5/20/07 to 5/26/07
Antigua ups the heat on US in gambling dispute
ANTIGUA - Antigua & Barbuda has called on the 150 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to file claims for compensation against the United States - the latest move in its trade dispute with the US over Internet gambling. The WTO Dispute Settlement Body's ruling on the matter was formally adopted by the WTO. That ruling declared the US in continued violation of its commitments under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in relation to the restrictions placed on remote gambling.
Police: More Arrests In Cockfighting, Gambling Ring
AR - A total of almost 70 people were arrested during those raids. "(It was an) illegal gambling operation, and we're not at liberty to expound upon that any more," said FBI agent John Strong.
Raid closes cockfighting operation
AR - Numerous felony arrest warrants are yet to be served in connection with an illegal cockfighting and gambling operation in Crawford County, according to Prosecuting Attorney Marc McCune. Cockfighting paraphernalia, including spurs, grinders to sharpen the spurs and needles to inject vitamins, or even methamphetamine, to get roosters ready to fight. At the back of the building were three chutes in which dead roosters were pushed into barrels, McCune said. The walls were covered with blood, photographs revealed.
Gambling can pose a dangerous addiction
AZ - According to Mark Erickson, special projects manager for the Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling, gambling addiction is in many ways more dangerous than drug or alcohol addiction. "With gambling, there's no stopping it. A gambler will say they'll stop when they're out of money, but that's never how it works. In Phoenix, more than 50 percent of the GA members are now women. "We've all won, at some point, or we wouldn't become addicted," Erickson said. "It's not winning they're addicted to, though, but the act of gambling itself, the thrill it brings them."
School board wary of casino moving near school
AZ - School board President Charlotte Patterson will draft a letter to the Gila River Indian Community detailing the district's concerns about the community's proposal to move one of its casinos near a southeast Chandler neighborhood.
BetOnSports Internet Gambling Company Pleads Guilty
- The case that started almost a year ago against online gambling operator BetOnSports PLC came to an end on Thursday as the company pleaded guilty to United States racketeering charges. The company agreed to supply evidence against their founder, Gary Kaplan, in order avoid further criminal charges. ...
Indictment alleges ring cheated casinos using technology, bribes
CA - A federal grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday charged 19 people with cheating 18 casinos in several states and Canada out of millions of dollars by using technology and bribes to rig card games. The scheme involved bribes to casino supervisors and card dealers and use of blocks of unshuffled cards, the indictment alleged. The charges range from conspiracy to money laundering...
MORE COMPETITION IN THE CASINO INDUSTRY, A GOOD THING
CA - Over the past few years, I have been very critical of the mergers and acquisitions in the casino gaming industry. Customers especially have gotten the bad end of the deals because the consolidation has limited competition and made it possible for the new casino giants to offer games with poor odds and allowed the casino giants to cut back on offers, promos and comps which are complimentaries or freebies. Now it appears that the mega-mergers are coming unraveled.
19 indicted in S.D. in casino scam Feds say local ring hit games in 7 states, scoring millions
CA - Federal authorities announced esterday that they broke up a sprawling international casino card-cheating scheme led by a San Diego organized-crime family that netted its members at least $3.3 million over five years. Bribed dealers would manipulate a group of cards in the deck while making it look like they shuffled the cards. "The FBI characterizes this scheme, As probably the largest cheating scheme ever brought by the federal government," Two additional indictments were unsealed yesterday in Seattle. The son of Seattle's mayor was among five men charged there.
California Tribal Casino Compact Amendments: Four Major Flaws
CA - Governor Schwarzenegger's principal argument in favor of the casino expansions is that they will generate new money for the state's General Fund. But when compared to the amounts secured by other states in similar agreements, it is clear the governor cut a bad deal for California. Governor Schwarzenegger secured just 12.6 percent of gaming revenues from the Agua Caliente for California, an amount worth only one-half the revenue sharing between Connecticut and its two gaming tribes, and only one-quarter of the amount agreed upon in Pennsylvania and Florida. The 12.6 percent figure negotiated by the governor is further diminished by the fact that the tribes are not required to pay income or corporate taxes as are all other commercial enterprises. The Agua's financial results from 2003 suggest the tribe could share with the state approximately 47 percent of its slot revenues and still easily exceed the profitability of the five most successful publicly- traded gambling corporations. Traffic is perhaps the most significant issue at all of the five Southern California tribal casinos seeking expansion. Each of the new mega-casinos would generate an estimated 27,000 car trips per day. Gambling is an all cash business. Notoriously high cash flows and profits make tribal casinos an attractive target for many forms of criminal activity. Just months after Governor Schwarzenegger's announcement to triple the gambling revenues for the five tribes, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the audit and oversight ability of the principal federal watchdog agency for gambling. The ruling said the federal agency had no authority to audit tribal casinos, eliminating a vital safeguard that helps keep tribal casinos out of the hands of criminals. Employees at California's Pechanga and Coyote Valley casinos have been the subject of criminal indictments. In 2006, the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network assessed $2.5 million in civil penalties against an Oklahoma tribe and a tribal casino official for using fictitious social security numbers, "an unreported deposit of $300,000 in cash from a duffel bag, and other suspicious transactions." During the past three years, NIGC has referred more than 30 cases of suspected criminal activity at tribal casinos to federal law enforcement agencies. NIGC's web site lists sixteen enforcement actions against California tribal casinos. Both Governor Schwarzenegger and Senator Dianne Feinstein raised serious concerns about the vacuum of government oversight over Indian gaming, Instead, the wealthiest tribes, which happen to be the largest political contributors, have won lucrative expansion deals while poorer tribes are denied even the opportunity to operate small casinos.
New slots and familiar problems
CA - The Santa Ysabel band agreed to pay San Diego County to offset its casino's impacts. That resulted in the small tribe anteing up some $320,000 per year for law enforcement-related costs, plus another $300,000 to pay for problem gambling treatment and prevention.
Pechanga opens The High Limit Salon for high rollers
CCA - In Vegas, they call them "whales" and they are catered to like no other patrons. As many as 80 percent of them are Asian and around 15 percent are women. They are high rollers. "The High Limit Salon provides our guests who enjoy high-stakes games with a level of privacy, luxury and service they can find nowhere else in California,"
Assembly Hearing to Governor: Re-negotiate California Casino Deals
CA - The word in the Capitol was that the hugely expensive campaign was backfiring badly. The Tribe's expensive campaign had somehow failed to mention that it was promoting a casino expansion with 22,500 more slots for a tiny group of rich tribes. Should a rich and powerfully connected industry be allowed to regulate itself, regardless of the consequences? Two Assembly members, one, Raised $1.2 million... (the same tribe, by the way, that paid $10 million to Jack Abramoff), and another, who raised over $700,000-90% of his entire total-from tribes...
Let's save the Delta now
CA - Assemblywoman... Has been the target of intense lobbying [over slots] by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.
Documents Connect the Dots Between Money, Tribal Casinos, Abramoff, Doolittle, Bush White House, and State Government
CA - According to the documents, Palm Spring's Agua Caliente Tribe paid Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon millions to help win an agreement to expand its gambling empire, including $5,000 monthly payments to Julie Doolittle, wife of Congressman John Doolittle and another $25,000 payment to get a meeting with President Bush in the Whitehouse. The Tribe also agreed to pay convicted felon Michael Scanlon a minimum of $5.4 million "to ensure successful re-negotiation of the Tribe's gaming compact." Not surprisingly, this same tribe currently rejects its responsibility to the rules of California's politics.
Kelly Richardson's teen talk: Mother with gambling addiction needs to get help
CA - DEAR KELLY: My mother has become a compulsive gambler since a casino opened nearby a couple of years ago. She often blows her whole paycheck as well as the child-support check that our father sends. We've been close to eviction several times, My mother actually stole our money out of our room when we were at school. DEAR C.S... Compulsive gambling can involve lying, stealing and withdrawal from loved ones; it is an escape from reality. It is an impulse-control issue, and many professionals have likened it to a progressive illness that can never be cured but can be controlled. The easier it gets, the more people gamble.
Could lottery proposal run afoul of compacts?
CA - Both budget and gaming experts are warning that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's lottery privatization proposal could run afoul of Indian gaming compacts--and possibly cut into other state revenues. "Technology now allows you to play lottery games on devices that look and feel and play like traditional slot machines," said Howard Dickstein, an attorney who represents the California Tribal Business Alliance. Since 1999, the state has signed several compacts with California Indian tribes giving them broad, exclusive rights to operate slot machines.
County lists 200 objections to casino
CA - An Indian tribe's gaming casino near Rohnert Park would bring nightmare scenarios of traffic congestion, floodwaters in residential areas and destruction of endangered species habitat, according to a draft of Sonoma County's assessment... "It would cripple the overburdened transportation system relied upon by the county's residents, visitors and regional commerce, and aggravate demands for health, safety, and other crucial public services," according to the draft prepared by Brax.
Outsourcing lottery must be considered carefully
CA - GOV. Arnold Schwarzenegger rolled a mini-bombshell at California lawmakers when he floated the idea of our becoming the first state to lease its lottery to a private operator. A major concern is the legality of leasing out the lottery. Attorneys for the Legislature say the 1984 act "expressly prohibits" and "does not authorize the privatization," concluding that "only the state of California could operate and control the lottery." Band-aid that avoids budget cuts or raising taxes in a state saddled with an ongoing deficit,
Presidential debate runs into Indian casino labor fight
CA - Labor's fight to organize Indian casino workers in California spilled into the presidential campaign Wednesday when a Native American leader accused a union of trying to derail a Democratic forum envisioned for the Morongo Indian Reservation this summer. The event's organizer said the union had pressured candidates to skip the debate because the tribe-owned casinos were strongly opposed to unionization. Kalyn Free of the Indigenous Democratic Network, which is sponsoring the debate, said candidates' failure to attend could determine who Native Americans supported and how much the deep-pocket tribes spent in the campaign. Free's organization has an independent campaign committee that raised $410,653 for the 2006 campaign, including $35,000 from Morongo [Indian casino], its largest donor.
CA - Plea deal is set in O.C. Red Cross theft... A former accountant for the American Red Cross has agreed to plead guilty today to embezzling more than $100,000 from the organization's Orange County chapter. Prosecutors say she used the money for a trip to Las Vegas, shopping sprees, an underwater camera and membership in the San Diego Zoo.
New Casino To Help Fund Gambling Intervention Program
CA - California, which has a nearly $10 billion gambling industry, spends just over $3 million a year on publicizing a gambling hotline and prevention efforts and spends no money on treatment,
Gambling addiction, intervention and treatment class offered at UCR Palm Desert campus
CA - University of California Riverside Extension will offer a new class - "Compulsive Disorders Treatment Intervention: Gambling Addictions" ...
U.S. Department of Justice News Nineteen Indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering, Money Laundering, and Related Offenses
DC - A fede has indicted 19 defendants on charges related to an alleged racketeering enterprise and a scheme to cheat casinos across the country out of millions of dollars, The indictment lists 18 casinos that were allegedly targeted by members of the conspiracy, including 10 casinos that are owned and operated by Indian tribes. The indictment alleges that members of the criminal organization bribed casino card dealers and supervisors to perform false shuffles during card games, thereby creating "slugs" of un-shuffled cards.
Making America safe for online poker
US - The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) has forced Internet gambling to come to a grinding halt in the States. There are some major gambling sites that have banned American players, but others accept pre-paid VISA debit cards or phone cards sold through foreign middlemen that allow Americans to pay online casinos.
McCain: 'Scandal' in cards as gaming takes off
DC - In a debate raging over expanded gambling in Massachusetts, 2008 presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain warned that the explosion of casinos nationwide could erupt into scandal and corruption. He added that lax enforcement of gaming laws could lead to "scandal" and "abuses" as gambling palaces pop up nationwide.
Trade resolution strengthens horse racing's position
DC - While the United States likely will pay heavy fines after World Trade Organization representatives called for compensation to countries affected by the United States's decision to exclude gambling from its trade agreements, that decision should strengthen horse racing's position as a form of legal gambling via the Internet.
FL - A business along U.S. 231 in Campbellton was operating an illegal gambling house, says the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
Local, State and National Leaders Convene to Mobilize Communities on Problem Gambling
FL - The 13th Annual Problem Gambling: Everyone's Problem Conference will address the issue of problem gambling and discuss strategies at the individual, communal, and organizational levels. There will be panel discussions focusing on problem gambling in adolescents, college students, and special populations (minorities, elderly and disabled) "There are more than 500,000 Floridians struggling with the effects of a gambling problem and thousands more adversely affected.
52 Machines Seized in Gambling Room Raid
FL - Detectives raided a gambling room in Orange park Friday, seizing 52 Las Vegas-style machines. The state law... Prohibits games of chance.
Fla. Lottery says man's $500,000 scratch-off ticket is a misprint
FL - The Florida Lottery is refusing to pay a $500,000 prize until it can inspect the $20 scratch-off ticket, which officials said Thursday appears to be a misprint.
Statement By The Florida Lottery Regarding Possible Misprint of Gold Rush Ticket
FL - The Florida Lottery is investigating the circumstances of the apparent misprint; however, without possession of the original ticket in question, the Lottery's investigation is limited. While preliminary analysis of a photocopy of the ticket seems to indicate that it is a non-winning ticket, a final determination cannot be reached until the player submits a formal claim along with the original ticket.
Hialeah Park's last chance: slots
FL - Now the place [Hialeah Park] is shuttered, hurricane-damaged, dying. The owner reluctantly has drawn up housing development plans. It seems the grand dame of racing, once the center of Miami society, is down to a last chance at salvation: slot machines. Slot machines at parimutuels across the state would supply new cash to make up for some lost by reducing taxes, lawmakers suggested. Miami-Dade County's parimutuel owners already had been considering the idea, possibly putting slots before voters this fall.
Cops seek woman who cashed stolen lottery tickets
FL - Police are still searching for a woman who cashed in 30 scratch-off lottery cards reported stolen earlier this month.
Gambling and prediction markets gamble on growth
&&http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/22/prediction_markets_intrade_betfair/&& - Companies such as BestBuy have started to utilize in-house prediction markets - where employees can win prizes by gambling on the outcome of certain company problems... Mr Levitt - BestBuy CEO's favorite contract on its internal market was one that bet whether or not a particular store would open on time.
Maui teen links his gambling addiction to drug crimes
HI - Saying he sold methamphetamine in an attempt to pay off gambling debts, a 19-year-old Wailuku man was sentenced as a youthful offender last week to an eight-year prison term, When he got into debt, someone suggested selling methamphetamine to get money. "The problem is I didn't pay off the debt. I kept gambling and losing," he said.
Expansion of gambling may be used to fill huge holes in state budget
IL - House Speaker Michael Madigan all but ruled out raising income or sales taxes Wednesday, saying his Democratic majority wouldn't support higher taxes but might back expanded gambling as a way to solve the state's budget problems... Lawmakers have been looking at concepts including adding more riverboats, adding gambling positions on current boats and putting slot machines at horse-racing tracks. House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego said Madigan has grown keenly interested in a GOP proposal to add 6,000 gambling positions to existing casinos, Cross also said he told Madigan that Republicans oppose any new casinos, including one for Chicago.
Bingo-hall ruling could take up to several years
IL - Residents of this rural DeKalb County town of about 1,000 people are awaiting a ruling by the federal government as to whether an Indian bingo hall can be built here. It [Indian nation} believes the land it bought is tribal land and federal law allows casinos on such land.
IL - Expand gambling, tax electric companies, broaden sales taxes, close tax loopholes -- all those ideas and more have surfaced. "Let's throw everything on the table and see what we can piece together," said Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago. Gambling expansion is being mentioned more and more often. Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, said the state could collect nearly $2 billion a year by allowing three new casinos -- one in Chicago and two in the Chicago suburbs. A gambling plan also might include financial aid to racetracks or perhaps even letting them have slot machines.
Casino visitor files suit after being struck from above
IL - A Casino Queen visitor who was struck from above filed a personal injury suit against the East St. Louis establishment. She claims she has incurred approximately $12,693.69 in medical expenses.
Casinos look beyond gamblers
IN - At a time when 25 percent of Americans gamble, the casinos are trying to figure out how to bring the remaining 75 percent onto their property. In addition, the casinos are betting that if they give the gamblers more places to spend their money, they'll hand over more cash.
Casinos work to keep underage gamblers off riverboats
IN - Indiana's riverboat casinos have paid nearly $300,000 in fines over the last decade for letting in 90 underage gamblers despite rules that say patrons must be 21 years old to enter. And experts say early gambling exposure, like teen use of alcohol, increases the likelihood of addiction problems later in life. An average of 350 underage patrons a year have been caught playing at slot machines and tables in New Jersey's 11 casinos since 2003.
$1M fraud stuns S. Ind. school system
IN* - A southern Indiana school treasurer and civic leader has lost her job amid a state audit that raised suspicions she embezzled as much as $1 million to cover personal money woes. "She did indicate they had money problems. She has said he (her husband) had a gambling problem."
Underage and Out of Luck As Internet gambling grows, more teens are logging on-and losing it all
US - Before long he was sacrificing sleep to all-night sessions in illegal card clubs and Internet poker rooms. Barely a year later, his losses totaled more than $10,000. He was 18 years old. "You have no conception of what you're doing, because you're just clicking a button." ... The Internet has helped make it possible for thousands of underage card players to log on and try their luck. ...
Work continues on tribal casino in KCK
KS - The pace of work has quickened in remodeling a former Masonic temple in downtown Kansas City, Kan., into a casino. The Oklahoma-based Wyandotte Nation has sought for years to turn the site into an urban casino... "We're all aware they've started construction, but there's nothing we can do," said Patrick Zollner, deputy state historic preservation officer.
Lottery executive faces expanded gambling challenge
KS - When Van Petten took over as acting director in 2001, the lottery faced a long list of problems - ranging from the theft of $63,000 by the agency's information resource manager to complaints about inappropriate office behavior and offensive postings on the lottery's internal Web site.
Patent infringement and the Sport of Kings
KY - TVG, a horse racing satellite provider and online wagering service, Filed a lawsuit in federal court in California against HGTV, the horse racing television network jointly owned by Churchill Downs and Magna Entertainment.
Beshear's surge pushes casinos to the fore
KY - If Beshear is nominated, in Tuesday's [Democrat] primary or more likely in a runoff on June 26, the long-discussed casino idea will get more discussion and have more momentum than ever -- perhaps enough to get the Republican-dominated state Senate to relent and put it on the ballot, or make it the main issue in elections for the Senate in 2008. Former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry has largely deflected inquiries about casinos by saying they're inevitable: "Gaming is coming." House Speaker Jody Richards, who said weeks ago that he favored casinos, recently reversed course and started running TV ads saying gaming (not "gambling") wasn't the answer to the state's problems.
When caught by casinos, young patrons pay a price
KY - Giancopassi and other researchers of youth who gamble say permissive attitudes about high-stakes gaming and laws that allow 18-year-olds to wager in Texas Hold 'em tournaments, and on lotteries and horse racing, send a mixed message about the 21-and-older restriction. Casinos also market themselves as fun, cool places where anybody can get lucky, and that's a powerful come-on for young people, Giancopassi said. It's impossible to know exactly how many underage gamblers like Zheng reach the slot machines and blackjack tables at Indiana casinos, because they show up in state Gaming Commission records and local court files only when they're caught. Researchers who study problem gambling say efforts to keep underage crashers off casino boats are worthwhile because youth gambling is a growing concern. National surveys show that about 70 percent of teens 14 and over say they've gambled in the last year, compared with 45 percent nearly two decades ago, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Council on Problem Gambling. Some 400 high school seniors -- of 21,200 surveyed -- reported on confidential questionnaires that they had gambled one or more times at a casino in the past year. Caesars reported verifying 1.4 million IDs since it opened in late 1998 and has turned away 24,533 people who weren't 21 or didn't have an ID, state records show.
RightBlog: A review of 'My Wars'
LA - A book titled "My Wars: Nazis, Mobsters, Gambling & Corruption has recently been written by Colonel Francis Grevemberg and Lafayette attorney Thomas Angers. It is an auto-biographical account of Francis Grevemberg's stint as commissioner of state police from 1952 to 1955.
Senate backs cockfighting gambling ban
LA - The Louisiana Senate on Monday overwhelmingly endorsed making wagering at cockfights a crime. Children... are exposed to "the brutal fights among animals" as well as gambling on the fights' outcome.
Treasurer looks to beat tribe with casino deal
MA - State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill is to unveil a plan today to beat the Mashpee Wampanoags into the casino business by launching a state-sponsored search for a developer who would build a luxury gambling mecca sooner and with much greater financial benefit to the state's coffers, The Mashpee Wampanoags, who today are celebrating their official recognition by the federal government, have announced plans to open a casino by 2010, but must first go through the time-consuming process of putting land into federal trust. The tribe must also negotiate a compact with the state, which would allow the tribe to open a casino with a level of gambling not now permitted elsewhere in Massachusetts. Because any non-Indian casino would not be on sovereign land, it would be subject to all the taxes the Indian casino would be exempt from... According to gambling specialists, the going price for a 10-year casino license is $150 million.
New Bedford mayor, tribe meet again on casino
MA - NEW BEDFORD - Leaders of the Mashpee Wampanoag met with Mayor Scott W. Lang yesterday to discuss their interest in building a casino in the city.
Anti-Gambling Group Gets Back To Work In Maryland
MD - As Derek Valcourt reports, StopSlotsMaryland held its first pulic meeting in more than a year Thursday and one prominent political leader was there to re-launch the group's latest anti-gambling campaign.??The group which, defines themselves as a broad-based coalition of concerned citizens, civic groups, and religious organizations,
New atmosphere makes slots bill seem inevitable
MD - With the state's financial plight becoming clearer each year, the movement to return legalized slot machines to Maryland is gaining strength. Faced with a $1.5 billion deficit, Maryland lawmakers appear to be looking for the common ground that will bring slots back to the state. ... Now the chances for approval seem better with a Democratic governor who supports a limited number of slots at racetracks.
Students Find Ways Around Online Gambling Laws
MD - Despite legislation passed in Congress last fall banning credit card, check and electronic fund transfers to gambling sites, student gamers show no sign of folding. Instead, they are finding ways around the new legislation through underground sites and alternative payment methods. ... Students quickly pooled their knowledge to find ways around the new rules, switching from major sites like PartyPoker.com, which now blocks all U.S. players, to sites like... According to Michael Osborne, executive director of the Compulsive Gambling Center in Baltimore, credit card companies are even making transactions look legitimate by recording them with generic titles on credit card bills. ... Osborne, who has expressed alarm at the growing number of young people addicted to gambling online,
Politics at the races? You bet
MD - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and track owner Joseph A. De Francis - support slot machines at racetracks. It's a measure many believe will keep Maryland's horse industry from fleeing to nearby states that allow the devices. But the one man who was not there [Preakness] was the one politician who has derailed all slots efforts for the past four years: House Speaker Michael E. Busch.
Horse euthanized at Pimlico Race Course
MD - Tragedy struck again at Pimlico Race Course. Mending Fences was euthanized on the track after breaking down in the Dixie Stakes, a preliminary to the Preakness, A green screen was put up in front of the stallion to shield the procedure from a stunned crowd of more than 100,000.
Sport of kings needs someone to take reins
MD - It is, however, [horse racing] suffering badly. It has a disease called: We-Don't-Have-the-Vision-or-Brains-to-Know-How-to-Do-This-Better Itis. Or maybe horse racing just wants to continue to feel sorry for itself about not getting enough respect, about being called a dying sport. ...
Maine's embarrassment offers a lesson for N.H.
ME - But when the Maine Legislature decided to consider upping its take from Penn National gaming receipts, the firm stopped construction in protest. ... Then last week, lawmakers capitulated - a move that found House Speaker Glenn Cummings begging for forgiveness and construction to resume. ... Penn National is now in the driver's seat. Company officials know they can bring the Legislature to its knees at will. Once the new facility is up... It will have even more financial leverage ... Should lawmakers make a move that displeases Penn National, all the company has to do is close down a few hundred machines...
Lottery Alert: Clerk Tries to Swipe $200,000
MI - A woman from Macomb County who won big in the Michigan Lottery hopes you can learn from her close call with a store clerk -- who tried to make off with her cash. Thanks to a flaw in the lottery system, the store clerk almost ended up with her money.
Man who left son in car at casino is sentenced
MN - A man convicted of leaving his 4-year-old son in his car in subzero temperatures while he gambled at Mystic Lake Casino was sentenced Monday... When the boy was found wandering in the Mystic Lake parking lot ... His body temperature had dropped to a dangerously low 84.5 degrees,
25 arrested in Twin Cities in international sex slave bust
MN - A criminal enterprise that ran a bustling ring of brothels throughout the Twin Cities forced foreign women into "sex slavery" and handed out business cards at a casino to lure customers, federal authorities alleged Monday. Others helped by passing out business cards at various locations, including the Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake. "Sgt. Gerald Vick became aware of a criminal enterprise that brought women from Central American and Caribbean countries to this area," Vick was murdered during an undercover prostitution investigation in May 2005.
Residents pray against Choctaw casino The Associated Pres
MS - More than 50 church members from across Jackson County held a prayer vigil directly across from land where the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has proposed building a casino.
Gambling machines uncovered in Clarksdale
MS - George Messenger, owner of Messenger's Pool Hall, has been charged with two counts of possessing, displaying and operating slot machines or similar gaming devices, The Clarksdale gaming raid was part of the attorney general's crackdown on the operation of illegal gaming machines in the Delta.
Pastors pray to halt Choctaw casino
MS - With arms outstretched toward land where the Mississippi Band of Choctaws want to build a casino, more than 50 Jackson County residents prayed Sunday for God to never allow that plan to be realized. More than a dozen speakers, mostly local pastors with the Jackson County United for Families, offered prayers... Where the tribe has proposed building a $375 million casino with more than 2,300 slot machines, Like other pastors, King said he has met with residents who have lost everything they have by gambling and consoled family members who have dealt with loves ones who committed suicide.
Maine's embarrassment offers a lesson for N.H.
NH - When the Maine Legislature decided to consider upping its take from Penn National gaming receipts, the firm stopped construction in protest. Lawmakers capitulated - a move that found House Speaker Glenn Cummings begging for forgiveness and construction to resume. Penn National pays the state a 1 percent tax on its gross slot machine income, as well as a 39 percent state tax... Penn National is now in the driver's seat. Company officials know they can bring the Legislature to its knees at will. And once the new facility is up and running, it will have even more financial leverage should the Maine Legislature even comb its hair in the wrong direction.
Smokers (mostly) respecting restrictions in casinos
NJ - A month after the first smoking restrictions at Atlantic City casinos went into force, compliance by gamblers is pretty good, if uneven. A thorough survey of gaming floors at three casinos Thursday found smokers and nonsmokers divided nearly perfectly in their designated areas...
Lottery officials warn of scam targeting past NJ winners
NJ - New Jersey Lottery officials are warning Pick 6 Lotto winners about a scam targeting them that promises additional prizes. "It has never been _ nor will it ever be _ the policy of the New Jersey Lottery to ask for a 'prepayment' before sending out any prize," ...
Alleged mobster held in labor rackets sweep
NJ - Yesterday, Taccetta's [reputed mob figure] 18 months of freedom ended when he and more than a dozen others were rounded up by authorities... The charges include allegations of corruption of union officials, extortion of contractors, no-show jobs, conspiracy, scams against home-improvement stores, loan sharking, illegal gambling and as sault, said a law enforcement official familiar with the case.
Mobsters Allegedly Took Control Of 2 Labor Unions
NJ - Illegal gambling and loansharking operations. He's allegedly a soldier in the Gambino crime family and has ties to the Lucchese crime family.
The union of the Black and the Red
NM - The 24th annual Gathering of Nations Powwow held Apr. 26-28 at the University of New Mexico Arena was a reaffirmation of Native American culture, traditions and customs; We see among the Native American people the same negative destructive elements eroding and tearing down the basic fabric and structure of the family and of the society as a whole," Min. Ishmael told The Final Call, adding that drug addiction and gambling are also vices eroding the moral and physical strength of the Native American people. "We know that many of the Native American tribes and nations are engaging in gambling casinos and this is only causing more and more problems for them.
EXECUTIVE PAY: SAY HELLO TO MR. BIG
NV - Terry Lanni Chairman & CEO, MGM Mirage $15,687,121 Breakdown: $2 million base salary $6 million in stock awards and options $6.6 million in incentives Other compensation includes: $251,868 for aircraft use... Gary Loveman Chairman & CEO, Harrah's Entertainment $14,239,845 Breakdown: $2 million base salary $8.6 million stock awards and options $2.5 million in incentives Other compensation includes: $435,786 for aircraft $276,720 for security... Frank Fertitta III Chairman & CEO, Station Casinos $11,992,113... Steve Wynn Chairman & CEO, Wynn Resorts Ltd. $9,962,915... TJ Matthews Chairman & CEO, International Game Technology $8,643,713... Edward Herbst Chairman & CEO, Herbst Gaming $8,412,500... William S. Boyd Chairman & CEO, Boyd Gaming Corp. $7,683,242... Sheldon Adelson Chairman & CEO, Las Vegas Sands Corp. $5,844,770... Daniel Lee Chairman & CEO, Pinnacle Entertainment $2,764,455...
Vegas dealers use Web to unionize
NV - Days after Wynn told dealers he made "a big mistake" in changing the rules so supervisors would share in their tips, the dealers voted 444-149... To join a union.
NV - Almost $2.5 million in grants have been awarded in the program's first 21 months, a report released by the advisory committee in January shows. The money was split, with $1.43 million going to treatment programs, $383,757 for education and prevention programs, $295,799 for research, and $232,925 for counselor development programs.
Surprise offer a shrewd move
NV - To understand why billionaire dealmaker and MGM Mirage majority shareholder Kirk Kerkorian made a surprise offer Monday for the Bellagio and CityCenter - the most expensive and luxurious jewels in MGM Mirage's impressive crown - one need only look at recent deals occurring in the gaming industry's plainer, yet more visible, sister: the hotel industry. By focusing on the most valuable of MGM Mirage's assets, the venerable Bellagio and the $7.4 billion resort marvel CityCenter, Kerkorian can potentially reap the greatest rewards by watching those assets increase dramatically in value. Kerkorian's shares are worth about $10 billion - enough to buy the properties without much help.
Problem gambling bill faces no 'real opposition'
NV - The Assembly Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to discuss legislation today that would make state funding of problem gambling treatment and research permanent. The money is diverted from the state general fund through an existing tax on slot machines, with an allocation equivalent of $2 per machine. Six percent of Clark County's approximately 11,000 homeless listed problem gambling as their primary reason for being homeless,
Sona Mobile Gets Nevada Gaming Commission Approval
NV - Allows players... Wired or wireless wagering in any designated... Area of the casino property.
Station Casino opposes tribal casino
NV - A California tribe wants to expand its gaming operations from Indian country into the land of lounge lizards, metropolitan Las Vegas. But Station Casinos has opposed the project through "back channels" at Henderson City Hall. ... The lobbyist, had 31 other contacts with Henderson officials on behalf of Station Casinos between July 5 and Dec. 19 that year, according to lobbyist registration forms. The National Indian Gaming Association, Said it's rare for a tribe to choose to run a gambling operation without the business advantages associated with tribal sovereignty. The Sobobas are not the first gaming tribe to seek an out-of-state opportunity in commercial gaming. The Mohegan tribe in Connecticut purchased a Pennsylvania race track and turned it into a "racino" by adding slot machines. ... Station Casinos has links to tribal gaming out of state.
NV - Days after casino boss Steve Wynn notified dealers in a closed-door meeting that frontline supervisors would be included in their tip-pooling agreements, allegations were posted on a Web site popular among dealers that Wynn insulted them for taking huge tips from players. Last week, when Wynn apologized for changing the tip-pooling rules at dealers expense - and pleaded with dealers to reject union representation because it wouldnt solve "our problems" Dealers then, by a stunning 75 percent vote, organized.
Farmers question board's about-face on casinos
NY - The president of the 450-member Sullivan County Farm Bureau would not say yesterday why the bureau's board decided to drop out of a lawsuit to stop a proposed St. Regis Mohawk casino at Monticello Gaming & Raceway - even as anti-casino farmer members are asking why. In December, the New York State Farm Bureau's 30,000 members adopted policies that oppose off-reservation casino projects in the state.
Olean man pleads guilty to stealing from club
NY - Man has pleaded guilty to one felony count of first-degree falsifying business records in connection with the theft of between $40,000 and $50,000 in gaming proceeds from the Fraternal Order of Eagles Club.
Is Gambling Good For America?
NY - In casinos from coast to coast, in slot parlors from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Shore, at racetracks and in lotteries across the country, Americans will legally gamble away-that is, lose-nearly $90 billion this year. A hundred years ago, gambling was a national vice almost universally outlawed. Yet, since the early 1990s, state-sanctioned gambling has exploded. The costs, they insist, are enormous-more than three times any perceived benefit, argues Earl L. Grinols, the distinguished professor of economics at Baylor University. "Gambling leads to increased crime, to suicides and to people ruining their lives when they get caught up in it," he says. "If the damage were spread evenly among all of us, there'd be no gambling." ... When a single addict gambles himself into bankruptcy, for example, there will be a line of stiffed creditors and court proceedings paid for from the public treasury. Likewise, a pathological gambler who embezzles his stake from the boss has to be investigated, tried and supervised in prison or on probation-all of which costs money. Factor in newly impoverished spouses and children, and the costs multiply.
Spitzer needs to stand up to the Senecas
NY - Unhappy with Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to collect sales taxes from sales by Indian-owed businesses to non-Indian consumers, the Senecas have decided to play hardball. The Senecas now claim the state is trespassing. They are attempting to charge New York $1 for every automobile traveling [road on reservation land] on that section of the highway.
Judge rejects Oneida Indian land claim
NY - U.S. District Court judge... Rejected the land claim... That says more than 250,000 acres was bought illegally from the Oneidas almost 200 years ago. Oneida Indian Nation may receive fair compensation from the state... The... Nation claims the total restitution for the land would be $500 million.
The Belmont stakes
NY - If, as seems likely, those plans include transforming Belmont into a "racino" - a casino within a racetrack - by adding video lottery terminals, then Long Island deserves a substantial part of that purse. As a racetrack, Belmont is open about 90 days a year. But a racino would operate year-round, causing a significant increase in the demand for municipal services, not to mention more traffic. More and more states allow gambling - there are now 38 - and the Internet is making geographic boundaries moot. In 2005, the Court of Appeals used that very big loophole to legalize video lottery terminals, or VLTs, which are essentially hi-tech slot machines.
Counselors gear up as Saratoga racino expands
NY - In Saratoga, counselors at the Center for Problem Gambling say they're expecting a busy summer. The local racino... Will add hundreds of video lottery terminals,
Horseman: Natural setting makes Vernon a beautiful track
Vernon Downs horse shortage imperils future race dates
NY - "The board certainly is concerned with the ongoing horse shortage that has been going on at Vernon Downs as of late," said board spokesman Dan Toomey. They've been having a number of horse shortages and canceled a number of dates."
Dann has plan to regulate state's gambling devices Expert to gauge games' levels of skill, luck
OH - Attorney General Marc Dann's office will hire an independent expert to rule whether games are based on skill or chance. Manufacturers have seized on the ambiguity in defining which is which by flooding the state with devices that resemble slot machines but also have an element of skill. There's no clear standard as to what constitutes a game of skill that belongs at Cedar Point or Chuck E. Cheese's, or a game of chance that belongs in Las Vegas...
Grocer gets 50 months for bilking Nestle
PA - Devastated over a divorce from his second wife, Vincent Marchese turned to the gaming tables of Atlantic City to ease his depression. But the Allentown grocer gambled with money he helped steal from Nestle USA Inc., and by the time he and a cohort were through, $6.4 million had been siphoned from the food giant. ''I chased debts,'' he said. ''It destroyed my life and everyone around me.'' Grande also said the casinos, aware of his heavy gambling, did everything they could to entice Marchese to gamble even more.
Sands CEO takes first trip to Bethlehem
PA - Adelson is a self-made billionaire who grew up in Boston with parents he jokingly said were ''too poor to buy rags.'' His first venture in business came when the 12-year-old borrowed $200 from his uncle to sell newspapers. But his wealth exploded when he bought the old Sands casino, demolished it and built the Venetian Casino Resort and Sands Convention Center. Adelson has rocketed up the Forbes list, vaulting from 310th-richest in 2004 to sixth this year.
PGCB's Self-Exclusion List Helping Many In PA With Gambling Problems
PA - Since the introduction of the Self-Exclusion Program late last year, 52 people with gambling problems have voluntarily requested to be excluded from all gaming activities at all licensed facilities within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for one year, five years or a lifetime. Horner added that 42% of the 52 individuals in Pennsylvania have chosen the lifetime ban,
Anti-casino group claims 'landslide'
PA - A GRASS-ROOTS effort to ask voters where the two city casinos should be built collected 13,319 ballots on Election Day, organizers said yesterday. A vast majority of those who voted in Casino-Free Philadelphia's unofficial election opposed construction of casinos within 1,500 feet of homes, churches, schools and other public spaces. The group said it had tallied 12,592 votes in favor of that notion, ...
Deadwood Woman Sentenced For Casino Theft
SD - A former employee of a Deadwood casino has been jailed for embezzling $12,000.
Enforcing laws on 8-liners not a sure bet
TX - The machines look like video games but operate much like traditional slot machines, with symbols such as cherries and numbers that a player hopes will match up. They're known as 8-liners for the eight possible lines - three vertical, three horizontal and two diagonal - that can generate a win. And although the machines themselves aren't illegal, many businesses are giving unlawful incentives for players to keep putting their coins in the slots. To catch the businesses in the act, officers must enter the game rooms and play until they win. Once they get paid, they can make an arrest. Kerney, who prosecutes the misdemeanors in the county, said if convicted, people face up to a year in county jail and a $4,000 fine. But this year in the state Legislature, state representatives and senators have discussed legalizing video lottery terminals - a gambling machine similar to 8-liners, but with different types of games and winning odds - to help fund different government programs.
US military profits from casinos for soldiers
US - Prof. John Kindt talks about how the military got rid of slot machines in the 1960's... Soldiers... Bored... Were getting addicted.
WTO ruling bolsters islands' fight against U.S. gambling restrictions
US - The tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda sought to enlist other countries Tuesday in targeting the United States over Washington's failure to comply with a WTO ruling that its Internet gambling restrictions were illegal. After losing the case, the United States announced that it would take an unprecedented legal step to change the commitments it made as part of the 1994 GATS treaty regulating the trade in services among WTO members.
Gaming board usurps rights
PA - It's up to the people, not the board, to make the final decision, through referendums, on where casinos should be - if anywhere. Not the least of these problems is the Gaming Control Board's usurping of land-use rights from local municipalities and the citizens they represent. The John Templeton Foundation recently provided a grant to the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, of which I am chairman and CEO, to conduct a statewide poll into Pennsylvanians' attitudes toward legalized gambling. The poll found that 62 percent expected to see an increase in crime and social problems as a result of slot machines having been legalized.
Woman will face charges in cash theft
VT - A Chittenden woman accused of breaking into a relative's home and stealing $20,000 in cash allegedly told police she took the money to buy scratch lottery tickets and to pay bills. McClure later admitted she went into the home three times to take money from the safe, the detective wrote.
Nickels' son indicted with dozens in scheme to cheat casinos
WA - Jacob Dyson Nickels, the son of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, has been indicted as part of an investigation into a multi-state casino-cheating ring that allegedly stole millions of dollars by bribing casino employees to falsely shuffle decks. In all, three indictments were unsealed today - two in Seattle and one in San Diego - naming 24 defendants in an alleged racketeering enterprise dating from March 2002.
Report questions conduct of Thompson in gambling deals
WI - The report by state gaming investigators details two attempts by investors to improperly influence Thompson and his aides into helping them win approval for projects.
Wis. report questions role of Thompson, aides in gambling deals
WI - A new report is resurrecting old questions about the handling of Wisconsin gambling projects by presidential candidate Tommy Thompson and his former aides. The report alleges: - Thompson, a Republican, was furious in 1989 when a group of investors who had promised hefty donations to his re-election campaign did not receive a license to operate a dog track from the Wisconsin Racing Board. The investors had been assured the license was "in the bag" Investors promised to pay $46.5 million to a lobbying firm owned by Thompson's former chief of staff if the governor and federal government granted all the approvals necessary for a casino in Kenosha. Thompson spokesman Tony Jewell dismissed the allegations as "rumor and innuendo."
Supreme Court Rejects Table Games Lawsuit
WV - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has rejected a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of table games legislation. The West Virginia Family Foundation filed the lawsuit May 4 against state Lottery Commission director John C. Musgrave. ...
State Supreme Court refuses to hear table games suit Opponents' attorney may take challenge to federal court
WV - Hours after the state Supreme Court tossed aside a legal challenge to casino-style gambling, and sold "the soul of West Virginia to the devil," as one foe lamented, attorney Barry Bruce huddled with his client on the prospect of going to the next level - federal court. Bruce challenged the new table games law on behalf of the West Virginia Family Foundation, a conservative Christian group that maintained the Legislature violated the Constitution by using the 1984 lottery amendment as a springboard for legalizing roulette, blackjack and other casino gambling. "A person needs only look at the campaign donations to legislators to see the tip of the iceberg, how gambling money has bought influence with our liberal legislators, both Democrats and Republicans alike.
Alter Problem Gamblers Plan
WV - Perception often is everything, and there seems to be a growing perception that West Virginia's program to help problem gamblers is about to be hijacked by, well, the enemy - those whose business it is to promote wagering. Money for the network comes from legalized gambling and has been funneled through the state Lottery Commission.
Gambling hotline decides to stay with W.Va. program
WV - The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey's board of directors had planned to discuss on Monday whether to yank the well known 1-800-GAMBLER number from the state. Critics say it's a conflict of interest for an agency that oversees gambling to also oversee a program that helps people who become hooked.
Delegate is worried over gambling hotline transfer
WV - "It's inappropriate for the Lottery to take over control of the gamblers counseling network," said John Carey, head of the West Virginia Values Coalition. "They need to leave it in the hands of people who take care of people. Their world is to promote the lottery. It's a conflict of interest." Within the past six years, he said, problem gambling has risen by 375 percent in West Virginia because the industry has been expanded.
Gambling Choices: Close Mini-Casinos
WV - The Legislature should recognize that it erred in 2001, when it legalized neighborhood gambling that almost everyone finds objectionable. In 2001, Gov. Bob Wise championed legislation that legalized video gambling. We now are afflicted with mini-casinos statewide...
Table games: Bad bet for Jefferson
WV - Nevada is the most dangerous state in the nation based on murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft statistics, as found at www.governmentguide.com. And it ranks first in suicide, divorce, prostitution and number of women killed by men, as found at www.ncalg.org. Gambling is an addictive behavior that typically seizes the lives of 1 to 3 percent of the population, according to the American Psychiatric Association's SDM-IV. That amounts to three to five times the number of people suffering from cancer. Perhaps most important, since numerous statistics confirm casino gaming increases crime, bankruptcy rates, higher suicide rates, divorce and substance abuse, are they considering the impact this will have on the lives of the children in our community?
Plans to take over gambling program 'troubling'
WV - The Lottery's bid to bypass public health officials and directly oversee the state's Problem Gamblers Help Network is "extraordinarily troubling" and "almost unprecedented," said Keith Whyte, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based council. The only state to attempt something similar _- Arizona, about six years ago - did so with disastrous results, he said Wednesday. Entities that promote gambling cannot effectively counsel gamblers who become hooked, Whyte said. Nor is the Lottery professionally or ethically equipped, he said, to deal with the mental health, medical and confidentiality issues surrounding addiction.