Archives for : New On This Planet

Legitimate Online Casinos Falling Afoul of New UK Filters

In the last year, the United Kingdom government has been working to increase the amount of restrictions on sites that promote activity that can be commonly seen as illegal or immoral.

UK Gambling CommissionThese restrictions are supposed to take place at the ISP level, so users may not even be able to access unlicensed sites even if they know what they are searching for. Adult users are also supposed to be able to “opt in” to say that they are legally permitted to view legal content.

Unfortunately, some gambling sites now seem to be included in the larger illicit net that includes pornography, violence and what’s called extremist behavior.

Currently there are some discussions taking place on how much of a role ISPs have in enforcing the government regulations.

In January, the UK Gambling Commission met with representatives from TalkTalk and BT, two larger ISPs, to request they begin creating “splash pages” that come up before a user accesses a site that promotes something unlicensed such as gambling, pornography or other unwelcome content. The ISPs both told the Financial Times that they didn’t want to be in the position of deciding what content customers should or shouldn’t access. They also suggested a stronger legal framework is needed

Some site operators have been maintaining that the family-friendly filters that are still under development and limited testing may be working too well – a Forbes study showed that the filters have been blocking roughly 20,000 of the 100,000 most popular sites.

Licensed and legitimate online casino owners are among those which have discovered that they’ve been ending up on blacklists of different ISPs, including Bet365 Casino which was blocked on four ISPs. PokerStars, 888Poker, and PartyPoker also were blocked by at least one site.

The filters are supposed to be rolled out region-wide next year.

Alleged Fraud Sprays £32,000 of Champagne at Night Club

Accused of cheating £5.5 million from many investors through ponzi scheme, 25-year-old foreign currency trader, Alex Hope is said to have sprayed about £32,000 of champagne in a nightclub. The act, which was filmed and uploaded, has now earned him the title ‘King Popper.’

The jurors, who were shown the video of Hope’s celebrations, described his spending as ‘eye-watering.’ It is alleged that a part or whole of the money he is spending on his lavish lifestyle represents investor’s money that he collected through his ponzi scheme.

The lifestyle

Alex HopeApart from the incident of spraying £32,000 pound worth of Champaign at Grange hotel, there are various other instances to prove his uncontrolled spending. He is said to have spent around £50,000 on a Midas-sized bottle of Ace of Spades Champaign, while partying at Liverpool’s Playground Hilton. Yet another time, he spent about £65,000 in a single night at Aura nightclub in Mayfair and funnelled about £1 million to the Palm Beach Casino.

The beach is said to be one of the most exclusive casinos in Mayfair and was visited by Hope more than 80 times before his arrest. Hope also regularly went for luxurious trips when he visited cities such as New York, Miami and Dubai. His stay at a beach front resort in Miami cost him £130,000 and his expenses for a night at Dubai’s Cirque du Soir sums up to about £39,000.

The fraud

A retired teacher who gave statement against him, Christopher Millard, said he ploughed £25,000 into Hope’s scheme and lost more than half of it. Hope had earlier told Miller that he is a man of word and has never failed paying anyone. Victims of Hope’s alleged fraud also include Jamaican international football player Marvin Elliot, who had pledged and lost his investment of £50,000. Prosecutor Sarah Clarke remarked that Hope’s schemes were nothing but fraud, though the accused has denied the charges of fraud. He has, however, pleaded guilty of carrying a regulated activity without FSA approval.

Financial Services Authority intervened on suspecting fraudulence around his Forex fund and soon arrested him. King Popper’s future remains unclear as trial continues.

Singapore Casinos Tempt High Rollers

High rollers have become a rare commodity over the past few months. Revenues in Macau and other major Asian casinos are down, with experts believing that policies in China are the reason. There has been a major crackdown over upper level corruption in China, which has impacted the number of people who are willing to flaunt their wealth at casinos.

Singapore casino

There are two major casinos in Singapore that cater to high rollers, and they are locked in a battle to make as much money as possible. The CEO of Las Vegas Sands, whose company has a casino in Singapore, has accused the competition of running too many incentive programs in a bid to draw more high rollers.

He had this to say on the matter: “We do not believe that the competition is letting their brand do the talking. They are relying heavily on gimmicks and other incentives to try and attract customers.”

No one at Genting, the other company that has a casino in Singapore, refused to respond to these comments. While they accept that the situation in Singapore is not ideal, they do not have a problem continuing with these incentives in a bid to gain customers.

The reason high rollers matter so much can be shown with facts. These competing casinos have made billions in revenue since 2010. Exactly 50% of that money has come from high rollers. If there is a substantial decline in those customers, the casinos will continue to lose out big time.

Singapore has noted that there has been a 30% decline in the number of tourists coming from China this year, when compared to figures from 2013. This decline is directly impacting the major casinos in the area.

High Rollers Being Looked as Organized Crime Dealers

In forthcoming years, Australia’s largest cities Brisbane and Sydney will see a spurt of casinos across the coast with the sole aim of attracting wealthy players into their fold. In the overcrowded world of gambling, which includes people from humble backgrounds trying their luck at slot machines with few dollars on a daily basis; there also exist an elite gamblers group. These players are referred as “casino whales” who do not bid less than $15000 in single bets. Due to their tendency concentrate on high stakes card games; Chinese poker players have become very popular in casinos across United States and Australia. Famous casinos treat them like celebrities and give them VIP treatment by arranging for free flights and luxurious stay.

Australian gamblers and organized crime

highrollersThe chase to attract high rollers from Asia has opened up the Australian gambling industry to organized crime and money laundering activities. With an annual turnover of $ 5 billion Australian casino industry is attracting both high rollers and organized criminals who use this medium to bankroll players and launder their money. Famous and rich gamblers from Indonesia and China are being targeted in an upcoming casino project of Crown Casino at Barangaroo and also at Brisbane on Queen’s Wharf development section, which will cater exclusively to them. The trend of turning casinos into tax revenues sources is turning local businessmen and government authorities into risk takers.

Comparing Macau and Australian casinos

Recent reports about combination of gambling and crime in far-off Macau may become a reality in Australian junket operations are allowed with elite gamblers from China. The gaming region of Macau has become an epicentre for gamblers in Asia which owners more than 70 percent of its revenue to high rollers who bet staggering amounts of money, which can be won or lost in one night. Professional gamblers in Macau are not allowed to play high stakes beyond a certain point nor are they allowed to take it out of the regions therefore they travel to Australia and other regions. These VIP Chinese gamblers play on credit and when they are unable to repay their creditors the latter use organized crime gangs to collect the debt.

Greatest Gambling Wins and Legends

There have been plenty of legendary gamblers and great gambling moments over the past 20 to 30 years. Names like Ken Uston immediately come to mind when talking about great gambling moments. Here are some details about a few other legends and their greatest achievements.

One of the best stories from recent times goes back to the 1980s, when a man came into Las Vegas with the intention to bet big. He has now been labelled the “suitcase man” because of what transpired. William Bergstrom came from Austin and went to the Binion casino. At the time, they were running a special where they would book a first bet for anyone who came in, no matter how large that bet was.


Bergstrom went in with a $780,000 bet, with all the money in a suitcase, and played a game of craps. He doubled his money and departed the casino swiftly. This was not the end. He returned to the casino later on, winning $600,000 and $100,000. However, his lucky streak ended when he lost $1,000,000 in a craps bet. Remarkably, he was found dead a few weeks later at a hotel in the Las Vegas Strip, having committed suicide.

Another great story involves a Greek-American, Archie Karas. He is one of the most famous gamblers in the world. Between 1992 and 1993 he managed to win an incredible SEVENTEEN MILLION dollars. He started out with only $10,000, having borrowed that with a friend, but he turned that into a pot of gold. Karas won this money at various events, including poker, craps, blackjack and horse race betting.

While there are many tales of people who bet too much and lost, these stories show that huge wins are also possible. The likes of Bergstrom and Karas could never have imagined that they would win so much in Las Vegas. While neither gambler’s story ended well, they had plenty of good times. For more information on other gambling legends, click here.

Maple Casino Ready to Launch Avalon II

Maple Casino, Canada’s #1 online casino, is finally preparing to launch its new and long awaited slot game sequel: Avalon II, The Quest for the Grail. The launch date for this game is February 5th of 2014, and audiences and consumers are waiting anxiously for the new slot adventure to be play-ready.

In this sequel to the ever-popular Avalon slot game, Avalon II begins another epic battle between good and evil for gamers to embark upon. Players will be swept into the world of Avalon through its magnificent artwork, gorgeous landscapes, 3D animations and its memorable and redeeming characters.

The professional and mind-blowing animations helps create an atmosphere of adventure and mystery, while the voice acting stirs your emotions like never before.

Follow King Arthur and his knights through the kingdom and beyond as they chase down Morgan, the one who stole the Holy Grail from Avalon, in this particularly engaging eight-step storyline, the most exciting part about Avalon II. Determined to return the life force of Avalon back to its rightful place, King Arthur faces many dangers and challenges as he searches tirelessly.

Gamers will enjoy being a part of the story as they reforge Excalibur, spin the Wheel of Fortune and battle against the evil and menacing Black Knight. The more you play, you more engrossed you will become in the story. You won’t be able to leave!

Slot Avalon II

This casino game has great slot features along with its quality storyline. With its 5X3 reels, there are 243 different ways to win. Avalon II has support for 18 different languages, and has a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9. With both a Merlin and Grail bonus, you can add longevity to the game.

The Grail bonus offers games such as Lake of Legend, Dusky Moors, Misty Vale, Morgan’s Keep, Hall of Shadows, Isle of Avalon and either the Whispering Woods or the Forest Falls. It also has Wild, Multiplier, Scatter and Bonus Trigger symbols to bring in a little bit of diversity for game play, and don’t forget the Rolling Reels™, Trailing Wilds™, Extra Wilds and Expanding Wild in the Base Game for a bit more fun.

For newcomers and long-time members alike, Maple Casino is proud to present this launch. To enjoy your first try on Avalon II for all newcomers, Maple offers you a welcome of $3,000 worth of free bets to get your started on their site.

With stellar cinema quality voice acting, sound effects so real they’ll make you think you’re there, and superb animation that brings this sequel to a whole new level of gaming experience, Avalon II is destined to be a hit.