Monday, November 29, 2004

Affleck and Robbie to Meet at the Poker Tables

Affleck to compete in Euro poker championship

In a line-up worthy of an Oscar, actor-turned-poker champ, Ben Affleck, will meet Brit-pop superstar, Robbie Williams, in a European Poker Tournament to be played next March in Monte Carlo. The prize fund will hit $1.3 million putting it on par with US Poker Tours.

Other big names rumoured to be participating include Affleck's movie buddy and high-stakes poker player, Matt Damon as well as Tom Cruise's ex, Nicole Kidman.

Related Links:
Ben Affleck wins poker tournament
Online Poker Tournaments

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Its 'House' for the UK's First Female Champion Bingo Caller

Woman is UK's top bingo caller

There seems to be an award for everything these days - and bingo isn't getting left behind. This year, Mandy Gorgan has won the award for the UK's 'best bingo caller' run by The National Bingo Game Association and she's the first woman to win the competition.

Bingo calling these days is big business as players play House for prizes that regularly hit the £1000's. This modernisation and Big Prize Money means there's no room anymore for the one thing that sets it apart from other gambling - the fun Bingo language that we all grew up with - 'bingo lingo' includes such familiar phrases as 'legs eleven' and '2 fat ladies' and '2 little ducks'. However, apparantly this is 'cheesy' and went out of fashion years ago. Nowadays, its all professional, fast and serious stuff.

Shame really.

- Play Bingo Online
- The National Game

Friday, November 26, 2004

14 lines, 13 tickets bought and £1.5 million missed on the National Lottery

Cleaners' anger at missed jackpot

The ultimate National Lottery syndication nightmare happened last weekend, as a group of 15 cleaners lost out on the chance to win £100,000 each on the lottery when their numbers came up.

Unfortunately, one group member said he didn't have enough money to pay for the winning ticket - amazingly buying tickets for the other 13 number combinations.

Unsurprisingly, the guy hasn't been seen since.

How would it make YOU feel??

Oops - Betfair Forgets About Aussie Timezones

Refunds for Idol bets

It doesn't happen that often, but when it does, its pretty embarrassing - and that is when a bookie closes the book too late. This time, the usually solid forgot to close the book in Australia for their version of Pop Idol.

Gamblers in Victoria were able to cash in for an hour until viewers in Queensland, who are an hour behind, had yet to hear the final result.

Betfair moved quickly to cancel all bets made after the result was announced.

Gambling Minister Attacked by a Teddy Bear

Gambling minister in teddy bear ambush

I've heard of politicians getting eggs or tomatoes thrown at them before, but never a teddy bear. Until now.

The gambling bill has angered both sides of the street - the Daily Mail reader, as well as the gambling operators themselves, and this time it was the latter group that attacked the Government.

Gambling Minister, Lord McIntosh, found himself amidst the wrath of some gaming operators yesterday and right in the middle of 2 teddy bears - one that was worth £8 and one that was worth £5.

In the new bill, the £8 teddy will be banned from popular 'grab a teddy' machines, whilst the £5 one will be allowed to be won from a 10p bet. And arcade operators are furious, claiming that their revenues will suffer.

However, when asked why an £8 bear was deemed 'more addictive' than a £5 one, McIntosh pointed out "If [the prize] is important to you [the industry], then it is important to children"

The UK is the only country in the world that legally allows children to gamble. It amazes other countries. Personally, I don't think the gaming operators should be shouting too much. It may disappear altogether one day.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Is Gambling on Mobile Phones Finally Starting to Make Waves

After years of threatening to break into the mainstream and with technology that never quite lived up to expectations, mobile gambling may finally begin to take off with the announcement of Vodafone finally launching their '3G' technology and gambling operators starting to take mobiles seriously

Gambling on Mobiles has long since the 'next big thing' for gaming operators but its expectations have never lived up to its potential as small phone interfaces and 'slow connections' made gaming a somewhat painful experience. However, in all that, some operators have had good experiences on mobile phones - especially in the betting and java games arena.

Some figures have predicted that java-based gambling will reach £4bn by 2008. This is bigger than the market for both mobile lottery tickets and betting

As gaming site, reports:

Mobile games provider, Million-2-1 continues to expand its java-based mobile offering with a new range of fixed-odds games including a Dice game and Hi-Lo - available as both Play-4-Fun and Play-4-Real. They'll follow this up with a horse racing game and a balls/numbers game.
Million-2-1 use a very simple interface and their low-stake games from just a penny have helped them hook into a willing audience. They allow players to 'top up' their accounts from between £3 to £15 maximum per day

In the meantime, the week Zone4Play and Interactive TV Gaming Channel, Avago, announced a tie-up with '3' - the 3G service from Hutchison to offer a Play-4-Real Money fixed odds games on their platform. Zone4Play will provide the games whilst Avago lends its brand name to the service. Zone4Play have had a deal with DITG, Avago's parent group, to provide play-4-fun and play-4-real games to both mobiles and Interactive TV for 18 months.

Related Links:
Download Million-2-1 games

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Blackjack - Card Counters make their way back to Casinos through Tournaments

Casino workers frequently confused on card counters

There's a long and murky history of professional blackjack players getting barred and backroomed by casinos in Vegas and other gaming resorts.

However, due to the increasing popularity of table games, more specifically poker, and the advent of the 'World Series of Blackjack', card counters - which can be more professionally termed "advantage players" - are recently finding themselves welcomed back into the casinos to take part in these events, despite blackjack tournaments originally being the realm of 'high rollers'

The casino industry itself is still wary of these advantage players and blackjack tournaments, especially in a game ike blackjack in which the math can favour the player.

Over the years, casinos have viewed card counters with huge amounts of caution and sometimes violence, but recently, casino players are beginning to learn about their rights and defending themselves in potential lawsuits - in 2001 a blackjack player won $400,000 from a Vegas casino after being handcuffed and accused of bending cards and looking at the dealers hole card. The player denied bending cards but accused the dealer of sloppy play and allowing the hole card to be seen.

Casinos have stopped being so heavy-handed in barring players, and often just ask the player not to take part. Managers are having to learn the difference between a cheater and a card counter but still there is a huge gulf between the senior casino managers and the casino staff in knowing these differences and have to be evermore careful due to corporate lawsuits.

Naturally, blackjack advantage players find the whole attitude towards them as 'ridiculous'.

I somewhat agree with them.

- World Series of Blackjack
- Online Blackjack Guide

Monday, November 22, 2004

To Gamble or to Invest - Is there a Difference?

Well, financial and investment portal, Motley Fool, thinks there is.

Spurred on by a comment that the stock market is merely a casino for the rich, in their 'market comment' column, Why Investing Beats Gambling succintly points out the differences between the two - and it boils down to the concept of winners and losers

Simply put, when someone gambles, the player is explicitly trying to win a game of chance - and by implication there will be losers. Furthermore there is often a transfer of money from the loser to the winner (although that is not always the case)

However, when someone buys shares, the investment is subject to the market perception of the company and its future performance - so if the company does well, the profits made are generated by the extra value of the company. There is also no transfer of money from the loser to the winner - since the buyer and the seller both 'profit' from the transfer (whether by buying into a company, or selling to gain a more preferred standpoint)

The other key difference is the longterm view. By its very nature, over a long term period, the house-edge ensures the player will ultimately lose - put another way, the house always produces odds in their favour.

Conversely, the expected return from the stock market, over a longterm period, is one of profit not loss

The writer has produced a great article about the differences between gambling and the stock market - however, its naturally always going to root in the favour of the investor. Investing in the stock market over the long term fails to acknowledge the short term gain and excitement that the gambler plays for - like the day trader in the financial markets - whilst the longer term professional gambler will also look for percentage point increases and advantages

Personally, I stopped investing in the stock market years ago. The 99% losses incurred in the boom/bust technology era was way too dangerous for me!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

£50,000 Guaranteed Christmas Poker Tournament with Littlewoods Poker

In the run-up to Xmas I'm guessing there's going to be a lot of big money Online Poker Tournaments - and the first one out the blocks appears to be Littlewoods Poker Guaranteed £50,000 Poker Christmas Cracker (well, its the first one I heard about!)

Online Poker Tournaments are fairly straightforward and most follow the same path. The player can opt to play a number of 'run-up' tournaments in order to win a place - both single table and multi-table - or they can 'buy directly' into the event. The poker room informs the player of the tournament entry fee and the 'rake' that the table will take - for example, $30 + 3 means an entry fee of $30 and a house fee of $3

In the case of the Littlewoods Poker tournament, the player can enter these 3 ways:

- Via the 'Christmas Cracker' 'Sit & Go' Single Table Tournaments (£20 + £2)
- Via the 'Christmas Cracker' Multi-table tournaments (£10 + £1)
- Direct Buy-in on Dec 19 at 8p (£200 + £15)

The relevant tournaments are scheduled in the poker room lobby as "xmas£50k"

Related Links:
- Online Poker Tournaments
- Littlewoods Poker
- UK Online Poker Guide

Friday, November 19, 2004

Weekend TV :: Celebrity; X-Factor; Strictly Come Dancing - Latest Odds

Its a TV betting frenzy over the next couple of weeks as I'm a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here joins the fray of current shows, X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.
Here's a quick rundown of the latest odds for outright winners

(more markets are available in each show. Check the betting sites below for more details)

Latest Odds Taken from Bet 365 and William Hill
(Bet 365 :: William Hill)

X-Factor Outright Winner;
Tabby 11/10 :: 11/10
Steve Brookstein 7/4 :: 7/4
Rowetta 11/2 :: 11/2
G4 7/1 :: 10/1
Cassie Compton 12/1 :: 12/1

I'm a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here: Outright Winner
Antonio Fargas 7/2 :: 9/2
Joe Pasquale 7/2 :: 7/2
Natalie Appleton 13/2 :: 6/1
Nancy Sorrell 10/1 :: 10/8
Fran Cosgrove 10/1 :: 12/1
Sophie Anderton 10/1 :: 8/1
Brian Harvey 10/1 :: 10/1
Janet Street-Porter 8/1 :: 10/1
Paul Burrell 12/1 :: 8/1
Sheila Ferguson 14/1 :: 14/1

Strictly Come Dancing: Outright Winner
Jill Halfpenny 1/3 :: 1/3
Aled Jones 9/4 :: 9/4
Denise Lewis 14/1 :: 12/1
Sarah Manners 25/1 :: 25/1
Julian Clary 25/1 :: 25/1
Roger Black 25/1 :: 33/1

Snooker and Darts Players for $1 million All-Star Poker Tournament

Stars line up for poker spectacular

Whilst Hollywood stars such as Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, James Woods and Tobey MacGuire frequent the poker tables in the US for celebrity poker tournaments, our UK equivalent has to make do with snooker and darts players (nothing wrong with that, but more Borehamwood then Hollywood)

In a $1 million tournament, Phil Taylor and Darren Campbell will take on the likes of Steve Davis and Jimmy White

White is no stranger to these big money events. He was the shock winner of the Poker Million tournament a couple of years ago.

But the line-up probably has to take a slightly more glamourised turn to really kick off the television potential of poker, as they've done in the US.

Gambler's £200 loss turns into £7 million fire

Losing punter's £7m fire

Now, I must admit, I do get frustrated with fruit machines, but I have learned not to take them too seriously.

However, that wasn't the case when a punter got overly heated and caused £7 million worth of damage to Birch Services on the M62 in Rochdale whilst trying to burn a hole in a fruit machine to retrieve the £200 he lost on a fruit machine.

The guy was to face sentence for arson, but the case was adjourned. He did admit to the crime, after he went with 2 friends to the service station to play on the machines - it took more than 70 firemen to put out the fire.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Betting Exchanges :: A Tale of Two Websites

As publish their annual report for the first time, the betting industry is still reeling from the announcement that competing exchange Sporting Options has been placed in administration and are currently undergoing an investigation about missing customer money

The 2 stories put the betting exchange industry once again under the microscope at different ends of the spectrum.

The giant of the industry, have just announced record profits of £13 million, doubling their turnover to £66 million. As a privately held company, they were under no obligation to publish their annual reports and in doing so have sparked rumours of a potential floatation. However, Betfair deny this and claim they made this move in order to prove to some sceptical betting industry comments that they pay their way, like other normal bookies. Betfair have paid out almost £4 million in the year ending April 30th to British Horseracing under the same levy system that all other bookies adhere too.

At the other extreme, fledgling betting exchange operator, Sporting Options, have closed and a police investigation is under way. Sporting Options surprised the industry by their rapid growth and liquidity.

In betting exchanges, the key to success is liquidity - that is, how much money is being matched in each event.

When the auditors went in to review Sporting Options books, they expected to find £3.5 million in customer accounts, but instead only found £100,000. It appears that Sporting Options were using customer's money in order to artificially boost their liquidity and concerns are building that may force bookmakers to 'ringfence' customer money or pay in large bonds to insure the cash

This has put existing operators on the backfoot, keen to defend their industry and reassure customers their money is safe. Betfair point out they already ringfence their customer accounts in trust using the Bank of Scotland, whilst Betdaq have a $10 million bond established.

As for Sporting Options customers, plans are afoot to ensure they will not lose out. In order not to sully their industry's reputation, both Betfair and Betdaq have announced they would be willing to cover punters losses. Betfair have announced they will honour accounts up to £1000 and for any accounts above this, will honour 20% of the amount and offer lower commission rates to rake back the money.

The betting exchange model is fairly new, but its dramatic growth in the last couple of years has astonished the betting industry. However, liquidity and volume is key. A successful exchange needs upwards of 10,000 customers actively backing or laying bets - some speculate they need 50,000 customers almost immediately. Its not illegal to put in private money to increase the liquidity, but without volume, its difficult to succeed and with Betfair almost owning the market -and Betdaq following close behind, its going to be hard to stop the market becoming a duopoly in the UK

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'm a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here New Series :: Betting Odds

The latest series of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here is about to arrive on Sunday (21st November) - and the latest celebrity victims have been announced.
You can get the rundown on each contestant over at Gamblog who assures you he WILL be watching 24 hours a day on ITV2.
I doubt I'd go that far, but i am way too excited with the prospect of Captain Kirk, AKA William Shatner possibly appearing on the show. I hope we get to hear some of his tuneful crooning

UPDATED - unfortunately, Shatner didn't make the list and the odds will be updated shortly.

The final list with Bet 365 betting odds is:

Antonio Fargas 7/2
Joe Pasquale 9/2
Natalie Appleton 11/2
Brian Harvey 7/1
Fran Cosgrove 15/2
Nancy Sorrell 9/1
Sophie Anderton 9/1
Paul Burrell 12/1
Janet Street-Porter 12/1
Sheila Ferguson 14/1

All odds taken from Bet 365
Other markets are available

Gambling Bits n Pieces

Government compromises with cap on casinos
The government has backed down slightly on the contentious issue of so-called super casinos. Tessa Jowell made the changes public last night as she reduced the number of super casinos allowed in the gambling bill from 20-40 to just 8.

The super casinos will be open 24 hours a day and have the potential of offering million dollar jackpots. They have been one of the most controversial aspects since the gambling bill was announced - fuelling anti-gambling bill campaigns from the media (largely the Daily Mail) and church groups.

However, it was unlikely the government were going to back down totally on these and Jowell contended that this back-down was due to 'listening to concerns from all parties'. It seems to have the desired effect as both the Lib Dems and the Tories have now agreed to withdraw their amendments to the gambling bill.

The casinos won't see the light of day until 2007 - and then their impact will be reviewed.

Packer moves into Macau gambling
Aussie media tycoon and all-round and gambler extraordinaire, Kerry Packer is plunging into the new jewel in the Asian gambling crown, Macau, in a joint venture with Asian gambling tycoon, Stanley Ho.

Last year, since the 'opening up' of the ex-Portugese colony, from the Ho monopoly, Macau earned gambling revenues of £2.4bn. There are now 3 operators running 14 casinos - with 5 more planned in the next 5 years.

Cricket Gambling Den Busted in Shanghai
Yet another cricket (as in the insect) betting ring has been busted - this time in Shanghai, China. More than 200 gamblers were involved in a ring taking over £200,000 in bets. The gambling was controlled by feeding drugs to the crickets before the fighting. 36 people are in custody

Apparantly, cricket fighting is a seasonal event - taking place from summer to late winter.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Detectives Find the Beavers with all the Casino Loot

Beavering Away A Fortune

Its yet another 'it could only happen in America' story.

Beavers (yes, the cute furry ANIMAL type) were found with a bag of cash that was stolen from a nearby casino in Lousiana

The thief, a security guard at the Lucky Dollar Casino in greensburg, had weaved a false story that she had been forced by a masked gunman to empty the safe, kidnapped, knocked out and left in an uninhabited area, before being arrested.

A tip about the whereabouts of the cash was then given a few days later by a lawyer trying to make a deal.

The cash was thrown into a nearby creek and 2 bags were found soon after.

However, the third bag remained missing as investigators searched in deep water near a damn.

Soon enough, when the cops began to break down the damn, did they find the elusive swag bag - being used by those pesky beavers to support the damn

Game Set Match and a Pair of Aces

Kafelnikov is leaving tennis for poker

Its not often that sportsmen and women change sports in their career - but it has been known to happen. Rugby players change codes and cricketers become footballers.

But i've never known of a professional tennis player throwing it all in to take up professional poker - and thats exactly what former Russian Number One, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, has decided to do.

Despite not being on his best form in the last few seasons, Kafelnikov is still only 30 years old but doesn't think he could ever hit those heights again and has decided to retire from tennis - albeit not officially yet.

No doubt he'll be putting some of that $23 mil+ he's amassed in winnings during his tennis career back on the poker tables

X-Factor Evictions Kicks the Bookies Hard

The bookies are crying poverty over the X-Factor Evictions - according to William Hill.

With Voices With Soul booted out on Saturday Night, punters have had a 3-week running streak of guessing the next evictees correctly and the bookies are taking a hammering

Hills make the operatic barber shop quartet, G4, at a short 6/5 as next-to-go favourites - although personally, i think they've got this one wrong despite G4 ending up in the bottom 2 last week and having some bad weeks.

Next Eviction
G4 6/5
Cassie Compton 13/8
Rowetta Stachell 3/1
Steve Brookstein 16/1
Tabby Callaghan 20/1

Outright X Factor Winner:
Tabby Callaghan 11/10
Steve Brookstein 2/1
Rowetta Stachell 5/1
Cassie Compton 9/1
G4 12/1

Odds taken from William Hill.

- ITV The X-Factor
- X-Factor Forum
- The X Factor Watch

Virgin Casino :: Branson's Next Move?

Virgin explores casino potential

According to the BBC Online Richard Branson is looking at the potential opportunity of using the Virgin Brand in a tie-up with casino operators - specifically any synergies between gaming and its existing music and mobile retail businesses. They already have an online gaming product that apparantly has attracted over 30,000 players since its launch

i'm fascinated by 'brand' tie-ups with companies that have little-to-no relationships with gaming or leisure..

OK - quick game here - which should be the next 'retail' brand to open a casino?

i'm thinking Easy Casino
Big Orange signage - maybe the stakes increase the longer you're in the casino

or perhaps Marks and Spencers Bingo (or M&S Bingo)
You could order your underwear whilst shouting 'house'

Too far perhaps? Thought so...but its fun

The Czechs Get Invaded by Online Gambling

State rolls snake eyes against Web gambling

The Czech Republic is the latest European country to get inundated with online gambling - despite officially being illegal in the State. Sportingbet continues its plan for global domination, becoming the fourth betting company to offer a Czech language site - following Worldbet, Betsson and Eurobet

The government has so far failed in its attempt to block online betting sites targeting the Czech public and betting exchange, Betsson, has gone so far as to run ads in local media

Despite the threats of the government to prosecute illegal betting operators, the UK companies are using the cushion of a recent EU decision that allowed Italian businessman, Gambelli, to collect bets on behalf of UK-based, Stanley - after he claimed the Italian government were restricting freedom of movement.

They claim that as long as they hold a UK license, and are legal in a EU-regulated country, the Czech government should not be calling them illegal.

This argument about borders in internet gambling appears as if it'll continue for a while longer - and in the meantime, more and more betting firms will be looking to target new markets and the ever-more attractive Eastern European audience

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Drug Licensed for Pathological Gambling

Somaxon and BioTie in pathological gambling licensing deal

The North American market is soon going to see the introduction of a drug specifically designed for pathological gamblers. Apparantly, this market is underdeveloped with no specific drug therapy currently approved or available.

The company Somaxon Pharmaceuticals have agreed a multi-million dollar licensing deal with Biotie Therapies to develop Nalmefene with phase III clinical trials to begin in 2005. The drug is marketed predominantly for impulse control disorders and alcohol abuse.

Personally speaking, there is always something unsettling about the use of drugs for psychological disorders such as gambling addiction. Thankfully there are a number of support groups available for problem gamblers that are already established such as Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous

Friday, November 12, 2004

Poker Hits Corrie's Butcher Hard


You can always tell how popular something is as to whether it hits the Soaps - and of course, Coronation Street follows this theory religiously as it uses Poker in its latest story.

It seems Corrie's resident butcher loses his business to arch rival Mike Baldwin during a game of high stakes poker which means that Ashley will lose his inheritance

- and be left with a couple of pigs and a cow no doubt

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Antigua Holds All the Aces Against the USA

WTO rules against US gambling laws

In a great result for the little guys, the WTO yesterday upheld a case by Antigua and Barbuda that claimed it the US broke trade rules when prohibiting online gambling.

The US, who have been trying to ban all online gambling by using a 43 yr old law called 'the wire act' which bans cross-state sports betting are naturally planning to appeal, claiming that the "panel report is deeply flawed".

According to the BBC onlineThe ruling claims the US breaches a 1994 global deal which allows free trade.

Naturally, the US pulled out all the stops to oppose this ruling and even brought up their old nugget about 'public morals clause' - the WTO turned it down.

The Americans called the rebuff "shocking and troubling"


Related Links:
WTO rules against US gambling ban

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Online Poker the Next Big Thing

so i've been at an online gambling conference for a couple of days and guess what - apparantly ONLINE POKER is the next big thing.

Those online gambling folks are clever bunnies ;-)

i'll be back to my normal babblings as soon as possible

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Santini quits Spurs - Personal Reasons or Power Struggle?

Gamblog discusses the surprise resignation of Jacques Santini on Friday as Spurs troubles continue with Charlton beating them 3-2

Santini had only been at Spurs for 13 none too exciting games before citing 'personal reasons' as his reason for departure.

Whilst it does appear there is an illness in his family back in France, the abrupt departure has caused speculation there was more too the story as he became the shortest reigning Spurs manager in their history.

The Telegraph claims the real reason for his resignation is due to a power struggle at board level between Santini, Daniel Levy and Frank Arnesson and further claims there were already rumours of his resignation a few days before the announcement.

Its seems Santini's assistant, Martin Jol, is favourite to take over the reigns at White Hart Lane as Spurs prepare to make a full announcement in the next day or 2 after their AGM

- William Hill odds for new Spurs Manager
- Those Glory Glory Days Spurs Blog
- Spurs Official Website
- Glory Glory Net - Unofficial Spurs Website

Friday, November 05, 2004

Saturday Nights the Night for Betting

The X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing - Latest Betting

Just when you thought Saturday Night was just good for throwaway TV, its taken a life of its own for fun betting events - now with both X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing offering odds for eviction and overall winners

X-factor - 3rd Eviction - Its time for one of Louis Walsh's 'bands' to leave - well, we can only hope!

All odds taken from William Hill

Latest Odds - 3rd Eviction - The X-Factor

2 To Go 5/6
Voices With Soul 7/4
G4 10/1
Cassie Compton 10/1
Steve Brookstein 14/1
Rowetta Stachell 25/1
Tabby Callaghan 33/1

X-Factor - Winner - with all the money going on Irish 'rocker' Tabby, 4 of his competitors are lining up to take the crown all at 4/1

Latest Odds - Winner - The X-Factor

Tabby Callaghan 9/4
Cassie Compton 4/1
Steve Brookstein 4/1
Rowetta Stachell 4/1
G4 4/1
Voices With Soul 20/1
2 To Go 25/1

Meanwhile, Strictly Come Dancing is also onto its 3rd eviction this week with Sarah Manners odds on as the next to go

All odds taken from William Hill

Latest Odds - 3rd Eviction - Strictly Come Dancing

Sarah Manners 5/6
Esther Rantzen 2/1
Diarmuid Gavin 11/4
Julian Clary 14/1
Roger Black 33/1
Aled Jones 66/1
Jill Halfpenny 80/1
Denise Lewis 80/1

And Denise Lewis, Jill Halfpenny and Aled Jones are all vying for favouritism to win the whole show

Latest Odds - Winner - Strictly Come Dancing

Denise Lewis 2/1
Jill Halfpenny 5/2
Aled Jones 3/1
Roger Black 7/1
Julian Clary 10/1
Sarah Manners 11/1
Esther Rantzen 33/1
Diarmuid Gavin 33/1

All odds taken from William Hill

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Bush Wins - and so do the Bookies

Punters count cost of US election

If you were like me the other night - it was more fascinating to watch the unbelieveable amounts of money being placed on Betfair backing Kerry to win the election. At one point you could back Bush at a huge 4/1 as Kerry shortened to 1/3 due to wild speculation during the vote count. Spread Betting firms also celebrated as they too saw money coming in for Kerry

Over £17 million went through the Betfair exchange alone as punters got their fingers burnt backing a democrat win. Its claimed that over £30 million was taken by bookies in the UK and Ireland on the election.

However, for those that did back Bush, they were holding their breath as bets were frozen until the result was confirmed - if Kerry asked for a recount of the crucial Ohio vote, the bets wouldn't have been settled for weeks.

Thankfully that didn't happen and there's a few happy punters out there who gladly picked up the long odds on offer for Bush on the night

Bet You'll Live to Be a Hundred

100th birthday wins £12,500 bet

Eleven years ago, a lady named Jennifer Strover bet that her mother-in-law would live to be 100. She put £100 at odds of 100-1 at William Hill. She followed that up a year later with a £50 bet at 50-1

This year, her mother-in-law hit 100 and she won £12,500

According to Hills, there's a growing trend to bet on 'personal' landbarks - such as weight loss or playing for England. However, this is the first time the 100-yr old birthday bet has paid out.

I must admit, if I knew there was a chance to reep over 10 grand just to live to be 100, I'd be trying hard to live those few extra years - not sure I'd be able to enjoy it though

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Duty Free Gambling Onboard Ryanair

In-Flight Gambling Next on the Wish List

Low cost airline, Ryanair, is looking to claw back some revenues by offering gambling onboard their flights.

Despite charging ridiculously low prices for flights across Europe, Ryanair have made their money back by charging for food and movies - and they suspect that gambling could be another money-spinner for them.

As Ryanair's Chief Exec stated:
"I don't know who would stop you. It is like duty-free; you are in international waters"

Passengers would use their credit card to pay and hook into the current onboard entertainment system.

Ideas like this have been mulling around the airline and gambling industry for a few years now - but no-one seems to have the guts to go ahead and do it. Although some do offer casino games for fun. It'll be interesting to see if there's any official reaction (by the sky gods perhaps?) if Ryanair do actually take the plunge and launch this scheme


Multi-Wheel Roulette Launches Online

And yet more new games launch this week - it must be one of those months.

This time, Cyberslotz - the online arm of RAL Interactive who are the UK's market leading amusement arcade operator (those Quicksilver shops on the High Street) - have launched the first multi-wheel roulette game on the web

I'm usually a bit sceptical when it comes to new table games - that are often developed just for the hell of it. But this one is pretty impressive. It doesn't change the roulette game at all - it just offers the player 6 wheels to play simultaneously. So you put down your bet on the table as normal, and choose how many wheels to play - your stake is multiplied by the number of wheels

As with all Cyberslotz games, the stakes are fairly low - but by the time you've picked 6 wheels it can multiply quickly

Pretty good week for online gaming for once..

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

UEFA Champions League - Latest Odds

There's another round of Champions League Games this week as the knockout stage approaches.

Arsenal take on Panathanikos on Tuesday at home, whilst Man Utd take on Sparta Prague at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Chelsea meet C S K A Moscow away, Celtic host Shakhtar Donetsk and Liverpool are away to D Coruna. Other tempting games include Spanish Giants Barcelona who play AC Milan at the Nou Camp Stadium and Bayern Munich vs Juventus

Latest Odds from William Hill (home win/draw/away win)

C S K A Moscow v Chelsea 21/10 15/8 6/5
Arsenal v Panathinaikos 1/4 7/2 9/1
Barcelona v A C Milan 19/20 19/10 11/4
Celtic v Shakhtar Donetsk 4/5 23/10 11/4

Dep La Coruna v Liverpool 10/11 21/10 13/5
Bayern Munich v Juventus 5/4 15/8 2/1
Man Utd v Sparta Prague 1/4 7/2 9/1
Dynamo Kiev v Real Madrid 2/1 11/5 11/10

You can bet now and Live-in-running during the match at William Hill

UK Pub Fruit Machines Launched Online

Right on the heels of 32red Casino launching a licensed Lara Croft slot machine, it seems to be the month of new games as Intercasino UK have launched the world's first online UK pub-style fruit machines at their casino. Until now, the closest a UK internet player could get to a fruit machine was the market-leading club machine, Bar X, at Cyberslotz

Pub fruit machines are different to standard casino slots, offering holds, nudges and popular feature trails that allow the player to enter into new feature games. Not only that, they're a unique British phenomenon with over 250,000 machines across the UK in pubs, clubs, minicab offices, casinos, bingo halls etc.

Intercasino UK have launched 2 fruit machines on their site - Super Sideshow and Fruit Fight - which you can play from 25p - which offer all the features you'd expect to see on a fruit machine - rather than the 'spin/win' mechanism of a standard slot machine

Its good to see the online casino industry try something different for once - instead of offering the usual bunch of games - especially for the UK player

- Intercasino UK
- Cyberslotz UK Fruit Machines

Monday, November 01, 2004

Showdown at the Gambling Corral


Its Day One of the fight to vote against the gambling bill as rebels in the Labour Party prepare to defy Tessa Jowell's proposed reforms of a gambling bill that is over 30 years old.

But the government won't lose - although there will probably be concessions after the constant media pressure about 'vegas' style casinos in the UK with the potential for million-pound jackpots

I almost can't wait...zzzz

UPDATE: And of course the government won a second reading of the bill by 286 to 212 votes

National Lottery is a Good Thing

Lottery 'a boost to regeneration'

According to a newly released report by the Henley Centre, over the last 10 years, the National Lottery has been proven to have provided a 'positive impact' to local economies.

Despite predictions to the contrary, the report states that there's no evidence that charity donations have been hit by the lottery - claiming instead that they've benefited from £3bn of handouts over the years.

The number of annual grants have risen to nearly 28,000 by 2003 - but recently, more cash has been put aside for health and education

Interestingly, the report also claims that the lottery has not led to a huge increase in gambling or or encouraged gambling - although despite being around for 10 years, thats still being disputed by some who believe that it'll happen 'in time'.

Everything will happen in time - and gambling will always get the blame. Or is that just me being a cynic?

- BBC Lotto Homepage
- The National Lottery