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Archive for January, 2015

 

Jan 27, 2015

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Categories: post-tournaments
 
 

Lack of a License, Yet One Lakh to Play, in Ritzy Gurgaon Casino

Jan 12, 2015
Illegal Casino India

Indian illegal gambling has been exposed

The laws that cover gambling in India are a bit particular. Most forms of gambling are actually illegal on a federal level. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 clearly states that the running or visiting a public gaming house is punishable by modest fines or prison terms.The states of Goa and Sikkim, however, allow casinos on their territories. However, despite these strict laws, people always find ways to beat the system, as is the case with the illegal gambling rig in upscale Gurgaon that was recently discovered by the police. 

The Times Of India: Police unearths illegal Casino in Gurgaon, 43 arrested

Police dismantled an illicit but thriving casino gambling racket, off the gambling blog radar, for the first time ever, in a high class residential colony of DLF phase 2, in Gurgaon. The raid took place between late Saturday night and the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The authorities have begun further investigations and a case under different sections of the IPC and Gambling Act has been registered against the detainees, an official spokesman confirmed on Sunday.
According to reliable sources, a resident of Gurgaon, Naresh Malhotra, was the leader of the gambling rig, renting the bungalow in the colony, and hiring five girls from Kathmandu, in Nepal, to act as card dealers.

In addition to the five girls who were expert casino machine handlers, there were a total of 15 men who were hired as front office men, cashiers and bouncers.

The building’s entrance was constantly under CCTV cameras surveillance, hidden in Malhotra’s office. Only the rich and influential patrons were allowed to enter.

The building housed a reception office on the first floor, a ritzy casino in the basement, and a foreign liquor-selling bar – all illegal. Card playing was also played in an empty piece of land next to building, police reports stated.

A cash counting machine was retrieved from the bungalow, which led police to believe that there was huge cash flow going on. Investigations are ongoing to learn more about how the illegal operations contacted clients, etc., an official source revealed.

NDTV: One Lakh to Play at Biggest Table at Busted Casino Near Delhi

An address kept secret among the influential men of Gurgaon and its surroundings, housed a prosperous illegal casino near Delhi, for a whole 30 thirty days before being busted by the cops. And all one needed to play at the big-stakes tables was a lakh, in real money.

The King Club casino, enticed an exclusive public from its den, in a high-class residential neighborhood of Gurgaon, on the other side of the Haryana border. In the raiding operation, over the weekend, by the local police, 43 people were taken into custody.

Among those arrested were five women who reportedly worked as card dealers in the casino. The casino consisted of a three-story house and a basement.

The police revealed that it found approximately $32, 000 in local cash. It was estimated that one hundred clients a day frequented the underground casino hub.

The King Club’s operator, a man named Naresh Malhotra confessed that he employed fifteen men who served as bouncers and who were told to always be on the lookout for cops.

During his police interrogation, Malhotra also said that no one was allowed to enter the house without his consent.

The raid took place after dawn and a senior police officer Deepak Saharan said that the five women, who were a part of the staff, were card dealers, hired from Kathmandu, in Nepal.

Security cameras, placed in Malhotra’s office, as well as outside, on the premises, were installed to warn of any presence that may disrupt the flourishing, illegal casino.

The police was tipped off by a resident, who remains anonymous, who said he became suspicious when ritzy cars streamed in every night on a piece of land next to where the bungalow-hidden casino stood.

NDTV: Casino busted in posh Gurgaon colony; 43 arrested

Late Saturday night, Gurgaon police busted an illegal casino operation. The operated encouraged illicit betting, among rich and influential patrons, as they played dice, cards and poker, in a house, in L-block of DLF City phase 2, in the city.

After the raid, a total of forty three people were apprehended. Among those arrested, were five women, all staff members, from Nepal. The casino had three floors, with 29 rooms and a basement.

An equivalent of $33,000 from the gambling den operation was seized during the raids. The case was registered at the DLF City Phase-2 police station, accusing the 43 detainees as breaching the gambling and excise acts, on Sunday morning.

The policemen carried out a search in the establishment which yielded a live ‘dice joint’ in full swing, on the ground floor. The 5.6 square meter house had its casino designed by a professional, from Nepal.

The house owner was a Mr. Rajender Yadav. Yadav rented it to one Mr. Naresh Malhotra. Malhotra dabbled in shares and stock market. He had been operating the illegal casino, in breach of the very stringent Indian gambling laws for over a month.

The hallways, akin to high stakes casinos of Nepal and Goa, and poker tables, were housed in the basement. Chic high rollers placed bets, using chips of various denominations ranging from 1000 to 25000.

Ramesh Pal of the ACP (DLF) said they were tipped off by a suspicious resident who said he thought there was a possibility that for the past 30 days a casino was being operated out of a neighboring rented house.

Malhotra had two partners and they were using the building as a guest house too for their patrons. They had hired five women from Kathmandu, Nepal, who had five years’ experience each, in working in casinos.

The entry fee was a mere $1.7 5 (1 lakh) and more than 100 patrons walked through those doors every day, police revealed. Pal also said that the businessman placed bets in Indian currency. When the police arrived on the scene, 6 people were placing bets and 2 staff members played the role of token dealers.

The vacant plot next to the building made it possible for cars to park there. The casino was opened between 10 at night and 5 in the morning. An illegal bar was being tended in the basement and the police confiscated 100 bottles of IMFL.

The police impounded tokens worth over $214,431. 10 Nepalese, in all, had been employed at the gambling den. The businessmen provided them with shelter, food and a salary, Pal continued.

One of the neighbors, Vinod Bansal said that as far as he knew, the building was being used as a guest house prior to recent renovations and a notable amount of people, coming and going. He did say however that there was never any loud music or other nuisances, even if there were cars all night and lots of women.

Deepak Saharan of the DCP (East), praised the police force for their efforts in catching the casino in full action. He proclaimed that although other illegal casinos have been raided in the past, it was never in such an upscale neighborhood. By late Sunday, all 43 persons had been released on bail, by the duty magistrate.

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Categories: post-tournaments | gambling
 
 

2015 Sees the Launch of Ontario’s First Online Gaming Site Amidst Debate

Jan 09, 2015
Ontario Lottery online

Lottery is online in Ontario

There is a lot to be excited about as, in the latest gambling news, Ontario opened up its first online gambling site. This means gambling has never been more accessible to Ontarians, at least in a legal way. Although the company will give over much-needed tax revenues to help the government erase its $12.5 billion deficit, opposition parties beg to differ.

The New Democrats (ND) and Progressive Conservatives (PC) strongly feel that making gambling more accessible carries too many risks. For one, there is no sure way of monitoring under-aged gamblers from going on the online website.

Secondly, the site will prey on fragile gamblers. And last, but certainly not least, the ND and the PC feel that the government is not moving forward, by using a gambling strategy to get rid of its debts and to boost economy. Let us see what all sides have to say, through trusted news media.

Northumberland News: Ontario Launches online Gambling site

Ontario welcomed its first online gaming site, PlayOLG, launched last Thursday, January 8, 2015, by The Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG). OLG disclosed that, in keeping with Canadian gambling laws, the provincial government will be getting further tax revenues,thanks to the site,in addition to the $1.8 billion already being paid.

Relief is probably what was felt when PlayOLG went live, following a series of pre-trial testing. OLG had solicited members of its OLG Rewards program to test the site to see if it was internet-worthy. Gamblers will be able to play the virtual versions of games they would normally play in a casino.

So people can play blackjack, baccarat, single person poker and slots. Lottery tickets for Lotto Max and Lotto6/49 may be bought on the site although not from a mobile device. Mobile applications will be made available to the public, at a later date, when the online site will establish enough new games to do so.

Registration and a weekly maximum bet of $9, 999 are mandatory. However players can also obtain cash directly from bank accounts or credit cards. The expected amount to be deposited by the average gambler is about $75 to $80 weekly. PlayOLG hopes to attract some of the $500 million currently being spent on unregulated online sites in the province.

John Wisternoff, OLG Vice President, exclaimed that the company was thrilled with the milestone launching in Ontario, especially in the company’s move to modernize. Ontario follows in the footsteps of British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and all the Atlantic provinces who paved the way in offering online gambling in Canada.

The Progressive Conservatives (PC) were among those who were less than enthused about the launch. The PC harshly criticized the Liberals as searching for “nickels and dimes in the couch cushions, rather than trying to control their spending”. The New Democrats reiterated the view, adding that “the Liberal government’s gambling strategy isn’t progressive and will put vulnerable people at risk”/

Decidedly, in a bid to ease its $12.5 billion deficit by 2017-18, the liberal government may be heading for “social problems down the road from expanded gambling” warns Catherine Fife, also of the PC. She adds that “The research and the evidence points to expanding online gambling leading to increased addiction and increased debt”, said Fife.

Guelph Mercury: Ontario Launches Online Gambling Website

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) pledged to pay out more money to the provincial government when it launched its new online site, PlayOLG. This is a first in Ontario, following in the footsteps of British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec, who have already established online gambling in Canada.

The site was launched on Thursday, January 8, 2015. Gamblers can now indulge in casino-style games including blackjack, baccarat, poker, roulette and slots online. Players can also buy lottery tickets directly on the new OLG site.

OLG says that as Ontarians currently fork out $500 million a year on illegal online gambling sites they may turn to PlayOLG, as the legal and welcomed alternative. Ontarians will be asked to register to access the new site. Players will have to set obligatory weekly maximums on a weekly basis and may withdraw cash from bank accounts or use credit cards.

The Star: Ontario’s new online gambling website carries risks, says addiction centre

Both victory and downfall is being predicted by a spokesperson from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health with regards to the government’s gambling strategy. This is in reference to the OLG launching of Ontario’s first online gambling site, last Thursday, January 8, 2015.

The Manager of education and community resources at the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario, CAMH, Robert Murray said of PlayOLG, that the new online site may attract new gamblers who hadn’t dared to venture on to unregulated gaming sites.

Murray feels that since the PlayOLG has been endorsed by the government, under gambling laws, the gamblers will come out in numbers as it seems to offer convenience and a sense of security. This means though, that consequently, it will cause problems and may even lead to bankruptcy and suicide.

In its defense, Ryan Bissonnette, an OLG spokesperson, says gamblers will have $9, 999 limit per week. Only players 18 and up can play if they are an Ontario resident and must play within the province. He added that responsible gambling was key and PlayOLG offers privacy, safety and security.

OLG is keen to get some of the estimated $400 million to $500 million being injected into gambling elsewhere by some 500,000 Ontario gamblers. To get this much more clients and money, they are willing to pledge to hand over an estimated $375 in revenues to the province, over five years.

Ontario has now joined the ranks of British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and all of the Atlantic Provinces who already have online gambling sites offering gambling online guides, which feature slots and table games and which also sell lottery tickets.

Toronto Sun: OLG’s online gambling site launches provincewide.

PlayOLG, the first online gambling site, was launched on Thursday, January 8, under government approval. OLG hopes the venture will bring in around S375 million in profits, over the next five years. It declined however to reveal the total revenue projected or how much the private sector operator should expect to be getting.

Play-for-real and Play-for-free games include blackjack and single person poker games like Kitty Glitter were being offered to players. Tony Bitonti, OLG spokesman, revealed that a preview, by invitation only, was extended to 50, 000 loyal customers.

Thanks to the sneak treat and feedback from the mostly pleased 3,500 cutomers, who accepted the invitation, the company was able to carry out improvements on the registration and verification, before the provincewide launch went ahead. A password protection and identity verification were established to prevent underaged players from accessing the site.

The venture however raised a lot of criticism from the Progresseive Conservative party (PC) and the New Democrats party (ND). Vic Fedeli, a MPP of the PC, said that the government only approved the venture so it could get some easy money by preying on the vulberable people who will be taken in by the online site.

In the face of such accusations, OLG retaliated by saying that it has made it mandatory for gamblers to pre-register, and to set up up a $9, 999 deposit on a weekly basis. PlayOLG also offers voluntary controls for time-limit play requests. Under 18s cannot buy lottery tickets either.

OLG is hoping that people in Ontario will move away from the grey area market sites where they are spending between $400 and 500 million a year, and play on the PlayOLG site instead. With an expected revenue of over $375 to be accumulated in the next five years, it is no wonder that OLG boasts of ‘excitement being only a click away’ to lure the over 19 year olds to play online.

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Macau Gambling Hub’s Declining Revenues Cause for Alarm

Jan 06, 2015
Macau gambling revenues

Macau’s gambling revenues are decreasing

In 2014, Macanese gaming revenue decreased 2.6% to $54.4 billion. This is the first nose-dive of profits ever to be recorded, in 11 years, since 2002, when gambling laws liberated the casino market to competition. Revenues plunged 30.4% cent to $9 billion in the last month of 2014, making it the seventh straight month that profits have been waning.Macau, the largest gambling hub in the world, has seen its revenues steadily decline at an alarming rate last year. Analysts and gambling operators alike are speculating if the global recession is the main cause or is Jingping’s clampdown on illegal money laundering the main cause for concern.The Sidney Morning Herald: James Packer among billionaires hit by $100 billion Macau casino losses

The Chinese government crackdown on corruption in the gambling stronghold of Macau has left a whopping $100 billion hole in the market value of the six Macau casino stocks in 2014. The campaign, including the fight against debit card scams, impacted negatively on gambling activities. This has caused the gambling hub to experience its very first slump in gambling returns since 2002.

Australian billionaire James Packer, and other gambling operators, such as his joint venture partner’s father Stanley, or yet still anti-online gambling campaigner Sheldon Adelson, have all their casinos in a rut. Meanwhile analysts converge and discuss what all this could mean for the world’s largest gambling resort and its fortunes.

The Hong Kong exchange recently revealed in online mobile news, that all six Macau casino stocks listed a combined loss in market value amounting to $92 billion, in the 12 months up to December 31. The parent company Crown Resorts has 33.6 per cent of the joint venture and Ho another 33.6%.

Melco Crown alone lost a whopping $8 billion in market capitalization during last year. The fall represents a 35% decline in stock value just a year after the company’s value doubled, when gambling revenue increased 19% per cent.

However, the current decline in market capitalization has left the company opting to withdraw from the Hong Kong exchange, citing difficulties in raising funds and the need to limit share trades. Crown Resorts, said it was determined though to stick it out in the NASDAQ listings.

Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands’ subsidiary, Sands China, fared even worse. It hit a record low market capitalization of all the six stocks, with a mere $26 billion in profits. 40% loss in stock value was reported in 2014. Stanley Ho’s SJM Holdings, came out a little less scathed, with a 52 % loss in value, representing a market capitalization decline of $7 billion.

Channel News Asia: Melco Crown to delist in HK after Macau revenue slump

Hong Kong businessman Lawrence Ho and, James Packer, son of the defunct Australian media and gambling magnate, Kerry Packer, have communicated, in the latest gambling news that Melco Crown Entertainment has had its first plunge in profits ever, in Macau.

Melco Crown’s City of Dreams resort complex stock would be removed from the Hong Kong stock exchange in order to save costs and for practical reasons. For, to carry the listing would demand ‘additional ongoing regulatory compliance obligations and such requirements involve significant additional costs’.

The company went on to say that for now a solution hasn’t been found to increase profits even with a market capitalization of close to US$14 billion. However it also stated that it would keep its security on the official register of the NASDAQ in the US. Friday, 2 January, 2015 shares closed at a low 4.88% at US$24.16.

The ex-Portuguese colony reported on January 2 that gambling yields went down 2.6% year-on-year to US$44 billion last year. This has been the only decline since yearly numbers were made available to the public as of 2002.

Macau, China’s only legal casino gambling hub, relies heavily on high rollers from mainland China. However, big spenders are being scared off by the anti-corruption campaign launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his government to clamp down on Chinese officials accepting bribes. This has resulted in a slowdown in the mainland economy which directly affects casino earnings.

The Sidney Morning Herald: Packer’s Melco Crown set to quit Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Melco Crown Entertainment whose Macau casino is jointly owned by James Packer’s Crown Resorts and Macau gaming mogul Lawrence Ho has revealed that it will pull out of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange because of the immense pressure to raise money and limit share trades. However, it will remain on the NASDAQ, where its ‘shareholders are far more active’.

The company says it hopes that this move will not adversely affect the asset value or earnings for each share. It explains its actions by citing that “Appropriate opportunities to raise additional equity in Hong Kong have not arisen and maintaining the listing requires additional ongoing regulatory compliance obligations and such requirements involve significant additional costs and administrative burden”.

Crown Resorts who owns 33.6 % of the company and Ho, the same, now have to contend with decreased numbers of gamers from the mainland. Macau, which was once swarmed with eager punters who had just a little more than the China welfare lottery from mainland China, have had better days since public records started to reveal gambling revenues in 2002.

Chinese government’s campaign against illegal cash flow between the gaming hub and its officialdom has been blamed for the crisis at hand. Just last year October Crown Resorts hoped for a turnaround but come year end the chief executive, Rowen Craigie, admitted that “market conditions in Macau did weaken during the fourth quarter of financial year 2014”.

Some analysts speculate that gambling revenues may pick up by 10% in 2015, others think a decline of 9% is more likely to happen. Given the current worldwide financial crisis, the actual outcome will be like that of the toss of a coin – no one really knows.

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Categories: post-tournaments | gambling | lottery | casino