Alleged Casino Cheat Arrested in Sands Casino

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.

Case defense

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.

Gambling Legalized in Parts of Russia

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.

Conclusion

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.

Gambling Establishments Shut Down in Atlantic City

July 15, 2014

Atlantic City has seen a spate of a lot of gambling establishments shutting down or filing for bankruptcy in the past few weeks. Showboat and Revel are two such establishments which have faced this predicament. The news regarding both the establishments was not unexpected, but has nevertheless caused ripples of unease in the city for hard core poker players. Read more

2014 World Series Poker Update

July 7, 2014

The 45th annual World Series of Poker is happening at the Rio® All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas for the 10th consecutive year. The 2014 World Series of Poker (WSOP) has been raging since May 27 and is slated to conclude on July 14, 2014, with the Main Event scheduled for July 5 to July 14, 2014.

The WSOP consists of 65 events in total, with the Main Event offering a guarantee of at least 10 million dollars to the winner this year. Other highlights of this year include the return of the one million dollar buy-in Big One for One Drop Event. 14 more events have been included this year with the re-inclusion of the $10,000 buy-in championship across all the major events. Further, the first ever Dealer’s choice bracelet has been introduced this year.

For the first time ever, the WSOP will hold a $1K buy-in for the first in a variant other than the Texas Hold’em. The “Millionaire Maker” returns to the schedule, while the $1,000 buy-in tournament is all set to award at least $1 million to the winner. This year’s bracelet offerings brings forth the first-ever Dealer’s Choice bracelet. In addition to the bracelet events, the Rio will host Deepstack tournaments and Mega satellites on a daily basis.

The tournament so far

The tournament so far has been nothing but a whirlwind of intense excitement. Some key events have made its mark in the 2014 World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Nearly 8,000 odd players thronged the arena to try their luck at the Monster Stack at the WSOP. The 2014 Event #51: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack is ranked as the second-largest live non-reentry tournament in the history of poker tournaments. The first place continues to be ruled by the 2006 WSOP Main Event, which was jam packed with an astounding 8,773 players.

Earlier this summer, another event that drew crowds was the Event #8: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em, which created a playing field of 7,977. However, that tournament did allow re-entries unlike the monster stack. 2014 will forever be known as the Year of the Monster Stack.

One of the most exorbitant poker tournament in the world, the $1 million “Big One for One Drop” tournament is in progress. In its second running at the 2014 World Series of Poker, the tournament has begun and comprises of 42 amateur and professional players who are all game to gamble.

Phil Ivey, one of the best poker players in the world, grabbed the WSOP spotlight by winning his 10th career bracelet in the 50th event of the 2014 World Series of Poker – Event #50: $1,500 Eight-Game Mix. Further, Phil Ivey became the fourth player to reach the double-digit mark in bracelets by winning the event over a 485 player field.

John “Johnny World” Hennigan was exalted as the new Poker Players’ Champion, when he won the $50K Poker Players’ Championship for $1.5 Million. The Poker Players’ Championship (PPC) is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious tournament to conquer at the World Series of Poker. Veteran poker professional John Hennigan not only earned his first PPC title, a whopping $1.5 million, but also his third lifetime World Series of Poker bracelet by winning the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship.

Last year, John Hennigan finished third in the same poker championship. This year Hennigan’s name has further been etched on the revered Chip Reese Memorial Trophy following in the footsteps of Michael Mizrachi, Scotty Nguyen, David Bach, Brian Rast and Matthew Ashton.

Biggest and most shocking upsets

One of the downfalls at WSOP 2014, was that the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship made history by being the second smallest ever, with a turnout of just about 102 players. Some of the big guns opted to skip the tournament altogether this year and several of the regulars were also missing from the championship scene.

Another shocking turn of events, took place during the same prestigious $50K Poker Players’ Championship itself. Brandon Shack-Harris, a key WSOP Player of the Year contender, was leading the final table of eight players that included Melissa Burr, Jesse Martin, Frank Kassela, Chun Lei “samrostan” Zhou, Abe Mosseri, Allen Kessler, and the ultimate winner John Hennigan. Tables turned when John Hennigan defeated Brandon Shack-Harris heads-up in a nail biting finish that prevailed after a very long but entertaining fight to the end. Had Shack-Harris emerged victorious in the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship, he could have outdone George Danzer in the race for the coveted Poker Player of the Year title. Currently, Shack-Harris is in second position while Danzer is at first.

Among the deeply sad news to hit the poker world recently, Chad Brown, 2006 Poker Player of the Year, who has been battling cancer over the last few years, has entered into hospice care. Officials of WSOP on hearing the news of Brown’s condition, in a first of its kind, decided to commemorate the poker legend with a special honorary WSOP bracelet.

Prophecies and what to expect

Predictions of the WSOP 2014 tournaments are floating around in popular poker blogs for the benefit of the poker fans worldwide. One of predictions believe that ace player Daniel Negreanu may not win a bracelet this year. However, Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth are expected to grab a bracelet or more each.

With women players making an impact in the poker world, it is being prophesied that women poker players might make a few waves and create history at the events. Vanessa Selbst, one of the strongest female contender in the poker scenario today, is a key player to watch out for and will most likely make a mark in this year’s WSOP. Quite contrary, another popular blog feel that 2014 may not be the year for women winning bracelets, so we just have to wait and see how it goes.

Other predictions include, the estimation of around 200 to 300 seats awarded via WSOP.com that might result in two qualifiers making the final table. Mixed game events and the Dealer’s Choice event are gaining wide popularity among players and might end up setting some serious records this year. The Main Event field is forecast to draw to the arena around 7000 to 8000 eager players or more and might set a new record. It is also being said that the WSOP is in a commendable position to have a star-studded final table with only poker pros and no amateurs at the Main Event. Now this is something to look forward to.