Miriam Aziz in better days, when she still shared a throne with her now-ex spouse, 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 although she denied having once lost as much as £3 million ($4,957,781) in just one night of wagering that she had indeed sold some of her gems to pay the IOUs.
Based on Aziz, it absolutely was only £500,000 ($826,296), which probably for an ex-Sultaness is merely chump change. 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 feminine former badminton-coach-turned-bodyguard Fatimah Lim, who stands accused of herself stealing £12m ($19,831,126) worth of diamonds from Aziz, substituting phony and basically valueless copies in their stead.
The 35-year-old Lim says that during a spree that is 20-month Aziz took her sizable retinue of support staff with her to gambling venues around the world. Lim said she was later instructed by Aziz to sell the jewels on Aziz’ behalf when several gambling enterprises reportedly threatened to sue the ex-queen.
Aziz denied this in court, saying, ‘No, I never ever asked anyone, especially Fatimah Lim, to sell the diamonds, it myself. because I would do’
Plenty of Dough to Spread Around
To put this in context, the Sultan is considered the wealthiest man on earth; so the ex-Missus’ visits to casinos in popular spots like London, Singapore and Macau could hardly have raised an eyebrow. At first, anyway. Having 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 anyone feeling alarmed.
Furthermore, it appears the supposedly players paradise casino app devout Muslim Aziz a Royal Brunei Airlines journey attendant before becoming the Sultan’s wife prodded Lim to gamble herself, saying she’d give both Lim and other feminine bodyguards bankroll that is gambling the tune of £1,500 ($2,479) a pop. Their London casino sojourns would sometimes protect as numerous as three casinos nightly.
‘There were people 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’ve got hatched a plot to blame Fatimah Lim for the theft of these rings and also this diamond bracelet.’
Lim stands accused of three counts of theft in the still-ongoing trial.
Aziz’ ex-husband Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah divorced Aziz after a 21-year wedding and four kiddies, in 2003. It’s difficult to keep track of their various and sundry matrimonies and his progeny, but it appears 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 five years with her royal ex, and who was also stripped of most titles and her allowance, as apparently was Aziz.
Pennsylvania Lawmaker Proposes Jail Time and Fines for On The Web Gambling
One Pennsylvania lawmaker would like to make online gambling an offense punishable with jail time and fines (Image: AmericanMafia.com)
Pennsylvania might be among the largest states population-wise that is seriously considering on line gambling, but that doesn’t suggest everyone 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 really desires to jail anybody who attempts to place a bet on the web.
Threatening Society, Scavello Says
That’s the plan from State Representative Mario Scavello, who believes that online gambling is just a threat to families and kiddies. He is also concerned that problem gamblers could access internet sites and have nobody and no mechanism to stop them from throwing out everything they’ve right from the convenience of these own living rooms.
‘Here again, online gambling is best referred to as the Wild West,’ said Scavello. ‘Online, there is no one around to keep an optical attention on somebody who doesn’t understand when to stop.’
But while opposition to on the web gambling isn’t precisely news that is breaking the specifics of Scavello’s proposal have absolutely drawn attention.
The bill he has put forward would actively punish online gamblers with fines and potentially even jail time. That would provide Pennsylvania a few of the nation’s harshest punishments for on the web gambling, rivaling Washington State for that title.
Under Scavello’s bill, an initial violation would be a summary offense and would carry a fine of up to $300 or more to 90 days in jail. Things get much worse for a offense that is second at that point, the criminal activity becomes a misdemeanor, the maximum fine rises to $2,500 and offenders could be jailed for up to a year.
‘I believe that if you hit individuals within their wallets, we can begin to crack straight down in the lawbreakers,’ Scavello stated.
Adelson Backs Bill
Needless to say, Scavello’s bill was instantly supported by Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop online Gambling (CSIG). That team pointed to A quinnipiac that is recent poll found that 62 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania opposed the regulation and legalization of on the web gambling in their state.
‘We call on the Pennsylvania Legislature to vote and only this bill and send a powerful message that online gaming has no place in American society,’ CSIG stated in a statement.
Along with concerns over the ease of access to on the web gambling internet sites, Scavello also argued that Web gaming could siphon money far from Pennsylvania’s successful casinos that are land-based potentially costing the state revenue and jobs. He also claimed that online gambling could be used for criminal purposes, such as for example money laundering.
The proposition comes at a time when Pennsylvania is actively seeking ways to expand the state’s gaming industry to compete with neighboring states. They’ve already approved bars that are allowing other venues to host gambling devices, and Governor Tom Corbett has said that the state lottery should also offer keno games to Pennsylvania residents. Online gambling has not yet been placed to the state spending plan, but lawmakers happen studying it for future consideration.
Scavello’s bill has found some supporters in the state legislature, particularly among fellow Republicans.
‘We know that online gambling results in a whole lot of exploitation by various dubious characters that are out there,’ said State Representative David Millard. ‘Being addicted to gaming is such as a cancer in our community.’
British Mobile App Gambling Growth Going Strong
Mobile gambling particularly sports betting has been growing exponentially in the UK, while traditional Internet play has dropped (Image: Courier-Mail)
What goes up, must come down. But in the case of great britain gambling market, two current studies are making it appear that the industry is both up and down at the time that is same. The truth is, it’s just a matter of what you would like to view it, as the world of gambling is changing, and gaming that is mobile becoming exponentially bigger year after year.
Slight Drop in Gambling Numbers Overall
First, there’s a new report out through the British Gambling Commission that presents fewer residents gambled in 2013 than in 2012. It’s just a small drop, however: 55 percent of UK residents said they gambled over the four weeks before they certainly were surveyed in 2013, contrasted to 57 % the entire year before.
That report also gave a consider who is gambling and how often 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 or less week.
The commission additionally looked at online gambling, and saw that participation in Web betting had been up also as overall involvement had fallen. Some 15 % said they had participated in online gambling over the last a month, up from 14 % a year before.
A big percentage of that on line gambling is done through the united kingdom’s National Lottery, which is also typically the most popular form of gambling in the world overall. In-person gambling was still the many form that is popular of though, with almost three-quarters of the who stated they gambled stating that had only done so offline.
Cellphone Gaming Is Growing
What do those true numbers really mean? They show that online gambling continues to still grow, but has a lot more room for expansion. And something thing that wasn’t covered in the Gambling Commission report ended up being mobile gaming, which includes grown enormously in simply the last year.
That growth that is expansive illustrated in a report by OddsWinner.com, which studied the internet and mobile revenues for the top UK bookmakers. Searching at only the largest companies, it becomes clear that mobile video gaming is the near future for online operators and that the future may, in reality, be here already.
For instance, William Hill has seen growth that is fast how much of these sports guide revenue is now originating from mobile players. In 2012, just 26 percent of their sports book turnover arrived from mobile wagering. But by the 2nd quarter of 2013, that number had already raised to 33 percent, and the organization expects that to go above 40 per cent by the conclusion of 2014. Incredibly, William Hill reported that year-over-year profits for mobile gaming had increased 298 per cent from 2012 to 2013.
Other programs saw lower but still dramatic prices of mobile growth. Paddy Power saw a 112 percent increase in mobile revenue in 2013, while Betfair said activity that is mobile up 64 percent year-over-year. And sports book Bet365 says that 1 / 2 of their clients now come from mobile devices.
In line with the OddsWinner report, the growth in mobile betting is because of many facets, such as the increased usage of smartphones in the UK. More businesses are releasing apps, as opposed to forcing customers to connect through their mobile browsers per se.
‘Smartphones are now able to deliver the services needed to permit clients to bet regarding the move,’ said Push Technology CEO Sean Bowen. ‘We carry them everywhere and therefore can bet at anytime, anywhere. There are many more people with mobiles than PCs.’
Other factors include the rise in interest for in-play wagering on sports, and mobile-specific marketing campaigns by the major UK bookmakers.