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Comment on Compulsive gambler just can’t win by TheLawToday
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A federal judge in New Jersey has issued the most complete and comprehensive judgment ever about whether a compulsive gambler can sue a casino.The short version of her 10-page-long legal analysis: “No.”Arelia Margarita Taveras, a disbarred lawyer, sued most of the casinos in Atlantic City, as well as many of their owners and employees.She alleged that “the Defendants facilitated Plaintiff’s gambling addiction and induced her to gamble away money belonging to her and others . . .” She pleaded 12 separate causes of action, including negligence, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and violations of the federal racketeering statutes and the Bank Secrecy Act.Some of Taveras’s claims were a stretch. For example, she alleged that the casinos owe her money because they failed to report her cash transactions of more than $10,000. The problem is that even if a casino does fail to file its required reports, that does not give a player the right to sue.But raising every possible claim required U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb to examine every possible legal theory a compulsive gambler could have.Judge Bumb is a federal judge, so she is free to interpret federal statutes, like the Bank Secrecy Act, bound only by the decisions of higher federal courts. But many of Taveras’s causes of action were based on New Jersey state law. Judge Bumb’s role was to decide how the New Jersey Supreme Court would answer legal questions, which it often had never considered.Judge Bumb started with the rule that for there to be negligence, “the Court must find as a matter of law that Defendants owed Plaintiff a duty.” Taveras argued that casinos have a duty to keep their premises safe, and “that her continued gambling was an unreasonable danger foreseeable to Defendants.”Judge Bumb focused on New Jersey’s “extraordinary, pervasive and intensive regulations over virtually every facet of casino gambling.” Her conclusion: If the state had wanted to impose a duty on casinos to rescue compulsive gamblers from themselves, it would have said so.Judge Bumb similarly rejected Taveras’s request to create a duty somewhat like that imposed on bars to not serve drinks to obviously drunk patrons. “Plaintiff’s theory would, in effect, have no limit . . . [it] would impose a duty on shopping malls and credit-card companies to identify and exclude compulsive shoppers.”One of the more interesting parts of the Opinion was Taveras’s claim that gambling is an “abnormally dangerous activity.” Looking at cases such as dumping toxic waste, Judge Bumb concluded: “Needless to say, gambling can indeed be a safe activity, gambling is common, and state-regulated casinos are not inappropriate locations for gambling.”The Opinion contains other statements that can prove useful for the gaming industry both legally and politically. In rejecting Taveras’s claims for emotional distress, Judge Bumb held, “In allowing, even encouraging, Plaintiff to continue gambling, Defendants acted well within the bounds of the community norms reflected in state law.”In dismissing the counts based on fraud, for supposedly misleading Taveras “into thinking that gambling would result in high returns and rewards,” Judge Bumb ruled, “Plaintiff fails to identify with particularity (by quoting, for example) even a single falsehood or misleading statement . . .”There is no doubt that compulsive gambling can destroy lives. But the legal problem for compulsive gamblers is that the decision by a state to legalize gaming means the state has consciously weighed the pros and cons.So long as card clubs and casinos, and their executives, obey the rules, they should not be legally responsible for the harm compulsive gamblers do to themselves.© Copyright 2011. Professor I Nelson Rose is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on gambling law and is a consultant and expert witness for players, governments and industry. His latest books, INTERNET GAMING LAW (1st & 2nd editions), BLACKJACK AND THE LAW and GAMING LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS, are available through his website, www.GAMBLINGANDTHELAW.com.
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Colonial Downs Proposes Casino Resort in Dumfries
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Rosie’s Gaming Emporium opened doors on January 8. It is a 19,000-square-foot gaming center with 95 video slots, located in the Triangle Shopping Center in Dumfries. Colonial Downs, the property’s owner, now proposes another building, which is a massive $389 million casino resort on the grounds of Potomac Landfill, a debris junkyard on the edge of town. The future facility would be called “The Rose” and would be the first in Virginia with this size, providing such gaming options. According to the plan for “The Rose”, the facility will consist of 50,000 square feet of gaming space, a 250-seat sports bar, as well as other bars and restaurants, 200 hotel rooms, a theater with 1,500 seats and 7,000 square feet of meeting space. Colonial Downs, which owns Rosie’s and operates a racetrack in New Kent County near Richmond, as well as four other Rosie’s emporiums across the state, will pitch its idea today during a 7 a.m. Dumfries Town Council meeting. The new facility is hoped to bring a lot of profit to the town. It is expected to create 640 jobs that pay $15 an hour wage. 96 managers will be hired to work at The Rose and they will make an average of $70,000 a year. According to Colonial Downs, the new casino would generate $11.3 million a year in new tax revenue for Prince William County and nearly $80,000 a year for Dumfries. If the pitch is accepted, construction of the new casino will start in August this year, which means that Potomac Landfill will be closed 11 years earlier than planned. The casino will take 22 acres of the property with 79 acres remaining that will be converted into a park with sports fields, trails and open space. The town documents stated that the park would open in December 2022 and the casino would open only a month later. This is if everything goes according to plan. The Potomac Landfill The town agreed with the landfill in 2016 to close the facility. The closing date was set for 2032. At that time, the town planned on turning the site into a public park. The problem for the landfill started in 2011 when the neighbors and drivers on the Interstate 95 complained of sulfur smell. It was permeated the surrounding area so the facility needed to shut down. Rosie’s Gaming Emporium is the first gaming facility to open its doors in Northern Virginia. Since its opening, more than 21,000 people have visited the gaming parlor in the shopping center. The property has donated more than $75,000 to charity since it started operating and has created 100 jobs for the locals. Its establishment was made possible by the legalization of gambling in Dumfries in November 2019. A citywide referendum passed with more than 60% of the vote, following an extensive advertising campaign by Colonial Downs. Source: “Resort casino proposed to open in Dumfries in January 2023”, Potomac Local, January 15, 2021
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GGPoker Adds More Variety to No-Strings-Attached “Daily Freebie” Promotion
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Verified players can continue to play a real-money game, such as Flip & Go and Spin & Gold, for free each and every day.One of the most popular promotions for low stakes players on GGPoker has been further expanded. During the software update on February 10, the Daily Free Spin promotion changed to Daily Freebie. Furthermore, UK players can now also claim the daily gift for a chance to boost their bankrolls. All players, both existing and new, just need to have verified accounts and log in each day to claim their gift, which lets plays play real money tournaments—and compete for real money cash prizes. The update has expanded what is given away. Now, there are Daily Freebie tickets for Flip & Go, the super-successful new format introduced in January 2021. It has also undergone some changes since its launch, with GGPoker increasing the frequency and adjusting the buy-ins as well as the maximum number of stacks for purchase. “GGPoker is happy to confirm that we’ve relaunched our Daily Free Spin offer as the Daily Freebie; verified players can continue to play a real-money game, such as Flip & Go and Spin & Gold, for free each and every day. All they need to do is log in and claim their daily reward!” said Paul Burke, Head of Public Relations at GGPoker. “We hope to continue to change up the rewards on offer in the future, giving all players the opportunity to try out GGPoker’s most exciting games, no matter their bankroll.” For existing players, Daily Freebie is available immediately—just log in and claim. If you haven’t yet signed up, you can do so today and enjoy the promotion as soon as you have verified your account. You can also take advantage of all of GGPoker’s generous welcome bonuses. How the GGPoker Daily Freebie Promotion Works The operator has seen unprecedented growth in 2020 to become one of the leading online poker platforms for tournaments and cash games. GGPoker has achieved that with a plethora of promotions, innovations, and high-profile partnerships. Their continued success has led to a record $7.5 million in promotions given away in February 2021. One of several promotions for players with smaller bankrolls is the Daily Freebie formerly the Daily Free Spin. This was launched on September 7, 2020. It has given verified players the opportunity to claim one $0.25 Spin & Gold ticket every day ever since. The free ticket courtesy of GGPoker continues to be available under the new name three times per week—*but this rotates with other ticket types.* Players can see the next six upcoming Daily Freebies listed under the “My Promo” tab. A new daily gift becomes available after each daily reset at midnight Pacific time. Each ticket will continue to feature an expiration date of 24 hours once the Daily Freebie has been awarded. The current rotation of Daily Freebie is fixed for the time being. However, GGPoker hopes “to change the daily prizes on a semi-regular basis,” according to Burke. He also hinted at a strong possibility that the Daily Freebie will include the alternative currencies C$ or T$ sometime soon. Newly included as a prize in the Daily Freebie is a $1 Spin & Gold ticket, which can be claimed once per week. Furthermore, five $0.05 Flip & Go tickets are up for grabs three times per week, giving players the chance at trying the new tournament format free of charge. As a mixture between a Flipout and regular tournament, Flip & Go was launched on January 12, 2021. However, it only took a few days for the first tweaks to be made. Initially slated to take place once every hour, it was soon increased to once every 30 minutes. The buy-ins were also adjusted and the lowest available stake was increased to $0.05 with a guarantee of $50. Players can now take a shot at their own leisure three times per week and enter this lowest tier with five stacks thanks to the Daily Freebie. Upon launch, the Flip & Go featured a maximum of 10 entries for each of the four stakes. However, that number has been adjusted recently and the stacks for purchase are now capped at a maximum of eight. This makes the bonus stacks based on the holdings during the Flipout stage more valuable in comparison. The overall feedback for the new tournament format has been very positive, as outlined by Burke. “Players love it! We have been very pleasantly surprised by the positivity seen across almost all feedback, of course not all players are interested in a new game type but those who have tried it have mostly good things to say about Flip & Go. We’ve also received some constructive criticism, which is also valuable.” Further tweaks to the Flip & Go format may very well possible, as GGPoker is constantly reviewing and optimizing its schedule. One such adjustment was made with the expansion of the popular Daily GGMasters earlier in February. The changes to the Daily Freebie promotion went live on February 10. All verified GGPoker players in eligible countries can claim their daily gift under the “My Promo” tab after each daily reset.
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Fortnite 15.40 update release time confirmed: Pump shotgun to possibly return
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Epic Games has been on a roll with Fortnite this season.The Fortnite 15.40 update is an important one that comes to the game today. And it's expected to bring in a lot of interesting new content with it.Chapter 2 Season 5 will be concluding in a month, so the publisher might begin tying all the loose ends to move forward from this point.The villain for this season hasn't been disclosed yet, but that's not the highlight of this update. There's a possibility that the pump-action shotgun might finally return. Fortnite 15.40 update release time and other detailsKnock knock. 🚪The v15.40 update is scheduled to release on February 16. Downtime for the update will begin at approx. 4 AM ET (09:00 UTC). pic.twitter.com/W54TynVlZQ— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) February 15, 2021As per the above tweet, the downtime for the Fortnite 15.40 update is scheduled to begin at 4 AM ET (9 AM UTC/9:30 AM IST on Wednesday). Although the patch notes for this update is still missing, just like the other update, Epic gave users a heads up of what they could expect.v15.40 brings:✅Blast back with an unvaulted favorite!✅Fun for the whole squad! Characters will have more Exotics in stock for allies (or enemies) to acquire.✅LTMs coming soon: Air Royale ✈️+ Floor is Lava 🌋✅Adjust object/build level of detail in PC Perf Mode alpha— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) February 15, 2021 The very first line of the tweet reads: "Blast back with an unvaulted favorite."This has led fans to assume that the pump-action shotgun is returning. Many took to Twitter to look for answers that would satiate their curiosity. The entire community has been asking the developer to unvault the pump-action shotgun for a while now. With Epic saying that a favorite will be unvaulted, some people cannot remain calm.However, there's another speculation doing the rounds. Since the first line of the tweet says: "Blast back with an unvaulted favorite," players believe that it's the Flint Knock that will be returning to the game with the Fortnite 15.40 update today. since when did you get blasted back with the pump? its the flint knock.— FlameZ (@lachie204) February 15, 2021 While the internet argues on this matter, the Fortnite 15.40 update drops in a few more hours. And once it drops, everyone will know which weapon was unvaulted.Epic has been into heavy teasing as of this season with interesting wordplay as well, so there's a high chance that it might be the Flint Knock that returns with the 15.40 update. Published 16 Feb 2021, 12:32 IST .
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Thousands of jobs available at tribal casinos
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With millions of Americans out of work, the first sign of a recovery has to be in new jobs coming on the market. The tribal gaming industry is doing its part, with several operators posting new jobs in the past few weeks.Seneca Gaming Corporation has lots of jobs available at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in downtown Buffalo. The operator will be hosting a job fair for open positions on February 25 between 10:00am and 6:00pm.“Even with the changes and challenges everyone has gone through over the past year, Seneca Gaming Corporation has remained one of the largest employers in Western New York, and we are excited to be growing our team across a variety of departments,” said Meghan Smith, Seneca Gaming Corporation’s vice president of human resources. “We truly believe that the time we spend at work should be rewarding, fulfilling and fun. That’s how we approach our jobs every day. If people are looking an opportunity in that type of environment, we are ready to talk to them.”Attendees can check out what’s on offer in person or virtually, but should be ready for an interview at a moment’s notice.On the other side of the country, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are also on the look out for fresh talent. That operator has more than 500 jobs to fill, with as many as 2000 coming for the rest of the year. They’ll be having their virtual career fair on February 18 from 9:00am to 4:00pm.“The expansion of San Manuel will offer an economic boost to the local job market at a time when it is really needed,” said Brigitte Saria, Chief People and Infrastructure Officer. “Our efforts to boost the local economy are guided by our commitment to ensuring our employment process and work environment follow leading health and safety standards.”The Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold, California are also hiring. The tribe is looking for 50 full-time and part-time positions, and will have a job fair on February 23 from 10:00am to 1:00pm.Add those jobs to the 150 that Oneida Nation Enterprises were offering as of last week, and there’s a lot to be hopeful for about the future of the economy, and particularly that of tribal gaming.Connecticut tribes close to new dealGovernor Ned Lamont wants sports betting in his state, and he needs a new deal with the tribes to get it done. He used his budget address to emphasize the push:“My administration has been in active negotiations with our tribal partners to bring the state’s gaming economy into the digital age. And I am submitting legislation which reflects what I believe to be the best bet in ending this stalemate of inaction in a way which is in the best interest [of] the entire state.”Construction resumes at Four WindsThe Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ contractor recently resumed building a hotel at Four Winds South Bend Casino. Construction slowed down significantly due to Covid-19.The new 23-story hotel was originally due to be completed this year. But with construction crews only working on the foundation now after a 10-month delay, maybe 2022 seems more accurate.
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Women’s CL last-16: Chelsea draw Atleti; Man City vs Fiorentina
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Chelsea have been drawn against Atletico Madrid in the Women's Champions League last 16 while Manchester City face Fiorentina.Both WSL sides will play their home legs first, between March 3 and 4, with the away trips scheduled for March 10-11. Holders Lyon, who have won a record seven titles and made it five in a row last season, face Norwegian side Brondby.Full draw as follows: Wolsburg (GER) vs LSK Kvinner (NOR) Barcelona (ESP) vs Fortuna Hjørring (DEN) Rosengård (SWE) vs St. Pölten (AUT) BIIK-Kazygurt (KAZ) vs Bayern München (GER)Manchester City (ENG) vs Fiorentina (ITA)Sparta Praha (CZE) vs Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)Lyon (FRA) vs Brøndby (DEN)Chelsea (ENG) vs Atlético de Madrid (ESP)More to follow....This is a breaking news story that is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh this page for the latest updates.Sky Sports brings you live updates as they happen. Get breaking sports news, analysis, exclusive interviews, replays and highlights.Sky Sports is your trusted source for breaking sports news headlines and live updates. Watch live coverage of your favourite sports: Football, F1, Boxing, Cricket, Golf, Tennis, Rugby League, Rugby Union, NFL, Darts, Netball and get the latest transfers news, results, scores and more.Visit skysports.com or the Sky Sports App for all the breaking sports news headlines. You can receive push notifications from the Sky Sports app for the latest news from your favourite sports and you can also follow @SkySportsNews on Twitter to get the latest updates.Watch the Women's Football Show on Friday at 6pm on Sky Sports Football.
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Pearl Legend Hold and Win Slot Review
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Pearl Legend: Hold and Win is a new release which is coming from iSoftBet, a slot machine with a Chinese concentration and utilizing a lot of the designs that are normal for their games. Some of the features included will be familiar to you, as the Hold and Win a part of the title suggests there are a few things which are unique also.You are playing on 5×3 reels with 20 paylines being used each round. Pearl Legend: Hold and Win can deliver top wins of 1,250x the stake but its standard mixes offer maximum of 500x. It has a 96% RTP, while for its huge features there will be Wilds, Pearl scatters, the Pearl Legend Respins, Reel Boosters and regular game modifiers.Betting and Prizes 20 coins are being used and you simply pick their value, in a range of $0.01 to $1. The wagering range coming from this will go from $0.20 to $20.Wins of up to 1,250x the stake can be paid during Respins, which implies that you could leave with $25,000 cash, by utilizing the most extreme wager of $20. Standard wins of up to 500x the stake per spin are delivered during gameplay, utilizing mixes made out of Gold Dragons.A 96% RTP reveals to us that the amount getting back into the pockets of its players is about the same in other slot games.Pearl Legend: Hold and Win Slot Features Anytime you see the Yin Yang image on the reels, it will be joined by the Wild logo, so it will be the substitute which you can use to place along with standard images and get new wins. You can’t have it do likewise for the scatter but that is a standard limitation.There are a few game modifiers which you may use during paid spins. Red Gems will give you 3 to 5 wilds on the reels. Blue Gems will change images into Pearl scatters. There is likewise a Dragon sculpture, which will change Royals to high value images.The Pearls are your scatters and landing at least 5 out of a single spin will take you to the Pearl Legend Respins reward. Both the setting off Pearls and any new ones that go along, will get sticky on the reels. You start with 3 respins but you reset the number on the off chance that you get extra Pearls before the rounds are totally consumed.Pearls may appear during Respins and they can bring certain Boosters, given that you get three that match.Blue Gems: will open up to three extra rows (Reels Boosted).Green Gems: give the Pearl prizes a boost (Values Boosted).Red Gems: gives you 1 extra respin (Spins+ Boosted).Purple Gems: the multiplier goes up as high as 10x (Multiplier Boosted).Theme and Design As far as Chinese themes go, the one from Pearl Legend looks standard. The six images we see are basic in such games, as we’re taking a look at Yin Yang signs for the wilds, a Pearl as scatter alongside premium images with the Dragon, Phoenix Bird, 3 Gold Coins, Frog. The other four base paying images are the ones showing Royals. With everything taken into account, it’s a standard look for such slots. The activity seems, by all accounts, to be put placed in a temple, where we see on the left side a living Dragon holding a pearl in its claws.ConclusionPearl Legend: Hold and Win is definitely not a terrible slot machine, especially as they changed a few things about its major feature, they didn’t just clone the same reward game that every other person is using lately.
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PokerStars Rolls Out New LSNG Leaderboard Promotion, Tetris + Spin & Go
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PokerStars has rolled out Tetris + Spin & Go, a temporary takeover of their ultra-popular lottery sit and go game with a new theme and a lucrative new promotion for players. F5poker first revealed that PokerStars was working on such a promotion back in September 2020. On Monday, it deployed globally on most licenses on the global dot-com pool as well the European shared liquidity network of Spain, France and Portugal. The Spin and Go lobby in the client has been redesigned with a Tetris aesthetic, as have the tables. The game itself remains unchanged—fast, winner-takes-all sit and gos with a random top prize. What is new is the promotion on top: Tetris-themed leader boards. While the mechanics are fairly complicated—it involves Line Clears, Levels and Game Scores—it boils down to daily player rankings where cash prizes are given out to the highest volume players. For players that fall outside the cash prizes, the operator has a $5000 daily prize draw for players that finished in the top 500. In total, the operator says that over $1.5 million will be paid out in the dot-com market and almost as much—€1 million—in the Southern European market from now until the end of March. This works out at over $33,000 daily in dot-com, and €23,000 in Southern Europe. It appears to replace the previous long-running Spin & Go 20 and 50 leader boards. This had given away just over $20,000 a week and had run throughout much of 2020.
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“Be honest for once” – Brenda Patea accuses Alexander Zverev of lying about his involvement in her pregnancy
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Alexander Zverev's ex-girlfriend Brenda Patea has slammed the German for using their unborn child to boost his own public image despite not being in contact with her during her pregnancy.Patea, a German model, announced in October 2020 that she was pregnant with Alexander Zverev's daughter. She was in a relationship with Zverev until July of last year, and is currently 36 weeks into the pregnancy.Patea had declared at first that she had no plans of sharing custody of their child with Zverev, before subsequent public statements made it seem like the two were on amicable terms.But in her recent interview with German tabloid 'Bild', Patea revealed that the pair have had no contact for two months. The 27-year-old claimed that they last spoke when another ex-girlfriend, Olga Sharypova, accused Zverev of domestic violence during their relationship."I've been reading many of Alex's (Zverev) interviews and I ask myself what he wants to achieve by saying these things," Patea said. "'Highlight of his life'? 'He's extremely happy'? 'Highest priority'? I can hardly believe that because we aren't in contact thus far and he hasn't reached out."(Patea's interview with Bild was in German, and the quotes were translated into English by Twitter users fluent in both languages).Someone asked me to translate this so I’ll share it here too. Brenda is asked in her latest stories about Zverev. I translated her answers. In the background she shows excerpts of his latest interview. My summary: Zverev is full of lies and he’s shown it time and time again. pic.twitter.com/Xq2H1pYuXW— Nawal (@NawalNadal) February 15, 2021Brenda Patea was further asked if she shares the details of the pregnancy and of their unborn daughter with Alexander Zverev. But the model said there had been no contact of any kind and no initiative from Zverev's side. Patea added that she was tired of people assuming otherwise based on the tennis star's interviews. "I just wanted peace and quiet. But so many people are telling me, 'It's great that you're in contact (with Zverev) and that he's interested'. I've had enough of his 'perfect' interviews. Be honest for once," Patea added."If Alexander Zverev is saying these things in interviews then I can finally say something about it too" - Brenda Patea Brenda Patea cheers on Alexander Zverev during the couple's happier timesJust hours after Brenda Patea announced her pregnancy in October, another of Alexander Zverev's ex-girlfriends - Olga Sharypova - accused the US Open finalist of being physically and emotionally abusive towards her during their time together.Sharypova dated Zverev for a year before the NextGen star got together with Brenda Patea. The Russian claimed that Zverev had been physically abusive several times, and specifically mentioned an episode during the 2019 Laver Cup. The incident, in her words, drove Sharypova towards an attempt at ending her life, before she was rescued by hotel staff.Also read: Djokovic's sympathetic support of Zverev, and the silence of Federer & Nadal, highlight tennis' insensitivity towards abuse At the time, there was speculation that Brenda Patea's refusal to share custody of their future child with Alexander Zverev was an indication that he had been unpleasant towards Patea too. But the German model quickly denied any such rumors.Following the denial, there was a tacit understanding in the media that Alexander Zverev and Brenda Patea were planning to raise their daughter together. That, however, was a misconception, as revealed now by Patea."We had contact two months ago when the thing with his ex (Sharypova) came out but that was it," Patea said. "It's stupid to do this in the media. But if he's saying these things in interviews then I can finally say something about it too."If the tone of Patea's answers is anything to go by, it seems like Alexander Zverev has been using his "happiness" on becoming a father as a way to repair his public image after Olga Sharypova's accusations. It remains to be seen how the 23-year-old reacts to this new development, especially since he is still alive in the ongoing Australian Open. Published 16 Feb 2021, 12:22 IST .
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Did the next Macau bubble just start two weeks ago?
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The entire concept of a “bull market in stocks” makes little sense. Sound crazy? These days, certainly, because we’re always hearing about a perpetual bull market in stocks. Valuations increasingly disconnected from economic reality, asset bubbles in one class or another, armies of speculators moving like zombie hoards descending on the next fad and blowing it up to infinity and beyond, Buzz Lightyear-like.Why is the whole concept of a bull market generally, nonsense? Because if the value of everything is going up simultaneously, then nothing is going up. If everyone is a superhero, nobody is. If, in an imaginary economy, absolutely everything costs, say, $5, (labor, land, capital whatever) and then the next day everything costs $10, then what’s changed? The answer is absolutely nothing.The only thing that matters is relative valuations between asset classes. Let’s divide them into three of the most basic ones. Equities (stocks), bonds (debt), and commodities (consumer goods). If all three are going up in tandem, then there is no “bull market” in anything. If commodities are going up faster than stocks and bonds, you have inflation, or even hyperinflation. Ask anyone in Venezuela whether they care that their stock market is doing great, nominally. They don’t. They’re looking for their next glop of gruel or morsel of moldy bread to survive the day.But if stocks and bonds are rising and consumer goods are static to falling, you have a bull market in financial assets. This is where we are now. And boy are we really hard and deep into it now. Below is the ratio of the S&P 500 to the CRB Commodities Index.And I’ve got news for everyone. This bull market in stocks relative to consumer goods in dollar terms is already over. It ended almost a year ago. On April 20, 2020 to be exact. Red circle blowoff top above. That was when oil crashed to negative $35 a barrel and we all lived in an alternative financial freakhouse universe. But I have more news than that. This entire “bull market” in stocks has been one gigantic illusion from the very beginning. Stocks aren’t going up. They haven’t gone up for 21 years. Money is going down. Here is the graph of stocks relative to the prime monetary commodity, gold, over the same timeframe above.We can see here that from 1990 to 2000, we had a real bull market in stocks. Equities rocketed in gold terms and in terms of consumer goods generally. Everyone felt richer. Portfolios up, expenses down. But since that time, money has been dying at an accelerated pace and the standard of living has fallen.The bull market in stocks over the last 21 years has been an illusion, a tiny echo of the bull that ended at the turn of the century. We have spent the last 21 years trying to reinflate it, but gold has exposed the lie. We are now at the point where the illusion is about to collapse completely. In my view, we have only a few months left until it all hits the fan. Until then, the bubbles will keep coming in staccato frenetic fashion, moving from one asset class to another faster and faster, until we all get so dizzy we can’t follow it anymore. Last week I speculated that maybe the next target for the zombie hoard will be in penny gaming stocks. I was close. It’s in Macau stocks. It may already have started two weeks ago. The frenzy has started over news about China opening up again. I mean, just look at this crazy chart of the Macau proxy ETF:That last surge higher is just since February 1. We could be at the beginning of a crazy but brief ride higher in Macau stocks right now. New all time highs again, and Macau isn’t even fully open yet. The latest full month statistics for December show a 78.6% drop in visitors year over year. And yet we’re at new all time highs in these stocks already. It’s just completely crazy. I can understand the Macau opening up again trade, but to argue that this factor is being priced in at these levels, at new all time highs? As if none of this full year shutdown hurt any of the casinos fundamentally at all? That’s just totally bonkers crazy. It’s a reflection of the value of the currency these stocks are priced in, not the stocks themselves.What’s happening is that the zombie hoard of bubble chasers is reading the headlines regarding China starting to open up again, and they’re slamming buy orders and call options like they’ve been doing with tech stocks and Gamestop and BTC and all the other fads. We just got news out of Bloomberg that China’s Imax had a face-ripping rally due to exploding ticket sales. China is, indeed opening up, and the zombie hoard of speculators is now going to spray their money hoses at anything Chinese. Macau might be at the center of it.How high can this Macau bubble go, if that’s what we just saw start two weeks ago? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. If you get into it, you’ll get hooked and keep levering yourself up, counting your paper gains, unable to separate from them until you get caught in a vortex. At some point, my view this year, it’s all going to come crashing down when all the damage from 2020 is finally revealed all over the world. You can’t paper it over forever. The damage to Macau casinos doesn’t just go away. It festers in the form of more and more debt, and a damaged consumer base that can no longer patronize casinos in the way it once could. Festering wounds need the paper bandage removed and they need to be operated on. That is painful. And it’s coming.When we think of the word “bubble”, what are we really talking about? A bubble is something that looks, from the outside, to be really big and stable. The shape of it, a sphere, is the most stable shape in the universe. It’s why planets, stars, moons, and possibly even the spacetime continuum itself, spontaneously shape themselves into spheres. The force of gravity equalizes at every point on the sphere, forming equilibrium. Nature always seeks equilibrium. And so bubbles take on the illusion of stability, but unlike a real sphere, there’s nothing inside them. When they pop, they are gone almost instantly. This one is about to pop. Macau appears to be the next victim sucked up by the bubble. Macau will survive and rebuild. The question is, in what form? I wouldn’t take a bet the depended on me getting the answer to that question right.
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