More than 20 charity-minded ladies flocked to the Queen’s Road casino to enjoy a glamorous evening of fun, shopping, raffles and a taste of gambling on the roulette and black jack tables.
Kind-hearted women from across Reading took to the gaming tables, but it was all for a good cause.

Fundraisers organised a ladies’ night at the Grosvenor Casino on November 8 to raise money for hospice charity Sue Ryder.

More than 20 charity-minded ladies flocked to the Queen’s Road casino to enjoy a glamorous evening of fun, shopping, raffles and a taste of gambling on the roulette and black jack tables. Almost £400 was raised to help Sue Ryder to continue to provide specialist palliative care for patients and their families through Duchess of Kent House Hospice in Tilehurst and Nettlebed Hospice.

One of the stallholders, Louise Patuzzo, met Lady Sue Ryder more than 40 years ago, when the inspirational founder of the nationwide charity visited a school in Windsor.

Mrs Patuzzo, 56, who was manning a glittering jewellery stand with friend Louise Todd, said: “I met Lady Ryder when she visited our school with a group of concentration camp survivors who shared their stories.
“The pupils cooked for them and sung songs, and listened to their stories, which would often reduce us to tears.”

Thanking the casino staff, Sue Ryder’s Marion Haynes said: “It was a fun night and we would like to thank Grosvenor Casino Reading and their staff for arranging such a wonderful night and for providing a superb buffet for all to share.

“Our thanks also go to all the stall holders for coming along and making the night such a success.”

Simon Adams, Grosvenor Casino’s sales manager, said: “It was a great pleasure to work alongside Marion and her Sue Ryder colleagues and volunteers.

“All the team here pulled together to put on a great event for a worthwhile cause and all the guests had a fantastic evening.

“We ended up raising nearly £400, and would love to work with Sue Ryder again in the future.”

A new GTA Online update includes audio clips that seem to give away a bunch of new features, including horse racing and indoor bike racing.

The clips were apparently included in a recent file called mpdlc.awc, which was part of the recent 1.06 update for GTA Online. Hackers taking apart the file discovered a range of short dialogue snippets from known mission givers, that allude to a variety of new features.

As with any leak like this could be fake, but the voice-acting does seem professional and a lot harder to fake than a quick Photoshop.

Or at least some of it does, the dialogue on some of the other clips from YouTube user ‘Franken Stein’ is very odd, but since he offers no explanation of how he got them it’s hard to say what’s going on.

Either way the features implied by the clips include an interactive casino (there’s already a non-interactive one in the game); new business and property investments, pink slip races (i.e. races where you can bet your car as the prize); horse racing (again there’s already a racetrack in the game); indoor off-road racing, including bikes; an enhanced camera and the ability to spy on people.

Some of these clips are really long though, so if you notice something we’ve missed in them do let us know via email and we’ll add it to this story.

Rockstar is planning to update GTA Online with new features on a regular basis, but it’s also recently hinted that new story-based content is imminent. So it’s possible these new features relate to Grand Theft Auto V’s story mode, although more likely both.

So far, the cities of Tokyo and Osaka have garnered much of the attention, but even towns like Sasebo, a once-proud shipbuilding centre in southern Japan, and the ageing port city of Otaru to the north, are hoping to set up casinos to draw tourists, generate tax revenues and reverse demographic decline.

"Hot springs, Japanese cuisine, Mt. Fuji and geisha (female entertainers) - these traditional Japanese things alone are not enough," said Kanekiyo Morita, a hotel executive who has proposed a pyramid-shaped casino in Atami, a hot springs town in central Japan.

"Japan's population is rapidly declining and, for tourist towns, getting foreigners to visit is extremely important."

Lawmakers are planning to submit an initial bill aimed at legalizing casinos by December 6 - when the current session of parliament ends - and enact concrete laws in 2015. The bill is thought to have a decent chance of passing with the business-friendly Liberal Democratic Party in power and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe backing the move.

The lawmakers have proposed two types of licences - one for large integrated resorts run by global operators featuring convention and entertainment facilities in addition to expansive gambling floors, and another for more compact gambling resorts in the countryside.

But they have also recommended that Japan limit the number of licences, prioritising locations promising the biggest economic impact and with the capacity to attract overseas tourists.

"I don't mean to negate Tokyo and Osaka," said Keiichi Kimura, who heads a consultancy and advises local governments and casino operators interested in Japan. "But it's just not right to be focusing the debate on those two places only."


Las Vegas Sands Corp and MGM Resorts International have made it clear that Osaka and the Tokyo region are their primary targets.

"These are the locations you can drive that kind of business tourism into and are known as commercial and financial hubs," George Tanasijevich, president of Las Vegas Sands unit Marina Bay Sands, told Reuters after a presentation in Setpember in which he showed a mock-up for a casino resort on Tokyo Bay.

While lawmakers have not indicated how many locations would be given the right to develop a casino, some politicians involved in the discussions have suggested that one or two licences might be allocated to big cities and one or two to regional economies.

In Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture, business and political leaders want to secure one of those spots for a proposed casino alongside the windmills and canals of Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park modelled on a 17th century Dutch town.

The complex, which would include a hotel and entertainment facilities in addition to gaming tables and slot machines, would generate nearly $1 billion in annual revenues, the local group estimates, jolting new life into a region that once had a vibrant manufacturing sector but is increasingly reliant on tourism. The plan is to attract tourists from nearby South Korea, China and Taiwan in addition to locals.

"Tokyo shouldn't absorb everything," said Hideo Sawada, the chairman of travel agent H.I.S., which owns Huis Ten Bosch. "We need balanced growth between Tokyo and the local cities."


In contrast to the massive resorts of Las Vegas and Singapore, aspiring hosts outside the big cities are looking to the more compact facilities of Europe as a guide.

The German spa town of Baden-Baden, which also has casinos, is serving as a model for casino proponents in two traditional hot springs towns - Atami, in Shizuoka Prefecture, and Naruto, in southwestern Japan's Tokushima Prefecture.

Casinos Austria AG and Switzerland's Grand Casino Luzern, both of which say they are considering entering the Japanese market with a local partner but don't have billions of dollars to spend. To cut costs, they could use existing hotels and buildings.

"There are buildings that could be re-utilised and rejuvenated in Japan. That's a key feature of the European model," Grand Casino Luzern CEO Wolfgang Bliem, who recently spoke at casino conferences in Naruto and Tokyo, told Reuters. "The casino operation should blend into the community."

Big-ticket casinos set up in recent years have cost billions of dollars. The Marina Bay Sands, built on the mouth of the Singapore River, cost $6 billion while the Sands Cotai Central that opened in Macau last year cost $5 billion. Las Vegas magnate Steve Wynn has said his new Macau luxury resort, set to include a large lake with dancing water fountains and air conditioned gondolas, will cost $4 billion.


The northernmost island of Hokkaido is shaping up as one of the key casino battlegrounds with three locations - the port towns of Otaru and Tomakomai and Kushiro on the eastern coast - officially putting themselves forward as aspiring hosts.

Hokkaido, which draws tourists seeking a cooler location in the summer and skiers in the winter, has been cited by casino executives as one of the most attractive spots outside Tokyo and Osaka, along with the beaches of Okinawa in the south.

Caesars Entertainment Corp said both Hokkaido and Okinawa were on its radar screen. It has visited officials in Kushiro, a Hokkaido city of 200,000 that is proposing a casino built around a hot springs resort that would also promote the culture of the indigenous Ainu people.

Caesars is qualified to run a casino in Japan regardless of whether it is "an urban resort in Tokyo or Osaka, a beach resort in Okinawa, or a mountain resort in Hokkaido," said Steven Tight, head of the company's international development division.

Casinos Austria is one of the global casino operators that has shown an interest in Otaru, a harbour town whose proximity to Sapporo, the biggest city on Hokkaido, is considered a key asset in the casino stakes.

While Otaru attracts nearly 7 million tourists a year, too many pass through, spending a fraction of what they would if they stayed overnight. Otaru Mayor Yoshiharu Nakamatsu thinks a casino - perhaps one along the town's canal district or inside a retired cruise ship in the harbor - would change that.

Without a catalyst, he warns Otaru faces a bleak future. A third of its residents are above the age of 65, well above the national average and the highest among cities in Hokkaido.

"Our economy faces a negative spiral," Nakamatsu said in an interview last month. "Otaru is not the only place with these problems."

There are few more improbable places from which to start a revolution than the Casino de Paris, a late 19th-century music-hall where Maurice Chevalier, Josephine Baker and Zizi Jeanmaire once strutted their stuff. Thanks to a popular campaign led by a French-Italian actress, Annie Girardot, it narrowly escaped the developers’ wrecking ball, to be reinvented as an edgy-ish concert venue at the turn of the 21st century.
Perhaps it is hoped that the newly revamped Casino will serve as a clever metaphor for Nicolas Sarkozy’s political career: at any rate, the appearance of France’s former president there, last Friday, upstaged his very willing wife, Carla Bruni, for the first of her three shows. Slipping, supposedly inconspicuously, into a stall seat after everyone else had sat down, but before the lights went out and the music started, Sarkozy drew a roaring blast of applause, renewed at the intermission and during those songs Carla wrote just for him. “Nicolas, reviens!” his fans screamed in the hall, while a tanned, relaxed Sarkozy signed autographs smiling a lot and saying very little.
The feeling, said concert-goers, was that of his 2007 victorious campaign, rather than a defeated politician’s private outing. “His arrival was timed to perfection – at every show. And the entourage was watching out for him,” one said. “Well, you don’t expect Carla’s audience to be anti-Sarkozy anyway.”
Coming, as it did, two weeks after a flattering television documentary on his 2012 campaign, in which he appeared as a loving husband, doting father and all-round domestic paragon, this was a second testing of the public waters by a very cagey Sarkozy, intent on toning down the personal image that cost him his job a year and a half ago. The personal has always been political, in France as elsewhere; but never more than for the most polarising president of the Fifth Republic.
A series of costly mistakes, starting the very evening of his election with a VIP dinner organised at Le Fouquet’s, a luxury restaurant on the Champs-Elysées, which was amplified by a short cruise on a billionaire friend’s yacht before his inauguration, stamped Sarkozy indelibly as “the bling president”, “friend to the rich”. Cellphone cameras did the rest, unhelpfully capturing his brusque, demotic style (“Get lost, you sad b—————d”, he famously told a heckler at the Paris Agricultural Fair) . When Sarkozy lost to the bland François Hollande last year, the feeling was that most of the 565,534 voters he lacked to win had been turned off by his personality, or their perception of it.

Two lucky Cincinnati residents each won $1million because they have the same name.
Kevin Lewis, both of them, were awarded a $1million prize after the Horseshoe Casino, in Cincinnati, OH., Saturday called their name as the winners of a promotion and failed to immediately realize the wrong Kevin Lewis' life was changed .
After realizing the wrong Kevin Lewis had claimed the prize, the casino decided to ‘do the right thing’ and pay both men.

And the winner is...: Kevin Lewis! Just, not this one, the other one

The real Kevin Lewis: This Kevin Lewis is the real winner, but the casino paid both men the prize
‘This was our blunder,’ Kevin Kline, casino senior vice president and general manager said in a statement. ‘So, consistent with our commitment to do the right thing for our guests, Horseshoe awarded a $1 million prize to each of the men.’
Awarded as part of a $3million Summer Giveaway promotion, when Kevin Lewis’ name was called and he appeared on-stage, he was awarded a giant check and took a picture with casino staff.

Manny Pacquiao is preparing for a visit to the typhoon-devastated city of Tacloban in the coming days, returning to the Philippines with his boxing career back on the upswing after an impressive victory over Brandon Rios.

Pacquiao said after his win at The Venetian casino in Macau on Sunday that he planned to travel to the epicenter of this month's Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 5,000 people and displaced an estimated 3 million.

"I promised them that after the fight I would go to Tacloban to visit them," Pacquiao said. "As soon as possible we will finalize the date, what day."

Despite the devastation, big screens were set up in the city's plaza to allow fans to watch Sunday's fight, and their spirits received a much-needed boost from the victory for the Filipino star.

When the storm hit, Pacquiao was already in a training camp at the southern city of General Santos, and while the boxer and lawmaker's first instinct was to go to the affected areas to help, he was talked out of it by trainer Freddie Roach and others who advised him that the best thing he could do for the nation's spirits was to win the fight.

"It was very difficult for me, I felt so bad for what happened," Pacquiao said after Sunday's fight. "I wanted to visit there but because of my training I could not, so I was just praying for them and sent my staff to bring them help.

"This fight is for the families and the people affected by the typhoon — I am just happy that God answered my prayer."

While Pacquiao dedicated the victory to his country, it also was a vitally important victory for personal reasons, restoring a career that appeared on the wane after consecutive losses and almost a year out of the ring.

The brutal nature of his knockout loss to veteran Juan Manuel Marquez last December had many questioning whether Pacquiao could get back to the status he enjoyed as one of the world's best fighters around the turn of the decade. He turns 35 next month.

Even trainer Freddie Roach had doubts, saying Pacquiao should retire if he did not win and win convincingly against Rios.

The doubts and the fears quickly subsided as Pacquiao started strongly against Rios in the opening couple of rounds, throwing his trademark combination punches from all angles at a speed that was as quick as ever.

Rios rallied in the third round, and landed some good blows that had the pro-Pacquiao crowd at a sold-out 13,000-seat Cotai Arena groaning and shrieking in anxiety.

Pacquiao reasserted his dominance and went on to a unanimous points victory, with the judges scoring it 120-108, 119-109, 118-110. The Associated Press scored it 119-109.

Roach said "there were no signs of him slowing down whatsoever" even though Pacquiao did not press home his dominance and still has not stopped an opponent since 2009.

Pacquiao said memories of the Marquez knockout were in his mind and he was cautious in the closing rounds, while Roach chalked it up to the "compassion" in his deeply Christian fighter.

"Manny let him off the hook, I wanted the knockout and it was there, but I was very happy with the way he performed," Roach said.

Promoter Bob Arum said Pacquiao's next fight was tentatively scheduled for April 12, likely in the United States. The options include a rematch with Timothy Bradley, who took a contentious points decision against the Filipino last year, another clash with Marquez although the Mexican's camp was setting a high price on a rematch, or Russian Ruslan Provodnikov.

The fight the boxing world wants to see is a clash with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Arum said it was still possible.

"I know it's a fight that should happen and where there is a will there is a way," Arum said, expressing his frustration that the fighters' conflicting affiliations continued to be an impediment. "If all sides cut out the crap, it can be done."