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Gambler sues casino for $30 million
Casino's senior managers will be asked whether they knew a billion-dollar
gambler they allegedly lured to Melbourne
was banned from a Sydney
casino at the time.
Gold Coast property developer Harry Kakavas
turned over more than $1.4 billion during a 14-month gambling binge across
Australia from June 2005, his lawyer Les Glick SC told the Victorian
Supreme Court today.
Kakavas is suing Crown Casino and its chief
operating officer John Williams for $30 million, which he said he lost at
is alleging negligence, unconscionable conduct and breaches of the Casino
Glick said an email received by Crown's chief executive Rowen
Craigie in 2000 indicated Mr Kakavas
was banned from Sydney's Star City
casino following concerns about the extravagance of his gambling.
winnings of gamblers who have been banned from a casino must be forfeited
to the state under the Casino Control Act 1991.
Mr Glick argued that if Crown had forfeited Mr Kakavas'
winnings, he would not have continued to gamble.
has previously denied knowing Mr Kakavas was
banned from the Sydney
Justice David Harper gave Mr Kakavas' legal team
approval to put various questions to Crown about its knowledge of Mr Kakavas' gambling history.
questions include whether Crown and its operators knew Mr Kakavas was banned and if so, when they became aware of
Kakavas' legal team will also ask whether Crown
managers believed his winnings could be forfeited.
questions are being put to obtain sworn answers which can be used as
evidence at trial, set for next year.
Kakavas claims the casino preyed on him and
singled him out for special treatment because he was a big gambler.
year, he told the court he was flown about 30 times on Crown's VIP jet and
was regularly handed bags and boxes of cash, and given a promise of a 20
per cent rebate on all losses.
WA today, 9 December 2008
betting remains tax-free in Ireland
the Government has revealed that it has no immediate plans to tax
bookmakers operating online or over the telephone because it needs more
time to examine the industry.
In his most recent budget speech last month, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan stated that he intends to double the tax on
land-based licensed bookmakers to two percent on turnover from the first of
the year. However, online and telephone services, which now accounts for
the bulk of the industry in Ireland,
will remain tax-free.
Previous attempts by the Irish Government to tax the online betting
industry have failed as bookmakers moved their operations to tax havens
such as Gibraltar, from where many
continue to operate. According to a piece from The Independent newspaper,
the problem for the Department of Finance is that bets made online or over
the telephone are often routed through other jurisdictions.
However, the Government stated that it is still looking into some type of
tax on online takings due to the rapid growth of the sector. Despite a
downturn in profits from land-based betting shops over recent years in Ireland,
online gaming has remained a growth area for bookmakers with operators such
as Paddy Power reporting constant growth.
In other budgetary news, Reuters has reported that land-based bookmakers
could also be facing the prospect of tax hikes in the UK as Chancellor Alistair Darling follows Ireland’s
lead in order to generate much-needed revenue.
The news agency stated that Darling may specifically target gambling
machines, which have propped up bookmakers' profits in recent years, for
increased levies in his pre-budget report due out later today after it
emerged that these had been the subject of an investigation by the Gambling
Commission watchdog over concerns that they may be addictive.
iGAMING BUSINESS, 24 November 2008
Norway passes ban on online
poker, Internet gambling transactions
parliament this week passed a proposal to ban financial transactions
between Norwegian residents and online poker and Internet gambling sites,
similar to the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in
the United States,
according to media reports. Because drafting of the regulations is still
needed, observers predict that enforcement of the ban will not occur until
mid to late 2009.
measure has passed despite concerns raised by the FNH - Norway's
Financial Services Association as well as other financial institutions who
say that many problems will arise to enforce such a ban.
for the ban has been to protect Norwegian problem gamblers. But the gaming industry as well as the European Commission (EC) in Brussels strongly suspect that Norway
instead is protecting their state gambling monopoly, Norske Tipping.
EC has already heaped criticism on Norway's proposed ban. Earlier,
one of Norway's
senior legal advisors predicted that the proposed US-style UIGEA ban will
end up in the courts of the European Court of Justice, upon approval.
PokerPages.com, 11 December 2008
operators to present counter-study to Swedish government draft regulation
operators Expekt, Unibet,
Betsson and Ladbrokes will hold a press conference in Stockholm today (Wednesday 17 December)
at 13pm CET to present their criticisms on the draft proposal for the
licensing of foreign online gaming operations which was published by the
Swedish government on Monday.
the Swedish Inquiry on Gambling recommended licensing sports betting
products to private operators in 2011, it said the most
‘problematic’ forms of internet gaming, such as poker and
casino, should be restricted to the state operator Svenska
operators will present the findings of an independent study they
commissioned from the Swedish Retail Institute evaluating the efficiency of
the Swedish gaming monopoly and studying the effect of replacing it with a
found that despite the Swedish Gaming regulations being officially
motivated by consumer protection, the problems arising from gambling
addiction would be more efficiently dealt with under a licensing system,
demanding a lower optimal tax rate of between 0,2% and 2% of stakes, as
opposed to an effective monopoly tax rate of about 20%.
report also warned that the monopoly system left the government little room
for manoeuvre should revenues fall, as raising tax rates would make
conditions less favourable then elsewhere, discouraging companies from
entering the market.
operators will also look at how the draft proposals go against EU law by
denying Swedish customers the opportunity to choose with which gaming
company they want to play.
eGaming Review, 17 December 2008
Survey: Free online gambling puts teens at risk
Drugs. Alcohol. They're all topics that parents, teachers and community
leaders tend to talk to children about in hopes of preventing risky
there is another issue officials think should be discussed: online
for free on the Internet has become the most popular gambling activity
among youths in Oregon,
according to a new survey.
concerns officials who say it introduces teenagers to gambling and grooms
them for other forms in which money is waged.
learning that gambling is fun, it's stimulating, and it's risk-free,"
said Wendy Hausotter, problem gambling prevention
coordinator with Oregon Department of Human Services. "That's not true
an estimated 1,700 Internet gambling sites that offer everything from
casino-type gambling to poker to bingo. Many offer the option of gambling
for free or for money. The survey, commissioned by DHS last year, found
that 33 percent of youths ages 12 to 17 — an estimated 94,659 teens
— gamble online for free.
an activity that is convenient and easily accessible, officials say,
because it can be done at home, often under no supervision from parents.
Its novelty, high level of stimulation and low level of physical exertion
also appeal to youths, many of whom are tech-savvy.
the game of choice among youth, which is surprising for us," Hausotter said.
last survey done on youth gambling in Oregon was in 1998. It didn't ask teens
and their parents about free online gambling. At the time, waging money on
card games such
as poker was the most common type of gambling among Oregon youths. It's now a close second.
on the Internet for money, which is illegal, has remained fairly unpopular,
with less than 1 percent of teens participating last year, officials said.
Overall, gambling among youths has gone down in the past 10 years.
not saying don't gamble," said Yvonne Kays,
a prevention health educator with Marion County Health Department.
"Our message is, you need to recognize the
risk factors and when it becomes a problem … It's a problem when
you're spending too much time or money (doing it)."
officials said, is when you bet something of value on an event with an
uncertain outcome. That something often is money but also can be time,
emotion or attention. The fact that free online gambling doesn't involve
money can be a draw for youths, who think they're not doing anything harmful,
the odds of winning tend to be higher when there's no money waged, Kays said. That can lead kids to think they're lucky or
skillful, or that they can win money at other
disconnects them from the reality of the situation," Hausotter said. "We're afraid that they're going
to want to do this more and more. If they do this with money, they're at
risk for many things."
includes loss of money and identity theft, officials said. Online gambling,
which is growing in popularity, also is unregulated, so there's no
guarantee of a payout.
Statesman Journal, 17 December 2008
- United States
to online gambling sites rise in America
gambling sites in America
saw an eleven percent rise in the number of unique visitors last month
according to figures released this week by marketing research company comScore Incorporated.
According to its Media Metrix measurement
service, comScore reported 16.1 million unique
visits to online gambling sites in November, an increase of just over 1.5
million from October’s tally.
Reflecting the current economic climate, the biggest escalation reported by
the suburban Washington,
DC, firm came for online
coupon sites, which saw a 32 percent rise to 35.6 million unique visits. As
the holiday season began, retail sites including toys, consumer electronics
and department stores held second spot with a 25 percent increase to 19.2
million unique visits.
Sites owned by Google remained the most popular online properties by
visitor numbers in November with 147 million visitors followed by Yahoo!
domains with nearly 144 million visitors. In third place was Microsoft with
123.5 million visitors while AOL held down fourth with 110 million.
The Media Metrix service provides details of
online media usage, visitor demographics and buying power for the home,
work and university audiences across the United States and the globe
with syndicated ratings based on industry-sanctioned sampling
IGaming Business, 17 December 2008
- United States -
Internet gambling stays low
among youth ages 14 to 22
study conducted by the National Annenberg Survey of Youth has found that
card playing for money on the Internet has remained at the same low level
among both high school and college-age males.
card playing fad that we saw earlier in the decade appears to have lost its
steam among young people ages 14 to 22," said Dan Romer,
director of the Annenberg Adolescent Risk Communication Institute that
conducts the annual survey. In addition, the strong drop in weekly use of
Internet sites following passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling
Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 appears to remain in place. Despite the
levelling off of card playing, access to Internet gambling sites remains
open to those youth who are able to bypass the law by using third-party
payment systems. Projected on a national basis, more than 300,000 youth in
the study age range (14 to 22) gamble for money at least once a week on the
Internet, and over 700,000 do so at least once a month.
continued use of online gambling sites by many young people indicates that
they are still risking their financial futures on poker," added Romer. "This calls for continued efforts to
educate young people about the hazards of Internet gambling.
Internet gambling analyst questioned the study and how results were
applied: "This study focuses on 14-to-22 yr. old Americans. It's odd,
because it includes the "legal population" of gamers (18 to 22)
with under aged (14 through 17). Why doesn't it (at least here) split out
the "youth" from "young adult" population?"
same individual acknowledged the need for such research, however, in an
effort to improve vulnerabilities that pre-exist within the Internet
"The i-gaming industry has to
take these studies seriously and strive for social responsibility. At the
same time, they can point out that by not regulating the industry, and
preventing US banks and credit card firms from doing business with the
industry, the US
government is denying safeguards already in use regarding age &
identity verification, ironically making the pool of under aged Internet
gamblers potentially larger.
Gambling911.com, 2 December 2008