August 20, 2014
Phil Ivey is a very well-known poker player who has won more than $20 million playing online poker games. These days, he normally plays only the high stake games at casinos around the world. A few years back, he was involved in a federal lawsuit that was filed against the Foxwoods Resorts Casino in Connecticut. Ivey was not directly involved in the lawsuit, but a player named Cheung Yin Sun, who is associated with him, filed the suit at the US District Court in New Haven. This case has an uncanny relation to the cases filed by Ivey that are pending in England and New Jersey. The allegation involves cheating by the casino at a card game called baccarat. Read more
August 12, 2014
Everyone wants to make their trip to the Poker competitions a memorable one. If you are the kind of person who likes to live in luxury even while traveling, below is a list of top villas to book during your EPT Barcelona trip. Read more
August 6, 2014
It does not happen often that top level poker players take their talents to the poker table. This year, Paul Pierce, the current free agent, did just by entering into the Main Event Waters. This is the second time in his career that Paul Pierce managed to enter the Main Event Waters. A lot of other NBA players were there in Las Vegas for this year’s Summer League. Pierce was seen nowhere as he was focusing on earning millions at the WSOP main event. The main target of Pierce seems to be the WSOP main event with a total prize money of US$ 10 million. In a recent Google hangout, Pierce said that he loved the game of poker for the thrill of chasing the victory and mental warfare it offers to the players. Below is the recap of Pierce’s 2014 WSOP Main Event. Read more
July 29, 2014
A most wanted gambling cheat; Jubreal Chahine, was arrested in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday. The arrest was made in Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, a suburban area of Philadelphia. The Sands Casino security made a positive identification on him, and subsequently the police were alerted who made the arrest at around 4 p.m.
Charges and arraignment
Accusations levied against Mr. Chahine include 14 NCIC charges of committing or attempting to commit fraudulent activities in casinos, 6 NCJIS counts of having committed fraudulent activities in a gaming establishment and a single charge of having done burglary. His full details of crimes though remain unclear, but he was listed as a most wanted criminal in Nevada. Jubreal Chahine was one among the seven men who have been listed on the most wanted list of Nevada Gaming Control Board.
He was arrested by Pennsylvania police and arraignment was done by District Judge Robert Hawke. His bail is set at $150,000 and he has been lodged in the Northampton County Prison.
Committing of fraudulent acts in a gambling establishment
Las Vegas defense group says the legal system there identifies most crimes as being the same as insider betting. It involves using a special information system to get an unfair upper hand in a gaming establishment.
For example, the dealer at one of the tables in a casino might know a patron. The dealer then proceeds to tell the patron that a particular deck has been modified for the patron’s advantage. The card information can also be known by the dealer and hence he communicates that information to the patron through any means, thus giving the patron a way to defraud the casino.
If the patron uses that information to make wagers at the table and win, or he does not make any wagers, in both instances he has committed a fraudulent act in a gaming establishment. The dealer will also be equally responsible for the crime. Jubreal Chahine has been accused of committing these kinds of felonies.
Even losing the bets does not exonerate the patron or the dealer of the crime. Insider information cannot and should not be used in a betting scenario, regardless of the fact that the hand has been won or lost.
Defense of Jubreal Chahine’s case can only be made on three possibilities, illegal search, no fraud committed or that the evidence against him does not suffice. If the defense attorneys can show that the security in the establishment mistakenly thought that the patron did commit a crime, whereas he was only circumstantially lucky, the charges levied against him can be dropped. Also too many discrepancies in the case with a low level of evidence can also lead to the case being dropped against a suspect. Unlawful searches being conducted to get the evidence can be a ground to get that evidence suppressed or the case can even be thrown out.
Aliases of the alleged cheat
Jubreal Chahine has used aliases in the past to get away with his fraudulent activities. The aliases include Jubreal Chahine, Gabriell A Alexander, Allen Gabriel Alexander, Alexander Gabriel Allen and Alled G. Allen. The aliases makes it hard to detect him as the difference cannot be noticed by the surveillance so easily. His physical features do make him stand out, standing 6’3” and weighing at 240 pounds, he is no small man. This can be one of the reasons why he was caught trying to defraud Sands Casino Resort.
He used social networking websites, where he publicly posted questions implying his identity. Questions like if a person has a felony warrant on him, how he can leave the country, and how one can get a citizenship of Lebanon if the previous citizenship was American. He even asked for directions to Harrah’s Casino in Chester from New York. He has all his accounts made under his birth name. Perhaps this information might also have led to Jubreal Chahine’s arrest.
Jubreal Chahine did not have a favorite casino and used to frequent different casinos in Las Vegas and other cities. After being arrested in Pennsylvania, he was to be transferred to Nevada to face prosecution there.
July 22, 2014
The Russian government banned gambling in the year 2009 in the belief that it would solve the problem of rampant gambling among Russian citizens. Gambling has been heavily restricted in Russia since then and allowed only in four designated zones located in the country’s outskirts. However, the Russian government was unable to curtail gambling completely in Russia.
New casinos to be built
The Russian legislative body Duma has recently decided to create two special gambling zones in Sochi and the former Ukranian province of Crimea. While announcement regarding the construction of casinos came recently, the process was initiated in March, 2014 when Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Kozak discussed the possibility of opening a gambling centre with a large number of officials from the region. While the exact locations where casinos will be built has not been determined yet, a clause included in the bill passed by Duma states that gambling facilities will be established in the facilities where the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics were organized.
Kozak said that the locations for construction for casinos will be decided within 10 days. By constructing special gambling zones, Russian government wants to earn income in the form of taxes and license paid by casino organizers. Moreover, Russian government was also hoping that the construction of casinos would give a boost to Crimea’s economy and make the people of the newly annexed territory happy. In view of the failure of Russia’s first legal casino to generate any profits, Russian government was treading cautiously with the proposed new projects in Sochi and Crimea.
Sochi and Crimea- Ideal locations for a casino
By selecting Sochi as one of the location for the establishment of casinos, Russian government wants to utilize the Olympic facilities and get some extra returns made by private investors in the black sea region. The US$ 51 billion expenditure incurred for the Sochi 2014 Olympics included building of huge sporting infrastructure. The decision of Russian government is in lines with decisions made by other countries that have held major international sporting events. Countries like U.S.A and China that have organized Olympics have converted the gaming cities into sporting hubs.
A large number of international investors have expressed their interest to build casinos in Sochi due to its recent reputation as a gaming centre. Similarly, Crimea is also being proposed as an ideal location for the establishment of casino to reduce its financial dependence on Moscow. The newly added territory of Crimea is relatively poorer than other parts of Russia and the Russian government was hoping that the creation of a gambling zone would help attract investments, create new jobs, and give a boost to the regional budget. Russian government also has plans to develop Crimea as a tourist centre that can attract thousands of tourists from all over the world and make the economy self-sufficient.
Russia’s new approach to gambling
The decision to legalize gambling follows a new path that was chosen by the Russian government regarding gambling. By legalizing gambling, Russian government hopes to create special gambling zones that can be better regulated. At the same time Russian government also wants to put the infrastructure built for the Sochi Olympics to better use and make the Crimean economy self-sustainable. Many analysts have said that the Russia’s new approach towards gambling to be pragmatic and follows the policy of countries like China that has built special gambling zone in its special administrative region of Macau.
The failure of the 2009 ban made it clear to the Russian government that could not be eliminated through an outright ban. Fresh from his successes in foreign policy related decisions, Russia’s president wants to increase tax revenues at times when the country is experiencing a decline in revenues from sale of oil and gas. Russian government was expecting that legalizing of gambling would bring in additional revenues of US$ 150 million within three to four years.
Other than the creation of new gambling zones in Sochi and Crimea, Russian government was also considering the option of legalizing online poker. By legalizing online poker, Russian government wants to create a newly regulated market for gambling. All these recent developments point to a bright future for gambling in Russia.