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Archive for February, 2007

February 28th, 2007

Gambling in Arizona

Casinos and lotteries are the two most popular types of gambling in Arizona.
About 2.3 percent of adults in Arizona are problem gamblers, lower than the
national rate of 2.7 percent. However, Arizona is considered to have more
gamblers at risk of becoming problem gamblers.Problem gamblers are most
likely to identify slot machines as their favorite type of gambling, and
they are more likely to use tobacco, alcohol and drugs regularly. Of people
who called the Arizona Office of Problem Gambling's help line -
1-800-639-8783 – from September 2002 to June 2006, 147 lost their home due
to gambling and 138 lost their car.The Arizona Office of Problem Gambling is
holding a seminar on youth and problem gambling from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday
at Black Canyon Conference Center, 9440 N. 25th Ave., Phoenix.

Post at 9:31 am UTC by Jerry

Help sought for girl sold to settle gambling debt

The mother of a teenage girl, allegedly sold by her (late) father when she
was one-year-old after incurring heavy debt in gambling, has threatened to
immolate herself if the girl, now 16, is not saved from being handed over to
a middle-aged man. Speaking at a news conference at the press club here on
Monday, Ms Nooran, of Zeal Pak Colony, Latifabad, said her late husband
Rahib was a gambler and he had sold their one-year-old daughter Rasheeda for
Rs10,000 to one Lal Hyder after incurring heavy debt in gambling. She said
that her parents gave her Rs10,000 and she returned the money to Lal. She
said that Lal was pressuring her to marry off Rasheeda to his son. She said
her sons Peeral and Abdul Wahab were receiving threats. She threatened to
immolate herself if she and her family were not saved from harassment and
provided protection from Lal, his son Ghani and others. Taking notice of the
press conference, Hyderabad District Police Officer Ali Ahmed Junejo ordered
registration of a case and the Site police station registered an FIR under
Sections 147, 148, 149, 504 and 506(2) of the Pakistan Penal Code against 10
people. Police teams have been constituted for the arrest of the accused.
Reuters adds: Rasheeda said she had filed applications with police and a
local councillor asking them to prevent Lal Hyder from taking her to his
home. Nooran said her husband had racked up the debt of Rs10,000 to Lal
playing cards. "My husband didn't have money to pay, and instead he told Lal
that he could take Rasheeda when she grows up," she said. Despite being paid
his money, she said, Lal still insisted the girl should be given to him
because of tribal customs. Both families belong to the same tribe. The
girl's
uncle, Dur Mohammad, said Lal apparently wanted to marry the girl to his
son. Khalid Rajput, a local councillor, said the decision that Rasheeda
should be handed over had been taken last week at a tribal council. "We know
some tribal elders from Balochistan came for the meeting in which the girl's
family was told to give her as per their customs," he said. Irfan Bhutto, a
police officer, said Lal had been summoned. "We will ensure the girl does
not have to do anything against her will."

Post at 9:31 am UTC by Jerry

Gambling Business Earned 10.116 m GEL for Central Budget Between and January-February

Between January and February of 2007, 17 licenses were issued for gambling
business, contributing 10.116 m GEL as a monthly fee to central budget.
According to the Finance Ministry, during the reported period, 13 licenses
were issued for refurbishment of gambling rooms out of which 104 000 m GEL
went to the central budget. In the same period, 2 licenses were issued for
setting up totalizators and total contribution to the budget amounted to 10
m GEL. Quiz games received 2 licenses. Contribution to the budget from quiz
games totaled 12 000 GEL.

Post at 9:31 am UTC by Jerry

UK gambling stocks marked lower in early trade

UK Gambling shares were market down lower in early trade, following the news
of a large seller of PartyGaming stock, alongside a statement from 888 PLC
to the effect that its non-executive director and former Chief Executive
Officer, John Anderson, has been asked to attend an interview with the
French authorities. Ladbrokes, once seen as a potential bidder for 888, was
trading down 3% at 9.30 am local time. Shares in PartyGaming and 888 PLC
were both off 5%, whilst European betting market liberalisation play BWIN
was marked down 7%. Shares in William Hill fell back by 2% to 644p

Post at 9:31 am UTC by Jerry

More gambling, less revenue

Just as Louis DeNaples received the go-ahead from the state of Pennsylvania
to open a slots casino at Mount Airy Lodge in the Poconos, word comes out
that an Indian tribe has plans to open a huge casino in the Catskills – not
far away – and those plans are moving forward. The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
plans a $600 million casino at the existing Monticello racetrack. This
casino would have slot machines and table games such as blackjack, craps and
poker. The plan has the support of New York's governor. It only needs
federal approval for the tribe to buy non-tribal land to become a reality.
Mount Airy will not have table games at the present time and it's a
certainty that some of its would–be customers will go to the Mohawk casino
if it opens. This also raises the questions of projections of revenue for
property tax reduction in Pennsylvania. If fewer gamblers play at Mount
Airy, will fewer dollars be generated for property tax reduction? We hope
not, but we fear so.

Post at 9:31 am UTC by Jerry

UK firm to develop legal gambling

A UK-based betting firm has pledged US$60 million to develop football
gambling as a legitimate industry in Viet Nam if the country makes the
practice legal.
The National Sports and Physical Culture Committee plans to submit a draft
proposal of the agreement with Ladbrokes to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
for initial approval in March, said Huynh Vinh Ai, vice chairman of the
committee. The proposal states bets would be limited to a maximum of
VND450,000 ($28) and only a certain number, as of yet undetermined, would be
permitted each month, said Nguyen Trong Hy, the committee's deputy chaiman.
Hy said the Vietnamese police force reported Viet Nam is missing out on
billions of US dollars each year by not legalising sports betting. Those
funds are being collected in places like Hong Kong and Macao instead, he
said.

Post at 9:31 am UTC by Jerry

February 27th, 2007

NRL to take slice of the action by cutting deals with gambling giants

"we get all of the pain and none of the gain" – is about to be redressed,
with two major betting agencies set to sign lucrative deals with the NRL.
The NRL is on the verge of completing a long-form agreement with Tabcorp,
the merged entity of the NSW and Victorian TABs, to become a sponsor, while
Betfair, a joint venture between the booming London online exchange and PBL,
expects to make a similar arrangement. Under the surface of the deals lies
intense competition between Tabcorp and Betfair as each seeks to prove its
integrity to football codes anxious to stop players gambling on matches. A
meeting next month of NRL club chief executives will vote on a possible
three-strikes drug code but, unless similar sanctions apply to NRL players
caught gambling on matches, the code faces the same criticism directed at
the AFL when it named four players who had placed bets, but kept the
identity of drug-takers secret. A spokeswoman for Tabcorp refused to comment
on the forthcoming sponsorship, saying the giant wagering agency did not
confirm deals until contracts were signed. However, a Betfair spokesman
conceded an offer for use of intellectual property and allowing access to
gambling records had been tabled to the NRL, but the more lucrative Tabcorp
deal was expected to be announced first. League's reluctant acceptance of
the gambling dollar comes as the sport adjusts to the opposing philosophies
of its two main commercial partners: the pro-gambling Packer dynasty, which
is also the code's free-to-air telecaster, and the traditionally
anti-gambling Murdoch empire, which owns half the NRL. Tabcorp and Betfair
already have deals with the AFL, with the Melbourne-based totalisator paying
$600,000 a year and the betting exchange $450,000. Tabcorp's TAB Sportsbet
holds $140 million nationally on NRL matches, while $120m is bet across the
country on AFL matches. Although the AFL has teams in Perth, Adelaide,
Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, the really heavy wagers are on rugby league.
Betfair concedes TAB Sportsbet is the market leader, with perhaps 80 per
cent of all sports gambling, but the online exchange estimates overseas
betting on NRL games will increase exponentially. "We have 500,000
registered punters in the United Kingdom and some of them already bet on the
one or two live NRL games they get per week," a spokesman said. "The first
year of our operation – to February this year – we had 50,000 overseas
customers betting on Australian events."

Betfair points out its anticipated payment to the NRL is not a sponsorship
because advertising restrictions in NSW mean it can't promote its investment
via signage, branding or hospitality. Under NSW law, only wagering operators
licensed in NSW are allowed to advertise in the state.

Tabcorp's insistence that its new deal with the NRL be called a sponsorship,
rather than a product fee, is consistent with its reluctance to concede
sports are entitled to a fee for use of intellectual property.

However, Betfair, keen to legitimise a business in which punters can back a
team to lose, seeks strong relationships with sports via the product fee,
even though it can still take bets without the sport's endorsement.

Betfair points out it has no-charge information-sharing arrangements with
the International Cricket Council, Premier League football and English rugby
league and rugby union, yet has no commercial arrangements with these
sports.

On the other hand, it has information-sharing and product-fee agreements
with Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, the PGA Tour and AFL. Both Betfair
and Tabcorp are keen to promote their integrity, with Betfair being the
first to name AFL player Simon Goodwin in an audit last November and Tabcorp
revealing another three players three months later.

Betfair boasts that it has a staff of nine checking records to determine if
athletes are gambling on their sports, while Tabcorp says: "No organisation
takes integrity more seriously than Tabcorp. We have the right level of
resources and excellent processes in place to monitor betting patterns for
account holders."

Tabcorp concedes it has no access to information on bets laid with TABs in
Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

The forthcoming deals with Tabcorp and Betfair are independent of the NRL's
membership of the Coalition of Major Professional Sports, which has been
lobbying the states for a fixed return on betting on sporting events.

The AFL intended to join COMPS but signed with Tabcorp and Betfair. NRL
chief executive David Gallop expects the Victorian Government to introduce
legislation soon which would set a mandatory percentage return for all
sports on money gambled on their events.

Post at 2:42 am UTC by Jerry

Green Party Want Online Gambling Site Banned

Attracting wide New Zealand media comment over the weekend was the news that
the New Zealand Green political party wants a new online gambling site shut
down because it "threatens the viability of the racing industry." Green
Party member of parliament Sue Bradford is at the heart of the row, claiming
that an online gambling site, Race-O New Zealand, 'might' be illegal because
the Gambling Act passed three years ago outlawed online gambling within New
Zealand. It also made betting on horses illegal unless bets were laid with
the TAB, she said. "Such online activities are illegal not only for the
operators but for the participants," said Bradford. "Perhaps to circumvent
these legal restrictions, Race-O is the trading name of a company registered
in Costa Rica, while its gaming and betting license has been secured within
the Kahnawake Indian nation near Montreal, Canada. "The Government should
immediately close down the site, and pursue prosecutions vigorously if laws
have been broken." The betting site, whose original investors included
leading breeder Sir Patrick Hogan and former top trainer Dave O'Sullivan, is
being investigated by the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs. Berri
Schroder, a part-owner of Melbourne Cup winner Brew, is a Race-O (NZ)
director. Race-O is registered in Costa Rica in central America and its
betting license has been secured from the autonomous Indian territory of
Kahnawake in Canada. Bradford said sites like Race-O New Zealand could
threaten the racing industry because the TAB monopoly guaranteed that
gambling profits were returned to the industry "in a reasonably accountable
manner". "Racing seems already to be in such a state of decline that it is
reduced, shamefully, to taking the proceeds of pokie money to bulk out major
stakes," she said. "It would be a pity if the advent of online gambling
sites like Race-O should even further undermine the distribution system
maintained by the TAB through the auspices of the Racing Board." It is
illegal to set up an internet betting website in New Zealand, and the
website has angered the Problem Gambling Foundation, which told the Sunday
Star-Times it was a deliberate attempt to get around the ban.

Post at 2:42 am UTC by Jerry

Online Gambling To Get A Leg Up In The UK

Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown will reveal a plan in his budget
next month to encourage the online gambling industry, according to published
reports.
He will use the 21 March budget to announce that companies could obtain a
British licence and still remain based overseas in return for a tax –
possibly as low as 2 per cent or 3 per cent, the Daily Telegraph said on
Friday in an unsourced report. Named a Remote Gaming Duty, the new tax would
enable gambling firms to avoid paying VAT, the newspaper said. A comment was
not immediately available from HM Treasury. Internet gaming groups will be
able to relocate to Britain and obtain a licence in September under the
Gambling Act, the newspaper said. Such companies, however, have said they
would decline the chance if it meant paying a tax on gross wins, it added.

Post at 2:42 am UTC by Jerry

China Cracks Down on Internet Gambling, Follows US Lead

Communist China will begin "purifying" the cyber environment, taking a lead
from US legislators and law enforcement officials. They will begin cracking
down severely on internet gambling activity. "The prevalence of online
gaming has ruined the online environment and harmed young people's growth,
which runs against the policy of building a harmonious society," said a
circular jointly issued by the ministry of public security, the Ministry of
Culture, the Ministry of Information Industry and the state press and
publication administration. China's US counterpart, Republican Jon Kyl of
Arizona agrees: "A professor once appropriately likened Internet gambling to
cocaine use. Internet gambling's characteristics are unique, because: online
players can gamble 24 hours a day from the comfort of their home; leading to
possible addiction and, in turn, to bankruptcy, crime, and suicide."
Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and Zhejiang are key places to be targeted
during the three-month-long drive, it said, adding the government should
clamp down on online games that involve gambling and online betting. It said
local government departments should strictly supervise online game service
providers who are not allowed to exchange "virtual money" with real
currencies or properties, or use it to launder money. China's police busted
a total of 347,000 gambling cases involving 1.099 million people last year
and retrieved 3.56 billion yuan (USD 445 million), according to official
statistics. China follows the US lead. In October 2006, a handful of
politicians attached a measure to restrict online gambling to a port
security bill. This bill was later signed into law, placing the burden of
monitoring internet gambling transactions on the banks. An opinion appearing
in the American Politics Journal shows how closely China's position mimics
that of the US government's stance. "Jon Kyl (who chairs the Subcommittee on
Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security) voted to secretly monitor
MILLIONS of Americans who we KNOW must all be secretly helping Al-Queda (but
are allowing KNOWN terrorists to enter US borders due to inept leadership).
And, we sure are grateful for Jon Kyl's Family Values of banning Internet
gambling as we allow state lottery and casino gambling all over the U.S."
Kyl was also spearheading efforts to build a wall between Mexico and the
United States, much like the Great Wall of China.

Post at 2:42 am UTC by Jerry