A soon to be built super casino in Southampton is facing stiff competition from bidders in the final stages of the competition. In a recent meeting with the city councilors where the bids were supposed to be short-listed, all bidding parties successfully qualified for the next phase.

Who were the bidders?

Seven bids were offered by five firms to build the super casino including Global Gaming Ventures, Aspers, Grosvenor, Genting Casinos UK Ltd and Kymeira Casino Ltd. Eight licenses for large scale casinos are currently available, including a roster of 30 blackjack as well as poker tables and 150 slot machines each.

The upcoming super casino is most likely to be located in the Royal Pier, a new development worth about £450 million. However, two more sites are also under consideration owing to the bids made by two of the casino giants. Grosvenor proposed the Leisureworld Complex located at West Quay Road whereas Global Gaming Ventures showed support for Watermark WestQuay.

Latest city council meeting

In the recent city council meeting in Southampton, the licensing committee considered the merits of all seven bids and decided to approve all seven to the final stage of the bidding process. Matt Tucker, chairman of the licensing committee commented that the council considered whether the bids and the bidders met the licensing criteria for the super casino. Adding that the team was satisfied with all seven bids, Tucker said that the committee was going to impose many conditions on building the super casino to maintain its standards.

The councillor also added that the committee wishes the winner to focus on hiding the interiors of the casino from outsiders. The final decision for the super casino will be made by June 2015.

New Zealand Jockey May Face Lifetime Ban

Posted: 14th July 2014 by Polina in Betting Basics

A New Zealand Jockey has had his license revoked and may be facing a lifetime ban from the sport of thoroughbred racing. The jockey, David Walker, is accused of corruption, after authorities say he bet on a rival’s horse in an Aug. 16 race at the Awapuni course. They say he then restrained his own mount in order to win a wager. According to The Race Integrity Unit (RIU), Walker placed a bet on “St Rasom,” a horse which finished the race several lengths before the horse Walker was riding – “Watch Your Man.”

Horse betting

Stewarts had questioned Walker after he exhibited suspicious behavior on the course, taking wide turns and failing to spur his horse on; however, after veterinarians examined the horse and found nothing wrong, the stewards stopped their inquiry into the incident. Now, Walker faces more serious scrutiny.

Mike Godber, general manager of the RIU said that Walker’s alleged actions threatened the “very fabric” of horse racing. He said that if Walker were to continue racing, he might damage the sport’s integrity, image and interests.

Walker has defended himself against the RIU’s accusations, saying that a hand cramp led to him to restrain his horse; however CCTV cameras captured footage of the jockey collecting winnings from the bet he had placed on the other horse. His winnings allegedly totaled more than NZ $500. Authorities are now investigating other races Walker has participated in for possible corruption.

Observers are calling the incident one of the biggest scandals in the New Zealand racing scene and Walker has already faced personal consequences for his alleged actions. He lost a ride on the horse “Scapolo,” a favourite in Hastings Triple Crown.

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Although in Prison, He’s Still a Punter

Posted: 7th April 2014 by Polina in Betting Basics

horse racingTony Mokbel may be spending the next 20 years of his life in prison, but apparently this has not stopped him from wagering on the horses. Barwon Prison officials were able to intercept phone calls that indicated Mokbel was making bets from the prison. Although these wagers were coded, prison officials claim they were able to decode the messages and have proof that wagers were made. Mokbel has been transferred to a management unit of the prison and has had his phone privileges revoked.

Mokbel was, at one time, Australia’s largest importer of illegal drugs that included cocaine, ecstasy and methyl amphetamine. Although he spent most of his life in Melbourne, he fled Australia as a fugitive in 2006 only to be arrested in Greece the following year and extradited to Australia.

Tony Mokbel was known in the 1990s for his association with horse racing and was always under the watchful eyes of Australian authorities. Not only was he a large bettor, but he was under constant suspicion of fixing races. Several prominent trainers and jockeys were warned to not associate with Mokbel because of these suspicions.

Mokbel was a member of what many called the tracksuit gang. He and his associates would appear at premier racing days when bookmakers were at their busiest. Much of the wagers that they claim to have made were thought by the police to be money laundering for cash received from the sale of drugs. Basically, they would look for punters with large winning tickets and pay them a bonus over what the ticket was worth. For example, if a ticket was worth $10,000, the tracksuit gang might pay the punter $12,000. Mokbel and his associates could then cash the ticket and have verifiable proof the money was legitimate. The bonus paid to the punter was simply the cost of washing the money.

Although it is no surprise that Mokbel would still love to wager on a horse race, the amount of money he placed on these races seemed to have been incredibly high. This is a clear indication that Mokbel still has access to large amounts of money that has, until now, gone undetected. After his conviction, all known assets of Mokbel were taken from him. This totaled over 50 million dollars and included the assets of many of his associates. Because the person who Mokbel was transmitting his wagers to was on the approved list of people to speak to by phone, prison officials were able to trace his wagers to betting accounts that were controlled by Mokbel.

Atletico MadridWhen the 2013-2014 La Liga season started, there were very few punters who would have suggested that fans should place bets on Atletico Madrid to emerge as winners. Madrid’s second club have a huge following in Spain, and they were much improved under Diego Simeone, but were still viewed as perennial losers. The loss of Radamel Falcao to Monaco was seen as the beginning of the end for Simeone’s Atletico, especially after they failed to spend money to replace the Colombian hit man.

However, Atletico Madrid proved that season starting odds of 25-1 on their success were fantastic value. With a huge percentage of punters placing money on either Real Madrid or Barcelona, those that stuck their neck out on Atletico were handsomely rewarded.

Football is a sport where the winner often comes from a group of three or four teams who are considered pre-season favorites. However, recent events have shown that unpredictability is still possible. Atletico Madrid of 2013-2014 are a prime example, with their progress in La Liga and the Champions League coming as a surprise to all pundits, betters and fans.

There were similarly impressive successes for Borussia Dortmund in recent years, with the German club winning two league titles in 2010/11 & 2011/12 and reaching the Champions League final last season. They were rank outsiders when compared to their richer and more illustrious rivals Bayern Munich.

Liverpool had a very impressive 2013/2014 season, with no one expecting that they would finish in the top four of the league, let alone mount a serious challenge for the league title. Liverpool are a historically significant club, but their recent spending and achievements meant that they were at long odds to get in the top four. Betters may have felt they were making a safe choice by picking Manchester United over them, but their performances proved many people wrong.

The success of these teams has come against expectation and logic, but it shows that there is still a lot of room for outside betting success in European football. Think an outsider can win next year’s Premier League? Click here for the latest odds.