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Reading Time: 4 minutes


Panel discusses the tips and tricks when fluttering during the festival, with one horse tipped to “walk to the line” in Tuesday’s Champion Chase

Ahead of the Cheltenham Festival next week, Paddy Power brought together some of the sports’ biggest names to discuss their favourites and tips for each day during the Ultimate Cheltenham Preview Night.

The Paddy Power panel included:

  • Cheltenham’s most successful jockey, Ruby Walsh
  • Group one trainer, Tony Mullins
  • Journalist and broadcaster, Lydia Hislop
  • Paddy Power trader, Frank Hickey

With a full week of jam-packed racing on the cards, the racing experts gave a race-by-race breakdown of the ones to watch, including for main event, the Gold Cup.


Expect an open race for Tuesday’s Supreme Novice Hurdles. Tony Mullins, tips this to be “the most informative race for the next three of four years”


Tony Mullins says…

“This is a hell of a race, it’s the best Supreme Novices Hurdle that I’ve ever seen. Not just in a few years, but ever. You have Sir GerhardConstitution HillDysart DynamoJonbon and Kilcruit.”

“There’s five top class horses unexposed. It doesn’t get any better than that. I’ve never seen a bunch of horses like it.”

“This race is going to tell you a lot about the top-class horses for the next for the next few years.”

“I’d find better bets [to place money on] during the week, because this is a race [the Supreme Novices Hurdle] that’s going to benefit Paddy Power far more than the punters.”

“I’m most looking forward to the Supreme [Novices Hurdle]. If they [the horses] all turn up, it’s going to be the most informative race for the next three or four years.”

Ruby Walsh says…

Dysart Dynamo and Sir Gerhard are the two that are deadly split, they are the ones to ride, and they will be split.

“I believe whichever one goes to the Ballymore [Novices Hurdle] will win it. But whichever one runs here [at Cheltenham] might win. They Ballymore is much weaker race.”

“I think this is a cracking race, as people have already said.”

“I think if Dysart Dynamo were to run here, this race is made for him.”

Lydia Hislop says…

“For the Supreme Novice Hurdles, I’d also throw in Mighty Potter [as a potential winner]. In a strongly run race, I think he could be finishing off very strongly.”

Frank Hickey says…

Constitutional Hill had looked very good, and times are good. But on a heavy testing ground, it doesn’t always work out.”

“For me, Sir Gerhard will win. He blew me away, even with his sloppy jumping at Leopardstown. He is by far the most interesting of them all.”

“If he [Sir Gerhard] runs in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, he will win it and then Dysart Dynamo will win the Ballymore Novices Hurdle.”

Ruby Walsh predicts Stormy Island to take the Mares Hurdle after returning to Willie Mullins’ stable…


Ruby Walsh says…

It’s Stormy Island that will win it for me, she was very good at Fairyhouse last year.

“She was brought back to Willie Mullins’ stable this year then was great at Fairyhouse, won at Punchestown and she’s run well at the festival in the past. I do think this is the weakest Mares Hurdle she’s run in.”


Ruby Walsh and Tony Mullins both earmark Shishkin as the banker of the week at Wednesday’s Champions Chase…

Ruby Walsh says…

Shishkin will win this race.”


Tony Mullins says…

Shishkin will walk up to the line again [and win]. There’s no evidence to say that anything different could happen.”

Tiger Roll actually might not will be calling it a day at Cheltenham’s Cross Country…


Frank Hickey says…

“This race is probably the one to sweeten Tiger Roll up for the Grand National. That must be the thinking.”


Tony Mullins says…

“Could you imagine if Tiger Roll runs here, but not in the Grand National? I’ve seen crazy things, but that would have to be the craziest move of all time to do so.

“We have the next potential Red Rum. Can you imagine having the only horse [Tiger Roll] for 40 years, who could potentially win a treble Grand National not running because he has a lighter weight? It’s very funny [to think about].”


Mares Novice Hurdle splits the opinions of all four experts…

Lydia Hislop says…

“At his very best, Klassical Dream is the best horse in the Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle and he’s going to either completely blow out or run really well. He’s at a reasonable price at 4/1. If he turns up and runs a good race, he wins but there is a possibility he completely blows out.”


Ruby Walsh predicts… Champ

Tony Mullins predicts… Paisley Park

Frank Hickey predicts… Sporting John

Lydia Hislop predicts… Klassical Dream


Ruby Walsh and Tony Mullins earmark last year’s Gold Cup runner-up to win this time around…


Frank Hickey says…

“I don’t think A Plus Tard will turn it around. I’ve never been a fan of him to be honest and he wasn’t good enough last year.”

Lydia Hislop says…

“I don’t see why I just can’t have Protektorat. He’ll make mistakes in the early stages and he won’t be able to hold his position.”

“I like Galvin at 6/1, not so much at 7/2. In the back of my mind, I’m worried about the toll that the Gold Cup takes on horses that are coming back.”

Tony Mullins says…

“I’m going for A Plus Tard for all the reasons that Frank says he can’t win. I thought he was brilliant in Haydock, he was beaten at Shorthill by the joint favourite, he was very unlucky last year. Everything points to A Plus Tard.”

“Frank is a very good analyst but everything he says about why A Plus Tard will get beaten, is why I think he will win! One of us will be wrong.”

Ruby Walsh says…

“I agree with Tony, I’d ride A Plus Tard. Galvin had a brilliant run at Christmas and A Plus Tard was in the wrong place the whole time and it’s very easy to turn that result around.”

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Five Biggest Real-Life Casino Heists



Reading Time: 5 minutes


Hollywood is full of stories about crime and the unconventional hero. That’s why casino heists are such a reliably entertaining subject for some of the biggest blockbuster films.

As entertaining as movies like Ocean’s Eleven and 3,000 Miles to Graceland are, sometimes the best stories are the ones that actually happened in real life.

That’s why we’re counting down the five biggest real-life casino heists that are more interesting than any trip to the cinema!

Biggest Real-Life Casino Heists

Casinos are a hub of luxury and excess. As such, it makes sense that these establishments can at times attract some interesting personalities. Whether people are there for drinks, entertainment, or to try their hand at winning a jackpot, casinos offer many draws for people from all walks of life.

For those who aren’t a fan of all the fanfare, it’s fortunate that there are so many awesome slot sites in the UK and all around the world that can help them win big.

For others, gambling at the slot machines or casino tables is too much of a risk for an unpredictable reward. So instead, they turn to more nefarious schemes to win one over on the house.

Here are the five biggest heists where some enterprising criminals risked it all.

  1. Bellagio

In December 2010, a lone motorcyclist pulled off a robbery at one of the most famous casino hotels on the Las Vegas strip.

Parking his black motorcycle by the valet area at around 4 a.m. on a Tuesday, the robber entered the Bellagio. He kept his motorcycle helmet on to hide his face and a pair of black gloves on his hands.

The daring criminal walked into the casino and directly up to a craps table while wielding a gun. After telling the shocked gamblers to back off, he began stuffing as many casino chips as he could into a bag on his waist.

The chips in question ranged from $100 to $25,000 in value, and he walked off with approximately $1.5 million. Rather than risk injuring any bystanders, casino security simply let him walk out.

Perhaps that was also because security knew something the robber didn’t—that the casino chips don’t carry much value outside the casino itself.

So, the ‘Biker Bandit,’ as he was soon called, came back to the casino to play. It turns out the robber was Tony Carleo, a regular gambler on the Las Vegas strip who had frequented the Bellagio many times.

In fact, a poker dealer at the Bellagio pointed investigators towards Carleo. Carleo had mistakenly shared his fantasy of walking up to a table and taking the chips with the dealer. When the theft occurred a few days later, and Carleo returned to gamble with newfound funds shortly after, the dealer knew who’d committed the crime.

  1. Soboba Casino

Like many other people on this list, the ringleader of the Soboba Casino heist in California was inspired by movies like Ocean’s Eleven. Unlike the others on this list, however, this would-be mastermind confessed that he was high on cocaine during the heist.

Rolando Luda Ramos was 25 and an employee of the casino at the time of the heist in August 2007. He was able to pull off the job by pretending he was there to work on the surveillance cameras, as usual.

Instead of doing his job, Ramos hogtied three employees before getting two unsuspecting security guards to escort him to the vault. They must have had the surprise of their life when Ramos pulled a gun on them and other employees instead of tending to the cameras as he should’ve.

He held off the employees with the weapon—which he later claimed was a BB gun—while he stuffed $1.58 million of cash in a duffel bag.

Ramos’s success didn’t last long, though, as he was arrested the day after the robbery, along with a fellow employee and his girlfriend.

  1. Ritz Casino

Now this is a heist worthy of a Hollywood film. Two men and one woman perplexed investigators when they carried out a high-tech robbery at the Ritz Casino in London back in March 2004.

According to Scotland Yard, the thieves used a laser scanner inside a mobile phone to outsmart the roulette wheel. The phone was allegedly linked to a computer, which would predict the ball’s eventual resting place.

Their scheme, based on a theory called sector targeting, allowed the trio to walk out of the casino with £1.3 million over two nights. The conspirators might have gotten away with it if they hadn’t won big the second night—to the tune of £1.2 million.

As is standard with big wins of this sort, the casino reviewed security footage and called the police. When the police noticed something suspicious, the three friends were arrested.

  1. Circus Circus

The story of this heist did get its own little Hollywood treatment when Netflix featured it in the crime docu-series Heist. It’s no wonder they featured it, as this casino robbery truly has all the elements of a great crime.

The robbery occurred in 1993 and involved a shady romance between Heather Tallchief and her convicted-murderer boyfriend, Roberto Solis. Relationship woes aside, the two successfully pulled off one of the biggest heists in Las Vegas history.

Tallchief, who was 21 at the time, had recently started a job with an armoured car company called Loomis. She claims she didn’t realize at the time that this was the same company her boyfriend—who was 27 years her senior—had tried to rob in 1969.

Just weeks after starting her job, Tallchief drove off with $3 million while her co-workers were busy filling ATMs inside the Circus Circus Casino.

She met up with Solis, and the two shipped the money to Miami before fleeing the country. But the most shocking thing about the heist? After 12 years of evading capture abroad, Tallchief returned to the United States and turned herself in for her crime.

  1. Crown Casino

This heist is one of the most fascinating crimes we’ve come across. This is due not only to the crime’s scope but also to the casino’s response.

Back in February 2013, one of its high rollers robbed the Crown Casino in Melbourne of $32 million. Curiously, instead of calling the police to investigate, the casino decided to handle the problem themselves.

This might have been because the robbery was an inside job. The high-rolling gambler from New Zealand was invited to the casino to gamble by a VIP Services Manager. The employee worked to breach security cameras and sent signals to the gambler throughout.

When casino security became suspicious of the winning streak that produced such a big win, they investigated. Following his win, casino security visited the fraudster in his hotel room and asked him to leave. Thankfully, the majority of the money hadn’t been paid out yet.

However, the would-be robber’s departure left the casino in a bit of a scramble. The high roller was scheduled to take part in a PR stunt for the casino the very next day. Instead, they had to find another VIP to serve the world’s most expensive cocktail.

Perhaps wishing to avoid bad PR, the casino never reported the crime. The heist only came to light after a local newspaper broke the story a few weeks later.

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Launch Of Matchbook Brokerage service



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Matchbook is delighted to launch Matchbook Brokerage. Alongside its peer-to-peer Exchange, Matchbook offers an exclusive service to match large or bespoke trades that may not be immediately possible on our Exchange markets.
The Matchbook Brokerage team works with specialist counterparties, with the best pricing and liquidity providers in the industry, who are available to lay bets across a wide variety of betting markets or offer unique prices on bespoke trades.
The Matchbook Brokerage service is available Monday to Sunday.
Furthermore, Matchbook Brokerage provides a unique opportunity for operators within the industry who may be looking to hedge any marketing promotion or customer liabilities. This service will allow operators to run bigger promotions, take larger bets, and reduce
operational exposure.
Matchbook’s Head Of Commerical Will Turl said: At Matchbook, we understand that bettors are frustrated at being stake factored by bookmakers or are unable to find the liquidity in the market for their bets. For these customers, we are delighted to be able to launch the Matchbook Brokerage service. Working with industry-leading liquidity providers, our brokerage team will be able to provide customers and operators with a quote for the very biggest of bets. Only last week, we had significant interest in player prop markets for the NBA Finals and facilitated 26 bets and over $100k stakes on those markets. We also had some notable action through our Brokerage service on Royal Ascot. This is the service that the betting industry has been begging for, and Matchbook is pleased to deliver it.

For further information on how the service works and how to get in touch with our team, visit Matchbook is a peer-to-peer betting exchange designed for smart bettors who want better value, deeper liquidity and exceptional customer service.

Matchbook is licensed and regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission and the UK Gambling Commission.

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Spinomenal launches seminal Royal Sharx NFT slots tournament in partnership with Aplica Media



Reading Time: < 1 minute

Spinomenal, the leading iGaming content provider, has launched a seminal NFT slots tournament in partnership with NFT specialist Aplica Media. The project between the two companies is known as Royal Sharx.

The first-of-its-kind tournament initiative begins today, June 27th 2022, and will involve two separate competitions in which the first and second ranked players in each will win an NFT-based VIP card. There are a total of four Royal Sharx NFTs up for grabs during the tournament which concludes on Monday 11th July 2022.

Players can gain entry to the tournaments through Spinomenal’s own Wolf Fang title or Kakekkorinrin’s RinRin slot. Each game is accessible on Kakekkorinrin and 10cric brands thanks to integrations with Spinomenal. The content provider will also be leveraging its proprietary tech expertise to ensure the seamless running of the tournament leaderboard mechanics.

Royal Sharx is the first ever NFT project for online casinos that provides VIP benefits to its holders.

Every NFT holder is getting an immediate VIP status in any casino that will take part of the project. Online casinos wishing to join the NFT tournament will require a content partnership with Spinomenal.

Spinomenal’s Chief Commercial and Operation Officer Nir Ronen, commented: “Spinomenal prides itself at being at the forefront of online casino and this NFT tournament reflects our creative philosophy. Working with Kakekkorinrin and 10cric brands has been a pleasure and we’re thrilled with the result. Good luck to all those who enter!”

Asaf Shohat, Aplica Media Founder & COO followed: “We’re always exploring fun collaborations where we can flex our specialist skills within the NFT space. Working with Spinomenal has allowed us to deliver a revolutionary NFT tournament where the players have a chance to win something that will bring premiere benefits.”

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