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There are always freaky and amusing things taking place in the gambling world, whether online or offline. It stands to reason that there is always likely to be at least one story to tell of odd occurrences, which is why we’re here to provide such for you. We at ProfessionalRakeback enjoy a good story of amusement that features bizarre events. If you’re the same way, then read on for the late January edition of Freaky Fortnight.

This installment of Freaky Fortnight contains unusual gambling news from the latter half of January 2024

Can Women Advance Their Careers by Learning Poker?

Women Playing Card

Women have been denied equality in the workplace for a long time. It’s almost ridiculous in this day and age that inequality remains in some areas. Yet, a top-rated business program is now suggesting that women may be able to aim higher in their careers if they learn to play poker.

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois is providing a unique program to help female managers in honing their skills in leadership. Learning and playing poker is how the program aims to do this.

Through learning the game, leaders are able to understand the strategies needed, and the idea is for them to then apply those skills to their jobs in the management sector. The hope from this is that women being able to master poker gameplay will find themselves equipped with the necessary skills to utilize in the workplace.

The strange choice of game serves as a collaboration between Kellogg and Poker Power. The latter of those two organizations is the brainchild of fintech founder Jenny Just and her daughter Juliette Hulsizer. They started the company in 2020 with the aim of introducing more women to the poker world.

Jenny Just is a multi-millionaire with a history in the finance industryCo-founder of Poker Power Jenny Just

Just spoke of the decision to enter the partnership with Kellogg, stating that the workplace and poker have “many parallels.” It is her thought that strategic thinking, making decisions with incomplete information, and increased confidence are some of the most transferable skills learned in poker. Each of the classes taking place at Kellogg begins with a professor providing core leadership competency. Afterwards, it transitions from the theoretical side of things to the practical with all participants applying the leadership lessons at virtual poker tables.

What do you think? Could more women advance their careers by understanding the rules and skills needed for successful poker play?

Oddly enough, it’s not just Kellogg that has partnered with Poker Power to provide poker lessons to female executives. More than 250 other companies have taken the same decision, including Morgan Stanley. Could there be something in it? Well, if you ask Just, there is. During negotiations with a European bank a few years ago, she utilized skills she had discovered from leaning poker in 2019. This led to her practically calling the bank’s bluff and receiving the deal she wanted in the end.

Aliens, Asteroid Destruction Among Weirdest Things to Bet On for 2024

Man Pushing Ball

Sports betting is still growing worldwide. While various countries have been offering it for some time now, many states within the USA have only started providing it in the past few years. The overturning of the PASPA law in May of 2018 enabled each individual state to introduce its own sports betting legislation. Since that time, regulated sports betting in the United States has experienced quite the boom although several states still don’t offer it.

However, it has come to the attention of some that the sports wagering world can bring along its own corner of bizarre activity. That includes some of the options that gamblers can bet on.

How would you feel about betting on the next alien abduction to take place? Or an invasion by aliens from outer space in their UFOs? Oddly enough, this particular category of betting market has exploded in its popularity levels in the past couple of years. Then again, with online sportsbooks offering options like “Who Will Win the Alien vs. Human War?” and “Which Country Will the Aliens Attack First?” it’s not difficult to see where the entertainment and amusement comes from. We just hope nobody wagers a massive amount of money on these markets!

There are some other freaky and bizarre categories available to wager on at sportsbooks as well. Perhaps you’re more convinced that a meteor will strike Earth and cause untold destruction. One website has actually offered a prop bet on whether a meteor will fall to the planet and strike Buckingham Palace at its center. Of course, there is a chance a meteor will hit Earth, but the probability of it occurring is very slim.

Something else that may stand out to you is betting on the next celebrity couple to get a divorce. Celebrities are always in the media for starting up relationships, hosting big and luxurious weddings, and then a few years or months (or in some cases days) down the line, they get divorced. It seems to be quite a common thing in that showbiz world. And there are even websites allowing you to bet on the next celebrity couple to go through a divorce. Which pair is on your card? Ben and Jen? Beyonce and Jay-Z? Will Smith and Jada Pinkett? The choice is yours!

How about betting on the World Bog Snorkeling Championships. Believe it or not, this is a thing. Competitors from around the world try to outswim one another in some of the nastiest, smelliest bog water. You just couldn’t make this kind of “competition” up! What’s more, one or two online sportsbooks place a focus on offering wagering on the event.

The World Bog Snorkeling Championship takes place in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, and is it is held every year. Can you even believe that ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s also sponsored it one year?

One other thing that stands out amongst the masses of bizarre betting options is the Baby Jumping Festival. Held in Castrillo de Murcia, Spain, the event sees babies laid out on the street and men don costumes akin to the devil. It is then these men who jump over the babies.

It serves as a Catholic tradition in Spain, including religious symbolism, baptisms, cute babies, and strange men. An odd event to bet on, but is it really any more bizarre than wagering on alien invasions?

Luxury Thai Villa Raid Catches Russian Gamblers in Illegal Poker Gameplay

Police Car

A police raid in Phuket, Thailand took place on Tuesday, Jan. 23 and perhaps unearthed a bit more than was expected. Police Major General Naphan Watthi of the Phuket Provincial Police executed a search warrant. The operation was put in place after a group of foreign nationals were under suspicion of engaging in illegal poker gambling. Upon raiding the luxurious villa in the Rawai Subdistrict, five individuals were apprehended.

The four men and one woman, aged between 23 and 39, were all of Russian nationality. Yet it wasn’t just people who were discovered at the property. Various items were also seized in relation to the raid, including poker tables, playing cards, gambling chips, and even financial records. Assets were also confiscated from the premises, which amounted to around 2 million Thai baht (approximately $56,000).

All five of the suspects are now facing charges related to gambling and tax offenses. They remain in custody while the evidence is being put together to prosecute them.

If you’re playing poker at home amongst friends, is this still considered illegal gambling though? Well, in Thailand, it is. There are only two forms of gambling that both locals and expats can engage in – the country’s national lottery and betting on horse racing. Every other form of gambling, regardless of where it takes place and how, is strictly prohibited by law.

Perhaps this crew of Russian nationals will learn from their mistake – or at least learn the law of the country they’re residing in or visiting!

Fraud Warning Issued by Car Company After Documents Claim It Has Entered Gambling World

Exclamation Mark

It can always be said that being in the car manufacturing industry is a risky business. We’re not saying that people don’t want to buy cars around the world. Yet it is such a big industry today that there is a lot of competition.

Maybe that is something that has now been heightened even more for one car manufacturer. Chinese automobile manufacturer Nio Inc., which has its headquarters in Shanghai, specializes in creating electric vehicles. Rather than design vehicles that require conventional charging stations, they develop cars that visit battery-swapping stations, and it has raised over $5 billion from investors.

Nio was founded in 2014 by William Li who is the current CEONio’s ET9 Electric Vehicle

Yet it has recently had to send out a message regarding its status in the gambling world. A fraud warning was put out by Nio on Jan. 23 saying that scammers are using the company name to carry out fraudulent activities. It states that some people are spreading fake documents across social media platforms, which highlight that Nio has entered the gambling industry. Those activities are fraudulent in China and, according to Nio, should not be trusted.

The documents in question claim that users have the opportunity to win large daily returns if they fund the company now.

Nio has never conducted a gaming or lottery business though. The activity has been reported to the police. This isn’t the first time that the company’s name has been used in a scam either.

In 2022, the car company had to issue a warning when someone tried to issue a cryptocurrency utilizing the Nio name. The announcement regarding what was labelled as the Nio Coin circulated on the internet. It claimed that the company had chosen to issue a digital currency in Hong Kong. Of course, Nio had no plans to issue any kind of cryptocurrency, and it had not authorized a third-party to do so either.

This isn’t the first time we have reported on scams relating to gambling, either. In fact, our 16th issue of Freaky Fortnight highlighted the case of a woman who had set up a dog training scam so she could spend the money from it on playing poker. She managed to dupe poker pro Bart Hanson into using her services, costing him thousands of dollars and leading to the death of his French bulldog, Charlie.

Back in 2014, we also reported on the Lock Poker Scam, which mistreated players badly by owing more than $962,000 to 380 customers.

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