Latest News
4/22/07 TO 4/28/07

Gold Reef Resorts Has Fair Odds for a Bet

SOUTH AFRICA - Bear in mind that gambling, save for addicts, is not a necessity. Disposable income is already under pressure. Casino and resort revenues could soon begin to slow soon.

/ / Business Day / April 25, 2007

Pokies obsession revealed

AUSTRALIA - The whistleblower, a former manager at pokies venues across Adelaide, has provided disturbing details to the Sunday Mail of the daily misery caused by gambling addiction. His diary of events, witnessed over a decade working in the state's poker machine venues, unmasks the dark and desperate side of the burgeoning $800 million industry. MANY addicts spending $50,000 a year on the machines, losing their jobs, homes and closest relationships in the process. CHILDREN being left in hotel car parks while parents play the machines. PLAYERS remaining at the same machine for up to 12 hours at a time. The former manager said the most disturbing trend was a "second generation" of pokies players some underage being introduced to gambling by their addicted parents.

/ / / KEVIN NAUGHTON April 20, 2007

Brazilian police seeks Interpol's help to battle gambling mafia

BRAZIL - Federal Police said on Sunday that it will rely on the Interpol's assistance to track treasurers for the gambling lords who bribed court judges. The mafia had connections with judges, attorneys and policemen, who were also arrested in the operation.

/ / People's Daily Online, China / April 23, 2007

National policy on gambling to be developed

MALTA - Following the development of an alcohol policy and a drug policy, the next step could be that of developing a policy on gambling, Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity Dolores Cristina has announced. Minister Cristina said that a policy on gambling would provide further solid ground on which Agenzija Sedqa can continue to develop, widening its services related to gambling problems. ...

/ / / by Chris Galea April 24, 2007

Former fund salesman jailed for bilking clients of $700,000

CANADA - A former White Rock mutual fund salesman has been given a jail sentence of two years less a day for robbing clients of more than $700,000 to feed his cocaine, alcohol and gambling habit. In two of the cases, the money stolen had been set aside by parents in trust for their seriously handicapped adult children, Others lost their life savings.

/ / Vancouver Sun / Fiona Anderson April 24, 2007

Violent thief held down

GREECE - A group of people who witnessed a betting-shop owner in Kallithea, southern Athens, being attacked with a hammer before chasing and apprehending the assailant... The suspect has allegedly confessed to the murder and said he used the money to pay off gambling debts.

/ / / April 24, 2007

Hotels rorting pokie rules

AUSTRALIA - SYDNEY hoteliers have rorted laws intended to slash poker machine numbers, adding another 181 machines as the State Government's policies to protect problem gamblers falter. Publicans in the Sydney region, especially the inner city and southwest, have shrugged off the impact of 2001 harm-minimisation reforms by exploiting a loophole that permits transfers from country areas. While the statewide number of poker machines is falling, the shrinkage is occurring only in country areas where publicans are selling entitlements to city publicans for about $180,000 each.

/ / / by Kelvin Bissett and Justin Vallejo April 23, 2007

Canadians' gambling losses hit $14.5-billion

CANADA - Canadians lost $14.5-billion to the country's gambling industry in the last fiscal year, a new study has found. Profits were also found to be massive, pegged at $10.6-billion, including commissions and taxes. The study, conducted by HLT Advisory Inc., found that gaming revenues are on par with profit generated by spectator sports, television, movies, books, magazines and performing arts sectors combined.

/ / Canadian Press / April 26, 2007

Shhh: Mr. Topolnek has a little problem ...

Czech - Study after study confirms that electronic gambling machines are the most effective tool for turning the weaknesses of otherwise productive citizens into a pathological problem. But what is the Czech Finance Ministry doing about the hundreds of video gambling machines being installed throughout the country? Addiction experts at the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital, citing a 45 percent rise in gambling addiction over the five years ending in 2004, With 90.6 billion Kspent on betting last year alone, it seems the good doctors are right to be worried. In Europe, authorities are clearly just as drunk on the money gambling brings in. Czech leaders need reminding of a law of economics, it seems: Theres no free lunch. All the millions that high-tech gambling brings in has a social cost and treating hundreds more addicts, whose families have lost their breadwinner and whose employers have lost a worker, will balance the books in the end. Its a losing bet, Mr. Topolnek.

/ / / April 25th, 2007

Canadians' 2006 gambling loss $14.5B, study finds; Provinces collect $7.4B profit;; balance to $10.6B distributed

CANADA - Profits were also found to be massive, pegged at $10.6 billion, including commissions and taxes. "There's a myriad of social costs as well as economic costs this report has failed to address," said Robert Williams, a health sciences professor at the University of Lethbridge and prominent problem gambling researcher. Bankruptcy, depression, suicide and unemployment are just some of the impacts of gambling addiction, Williams said. "(The report) didn't talk about health-care costs for treatment of problem gamblers, it didn't talk about criminal justice system costs for crimes associated with problem gambling."

/ / / April 27, 2007

50,000 croupiers wanted in Macau.

MACAU - Last week a man from Wuhan in Hubei province, reportedly despondent over gambling losses, jumped to his death from a terrace inside the Sands Casino. He landed amid players queueing up for a free million HK dollar pull on a house slot machine. The Sands, who made profits staggering enough to pay off all their debts in only a few months, is building a new 3,000-room Venetian Macau at a cost of $2.3 billion and will likely retire that debt in record time. The homey, cheap places to eat are giving way to gourmet fare at tourist prices as local restaurateurs cannot afford the rent or compete for service workers with the casinos.

/ / / 26 April, 2007

Vic pokies rorting the community: report

AUSTRALIA - Only three per cent of the $376 million claimed by Victorian pokies venues to have been handed over under gambling laws for community benefit actually went to charities and community groups, the Monash University study found. Anger among community and charity groups prompted the Victorian government to plan a review of the community benefit scheme,

/ / / April 27, 2007

Casino health fears

UK - Leading medical figures claim a super-casino in Blackpool would put thousands of people at risk of health problems. Writing in the British Medical Journal this week, Dr John Middleton and Dr Farid Latif said... "Problem gamblers and pathological gamblers are more likely than others to have been divorced, had physical and psychological problems, lost a job, been receiving welfare benefits, been declared bankrupt and been imprisoned."

/ / / By Chris Gee 4-26-07

Diamond exporter shoots self, gambling may be reason

INDIA - A DIAMOND exporter committed suicide by shooting himself point-blank from his licenced revolver in his bungalow at Katargam... Narula... May have shot himself as he lost great amount of money in gambling during his trip to a foreign country, sources revealed.

/ / / April 22, 2007

Gamblers seeking Sedqa help double in 2006

MALTA - The number of persons seeking Seqdas services related to gambling addiction doubled in 2006, Mr. Joe Gerada, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services, said that easy access by young people to gambling halls and real time gambling through various new schemes is a new threat to young people.

/ / / Apr 24, 2007

A lottery win doesn't mean your financial woes are over. For some, that's when the real trouble begins

CANADA - Stories like Jeff Clark's, a Saskatchewan miner who won $3-million in lotteries and blew it all on fancy cars and VLTs, ending up a near-penniless gambling addict. Or an Ohio man who, after winning a $7.5-million jackpot, burned his house down in a rage over people pestering him for money. Many sudden millionaires have been stripped of their fortunes by greedy friends, scam artists, bad investments and overenthusiastic spending. There is a reason why gambling is called an "idiot tax." As a financial adviser at Fraser & Hoyt Group in Halifax notes on the company's Web site, "Playing the lottery, or any gaming, is entertainment. It is by no means a way to make money. It is only a means of spending it."

/ / Financial Post / Joanna Pachner April 28,2007

Casino punters lose $9 billion

AUSTRALIA - GAMBLERS at Crown casino have lost a staggering $9 billion in the decade since it opened. Figures obtained by the Herald Sun reveal punters have lost $102,000 an hour $28 every second playing pokies and table games at Crown since May 1997. That's $2.46million lost every day. But anti-gambling advocate the Rev Tim Costello says the casino is a business based on addiction, greed and shortcuts. There's a lot of people in prison, savings lost and personal suffering.

/ / / Michael Warner and Ian Royall April 27, 2007

Ladbrokes pulls out of talks with online gambling group

UK - Bookmaker Ladbrokes has pulled out of long-running talks over a potential 450m acquisition of online gambling group 888 Holdings, saying America's crackdown on internet gaming had made any deal much too complicated. Shares in 888 fell 4 to 117p after Ladbrokes said that "the parties have amicably agreed to discontinue talks". ... Internet operators hope that Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank will make some headway with his planned Bill to reverse last year's ban, which he has described as "one of the stupidest things I ever saw".

/ / / By Alistair Osborne 24/04/2007

Gambling led to marijuana operation

CANADA - A man who set up a sophisticated marijuana operation in his basement to pay off gambling debts will have to wait until May to find out the cost of his crime. Trinh started gambling in the late 1990s and by the time he quit gambling a few years later, he had exhausted the family's savings and owed $35,000 in credit card debt.

/ / Leader-Post / Jana G. Pruden April 24, 2007

A much needed focus on the good side of gambling

CANADA - Gambling is "...larger than magazine, book, spectator sport, movie theatre and performing arts sectors combined," the Canadian Gaming Association said this week in a press release about the report. The industry's pitch didn't sit well with Toronto lawyer Tracy Warne, who said the report failed to look at how much of revenue comes from the pockets of addicts, the people who become "social tragedies" because of serious gambling problems.

/ / / April 27, 2007

Online gambling set to quadruple by 2020

IRELAND - Online gambling to date has netted 40 million users worldwide and looks set to quadruple by 2020, according to Irish research company iReach. In the UK alone, the gambling market is worth 50bn. It is illegal under Irish law for an Irish resident to place a bet with an agent operating outside the Irish State but this is nearly impossible to enforce and implement. A recent survey in the UK of online gambling has warned that possibly one million people per year could become addicted because of the ease of gambling from their homes or on their mobile phone.

/ / / By Marie Boran 26.04.2007

DARYL McLURE: Forget the pain, govt only sees gambling as a ... Money tree

AUSTRALIA - A special Herald Sun report yesterday examined the impact of Crown on Melbourne, where gamblers lost $1 billion for the first time in a financial year last year. The losses equate to $2.46 million daily or $28 every second, according to the Herald Sun. The fate of former Geelong mayor Frank De Stefano, who lost $8.6 million of other people's money, reminds us that a gambling addiction can have terrible consequences. The gloss and glitter _ a $250 million Crown facelift has been announced _ does camouflage a misery and tears as many people are attracted, like moths to a bright light, to part with all they have. Many people blame gambling for their court appearances as they turn to crime to finance their addiction. Before Crown opened in May, 1997, the Rev Costello reminded us the casino was the child of a strong gaming lobby...

/ / / 28Apr07

Pokies cap not helping addicts: Salvos

AUSTRALIA - An increase in the number of pokies in problem gambling areas shows a statewide cap on the machines is not enough, the Salvation Army says. Figures show that despite a statewide cap introduced in 2001, the number of poker machines in hotels in Sydney has risen from 13,318 to 13,499. "We're concerned about seeing concentration of poker machines occurring in areas of Sydney where there are people under more socio-economic pressure."

/ / / By Nick Ralston 23 April 2007

'I'd log on and lose out.. but I couldn't quit'

UK - A recent study shows online casinos are increasingly likely to be visited by middle-aged women, while dozens of internet bingo sites have sprung up. "Food? That wasn't a part of it," recalls Carol, 51, an educated, well-spoken mum of two whose compulsive gambling addiction almost cost her the family life she adored. "I was like a zombie. I wouldn't sleep, I'd be playing 24 hours, 36 hours, 48 hours - straight. I kept myself going on coffee, so I made sure the kettle was next to the computer. Going to the toilet was the only time I'd move. Carol, A successful self-employed businesswoman, was one of the growing number of secret, compulsive gamblers hooked on the thrill of internet betting, logging on for hours on end and losing money hand over fist. Women aged 46 to 55 as the most likely virtual slot machine gamblers, "Gambling affects physical, social and mental wellbeing, as well as creating debt." As her husband's concerns grew, Carol found new ways to conceal her betting losses - shuffling money from bank accounts and creating a secret slush fund to pay for her casino visits. Even today, she hasn't discussed with him the full extent of her losses. "You'd play for money but eventually the money has no value and it's just figures on the screen until the balance says 'nil' and you get out the credit card and put on more cash." GAMBLING in Scotland has hit record levels. Each adult spends almost 1900 a year on games of chance, more than three times as much as four years ago. Scots spent around 7.5bn on games of chance in 2005, while help group Gamblers Anonymous reports a 200 per cent rise in the number of addicts attending its meetings. "We see more and more women seeking help and an increasing number of young people," says James, spokesman for Gamblers Anonymous Scotland. ...

/ / / SANDRA DICK 23-Apr-0

Macau casino boom: Will the run last?

CHINA - Macau, a tiny enclave ruled by Portugal for four centuries until its hand over in 1999, is something to behold. Last year gaming revenues at its 22 casinos rose to $7.2 billion, according to Macau government figures, up threefold in six years, outdistancing Las Vegas for the first time and lifting GDP growth to a red-hot 17 percent. Gambling giants from Las Vegas are among those building new casinos and resorts in Macau, But gambling tycoons are lobbying Macau's government to ease labor laws so they can recruit overseas, particularly for croupiers those who run the gambling tables. By 2009, the casinos estimate they will need 50,000 croupiers. That makes hospitality students nervous, given China's huge labor supply. Gambling has long defined Macau, the seedy cousin to neighboring Hong Kong. Not only wagers on horses and slots, but also on murky dealings with North Korea, for whom Macau served as a no-questions-asked trade hub. That role was embarrassingly made public in 2005 when the US accused Banco Delta Asia of laundering profits from North Korean sales of drugs and counterfeit bank notes.

/ / The Christian Science Monitor / By Simon Montlake April 25, 2007

Minister explores possibility of developing policy on gambling

MALTA - Foundation for Social Welfare Services CEO Joe Gerada said easy access to gambling halls and real time gambling through various new schemes was a new threat to young people. These gambling schemes were a means of reinforcing the popular culture of getting a quick fix for ones difficulties, said Mr Gerada, but they misled young people into believing that gambling improved ones lifes fortunes. He called for strong regulation regarding young peoples access to gambling halls, a ban on advertising targeting young people and for the gambling industry to pay for services needed to educate the young against the menace and to fund treatment services to those addicted to gambling.

/ / / 4-25-07

Former Gamblers Can Avoid Bankruptcy with an IVA

UK - With media attention focused on the location of a new super-casino, its easy to forget that by far the biggest cause of gambling debt is online gaming. More than 1,700 gambling websites currently target the UK consumer and the average online gambling debt now tops 30,000, says Licensed Insolvency Practitioner Phillip Allen.

/ / / 4/25/2007

Growth Of Betting Websites Carries Added Risks For Gamblers With Parkinson's Disease

UK - Parkinson's disease sufferers could be adversely affected by the growth of betting on the web because they are more likely to become gambling addicts, says a doctor writing in today's BMJ. It is estimated that 3.5% of people with Parkinson's disease are pathological gamblers. That figure rises to 7.2% if they are taking drugs known as dopamine agonists. Dr Wong says her patients are often secretive about their gambling and may end up thousands of pounds in debt before the problem is discovered. British Medical Journal, United Kingdom... Http://

/ / / 23 Apr 2007

Greece and William Hill get ready to rumble, as gambling arrests continue

GREECE - Three internet cafe owners, who had installed the gambling software of an unnamed UK bookmaker on the computers in the cafes, as well as six of their customers, were arrested in the raids. Maybe not coincidentally, the arrests followed an announcement by British bookmaker William Hill that it had filed for gaming licences in Greece and was planning to challenge the decisions in the ECJ (European Court of Justice) if the Greek government refused to grant the licenses.

/ / / By Burke Hansen 23rd April 2007