Latest News
8/16/09 to 8/22/09

18 Year Olds May Be Allowed to Play Slots in Ohio

OH - The Ohio Lottery Commission was voting on Monday to determine whether 18 year olds will be able to play slot machines at seven horse-racing tracks. Additionally a decision will be made as to whether the slot machines are in operation 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. / Aug 17, 2009

50 'Eight-Liner" Machines Seized, 3 Arrested in Vidor Raid

TX - Seized more than 50 eight-liner machines... Illegal gambling activities. / News KBMT / Aug 18, 2009

Atlantic City's Hilton casino defaults on mortgage

NJ - As of June 30, its outstanding debt under the loan was $348.2 million, plus $868,000 in accrued interest, according to the financial statement. / Associated Press / 08.21.09

Bar owners are on the spot with St. Louis County smoking bill

MO - An election bill exempts casino floors and "drinking establishments" whose income from food is 25 percent or less of gross income. Exemption applicants would certify they meet the measure's requirements. An earlier version of the smoking ban bill would have required them to submit receipts and data about their expenses and income relating to food and alcohol sales to support their applications. "My business is about 50/50 food and alcohol," Gallagher said. "But I would estimate that at least half of my customers are smokers, and if this passes, they will not be happy campers. They will go down to the other bars where they can drink and smoke and watch sports." / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / By Phil Sutin and Paul Hampel / 08/19/2009

California Tribes Debate Advantages of Online Casinos

CA - While some tribes see online poker as the next step in increasing revenue, others worry it may be a loophole that costs them much of the advantages their casinos already enjoy. They [some tribes] fear that a bill allowing online poker will soon allow all gambling anywhere within the state, destroying the exclusivity the tribes now exploit. / by Tom Weston / August 20, 2009

Carbondale The Latest Illinois City To Turn Away Video Gambling

IL - State lawmakers have opened up to the idea of expanding video gambling throughout the state, but more and more local authorities are turning the idea away. The latest city to turn the gambling machines away was Carbondale on Tuesday. The City Council voted 4-3 in favor of banning video gambling machines in bars and restaurants. / / By Tom Jones / August 20, 2009

Churches fervent in casino fight

MO - Opponents turned out at the hearing in large numbers to voice concerns about North County Development's plans for a casino, The concern among some Christians in Spanish Lake extends beyond what they see as the moral hazards of gambling. The New Testament book of Colossians says that "in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible," and those words lead many Christians to environmentalism. "This is also about the stewardship of our environment," said the Rev. Daniel Hite, chairman of Missouri Clergy Against Gambling Expansion. "The environmental impact is part of the consideration." The organization [Stop Predatory Gambling] defines "predatory gambling" as "using gambling to prey on human weakness, for profit," and Bernal said the precarious economy is making the prey more vulnerable. "The predatory gambling trade is trying to take advantage of the states' weak financial position - the budget crises many states face, and the need to create jobs for their citizens," he said. / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / BY TIM TOWNSEND / 08/20/2009

Clarification: Biggest Winners in the BETonSPORTS Case are U.S. Taxpayers, Not Bettors

MO - Steve Holtshouser, the federal prosecutor handling Kaplan's case, says bettors are actually not entitled to the money. Though the government's official notice says "any person...claiming an interest in the forfeited property" may file a petition to recoup his/her dough, neither bettors, nor creditors, nor former employees qualify as having "an interest" in the funds. / Follow That Story, Sports / By Kristen Hinman / Aug. 20 2009

Colorado Gambling Revenue Up After Law Changes

CO - It was November of last year when voters in the state of Colorado decided that there needed to be a relaxation of gambling laws. Revenue was up sixteen percent from the same period last year. / / By Tom Jones / August 20, 2009

Confirmed: Poarch Creek Indians To Purchase Greyhound Parks In Mobile And Pensacola

FL - Saturday afternoon, the Poarch Creek Indians confirmed what first reported early Saturday morning: The tribe is purchasing a majority interest in the Mobile Greyhound Park and the Pensacola Greyhound Park. Court records in Escambia County show that the Poarch Band of Creek Indians PCI Gaming Authority has held the $3,450,000 mortgage on the Pensacola Greyhound Park since May 15 of this year. The casino's only games are video bingo machines that resemble slot machines. The casino does not offer card or table games. The purchase of the race tracks by PCI Gaming is the first foray in to non-Indian gaming by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The race tracks will remain truly commercial interest that are taxed and regulated by the respective state and local governing bodies. / August 22, 2009

Despite Adversity, Relaxed Ohio Gambling Restrictions Pass

OH - Last week, the Ohio Council of Churches had opposed the reduced minimum age [18] for gambling, as well as the 24 hour time frame in which video lottery terminals may be accessed in Ohio. In spite of these urgings from the religious group, Ohio passed the laws. The upcoming ballet will even feature full blown casino gambling as an option. / Gambling News / by Glen / August 18th, 2009

Feds Let Online Gamblers Lay Claim to BETonSPORTS' Founder Gary Kaplan's $43 Million, Beginning Today

MO - The feds have wasted no time in making available that $43.65 million to bettors and others who spent money with BETonSPORTS and Kaplan. Today marks the publication of the government's official notice that anyone who thinks they may have a legal claim to the money can file a written petition to the federal court in St. Louis. The feds' case against BETonSPORTS is the largest online gambling prosecution to date in the U.S., and it ensnared multiple co-conspirators, including Kaplan's brother, Neil Kaplan, and sister, Lori Kaplan Multz. / Follow That Story / By Kristen Hinman / Aug. 18 2009

For Asian gambling addicts, there is a way out

- Harumi Hashimoto, the problem gambling counselor at the Asian Counseling... "There is an 80 percent similarity between substance addiction and gambling addiction." She has noticed that Asians do not actively seek help when gambling addiction problems escalate. "There is no concept of counseling in the Asian culture. They don't feel comfortable sharing emotions, especially men. Gambling is socially accepted and popular in many Asian cultures. It's widely practiced at weddings, ceremonies, and family gatherings. In regards to marketing strategies, casinos and card rooms have targeted their Asian patrons. / Northwest Asian Weekly / By Sarah Yee / 20 August 2009

Former Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter tells all in latest book

OH - Schlichter and co-author Jeff Snook describe how Schlichter, a first round NFL draft pick... Would fall more than $1 million in debt, become one of the biggest NFL flops of all-time and a full-fledged gambler and con man committing dozens of crimes that would send him to prison for more than a decade. A gripping addiction to steal from family and friends to support his gambling habit. / By Carlos "Big C" Holmes / August 19, 2009

Gambling addiction hits close to home in Tampa - can it be a spiritual problem?

FL - Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling... Acknowledges that compulsive gambling... Causing disruptions in every area of a person's life - psychological, physical, social, and vocational. Florida's casinos had taken in nearly $500 million. It is contended that life has improved somewhat for underprivileged Seminole families. Yet - alcoholism, suicide, unemployment, the high school drop-out rate and the need for foster care still run high within the tribes. As for the rest of Florida, we're still laying off public school teachers and other school workers, squeezing kids into classrooms, scaling back school buses and cutting school budgets. / Tampa Faith & Politics Examiner / Sheryl Young / August 19,

George Will Speaks Out For Legalizing Online Casinos

- Wrote in his syndicated Washington Post column this weekend of the absurdity of laws against online casinos, and the reasons online poker and Internet gambling should be legal. "Having turned gambling, which once was treated as a sin, into a social policy, government looks unusually silly criminalizing online forms of it," says Will. / by Joshua McCarthy / August 17, 2009

Groundbreaking Gambling Study Author Extends Research to Include Gambling Trends, the Internet, Fantasy Football and Texas Hold-em

NY - Are Americans gambling more and developing more gambling problems? Do gambling problems tend to concentrate in disadvantaged neighborhoods? What has been the impact of increased Internet gambling, A $3 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Welte [Ph.D. University of Buffalo] will conduct a second national telephone survey of adults to learn about gambling trends... In the 1999 study, gambling was found to be widespread... Problem drinkers were found to be 23 times more likely to have a gambling problem... A casino within 10 miles of home was found to be associated with a doubling of the probability of being a problem gambler. / August 18, 2009

Groups Speak Out Against Casino Gambling Plan In Ohio

OH - John Mahaney, President of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, "New York casinos pay fifty seven percent of their profits in taxes. In Florida, it is fifty percent, and in Pennsylvania they pay fifty-five percent. The casino plan was clearly written by the casinos, for the casinos." / / By Terry Goodwin / August 21, 2009

Groups turn out to protest casino plan

MO - Opponents... Christians, environmentalists and... Casinos... / August 21, 2009

High stakes: Delaware has much riding on sports betting

DE - While officials of Delaware's three horse-track-based casinos say they have spent a combined $12 million upgrading their facilities, the cash-strapped state government has racked up tens of thousands on outside lawyers to fight a fierce legal challenge by the major sports leagues and the NCAA... After reworking a bill initially opposed by the casinos, pushing it through both houses of the legislature and selecting a vendor, [Gov.] Markell (Mar-KELL) faces one final - and formidable - hurdle: the federal courts. The clientele at Dover Downs - the only Delaware casino with an attached hotel - is 60% female, and the average age of gamblers is 58, according to casino President and CEO Ed Sutor. He says surveys show sports gamblers in the mid-Atlantic region are 90% male and in their mid-30s - a demographic Delaware casinos have long sought. / USA TODAY / By A.J. Perez / Aug 18, 2009

Illinois law may allow video gambling at truck stops

IL - Think it only applies to truck stops that serve alcohol. / AGA SmartBrief / 08/20/2009

Latest Hole In County Smoking Ban: Bar Owners Would Follow Honor System

MO - As the bill currently reads, casinos and bars that generate 75 percent or more of their sales from alcohol would be excluded from the ban. But the county does not plan to check the sales receipts from bars and taverns to make sure they actually qualify for an exemption. Instead bar owners would send the county a notarized statement swearing that they qualify for the ban. / By Chad Garrison / Aug. 19 2009

Legal Casino Gambling Age Becoming An Issue Around US

- Some lawmakers believe that at eighteen, young adults are not responsible enough to gamble. They point to students who would use their education money to gamble in casinos. They also believe that children this age do not have the means to gamble and replenish their money with their income, so they are a risk for criminal activity to obtain the gambling money. / / By Terry Goodwin / August 17, 2009

Letter of the Week: The lottery scam

FL - Lottery vending machines... Now even children may have the chance to get started early on a lifetime of gambling, thanks to this heartless attempt to "increase efficiency in ticket sales." How many homes have been lost, how many families destroyed, by Floridians who fell prey to the seduction of the lottery? / Michael Stephens / August 23, 2009

Lottery vending machines coming to Tampa

FL - Gambling is getting easier for many Floridians. Florida Lottery is rolling out the first of 1,000 instant ticket vending machines... In Tampa and Fort Myers. / The Associated Press / August 18, 2009

No Gambling Allowed

- Gambling in the U.S. has reached an unprecedented level of acceptance. According to, nationwide gross gambling revenue, after winner payouts, was $72.9 billion in 2003-more money than Americans spent on movie tickets, theme parks, spectator sports and video games combined... Britain has roughly one fifth of the U.S. population, yet the British are now spending about the same amount on gambling as Americans do. In Australia, more than 80 percent of adults gamble, and they spend more money on gambling, per capita, than any other nation in the world. Around the world, gambling is a fast-growing enterprise. gbgc calculates that gamblers worldwide lost a total of $208 billion in 2003-an average of almost $570 million a day! While the personal financial losses are astounding, there are a host of other problems that spring up from the gambling craze. He is pathologically hopeful about winning but can't stop gambling if he does win. If he wins, he wants to win more. If he loses, he tries to win back his losses-and the more he loses, the more he's sure he'll win the next time! Gambling increases crime. Desperate to recover gambling losses, some highly regarded and trusted employees resort to embezzlement and fraud. According to the National Research Council, "As access to money becomes more limited, gamblers often resort to crime in order to pay debts, appease bookies, maintain appearances, and garner more money to gamble" Some residents who have become compulsive gamblers, rather than resort to crime, will file for bankruptcy to gain relief from creditors. Roughly one fourth to one third of gamblers treated in Gamblers Anonymous report losing a job because of a gambling problem (ngisc report). "In a survey of 1,100 clients at dozens of Rescue Missions across the United States, 18 percent cited gambling as a cause of their homelessness. Interviews with more than 7,000 homeless individuals in Las Vegas revealed that 20 percent reported a gambling problem" (ngisc report). / Trumpet Print Edition / By Fred Dattolo / 8-18-09

One on One: Civic leader Fred Thomas talks about vision for Immokalee

FL - Fred Thomas Jr., an Immokalee civic leader and former head of the Collier County Housing Authority, is the guest for this week's "One on One with Jeff Lytle" program. Lytle: The heart of the SoFlo mega-region ... The question now is, how do you balance what you already have - agribusiness - and the casino? We're talking big-time gambling here. How does that fit into the mix? Is the casino the driver, or is the casino just sort of coincidentally there? Thomas: The casino is a blessing. It's a blessing. The casino is a blessing because they're advertising this new hotel that's going to be built - not as a Hard Rock, but like the Paradise Hotel - competing against Universal in Orlando. Universal is artificial. This could be real down here. / Naples Daily News staff report / August 16, 2009

Online Casinos for Native American Tribe?

CA - The Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians want in on the online casino industry. As the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is being attacked in both houses of Congress, with separate bills seeking to repeal it, the Morongo Band and the California card clubs are challenging the ban at a state level. The Morongo's challenge is particularly interesting because their reservation isn't technically under the jurisdiction of the state of California or the United States of America. / By: Jeremy Schrute / August 17th, 2009

Online Gambling Company Youbet Sees Tumbling Profits

- Online gambling operator Youbet saw second quarter profits slip considerably, while analysts had predicted a rise in profit for the Internet horse racing site. Quarterly profit dropped to $1.5 million, / by A.J.Maldonado / August 17, 2009

Online Gambling Operators Lobbying US Legislators

- Foreign companies are spending tens of millions to influence the eventual design of online gambling in the US. Even those involved in the periphery of the gaming industry are spending fortunes, such as payment processor UC Group, which reportedly has paid lobbyists $5.23 million. / by A.J.Maldonado / August 16, 2009

Oregon Looking To Dip Into Bar Gambling Revenue Once Again

OR - In the current economic conditions, it has become easy for individual state governments to become greedy. The state Lottery is preparing to discuss the option of dipping into revenue that bars and taverns are making on video gambling machines... / / By April Gardner / August 18, 2009

Our Opinion: Casinos wrong to target smoking ban

IL - Ever since Illinois enacted the statewide indoor smoking ban that went into effect in 2008, casinos have been predicting dire consequences for the state's gambling industry. Now they are touting a report by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis that says state and local governments lost $200 million in taxes in 2008 due to the ban. The casinos are not here out of benevolence to the state. They're here to make money for themselves, and they are indescribably adept at it. / THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER / Aug 20, 2009

Our view on legalized gambling: Cash-strapped states bet on a bad hand

- Several states, facing budget shortfalls because of the recession, think they've found their ace in the hole: Expand gambling... More troubling, other states now want to introduce sports wagering... It buys a disproportionate amount of problems: In one tragic case... A 28-year-old mother played video poker for seven hours while her forgotten 10-day-old baby suffocated to death in the hot car. When the video poker machines were banned, attendance at Gamblers Anonymous meetings plunged, There's plenty of illegal sports betting... But making single-game betting more widespread and easily accessible, Crosses a new threshold. It is almost guaranteed to encourage point shaving, lead to fixed games and damage the integrity of sports. Recent news suggests that it's not even a reliable short-term solution to fiscal problems. Last year, casino gambling tax proceeds fell 2.2%. / 8-21-09

Pastor raises worthwhile question on state-sponsored slots: Phillip Morris

OH - "I'm watching my state government become more predatory," the Rev. Gregory Hogan Sr. said... "From a social policy point of view, the casino is really no different than a payday lender. The business model is the same. The social outcome is the same," Hogan said answering his own question. "The state is moving in a premeditated way to target the money of people least capable of incurring or financing debt. We're targeting children. We're telling 18-year-olds that it is OK for them to mortgage their financial futures. He had the misfortune of watching a gambling addiction almost destroy his college-age son... / Plain Dealer / by Phillip Morris / August 17, 2009

Payday Loans vs. Gambling: Which is Worse?

OH - Columnist Phillip Morris raises an interesting question in his column. Which institution do you think is capable of creating the greater lasting social damage: A payday lender or a state-run casino? Of course, regular readers of my column know the answer - it's a state-run casino, hands-down. / All News / by Lawrence Meyers / August 18th, 2009

Pechanga chairman opposes online gambling

CA - The tribal chairman of one of the largest and wealthiest Indian gaming facilities in the state, Mark Macarro of the Pechanga Band of Luise?o Indians in Temecula, on Wednesday reiterated his tribe's opposition to legalized online poker in California. Macarro supported his tribe's dissent with a poll. Macarro, whose objections were contained in a letter to state tribal leaders, said the Pechanga Band is unwavering in its belief that "far-reaching legal, political and policy consequences" will result should California legalize online poker. / The Desert Sun / Debra Gruszecki / August 20, 2009

Progress Made for Seminole-Florida Gambling Compact

FL - The battle for blackjack and card games in Seminole casinos, Has taken a turn for the neutral. The '07 compact agreed to by Governor Charlie Crist, one that gave them the exclusive rights to table based card games in the State, was over turned by Florida Courts, citing that Crist did not have legislative approval when putting the compact into play. / Gambling News / by Glen / August 16th, 2009

Revenue-Hungry States Take New Look At Gaming

- That's what happened, he [Prof. Kindt, University of Illinois} said, in Illinois. In 1990, it approved riverboat gambling, a compromise that keeps the controversial practice of casino gambling "offshore." In less than a decade, however, so-called dockside gambling - in which the riverboats never leave the pier and open their doors to 24/7 gaming - was approved. Kindt called them [video slots] the "crack cocaine" of the business - highly addictive and highly lucrative. He said their average annual take is about $100,000 per machine. In addition, slots "are very attractive to the current generation that is very accustomed to the high-speed gaming experience," said Keith Whyte of the National Council on Problem Gambling. "We know from studies over 30 years that the earlier one starts to gamble, the more likely they are to be gamblers later in life," It does lobby for spending a portion of revenues on treatment for the estimated 4 percent of people who qualify as pathological or problem gamblers. These people account for a disproportionate percentage of the take and a large chunk of the social costs, such as personal bankruptcies and increased crime, that Whyte said amount to about $7 billion a year nationwide. / by Scott Neuman / August 21, 2009

Ron Sparks Runs For Governor In Alabama On Gambling Platform

AL - The so-called "good ole boys" have been running gaming establishments for many years, but the current governor of the state has set up a task force to shut down these gaming establishments. A candidate... [as] governor... Is running his campaign on a pro-gambling platform. Ron Sparks believes that legalized casino gambling could hold the key to financial freedom... / / By April Gardner / August 22, 2009

Seminoles, guv aiming for reworked gambling deal by Aug. 31 deadline

FL - George Lemieux, Gov. Charlie Crist's former chief of staff who is helping lead the negotiations, said the two parties are "narrowing down the issues" and hope to have an agreement by Aug. 31, 13 days away. But there's a catch: The deal will not strictly abide by the terms the Legislature proposed in May. That means that the Legislature, in a likely special session, would have to decide whether to accept the new terms. "exclusivity" provisions -- which ensure that the Seminoles are the only gambling operators with the rights to blackjack and slots outside South Florida. / by Josh Hafenbrack / August 18, 2009

Shareholder accuses MGM Mirage execs of selling shares while withholding facts

NV - Casino operator MGM Mirage is facing a federal lawsuit from a shareholder who says the company's executives misled investors about its financial position and profited from selling stock at high prices. Lawyers for Robert Lowinger, who bought stock during the 18-month period, said MGM Mirage insiders sold personal stock worth nearly $90 million at high prices before reports of financial problems at the company and its largest development became public. / Associated Press / OSKAR GARCIA / August 20, 2009

Smoking Ban Opponents Join Forces Against Current County Bill

MO - When the debate over a County-wide smoking ban started about one month ago, there were plenty of people speaking out for and against a ban. But on Tuesday, even the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and bar owners all agreed that a ban with exemptions is not worth sending to the voters. / By Sean Conroy / August 18, 2009

State fines Gulfstream Park $800,000

FL - The state has fined Gulfstream Park $800,000 for security failures that allowed employees to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from slot machines by using free-play cards. The penalty follows a two-year inquiry by the state -- and a criminal investigation that resulted in the conviction of one employee for cheating and organized fraud. Other employees were fired or suspended but not charged. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation concluded that the park also owes $144,000 in back taxes -- an issue the regulation department is still looking into with the help of the attorney general's office, Ross said. / MIAMI HERALD / BY HANNAH SAMPSON / 08.21.09

Survey Says That State Lotteries Are Among The Worst Form Of Gambling

SC - A survey... Revealed that minorities and the poor are the most likely to take part in state lotteries. Less than 20 percent of the state's population are black, but they do account for 38.4 percent of regular lottery players... 28 percent of the state is made up of households which earn less than $40,000 a year but they account for 53.4 percent of frequent players. / Aug 18, 2009

The trauma of living with a compulsive gambler

- GAM-ANON, the fellowship group for family, partners and friends affected by the actions of a gambler... His first inkling that his wife Jean* had a rampant gambling problem was nine years into his marriage when he returned home from work to find no wife, nor sign of his boy or girl and no electricity. There was an anonymous note waiting for me. It read: 'Your wife has a serious gambling problem'. She had an addiction to poker machines at the casino; she'd collect the children after school and keep them with her while she fed the flashing lights with coined dreams of a big win. "It took me six years to pay everyone off... / by Rose Rushe / 20 August 2009

Town by town, critics fight video poker in Ill.

IL - Critics of legalized video poker hope they're on the verge of turning a handful of victories into an avalanche of opposition that will keep gambling from expanding to every corner of Illinois. An anti-gambling group is urging communities to ban video poker and other forms of video gambling that state officials legalized. At least four local governments have already taken that step - unincorporated DuPage County, the Chicago suburbs of Rosemont and Country Club Hills, and the Springfield suburb of Rochester. A Republican candidate for governor has seized the issue and is touring Illinois to promote local bans on video gambling. "We can protect our communities from this ill-conceived plan and stand together in saying 'no' to video poker," Robert Schillerstrom, head of the DuPage County Board, She [Trumpe, Peoria Co Board] sees it as sucking money out of the community economy. Money that people might otherwise spend on groceries or gasoline would go mostly to the owners of the gambling machines and to the government. / Associated Press / By CHRISTOPHER WILLS / 08.16.09

Two proposals for a Wyandotte County casino advance

KS - Wyandotte County moved a step closer to landing a casino Wednesday when the Kansas Lottery Commission approved contracts with two developers. Kansas Entertainment and Penn Hollywood now have 30 days to pay a $25 million "privilege" fee. / The Kansas City Star / By MARK WIEBE / Aug. 19, 2009

US Government Releasing Online Gambling Funds To Winners

- The US government has opened the process of giving online gambling winnings to people around the US who feel they are owed the money from The websites founder, Gary Kaplan, reached a plea agreement with the US last week, and he was forced to hand over $43.65 million to the government. / / By April Gardner / August 19, 2009

We don't need more opportunities for gambling

IL - Video gambling in Illinois was approved by state lawmakers to help fund a $31 billion statewide capital construction project. The new state law permits up to five video gambling machines in restaurants, bars and social clubs. Wagers would be capped at $2; winnings couldn't top $500. Those people who are least able to afford wagering are most likely to try their luck at video gambling. And don't forget the social costs of gambling. Taxpayers already are burdened with the costs of gambling-related expenses for law enforcement and social services. / August 19, 2009

Who's behind proposed casino in Spanish Lake

MO - A Metro East lawyer whose father and former law partner is serving time in federal prison, the attorney's wife, a north St. Louis metal products manufacturer and a Wood River businesswoman make up the quartet behind the controversial $350 million casino complex... / St. Louis Business Journal / by Christopher Tritto / August 21, 2009