Latest News
5/20/07/07 TO 5/26/07

On the Ground in China 's Gambling Capital
MACAU/ASIA - Then add in this fact: Tiny Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal. "According to the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Macao's tourist receipts are projected to rise from US$2.87 billion in 2003 to US$7.37 billion by 2010." But Macau is off to such a head start (it surpassed Las Vegas in gambling revenues in 2006), Singapore dropped its ban in 2005, and casinos are expected to open in a few years. / Dr. Steve Sjuggerud / May 25, 2007

Gambling outfit gives up fight with bank

AUSTRALIA - Kim David Faithfull, a former branch manager... Was jailed in 2003 for stealing $18,998,309.36 from the bank. The Commonwealth Bank wanted its money back and sued IAS in 2004, later adding IAS founder Mark Read to the legal action. The bank alleged that the betting company knew that the income Faithfull got from his job with the bank could not have supported his huge betting. IAS denied the allegation. In the calendar year 2002, he bet nearly $35 million. / Christopher Webb / May 20, 2007

Don't ignore bookies

AUSTRALIA - BOOKMAKER Simon Beasley has called on the Victorian Government and racing authorities not to forget bookies in the wake of the industry review. "Every other aspect of the industry is being looked at but we seem to be left out of the loop," Beasley said. / Michael Manley / May 19, 2007

MP in touch with wanted man

AUSTRALIA - A MAN wanted by the Australian Federal Police for allegedly stealing thousands of taxpayer dollars has met Labor MP Telmo Languiller several times since skipping the country five years ago. He had stolen money through a bogus printing company to feed a gambling habit. The scam involved skimming money from printing contracts with politicians, / Nick McKenzie and Michael Bachelard / May 24, 2007

Principal stole school funds for pokies

AUSTRALIA - A SCHOOL principal stole $46,000 from school funds to support her poker machine addiction, even though she was paid a $60,000 salary for 20 hours work a week. She admitted to stealing the money to feed her gambling addiction. / Ellen Connolly / May 20, 2007

Government accused of tardy reponse to problem gambling

AUSTRALIA - The State Opposition says the Government has dragged its heels in tackling the problems associated with excessive gambling. / May 21, 2007


AUSTRALIA - The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed news that The South Australian Centre for Economic Studies will research the social and economic impacts of gambling in Tasmania, saying it was a long awaited and much needed independent investigation for which the Greens, welfare groups, and problem-gaming service providers have been calling since the introduction of poker machines into pubs and clubs in the 1990s. / Kim Booth / 21st May 2007

Jockey suspended and fined over bets

AUSTRALIA - Jumps jockey Paul Hamblin was last night suspended for six months, effective immediately, on a charge of having had 33 bets on horses that he was riding against. Racing Victoria Stewards yesterday conducted a marathon inquiry into bets placed through accounts owned by ten jockeys, five flat riders and five jumps jockeys. "But having said that, to bet against the horse you were riding really violates the trust placed in that rider by owners, trainers and punters alike and the damage such actions have on the image and integrity of racing must also be taken into account." / AAP / 22 May 2007

Fine penalty for gambling hoops

AUSTRALIA - SIX Victorian jockeys were yesterday fined, including one who was told to seek counselling for a gambling problem, Seymour-based jockey Colin Dean received a $2000 fine for placing 448 bets on Victorian and interstate races. ... Of the other jockeys who faced the inquiry, Mark Pegus was fined $1250, Chris Maund $1000, Todd Balfour $1000, Nathan Dunn $1000 and Mark Horobin $750. ... All jockeys were charged under the provisions of Rule 83 (a), which states a jockey may be punished if he bets or has an interest in a bet in a horse race. ... / Adrian Dunn / May 22, 2007

Judge attacks casino

AUSTRALIA - A JUDGE has blasted Crown casino for enticing more and more gamblers so it could take money "out of the pockets" of Victorians. He also criticised rewards schemes in which gamblers accrue points that allow them free meals, accommodation and trips, saying they encouraged losing gamblers to keep coming back. Judge Williams made his comments as he spared pathological gambler Joseph William Wells, 56, immediate jail for stealing from his family company to fund his addiction. Wells was losing an average $5000 a week... / Katie Bice / May 24, 2007

Man claims casino 'seduced' him of $20m

AUSTRALIA - A CONFESSED pathological gambler lost more than $20 million in real estate as his addiction ran out of control, a court has heard. Representing himself in court, Mr Wells claimed he was seduced by the casino with free trips and accommodation and his gambling spiralled out of control as he splashed out on poker machines, gaming tables and horse races. Mr Wells is bankrupt. Between September 2004 and February 2005, Mr Wells misappropriated $536,100... / Shelley Hodgson / May 19, 2007

Power and influence

AUSTRALIA - The scandal was uncovered when a staffer for Andrew Theophanous queried why a $10,000 invoice to a printing company whose listed address was Ladowsky's suburban home had been authorised. After initially claiming the allegations were the invention of his political opponents, Ladowsky released a statement blaming a serious gambling problem for his thefts. / Nick McKenzie and Michael Bachelard / May 26, 2007

AFL players at risk of problem gambling

AUSTRALIA - At the launch of a new taskforce to target problem gambling among elite sportspeople, officials said AFL footballers were more vulnerable to problem gambling than the rest of society. Former AFL footballer David Schwarz, who in 2005 publicly admitted to having a major battle with excessive gambling, attended today's launch... Gaming Minister... Andrews said 1.1 per cent of Victorian adults had a gambling problem. / Kellee Nolan / May 21, 2007

Lunch lures pensioners to casino

AUSTRALIA - CROWN Casino has come under fire for offering pensioners and sporting clubs free meals and subsidised bus trips to help lure them to the gambling venue. Mr Zirnsak [InterChurch Gambling Taskforce chairman] said the free meals were to entice people to the casino to maximise profits. / May 20, 2007

Gaming probe kept secret

AUSTRALIA - A REPORT revealing the number of gambling addicts is double the State Government's own estimates remains secret, a year after it was completed. University of Adelaide and Flinders University think-tank has found three per cent of the community are problem gamblers. IGA director Robert Chappell said the report had been sitting on his desk for a year and the authority was not ready to release it. / May 20, 2007

Public denied information on gaming licences

AUSTRALIA - THE public will not be shown basic information about a review into the state's new multibillion-dollar lotteries and gaming licences because it is too "secret", Victoria's gambling watchdog has ruled. The refusal to release any information relating to the gambling licence review comes as the Government surrenders thousands of documents to the parliamentary committee on gaming licensing. / Jason Dowling / May 20, 2007

SA Centre to study Tas gambling impacts

AUSTRALIA - The Centre for Economic Studies, Will investigate the effect of gaming on tourism, recreation, economic development and employment. / May 20, 2007

Australia: Labor's gambling claims 'nonsense'

AUSTRALIA - "Victoria University economist James Doughney said it was "deceptive nonsense" for the Government to say it had reduced the percentage of problem gamblers from 2.1 per cent in 1999 to 1.1 per cent in 2003. ... / 20 May 2007

Foster 'ex' took gems

AUSTRALIA - Darlene Anne Daley, 38, of Benowa, admitted stealing exclusive watches, rings and bracelets from Ledger and Co Fine Jewellers at Harbour Town and pawning them to feed her gambling habit. "My client was in the grips of an extremely serious gambling addiction and all the money funded gambling. "Before stealing from her employer she was hocking her own jewellery. She has lost everything." / 25May07

First jockeys face penalties for betting

AUSTRALIA - Jockeys are permitted to gamble on sport but not on horse racing. ... It is believed that 10 licensed jockeys have been found to have used betting accounts set up in their own names to gamble on racing. Stewards can reprimand, fine, suspend or disqualify riders found to have breached the no-betting rule. / Andrew Eddy / May 21, 2007

Sunday gambling rules annoy bars

CANADA - The ads came as a surprise to some bar owners who have VLTs, because their machines still have to shut down on Saturday night and remain off until Monday. Other bar owners said they were trying to find out why the rules appear to be different for the racino. / CBC News / May 23, 2007

Smoking in casino an issue for locals

CANADA - Smoking in the Painted Hand Casino has been an issue in Yorkton since 2003 when the city implemented its bylaw ahead of the provincial government's smoking ban which came into effect Jan. 1, 2005. "As a bottom line, as a city, we don't allow businesses to break bylaws," said Wyatt. He also doesn't understand why the provincial government can't do more to enforce its smoking ban since it has the authority to issue gambling licenses, / Karen Brownlee / May 23, 2007

An update on gambling in the EU - the Placanica case

EU - As previously documented in S&T, the legal status of cross-border gambling in the EU is a grey area, Massimiliano Placanica operated as an Italian agent for Stanleybet International, in alleged violation of a criminal law preventing operators without an Italian sports betting licence from operating in Italy. The Italian authorities penalised Placanica... The Placanica judgment is a further chip away at restrictive national practices such as those operated by the Italian authorities, which are contrary to EU law. In this respect, the Placanica judgment helps to further demonstrate that arbitrary restrictions on betting and gaming activities are in breach of EU law. Ultimately, as a result of Placanica, it is questionable whether Italy can legitimately grant licences to certain EU operators who pass the Italian licensing criteria while prohibiting other EU licensed operators. / May 2007

Priest guilty of funding grooming

IRELAND - McGrath, of Rosslea, County Fermanagh, had insisted he had no idea that Adams was abusing the girl, claiming the cash was linked to gambling. / 25 May 2007

Pachinko: Declining Popularity or a Continuing Japanese Social Problem?

JAPAN - Pachinko refers to the peculiarly Japanese [2] amusement arcade game that was supposedly modelled on the 'Corinthian', a US pinball machine, imported to Japan in the 1920s. Pachinko machines closely resemble pinball machines, though they are somewhat smaller and have a vertical, as opposed to horizontal, playing surface. / Graham Brooks, Thomas Ellis, and Chris Lewis

Mum harassed by loan shark goes missing

MALASIA - A MOTHER of four has gone missing after she could no longer tolerate being harassed by a loan shark. Took her children's savings with her. Hawker and a compulsive gambler, had borrowed RM20,000... / 5-22-07

U.S. attorney says jailed gambling exec would be flight risk

MO - When the millionaire founder of the online gambling company BetOnSports PLC was arrested in March, he was planning escape to a country that would not extradite him to face charges in St. Louis, ... The British company, which once took in more than $1 billion in bets per year, When Kaplan was arrested in the Dominican Republic, he had a handcuff key and five passports with his picture, some with different names, places of birth or other information. / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / Robert Patrick / 05/26/2007

North Korea through Chinese eyes

N KOREA - Visitors are tightly controlled and only a trickle of Westerners admitted. Yet even North Korea needs dollars, and tries to get them by attracting Chinese tourists, who go for the gambling, and the bizarre allure of a bygone era of fanaticism and privation that China itself once endured. In the late 1990s, the North Koreans allowed investors from Hong Kong and Macau to set up casinos in their closed world. Gambling is banned in China, (gambling is also banned in North Korea for ordinary citizens, but the government allowed Chinese to staff the casinos). As China saw it, the casinos proved rather too popular, drawing huge numbers of corrupt officials. Two years ago, China cracked down on cross-border gambling... Restricting foreign visits by officials-after one official allegedly embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars of government funds and gambled the money away at the casino in Rajin-Sonbong. / The Economist / May 24th 2007

More help for Asian gamblers needed

NEW ZEALAND - Gambling Helpline says Sky City needs to put special focus on tackling problem gambling among Asian people if it goes ahead with plans to target that market. / 23/05/2007

Pokie machine numbers debated

NZ - In her submission, counsellor and health promoter from the PGF Kate Morgan, said gambling was an occupational hazard and demoralising pastime. She did not want to be part of a society which let at risk people to be exploited and said gambling offered long term misery and temporary relief. She also gave an example of lonely Ida, 77, who sought help from the PGF after she was suicidal and had gambled away her home. PGF regional manager David Coom said increasing the number of machines increased the number of problem gamblers. / 23 May 2007

Government confesses to $115 mil stake in Sky City

NEW ZEALAND - The Green Party has condemned both Dr Michael Cullen's admission in the House today that the Government currently has $115 million invested in Sky City Entertainment Group, and his refusal to consider funding problem gambling organizations at the same level as the profits the Government is making from this socially damaging investment. "The huge level of Government investment in gambling makes a mockery of the ethical investing guidelines on how taxpayer funds are supposed to be invested. / 23 May 2007

The gambling money-go-round: using pokie profits to ease social ills

NZ - Yet a portion of the proceeds from this cause of social distress plays an integral part in funding charities and other organisations, many of which exist to address social ills. It is even more ironic that these gaming trust grants can often amount to a redistribution of money from poorer people to the more affluent. The Government's tolerance of this situation is in stark contrast to the clamp-down on tobacco industry sponsorship of sporting and other events - due to the social harm and health costs created by smoking- New Zealand has an estimated 50,000 problem gamblers, / The Press / 19 May 2007

Gambling can be fun until it becomes addictive

NEW ZEALAND - We think the Government is right in bringing in regulations to set a levy on gambling to pay for research and prevention of problem gambling. The Problem Gambling Levy Regulations 2007 set the levy for the $1.9 billion-a-year profit gambling industry at an average of $18.6 million a year for the next three years, plus $9.045 million being recovered from the industry since 2004. / Iain Gillies / 22 May, 2007

Workers will pay with their jobs

NEW ZEALAND - Problem Gambling Foundation CEO, John Stansfield. He says that businesses that make their profits from harming others are bound to run into problems eventually. "The casino has become extremely unpopular as the public realised it was operating on the basis of extracting maximum profits without being responsible about the harm it was causing," he said. "Families, businesses, and charities have been robbed to support their profits."
May 22, 2007

SkyCity criticised for moves to target Asian gamblers

NZ - Exploiting vulnerable new migrants and robbing them of their dreams will not build a sustainable new business for SkyCity, says the Problem Gambling Foundation. Identifying Asian gamblers as a "significant and growing proportion" of SkyCity's Auckland customers, Mr Davies said the company would introduce a number of measures to better cater for their needs. When the money ran out, they were no longer welcome, / 23 May 2007

ESI Entertainment Systems loses big on U.S. online-gambling crackdown

CANADA - Online gambling-industry payment service provider ESI Entertainment Systems Inc. (TSX:ESY) has booked an annual loss of $5 million after a $6.2-million asset writedown caused by U.S. legislation against the industry. / May 25, 2007

Federal antitrust service imposed $80,000 fine on casino over illegal advertising

RUSSIA - Krasnoyarsk Territory imposed $80,000 fine on "Siberian Game - Federal law... Allows advertising gambling games in lottery actions only and inside casinos and slot-machine halls only. / 5/21/2007

Sweden's Gambling Monopoly to Continue

SWEDEN - One of the election promises of the Swedish alliance of middle and right-wing political parties last year was to abolish the state gambling monopoly. It now seems that this promise will be broken. / 21 May 2007

Sweden's Gambling Monopoly to Continue

SWEDEN - One of the election promises of the Swedish alliance of middle and right-wing political parties last year was to abolish the state gambling monopoly. It now seems that this promise will be broken. / 21 May 2007

Online bingo jackpot is on the cards

UK - Playing at home is becoming more popular and the big operators are keen not to miss out on the millions... Larner has mainly been playing at home in front of her computer rather than at the local club. A mother of two, has also cut back since the smoking ban came in. She now plays every night on the website set up by her local bingo chain. A company that runs bingo sites... Published a survey suggesting that 63% of bingo-playing smokers would visit clubs less often and switch to internet... According to Global Betting & Gaming Consultants (GBGC), online bingo games in Britain generated gross wins of $143m (£72.4m) in 2006, up from $98m the previous year, BINGO has firmly entered the 21st century with the proliferation of internet sites, but the game traces its roots back to 1530. That was the year Italy launched a lottery that formed the basis of the game we know today. / Matthew Goodman / May 20, 2007

Verdict awaited on super-casinos

UK - From July 6 the Isle of Capri in the basement of Coventry's Ricoh Arena, home to Coventry City football club, will provide 130,000 sq ft of gaming tables, slot machines and poker, a private room for high rollers and a members-only club. Isle of Capri, which runs 14 casinos in the US, is well versed in the concept of casino-based regeneration of deprived neighbourhoods. / Roger Blitz / May 21 2007

Casinos to fight UK gambling rules

UK - The casino industry is pledging to take its fight against new UK legislation to the European courts... Gambling Act - Discriminates against existing casinos in favour of... Government's... Supercasinos. ... / 24 May 2007

Oxford takes gambling king's cash

UK - A casino tycoon who has long denied links to organised crime has been approved by Oxford University's ethics committee to make one of its biggest publicised individual donations. ... Stanley Ho, an 85-year-old billionaire known as the "King of Gambling" in Macao, has given £2.5 million for improving Chinese history research and teaching at Pembroke College. In the Philippines, Mr Ho declined to be questioned by the public order and security committee investigating alleged links to organised crime. / The Times / Dominic Kennedy and James Doran / May 26, 2007

Manchester Super Casino Snag

UK - The high court in Great Britain has delayed a decision on a planned super casino in Manchester. Amongst the most controversial provisions was the establishment of a number of 'destination casinos' in the style of Las Vegas, commonly referred to in the media as 'Super Casinos' / News Wire / May 22, 2007


UK - The first airport betting shop in Britain has opened at East Midlands Airport. The shop, with two giant TV screens, will beam live sporting fixtures into the lounge. Staff will take wagers in pounds and euros... People have a quick pint, a quick bite to eat, now they can place a quick bet." / 2007-05-23

McGrath 'lied' to victim's family

UK - Fr Jeremiah McGrath lied when confronted by the grandmother of the young girl he is accused of molesting, Liverpool Crown Court heard on the second day of the trial of the Roslea Priest. Cross-examined by McGrath's barrister, Trevor Parry-Jones the girl agreed with his suggestion McGrath was 'essentially addicted to gambling.' / May 23

Antigua & Barbuda and the WTO

US/ANTIQUA - In 2003, Antigua & Barbuda filed a case with the WTO claiming that the US, contrary to promises made in the 1990s under the GATS, was enacting measures to prevent gaming companies in Antigua & Barbuda from supplying services to US citizens. ... In support of our case a team... Filed and won judgment in favour of Antigua & Barbuda in 2004. At the heart of attempts at restricting or prohibiting Antigua & Barbuda's access to the US market, has been an attack against all financial institutions such as banks and credit card companies, from providing services to the [internet] industry. Such attempts culminated in the passage last year of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act... Makes it illegal for any US financial institution to send money to or from a gaming company in Antigua. / May 24 2007

WTO Internet Gambling Case: US does not appeal

US - Since the deadline for the US to appeal this Internet Gambling ruling by the WTO was today, other countries can and will jump aboard and join Antigua's claim against the US. / May 22, 2007

U.S., Germany, Sweden Involved in Online-Gambling Legal Issues

US - The United States... Allowed the World Trade Organization's deadline to pass without filing a final appeal in its ongoing trade dispute with Antigua & Barbuda over online gambling. Opens the door for Antigua to escalate other trade sanctions and penalties, It's an open invitation to all WTO members to pursue financial penalties and other sanctions against the United States. ... / May 24, 2007

Australia: Labor's gambling claims 'nonsense'

AUSTRALIA - University economist James Doughney said it was "deceptive nonsense" for the Government to say it had reduced the percentage of problem gamblers from 2.1 per cent... To 1.1 per cent... / 20 May 2007