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 along with her now-ex husband, 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 a week ago although she denied having once lost as much as £3 million ($4,957,781) in just one night of wagering that she had indeed sold some of her gems to pay the IOUs.

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

Former Bonded Birdies Sing

Aziz additionally gave testimony against her feminine previous badminton-coach-turned-bodyguard Fatimah Lim, who stands accused of herself stealing £12m ($19,831,126) worth of diamonds from Aziz, substituting phony and basically valueless copies inside their stead.

The 35-year-old Lim says that during a 20-month spree, Aziz took her sizable retinue of support staff with her to gambling venues around the world. Lim stated she ended up being later instructed by Aziz to sell the jewels on Aziz‘ behalf when casinos that are several threatened to sue the ex-queen.

Aziz denied this in court, saying, ‚No, I never asked anybody, especially Fatimah Lim, to sell 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 in the world; and so 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 high limits and make extravagant wagers without anyone feeling alarmed.

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

‚There were individuals in your wider group 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 this diamond bracelet.‘

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

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

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Proposes Jail Time and Fines for On The Web Gambling

One Pennsylvania lawmaker really wants to make online gambling an offense punishable with jail time and fines (Image:

Pennsylvania might be one of the biggest states population-wise that is seriously considering on the web gambling, but that doesn’t mean everybody there clearly was on board quite yet. And while the Keystone State studies the problem and watches how things work with neighboring New Jersey, one lawmaker not merely opposes putting online gambling into practice there, but really wishes to jail anybody who attempts to place a bet on the web.

Threatening Society, Scavello Says

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

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

But while opposition to on the web gambling isn’t exactly news that is breaking the specifics of Scavello’s proposition have absolutely drawn attention.

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

Under Scavello’s bill, a first violation will be a summary offense and would carry a fine of up to $300 and up to ninety days in jail. Things get much worse for a 2nd offense: at that time, the crime becomes a misdemeanor, the maximum fine rises to $2,500 and offenders could be jailed for up to a 12 months.

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

Adelson Backs Bill

Needless to say, Scavello’s bill was straight away supported by Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Web Gambling (CSIG). That team pointed to A quinnipiac that is recent poll discovered that 62 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania opposed the regulation and legalization of online gambling in their state.

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

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

The proposition comes at any given time when Pennsylvania is ways that are actively seeking expand the state’s gaming industry to compete with neighboring states. They’ve already approved bars that are allowing other venues to host gambling devices, and Governor Tom Corbett has stated that the state lottery should additionally offer keno games to Pennsylvania residents. Online gambling has perhaps not yet been put into the state spending plan, but lawmakers were studying it for future consideration.

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

‚We realize that online gambling leads to a lot of exploitation by various dubious characters that are out there,‘ said State Representative David Millard. ‚Being addicted to gaming is such as a cancer in our community.‘

British Mobile App Gambling Growth Going Strong

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

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

Slight Drop in Gambling Numbers Overall

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

That report also gave an examine whom is gambling and how frequently they’re doing it. A complete of 60 percent of male respondents reported gambling at least once a while that number was just 50 percent for women month. Many gamblers said they only played when a or less week.

The commission additionally looked at online gambling, and saw that participation in Web betting was up also as overall involvement had dropped. Some 15 percent said they had participated in online gambling over the final four weeks, up from 14 % a year before.

A large percentage of that on line gambling is done through the UK’s National Lottery, which is also the most popular form of gambling in the country overall. In-person gambling was still the many form that is popular of though, with nearly three-quarters of those who said they gambled stating that had only done so offline.

Mobile Gaming Keeps Growing

What do those figures really mean? They show that online gambling continues to grow, but still has a lot more room for expansion. And another thing that wasn’t covered in the Gambling Commission report had been mobile gaming, that has grown enormously in just the year that is last.

That growth that is expansive illustrated in a report by, which studied the web and mobile revenues associated with the top UK bookmakers. Searching at just the largest companies, it becomes clear that mobile video gaming is the long run 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 the recreations book income is now coming from mobile players. In 2012, just 26 percent of their sports book turnover came from mobile wagering. But by the quarter that is second of, that number had already raised to 33 percent, and the business expects that to go above 40 per cent by the end of 2014. Extremely, William Hill reported that year-over-year revenues for mobile gaming had increased 298 percent from 2012 to 2013.

Others saw lower but still dramatic prices of mobile development. 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 because of many factors, like the increased usage of smartphones in the UK. More organizations may also be apps that are releasing in the place of forcing clients to connect through their mobile browsers by itself.

‚Smartphones can now deliver the ongoing services required allowing customers to bet in the move,‘ said Push Technology CEO Sean Bowen. ‚they are carried by us every-where and therefore can bet at anytime, anywhere. There are many people with mobiles than PCs.‘

Other factors are the increase in interest for in-play gambling on sports, and mobile-specific marketing campaigns by the major UK bookmakers.

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