The British government hopes to introduce internet gambling regulations for the first time as part of its broader revamping of gambling law in the country.
The government’s new Gambling Bill, to be fast-tracked through Parliament, establishes a new gambling regulator, the Gambling Commission, which is to be given a range of powers to investigate, prosecute, enter premises, seize goods, void bets, levy unlimited fines and remove gambling licenses.
In particular, the bill introduces compulsory age checks for gambling websites based in the UK.
However, online gambling firms have reacted negatively to the proposed law, saying that underage internet gambling is the result of banks issuing too many debit cards to customers under the age of 18.
ONLINE GAMBLING, SEX AND VIAGRA ON OFFER AT MP’S SITE
LIKE most MPs, Angela Eagle is keen to inform her constituents about her good work and uses a frequently updated website to get her message across.
Yesterday, though, the Labour member for Wallasey was surprised when the Daily Post pointed out the page also included a link to buy cheap cigarettes, go online gambling and purchase the sex drug Viagra.
Once notified, Ms Eagle said the link to the site was a “genuine error” and her web team had been spoofed by a fake web address.
The web link tells surfers that it will take them to the UK Youth Parliament site. But it takes them to a “spoof” address which led to other sites offering cigarettes, gambling and Viagra.
Yesterday Ms Eagle, who has held a number of junior ministerial posts and was a member of the Select Committee which investigated accusations of sleaze against MPs, said that as soon as her office was informed the link was changed.
Ms Eagle added: ” I was concerned to learn that a link from my website which purports to go to the UK Youth Parliament actually takes readers to a site that appears, amongst other things, to be selling cheap cigarettes. For Thailand Casino – เครดิตฟรี
“The two sites have very similar web addresses and the cigarette site has clearly been set up as a spoof to fool people.”
The web link should have sent people to a site called www.ukyouthparliament.org.uk which is aimed at 11-18 year olds and is an independent national charity supported by more than 300 MPs from across the political spectrum. It aims to give the young people an opportunity to be involved in the democratic process at a national level.
But the site which surfers found themselves at was named www.ukyouthparliament.com, and has links to a range of websites offering cut price cigarettes, as well as airline tickets, holidays and links to advice on debt, dating services and music.
Ms Eagle added: “Whilst I write almost all the material for my website myself, I rely on the technical help of a couple of Party volunteers to design and lay out the material, deal with the technical side of uploading data to the site and putting the correct technical materials in place to support links to other sites.
“The work that these volunteers do is excellent and normally to a very high standard. They have assured me that it was a very unfortunate error that led to the wrong website address being used in the link to the UK Youth Parliament. As I have noted, the two addresses are very similar indeed.
“Immediately that I learned of this error, I contacted the volunteers and asked them to change the web address to the correct web address for the Youth Parliament.”
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The opening of casinos is looking a sure bet
The forces of influence are increasingly getting behind the opening of a legal casino in Thailand, more likely than not in Pattaya.
The renewed interest in the legalisation of casinos and the momentum the proposal is gathering suggest the Thai people may soon no longer have to traipse across our borders to Burma, Cambodia or Malaysia for a flutter.
Increasingly we hear the supporting arguments: increased revenue from tourism, curbs on the money flowing out of the country, and indirect controls on sources of funding for political parties.
Pattaya, the resort capital of the eastern seaboard, has emerged as the clear favourite to house the first casino as it has the backing of politicians and influential associates.
Also favouring a legal casino is Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s undertaking to bring shadowy businesses into the legitimate sphere so more money can be tapped from tourism.
The public are now repeatedly being bombarded with arguments suggesting a casino in Pattaya has huge potential. Its main backers are a group of entrepreneurs in government and their powerful associates like Somchai Khunpluem, the mayor of Bang Saen in Chon Buri widely known as Kamnan Poh.
Kamnan Poh insists Pattaya is the ideal location for Thailand’s first ป๊อกเด้ง ไฮโล casino. He wants it built at Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel.
There are also interested parties overseas, in Las Vegas, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Las Vegas connection is favoured as it is thought to have more experience in casino operations.
Almost 1,000 rai in central Pattaya is also being considered for a horse track and amusement park.
The momentum has even caught up the prime minister, who says a casino here would be world class and would be manageable similar to Las Vegas. But he is not rushing into anything and has called for studies and public hearings before pushing ahead.
Kamnan Poh, the father of Tourism and Sports Minister Sonthaya Khunpluem, said the best way to generate income amid the economic downturn was to find ways to attract more foreign tourists by showing them Thailand was a safe destination with plenty of interest to outsiders.
Kamnan Poh and friends and the prime minister’s own advisers led by Sanoh Thienthong have long pushed for a casino in Pattaya.
A survey they conducted in Chon Buri in October found nearly 60,000 local residents in support of the project. Figures were unavailable for those opposed
A majority of the respondents supposedly said the casino would attract more foreign tourists to the area, stem money outflows, generate income, and prevent the laundering of money earned through illegal operations.
The prime minister was notified of the survey results but he reportedly told his advisers to sit on the project for the time being.
The mood is thought to have swung even further in favour of legal casinos, especially given the repeated reports of the police’s failure to crack down on illegal gambling dens while raking off at least 10 million baht a month for themselves from every gambling den in Bangkok alone.
It became blindingly clear that illegal gambling is a major contributor to corruption when Pol Lt-Col Santhana Prayoonrat, a former Special Branch Bureau 4 deputy chief, revealed details of 11 gambling dens in Bangkok and seven Thai-owned casinos across the border in Cambodia. He also accused state officials of receiving 7.5 million baht a month from casinos in Cambodia.
Pol Lt-Col Santhana came out in public after he was sacked from the force in November for obstructing a police raid on a gambling den.
Government-sponsored research into gambling conducted by Chulalongkorn University economists headed by Sangsit Piriyarangsan also appears to support the legalising of casinos.
The study found that between 500 and 800 billion baht passes through the illegal gambling business in Thailand each year and 71-84 billion baht is spent by Thai gamblers at casinos in neighbouring and other countries.
The research found that gambling had become more widespread and was causing many people financial problems since 2001, when around 40 million Thais dabbled in one or more of 15 types of gambling and spent more than 9,000 baht each.
The money channelled through gambling amounts to almost 40% of the local economy.
The study also found a direct link between gambling and politics as most of the money used to buy votes and support different politicians came from gambling.
Statistics show that police officers were paid between 6.67 and 13.65 billion baht in 2001 for turning a blind eye to or even aiding gambling.
Other studies propose that casinos be legalised only after the police force has been reformed to do away with corruption.
Some research suggests that the legalising of casinos would benefit politics overall by cutting off the supply of funds for vote-buying and by preventing politicians and state officials from benefiting from illegal operations.
One paper found that there were 3,201 casinos being run lawfully in 133 countries, and case studies had shown that these had helped to promote tourism and increase state earnings from taxation.
On the other side of the coin, there are fears a legal casino could fuel crime, immorality and social problems, causing added personal debt and opening new channels of corruption.
Some people say casinos should be operated by public companies and be managed openly to prevent a monopoly.
Research by a House of Representatives committee came to conclusions similar to those of Mr Sangsit’s team
With the prime minister leaning towards the opening of a legal casino and the tourism minister clearly favouring the eastern seaboard as a centre of sports and entertainment, Pattaya clearly is odds on favourite to become the home of betting in Thailand.
There is also the matter, say the critics, of a casino generating income for the Thai Rak Thai party and cutting off supplies to its rival Democrat party.
And, of course, if successful, why stop at one casino in Pattaya? Might not Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bangkok also benefit from such a facility?
Bear Stearns Examines The Latest Hurdle For Online Gaming
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 26, 2002–Internet gaming companies could see their growth potential cut in half over the next year as major banks refuse to accept online gaming transactions, according to a new study by Bear Stearns senior managing director and gaming analyst Jason Ader. Growth rates in the industry could be sliced in 2003 from 43% to 20%, or to roughly $4.2 billion in total industry-wide revenues.
“This is a real challenge for e-gaming companies,” said Ader. “Credit card transactions are their life blood, without them it will be tough for the sites to thrive.”
Many large credit card issuers, such as Bank of America, Fleet, Direct Merchants Bank, MBNA, and Chase Manhattan Bank have already begun to block Internet gaming transactions. More recently, Citibank, which controls approximately 12% of the US credit card industry also joined in.
These moves by banks, as well as an unprecedented amount of negative sentiment toward the Internet gaming industry on both a state and federal level, could have several implications for the fast-growing e-gaming sector. According to Ader, market contraction, an accelerated shift to international markets and possible consolidation could all result. “While we have not yet scaled back our overall industry estimates, we may look to do so if we do not see a fundamental shift in operator business models in the near-term,” concluded Ader, the author of two major Internet gaming research publications, including “E-Gaming: Endangered Species or Rising Star?” and “E-Gaming Revisited: At Odds With the World.”
Casinos for Mexico?
(México Analytica/Corporate Mexico by Internet Securities, Inc. via COMTEX) — Mexico City daily Reforma has published portions of the gaming bill that would authorize the construction and operation of casinos in Mexico. The bill would regulate the majority of gambling games that are already present in Mexico, such as roulette, darts, cards, UFA slot machines, Lotto, bingo, sporting events and cock fighting. Those with gambling permits would have to turn in quarterly and annual financial statements to a Gaming Commission which would supervise with an eye to avoid money laundering. The commission would include officials from the Secretariat of the Interior, the Treasury and the Tourism Secretariat, as well as six members to be selected by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
Interactive Gaming & Communications Corp. (OTC: SBET) announced that it has filed its 1998 first quarter earnings report. For the quarter ending March 31, 1998 the statement of operations reflects an increase in revenues from continuing operations amounting to $31,344 or an increase of 62.5%.
Revenues from continuing operations include gaming software licensing, advertising, and Internet related Web design fees. The increase in revenues resulted from the Company’s sale of proprietary software and licenses. Expenses decreased from $378,704 in 1997 to $307,111 in 1998. This decrease resulted from consolidating management and employees in a more economical and efficient facility together with a reduction in administrative personnel.
In March, 1998, the Company sold its judi online gaming subsidiaries, Sports International Ltd. and Global Casinos, for which the Company received a note for $5,000,000.00. Income from discontinued operations decreased from $144,662 to $134,732. Current liabilities exceed current assets by $827,885 in 1998 compared to $1,702,209 in 1997. The Company had 1st quarter earnings of $.11 per share. The Company anticipates increased working capital in future periods as the $5,000,000 note amortizes.
Further capital resources are anticipated with increased gaming software licensing activities and the development and sale of new Internet gaming software. The Company has sold two software licenses in 1998 from which it expects to receive revenues in excess of $200,000.00.
Interactive Gaming & Communications Corporation is a publicly traded company whose stock is traded on the OTC bulletin board under the ticker symbol SBET. IGC’s main wholly owned subsidiary company, Intersphere Communications Ltd., may be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.intersphere.com
Art Promotions and Ar-Tex Introduce New Art Game
McLean, VA, September 10, 1998: Art Promotions, Inc. is introducing a new educational family-oriented art game: Art LottoŠ. The program, created by Ar-Tex, features information about 22 of the historical masters of art in an entertaining, easy-to-grasp fashion. It is specifically designed as a learning/playing type game to make this experience more fun.
Art LottoŠ is available on CD-ROM for Windows for $12.98 and may be purchased through the Art Promotions web site at http://www.artpro.com/cat4.html or by calling 703 893-7482.
Leonardo (da Vinci), that is, not Dicapprio
Among the 22 artists whose works are presented in the game are Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Renoir, Matisse, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso. In total over 200 works from the Renaissance, Baroque, Impressionism, and other eras are viewable in full color high-resolution images. Kids of different ages enjoy playing Art LottoŠ and acquire the basic art knowledge amazingly fast. The Play mode involves finding and matching correct names of famous paintings and their authors.
Artist and owner of Art Promotions, Karen Francis Rugala, says, “I think Art LottoŠ is an excellent learning tool. It is very easy to play and will make a wonderful gift.
Amazingly, the game appeals to everyone from elementary age school children to post graduates. Anyone, really, who is interested in being well rounded or in mastering the Who’s Who in the art world’s Hall of Fame.”
Mr. Arthur Petrosian, the president of Ar-Tex, feels that “Playing Art LottoŠ is a satisfying way for both kids and adults to educate themselves about famous artists and art history.” Ar-Tex is a start-up family owned company involved in development of 3D animated software and educational games. Art LottoŠ is their first product.
Saturday, July 18, 1998, — Lottonet Gold Fx-pro, a new product for Lotto, Power Ball, Keno, Aptiva players worldwide, is being introduced by DIETNER @ LOTTONET. The program presentation and ordering details are now available at: http://www.statelotto.com/index.shtml http://www.lottonet.com.au/index.htm. It will be available Internet for US$ 189.oo plus $ 14.oo postage.
Lotto, Power Ball, Keno, Aptiva players worldwide’s unique features include totally unique, full color 3 dimensional custom made interface, simplicity of use,
games range is from 3 to 80 numbers, systems range up to 40 numbers for Lotto and up to 80 numbers for Keno, the industries largest and by far, the fastest wheeling system generator (up to 118.755 combinations in 20 seconds), 13 fully integrated statistical sub programs and 6 highly effective prediction sub
programs all presented with animated graphics, 98 results databases. First ever, peace of mind, $ 2.500 compensation paid if any Lottonet computed system fails to win less than specified (4 from 6), (5 from 6) or (6 from 6) minimum winning guarantee!.
All other Lotto programs offered anywhere in the world are totally inferior in terms of screen presentation, user friendliness, number of program options, system size limitations, number of statistical and prediction options, capacity and quality in coupon printing options and ability to manage and update game parameters if they change in the future, regardless of the price and some are selling well above US$ 1.200!
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Over the last two decades, David Sklansky has been one of the most prolific as well as one of the most engaging gambling writers. During this time, little in the gambling world has escaped his attention. Nowhere is this more evident than in Getting the Best of It. In this book Sklansky covers an exceptionally broad range of gambling topics including, but by no means limited to, poker, blackjack, horse racing, and even keno.
Sklansky’s first section covers mathematics. Most of these topics are pretty elementary, but if the reader doesn’t understand them, they’ll have a hard time making any money gambling. As Sklansky point out, even the math adverse would be well advised to expend the energy to understand the essays in this section. Two of the essays are likely to be of interest even to someone who already understands basic probability theory. One of these essays covers Bayes’ Theorem, the other is titled “An Interesting Dice Proposition”.
In the next section, Sklansky covers what most folks would consider his forte, the game of poker. In my opinion, this set of 12 essays represents some of the best brief ideas ever written about the game. I don’t agree with absolutely every detail Sklansky writes about here, but every essay contains at least one, and usually more than one, engaging thought. In my opinion, these essays are excellent in promoting “thinking practice” among readers. If one uses these essays as examples of how a player can think about situations they encounter, I would all but guarantee that this would bring about significant improvement in one’s play.
Section three covers blackjack. Again, I mostly agree with everything Sklansky has to say. At this point, most, but not all, of these topics have been discussed in other sources in the gambling literature, but that doesn’t mean that this information isn’t worthwhile. Of the six sections in this book, the one on blackjack is probably weakest, but I still found it worthwhile. Section four covers other casino games, including the only significant analysis of “crapless craps” I can recall seeing in print, and, believe it or not, some worthwhile keno information.
Next, the author discusses sports and horse betting. While this isn’t a comprehensive coverage of handicapping or wagering, there is important information here. I believe Sklansky correctly outlines just how difficult these games are to beat. If a given method which claims to overcome the vig at sports or race betting doesn’t specifically address the issues that Sklansky discusses in this section, I’d be willing to bet that the strategy in question won’t be a long-term winner. The last section covers “General Gambling Concepts”. It includes two of my favorite Sklansky essays, “The Law of Averages and Other Fallacies” and “Another ligaz11 Gambling Paradox”. If a significant percentage of casino patrons deeply understood these two essays, it would profoundly affect the profitability of casinos everywhere.
There are a few essays in this collection that miss or are no longer as relevant as they once were, such as the author’s essays on progressive slot machines. I would also understand if a reader who had a narrow gambling focus (on blackjack, for example) was hesitant to pay this much money when they’re only interested in a small percentage of the book. However, anyone with a general interest in gambling, or anyone who wants to learn to think deeply about any wagering endeavor would be well advised to read Getting the Best of It. Note that many of these essays are from a column Sklansky wrote in the 80s for the magazine Gambling Times, so if one has a complete collection of his articles there, it may not be worth the cost of acquiring this book, even for the updates and section introductions. Getting the Best of It is now in its second edition. There are some updates, but the differences in the two editions are definitely not significant enough for one to want to upgrade their first edition.
Getting the Best of It is a collection of some of David Sklansky’s best writing. In this book, Sklansky writes provocative and valuable information about a wide variety of gambling topics. While it may seem a bit broad for those gamblers who have a very narrow focus, it’s chief benefit is as a model for how gamblers looking for an edge can think more effectively about how to approach casino games. In this respect, it succeeds handsomely.
Despite the star power of champions Declan’s Moon and Sweet Catomine, Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed the mutuel field as the 3-1 morning line favorite for the first of three pools of the 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens Thursday and runs through Sunday.
The mutuel field includes all three-year-olds other than the 23 horses listed as individual betting interests.
Unbeaten juvenile champion Declan’s Moon is the favored individual horse at 6-1 with Rockport Harbor, who is bidding to give trainer John Servis his second consecutive Derby victory, installed as the 8-1 choice.
Sweet Catomine, the champion two-year-old filly, is a wagering interest in the opening pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which will be offered at the same time.
BIG HAUL, BUT NOT FOR BETTORS: Books get all they can handle
In terms of dynasties, the New England Patriots don’t compare to Nevada sports books.
A record of just under $90.8 million was wagered on Super Bowl XXXIX, and the state’s 173 sports books won a record $15.4 million, according to figures released Tuesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Nevada sports books have posted a win in 10 consecutive Super Bowls. The Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 on Sunday, winning their second consecutive Super Bowl and third in four years.
“I was shocked,” Stardust sports book director Bob Scucci said. “The win didn’t shock me, but certainly the total handle did.”
In last year’s Super Bowl, the Patriots’ win over Carolina produced a record total handle of $81.2 million and a record win of $12.4 million for the state’s 152 books.
“Last year, we were really surprised with the jump. It all came back to the economy turning around, and we also saw that in the rest of the gaming numbers,” said Frank Streshley, the control board’s statistical analyst.
Streshley credited marketing efforts by the casinos for attracting more visitors for Super Bowl weekend. But he said in the days leading up to the game “we had gotten mixed signals” from sports book directors about whether the handle would set a record.
The handle of $90,759,236 was up 11.7 percent over last year, the win of $15,430,138 was up 24 percent, and the books’ 17.0 win percentage also set a record.
Station Casinos sports book director Micah Roberts said he expected the bigger numbers.
“The other books I talked to all said the handle was up,” Roberts said. “Our Judi Qq numbers were exactly indicative of that, as far as the increase goes.”
MGM Mirage sports book director Robert Walker estimated the handle would be $70 to $77 million but said the handle at his books was up 5 percent over last year. He took several six-figure bets, the largest for $550,000 on New England as a 7-point favorite.
Roberts said he expected the Patriots’ dominance and the hype surrounding injured Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens to create betting interest in the matchup.
New England did not cover the spread and the game went under the total of 47 1/2, two factors that contributed greatly to the casinos’ win.
Streshley said the books needed the Patriots to win but not cover. He said the most popular wagers statewide were on the Patriots laying the points, the Eagles to win straight up on the money line and for the score to go over the total. Most parlays were on the Patriots and the over. Proposition betting also was profitable for the books.
“The last touchdown was huge for the sports books,” Streshley said, referring to Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb’s TD pass with 1:48 remaining that cut the final deficit to three points.
Scucci said the last score “had to double” the win for the books. “It would not have set a state record otherwise.”
Nevada sports books showed a Super Bowl loss of $396,674 in 1995, when San Francisco routed San Diego.
The total amount wagered on the Super Bowl has increased each of the past four years and is up from $71.5 million in 2002, when New England started its run by beating St. Louis.…
JOSEP BARTOMEU SEES OFF THE CHALLENGE OF JUAN LAPORTA TO STAY PRESIDENT OF FC BARCELONA, WHILE RAFAEL BENITEZ’S FIRST GAME IN CHARGE OF REAL MADRID IS A STALEMATE DOWN UNDER.
THE SPANISH WEEK IN REVIEW
* After all the hype of a second coming with star-studded backing for Juan Laporta as FC Barcelona president, 47,080 club members re-elected incumbent Josep Bartomeu for another six years instead.
Bartomeu’s victory, garnering 54.6% of the votes, was bigger than predicted.
“We have proved that not just on the field we are the best team in the world,” he waxed.
Bartomeu took over in January 2014 after president Sandro Rosell, director of Qiu Qiu Andoni Zubizaretta and assistant Carlos Puyol all resigned in the wake of the Neymar transfer scandal and the subsequent year-long transfer ban on the club.
Accepting his win, he pledged to forge ahead with the €600 million “Espai Barcelona” plan for remodelling the entire Camp Nou stadium complex.
Laporta conceded defeat but added, in English, “No surrender, never give up,” explaining that the Qatar connection is slowly destroying the unique culture that is FCB. He called Bartomeu “a processed president who will destroy La Masia” (the club’s youth academy) and said the club is “trapped by Qatar.”
The 2022 World Cup host nation has become such tainted goods in the light of human rights abuse revelations and the ongoing FIFA scandal, that Agusti Benedito had pledged to ditch Barça’s shirt sponsors by 2016 and even Bartomeu announced there was an unnamed Asian electronics firm (rumoured to be Rakuten) with the money ready to replace the Qatar Foundation.
“We will continue to fight what is happening at Barcelona,” Laporta insisted. “It remains clear there are two ways (of running it)”. So no love lost then.
Laporta had Johann Cruyff (“The situation at the club is unacceptable with all the accusations”) and Pep Guardiola supporting his campaign, and had dangled the prospect of Paul Pogba in the blaugrana in front of the faithful, with the Frenchman’s agent confirming his player would move to Catalonia if Laporta were elected, but more than half of Barça’s members opted instead to keep the status quo after a perfect trophy haul in 2015.
If what matters at the end of the day is winning football matches, it seems a case of ‘if it works, don’t fix it.’
But being president of one of Spain’s big two comes with near impossible demands and while Bartomeu basks in the limelight of his presidential victory, he also knows the knives will be sharpened again as soon as FCB fail to win La Liga or the Champions League.
Luis Enrique, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique made sure they voted before joining their colleagues to jet off to the United States for their pre-season tour.
Missing from FCB’s lineup in America however will be Lionel Messi, Neymar, Claudio Bravo, Javier Mascherano and Dani Alves, whose Copa America duties have earned them a well-earned rest.
BARÇA PRESIDENTIAL RESULTS:
Josep Bartomeu 55%
Juan Laporta 33 %
Agusti Benedito 7%
Toni Freixa 4%
* And finally Iker Casillas left the building for good. Real Madrid’s storied goalkeeper had been slowly heading toward the exit ever since Costa Rica’s outstanding World Cup keeper Keylor Navas was acquired last summer and aged 34 was not getting any younger.
But Florentino Perez’s summary sale of one of Real’s longest-serving soldiers has nevertheless been met with some dismay in Madrid. Coach Rafael Benitez said he was unhappy how the issue was dividing Real’s fans when it was a finished story.
Casillas is still first choice for Spain after all and despite the boos now and again from insatiable fan sections, shows few signs of diminishing powers for club nor country.
Some fans on the airwaves and in the letters pages this week have been slamming the Real owner and vowing to forsake the Bernabeu until he leaves the scene.
Seeing their 19-trophy legend in Porto colours this week has come as a shock to the system as Casillas has been on the books of Real for 25 years, and a ready, worthy replacement does not seem forthcoming, although Navas has not been given enough chances to establish himself thus far.
Johann Cruyff, while voicing his support for Juan Laporta in the Barça presidential elections, also paid tribute to the departing goalkeeper:
“He has always been a gentleman on and off the field and an example to everyone,” he said. From Catalonia, Spain teammate Xavi said Casillas had been poorly treated by his club.
One has to reduce by at least 50% any truth contained in the daily Real press hyperbole, but clearly Casillas’ rapid departure has been controversial. In Madrid this week, Casillas shirts and photos were suddenly discounted, a sad reflection of a done deal.
His tearful farewell to the press stamped his image as a man of honour, which paints Perez as the villain of the piece if any blame were to be appointed.
Casillas nevertheless has been accused of briefing against Jose Mourinho after being dropped and one has to wonder how much of his parents’ raging attack on the Real Madrid president in the press was a proxy action.
By some quirk, Iker Casillas has been replaced by the similar-sounding Kiko Casilla, like him a Bernabeu product before being sold to Espanyol in 2008.
The 28 year-old should slot into Real’s No.2 slot behind Navas, but his acquisition also puts the whole David De Gea project back a notch. Real’s third custodian is 23 year old Spaniard Fernando Pacheco.
De Gea is out of contract next summer at Old Trafford, so instead of breaking the bank this summer, Real may wait to pounce then for free instead.
The latest theories insisted Louis Van Gaal would only sell his goalkeeper if Sergio Ramos moved in the other direction, but that looks ever more unlikely before the 1st of September transfer deadline.
Ramos seems set to stay at the Bernabeu as Benitez rates him so highly.
“I see the future with Sergio,” the Real coach said this week, “because he is a key player because of his abilities and quality on the field and for his leadership and mentality in the dressing room.”
* Spain won the UEFA U-19 Championship Final defeating Russia 2-0 in Katerini, Greece.
Real Madrid youngster Borja Mayoral scored the first after 37 minutes and won the tournament’s golden boot. Villareal’s Argentine-born Matias Nahuel grabbed the clincher twelve minutes from time.
SPAIN U-19: Sivera (Valencia II), Martin (Espanyol II), Mere (Gijon), Merino (Osasuna), Ceballos (Betis), Mayoral (Real Madrid II), Asensio (Real Madrid), Hernandez (Villareal II), Vallejo (Real Zaragoza), Pedraza (Villareal II), Borja (Racing Santander).
subs: Leiva (Villareal II) for Pedraza 74′, Marin (Almeria II) for Borja 81′, Fernandez (Sevilla II) for Mayoral 90′.
Spain had lost 3-1 to Russia in the group stage, where they beat Germany 3-0 and drew 1-1 with the Netherlands. In the semi-final they defeated France 2-0.
La Roja’s record in UEFA’s 2015 finals competitions stands thus:
U-17 – Quarter-Finalists; Champions: France
U-19 – Champions
U-21 – Did Not Qualify; Champions: Sweden
Spain at senior level remain European Champions following their 2012 win in Poland and will defend their title next summer in France.
* Atletico Madrid have signed Fiorentina’s 24 year-old centre-back Stefan Savic for €12 million plus colchonero midfielder Mario Suarez.
* MK Dons have signed Real Madrid reserve Cristian Benavente on a two-year deal. The 21 year-old attacking midfielder has eight caps for Peru.
* Javier Tebas, president of Spain’s Professional Football League, confirmed he does not see eye to eye with Angel Maria “all the fish are sold” Villar Llona, president of the Spanish F.A. and vice-president on FIFA’s Executive Committee, and that he would be supporting a rival candidate for his post.
“I cannot get anything done with Villar,” he told Marca. “Angel has done good things for football but for some time he has not adapted to the reality of modern football…What is FIFA’s vice-president doing not talking about all that has happened? Did he forget, did he not want to or could he not? There are colleagues of his in prison for corruption.”
* One of the summer’s longest running rumours got closure as Belgian international defender Toby Alderweireld left Atletico Madrid for Tottenham on a five-year deal.
* Atletico are still seeking Filipe Luis from Chelsea but Jose Mourinho said if they want the Brazilian defender, “they’ll have to pay.”
* Valencia have signed promising Brazilian midfielder Danilo Barbosa on a year’s loan from Sporting Braga with an option to buy. The 19 year-old captained Brazil at the FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer in New Zealand, where the seleçao lost 2-1 in the final to Serbia.
* Sevilla have signed Brazilian left-back Mariano Ferreira from Bordeaux in a three-year deal. The 29 year-old had a €20 million release clause.
* Getafe have acquired Argentine centre-back Santiago Vergini on a two-year loan from Sunderland.
* Newly promoted Las Palmas have signed midfielder Jonathan Viera on a three-year deal from Standard Liege for €900,000 following a half-year loan.
*The Red Devils are said to be keen to buy Pedro from Barcelona, whom they will play in a friendly next Saturday in Santa Clara, California, where a possible deal could be ironed out.
A figure of €25-29 million has been mentioned, and Pedro may be tempted to link up with friends Ander Herrera and Juan Mata at Old Trafford, although Barça boss Luis Enrique is said to be against Pedro leaving.
The Spanish international’s arrival could mean Angel Di Maria leaving England, but the former Real wide man is not expected to return to Spain, with PSG in pole position for the Argentine’s signature.
In another join-the-dots story, the Sunday People newspaper claimed Louis Van Gaal will launch an audacious raid for Gareth Bale next week, right.
* UEFA have put their foot down and reminded Barcelona they cannot play €41 million capture Arda Turan in any match, friendlies included, until their transfer ban expires in January.
* Rafael Benitez’s Real Madrid reign began with a 7-6 penalty shoot-out defeat to Roma following a 0-0 draw in front of 80,746 in Melbourne.
Real played a 4-2-3-1 with Keylor Navas in goal, Sergio Ramos as skipper, Martin Odegaard starting and a bearded Gareth Bale with relative freedom on the right of a trident behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
The team missed a host of goalscoring chances but showed signs of adopting more of a pressing game and a new formation. The starting line-up appears largely to be Benitez’s preferred although the teenage Odegaard did not convince and Benitez admitted they were debating sending him out on loan. The team missed chances and Ronaldo looked frustrated as usual. It is early days.
Real Madrid: Navas, Ramos, Marcel, Carvalho, Varane, Modric, Bale, Illarramendi, Odegaard, Ronaldo, Jese. Half-time subs: Arbeloa, Pepe, Kroos, Benzema, Silva, Pepe, Cheryshev, Nacho, Isco, Vasquez, Danilo.
Footbo, a social community network for football fans from all around the world has grown from strength to strength since it was launched in June 2008. And things are about to get even better!
Since its launch coinciding with Euro 2008, Footbo has stamped itself on the online map for football fans. The niche platform boasts an international network entirely dedicated to football and football-specific features ensuring that the football experience is unparalleled and was designed to enable world-wide interaction between Judi Online24Jam Terpercaya football fans wherever they are and whoever they support.
Users have their own personal profile page where they identify their favourite teams and players, as well as choosing who would be their first-choice starting line-up, if they could pick any player. Combined with the latest news and content, updates on fixtures and results, and of course Footbo’s flag-ship Prediction League and post-match Player Grading, the set-up is indeed close to being perfect.
Footbo has really come into its own by creating a platform where arm-chair fans have been able to interact with famous football analysts such as Guillem Balague, Raphael Honigstein and Gabriele Marcotti. Add to that the ability for fans to communicate with professional players, as was recently the case with Arsenal and Cameroon star Alexandre Song (who created a profile on the site and wrote blogs from the Olympics where he represented his national team) and Footbo is heading in a direction which will surely raise some eyebrows.
If that’s not the kicker, here it comes – very soon, Footbo users will have a whole new world opened up to them. The social network will combine the professional world of football with the amateur one. What does that mean though? Footbo’s Amateur Section will provide amateur players of all kind with a platform to show-case their talents and communicate with one another in an authentic environment. And the last sentence doesn’t even do it justice.
Marseille Vs Liverpool
When the draw for this season’s Champions League group phase took place, I was on an adventure holiday, somewhere in wilderness that is Canada’s Yukon Territory. In a province that is home to more bears than people (a claim my visit served to substantiate), communication with the outside world, particularly that separated by oceanic waters, is often problematic. Consequently, I had to wait until the road I was travelling on brought me to Fairbanks, and the relative centre of civilisation that is Alaska, before I could get an internet connection and discover who Liverpool had been drawn against.
Marseille Vs Liverpool
By that time however, most flights connecting anywhere near Liverpool with anywhere near any of the clubs we had been drawn against, on any date near the respective match days, were either full or stupidly overpriced. To further complicate matters, there was no way of getting in touch with any of the old folks back home, to inquire of itineraries selected by my fellow Liverpool fans. With time at a premium, I made the decision on that ridiculously bright Alaskan night, to book a flight and a hired car, and travel alone to this season’s first competitive European away fixture.
Marseille Vs Liverpool
This year’s continental campaign was to begin at Marseille, a team Liverpool are starting to get to know well. This would be my third trip to watch the Reds play at the Stad Velodrome in six seasons. I opted to fly to Barcelona on the morning of the game, and after a quick scan at the other passengers, it appeared I was the only Liverpool fan on board. So I buried my head in Jamie Carragher’s autobiography, and hardly looked up from take off to landing.
I was half was through the third chapter when we landed, and was in the middle of a story about Jan Molby running rings around Everton centre halves, when I looked to my left and realised I had been sitting next to the great Dane himself. I was almost disappointed, as I had missed the opportunity to quiz the best passer of a ball I have ever seen about his career. I’m sure Jan was quite relieved. He signed my book and posed for a photograph, after which I inquired as to whether he needed a lift to Marseille. But of course, he was being met and was to be escorted on the 300-mile trip up the Mediterranean coast. It would have been a little far fetched to do a European away trip with one of your boyhood heroes anyway. For now at least, it appeared I was destined for solitude.
Marseille Vs Liverpool
I arrived in the French port six hours later, by which time I should have been painfully aware that after a energy-sapping night watching Liverpool beat Marseille once again, I was faced with the same journey home, followed immediately by a full day at the office back in Liverpool. But as my old mate little Danny always said, ‘sleeping’s cheating’. It had been six months since my last European adventure, and the pain of losing to Chelsea in last season’s Champions League semi-final was now consigned to history. Buoyed by our victory over Man United over the weekend, I was looking forward to seeing another Liverpool triumph. The remaining details of the itinerary were from that moment discarded, particularly after I had met up with the few reds who had bothered to make the rip.
The match in Marseille proved remarkably similar to our outing the previous weekend, particularly the opening exchanges. We faced a bright and adventurous Marseille team, who looked destined to threaten the Liverpool defence. That threat was realised on twenty-three minutes, when Cana put the home side ahead and sent the home fans into fits of hysteria. The French side remain one of the best supported in world football, and they must have thought their chances of securing a second victory over Liverpool in two seasons was on the cards.
Marseille Vs Liverpool
Thankfully, Liverpool’s increasingly resilient side had other plans. Captain marvel Steven Gerrard in particular, was in no mood to open the European campaign with a defeat. He scored twice in quick succession to give Liverpool an ultimately decisive lead. His first was a brilliantly taken goal three minutes after the opening strike. His second came from the penalty spot five minutes later, and sent a message to Europe that Liverpool will no longer be reduced to salvaging qualification in the latter phases of the group stage.
Marseille Vs Liverpool
It might be early days, but Rafa Benitez’s side look set to have qualification for the Super Sixteen round of the competition sewn up before travelling to Eindhoven for our final group game. PSV are unlikely to halt Liverpool’s progress in either meeting between the two clubs. New boys Atletico Madrid, who won 4-0 in Holland on match day one, are likely to represent our most serious threat to winning the group. Our next away fixture in the competition is against the Spanish club in five weeks time, a meeting that could decide the order of the top two in Group D. After that, all roads lead to Rome.
One man and his log
Tickets for games at this World Cup have been seen as prized possessions, something akin to the Golden tickets issued giving admittance to Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. Outside the stadiums people proudly have their photographs taken by friends, stadium in the background clutching their ticket. People will enquire about how you got your ticket and tell you how lucky you are. But for each ticket I have there is usually a tale to tell. For example in the last Bandarqq few days a Japanese friend (thanks Tetsuma!) emailed me to explain that he had received an offer of a conditional ticket for the game in Köln, and asked if I would like to use it.
The conditional tickets were one of many different options FIFA offered, with this scheme the wording on the website led you to believe that if you applied for a ticket for seven games they would give you a ticket for one of them, although there could only be 36 hours between an e-mail being received and the match itself.
There followed the small matter of working my way round the regulations that FIFA have introduced, so thanks to Tetsuma not feeling well (I hope you are better now) and my dad not having used his allocation of seven tickets (Thanks dad!). I was able to take up this offer.
Further luck was to come my way as at the same time as sorting all this out I received an e-mail advising me that I had been awarded a conditional ticket for Hannover, the next day.
Tuesday 27th June Köln. Hannover.
In this latest round of games, those people with tickets in their hands outside were no longer the lucky punters but those who thought they were about to make some ill-gotten gains. Apart from the Mexico, Germany and England games this has not been the case.
Immediately outside the ground I heard a Frenchman trying to sell a ticket proclaiming firstly that the game was sold out (aren’t they all!) and that it would be Zidane’s last game!(Guess the French didn’t fancy their chances beforehand).
People were trying to sell tickets for at least €250 and those in the know could see that the demand for tickets was no longer there and at kick off tickets for the game would be available for less than face value.
The policing of the tournament has been well handled and it looked as though initially touts would have a free reign. But softly, softly policing has seen police step in, checking that the tickets touts were selling were genuine and then when problems arose taking people away for further questioning when it was found that they were selling tickets for more than face value. This has been a commom sense approach, which goes against all that has been said by FIFA.
There have been checks on people’s identity at the turnstiles but when people have been identified as having a ticket in another persons name they have simply been asked to complete formalities to change the name on the ticket, and have not been charged for this!
Among the tickets I have obtained on the black market were ones issued by the Paraguayan FA, Mastercard and Security!!! I was aware before I came out of the fact that tickets close to the pitch had not been sold as FIFA were concerned over safety issues, and that they had asked the military if they would provide personnel to occupy those seats. The military agreed but stated that its people would be in uniform. FIFA declined this offer and seem to have given tickets instead to their own security personnel. So there I was on the front row with access to the pitch to avoid the plastic cups being thrown by the Koreans after the second Swiss goal was allowed to stand.
Why should a football fan who has acquired a ticket be denied the right to watch the game that they have chosen to purchase a ticket for? FIFA’s talk of punishing those that support the game is a worry that the ticketing issue may go the wrong way. In Greece for the Olympics, people were not allowed to sell tickets for more than face value, this eliminated extortionate prices and generally meant that people offloading tickets sold them at a discount and if there was a buoyant market the touts could sell them at face value.
You could argue that FIFA feel upset that they have missed out on more revenue and maybe their answer to this would be to auction all tickets to the highest bidder! This could result in a crowd being present that is not remotely interested in the spectacle unfolding in front of them, I for one do not think that FIFA would be able to market the World Cup without the passion and colour the spectators that care, add.
Montreal, Canada: Executives from BTeLocations (www.bt.com/btelocations), BT Telecommunications PLC’s inward investment unit, are at the 5th Annual Global Interactive Gaming Summit & Expo (GIGSE) in Montreal this week, showcasing the UK as a location for gaming industry investment and highlighting the support that BTeLocations can provide.
BTeLocations assists in finding the right location and providing the right technology solutions for UK-based and overseas companies, who are looking to set up a new operation in the UK. With the expected increase in investment both from abroad and within the UK from the transformation of UK gaming laws, BTeLocations has a suite of products and services, ideally suited to expanding companies. These include:
-ventureSmart, a service which helps companies reduce financial risk and add greater flexibility to their investments;
-LocationSearch, which will help gaming companies match business requirements to the right UK location;
-A series of pre-equipped business parks installed with the latest fiber-optic communications technology; and
-The very latest in communications technology to support companies in the design, delivery and installation of internet gaming stations, new hotel and casino facilities and online gaming activities.
The UK Department of Culture is planning to bring situs slot before Parliament this Autumn legislation which will see a complete overhaul of the UK gaming industry.
Likely to become law by March 2004, the bill will enable companies to open Las Vegas-style casinos throughout the country; install large number of slot and electronic gaming machines; will scrap the law where people, who want to gamble in casinos have to become members 24 hours before they want to play; and will enable online gaming operators to set up on-line gambling sites in the UK, provided that they are licensed.
Many predict that the opening up of the industry will result in the entry of new players, greater technological and telecommunications developments; and international investment in the UK market from abroad. Already MGM Mirage, the world’s biggest casino company, has acquired its first UK licence in anticipation of the changes and forecasters estimate that the UK will have a £1.4 billion share of the online gambling market by 2004.
Gerard O’Sullivan, Vice President at BTeLocations, who is attending GIGSE, commented:
“There’s no doubt that the UK gambling and Togel Singapore gaming sector is a strong growth area, with almost three-quarters of the UK adult population participating in gambling and gaming. The current UK legislation will help fully establish it as a mainstream, leisure activity with all the opportunities that brings.”
“Whether it be international or indigenous investment, BTeLocations is determined to be at the forefront of this growing market, offering a complete package to interested companies. We look forward to being at GIGSE this week and introducing the BTeLocations portfolio to the industry.”
ventureSmart is an innovative approach to companies looking to invest in a new business in the UK, but put off by the capital investment, risk and complexity of setting up operations. Through ventureSmart, BTeLocations will take responsibility for as much or as little of an investing company’s expansion activities into the UK, as they require.
Benefits to the investing company include a Lower Capital Investment; Reduced Risk; Lower Overheads; Flexibility; Access to Financial Grants & Tax Breaks; Increased Speed to Market; Fast Track Set-up; a Test Environment for Products and Services; Cutting Edge Technology; and a Clear & Cost-Effective Exit Strategy.
BTeLocations’ LocationSearch service helps companies navigate the location maze by matching business needs to specific locations. LocationSearch ensures fast set-up times, saving valuable management time and costs; provides unbiased and detailed information, based on local expertise, on the location which best fits a company’s business requirements; and allows access to BTeLocations’ portfolio of over 50 premier, pre-equipped business, technology and science parks across the UK.
In addition, as part of one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, with over 4,000 products and services and an annual spend of £300 million on research and development, BTeLocations will be able to offer gaming companies the latest communications solutions.
Gerard O’Sullivan concludes:
“We believe that the pending UK legislative overhaul and companies like BTeLocations, ready to provide a complete package to investing companies, offers a compelling proposition for gaming companies looking to expand. We look forward to welcoming such companies to the UK in what is a very exciting sector.”
The Global Interactive Gaming Summit & Expo (GIGSE), taking place in Montreal this week between June 17th and 19th, has become one of the gaming industry’s largest events with over 1,000 delegates expected to attend.…