Latest News
MISSOURI
3/24/07 to 3/31/07


Rob Schaaf
State Representative, District 28
St. Joseph, Missouri

I recently surveyed the registered voters in my district, and received 1,209
responses. The questions were as follows with numbers after each
representing the percentages who answered yes, percent no, percent no opinion and percent no answer (blank):
7. Should (riverboat gaming) loss limits be removed?
(YES) 24.5 percent, (NO) 69.3 percent, 5.6 percent, 1.1 percent
I would like to thank all those who took the time to complete and return the
surveys. The survey was paid for by the people, so I want the people to have the results.
www.stjoenews-press.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=91174&SectionID=81&SubSectionID=352&S=1 3/27/2007

BetOnSports Founder Arrested
BetOnSports gambling Web site founder Stephen Kaplan was arrested late Wednesday in the Dominican Republic, according to a federal prosecutor. U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway is prosecuting a case against BetOnSports PLC in St. Louis federal court. Kaplan is named in a 22-count criminal case as the company's top official. The indictment charges Carruthers and Kaplan with felony racketeering and fraud. The charges are filed using a 1960s-era law known as the Wire Act that prohibits placing bets on sports events over the phone. The federal indictment against Kaplan alleges that he founded an illegal gambling operation in New York in 1992.
www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/03/30/ap3569765.html / AP / 3/30/07

Local Firm Victimized By Old Lottery Scam
(KSDK)
- It's all too common for police and consumer experts: complaints about a Canadian lottery scam, in which you have to send money to quality for the big prize. Under the scam, you get a letter and a check from the lottery. The check is usually drawn on a bonafide company and is in an odd amount -- like $1,998.
http://www.ksdk.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=115895 3/30/07

Online Gambling Defendants Looking at Hard Time and Long Wait
For defendants in the BetonSports case, which is being prosecuted in the St. Louis 8th Circuit Court, the waiting continues. "They are looking to move the venue to Florida," someone close to the case disclosed to Gambling911.com today. The 8th Circuit Court is among the most brutal in the country for defendants, in particular those involved with online gambling. The jury pool would not be favorable despite the fact that there is a billboard heading towards the court house advertising river boat casinos. It is no coincidence that the US government is having this matter dealt with in St. Louis," our source stated. "They did not (file the complaint) in LA for a reason."
www.gambling911.com/online-gambling-033007.html / 3/30/07

Ameristar St. Charles draws a $100,000 fine
The Missouri Gaming Commission on Wednesday fined Ameristar St. Charles $100,000 for allowing an unidentified craps player to act as the game's "stickman" for 37 minutes. Stremming said the company had not decided whether to appeal the fine or two others disclosed Wednesday totaling $20,000 -- one for failing to prevent a minor with false identification from gambling in St. Charles, the other for permitting slot machines with unapproved software on the gaming floor in Kansas City. The Isle of Capri Casino in Boonville was fined $20,000 for failing to detect a self-banned gambler
www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/business/16989747.htm
The Kansas City Star/By RICK ALM/3/29/07


Police investigate the fourth on the job embezzlement case in recent months
Also, Kathy Hamm admitted to stealing $5,000 from the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department to fund a gambling addiction.
http://www.kq2.com/news/default.asp?mode=shownews&id=5151 / 3/29/07

Gateway to a Cure's Sengheiser indicted for mail fraud
Gateway to a Cure Inc.'s operator and manager, Carl Sengheiser, was
indicted on fraud charges in connection with four fraudulent raffles generating receipt of $1.9 million, U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said Thursday.
According to the indictment, from Jan. 1, 2002, through May 2006, Sengheiser operated and managed Gateway to a Cure, which raffles off expensive homes and other prizes to raise money for spinal cord research. Sengheiser, . . .was indicted by a federal grand jury on 22 counts of mail fraud. The indictment states that during this time, charitable donations for spinal cord injury research were about $38,325 out of about $1,930,160 raised through the four raffles. Sengheiser used some of the monies to pay his personal credit cards, home mortgage payments, and the purchase of vehicles for himself and others, according to the indictment.
stlouis.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2007/03/26/daily52.html
St. Louis Business Journal - 3/29/07


Repeal of casino loss limit stalls
Jefferson City -- An odd combination of gambling opponents and supporters stalled legislation early Wednesday that would repeal Missouri's unique gamblers' loss limit in an attempt to generate tax revenues for college scholarships. The bill would limit Missouri to 13 casinos, essentially preventing a further expansion of gambling boats beyond those already in place or being developed. It also stipulates that any future casino licenses could only be awarded in the same city or county as where an existing casino closes. Senators defeated by a 17-11 vote an amendment by Sen. Tim Green, D-St. Louis, that would have set the casino cap at 18 facilities.
www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070329/NEWS01/703290377/1007/NEWS01 / AP / 3/29/07

Gaming Commisison scrutinizes Voodoo Lounge, fines Ameristar
Harrah's St. Louis casino promotes its VooDoo Cafe & Lounge as the area's most exciting entertainment venue. Unfortunately for Harrah's, the Missouri Gaming Commission agreed. Strongly enough, in fact, that commissioners held up approval last month of Harrah's two-year license renewal until the casino could come up with a plan to tone things down a bit. Too many people were getting too drunk. While such behavior is tolerated -- if not encouraged -- in Las Vegas casinos, it's a big no-no in Missouri. The commission would not disclose any statistics about the alleged drunkenness, saying it was part of licensing investigations and confidential. But commissioners made it clear they were concerned about the VooDoo lounge and excessive drinking. Ameristar Casino St. Charles was hit with $120,000 in fines, including a rather extraordinary $100,000 penalty for a strange incident at the casino last summer. Fines typically are in the $5,000 to $20,000 range.
www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories.nsf/0/
D55A8A280154DFDA862572AD000DFFD6?OpenDocument
/ ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
By Tim Barker / 03/29/07


Factional fight underlies St. Charles mayor's race
The effectiveness of St. Charles city government is at the heart of rival messages by Mayor Patti York and her challenger, City Councilman John Gieseke, leading up to Tuesday's election. York's main campaign pitch: She has solid achievements in her eight years in office and wants to do more of the same. Among them are an expanded Ameristar Casino, the two-year-old convention center, the Foundry Art Centre and improvements in public safety and other basic city services. GOP sources aiding York, a Republican, included committees for U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Town and Country, which donated $2,000, and committees for state Sen. Chuck Gross of St. Charles and state Rep. Carl Bearden of Harvester, which gave $500 each.
www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stcharles/story/
31B9889872894E9B862572AD0017CC10?OpenDocument
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / By Mark Schlinkmann / 03/29/07


Downtown Embassy Suites closing for revamp
The Embassy Suites hotel in downtown St. Louis will close Sunday so a major face-lift aimed at getting the property ready for the opening of the Lumière Place casino complex can begin. The 297-room hotel, at 901 North First Street, was bought earlier this year by Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. to be part of the company's 7.3 acre casino complex, which also will include a separate luxury hotel. To make Embassy Suites a better fit, Pinnacle is spending an estimated $15 million on renovations.
www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories.nsf/story/
825C427CF91B65BF862572AE000A639E?OpenDocument
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / Tim Barker / 03/29/07


Gambling bill stalls in Mo. Senate
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- An odd early-morning combination of gambling opponents and supporters has stalled legislation that would repeal Missouri's unique gamblers' loss limit. Missouri law currently prohibits casino patrons from buying more than $500 in slot-machine tokens or table-game chips every two hours -- the nation's only such betting cap. But in an attempt to raise money for college scholarships, senate legislation would remove the loss limit -- resulting in a projected 17 percent revenue increase for casinos -- while imposing an additional 1 percent state tax on the top tier of casino revenues. The bill also would cap the number of casinos in Missouri. Missourians approved casino gambling in 1992 for boats along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. That ballot measure included the $500 loss limit. But casinos -- and the Missouri Gaming Commission that oversees them -- have lobbied for years to repeal the loss limit on the ground that it puts Missouri at a competitive disadvantage, especially with neighboring casino states such as Illinois.
www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/story/
E5EBCCBFB55E7B62862572AC003A01F1?OpenDocument
By David A. Lieb / ASSOCIATED PRESS / 03/28/07


Another Republican Priority Bill Stalls in Senate
Monday night/Tuesday morning, Republicans could not bring a casino gambling bill to a floor vote in a chamber divided in several ways on several issues, with some divisions crossing party lines. Majority Leader Charlie Shields accuses Democrats of launching organized caucus-led filibusters against key Republican legislation and warns of "consequences." He express frustrations at the stalling methods used by Democrats to keep Republican bills on casino gambling, the sale of MOHELA assets, and the pro-life legislatiion stopped Wednesday night.
www.missourinet.com/gestalt/go.cfm?objectid=9B9BAB52-906C-ACC1-B01B2FF9D821708F / By Bob Priddy / 3/28/07

Loss Limit Repeal Stalls
A concerted effort to eliminate Missouri's $500 loss limit for casino gamblers has been shelved with numerous issues unresolved after almost eight straight hours of debate in the Missouri Senate. Shields says he's going to let gambling lobbyists work with Senators who object to various parts of the bill to resolve problems. Senator Matt Bartle of Lee's Summit, an ardent opponent of any effort to remove the loss limit, says he will not yield on that point.
www.missourinet.com/gestalt/go.cfm?objectid=97E10FBE-9D22-830A-E8DF3F385F356E98 / By Bob Priddy / 3/28/07

Gambling bill stalls in Mo. Senate
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- An odd early-morning combination of gambling opponents and supporters has stalled legislation that would repeal Missouri's unique gamblers' loss limit. Senators remained in session until almost 4 a.m. today. They finally set the bill aside after attacks both from gambling foes opposed to the loss limit repeal and from casino supporters objecting to a limit on the number of casinos. Disagreement also emerged over the size of the proposed tax increase on casino income. Missourians approved casino gambling in 1992 for boats along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. That ballot measure included the $500 loss limit. But casinos -- and the Missouri Gaming Commission that oversees them -- have lobbied for years to repeal the loss limit on the ground that it puts Missouri at a competitive disadvantage,. . . Sen. Chuck Purgason, of Caulfield, said fellow Republicans -- many of whom fought the repeal of loss limits in the past -- were following a "path of stupidity" in now supporting the limits' repeal. He claimed colleagues were bowing to potential campaign contributions from the casino industry.
www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/story/
E5EBCCBFB55E7B62862572AC003A01F1?OpenDocument
ASSOCIATED PRESS / By David A. Lieb / 03/28/07


Four area residents appointed to state boards
William "Dale" Finke of Lake St. Louis, Mo., was appointed to the State Lottery Commission for a term ending Sept. 7, 2008. Finke, 68, is the former director of the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration.
stlouis.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2007/03/26/daily32.html
St. Louis Business Journal / 3/28/07


Gambling bill stalls in overnight Senate session
Senators remained in session until almost 4 a.m. this morning, finally setting the bill aside after attacks both from gambling foes opposed to the loss limit repeal and from casino supporters objecting to a limit on the number of casinos. Disagreement also emerged over the size of the proposed tax increase on casino income. The bill would limit Missouri to 13 casinos, essentially preventing a further expansion of gambling boats beyond those already in place or being developed. It also stipulates that any future casino licenses could only be awarded in the same city or county as where an existing casino closes. Senators defeated by a 17-11 vote an amendment by Sen. Tim Green, St. Louis Democrat, that would have set the casino cap at 18 facilities.
www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/breaking_news/16987223.htm
The Associated Press / 03/28/07


Harrah's signs on as corporate sponsor for Redbirds season, upcoming Cardinals game
Harrah's Entertainment, which owns the Grand, Horseshoe and Sheraton casinos in Tunica, Miss., has become a Redbirds corporate partner for this season. The one-year deal, worth an estimated $100,000 in cash and trade, is up for renewal next year. Harrah's has been the host of the Redbirds' Legends Golf Tournament since its inception in 1999, but this year is the first official partnership the two have had. The partnership will name Harrah's as the sponsor of the Redbirds/St. Louis Cardinals game on March 30 and the golf tournament.
stlouis.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2007/03/26/daily5.html
by Michael Sheffield / Memphis Business Journal / 3/26/07