Latest News
9/13/09 to 9/19/09

A look at Atlantic City's casino labor situation

NJ - Local 54... And the United Auto Workers, - are bargaining with the gambling houses. Local 54 launched a... Strike in 2004 that resulted in substantial gains for the union, including protections against nonunion subcontracting, and a requirement that new owners of any casino honor existing labor contracts. / The Associated Press / September 15, 2009

Atwater Sends Crist Questions on Seminole Deal

FL - Senate President Jeff Atwater wants answers to questions about a gaming compact negotiated by the governor with the Seminole Tribe before the Senate gives the final OK on a deal that would significantly expand gaming in the state of Florida. Atwater and James Rhea, Directed a nine page document to Crist General Counsel Rob Wheeler asking for answers to 24, multi-faceted questions regarding the compact. Nearly all of the questions are regarding definitions of terms such as "other casino-style gaming," "video lottery terminals" and other terms related to the Seminole casinos. / News Service of Florida / Sep 16th, 2009

BetFair Shock Poker Ad Suggestive 15 Year Old

- The tasteless ad, which showed a picture of a woman and implied that she was only 15 years old, has been banned. Below the photograph reads the tagline "Online experience is measured in games, not years. Join the new breed. Annette_15". / Sept 15, 2009

Casino Gambling May Increase Further With New Obama Tribal Laws

- The Obama Administration appears set on helping American Indian tribes through these tough economic times. One way that may occur is by allowing the tribes to build casinos farther away from their reservations. Not everyone is excited about the prospects of changing the directive. Surprisingly, it is some tribes that already have existing casinos that are opposed to the idea of allowing other tribes to build casinos farther from their reservations. / / By April Gardner / September 21, 2009

Casinos take double-digit slot hit

CT - Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun reported double-digit declines compared to August 2008, as the recession continues to take a deep bite out of gaming expenditures. Translated, the results are not as bad as other Northeast casinos. Atlantic City's 11 gaming halls reported a 14.6 percent decrease in slot winnings compared to August 2008. / The Norwich Bulletin / By William Sokolic / Sep 15, 2009

Cities And Towns In Illinois Turning Away Video Gambling

IL - Legislators in the state of Illinois decided earlier this year that it should be up to individual cities and towns to decide the fate of video gambling in their own jurisdictions. Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation legalizing the machines. Most votes against the machines around the state of Illinois are coming from people who do not believe the financial benefits will be worth the trouble of policing the machines. / / By April Gardner / September 16, 2009

Dozens Protest Proposed North St. Louis County Casino

MO - St. Louis County zoning board. They've given the tentative green light to a new north... County casino. It would also drop the casino smack in the middle of an area used by migrating birds and as nesting grounds for bald eagles. Gianoulakis, Common Sense Coalition, explains, "The Spanish Lake Community Area Study passed in 1999 said no commercial development in this part of Spanish Lake. There's no roads... No sewers, no sanitation. No infrastructure." / / By Charles Jaco / September 14, 2009

East St. Louis To Lay Off 13 Firefighters, Plus 3 Other City Workers

IL - The city is laying off a quarter of its fire department's work force. 13 firefighters will be out of a job. He [mayor] told fire fighters a nearly $3 million budget shortfall led to the city's decision to lay them off, along with three other city workers, Parks told reporters fewer people are gambling at the Casino Queen, so tax revenue is down by almost a million dollars, / / By John Gadson / September 14, 2009

East St. Louis firefighters union to contest planned layoffs

IL - The president of the East St. Louis firefighters union says he will challenge the scheduled layoffs of 13 firefighters that Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. announced Monday. The city has an annual general fund budget of about $22 million; revenue has been down because of the economy, the mayor said. For example, he said, revenue from the Casino Queen gambling riverboat is running about $900,000 below projections for this year. / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / By Robert Kelly / 09/15/2009

Editorial: No sure bet in table games

PA - The drive to legalize table games at Pennsylvania's slots-only casinos is moving faster than a hot-hand gambler winning at blackjack.But the rush from winning may fade surprisingly quickly, since declining casino revenues nationwide show the folly of looking to more gambling to pay for critical government services. Even a gambling fan like Gov. Rendell said it was too early to add table games. One chief concern is that Harrisburg lawmakers have yet to nail down needed reforms in the 2004 gaming law to better police casinos by keeping criminals out and cutting political influence. / Sep. 16, 2009

Entertainment, casino complex must jump through many government hoops

MO - Spanish Lake... The development "is a very challenging engineering project," Glenn Powers, the county director of planning, told the planning commission... The developer would have to design the complex so it would not cause floodwaters to increase anywhere else. The staff said North County Development may have to raise the complex by as much as 30 feet. "The port authority may recommended approval only of such excursion gambling boats as are deemed essential or desirable to preserve the promote the public health, safety and general welfare of St. Louis County, / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / By Phil Sutin / 09.15.2009

Europe, Argentina See Legal Online Gambling, US Lags Behind

- Several changes have been made in different jurisdictions around the world, each one to make steps toward legalizing online gambling. Canada's own British Columbia has a state operated online casino in the works. Talk of legalizing online gambling has also been circulating around Ireland. Argentina will be working toward legalizing, regulating, and taxing the prospect of online gambling. The European Union has recently allowed Portugal to operate a state-run gambling program if it will help prohibit certain criminal activity. The United States still takes a harsh stance against online gambling. / Gambling News / by Glen / September 14th, 2009

Faber introduces legislation to limit campaign contributions from gambling interests

OH - State Sen. Keith Faber (R-Celina) on Thursday introduced Senate Bill 170, priority legislation that would limit to $500 the amount those involved in the gambling industry may contribute to political campaigns. Faber's office indicated the legislation is needed to "ensure the appropriate protections are in place in light of the governor's executive order" which authorized video lottery terminals to be installed at Ohio horseracing tracks. / 9/18/2009

Fla. Senate sends Crist questions on gambling deal

FL - Like the definition of net gambling profits and the state's share of profits is calculated. There are also questions about legal liability, exclusive rights to games and more. / Associated Press / 09.16.09

Florida Senate's delay on drilling, Seminole gambling pact is a good idea

FL - Atwater [president of our state Senate] wrote a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist... Saying that the Senate will not approve the gambling deal soon - The Senate has a lot of questions. The governor and the Seminoles reached a new deal on gambling... The main points are: - The Seminoles get the state's blessing for blackjack and certain other card games... - The racetracks in the rest of the state don't get any slot machines. The Seminoles have exclusive rights. Those racetracks do get a tax break and better hours for their card rooms. Third, if Florida is going to expand gambling anyway, why a monopoly for the Seminoles? Why not license all comers and tax 'em at the going rate of 35 percent, instead of a lesser cut from the Seminoles? / Times / By Howard Troxler / September 13, 2009

Gamblers are wising up, and the state better get used to it

OR - After getting fleeced for years on video poker and video slot machines at some point people do wake up. Twenty-first century slot machines are a simple computer program designed to create an exact return on investment for the state of Oregon and the business owner. No skill or decision making can make you a winner. Folks that tell you they are winning are lying because you can't win over the long haul. / by James Maass / September 15, 2009

Gambling deal in jeopardy

FL - State Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said Friday he will recommend the Legislature kill the plan worked out between Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Indian tribe last month. "It is not acceptable," said Galvano, who was the lead House negotiator in setting up guidelines for Crist to negotiate. Galvano's opposition is the latest blow to the compact signed between Crist and the Seminoles that officials say will pay the state $6.8 billion over 20 years. / By Jeremy Wallace / September 19, 2009

Gambling forecast too cloudy

DE - Delaware's budget gambles are starting to turn up snake eyes. Craps players know that means you've lost, but the state's gambling gluttons still think they'll make a budget-balancing winning roll of the dice. The state is laying the groundwork for poker, craps, blackjack, roulette and similar gambling to start in Delaware's three racinos. Evidence exists that this plan was carelessly added as a third potential source of revenue since the bill lists only "two new sections," the others being the sports lottery and the feasibility of additional betting venues. If Delaware wants to be the East Coast's gambling capital, legislators should have the guts to amend the state Constitution. Gambling gluttons might also seek an advisory referendum, as happened 50 years ago when voters approved charitable bingo. Two-thirds of the two houses would have to approve an amendment in January, have the text published and approve it again in the session that starts after the 2010 election. / Harry F. Themal / September 14, 2009

Gambling, Near-Shore Drilling: What's the Rush?

FL - Crist recently announced that he'd struck a deal with the Seminole Tribe that would dramatically expand gambling on tribal lands in Florida. "An initial review has raised questions regarding some of the terms of the compact," Atwater's e-mail stated. That was a mild way of saying that Crist significantly deviated from the parameters given to him in a bill passed by the Legislature. The compact would authorize a much broader expansion of gambling operations run by the Seminoles - allowing them to install Vegas-style slot machines and effectively give them a monopoly on games such as blackjack, in which players bet against the casino house. / September 15, 2009

Golden Casino The Subject of Online Gambling Investigation

- The US Attorney's Office out of Maryland in conjunction with the US Attorney Office out of New York and Louisiana State law enforcement in addition to US Customers have been investigating Golden Casino, an online casino group. / Sept 18, 2009

Gov. Strickland changes mind on racetrack slots gambling age

OH - Strickland backed a plan that would have allowed 18-year-olds to play the video lottery terminals. But many groups including the Ohio Council of Churches opposed the 18-year-old age. [Gov. current statement] consider a rule revision to raised the minimum age to play video lottery terminals at Ohio's racetracks from 18 to age 21." / 9/14/2009

Group files suit challenging Ohio gambling

OH - An Ohio Christian group is filing a lawsuit against Governor Ted Strickland and the Ohio Lottery Commission, claiming their plans to implement casino gambling in the state are unconstitutional. / 9/14/2009

Group: Smoking in Kansas casinos an ADA problem

KS - An advocacy group wants Kansas to ban smoking at its new casinos, arguing the state will violate the federal Americans with Disabilities Act if it allows customers to light up inside. Smoke-Free Gaming, Contends Kansas will be responsible for denying full access to individuals with lung and breathing problems because its lottery is legal owner of the new gambling. Earlier this year, the Kansas Senate approved a bill to impose a statewide ban on smoking in many public places, but the measure exempted gambling floors in new casinos. The bill stalled in the House. When Wyandotte County enacted new restrictions on smoking this year, it exempted the gambling floor... Two states that imposed smoking bans that year saw the biggest declines in commercial casino revenues. In Illinois, revenues dropped nearly 21 percent and in Colorado, the drop exceeded 12 percent. / Associated Press / By JOHN HANNA / 09.14.09

Higher Limits Lead To Larger Gambling Revenues In Colorado

CO - Colorado is one of the state that has been expanding their casino gambling options in the past year. Included in those new voter-approved laws is longer hours of operations for Colorado casinos. The casinos are also now allowed to offer higher stakes poker games. An industry that was once deemed immune to the economic climate around it, has suddenly fallen on hard times although lately the figures indicate a possible turnaraound. / / By Terry Goodwin / September 19, 2009

Homewood residents take side on gambling

IL - "Video gambling machines destroy lives," said Jerry Prosapio, a self-proclaimed recovering gambling addict from Crestwood. "I've known people who have committed suicide because of all the money they've lost on these machines." Retired Methodist pastor Tom Grey, field director for Stop Predatory Gambling, didn't think these limitations were enough. "Is there a limit on what a person can lose while playing? And if someone has gambled away too much, is the tavern owner responsible?" Grey asked Thom and Mike Pappas, owner of Fair Share Amusements, another operator of gaming machines. "I know two little old ladies who lost everything because of casino gambling," she said. "Regular customers won't leave their favorite bars and restaurants to go to one with machines," he said. "Only addicted gamblers will." / BY JOHN K. RYAN / September 18, 2009

Ind. Supreme Court to hear gambler's lawsuit

IN - Supreme Court will decide whether a casino should have allowed a compulsive gambler to play and lose $125,000 in a single night. Enticed her to gamble with free meals and rooms and money on credit. / AP / September 14, 2009

Ind. casinos facing competition from Mich., Ohio

IN - Indiana's casinos are facing increasing competition from gambling ventures in Michigan and Ohio... That could pose a threat to the $900 million in tax revenue the industry generates for the state. Ohio plans to introduce 17,500 slot machines at the state's seven horse racing tracks... Michigan continues to add tribal casinos, with more than 20 now in operation, An analyst... Said the track casinos displaced about $110 million of revenue that otherwise would have been spent at the state's riverboats. "Most observers believe that at least in the state of Indiana, the market is saturated," / Associated Press / September 13, 2009

Indiana Supreme Court to Hear Case of Compulsive Gambler Who Says She Was Lured Into a Casino

IN - Jenny Kephart admits that she's a pathological gambler... Who lost the $125,000 that an Indiana casino advanced her during one unlucky night at a blackjack table. But in a two-year court battle, she has argued that she doesn't owe the casino a dime because its employees should have denied such an addicted... Gambler access to the card table. "This casino intentionally, knowing she was a compulsive gambler, went after her to get her to gamble," said Kephart's attorney, "They offered her a car [to take her to the casino], a free room and free drinks and then when she ran out of the several thousand dollars she had arrived with, they gave her $125,000 in credit." [casino lawyers] argued in court that if Kephart was as addicted as she claimed to have been, she should have enrolled in the state's Voluntary Exclusion Program. "They knew I had money, and they went after it," said Kephart, who attributed her gambling addiction to her former job as a dealer in the mid-1990s. Since that time, Kephart told the paper, she estimated that she'd gambled away at least $900,000. The outcome of the Kephart case could also influence gambling law elsewhere, said Feigenbaum, who added that he couldn't think of another case in which a U.S. court has ruled in favor of the compulsive gambler. / By EMILY FRIEDMAN / Sept. 17, 2009

Internet gambling hurts

- The online gambling business makes money by exploiting human weakness. It is not just individuals who are losers, but the United States... Too, as online gambling drains the national wealth. Kahnawake Gaming Commision... Admitted cheating occured at Ultimate Bet... / San Francisco Blackjack Examiner / John Stathis / September 13

It's your fault, unless a court rules otherwise

IN - Those two cases, which have been wrestled with by Indiana courts, show how difficult it can be to draw the line between personal and societal responsibilities. The gambling addict is Jenny Kephart of Nashville, Tenn., who lost $125,000 in a single night. She never paid up, so the casino sued her. She countersued, saying the casino "enticed her to gamble" with free meals and rooms and money on credit. A state appeals court ruled against her, saying she failed to take advantage of programs that allow compulsive gamblers to have themselves banned from casinos. / Sep. 16, 2009

Kentucky Internet Gambling Case Moves to Supreme Court

KY - The Kentucky Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal... In the case involving the seizure and potential forfeiture of 141 internet gambling domain names, The Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA), which is fresh off a mixed decision in its Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) constitutional challenge, is spearheading the case. Judge Michael Caperton submitted the lone dissenting opinion in the Court of Appeals. He concluded, "I believe that internet domains are but one of the components that are unified into an internet gambling device and properly within the definition of device." In essence, Caperton asserted that a domain name is part of a larger gambling device. Now, the case heads to the state's Supreme Court, What you see at work is the Governor being a political animal. While he may be impassioned, he ran on a platform of ending corruption and bringing casino gambling to Kentucky." / By Dan / Sep 14 2009

LAKE BLUFF: Village Board takes steps to prohibit video gambling

IL - The Lake Bluff Village Board unanimously agreed during a committee of the whole meeting Monday night to enact an ordinance to prohibit video gaming within the town's borders. Noting that the city of Lake Forest last week unanimously approved a similar prohibition on the state law enacted in the summer to allow video gaming in the state, trustees agreed to act likewise at the next village board meeting. / By LINDA BLASER / September 17, 2009

Lawmaker Wants To Use Gambling $ To Fund Scholarships

MI - WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick says... "There's not enough gambling revenue to go around to give every kid in the state of Michigan a free scholarship to college. Do you take (the money) from the lottery...or do you go into the casinos, which are posting profits that are not too good," / WWJ / 14 September 2009

Lawyer: KCK Casino 'Best Deal' Available

KS - A lawyer for the Kansas Lottery Commission said Tuesday that the deal on the table for a casino at the Kansas Speedway is the best deal they can get. ISC Speedway won the rights to build a casino last year. Penn National stepped in to replace Cordish. / September 15, 2009

Lottery Gambling May Fund College for All Michigan Students

MI - A Michigan state Representative has devised a plan to pay for college... Using funding from lotteries and casino gambling. There would still be a funding gap, Durhal says that could be made up by contributions given by corporations and wealthy residents who donate a small part of income tax refunds. / by Preston Lewis / September 14, 2009

Lottery: Vending machines hit South Florida

FL - Now there are vending machines for lottery tickets at South Florida supermarkets. 1,000 machine statewide, starting in August in Tampa and Fort Myers. Contractors... Are installing machines at 26 Publix stores and 3 Winn-Dixies this week in Broward County. Palm Beach County is likely next week. Fowler of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling... The machines will enable compulsive gamblers to go from store to store because they're embarrassed about how many tickets they buy. / by Nick Sortal / September 16, 2009

Louisiana Casino Gambling Revenue Down In August After Strong July

LA - Casinos had a drop of ten percent. Competition is also becoming a major problem... Casinos have begun to pop up... In neighboring states, and people are not traveling to Louisiana casinos like they used to in order to do their casino gambling. / / By Terry Goodwin / September 16, 2009

Many Seniors May Be at Risk for Gambling Addiction

NE - As many as one in 10 seniors may be addicted to gambling, Even a small loss at a slot machine or bingo table could mean financial trouble for those on a fixed income. Entertainment may end up being a path to addiction. / 9-14-09

Ministries leader's position over Bethlehem casino money admirable

PA - Rev. Kuntze directed the New Bethany Ministries, Feels that the last thing the area poor need is to lose their money in a casino, The casino offered to donate $7,500 to New Bethany, and that the board president wanted to accept the money, hence Kuntze's resignation. / / September 15, 2009

NFL Fines New York Jets for Misleading Sports Gambling Fans

NY - Despite claims it hates sports gambling, the NFL levied heavy fines on Jets officials for failing to detail injuries last year to Brett Favre, details useful only to gambling interests. Many in the media have commented on how the league's tough stance on updating injury information belies their public refusal to admit the importance of sports gambling to football's popularity. Sports writers nationwide have repeatedly said only gamblers and sports betting patrons have an abiding interest in the details of the injury report. / by Matt Miller / September 16, 2009

Naperville to ban video gambling

IL - The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to draw up an ordinance proposal for opting out of the Illinois' Video Gaming Act, which was approved by state legislators as a way to fund a large capital bill. "These [machines] prey on the very brain chemicals that you can attribute mental illness to," / Chicago Tribune / September 17, 2009

New Bethany Ministries executive director resigns over policies on accepting donations from casino

PA - The board at New Bethany Ministries plans to vote this week on whether to accept donations from... Sands Casino... "Those are the things that are destroying the lives of the people we want to save," Kuntze said. "We're dealing with addictions every single day. With people that are easily exploited by things like the promise of gambling." / by Express-Times staff / September 15, 2009

New Jersey Lottery And NFL Ask Fans To Gamble More Often

NJ - The NFL likes to take the high road and claim that gambling on their games is detrimental because it compromises the integrity of their product. Instead of endorsing betting on their games, NFL owners have chosen to endorse a much more dangerous form of gambling-the lottery. State lotteries have partnered with NFL teams through the use of their team logos to sell lottery gambling tickets. The lottery is one of the most addicting forms of gambling in the world. / / By Vincent Tapoglia III / September 18, 2009

Ohio Voters Now In Favor Of Legalized Casino Gambling

OH - A recent Quinnipiac University poll finds that Ohio voters for the first time are supporting legalizing casino gambling. Fifty-eight percent of the respondents support the casino plan on the ballot... Casinos have become the main source for beating the trying economic times. / / By Terry Goodwin / September 15, 2009

Online Gambling Advocacy Group Launches Major Ad Campaign

- Representative Barney Frank has introduced legislation that would overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Senator Robert Menendez from New Jersey has introduced separate legislation that would legalize online poker. The new ad campaign from the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative will appear on such prestigious publications as The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. Ads will also run on Politico. / / By April Gardner / September 14, 2009

Online Gambling Foe Jon Kyl Election Day Woes

AZ - Arizona Republican and the number two GOP leader, Senator Jon Kyl, may have trouble come Election Day. He is also among the most outspoken politicians against online gambling and has been since 1998. Every year accept for one, Kyl drew up bills that would make online gambling illegal. He failed each and every time until that dreadful late night in October 2006 when he and Majority Leader Bill Frist managed to ram through the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) In 2006, the online gambling industry mounted a campaign to educate Arizona voters regarding Senator Kyl's "nanny state" tactics. To some degree they succeeded. And in the end, the race was much closer than had been anticipated. / Sept 17, 2009

Only 2 Ohio tracks pay gambling fee

OH - The state's seven horse racetracks submitted gambling applications by Tuesday's deadline to begin offering video slots next year, but only two ponied up the required $13 million down payment for a gambling license. All seven submitted applications, significant concerns among potential investors over pending lawsuits are preventing several of the tracks from obtaining the necessary financing to commit the initial license payment,'' The lottery, which is overseeing the implementation of slots, would immediately start assessing a late fee of $100,000 per day... The racetrack owners would be permitted to install up to 2,500 machines at each track. / Beacon Journal / By Rick Armon / Sep 16, 2009

Opponents of casino in Spanish Lake to picket in Clayton this afternoon

MO - Opponents of a casino and entertainment complex along the Mississippi River in Spanish Lake plan to picket in front of the St. Louis County Administration Building at 5:30 p.m. today. Dora Gianoulakis, president of the Spanish Lake Community Association, said in an interview that she expects a minimum of 25 pickets. They would come from 13 groups, including community and neighborhood organizations, churches near the site, environmental groups, and anti-casino activists, she said. The hearing is about the idea of allowing larger signs; Pinnacle wanted a roof sign and other signs larger than those the county now permits, / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / By Phil Sutin / 09.14.2009

Palos Heights close to banning video gambling

IL - Palos Heights plans to ban video gambling in the city's restaurants and bars because of concerns about its impact on residents. "We don't want to fund the operation on the misfortunes of others," Straz [Mayor} said. / Janice Neumann / September 18, 2009

Penn, Speedway join forces to push KC-area casino

KS - TOPEKA, Kan. -- Kansas Speedway and a competitor announced Thursday that they are joining forces to push a single proposal for a state-owned casino overlooking a turn at the NASCAR track in Kansas City. Cordish and Kansas Speedway's parent, International Speedway Corp. The speedway-Penn partnership would build and manage the casino for the Kansas Lottery. The state, through the lottery, will own the rights to the gambling, control the computer software and have authority to overrule management decisions. / Associated Press / By JOHN HANNA / 09.11.09

Planning commission approves zoning for north St. Louis County casino

MO - The St. Louis County Planning Commission has recommended that the County Council approve zoning changes that would allow a casino to be built along the Mississippi River in North County. / St. Louis Public Radio News / Rachel Lippmann / 2009-09-14

Political Leaders Line Up Behind Casino Resorts In Massachusetts

MA - The governor now has two important allies in the fight to bring casino resorts to the state. House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray both said on Friday that they will be supporting casino resorts in Massachusetts. It is a change of direction for DeLeo, who was in favor of slot gambling at state racetracks. / / By April Gardner / September 19, 2009

Protesters: Riverview Casino a 'losing bet'

MO - Residents plan to protest tonight against a $350 million casino complex proposed for 377 acres in north St. Louis County near Spanish Lake. The Common Sense Coalition plans to rally between 5:30 and 6 p.m. outside the County Government Administration Building... At 41 S. Central in Clayton against the Riverview Casino... Project. / St. Louis Business Journal / by Kelsey Volkmann / September 14, 2009

Recognizing mutual economic peril, Atlantic City casinos, unions seek to prevent a strike

NJ - Both Atlantic City's unions and its gambling halls are struggling to prevent a strike, knowing a walkout by thousands of workers could cripple every player in the nation's second-largest gambling market. The casinos - where thousands of jobs have been cut and revenue is in a three-year free-fall amid rising competition and the continuing recession - want to freeze wages for the next three years. Three years ago, there were 47,252 casino jobs in Atlantic City. Now there are 38,404. The UAW is urging gamblers not to patronize Bally's Atlantic City and Caesars Atlantic City, where it has already authorized strikes. It has also targeted the Tropicana for a potential strike. Harrah's has been planning for months to hire replacement dealers in the event of a strike. The union has targeted much of its ire at Bally's and Caesars, blasting them in billboards, print and broadcast ads that proclaim, "When workers are treated unfairly at Bally's and Caesars, everyone loses." / Associated Press / WAYNE PARRY / September 15, 2009

Rivers Casino pressed to pay $7.5 million

PA - The Sports & Exhibition Authority wants Rivers Casino to begin making payments to finance the new Penguins hockey arena. "All I can say is that the SEA believes that the first payment of $7.5 million begins (today.) The casino believes it does not. We have a little wiggle room, but they need to start paying," state Sen. Sean Logan said Monday. Logan, a Plum Democrat, sits on the authority board. As a condition of its state-issued slots license, the North Shore casino must pay the Sports & Exhibition Authority $7.5 million a year to help pay off the $355 million Uptown arena. / TRIBUNE-REVIEW / By Michael Hasch / September 15, 2009

Riverview Casino moves forward

MO - Near Spanish Lake... Still, the commission warned that the project faces engineering challenges because it's located on a floodplain. [Common Sense] it would destroy the local wildlife and cost taxpayers millions in new public services, road improvements and sewers. / St. Louis Business Journal / by Kelsey Volkmann / September 15, 2009

Spanish Lake casino plan clears first hurdle

MO - The St. Louis County Planning Commission on Monday unanimously backed a casino and entertainment complex along the Mississippi River in Spanish Lake. The developer would have to raise the casino and some other buildings 30 feet to keep the complex out of the Mississippi River floodway while the layout of the development must not cause water to rise anywhere else, the report said. More than 40 protesters opposed to the casino marched for about an hour in front of the County Administration Building in Clayton before the commission met. "Eagles yes, casino no," "save natural beauty," "save our wildlife," the pickets chanted. The Rev. Harold Hendrick, a casino opponent, said the development would hurt the local environment and churches. / ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH / By Phil Sutin / 09/15/2009

Stalemate boosts table games' chances

PA - Lawmakers point to the approval of table games in Pennsylvania casinos as a way to produce more revenue and push the long-delayed budget forward. State Rep. Paul Clymer, R-145, is opposed to table games such as blackjack, roulette, craps and poker coming to area casinos, calling them "a very unreliable source of revenue" as well as a threat to "increase gambling addiction." "Casinos throughout the state are reporting decreased revenues in these tough economic times," Clymer said Monday. "It's the casinos that want this. Everyone is saying that this is needed to get a state budget approved, but that's a red herring. We can fund the budget right now, without the table games." / The Intelligencer / By: CHRISTIAN MENNO / September 15, 2009

State Rep. Blessing: Casino issue has loophole

OH - Ohio Rep. Louis Blessing is decrying what he claims to be a huge loophole in the proposed constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling in Ohio. The Cincinnati Republican claims Ohio Issue 3 was carefully crafted to let casino companies avoid taxes on cash wagers. "Their definition for gross casino proceeds is anything exchanged for cash," Blessing said. "If nothing's exchanged, if you just bet cash, it's not taxable." / Business First of Columbus / by Dan Monk / September 17, 2009

State board tells casino developers to not expect 'rubber stamp'

KS - If the project is approved, Kansas Entertainment LLC plans to build a $700 million destination casino and hotel overlooking Turn 2 at Kansas Speedway. It could open as early as January 2012. Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger said that building the hotel immediately would likely "cannibalize" existing hotels within Village West. "We're committed to building a hotel," Boerger said. "We want the economy to heal before we do that." Last week, two casino competitors announced that they would join forces on a single proposal. Penn National Gaming announced that it would partner with International Speedway, in effect replacing the Cordish Co. / The Kansas City Star / By DAWN BORMANN / Sep. 15, 2009

State's gambling plan hits new obstacles

OH - Ohio's foray into expanded gambling was met with more lawsuits, complaints and accusations today, highlighted by a federal lawsuit filed by Beulah Park owner Charles J. Ruma against Penn National Gaming claiming a breach of contract. "The effort to put a casino 7 miles away from Beulah Park was an obvious breach of that agreement," Ruma said, adding that he sent Penn National a notice of that violation in March. "We are taking steps to terminate because they have refused to release the option." Ruma said Penn National officials have told him they will not go ahead with the option to purchase the track. But so far they have refused to formally do so, Ruma yesterday was among the seven horse-track owners to file an application to add video slot machines, but he did not meet the deadline for the first $13 million in license fees. / THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH / By Jim Siegel / September 16, 2009

Sullivan County casino no benefit to tribe

NY - The tribal members do not receive any per-capita payments for the existing Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, but New York state receives 25 cents per every dollar played at this casino and the tribal members receive nothing. The rest goes toward the operating cost for this casino. So whose casino is it? This casino rides on the backs of the name Akwesasne Mohawks but allows no benefit to the Mohawks. Eighty percent of the employees are non-natives at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino. / Agnes Terrance

The Gambling Boom: A Success Story -- For Some

- As they note in the book's ["Gambling: Mapping the American Moral Landscape,"] introduction the amount of money involved in the industry is considerable. In 2005 an estimated $84.65 billion was wagered, and in 2006 around one in four Americans visited a casino -- a radical change from not too many years ago when Nevada was the only place with legalized gambling, the editors observed. A century ago there was strong opposition to gambling by churches, and evangelical leaders were fierce in their criticism of what they denounced as a vice. Wolfe observed that religious-led opposition to gambling was never elevated to a nationally-coordinated campaign. Wolfe also argued that in general Protestant leaders are political pragmatists and are unwilling to criticize practices popular among their members. Melnick noted that gambling companies have spent millions in lobbying politicians and that, in some cases, have even helped draft the legislation governing the industry. He cited one study that put at more than $100 million the amount the gambling industry spent on lobbying and campaign contributions in the period 1994-96. The question of the impact on the poor was detailed by Melnick. Those earning less than $10,000 a year spend an average of $600 on lottery tickets, while those earning more than $50,000 spend less than $250. Hoffmann, a professor of sociology at Brigham Young University, examined the harm caused by gambling. Gambling has generally been placed in the category of victimless crimes, but he argued this terminology is not correct. Problems such as gambling have substantial negative effects on marital relations and family functioning. Studies point to about 9% of gamblers having some risks, with another 1.5% classified as problem gamblers, and 0.9% as pathological gamblers. / By Father John Flynn, LC / SEPT. 13, 2009

Thistledown Racetrack sold to Harrah's for $89.5 million

OH - Thistledown is one of two horse racing tracks among the 11 owned by the bankrupt Magna Entertainment Corporation that have now been sold. A thorn in the side of Harrah's management team will Ohio court battles over allowing 2,500 video lottery terminals at each of Ohio's seven racetracks. Ohio's tracks were required to post the first $13 million payment on Tuesday toward a slots licensing fee of $65 million. / Plain dealer Report / by D'Arcy Egan / September 15, 2009

Trump Plaza dealers seek to scrap AC union

NJ - Two and a half years and more than a million dollars later, the United Auto Workers has little to show for its costly effort to unionize dealers at Atlantic City's casinos. Now, the first cracks are appearing in the union drive as dealers at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino petition the National Labor Relations Board to dissolve their union. The move requires the board to determine whether a new election should be held at the casino, which never recognized the original vote in March 2007 and refused to bargain. / Associated Press / By WAYNE PARRY / 09.17.09

Upping the ante

- Online gambling has become rampant among college-aged students over the past several years. Our generation has grown up around technology and computers, and college students have much more free time to gamble, as opposed to someone with a family or a full-time job. According to the Texas State University at San Marcos counseling Web site, 8 percent of people under 21 years old are compulsive gamblers. Students who are not old enough to gamble in the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas often turn to their computers to satiate their fixation with competition, strategy, logic and, of course, money. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 7 percent of college students who gamble online will become addicted. "When your friends are concerned that you're not keeping up with your social life and when gambling is contributing to the [deterioration] of your academics and family life, there's a problem," said Klein [Lehigh staff psychologist] . "Students with gambling addictions can experience serious feelings of aggression, irritability, depression and anxiety from debt." Greg Hogan, the former class of 2008 president who robbed a bank to fuel his online gambling and pay off debts, is a perfect example of how addiction can take over one's life. Hogan was arrested for stealing $2,871 from a Wachovia... His friends were equally unaware of his gambling practices and the large debt he had accumulated playing online poker. / By Dayna Geldwert / 9/18/09

Will Disney Enter into Online Gambling Market?

- Disney will now be the name of the game, taking Marvel over and threatening the company's presence in online gambling. The rumor is that Disney will allow for Cryptologic, owner of Marvel slot rights, to keep using the Marvel characters in their games. For now, the Marvel contract allows the Marvel characters to stay online for a little longer. / by Haylie / September 17th, 2009