Latest News
8/02/09 to 8/08/09

Ameristar profit falls

MO - Ameristar Casinos Inc., which owns Ameristar Casino St. Charles, reported a 16 percent drop in profit in the second quarter. / St. Louis Business Journal / August 5, 2009

Author Shares Triumphant Battle against Compulsive Gambling in Self Published Release

- Compulsive gamblers find it extremely difficult to control their urge to gamble. Gambling is all they could ever think about and want to do, even when it is already taking a toll on their loved ones, their work or their finances. Broke or not, depressed or happy or even when the stakes are not in their favor, people who are affected with compulsive gambling just cannot seem to stay out of the bet. / August 5, 2009

Barry Richard blackjack opinion "wrong, wrong, wrong," sayeth Ron Book

FL - But what happens to South Florida's only (legal) blackjack spot if the Seminole tribe and the governor can't fashion a gambling deal that would pass muster with the Legislature by the Aug. 31 deadline? Will the blackjack tables disappear? In one scenario, federal regulators would order blackjack tables at Hard Rock and other tribal casinos shut down, perhaps triggering years of costly litigation. Federal marshals could be called in to enforce the order, if necessary. In another, the tribe petitions the federal government to keep its blackjack tables - and prevails. (Likewise, lots of litigation. A win-win for lawyers.) Then the state gets no money for education. At issue: the Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act of 1988, created by Congress. That law created the parameters governing gambling on Indian reservations. It says that Indian tribes are entitled to whatever gambling games are legal in their home state, but must negotiate a compact with the state to set the terms. Blackjack is illegal under current Florida law. / by Josh Hafenbrack / August 5, 2009

Big gambling venture in Venice

FL - Few people could mistake the new Royal Palace Arcade in Venice with the glitz of Las Vegas. Instead of complimentary buffets, the Royal Palace has all-you-can-eat hot dogs. The Palace has room for 250 slot machines in the 12,000- square-foot building. Not long ago, a venture like the Royal Palace would have been risky in Southwest Florida, as sheriffs and prosecutors cracked down on the operations as illegal gambling dens. But a series of court victories since 2006 has emboldened the industry. New arcades have been popping up across the region and the Royal Palace, with its grand size and owners' ambition, could signal a significant shift. Between 2002 and 2007, law enforcement officials in Sarasota and Manatee counties cracked down on the penny arcades as illegal gambling operations. Businesses were shuttered, machines confiscated and the owners prosecuted. A Sarasota County jury convicted one game-room owner in 2004, but the industry fought back and won cases across the state. Arcade operators rely on the state's so called "Chuck E. Cheese" statute, which permits games that take coins, have some element of skill and pay off in prizes instead of cash. / By Zac Anderson / August 3, 2009

Big Money Comes to Ohio if Casino Gambling is Approved

OH - Come the November ballots, Ohioans will have the opportunity to vote for or against expanded casino gambling. Should the "yes" vote take victory, Ohio could see four full service casinos in the state. Racetracks have recently seen the inclusion of over 17,000 slot machines, and now gaming enthusiasts seek more. / Casino News / by Glen / August 6th, 2009

Casino Gambling Causes Massachusetts to Consider Crime Measure

MA - The Attorney General of Massachusetts is asking lawmakers to update the criminal code, including adding new statutes against money laundering and identity theft, before... Gaming starts. Expanded... Gambling... Martha Coakley to propose legislation to proactively avoid crimes associated with gaming. / by EdBradley / August 3, 2009

Casinos Create Jobs, but also Cut Them

- With tough economic times, some purveyors of gambling have been building up to ride out the recession, while others are sinking and thus slashing rates and, unfortunately, employees. Unfortunately, jobs have recently been cut in Foxwoods Resort Casino. Revenues have slipped over the last year, and thus they have decided to nix 67 employees, or approximately 1% of their workforce. / Gambling News / by Bonnie / August 4th, 2009

Commentary: Beware dangers of government-sponsored gambling

NC - No circumstances under which it's OK for a state government to entice its citizens to gamble. The very idea is anathema to what government is supposed to be all about. They target poor neighborhoods with the message that gambling is the only way to escape poverty. / / Aug. 05, 2009

County Moves Closer To Smoking Ban, But With Exceptions

MO - A county-wide smoking ban gets one step closer to the November ballot but with some big exceptions. Doctors, bar owners, cancer survivors, and casino workers filled the St. Louis County Council chambers Tuesday night. Two bills were before the council, one that included pretty much every public place in the County and another that excluded casinos as well as bars... "We just think exemptions aren't good," says April Dzubic of the American Cancer Society. / By Sean Conroy / August 4, 2009

Credit Crunch Tough on Online Gambling

- Rising debts on credit cards will create an unparalleled dent in the online gambling industry by a massive $11 billion dollars... 70% of all internet gambling transactions funded by credit cards... / By Sharona B / Aug 05, 2009

Crist, surprise surprise, optimistic on Seminole gambling talks

FL - No surprise, the always sunny-side-up Gov. Charlie Crist told reporters today he's confident the state will sign a revenue-generating gambling deal with the Seminole tribe, a top priority for his administration that appears in serious jeopardy. Facing an Aug. 31 deadline imposed by the Legislature, the Seminoles want major changes to the blackjack and slots-for-cash deal outlined by the Legislature in May. Legislators say they're done negotiating, setting up a round of brinksmanship. The tribe couldn't accept the deal the Legislature offered, as it's currently written. / by Josh Hafenbrack / August 4, 2009

Dear Chuck, stop the gaming 'shenanigans.' Sincerely, Marcelo

FL - Now, Miami International Airport seeks to squeeze in as the Legislature is closing the door on the quarter horse loophole. Its efforts are presently aimed at obtaining a quarter horse permit to allow it to either lease quarter horse races or run the races in its parking lots with the ultimate goal to offer slot machines at its airport terminals. I would respectfully request any decisions on such applications be delayed to the extent possible under the law. Such delay would give the Legislature the opportunity to act and give clarity to its intent to close the quarter horse loophole. / letter from Rep. Marcelo Llorente / August 01, 2009

Denied rapid-gambling thrills, Fairmount Park is fading

IL - In the track's heyday, the parking lot filled up fast. But in 2009, casinos have trumped the game. Why wait 19 minutes for a thrill you can get at a casino as often as you can pull a slot machine lever or pick up a fresh hand of cards. Illinois lawmakers orchestrated a peculiar plan to temporarily rescue Fairmount and its upstate cousins with revenue from a tax on the state's top grossing casinos. The handout scheme is tied up by a casino industry lawsuit... / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / Pat Gauen / 08/06/2009

Donald Trump and bank hope to make $100M cash infusion to spruce up 3 Atlantic City casinos

NJ - Trump, his daughter Ivanka and an affiliate of Dallas-based Beal Bank were chosen late Monday by Trump Entertainment Resorts to buy the company out of bankruptcy for $100 million. A bankruptcy court judge still must approve the plan. Trump relinquished operational control of the company when it emerged from a second Chapter 11 filing in 2005, though he remained its largest stockholder and chairman of its board. He and Ivanka Trump resigned from the board in February after bondholders spurned his offer to buy the company - just before it filed for bankruptcy for the third time. The Trumps and the bank plan to invest at least $100 million to upgrade the three casinos. / Associated Press / WAYNE PARRY / August 4, 2009

Eleven people - including reputed Genovese wiseguy - indicted in $13M sports gambling ring

NY - Eleven people, including a retired NYPD officer and a reputed Genovese wiseguy, were indicted Wednesday for running a $13 million sports gambling ring. Baseball, basketball, hockey, and professional and college football. Bets ranged from $200 to $4,000. / DAILY NEWS WRITER / BY Brendan Brosh / August 6th 2009

Fairmount Park Facing Financial Woes

IL - The track is in serious financial trouble and, in fact, is closing down a month early. They [casinos] want to be the only game in town. Casinos fight sharing profits with the tracks. / / By John Auble / August 5, 2009

Family friendly: Governor vetoes bingo bill

MO - Gov. Jay Nixon put a stop to an attempt to expand bingo in Missouri. The governor vetoed a bill that had been passed by the Missouri House and Senate. "We are very pleased with the governor's choice to veto this bill," said Kerry Messer, founder of the Missouri Family Network and lobbyist for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC). Nixon cited one of the main reasons for vetoing the bill is the fact that it permitted the use of "electronic bingo card monitoring devices" without explaining what the devices were. / By Susan Mires / July 30, 2009

Federal stimulus to Seminoles, Miccosukees sparks criticism

FL - Boasting a seven-casino empire throughout Florida, the Seminole Tribe is awash in gambling dollars. The Miccosukee tribe has fared well, too, with its casino operations in Miami-Dade. Despite their growing wealth, the Obama administration has awarded the two tribes a combined $4 million in federal stimulus dollars. That total may rise in the coming months as federal agencies continue to dole out stimulus grants. "I personally think it's the most insulting thing I've ever heard,'' said Dan Adkins, CEO of Hallandale Beach's Mardi Gras Casino. ``These local police departments are having to lay off people because of budget constraints. Why should any of that money go to the Seminole Tribe? . . . They don't have a budget problem.'' Florida's tribes have largely escaped the brutal poverty that still afflicts many Indian nations. It's not just that Florida tribes have casinos -- it's that their casinos are in heavily populated areas. / Miami Herald / BY MICHAEL VASQUEZ / 08.01.09

Florida Pari-Mutuels Waiting On Seminoles Gambling Compact

FL - Some people believe that state racetracks in Florida will be hurt if a gambling compact is reached between the Seminole Indian tribe and the state. here are others, however, that believe the racetracks could be saved by the compact agreement. Included in the deal that was struck by lawmakers in Florida is lower taxes and higher poker limits. That could save a racing industry that is struggling... / / By Terry Goodwin / August 2, 2009

Galvano: legislators won't join Seminole gambling talks

FL - The Legislature's leading voice on the Seminole gambling deal, Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said legislators won't play a role in negotiations between the governor's office and the tribe, Galvano said it's up to Gov. Charlie Crist to negotiate the final terms of a deal with the tribe. / by Josh Hafenbrack / July 31, 2009

Gambling serious stuff

PA - Last week, a power outage forced evacuation of The Meadows Racetrack & Casino until electricity could be restored... But some [patrons] reportedly refused to leave their spots in front of their machines. / 8/5/2009

Gambling talks start and stop again with no resolution

FL - Lawyers for Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe met on Wednesday for the second full day of talks since they began negotiations in early July and many of the same issues that divide them remain, said George LeMieux, who is representing the governor. But Rep. Bill Galvano, the Bradenton Republican who led the House negotiations on the compact legislation, suggested that the tribe is operating under flawed thinking if it assumes it is entitled to all the games it was awarded in the first compact. And, he adds, it is now operating those games illegally. / by Mary Ellen Klas / July 31, 2009

How Vegas Lures Visitors, Even in a Recession

NV - Casinos around the world employ countless strategies -- from design features like no windows and no clocks to marketing incentives like free booze and hotel rooms -- to keep visitors spending their cash and spending it at their casinos. Fine said casinos typically spend 25% of their revenues on marketing rewards, giving away everything from free drinks and meals to stays in hotel suites and cash back. "Many problem gamblers report a loss of time," said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. "Of course, it's also true for casual gamblers, but much more so for problem gamblers." Still, it doesn't hurt that casinos offer gamblers a nearly endless supply of alcohol, which can make even casual gamblers more at ease of risking hundreds or thousands of dollars. Another mainstay at casinos is the use of chips instead of cash, which could serve a dual purpose. On the one hand, "It's easier to spend if it's monopoly money," notes Whyte. / FOXBusiness / Matt Egan / July 31, 2009

How much do charities benefit from charitable gambling? State mandates star ratings; starting at 30%

MN - Five Star ratings will go to organizations that give 50 percent of revenues after-dedicated expenses to charity. Four stars go to those giving away 40 percent, three stars to 30 percent. The law gives state charitable gambling regulators one year to review the financial reports and award... / BY DENISE MARTIN / 8/6/2009

Illinois Adds Online Gambling to Gaming Repertoire

IL - Illinois adds forms of online gambling to the state's legalized gaming, even though the US Department of Justice somehow claims all Internet gambling is illegal. Both the state lottery and horse racing will be available at online gambling sites. / by K.C.Carmichael / July 31, 2009

Illinois Cities Reject Video Gambling, Still Want Dollars

IL - Recently, Illinois passed a $26 billion public works bill benefiting the entire state, which is to be funded largely by licensing and taxation of video gambling machines at local bars and restaurants. Now, some cities are making the machines illegal in their jurisdiction, but still want to collect dollars for streets, schools and bridges under the bill. / by VirginiaMaddox / August 5, 2009

Indian Gambling Industry Rising, Despite Recession

- In 1996, the NIGC [National Indian Gaming Commission,] raked in just over $5 billion dollars. Three years later, in 1999, they had reached the $10 billion mark. In 2008, it was estimated that Commission oversaw the generation of an immense $25 billion. In what is called a non recession proof industry, they have done quite well. While many casinos in Vegas and Atlantic City crumble, Tribal Casinos around the nation have flourished and adapted to the shifting winds of financial trouble. / Gambling News / by Glen / August 5th, 2009

Joe's trolley, the suffering of the Jews and a casino on bottomland

MO - / By Chad Garrison, Keegan Hamilton, Aimee Levitt / August 03, 2009

Judge refuses to halt Delaware sports betting

DE - A federal judge on Wednesday denied a request by professional sports leagues and the NCAA to halt Delaware's planned sports betting lottery until a legal challenge is resolved. Chief District Judge Gregory Sleet set a Dec. 7 trial date on the plaintiffs' claims that the sports betting plan violates a federal ban on sports gambling, as well as Delaware's state constitution. / Aug 05, 2009

Judge: Texas tribe must stop giving cash at slots

TX - A federal judge has ruled that El Paso's Tigua Indian tribe is running illegal gaming machines at a once-lucrative casino. The tribe... Must shut down slot machines that issue gift cards as prizes or face a fine of $500 a day. / Associated Press / By ALICIA A. CALDWELL / 08.04.09

Kickbacks from adult clubs to cab drivers spur legal battle

NV - Several Las Vegas taxi companies and adult clubs are firing back in a lawsuit over commissions topless and nude clubs pay to cab drivers for bringing them customers... The suit charges consumers have been harmed because taxi and limousine companies have extorted more than $40 million in illegal kickbacks from local strip clubs in exchange for diverting customers to the adult establishments. / the Las Vegas Sun / by Steve Green / 5 August 2009

Labor law violations found at Lumiere over union recognition

MO - The National Labor Relations Board has found Lumiere Place and President Casino violated labor laws and has threatened to sue the casinos if they don't recognize the hotel, garment and restaurant workers' union. In May, lawyers for the St. Louis casinos sent letters to representatives of Unite HERE Local 74 and its spinoff, Workers United, announcing a withdrawal of recognition of Local 74, affecting about 750 workers. / St. Louis Business Journal / by Kelsey Volkmann / August 6, 2009

Local Florida Republican activists cool to Gov. Charlie Crist's Senate campaign

FL - Crist,[FL Gov. campaigning for U.S. Senate] who already has raised $4.3 million for his Senate campaign, was in Aspen, Colo., raising more money - this time at the home of Debbie and Brent Sembler of Pinellas Park. The host committee included a lineup of prominent developers and a casino backer. / Times / By Adam C. Smith / August 2, 2009

Man falls to death from Greektown Casino garage

MI - The man either fell or was pushed from the parking garage connected to the casino... / The Detroit News / August 6, 2009

Mike Harden commentary: Wrangling gambling lobby is hypocrisy

OH - It's not sporting houses that have state politicians in a lather. It's political contributions from the gambling industry. In less than a decade, political candidates across the U.S. have been showered with $80 million in campaign contributions from the gambling industry. Ohio politicians got their share. They're talking about limits and studying contributions in general... / By Mike Harden / August 5, 2009

New law hits Hawai'i's gamblers

HI - Gamblers will now be taxed on gross winnings as opposed to net winnings as they were before. / August 6, 2009

New York Mayor Ends Legal Gambling At Senior Center

NY - Mayor Joe Saraceni, however, has taken exception to the gambling that is taking place. That is why he has taken the law into his own hands, and shut down gambling at the senior center. It has many people outraged. / / By Tom Jones / August 4, 2009

New problem gambling program lets gamers ban selves from casino

KS - - Individuals must apply in person and of their own free will. - If a person signed up for a two-year ban wants to come off of the exclusion list, they must apply for removal, complete a problem gambling assessment by a certified counselor and take a series of healthy lifestyles classes. - Any excluded person found at a casino will be arrested for trespassing... / Dodge City Daily Globe / By Staff reports / Aug 06, 2009

Obama Administration Threatened by European Union

- A recent report revealed that concerns have come up regarding the loss of some European-based online firms as a result of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The EU has since filed claims against the US, / by Haylie / August 5th, 2009

Our opinion: Casinos must stay vigilant

MO - Pathological gambling affect from 2 percent to 4 percent of the adult population. Missouri, in 1996, started a program that allows self-identified problem gamblers to put themselves on a list that allows for them to be arrested for trespassing if caught on casino property. Now come reports that since loss limits no longer are enforced, casinos are less prone to check IDs... / August 3, 2009

Pari-mutuels have much riding on gambling negotiations

FL - The reason: Legislators tied key concessions to keep Florida's longtime gambling industry [pari-mutuel] afloat to a final deal with the tribe. After heavily lobbying the Legislature, well-connected gambling interests won lower taxes, high-stakes poker and other potentially lucrative concessions. "Obviously, (the gambling proposal) is a huge windfall for us and the pari-mutuel industry," said Tim Ritvo, who trains thoroughbred horses at his stable in Davie. His business has declined sharply in recent years, and he's cut his operation from 50 employees down to 12. The lower tax "may make the difference... "The entire future of horse racing in Florida relies on the (Seminole) compact, no question," said Marc Dunbar, lobbyist for Gulfstream Park, a top winter horse racing destination. / Tallahassee Bureau / By Josh Hafenbrack / August 1, 2009

PayPal Setting Up For Return To Online Casino Market

- Representative Barney Frank is picking up major support in his efforts to legalize online gambling in the US, and the rest of the world is preparing for a possible move into the US market. Now, PayPal has once again started to take online casino transactions in the UK. / / By Terry Goodwin / August 4, 2009

Peoria County considers ban on video poker

IL - Peoria County is considering its own ban on video poker after the state legalized the popular form of gambling. The state law included an option for local jurisdictions to pass their own bans. / Associated Press / August 5, 2009

Police say man found near "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign died of suicide

NV - Upon further investigation, the officer found him dead from an apparent gunshot wound. His death was later ruled a suicide. As of 2006, Nevada had the fourth highest suicide rate in the country, according to Linda Flatt, a spokeswoman for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in Las Vegas. / Las Vegas Review-Journal / By MAGGIE LILLIS / Aug. 05, 2009

Senator Menendez Online Poker Bill Barney Frank on Steroids

- Professor I. Nelson Rose has been given an advanced copy of the 91 page online poker regulation bill... He has named his article, "The Menendez Bill: Barney Frank Bills On Steroids". To start things off, it only covers poker and not casino games. / Aug 6, 2009

Senator To Introduce Bill Thursday Lifting Online Gambling Ban

NJ - Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J. is set to introduce legislation Thursday seeking to regulate and tax, rather than ban, online poker, A key difference would be that Menendez's legislation would only apply to online poker and other "games of skill," while Frank's legislation would regulate other forms of gambling, including sports betting. / DOW JONES NEWSWIRES / By Corey Boles / Aug 6, 2009

Smoking ban gets boost in council

MO - The St. Louis County Council on Tuesday tentatively put a proposal to ban smoking in most indoor places on the Nov. 3 ballot. The measure would exempt casino gambling floors and bars from the ban. The council decided to delay a final vote on the bill until Aug. 18, even though under council rules it automatically goes on the agenda of next week's meeting for final passage. The four council members who supported putting the proposal on the ballot are Councilwoman Barbara Fraser, D-University City, the bill's sponsor; and council members Greg Quinn, R-Ballwin, Steve Stenger, D-Affton, and Colleen Wasinger, R-Town and Country. Fraser then proposed amending the original bill to include the exemptions for casino floors and drinking establishments... That version tentatively passed. / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / By Phil Sutin / 08/05/2009

South Carolina Struggles in Defining Gambling in Poker Case

SC - After the state legislature refused to loosen gaming laws and a court found home poker players guilty of illegal gambling, lawyers for the poker players say the state has no precise definition of gambling, leaving residents to guess at what's legal. / by Ed Bradley / August 6, 2009

St. Charles County jury finds bank robber guilty

MO - John T. Haidul II testified Wednesday that the bank robbery charge against him in St. Charles County was the result of mistaken identity and a coerced confession. Jurors did not believe him. He spoke, tearfully at times, of a gambling addiction that led to $35,000 of credit card debt and ruined his marriage. / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / By Shane Anthony / 08.06.2009

St. Louis County Council will vote again on anti-smoking ordinance

MO - The St. Louis County Council will vote again Aug. 18 on a new smoking ban ordinance, because of concerns about the way the first bill was handled Tuesday night. It will ask voters in November whether they want to ban smoking in indoor public places, with exemptions for casino floors and bars. The reintroduction "would guard against legal challenges," Fraser said Thursday. / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / By Phil Sutin / 08/07/2009

Stakes high on Seminole gambling deal

FL - Crist and the Seminoles are negotiating a bill passed by the state House and Senate earlier this year that spelled out details of a gambling agreement. There's a rub for the tribe, however. The Legislature didn't rule out an option to expand gambling elsewhere - such as slot machines at Miami International Airport or in other parts of the state. If that happened, the tribe's guarantee would be lower. But the Seminoles want the exclusive right to slot machines outside of Broward, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough counties. / BOB RATHGEBER / August 3, 2009

States Want Legalized Gambling, Sports Betting Now

- On Monday we reported on how Massachusetts Republican Governor candidate Christy Mihos wants the state to legalize wagers on professional and college sports, saying the industry could boost the sagging state Lottery and flush cities and towns with over $1 billion annually. Likewise, Republican John Kasich said last night that, if elected governor, he would not rule out an expansion of gambling in Ohio. From the Daily Press Opinion page: "If Delaware continues down the path of legalized sports gambling, it could shred the very fabric of athletics in this great nation. It could open up sports to all manner of nefarious influences and damage the very credibility of the games we cherish." / Aug 3, 2009

Study questions benefits of slots

MD - As a slots license selection commission evaluates bids for slots licenses in Maryland, a new study has found that facilities that provide both racing and casino activities create low-paying jobs that depress salaries in surrounding areas. The study by Ball State University examined West Virginia's so-called racinos - horse or dog racing facilities with casino games - during a 26-year period and found that counties with such gambling operations saw a one-time employment gain of 1.1 percent, while the average salary in the area fell by as much as 2.9 percent because of the prevalence of low-paying jobs. / By Hanah Cho / August 5, 2009

The Future of Fairmount Park Looks Like a Long Shot These Days

IL - The windfall it expected to receive this summer from a tax on casinos is tied up in appeal. And it's looking as though the track will never get slot machines, especially after Illinois Governor Pat Quinn last month legalized one-armed bandits in bars and restaurants but not horse tracks. / Follow That Story, Sports / By Chad Garrison / Aug. 3 2009

Trump's Cash Could Fund Sprucing At 3 AC Casinos

NJ - Hoping to regain control of his Atlantic City casino empire, Donald Trump vows "to make this company great again" and "make Atlantic City hot once more." Trump, his daughter Ivanka and an affiliate of Dallas-based Beal Bank were chosen late Monday by Trump Entertainment Resorts to buy the company out of bankruptcy for $100 million. A bankruptcy court judge still must approve the plan. He and Ivanka Trump resigned from the board in February after bond holders spurned his offer to buy the company -- just before it filed for bankruptcy for the third time. / Associated Press / WAYNE PARRY / August 3, 2009

WU backs countywide smoking ban bill

MO - Nearly four months after announcing a tobacco ban for all of its campuses, Washington University backed a St. Louis County Council bill on Tuesday that would put a countywide, public indoor smoking ban on the November ballot. Fraser originally wanted a bill with no exemptions for casinos and bars, but that version did not have enough support from the seven-member council. / By Puneet Kollipara / August 7, 2009