Latest News
7/26/09 to 8/01/09

1 state's video-gambling experience bodes ill for Illinois

IL - By legalizing video gambling, Illinois is poised to go down a path that led Sioux Falls, S.D., to accumulate mom-and-pop casinos, pawn shops and payday lenders on almost every major street. The gambling outlets do not have clocks on the walls and curtains are drawn, leaving gamblers no hint of how much time they have spent inside, said De Knudson, a City Council member and wife of a gubernatorial candidate. Knudson said most residents she talks to have friends, relatives or co-workers with a video gambling problem. Lawmakers passed video gambling without holding public hearings. If they had, they likely would have heard statistics about these effects: -- Easy accessibility leads to the notion that such gambling is socially acceptable, which promotes more frequent wagering. -- It takes about a year for video gamblers to become compulsive, compared to 3 ? years when betting on horses, sports, etc. -- More video gambling and lottery machines tend to be placed in poorer neighborhoods. -- Those with lower incomes are more prone to see wagering as a way out of economic misery. In Louisiana, a third of the video machines were turned off in the late 1990s after more than 30 parishes, the equivalent of counties, voted to ban them. Kelly [director of the DePree Public Policy Institute in Pasadena, Calif.] said video gambling attracts those who are predisposed to addiction. A gambler has to make a conscious decision to go to a casino, but not so if gambling is available in local bars and restaurants. "If you have it in your face at every street corner ... people who wouldn't have fallen to gambling addiction do," he said. Five percent of the total gambling population is addicted, he said. Only Internet gambling is more addictive, said Chad Hills, analyst for research and policy at Focus on the Family, At taverns where video gambling is allowed in South Dakota and Montana, it's not unusual to see gamblers playing in their pajamas, he [Hills] said. "They come straight from home, don't even bother getting dressed," he said. / Special to the Tribune / By Kristen Kridel / July 24, 2009

A Sprawling Casino Next To A Conservation Area?

MO - Located at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers just north of St. Louis, the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is among the last stretches of undeveloped riverfront near the city. The Missouri Department of Conservation, the state agency that manages the 4,300-acre area, describes the land as "a mosaic of bottomland habitats that includes shallow wetlands, bottomland hardwoods, prairie, and cropland. These habitats attract a wide variety of resident and migratory wildlife for the enjoyment of all of our state's residents and visitors." If a local development group has their way, Instead of nature hikes, the tourists will play golf, hit the spa, and pump money into slot machines. Plans for the casino (available after the jump), include: * 8,000 parking spots... * An 18-hole golf course with two artificial lakes... * Convention center... * Theater... * Steakhouse... * Spa... * Wind farm to power the operation. / By Keegan Hamilton / Jul. 28 2009

AP NewsBreak: Sports leagues sue to block betting

DE - The four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA sued Delaware Friday, seeking to block the state from implementing sports betting. Delaware's sports betting plan "would irreparably harm professional and amateur sports by fostering suspicion and skepticism that individual plays and final scores of games may have been influenced by factors other than honest athletic competition," the leagues and NCAA said in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Delaware. / Associated Press / By FREDERIC J. FROMMER / Jul. 24, 2009

Anita Bedell: Gambling expansion will harm our society

IL - (House Bill 255) includes the largest expansion of gambling in the history of Illinois. Illinois would be the first state in the nation to put the lottery on the Internet if this section of the law receives approval from the U.S. Department of Justice. Illinois residents, 18 years of age and older, would be able to purchase lottery tickets from their computers, cell phones or BlackBerries 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Underage drinking already is a problem in many communities. Underage gambling is a growing problem that will likely increase if video gambling machines are legalized in restaurants and locations frequented by children and minors. Video gambling will be difficult to regulate, monitor, and enforce at so many locations statewide. A candidate for sheriff in Allen County, Ind., best summarized our concerns when he said, "This type of gambling has been shown to increase crime, destroy families and diminish our wholesome way of life. Our prosecutors and judges will see an increase in criminal cases as well as bankruptcies. Problem drinkers are 23 times more likely to have a gambling problem than individuals who do not have a gambling problem. Alcohol and gambling are a volatile mix. / THE STATE JOURNAL / Jul 28, 2009

As the Seminole compact turns

FL - Atop the tribe's priority list: lowering annual payments to the state, from $150 million to $125 million, limiting future competition from other gambling spots and preserving blackjack tables at its Naples-area casino. / Tallahassee Bureau / By Josh Hafenbrack / Jul 29, 2009

Banned gamblers could slip in to play after loss limit lift

MO - Changes to how Missouri casinos do business may make it easier for problem gamblers who have banned themselves from casinos to gamble. State voters did away with a $500 loss limit last year, meaning casinos no longer require identification from patrons to track how much money they're spending. Before loss limits were repealed, every gambler had to present a driver's license or other state-issued ID. / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / July 28, 2009

Battle Lines are Being Drawn in Delaware and New Jersey...

- For years it has been clear that Jon Kyl, Robert Goodlatte, Spencer Bachus and other Republicans have an issue with online gambling. They have used the argument that online gambling can't be regulated and hence must be banned. Recently, as a result of the recession, Delaware announced that they would be offering sports betting (likely in the way of a lottery) to help boost interest at the casinos and to raise money for the state. New Jersey followed suit, suggesting it would be offering sports wagering also. Delaware stated they had the right to offer sports betting by virtue of a law passed in the early 1990s. Not surprisingly the 4 main U.S. based sports leagues challenged both states and are now suing Delaware because they suggested the state Supreme Court was wrong in its ruling since sports handicapping relies on skill and the State's constitution doesn't allow betting on lotteries that involve mostly skill. While the leagues have made their views known, what is somewhat confusing is the actions of some politicians. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, Representative Greg Weeks of New York, Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama and Representative Heath Shuler of North Carolina all sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to look into the Delaware issue and also to prevent iMEGA from successfully challenging the constitutionality of PASPA. The fact that Jon Kyl and Spencer Bachus put their names behind the complaint makes it clear that their previous arguments against online gambling were not what they made them out to be. They don't have an issue with online gambling, but rather with gambling, period. Jon Kyl was the first person to issue a bill trying to prevent online gambling, and in doing so stated, "I am no fan of gambling." In one corner you have Barney Frank, Ron Paul and other politicians who don't want the courts infringing on rights (Barney Frank even stated at the World Series of Poker that he believed it was an American's right to gamble), along with the states of Delaware and New Jersey that want land based sports betting legalized to help raise state revenue and level what they believe is an uneven playing field. On the other side you have the sports leagues who believe they are "too important" to ever have their games questioned due to suspicious gambling, as well as neo-conservative politicians, the DoJ and other politicians that appear to be bowing to the leagues. / / By Hartley Henderson / July-26-2009

Casino Impacts: Keeping Count

- From increased road repairs to new English-as-a-second-language school programs to teach the children of casino workers, towns across the region reported increasing casino-related expenses. In Norwich, for instance, schools have four times as many Asian-American students than they did in 1993, due in large part to the migration of casino workers from New York's Chinatown. Asian-Americans now make up 7 percent of the school population. Norwich Free Academy, the city's high school, estimates its annual casino-related costs at $600,000. Montville says it spends an additional $300,000 in language programs for its schools. The gaming report identified four suicides linked to the casinos since 2000 and said there could have been more. Southeastern Connecticut also shouldered more than its fair share of a remarkable increase in embezzlement cases in the state. Towns here have seen sharp increases in drunken driving cases even while they've been declining elsewhere around the state. / By David Collins / 7/29/2009

Casino Mogul Steve Wynn's Midas Touch

CA - "I want to understand a bit about the casino business," Rose remarked. "So do I," Wynn joked. He told Rose the only way to win in a casino is to own one, "unless you're very lucky." And he says, even when people are lucky, they usually gamble away their winnings. "You have never known in your entire life a gambler who comes here and wins big and...walks away?" Rose asked. "Never," Wynn replied. "You know nobody hardly that over the stretch of time is ahead?" Rose asked. "Nope," Wynn said. The customer's loss is Wynn's gain. He's a billionaire, but he isn't all that interested in gambling: his passion is creating the resorts. / CBS / July 26, 2009

Casino Industry Insider news bites

- A blackjack dealer, with 20 years experience at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, is suing the resort and its parent company, Harrah's Entertainment Inc., for failing to protect her from second-hand smoke. Tomo Stephens said she was forced to quit her job because of ill health caused by her exposure to tobacco smoke. / July 28, 2009

Class Action Lawsuit Brought against Delaware Over Sports Gambling

DE - Delaware's sports betting, under the umbrella of the state lottery, has received major criticism. And now the verbal hostilities have come to the culmination of a law suit. The class action suit lists the NFL, the NHL, the NBA, the NCAA, and the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball as the plaintiffs. They seek to challenge the constitutionality of Delaware's "Sports betting scheme" as it pertains to not only the federal scale, but also Delaware's own constitution. / by Glen / July 24th, 2009

FDLE to reduce policing at Broward County's three `racinos'

FL - Blaming the state's budget crunch, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has drastically reduced its policing of Broward County's three parimutuel ``racinos,'' including no longer keeping on-site offices at the gambling facilities. The change, which took effect at the start of this month, eliminated 33 full-time FDLE positions assigned to monitoring the slot parlors. Two of the affected facilities -- Gulfstream Park and the Mardi Gras Racetrack and Gaming Center -- are in Hallandale Beach, with the third, the Isle Casino/Pompano Park, in Pompano Beach. / Miami Herald / BY MICHAEL VASQUEZ / 07.30.09

Fight for Sports Gambling Finds a New Ally in iMEGA

DE - And now they [iMEGA] are fighting for the sports betting regulation set to take place in Delaware. Some argue that legalized sports gambling would find leagues turning to corruption, but enemies of this line of thought suggest that sports gambling operations are already taking place under the umbrella of organized crime. Should iMEGA be successful, they will have opened a door of opportunity for Atlantic City as well as Delaware. / Gambling News / by Glen / July 29th, 2009

Frank bill reaches 50 co-sponsors

DC - We are pleased to report that there are now 50 members of Congress signed on as co-sponsors of the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267), legislation introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services. Among the bipartisan group of 50 co-sponsors are many senior ranking representatives, including George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the Committee of the Judiciary, Charles Rangel (D-NY), chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, Edolphus Towns (D-NY), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Pete King (R-NY), / 28 July 2009

Fraud lawsuit latest wrinkle in Trump casinos bankruptcy case

NJ - With a decision nearing on whether Donald Trump can regain control of the Atlantic City casino empire he once ruled, a new complication has emerged in an already tangled situation. A company that once intended to buy the Trump Marina Hotel Casino is suing Trump Entertainment Resorts for $17 million. The lawsuit filed late Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden, alleges fraud, and claims the casino needs at least $50 million in repairs. It claims things got so bad that, rather than fix leaky windows and skylights, the casino put plants underneath them to catch the drips. In its lawsuit, Coastal claims Trump Entertainment deliberately hid its financial condition to try to salvage a deal that was struck in May 2008, when Coastal agreed to buy the casino for $316 million. The price was reduced to $270 million several months later. / Associated Press / WAYNE PARRY / July 29, 2009

Gamblers versus pro leagues. Bet on it

DE - The gamblers of Philadelphia have to be trembling with excitement at the thought of driving just a few miles this fall to place bets on their beloved Eagles. It may not be long before Delaware lures them all with the promise of new point spreads every week. Of course, everyone knows what will happen to these poor fools. They'll blow money being saved to pay the overdue home improvement loan, and have to sell the minivan to pay the heating bill. There will be no summer camp for the kids next year because dad blew it on what seemed like a sure bet, say the Eagles, plus a point, over Carolina in the season opener. Worse yet, a few of them might get together to see if they can pool enough of their money to somehow convince Donovan McNabb to throw a few games. Oh, the horrors that await if Delaware goes ahead with a plan to offer sports betting! / Jul 29, 2009

Gambling not an answer to state's needs

PA - Gambling is not benign. It has costly negative impacts. How much unnecessary damage is okay with our elected officials to dump on its citizens? No matter what the "good" cause and no matter what the type of gambling, legalized gambling is economics with gamblers played for suckers and the general public left to clean up the mess of gambling problems. With gambling, there is no product, no service and no consumer protection. There is just the scam. / Dianne M. Berlin Penryn

Gambling talks stall with take-it-or-leave-it bill

FL - Slot machines Negotiations over a gambling deal between the governor and Seminole Tribe have been on hold for the last 10 days as they await word on whether the House and Senate will modify their take-it or leave-it offer. But lawmakers didn't rule out the option for expanded gambling elsewhere -- such as slot machines operating at the Miami International airport or in other parts of the state. They simply said that if lawmakers expanded gambling, the tribe wouldn't owe the state as much money. The tribe wants the exclusive right to slot machines outside South Florida... / by Mary Ellen Klas / July 27, 2009

Gaming Commission head proposes mental health counseling

MO - Fourteen-thousand people have put themselves on a voluntary list to be excluded from casinos. Some cannot stay away even with that and they often get caught and charged. / By Bob Priddy / July 27, 2009

Gaming commission staffers urge closing President Casino

MO - The casino, on the old Admiral riverboat in St. Louis, is losing money as gamblers flock to glitzier nearby casinos, including the President's sister facility, Lumi?re Place. The staff of the Missouri Gaming Commission recommended Tuesday that the state quit betting on the President. Because state voters capped the number of casino licenses, regulators must ensure that every casino produces tax revenue for the state and home-dock city, said the commission's general counsel, Chris Hinckley. Despite those financial troubles, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay sent a letter urging the commission to keep the President in business. / POST-DISPATCH JEFFERSON CITY BUREAU / By Virginia Young / 07/29/2009

Group goes to court seeking vote on SD smoking ban

SD - Bars and gambling businesses have gone to court... After the South Dakota Legislature passed a law expanding the smoking ban so it would outlaw smoking in bars and casinos, / Associated Press / 07.27.09

Illinois Has the Slots but Not the Plan

IL - Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, and his team of legislators have recently concocted a law to introduce legal video game terminals throughout different venues in the state. Critics of the plan are seeking council members to ban the terminals from their jurisdictions. The law has given the power to ban these terminals to the local governments. / Gambling News / by Glen / July 27th, 2009

Just a Mirage? MGM remains a gamble

- The economic downturn has been hard on the largest casino gaming operator in Las Vegas, known for properties such as the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and Excalibur. Its $8.5 billion CityCenter resort project under construction there has contributed to its financial stress. Shares of MGM Mirage are down 51 percent this year following last year's 84 percent decline. By contrast, they rose 56 percent in 2006 and 47 percent in 2005. Longtime majority shareholder Kirk Kerkorian this spring reduced his stake from 53.8 percent to 39 percent. The firm remains aggressive. The MGM Grand New Giza, a development near the pyramids in Cairo, Egypt, is scheduled for a 2013 opening. Financed by an Egyptian developer, it will be managed by MGM Mirage. / Andrew Leckey / 07/26/2009

Kickapoo descendant sues Kansas tribe for discrimination

KS - The former acting manager of the Golden Eagle Casino has sued the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, Nanomantube contends the tribe racially discriminated against him and other Native American applicants when it hired a "non-Indian" for the general manager's job at the Horton, Kan., casino. / The Associated Press / Jul. 30, 2009

NY officials, bidders meeting on track's VLTs

NY - After eight years that included antigambling campaigns, a governor's resignation in disgrace, the bankruptcy of the state racing association, and the start of the economic recession, New York officials are returning to plans to put thousands of video lottery machines at Aqueduct thoroughbred race track. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Legislature and Gov. George Pataki agreed to a significant expansion of gambling. Since then, a series of events delayed the plans, including opponents, legislative gridlock under Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his resignation, the NYRA's reorganization in bankruptcy court and its subsequent state bailout, and the national economic meltdown. / Associated Press / By CHRIS CAROLA

National Problem Gambling Council Sets 2010 Conference Date

- Problem gambling has been rising in the US because of the expanded gambling. States have been changing laws to allow for more casinos, but they have not kept up with setting aside enough funding and resources to help curb gambling addiction. / / By Terry Goodwin / July 26, 2009

Once hot, Vegas nightclubs now face new kind of heat

NV - Nightclubs exploded in Vegas only over the last five years, and their reign may be coming to a sudden end. At their best, the clubs were largely responsible for finally making Vegas cool again, and for bringing the young and the wealthy and even famous trendsetter types from Los Angeles, Often the celebrities were compensated for their visits, At first, casinos perhaps were not prepared for the money aspect of the club's sudden success as they were more focused on initial concerns about ecstasy and prostitution (well-founded concerns those too it turns out). And, as the clubs were bringing huge numbers of people into the casinos, the resort companies, in general, asked far too few questions for far too long. All of this began to change when the IRS raided Pure back in 2008, the first time the IRS had sent agents in such a fashion into a casino since the days of the mob. That investigation is apparently still ongoing. Planet Hollywood agreed to pay a $500,000 fine because of its admitted lax oversight of alleged yet non-specified behavior at tenant nightclub Prive. This was followed by the nightclub being denied a liquor license which, without a successful appeal, will almost certainly mean Prive's closure. / Jul 24 2009

Online Poker Seizure Warrants May Face Public Unveiling

- A motion to disclose the information contained in the sealed warrants granting permission to the US Department of Justice to seize money intended for US online poker players was heard today. Government attorneys all but states more online poker payment seizures were being planned, speaking to the judge of ongoing criminal investigations. / by Preston Lewis / July 27, 2009

Pauma Tribe to Help Casino Patrons, Families Face Gambling Addiction

CA - Signs of problem gambling include lying, being unable to stop, neglecting family, friends and/or work and continually borrowing money. Common statements of problem gamblers include, "I can't believe I lost my savings," "My spouse will leave me if I tell him/her the truth" and "I used to win all of the time but now I have a string of bad luck." / PRNewswire / July 27

Pinnacle wants casino to stay in St. Louis

MO - Pinnacle Entertainment wants to keep the President casino in downtown St. Louis but replace the historic riverboat with another boat, the casino's owner announced today. State regulators called the hearing to press Pinnacle to explain its plans for the financially struggling casino. / POST-DISPATCH JEFFERSON CITY BUREAU / By Virginia Young / 07/28/2009

Planning Commission to hold hearing on North County casino

MO - The St. Louis County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 on a proposal for a casino complex on 376.82 acres along Riverview Drive in north St. Louis County. The site is just south of the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, The county council must approve a development plan and the Missouri Gaming Commission must grant the casino a license before it can open. Also, the casino would be the 14th in the state. Last November, voters approved a proposal that included limiting casinos in the state to the 12 existing ones and a casino under construction in Lemay. / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / By Phil Sutin / 07.27.2009

President Casino Looking For Approval To Move In Missouri

MO - The President casino has one of thirteen gaming licenses that are available in the state. They [Pinnacle casino] are asking the Missouri Gaming Commission for the right to move or rebuild the President Casino. / / By Tom Jones / July 28, 2009

Problem Gamblers Find a Way Around the Rules

MO - Missouri once had a high concentration of admitted problem gamblers, but measures had been taken to prevent them from giving into their urges. Gamblers could impose a ban upon themselves through the casinos, facilitating an arrest for trespassing should they be found on the casino's property. This had caused a reduction in the number of problem gamblers throwing away their money, but a loophole has been found and now gamblers are once again finding their way into gambling sites. Prior to the change of the laws, all players would be required to use a players card. / Gambling News / by Glen / July 27th, 2009

Problem gamblers get loophole in Missouri

MO - Changes to how Missouri casinos do business may make it easier for problem gamblers who have banned themselves from casinos to gamble. State voters did away with a $500 loss limit last year, meaning casinos no longer require identification from patrons to track how much money they're spending. Before loss limits were repealed, every gambler had to present a driver's license or other state-issued ID. That's no longer happening. Rick Cox, who counsels problem gamblers in St. Charles, said a man who had quit gambling returned to the casinos in November, telling Cox, "Once I found out that you didn't need a card anymore, it changed my thinking completely." The man gambled for months before being arrested. / The Associated Press / Jul. 27, 2009

Prospect of slots hikes interest in airport terminal redo

FL - Seeing a share of slots income at Miami International Airport could entice developers to gamble on revamping its aging central terminal. Aviation officials are exploring a contract with a developer to finance, design, build and operate a new central terminal in exchange for a long-term concession deal. At the same time, in a bid to boost non-aeronautical revenues in the face of escalating debt payments, they're considering installing slots at the airport. Miami-Dade Aviation doesn't yet have a license for slots. The state is processing a quarter-horse racing application that's a pre-requisite. / By Risa Polansky / July 30, 2009

Report: Selig contemplating reinstating Pete Rose

- Major League Baseball commissioner Bug Selig is reportedly considering reinstating the sport's all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, from his lifetime ban from the sport. Rose was banned from baseball in 1989 for gambling... / The Sports Network / Jul. 27, 2009

Self-Exclusion Gambling Program Not Working In Missouri

MO - Thousands of people had signed up for the program, and these gamblers were being arrested when they entered casinos. Voters approved the end of a $500 loss limit at state casinos, and with the end of the loss limits, the self-exclusion problem became almost null and void. That deterrent is now gone, and it has put a strain on what was a highly successful program. It is time for lawmakers to go back to work and come up with a plan that will once again serve the purpose of keeping gamblers on the self-exclusion list out of state casinos. / / By Terry Goodwin / July 27, 2009

Self-banned gamblers get a loophole

MO - For years, Missouri has ballyhooed its novel program allowing compulsive gamblers to ban themselves from casinos for life. More than 14,000 people - including 5,313 in the St. Louis area - have signed up since the program began in 1996. They agreed to stay away from casinos and to be arrested for trespassing if caught on the premises. But now, gambling counselors say more problem gamblers may be slipping in unnoticed. Since state voters got rid of the $500 loss limit last November, casinos no longer require all patrons to show an ID and get a boarding pass to enter. "If you don't check ID, you don't know who's trying to get through or who got through," said Keith Spare, chairman of the Missouri Council on Problem Gambling Concerns. Before loss limits were repealed, every gambler had to present a drivers license or some other form of state-issued ID with a photo, name, date of birth, address and Social Security number or drivers license number. The information was required to get the mandatory players card in Missouri. / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / By Virginia Young / 07/27/2009

Seminoles And State Far Apart In Florida Gambling Issue

FL - Lawmakers in the state of Florida have never been high on gambling expansion for the Seminole Indians. That is why when they were forced to deal with the issue by Governor Charlie Crist this past legislative session, they fiddled around with a half-hearted effort to allow the expansion. Governor Crist has been trying to get the compact with the Seminoles done for several years. / / by April Gardner / July 29, 2009

Should the Government Set Up a National Lottery?

- Paul Solman: This is the classic (some would call it "libertarian") argument for government lotteries: taxation as "free choice." But since gambling seems to be as physiologically addictive as many dependence-inducing drugs (Gambler's Anonymous, anyone?), I wonder if a national lottery wouldn't be somewhat similar to creating a national monopoly on heroin and cocaine and having the government sell them to raise money. / Peter D. / July 24, 2009

Sports leagues seek order against Delaware betting

DE - The four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA asked a federal judge Tuesday for a preliminary injunction to prevent Delaware from implementing its sports betting plan. The leagues argued that Delaware's sports betting would result in harms "that cannot be remedied by subsequent monetary damages." The plaintiffs, which include Major League Baseball and the NHL, asked the judge to prevent any sports betting plan that allows single-game betting as well as any betting on sports other than pro football. State officials hope to have the sports betting in place for this year's NFL regular season in September. Stern of the NBA made similar points, saying that missed baskets and referees' calls will be seen through a "prism of the impact on the betting line," rather than team and individual performances. / Associated Press / By FREDERIC J. FROMMER / Jul. 28, 2009

St. Louis County smoking ban could exempt bars, casinos

MO - A draft of the smoking ban proposal that St. Louis County voters may consider in November contains two key exemptions - casino floors and bars. / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / By Phil Sutin / 07.28.2009

State Lotteries Among Most Abusive Form of Gambling, Study Says

SC - A survey in South Carolina shows that minorities and the poor are the most likely to participate in state lotteries. Blacks make up less than 20 percent of the state's population, but 38.4 percent of frequent lottery players, / by Virginia Maddox / July 26, 2009

States Seeking More Sports Gambling

- American pro and college sports teams seeking new revenue through increasingly bold marketing relationships with gambling interests. It's why team logos have begun appearing on state lottery tickets and why some basketball games have been played at casino hotels. Now officials in Delaware and New Jersey, Say it's time for a bolder move: full-scale, legalized sports betting... The plans are being resisted by the nation's four major pro sports leagues - the NFL, the NBA, the NHL and Major League Baseball - as well as the NCAA. In May, NFL owners voted to allow clubs to sign deals with state-sponsored lotteries for the first time. Since then the Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks have gone into business with state lotteries for 2009. Major-college athletics programs accept sponsorships from state lotteries and Indian tribes with casino hotels; MLB President Bob DuPuy says there's a clear distinction between inviting fans to buy a Yankees or Red Sox lottery ticket and encouraging them to bet on what happens between the lines. American pro and college sports teams seeking new revenue through increasingly bold marketing relationships with gambling interests. It's why team logos have begun appearing on state lottery tickets and why some basketball games have been played at casino hotels. Last week two U.S. senators and three congressmen - including Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., a former NFL quarterback - joined the fray. They wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to fight the lawsuit and Delaware's plan. In May, NFL owners voted to allow clubs to sign deals with state-sponsored lotteries for the first time. / Gannett News Service / Jul 28th, 2009

Station Casinos ends negotiations with bondholders, files for Ch. 11 protection

- Station Casinos Inc. voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, after the casino operator and its bondholders failed to reach a full agreement during months of negotiations. The company, which blamed the faltering economy for a falloff in its finances, has $5.7 billion in debt, Chief Accounting Officer Tom Friel told The Associated Press. Also Tuesday, Station Casinos announced that, with court approval, it planned to borrow up to $150 million in cash from a subsidiary. / AP / ASHLEY M. HEHER / July 28, 2009

Talks over Seminole gambling agreement on hold

FL - Negotiations over a gambling deal between the governor and the Seminole Tribe have been on hold for the past three weeks as both parties await word on whether the House and Senate will modify their take-it-or-leave-it offer. But legislative leaders seem unlikely to budge from the blueprint they wrote during the spring legislative session and say now that it's their final offer to the tribe. The Legislature gave the governor until Aug. 31 to complete an agreement, or compact, with the tribe that would formally give it the right to operate slot machines and blackjack, baccarat and chemin de fer at tribal casinos in South Florida. The deal also allows the tribe the exclusive right to operate slot machines at its casinos in Tampa and Central and Southwest Florida. In exchange, the tribe would pay the state at least $150 million a year. / Herald / BY MARY ELLEN KLAS / 07.29.09

The best Legislature gambling money can buy

FL - The Seminole Indian Tribe and related businesses made $720,000 in political contributions in 2008omore than their giving in the previous 10 years combined and three times as much as that given in the 2006 election cycle. Is it merely coincidental the previously gambling-expansion-skeptical Florida House of Representatives saw things differently during the 2009 legislative session and approved a gambling compact with the Seminoles resulting in the largest expansion of gambling in the history of the state? IIn total, companies involved with gaming and racing gave $3 million to legislative candidates and party committees in 2008. Florida ranked sixth in the nation for gaming contributions,i the Instituteis report notes. / By JAMES A SMITH SR. / July 30, 2009

Trouble At the Track

- The American thoroughbred racing industry is suffering through its bleakest stretch since the Depression. Attendance at most horse-racing tracks is in steady decline, and betting volume is down 10% this year, following a 7.3% drop last year to its lowest level in a decade. Some tracks are being razed or auctioned. Others are fighting bankruptcy. And nearly every track is propped up by-or seeking-revenues from slot machines. Suddenly, survival is the name of the game. Jim Squires in "Headless Horsemen" Describes a cluster of problems: a small club of blueblood owners who preside over racing as their personal fiefdom but who do nothing to save it; a staggering proliferation of illegal drugs, juicing up the performance of horses but depressing betting confidence; and sales rogues who artificially increase the level of bidding on horses at auctions and inflate prices in private acquisitions, thus duping the unsuspecting and discouraging newcomers from entering the business. For the vast majority of the public, which pays attention to horse racing only during the Triple Crown season, celebrating a Derby winner only to learn on the eve of the Preakness that the horse had been pumped up on steroids was dismayingly reminiscent of rooting for Barry Bonds in his home-run race. Then it was discovered that Curlin, twice voted America's Horse of the Year, in 2007 and 2008, had also been injected with steroids. / By RAY KERRISON / JULY 28, 2009

Vegas casino cos. struggle with cutting costs and slashing room rates as 2Q results worsen

NV - Declines in convention business and tourism took their toll on Las Vegas casino operators in the second quarter, as Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. each reported worse results Thursday than they did a year earlier. Wynn Resorts said its profit dropped 91 percent to $25.5 million, or 21 cents per share, down from $272 million, or $2.42 per share last year. Las Vegas Sands Corp. reported a loss of $175.9 million, compared with a loss of $8.8 million a year earlier. / Associated Press / OSKAR GARCIA / July 30, 2009

Video gambling to become reality in Illinois

IL - Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed House Bill #0255, which created Public Act #96-0034 (aka the Video Gaming Act). The Video Gaming Act permits bars, fraternal lodges, VFW halls, truck stops and other establishments licensed to sell alcohol to operate video gambling operations. / July 30, 09

Video game site lets players bet on their skills

- Although you can win or lose real money, is not considered online gambling, and it's legal in 39 states. The site, which lets players challenge other gamers for money, says it is different from online poker and other games of chance because video games are considered a game of skill. BringIt supports the PlayStation 2, the PS3, the Xbox 360 and the Wii. Players challenge each other on the site, but play on their consoles. / AP / By BARBARA ORTUTAY / 07.29.09