Barcelona’s Lionel Messi beats Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and teammate Xavi to win third straight Ballon d’Or

He also racked up an incredible 35 assists in the calendar year.

Messi was the clear favorite to claim the title after helping Barca to a third straight Liga title in 2011 and a second Champions League success in three years.

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and Argentina has beaten Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and team-mate Xavi to claim the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the best player of 2011.

It is the third straight Ballon d’Or success for Messi, who has now won the first two awards since the prestigious prize was merged with FIFA’s World Player of the Year gong in 2010.

The Argentine forward, still only 24, has now drawn level with three-time winners Michel Platini [the only other player to win three in a row], Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten.. Messi enjoyed the last laugh over his Portuguese rival in 2011, however, claiming five trophies overall with Barca as the Catalans picked up the Spanish Supercopa, the UEFA Super Cup and the World Club Cup later in the year.

Messi also came out on top in the 50 countdown of the world’s best players in 2010-11, earlier on this year.

And Cruyff, who has watched Messi emerge at Barca over the last few years, believes the Argentine can go on to claim the award six or seven times.

Barca claimed La Liga and the Champions League last term, losing out to Real Madrid only in the final of the Copa del Rey in April, when Ronaldo rose to head the winner and secure his side’s first silverware since 2007-08.

This time around there appeared little doubt he would claim the prize, as the undoubted star of a Barca side dominating domestically and on the continent in 2010-11.

The Argentine has emulated Michel Platini, the only other player to win the award three times in a row, and joins Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten on a trio of successes

Simply The Best

Messi beat teammates Andres Iniesta and Xavi to the award in 2010, even though his colleagues had shone for Spain in La Roja’s World Cup success in South Africa.

The Argentine scored 59 goals in 70 appearances for club and country in 2011, including 55 in 57 for Barcelona

You Can Win Big at a Casino! Myth or Truth?

The spinning reels just provide suspense.

Other casino experts confirm it. It costs bundles of money to pay for all the glitzy buildings, spectacular attractions, all those employees and all the fat profits that casinos make. The random number generator generates numbers constantly. “The odds are the same every time you pull the handle.”

“The higher-paying machines are closer to the aisles,” one woman said. If a casino tried to do that, the government would call it a scam.

Location, Location, Location

Slot machines are the favorite game for most casino gamblers and they’ve inspired many myths. For instance, many players have theories such as one that casinos put their better-paying machines at the entrances or at the end of each row. However, one truth is that the more expensive machines like the dollar machines pay out a higher percentage of what you put in than the quarter machines, and the quarter machines pay out more than the nickel machines.

“You have the same chance of winning whether you’re at the back of the casino, the middle of the casino, the north of the casino, the south of the casino, the fact is, you have the same chance of winning anywhere,” Mullin said. With today’s machines, the handle has no effect on what numbers come up. Here the house — the government — takes half your money. Each pull is a totally fresh start.. The house keeps $25 out of $100 bet.

“Sure, if you do play a machine long enough it’s going to go through its hot and cold spurts,” one woman said, pointing to the machines she and her friends were playing. “Right now these would be on a cold spurt, and we’re all still sitting here playing. At one time, when slot machines were mechanical, the handle pull spun the reels. They don’t make that money by losing to you.

A ‘Cold’ Machine Is Due to Get ‘Hot’

Another myth is that a machine is “hot” or “cold” — that eventually a machine is due to pay off.

Know the Odds

There’s no way around it. So, it’s kind of hard to walk away.”

But casino odds are not nearly as bad as the government’s “casinos”: state lotteries. “We need people winning everywhere in order to have people coming back here.”

One man said, “They like to put them wherever there’s high traffic so the people walking by see it and they go, ‘Oh, I’m gonna play the slots because everybody’s hitting.’”

Of course, people do win money. Casinos keep an average of 2 percent to 12 percent of each spin. But you can improve your chances. I will sit there and put more money in. I’m afraid to get up because I feel like if I get up, the next person’s going to win.

Gamblers are a superstitious breed. It doesn’t matter what happened the last 100 times. We’re waiting for them to hit.”

“If that were the case, we wouldn’t have anybody playing anywhere but the end aisles,” said Larry Mullin, president and chief operating officer of the Borgata.

In fact even the handle pull is a joke. The odds will catch up with you if you play long enough. The slots are worse. And the worst odds are probably Keno. I think it’s an obvious strategy that they have.”

Her friend agreed. They’ve created lots of myths about gambling, like there are ways to beat the odds and win — if you just know the right strategy.

“The fact is, it’s a myth,” said the Borgata’s Mullin. “Absolutely. But think about the odds. Another believes casinos do it to “draw more people in. Those machines are long gone. If you play blackjack well, or baccarat, or you bet pass/don’t pass in craps, casinos will keep about a dollar for every $100 bet.

That’s because the slot machine’s results are controlled by a computer chip called a random number generator. It’s a myth that the end of the aisle gives you an advantage. When you press the button, or pull the handle, you lock in whatever numbers were up then. That’s what gamblers at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City said.

A spin of the roulette wheel will probably cost you twice that

Sports News, Commentary and Analysis

Here are the top five-and-a-half takeaways from a record-breaking Augusta weekend:

Jack Stahlmann

Paul Stewart

Senior fellow, S.

MLB retired Jackie Robinson’s 42 back in 1997 and it was a great move that continues to highlight the importance of a legend, but it’s time for MLB to honor another legend: Pittsburgh Pirates great, Roberto Clemente. D.C. The Russian coach laughed.. Chess Championships in Saint Louis, Missouri, ended last Sunday as expected: the top-rated grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura won his 4th U.S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

James Dorsey

My memories of a young, hard-hitting fan favorite, my “Spinner” Spencer, along with my fond memories of the Long Island’s very own Islanders and Nets and the dump called the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, will live on forever.

Don’t Flinch Guy: Writer, Keynote Speaker and Expert on Making the Workplace Less Boring

As the 2015 NFL Draft quickly approaches, the same troubling question seems to permeate the potential pool of prospects every year: how well can one actually judge the character of a college student?

Two giants of English football met last week, as Manchester United and Manchester City went toe-to-toe in another classic Manchester Derby.

Postseason play is the proper way to close the curtain on an arena rich with history and tradition, and the Islanders will see big price premiums on the secondary ticket market through their final home games this year.

I was watching a Russian Pee Wee team play against one of our Mass Selects when I was reminded by the U.S. But it was not that simple.

On April 11, 2015, D.C. A new front office, new coaching and scouting staff, a new approach and certainly a lot of new players are just the beginning.

Retired NHL Player and NHL Referee, ECAC Director of Hockey Officiating, Chairman KHL Officiating Evaluation and Discipline Committees

The 2015 U.S. I began the process of asking experienced coaches for advice on how to approach my new endeavor.

Time Warner needs to realize that it’s not going to get its $5 per subscriber and if it needs to re-open its negotiations with the Dodgers to pay them less per season, well, the Dodgers have to accept that and make team decisions accordingly.

April 12, 2015 will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the boldest statements in the history of the storied Toronto Maple Leafs franchise. United took on the New York Red Bulls in a regular season MLS game. title. On the women’s side, Irina Krush defended the title, her seventh. coach to tell the Russian coach that we don’t allow checking at that level in North America. Like Robinson, Clemente’s legacy lives both on and off the field as well.

The outcome of the game was clearly not what he was hoping for, but his commanding presence on the field – Nick doing what he always does – could not have been a more appropriate way for him to honor his courageous sister’s life.

In 1996, I was fresh out of college living in Bay City, Michigan, and about to begin my first year as a paid volleyball coach. were looking to avenge their March 22nd 2-0 loss to the Red Bulls, and came out strong with a brace of goals from midfielder Perry Kitchen.

Jordan Spieth was the runaway winner of the tournament, reminding me that there’s much to learn from a weekend of golf Launches With Smashing Success; Online Gaming’s First Asian Focused Casino Poker Site Launches to Rave Reviews

A few of his top contracts include Raymonds, Park Avenue and Fiat Palio.

View the MClub launch party photo gallery at: is dedicated to making the gaming experience as exciting and rewarding as possible for the South East Asian communities.

After Gulshan’s speech, Rahul Dev announced the Asian Poker Classic, the first major poker tournament in South East Asia, which MaharajahClub is hosting in Goa, India this coming March. Maharajah Club is focused on keeping up to date with the latest casino games and promotions, Bollywood excitement and sports celebs, but more importantly, has underpinned its long-term development around responsible gaming.

Gulshan Grover is a star of mammoth proportion in Bollywood and is famous for playing villains and bad guys.

Lucky guests were wowed by the transformation of Hotel Russell’s elegant banquet room into a beautiful, 1930s-themed, Indian palace. He was awarded the BBC Asia Award in 2001 as an acknowledgment of his talent and contribution to international cinema.

Rahul has recently starred in several Bollywood blockbusters including ‘Fight Club’, ‘Asoka’ and ‘Shaeed’. By targeting ethnically, we can cater to the culturally specific needs of our clients in a way that no other casino on the net can,” said Sachin Pawa, CEO of MaharajahClub.

Maharajah Club is a South Asian owned business operated by Maharajah Gaming and licensed by the Gaming Commission of Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. It truly is a fun and realistic place to play. The launch marked the first gaming website targeted at South East Asian communities around the world.

Rahul is India’s biggest supermodel. He has modeled for all of India’s biggest designers including Rohit Bal, J J Valaya, Rashmi Virmani and has walked the international runway circuit. In the year 2003-2004, He won the Zee Award as the “Best Actor in a Negative Role” for the film, “Footpath”.

. It happens in landbased casinos around the world and we at Maharajah Club wanted to be the first to take this very effective segmentation approach online. The crowd was also entertained by classical Indian music and dancers while they supped on exquisite Asian fare. Dev also drew the winning ticket for an all expense paid trip for two to the match, which was won by Writer Paul Cheung of InsideEdge magazine.

About Maharajah Club (

About Gulshan Grover

Grover has already performed in several international projects including “Eastside”, “Jungle Book II”, “Tail Sting”, “Beeper” and “In the Shadow of the Cobra”. The highlight of the evening’s menu was a 6’5, flowing chocolate fountain, by Karema’s Chocolate Fountains, with fruits and pastries for guest’s dipping pleasure. is powered by the publicly traded software provider Boss Media AB (publ) (, one of the world’s leading creators of innovative e-gaming software and solutions

The Indian-born actor also stars in the 21st 007 film, “Casino Royale”, due out later this year, November 2006.

To help celebrate their launch, MaharajahClub also enlisted the help of Bollywood actors, Rahul Dev and Gulshan Grover, who toasted to the success of the site: “May I say what an honour it is to be invited here tonight as a guest of the MaharajahClub. But it seems to me, above all, that the MaharajahClub has a unique vision and understanding of the Asian market, and that’s what makes this such an exciting project.”

About Rahul Dev

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 18, 2006–MaharajahClub ( kicked off the launch of their South East Asian online gaming brand with an Asian themed gala on Friday night in London’s historic Hotel Russell.

Sachin Pawa, CEO of MaharajahClub (MClub) welcomed 100 honoured guest and members of the press at the event, where he announced the launch of MaharajahClub’s online casino and poker room. On the set of my recent movie, the new Bond film Casino Royale, I had the opportunity to become quite an expert on casino games, so you’ll certainly find me at the tables in the Maharajah site.

Rahul has won several awards for his modeling. He was named “Best Supermodel of the Country” by Society magazine, “Hall of Fame”, Kingfisher award 2001 and “Model of the Year”, Bollywood fashion awards, 2001.

Grover, an ambassador for MaharajahClub, also talked about the importance of responsible gaming and how MClub’s commitment to responsible gaming was one of the determining factors that brought him on board.

“This is the first time an online gaming company has targeted an audience based on ethnicity

The Five Biggest Premier League Stadiums

James Park – (Capacity 52,387) is the spiritual home of Newcastle United, A.K.A The Magpies or the Geordies.  St James Park is the oldest ground on the list and has been continuously used by Newcastle since their creation in 1892. Like all stadia at the time, Old Trafford started life as a mainly standing ground, before being converted to an all-seater stadium by 1990 after the findings of the report into the Hillsborough disaster.  Old Trafford was actually bombed by German bombers during the war and largely destroyed, but a small set back like this wasn’t going to put off the Red Devils from returning to their roots and the stadium remains their home ground today.

The Stadium of Light – (Capacity 49,000) The headquarters of Sunderland AFC since their move from Roker Park in 1997, the stadium was built upon an old colliery site alongside the River Wear.  The Black Cat’s stadium was initially 42,000 before having a new tier added in 2002, with noises being made that it may be extended to 60,000 seater if England ever get to host a tournament.  After a series of up and down seasons where Sunderland struggled to maintain their Premier League status, the club is now on the rise and seemingly have enough money and good enough players to stay comfortably in the league and even possibly host European football for the first time in the Stadium.. Opened just before the start of the 2006/2007 season it took over as Arsenal’s home ground from Highbury which at just 38,000 was deemed too small for the successful North London side.  The state of the art stadium cost a whopping £470 million to complete, though £100 million of this was recouped by selling the naming rights to the eponymous Arab airline.

The English Premier League is the greatest football league on the planet. City eventually moved to the stadium for the 2003/2004 season.  City are now a team very much on the up with hundreds of millions of foreign money being pumped into new players and the club in general.   With this in mind, an agreement was signed in 2010 between the club and Manchester council which could pave the way for the ground to be expended to 60,000.

Old Trafford – (Capacity 75,957) The spiritual home of Manchester United since 1910, Old Trafford is the biggest domestic ground in England. Half a billion people from all over the world follow the games on a weekly basis in more than 200 countries worldwide.  Despite its worldwide appeal and media dominance among the national soccer leagues, watching the sport on TV is nothing compared to the atmosphere and electricity you can experience by visiting a ground and watching the spectacle from up close.

The City of Manchester Stadium – (Capacity 47,826) Also referred to as Eastlands is the home of Manchester City FC.  The stadium was built in order for Manchester to host the Commonwealth Games in 2002, but with a takeover strategy by Manchester City in mind. Known around the world, “Man U” are one of the wealthiest and most successful clubs in English and European football alike and have a ground to match. It has since been redeveloped a number of times to make it the goliath that it is today, towering over Newcastle upon Tyne’s city centre.  Known for their fanatical support and big attendances, the Geordies have endured a tough period on the pitch recently, but have returned to the Premier League this year and are playing well once again.   

If the idea of pulling on the appropriate colours and sitting in a ground with thousands of fanatical English fans appeals to you, then here is a list of the five biggest grounds by capacity in the Premier League:

The Emirates Stadium – (Capacity 60,335) is the home of Arsenal FC.


For Obama, a new twist in longest U.S. war | Politics

And he will have to weigh whether a full departure of U.S. “Thank you for staying.”

In order to bolster Ghani, who emerged as the winner after a U.S.-brokered settlement to a disputed Afghan election last year, Obama has had little choice but to accept his appeals for more U.S. troops.

Where Karzai was erratic, Ghani seems calm. Where Karzai raged at civilian casualties in U.S. placed disproportionate hopes, ultimately souring the relationship and solidifying Obama’s intent to fully withdraw from that country.

Holding off on that decision makes sense for Obama, simply because of the elevated political stakes.

“We owe a profound debt to the 2,350 servicemen and women killed and the more than 20,000 who have been wounded in (the) service of your country and ours,” he said. has been stymied by the depths of the rugged country’s problems and complicated politics before. embassy — home from Afghanistan or to pass on an enduring war to a third U.S. troops to try and finish off the Afghan war. He not only personally offered Obama praise but painstakingly singled out the long list of generals who have run the Afghan war, ambassadors appointed by Republican and Democratic administrations, and politically powerful lawmakers in both parties.

That man’s name was Hamid Karzai.

“But I think there is a very strong bipartisan consensus in Washington and on the Hill that it may be worth reconsidering this decision.”. troops would weaken the fledgling Afghan forces, diminish American leverage with the Ghani government and offer an opening to the Taliban and other extremist groups.

But as the war dragged on, Karzai became embittered that the United States went to war in Iraq and seemed to turn away from Afghanistan.

“The people of Afghanistan recognize the bravery of your soldiers and the tremendous sacrifices that Americans have made to keep Afghanistan free,” Ghani told a joint session of Congress on Wednesday to applause from the chamber.

Importantly, Ghani is also sending a message to his own domestic constituency that he wants American troops to stay — a step that was not taken by former Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, another post-war leader in whom the U.S. and shares a lot of U.S. desires.

Ghani’s comments are part of a clear strategy to secure long-term U.S. troops to stay longer in Afghanistan.

And over and over, he is expressing deep gratitude for the sacrifices made by the United States to keep the Taliban at bay in Afghanistan,

Obama insisted at Tuesday’s press conference with Ghani that the 2016 date for a full withdrawal was not negotiable.

“Ten years ago, a Karzai visit to Washington would have been greeted with the same kind of welcome and excitement and positivity that this first visit from President Ghani has,” said Smith.

When Obama came to power, the White House adopted a hands-off approach with Karzai despite sending a surge of U.S. Ghani favors a sharp Western business suit rather than the exotic flowing green robe that Karzai made famous. press and the Afghan leader’s relations with Washington went badly astray.

America’s longest war just got a little longer for thousands of U.S. Soon allegations of corruption around Karzai found their way into the U.S. He also lacks the past links to warlordism and violence of many others who came to prominence during Afghanistan’s war torn modern history.

So far, Obama and Ghani have been making a show of camaraderie.

“I do think the president has a very real choice to make. I don’t think he is being forced into this by any pressure Ghani has put on him,” Bensahel said.

But he will soon face familiar charges from Republican opponents that he is once again making strategic military decisions for political reasons, not based on battlefield conditions.

And there are no guarantees that Ghani, over the long-term will continue to enjoy the honeymoon that he experienced in the White House on Tuesday — especially as political conditions in Afghanistan remain dangerous.

It is clear from the lavish welcome offered to Ghani — a trip to Camp David, five hours in the White House and an address to Congress — that the administration sees him as everything Karzai was not.

“Ghani is not going to be able to be a miracle worker and fix all of Afghanistan’s problems.”

“He has a lot politically at stake.”

But though Obama has long pined for a dependable counterpart in Afghanistan and hoped for greater stability there, Ghani’s arrival comes with a significant political price.

President Barack Obama’s decision to keep 9,800 soldiers in Afghanistan through this year — double what was previously planned — represents an American bet that a new president, Ashraf Ghani, might finally be the reliable partner in Kabul who can solidify gains, such as they are, of the 14-year U.S. support for Afghanistan’s armed forces — which now have primary responsibility for combat. mission.

“I think right now his intention is to stick to it. operations, Ghani is expressing deep and repeated gratitude for the price paid by the United States to keep the Taliban at bay in Afghanistan.

Ghani is basking in an effusive reception during a visit to Washington this week, a sharp contrast to the antagonism and treading on eggshells that characterized Obama’s poisoned dealings with ex-president Hamid Karzai.

But the president added: “This specific trajectory of the 2016 drawdown will be established later this year to enable our final consolidation to a Kabul-based embassy presence by the end of 2016.”

But later this year, or early next, Obama must decide whether to honor his vow to get every American — save for a small detachment at the U.S. And there is a cautionary tale of a White House wagering too much on a promising Afghan leader.

In the short term, Ghani’s visit does represent a tangible success for an administration that has struggled to rack up foreign policy wins, and a desire to cement Ghani in power will be one of Obama’s goals.

And Tuesday’s concession on slowing troop withdrawals sets up an even greater dilemma for Obama, who sees his historic role as concluding the expansive land wars he inherited in Afghanistan and Iraq. concerns on issues like corruption and so on,” said Nora Bensahel, a defense specialist at American University.

Ghani inspires confidence abroad, partly because he speaks the twin languages of the Western elite — English and Commerce. It also carries the risk of another misplaced gamble on another leader in the Middle East or South Asia who doesn’t, or can’t, deliver the friendly, solid leadership the U.S. That’s what he would like to do, and we know that is the legacy he would like to leave — as the president who ended two wars,” said Scott Smith, a former senior United Nations official in Afghanistan now with the US Institute of Peace.

Still, for now the untested Ghani may represent Obama’s best hope of getting out of Afghanistan without another blemish on a legacy aimed at ending wars — one that has already been tarnished by his decision to send troops back to Iraq to fight ISIS.

“There’s not going to be a meltdown in Ghani-Obama relations, but there could be a meltdown in Ghani-Abdullah relations or some other catastrophic event in Afghanistan that could change the whole picture,” said Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution.

The U.S. president when he leaves office in January 2017.

“This flexibility reflects our reinvigorated partnership with Afghanistan, which is aimed at making Afghanistan secure and preventing it from being used to launch terrorist attacks,” Obama said.

A key driver of his decision could be whether Ghani turns out to justify the hopes that are being placed in him and whether his current truce with his election foe, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, holds.

More than a decade ago, another urbane, bearded and smiling Afghan leader came to Washington, stood in the White House and Congress, and told Americans, still traumatized by the September 11 attacks in 2001, what they wanted to hear.

“Every indication so far is that President Ghani wants to work closely with the U.S. An ethnic Pashtun, he’s an academic, who was educated at Columbia University, worked for the World Bank and is a former finance minister won approval among outsiders for his economic reforms

Investors bet on gambling growth.

Richard Seymour reports.


This will please President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya who has ordered his ministers in the relevant departments to make the establishment of such lotteries easier in an effort to finance social and cultural events, and a National Sports Lottery to fund the nation’s sporting institutions is keenly anticipated.

Although not explaining how he could be sure that ‘many’ online gaming sites were operating in Kenya without, as he puts it, their knowledge, the Chairman of the Betting Control and Licensing Board of Kenya, the Honorable Lucas Maitha, said, “As such, we believe that the valuable insights we will certainly gain from the online gaming test case study conducted by Amaya will provide us with the ability to fully evaluate online gaming and therefore properly formulate appropriate rules and regulations.”

Since then, a number of other companies have emerged, creating many jobs. That leaves all gamblers except the lucky few, out of pocket. The colleague thought it sounded good enough and history was made.

Despite the legal difficulties, Ladbrokes, the British gambling giant, signed a joint venture agreement with African-based KaiRo International Group early last year to provide an online gaming service for South Africa.

Of all the industries that expanded their presence into cyber space, gambling has done better than most. But it is a long and difficult process and there is, as is the case all over the world, opposition when such things are made more accessible to the population.

Just as mobile banking is growing rapidly across Africa, so too is mobile gambling gaining a foothold after a controversial start. If that is the case, the industry could become one of the most relied on in the world when it comes to tax revenue created.”

Gambling may be a vice, but along with tobacco and alcohol, the governments of the world know a cash cow when they see one and, in Africa too, online gaming is being legalised and licences are being granted. Faster computers, broadband technology and mobile communication have transformed the way we use the Web so that fewer and fewer people now refer to the world away from it as ‘real life’ but accept both experiences as part of the same social, professional and commercial fabric.

It is thought that the ambiguous nature of the Web is at the heart of the delay as the outcome of an appeal against a high court ruling is pending.

The government of Kenya, though its Betting Control and Licensing Board, has granted Canadian company, Amaya Gaming, the right to carry out a study of online gaming in the East African country.

Uganda’s gambling laws have given sports betting a licence to grow at an astonishing rate since 2004. More traditional palaces of gambling, casinos, seem to cause less concern than their modern, cyber counterparts. Gibraltar-based Victor Chandler’s sports betting operations were launched ahead of last summer’s Fifa World Cup in South Africa.

COPYRIGHT 2011 IC Publications Ltd.

No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

what the gaming industry just online was worth around the world in 2010

Casino Enterprises, owners of Piggs Peak online casino, launched the appeal when it was decided their operations were not yet legal. The most popular events to bet on are football matches in the top European soccer leagues, particularly in England and Spain, though the introduction of sports betting companies like Sports Betting Africa (SBA) have widened the market to a global reach.

Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. In 2008, the country’s National Gambling Amendment Act included a provision for online gaming. African governments, so far, have kept a wary eye on online gambling but the more traditional forms, including lotteries, are becoming more popular. With the progress of technology and the connecting of Africa to high speed broadband, if the example of the rest of the world is anything to go by, the industry still has a great deal of room to grow.


Users are able to participate in the lottery by sending a text message and the winning numbers are announced by the national media and directly to the winners’ phones. They say it is not their job, as carriers not providers, which is how South African law has categorised them, to police internet traffic; and that if they are forced to, the required investment in infrastructure to make such a sizable task possible would cost millions, which, naturally, they do not think they should have to pay.

what the gaming industry just online was worth around the world in 2010

And one would always do well to bear in mind, when considering the future for gambling in Africa, that the house always wins.

Sports betting makes up 41% of the world’s online gambling market. Is it in the country where its servers are based or is it where the customer accessing those servers is based?

According to Global Betting and Gaming Consultants (GBGC) the gaming industry just online was worth almost $3obn around the world in 2010, which represents a rise of 12% over the previous year. A strict code of conduct and a raft of regulations have helped create enough trust to attract gamblers, many among them tourists, and also the interest of foreign investors. In 2011, the sector is expected to grow by a further 14% and be worth more than $4obn by 2014 .

Ambiguous nature

But increasingly, if sometimes falteringly, governments, knowing that genies can never be squeezed back into the bottles from which they sprang, are bringing the Web’s most lucrative businesses within their own legal frameworks. Already one of the largest sectors on the Web, it is still one of the fastest growing.

One of GBGC’s analysts, Steve Schwartz, said: “With the amount of countries that have legalised some form of online gambling, that number will most likely continue to grow over the next decade. Aside from its daily prizes, this April will see the handing out of a grand prize of Kshs3om ($353,630) on April 3oth.

Sports betting takes off

Gambling, in all its forms, is one of the biggest industries in the world and the online version is breaking new records by the month. All SMS lotteries in Kenya were suspended recently after alleged irregularities surfaced. Casinos can and do control their clientele more effectively than an Internet provider ever can, and they can be found in countries across the continent, though the majority are located in South Africa. It seems still to be the case that legislators around the world are struggling to come to terms with the Web and its implications, often lagging a step or two behind the Web’s pioneers and choosing to shut operations down when in doubt.

Tightening the screw on online gaming in South Africa still further, it is now illegal for financial institutions to facilitate online gaming transactions, for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to allow online gaming on their networks and for online gaming to be so much as advertised.

Furthermore, online gaming companies have been threatened with being ineligible to bid for licences if and when they become available, and South African gamblers found guilty of flouting the law face a hefty fine and up to io years in prison.

When Tim Berners-Lee first came up with an idea for research scientists to use the internet to share information, he stoppeda colleague in the corridor of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) where he worked and asked him what he thought of the name he had thought of for it–the World Wide Web. But the rising popularity and easy accessibility of online gaming will present a challenge to the continent’s bricks-and-mortar gambling establishments.

A spokesman from Ladbrokes said confidently that they would receive a licence by the following October and would begin operating early on in 2011. But that date has been and gone, and so far there has been no movement. A microcosm of the sector’s popularity can be found in Uganda, whose gambling laws enacted in 2004 gave sports betting in particular a licence to grow at an astonishing rate.

The situation is a little less clear in South Africa, however. All rights reserved.

But more than just an opportunity to raise revenue, the regulation of the sector will, it is hoped, erase the spectre of illegal operators and ensure the safety of underage and otherwise vulnerable people.

The ISPs are particularly angry at the ruling. Among them is Victor Chandler, whose online sports betting operations in South Africa are unaffected by the legal wrangling as is the case with Ladbroke’s similar service. But not everyone is happy. Betting companies succeed because they always come out ahead. David Baazov, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amaya, hinted that SMS Lotto was just the beginning of the company’s plans for Kenya.

That was more than 20 years ago now. Part of the argument was over where an online casino is actually located (in the case of Piggs Peak, Swaziland). But Amaya Gaming was granted the right to offer an SMS lottery of its own less than two weeks after the suspension when stricter regulations were introduced to protect the consumer. But the legislation has not yet been approved by the Trade and Industry Minister and a licence to operate legally in the country is not yet available.

The convenience that comes from being able to gamble on the internet, via a mobile phone or in any of the many shops and well-stocked restaurants is a trap for the unwary, and education in gambling awareness needs to come hand in hand with the growth of the industry. It is not known, either, when the matter will be resolved.

Uganda’s gambling laws have given sports betting a licence to grow at an astonishing rate since 2004

But with online gaming estimated to be worth around sworn by next year in South Africa alone, there will be many willing to wait. With a potential market of 20M mobile phone users, Amaya’s `SMS Lotto’ drew its first winners on 17th February this year

Will the big game save gaming in Atlantic City?

Despite such concerns, Christie initially moved to permit sports betting in 2011 after voters approved a constitutional amendment to legalize it.

A lifeguard boat sits on the beach in front of the closed Revel Casino Sept. The Trump Taj Mahal has threatened to shut down next month unless it receives concessions from state officials.

A further damper on sports betting profits at Atlantic City casinos is the fact that it’s legal in Delaware and a handful of other states.

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“I don’t think it’s going to be the lifeline for the casinos,” said Alex Bumazhny, who follows the casino industry for Fitch Ratings, adding that the credit rating agency “doesn’t think it will make a big difference” in Atlantic City.

Still, sports betting is starting up in New Jersey despite ferocious competition from a number powerful interests. Sixty employers were on hand with abo…



“Nobody expected such a bizarre move,” said I. Professional sports leagues in the U.S. But that law comes amid a major slump in gambling in the state. Chris Christie signed into law last week, Atlantic City racetracks and casinos can start accepting sports bets. Though 44 percent of people surveyed by Rutgers-Eagleton poll thought that sports betting was a positive for Atlantic City, another 48 percent were less sure of its value, while another 31 percent thought it would make no difference.

The reasons are many. Supreme Court refused to hear the state’s appeal, leaving the ban in place.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc.. Atlantic City casino revenue reached a peak of $5.2 billion, and tumbled to $2.86 billion last year nearly two dozen casinos were built within driving distance of the Jersey shore gambling mecca.


Laid-off Atlantic City casino workers hit the job fairs

Eager to land a new job, laid-off casino workers poured into the Atlantic City Convention Center Wednesday. Florida developer Glen Straub, who submitted the losing bid, is challenging the sale.

Under a measure New Jersey Gov. Play Video

The NFL subsequently sued to block the law, claiming that it violated an 1992 federal law that restricted sports betting to four states. The state then eliminated all of its laws outlawing sports betting at tracks and casinos.

Another obstacle is that New Jersey residents are divided over the benefits of sports betting. Over the past few months, operators of the Revel Casino Hotel, which at one time was touted as linchpin of an Atlantic City revival, Trump Plaza and Showboat, closed their doors. and the NCAA have long opposed sports gambling because of fears it would lead to game-fixing. The AGA pegs the gross gaming revenue from sports bets at $170 million, a tiny percentage of the $10.9 billion consumers plunked down in the state’s casinos in 2012.

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Revel Casino: Atlantic City’s $2 billion flop

It was hoped the $2.4 billion venture would help revitalize Atlantic City’s struggling gambling market when it opened two years ago, but it prove…

Earlier this month, Brookfield Asset Management, owner of Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel Casino, acquired Revel for $110 million, a fraction of the $2.4 billion to build. All Rights Reserved.

But State Senator Raymond Lesniak, an outspoken proponent for sports betting, pushed through a bill this that year that abolished the state’s existing prohibitions against sports betting. For one, the decline of New Jersey’s gaming industry has been years in the making and was hastened when lawmakers in neighboring Pennsylvania, a key Atlantic City market, allowed casino gaming. A federal court ruled in the league’s favor, and the U.S. Casino industry experts have argued that it will be difficult for Brookfield to operate Revel as a casino because it never made a profit. Nelson Rose, a professor at Whittier Law School who has written a textbook on gaming law, adding he wasn’t sure if New Jersey’s move will survive a court challenge. “This whole thing is a snow job.”

Atlantic City’s embattled casino industry, which has lost thousands of jobs this year as money-losing operator shut their doors, shouldn’t expect much of a boost from sports betting, experts say.

Second, as an economic activity, sports betting isn’t a game-changer. There probably isn’t anything that can save Atlantic City.”

“The reality is that it’s a big deal for Monmouth Park and that’s it,” said Alan Woinski, the president of Gaming USA, a consulting firm based in Paramus, New Jersey, in an interview, referring to a struggling race track in Oceanport, New Jersey, that under the state’s new law will be able accept sports bets. 15, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

. According to data from the American Gaming Association, a trade group, about $3.4 billion was wagered on sports at casinos in Nevada in 2012, though the total amount generated by the state’s casinos race books was much smaller. “This isn’t going to save Atlantic City

Casino-Gaming :: Organize your Casino night party

People now go for themed party nights. They provide the package of entertainment that guarantees that your night goes without any hurdle and your guest enjoys a casino night. The event manager also arranges for good background music, which is suitable to the casino night theme. So, it is good to hire a skilled event manager to make all possible arrangements which cannot be managed by you.

You can organize such theme nights at any place, whether it is your office conference room, banquet hall or your home lawn. Guests can also cash in their checks to get chips to play at various gaming tables. Frequently, the casino night is planned to represent a popular theme, like Monte Carlo. These types of theme nights are most prominent at the corporate events for any kind of occasion to entertain staff members or occasions like get together, fresher’s party etc. He is a very glitzy and confident personality, who dresses in designer suits and is proud of his casino, and displays his pride to everyone. A party with a theme is always fun, everyone gets a chance to dress up according to the theme. Casino theme is well known and most of the people opt for this theme to enjoy casino life.. Full nights of entertainment and activity are frequently planned for times like these. When you are planning your casino party night, one of the most important decisions that you have to make is of hiring a well known event management team. Casino MC creates fun games between tables and winner also receives more chips as winning prize.

Casino night consists of playing various games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, or poker. At times fake money is given to guests when they first arrive at the casino themed party so that people can play without spending more money. This helps to make the night more exciting for some. Casino parties are the most favorite theme for most of the events. They give the party venue a complete casino look. They provide every guest with a custom made check book which has your favorite casino’s name imprinted on it along with the invitation.

When your guest arrives at the casino parties, each guest is welcomed by a casino boss. Not only does the night often include typical card and casino type games, but a casino night also includes other activities as well.

A casino themed party can be exciting; with the original look of a casino your friends will get astounded and thrilled when they attend your party. It depends on how much you spend. A party with some drinks and music has become outdated. Their event service provides everything that is needed for themed party nights right from the costumes like bow ties that are worn by croupiers to the dazzling gaming equipments like casino tables, clay chips, playing cards, dice, sticks, card shoes, even the raffle tickets and casino professionals. They offer best and professional service to make your party happening

Derecho odds fade as large storm system approaches Mid-Atlantic

No one was in the restaurant at the time.

While the Midwest dodged a derecho, several tornadoes, large hail and flooding did some damage Wednesday.

The merger also happened farther east than expected, which limited the potential for widespread damage in Illinois and Indiana, though those states still had pockets of severe weather.

Still, overall, the storms appear to have caused less wind damage than was feared through early Thursday, said Bill Bunting of the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.

The weather service said intense winds estimated to have reached 70-80 mph in some areas snapped large trees at their trunks or uprooted them entirely.

Truck sits on its side in Alexander, Iowa, after a tornado was reported in the area on June 12, 2013 Bryon Houlgrave,AP Photo/The Des Moines Register

In New Jersey, officials opened the soaked state’s Emergency Operations Center on Thursday morning to monitor the storm’s progress.

In northern New York, rain sent rivers and streams over their banks, leading to evacuations and road closures.

The Washington, D.C., area braced for the storms, and the National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm watches and warnings for much of the region.

The systems are distinctive and take on a comma or bow shape, and usually have a large area of very cold cloud tops not typically seen in an ordinary thunderstorm.

Straight-line winds topping 70 mph were reported and more than two dozen tornado warnings were issued as two rounds of storms pummeled the state, but no twisters have been confirmed, said Phillip Johnson, who was part of the team monitoring developments for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

In addition to the people killed in the storm, 34 more died from the heat wave that followed in areas without power.. Open at Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia less than two hours after the start of the first round and resumed about three hours later.

A derecho is a storm of strong straight-line winds spanning at least 240 miles.

He said thunderstorms took longer than expected to merge into a large line that could cause widespread damage.

Forecasters warned that the storms could produce damaging winds and large hail, and said the threat would run from early afternoon to early evening Thursday.

Whether they were as bad as anticipated “depends on where you live,” he said.

In southern West Virginia, the Roane County 911 center has been evacuated and roads in the Spencer area are closed because of flash flooding.

Besides reports of damaging winds and preliminary tornado sightings, the weather service has received reports of hail at least an inch in diameter in locations stretching from southeast Minnesota to Virginia, he said.

A flash flood watch for the entire state of Pennsylvania was issued through Thursday night. His wife and an employee were able to get out of the restaurant and sought shelter in a basement.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. ET

In Washington, the Office of Personnel Management said federal agencies in the area would open but that workers would be allowed to take unscheduled leave or work from home.

A flash flood watch was in effect. In Maryland and Delaware, officials reported trees down, roads closed, and tens of thousands of power outages after a line of heavy thunderstorms moved through.

Overnight, thunderstorms that punched through northern Illinois caused significant wind damage, mainly in rural areas west and south of Chicago. Forecasters predicted 1 to 2 inches of rain will fall on swollen rivers and streams.

“I was, oh, eight miles west of town and I looked toward town and I could see a funnel cloud, having no idea it was exactly where our restaurant was,” Abel said. Morning thunderstorms caused relatively minor damage.

In Delaware, thousands were without power and a 19-year-old woman who works at Plumpton Park Zoo in Rising Sun, Md., was struck by lightning and sent to the hospital.

Last year, a derecho caused at least $1 billion in damage from Chicago to Washington, killing 13 people and leaving more than 4 million people without power, according to the weather service. The city was largely spared.

WASHINGTON A massive storm system surged Thursday toward the Mid-Atlantic after causing widespread power outages and flash flooding, but largely failed to live up to its fierce billing through the Upper Midwest.

In Ohio, storms with swift, straight-line winds soaked parts of the state, knocking down trees and barns and leaving many without power Thursday as commuters dodged fallen branches on roads and faced backups at intersections where traffic lights were out.

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As thunderstorms rumbled across the southern and central parts of the state, thousands of residents were left without power.

“With each hour that goes by, it’s less likely,” said Greg Carbin of the storm prediction center.

In the small town of Belmond, Iowa, about 90 miles north of Des Moines, Duwayne Abel, owner of Cattleman’s Steaks Provisions restaurant, said a tornado demolished part of the building. Winds reached nearly 100 mph in some places.

By early Thursday, though, the derecho that had been forecast hadn’t developed.

Updated at 1:19 p.m. Rush-hour commuters tried to get to work in the morning amid torrential downpours and dark skies that made it look like nighttime.

Even before merging, the individual storms remained powerful, Bunting said.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for most of the state