The gambling world can sometimes produce really off-the-wall stories. Every month there are plenty of cases of individuals going to extreme lengths to pay back debts, or of simply bizarre behavior at casino properties around the globe. It can be entertaining and sometimes sad.
July 2018 was no exception, as there was plenty that happened in the casino world.
Here’s a look at some of the most colorful and/or noteworthy from the month that was.
Two of golf’s legends are reportedly in negotiations for a high-stakes, winner-take-all match in America’s gambling hub. According to Golf.com, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are trying to work out a $10 million exhibition match in Las Vegas, likely at the MGM Resorts International-owned Shadow Creek Golf Course. Both parties are on the record expressing serious interest. According to the report, the two were actually eyeing a match for July 3, but the logistics involving a TV deal and other sponsorship couldn’t be ironed out in time. They are now trying to find a different date, per the report.
President Trump is an odds-on favorite — for impeachment. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power says the betting has suddenly gone from 8/1 for the President’s ouster to 2/1, and the touts are saying it’ll happen sooner rather than later. The line on the President’s removal this year, rather than next, dropped from 12/1 to 2/1. The sudden change of heart from UK gamblers comes after Trump’s Helsinki press conference with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, during which the President seemed to side with the Kremlin over U.S. intelligence agencies.
Thai police arrested more than 9,000 people on illegal gambling-related charges during the first 20 days of the World Cup, Deputy police spokesman Krisana Patanacharoen told media. Police have ramped up efforts to crack down on illegal betting since the beginning of this year’s biggest sporting event as football has a massive following in Thailand and sports betting is generally a very popular activity, even though it is prohibited under the country’s gambling law. According to the latest numbers released by Thai police, as many as 9,420 individuals were arrested in the period between June 14 and July 3 on illegal betting charges.
Another enormous Chinese crypto scandal has been exposed as authorities have shut down an illegal online gambling site in a major arrest. Chinese police in the south-eastern Guangdong province have according to local reports arrested hundreds for involvement in an online gambling platform that has allegedly processed over $1.5 billion (10 Million RMB) in cryptocurrency bets. Allowing for bets in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC), the platform has capitalised on the ongoing World Cup and has, since its launch eight months ago, attracted over 330,000 members.
Former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley is being accused of gambling fraud after a wager at a Las Vegas casino, gaming regulators said. Oakley was arrested at the Cosmopolitan casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip on suspicion of committing or attempting to commit a fraudulent act in a gaming establishment, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said in a statement. The agency said Oakley is suspected of “adding to or reducing his wager” on a game after the outcome was known. The felony count carries between one and six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Who said World Series of Poker cash games and tournaments are the only ways to win a seven-figure sum playing poker at the Rio casino-hotel in Las Vegas? Caesar Entertainment said in a press release that one lucky gambler won $1.42 million playing pai gow on June 30. The massive prize came thanks to a “progressive” jackpot, which links select pai gow poker tables across nine Caesars-owned casinos. The jackpot reached the $1-million mark back in May.
Poker pro Antonio Esfandiari and actor, comedian and poker enthusiast Kevin Hart have agreed to a boxing match slated for early next year. Esfandiari broke the news to TMZ Sports. “Kevin Hart and I were playing [poker] the other day, we were hanging out […] and somehow boxing comes up,” he said. “So, we made a bet. And, in March, around March, we are going to box in a ring.”