A gang of sweet-toothed, casino slot-machine-hacking Russian mobsters was busted by the FBI in New York on Wednesday, its people charged with running a sprawling crime empire.
The Russian criminal gang arrested in New York had been behind a ‘dizzying array of criminal schemes’ including the trafficking and theft greater than five tons of chocolate.
As well as casino fraud, the outfit allegedly engaged in racketeering, narcotics, firearms offenses and murder-for-hire, along with the theft and trafficking of over five tons of unlawful chocolate into america, according to the indictment.
Thirty-three alleged members of the so-called ‘Shulaya Enterprise’ are actually under arrest, as part of a joint investigation between the FBI, Customs and Border Protection, and also the New York Police Department. Almost all were detained in the Brooklyn area.
‘The dizzying array of criminal schemes committed by this crime that is organized allegedly include a murder-for-hire conspiracy, a plot to rob victims by seducing and drugging all of them with chloroform, the theft of cargo shipments containing over 10,000 pounds of chocolate, and a fraud on casino slots using electronic hacking devices,’ said Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim.
Illegal Poker Den
Based on the indictment, Razhden Shulaya, 40, of New Jersey, and Zurab Dzhanashvili, 37, of Brooklyn, the alleged ringleaders associated with the operation, were the type of arrested. These two men were also charged with running a poker that is illegal in Brighton Beach.
It is not understood if the chocoholic syndicate’s casino operation is connected up to a sophisticated slots hacking scheme uncovered in June 2014 at the Lumiere Palace in St Louis.
After a dubious level of payouts at a handful associated with Lumerie’s slots, surveillance cameras spotted Russian national Murat Bliev playing the machines while covertly keeping his phone up to the screen.
Investigators suspected Bliev ended up being streaming information via his phone to a ‘wire room,’ where scammers, who had somehow discovered an option to crack the seed associated with random number generators, would send signals to its base soldiers on when you should receive optimal payouts.
Bliev’s arrest and subsequent confession, as he attempted to re-enter the usa later in the year, unveiled a sophisticated procedure that was scamming casinos within the US and around the planet for the better part of a decade, and it is still considered to be in procedure.
But while that syndicate is believed to be based out of St Petersburg, Russia, our so-called choc-smugglers are largely Brooklyn-based Russian and Georgian criminals.
Nevertheless, because of the arrest of Razhden Shulaya, the FBI is searching to bring the very first ever federal racketeering charges against a so-called Russian ‘vor.’
Japan Casino Bill Expected to Implement Stringent Safeguards to Combat Problem Gambling
The Japan casino law currently being drafted in the nation’s legislative body is rumored to be emphasizing the very best methods to prevent prospective issue gambling that might arise from the commercial integrated resorts.
Though tensions haven’t flared in the nationwide Diet on the Japan casino bill as much as they did in 2015 when this fight broke out, the large legislature is reportedly wrestling with various components of legalized gambling. (Image: Limimasa Mayama/EPA)
Japan approved a bill to get rid of gaming that is commercial last December, with the stipulation that the National Diet, its version of congress, would develop an additional, more comprehensive package in 2017. The wide-reaching document is likely to be revealed within the coming months.
The word emanating from the Diet is that combatting problem gambling is of utmost importance as the 717 members of the House of Representatives and House of Councilors labor over the integrated resorts (IR) bill.
The issue is even greater, according to the political rumor mill on the heels of a deadly casino attack in Manila that left 37 dead, carried out by a man with a severe gambling addiction. The dietary plan is now reportedly considering a measure that is separate would entirely focus on addiction safeguards.
Though gambling has been prohibited for decades in Japan, irrespective of parimutuel wagering, thousands of pachinko parlors have operated in a legal grey area for years. The pinball that is upright have actually low stakes, nevertheless, whereas the resort casinos will definitely not.
Casino Entrance Fees
Based on Bloomberg, Japan’s lawmakers want to really make the IRs for white collar workers and tourists that have the means to gamble. The goal regarding the nagging issue gambling bill is to block anybody who can’t manage to lose.
To do that, entrance fees could be added to Japanese citizens trying to get into the gambling enterprises.
Though it’s mainly speculation at this time, it is thought that the National Diet is considering tolls that are imposing much as $100 per check out on each resident. a annual pass might additionally be offered, though again, no certain price is presently known.
Forcing Japanese gamblers to pay $100 simply to get onto the flooring would theoretically keep the majority that is vast of and lower classes away.
The Diet sees that as the logical first part of preventing bankruptcy due to gambling addiction, and possibly, a horrific attack like the one which took place in Manila.
From domestic businesses Las vegas, nevada Sands, MGM, and Wynn, to international players like Melco, Genting, Galaxy, and SJM Holdings, the planet’s biggest casino conglomerates are all trying to enter the Japan casino industry.
One corporation whose odds have likely suffered this week is Universal Entertainment. The slots manufacturer and owner of Okada Manila, a $2.4 billion casino resort into the Philippines, confirmed this week that its CEO, billionaire Kazuo Okada, is under investigation for allegedly making an improper loan of $17.31 million to an unnamed party that is third business funds.
Roughly $12 million of the money apparently went up to a holdings business controlled by Okada and his son.
Japan is expected to initially issue two IR licenses, and will be searching for stable applicants that have proven track records building and managing resorts that are large-scale. Las Vegas Sands, billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s kingdom, is regarded as the early favorite.
Innovative Slot Machines Targeting Millennials Fall Short, Expert Says
Skill-based slot machines are extremely popular in the gaming industry in 2017, however the products that are new thought to be innovative concepts by some casino executives, won’t do much to attract the millennial, one specialist opines.
Skill-based gaming, video gambling machines, whatever. Strategist Rob Tercek states they’re all still fundamentally slot machines, and that will do little to attract millennials. (Image: Patrick Connolly/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The American Gaming Association (AGA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently hosted an one-day conference at Wynn Encore in Las Vegas. The meeting focused on styles and innovation in video gaming, and which disruptive technologies have the most useful chances of shaping the future of the casino floor.
Keynote speaker Rob Tercek, who consults with executives in several industries on strategic initiatives, says in terms of creating the casino into the future, the industry is severely lacking.
He opined that the games on smart phones have the potential to offer a more entertaining experience than slot and skill-based video gaming machines found on Las Vegas floors.
‘When you compare mobile games to the casino games, the casino games disappoint,’ Tercek stated, as reported by the Las Las Vegas Review-Journal. ‘Players are now trained to play with a touchscreen or with augmented truth or reality that is virtual. To them, it (slots) seems like something that was designed in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s.’
Time to Make Slots History?
Tercek doesn’t appear to be a big fan of slot devices, at minimum for going forward. He correctly pointed out that the reels featuring the cherries, bars, and bells dates back to the 1880s.
The fundamental concept is still the same: put in your coins, spin the reels, and test your luck though the machines that litter casino floors today are now mostly fully electronic, with new sounds and visuals. ‘When millennials walk through the casinos flooring, what it’s saying is, ‘This is not for you. This is an artifact from a bygone era.»
Gaming manufacturers are racing to develop a slot format that will charm to younger audiences. But they are nevertheless heavily counting on the tired yet proven reel concept.
Instance in point, Scientific Games, one of the gambling products that are largest manufacturers in the usa. This week, it revealed its first ‘slot machine with a skill-based bonus,’ saying its ‘development team worked diligently’ to make ‘certain that players are likely to be captivated with this compelling new game.’
Not merely does the Scientific Games ‘innovative’ product still utilize reels, it is additionally based upon Space Invaders, an arcade game that debuted in 1978.
Slots Remain, for the present time
The fact of the matter is that the machines today still generate the majority of a floor’s revenue though the future of gambling might not be slots. Moving away from the moneymakers as Tercek suggests is easier said than done.
Throughout the last year, slots have produced $7.26 billion in revenue across Nevada. That is about 64 percent of the money that is total by casinos.
Significantly interestingly, is the fact that percentage of total gaming win represented by slots hasn’t changed much over the final three decades. Probably the concern over the reels losing their muster is unwarranted.
Gaming Billionaire Kazuo Okada’s Own Company Is Investigating Him for Possible Fraud
Japanese video gaming mogul Kazuo Okada is being investigated by his very own company for potential fraudulence.
Kazuo Okada is suspected of transferring $17.3 million from Universal Entertainment accounts to a party that is unknown from where it was transferred into a different company he owned. (Image: Japan Daily Press)
Universal Entertainment, the Tokyo-based slots and pachinko manufacturer, unveiled last week, in a message from its president posted regarding the company website, that Universal had established ‘a special investigation committee consisting of external experts’ to audit a dubious $17.3 million transaction that Okada, the company’s founder and CEO, is not able to explain.
Shares of Universal dipped more than 6 percent in the Tokyo Stock Exchange Friday morning on news of the investigation that is internal.
The potential fraud provided the latest addition to a cloud of impropriety hovering over Okada, who recently opened the $2.4 billion Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippines. He additionally is associated with a continuing battle that is legal Las vegas, nevada with fellow billionaire Steve Wynn, their former friend and business partner, and it is reportedly the subject of an external research being conducted by the FBI.
Dubious Money Transfer
In a report to the JASDAQ Securities Exchange, Universal acknowledged it had uncovered possible ‘fraudulent acts’ connected up to a $17.3 million transaction.
‘There is a suspicion that particular directors illegally outflowed about 2 billion yen without going right through proper decision that is internal process [sic],’ reads a statement about the report.
Based on the declaration, much of the funds had been subsequently transmitted to Okada Holdings Limited ‘to achieve benefit that is personal Chairman Okada.’
The transaction under consideration was carried out by Okada and another director, Yoshinao Negishi, both of whom were booted from Universal’s board at the business’s annual meeting that is general in June.
Okada, 73, is one of the richest males in Japan and a former stakeholder that is major Wynn Resorts. Steve Wynn to his ties go back to an initial investment of $455 million to simply help finance Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Macau, for which he received a 20 % stake in Wynn Resorts.
But Okada would be ousted as a director of Wynn Resorts in 2012 on the belief that he bribed gaming that is philippine to secure a permit for a house that eventually became the Okada Manila.
Wynn sued Okada, accusing his former buddy of jeopardizing Wynn Resorts’ licenses around the entire world. Okada immediately sued him back for defamation. The litigation is ongoing in a nevada court.
Separate through the civil lawsuits and Universal audit, Okada remains a subject of FBI inquiry over a $40 million payment to a consultant in Manila this year in possible violation of US anti-bribery laws.
Puerto Rico Casinos Could Benefit Should American Statehood Materialize, But Still a Long Shot
Puerto Rico, like numerous tourist destinations with balmy temperatures, has long offered casinos as a lure to visitors. But an economy that is now in shambles has affected the island nation’s gaming industry, and on Sunday, Puerto Ricans voted emphatically for statehood, although an also more number that is emphatic at home.
Puerto Rico’s voters (at least those that turned out) resoundingly said ‘yes’ via referendum on Sunday to becoming the US that is 51st state. The island’s casino industry hopes the move could end up being the pot of gold it’s been lacking, but many hurdles remain. (Image: trip advisor.com)
Ninety-seven percent of people who chose to vote favored the unincorporated US territory being a full-fledged person in the union as the 51st state, many 77 % associated with population chose to ignore the referendum altogether.
Anti-statehood opposition parties officially boycotted the referendum on the lands it was ‘rigged’ in favor of statehood, or more they claim. Nevertheless, based on the ruling Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) party, the social people have spoken.
‘This result is plenty of to take to Washington and urge Congress to complete the thing that is right’ Luis Rivera Marín, PNP secretary of state, told great britain’s Guardian, denouncing the boycott of the referendum as ‘a sham.’
‘In the democratic procedure there is no such thing as a boycott,’ he said. ‘In this system, in the event that you don’t vote, you don’t count.’
Casino Industry Hit Hard
Puerto Rico has been gripped by an enervating recession over the decade that is past which has affected its once thriving tourism and casino industries both. The island has 12 casinos that are main most of which are based inside resort properties, but a handful have closed down in recent years.
Of late, the El San Juan Hotel announced it wouldn’t be reopening its casino facilities following an extensive renovation in February, due to ‘challenging economic and industry dynamics,’ in the future, hotel executives said although it may choose to reopen it.
It is not merely the recession that is presenting challenges to the area’s gaming sector. Increased competition from emerging casino that is regional throughout the United States has diminished Puerto Rico’s value being a gambling destination for People in america. There’s more rivalry from within as well, with clandestine businesses purveying unlicensed and untaxed slot machines springing up in the past few years over the area.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s certification regime is in dire need of reform. An onerous tax that is revenue-based slots has exploded more punitive as industry amount decreases. Gambling reforms have already been proposed, but have stalled in the legislature.
The PNP believes that joining the United States on equal terms would bring in funding that is extra would help to drag the island out of recession. But for many Puerto Ricans, statehood has its drawbacks.
Higher Costs, But Lower Taxes
Currently, residents of the island are only required to pay federal earnings taxes on money acquired on the usa mainland. With food already 22 per cent more high priced than in the continental US, and public services 64 percent greater, additional fees could be a burden on a struggling population.
Meanwhile, numerous international corporations based on the island, that also pay higher fees now, would probably relocate.
Numerous Puerto Ricans opposed Sunday’s referendum on the grounds so it would price millions and would achieve very little likely.
In a similar referendum in 2012, 61 % of those who voted had been in favor of statehood, by having a greater voter turnout, but no action ended up being taken by Congress to forward the measure that is complex.
Bacterial Infection Legionnaires Infects Visitors at World Series of Poker Host Resort
The disease that is bacterial has been found inside a hot water heating system at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Two guests remaining at the Rio, which can be currently hosting the World group of Poker, have fallen ill to Legionnaires’ disease. (Image: Casino.org)
Currently hosting the 48th World Series of Poker (WSOP), wellness officials tested water heaters during the Caesars-owned property after two visitors who stayed at the resort on different occasions reported infections. One system was found to be contaminated with the bacterium, and also the hotel is presently disinfecting the boiler furnace and its pipes.
Based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Legionnaires’ disease is a type of germs that arises in freshwater environments such as lakes and streams. It may become a risk when it spreads into human-made water systems like showers and faucets, cooling towers, hot tubs, and systems that are plumbing.
Legionnaires is usually easily controlled with antibiotics. However, smokers, and those with preexisting conditions like chronic lung disease and cancers, have reached risk of death due to problems.
In a statement, Caesars Entertainment said, ‘The company is working closely with the Southern Nevada Health District and taking remediation that is aggressive to guarantee the safety of Rio’s water.’
Apparent symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease includes coughing, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches. The WSOP has continued uninterrupted, with the $10,000 Main Event planned to put cards within the air on 8 july.