Latest News
5/12/07 to 5/19/07

News briefs

AR - Charges have been filed against three men as a result an investigation into illegal gambling at the Saxton Willis American Legion Post 64. Items of evidence were seized including two electronic gaming devices, bingo equipment, and nearly $5,000 in cash. / May 19, 2007

Arnold Schwarzenegger softens stance on gaming

CA - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is featured in an ad campaign launched by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians of California. The purpose of the campaign is to gain support for gaming compacts that will share sizeable revenues with the state of California in order to improve education, provide quality health care and help balance the budget. During his gubernatorial campaign in 2003, Schwarzenegger slammed the state's gaming tribes... But he's softened his tone while signing about 20 new or renegotiated compacts over two years... Such agreements helped contribute to the defeat of a ballot initiative endorsed by the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, a $100-million-plus campaign that failed... And last year, during a heated re-election campaign, Schwarzenegger amended existing gaming agreements... California tribes... To add about 22,500 slot machines. ... / Shadi Rahimi / May 18, 2007

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Lease the lottery? The case is clear

CA - When I presented my revised budget Monday, I laid out a proposal that will bring our state tens of billions of dollars in new revenue by leasing the California Lottery, while still maintaining state ownership, to a private concessionaire. The possible deal could also free up $1.5 billion a year now used to pay off debt. / Arnold Schwarzenegger / May 18, 2007

Pickpocket steals wallet in casino parking lot

CA - Police are looking for a fleet-footed pickpocket who allegedly snatched a wallet from a man outside Artichoke Joe's Casino... / 05/16/2007

Privatizing lottery could be better bet

CA - A Schwarzenegger spokesman argued in news reports that the state lottery is one of the lowest performers in the country and could benefit from privatization. That argument could be made for virtually every public service provided in California. / 05/14/2007

Alvin native produces star-studded feature

US - When the new movie "Even Money" opens in Los Angeles and New York theaters on May 18, moviegoers not only will be witness to a vivid, intricate and compelling story about gambling addiction and its tragic consequences, / May 17, 2007

Lottery may be headed toward full-blown gambling operation

CA - The state may be headed toward leasing its lottery without voters' say and... Tripling sales... By adding new technology such as "instant-lottery" slot machines, Goldman Sachs investment firm, said private experts "doing this (operating lotteries) around the globe have experience and insights on the technology front" that could double or triple current lottery sales... / Steve Geissinger / 05/16/2007

Schwarzenegger hopes to hit the lottery jackpot

CA - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to gamble on the state lottery, leasing the game to a private operator for 30 or 40 years in exchange for a big wad of cash up front or a stream of annual payments, or both. The lottery tends to attract low-income gamblers in higher numbers than they represent in the population. Some Democratic lawmakers even see the program as a tax on the poor, The idea that the lottery was supposed to provide a big boost to the schools is one of the biggest myths in California. 20 years after its creation, the game still gives the schools... Less than 2 percent of their annual budgets. / Daniel Weintraub / May 15, 2007

Exec faces fallout from HBO payout

- Bewkes, Time Warner's president, fired HBO Chief Executive Chris Albrecht last week in the wake of Albrecht's arrest for assaulting his girlfriend in Las Vegas... At the height of his power as head of Columbia Pictures in 1977, Begelman was caught embezzling $40,000 to pay his gambling debts. Columbia's board of directors wanted to keep the story out of the press. / Claudia Eller / May 18, 2007


CA - San Mateo County supervisors have approved an emergency resolution supporting efforts to retain horse racing dates and satellite wagering in the county in order to financially support the San Mateo County Fair and the Event Center. The Event Center has a contract with the neighboring Bay Meadows racetrack to run a series of horse races each year to support the county fair, With the board's denial in March of a waiver allowing Bay Meadows to continue to operate without a synthetic track surface, the racetrack then announced it would likely close at the end of the racing season in November. / 05/16/07

State lottery may get new technology

CA - The state may be headed toward leasing its lottery without voters' say... Schools could lose at least some of their current one-third take of proceeds in the lottery makeover. New technology, such as video terminals that pay like slot machines, from what is virtually an electronic instant-lottery system, A change of the constitution requires the proposal go to a voter ballot. / Steve Geissinger / 05/17/2007

SPECIAL REPORT: Gambling Addictions among Seniors

- Although quarter-slot machines were their game of choice, the Sengbuschs say they eventually got into enough debt that they had to sell their home. Experts say there is a growing problem among the elderly here in the Valley. Dena says her parents were eventually forced to sell their home to take care of their gambling debt and she believes it played a role in her father's death. Michael Barnard, CEO of Desert Samaritans for the Elderly, says many of them can be described as "escape gamblers." "The average debt for a senior with a problem is $21,000." Barnard says. / Jason Sloss / May 17, 2007

52 Machines Seized in Gambling Room Raid

FL - Detectives raided a gambling room in Orange park Friday, seizing 52 Las Vegas-style machines. The state law allows businesses to have games of skill, and prohibits games of chance. / First Coast News / Victor Blackwell / 5/18/2007

State Calls Winning Lottery Ticket Misprint

FL - A Marion County man said he thought he had scratched off a $500,000 winning lottery ticket. When he tried to claim his prize, he received nothing... The state said the ticket had a misprint on it. / May 14, 2007

Purse Increase At Pompano Park

FL - It was announced today that Pompano Park will see a significant increase in purses as a result of slot machine revenue generated at the new casino. / May 16, 2007

State files lawsuit seeking payment from TouchPlay businesses

IA - The state... Dispute with... Defunct TouchPlay machines, claiming some of the companies owe the state more than $1 million. The Iowa attorney general's office filed a counterclaim... Claiming that 11 TouchPlay operators kept money that was pumped into the video gaming machines by gamblers - cash that was to be given to the state. / May 17, 2007

CIETC Figure Surrenders Gambling License Albritton Charged In Job Agency Scandal

IA - A member of the board that oversees the Prairie Meadows racetrack and casino has surrendered his state gambling license... A federal grand jury indicted Dan Albritton last week in connection with the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium scandal. / May 16, 2007

Bill allows gambling on video games

IL - Children have grown up playing video games. Adding... Cash and prizes will make the activity even more attractive to young adults. Many will become addicted to gambling. Organized crime and money laundering are real concerns. / Anita Bedell / May 17, 2007

A Downtown Casino Is All About Location

IL - CHICAGO CBS 2 broke the story about the possibility of a Chicago casino. And now that a casino in downtown is back on the bargaining table at the State Capitol, The final location would be up to the City Council and Mayor Daley with oversight by the Illinois Casino Control Commission. / Mike Flannery / May 18, 2007

Meeks compares casinos to legalized brothels

IL - State Sen. James Meeks (D-Chicago) said he's opposed to any expansion of casino gambling in Illinois, adding that, "We may as well legalize brothels." "Brothels are legal in Nevada, just like gambling," Meeks said. "They would bring in a lot of tax revenue, if that's the intention. Then every little school girl in Illinois could one day aspire to becoming a prostitute." Meeks, the pastor of one of the largest churches in Illinois, is morally opposed to gambling. However, on Wednesday he voted with the majority in the Senate to legalize gambling in bars on video games that are skill contests between two or more people. "I either didn't realize what that vote was on, or someone pushed my voting button when I was in the bathroom," Meeks said. "I don't support gambling." / May 18, 2007

Daley suggests state tax hike, city casino

IL - [Mayor] Daley said "everything should be on the table," including his on-again-off-again quest for a Chicago casino. But there's a caveat: It should be government-owned. / FRAN SPIELMAN / May 17, 2007

Democrats caucus, but leave fiscal plan unsettled

IL - House Democrats talked about everything from more gambling to higher income taxes after they emerged from a closed-door strategy session... Gambling never has been a slam dunk in Springfield, though it is getting interest because the money it generates would give lawmakers a chance to fill a budget shortfall... / Jeffrey Meitrodt / May 16, 2007

Senators push school funding reform

IL - Fifteen Democratic senators on Thursday demanded that lawmakers tackle school funding reform this session while gambling advocates renewed their pitch that more casinos would help solve the state's budget problems. Late Thursday, the push by racetracks to add slot machines to help underwrite their industry was not in the mix. But lobbyists for the horse-racing industry have always pushed for more help. / Monique Garcia and Ray Long / May 18, 2007

Meeting raises more questions on gaming plan

IL - A government lawyer trying to explain the complexities of federal law on American Indian gaming told about 200 people packed into the Indian Creek High School gym Monday that there were no simple answers to their questions about a proposed American Indian-run bingo hall in rural Shabbona. "To be Indian lands, it must be on a reservation or it must be trust or fee-restricted lands over which the tribe has authority," she said. Coleman said that technically, the tribe could open a bingo hall immediately. If the government later decided the land is not a reservation, the facility would be shut down. / Dana Herra / May 15, 2007

New plan is old: Lease the lottery

IL - A budget adviser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Wednesday several parties are interested in leasing the Illinois Lottery, and that the deal should bring in at least $10 billion. However, House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and others balked at the idea because the influx of cash would run out after four years, leaving school districts facing a huge budget hole. / Doug Finke / May 17, 2007

Answers are few for tribe's bingo plan

IL - People came to hear what Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and... Officials had to say about a Native American tribe's plan to open a bingo hall in... DeKalb County... "To be Indian lands, lands must either be on a reservation or they must be trust or restricted-fee lands over which the tribe exercises governmental authority," / Chicago Tribune / Patrick Yeagle / May 16, 2007

Reputed Mobster Admits To 14 Murders

IL - Nicholas Calabrese Pleads Guilty To Mob Hits, Loan Sharking, Collecing Illegal Gambling Debts... The 14 mobsters implicated in the Family Secrets case were accused in at least 18 murders going back to 1970. / May 18, 2007

'She pillaged and she plundered'

IL - / May 15, 2007^ BY +DAN ROZEK+ Staff Reporter Before being sentenced for ^embezzling $921,000, Deborah [single mother of two sons]^ O'Brien tearfully ^apologized for stealing from the^ DuPage ^County crime-victim compensation fund^ she once supervised. "I ask for understanding from you, if not for forgiveness," O'Brien said to DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett. But O'Brien received little of either from a stone-faced Birkett -- or from Judge Robert Anderson, who on Monday sentenced her to 11 years in prison. "She pillaged and she plundered that restitution fund for her own use," Anderson said as he ordered the single mother of two sons to prison. O'Brien, 43, of Addison, ^admitted stealing^ the money ^during a three-year span to fund a runaway gambling addiction.^ She had worked at the state's attorney's office for 13 years until her 2006 arrest. Outside the courtroom, Birkett dismissed the apology as an attempt by O'Brien -- who faced a maximum 15-year prison term -- to get a lesser sentence. "Her apology is not accepted by me or my staff," he said. Defense attorney Richard Kayne sought the minimum four-year prison term, arguing O'Brien couldn't control herself and kept gambling even after an audit uncovered the first signs of theft from the restitution fund. "This wasn't done out of greed," Kayne said. "She had an addiction she couldn't control." ************************************** See what's free at

Getting Answers: Bingo hall in hands of federal government

IL - The federal government is the only entity that can stop the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation from opening a bingo hall on 128 acres in rural Shabbona, a DeKalb County attorney said Thursday. ... During a town meeting Thursday at Indian Creek High School, residents from Shabbona and elsewhere in DeKalb County mostly expressed disappointment at the possibility of the bingo hall opening in the area. Another issue that arose during the meeting was whether the tribe would be paying any taxes on revenue earned at the bingo hall. / Benji Feldheim / May 18, 2007

Indiana sinks deeper into gambling lobby's control

IN - He [Sen. Long R] said, "Gambling in Indiana is out of control." ... Wrong, senator. "Gambling controls Indiana." Centaur Inc. spent $93,650 lobbying. Indiana Downs spent $42,115. The tracks already receive a $27 million subsidy from casino taxes. Legislation written by Rogers, with the help of casino attorneys, was to benefit Gary. Now, Gary is close to bankruptcy... Did the legislators "sell their souls for slot machines, / Post-Tribune / John D. Wolf / May 18, 2007

Slot machines stir mixed emotions

IN - Mayor Scott Furgeson is positively ecstatic about the slot machines coming to Indiana Downs. Many worry about the impact more gambling will have on their communities... "Gambling is very addictive," said Juanita Swift, It's not a way to run a city." Anderson resident Charles Wolfe, 78, says governments in Indiana are becoming too dependent on gambling. "The government should run on its own merit and not resort to gambling," The tracks have been on shaky financial ground for several years. / Jason Thomas and Melanie D. Hayes / May 14, 2007

Wyandotte County Mayors Make Casino Pledge

KS - Thursday, the mayors of the county's three cities pledged to work together to get next month's gaming vote passed. Wyandotte County voters will go to the polls on June 26. / May 17, 2007

Edwardsville spends time debating symbolic gambling bill

KS - There was never any doubt at Monday night's Edwardsville City Council Meeting that the council would approve a resolution offering the city's support for the June 26 Wyandotte County referendum asking voters to support a casino and slot machines. / SAM HARTLE / May 16, 2007

Officials put money on gambling initiative

KS - Campaign organizers... Urge a "yes" vote on two ballot questions: Slot machines at The Woodlands horse- and dog-racing track... A destination resort casino... "We must stack the deck and win this deal," said state Rep. Tom Burroughs, a Kansas City, Kan., Democrat. Marinovich [former Unified Gov. mayor] now works for Fleishman-Hillard Inc., the public relations firm that is helping Citizens for Gaming in Wyandotte County. / The Kansas City Star / MARK WIEBE / May. 18, 2007

Gambling challenge moving slowly Deliberate approach may save time in the long run

KS - A planned court challenge to the state's new gambling law may take longer than expected. Under the bill, the casinos will be owned by the state and called "lottery gaming facilities." Harrah's Prairie Band Casino in Mayetta - has said it probably would file a lawsuit seeking to block the legislation. / Scott Rothschild / May 15, 2007


KS - Build a casino and the suckers will come to lose their money and enrich our community. Do we really want people to come to Wichita to lose money? Wichita is not a destination. We will subsidize gambling, because local gambling... Will suck millions out of our economy. For the state to get $1, someone has to lose $5. / L.D. ALFORD

News across the Metro

KS - The Unified Board of Commissioners of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., pledged its support Thursday for the gambling measure that will appear on a June 26 special election ballot. Will feature two ballot questions - whether to allow slot machines at The Woodlands and whether to allow a destination resort casino at an unspecified location in the county. / May. 17, 2007

Betting on Bingo in Sedgwick County

KS - There are serious concerns in Sedgwick County that the dozens of bingo games... Could be put out of business if voters say yes to a casino. / 5-18-07

Bill would block cockfight bets

LA - Gambling at cockfights would be illegal under a bill that cleared a Senate panel on Tuesday. It goes to the full Senate for debate. A first offense could bring six months in jail and a $500 fine or both; a second offense, one year in prison or a $1,000 fine or both. / 2TheAdvocate / MARSHA SHULER / May 16, 2007

Louisiana casinos win $205 million in April

LA - Louisiana casinos enjoyed a record take for months after Hurricane Katrina wiped out all of the Gulfport-Biloxi gambling halls. But the Louisiana pot has shrunk as more coastal gambling outlets have reopened. The Louisiana figures do not include the state's three Indian reservation casinos, which are not required to report their figures to the public. / ALAN SAYRE / 5/16/2007

Cockfighting still legal in DeSoto

LA - Cockfighting remains legal in DeSoto Parish until the state Legislature says otherwise. Sunrise Game Club, a cockfighting arena... Was raided in early March during a yearlong state police investigation into illegal gambling, racketeering and money laundering. / Shreveport Times / Vickie Welborn / May 14, 2007

St. Helena Parish likely to take gambling revenue hit

LA - Gambling revenue, including from video poker, hit a high of nearly $1.065 million in 2006. / DAVID J. MITCHELL / May 15, 2007

Panel OKs Bill To Allow Poker Tourneys In Bars

LA - Gov. Kathleen Blanco opposes the bill. / May 15, 2007

Casino critics raise voices

MA - A bid to recall three selectmen for their fiscal policies has been given a big boost in momentum by residents who are furious over the way the board has handled possible development by the Wampanoag tribe of a casino in town. "A casino will change the character of this town forever." Rick McNair, who supports a recall, agreed. "They don't even want any feedback from the public. Perkins denied that there have been secret negotiations with Wampanoag representatives. "They were just aware of the land, and came to the auction and made the highest bid," Perkins said. / Christine Wallgren / May 17, 2007

A tale of Suffolk Downs bets on the less glamorous side of racing

MA - T. D. Thornton's book challenges the myth that horse racing is "the regal and royal Sport of Kings." "Not by a Long Shot" is an exposition of every facet of Thoroughbred racing, Today Thoroughbred racing is struggling to keep up with other sports ventures and gaming options. Both the author and Suffolk University economist Larry Overlan, whom the author met at the track, believe that the racing industry has been caught flat-footed. Thornton writes, "Tracks today have no answer for casino tactics like free drinks, deep discounts or meals and lodging." "Off track betting, phone account wagering or video slot machines at the track " -- all have "fallen victim to widely differing interest among the horse tracks, dog tracks and anti-gambling legislators." Is in reality the sport of the working class. / By Patrick J. Walsh / May 19, 2007

Slots Foe Says He's Willing to Negotiate

MD - House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said yesterday that he would not rule out a modest slot-machine gambling plan as part of a broader solution to Maryland's financial problems, Busch, who has been among the legislature's most ardent foes of expanded gambling, left the door open to compromise, / John Wagner and Lisa Rein / May 16, 2007

Md. guv: No slots could chase Triple Crown

MD - With the 132nd Preakness Stakes days away, Gov. Martin O'Malley reiterated yesterday that he believes Maryland will eventually lose the Triple Crown race if slot machines are not legalized in the state. O'Malley has supported allowing a limited number of slot machines to save the horse-racing industry... / May. 17, 2007

Governor's support failed to bring casinos to Maryland

MD - Horse-racing officials complain that their industry is being hurt by other forms of gambling and by states that can offer higher purses by drawing on revenue from slot machines. In Maryland, Ehrlich's efforts failed because of politics, Capps and Raffetto said. Before him, Democratic Gov. Parris Glendening staunchly opposed expanded gambling. Then Ehrlich, a Republican, ran on a pro-casino platform. In Kentucky, Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who is seeking re-election, opposes expanded gambling. Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, also opposes it, / The Courier-Journal / Gregory A. Hall

Give slots a chance

MD - A sagging state budget and a limping horse racing industry are making slots look less like the red-haired stepchild and more like the golden first-born, yet state legislators voted it down again this year, with most opponents taking the moral high ground. The biggest obstacle to passing slots legislation has been location, location, location. As in "not in my backyard." / Katherine Heerbrandt / May 18, 2007

Upping the ante - Risky gambling

MD - What about teen gambling? Poker parties have become the social event: According to the University of Denver's Problem Gambling Treatment and Research Center (PGTRC), on any given week, 2.9 million Americans between the ages of 14 and 22 gamble while playing cards. The PGTRC estimates that 4 percent to 8 percent of teens are problem gamblers, while another 10 percent to 14 percent of teens are at risk of developing a serious gambling problem. Teens with serious gambling problems have admitted to stealing from family, friends, and workplace in order to feed their habit, according to the California [Problem Gamblin] office. / SARAH JOHNSTON / May 15, 2007

Gambling bills lose steam in Augusta

ME - This year's legislative push to expand gambling is largely over, thanks to committee votes Wednesday that crippled calls for a casino in Oxford County and postponed action until next year on a separate plan for a slots parlor in southern or western Maine. The legislative committee voted unanimously Wednesday to postpone action until 2008 on a referendum authorizing a harness track with slot machines at an unspecified location in southern or western Maine. / PAUL CARRIER / May 17, 2007

Gambling bills lose steam in Augusta

ME - Gov. John Baldacci has promised to veto the bill if the Legislature passes it, so Patrick would need two-thirds "super majorities" in both the House and the Senate to override a veto. Casino supporters in Oxford County have been collecting signatures to force a referendum in 2008, and that effort will continue, according to organizer Seth Carey of Rumford. On another front, Maine voters will decide Nov. 6 whether to let the Passamaquoddy Tribe build a racino in Washington County. The Legislature passed a bill earlier this year allowing the tribe to build a racino Down East, but Baldacci vetoed the bill and lawmakers sustained the veto, ending legislative action on that issue. / PAUL CARRIER / May 17, 2007

Police: Bit by bit, man made off with $450K in boss's silver

MN - A plating company employee with a gambling habit stole some $450,000 worth of his employer's silver - bit by bit over several years, police said. / May 18, 2007

500,000 worth of silver stolen pinch by pinch

MN - Jadyn Earl John Sessing had a great scam going, police say.So good, in fact, that Sessing's employer, Cooperative Plating Co. in St. Paul, blamed their equipment and later a painting crew for some of their losses of nearly $500,000 in pure silver since 2004. His thefts escalated even as his casino losses climbed to $900,000. Sessing, he said, "has confessed and taken steps, / Star Tribune / Paul Gustafson / May 17, 2007

Police say worker stole $450,000 in silver to feed gambling habit

MN - Jaydn... 31, stole more than 4,500 pounds of silver over a period of nearly three years to feed a gambling addiction, Police said they believe Sessing had a gambling addiction, losing almost a million dollars at casinos during those three years. / 05/17/2007

Casinos head for record year Mississippi gaming operations could top $3 billion in 2007

MS - Patrons have spent more than $1 billion at slots and tables through the first four months of 2007. Casinos have earned $161 million more than the same period in 2006 at gaming operations. He said properties are operating with about 60 percent of the gaming space and hotel rooms before Katrina. This week, Harrah's announced the development of Margaritaville, a $704 million resort deal with singer Jimmy Buffett in Biloxi. / Kevin Richardson / May 19, 2007

Anti-gambling rally to offer prayers

MS - The Rev. Carl King of Jackson County United for Families... "Our goal is to ensure that people speak loudly and vote against the casino coming to Jackson County so that those in the driver's seat know if they represent us, they must say no to having casinos brought in," King said. / TOM WILEMON / May. 19, 2007

Casinos raked in $241M in April

MS - Gambling revenues for April were record setting on the Coast and for the state, yet down slightly for Mississippi River casinos. Numbers released Friday by the Mississippi State Tax Commission showed revenues up 6.6 percent from pre-Katrina levels. The gross gambling revenues are money earned from gambling before operating expenses and don't include revenue from hotel rooms, restaurants and other amenities. / MARY PEREZ / May. 19, 2007

Harrah's to open Biloxi Margaritaville casino

MS - Harrah's, the world's largest casino operator... Is in the process of being taken over by two private equity firms... / May 15, 2007

Bill would ban lottery ads at high school events

NC - House committee voted today to ban lottery advertising and sponsorships at high school sporting events... Same at colleges... Has been withdrawn. / J. Andrew Curliss / May 17, 2007

Former Elks Treasurer Pleads Guilty To Embezzling

NH - Treasurer of the Elks Lodge... Pleaded guilty to stealing... To feed a gambling addiction. / May 15, 2007

Poker hall proposal should stay off table

NH - The Nashua Zoning Board of Adjustment tied 2-2 last week on votes to kill and to table a proposal to allow St. Stanislaus Hall on Pine Hill Road to become a poker parlor. Those tie votes mean the proposal for now is a no-go. / Nashua Telegraph / May. 17, 2007

Former official pleads guilty in money scam

NJ - A former Borough Council member faces a prison term of up to 20 years after pleading guilty last week to conspiring to launder money and defraud the government of income taxes. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Greenwald admitted to conspiring to launder about $700,000 that he believed to be the proceeds of loansharking and illegal gambling. / SANDY STUART / 05/16/2007

2 tourists wounded in attempted robbery in Atlantic City

NJ - ATLANTIC CITY... Ather and daughter were returning to their car in a parking lot near the Sands... Were approached by three people who demanded money. One of the robbers pulled a gun and shot... / May. 15, 2007

UAW: Defeat won't derail casino effort

NJ - ATLANTIC CITY - The United Auto Workers union vowed to move forward in its effort to unionize all dealers in this gambling resort despite a narrow defeat Friday in its effort to organize Trump Marina Hotel and Casino dealers. "This is just a battle. We're winning the war 2-to-1 with Caesars and Trump Plaza," UAW representative James Moore said yesterday, referring to the two casinos here where dealers have voted to join the UAW. / Suzette Parmley / May. 15, 2007

Profits down at Atlantic City casinos in first quarter

NJ - Casino profits fell nearly 6 percent in a sluggish first quarter that reflected tougher competition from surrounding states and an expensive marketing war that has two of the biggest operators in town fighting for customers. The figures show that casinos also have themselves to blame for lower operating profits. The amount of money spent by casinos on marketing gimmicks and promotional giveaways to lure customers rose 2.1 percent to $388.8 million, cutting into the bottom line. / DONALD WITTKOWSKI / May 18, 2007


NV - The Assembly, feeling heat from Wynn Las Vegas dealers, passed a bill that would effectively derail Steve Wynn's policy that rank-and-file dealers share their tips with their immediate supervisors. But now that the Nevada Resort Association, previously silent on the bill, has come out quietly in opposition to it, Assembly Bill 248 is languishing in the Senate with little hope of surviving the industry's powerful lobby. The carefully worded bill would prevent casinos from sharing dealer tips with supervisors who don't normally receive tips directly from gamblers. / Las Vegas Sun / Liz Benston / May 18, 2007

Man accused in Las Vegas bombing to face 2nd bomb charge

NV - One of two illegal immigrants accused in a deadly bomb attack outside a Las Vegas Strip resort implicated himself in a separate bombing last year at a home improvement store, court documents show. Prosecutors filed new charges Friday against Duarte-Herrera and Omar Rueda-Denvers, 31, of Panama, adding felony bombmaking and possession of bombmaking materials to murder and attempted murder charges already sought. / KEN RITTER / May 18, 2007

New Jersey Horse Racing Tracks Could Get Slots Too

NJ - The state's casino industry has been subsidizing horse racing at more than $20 million dollars a year in exchange for track operators agreeing to not pursue bringing slots to the tracks, which casino owners say would hurt business in Atlantic City. / / Bob Hartman / May 13, 2007

NYC U.S. Attorney issues seizure warrant for $4.2 million of Firepay

NY - The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York issued seizure warrants for $4.2 million of payment processor Firepay's online gambling merchants reserve funds. U.S. Attorney's office also issued seizure warrants for approximately $15 million of Optimal Payments. / 5/18/2007

Group sues BIA over land into trust

NY - The Central New York Fair Business Association is suing the federal government over the process being followed in deciding whether or not the Oneida Indian Nation should be allowed to take 17,000 acres of land into trust. Tenney [lead counsel for the FBA] noted that if the federal government allows land to be taken into trust, the state would have no regulatory authority. Tenney said that her clients are not against the casino and that they do not want it to close.
LEEANNE ROOT / 05/13/2007

NY Senecas Vote to Charge Toll on Cars

NY - The Seneca Indian Nation said Thursday it will start charging the state a $1 toll for each vehicle that travels on the New York State Thruway in response to a proposal that would tax reservation sales of gasoline, cigarettes and other goods to non-Indian customers. / CAROLYN THOMPSON / May 18, 2007

Woman gets 30 days for stealing lottery tickets

OH - A Heath, Ohio, woman was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of community control on Monday after she admitted to stealing lottery tickets she knew were winners. / May 16, 2007

More than 200 applaud effort to halt Grove casino

OK - More than 200 residents who filled the Grove Community Center on Thursday night said a proposed $60 million Seneca-Cayuga casino poised for construction on Grand Lake in Grove poses a gamble they do not want their town to take. Applause greeted Darrell Mastin, a Grove businessman, when he told the crowd, "We can say no to a casino, and we can stop this casino." If the community loses 10 families or 10 businesses - the price is too high, he [Local attorney Chris Ramsey] said. The Seneca-Cayuga Tribe has an existing compact with the state of Oklahoma that allows it to put in a casino within 25 miles of its other casino. / Sheila Stogsdill / May 18, 2007

Opponents to organize to fight Seneca-Cayuga casino in Grove

OK - A public meeting is slated... To form a grass-roots group to fight the tribeís proposal to build a 100,000-square-foot casino on the Grand Lake shoreline... We donít want Grove to turn into a mini-Las Vegas.î... To do so.î Mayor Gary Bishop, a Baptist minister, has been voicing his opposition to the casino plan for months. / Sheila Stogsdill / May 15, 2007

Tribe announces plans for resort casino

OK - For the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, the gamble is whether a $200 million resort casino at the Three-States Monument will attract 2 million visitors a year. Mathews said the casino will be built on 85 acres in Oklahoma. Mathews said the tribeís existing casino, near Miami, Okla., will continue to operate. / Wally Kennedy / May 15, 2007

Local tribe not worried about land proposals

OR - Oregon Indian tribes are awaiting new federal rules that could hobble attempts to place land into a trust and take it off the tax rolls, possibly affecting casino plans. Placing land into tax-exempt trusts helps tribes operate casinos since it exempts the land from rules against gaming. Some nontribal citizens call it unfair because tribes already get significant federal help. Off-trust lands also can lead to ìoff-reservationî casinos, whereby a tribe buys property away from its ancestral homelands or a reservation and then applies to have it placed in trust to build a casino. / May 14, 2007

Texas Hold 'Em law moves forward amid debate

OR - The hot topic was Texas Hold 'Em at last Tuesday's City Council meeting as council members and the public debated the pros and cons of a proposal to allow tournaments in town. Debie Rowley said she opposes public tournaments, arguing that people can run tournaments and play Texas Hold 'Em in their homes. She described how she worked at a Seven-Eleven store and watched people bringing their children into the store without socks, buying food with food stamps and spending $50 on lottery tickets. "We have enough here," she said. "We don't need any more." / Of The New Era / Sean C. Morgan / May 16, 2007

Anti-slots group polls voters at 43 locations Casino-Free Phila. said results would not be released until week's end.

PA - It was the most talked-about ballot question not on the ballot: Should the two proposed casinos for Philadelphia be kept 1,500 feet from all homes, schools, churches and playgrounds?Volunteers for Casino-Free Philadelphia, an activist group opposed to casinos, manned 43 polling stations, asking residents to answer the casino question on paper ballots they supplied. / Jennifer Lin / May. 16, 2007

Losing casino bidder renews option on arena site

PA - A losing casino [Capri] bidder has renewed its option to purchase the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol-Beth Jacob synagogue in the Hill District, complicating an authority's plans to buy the property as part of arena construction. If Isle of Capri were to be awarded the Pittsburgh license through the appeal process, it would need the synagogue property on Colwell Street for the casino, which would be built adjacent to the new arena. / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / Mark Belko / May 19, 2007

Slots revenue boosting purses at horse racing tracks

PA - When Pennsylvania's lawmakers legalized slot machines in 2004, they touted casinos as the best way to revitalize the state's horse racing industry and compete against other states. The law legalizing slots requires that the horse racing industry receive 12 percent of all slots tax revenues. / From The Morning Call / Christina Gostomski / May 18, 2007

Gambling fears drove residents to nix games of chance

PA - No matter how good the cause, gambling is gambling. It is trying to get something without buying, earning or trading for it or getting it freely as a gift. In fact, gambling has been called "theft by consent.
Courier-Times / Dianne M. Berlin

Pennsylvania Voters Reject Tax Plan to Finance Schools

PA - Voters overwhelmingly rejected a plan to reduce property taxes in return for higher local income taxes as a way of financing school districts, Mr. [Gov.] Rendell, a Democrat, promoted the plan as a chance for homeowners to increase the size of property tax cuts that they will receive when an anticipated $1 billion in revenue from 14 new casinos... In May 2005, the stateís school boards rejected a plan, known as Act 72, to use some of the revenue from 61,000 slot machines planned for the stateís casinos to finance school districts. / JON HURDLE / May 17, 2007

North Huntingdon eatery workers charged in gambling operation

PA - A North Huntingdon restaurateur and two of his bartenders have been charged with operating gambling devices after an undercover officer and another patron were paid for winnings. / The Tribune-Review / May 18, 2007

Against the odds, gamblers seem to like their chances

PA - If a bank gave back 96 cents for every dollar customers invested, it's a safe bet few people would keep leaving their money there, said Lia Nower, director of Rutgers University's Center for Gambling Studies. Pennsylvania requires casinos to pay out at least 85 percent of the money wagered. By comparison, Nevada casinos averaged a payback rate of 94 percent in March. / Andrew Conte / May 14, 2007

Sands billionaire got a nickel lesson in Allentown as a boy

PA - Now worth more than $26 billion, according to Forbes magazine which also ranked him sixth-richest, Adelson [Sands casinos] grew up modestly in Boston... Sands BethWorks is planning a $600 million project to include a casino with 3,000 slot machines, a 300-room hotel, a concert and events center capable of seating 3,700 people, a 200,000-square-foot upscale shopping complex and hundreds of condominiums and apartments. / The Morning Call / Daryl Nerl and Matt Assad / May 17, 2007

Slots licenses get scrutinized in Pa. Supreme Court

PA - Rejected applicants for lucrative slot-machine gambling licenses took their gripes to the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, as justices felt their way through an admittedly awkward role. Lawyers for four groups that were denied licenses spent more than four hours in a packed courtroom attacking the decisions of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. If the court agrees with the appeals and rejects the gaming board's decisions, it could add months or years to the time it will take to license and build freestanding casinos in Pennsylvania. / The Associated Press / MARC LEVY / Tue, May. 15, 2007

Good start can't mask slots as unknown quantity

PA - / EDITORIAL / May 18, 2007

Gambling fears drove residents to nix games of chance

pa - Any hint of gambling is apparently enough to make most Lower Makefield voters hit the "No" button. A referendum that would have allowed nonprofit groups to apply for permanent licenses to conduct small games of chance like bingo and raffles in the township was voted down decisively in last Tuesday's primary. / CHRIS ENGLISH / May 19, 2007

Ex-casino owners convicted of fraud

SC - A jury returned a guilty verdict... In the federal trial of a Georgia couple charged with defrauding the government when they owned a Little River-based casino boat. The Grays faced 18 charges relating to tax fraud and four others for mail fraud. Also, Six counts that included money laundering and receiving embezzled money. / Myrtle Beach Sun News / Josh Hoke / May. 17, 2007

Casino boat trial goes to jury today

SC - Jury deliberations are expected to begin about noon today in the federal trial for a Georgia couple charged with defrauding the government when they owned a Little River-based casino boat. The Grays face 18 charges relating to tax fraud... Mail fraud... Money laundering and receiving embezzled money. / The Sun News / Josh Hoke / May. 15, 2007

Gambling sites targeted in Operation Royal Flush

TX - Two people... Charged with operating a business that promoted gambling and possessing gambling devices, known as 8-liners. / / May 18, 2007

20 People Indicted Following Illegal Gambling Raid

TX - Twenty people were indicted Tuesday after a string of 8 liner raids in Lubbock back in March. The charges stem from an investigation of illegal gambling in some game rooms. / 5/16/07

Texas Poker Bill Dies

TX - A bill that would allow businesses to own and operate poker rooms in Texas is dead. This is the fate of most bills that are considered too controversial or too complicated... / May 14, 2007

Next big TV event? Bingo is its name

US - ABC is betting that viewers who get a rush from "Deal or No Deal" will jump up and down for "National Bingo Night," an even simpler game that adds play-along potential - plus the chance to win real money. ABC also offers at-home viewers a chance to play and win by downloading cards from the network's website ( A download spits out nine cards, three for each of the three games - red, white and blue - played during each show. Prizes as big as a $10,000 Kmart gift card or $50,000. / Gail Pennington / 05/18/2007

Internet Gambling: Citadel Commerce has $9.25 Million Seized by DOJ

US - Department of Justice seizes funds from a online payment processor that was doing business with the internet gambling industry. / Thomas Jensen / 18 May 2007

National Effort Launched To Promote Regulated Internet Gambling

US - A national initiative was launched today to support new legislation introduced by Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) to license and regulate Internet gambling. The Initiative will mobilize voters across the country online to support the bill. / May 17, 2007

Internet Gambling:does online poker or sports betting require more skill

US - Does anyone besides me find humor in the ridiculous argument made by some poker advocates that online poker involves significantly more skill than online sports betting? If that were the case, why do I know many successful poker players who can't win at sports betting even if they were given yesterday's newspaper? / May 17, 2007

Bringing Lobbyists to Heel

US - It's crunch time for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to deliver on the Democrats' vow to rein in power lobbyists who sully Congress by purchasing privileged access with outsized campaign donations. Think Jack Abramoff - by soliciting donations from countless clients and delivering them to grateful lawmakers in eye-popping megabundles. / May 16, 2007

Auto parts magnate's big bet on horse racing looking risky

US - Magna Entertainment's [includes tracks]debt has piled up as operating losses soared and its finances are in such bad shape that its auditors question whether it can stay in operation. Now he wants to add to his total of 10 tracks in the U.S. by joining with other bidders to win control of Belmont Park, home of the third leg of the Triple Crown, as well as the Aqueduct and Saratoga tracks in New York. Stronach referred to himself as a "king" at one shareholder meeting and was compared to Fidel Castro at another during a shareholder revolt. Stronach is chairman at Magna Entertainment... Trusts he controls have 96 percent voting control of the company. His compensation totaled close to $400 million over the last 10 years. / ROB GILLIES / May 16, 2007

ABC Brings Internet Gambling Into Your House Legally

US - So for the first time, the game of Bingo is being brought into your living room via your television set, and the internet. People at home can play also by picking up their game cards... Various prizes are awarded to the at home players... / / Terry Goodwin / May 16, 2007

Is Buffett Right About Gambling?

US - "To quite an extent, gambling is a tax on ignorance. I find it socially revolting when the government preys on the ignorance of its citizenry. When the government makes it easy for people to take their Social Security checks and pull [slot machine] handles, it relieves taxes on those who don't fall for it. It's not government at its best." -- Warren Buffett ... That said, I believe Buffett's assertion that casino gambling is a "tax on ignorance" is largely incomplete, and for a number of reasons. Gambling. More specifically, the casinos sell volatility in a variety of forms, the charge for which is the house edge on any given bet. / Jeff Hwang / May 18, 2007


US - Sections of the horse racing business in the USA have been quick to urge Americans to use the Internet for their betting and racing information. Will have access to a range of features including Live Video from horse tracks, Horse Race Replays, Odds and Results, Handicapping and picks from the TVG experts. "TVG viewers in certain areas can wager interactively on races via telephone, the Internet, TVG Mobile or Interactive Television... / May 15, 2007

Equestrians jockey for net visibility

US - With Congress along for the ride, the horse racing industry is betting that online gambling will outpace current challenges to pay off handsomely at the cyberspace window. Outstanding issues span Congress, the Justice Department, the courts and the World Trade Organization. However, the Justice Department cites older laws as justification to crack down on all bets placed via cyberspace. The group spent $400,000 in 2006 on its federal lobbying activities, McCrery pushed through legislation that wiped out a 30 percent withholding tax on international wagers. President Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Under that law, Americans can still legally place online bets on horse races, / Andrew Glass / May 15, 2007

USA businesses and the Internet gambling

US - People seem to be surprised mostly because Yahoo! Inc. is an American company which operates online gambling website, where foreign online gambling websites are not allowed to operate in the US. The Las Vegas Sands is opening an online casino which targets U.K. citizens. Harrah's Entertainment was the last to try online gambling in Britain, but failed just six months after it opened virtual doors in 2004. Do not be surprised if more US companies start opening their own online casinos, poker rooms and online betting websites. It's just too lucrative for them to miss on such an opportunity. / 05/18/2007

Yahoo! Online Poker Arrives: Could the Search for Buyouts be Next?

US - PartyPoker could provide an interesting acquisition target for Yahoo! Online Poker as a means of jump starting its launch into the highly competitive online poker market... According to Doug Caverly of, Yahoo! has positioned itself to compete with the big boys out of Europe including Ladbrokes and William Hill, not to mention the world's number two poker room (once the granddaddy before exiting the US market, PartyPoker). Caverly points out that Yahoo! may not be overly concerned about gambling addiction being that they have buried the "Responsible Gambling" section within the site. / May 19, 2007

All Bets Are Off - Yahoo Gets Into Online Poker

US - Online poker has (deservedly or not) gotten a bad reputation, and itís actually illegal in the U.S. It came as a bit of a surprise, then, when Yahoo launched a new site called Yahoo Poker. The siteís not for kiddies, and itís not a joke; players will use real money. / Doug Caverly / 05/17/2007

Prince William County Police Bust Illegal Gambling Operation

VA - Prince William County police are investigating an illegal gambling operation and arrested several individuals... Charges of conducting an illegal operation and illegal possession of gambling devices. / May 16, 2007

State officials had Troha concerns

WI - State gaming officials raised serious questions over whether to grant Kenosha businessman Dennis Troha a gaming license so he could develop a proposed Indian casino at the old Dairyland dog-racing track in that city, according to documents released Friday. Troha was indicted in March on federal fraud charges for allegedly funneling more than $200,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Gov. Jim Doyle through several family members. Federal prosecutors allege that he gave the money in an attempt to win Doyle's approval of the $800 million casino project. Troha was a partner in the project [Indian casino], which was headed by former U.S. Rep. Morgan Murphy of Illinois and businessman Joseph Madrigano. Murphy later came under federal investigation and had to abandon the project because of his partners' alleged ties to the Chicago mob. In the late 1980s, Troha was a partner in another firm seeking to manage the Dairyland dog track. Other investors in that firm were alleged to have been close associates of New York mobster Meyer Lansky. The report also recounted Murphy's alleged ties to the Chicago mob. / David Callender / 5/19/2007

Justices refuse to expedite casino games hearing

WV - With elections approaching in four counties on whether to allow casino games at race tracks, a nonprofit group wants the Supreme Court of Appeals to declare the games unconstitutional. According to Family Foundation attorney Barry Bruce of Lewisburg, the Legislature violated the West Virginia Constitution by allowing private ownership of the table games. / Statehouse Bureau / Steve Korris / 5/10/2007

Changes to gambler hot line opposed

WV - West Virginia's Problem Gamblers Help Network says its board of directors will meet Monday to discuss yanking the well known 1 (800) GAMBLER number from the state. Terry Elman, acting executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, says he and other administrators are concerned about a plan to shift control of the West Virginia program to the state's Lottery Commission, bypassing public-health officials. / May 19, 2007

State Lottery Commission shouldn't operate gambling addiction program

WV - The West Virginia Lottery Commission runs ads encouraging people to play the lottery. But now the Lottery Commission wants to take control of programs that are designed to help problem gamblers overcome their addiction. If nothing else, there appears to be a sizable conflict of interest when the Lottery Commission encourages people to gamble and then runs the program that helps people who gamble too much. / OPINION / May, 16, 2007

Lottery Commission to take over addicted gambler hot line, services

WV - The Lottery Commission plans to bypass state public health officials and take control of West Virginias nationally recognized program for compulsive gamblers, a move that is alarming addiction counselors and church groups. Critics, however, allege a conflict of interest that breaks down the checks and balances ensuring good government. Nobody in the country does that, says counselor Arnie Wexler, former director of New Jerseys Council on Problem Gambling. / Vicki Smith / May 13, 2007

National group alarmed over stateís problem-gambler plans

WV - The National Council on Problem Gambling may consider rerouting hot line callers away from West Virginiaís treatment program, if the Lottery Commission keeps pursuing its plan to take control of the stateís highly regarded service. The Lotteryís bid to bypass public health officials and directly oversee the stateís Problem Gamblers Help Network is ìextraordinarily troublingî and ìalmost unprecedented,î said Keith Whyte, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based council. / Associated Press / Vicki Smith / May 16, 2007

Lottery set to take control of gambling outreach plan

WV - A move that will allow the Lottery Commission to take over the gambling outreach program. State officials are defending the action despite uproar over what some say is the Lottery's potential conflict of interest. The Department of Health and Human Resources will stop administering the program and that role will be assumed by the Lottery. / Jake Stump / May 16, 2007

Alternatives exist to casino gambling

WV - Big-business tourism is represented by gambling (not "gaming"!). Slot (not "coin drop"!) machines were designed by a canny psychologist who knew that random rewards could entrance the weak-minded into feeding the machine until they and their families were destitute. In addition, the jobs that a slot machine hall provide are often melancholy and dead-end, if not downright despicable: inside guards, outside guards, parking attendants, croupiers, waitresses, and others who see to whatever personal needs the gambling addicts might have as they are being fleeced. / John Palmer / May 18, 2007

Table games early voting begins

WV - Jefferson County voters are deciding whether or not to allow casino-style table gaming at Charles Town Races & Slots, which currently has live horse racing and about 5,000 slot machines. If the local referenda pass in the state's four counties with racetracks, West Virginia would join Iowa as the only other state to have slots, table games and racing at a single location. / BETH HENRY / May 19, 2007

Opponents say more time to fight table games will help

WV - Some gambling foes believe undecided voters will now take a different view of table games after officials in two counties failed to meet a deadline in preparing to hold elections to authorize the games. That means grassroots opposition has more time to materialize. Kelli Sobonya, a Republican, said she pushed for the longer period to level the playing field due to the racetracks' resources to prepare for the elections. "The tracks have a lot of high-paid attorneys that should have followed up with it to make sure that's being done," Sobonya said. / Justin Anderson / May 17, 2007

Gambling vote faces delay Tri-State asks for postponement until legal issues resolved

WV - Owners of Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center have asked the Kanawha County Commission to postpone a June 9 referendum on table gaming. County election officials missed an advertising deadline for the election, in which county voters will decide whether or not to allow poker and other casino games at the racetrack. Barry Bruce, lawyer for the conservative West Virginia Family Foundation, said he was prepared to go to court if Kanawha County officials didnít put off the election. / Rusty Marks / May 16, 2007

Westover Video Lottery Parlor is Held Up Again

WV - The Hot Spot video lottery parlor has been robbed for the second time in just the past few months. But the suspects are robbing the clerks, not the machines. / State Journal / May 15, 2007