Brazil senate committee delays gambling vote (again)


brazil-online-gambling-legislation-delayBrazil’s agonizingly slow path to liberalizing its gambling market took yet another detour to Tardy Town this week, but politicians promised that forward progress is just around the corner.

On Wednesday, the Constitutionality and Justice Committee (CCJ) was scheduled to vote on PLS 186/2014, the Senate’s version of the perennially delayed gambling legislation that has been trying to drag Brazil’s market into the 21st century for several years now.

However, in the days before Wednesday’s vote, several senators put forward controversial new amendments, including one that would require gaming operators to enter into partnerships in which local companies would hold at least a 30% stake, while another amendment proposed a blanket 30% tax on all land-based and online gambling revenue.

Thankfully, neither of those amendments appear to have been incorporated into the bill, although the CCJ did agree to include a prohibition on slots and video bingo machines outside of casinos, while also handing control of the jogos do bicho (animal game lottery) to the federal government rather than the individual states.

Due to the revisions to the legislation, the CCJ postponed its vote on PLS 186/2014 due to the need to hold a hearing to discuss the amended text. The CCJ now intends to vote on the revised bill next Wednesday (13), although it should be noted that this Wednesday’s scheduled vote was itself delayed from the previous Wednesday.

It’s unclear whether the legislation has the 14 votes needed to clear the 27-member CCJ, with at least 12 votes said to be firmly in the ‘no’ camp. While a negative vote next Wednesday wouldn’t necessary spell the death of the bill, it would inject further delays into an already drawn-out process.

The Chamber of Deputies has its own gambling bill, PL 442/91, and the recent establishment of a pro-gaming parliamentary front indicates there is sufficient support to pass their bill if they just schedule a damn vote. Brazil’s President Michel Temer has indicated he’s prepared to sign gambling legislation into law assuming it ever reaches his desk.

In the meantime, international gambling operators will go on salivating at the thought of accessing Brazil’s massive market. Last month, the Remote Gambling Association released a KPMG report that claimed Brazil’s regulated online gambling market could generate annual revenue of R6.7b (US $2.1b), putting it second only to the UK in terms of scale. That is, assuming Brazil’s politicians finally succeed in pushing this lame runner across the finish line.

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WATCH: Can dieting around the holidays backfire?


Transcript for Can dieting around the holidays backfire?

holiday season which means lots of great food that could make dieting difficult. Starting early can actually backfire and Dr. Jen Ashton is here and, Jen, before we start I have a quick question. How many of you by a show of hands are now dieting today after indulging over this past Thanksgiving? I’m already seeing — yeah. Oh, wow. That’s about right. So people say, Jen, can you tie to watch what you eat before a holiday party. It sounds like a good plan but it can actually turn against you? It can and I’ll explain why. A very complicated process. Dieting. It’s not as simple as calories in, calories out. Take a look. What happens in general when people start to diet. Their weight may drop a little. That produces an increase in the hunger hormones. People are hungrier and metabolism actually slows down so that your body can restore itself to its equilibrium which is its heaviest weight, the set point theory so starting around holiday time not the best time to tart an aggressive diet. Then you have to — if you put fewer calories in your body regulates then you add more calories because you indulge because you have this at the table. You have a three-bite rule. Listen, I want to be clear. Everyone needs to find — you want some of this at the end? What works for them and this is by no means scientific rigor but a three-bite rule if you go to a party you will see tempting things like this, take three bites and move on. Talking about three bites of a delicious cheesecake that’s almost half the slice. That’s a huge slice, by the way or you could share it with someone then you’ll hear other tips like eat before you go so you’re not ravenous. I think also, you know, I practice something that I find working really well which is if you just keep talking a lot you’re not going to be able to eat a lot in sparkling water in your hand I think that helps too. You can’t put food in your other hand if you’re holding a glass so it’s about finding a trick, having a plan in advance that will work for you. There’s no right or wrong. How about a plan afterwards. Best way to burn it off. You have to be active. Everyone has a phone with an app. Track your step, walk to and from the party. A great time of year to start something new like a group cardio class can be fun with friends then when you get back to work the next day please use the stairs. Every little bit helps. Great advice. Thank you very much, Jen.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.



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World Aids Day 2017



By Emma Ogando, 17, Staff Writer


December 1, 2017

December 1st is World AIDS Day. This is a day to remember those around the globe who are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or have lost their lives to complications from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV does not discriminate against sexual orientation, race or gender. Currently, there are approximately 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV. It also doesn’t discriminate by age: a third of new HIV infections in the world are among those 15 to 24 years old, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

When AIDS was first diagnosed in United States, it was briefly called gay-related immune deficiency (GRID) by some. The U.S. government was slow to act and as a result many people died. Instead of waiting for the government to do more, a group of people in New York City created the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (or ACT UP, as it is more widely known) to advocate and lobby for those with HIV/AIDS. From this group came the Treatment Action Group (TAG), which successfully advocated for quicker development of new HIV treatments.

ACT UP is an important and inspiring example of advocacy making an impact. Today, ACT UP continues to advocate for those with HIV/AIDS around the world. In fact, this year marks their 30th anniversary! I didn’t know about ACT UP until two years ago, when I watched a documentary called How to Survive a Plague. After watching it, it became important to me to celebrate those in ACT UP for their actions and beliefs.

The fight to end the spread of HIV is still not over. Globally, one million people died from AIDS in 2016, and some still mistakenly associate HIV with a “gay lifestyle” because they do not know the range of behaviors that can transmit HIV regardless of your sexual orientation. However, with education, we can make strides in ending stigma and ignorance toward those with the virus.

This December 1st (and everyday), think about those who have lost their lives, but also think about those who have survived and those who have made great strides by advocating for a cure and treatment. There is hope that we can end AIDS.



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VIP, premium mass drive Macau’s gaming revenue up 23% in November


November marks the 16th consecutive month of growth for the world’s gambling hub of Macau.

VIP, premium mass drive Macau’s gaming revenue up 23% in NovemberCasino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the city state grew 22.6 percent year-on-year in November to reach MOP23 billion (US$2.9 billion), according to data released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ). The November GGR result beat analysts’ growth estimates of 19 percent.

The latest figures brings Macau’s market tally for the first 11 months of 2017 to MOP243.04 billion, up 19.5 percent compared to the same period last year, government data showed. The 11-month total has also surpassed the MOP223.2 billion GGR that the city state’s casinos recorded for the full 2016.

High end visitors—VIPs and premium mass—are driving Macau’s growth, according to analysts who have observed “higher quality visitors replacing lower quality visitors” in the gambling hub.

“Based on our recent on-the-ground conversations with those in the VIP space we believe that VIP could likely be a 20%+ grower in 2018. With mass likely to be a 10%+ grower in 2018, the market is shaping up to see mid-teens growth next year,” Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen said in a note.

Cheap, but high quality rooms are helping bring “better quality gaming customers” to Macau, even though the city state itself isn’t “materially busier” in the tourist areas, according to the analyst.

“Ultimately, having a greater number of hotel rooms available to marketing teams that can then be allocated to high quality players is a significant factor in the broader swapping of lower quality customers for higher quality customers,” said Govertsen.

December is expected to bring even better number for the gambling enclave. Aside from historically being a seasonally stronger month than November, this year’s December also comes with one additional Sunday. Because of this, Union Gaming analysts forecast 23 percent growth for the month, bringing the GGR to upwards of 20 percent for the full year.

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Connecticut, two tribes go to war vs. fed gov’t over casino delay


zinke-sued-connecticut-gaming-tribes-casinoConnecticut’s two gaming tribes have joined the state in suing the federal government over delays in approving a new casino project.

On Wednesday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the filing of a lawsuit in US District Court in Washington, DC against the US Department of Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke (pictured).

The suit is intended to give a swift kick to the backside of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which has been slow-rolling approval of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes’ joint venture casino project in East Windsor.

At issue is whether the new casino would violate the tribes’ existing gaming compacts with the state, which guarantee the tribes’ slot exclusivity and prohibit the authorization of any new commercial casino project.

With the backing of the tribes, who individually operate the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos, the state approved legislation this summer to amend the compacts and approve the new casino, which is to be built off tribal land near the state’s border with Massachusetts. However, the legislation was conditional on receiving the BIA’s approval of the amended compacts.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) requires the BIA to either approve or disapprove the amended compacts within 45 days but Zinke has so far refused to issue a final ruling. In September, a BIA official said the bureau saw no reason to weigh in on a commercial casino project. The state’s lawsuit asks the court to order Zinke to publish a notice of approval of the amended compacts.

The tribes, who have argued that the BIA’s inability to reach a decision is a variation on ‘silence = consent,’ announced earlier this month that they planned to commence construction on the project by the end of the year.

The new casino is intended as a hedge to keep Connecticut gamblers from flocking across the border to MGM Springfield, the flashy $960m MGM Resorts property that will open in Massachusetts next September.

MGM has fought against approval of the new tribal casino and MGM legal counsel Uri Clinton told Hartford Business that the tribes were mistaken regarding Zinke having violated IGRA’s edicts.

According to Clinton, Zinke’s inaction maintains the status quo, and “approving a new, third casino is the opposite of maintaining the status quo … No lawsuit, not even one backed by the governor, changes those basic facts.”

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More Sex Ed, Fewer Teen Pregnancies



By Mayuna Tomita, 17, Staff Writer


November 30, 2017

Luis Miguel Bermúdez first began teaching sex education at one of Colombia’s biggest public schools in 2010. Located in the city of Bogotá, the school had some of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country at the time—and Colombia has one of the highest rates in Latin America.

To tackle this problem, Bermúdez took a different stance from the religious-based teachings that Colombian schools typically provide. He worked with parents, teachers, council officials and—most importantly—students to create a sex ed program that was built around an open attitude toward sexuality. The course covers topics like sexual diversity, human rights and desire.

Now, just over five years after the program started, the school’s pregnancy rate has gone from around 70 per year to zero!

Perhaps the class was a great success because students could talk in a safe space about sexuality, LGBTQ rights and sex. Although Colombian law states that girls age 14 and older can seek sexual health advice without parental consent, girls in the class said they were shunned and rejected when they sought reliable information from professionals.

Success like this has not been seen anywhere else in Bogotá, but Bermúdez is determined to help bring the program to the rest of Colombia and the world. We can be hopeful that rather than scaring teenagers, more educators across the globe will take the approach that Bermúdez did when teaching teens about sexual health.



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    3 Barrels: PokerStars Hamburg; RaSZi wins the Thrill; Negreanu holiday rant


    Three stories from the cafeteria at PokerStars Towers including the results from the PokerStars Festival in Hamburg, Lex ‘RaSZi’ Veldhuis proving he still has it with a mighty fine win on Twitch, and Daniel Negreanu explains why he isn’t a fan of Thanksgiving.

    3: Barrels: PokerStars Hamburg; RaSZi wins the Thrill; Negreanu holiday rantGiven the impact that German poker players are having on the global scene, it would be daft if a native didn’t win the PokerStars Festival Main Event in Hamburg this weekend.

    Ulrich Pauls ensured we avoided a drift into daft by taking down the first prize of €105,850 in the €1,100 buy-in event. The 36-year-old from Hamburg nearly didn’t play. Before the Main Event, Pauls was one of the unhappiest faces of the 2,609 entrants from 54 different countries who created €1,170,138 in prize money.

    But he went for it, like walking into a barbershop, saying, “Take it all off.”

    Pauls, who had never cashed in a live event tracked by Hendon Mob up until his win, came into the final table riding shotgun. The Pole, Michal Lubas, was in the driving seat. A second Pole, PokerStars Team Pro, Marcin Horecki, played the role of the most famous face of the final table but fell very early.

    The Main Event attracted 567 entrants, dwarfing the 367 that appeared last season, and ensuring the decision to create a €500,000 Guarantee didn’t make PokerStars look like a photosensitivity sufferer basking in the desert.

    Final Table Results

    1. Ulrich Pauls – €105,850
    2. Michael Lubas – €66,220
    3. Jan Sigel – €47,410
    4. Behzad Zarnegar – €36,960
    5. Bo Rundström – €28,980
    6. Andrei Nodea – €22,770
    7. Karolis Domarkas – €16,990
    8. Marcin Horecki – €11,770
    9. Rudolf Koster – €9,290

    The former United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Champion, Daniel Stacey, finished 12th.

    Andre Haneberg Wins the High Roller

    Outside of the Main Event, the €2,200 High Roller was another target that people wanted to hit hard. The event attracted 100 entrants, and Andre Haneberg defeated Kim De Han, heads-up, to take the €46,380 first prize.

    The result ranks as Haneberg’s largest score to date eclipsing the €39,000 he banked for finishing runner-up to partypoker ambassador Anatoly Filatov in the €2,200 High Roller at the partypoker MILLION High Roller at the King’s Casino back in June.

    Final Table Results

    1. Andre Haneberg – €46,380
    2. Kim De Han – €32,210
    3. Martin Wendt – €21,300
    4. Jamila von Perger – €16,670
    5. Eric Henning – €13,440
    6. Adnan Dizdarevic – €10,480
    7. Varahram Vardjavand – €8,290
    8. Frederik Jensen – €6,460
    9. Grzegorz Derkowski – €4,890

    Lex Veldhuis Proves There is Life in the Old Dog Yet 

    You need a lot of motivation to grind 10-15 hours of online poker per day, or maybe you just need one twat to ignite your boosters?

    Before the weekend broke, Lex ‘RaSZi’ Veldhuis was competing in the $1,050 buy-in PokerStars Thursday Thrill, streaming to his loyal audience on Twitch, when a troll appeared from under his bridge to call Veldhuis old. 

    “Lex quit poker; you don’t got it in your anymore. You’re life’s with your girl now; you’re too old for this, you don’t got the fire in you anymore.”

    15 hours later and Veldhuis proved that he still has it by winning the thing for $55,000 in front of 9,000 enthused viewers.

    “Winning a tournament on Twitch feels like becoming Olympic champion,” Veldhuis told PokerStars’s Stephen Bartley after his win.

    I’m not sure Olympic champions are that old, Lex.