Latest News
10/18/09 to 10/24/09

AC Councilman Wants To Play Copy Cat With Casino Smoking Ban

NJ - So this is what the smoking issue has come down to in Atlantic City. The gaming industry is so strong in the city, that Councilman Mason openly admits that he has no real stance on the dangers of second-hand smoke. The only issue Mason is concerned with is a financial one. Last year, the Council voted 5-4 to delay implementation of a smoking ban in casinos and used the economy as their crutch for giving in to the gaming industry. / / By April Gardner / October 19, 2009

ATM failure hit Meadows Casino over weekend

PA - A Las Vegas company, called Global Cash Access, has confirmed the problem with its machines involved a computer outage within the Visa credit card network. / The Associated Press / October 20, 2009

Barney Frank Launches Preemptive Strike on UIGEA Rules

DC - As the day to implement the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) Representative Barney Frank has shifted his attention back towards the highly controversial debate. Frank, along with 18 other representatives, sent a formal request to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The PPA's letter was sent to urge Geithner to use the Administrative Procedure Act to delay the implementation of the UIGEA rules by one year to December 1st, 2010. / October 20, 2009

Barney Frank, 18 Others Issue Letter to Geithner, Bernanke about UIGEA Rules

- The fight to delay the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA <> ) rules continues. Recently, 19 Congressmen, including Barney Frank (D-MA), issued a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The news comes on the heels of a letter sent by the Poker Players Alliance <> (PPA) in conjunction with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Greyhound Track Operators Association to the same two government individuals. The letter is signed by 19 Congressmen, all of whom are members of the Financial Services Committee: Frank also introduced HR 2267 in May, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act. The bill establishes a complete licensing and regulatory framework for the internet gambling industry in the United States. / POKER NEWS DAILY / By Dan Cypra / October 19, 2009

Casinos in Ohio? Promise of jobs may tempt voters

OH - Everything about the campaign - the state's fifth major gambling referendum in the last two decades - centers on the jobs issue. The pro-casino forces - Penn National Gaming Inc. and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert - have even named themselves the Ohio Jobs & Growth Committee. TruthPac says casino proponents ignore social costs such as addiction, divorce and bankruptcy, and the impact of casinos' low food and beverage prices on adjacent bars and restaurants. The average casino wage, according to the study, would be $26,300 a year, about $13,700 lower than the most recently calculated state median. Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, an ordained Methodist minister, opposes the casino issue, but reversed his position on a separate gambling issue earlier this year. He fought successfully to include slots-like video lottery machines at horse tracks - and more than $900 million in associated revenue - in the state budget. / AP / By JULIE CARR SMYTH / Oct. 18, 2009

Cretul asks federal commission to stop Seminoles' illegal games

FL - The speaker of the Florida House of Representatives has called on the National Indian Gaming Commission to force the Seminole Indian Tribe to stop operating illegal games at its seven casinos in Florida. In August, Crist announced a new compact with the tribe, claiming the agreement would result in $6.8 billion for the state over the 20 years of the compact. Crist negotiated an agreement with the Seminoles in 2007 allowing Las Vegas-style slot machines and certain games - like blackjack and baccarat - that are currently illegal. The Florida Supreme Court - in response to a suit filed by then House Speaker Marco Rubio - invalidated the compact in 2008, finding the governor lacked the authority to enter into the agreement. "Until the banked card games (and slot machines) are shut down and the Tribe gives some indication that it is willing to abide by the law, and ultimately its agreements, it would appear that the State would be ill-advised to enter into any compact with the Tribe," wrote Cretul. / By JAMES A. SMITH SR. / October 21, 2009

Cretul to feds: clamp down on tribal gambling

FL - House Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, told a top federal gambling regulator today that talks with the Seminole tribe "have reached an impasse that can be remedied only with your intervention," urging federal authorities to shut down what he described as the tribe's illegal gambling operation in South Florida and elsewhere. Cretul said the tribe has been operating blackjack tables illegally in Florida. "Until the banked card games (and slot machines) are shut down and the tribe gives some indication that it is willing to abide by the law, and ultimately its agreements, it would appear the state would be ill-advised to enter into any compact with the tribe." / by Josh Hafenbrack / October 21, 2009

Electonic Checks Still Missing From Major Online Casinos

- Three of the largest and most reputable online casinos once offered electronic checks as a deposit method, but one day players woke up and noticed that electronic funds transfers had vanished entirely. Why these casinos have ceased accepting e-checks as a deposit method is to be debated, but many players suspect that the UIGEA or increasing costs have made e-checks vanish. / Casino News / by Glen / October 20th, 2009

Fox Poll Shows US Majority for Allowing Gambling

- In response to the question of favoring or opposing casino gambling in the state of residence, 52 percent said they favored gaming, with only 37 percent opposed. A USA Today poll last spring showed over 90 percent of respondents thought online gambling should be allowed. / by Virginia Maddox / October 19, 2009

Group submits plan for southeast Kansas casino

KS - A group that includes a former longtime Wichita mayor submitted a proposal Monday for a southeast Kansas casino, surprising state officials who had anticipated waiting until spring for a plan to emerge. Ozark Trail Gaming LLC was the only prospective developer to file an application by Monday's deadline for a contract with the Kansas Lottery. / The Associated Press / By JOHN HANNA / Oct. 20, 2009

Helping stop the heartbreak of student gambling

- The national Task Force on College Gambling Policies, with the help of a George Fox University professor, recently developed a series of science-based recommendations for higher education institutions to address gambling problems. The task force report states: "Today's college students seem increasingly vulnerable to risky behaviors and addictive disorders." Unsafe sex, binge drinking and illicit drug use are found in higher rates among college students than the general adult public, and excessive gambling and gambling disorders have recently been added to that list of dangerous practices. / The Newberg Graphic / By: Amanda Newman / 10/20/2009

Ind. faces casino hit from Ohio, Ky. competition

IN - Indiana could lose up to $250 million in casino tax revenue if proposed casinos are approved in Kentucky and Ohio and planned expansions are made in Michigan, a fiscal analyst told lawmakers. "Gamblers will seek out casinos most accessible to them," Jim Landers, an analyst with the Legislative Services Agency, told the legislative Gaming Study Committee on Monday. "We're likely to lose significant traffic." Ohio voters will decide in November whether to authorize casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland fought successfully to include video lottery machines at horse tracks, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear wants to legalize either slot machines or casino-style gambling at racetracks throughout his state. Michigan has more than 20 tribal casinos and proposals for more. / Associated Press / By MIKE SMITH / 10.20.09

Indiana Begins Preparations For Casino Gambling Revenue Loss

IN - Indiana casinos may soon have to deal with the same problem that has been plaguing Atlantic City casinos over the past couple of years. Increased competition is bad for business, and Indiana may soon receive some unwanted competition from Kentucky. In Atlantic City, casinos have experienced double digit declines in revenue for many months. Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut have all expanded their casino options. The $250 million annual tax loss includes the idea that Issue 3 will pass in Ohio. / / By Terry Goodwin / October 20, 2009

La. casino revenue down 1.3 percent over past year

LA - Louisiana's state-licensed casinos came out of the year after the September 2008 financial meltdown not much worse for the wear - at least as far as taking in money from gamblers - and much better off than casinos in many other states. Ruggiero [a casino industry analyst for CRT Capital Group] said the state was still enjoying the benefit of post-hurricane relief payments "and some of that money is finding its way into the casinos." / AP / By ALAN SAYRE / 10.20.09

Local casinos play waiting game

FL - Horse tracks and dog tracks are waiting for the state to lower a 50 percent tax rate on slots, while worrying about increased competition and a down economy. Casinos operated by the Seminole Tribe <> *of Florida are hoping for an agreement on blackjack and other table games... Adkins suggested that a lower tax would give casinos money to attract tourists. The state will lower the slot tax to 35 percent if the compact is approved. But analyst John Maxwell of Jefferies & Co. said: "It's going to be difficult to go beyond being a local casino. You don't have much capital to put in." "The days people drive two or three hours to go to a casino are slowly diminishing," he said. "Internet gambling also is coming, and it's coming incredibly rapidly." / South Florida Sun-Sentinel / By Nick Sortal / October 21, 2009

Mass. plans public hearing on casino, gaming bills

MA - Bills... Would allow slot machines at racetracks, create a network of video lottery terminals and increase the purse accounts on horse and dog races. / AP / October 22, 2009

Miami International Airport gambling venture facing opposition from others in industry

FL - Going after slot machines at Miami International Airport is a gamble, with some gaming industry players hoping to keep newcomers out. A county attorney, however, says he is less concerned about the fact that the county's two primary state lobbyists represent clients in the gaming arena. Miami-Dade Aviation is applying for a quarter-horse racing permit, prelude to a slots license. And lobbyists Gary Rutledge and Ron Book represent industry players... The county, he said, has six contracted lobbying firms. It would be a conflict for any of them to go to the state to oppose the county's racing application, but he said "they've assured us they have not done that and will not do that." / By Risa Polansky / October 22, 2009

More states betting on gambling

- State legislators and governors, facing the daunting reality of fixing multibillion-dollar budget shortfalls, view legalized gaming revenues as a means to shore up their deteriorating tax bases. State proposals include expanding or building regional casinos, adding slot machines to racetracks and other locations, and adding table games to markets once limited by law to offer only slot machines. The gaming initiatives range from ballot referendums to governor-enacted legislation. The recession of the 1990s gave birth to the nation's riverboat gaming industry, which expanded at supersonic rates in the Midwest and South when states saw gaming taxes as a fix for budget concerns. Ohio, where voters have failed to pass four different gaming referendums in the past 10 years, has two gaming initiatives. Pennsylvania lawmakers may allow casinos to add table games. Massachusetts... May push to legalize two regional casinos and allow racetracks to add slot machines... Some gaming companies employ lobbyists to help push matters through statehouses or advise the pro-gaming referendum campaigns. / by Howard Stutz / 19 October 2009

Next Step For Colorado Casino Gambling? Twenty-Four Hour Alcohol

CO - Colorado casinos received a big boost this past year when they were allowed to move to twenty-four hour gambling. At the time, however, they did not realize that there was such a big connection between alcohol consumption and gambling in the late night hours. Now that the casinos have seen that revenue is declining after liquor sales stop, they are moving to change the liquor laws to allow alcohol sales around the clock. / / By Tom Jones / October 20, 2009

Proposed casino could hire 500

KS - Knight on Monday declined to say if the casino is planned at the same location where Penn National Gaming had planned to build a casino before withdrawing on Sept. 11, 2008. The property is tied up in a lawsuit between Penn National and developers Gary Hall and Steve Vogel. In withdrawing their proposal, Penn National officials said they couldn't compete with the nearby tribal casino. Cherokee County sued Penn National for alleged breach of contract, seeking $53 million in damages. / By Roger McKinney / October 21, 2009

Protectionism in Gambling Isn't Just a U.S. Issue

- Europe has indeed got issues with protectionism. It is even more complex than the situation in the United States, where the focus is on the UIGEA. In the European Union individual member states are pursuing different policies when it comes to gambling, some are liberal whereas some are not, The main argument here is that most countries in Europe offer online gambling services, but in many cases only though a state-run monopoly. What we, right2bet, argue is that this is against European Union law. The countries that right2bet is focusing on at present are Germany, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands and France. France recently passed legislation to tax online gambling for French citizens at 8.5% and also set limits on the amounts that gambling sites can pay back to winners. This was devised after France's failed attempt to ban all advertising on gambling in France with the exception of the state run gambling monopoly. Underage gambling, problem gambling, fear of corruption and money laundering are all excuses used to try and argue against allowing unfettered online gambling within the EU, Furthermore, many in the EU have put forth the idea of a single EU market for online gambling. But Eija-Riitta Korhola, a Finnish MEP, was quick to shoot it down, arguing that gambling isn't a normal commodity and is open to corruption, money laundering, underage gambling and problem gambling - all the same issues that have been brought up in the U.S. There was no evidence of online companies themselves laundering money, but there was a well publicised case of London based Al Qaeda gambling online. The crucial point here is that they were money laundering just about everywhere (banks, retail etc), and so gambling was not singled out as an easy option and we worked with law enforcement to deal with the problem. / By Hartley Henderson / October-20-2009,

Rasmussen Reports On: Gambling

- 1* Many states are now allowing casino gambling. Is the overall impact of casino gambling on society positive or negative? 24% Positive... 50% Negative... 22% Neither... 5% Not sure... / / By SCOTT RASMUSSEN / 19 Oct 2009

Restitution ordered is less than one-third what victim felt was due

MA - A Fairhaven convenience store employee who pleaded guilty to stealing from her employer was ordered to pay back just under $30,000, an amount less than one-third what the victim claimed was stolen. Pires and Souza, however, had asked for $105,000 based on their calculations of inventory loss, plus an analysis of the sales of higher-priced items by Davis. During her shifts, Davis' sales of beer and cigarettes averaged 18 percent below other employees'. She admitted using cash from those sales to buy lottery scratch tickets to feed a gambling problem. / By BETH PERDUE / October 21, 2009

Seminole Gambling Compact Issue Not A Priority In Florida

FL - Governor Charlie Crist and the Seminole Indians were up against a deadline to complete and sign a casino gambling compact in the state. Legislators asked the Supreme Court in Florida to void the original deal, claiming that Crist did not have the authority to negotiate the compact. They won that legal battle, and that left the state and the Seminoles with no deal. Now it is several months later and there is no timetable for lawmakers to review and vote on the compact. / / By Tom Jones / October 19, 2009

Seminole Tribe decries failure to reach gaming deal

FL - The Seminole Tribe's head of gambling on Tuesday delivered a blunt, public message to the Florida Legislature: You can allow unlimited gambling statewide, or you can have our $150 million a year. But you won't get both. The Seminoles' chief executive officer of gaming operations, spoke candidly about the failure of the Legislature, governor and the tribe to agree on a gambling compact. Under federal law, the tribe is entitled to Las Vegas-style slot machines at its casinos because they are allowed at South Florida parimutuels. The tribe's leverage: As a sovereign nation, it can't be taxed by the state or federal government, so if the state wants a cut of its profits it has to give up something in return. This is the second compact Crist has signed with the tribe. The first was thrown out by the Florida Supreme Court because the governor failed to get the Legislature's approval. Legislators also tied the fate of the parimutuels to the compact, giving them a 15 percent break on their 50 percent tax rate if the compact becomes law. / BY ADAM BEASLEY / 10.20.09

Senate panel passes bills to recognize 7 tribes

NC & VA - Seven Indian tribes in North Carolina and Virginia would gain federal recognition and become eligible for federal aid under legislation approved Thursday by a Senate committee. The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and six Virginia tribes would be eligible for up to $800 million in federal funds under two bills passed by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. The bills, which bar the tribes from building casinos, have already passed the House. / Associated Press / By KEN THOMAS / Oct. 22, 2009

South Florida gambling: The key word is "uncertainty"

FL - Horse track and dog tracks are waiting for the state to lower a 50-percent tax rate on slots, worried about increased competition and adapting to a down economy. Casinos operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida are stuck waiting on an agreement with the state that spells out whether they can have blackjack and other table games -- And all are angling for the Florida state legislature to listen to their arguments as a gambling compact is being negotiated. Meanwhile Seminole gaming CEO James Allen said the Hollywood Hard Rock and the six other Florida casinos operated by the tribe would be hurt if parimutuels statewide added blackjack, as Adkins and others request. The Seminoles started gambling in 1979 with a Hollywood bingo hall and have been trying to work with the state on an agreement ever since, Allen said. In 2007, Gov. Charlie Crist and the Tribe came to an agreement that would bring blackjack in exchange for $150 million in payments, but the courts determined that Crist had no authority to negotiate such a compact. Steve Geller, a former state senator and recognized as a gambling authority, said the compact talks broke down because Crist, the Seminoles and the legislature need to all negotiate together, rather than the state send a compact to Crist and the governor to then send it back. / by Nick Sortal / October 20, 2009

Specialists will confront the taboo topic of Asian-Americans with gambling addictions

OR - There's no data available in Oregon. But it's an open secret that when you go into the Asian community - Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian - you hear that a way people come together is to gamble instead of drinking or doing drugs. For clinicians like myself, we all recognize there is an ongoing problem with gambling in our community. I have seen patients come in with depression, but as I inquire further into their history, the depression is a result of gambling away their whole salary. Sometimes, parents give money to a child over 10 to gamble, just for fun. How do Asian American families cope with problem gambling? Khamkeo: It's a loss of face. They feel shame coming for counseling. They ask me, 'Please don't tell my family.' This is a shameful thing for any family to acknowledge that you have someone in your family because of his or her gambling destroying his or her life. Somehow, people still don't think gambling addiction equates to drug or alcohol addiction. They see it as a social thing, instead of a mental health or a pathological problem. / The Oregonian / By Paige Parker / October 22, 2009

Spending on fall ballot issue by pro-casino campaign in Ohio tops $31 million

OH - Came from arms of its two main backers, Penn National Gaming Inc. and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. / By Associated Press / October 22, 2009

State gambling agreement with Seminole tribe may still be far away

FL - "The big issue at stake here is this is a 20-year compact," said Jaren Emhof, press secretary to state Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach. "We get one chance." A tentative deal, forwarded by Gov. Charlie Crist and Seminole negotiators on Aug. 31, calls for the tribe to pay a minimum $150 million in annual revenue sharing to state education coffers. In return, the tribe will receive rights to Class III games such as Vegas-style slots and banked card games like blackjack, both of which are prohibited in most of the state. A potential stumbling block is the question of whether pari-mutuels should be allowed to pursue Class III games. It remains to be seen whether legislators will postpone action until March 2010, when the regular session begins. / By STEVEN BEARDSLEY / October 18, 2009

The high price of gambling

- Dr. Patrick Arbore. "For some seniors, gambling is a road to ruin," Those who become addicted often show signs of depression, become suicidal, and many turn to alcohol-until they go broke. Richard Woonacott said that one of the nation's fastest growing health problems is alcohol and drug abuse among seniors, and gambling is a big contributing factor. / Fountain of Youth Examiner / Ted Fuller / October 20

Two GOP senators to file for gambling amendments

KY - One measure, backed by Republican Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown, would allow the public to decide whether video lottery terminals should be allowed at horse racetracks. Another, backed by Senate President David Williams, would ban such expansions of gambling without a constitutional amendment, which requires the public's approval. The plans met quick resistance from Democrats and the horse industry, But Gov. Steve Beshear, in a written statement, called the proposals "cynical" and "political." His proposal would allow people to vote on a constitutional amendment but would also require a local election in the seven counties where racetracks are located. Worley said Republicans want to put the measure on the ballot to drive socially conservative voters to the polls in 2010. "What this is about is politics," Worley said. / By Beth Musgrave and Janet Patton / Oct. 21, 2009

Various reasons lie behind the opposition to the proposed Seminole gaming compact

FL - The first time Gov. Charlie Crist made this deal, in 2007, the Legislature challenged his authority in court and won. So he made a new deal that was completed a few weeks ago. It is fair to say that the Legislature has not rushed to endorse this second deal either. Some leaders of the Legislature still have a principled concern about expanding gambling. Some lawmakers are offended that the Seminoles have already expanded their games despite the court case. Some legislators are interested in protecting Florida's struggling (but politically powerful) dog and horse tracks against competition... But if the real agenda here is to turn Florida into a casino state - that is not something to be done through the back door, by pretending to discuss the Seminole compact. / Times / By Howard Troxler / October 22, 2009

Wishing for a casino: Gamblers 'might as well lose it in Chicago'

IL - The City Council was abuzz with talk about the "next big revenue source" to finance city government. If there had been a roll call, it would have been close to unanimous: The pot of gold lies in casino gambling. Daley said his support "all depends how it's positioned, and can it be government-owned? / BY FRAN SPIELMAN / October 22, 2009

Wyandotte County casino would generate less revenue than predicted

KS - Consultants hired by the state of Kansas project that gaming revenue from a proposed Wyandotte County casino could be from 7.6 percent to 28 percent lower than estimates from would-be developer Kansas Entertainment LLC... Kansas Entertainment, the sole contender to build and manage a casino in Wyandotte County, is a partnership between Penn National Gaming Inc. And Kansas Speedway... The review board also will discuss the results of a study about whether it makes sense for the state to put effort into the casino proposal process now, when the environment is less competitive and the state has other concerns. / Kansas City Business Journal / October 20, 2009

Wynn Las Vegas Casino Being Sued For Second Hand Smoke Danger

NV - Casinos are only worried about one thing when they look at their business models, and that is the bottom line revenue figure. That is why many casinos have fought smoking bans, fearing that it will cause the bottom line revenue figure to drop. The Wynn Las Vegas casino has now become the second casino on the strip to be sued for putting employees' health at risk by allowing smoking. / / By Terry Goodwin / October 21, 2009