Trevor Zinck, the Nova Scotia legislature, allegedly used the credit card of a 40 year old man with cerebral palsy to play poker online, racking up a bill of almost $10,000. Scott Marshall had once given Zinck his card to loan him $100 back when Zinck was acting as Marshall’s caregiver. It seems Zinck wrote down the card number to use later.
CBC News Canada: ‘Be a man’ on gambling debt, MLA urged
The mother of a Canadian disabled man is angry and frustrated that Independent MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) Trevor Zinck has not yet responded to recent allegation that he used her son’s credit card to gamble online, still owing him $7,600.
“Own up to it and be a man,” Helena MacLeod said towards Zinck.
“It seems like he has disappeared and that’s it. We kind of thought that he would come across and say that he was going to pay Scott’s credit card, but we haven’t heard a word.”
Scott Marshall, 40, has cerebral palsy. He has known Zinck for 20 years. Zinck acted as Marshall’s caregiver prior to 2006, when he was leected an MLA for Dartmouth North.
Marshall says that in June 2007, he noticed $10,000 in charges on his credit card. Zinck had used the card to play online poker, without Marshall’s permission.
Zinck has paid some of the money back, but MacLeod said the bill is still$7,600, and Marshall cannot afford to pay it.
“He gets in a very, very big panic to think that his credit is going to be down the tubes,” MacLeod said.
Zinck was ousted from the New Democratic Party caucus in March because of problems with his constituency expenses. He also admitted to having problems with drinking and gambling.
The Chronicle Herald: Zinck accused of fraud
A man from Halifax, Canada, is accusing Dartmouth North MLA Trevor Zinck of fraudulently charging $9,000 on his credit card to play online poker.
Scott Marshall says his former caregiver and friend of 20 years hasn’t paid much of it back.
“He said that he’d never leave me hanging . . . but I’ve had to hound him,” Marshall said in a telephone interview.
Marshall suffers from cerebral palsy, and is confined to a wheelchair.
In the spring of 2007, Marshall let Zinck use his credit card when he asked to borrow $100. But when Marshall got his bill, Zinck had charged thousands of dollars to it.
Zinck promised to get a loan to pay his debit to Marshall, but later said that the bank denied his application.
The NDP removed Zinck from his caucus seat last week, citing irregularities with his handling of office expenses.
Toronto Sun: Man: N.S. politician used his credit card to gamble
A disabled man has accused a member of the Nova Scotia legislature of using his credit card to gamble online – without his permission.
Scott Marshall, who is wheelchair-bound because of cerebral palsy, says Trevor Zinck admitted to charging $10,000 from his credit card when Marshall’s caregiver.
Zinck apologized and agreed to pay him back, but the payments stopped after Zinck was no longer his caregiver. The credit card bill stands at $7,600.
According to Helena MacLeod, Marshall’s mother, Zinck always had an excuse not to pay.
When asked if Zinck admitted to online gambling, Marshall said, “Oh yea.”
Zinck was recently suspended from the NDP caucus last week. He had been late in paying constituency office bills for electricity, telephone and internet.
As if the European Poker Tour weren’t exciting enough of an event, last week’s was heavily intensified. Knowing that there was a lot of cash at stake, a group of thugs made a successful attempt at armed robbery in the ritzy Grand Hyatt Berlin.
The Star: Bandits play hand in poker tour
German police hunted for 4 bandits who stormed a poker tournament in Berlin and stole about $335,000 in cash in a brazen daylight heist on Monday. The armed men rushed into the European Poker Tour event at the Grand Hyatt Berlin. According to the Berlin police spokesman, Police are analyzing video footage of the crime, dusting for prints and talking to witnesses.
Surveillance footage outside the hotel caught one robber without his mask, but only from behind. At least 2 of the 4 men were armed, one with a machete and one with a revolver, he said.
Rainer Wendt, leader of a German police union, faulted organizers for not hiring enough guards.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Poker heist gang were stupid amateurs: police
An armed gang that staged a brazen heist on a $7 million Berlin poker championship can be regarded as amateurs and will be caught soon, according to the head of the German police. The masked gang of 4 burst into the Grand Hyatt hotel in central Berlin, wielding machetes and handguns and made off with 242,000 euro in cash, while leaving mountains of evidence.
Though there are still “no hot leads” on the robbers, a police spokeswoman said investigators are “confident” that the “relatively large amount of material” they are sifting through will soon result in hard evidence.
After five days, American online poker star Kevin “ImaLuckSac” MacPhee carried off the one million euro top prize. The competition’s total prize pool was 4.7 million euro, according to the European Poker Tour, which organised the event.
BBC News: Robbers raid Berlin hotel poker tournament
Armed robbers have stormed a luxury hotel in central Berlin where a poker tournament was taking place. One report said the gang – armed with assault rifles and hand grenades – made off with the tournament jackpot of $1.1 million. There were injuries due to the ensuing panic but no one was seriously injured.
Four robbers entered from Potsdamer Platz while two others allegedly kept watch, according to Tageszeitung. Images of the chaotic scenes were broadcast by the private n-tv television station. Officials said most of the injuries were caused by panic.
The European Poker Tour (EPT) tournament – resumed about 4 hours after the attack, according to German media sources.
US gambling laws do not allow betting across state borders, so Iowa lawmakers have hit on a brilliant idea – allow online gambling, but keep it local. In a new plan that is still being drafted, players would make deposits and manage their accounts at land-based casinos in Iowa, but would be able to gamble online. Naturally, the plan is drawing a lot of criticism.
KWQC News: Iowa May Legalize Online Gambling
Iowa lawmakers are looking to making legal online gambling a reality. While 50,000 Iowans already gamble online, the sites they play at are not licensed in the United States. Some say making online gambling legal would bring some extra revenue to the state.
State Representative Doug Struyk says, “Here’s an opportunity for $11.5 million a year for an activity that’s already going on in the state where Iowans have exposed themselves to significant risks.”
The plan is complex, and it needs to be to get around federal legislation. Players first enter a land-based casino in Iowa to make a deposit, then access online account from a computer in Iowa to play poker. Players would collect winnings back at the land-based casino. All the money would remain in the state.
Some worry that legalizing online gambling could be problematic for people who already have a gambling problem.
“I do know somebody who has developed an online gambling problem, doesn’t need to leave the house to go to the casino. It’s so easy to just click, click, click and then there’s a problem,” said Ellie Bonis.
If all goes as planned, the system could go online as early as next year.
Quad-City Times: Lawmaker: Iowa could be first to allow online gambling
An Iowa lawmaker said last week that the state could become the first in the US to allow online gambling. According to Representative Doug Struyk, around 50,000 people in Iowa already participate in online gaming, but it’s not exactly legitimate.
Struyk is part of a working group trying to work out a new system that would keep money in the state, instead of sending it offshore.
“People in our state lose thousands of dollars on this,” Struyk said.
The system would regulate online gambling through the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, and would place caps on wagers to help control problem gambling. Players would have to create and manage accounts at land-based casinos, but could place bets over the internet from home.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has doubts. “There never has been a state that has done it,” she says. “Allowing every home in the state to be licensed as a casino to gamble at home seems to me to be a fairly heavy lift.”
A proposal is currently being drafted, and Struyk gives it a one-in-four chance of passing this year.
Des Moines Register: Legislators consider online poker
Iowa may become be the first state in the nation to allow legal online poker. A plan is being drafted that allow people to deposit between $50 and $500 into a special account at one of Iowa’s land-based casinos. That account could then be used to play poker on the internet.
Federal gambling laws prohibit gambling between states, so the system would simply restrict the system to players in Iowa.
Online poker could provide $11.5 million a year in revenue into the state’s treasury, according to preliminary projections.
State Representative Mary Mascher is not convinced. “There are a lot of things in Iowa that are illegal, but it doesn’t mean we should legalize it,” she said, citing speeding as an example.
Advocates of the idea call it “account deposit wagering” instead of online gambling. Whatever it’s called, the chances of the plan being put into action are slim.
After years of weekly games, seniors at Idaho’s Twin Falls Senior Center were shocked to have their popular poker games broken up. The seniors thought that they were legal because they donated up to $500 to the senior center every month.
The Magic Valley Times-News: Law takes dim view of gambling at senior center
Above the average criminal age, a group of Twin Falls seniors saw little mercy for having played Poker. According to some of the elder poker enthusiasts, the weekly games made them happy and shouldn’t be illegal.
Police, on the other hand, say nothing permits Idahoans to gamble at any age. Authorities went to the Twin Falls Senior Center earlier this month and explained that the weekly poker games there were illegal and must come to an end.
Five of the seniors claim that about 20 seniors played at the center for more than 5 years despite failing vision, fading memory and limited mobility. They gave an estimated $400 to $500 to the center per month. Each player put in $20 to play, and the pot was split among the top chip holders. Many of the seniors said they didn’t know what they were doing was illegal.
Authorities got involved at the senior center after receiving an anonymous tip about the weekly games. The seniors don’t know who called police, though they’d like to.
State Legislature recently passed a bill to the governor which would give authorities discretion over which gambling reports to investigate and prosecute. Gambling is a misdemeanor. A top local authority believes that this incident, among others is “at best, a waste of law enforcement resources.”
The Idaho Press: No bluff: Police break up senior center poker game
Retirees had no chance when pitted against police at the Twin Falls Senior Center earlier this month when their long-running poker game was broken up due to an anonymous tip. Roughly 20 seniors play at the center since over 5 years ago but police say the law doesn’t permit gambling at any age. Police gave the seniors a warning and didn’t make any arrests.
Residents paid in $20 to play and split the pot among the top chip holders. They donated up to $500 to the senior center each month. Because the money was given to the center, “we thought we were legal,” said 73-year-old Ora Deahl.
The seniors said they don’t know who tipped off police, but they’d like to find out. They would also like a little slack when it comes to enforcing state gambling laws.
They might get just that.
Lawmakers sent a bill to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter last week that would give authorities discretion to not investigate or prosecute all gambling reports.
Fox TV Idaho: No bluff: Police break up senior center poker game
The odds were stacked against pensioners at the Twin Falls Senior Center this month when police officers arrived to break up a long-running poker game after getting an anonymous tip.
About 20 seniors had played at the center for more than five years but police say nothing in Idaho law permits gambling at any age.
Residents paid in $20 to play and the pot was split among the top chip holders. Seventy-3-year-old Ora Deahl says she thought it was legal because the players donated up to $500 to the senior center each month.
Eighty-year-old Doris Williams says they’ve been playing the legal way without money since the police visit but it isn’t as much fun.
Canadian gambling law continues to liberalize and as a result, online gambling will be made legal and offered most recently in the Province of Quebec. The lotto and internet poker rooms are the first to be offered. Loto-Quebec will team up with other companies to cover a larger part of Canada.
The Montreal Gazette: Loto-Québec goes online
Loto-Québec will offer Quebecers online poker and sports betting at a site that should be live this year in order control a new, beneficial stream of revenue. Plans received the blessing of the Quebec cabinet, which intends to “cannibalize illegal gambling sites” and see a common electronic platform created for Loto-Québec, B.C. Lottery Corp. and Atlantic Lottery Corp., which covers Canada’s 4 Atlantic Provinces.
A memorandum of understanding was signed by the 3 corporations providing rules governing the new games. Quebec and its partners will need high betting limits to compete with existing online operations. Even with high limits, it’s not sure that the new sites will succeed in luring players from older sites. The number of viable players is a big concern at the moment.
At a media conference in Montreal, the main focus was on legitimacy, regulation and protection that provincially run online gambling would offer consumers. Online games could generate as much as $50 million in new revenue for Quebec in 2012.
CBC News: Loto-Québec to offer online gambling
Quebec’s lottery corporation will launch its first online gambling service this September. Loto-Québec hopes it will add millions of dollars to its coffers by 2013. Allowing Loto-Québec to join the lucrative online market could earn the province $50 million over 3 years, according to Finance Minister Raymond Bachand.
Social costs regarding young adults are particularly grim, suggested Danielle Doyer, the Parti Québécois ’s social services critic. She accused the Liberal government of ignoring the costs in favor of financial gain. Loto-Québec, however, argues that Quebeckers already have access to more than 2,000 online gambling sites that are “illegal and unregulated.”
The site will require players to verify their age, limit their weekly account replenishments and allow players to “self-exclude at all times.”
He also cited a public health study that showed no increase in problematic gamblers in Quebec between 1996 and 2002, suggesting the proportion of the population addicted to gambling always remains the same, regardless of the number of gambling outlets.
The Canadian Press: Quebec loto commission to join B.C. and Atlantic Canada online gambling venture
Quebec’s lottery commission plans to offer online gambling by this fall. On Wednesday, the Quebec government announced that it is allowing Loto-Quebec to set up poker and sports betting sites online. Loto-Quebec will join lottery commissions from British Columbia and Atlantic Canada to provide a common platform for online gamblers.
According to Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand, online gambling is already widespread and government coffers could benefit greatly from the continuously growing market. He says he expects the government to receive around $50 million in dividends from Loto-Quebec’s online venture after just three years.
The lottery commission promised to take steps to limit underage players from taking part.