Indy 500 winner Wheldon dies in massive wreck

February 24, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after his car became ensnared in a fiery 15-car pileup, flew over another vehicle and landed in a catch fence just outside turn 2.

The 33-year-old racer was a two-time Indy winner, including this year’s race.

Three other drivers, including championship contender Will Power, were hurt in the pileup during Lap 11.

Wheldon was airlifted from the track to University Medical Center; about two hours later, his colleagues were told of his death by IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, who said Wheldon’s injuries were “unsurvivable.”

“One minute you’re joking around at driver intros. The next, Dan’s gone,” said Dario Franchitti, whose wife, actress Ashley Judd, had to bring him a box of tissues. “I lost, we lost, a good friend. Everybody in the IndyCar series considered him a friend. He was such a good guy. He was a charmer.”

With the race canceled, drivers, many sobbing openly, took part in a five-lap salute around the 1.5-mile oval in honor of one of the sport’s biggest stars.

The race was only minutes old when Wheldon, who started at the back of the 34-car field and was in position for a $5 million payday if he had won, couldn’t steer clear of a wreck that started when two cars touched tires.

Within seconds, several cars burst into flames and debris covered the track nearly halfway up the straightaway. Some points of impact were so devastating workers had to patch holes in the asphalt.

Video replays showed Wheldon’s car turning over as it went airborne and sailed into what’s called the catch fence, which sits over a barrier that’s designed to give a bit when cars make contact. Rescue workers were at Wheldon’s car quickly, some furiously waving for more help to get to the scene.

“I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Ryan Briscoe said. “The debris we all had to drive through the lap later, it looked like a war scene from Terminator or something. I mean, there were just pieces of metal and car on fire in the middle of the track with no car attached to it and just debris everywhere. So it was scary, and your first thoughts are hoping that no one is hurt because there’s just stuff everywhere. Crazy.”

Also injured in the crash were JR Hildebrand and Pippa Mann. Both will remain in the hospital overnight. IndyCar said Mann was being treated for a burn to her right pinkie finger and will be released Monday morning; Hildebrand was awake and alert but will be held overnight for further evaluation. Power was evaluated and released. An autopsy was planned Monday for Wheldon.

IndyCar has not had a fatality since Paul Dana was killed at Homestead in 2006, during a crash in a morning warmup.

The accident appeared to start when Wade Cunningham’s car swerved on the track and Hildebrand drove over the left rear of Cunningham’s car. Hildebrand appeared to go airborne, and Cunningham’s car shot up into the wall, setting off a chain reaction among the cars behind him.

Some of those cars slowed, others didn’t, and others spun in front of Wheldon and Power. There was so much chaos on the track it was hard to tell who was driving what car.

Power appeared to fly over Alex Lloyd’s car, rolling into the catch fence and landing on its right side. His in-car camera showed one of the front tires coming toward him in the cockpit.

Wheldon then appeared to drive over a car driven by Paul Tracy, who seemed to be slowing down. Wheldon, however, went airborne and spun into the fence.

The track was red-flagged following the accidents while crews worked on fences and removed smashed cars.

“It was like a movie scene which they try to make as gnarly as possible,” said Danica Patrick, making her final IndyCar start. “It was debris everywhere across the whole track. You could smell the smoke. You could see the billowing smoke on the back straight from the car. There was a chunk of fire that we were driving around. You could see cars scattered.”

Wheldon, who came to the United States from England in 1999, won 16 times in his IndyCar career and was the series champion in 2005.

Despite winning this year’s Indy 500, Wheldon couldn’t put together a full-time ride this season. He landed in this race thanks to Bernard’s promise of $5 million to any moonlighting driver who could win the IndyCar season finale at Vegas. Although there were no takers, Bernard didn’t scrap the idea, and Wheldon was declared eligible for the prize.

Wheldon had been providing blog posts for USA Today in the days leading up to the Las Vegas race, and in one posted Saturday to the newspaper’s website he spoke of how he expected Sunday to be “pure entertainment.”

“This is going to be an amazing show,” Wheldon wrote. “The two championship contenders, Dario Franchitti and Will Power, are starting right next to each other in the middle of the grid. Honestly, if I can be fast enough early in the race to be able to get up there and latch onto those two, it will be pure entertainment. It’s going to be a pack race, and you never know how that’s going to turn out.”

Drivers had been concerned about the high speeds at the track, where they were hitting nearly 225 mph during practice.

“We all had a bad feeling about this place in particular just because of the high banking and how easy it was to go flat. And if you give us the opportunity, we are drivers, and we try to go to the front. We race each other hard because that’s what we do,” driver Oriol Servia said. “We knew if could happen, but it’s just really sad.”

Cunningham echoed those remarks.

“Things happen in this kind of racing,” he said. “It’s so close. Not much room for error. I was near the front of what caused all this, so I’m not thrilled about it. At this point, whose fault it was is kind of immaterial.”

Asked about speed after the crash, Wheldon’s former boss Chip Ganassi said, “There’ll be plenty of time in the offseason to talk about that. Now is not the time to talk about that.”

And Franchitti said: “I agree. We’ll discuss that and sort it out.”

The accident spoiled what Bernard had hoped would be a showcase event for the struggling IndyCar Series.

The second-year CEO worked the entire season on turning the finale into a spectacle and said he’d offer his resignation to the IndyCar board of directors if ABC’s broadcast didn’t pull a .8 ranking. His goal was to improve upon last year’s season finale’s horrible television rating and give the series some momentum for what’s hoped to be a strong season in 2013 with the introduction of a new car and new manufacturers.

So Bernard poured everything into Las Vegas, renting the speedway from owner Bruton Smith and agreeing to promote the event himself. He landed enough sponsorship to at least break even on the race, and the $5 million challenge bought him an enormous amount of publicity the entire year.

Bernard got the Las Vegas Strip to close to stage a parade of cars, hosted industry parties and a blackjack tournament all to boost interest in the race. He even got MGM Grand Resorts to offer a pair of tickets to anyone staying this weekend in one of the chain’s 14 properties.

But what was hoped to be a day of celebration quickly turned somber.

When drivers returned to the track for the tribute laps, Wheldon’s No. 77 was the only one on the towering scoreboard. Franchitti sobbed uncontrollably as he got back into his car for the memorial ride. The sound of “Danny Boy” echoed around the track, followed by “Amazing Grace.” Hundreds of crew workers from each team stood at attention in honor of Wheldon.

“What can you say? We’re going to miss him,” Ganassi said. “Everybody in IndyCar died a little today.”

Two Million-Plus Online Casino Jackpots for US Players at

February 23, 2014

London, UK (PRWEB) February 25, 2009

Two of the largest progressive jackpots available to US players have gone way over a million dollars at Jackpot Pinatas is almost $1.2 million and the Aztec’s Millions jackpot is almost $1.1 million. The popular Shopping Spree jackpot could also top a million if someone doesn’t win it very soon. Even Lucky18′s newest jackpot game, Cleopatra’s Gold, is already over $100,000.

While most large online casino progressive jackpots are not available to players in the U.S., welcomes players from all over the world. They are the only online casino to accept Amex, Mastercard and Visa from all customers, including U.S. players.

"Seems like a lot of people think these games must be about due for a hit," said Robert Goldman of "They’ve been our busiest games by far for several weeks now."

Since a progressive jackpot goes up every time a player adds a little extra to their wager, and since these games have been particularly popular lately, the jackpot has been increasing quickly.

Jackpot Pinata is a twenty-line online slot machine with tacos, beautiful señoritas, fresh limes, roses and various piñatas on its reels. Its free spins, wild symbols, substitutes, and bonus game make game a veritable fiesta. It takes five Bull Pinata symbols on any one of the paylines to win the progressive jackpot. To qualify for the jackpot, players must wager $0.25 per payline. Launched just a year ago with an initial $250,000 prize, Jackpot Pinata was hit for $273,914 within weeks but hasn’t been won again since then.

Aztec’s Millions is a relatively new game that hasn’t had its first huge progressive jackpot winner yet. Three or more idol symbols trigger free spins and if an idol symbol appears during the free spins, even more free spins are won. Except for the ultimate progressive jackpot, all other prizes are tripled during the free spins. Aztec’s Millions has a fixed bet of $5.00 per spin, $0.20 for each of the twenty-five paylines. online casino offers 16 slot machines as well as blackjack, craps and roulette. Their massive $1800 Welcome Bonus offer is the most generous deposit bonus anywhere. Powered by Realtime Gaming, welcomes players from around the world, including the U.S.

For further information about the million dollar progressive jackpots at please contact:

Larry Colcy, Lyceum Media

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Part of the Realtime Gaming (RTG) games and jackpot network, offers online casino games to players around the world. They are the only online casino to accept Amex, Mastercard and Visa from all customers, including US players. provides toll-free Customer Service 24-7 to American and international players. Named "Break Out Online Casino of the Year" by Bluff Europe magazine, Lucky18 Casino is known for its online blackjack tournaments and extraordinary VIP service.

### Partners with Chronicle Books for Candy Contest to Launch Children’s Book "Candy 1 to 20"

February 21, 2014

McKeesport, PA (PRWEB) October 05, 2011, an online candy store known for its impressive selection of bulk candy offerings, is joining forces with publisher Chronicle Books to promote the children’s counting book "Candy 1 to 20" by Laurie Wolf, Pam Abrams and Bruce Wolf. The promotion features a nostalgic candy contest, with signed copies of the book and boxes of candy as prizes.

The candy contest will ask entrants to submit their stories of how candy was used as a learning tool when they were growing up. Five lucky winners will receive a signed copy of "Candy 1 to 20", while four winners will win one of Candy Favorites’ famous Retro Candy Boxes.

Pam Abrams, co-author of "Candy 1 to 20", explains, “We knew that kids would love learning to count with ‘Candy 1 to 20′; what’s been really exciting is that adults are also responding strongly to the book. People have so much affection for the favorite candies from childhood. Candy Favorites really understands the sense of fun and nostalgia of this book and we’re thrilled they’re sharing it with their candy-loving fans and customers.”

Jon H. Prince, President of Candy Favorites, agrees, saying, “We were immediately drawn to the idea of working with Chronicle Books to promote ‘Candy 1 to 20′. The book is beautiful and educational to boot, and pays tribute to candy, a subject that is near and dear to our hearts. We love the idea that children can practice learning their numbers in such an enjoyable way. Many parents are going to discover pictures of some of their favorite childhood candies throughout the book, bringing back fond memories of penny candy, favorite lollipops and the many unusual candy treats they loved when they were children themselves.

“Fortunately, today’s parents and grandparents can find an impressive selection of retro candies at our online store, where they can search for candies from a particular decade or by the color or flavor of a remembered nostalgic treat. We’re one of the few retro candy companies who can offer a complete array of candies from the 1920′s to today, including such favorites as Nik L Nips wax bottles, Black Jack gum, Abba-Zabba, Mary Janes and Zero Bars. We also have an assortment of penny candy favorites that were popular even before 1919, so you can be sure you’ll find the perfect treat for kids, parents, and grandparents. We hope everyone who reads ‘Candy 1 to 20′ will visit to stock up on their own supply of candy treats to help their children learn counting in a tasty and enjoyable way.”

Lara Starr, Publicist for Chronicle Books, noted, “Though our products are quite different, Chronicle Books and Candy Favorites are a perfect partnership. We’re each in the business of delighting the senses – we do it with gorgeous books, they do it with the delicious candy. How perfect that our book ‘Candy 1 to 20′ brought us together and gave us a chance to share what we each do best with our customers and fans.”

To enter the candy contest, simply go here to register to win and submit your own story of how candy was used to teach you to count.

About Candy Favorites is backed by one of the oldest wholesale candy company in the United States, serving its customers since 1927. The company has a strong emphasis on offering the candies adults fondly remember from their childhoods. Candy history and other resources are also featured on their website. For more information or to place an order, visit candyfavorites


SPILL GROUP Selects GameAccount Platform for

February 20, 2014

(PRWEB) February 5, 2006

This week sees the SPILL GROUP officially launch its most comprehensive gaming portal to date, skillgame The site is already generating record numbers of visitors per day. Since launching its first gaming portal in the Netherlands in 2004, SPILL GROUP tripled their 2005 profits through gaming portals now operational in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Austria and Switzerland.

Some of the browser-based Person-to-Person Skill Games and Knockout Tournaments featured at are the wildly popular Sit ‘n’ Go games such as multiplayer Gin Rummy, Backgammon and 8-Ball Pool, as well as evergreen classics such as Blackjack, Hi-Lo Solitaire, Pyramid Solitaire, Riverboat Rummy, Blocs, Mah Jong, Mah Jong Airplane, Klondike Solitaire, Gem Trader, and Singleplayer Golf and Pool. will be powered by the market-leading back-end and integrated network supplied by the UK-Based remote gaming supplier GameAccount.

“SPILL GROUP was seeking a party with whom we could build a long term business relationship. GameAccount has a proven track record and a stable gaming platform that can handle our high load traffic,” commented Reinout te Brake, Marketing & Business Development Director for SPILL GROUP.

Ed Comins, Sales Director at GameAccount agrees, “We are delighted to be partnering with the SPILL GROUP and providing their customer base with the best in gaming choice and satisfaction. The deal means that GameAccount continues to progress with its strategy to ensure we are firmly positioned as the leading provider of tailored Skill Gaming solutions to the eGaming Industry.”

Additionally, in an effort to capitalize on booming growth in the gaming industry in Asian markets, SPILL GROUP recently opened an office in Shanghai to tap markets in China, Malaysia and India.

“In 2008 the Chinese online gaming industry is predicted to be worth 14.2 Billion RMB Yuan; SPILL GROUP would like to share in the returns,” added Mr. te Brake.

The company also has plans to introduce branded gaming for advertisers as well as a new mobile gaming platform in the second quarter of 2006.


SPILL GROUP HOLDING has four subsidiaries SPILL GROUP EUROPE, SPILL GROUP ASIA and KOTTABUS Ltd. The European division is located in Hilversum (The Netherlands) and the Asian division is located in Shanghai (China). KOTTABUS Ltd is an ad-agency that is selling ad-space of SPILL GROUP’s game portals and products. is the fourth subsidiary of SPILL GROUP.

About GameAccount

GameAccount is a leading skill gaming provider for sportsbook, casino and poker operators seeking a single-wallet skill gaming solution. GameAccount powers leading online partners such as Victor Chandler, Sportingbet, Betcorp, Fortune Lounge,, Sky Bet (BSkyB),, Maxim, Wanadoo and The Sun. GameAccounts Financial Services Platform supports full multilingual white-label solutions with seamless login and real-time exchange rates.


Reinout HM te Brake

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Meir Moses

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eConnect’s Blackjack Countdown Voted Best Game Protection Product By Casino Enterprise Management Magazine

February 19, 2014

Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) May 13, 2013

This year eConnect, Inc. was voted "Best Game Protection Product" for Casino Enterprise Managements 2013 Table Games Awards. eConnect won the award based upon their powerful new game protection product called Blackjack Countdown. This patent pending product is revolutionary in the way that it proactively looks for card counters and advantage players while they are in the midst of their card counting activity. This award is especially gratifying for eConnect as the votes were received from table game executives from a multitude of casino gaming companies. eConnect has been successful in the gaming sector for a number of years, but this recognition is validation that eConnects newest product addresses the needs of the casino operators.

"We are very excited about our current technology advancements in our product suite" Commented Travis Whidden- eConnects Chief Technology Officer. "The development of this system has been a great experience and the end product is amazing to see."

See live video on Blackjack Countdown

"MIT" Mike Aponte who famously worked with the MIT card counting team and who was depicted in 21 The Movie commented: "I am sure glad this system wasn’t around when I was with the MIT Team."

About eConnect:

eConnect is a software company in the security industry, providing financial transactional analysis with visual verification. This is accomplished by synchronizing transactional data from point-of-sale (POS), casino systems and games to digital video surveillance, producing the best fraud deterrence tool in the industry. The software tool also increases the effectiveness of employee productivity, allowing managers to easily identify common employee errors. The software provides a dramatic return on investment usually within 3 to 6 months.

About Card Counting:

Card counting is a casino card game strategy used primarily in the blackjack family of casino games to determine whether the next hand is likely to give a probable advantage to the player or to the dealer. Card counters are a class of advantage players, who attempt to decrease the inherent casino house edge by keeping a running tally of all high and low valued cards seen by the player. Card counting allows players to bet more with less risk when the count gives an advantage as well as minimize losses during an unfavorable count. Card counting also provides the ability to alter playing decisions based on the composition of remaining cards.

National Association of Credit Management’s 117th Credit Congress & Exposition to be held May 18-21, 2013 at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas

February 18, 2014

Columbia, MD (PRWEB) May 16, 2013

The premier educational event for commercial credit management is coming to Las Vegas. Held this year from May 18-21, the National Association of Credit Management’s (NACM’s) Credit Congress is an annual treasure trove of educational sessions and networking opportunities expertly designed to enhance the skills, abilities and careers of trade credit and finance professionals who extend business-to-business credit. The conference’s expo features dozens of vendors and providers, the only place nationwide where trade credit and finance professionals can meet all of the industry’s biggest leaders and service providers in one place.

This year’s program features presentations from some of the biggest names in commercial finance, notably Ed Altman, PhD, professor of finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business and inventor of the Z-Score, a revolutionary tool used all over the world for predicting business bankruptcy. Attendees will also have the chance to learn from Super Session Speaker Jeffrey Ma of the now-famous MIT Blackjack Team who will explain how to harness the power of numbers to make better bottom-line business decisions.

“In these still uncertain economic times, commercial credit and finance professionals must make every effort to guard their companies’ assets while leveraging risk as profitably as possible, both domestically and in the ever-growing international arena,” said NACM President Robin Schauseil, CAE. “NACM’s Credit Congress gives credit professionals the tools they need to mitigate risk while helping to grow their companies’ and their own valuable network of colleagues and business contacts.”

This year’s event will also provide the venue for a hearing of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11. Representatives from NACM member companies such as Cargill, Inc., Kraft Foods, Inc. and Samsung Electronics America will comprise two panels that will testify before the Commission, with one panel defending the inclusion of the 20-day administrative priority claim for goods sellers under Section 503(b)(9) of the Bankruptcy Code, and the other to encourage reclamation demand reform. The 20-day administrative priority claim grants unsecured creditors an administrative claim for goods shipped to a debtor within the 20-day period preceding the debtor’s bankruptcy filing. Opponents have argued that the provision should be repealed to help debtor companies reorganize more easily, but doing so would eliminate one of the Code’s only remaining effective remedies available to trade creditors. The Code’s preference provisions allow a debtor to reclaim certain payments they made to companies in the 90 days leading up to their bankruptcy filing. Preferences have long been a thorn in the side of creditors, as demands are often made without the proper analysis to verify validity and the potential of having to return payments often forces businesses into making overly cautious decisions.

"We are often reluctant to extend additional credit or stretch out payments from a customer, even if we believe a company’s distress is temporary, simply because we want to avoid the time and expense of a preference situation," said Kathleen Tomlin, CCE, credit and collections manager with Central Concrete Supply Co., Inc., one of the preference panelists.

NACM welcomes walk-in registrants and the press.


NACM, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, supports more than 15,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with premier industry services, tools and information. NACM and its network of affiliated associations are the leading resource for credit and financial management information, education, products and services designed to improve the management of business credit and accounts receivable. NACM’s collective voice has influenced federal legislative policy results concerning commercial business and trade credit to our nation’s policy makers for more than 100 years, and continues to play an active part in legislative issues pertaining to business credit and corporate bankruptcy. Its annual Credit Congress is the largest gathering of credit professionals in the world.

Media/Press Credentials Contact: Dan LaRusso, # , danl(at)nacm(dot)org.

On-site press passes can be requested at the NACM registration desk, or ask for Dan LaRusso. To obtain a complimentary media pass to attend Credit Congress, individuals must be a reporter, writer, editor, publisher or photographer and affiliated with a media organization. To be eligible for a pass, media professionals must be assigned to cover business-to-business credit and related financial industry topics and must provide proof of employment with eligible media outlet. Limit of one media pass per organization.

Source: National Association of Credit Management

Kate Middleton has cancelled her public engagements after hospital release

February 14, 2014

Kate Middleton has cancelled three of her upcoming public engagements so she can rest noW she’s been discharged from King Edward VII Hospital.

The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge looked tired but refreshed as she left the London hospital yesterday, after being treated for acute morning sickness.

With Prince William by her side, she told the waiting crowds and press: “I’m feeling much better, thank you.”

St James’s Palace spokesman said, “Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank the staff at the hospital for the care and treatment the duchess has received.”

Kate will now take a break to recover at Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace and has cancelled all upcoming engagements after doctors told her to rest.

The Duchess was scheduled to attend the ICAP Charity Day in London (5 December), Winter Whites Gala in aid of Centrepoint (8 December) and the British Military Tournament at Earl’s Court, London (9 December).

Meanwhile, Prince Charles has spoken out for the first time about Kate’s pregnancy, saying he’s thrilled at the prospect of becoming a grandfather.

He said, “I’m thrilled, marvellous. A very nice thought of grandfatherhood at my old age, if I may say so. So that’s splendid.

“And I’m very glad my daughter-in-law is getting better, thank goodness.”

Prince Charles also joked about the recent phone prank that saw two Australian DJs impersonate him and the Queen.

He added, “How do you know I’m not a radio station?”

What do you think? Leave a comment below to be in with a chance of winning a £100 goodie bag




Number One Bingo, Sponsors 20th Anniversary World Bingo Tournament and Gaming Cruise

February 12, 2014

St John’s (PRWEB) August 21, 2008

Cyberbingo (cyberbingo) will sponsor the upcoming 20th Anniversary of the World Bingo Tournament and Gaming Cruise.

The eight day extravaganza will take place aboard the Carnival Miracle, one of the Carnival Cruise Line’s swankiest and largest ships.

Departing from Ft. Lauderdale (FL) on November 5th just when the leaves have all left the tree branches up north, the liner will sail south to the sweet breezes of the Caribbean West Indies.

With stops in St. Maarten, a Dutch-French shopping paradise under the palm trees, St. Kitts and St. Lucia (a lush volcanic tropical island with spectacular mountains and rainforest canopies), the participants will be treated to the wonders of this state-of-the-art ocean going palace.

Best of all, the cruise will boast the 20th Anniversary World Bingo Championship, with guaranteed payouts totalling US$80,000.00 including the grand US$20,000.00 blackout game and the other US$20,000.00 up for grabs in the Symphony of Slots and the Bugle Blackjack Tournaments.

Asked about this fantastic event, Cyberbingo’s Marketing Director Joey Peterson indicated that it was it was only befitting that the Cyberbingo group sponsored this Championship in its 20th edition: ‘The amount of the prizes up for grabs and the expertise and savoir-faire of the BingoBugle News Group in organizing these bingo cruises, will make this year’s episode, a memorable one. Cyberbingo is very pleased to sponsor it’

About CyberBingo™ Corporation:

Established in 1996, CyberBingo™ Corporation operates the Internet’s largest and longest running online bingo site cyberbingo, offering the best in online gaming entertainment including multi-pattern bingo games, slots, video poker, and free games. CyberBingo™ is among the most recognized and most trusted online gaming entertainment destinations on the web and continues to lead the industry in gaming innovation with its award-winning, easy to play games.

Contact Information



Gambling pro Archie Karas charged with defrauding casino

February 12, 2014

By Marty Graham

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – World-renowned professional poker player Archie Karas, has been arrested on charges of cheating and defrauding a casino after authorities say he was caught marking cards at a California blackjack table.

Karas, 62, best known for reputedly building a beginning stake of $50 into a $40 million fortune during a record three-year winning streak, was taken into custody on Tuesday at his Las Vegas home, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said on Friday.

He will be extradited to San Diego to face a criminal complaint filed last week charging him with burglary, winning by fraudulent means and cheating, the prosecutor’s office said.

If convicted, Karas, whose real name is Anargyros Karabourniotis, faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

“This defendant’s luck ran out thanks to extraordinary cooperation between several different law enforcement agencies who worked together to investigate and prosecute this case,” said county District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

According to prosecutors, Karas was spotted by surveillance cameras marking cards – using tiny smudges of dye secretly wiped onto the backs of jacks, queens, kings and aces – while playing blackjack in July at the Indian-owned Barona Resort and Casino in Lakeside, California.

The marks gave Karas an unfair advantage by helping him identify the value of cards before they were dealt as he chose whether to take another card, or hold, in an effort to reach the winning value of 21 without going over, prosecutors said.

The scheme worked so well that he managed to cheat the casino out of more than $8,000 before he was caught, district attorney’s office spokesman Steve Walker said.


California Justice Department spokeswoman Michelle Gregory said Karas was doing the marking with dye inserted into a hollowed-out gambling chip that he would inconspicuously swipe over the cards while playing through a deck.

A search warrant executed on Karas’s home turned up hollowed-out chips from other casinos, but so far no other gambling establishments have lodged complaints against him, Gregory said.

But authorities said Karas has been accused of cheating before.

“The Nevada Gaming Control Board has investigated Karas on multiple occasions resulting in four arrests,” said Karl Bennison, that agency’s enforcement chief, said in a statement. “Karas has been a threat to the gaming industry in many jurisdictions.”

Karas set the record for the largest and longest documented winning streak in gambling history from 1992 to 1995, arriving in Las Vegas with $50 in his pocket and going on to amass $40 million from high-stakes poker.

He subsequently lost most of those winnings at baccarat and dice games in three weeks, according to Tom Sexton, who publishes the online gambling magazine Poker News. Karas returned to the poker table many times, often with backers, and cleaned out many of the best players in the world, according to Sexton.

He is considered by many to have been the greatest gambler of all time and often has been compared with Nick “the Greek” Dandolos, another high-stakes gambler and high roller who died in 1966.

San Diego County has 19 federally recognized Indian tribes and 10 Indian casinos, more than any other county in the United States. Industry experts estimate that casinos nationwide lose tens of millions of dollars a year in various cheating scams.

(Reporting by Marty Graham; Editing by Steve Gorman, Bernard Orr)

Snelson Companies, Inc. Partners with GFI Energy Ventures LLC

February 11, 2014

Sedro Woolley, WA (PRWEB) July 10, 2008

Sedro-Woolley, WA (PRWEB) July 10, 2008 — Snelson Companies, Inc. ( "Snelson"), a leading provider of pipeline construction and maintenance services, compressor and meter station construction, gas distribution services, and high pressure pipe fabrication, announced today that GFI Energy Ventures has acquired a majority interest in the company. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. The company will remain based in Sedro-Woolley, WA with the current management team.

"We are pleased to partner with Snelson and play a role in supporting the Company’s next phase of substantial growth in revenues and profitability," said Ian Schapiro, a Partner of GFI Energy Ventures. "Snelson’s reputation for high quality construction, safety and responsive customer service make it an excellent platform to capitalize on growth in the industry. High energy prices, growing demand for energy infrastructure and new energy supply sources have created an environment in which we believe Snelson will prosper. For these reasons, GFI Energy Ventures is delighted to add Snelson to our portfolio of industry-leading companies".

"This is a terrific opportunity for us," said John Norton, CEO of Snelson. "The GFI relationship gives us substantial added capital, resources, and expertise allowing us to expand our service offerings and further serve our customers. With the current energy market trends and the financial and operational backing of GFI Energy Ventures, we see an exciting, growth-oriented future for our company. We believe our commitment to quality, safety and customer service coupled with the added resources of GFI will position Snelson to continue to grow the services we offer to our valued customers"

About Snelson Companies:

Snelson Companies, Inc. (snelsonco) was founded in 1946 and provides a full range of industrial construction services, including gas and liquid fuel pipeline construction and maintenance, mechanical construction including compressor and meter stations, gas distribution installations, steel fabrication, and related services. The Company’s services are used by blue-chip companies through the United States. Snelson is based in Sedro-Woolley, WA.

About GFI Energy Ventures:

GFI Energy Ventures LLC (gfienergy) is a private equity firm that has initiated and led over sixty investments in the energy sector over the past thirteen years. GFI is the co-general partner with Oaktree Capital Management of the approximately $1.5 billion OCM/GFI Power Opportunity Funds. GFI invests exclusively in successful, profitable businesses providing the equipment, services, software and systems needed by utilities, other energy companies, and their largest customers to generate, transmit, manage, measure and consume energy. GFI is based in Los Angeles, California.


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