Latest News
10/4/09 TO 10/11/09

'Life of pain and misery' ended in toilet

South Africa - In a six-page suicide note to her family and friends, teenager Theosha Naicker revealed a life of pain and misery. Theosha, 16, Ended her life by shooting herself in the head in the ladies' toilet... She allegedly spent several hours at the casino, watched a movie, had lunch and then ended her life. According to a well-informed source, evidence of her activities at the casino, were allegedly found in her pockets in the form of till slips. / By Jolen Marriah / 7 October 2009

A family man's tragic transformation

Canada - John Hallett lost his interest in reading and playing with his grandchildren. He began to drive without tags or insurance. All he wanted to do was go to the casino, LISA PRIEST reports. 'This is not my father,' his heart-broken daughter said. And one day, even he couldn't take it any more... John Hallett hung himself on Sept. 3, 2005, at the age of 76. His suicide was not one impulsive act; it was the culmination of years of desperation as his gambling spun out of control. Hallett lost $134,457 from 1998 to 2005 at what was then called Casino Windsor, owned by the Ontario government and managed by Windsor Casino Ltd. Ms. Baert, 46, believes the player's card data represents a fraction of her father's losses. She calculates his gambling losses at $381,271. Hallett drained his savings and retirement funds and re-mortgaged his home to bankroll his gambling. Ms. Baert took her father to the casino to sign a self-exclusion form, banning himself from the premises. / LISA PRIEST / Oct. 05, 2009

Addicts Account for One-Third of Gambling Profits in Canada

Canada - One third of government gambling revenues in Canada can be traced to compulsive gamblers. / Josh Montez / 10-6-09

Alberta proposes ID requirements for casinos

Canada - Mr. Verlik said the regulator is researching the feasibility and public acceptance of all gamblers having to provide photo identification before entry. Under such a system, names would be crosschecked with those who have signed voluntary self-exclusion agreements to ensure they don't get in. "When you look at who it is who's providing at least a fair chunk of the change that's coming into the casino doors, it's coming from problem gamblers," Ms. Horwath said. "These ... high-rollers are the very same ones who are often the most addicted gamblers, are often being lured back into the casinos with their VIP perks." Problem gamblers provide roughly one-third of gambling revenue, studies show. / Globe and Mail / LISA PRIEST / Oct. 08, 2009

Australia rolls out new online gambling counselling service

Australia - A new online gambling counselling service will provide support and advice to gamblers and their families across Australia. "For the first time, Australians now have online access to qualified gambling counsellors who can provide assistance through either live online counselling or email." Ms Macklin said the free service will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Mr Robinson said with the Brumby Labor Government's $132 million Taking action on problem gambling strategy, Victoria continued to lead the way nationally on tackling problem gambling, / Government of Australia / 8th October 2009

Beeston benefit fraudster jailed

UK - A Beeston benefit fraudster jailed for nine months was warned against launching a gambling career to repay the tens of thousands he stole. Leeds Crown Court heard that pensioner John Phillips defrauded the taxpayer of more than #43,000... Judge Sally Cahill said: "I note with concern the comments of the person who wrote your pre-sentence report of your idea to resolve this problem by gambling. "I advise you strongly against that. All that will happen is you get into further debt and you will have further problems." / 07 October 2009

Casino chain bans gambler who won #28,000 using secret system

UK - Winning streak was cut short after he was banned from casinos across Britain after winning #28,000 playing roulette with his 'no-lose' system. Sambhi... Scooped the fortune in just two months using a secret betting pattern which he has spent years perfecting. / 5 October 2009

Extra Crown gaming tables 'not big risk'

Australia - The Victorian government has been heavily criticised after cabinet ticked off on Crown's request to lift the number of gaming tables from 350 to 500 before the potential social impact was assessed. Premier John Brumby has come under fire for saying gaming tables have little or no link to problem gambling. The commission has called for more research into the relationship between problem gambling and gaming tables. It says more than one quarter of problem gamblers have played table games in the past 12 months. High profile former AFL player and former problem gambler David Schwarz recently said the addiction that cost him friends and $4 million included table games. / MELISSA JENKINS / October 9, 2009

Francis to lose mansion over gambling debt?

UK - The Girls Gone Wild creator has been ordered to pay off a $2 million (#1.3 million) debt to Las Vegas mogul Sam Wynn's casino resort, With interest and legal fees, it has now grown to $2,942,272 (#1,961,515), according to Wynn's lawyers are seeking to obtain Francis' assets, which include his property in Bel Air, Los Angeles, if he doesn't pay up. / 05 October 2009

French bill to open up online gambling market

France - A French bill that would end a state monopoly on online gambling and allow privately owned websites to offer bets on poker, soccer and horse racing went under discussion in parliament on Wednesday. France has been under pressure from the European Union and from private gaming firms to open up a market worth billions of euros to competition. An estimated 3 million French people illegally use gambling websites based abroad. Top soccer clubs have been pushing for the law to be changed so that they can offer fans opportunities to place bets on matches via their websites. "This bill will lead to a boom in the number of gaming websites on offer and, even more dangerously, an exponential rise in the number of users who will be lured by advertising," said Socialist legislators Michele Delaunay and Valerie Fourneyron, who are also doctors. The opposition Socialist Party also accuses the government of seeking to favour the interests of several business leaders close to President Nicolas Sarkozy, who have stakes in gambling firms or plans to set up betting websites. / By Emile Picy / Oct 7, 2009

Gambling Ads In Nova Scotia Drawing Ire Of Anti-Gambling Group

Canada - In Nova Scotia, ads have been running that show young athletes playing their sports. The children in the ads have received funds from gaming revenue to help in their training. GameOverVLT's, suggests that Nova Scotia Gaming, "is using underage and youth athletes to promote gambling." / / By Tom Jones / October 6, 2009

Gambling Counseling Goes Online in Australia

Australia - The Australian government announced the creation of an online counseling service designed to give help to problem gamblers anywhere in the country. Gambling Help Online will offer round-the-clock assistance to individuals seeking help for gambling disorders and troubled behavior. / by A.J.Maldonado / October 8, 2009

Gambling addiction: Beating the odds

Canada - Ori Goldstein says playing poker used to make him feel vibrant and full of energy. "It was the action and the rush I got from playing poker that made me feel alive -- that's what kept me hooked," "My whole life was a sham. I lost a ton of money and a lot of my time playing with a bunch of other degenerates whom I considered to be good friends. "To be honest, I also remember the bad times and the depression. I thought it was easier to drive off a bridge driving back from the casino than to face the music of how much I owed the next day, but thank God I didn't. Goldstein's parents paid off thousands he owed fellow gamblers, so they wouldn't threaten his life any longer. This didn't include the credit cards, bank debts and other bills he owed. / SUN MEDIA / By SHARON LEM / 5th October 2009

Gambling problems rising

UK - Gamcare, which deals with gambling addicts, People looking for help... Is up by more than 20% in a year. / 9th October 2009

Gambling-related suicides across Canada

Canada - Quebec has the highest number of gambling-related suicides in Canada - some 225 of them over a seven-year period. But not all provinces compel their coroners to report gambling-related suicides, which often require investigation to disentangle the deaths from other causes. "The less people know about gambling-related suicides - at least as far as provincial governments are concerned - the better for them politically speaking," "But they all know that their fingerprints are all over these needless deaths." / Globe and Mail / Lisa Priest / Oct. 07, 2009

Jamaica church leaders angry over gambling changes

Jamaica - Church leaders in Jamaica have denounced government plans to approve horse racing on Sundays, saying gambling will harm the poor and debase society's morals. The president of the Jamaica Association of Evangelicals called the decision to allow Sunday racing at Caymanas Park in November "appalling." "It is a shame we are heading in this direction," Peter Garth said at Sept 18 press conference. "Gambling is an anti-social and non-productive activity, no matter on which day it occurs," that Anglican Bishop of Jamaica Alfred Reid charged... "It is a cynical manipulation of the desperation of the poor who are conned into risking the little that they have in the hope of winning big," he said. / By: George Conger / 5th October 2009

Male, white-collar, in mid-30s - NHS gambling centre reveals typical addict

UK - The typical patient seen in the National Problem Gambling Clinic (NPGC) is a white-collar male in his mid-30s who has one or even two jobs to help to fuel his addiction, research seen by The Times shows. Some of whom picked up their habit while at university -- who keep their gambling entirely hidden from colleagues. The economic downturn may have exacerbated money pressures and psychiatric problems but also increased the likelihood of patients seeking help, they added. Of the intake so far, lifetime gambling debts have ranged from #2,000 to #500,000. Rates of depression (93 per cent) and anxiety (91 per cent) were much higher than expected, she said, while the proportion of women with gambling addiction problems (3 per cent) appeared to be under-represented in the patient cohort seen so far. / Sam Lister / October 5, 2009

Malta Discusses Social Impact of Gambling

Malta - Social Policy Minister John Dalli... Suggested... That advertising promoting gambling activities should be banned outright. He said that there should also be strict controls on internet gambling. Also on the important list for discussion was providing security for the more vulnerable elements in Maltese society and youth. The debate turned critical of the government's lack of insight into problems created by gambling on Malta. Many ministers pointed out that there are loopholes in gambling legislation... / October 06, 2009

Number of gamblers seeking help up 20%

UK - Advice line gets 50,000 calls, mostly from men, some of them suicidal... The number of people seeking help for gambling problems rose by more than 20% last year, according to the charity that provides support for compulsive players. "Our advisers and counsellors have never been busier," said the organisation's chief executive, Andy McLellan. "More people are finding out about the help we offer, contacting us, and being helped. We get a significant number of suicidal calls. "But we also know we are still only scratching the surface. The Gambling Commission's review of research, education and treatment suggested that less than 1% of people who could benefit from treatment actually take it up. / 8 October 2009

Online Gambling Operations May Relocate To Tasmania

Australia - Tasmania has dropped their tax on bookmaking operations, and the decision may mean financial ruin for the the rest of Australia. Instead of charging taxes, Tasmania has decided to charge a fee of $250,000 for licensing. Tasmania is undercutting all of their laws regarding online gambling." / / By Terry Goodwin / October 9, 2009

Problem GAMBLING Up 20% In Britain

UK - The vital importance of ensuring that responsible gambling programs are maintained at the highest levels of efficiency by gambling operators was highlighted this week by the news that appeals for help to problem gambling charity Gamcare have increased by 20 percent. The charity reported the increase over the past year, using statistics derived from all forms of gambling, both on and offline. More than 50,000 calls and emails were received... Calls on NetLine are up 300 percent (from 1 407 to 4 729) and the number of counselling sessions is up by 30 percent on the previous year to 12,500. A third of those who get in touch are aged between 18 and 25. / 10/9/09

Problem gambling 'is on the rise'

UK - The number of people looking for help with betting problems is up by more than 20% in a year, according to a charity dealing with gambling addicts. Nine thousand more people contacted Gamcare last year than in 2007. Adrian Scarf from the charity says more than a third of those who get in touch are aged between 18 to 25 and many are students. He said: "They gamble away their grants. They start stealing from friends or borrowing from friends. The Gambling Commission, the industry watchdog, says there are up to 300,000 problem gamblers are in Britain. / 8 October 2009

Singapore prepares to embrace high-rollers

Singapore - At the centre of both complexes are Singapore's first casinos, controversially approved by the government in an attempt to offer the kind of sophisticated international attraction that is represented by the city's Formula 1 grand prix. Many Singaporeans are sceptical about the concept of resorts combining gambling with family entertainment, fearing they may bring gambling addiction and even crime to the tranquil city. / By Kevin Brown / October 5 2009

Tasmania Drops Online Casino Tax, Creating Furor in Australia

Australia - Tasmanian officials passed a gambling law dropping a tax on gaming while instituting a licensing fee, creating a rush by online casinos to relocate there. Other gambling operators have accused Tasmania of attempting to profit on the rest of Australia's loss. The fee, thought to be around $250,000, would lure most of the country's biggest operations from Sydney. / by K.C.Carmichael / October 8, 2009

Tax breaks for online bookmakers a worry, says welfare group

Australia - The Tasmanian Government has attracted the ire of the welfare sector for enacting laws to attract more online bookmakers to the state. "We think that's where their energy ought to go (to combat problem gambling), and we would expect to see that prior to a state election," he said. The Reverend (Chris Jones)is also concerned the State Government's plan will lead to a rise in problem gambling. / Oct 10, 2009

The provinces lure their prey

Canada - Children, let us play a game called Spot the Hypocrisy. The governments of British Columbia and Ontario are suing tobacco companies for selling cigarettes that gave people cancer. Yet those two provinces... Are also doing their utmost to lure gambling addicts to casinos with rewards-style programs - with more than $400-million in free meals, cruises and hotel rooms. The provinces know they are exploiting addiction. In Ontario, a study found in 2004 that 36 per cent of the revenues from its casinos came from the 5 per cent of their customers who are addicted gamblers. In Manitoba, 9.4 per cent of adult gamblers show signs of being out of control; in Saskatchewan, the rate of confirmed and at-risk gamblers is 9.3 per cent, and Alberta's is 7.8 per cent, / Globe and Mail / Oct. 07, 2009

Watchdog wants pokie tricks revealed

Australia - POKIES manufacturers will be forced to reveal the secret tricks programmed into their machines, to determine if they are designed for addiction. Research suggests some are rigged to give a high number of near misses and lead punters to believe they are close to a big win. / KIM WHEATLEY / October 08, 2009

Wynn Macau shares jump 13 percent in HK debut

China - Billionaire Steve Wynn's Macau casino company jumped 13 percent in its trading debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange Friday, reflecting stronger faith in the southern Chinese gambling city's prospects. Revenue growth started tapering off during the depths of the economic crisis but has picked up in recent months thanks to a stronger Chinese economy and an easing of visa restrictions on mainland gamblers who are the lifeblood of the city's casinos. Helping Wynn's offering, which was oversubscribed, was backing from some of Asia's richest men. Among the tycoons who bought shares were Hong Kong property magnate Walter Kwok and billionaire Malaysian investor Chua Ma Yu. / AP / By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ / Oct. 09, 2009