Latest News
3/23/08 TO 3/29/08

A gambling reality check; Program wants to help people to know their limits
CANADA - Problem gamblers are just 3.4 per cent of Ontario's population but the percentage rises to 6.9 per cent among the 18-to-24 age category. / By NEIL BOWEN / 3-24-08

ATM move too
AUSTRALIA - Victoria [will] remove ATMs from gaming venues by 2012, as part of the Victorian Government's efforts to tackle problem gaming. Gambling losses in the community were at their highest levels ever... If the Brumby government was serious it would implement these much-needed measures immediately instead of waiting four years" said Reily of Ratepayers Association. "ATMs in gambling venues provide ready access to cash. Removal of ATMs is a simple harm minimisation measure, which may assist problem gamblers curb their losses and reduce spending," Ms Green said. / By Kerri-Anne Mesner / 25th March 2008

Addict's 1000-A-Day Web Gambling Habit
UK - Unemployed Richard Blanchett used his mother's [70] credit card to set up an internet account with Betfair. The gambling addict, 43, lost heavily on the betting exchange - blowing 1538 on the card in just five days... / By Gordon Currie / Mar 27 2008

Gambling For Profit & Misery
NEW ZEALAND - One of the most wondrous benefits of that system [capitalist] is the freedom to make money (including money for the government) by selling people things that harm them and their families - such as tobacco - or produce far more harm than good - such as gambling. He [Stansfield, Problem Gambling] pointed out that online instant win games, such as scratchies, "posed a similar risk of addiction as other forms of gambling that allowed continuous play, such as pokies." But "NZ Lotteries seem to think that growing their business regardless of the damage they cause is their sole purpose." Around $35 million is gambled every day in New Zealand. In 2005, New Zealanders lost $2.027 billion through all forms of gambling. Most of those affected by problem gambling live in families with dependent children. The Ministry of Health reports that current gambling intervention services are reaching only about 15% of all those who are estimated to be harmed by gambling. / Anne Else / 25 March 2008

Anne Else: Gambling For Profit & Misery
NEW ZEALAND - Deregulation of gambling industries in the 1980s and 1990s saw an explosion of casinos, pokies, Lotto, Instant Kiwi, and sports betting. Now the latest and even more damaging step in that process is about to be taken. On 17 March the Lotteries Commission announced that it will soon begin offering Lotto tickets online. Around $35 million is gambled every day in New Zealand. In 2005, New Zealanders lost $2.027 billion through all forms of gambling. Most of those affected by problem gambling live in families with dependent children. The Ministry of Health reports that current gambling intervention services are reaching only about 15% of all those who are estimated to be harmed by gambling. But the Lotteries Commission won't be counting the casualties, let alone picking up the pieces. They'll leave that to organisations such as the Problem Gambling Foundation... / By Anne Else / 25 March 2008

Antigua: New US Offer Soon in WTO Online Gambling Flap
Antigua - Recent news reports from the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda state that its country's officials are expecting a new offer from the United States concerning the continuing disagreement between the two nations over online gambling. The latest skirmish of words erupted last month when Antiguan officials announced their plans to go forward with reproduction of as-yet-unnamed items otherwise protected by American copyrights, as allowed for by the $21 million annual judgment the country received in its victorious World Trade Organization action. The WTO judgment supercedes the copyright protection afforded the US in other agreements where both the US and Antigua participate. / Haley Hintze / March 27, 2008

Australian state tightens limits on poker machines
AUSTRALIA - Victoria has set new time and spending limits on poker gaming machines in a bid to reduce problem gambling. New machines will allow players to "pre-set" limits on the amount of time or money they spend on the machines. / by Victoria Thieberger / Mar 25, 2008

Backflip on new betting limit
AUSTRALIA - THE Brumby Government was forced into an embarrassing backdown last night after admitting a move to halve pokies bets from $10 to $5 did not apply to Crown casino. Only Crown's high-roller machines would be exempt... Anti-gambling groups welcomed the loss-limit decision but were concerned about how it would work. / Michael Warner / March 26, 2008

Beijing to launch Olympic-themed lottery
CHINA - China's ruling Communist Party banned gambling after taking power in 1949, but state-run sports lotteries have become hugely popular since starting in the 1980s. / Mar 24, 2008

Betting ban means punters in RTE not at the
IRELAND - THERE was panic out in Montrose last week as the RTE staff looked to settle in to a week of punting online during the Cheltenham festival -- only to find access to gambling sites blocked. A spokesman for RTE told Fifth Column that it is company policy to restrict betting and gambling websites for staff while at work. / March 23 2008

Care home boss who stole from residents is struck off

UK - A disgraced care home boss who stole almost 10,000 from vulnerable pensioners has been struck off. Claimed her [ex-boyfriend] beat her and demanded money to fund his gambling addiction. "Two or three times a week he would hit me about the head and body. Quite frequently I attended work with bruises," she said. She was deeply ashamed of her actions, has suffered health problems as a result of her trauma and has not worked since her dismissal in July 2006. / By Tim Booler / 26 March 2008

Compulsive Gamblers Always Down On Their Luck
ITALY - Gambling addicts don't learn from their mistakes, according to a new study. The problem could be explained by a kind of mental rigidity that leads to harmful compulsive behaviour in sufferers. Marazziti of the University of Pisa and colleagues explain that pathological gambling revolves around the uncontrolled impulse to gamble, with serious consequences for the individual and their family. / Mar. 27, 2008

Compulsive gamblers don't learn from mistakes
ITALY - Pathological, or compulsive gambling was formally recognized as a psychological disorder in 1980, when it was included in the DSM-III. People suffering from this disorder have an uncontrollable need to gamble that can lead to serious consequences for the individuals and their families. / March 27, 2008

Ex-gambler Jeremy Kyle back at the bookies
UK - Kyle's first wife has told how he frittered away £70,000 and ran up 4,500 debts at the bookies and on betting phone lines when he was at the height of his gambling. Kyle - who has repeatedly told the 1.5 million viewers of his ITV1 show about his gambling - exchanged nods and jokes with fellow punters. Kyle's first wife Kirsty Rowley claims he weaved an intricate web of lies to cover his gambling when they were married. She said he took money from her bank and racked up thousands of pounds in debt. / by Stephen Moyes / 24/03/2008

Gambler vows to fight for damages
UK - Calvert has launched an appeal after a High Court judge ruled bookmakers... Did not have to award damages despite finding they failed to take reasonable steps to implement their own self-exclusion policy. "When I self-excluded with them [bookmakers] I didn't self-exclude because I lost money, I did it when I had about 750,000 in the bank. "It was at that point that I really realised I had a problem, when you're gambling and you don't need the money. I was using telephone gambling which just becomes out of control, you're not actually dealing with chips or money instead you are just dealing with numbers on the phone; you lose all reality of it and just carry on. He began having problems and started borrowing to feed his habit. He lost 347,000 after backing the USA to win in the 2006 Ryder Cup and he placed huge multiple bets within hours. / Mar 24 2008

Gamblers face stricter limits on pokies
AUSTRALIA - Warnings about the effects of gambling addiction will be placed on poker machines, with the so-called "pre-commitment mechanisms" mandatory on new machines from 2010. It is also still considering how long gamblers should be locked out of machines once the limits have expired. "For people who develop problem gambling, the biggest thing is the loss of control. / David Rood / March 26, 2008

Gambling Act is killing fun
UK - "The restriction on what seaside arcades can provide is reducing income by 30 to 40 per cent, making it in many cases impoosible to trade. / 25 March 2008

Gambling Lottery Funds To Be Used To Help Save Churches in UK
UK - The acceptance of the money by these churches is further evidence that money and power can change anyone's stance on an issue. Nine churches have openly accepted that this money will come from the lottery. / / Tom Jones / March 24, 2008

Gambling addict to appeal over 2.1m William Hill claim
UK - Lost a 2.1million High Court claim against his bookmaker... / 25/03/2008

Gambling addict policeman turned to crime
UK - A police officer who launched his own crimewave after developing a "pathological" gambling addiction has been jailed for seven years. [stole] from both prisoners and others. / by Keith Hunt / 28th March 2008

Greens worried about online gambling
NEW ZEALAND - The Greens are warning of a surge in problem gambling once Lotto goes online. The Government... Will allow New Zealand Lotteries to sell Lotto, Powerball, Strike, Big Wednesday and Keno games online. / 29/03/2008

Hamburglar guilty of $14,000 Maccas theft
AUSTRALIA - AN NT McDonald's fast food outlet manager has been caught stealing more than $14,000 from the fast-food outlet to feed his gambling habit. [His lawyer] said he had visited a "number'' of gambling venues around Darwin to put himself on the "banned'' list, and attended counselling for his addiction. / PHOEBE STEWART / 26Mar08

Huge draw as Lotto heads online
NEW ZEALAND - The government has gazetted changes which will allow New Zealand Lotteries to market Lotto, Powerball, Strike, Big Wednesday, and Keno games online. Green MP Sue Bradford is condemning the move, saying it will open up a whole new area of risk. The government is allowing more people to get addicted to gambling, / Mar 29, 2008

It's a safe bet that extending gambling will lead to dispute
UK - With the growing number of people betting, the number with gambling problems is increasing too, according to the Salvation Army. [Salvation Army] spokesman Tim Stone said: "The opening of bookmakers on Good Friday, a most sacred day for Christians, is extremely disappointing. As Christians, we are not killjoys but we would have preferred Good Friday to remain gambling-free. "There are already an estimated 370,000 problem gamblers in the UK, and we expect this figure to rise in the future. Problem gambling destroys lives and families. We repeat our appeals to the Gambling Commission to keep a watchful eye on the gambling industry and we challenge the commission to ensure that appropriate investment is in place to assist vulnerable people who are, or may in future be, at risk of becoming addicted to gambling." Gambling hit record levels in Scotland in 2005, with the average adult spending 1900 on games of chance. Gamblers' Anonymous reported a 200 per cent increase in calls in the same year. / 24 March 2008

Launching Olympic-themed lottery
China - China has launched an Olympic-themed lottery with prizes of up to 5 million yuan ($709,000), local media reported. China's ruling Communist Party banned gambling... In 1949... / Mar 24, 2008

New Aussie Law Restricts Land-Based Casino Betting
AU - The state of Victoria in Australia is planning to put 'training wheels' on their video poker machines in order to reduce the losses of helpless gamblers. New maximum of $5 per bet... The plan is to reduce problem gambling and addictive behaviors... / Lance Burkhart / March 25, 2008

North Wales punters bet on Good Friday
UK - Bookies were allowed to throw open their doors yesterday under the provisions of last year's Gambling Act which authorised them to trade every day except Christmas Day. The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said he was concerned that a traditional holy day was being ignored and of the impact on gambling addicts. Dr Morgan said: "I find it very sad that one of the most holy days in the Church's year is being disregarded. It is also a sign that the Government does not realise the enormous social implications of gambling. It is an addictive and damaging activity which very often ensnares those who can least afford to lose money." There are already an estimated 370,000 problem gamblers in the UK. / by Eryl Crump / Mar 22 2008

Not many takers for Good Friday gambling
UK - Religious groups... were extremely disappointed by the change in the 2005 Gambling Act. The Salvation Army said it was concerned that the move would lead to the "normalisation" of an addictive activity. "There are already an estimated 370,000 problem gamblers in the UK, and we expect this figure to rise in the future. Problem gambling destroys lives and families." / By Ian Duncan / 22 March 2008

Official accused of gambling public funds stands trial for corruption
CHINA - Court hearings into a former head of a city's economic planning department over bribery and embezzlement charges [$381,000] started in central China's Hunan Province on Friday. ... Pan was alleged to have made many overseas trips to gamble. / 2008-03-21

Online Gambling Grows in Popularity in Thailand
THAILAND - The ministry reports that new information involving illegal online betting has been received, and efforts are being made to track down and close these sites. / by Tom Weston / March 20, 2008

Online Lotto first of two stage plan, says chairman
NEW ZEALAND - NZ Lotteries has revealed that selling Lottery tickets online is the first of a two-stage plan that could see it offer "more adventurous games" over the internet within two years. Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive John Stansfield says a staged plan to offer such games online would be "a significant betrayal of trust" as instant win games posed a similar risk of addiction as other forms of gambling that allowed continuous play, such as pokies. / By TOM PULLAR-STRECKER / 24 March 2008

Online Poker; Are You Addicted!?
UK - Cheating scandals and fraud all being staple parts of the current climate. Another major concern that often goes hand in hand with online poker has once again been brought to the table, that of online addiction. Study by Dr Jerald Block, reporting that internet addiction is a serious public health issue that should be recognised as a clinical disorder. 10 Koreans died from Sky Poker blood clots from remaining seated too long whilst playing games online and another was murdered as a direct result of an online game. / Barry Carter / 2008-03-25

Online poker developer not worried about proposed Canada ban
Canada - GigaMedia's statement came after a financial website on Monday suggested that the company might face the possibility of a revenue drop if Canada changes its hands-off policy toward online gambling licenses... / PartTimePoker News / March 27th, 2008

Outrage over Crown Casino exemption
AU - Anti-gambling campaigners have criticised Crown Casino's exemption from new [$5] betting limits, saying the gambling giant's relationship with the Victorian government is too cosy for comfort. It is also exempt from an ATM ban announced earlier... / 26th March 2008

Poker robbery again
Micronesia - Jesse Joseph Quitugua Saralu A man, considered by police as armed and dangerous, staged a broad daylight robbery at a poker arcade in Sadog Tasi on Good Friday. The sister of the Capitol Poker owner was hurt when the suspect allegedly assaulted her in the bathroom. / Ferdie de la Torre / March 23, 2008

Pokie limits to help gamblers
AU - Under the new problem gambling initiatives announced yesterday, maximum pokies betting limits will be halved to $5 per spin and new warnings will be posted on all poker machines. Fines for venues that allow minors to gamble will more than double to a maximum of $13,000. / Jeff Whalley / 26Mar08

Pokies ban hailed
AU - CENTRAL Victorian councillors have heralded a court decision last week to halt poker machines at the Romsey Hotel as a landmark precedent, ''The decision was based on the fact that the social impact of the community does matter,'' he [councilor] said. / 24 March 2008

Punter conned his mother out of 1,500
UK - A GAMBLING addict stole his elderly mother's identity and used her credit card to place more than 1,500 of losing bets. [He] posed as his mother... To set up an account on a popular online gaming website. "He explained he had a self-confessed gambling habit and at one point was spending 1,000 a day funding his habit." A spokesman for the [gambling] company said: "Problem gambling is not uncommon... / By Gordon Currie / 27 March 2008

Revelations on gambling lead to complaints
NEW ZEALAND - The Problem Gambling Foundation is asking the Department of Internal Affairs to investigate claims about dubious pokie trust funding of the racing industry. Racing is getting $22million in funding when NZ Thorougbred Racing says it is already distributing enough... "Why are the pokie trusts giving any money to an activity that says it already has enough? / 27 March 2008

Six to stand trial in Montreal Mafia case
CANADA - Rizzuto... Pleaded guilty to racketeering for his role in the 1981 murders of three men in New York... The six men who appeared before Brunton on Tuesday were singled out as leaders in the alleged conspiracies probed during Project Colisee, including drug trafficking, extortion and illegal gambling. / March 25, 2008

Switch off the pokies: Greens
AU - The Greens want poker machines turned off for an hour to help gambling addicts and the environment. (AAP: Mick Tsikas) It would help gambling addicts as well as saving electricity. / Mar 27, 2008

Teen gambling awareness
CD - Paul started playing small-change poker games in Grade 10. "One of my friends got really addicted to it," he said. "He had an assignment due the next day and he was playing poker all night ... I guess he had the craving for poker." About 40 per cent of Ontario students between ages 15 and 17 report they have gambled at least once in their lifetime, according to a 2007 survey by the Responsible Gaming Council. Between 2003 and 2005, the number of teens between ages 15 and 17 who said they played cards for money jumped nearly 10 per cent, according to a study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Paul's age group, 18 to 24, has a higher proportion of problem gamblers than any other, according to the Responsible Gaming Council. "What people don't understand is that gambling can have similar consequences to drugs and alcohol. It affects the brain in a similar way. It can become an addiction, not just a behaviour." / 3-25-08

Trust gives millions in pokie money to racing
NEW ZEALAND - The Internal Affairs Department is investigating a Rotorua-based pokie trust that gave $3 million to the racing industry in the last half of last year for what it describes as "marketing". The grants to racing were "a marketing plan to make more money". Problem Gambling Foundation northern regional manager Graham Aitken said pokie trusts could legally give grants to racing clubs, but it was illegal to expect any benefit in return. / By Simon Collins / March 28, 2008

Vic gambling laws
AUSTRALIA - The Victorian Government has announced a crackdown on problem gambling and will introduce loss limits for poker machines from 2010. Measures which are being considered include halving the maximum betting limit from $10 to $5... 'This is about trying to give them some control back over their activities.' / March 25, 2008

We won't undermine WA racing industry: Betfair
AUSTRALIA - The online and telephone betting exchange which won a major case in the High Court today has reassured the state's racing industry it will not undermine its profits from wagering. / Mar 27, 2008

Woman charged with $40K fraud
CD - "involved in uttering forged documents/credit cards... Obtaining over $40,000 in cash at Casino Rama," / 3-24-08

More Hel for Dutch ace Glenn
Netherlands - Ex-ARSENAL star Glenn Helder... Helder previously tried to commit suicide after becoming addicted to gambling. / By Steve Goodman / 23/03/2008