Miriam Aziz in better days, when she still shared a throne along with her now-ex husband, the Sultan of Brunei (Image: AFP/Getty)
The 59-year-old ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei has fessed up in court to some major gambling arrears played out in London’s toniest casinos, and the subsequent sale of £1million ($1,652,593) worth of fine jewelry to pay off some of her accrued gambling debts in a tale worthy of any great novelist’s plotlines, Miriam Aziz.
The hijab-covered woman testified in Isleworth Crown Court a week ago that she had certainly sold some of her gems to spend the IOUs, although she denied having once lost as much as £3 million ($4,957,781) in only one evening of wagering.
Based on Aziz, it absolutely was just £500,000 ($826,296), which most likely for an ex-Sultaness is merely chump modification. But wait, because the plot thickens in this tale of broken hearts, broken allegiances and broken bank reports.
Former Bonded Birdies Sing
Aziz additionally gave testimony against her female previous badminton-coach-turned-bodyguard Fatimah Lim, who stands accused of herself stealing £12m ($19,831,126) worth of diamonds from Aziz, substituting phony and really valueless copies within their stead.
The 35-year-old Lim says that during a 20-month spree, Aziz took her sizable retinue of support staff with her to gambling venues around the globe. Lim stated she had been later instructed by Aziz to sell the jewels on Aziz’ behalf when casinos that are several threatened to sue the ex-queen.
Aziz denied this in court, saying, ‘No, I never asked anyone, especially Fatimah Lim, to sell the diamonds, it myself. because we would do’
Lots of Dough to Spread Around
To put this in context, the Sultan is considered the man that is wealthiest on earth; so that the ex-Missus’ visits to casinos in popular spots like London, Singapore and Macau could hardly have raised an eyebrow. At first, anyway. With a £2.5m ($4,131,484) credit limit at upscale groups like London’s Clermont in Berkeley Square, Aziz could obviously play high limits and make extravagant wagers without anybody feeling alarmed.
Furthermore, it appears the supposedly devout Muslim Aziz a Royal Brunei Airlines trip attendant before becoming the Sultan’s wife prodded Lim to gamble herself, saying she’d give both Lim and several other female bodyguards bankroll that is gambling the tune of £1,500 ($2,479) a pop. Their London casino sojourns would sometimes protect as many as three casinos nightly.
‘There were individuals in your wider circle not as enthusiastic about gambling that it was not in accordance with the activities of a Muslim,’ said Lim’s defense attorney Rupert Pardoe as you there was a perception. ‘You have hatched a plot to blame Fatimah Lim for the theft of these bands and this diamond bracelet.’
Lim stands accused of three counts of theft in the trial that is still-ongoing.
Aziz’ ex-husband Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah divorced Aziz after a 21-year marriage and four young ones, in 2003. It’s difficult to keep track of his various and sundry matrimonies and his progeny, but it looks like the rating is: one royal long-lasting consort; the stripped-of-all-titles and now ex, Aziz; and a former Malaysian television hostess who only made it 5 years with her royal ex, and who was also stripped of all of the titles and her allowance, as apparently was Aziz.
Pennsylvania Lawmaker Proposes Jail Time and Fines for On Line Gambling
One Pennsylvania lawmaker would like to make online gambling an offense punishable with jail time and fines (Image: AmericanMafia.com)
Pennsylvania might be one of the largest states population-wise that is seriously considering on line gambling, but that doesn’t mean everyone else there is on board quite yet. And even though the Keystone State studies the issue and watches how things work with neighboring New Jersey, one lawmaker not only opposes putting online gambling into practice there, but actually desires to jail whoever tries to place a bet on the Internet.
Threatening Society, Scavello Says
That’s the plan from State Representative Mario Scavello, who thinks that online gambling is a threat to families and kids. He’s also concerned that problem gamblers could access internet sites and have nobody and no mechanism to stop them from wasting everything they will have right from the comfort of their own areas.
‘Here again, online gambling is well referred to as the crazy West,’ said Scavello. ‘Online, there’s no one around to keep attention on some one would youn’t know when to stop.’
But while opposition to on the web gambling isn’t precisely breaking news, the specifics of Scavello’s proposition have undoubtedly drawn attention.
The bill he has placed forward would actively punish online gamblers with fines and potentially time that is even jail. That would offer Pennsylvania a number of the nation’s harshest punishments for on the web gambling, rivaling Washington State for that title.
A first violation would be a summary offense and would carry a fine of up to $300 and up to 90 days in jail under Scavello’s bill. Things get much even worse for a 2nd offense: at the period, the crime turns into a misdemeanor, the maximum fine rises to $2,500 and offenders could be jailed for up to a year.
‘I believe that we can start to crack down on the lawbreakers,’ Scavello said if you hit people in their wallets.
Adelson Backs Bill
Needless to say, Scavello’s bill was immediately supported by Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Web Gambling (CSIG). That group pointed to A quinnipiac that is recent poll unearthed that 62 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania opposed the regulation and legalization of online gambling in their state.
‘We call regarding the Pennsylvania Legislature to vote in support of this bill and send a message that is powerful online gaming has no place in American culture,’ CSIG said in a statement.
Along with concerns within the ease of access to online gambling web sites, Scavello additionally argued that Web gaming could siphon cash away from Pennsylvania’s effective land-based casinos, potentially costing the state income and jobs. He also claimed that online gambling could be used for criminal purposes, such as money laundering.
The proposal comes at the same time when Pennsylvania is ways that are actively seeking expand the state’s gaming industry to compete with neighboring states. They will have already approved allowing bars and other venues to host gambling devices, and Governor Tom Corbett has stated that the state lottery should also offer keno games to Pennsylvania residents. Online gambling has perhaps not yet been placed to the continuing state budget, but lawmakers have already been studying it for future consideration.
Scavello’s bill has found some supporters within the state legislature, particularly among fellow Republicans.
‘We understand that online gambling results in a great deal of exploitation by various dubious characters that are out there,’ said State Representative David Millard. ‘Being addicted to gaming is like a cancer in our aussie-pokies.club community.’
UK Mobile App Gambling Growth Going Strong
Mobile gambling particularly sports wagering has been growing exponentially in the UK, while traditional Internet play has fallen (Image: Courier-Mail)
What goes up, must come down. But in the case of great britain gambling market, two present studies are making it seem that the industry is both down and up at the same time. The truth is, it’s simply a matter of what you would like to view it, as the world of gambling is changing, and mobile gaming is becoming exponentially larger 12 months after year.
Slight Drop in Gambling Numbers Overall
First, there’s a report that is new from the UK Gambling Commission that presents fewer residents gambled in 2013 than in 2012. It is merely a small drop, however: 55 percent of UK residents said they gambled over the four months before they certainly were surveyed in 2013, contrasted to 57 per cent the entire year before.
That report also gave a consider whom is gambling and how frequently they’re doing it. A total of 60 % of male respondents reported gambling at least once a while that number was just 50 percent for women month. Many gamblers said they only played once a week, or less.
The commission additionally looked at online gambling, and saw that participation in Internet betting was up also as overall participation had fallen. Some 15 % said they had participated in online gambling over the very last one month, up from 14 % a before year.
A percentage that is large of on line gambling is done through the united kingdom’s National Lottery, which is also the most used form of gambling in the world overall. In-person gambling was still the many form that is popular of though, with nearly three-quarters of those who said they gambled stating that had only done so offline.
Cellphone Gaming Keeps Growing
What do those true figures really mean? They show that online gambling continues to grow, but still includes a lot more room for expansion. Plus one thing that wasn’t covered in the Gambling Commission report was mobile gaming, which includes grown enormously in just the year that is last.
That expansive growth ended up being illustrated in a report by OddsWinner.com, which studied the web and mobile revenues associated with the top UK bookmakers. Looking at just the largest companies, it becomes clear that mobile video gaming is the future for online operators and that the long run may, in fact, be here currently.
For instance, William Hill has seen fast growth in how much of their recreations guide revenue is now originating from mobile players. In 2012, just 26 percent of their sports guide turnover arrived from mobile betting. But by the quarter that is second of, that number had already raised to 33 per cent, and the organization expects that to go above 40 per cent by the finish of 2014. Extremely, William Hill reported that year-over-year revenues for mobile gaming had increased 298 percent from 2012 to 2013.
Other companies saw lower but still dramatic prices of mobile development. Paddy Power saw a 112 percent enhance in mobile revenue in 2013, while Betfair said mobile activity was up 64 percent year-over-year. And sports guide Bet365 says that 50 % of their customers now come from mobile phones.
In line with the OddsWinner report, the growth in mobile betting is because of many factors, like the increased usage of smartphones in the UK. More companies may also be apps that are releasing rather than forcing customers to link through their mobile browsers by itself.
‘Smartphones can now deliver the ongoing solutions required to permit customers to bet in the move,’ said Push Technology CEO Sean Bowen. ‘they are carried by us every-where and therefore can bet at anytime, anywhere. There are more people with mobiles than PCs.’
Other factors are the increase in interest for in-play wagering on activities, and marketing that is mobile-specific by the major UK bookmakers.