Latest News
1/11/09 TO 1/17/09

$15 million of Rudd's bonus blown on pokies

AUSTRALIA - More than $167 million was spent playing poker machines in December - 10 per cent above the previous month's $152 million. The big jump last year clearly coincided with the Federal Government's $10 billion handout on December 8, aimed to be spent in the retail sector to energise the slowing economy. Mr Davis said more than a third of the money put into poker machines was spent by gamblers with a severe pokie addiction. / Sarah Vogler / January 17, 2009

'Pokie' Operators Say Internet Increasing Problem Gamblin...

AUSTRALIA - If the proposals are accepted, online operators would be banned from accepting bets placed with a credit card and offering gambling inducements such as free bets. Operators would also be required to have staff trained via an accredited responsible gambling course provider and would have to offer free problem gambling counseling. 'pokies' or electronic gaming machines (EGM's) are widely accepted as being one of the biggest contributors to problem gambling worldwide. / 13 January 2009

ATM ban near pokies a security risk: clubs

AUSTRALIA - Almost a quarter of Australia's 25,600 ATMs are in clubs and pubs, from which more than $9 billion a year is withdrawn. Anti-gambling advocates believe easy access to cash via ATMs increases the risk of gambling addiction and have called for the machines to be removed from poker machine venues. There's a compelling link between easy access to cash via an ATM at a venue and problem gambling. Having that access fuels the addiction," Mr[Sen.] Xenophon said. / JANO GIBSON / 15/01/2009

Antigua Worried US Online Casino Talks Might Have to Start Over

ANTIGUA - Early last year, Antigua was awarded $21 million annually in damages by the World Trade Organization, which found that, by blocking foreign online gambling sites while permitting similar US sites to operate, the US had violated free trade agreements. / by Tom Weston / January 14, 2009

Betting and alcohol ads are just not cricket

AUSTRALIA - HEAVY advertising... Such as alcohol and gambling... Raises questions about the influence those industries exert on politicians, anti-addiction crusaders Tim Costello and Nick Xenophon say. They said advertisers and networks were able to promote such products... Because of the leverage they had over state and federal politicians. / MARK METHERELL / 15/01/2009

Brit Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe visits GamCare

UK - With responsibility for gambling, the Minister is leading the current consultation on the proposed RIGT levy on gambling operators to fund treatment and was keen to see how the funds are spent. "GamCare is leading the way in providing support for those with a gambling problem, helping thousands of people since it was founded in 1997," Sutcliffe said. Gamcare reports that the OnLine environment has attracted a higher percentage of women than face to face (over 50 percent of clients), and the age range of female clients is wider than that of male clients, with more women clients over 50 and more males under 30. According to the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007, it is estimated that 0.6 percent of the UK population (around 300 000 people) are potential or actual problem gamblers. Considering that each may have a partner, parents and dependents, those impacted by problem gambling may number over one million. / 1-14-09

Car salesman ran scam to raise gambling cash

CANADA - A former used-car salesman who stiffed his boss and cheated other auto dealers of nearly $175,000 claims he squandered his ill-gotten gains in casinos and gambling dens. / Hamilton Spectator / Barbara Brown / January 15, 2009

Card-carrying gamblers have say on new system

CANADA - The [VLT] card system, to be introduced before summer, will enable players to track how often they win or lose and the amount of money they've spent on gambling, Ms. Grant said. The government has estimated there are about 15,000 problem gamblers in Nova Scotia. Bernie Walsh, a former gambler who went bankrupt because of his VLT addiction, said the $50 vouchers for participating in the survey might attract people who haven't used VLTs and they could become addicted. / By JEFFREY SIMPSON / Jan 14

Carlisle man stole TVs to pay off gambling debts

UK - A thief has claimed he only stole two televisions from a Carlisle supermarket after being threatened by people he owed cash to. But he told a court yesterday that he only did it to repay gambling debts incurred during a card game - and that he feared for his safety if he did not. / By Staff Reporter / 13 January 2009

Carlisle security van man stole cash

UK - A security van driver has admitted stealing more than ?13,000 from his former employer. Ms Jackson said Staddon spent the money on gambling and credit cards debts. / Cumberland News / 16 January 2009

Chinese officials gamble away $3m in public funds

CHINA - Officials in China's freewheeling south gambled away more than $3 million in public funds, Among those facing charges is Chen Zhiqiang, a local Communist Party official in Foshan city who allegedly embezzled 13 million yuan, or $1.8 million, to feed a gambling habit, Though illegal in most of China, gambling is popular. / The Associated Press / Jan. 10, 2009

Clubs Want Credit Cards Banned from On-line Gambling

AUSTRALIA - Internet gambling operators should be banned from accepting bets from punters using credit cards, Clubs Australia says. Standardising the laws would ban the use of credit cards from Internet and telephone gambling. / AAP / Jan 12, 2009

Clubs want net gamblers to play by rules for pokies

AUSTRALIA - THE registered clubs movement will launch an assault against internet gaming operators, lobbying to have them observe some of the restrictions pubs and clubs face... Governments have given the tick to almost 100 [online] businesses that have secured a gambling licence with virtually no obligation to responsible gambling measures. Mr Costello said recent studies showed more than one in five online gamblers were problem gamblers. / Andrew Clennell / January 13, 2009

Gambler in cash con on work pals

UK - A FRAUDSTER fleeced his work colleagues out of more than ?10,000 after concocting a phoney get-rich scheme to finance his gambling addiction. Fowles convinced eight people to hand over their cash, which funded a growing addiction to online gambling. / By Ed O'Mara / 15th January 2009

Gambling addiction among Czechs on the rise

CZECH - Patients between 15 and 19 made up 6 percent of all patients suffering from gambling addiction while the share was 14 percent in 2003, the UZIS says. / ?TK / January 13, 2009

Give a little to save a lot

UK - New compulsory payments will add a whole new pressure on the already ailing live bingo industry who are already struggling under existing double taxation and could result in the closure of more halls. / by Charlotte / 17 January 2009

Government Catch Children Gambling

UK - An official investigation... Found that a third of gambling web-sites allow under 18 year olds to bet. While an advisor on gambling to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr Emanuel Moran, "it is obvious that the safeguards put in place by the Government, the statements made about responsible gambling in relation to the internet, are totally bogus." / By Rommon / 14th January, 2009

Government to give CPBL a boost, Liu Chao-shiuan says

TAIWAN - The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) Which was founded in 1989, has experienced a slump in recent years as a result of rampant gambling and game fixing. Hong Ruei-he (???), captain of the Brother Elephants, said that eradicating gambling problems was the most crucial factor in winning back baseball fans. / By Shih Hsiu-chuan / Jan 14, 2009

Governments gamble away our money

CANADA - Our government has turned themselves into bookies and is running all of the gambling rackets in Canada. Every grandmother... Believing they will hit the jackpot. Government is grooming our children to grow up to gamble... CHARLES OWEN WELLAND... / 1-16-09

Casino revenue in Macau drops

CHINA - Casino revenue declined to $3 billion in the fourth quarter from $3.2 billion in the previous three-month period, according to figures posted on the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau's Web site. / Las Vegas Review-Journal / Jan. 17, 2009

Kids can bet on a third of gambling websites

UK - A third of gambling websites are failing to prevent children from using them to place bets, A report for the Gambling Commission... Between five and seven per cent of young people are already classified as having gambling problems, while up to 14 per cent are at risk... / 16 January 2009

MGM Mirage welcomes Taiwan's move to develop casino industry

TAIWAN - Taiwan's Legislative Yuan on Monday passed an amendment that permits the opening of casinos on Taiwan's outlying islands. The revision legalizes casino gambling for the first time anywhere in Taiwan. Under the amendment, casinos must be opened on the premises of international hotels, and operators of the tourism casinos will be exempt from existing criminal statutes that penalize those who gamble. / Central News Agency / By Chu lu-sheng & Elizabeth Hsu / 2009-01-13


UK - Mr Gardiner, however, believes that the real problem lies on the internet. "The real gambling danger lies, however, on the internet where on-line betting is dangerously easy to access," he added. "People are drawn into debt and into a downward financial spiral so easily. / By Staff reporter / 13 January 2009

Macau In Danger Of Losing Casino Clout After Taiwan Ruling

CHINA - Macau overtook Las Vegas as the casino gambling capital of the world. Macau casinos have already been struggling as of late. Singapore has also recently approved casino gambling, and in combination with Taiwan, it could have devastating effects on Macau. / By April Gardner / January 12, 2009

Macau gaming heir looks to Taiwan

CHINA - In an interview here with AFP, the 31-year-old son of Macau gaming tycoon Stanley Ho said he was enthused by the approval by Taiwan's parliament Monday of a bill allowing casinos to be built on its offshore islands. His competitors include US giants Wynn and Las Vegas Sands, Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) run by his father, and MGM Grand Macau, a joint venture between his elder sister Pansy and Vegas firm MGM Mirage. Like his rivals, his six-star hotel Crown Macau was hit after Beijing last year tightened visa restrictions on mainland visitors to Macau, who constitute the bulk of their customers. Ho -- who says he never gambles -- is often seen as Macau's next "gambling king" after his father, / 1-14-09

Macau gaming play Melco upbeat on recovery, eyes Taiwan

CHINA - Stringent travel curbs imposed by the Chinese government last year, coupled with concerns about a deep global downturn, have strangled growth in the once-booming gambling haven, which has now superseded Las Vegas as the world's largest gaming market. In November, the debt-laden Las Vegas Sands (nyse: LVS - news - people ) shocked many in Macau by laying off most of the 11,000 workers on two Cotai strip sites... / Thomson Financial News / By James Pomfret / 01.13.09

Man Hangs Self at Casino Hotel Room

S KOREA - The 37-year-old man... Has been visiting the casino facility some 370 times since 2003, according to the police, / 01-17-2009

Morpeth hospital worker stole from patient

UK - A hospital worker funded his gambling addiction by preying on a vulnerable patient, a court heard. Gary Conway abused his position of trust as a nursing assistant at St George's Hospital in Morpeth by stealing ?1,150 from his victim who suffers from learning difficulties. / by The Journal / Jan 11, 09

New Google Rules for Gambling Affiliates

UK - Google, so dominant a search engine that the company's brand name has become an officially-recognized verb, recently announced that it would allow UK gambling affiliates to bid on Google Adwords. Adwords allow companies to create advertisements and choose keywords, which are words or phrases related to the business. When people search on Google using one of the keywords, the ad then has a chance of appearing next to the search results. UK affiliates will be ecstatic at the good news. / By Nadav S / Jan 15, 2009

Officials blow millions of public cash in China's Vegas

CHINA - MAYOR... Li Weimin started out innocently enough, playing the slot machines in the resort of Macau, But he soon began to try his hand at other games, Financing his increasingly frequent trips to casinos by dipping into the municipal budget and several property companies under his control. Li is one of an increasing number of Communist Party bosses and government officials who, government prosecutors say, pillaged state funds, company accounts and municipal treasuries to try their luck in Macau, A 2008 study of 99 high rollers from mainland China showed that 59 had some sort of state affiliation: 33 were government officials, 19 were senior managers at state-owned enterprises and seven were cashiers at state businesses. / By Mark McDonald / 16 January 2009

Paddy Power Shares Fall as Irish Horse Racing Suffers

IRELAND - Shares in Irish bookmaker Paddy Power plc fell 7% yesterday as Horse Racing Ireland called on the Irish Government to impose a levy on betting to include all off-shore internet and telephone betting which has so far been exempt from taxation, following a downturn in the fortunes of the Irish horse racing industry during 2008. Of this, bookmakers turnover fell by 22% to ?161.0 million with the Irish Tote declining 10% to ?55.1 million. / 14 January 2009

Poker establishments cry foul

SAIPAN - Several poker establishments are crying foul over a resolution calling for the phase out of all poker machines in the CNMI, except those in licensed casinos, by June 30, 2009, saying it unfairly targets their businesses and puts to waste the thousands of dollars they spent to enhance security, not to mention the lesser revenue for the government and the hundreds of people who will lose their jobs. Magnet for crime? De Belen said it is also unfair for poker establishments to shut down after the government recently required them to make improvements in their operations to safeguard against robberies. He said Treasure Island had to invest in a CCTV system costing $10,000 as well as hire two security guards for $5 an hour. He said his company has even gone over and beyond the required 10-hour security requirement as his guards look after Treasure Islands 24/7. / By Mark Rabago / January 14, 2009

Pokie habit almost proved fatal

NEW ZEALAND - "The smell in gaming rooms & it reminds me of raspberry and lemonade & I only have to catch a whiff of it when I walk past the pub to get the urge," Sarah*, whose life was nearly ended by a calamitous gambling addiction, said. She wants her story to underline the message behind a new television campaign highlighting the shattering effects problem gambling has on families. The 26-year-old, who has overcome suicidal thoughts and compulsive lying, also hopes her experience will encourage others dealing with their own addictions to come forward. "I had to lie about why there was no food in the cupboard and why the power kept getting cut off. I was losing hundreds of dollars a week." / By Jamie Morton / 16.01.2009

Problem Gambling - Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe Visits GamCare At Launch Of OnLine Counselling Service, UK

UK - According to the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007, it is estimated that 0.6% of the UK population (around 300,000 people) are problem gamblers. Considering that each may have a partner, parents and dependents, those affected by problem gambling may number over one million. / 13 Jan 2009

Queensland poker machines rake in $1.8b in 2008, a 5% rise

AUSTRALIA - GAMBLERS in Queensland spent more than $5 million a day on poker machines last year, the equivalent of $425 for every man, woman and child. Statistics reveal gamblers lost a record $1.8 billion during the year - equal to $5.03 million a day, or $424 for every person living in Queensland. The figures do not include money gambled in Queensland casinos. / Rosemary Odgers / January 17, 2009

Raids at gambling den, dance bar

INDIA - MUMBAI: Sixty people were arrested from across the city on Friday following raids on a dance bar, a gambling den and a godown of pirated CDs. / TNN / Ahmed Ali / 11 Jan 2009

Religious groups protest against gambling bill

TAIWAN - A group of religious figures staged a protest... Against a proposed law amendment that, Would legalize gambling in Taiwan's outlying islands. Buddhist Master Shih Chao-hui, leader of an anti-gambling alliance... That if casinos are allowed on Penghu, the island group will become a gambling mecca for adults from all over the country. Archbishop Hung Shan-chuan of the Catholic Archdiocese of Taipei, Said that from a moral standpoint, gambling is wrong. Gambling is a sin that can ruin one's family and dissipate one's fortune, he added. / Central News Agency / By Deborah Kuo / 2009-01-12

Russian casinos take root in Bolivia

BOLIVIA - Bolivia has seen a rise in the number of casinos and bingo halls... Step into one of Bolivia's 15 Bingo Bahiti gambling parlours, and you are struck by the kitsch: brilliant neon signs, slot machines labelled in English, and a bingo hall full of patrons. According to Mr Bruno, Bolivia's gambling regulations are full of other loopholes. He said that strict banking privacy terms and rampant corruption make it difficult to find out - let alone prosecute - when casino operators break the law. There are a variety of ways money can be laundered through casinos; the most common is to use funds to buy chips, and then turn around and cash them back in. Dirty money becomes a clean cheque that can be deposited in any bank. / By Annie Murphy / 14 January 2009

Somerfield employee stole ?11,000 of vouchers

UK - A Somerfield store employee stole more than ?11,000 of internet vouchers from the shop to fund a gambling habit, a court heard. Confessed she had been stealing internet vouchers to use to gamble online. / 15/ 1/2009

Taiwan legislature OKs gambling on offshore islands

TAIWAN - Taiwan's parliament voted to legalise gambling on offshore islands on Monday, Despite protests from religious groups and opposition legislators, / Reuters / By Ralph Jennings & Nick Macfie / Jan 12, 2009

Taiwan the Latest to Legalize Gambling

TAIWAN - Taiwan's legislature has passed a bill to legalize gambling... Singapore's first casino, Is set to open this year. Religious groups in Taiwan protested the decision, Singaporean and South Korean governments also faced strong opposition... / The China Blog / January 14, 2009

The many faces of addiction

NIGERIA - Compulsive gambling is not ... exclusive. Gambling is rooted in greed. But compulsive gambling is often much more than money matter. To the compulsive gambler, the process of gambling is often a reward. Some have lost money, friends, families and even their health for gambling. Few stop since winning or losing is not the issue. What matters is playing the game and that's the process that alters the mood and administers a drug-like high. Gambling may be a distraction from life's problems, but it will not make them go away. / Jan 16, 2009

Time for sport to break free of betting

AUSTRALIA - A HEADLINE last week was about betting being halted on Australian of the year. My first thought was, people bet on who will be Australian of the year? My second thought was, have they considered getting a life? My third thought was, no one else seems perturbed but me. All summer Channel Nine has urged us to bet, on anything really, throughout its cricket broadcast and even had the sainted Richie Benaud all but carrying the bookie's bag and shilling for an online betting firm. / BERNARD ZUEL / 15/01/2009

Turkey Internet Tax

TURKEY - Online gambling may be illegal in Turkey, but the parallel and very popular entertainment of Internet gaming is tempting Turkish officials to try and raise taxes from the pastime. Internet games are often appealing to and target young people between the ages of 13 and 20. / 1-13-09

UK - Third of gambling websites open to under 18s

UK - A third of online gambling websites are failing to provide adequate checks to stop under 18s using them, an investigation by the Gambling Commission found. Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat culture spokesman, said: "There is a massive danger that this will fuel a huge increase in under-age gambling addiction." / By John Bingham / 14 Jan 2009

Victorian government set to reap windfall from pokies changes

AUSTRALIA - Dr Charles Livingstone, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Health Social Science at Monash University, writes: The shake up of the Victorian poker machine industry looks set to deliver the state Government a windfall to fund its 2010 election campaign promises. From 2012, gaming venues will be entitled to operate and own their own pokies, so that the present three way split of revenue between Government, venue and gaming operator will end. Why has the Government decided to moderate its share of the tax take and boost that of the venues? Under the new system, gaming machine entitlements -- the actual licence to print money -- will be auctioned. The Government will make about $1.5 billion from the auctions. If they're valued higher, say at two year's retained earnings, the Government will have a handy $3 billion to take into account in its 2010 electioneering. Between 42% and 53% of the revenue that goes through the pokies comes from problem gamblers or those at risk, / 14 January 2009

Vietnam court punishes 24 for illegal gambling

VIETNAM - Police in May 2007 detained more than 100 people when they raided three hotel casinos... / AFP / January 16, 2009

Woman commits suicide along with four kids

INDIA - It appeared that the woman jumped before a speeding train along with her four children [12, 8, 5 & 2 years] and all of them were killed on the spot. Yadav did not give his wife and children enough money that they could arrange for two square meals a day. It is alleged that Manoj used to spend all his earnings in liquor and gambling. / TNN / 15 Jan 2009

Woman pleads guilty to theft from business

CANADA - A local woman entered a plea of guilty for one count of theft and one count of fraud after admittedly stealing $88,000 from a business she worked for. Upon Cholette's arrest in May 2007, she provided a statement to police indicating she had a serious gambling problem. / Timmins Daily Press / 1-16-09

Worker who stole ?3k pleads guilty

UK - A worker from the Black Country stole more than ?3,000 from her bosses to fund her gambling and pay off debts over a three month period, a court heard. Salter had spent the money on internet gambling websites and also to pay off debts. / January 15, 2009