As China's first casino, albeit a cashless one, opens gaming executives and service providers around the world are watching to see if it will result in the introduction of real gambling in the country. Jesters Casino Bar, part of the new Mangrove Tree Resort World on Sanya Bay on Hainan Island, China, is the first approved form of gambling in China outside of Macau. Gamblers can gamble with real money but cannot win cash - instead they win point redeemable for goods and services at the Mangrove Tree Resort. Casino watchers expect that within a year or two, the Chinese government will allow real money payouts at this location and many others. If gambling is legalized in China, the government and service providers stand to earn billion and billions of revenues a year. You can read more from Reuters here.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland has charged Nick's Amusement Inc. with money laundering arising from an alleged illegal gambling business. The criminal charge comes three months after U.S. prosecutors settled a civil forfeiture action against Nick's Amusement Inc. for US$1 million that involved allegations of illegal gambling at bars and restaurants in Maryland. You can read more here.
A poster campaign for an Internet bookmaker in the U.K. depicting Jesus seated behind a stack of chips has been withdrawn following a rebuke from the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority. The poster drew widespread complaints for showing a pastiche of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper with Jesus next to the chips and the Apostles playing cards or roulette. The ASA noted that the representation of the Last Supper as a casino, with the Christian imagery replaced with items used for gambling, could cause serious offence and was a breach of the ASA taste and decency clause. The Internet bookmaker said they had tested the campaign on their employees beforehand and received a positive response.
According to a story in Time Online,the U.S. is getting financially devastated in the Internet gambling services industry by continuing to prohibit it. According to Time's sources, almost US$12 billion will be wagered over the Internet in 2005. This represents close to 5% of the world's total gross gambling yield. Over the next five years, the total take is expected to be about US$22 billion, representing about 7.5% of the industry total. According to a local U.K. firm called Global Betting & Gaming Consultants, the Internet gambling industry has "at least 10 years of strong growth."
The British gaming industry is predicting that the new Gambling Bill that relaxes the rules for gambling will result in 250,000 new gamblers within a year in the U.K. In the five weeks since the Gambling Bill was brought into force, Britain’s 138 casinos have received 100,000 more visits, three times more than predicted. As a result of the Gambling Bill, 17 new casinos will be open by 2009 in Britain and another 40 are likely to be approved within months. Two of the big changes under the Gambling Bill include allowing slot machine prizes of £1,000,000 and the advertisement of gambling at casinos. The increase in gamblers will bring with it an increase in problem gamblers and gambling addiction.