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GambleAware invests £2.5m into gambling harms prevention education programme across England and Wales

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GambleAware invests £2.5m into gambling harms prevention education programme across England and Wales
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Following a competitive tender, GambleAware is awarding £2.5m to GamCare, YGAM and partners, and Adferiad Recovery to expand The Gambling Education Hub Service across England and Wales as part of its commitment to help reduce gambling harms among young people
The Gambling Education Hub (The Hub) is a gambling education programme which includes toolkits, training and peer-based theatre performances, is aimed at professionals and volunteers who work with young people and families and at young people, parents and carers themselves.
The expansion follows an independent evaluation[1] of the GambleAware commissioned Scottish Gambling Education Hub (The Hub) by IFF Research, which reveals success of its early intervention and prevention methods leading to dramatic improvements in gambling harms awareness and understanding
The Hub, which is primarily for practitioners, educators and youth workers, uses early intervention and prevention methods to reduce gambling harms among children and young people, working holistically within local communities, to promote a safer environment – especially for those most at risk

GambleAware has today announced the expansion of its Gambling Education Hubs across England and Wales, following a successful pilot in Scotland. The Hubs, which help prevent gambling harms among young people through early intervention and education, resulted in 92% of practitioners from the Scottish Hub saying they felt confident in identifying the signs of gambling harm, compared to just 35% pre-training. The Hubs also resulted in more than eight in ten young people from the Scottish Hub saying they were more aware of the consequences of gambling and 84% felt confident about where to turn to for support if needed.

This investment from GambleAware comes at a critical period, with the Hubs designed to reach all communities across the nations by engaging at a local level in a way that central Government sometimes cannot. Young people are increasingly exposed to easily accessible gambling through the growth of online gaming and social media. GambleAware research published in 2020 showed that 94% of 11-17-year-olds in Great Britain had been exposed to gambling adverts in the last month, seeing six adverts on average[2]. This data directly led to recent caps and restrictions imposed on industry advertisers to further curb their appeal to children and youths.

The Scottish Hub delivered gambling education to almost 3,000 professionals and volunteers working with young people, as well as young people themselves, parents, and carers. GambleAware partnered with Scotland’s national youthwork organisation Fast Forward[3] to deliver the locally focused prevention programme. An independent evaluation of this project by IFF Research found that the Hub:

  • improved knowledge and awareness of youth gambling harms and gambling education among practitioners, and
  • reached over 15,800 young people resulting in increased awareness of the consequences of gambling and confidence in asking for support.

Building on this success, GambleAware has today announced the award of a £2.5m grant to expand the Hub Service to both England and Wales. Following a competitive tender process, the grant has been won by GamCare, in partnership with YGAM, ARA, Aquarius, Beacon, Breakeven and Neca to carry out the work in England, and by Adferiad Recovery, which will carry out the work in Wales.

Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive of GamCare, said: “We are delighted to be receiving this grant to deliver gambling education hubs across England. We work in collaboration with a number of organisations who bring unparalleled experience of working with young people around these issues, including; Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), Addiction Recovery Agency (ARA), Aquarius, Beacon, Breakeven and Neca, to deliver Education Hubs across England.

Both GamCare and our partners passionately believe that information on the risks associated with gambling and gaming should be a key part of young people’s education, gaining parity with other risky behaviours such as drugs and alcohol.

We are looking forward to building on the successes of our work with young people, their parents and professionals in a new programme aimed at increasing visibility of both local and national education and support, and to working with GambleAware and our partners towards our shared aspiration of reducing gambling-related harms for young people.”

Leon Marsh, Director of Hospital & Residential Services at Adferiad Recovery said: “We look forward to working with GambleAware on this great initiative to help reduce gambling-related harm caused to young people and to provide comprehensive training, education and resources to key stakeholders to reduce the risks associated with gambling addiction. We were delighted to hear that we had been selected to be the providers of Wales’s Gambling Education Hub and are looking forward to replicating the success of the project currently being undertaken in Scotland. Our extensive knowledge and experience in young people services puts us in a good position to be able to effectively deliver this project in Wales, and we are excited to be able to offer young people this valuable service.”

GamCare, together with YGAM and other partners, brings over nine years’ experience delivering services for thousands of young people, including relevant skills, local knowledge, and stakeholder networks. Meanwhile, Adferiad Recovery is an industry leader in the fields of addiction, mental health, and young people’s services. Each organisation is best placed to carry out the expansion of the Hub Service in their own region. The new Hubs will also reflect differences in curriculums, languages, regions, need and demand, and political and other contexts, specific to each nation.

Zoë Osmond, CEO at GambleAware, said: “At a time when young people are increasingly exposed to gambling, the delivery of local focused programs for gambling education and prevention of harms has never been more important. We hope to see the positive short-term impacts from the Scottish Education Hub’s activities replicated in our newly commissioned English and Welsh Education Hubs, and we are excited to have awarded this grant to these two highly experienced organisations.

“As the lead commissioner working to prevent gambling harms, GambleAware is committed to working with local organisations and stakeholders to fund and establish tailored, best-practice prevention programmes. With young people in the UK now growing up being widely exposed to gambling marketing and advertising, these projects represent a meaningful step towards delivering a society where all children and young people are protected from the risks of gambling related harms.”

The Hubs across all nations will incorporate input from people with lived experience of gambling harms in the development of training content, service delivery, and any supporting tools or resources. GambleAware expects that equality, diversity and inclusion policy and procedures to be at the heart of the service design, provision, and day to day operations.

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Five Biggest Real-Life Casino Heists

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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

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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.com/brokerage 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

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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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