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 spend the IOUs, although she denied having once lost as much as £3 million ($4,957,781) in just one evening of wagering.

Based on Aziz, it had been only £500,000 ($826,296), which probably for an ex-Sultaness is merely chump change. But wait, because the plot thickens in this tale of broken hearts, broken allegiances and players paradise free coins broken bank accounts.

Former Bonded Birdies Sing

Aziz also gave testimony against her feminine 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 really valueless copies in 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 several gambling enterprises reportedly 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 we would do’

Plenty of Dough to Spread Around

To put this in context, the Sultan is the wealthiest guy in the world; 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 groups like London’s Clermont in Berkeley Square, Aziz could obviously play limits that are high make extravagant bets without anyone feeling alarmed.

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

‘There had been 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 marriage that is 21-year four children, in 2003. It’s hard to keep track of his various and sundry matrimonies and his progeny, but it appears like the rating is: one royal consort that is long-term the stripped-of-all-titles and today ex, Aziz; and a former Malaysian television hostess who only made it five years with her royal ex, and who was also stripped of most titles and her allowance, as reportedly was Aziz.

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

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

Pennsylvania might be one of the largest states population-wise that is seriously considering online gambling, but that doesn’t suggest everyone else there clearly was on board quite yet. Even though the Keystone State studies the issue and watches how things work in neighboring New Jersey, one lawmaker not only opposes online that is putting gambling practice there, but actually desires to jail anybody who attempts to place a bet online.

Threatening Society, Scavello Says

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

‘Here again, online gambling is most readily useful called the Wild West,’ said Scavello. ‘Online, there’s no one around to keep an optical attention on somebody who doesn’t understand when to stop.’

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

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

Under Scavello’s bill, a primary violation is a summary offense and would carry a fine of up to $300 or over to 90 days in jail. Things get much worse for a 2nd offense: at that time, the crime turns into a misdemeanor, the maximum fine rises to $2,500 and offenders could be jailed for up to a year.

‘I believe if you hit individuals inside their wallets, we may start to crack straight down regarding the lawbreakers,’ Scavello stated.

Adelson Backs Bill

Not surprisingly, Scavello’s bill was immediately supported by Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop online Gambling (CSIG). That group pointed to A quinnipiac that is recent poll discovered that 62 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania opposed the regulation and legalization of on line gambling in their state.

‘We call regarding the Pennsylvania Legislature to vote in support of this bill and send a message that is powerful online gaming has no place in American society,’ CSIG stated in a statement.

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

The proposal comes at any given time when Pennsylvania is actively seeking ways to expand the state’s gaming industry to compete with neighboring states. They’ve already authorized allowing bars and other venues to host gambling machines, and Governor Tom Corbett has stated that the state lottery should also offer keno games to Pennsylvania residents. Online gambling has maybe not yet been put to the state budget, but lawmakers have already been learning it for future consideration.

Scavello’s bill has discovered some supporters in the continuing state legislature, particularly among fellow Republicans.

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

British Mobile App Gambling Growth Going Strong

Mobile gambling particularly sports wagering 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 united kingdom gambling market, two recent studies have made it appear that the industry is both up and down at the time that is same. The truth is, it’s simply a matter of what you would like to have a look at 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 from the UK Gambling Commission that presents fewer residents gambled in 2013 than in 2012. It’s only a small drop, however: 55 percent of UK residents said which they gambled over the four days before these were surveyed in 2013, compared to 57 percent the entire year before.

That report also offered an examine who is gambling and how often they’re doing it. An overall total 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 once a or less week.

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

A big percentage of that on line gambling is done through the united kingdom’s National Lottery, which is also the most used form of gambling in the nation overall. In-person gambling was still the many popular as a type of betting though, with nearly three-quarters of the who said they gambled saying that had only done so offline.

Mobile Gaming Keeps Growing

What do those true figures really mean? They show that online gambling continues to grow, but still includes a great deal more room for expansion. Plus one thing that wasn’t covered in the Gambling Commission report was mobile video gaming, that has grown extremely in simply the last year.

That expansive growth ended up being illustrated in a report by, which studied the internet and mobile revenues of the top British bookmakers. Looking at just the largest companies, it becomes clear that mobile gaming is the long run for online operators and that the long term may, in reality, be here currently.

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

Other programs saw lower but still dramatic prices of mobile growth. Paddy Power saw a 112 percent increase in mobile revenue in 2013, while Betfair said mobile activity was up 64 percent year-over-year. And sports guide Bet365 says that half of their customers now come from mobile phones.

According to the OddsWinner report, the development in mobile betting is a result of numerous facets, including the increased usage of smartphones in the UK. More organizations are apps that are releasing instead of forcing clients to connect through their mobile browsers per se.

‘Smartphones can now deliver the solutions needed allowing clients to bet in the move,’ said Push Technology CEO Sean Bowen. ‘We carry them everywhere and therefore can bet at anytime, anywhere. There are many more people with mobiles than PCs.’

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