Latest News
3/24/07 to 3/31/07

South Texas judge faces perjury charges
Abascal is accused of lying about campaign contributions.

A Travis County grand jury indicted District Judge Amado J. Abascal III of South Texas on two counts of aggravated perjury Friday, alleging that he lied about the source of campaign contributions. The indictment states that the sources of the contributions were the Kickapoo Tribe, the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino and Isidro Garza, the tribe's former gaming representative, and that Abascal was aware of them. / By Patrick George / 3/31/07

Sebelius: Gambling bill will live
The Prairie Band Potawatomi, which operates a resort casino north of Topeka on its reservation, says it will challenge the law (for casinos and track slots) once it is enacted because it violates the Kansas Constitution. "We have an attorney general's opinion that indicates that the framework is constitutional," she said. "I am confident from what I have seen, the legal precedent, the legal opinions of the past, that this is a constitutional framework."
AP / /3/31/07

Scratch-offs to be pulled after top prizes won
TX — Lottery players: Your odds of winning a scratch-off game may have just improved. Texas Lottery officials announced Friday they will order all
scratch-off tickets pulled as soon as the games top-tier prizes have been claimed. The move comes just a month after a Houston Chronicle story highlighted the fact that the agency continued to sell games long after players had virtually no chance of winning the significant prizes advertised. Last month, the Chronicle looked at the 75 or so scratch-offs selling in stores around the state and discovered that upward of 90 percent of prizes in nine of the games had already been claimed. / By LISA SANDBERG / 3/31/07

BetOnSports founder arrested in Dominican Republic
The founder of an online-gambling company, who has been a fugitive for 10 months from federal racketeering, tax evasion and fraud charges in St. Louis, was arrested in the Dominican Republic, the U.S. attorney's office said Friday. Kaplan is charged with 20 felonies, including racketeering conspiracy, interstate transportation of gambling paraphernalia and tax evasion.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / / Patrick M. O'Connell 3/31/07

Governor's gambling temptation
IN - Gov. Mitch Daniels usually stays on top of his game. But when the subject is gambling, he's letting the state amble into a serious case of addiction, presumably thinking he can control the bad habit somewhere down the road. Daniels may have a bill arrive on his desk that would create two land-based casinos in Central Indiana by allowing slot machines at horse tracks in Shelbyville and Anderson. The governor's public position has been a good one: He doesn't want more gambling. He's content with riverboat casinos, bingo, off-track betting, a state lottery and horse tracks. Yet, Daniels has not publicly threatened to veto the bill that would allow thousands of slot machines at the horse tracks. Part of the temptation for the governor is the money. / Russ Pulliam / 3/31/07

Bill proposes new gambling tax
Montana could afford to extend health care to all children if the Legislature would raise the tax on certain video poker and keno gambling machines, a Helena lawmaker said Friday. Kaufmann's bill would set up the Montana Kids Care program, create a governing board and raise the tax on electronic gambling machines to pay for it.
Gazette / / By CHARLES S. JOHNSON / 3/31/07

WyCo acts quickly to get casino, slots
KS - Cindy Cash, president of the Kansas City Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce, said she had spent her first day at the chamber lobbying for gambling. That first day was Feb. 2, 1993. "It's been a long time in coming," she said. Has any state had a gambling setup like this before? Yes and no. Slot machines at racetracks are nothing new, and some states own "video lottery terminals" that are much like slots. But no state owns full-fledged casinos, as Kansas will. The state will hire private companies to develop and run the casinos, but the legislation says the state will have "full, complete and ultimate ownership and operational control of the gaming operation." For the state, the legislation includes a 22 percent tax on casino revenues and a 40 percent tax on the slots-at-tracks "racinos."
The Kansas City Star / / By RICK ALM, TOM SMITH and MARK WIEBE / 3/30/07

TouchPlay lawsuit to go ahead
DES MOINES — Businesses that were forced to unplug their TouchPlay gambling machines last year will have their chance at redemption in court.
A Polk County judge has cleared the way for a jury trial next year in which businesses affected by the state's ban on the Iowa Lottery's TouchPlay program will seek damages that could potentially total hundreds of millions of dollars. The Iowa Legislature pulled the plug on about 6,700 TouchPlay gambling machines last May after widespread public criticism that the games represented a major expansion of the state's gambling industry... The games, which were similar to casino slot machines, had been placed in about 3,200 retail locations, including taverns, grocery and convenience stores. AP / / 3/30/07

Studies show down side of gambling
KS -Billionaire casino operator and Wichita Greyhound Park owner Phil Ruffin contributed generously to Gov. Sebelius' campaign, as detailed by Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, on the House floor. One day in August 2005, the governor received about $28,000 through Ruffin's various companies and family members. Bringing state-owned casino gambling to Kansas has been one of the governor's ardent objectives. From a study by the National Bureau for Economic Research, Harvard University Press: "Legalized gambling acts as a regressive tax on the poor." Since 70 percent of casino gamblers in non-tourist areas come from fewer than 35 miles away, it is more accurately a tax on Kansas' poor. When casinos came to Wisconsin, More than 10 percent of locals would spend more on groceries if it were not for the casino, while nearly one-fourth would spend more on clothes. Thirty-seven percent said their savings had been reduced since the casino had opened…" (Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Report) When casinos opened in Illinois, two studies concluded that for every job created, surrounding communities lost one or more existing jobs. (Illinois Business Review) Pathological gamblers represent only 4 percent to 7 percent of the population, but they constitute 30 percent to 50 percent of casino profits. This is just the first round, but with legalized gambling one can expect the rich to get richer, the poor to get poorer and the middle class taxpayer asked to foot the bill. / 3/30/07

Gambling Lobby Spent Millions Last Year to Ban Internet Betting
A new report revealed today that the Gambling industry spent more than $25 million last year lobbying in Washington. It was also revealed that the primary focus of the lobbying was to get a ban on Internet betting. / By Terry Goodwin / 3/30/07

BetOnSports founder apprehended in Dominican Republic
MO - founder Gary Stephen Kaplan was arrested late Wednesday in the Dominican Republic, U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said Friday. BetOnSports plc officials were indicted in July 2006 by a federal grand jury on various charges of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud. According to the indictment,, based in Costa Rica, misleadingly advertised itself as the "World's Largest Legal and Licensed Sportsbook." BetonSports plc was a publicly traded holding company that owns a number of Internet sportsbooks and casinos.
St. Louis Business Journal / / 3/30/07

Manufacturers keeping eyes fixed on Kansas
Both houses of the state's Legislature this week approved a bill authorizing the Kansas to license four stand-alone casinos and three slot machine-only casinos at racetracks. The news could bring a financial lift for slot machine makers and casino equipment providers that have had revenues stagnate in past few years due to a slowing in new American gambling jurisdictions. McGill estimated Kansas could be home to 10,600 slot machines if the casinos come to fruition.
There are now nine American Indian casinos in Kansas. The most prominent is a 297-room hotel-casino operated by Harrah's Entertainment for the Prairie Band Indian Nation outside Topeka. "When you're looking at a tax rate of 53 percent in Pennsylvania, (Kansas' tax rate) is not a deterrent to entry," Lerner said. / By Howard Stutz /3/30/07

Sebelius expects gambling bill to survive court challenge
With the promise of a lawsuit on the horizon, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Friday she believes legislation allowing resort casinos and slot machines at horse and dog tracks can withstand a court challenge. The bill, which the governor plans to sign, was sent to her by the Senate after a 12-hour filibuster that ended Thursday, shortly after midnight. She said it was "remarkably similar" to a proposal she backed in 2003, which never gained traction in the Legislature. Opponents argue the constitution requires the state not only to own the casinos and slots at tracks but to manage them directly, rather than delegating management to a private company, as the legislation envisions. The American Gaming Association says 11 other states have commercial casinos but none have state-run resort casinos. / By CARL MANNING / 3/30/07

Opinion: NCAA's gambling madness
The Final Four of NCAA men's basketball is the nation's fourth-largest gambling event. Yet despite such worrisome figures, the association has become overcommercialized, such as signing a $6 billion contract with CBS, the biggest single sports deal in history. The basketball finals are now a major media event, earning so much money that critics say the NCAA and its more than 1,000 members are exploiting students. To its credit, the NCAA enforces its rules well with member schools, and recently it set up a website ( to warn both players and the public about the dangers of gambling on NCAA games. The site includes testimony from convicted offenders.
The Monitor's View / / 3/30/07

Horse racing track doesn't hold the future
CA - Making a gambling enterprise the economic and political centerpiece of any community is a risk. It requires a leap of faith to accept that such a business has the staying power and responsiveness to permanently partner with a community and make it a better place to live. Dixon Downs has failed to inspire such faith. It tried to conquer Dixon rather than embrace what the community felt, until it was simply too late. This page has long doubted the wisdom of relying on gambling as an economic cornerstone, whether for public education (the lottery) or Native Americans (casinos). Those doubts extend to the choice Dixon voters face. /Editorial: No on Dixon Downs / 3/30/07

Grand jury indicts 8 from area in gambling case
FBI, IRS lead investigation that brings 51 charges including mail fraud, money laundering, gambling

OH - A federal grand jury in Cleveland has returned a 51-count indictment against eight Akron- area residents on charges of mail fraud, money laundering and gambling offenses. The charges follow an investigation by the FBI, IRS, Social Security Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Postal Service.
Beacon Journal / / 3/30/07

Feds charge player in University of Toledo point-shaving scheme
OH - A running back for the University of Toledo Rockets has been charged with recruiting fellow athletes to shave points and fix games on behalf of a Macomb County gambler. Gary’s recruitment of players allegedly included inviting the athletes to gamble and dine at Greektown Casino in Detroit . . . The complaint said one player was offered $10,000 to sit out a football game. Other players received cash, groceries, merchandise and other gifts, the complaint said. McDougle told the FBI that he received a car, telephone and other things of value from Gary, but insisted that he never changed the way he played to affect the outcome of games. In November 2005, the Detroit FBI began intercepting phone calls to and from Gary’s residence to find out about his illegal gambling and sports bribery operation and who it involved. / By DAVID ASHENFELTER and GEORGE SIPPLE / 3/30/07

DA asks for jury questionnaire in gambling case
OK - Potential jurors in the alleged Elks Lodge gambling case could have a little paperwork to do first. "This letter alludes to the corruption and potential payoff of judges, police officers and juries," Burns said, "The letter indicates that the Elks Organization will do whatever it takes to protect one of their fellow members." Burns has also filed a motion to have all of the gambling suspects, including Sheriff McMullen, Helen McMullen, Robert Cacy, Delmer Barthelme, Jim Peek, Greg Parks and Bill Swanson, appear for one trial. Helen McMullen, Cacy, Peek and Parks have been bound over each on one felony count of peace officers engaged in illegal gambling, and the four also face a misdemeanor count of willful neglect of duty.
Chickasha Express Star / / Jason Clarke/ 3/30/07

Council overrides casino veto
Rejecting Mayor Street's legal and economic concerns, all members voted to put site restrictions on the May 15 ballot.

PA - Anti-casino activists, who lobbied aggressively to get the question on the ballot, cleared a big hurdle yesterday when City Council unanimously overrode Mayor Street's veto of legislation that asks voters to prohibit casinos within 1,500 feet of homes, houses of worship, parks and schools. If approved, the charter amendment would bar construction of the Foxwoods and SugarHouse casinos at their state-approved Delaware River sites and limit alternative sites to a handful of remote locations that casino advocates call impractical.
Inquirer / / By Patrick Kerkstra / 3/30/07

Poker alive in N.C. despite ban
Recent bust shows gamblers' network enables live games

NC - Despite the fact that N.C. courts have said state law prohibits betting on cards, the clatter of chips is a common sound in basement rec rooms, corporate cafeterias and makeshift gaming halls as players join in one of the nation's most popular pastimes, says Fierman, who calls himself an expert on poker and gambling laws. At least 41 people were inside a small warehouse space in the Adams Industrial Park early Friday morning when somebody heard a knock on the steel door marked only with the letter M. When it opened, about a dozen officers from four agencies poured in, some armed with assault rifles. They ordered a few people onto the floor, told everybody to put their hands on their heads, and spent the next two hours issuing criminal charges for illegal gambling.
McClatchy Newspapers / / By Martha Quillin 3/30/07

NCAA Basketball Gambling Madness
The Final Four of NCAA men's basketball is the nation's fourth-largest gambling event. And the bigger it gets, the more the NCAA tries to counteract the potential bad effects of all this wagering on its "scholar-athletes." This "bracketology," as it's called, easily slips into making bets. For many people, it also leads to big financial losses or a spiral into gambling addiction. A 2004 poll found 35 percent of male college athletes and 10 percent of female athletes gambled on college or pro sports events. Another poll, done last year by New Jersey-based Seton Hall University, found that about one-fifth of Americans believed college basketball players intentionally influenced the outcome of games because of gambling interests. / 3/30/07

Man grabs cash at casino
MT - Cash was stolen from a Lockwood casino attendant Thursday night under circumstances similar to those of five recent thefts at Billings
casinos. / 3/30/7

Kansas could be country's first casino owners By Roger McKinney
Following a 21-19 vote in the Kansas Senate Thursday, the state could become the first in the nation to own casinos. The bill calls for state-owned casino and hotel complexes to be built in either Cherokee County or Crawford County, Ford County, Wyandotte County, and either Sedgwick County or Sumner County. Private companies would submit their plans to the Kansas Lottery Commission, which would choose what it considers the best plan in each of the four areas. The legislation requires the casino management company to invest at least $225 million in the project and to pay a $25 million deposit to the state. The state, which would be would receive 22 percent of casino revenues. / 3/30/07

Illinois Senate approves ban on smoking in public areas
SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Senate voted Thursday to ban smoking from all indoor public places statewide. "(Casinos) are going to lose money, no question, and that's going to come right out of the common school fund," said state Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, who voted against the smoking ban. "Missouri doesn't have a smoking ban, and gamblers smoke." / 3/30/07

Gambling expansion bill is revived
Ill. - The bill estimates that $2 billion to $3 billion would be raised by establishing four new riverboats and casinos in the Chicago area, allowing existing riverboats to add more games and tables, and permitting racetracks to install a limited number of slot machines and other electronic games. / By Erik Potter / 3/30//07

Bill is harmful to KC area and raises constitutional questions
Fight Kansas legislation allowing more casinos

A resort-scale casino on the Kansas side of the state line will accelerate the regional slide down gambling's slippery slope. In Missouri, casino gambling was supposed to be limited to riverboats. That quaint fantasy quickly gave way to large, permanent structures surrounded by moats. / The Kansas City Star / 3/30/07

Casino vote gives union momentum
"Detroit," the Rev. Jesse Jackson proclaimed, "has shifted from an automotive base to a casino base for its economy, gone from solid jobs to Lotto and luck as a base of survival." Today, I'm thinking that perhaps Jackson wasn't exaggerating. The UAW is celebrating a big organizing victory, after 82% of dealers and simulcast employees at the Caesars Atlantic City casino voted last weekend to join the union. If the UAW wins Saturday's vote, the union will represent more than 3,400 casino workers, counting 2,110 at the MGM Grand, MotorCity and Greektown casinos in Detroit. / BY TOM WALSH / 3/30/07

Casino study is far from impartial
WA - Analytical Environmental Services (AES) of Sacramento, Calif., is the firm selected and paid by Barnett and company to prepare the report on its proposed casino, restaurant, hotel, parking lots, etc. "They (AES) proudly describe their bread and butter business as doing reports for gaming tribes," said Andres Soto of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, as quoted in the Berkeley newspaper on March 21, 2006. "They have a vested interest in sugar-coating their reports." / GREGG HERRINGTON / 3/30/07

Attorney General demands account of casino millions
EAST CHICAGO | The state is demanding two politically connected
lawyers account for $16 million they received in casino money under a deal brokered during the Pastrick administration. Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter said this city's casino has paid the millions to Cappas and Pannos during the last decade under an agreement designed to leverage economic development in this depressed steel city, producing few results. The casino, now called Resorts East Chicago Casino, has been paying three quarters of a percent of its gambling revenue to Cappas and Pannos, political allies of former mayor Robert Pastrick, who endorsed the deal. / BY BILL DOLAN /3/30/07

Angels, Dodgers scratch an itch
LOS ANGELES - Pete Rose can't get into the Hall of Fame, can't get a job in baseball, can't get Commissioner Bud Selig to return his phone calls. All because of gambling. Derek Lowe and Brad Penny, with cameras recording the occasion and their team blatantly promoting it, scratched off lottery tickets, each of which promised a potential payoff of up to $10,000. The event introduced a new program in which the Dodgers will help the state of California attempt to get citizens addicted to gambling. / By JEFF MILLER / 3/30/07

Attempts to kill gambling bill gave it life
Wyandotte County casino measure passed after anti-gambling
lawmakers forced a vote.

TOPEKA | For 14 years, Wyandotte County worked to cajole the Kansas Legislature into authorizing a casino in the county. Early Thursday, thanks to a bizarre series of procedural moves and missteps, arm twisting and 12 hours of filibustering, the long odds finally paid off. The bill passed 21-19. At noon Wednesday, supporters had no intention of voting on gambling, quietly working to secure votes for a vote planned for next week at the earliest. But opponents saw a chance to catch them unaware. Just before 1 p.m., they moved to force a vote. Democrats mounted a filibuster. Plans failed in the last two years, when gambling operators promised money that could have solved the state's school finance crisis. This year, state finances are healthy and there's no looming financial crisis.
Throughout the Democrat's filibuster, gambling lobbyists, pro-gambling lawmakers and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius quietly worked to win over lawmakers such as Bruce. Instead, the House speaker was in his office behind closed doors. Outside, House members stewed, and the Democrats briefly commandeered the House microphone in a failed effort to lure him out. At 11:15 or so, Senate leaders realized they had 21 votes. They ended the filibuster and allowed the vote to go forward. / By DAVID KLEPPER / 3/30/7

Churches object to expanded gambling bill
KS - As word spread Thursday that the Kansas Legislature had approved a casino gambling bill, sentiments against the idea of bringing a casino to Wichita were already strong in area churches. The Rev. Michael Gardner, senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church "I just don't know of any pastor that's for it," he said. "There's not one that thinks casino gambling is something that will be good for our community. "It inflicts a tremendous social cost. Mark Holick, pastor of Spirit One Christian Center, said he didn't think twice when he heard that a gambling bill had passed. "I was disappointed that the House passed it, and I was even more disappointed that the Senate passed it," he said. / The Wichita Eagle / BY HURST LAVIANA / 3/30/07

Council sweeps Street veto
It OKs question on gambling for primary ballot

PA - Gov. Rendell and Mayor Street opened up the candy store this week, hoping to sway City Council members to change their minds about putting on the May 15 ballot a question about where casinos should be built. But Council had its eye on a tastier treat - re-election and the grateful support of community groups opposed to plans for two casinos on the riverfront. The lobbying by Rendell, Street and their political pals in the building trades unions had no impact yesterday as Council unanimously overrode Street's veto of the law putting the question on the ballot. The mayor needed support from at least six Council members to uphold his veto. / By CHRIS BRENNAN 3/30/7

Self-banned gambler asks appeals court to take him off list
ATLANTIC CITY ? His attorneys say he isn't a high roller or a compulsive gambler. He's just a "regular person" who enjoys the excitement of the
casinos. However, he has been banned from Atlantic City's gaming halls ever since he placed himself on a list that prohibits him from entering a casino for the rest of his life. An unsympathetic commission refused in January to remove the man from New Jersey's Self-Exclusion List, a confidential program that allows gamblers to voluntarily ban themselves from the casinos for one year, five years or for life. He also argued that he didn't realize that not only would he be banned in Atlantic City, but also at affiliated casinos in Las Vegas and other gaming markets. No one has ever been allowed off the list early, but 74 people have been removed after their one- or five-year bans expired / By DONALD WITTKOWSKI / 3/30/07

Report: Westlake Mayor Had Gambling Problem
. -- The new mayor of a Louisiana town who was shot dead last year had gambled away more than $200,000, owed thousands more in back taxes and cheated on his wife with three women, one of whom threatened to tell news reporters of his infidelity. Louisiana State Police and the local coroner ruled it a suicide. /3/30/07

School bus driver going to jail
Public Schools bus driver pocketing $35,000 from a driver's education program to fuel a gambling addiction. 3/29/07

Challenge to gambling expansion expected
KS - A bill to allow gambling in Kansas is on its way to Governor Sebelius' desk after a lengthy session in the Kansas Legislature. Gambling supporters Thursday were stunned by their success, opponents licked their wounds, and the prospect of playing video slot machines at racetracks and new destination casinos in Kansas seemed a possibility. Opponents of the bill had set the stage to try to kill the legislation for the 2007 session. But the strategy backfired. The Prairie Band Potawatomi, which operates Harrah's hotel-casino in Mayetta, said the bill violates the Kansas Constitution's requirement that the state own and operate the casinos. / By Scott Rothschild / 3/29/07

Bill hits gambling in clubs and bars
IN - Long, R-Fort Wayne, said too many county prosecutors view illegal gambling -- particularly by bars, clubs and other retailers using video
machines with names such as Cherry Master -- as not worth pursuing. A state prosecutor based at the Indiana Gaming Commission could solve that problem, he said. "The number of these machines in the state has exploded," Long said. "I think we need to do something about it. We need to draw a line in the sand." It also would authorize the state to revoke lottery contracts, retail merchant permits and state licenses for the sale of tobacco and alcohol for any companies or organizations found with illegal gambling machines. / By Lesley Stedman Weidenbener / 3/29/07

Senate passes gambling bill
Sedgwick County must vote by year's end

KS - After a 13-hour filibuster, gambling proponents found the Senate votes they needed early today to expand casino gaming across the state. Following speeches that dragged late into Wednesday night, the Senate voted 21-19 . . . to allow casinos in Sedgwick and three other counties and as many as 2,800 slot machines at horse and dog racetracks, including Wichita Greyhound Park. Chamber of commerce interests in Goodwin's district strongly supported the bill, which offers a chance that a casino could go to Sumner County if Sedgwick County voters don't want one. Under the bill's provisions, Sedgwick County voters must decide in a special election before the end of the year. Sumner County voters have already said yes to a casino. "What we've done is given away the farm," said Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, who thinks the state could get more from casino developers than the $25 million license fee the bill specifies. "This is a poorly written bill, written behind closed doors." Longtime members said it was the longest filibuster they could remember -- . . . / BY DION LEFLER / 3/29/07

Governor Praises Gambling in Kansas
KS - But the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe -- which operates a casino north of Topeka -- says the law violates the Kansas constitution. / 3/29/07

Casino bill goes to Sebelius
KS - The bill began as a reauthorization of the Kansas Lottery. During
debate in the House, provisions allowing state-owned casinos and slots at dog and horse tracks were added. The casinos would be owned by the Kansas Lottery, which would contract with private companies to manage each casino. The manager could be an Indian tribe, the bill says. The state lottery and the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission would be responsible for all oversight and regulation. In a statement Thursday morning, Sebelius praised the bill as a "responsible expansion of gaming." The bill also requires $17 million to be spent on programs to help problem gamblers, a significant increase from current levels, Sebelius said. / Kansas City Business Journal / 3/29/07

Ruffin pleased with gambling vote
KS - Wichita Greyhound Park owner Phil Ruffin is all smiles. Ruffin gave credit to Wichita Sens. Jean Schodorf, a Republican, and Donald Betts, a Democrat, for helping gain passage of the bill. Under the measure, slot machine managers at racetracks would pay the state a $2,500 fee per machine. Ruffin says he plans to spend $50 million on an expansion of the Greyhound Park to accommodate the slot machines. / 3/29/07

Slowly killing your assets through gambling
However, every year two million adults in the United States alone meet the criteria for pathological gambling and another four to six million face serious problems, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.
According Mr. Maney, the most popular form of gambling is the lottery.
In an effort to draw attention to youth gambling, during Gambling Awareness Week, the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse . . . /By Alana Pelosi / 3/29/07

Senate approves bill allowing slots at horse tracks
INDIANAPOLIS - Horse racing industry supporters painted a rosy picture Thursday after the state Senate approved a bill that would allow up to 1,500 slot machines at each of Indiana's two race tracks. The bill, which passed on a 27-21 vote, would allow both pari-mutuel tracks in the state to pay a $400 million licensing fee to install up to 1,500 slot machines. The bill would impose a graduated slot machine tax - 25 percent on the first $100 million of adjusted slot machine receipts each year, 30 percent on the second $100 million and a 35 percent tax on revenues exceeding that amount. The tracks would also have to pay an additional 1 percent tax to help subsidize the new French Lick casino, and a 2 percent tax to Shelby and Madison counties, where the tracks are located.
AP / / 3/29/07

Athletic committee to consider lottery ties
The University of Iowa Presidential Committee on Athletics will vote on two motions concerning the athletic department's ties to the Iowa Lottery at its next meeting April 5. One motion, presented by Ed Wasserman and Elizabeth Altmaier, proposes that the UI athletic department sever all ties with any "gaming or gambling industry." The other motion, presented by N. William Hines and John Solow, recognizes that the latest ad campaign was a mistake, but that Iowa should continue its relationship with the Iowa Lottery with a higher level of oversight. /By Ryan Suchomel / 3/29/07

House bill would allow gambling machines at dog tracks
Ala. - A favorite hot button issue - gambling - is back on the table in the Alabama Legislature. Bills introduced in the Alabama Legislature Thursday would legalize video bingo games for high stakes at greyhound racetracks in Birmingham and Mobile. Under the proposal, 20 percent of revenue from the games would go to the state and be earmarked to fund Medicaid. / AP / Bob Johnson / 3/29/07

NRA lobbying slows bill to restrict animal fighting
DC - Objections from the National Rifle Association and a hold put on the bill by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., have slowed action on the measure, called the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act. The bill's proponents also argue that federal attention is necessary because cockfighting is closely associated with such national health issues as the spread of avian flu, and several other interstate crimes, including illegal gambling and narcotics trade. / Chicago Tribune / By Karoun Demirjian /3/29/07

Consider the cost of expanded gambling
KS - According to a 2004 study by GVA Marquette Advisors for the Wichita Downtown Development Corp. and the Greater Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau, most participants of a casino in Sedgwick County would live within a 50-mile radius of Wichita and would provide 75 percent of the revenue. That money would likely come at the expense of other local businesses. A study of gambling in Iowa by Loretta Fairchild and Amy Stickney of Nebraska Wesleyan University and Jonathan Krutz of the Nebraska Hospice Association showed that gambling has adverse effects on local economies. Midsize Iowa cities that had casinos had an average growth of 0.7 percent, while cities that didn't have casinos grew 3.4 percent. A study in 2004 by Christiansen Capital Advisors for Harrah's found that 26 percent of players were contributing 82 percent of the profit. During the House debate, a tearful Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, recounted the toll a gambling addiction took on a close relative. He convinced casino supporters to add an amendment to