Ben Affleck is one of Hollywood’s biggest and most favourite stars, but unfortunately for him, what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas. The Batman star was recently barred from playing Blackjack at Hard Rock Casino in Vegas after he was accused of counting cards.
Affleck was reported to have been asked to stop playing immediately. Although the act of counting cards is not illegal, is certainly frowned upon in most high end casinos.
Booted from blackjack
According to initial reports, Ben was supposedly prohibited from entering the premium casino premises after he was busted trying to cheat. Hard Rock Casino later released a new statement claiming that he was not banned from their property, and is welcome any time.
The statement, however, failed to mention if Ben would be allowed to play at their Blackjack tables.
Caught on the count
Security guards at Hard Rock Casino reportedly noticed Ben using the basic technique of blackjack card counting. He had been using his chip stack to keep a count of cards played, and moved his bet accordingly.
This not being his first attempt at card counting, Ben was previously spotted displaying his blackjack counting skills at Wynn Resorts in Vegas. According to Radar Online, Games Protection Manager at Rob Olivetti had sent an email stating that the actor had been warned about being ‘too obvious moving his money with the count.’ Ben was spotted spreading $100 – $10 thousand on the double decks and $0 – $20 thousand on the shoe games, according to Olivetti.
Fond of gambling, Affleck is known to have won $800,000 playing blackjack at Hard Rock Casino at the high rollers table. According to TMZ, he won three $20,000 blackjack hands in a row at one of the games.
Sports players receive media attention for a plethora of reasons. Whether they’re in the news because of big wins, celebrity scandals, or heartbreaking losses, everyone tends to know their names. One such athlete, John Hartson, the former Cetlic Football player, has been making the news a lot lately. However, his name isn’t in the news for his sports performances, but for some plays he’s made off the field recently.
The former athlete has been battling testicular cancer. While that’s certainly a difficult battle that has made headlines all across the world, his real battle is with a gambling addiction. He suffers from an unquenchable desire to bet.
With many celebrities, these types of topics are off limits for interviews, or at the very least, are spoken of in very subtle ways. While problem gambling is a topic that we discuss more and more as a society, it’s not something we expect high profile personalities to openly claim as a part of their life. But that’s just what Hartson did when he candidly talked about the fact that he has a very serious addiction to gambling that could ruin his life.
As a survivor, Hartson knows what’s important to him in life. He understands how stressful high stakes can be, and has even acknowledged that continuing to gamble could result in financial ruin capable of ending his life should he become unable to afford his medical treatments. It’s also an addiction that could ruin his life in other ways, though. The family man has a beautiful wife and children, whom he loves very much. He has, however, admitted that the gambling addiction he fights could easily cause an unfixable rift in his marriage.
Right now he’s on the road to recovery as both a gambling addict and a cancer survivor. He says he’s attending Gambler’s Anonymous meetings on a regular basis, and with the public attention he’s bringing to this issue, he’s able to stop trying to hide his problem from himself. We as a society look to athletes as role models, and Hartson’s strong actions toward ridding himself of a gambling addiction are admirable and potentially inspirational to others in the same problem gambling position as he was in, not so long ago.
FBOTs are supposedly addictive gambling machines that the United Kingdom’s government has been worried about for years. They are finally at a stage where serious action will be taken, in the form of regulations and taxes. There is plenty of concern among bookmakers, but they have decided to change from defence to offense in recent weeks. Instead of waiting it out and hoping for a lenient set of rules from the government, they have begun scare mongering.
A petition has gone out, created by the ABA (Association of British Bookmakers), which states that “10,000 jobs and 2,300 gambling shops are at risk” if the government’s new laws are passed in the coming months. While a petition like this would normally not be a problem, its obvious scare mongering tactics are worrying government officials. Many gambling shops in the poorer cities and towns of England are using persuasive techniques to get their customers to sign these petitions, in order to show that a majority of gamblers are not in favor of any regulation.
If there were any truth in the statements of these petitions, there would be no issue. However, most of the claims are 100% false. The government is not trying to shut down any shops or cause a mass clear out of FOBT machines. All they want is for regulations to be put in place that control the amount of time people spend on those machines.
The petition talks about how gamblers are being controlled by a nanny state, how their basic wishes and desires are being blocked by a government overstepping its mark. “Punters have a right to bet” and “human rights” are the types of sentences being used, with many gamblers scared that they will no longer be able to get their daily or weekly FOBT fix.
It is up to politicians up and down the country to assure gamblers that their fight is not with the average British citizen, but with the uber-rich gambling companies that take advantage of their betting habits.
For more information on this story, click here.
There was a time when the gambling riches of Macau led to serious gun violence between gangsters in the region. That was two decades ago, yet history has a funny way of repeating itself. Now the turf war is being fought by millionaires with limousines, private jets, and money that is desperate to be spent.
For a long time, casinos have been staunch allies of the junket operators in Asia. These middle men are responsible for bringing millionaire and billionaire gamblers from China to Macau, where they get interest free loans so that they can gamble their hearts out. However, companies with a stake in casinos are now looking to offer those services themselves, taking out the middle men. This is prompting anger from individuals and businesses that have been operating in the same manner for decades.
Casinos know that this is a tension filled issue, but the profits cannot be ignored. Cutting out the middle men, and hosting direct VIPs, would provide casinos with a 10 to 15 percent increase in profits. The potential could go as high as 50 percent when everything is up and running at full capacity.
Current junket operators, such as the Jimei Group and Suncity Group, are not pleased about these developers. Their tight grip on this special market is still steady, but they fear being squeezed out by new regulations and casinos operating independently.
To take into account the seriousness of this issue, one must look at how valuable this particular market can be. Two thirds of the casino revenue made in Macau is dud to these VIP accounts. Most of them come from mainland China, and they all bet on credit.
Macau has a $3,300 borrowing limit per day, but VIPs need a way to get around this regulation. Junket operators have long provided that service, but could be out of business if the Macau casinos go it alone. For more information, visit this link on Bloomberg.
The EPL titan Chelsea FC has signed a deal with Coral Sportsbook so that Coral Sportsbook can be Chelsea’s official sports betting partner. While it is interesting that any one sportsbook would partner with a football club, it is even more interesting that a football club would need to have a partner in the sports betting industry.
With this partnership, Coral is going to be able to offer deals to Chelsea fans every week that other fans will not be able to get. By doing so, Coral will be able to cash in on the rabid Chelsea fan base and the relatively long seasons that Chelsea tends to play.
Also, Chelsea is able to market themselves in the gambling and sports betting industry. With this, Chelsea will be able to bring themselves to the attention of sports gamblers around the world who may not be aware of the EPL or may not bet on the games. Plus, the club will likely attract more attention by partnering with Coral.
In all of this is the concern that sports are being managed by sports betting agencies. While there are extreme examples from television and movies, we can all assume that the players are exempt from working with gambling outfits. They wear advertisements on their jerseys, play the matches and then go home to their huge mansions.
However, the advantage that Chelsea fans can get through special deals will likely bring in more money to Coral while also raising the action on Chelsea overall. The more press the better for Chelsea when it is working to expand its global reach.
This partnership can do well for both groups if it handled properly and makes money for the companies while also benefiting Chelsea fans.
There were two inductees into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2013: 51-year-old Scotty Nguyen and 69-year old Tom McEvoy. The two were honored at a ceremony on November 3, 2013 at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. They thus joined the 44 previous members of the Hall of Fame, 21 of whom are still living.
The Hall operates a public nomination process on its website. Public voting, which is open for a brief period each year, determines a shortlist of 10 potential candidates who are then considered by a committee comprised of existing members of the Hall of Fame and people from the poker media. The committee then selects the inductees for that year. The finalists from 2013 were:
- Chris Bjorn
- Humberto Brenes
- David Chiu
- Thor Hansen
- Jennifer Harman
- Mike Matusow
- Tom McEvoy
- Carlos Mortensen
- Scotty Nguyen
- Huck Seed
About Scotty Nguyen
Over the course of 30 years, Scotty Nguyen has made over $11 million in live poker tournaments. He has won five World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, including the 1998 WSOP Main Event. Scotty’s most famous moment in poker came when he bet all-in on the river in the final hand of that event and quipped to his opponent, “You call, it’s gonna be all over, baby!” His opponent did call, and it was indeed all over as Scotty’s hand beat his opponent’s to win the tournament.
About Tom McEvoy
During his career, which spanned more than three decades, Tom McEvoy accumulated close to $3 million in live tournament winnings. He won four WSOP bracelets, including the 1983 WSOP Main Event. In addition to his feats on the felt, McEvoy became an author of highly regarded poker books, including “Championship No Limit & Pot Limit Hold-Em” and “Championship Omaha,” both of which he co-wrote with TJ Cloutier.