A modern-day Robin Hood has emerged on the Las Vegas scene and some families couldn’t be happier. This anonymous professional gambler, known only as Robin Hood 702, is a high-stakes blackjack player who puts his money to good use through personal charity. Here’s more on his story:
eCanadaNow: Modern Day Gambling Robin Hood
A modern day Robin Hood “702” has emerged in the gambling world and has already donated $35,000 to a needy family. The fortunate family, from Detroit, has a daughter with brain cancer and was in dire need of money.
A website was set up for those who want to be considered for a donation again this year. Families in dire financial need must submit videos explaining why they need the money. He will pick the family that touches his heart most. Those looking for publicity should leave Robin Hood 702 alone.
The blackjack gambler will fly the chosen family to Las Vegas. They will watch him play and, whether he wins or loses, he will pay at least half of their bills. Robin Hood’s good friend will match the final cash donation. He will not be gambling to earn the money.
Thaindian News: Blackjack Robin Hood to help two deserving families this year
Last year, a modern Robin Hood helped a family out of debt and to begin life anew. This year, he has roped in more benefactors, and plans to help not 1, but 2 families who face a financial crisis and need immediate help.
He is as a “self-made man and expert blackjack player” and will help a family based on their video submission. He will fly them to Vegas and provide an all-expense paid weekend, including a true high-roller suite, show tickets, spa appointments, and meals. His website claims, “You will live like the high roller Robin Hood 702 is, then watch him win the money you need to become debt-free.” He guarantees that if you’re selected, at least half of your bills will get paid no matter what happens at the table. Last years family got this special treatment and $35,000.
“I’m looking for anyone that’s in debt … that needs some help” says the anonymous gambler, who will be working the tables to raise money for another family in need. “I’m going to look for the story that’s really going to touch my heart. That’s it.”
Fox News: Modern-Day Robin Hood
Robin Hood 702 is a high stakes blackjack player known in Vegas casinos for wagering thousands of dollars a hand, sometimes winning and losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single day.
Now he’s offering his skills, and his own money, to help a family in need. He wants to remain anonymous to keep the focus on the good deed he’s ready to do.
“I’m looking for a well deserving family up against hard times. People $25,000 to $50,000 in debt who did right by family or neighbors in the past. Now it’s their time to be helped and I want to be the one to help them.”
He’s created a website, Robinhood702.com, where he’ll collect submissions now through Sept. 15 before choosing a winner. Anyone can nominate a friend, relative, neighbor or themselves, by sending a video explaining their hardships, contributions or other reasons they should be chosen. He’ll choose a winner after confirming the details of their story and financial crisis.
The chosen family is promised “an unforgettable experience” in Las Vegas or a similar gaming venue. He’ll fly them in, put them up in a high-roller suite and cover meals, spa treatments and show tickets. He’ll go into the casino’s VIP high-limit room and win the money necessary to pay off their debt.
“What if you lose?” I ask him. “I won’t” he insists.
He doesn’t recommend that others try this and says he knows some perceive gambling as “the dark side,” but he believes he can use it to do good and says he hopes to start a national movement, with people using their skills or expertise in other fields to help families in crisis.
“My goal,” he says, “is to save someone’s house, pay their debts and win back their American dream.”
Robin Hood 702 is a pro blackjack player who will choose a needy family and pay off at least half of their debts while they live like high-rollers.
Australian newspaper, “The Mail,” published the summary of an exchange that they had with a mysterious Australian, in which he offered to sell the personal details of 4.5M Ladbrokes betting customers this weekend. The police, Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office, and The Mail are working together to resolve the matter.
The Herald Sun: Mystery Aussie in Ladbrokes breach
A mystery Aussie approached UK newspaper, The Mail, and offered to sell confidential information about millions of punters who’ve placed bets with bookmaker Ladbrokes. The newspaper was given 10,000 Ladbrokes customers’ personal information including addresses, account numbers, phone numbers, and gambling histories on Sunday after the man claimed to have cracked the bookmaker’s 4.5 million member database.
Ladbrokes is contacting its punters to assure safety on credit card details, passwords and other financial information. The police were also contacted and informed of the breach. The matter’s also under investigation by Britain’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The Australian, “Daniel,” offered to sell the database, claiming that he worked as a computer security consultant for Ladbrokes in Britain 2 years ago.
“We’ve been informed that a person connected to our organisation offered details from a customer database to the Mail on Sunday,” Ciaran O’Brien, head of PR at Ladbrokes stated. “This is a criminal act and we are working with the police, the ICO and the newspaper to identify and apprehend the culprit.”
Mail Online: For sale: Personal details of millions of Ladbrokes gamblers, offered to the MoS by a mysterious Australian
Millions of British gamblers’ confidential records were offered for sale to The Mail on Sunday. The huge data theft is at the center of an investigation after the paper was given personal information about 10,000 Ladbrokes customers and offered access to its 4.5 million member database.
Last night we alerted Ladbrokes of the breach and handed the customer files to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which immediately began to investigate. The records include home addresses, gambling histories, customer account numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers and email addresses.
Ladbrokes contacted the police and started to reassure customers that credit card details, passwords and other financial information is safe.
During protracted negotiations via email and in one phone call, the man who offered to sell the information gave his name only as ‘Daniel’ and claimed to represent an Australian company. The Mail received an email from ‘Daniel’ Sunday, saying that he was ending negotiations and warning against passing his details to the authorities.
The Mail was first approached by ‘Daniel’ earlier this month. He said he had been passed the data by a ‘relatively junior’ employee, who was trying to sell it on. ‘Daniel’ claimed that his initial intention was to tip Ladbrokes off about the breach, but he then decided it would be better to contact the media.
IT Wire: Ladbrokes secures personal data, wanna bet?
A data breach of 4.5M Ladbrokes customers’ personal and gambling details emerged over the weekend. Ladbrokes are adamant that customers are safe. An exposing summary of an exchange with ‘Daniel’ of Melbourne was publically displayed by the newspaper, “the Mail,” on Sunday.
Prior to going public, the paper passed all information to Britain’s data oversight group, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a more formal investigation.
‘Daniel’ claimed to be from DSS Enterprises, an organization run by Dinitha Subasinghe. The newspaper did not indicate whether ‘Daniel’ spoke with an accent.
Initially, ‘Daniel’ told the newspaper that he was going to contact Ladbrokes but decided to contact the media directly with the information that he’d been passed the stolen data by a relatively junior employee of Ladbrokes who was trying to sell it on.
Playtech announced yesterday that they have formed a joint venture with Scientific Games, a US company that has strategic ties with state lottery operators. Through the new partnership, Playtech will provide online gambling software for use in gaming terminals currently offered by Scientific Games in the UK. The venture places Playtech in a prime position to re-enter the US online gambling market should it open in the future.
Financial Times: Playtech gets ahead of the game
Playtech made a huge step forward in the global lottery market by sealing a deal with Scientific Games, a gaming services provider in the US. The deal gives Scientific Games access to government contracts, and provides a boost to its Videobet machines business.
As US state governments begin to legislate for online gambling, their local lottery operators need online casino, poker, bingo and other online gambling products to remain competitive.
Fortunately for Playtech, Scientific Games supplies lottery systems in 31 US jurisdictions. This gives Playtech a direct route into a market that it was forced to exit back in 2006, when the Bush administration closed the doors to online gambling in the US.
Playtech’s chief executive Mor Weizer said: “This secures our position in the US and provides a great opportunity if and when the US market is regulated.”
After the announcement, Playtech shares jumped 18% to 515p, bringing it back to levels last not seen since August 2008.
Wall Street Journal: Playtech Signs Joint Ventures With Scientific Games
Playtech Ltd., a designer, developer and licensor of software for the online and land-based gambling industry, recently announced the creation of a strategic partnership with New York-based Scientific Games Corp. The partnership will see the companies jointly develop and market next-generation online and land-based gambling products and services to regulated gaming operators in the US and abroad.
Reuters: Playtech forms joint venture with Scientific Games
Online gambling software provider Playtech just announced the formation of a strategic partnership with US-based lottery operator Scientific Games.
The joint venture is called Scriplay. A statement released yesterday by Playtech Chief Executive Mor Wizer and Scientific Games Chief Exectutive Mike Chambrello described how the venture will combine Playtech’s technological expertise with Scientific Games’ experience and strong relationships with US state lotteries.
The statement further explains that the companies will “jointly develop and market next-generation internet and land-based gaming products and services to regulated gaming operators in the U.S. and other countries”.
“We have highly complementary skill-sets allied with a global reach and this partnership provides the opportunity to leverage off this combined know-how to maximum effect.”
After the announcement, shares in Playtech were trading at 475.5 pence, up 9%, valuing the business at 1.14 billion pounds ($1.86 billion).
A new bill was just introduced to the state senate of New Jersey that would allow Atlantic City casinos to offer online gambling services. The game terminals would have to be located in restricted areas of casinos and racetracks, and all equipment would have to be located within the boundaries of the city, making this more “local intranet” gambling than true internet gambling.
Press of Atlantic City: Legislation would permit online betting at Atlantic City casinos
New legislation introduced a few days ago would allow online gambling at casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The bill is sponsored by state Senator Raymond Lesniak. Specifically, it would allow “New Jersey residents to place wagers on casino games via the Internet.” All online games from blackjack to poker would be available.
The bill would require that all computers used for legal online gambling be located in a separate area of a casino, “but within the territorial limits of Atlantic County.”
An annual tax of 20% on gross revenue from online gambling would be paid into a casino revenue fund. A new unit would be created under the state’s Casino Control Comission called Division of Internet Wagering.
The Casino Control Commission along with the New Jersey Racing Commission would also allow the operation of online gambling terminals at racetracks, where “individuals who have registered to participate in Internet wagering may wager on games conducted at casinos in Atlantic City.”
WebProNews: New Jersey Considers Legalizing Online Gambling
A newly proposed law introduced in New Jersey would allow players there to gamble online through special websites run by casinos in Atlantic City.
The bill was introduced into the New Jersey State Senate last week by Senator Raymond Lesniak. Incidentally, Lesniak also introduced a different bill which asks New Jersey residents to vote on a constitutional amendment which would allow state-regulated sports betting at Atlantic City casinos.
Right now, New Jersey offers legal online gambling on horse races to local residents through the 4NJbets.com website. If this bill passes, the state will change the law to permit online versions of any game currently allowed in Atlantic City casinos, such as poker, blackjack and baccarat. The new online gambling system would be controlled and regulated by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, which would establish a new Division of Internet Wagering to manage operations and licensing.
“We’re happy that New Jersey has taken this issue into their own hands,” said iMEGA chairman Joe Brennan Jr.
StandardBred Canada: Gaming ‘Terminals’ Coming To NJ Tracks?
A newly proposed bill introduced by New Jersey state senator Raymond Lesniak could allow Atlantic City casinos to offer online gambling services to New Jersey residents. The bill reportedly has some support in the senate already, but those that do not want to online gaming at the state’s racetracks are voicing their displeasure.
An article by Press of Atlantic City states that Mark Juliano, who is chief executive officer of the three Trump Entertainment Resorts casinos in Atlantic City, revealed that the legislation appears to allow racetracks to also get video lottery terminals.
The report further states that any equipment used to run the new internet gambling system must be located within the territorial limits of Atlantic County, such as within a casino or at another secure location.
The bill reportedly states that the New Jersey Casino Control Commission might also let racetracks operate online gambling terminals. These terminals will likely be identical in appearance to slot machines found at local casinos.
After Gov. Riley’s anti-gambling task force was deterred from action by a judge’s order in Alabama recently, the debate over gambling and its legality has escalated rapidly. The subject has the potential to split the states vote, and a scandalous resignation has fueled the fire.
WTVM 9: AL task force commander quits after gambling win
The commander of Alabama Gov. Bob Riley’s task force on illegal gambling has resigned due to a recent, $2,300 win at a brick-and-mortar casino in Mississippi. David Barber, the commander, resigned on behalf of his actions potential to be a “political distraction” for the task force.
The commander submitted a formal resignation in a letter to the governor on Friday. In the letter, Barber explained that he gambled at a casino in Mississippi and legally won the money in a game.
Both Riley and Barber, the former district attorney in Jefferson County, claim that the electronic bingo machines used in a new facility operated in Alabama are, in fact, slot machines, which are currently illegal in Alabama.
Barber’s resignation arrived on the same day that the Alabama Supreme Court lifted a judge’s order which had blocked the task force from raiding electronic bingo operations at Country Crossing in Dothan.
CBS 42: Jackpot! Gambling Task Force Commander Resigns
Bob Riley’s Commander of the Illegal Gambling Task Force, David Barber, struck a generous jackpot of $2300 on recent trip to Mississippi. Trying to remove himself from the politics circling around the issue, David Barber resigned from his position. Here are a few excerpts from the Commanders resignation and the Governors reply:
Commander David Barber
I hereby resign as Commander of your Task Force on Illegal Gambling.
While I remain committed to the Task Force’s goals, I have concluded that my continued participation will become a political distraction from the Task Force’s important work. On a recent visit to Mississippi, I visited a legal casino and won a $2,300 prize playing a legal game. While my actions were in full compliance with the law, I am convinced that the forces that operate illegal casinos in Alabama will focus on my actions as part of their continuing effort to smear you and your Task Force.
With regret I accept your resignation as Commander of the Task Force on Illegal Gambling.
I want to commend you for your service to the State of Alabama as the Task Force’s leader. Adherence to the rule of law is the cornerstone of the free and fair society that we enjoy in our state and nation. Thank you for being willing to take a stand in support of that most fundamental principal.
WSFA 12 (NBC): Congressman Bright weighs in on gambling debate
Without a doubt, gambling is the hottest topic in Alabama. According to 2nd District Congressman, Bobby Bright, “This shouldn’t be an issue that divides our state.” Regardless, this is one such issue. The definition of gambling legality is creating tension between the state’s residents and leaders.
Congressman Bright thinks there’s a more suitable solution to the issue than ridding the state of electronic bingo machines according to the wishes of Gov. Riley.
“What we could all do is agree on a referendum and let the people decide. That way it eliminates the Governor having to go down into a community and raid and make it look like he’s fighting the local leadership.”
Should the situation lead to a referendum, there must be boundaries.
“It would need to be regulated. A commission should be set up and private individuals should not be profiting from the proceeds of a gambling initiative if it passed,” he adds.
While the congressman doesn’t agree with gambling, he knows the decision isn’t his to make.
“I also am a public servant speaking for my constituents. And whatever they choose to do, however they choose to live their life in their communities, I will honor that.”
Bright hopes that if a referendum were passed, education would be the recipient of the industry’s revenue.
From out of nowhere it seemed like the United States, and the rest of the world for that matter, fell into a huge whole of economic depression about 2 years ago. It came and it seems that its still here, but in sunny Las Vegas profits are once again on the rise.
Business Week: Vegas Casinos Revenue Up 8.3%, First Gain in 2 Years
For the first time in about 2 years, gambling revenue in Las Vegas rose 8.3 % in November. Nevada’s Gaming Control Board said proceeds on the Strip rose to $473.8 million. Revenue for all of Clark County, including downtown Las Vegas, gained 6.9 % to $750.8 million, according to the board.
Vegas resorts have slashed room prices and increased special offers to spur demand. Daily room rates in October 2009 were $99.59 on average, down 14% from 2008, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
December 2007 was the last time gambling revenue increased, and then it rose less than 1%. New Jersey’s Casino Control Commission says Atlantic City gambling proceeds fell 9.8% last month.
Market Watch: Nevada gambling revenue up for first time since 2007
Good news came from Nevada, Tuesday, when state regulators reported an increase in gambling revenue for November, the first monthly rise in almost two years. Silver State casinos reported $873.2 million for the month, up 4.4% from November 2008. On the Las Vegas Strip, revenue increased more than 8% to $473.8 million.
Other jurisdictions reporting increases include North Las Vegas, the Boulder Strip and parts of Washoe County. The rest of Nevada was down by anywhere from 1.7% in downtown Las Vegas to almost 27% in South Lake Tahoe.
The total win on table games statewide jumped 17% to just more than $308 million, largely due to a better than doubling of the take from baccarat on the Strip. Slot-machine revenue was down slightly to $547 million.
Hotel rooms that were $300 are typically running at half that, squeezing margins in a business that’s traditionally high priced. These low room rates are attracting leisure travelers long priced out of the high-end resorts, keeping occupancy levels from falling as far as other key measures, but pressuring other revenues.
Analyst, Bill Lerner, commented, “multiple restaurateurs that we have spoken with are experiencing growth in key metrics such as covers and average checks,” and when that is combined with “overall Las Vegas visitation momentum … we are more confident that 2010 will represent the positive inflection in Las Vegas.”
ABC News: Nev. Casino Winnings up for 1st Time in 23 Months
November gambling revenue in Nevada rose for the first time in roughly two years, as casinos won nearly $873.2 million from bettors. The 4% rise in revenue from last November was the first increase after 22 months of declines.
State revenues collected in December topped $57 million, up 28.3% from $44.4 million last year. Taxes paid on casino winnings account for about 30 % of the state general fund. The control board said the state collected $313.2 million in the first 6 months of the fiscal year, down 5.1 % compared with July-December 2008.
November’s results benefited from baccarat on the Strip and the Nov. 14 Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto boxing match at the MGM Grand. Revenue at Downtown Vegas casinos was down 1.3 %, while North Las Vegas and the Boulder Strip saw double-digit increases.
Clark County, which includes Las Vegas and is Nevada’s largest county, was the only county in the state with a year-over-year increase in monthly revenue.
From the first of the year, Estonians can gamble online. For now, only locally-hosted sites are allowed to operate. Any online gambling website in Estonia that does not meet new regulations will be blocked. In 2011, the country will open its online gambling industry to foreign operators.
The Baltic Times: Estonia Legalizes Online Gambling
Estonia recently legalized internet gambling in order to generate revenue through taxation.
The country is hoping to adopt the Euro next year and is frantically looking for further sources of income after suffering one of the hardest-hitting recessions in the EU.
This move to legalize online gambling was influenced in part by recent and very successful poker tournament held in the country. The tournament was sponsored by PokerStars, one of the largest online gambling sites in the world.
According to the Estonian Free Press, players will be able to use Estonian online gaming sites starting immediately. In 2011, Estonia’s internet gambling market will open to foreign operators.
“We are truly glad of this opportunity to start our partnership with Olympic as the leading casino entertainment provider in Central and Eastern Europe,” says Mor Weizer, Executive Manager of Playtech, who has been granted one of the first foreign licenses.
Estonian poker legend Imre Leibold believes development may be detrimental to Estonian players. “The possibility that online poker gaming could be restricted is not good news for us,” he said. “I believe and hope that the whole affair is resolved and that there will be several reasonable gaming locations on the market. However, if things get tough, one may have to consider moving residence or start working abroad like Estonian builders in Finland.”
Estonian Free Press: Estonia Legalizes Online Gambling
Following the success of the Baltic Poker Festival, held in Estonia organized by online poker site PokerStars, Estonia prepares to its doors to the global internet gambling market that.
Starting immediately, the Government will allow Estonian players to gamble online. The liberalization of online gambling is expected to help the nation financially through taxes imposed on gaming operators.
With the Estonian economy down by close to 36%, these changes will bring even more revenue in 2011 when the gambling market will open to international gaming operators that are able to satisfy the regulation requirements.
Until then, Estonians will be able to play only at locally-run sites, like the one set up by the Olympic Casino group that is running on Playtech software.
Now that online gambling in Estonia is as legal as it is in land-based casinos, here is hoping that no one will have to report about stories about things such as the Arvo Viool scandal – the ex-manager of the Fund for Furthering Culture who was arrested and imprisoned for stealing 500,000 Euros from the State to satisfy his gambling addiction.
Baltic Repots: Online Gambling Regulation Begins
Online gambling in Estonia has gone unregulated for many years, but now that is all changing since the government now requires online casinos to be physically hosted in Estonia.
Before January 1 2010, gambling sites could not be hosted Estonian servers, and players could freely use foreign hosted sites. The new Gambling Act reverses this; now, online gambling sites must be hosted on Estonian servers, and those not will be blocked.
For a company set up an online gambling site in Estonia, they must receive a license and agree to pay a 5% sales tax (excluding player winnings).
“As such, online gambling taxation in Europe is nothing new, it has been applied in most of the countries,” says Annika Vilu, spokeswoman of the Ministry of Finance. “Estonia’s tax rate is still one of the lowest in Europe.”
According to Tõnis Rüütel, executive director of Estonian Association of Gambling Operators, “There are countries with smaller tax rate, such as Malta and Gibraltar with 3 percent but we don’t want to have a reputation of a tax paradise. Also the situation so far has been absurd as the gambling addiction emerged in Estonia, but all of the income went elsewhere.”
If an online gambling site in Estonia does not meet these new requirements, its website will be blocked and its bank accounts will be frozen.
“We’ll see how the law comes into force, and if it will be possible to block the gambling sites not fit for the requirements, but some other countries have not been able to do it so far including the U.S.,” Rüütel said.
Fifty-two year old Cliff Bryant, placed several accumulator bets on whether cities in Britain would enjoy a White Christmas, and won all of them bringing his winnings to £7.1 million. Ladbrokes, the betting site where he placed the bet, is refusing to pay out this sum on account of the bets being accumulators instead of singles.
Press Association: No £7.1m payout after bet ‘error’
Bookmaker Ladbrokes refuses to pay off a bet worth £7.1 million to a man who wagered snow would fall on Christmas because it was accepted by mistake. Cliff Bryant placed 2 £5 accumulators on snow fall across 24 British Cities on December 25.
Ladbrokes staff accepted the bet by mistake as the company rules state such a wager can only be a single bet. The first accumulator would’ve netted Mr. Bryant over £4.9 million, the second £2.23 million. The company honored the relevant single bets and paid out a lesser £31.78 instead. They’ve since apologized for the mistake.
Mr. Bryant is seeking legal advice over the error and says he was “gutted” by the decision. He urged the company to make rules clearer. A Ladbrokes spokesman said company rules state “snow at Christmas” bets must be singles only, rather than accumulators.
Reuters: Bookie refuses to pay out £7 million on snow bet
Cliff Bryant placed 2 £5 accumulator bets that snow would fall on 24 towns and cities across the north of England on Christmas. Now he’s being refused the £7.1 million payout he won.
“We have apologized to the customer for any confusion and for mistakenly accepting an accumulator bet when our own rules state that only single bets are available on a market of this nature,” said a Ladbrokes spokesman. “We are happy to void the bets and to pay the customer his winnings on the relevant singles.” That would be a mere £32.
The graphic designer from Southampton, says he was “gutted” and will seek legal advice. He claims the 1st bet would have won him 4.9 million pounds, with the second adding 2.2 million. “If I make a mistake in my work like that it costs me dearly and I think the offer should be a lot more generous than they have made.”
Ladbrokes gave Bryant details of the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS), an neutral adjudicator that deals with gambling operators and customers disagreements.
Danny Cracknell, an IBAS manager, told Reuters that Bryant had been in contact and they would be investigating the issue once he had completed the relevant forms.
Mirror.co.uk: Punter furious after bookies refuse to pay out on £7m white Christmas bet
A UK punter thought he won £7million betting on a white Christmas and ended up with just £31. Cliff Bryant spent £10 on 2 accumulator bets that 24 UK cities would see snow fall on Christmas. All of his predictions were correct but he was later told that his wager was invalid.
Company rules say accumulators, a series of linked bets, can’t be placed on the chances of a white Christmas. Cliff received the winnings he would have got had he placed 24 single bets. The dad-of-three, said: “My heart was beating fast when I thought I’d won but now I’m absolutely fuming. If I’d been paid I would have loved to have got my teeth done.”
A Ladbrokes spokesman said: “We apologize that a bet was taken in error. We intend to talk to Mr. Cliff to see if we can make it up to him.”
Cliff Bryant would’ve made over £7 million this Christmas but Ladbrokes claims that his bets were invalid and will award him only £31 due to the mishap.
Talks of a new way of going about dealing with offshore online gambling operators are now circulating. Under the proposed changes, foreign operators would be required to obtain licenses from the UK Gambling Commission, and to comply with British gambling laws. The issue of taxing foreign operators has not been mentioned.
The Times: Overseas online gambling groups will need license
Foreign internet gambling companies that target British gamblers will soon require a license according to a proposal released yesterday by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe admitted only a few of the biggest overseas gambling operators that target British players are forced to comply with the Gambling Commission’s regulations. The proposed system would require online gambling operators licensed outside Britain to apply for a license from the Gambling Commission before they could legally offer their services to British players.
An additional rule would require any company that targets British players to record information about suspicious betting patterns, and to share it with UK sports bodies and with the Gambling Commission.
The Government is also looking into ways of securing levy contributions from overseas operators, which has been a concern since UK companies Ladbrokes and William Hill moved offshore. The issue of tax, however, has yet to be mentioned.
The Guardian: Online betting faces regulation overhaul
The British government will soon overhaul the problematic online gambling tax by tightening regulation of offshore operators.
The change is influenced in part by the recent successes of online gambling regulation in other European Union countries.
“Online gambling has changed significantly in recent years with many European countries taking new approaches to regulation,” says Sports Minister Gary Sutcliffe. “It would be wrong of us to stand still where things are changing around us.”
The proposed changes may see the Gambling Commission issuing individual licenses to online gambling operators, with license fees contributing to the cost of gambling regulation and the treatment of gambling addictions.
Sutcliffe’s announcement comes shortly after Ladbrokes and William Hill, fed up with UK tax policy, announced plans to move their operations to offshore tax havens.
Because one of Gordon Brown’s last moves as chancellor was to bump the tax rate for internet gambling firms to 15% of gross profits, no poker or casino sites conduct their UK business through a Gambling Commission license or pay tax here.
According to a Treasury spokesperson: “The focus of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) review was on the regulation – not taxation – of remote gambling … The Treasury will continue to work with DCMS to ensure that any implications for tax policy, arising from the proposals, are properly considered.”
The Independent: Plans to regulate offshore gambling websites
The British government today revealed to regulate foreign gambling websites that target UK customers.
Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe revealed that the new rules will require all foreign operators that cater to British players to be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and follow UK gambling laws.
Under the proposed changes (which are still being discussed), all offshore gambling operators targeting the British market will have to comply with the Gambling Act and will be required to report suspicious wagering patterns to the Gambling Commission and to sport governing bodies.
Licensed foreign operators will also have to comply with British license regulations, such the protection of children against gambling, and will be required demonstrate how they can contribute to lessening problem gambling in Britain.
In a statement to Parliament, Mr Sutcliffe revealed that few companies active in the British market are now regulated by the Gambling Commission. “Though British consumers are not unprotected – most overseas jurisdictions have regulatory systems – standards vary and requirements differ from our own.”
Several UK bookmakers recently chose to shift their online businesses overseas to avoid UK taxes; this is one of the driving forces behind the recent talks.
The controversial issue of casino gambling in Alabama came to a peak when the state’s governor, Bob Riley, ordered a raid on a new $87.5 million casino in the middle of the night and the action was halted in its tracks by a judges blocking order.
LA Times: Judge halts state raid of $87M bingo casino in latest round of Alabama’s fight over gambling
Near 40 Alabama state troopers gathered before sunrise, Wednesday, for a Gov. Bob Riley approved raid. The target: bingo machines at a new, allegedly illegal, $87 million casino near Dothan.
Local officials moved quickly to defend the targeted site, going to a judge’s home after midnight to get an order blocking the raid. The order was given to police before they could seize the 1,700 electronic bingo machines at Country Crossing.
County Commissioner Mark Culver denounced the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling’s attempt to shut down the bingo and entertainment complex, which created 1,300 jobs in the struggling community.
Bill Eadington, a University of Nevada at Reno gambling expert, said Alabama casino investors relied on questionable laws to build, but casinos are hard to close when restaurants and hotels, that produce lots of jobs, are added.
ABC News: Judge Halts State Raid of Big Alabama Bingo Center
A rural Alabama county hungry for economic development staved off a state raid on a new bingo and entertainment center despite Bob Riley’s wishes to close it. The county won a middle-of-the-night court order barring the raid as agents from the governor’s anti-gambling task force massed near Country Crossing, an $87 million complex near Dothan.
Houston County Commissioner Mark Culver got the order from a judge’s home at 1:30 a.m. delivered it to the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling assembling for a pre-dawn raid. He was trying to save 1,300 jobs in a county with 8.7 percent unemployment.
The Houston County Commission approved the construction of Country Crossing in 2008 and created a method for it to issue up to $70 million in bonds for construction. Country Crossing sought to stop the raid, claiming it would harm the bond issue that’s supposed to be paid off with bingo revenue.
Alabama gambling centers have been expanding with restaurants and other attractions and portraying themselves as economic development projects providing needed jobs in a recession.
AP News: Midnight order halts Ala. raid of $87M casino
A Gov. Riley approved raid on bingo machines at a new, $87 million casino by himself was stopped before dawn on Wednesday by judge’s order blocking it. Houston County Commissioner Mark Culver secured the judge’s approval and signature.
It was a blow for the governor in Alabama’s odd, ongoing struggle for control over the state’s mushrooming gambling industry. Culver said, “We are going to do everything we can to protect the jobs of the people of Houston County,” in reference to the incident. The governor claims the machines are illegal and simply an attempt to compete with Mississippi’s coastal casinos.
Circuit Judge P.B. McLauchlin agreed that seizing the machines “would do irreparable harm” to the bond transaction and blocked any raid pending a court hearing Jan. 20.
They will receive varying charges according to their activities on site. Children were released to relatives and 118 fighting cocks will be exterminated due to the ruling of a judge on the matter.
Police raided an illegal gambling cockfight in a small town near Fort Worth, TX, and arrested 169 viewers (among whom 15 children as young as 7 were present) and cock owners, and seized over 100 roosters condemned to fight to the death.Cockfighting is illegal in 39 states including Texas, and an illegal gambling misdemeanor in the remaining 11, but it continues to flourish.
Steroids , illegal gambling and other supplements are often given to the birds to heighten aggression. Sometimes metal knives are strapped to their legs to ensure that fights end in the death. Law enforcement authorities say that cockfighting rings are often tied up in drug smuggling and money laundering rackets.
Illegal gambling cockfights often have up to $30,000 purses riding on them. Owners pay about $300 to enter a bird for an event, and spectators pay a further $30 to enter. Last month saw several raids on fights around the US.
Authorities in Texas said 169 people were arrested and 114 roosters were seized during a raid on a local cockfight. Saturday afternoon’s raid occurred after authorities kept the site under surveillance for two weeks.
County Sheriff Larry Fowler said charges will vary among those arrested in the area barn but illegal gambling will be one of them. “The people who were arrested for illegal gambling will go before a judge and be charged with a gambling offense,” Fowler said. “We will look into charging some who were arrested with federal charges. A charge of engaging in organized crime is a possibility for some.”
The Star-Telegram said authorities found a number of dead and injured roosters at the cockfighting site, along with an unspecified amount of drugs and money.
Over 100 Arrested in Cockfighting Bust
Over 100 people were arrested as of Saturday night after police raided an illegal gambling rooster fight. The Parker County Sheriff’s department found over 100 birds, injured and dead, along with drugs and children abandoned by fleeing parents as officers raided the scene. The kids were taken into the custody of Child Protective Services while dozens of adults were sent to jail.
Cockfighting is a crime Sheriff Fowler says he’s never seen in Parker County. Those arrested will face gambling charges and possibly felony charges for their involvement in the cockfighting operation.
Texans illegal gambling on a illegal cockfight that was raided Saturday leading to the arrest of 169 people were arrested, amongst them children as young as 7.
Poker playing priest is the new nick name of a Catholic paint-ball playing Father Andrew Trapp who made big news recently for his appearance on Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge. Not only did the poker playing priest appear, but he almost made it through the last round. Though he didn’t win, he was able to raise $100,000 toward the construction of a new church in South Carolina.
St. Michael Catholic Church in Garden City Beach needs over $1 million to build a new church. Father Andrew Trapp made a dent in that figure by winning $100,000 in the Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge televised poker tournament.
Trapp’s final episode aired Sunday, and was watched by he and dozens of fellow church members at St. Michael’s. Trapp said he hopes his brief television fame shows people that priests are normal people. “This is an opportunity, hopefully, for people to see a young guy that’s a priest, that’s normal, that can have fun, have friends and try to do something great for the church.”
Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge left audiences stunned in October when S.Carolina poker playing priest Father Andrew Trapp beat NBA Champ John Salley, Team Poker Stars Pro Vanessa Rousso and her teammate and four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu to win $100,000 and a chance to come back earlier this month for a crack at the $1,000,000 grand prize.
Fr. Trapp, the poker playing priest lost the final round of Fox TV’s “Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge” on Dec. 27; but he still won $100,000. The winner was a 9-11 first responder at the World Trade Center.
Known as “Father Rambo” for his paintball play, the poker priest held rosary beads in a hand against Salley. After beating the former Pistons Bad Boy, Trapp shocked Rousso, and took home the six-figure prize when poker star Negreanu misread the strength of Trapp’s cards.
Trapp immediately donated all winnings to the St. Michael’s Church in Garden City, SC, where he’s associate pastor. His goal was to win the million dollar prize to help St. Michael’s build a new church, which is currently $1.5 million dollars short of its goal. In an interview, Trapp said, “I think I represented the church and the priesthood well, which was my main goal…I think my parishioners will be proud of me.
St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Garden City, S.C., is in a four-year, $6.5 million fundraiser for a new church. “Our church family’s grown. We have over 3,000 [people] and 400 families,” said C. Griffith, a St. Michael’s member for more over 20 years.
Overcrowding isn’t the only issue at the Garden City church. Should a strong hurricane go through the area, St. Michael’s probably wouldn’t be standing in the aftermath.
As of Christmas, about $4 million was raised for building a church that’ll be at par with safety codes, hold over 900 people and bear hurricane-force winds. It’s a big upgrade from the old church. The project hopes to give new hope to worshipers at St. Michael’s.
Trapp’s played his role in bringing a new church to his parishioners. The poker playing priest appeared on the Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge playing for $1 million wanting to break ground on the multi-million dollar construction project.
Trapp lost in the final round of the show to poker pro, Negreneau, but walked away from the competition with $100,000. The cash, he says, is going straight to who needs it the most — his parish.
The poker playing priest‘s winnings from Hollywood is putting quite the dent in construction costs for a new and improved St. Michael’s. There’s just $1.5 million to go, and those who gather at church each week say they’re more than thankful for such a generous donation to their future.
Poker playing priest went to take part in the Poker Stars Million Dollar Challenge on behalf of his parish on a mission to raise cash for a new church.
Gambling legislation is a point of contention all over the world today, specifically the new Belgian gambling laws which restrict online casino games. Many countries are changing their policies on the subject and organization, such as the European Union, are making very influential decisions with regards to all member states.
Despite wishes on behalf of the European Union that its mandates be acknowledged and followed, some countries still insist on going against the grain. A few such countries are France, Poland and most recently Belgium. Speculations indicate that these countries have crossed the line intentionally in order to test Michel Barnier, the new European Commissioner.
Belgium has stirred the subject to the brink of boiling by recently passing a law regulating online gambling that did not address several points of contention with EU rules, as found by the European Commission.
The European Commission gave an official Detailed Opinion to Belgian legislators which pointed out which parts of Belgian gambling laws needed to be amended in order to comply with EU law. Some of the points pointed out by the European Commission include: an unjustified limit on licenses, requirements of servers being located in Belgium, and forbidding citizens to participate in EU licensed and regulated internet gambling in Belgium.
Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association, Sigrid Ligne, condemned Belgium’s action saying that, “The law is not only highly questionable from a legal point of view, a high level of consumer protection can be achieved by specific and targeted legislation, not by protecting the operators with a vested interest in the current situation.”
On December 3rd, lawmakers passed Belgian gambling laws without taking into considerations concerns that were voiced by the European Commission. In doing so, the Belgian Government has subjected itself to infringement proceedings that may be held by the EC which believes Belgian gambling laws are illegal within the EU framework.
Powerball lottery ticket, according to Kentucky Lottery officials, worth $128.6 million dollars was sold prior to Saturday night’s drawing. Up to this point. The powerball lottery ticket remains unclaimed and only today, Monday the 28th December, will officials be able to narrow down which business the ticket was sold in.
Anyone who bought a Powerball lottery ticket in Kentucky is going to want to double-check it. Kentucky lottery officials say there was a single $128.6 million winning Powerball ticket sold in Georgetown, making it the largest jackpot ever won in Kentucky.
Kentucky Lottery spokesman Chip Polston said that prior to this jackpot, the largest jackpot won in Kentucky was $89.3 million in January, 1996. He said the last Powerball winner in the state was December 12, 2007, when a Bullitt County man won $33.6 million.
The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing will be reset to $20 million. Lottery officials said a ticket sold in Kentucky won a $128.6 million jackpot in Saturday night’s drawing. One ticket in Florida matched five numbers, but not the Powerball number, to win $200 thousand.
The winning numbers were 32-36-37-41-52 and the Powerball number was 30. Thousands of tickets matched lesser winning Powerball combinations.
Someone is holding a ticket for the largest Powerball ticket ever sold in Kentucky — $128.6 million.
Chip Polston, spokesman for the Kentucky Lottery, said Sunday that the winning ticket for Saturday’s Powerball jackpot was sold in Georgetown but that the holder or holders of the ticket have yet to come forward.
Lottery officials also couldn’t identify the store where the ticket was sold until Monday for security reasons, he said.
“We can’t wait to greet our first Powerball jackpot winner in two years,” Polston said. The odds of winning Saturday’s jackpot were more than 1 in 195 million.
The largest jackpot won previously in Kentucky was $89.3 million awarded in January 1996, and the last Powerball win in the state was in Dec. 12, 2007, when a Bullitt County man claimed a $33.6 million jackpot.
A $128.6 million powerball lottery ticket was sold in Georgetown, Kentucky and at this point, as one of the largest state jackpots ever won, it has not been claimed.
Legislators in Pennsylvania have been making progress with a bill concerning the state’s laws towards gambling. The bill passed in the state House of Representatives on Monday by a very thin margin, and will be up for questioning in the Senate this Wednesday. Complications in the bills passing are foreseeable, as is the case with any legislation.
A proposal to expand casino gambling in Pennsylvania Gambling Laws cleared a crucial first hurdle in the state House of Representatives on Monday by a close margin of 97-95. Most Democrats were in favor of it and most Republicans opposed it.
Supporters of Pennsylvania Gambling Laws will help the state government raise revenue to alleviate tax collections to 12%, and provide jobs in these hard times. Another House vote and Senate approval are needed before it can become law. Approval could occur this week, concluding a state budget agreement and freeing $700 million for universities that is being held by Gov. Ed Rendell until the bill passes.
The measure would raise the state’s number of casinos from 14 to 15 and legalize table games such as blackjack. It’s supposed to raise $320 million over the first 2 years, setting a 14% tax rate on table games and requiring casinos to pay millions in license fees.
The leaders of Pennsylvania’s state universities accused Rendell and House Democrats of holding them hostage by stalling their schools’ subsidy until Legislature approves a gambling expansion.
House Republican leaders opposed Pennsylvania Gambling Laws, as they believe financing state government with gambling money is bad policy. Opponents of the bill said it reeks of back-room deal making.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a controversial table games bill Tuesday, bringing Penn State one step closer to receiving its $334 million state appropriation.
Local representatives were split along party lines on the vote. Gov. Ed Rendell will not sign Penn State’s appropriation into law until the table games bill is passed by both houses of the General Assembly, said Gary Tuma, Rendell’s press secretary.
Tuma said Rendell wants to be certain funds are available for Penn State’s appropriation before signing it into law.
A Pennsylvania Gambling Laws bill to expand legalized casino gambling in Pennsylvania received approval Tuesday from the state House of Representatives. It is almost certain to face changes in Senate as early as Wednesday. Proponents say it will ease state taxes. Opponents say the bill is about doing the gambling industry a favor and is larded with favors for lawmakers’ pet causes while ensuring families will be broken by gambling addiction.
Changes likely to be made in Pennsylvania Gambling Laws include removing the provision that would allow a 15th casino license and adding a requirement that state gambling regulators allow new applications to be considered for the last existing competitive casino license that wasn’t awarded.
A key reform in the bill is the reinstatement of a ban on cash contributions to political causes by gambling industry executives and investors. In April, the state Supreme Court struck down the five-year-old Pennsylvania Gambling Laws, which had been considered a key bulwark against the political influence of the gambling industry.
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While regular mortals either play free online blackjack or low limits at various online casinos, some play for millions.
Tropicana Casino, which prides itself on taming high rollers, and making them crawl home defeated and demoralized, took a drubbing at the hands of the blackjack master.
In April of this year Don Johnson, a famous blackjack high roller, beat various Atlantic City casinos for more than $15 million playing ultra-high limit blackjack card games. He return again in October for a second helping, deciding to visit Tropicana Casino, which fell victim to his elite black jack mastery of the card table in April to a tune of $5.5 million.
Tropicana Casino, which was hemorrhaging from the blackjack high roller’s advanced card counting prowess, had recovered a bit and its owner even sent out a challenge for Johnson to return.
‘The Beast of Blackjack’ or ‘The Atlantic City Assassin’, the nicknames that the world press has christened Don Johnson with, speak volumes of the pure fear that every casino pit boss feels in the pit of their stomach when the mighty blackjack master walks onto the casino floor.
The $5.5 million dollars that Johnson won at the Tropicana in a single day exploded his face and name on television and newspapers throughout the world. In essence making him as much of a star as his namesake, Don Johnson, the actor from Miami Vice episodes of the 1980s.
In October, Johnson the blackjack high roller was back for more and nothing was going to hold him back from unleashing the power of the ancient gods of blackjack upon Tropicana.
He paid a visit yet again to the Tropicana Casino, located in New Jersey, and took $2 million in a death defying two day gambling spree at the blackjack tables. The blackjack high roller’s win was confirmed when Tropicana CEO, Mr. Tony Rodio, admitted that the casino was the victim of the Atlantic City assassin’s fury.
“I went back in and did very well,” the normally press shy Don Johnson stated to reporters. Not bad for two days work.
Source: Blackjack Champ: Blackjack Expert Don Johnson Wins $2 Million at Tropicana Casino
All Slots online casino became even more popular with online slot players at the start of November, when three Swiss internet gamblers each hit a separate online jackpot playing while playing different online slot games.
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November was a great month for one happy player at the always exciting InterCasino when the Cryptologic online slot – Millionaires Club 3 – paid out its bloated $935,000 progressive jackpot.
An online slot player at Intercasino with the screen name of ‘Noura’ from Lebanon was the lucky recipient of the nearly $1 million dollar progressive jackpot from the Cryptologic online slot.
Millionaires Club 3 is an exciting online slot which recently became one of the most popular at Intercasino and has a monster of a progressive jackpot in the middle of the second stage bonus round.
The progressive jackpot was almost hitting the million dollar mark when Noura hit it bick, triggering the Cryptologic online slot with a $10 bet. Noura was unavailable for comment.
InterCasino however was available and has stated that Noura has been a regular player for over five years and this is not her first six figure win from a progressive jackpot at InterCasino by far, but it definitely is the biggest and the only one from a Cryptologic online slot – Millionaires Club 3.
The Head of Casino at InterCasino, Regis Pissot stated that – “Noura has been an InterCasino regular for nearly five years. Noura – our new Crypologic Online Slot Jackpot Queen – is another example of what is possible when you play at InterCasino..The team here is absolutely thrilled that one of our most loyal players is enjoying the ultimate reward. Dreams really can come true.”
InterCasino carries the burden of currently being the oldest online casino in the world, serving online gamblers since 1996. InterCasino’s spotless track record and a customer centric approach makes it a favorite with online gamers throughout the world (and the huge progressive jackpots as well).
Source: JackpotFinder.com – Lucky player celebrates $1 million progressive win at InterCasino
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