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Gambling Planet News Briefs 6 January 2011

Online Manual for Problem Gamblers

The National Addictions Management Service of Singapore has developed on online manual to assist problem gamblers in dealing with their addiction.  The manual will allow the problem gambler to face the problem without the need for professional intervention. The intent behind the manual is to help problem gamblers who may be too afraid to seek out psychiatric counseling.

Professor Wong Kim Eng, the clinical director of NAMS, said that the most crucial factor in helping problem gamblers is that they are motivated to seek out help, either through conventional means or through a self-help manual. 

"We have to make the manual relatively easy so we can get them started," he told reporters.  "If at some point they feel they require professional help, then they can come forth, ring up our hotline and book an appointment."

Gambling.com For Sale

A British internet domain name firm is selling the name “gambling.com” at auction.  Media Corp., a company that specializes in advertising and online gaming sites, announced that the reserve price, or minimum acceptable bid, for the domain name would be US$9 million.  However, many industry experts expect the winning big to reach at least US$10 million.

Some of the reasons behind the high valuation lie with the multiple purposes such a domain name could serve.  An established online gaming company, such as Bet365 or Playtech, could use it as a primary domain, while other parties could use the name as a portal to other gaming sites.  Some interested bidders could purchase the name and hold it for later resale when and if the US institutes reform on its online gaming laws, which would drive the demand even higher.

China Censors Online Gaming Sites

The State Council Information Office in Beijing has initiated a crackdown on websites in an effort to “improve the cultural environment on the Internet”.  Government officials are investigating 150 online gaming sites, including many sports betting and online casino game sites, for violating the country’s strict internet censorship standards.

Wang Chen, the Minister for the Information Office, said that the heightened enforcement on illegal sites is in effect to protect Chinese interests from issues involving hackers, “Trojan-horse” viruses, identity theft and money laundering.  The Information Office released a statement that read in part, “The role of (the Chinese Communist) party and government is to vigorously promote a civilized Internet operating under standard Internet communication order.”

Poker Player Drinks 42 Beers

A poker player at the Star City Casino in Sydney, Australia, reportedly drank 42 beers in just 17 hours. The player, whose name was not released to the media, allegedly ordered five beers every two hours during the marathon poker session.  Witnesses attested that the player still maintained an expressionless “poker face” as he played.

The Australian Casino Liquor and Gaming Authority initially fined the casino owners US$10,000 for violating laws on how casinos should serve alcohol to players.  The Authority later lowered the fine in recognition of how Star City had handled intoxicated patrons on previous occasions. Helen Mikhael-Ghanime, the bartender at the poker room, was released from her employment at Star City over the incident.

Online Poker Pro Wins US$5M in 2010

Dan “jungleman12” Cates stood atop the 2010 online poker earnings list. Cates made just over US$5 million from playing at the popular online poker site Full Tilt Poker. Cates won over US$500,000 in one long session of $300/$600 half no-limit Texas Hold’em/half pot-limit Omaha cash games against some of the toughest competition in high-stakes online poker.

Other big winners on the site included Swedish online poker pro Andreas ‘skjervoy’ Torbergsen (US$3.7 million), Tom “durrr” Dwan (US$3.6 million) and poker superstar Phil Ivey (US$3 million). 

Patrik Antonius led the field in 2009 by making a record US$8.9 million.  The previous year, Phil Ivey earned over US$7.3 million on the virtual felt.

Hellmuth, Duke Leave UB

Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke announced that they were leaving their longtime online poker home, UB.com.  Cheating scandals had rocked the credibility of the site, formerly known as “Ultimate Bet”, back in 2007.  Hellmuth and Duke were the two pros most identified with the site and still continued to promote it after the scandal made headlines across the poker world.

Each pro released a separate statement saying that the parting was both mutual and amicable.  Both Hellmuth and Duke are pursuing other business interests outside of poker.  Meanwhile, UB.com has signed several younger players, including “Amazing Race” contestants Tiffany Michelle and Maria Ho and “Poker Road” online radio host Joe Sebok.

06-Jan-2011, 11:59

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