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INTERNATIONAL NEWS EXCERPTS
9/13/09 TO 9/19/09



$72k stolen for gambling addiction

Australia - GRAFTON Local Court has heard that a bout of depression leading to gambling problems was responsible for a former Grafton car salesman embezzling more than $72,000 in 2005 and 2006. Faced court yesterday to answer 41 charges of embezzling money, obtaining money by deception, selling stolen goods and using a false instrument to gain financial benefit. He pleaded guilty to all charges.

www.dailyexaminer.com.au / 15th September 2009

Addicted teenager in ?4,500 of gambling debt

UK - BOSSES at an addiction charity yesterday called for action as they revealed that Paisley kids as young as 13 have become hooked on gambling. The number of youngsters who have turned to the Renfrewshire Council for Alcohol Trust for help with their gambling addiction has soared by 15 per cent over the past year. One teenager who contacted the charity in Paisley has run up a whopping ?4,500 worth of debt through dodgy bets. "Gambling is a lot more attractive to kids these days, with plenty of glitzy adverts around for online poker. "Also, thanks to the internet, gambling is also a lot more accessible. You can even gamble on the telly now through various late night poker shows. "We're currently working with a 16-year-old whose gambling problem began when he was just 13. He started out playing fruit machines in arcades and even managed to get into the odd pub because he looked older than he actually was.

www.paisleydailyexpress.co.uk / Paisley Daily Express / by Andrew Newport / Sep 14 2009

Before it makes things worse, Keno must go

Canada - AS COMMUNITY volunteers working to protect and enhance the health of the residents of the Cape Breton District Health Authority, we are expressing our concern regarding the introduction of Electronic Multidraw Keno in Nova Scotia. In British Columbia, the 2002-2003 prevalence study indicated that while only five per cent of the population was gambling with Electronic Keno, their losses amounted to revenues of $226.4 million. As the government looks to review the future of Keno, it is important to consider the many individuals, families and communities struggling with the daily health impacts (social, emotional and financial) of problem gambling.

thechronicleherald.ca / Sep 19

BetFair Targeting Minors

UK - UK online betting website BetFair decided to start marketing to minors. After all, marketing only to those people who are of legal age to gamble is really limiting. What about all of those teens who are eager to place bets on your site illegally? Don't you want their business? It seems that BetFair does. The logical conclusion is that BetFair is trying to get teenagers to start gambling on their site, which would be illegal.

www.gamblingreview.com / By: Jeremy Schrute / September 16th, 2009

Can Macau Casino Gambling Industry Survive Without Stanley Ho?

Macau - Stanley Ho is to Macau casino gambling what Hulk Hogan is to wrestling. Ho has had increasing physical impairments that have left him unable to handle many of his day to day operations. Now, Ho is on his way out of the business that he helped create in Macau. The question remains-Who will be the person that takes the throne from the mighty casino industry king?

www.casinogamblingweb.com / CasinoGamblingWeb.com / By Terry Goodwin / September 14, 2009

Economic benefits of gambling limited, U.S. expert claims

Taiwan - The economic benefits of the gambling industry are less than some people might expect, while its negative effects, such as increasing crime and social unrest, are quite obvious, Kelly, executive director of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, The legislature would not be able to understand the comprehensive impact of gambling without conducting a cost-benefit analysis. Allowing gambling will have a cost in the fields of economy, society, politics and crime, according to Kelly. Furthermore, gambling will give rise to gambling addiction, leading to higher crime rates, broken families and organized crime, he said. It will also provide gangsters with opportunities to run casinos, get politicians into their pockets, bribe officials and rig elections, he claimed.

www.etaiwannews.com / Central News Agency / By Maubo Chang / 2009-09-15

Gambling bad for your health

Australia - More than 70pc of problem gamblers are at the risk of depression, 50pc are at risk of hazardous alcohol use and 35.7pc have a severe mental disorder, but Ms Head told The Border Watch that health service providers often failed to ask the question: "do you have a problem with gambling". "It could be for domestic violence issues, drug and alcohol abuse, depression or other mental health problems...

www.borderwatch.com.au / September 17, 2009

Gambling dens go online to evade ban

Russia - Two months after gambling was banned, some establishments have found a way around the rules - opening up as "Internet complexes"or "interactive clubs" and sending their operations offshore. "In order to ban such practices, Internet gambling would have to be outlawed or a legal precedent set in the High Court," said Getmantsev. Otherwise, he said, their number is likely to multiply as owners become more confident that they are not going to be closed down or fined.

www.kyivpost.com / Kyiv Post / James Marson

Gov't addicted to gambling

Canada - Three clogs, three party shoes and a flip-flop is what it took for Chilliwack to say yes to slot machines on Monday night. We heard from those brave enough to speak in opposition that this gaming centre will lead to shattered lives and suicides. Then we heard that if not approved people will die in avalanches and others won't be able to be saved in car accidents. See the logic? Volunteer ski patrollers and firefighters get equipment donated from groups that get money from gaming. Liberal opposition leader Gordon Campbell promised to not only not expand gaming but to reduce it. "We don't want an economy based on losers," he told a Province reporter.

www2.canada.com / The Times / Paul J. Henderson / September 18, 2009

HK bets on horse races grow, bodes well for economy

Hong Kong - Hong Kong people bet more than US$100 million on the first day of the horse racing season, in what is seen as a healthy sign for the territory's economy, race organizers said yesterday. Income from horse races is seen as a reliable economic indicator in gambling-mad Hong Kong, where betting on horses, football and a weekly lottery are the only legal forms of gambling.

www.taipeitimes.com / DPA / Sep 15, 2009

Is Argentina About to Legalize Gambling?

Argentina - The word coming out of Argentina is that the country is about to legalize online gambling, following recent remarks by a senior official. Insiders reportedly believe that the government is also motivated by its recent takeover of the lucrative rights to broadcast soccer, and the fact that they need something as beneficial as online gambling revenues to finance the project.

www.onlinecasinoreports.com / By Nadav S / Sep 16, 2009

Jamaica churches oppose Sunday horse racing

Jamaica - Church leaders called Friday for Jamaica's government to drop plans for horse racing on Sundays, saying the ills from gambling addiction and its harm to families will far outweigh financial benefits. The president of the Jamaica Association of Evangelicals said... Sunday races at Caymanas Park starting in late November will undermine the values of this overwhelmingly Christian island of 2.8 million. Garth said the temptation of gambling could lure some islanders, especially the poor, to gamble away their earnings.

www.forbes.com / Associated Press / By HOWARD CAMPBELL / 09.18.09

Low corporate taxes hit gambling addicts, poor

Canada - The next three [government] budgets will have deficits in the billions. Our government is looking to gambling addicts and the working poor to fill provincial coffers. Raising the online gaming limit from $120 per week to $9,999 per week... Clearly have a social cost.

www.canada.com / The Daily News / Kip Wood / September 14, 2009

Online Casino Sponsorships Permeate English Football

UK - The authorities running soccer in the UK clearly have different beliefs about online casinos and legal sports betting than their US counterparts, as yet another club accepts a gambling sponsorship. Online casinos have gone from merely appearing on soccer uniforms to all-out betting deals, in which the company handles Internet gambling directed from club websites, and stadium betting, in which kiosks only yards away from the pitch allow in-game wagering. In the US, the case has been made that casino gambling and legal sports betting are inherently dangerous to sports' legitimacy, and leagues have fought efforts to loosen laws.

www.onlinecasinoadvisory.com / by A.J.Maldonado / September 15, 2009

Online Gambling More Addicting Than Offline?

UK - The British Psychological Society's Social Psychology Conference is going on from now until September 17 and among the research being presented is a new study that claims gambling addiction to be ten times more prevalent online than those who gamble in physical casinos. According to Professor Griffiths, online gamblers are more often young adult males who are single, well-educated and work in professional or managerial positions.

www.gamblingreview.com / By: Ricky Bauer / September 16th, 2009

Our addiction to gambling

Canada - * Revenue from all forms of legalized gambling in the province was about $6.1 billion in... 2007... * Each day... Nearly $10 million is gambled in Ontario casino and slot machine facilities, with another $7.3 million being spent each day on lotteries and bingo. Our province is addicted to gambling revenue... The extent and depth of gambling addiction among individual Ontarians -- is perhaps more disturbing because of the huge impact compulsive, uncontrollable gambling has on individuals and their families. A study by University of Lethbridge gambling researchers estimates that 3.5 per cent of our province's adults are problem gamblers. Our government shouldn't be in the gambling business; the addiction to gambling revenue dirties us all.

www.thespec.com / The Hamilton Spectator / Lee Prokaska / Sep 18, 2009

Russia Moves To Ban VLTs

Russia - Authorities in Russia are taking steps to close a loophole that has allowed some slot machines to continue in operation as lottery terminals, further extending the national ban on gambling. When a federal law banning gambling... Except in four geographically remote zones came into effect on July 1 this year, a number of Russia's slot operators and manufacturers began to push ahead with the conversion of their slot machines into lottery terminal variants, a move which many hoped would keep them outside of the scope of the draconian law. The federal gambling ban has seen the enforced closure of hundreds of casinos and slot halls across the Russian Federation. Illegal gambling venues have proliferated in Russia's cities and over 300 criminal proceedings have reportedly been initiated over infringements to the gambling ban.

www.gamblingcompliance.com / Gambling Compliance Ltd. / Andrew Gellatly / 18 Sep, 2009

SJM Sees Macau Revenue on the Rise

Macau - SJM Holdings... Said... Its first-half net profit fell 40.8% from a year earlier, as gaming revenue declined due to increased competition and Beijing's visa restrictions on visitors from mainland China. SJM Holdings, which is controlled by Macau gambling magnate Stanley Ho... The company said its mass market gaming revenue rose by 4.6% to HK$5.9 billion in the first half, Beijing tightened restrictions on visits to Macau by mainland Chinese in the middle of 2008, in an apparent attempt to stop gambling and money laundering by mainland civil servants.

online.wsj.com / By JACKIE CHEUNG / SEPTEMBER 15, 2009

Schoolkids gambling away thousands a day

South Africa - School pupils, some as young as 10, are gambling with their classmates and are losing thousands of rands a day. Many of them are stealing money from their parents and in some cases have become violent and punched their classmates, while others have been threatened with knives, according to Niven Naidoo of Gamblers' Anonymous. "We experienced problems where these pupils are losing between R50 and R100 a day after getting into gambling groups. Some of these youngsters were even gambling for drugs, said Naidoo.

www.int.iol.co.za / By Fiona Gounden / September 19, 2009

Shining a light on a dirty little secret

Canada - Buist points out... That the Ontario government pulled in about $6.1 billion in revenue from legitimate gambling activities in 2007 -- about $473 for every person who lives in the province. "Problem gambling has become Ontario's dirty little secret," A study that calculated approximately 3.5 per cent of Ontario's adult population has a moderate to severe gambling problem," People who are responsible for contributing to more than one third of all the money gambled. Benefits are offset greatly by the costs to society," "The cost of treatment of gambling addictions, the cost of additional policing, the extra weight added to the judicial system to deal with gambling- related legal issues and the added costs of incarceration for offenders.

www.thespec.com / The Hamilton Spectator / David Estok / Sep 12, 2009

Strict safeguards to be in place to prevent social ills of gambling

Singapore - Minister for Community Development, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Said that strict safeguards - stricter than other countries - will be in place to prevent social ills associated with gambling. Socially, there will now be an automatic exclusion for vulnerable groups such as discharged bankrupts and those on social assistance; plus those who voluntarily opt out. Ho Geok Choo, MP... Said: "The question is how is the casino going to implement this on the ground? Will they be doing ID checks on all patrons?

www.channelnewsasia.com / Channel NewsAsia / By Asha Popatlal / 15 September 2009

Study: problem gaming ten times more common online

UK - PROBLEM GAMBLING is ten times more common among those who gamble online than among those who only gamble offline, according to new research to be presented tomorrow at the British Psychological Society's Social Psychology Conference. The level of problem gambling among those who had used the internet to gamble - 5% of those surveyed - was ten times higher than among those who did not.

www.egrmagazine.com / 15/09/2009

Tough new pokie rules

NZ - "Unfortunately there are other ways for people to gamble out there, but it's the addictive, insidious nature of the pokie machines that causes so much devastation and heartache for a lot of families. "We've just made assumptions. I feel the benefits far outweigh the number of problem gamblers - which is less than 2 percent."

www.stuff.co.nz / Western Leader / By STEPHEN FORBES / 18/09/2009

UK Problem Gambling Survey Finds Unusual Online Casino Results

UK - A new survey in the UK contradicts studies about online casinos by well-respected, impartial sources, leading readers to wonder about possible hidden agendas. The study, using figures from the British Gambling Prevalence Study, concludes that problem gambling is ten times more prominent among online casino patrons than among gamblers who use land-based gaming. But Dr. Howard Shaffer... Of Harvard Med found, after a two-year study, that Internet gambling had a lower rate of problem gambling than land-based casinos.

www.onlinecasinoadvisory.com / by TomWeston / September 16, 2009