There was no shortage of big news stories hitting the headlines last week so lets take a look back at some of the more important of the last seven days
A meeting of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations in the Turkish town of Suruc was attacked by a suicide bomber as they discussed how to assist in the reconstruction of the Syrian town of Kobane. Dozens of the young attendees at the Amara Culture Centre were killed and over 100 injured. In response the Turkish air force began bombing IS and Kurdish militant targets in Syria as well as lifting the ban on its bases being used by US and allied air forces in their war against Islamic State.
The massive Japanese conglomerate Toshiba was rocked last week after an independent review of their accounts revealed the company, that produces everything from computers to nuclear power stations, had overstated their operating profits by in excess of 1.2 billion dollars. This was done with the full knowledge of senior management and, after criticism from Japanese finance minister Taro Aso, Hisao Tanaka, chief executive of the company, and seven other officials immediately resigned from Toshiba.
Last week saw Barack Obama visit Kenya, where his father hails from, spending time with the country’s president Mr. Kenyatta and paying his respects at the scene of the 1998 Nairobi embassy bombing that killed 224 people and injured more than 4,000. The two Presidents announced they stood united on terrorism but a joint press conference highlighted there were still key differences in attitude, especially on the topic of gay rights and the subject of women’s issues within Kenya itself.
In sport after a grueling 21 stages, a mammoth 3,360.3 kilometers and just shy of 82 hours of extremely hard riding Chris Froome won the Tour de France in Paris on Sunday last week, riding in with the rest of Team Sky to take another yellow jersey as well as the polkadots for being King of the Mountains. What will he be out to win next? You’ll have to read our daily news pages to find out but in the meantime lets take a look back over some of the major stories we covered over the last seven days.
1. Manchester United reportedly approached Bayern Munich to buy intelligent forward Thomas Muller.
2. The second round of the Champions League qualifiers provided some interesting games to bet on.
3. Juventus FC have agreed a deal with FC Bayern for their Chilean midfielder and club icon Arturo Vidal for a fee worth EUR 40m.
4. Formula One prepared to end a sad week at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
5. Jamaica upset hosting team United States in the semifinal of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
6. Tour organizers asked fans to respect yellow jersey after a cup of urine was thrown at Chris Froome during the race.
7. Debrecen thrashed Skonto 9-2 in the second leg of their Europa League qualifier in Hungary.
8. Chris Froome became a member of an elite group of cyclists by claiming his second Tour de France victory.
Meanwhile the typically rather dour world of the British Houses of Parliament were rocked last week when Lord Sewel, Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, the upper chamber, was forced to resign from his post after a British tabloid released video of him snorting cocaine from off the ample chest of a prostitute. The footage also prompted his resignation from the chairmanship of the Lord’s privileges and conduct committee, the very team that enforces standards in the Lords, standards he didn’t meet.
Numerous big news stories broke over the last week so lets glance back through some of the most important that we covered in the last seven daysThe Sun Newspaper in the UK (often described as “The Scum”) shocked the public last week by releasing footage of a young Queen Elizabeth II, the current monarch, playing with her mother and uncle, who became Edward VIII, in the gardens of Balmoral Castle using a Nazi salute. The private film made in the 1930s has sparked furious debate with many now calling on the Royal Family to open their archives and make their family links with the Third Reich a matter of public record.
Services for the 298 passengers and crew killed in the MH17 plane crash were held around the world last week on the first anniversary of the tragedy that saw a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 shot down by a BUK surface-to-air missile system during the Ukrainian civil war battle for Shakhtarsk Raion. Neither side has yet taken responsibility for the incident and have instead concentrated on blaming each other although the weight of evidence points to pro-Russian separatists having fired the missile.
In the US an attack on a military recruitment office and Navy & Marine Reserve Center in Chattanooga last week left five members of the armed services dead with numerous others wounded in two separate gun attacks perpetrated by 24 year old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez who was killed at the scene. Although his motive remained unclear the authorities sought to establish if he’d had links to any terrorist organizations like ISIS when it became clear he was heavily influenced by radical Islam.
In sport the Formula One world pledged to keep safety its foremost concerned after French driver Jules Bianchi died as a result of the extreme head injuries he suffered following a crash in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. “We must never let this happen again.” Said Bernie Ecclestone hearing the news, but can Formula One retain audience figures if the danger is removed? You’ll have to read our daily news pages to find out, but in the meantime lets review some of the big stories we covered over the last seven days.
1. After the 46-0 record defeat many fans thought that the loss would help Micronesia to get a FIFA membership.
2. Rivaldo and son both scored for Mogi Mirim in the club’s Brazilian Serie B victory.
3. The future of the German GP was hanging in the balance despite the fact that the event was included to the 2016 F1 calendar.
4. Online gambling firm 888 agreed to buy Bwin.Party for a fee of USD 1.4 billion.
5. Lord Holmes called Premier League sponsors and broadcasters to consider pulling out of football unless disabled facilities are being improved at stadiums.
6. Jules Bianchi’s death shook the world of Formula One after the Frenchman was in coma for nine months.
7. Manchester United reportedly approached Bayern Munich to buy intelligent forward Thomas Muller.
Meanwhile on the isolated pacific island famed for its mysterious statues the Easter Island Statue Project has been excavating a pair of the giant “heads” over the last three years finally revealing that the “Moai” actually have bodies in scale that were buried during a volcanic eruption. Covered in ornate carvings the purpose behind the Moai remains a mystery but the project hopes to make an inventory of all the island’s statues although this is destined to take quite a while given these two took so long.
As Atlantic City continues on its road to slow decline, the State of New Jersey offers another life line so that the City doesn’t become financially obliterated – for now, at least. Many are insinuating, however, that New Jersey would be better off investing in other cities and leaving Atlantic City to deal with its troubles on its own. Unfortunately, once left completely to its own devices, Atlantic City will probably sink into financial oblivion.
Atlantic City’s troubles are lifted for a short while, thanks to some short-term help from the State of New Jersey. According to Wall Street analysts, however, the USD 40 million might not save the City from going bankrupt. The latest latest gambling news regarding Atlantic City reports that it already has a USD 100 million debt, and can’t even hope for some more loans, so the State decided to help out by supporting the loan.
As Chris Foster, financial analyst put it, “It’s almost like your mother giving you a credit card, and what you use to pay off your mother’s credit card is your allowance.”Although for the time being, the loan gives time for Governor Chris Christie’s team to figure out what to do, Atlantic City will eventually have to find a way to pay back the vast credit it has accumulated. The question remains: which areas are the ones where the City can cut back on expenses?
Atlantic City received a loan of USD 40.6 million from the State of New Jersey. But this loan can’t be considered a gambling bonus:it comes at high interest rates of around 7.5%. The objective of the loan is to be able to bring about new cash flow. With this credit, the State unintentionally created a program that deflects aids straight to investors. Shareowners hope that if Atlantic City declares bankruptcy, their bonds will still be worth a lot (just like Detroit bonds that were left unscathed despite the city’s bankruptcy.)
Governor Christie appointed a team to find a solution to the city’s problems. So far, they authorized lay-offs and the rearrangement of existing loans. Another plan is to sell a USD 12 million in tax-exempt long-term bonds. By selling these, the city hopes to get rid of bond anticipation notes. A.C. has been planning on participating in debt sales ever since they decided that paying off property tax appeal settlements to casinos was one of the most pressing issues.
The State of New Jersey plans to open a casino in a town other than Atlantic City. Deutsche Bank backed the idea, saying that a new casino in another city might solve many of the state’s problems. One of the bank’s analysts, Andrew Zarnett reported, “We believe that one or two casinos in north Jersey could generate well over $500 million, putting $275 million into the state’s coffers and thus is a smart move for the state.”
The state plans on holding a referendum to see if people want to change the gambling laws, but they fear that voter turnout will be subpar. The plan to work around the voter turnout issue is to wait until the presidential elections. But, the more the state waits, the worse the situation in Atlantic City gets: with more casinos opening all around the state, an increasing number in A.C. will have to shut down.
Bloomberg BNA:Caesars Creditors Try to Disqualify Kirkland
Kirkland & Ellis had to prepare for a fight in bankruptcy court against a committee that speaks for the junior secured noteholders in restructuring client Caesars Entertainment Operating Co, gambling law news reported recently. The committee tried to eliminate Kirkland, asking a judge to cast the firm off since they represented the Caesars Entertainment’s majority owners, Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital, on unrelated matters.
According to the committee, Kirkland also collected nearly $10 million in fees improperly just before the company’s bankruptcy on the 15th of January. The junior noteholders wanted the bankruptcy to happen in Wilmington, Delaware, while Bankruptcy Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar is in Chicago, where the law firm originates from.
Bankruptcy is not a cheap process at all, and the quarrel over Kirkland’s participation increases the expenses heavily. According to the firm, the first six weeks after Caesars Entertainment filed for Bankruptcy cost them roughly $10 million. With this dispute over Kirkland’s participation, the bill will continue to run up without bringing the matter closer to solution.
Caesars Entertainment was in a restructuring process since years. After the debts and yearly interest fees were reduced significantly, it seemed that a complete reorganization is in reach. However, protesting creditors invented in January, filing for bankruptcy in Delaware.
Casinoscamreport.com: Caesars Wants More Time for Bankruptcy Plan
Caesars Entertainment trying to secure more time for planning, asked the Chicago bankruptcy court for a six month extension to reshape their structure strategy. On the actual conditions, Caesar’s operating division has to submit their recovery plan to the operational department until the 15th of May.
Lawyers representing the gambling giant stated that it is simply impossible to meet that deadline, according to online mobile news. They have 173 separate entities and many legal problems, they are currently fighting with their creditors too, and there is an ongoing investigation for their earlier deals.
The Caesars’s casino department has a debt of $18 million itself, but with the extension granted, the company could abolish the most of it. The possible new deadline would be the 15th of November if the bankruptcy court approves the company’s plea, and the creditors would have time to reply and articulate any disagreements until January.
If the extension is not granted by Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar, Caesar will present their suggestion to the court on the 29th of April and a verdict expected to be made quickly after. Caesars Entertainment’s shares have dropped by 17% after the extension plea was announced. The legal procedure is far from over, but it seems that Caesar prepared for a long war.
Reuters.com: Creditors, Caesars spar over control of casino bankruptcy
Creditors of Caesars Entertainment stated that they intend to block the attempt of the bankrupt company’s operating unit to extend the period during it has total control of the Chapter 11 restructure. They filed oppositions on Wednesday against the operating unit’s plea to push the deadline back with six months to November 15 instead of May 15.
During that time the operating unit has exclusive rights to suggest a strategy to diminish its $18 million debt. The creditors’ goal is to reach a point where other plans can also be submitted. Caesar’s operating unit filed for bankruptcy in January and that it is a rarity that creditors oppose the extension of exclusive control in such an early phase of a case.
Online gambling news reported that the company’s only supporters within the group of noteholders also objected the extension plea. The largest casino operator in the U.S. is in a desperate fight against its creditors, who accused the parent company of separating the operating unit of major properties like Linq Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The parent company, which is not bankrupt, is controlled by private equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital Management. The operating unit plans to divide into a casino operator and a real estate investment trust by restructuring. This move would increase the value of the latter, and creditors would benefit from that. However, online betting news learned that by such a move Apollo and TPG would be protected from lawsuits over the property transfers, and the creditors want to prevent that.
Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the new Formula 1 season, will start next weekend on 15 March, in Melbourne. The new racing year is expected to be very exciting and intriguing with many great sportsmen behind the wheels who already have their fame, and many young pretenders wanting to take over their famous rivals.
The current champion, Lewis Hamilton, is said to be mentally stronger than ever before, and his team mate, last year’s second placed driver Nico Rosberg, is also looking for a way to prove himself better than everyone else. Meanwhile 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and 2-time world champion Fernando Alonso are also looking forward to revive their careers with their new teams.
NDTV Sports: Formula One Gearing up for Another Eventful Year of Rivalry
This year’s championship will see less racers and less teams as 24 drivers took part in the tournament in 2014 while only 18 are competing this year. Well, it might be 20 in case of Manor-Marrusia, the team that was built from Marrusia, will succeed to qualify for the requirements.
It is true that there will be less drivers compared to the previous season, however we can expect the same amount of excitement due to the quality of the competitors. Latest gambling news regard Lewis Hamilton as the favorite for winning the title having set the odds at 1.53 (8/15) by Bet365, while those for his teammate Nico Rosberg are set at 3.50 (5/2).
The British, however, has many contenders, such as Sebastian Vettel who will start the new season at Ferrari or Fernando Alonso who left the Reds for McLaren Honda. So Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso are looking to claim their fifth and third championship title respectively but they have many young contenders.
The new season comes with many new names and most of these are incredibly young drivers. Toro Rosso launches young pairing with a combined age of only 37, while 20-year-old Russian Daniil Kvyat will race as teammate of emerging star Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull. Sauber will also trust the young with their drivers being 22 year-old Brazilian Felipe Nasr and 24 year-old Swedish diver, Marcus Ericsson.
Eurosport: Formula 1 – Lewis Hamilton arrives in Australia in style and ‘stronger than ever’
Lewis Hamilton seemed to be very confident when arriving to Melbourne and stepping out of his red private plane. He tweeted a picture of himself saying „Australia, we are here!“ to which he received mixed responses from his followers.
Online gambling news quoted what he thinks about his mental strength after being asked about the rumours of his berak-up with Nicole Scherzinger. ” I think last year, I adapted… a mental attitude that was kind of, I would like to say, impenetrable In the previous years it has been the case where personal issues have affected my life in general but I feel that I still carry that kind of mentality from last year.“
The Englishman also talked about his wish to achieve even better results than he did during the previous season. “It’s not easy to better a season like last year. In terms of performance, it was the best year that I think I’ve ever had, but it doesn’t mean I can’t beat it so that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Lewis Hamilton also declared that his negotiations with Mercedes about renewing his contract are at the final stage and they are close to reaching an agreement. “Hopefully we’re in the final stages. I don’t really know what the timeline is for that but we’re not rushing. but we’re very much in the last stages of it. So for the foreseeable future, I’m committed to this team.”
NDTV Sports: Mercedes Won’t End Hamilton-Rosberg Rivalry: Wolff
Even though the fact that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were already teammates in the previous season, they were each other’s greatest competitors as well. Last year, on the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa the two drivers collided when the German was trying to overcome his partner.
The team has blamed Rosberg who was given an unknown punishment after the incident and he also apologised publicly for his dangerous maneuvers. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff claims that the collision between the two drivers was good for the sport but they had crossed a certain line.
Executive director of Mercedes AMG Petrol also added, “We are not going to change our approach in terms of philosophy on how to let the drivers race. Even if it is not always easy. For us, for our brand, for Formula One, it was important to let them fight, one against the other.”
According to gambling news, Wolff also stated that emotion is very important in sports, and even though the two pilots went over-board, the team found a good solution. He proved his word by saying that his team has won the following 5 races after the accident.
The executive also said that Formula 1 is the number 1 car racing sport in the world so people who work for Formula 1 should stop talking negatively about the game. “We are the number one auto racing sport in the world and we must promote and support this image.”
All-Kitchen is one of several peculiar restaurants to emerge in London in the past few months. The opening night was also the official launch of the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT). The venue has proven popular enough to extend its original three-day run for two extra days.
Time Out London Blog: Chips with everything at London’s first pay-by-poker restaurant
When you first enter the establishment, you receive chips worth 10,000 points. Three hands of poker is all that is required of you in order to determine the price of your meal. If you can put your expertise to the test and end up with 10,000 points or more, your meal is free. Coming in midway at 5,000 points, gets you half off your meal at 5 GBP. If you’re having an off night and end up with less than 5,000 points, you’ll have to pay full price for your meal.
At a whopping 10 GBP, the hearty full-price meal is still quite a bargain. So whether you’re a closet card shark who wants to reveal to the World your skills or simply looking to have a little pre-meal entertainment, All-In is definitely worth the effort to get into. But you may want to act fast because tickets are currently sold out with more available tomorrow. Fear not though, after London, the pop-up will tour the country promoting the UK and Ireland Poker Tour.
The Independent Poker restaurant: where a full house will pay for your dinner
All-In Kitchen, the World’s first “Pay-By-Poker”, was launched by PokerStars. The restaurant where your hand determines the price of your dinner, was opened in part as a celebration of the beginning of the UK and Ireland Poker Tour. No matter your luck, guests still win the opportunity to choose poker-themed dishes such as the “2 Pair of Pear Tarte Tatin.”
Andy Jones, of Jones & Sons restaurants, said “embracing poker with the dishes was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see results and serve some Aces.” After the commencement of the UK and Ireland Poker Tour at the Hippodrome Casino London, All-in restaurant will make several appearances throughout UK and Ireland. With every stop there should be an opportunity to take in the “Pay-By-Poker” experience.
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.
This year’s World Cup in Brazil brought joy and excitement for sports fans and millions of dollars in profit for wagering companies, but it also created the perfect opportunity for illegal betting syndicates to thrive.
Two major scandals – Peter Foster’s Sports Trading Club and a suspicious betting operation led by Wei Seng Phua from his rented villas at Caesars Palace – are still under police investigation, but it’s not all bad news. For the fantasy sports industry, 2014 was a great year, with significant growth and promising perspectives.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most significant events that happened in the sports and wagering industry this year.
GamingZion: The Birth of Fantasy Sports Spawns Billion Dollar Industry
Fantasy sports have become increasingly popular over the past decade. At least in the US, where sports betting is illegal – online or otherwise. There are only four states where local players can legally wager on sports, but not via the internet. But players have found a way around these rules and discovered a new way to quench their thirst for gambling.
Fantasy sports are games where users take on the role of make-believe owners of professional sports teams. And what sports fan wouldn’t want to take a shot at managing their own football, basketball or baseball team? The options are endless.
Last year, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association made $11 billion in revenues. And while some play as a hobby, with their friends or coworkers, others enter that very grey area of American gambling laws and turn it into a fantasy sports betting operation.
ESPN, Yahoo!, CBS Sports, and the NFL are fully aware of how profitable this industry is becoming. The NFL itself has invested a lot of money in hi-tech platforms that support fantasy football league requirements.
Forbes: Will ESPN, Yahoo! Or CBS Buy This Fantasy Sports Startup?
According to Forbes, major companies like ESPN , Yahoo! and CBS could enter the fantasy sports scene in the future. The investors may be joining well established names like FanDuel and DraftKings, created in 2009 and 2012 respectively. But since it would take a long time to build a reputation, buying existing platforms makes more business sense.
Dan Ziernick, one of the most successful daily fantasy sports players has decided to invest in developing his own platform, to compete with FanDuel and other websites which have helped him earn win about $3.5 million throughout his career. This is how FantasyUp was born. The new platform’s major selling point is a no-rake policy which will remain in effect until April 1, 2015.
“The big vision in this industry is that the players like ESPN, Yahoo! and CBS, are going to enter this space once legalities of online gambling clears up,” Ziernicki said. “What we’re really focusing on is being the technological company for the future. To be able to process large amounts of data in real time. We are not there yet, but we are already able to handle the biggest daily fantasy sports day ever.”
The players believe another three to five years will pass before big names like ESPN or Yahoo will get into daily fantasy sports, but he is convinced that, by then, his platform will be a in the right place for a potential acquisition.
Sydney Morning Herald: Peter Foster implicated in international betting scam
Notorious conman Peter Foster was arrested at his luxury property near Byron Bay and could lose millions of dollars, after police found evidence linking him to an illegal operating ring called the Sports Trading Club. It is believed that he ran the business while hiding from authorities.
According to a police source, Foster had six mobile phones and several computers in a home office, which he used to operate a betting syndicate that claimed to be based in London, Sydney and Hong Kong.
The source added: “It doesn’t matter what they claim on their website, Fosters’ home in Byron Bay was the headquarters. This is another massive scam that is only coming to light now. It will collapse like a house of cards.”
Sports Trading Club, also known as STC Sports Trading Club and The Sports Trading Club Partnership accepts money from high-paying clients and “invests” it in international sports betting. This July, the company claimed to have made $150 million by backing Germany to win the World Cup.
Review Journal: International mob-connected ring linked to illegal World Cup betting at Caesars
Shortly after the World Cup in Brazil ended, the police have shut down an alleged multimillion-dollar illegal sports betting business operated from three villas at Caesars Palace. Authorities believed the ring was run by Malaysian and Chinese nationals and led by poker player Paul Phua. Police said his son, Darren Wai Kit Phua, was also involved.
In a criminal complaint, Las Vegas FBI Agent Minh Pham claimed Wei Seng Phua was “known by law enforcement to be a high-ranking member of the 14K Triad.” His lawyer denied these claims.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Frayn wanted to keep both father and son under arrest, saying they were threats to flee, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Bill Hoffman ordered their release, imposing several restrictions including a $2 million bail. Phua also had to put up his $48 million private jet as collateral.
Phua was arrested on similar grounds on June 18 in Macau, where he and 20 other people were accused of running a large gambling ring that accepted hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal bets.
There was no shortage of news last week around the world so lets look back at some of the biggest stories that snatched the headlines.
Authorities in Ferguson Missouri were forced to call in the National Guard as widespread rioting overwhelmed the beleagued police force following the jury verdict finding Officer Darren Wilson inculpable after the August 9th shooting that saw him gun down the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. With buildings set ablaze and numerous arrests the riots mark a low point in the relationship between the almost entirely white police force and vastly black population they serve. Officer Darren Wilson then resigned from his position, a move that has done little to quell tension in the town.
The teenage daughters of President Obama came under fire from Republican Elizabeth Lauten who posted on Facebook following their appearance at the turkey pardoning ceremony alongside their father at the White House. “Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar.” She said of the 13 and 16 year old girls outfits, adding that she felt they lacked class but lamented, “your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter. So I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”. She then deleted the statement and apologized insincerely, much to the annoyance of the internet.
The Black Friday chaos proved to be a little less fraught this year as many stores tried to ease the rush by beginning their sales on Thanksgiving itself. As millions of Americans sat down to eat with their families and then went out to grab some early Christmas shopping bargains with very few instances of trouble, across the Atlantic in the UK (which doesn’t even celebrate thanksgiving) there were scenes of unbridled consumerist madness with the police being called to deal with trouble at several stores that began their sales at midnight and saw pandemonium break out upon opening their doors to the great British public.
In sport the Cricketing world paid its respects after the sad death of 25 year old Australian Phillip Hughes who died last week having been hit by the ball. The tragic accident has placed the first test between India and Australia, due to start on Thursday in Brisbane, in doubt and an already busy schedule may mean it won’t go ahead at all. Negotiations between the teams on the matter continued into the weekend and to find out if or when it goes ahead you’ll have to check our daily news pages regularly but in the meantime here’s some of the stories that hit our headlines last week.
1. Despite his conflict with Borgata, poker pro Phil Ivey has endorsed the casino’s new partner, the Pala Casino online gambling site.
2.The Florida Lottery has a bright future ahead. Lottery sales in the Sunshine State already reached an impressive $5.3 billion and now lawmakers are considering introducing online sales in the state.
3.Neteller co-founder’s biography was released. Readers could discover the story behind the successful and controversial John Lefebvre.
4.The recent casino cheating case involving US Navy Rear Admiral Timothy Giardani got everybody’s attention.
5.What seems to be holding back the growth in the Macau casino industry?
6.Favourit and EveryMatrix launched multi-lingual online and mobile platform to the delight of players.
7.The Polish government is considering reviewing their policies on international gambling operations.
Meanwhile the queen of the crime novel, PD James, died peacefully at the age of 94 in her Oxford home having written 20 books including “Children of Men” and the massively successful series featuring the detective Adam Dalgliesh that were adapted for television, and in Hong Kong protestors attempted to move on the Chief Executive’s office only to be met by batons, pepper-spray and water hoses from authorities tired of the softly-softly approach. Will there be more chaos on the streets of this gambling capital? You’ll have to check in with our daily news pages to find out.
However, the new bill has few details on how the web service would work. New York residents can buy tickets using credit cards; players living in Georgia use a prepaid lottery card system; Illinois limits online purchases to $150 a day and allows winnings to be deposited into an online account. In Florida’s case, these details haven’t been clarified yet.
In support of her proposal, Margolis argued that internet sales would help increase revenue for the lottery, which is among the state’s biggest fundraisers. On the other hand, many fear that stores will take a financial blow if players will be able to conveniently purchase tickets from the comfort of their own homes.
United Press International: Florida Lottery could sell tickets online if bill passes
Last week, Florida State Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Coconut Grove, introduced a bill proposing that the Sunshine State allow players to purchase lottery tickets online. If the bill is approved, Florida will become the eighth state to legalize online ticket sales.
“[The lottery is] one of the biggest fundraisers we have,” Margolis said. According to the latest gambling news, the Senator believes that legalizing online ticket sales would be much more beneficial for the state than building a casino resort in South Florida. This is a project Las Vegas Sands Corp. has been lobbying for over the past months.
“This way, anybody who wants to buy them can buy them. Expand that instead of having big problems with major gaming in the community,” she affirmed.
Opponents of the bill fear that allowing people to purchase tickets online would create more problems for gambling addicts. Brian Kongsvik, the helpline director of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, says being able to use a line of credit would cause people to lose that sense of pulling money out of their pockets. But Margolis argued that gamblers “like to sit at the table” and enjoy “the social part of it”.
All seven states offering online lottery tickets have their own payment mechanisms. The bill introduced by Margolis doesn’t mention which method would be used in Florida. Bill SB 120 is a one-page proposal stating:
“[The Lottery] shall have the authority to create a program that allows a person who is 18 years of age or older to make an online purchase of a Florida lottery ticket. The department may adopt rules to administer the program.”
Sun Sentinel: Florida Lottery may go online
Florida legislators could make playing the lottery a lot easier if they approve a bill introduced by state Sen. Gwen Margolis, D-Coconut Grove, and allow the lottery to sell tickets online. At present, tickets can only be bought at brick-and-mortar outlets and stores.
The Florida Lottery was founded in 1988, when voters passed a constitutional amendment that authorized the organization two years before. Over the years, lottery sales helped bring in $27 billion for education. Most of that profit was put in a trust fund to be divided up by the state legislature.
The proposal has some people worried about the harmful effects it might have on gambling addicts, but Margolis doesn’t think the online lottery would have a negative impact. Problem gamblers “like to sit at the table,” she said.
Brian Kongsvik, the helpline director of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling explained: “With any online gambling, and the potential to use a line of credit, it loses that physical pulling money out of pocket.”
When it comes to legalizing gambling, the organization is neutral. However, Kongsvik fears that making lottery tickets that easily accessible could result in more people needing the help of his organization.
“In theory, there is no doubt about it that some individuals that have a gambling problem, or the potential to develop one, could use credit lines to gamble more than they normally would,” he explained.
Florida Courier: Florida Lottery sales hit record-setting $5.3 billion
As Florida residents become more and more obsessed with scratch cards and lottery tickets, the state lottery reported it had reached record sales of $5.3 billion earlier in July. While part of that profit goes to the state budget and educational programs, the organization spends between $28 million and $30 million on advertising every year.
Even before the Powerball or Mega Millions rollover jackpot spurred sales, the Florida Lottery posted $5.36 billion at its last sales report. The year before that, it was just over $5 billion. About 60% of the money goes to winners, leaving $1.49 billion for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.
The increased revenues were generated by a growth in ticket sales. Scratch-off tickets are available in more than 13,000 locations across the state, with prices ranging from $1 to $25. Over the past year, sales went up by 12.7%. The $25 ticket is the most popular one, accounting for $13 million in weekly sales. Powerball sold $469 million, Mega Millions made $167 million and Lotto reached $349 million.
Lottery Deputy Secretary of Sales Tom Delacenserie said: “If we have a $600 million jackpot or $550 million jackpot, we just get out of the way and the sales take off. Last year we didn’t get up that high.”
From a financial point of view, South Africa’s casinos are doing very well. As the most popular form of gambling in the country, these businesses are raking in as much as R17 billion every year. But while the land-based casino industry is still the most profitable, competition is getting heated as other forms of gambling are growing at a rapid rate.
This week, accounting firm PwC released a detailed report on how the gambling industry could evolve in the following few years. The document takes a closer look at casinos in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya and speculates on the trends the industry could follow between this year and 2018.
PwC’s predictions are not too optimistic. As the country’s economy is slowing down, its gambling market will face the same slowdown, the accounting firm said.
BusinessDay: Bingo and sports betting make inroads into casinos
In its report, PwC studied the growth prospects for casinos, as well as limited payout machines, bingo, sports betting and lottery games in South Africa. The country has 37 land-based casinos, which made a total of R16.5 billion profits last year. The industry has grown on a year-to-year basis, but only by a modest 0.6%.
Last year turnover increased 4%, a drop from the 7.6% growth in the previous year and the smallest profit made since 2009.
“We expect continued slow growth in SA over the next two years,” the accounting company said. “We then look for a pick-up in growth in each country as economic conditions improve. Some casino operators in certain locations believe that the slowdown in 2013 was due in part to growing competition from electronic bingo terminals, limited payout machines and sports betting shops, which are becoming more prevalent,” said the report.
Meanwhile, bingo operations have generated 67.5% increased revenue last year, while limited payout machines grew 17.8% and sports betting by 9.1%. According to online gambling news, bingo is the smallest category, with revenue of just R732 million, but the industry is constantly growing. Sports betting went up 18.5% and horse racing grew 4.6%, and PwC expects sports wagering to overtake horse racing in the next five years.
Charl Faurie, a spokesperson for SA’s Casino Association, said the association does not see alternative forms of legal gambling as a threat. However, illegal gambling operations are having a negative impact on the industry.
“The rapid increase of illegal online gambling is of particular concern to us as we estimate billions of rands are lost in tax revenue per year which has an obvious negative economic effect on the country. Casa is taking specific actions to address this threat beginning with a mass-media awareness campaign which will launch in the next few months,” Faurie said.
GamingZion: Online Gambling Sites in South Africa Could Be Banned
For years, politicians have been discussing changing the country’s gambling laws, as the industry expected them to regulate the online casino market. But recent news said authorities were considering doing the exact opposite: banning internet gambling in South Africa.
In addition to this, the media said lawmakers are also talking about setting limits on the number of electronic bingo machines and forbidding dog races. While these measures are just in the form of a proposal at the moment, if the draft becomes law all hope of having legal online casinos in the country will be lost.
Of course, not all officials agree with the proposal. Geordin Hill-Lewis, Member of Parliament (DA) and Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry believes it will cost the state more to enforce the law, than to legalize internet gambling. But others note that the number of problem gamblers has increased in recent years, and so has the level of indebtedness.
In addition to forbidding online gambling, South Africa authorities want to introduce licenses for the horse racing industry, in hopes that this measure will make gambling less accessible.
CityPress: Davies tackles gambling board’s mismanagement
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies suspended members of the National Gambling Board (NGB) on allegations of maladministration, wasteful spending and corrupt activities. The agency’s activities will be investigated by authorities, to find out if the accusations are true.
The board is normally responsible for overseeing the gambling industry and regulating South Africa’s multi-billion-rand market. Davies noted that the suspension was a precautionary measure, after an alleged contravention of the Public Finance Management Act through “failing to prevent irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and making overdraft on the entity’s bank account without the approval of the minister of finance”.
The board is accused of breaking the National Gambling Act by “allowing members whose term of office had expired to continue participating in the board’s activities and representing the NGB”, and there was a mention of “apparent corrupt activities” regarding the National Central Electronic Monitoring System, as well as “unlawful appointments of staff”.
Members of the board were also accused of intimidation, bullying and getting rid of evidence, which is why Davies decided to suspend them until the investigation is over.
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 world last week was a place of excitement and disaster so lets look back at some of the big stories that hit the headlines
Quatar was cleared of allegations of wrong doing surrounding their being awarded the 2022 World Cup by FIFA the body that oversees international soccer. Despite a huge number of allegations the report supposedly gave the rich nation in which it’s actually too hot to feasibly play football a clean bill of health although the report itself is not to be published in full and has already been criticized by one of the authors for being misrepresented. UEFA are already threatening to quit FIFA over the scandal.And a scandal is perhaps what the Rosetta project could become as the 1.4 billion Euro adventure into the depths of space managed to get 300 million miles from Earth, catch up with a speeding comet and then crash into it, bounce a few times and dive into one of the few places its solar panels couldn’t recharge its batteries. Still hailed as a huge success by the scientific community it remains to be seen just how much real information will be gleaned from the results.
Of course real information is hard to come by these days and Vladimir Putin seemed a tad disingenuous when he cited a long journey home and a need for sleep as being the reasons behind his leaving the G20 Summit in Australia quite as early as he did. Of course many observers would point to the fact just about every other leader had lambasted him for his attitude and behavior over Ukraine, and that Russia was rapidly becoming isolated on the world stage.
In sports a very disappointed Roger Federer was forced to pull out of the ATP World Tour final versus long term rival Novak Djokovic due to a back injury. Apologizing in person at the O2 Arena in London he said sorry for not being match fit in what was a massive PR disaster for the ATP, and an unfortunately tainted default win for Djokovic who admitted this wasn’t the way he wanted to win the trophy. Will Federer recover his fitness or have we seen the last of the six time ATP champion? Find out on our daily news pages but in the meantime lets have a look back at our headlines from last week.
1. One company’s trash is another company’s treasure. With Echo Group hunting VIP gamblers, the Townsville casino was becoming too insignificant in the whole picture, so the company sold it for $70 million to someone willing to fix it up and revive it.
2. After remote gambling operators have taken a major financial blow because of the new license fees and taxes imposed in the UK, the Maltese Government is offering to help heal their bleeding wounds.
3. A trained chef and poker player, Martin Jacobson has surely figured out the secret recipe for success, because he just won $10 million and his very first gold bracelet at the World Series of Poker.
4. It took a long time, but Atlantic City is finally waking up and smelling the coffee. Losing five casinos and leaving thousands of workers unemployed has finally hurt enough to convince officials that it’s time for a change.
5. One of the largest Asian gambling groups, Genting, is resilient to the general decline on the gambling market.
6. The state of Illinois allowed video gaming machines in bars and restaurants and so far the experience has been positive.
7. New information has been made available in connection to Paul Phua illegal betting ring, which might lead to case dismissal.
Meanwhile Boko Haran we accused of being behind the suicide bombing that struck a Nigerian school assembly killing 46 and injuring 79 students, an event that made a mockery of government claims to have signed a ceasefire with the Islamic terrorist group, and elsewhere the Dutch have discovered a new outbreak of an even more contagious, and thus dangerous, strain of bird flu that can be transmitted to humans. Will we all end up tarred and feathered? You’ll have to keep up to date with our daily news pages to find out.
Atlantic City hasn’t had much luck this year, but authorities are looking for ways to “stop the bleeding” and help the city recover financially.
The former gambling kingdom just can’t catch a break. By the end of this year, Atlantic City may see its fifth casino sink, causing unemployment rates to go up yet again. As the city is suffering from the closures, authorities are looking for a way to bounce back by completely rebuilding it.
There are a number of closed shops and casinos in the city, but if you think about how hard Atlantic City has had it this year, you’ll be quite pleasantly impressed with the amount of new construction here. Right across from the now-bankrupt Trump Plaza, a Bass Pro outdoor goods store will rise over an entire city block.
According to online gambling news, New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority offered land and $12 million in cash to help develop the project which will employ 290 people. Mayor Don Guardian says the city has become too dependent on gambling revenues, but it’s time for a change.
“The city was happy, because it provided decent jobs with benefits and it paid the taxes, but we lost everything else. You lose your whole entrepreneurial spirit,” he said in an interview.
NPR: As Casinos Fold, Stakes Are High For Atlantic City Transformation
Just as Las Vegas did two decades ago, Atlantic City is trying to become less dependent on casino profits and branch out more into entertainment. It’s looking to become a destination for conferences and various events, not just a place where you can gamble.
Caesars Entertainment said it took nine million pounds of steel to build the structure of the new Waterfront Conference Center in Atlantic City, which has received substantial backing from the developer and from the casino reinvestment authority. Rick Mazer, regional president of Caesars Entertainment said: “This is the business that I think will evolve and regrow Atlantic City.”
However, some experts are skeptical of the project’s potential to succeed. Oliver Cooke, an economist at nearby Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, has his doubts. “You simply are not going to consume your way out of the morass that you’re in,” he explained. “Doing things like building more retail, building more convention centers, has a very, very limited upside.”
Meanwhile, authorities are talking about reselling, reopening and repurposing some casinos. Just last week, Stockton College announced it was going to buy the old Showboat property and The Revel’s new owners are allegedly planning to make a new investment and reopen the venue.
But Atlantic City needs more than just commercial projects. Mayor Don Guardian hopes to see new residents move in and rebuild the city. “Then we’ve gotta work on our school system,” he continues. “But I gotta fix the city first, find jobs, get taxes, reduce cost of government, make the place pretty, and then we’ll work on the schools. I like the challenge.”
Washington Times: Taxes, schools, casinos key to Christie AC plan
Atlantic City officials are trying to come up with ways to get the economy up and running again. Governor Chris Christie has commissioned a plan calling for more predictable taxes for casinos, temporarily freezing taxes on non-gambling property and halting payments on employee pension plans, as well as offering more support for schools that reduce costs.
The commission appointed to study Atlantic City’s future prospects has released a set of recommendations, but the governor hasn’t committed himself to anything yet. According to the commission, the city should have an emergency manager holding “extraordinary supervisory powers” over expenses and taxes.
Experts added that Atlantic City should form a public-private development corporation, similar to the one that helped New Brunswick. An essential part of the plan is property tax reform.
“Extraordinary state and local support is required in the transition phase of the Atlantic City revitalization strategy focusing on immediate activities with a high probability of success, including balancing the municipal and school cost structure toward ‘new normal,’” panel Chairman Jon Hanson wrote.
The report said: “High effective rates and a rapidly declining tax base have created an immense financial burden for residents, local businesses and the casino industry,” the report read. The “entire Atlantic City gaming industry is at risk as each incremental casino closure results in a greater tax increase than revenue increase for the surviving casinos.”
If freed from making pension payments for three years, the city could save up to $71.1 million, while in the same time reducing the need to borrow money. The plan proposes regionalizing the police and fire departments, thus cutting costs by $25 million a year.
The $30 million used by the Atlantic City Alliance to promote the city should be redirected to the new development corporation, ACDevCo, the commission recommended.
Reuters: New Jersey college buys Atlantic City’s closed Showboat casino
The shuttered Showboat Atlantic City gambling resort formerly operated by Caesars Entertainment could be bought by a college in southern New Jersey. The Richard Stockton College wants to transform the 1.4 million square foot property completely, by turning it into a campus.
The building sits on 28 beachfront acres and holds 1,329 hotel rooms. The deal is subject to due diligence checks, but the terms of the contract were not disclosed yet.
Stockton president Herman Saatkamp said: “Our intent is to engage in a project that enhances Stockton’s educational growth, offerings and cost-containment while at the same time brings new educational opportunities to Atlantic City.”
Although the casino resort was still making profit, Caesars closed it in August. The venues was reportedly sacrificed in an attempt to consolidate the city’s deteriorating gaming market.
Caesars CEO Gary Loveman is hopeful that the new agreement could help steer the local economy in a new direction. “The transformation and revitalization of Atlantic City requires the addition of a diverse set of reasons for people to come visit,” he told reporters.
In 2010, Stockton College bought the Seaview Resort in Galloway Township for $20 million. Part of the property is used to house students and train them in hospitality.
If you thought amateur poker players don’t have what it takes to win major tournaments, guess again.
When 27 year-old Martin Jacobson made it to the final table at the World Series of Poker 2014, many believed the Swedish poker player just got lucky. To think that he would actually win the tournament seemed unthinkable a few weeks ago, when online gambling news introduced him to the world as a former cook who took a break from his time in the kitchen to give poker a try.
Before participating in the November Nine, he had made it to four final tables and had earned more than $1.2 million. But nothing compares to his latest accomplishment: the $10 million guaranteed prize offered at the World Series of Poker, along with a title coveted even by the industry’s biggest names.
The tournament lasted for more than 81 hours. It took Jacobson 45 hours to oust Norwegian player Felix Stephensenand and win his first gold bracelet. “This is what I played for,” he said, referring to his new $500,000 bracelet. “This is all that mattered to me.”
Bleacher Report: WSOP 2014 Results: Winner, Prize Money for November 9 Main Event Finals
Martin Jacobson was already on the right track to becoming a well-respected poker player, but the $10 million prize and gold bracelet he won at this year’s WSOP will surely boost his career. His outstanding performance was applauded by fellow players and poker fans, as he beat out Jorryt van Hoof and Felix Stephensen on the last day of the main event.
Van Hoof, who entered the game as chip leader, was nearly flawless on Monday night, but he was the first one to go after struggling to make decisions all night. First he lost a massive pot to Stephensen, then he held on for a while, but when blinds were increased to $800,000 and $1.6 million, he started to run out of time. A couple of hands later, he was eliminated.
“I didn’t feel as comfortable out there playing tonight as I was yesterday. I moved to the five seat and the light was bothering me. It seemed brighter there. I had more trouble seeing and focusing,” he explained.
After that, Jacobson had the advantage and did not make any mistakes. Finally, on hand no. 328, he went all in and Stephensen had no option but to call. The Swedish player beat his Norwegian opponent, whose described his second-place result as disappointing.
Independent: World Series of Poker 2014: Martin Jacobsen claims $10m prize after learning the game while training to be a chef
Out of all players who made it to the November Nine, Jacobson was the only one who had won more than $1 million in World Series of Poker career earnings. He did come out second in some cases, but he has never managed to make his way to the top.
“There’s no such thing as a ‘perfect tournament’, but this was close to perfect, maybe,” he said in an interview after the game was over.
Throughout the two days of playing, the young Swedish poker pro kept a calm stillness. He didn’t care for any of the tricks other players use to hide their tells, like wearing sunglasses, a hoodie or a baseball cap.
His main rival, the 24 year-old Norwegian player Felix Stephensen, took home $5.1 million in cash. “It’s disappointing to be so close, but I got really lucky to get this far, and it was a tough final table,” he told reporters.
They defeated Dutch player Jorryt van Hoof, who started out as chip leader and maintained his position at the top throughout most of the game. The 31 year-old poker pro won $3.8 million for third place.
“I enjoyed playing with these guys. We’re going to meet up. And the winner will pay for my dinner,” he said.
GamingZion: Martin Jacobson Cooking Up a Plan to Win the WSOP
Jacobson started developing an interest for poker when he was 18, after his father gave him a poker book as a birthday present. He liked the game from the very beginning, but his real passion was cooking so he studied culinary school to become a world-class chef.
After working as a chef in Stockholm for a while, he decided to take a chance on another offer. But this suddenly fell through, leaving him with little options. So while he was looking for another opportunity to work as a chef, he took up poker.
“I started playing sit-and-gos online, and they were my bread and butter,” he told reporters. “I made some extra money online and [those sit-and-gos] ironically helped prepare me for the steps on PokerStars.”
His first notable result in poker was qualifying for the 2008 World Series of Poker. With $12,000 in his pocket after winning one of the satellites, he wasn’t sure about what to do next: head for Vegas or keep the money?
“I called my mom and asked for her advice,” he told reporters. “She said, ‘Obviously, you are going to Vegas.’ That’s not what I was expecting her to say, but when she did, I definitely decided to go.”
Things didn’t work out for him back in 2008, but since then he started to take the game more seriously. His scores got better and better, he finished second in the PokerStars Sunday Million, then he qualified for the European Poker Tour in London and Budapest. In just one year, he had the chance to be in three major main events.
The WSOP 2014 brought him his first gold bracelet, as well as the respect and admirations of his fellow poker players.
In Berlin Germans celebrated the end of the cold war and the collapse of the Berlin Wall that for so long divided their city. Built by the communist authorities in 1961 to stop people fleeing to the west it collapsed in 1989 in triumphant scenes flashed around the world. To celebrate events were held across the city with 8,000 white balloons released along the length of the wall, only a few miles of which remains, to remember the numerous people who died trying to escape the east during the cold war. The Brandenburg Gate saw the biggest party with Peter Gabriel playing David Bowie’s “Heroes” to a massive crowd.
Massive crowds were not in evidence during the US midterm elections on Tuesday where a scant 36.5% of the voting public bothered to actually vote. This coupled with the Republican stoked unpopularity of President Obama saw the Democratic Party take a decisive beating at the ballot box. As the results rolled in it became apparent there was a lot of work to do before 2016 if they wish to retain the White House. Republicans celebrated their victory and new control over the Senate but insisted they would be working with the President in the final two years of his presidency, a sentiment echoed by Obama. And if you believe that…
Talking of unbelievable the new head of GCHQ, the British equivalent of the NSA, Robert Hannigan has called on tech giants to cooperate more closely with the intelligence services in the fight against extremists and terrorism. Apparently our all having social media sites and the ability to encrypt our communications is making his job a little bit too difficult, which is ironic since most of us only started using encryption after we found out Mr. Hannigan and his friends were listening in on everything we said online. In an almost pleading article for the Financial Times he called for a “mature debate” on privacy, security and civil liberties. Yeah. Good luck with that, Bob.
In sports the Formula 1 drivers championship was still neck and neck as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton went into the Brazilian Grand Prix. In an action packed race that saw Hamilton spin off at one point, the two Mercedes drivers romped home in first and second place with the German Rosberg winning cutting Hamilton’s championship lead to just 17 points with 50 available in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. Who’ll win that and take the season? Find out in our daily news pages but before you do that check out the stories that hit our headlines last week.
1. Apparently, the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino is so profitable that two rival groups of the tribe who owns it are fighting over it with guns and firearms, just like in the Wild West.
2. Macau is in big trouble. With VIP customers avoiding the gambling hub due to China’s crackdown on corruption, the city’s casinos are posting huge drops in profit.
3. After pumping millions into their pro-casino campaign and dangling thousands of jobs in front of Massachusetts voters, Wynn, MGM and Penn National finally got what they wanted: the majority vote allowing them to move ahead with projects in the state.
4. As if making online operators pay extra to gain access to British players wasn’t enough, the UK Gambling Commission has also put restrictions on sports sponsorships.
5. Marriage is hard and David and Sam Mackie know it only too well. In two and a half years of marriage, they didn’t even get a chance to go on a honeymoon! Well luck was on their side last week, when they won a trip to Australia and GBP1 million.
6. After Macau, it is now Singapore’s turn to bleed because of China’s crackdown on corruption, which has chased away VIP customers. While gambling news talk aboutpainful losses in casino revenues, no one is bothering to figure out what these high-rollers are actually hiding from.
7. Reports suggested that British driver Lewis Hamilton could potentially suffer a similar fate at the Interlagos circuit as in previous years.
Meanwhile Swedish scientists have shown human stem cells can be used to treat the effects of Parkinson’s Disease with a study displaying an alleviation or reversal of the brain damaged caused. Hailed as a break-through this test on rats may lead to clinical trials on humans by 2017, and last week the drummer from AC/DC was charged with attempting to arrange a murder amongst other things, and whilst those charges were dropped he still faces up to seven years for making threats to kill, a charge his lawyer says will be contested, will he get off? Find out in our daily news pages.
Macau has had a few rough months during and after the World Cup in Brazil, but its streak of bad luck reached its peak in October.
When June reports showed a 3.7% year-on-year drop, industry experts blamed it on the World Cup sports betting craze and said things would pick up. Then revenues came in at just $3.6 billion in July, showing a 3.6% drop from the same period last year and they said Macau needs a bit more time to get back on track.
But as Chinese authorities continue their crackdown on casino corruption, an initiative which scared away a number of VIP customers, things have gotten serious. In October, total casino revenue fell by 23.2% in October compared to the same month of 2013.
The city’s gaming authority said total revenue was at 28 billion Macau patacas ($3.5 billion) this October, marking Macau’s worst financial performance since the gambling hub started recording such data in 2005.
Despite its recent downward trend, Macau continues to be the world’s largest gambling centre, way ahead of Las Vegas. The bad news is that the region relies heavily on casino revenue –mostly on the money spent by high-rollers – which seems to be on the decline. Moreover, it’s the only area where China allows casinos, a type of entertainment otherwise forbidden under the country’s gambling laws.
Reuters: Macau Oct gaming revenues fall 23 pct, drop worst on record
October was the worst month for Macau’s casinos and the fifth consecutive month of declines. Industry representatives blame it on China’s passive war on corruption, as well as on a decline in the number of tourists and a general slowing of economic growth, which makes people spend less on gambling.
“It is worse in October than it was before October,” Steve Wynn, chief executive of Wynn Macau, told a recent earnings call. “I don’t know if it is a squall or if we are in the rainy season, or how long it will last, but we are still very bullish on Macau.”
The American casino developer has started construction on another Macau project – a $4 billion integrated resort, which includes a lake and air-conditioned gondolas.
According to online gambling news, about 80% of Macau’s revenues rely on gambling, but China’s two-year anti-corruption battle has taken its toll on the local casino industry. Big spenders are now avoiding the area and choosing other destinations where they can freely spend their money. Profits from VIP customers accounted for just 56% of total revenues in the third quarter, which was a new low for Macau.
Las Vegas Sands chief Sheldon Adelson said these trends are cyclical. “It is only a matter of time before the cycle reverses itself. No one has ever suggested that the behavior of Chinese and Asian people, which has been established over a 3,000-year history, is going to change.”
Wall Street Journal: Macau Gambling-Revenue Drop Divides Investors
Making smart investments in casino stocks used to be pretty simple. Investors would just choose those companies that had bigger exposure in Macau, knowing that those were the names with the best prospects. Things have changed now that Macau has had its fifth straight month of revenue declines.
Hong Kong-based Central Asset Investments portfolio manager Armand Yeung said: “We were short. Now we’re just staying away from it.” Though valuations have become more reasonable and dividend yields are attractive, “there’s still a lot of debate”, he added.
When an analyst casino magnate Steve Wynn if he thought things were getting worse in Macau, he replied: “Oh, well, that’s an easy question. It’s worse in October than it was before October. So if you’re asking what is the nadir of our experience, it is current.”
Wynn added that Beijing’s efforts to combat corruption in Macau “has put a lot of the wealthy businessmen in the fox holes.”
Credit analysts are expressing concerns about Macau expansion plans, claiming that casinos will not be able to repay their debts if the slowdown in revenue continues.
Forbes: Macau Casino Revenue Falls, VIPs Blamed, Investors Rejoice
Figures released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau showed a 3.7% decline in year-on-year revenue in June, with profits dropping to 27.2 billion Macau patacas or $3.4 billion. Industry representatives claim it was caused by a 20% drop in VIP attendance.
This was the first time when Macau’s monthly revenue fell since June 2009, which marked a low point for the city’s casino sector. Union Gaming Research Macau analysts Grant Govertsen and Felicity Chiang pointed out that from the decline in 2009, “Macau went on an unprecedented run [with] tripling of GGR from approximately US$15 billion in 2009 to US$45 billion in 2013.”
Between 2008 and 2009, Macau’s problem was mainly a matter of politics, with an overlay of economic factors. It could be the same this time around, as the 20% drop in VIP revenue is believed to be caused by President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign in China.
On the other hand, a report released by Morgan Stanley Asia in June cited economic factors from the mainland, while others blamed it on the World Cup, which Union Gaming conceded “could be responsible for a few hundred basis points of the VIP decline.”
Using tricks to take down an illegal betting ring didn’t work for the FBI. Now a high-ranking member of the 14K triad society could slip through its fingers due to “procedural errors.”
Last week, the word got out that FBI agents went into Paul Phua’s apartment at Caesars Palace disguised as cable guys, to gather evidence without a warrant. As more “procedural errors” come to light, the alleged gambling kingpin could get away with his illegal betting operation because the bureau itself broke a few rules while trying to get the bad guy.
US federal agents say Paul Phua Wei-seng is a high-ranking member of Hong Kong’s 14K triad society. Phua and his son Darren Phua Wai-kit have been charged with operating an illegal betting ring from a hotel in Las Vegas, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But they could both get away with it because of alleged breach of procedure by the FBI.
According to the latest gambling news, Phua’s lawyers filed a motion to suppress testimony he provided during a police raid, because agents didn’t follow the rules.
South China Morning Post: Procedural errors may kill FBI gambling case involving Asian kingpin Paul Phua
Phua and his son were arrested and charged with operating an illegal gambling ring in Las Vegas, during the World Cup. Now prosecutors have to prove that the two Malaysians used and operated these betting platforms from the luxury suites they rented at Caesars Palace.
Lawyers called the triad allegations unfounded and said the 50 year-old man “absolutely maintains he is innocent of the gambling charges in the United States”. Now they’re also trying to suppress statements where the defendants said Phua held a stake in IBC Bet, one of the largest betting operations in the Philippines.
Before obtaining these statements, police allegedly violated the defendants’ constitutional rights by failing to give a so-called Miranda warning, which informs suspects that they have the right to remain silent during an interrogation, until they get legal advice.
The two Malaysian men said they were staying at a villa which was offered to them free of charge by Caesars Palace. The motion says their defense lawyer was not allowed to meet them while they were being questioned.
In his affidavit, Phua wrote: “The first agent I saw pointed a machine gun at me and shouted, ‘Put your f*ing hands up’. Everyone in the villa was handcuffed, herded into the dining room, and told to get on our knees and face the wall.”
Before the World Cup, several illegal bookmakers have been arrested in Southeast Asia. Dozens of people were charged with breaking gambling laws by running unlicensed sports wagering services. Some of them pointed to IBC.
PokerNews: Did Caesars Palace and the FBI Collude in the Arrests of Paul Phua?
This July, eight people were arrested at Caesars Palace Las Vegas for being involved in an illegal betting ring. Among those arrested was 50-year-old Malaysian high-stakes poker player and alleged high-ranking member of the 14K Triad Paul Phua.
The arrests were part of an FBI sting and Phua’s lawyers claim the defendants’ Fourth Amendment rights were violated because the raid was conducted under an unlawful search warrant.
Investigations began this summer, when the defendants rented the villas and asked the casino staff for an “unusual amount of electronic equipment”. According to newspaper reports, the venue’s security personnel became suspicious and called the FBI, then worked together with agents to cut off Internet access to have an excuse to send undercover agents inside.
Posing as service technicians, FBI agents gained access to the villas and collected evidence to obtain a warrant in court. The defense argued that the warrant was obtained through an unlawful scheme.
“A ruling upholding these intrusions would cause innocent Americans to live their daily lives burdened with the palpable sense that their government is regularly scheming to spy on them in their homes,” lawyers said.
The federal government is expected to respond soon.
GamingZion: Gambler, Bookie, Diplomat, Gangster: the Fantastic Story of Paul Phua Wei-seng
Each year, illegal betting generates billions of dollars for criminal syndicates around the world. The largest scandal this year was when the FBI busted an operation run from two villas at the Caesars Hotel in Las Vegas. The head of the operation, reports said, was Paul Phua, a high-stakes poker player, former diplomat and alleged gangster.
Less than one month before being caught in Vegas, he had faced the same charges in Macau but posted bail and fled from the city. Newspapers said he flew straight to Sin City and continues his illegal business from here.
In addition to being a suspected black market bookmaker, Phua is also a legitimate businessman, owner of Sat Ieng Sociedade Unipessoal junket in Macau, where he likes to take a personal interest in entertaining his customers. He also holds a majority stake in IBC Bet, a company based in the Philippines which has grown to become one of the world’s most profitable sportsbooks.
From 2011 until his arrest in Las Vegas, Phua also held the title of San Marinese ambassador to Montenegro, although reports say he never properly checked in with the authorities in Podgorica, but did gain the advantage of traveling freely almost anywhere.
Phua is known in the world of high-stakes poker too. He makes regular appearances at the Poker King Club in Macau, and in 2012 he played in the $1 million buy-in tournament at the World Series of Poker.
Federal investigators say he is also a high-ranking member of the 14K triad, thought to be one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most powerful criminal organizations. It remains to be seen if the case against him stands or not, given the procedural errors committed by the FBI.
After cutting off Internet access three Las Vegas luxury villas, FBI agents impersonated repair technicians to get inside and collect evidence.
Against the recommendation of an assistant U.S. attorney, Kimberly Frayn, the FBI went ahead with its plans and pretended to be repair technicians in order to get inside the villa. But lawyers representing four of the eight men charged in the case have filed a motion to dismiss all evidence collected that day. The prosecutor supposedly told FBI agents that “it was a consent issue.”
Under American laws, authorities need a warrant before searching a property, so defense lawyers challenged the actions described in detail by online gambling news, which were part of an investigation on an illegal sports betting operation.
If authorities don’t have the written permission, the person whose property is being inspected must first waive his constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Otherwise, the evidence should not be used in trial, because it was improperly collected.
Fox News: Federal agents impersonated computer technicians to collect evidence in sports betting probe, lawyers say
FBI agents in Las Vegas had referred questions about their plan to the local US Attorney’s Office. Spokeswoman Natalie Collins said prosecutors were aware of the allegations, but declined to make any comments while the trial was pending.
According to American newspapers, the Drug Enforcement Administration set up a fake Facebook account, where it posted personal information and photos taken from the phone of a woman who had been arrested in a cocaine case. The idea was to trick her friends and associates into revealing incriminating information.
On another occasion, the FBI sent a fake news story to a suspect in a bomb-threat case, hoping he would click on the link thus allowing investigators to track down his location. The FBI had attributed the story to the Associated Press, causing the agency to react and describe the actions as “unacceptable”, claiming they undermined the publication’s credibility.
As for the gambling case, the criminal complaint revealed that the eight men came to the attention of authorities in June after requesting “an unusually large amount of electronics equipment and technical support” at their hotel. An electrical engineer working for the Las Vegas hotel said the equipment “appeared to be set up for an illegal gambling operation.”
FBI investigators tried to get into their apartment to gather evidence, but a former federal prosecutor, Mark Rasch, said the tactics they resorted will most likely not stand up in court. “Police are allowed to use a certain kind of subterfuge, but what they can’t do is create a certain kind of circumstance,” he said.
South China Morning Post: Dramatic FBI video shows how agents tricked their way into Paul Phua’s villa for gambling bust
Newspapers got their hands on 30 minutes of audio and video recordings of the FBI’s action plan to bust what appeared to be an illegal online betting operation in Las Vegas. The video was filmed through a lapel camera and shows how agents tricked their way into the villas where an alleged Asian gambling kingpin and his team were staying.
According to the defense, FBI agents shut off Internet access to Paul Phua Wei-seng’s villa at Caesars Palace, and then gained access to it by impersonating repair technicians. This is how authorities managed to collect the evidence used against the accused.
In the video obtained by the press, investigators are working on a set of code words to use while they were inside. One agent who adopted the name “Sam” – which he also used “for other stuff” in the past – is shown working on his cover story. The images briefly show another conversation about how investigators should dress.
“If you put on that shirt, you have to look the part. Go all the way,” said Mike Wood, a technician working for Caesars. He was advising Nevada Gaming Control Board Agent Ricardo Lopez before he entered one of the suites, on July 4. Lopez went back to the villa on July 5, when he pretended to fix an internet outage for several minutes.
Defense lawyer Thomas Goldstein described the operation as an “illegal search” and challenged the evidence in court.
CardsChat: Paul Phua Sports Betting Raid FBI Tactics Questioned by Legal Team
The FBI suspected that the eight men who rented villas at Caesars Palace were breaking the state’s gambling laws by running an unlicensed betting operation. Investigators spent two days working with the hotel’s computer contractor and the Nevada Gaming Control Board on shutting down their Internet access.
But they did not stop here. FBI agents impersonated repair staff to convince the customers to let them inside the apartments, and they even recorded what they found inside. The videos were the main evidence used to obtain the arrest warrant against the eight defendants.
Lawyers did not know how authorities had managed to get inside the suites until they overheard an official talk about cutting the Internet access. “They were trying everything they could to get inside without a warrant,” defense attorney Thomas Goldstein told reporters. Four out of the eight defendants have challenged the FBI’s actions in court.
Paul Phua and his son Darren were among those arrested. They were all charged with operating an illegal sports betting operation. Officials said Paul Phua is a high-ranking member of the 14K Triad, one of the world’s largest organized crime syndicates. Among gamblers, he is well-known for playing in high-stakes poker games in Macau, as well as in tournaments.
The poker community has supported the accused, and players Phil Ivey and Andrew Robl even offered $2.5 million towards Phua’s and his son’s bonds.
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.