Former Jockey, Racing Administrator Pat Buckley Dies

The racing world has lost one of its most popular and respected characters with the passing at the age of 77 of former Grand National-winning jockey Pat Buckley, who ranks as one of the most influential administrators in the history of racing in the United Arab Emirates.
Born and raised in Ireland, Pat Buckley spent his entire riding career based in the north of England in the Middleham stable of Captain Neville Crump, who was then one of the country’s leading National Hunt trainers and to whom Buckley worked firstly as an apprentice (between November 1957 and July ’62) and subsequently as stable jockey.
Having ridden his first winner aged 17 on Blue Moth in the prestigious Hearts of Oak Chase at Manchester in 1961, Buckley cemented his place in the top tier of Britain’s National Hunt jockeys merely two years later when he enjoyed a stunning spell of success in the spring of 1963. Firstly he picked up an outside ride on the Keith Piggott-trained 66/1 chance Ayala in the greatest race of all, the Grand National at Aintree, and guided the lightly-weighted 9-year-old to a famous victory, beating Carrickbeg and John Lawrence (later Lord Oaksey) by three quarters of a length. A month later he won another of Britain’s premier steeplechases, taking the Whitbread Gold Cup at Sandown on the Crump-trained Hoodwinked.

Buckley went on to spend over a decade as one of the leading jockeys in what was a golden age for National Hunt racing in the north of England and Scotland, one of a select band of dominant Irish riders alongside the likes of his compatriots Ron Barry, Tommy Stack, Paddy Broderick, Barry Brogan and, towards the end of that time, Jonjo O’Neill. He rode the winners of many other great races including when he and Crump won ‘the Whitbread’ again the following year courtesy of Dormant lowering the colours of the great Mill House (in circumstances which are unlikely to be repeated as the winner was receiving three stone from the runner-up, Dormant carrying 9 stone 7lb and Mill House 12 stone 7lb).
Other notable victories came in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr (in 1968 on the Crump-trained Arcturus), the Mildmay Memorial Steeplechase at Sandown (on Dormant in 1964), the Liverpool Hurdle, the Coronation Hurdle and the Eider Chase.  Having made a dream Grand National start by winning the great race at the first attempt while still a teenager, Buckley rode in it a further six times, including when fourth on Rutherfords in 1968.
Retiring from race-riding in his early 30s, Buckley set up as a trainer in the North Yorkshire village of Spennithorne, a few miles from Middleham, but soon discovered the difficulties of balancing the books when one only has a small string. He then worked as assistant trainer to John Hill in Barnstaple in Devon and as head lad to Nicky Vigors in Lambourn before accepting an offer in the late 1970s from the Sultan of Oman to help him to establish a major racing operation in Oman.
Once that project was up and running, Buckley was hired by Sheikh Mohammed to assist in the task of establishing Dubai as a world-leading racing centre. A key figure in the creation of the racecourses at Nad al Sheba and then Meydan, Buckley played a major part in the inauguration of the Dubai World Cup in 1996 and the subsequent consolidation of its position as one of the landmark events in the international racing calendar. He continued to work in the administration of racing in the UAE until his retirement, actively involved over the years in nearly every aspect of the sport’s governance, with his experience, integrity and unvarying good humour making him not only one of the most respected but also one of the most popular members of the racing community.
A loving and beloved husband of Joyce (who predeceased him), proud father of Kevin (Coolmore’s representative in Great Britain) and Helen, and doting grandfather, Pat Buckley will be remembered as one of the high-achievers of the racing world and also as one of its most likeable characters. We offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends.
The news of Buckley’s death reached Meydan in the midst of its Thursday evening carnival card, and the jockeys wore black armbands in his honor for the last two races. The winning riders of the last two races paid tribute to Buckley; Richie Mullen said after winning the Meydan Classic Trial: “I would just like to dedicate that win to Pat Buckley-the whole of the UAE has lost a great man. I’ve been here for 22 years and counting and Pat has been a big part of racing here and a big part of my life. He’s been a great friend over the years and he hasn’t been well and we received the sad news this evening. The UAE will be a quiet place without him. We can only send our condolences to his family here in the UAE and back home in Newmarket.
“His Highness Sheikh Zayed brought him over and he set up Abu Dhabi Racing and was an integral part of the original World Cup here. As an apprentice I came here and he mentored us over the years and I have had a lot of trip with Pat over the years. He has been a great friend and it’s a huge loss. Like I said the world is a smaller place without him.”
William Buick said after winning the Listed Dubai Sprint: “I am very sorry hear of Pat Buckley’s passing, and my condolences to all of his family and friends. He was always very friendly and the ultimate professional. A very sad day for horse racing, not just in the UAE but around the world.”

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Posted on 11:30 pm

Who is the oldest player to play in a Super Bowl? (It’s not Tom Brady juuuust yet)

Old man yells at crowd.Illustration: Getty ImagesTom Brady is old.But Matt Stover is the oldest player to ever play in a Super Bowl … for now. Like, today. And tomorrow and Saturday. But that will all change on Sunday when Brady, at 43 years old, takes his first snap for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Halfway through the 2009 season, Stover signed with the Indianapolis Colts to fill in for an injured Adam Vinatieri. The 42-year-old veteran kicker became the oldest player to ever play in the big game when he laced up his boots in Super Bowl XLIV. In the game, he kicked a field goal in the first quarter and tacked on two extra points. But Stover’s leg wasn’t enough for the Colts, who lost to the New Orleans Saints 31-17.Brady is currently the oldest non-kicker to play in a Super Bowl. And after he breaks this SB record on Sunday, who knows, he might break it again next year… and the year after that… and maybe then he’ll retire? Or maybe not. G/O Media may get a commissionDuring Super Bowl media availability an ESPN reporter asked “would you consider playing beyond 45, especially with the way you’re playing right now?”“Yeah, definitely,” TB12 said. “I would definitely consider that. You know, it’s a physical sport, and just the perspective I have on that is you never kinda know when that moment is. It’s a contact sport, and there’s a lot of training that goes into it, and again — it has to be a 100% commitment from myself to keep doing it.” .

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Posted on 11:25 pm

Hand Review: Did Polk Shove Too Light for Value Versus Negreanu?

February 04, 2021
Mo Nuwwarah

The ongoing $200/$400 heads-up no-limit hold’em match between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu has captured the attention of the poker world, particularly with the dearth of other action of interest out there.
Two legends of poker battling back and forth for pots worth sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars has naturally produced some interesting hands that merit a closer look from a strategic point of view.
Getting an expert’s perspective on such a hand isn’t easy considering how few HUNL specialists are out there and qualified to comment critically on these stakes, but PokerNews did manage to get hold of one: Kevin Rabichow. The high-stakes pro and Run It Once Poker ambassador graciously agreed to help break down a pot I found fascinating while covering the action.
Kevin Rabichow
The hand can be viewed here but for those not wishing to relive it in video form, here’s how the action goes:
Negreanu raised to $960 on the button and Polk reraised to $3,945. Negreanu four-bet to $10,800 and Polk called, bringing a flop. Both players checked and the turn was the . Polk led out $6,479 and Negreanu called. On the river, Polk shoved for $32,132. Negreanu quickly called with and won the showdown against to scoop a $98K pot.
PokerNews: How does being 125 bigs deep change preflop strategy with these hands if at all? Is everything they do here standard?
Kevin Rabichow: The interesting decision preflop as you get deeper is how do you adjust what you’re going to stack off compared to three-bet-call or just call. Maybe you three-bet less than usual here but I still think this hand’s always a three-bet. Sometimes you can five-bet all in for 100 bigs but maybe not 125.
On the flop, we see both players check. I assume that’s also pretty standard or is there an argument to bet because this is a good flop for the four-bettor’s range, and aces and queens are potentially bad turns than can cost you a pretty big pot?
It’s common for button to bet range on this flop. The key thing is it’s king-high. When the board comes king-high, the really important thing in heads-up preflop ranges is that button will have all ace-kings and big blind never has any ace-kings. You can’t say that as confidently in other formats but in heads up you can.
Daniel should probably just bet. If Doug folds queen-jack or something with an ace in it, you get some equity out of the pot and can charge a gutshot or open-ended straight draw. I think it’s a little non-standard not to bet. If I was gonna check anything, my first choice would be queens or jacks, though. If you’re gonna play checks, this hand is up there.
After a turn, Doug leads one-third of pot. Is this for standard for value and protection?
Doug is very GTO-focused. He’s trying to just play well and learn from the solver. The solver wouldn’t check very much. is the type of hand that wants to lead small. It does depend on what types of hands Daniel is checking back though.
We had seen Daniel occasionally check as strong as top pair in these four-bet pots.
That makes it really tough if he’s checking . What Doug has to ask himself is, ‘Is this hand good enough to bet for protection?’ Not just does it want to because it clearly does.
Keep in mind stuff like queen-six suited or ace-five suited are preflop bluffs and made a weak pair. That’s part of the range that gets overlooked heads up. Daniel’s gonna bluff with raggedy , . He could have pair of sixes or fives. If he folds out something like that has six clean outs, that’s also great for him.
It’s kind of thin. I think it’s still clear the bet is fine.
We see a pot-sized shove on the river. I assume it’s for value? Is this too thin?
I think on the surface, it’s a pretty normal shove in heads up. In this situation, it’s a little thin. The key thing here is Doug’s out of position. It’s a thin value shove for one pot-sized bet, so that makes the math pretty easy. If he was to check and get shoved on he needs 33% to check-call. Traditionally if you make a value-bet, you want to get called by a range you’re ahead of. When he shoves and gets called, maybe he’s got 43% equity.
It gets weird out of position with these thin, in-between hands. But, he’s ahead of , , even which might hero. A rivered pair of sevens which is unlikely but maybe a hand that bluffed preflop could have gotten here. There’s stuff that he beats but it’s certainly not thrilling.
But, Doug is someone who bluffs a lot, and Daniel will make hero calls. Maybe Doug doesn’t think check performs very well. Maybe he’s saying if he has or it’s a cooler, which I kind of agree with. I think Doug’s shoving for value fully expecting to lose more than time.
Negreanu won the huge pot with jacks.
So, even though he might be beat more than half of the time he’s called, jam can still be good for value?
You have to look at the [expected value] of check as a whole versus the EV of jam as a whole. If he jams, he always gets called by better hands and sometimes by worse hands. When he checks, Daniel will always check back the hands Doug beats. But, the concern is he will bluff sometimes and he will value-bet all the better hands. If he feels he cannot check-fold, then value-betting becomes worth considering.
Does block-betting the river make any sense?
From what I’ve seen of Daniel’s game, I think block is very likely the best play. That would probably be my first choice. I think it’s a good play. It’s quite possible Doug randomized for his sizing or just kind of got caught up in making a greedy sizing choice.
Blocking river in a spot like this is definitely part of good strategy. The likely response we’re hoping for is Daniel calls with . If that’s the play he takes even a little bit of time, that’s an amazing result. We get extra value from fives and sixes and don’t lose the max against and .
What do regular players need to understand about heads-up no-limit that makes this shove good?
I think the framework within heads-up no-limit is to realize like and , even if we think Daniel is conservative, it’s not an overwhelming majority of his range. We can’t focus so quickly on that part of his range. Because preflop ranges are so wide, it’s important to remember that ace-high needs to call the turn and and need to call river a lot of the time against a jam. Just recognizing that the overall strategy good heads-up no-limit players use in this spot isn’t overly focused on the top of Daniel’s range. There’s all this trash and all these other weak hands.
What parts of heads-up no-limit can fans watching take and try to apply to their own games?
Honestly, it’s probably just aggression. Recognizing the value of finding bets and stacking off uncomfortably light. It trickles to the rest of your strategy. The benefit of Doug having plays like this that are thin and look wild is you allow yourself to be aggressive with the bluffs in your range and find thinner value bets as a result. Your aggression goes up and you win more pots.
Almost all players are not aggressive enough, even professional players. Six-max, tournaments…players are by and large not aggressive enough. Here’s a player at the top of the game on the biggest stage and he’s going after it every pot. That’s something worth trying to emulate, I think.

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Posted on 11:14 pm

Jorginho first half penalty enough for Chelsea to defeat lacklustre Spurs

Thursday night and a biggie to end the mid-week action for the current week in the Premier League, and it saw Spurs take on Chelsea at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Both clubs were in different situations, the hosts were trying to prevent a third straight league loss for the first time since 2012 whilst Chelsea were full of renewed optimism following the appointment of Thomas Tuchel.
Jose Mourinho had never lost back-to-back home league games as a manager too so he really did not want this record to go against his former employers and bitter rivals in Chelsea, a defeat in this one would really see him, and his side come under even more intense pressure than they already were feeling prior to kick off.
This game was also big in terms of both sides vying to reach those coveted top four places, they both sat seven points off them in 7th and 8th respectively, so whoever got the points here would certainly help their cause in achieving this, whilst the loser would damage those aspirations.
So, how would Tuchel’s Chelsea get on against a Spurs side who had to respond from that awful performance at Brighton?  And how would Spurs deal with the pressure? Let’s find out…
Tottenham Hotspur 0 Chelsea 1
Chelsea certainly had the brighter opening and had most of the ball as Spurs sat back and soaked up the Chelsea attacks, but you felt it would be a matter of time before Chelsea would unlock the door, and midway through the first half Timo Werner was brought down by Eric Dier inside the box, and Jorginho stepped up to dispatch the spot-kick, and Spurs now had to come out of their shell of they were to get anything from the game.  They had offered pretty much nothing going forward thus far.
But even after the goal and for the remainder of the first period nothing much changed, Spurs sat too deep and just defended, and Chelsea had most of the ball and looked for a way through, the only time Spurs did put a free-kick into the Chelsea box, Serge Aurier headed a decent opening wide, but that was pretty much it in terms in a threat to the Chelsea goal.  The Blues were very comfortable in this one as they reached the half time whistle, and Spurs needed to change their game plan because if it carried on like this, there would be only one winner.
Spurs certainly had more zip about them in the early part of the second period, pressing higher up the pitch and putting the visitors under a bit more pressure in that sense, but they could not muster up any sort of threat to the Chelsea goal despite this, but at least they were showing a bit more aggression, although that wasn’t hard after such a lacklustre performance.
Chelsea though began to dominate again after that initial press from the hosts and looked the more likely to get the next goal in the contest, as they now had more space to run into as Spurs were now pressing higher up the pitch, although the ease that Chelsea carved through the middle on a couple of occasions was a worry for the hosts.
Could Spurs rouse themselves for a barnstorming finish? The final ten minutes did see them try and force a leveller and saw Carlos Vinicius somehow head wide late on, but Chelsea defended well and kept the hosts out, and grabbed a more than deserved to win in this derby.
It’s been a good start for Tuchel, he becomes the first Chelsea boss to keep clean sheets in each of his first three matches at the club since a certain Mourinho did so back in August 2004, and his side are now up to sixth and four points off Liverpool in fourth, whilst for Spurs, it was a largely poor showing and although they did improve in the second period it is a third straight loss and they are now eighth and seven points off fourth although they do have a game in hand.  Another frustrating night for Spurs fans no doubt though, and many are questioning Mourinho as to whether he should still be in a job there.  Has he lost the dressing room, the next few games should tell us that if it already hasn’t done…
Here is the latest Premier League table…

This weekend sees another full round of fixtures, lets see what those are…
Saturday, February 6
Aston Villa v Arsenal (12.30pm)
Burnley v Brighton & Hove Albion (3pm)
Newcastle United v Southampton (3pm)
Fulham v West Ham United (5.30pm)
Manchester United v Everton (8pm)
Sunday, February 7
Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion (12pm)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leicester City (2pm)
Liverpool v Manchester City (4.30pm)
Sheffield United v Chelsea (7.15pm)

Monday, February 8
Leeds United v Crystal Palace (8pm)
Game of the weekend comes from Anfield on Sunday afternoon as Liverpool take on Man City, it’s must-win for the hosts you would suspect, can they possibly stop City in their tracks and reduce the gap to them, as if City do win you suspect Liverpool’s title defence could be all but over if that happens. Stay tuned to find out how the weekend goes…


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Posted on 10:55 pm

Indiana Gaming Commission moves to revoke Rod Ratcliff’s casino license

The Indiana Gaming Commission has reportedly moved to permanently revoke the Indiana casino license held by local entrepreneur Rod Ratcliff (pictured) over allegations that he failed to disclose the transfer of business funds into a personal wagering account.
According to a Wednesday report from The Indianapolis Star newspaper, Ratcliffe partnered with former Centaur Holdings executive John Keeler in 2018 to lead a group that established Spectacle Entertainment so as to buy Indiana’s floating Majestic Star Casino Hotel and Majestic Star Casino Hotel II venues. This entity purportedly later successfully lobbied for the right to relocate one of these Gary riverboat casinos to a fresh and more profitable land-based site located along nearby Interstate 94.
Coming casino:
The newspaper reported that this new $300 million venue is set to debut later this year as the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana featuring a collection of about 1,650 slots alongside some 80 gaming tables. However, any opening ceremonies are purportedly not likely to feature Ratcliff as he was forced to resign as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Spectacle Entertainment in June as scrutiny concerning his past behavior increased.
Questionable association:
The Indianapolis Star reported that the Indiana casino magnate first came under the spotlight when federal law enforcement authorities and the Indiana Gaming Commission launched investigations into whether Keeler had helped to illegally funnel campaign contributions into a state lawmaker’s unsuccessful congressional run. Although Ratcliff was not named in the subsequent indictment, he did purportedly have his license temporarily suspended in December before being compelled to sell his stake in the coming 200,000 sq ft Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana.
Later lawsuit:
Ratcliff reportedly responded by suing the Indiana Gaming Commission over claims that the interim suspension had come with ‘no notice, no hearing and no process’ and had additionally denied him the ‘ability to sell his shares on his own terms’ to the operator of the coming Lake County casino, Hard Rock International.
Serious reply:
However, the Indiana Gaming Commission reportedly countered on Monday by lodging a Lake County Superior Court petition that is seeking the permanent revocation of Ratcliff’s casino license. The regulator’s application purportedly contends that the entrepreneur had transferred approximately $900,000 from his casino business to personal betting accounts between 2015 and 2019 and had subsequently failed to disclose this information at the time of applying for his license.
The newspaper reported that the request from the Indiana Gaming Commission alleges that Ratcliff had violated its licensing standards in 2018 by ‘submitting false information’ while simultaneously ‘hiding conduct that violates Indiana gaming rules and regulations’. The regulator purportedly moreover claimed that the businessman had later refused ‘on two separate occasions’ to meet with its investigators so as to answer questions regarding any allegations of unethical business practices.
Converging course:
The Indianapolis Star reported that this petition is to ultimately be reviewed by the Indiana Office of Administrative Law Proceedings, which is a state office charged with ruling on agency disputes. In the meantime and Ratcliff purportedly asserted that he ‘looks forward to his day in court’ so that he may ‘contest these baseless allegations.’

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Posted on 10:40 pm

Affilka by SoftSwiss enters into partnership with WildTokyo Casino

Affilka, an Affiliate Marketing Platform developed by SoftSwiss, has concluded a deal with a third-party casino WildTokyo Casino. A newly launched Affiliate Program “AffRepublic“, provided by WildTokyo Casino, will run on Affilka, enabling its users with a combination of security and all the necessary functionality for efficient workflow and partner cooperation. Affilka has already shown some amazing results working with a variety of brands operating on the SoftSwiss online casino platform. And now, it keeps on gaining momentum and actively expanding its third-party client portfolio. As in Q4 of 2020 alone, Affilka onboarded 4 new third-party clients and that is just the beginning. Affilka is an affiliate marketing platform developed by SoftSwiss. A reliable, safe and trustworthy tool for iGaming operators to manage, track and analyze their affiliates and their marketing performance in real-time. The solution allows to unite several casinos or sportsbook brands and products under one referral program as well as offering automated payouts to affiliates via built-in payment processing methods, an advanced commission constructor, powerful reporting and in-depth analytics.Anastasia Borovaya, Affilka Product Owner at SoftSwiss said: “2021 has just begun and here comes one more astonishing achievement for Affilka! Our winning combination of built-in payment processing, ultra-flexible commission constructor and easy-to-use interface will aim at making new AffRepublic a highly efficient affiliate program. Looking forward to the start of our very fruitful cooperation with WildTokyo!”WildTokyo commented on the partnership: “For a long time we were looking and thinking about which software provider to choose for launching our business and Affiliate Program “AffRepublic”. After much deliberation, a decision was made in favor of SoftSwiss. Their platform combines smart technology with stylish simplicity and ease of use, as well as all the necessary functionality for effective work and cooperation with partners. We’re excited to be partnering with Affilka and looking forward to the start of our cooperation”.

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Posted on 10:35 pm

Online Sportsbook Promotions You Need to Know About Before the Big Game on Sunday

The Big Game is quickly approaching, with only a few more days to go. Even if you bet on sports just casually, this Sunday is one day of the year that no one will want to miss.

On February 7, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will come head to head in Super Bowl 2021, and US sportsbooks are offering a host of valuable promotions to make your bets more exciting and entertaining.

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FOX Bet is offering an interesting promotion for new bettors. If you do not have an account with the bookie as of yet, you can open one before the Big Game and get involved with this promo where you can get 10 times your original bet when you bet on either team to score. And since this game cannot end in a scoreless tie, you are assured to win!

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You can take your pick, but it must be a single bet with odds of at least -200. You will need to opt in via the Challenges’ window and you can even get involved with this one after the game kicks off via the live betting section.

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For new players that do not have an account with Unibet as of yet, there is a special welcome offer tailored with the Big Game in mind.

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You will also get the $21 free live bet for the Big Game like the rest of existing customers.

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Huge Welcome Offer at BetRivers

BetRivers has come up with a big offer for all new bettors who do not have an account with the bookie as of yet. Namely, you only need to deposit and bet $100 or more on the Big Game to qualify for the big $400 bonus.

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Posted on 10:29 pm

Aftercare, Slaughter Ban Bill Passes NY Senate

Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 3:59 pm |
Back to: Top News Updated: February 4, 2021 at 4:06 pm
N.Y. Senator Joseph Addabbo | courtesy of Joseph Addabbo

By Diana Pikulski A bill relating to the aftercare of retired racehorses passed the New York State Senate with bi-partisan support and is expected to pass the N.Y. State Assembly in this legislative session. The bill, Senate Bill 1442, sponsored by State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., prohibits the slaughter of race horses and breeding stock or transfer of horses intended for slaughtered or the transfer of horses where one knows or who should have known that the horse would be slaughtered. Violators will be denied Gaming Commission licenses and be barred from receiving breeding awards.
The bill mandates that all racehorses be microchipped, requires breeding organizations to have a dedicated fund set-aside for aftercare programs, and provides that monies generated by enforcement will be dedicated to the cost of aftercare.
The bill will also increase Gaming Commission insight into transfers of horses and ownership, as all microchipping information will go to the Gaming Commission as well as to The Jockey Club.

Finally, the bill establishes a tax check-off on individual and corporate franchise tax returns that will bring awareness and more funding for the ongoing care of retired race horses.
“The reason why I love this bill is that it came from the industry itself and we flushed out the details,” said Addabbo. “We worked with the breeders and the horsemen. They were all a part of the initial draft of the bill. All around the industry, we found support and those in the animal rights groups all support it as well.”
On the bill’s chances in the New York State Assembly, Addabbo said he sees no roadblocks.
“I can’t image who can be against the ban of horse slaughter and more funds to care for the retired horses,” said Addabbo. “Importantly, there is no cost to the state involved.”
The bill goes beyond other what other states have passed on the same issue.
“In doing our due diligence, we did find this was quite unique and somewhat ground-breaking which did entice the animal advocates to embrace it,” said Addabbo. “Maybe we do become the model for other states. I’m only hopeful. The aftercare of our horses is essential so maybe we do pave the way for others.”

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This story was posted in Top News and tagged anti-slaughter bill, Joseph Addabbo, New York Senate, racehorse aftercare.

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Posted on 10:15 pm

William Hill statement on the rise of the gambling black market

Here at William Hill, we have long been concerned by the black market in gambling and the threat it poses to customers. We want everyone who gambles to be certain that the operator who’s taking their bets plays by the rules. The problem is, that’s not always the case, and that’s a problem for our customers, for us and for the whole betting industry.  We are pleased that the Government has rightly included this issue as an area of focus in the Gambling Act Review consultation.

Last week, Neil McArthur, CEO of the Gambling Commission — Britain’s gambling regulator — wrote to the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group. In that letter he set out his view of the black market and explained that, “Criminals seeking to circumvent the regulated sphere and exploit the vulnerable are demonstrating increasing sophistication, complexity and capability which poses challenges to us to keep pace.”

This is also our view of the gambling black market: it is a growing problem that we must confront. The reason is that unlicensed operators do not offer the same protections as licensed companies. They do not have any of the safer gambling protocols in place that we use, there are no age verification checks, no anti-money laundering precautions, or any of the consumer protections that are now standard in the industry. 

 It is all the more important now, as evidence suggests that the black market is growing. The Gambling Commission’s own record of success in confronting these illegal operatives supports this conclusion. In 2019-20, the Commission carried out 59 enforcement actions against unlicensed operators. So far in 2020/21, the equivalent number already stands at 74 — a significant increase. 

This is not a new problem — sadly, there have always been illegal bookmakers, in Britain and elsewhere. What makes the current black market threat so pernicious is its ability to exploit technology in order to make itself more available to gamblers. Now, a person on a legal betting site is only a few clicks away from a black market option.

Everyone who gambles in Britain deserves protection from illegal operators. We must do all that we can to make sure that remains the case.  We would encourage all our customers to report information about black market/unlicensed gambling operators to the Gambling Commission via its Confidential Reporting Line 0121 230 6655 so that they can take the necessary action.

Please read today’s PwC report on the black market here.

Ulrik Bengtsson
Chief Executive, William Hill

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Posted on 10:08 pm

It’s pathetic that Chad Wheeler’s name wasn’t mentioned once during Roger Goodell’s annual ‘State of the League’

Chad Wheeler and the issue of violence against women was not mentioned in Roger Goodell’s speech.Image: Getty ImagesThe best way to figure out what’s ailing America is to tune into the annual “State of the League” press conference that’s held days before the Super Bowl. At some point in time, a football game became the only annual event that transcends race, religion, gender, or creed in this country, as “Super Bowl Sunday” is the one thing we almost all do. But on Thursday, it was less about the topics that were discussed at the press conference, and more about a very important one that wasn’t even acknowledged: violence against women.Former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Chad Wheeler’s name wasn’t mentioned once. It was as if he, and what he did, didn’t exist.The 6-foot-7, 310-pound Wheeler was arrested and booked back on January 23, after his girlfriend accused him of choking her unconsciousness, twice. According to the police report obtained by ESPN, Wheeler was shocked when she regained consciousness for the second time.“He thought I was dead on my bed and continued to eat dinner. When I ran into the bathroom, he said, ‘Wow, you’re still alive’ while sipping on a smoothie,” is how the victim recounted the alleged incident in some text messages.G/O Media may get a commissionBut wait, there’s more.Wheeler also didn’t comply with police officers’ commands. He had to be tasered, but “with little effect.” Jacob Blake, a Black man, got shot in the back seven times by police for much less. As you can probably guess, Wheeler pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges of first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment, and resisting arrest. His bail was set at a measly $400,000. He’s been out of jail since he posted bond on January 26. You would think that after all that Wheeler has done, and how the photos of the aftermath of the vicious attack have gone viral, that his name would have come up on Thursday. But, it wasn’t even hinted at. Which begs the question: What’s more shocking, the fact that Roger Goodell didn’t mention Wheeler, or that male, and female, reporters didn’t ask about him?That’s a question that you will have to answer on your own. But what I do know, is that if Chad Wheeler were Black and his girlfriend was white, that this would be a bigger story than the actual game. Because in America, while violence against women is something that we “act like” is unacceptable, when it happens to white women at the hands of a Black man, it immediately becomes an unforgivable sin. On Thursday, Goodell was asked about playing during a pandemic, the league’s focus on diversity with head coaching hires, allegations concerning that the league could be dodging concussion payouts to Black players, and even Colin Kaepernick. As I said, from the pandemic to race relations, everything that’s going in America can be discussed in the biggest press conference before America’s biggest event, featuring America’s game … except violence against women.But what do you expect? A man like Urban Meyer – who has proven that he will lie to protect men that hit women – just got a head coaching job in a league that rewards men who put their hands on women. That’s not an accusation against the NFL, it’s a fact. Here is a list I compiled of just some of the incidents that have taken place over the last few years. Read it. I apologize for not updating it. Approximately 70 percent of the NFL’s workforce is Black, lending itself to ongoing discussions about diversity in a league that only has five African-American general managers, three African-American head coaches, and one African-American team president. However, nearly half of the NFL’s audience is made up of women, but yet, the league keeps hiring men who willingly choose to hit them.Pathetic, right?So if you’re still wondering why Chad Wheeler wasn’t mentioned on Thursday, the answer is simple. It’s because neither the NFL, nor America, is ready to discuss the fact that they don’t have an issue with violence against women. .

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Posted on 10:05 pm