Political opposition in Malaysia is calling on Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, whom many consider a likely candidate as the next prime minister to explain his role in a U.S.-based World Cup betting scandal.

World Cup Betting Ring

Zahid HamidiIn July 2014, just after the World Cup in Brazil had ended, the FBI raided an illegal betting operation. The operation was hosted in VIP areas of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and it was largely run by Chinese and Malaysia high rollers, many of whom had strong connections to international organized crime. there also rumors that illegal betting was also being conducted through online casinos new zealand but this was later proved to be false.

The Minister of Home Affairs

Hamidi is the current Minister in Malaysia and a prominent, fast-rising politician. He has also served in Malaysian intelligence and security services, which has given him connections with the U.S. intelligence community. After Wei Seng Phua, the alleged leader of the crime ring, and his son were arrested, Hamidi contacted the Deputy FBI Director in charge of the case. He vouched for the Phuas and denied that his country had any evidence that they are connected to a powerful crime syndicate.

An Important Story in Malaysia

Illegal betting rings and Triad crime syndicates sound like something out of a Hollywood movie, but the story has not generated much interest in the U.S. In fact, the when professional poker play Phil Ivey, who recently had his own case of illegal betting, posted bail for the Phuas, it barely registered.

In Malaysia, the story is considerably different. The Phua’s criminal ties are well known, and the criminal organization their associated with is a big deal. Hamid’s actions up until this point are curious but still rather innocent. His political opposition will not let this go easily, however, and if they unearth evidence that Hamid does have ties to these criminal high rollers, it will likely spell the end of an otherwise very fruitful political career.

Gambling, especially fixed-odds betting, has always been controversial and a new study seems to have only intensified the debate on the subject. Research gambling Trust, a government-funded trust that does research on gambling habits and effects, released results of a study about the potential damaging effects of fixed odds betting in late 2014. The study examined and analysed data from 5 big bookmakers, namely, William Hill, Paddy Power, Coral, Ladbrokes and Betfred.

Conflicting findings from study

Betting-TerminalThe study has given enough fodder for debates to last a while. The various findings that were released contrast with each other and make a case both for and against gambling and, specifically, fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTS). All the numbers talked about here are as per reports released in December 2014. Some of the statistics and interesting facts unearthed by the study are:

  • It is actually possible to separate out the harmful gamblers and non-harmful machine gamers
  • Gamblers who play for high stakes and prizes in one session end up losing most of their money but also play for much longer
  • Roulette is the most popular game and its sessions last an average length of 11 minutes each
  • Almost 80 percent of the times, the gamblers end up losing money, at an average of £7 per session
  • Of the 178m session studied, about 3 percent of them were £100 stakes. One session, lasting over three hours, led to a win of £13,532.20, but a loss of £13,776.80 in another over seven hour session
  • Londoners seem to bet higher and longer than others
  • High stakes meant bad decisions, irrespective of whether the gamblers were winning or losing

Debate heats up

Bookmakers were a worried lot since the findings of the study were released. However, there seems to be some cause for cheer for the time being. Instead of hasty half-baked policies to regulate fixed odds betting and gambling, there should be a well-thought plan implemented over the next 5-10 years is the popular sentiment. It has, however brought various groups, like The Association of British Bookmakers, Sports Minister Clive Efford, Campaign for Fairer Gambling, among others to loggerheads over the next steps to be taken.

Gambling on E-Sports Gaining Popularity

Posted: 17th November 2014 by Polina in Sports Betting News

There was a time when people would laugh at the idea of online games having professional sports events. However, the world of computer and console gaming has advanced a great deal over the past few years. E-games are now hugely popular. A recent “League of Legends” event in Korea drew more than 40,000 fans to watch. In addition, the event was streamed by many sports networks around the world.

e-sports in korea

Games such as League of Legends, World of Warcraft and Dota have been gaining popularity as E-Sports. They may not have the same traction, money or fan following behind them as active sports, but they are showing positive signs.

Someone not familiar with E-Sports may scoff at this suggestion. However, a game such as League of Legends has around 70 MILLION players who participate every month. That is not a small number by any means. The players who excel at these games are treated like superstars by their fans.

Gambling in E-Sports –

Just like regular sports, the rising popularity of E-Sports has drawn gambling questions over the past few years. The man behind Pinnacle Sports, a betting company, says that many of the bets they receive refer to games such as League of Legends. E-Sports is the fastest growing part of most online sports betting sites.

These games do not get the kind of attention received by baseball, basketball or even soccer around the world. However, e-sports provided a website such as Pinnacle Sports with over 350,000 wagers last year. That is a huge number for a growing event.

Betting on these games has only been active since 2011. In the almost four years since that decision, there has been a yearly doubling of the number of bets placed on E-Sports. There are many active members of sports betting sites that take the time to scour the E-Sports world, find competitive games, and set prices on certain players.

Interwetten Now Offers Mobile Content

Posted: 27th October 2014 by Polina in Betting Basics

Online and mobile gambling service provider iSoftBet inked a deal with sports betting giant Interwetten allowing gamers to enjoy a whole new collection of slots. The latest online casino tab that has been introduced by Interwetten will feature an original selection of slots, along with premium content from iSoftBet.

Intertween to widen igaming audience with latest additions

online_gamblingInterwetten, a pioneer in the online sports betting sphere, has made a mark for itself in online gaming through the years. Ever since it made its entry online during 1997, sports’ betting has been its primary focus. However, the company slowly stepped into online and mobile casino games platforms, to offer a well-rounded online entertainment platform that features live casinos, mobile casinos, live betting, sports betting, and others. Interwetten’s Werner Becher commented that they hope the latest venture works out well for both parties. The content hosted by iSoftBet will make a positive difference to the current line of products on Interwetten, especially to the mobile segment, he says. He also lauds the customer-based approach that iSoftBet practices, and looks forward to hone the venture pans out in the near future.

About iSoftBet

iSoftBet provides casino sites with high-powered flash and online casino games. It is especially known for its spectacular audio-visual effects in its games, and its work alongside the leading studios worldwide. Its mobile gambling slot games includes branded slots configured with some of the biggest names in the film and television industry like CBS and Paramount. Commenting on the partnership with Interwetten, iSoftBet sales manager Luci Apostolou said that they are looking forward to joining hands with Interwetten. Luci hopes that online gamers will enjoy the premium-quality content created by them, and that it has been created to meet the taste of a wide circle of audience.

Players can soon enjoy the vast selection of mobile casino and flash games with interesting themes and stunning graphics.

Gambling Fame

Posted: 15th September 2014 by Polina in News

gamblingGambling has always been popular and always will be popular. That’s because it’s so entertaining, so exciting. The thrill of gambling comes from the risks involved. To gamble, you put at stake a certain amount of money in hopes of winning a larger amount. As such, you’re personally invested in the outcome of every casino game you play. And as you wait for the outcome of each game, your heart rate might quicken. The hairs on the back of your neck might stand up. Indeed, gambling often induces adrenaline rushes much the way extreme sports and roller coaster rides do. When you discover that you’ve lost, the disappointment can be acute. When you find that you’ve won, the pleasure can be overwhelming. Either way, people tend to crave more action immediately afterwards.

Because it induces these physical and emotional responses, gambling affects people on a primal level. It appeals to the subconscious as well as to the conscious mind. In a way, gambling is a microcosm of life. Human beings “gamble” all the time. When people switch careers or relocate to new cities, for instance, they put at stake their comfort and security in pursuit of greater happiness and fulfillment. Sometimes these risks pay off; sometimes they lead to failure. This entire planet, then, is like a giant casino.

Gambling is also fun because it’s social. Many people love gathering with friends to play cards or place friendly wagers on sporting events. When you gamble with people you know, you test your skills and luck against theirs, and that activity satisfies a deep-seated human need for competition. No matter who wins and who loses, the thrill of communal gambling often makes people feel a stronger bond with one another.

Despite its widespread appeal, not everyone enjoys gambling. Fortunately, when you tour a casino with others, there are usually so many entertainment options that the entire group will have a blast even if certain people choose not to gamble at all.

Casinos are sometimes as famous for their live entertainment as for their gaming. You can purchase tickets to see some of the most famous singers, comedians, and magicians in the world at many casinos, and you might even be able to take in a Broadway-quality play or musical. Indeed, it’s astounding to consider how many superstars have played Las Vegas on a regular or semi-regular basis: Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, and many more. Today, that caliber of talent performs not only in Vegas but in casinos around the globe.

Furthermore, casino entertainment is growing ever more diverse. Options at some casinos now include cooking classes, fitness classes, indoor rock-climbing, athletic events such as boxing matches, and world-class dining and shopping.