Gambling Ex-Wife of Sultan of Brunei Accuses Bodyguard of £12m Theft

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Miriam Aziz in better days, when she still shared a throne with her now-ex spouse, the Sultan of Brunei (Image: AFP/Getty)

The 59-year-old ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei has fessed up in court to some major gambling arrears played out in London’s toniest casinos, and the subsequent sale of £1million ($1,652,593) worth of fine jewelry to pay off some of her accrued gambling debts in a tale worthy of any great novelist’s plotlines, Miriam Aziz.

The hijab-covered woman testified in Isleworth Crown Court the other day that she had certainly sold some of her gems to pay the IOUs, although she denied having once lost as much as £3 million ($4,957,781) in only one evening of wagering.

According to Aziz, it absolutely was just £500,000 ($826,296), which probably for an ex-Sultaness is merely chump modification. But wait, because the plot thickens in this tale of broken hearts, broken allegiances and broken bank accounts.

Former Bonded Birdies Sing

Aziz additionally gave testimony against her female badminton-coach-turned-bodyguard that is former Lim, who stands accused of herself stealing £12m ($19,831,126) worth of diamonds from Aziz, substituting phony and essentially valueless copies within their stead.

The 35-year-old Lim says that during a spree that is 20-month Aziz took her sizable retinue of support staff with her to gambling venues around the globe. Lim said she had been later instructed by Aziz to sell the jewels on Aziz’ behalf whenever casinos that are several threatened to sue the ex-queen.

Aziz denied this in court, saying, ‘No, I never ever asked anyone, especially Fatimah Lim, to offer the diamonds, it myself. because I would do’

Lots of Dough to Spread Around

To put this in context, the Sultan is definitely the wealthiest man on the planet; so that the ex-Missus’ visits to casinos in popular spots like London, Singapore and Macau could hardly have raised an eyebrow. At first, anyway. Having a £2.5m ($4,131,484) credit limit at upscale clubs like London’s Clermont in Berkeley Square, Aziz could obviously play limits that are high make extravagant wagers without anyone feeling alarmed.

Furthermore, it seems the supposedly devout Muslim Aziz a Royal Brunei Airlines trip attendant before becoming the Sultan’s wife prodded Lim to gamble herself, saying she would give both Lim and several other female bodyguards gambling bankroll to the tune of £1,500 ($2,479) a pop. Their London casino sojourns would sometimes cover as much as three casinos nightly.

‘There were people in your wider circle not as enthusiastic about gambling that it was not in accordance with the activities of a Muslim,’ said Lim’s defense attorney Rupert Pardoe as you there was a perception. ‘You’ve got hatched a plot to blame Fatimah Lim for the theft of these bands and also this diamond bracelet.’

Lim stands accused of three counts of theft in the still-ongoing trial.

Aziz’ ex-husband Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah divorced Aziz after a marriage that is 21-year four young ones, in 2003. It’s hard to keep track of their various and sundry matrimonies and his progeny, but it appears like the score is: one royal long-term consort; the stripped-of-all-titles and today ex, Aziz; and a former Malaysian television hostess who only made it 5 years with her royal ex, and who was also stripped of most titles and her allowance, as apparently was Aziz.

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Proposes Jail Time and Fines for On Line Gambling

One Pennsylvania lawmaker desires to make online gambling an offense punishable with jail some time fines (Image:

Pennsylvania might be among the biggest states population-wise that is seriously considering online gambling, but that does not suggest every person there is on board quite yet. Even though the Keystone State studies the issue and watches how things work with neighboring nj-new jersey, one lawmaker not merely opposes putting online gambling into practice there, but actually wishes to jail anyone who attempts to place a bet on the Internet.

Threatening Society, Scavello Says

That’s the plan from State Representative Mario Scavello, who thinks that online gambling is a threat to families and young ones. He is also concerned that problem gamblers could access internet sites and have nobody and no mechanism to stop them from throwing out everything they have right from the comfort of their own living spaces.

‘Here again, online gambling is best called the crazy West,’ said Scavello. ‘Online, there’s no one around to keep eye on someone who doesn’t know when to stop.’

But while opposition to online gambling isn’t precisely news that is breaking the specifics of Scavello’s proposition have definitely drawn attention.

The bill he has placed forward would actively punish online gamblers with fines and potentially even jail time. That would offer Pennsylvania a number of the nation’s harshest punishments for online gambling, rivaling Washington State for that title.

A first violation would be a summary offense and would carry a fine of up to $300 and up to 90 days in jail under Scavello’s bill. Things get much worse on a offense that is second at the period, the crime turns into a misdemeanor, the maximum fine rises to $2,500 and offenders could be jailed for up to a year.

‘I think that we can start to crack down on the lawbreakers,’ Scavello said if you hit people in their wallets.

Adelson Backs Bill

And in addition, Scavello’s bill was instantly supported by Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop online Gambling (CSIG). That group pointed to A quinnipiac that is recent poll unearthed that 62 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania opposed the regulation and legalization of on line gambling in their state.

‘We call in the Pennsylvania Legislature to vote and only this bill and send a powerful message that online gaming has no place in American society,’ CSIG said in a declaration.

Along with concerns over the ease of access to on the web gambling sites, Scavello additionally argued that online gaming could siphon cash away from Pennsylvania’s effective casinos that are land-based potentially costing the state income and jobs. He also claimed that online gambling could be employed for criminal purposes, such as money laundering.

The proposal comes at the same time when Pennsylvania is ways that are actively seeking expand the state’s gaming industry to compete with neighboring states. They will have already authorized allowing bars and other venues to host gambling machines, and Governor Tom Corbett has said that the state lottery should additionally offer keno games to Pennsylvania residents. Online gambling has perhaps not yet been placed in to the state spending plan, but lawmakers happen learning it for future consideration.

Scavello’s bill has found some supporters into the state legislature, particularly among fellow Republicans.

‘We know that online gambling causes a great deal of exploitation by various dubious characters that are out there,’ said State Representative David Millard. ‘Being addicted to gaming is like a cancer in our community.’

UK Mobile App Gambling Growth Going Strong

Mobile gambling particularly sports betting has been growing exponentially in the UK, while traditional Internet play has dropped (Image: Courier-Mail)

What goes up, must come down. But in the case of the UK gambling market, two current studies have made it appear that the industry is both up and down at the time that is same. In reality, it’s just a matter of what you would like to view it, as the globe of gambling is changing, and mobile gaming is becoming exponentially larger 12 months after year.

Slight Drop in Gambling Numbers Overall

First, there’s a new report out through the British Gambling Commission that shows fewer residents gambled in 2013 than in 2012. It’s only a small drop, however: 55 percent of UK residents said that they gambled over the four days before these were surveyed in 2013, compared to 57 percent the year before.

That report also provided a have a look at whom is gambling and how often they’re doing it. A total of 60 per cent of male respondents reported gambling at least once a month, while that quantity was just 50 percent for women. Many gamblers said they only played when a week, or less.

The commission also looked at online gambling, and saw that participation in Web betting had been up even as general involvement had fallen. Some 15 per cent said they had participated in online gambling over the very last four weeks, up from 14 per cent a year before.

A percentage that is large of online gambling is done through the united kingdom’s National Lottery, which is also the most popular form of gambling in the nation overall. In-person gambling was still the many popular form of betting though, with nearly three-quarters of these who said they gambled stating that had only done so offline.

Mobile phone Gaming Is Growing

What do those true figures actually mean? They show that online gambling continues to grow, but still has a great deal more space for expansion. And something thing that was not covered in the Gambling Commission report had been mobile video gaming, which has grown extremely in just the year that is last.

That expansive growth had been illustrated in a report by, which studied the internet and mobile revenues for the top UK bookmakers. Searching at only the largest companies, it becomes clear that mobile video gaming is the near future for online operators and that the future may, in reality, be here currently.

For instance, William Hill has seen growth that is fast how much of their recreations guide revenue is now originating from mobile players. In 2012, just 26 percent of their sports book return came from mobile wagering. But by the quarter that is second of, that number had already raised to 33 per cent, and the company expects that to go above 40 per cent by the finish of 2014. Incredibly, William Hill reported that year-over-year profits for mobile gaming had increased 298 percent from 2012 to 2013.

Other businesses saw lower yet still dramatic rates of mobile growth. Paddy Power saw a 112 percent enhance in mobile revenue in 2013, while Betfair said mobile activity had been up 64 percent year-over-year. And sports guide Bet365 says that 1 / 2 of their customers now come from cellular devices.

According to the OddsWinner report, the growth in mobile betting is due to numerous facets, such as the increased usage of smartphones in the UK. More businesses are apps that are releasing as opposed to forcing customers to link through their mobile browsers by itself.

‘Smartphones can now deliver the ongoing solutions needed to permit customers to bet regarding the move,’ said Push Technology CEO Sean Bowen. ‘We carry them every-where and therefore can bet at anytime, anywhere. There are many people with mobiles than PCs.’

Other factors include the rise in interest for in-play gambling on sports, and marketing that is mobile-specific by the major UK bookmakers.

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