Queens, NY Illegal Gambling Ring Busted!

19 04 2010

[Turns out that allegedly some guys from Queens, NY had an illegal gambling operation running and it was recently busted up by the DA in Queens.  They were making TONS of money.  Check out this article below from NY1.com]

Investigators in Queens arrested dozens of people, allegedly tied to two major sports betting rings.

The Queens district attorney’s office has indicted 38 people in connection with the two nationwide operations that spanned from Queens to Nevada, Florida and as far as Costa Rica.

Seventeen of the defendants were arraigned Wednesday in Queens. All of the defendants face multiple charges including enterprise corruption and money laundering.

The two operations allegedly worked together to make close to $178 million over nearly a three year period. Investigators say a majority of the money came from online betting sites.

Among those charged are a city sanitation worker, DOT highway repairman and a firefighter who prosecutors say delivered gambling money using a New York City Fire Department vehicle.

Prosecutors say gambling rings often lead to more criminal behavior.

“Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime by any sense of the word. Those who participate in illegal gambling often use threats intimidation and physical force to collect their debts,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

The defendants are due back in court in May.

If convicted, they could face up to 25 years in prison.

Aussie Footballer tells Fox Sports he wanted addiction kept quiet

19 04 2010

[Here’s an article by Christopher Boyd of Fox Sports about an AFL player who had a long term gambling addiction problem.  Now the problem has become public and the player has expressed his desire to have this matter remain private…]

Brisbane Lions full-forward Brendan Fevola has revealed in an exclusive interview with Fox Sports that he never wanted his gambling addiction revealed to the general public.

In a tell-all interview with his manager and Fox Sports commentator, Alastair Lynch, Fevola denied his problem had impacted on his football but said he would have preferred that the issue remained private.

“I don’t think it really needs to be spoken about much more than this interview,” he said.

“I didn’t really want it to come out to the public forum but that’s the way footy is these days.

”(The story’s) been around for a while, I’ve been punting since I was about 16 or 17.

“I’ve probably been working through it since early February. I think if you’re a punter you don’t really want to admit that you are a punter.”

Meanwhile, Lynch said that reports of the extent of Fevola’s debts had been grossly exaggerated, saying the rumour about his car being repossessed was “absolutely false”.

“That’s totally wrong. The numbers I know of, and I’m sure they’re the right numbers, it’s certainly less than $100,000,” Lynch said.

“It’s substantial money, but we’re not going anywhere near the numbers that’s been discussed in the Press.”

Fevola’s gambling revelations are just the latest episode in the life of one of the AFL’s most colourful characters, coming just a week after he was cleared by the AFL of any wrongdoing in the Lara Bingle naked photo scandal.

But Fevola said he had been buoyed by the support he had received since going public.

“It’s been amazing. (I’ve been) a little bit surprised because I get knocked a bit which is probably my own fault,” he said.

“(But) I feel a little bit better that it’s come out. It impacts on every part of life … I’ve been pretty fortunate that it hasn’t really impacted on my footy.

“When I cross that line you’re in footy mode.”

Video Gamers taking bribes from gamblers?

19 04 2010

[I play video games and when I saw this article I knew I had to post it.  Pro Gamers throwing matches, wow, how far will this match fixing go.  Is any sporting event or competitive event by professionals just a pure match without influence? I’m starting to really wonder….Check out this article from vgchartz.com]

The Korean E-Sports Association has filed charges against players and coaches for accepting bribes from gambling web sites to intentionally lose. This may have been going on for years.

First of all, for those who don’t know, StarCraft is serious business in Korea.  The game may be 12 years old, but hey, basketball’s 119 years old and still draws crowds.  The Korea Times points out that StarCraft alone accounts for 70% of all “E-sports” in South Korea.  Like traditional sports where people move more than their fingers, the professionals have their own coaches and sponsorships, and their televised competitions fill stadiums and have excited announcers detailing every move.  Now StarCraft is even involved in the biggest scandal in professional gaming history, which is currently unfolding.  The game has become so popular it has its own illegal gambling rackets, and the illegal gambling rackets are so big they’re now paying to control the outcomes of the games.

The Korean E-Sports Association has allegedly known about this illegal gambling problem for years and never alerted authorities.  They’ve been trying to solve it on their own, driving the whole operation even further underground.  The gambling started in 2006 and the pros allegedly got involved in 2008.  But this past week the news of the scandal has exploded across the internet, and they finally filed a complaint with the police to help with the investigation, and this has since been confirmed by the Ministry of Culture.  One Korean publication is even comparing this to the “Black Sox” scandal of 1919, when eight members of the Chicago White Sox intentionally threw the World Series.

The investigation is currently stilll in progress, and it’s alleged that many of the world’s greatest players are not only throwing matches, but they’re intentionally leaking their teams’ game replays.  This allows opponents to watch their whole team’s every move and be ready for them in future matches.  It is rumored that one of the players involved might be Ma Jae-Yoon, one of the world’s most famous players.  He’s been rated first nine times, winning at BlizzCon and several other tournaments.  In fact, most of the world’s most successful and famous players are implicated in the scandal, including several other BlizzCon winners and world champions.

Right now pro teams are blaming each other, firing their own members, and many under investigation are retiring.  Korean web sites are posting “blacklists” of everybody involved, but they are being taken down quickly.  Gamepron found this translated list of many of the players currently being investigated, and it’s almost all the world’s best players right now:

Betting Patterns Causing Concern for World Championship Pool

19 04 2010

[Interesting article I found that talks about betting patterns in pool matches.  It seems the gambling influence can impact all sports or at least the suspicion will linger…]

The World Championships start tomorrow in Sheffield after a year in which suspicious betting patterns and allegations of match-fixing have dogged the sport like never before.

Police are still investigating a match between world number two Stephen Maguire and fellow Scot Jamie Burnett at the UK Championships in December 2008.

Maguire won that match 9-3, but beforehand, World Snooker bosses were contacted by bookies reporting suspicious betting patterns and large amounts of money being put on that exact result.

Both players denied any wrongdoing and the probe is still ongoing.

To make matters more interesting still, Maguire’s first round opponent at the Crucible, Stephen Lee, is a man who has been arrested and released following a two-year investigation into match-fixing.

Such is the talk about the whole issue around the snooker circuit, that Maguire himself has asked the bookies to ban people laying money on his matches – fat chance, I’m afraid, Mr Maguire.

But Maguire’s idea does have some merit, even if the loss of earnings to the bookmakers means it will never happen. No bets = no suspicious patterns = no players living under a cloud for the rest of their careers. As Maguire said: “What annoys me is that the bookies will scream and shout about match fixing but still put my name on the market.”

It’s very unlikely anyone would be stupid enough to try and concoct a result at the World Championships, however. Especially with the prestige and glory that comes with lifting the crown at the end of two hard weeks of competition.

The competition this year is as wide open as it has ever been.

Top players such as Ronnie O’Sullivan, Maguire and Shaun Murphy are struggling for form, opening the door for those lesser-known names to come through and claim a victory.

O’Sullivan – as seems to have become his right in the past 10 years – will start as a 4/1 favourite for the title, ahead of defending champion John Higgins, a 9/2 shot and a man who very rarely suffers from blips and is the only one of the ‘big’ names enjoying a modicum of form.

Ding Junhui is a man, not long ago a boy, they have been tipping as a future world champion for years.

An undoubted talent, and the first of the Chinese wave to make a name for himself on the global stage, he can be found at 9/1 and this represents good value after he reached the final of the China Open, the last ranking event and won the UK final in December.

Maturity gained through more time on the circuit have made him a better, less reckless player and this could finally be the year Asia gets its first world champion.

Those three will be the players most talked about, but two-time winner Mark Williams, the man to beat Ding in China, is 12/1 and worth watching, as is former runner-up Ali Carter, who is out at 33/1.

My man, though, is Australian Neil Robertson. I’ve backed him before and I’ll back him again because one day he will let his talent get the better of his slightly flaky temperament.

He’s another man at 12/1 and always a crowd favourite and if he can get past gritty Irishman Fergal O’Brien in the first round his game can only benefit and he can go a long way.

One long shot to watch out for might be the second Chinese player in the draw, Liang Wenbo.

Renowned for his superb long potting, Liang has it tough in the first round against O’Sullivan, but as I’ve said, Ronnie isn’t in the best of form and is as beatable as he ever will be.

Liang, beaten by O’Sullivan on his Crucible debut two years ago in the quarter-finals, can be had at 66/1 for the tournament and he’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

Six-times winner Steve Davis, at 400/1, on the other hand, is.

First published at 13:13, Friday, 16 April 2010
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk

Philly.com moving towards online gambling!

19 04 2010

[I visit Philly.com just about everyday, its a good quick source of new in Philly.  When I heard they are having online gambling I couldn’t believe it.  When I actually read the article it made more sense.  But still, I think we all can see the trend, sports betting will be legal sooner or later.  There is just too much money involved.  Check out the article…Reported on  Cnet News by Greg Sandoval] -BETaholic

Though Google CEO Eric Schmidt and seemingly everyone else is telling publishers they should place some bets on potential new business models, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s new venture may not be exactly what they had in mind.

Philly.com, the online unit of the Inquirer and sister newspaper the Philadelphia Daily News, has launched a legal online betting service called Instant Fantasy Games. The papers said last week that they are the first in their industry to make a foray into online betting, according to a report in Editor & Publisher, a newspaper trade journal.

“We’re trying to serve two goals,” said Yoni Greenbaum, vice president of product development at Philly.com. “Those are content differentiation and revenue. If you’re looking at the sports sites out there, a lot of them have the same stuff…The challenge that this creates is we need to offer more. In this day and age, sports fans have insatiable appetites.”

FanDuel, a British wagering company helped Philly.com launch Instant Fantasy. Part fantasy league and part sports book, the service enables bettors to pick groups of players from professional baseball, hockey, or basketball leagues. It operates much like the fantasy leagues from Yahoo.com, CBSSports.com (parent company of CNET), and ESPN–except those games are just for fun.

With Instant Fantasy, players pay $5 to $50 a game with the chance to win as much as $90, Greenbaum said. It’s one-on-one, and players can compete with a friend or family member. If they don’t have anyone they want to play against, the game’s system will match them up with someone five minutes before competition begins. Games are held daily.

Internet gambling is illegal in the United States, but in 2006, the government made some exceptions involving fantasy sports leagues, E&P reported.

On Sunday night, Schmidt addressed a group of newspaper executives in Washington D.C. at the American Society of News Editors. “We have a business model problem,” Schmidt told the crowd. “We don’t have a news problem.”

Schmidt said newspapers are “fundamental” to democracy and predicted they would find a new business model based on advertising and subscription revenue. Maybe he should have included creating a sports book.

Hedge Fund Investing in Sports Gambling?

18 04 2010

Could Chelsea help to make Hedge Fund managers rich?

[A very interesting article in the LA Times (by Nathaniel Popper) is reporting that a London based Hedge Fund is announcing they plan to wager on sports.  What!?!?!?  Here’s what they say…]

Starting on Saturday, the new Centaur Galileo fund in London will be making investments not in the traditional financial playing fields of stocks, oil futures or real estate, but in the actual playing fields of soccer, tennis and horse racing.

Galileo is probably the first hedge fund to make bets on sports events, experts say.

“We put numbers against those things that you and me and everyone in pubs have casual discussions about,” said Tony Woodhams, the managing director at Centaur Group, which operates the fund. “That gives us an edge on these markets.”

It’s not for the average bettor. Galileo requires a minimum investment of 100,000 euros (about $135,000).

Centaur claims to have a proprietary number-crunching system that can make sports bets with far better results than the casual bettor. In fact, the company plans to make money off fluctuations in odds and point spreads that are affected by amateur bets.

Galileo is only for Europeans for now — Centaur can’t offer it in the U.S. without the blessing of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Woodhams said the company would apply for that approval next year.

So is investing in a sports-betting hedge fund about as sane as pouring money into a Nigerian inheritance deal? There are financial folks who believe such a fund could be a good bet.

Entrepreneur, Dallas Mavericks owner and former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Mark Cuban has long advocated such a fund.

“If they fully commit to a data-driven model, I think they can do well,” Cuban said in an e-mail. “In many respects, stocks are the bigger gamble.”

Others were skeptical, to say the least.

Justin Wolfers, a professor who teaches a class about sports gambling at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, said there are people who make a good living from wagers. But he’s not sure Centaur is in their league.

“Is it plausible that these guys could be as smart and savvy as professional gamblers? Yes it is,” Wolfers said. “But any time anyone in any realm of gambling tells me they can print money — I’m always cynical.”

Centaur will have 25 traders working on its London trading floor (though the fund’s official address is in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, which has an easier regulatory environment). Most of the traders come from a financial background. One of them, Woodhams said, left a job at Goldman Sachs to set up a sports book trading on cricket and tennis.

“In the U.S. you would probably say he was a gambler,” Woodhams said. “In the U.K., we are beginning to recognize these people for what they are — they are professional traders.”

The traders will use statistical modeling to place bets on websites such as Betfair, which is popular in Britain but banned in the U.S. The bets will not just be on matches’ final outcomes — Centaur will also wager on items such as the over-under that takes into account the total points scored.

If profit is made, Centaur will take a 30% cut, a hefty premium over the usual 20% for hedge funds.

[I’m seeing a huge shift as far as with trading in general.  With the recent stock declines and a still unpredictable climate that exists, it seems pressure might be put on the SEC and legislatures to consider making sports gambling legal so that it can open the door of opportunity for the real gamblers, brokers.  This is going to get VERY interesting in the future for sure.]

Legalizing Sports Gambling

18 04 2010

Are sports sans and sports leagues going to accept open gambling? (

In a BusinessWeek Article by Wayne Parry it is being reported that sports gambling may not be illegal much longer in NJ.  Atlantic City, NJ is heating up and the debate on allowing legal sports gambling is now being pushed by state legislatures.  A public vote in November, 2010 could see sports gambling as a legal industry in NJ as well as online.  Not everyone is so happy about this possible change, including the NFL.

An NFL spokesperson (Timothy McDonough) believes sports betting could discredit the leagues integrity.  He began saying, “mistakes are made in course of the game, either by the ref or by players”.   He went on to say, “but when mistakes are made, to a less rational person who is placing a bet, a mistake becomes a fix”.

These comments made by Mr. McDonough received immediate criticism.  One person taking part in the backlash is a former Atlantic City Mayor and current state Sen. James Whelan.  “The league has a contractual relationship with broadcast networks, and they go on (the air) and talk about the line, will the Eagles cover the spread against the Giants,” Whelan said. “There’s a level of hypocrisy that the NFL and other professional leagues bring.”

Joseph Brennan, CEO of the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, an Internet gambling association, also accused the NFL of hypocrisy in opposing legalized betting.  Brennan goes on to say that lines are openly discussed and sports gambling itself is “everywhere, its in full view”.

Before such betting can legally happen, a federal ban on sport betting for all but four states would have to be overturned or repealed. New Jersey is suing the federal government to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The 1992 law restricts sports betting to the four states that met a deadline to sign up for it: Nevada, where Las Vegas sports books determine the odds for sporting events across the country; Delaware; Montana; and Oregon.

The law carved out a special exemption for New Jersey, giving it a chance to decide if it wanted legal sports betting. The state failed to enact a law that would have done so, and the exemption window closed.

The lawsuit argues that the U.S. law is unconstitutional because it treats four states differently than the 46 others.

A consultant hired by Brennan’s Internet betting association estimated that sports betting could become a $10 billion-a-year industry in New Jersey by 2011 if it were permitted in casinos, at racetracks, online and by telephone. That could generate nearly $100 million a year in tax revenues for the state, he said.

The bill authorizing a November referendum on sports betting has been introduced and has cleared a Senate committee. It is awaiting further action in both chambers of the legislature. It would prohibit bets on college games held in New Jersey, or games anywhere in the country in which a New Jersey team is involved.

So, is legalizing sports betting really that bad for sports leagues like the NFL, MLB or NBA?  All of these leagues have had their own internal integrity issues with refs being involved with gambling, PEDs, players involved in gambling, point shaving, etc.  Would adding legal gambling in sports really intensify or entice cheating in professional sports?