Latest News
3/23/08 to 3/29/08

$20 swing for the fences
MA - Several states now offer $20, $30 and even $50 scratch tickets despite some concerns about how such costly games affect compulsive gamblers. / By Scott Van Voorhis / March 25, 2008

'21' lays out a textbook case of card counting
NV - Given that two of the film's key creators -- director Luketic and screenwriter Loeb -- have wrestled with uncontrollable gambling themselves... Flush [Luketic] with cash after directing the 2001 Reese Witherspoon hit "Legally Blonde," the Australian director headed to Las Vegas and made a beeline for the tables to have some fun. Like millions before him, he didn't. "I lost $25,000 in one hour at the Bellagio," Luketic said. "It was devastating." One friend, so upset over Luketic's losing so much money so fast, took $10,000 of the director's cash and stuffed it in a trash can, telling him there was little difference between that and his reckless wagering. Loeb's gambling on cards as well as sports was even worse, ultimately leading him to join Gamblers Anonymous. Loeb said he hasn't gambled in about five years.
tp: / By John Horn / March 23, 2008

2nd church run by priest ripped off
IL - Beverly Houston, former business manager of the Infant Jesus of Prague parish in south suburban Flossmoor, appeared at the Markham courthouse Wednesday on charges she stole more than $259,000 from the church. According to Assistant State's Attorney Michael O'Brien, Houston wrote 144 checks to herself between April 2006 and October 2007. Houston, 51, allegedly used the money to gamble at riverboat casinos in Indiana, sources said. This is the second time a parish run by Rev. William Killeen (below) has allegedly been ripped off by a greedy business manager. / BY ERIC HERMAN AND STEFANO ESPOSITO / March 27, 2008

42 arrests in alleged gambling-drug ring
NJ - Six Shore area residents, including a teacher in the Freehold Regional High School district, are among 42 people who have been arrested or charged in a gambling sweep... Authorities said the ring handled about $1 million a month in transactions and was controlled by known associates of the New York-based Genovese crime family. [they were] charged with promoting gambling and conspiracy to promote gambling... And marijuana possession. The investigation began as a probe of illegal gambling in Bergen County and then rapidly expanded to money laundering and narcotics distribution, investigators said. The arrests come on the heels of a December sweep by the State Police and the state Attorney General's Office that rounded up 32 people linked to the New York-based Lucchese organized crime family. Attorney General Anne Milgram said the Lucchese gambling operation took in $2.2 billion in wagers over a 15-month period, with bets placed on professional and college sports, greyhound racing and the ring's own criminal lottery. / By Ed Johnson

AT&T Mobility, VZW, Sprint Nextel targeted in gambling class action
- The nation's three largest wireless carriers have been hit with class action lawsuits accusing them of illegal gambling in connection text messaging tied to popular TV shows. All three lawsuits were filed... By a group of lawyers from California, Illinois and Pennsylvania. The class-action lawsuits filed against Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel and third-party content providers allege the mobile-phone operators enticed subscribers to engage in illegal gambling. The lawsuits center on 99-cent charges levied on wireless consumers who played contests associated with highly-viewed TV programs, including "Deal or No Deal" and "Sole Survivor." / By Jeffrey Silva / March 29, 2008

Arkansas lottery could prove costly for Oklahoma
OK - The creation of a lottery in neighboring Arkansas could cost Oklahoma millions of dollars in annual revenue from games that are already falling short of expectations. "Every projection thats been made so far has been wrong, and now the projection is that we need to take money away from education to give more money to education, so Im a little reluctant to support that," said Rep. Tad Jones, R-Claremore... / By Associated Press / 3/23/2008

Bail is set for ex-church worker accused of stealing nearly $260,000
IL - A Chicago woman with an apparent gambling habit who is accused of stealing nearly $260,000 from a south suburban Catholic parish was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bail Wednesday. Authorities said that from April 2006 to October 2007 Houston forged 144 checks totaling nearly $260,000, which she then cashed at various casinos in Indiana. "Apparently she had a gambling habit and was going to casinos," / By Matt Walberg / March 26, 2008

Bank teller stole $15,000 from work, gambled with it, police say
IL - Using the money to gamble at the Grand Victoria Riverboat Casino... / March 28, 2008

Bars, eateries wrestling with Ill. smoking ban
IL - Almost three months after a new Illinois law made it illegal to light up in public places, the smoke still hasn't cleared. Some casinos claim it has taken a significant bite out of their business. Harrah's Metropolis Casino in Metropolis, Ill., reported a 23 percent drop in revenue the first two months of the year and blamed the smoking ban for 30 layoffs. / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS / 3/29/2008

Beacon Hill Roll Call: Parkway representatives split on casino proposal
MA - Supporters of casino gambling said that it would be an economic boom that would create 32,000 jobs and raise millions of dollars in tax revenue... Opponents said that supporters dramatically inflated the number of jobs and the projected tax revenue. They argued that casinos would create many social costs including increased crime, more gambling addicts, bankruptcies, foreclosures, divorce and even domestic violence. / By Bob Katzen / Mar 24, 2008

Ben Kilgore: The blunder of it all
MA - Why did Governor Patrick allow himself to be treated like a puppet by the kingpins of the casino industry? Then there's the sad case of Ropes & Gray. The once-proud firm actually touts on its Web page the following services to casino interests: Defending several lawsuits brought by allegedly compulsive gamblers. Defending a gaming company before the Federal Election Commission against charges of improper campaign contributions. Oh, and did I mention that Diane Patrick, the governor's wife, is a partner at Ropes & Gray? / March 27, 2008

Bogus bills trick the cash-strapped
KY - Add to that the "Ace of Clubs" - casino gambling. Despite the well-intentioned beliefs of Gov. Steve Beshear, casino gambling doesn't equate to $500 million in new money for the state. Instead, it "clubs" low-income and quickly addicted Kentuckians into pouring money into slot machines instead of their families. / By JIM WATERS / 3/23/08

Casino boat gouges gulf seagrass
FL - State investigators took aerial photos Friday that show the SunCruz casino boat churning through sea grass beds... While they are not part of any aquatic preserve, the sea grass beds that may have been damaged by SunCruz are part of the largest and most pristine stretches of sea grass in the country, biologists say. He called those sea grass beds, which start just north of Anclote Key at the Pinellas-Pasco county line and wrap around the Big Bend area to just south of Tallahassee, one of the state's crown jewels. The damaged portions of those beds will likely not recover for at least a decade, especially the parts that were covered in slow-growing turtle grass. Sea grass beds filter pollution out of the water and form a nursery and feeding ground for a variety of marine species. Tear the sea grass out, Kenworthy said, "and there's a hundred, maybe a thousand, species out there that no longer have access to shelter and habitat they once had." / By Craig Pittman / March 24, 2008

Casino gambling debate turns to tribe, slot machines
MA - When the House voted to kill Gov. Deval Patricks plan to license three casinos in Massachusetts, it did not end the gambling debate in the state. It merely refocused it in other arenas. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe continues to plod through the federal process to build its own casino in Middleborough. And the deal that killed the Patrick plan in the House included a promise to let members debate a proposal to place slot machines at the states four racetracks. / By Associated Press / March 28, 2008

Casino industry not immune from recession
NV - Casino and racetrack gambling revenues have flattened or declined nationwide during the past year. Casino companies today have moved gambling into the mainstream of the U.S. tourism and entertainment industry and have moved themselves into the competition for consumers' discretionary spending. Still, gaming companies are going ahead with resorts that will add thousands of new rooms in Las Vegas. Casino gambling has been a mainstay for years in Missouri, and after years of growth, revenue flattened in 2007, rising just 0.08 percent, while admissions dropped 9.1 percent. / The Associated Press / By KATHLEEN HENNESSEY / Mar. 25, 2008

Casinos at race tracks?
MI - The force behind the Michigan racing industry's unsuccessful attempt in 2004 to get slot machines at race tracks is now pushing for a state constitutional amendment to allow private casinos at the tracks. Adkins [VP of track] proposes a constitutional amendment for the November ballot to undo Proposal 1, passed overwhelmingly by state voters to reject expanded gaming at state horse racing tracks. Adkins admits he is in a "time bind" to collect signatures to place the question on the November ballot. [Track] Wagering topped at $474.6 million in 1997 but dropped to $281.1 million in 2006. Hazel Park officials maintain they are particularly vulnerable because of the track's proximity to Detroit casinos. / By John Michalak / March 23, 2008

City: Lucci delivers justice
MN - Gotelaere, 61... [will] serve about two years in prison for his role in an embezzlement scheme that cost the Superior Fire Department almost a quarter-million dollars over six years. Gotelaere publicly acknowledged his gambling addiction. With his savings gone, he said he ran up large credit card debts, refinanced his home and took out large loans, but ran out of options to pay for his addiction. Gotelaere headed a department with just 34 firefighters. In spite of the personnel cuts, the [His] departments responsibilities grew to include emergency medical and hazardous material response, gearing up a dive team and fire prevention and education. Grant money given to support some of those activities funded the scheme. I would hate to think he was lining his pockets while firefighters were being cut, Matheson said in a statement to the court. During his tenure as fire chief, I also witnessed our fire stations deteriorate. Ive seen the purchase of lower-grade equipment. Ive heard him say we would have to bypass the training of firefighters because of overtime costs. I have witnessed Steve not purchase firefighter gloves required by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) The firefighters purchased the gloves on their own. This in a period of time he was stealing from the department. / Shelley Nelson / March 25, 2008

Cockfighting arrests expected
FL - The arrest of three men Saturday for attending a cockfight near Lochloosla... Will lead to other arrests... "Where this goes on there's always illegal gambling," he said. "It's hard to explain why people would like this, but it's out there and people are doing it, and it's a huge form of animal cruelty." / By MEGAN ROLLAND / March 24, 2008

Collinsville horse track seeks change in Illinois gaming law
IL - Owners of Fairmount Park in Collinsville say to stay in business they must put in slot machines or enter into revenue sharing agreements with casinos. / Matt Sepic / 3-27-08

Conroy: Casino cost-benefit analysis
MA - I studied the issue, read reports, and calculated my own estimates of the costs and benefits. Destination resort casinos are not consistent with the state's tourism value proposition or brand, and, therefore, will not be as financially successful as proponents hope. The gaming industry will not fuel the creation of new, tangential, cutting edge industries in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts state government should support win-win industries such as life sciences, renewable energy, financial services, and information technology that will create new, spin-off industries, which has been the growth model for the Massachusetts economy in the past. Three destination resort casinos in Massachusetts would likely reduce state lottery revenues transferred as state aid to towns and cities by about $200 million. / By Tom Conroy/State Rep. / Mar 24, 2008

Counterpoint: Casinos don't deliver on promises
MA - The Legislature considered casinos for a single reason: The state needs the revenue. The problem is that casinos never deliver on that promise. Consider the fact that Connecticut and New Jersey, with all their slots, both have significantly higher taxes and the same budget problems as Massachusetts. New Jersey closed down last year due to a fiscal crisis. That is money that is not spent on other things in our economy, and we lose existing small businesses plus sales tax revenue. A 10 percent loss in lottery revenue from casinos would cost cities and towns $100 million dollars. The third and most significant reason the states do not end up benefiting is the addictive nature of the new slot machines, which are designed by psychologists, mathematicians, and high-tech artists to do everything possible to get the player to "play to extinction." Until everything you have is gone. / Susan C. Tucker/State Senator / March 23, 2008

Counties Group Backs November Referendum On Slots in Maryland
MD - The Maryland Association of Counties yesterday announced its support for a November referendum on legalizing slot machines in the state, Scott Arceneaux, a senior adviser to Marylanders United to Stop Slots, dismissed the endorsement as a decision made by "political insiders" and said MACo was in effect advocating for "yet another tax increase through legalizing slot machine gambling." / By John Wagner / March 29, 2008

Crisis decisions
FL - Legislators face a difficult task -- carve roughly $3 billion from next year's spending plan, while still producing a balanced budget. Key senators are pushing the idea of boosting state revenue by expanding legalized gambling -- ignoring the documented social costs that accompany addictive games of chance, such as increases in mental illness and domestic violence. It's an irresponsible answer to a problem created, largely, by irresponsibility. / Editorial / March 29, 2008

DA: Ex-clerk stole $240G from Boston Housing Court
MA - A Suffolk County grand jury indicted a retired Boston Housing Court clerk on charges that he embezzled $240,000 from the accounts he managed... Evidence suggests he used these funds to pay his credit card bill, rents, utilities and legal gambling such as Keno... / March 29, 2008

Day of reckoning looms over bingo
CA - In a dispute that has been quietly simmering for months, Indian casinos and charities are about to square off over the future of electronic bingo in California. Charities and nonprofit organizations have been operating hundreds of legally questionable electronic bingo machines... The wealthy United Auburn band of suburban Sacramento has put the Schwarzenegger administration on notice that it believes the bingo machines violate a clause in its gambling agreement that guaranteed a monopoly on electronic gaming devices. Such a breach would permit the tribe to suspend the $33 million it pays annually to the state. / By James P. Sweeney / March 26, 2008

Don't bet against him: Art Schlichter is rebuilding the life gambling destroyed
OH - This fallen hero, whose downturn in life would mock the title of his 1981 biography, "Straight Arrow," has lost just about everything else because of a well-chronicled addiction to gambling. It ruined his marriage, separated him from his two daughters for most of their lives, tainted his legacy at Ohio State, turned the once-famous No. 10 into a more infamous number in the U.S. penal system, destroyed relationships in and outside of his family and cost him his NFL career. Not to mention at least $1 million he is believed to have squandered while swindling, stealing and conning, all to feed his addiction. To support his habit, he stole and conned money from friends and strangers and frequently passed bad checks. In an interview for ESPN's "Outside the Lines," he estimated that he'd stolen $1.5 million over the years, if not more. Between 1994 and 2006, he spent the equivalent of 10 years in 44 prisons and jails across the Midwest. In 2002, my father (Max), who was a compulsive gambler, committed suicide because of his gambling addiction. "The gambling temptation will always be there," he said. "I think about it every day. When something bad happens to me, the first thing I want to do is (gamble) because it numbs my pain, just like an addict would want to drink or do drugs. So I have to check myself on a daily basis." / By JON SPENCER / March 23, 2008

Don't fold on Internet gambling ban
MA - Rep. Barney Frank (D) of Massachusetts is expected to hold congressional hearings next month to explore overturning the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and replace it with legalized online betting... Not included in the cost of this revenue stream, of course, would be the social price paid from the suffering and financial ruin that online gaming inflicts on a minority of players who become addicted to gambling. And the privacy of Internet gambling provides a particular problem for this vulnerable group. / March 25, 2008

Early signs of corruption uninvestigated for months
TX - In July 2006, Bastrop County District Attorney Bryan Goertz asked the state to investigate why Sheriff Richard Hernandez seemed to be turning a blind eye to three large casino-style game rooms on major county roads. Hernandez and Commissioner David Goertz, a second cousin of the district attorney's, both pleaded guilty to corruption charges in January and have since resigned from office. Prosecutors and Littleton claim in court records that the sheriff and commissioner stole as much as $250,000 in money and goods while in office. During 2005 and 2006, Hernandez failed to investigate multiple complaints about three highly visible eight-liner game rooms, the district attorney wrote in a July 25, 2006, letter to the Department of Public Safety. "I'm not talking about a few machines in the back of a convenience store," he wrote in the letter. "I am talking about full-blown, casino-like game rooms that exist for one reason ‚ ¨  illegal gambling." Hernandez was never directly tied to the illegal game rooms, but he eventually pleaded guilty to engaging in a criminal financial scheme with one of the indicted men. / By Molly Bloom / March 29, 2008

Everyone's still out of the office pools
MA - Sen. Michael Morrissey, D-Quincy, had proposed a bill that would have legalized March Madness and Super Bowl gambling pools in public and private places. But it failed this week for the third time. For Barrows (R), the bill would be a way to legitimize a common practice. But he insists on the fact that the state has to remain focus on large gambling rings that usually involve organized crime. Taking or placing bets on sporting events in Massachusetts is a felony or a misdemeanour... The Attorney General's office, generally in charge of gambling investigations, focuses on gambling rings that may involve organized crime... Carey Thiel, a Massachusetts member of the board of directors of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, says exceptions for sports betting would increase gambling addiction issues. / BY MAITE JULLIAN / March 24, 2008

Expanding gambling no way for state to raise money
FL - The social pathologies created by gambling are well-known and well-documented. Increases in crime, prostitution, drug abuse, suicide, divorce and other family problems inevitably follow the introduction or expansion of gambling. Not only do I feel it is improper for the state to become a "partner" in a business it regulates, but our experience from the lottery should leave us skeptical about how much benefit the taxpayers will actually receive. / Editorial / March 24, 2008

Former Algonquin lawyer admits stealing from clients
IL - A disbarred Algonquin attorney accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his clients faces up to four years in prison... His defense lawyer, Mark Gummerson, blamed his client's actions on a gambling addiction... / By Charles Keeshan / 3/24/2008

Former Camden teachers union chief pleads guilty
NJ - A former president of the Camden Education Association pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing money from the teachers union... [She] had used the union-funded card at Atlantic City casinos to help pay for her gambling habit. / By Rita Giordano / Mar. 25, 2008

Former Mall Owner Recieves Probation, Restitution For Embezzlement
OK - Former Antique Mall of Stillwater owner [73] Must pay $13,685 restitution and obtain a gambling assessment, as part of a five-year probationary sentence for embezzlement that she received Wednesday. "We would like to see court-ordered counseling for gambling as part of her probation/deferred sentence judgment.
/ Patti Weaver / 3/26/2008

Former lawyer admits theft fed gambling problem
IL - A former McHenry County lawyer likely faces up to four years in prison after admitting Monday to swindling parts of his clients' court settlements, a crime that his attorney said was committed to feed a gambling addiction. A civil judge ordered Ford to pay $230,917 back to one family he stole from. / By BRANDON COUTRE / March 24, 2008

Four face charges in gambling pool
NY - Glens Falls police... Broke up an illegal gambling operation that took bets on this month's NCAA college basketball tournament... Police seized $5,500... Bar owners... Were charged with misdemeanors of second-degree promoting gambling. / By DENNIS YUSKO / March 22, 2008

Friendly game? Don't bet on it
DE - When... Holley... Holds a barbecue at his house, a few friends often will sit down for a game of Texas hold 'em poker at $2 a hand. So Holley was shocked when his town's newly formed police force busted up a poker game in a suburban cul-de-sac of mini-mansions. While allegations surrounding the arrests of the home's residents sound like the game was more than a few friendly hands of poker, many in the state were surprised to learn that there's nothing written in Delaware laws that allows even penny-ante gambling in the home. State Attorney General Beau Biden's office put out a brief statement that said gambling in Delaware is illegal except through state-run lotteries, horse betting at race tracks and charitable gambling licensed by the state. In Florida, it's not a crime to play "penny-ante" games like poker, pinochle, bridge, rummy, canasta, hearts, dominoes, or mah-jongg if the winnings of any player in a single round are not more than $10. In Iowa, games between individuals in a "bona fide social relationship" are allowed if there is no cover charge or entrance fee and no one wins or loses more than $50 in a 24-hour period. Aaron Wong, special agent supervisor with the California Department of Justice, said 70 percent to 80 percent of the games played in California card rooms are Texas hold 'em. The game is so popular, he said, the state recently tweaked its charitable gaming laws to allow it. / March 28, 2008

GUEST COLUMN: Why I oppose casino gambling
MA - Casinos don't produce new wealth; they simply move it around, capturing spending that would have otherwise occurred at our local restaurants, theaters and taverns. Gambling exploits the desperate dreams of people with little hope, and is widely viewed as a tax on the poor. The gaming industry understands well the brain chemistry of addiction and compulsive behavior. It informs every aspect of a casino's design, from lighting and layout to the audio and visual feedback of slot machines. / Opinion / BY STEVE D'AMICO / March 24, 2008

Gambling Bust in New Jersey Linked To Genovese Crime Family
NJ - An illegal gambling ring was the initial target of the investigation. The forty two people were arrested and charged with various crimes including money laundering, Distribution of narcotics, racketeering, and promoting gambling. Three... Worked in the school system. / By Larry Rutherford / March 26, 2008

Gambling addiction may strike those seeking retirement 'hobby'
OK - Retired seniors with a sense of adventure might look to a casino, racetrack or even betting on the Internet. Seniors have saved their entire life for retirement, and few can afford to lose. It's not as if they can go to work to earn back any money they lose. The cost can be devastating. Seniors on a fixed income all too often must decide between paying a utility bill or buying a prescription. For many, there are no discretionary funds for gambling. The greatest problem is that a gambling addiction may not be realized until a savings account has been depleted and bills have not been paid. A compulsive gambler can hide the compulsion for years. Family and friends might have no idea that gambling is a problem. Of those treated in Oklahoma in 2007 for a gambling addiction, 19 percent were ages 55 to 64. / By Mary Brinkley / March 27, 2008

Gambling gets one last push
KY - [Gov.] Beshear acknowledged that backers of the constitutional amendment that would place the issue on the statewide ballot still don't have the 60 votes necessary for passage. "I don't hear a lot of people in the Senate expressing any real desire to vote on this bill," said Sen. Jack Westwood... Kemper, executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches, said she does not believe Beshear's new push will secure the votes needed for passage. / BY PATRICK CROWLEY / March 24, 2008

Gambling in Macon County: Part One
AL - With all the talk around Houston County about getting an electronic bingo facility as part of the proposed Country Crossing development, citizens wonder what it will mean for the area. The dog track opened in 1984; electronic bingo started nine years later in 2003. / Rhiana Huckins / Mar 25, 2008

Gambling issue stuck in the back of the pack
KY - As the 2008 legislative session nears its end, there is little to no hope that Gov. Steve Beshear's push to put the issue on the statewide ballot will be realized. To call it a long shot is offensive to long shots. Beshear will roll out a dog-and-pony show Monday, painting smiles on the faces of the horse industry, the business community and House leaders while pronouncing that a new push for gambling has begun. No matter. Senate Republicans are waiting for the gambling bill the way the wolf waited for that kid in red. Even if Beshear can find the House votes, Senate President David Williams will destroy the bill, not just defeating it, but very publicly taking to the floor for fiery oratory about the governor's failed leadership. It won't be pretty. / BY PATRICK CROWLEY / March 23, 2008

Governor's inconsistencies may overshadow his accomplishments
CA - Schwarzenegger's penchant for shifting ground has left him with a record of self-contradiction and a reputation among California's polarized constituencies as a leader whose bold pronouncements may quickly be forgotten. Unionized workers were pleased in 2004 when the governor signed compacts with Indian tribes that enabled them to organize casino workers, and they lobbied for the agreements' passage. But two years later, he negotiated a new round of compacts with different tribes that did not include those protections. "Nobody ever called me and said, 'There's been a change of policy and here's why,' " said Jack Gribbon, the state political director of Unite Here, a union that organizes casino hotel workers. "I felt like it was kind of a kick in the stomach to the workers."
/ By Michael Rothfeld / March 28, 2008

Guilty plea in hockey group swindle
MN - A former employee of the Brooklyn Park Youth Hockey Association pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing [$161,000] from the organization's pulltab receipts. / March 28, 2008

High-stakes poker player linked to NY prostitution ring?
NY - The New York Daily News says a "well-known, high-stakes" poker player utilized the services of Kristin Davis, who has been linked to former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. / March 29th, 2008

House panel OKs expanded gambling hours
RI - Legislation to allow 24-hour gambling at the states two slot parlors in Lincoln and Newport on weekends and holiday eves won House Finance Committee approval last night, a day after a key Senate committee approved a matching bill. Lets not do this to people who are weak and lets not do it to people who get hooked, implored former state Rep. Rodney Driver, of Richmond. I could give you hundreds of examples from my tax practice of people who have lost their retirement nest eggs, added Moffitt [Rep. (R)]. Speaking up for the Rhode Island Council on Problem Gambling, John Mongelli urged the lawmakers to earmark more than the $149,641 they provided last year for gambling-addiction treatment, out of the $1.8 billion annual state-run gambling business. / By Katherine Gregg / March 27, 2008

House to vote on Indian Island slots
ME - Maine lawmakers are scheduled Tuesday to take up a bill that would allow a 400 slot machines on Indian Island in Old Town. / The Associated Press / March 25, 2008

Huntley bank teller arrested for theft
IL - In a bid to repay the stolen gas money, Kuehn took more cash -- $15,000 -- and went gambling at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, where he lost it all, the documents show. / By Adam Kovac / 3/28/2008

Ill. casinos angle for all-day cruise
IL - Several Illinois casinos are seeking permission to stay open around the clock in hopes of boosting lackluster gambling revenues... Anti-gambling activists say the move would spark a litany of problems. "With an addicted gambler, the only time they go home is when casinos close," said Anita Bedell, executive director of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems. There's also potential for "a lot more drinking and driving," she said. / BY CHRIS FUSCO AND JACLYN BRENNING / March 29, 2008

Impact of smoking ban: Casino Queen says it's been devastating
IL - The Casino Queen's business is down, and it blames Illinois' smoking ban. "It's been devastating," said casino manager Tom Monaghan, who has seen fewer gamblers on the new "boat in a moat" and fears more are going to new nearby competing casinos across the river in Missouri, where gamblers still can smoke. / BY WILL BUSS / Mar. 25, 2008

KCK residents sue to block WyCo casino proposals
KS - Residents are suing four Kansas agencies to block three casino proposals... The lawsuit had said the particular proposal's intention of coordinating marketing efforts with The Legends at Village West, which benefited from STAR bonds and TIF financing for infrastructure, its proximity to The Legends and its use of The Legends brand name, among other things, caused it to benefit from the public financing or eminent domain used in creating The Legends. The Kansas Supreme Court still must rule on a constitutional challenge to the expanded gambling act. / March 25, 2008

Kansas Capitol Notebook: House preserves in-state tuition for illegals' kids
KS - Rep. Lance Kinzer, Used a creative legislative tactic last week in an attempt to repeal the state law authorizing casinos and slot parlors. He offered an amendment to eliminate the gambling law. But supporters of the gambling law wouldn't risk reopening the gambling debate, so they mounted a procedural challenge to Kinzer's amendment, saying it wasn't relevant to the pension bill. / By DAVID KLEPPER and JIM SULLINGER / Mar. 29, 2008

Kansas: Wyandotte County residents sue to block 3 casino proposals
KS - Four Wyandotte County residents have sued to block construction of a casino near Kansas Speedway, arguing it would benefit improperly from public funding of development in the area. The residents allege that if the state pursues a contract for a casino near the speedway, they would be forced to pay ‚ ¨Sillegal‚ ¨Ě taxes to support it. The speedway and retail development near it were financed partly with bonds issued by the state but are being paid off with sales-tax revenues generated by the development. A state law enacted last year allowing a single casino each in Wyandotte County and three other locations specified that they couldn‚ ¨!"t receive public funding. Whether a casino near the speedway violates the law was raised previously by Americans for Prosperity, an anti-tax group. / March 25, 2008

Ky.: Governor still wants casinos
KY - Though the chips may be down, Gov. Steve Beshear is refusing to give up on his proposal to legalize casinos in Kentucky. Although Kentucky has a long tradition of wagering at horse tracks, the state constitution specifically forbids casinos. / March 24, 2008

NJ - The North Bergen High School director of athletics and wrestling coach is among 45 people charged in a probe into a major illegal gambling ring with mob ties, officials said. The investigation into illegal gambling and money laundering targeted a ring allegedly controlled by members of the Genovese organized crime family. The investigation, which began last August, netted several Hudson County residents and eventually uncovered a large-scale drug distribution network, officials said. The probe also resulted in the seizure of $5 million and five pounds of marijuana. Authorities described a multi-tiered gambling organization with Genovese crime family figures at the top and a network of operatives at the bottom... / By MICHAELANGELO CONTE / March 26, 2008

Legislator pushes bill to help Fairmount
IL - The Legislature [is being asked] to put aside their differences and approve a massive capital works bill that includes, among other things, subsidies from the gambling boats for the tracks. Because of a lack of funding at the track, purses used to pay owners and trainers have been drastically cut... Live racing also has been trimmed. / By Ken Roberts / 3/27/2008

Man convicted of killing aunt sentenced for burglaries
NY - Allen Jr., , Mary Allen, 45, ... watching television. So while Oneida County Court Judge Barry M. Donalty sentenced Allen to a consecutive total of 5 to 10 years in prison for two local third-degree burglary charges, that term will not add any extra years to Allens recent sentence for second-degree murder. Allen chose to not say anything as he was sentenced, and public defender Patrick Marthage declined to comment afterwards. After Allen killed his aunt, ... Allen fled to Oneida County, where he held a clerk at the New London Mini-Mart at gunpoint and broke into Smurfit Stone in New Hartford several times to steal change from a vending machine. Allen used to work at Smurfit Stone. Police later found Allen hiding in a Utica residence. When Allen pleaded guilty to burglary in Oneida County Court in late February, he admitted to unlawfully entering the Smurfit Stone location two times. / By ROCCO LaDUCA / Mar 24, 2008

Newspaper Urges Tougher Ban
- The United States should toughen its stance on online gambling by banning Internet betting on horseracing. The [Christian Science Monitor] stated that the percentage of American university students gambling online fell to 1.5 percent last year from 5.8 percent the previous year thanks to the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). / 27-03-08

Phoenix man gets 6.5 years in prison for casino robbery
AZ - A Phoenix man was sentenced on Monday to 6.5 years in Federal prison after robbing an armored car at Casino Arizona... Kabaklic was armed with a simulated AK-47 assault rifle... Alisic sprayed the armored car guard with pepper spray before they stole over $700,000 from the armored car. / Katrina Wessman / 3/2/08

Ridley schools worker sentenced for embezzling
PA - A former Ridley School District worker was sentenced Tuesday to four to 20 years in prison for stealing more than $570,000 from the district in the last six years to fuel her gambling problem. Defense attorney Kevin Wray said his client was a compulsive gambler needing help. / By Jonathan Mattise / Mar. 27, 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 to build a 24-hour bingo facility... 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." Based on sheer aesthetics, the anti-gambling group said it would be nearly impossible to distinguish a Class II bingo gaming machine from a Class III slot machine. / By Erika Wurst / March 22, 2008

Suspect identified in robbery of WaMu branch
OR - Police have identified the suspect in the St. Patrick's Day robbery of [a] Washington Mutual Bank... Also is wanted for bank jobs... Green is known to have a gambling problem and fancies himself a talented poker player. He frequents Indian casinos... / March 26, 2008

T-Bolt Embezzler Serves 1st Year
FL - Kiernan stole [football team] $157,888... Which he used for gambling... / March 27, 2008

Tax group behind suit questioning Wyandotte County casino proposals
KS - A Topeka-based taxpayer group is behind a lawsuit filed Monday alleging that three casino projects proposed for Wyandotte County violate a ban on public financing. "Ordinary Kansas taxpayers should not bear the burden of financing expensive casino developments," Perry, Kan., lawyer Caleb Stegall said Monday in a written statement announcing the lawsuit. Monday's legal action was filed on behalf of five Kansas City, Kan., residents named as plaintiffs. It seeks an injunction prohibiting the state from approving or entering into a contract with the three casino project developers, alleging such contracts would create "an illegal tax." / Mar. 24, 2008

Verizon Wireless Facing Suit For Illegal Gambling Text Message Service
- "At all times relevant during the liability period, the premium charge of $0.99 purchased nothing except a chance to win a prize. The games were not used as a sweepstakes to promote a product, but rather were illegal lotteries designed to generate revenues far in excess of the value of the cash reward," said the lawsuit. / March 25, 2008

Verizon Wireless sued for game show contests
- The contest violated what is known as the Standard Lottery Rule. That "rule" for promotions departments to uphold is that an illegal lottery contains three things: prize, chance, and consideration. By removing any of these factors, the contest becomes legal again. / By Tim Conneally / March 27, 2008

Woman sentenced to two years community control for operating a gambling house
OH - Michelle Bennett, 30, of 1500 Rinehart Road, was sentenced to two years community control on one count each of operating a gambling house - a first-degree misdemeanor - and conducting illegal bingo, a first-degree felony. / BY ASHLEY PHILLIPS / March 27, 2008

'Hidden Disease' of Gambling Extends to Women in Workplace
VA - 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). It's an addiction with "enormous social, economic and psychological implications," the NCPG says. Gambling is a problem often associated with such crimes as embezzlement, employee theft, fraud, tax evasion and insurance fraud, according to the NCPG. "I dont know any [employees] who are able to function at their work" when they are at the peak of their gambling addiction, [director of BDA] It's a problem that's difficult to spot, according to the Council on Compulsive Gambling in New Jersey, because most female gamblers are "closet gamblers" who seldom brag about their wins and stick to legal gambling. "Compulsive gambling is called the 'hidden disease' because there are few overt signs of it in the workplace," Duguay said. / By Kathy Gurchiek / 3/20/08

One dead, another hurt in shooting at Macon gambling house
GA - Three gunmen killed one man and injured another after opening fire Wednesday night in what Macon police called a "known gambling house." The gunman escaped with an unknown amount of money... / By Liz Fabian and Amy Leigh Womack / Mar. 27, 2008

AFL's lookalike gambling chips come in for a bucketing
AUSTRALIA - ANTI-GAMBLING groups are calling on the AFL to ban a new licensed product imitation gambling chips targeted at children. It features star players stamped on the authentic-looking plastic chips. AFL is... Seeking a joint venture with a major poker machines operator in grabbing a stake in the state's multibillion-dollar gaming industry. / John Elder / March 23, 2008

Agency calls for more work at SugarHouse site
PA - Pennsylvania's top agency for historic preservation is calling for additional archaeological work at the Delaware River site of the proposed SugarHouse casino.The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission recommended in a letter on Wednesday to the Army Corps of Engineers that more work was needed in an area believed to be the site of a British fort from the Revolutionary War. / By Jennifer Lin / Mar. 29, 2008

Banks, Processors Struggle with Proposed Regs for Web Gambling
- Nearly 18 months after President Bush signed into law the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), regulators are still struggling to come up with rules to guide financial institutions and payment processors in blocking payments to online gaming sites. Says Citibank: We need bright-line rules that can be applied to assist us in determining what activities are considered lawful. / March 24, 2008

Beshear concedes defeat on casino effort
KY - Gov. Steve Beshear conceded defeat yesterday on casino gambling legislation -- an issue that had been the centerpiece of his election campaign last year. "For this session, it is dead," Beshear said. Beshear had campaigned on casinos as a way to help Kentucky's horse industry and provide more money for education, health care and other programs in the cash-strained state budget. Hack [Say No To Casinos] said he believes casino backers will see that not even a governor elected in a landslide can pass casino legislation in Kentucky. / By Gregory A. Hall / March 28, 2008

Bureau of Indian Affairs hears casino arguments, pro and con
MA - The Bureau of Indian Affairs and its umbrella agency, the Department of the Interior, are being asked to determine if the Mashpee Wampanoag should be allowed to take about 540 acres into trust as the site of a resort casino. Last weeks legislative defeat of a bill that would have allowed three resort casinos across the state and opened the door to full gaming at a sovereign Indian casino may have taken some of the steam out of tonights hearing. When speakers took to the microphone, they raised many of the same arguments that have dominated the debate since it began: addiction, traffic, crime, social woes, water quality, job creation, the destruction of the character of the community and the like. When you take the time to look into the situation, you quickly come to the realization that Middleboro was the place chosen by billionaire casino developers, not a tribe looking for a home, Mr. Young said. Its reservation shopping, pure and simple, Mr. Belanger said.
/ Steve DeCosta / March 25, 2008

Carey's casino must take shape, soon
ME - Unlike the other proposals for casino and racetrack gambling in Maine, the plan by Seth Carey of Rumford is long on promises, but short on details. For his plan to gain any traction with voters this fall, Carey must start divulging his business model. That two of the last three statewide referenda on casino gambling have failed shows Mainers are skeptical about these facilities. / March 26, 2008

Casino amenities are designed to keep people in house -- and gambling
NY - The model for Indian casinos is not designed to create spinoff business for local communities, gambling experts say, but to offer lots of extras that keep people on property and gambling as long as possible. Over time, the house will get a percentage of all the money spent, but they need that time, said David G. Schwartz, author of Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling. It all comes down to house odds. The longer people bet, the more reliable a casinos revenue stream will be. / The Buffalo News / By Denise Jewell Gee / 03/27/08

Casino asks for leeway on parking spots
PA - The developers of the Sands BethWorks casino want to chop 1 foot from the city's required length for a parking space. That foot would allow developers to steer more of the projected 5 million visitors each year into the five-story parking garage at the $800 million casino and entertainment development being built at the old Bethlehem Steel plant. / By Nicole Radzievich / March 24, 2008

Casino spending is slowing down in New England
MA - The estimated amount of money that Massachusetts residents collectively spent at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun fell by 3.4 percent to $846 million in 2007 the second year in a row that Bay State residents spent less money at the two casinos. / GateHouse News Service / By Jon Chesto / Mar 24, 2008

Church business manager charged in theft
IL - The business manager of Infant Jesus of Prague Parish in Flossmoor could face up to 30 years in prison for allegedly stealing more than $250,000 to feed her gambling habit, prosecutors said Tuesday. / sun-times news group / By Eric Herman / March 26, 2008

Committee approves 24-hour gambling
RI - Senate Fiscal Advisor Russell Dannecker told the lawmakers, struggling to get a massive budget deficit under control, that round-the-clock gambling on weekends and holidays could generate an additional $14.8 million annually for the state. Lincoln voters overwhelmingly rejected any expansion of gambling at Twin River in a nonbinding November referendum, and Lincoln Town Council President Jeremiah OGrady has argued the town needs to be compensated in some way if the state allows the expanded hours despite local opposition. / Journal State House Bureau / By Katherine Gregg / March 27, 2008

Compulsive Gamblers Always Down On Their Luck
- Gambling addicts don't learn from their mistakes, according to a new study. The problem could be explained by a kind of mental rigidity that leads to harmful compulsive behaviour in sufferers. Donatella Marazziti of the University of Pisa and colleagues explain that pathological gambling revolves around the uncontrolled impulse to gamble, with serious consequences for the individual and their family. / ScienceDaily / Mar. 27, 2008

Cost of capital curtails A.C. casino plans
NJ - Last month, Dan Lee, chief executive officer of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. of Las Vegas, announced that it was holding off on building a $1.5 billion gambling palace - the one being teased by five billboards along the Atlantic City Expressway. "I've been asked, 'How the hell are you going to build in Atlantic City?' " Lee said in a year-end earnings conference call on Feb. 26. "The answer is, if credit markets don't improve, we won't build. We're not going to go broke building in Atlantic City." Pinnacle, which also had its sights on Atlantic City for some time, lost out on a bidding war for the parent company of the Tropicana here and the one in Las Vegas in May 2006 to Columbia-Sussex Corp. It finally bought the former Sands Hotel Casino in September 2006, and demolished it last October to make way for its mega-casino - a project indefinitely on hold. / By Suzette Parmley / Mar. 23, 2008

Feds hold hearing on Middleboro casino
MA - Proponents applauded the jobs and economic development a proposed Indian casino could bring. Opponents spoke of increased traffic, crime and environmental damage the Mashpee Wampanoag venture might cause. Priscilla Chapman, who represented the Massachusetts Audubon Society, said the scale of the proposed casino project is too big for the intended site and would severely affect groundwater. Leaders from another tribe, the Massachuseuk, spoke in opposition to the proposal. "It is disturbing that the Mashpee would come to the Massachuseuk territory and try to establish this as their homeland, which it is not, it has never been and, if we have something to say, it never will be." / By Stephanie Vosk / March 26, 2008

Former Emerald Queen dealer guilty of gambling con
WA - Sovan was arrested last May as part of a card-cheating ring that targeted 18 casinos by bribing dealers to perform false shuffles... / P-I STAFF / March 25, 2008

Former school payroll clerk sentenced for skimming funds.
PA - $600,000 from the Ridley School District... She used for gambling in Atlantic City and Las Vegas casinos. / GovNetPA, Inc. / David Madden/KYW-AM / March 26

Gamblers not expected to double down in economic downturn, experts say
NV - Because companies have started to cut budgets for employee travel and conventions, booking cancellations have increased and attendance has dropped at major conventions, Harrah's chief executive Gary Loveman said. Atlantic City properties are more clearly feeling the pinch of increased competition from new Pennsylvania slot parlours and tight credit markets. "Gas and gambling kind of come out of the same pocket," he [student] said. "I'll have to have less action because my gas tank needs it." / March 26, 2008

Gambling flap in GOP congressional primary?
FL - Former Palm Beach Gardens Councilman Hal Valeche, Has weighed in against the Palm Beach Kennel Clubs proposal to add slot machines to its longtime parimutuel business. The Kennel Club is owned by the family of one of Valeches congressional rivals, attorney Tom Rooney. / By George Bennett / March 26, 2008

Gambling ideas gain traction in Belmont
NH - A slumping economy and declining state revenues have some state leaders becoming amenable to the idea of expanded gambling, with the possible impact in Belmont being a $2 million shot in the arm from money derived from video slot machines. Wisler [Exec. Dir. NH Lottery Com.] noted that the lottery could have video machines at racetracks and said such ideas have been included in bills. / By GEOFF CUNNINGHAM Jr. / March 25, 2008

Gambling industry's Trojan horse
GA - In every legislative session, the gambling industry trots its "Trojan horses" to the gates of our state. In most cases, even the sponsors of the bills are misled about the real purpose for the industry's bills. HB 259, the language that would authorize for-profit lotteries... Was buried deep in the bill... The gambling industry sees Georgia as an "open frontier" - no rules, no laws, no taxes and no viable competition. / By Ken Wynne / 03/24/08

Gambling license reform must not be game of chance
PA - Pennsylvania is firmly committed to industrialized gambling as a long-term revenue source. That makes it essential that the Legislature becomes equally committed to reforming a licensing system that, itself, is a game of chance in terms of reliability and integrity. After Mr. DeNaples received the license, he was charged with perjury for allegedly lying to the board about his relationships with organized crime figures. The board is supposed to be armed with such information while considering a license application, not after awarding the license. / Daily and Sunday Review / 03/26/2008

Gambling study shows that sex really does sell
- They found that the men exposed to positive (generally sexual) imagery were more likely to bet a dollar. The negative imagery made them more likely to make the smaller bet and the neutral one meant they could go either way. It was the first test to prove that emotional stimuli can influence risk taking. / By Jasper Hamill

PA - So far, the Dauphin County casino [Penn National] has taken in, on average, $44 million per week in wagers. However, the amount of money people gambled at the casino has showed a steady descent week-over-week since opening. / BY SHARON SMITH / March 24, 2008

Judge denies federal request to drop casino suit
CA - Amador County is suing the federal government over a decision by federal officials to recognize the proposed casino site on Coal Mine Road as "Indian land" equivalent to a reservation where a tribe may legally operate a gambling business. The tribe owns the land as fee title property, not as a reservation. / The Record / March 25, 2008

Kobe Bryant Is Better Than Michael Jordan
CA - And what about Jordans gambling addiction? No one ever mentioned that back then and hardly anyone mentions it now but MJ is a gambling addict. He once held up his teams flight by 2 hours because he didnt want to lose a shooting competition to Rip Hamilton in his Washington days. If MJs life was covered like Kobes life is being covered, everyone would have a different view of his Airness. If MJ was in Vegas losing money today, someone, somewhere would write about it. / Bleacher Report / March 23, 2008

Law fights gambling on credit
MT - That's a violation of Montana law. [since 1989] It's against the law to gamble on credit, Huntington [MT Gambling Control administrator] said. People can't lose the farm, Huntington said this week. They can lose all the money in their wallet and bank account, but they can't get a loan to lose all of their money. They're engaged in what's called chasing your losses, where problem gamblers believe they can win back the money they lost so they continue gambling. Huntington cited a study concluding that although only 3 percent to 4 percent of adult Montanans are problem gamblers, they account for 35 percent of all video gambling machine revenues. A college student used his father's American Express credit card to secure about $49,000 for gambling at eight different Montana casinos, The father called the Gambling Control Division... The charges were reversed back to the casinos after American Express learned they were for cash advances for gambling in violation of its merchant agreement. A gambler received cash advances of $1,000 and $1,250 in $250 increments from the Rio Grand Casino in Billings. These advances were charged as the sale of goods and services on the gambler's Visa card. / Source: Montana Department of Justice Gambling Control Division / By CHARLES S. JOHNSON / March 27, 2008

Lawmakers turn aside Sebelius proposals
KS - In January the governor, a Democrat, proposed a 50-cent-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes to fund an ambitious health-care package, using $81 million from gambling revenue and spending millions of additional dollars to aid the elderly, disabled and those in poverty. Two months later, over the bitter objection of House Democrats, Republican members passed a $6.3 billion general fund, or operating budget, with none of those items in it. / By JIM SULLINGER / Mar. 24, 2008

Lawsuit Filed Over Kansas Casinio
KS - Four Kansas residents have sued to block construction of a casino near Kansas Speedway, arguing it would benefit improperly from public funding of development in the area. The residents of Wyandotte County allege that if the state pursues a contract for a casino near the speedway, they would be forced to pay "illegal" taxes to support it. The lawsuit deals with proposals from Legends Sun, Kansas Entertainment LLC and Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., of Las Vegas. / The Associated Press / Mar 25 2008

Let 'em play
NC - According to N.C. law, any sort of gambling is illegal and is a Class 2 misdemeanor, Nourish International, a nonprofit... Had to cancel its annual Hold 'Em For Hunger poker tournament. The group is applying to Gov. Mike Easley for an exemption from the gambling law, It seems hypocritical for the state to have a law against all forms of gambling when North Carolina has a state-run lottery that milked its residents for more than $885 million in 2007. / By: Editorial Board / 3/26/08

Local "millionaire" on the run
NV - Garcia won more than a million dollars. But he didn't do it legally. That's why the Gaming Control Board wants to find him. Gaming officials say he stole the money from a local casino. Prosecutors say Garcia hit the jackpot. One jackpot after another. In less than 11 months he became a local millionaire. The problem is, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, he stole the money.
Mitch Truswell / March 27, 2008

Looming recession doesn't stop Atlantic City crowds - it just thins them
NJ - In the depths of this country's recessions, at least one thing has remained constant - people are always ready and willing to throw their cash at casinos. A recent report by the Moody's rating agency revealed a poor showing for casinos nationwide in January, while in Atlantic City, two casino projects - an expansion at the Atlantic City Hilton and the Pinnacle Entertainment project - already have been delayed, and possibly scrapped for good. / STEVEN LEMONGELLO / March 23, 2008

Losses outweigh gains in brackets
PA -, a career site, estimates 48 percent of employees participate in some sort of tournament pool, just behind an estimated 51 percent who take in interest in the Super Bowl. Another job firm, Challenger, Gray and Christmas out of Chicago which annually estimates lost productivity because of the tournament, figures $1.7 billion will be lost this year. That number is based on average time spent on filling in the brackets and either watching games or checking on the scores. It certainly does not help productivity that CBS also offers its game coverage for free online. / Centre Daily Times / By Gordon Brunskill / Mar. 25, 2008

Lottery Bosses: N.H. outgunned in gaming
NH - The state lottery's chief executives called on the Legislature and Gov. John Lynch on Monday to seriously consider expanded gambling or face a future of declining revenues. The New Hampshire Lottery's three commissioners, Admitted New Hampshire faces a future of being outgunned because the state has to compete with neighboring state lotteries where slot machines or Keno are legal. If lawmakers put them in charge, commissioners said they could effectively run slot machine or Keno gambling. Former state Sen. Jim Rubens, with the Coalition Against Expanded Gambling, said commissioners ignore studies that show expanded gaming would bring a sharp rise in addicted gamblers. / The Telegraph / By Kevin Landrigan / March 25, 2008

Lottery: Expand gaming in NH
NH - New Hampshire Lottery Commission leaders said yesterday the state has to choose either to expand gambling or live with disappointing returns to the state's Education Trust Fund. "NH Lottery Commissioners Concur - It's Time to Expand Gaming In Order to Meet Revenue Goals." "If you put video slot machines near where people live, more people will become addicted to them," he [Rubens, Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling] said. / By TOM FAHEY / 3-25-08

Lottery says sales are back on the rise
MA - Thanks largely to huge demand for the Lottery's new $20 instant ticket, Experts on compulsive gambling are concerned about the $20 scratch tickets, worrying that the people who are attracted to them are those with more severe gambling problems, / By Globe Staff / March 27, 2008

ME House gives initial nod to slots
ME - The bill, Would allow the tribe to operate [400] slot machines if it has a license to run high-stakes bingo games, / By Mainebiz news staff / (03/26/08)

Macon County Gaming: Part Two
AL - Monday, we took you for a rare look inside Victoryland, the greyhound dog track in shorter that also has electronic bingo. Country Crossing has promised to donate at least $2 million dollars to Houston County charities once the charity bingo facility opens. But some Wiregrass residents say they're worried money from electronic bingo may not be worth the gamble. / Rhiana Huckins / Mar 26, 2008

One more time around for Maine and slots: The latest resort casino proposal offers
ME - A developer is promising to fill the state's coffers with a share of money lost by tourists in a "gaming facility." It would be the fourth time in five years that Maine voters would be asked to expand gambling in the state. Most of the money spent on gambling would come out of the local economy, not from well-heeled visitors. That will be even more true as gambling proliferates in nearby states and Canadian provinces. What the law doesn't make clear, however, is that most of what's left over will go to a national gambling company that will take its profits out of state. And since most of the gross can be expected to come from Maine residents, that will be money that is not spent at other local businesses. The referendum would lower the legal age for gambling from 21 to 19. / March 29, 2008

Man police say used forged checks to pay gambling debts faces new charges
NH - A Dover man who police believe paid off illegal gambling debts with stolen checks was in Portsmouth District Court on Monday for a probable cause hearing and was also arraigned on new charges for attempted theft and bail jumping. / By CHARLES McMAHON / March 25, 2008

Manassas man charged in gambling operation
VA - A Manassas man was recently charged with running an illegal gambling operation following a roughly five-month investigation by Fairfax County police, Police seized a following during a search... Records and documents related to gambling, records and documents related to drug distribution, marijuana, / By Eden Miller / March 24, 2008

Mashantuckets appeal labor board union decision
CT - The National Labor Relations Board can and must do better in considering the outcome of the United Auto Workers organizing vote among Foxwoods Resort Casino table game dealers, Among its [Tribe] arguments were that the board issued English-only ballots even though several hundred dealers are of Asian descent and there was alleged intimidation by pro-union employees. / Norwich Bulletin / By ERICA JACOBSON / Mar 26, 2008

Mass. residents spent $1.1b at nearby gambling venues, study says
MA - Critics say casino studies ignore the likely negative impacts on other businesses and do not account for increased competition for gambling dollars in other states. New casinos would prey on the poor, increase gambling addiction, and cause a host of other socioeconomic problems, casino critics say. / By Peter Schworm / March 24, 2008

Mattoon tavern owner pleads not guilty to bribery charge
IL - Charge accusing him of trying to stop alleged illegal gambling... From being reported. / March 24, 2008

McCain posts NCAA contest
DC - For the second straight year, McCain's presidential campaign Web site includes not only the senator's predictions for the tournament but encourages visitors to make picks with him. Democratic candidate Barack Obama also has posted his brackets and went 32-16 in the opening rounds. "I thought he [McCain] was a prohibitionist on gambling," Wexler [Counselor] said. "The promotion of this Final Four ... and these other gambling Web sites is not fun and games. 5 percent -- their lives are being destroyed." / Las Vegas Review-Journal / By TONY BATT / Mar. 27, 2008

Men's Vogue visits Blackjack Ball
MA - All told, they [the world's most skilled blackjack players] have taken north of $100 million out of the casinos across town by implementing techniques like card counting, hole carding, and shuffle tracking. Because casinos stereotype Asians as compulsive gamblers and because the mostly Caucasian surveillance personnel have a hard time distinguishing one Asian from anotherChang's nationality has brought him longevity. It's given him what those in the game call "positive EV" (expected value) and turned the art of beating casinos into his life's work. / Casino City Times / 26 March 2008

Mont. Goes After Credit Gambling
MT - Montana is cracking down on casinos that ignore state law prohibiting gambling on credit. Last year, a Missoula casino let a gambler use a credit card to obtain more than $10,000 in cash advances to gamble. The casino later agreed to reverse all the cash advances and to make a charitable donation to the Montana Council on Problem Gambling. In the past year, he said there have been three or four cases where people have lost "huge amounts" through credit gambling. / The Associated Press / March 27, 2008

Mount Airy Casino Resort folds expansion plans
PA - Mount Airy Casino Resort has put the brakes on its plans for a $60.1 million expansion and is trying to restructure its $380 million in debt, Even as Ceddia [casinos Trustee] gave his update, the board proposed new regulations that would allow it to more easily acquire the kind of FBI investigative files it never got before DeNaples was issued a gaming license. DeNaples, a wealthy Scranton area businessman, was awarded a license for his $415 million casino in December 2006 while state police still were investigating whether he lied to gambling regulators about his ties to organized crime. DeNaples defaulted on his loans when his gaming license was suspended. / By Matt Assad / March 28, 2008

Mt. Airy may nix expansion
PA - A planned expansion of Mount Airy Casino Resort is in doubt as negotiations continue with lenders over restructuring the casinos financing. Dr. Ceddia, a former Shippensburg University president, was appointed to run the casino after the board suspended owner Louis A. DeNaples slots license. The action came after the filing of perjury charges against Mr. DeNaples for allegedly lying about whether he knew organized crime figures. / The Times-Tribune / BY ROBERT SWIFT / 03/28/2008

Negotiations break off; strike planned at W.Va. casino
WV - About 200 workers at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort planned to strike early Saturday after contract negotiations broke off... Local 23 says Mountaineer lags behind competitors in wages and benefits, paying the unit an average wage of just $9.34 an hour. Cashiers start at $6.50. / The Associated Press / Mar 29, 2008

New Life for Buckeye Lake
OH - In January, Governor Ted Strickland announced that the Ohio Lottery would add Keno in thousands of bars and restaurants that hold Class D liquor licenses to bolster sagging state revenue. "We're going to expand our Ohio Lottery games to include slot machines on a very small, trial basis at Buckeye Lake State Park," Mike Dolan, Director of the Ohio Lottery Commission said. Voters have consistently turned down casino gambling in Ohio, Specifically, anyone living within a 20 miles radius of the center of Buckeye Lake will not be able to gamble unless they complete a state Safe Gambling Course. / March 29, 2008

New taxes to support record aid
NY - Despite a national economic slowdown that is forcing sharp spending cuts in other states, New Yorks budget negotiators appear to be in agreement that new taxes, fees and borrowing will be used to help fund a record increase in aid to public schools and other popular spending programs this election year. A plan to expand the Lotterys Quick Draw game, derided as Crack Draw by gambling addicts, appears dead. / NEWS ALBANY BUREAU / By Tom Precious / 03/29/08

No side bets
MA - Opponents of legalized gaming in Massachusetts are celebrating the death this past week of Governor Deval Patricks bill to license casinos, which was crushed by a seemingly decisive margin of more than two-to-one. (It may, in fact, just be a matter of time next years session, perhaps before a compromise position can be reached that would likely have the necessary support to legalize casinos in the Bay State.) And almost everyone on Beacon Hill agrees that, if the Wampanoags [Indian] casino is inevitable currently a matter of debate some version of Patricks casino bill will surely pass. / By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN / March 26, 2008

Oneidas: We want more land
- Neither side is satisfied with the amount of land that would be put into trust if the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs plan is approved. The Oneida Indian Nation wants more than the suggested 13,089 acres. In 2005, the Oneidas sought to place 17,370 acres of their non-reservation land into trust. Any land getting that status becomes exempt from state and local taxes and regulations. / Observer-Dispatch / By ELIZABETH COOPER / Mar 24, 2008

Office Bracket Pools Are Illegal But Nobody Cares
TN - Tucker Martin, director of communications for Virginia Attorney General... , pointed to the definition of illegal gambling as, "the making, placing or receipt of any bet or wager in this Commonwealth for money or other things of value, made in exchange for a chance to win a prize, stake or other consideration or thing of value, / Mar 27, 2008

Other states profit from Ohio's gambling fever
OH - Should lawmakers in Lexington bite, Ohio would stand alone. Proudly, some say. The state constitution prohibits most forms of gambling and that's fine with Tom Smith, the director of public policy for the Ohio Council of Churches. Smith urges people to see the despair behind the bright lights. He said studies show the gaming industry profits alarmingly from luckless souls, low-income people and problem gamblers. "These are people feeling the pressure of an economy gone sour," Smith said. "We've got to find better answers for them." He's not the only one to see Keno as another step down a slippery slope. Ohio State Sen. Ron Amstutz, a Wooster Republican, plans to introduce a bill banning the Ohio Lottery Commission from offering the game. / by Robert L. Smith / March 28, 2008

Patrick chased book deal during vote
MA - Governor Deval Patrick traveled to New York last week to shop a proposal for an autobiography... Within hours after Patrick left Boston, the House, led by Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, crushed the casino proposal with a 108 to 46 vote. In the heated run-up to the debate and final vote, a number of Democratic legislators sided with Patrick and defied DiMasi's strong lobbying among members to defeat the governor's proposal. They [aides] scoffed at suggestions that it was a political misstep to depart Beacon Hill and not see his casino proposal through to the very end. "There was nothing he could do to stop" the defeat, said Senator Michael Morrissey, a Quincy Democrat and a casino backer. "He had done all the legwork that he could. . . . / By Frank Phillips and Matt Viser / March 28, 2008

Perry still backs sale of lottery
TX - Although Gov. Rick Perry's proposal to turn the Texas lottery over to a private contractor fizzled out last year, he still supports the idea... Two -- Merrill Lynch and UBS -- suggested that the lottery could be worth well over $20 billion if more than just traditional lottery games were allowed. / By JOHN MORITZ / Mar. 27, 2008

Plan Philly: Engaging in Urban Dialogue
PA - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments to help it determine who can issue permits to build on lands beneath the Delaware River - and whether the submerged lands permit Philadelphia gave SugarHouse Casino, and then later revoked, is valid. Based on previous conversations with Mayor Michael Nutter and others in his administration, the City will argue that while it has the power to grant submerged lands permits, the process that lead to SugarHouse's was flawed, so it also has the right to revoke that one. Delays cost SugarHouse more than $1 million per month, The right to build on these submerged, or riparian, lands had most commonly been granted through an act of the state legislature, and the legislature maintains that except in special circumstances involving small projects, they are the only body that can grant riparian rights. But no legislator was willing to sponsor a bill for SugarHouse. / By Kellie Patrick Gates / March 26

Pocono resorts make pitches for slots license
PA - The owners of one Pocono resort vying for a state slots license say gambling will help keep them competitive, while another regional resort competing for the license sees a slots parlor complementing its new indoor water park. Unlike the standalone casinos and racetrack casinos already open in Pennsylvania, the resort casinos are aimed at guests who will stay overnight. / BY ROBERT SWIFT / 03/29/2008

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. Similar charges have been lodged against former trooper HyunJim Kim, who was arrested March 3 in connection with the Feb. 22 robbery at Wild Quail Country Club near Wyoming. / AP / 3-25-08

RUMJUNGLE AT MANDALAY BAY: Lawsuit alleges beating
NV - Rumors of aggressive shakedown tactics by doormen at nightclubs surfaced after the Internal Revenue Service raided Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace in February. But several years earlier, a firefighter from the Bay Area says he was beaten to a pulp when he wouldn't hand over bribes to bouncers at Rumjungle at Mandalay Bay. He [victim] was beaten so badly that he required hospitalization and suffered from a fractured femur, severe concussion and multiple bruises over his eyes, ears and chin. / Las Vegas Review-Journal / By DAVID KIHARA / Mar. 25, 2008

Racetracks Might Not Push Slots
MD - As both sides gird for a November referendum on slot machines in Maryland, some of the biggest potential beneficiaries of expanded gambling -- racetrack owners -- are hedging their bets on whether they will take part in the campaign. Slots proponents have argued for years that revenue from the machines is needed to prop up Maryland's ailing horse-racing industry, and two existing tracks would be among the sites eligible to receive slots licenses, if voters approve the ballot measure. $15 million campaign... Since 2003, when the slots debate heated up in Annapolis, Ocean Downs has spent more than $1 million on lobbying, and Rickman, his family and their businesses have been heavy campaign contributors. Magna, meanwhile, spent more than $1 million on lobbying in just 2003 and 2004. / By John Wagner / March 24, 2008

Record lottery haul highlights gambling hypocrisy
MA - The state lottery is expecting to smash revenue records this fiscal year, thanks primarily to the introduction of an insidious instant scratch ticket that costs an astonishing $20 per sucker's chance. I'm against politicians pretending to protect the public from ills associated with problem gambling when all they're really doing is protecting a source of easy revenue for the state. / by Paul McNamara / 03/27/2008

Religious opponents of gambling have a tough sell
DC - The moral opposition to gambling might be gasping its last breaths. "The church's opposition to gambling has not been widely effective," said the Rev. Tom Grey, spokesman for the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, "because (the church is) not relevant in an irreverent age." 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. "It's the churches who are going to have to pick up the pieces," she [Lunsford, spokeswoman for the Kansas commission] said, "when families are torn apart by gambling." / Religion News Service / By GREG TROTTER / Mar 25, 2008

Reputed Pa. mobster pleads guilty to 2 counts in Scranton
PA - William D'Elia, 61, has long been tied to the Bufalino crime family, but until two years ago had never been charged with a mob-related crime. Five months later, he was accused of trying to arrange to have a witness in the case killed. D'Elia already testified in front of a Dauphin County grand jury that recommended perjury charges against Mount Airy Casino Resort owner Louis A. DeNaples. / The Associated Press / By Michael Rubinkam / March 28, 2008

Reputed Pennsylvania mobster pleads guilty
PA - A spokesman for... DeNaples, the owner of the recently opened Mount Airy Casino Resort... , accused prosecutors of giving D'Elia a sweetheart deal in exchange for his testimony against DeNaples. / Associated Press / March 28, 2008

Reputed Scranton mobster takes deal
- The reputed head [William D'Elia] of a Scranton crime family who has been linked to Mount Airy Casino Resort owner Louis DeNaples pleaded guilty Friday to witness tampering and conspiracy to launder money. DeNaples, a wealthy Scranton area businessman, was charged with four counts of perjury in January for allegedly lying to the gaming board about his relationship with D'Elia and three other men. / The Morning Call / By Matt Birkbeck / March 29, 2008

Reservations Rebuffed
DC - Whats more, they argue, tribes now flush with gambling money, such as Connecticuts Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, came into possession of optimally sited reservation land via controversial treaties that often had little or nothing to do with the location of ancestral land. At the same time Interior made public a new policy that, in the tribes view, makes it nearly impossible for them to win approval for any desirable off-reservation site. / By Shawn Zeller / March 23, 2008

Richards: 2 days left on casinos
KY - With the legislative session nearing its end, House Speaker Jody Richards said yesterday that a constitutional amendment to allow casinos has two days to pass the House. Gov. Steve Beshear made last-ditch appeals to get the 60 votes needed for the legislation to pass the 100-member House. Counting today, eight days remain in the current legislative session. "I think it's hugely significant that they couldn't get any other members to stand up with them in a press conference in the closing days of the session on the governor's highest legislative priority,"said John-Mark Hack, head of the Say No to Casinos campaign. "He doesn't have support for this." / By Gregory A. Hall / March 25, 2008

Robbed harness poker players in hot water
DE - The harness commission's current director, was unaware licensees were playing in the robbed game... , Investigator will... Determine [if] Illegal gambling. / 23-Mar-2008

Robbery victims connected to harness racing
DE - When armed bandits robbed a dozen poker players of more than $10,000 at a country club near Dover last month, most of the victims had ties to the Delaware harness racing industry, None of the robbery victims has been charged... Directors of the Delaware Harness Racing Commission say their role in the high-profile event is troubling. "We'll have to determine whether it's an illegal activity. To illustrate the danger of gambling to horse racing's reputation, Wayne said that years ago, when he worked at a West Coast track, people in the racing industry were playing in a card game near the track. It turned out that the game was run by a mobster who "wanted to get horse people under the thumb of wise guys," Wayne said. / The News Journal / By CRIS BARRISH and TERRI SANGINITI / March 23, 2008

Schlichter continues to overcome gambling demons daily
OH - This fallen hero, whose downturn in life would mock the title of his 1981 biography, "Straight Arrow," has lost just about everything else because of a well-chronicled addiction to gambling. It ruined his marriage, separated him from his two daughters for most of their lives, tainted his legacy at Ohio State, turned the once-famous No. 10 into a more infamous number in the U.S. penal system, destroyed relationships inside and outside of his family and cost him his career in the NFL. Not to mention at least $1 million he is believed to have squandered while swindling, stealing and conning, all to feed his addiction. / By JON SPENCER / March 24, 2008

Selling lottery could force expansion of Texas gaming
TX - Texas would have to expand gambling to see the multibillion-dollar profits Gov. Rick Perry promised last year when he proposed selling the state lottery, An expansion of gambling in Texas, though, would be good news for the Tigua tribe in El Paso, which has been trying for years to reopen Speaking Rock Casino. Gordon Graves, an Austin investor who once partnered with the Tiguas in gaming operations at Speaking Rock and is the largest stockholder in the gaming company Aces Wired, said he submitted ideas to expand distribution of lottery tickets using technology such as cell phones and the Internet. Graves has given more than $100,000 to Perry since 2000. And, according to the report, the companies spent thousands to hire lobbyists who were once Perry's top advisers. / Austin Bureau / By Brandi Grissom / 03/26/2008

Settlement made in lawsuit over gambling-fraud claim
PA - Nearly four years after a Cumberland County lawyer killed himself, a $900,000 lawsuit over a gambling-related fraud he was accused of committing has been resolved with an undisclosed settlement. Raymond and Genevieve Diehl of South Middleton Twp. claimed Hanft borrowed more than $600,000 from them under false pretenses, then gambled it away. / BY MATT MILLER / March 26, 2008

Slots no substitute for resort casinos
MA - Beleaguered track owners have been grousing for years that all they need are the blinking lights of slot machines and they can save a dying industry. And now that casinos are off the table they have the states pitiful fiscal situation to help their argument. / By Boston Herald editorial staff / March 24, 2008

State eyes casino tax breaks
MS - Mississippi could lose millions of dollars and thousands of jobs because of impending casino expansions in Florida... So the state's gaming industry is taking steps to counter the competition. And some lawmakers are pushing a bill that would give tax breaks for casinos ... Seminole Tribe casinos in central and south Florida recently received permission to offer more than bingo-type games. They are expected to install "as many as 15,000 slot machines... / By NATALIE CHANDLER / March 23, 2008

SunCruz Cites Competition, Ends Gambling Ship's Runs
FL - "The recent expansion of Seminole casinos and parimutuel facilities... Made it extremely difficult for us to compete effectively in this geographic market," / By STEPHENTHOMPSON / March 26, 2008

Supporters of casino to woo voters in region
OH - They have yet to file petitions to get on the ballot, but backers of a proposed $600 million casino resort in southwest Ohio are about to launch their bid for northwest Ohio votes. The backers must submit the valid signatures of 402,000 registered voters by Aug. 6 to make the Nov. 4 ballot. In 2006, voters rejected the unrelated Learn and Earn proposal that would have legalized slot machines at seven horse-racing tracks and two stand-alone Cleveland casinos with the revenue used to fund college scholarships. / By JIM PROVANCE / March 26, 2008

Suspect arrested in staged robbery
WV - A man was arrested Thursday for allegedly participating in a staged robbery of a video gambling parlor where he was employed. Cunningham is an employee of the Must Be 21 to Enter video gambling parlor... He reported a masked gunman came in, robbed him and struck him in the head with the gun, He was allegedly pistol whipped and the robber got away with more than $1,000. It appears the robbery was faked. / Parkersburg News / By ROGER ADKINS / March 28, 2008

The incredible shrinking Vegas Strip
NV - Three major Strip projects seem to be suffering various degrees of crisis. Cosmopolitan is still being built next to MGM-Mirage's City Center. But the project is in major trouble, as a lender has begun foreclosure proceedings... New York's Plaza... Credit crunch... Land on the Strip... Is up for sale. / Mar 26 2008

The threat of casinos remains
NH - New Hampshire and Maine got a brief respite from casino pressures this month when the Massachusetts House defeated a bill crafted to allow the building of three casinos... One form of casino gambling language or another has rattled through the halls of the New Hampshire Statehouse for years. Maine has tinkered with it and will most likely continue to do so. The contributions are voluntary. There is no pain at least not until the addiction sets in. / March 25, 2008

Three Syracuse men charged in $50M gambling bust
NY - Three Syracuse men arrested in a $20.3 million gambling operation in Central New York three years ago, are now accused of getting involved in one of the largest-scale gambling busts in the Capital Region. / by Catie O'Toole / March 29, 2008

Too little, too late-OTB coming to North Avenue in VP
IL - It was too little, too late, for a small group of area residents voicing their opposition at... Villa Park Board of Trustees meeting... [for] an off-track betting parlor... The final approval... Was unanimously approved Monday night. / Villa Park Review / by Lawerence W. Synett / March 26, 2008

Tribe hopes new casino will draw gamblers from Wyoming and beyond
WY - With the opening of a $30 million casino this spring, the Northern Arapaho Tribe is betting that its earlier ventures into Las Vegas-style gambling have whet Wyoming's appetite for more high-stakes slot machines and card games. The Wind River Indian Reservation is already home to three casinos... The Northern Arapaho won the right to have Las Vegas-style games after a five-year legal battle... The federal courts found that Wyoming failed to negotiate with the tribe in good faith. He [Thompson County Commission] said the new casino will probably exacerbate problems associated with the casinos -- more traffic, more solid waste in the county disposal system and more law enforcement calls to the casino parking lot. / Associated Press / By MATT JOYCE / March 29, 2008

Trump suit back in Broward court
FL - Trump filed suit in 2004 against his former business associate, Richard Fields, along with Power Plant and The Cordish Company, saying Fields cheated him out of the profitable development agreement with the Seminole Tribe [Hard Rock casinos]. / BY AMY DRISCOLL / Mar. 27, 2008

Two get prison terms in Murrieta Fight Club case
CA - Judge... Sentenced the 21-year-old Murrieta man to 19 years in prison, which Petty agreed to as part of a deal with prosecutors. He had pleaded guilty to burglary, armed robbery, vehicle theft and gang allegations. She [parent]then told the judge her son was addicted to gambling and was being treated for anxiety and depression at the time of his arrest. / Press-Enterprise / By TAMMY McCOY / March 28, 2008

U.S. Banks Still Not Instructed How To Handle UIGEA
- The UIGEA was put into place by the United States government to stop Internet gambling. So far, a year and a half later, the online gambling market is still flourishing, and banks are having a difficult time trying to figure out the law. What will most surely happen, is that banks will begin getting into legal trouble for not knowing how to police themselves. Many banks... Claiming they do not have the resources to do the police work. The vagueness of the law is the problem not only for banks, but for the government themselves. / By Tom Jones / March 24, 2008

UPDATE: House gives initial OK to slots
ME - The licensee [Maine Indian tribe] would have to pay the state $55,000 for an initial license for 400 slot machines and $20,000 a year to renew that license. / By Portland Press Herald Staff Report / March 25, 2008

RLPC-UPDATE 1-Underwriters sell $1.45 bln Harrah's notes
NY - Underwriters have sold $1.45 billion of Harrah's Entertainment's cash-pay notes at 84 cents on the dollar... / Mar 26, 2008

Vegas Site Is Up for Sale As Casino Plan Goes Awry
NV - The site of what was supposed to be the tallest tower in Las Vegas, and among the tallest in the U.S. at 1,064 feet, is now for sale. Las Vegas developers and Wall Street securities analysts assume the proposed $5 billion project, which was scheduled to open in 2011, is dead. Unable to come up with the increased equity demanded by lenders to begin construction, It is the latest Las Vegas project to fall victim to the economic slowdown and credit constriction. DubaiWorld, the investment fund for that Persian Gulf state, is already heavily invested in Las Vegas, with a $5 billion commitment to MGM Mirage Inc. for a 9.5% stake, and equal partnership in MGM Mirage's massive CityCenter project. / By TAMARA AUDI / March 29, 2008

Video gambling proposal remains in limbo Bill tabled as sponsor works to garner support
NH - A bill designed to bring video gambling to New Hampshire's racetracks remains deadlocked in the Senate, where it's likely to stay for the near future. "They know they don't have enough votes," said Sen. Robert Letourneau, R-Derry. "It's been off the table and back on again. And there's those of us who will never bend in that direction." D'Allesandro's bill calls for up to 3,000 video gambling machines at Rockingham Park in Salem. Another 1,000 machines could be installed at dog tracks and three hotels in Coos County. / March 23, 2008

Villa Park OKs zoning change for OTB; suburb to get 1 percent of bets
IL - The Villa Park Village Board voted unanimously Monday night to approve a... Proposed off-track betting parlor... Gambling opponents, who spoke at length at an earlier hearing and only briefly Monday night, argued that the facility will tempt those with tendencies toward excessive gambling and subsequently undermine families in the community. They also pointed to a downturn in betting on horse races nationally, including in Illinois. / Chicago Tribune / By Joseph Sjostrom and Gary Gibula / March 25, 2008

Voters should oust Lakewood minicasinos
WA - It was only a matter of time before Lakewood faced an initiative challenging its wink-and-a-nod attitude toward minicasinos. It will need about 4,000 signatures 15 percent of the registered voters in the last general election to get on the ballot. Even if the initiative makes the ballot, minicasino supporters will be out in force touting the jobs that would be lost... / THE NEWS TRIBUNE / March 24th, 2008

Voters to decide on new casino plan State House
ME - Maine voters will decide on Nov. 4 whether to allow construction of a casino in Oxford County. A citizen-initiated bill to allow a casino is still awaiting votes in the Legislature because the Maine Constitution gives lawmakers first crack at such bills. The Legislature can either pass the bill as is, or defeat it and send it out to the voters. A unanimous committee vote against the bill would kill it in the Legislature and automatically send it to referendum. It would authorize slot machines, bazaar games, lotteries, video games and other games, including blackjack, poker, dice, roulette, baccarat, money wheels and bingo. In 2003, they defeated a proposal to authorize an Indian-run casino in southern Maine, but approved a separate proposal allowing harness-racing tracks to create "racinos" by installing slot machines, with local approval. / Blethen Maine Newspapers / By PAUL CARRIER / March 26, 2008

What Casino Gold Rush?
CT - On Thursday the House voted overwhelmingly to send the casino bill to committee, effectively killing it for at least a year. [Speaker] DiMasi expressed many of the same fears... that casinos would draw businesses away from restaurants and other existing recreation-oriented businesses, while increasing personal bankruptcies, petty crimes and generating other social ills. / By The Day / 3/23/2008

Whittaker's Powerball luck strikes again; he claims $10,000
WV - Whittaker claimed a $10,000 Powerball prize on Jan. 25. Whittaker won a then-record $314.9 million Powerball jackpot in December 2002. He opted for the lump-sum payout of $170 million - $93 million after taxes. / March 25, 2008

With Friends Like These
- The Mohegan tribe wants to expand its casinos nationally. Maybe it shoulda stayed home. In 1999 he [Kerzner, S Africa] and his partner relinquished control of the casino and a cut of net income in exchange for 5% of Mohegan Sun's gross win until 2014. Kerzner uses the $35 million a year he reaps from the Mohegan Sun to push a $1 billion casino development south of Boston... Troha [another partner] pleaded guilty... To trying to hide $100,000 in illegal campaign donations to state and county officials... Bookmaker Karl O'Farrell. His Australian company, Capital Play, is an investor in the Mohegans' / Stephane Fitch and Matthew Miller / 03.24.08

Workers preparing for strike at racetrack
WV - Employees are set to strike at midnight Saturday at Mountaineer Casino, "The cashiers start at $6.50 an hour,'' he said. "If they want family health care, it costs them $109 a week.'' Mountaineer had proposed wage increases of 65 cents and 85 cents an hour for the lowest-paid employees in its final offer.6 The federal minimum wage is set to increase from $5.85 an hour to $6.55 in July, and to $7.25 an hour in July 2009. When West Virginia legislators approved both slot machines and table games, "the intent was to put money into the coffers of the state of West Virginia,'' Helfer said. But many Mountaineer workers are turning to the state for help, relying on the Children's Health Insurance Program, food stamps and other public assistance. "The state of West Virginia is subsidizing Mountaineer,'' he charged. Track spokeswoman Tamara Pettit referred all questions to labor lawyer Marshall Berman, who said Mountaineer's offer is fair. The union, he said, came to the table with 20 major demands and has not relented on one. Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL Home. ... / The Associated Press / March 26, 2008