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German Banker Accused of Stealing Millions to Fund Gambling Habit

A banker that is german part of a brand new trend of high-dollar gambling thefts

It is absolutely nothing not used to hear about people stealing money in order to spend it on gambling. Nonetheless, it’s rare that the theft ever gets this big. A 39-year-old German bank worker is accused of stealing over €8 million ($10.6 million) from customers, which then spent at casinos over the course of several years.

Stole Undetected for Years from Customers

According towards the costs, the man works in Buxtehude, a Northern Germany town that is a suburb of Hamburg. No fewer than 156 times over the course of more than three years spanning between 2007 and 2010 the man stole money from customers’ accounts. He also straight took money that had been directed at him by customers to spend. Based on prosecutors talking in Stade District Court, the person even faked customer signatures on several occasions in an effort to get access with their money.

The amounts stolen varied greatly from customer to client. At some times, he took only several hundred euros; in the many cases that are dramatic a few hundred thousand euros were taken away from accounts at the same time.

In total, €8.4 million ($11.1 million) was taken out of customer accounts throughout the years. That money was then largely spent at a casino that is local Hamburg.

According to prosecutors, the unnamed guy had already paid back €4.5 million ($6 million), although the rest of the money is still outstanding.

One of the greatest mysteries in the case is just how the banker managed to take such large sums of money for years without being detected. Based on reports, many for the man’s previous co-workers will likely be called as witnesses in an effort to spell out this, along with clarify just the way the schemes worked.

‘Gambling Addict’ Defense

Having said that, prosecutors are unlikely to face resistance that is much it comes to your actual facts associated with case. Instead, lawyers for the defense are expected to argue that the defendant had been a gambling addict, which will reduce his criminal culpability.

This would not be an unusual defense in a case such as this one. According to the United states Psychiatric Association, acts such as for instance these are considered certainly one of the key indications of problem gambling. In particular, stealing funds would fit into two for the signs frequently used to diagnose a gambling issue, including ‘illegal acts’ and risking a relationship that is significant which includes the potential loss of a job.

While gambling issues rarely have to the level of stealing millions, gambling-related theft has resulted in a few high-profile cases worldwide. In recent weeks, there have been stories about A australian guy who stole $200,000 from his child’s kindergarten association before being caught. Earlier this year, a boss at a Barclays Bank in England took £127,000 ($196,000) to pay her gambling debts back. And a Tampa, Florida woman was convicted earlier in 2010 of gambling away her in-laws’ whole dollar that is half-million fund before being caught and charged. She is now serving a sentence that is five-year her crimes.

The defendant in this situation is facing several fees, including fraud, breach of trust, and falsification of documents. He could face several years in prison if he is found guilty. His trial is likely to continue latest this month, with a verdict to be handed down month that is sometime next.

Roadblocks to Vietnam Gambling Developments Have Critics Skeptical

Can casinos on Vietnam’s new Ho Tram Strip create destination gambling?

It’s no secret that Asia is considered the biggest growth market in the casino industry. Macau is, of course, the gambling hub that is biggest in the world, while Singapore while the Philippines have become prized destinations for gambling developers as well. Even Russia has become determined to place casinos on its Asian borders to be able to money in on the market.

Does Vietnam Have What It Takes?

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Now, the nation of Vietnam has hopes of becoming the next major destination in the Asian gambling world. However, many experts feel that the country is not quite willing to see the gambling outcomes enjoyed by its more successful neighbors.

To ensure, Vietnam already has casino gambling. There are now six casinos in the united kingdom, including the Grand that is new Ho Strip, which just opened in Vung Tau. It ended up being part of a brand new tourist development that cost more than $4 billion to create and which is designed to attract foreign visitors.

But industry experts say that there are numerous factors why Vietnam will struggle to attract the kind of gambling tourism other nations that are asian enjoyed.

One major problem is the minimum investment limit needed to build in Vietnam. Both in Macau and Singapore, there’s no minimum investment required: if you can fund a project, you can get it done, even in the event it is little in scale. The Philippines features a $1 billion threshold, but that only exists for projects in Manila; somewhere else in the country, no minimum investment exists.

Huge Investment Needs Are Deterrent

But in Vietnam, there exists a investment that is minimum of $4 billion on casino projects. This is usually a prohibitive cost for developers: even though many worldwide casino businesses are really interested in building in Vietnam, the fee is just too much for just what feels like an uncertain market. The investment appears even more dangerous when considering that Vietnam like many nations in the region bars its citizens that are own entering casinos, meaning they have been for foreign gamblers only.

Even worse, it looks like Vietnam’s regulatory framework is murky at best.

‘On top of the lack of a critical mass market, Vietnam doesn’t have a proper gaming regulatory environment yet,’ said Ben Lee, a managing partner at a management and consulting firm in Singapore. ‘Why would banks lend to massive projects as soon as the developers can’t even show the right documents in regards to licenses [or] ability to transfer funds?’

The government that is vietnamese hoped that the casinos would help drive tourism. But so far, they will have failed to largely impact the nation’s tourism industry, which has minimized their benefits to the governments that are provincial had hoped they’d offer both jobs and revenues.

A lack of communication has additionally been a major issue. In a single current case, provincial officials in Ha Giang announced that investors could submit bids for a casino task on Dong Van Plateau. But later, higher-level officials stated they’d no information about a casino project in the region.

‘Sometimes neighborhood authorities take any task proposal without consideration of its sustainability,’ said Trinh Le Nguyen, executive director of the local conservation team.

One move that could attract more investment could be a change in legislation allowing Vietnamese gamblers to participate in local gambling enterprises. In reality, that’s exactly what some foreign operators have been lobbying for, as Vietnam includes a population of 90 million with a gambling culture that is strong. But to date, the Vietnamese government has been moving within the contrary direction, recently passing a law that will fine casinos the maximum amount of as $9,500 if they allow locals into their venues.

Steve Wynn Donates $25 Million to Vision Research

Steve Wynn has made a major vision research donation

He will be the most famous practically blind businessman in the globe, and now he will donate a considerable chunk of his success making sure that others similarly afflicted could possibly see better.

Looking Forward

Casino mogul Steve Wynn announced he is donating $25 million to the University of Iowa’s Institute for Vision Research recently at circumstances board of regents meeting in Ames, and the college states the gift that is massive be used to invest in research towards a cure for rare, inherited retinal diseases such as for instance retinitis pigmentosa, from which Wynn himself has suffered for quite some time, and which has kept the 71-year-old impresario almost totally sightless. Wynn’s particular vision disorder primarily causes night blindness and bad vision that is peripheral.

The Iowa institute will be renamed for Wynn as is often the custom following huge donations. The $25 million will be paid out over a five-year period. Wynn’s personal battles with eyesight obviously affected his choice of recipients.

‘As a person that knows firsthand what it is want to lose vision from a rare inherited eye disease, I want to complete everything I can to help other individuals who are likewise affected keep the vision they will have and finally return what they have lost,’ said Wynn, who continues as president and CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd.

Wynn told the regents that with clinical progress continuing, he forsees the ‘prospect of getting a cure is possible and probable for a while and certain into the long term.’

Institute Renamed

The newly renamed Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research is considered a leader in genetic testing for eye disease, and ahead of Wynn’s gift, had an operational budget that is annual of12 million. With 30 faculty users and 100 additional research staff, the Institute says it is working towards developing gene and stem cellular treatments that might some day have the ability to revive eyesight in humans. As with most scientific research, the majority of testing is performed on animals; for eyesight, rabbits are generally useful for research and then destroyed. Numerous argue that these animals are utilized not since they’re easily bred for laboratories and are docile in a laboratory environment because they are the most efficacious, but simply.

Wynn’s ties to the Iowa instutute are connected via their own foundation’s director, Steve Dezii, who has colleagues that are many the science and research community, and that features Iowa’s director, Ed Stone. (Wynn’s own alma mater is University of Pennsylvania). Dezii says he believes that Wynn’s gift could lead to scientific breakthroughs, particularly for what are termed ‘orphan disorders’: diseases that only affect a few hundred people yearly, therefore seldom getting much attention from the news or science.

‘ We want to … translate that money into effective remedies because fast even as we can,’ Dezii stated. ‘ Time is our enemy that is worst.’

Wynn was first diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa in 1971.

Besides being just what many consider to end up being the orchestrator of modern-day Vegas via properties just like the Golden Nugget, the Mirage and the Bellagio (which are all under different ownership now), Wynn was named one of Time Magazine‘s World’s 100 Most Influential People in 2006.