Record Powerball Jackpot to be Split Between Two Winners

The lottery company Powerball claims that winners have been identified for their biggest ever lottery jackpot. The company is saying that two winning tickets have been bought, one in Arizona and the other in Missouri.

powerballThere is still a hunt going on to identify the winners. They know where the winning tickets were purchased, but have not gotten calls from either of the winning players. With a lottery this size, it is only a matter of time before people come to claim their prize.

This is the largest Powerball lottery in history. It is said to be worth around $590 million, with a cash out option of $390 million. That money would be equally divided among the two winners.

There were plenty of other prizes available. Powerball says that around 9 million people won some amount of money from this lottery. There are 60 people who won ONE million dollars each. These individuals got the first five numbers correct, but did not get the Powerball number of 6.

We do not know if the winning tickets were bought by an individual or by a group of people. This information will become available as soon as someone comes forward to claim their grand prize. Officials in Arizona and Missouri are remaining tight lipped for now. They will tell the public where the winning tickets were sold, but would prefer to wait for a few days.

It is being reported that this lottery reached record figures due to a late rise in the purchasing of lottery tickets. With news that the lottery was reaching record levels, even more people went and bought tickets. This positive buzz only added to the overall jackpot.

The odds of someone winning the Powerball grand prize are 1 in 180 million. 160 million people bought tickets for this lottery. Florida was a particular hot spot for lottery ticket purchases, with the state reporting that 200,000 tickets were sold EVERY MINUTE last Wednesday.

For more on this story, click here.

Canadian Businessman Ordered to Pay $13 Million to LV Casino

Semion Kronenfeld, a prominent businessman and high profile Canadian gambler, is embroiled in a court case in the United States. He is being charged with failing to pay a casino the money he owed. His debts to the casinos add up to a remarkable $13 million, with most of the money being due for over five years. The Las Vegas casinos spent a long time chasing after Kronenfeld in an attempt to get their money back, running out of patience after 5 years.

casinoThe 43 year old Canadian had an arrest warrant issued against his name in Clark County, with the charges listed as writing bad checks, getting money through false statements and felony theft. This is one of the most high profile and largest debt recollection cases in Las Vegas history, with Kronenfeld facing a lengthy jail term if he is found guilty.

False Information –

This case showcases the depths of Kronenfeld’s deception towards the casinos. When he first gambled with this money in 2009, he claimed that he was the owner of a wealthy investment company. It was on this basis that he was given a line of credit at both casinos. In addition, he made claims about having Israeli citizenship, incorrectly telling the casinos his name was Cronenfeld.

The money is owed to the Las Vegas casinos The Venetian and Green Valley Ranch Resort. He owes $8 million to The Venetian and $5 million to the second casino. Unfortunately for Kronenfeld, Nevada laws allow prosecutors to treat these documented IOUs as if they were bad checks. The government can collect 10% of the owed amount in various fees, giving them an additional incentive to prosecute.

It is not untypical for such cases to come before the prosecution’s desk, with many rich businessmen dealing in IOUs when they gamble millions in Las Vegas. However, 90% of these cases are resolved before they go to court, with the individuals in question returning the money they owe. Kronenfeld has made no attempts to pay back the casinos, which means criminal proceedings are a certainty.

Mr. Kronenfeld has now filed for bankruptcy. He is attempting to get away without having to pay back the money, but is unclear whether his bankruptcy filing will spare him in this case. A ruling on this case is expected within the next few months.

For more information on this Las Vegas court case, click here.

Deutsche Bank Sells Cosmopolitan Casino

Deutsche Bank has sold its primary gambling investment, Cosmopolitan Casino, for a whopping $1.7 billion. Cosmopolitan was bought by private equity company Blackstone, who are seeking creative management in order to assist in turning around the casino’s fortunes. The casino is a magnificent site, consisting of two modern towers and containing some of the best gambling areas in the world. However, the casino has failed to make a profit in any of the years since its $4 billion opening in 2010. The initial developer defaulted on the loan that was taken out to complete the project, handing the site to Deutsche Bank.

bar and casino

A straightforward statement by Deutsche Bank alluded to the casino’s lack of profits as the primary reason for its sale: “The bank is committed to reducing non-core legacy positions in a manner that benefits its shareholders.” Few financial experts are questioning this decision, while there are quizzical glances being thrown towards Blackstone private equity. Unless they have a great plan up their sleeve to get Cosmopolitan into the green, they are going to struggle to profit from this purchase.

The two Cosmopolitan towers are 52 stories high, with the casino having space for more than 3,000 rooms. It is perfectly located on the Las Vegas strip, yet fails to perform as well as its more storied gambling rivals. The site has lost at least $100 million every year since its opening. Experts have blamed this on the general slowdown in Las Vegas, but there are many who do not believe Cosmopolitan can succeed.

Sales figures for all Las Vegas businesses have shown that the strip is finally bouncing back from the 2008 recession. Hotel room prices, visitor arrival rates, and overall spending is on the rise. However, it remains to be seen whether Cosmopolitan Casino can do enough to prove that it is a better option for guests when compared to other casino spots on the strip.

For more information on this casino, check out the official website.

Scientists Create a Casino for Rats to Study Gambling Addiction

Scientists have taken a significant step towards understanding the chemical and scientific nature of gambling addiction. By setting up a rat casino, they are attempting to find new ways to treat compulsive gambling problems. Initial results have shown that the dopamine receptors in the brain must be blocked in order to beat this addiction.

Casino for RatsThis research was conducted by creating slot machine by situations for rodents to try out. The rats would gamble for sugar pellets by using a slot machine with three flashing lights and two levers. Many of their reactions, especially to near misses and wins, were similar to the reactions of humans when they are using slot machines.

The team from the University of British Columbia are focusing on the dopamine D4 receptor, which is said to be at the center of many behavioral disorders. When the rats at the rat casino were treated with dopamine, their behavior was noticeably different.

Paul Cocker is the leading author of this study. Teh PhD student from UBC had the following to say about this research:

“More work is needed, but our findings offer hope for the treatment of gambling addiction, which is a growing public health concern. Pathological gambling is now seen as a behavioral addiction in the same way as alcohol or drug addictions. However, we know so little about how to treat gambling addiction.
This study is the first step in showing that by blocking certain brain receptors we will be able to reduce the rewarding aspects of near-misses that lead to more gambling. These findings shed new light on the brain processes involved with gambling and gambling addictions.”

The study took 16 months to complete, with 32 lab rats used in the process. The lab rats were introduced to the small and easy to use slot machine. One lights combination signaled a win and the other combination signaled a loss. The rats that got the winning combination were rewarded with ten sugar pellets.

For more information about this study, visit this link on the UBC website.

New Casino for Massachusetts

MGM Resorts International is proposing a large casino resort to be located in the downtown Springfield area. Along with an 89,000 square feet casino, the $800M project would include 15 acres of property, including a 250 room hotel, wide variety of retail shops, variety of restaurants providing a formal as well as casual dining experience, night clubs, pool, and a health spa. The property would also house banquet and meeting areas, a 12-screen cinema, bowling lanes, and residential property in the form of one and two bedroom apartments.

Gambling In MassachusettsThanks to the state’s new gambling laws, the MGM Resorts International was able to apply for a casino gaming license. During a recent election, a majority of Springfield voters approved; but MGM still has a way to go before they can start building. MGM faces competition from two other gambling casinos. The Mohegan Sun and Hard Rock have applied for casino gambling licenses in the area. Mohegan Sun has proposed a project in Palmer, while Hard Rock has proposed a project for West Springfield.

MGM Resorts’ proposed casino project would bring significant revenue to the western Massachusetts area that would help pump up the economy. A natural gas explosion brought major trauma to an area near Springfield in November 2012. In addition, a tornado in 2011 brought major devastation to the city itself. According to plans, the casino project would be located in that same area.

Even though the project promises to bring much needed revenue to the area, opposition does exist. Opposers feel that having a casino in the area would promote irresponsible gambling which could lead to financial problems among low-income residents and the elderly on fixed incomes. Opposing residents also feel that the project could increase crime in that area and be the source of major traffic problems. However, the project would bring much needed jobs, including temporary construction jobs while the project is being built. MGM Resorts is planning to offer the Springfield area first priority for jobs with strong consideration for residents in surrounding cities and towns.

MGM Resorts International is one of the largest gaming and hospitality companies in the world with casino properties in Nevada, Mississippi, Michigan, and outside the United States in China. They also own and operate non-casino properties such as high-rise condominiums in Las Vegas, NV as well as overseas.

Greek Government Won’t Gamble With The Competition

Greek Government Over CompetitionGambling Websites Blacklisted

A long list of online gambling websites can no longer be accessed in Greece. In a move that is outraging many Greek online gambling fans, Greece’s Commission for the Supervision and Control of Games (CSCG) has blacklisted 401 websites. Greek Internet service providers will now be expected to bar subscribers from accessing the popular gambling websites. The Bank of Greece has also requested that all financial institutions suspend payments to the blacklisted websites.

Strengthening the OPAP Monopoly

Included in the blacklist are a range of casino, sports betting and poker sites from various European and American online bookmakers. Strengthening its monopoly in the gaming industry, the Greek Organization of Football Prognostics (OPAP) will now be the sole provider of both land-based casinos and online gambling websites in Greece. Websites wishing to offer gambling in the future must receive a license from the Greek government and offer games that do not include a “random number generator”.

History of Corruption in the Gambling Industry

One year ago, the Greek government began to display its blatant corruption in the gaming industry when it struck a controversial deal with Cyprus. At the time, the Mediterranean island nation had banned most forms of gambling. Creating an instant monopoly, Greece and Cyprus reached an agreement that allowed OPAP to operate tax-free land-based casinos. OPAP was also permitted to continue its operation of online sports betting and lottery websites in Cyprus.

Opinion of the European Community

Although both the OPAP monopoly and the website blacklist have been ruled illegal by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Greek government has continued forward with its restrictions. Owning 34.4 percent of OPAP, it’s not hard to understand why the Greek government is blacklisting the competition. After an earlier restriction on this type of blacklist by the European Commission was lifted, the stage was set for these ridiculous actions by the Greek government to take place.

Charity Reports Increase In Women Experiencing Online Gambling Addiction

Fiona Weldon, clinical director of the Rutland Center, claims that women make up 20 per cent of the addicts who come to the Centre seeking help for their gambling addiction. Based in Dublin, the Centre’s female clients made up only four per cent of the total seeking treatment four years ago.

Online Betting Makes Gambling More Accessible

Online Gambling Addiction

Through the use of mobile apps, online betting has made gambling much more accessible to women. In previous years, those who wanted to gamble needed to go to the bookies and bet on a sport. These types of activities typically drew the attention of primarily male gamblers. Online gambling has allowed individuals to engage in online poker, mobile bingo, and online casinos within the comfort of their own home. Weldon claims that these are the types of gambling addictions that women who come to the Rutland Centre tend to have. However, Weldon also reports an increase in the types of clients who have multiple types of gambling problems.

Mobile Gambling Apps Lead to High Risk Situations

Those seeking help for their gambling addictions can amass debts far greater than they are able to pay. A man in his mid-twenties may not be able to afford to pay €500,000, but can easily fall into this type of debt through the convenience of mobile gambling applications. The recession has seen an increase in gamblers looking to online cures for their already poor financial situations. This type of cycle leads to a high suicide risk for gambling addicts.

Online Gambling a Poorly Understood Condition

Despite the fact that the availability of online wagers is making gambling a problem for both sexes, it is still a condition not understood by many. The condition is often easy to overlook until the debts are very high, and there is no simple cure. Often, gambling addicts must take extreme measures, such as disabling the internet connection on their phone, in order to have a successful recovery.

Changes Coming To Hungarian Gambling?

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The Hungarian government is working on making changes to the online gambling laws that are currently in the country. The changes that are coming are to make online gambling defined as a “non-liberalized activity”. In layman’s terms, this means that the Hungarian government will have greater controls over the activity. Hungarian Parliament in Budapest
Stronger Companies, Greater Controls

The companies that the Hungarian government wants to allow to offer online gambling are ones that are stronger and bigger than some of the ones that are offering the services at the moment. The government sees this as a way of keeping its customers safer. When the companies are larger and with greater revenues, they are less likely to default on paying their players. This kind of thing is something that worries the government.

Unlimited Licenses

The government states that it will offer an unlimited number of licenses to those who meet their requirements for a five year period. They say that this is one way that they are doing something that will make the market less restrictive. They do not want to be seen as trying to limit the online gambling market to the players that they personally select.

No Taxes On The Income

Those who are able to make a living off of certain types of gambling are able to enjoy the fact that the government does not seek to tax their incomes from gambling. Those who are successful online poker players can rejoice that they are not going to be taxed at all for their income. They just get to enjoy their winnings without any fear at all of the tax man. Hungary is one of the more liberal countries in terms of laws on taxation of this kind of activity. Making a living as a poker player is great in the country of Hungary at the moment.

Bitcoin Gambles, Wins Big

The alternative currency known as Bitcoin has just won its first major gamble. This victory took place in an actual online gambling site called SatoshiDice, which was just sold for $11.5 million USD. This instantly validates the value of Bitcoin as a site run purely on Bitcoin money just translated into a more recognized and known value: the USD.

Bitcoin

Bit by Bit—An Empire Grows

Of course, the value in USD is estimated because the transaction was made—of course—by Bitcoins. So, just how many Bitcoins make up $11.5 million? 126,315 Bitcoins to be exact. The buyer remains anonymous, but this is big news in both the monetary world and the online gambling community.

Bitcoins are the sole unit of transaction for SatoshiDice and its success and ultimate sale are a testament to just how many people put their faith in the value of Bitcoins. The site launched in April of 2012 and brags that it’s the most popular Bitcoin gambling site in the world. As of January 2013, the site’s monthly income was reported at being over $50,000 by Techweek Europe.

The Ghost of Satoshi

The site itself is a simple concept that is obviously very addictive and successful. It works by having the user send Bitcoins to the site. This allows them to pick a number and the computer—AKA The Ghost of Satoshi—randomly rolls a “lucky number.” For any user that bet and picked a number that is lower than the one showing on the die, they win.

Just how popular is this site? Through the time of this article’s writing, over 5.3 million bets have been placed. What keeps people coming back? Well, there have been 3.9 million wins paid out. The wins are all paid within thirty seconds and a tiny transaction fee is taken on each bet.

Does Bitcoin Have a Future in the Cards?

This sale of SatoshiDice signifies the arrival of Bitcoin in the gambling market. Of course, this was rather expected and could even have been predicted by the close attention the United States government has been paying to Bitcoin. They’ve launched investigations into Mt. Dox, the largest exchange for Bitcoin anywhere. Mt. Dox had to shut down temporarily, but one thing is for sure—if Bitcoin can manage to continue successes like SatoshiDice, no amount of government interference can question—or shut down—their legitimacy. The people have spoken.