Latest News
6/1/08 to 6/7/08

Bigger, Younger Online Gambling

OR - A survey in Oregon found that 1 in 3 youths ages 12 to 17 already engage in online gambling... 6 in 10 Oregon adolescents surveyed have gambled at some time in their lives, and nearly half have done so in the past year. / By Daniel O / Jun 02, 2008

Bill to prevent casino shutdown may be headed to full Assembly

NJ - A bill to keep casinos open this year in case of a government shutdown could get a General Assembly vote as soon as June 16, after Speaker Joseph Roberts D-Camden agreed to take the bill out of committee Thursday afternoon. / Statehouse Bureau / By DEREK HARPER / June 06, 2008

Blagojevich says legislature must trim $60 billion budget plan

IL - Blagojevich said he hoped that after meetings with leaders, the General Assembly could be called into session "for a day or so" to pass a balanced budget. Another key provision is a broad expansion of gambling, including land-based casino gambling, more riverboat gambling and slot machines at racetracks. / Tribune / By David Mendell / June 3, 2008

Boys & Girls Club goes all in with casino night fundraiser

NH - Tickets for the Monte Carlo Night, which will be held at the club, are $50 and will buy 1,000 gambling chips, appetizers and entertainment. It's a hook for teens... Games will include craps, roulette and black jack... / Nashua Telegraph / By HATTIE BERNSTEIN / June 2, 2008

Carter Lake Mayor tells Nebraska to stay out of casino issue

IA - The National Indian Gaming Commission has given its okay for the Ponca Tribe to build a casino in Carter Lake, Iowa, a community that borders Omaha on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River. Omaha leaders and Nebraska's governor have voiced opposition to the proposed gambling hall... / by Karla James / June 3, 2008

Casino Bonds Crush Harrahs as Recession Hurts Apollo (Update2)

- Casino bonds are generating the worst returns for investors as companies from Apollo Management LP's Harrah's Entertainment Inc. to Herbst Gaming Inc. risk bankruptcy under the weight of their debt. Tropicana Entertainment LLC and Greektown Casino LLC filed for bankruptcy in May and bond prices show Harrah's and Station Casinos, which piled on more than $25 billion of combined debt in the past year to go private, are also at risk of default. Las Vegas Strip casino gambling revenue fell 4.8 percent... The third consecutive monthly drop... / Bloomberg / By Caroline Salas / June 3, 2008

Casino changes it's minimum gambling age

WA - You'll now have to be 21 or older to sit behind the slots or any game of chance at this Northern Quest. A press release issued by the casino's public relations group says Northern Quest is trying to make its "gaming policies more in line with national standards" and that means catering to an older clientele. / June 1, 2008

Casino owner's purchase approved

PA - The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Thursday approved the pending acquisition of Penn National Gaming Inc. by two equity investors. But Penn National said it appears unlikely that it will secure all the necessary regulatory approvals by June 15, when the deal is supposed to be completed. / June 01, 2008

Casino review board meets to receive revenue picture

KS - With 11 contracts signed, a state review board started the process Tuesday of deciding which proposals to manage four state-owned resort casinos in Kansas will be the best deals for the state. The Lottery negotiated the contracts and turned them over to the review board to pick the four, which then must pass a background check by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission. There are five applicants for Wyandotte County; three in Sumner County; two in Ford County and one in Cherokee County. / Associated Press / By CARL MANNING / Jun. 03, 2008

Casino sues to stop Seminoles' card games

FL - Pompano Park's Isle Casino is suing to keep the Seminole Tribe from offering so-called banked card games at its Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, The casino claims banked card games -- which allow players to play against the casino, rather than one another -- are illegal in Florida and so violate the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act... / South Florida Business Journal / June 4, 2008

Charities ask for injunction

CA - The state Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control intends to shut down charity Bingo fundraisers that use the electronic aids to raise funds. The state claims that the booklets of paper bingo cards used with the electronic bingo aids do not properly fit their legal requirement for the use of "cards" in bingo games. / 3 June 2008

Church's stolen checks were cashed

OR - Checks stolen from an Independence church were washed, forged and cashed for large amounts at area banks... Salem police have charged Vela with giving false information to police and possession of methamphetamine. Independence investigators think Vela's burglaries were driven by addictions to meth and gambling, Mason said. / Statesman Journal / By Dennis Thompson Jr. / June 5, 2008

Colorado casino finds smoking ban loophole

CO - Colorado casinos have been smoke-free since Jan. 1... The [smoke ban], however, has a loophole that allows smoking at cigar bars... / 3 June 2008

Construction worker killed in Vegas

NV - A worker has been crushed and killed by a crane at the construction site of the MGM Mirage's CityCenter casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip. It was at least the sixth... / The Associated Press / May 31, 2008

Court rules for defendants on money laundering

DC - In two decisions _ one a 5-4 split, the other unanimous _ the justices found that money laundering charges apply only to profits of an illegal gambling ring... In the 5-4 ruling siding with defendants Efrain Santos and Benedicto Diaz, a federal judge and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said that paying off gambling winners and compensating employees who collect the bets don't qualify as money laundering. Those are expenses, and prosecutors must show that profits were used to promote the illegal activity, the appeals court ruled in a decision affirmed by the Supreme Court. / The Associated Press / Jun 3, 2008

Daniel Borenstein: Governors lottery plan is irresponsible

CA - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to cover part of the state's budget shortfall by mortgaging the lottery qualifies as one of the dumbest ideas from Sacramento in years because it encourages more gambling and could saddle future generations with irresponsible debt. The governor proposes to freeze the annual level of lottery revenues earmarked for education at $1.2 billion annually. The only reason we have the lottery is that voters in 1984 were sold on the idea that it would provide funding for our schools. It has actually turned out to be a relatively small sum, funding less than 1.5 percent of K-12 education. Now the governor wants to freeze that paltry sum. / By Daniel Borenstein / 05/31/2008

Deputies bust gambling operation

NC - Investigators with the DCSO vice and narcotics unit Thursday seized poker tables, playing cards, poker chips and $1,748 in cash from the premises of Corporate Entertainment Solutions... / Lexington Dispatch / June 06. 2008


MO - Will Americans one day routinely gamble on their cell phones and other mobile devices? The technology exists and it's already happening legally in other places around the globe. / by Rick Alm / June 5, 2008

Drug found helpful in problem gamblers

NY - In a study of pathological gamblers, the urge to gamble and gambling-related behaviors diminished among those who took naltrexone -- a drug frequently prescribed for the treatment of alcoholism and drug dependence. Those treated with naltrexone, compared with placebo, reported fewer gambling urges and thoughts, and indicated they were better able to resist their urges to gamble. / Journal of Clinical Psychiatry / Jun 4, 2008

Expert: Greektown Casino Bankruptcy Could Mean Creditors Get Equity

MI - Detroit's Greektown Casino filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday - the result of a cash-flow problem related to its ongoing expansion into a much larger hotel/casino complex similar to its two competitors in the city. / 6-2-08

Experts weigh in on gaming stocks

NV - With the increased cost of a tank of gasoline equivalent to the cost of a few cocktails, fewer tourists are driving to Las Vegas. With airlines cutting back flights to town, it will be harder to fill hotel rooms. And the Strip has grown posh, making it less attractive to the masses. But that barely touches on why gaming stocks have lost more than $50 billion in value since their peak last year... Casinos are capital-intensive and don't seem able to sustain returns in the long term as their fixed costs increase. / By Our Partners at the Las Vegas Sun / 5 June 2008

Feds uphold dealer unionization vote at Atlantic City casino

NJ - The National Labor Relations Board has upheld the unionization vote by dealers at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino... Management's efforts to prevent workers from exercising their legal rights have failed... / The Associated Press / Jun 3, 2008

Feds want dismissal of Cherokee County lawsuit involving casino

KS - A lawyer for the federal government has filed a motion to dismiss Cherokee County's lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior stemming from the Quapaw Tribe's new casino. The county's lawsuit, filed in February in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, alleges that Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne conveyed the interests of what is known as the Meh-No-Bah Allotment to the tribe in trust without conducting an environmental review of the tribe's casino development under the National Environmental Policy Act. The allotment is the location of the tribe's $301 million casino and hotel, just off Interstate 44. / By Roger McKinney / June 04, 2008

Felony charges of illegal gambling are filed

FL - The State Attorney's Office has filed felony charges against two business operators and two businesses suspected of illegal gambling. / June 3, 2008

For Tropicana casino, bankruptcy auction may be on the horizon

NJ - ATLANTIC CITY - How much is the Tropicana Casino and Resort really worth? It may take a bankruptcy auction to find that out. Normally, bankruptcy carries the stigma of failure. Not so in the casino industry. It has been used with success by gaming operators in the past, and now it appears Tropicana is heading in that direction to complete the casino's tortuously slow sale. Gary S. Stein, the conservator overseeing the sale, says a bankruptcy auction is the best way to pump up bids and overcome a host of legal and financial entanglements that have hindered efforts to find a buyer. / By DONALD WITTKOWSKI / June 06, 2008

Former Carlsbad MainStreet director faces charges

NM - Accused of making fraudulent withdrawals... She was behind in her personal debts due in part to gambling. / Carlsbad Current-Argus / 06/06/2008

Former House aide pleads guilty in lobby scandal

DC - A one-time top aide to former Oklahoma Rep. Ernest Istook pleaded guilty Monday to a conspiracy to defraud the House as part of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. John Albaugh admitted in federal court in Washington that he accepted meals and sports and concert tickets, along with other perks, from lobbyists in exchange for official favors. Abramoff has pleaded guilty to bribing lawmakers to support [gambling] policies that helped his clients, including American Indian tribes. Abramoff is serving prison time for a fraudulent Florida casino deal and is still awaiting sentencing in his scheme to bribe public officials in Washington. / Associated Press / By SAM HANANEL / Jun. 02, 2008

Former Kenosha County Executive admits to improper payments

WI - Kehl plead guilty Friday to one federal charge of conspiracy to receive improper payments -- totaling $15,000 -- for a proposed tribal casino project. / Associated Press / May 30, 2008

Gambling addict is still fighting the demons

IA - Iowa experts figure that up to 5 percent of the population wrestles with some form of gambling addiction, but there are no statistics on how those people fare in long-term battles with their demons. The best Iowa survey says slightly fewer than 71 percent of problem gamblers can expect to be gambling-free six months after they finish addiction treatment. Most should expect to feel that familiar pull for the rest of their lives, said Lisa Pierce, director of the nonprofit Central Iowa Gambling Treatment Program. If they are successful in treatment, most will manage to turn somewhere for help before they get too far out of control. / By JEFF ECKHOFF / June 5, 2008

Gambling addict mom dumps her baby - again

SOUTH AFRICA - The errant Ekurhuleni woman who not so long ago hit the headlines after dumping her then seven-month-old baby with her helper and went gambling, has done it again. This time Nomvuyo Williams, 35, a self-confessed gambling addict, has abandoned the baby with her friend Zoleka Nyengane. Williams was last seen in April. Her disappearance happened barely three months after Sowetan exposed her for neglecting her baby... She left her baby with Ngqoleka of Tembisa for more than two weeks. / Sowetan / 03 June

Gambling and the Law: An Attempt To Gut The UIGEA

DC - H.R. 5767, is short but to the point: "The Secretary of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, whether acting jointly or separately, may not propose, prescribe, or implement any regulation" under the [Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act], "including the proposed regulations published in the Federal Register on October 4, 2007." This would effectively eliminate the legal, if not the practical, impact of the UIGEA. / June 2, 2008

Gambling raid shuts down Sun City Internet Center

FL - An Internet center was shut down after investigators raided it and arrested the operator on charges of running a gambling house. / By Saundra Amrhein / June 6, 2008

Get on the ball; be wary of the lottery

IL - The Illinois Lottery urges people to "have a ball" while willingly handing over their hard-earned cash to play its many games of chance. Last year Illinoisans poured more than $2 billion into Lottery coffers... However, the odds always favor the house. Problem gamblers still can lose just as much money in the smaller-stakes games. / By Sauk Valley Newspapers / June 01, 2008

Government retreats on tribal bingo regulation

MO - Under pressure from Indian tribes, federal regulators announced Thursday they're retreating on attempts to make sure electronic bingo machines at tribal casinos can't masquerade as Las Vegas-style slots. His move underscored the federal government's struggles in trying to regulate the $25 billion-a-year tribal gambling industry, which has grown explosively. / Associated Press / By ERICA WERNER / Jun. 05, 2008

Greektown Casino seeks loan to keep building in Detroit

MI - Greektown Casino is seeking approval in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for an about $45 million loan... / by The Associated Press / June 04, 2008

Harrah's to reject NBA bets

NV - Sports books at all of the Harrah's properties will be turning bettors away. That is because Harrah's Chairman and CEO Gary Loveman owns a piece of the Celtics. Late last year, Loveman acquired a 2.4 percent stake in the storied franchise, prompting the National Basketball Association to require Harrah's to not accept bets on any Celtics game. Other games involving other teams are still allowed. Gamblers also will not be able to bet on the Finals at the Palms and the Silverton. Those properties' owners have stakes in other NBA franchises. / Las Vegas Review-Journal / By ARNOLD M. KNIGHTLY / Jun. 05, 2008

Have minicasinos met their match?

WA - "I think family trumps money," [Anderson] said. "Any money that comes from gambling is not worth destroying the family." His initiative drive was born of internal conviction, but addicts have since approached him with sad stories. Like the man, now part of the campaign, who found himself on the floor of a casino bathroom, fresh off losing $10,000 as well as his wife. Anderson, a church youth worker and citizen activist, began his crusade to close minicasinos in March. It's the first time a person has pursued an initiative drive since the city voted to allow initiatives and referendums two years ago. He must collect at least 3,707 signatures by July 4 to force the City Council to adopt the proposal or put the measure to a citywide vote. Anderson's efforts is a belief that governments should run efficiently, and therefore shouldn't need the revenue generated by minicasinos. / / BRENT CHAMPACO / June 6th, 2008

Hoosier Park plans large video sign near Interstate 69 exit

IN - The city zoning board has approved a plan to place a large electronic sign with a video screen advertising the new Hoosier Park casino close to an Interstate 69 exit ramp. Hoosier Park is one of two pari-mutuel tracks in Indiana planning expansions with slot machine casinos... / Associated Press / June 5, 2008

Hoosier Track Casino Opens Its Doors To The Public

IN - The two casinos opening in Indiana have both been doing plenty of advertising leading up to their openings. Indiana Downs is promoting on billboards, while Hoosier Park is using television commercials to do their advertising. / / Tom Jones / June 3, 2008

IGT pays $76 million to acquire Cyberview

NV - Reno-based slot machine giant International Game Technology picked up another piece in the server-based gaming puzzle Wednesday, acquiring European rival Cyberview Technology for $76 million. The deal comes nearly three months after IGT said it was in negotiations to acquire the London-based company that distributes slot machines throughout Europe and operates a well-established fixed-odds betting terminal business in the United Kingdom. / Las Vegas Review-Journal / By HOWARD STUTZ / Jun. 05, 2008

IP is scene of second suicide

MS - A 21-year-old Tennessee woman jumped to her death from the 29th floor of the IP Casino on Friday, authorities said. This appears to be the second suicide in less than two years at the casino. / By MICHAEL A. BELL / Jun. 01, 2008

Ill gov., lawmakers blame each other

IL - Blagojevich began this year with an ambitious wish list: He had called for a massive infrastructure program, universal health care and a $300-per-child state income tax rebate. He suggested paying for it with a major expansion of gambling. But by the time the Legislature adjourned for the summer late Saturday, virtually all of Blagojevich's agenda for this year had been ignored. Instead, the Legislature unanimously sent him a campaign ethics bill that clearly was a swipe at the governor's own fundraising methods. The Senate passed a massive expansion of gaming that would have enlarged the state's casino industry and allowed slot machines at horse racing venues, as a means of paying for new infrastructure and other priorities. But the House never voted on the measure, in large part because lawmakers say they don't trust Blagojevich to spend the money fairly. (HB2651) / By Kevin McDermott and Kathleen Haughney / 06/05/2008

Ill. court: Casinos must share cash with tracks

IL - Fairmount Park could receive about $7 million under an Illinois Supreme Court decision handed down Thursday that requires the state's four wealthiest riverboat casinos to share their dollars with horse tracks. A spokesman for Penn National Gaming said that their lawyers have not ruled out an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court but are currently reviewing the court opinion to determine their next step. / POST-DISPATCH SPRINGFIELD BUREAU / By Kathleen Haughney / 06/06/2008

Illinois lawmakers may put budget burden on governor

IL - The state Senate passed the package Saturday, including provisions to fund it in part with controversial plans to partly privatize the state lottery, expand the state's casino industry and allow slot machines at horse-racing venues such as Fairmount Park at Collinsville. But the House later tabled the measure, leaving open the possibility it could be passed when lawmakers return to Springfield in the fall. / POST-DISPATCH SPRINGFIELD BUREAU / By Kevin McDermott and Kathleen Haughney / 06/01/2008

Iowa takes cut from winners of gamblers who owe

IA - Gamblers who win a big jackpot at an Iowa casino could go home empty-handed -- if they owe income taxes, child support or other payments. / Associated Press / June 6, 2008

Iowas smoking ban prompts some opponents to seek office

IA - Democratic leaders said they were confident the public supports the ban on smoking in most public places other than casino floors. They noted a state public health department study in 2006 that showed 82 percent of Iowans didn't smoke and other polling that indicates a majority of residents back some form of a ban. / Associated Press / June 3, 2008

Kansas and casino loss limits

KS - The only way casinos or states make money is if players lose. Perhaps we shouldn't be concerned about who is losing that money or how much they lose. The problem is that we're pretty sure some of them are losing money they really can't spare. / Lawrence Journal-World / By Lawrence Journal-World / Jun 05, 2008

CT - Death at casino parking garage ruled a suicide... / Associated Press / June 5, 2008

NV - Rio dealers pursue union... / Las Vegas Review-Journal / Jun. 05, 2008

Las Vegas gaming market fails to impress Wall Street

NV - Wall Street investors do not expect a turnaround in the Las Vegas gaming market anytime soon. They also aren't impressed by the figures coming out of Macau. The average daily stock prices of the major casino companies tumbled during May... The overall economic climate remains soft, consumer confidence levels fell, gas prices continued to climb and concerns about demand for the sector persisted... Those factors have caused the average daily stock prices of the large gaming companies to struggle. Most have shown double-digit percent declines from a year ago. / Las Vegas Review-Journal / June 05, 2008

Lawmakers OK $60 billion state budget; capital bill stalls

IL - Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) called the budget out of whack, potentially by billions of dollars. House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) called the budget a reckless and "totally irresponsible approach to governing." The Senate sent the House a plan that would be supported largely by a major expansion of gambling... But the plan foundered in the House and supporters predicted it would fail. / Tribune / By Jeffrey Meitrodt and Ray Long / May 31, 2008

Lawsuit seeks liquor regulations for tribal casinos

MI - Patrick Devlin said he filed a lawsuit this week to try and force Attorney General Mike Cox to require tribal casinos to comply with liquor control laws. / Associated Press / June 4, 2008

Local attorney charged with 5 felony counts

CA - Local attorney... Faces five felony counts, including embezzlement and grand theft, for allegedly bilking one of her clients out of money held in a trust account. [she] made multiple cash withdrawals from the trust account ranging from $60 to $8,000. There were also numerous checks written from the account for... Multiple casinos, including Elk Valley, Lucky 7 and Seven Feathers Casinos. / Daily Triplicate / By Nicholas Grube / June 3, 2008

Methodists take aim at gambling

IN - Delegates will hear today from guest speaker Tom Grey, field director of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, The United Methodist Church has been unwavering in its opposition to gambling, and the opening this week of two new gaming sites, in Shelbyville and Anderson, makes the issue a pressing one, Gangler said. "We've kind of lost confidence in the General Assembly. The state has been dependent on and addicted to gambling revenues." Delegates will discuss referendums opposing legalized gambling, including one that would put gaming expansion on a statewide ballot. / BY NICOLE BROOKS / June 5, 2008


NV - Pinnacle's president, has chosen not to relocate from his home in Dallas and has resigned his position, effective immediately. / June 5

Omaha Council Opposes Carter Lake Casino

NE - The Omaha City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution opposing a planned casino in Carter Lake, Iowa. / June 3, 2008

Online Gambling Operator PartyGaming Close To Settlement With U.S.

- The $1 billion amount would also be 40 times more money than the US gave the entire island nation of Antigua for violating WTO agreements, which is a much larger law violation than that PartyGaming had supposedly committed. / / By Susan Torres / June 1, 2008

Packer Aborts Plans For World's Tallest Casino In Las Vegas

NV - James Packer... Was planning on building the tallest casino in the world in Las Vegas, but has now called off the project. The global credit crunch was used as the reason that the plan was being aborted. / / By April Gardner / June 5, 2008

PartyGaming Settlement Won't Affect Challenge of Online Gambling Law

- All the buzz this past weekend centered around PartyGaming's founders agreeing (in principal) to settle with the US Government for an amount of $1 billion. The deal is meant to forgive the past crimes of an online gambling company, opening the door to a new Internet gold rush. / / Christopher Costigan / June 2, 2008

Police investigate death at casino parking garage

CT - State police are investigating whether a person who died at the new MGM Grand at Foxwoods casino jumped from the parking garage, accidentally fell or was the victim of a crime. / Norwich Bulletin and The Day of New London / June 5, 2008

Police: Slot Players Left Children In Car While Gambling

DE - Delaware police said they arrested a Pennsylvania couple who left their children in a car while they gambled inside the Delaware Park Race Track on Saturday. / June 2, 2008

Pompano Park Casino Challenging Seminoles Right To Blackjack

FL - The Isle Capri at Pompano Park has filed a lawsuit against both Crist and U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. The suit claims that the compact only allows games that are already legal in the state, and games in which players play against the house are illegal in Florida. / / By Susan Torres / June 4, 2008

Prosecutors say disgraced NBA ref deserves break

NY - Donaghy, of Bradenton, Fla., revealed he made NBA bets for four years, even wagering on games he worked. He also admitted recommending bets to high-stakes gamblers and collecting thousands of dollars when his picks hit. Prosecutors "also debriefed Donaghy concerning improper conduct on the part of other NBA referees who had engaged in gambling that violated NBA rules... / Associated Press / By Tom Hays / June 3, 2008

Randolph woman accused of stealing money to gamble online

MA - A Randolph woman is accused in federal court of stealing more than $100,000 from her former boss then gambling it away online. / Enterprise News / Jun 03, 2008

Ridley custodian charged for role in $570G school embezzlement

PA - The husband of a former Ridley School District bookkeeper convicted of stealing more than half a million dollars from district coffers to feed her gambling habit was arrested Thursday for his part in the alleged conspiracy. Despite Herbert Ackley's previous contention that he was "shocked" when he found out last December that his wife had stolen $573,792.71 from retired teachers' health insurance checks, investigators believe he knew exactly where their gambling money was coming from. / Delaware County Daily Times / By Cindy Scharr / Jun 6, 2008

Riverside County sheriff's union says stay away from Soboba Indian casino

CA - The Riverside County Sheriff's Assn., a union representing thousands of employees, has warned its members and the public to stay away from the Soboba Indian casino near San Jacinto because of recent violence. The reservation was the scene of two shootouts earlier this month between Riverside County sheriff's deputies and several tribe members who used rifles against officers, their vehicles and a helicopter. Three tribal members died in those gun battles. In the last six months, six Soboba members, including the son of a formal tribal chairwoman, have been fatally shot in confrontations with deputies. / Los Angeles Times / By David Kelly / May 31, 2008

Saga's likely end is prison

NH - The saga of an ill 69-year-old woman who embezzled more than $1.5 million from a Keene-based toy company and handed the money over to an alleged extortionist, her faux family and a casino neared its conclusion Monday. [She] was sentenced in Cheshire County Superior Court on two felony counts of theft by unauthorized taking and could spend the next 14 years in prison. Judge John P. Arnold ultimately ordered Everett to serve seven to 14 years behind bars and pay $1,524,087 in restitution to Douglas, a family-owned business that manufactures and imports stuffed animals and other toys. The likelihood that Douglas will ever see a fraction of the embezzled funds is slim because Everett gave away or spent the cash and she doesn't own a home or have life insurance... / Sentinel / PHILLIP BANTZ / June 03, 2008

Schwarzenegger's lottery proposal not such an easy sell after all

CA - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to borrow against $15 billion in future lottery profits was supposed to be an easy sell, a relatively painless way to help bail the state out of its financial mess. Instead, it is quickly becoming a political liability. Voters are suspicious of anyone messing with state lotteries, and they're emotional about it. Californians find the governor's lottery strategy so distasteful, a recent state poll suggests, that they would rather have their taxes raised. Meanwhile, lawmakers are denouncing the plan as a gimmick, and analysts say it could prove far costlier to the state than Schwarzenegger is letting on. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said the governor's plan makes "overly optimistic and potentially unobtainable assumptions about the ability of the lottery to increase its profits." The analyst's office also pointed out that few states in the West have been able to reach the national average for lottery ticket sales. Of the 18 states west of the Mississippi River that have lotteries, none has ticket sales above the national average. California is one of the most profitable in that group. / Los Angeles Times / By Evan Halper / June 1, 2008

State casino rules are lax

IL - As the legislative session winds down, Illinois officials are again raising the award of the 10th casino license and an expansion of gambling as the fix to the state's financial deficit. This is being considered despite our state's licensing fiascoes, the high costs associated with defending more than a dozen lawsuits and alleged organized crime infiltration of casino ownership. We've seen this from the inside. We worked at the Illinois Gaming Board. And we believe the casino regulatory system in Illinois is ineffective--by design. Instead of adopting New Jersey's strong model, Illinois has minimal controls. It has exposed gambling oversight to influence from a corrupt political system. Transparency and accountability--the hallmarks of casino regulation--are not a key part of the picture in Illinois. / By Jeannette P. Tamayo and James W. Wagner / June 1, 2008

State releases rules for upcoming smoking ban

IA - Under Iowa's statewide smoking ban, owners affected by the new law must post the signs at every entrance and make sure they're at least 24 square inches. The requirement is among several draft rules released Monday by the Iowa Department of Health. The rules are the state's first in-depth explanation about what Iowans can expect when the ban begins July 1. The ban affects restaurants and bars but provides exemptions for casinos... / Associated Press Writer / By JAMES BELTRAN / June 3, 2008

Sunflower smoking ban?

KS - In a policy statement issued Tuesday, the governor heartily endorsed a proposal by the Kansas Health Policy Authority for a statewide smoking ban in public places, "There's nothing that would prevent a statewide smoking ban from applying to state-owned casinos, but it's a policy issue for the Legislature to decide," said Corcoran. / by Rick Alm / June 3, 2008

Suspect lied, but which time?

MI - Jurors were shown videotaped police interrogations, during which Wright said he slipped and stabbed Johnson by accident when he was trying to force her into his work trailer so he could extort money from her boyfriend, Roger Blanchard. He told investigators he needed money to support a gambling habit. Wright said he buried her body, then dug her up and tossed her into Cass Lake in Oakland County, where Macomb County Sheriff's Detective Mark Grammatico found her nearly two weeks after she disappeared. / FREE PRESS / BY AMBER HUNT / June 5, 2008

Tax amnesty rules approved

NV - Decisions on whether a special legislative session might be needed soon to deal with the shortfall will be made after reports on casino-related taxes are released about June 10. / The Associated Press / Jun 2, 2008

The $1 Dream That Becomes A Nightmare

NY - Joyce B., a 45-year-old housewife in Phoenix, near Syracuse, started playing Pick-6 Lotto as a substitute for video Joker Poker. After four years she had won $30 and owed between $40,000 and $60,000. ''The ads said all you need is a dollar and a dream,'' she said. ''It was more like a dollar and a nightmare!'' Then there is the housewife on Long Island who started playing Lotto instant scratch-off games for fun and profit. She ended up spending $600 a week on scratch-off cards. Gamblers Anonymous group has several members who ruined their lives playing the lottery. ''One member, a banker, had been clean for a year and a half when he started playing Quick Draw,'' he said. ''He lost his entire 401-K savings, $30,000, and he lost his job.'' / New York Times / By EVELYN NIEVES / May 29, 1997

The Handwriting on the Wall: A School to Prison Pipeline

CA - Indian Casinos -- seven by my count -- glittered with promises of great winnings and gaming addictions in the Great Valley. All built in the past two decades. My third eye backpedaled. Since the 1987 Supreme Court decision, 51 Indian Casinos have sprouted in California. While Indian casinos report billions in revenue, the state reports that 1.5 percent of the population now has a gambling addiction (1 in 70 citizens). Gaming addiction, crime rates and dropouts -- all linked. / Jeffery S. Williams / June 05, 2008