Move Over Vegas: 7 Latest Casino Destinations in the World

For several decades, Las Vegas has been the first choice for gamblers to place their bets and win big. However, the world has moved on. In recent times, new gambling destinations are giving the ‘Gambling Capital of the World’ some tough competition. Here we take a look at the latest casino hotspots around the world in 2022.

According to the latest industry forecasts, the global gambling market is all set to grow considerably. It was worth $287.43 billion in 2021. Researchers are expecting it to grow to more than $458 billion in 2026. In 2021, the Asia Pacific region was the largest market for casinos and gambling. Experts predict that Eastern Europe will become the fastest growing region for gambling by the end of 2026.

The changing gambling habits and the gradual bounce-back of the global travel industry are helping gamblers explore new destinations. If you’re willing to travel the world for your gambling pursuits, you’d certainly be excited about the newer casino destinations. So, here we’ve listed some of the latest casino hotspots from different parts of the world:

1. Macau Casinos

Macau has witnessed a surge in the number of visitors over the past few years. This can be attributed to its reputation as the prominent gambling destination in Asia. People even call it the ‘Monte Carlo of the Orient’. This special administrative region (SAR) of China is home to 33 casinos. Nearly seven of them are now among the 20 largest casinos in the world.

Macau’s casinos amount to about 50% of the region’s overall economy. More money flows through these casinos than any other casino destination in the world. Many of them are located on the Macau Peninsula. Even the casino giants of Las Vegas such as MGM and Las Vegas Sands have their presence in this region. Do you still need a reason to visit this fantastic casino destination?

2. Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo exudes charisma and class. It is one of the places on earth that the rich and famous frequent. One of the reasons for its reputation is the presence of some iconic casinos that came up here in the 19th century. Today, you’ll be speechless upon seeing the glitz and glamour of the casinos in Monte Carlo. No wonder this is one of Europe’s most popular gambling destination.

Gambling will only grow in Monte Carlo in the coming years thanks to its wealth and high living standards. The casinos here have a very strict dress code. Most of them also offer breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Gambling in Monte Carlo is mostly for the high rollers. So, be prepared to spend some big bucks if you’re planning to visit this destination.

3. Casinos in Puerto Rico

If you’re in Puerto Rico, you’ve landed in a destination that might bring you lots of luck. Just visit some of its casinos and treat yourself to a game of poker or blackjack. Why not try some slot machines as well? The capital city, San Juan, is quite popular as a casino hub of the nation.

This is the city where you’ll find casinos that stay open 24/7. Among the popular casinos in Puerto Rico are Casino del Mar and Casino Metro. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gambler, you’ll always feel welcomed in this part of the world.

4. Singapore

There are plenty of reasons to visit this charming country in Southeast Asia. It is home to one of the world’s largest Ferris wheels and the magnificent botanical gardens. Although gambling in Singapore is still in its infancy, the industry is witnessing a boom today. Two of its famous resorts are now home to large casinos. These resorts are Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.

The Marina Bay Sands resort has a wide range of offerings for gamblers. It has the largest atrium casino in the world besides multiple swimming pools and night clubs. Visiting Singapore for an exciting gambling experience won’t be a bad idea at all!

5. Atlantic City Casinos

This majestic coastal resort city is located in the state of New Jersey, United States. It’s an attractive American destination for gambling, kept away from limelight because of Las Vegas. The city itself has been built around the casino industry. Most of the tourists visiting Atlantic City arrive here solely for the purpose of gambling. Its casinos offer all kinds of gambling options.

Some of the casinos that have become a favorite among tourists are Borgata, Bally’s, and Caesar’s. If you want a great alternative to Las Vegas for gambling, go for Atlantic City. It’ll never disappoint you.

6. Malta, a new casino destination

This island nation has gained popularity over the past few years as an attractive gambling destination and casino hotspot. The country has some established regulations with regards to the gaming industry. It also provides the MGA license to many of the online casinos. Besides being one of the famous tourist destinations, it draws many gamblers from different parts of the world.

They arrive in this island country to gamble in some of its renowned casinos. Among them is Casino Malta, which opened in 2015. It is the country’s biggest casino and provides state-of-the-art gambling environment for players. If you’re bored of slots, you can move to one of the tables to play baccarat, blackjack, or American roulette.

7. London

London is home to more than 20 world-class casinos in addition to many famous attractions. While getting around in this city, you can visit any of these casinos to try your luck playing the popular games. There are some exclusive casino establishments such as the Ritz and Crockfords Club in the city.

They have their own stringent policies that determine who may gamble in them and who are not welcome. If you’re able to get inside these casinos, it will add some thrill to your entire gambling experience. Don’t forget to explore some historic attractions in the city if you’re not in the mood to gamble.

The Rise in Problem Gambling: How You Can Stay Safe

When you gamble, you willingly put something of value at stake. You go ahead with the hope of getting something of even greater value. If you do this just for the sake of entertainment, it can be a fun. However, when it gets into your brain’s reward system, it leads to a form of addiction. It slowly begins to interfere with your daily life.

Soon it becomes disruptive or damaging to your family as well. This is when it turns into problem gambling. Most of the gamblers who play casually stop their game immediately upon losing a game. They might also set a certain limit on how much they are willing to lose.

Problem gamblers feel compelled to keep playing to recover their money. It then becomes a destructive habit over a period of time. Some among them might also resort to fraud or theft to get some money so that they can gamble more.

The recent increase in problem gambling

Kevan Mailey began visiting arcades in Glasgow when he was between seven and eight years of age. This planted a seed of casual gaming in him and soon became a problem by the time he was 13. This was when he got his first job as a paperboy. At the time he was spending all of his wages on races. Gambling began having an impact on almost all aspects of his life.

“Gambling ruined my life for almost 30 years,” he said, while speaking to The Guardian. Fortunately he got the help he desperately needed and it happened at the right time. In 2018, he entered the Gordon Moody Clinic’s 14-week residential treatment program and had a successful recovery. Today, Mailey works with Gordon Moody Clinic in Beckenham.

According to a nonprofit based in Washington, the instances of problem gambling has increased significantly since 2018. The numbers went up even further during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people had to stay at home. Those who frequented the land-based casinos now began gambling online.

Nearly a dozen states in the United States experienced an increase in calls on their helpline from gamblers. Most of them were in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Sports betting also showed a significant hike across the country after the 2018 Supreme Court decision to legalize it.

Things you can do to stay safe

Problem gambling is likely to occur at any age. It can start as young as around 7, when children struggle to control the amount of time they spend on video games. People who work in casinos, arcades, or betting shops are also at a risk of developing this problem. If you feel that you’re slowly becoming a victim of problem gambling, you can take a few steps right now to overcome it. Casinos and online casinos have responsible gambling policies to help set time and spend limits. There are also steps you can take to help.

1. Put a limit on the amount you spend on gambling

The best way to avoid getting into problem gambling is to set a limit on your gambling spends. If you’re about to visit a land-based casino, take only a limited amount of cash and leave all your cards at home. On the online casinos and other gambling websites, set a limit to your account. These measures will prevent you from overspending on your casino games.

2. Stop considering gambling as a means of earning money

When you gamble, you must be prepared to lose. It is important to remind yourself that gambling is not a source of income but a game of chance. People lose more in gambling and winning happens on rare occasions. Gambling is not a way to make money and is certainly not an investment. You are just paying for entertainment with the possibility of a win.

3. Never borrow from friends and family

All the good relationships that you develop over the years are precious. Problem gambling can harm your relationship with these people when you start borrowing from them. Sooner or later, they will discover that the money you borrowed was for gambling.

You will end up losing their trust and permanently damage the wonderful relationship you have enjoyed with them. You, therefore, must make it a point never to borrow from your friends and loved ones.

4. Use your spare time for other things

Reduce the amount of time that you spend on gambling and use it for spending more time with your family. Stay away from those who have the habit of gambling, even if they are casual players. Join clubs or social groups that are engaged in activities that benefit the society. You can also take up a new hobby.

5. Talk to someone you trust about your gambling problem

Talk to someone whom you can trust in any given situation. Tell him or her about your situation and all the concerns that you have. A true friend or a good member of your family can help keep you away from problem gambling. This would be a great option to consider before taking professional help.

6. Plan some productive activities

You can plan your day ahead to avoid boredom. Problem gamblers are always tempted to fill their free time with gambling. Boredom is one of the major reasons why many people head towards casinos. Plan some productive activities for the day well in advance. You can do some good reading or take music lessons. You can also take up a part-time work if you have got lots of free time during the day.

7. Be vigilant

Problem gamblers always find it difficult to control their impulses. There are certain events that act as triggers. For instance, if you are a sports gambler, watching a sporting event can lead you towards sports betting. Or if you know when you visit a casino late night after drinking you are liable to stay too long and lose all your funds you must avoid going.

If you are having a hard time trying to maintain discipline, remind yourself about the ugly side of gambling. Tell yourself that to gamble is to lose all the money you have earned through hard work. Keep repeating the words that will discourage you from getting into the habit once again.

8. Take the help of a good therapist

If you have got no reliable friends or family members to speak to, you can consider taking professional help. There are some good counsellors and therapists who can help you deal with problem gambling efficiently. They usually identify some specific vulnerabilities and hidden triggers in you. Based on their findings, they come up with an effective plan for your recovery.

Machine learning and gambling

Machine learning can assist to clean up online gambling by detecting cheaters although it might also be working against you. AI can evaluate player gambling behavior and provide highly tailored game ideas. Customized gaming may make it more interesting for gamblers to continue betting, but definitely not to help them win. The house always wins, whether we’re talking about online or in a bricks and mortar casino. Gamblers may have more motivation to bet longer and lose more in this new machine learning-driven gambling future.

Ultimately it all comes down to calculated probabilities.  A good example of something that people often fall for is the following: People frequently assume that if a number has appeared more than ten times, there is a good possibility that it will appear again on the eleventh count. This, however, is not the case. The chances of seeing the same number again are the same. This fallacy is primarily psychological in nature.

The chance of a number falling ten times in a row is less than 0.1 percent. As a result, if the same number has fallen nine times, we can be confident that another number will fall the tenth time. The important aspect to remember is that even though one number has already been called nine times, the chances of the second number falling are still 50/50.

Casinos

The majority of casinos adhere to the maximum bet policy. This forbids any player from continuing to play after a specified amount of time has passed. If you want to beat the casino, make sure you keep betting on the same chip.

The highest odds you can receive involve the house taking between 1.5 and 5% off the top. This is for games like craps, baccarat and slot machines. In some casinos, it can even be as much as 20%. You can generally expect to get back roughly 95 to 98 cents on the dollar with the money that you bet. Nevertheless, regardless of your choice, you will almost certainly lose money over time in casinos.

The casino business believes that artificial intelligence aids players by detecting cheaters more quickly. That may be true but there is another side to this topic.

Who uses Machine Learning in Gambling?

Craig Smith, a well-known former New York Times correspondent wanted to see if he could use machine learning to get better results when betting on the horses. Craig left journalism to pursue this aim and used a no-code ML solution called Akkio to test the performance of ML in horse racing. He wanted to demonstrate how their approach can promote AI use. Most importantly, he also wanted to highlight how it is already enhancing productivity in essential but monotonous tasks. Akkio is developed for business analysts that want quick insights into their data without having to hire engineers and data scientists. It turned out that it was also useful for what Smith wanted. In fact, he was able to double his money in minutes by using an ML recommended system, produced by Akkio.

Smith worked with Chris Rossi during this period. Rossi is a horse racing expert who assisted in the development of a data system that was subsequently purchased by a horse racing data conglomerate. He now works as a consultant to people who work in the horse-racing industry. Amongst them are teams of quantitative statisticians who use machine learning to game the races. Rossi believes it is essentially the suckers against the data scientists in horse racing gambling.

Sports Betting

Sports betting was once seen as a legal grey area in the United States. Then, in 2018, the United States Supreme Court overturned a 1992 federal rule. This really paved the way for the states to allow the practice, previously only permitted in Nevada. This came at a time when casinos had closed their doors and people were looking for ways to fill their leisure time. This led to the explosion of online gambling and sports betting. Since the start of the coronavirus’ outbreak, shares of DraftKings has increased by 350 percent, making the company worth almost $22 billion.

You could, like Craig Smith, use Machine Learning to your advantage. Unfortunately the house will develop its use of ML to counter any advantage you may briefly have. To calculate the odds of a bet, bookmakers utilize their own machine learning algorithms.

As a result, while your own machine learning model directs you towards the more likely outcomes, you may always end up with minimal benefit. Developing ML models for sports betting is useful for practising and improving your data science skills. It isn’t something you could do in the long run as part of a successful gambling method though.

What we have seen thus far is that bookmakers profit by restricting payouts. To do so, they must adjust the odds effectively and will need to know the probabilities. It is impossible to beat a good bookmaker in the long run. Despite that, bookmakers are not infallible. There are two ways to overcome them based on better probability estimation:

1 If you consistently make good bets you will be able to compensate for the payout margin they have built-in.
2 If you only bet on games where you know the bookmaker made a mistake and the odds are good; you will have a better chance of winning.

In reality, strategy one is merely a variant of strategy two. Maybe you can predict the result of each game more accurately than the bookies. However, you are unlikely to make a profit because the bookmakers will be close to getting the odds correct.

Draft Kings Vs Fan Duel: Opinion Piece

DraftKings and FanDuel have rapidly become the most popular sports betting sites in the United States. It’s a Draft Kings vs Fan Duel fight every inch of the way in various states around the country for market leadership, renewing a rivalry that dates back to their DFS (daily fantasy sports) days. It’s simple to understand why they’ve pushed their competitors out of the way, as they both feature outstanding deals, competitive odds, and a terrific user experience. Which sports betting site, however, is the best? Continue reading for an in-depth look at the DraftKings vs. FanDuel rivalry, as well as advice on which site and sports betting app is right for you.

A Comparison between these two Outstanding Sportsbooks

In the United States, DraftKings and FanDuel are the most innovative, successful, and entertaining sports betting brands right now.  In most states, FanDuel has taken the lead, but DraftKings is a fierce competitor, and their struggle for dominance appears likely to shape the American sports betting business for years to come.

DraftKings

In 2012, Matthew Kalish, Jason Robins, and Paul Liberman created DraftKings in Liberman’s home. It began as a DFS service, but once the Supreme Court abolished PASPA, a federal sports wagering law, in 2018, it immediately shifted to sports betting. DraftKings went public on the NASDAQ two years later, after merging with white-label sportsbook provider SBTech and another special purpose acquisition firm. DK Sportsbook is available in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Colorado, Tennessee, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire. It also offers an online casino in some states. DraftKings’ daily fantasy sports games are available around the country.

FanDuel

When Nigel Eccles, Rob Jones, Lesley Eccles, Tom Griffiths and Chris Stafford started FanDuel in 2009, it was also as a DFS provider. It announced its plan to merge with DraftKings in November 2016. The FanDuel vs. DraftKings dispute would never have dominated the US sports betting narrative if the merger had been allowed, but the Federal Trade Commission banned it, claiming that it would establish a DFS monopoly. Paddy Power Betfair bought a controlling ownership in FanDuel Sportsbook in May 2018, shortly after PASPA was repealed, and quickly established FanDuel Sportsbook. Paddy Power Betfair has now rebranded as Flutter Entertainment, expanded its ownership in FanDuel to 95 percent, and purchased The Stars Group for $6 billion, securing its position as the world’s largest sports betting company.

 

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan, West Virginia, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, and Iowa have all started FanDuel Sportsbooks. It’s the market leader in the majority of them, ahead of DraftKings, however DraftKings is the market leader in other areas.

 

DraftKings vs. FanDuel: A Side-by-Side Comparison

You’ve most likely come to this page to find the answer to the following question: which sportsbook is better, FanDuel or DraftKings?  Continue reading to learn more about the DraftKings and FanDuel promotions, as well as which site is best.

 

Welcome offers

DraftKings Promotions: 

Users get an immediate bonus of up to $500 when they make their first deposit, as the company will equal 20% of your first deposit.

FanDuel Promotions:

Users can get an instant bonus of up to $500 when they make their initial deposit, as the company will match 20% of your first deposit, exactly like DraftKings.

When it comes to DFS promotions, DraftKings just about takes the prize in sports betting. Each of them offers a multitude of incentives to their consumers. On DraftKings, there are just more opportunities to win free money, although not with the greatest odds. Given how many individuals enter each contest, freerolls in DFS don’t actually amount to much. These freebies may appear to be a goodwill gesture, but they are not much better than a lottery ticket.

 

Bonuses and promotions

The bonuses and promotions that each site offers are another significant battleground in this DraftKings vs. FanDuel clash. These offers are intended to keep existing customers happy and prevent them from switching to FanDuel or DraftKings competitors. At FanDuel, you can take advantage of a variety of intriguing promotions, like parlay insurance, free bets, increased odds and more. The “Promotions” section of the site is always full of enticing offers, which helps to explain why it is the top sportsbook in so many states.

In addition, DraftKings Sportsbook has a variety of ongoing promotions. NBA parlay boosts, Big Birdie Payday golf tournament promotions, daily free to participate tournaments, and a refer-a-friend promo are among them. In contrast to DraftKings, FanDuel usually has a longer list of continuing bonuses. With DraftKings Sportsbook however you can earn loyalty points for placing bets, whereas FanDuel only gives you loyalty points for DFS entries. DK Dollars, which may be utilized for free bets and contest entries, are awarded as part of the DraftKings loyalty program. In this area of the DraftKings vs. FanDuel contest, both sites are very evenly matched.

 

Mobile betting

FanDuel and DraftKings are two of the most popular sports betting apps available. The FanDuel app has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 on the Apple Store. Its DFS app has the same score. Customers have given the DraftKings app a 4.8-star rating. 

Both sports mobile casino apps are well-designed, sleek, elegant, and simple to use. They both have development teams who are constantly working on new features and improvements.

Location services are sometimes a problem for rival sportsbooks but not for these two apps. This is yet another round that ends in a draw. If you want a dark background and a little more sophisticated design, DraftKings is the way to go, but FanDuel is more suited to anyone who prefers a light, clean layout that is very easy to browse.

 

In-Play Betting (Live Betting)

Both shine here. They both offer live streaming, so you can keep an eye on the action while placing bets. Both areas of the in-play betting section are well-organized and offer a diverse range of live betting possibilities.

For example, you can wager on the outcome of each point, game, and set in a tennis match at both sites. FanDuel offers a wider range of spreads and totals, as well as additional statistical data on live games and coverage of in-play athletic events. As a result, in this area of the Draft Kings vs Fan Duel contest, FanDuel may have a little advantage.

 

Which Is Better? Draft Kings vs Fan Duel

Both sites thrive in a number of key areas. Both have high-quality mobile applications, outstanding live betting platforms, well-designed desktop sites, a diverse range of payment choices, extensive sporting coverage, secure and reliable withdrawals and enticing welcome bonus offers.

DraftKings has a superior loyalty program, more payment alternatives, and a larger selection of DFS options, as well as more sports coverage. FanDuel offers somewhat better odds, more continuing promos, higher maximum win limits, and faster withdrawals.

You should decide which of those criteria is most crucial for you and make your decision based on that. Alternatively, you can sign up for accounts with both DraftKings and FanDuel to experience the advantages of each. This way you negate the Draft Kings vs Fan Duel argument! You’ll get both welcome bonuses, plus you’ll be able to easily get the best odds on any game.

 

How much money can you make selling pull tabs?

Pull-tab games, often known as break-open tickets, are a variety of lottery game. At least one perforated tab appears on each ticket and when opened, reveals possible winning numbers or symbols. Lucky 7s, Instant Bingo, Popp-Opens, Break Opens, and Nevada Tickets are all pull-tab games. You’ll find them produced by a variety of major US companies including AmericanGames and Arrow International.

How do you play pull-tab games?

Pull-tabs are paper tickets with symbols behind their tabs.

The ticket can be redeemed for cash if a winning combination is drawn. Pull-tabs come in a variety of values, with $0.25, $0.50, $1, $2, $3, and $5 being the most common. Prizes of up to $5,000 are possible.

The odds of winning are frequently displayed on the pull-tabs. However, because each prize is limited to a specific number of tickets in the overall supply of tickets for a given game, the odds alter every time a prize is won.

People naturally start buying a lot more tickets when numerous significant rewards are still available with few tickets remaining, since the odds are better stacked in their favour. If all of the major prizes have been claimed, the game is usually retired and replaced with a new one.

How much money can you make playing pull-tab games?

Various pull-tab games have different payouts. The top prize is frequently in the thousands of dollars, with the most valuable prize being around $5,000. So how much money you make depends on how much you spent buying them!

 

How to calculate the profit on a pull tab ticket

A typical full set of tickets contains roughly 3,000 tickets and adheres to the stated reward levels and win percentages.

As a result, you can easily calculate how much money the game will bring in by multiplying the ticket price by the number of tickets in each set.

You can also check the overall prize payout per set at a glance by referring to the information provided by the provider for that set, or simply adding up the individual rewards for that game.

Subtract the total rewards from the total ticket sales to get an instant estimate of how much profit you’ll make once the entire set of tickets has been sold.

Electronic Pull Tabs

In November 1990, the first patent for an electronic pull tab was filed.  The electronic game is similar to pull tabs in that it has a fixed and preset number of chances. This includes a certain number of winning chances for a specified reward amount. It also has unique features such as allowing players to see the number of chances for any given prize value in each deal.

Since 1990, there have been various versions of electronic pull tabs. These are accessible for use by charity groups that are licensed by the state. This form of an electronic pull tab makes use of a hand-held device with a touch screen interface, similar to a tablet computer. All of these gadgets are controlled and monitored by a central computer. Each device must have access to one or more finite sets of chances that do not exceed a maximum number per set, or “deal” in pull tab jargon. The set sizes are regulated by jurisdiction and range from 7,500 to 25,000.

A preset number of winning and losing chances are included among the possibilities. Pull tab devices don’t include spinning reels or other representations that simulate a video slot machine, according to the bill.

An electronic pull-tab game, is one that contains simulations of pull-tab tickets that are played on an electronic pull-tab device.

The gadgets are wirelessly connected to a master computer in the bar or restaurant, or to a central computer that manages multiple locations. The Minnesota Gambling Control Board, which oversees all of the devices, is linked to the control computers.

 

What does it take to become a pull tab dealer?

When it comes to being a pull tab dealer, there’s more to it than you might imagine. For example, they can earn an average of just under $30 per hour. That works out to around $62,000 each year!

Between 2018 and 2028, pull tab dealing is predicted to grow 5%. Consequently this is expected to result in 9,000 employment openings across the United States.

 

What is the Role of a Pull Tab Dealer?

Many pull tab dealers have particular abilities that enable them to accomplish their targets. We were able to narrow down the most valuable abilities for someone in this position by looking through resumés. We observed that communication abilities, customer service skills, and math skills were most frequently seen.

 

What Does it Take to Become a Pull Tab Dealer?

One of the first things to consider if you want to become a pull tab dealer is how much training you’ll need. A bachelor’s degree is held by 23 percent of pull tab dealers, according to research conducted. However in terms of higher education anyone with a high school diploma or GED can become one.

When it comes to learning how to become a pull tab dealer, picking the right degree is crucial. When we looked into the most popular ones for pull tab dealers, we discovered that they mostly had associate or bachelor’s degrees. High school diplomas or diploma degrees are other degrees that we frequently see on pull tab dealer resumés.

You might find that certain previous work experience will assist you in becoming a pull tab dealer. Many pull tab dealer jobs, in fact, need previous experience as a cashier. Other pull tab sellers have previous work experience as customer service representatives or bartender servers.

The infamous Casino di Venezia casino heist

Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated on October 16, 2017. The man who allegedly orchestrated the murder did so on behalf of Yorgen Fenech, the country’s largest casino owner. And he has also been linked to an audacious casino heist a decade earlier.

Melvin Theuma claims Yorgen Fenech was behind the plot to assassinate journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The tale surrounding Daphne’s murder is full of claims of corruption, deception, and cover-ups that ran through the ranks of the Maltese government and the country’s casino scene, like something out of a super spy thriller. Through forensic analysis, Theuma was eventually linked to Galizia’s murder. It is believed that he assisted in the planning of the vehicle explosion that killed her in October 2017. Theuma received a presidential pardon in exchange for his testimony, which has reportedly opened the floodgates to a decades-long criminal enterprise in which he was a key player. Melvin Theuma was granted protection from prosecution in exchange for testifying against his coconspirators in the Galizia murder. He named Fenech as the mastermind of the assassination in October 2017.

Theuma’s immunity, according to Malta Today, stems from his role in the dramatic 2010 raid on the Casino di Venezia in Birgu, Malta, which remains unsolved.

The Casino Heist

Four armed and masked men raided the casino on Birgu’s seashore in February 2010, threatening cashiers and patrons with being shot unless they filled a bag with cash and valuables.

They were out of the casino within three minutes, driving away in a getaway car.  The robbers drove a short distance before dumping the vehicle in the water and fleeing on a speedboat.

The exact sum seized has never been revealed, however it is thought to be in the region of €500,000 in cash.

According to sources including Malta Today, Theuma is not believed to have taken part in the actual raid. It is possible that he may have provided refuge to those who did.

The Bank Robberies

He’s also accused of being involved in two other robberies, one of which netted the robbers €1 million.

An armed group raided the HSBC bank in Balzan, Malta, in November 2017. They got away with €1 million in cash that was on its way to the branch in preparation for Malta’s adoption of the Euro.

According to officials, Theuma organized for the car bombing of Galizia to be carried out by two brothers, Alfred and George Degiorgio, and a local mafia figure named Vince Muscat.

Muscat accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to serve 15 years in jail earlier this year for his role in the murder. He’s also on trial for allegedly being directly involved in another robbery at the HSBC central headquarters in 2010.

All the way to the top

Two members of the former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s government were also implicated in the robbery, according to Muscat.

The Muscat administration was brought down as a result of Theuma’s testimony and Fenech’s subsequent arrest while attempting to flee the country on his yacht.

Journalists who pursued Galizia’s incomplete research revealed that a mysterious business run by Fenech was planning big transfers into shell accounts held by Malta’s former energy minister and prime minister’s chief of staff.

The news prompted resignations, including that of Muscat, the then-Prime Minister of Malta.

Fenech is awaiting trial for attempted murder whilst the Degiorgio brothers are facing allegations of murder and various explosives-related offences.

Theuma was found in a severe condition with stab wounds to the neck and abdomen in July of last year. Investigations revealed he had attempted suicide by stabbing himself with a knife.

The Casino di Venezia

The Casino di Venezia in Malta is permanently closed. However it’s namesake is still a hugely popular attraction in Venice.

The Casino di Venezia is the world’s oldest casino, and is located on the Grand Canal in Venice. It was formerly a playhouse called the Theatre Saint Moses. It had a section for gambling during intermissions of plays when it opened in 1638. This caused the emergence of a casino mania in Venice, which saw the number expand from 120 by 1744.

This Renaissance mansion was developed by Italian architect Mauro Codussi, who also designed some of Venice’s most exquisite churches, in the 15th century. It was built by Italian nobleman Andrea Loredan, an art collector, and included ceiling frescoes and paintings by Italian painters such as Palma il Giovane, Mattia Bortoloni and Gian Battista Crosato on its walls.

A royal playground

The casino was originally known as the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, and it served as a home to Italian royalty before becoming a favorite haunt of German composer Richard Wagner from 1858 until his death in 1883. In 1946, the city of Venice purchased the building, restored it, and reopened it as an official casino in 1959. There are many ways to gamble, including roulette, blackjack and poker, all of which are overseen by tuxedo-clad dealers. There are also 600 slot machines and professional tournaments such as the World Poker Tour.

Guests are transported to the casino’s French-designed entrance doors via a complimentary boat shuttle service. The Wagner, a restaurant on the premises, commemorates the composer with classic Italian cuisine. A private garden with views of the Grand Canal is definitely worth a visit. The Wagner Museum, which opened in 1995, chronicles the musician’s creative life when he lived there.

It began as a meeting place for thespians and it is still a cultural hotspot. Some of the celebrities who have partied at this casino include Claire Danes and Coolio. It’s been utilized on Hollywood sets and during Venice Film Festival events. It also had a key role in the film Casino Royale. This dimly lit haunt is a great example of old-school Italian design. The felt ropes for handrails on its staircase, vintage mirrors and crystal chandeliers are a joy to behold.

Can an animal predict the World Cup Winners?

Punxsutawney Phil, America’s famous weather-forecasting woodchuck, predicted a lengthy winter for 2021.  Chuck, his Staten Island equivalent, expected Spring to start early. Did you know there were other animal predictors that people turn to? There are animals out there believed by some to be able to predict everything from environmental disasters to Super Bowl winners.

In the age of complex and sophisticated statistics and real-time weather updates, using animals to predict the future seems quaint. Many of these predictions have been astonishingly accurate however with some even having a basis in science. 

Here are some that have gained attention for sports betting predictions. 

Paul the Octopus

Paul the Octopus

Paul the Octopus is a legend when it comes to soccer predictions. From his fish tank in Germany, this clairvoyant octopus correctly predicted the outcome of an incredible eight sports events, including the 2010 World Cup, during his brief existence. Paul the Octopus signaled his choices by choosing a mussel from containers allocated to each of the rival nations. Regrettably, the mystical cephalopod made enemies of some German fans, who threatened to boil him for accurately picking Spain who beat them in the final. 

Ava the Parrot

A parrot named Ava correctly guessed that the England team would beat Denmark in 2020’s Euros semi-final.

She actually has a track record of accurately predicting game outcomes, having done so three times beforehand. After correctly predicting that England would defeat Germany and Switzerland would defeat France in this week’s game she started to draw some attention. She even predicted England’s rout over Ukraine on Saturday last year.

Eva’s test consists of her choosing from bowls of bird seed placed in front of each team’s flag. She then  guesses which team will win based on the dish she chooses to eat from.

Eva was considered to be a highly intelligent bird, but her owners never knew she had a gift for predicting football results.

She’s not the only parrot famous for their clairvoyant skills. In a test to see which stocks would provide the most returns Polly from South Korea surpassed most professional speculators. Polly’s return on investment was a whopping 13.7 percent, besting all but two of the ten humans, who lost an average of 4.6 percent.

 

Achilles the cat

 

The official results predictor for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was Achilles, a deaf white cat.

Achilles, a resident of St. Petersburg’s famous Hermitage museum, made his first prediction correctly predicting that Russia would beat Saudi Arabia in the tournament’s opening game.

Achilles, like Paul, predicted the future by choosing between two pots of food labelled with a country’s flag. His credentials were based on his great performance in Russia’s Confederation Cup in which he correctly predicted three out of four games, including the final.

Achilles was offered two food dishes during a televised event in St. Petersburg today, and after some deliberation, he chose the home team. Achilles was clad in the Russian national team’s uniform after being chosen.

 

Marcus the mystic pig

Mystic MarcusMarcus was an eight-year-old black micro pig who was apparently able to forecast sports results by picking one of two apples placed in front of him. 

He performed this sorcery by selecting an apple allocated to a team. Whichever one he chose was the winner.

Mystic Marcus had apparently never ever been incorrect in his predictions of important sporting events which included Wimbledon and the football World Cup. The procedure of selecting apples for Marcus to choose from was very scientific. For the sake of accuracy it was ensured that the apples were identical in terms of variety, colour and size.

Marcus had already predicted England’s victory over Colombia in a live piece on television show This Morning. Live on the show, Mystic Marcus boosted the nation’s confidence by confirming his forecast that England would defeat Croatia in the World Cup 2018 semi-final.

Unfortunately, Marcus’ prediction proved to be incorrect, as England lost a heartbreaking match in Russia against Croatia.

 

Rabio the Octopus

The day before Japan’s World Cup opener against Colombia, an octopus was found near Obira, a town in Hokkaido. Kimio Abe, a 51-year-old fisherman, named him Rabio and put him to work right away. Abe divided a kiddie pool and placed the teams’ flags in two different sections with a third area for a tie. Rabio forecast the match’s outcome by moving to the Japan section. Japan went on to beat Columbia. 

Rabio wasn’t finished yet though. He also predicted that Japan would draw with Senegal and then lose to Poland, achieving an impressive three correct predictions.

 

Ok, cute stories but can animals really predict the World Cup winners?

Scientists are not convinced by the phenomenon however and have offered explanations as to what is happening. There has been no research into it and no scientifically rigorous tests have been conducted. 

Cats, for example, like people have a side-bias. That may explain why Achilles the cat might have chosen a certain bowl because he prefers the side it’s on rather than because he favors the sports team it represents.

Achilles could also have been reading the body language of others around him. People claimed that a horse named Clever Hans could do math in the early 1900s. Hans always got the right answer when a human gave him an addition or subtraction problem. However when the person concealed themselves behind a barrier Hans began to make mistakes.

The horse, it turns out, was picking up on minor clues from the human, such as a slight lean or an enthusiastic expression. Similarly, Achilles may have been influenced by positive reactions from his trainers or sports fans while deciding which dish to eat from. 

Cats can tell the difference between quantities. Trainers may have unintentionally put more food in one dish than another, and Achilles may have been eating from the bowl that had more food in it.

The examples above showcase some European major football tournaments. And there’s no reason at all an animal couldn’t predict the World Cup winners in 2022! But we suggest that if you do let your four legged, feathered or scaled friend pick a winner; don’t get mad if they get it wrong.