Only one of 14 women in a tournament field of 1,347 players was a qualifier in the Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure. That woman Elizabeth Bennett-Martin has not only won the satellite once last year but beating all the odds she has done it again this year. Although she has been an occasional player for only four years, this was her first major event which netted her $40,000 for 25th place. Now she's returning again this year, and competing against a mass of web savvy kids and some seasoned professionals.

Should Elizabeth win this year and she has every intention of doing just that she has already earmarked a portion of the prize to go to a charity that she has set up. The purpose of the charity is to provide funds for education and housing for young women in Cambodia. It was set up through Bennett-Martin's law firm, Bennett Gastle P.C. in Toronto, Canada along with the help of her firm's partner, Charles Gastle, and his wife Ruth. The Cambodian Legal Education for Women (CLEW) was formed to help the women who live in extremely deprived, cramped conditions and sleep on mats on a bare floor. The dormitory has no furniture or cooking facilities, other than hot plates. These women hope to become lawyers to assist a population where legal help is extremely rare in 2009 there were only 538 lawyers for a population of over 14 million people. Elizabeth plans to play the Ladies Event at the PCA this year, and she has designated all of the winnings from that event to go directly to the charity. This is the first year for the Ladies Tournament, and Elizabeth is excited to be a part of the inaugural event and to participate in an event that promotes women in poker. A good cause and with lots of luck those young women in Cambodia will eventually become lawyer and justice will be improved in that country.


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VC Poker, the poker room available from the U.K. gambling firm Victor Chandler group, has decided it will begin to segregate it's players into categories. The company has sent an e-mail to a number of players informing them that their play is no longer welcome at the cash game tables at which they have been playing at regularly. The poker room is one of the largest networks on the internet and is popular for high rollers who stake big money on the felt. It is thought that the poker room is loosing too much money in too short a time and must make the move to save the house from over extending itself. The e mail read, “If you are not already aware iPoker will be implementing a new policy in the New Year which will categorize players depending upon certain criteria. The new policy will also impose penalties upon card rooms that in essence, have a high proportion of winning players in relation to losing players.

Regrettably therefore, we are being forced to restrict a number of accounts in order to comply with the new policy and to avoid penalization by iPoker and it grieves me to inform you that we have no option for the time being other than to restrict the cash game stakes at which you can play on Victor Chandler Poker." The email sent to some of the poker rooms valued players went on to say, "We sincerely regret having to take this action and hope that the policy will change in the future so that you may once again enjoy playing cash games at Victor Chandler Poker. In the meantime, please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that this action will cause but know that you can still play in our tournaments and on any other of the Victor Chandler suite of products."

A decision like this must be a difficult one to make but in today's fragile economy it is probably better than going bankrupt.


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Bet Canadian and Las Palmas, are two small but well established sports betting web sites. As another example of consolidation in online gambling operations globally, the much larger company BookMaker, has taken over these firms.

Bookmaker's quality of service and well known bookmaking experience of more than twenty years in the business, has given them a well deserved reputation. BookMaker's aim is to serve both professional and recreational players. “Where the Line Originates” is a slogan that rings true for sports book enthusiasts world wide. BookMaker provides a safe and secure sports betting platform on sporting events, as well as horse racing, online casino games, poker, bingo and mobile betting from almost anywhere at any time. The take over is regarded as mutually beneficial for all parties allowing all of those concerned to expand and move forward. Las Palmas since 2001 has had a positive outlook, but in recent times, earlier last year has had trouble with pay outs. Members were not happy with the very slow returns on winnings, a problem that Bookmaker says will soon be resolved. Bookmaker has revealed that the Las Palmas brand will remain as it is while the service level will be brought up to par with the standards of Bookmaker.

Bookmaker's Chief Executive Officer, Mickey Richardson, had this to say about the deal, "Maintaining our growth strategy is critical for us, and we continue to achieve our goals by finding strong players in the industry that can complete our wide range of products, or by sharing our benefits with customers that have been playing with other companies through the acquisition,"

Bookmaker, continues to have higher rates of success than most other sports betting sites in the North American betting market. The prohibition on payment processing for online gambling in the USA has made things more difficult in recent months but Bookmaker still is a trusted source on which to place wagers with confidence.





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The New Year has started off in China with a crack down on sports match fixing. The fallout from the Chinese efforts to eradicate corruption in sports has lead to more than twenty sporting officials being arrested and charged. Of those nabbed were the president and two coaches from a team owned by the U.K.'s Sheffield United club. The clamping down on the sporting event corruption was ordered by the Chinese president Hu Jintao. Zhang Weizhe, the coach of a splinter club of Sheffield United, and two other men linked to the Yorkshire club are suspected of buying promotion, bribing referees and using club funds for their own pleasures. Officials and fans in China are reporting to be most concerned that the sport of soccer is being destroyed by corruption and greed. The problem with match fixing in China is out in the open and many Chinese people think it is out of control. Although betting on matches is illegal, online bookies, many of them run by U.K. firms on overseas servers do billions of dollars of business every year so they are working hard to expose illegal activity. These companies don't want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Chinese gambling cartels have gone to great lengths to fix games, including buying second and third division clubs in Finland, Belgium and eastern Europe and then replacing the manager and best players to ensure they do not win. Buying a game in China is far easier because the salaries of all but a handful of star players and referees are sub standard.

For example when John Hollins joined Shenyang Tiger Star from Stockport in 2004, he found the players living in the changing room and in less than good condition to properly play. The combination of corruption and inequality have made the national team which has qualified for the World Cup finals just once a disgrace to the league. While millions of Chinese fans love European football local they do not give their members any respect. Obvious during the Beijing Olympics, where Chinese fans at the semi-final chanted for the resignation of the chairman of the football association.








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2010 looks to be shaping up as an exciting year for those who enjoy online gambling. PokerStars is setting the pace with a big tournament in the Caribbean. According to Poker this is a party and gambling event to kick off the year in style.

In addition to over 50 events and millions of dollars in prizes, the upcoming 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is attracting celebrities from all over the world. PokerStars has provided a tentive list of headliners to be present for the event including legendary guitarist Slash, Entourage star Adrian Grenier and rapper Nelly. Other celebrities ready to play some cards include Reality TV star Brody Jenner, model-actress Joanna Krupa, actor Carlos Bernard of 24, producer Jimmy Wahlberg, amfAR spokesperson Kenneth Cole, 2008 Playboy Playmate of the Year Jayde Nicole, talk show host Montel Williams, French K1 Champion Jerome Lebanner, Spanish Soccer Star Poli Rincon and former English football champ Teddy Sheringham. PokerStars is the largest poker site in the world and offers an awesome variety of games, from the super high-limits to some of the rarest mixed games. The site is home to players of all skill levels from many countries around the world, and has a massive and diverse player pool. Even as the world’s largest poker site, it's still growing quickly with real-money player statistics as of December 2009 showing 22500 ring-game players and 155000 tournament players at peak hours. Several members of Team PokerStars Sports Stars are also scheduled to make an appearance with former tennis superstar Boris Becker, and NHL veteran Mats Sundin among them. The 2010 PCA will consist of over 50 events from Jan. 4-14, 2010 with the seven-day $10,300 buy-in main event scheduled to kick off on Jan. 5. The event will take place at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.



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Belize is a relatively small country with an approximate population of 320,000 people. It gained it's independence from the United Kingdom in 1981. Formerly known as British Honduras this Central American country still retains it's ties with other Caribbean nations. The area covered by the country is 8,867 square miles of (2008 est.), with the population density being the lowest in the Central American region and one of the least populated places in the world.

The people of Belize speak a variety of languages, most however speak English, the official language, or Spanish. It is a rich and culturally diverse place that is a bordered by Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean. Recently from the capital city of Belmopan a report has surfaced that the government of Belize has discovered several online gaming websites operating in the country without any licences. Fulton Data Processing Limited and Sports Offshore Limited it was reported to internet users are the only legally licensed operators of online gambling in the country.

 Lincoln Blake from the Ministry of Economic Development told local television station Channel 5 Belize, in a recent interview, "Any other company that claims to have such a licence from Belize is clandestine. We ask all Internet users to refrain from doing business with these," All online gaming businesses in Belize are required under the Gaming Control Act and its online gaming regulations, to apply for a licence. Mr. Blake went on to say, "They must follow strict requirements and they must have a proven track record in gaming. The other companies that from time to time, operating online and claiming to have a licence, sometimes it's hard to find out who are the persons behind these operations," When an international web based gambling operation was curtailed recently the Belize government became aware of the illegal activity. Two brothers from Israel apparently ran the operation out of a top notch villa in Belize while the actual servers were located elsewhere supposedly in Europe. Officials in Belize are currently conducting an investigation in the country to determine if other online gambling operations are operating from there without detection.


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Hungary is full of passionate people that have as much love for gambling as any other country in the Eastern European area. Hungary has been dealing with the economic slowdown as well as this strong nation can, with measures put in place to help their recovery.

Recent developments in Hungary's gambling laws have however created a certain amount of confusion with regard to the local poker industry. New legislation seems to be focused on limiting poker activity to only casinos. The new amendments have suggested limits to the locations where players can play poker and limits the number of tables in poker clubs to only10. The small profit that can be made when all of the rules are followed will then be taxed at up to 25% making it relatively unprofitable to run a poker room.

Gergely Tatar, who is senior representative of the Hungarian Poker Association, said, the current government is using this law to put poker rooms out of business and drive all gambling traffic into casinos. Poker being by far the most popular form of gambling in Hungary where tens of thousands of people are active poker players. Protests are mounting as the public demonstrates against current policy as was seen recently in one of the main city metro stops.
There are no true Hungarian online casinos as the country does not allow online gambling. They have even taken measures to prevent players from using foreign casinos online. Since June of 2006, Hungarian banks have not been allowed to process payments to and from internet gambling sites.

The gambling monopoly in Hungary, state run Szerencsejáték has exclusive rights to all lottery and sports gambling, and has a major interest in most Hungarian casinos. The Hungarian government sees internet gambling as competition and therefore tries to control it. The European Union has been putting pressure on Hungary to open its gambling industry to foreign interests and adhere to E.U. laws for e-commerce freedom. Poker will not survive these changes and the poker players are vocal with the Hungarian Poker Association asking the country’s president, Laszlo Solyom, to send the bill back to parliament for further consideration.


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Eastern European countries are having a tough time in this global economic meltdown. So many countries in that region of the continent are looking to establish new sources of revenue.

Relaxed laws regarding gambling in Estonia have created a new found and very popular past time for those people who love to gamble. This new economy has created an international base of clients that are providing revenues and jobs. The Estonian economy is reportedly down as much as 36% and residents in every sector of the country are feeling the devastating effects. This trend is slowly being rectified by government efforts to stimulate business in many parts of Eastern Europe. This progressive country is notably proactive in its attempts to turn a bad situation into a good one. Stability is on it's way with Estonia being the next country to adopt the Euro as it's currency. This move is sure to bring more trade and more jobs as the Estonian people will be able to compete more effectively on a global scale.

The introduction of online gambling to Estonia is also going to help bring jobs and much needed taxes to the country. The lottery offered by the Estonian government will give some lucky people a chance at changing there lives but for the most part it has been good for the government. Unlike Russia where the casinos were banned to far flung regions of the country, Estonians have as many as 150 land based casinos situated in over 12 cities at their disposal. The population of the small country is only one and a half million, so that's a lot of casinos for so few people. The offering of online casinos and wagering to Estonians is considered the next logical move by law makers there. Local level measures are already taking place with an international focus coming in January of 2011. The international online gambling industry is where the officials of Estonia see the real benefits occurring. The legislators see regulation and the granting of online gambling licences for the Estonian jurisdiction as being a sustainable business that will bring continued new wealth to their country.

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The latest effort by a hotel in Las Vegas called the M Resort and Spa Casino, which is the newest addition to the offerings on the Vegas strip will include a form of online gambling. The resort includes 92,000 sq. ft. of gaming, 1847 slots and video poker machines, 64 gaming tables and a live action poker room. Now the hotel will be offering it's patrons a handheld unit that will allow patrons to make sports wagers online. This innovation has made the gap smaller with the customer now accepting the use of online devices to make their bets. The portable units include table games such as baccarat and blackjack, and are permitted with the use of an established account to gamble throughout the casino from a remote location. The eDeck, gambling device, as it is named, brings some of the convenience of online gaming to casino customers.

EDecks offer in game sports betting, allowing players to add new bets or change existing bets as games progress. This instant, anywhere, wagering opportunity is not unique to the M resort and spa casino. They were first introduced by the Venetian Hotel in 2007. The mobile gaming units are an attempt by Las Vegas sports books to recapture the sports betting market. The Nevada Gaming Commission numbers show sports wagering revenues last year were only $125 million, just more than one percent of total gambling revenue, as online gambling sites are drawing patrons away from traditional casino sports books.

Sunny Tara of Cantor Gaming commented that, “The portable devices are sophisticated, but they really are just tools to access the real technology, which sits on the servers,” The process is virtually the same as mobile gambling on cell phones, which is not allowed by US phone carriers who are concerned they may violate the current USA gambling rules for the internet.

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Paris the iconic European city famous for everything will once again be the centre of the universe next May 2010. It will be the gambling capital of Europe for preciously three days from the 28th May to 30th of May 2010. Carrousel du Louvre in Paris will host the European jurisdiction's first gambling fair. 'Winner 2010' will be the working title for this new and extensive event. Carrousel du Louvre is attached to the great art gallery and is a series of large exhibition halls, used primarily for conventions, conferences, and the regular haute couture fashion shows presented by top clothing designers.

The Winner Exhibition company will be organizing the event and are aiming at encouraging and informing the general public about games like poker, horse racing and sportsbetting. With the online gambling market due to expand soon in France and the rest of Europe the timing for this event just can't be better. The fair will usher in the debut of poker, horse race betting and sports match wagering to the French online gambling market. The gambling fair will act as the platform for the online gambling operators who are introducing themselves to the new French consumer with online gambling products. 'Winner 2010' will offer live poker lessons from professionals to those novices wanting to learn the tricks of the trade and have some fun doing it. The Gambling Fair also plans to generate more interest in traditional casino gambling activities such as roulette and blackjack. A virtual currency will be used at 'Winner 2010' and is expected to garner considerable public attention. Online gambling operators who are potentially the suppliers of the new entertainment opportunities will benefit from this public forum in more ways imaginable. Operators will be able to get a feel for the interest level from the French public and present their offerings with style.

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