Earlier this week Ranjit Sinha, director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, made headlines when he said: “If you can’t enforce it, it is like you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it.” A particularly tactless comment given the spotlight on violence against women in India at the moment.

Looking past the (incredibly) poorly-chosen analogy, Sinha was making an important point about sports betting. “It is better to legalise it and earn some revenue rather than throwing up your hands,” he continued. Read more

Out of the gloom of South Africa’s economy, some green shoots of growth. Although not necessarily the kind everyone is comfortable with.

The country’s gambling industry is going from strength to strength, according to a new report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Gross gambling revenues posted their largest historical increases over the last five years, just as the country’s decade of post-millennial growth slumped. Read more

Elections in the Philippines are said to be decided by three Gs: guns, gold and goons. In a few cases, luck must be added into the equation.

When two candidates for mayor of San Teodoro, a small town in central Philippines, each got exactly the same number of votes (3,236) in a poll this week, election officials decided to break the tie by tossing a coin. Read more

Belle Grande, the $1bn Manila casino resort to be managed by Melco Crown Entertainment, won’t open its doors until near the end of the year. But the Macau gaming company is already poised to make big gains from a newly acquired, listed vehicle for its Philippine casino. Read more

As beyondbrics reported recently, Asian gaming keeps on rolling the dice, with rapid expansion of casinos on Macau’s Cotai strip, as well as in Manila.

Now Sands China, the Macau casino operator owned by US billionaire Sheldon Adelson, has just released good numbers: The company saw a 52 per cent increase in fourth-quarter net profit as it benefited from an increase in visitors to its newest property in the territory. Read more

By Michael Beer of Citigroup

As Bloomberry Resorts‘ new $700m Solaire Resort and Casino nears completion, Manila Bay will finally showcase its potential within the regional gaming arena. Reflecting the heightened enthusiasm around the project launch as well as continued interest in gaming in east Asia, Bloomberry’s shares have risen over 30 per cent in just the past five months. Read more

When it comes to investing in the Asian consumer, you can always try betting on betting.

MGM China, a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and the daughter of casino mogul Stanley Ho, got a 7 per cent boost in its shares after announcing that it had received approval to build a second resort in MacauRead more

Is the new leadership in Beijing going to crack down on the billions in illicit funds long believed to be bank-rolling Macau’s spectacular rise as the Las Vegas of the East?

That’s the question investors were asking as they sold down Macau gaming shares on Tuesday, following new reports that a handful of junket operators had been arrested for suspected money laundering. Read more

Place your bets … Chilean casino operator Enjoy is staking $140m on the purchase of a casino in Uruguay’s ritzy Punta del Este resort.

Announcing the deal, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which is selling the controlling stake in Uruguayan hotel and casino operator, Conrad, to Enjoy, called Latin America “one of the fastest growing casino gaming markets in the world”. Read more

Galaxy Entertainment Group, which runs one of Macau’s biggest and brashest casino resorts, saw strong demand for its stock when UK private equity firm Permira decided to sell off another big chunk of its holdings on Tuesday.

One big US investor, Waddell & Reed, accounted for the lion’s share of the 7 per cent stake, according to market sources, although the Kansas-based mutual fund company is thought to have bought less than 5 per cent, which means it will not have to declare its stake. Read more

You might think that Alexei Miller, the chief executive of Gazprom, had enough on his plate running the world’s biggest gas company without taking extra jobs on the side. But Russia’s top gasman has jumped into the saddle at Rosippodromy, the new state equestrian agency, tasked with reviving horse breeding and racing in Russia. Read more

Wanted: a piece of the action

Governments across Asia have been keen to replicate the success of Macau, the region’s casino hub, where billions have been made from wealthy Chinese gamblers.

Taiwan residents in Matsu, a tiny island that is much closer to mainland China than its parent, have said Yes to gambling. Developers are keen to get started. But given Taiwan’s complicated (to say the least) relationship with mainland China, what are the odds of the plan working? Read more

Insert casino here

The four big casino complexes rising along the scenic Manila Bay in the Philippines haven’t opened their doors yet, four years after the government awarded the exclusive licenses as part of the country’s ambitious plan to cash in on Asia’s gambling and tourism boom.

But that has not stopped Enrique Razon Jr, the 52-year old chief executive of the country’s biggest port operator, from almost doubling his net worth in just a matter of months after a public offering of shares in his Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, a holder of one of the lucrative, limited-edition permits. Read more

Here we go again. Another sharp sell-off of Macau gaming shares on China slowdown fears. Industry forecasts have always underestimated Chinese high-rollers’ propensity to gamble, so are the latest prediction of gloom to be trusted? Read more

Embattled defenders of horseracing in the UK and Ireland will allow themselves a wry smile at China’s decision to buy into Irish thoroughbred racing and breeding expertise. Just as communist China is trying to breathe new life into a sport it once outlawed, racing is under fire in the decadent west.

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Is Vietnam about to legalise sports gambling? Despite positive noises from the Communist government, don’t bet on it happening any time soon.

The plan, which has been discussed on and off over the last few years, has resurfaced again after Vietnam’s finance minister, Vuong Dinh Hue, visited Singapore to learn about the city-state’s successful sports betting industry. Read more

Vladimir Putin is such a favourite to win the Russian presidential vote on March 4 that analysts are already setting up conference calls on the following Monday to discuss his victory. No doubts about the result then.

So who would bet on one of the other contenders? Money down the drain, surely? Read more

You’ve done the elephant safari. You’ve been on the snorkelling trip. Now what you want is a few hours at a blackjack table. Or so believes the Sri Lankan government as it looks to boost tourism by throwing open its arms to foreign investment in its gambling sector. Read more

A roulette wheelNow is the season of lights in India where households buy gold and exchange gifts. India’s biggest Hindu festival is also the peak of the informal gambling season.

At the weekend, some friends held a Diwali party at their home in an upscale suburb of New Delhi, the nation’s capital. Once passed the luminous festive lights, the carefully flower petal-decorated stairwell and a dinner table laden with culinary delights, visitors were ushered towards the impromptu gaming parlour. Read more

Investment gurus often warn against bottom fishing based on fundamentals because when you think a market can’t go any lower, it often does.

But the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is now trading at estimated price-to-earnings ratios last seen in the week when global stock markets crashed in October 2008. That has lured some investors into “risk-on” mode again. Read more