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INTERNATIONAL
3/24/07 to 3/31/07



Lords rejection of casino plans an 'historic victory'
for local communities

UK - The Lords' rejection of the Government proposals on gambling has been welcomed as an "historic victory" for local communities by the Evangelical Alliance. The Evangelical Alliance condemns proposals to use casinos for regeneration as ineffective and unethical. Dr Marijke Hoek, of the Evangelical Alliance’s Greater Manchester Fellowship said: "Siting a casino in one of the most deprived areas of Manchester presents a disproportionate risk to the local population, as experience shows that casinos are supported on a year round basis by regular local gamblers, among whom problem gambling rates are higher." The Methodist Church has also expressed its concerns about the introduction of casinos.
www.inspiremagazine.org.uk/news.aspx?action=view&id=1067 / 3/31/07

Insider traders must get prison time:
A JUDGE has issued a stern warning in relation to insider trading, saying nothing less than a jail sentence is warranted for the white-collar crime.

Australia - NSW Supreme Court judge Anthony Whealy made the comments when sentencing Sydney woman Margot Olive McKay, 56, to 15 months' jail for insider trading. McKay said she was motivated in part to help her son, who had a gambling addiction.
www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21478192-2702,00.html / 3/31/07

Conman took $2.5m from friends
A FORMER banker who swindled $1.5 million from the man who donated one of his kidneys to ailing billionaire Kerry Packer has been jailed for at least the next three years.

Australia - NSW District Court Judge Leonie Flannery said Hare had ended up "robbing Peter to pay Paul" after he developed addictions to alcohol and gambling, as well as a $15,000-a-week drug habit.
www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story / AAP / 3/31/07

BetOnSports gambling Web site founder Stephen Kaplan is arrested in Dominican Republic
BetOnSports gambling website founder Stephen Kaplan was arrested late Wednesday in the Dominican Republic, according to a federal prosecutor.
U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway is prosecuting a case against BetOnSports PLC in St. Louis federal court. Kaplan is named in a 22-count criminal case as the company's top official. Hanaway's office and BetOnSports reached a settlement in November that permanently bars the company from accepting any bets from gamblers in the U.S. The federal indictment against Kaplan alleges that he founded an illegal gambling operation in New York in 1992.
http://www.theage.com.au/news/Technology/BetOnSports-gambling-Web-site-founder-Stephen-Kaplan-is-arrested-in-Dominican-Republic/
2007/03/31/1174761783215.html / 3/31/07


Alleged member of the Cuban Mafia arrested on Gran Canaria
The man and his wife are accused of money laundering as much as 20 million

The group was created in the 60’s and has been linked to illegal gambling on Cuba.
www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_9683.shtml
By h.b./ 3/31/07


Addiction leads to jail term
Canada - A man who stole over $116,000 from White Point Beach Resort ATM deposits to primarily feed a gambling addiction
novanewsnow.com/article-90709-Addiction-leads-to-jail-term.html
3/30/07


Tourism minister plans to open Israeli casino
Aharonovitch says casino will boost tourism, keeping Israeli gamblers' money good for economy
Israel - Newly appointed Tourism Minister, retired police Major-General Yitzhak Aharonovitch, announced Thursday that he was in favor of opening legal casinos in Israel and will promote the subject. According to various publications, Israelis spend hundreds of millions of dollars on illegal gambling in Israel and at casinos around the world.
www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3383122,00.html
Israel Money/Danny Sadeh / 3/30/07


WTO ruling favors online gambling interests
GENEVA
- The U.S. has failed to change its ban on Internet betting to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling that said the legislation unfairly targets offshore casinos, the global trade body said Friday.
The Geneva-based trade referee has said Washington can maintain
restrictions on online gambling, as long as its laws are equally applied to American operators offering remote betting on horse racing. To avoid the penalties, the U.S. government would then have to either permit Americans to gamble over foreign-based sites or eliminate exceptions for off-track betting on horses, including over the Internet, as permitted under the 1978 Interstate Horseracing Act. Nevertheless, it appears unlikely that the U.S. will ease access to companies with servers licensed in the nation of 80,000 people -- whose legal efforts were largely bankrolled by British-owned Internet gambling operators. Peter Dicks, the former chairman of Sportingbet, was detained in New York but released after former New York Gov. George Pataki declined to sign a warrant extraditing him to Louisiana, where he was wanted on charges of illegal online gambling.
www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/business/technology/17001097.htm
Associated Press / 3/30/07


Lords trump super-casino bid
UK - PLANS for Britain's first super-casino were in tatters last night after the House of Lords inflicted a shock defeat on the government, forcing a rethink by ministers. Peers narrowly rejected the controversial proposals for a 5,000 square metre complex in Manchester and 16 other casinos across the country, including one in Stranraer. The vote will also be seen as a personal humiliation for Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, who had gambled on the high-risk strategy of requiring both the Commons and the Lords to vote on the complete package. The government's desperation to railroad these casinos through without proper scrutiny left a real question as to whether this legislation has been more about Treasury coffers than minimising social harm." The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said he felt "unease" about the way in which the argument for the casinos had been coupled with urban regeneration.
news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=485062007 / by JOHN INNES / 3/30/07

WTO says U.S. hasn't changed Internet gambling ban to comply with ruling
GENEVA (AP) - The U.S. has failed to change its ban on Internet betting to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling that said the legislation unfairly targets offshore casinos, the global trade body said Friday. The ruling opens the door to possible commercial sanctions against the U.S. The Geneva-based trade referee has said Washington can maintain restrictions on online gambling as long as its laws are equally applied to American operators offering remote betting on horse racing. But the U.S. acknowledged Friday that the latest decision was a setback. To avoid the penalties, the U.S. government would then have to either permit Americans to gamble over foreign-based sites or eliminate exceptions for off-track betting on horses, including over the Internet, as permitted under the 1978 Interstate Horseracing Act. Antiguan authorities also argued that restrictions barring U.S. residents from betting at offshore casinos were harming efforts to diversify its economy. Antigua,. . . had been promoting electronic commerce as a way to end the country's reliance on tourism, which was hurt by a series of hurricanes in the late 1990s.
http://www.canada.com/topics/technology/news/
gizmos/story.html?id=2008aabe-ce01-49f2-863b-44cd404c5b56&k=23672
Canadian Press/Bradley Klapper / 3/30/07

Catholic schools weaned off gambling cash over 3 years
Calgary Catholic schools have until March 2010 to find ways to raise money without using bingos or casinos, trustees ruled Wednesday night. Earlier in the school year, the board voted to stop raising money through bingos and casinos, ending a dispute with the city's bishop over the morality of spending gambling revenues on school activities.
ww.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2007/03/29/bingo-catholic.html
CBC NEWS / 3/29/07


Psychologist's report shows online gaming can harm lives
But online gaming addiction incidence may be 10% lower than thought

UK - A psychologist at the University of Bolton has been studying gaming addiction and his research shows that online gaming addiction damages work, home and social lives. Among the criteria that Dr Charlton believes are important in classifying people as addicted, the survey showed:
•more than 40% said their social life was suffering
•30% recognised gaming was interfering with their work
•40% said it was causing arguments at home
•50% confessed they were not getting enough sleep
•35% said they missed meals to carry on playing.
www.gamesdog.co.uk/news/news.phtml/6421/7445/
online-pc-harm-psychologist-social.phtml / by Chris Ford / 3/29/07


An unexpected spin of the wheel
Gambling policy is a risky business

UK - What caused the upset? One set of opponents were those who have long opposed gambling on principle. "All addictions are imprisonments for the soul," according to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who made a rare intervention to cast his vote in the Lords against the plan. But since January a second group has been protesting against the decision to site the super-casino in Manchester. This is partly born of the sheer disappointment of Blackpool, which had staked so much on its bid. But it is also owing to fears about plonking a gigantic gambling den in Manchester, in the middle of a poor residential area.
www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8934944
The Economist / 3/29/07


Money lost through lotteries hurts community
Australia - Let's understand the success of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. is directly related to the losses of the players. Australian reports tell us $1 million spent gambling creates three gambling jobs. That $1 million spent at retail businesses creates 21 jobs.
http://www.nugget.ca/webapp/sitepages/search/
results.asp?contentID=465090&catname=Editorial&type=search&search1=lotteries / North Bay Nugget / 3/29/07


Sportingbet to move online gambling operations offshore
Sportingbet has been reorganizing the business since the passage of the Unlawful Gaming Enforcement Act forced out online gambling operators from the U.S. Its shares fell 3.4 percent to 64 pence ($1.26) on the London Stock Exchange.
www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/business/technology/16987396.htm
Associated Press / 3/28/07


POLAND TO LEGALIZE ONLINE GAMBLING
More good EU news for online poker players and online gambling firms.
The Warsaw Voice had some very good news for online gamblers and online gambling firms, advising them that following the European Court of Justice in the Placanica case the Poland government is preparing to license online gambling.
http://www.onlinecasino.org/news/poland-to-legalize-online-gambling-online-poker-news-1645.php Casino News/Online Poker News / 3/28/07

Ontario lottery players launch $1.1billion lawsuit
TORONTO — Lawyers for a Toronto man launched a $1.1-billion class-action lawsuit against Ontario's troubled lottery corporation Wednesday, as the fallout from an investigation into widespread corruption widened. The suit, filed on behalf of all those who purchased lottery tickets since 1975, proposes a free lottery as a settlement solution. "The government is responsible for ensuring that [its lottery] is fair, honest and equitable Ontario lottery consumers interested in joining the class-action suit can find out how at the website for the law office of McPhadden Samac Merner Barry, www.msmb.ca.
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=8b3cc701-946f-4bb1-b357-3e4a5fe5130a&k=0
Lee Greenberg / CanWest News Service / 3/28/07


Jowell offers rebels casino compromise
· MPs and peers line up against Manchester choice
· Joint committee could lengthen list of sites

UK - Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, is seeking to stave off an embarrassing defeat on her plans to build a supercasino in Manchester by suggesting a joint committee of both houses consider the case for building more casinos, including large ones, sooner than originally envisaged. The government faces possible defeat in both the Lords and Commons today over the supercasino site recommended by an independent advisory panel. The vote also covers less controversial plans for 16 smaller casinos around the country.
www.guardian.co.uk/gambling/story/0,,2044484,00.html
The Guardian / Patrick Wintour / 3/28/07


Ex-mayor stole to gamble
Canada -- A former mayor of Port Dover stole more than $55,000 while treasurer of a condo corporation in order to feed a gambling addiction, a Simcoe court was told yesterday. Doug Richardson, 74, has sold his townhouse condo in Port Dover, is ready to make full restitution and is undergoing counselling for a gambling problem, said defence lawyer Shawn Swarts.
lfpress.ca/newsstand/CityandRegion/2007/03/28/3852453-sun.html
By DANIEL PEARCE, SPECIAL TO SUN MEDIA / 3/28/07

Costs of a chronic gambling addiction
UK - Because it was in the casinos of Manchester that my father, George Carman QC, an educated and highly successful man, who helped this newspaper triumph over Jonathan Aitken - lost millions at the Black Jack table. Pouring his hard-earned money into the casinos over 30 years, he gambled our house away - twice. Although I do not claim to have had a poverty-stricken childhood, we lived in rented accommodation for 10 years and, during that time, we had no car, nor a washing machine. Given that most people thought we were comfortably off, things were very difficult because of my father's chronic gambling addiction. There were other factors at play: his heavy drinking and domestic violence.
Ultimately, these three elements became inextricably linked.
politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/comment/0,,2044382,00.html
The Guardian / 3/28/07


Cashier hurt in another poker robbery
Micronesia - A cashier was injured when two men staged an armed robbery at a poker arcade in Koblerville early Monday morning. On Thursday early morning, a security guard and a male customer were injured when three masked men robbed the Crown Poker Gameroom, which is located across the U.S. Post Office in Chalan Kanoa. On Feb. 5, a poker attendant was injured after three masked men staged an armed robbery at 777 Treasure Island poker arcade in San Antonio. The suspects-one armed with a handgun, the other carrying a machete and the third unarmed-reportedly managed to run away almost $12,000 in cash from the establishment.
http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?cat=1&newsID=66970
By Ferdie de la Torre / 3/28/07


Restricted hours ordered for N.L. video gambling
Canada - Video lottery terminals in Newfoundland and Labrador will be slowed down and programmed to work for fewer hours each day, the government is removing 105 terminals from play, . . ."VLTs will also be reprogrammed to slow the speed of play by approximately 30 per cent," Marshall said.
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2007/03/27/vlt-controls.html / CBC News / 3/27/07

OPP told to probe lottery scam
Ombudsman blasts the lack of oversight that saw retailers rip off rightful winners

Canada - The provincial government wants the OPP to investigate after a report released yesterday shows dishonest retailers swindled millions in lottery winnings from unsuspecting customers. Yesterday, Ontario Ombudsman André Marin released a damning report saying the province's addiction to gambling revenues had left Ontarians vulnerable to being ripped off by crooked retailers who tell customers they haven't won and cash in the winning lottery ticket themselves. "The OLG's oversight of retailers is non-existent. The OLG has turned a blind eye to allegations of crime for many years," Marin said.
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/196326
Queen's Park Bureau / Kerry Gillespie / 3/27/07


The height of hypocrisy
It's simple. More gambling means more child poverty
Whatever regrets MPs might have about the Blair years, they can put an end to the ridiculous and immoral casino bill

UK - Tomorrow Labour MPs and peers have a chance to reject one of the oddest policies to emerge from No 10. The gambling bill seeks to put a supercasino in poverty-stricken east Manchester, with 16 more casinos elsewhere. It is part of the same misguided vision that announced: "Britain should become a world leader in the field of online gambling" - attempting to turn the UK into Europe's offshore gambling den. Research suggested some 370,000 addicts in 2004, probably many more. The suffering of addicts' families in all social classes stays hidden: those children are often the very poorest, whatever their apparent household income. The more gambling there is, the more addicts are created. Why would a Labour government committed to abolishing child poverty encourage yet more?
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2043579,00.html
The Guardian / Polly Toynbee / 3/27/07


'Financial menace' given extra year's jail
New Zealand - A 75-year-old with more than 500 convictions for dishonesty in a criminal record dating from 1948 earned an extra year's jail today for fraudulently making withdrawals from strangers' bank accounts. Allan Benjamin Summersby, described by his counsel as a "compulsive gambler" was already in jail when he appeared in Christchurch District Court today for sentence on 12 charges of dishonestly using withdrawal slips to obtain $490.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/southlandtimes/4007569a10.html / NZPA / 3/27/07

Province Continues to Promote Responsible Gambling
Newfoundland - The Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, announced today that government is moving forward with phase two of its five-year Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) reduction strategy and unveiled new measures aimed at promoting responsible gambling. The minister said effective April 1, 2007, approximately 105 VLT terminals will have been removed from the system. This is in addition to the 91 VLT terminals removed during phase one of the strategy. Other responsible gambling features on VLTs in Newfoundland and Labrador include: Help line number displayed on all machines; On-screen clock which displays real time; All wagers and amounts won are displayed in dollar amounts;Pop-up reminders will occur after 60 min, 90 min, 120 min, 140 min (cash out warning) at 150 min of play (cash out); "Newfoundland and Labrador's gambling prevalence study indicates that about 1.2 per cent of the province's population are problem gamblers, and government is concerned about the impact of addictions on individuals and families. http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2007/
edu/0327n05.htm / Finance/03/27/07


IAAF defend against potential gambling scandals
UK - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has moved swiftly to reduce the likelihood of gambling scandals besetting their sport after allegations that the death of Pakistan Cricket coach Bob Woolmer was related to the gambling underworld. ... the association voted to "forbid officials, athletes, their representatives, managers, coaches, meeting organisers and trainers from taking part, either directly or indirectly in betting, gambling and similar events or transactions connected with athlete competitions under the rules of the IAAF or its members"
Editor, Jackpot.co.uk / 3/27/07

Still blind to danger of sport's gambling culture
UK - Question to the sports minister Richard Caborn: In the light of Bob Woolmer's murder and the possible links to gambling, are you comfortable with the growth and acceptance of betting companies at the heart of all branches of sport in this country, including sponsorships, betting facilities within stadiums/courses and - crucially - the apparent mateyness that exists between gambling empires and the athletes themselves? Put your shirt on it: gaming firms sponsor Blackburn and Spurs - Answer: "sThe sports minister accepts it as a fact of life. As long as the relationship is properly monitored, he would be comfortable with it. But we take the risk of cheating very seriously.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2007/03/27/
somott27.xml / By Sue Mott / 3/27/07


Judge arrested for running casino
BEIJING - Chinese police have put an end to the lucrative sideline business of a judge who was arrested for running a gambling den, state media reported.
http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=249172
Reuters / 3/27/07


Man jailed for stealing over $100,000 from White Point Beach Resort
Used money to feed his gambling addiction

LIVERPOOL — A former employee of White Point Beach Resort has been sentenced to two years in jail for stealing more than $100,000 from its ATM. Mr. Floran said he stole the money to feed his gambling addiction.
thechronicleherald.ca/Front/9002715.html
South Shore Bureau / By BEVERLEY WARE / 3/27/07


Lottery retailers should be banned from playing: Queen's ethicist
TORONTO (CP) - Lottery retailers should be banned from claiming jackpots, much like radio and television station staffers are forbidden from entering contests staged by their employers, a Queen's University business ethicist said Monday. In the wake of a caustic new report highlighting widespread dishonesty among unscrupulous lottery retailers and gross apathy on the part of the government agency that regulates the industry, Jim Ridler said the issue boils down to a "classic case of conflict of interest." He's careful to check his tickets thoroughly, but feels sorry for elderly people who are vulnerable and more likely to be taken advantage of by clerks. Laura Dauphine, a 43-year-old copywriter, said the famous U.S. lottery slogan, "You can't win if you don't play," gets her every time.
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2007/03/26/3837144-cp.html
By TOBI COHEN / 3/26/07


Jowell will gamble all on new casinos
UK - Tessa Jowell has refused to drop an all-or-nothing ultimatum to MPs and peers over her plans for 17 new casinos, despite a late Tory decision to vote alongside Labour rebels and the Liberal Democrats in the Commons and the Lords this week. Miss Jowell now faces the real prospect of losing her entire casino strategy, which has been seven years in the making. The Culture Secretary is meeting with Labour peers today in an attempt to ensure that the Government's plans are not thrown out on Wednesday afternoon.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/03/26/
ncasino26.xml By Christopher Hope/Whitehall Editor / 3/26/07


More Maori and Islanders seeking gambling addiction help
New Zealand - . . .more Maori and Pacific Islanders are seeking assistance for addictions.
www.tv3.co.nz/News/NationalNews/tabid/184/articleID/23969/Default.aspx
3/26/07

CYPRUS TO EXERCISE MORE CONTROL OF INTERNET GAMBLING?
Credit card study prompts government to examine stronger controls The figure that concerns the authorities is the GBP 28 million in bets that JCC says Cypriots gambled over the Internet in 2006. Online-Casinos.com / 3/26/07

Teenager ran up £1,300 on terminally ill gran's credit card
A TEENAGER ran up over £1,300 on his terminally ill grand-mother's credit card whilst using her computer to gamble on an internet casino.
And Christine Pemberton, 54, said: "We took care of him and treated him like a son. We fed him, ironed his shirts and did everything he needed and this is how he repaid us." He started going quiet and staying in his bedroom more and more. I wondered what was up with him and thought he might be depressed.
www.prestoncitizen.co.uk/news/headlines/display.var.1284454.0.
teenager_ran_up_1_300_on_terminally_ill_grans_credit_card.php /
By Ben Briggs / 3/26/07


Network of child runners help illegal gamblers to give Asian police the slip
Bombay - Hundreds of boys would have been running through the streets of Lahore, Bombay and other cities on the Asian sub-continent yesterday clutching the ragged pieces of paper that may have helped to trigger the death of Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach. The errand boys carry betting slips to the homes of clients willing to have a punt on every aspect of a cricket match -- from who wins the toss to how many catches the wicketkeeper might hold or how many wides will be bowled. Almost every aspect of the final group game between Bermuda and Bangladesh yesterday would have had a price in a region that has elevated gambling into a quasi-religion. The question that hangs over cricket is whether players have been helping the underworld syndicates with their illegal trade, taking money to aid "spot-fixing" -- bets on specific details in a match.
www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/cricket/article1567425.ece
Kevin Eason / 3/26/07


Security cameras may offer clues into homicide
Pakistan players head home as investigation into coach's death continues

KINGSTON, JAMAICA -- Jamaican police need more time to analyze security video at the hotel where Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was slain because of the cameras' limited scope of vision, deputy police commissioner Mark Shields said yesterday. Woolmer's body was found a week ago after his team's humiliating first-round loss to Ireland in the World Cup. Speculation within the global cricket fraternity has focused on everyone from crazed fans to organized gambling rings and disgruntled Pakistani team members.
www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/
LAC.20070326.CRICKET26/TPStory/Sports / Associated Press /
STEVENSON JACOBS / 3/26/07


Dark world of illegal gambling
India/Pakistan - "THERE is a bookie on every street corner in India and Pakistan," said Dr Ravinder, sitting in a back room above his clinic in Delhi. "It's a multi-billion-dollar industry controlled by the Mumbai mafia. You don't want to go asking too many questions about these people or their business. They're ruthless killers." In the stale haze of cigarette smoke, drinking bad Indian whisky, these hardened gamblers satisfy their addiction. Each has a dedicated mobile phone for keeping in contact with local bookies -- men with names such as "Metro" and "Goldstar". Using code names, they place bets without money changing hands. Gambling on cricket is illegal in south Asia. Just as prohibition in the US fuelled the rise of Al Capone, illegal betting feeds organised crime. On match days, tens of millions of dollars change hands. "Ibrahim is involved in drugs, weapons, counterfeiting and contract killings," Jadhav said. "But Pakistan is protecting him." Little wonder Ravinder always pays his gambling debts on time, even if he has to borrow to cover his losses.
www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21445491-2722,00.html
The Australian / 3/26/07


Woolmer police 'rule out no-one'
Police in Jamaica investigating the murder of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer say no-one has been eliminated from their enquiry.

There has been much speculation that the murder is connected to match-fixing and illegal gambling on cricket.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6494969.stm / 3/26/07

Independent lottery czar urged for Ontario
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. has "turned a blind eye" to crime and cheated money from the pockets of ordinary Canadians for years, says Ontario Ombudsman André Marin. In his report tabled Monday, Mr. Marin calls for an independent regulator to oversee the province's lottery corporation in the wake of "theft and fraud" by ticket retailers. In just 90 days, the Ombudsman's office uncovered instances where about $15-million in lottery winnings was paid to "internal fraudsters," Mr. Marin said.
www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070326.wontombu0326/
BNStory/National/home / KAREN HOWLETT / 3/26/07


Ontario lottery retailers collected millions in dishonest claims: ombudsman
TORONTO (CP) - The body that governs lotteries in Ontario has paid out millions of dollars in the past eight years to at least 247 retailers making dishonest claims, the province's ombudsman said Monday in a scathing indictment of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Andre Marin's special report into jackpot wins by so-called lottery insiders found the corporation "fixated on profit rather than public service."
thechronicleherald.ca/Front/9002705.html / 3/26/07

Bishop slams nuns for visit to casino
Manila: A Catholic bishop known for his anti-gambling advocacy strongly criticised yesterday a fellow bishop and a group of nuns for attending a Manila casino exhibit.
www.gulfnews.com/world/Philippines/10113612.html / AP / 3/26/07

4 masked robbers steal at least euro600,000 from a Brussels casino
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Four masked robbers stole at least euro600,000 (US$800,000) from a Brussels casino . . .
thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/3/25/
apworld/20070325213919&sec=apworld / 03/25/07


China's Macao outstrips Vegas A tiny enclave is raking in the chips, Michael Sheridan writes from the world's gaming capital The high-rollers are hidden in the VIP rooms of the world's largest casino, which is not in Nevada but perched on the water's edge of Macao, a tiny enclave on the south China coast that was ruled by Portugal for 450 years. In 2002, the authorities allowed Adelson and his rival Steve Wynn to build a huge casino each -- Wynn's bears his own name. A third franchise went to Ho. Now there are six operators, 25 casinos and 1,700 tables, which are raking in cash at seven times the rate in Las Vegas. The government collects a cool 40% in tax on the daily take. But the hordes coming through the doors at the Sands and the Wynn are a different breed of down-market punter. Interviews with Chinese gamblers, conducted without permission from the casinos' PR departments, painted a picture of desperation and naivete. "I am a factory manager from Nanchang city, Jiangxi province," said a man in a huddle round the baccarat table. "I’m hoping for good fortune." He said he had won about $200. At the Sands, one of the many middle-aged, plainly dressed women on the floor said: "I have two shops in Hunan province. I came with my female friends because we had a discount offer." She would not reveal how much she had won or lost, but said she would dine on a snack she had brought in a plastic bag. Police in Macao and the neighbouring Chinese city of Zhuhai are still investigating the double murder last August of Chao Yeuk Hong, a VIP-room operator at Stanley Ho's Lisboa casino, and her husband Lam Po Sang. Chao, whom sources say was known in the business as "Sister Cat", was found with her throat cut, lying next to the stabbed body of her spouse on the Zhuhai golf course. Chinese paramilitary units later stormed a forest hideaway and arrested a 42-year-old contract killer in connection with the crime. The Chinese media have high-lighted cases of corrupt officials escaping to Macao with their ill-gotten gains. One renowned case involved the embezzlement of $50m from the Bank of China to settle gambling debts. Underworld influence remains strong in three sectors, according to several expert sources on the Macao gaming industry. Since gambling debts cannot be legally enforced in China, defaulters have been held hostage, beaten and blackmailed into payment.
business.timesonline.co.uk / 3/25/07