When it came to gaming stories and 2016, the year didn’t disappoint those looking for riveting news headlines.
You might have your own novel of mischief from last night’s New Year’s Eve festivities, but hopefully the consequences of your affairs do not have any grave consequences.
Neither do all the items on our top five gaming stories list from 2016. But they all have one thing in common: they were jaw-dropping moments that left many in awe.
#5 Casinos Aid in NY Fed Reserve Heist
On February 5, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was hacked by unknown cyber criminals who scheduled nearly $1 billion worth of withdrawals from the account belonging to Bangladesh. A spelling error stopped the payments, but only after $81 million was successfully moved to thieves oversees.
It was later revealed that some of the ill-gotten money was laundered through two casinos in the Philippines. Only $18 million of the $81 million has been recovered.
#4 Kanye West’s Finances Go South
Music superstar and husband to Kim Kardashian, Kanye West revealed in early 2016 that he was in debt to the tune of $53 million and was asking fans to donate to his “cause.” While most observers laughed at the “Gold Digger” singer’s troubles, one man in Las Vegas was moved by the appeal.
D Casino owner Derek Stevens offered up his Downtown Las Vegas Events Center for Kanye free of charge in exchange for 100 percent of the bar revenue. West didn’t take Stevens up on the gig.
#3 Duterte Hits on Any Number
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte doesn’t play by the rules, or the law, or even by human rights standards. Assuming office on June 30, Duterte immediately attacked drug cartels and illegal gambling syndicates with killing squads.
It’s estimated that his “law enforcement” agencies have killed upwards of 2,000 since he took office. Though he forced PhilWeb to close nearly all of its internet gaming cafes, Duterte has since eased his anti-gambling crusade.
#2 Neuro-tic Behavior
The case of NeuroMama is truly one for the ages, or at least one for a stand-up comedian’s act.
In August, the US Securities and Exchange Commission stopped trading of NeuroMama on the largely unregulated over-the-counter market after the company claimed its valuation to be around $35 billion. NeuroMama told potential investors it was in the process of building 39 casino resorts in a span of just two years.
The company’s website was filled with spelling and grammar errors. But some thought it was one of the best comedy sites on the internet.
#1 Trump’s Oddsmakers’ Meltdown
He made his billions buying and selling real estate and casinos, but Donald J. Trump’s next (leased) property is the White House. His odds of winning the 2016 presidential election were as low as 250/1 back in 2014, but Trump managed to connect with voters across the country and defeated Hillary Clinton on November 8 with 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232.
For reference on just how unlikely Trump’s chances once were, Paddy Power currently has Kanye West at 100/1 to win the Oval Office in 2020.