Latest News
3/14/07 to 3/24/07

Health risk?
Bingo, slot machines favorites for older players

LONGMONT --- Older Americans name gambling as their preferred social activity, say studies that blame the phenomenon on loneliness, boredom and illness. "Is grandma not able to pay bills because she's gambling her money away? Is she gambling away her Social Security check? We call it a hidden addiction, unless you know (their finances)," De Anni said. She could not estimate how many Boulder County seniors gamble beyond their means. The Daily Times-Call 3/24/07

Others caught up in Abramoff scandal
Lawmakers, lobbyists and Bush administration officials caught up in the Jack Abramoff public corruption probe, besides former Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles: Michael Scanlon, a former Abramoff business partner and DeLay aide, pleaded guilty in November 2005 to conspiring to bribe public officials in connection with his lobbying work on behalf of Indian tribes and casino issues. AP 3/23/07

Former Little Chute man to serve 9 months in jail for arson
WI - Diggs appeared in Outagamie County Circuit Court for sentencing on one felony count of arson stemming from a 2005 house fire. Lawyers said a gambling addiction was a contributing factor. Diggs admitted to investigators he started the fire because he was unable to pay bills and his girlfriend could benefit from the insurance proceeds.
Appleton Post Crescent 3/23/07

Youth Problem Gambling in New York Called an 'Epidemic'
The head of an agency that helps New Yorkers adversely affected by gambling says there's an "epidemic" of young people with gambling problems. He said the younger a child starts gambling, the greater the chance he or she will develop a problem with it.

Treat gambling as an addiction
NJ - Pete Rose said he bet on baseball. ("Rose: "I bet on my team every night,' " March 15.) Many compulsive gamblers have found recovery and become productive people. The discussion should not be whether Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. He does. I pray for him to find recovery.
Arnie Wexler
Asbury Park Press 3/23/07

Mo. rises, Ill. falls on dangerous states list
Nevada, with its casinos and nightlife, was rated as the most dangerous state for the fourth consecutive year, followed by New Mexico. (Morgan Quitno Press - List was issued in Crime State Rankings 2007)
St. Louis Business Journal 3/23/07

Gambling a growing problem among seniors
CA - The number of seniors who gamble has grown; in fact, seniors have become one of the fastestgrowing groups of gamblers. They may be overspending and neglecting their nutrition, lack funds for medication and other medical needs or have less working years left to recoup the financial losses due to gambling. It is not unusual for seniors with gambling concerns to be too embarrassed to not seek help. 3/23/07

Hells Angel gets state gambling license
WA - The various video clips are from surveillance cameras at Ringo's Little Vegas Casino, 11420 E. Sprague, in Spokane Valley, where Hells Angels member Frank Nakayama worked as a state-licensed security guard. A news clipping obtained by Gambling Commission investigators from KXLY-TV with a subpoena is one several methods investigators used to show Nakayama was an officer with the Hells Angels Washington Nomad Chapter, based in Spokane. The Gambling Commission is now moving to revoke Nakayama's state-issued cardroom employee license. 3/22/07

Infant left in car outside La Center cardroom; parents arrested
WA - A 4-month-old girl sat alone in her car seat, locked in a Ford sedan behind the Palace Casino, while her parents gambled inside, officials said. The temperature outside was about 35 degrees. 3/22/07

One Woman finds lure of slots costly
Since early last year, "Nancy," a health care professional in her mid-50s, has lost at least $100,000 at Hollywood Slots in Bangor. In the process, she has drained her pension, remortgaged her home and put her marriage in jeopardy. 3/21/07 Bangor Daily News

Bogus pitchman pleads guilty to scam
The prosecutor said Larry House and his partner bilked investors, including two from
Southwest Virginia, out of $500,000
VA - The catch, according to federal prosecutors, was that World Class existed only on paper, and that any investments were quickly gobbled up by a crack addict and a compulsive gambler behind the bogus California company. Larry House, an investment adviser who made the pitch before getting caught by FBI agents in a Memphis, Tenn., motel room he worked out of, pleaded guilty in Roanoke on Tuesday to his role in a scam that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennie Waering said bilked investors out of more than $500,000. 3/21/07

Money Stolen From Long Island Fire Departments
NY - Long Island -- Eight people are being charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from three volunteer fire departments and an ambulance corp on Long Island.
Prosecutors say the money was spent at casinos in Las Vegas, New Orleans and Connecticut. 3/20/07

NCAA to unveil plan on gambling dangers
With one of the year's biggest sports wagering seasons underway, one NCAA department isn't thinking about March Madness. Instead, the staff of agent, gambling and amateurism activities is looking to the April launch of a plan it hopes, in the long run, will cut the number of athletes who gamble. The NCAA partnered with two other organizations in hopes of finding a way to curb the escalating interest of young adults in gambling activities. USA TODAY 3/20/07

March Madness in the Corporate Culture
"It's like the Super Bowl every day for four days," exclaimed one prominent Las Vegas bookmaker, as he described the sheer insanity that takes over every spring during the long awaited NCAA tournament. Professional betting analysts estimate that about $2 billion will change hands during the tournament. This week, offices around the country may start to look and act more like recreation rooms than places of business as the corporate culture embraces the basketball frenzy. I hate to point out the obvious and ruin the party, but these NCAA office pools are --- how shall I put this gently --- illegal.,2933,259607,00.html 3/20/07

Miami Couple Plea In $3.3 Billion Online Gambling Operation
FLORIDA---A Miami, Florida, executive and his wife, charged with participating in an unlawful online gambling operation that booked more than $3.3 billion in wagers over a 28-month period, have pleaded guilty to felony charges in the case. "The defendants have admitted to be being major players in an incredibly lucrative. and illegal, global gambling operation that took in untold millions of dollars in unlawfully earned proceeds through casinos, shell corporations and bank accounts in a variety of locations around the globe, including Central America, the Caribbean, Switzerland, Hong Kong and elsewhere", . . . 3/19/07

Marching Badne$$: State promotes gambling, cuts addiction assistance
MA - With money pouring into office pools and betting soaring in the midst of March Madness, Gov. Deval Patrick is poised to slash a $1 million state budget for compulsive gamblers by a third, angering foes of the costly obsession. Money for gambling addiction is drawn from the State Lottery budget, . . . "It's a particularly bad time," said Kathleen M. Scanlan, Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling executive director.“There's increased pressure on the lottery to increase profits. They need to provide some sort of safety net." 3/18/07

Asians find casinos a losing proposition
Lonely and overworked Asian immigrants are throwing away their hard-earned wages on the lottery, scratch tickets and glitzy East Coast casinos that tap into gambling's allure in their culture, according to worried advocates. "Gambling is widely accepted in the Asian culture. We gamble at birthday parties, weddings, funerals," said Chien-Chi Huang, the Asian community program specialist at the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. Chen gambled his way into a $380,000 credit-card debt, lost his restaurant and now faces home foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings. 3/18/07

Ore. study shows teen gambling tied to other risky behaviors
SALEM, Ore. (AP)-- A new study indicates students in the 8th and 11th grades who gamble are more likely to be involved in risky behaviors such as drinking, carrying weapons, sexual activity or fighting.
"The data are startling," said Jeff Marotta, problem gambling services manager in the Oregon Department of Human Services. Eighth-grade gamblers were nearly twice as likely to have had sex as non-gamblers. AP 3/18/07

Are you an unhealthy gambler?
A groundbreaking study, published this fall, found that people who gamble at least five times a year have more health problems than those who roll the dice less frequently.
"If you gamble it increases your risk of having some conditions," says Nancy Petry, a psychologist, professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center and study co-author. "But the important thing is the more you gamble, the worse [it gets]." Even worse, problem and pathological gamblers also had higher incidences of angina and cirrhosis of the liver.
Allison Van Dusen, Forbes 3/17/07

Loans up the ante for gambling addicts
For people with a problem, the lure of quick
OR - The metalworker had gambled away his paychecks in casino blackjack games for two years -- since a divorce that left him depressed and lonely. He'd tapped out friends, children, credit cards.
An hour later, Cavinta was at a payday lending store in Portland. He borrowed $200 at the cost of $40 in interest -- for a two-week loan, that's an annual rate of 521 percent. Then he headed back to the New Phoenix. Counselors say problem gamblers commonly turn to payday lenders, often after they've exhausted other sources of money. Counselors' estimates on the proportion of addicted gamblers who turn to payday loans range from 10 percent to more than half. "Payday lending is a way to hide gambling from family. . . . Several problem gamblers said they were struck by how conveniently close payday lenders were to their favorite video lottery sites. Last April, the Oregon Legislature passed a law that limits payday loan fees to $10 per $100 borrowed for the first loan, and no more than 36 percent on extensions or rollovers. Gambling addicts say payday loans make it easy to sink deeper into debt and to hide their gambling from family. A Lake Oswego woman addicted to video lottery said she once carried 21 payday loans at once. Greg, 42, who lives near Portland, said his wife gambled away more than $300,000 during the past decade. She took out at least 50 payday loans that he did not know about.
The Oregonian 3/17/07

Sheriff's Wife, Deputy To Stand Trial On Gambling Counts
OK - The wife of the Grady County sheriff and a sheriff's lieutenant deputy have been ordered to stand trial on felony charges related to a gambling raid. Prosecutors originally charged Helen McMullen, Cacy and her husband in December with three felony counts related to conducting and participating in a secret gambling operation at the Chickasha Elks Lodge. AP - 3/17/2007

Judy Shepps Battle: Teen gambling: Far from a sure thing
CA - At one point, a 10-speed bike, a Walkman and assorted other big-ticket items disappeared from our house. My son admitted that he had lost those items in a card game but that all was under control. That 10-speed, by the way, reappeared and disappeared several more times before graduation. The reality is that the adolescent brain is very receptive to the adrenaline high that is created by betting, and craving for that high develops rapidly. Researchers find that kids are twice as likely as adults to become addicted to gambling once they begin. Compounding this factor of brain chemistry is the simple fact that gambling is a "silent" addiction. It is hard to see. P asadena Star-News 3/17/07

Kiernan Pleads Guilty in Theft Case
FLORIDA - A former executive with the ThunderBolts, Lakeland's indoor football team, embezzled thousands of dollars from the team to feed a gambling addiction. Tony Dodds, a Lakeland lawyer and the ThunderBolts managing partner, told police that he had found out that the team's bank statement showed thousands of dollars in withdrawals from automatic teller machines at the Seminole (Indian) Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, according to a police report. In all, Kiernan stole $157,888 from the team, money that he used for gambling and personal expenses. 3/17/07

Five Detroit-area men plead guilty to racketeering
MI - DETROIT (AP) — Five defendants have pleaded guilty to racketeering charges resulting from an investigation into illegal sports gambling that federal authorities said netted $5.9 million between 1998 and 2006. The case features relatives of notorious Detroit-area mobsters. AP 3/17/07

Milford prosecutor resigns in theft probe
CT - MILFORD — A Milford prosecutor under investigation for stealing money intended for crime victims resigned, effective Thursday, ending an administrative probe into his alleged misconduct. Hurley also allegedly admitted to embezzling between $18,000 and $21,000 from the Connecticut Association of Prosecutors, the union where he has been treasurer for 16 years. Sources said Thursday that Hurley is being treated for a gambling addiction. 3/16/07

Atlantic City still No. 1 for colorful corruption
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - The message former City Council president Craig Callaway intended to convey with his raised middle finger was probably quite different, but the 40-month prison term he started this week for bribery shows that when it comes to flamboyant political corruption in New Jersey, Atlantic City is No. 1. One third of last year's City Council is either in prison or on its way there. Four of the last eight mayors have been arrested on corruption charges, and three other councilmen were arrested in 1989 in a corruption probe dubbed "Operation Comserv," a reference to bribes paid to public officials that were euphemistically referred to as doing one's "community service." From the mayor who took $10,000 from an undercover agent in return for agreeing to sell a former city landfill to the mob, . . . Ingrid Reed, director of the New Jersey Project at Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Politics, said the decline of Atlantic City before the arrival of casino gambling in 1978 led to a leadership vacuum that continues today. AP 3/16/07

Hospital cashier charged with embezzlement
MT - A hospital cashier is charged with embezzlement for gambling away $1,800 of a $51,000 bank deposit she was supposed to make. 3/15/07

Son took a licking, kept on clicking
PA - The sermon he had prepared for that Sunday was titled "Where Do I Draw the Line?" Hogan has pondered that question in some depth since his son Greg Jr., a former class president at Lehigh University and accomplished classical musician, robbed a bank in December 2005 in order to feed an online poker addiction. He pleaded guilty in Lehigh County Court to one count of felony bank robbery and was sentenced last August to 22 months to 10 years in prison.
As he reaches for an explanation for what happened, it strikes Rev. Hogan as dismally ironic that for a high school graduation gift, he unwittingly purchased his son the very object that would lead to his undoing: a new computer. What Hogan did not know then was just how pervasive gambling has become on college campuses. While once it largely took the form of card games in the back rooms of fraternities, it has expanded exponentially with the proliferation of offshore Internet sites. No one had to produce statistics to convince Arnold Wexler there is an alarming problem among the youth of America. "Greg Hogan Jr. is just a tip of the iceberg," says Wexler, a former compulsive gambler who operates a compulsive gambling hotline (1-888-LASTBET). Wexler says that one-third of the calls he receives for help come from "kids who have gotten involved with online gambling." 3/14/07

Tahoe man sent to prison
NV - A South Lake Tahoe man who sold 86 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover informant was sentenced Monday to six years in Nevada State Prison. He pleaded guilty to trafficking in a controlled substance for the transaction which took place Oct. 11, 2005, in the parking lot at the Horizon Casino Resort. 3/14/07