January 22, 2015

Sports Magazine | Toronto Sports Magazine | Online Sports Magazine Canada | TORO Online Magazine

Sports Magazine | Toronto Sports Magazine | Online Sports Magazine Canada | TORO Online Magazine

For the most part, the online gambling scene for Canada centres around one man and his overwhelming popularity.

If you ask the average Canadian what they think about online gambling, you're likely to get a wide range of different answers. Some people think it's completely legal, others believe it's totally illegal, and plenty more have varying opinions of varying degrees of truth. Many people think it's perfectly fine, and some might have a chip on their shoulder against it. No matter what their opinion, there's one thing they will be able to tell you about more often than not, and that's Canada's favourite poker son Daniel Negreanu.

Around the World in 40 Years

A high school dropout, Negreanu was facing long odds towards being successful according to common knowledge. However, now at age 40, he's ran up the most live tournament winnings of any poker player in history to the tune of around $30 million, and as one of the top Canadians in the industry, he's showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. While his accomplishments on the felt are amazing considering he's won millions on most continents, he's also made some major progress for online gambling as a whole in Canada.

Legitimizing Online Gambling

The legalities of online gambling in Canada really differs from area to area, and the provinces are largely the ones with control. With that being been said, no province outright bans all gambling on the Internet, and this includes everything from casino games to online poker.

Negreanu is by far one of the most recognizable professional players sponsored by PokerStars, and he's often seen as one of the main public faces of the company. Along these lines, when the online poker juggernaut was brought to Canada after its purchase by the Amaya Gaming Group earlier this year, it really worked out in a way that allowed Negreanu to represent a very strong company that's now based in his native country.

One of the effects of this is that it brought a lot of publicity to PokerStars, the game and the man as relates to online gambling. Not all of that publicity has been 100% positive since they have had a number of critics due to some recent changes, but Negreanu has his own opinions, and he's far from shy about voicing them.

Loud and Proud

When Amaya announced that they would be introducing casino games and sports betting during late 2014 and 2015, some people had a problem with that because they saw PokerStars as this pure mecca for play on the virtual felt. Negreanu, on the other hand, voiced an entirely different opinion and lashed out at people who he viewed were being hypocritical. This led to quite a bit of publicity for online gambling of all different types in Canada, and it brought up a lot of interesting questions about how the Internet gambling scene of a whole is changing here.

If you're going to walk around as the winner of multiple World Poker Tour titles, six World Series of Poker bracelets and two WSOP Player of the Year awards, people are going to put a bit of weight in your opinion. Because Negreanu is more than happy (some would say a bit too eager) to express his own opinion on what's going on in the industry, he acts as a sort of makeshift beacon that has the potential to largely affect the landscape of the industry as is often shown in Grizzly Online Gambling feature articles.

Current State of the Industry 

Right now, the Internet gambling landscape is a bit less than ideal in Canada. While the provinces have the right to run (but not license) their own games, and while players aren't supposed to be playing games outside of these, there aren't any real enforcement mechanisms, and the government largely turns a blind eye to the player side of the equation.

In the past, provinces that are active in online gambling have tried to take over the market with their own games to little avail. In some areas, they've only achieved something in the neighbourhood of 10-15% market penetration. The long and the short of it is that they simply can't compete with industry leaders who offer services in Canada. Along these lines, they have changed their approach recently to start licensing these competitors so that the games can be regulated and taxed appropriately. Play OLG, which just launched this month, is the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s foray into the online gaming market. They faced early backlash for their lengthy registration process.

Negreanu and his affiliation with PokerStars, along with his particularly outspoken opinion, is much to thank for these changes. As the online gambling scene starts to change up a bit, we're sure that we'll continue to hear from him on what he thinks are the good and the bad about what's going on.

January 19, 2015

Op-Ed: What Selma means to the Jews

Op-Ed: What Selma means to the Jews

HANOVER, N.H. (JTA) — The 50th anniversary of the 1965 march at Selma is being commemorated this year with the release of the film “Selma.” Regrettably, the film represents the march as many see it today, only as an act of political protest.
But for my father Abraham Joshua Heschel and for many participants, the march was both an act of political protest and a profoundly religious moment: an extraordinary gathering of nuns, priests, rabbis, black and white, a range of political views, from all over the United States.
Perhaps more an act of celebration of the success of the civil rights movement than of political protest, Selma affirmed that the movement had won the conscience of America.
President Lyndon Johnson had just declared, “We Shall Overcome,” and congressional passage of the Voting Rights Act would come quickly. Thanks to the religious beliefs and political convictions of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., coalitions had been built, religious differences overcome and visions articulated that meshed religious and political goals.
My father felt that the prophetic tradition of Judaism had come alive at Selma. He said that King told him it was the greatest day in his life, and my father said that he was reminded at Selma of walking with Hasidic rebbes in Europe. Such was the spiritual atmosphere of the day.
When he returned, he famously said, “For many of us the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer. Legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words, our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.”
Imagine: My father arrived in 1940 as a refugee from Nazi Europe, where all too many Christian theologians were declaring Jesus an Aryan, not a Jew, and throwing the Old Testament out of the Christian Bible because it was a Jewish book. It seemed miraculous for him to discover Martin Luther King, Jr., placing the Exodus and the prophets of Israel at the center of the civil rights movement.
Marching out of Selma felt like a reenactment of the Exodus, but in a new way. Not only were the Israelites leaving Egypt, the place of enslavement, but also the Egyptians, because there was a hope at Selma that white America was repudiating its racism. My father had written, “The tragedy of Pharaoh was the failure to realize that the exodus from slavery could have spelled redemption for both Israel and Egypt. Would that Pharaoh and the Egyptians had joined the Israelites in the desert and together stood at the foot of Sinai.”
Of course, the dream that Pharaoh might join the Israelites was not realized. Racism in America remains tenacious, and its slipperiness means that while the Voting Rights Act was passed by Congress and signed by the president following the Selma march, the disenfranchisement of black America continues with insidious new forms of legislation.
The religious inspiration that led us to Selma continues, and the photograph of my father marching in the front row there — with King, Ralph Bunche, John Lewis, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and Rev. C.T. Vivian — has become iconic. What a pity that my father’s presence is not included in “Selma.” More than a historical error, the film erases one of the central accomplishments of the civil rights movement, its inclusiveness, and one of King’s great joys: his close friendship with my father. The photograph reminds us that religious coalitions can transcend and overcome political conflicts, and it also reminds us that our Jewish prophetic tradition came alive in the civil rights movement. Judaism seemed to be at the very heart of being American.
Yet Selma was also a crossroad for Jews as it was for blacks. Would we follow the model of King and my father, of nonviolent liberation from oppression? Or would we follow calls to violent action, symbolized by the Black Panthers and the Jewish Defense League,whose leader, Meir Kahane, urged Jews to copy the Panthers and militarize themselves against anti-Semitism? Both blacks and Jews had to choose between a path of resentment, rage and violence, or a path of peace, nonviolence, persuasion and coalition. The consequences of that choice remain with us to this day.
Few events in history of the United States are as inspiring as the march from Selma. Walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge (named for a Confederate general) opened a door, inviting all Americans to join in unity against segregation and racism.
Yes, the Selma march was a protest against forces of destruction and oppression, against legislation and institutions of bigotry and cruelty. But its mood was filled with a biblical sense of optimism that justice would ultimately prevail in the United States.
Today, Selma represents a hope for redemption, a hope expressed by the prophets of Israel, of an era in which bigotry will finally come to an end. For the Bible, my father taught, the ultimate expression of God is not wisdom, magnificence, land, glory, nor even love — but rather justice. Justice is the tool of God, the manifestation of God, the means of our redemption and the redemption of God from human mendacity.
Susannah Heschel is the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College.

Read more: http://www.jta.org/2015/01/18/news-opinion/opinion/op-ed-what-selma-meant-to-the-jews#ixzz3PGrrEwYK

January 16, 2015

Bennett’s Proud 'No Apology' is Jabotinsky’s Go To Hell - Op-Eds - Arutz Sheva

Bennett’s Proud 'No Apology' is Jabotinsky’s Go To Hell - Op-Eds - Arutz Sheva

As Israel’s election cycle is underway, Naftali’s Bennett's Jewish Home Party (Habayit Hayehudi) is attracting international attention for their “No Apology” campaign,  including a feature in this weekend's edition of the Wall Street Journal.  In fact, as Bennett, in his speeches, fearlessy advocates no apology to the United Nations or any other critics of Israel, his words are no different than those said by the great Zionist Revisionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky who wrote an essay entitled “Go To Hell” in 1920.
Jabotinsky wrote: “We constantly and very loudly apologize… Instead of turning our backs to the accusers, as there is nothing to apologize for, and nobody to apologize to, we swear again and again that it is not our fault… Isn’t it long overdue to respond to all these and all future accusations, reproaches, suspicions, slanders and denunciations by simply folding our arms and loudly, clearly, coldly and calmly answer with the only argument that is understandable and accessible to this public: ‘Go to Hell!’?

Jabotinsky: We are a people as all other peoples; we do not have any intentions to be better than the rest. As one of the first conditions for equality we demand the right to have our own villains, exactly as other people have them.
Who are we, to make excuses to them; who are they to interrogate us? What is the purpose of this mock trial over the entire people where the sentence is known in advance?
Our habit of constantly and zealously answering to any rabble has already done us a lot of harm and will do much more. … The situation that has been created as a result, tragically confirms a well known saying: “Qui s’excuse s’accuse.” We ourselves have acquainted our neighbors with the thought that for every embezzling Jew it is possible to drag the entire ancient people to answer, a people that was already legislating at the time when the neighbors had not even invented a bast shoe.
Every accusation causes among us such a commotion that people unwittingly think, ‘why are they so afraid of everything?’ Apparently their conscience is not clear.’ Exactly because we are ready at every minute to stand at attention, there develops among the people an inescapable view about us, as of some specific thievish tribe. We think that our constant readiness to undergo a search without hesitation and to turn out our pockets, will eventually convince mankind of our nobility; look what gentlemen we are–we do not have anything to hide! This is a terrible mistake.
The real gentlemen are the people that will not allow anyone for any reason to search their apartment, their pockets or their soul. Only a person under surveillance is ready for a search at every moment…. This is the only one inevitable conclusion from our maniac reaction to every reproach–to accept responsibility as a people for every action of a Jew, and to make excuses in front of everybody including hell knows who.
I consider this system to be false to its very root. We are hated not because we are blamed for everything, but we are blamed for everything because we are not loved…
We may apologize only in rare, unique and extremely important moments when we are completely confident that the Areopagus in front of us really has just intentions and proper competence. We do not have to apologize for anything.
We are a people as all other peoples; we do not have any intentions to be better than the rest. As one of the first conditions for equality we demand the right to have our own villains, exactly as other people have them. Yes, we do have provocateurs and draft dodgers, and it is even strange that we have so few of them under current conditions.
Other people have also these kind of “good,” and, in addition, they have embezzlers, and pogrom-makers, and torturers–so what– the neighbors live and are not ashamed…. Do our neighbors blush for the Christians in Kishinyov who hammered nails into Jewish babies’ eyes?” Not in the least,– they walk with head raised high and look everybody in the face; ...the persona of a people is royal, and not responsible and is not obliged to apologize…
We do not have to account to anybody, we are not to sit for anybody’s examination and nobody is old enough to call on us to answer. We came before them and will leave after them. We are what we are, we are good for ourselves, we will not change and we do not want to.”
Unfortunately, Jewish history too often is a history of blood and terror – and the world standing against the Jewish people.
Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur. The Ronn Torossian family foundation recently launched a website devoted to Jabotinsky’s ideals – View the siteat www.zeevjabotinsky.com