Is there a shot that London Mayor Boris Johnson will set his hair on fire with the Olympic Torch - accidentally, of course? The British betting industry is worth at least $9 billion a year and the Olympic Games are coming to London; the odds on Johnson torching his own hair? Keep reading. Should New York State just cut a hole in the floor of its nine racinos and run a giant funnel from the slots into the next boxcar load of cash headed for the state’s coffers? Check out the new T-shirts and up and coming clothing line for gay poker players and more in this edition of The Inside Shuffle
London 2012: Summer Olympics
Gambling on the London Olympics isn't just about bets on gold medals, Big Macs, and UFOs, it's about everything that anyone wants to bet on...pretty much. The London betting houses are offering odds:
Joe Crilly, a William Hill spokesman, said, "We try to cater to most people's tastes." William Hill is one of the gambling houses that encourage their players to contact them with any bet they can dream up.
William Hill is offering odds of 1,000-to-1 that during Friday's opening ceremony a flying saucer will appear over the Olympic Stadium.
Another British bookmaker, Ladbrokes, will be offering 11,000 different wagers during the Olympics according to spokeswoman Jessica Bridge. A few bets at Ladbrokes are the athletes' village in Olympic Park will run out of condoms, a British athlete will eat a McDonald's Big Mac while being photographed, or the Olympics will be over budget.
The British betting industry is one of the biggest in the world and the fun disappears when the discussion of the massive gambling volume leading to corruption rears its ugly head. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has barred athletes from betting on the games and sports.
No one wants to mar London's legacy.
"We have a lot of strict regulations in place to guard against any funny business," Crilly said. "If we were to see an unusually large bet for a sport we were not particularly expecting large amounts of money for, it would flash up ... If there was any suggestion that it was suspicious we would get authorities involved."
Oh, and the odds on Johnson torching his own hair are 33-to-1.
New York State is Nation's Biggest Jackpot Winner
With nine racinos pulling in a gigantic 68 percent tax rate, New York State is rolling in the revenues after collecting $620 million during the first half of the year.
All we can say is "OUCH!" Good for New York state, bad for business over all in our opinion. Games are meant to give the satisfaction of getting to play, not scoop everything the first year and leave a barren wasteland of empty pockets behind for the next drought-ridden years.
Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos generated $329 million for Nevada and New Jersey according to the New York Gaming Association. Nevada has a 6.75 percent tax on its casinos and New Jersey's is 8 percent. Pennsylvania is imposing a 55 percent levy and Rhode Island is upward of 70 percent.
“Gaming facilities in New York operate at one of the highest rates in the country, and that means more money for education,’’ said James Featherstonhaugh, head of the Gaming Association, the lobbying group for the nine racinos. “It’s a win for taxpayers, who reap the benefits of a business that is also helping to keep the property taxes down.”
The racinos are only offering slot machines at this time but there is consideration to legalize Vegas-style casinos.
Alderney Revises Regulations Concerning Player Deposits
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has been in and out of the news since Black Friday hit on April 15th, 2011; most of it wasn't the kind of news that leaves you feeling comforted and safe with how your player funds were protected.
The AGCC underwent no small amount of criticism after its former licensee Full Tilt Poker managed to make millions of dollars in player deposits simply disappear. Of course a review of the AGCC's actions was undertaken; the former chairman of the UK Gambling Commission, Peter Dean, conducted the review which cleared the AGCC of any wrong doing. Who didn't know that would happen?
March of 2012 found the AGCC announcing that it was “in advanced stages of implementing a new approach towards the protection of player funds.”
New guidelines are available for viewing in full here. The short version is that a bank account must be kept separately for the purpose of holding funds that are credited to the licensee's registered customers.
Here's the gut-ripper: the AGCC may “at its discretion, waive the requirement” to keep funds separate “where a person has provided a written guarantee” to (a) make players whole at a later date, should the licensee find itself temporarily unable to do so, and (b) maintain sufficient funds on hand to make (a) possible.
Licensees must also submit a monthly report to the AGCC which details funds of customers on deposit and the bank accounts they reside in.
We think Tony G should follow through.
Read the report at calvinayre.com.
Gay Poker Players’ New Clothing Line
Perhaps the idea of a new T-Shirt Line for gay poker players didn’t start with Jason Somerville’s coming out, but the fact that he did, and that he’s won a lot of money, seemed to catch the eye of King Jack Suited out of Ireland who’s creating “T-shirts and accessories for queer card sharps and their allies.”
The biggest seller right now is a shirt that reads, “I might be gay but my straight beats your queens!”
There are other tees, pins and hats with slogans for the intuitive reader, like “Full house? Okay, let’s go to my place!” and “I think the BB fancies me!”
More designs are on the way although the product range is still small according to co-founder Steffen Karl.
Find out how to order your own T here.
Article image courtesy of Reuters.com