Melbourne Australia’s Crown Casino faces charges of taking advantage of a known gambling addict. The Plaintiff, 42-year old Harry Kakavas, a wealthy property developer, reportedly lost 2 Million Dollars (roughly USD$1.5 Million) playing at Crown’s card tables in less than 1 hour – 43 minutes to be exact! The incident is said to have taken place back in August of 2006.
So, how does USD$1.5 Million jump to a whopping USD$16 Million? Do the math! Between 2005 to 2006, Kakavas had gambled over USD$1.1 Billion. His individual bets were somewhere around USD$230,000 per hand! With this ‘special’ treatment, Kakavas could not say no. He went on to play and eventually lose more than USD$230 Million, which leads us to present day and the pending lawsuit that Kakavas and his attorneys filed against Crown Casino and its executives for roughly USD$16 Million citing that Crown had knowledge that he was a problem gambler.
Law enforcement officers in Sydney had banned Kakavas from attending the local Star City Casino around the same time and Kakavas argues that the ban should have been enforced country-wide, as he is locally recognized for his pathological betting. Neil Young, attorney for Crown Casino, counters that Crown in no way attempted to “lure” Kakavas back to their gambling establishment in order to take advantage of him. It was noted that Kakavas was banned from the casino in August 2006 after he lost the reported USD$1.5 Million. Kakavas, however, says that Crown repeatedly left him thousands of dollars in “lucky money” to patronize the establisment. Crown also faces a fine of USD$540 Million if they are found to be in breach of the Casino Control Act.
At this stage of the court case, it is difficult to determine how the sequence of events played out or who will have the last laugh. One thing is for sure, somewhere along the line, the lightbulb went on in Harry Kakavas’ head that he should have quit when he was ahead. Or, since he’s such a bad gambler and would most likely not have been ahead EVER, he should have quit after he lost the first USD$1.5 Million! It will be interesting to see how this case progresses – stay tuned for the latest scoop.
The Palais du Luxembourg hosted a conference, which was sponsord by the Government, to discuss the liberalization of France’s gambling market, a venture that is slated to take place starting January 1st 2010. The event was hosted at the Palais du Luxembourg and involved topics such as taxation, addressing problem gambling and problem-gambling-related issues, which was announced would be the responsibility of the state and not of the gambling Operators. Minister Eric Woerth, who is responsible for the liberalization, stated that regulations would be put in place to prevent money laundering and maintain transparency with the Operators’ business transactions. He said that prospective Operators would not be able to ‘influence neither the form nor the timetable for reform’. Disciplinary action will be taken against those Operators who operate without a license, including blocking their website access and access to their financial transactions.
Offshore companies, Unibet included, and local Operators were asked to discontinue their online gambling campaigns, which, Woerth warned, would lead to their demise and, quite possibly, prevent them from acquiring a license when the new regime is at the helm.
In closing he left this message with the attendees, “Restez Calme”, which means “Remain Calm”, as reform is on the way.
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