Latest News
4/29/07 TO 5/5/07

Asia The Next Big Online Gambling Frontier? Think Again

ASIA - Among the big discussions at this year's Casino Affiliate Conference in Amsterdam (CAC), online gambling and Asia. The typical Japanese person doesn't have enough spare time to sit at home playing online poker. Internet Cafes in Japan are extremely expensive... Gambling is completely illegal in the Kingdom of Thailand. Most Asian countries have never heard of Poker. Gambling is also illegal in China (apart from in Macao). China would probably allow online gambling ONLY on sites that were wholly owned and run by the Chinese government. / / Christopher Costigan / May 5, 2007

Children banned from buying lottery tickets

AUSTRALIA - LAWS banning children from buying lottery tickets... Come into effect from today. / April 30, 2007

So has the bet paid off?

AUSTRALIA - It seems everyone in the early to mid-1990s was arguing over "the casino" as the half-truths and myths circulated about casino patrons suiciding, and others demanding chamber pots so they could urinate without leaving the table. Despite evidence of problem gambling and criminal links to the gaming industry, some former critics have changed their minds. Gamblers using the 27,500 poker machines outside of Crown Casino lose a staggering $2.5 billion annually and experts believe they have contributed to higher rates of problem gambling, particularly in Melbourne's outer-suburbs. But if Crown isn't quite the ogre, or black hole critics feared in 1997, it remains an enigma at best, and a hotbed of sleaze, crime and corruption at worst. He says the casino's glitzy facade conceals a litany of "destroyed lives, families ruined and crimes committed". "The economics are simple, 50 per cent of Crown's profits come from people that are hopelessly addicted," he says. "Within a year of the Bracks Government coming to power, they were accepting freebies from Crown and hosting ALP dinners and conferences there," he says. Critics maintain that Crown seems to enjoy a privileged position with the Government, citing as an example its exemption from state smoking bans for its VIP and high-roller rooms, apparently to cater for cashed-up international players. Coroners Court statistics show 70 gambling addicts or their partners killed themselves in Victoria between June 2001 and September 2005. Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon recently conceded that "serious and organised crime" had infiltrated the gaming industry, despite the use of exclusion zone legislation to ban prominent underworld figures... / Royce Millar and Cameron Houston / May 5, 2007

Saints blasted over 'greedy' pokies

AUSTRALIA - Football Club bid to boost pokie takings... "There are already so many people in Kingston who have suffered from problem gambling -- making these machines more accessible is going to make it worse," he [councillor Alabaster] said. Victorian InterChurch Gambling Taskforce chairman Mark Zirnsak slammed the club's bid. The pursuit of money at the expense of more family break-ups, and more people losing their homes." / Mary Bolling / 5-2-07

Tough nine weeks and more to come

AUSTRALIA - ADELAIDE champion Simon Goodwin has revealed the "mental" toll his "life changing" personal struggle with gambling addiction has taken. Four-time All-Australian Goodwin was the high-profile identity detected in a pre-season AFL gambling investigation. He incurred a $40,000 fine, / RICHARD EARLE / May 03, 2007

Pokies addict jailed

AUSTRALIA - A WOMAN who stole more than $1 million from her work to pay for gambling and luxuries for her family was jailed yesterday. / Katie Bice / May 02, 2007

Con artist gets seven years in $22M pyramid scam

CANADA - Cheryl-Lynne Braun, 41, defrauded 89 people of more than $22 million, half of which she spent at three city casinos in less than a year. At the Baccarat Casino alone she gambled away more than $4 million. "This was a very trying time for me and my family, as this impacted us right at Christmas of 2003," one investor wrote in a victim impact statement. "We are a family of six, and Christmas that year was minimal. / The Edmonton Journal / Karen Kleiss / May 01, 2007


CANADA - Easy access and sometimes a need for money, push Canadian teens to VLTs, poker and lotteries says Catholic newspaper... Bishop Henry quotes a study conducted by the Responsible Gambling Council, Of 2140 teens surveyed, 34.9 per cent said they're already gambling. 40 percent said poker is their game of choice, while another 36 percent admitted to regularly buying raffle tickets, including scratch-and-win lottery tickets. (VLTs) with bright colours, lights, sounds and high speed repetition of transactions such that these constitute an addictive combination, for which the bishop borrows the phrase "crack-cocaine of gambling". 13 percent of teens surveyed who play poker admitted they spend more money than they can afford on gambling. / / May 02, 2007

On the take People lose, province wins

CANADA - Canadians bet some $14.5 billion last year. Those governments depend on gambling revenues, and have become progressively more addicted to the take... What's distasteful about the process is that problem gambling is destroying lives at an alarming rate and the province regularly profits from that addiction. Having people admit to gambling addictions while in court on fraud and theft charges is almost a daily occurrence in this province. / The Telegram / 02/05/07

Surreal atmosphere at casino

CANADA - Besides the security officer... Modern casinos are equipped with the latest digital imaging technology, closed-circuit television, image data bases, video recording, and auto-scan identification. The identification process can determine if for any reason you should be promptly led back out the door, if you should be observed extra closely, or if you and your disposable cash should be welcomed with open arms. Once inside the casino, all of your actions are continually tracked and behaviours are observed and analyzed. Even the amount of money won or lost at the slots is noted and recorded. / 05/04/2007

He gambled away mom's pensions

CANADA - Barry Matthews, 49, confessed to taking his mentally disabled mom's [74-year-old] old-age security and pension cheques and fraudulently converting them to his own use after being appointed her power of attorney... He had blown most of his mother's pension money betting on horses. / The Hamilton Spectator / Barbara Brown / May 4, 2007

Canadians lose $14.5 billion to gambling

CANADA - Canada's state-run gaming industry raked in $15.3 billion last year, while Canadians squandered $14.5 billion on slot machines, lottery tickets and racetrack betting - and got nothing in return, Gambling critics, however, fault the report for not mentioning what problem-gambling researcher Robert Williams called the "myriad" negative social costs associated with gambling, such as bankruptcy, depression, suicide and loss of employment. / May 2, 2007

New approach needed for problem gamblers: NDP

CANADA - A 2004 survey of casino employees said many encounter gamblers who are agitated, angry or simply spending all their money. But the problems remain: the survey reports that many staff have dealt with customers who have lost all their money, and a few who have even talked of committing suicide - or buying a gun. / CBC News / May 3, 2007

'Her investment scheme was also a work of fiction' Local writer sent to prison for investment scam

CANADA - An Edmonton con artist who has written three romance novels likely had no idea about the terribly sad ending that would result from her latest "work of fiction." A total of 89 victims gave Braun payments of between $1,500 to $450,000, said Pinckney, adding the total amount of money the woman received and deposited in her bank account was $22,374,945.60. Braun gambled away nearly $11 million at the Palace Casino, the Baccarat Casino and Casino ABS. / TONY BLAIS / April 30, 2007

Big gamble on Macau

CHINA - Since 1999 casino gambling has exploded in Macau and foreign companies like MGM and heavy hitters like Sheldon Adelson have ended the long period of monopoly operations in the casino sector. For instance, whereas it is common in the United States for casino operators to get the identity of high-roller gamblers, no such culture exists in Macau. As a result, money embezzled or stolen through various means can appear in Macau and bolster the bottom lines of casino operators without an eyebrow being raised. It pays to remember as well that Macau was known as the world's money-laundering capital before it was the world's biggest casino. / James Rose / April 30, 2007

Curacao Updates Internet Gambling Regulations

Curacao - The Curacao Internet Gaming Association (CIGA) is pleased to announce that Curacao - the oldest and one of the largest remote gaming jurisdictions - is in the process of updating its e-gaming regulations and legislation, with a view to remaining at the forefront of this burgeoning industry, which today is worth well in excess of US$10bn annually according to independent experts. From Curacao's perspective, this is a significant economic activity for the small territory... / May 2, 2007

Online Gaming and European Community Law

EUROPEAN UNION - Have the state owned companies found a new way to protect their monopolies? On March 14 the EFTA court ruled in favour of the Norwegian monopoly of operating gaming machines on the grounds of fighting gambling addiction. On March 6 the EC court ruled on the Placanica case where the freedom of establishment, article 43, and freedom to provide services, article 49, were tried in connection with gambling in Italy. The court decided that countries can not stop privately owned companies from doing business in other member states, but they can require companies to obtain a license before they can provide their services. The most likely way for countries to keep their monopolies would be to refer to public health (Article 55 and 46 EC Treaty) and argue that only the state cares enough to provide socially responsible gaming. If they can prove that they provide a more responsible gambling service, and that their aim is not solely to make a profit, they could be successful in prohibiting online gaming companies from competing. A prerequisite to maintaining a monopoly, according to the consistency principle, is that no extensive marketing of the highly addictive games take place. / 02 May 2007

Papua New Guinea goes gambling

PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare... Has passed the Gambling Control Bill Act 2007 which will allow for controlled online and offline gambling to take place. It's thought that church groups are likely to strongly contest the proposed Act. / / 2007-05-02


Papua New Guinea - The Australian and New Zealand media are reporting on the newest global online gambling licensing jurisdiction this week - Papua New Guinea, where parliament has passed a gaming law allowing casinos and internet gambling in the Pacific nation. Eight MPs, Walked from the chamber in protest before the vote. Korean consortium to build... Hotel and casino... / / May 02, 2007

Online gambling legalized in Papua New Guinea

Papua, New Guinea - The small Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea passed a bill that makes casinos and Internet gambling legal. Some have claimed that the bill is serving Korean business interests. / 05/01/2007

Report shows casinos not doing job, gambling addict says

CANADA - A Sydney man who says his compulsive gambling cost him $500,000 and his marriage hopes a new report forces Nova Scotia's two casinos to do a better job of dealing with problem gamblers. Paul Burrell, who says he's planning a lawsuit, Claiming staff stood by and watched as he gambled away his life savings. / CBC News / May 3, 2007

"Drugs Stashed Away at a Foreigners Casino in Yangkang Hotel"

S.KOREA - An underground casino for foreigners at Yangkag Hotel, Pyongyang, is known to have been openly circulating drugs. Yangkag Hotel is an elite hotel and was built in 1995 in co-partnership with France. Currently, the hotel operates a casino used by foreigners. / Kwon Jeong Hyun / 2007-05-01

Car salesman stole 12k

UK - A car salesman who gambled away 12,000 stolen from his Black Country employer has been jailed for a year. When he sold a vehicle, he would pay some of the cash into the firm and pocket the rest of the balance to fund his habit. / May 2, 2007

This transcript was typed from a recording of the program.

http://&& - For the first time in Australia or New Zealand, a government is calling on a casino to use the electronic data it collects about its patrons to help identify problem gamblers. We'll also be looking at an audacious legal action by a gambler who lost $30-million and at three recent cases where judges slammed casinos whose patrons stole millions from their employers and gambled it away. Grossi was sentenced to a minimum 3-1/2 years prison for stealing nearly $2-million from her employer. She spent the stolen money on the pokies at Crown Casino. What a judge had to say as he sentenced Erick Tjandra... I regard it as the height of irresponsibility for the casino to have placed such a vulnerable person in the situation of gambling in what is called the Kerry Packer Room against the House. He was a humble bank clerk who unfortunately developed a gambling addiction beyond his means. The gaming industry say personal responsibility, individual autonomy should reign supreme; you can't wrap adults in cotton wool. Over a number of years she spent her entire life savings, $100,000 on the pokies. In his civil action, Harry Kakavas is arguing that the casino was aware that he was a person with a special disadvantage, a gambling addict, and therefore the casino had a duty of care to protect him from himself. He's arguing that he was prohibited by law from being in the casino in the first place, so Crown was both breaking the law and breaching the duty of care it owed him. There has been a rash of high profile cases involving gamblers stealing millions from their employers and then blowing it all at the casino. A woman who stole more than $7-million to feed her gambling habit has been jailed for seven years. The court was told the former bank officer had been seduced by VIP treatment at Melbourne's Crown Casino. The loans officer at Bendigo Bank's Preston branch, started stealing to feed her addiction, moving more than $22-million through accounts. Jamieson poured millions of $1 coins into Crown Casino poker machines... When sentencing Kate Jamieson to seven years prison, Judge Williams expressed his sadness that she had become trapped by the gimmicky enticements and rewards that seem to be accepted as part of the industry. How a so-called civilised society can allow and offer the mindless operation of poker machines to witless members of the public under the euphemism of 'gaming' or 'entertainment' is no doubt a question for the sociologists of this world. For 15 months, Erick Tjandra abused his junior role at the bank, transferring $10.4-million from customers' accounts into his own. The 32-year-old pleaded guilty to 37 counts of fraud. So was there no obligation on Star City to find out where the money came from? Mr Kim David Faithful, was the Commonwealth Bank Manager in Karratha, W.A. He stole $19-million from the bank, and gambled it all away with an internet sports betting company, IAS Bet. Four years ago the Supreme Court of South Australia ruled that internet sports betting company Sporting Bet must pay back $2.6-million to Mount Gambier-based company, K & S Transport. The $2.6-million was part of $22-million stolen by financial controller, Dennis Craig Telford, from his employer. He blew most of it on the horses. Greg Barber [Greens Leader]: They talk about problem gamblers as if it's the individual and their weakness that's the problem. But in fact it's the machine that's the problem. These machines are the most rapacious, they're not like the old 'put 20-cents in a slot and pull a lever'. Now you can lose thousands of dollars in just a few hours on these things. They're scientifically designed to rip people off, to virtually hypnotise them, to make people think they can win when they can't. Or that they're about to win, and so everything about the way the product is designed is problematical. Announcement: There's something disturbing in our community, something that's wrecking Kiwi lives, causing kids to go hungry and businesses to fail. It brings debt, crime, violence and despair. It attacks our families, our friends, and our neighbours, and it's out there, right now. Dunedin casino has had its licence suspended by the Gambling Commission for failing to stop a problem gambler who spent $6.6-million there in two years. The Dunedin woman stole half a million dollars from the accounting firm where she worked, and blew it all gambling. She was jailed for three years. John Stansfield [lobbying for tougher laws] : If you look at the Dunedin case, here's a person who committed a crime. She went to prison, she was punished, her family has been punished, her employer was down half a million dollars, they are severely punished. Myself and every other New Zealand taxpayer paid for the cost of prosecution and incarceration, so we've been punished, but the casino get to keep the money, that criminally obtained money, There was one in Auckland last year where a guy stole $700,000 from a charity and blew it all at Sky City, in the casino, was there for very long hours, known by the staff. He's now in prison and of course the casino got to keep the money, the charity didn't even get their money back. Lloyd's of London, told them [Canadian casinos], 'Look, because you operate club loyalty systems, you have a lot of information about your patrons. You need to use the information to help identify problem gamblers. If you don't, you risk losing your insurance cover.'
ABC Radio National / Reporter Damien Carrick. / 4.29.07

Former gambling addict says its hard to get help

CANADA - Compulsive gamblers literally can't stop. They lie, cheat, steal and even wear diapers to avoid leaving their slot machines. / May 02.07

Soaring Gaming Profits Come with a Price Gambling addiction support groups say governments not doing enough

CANADA - A comprehensive study released last week by the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) reported that the industry made more than $15 billion in revenue last year, including $700 million on non-gaming activities such as food, drinks and entertainment. Of that, $8.6 billion went into government coffers to fund social programs and charities. What the report failed to mention is the negative side of gamblingthe bankruptcies, divorces, crime, lost jobs, depression and suicide that can occur with problem gambling. It is estimated that about one and a half per cent of Canadians are full-fledged gambling addicts, and a further two and a half per cent are having difficulties and at risk of becoming addicted. That adds up to more than 1.5 million people, Reshke went through $500,000, alienated friends and family, and lost his house and his government job... He was sentenced to a nine-month jail term in 2004 for defrauding the Alberta government of $106,000money he squandered on gambling. The Alberta Ministry of Gaming estimates that 5.2 per cent of Albertans are problem gamblers, which makes it one of the highest in Canada, topped only by Saskatchewan which has 5.9 per cent. Smith says problem gamblers contribute a whopping 40 per cent of the revenue... "Say I'm a VLT addict and I steal $100,000 from my employer; that money goes into the machines, which means the government now has the proceeds of crime. The employer is victimized, he's out the money with no way of getting it back, but the government's got it." "a number of suicides" has been directly attributed to electronic gambling. Brochu, who lost his home and car and was disbarred from practicing law because he stole $50,000 to cover his gambling debts, / Epoch Times / By Joan Delaney / May 03, 2007

B.C. casino workers see gambling problems: survey

CANADA - B.C. casino workers say they regularly see problem gambling up close, including people who wear diapers into casinos so they don't have to leave the machines to use the washroom. Casino employees found the top three key indicators of people with a gambling problem are that they make repeated visits to automated banking machines, have agitated reactions after losses and attempt to borrow cash to keep gambling. / Canadian Press / May. 2 2007

Problem Gambling Foundation Supports Community Picket

NEW ZEALAND - A picket being organised by a Wellington community organisation is the natural reaction to a recent Gambling Commission decision that a Kilbirnie pub could place pokie machines in an outdoor smoking area, says the Problem Gambling Foundation CEO John Stansfield. "When the Commission ruled that pokies owners rights to make a profit is more important than protecting the community from gambling harm they clearly misread public opinion," he said. He says that pokie machines are designed to have a hypnotic affect on people who play them for extended periods...
Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand / May 3, 2007.

Press Release: The Maori Party

NEW ZEALAND - Today, we gather together to fight another war. This time, the enemy is the one-armed bandit; the problem of compulsive gambling. It's happening in housie halls, in casinos, and in pubs and clubs throughout the country - and most often in those neighbourhoods and communities least able to afford it. In 2003, the Salvation Army surveyed people accessing their South Auckland foodbank, and found that over one third applying for food parcels had a problem gambler in their household. Of that third, nearly 80% had two or more children in their home. It is the most vulnerable and the poorest of our society that are being hurt. Research from Dr Wiremu Manaia of the Problem Gambling Research Initiative has concluded that for many Maori, our low socio-economic status has made us particularly vulnerable to gambling problems. - We know that a least a third of Maori inmates have been identified as having gambling related problems. - We know also that on average, ten to seventeen people are affected by the problem of one person; - Maori make up 30% of new callers to the Gambling Helpline; and Pacific peoples 8%; way over the proportional representation; - And finally in dollar terms - $35 million is gambled EVERY DAY in Aotearoa; $5.5 million is lost every day which, in 2003/04, meant a total gambling expenditure of $2.039 billion dollars; a phenomenal $2 billion dollars of gambling debt on the heads of whanau. We must intervene to ensure that in the absence of sufficient health services, that those people committing gambling-related crimes receive diversionary sentences and be referred to addiction services rather than be slammed in jail with a stiff sentence. - To call for communities to hold the right to decide whether gambling venues should exist in their vicinities, - To demand that we are entitled to a fair share of the profits that the gambling industries receive from our losses ... / 30 April 2007

Addict stole from sister

UK - A GAMBLING addiction led a man to commit two burglaries at his sister's home in Harlow, a court heard on Friday. Stole a cameo brooch and a necklace which he later pawned for 90 at Fish Brothers jewellers in Harlow. Stole jewellery worth 2600 and pawned it at the same firm. / EDITORIAL / 03 May 2007