring casinos.
Under the country’s current laws, playing pachinko for money is illegal. While parlors are not allowed to hand out cash, they have managed to find a loophole. Once players gather enough silver balls, they are allowed to trade them in for a “special prize,” usually consisting in small things like candy or a cigarette lighter. But when they leave the venue, winners can exchange their prizes for cash.
A recent government survey revealed that nearly five million people show signs that they might be addicted to gambling. The number represents almost 5% of the country’s adult population. Besides pachinko, players have the option to bet on horse racing, bicycles and speedboats, and these activities are perfectly legal.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping to boost tourism by legalizing casino gambling in the country, but authorities will have to come up with a policy to minimize the negative impact of gambling. Given how problematic addiction has become, introducing casino games in addition to pachinko could be a risky move.
GamingZion: Government Task Force to Help Speed up Casino Projects in Japan
The Japanese Government doesn’t have too much time to get the country’s casino industry going, so the administration has announced it was going to set up a special task force to help push things forward. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised to legalize casino gambling a long time ago, as part of a reform to revive the local economy.
The casino bill has been stuck in the Diet for several months, but the administration is hoping that the new task force will help hasten the process. Some believe the initiative was meant to show foreign investors that the Government is dedicated to the cause.
Major American gambling companies said they were willing to spend billions of dollars to build resorts in Japan, once the casino bill passes. However, things need to move forward fast, in order to get everything ready for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. If politicians don’t hurry up with the new legislation, they might miss out on billion-dollar investments.
Wearing a costume when picking up lottery jackpot seems to have become a weird tradition in China.
The latest gambling news reported that a Chinese lottery winner decided to celebrate his lucky win in style. Well… we wouldn’t quite call it “style”, but it was certainly special. The man put on a bear costume for the ceremony where he was handed the lottery cheque.
He wasn’t the only one to wear a special outfit when appearing in front of the cameras. A few months ago, a person dressed up as Mickey Mouse took home 398 million yuan, and in 2011 another lucky winner took the big 565 million yuan jackpot disguised as a panda. Others wore superhero masks to look like Power Rangers, Batman or Spiderman.
Apart from the lottery, China doesn’t allow gambling. But the prizes people win with lottery tickets would stir the envy of any casino winner. The latest prize is worth $84.8 million.
Lottery Post: Chinese lottery winner claims jackpot in bear costume
After winning the lottery in China, a man from Shanxi disguised himself as a silly cartoon bear to pick up his giant check worth 520 million yuan ($84.8 million). The man provided one of the most exciting press conferences this year and consequently appeared on several online news pages.
The RMB 520 million-cheque was issued by the welfare lottery of the Shanxi province and is the third largest jackpot handed out in the country’s history. The winner told reporters that he spent between 20,000 and 30,000 RMB ($3,250 – $4,900) on lottery tickets every year.
The odd tradition of wearing ridiculous costumes when picking up over-sized checks dates back 25 or so years. In August, Mickey Mouse won 398 million yuan, and in 2011 a panda took home a 565 million yuan jackpot.
It is believed that lottery winners disguise themselves in order to avoid being recognized by family, friends, enemies or the government, when their image is broadcasted on local television.
People Daily: ‘Mickey Mouse’ in Shandong wins a 400 million lottery
On August 11, 2014, the Sports Lottery Center in Shandong handed out a 397.6 million-yuan cheque to another big winner. At the interview, the man showed up dressed in a Mickey Mouse costume. He also used a device to change his voice.
The man has been buying sports lottery tickets for years, and told reporters that participating in the draw is the first step to winning. Despite being rich now, the man said he is planning to lead a normal life. He added that he would become more involved in charitable causes and try to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Zhang Yunhai, a manger in Sports Lottery Center of Shandong told reporters: “With a good heart, the winner voluntarily donated 20 million RMB to found a Sports Lottery Fund to help people in need in the society.”
This was the biggest lottery prize won in Shandong Province so far, and among the highest awarded in all of China.
What’s On Tianjin: China’s largest lottery winner claims US$88.5m prize in panda costume
34 days after hitting an amazing jackpot, a lottery winner showed up to claim his prize wearing a huge panda helmet. The winner is a 40-year-old self-employed businessman who lives in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province and has broken several lottery records.
The panda scored the biggest lottery prize awarded in China so far, worth a total 565 million yuan ($88.5 million). After paying 109 million yuan ($17.08 million) in taxes, he was left with a prize of 436 million yuan ($68.34 million). Out of that amount, 20 million yuan ($3.13 million) were donated to local charities helping the poor children and the elderly. The man then promised to continue giving money every year.
He seemed to have a very relaxed attitude towards his huge lottery win, as he waited over a month before actually claiming the money. In an interview with the local newspaper, he added that he’d been playing the lottery for 11 years and he often forgets to check the winning numbers. For a long time, he wasn’t even aware what huge prize awaited him.
The numbers on his winning ticket were chosen according to his schedule that day: he got up at 6, had breakfast at 7 and spent 9 yuan on breakfast.
Wall Street Journal: Batman Wins Chinese Lottery
Every week, Chinese newspapers have a story on a lottery winner who showed up to claim his prize in a costume. While some of them wear simple sunglasses or face masks, or just pull their hoods over their heads to avoid being recognized, others mix things up by dressing up as Batman or a medieval knight.
This isn’t at all a practical joke, but rather a “street-smart” etiquette in China. As people can take up to tens of millions of dollars in winnings, having that much money can also attract trouble. Whether it’s because they want to avoid getting threatening phone calls, or simply don’t want to be in the public’s attention, wearing disguises is the solution lottery winners have come up with.
Ironically, wearing such ridiculous costumes has brought these people in the center of attention, as bloggers and online news sites are now talking about their costumes, posting photos and choosing their favorite ones.
The fate of the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City will be decided later this week. The venue’s management claims the casino still has a chance to survive if the court allows the withdrawal of workers’ health care and pensions.
According to online gambling news, the Taj Mahal will close by November 13 if Trump Entertainment doesn’t get the union concessions. The Atlantic City gambling operator shut its other casino – the Trump Plaza – in September. Another three gambling venues closed this year, as Atlantic City has become less appealing to visitors over the past few years.
US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross said he would rule on the issue by October 17, and added that the issue needs “a lot of analysis” and that it’s “going to take a while” until he makes a decision.
Bloomberg: Trump Casinos Fate, Union Fight to Be Decided This Week
Lawyers representing Trump Entertainment have argued that the union contract includes an unsustainable cost of about $20 million a year. Given its current financial situation, the company cannot afford to pay that, which is why it asked to cut employee benefits.
If the case succeeds, the casino operator has better chances of getting businessman Carl Icahn’s $100-million support, which could help save the casino from closure. The lenders also want to convert part of Trump Entertainment’s $292 million debt into equity.
In addition to cutting employee pensions and health care, investors also asked for $175 million in tax relief from New Jersey and Atlantic City. The program would be deferred over 5 years and the local administration might have to pass new gambling laws.
The management of the casino is seeking to transfer workers from a traditional pension plan to a 401(k) program, and to move them from to a new health care program under Affordable Care Act sponsorship. To help pay for coverage, workers would receive a $2,000 stipend.
According to lawyer Kathy L. Krieger, the law doesn’t allow a union accord to be rejected unless it is “essential” to a company’s survival.
ABC News: Icahn Aide: Taj Has to Close If Union Pact Remains
Allan Brilliant, a lawyer for business investor Carl Icahn, told US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross that the casino company needs the financial relief in order to survive. Trump Entertainment has threatened to close the Taj Mahal by November 13 unless it can shed pension and health care obligations to its 3,000 employees.
“If you don’t grant the motion, it’s just not viable as a business,” Brilliant argued in front of the court. “Ultimately very quickly the casino will close. This is the window here; the window is open.”
Kris Hansen, who represented Trump Entertainment, added: “If you do grant it, we have a chance to stay alive. The cost structure of this casino doesn’t work, and it needs to be fixed. If we’re successful, employees get to keep their jobs, even though they made some concessions. Having a job is better than not having a job.”
In addition to union concessions, the company needs massive tax breaks from Atlantic City and New Jersey. Both administrations have already rejected the demand. The casino initially sought to have property taxes lowered by almost 80%. But Kathy Krieger, a lawyer for Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union, believes the investors are trying to profit on the backs of the low-wage casino employees.
“Let’s look at the poorest of the stakeholders here and make sure they give up everything permanently before we’re even willing to move. That’s absolute nonsense,” she said, adding that the businessman is “asking for major concessions that will give him a huge competitive advantage over every other casino in Atlantic City.”
After a negative response from Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and state Senate President Steve Sweeney, the company came forward with a different request, seeking $175 million in tax relief.
GamingZion: Union Members Make Strong Proposals to Keep Taj Mahal Open
Union members are also making efforts to stop the famous Atlantic City from closing and have proposed counteroffers to the company’s management.
While Trump Entertainment officials want to cut costs by getting rid of health care and pension plans, Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union has proposed an alternative solution: they said they would agree to smaller pension contributions, but they’re not willing to cancel pension funds altogether.
The two parties will be discussing details in a meeting, and Trump Entertainment CEO Robert Griffin did not want to comment on the union’s counteroffer. However, he added that the company “will remain committed to negotiating in good faith”.
“We hope to make the most of the three hours we will be meeting for on Friday,” he told reporters.
A Federal Judge decided to order down the closure of Chukchansi casino in California after different groups of Indian tribes got involved in an armed altercation at the gaming center. The Judge ruled that they may have endangered lives and posed considerable healthy risks to both employees and players that were present in the casino at the time of the event.
abc30.com: 1,300 employees out of work during Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino shutdown
Gambling news reports that the popular Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino has been closed under federal orders issued by an esteemed judge. Different Indian factions came to an armed standoff as part of efforts to take control of the gaming establishment which later lead to a lockdown of the casino.
Now the owners are pushing hard to have the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino reopened as soon as possible. Every single day that is remains closed serves a blow to their finances, as massive revenue is lost. Chukchansi Indian Co-Chairman Reggie Lewis stressed that the local community and employees depend on revenues generated by the casino operations.
“A lot of people depend on the casino. And since it has been opened, that’s the way everybody looks at it; it’s an asset, and we want to keep our asset functional,” stated Lewis. The casino was closed following an event that involved 20 gunmen storming into the building in an attempt to seize control of the entire establishment.
Reports indicate that the gunmen are part of a tribal faction led by Tex McDonald who stresses the casino is in fact theirs and all of the proceeds generated by Chukchansi belong to their tribe. “They came in here about a month ago and took our casino over, and they’re illegally here. So we came in and we claimed our casino.”
The Fresno Bee: Chukchansi casino closure puts planned events, interrupted gamblers in limbo
The Chukchansi is set to miss out on a great of events due to its closure. The alumni of Hoover High School were planning on staging a reunion event this upcoming Saturday, however now they won’t be able to do so considering the recent circumstances that led to current predicament that casino is in.
Stacey Olmos is one of the members of the reunion committee and she stated that the group gathered $7,500 from 167 Hoover graduates and paid the money to host the event at the prominent casino. With the Chukchansi now closed until further notice, they don’t seem to have any viable options to get the money back.
The altercations involved two Indian factions which led to some casino personnel in receiving injures as a result of the armed struggle. Separate groups of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians have been at it for a number of years. Now the casino has taken center stage as each faction is claiming that the popular gaming establishment belongs to them.
As a direct result of the attempted takeover that involved a hostile battle, the National Indian Gaming Commission and the state attorney general gave orders for the casino to be shut down. It has been reported that the faction that tried to take the casino is led by Tex McDonald, and that in fact the business initially belonged to them and not the current holders.
Yahoo! Finance: California casino is closed after armed standoff
Following the events that occurred last week at the Chukchansi casino, there seems to be no imminent reopening date set on the agenda for the popular establishment. Tribal factions were involved in an armed standoff involving the takeover, however officials have expressed that the casino may be closed for some time as they continue to investigate the circumstances.
Over a decade ago a similar event unfolded in Iowa that also involved two Indian factions. Two leadership factions were sanctioned by the National Indian Gaming Commission which marked the last casino closure that involved a politically motivated background in the US.
A tribal faction took control of the Meskwaki Casino & Hotel, however the action was not authorized by the federal government. Once the deadline for the rogue group to leave passed, the commission chairman released an order to temporarily close the business. Later the closure turned permanent and the owners had to wait a full 7 points until it could reopen.
Phil Hogen, a former NIGC chairman, highlighted, “The ones physically running the place were not recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and could not come to an agreement to put the recognized folks in place. From what I’ve heard about (Chukchansi), it’s much more explosive than Meskwaki.”
PoliticsHome: Four bookmakers set up watchdog to keep themselves in check
Latest gambling news reports that a federal judge by the name of Lawrence O’Neill ordered the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino to shut down after tribal factions tried to take control of the business. The judge was acting on emergency request from the state attorney general and has expressed that there is no immediate date set for the casino to reopen for the public.
After deciding that the casino posed a threat to the public, the National Indian Gaming Commission issued an express order for the establishment to be closed. Reports suggest that each faction controlled a different part of the casino, and neither wanted to stand down as they each believed they had the right to seize control of what is theirs.
Madera County Sheriff John Anderson stated that around 500 people quickly rushed out of the casino once they figured what was happening. He stressed that tension were high for weeks before leading up to the event that occurred on Thursday and has sought assistance on the matter from the state and federal officials.
Despite making no arrests in the lengthy process, the Sheriff’s department was able to cool down the tensions. Anderson said, “When they move the war into the casino, it meant we had to stop this. We have not been getting closer to a solution. If anything, we have gotten farther away.”
The week between October 7th and 13th was another busy week around the globe, therefore plenty of news. Good news first:
Formula 1 made a comeback in Russia after 100 years. The Nobel Prize for peace was awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai and the Honorary Dame Grand Cross was awarded to Angelina Jolie by the Queen Elisabeth II of Great Britain.
Moving onto the bad news, another country leader made the news by simply ‘showing up’; Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance in 40 days. Awful news came from the health sector: a patient diagnosed with Ebola died in the US and another one just got infected in Spain. In Africa, hundreds are still dying. People have died in India as well due to Cyclone Hudhud and in Hong Kong, protesters were still marching for democracy.
The gambling news were interesting as well. Let’s take a look at the pics, first!
1. Singapore failed at choosing words in the campaign against gambling but succeed in banning gambling activities.
2. The Trump name shall only be associated with ‘high standards of luxury’. It was decided in court that the famous surname will be removed from Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal, now tapped out casinos.
3. Phil Ivey’s case of edge-sorting and exploiting casino’s failures was declared cheating, in court. The poker player will not have access to his winnings.
4. Floyd Mayweather showed everybody that he is not only a good sportsman, but also a good sports bettor. And a very, very rich man.
5. New and stricter gambling laws are expected in the Czech Republic. Foreign gambling operators are welcomed as well in a hope to boost tax revenues.
6. New gambling laws, new taxes in the UK as well. The Court granted ‘green light’ for implementing the anticipated legal amendments, despite Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association objections.
7. Ka-Ching! 350 people bought vintage gambling machines worth $2,381,700 at the Victorian Casino Antiques auction. The unique gambling items once belonged to the iconic Las Vegas Harrah’s Hotel and Casino.
That was it for the past seven days. If you want to stay informed with the latest gambling news, read the Gambling Results’ top stories section!
Police are still investigating the details of the explosion that shook Kuala Lumpur last week.
Authorities are now looking for a man who goes by the name Ah Hai, a gambling kingpin said to be the leader of one of the biggest illegal gambling syndicates in Malaysia. Police officers indicated the incident was linked to “an underworld tussle”, and they believe Ah Hai was the main target of the blast.
Police said the 53-year-old man was involved in another incident earlier in August, when he was arrested for threatening an officer with a gun. Ah Hai is also known to be a gangster, a former drug dealer and assistant to a secret society leader.
Online gambling news have reported that investigators have spoken to some of the victims, as well as other witnesses, but haven’t made any arrests yet.
The Star: Six Bukit Bintang nightspots raided as hunt for ‘Ah Hai’ continues
Six nightclubs in Bukit Bintang have been raided as police officers continue their search for “Ah Hai”, the suspected target in the grenade attack at Sun Complex. According to CID chief Senior Asst Comm Gan Kong Meng, police conducted raids on six outlets over the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday.
“We raided three outlets and checked a total of 405 people and arrested two people for allowing underaged individuals into an entertainment outlet and opening an entertainment outlet past the stipulated closing time,” he told reporters.
“Bukit Aman personnel including a Special Task Force on Organized Crime (STAFOC) team raided three other outlets and checked 215 people and rescued three Vietnamese women under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act.
“The three are believed to have been exploited for sex,” he added.
The Straits Times: Bukit Bintang blast: Kuala Lumpur police on the hunt for gambling kingpin
Malaysian police are looking for “Ah Hai”, the gambling kingpin and reported target of the grenade attack that took place in a shopping district in Kuala Lumpur. One man died and 12 were injured in the hit attempt at the center.
Investigators heard statements from the victims and believe the attack was carried out by two men. No arrests have been made so far. Police chief Tajuddin Md Isa said “Ah Hai” could be a crucial witness. The man was allegedly involved in a case in Sentul, in August, when he was charged with aiming a gun at a policeman.
“Ah Hai” is a gang leader who broke gambling laws by running an illegal online casino. His business grew to become one of the largest underground betting syndicates in Malaysia, and the media wrote he was even working with a former police officer as his right-hand man.
“He may have angered rival gangs as he encroached into their territory when expanding his business ventures,” a source told The Star newspaper.
The blast took place in an area popular with tourists, and locals believe it came as a result of gangland turf wars. Two grenades were thrown at cars in front of the Cherry Blossom nightclub, a place “Ah Hai” visits at least twice a month. Newspapers reported he is part of Gang 21, one of the country’s largest organized groups of criminals.
Yahoo News: Cops on hunt for ‘Ah Hai’, target of Bukit Bintang bomb blast
The hunt for gambling overlord Ah Hai continues. Police disclosed that the 53-year-old man had pointed a gun at a police officer earlier in August, after being asked to provide his personal documents during a routine check in Sentul.
Ah Hai was arrested after the incident, but later he was released on police bail. A police source said the man was a “bold gangster”, who was once the personal assistant to Lik Gor, a notorious secret society leader known as The Boss of Golden Palace.
“We don’t think he has fled the country. I think he is laying low and we are exhausting all our sources to find him as he will be able to shed light into investigations,” city police chief DCP Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa told reporters.
Back in 2006, Ah Hai was suspected of being involved in one of the country’s largest illegal betting operations and was high on the wanted list. Police had previously arrested him under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 for drug trafficking and possession.
The Malaysian Insider: Car jockey killed, 13 hurt in Jalan Bukit Bintang blast
A car jockey was killed and 13 others were injured in a blast in Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. A hand grenade exploded in front of a pub and police said Tiong Kwang Yie, a 36-year-old car jockey died in the incident.
“Police received a complaint at 4.25 am and sent a dispatch to the Cherry Blossom nightclub to ascertain the damage. Initial reports indicate that two hand grenades had been thrown from the second floor of a building,” Kuala Lumpur CID chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Gan Kong Meng told reporters.
Nine men and four women aged between 20 and 42, including nationals from Thailand, China and Singapore, were sent to the hospital after being injured in the blast.
“Initial investigations reveal that two hand grenades were thrown but only one exploded. Shrapnel from the hand grenade caused injuries to passers-by,” Gan explained.
Four vehicles were also damaged in the blast. The second hand grenade, which failed to explode, was found under one of the cars.
The UK Government will move forward with its plan to tax remote gambling companies who cater to British players.
The court has given the British Government the green light to implement its new gambling laws. The decision comes after the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association challenged the government’s new licensing and taxation policies in court, hoping to receive approval to continue catering to British players remotely, without actually paying taxes in the UK.
For several years now, top gambling operators – including big names like William Hill, Ladbrokes or bet365 – have been running their online casinos and betting services from places like Gibraltar, Malta or Isle of Man. These offshore jurisdictions have much lower taxes than the UK, allowing gambling companies to pocket millions of pounds that would normally go to the British government.
The industry has been preparing for the big tax change, which is expected to cost it around GBP300 million a year, but the move has also caused share prices to drop. British bookmaker William Hill saw its shares fall 3.3%, while Ladbrokes shares dropped more than 4% following the court’s decision.
Reuters: RPT- Court clears Britain to take tighter control of online gambling
In order to tighten controls on the online betting industry, the British Government will require all internet gambling companies to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission before providing their services on the local market.
With the new license comes an additional 15% tax on online profits made from bets placed by UK-based customers, which is scheduled to come into force on December 1. As of March 2015, bookmakers will also pay 20 to 25% more on lucrative high stakes gambling machines. It is estimated that this tax increase will cost betting companies around GBP75 million a year.
As for the new gambling act, officials had initially set the deadline for October 1, but were forced to postpone the measures until November 1 after the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) challenged them in court, claiming they contravened European laws guaranteeing free movement of services.
Judge Nicholas Green dismissed the appeal on Friday, saying: “Parliament was clearly within its rights to act as it did.”
“We remain concerned the UK regulator will find it difficult to hold companies to account in jurisdictions outside of the EU where it has no legal powers and common legal framework or culture,” the GBGA wrote in a statement.
Critics argue that the new regulations will result in unlicensed operators offering better odds on sports scores, thus encouraging gamblers to turn to illegal websites, which offer no consumer protection.
GBGA: “Unlawful’” Gambling Law Poses “New Danger” for Consumers
Earlier in June, the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) raised a few issues regarding the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, labeling it as “unlawful”, and claiming that it “threatens the safety of consumers online.”
The new regime will require the UK Gambling Commission to police the online industry worldwide, which will be very difficult. GBGA chief Peter Howitt believes that the new law, combined with planned tax changes, will cause local players to migrate to the unregulated market.
“This is bad for UK consumers, bad for the regulated industry, bad for Gibraltar and is in breach of European law, but fantastic news for operators who choose to avoid proper regulation,” he said in a statement.
“We know of no precedent where any regulator in any industry will be granted the role of licensing and regulating operators all over the world in this way, threatening to criminalize companies and people who fail to submit to its regime. This is plainly unworkable.”
In addition to being “unlawful” and “unworkable”, the new law is also “unnecessary”, the association said. Gibraltar has one of the world’s most effective regulatory regimes and would continue to be responsible for its gambling industry, but it would also have to share information with the UK regulator on a formal basis.
In a statement released by the GBGA, the association’s lawyers added: “All this Act achieves is a wholly unjustified, disproportionate and discriminatory interference with the right to free movement of services, a right enshrined in European Law.”
Gaming Intelligence: Pinnacle Sports to shut down UK operations
Curaçao-licensed betting operator Pinnacle Sports announced that it will withdraw from the UK market. The company decided to stop catering to British players after the Government announced it was introducing tighter regulations under the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014.
At the beginning of September, the company sent a notification to all its customers, announcing it will shut down its UK operations from September 30th. Apart from withdrawals, all account functions have been disabled starting September 30. The restriction applies to subscribers who have listed UK as their place of residence, in their account details.
“Amendments to the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act come into force on October 1st, 2014 requiring all companies that advertise or provide gambling services to British residents to obtain a license from the British Gambling Commission,” the betting operator explained in a statement.
Pinnacle is just one of the many online gambling operators who chose to withdraw from the British market due to the 15% point of consumption tax. The list also includes SBOBet and 12BET, both licensed in Isle of Man, and Gibraltar-based Mansion casino.