The biggest gambling news of 2023

The year is almost over and it’s time to sit back and reflect on the last 12 months. As usual in the world of gambling, it was a busy affair.

The most eye-catching headlines of 2023 include the bankruptcy of major gambling rings, poker fraud, new sports betting laws, cyberattacks on casinos and even Formula 1 in Las Vegas.

To help you reflect on the past year, we’ve compiled the most read stories from 2023. So sit back, grab some mulled wine and enjoy the wild ride as we say goodbye to the year.

William Kassouf is accused of intentionally shorting pots at the Irish Open

First we go into the world of poker. In April, British poker player William Kassouf hit the headlines with another cheating scandal. As our resident poker pro David Lappin reported at the time, Kassouf – who was banned from sponsor Grosvenor Casinos in 2018 for chip trading – was up to his old tricks again at this year’s Irish Poker Open in Dublin.

One player claimed that Kassouf sprinted away from a table

Players accused him of a variety of implausible behavior, including attempting to prevent himself from making a pre-flop bet by claiming ignorance. In an even more serious allegation, a player claimed that Kassouf sprinted away from a table while the amount he owed was being calculated. This was confirmed by Keith Littlewood, who said it was part of his pot:

VegasSlotsOnline news turned to Littlewood, who stated: “None of the piles were counted or placed in the middle. Kassouf asked the dealer to just leave it there and sort it by river. He had top set AA with no re-draws compared to my straight with heart flush re-draw. 4th place had a straight with a diamond flush re-draw.”

MGM Resorts Casinos have been blocked by ransomware hackers

It’s easy to see why this next piece of news made it onto our list, considering it dominated our headlines for weeks. Like something out of a movie rather than reality, MGM Resorts International had an incredibly difficult September thanks to a ransomware attack that virtually crippled operations at its Las Vegas casinos, netting the operator up to $8.4 million a day.

Hotel guests were unable to check into their rooms

MGM refused to pay the gang, which ultimately turned out to be the Russian hackers ALPHV or Black Cat, but their activities remained compromised for weeks as they cooperated with the FBI on the matter. The hack crashed slot machines and ATMs, prevented hotel guests from checking into their rooms and forced customers to wait in line for hours in casino lobbies to resolve problems.

Although MGM eventually brought its systems back online, the company is now facing new problems due to a lawsuit related to a cyberattack. Caesars Entertainment is also at the center of such a lawsuit after the company suffered a similar hack earlier this year. However, the casino giant paid out $30 million to settle its own matter before the news broke.

VSO news spoke to cybersecurity expert Jonathan Care from Lionfish Tech Advisors at the time to find out more about the MGM hack.

Heelmike is the first content creator to be banned from Kick for on-stream sex act

A major story this year is the success of Kick, the new streaming platform launched by crypto casino Stake late last year. The launch came as a result of Twitch’s decision to ban unregulated casino content on the platform, a ban that included Stake alongside a number of other well-known crypto casinos.

Throughout 2023, many big Twitch stars have made the switch to Kick, including chess master GMHikaru, hot tub girl Amouranth, and even Twitch’s most-followed streamer Ninja. Controversial Twitch star Heelmike was another big name to make the move, although it didn’t take long before he encountered some difficulties.

He had a sex act with a girl during the stream

Heelmike received the first official kick ban after he engaged in a sex act with a girl during the stream. The streamer, who had 7.4 million followers on Twitch before being banned from that platform in December 2022, shared the news of his one-day kick ban on X (then Twitter):

Some didn’t react particularly kindly to the behavior, including gambling streamer Xposed, who called Heelmike’s performance offensive “Absolute joke of a stream.” He urged the 29-year-old to do so “Make real content instead of sexualizing women and using them for views.”

Powerbroker’s death exposes one of the “biggest Ponzi scams in Australian history”.

Now to one of our most remarkable stories from the world of crime. In October, the sudden death of a sports and racing broker in the Australian state of Victoria revealed that about AU$21.8 million (US$13.89 million) had disappeared from accounts linked to Victorian sports betting. It turned out that the power broker was running one of them “Largest Ponzi scam in Australian history.”

Following the death of John Adams of AMS Ivanhoe Lawyers, the Victorian Legal Services Board (VLSB) confirmed it was investigating his law firm “tens of millions of dollars” that were lost to victims, including high-profile investors. However, Adams’ alleged misappropriation of funds was outside his legal jurisdiction, meaning his powers were limited.

Worry about the biggest moment in the Australian betting calendar

The Victorian Bookmakers’ Association, which manages a AU$10 million ($6.3 million) fund for its sports betting customers, said AU$1.8 million ($1.1 million). US dollars) were lost, in addition to AU$20 million (US$12.7 million) in “additional private investment.” This all happened in the run-up to the Melbourne Cup and sparked the build-up to the biggest moment in the Australian betting calendar concern.

The investigations are still ongoing.

The long-awaited Formula 1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas is receiving a mixed response

What better way to end our roundup than with the topic that appeared most frequently? VSO news Headlines in 2023. Formula 1 finally merged with Las Vegas in November as the lights went out for the long-awaited Grand Prix in the city. While many were excited about the biggest sporting event of the year in the gambling metropolis, others weren’t quite as happy.

The build up was turbulent to say the least. Both locals and tourists expressed anger at the construction sites that dot the Las Vegas Strip year-round. Both the Bellagio fountain show and the Volcano at the Mirage were disrupted, while severe road disruptions caused traffic jams in the busy area.

A construction worker died while working at one of the Bellagio fountain sites

To make matters worse, a construction worker died while working at one of the Bellagio fountain locations. The worker suffered a laceration to his neck and died after being taken to hospital. The tragic incident came just a week after a carpenters union member warned on X that the sites were unsafe. He claimed that F1 owner Liberty Media used cheap foreign labor that did not require specific safety certifications.

The race itself was a spectacle that saw bitter fighting from the eventual winner, Max Verstappen. However, a lawsuit has now put a damper on the event, which stems from a canceled training session at the start of the weekend. A collision with a loose drain cover prompted organizers to send fans home after watching just ten minutes of action that day. Now some are suing Liberty Media.


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