Latest News
10/11/09 to 10/17/09

'We deserve to win': Indian tribe wants money - but no casino

FL - Tucker is fighting for the federal government to recognize her tribe. For decades, it hasn't. Recognition would make the Muscogee Nation eligible for funding for health benefits, elderly clinics and scholarships. Her last victory was in 2007, when U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez introduced the Muscogee Nation of Florida Federal Recognition Act. Today, years after she claims segregation-era Jim Crow laws erased much of the Creek tribe's existence from historical records, she still has her motivation questioned. At issue is some $1.1 million billed by Washington lobbyists -- categorized by one watchdog organization as casino lobby money, a label both Tucker and lobbyist Mike Pate of the firm Bracewell & Giuliani denied. Federal recognition is required before any casino could be established. On its Web site, watchdog group The Center for Responsive Politics reported the tribe spent $1,102,966 in lobbying since 2005. It categorized all of that as casino money. / Florida Freedom News / By Andrew Gant / October 12, 2009

6 Fla. members of Bonanno crime family admit guilt

FL - One by one, members of a South Florida crew of the New York-based Bonanno crime family stood before a federal judge Wednesday to plead guilty to racketeering charges, including one enforcer who said it was impossible to escape the Mafia life. Prosecutors said the crew was involved in a smorgasbord of crimes, including counterfeit checks, arson, insurance fraud, Medicare fraud, identity theft, illegal high-stakes gambling, selling stolen goods, using threats against business owners to force placement of vending machines, and much more. A portion of their illicit profits went to senior Bonanno crime bosses. / AP / By CURT ANDERSON / Oct. 14, 2009

Adolescents' gambling a part of a cluster of problem behaviors

NY - Ten percent of young adolescent boys -- or one in 10 -- exhibit a symptom of conduct disorder as well as a symptom of risky or problem gambling, according to new research findings from the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA). Interestingly, female adolescents exhibit conduct disorder (four percent) and risky or problem gambling (two percent) to a much lesser degree. Symptoms of conduct disorder are defined as a number of chronic behavior problems in childhood and adolescence. These behaviors include lying, stealing, vandalism, impulsivity, substance abuse, verbal and physical aggression, cruelty to pets or people and repetitive behavior that violates the rights of others or social norms. / October 15, 2009

Alternate amendment would allow 15 casinos across Ohio

OH - Rep. Dennis Murray, a Democrat... Introduced House Joint Resolution 4 to further the debate on expanded gambling in Ohio and to question whether state Issue 3 is the right plan for the state. The latter, to be decided by voters next month, would allow (15) casinos at four specific sites in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. / By Marc Kovac / October 17, 2009

Amendment would expand casino issue

OH - [Rep] Murray's amendment would allow as many as 15 casinos in the state, with locations determined by county populations, according to documents. Locations also would have to pay licensing fees, plus commit to investing $25 million upfront in their casinos, according to documents. / By MARC KOVAC / Oct. 14, 2009

Arkansas Christian college changes mind, says students can't play state's lottery

AR - A Christian college that had exempted Arkansas' lottery from a student gambling ban reversed course on Friday and said students can't buy the tickets after all. Harding University President David Burks said now the school will include the lottery in its rule prohibiting students from gambling on or off campus. Administrators at Harding, a liberal arts Christian school in Searcy affiliated with the Church of Christ, had decided in August to make an exception for the lottery in its gambling prohibition. But Burks said Friday at the school's daily chapel services that he believes making the exception was a mistake. / Associated Press / ANDREW DeMILLO / October 16, 2009

Casino gets council hearing; foes, backers make their case

OH - But opponents countered that the proposed constitutional amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot actually would result in a net loss of jobs, foster addiction to gambling, suck money away from existing businesses, and cheat local governments by levying a tax rate and licensing fee that are both paltry compared to other states. Jerry Chabler, a Lucas County member of the Ohio Racing Commission and an outspoken Issue 3 opponent, said the 33 percent tax rate is one of the lowest rates in the country in states that have casino gaming. Rates vary nationally from 8 percent in Nevada to 74 percent in Rhode Island. "A beeline is made from these casinos to our churches to pick up the broken lives of these people," Mr. [Rev.] Clark said. "They are not economic development. It is a net loser. I hope that we will defeat again this ill-advised attempt to increase the coffers of the gambling interests." / BLADE / By IGNAZIO MESSINA / October 16, 2009

Casino laxity?

CA - Neither state regulators nor California tribes should be satisfied with leaving casinos to police themselves. Whatever the fate of the latest proposal to improve oversight, tribal gambling in California needs strict, clear standards for running casinos. Before 2006, the federal government set and enforced standards for how tribal casinos operate. But a court ruling that year said the responsibility belongs to the state. California gambling compacts, however, relied on federal regulation, and gave the state only limited power to intervene. The result was a gaping hole in casino oversight. Only outside, independent verification that casinos follow proper rules can adequately protect tribes and the public from crooked games, skimmed profits and other corruption. / The Press-Enterprise / October 12, 2009

Casino opponents say 'no' to Pennsylvania table games

PA - Casino-Free Philadelphia told its members in a Web posting today to ask their local legislators to oppose table games for the state's slot parlors. The Legislature is on the verge of legalizing table games... / October 13, 2009

Catholic Church: Vote no on casinos

OH - Thousands of Greater Cincinnati Catholics will get notices in their church bulletins this weekend urging them to vote against casino gambling in Ohio for "moral, social and economic" reasons. But those notices won't mention the reason that could hit churches hardest: If the casino measure passes, some fear it could outlaw gambling at church festivals, Las Vegas nights and other fund raisers. But several others, including Ohio's governor and attorney general, have said a strict reading of the proposed amendment suggests charitable gambling could be at risk. Many say approval of Issue 3 will, at the very least, open the door to a court challenge over whether churches still can legally allow gambling. / By Dan Horn and James Pilcher / October 16, 2009

Colo. casinos collect $600,000 in child-support

CO - More than $600,000 has been garnished from winnings of deadbeat parents who gamble in Colorado during the first year of a controversial law that requires casinos to check whether big winners owe child support. But a year into the law's enforcement, casinos say it has been a headache to enforce. Gamblers, particularly those on a winning streak, aren't expecting a debt collector when they cash in their chips and often become angry. The computer system that tracks the debt is often slow or not working. "There's not much sympathy for those who would gamble rather than support their children," said John Bernhart, director of child support enforcement within human services. / THE DENVER POST / By Allison Sherry / 10/17/2009

Committee to discuss video gambling referendum

IL - The McHenry County Board Liquor and License Committee likely will advance a referendum putting the controversial video gambling issue to voters. Asking whether to allow video gambling in bars and restaurants in unincorporated areas. / By KEVIN P. CRAVER

Conn. budget may take hit from lower slot revenues

CT - Connecticut officials say this year's state budget could end up further in deficit because of declining slot machine revenues at the two casinos in the state. / October 12, 2009

County votes 18-4 to ban video poker

IL - The Lake County Board slammed the door on video poker in unincorporated areas. In an 18-4 vote Tuesday, the board passed an ordinance opting out of Illinois' new gambling initiative, which was intended to help fund the state's capital bill through video gaming machines in taverns and other facilities. Several board members said that they had heard no support for video gaming other than from the tavern owners. Glenn Stewart, pastor of Agape Christian Fellowship and a leader of the Greater Waukegan Ministerial Association, said that allowing video poker in taverns would eventually lead to gaming in other establishments such as fast-food restaurants. / By JIM NEWTON / October 14, 2009

Dayton chamber opposes Issue 3, endorses Issue 2

OH - Chamber officials say they oppose State Issue 3 because they don't believe that specific geographic locations for four new casinos should be inserted into the Ohio Constitution. / Dayton Business Journal / October 14, 2009

EARNINGS PREVIEW: US Casinos Battling Weak Demand, High Debt

US - Faced with the downturn and debt, casino companies are shifting strategies toward slower growth, paying down debt and cutting spending. They are focusing on increasing profit margins through branding, marketing and customer loyalty. Several companies are considering modest investments in states looking to expand gambling, while some Las Vegas-based firms see Asia as their primary vehicle for growth. Wall Street Expectations: Sands, the largest publicly traded casino company by market capitalization, is seen posting a 1-cent loss on revenue of $1.17 billion. A year earlier, its loss was 9 cents - including items such as pre-opening costs - on revenue of $1.11 billion. / Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES / By Kathy Shwiff / OCTOBER 14, 2009

Earll amends gambling measure to help Erie County community college

PA - But the Senate and the House still have to agree on table games legislation, and both chambers are apart on issues such as how much to tax the casinos and what to charge for an application fee. Senate Bill 1033, with Earll's amendment, would charge each of the nine casinos -- including Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Summit Township -- an application fee of $15 million, a state tax of 12 percent and a 2 percent local share. A House version of the bill calls for an application fee of $20 million and a state tax of 34 percent. Casinos object to those higher amounts. / By JOHN GUERRIERO / October 16. 2009

Entertainment Centers Challenge Issue Three

OH - Owners of similar entertainment operations, bars, and restaurants gathered in Cleveland to reiterate the negative aspects of casinos highlighted by the Hiram report - and to question why the state legislature isn't looking at more options for gambling. The group contends that much of the cash collected in casinos is homegrown as well - they point to research indicating 80-90% of the money spent, will come from Ohioans, not from tourists. / Rick Jackson / October 13, 2009

Flagler Dog Track Celebrates Casino Opening

FL - The $40 million Magic City Casino is the first of Miami-Dade's new 'racinos' to open for business; 'racinos' are pari-mutuel facilities that also offer slots. Owner Barbara Havenick said her family had planned to invest 144 million dollars in the project but scaled it back because of the slumping gambling industry. South Florida racinos got more good news. State officials approved video blackjack, keno and roulette for pari-mutuels. / Tiffani Helberg / Oct 15, 2009

Foxwoods Resort Casino Takes Gambling Application To iPhone

CT - Foxwoods Resort Casino is looking to increase their business and they have come up with a creative way for gamblers to see their property. Foxwoods announced their own iPhone application... Any person that owns the iPhone will have access to the Foxwoods app. through the Apple iTunes program. ... / / By April Gardner / October 14, 2009

Gambling foe seeks stop on video machines

IL - [Anita] Bedell discussed the negative results associated with gambling Monday night at an information forum in Orland Park. Video poker proponents maintain the majority of people who gamble are not addicted. But Bedell said the machines are designed to keep people playing. "They want you to stay as long as possible until all of your money is gone. Even though they say the percentage of people who are addicted is low, the cost is very high," she said. / BY BOB RAKOW / October 14, 2009

Gambling: Greed and desperation

AL - The writer gave many scriptures concerning gambling, "There are two primary motives for gambling - greed and desperation. Very few gamble only for entertainment." People, wake up. Hasn't God got our attention yet? Greed is what has gotten us into this economic chaos now. Is anyone out there? Can anyone hear me? William Rodney Rich... / / October 14, 2009

Greektown casino, Detroit settle beef over taxes

MI - Have worked out a settlement that would give the city a $15.3-million payoff and free the casino to seek a 5% tax rollback from state regulators. The casino, under Chapter 11 protection, would reduce its annual city and state taxes by $15 million with the rollback. / FREE PRESS BUSINESS / By GRETA GUEST

Harding Bans Gambling, But Allows Lottery

AR - Harding University is making an exception to one of its many rules regarding how students should behave on and off campus. The university bans gambling, but is allowing students to play the lottery. Crouch says for the first time, Harding is making an exception to the lottery since profits go toward public and private scholarships. / Pam Baccam / October 12, 2009

Heads I Win; Tails You Lose

US - Compulsive or pathologic gambling is the addiction <> marked by a nagging inability to resist the temptation to gamble. Up to 3 percent of the adult population are known to gamble pathologically. Gambling was so popular during the Middle Ages that some militaries barred their soldiers from taking part in games, as the gambling interfered with their appointed duties. One of the most famous addicted gamblers was John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich. In 1762, he sat for more than 24 hours at a gaming table in his home, One of his servants offered the Earl a piece of salted beef. The Earl ordered the servant to place the beef between two slices of bread so that he could eat it in his hand at the table. This is how the sandwich got its name. / October 14, 2009

Higher price for Md. slots?

MD - The slots parlors coming to Maryland are expected to feature electronic gambling terminals that incorporate popular game shows, celebrities and even life-size digitized blackjack and poker dealers. But the strategy could saddle taxpayers with millions of dollars per year in additional costs in the middle of a state budget crisis and faces criticism from gambling foes who say the parlors once described as limited forays into gambling are becoming more like full-blown casinos. Seeking greater regulatory control, lawmakers directed that state lottery officials obtain the slots machines and run the central computer for the five authorized slots sites. The law dictates that any other money for operations would come from the state budget. Analysts estimate that total operating costs when the casinos are fully functional would be $65 million a year, while 2 percent of the proceeds would generate only $27 million. Any request for more money could come at a time when the state needs to make budget cuts to close a nearly $2 billion revenue shortfall next year. Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons, a Montgomery County Democrat and one of the legislature's most vocal critics of gambling, "Ultimately, we're going to end up with full casinos. That is fait accompli at this point." / The Baltimore Sun / By Laura Smitherman and Julie Bykowicz / October 11, 2009

Homeless Living in Tunnels Under Vegas

NV - There are as many as 700 people living in the 350 miles of flood tunnels below Vegas. One couple, referred to simply as Steven and Kathryn, has lived under Caesar's Palace for two years. The two find money by searching casinos for money or credits left behind by gamblers. Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas... Many people seek shelter in the tunnels because of unemployment, drug addiction and mental illness. / By LILY FU / 12 Oct 2009

Ill. allows online horse racing bets, expects $2M

IL - The Illinois Racing Board on Tuesday issued the state's first licenses to companies to take horse racing bets online, a move officials say could bring in more than $1.7 million in additional tax revenue for the state. The board voted unanimously to license three California companies to take electronic bets from Illinois residents through computers, phones, interactive televisions and other mobile devices. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation allowing online horse betting in August. / Associated Press / By CARYN ROUSSEAU / 10.13.09

Illinois Contemplates Online Gambling Within Own Borders

IL - Online gambling operators are, as of now, confined to off shores locations such as Malta, Costa Rica, and Curacao. A lawsuit brought on by IMEGA had watched as judges maintained the UIGEA, but transferred power to the states to determine whether or not Internet Gambling would be permissible. Illinois is now trying to jump on the online gambling wagon. The online gambling will allow players to place wagers on the horse races from their homes, / by Glen / October 13th, 2009

Illinois Receives Go Ahead For Online Gambling

IL - The inclusion of an online gambling program, even as limited as horse racing, may send a message to Capitol Hill. Now that a state has made an effort to make online gambling completely legal in one form, others may follow in suit. Illinois new take on Internet gambling may cause a domino effect, leading to more relaxed legislation, / by Glen / October 17th, 2009

Illinois to License Online Gambling Operators Tuesday

IL - Licenses to conduct regulated online gambling will likely be issued tomorrow by the state of Illinois. Just as offshore online casinos consider bets to be placed at the location of their servers, so too will Illinois apparently worry about regulating its own territory, leaving other states unsure as to whether Illinois gaming will drain untaxed revenues. / by JoshuaMcCarthy / October 12, 2009

In gambling, remember that the house never loses

OH - How can gambling produce wealth? Gambling simply takes money, by trickery, from some people and gives it to others. Gambling produces no wealth. History of these enterprises has shown that those losing the money are usually those who can least afford to lose it. This brochure states, "Issue 3 will bring over $586 million." That sounds nice, but, remember, "The house never loses." / John Hapner / October 9, 2009

Indian gambling gets a regulatory break

OK - The National Indian Gaming Commission announced a yearlong delay Wednesday for controversial regulations... ''With a leadership change at NIGC currently under way, and the fact that several constituent groups across the nation have asked for more consideration of the impacts these regulations would have, now is not the time to be instituting sweeping changes to Class II gaming." Scheduled to go into effect next week, the new regulations dealt with the Minimum Internal Control Standards for Class II games. / By Jim Myers

Issue 3 banking on Cincinnati elderly

OH - Casinos are very defensive <> about taking advantage of a vulnerable population and have commissioned studies <> to conclude that the elderly are no worse off for gambling. Studies show that casinos take in more from seniors than any other age group. 1) Many seniors and elderly take heavy medication <;verify=0> which could impair judgment concerning lifestyle choices including gambling. 3) Elderly on fixed incomes are less likely to recover from financial losses brought on by compulsive gambling. / Cincinnati Elder Care Examiner / Ron Liggett / October 14

Judge approves plan to auction Pimlico, Laurel Park tracks

MD - A federal bankruptcy judge approved Wednesday a plan to auction Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park early next year over the objections of the former owners, who opposed the speed of the sale process. Magna Entertainment Corp, the bankrupt owner of the Maryland tracks, said the auction needs to proceed as soon as possible to account for a Maryland law that gives the government 60 days to review a deal and a right to match any bid. / / By Hanah Cho and Robert Little / October 14, 2009

LETTER: Gambling no quick fix for Ohio

OH - When you bring gambling into our cities you bring all forms of vice with it. We will have to pay more for police protection and we can't afford it. Look at Detroit and see why this city hasn't profited from its casinos. In other words, work to build a better society rather than promoting activities that can destroy families. / Millie Bengele / October 16, 2009

Lake County Becomes Latest To Ban Video Gambling In Illinois

IL - On Tuesday, a major hurdle was cleared for online gambling in Illinois, and at the same time, video gambling was being banned in another county. Lake County became the latest is a string of areas that have now banned the video gambling machines. "I don't think it is responsible government," said Board Member Linda Pedersen, who voted for the video gambling ban, "We know how not to spend money we don't have." / / By Terry Goodwin / October 13, 2009

Latest Panacea for Fairmount Park: Internet Gambling

IL - After trying for years to get slot machines at tracks, the Illinois horse-racing community is hoping the next-best thing will help the troubled industry. Yesterday the Illinois Racing Board legalized online gambling for horse racing. / By Chad Garrison / Oct. 14 2009

Legalized casino gambling and the impact on the elderly of Cincinnati

OH - / Cincinnati Elder Care Examiner / A large percentage of elderly are likely to become addicted <> to gambling. Casinos know this. Marketing gambling casinos in nursing homes and retirement communities yields huge returns. ^Casinos are estimated <> to take as much as 65% of their revenue from those aged 65 and older.^ Studies indicate elderly begin to lose inhibitors <> as they continue to age, and they are more likely <> to become problem gamblers than any other age group. ^Senior discounts, bargain (or free) buffets, and even drug discounts are enticement offered to the elderly.^ Revenues <> casino gambling will generate for Cincinnati and Ohio are considerable and could help balance city and state budgets. In Cincinnati, casino gambling could help revive a slumping downtown. If percentages hold up, this will be done largely at the expense of elderly on fixed incomes living in and around Cincinnati. / October 12,

County citizens to vote on smoking ban

MO - Bill Hannegan, founder of Keep St. Louis Free, an organization to protect St. Louis citizens' rights, especially with smoking bans, has concerns with the ban invading property rights. "(My biggest concern) with the ban is our freedom of property rights being stripped," Hannegan said. "Businesses have a right to allow a legal product to be used on their property as long as they can deal with present health effects and secondhand smoke." "A smoking ban is a type of eminent domain," he said. "People are looking at bars and saying it would be better if there was no smoking. It's not their business. They don't own it. Why should they be telling a bar owner how he should run his business?" The exemptions within the bill include smoking allowed in establishments with three-fourths sale of alcohol, as well as smoking in casino gaming floors only. / By: Amanda Keefe / 10/15/09

Missouri casinos see a rise in revenue from a year ago

MO - So it is with the Missouri casino business, whose September revenues were up 6.8 percent from a year ago, when the financial meltdown affected most of the economy -- including gambling. Casinos across Missouri were given a boost last November when voters lifted the state's loss limit, which restricted gamblers to losing $500 in a two-hour gambling period. / The Kansas City Star / By GREG HACK / Oct. 12, 2009

Pinnacle sends NJ casino official to St. Louis

MO - Need more proof that it's going to be a long time before Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. builds its planned beach-themed casino in Atlantic City? The company is transferring the head of the mothballed project to St. Louis to help run its casino there. The Las-Vegas based company says the seaside casino remains on indefinite hold. / Associated Press / By WAYNE PARRY / 10.15.09

Push to derail smoking ban begins

MO - A coalition of merchants and organizations in St. Louis County announced its opposition today to Proposition N, which would ban smoking in most public places throughout the county. More than a half dozen representatives and owners of bars, restaurants, tobacco shops, bowling alleys and others said they had formed a campaign committee and planned to spend money to fight the proposed ban on the Nov. 3 ballot. The ban would prohibit smoking in indoor public areas countywide except on casino floors, in smoking lounges at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and in bars that have incomes from food at 25 percent or less of gross income. Rev. Harold Hendrick of the Bott Radio Network denounced what he said was an "unfair and discriminatory exemption" to the ban to benefit casino gambling floors. He said St. Louis County government was "coddling casinos." / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / By Margaret Gillerman / 10/14/2009

Revenues up at terrible's

MO - Terrible's St. Jo Frontier Casino took in nearly $3.1 million in September, up 5 percent from a year ago, as its revenues rebounded from a rare drop in August. Terrible's attributes its steady roll to three factors: riverboat casinos being a good source of affordable hometown enjoyment, more people taking 'stay-cations' rather than traveling out-of-town, and the repeal of a $500 loss limit in November. / by Ahmad Safi / October 13, 2009

Smoking Ban Opponents Organize; Remind Public to Vote No on Prop. N

MO - A somewhat unlikely group of bar owners, bowling advocates, tobacco salesman and -- yes -- a Christian radio host, gathered today in University City to announce their opposition to a smoking ban proposal for St. Louis County. The Rev. Harold Hendrick, director of public affairs for Christian broadcaster Bott Radio Network <> , said he opposes the ban because of its exemption of casinos. "Here again we have the county caving in to casinos, just so it can go to them hat in hand and make sure it's getting its cut." / By Chad Garrison / Oct. 14 2009

Smoking ban would hurt bowling alleys, group says

MO - Carolyn Haupt, who owns Hazelwood Bowl, said her business had been off since the Ford plant in Hazelwood closed in March 2006. "If the St. Louis County smoking ban passes, that will be the nail in our coffin," Haupt said. The ban would prohibit smoking in indoor public areas countywide except on casino floors, in smoking lounges at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and in bars whose income from food is 25 percent or less of gross income. / BY MARGARET GILLERMAN / 10/15/2009

Indian Gaming Act restricts solutions

NJ - The Mashantuckets reportedly have debt obligations of more than $2 billion. The Mohegans have to repay $150 million in $30 million increments, beginning next year, the result of an agreement with the bank to retire a $330 million note. Neither tribe can seek any of the options available to previous owners of Resorts. They cannot look for a buyer to take the load off their shoulders. Or sell off a gaming hall to reduce debt. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act says only a tribe can own a casino, said Shawn P. Pensoneau, a spokesman for the National Indian Gaming Commission. If property is on the reservation, the land is owned and held in trust by the federal government. If a tribe went into default, creditors could hire someone to run the casino, but the management team would have to be licensed by the National Indian Gaming Commission, Chupaska said. / For The Norwich Bulletin / By WILLIAM SOKOLIC / Oct 11, 2009

Miami-Dade commissioners horse around with master development plan for sake of slots

FL - Miami-Dade commissioners have agreed to horse around with the state. It may seem nonsensical to change the county's master development plan to allow for an imaginary quarter-horse racetrack at Miami International Airport, but in the end decided it's not worth climbing on their high horse when millions in potential added income is on the line. The county is considering installing slots at the airport as one way to combat ascending debt service and operating costs. A quarter-horse racing permit from the state is the first step toward a slots license. Further zoning action would be required before bringing in horses, Assistant County Attorney Joni Armstrong Coffey said. The City of Miami may have a say there. But in the end, "the Board [of County Commissioners] sets the policy for the airportOe The board controls the policy as to whether horses actually race." An appeased Mr. Martinez let out a whinny. And opponent Ms. Sorenson later joined in on the horseplay, casting the only "neigh" vote. / By Risa Polansky / October 15, 2009

Michigan Horse Racing Casino Issue Heating Up

MI - While Ohio voters will decide the fate of casino gambling this November, Michigan residents may get their say on casinos at state horse tracks next year. That is because a group is starting to collect signatures in favor of casinos at the Michigan tracks. The entire proposal involves eight casino licenses. Five of those licenses would go to Michigan horse racing tracks. / / By Tom Jones / October 14, 2009

Michigan news: Petition drives on horse racing, mining given OK

MI - Petition drives to allow gambling at horse-racing tracks and restrict mining won approval from a state elections panel... The gaming proposal calls for a constitutional amendment to authorize gambling at up to eight tracks. / by Dawson Bell and Lori Higgins / Oct. 15, 2009

Mohegans review debt situation as profits slide

CT/PA - Reporting steep declines in revenues and profits, Mohegan Sun's operator announced Wednesday it intends to restructure nearly $200 million worth of debt. In separate statements, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority released its preliminary operating results for the three months and the fiscal year, both ending Sept. 30, and disclosed its plan to privately offer notes due in 2017 to repay $147 million in term loans and $48 million in revolving loans. It will permanently reduce its line of credit with a banking syndicate by $25 million. Distributions to the Mohegan Tribe totaled $72 million during the fiscal year, / By Brian Hallenbeck / 10/15/2009

NC judges weigh gambling rights

NC - State lawmakers who banned video poker in North Carolina had an idea that the Eastern Band of Cherokee might prove to be the sticking point in their efforts. To protect the tribe from losing its gambling rights, they not only exempted the Cherokee but also added a kind of self-destruct mechanism to their 2006 law that would cancel the whole law if a court ever ruled the ban must apply to the tribe. That law says states and tribes can strike deals allowing gambling on tribal land, but only "in a state that permits such gaming for any purpose by any person, organization or entity." A Guilford County judge has said the ban does not apply to a new breed of Internet-based machines that look similar to video poker. The judge blocked law enforcement from seizing those machines. / By Jordan Schrader / October 14, 2009

Nevada Casino Puppet Harry Reid Behind in Re-Election Bid

NV - Harry Reid, US Senate Majority Leader from Nevada, is facing an uphill battle for re-election after playing to big casino special interests. But Reid protected the Las Vegas Strip casinos that funded his campaigns by pushing Wyden to quickly withdraw the suggestion (revenues from online gambling taxes could be earmarked for health subsidies.), / by K.C.Carmichael / October 12, 2009

Ohio's casino issue debated

OH - Proponents of expanded gambling in Ohio hammered home arguments yesterday that casinos would create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue at a time the state's economy desperately needs relief. Opponents, however, said a measure on the Nov. 3 ballot would impoverish people who become addicted to gambling, drain profits from existing businesses and shortchange local governments by levying a too-low tax rate. The "no" side, represented by the Rev. John Edgar of the United Methodist Church and Franklin County Commissioner John O'Grady, said casinos breed crime, divert money from established businesses and prey on vulnerable people. They said claims of new jobs shouldn't be trusted unless casino proponents also reveal how many jobs would be lost as gamblers have less money to spend outside casinos. / By James Nash / October 15, 2009

Online Gambling Coming To Illinois This Week

IL - This week, another state is moving towards legalized online gambling. The Illinois Racing Board will meet today to determine of three companies will receive licenses to offer online gambling. If the companies are approved, gamblers could be placing bets online as early as Wednesday... In Illinois, once the companies are approved, they will be allowed to begin advertising their online gambling sites. / / By Terry Goodwin / October 13, 2009

Online gamblers are more likely to have a gambling addiction

US - Online gambling has seemed to have caused more problems with gamblers by enabling players to have easier access to betting games as studies have shown that the majority of internet gamblers were found to have serious gambling problems. It is known that the availability of online gambling can attract those looking to hide their addiction and looking to gamble whilst isolated and anonymous. The accessibility of the internet makes it extremely simple for anyone to start gambling as and when they would like to. / 2009-10-15

Online horse gambling off and running in Illinois

IL - Gamblers can now play the ponies without leaving the comfort of home after the Illinois Racing Board gave permission Tuesday to three companies to host online horse betting. At least one company launched its online betting program within hours of the board's approval, a quick turnaround that was expected because all three sites already are set up to handle online betting in other states. / Chicago Tribune / By Monique Garcia / October 14, 2009

Oregon's big drop in gambling revenue

OR - Oregon's gambling revenues dropped 15.2 percent, just beating out second-place Illinois, which had a 14.6 percent drop, according to the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. Surprising to me, we even had a bigger drop than in Nevada, despite all stories I've read about Vegas and Reno taking big hits in tourism. In fact, the Rockefeller Institute said state gambling revenues are down for the first time since data was available in the late 1970s. / The Oregonian / By Jeff Mapes / October 15, 2009

Organized Labor Joins Casinos to Tell State Legislature: Lower Table Game Fees Mean More Jobs in Pen

PA - Three of Pennsylvania's top labor leaders joined 5 of Pennsylvania's largest casinos in calling for the state legislature to hold the line on table games to a $10 million license fee and 12% tax rate. Their call comes in the wake of the casinos warning that any move higher on table game fees would threaten their decision to apply for table games licenses. / by marin2008 / 11 October 2009

Powerball lottery in N.J. is a winner for many

NJ - While the Powerball option may be a win-win for retailers, customers and the state, it remains to be seen if it will lead to an uptick in gambling-related problems, said Donald Weinbaum, the executive director of the state Council on Compulsive Gambling, which oversees the state's 800-GAMBLER counseling line. "Lottery gambling makes up 14 percent of calls to our gambling help line," Weinbaum said. / The Star-Ledger / By Rohan Mascarenhas / October 16, 2009

Pro and con arguments about casinos neglect to mention addiction

OH - Jenny Campbell-Roux, Ohio Council on Problem Gambling executive director, said her organization is not taking a position on Issue 3. ''We already have problem gambling in this state without this,'' Campbell-Roux said. ''Gamblers are more likely to commit, not just try, suicide. A gambler only stops when he or she runs out of money. They run up credit-card debt, take out second mortgages on their homes, often without telling their families, they write bad checks, and they end up bankrupt,'' Campbell-Roux said. ''It's devastating to the family. It's totally devastating to the family.'' And in a survey of 400 Gamblers Anonymous members, two of every three contemplated killing themselves, 47 percent had worked out a plan for suicide and three out of every four stated they wanted to die. / Beacon Journal / By Dennis J. Willard / Oct 17, 2009

Proposal would allow casinos at Mich. horse tracks

MI - Michigan horse racetrack owners want to ask voters to allow them to open casinos. A group called Racing to Save Michigan... / Associated Press / 10.14.09

Report: College students' gambling draws little deterrence from campus officials

CO - Colorado eased gambling regulations to allow casinos to stay open 24 hours, raise the bet limit and add craps and roulette table games. Casino operators have said the changes are helping them attract a younger crowd. "I would be very surprised if there wasn't an increase in the number of people with problems," said J. Mi chael Faragher, director of the Problem Gambling Treatment and Research Center at DU. Researchers say that about 2 percent of the adult population develops gambling disorders. 6 percent for college students, "One third of all the calls I get come from young people between the ages of 12 and 25 -- from them or their parents," said compulsive gambling counselor Arnie Wexler... 888-LAST-BET. The gambling task force encourages colleges to establish policies that educate students on the legalities of various forms of gambling, such as Internet, casino and sports betting. The task force also suggests colleges dissuade student groups from hosting "casino nights" / The Denver Post / By Andy Vuong / 10/15/2009

Rivers Casino Makes Gambling Contribution To Penguins Arena

PA - The casino is funding the new arena for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins. In states such as Florida, taxpayers are fronting the Bill for a new Marlins stadium, and in other states different arenas are being built at the expense of the taxpayers as well. In Pittsburgh, however, The Rivers Casino is contributing to the new Penguins arena. / / By Tom Jones / October 11, 2009

S. Florida pari-mutuels to get virtual blackjack

FL - State officials have approved virtual blackjack games for South Florida's pari-mutuels. A "random number generator. Makes them, technically, slot machines, / The Associated Press / 10.13.09

Sides make their pitches at gaming forum

MA - Democratic state Senator Patricia Jehlen - who represents Somerville - invited lawmakers on both sides of the expanded gambling question to make their case at a forum... "This is not your father's slot machine," Tucker [Senator Susan Tucker (D-Lawrence)] said, claiming that the pineapple and dollar-sign devices now have technology that turns casual players into addicts. Add the losses that would hit the state lottery and the costs of regulating casinos and slot parlors, she said, and the revenue estimates fly out the window. "This scheme is the biggest transfer of wealth from working families into the hands of immensely wealthy out-of-state investors," she said. / Associated Press / By Travis Andersen / October 16, 2009

South Florida racinos get green light for video blackjack

FL - South Florida parimutuels received state approval for virtual blackjack, an electronic version of the popular card game in which players place bets around a video terminal. Other parimutuels, desperate to derail the Seminole Tribe of Florida's attempt to monopolize table games, also said they would add the blackjack terminals as soon as they could. `random number generator.'' That makes them, technically, slot machines, The state and the Seminoles have been negotiating a compact that could make the tribe the exclusive venue for blackjack and other live table games. The state's horse tracks, dog tracks and jai-alai frontons complained, saying Indian casinos have enough advantages, and that adding blackjack would bury them. The parimutuels have had disappointing gambling revenues since opening almost three years ago. Card counters looking for an edge will be short-circuited because the machine doesn't disclose when new decks are introduced. / Sun Sentinel / BY NICK SORTAL / 10.12.09

Steady gambling funds? Don't bet on it

IN - Oct. 13, 1989... Since that time, we have embraced the gambling culture. Indiana today has it all: pari-mutuel racing, casinos, racinos, off-track betting, pull-tabs and charity bingo. When it comes to casino-related income, we rank second behind only Nevada. Yet there are signs the gravy train is ending. Lottery profits... Dropped 17.5 percent... Profits mostly fell at the 11 riverboat casinos and a few are in danger of defaulting on debt. Revenue from casinos to state and local governments fell 2.2 percent in 2008, / INDIANA POLICY REVIEW / ANDREA NEAL / October 14, 2009

Table games in Pa. are all but assured

PA - But everyone in the middle of the 101-day budget marathon considers this final item a fait accompli... In fact, the people with the most to gain are so confident of its passage that they have already cleared thousands of square feet of space on the floors of their casinos. Thanks to the budget crisis, legalized gambling in Pennsylvania is about to expand dramatically. "Rushed through on Day 100-plus, largely at the behest of the casino industry" - that is how Helen Gym of Asian Americans United describes the legislation. Gym, who has led protests against the two planned Philadelphia casinos, said last week that, "because it was done in such a rush, there are a number of terrible ideas in the law." / Inquirer / By Suzette Parmley / Oct. 11, 2009

Teens raise the stakes - program on gambling addiction slotted for Chicago schools

IL - Despondent, anxious, moody. The cause may be a gambling addiction. They make a bet on the basketball court, throw dice in the schoolyard or, with more serious consequences, they go online. Anywhere from 2 to 7 percent of adolescents have a gambling problem, compared to about 1 percent of adults, 500,000 teens nationwide are caught in a gambling web. Parents often view a gathering of teenagers to play poker as a good alternative to partying and drinking, a seemingly innocent activity. But it comes with risks, They can end up owing a lot of money even in the basement of your house," "Gambling is associated with all other risk-taking behavior that children might take part in such as risky sex and drinking for instance. / by Natalie Bailey / Oct 15, 2009

To the feds, a picture's worth 1,000 denials

PA - D'Elia, a reputed mobster, was willing to talk about their relationship as Pennsylvania gaming regulators considered whether DeNaples, a wealthy Scranton-area businessman, deserved a slots casino license. The state awarded the license in 2006 without talking to D'Elia. Now, the story of ''Big Billy'' D'Elia, the reputed head of the Bufalino crime family, and Louis DeNaples is the focus of federal court papers unsealed Wednesday that reveal D'Elia gave Dauphin County prosecutors photos and other evidence attesting to their relationship. After hearing from D'Elia, the board approved the transfer. It also restored a personal gaming license for DeNaples, who remains guarantor of roughly $250 million in loans owed by Mount Airy. For D'Elia's cooperation, federal prosecutors are seeking a 21-month reduction in his nine-year prison sentence for conspiracy to commit money laundering and witness tampering. State law requires that to get a casino license, applicants must prove they have ''good character, honesty, integrity and responsibility.'' Prosecutors said DeNaples told the gaming board during interviews in 2006 he didn't really know D'Elia, and the board, despite pleas by its own investigators, never talked to D'Elia. / OF THE MORNING CALL / By Matt Birkbeck and Matt Assad / October 16, 2009

Wanted: Students in the art of table games

PA - Northampton Community College officials are racing to start training the more than 1,000 dealers, floor workers and pit managers needed locally if state lawmakers legalize poker, blackjack, roulette and craps as expected. State lawmakers could vote this week on a compromise between competing House and Senate bills. The House bill legalizing table games would charge casinos a 34 percent tax and a $20 million licensing fee. / OF THE MORNING CALL / By Matt Assad / October 14, 2009

Without shuffle, no deal

FL - He [horseman, McKathan] expects the stalemate among the Florida House of Representatives, the Senate and the Seminole Tribe over how to overhaul Florida gambling laws will only linger, as legislators say they are in no hurry to get back to negotiating. Many horsemen fear that the loser, in the short run anyway, will be Florida's struggling horse industry - which many horsemen hoped would get a boost from a new deal with the Seminoles. Under the Crist deal: The Seminole Tribe would be allowed to offer blackjack at all seven of its casinos. Such games would not be allowed at non-Indian gambling facilities such as jai alai frontons and dog and thoroughbred race tracks. The tribe would get exclusive rights to slot machines outside Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Gulfstream and Calder race course would be allowed to keep their slot machine privileges, but not expand them. / By Fred Hiers / October 15, 2009