Latest News
3/16/08 to 3/22/08

4 years for use of software to steal IDs
WA - Kopiloff received four years and three months in prison. His attorney, Jennifer Wellman, argued for three years, saying her client regretted his actions and had turned to identity theft to support drug and gambling addictions. / The Associated Press / Mar. 17, 2008

Accused robbers, hooked on heroin, gambled with loot
IL - A couple from rural Streator, charged with twice robbing a Grundy County bank, apparently are heroin addicts who gambled with some of their stolen money at a Joliet casino. The tellers also reported a threat Frojd made while tying them with rope. "If we get caught, we will know who you are and where you live and kill you." Police questioned an associate of Frojd's, who said the couple gambled at Harrah's Casino in Joliet the day after the second robbery, having said they had suddenly come into money. / Dan Churney / 3/20/2008

Administration, students prepare for casino
PA - To explore how the university might be effected by the incoming casino, President Alice Gast appointed a task force called, The South Bethlehem Development Study Group. Tom Hyclack, co-chair of the group... Hyclack also acknowledged the possibility of higher crime rates when the casino opens. "There is a potential for some increased crime, especially property crime," Hyclack said. "We'll have to consider whether or not the university should consider future security measures." / By Emily Smith / 3/18/08

Ameristar rethinks expansion because of proposed smoking ban
IA - The expansion, slated to be completed next year, would make room for 600 new slot machines and 20 additional table games. / March 20, 2008

Anti-casino group rallies before April vote
IA - Lynnville resident Theresa Anderson spoke of how her ex-husband's disease took its toll on her family. The first thing I said was 'It's going to ruin families.' Little did I know it was going to ruin mine." Anderson shared the story of her ex-husband's addiction to gambling, the bills going unpaid, the suicide attempt, the infidelity, the bankruptcy filing, the failed treatment program and finally, a marriage that ended in divorce. / By JESSICA LOWE / March 19, 2008

Atlantic City Council to try again to enact full casino smoking ban
NJ - ATLANTIC CITY - Year two, round two.City Council will again attempt to outlaw smoking in city gaming halls at next week's meeting as last year's partial ban approaches its first anniversary. [Councilman] Ward co-sponsored a proposed full ban in February 2007 before officials amended the ordinance in the face of intense opposition from top officials from the resort's 11 casinos. The new measure allowed smoking in 25 percent of each casino, prompting arguments from non-smoking advocates, who said the casinos dragged their feet to enact the ordinance. Casinos blame the partial smoking ban as a major factor in Atlantic City's 5.7 percent decline in gaming revenue last year. / By MICHAEL CLARK / March 22, 2008

Atlantic City to try again for total smoking ban at casinios
NJ - The city council in Atlantic City will try again next week to enact a total ban on smoking at the 11 casinos, nearly a year after a partial ban was enacted limiting smoking to no more than 25 percent of the casino floor. In February 2007, the council was poised to enact a total smoking ban, but backed down in the face of intense opposition from the casino industry, which feared it could lose as much as 20 percent of its revenue and as many as 3,400 jobs. / by The Associated Press / March 21, 2008

Authorities Arrest 63 in Cockfighting Crackdown
OR - The illegal sport that pits fighting roosters against each other in battles to the death typically involves gambling and often is the site of drug deals. U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut called it "a very brutal sport" that carries a serious public health risk. The arrests also show "the close relationship between cockfighting and drug-trafficking in the Pacific Northwest." She said about 50 guns, more than $100,000 in cash and at least 700 roosters were seized during the arrests. / March 17, 2008

Baby, you're a rich man
VA - The false promise of the state lottery... In fiscal year 2007, about a third 32 percent of the $1.3 billionor $437.1 millionmade its way out to the Department of Education, but only a third of that goes directly to state schools. The Attorney General explained the mess: [The Constitution] mandates that the General Assembly establish a fund for net lottery proceeds and distribute such funds directly to counties, cities, and towns, and the school divisions thereof, for the purposes of public education. It further is my opinion that such direct appropriation necessarily means that placing such funds into another fund, such as the general fund of the state treasury, prior to the distribution to the localities and school divisions is prohibited. There was the lady from Roanoke who won $4.2 million in 1993. Now she owes $154,147 after defaulting on a loan from the Peoples Lottery Foundation, a company that services lottery winners who need their money faster than the annual payments can arrive. The lottery offers an illusion of hope that is really stacked against the player in favor of the house, says Jon Barton of the Virginia Council of Churches. Analyzing data from [paper by the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy at the College of William and Mary] the fiscal years 2000-2004, the authors conclude that minorities often tend to both live under depressed economic conditions and to buy more lottery tickets. Our results show that the implicit tax inherent in the Virginia lottery falls disproportionately on those individuals who have the least ability to bear it. Boiled down, the study makes the argument that the lottery acts as a regressive tax on the poor, specifically blacks. The Virginia Lottery has figures from a survey conducted last year that show something else, namely that only 19 percent of those that play the lottery make less than $30,000 in a household income but another 26 percent make less than $55,000 combined. / BY JAYSON WHITEHEAD / 03/18/2008

Bally's AC lays off 50 workers
NJ - ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Bally's Atlantic City has laid off more than 50 cashiers and slot attendants due to slowing business at the casino. / The Associated Press / Mar. 20, 2008

Banned gambler loses bid to play again
NJ - A court has ruled that an admitted problem gambler who voluntarily put his name on a list barring him from Atlantic City's casinos for life cannot take his name off the list. Linda Kassekert, chairwoman of the commission, hailed the ruling. "Clearly, the value of the self-exclusion program would have been compromised if someone who voluntarily signed up for lifetime exclusion was able to remove himself... / The Associated Press / By WAYNE PARRY / March 20, 2008

Bay Staters 'evenly divided' on casinos
MA - Massachusetts residents are split down the middle on the governor's plan for three resort casinos, according to a new poll released Monday. The public will get a chance to comment on Gov. Deval Patrick's casinos plan at a hearing before the Legislature's Joint Committee on Economic Development. House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, D-Boston, has said a House vote will be taken by the end of April. / STEPHANIE VOSK / March 18, 2008

Bear Stearns meltdown not expected to affect Tropicana sale
NJ - The meltdown of Bear Stearns [sold over weekend], the Wall Street investment banking titan that has been handling prospective buyers for the Tropicana Casino and Resort, will not affect the casino's sale, people involved in the process said Monday. About 25 potential buyers had expressed interest in buying the Tropicana. If the casino sells for the $1 billion or so that experts estimate it will fetch, that would mean about $6 million to $7 million in fees for Bear Stearns, / The Associated Press / WAYNE PARRY / Mar. 17, 2008

Betting threat
MI - The study indicates illegal gambling has a tighter grip on college athletics than many people thought. For years, the NCAA has denounced gambling like one might decry a heinous crime. It fought hard but unsuccessfully to bar Las Vegas sports books from taking bets on college games. It prohibits athletes and coaches from taking part in any form of gambling involving college or pro sports yes, even filling out brackets for pools with modest entry fees. Student-athletes arent the only ones at fault, said Tim Otteman, a gambler-turned-researcher who conducted the study. Otteman is completing a dissertation that suggests the problem of gamblers obtaining inside information is widespread. Three student bookmakers and a gambler at a mid-sized, Division I university in the Midwest told Otteman for his research that they obtained inside information from student-athletes or others associated with teams for gambling purposes. It doesnt surprise me, said Dion Lee, convicted for his involvement in a 1995 point-shaving scheme when he played basketball at Northwestern University. But as Otteman pointed out, experts say only 1 percent of the billions of dollars annually wagered on college sports is bet legally through Las Vegas, suggesting point shaving or bets stemming from inside information could escape detection. Justin Wolfers, an assistant professor of business and public policy at the University of Pennsylvanias Wharton School, studied the 44,120 NCAA basketball games played between 1989 and 2005 and, based on scores and point spreads, concluded that nearly 500 games had involved gambling-related corruption. Ferris, who also operated as a bookie, echoed Jacobs comments: The best information comes from players or people tied in some way to the team, like trainers, student managers, walk-ons. He said his research shows that most compulsive gamblers on campus began betting before college... He is urging Central Michigan and other universities to increase enforcement, bolster campus-wide education and launch anti-gambling campaigns. Tim Otteman, a gambler-turned-researcher conducted a study on student-athletes and gambling for Central Michigan University. KEY FINDINGS... Student bookmakers and gamblers obtained inside information from student-athletes and other people associated with athletic teams. Students involvement in sports gambling progressed from brackets and pools to online gambling and wagers with bookmakers... Students used campus equipment and facilities to participate in sports gambling... Sports gambling is a behavior easily hidden, as opposed to alcohol or drug use, and the social acceptability of gambling fosters the behavior... 1951: The City College of New York, a year after winning the national championship, was implicated in a game-fixing ring that involved a half-dozen other schools, more than 30 players and organized crime. 1963: Thirty-seven basketball players from 22 schools were caught in a scheme to fix games. 1981: A Boston College basketball player and four others were found guilty of point shaving. 1985: Four Tulane basketball players, including star John Hot Rod Williams, were arrested and accused of point shaving, prompting Tulane to shut down its basketball program for four years. 1994: Northwestern running back Dennis Lundy was suspended for gambling and point shaving. 1996: Three Boston College football players were accused of betting against their team, and 13 players in all were suspended for betting on college football, pro football and baseball. 1997: Two Arizona State basketball players, Stevin Hedake Smith and Isaac Burton Jr., pleaded guilty to a point-shaving scheme. 1998: Northwestern basketball player Dion Lee and former Notre Dame kicker Kevin Pendergast were convicted of their involvement in a point-shaving scheme. 2001: Florida guard Teddy Dupay was linked to a gambling investigation and declared ineligible for the 2001-02 season, ending his college career. Source: Multiple published reports... / By Josh Peter / Mar 18, 2008

Bill Tracker
KY - An expanded gambling bill that would allow nine casinos in Kentucky, including up to five at racetracks, has been awaiting action by the full House since being approved by a committee on Feb. 28. If House leaders don't call a vote on House Bill 550 this week, the measure is likely lost for the session. / Mar. 16, 2008

Bill to aid gamblers advances
KY - [Rep. Jim Wayne's] bill, which would set a fee on charitable gambling to pay for the treatment, passed the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee yesterday after it was revised to exclude two other sources that now provide money to the state's general fund. The Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling estimates as many as 100,000 residents have a gambling problem. / By Gregory A. Hall / March 19, 2008

Bill to bring horse racing to Illinois state fairgrounds advances
IL - The Illinois House Gaming Committee approved a bill last week that would bring harness horse racing to the fairgrounds, (Illinois State Fairgrounds) / by Katie Allen / March 17, 2008

Botnets can be used to blackmail targeted sites
CA - It detected a large botnet attack on more than two dozen gambling sites in what appeared to be an extortion shakedown, he [Alperovitch, director of intelligence analysis for Secure Computing] says. Still, much of the crime goes unreported because it is targeted at gambling sites, which are illegal in the USA, Alperovitch says. "It's the perfect victim profile: They will pay a lot to get the attack to stop since they are losing money, and they are unlikely to report the attack to U.S. law enforcement." / By Jon Swartz and Byron Acohido / March 16, 2008

CHANGING FACE OF GAMBLING: Back to school, major in slots
NV - In 1997, there were about 197,000 slot machines in Nevada that won roughly $4.8 billion from gamblers. By 2007, the number of slot machines increased just 2.5 percent to 202,000, but the amount they won from gamblers jumped 72.9 percent to about $8.3 billion, according to Nevada Gaming Control Board statistics. / By BENJAMIN SPILLMAN / Mar. 17, 2008

Casino decision is delayed untilApril
MI - A decision at the federal level about a land claim that could bring a casino to the City of Romulus will come a little later than expected. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi agreed to send the bill that would pave the way for a controversial land claim by bands of the Chippewa Indians to build a casino in Port Huron and Romulus to the House Judiciary Committee for review. But now, the judiciary committee will review the bill to make sure any and all issues about the off-reservation gaming issues are legal. / Molly Tippen / March 20, 2008

Casino gambling: The wrong direction
MA - There are thousands of stories of just what Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have done to the surrounding communities in Connecticut; a cornucopia of violent crime, prostitution, drugs, depressed property values, and, of course, the depraved and luckless gambler. With increasing technical precision, slot machine manufacturers have engineered these things to, at once, better reinforce addictive behavior and better casino profits. Even the gambling industry s own study clearly shows that the population of addicts doubles within a radius of 50 miles around newly established casinos. Moreover, casino gambling amounts to a tax on the poor. There s no escaping the simple reality that gambling losses disproportionately affect those among us least able to afford them. / By Jay R. Kaufman / Mar 19, 2008

Casino ruling riles tribes
CA - A major policy change this year by the Interior Department will slow the growth of the multibillion-dollar Indian casino industry. The change, made in a series of letters and a memo issued in early January, essentially rejected 22 applications for new off-reservation casinos by hinging their approval on a single criterion -- the distance from the reservation. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, on a recent stop in Las Vegas, noted that 10 of the rejected applicants sought casinos 160 miles to 1,550 miles away from their reservations. Several crossed state lines. He said the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was never intended to create casinos, and therefore jobs for tribal members, so far from the reservation. "Once you begin going down that path, I don't know how you ever control it," Kempthorne said. "Because the precedent would be established and then you could have gaming anywhere." Tribal casino revenues totaled $25.1 billion in 2006, compared with commercial casino revenue of $32.4 billion. In all, 230 of the 562 Indian tribes in the U.S. were running 387 casinos in 2006.
/ By Ryan Nakashima / March 18, 2008

Casinos getting $25,000 chip
NJ - Atlantic City's casinos are getting a new gambling chip worth $25,000 for high rollers. Which it expects will be used at its high-end tables, where gamblers can bet up to $50,000 at a time, / By Wayne Parry / Mar. 20, 2008

Casinos' lucky days running out
NJ - A long-held belief in the casino industry is no matter how bad the economy gets, gamblers will somehow come up with the cash and keep making trips to the casinos. For proof, one had to look no further than the aftermath of 9/11, when the casino industry managed to weather a downturn in the economy. But some analysts are now questioning the theory gambling is recession-proof. Across the country, visitation to casinos is down, and the gamblers that do go to the casinos have put themselves on a budget. "Will gaming continue to slide as spring approaches?" Deutsche Bank analyst Andrew Zarnett asked in a recent report. "We believe the answer is a resounding YES." / BY JUDY DeHAVEN / March 21, 2008

City cops to police racino
NY - State troopers arrested 180 people at the racino in its four years of operation, Minner said. Last year, they made 60 arrests, 13 for felonies, he added. / By DENNIS YUSKO / March 20, 2008

Clark County sets public meetings on casino deal
WA - Clark County commissioners will hold a series of public meetings on possible improvements to a scrapped working agreement with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. The tribe is awaiting a federal Bureau of Indian Affairs decision about whether the it can have 152 acres located near the La Center junction of Interstate 5 taken into federal trust. / Allan Brettman / March 20, 2008

Club Cal Neva launches new live-action betting
NV - Club Cal Neva is the only casino in the state to offer players 30 to 50 different types of wagers after a game has started. Called Rapid Bet Live, there are 30 to 50 different types of wagers that a player can make during the game. / BY KRISTIN LARSEN / March 20, 2008

Cockfighting ring tied to Mid-Valley
OR - A two-year federal investigation into cockfighting and drug rings in the Pacific Northwest ended with several busts Monday... Cockfighting is an illegal sport in which roosters fight to the death and typically involves gambling and drug deals. Indictments... Name 63 people and detail conspiracy, illegal gambling, racketeering and drug-trafficking crimes. In cockfighting, two roosters with a knife, gaff or other sharp instrument tied to their legs are pitted against each other and fight until one rooster is dead. / RUTH LIAO / March 18, 2008

Committee weighs in on Mass. casino
MA - A key legislative committee voted Wednesday to recommend lawmakers reject Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal to build three resort-style casinos in Massachusetts, all but dooming the bill this session. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. David Flynn, D-Bridgewater, whose district includes the Raynham Park greyhound track, calls for 2,500 slot machines at each of the four tracks, as well as a $50 million licensing fee from each track owner.
International Herald Tribune, France / 03.19.08

Companies navigate productivity and ethics question of employees watching NCAA basketball
KS - They also note that some March Madness bracket pools could actually be prosecuted if money changed hands. Most workplace pools involve money bets, but the odds of arrest are exceedingly slim. A survey found that about one in five workers had participated in March Madness pools. Workplace consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates that $1.7 billion is lost in wasted work time over the 16 business days of the tournament if workers spend just 10 minutes a day on March Madness activity. The firm estimates that up to 37.3 million workers participate in office betting pools. / By DIANE STAFFORD / Mar. 20, 2008

Court: Casino panel doesn't have to lift voluntary lifetime ban
NJ - The state Casino Control Commission does not have to lift a voluntary lifetime ban on a person from gambling in Atlantic City or betting at simulcasting facilities merely because the prohibition prevents the individual from gambling in other states, a state appeals court ruled today. / by Tom Hester / March 20, 2008

Cruelty hits close to home
TX - Weapons, drugs, over $170,000 in cash and hundreds of animals were seized Saturday at a cock-fighting arena set up in a barn... Also found was a trench, apparently dug with a back hoe, that had about 100 dead chickens in it. We also found dead chickens thrown in trash cans and just laying around on the ground, ... Officers found numerous weapons, cocaine and marijuana, / By Bob Belcher / March 16, 2008

DCF urged to better track staff computer use
FL - Jones, a Department of Children & Families supervisor, spent three years quietly siphoning off more than $1.54 million set aside for Florida's neediest children and adults, according to court records. Jones, 42, told authorities she used much of the money to fund her "gambling activities," according to a search warrant for her office. By the time of her Dec. 6 arrest, Jones had tapped into public assistance money 1,725 times, sometimes three or four times a day, the report found. Jones' employees described her as being a "model supervisor" and a "mother figure," trusted by all, according to the Inspector General's report. / By Jon Burstein / March 21, 2008

Daniels signs gambling bill
IN - Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed a bill that will allow taverns and bars to offer pull tabs and other low-stakes gambling. Opponents claim it is another sign that Indiana was addicted to gambling. / March 19, 2008

States' budget crises will hurt millions
- States are looking to increase lottery ticket sales, promote Indian gambling or further raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. Those taxes disproportionately hit the pocketbooks of the same poor and working-class that would be hurt by the spending cuts, studies show. / By AARON C. DAVIS / Mar. 17, 2008

DeNaples shares his FBI file with Gaming Control Board
PA - The owner of Mount Airy Casino Resort, charged with lying about his alleged mob ties when applying for a casino license, has handed over the contents of his FBI file to state gaming officials, his spokesman said Thursday. State police filed perjury charges against DeNaples on Jan. 30, accusing him of lying to gaming board agents about the extent of his relationships with reputed organized crime bosses and two men at the center of a federal probe into corruption involving Philadelphia City Hall. / By Marc Levy / March 21, 2008

DeNaples' lawyer: Charges based on lies told by reputed mob boss
PA - William D'Elia, the reputed head of a northeastern Pennsylvania crime family, testified in July in front of the Dauphin County grand jury that recommended four perjury charges against Mount Airy Casino Resort owner Louis A. DeNaples. D'Elia is in federal prison in Pike County, awaiting trial on charges including money laundering and conspiring to kill a prosecution witness. / March 22, 2008

Dealing with DeNaples fallout taking on political hue in Capitol
PA - If Louis A. DeNaples , accused of lying to gambling regulators to get a casino license , feels singled out, there's a chance the spotlight could widen. Lawmakers have colored the charges against DeNaples and the feuding state agencies in political hues, with those who supported the state's 4 1/2-year-old slot-machine gambling law and those who voted against it on opposing sides. The casino licensing process needs improvements, in light of the Jan. 30 charges alleging DeNaples lied about the extent of his relationships with reputed organized crime bosses and political hustlers. / The Associated Press / MARC LEVY / Mar. 16, 2008

Delinquent casino closing
CO - A small Black Hawk casino has agreed to shut down after regulators accused its operator of failing to maintain proper accounting records and pay taxes on time. / Andy Vuong / 03/21/2008

Demand high for Philly Park slots
PA - The Spectrum Gaming Group's February report suggests that Philadelphia Park is earning a daily average of $395, or $144,175 a year, on every one of its 2,703 slot machines more than any other casino this side of the Mississippi. Mohegan Sun in Connecticut earned $385 on each of its 6,000 slots in February. Each slot machine at Harrah's Chester earned a daily average of $387. Slots at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs earned $357 a day, according to the study. / ByJAMES MCGINNIS / 3/23/08

Did Poker Play Role in Murder?
CA - A professional poker player and his wife who were both found dead in their home last week were murdered, authorities said Monday. And the killings are being investigated to see whether poker played any role, they said. It was just a horrible, grisly scene, said Detective Sgt. Scott Dudek, They were beaten severely, he said. There was a lot of blood everywhere. These people suffered a great deal. ... / March 18, 2008

Career Couch
- A survey conducted in 2005 by the N.C.A.A. put the number of March Madness office pool participants at 30 million. More recently,, the online recruiting company in New York, published a survey estimating that about 37 million of the nation s 140 million workers have participated in N.C.A.A. pools. Contests in which participation is free and the top winners receive noncash prizes such as free meals or company sweatshirts fall within most state laws. But pools that require an ante and pay winners with real money could violate gambling statutes in a number of states. Under current law in Michigan, for instance, an employee who places as little as $5 in a tournament pool could be punished with up to a $1,000 fine or a year in jail. A recent report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the outplacement consulting firm in Chicago, estimated that the N.C.A.A. tournament could cost employers as much as $1.7 billion in lost work time over the 16 days of the tournament, / By MATT VILLANO / March 16, 2008

Downtown casino pros and cons discussed again
MI - The proposal for an Indian casino in downtown Muskegon brought out long-expressed views from an evenly divided panel at the First Lutheran Church. The two-hour discussion, sponsored by the church, had a civil tone for what has become an emotional issue. Post [leading the arguments against a casino] told of the volumes of reports and studies that show casinos can be an economic drain on a community, while causing many social problems associated with problem gambling. He argued that the city moved hastily on a municipal services agreement with the Lac Vieux Desert tribe without doing a full investigation of the issue nor hearing from opponents. / By Dave Alexander / March 18, 2008

EDITORIAL: It's always somebody else's fault
NV - She had 400 clients and earned $500,000 a year. In 2000, the New York Daily News named her one of "21 New Yorkers to Watch in the 21st Century." During one five-day gambling jag in June 2005, Ms. Taveras says, she existed on nothing but orange juice and Snickers bars the staff gave her. On the fifth day, she says, a dealer told her to go home because she appeared exhausted and unable to keep track of her cards. She reports her losses totaled nearly $1 million. "It's like crack, only gambling is worse than crack because it's mental," says Ms. T... She lost her law practice, her apartment, her parents' home, and owes the IRS $58,000. In interviews with The Associated Press, Ms. T... Admits dipping into her clients' escrow accounts to finance her gambling habit. She was disbarred last June, and faces criminal charges stemming from those actions, ... Ms. Taveras has filed a $20 million lawsuit in federal court against six Atlantic City casinos and one in Las Vegas, claiming they had a duty to notice her compulsive gambling problem and cut her off. / Mar. 17, 2008

Emergency Bill Approved to Ban Video Gambling
MD - The Maryland Senate approved emergency legislation yesterday to ban the instant bingo machines and similar devices that have exploded across the state, many apparently in violation of gambling laws. But while the bill would eliminate hundreds of gaming machines in St. Mary's County and other parts of the state, it exempts games in bars and restaurants that have proliferated in the city of Baltimore and Baltimore County and that critics say are illegal. But language was stripped that applies to games that often are labeled for "amusement only." "It is a loophole big enough to drive a truckload full of video gambling machines through it," Franchot said. / By Lisa Rein and Christy Goodman / March 19, 2008

Employee Accused Of Ripping Off Youth Center
FL - A former Jacksonville youth center employee was recently arrested and charged with stealing thousands after the nonprofit organization's executive director discovered thousands of dollars missing from an account. He not only confessed to stealing the $9,000 but also blamed the theft on his gambling problem. / March 21, 2008

Ex VFW Commander Sued by Insurance Company for Arson
KY - A jury found Mudd set the fire to cover up his illegal gambling activities at the post. / Mar 17, 2008

Ex-Harrison aide gets three years behind bars for parking meter theft
NJ - A former public works superintendent in Harrison who stole $100,000 in coins from the town's parking meters was in the Hudson County Correctional Center yesterday after getting a three-year sentence for official misconduct, authorities said. Authorities have said Tanski had a gambling problem. In a petition filed in U.S. bankruptcy court, Tanski had reported $360,000 in debts to four Atlantic City casinos, plus tens of thousands more in credit-card bills. / BY RICK HEPP / March 21, 2008

Ex-Student Finance Chief Gets One-Year Sentence
DE - Mr. Yao was convicted in Delaware last year of two counts of bankruptcy fraud after lying about payments made to an ex-mistress and to cover his gambling expenses. / Associated Press / March 17, 2008

Ex-school worker admits theft
AZ - She had embezzled $306,000 from school funds to pay gambling debts... / Carol Sowers / Mar. 19, 2008 11:11 PM

Ex-top cop lists casinosfaults
MA - If the state allows three or four major casinos as proposed by Gov. Deval L. Patrick, it should be prepared to fend off unwanted criminal activity and deal with an upswing in compulsive gambling problems, experts warn. Thomas J. Foley, retired former head of the Massachusetts State Police and a member of the Governors Council, for one, cautions that state police, government officials and casino operators will need to take steps early to prevent crime from developing in and around the gaming complexes. Mr. Foley, who helped track crime statistics at casinos around the country in connection with organized crime investigations conducted while he was a member of the state police intelligence unit and in the past oversaw enforcement of state gaming laws, also evaluated casino crime problems in other states for former Gov. William F. Weld... Atlantic City, N.J., is a good example, he said. If you look a couple of blocks outside of Atlantic City, there are some very poor areas. There is a lot of crime, a lot of drug dealing and prostitution. Casinos, he noted, also can draw other major crime problems... Wherever there is an opportunity to make money, you are going to find organized crime looking for that opportunity in practices such as loan-sharking and money laundering, Mr. Foley said. As an organized crime investigator with the state police, he said he spent considerable time tracking suspects in casinos. / By John J. Monahan / March 16, 2008

FBI Wonders If Facebook Is Too Much Like A Sports Book
NY - But a new twist is dragging the popular social networking site Facebook into the fray. Monday's story on says... Students and office workers has long been betting in NCAA college basketball tournament office pools, taking those bets to social networks could result in problems with the FBI, according to a published report." First, online gambling is illegal, and second, Mashable blogger Sean Aune estimates that "there are over 20,000 Facebook groups involved with some form of bracket betting." / By JOHN P. WISE / 18 Mar 2008

Feds arrest area men in cockfighting raids
WA - The raids, which federal authorities say were the result of a two-year investigation into organized cockfighting and drug rings in both states, saw 51 people arrested. The illegal sport pits fighting roosters against each other in battles to the death and typically involves gambling. Law enforcement officials also say the events are often the site of drug deals. About 50 guns, more than $100,000 in cash and at least 700 roosters were seized during the arrests. / by Rod Antone / March 18, 2008

Florida Senate speeds approval of three gambling bills
FL - Gambling interests won wide support for three bills March 13 in the Florida Senate, but prospects for the legislation remain in doubt after House Speaker Marco Rubio continued to express opposition to gambling expansion. EIn blazing speed, the Florida Senate passed out three separate gaming bills in only the second week of session that will significantly expand gambling. It is amazing that a time when the state is looking desperately for more revenue that a proposal would pass giving gambling interests a substantial break in the taxes, Bunkley [Florida Baptist Convention legislative consultant] told the Witness. Though not very obvious to the senators, the real intent of this legislation was to lay the groundwork for future electronic bingo expansion, similar to the Class II bingo terminals utilized by the Seminoles. Removing the human requirement clears the way for future electronic gaming, Bunkley said. / By JAMES A. SMITH SR. / March 20, 2008

Former "Partner" in BetonSports May Have "Ratted" Out Gary Kaplan, Crew
FL - Fingers have been pointed at a former partner in BetonSports who may be cooperating with Federal Agents in their case against Costa Rica's one time largest online sports betting operation. Kaplan, who founded BetonSports, was nabbed one year ago this week in the Dominican Republic after he and nearly a dozen other principals in the company were indicted 6 months previous. The company's former CEO, David Carruthers, is also awaiting trial while under house arrest. Only a handful of those named in the indictment remain on the lam. Among them, Peter Wilson, a former ad buyer with the company... They treated him like a mangy dog. He was simply a puppet who had some serious addictions. He kicked his drinking habits (a certified alcoholic, by the way) after confessing that he was on the lam from gambling debts in Vegas. He substituted that with grass, cocaine, codine and anything else he could get his hands on. He also had an addiction to prostitutes. He bragged he was on the vip list at every brothal in Costa Rica. / March 19, 2008

Former Employee Banks Prison Time for Loan Scheme
IL - Michael "Brad" Hayes, 41, a Naperville banker accused of stealing about $275,000 from a client to fund a gambling habit will spend the next four years in prison. An apologetic Hayes asked for probation for his crime as he was dealing with a gambling addiction. / 15 March 2008

Former official sentenced for stealing $100,000 from parking meters
NJ - Authorities have said Tanski had a gambling problem. In a petition filed in U.S. bankruptcy court, Tanski had reported $360,000 in debts to four Atlantic City casinos, plus tens of thousands more in credit-card bills. / by Rick Hepp / March 20, 2008

Former union leader sentenced to six months in prison for taking about $190,000
PA - A former union leader who pleaded guilty in October to pocketing around $190,000 from his organization will serve six months in prison. Capece has paid back the majority of the pilfered funds, which he spent on his gambling addiction. I m not only guilty of the crimes I committed, Capece said. I m guilty of damaging a wife, damaging a family & and damaging a union. I ll carry this shame to my grave. ... / BY COULTER JONES / 03/19/2008

Four arrested in Helena casino robbery
MT - Johnson... Was arrested Tuesday along with two juveniles - a 16-year-old boy who was armed with a rifle during the robbery and a 17-year-old boy... / March 20, 2008

Four charged after gambling bust
NY - Four people, including the owners of a Glens Falls bar, were charged Thursday in connection with an illegal college basketball pool in which police said tens of thousands of dollars were at stake, officials said. Among the attendees were a number of local doctors, several members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors and one of the area's most prominent real estate developers, police said. Records police found forlast year's pool indicated $69,000 was collected, Swartz said. / By Don Lehman / March 21, 2008

Four face charges in gambling pool
NY - City police say they discovered members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors in a closed bar that was allegedly doubling as the home of a high-end, illegal gambling pool. The pool was illegal because state law requires establishments selling alcoholic beverages must have a special permit to offer gambling, police said. / By DENNIS YUSKO / March 22, 2008

Frank talk on gambling in Ohio, Ky.
KY - In Ohio, Gov. Ted Strickland has authorized the expansion of the state lottery to include electronic keno games in bars, race tracks and other venues across the state, starting July 1. In Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear is struggling to rescue his key campaign proposal - an expanded gambling amendment that would include full-fledged casinos. Visiting Covingon on Friday, Beshear said he's determined to keep pushing the idea - even though it's stalled in the House... House Speaker Jody Richards said late last week that he'd work over the weekend to see if enough support exists to reconsider a casino amendment in the House. / Editorials / March 17, 2008

Harrah's posts loss after writeoff
- Harrah's Entertainment Inc., the casino company that owns four Atlantic City casinos and was acquired last month for $17.1 billion, posted a $47.8 million loss after writing off part of its London Clubs International unit. / BLOOMBERG NEWS SERVICE / February 27, 2008

Gambler's renunciation is permanent, court says
NJ - After losing heavily at a casino here in July 2004, S.D., a 47-year-old Delaware resident, drove to casino commission headquarters and put himself on the exclusion list. It was a decision he immediately regretted. Within an hour, he was on the phone trying to have himself taken off. The commission said no. / By Wayne Parry / Mar. 21, 2008

Gamblers Electing Lifetime Ban From N.J. Casinos Can't Undo the Choice
NJ - A state appeals court on Thursday said casino regulators rightfully refused to reinstate a listed gambler who rued his decision after he learned the ban applies not only to New Jersey casinos but to gaming halls they own out of state. New Jersey has two exclusion lists: one involuntary, created in 1977 to keep organized crime figures, career criminals and other miscreants out of the casinos, and one voluntary, created in 2001 to help admitted compulsive gamblers. / Michael Booth / March 21, 2008

Gamblers, workers ready to dip into March Madness pools
TX - Welcome to March Madness. The term refers to the three-week NCAA men's basketball tournament. "It is by far the biggest gambling event of the year," said Victor Matheson, an expert on sports economics at the College of the Holy Cross... As many as 37 million people are expected to participate in the wagering, according to an estimate by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a job counseling firm in Chicago. An oft-cited FBI estimate of $2.5 billion was dismissed recently by bureau spokeswoman Denise Ballew, who said the FBI has never done a study of sports gambling. Las Vegas lawyer Anthony Cabot, an expert on sports gambling, estimated that Americans bet up to $100 billion on sports annually... "We are aware of pools that can get up to $100,000," NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said. NCAA rules prohibit college athletes, coaches and administrators from participating in any kind of sports betting no matter how innocent. Federal law specifically prohibits Internet gambling, but that doesn't seem to deter folks from setting up NCAA betting pools on social networking sites such as Facebook. "The annual distraction could cost employers as much as $1.7 billion in wasted work time over the 16 business days of the tournament," said the consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. / By DAVID TARRANT / March 16, 2008

Gambling Backers on the Hill Count 47
DC - Congressman Tim Bishop... Has added his signature in support of a regulated online gambling industry in the United States. / By John W / Mar 17, 2008

Gambling Opponents Say Moral Argument No Longer a Trump
IL - As more and more states turn to casinos and gambling to fill shrinking budget coffers, the voices of the religious opposition are struggling to convince people that it is morally wrong. A recent study by Ellison Research showed that 70 percent of Americans do not consider gambling to be a sin. Grey, who fought gambling for years from the pulpit as a United Methodist pastor, said the moral argument that gambling is a sin is too easily swept aside as impeding the personal freedom of others. As a result, Grey's anti-gambling coalition avoids explicit mentions of religion, and presents more economically grounded arguments that center around addiction, bankruptcy and crime, Grey said. "There's a cost when people lose they chase the loss," Grey said. "It's the government's dirty little secret. The house always wins." "It's the churches who are going to have to pick up the pieces," [Barbara Knickelbein with No Casinos Maryland] said, "when families are torn apart by gambling." / 3/18/2008

Gambling abuse from electronic bingo addressed
AL - A substance abuse specialist said he fears the area is not equipped to handle the influx of gambling addiction problems that a proposed bingo center at Country Crossing development could bring... We are woefully and inadequately treating those we have, [Dr Larry} Kirkland told Houston County commissioners Thursday. Gambling is off the radar. We don't even attempt to treat it, because it is so far off the radar. We inadequately treat this problem as it is &... / By Debbie Ingram / Mar 20, 2008

Gambling czar bet millions on Kentucky getting casinos
KY - His casino empire, his personal finances and his integrity all are under siege. He recently lost his only New Jersey casino license in a high-stakes case that has reverberated throughout the gambling industry. And regulators in the four states where he is still in the gambling business Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi and Nevada are investigating or reviewing his operations. Now, gambling czar and hotelier William J. Yung III is looking for new action in a different venue, investing millions to make casinos a reality in Kentucky and to win himself a seat at the table. Since last May, Yung a registered Republican in Florida, where he claims legal residency to reduce his taxes has made political donations totaling $1,049,500 that have at least indirectly buttressed the pro-casino cause championed by Kentucky's Democratic governor, Steve Beshear. The bulk of Yung's recent political contributions came in the form of a $1million donation to the Bluegrass Freedom Fund on Aug. 14, during Beshear's ultimately successful campaign against incumbent Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher. Yung, who had given $1,000 to Beshear's campaign a week before the May 22 primary election, followed up his Bluegrass Freedom Fund gift with a $38,500 contribution in October to Kentucky Victory 2007, a political action committee. While testifying under oath in New Jersey, Yung twice asserted incorrectly that those violations were committed by the casino's previous owner, despite being reminded after the first false statement that all 14 occurred after he acquired the casino in January 2007. In addition to stripping Yung of one of his most prominent casino properties, the New Jersey commission fined him $750,000 the largest penalty ever imposed on the state's gambling industry. Yung acknowledged his concern that denial of a license in Missouri could jeopardize his gambling properties elsewhere. The Missouri Gaming Commission has never disclosed publicly what it found so troubling about Yung. Gene McNary, the commission's executive director, declined in a recent interview to discuss the case. Yung's tax returns for 1988, 1990 and 1991 were audited by the IRS, according to records in the New Jersey licensing case. Some of the losses that he and his wife had declared were disallowed, requiring them to pay additional tax and interest totaling $777,839, according to the records. / By R.G. Dunlop / 3/18/08

Gambling opponents say moral arguments fall flat
DC - As a result, the anti-gambling coalition avoids affiliations with religion, and presents more economically-grounded arguments that center around addiction, bankruptcy and crime, Grey [National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling] said. Traditional venues for legalized gambling Las Vegas, is particular have attracted elements of organized crime. A 2008 Gallup poll showed that 65 percent of Americans participated in some form of gambling, 46 percent played the lottery and 24 percent had been to a casino. Nonetheless, Rose [college professor writes books on gambling law and economics] predicted the gambling industry would subside in another 40 years or so because of corruption and scandal not the moral opposition. / by Greg Trotter / Mar 18, 2008

Gamblings downside: Addicted, too broke to afford treatment
PA - One to 4 percent of the population develops a gambling addiction. The secretaries of three state agencies health, revenue and agriculture issued a joint statement recognizing that problem gambling is a public health issue that exacts a significant social and economic toll. Heres the catch: Its available [treatment] if you can pay for it. And most compulsive gamblers dont seek help until their broke and deep in debt. / Editorials / 03/19/2008

Good for the gander
PA - State-sanctioned gambling has yielded a fair amount of hypocrisy in the past, but the legislature's latest pretense of virtue is more insufferable than most. It's all very well for the state Senate to eliminate the slot machine-like gambling devices that have recently proliferated in Southern Maryland, but to do so and ignore the illegal gambling in the Baltimore area is quite beyond the pale. / March 21, 2008

Gov. Patrick concedes casino plan likely headed for defeat in House
MA - But, Patrick, testifying before a key legislative committee yesterday, also acknowledged it was likely the measure would go down to defeat in the House. [Sen.] Tucker questioned whether the revenues Patrick promised would materialize. She also said legalizing casino gambling was a significant leap from the state's Lottery games. "Our Lottery does not encourage you to max out on your credit cards, it does not serve alcohol, it will not put a lien on your home or cause children to be abandoned at parking lots," Tucker said. Marblehead's Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said casino gambling is bad for family cohesiveness, and he said three casinos would add to addiction. / By Edward Mason / March 19, 2008

Guilty plea in theft case involving 'gambling habit'
AZ - A Scottsdale schools employee who denied in June that she had embezzled $306,000 from school funds to pay gambling debts, pleaded guilty to the theft earlier this week. / Carol Sowers / Mar. 19, 2008

Haldeman: Casinos' cost too high
MA - The experience of other states show that while there is revenue in one column, the cost of increased crime, infrastructure, social services, police and fire protection, to name but a few, equal and even exceed that revenue. No other state has ever solved its financial problems with casinos. Many of the jobs will be essentially transfers... Casinos make money because most of their customers lose theirs. / gambling specialist working with the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts / By Louise Haldeman / Mar 16, 2008

Hoops hypocrisy? Office pools still illegal in many states
- If authorities ever decided to crack down on office pools, there would be a treasure trove awaiting them. While it is impossible to break down the estimated several billion dollars wagered legally and illegally on the tournament, NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the NCAA has heard reports of individual pools with more than $100,000 in prize money. "One of the things we say is that all gambling starts out as recreation," said Keith Whyte, director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. / The Associated Press / March 20, 2008

House kills Patrick's casino proposal
MA - The state House of Representatives voted 108-46 today against establishing three casino resorts, blocking for the year an economic development effort that the governor said would bring in $400 million annually. ... / By DAN RING / March 20, 2008

How many College students will have a BET ON A MARCH MADNESS GAME??
NJ - It is easier to gamble than it is to buy cigarettes or a can of beer on college campuses all over the country. The National Gambling Study Commission said that there are "5 million compulsive gamblers and 15 million at risk in U.S.". Forty eight percent of the people who gamble, bet on sports. They even gamble during class on the internet, and it even goes on in high school lunch rooms. According to a Harvard study a few years ago, 4.67% of young people have a gambling problem. In another survey, 96% of adult male recovering gamblers stated that they started gambling before the age of 14. / Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates / March 16 2008

Illegal betting is everywhere in Flint area, but authorities in no hurry to crack down
MI - Illegal gambling, he [police Chief McLellan] said, is everywhere in Flint. Instead of cocaine or marijuana, McLellan said his unit's raids on suspected drug houses sometimes turned up calculators and coded books when it turned out the home was really being used by illegal numbers operations. One such bust turned up $300,000 in cash in a basement, he said. Aside from depriving the government of its taxable share of illegal proceeds, illegal gaming diverts money from the coffers of local charities. A detective who went in undercover said he found gamblers of all ages who allowed themselves to be locked inside for hours as they played poker. The 67-year-old has attended Gamblers Anonymous at a Flint church for the past two years after she hit bottom playing cards. "I had a bad weekend and some pretty bad experiences," she said, adding her home is mortgaged to the hilt, her credit cards are maxed and she has drained her 401(k). / by Bryn Mickle / March 21, 2008

In new plan, gambling still bad for N.H.
NH - The gambling issue has gained traction this time around because gambling advocates are, if nothing else, relentless with their lobbying and promises of easy riches and politicians have been naturally attracted by those promised benefits. The impact on the local economy is one of the more deceptive sleights of hand. That money doesn't appear out of thin air it comes from revenue not spent at the local restaurant or retail shop that employs local people. There's nothing benign about casinos or the gambling industry. Casinos by their very nature radically distribute income and it often goes from middle to low income players to very wealthy out-of-state investors. The allure of gambling also ignores a fundamental truth of betting: The house always wins. / March 18, 2008

Indiana made wrong play
IN - Bar and tavern owners in the state argued that they should be treated on the same footing with fraternal organizations or clubs, which have long offered pull tabs under a bingo license,. The General Assembly created a specific license for them last year. / March 21, 2008

James Muffett: Michigan voters have spoken against more gambling
MI - Flash back to the 1970s: voters were told that the proceeds of the lottery would be devoted to public education and the financial worries of our schools would be over. Technically, Lansing kept its promise to devote the proceeds of the lottery to education. But there was a catch: They took out an equal amount of money that was already being spent on education. Net benefit to our schools? Zero. / March 17, 2008

Joining Office Pool? You're Not Alone
IL - NCAA Tournament Pools Hurt Businesses' Bottom Lines... Surveys show that almost half of them spend at least 30 minutes at work to fill out their brackets. With bracket pools ranging from $5 to $25 per person, office pools are now worth an incredible $2.5 billion, the LazerWager news release said. / March 17, 2008

Joining Office Pool? You're Not Alone
IL - LazerWager... Said in a news release that 27 percent of American employees participate in March Madness office pools. Surveys show that almost half of them spend at least 30 minutes at work to fill out their brackets. With bracket pools ranging from $5 to $25 per person, office pools are now worth an incredible $2.5 billion, / March 17, 2008

Judge Finds IRS Must Accept Likelihood of Gambling Losses
- Gagliardi had developed a compulsive gambling habit, but unlike many, he could afford it. He claimed losses of over $2.5 million, more than offsetting his wins during the three years. The IRS disallowed the losses, and wanted $1 miilion in back taxes against provable winnings. Gagliardi brought in psychologists who testified to the nature of addictive gambling; The judge found that Gagliardi's case was irrefutable, and found against the IRS. / by Joshua McCarthy / March 16, 2008

Kennel Club counting on slots
FL - A report to the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling surveyed 1,260 Florida residents older than 55 and found that one in four had gambled during the past week. Eighteen percent had never gambled. The American Gaming Association reports that 37 states now have legalized electronic gambling: video slots, video bingo, video poker. They're at Indian casinos in 28 states, commercial casinos in 12 states and racetrack casinos in 11 states, including Florida. Commercial casinos raised $5.2 billion for local and state governments in 2006. James Smith Sr., editor of the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly newspaper of the Baptist Convention, articulated the Baptist view: Gambling is a vile way for government to raise money. "It is a perverted, truly evil notion that our state should depend on its revenues by counting its citizens as gambling losers," he wrote in a column. / By STACEY SINGER / March 16, 2008

Ky. to help gamblers, casinos or not
KY - The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee approved legislation that could generate more than $200,000 a year for treatment programs through a fee from bingo and similar games sponsored by churches and charitable organizations. 'This is a very small amount, but it gets a foot in the door to give some attention to those who have compulsive gambling problems,' said state Rep. C.B. Embry Jr., R-Morgantown. Embry said the money would be needed even if Kentucky doesn't legalize casinos. Thousands of residents, he said, already are addicted to gambling at horse tracks, bingo halls, internet games, out-of-state casinos, even illicit in-state operations. / 03.18.08

LETTERS: Casinos shouldn't prey on addicts
NV - As a security officer, I recall several instances where supervisors at the table games stopped customers from gambling and losing any more because we knew they were sick, compulsive gamblers. In your editorial, you did not mention that casino employees are clearly taught and explicitly told not to interfere or confront problem gamblers in courses of instruction now mandated by state law. You will get fired for doing it. / ROBERT C. JABLONSKI / Mar. 19, 2008

Lakewood council votes to drop minicasino ban as activist files initiative
WA - A Lakewood community leader announced Monday that he filed an initiative petition to stop all minicasino gambling in the city, even as the City Council was prepared to vote on whether to end its moratorium on new minicasinos. Anderson [a longtime critic of gambling] said he opposes gambling because of its adverse affects on youths who become addicted to gambling. He said the planning board didn t discuss in depth the negative impacts of minicasino gambling. / ROB TUCKER / March 18th, 2008

Las Vegas Sands plans informational job fair
KS - Las Vegas Sands Corp., the only Wyandotte County casino contender whose plans lack the necessary local endorsement, will host a preliminary job and vendor fair on Thursday. The Kansas Expanded Lottery Act, passed in the spring of 2007, allows for one casino in Wyandotte County. Six proposals remain for the area, and one will be chosen at the state level. But Sands' two proposals still must obtain local endorsement to be eligible. The Kansas Supreme Court has yet to rule on a challenge to the constitutionality of expanded gambling in Kansas. / March 18, 2008

Las Vegas embraces its mobster past
NV - Las Vegas, a city forged on gambling, booze and flesh, has been strangely reluctant -- and perhaps a little nervous -- to make money off its mob roots. Until now. "Vegas was built with mob money," he [Johnson] said. "They did a hell of a job." Sin City has dusted off its gangster skeletons with the Vegas Mob Tour based at the Greek Isles Hotel & Casino, "Sopranos"-inspired dinner theater at the Riviera Hotel & Casino and a proposed mob museum. The Las Vegas Review-Journal had pieced together a "wise guide": a map that included the Tony Roma's, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's Flamingo Hotel, and the unusual spot where a thug named Herbert "Fat Herbie" Blitzstein was killed: his home. There was the dashing Siegel, who opened the Flamingo months before he was gunned down in Beverly Hills in 1947 -- possibly at the behest of another underworld figure, Meyer Lansky. In the 1970s, Lansky and others were charged with skimming tens of millions from the Flamingo, but a judge ruled he was too ill to stand trial. Spilotro was a suspect in dozens of killings... Spilotro and his brother were killed and buried in an Indiana cornfield in 1986. City officials are pushing forward with a multimillion-dollar mob museum slated for a brick building downtown, where in 1950 a congressional committee grilled a Flamingo executive about his links to Siegel and Lansky. / By Ashley Powers / March 17, 2008

Laurel religious leaders unified against slots
MD - This November voters throughout Maryland will voice their opinion on an issue that has stymied Maryland politicians for years: Should slots come to Maryland? The religious leaders of Laurel are speaking out. And their answer is a united and unequivocal no. McGhee, president of the Laurel Clergy Association and head pastor of Bethany Community Church, claims that for the churches of Laurel, the religious issue of slots is not one based on opposition to gambling but one of social justice and community activism. According to McGhee, gambling generally preys on the elderly and the impoverished. And legalized gambling in the area could spark off a rise in domestic violence, embezzlement, gambling addiction and suicide. / By Ben Swartz / 3-19-08

Law enforcement agencies work together to bust cockfighting ring
NC - Venable, a public information officer with the Rockingham County Sheriff's Department, said investigators also found weapons, drugs, cash, cockfighting videos and equipment in the raid. The gear included spurs, medicines and syringes. The men arrested listed Mexico and New Mexico as their places of birth. While cockfighting is illegal in the United States it is legal in some Hispanic nations, including Mexico, Venable said. "Cockfighting is one of the most cruel blood sports," Welch [Sheriff] said. "One thing that sticks out is the other crimes associated with animal fighting like illegal gambling, drugs, firearms and other crimes." / Brie Handgraaf / March 17, 2008

Legislative panel approves measure to help compulsive gamblers
KY - An important step toward helping more than 20,000 people in Kentucky who have been negatively impacted by gambling. / The Associated Press / Mar. 18, 2008

March Madness Can Trigger Problem Gamblers
WI - For most people, March Madness means a few bucks in an office pool. But for those with a gambling addiction, the pressure of March Madness may be too much. The hype of March Madness may be the last straw for many gamblers [said Rose Gruber, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling (WCPG)] ... Gruber says March Madness is also a gambling draw for young people. / 3-20-08

March Madness will be taking over the workplace
KY - Office workers preoccupied with college basketball this time of year will cost their companies $1.7 billion, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based firm that estimates such losses. The numbers are based on another guesstimate that 37.3 million workers making an average of $17.50 an hour will join in an NCAA Tournament pool and spend at least 10 minutes a day during office hours on the games in one way or another. The estimate of lost productivity has dropped dramatically from $3.8 billion a couple of years ago to just $1.7 billion this time around... The spoilsports also note that office pools are considered a form of gambling and are illegal in many states. A compulsive-gambler group says $750 million is bet in such tournament pools every year. / March 20, 2008

Mass.: House defeats gambling bill
MA - Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal to license three resort-style casinos in Massachusetts is dead -- at least for this year. After an impassioned, six-hour debate, the House of Representatives voted 106-48 to send the bill to a study committee, effectively defeating it and ensuring it could not come back up for debate until next year at the earliest. DiMasi [House Speaker] issued his own statement, saying that 'the big money special interests lost and the people of Massachusetts won.' 'Members of the House withstood incredible pressure from the deep-pocketed gambling industry, unions and the governor's office,' he said. DiMasi argued expanded gambling would drain revenues from other businesses and increase personal bankruptcies, petty crimes and other social ills. / 3.21.08

Mayor plans 'dual-track' strategy on trust land
NY - ONEIDA - Common council voted Tuesday to hire an attorney in preparation for the decision by the Interior Department on putting 1,016 acres of land in the city into trust for the Oneida Indian Nation. In a statement, Oneida Indian Nation spokesperson Mark Emory said, "If the City of Oneida wanted to negotiate, all they would have to do is talk to us. We already have an agreement in place that encourages discussions, and are puzzled by the need for new resolutions and more money being spent on lawyers. / By:JODY McNICHOL / 3/19/2008

Multi State Cockfighting Ring Busted
TX - More than 300 people were arrested, including a number of Louisiana suspects, and over 350 fighting roosters have now been seized by Humane Society Officials. The hundreds of fighting rosters escaped certain death... In addition to the fighting roosters, Deputies seized guns, performance enhancing drugs, and more than 170,000 dollars in cash. SPCA president... Says" a winner, whose birds win in all of the fights, could away with $40,000... We're talking about a major gambling-type operation." / March 18, 2008

NCAA tournament pools can feed gambling habit
LA - Pools like the one Calhoun and his friends participate in are harmless but can lead to bigger problems if fans aren't careful, said Reece Middleton, executive director of the Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling. "Ten percent of the people who report a problem gambling have indicated they came through sports gambling and that March Madness was a real major factor." Gambling researchers estimate sports fans bet $3 billion to $5 billion on the NCAA tournament, making it second only to the Super Bowl in dollars wagered. Tim Otteman, a former gambler now a gambling researcher and faculty member at Central Michigan University, has conducted research that found office pools are the foundation for a compulsive gambler. / By Brian Vernellis / March 20, 2008

NESI: Slots not worth gamble for state
MA - [Governor] Patrick is proposing that the casinos get taxed at 27 percent of their revenue, which would give Massachusetts one of the highest gambling tax rates in the country. Translation: The casinos are going to push for a tax cut faster than you can say Foxwoods. The easiest way to do that will be to play the states off each other. Connecticut's casino tax rate is only 17.5 percent, according to the report, while Rhode Island's is a whopping 60 percent. State legislators, desperate to hit the tax jackpot, will be pushed into a bidding war, with terms set by the lowest-taxing state - a bit like communities fighting for new box stores by offering ever-bigger tax breaks. / March 18, 2008

NLRB Hears Familiar Argument
CT - A majority of the nearly 300 workers in the engineering department are in favor of union representation. Attorneys representing the tribe said during the hearing that tribal labor laws, not federal labor laws, should apply to Foxwoods and urged that a ruling otherwise would attack its ability to exercise its sovereignty. An election was held and poker and table game dealers voted in favor of union representation. The tribe has vowed to appeal the decision and possibly take the case all the way to federal court. / By Heather Allen / 3/21/2008

Navajo Nation to build first casino in New Mexico
NM - The Navajo Nation is getting into the gambling business. Tribal gaming is big business in Arizona. Gross gaming revenue from Arizona's Indian casinos in 2007 hit $1.94 billion, up 8.6 percent from 2006, according to Arizona Department of Gaming. Fifteen tribes in Arizona operate 22 Class III casinos... / Chris Casacchia / March 20, 2008

Office pools not just fun, games
KS - Kansas law considers three factors when determining whether gambling is legal, according to Mike Deines, director of communications for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission. They are prize, such as cash or merchandise; chance or the level of skill involved; and consideration, meaning whether the players have to pay to participate. Gambling on office pools is illegal in Missouri, according to a representative from Attorney General Jay Nixons office. A person engages in gambling when he stakes something of value on the outcome of a contest of chance, said Scott Holste. / By Greg Grisolano / March 21, 2008

Online Gambling Company Settles Wagering Investigation With U.S.
US - IRG [Youbet subsidiary] has settled an investigation by state and federal government agencies into alleged wagering activity... Another part of the settlement calls for to forfeit about $1.5 million in what the government seized in the investigation. / Terry Goodwin / March 18, 2008

Owner of Laurel, Pimlico is reassuring
MD - The Canadian owner of Pimlico and Laurel racetracks reaffirmed yesterday its commitment to Maryland's thoroughbred racing even as the corporate parent faces concerns about its ability to stay in business. The company [Magna] has lost money since 2002, including $114 million last year and $87.4 million in 2006. It faces deadlines to pay debt obligations, including nearly $30 million due at the end of the month and two other loans totaling $180 million due May 31. Pimlico reported net income of $1.36 million in 2006, down from $3.5 million in 2005, Laurel reported a net loss of $3.6 million in 2006, compared with a loss of $41,499 in 2005. / By Hanah Cho / March 19, 2008

In the Arena: Pashinski, Musto help foil money grab
PA - You may remember that Plains Township submitted an outrageous application to the state Department of Community and Economic Development for $5 million of taxpayers money, nearly half the total funds available, to remove garbage and pave land purchased and owned by Mohegan Sun [casino]. As we all know, Mohegan is perfectly capable of paying for this work on its own without any public tax dollars. Let us not see any more outrageous applications in 2009 designed to funnel taxpayer dollars back to a casino. Be assured next year everyone will be watching. This year Musto and Pashinski were alert and on the job. / By Kevin Blaum / 20080316

Patrick gears up for hearing on casinos
MA - Gov. Deval L. Patrick tomorrow will attempt to salvage his bill to legalize casino gambling when he squares off against gambling critics in the state Legislature during a hearing on Beacon Hill. "The job numbers have been called into question and the revenue figures have been called into question," said [Rep] Bosley, who is co-chairman of the committee. "We want to see his backup data." / By DAN RING / March 17, 2008

Patrick pounded as casino plan veers toward defeat
MA - House Speaker Sal DiMasi summoned lawmakers into his office late last night in a final attempt to shore up key votes as he and Gov. Deval Patrick battled to the bitter end over the governor s controversial resort casino proposal, sources said. Patrick fought to keep his casino bill alive last night as top lawmakers conducted a marathon hearing that featured bitter attacks against DiMasi, sharp scrutiny of Patrick s purported casino benefits and a growing sense that the bill was veering toward defeat. / By Casey Ross / March 19, 2008

Pay up
PA - Casinos owners made their pitch last week to be exempted from any indoor smoking ban Pennsylvania might impose. / March 18, 2008

Plan to help compulsive gamblers clears first legislative hurdle
KY - Although a proposal to legalize casinos in Kentucky has stalled in the state legislature, lawmakers pressed ahead on Tuesday with a plan to rehabilitate compulsive gamblers. $200,000 a year for treatment programs through a fee... / By The Associated Press / Mar 19, 2008

Pokers hot at Harvard
MA - A card-playing Harvard Law professor and his poker-crazy students will stage a protest today outside the State House rallying against Gov. Deval Patricks casino plan. In particular, the newly formed Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society is targeting a provision in the governors bill that Massachusetts residents caught gambling online would face up to two years in jail and a fine of as much as $25,000. / By Scott Van Voorhis / March 18, 2008

Police allege man paid illegal gambling debts with stolen checks
NH - After losing $1,000 in illegal Super Bowl bets, Michael Gagnon paid his debts with stolen checks, allege police. Later, when the three recipients of the checks realized they were worthless, they reported it to police, not realizing their gambling was also illegal, said police prosecutor Corey MacDonald. / By Elizabeth Dinan / March 17, 2008

Police arrest three more suspects in poker game robbery
PA - Three brothers accused of helping a former state trooper in robbing participants in a high-stakes poker game have been arrested, police said. Charges including robbery, conspiracy, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, authorities said... Similar charges have been lodged against former trooper HyunJim Kim... Three masked men armed with handguns and a shotgun burst into the clubhouse and confronted a dozen people, including Kim, who were playing poker. / (AP) / 3-25-08

Police: Gambler forged cash voucher at casino
PA - / March 20. 2008

Political clash sinks Massachusetts casino-gambling plan
MA - House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi spearheaded the opposition to the bill, arguing that the social costs of gaming outweighed the benefit of potential tax revenues. "The cost of creating a casino culture is too high. There are far better ways to create jobs and increase revenue," said Speaker DiMasi in a statement. "Today, the big money special interests lost, and the people of Massachusetts won." / By Tom A. Peter / March 22, 2008

Prepared remarks of House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi
MA - The Boston Globe looked at the job estimates [for 3 casinos] and found they were inflated - by at least six times. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said the estimates for revenues are also overstated by at least $100 million. Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island all have casinos - and they all have higher taxes than Massachusetts. Pennsylvania allowed slots to give property tax relief - now the Governor is proposing a major sales tax increase. In states that have allowed casinos, there has been an economic drain from thriving local businesses that have seen their revenues devoured. We will absolutely have increased bankruptcies, foreclosures, divorce, broken families, increased property crimes, domestic violence, and on and on and on. Casinos will absolutely cause human damage on a grand scale. The cost of cleaning up the human devastation brought by casino gambling is too great. Since I have been Speaker, the House of Representatives has focused on economic development plans that are real and that are sustainable. / March 18, 2008

Presidential candidates accept gaming dollars
- The Center for Responsive Politics, the paper said Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona accepted $102,200 from gaming and casinos interests. Sen. Hillary Clinton... $120,675... Sen. Barack Obama... Accepted $43,800 from gaming interests... / March 18, 2008

Priestin' Ain't Easy
FL - There was a small matter of missing funds from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach. The parish allegedly had on its hands a couple of player-priests who may have misappropriated as much as $8.7 million of church money. Guinan and Skehan had been having a wild old time, authorities said. Parishioners were told that some of the money they had been dropping into the offering baskets during Sunday mass had gone toward gambling, extravagant vacations, race horses, oceanfront real estate, top-end home furnishings, gold coins, a pub in Ireland, binge drinking, and, yes, girlfriends for the priests. Nine months into his new post, Guinan was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Tequesta. He called Wardrip [parish bookkeeper] for help, instructing her to write a letter to a casino in the Bahamas to let them know that he wasn't able to make the trip because he was in jail. And he asked Wardrip to tell the casino that they shouldn't bill him for the rooms because he was a high roller. Around the same time, Wardrip said, she realized that Guinan wasn't depositing cash contributions into church accounts, official or otherwise. She feared he was gambling it away, she said in her deposition. / By Amy Guthrie / March 20, 2008

Problem Gambler Can't Use New Chips
NJ - Atlantic City has introduced a new chip that's worth $25,000. Caesars notes they have special plaques for its customers who make single bets of $50,000 or $100,000. / March 21, 2008

Proposal might kill keno-like gambling Strickland warns state has to find way to pay for shortfalls in budget
OH - Gov. Ted Strickland's plan to place keno-like electronic gambling machines in restaurants and bars appears to be a crapshoot. Republican lawmakers put the brakes on expansion of the Ohio Lottery Commission this week by effectively taking the checkbook from the administration and then unveiling legislation that will lead to public hearings and a possible death blow for the proposal. A day later, state Sen. Ron Amstutz, R-Wooster, said he will introduce legislation that will effectively kill the keno games by limiting the number of drawings the lottery can run each day. / By Dennis J. Willard / Mar 20, 2008

Proposal would make office pools friendlier in eyes of law
CA - In a state where residents can gamble daily on Indian casino games, Lotto and horse racing, Jeffries [Assemblyman] sees no reason to hammer them for friendly betting on major sporting events. Under Assembly Bill 1852, violators would be guilty of an infraction, punishable by a $500 fine. Current law allows first offenders to be jailed for up to one year and fined $5,000. Federal law prohibits California from legalizing office pools or any other form of sports- related gambling. More than 40 percent of U.S. workers have participated during the past year in office pools... / By Jim Sanders / March 18, 2008

Proposed Ore. casino proves contentious
OR - Now many in the town and on the reservation hope the tribes will be permitted to build an off-reservation casino on a sliver of the land they gave up. But the proposal has pitted tribe against tribe and neighbor against neighbor, and it has angered environmentalists who say a casino would be a blight on the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, an 85-mile strip of river where the town is located. Only three off-reservation casino applications have made it through the legal labyrinth since the federal 1988 Indian Gaming Regulation Act. / By JOSEPH B. FRAZIER / Mar. 19, 2008

Prosser, Sunnyside WA men face cockfighting charges
WA - The indictments accuse the defendants of violating the Animal Welfare Act by sponsoring, exhibiting and transporting roosters to cockfighting venues, Ruiz was also charged with operating an illegal gambling business. / March 18, 2008

Pure investigation unnerves Vegas from celebs to Fire Department
NV - It is fascinating to see the Las Vegas media come at the story of the IRS investigation into Pure Management Group [operating night clubs] from so many perspectives that it could seem like piling on. It is not. What is at stake is the image of Las Vegas in a perfect storm of issues that the Strip has tried hard to put in the past: money shenanigans, customers feeling bullied at resorts and, most important, making customers feel like they are being treated like marks while being financially strip-mined for cash. Review-Journal gossip columnist Norm Clarke tried to find out information on "growing tension" between PMG and celebrity investors like Celine Dion, Andre Agassi and Shaquille O'Neal. How many other complaints over the years did Harrah's and/or Caesars get about Pure, and what, if anything, did they do about it? That attitude (to paraphrase: "This situation is not Harrah's problem but PMG's issue") has infuriated Sun gaming columnist Jeff Simpson, who writes this morning: "Las Vegas resort operators need to take immediate steps to eliminate tipping shakedowns in nightclubs in their properties." Smith [Review-Journal] reports on a fire inspector visit to Pure in 2006. The inspectors asked Pure to hold the door (not let anyone else inside) because of the size of the crowd. "Instead of following the decision, two members of Pure management asked to speak with the inspector's supervisor. The discussion ended with the inspector leaving the club, one informed source said." "In Las Vegas, with arguably the hottest nightclub and topless cabaret culture in the world, the fire department charged with keeping the Strip from burning down gave its inspector the night off. Every night, in fact." / Richard Abowitz / Mar 17 2008

Rendell seeks to alter rules on slots license awards
PA - Wading into the debate [Governor] over revamping state gaming oversight in the wake of perjury charges against Mount Airy Casino Resort owner Louis A. DeNaples, Pennsylvania is unique among the states in giving legislative leaders a controlling voice over gambling license awards. The executive branch controls gaming boards or agencies in other states. Under the 2004 slots law, the four legislative appointees on the seven-member board must vote yes on a license. The vote of at least one gubernatorial appointee is needed, too, but each legislative appointee could exercise a veto power under that requirement. In practice, the 11 slots casino licenses awarded in Pennsylvania were done with unanimous votes. / BY ROBERT SWIFT / 3/22/2008

Republicans in Ohio legislature may block Keno lottery plan
OH - Republicans in the Ohio legislature Tuesday put the brakes on Gov. Ted Strickland's plan to patch the state budget by putting quick-draw Keno lottery terminals in bars and restaurants. And some plan to try to kill the expansion of the lottery altogether. / Mark Rollenhagen / March 19, 2008

Robbery suspects in custody
MT - Police have four suspects from the March 5 Money Train Casino armed robbery in custody, including the employee who was robbed. A 46-year-old woman, the clerk who was robbed and the mother of one of the juveniles, has been charged with felony accountability to theft. / By ANGELA BRANDT / 3/20/08

SPORTS DOCTOR- Bracket time: Why the feds won't bust your office pool
VA - Where there is a pot, there is a crime. Office pools are legal in just four states: Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Oregon. Somehow, I doubt the $3.8 billion wagered on the 2008 NCAA tournament are isolated to those states, yet I've never known the police to raid the Jiffy Lube at bracket time.
/ by JUANITA GILES / March 20, 2008

Sands to hold job fair in KCK
KS - Its casino isnt built yet, and the Las Vegas Sands Corp. hasnt been selected by the state to build one. But none of that is deterring Sands from holding its first business fair on Thursday for prospective vendors and employees. / By RICK ALM / Mar. 18, 2008

Schlichter to be guest speaker at News Journal basketball banquet
OH - The Miami Trace product and former first-round NFL draft pick has battled a longtime addiction to gambling. / March 17, 2008

Senator aims to ban Keno games in Ohio
OH - Sen. Ron Amstutz, a Wooster Republican, said yesterday he will introduce a bill banning the Ohio Lottery Commission from expanding into electronic games such as Keno, a rapid-fire lottery game that [Gov.] Strickland wants to put in bars and restaurants across the state. Amstutz said he thinks Keno would be more addictive than the lottery's traditional games. The numbers game features drawings every four minutes and ticket prices as high as $20, with jackpots peaking at $2 million. / By Jim Siegel and James Nash / March 20, 2008

Shabbona residents question bingo proposal
IL - If it looks like a slot machine, and it sounds like a slot machine, it's probably a slot machine, right? The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation proposes to build a 24-hour bingo facility in the DeKalb County town of 900 residents. Others, however, disagree, and say that the gambling facility will taint their small town, bringing traffic, low-paying jobs and addictions to the rural community. While the concept of bingo seems fairly innocent, a group opposing the gaming facility, DeKalb County Taxpayers Against the Casino, has described the electronic form of the game as "completely unlike traditional bingo" and "virtually indistinguishable from slot machines." / By Erika Wurst

Slot player can't get a handle on his hang-up
CA - Frank Gagliardi is a gambler. Does it for hours at a stretch. For days. Played right through the 9/11 attacks. A former girlfriend says he was so busy at the slots it took him two or three days to notice she had left him. If pressed, Gagliardi will say the root of all this might be his 1991 Lotto win, the one that paid $26.7 million... He took the feds to Tax Court after they rejected three years of his tax returns, saying he couldn't prove the nearly $2.5 million in gambling losses he claimed. A judge found Gagliardi's report of his massive losses credible and ruled against the IRS... Because of Gagliardi, gamblers can now back up their claims of losses with receipts and records. Gagliardi is a pathological gambler and loses hundreds of thousands of dollars a year at the casinos. It's not like that now, Gagliardi said during his trial, describing how he takes out thousands of dollars from ATMs and plows winnings back into the slot machines. Gagliardi claimed nearly $2.5 million in gambling losses over three years, backed up, primarily, by his account that he gambled every dollar he obtained in a casino, whether from a jackpot, an ATM or a check. I don't know what it is. It's an addiction I want to kick, he said. It's not about the money. ... / By Onell R. Soto / March 16, 2008

Standish gaming operation provides temptation for problem gamblers
MI - "There'll be a group of people, not as small as you might think, who get addicted to gambling like I did," says Joan, 65, a Bay County retiree. "I'm sad for those people, especially the seniors... About 300,000 Michigan residents are, like Joan, problem gamblers, the state Department of Community Health says. The afflicted - better than one in 50 adults in Michigan - have crossed an invisible line from recreational gambling to compulsive gambling. "My [Taylor, therapist] clients are little church ladies losing their homes and ex-cons out of prison for gambling addiction crimes. "Anytime a new casino opens in a region, there's an upswing in calls for help," says Judy Herriff, executive director of the Michigan Association of Problem Gambling. "It generally takes people six months or longer to get in trouble, but it's inevitable. Sooner or later," that 2-3 percent of the population will become addicted. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, nearly two in three compulsive gamblers break the law to finance their gambling. / by Helen Lounsbury / March 18, 2008

Study of Regulations Slated for Ban on Web Gambling
DC - A House panel plans next month to review regulations proposed by the Department of Treasury to enforce a 2006 ban against Internet gambling. [Congressman] Frank, who has called the ban "one of the stupidest things I ever saw," offered legislation last year to repeal it and require the Department of Treasury to regulate Internet gambling in the United States. Former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., the chief lobbyist for the Poker Players Alliance, Does not expect Congress to overturn the Internet gambling ban this year. / 17 March 2008

Suspect in bank heists had a run of hard times
MA - With a name fit for a Hollywood script and debt estimated at more than half a million dollars, Johnny Gamble allegedly tried to rob his way out of his family's financial troubles with a two-month string of bank robberies. Gamble recently lost a home to foreclosure, his second, and owes tens of thousands of dollars in other debts. Police are investigating whether a gambling hobby also figures into his problems. / By Milton J. Valencia / March 16, 2008

Synchronized Poker Robberies in Dallas?
TX - Whoever opened the door did not check and the perps stuck a 9mm in the door. 2 black males. They told everyone to empty their pockets but did not even take all of the money on the floor. ... / March 17, 2008

Take the bus to the casino
IL - Forty-four minutes later the busload of seniors (and one reporter) was at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., with casino coupons and return tickets in hand. And we hadn't made reservations, or paid a fee. This scene, with slight variations, plays dozens of times a day at spots all over the Chicago area. In this world, comfortable coaches drive around town at all hours of the day picking up those in the know and whisking themfor little or no moneyto fantasy lands of flashing slot machines and all-you-can-eat buffets. I was directed to the registration counter, where I presented my driver's license (to prove I am over 21) and got my very own gold card. This would allow me to play the slots and keep my gambling actions at the casino on record. / March 20, 2008

Teachers Union Gives Backing to Slot Machine Initiative
MD - The Maryland State Teachers Association board of directors voted to support legalizing slots, taking a stance for the first time on an issue that has long divided politicians in Annapolis. The 70,000-member union said it would soon launch an independent campaign to convince voters that expanded gambling revenue is critical to funding education priorities. The blessing from teachers is no small victory for slots supporters, who are planning to link the referendum to the needs of public schools. Franchot [Comptroller (D)] said he told board members that legalizing slots would create "a regressive tax on families." ... / By Philip Rucker / March 16, 2008

Third casino worker pleads guilty to stealing
AZ - A casino worker from Phoenix has pleaded guilty to stealing close to $10,000 from a local casino. This case comes just days after another worker at the same casino also pleaded guilty to stealing money but in a separate case. / Maxine Park / Mar. 20, 2008

Town Democrats say no to casinos
MA - The Bolton Democratic Town Committee has voted unanimously to oppose Governor Deval Patricks proposal to license casinos. The local Democrats identified the following as some of the reasons for their position. A very large number of families are going to be financially disadvantaged by the gambling losses of the father or mother. Low and middle income household losses will fund most of the revenues, so the plan amounts to regressive taxation. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, will acquire an addiction to gambling, an affliction well recognized by mental health professionals. The Governor admits that addiction is a predictable by-product of organized gambling, as his plan includes a set aside of $50 million a year to battle addiction and related problems. / By David A. Wylie / Mar 21, 2008

6Trenton may hedge bets on gambling
GA - He [Police Officer Norris] has asked city officials to outlaw all video gaming machines, even those legal under Georgia law. The video game machines are legal in Georgia as long as they require some skill to play, and there are no cash payments. Policing illegal gambling operations can be costly. Rossville Mayor Johnny Baker said game room owners in his town found ways to circumvent the law. Gambling became so rampant that Rossville became known to some as Ross Vegas, It led to corruption, and we were in a circle of keeping our police department trying to govern these things. It was a never-ending battle. / By: Ryan Harris / March 19, 2008

Trenton moves to control sale of Bader Field
NJ - Worried about recent corruption and political instability in Atlantic City, the state Senate yesterday unanimously approved a bill that would give Trenton some control over the potential $1 billion sale of the resort's former airport. "It's not a secret that there are recurring issues in Atlantic City regarding integrity in government," he [Sen. Whelan] said. Atlantic City is on its third mayor since October, when former Mayor Bob Levy checked himself into a drug rehab clinic, pleaded guilty to improperly collecting some veterans' benefits and quit. And, three council members have been convicted for peddling their influence on the airport sale. [Mayor] Evans, though, argues the FBI's presence in the city is oversight enough. / By Cynthia Burton / Mar. 18, 2008

Tribal Sovereignty Rears Head At Union Hearing
CT - The hearing... Was supposed to be a venue for the attorneys representing Foxwoods Resort Casino and the International Union of Operating Engineers to discuss any issues either party may have about casino employees wanting to form a union. It became clear that the attorneys representing the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation [Foxwoods] Were not about to back down from their previous position that as a sovereign nation, tribal labor laws, not federal labor laws, should apply. / By Heather Allen / 3/20/2008

Tribal police may get new power over non-tribal residents
WA - Tribal police officers soon will have authority to enforce state criminal and traffic laws against non-Indians if a bill passed by the Legislature becomes law. The legislation makes it possible for tribal police to become general authority peace officers, meaning they could arrest non-Indians on reservations and, in certain circumstances, off reservations. If Gov. Chris Gregoire signs the bill into law, Washington will join a handful of states that have made such agreements with tribes. Tribes are celebrating... The Tulalip tribes reservation includes a mile of frontage on Interstate 5 north of Everett. It has one of the states most profitable casinos as well as a business park and retail stores. According to the 2000 Census, 82 percent of the people who live on Washington reservations are non-Indian. The tribes have all of this PR stuff going, said Kim Halvorson, one of an estimated 7,000 non-Indians living on the Tulalip reservation. Theyre so powerful, with so much money coming in, we really cant compete. Who oversees those tribal police departments? Mitchell asked. The tribal directors. The sheriffs have voiced concerns about the qualifications of some tribal police officers, raised questions about liability for officer misbehavior and noted, in previous bills, that sheriffs would have had no input in the certification process. / ROB CARSON / March 17th, 2008

Tribes can operate Class II without state approval, lawmakers told
MA - In the midst of a contentious hearing on Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal to authorize three commercial casinos in the state, Massachusetts lawmakers learned that the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe could move forward on a profitable casino operation without legislative approval, jurisdiction or profit-sharing. Can conduct Class II gaming without state involvement... ''A well-run Class II facility can give a patron an experience much like a Las Vegas casino, Florida finally entered into a Class III compact late last year after the Secretary of the Interior threatened to allow the tribe Class III gaming without a compact. / Gale Courey Toensing / March 21, 2008

Union official gets 6 months for stealing
PA - A former business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers was sentenced Tuesday to six months in federal prison for his guilty plea to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the union. Capece, Pleaded guilty in October to embezzling $192,000 from Local 163 of the union to support a gambling addiction. / By Terrie Morgan-Besecker

Valley casinos see rise in gambling as economy
AZ - Two national studies show that when the economy goes down, gambling goes up. "When people worry about the factory closing, they're more likely to take a chance on making it big," / Deborah Stocks / 3/20/08

Video gambling bill heard
MD - A bill that proponents believe would allow the state to get rid of thousands of video gambling machines in Baltimore-area bars and restaurants got a favorable hearing in a House of Delegates committee yesterday. If the legislation passes as written, it would require removal of all classes of slot-like electronic gambling machines that have proliferated in Maryland through legal loopholes and poor law enforcement. Assembly leaders and state officials have said the slot-like machines should be banned because they have the potential to jeopardize the referendum's viability with voters and because they drain revenue from the lottery. / By Bradley Olson / March 19, 2008

Villa Park in line to place its bets on OTB
IL - Villa Park officials are on the verge of approving an off-track betting parlor in town, "I have spoken against it twice, but I see [the village] is determined to have it. But those making decisions must know there are people in the community who do not agree, whether [for] cultural, religious, behavioral or psychological reasons," said Abdool Rahman Kahn, scholar and religious leader at the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park. But Kahn, of the Islamic Foundation, said he fears the betting parlor will produce gambling addiction, even among Muslims, whose religious teachings prohibit gambling. The consequences for families can be devastating, Kahn said. / By Joseph Sjostrom / March 20, 2008

Yet More Trouble For Detroit Mayor
MI - The crisis comes while Detroit is trying to recover from its reputation as the most unlivable city in the Rust Belt. Kilpatrick and his predecessor, Dennis Archer, managed to lure major business and entertainment enterprises to revive downtown. Three new gambling casinos pour millions in taxes and fees into city coffers. But Detroit faces a $100 million budget deficit that has closed fire stations. ... / By Darryl Fears / March 17, 2008

Hidden Disease of Gambling Extends to Women in Workplace
- Women are the fastest growing group of compulsive gamblers in the United States, even as gambling has increased among nearly all groups of people in recent years, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). About 2 million people1 percent of adults in the United Statesfit the criteria for pathological gamblers, and another 4 million to 6 million can be considered problem gamblers, according to the NCPG. Gambling is a problem often associated with such crimes as embezzlement, employee theft, fraud, tax evasion and insurance fraud, according to the NCPG. Adding to the risk of problem gambling is the speed, access and anonymity of the Internet, Duguay says, and according to the NCPG there are more than 2,500 Internet gambling sites. / By Kathy Gurchiek / 3/20/08