Russian poker player Liliya Novikova found dead in bathroom

Russia’s Channel 5 have reported the death of poker player and esports star, Liliya Novikova, also known as “Liay5,” as the 26-year-old was found dead in her bathroom in Moscow on Wednesday, apparently from a massive electric shock.

Dubbed “Russia’s most beautiful poker player” by her country’s media, Novikova was a former PokerStars Pro and avid Twitch streamer. She had a very large following in her home country that made her the most popular female poker streamer on the platform, with nearly 25,000 followers.

According to Russian news, Novikova had been home alone at the apartment she shared with her parents on the affluent Kutuzovsky Prospekt in central Moscow. Her parents became worried when they were unable to reach Liliya on her phone and asked a neighbour to check on her. The neighbor found her body on the bathroom floor.

A post-mortem has yet to be completed, but investigators said the absence of signs of violence on Novikova’s body suggested her death was accidental. Preliminary checks on the body suggested signs of electric shock trauma.

She was believed to have been blow-drying her hair in the moments leading up to her death and reports have suggested the hairdryer may have been faulty. It’s believed she may have banged her head as a result of the electric shock.

By the age of 22, Liliya Novikova had gained PokerStars “Supernova Elite” status – the highest ranking on the site, where she was a specialist in hyper-turbo six-max sit-and-gos.

Her biggest dent on the live tournament scene was when she won the EPT Prague NLH Deepstack event in 2015 for $54,068.

Gamesys ordered to return over £450,000 gambled online by criminals

Software provider and operator Gamesys have been ordered to repay £460,472 ($584,000) to victims of thieves who played on its gambling platforms with stolen money.

The UK gambling regulator (UKGC) has also ordered Gamesys to forfeit a further £690,000 ($875,000) for violating money laundering regulations and “failing to prevent gambling harm,” bringing the total penalty to nearly £1.2 million ($1.52 million).

In a statement on Wednesday the regular stated that it had launched a review of the company’s procedures following police investigations that uncovered three instances where criminals unnamed by the regulator had deposited some of the proceeds of their crimes into Gamesys platforms.

The London-based company operates the popular Jackpot Joy and Virgin Games brands, among others.

UKGC concluded that a “variety of failures” that lasted for a sustained period of time saw “stolen money flowing through the business.”

Last year, Paddy Power Betfair was fined £2.2 million ($2.8 million) for failing to prevent two customers from gambling “significant sums” through its betting exchange.

One of these was the former chief executive of Birmingham Dogs Home, Simon Price, a gambling addict who embezzled £900,000 ($1.1 million) in legacy payments to the charity, £650,000 ($825,000) of which he blew on Betfair.

Crooks threaten to sue UK National Lottery over withheld £4m payout

Two petty crooks are threatening to sue the UK National Lottery provider, Camelot,

ave vowed to sue the UK National Lottery provider, Camelot, over a £4 million ($5 million) payout they claim to have won fair on a £10 scratchcard.

Mark Goodram and Jon-Ross Watson believe their criminal histories should not have prejudiced Camelot’s decision to withhold their £4 million lottery win and are threatening to sue for breach of contract.

Goodram, 36, and Watson, 31, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, embarked on a four-day drinking binge after they bought the winning ticket on Easter Monday. However, their festivities were cut short when they learned lottery officials were withholding the winnings because they suspected the ticket may have been purchased with a stolen debit card.

Camelot officials’ suspicions may have been aroused by the fact that neither man owns a bank account – a prerequisite for debit-card ownership.

When asked whose card they had used to buy the ticket, the two friends explained it belonged to a man called “John,” whom they had given cash to buy the ticket for them.

However, “John” has yet to come forward to corroborate the story.

Mark Goodram has 22 convictions for 45 criminal offences and stars regularly in the pages of the Bolton News’ “Bolton’s Most Wanted” feature.

He had been released from prison just weeks before his win, having served a sentence for burglarising a gas station and making off with £8,000 ($10,100), which included a charity box collecting for the local hospice. A stolen bank card was found on his person at the time of his arrest.

Jon-Ross Watson also has burglary convictions and was once imprisoned for 16 weeks for credit card fraud.

Philippines gaming regulator posts 11.4% Jan-Apr revenue growth

The Philippines gaming regulatory agency says its gross revenue has increased by more than 11% in the first four months of 2019, with income totaling PHP25.09 billion ($482.5 million).

PAGCOR – the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp, is a state-run gaming regulator and operator. The organisation governs the country’s commercial integrated casino resorts, and additionally operates its own Casino Filipino brand and satellite venues.

The $482.5 million performance is an 11.44% premium on the same period in 2018. PAGCOR shares most of its earnings with the government, with its tax share totaling $352.9 million.

The Philippines gaming industry is thriving, and that should only continue following President Rodrigo Duterte saying he would “not meddle” with casinos any longer.

The controversial leader has endured a contentious relationship with the gaming industry since taking office in June 2016. He has previously tried to force online gaming operators out of country, and has halted casino projects on Boracay island and Manila’s Entertainment City.

After years of flip-flopping and taking various positions on gaming, Duterte concedes he can no longer control the industry.