Saturday, July 31, 2004

Big Brother 5 Outright Winner - Latest Odds

Only 1 more week until the end of Big Brother 5

[Edited 31 July

Well - the moves are already happening - Jason's been backed into 10/1]

It feels like its been on forever, but with tonight's eviction of Bunny Boiler, Michelle (no doubt read all about her in next weeks tabloids), there's just the famous five left.

Gamblog reports that according to Davina on Friday's show, there will be one final eviction on wednesday, when the last placed person in the telephone vote will be evicted

So - will Nadia go the whole hog and win this thing? At least if she does, she'll disappear without trace - and that can only be a good thing. The only value in this list is for Dan - who's popularity seems to increase or decrease depending on his mood

Current Odds for outright winner from William Hill are :

Nadia Almada 1/5
Daniel Bryan 11/2 NOW 6/1
Stuart Wilson 12/1 NOW 14/1
Shell Jubin 16/1
Jason Cowen 20/1 NOW 12/1

whilst Bet 365 go a little shorter on Jason and Shell

Nadia 2/9 NOW 2/11
Daniel 17/4 NOW 11/2
Stuart 12/1 NOW 14/1
Shell 14/1
Jason 16/1 NOW 10/1

After this last week's huge punt on Michelle, I think we'll see the market move pretty quickly on monday when the weekend's initial phone vote starts making headway and more stories on each contestant make their way out of the Sunday tabloids

- Big Brother Section at Digital Spy
- Channel 4's Big Brother

Friday, July 30, 2004

Can Macau become the Las Vegas of Asia?

Gambling empire bets on rebranding

For almost 50 years, Stanley Ho had a monopoly on gambling in former Portugese colony, Macau - which lies just off the coast of Hong Kong.

Now that Macau has opened up gambling to the competition, the Las Vegas gambling empires, notably Steve Wynn, have moved onto the island in a bid to capture some of the money that the insatiable Asian market pumps into the only legal casinos in China.

Currently, 80% of all visitors come from Hong Kong, where punters can pick up a local ferry boat or take a short flight across to the island.

With the advent of the new market, the burden lies with Macau itself to improve its visibility to overseas players and get a piece of potential foreign tourism. Macau has everything it needs to attract visitors - in essence, it could be seen as a lower quality Monte Carlo but with just as many 'fat cats' and the added bonus of a ready-made calendar of arts, festivals and sports events (yes, there's even a Macau Grand Prix - albeit not Formula One, but it does attract some big names) - and now with the might of Vegas behind it, could see a boom in visitors and a potential goldmine as junket operators turn their attention to the businessmen that regularly visit Asia

Macau: Soon to be Asia’s Las Vegas

Thursday, July 29, 2004

sven's head on the block is a bookies bonanza

It seems as if Sven Gorans Eriksson dalliance with the secretary from hell, Faira Alam, has already condoned him to footballing purgatory

The bookies are already betting on Sven's replacement as the next England manager with Steve McClaren being the clear favourite

Steve McClaren 5/4
Alan Curbishley 3/1
Steve Bruce 11/2
Luis Felipe Scolari 6/1
Sir Bobby Robson 10/1
Arsene Wenger 12/1
Trevor Brooking and Gerard Houllier 14/1
Sam Allardyce and Peter Taylor 20/1
Martin O'Neill, Micky Adams, David Platt 25/1
Harry Redknapp, Gary Megson and David O'Leary 33/1
Roy Hodgson and Alex Ferguson 40/1
George Graham 50/1
Terry Venables, Kevin Keegan and Glen Hoddle 100/1
Graham Taylor 150/1

(all odds taken from William Hill)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

You've gotta be a gran to win

- Gran wins £15m in Lotto
- Bingo win tops £200,000
- Bingo gran wins £102,000

In a series of amazing coincidences, 3 grannies have each won huge jackpots in the last few days.
A Glasgow Gran won over £100,000 at her local bingo club - and in true granny fashion, celebrated with a cup of tea.
A Salisbury Gran won over 200,000 at her local bingo club playing The National Game and plans to drink her tea in a trip to Canada
And in the biggest win, a Torquay Gran won £15 million on the National Lottery. She didn't tell anyone for a day. And plans to buy herself a £5,000 Ford Ka. And have a cup of tea too. Probably.

Mad Marty wins on the horses

Three Of A Kind For Poker Star - On The Horses!

'Late night poker' favourite, 'Mad' Marty Wilson showed its not only poker that lands him the big prizes. Marty placed a long shot treble and won himself over £140,000

Marty put a £150 treble on the horses at a local William Hill store, priced at 16/1, 8/1 and 5/1 and watched all 3 come in during a break whilst filming the latest series of 'Late Night Poker'

I wonder if he won his poker game after that

Big Brother Eviction - Latest Odds

The joy that is Big Brother continues its assault on the british public as eviction number 7 rears its ugly head

Surprisingly, Michelle rather than Jason is hot favourite to leave this week

(edited 29 july)

Michelle Bass 4/11 NOW 1/6
Jason Cowen 2/1 NOW 7/2
Shell Jubin 25/1
Stuart Wilson 33/1
Daniel Bryan 33/1
Nadia Almada 40/1

(all odds taken from William Hill)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

That nasty evil internet makes kids gamble

'Kids are gambling... quick, blame the web!'

I've sat here all day taking deep breaths and trying to not be too cynical with the *shock horror gasp* news that a company - who are trying to sell their own 'age' services to gaming companies - commissioned a piece of research that discovered that *shock horror gasp* underage kids were able to register with online gambling companies.

Thankfully there are still some journalists out there willing to look at the bigger picture and not to go shouting off the top of the tallest buidling that the internet is the root of all evil

Cynicism aside, I'm not condoning this - I accept its going to happen and I know that UK gambling companies are doing their best to try and avoid this. And no, they're not necessarily doing as much as they possibly can. The same way underage kids can buy cigarettes, buy drugs, see an 18-rated movie or get into nightclubs. If kids want to do these things, they will. Internet gambling is just another 'forbidden' territory that "some" kids may want to try out.

The research itself was up for much questioning, but thats another story. Personally, I agree with the underlying study - its all too easy for anyone to register at an online gambling company. To place a bet however, is something different and there are checks in place to try and avoid underage gamblers. Not enough probably. There never is.

Secondly, the bookies are not the only ones to blame here. Solo debit cards are given to kids as young as 11. It would take the bank a simple change in the way they set up their cards to identify an under 18 card-holder. This would help online stores immensely. The whole issue with 'underage' commerce affects a multitude of online sins - most seriously, hardcore porn.

At the end of the day - the bookies and casinos, along with the banks, need to do something to stop this. Thats a given. But there is a deeper issue here and its not necessarily about the 'blame game' - with the internet being the nearest and dearest platform to blame

Blog Reading
Call To Block Children Gambling Online

More Reading:
- Gambling websites 'let punters as young as 11 set up accounts'
- Call to block child gambling online
- Schoolgirl tests online gambling [note: the schoolgirl is the daughter of the man who did this piece of research. He allowed his daughter to fake her identity and surf all these gambling sites]

Bookies taken for £1.5 million in Irish Horse Racing Sting

Bookies pay heavy price as gamblers take €2m in sting

Bookies were taken for over £1.5mil at a Leopardstown meeting, as Cashmans paid out nearly £100,000 and paddy power got done for almost £65,000. Betfair and other UK bookies also got caught.

The horse backed was Bocaccio who ran at Leopardstown on July 14. Only a few people knew which horse was to be backed, as scores of people were told the horse's name just minutes before the race.

Each person involved was asked to place 500 euros on the horse at the first shows. The odds opened at 7/1. After this, the punters were allowed to place their own money.

The horse duly romped in at an SP of 9/4 leaving bookies across Ireland and the UK payout out thousands

Monday, July 26, 2004

Gambling, nudity and cheating: The Olympics never changes

Gambling, nudity and cheating: Olympics in 500 B.C.

The first Olympics, some 3000 years ago, were apparantly more debauched and less honourable than previously thought.

The idealism that we have alway held the ancient games during Greek times seems simply to be a fallacy.

The original 5-day event would have athletes consult magicians and fortune tellers for charms and potions (see drugs and steriods today)

There was also allegations of bribery and enticement to swap allegiances.

Sporting heroes were revered and showered with gifts, money and fame.

In a parallel that is eerily like the present, the 4-year event also gave way to a respite from the violence and wars that precipitated ancient Greeks daily life.

It appears, with new archaeological discovery and insight, the games were beset by cheating, scandal, gambling and outsized egos.

A bit like today really.

Beware of great granny's with a gambling habit

Gambling Granny arrested in Italy

An 80-year old great grandmother was arrested in Italy suspected of drugging and robbing victims to feed her gambling habit

Her last victim was a 70-year old woman. The woman was drugged after drinking a cup of coffee and robbed of almost £1000 which was promptly spent at a casino.

I guess next time a little old lady offers you coffee, check her handbag for bingo tickets

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Hills boss uses Ghandi to keep it simple

Betting on the biggest chess game in town

William Hill boss, David Harding, makes this week's BBC Online business bigwig interview. Despite being potentially a great subject, its all rather dull.

The highlights and lowlights:
- bought a Porsche aged 47
- earnt 10 shillings per 1,000 flyers delivered
- biggest inspiration is Ghandi
- Likes to 'keep it simple'
- Technology projects will be changing a lot of things at Hills (its about time they moved forward IMO)
- proudest moment was Hills getting into the FTSE 100 after 2 years as a public company

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Internet Casino buys Beckham's Missed Penalty Ball

Beckham penalty ball sold to Internet casino for more than $45,000 Cdn

An Internet Casino has paid 28,000 Euros for the ball David Beckham kicked over the bar during the England v Portugal penalty shootout on Ebay. The casino hopes to use the ball to raise money for charity

Yet another publicity seeking opportunity from this Internet Casino which has made its name recently from a series of sports-related publicity stunts. They've obviously got too much money to spend

Betfair finally goes head first Down Under

Betfair races into Aussie market

After more than a year in Australia waiting for any government intervention and receiving the all clear last week , Betfair finally green light themselves into the Aussie market - and do it the biggest way possible - by partnering with media and gambling big boy, Kerry Packer, who runs PBL - owner of Crown Casino in Melbourne.

Despite huge opposition from the Australian racing board, Betfair hopes to make inroads into the £1.39bn gaming market

Now, with this partnership looming, Betfair gets first pick of the media cherry - with PBL's sports coverage and media outlets throughout the country

The only slight hiccup in the proceedings is that this is still dependent on gaining a licence in order to legally operate or advertise locally and so far, all six states have opposed issuing one

But it seems, once again the Betfair steamroller shakes up a country's gaming industry and its only a matter of time before Aussie bookmakers learn to accept, compete and sit up and take note

PBL punts on Net betting
Racing NSW chief devastated

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals Help Stanleys

Stanley's ahead after rollercoaster ride

Stanley Leisure posted a 1% rise in profits today - and like Hills and Ladbrokes previously, largely with the help of the current bookies saviour, fixed odds betting terminals (lovingly called FOBTs). This success helped out the losses of their exclusive London casino, Crockfords, that saw a series of big wins by high rollers.

More interestingly perhaps is that Stanley is rebranding their shops from Stanley Racing to Stanleybet - which is the current name of their internet betting product. Stanley Racing has always had a fairly traditional - dare I say old-fashioned - image about them - perhaps this is Stanley's way of moving forward, albeit slowly. Interestingly, Stanley were probably the first UK bookmaker with an online casino but have always remained under the radar compared to their bigger rivals and only recently rebranded their internet casino as 'stanley casino'.

Play online at Stanley Casino

Mercury Music Prize - latest odds

There's always value in 'Entertainment' bets - and this year's Mercury Music Prize is no different.

I think The Streets are an obvious favourite with the Prize's penchant for more edgy newcomers whilst Keene may veer to much towards media darlings, Coldplay, to take the prize, despite releasing an excellent debut.

Franz Ferdinand definitely have a chance, but its good to see offbeat newcomers The Zutons and continuously underrated Belle and Sebastian make an appearance after years of releasing great albums

The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free 3/1
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand 3/1
Snow Patrol - Final Straw 6/1
Keane - Hopes And Fears 6/1
Amy Winehouse - Free 6/1
Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions 10/1
Jamelia - Thank You 10/1
Basement Jaxx - Kish Kash 10/1
Ty - Upwards 12/1
The Zutons - Who Killed The Zutons 12/1
Robert Wyatt - Cuckoo Land 12/1
Belle And Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress 12/1

(all odds taken from William Hill)

The US copies British 'Double or Nothing' gambling show

NBC casting for American edition of British 'Double or Nothing' gambling show

US Network NBC seems to be running light on reality TV shows as they once again look to the UK and Europe for inspiration.
They've decided to copy the Double-or-Nothing documentary in which gambler, Ashley Revell, allegedly sold off all his possessions to gamble everything on a roulette spin.

In Ashley's case, he put $135,000 on red and left the table with $270,000 as 'red 7' came up and Sky One breathed a huge sigh of relief.

The Americans, always worried about any psychological effects this may have (and i would guess more worried about any potential lawsuits this may bring), are already planning on getting any suitable contestants to meet with a psychologist first.

I think NBC need to do the same

Russian betting extortion gang arrested

Russian net gang smashed

It looks like some betting companies can breathe a small sigh of relief as a Russian gang that extorted hundreds of thousands of pounds from betting sites have been arrested.

In a join operation between the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit and its Russian counterparts, three men were arrested yesterday.

Related Stories
Denial of Service starts again

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Two guns beats four aces

Two guns beats four aces: armed robbers hit Paris poker tournament

Yet another story worthy of a movie. Two armed men staged a heist on the final day at the World Poker Tour Tournament on the Champs-Elysee in Paris. As 20 players were sitting at their table, they forced them to lie on the ground as they made off with 76,000 euros.

In a somewhat farcical turn of events, it appears they then lost the keys of their getaway bikes and had to stole a nearby truck - which they dumped later.

Seems like all this poker publicity has its negative impact as well

The lure of online poker continues

Neil plays his cards right

Without any real experience playing poker - and only taking up the game 3 months ago, yet another amateur poker players makes their way through the online ranks to find themselves up against the pros in a real-life poker tournament.

Of course, playing in the 'real thing' is another matter completely - it'll be interesting to watch how these purely online poker rookies fare in the real bigtime

Do Indians love their gambling too?

Hooked to gambling?

India bans all betting and casinos. However, that doesn't stop them from spending over US$1bn on betting during the 2003 cricket world cup. Organised lotteries also account for US$7bn in India.

It also seems that there are many Indians in the UK that prefer nothing better than spending an evening or 2 down at the casino

Apparantly, this activity is most predominant in the run-up to Diwali - as Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth who is celebrated during Diwali is pleased when her devotees play to win

Sounds a good enough excuse for me

Monday, July 19, 2004

The psychology of slots - the crack cocaine of the casino

The psychology of slots: Hooking players on hope

As million pound slot jackpot continue to make headlines in the UK, back in the US, the issue of legalising slots in certain states is also catching the eye of the media.

Great slots is all about the maths that sits behind the machine. And good hit frequency. Slots are highly volatile games that pay incrementally - with the added bonus of repetitive sounds, good graphics, bonus rounds and the 'tease' of the jackpot.

The slots player has always been of interest to many gambling psychologist who specialise in addiction.

Apparantly, slot players exhibit persistant positive thinking despite knowing they're more likely to lose. This can also lead to maladaptive behaviour - leading to addiction.
Psychologists boil this down to the perception of the 'near win' rather than the 'constant loss'. Players 'think' the machine is about to payout - despite the total randomness built into the game.
Whilst payout percentages that can run into the high 90's, as the bankroll decreases, so does the return.
More from the article

Ultimately, not every slots player becomes an addict. Taken in moderation, slots are fun and are becoming increasingly complex as players demand 'more for their money'. Slots aren't everyone's idea of a fun gambling game, but they have their place in casinos - for the quick thrill and the easy game. A large part of the reason why slots are so popular is that they are less 'threatening' than the table game - and require no interaction with other players - or intimate knowledge of the intricacies and habits of other games. There's no startegy or thinking involved - its as simple to play as a lottery and with the potential of just as big a win - and that, for many people, is all they want at a casino.

They are, with their flashing lights and persistant noise - the ultimate advertisement for all that Las Vegas stands for.

Play slots online:
Intercasino UK

The Brits are becoming obsessed with gambling

Britons' £30bn gambling obsession

As the government is about to change the gambling laws, the UK has seen an increase in over the last three years in money staked on gambling from £7.3bn p/a to £29.6bn.

This is no huge surprise, as the 9% betting tax was abolished, internet betting has increased and fixed odds betting terminals have made such a huge impact - and not forgetting the phenomenal success of betting exchanges.

Its questionable as to whether the increase is a rise in 'gambling addiction' or simply latent demand by the customer - with more choice and easier access to gambling, it could be that people are less weary about placing a bet and more willing to find their relevant outlets to do so. In other words, betting and gaming has started to become acceptable - whether through the advent of the National Lottery, or the abolishment of the betting tax and the rise of the internet.

However, as the time comes closer to regulatory change, more of these stories will start to appear in the press and more questions asked. It will be interesting to see if these huge increases continue to happen, or the market is just reaching its own peak and will stabilise.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Double Exposure 21 - The Lowdown

The one thing that has changed in online casinos during the last couple of years is the variety of games available. Originally, online casinos simply offered the basic casino games - often with worse odds than you'll find at land-based casinos - such as double-zero/US style roulette that doubles the house edge from UK-style single-zero roulette. The proliferation of online casinos has increased competition dramatically amongst both software providers and operators, consequently, making it more important than ever to provide the best games, often with the lowest house edge.

Blackjack has long been possibly the most popular casino game in the UK - and online its not much different. However, there are a few varieties of blackjack the make an already low house edge using basic blackjack strategy - even lower

Double Exposure 21 is one of those games. In this variation:
- both dealer cards are shown to the player
- blackjack only pays even money
- dealer wins on all ties except natural blackjack
- the player may only split once.
- Dealer hits on soft 17 (check casino rules)

Its often dependent on the casino as to the actual variation of certain rules, so its worth checking the casino for their version, such as bonus payouts for Ace:Jack of Hearts blackjack or 6:7:8 of the same suits. Some versions will offer a payout of 99.7%

Play Double Exposure 21 online at Harrods Casino
Check out Double Exposure Strategy Tables before you play

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Poker as an Olympic Sport?

Full Tilt Poker Sponsors Movement to Get Poker Recognized as a Sport in the International Games

It had to happen sooner or later - and now, with the Olympics just weeks away, a few high profile card players have begun a campaign to get poker recognised as a sport - and sanctioned in the International Games - as chess and bridge are.

They've even gone to the trouble of creating a website for their troubles

Naturally, this has nothing to do with promoting a new poker site..Surely not...

133rd Open - Latest Odds

The final round of the The Open is a fairly open affair. Little known American, Todd Hamilton, has taken a 1-shot lead over championship favourite, Ernie Els and following closely behind is Masters winner Mickelson - who's definitely found the knack for the 'big one' since his win - and US Open winner, Retif Goosen. Crowd favourite Montgomerie is at unrealistic short odds - but then, the brits do love their underdogs

E Els 5/2
P Mickelson 4/1
R Goosen 9/2
T Hamilton 13/2
T Woods 9/1
T Levet 14/1
C Montgomerie 20/1

(all odds taken from William Hill)

Friday, July 16, 2004

Trev on gambling - ITV friday @ 8

Help for gambling addicts

Trevor MacDonald's Tonight's show will be discussing women gamblers and gambling addiction at 8pm tonight (fri 16 july)

As the government brings in changes to the gaming act and the internet has shown a growing interest for female gamblers, ITV takes this opportunity to highlight gambling addiction to roulette and slots

Its looks like it maybe one big advertisement for Gamcare - the social responsibility group for gambling. No bad thing..but lets hope this doesn't get too negative for the industry

My casino's bigger than yours

World's largest gambling company created

In a move worthy of the best playground behaviour of one-upmanship, Harrahs Entertainment have responded to the recent merger between MGM-Mirage and Mandalay Bay by creating their own gambling superpower and taking over Caesars Entertainment.

In a deal worth £5bn, the new merged company will deliver annual revenues in excess of £4bn, 54 casinos and a profile that finally puts them within spitting distance of Las Vegas' premier league - providing an escape to the anonymity Harrahs have long been trying to grow out of.

Harrah's to Buy Caesars in $5.2B Deal
No Quick Win in Casino Merger

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Great-Gran with a £105,000 bingo habit

Eyes down for bingo-mad great-grandmother

Madge Rowland, a former accountant and current 86 yr old Great Grandmother has spent almost £105,000 playing bingo since 1976. According to her thorough book keeping skills (don't you just love accountants), her winnings amount to £81,748 - giving an overall loss of £23,157.

She currently spends £120 a week playing the game and averages 2 sessions a day - but she'll never miss a meal, because "no matter how many times a day I play, I'm always home for my tea."

Thats nice. Anyone for a hobnob?

Roulette is back on Sky

Sky takes another spin on iTV roulette

Sky is putting roulette back on its books as an 'accepted' gambling game on its Digital TV platfom after a year long absense due to a legal battle between the gaming board and association of british bookmakers.

SkyBet is now expected to put 'Fixed Odds Roulette' onto its interactive platform.
Thats 'fixed odds roulette' opposed to....? (answers on a postcard please)

BSkyB spins wheel again

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Millenium Dome makes way for Slot Machines

Man who made his fortune selling sex and gambling

It looks like South African gambling magnate, Sol Kerzner, who developed the infamous Sun City Resort - has turned his attentions to London's Year 2000 disaster, the Millenium Dome, with plans to turn the tent into a casino and hotel complex.

The key to all this is the development of the so-called "Thames Gateway" that is looking at a regeneration plan to include shops, offices and new homes

Kerzner reckons he will spend £550 million in total in casino development in the UK, including 2 others in Manchester and Glasgow

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

betting news in summary

Australia retains status quo on interactive betting and betting exchanges
To the chagrin of the Australian gambling industry, the gaming board has decided to take no action on interactive gambling or - more pertinantly - betting exchanges.

- The aussie racing industry isn't happy
- Racing authorities have accused the Federal Government of having "its head in the sand"
- NSW slams feds' online betting exchanges stance

I bet Betfair is ecstatic

- BetonSports raises £55 million on AIM

Key points
• Gaming firm offers 39 million shares in IPO
• Market capitalisation of £113.6m beats expectations
• Immediate future ‘will be exciting time for firm’

The Irish still love their racing - its official

Betting and attendances in Ireland is on the up

Total Attendance 565,982 - up 23,023 - 4.2%
Total Tote Betting €20.2 million Up €2.2 - 12%
Total Bookmaker Betting €84.7 million (On Course) Up €4.3m- 5%

No booze or bad language please. Its Poker

'Celebrity Poker' Sponsor Folds Support

It appears that US advertisers can handle the image of 'poker' as a place to promote their products, but not when it includes drinking and swearing.

Cingular, a US mobile phone operator, was the sponsor of US series "Celebrity Poker Showdown". Sometimes, a waitress would serve shots of tequila to the players - and sometimes (close your ears now) - some of those players may elicit an expletive when losing a hand.

That was just one step too far for Cingular, who promptly removed its support from the show - including the $250,000 prize fund.

They objected specifically to one episode that showed 17 shots of the players drinking tequila during the show.

Apparantly the prize fund won't be affected - but there won't be anymore ads during the show - seems like something comes out of it after all

money laundering, high rollers and obscene sums of money

Westpac sued for fraud loot

Aspinalls, the exclusive club in London's Mayfair is currently suing an Australian bank to make good on 2 cheques worth £2.63 million from an account held by a convicted fraudster and gambling high roller.

The fraudster in question laundered over £30 million from foreign bank accounts into the Australian account before being convicted for Singapore's largest commercial fraud.

Aspinalls claims that the Australian bank delayed payment on 2 large cheques despite being couriered from London to Sydney - 2 weeks later the account was frozen and Aspinalls never received the money

The high-flying banking exec played the casinos in London, Australia and Asia for up too £250,000 per hand - and his cheques went through despite being reported to the regulators a dozen times by Crown Gaming in Australia.

The guy now has 42 years to think over where he went wrong - but at least he did it in style...

Monday, July 12, 2004

You just can't trust those Italian referees

New illegal betting scandal in Italy

Gabriele and Palanca, 2 italian Serie A referees are in the dock in Naples over an illegal betting scandal. These 2 are added to 9 players and 14 others that are allegedly involved

Aussies continue their love of gambling

Aussie gambling passion grows

New records for Australian gambling habits shows a record $AUS128.3 billion wagered last year - thats approximately £50 billion - and lost an average of $AUS1026 (approx £400) per person - thats 3.41% of average household disposable income.

Most of this was gambled on gaming machines - or pokies as they're known there.

Gambling and problem gambling is a huge National issue in Australia - taking up a lot of political debate. In the coming week, an important decision will be made with regards to betting exchanges and the horse racing industry - which Betfair has long campaigned to introduce legally in Australia, but local racing boards want banned

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Video Poker Calculator - Every statistic you'll need

Video Poker Calculator

Whilst Video Poker may not be the most popular game for UK casino players, its more likely because we're not that aware of it here. There's only a few versions available in land-based stores and casinos.

However, this great calculator on the Wizard of Odds website shows exactly what you need to know for all the varieties of video poker and each return - Video Poker games often give a return of 98%+. Just input the paytable for the game you're interested in and get the return. You can also analyse the game's long term risk using the unique "Risk of Ruin" tool

More Video Poker Links
Video Poker in the UK

Des Lynam returns to the BBC

BBC Des Lynam makes BBC radio return

After his strangely subdued sojourn at ITV sports, Des goes back to where he belongs at the BBC - this time on radio.

With a new Saturday radio show on Five Live called "Des Meets" he'll be interviewing a variety of sports personalities throughout the football season.

It was only a matter of time until he returned - and he'll be back on the airwaves in August

Friday, July 09, 2004

Middlesbrough to be sponsored by

English Premier League soccer club Middlesbrough has signed a multi-million dollar three-year sponsorship deal with online casino

Just when you thought it was safe to go on a football ground again, pops up its mighty head and graffitis itself across a premiership shirt

Maybe they can do some variations on the name though. Because i've never heard of an 8-8-8 formation. It could help m'brough though - having 24 players on the pitch that is

Victor Chandler Poker survey identifies online poker tells

Apparantly there is such a thing as an 'online' tell in poker

Tells in poker have long been integral to the game, as much as a good hand. But Victor Chandler have decided to research whether they exist in the 'virtual' world as well as sitting round a table.

They find they do exist.

Whilst traditional offline tells include:
- eyes
- facial expressions
- playing with chips

Online, as expected, its all slightly different.

As they discovered, online tells include:
- Quickness to respond - a very fast check can indicate a weak hand. Quick bets on the turn or river can indicate a strong one

- Slowness to respond - a pause followed by a check can indicate weakness, whilst a delay followed by a raise can indicate strength

- Automatic play - any breaks in 'lazy playing' by using the auto button are clear tells

- Victor Chandler Poker
- Top Ten Poker Tells
- Caro's Book of Poker Tells

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Latest Tour de France Odds

Can Lance Armstrong take his sixth Tour? He's already clear favourite despite losing his overall lead after the fifth stage - although its not that rare so early in the race.
The value is still with continual tour chaser, Jans Ullrich

L Armstrong 8/13
J Ullrich 11/4
T Hamilton 4/1
R Heras 25/1

(all odds taken from William Hill)

Big Brother: Betting update: Victor's price slashed!

As expected, the odds in Big Brother have shifted once again

Nadia moves back down to second favourite in some firms as Daniel returns to favourite spot, whilst Victor is the one currently bringing in the money, his odds being halved to 9/1

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

New gaming regs start to take shape

Jobs jackpot in huge casino plan

The new gaming laws that are predicted to go through towards the end of the year are finally starting to take shape as Manchester City Council invites companies interested in new casino leisure complexes to begin to pitch for a new development.

The complex will hold the maximum 1250 slots - that caused such controversy recently due to the limitations put on the number, as well as 50 casino game tables, hotel rooms and a sports arena

Its estimated to create over 1500 jobs - which, of course, is one of the more positive aspects of the changes in the gaming act (for all those that are against it)

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

What price a London GP?

The sight of sleek and gleaming machines roaring down one of London's most famous streets on Tuesday will have got many Formula One fans dreaming

There's a lot of talk recently about the possibility of staging a Formula One Grad Prix race round the streets of london. Personally, i think its a great idea.
Although it would be total transport shutdown for 3 days -but then again, we're used to that with all the tube and train strikes - what difference would a couple of days shutdown make?

It would make a nice difference to the yachts of monaco and definitely put some more interest into the F1..Could be an interesting debate to be had

Wiliam Hill leaves punters cold

A statement from William Hill, saying it was performing in line with expectations has left investors cold

The darling of the betting shares finally does a little hiccup on the stock market. Apparantly being 'in line with expectations' doesn't cut it with the city analysts and they didn't get their 'broker upgrade'.

Poor babies

Big Brother

So who do you think is going to win Big Brother 5? My money is on Stuart, though the bookies favourite is Nadia for some reason (can anyone explain - she is so annoying). Betting aside, I would like Victor to win. He is the only honest one in the house (at least to the general public).
Having said that I don't really care who wins, as long as it is not that ghastly goody two shoes Shell.

NY Times profiles betting exchanges

The New York Times > Technology > Gambling Sites Offering Ways to Let Any User Be the Bookie

Beginning with Betfair's loving description of traditional high street bookmakers as "the places where men in raincoats go.", the NY Times go on to champion the betting exchange's explosion on the web - as they state "Peer-to-peer betting, which has been increasingly popular in Europe, Asia and Australia, is one of the fastest-growing online gambling enterprises, according to industry executives and analysts. "

New launch, "Betbug" is also given a plug in which users download p2p software, rather than offer the normal web-based exchanges available, to lay or back events, claiming they "are the Kazaa of betting...We let people search out other people directly who are interested in wagering"

Will be interesting to see how the US authorities view this new development

Monday, July 05, 2004

Sportingbet falls foul in Hungary

Online gambling runs foul of local laws

Sportingbet - one of the largest internet betting companies launched its hungarian language service in mid-may.

However, the Gambling Supervision out there reckons it violates the Hungarian Gambling Act since it hasn't been given official approval - even if its just marketing and advertising for gambling.#

Hungary has a state-owned gambling monopoly, Szerencsejatek Rt that turnsover E488 million p/a with most of the revenue coming from lottery. They do run online services, but claim only 0.2% of revenue comes through the internet

Sportingbet claims they have 5000 Central European customers, of which 500 are from Hungary. They estimate that 50,000 people regularly bet online in Central Europe and that number is steadily increasing

Sunday, July 04, 2004

I think this should qualify as a new Olympic Sport

I think this is my first in a possible series of stupid 'sports' that need to be in the Olympics

The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide

Not only is there training guides, 'opening gambits' and a magazine devoted to this playground game, i'm sure there's some bookies out there ready to lay some odds

Wimbledon and Euro 2004 Finals Odds

Well, its a big day of sport and after all the recent shocks it all boils down to this.


Wimbledon odds show Federer at 1/4 to beat Roddick (11/4) - unless Federer gets an injury or forgets how to play - i can't see any upset there..but who knows

Euro 2004 offers an outright Portugal at a stifling 4/11 whilst Greece is at a more appropriate 2/1.

90 minute match odds are slightly different, offering Portugal at a more realistic 8/11 and Greece at a more tempting 4/1. The draw is 19/10

(all odds taken from William Hill)

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Want to beat the odds? Take a stake in a bookie or casino

GAMBLING is often said to be the fastest way of parting a fool from his money. But according to fund managers, there is a way to profit from gambling: buy shares in the companies that run the casinos and betting shops.

My favourite stocks to keep an eye on include Hilton, Rank, William Hill and London Clubs (LCI) - although - the first 2 include the hotel and leisure industry that tend to fluctuate hugely

Then again, you could always play both games and dabble on the financial spreads. Not for the fainthearted though!

Punter is on nice li'l urner

UK punter could win a £292,000 payout for backing the Greeks.

According the The Sun, someone walked into a bookies and placed £4k at 50/1. Then 5 days later returned to put £8k at 10/1

One thing's for sure though. Even if he does win, the bookies are still laughing their way to the bank after this Euro 2004

Friday, July 02, 2004

The true odds of Wimbledon

Roger Federer is 150/1 ON (thats 1/150 for idiots like me) to win his semi-final.
Compare that to a paltry 1/9 for Roddick to get through to the final

Even the ladies final is getting in on the act

Serena Williams is 1/5 to beat rookie and rising young thing, Maria Sharapova

(all odds taken from William Hill)

Illegal soccer betting syndicate busted, 8 arrested

Cops blow the whistle an hour before the game

8 guys were arrested in Singapore an hour before the Euro 2004 semi-final between Greece and Czech Republic

I wonder who they were taking money on

Fruit Machines feel the force of fixed odds betting terminals

Profits from AWP machines drop

As soon as fixed odds betting terminals started to make their way into the bookies, this was a pub landlord's crisis waiting to happen and I guess its just started to filter through to their profits.

Roulette machines offering large jackpots and a variety of bets were always going to threaten the limitations of the fruit machines - with its fixed jackpot of just £25 and its maximum stake of 30p.

But it also brings up an interesting question - is the fact that players are moving across to play at roulette terminals rather than fruit machines simply because of the larger payouts - or because when faced with a 'roulette' game that plays at 95-97% return , compared to the fruit machine that plays at 70-75% - the average punter merely chooses the most advantageous - and lets face it - more interesting gambling game?

Personally, the fruit machine has moved too far from being a dumb but addictive '3 cherry' game to something that plays and looks quite alien to the layperson. Vegas has the slots industry sewn up - maybe we should look at what they're doing right for once to really shake up the machines market here.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Denial of Service starts again

Web criminals hit Betfair with DDOS attack

Only recently, the European betting industry was once again bracing itself for an attack from criminal gangs likely originating from Eastern Europe.

Yesterday, betting exchange giant, Betfair, went down for nearly 2 hours - following attacks in recent months to a whole sleuth of online bookies.

It would help if some bookies didn't acquiesce and pay the cash to these gangs. But it seems as if this cycle of DDOS attacks will continue and not die down as some may have hoped

New Reality Tv Show

Reality Roulette

A Dutch media development company, Media Concern Productions BV, have launched a multi channel reality TV show. Further details can be found on the shows website What is interesting is the claim that several of the worlds top media companies are waiting to launch similar ventures depending on the success of, Saturday night television may never be the same again, how long before Tarant starts to ask contestants double or nothing?

ref still running scared of english fans


It seems this story is going to run and run.

Meier clearly doesn't see the humour in our favourite tabloids assessment of his decision.

Although, after his comment that he still feels it was a 'Right Decision" maybe therapy would come in handy rather than police protection

Anyway, its time to put this baby to sleep and hand it to the gods that lent their hand to Maradonna. Its happened, its over and we aren't going to win Euro 2004. End of story.