The G4 Board and it’s members wish
you very a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Gambling at home on sharp increase as online and mobile gambling
technology advances fast
The UK Gambling Commission has recently released
stats that demonstrate a rise in remote – online on home computers
and web-capable mobile phone handsets - gambling.
While the Commission has reported a seemingly low increase in the amount of
people gambling with games like the lottery and bingo online - just 0.1 per
cent, it’s proportional to the rise in the amount of people using
their Internet-ready smartphones, which comes to almost 4.5 million,
according to Ofcom’s latest Communications
Therefore the UK Gambling Commission is warning that as smartphone users
continue to rise, so too will access to remote gambling software, which
will result in the prevalence of problem gamblers in British society.
Just 12% of the UGC’s poll answered that, between September 2010 and
June 2011, they had taken part in some form of remote gambling, with about
50% of those respondents giving the National Lottery as their chosen means
And not only has the Lottery been doing well out of the recent gambling
boom, but free online bingo hubs have been profiting, too – and at
the expensive of high street gambling in big bingo halls, with a drop in
patrons having been observed over the last year or so.
PCs, tablets, laptops, netbooks and smartphones have accounted for the
majority of the rise in remote gambling, with just under 11% of respondents
having stated that they had gambled remotely, while an additional 3.2% had
made use of their smartphone to gamble online, and gambling via a digital
TV set accounted for 1.4 per cent of those surveyed.
Worryingly, the UK Gambling Commission’s study also found that over
half – 56.7%, to be precise - of those respondents over 18 admitted
to having taken part in some form of gambling activity up to one month
before taking part in the poll.
This gravity of these findings lies in stark contrast to the figures of
2009 and 2010’s surveys, in which 55.2% and 55.5%, respectively, gave
the same answer 2010.
The Minister of Tourism and Heritage, John Penrose, has called for change
in UK gambling laws, suggesting that all gambling organisations,
whether based in the UK or offshore, should require a UK Gambling
Commission licence to ply their trade on the
British Isles. The Minister hopes that, this way, those vulnerable members
of the British public will be protected and discouraged from gambling
indiscriminately on online gambling channels.
The Minister said: “The current system for regulating remote gambling
doesn’t work. Overseas operators get an unfair advantage over UK
based companies, and British consumers who gamble online may have little or
no protection depending on where the operator they deal with happens to be
“So our new proposals are an important step to help address concerns
about problem gambling and to plug a regulatory gap, ensuring a much more
consistent and higher level of protection for those people in the UK who
“We will create a level playing field, so all overseas operators will
be subject to the same standards and requirements as those based in
Britain, as well as being required to inform the Gambling Commission about
suspicious betting patterns to help fight illegal activity and corruption
When is a
bet not a bet? A day at the Iran races
As Rio Collection galloped across the finishing
line, Sardar hooted with joy and high-fived his
He had just won 200,000 rials (almost $20). Not by "betting" on the
horse, he insisted -- betting is illegal under Iran's Islamic law -- but by
"predicting" Rio Collection would win.
"I knew he would win. I predicted correctly," said the
Under Islamic sharia law,
gambling is generally seen as illegal and Sardar's
wager, made with a friend, was actually not permitted. But thanks to
certain religious rulings, many race-goers are permitted to put money on
the horses legally as long as they are "predicting" through
The Koran describes gambling
as "evil, unclean and Satanic" and people found guilty of illegal
gambling in the Islamic Republic can be sentenced to flogging and jail.
However, three forms of gambling are permitted under Islam, said a cleric
consulted on the matter by Reuters.
"All forms of gambling are haram (forbidden by Islam) except for horse
racing, camel racing and archery," said Mohsen Mahmoudi,
a cleric at a north Tehran mosque, adding that those manly, warrior sports
were all encouraged by the Prophet Mohammad.
But technically, he added, only the archery contestants and riders of the
horses or camels in the races are permitted to bet.
To make it possible for spectators to take part, the Equestrian Federation
of Iran sought permission from senior clerics known as "sources of
emulation", to whom Shi'ite Muslims turn for guidance on moral issues.
"In negotiations with some sources of emulation , we finally managed
to receive permission to bet on horses under certain conditions," said
an official at Tehran's horse-racing committee.
The way it works is that
jockeys authorise the horse-racing committee to place bets for other people
on their behalf.
In pre-revolutionary Iran,
horse riding was considered an elite sport. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi -- the
last shah who was overthrown in the 1979 uprising led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini -- was a keen horseman and aimed to
After the revolution the idea fell out of favour and today there are only
four racetracks in the country. Camel racing -- popular in some Arab
countries across the Gulf -- is not a significant sport in Iran and archery
has no great popular following.
The 2,000-capacity Nowruzabad track off a major highway to the west of
Tehran is the only track easily accessible to the population of the
capital. It hold races over a 10-week season each year.
Despite its limited
availability, people from many walks of life crowd the
"predictions" office next to the track in Nowruzabad
where legal betting takes place inside a building where an electronic
screen advertises: "Make a prediction, win a prize".
Inside, a dozen women,
wearing obligatory headscarves, sit behind windows, taking predictions and
paying out winnings. As well as a computer screen with race details, each
has a basket into which they toss the takings.
Prediction tickets can be
bought for as little as 10,000 rials (around $1)
with no official upper limit, although large bets are rare. Odds are not
given before the race and returns are calculated afterwards.
People can also place bets on
horses through the federation's website, but that misses out on the
As the horses pass the
finishing line, the spectators -- including dozens of women -- jump up from
their seats near the track and rush to the predictions office to see how
much they have won and place money on the next one.
"I just paid 50,000 rials. I hope I can win something," said Erfan, 15.
"I always buy prediction
tickets from this office but my dad bets directly with others," he
said. "He once won 30 million rials."
THE BIG BETS
Betting among individuals is
not legal but still goes on.
Wearing loose black trousers
and speaking with a strong local accent, Sardar,
a carpenter, said he chose not to buy prediction tickets as winnings were
"People are reluctant to
place big bets with the prediction office," he said . "Big bets
take place unofficially and the winnings are exchanged from
The really big bets happen at
bigger tracks, particularly at the 10-000 capacity Gonbad-e
Kavoos hippodrome in northern Iran.
"Last year someone won
$75,000 there in a bet," a race official said, speaking on condition
warned of the dangers of gambling.
"The bettor makes gains
easily, without working and this causes others to lose money with
consequent dissatisfaction and grief," he said, pointing out one
reason Islam regards gambling as "haram".
Most of the people buying
prediction tickets legally from the racetrack office did not seem
"I just lost 30,000 rials but I had a lot of fun," said fine arts
student Tamanna, 30, showing her ticket printed
with a line that says cash spent buying the ticket goes to support the
horse races, rather than in the hope of winning.
Of the total money coming
into the official betting office, some 70 percent
is given out as winnings with the remaining 30 percent
going to cover the costs of racing.
"I had a great
time," Tamanna said. "In a way we are
donating this money to help develop the races."
German court upholds online gambling ban
Court of Justice (BGH), the country's highest civil court, on Wednesday
upheld a ban that bars private-sector companies from operating online
Germany's 16 states currently have an iron grip on the gambling market, but
are in negotiations to award seven nationwide licences
for sports betting companies from next year.
Industry players include Germany's Tipp24 (TIMGn.DE) as well as British
companies Betfair and Bwin.party
The Federal Court of Justice is the highest German court for both civil and
criminal lawsuits and can only be overruled by the country's constitutional
The largely illegal German sports betting market is estimated to be worth
at least 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion). ($1 = 0.733 Euros)
Online gambling: 1.3% of French players victims of addiction
According to a study by the Observatoire français
des drogues et des toxicomanies (French
Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction) and the Institut
national de prévention et d'éducation pour la santé (National
Institute of prevention and health education), it was concluded that only
1.3% of French people have problems with gambling addiction including
The survey also revealed that
among the 600,000 people affected by this problem, 200 of them are
suffering from gambling addiction. Since the opening of the market of
online gambling in France, sports betting and online poker, there are many
players who can't stop when engaging in their favorite
games such as lottery, scratching cards, playing slot machines, sports
betting and horse racing betting. Most of victims are men and the same
study show that their spending on games amounted to € 1,500 per year.
It is also proved that gambling addiction is often linked to smoking,
alcohol and drugs.
The Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI) also
developed studies to distinguish between moderate risk and excessive risk
and the investigation found the same result. During the year 2010, statistics
revealed that French people spent € 26.3 billion in gambling which
represent a significant increase of 22% compared to 2009. However, the rate
of gambling addiction in France is still low compared to what exists
internationally. Indeed, it is 2% for some European countries like Italy,
Canada, Belgium and the United Kingdom and 5% in the United States and
website targets students. Players gamble with "virtual money"
A new gaming website that
allows college students to gamble online is about to launch on 160 campuses
nationwide, including 'lobospokerclub.com ' for the University of New
Mexico and 'newmexicopokerclub.com ' for New Mexico State University.
The College Poker Club is
legal because gamers bet using "virtual" money.
"We're trying to
position ourselves against those illegal offshore gambling websites that
have been preying on students for years," said Chandler Bator, a
junior from Arizona State University who created the website.
Players who pay the monthly
$20 membership will have unlimited access to play poker and bet on sports
games online with their "virtual" dollars. Each person will get
$10,000 to gamble with. Bator said when gamers win enough Internet money,
for example, by turning $10,000 virtual money into $50,000 of virtual
money, they'll receive $100 in real cash.
"Once you reach certain
thresholds of funny money, we're going to automatically give you, you'll
earn real money," said Bator.
Bator also said top
performers will also win cash prizes, paid out of the subscription fund.
Each weekend, one member will also win a $10,000 seat at the World Series
Bator hopes the College Poker
Club will evolve into a social networking site where players can meet other
students online and get their gambling fix legally.
"Our goal from the very
beginning was to create a cohesive experience that would be equally
engaging and alternative to these (illegal gambling) sites," said
Once the site launches in two
weeks, Bator said they'll hire students from each campus to help with
But John Rinaldi,
a gambling therapist with the New Mexico Council on Problem Gambling, said
he worries feeding a fix might turn into a life-long addiction.
"If I'm one of the
gamblers, it gives the impression that I can win," said Rinaldi. "I can learn how to win so when I jump
into real gambling, I'm an expert, I'm good."
Word of the Poker Club is
spreading quickly on UNM's campus and students are excited.
"That's a really good
idea," said sophomore Jeremy Baca. "I bet it will attract a lot
UNM didn't want to comment on the College Poker
Club because it wasn't familiar with it.
aged five gambling in street
Child gamblers as young as
five are running up debts playing marbles on the streets of North Prospect,
police have warned.
Groups of up to 40 young
people are gathering to play a game called 'Pits' which involves flicking
marbles into drains.
Police have received multiple
complaints from parents saying their children owe money after placing bets.
There have also been reports
of money, DVDs and PlayStation games going missing from homes to pay off
Police are taking action over
growing fears that children could be pushed into shoplifting or fights.
Letters warning about the
dangers of gambling have been sent to parents through Mayflower Primary
PCSOs and Plymouth Community
Homes housing officers are going door-to-door in North Prospect tomorrow to
talk to families about the growing problem.
PCSO Dan Amador said Pits is
mainly being played near the old North Prospect Primary School site on Foliot Road.
He said anti-social behaviour
has been escalating in the area, with reports of arson, smashed windows and
vandalism and fireworks – often centred on houses left empty due to ongoing regeneration.
PCSO Amador said:
"Gambling is often thought of as an adult behaviour, but over the last
few months we have noticed an increase in young people in the North
Prospect area playing 'Pits' for money.
"Historically this game
would involve winning each other's marbles – but it has come to our
attention that more and more children are playing each other for money.
"I am worried that
people as young as six or seven could be causing themselves unnecessary
stress due to owing money to their friends and if the money is not
available to them it could push them into shoplifting or fights.
"They need to be aware
of the dangers gambling can cause."
He said on dry evenings
groups of up to 40 people aged from five to teenagers have been gathering
around drains to play Pits.
The game involves lifting the
covers on water meters outside properties and flicking marbles into the
"Over recent weeks we
have been approached by parents telling us that their kids are asking for
money to pay back debts owed to other children," PCSO Amador
continued. "I have also heard that money has been taken out of purses
and things round the house have gone missing like DVDs and Playstation games."
He said officers have been
told of several children, as young as seven, owing £20 or £30
to other children.
PSCO Amador urged parents to
be aware of where their children are in the evening and, if they believe
their child may be playing the game, to speak to them about the dangers of
Children aged 16 and over
face possible prosecution for gambling in public.
Responsible gambling: Results likely in
‘two, three years’
Macau should have a
comprehensive Responsible Gambling Code of Practice that would help promote
more effective campaigns with effort from all stakeholders, instead of just
some general guidelines, said the director of the Institute for the Study
of Commercial Gaming (ISCG), Davis Fong Ka Chio yesterday.
Due to the rapid development
of the gaming industry in Macau, “the ISCG found that problem
gambling is diffusing in the local community”. On September 29, the
ISCG, in cooperation with the government‟s
Social Welfare Bureau and Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, will
launch the responsible gambling awareness campaign, which will run until
the end of December.
It will also include a
„Responsible Gambling Forum: Operation and behaviour‟ on
October 29, which will have Mark Griffiths, from the UK, and Lynne Bertolini, from Australia, as key speakers. Based on a
study conducted by ISCG back in 2003, around 1.78 percent
of the local population, aged between 18 and 64 years old, were classified
as pathological gamblers. The prevalence of pathological gambling in Macau
jumped to 2.6 percent in 2007 and to 2.8 percent last year, according to similar studies.
“There has been a
marginal increase over the years, but we believe this is not the peak
yet,” said Fong, explaining that it takes time for these awareness
campaigns to achieve results. Responsible gambling, he said, refers to
policies and practices designed to prevent and reduce potential harm
associated with gambling, not only in casinos but also in other gambling
activities, like lotteries. “These activities are not undertaken to
take care of pathological gamblers, but to prevent new cases. If effective,
probably, in two or three years, the number of pathological gamblers will
decrease because of this prevention work,” he said.
According to Fong, the
current code of practice “is not good enough” because it only
includes general guidelines. But the scholar believes there is room for
“We hope that casino
operators can reach a consensus, because the code of practice should be
recognized by all stakeholders,” he said. In contrast with what
happens today where each gambling operator promotes responsible gambling
alone, Fong said this “should be a collective effort”.
“All stakeholders need to work together to promote responsible
gambling. It is the most effective way.”
Legislation missing However,
responsible gambling programs can only become truly effective in minimizing
harm when relative legislation is in place, said in Macau Professor Nerilee Hing, director of the
Centre for Gambling Education and Research of the Southern Cross
University, Australia last year. “These policies and practices often
incorporate a diverse range of interventions designed to promote consumer
protection, community/consumer awareness and education, and access to
efficacious treatment,” she said.
Macau has no legislation
related to responsible gambling but a self-exclusion program has been
introduced. That means it is also up to local casinos to implement these
measures. According to Hing, operators are
“less willing to implement harder measures that might threaten
income, for example move ATMs, limit cheque cashing, cheque payment of wins
and restrict advertising”. In a territory that has a total land area
of just 29.2 square kilometres, there are already 32 casinos and more yet
to come. Professor Fong pointed out that the expansion of the gaming
industry will likely see problem gambling emerge as a significant issue.
More effort must be made to
beef up awareness campaigns among local youth and casino staff, two
high-risk groups, Fong said. Casino operators, he added, will also have to
be more responsible providers of gambling services, considering it is the
best way to serve the public and protect vulnerable individuals.
Davis Fong yesterday
reiterated his support for the draft law that bans those aged under 21 from
casinos. “Gaming activities are much more appealing to youngsters
today, so we fully support the government‟s
decision to rise the age of entry [in casinos] from 18 to 21,” he
Despite doubts about
enforcement, the director of the ISCG believes the new law will have a
The bill not only introduces
an age limit but also new penalties for both gamblers and casino operators
who breach the law. Fines are set from MOP 1,000 to 10,000 for youngsters
under 21 who enter casinos while operators could pay a fine from MOP 10,000
to 500,000. Offenders could also face charges of civil disobedience.
In addition; if these
youngsters win money in a casino, the winnings will be automatically
forfeited to the government.
“If there is no gain and [if] people may even face penalties, I think
that will be enough,” he said. A representative from the Gaming
Inspection and Coordination Bureau said yesterday that training would be
provided for government staff and gaming operators as soon as the new law is
Daily Times, 14-09-2011
Don't block gambling payments, say banks
The banks and the credit card company Visa have
warned the federal government that any attempt to use the payments system
to clamp down on internet gambling would be unworkable.
They are worried that trying
to block payments made to internet gambling websites could also interfere
with online shopping.
The chief executive of the
Australian Bankers' Association, Steven Munchenberg,
warned the joint select committee on gambling reform that trying to
restrict transactions was ''not straightforward''.
continues below The committee is investigating a bill introduced by the
independent Senator Nick Xenophon to restrict financial transactions on
prohibited internet gambling sites.
''[If] Australia was
identified as a jurisdiction where payment obligations may not be fulfilled
in a certain and timely manner, it is possible that merchants and online
service providers will refuse to accept business and payments from
customers designated as originating from Australia,'' Mr Munchenberg said.
''This would have a
significant impact on the contestability of Australian businesses as well
as the ability for Australian consumers to purchase online goods and
Visa also told the committee
the technology was unworkable.
The federal government is
already in turmoil over its plans to tackle problem gambling by introducing
mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines. The technology,
which is bitterly opposed by the clubs and hotels
lobby, would ask people to nominate how much money they were prepared to
bet before they started gambling.
Internet and interactive
gambling is growing quickly in Australia and around the world.
The committee heard
Australians could reach 92 per cent of the 2,443 online gambling sites even
though the Interactive Gambling Act banned internet gambling sites from
accepting money from Australian residents.
Despite the restrictions, it
is estimated Australians spent more than $968 million last year on illegal
online casino, poker and bingo sites.
The government promised the
independent MP Andrew Wilkie it would introduce
legislation requiring the technology on gaming machines by the end of May.
Mr Wilkie is the chairman of the gambling reform
The committee will release a
report on internet gambling at the end of the month.
A member of the federal
government's advisory council on gambling, Alex Blaszczynski,
told the committee the legislation needed to be updated.
''Australians can easily
access offshore internet gambling sites … and … have little
recourse if they lose their money or experience unscrupulous treatment,''
Professor Blaszczynski wrote in his submission.
University of Guelph study finds gambling losers feel shame over their
losses but cope with it poorly
Gamblers feel both guilt and shame when they lose,
but shame rises significantly as the problem worsens, a recent University
of Guelph study shows.
Study co-authors Sunghwan
Yi and Vinay Kanetkar
say problem gamblers have much more intense shame and use more avoidant
coping strategies when they lose than do low- and moderate-risk gamblers.
“While problem gamblers, moderate-risk
gamblers and low-risk gamblers alike feel guilt over losing money at
gambling, problem gamblers are likely to feel more intense shame after
gambling loss,” said Yi, a professor in U of G’s department of
marketing and consumer, in a release issued by the university.
“Shame is experienced when you believe a negative
event happened because there’s something inherently wrong with you.
So if you gamble away a lot of money, you may think of yourself as a
worthless or even bad person.”
Guilt, by contrast, is temporary remorse or regret
about a specific act or event. Guilt leaves room for doing something to
correct the problem instead of escaping it, Yi said.
“When you experience guilt, as opposed to
shame, you are far more likely to use proactive coping strategies to change
the situation,” he states, in the university release about the
Although each gambler type manages their negative
emotions slightly differently, all three rationalize their gambling loss
(“At least I had a good time”), according to the study.
As he had expected gamblers made greater use of
avoidant coping strategies – such as non-disclosure and mental
distortion (telling themselves that their wins balanced out losses) as
their shame grew more intense.
Unexpectedly, the study found, they also increased
their use of two non-avoidant coping strategies: seeking social support and
planning to make up for monetary loss.
“I anticipated finding that intense
experience of shame would induce gamblers not to disclose gambling losses
to anyone. What surprised me most of all was that gamblers who experience
shame reported keeping their feelings to themselves, yet, at the same time,
they also reported seeking emotional support from others,” Yi said,
in the release.
“The irony is that seeking social support is
the polar opposite of non-disclosure. One way of resolving this ironic
finding is that shame induces gamblers to seek social support in a very
selective manner. For example, although gamblers who feel shame do not wish
to reveal their gambling losses to their significant others, they are
compelled to confide in a select few people. Unfortunately, these are
usually their gambling buddies. So, while hearing some comforting words
from gambling pals helps problem gamblers feel less ashamed in the short
term, their failure to seek support from significant others could lead to
more severe gambling problems in the long run.”
Although researchers and clinicians consider
seeking of social support as a constructive coping strategy, looking for
that support from “wrong” sources doesn’t necessarily
help, said Yi.
The study also showed problem gamblers also plan
to make up their financial loss by earning extra income, adjusting their
budget or cutting back on other expenses. But they usually end up trying to
recover their losses by further gambling.
"Terribly wrong" to send workers to gamble
Minister of State for Community Development, Youth
and Sports Halimah Yacob
took some employers to task for encouraging their workers to gamble.
Madam Halimah was
responding to a recent report that some employers, who are on exclusion
orders, have admitted to sending their workers to gamble on their behalf.
She said the government has zero tolerance for this,
adding that MCYS is working with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to address
"That is terribly wrong. That should never be
done....employers should never do that because they should not put workers
at risk as well," she said.
"What they're doing in allowing their workers to
go gambling is they're encouraging them to gamble.
"They may be gambling their own money, their
hard-earned money. Many of them have borrowed to come [to Singapore], so
employers must behave responsibly."
Madam Halimah added that
the MCYS is working with MOM because this is a multi-agency issue.
"But obviously, I'm sure this is something that
tolerance for it is zero. This is zero tolerance, as far as we're
concerned," she said.
Channel News Asisa, 08-11-2011
Gamblers ‘unlikely to seek help’
People with gambling problems are unlikely to identify
as having a problem or to seek help unless they have experienced serious
impacts or harms, according to new research released today.
Dr Tanya Davidson the Director of the Centre for
Gambling Research at The Australian National University is one of the
authors of two new reports profiling help-seeking and problem gambling in
She said that the first report found that less than
10 per cent of all people reporting problem gambling symptoms – and
only 21 per cent of those with the most severe gambling problems –
had ever accessed support services.
“In addition, our study determined that nearly
a quarter of people reporting problem gambling
symptoms identified as having problems, but had never
accessed help,” she said. “This demonstrates that we need to
better understand the experiences and views of people developing gambling
problems to ensure that early intervention strategies are attractive and
“We also found that people were more likely to
seek help for the consequences of their gambling, like relationship issues,
money problems or co-occurring problems such as substance abuse, before
seeking help for their gambling problems.
“Better identification and engagement of people
with gambling problems who seek help for other problems may also provide
opportunities for earlier intervention.”
Dr Davidson said that the second report found that
the highest risk of problem gambling was amongst people who played
electronic gaming machines (EGMs) 100 times a year or more or who lost more
than $40 per week.
“This is the first study to investigate whether
gambling on combinations of activities or specific activities increases the
risk of problems. This takes into account the fact that people with
gambling problems tend to bet on a wide range of activities,” she
“Other activities like gambling using the
internet and playing table games at a casino, had a very high risk of
problem gambling symptoms. However, the number of people taking part was
small and the overlap with playing EGMs was substantial.
“The other thing that is new about our study is
that we looked at how socioeconomic and demographic risk factors work
together, and we found that there was about a 26-fold difference in risk of
gambling problems between some subgroups in the community. Younger men, for
example, with low levels of education, who had never married or had a
history of divorce, had very high risk.
“Knowing which population subgroups are most at
risk is immensely valuable for adapting gambling education, awareness and
harm reduction strategies and targeting them appropriately.”
These reports were funded by the ACT Gambling and