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Best Gambling Guide for online gambling reviews, best gambling bonuses, gambling games, and gambling tips. Best gambling payouts and best gambling bonuses are featured in this gambling guide.

 

Gambling News by Gambling Headquarters

Monday, April 30, 2007

Announcing IncredibleCashMachine.com: a Free Online Game with One Winner in Cash Everyday, to Play Instantly Without ... (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)

 

Poker-playing chiropractor allegedly stabbed to death by wife (San Francisco Chronicle)William Robert Gustafik of San Ramon described himself in an online profile as a chiropractor and professional poker player who planned to compete "with his beautiful wife at his side." On Friday, it was his wife, Jill Rockcastle, who allegedly stabbed...

Fontainebleau plans Vegas casino project (BusinessWeek)

 

Get A Free Cone At Ben & Jerry's For A Good Cause (CBS 4 Miami)I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream and if you want to help a good cause then head to your neighborhood Ben & Jerrys which has launched its annual Global Free Cone Day. Participating shops in South Florida are raising money for Radio Lollipop, which is part of Miami Childrens Hospital.

Activists fighting addition of Chumash Casino slot machines (The Fresno Bee)

 

Singapore says gives Genting Int'l casino all clear (Reuters via Yahoo! Asia News)SINGAPORE, April 16 (Reuters) - The Singapore government on Monday gave gambling firm Genting International the go-ahead to build a casino, following extended probity checks after the group announced links with Macau tycoon Stanley Ho.

Champs get put on canvas (Boxing Insider)

 

Novoa returns Friday! (Fightnews.com)Undefeated former 2004 Olympian Juan Camilo Novoa returns to the ring this Friday at the Miccosukkee Resort and Casino in Miami, Florida.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

04-17-06 EUR ALL ON ONE PAGE (Eurweb)

 

What's Happening (Oroville Mercury-Register)Greater Oroville Community Outreach meets April 19, 10 a.m. at Blueberry Twist. Public invited. Call 533-0780 or 533-3321. Amapola Vernon Lyman Chapter 35, Order of Eastern Star meets April 21, 1 p.m. at 1462 Myers St. Free lunch.

Developers submit Kansas casino proposals (Casino City Times)

 

Vietnamese casino construction begins (Casino City Times)VIETNAM As reported by the Thahn Nien Daily: "Work has recently begun on Vietnam Casino City, Vietnam's first luxury gaming resort, featuring five Vegas themed casinos and a Greg Norman-designed golf course in southern Vung Tau resort city.

Lake of the Torches Resort Casino Gives Away a Deluge of Cash in One Day (PR Web)

 

Tussle over casino money (The Express-Times)BETHLEHEM | City property owners would hit the jackpot under a proposal from the head of city council to cut taxes with casino revenue. Mayor John Callahan said the "knee-jerk" response to the anticipated $8.7 million-a-year windfall shortchanges city financial, safety and social needs.

Online Sports Gambling & Me (Northern Express)

 

Everest Casino player wins jackpot (Casino City Times)MONTREAL, Quebec (PRESS RELEASE) -- Everest Casino today announced that a single pull on its Space Ace online video slot machine had netted a player $12,978.82 in cash. "We're always happy to see a player get a big payout like this," said Eduardo Santos, Everest Casino property manager.

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)

 

Mohawk casino general manager earns national recognition (Indian Country Today)AKWESASNE, N.Y. - Dianna Tarbell is changing the face of gaming, though she'd be the first to deny it.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Casino Gaming

 

Fontainebleau plans Vegas casino project (Sharewatch)Fontainebleau said it planned to open the 3,889-room Fontainebleau-Las Vegas by late 2009. The property will mix condo-hotel units, suites and hotel rooms with a 100,000-square foot casino, nightclubs, a spa and convention space.

Everest Casino Player Wins Over $12,000 In Online Slots Jackpot (PR Web)

 

Moniker.com to auction gambling domains at Casino Affiliate Convention (The Register)Domain tasting 101 House of Cards Moniker.com , the ICANN accredited registrar will hold the first silent auction of premium online gambling domains at the Casino Affiliate Convention in Amsterdam. All attendees at the convention, which takes place the first week of May, will be provided with a password to allow them to bid on the available domains, according to online reports , Those ...

Walk on the Wild Side with Crazy Blackjack (Online Casino Reports)

 

Singapore clarifies stance on Genting (BusinessWeek)Singapore's Trade Ministry on Tuesday said reports that it had resolved its concerns about casino operator Genting International were inaccurate, saying the minister's comments were misunderstood by some media.

Online Casino Gambling Portal Launch Video Poker Strategy Training Game (PR Web)

 

Sports Fans in a Virtual Gambling World (Online Casino Reports)Sports betting is rapidly becoming one of the most popular forms of online gambling, and theres a good reason for it too.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Free Casino

 

Empire, tribe eye options for casino (BusinessWeek)Empire Resorts Inc., operator of the Monticello Raceway, and St. Regis Mohawk Tribe said Monday that they are looking at ways to make the proposed St. Regis Mohawk Casino at Monticello Raceway the first Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) approved casino in the Northeast.

Genting cleared for Singapore casino (Financial Times)

 

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)The world's top casino operators are jockeying for a stake in a vast but untapped market as Japan moves closer to an overhaul of its strict gambling laws to lure rich Asian tourists and boost its economy.

Novoa returns Friday! (Fightnews.com)

 

Tuesday April 17, 2007 - 00:22 EST (Rolling Good Times)Q. I just read an answer you gave a while back to a question about video poker and Class II gaming. I just came home from a Native American casino with Class II games and was playing Deuces Wild. There was a woman next to me who was winning left and right.

Announcing IncredibleCashMachine.com: a Free Online Game with One Winner in Cash Everyday, to Play Instantly Without ... (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)

 

LeBron's mansion fit for the King (Telegraph-Forum)Easter morning turned out to be a different kind of religious experience, a "We Are All Witnesses" snapshot, for my family -- OK, for me.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)

 

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)The world's top casino operators are jockeying for a stake in a vast but untapped market as Japan moves closer to an overhaul of its strict gambling laws to lure rich Asian tourists and boost its economy.

Apple Files Annual Salary Report (The Mac Observer)

 

Hula hoops at Harrah's? (Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil)A hula hoop contest was held, a dance contest took place and root beer floats were served at Harrah's Casino and Hotel.

Progressive Gaming Rises on Upgrade (AP via Yahoo! Finance)

 

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)The world's top casino operators are jockeying for a stake in a vast but untapped market as Japan moves closer to an overhaul of its strict gambling laws to lure rich Asian tourists and boost its economy.

Vietnamese casino construction begins (Casino City Times)

 

Genting to cut Star link with Singapore casino (Financial Times)Genting, the Malaysian gaming group, yesterday said its Star Cruise affiliate would withdraw from the group's planned casino in Singapore in an effort to appease regulators worried about the cruise ship operator's link with Stanley Ho, the Macao gambling tycoon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Singapore clarifies stance on Genting (BusinessWeek)

 

Announcing IncredibleCashMachine.com: a Free Online Game with One Winner in Cash Everyday, to Play Instantly Without ... (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)Eczod Inc is pleased to announce the launch of its "Incredible Cash Machine", a free instant game giving real cash to players... everyday and without the need for registering.

Online gambling in the U.S. to be Legal Again in 2007, According to Gambling Community Surveyed by 777.Com (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)

 

Monday April 16, 2007 - 13:22 EST (Rolling Good Times)SINGAPORE As reported by Reuters: "The Singapore government on April 16 gave gambling firm Genting International Plc the go-ahead to build a casino, following extended probity checks after the group announced links with Macau tycoon Stanley Ho.

Iowa casino remains alcohol free (Casino City Times)

 

Fontainebleau plans Vegas casino project (BusinessWeek)Privately held casino resort developer Fontainebleau Resorts LLC on Monday announced plans for a $2.8 billion gambling resort on the Las Vegas Strip and said it had secured a key $250 million investment from Australian entertainment giant Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd.

Singapore says gives Genting Int'l casino all clear (Reuters via Yahoo! Asia News)

 

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)The world's top casino operators are jockeying for a stake in a vast but untapped market as Japan moves closer to an overhaul of its strict gambling laws to lure rich Asian tourists and boost its economy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Commons Confidential: March 2007 (BBC News)

 

Sky City sets fight card (KRQE Albuquerque)ALBUQUERQUE -- The fight card is called championship showdown. NABF champion Monica Lovato of Espaola is the co-main event on the April 28 card at Sky City Casino.

Free Casino Game

 

Local Students Deal Out Poker Lesson (Scoop.co.nz)Two local university students took a field of forty to school tonight at the Peter Peko Teams Event at Christchurch Casino. Along with the title, Zhou Yi (Joey) and Zhitina Wang (Bob) also won $8,000 in cash.

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)

 

Ukash in Europe - Buying Casino Funds at Your Grocers (Online Casino Reports)Just as people are looking all the time for the best online casino sites, so they are looking for the easiest and most convenient payment methods.

Wynn Paid $10 Million in 2006 (AP via Yahoo! Finance)

 

Everest Casino player wins jackpot (Casino City Times)MONTREAL, Quebec (PRESS RELEASE) -- Everest Casino today announced that a single pull on its Space Ace online video slot machine had netted a player $12,978.82 in cash. "We're always happy to see a player get a big payout like this," said Eduardo Santos, Everest Casino property manager.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Truax gets her Thank yous in at luncheon (The Lompoc Record)

 

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)The world's top casino operators are jockeying for a stake in a vast but untapped market as Japan moves closer to an overhaul of its strict gambling laws to lure rich Asian tourists and boost its economy.

Vietnamese casino construction begins (Casino City Times)

 

Genting to cut Star link with Singapore casino (Financial Times)Genting, the Malaysian gaming group, yesterday said its Star Cruise affiliate would withdraw from the group's planned casino in Singapore in an effort to appease regulators worried about the cruise ship operator's link with Stanley Ho, the Macao gambling tycoon.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Online casino selling Pope Benedict's former car (North County Times)

 

Online Sports Gambling & Me (Northern Express)When I started looking into challenges teens and kids were faced with on the Internet a year and half ago, I found that many of the same trappings for kids were also the same for adults.

Walk on the Wild Side with Crazy Blackjack (Online Casino Reports)

 

Powered Helps Shop.org Online Marketing Workshop Attendees Tap the Power of Online Consumer Education (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)AUSTIN, Texas----Powered, the leading provider of online consumer education programs for Global 2000 brands, today announced that it will be exhibiting at the Shop.org Online Marketing Workshop.

Online Sports Gambling & Me (Northern Express)

 

Online gambling in the U.S. to be Legal Again in 2007, According to Gambling Community Surveyed by 777.Com (PR Web)777.com, the leading gambling portal is putting a date on the end of the U.S. online gambling ban. Members of the gambling community are predicting the law's fate and they are clear about what they want and when they want it to happen. (PRWeb Apr 13, 2007) Post Comment:Trackback URL: http://www.prweb.com/pingpr.php/Q3Jhcy1JbnNlLVRoaXItQ3Jhcy1NYWduLVplcm8=

Choctaw Casino gives Oklahoma a taste of Las Vegas (Texarkana Gazette)

 

PA casino foes continue fight (Casino City Times)PENNSYLVANIA As reported by the Philadelphia Daily News: "Casino opponents, stung by the state Supreme Court's decision Friday to issue a preliminary injunction knocking a referendum on the issue off the May 15 ballot, vowed yesterday to find another way to cast their ballots on the issue.

Casino Gambling

 

Moniker.com to auction gambling domains at Casino Affiliate Convention (The Register)Domain tasting 101 House of Cards Moniker.com , the ICANN accredited registrar will hold the first silent auction of premium online gambling domains at the Casino Affiliate Convention in Amsterdam. All attendees at the convention, which takes place the first week of May, will be provided with a password to allow them to bid on the available domains, according to online reports , Those ...

School briefs (Silver City Sun-News)

 

TravelCLICK Selected by Dover Downs Hotel & Casino for Complete Property Merchandising Solution (PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance)TravelCLICK Inc., a leading provider of hotel business process management solutions, announced today that Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, DE has selected TravelCLICK to provide a suite of distribution and marketing solutions that together deliver a complete hotel merchandising solution, including reservations, market intelligence and eMarketing.

04-17-06 EUR ALL ON ONE PAGE (Eurweb)

 

Online Casino Gambling Portal Launch Video Poker Strategy Training Game (PR Web)The online casino gambling guide 'Online-Casinos.com' is now offering a video poker training tool. This free game allows casino players to play as many video poker hands as they like in order to become confident enough to take the next step and play for money. If a player makes a strategic mistake, the poker machine will correct the player. The game is made in Flash and is completely free. No ...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

PacificNet Reports Unaudited Financial Results for Q4 and FY2006 (FinanzNachrichten)

 

Developers submit Kansas casino proposals (Casino City Times)WICHITA, Kansas As reported by the Wichita Eagle: "Two groups of developers who have long expressed interest in building a casino in the Wichita area are meeting with local leaders to push competing proposals.

Casino Cash

 

Announcing IncredibleCashMachine.com: a Free Online Game with One Winner in Cash Everyday, to Play Instantly Without ... (PR Web)Eczod Inc is pleased to announce the launch of its "Incredible Cash Machine", a free instant game giving real cash to players... everyday and without the need for registering. (PRWeb Apr 17, 2007) Post Comment:Trackback URL: http://www.prweb.com/pingpr.php/TG92ZS1FbXB0LUZhbHUtQ3Jhcy1NYWduLVplcm8=

Online Sports Gambling & Me (Northern Express)

 

Apple Files Annual Salary Report (The Mac Observer)Apple filed its annual salary report with the SEC on Monday reveling that Apple CEO Steve Jobs was paid US$1 for his services in 2006 and was not eligible for a bonus, just like 2004 and 2005

Friday, April 20, 2007

Announcing IncredibleCashMachine.com: a Free Online Game with One Winner in Cash Everyday, to Play Instantly Without ... (PR Web)

 

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)The world's top casino operators are jockeying for a stake in a vast but untapped market as Japan moves closer to an overhaul of its strict gambling laws to lure rich Asian tourists and boost its economy.

Genting to cut Star link with Singapore casino (Financial Times)

 

Fontainebleau plans Vegas casino project (Sharewatch)Fontainebleau said it planned to open the 3,889-room Fontainebleau-Las Vegas by late 2009. The property will mix condo-hotel units, suites and hotel rooms with a 100,000-square foot casino, nightclubs, a spa and convention space.

Singapore clarifies stance on Genting (BusinessWeek)

 

Poker-playing chiropractor allegedly stabbed to death by wife (San Francisco Chronicle)William Robert Gustafik of San Ramon described himself in an online profile as a chiropractor and professional poker player who planned to compete "with his beautiful wife at his side." On Friday, it was his wife, Jill Rockcastle, who allegedly stabbed...

Online Casino Gambling

 

Sports Fans in a Virtual Gambling World (Online Casino Reports)Sports betting is rapidly becoming one of the most popular forms of online gambling, and theres a good reason for it too.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Iowa casino remains alcohol free (Casino City Times)

 

Fontainebleau plans Vegas casino project (BusinessWeek)Privately held casino resort developer Fontainebleau Resorts LLC on Monday announced plans for a $2.8 billion gambling resort on the Las Vegas Strip and said it had secured a key $250 million investment from Australian entertainment giant Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd.

Singapore briefs Macau chief on casino plans (TODAYonline)

 

Singapore says gives Genting Int'l casino all clear (Reuters via Yahoo! Asia News)SINGAPORE, April 16 (Reuters) - The Singapore government on Monday gave gambling firm Genting International the go-ahead to build a casino, following extended probity checks after the group announced links with Macau tycoon Stanley Ho.

Tuesday April 17, 2007 - 00:22 EST (Rolling Good Times)

 

Sky City sets fight card (KRQE Albuquerque)ALBUQUERQUE -- The fight card is called championship showdown. NABF champion Monica Lovato of Espaola is the co-main event on the April 28 card at Sky City Casino.

Your County Journal (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)

 

Online Casino Gambling Portal Launch Video Poker Strategy Training Game (PR Web)The online casino gambling guide 'Online-Casinos.com' is now offering a video poker training tool. This free game allows casino players to play as many video poker hands as they like in order to become confident enough to take the next step and play for money. If a player makes a strategic mistake, the poker machine will correct the player. The game is made in Flash and is completely free. No ...

Walk on the Wild Side with Crazy Blackjack (Online Casino Reports)

 

Developers submit Kansas casino proposals (Casino City Times)WICHITA, Kansas As reported by the Wichita Eagle: "Two groups of developers who have long expressed interest in building a casino in the Wichita area are meeting with local leaders to push competing proposals.

Lake of the Torches Resort Casino Culminates Month-Long 11th Birthday Celebration With Comedian Bill Engvall (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)

 

Tussle over casino money (The Express-Times)BETHLEHEM | City property owners would hit the jackpot under a proposal from the head of city council to cut taxes with casino revenue. Mayor John Callahan said the "knee-jerk" response to the anticipated $8.7 million-a-year windfall shortchanges city financial, safety and social needs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Everest Casino Player Wins Over $12,000 In Online Slots Jackpot (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)

 

Apple Files Annual Salary Report (The Mac Observer)Apple filed its annual salary report with the SEC on Monday reveling that Apple CEO Steve Jobs was paid US$1 for his services in 2006 and was not eligible for a bonus, just like 2004 and 2005

Emerging casino destinations (USA Today)

 

Truax gets her Thank yous in at luncheon (The Lompoc Record)Thanks to my coach and my team and to the Chumash Casino for giving us the new track, it's really nice.

Genting cleared for Singapore casino (Financial Times)

 

Progressive Gaming Rises on Upgrade (AP via Yahoo! Finance)Shares of Progressive Gaming International Inc. climbed Monday after an analyst upgraded stock of the supplier of casino equipment and data systems, saying the worst appears to be over for its share price.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday April 16, 2007 - 13:22 EST (Rolling Good Times)

 

Online gambling in the U.S. to be Legal Again in 2007, According to Gambling Community Surveyed by 777.Com (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)777.com, the leading gambling portal is putting a date on the end of the U.S. online gambling ban. Members of the gambling community are predicting the law's fate and they are clear about what they want and when they want it to happen.

Get A Free Cone At Ben & Jerry's For A Good Cause (CBS 4 Miami)

 

Choctaw Casino gives Oklahoma a taste of Las Vegas (Texarkana Gazette)Staff photo by Jim Williamson Michael Roberts, ceremonial dancer with the Choctaw Nations, performs during the grand opening of the Broken Bow, Okla., casino Monday afternoon.

Quick start to new gambling not likely (Arkcity.net)

 

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)The world's top casino operators are jockeying for a stake in a vast but untapped market as Japan moves closer to an overhaul of its strict gambling laws to lure rich Asian tourists and boost its economy.

Commons Confidential: March 2007 (BBC News)

 

Patrons dash for the slots at expanded casino (San Diego Union-Tribune)VALLEY CENTER, April 14 (UNION-TRIBUNE): VALLEY CENTER The speeches were over, the ribbon had just been cut and the doors opened, and Olivia Leon wanted to know one thing as she entered the newly expanded Valley View Casino yesterday morning: the location of her favorite slot machine.

Your guide to today, tomorrow and beyond (El Paso Times)

 

Your County Journal (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)The Mongo Volunteer Fire Department will have a fish and chicken strip fry from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Mongo fire station on Indiana 3. Cost is $7.50 for adults and $4 for children younger than 12. Bingo games begin at 7:45 p.m.

Frank attacks Internet gambling ban

 

Frank, D-Mass., who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, told
reporters that the online gambling bill passed last fall was "one of the
stupidest things I ever saw." "I want to get it undone. I plan to file
legislation," Barney said, explaining that he would lay out his plans in the
next couple of weeks but would not move them forward until other lawmakers
are on board. "I think a reconsideration among my colleagues is beginning,"
he said. "It's not far enough along yet so I wouldn't move the bill but I
plan to introduce the bill and if (the) storm of public unhappiness is great
enough, I will try to substantially revise that ban." The U.S. Congress
House Financial Services Committee alone could not do more than lift a ban
on using credit cards to pay for Internet gambling, he said. "The first
thing is to plant the banner out there and see how many people rally around
it," he said. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, passed last
October, took British-based Internet gambling businesses by surprise,
causing companies such as Sportingbet PLC and Leisure & Gaming PLC to sell
their U.S. operations. The law prevents U.S. banks and credit-card companies
from processing payments to online gambling businesses outside the United
States. A World Trade organisation panel ruled on another set of gambling
restrictions on March 30, saying Washington had failed to change legislation
that unfairly targets offshore casinos. It sided with Antigua and Barbuda, a
former British colony in the Caribbean, that has promoted electronic
commerce as a way to end the country's reliance on tourism, which was hurt
by a series of hurricanes in the late 1990s. The Geneva-based trade referee
has said Washington can maintain restrictions on online gambling as long as
its laws are equally applied to American operators offering remote betting
on horse racing. Frank also said he welcomed German Chancellor Angela
Merkel's move to boost trans-Atlantic trading ties and increase global
supervision for hedge funds.
Better coordination between EU and U.S. regulators would give multinational
corporations less leeway to play one off against the other, he said,
mentioning taxation and climate change as policy areas where companies
threaten to relocate to avoid stricter laws. "The response you often get is:
'If you do this, we will leave.' The mobility of capital gives them both in
real terms and politically a great weapon," he said. "If you could get some
kind of policy coordination on a trans-Atlantic basis; if you could diminish
that threat ... you are talking about a pretty big chunk of the world, and
that's a place to start."

Online Gambling Website PartyGaming Closes Its Doors in Turkey

 

Online gambling firm, PartyGaming PLC, made an announcement yesterday
stating it would not allow customer from Turkey to access its website, after
legislation was passed prohibiting online gambling offered from domestic or
foreign companies. PartyGaming had already pulled its business away from the
US market after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was signed
into law by President George W. Bush. The company also stated that revenue
from customers in Turkey does not represent a significant amount its total
revenue. A spokesperson for PartyGaming said in a statement, "We have now
taken the reasonable steps to ensure that customers in Turkey are denied
access to any of our gaming sites." Since this decision, shares have gone up
4 percent to 58.5 pence ($1.15) on the London Stock Exchange. In March,
PartyGaming reported a 56 percent plunge in annual net profits following the
US governments decision to ban Internet Gambling. The future for the
company, however, is looking bright as it searches to find revenue in other
markets.

Coach one of five charged with professional gambling

 

The head football coach at West Haven High School was among five people
arrested Wednesday on gambling charges as part of an investigation into
illegal bookmaking operations. Edward McCarthy, 60, and the four others were
charged with professional gambling, possession of gambling records and using
a telephone to transmit and receive gambling information. The others
arrested were Bernard McDermott, 48, of West Haven; Angela Consorte, 45, of
West Haven; Pasquale Demaio, 67, of North Haven; and Paul Bowen, 50, of West
Haven. The five were arrested by the Connecticut State Polices Statewide
Organized Crime Investigative Task Force, which began an investigation of
illegal bookmaking operations in North Haven and West Haven in 2006.
McCarthy's home and his West Haven business, a bar called The Dugout, were
among sites raided by state police armed with search warrants on Jan. 21.
McCarthy has been a physical education teacher and football coach at West
Haven High School since 1983. He ranks second in the state in career wins
for a high school coach with 277. Superintendent of Schools JoAnn Hurd
Andrees said McCarthy was continuing to teach at the school and would be
allowed to do so while district officials investigate the matter. "Of course
we're concerned," Andrees said. "Were looking into the incident, and we're
treating this as we would with any other staff member who might be involved
with a similar act. He doesn't appear to be an imminent danger to the
children. When we receive all the facts we will act accordingly."

Online gambling can be addictive

 

With television stations like ESPN airing poker tournaments on an almost
daily schedule, it is no wonder that online gambling has become extremely
popular. The gambling craze has taken to many sites like Party Poker, Poker
Stars and even the virtual world Second Life. Such sites allow users to
deposit money into an account and gamble with people from all across the
world, as well as professionals.
However, these sites cannot possibly regulate age restrictions, as long as
the cardholder is of the legal gambling age. Many children are handed credit
cards by inattentive parents, and often Internet content is unregulated. For
the few parents who do take the time to notice, allowing their children to
gamble is no big deal. Still, most parents wouldn't know or even care to
find their kids gambling online.
It is harmless fun, after all. Gambling is an addictive activity and can
suck in even the most disciplined adults. Professional gambler Mike Matusow
has even claimed to have an online gambling problem to the extent that he
lost everything after winning a sizeable sum of money at the World Series of
Poker. If a professional can't enforce self control in relation to Internet
gambling, what will the average young adult do? The government has laws and
regulations that state the peoples' right to gamble. However, if no one
takes the time to monitor or enforce these laws, who knows how old "The
Professor" or "Kool Kat" is, much less whether they are professional
gamblers or some moobs trying to get rich quick. Since Internet regulation
is non existent, a major overhaul would have to take place in order to
create and enforce laws concerning gambling online. In any case, gambling
has become on of those over- dramatized, ultra- glamorized lifestyles that
Hollywood and the media continue to push on young people just starting out
in life. It would be a tragedy if a teen with only opportunities ahead of
her finds herself in debt up to her ears and an addiction that she can't
kick with a patch.

Gambling Advertising

 

Never have times been more confusing for marketers in the gambling arena.
There's always been the regulations of the Department of Culture Media and
Sport and Gambling Commission to bear in mind.
But now under Gambling Law, rules will come into force in September 2007,
there are additional considerations. The Committee of Advertising Practice
(CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) have
announced rigorous and robust new rules for gambling advertisements. They
have been designed to ensure that all gambling advertisements are socially
responsible with a particular regard for the need to protect children and
vulnerable members of society. In summary, the new rules ensure that
advertisements for gambling do not: - Portray, condone or encourage gambling
behaviour that is socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social
or emotional harm - Exploit the susceptibilities, aspirations, credulity,
inexperience or lack of knowledge of children, young persons or other
vulnerable persons - Suggest that gambling can be a solution to financial
concerns - Link gambling to seduction, sexual success or enhanced
attractiveness - Link gambling to seduction, sexual success or enhanced
attractiveness - Be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young
persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.
The new advertising rules have been developed by CAP and BCAP in response to
the introduction of the Gambling Act 2005, which introduced a new
legislative framework for gambling. This involved a joint CAP and BCAP
public consultation, which closed in September last year. From September
2007 some gambling sectors such as betting will be permitted to advertise
more freely. To date their advertising has been currently largely restricted
in non-broadcast media and entirely prohibited in broadcast media. Although
advertising will be more free, those advertisements will be subject to the
strict new rules. As a consequence, no-one under 18 may appear in a gambling
advert, except for lottery ads which feature the good causes that lotteries
contribute to. Also, no one under 25 may play a significant or be featured
gambling without exception. Scheduling restrictions have implications for
media. No ad may be scheduled or placed in or around media directed at under
18's, except ads for lotteries, football pools, family entertainment centres
and fairs. This youth media is considered that which has 20 per cent or more
of under 18s in the audience that the general population.

Morrison Talks Gambling

 

Expanded gambling may end up in court, but the challenge probably won't come
from opponents of the new law but from the Attorney General himself.
Attorney General Paul Morrison tells Eyewitness News that he talked to
Governor Sebelius about his bringing a legal challenge to the law. The goal:
get any questions about the constitutionality answered. "I'm going try and
do is expedite the process of getting that bill before the courts so we that
we can get a yeh or ney on it from the courts so that people who want to
invest and build will know that they're not squandering their money"
Morrison says.
Another issue is whether Sedgwick or Sumner county will receive the one
casino promised to the region. Lawmakers will likely take up the issue when
they return to Topeka on April 25th.

Developers submit Kansas casino proposals (Casino City Times)

 

Phocuswrights Philip Wolf Urges Consumer Empowerment & Utilization Of Travel 2.0 At HSMAI Travel Internet Marketing ... (Hospitality Net)MCLEAN, VA | Empower consumers to organize content themselves, and create conversations with consumers, urged Philip Wolf, founder, president and CEO of PhoCusWright, Inc. in his opening address on Travel 2.0 Confronts the Establishment at the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association Internationals (HSMAI) 8th Travel Internet Marketing Strategy Conference, which took place in Las Vegas.

Ukash in Europe - Buying Casino Funds at Your Grocers (Online Casino Reports)

 

Lake of the Torches Resort Casino Culminates Month-Long 11th Birthday Celebration With Comedian Bill Engvall (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)Lake of the Torches Resort Casino culminates month-long 11th Birthday Celebration with comedian Bill Engvall.

Everest Casino Player Wins Over $12,000 In Online Slots Jackpot (PR Web)

 

Everest Casino player wins jackpot (Casino City Times)MONTREAL, Quebec (PRESS RELEASE) -- Everest Casino today announced that a single pull on its Space Ace online video slot machine had netted a player $12,978.82 in cash. "We're always happy to see a player get a big payout like this," said Eduardo Santos, Everest Casino property manager.

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)

 

Casino giants line up as Japan prepares to roll the dice (AFP via Yahoo! News)The world's top casino operators are jockeying for a stake in a vast but untapped market as Japan moves closer to an overhaul of its strict gambling laws to lure rich Asian tourists and boost its economy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Genting might face casino probe (Financial Times)

 

Fontainebleau plans Vegas casino project (Sharewatch)Fontainebleau said it planned to open the 3,889-room Fontainebleau-Las Vegas by late 2009. The property will mix condo-hotel units, suites and hotel rooms with a 100,000-square foot casino, nightclubs, a spa and convention space.

Powered Helps Shop.org Online Marketing Workshop Attendees Tap the Power of Online Consumer Education (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)

 

PokerAffiliateWorld to Launch Integrated Affiliate Network at CAC Amsterdam (PR Web)The official launch of the PokerAffiliateWorld (PAW) Integrated Affiliate Network (http://www.pokeraffiliateworld.com/affiliates) is set to take place during the Casino Affiliate Convention (CAC) in Amsterdam from May 3-5, where PAW will be located at Booth #70. The PAW Integrated Affiliate Network allows affiliates to market multiple online poker rooms through one simple interface, and is set to ...

High school coach arrested in gambling investigation

 

The football coach at West Haven High School is among five people arrested
Wednesday on gambling charges as part of an investigation into illegal
bookmaking operations. Coach Edward McCarthy, 60, and the four others were
charged with professional gambling, possession of gambling records and using
a telephone to transmit and receive gambling information. The others
arrested were Bernard McDermott, 48, of West Haven; Angela Consorte, 45, of
West Haven; Pasquale Demaio, 67, of North Haven; and Paul Bowen, 50, of West
Haven. The five were arrested by the Connecticut State Polices Statewide
Organized Crime Investigative Task Force, which began an investigation of
illegal bookmaking operations in North Haven and West Haven in 2006.
McCarthy's home and his West Haven business, a bar called The Dugout, were
among sites raided by state police armed with search warrants on Jan. 21.
McCarthy has been a physical education teacher and football coach at West
Haven High School since 1983. He ranks second in the state in career wins
for a high school coach with 277. Superintendent of Schools JoAnn Hurd
Andrees said McCarthy was continuing to teach at the school and would be
allowed to do so while district officials investigate the matter. "Of course
were concerned," Andrees said. "Were looking into the incident, and were
treating this as we would with any other staff member who might be involved
with a similar act. He doesn't appear to be an imminent danger to the
children. When we receive all the facts we will act accordingly."

Private club gambling

 

Some casinos are already ringing up big bucks for their owners and more
slots parlors will soon join them. Now, one lawmaker wants non-profits to
get a cut of the action by getting their own slot machines. As Erica Moffitt
reports, it's being called vital to the future of many of these community
organizations. Hundreds of clubs like VFWs, Eagles and Elks Clubs throughout
Pennsylvania have been forced to shut their doors after facing financial
troubles. Now the push is on to use gambling as a way to keep other groups
from facing the same situation. A clam dinner at VFW Post 1213 in Dauphin
County is just one event of many club members organize to bring in some much
needed money. Ken Bettinger: "What's it like to be a non-profit club? A
struggle, we're struggling with benefits, everyone's having benefits anymore
and it's hard to make money you try the best you can, but small posts like
this are really struggling." State Representative Thomas Caltagirone says
many non-profit clubs throughout Pennsylvania can't afford to stay open.
Having fewer members along with increased taxes and other costs are making
the organizations too expensive to run. So to help, Caltagirone has drafted
legislation that would allow slots in licensed clubs. Rep. Thomas
Caltagirone (D), Berks County: "It allows for clubs to purchase up to five
machines, one to five machines, pay one $100 licensing fee, they can't pay
out more than $1,000 a week per machine." Those supporting the proposal say
the slots are harmless and they'd not only help the clubs but also the
community. "People are going to gamble, you're not going to stop, so why
not a better way, let them gamble and give it back to the community." But
even with some limitations to some people, the idea of allowing gambling in
clubs is a bad one. Dianne Berlin with Casino Free PA says the clubs would
be like mini-casinos everywhere in local communities. She says there's
corruption associated with gambling and that if people want to benefit
charities, they should donate directly to the organization rather than doing
through slots.

Online Day Trading and Internet Gambling are the Same Thing

 

A new investigative article released earlier this week by Casino Gambling
revealed a close link between Internet gambling and online day trading. The
article, written by Terry Goodwin, titled 'Legal Internet Gambling in the
US', was written to describe the almost identical characteristics of each of
the two hobbies. Terry described how each industry is promoted in the same
way. He described how the sign-up process is almost identical in both
industries, the depositing process is actually easier as a day trader, and
he found the risks to be much greater for the online day trader. The article
reveals a few things, here are some conclusions from his research. Starting
out as an online day trader you must find a place online to make your
trades. There are more than a few places competing for your account. Each
offers a bonus for signing up, each offers competitive rates per trade, each
entices you to sign up with them. Starting out as online gambler you must
find a place online to play. There are many places competing for your
account. Each offers bonuses for signing up, each brag about their high
payout rates for all games, each one entices you to start playing with them.
For both online day trading and online gambling you must provide proof of
your age, that is, you must click the box that says you are over eighteen.
For both online casino players and online day traders you must be able to
deposit money into your account. Day traders have the option of keeping an
unlimited amount of money in their account. Through Neteller, online
gamblers have automatic limits on how much they can deposit per week. Day
traders can buy a stock that goes out of business, even though news says the
company is doing well. Gamblers are told the payout percentages of slot
machines and are aware that they will most likely lose their money. Day
traders have a serious reputation for making very intelligent people go
bankrupt. Type in 'day trading' into Google and every site you find will
warn you of the very serious risks involved. Yet, with no training at all
you can easily sign up, deposit money and start trading. Day traders have
the ability to borrow from the place that hosts their account. The gambler
cannot do this. This means a trader can deposit money, lose it, then borrow
more from the trading company. A gambler can only deposit what they have if
they have not yet reached their limit. Day traders make very few people
rich. Gambling makes very few people rich. Day trading is highly addictive.
Gambling is also addictive. Online day trading is legal and accepted by the
United States government. Gambling at online casinos is also legal, yet not
accepted by the United States government. The United States Department of
Justice has been in a war against online gambling related companies in the
past year, while online day trading is thriving. This is a situation that
needs serious attention from the United States government. Either legalize
Internet gambling, or criminalize day trading. It should not be any more
complicated than that.

Illinois House panel weighs gambling expansion

 

Horse racetrack owners in Illinois are lobbying hard for legislation that
would allow slot machines and other electronic games at racetracks, saying
the measure is needed to keep the struggling industry alive. Collinsville's
Fairmount Park contends that in the competition to field quality race
horses, the state's five racetracks can't compete with out-of-state tracks
that subsidize their purses with revenue from slot machines. But riverboat
casino owners are less than supportive of the proposal and anti-gambling
advocates staunchly oppose it, calling it a way to essentially add five
land-based casinos in Illinois. The "slots at tracks" issue is one of the
central components of a gaming expansion bill - worth between $2.3 billion
and $3.5 billion - that the gaming committee of the Illinois House is
reviewing today in Chicago. In addition, the bill calls for adding four new
riverboats in and around Chicago and increasing the number of gamblers
allowed on riverboats at any one time to 2,000, up from 1,200. "It becomes a
critical thing for us," said Fairmount Park owner Brian Zander, who is
sending representatives of the track to the committee hearing. Zander said
Illinois' tracks "can't offer enough" in prize money to attract horses away
from competing tracks in Iowa and Indiana. Without the slots, Zander said,
he doesn't know how much longer Fairmount Park can stay open. Zander
estimates that the 500 games the legislation would allow Fairmount Park to
install would generate an additional $60 million in revenue a year, allowing
it to offer competitive prize money and to resume winter harness racing,
last offered in 1999. By again offering harness racing, Fairmount Park could
once again provide year-round work to its 750 employees, most of who have to
find other ways to support themselves during the October through February
off-season, Zander said. Riverboat owners have been much cooler toward the
bill, despite its provisions to give them a lower tax rate and increase the
number of games on boats. "I think the general consensus would be that we
prefer alternatives to slots at tracks," said Tom Swoik, spokesman for the
Illinois Casino Gaming Association. Anita Bedell, executive director for
the anti-gambling Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems,
said the proposal is just another way to expand gaming. "It's not going to
preserve an industry. It's going to turn it into a land-based casino with
horse racing as a sideshow," she said. The state struck a deal eight years
ago that let riverboats dock permanently and would have given racetracks a
cut of the revenue from a casino near O'Hare Airport. But that casino got
bogged down in litigation and never opened, leaving racetracks looking for
another way to boost their earnings. The current proposal is meant to be a
"consensus bill," offering benefits to the casinos and tracks as well as to
municipalities by establishing a $25 million economic redevelopment fund for
distressed communities. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, is
confident he can get the bill out of the Legislature and onto the desk of
Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The governor has promised he will not come out against
the bill while it is still in the Legislature, something many blamed for the
downfall of a similar gaming expansion bill in 2004. But it seems far from
clear that the casino industry is on board, with the casino association
polling its members as late as Tuesday and Wednesday to determine what
position to take at today's hearing. Swoik said the casino owners still
have reservations about many aspects of the bill, including over-saturating
the Chicago market and overburdening the Illinois Gaming Board, which must
approve "virtually everything" a casino does - from creating a new card game
to moving a turnstile.

Apple prepares gambling for iPhone

 

Beyond trying to break barriers in the mobile market by integrating a fully
operable music player into new handsets. Apple is now looking to expand the
range of multimedia services for the iPhone. Still months away before a
sign of an official release date in the UK, it seems like Apple is trying
it's
hardest to make it the most featured mobile handset on the market. Not
content with its iPod capabilities, the company is working to add additional
services including gambling games. A version of the poker game 'Texas Hold
'Em' is available on Apple's website that is a suitable resolution for the
iPhone and is available now for the iPod. Further to this, it seems Apple
wants to cash in on the desperately single, hoping to launch a dating
service on the upcoming multimedia phone. This has provisionally called
iPhoneFlirt.

Foes spot expansion loophole in gambling bill

 

Glenn Thompson, executive director of the anti-gambling group Stand Up for
Kansas, said that under the bill, future Legislatures could put video slot
machines in convenience stores, grocery stores and other places without
having to get voters' approval. "They could use this question later to place
machines at locations other than racetracks," Thompson said. Thompson is
referring to a part of the bill that calls for a vote in counties that can
have state-owned casinos, slots at pari-mutuel tracks or both. In those
counties, voters must approve resolutions before expanded gambling can be
established. For example, Wyandotte County voters can decide whether to have
a casino, slots or both at The Woodlands horse and dog track. To have slots
at The Woodlands, voters will be asked: "Shall the Kansas Lottery be
authorized to place electronic gaming machines in Wyandotte County?"
Thompson says if Wyandotte County voters approve that resolution, lawmakers
could in future years rewrite the gambling law to say those machines can be
placed in other locations, such as convenience stores, and there would be no
need for an election because the voters already would have decided. "The
whole bill is very deceptive," Thompson said. Ed Van Petten, executive
director of the Kansas Lottery, which would be in charge of the games, said
Thompson is correct in theory but not in practicality. "It could happen that
way, but historically I don't think there has been any gaming issue for any
kind of expansion that hasn't required voter approval," he said. "The
Legislature has shied away from expanding gaming without getting local
approval." Sebelius toured the state Wednesday to sign the bill into law.
Sebelius has called the measure a "responsible expansion" because of the
local option voter requirement. "The people of Kansas will finally have a
chance to decide for themselves whether to allow expanded gaming," Sebelius
said. She signed the bill at four news conferences in areas that under the
bill could add state-owned casinos and resorts, and video slot machines at
tracks. Sebelius conducted ceremonies at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita,
Dodge City Regional Airport, The Woodlands horse and dog track in Kansas
City, Kan., and Cherokee County Courthouse in Columbus. The law will become
effective when it is printed in the Kansas Register in the next several
weeks.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

BIG FUTURE FOR ITALIAN GAMBLING MARKET

 

In a report titled "The Italian Gambling Market - A Forerunner in the
Liberalisation of European Gambling Markets" the research group MECN
has predicted that the Italian gambling market is set to achieve a 64
percent growth rate culminating in revenues worth Euro 61 billion by
the year 2010. Describing the Italian region as one of the most
promising online and land gambling markets, the report claims that
Italy has become a top priority for international operators looking
for both online and offline opportunities while further liberalisation
was expected in the future. "After the decision of the European Court
of Justice in the Placanica case and the recent tender that allowed
online and land-based gambling operators to enter the Italian market,
all eyes are now turning to Italy and its role in the liberalisation
of European gambling markets," the report cites as background to the
study, which analyses the Italian gambling market in detail and
includes the results of a survey MECN conducted among more than 70
important international operators. The study identifies several
reasons why Italy is perceived as so attractive: Another phase of
liberalisation is expected in the near future - Two-thirds of the
experts surveyed expect another phase of liberalisation in the near
future that will go even further than the steps planned for 2007.
Growing relevance of foreign operators - A large majority of the
experts believe that by 2010 international operators, such as
Ladbrokes and Intralot, will capture a relevant share of the gambling
market. Growth potential, especially for retail betting and
interactive gambling - Overall, Italy's gambling market is expected to
grow to Euro 61 billion in turnover by 2010 (+64 percent). By 2010,
the retail betting market is expected to grow to ca. Euro 14 billion,
which is about 200 percent its current size (CAGR of 32 percent).

Legislators discuss school finance, gambling, energy at chamber forum

 

About 30 residents attended a Legislative Brown Bag Forum at the Rock
Island Depot Tuesday featuring State Representative Carl Holmes, State
Senator Steve Morris and State Senator Tim Huelskamp. Speaking first,
Carl Holmes began his remarks talking about his recent placement on
the agriculture committee and general issues that the House of
Representatives has faced recently, including school finance, the seat
belt law change, gambling and energy. He stated school finance was a
"big issue," and there were several bills relating to this issue to be
discussed during the next legislative session that convenes April 25.
The law requiring drivers to wear seat belts is now a "primary
offense" meaning that police officers may now stop a driver solely for
the offense of driving without a seat belt, he said. Before, it was a
"secondary offense" meaning a driver had to be pulled over for another
reason, for speeding for example, then cited for no seat belt as the
secondary offense. Fines will start at $60 for the first infraction.
Holmes spoke about concerns about energy and corn prices in light of
increased ethanol plant construction. He said corn prices will be
"driven as much by ethanol as by feedlots." "I'm taking a holistic
approach to energy," he said and believes ethanol production is a part
of that. The biggest issue at moment, Holmes said is gambling. Passing
the recent measure involved "heated debate" and a "very late" night
before being passed in the wee hours of the morning, he said. Governor
Kathleen Sebelius will be in Dodge City today, among other locations
across the state, to hold a bill signing of legislation "allowing
responsible expansion of gaming," according to a governor's office
news release. Senator Morris discussed such issues as school finance,
"it's not the dominant issue it has been in the past," and changes to
the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. "The main change with
KPERS," Morris said, "is the increase in contribution rates from 4
percent to 6 percent and the 85 point rule no longer being available."
These changes will only effect those enrolling after July 1, 2008. he
said. The reason for the change is an attempt to "preserve the
long-term financial health of KPERS."

For his turn, Huelskamp discussed the new gambling measure and its
potential effects.

He said the measure was passed after what amounted to a 12-hour
filibuster after which it passed by a narrow margin of 21-19.

"We'll be the first state to own and operate its own casinos," Huelskamp said.

Huelskamp did not support the measure, he said, in part, because of
the negative economic impact on communities and how little the state
would actually receive from such ventures.

The impact of gambling in a community would be a loss of around $40
million and, while a casino could generate a much as $200 million,
only 22 to 26 percent would be cut to the state of Kansas, Huelskamp
pointed out.

He said he is also pushing for stricter rules for voter registration.
Currently, no questions are asked and no ID is needed to register to
vote in the state of Kansas.

Huelskamp also contends that Kansas is not competitive in terms of the
tax environment and he is working to make the state as "hospitable as
possible" for incoming businesses.

The floor was opened for questions from the public. The first question
involved the lack of voter participation in elections. How do the
politicians suggest increasing voter turnout?

Huelskamp said some causes of low voter turnout involved recordkeeping
issues such as the death or relocation of a voter, so numbers could be
a bit misleading.

Holmes said demographic issues come into play as well. Surrounding
counties that had a higher turnout rate due, in part, to a higher age
demographic than Seward County.

Other questions were posed regarding the current high price of
gasoline. The answers centered on a lack of refineries.

"There used to be 20 refineries in Kansas. We lost 17 due to EPA
rules," Holmes said.

The refinery shortage translates into higher prices because, "out of
every three gallons of gas sold in Kansas, two are imported," he
continued.

The refinery shortage "is critical," he said. Efforts are being made
to, "put tools in place to encourage the refinery industry to return
to the state."

One of the last questions placed before the politicians sought their
opinion on what industries Liberal, as a community, should pursue and
recruit.

Morris answered, "Anything ethanol related. Ethanol is the bright star
in the future of rural Kansas with a good, long-term outlook."

He also advocates a focus on vocational education and said the state
legislature "wants to increase its involvement in vocational
education."

'Technology is our access to new opportunities," Huelskamp said. "Jobs
that were formerly restricted to the coast can now be done from
Liberal. We need to be more entrepreneur-friendly."

Holmes opts for the creation of new, higher paying jobs to lure people
back after they complete their college education.

"We have a good opportunity here with the ethanol plant," he said.

Senate advances proposal to crack down on illegal gambling

 

The Senate approved a proposal Wednesday that would crack down on
illegal gambling statewide by stepping up enforcement and enacting
stricter penalties. The Senate voted 38-11 for the bill, which would
set aside money to hire 25 more state excise enforcement officers to
investigate illegal gambling, including electronic machines sometimes
called "Cherry Masters." The legislation would also create a special
prosecutor to handle gambling cases, and would increase penalties to
include the possible revocation of licenses for selling tobacco,
alcohol or lottery products. Senate President Pro Tem David Long,
R-Fort Wayne, said Cherry Masters - which look like typical slot
machines but can be programmed to pay far less - can be found in gas
stations, truck stops and other locations children can access.
"Gambling is out of control in the state of Indiana," Long said. "This
bill truly tries to draw a line in the sand." But Sen. Robert Meeks,
R-LaGrange, said current laws against the machines have not stopped
them from thriving. While added enforcement drives the machines
underground, he said, regulating and taxing them could help the state
get control of the issue. "Let's bring that dark crime into the
light," he said. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has said he opposes a
net expansion of gambling, but has not specifically said what that
means.
Another bill being considered by the General Assembly would allow up
to 1,500 slot machines at each of Indiana's two horse racing tracks.
If both bills become law, the state would see an overall reduction in
gambling, according to Ernie Yelton, executive director of the Indiana
Gaming Commission. The bill to crack down on gambling will next return
to the House for consideration of Senate changes to the legislation.
The House could either approve the Senate version and send it to the
governor, or it could end up in a joint House-Senate conference
committee, where a compromise would be sought.

Two charged with illegal gambling at flea market

 

Two men were arrested Saturday on charges of operating an illegal
table-gambling operation and robbing three people at the
Tacony-Palmyra Flea Market, police said. Michael A. Starks, 37, of
Glassboro and Khalil Collins, 31, of Philadelphia were each charged
with multiple counts of robbery, possession of a prohibited weapon,
possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a
weapon, theft, prohibited gambling and possession of prohibited
gambling devices in connection with the robbery and gambling at the
Route 73 market, police Lt. Howard Norcross said. He said officers
went to the market at 2:52 p.m. to investigate a report of people
setting up an illegal gambling table. When officers arrived, he said,
several people "took off running" and left the market. A short while
later, police were investigating a burglary at a nearby Route 73
business when three people approached them and reported being robbed
at gunpoint by two men near the market's entrance, Norcross said.
Officers located the two men, later identified as Starks and Collins,
and took them into custody. Further investigation revealed the men
were not armed with a handgun, but that one of them had tucked a knife
in his belt and pretended it was a firearm, police said. Norcross said
officers recovered a small amount of cash in Starks and Collins'
possession. The remainder of the stolen money as well as gambling
tools and additional cash suspected to be gambling proceeds were
recovered from a vehicle parked in a nearby vacant lot. Norcross said
Saturday's incident was the first report of illegal gambling occurring
at the flea market, but that Starks and Collins are suspected of
setting up illegal gambling tables in other locations. Both men
remained lodged yesterday in Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly on
$100,000 bail, Norcross said. The case was investigated by Palmyra
officers Michael McGonigal, Robert Brown and Omar Kendel, with
assistance from officers from the Riverton Police Department and
Burlington County Bridge Commission Police.

IBLS INTERNET LAW - NEWS PORTAL

 

Player protection is the primary concern of Danish gaming law. To this
end, Denmark seeks to establish a government licensing monopoly in
lottery and betting. In addition, casino gambling is intended to be
regulated and controlled by restricting the number of operators in the
Danish casino market. The new field of Internet gambling, which has
raised much regulatory concern worldwide, is yet to be handled
separately in Danish law. Notwithstanding, Internet gambling is not
beyond the reach of Danish law as it is included by explanatory to
Article 10 of The Games, Lotteries and Betting Act. Denmark has a well
formulated legal system to address gambling activities. Applicable
statutes include, inter alia, the Lottery Prohibition Act and the Act
on Certain Games, Lotteries and Betting. Internet gambling is included
in an explanatory note to the Act but is not separately enumerated in
any statute. Denmark has yet to complete an official study on Internet
gambling. Nonetheless, there are indications that Denmark may choose
to enact separate legislation for regulating Internet gambling, thus
increasing the proliferation of laws and protecting gambling addicts.

Gambling Guide Presents New Design

 

Online gambling guide G-Gambling presents a new design with a fresh
look, user-friendly layout, and intuitive navigation. As always,
www.G-Gambling.com still focuses on serving useful and current
gambling content to players looking for the best gambling sites and
bonuses. Featured info includes website and software reviews, news,
promotion news, game guides, gambling articles, free practice games,
and more. G-Gambling's provides valuable info on all the major streams
of online gambling today: casino, poker, sports betting, and bingo.
Every section offers its relevant news and content in a convenient
design, created to help visitors to find the information they need as
quickly and as efficiently as possibly. The Casino portal recommends
the best online casinos, hand-picked for offering superior game
experience, reliable customer support, and an overall safe and
entertaining real money play. Located at
http://www.G-Gambling.com/Casino.html the casino pages also feature
over 250 casino reviews, casino news and bonuses, and a wide selection
of games guides, tips, and strategies for popular games including
blackjack, roulette, video poker and other games that you can also
play for free on G-Gambling. G-Gambling's poker portal, also providing
over 100 reviews, features a wide range of guides and strategies
focusing on the most popular poker game online, Texas Hold'em Poker.
The articles, written by renowned gaming authors and available at
http://www.G-Gambling.com/Poker.html, offer both beginners guides and
strategies for games and poker tournaments. Of course, other poker
games such as Omaha and 7 Card Stud are also covered in the guides and
articles. The poker news section is one of the most frequently updated
parts of the site, with non-stop updates about free rolls, guaranteed
events, and special events such as WSOP qualifiers and lucrative
tournaments. The Sports Betting portal features recommended
sportsbooks that provide up to date wagering lines on all major sports
and leagues from all over the world. The Bingo pages include over 60
reviews, as well as a list of the best bingo sites, selected by their
games, promotions, and active communities. In addition to the existing
informative portals, G-Gambling is also planning to launch a
backgammon portal, to cater for the needs of this new and fast growing
community of players, which in the mean time can find several site
reviews and guides. G-Gambling's new design is another step in its
mission to be the best gambling info source for online players looking
for the best casino, poker room, sportsbook, or bingo sites.
G-Gambling's news and promotions coverage updates frequently and is
also available via RSS feed. Visitors and site members are recommended
to return often to catch the latest additions to the articles and
reviews, and check for updates on bonuses and the top ten lists, to
make sure you get the best gambling experience on the internet.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Judge among gambling arrests in Clayton County

 

The raid on the Poker Palace in the 8600 block of Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro was the second high-profile bust of a metro Atlanta poker game in as many nights. This one came after a month of undercover surveillance by the Clayton County Sheriff's Office Joint Vice Task Unit, sheriff's spokesman Jonathan Newton said in a press release. According to the release, a Clayton Magistrate Court judge was arrested in the raid. The names of the judge and others arrested have not been released. Newton said in the release that there had also been a "brash attempt to bribe Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill to protect the operation." In the release, Hill said, "the sheriff's office is not for sale and those who wish to do any illegal activities in Clayton County will face the same consequences with no hope of safety." Hill planned to release further details on the raid and arrests at a 10 a.m. press conference. Monday night, Roswell police arrested 27 people at a weekly poker party at a home in a neighborhood off Holcomb Bridge Road.  Roswell police said players from as far away as Pittsburgh, Pa., Savannah and Macon paid $10,000 to get into the Texas Hold 'em game being played in the basement of a home on Nesbit Ridge Drive. That raid capped a six-month investigation initiated after some neighbors complained about the traffic in the otherwise quiet subdivision of 39 homes.

PartyGaming to Pull Gambling Site Access

 

Online gambling company PartyGaming PLC said Wednesday it will no longer allow customers in Turkey to access its gambling sites after legislation was passed prohibiting online gaming offered by unauthorized domestic or foreign companies. The company, which pulled out of the lucrative U.S. market in October after the government shut down the industry there, said that revenue from customers in Turkey does not represent a significant amount of its revenue. PartyGaming "has now taken all reasonable steps to ensure that customers in Turkey are denied access to any of the group's gaming sites," the company said in a statement. The shares rose 4 percent to 58.5 pence (US$1.15; euro0.85) on the London Stock Exchange. Last month, PartyGaming reported a 56 percent plunge in annual net profits following the U.S. government's decision to ban Internet gambling, but said its attempts to find revenue elsewhere were beginning to bear fruit.

Labor is throwing its weight behind gambling compact

 

Organized labor today will announce its support for one of five big Indian gambling agreements that were blocked last year by Assembly Democrats, largely at the request of state and national labor leaders. AdvertisementArt Pulaski, executive secretary of the California Labor Federation, said in an interview yesterday that the organization would endorse a compact negotiated by the San Manuel band of San Bernardino County. Now that the influential labor federation is supporting the agreement, Pulaski said, he expected it would be ratified by the Assembly. The Senate has signaled its apparent willingness to approve all five compacts, which would authorize 22,500 more slots and generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the tribes and the state. Labor decided to back San Manuel's compact because the tribe had a collective bargaining agreement with the Communication Workers of America, Pulaski said. "As we have said consistently, we support the tribes," Pulaski said. "We just want to be able to have worker protections and they do there." The development could increase the pressure on the other four tribes – Sycuan of El Cajon, Pechanga of Temecula, Morongo of east Riverside County and Agua Caliente of Palm Springs – to reach some accord with labor before their pending deals are positioned for final legislative votes. Unions lead by UNITE HERE have been pushing for compact language that would require what's known as card-check neutrality, the ability to establish a union by signing up a majority of workers without interference from an employer. A number of earlier compacts negotiated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger included that stronger labor provision. The pending deals do not. At a Senate committee hearing yesterday on the Agua Caliente and Morongo compacts, leaders of both tribes said UNITE HERE has not attempted to exercise its right to organize casino workers under terms negotiated in their existing 1999 compacts. The communications workers union no longer organizes casino workers in California under a truce negotiated by national labor leaders. Nonetheless, the communications workers and San Manuel just concluded negotiations on a new, three-year contract.

"Labor seems to be the undercurrent for a lot of this discussion and it's an area where the tribe doesn't feel it has any issues," said Jake Coin, San Manuel's communications director.

The Senate Governmental Organization Committee will hold hearings today on San Manuel's compact, as well as those for Sycuan and Pechanga. Senate floor votes are expected to follow soon.

Authorities make gambling arrests in Clayton County

 

The Clayton County Sheriff's Office has suspects in custody following a gambling raid early today at The Poker Palace on Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro. A Clayton County Magistrate Court judge is among those arrested, but authorities have NOT released the judge's name. The raid was conducted about 2 a-m today. Sheriff Victor Hill says the raid followed more than a month of undercover surveillance by the department's Joint Vice Task Force. The sheriff will comment on the raid at 10 a-m at the sheriff's office. The Clayton County raid comes after Roswell police arrested 27 people Monday night in a high-stakes, invitation-only gambling raid. Police say players had to go online and register and then receive an invitation. Participants had to put down ten-thousand dollars in order to get into the house where the game of Texas Hold 'em poker was being played.

House Bans Gambling From Budget Debate

 

House Speaker Sal DiMasi said proposals to expand gambling should be subject to hearings, rather than passed during a quick floor vote. DiMasi opposes expanding legal gambling beyond the Massachusetts Lottery and the state's four racetracks. Gov. Deval Patrick said he hasn't taken a position on expanding gambling. His administration is reviewing the issue but won't have a recommendation until August. The Mashpee Wampanoag Indians hope to build a casino should the state expands legalized gambling. The Wampanoags received federal recognition as a tribe on Feb. 15, and they've been lobbying at the Statehouse for legislation allowing them to build a casino.

135,000 Belgians have a gambling problem

 

Vincent Hotyat, director of the National Lottery, says that about 135,000 Belgians are addicted to gambling. He says the players put a heavy burden on the social security system "because too much gambling leads to stealing, loss of employment, divorce and even to a suicide attempt in 15 percent of cases." The 135,000 people with a gambling addiction do not limit themselves to the National Lottery games, Hotvat says. Beginning next week the National Lottery will start an awareness campaign under the motto "Because playing should still be fun. Know your limits." The slogan will also be on scratch-off cards since they are reputedly the most addictive games of chance.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Former WCW Star Disco Inferno Arrested For Illegal Gambling

 

Former WCW and TNA star Disco Inferno Glen Gilberti was among those arrested
late Monday night during a gambling bust involving high stakes no limit
hold-em poker in Roswell, Georgia. Local police had been investigating the
gambling ring for six months after complaints from neighbors about the
amount of people coming to and from the home. Gamblers would have to pay a
fee of $10,000 to get into the game with the basement of a home on Nesbit
Ridge Drive converted to look like a casino. Players would sign up and pay a
$10,000 entrance fee online, then receive an invitation to location of the
game. A game was ongoing during the bust with some found holding poker chips
and waitresses serving drinks. Roswell police Sgt. B.C. Brackett told the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "I've been with the city for going on 27
years, and I've not seen an operation like this in my tenure." 27 people
were arrested with two, Gilberti and an accomplice, charged with felony
gambling charges. The others were expected to be charged with misdemeanors.
20 cars, one of which contained over 200 ecstacy pills, were also impounded.
The gambling bust made all of the local newscasts and newspapers in the
Atlanta market, but at this point, Gilberti's past as a professional
wrestler has not been noted. Gilberti, doing his 1970s Disco throwback
character as a takeoff of John Travolta in "Staying Alive" was a regular
with World Championship Wrestling from the mid-1990s to the end of the
company when it was sold to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2001. Gilberti
became a TNA regular and was with the company for much of its run in
Nashville, TN as a weekly PPV series. He received a tryout as an agent for
TNA last year as well but wasn't hired for the position.

Sebelius to sign gambling in Wichita

 

Sebelius plans to hold bill signings across the state to mark the event,
according to a news release Monday. Sebelius will first sign the bill in
Wichita at 9:15 a.m., at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport, then fly to Dodge
City where she'll hold a bill signing at 10:30. She will then visit The
Woodlands in Kansas City for another bill signing at 12:30 p.m., and her
final bill signing will be held in Cherokee County at 2:30 p.m.. The Kansas
House has approved a measure that would allow casinos and slot machines at
dog and horse tracks. The 64-58 vote this mornign gives supporters of
expanded gambling the hope that they could end 15 years of legislative
failures. Backers of the measure say the state eventually could realize $200
million dollars a year from the hotel-and-casino complexes and tracks with
slots.
The bill would permit large tourist-attracting casinos in Ford County,
Wyandotte County, either Sedgwick or Sumner county, and either Crawford or
Cherokee counties. It also would allow 22-hundred slot machines initially,
at Wichita Greyhound Park; the Woodlands in Kansas City, Kansas, and the
now-closed Camptown Greyhound Park, in Frontenac. Sedgwick County voters
will either approve or reject a destination casino during a scheduled Aug. 7
vote. If Sedgwick County gets a casino, 22 percent of profits would go to
the state. The county would get two percent, while neighboring Sumner County
would get one percent. The bill also requires two percent to be put towards
gambling addiction treatment programs.

Gov. Riley speaks out against proposed gambling bill

 

Governor Bob Riley is fighting back against a move to expand gambling in the
state. The House is expected to consider a proposed constitutional amendment
today that would legalize electronic gambling in Birmingham and Mobile.
Riley says the proposal would overturn the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling
that any slot machine-style operation is illegal. He said he's --quote--
"totally against" the bill because it would let gambling operators run their
businesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week even on Sundays, Christmas and
Easter.

Mobile gambling company rejected

 

An Assembly panel voted for a casino regulation measure that left out a
business expansion amendment sought by a company that led the 2005 effort to
legalize hand-held, wireless gambling devices in Nevada. The Judiciary
Committee voted on Monday for AB535, a bill sought by the state Gaming
Control Board, minus changes sought by Phil Flaherty of Cantor Fitzgerald LP
which would have made clear that licensed wireless device companies could
run race and sports book operations. The change was opposed by Leroy's Race
and Sports Book and the Club Cal Neva, which combined have about 100 legal
race-sports betting operations around the state -- and which also have
existing casinos as their base, in line with existing state rules. Control
Board Chairman Dennis Neilander also expressed concerns about the Cantor
amendment, saying he didn't want AB535 weighted down with other changes. He
added that Cantor might want "to find another horse to ride." Attorney Bob
Faiss, representing Cantor, said after the committee hearing that Monday's
hearing was the first chance Cantor had to present its proposal, and
committees are under pressure to complete work on many bills by Friday.
Asked whether Cantor would try to attach the amendment to another measure or
to AB535 once it moves from the Assembly to Senate, Faiss added, "We're
evaluating the situation." Mike Alonso, representing Reno's Club Cal Neva,
said Cantor should have to meet the same requirements of other race and
sports bet businesses, which is to have a casino as a base of operations.
"It unlevels the playing field from our standpoint," Alonso said of the
proposed amendment. With the amendment, Alonso said wireless device
companies could have run race and sports books without even having a mobile
gambling device that has won final approval from regulators. Keith Lee,
representing Leroy's, also opposed the amendment, saying it would let
wireless companies get around the existing requirement for a "bricks and
mortar" casino operation. Flaherty said Cantor, the first of three companies
now licensed for wireless gambling devices in Nevada, is preparing its
product for final testing. He said that when casino executives discuss use
of the devices they also want to know about race and sports book services.
Cantor already is involved in such betting in England.

Split Lake County board backs gambling resolution

 

Despite pressure from religious leaders and other gambling foes, the Lake
County Board today approved a resolution requesting a percentage of revenue
if Waukegan gets a casino. The proposal, amended on the boardroom floor
before the 13-8 vote, does not specifically back establishment of a casino
in Waukegan. That's a distinction several board members made during a
lengthy discussion, insisting the county should get funding for additional
police, transportation and social services if a casino opens. "I'm a
realist," said Mundelein-area Republican Diana O'Kelly, who sponsored the
amendments. "If this comes to Lake County, we are going to have to supply
some services." That argument didn't fly with those on the board who said
the measure - requested by local legislators - amounted to an endorsement of
gambling expansion. "We're being leveraged and used," said Lake Barrington
Republican Stevenson Mountsier. "With gambling, more people have to lose
than win for there to be tax revenue," added board member Michael Talbett, a
Lake Zurich Republican. "There's got to be a better way to raise that
revenue than this way."

Gambling and the taxpayers pay

 

It took a while, a long, long while apparently, for the city of West Linn to
notice that their former finance director, Elma Magkamit, now serving an
eight-year prison sentence, was stealing big-time from that Portland suburb.
It turns out that she got away with $1.4 million before being stopped and,
according to press reports, West Linn is able to recover only $250,000 of
the total amount she took to feed her gambling addiction and spending on
life-style excesses. I have three matters to discuss regarding this case.
The three related topics initially made me mad and I've simply gotten more
angry the longer I've thought about them: Related topic #1. The city got
about one-sixth of its money back through sale of Ms. Magkamit's ill-gotten
purchases; so, taxpayers there will make up the difference. Meanwhile,
information on the city's status informs us that their bond rating took a
hit and it's believed a police levy was rejected because of Ms. Magkamit's
thievery. What causes me to feel contempt in this instance is that it would
appear Ms. Magkamit was able to do what she did while unsupervised or very
poorly supervised by West Linn public officials. My point here is that
someone, perhaps several high-level city employees, didn't perform their
management responsibilities and should be cell mates with Ms. Magkamit.
Related topic #2. Elma Magkamit's sentence entails eight years in an Oregon
prison. Who will pay for her keep while she's there? You and me, that's who.
Essentially, taxpayers are paying for her taking of tax dollars for her
private use and now for her keep in prison. Her sentence should have
included restitution for the remainder of the money she stole from the city,
the cost of her 8-year incarceration, and a file that would follow her when
she gets out of prison so she will be barred from ever working again for a
public entity at any level. When my emotions reign, I'd like to learn after
her release that she's able only to find work breaking up boulders in a rock
quarry at minimum wage. However, I know that a minimum wage job wouldn't pay
back the money she filched and the cost of her 8-years in the hoosegow.
Related topic #3. Spirit Mountain was the big winner of the $14 million Ms.
Magkamit stole. This Indian-owned casino makes an ongoing effort through
advertising to make itself look good; if we believe its promotional
material, it's a benevolent and responsible citizen. Spirit Mountain's
refusal to give even a dime of the money back to the city of West Linn, when
Spirit Mountain now knows that this money was stolen, is a look inside the
way the people who run that place really think and what their values
represent. The public trust be damned and profit over principle is what it
comes down to with these folks. It's a shameful display of greed and one
that will keep me from patronizing the place again. So, there you have it.
One citizen's reaction to a page from a major state player's game plan in
this sad and sick story where lack of accountability and responsibility
stand tall while the menace of gambling to the welfare of the people who
live in this state are laid out for anyone who takes exception to Ms.
Magkamit's thievery to see and think about. People may rationalize their
willingness to give money to profit a money-mad casino while they won't
support the state's higher education system and a whole host of other public
services. I'll be damned if I'm joining them in this reckless and
irresponsible behavior.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Woman kills sister-in-law for $2,000, goes gambling

 

Jenny Huynh needed a bankroll to go gambling, so she robbed her
sister-in-law and killed her to keep her quiet, Chicago Police said Monday.
On April 5, Huynh forced Kein Tran to open a safe in her home at 1442 W.
Olive and stole at least $2,000. Huynh allegedly stabbed Tran to death and
went gambling. Jenny Huynh, 48, of Chicago, is charged with the murder of
her sister-in-law Kien Tran in the Edgewater neighborhood. Tran, 56, is
survived by her husband, a restaurant owner, and two children. Huynh, 48,
confessed on videotape, police said. Tran's wallet, credit cards and
clothing were recovered in Lake County. She allegedly told police she tossed
the knife into the Fox River. "I know she has a gambling problem, but this
really surprises me," said Michelle Duong, manager of Nails Now in
Mundelein, who fired her last week for doing a poor job as a nail
technician. Huynh, a Vietnamese immigrant, suffers from depression, her
lawyer said.

Several proposals on the table would change Iowa gambling

 

Last week was the second major "funnel week" of this year's legislative
session. All Senate files that had been passed by the Senate and assigned to
a House committee had to be approved by a House committee by Friday or were
technically not eligible for consideration during the remainder of the
session. This is yet another way for us to manage the ever-growing list of
introduced bills in both chambers. Topics which fall under this funnel
include the statewide cable franchise bill, the expansion of the civil
rights code to include "sexual orientation and gender identity," and several
bills dealing with gambling issues. All of these made it through the funnel
by being voted out of committee. While many of these issues have received
significant media attention, not much has been said about the proposed
legislation dealing with gaming issues. As a member of the House State
Government Committee, I have the opportunity to spend considerable time on
the issue of gambling regulation since all of the bills dealing with this
topic come before the State Government Committee. One of the bills would
eliminate the requirement that gambling boats be located on water. In
reality, these boats are permanent facilities that in some cases simply
hover over a very small "bladder" of water, and are not placed on a
significant body of water. This is a marked departure from the rules that
went into effect when gaming boats were approved in the early 1990s. Over
the years, the restrictions on these facilities have loosened where today
they no longer cruise on water and often don't look like riverboats. Another
bill that made its way through the funnel would, over time, eliminate the
referendum required of the voters every eight years, regarding the ongoing
operations of a gambling facility. As an example, Prairie Meadows must go to
the voters of Polk County every eight years to receive an affirmative vote
to continue for another eight years. This bill would change that process.
Under the bill, if a proposition to operate gambling games on a riverboat or
in a casino has received an approval vote of 60 percent in two successive
elections within the county, the proposition to allow gambling would not
have to go before the voters in subsequent elections. After 15 years, if a
group of voters petitioned to have the issue placed on the ballot, it could
then be brought up for another authorizing vote. Proponents of this bill say
it is needed to help get long-term financing for capital improvements and an
eight-year window of time doesn't meet the guidelines of most financial
institutions.

And yet another gaming bill expands what can be considered legal gambling
during weekly card nights that take place at a veteran organization's
meetings and also allows for the awarding of cash prizes during annual game
nights for certain organizations. This bill goes much further than what has
been considered in the past and could be interpreted as a large-scale
expansion of gambling in Iowa.

So, what do you think about these three bills? Should we eliminate the
requirement that gambling facilities in boats need to be on water?

Should we reduce the number of referendums on gambling operations if a
county passes the referendum two consecutive times? And, should we offer
veterans groups and other nonprofit organizations the opportunity to enhance
gaming prizes? I'm interested in your thoughts on these, and any other bills
of interest to you.

Nearly 30 people arrested in Roswell gambling raid

 

The suspected gambling operation was in a home near Centennial High School.
The arrests made Monday night were the result of a six-month investigation
into commercial gambling, police said. Players had to go online and register
and then receive an invitation to the game, police said. Participants also
had to put down $10,000 to get into the house where the poker game was being
played. Officers found a game in progress and some people were holding money
and some were holding poker chips when they entered the house, Roswell
police Sgt. B.C. Brackett said. Two women hired to serve drinks were among
those arrested. Officers began an investigation after neighbors in the quiet
neighborhood complained about traffic. More than 20 cars were impounded
after the raid. Officers found two guns and in one car found 200 pills of
suspected ecstasy. Most of the players will face misdemeanor charges.

How I battled gambling addiction

 

Badman spent 26 days at Tony Adams' Sporting Chance clinic last month after
finally admitting to family and friends he had a gambling problem. The
27-year-old checked himself out of the clinic last Friday, but is still
receiving support from chief executive Peter Kay and his team of
counsellors. Badman made his Bluebirds comeback as a second half substitute
in Saturday's 3-1 victory over Yate Town, and was an unused substitute in
today's 1-0 derby defeat to Bath City. After the match, Badman was open and
honest about a turbulent recent chapter in is life he is now keen to close
the book on.

Bill may include gambling loophole

 

As Gov. Kathleen Sebelius prepares to sign into law the casino and slots
bill, opponents of the legislation said Monday that it may contain hidden
provisions to expand gambling even further. Glenn Thompson, executive
director of the anti-gambling group Stand Up for Kansas, said that under the
bill, future Legislatures could put video slot machines in convenience
stores, grocery stores and other places without having to get voters'
approval. "They could use this question later to place machines at locations
other than racetracks," Thompson said. Thompson is referring to a part of
the bill that calls for a vote in counties that can have state-owned
casinos, slots at pari-mutuel tracks or both. In those counties, voters must
approve resolutions before expanded gambling can be established. For
example, Wyandotte County voters can decide whether to have a casino, slots
or both at The Woodlands horse and dog track. To have slots at The
Woodlands, voters will be asked: "Shall the Kansas Lottery be authorized to
place electronic gaming machines in Wyandotte County?" Thompson says if
Wyandotte County voters approve that resolution, lawmakers could in future
years rewrite the gambling law to say those machines can be placed in other
locations, such as convenience stores, and there would be no need for an
election because the voters already would have decided.

Poland to regulate online gambling

 

The Polish government is to introduce laws legalising online gaming which
will include new regulations to license and tax companies, according to a
report in Polish newspaper the Warsaw Voice. The report said that the
eastern European country has decided to change the current laws to "meet the
needs of the growing industry," and will be implemented by September. The
paper also noted that Poland's decision follows the EU ruling for online
gambling in the Placanica case by the European Court of Justice in March,
2007. The court ruled that Italy cannot use criminal law to ban gambling
companies licensed in another EU nation from taking bets in Italy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Gambling Wife Charged

 

Judy Lea Fairbanks, 52, of Bellevue, Neb., was charged Saturday after she
was found gambling at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs. Police said
she left her husband in the car and taped a sign to the window, which said
"I have a disability. Do not be alarmed. I am resting. Please do not call
security." Fairbanks' husband cannot speak or care for himself, the police
report said. Officials estimate he had been left in the vehicle on the third
floor of the parking garage for about an hour before he was discovered
sleeping in the front passenger seat. The temperature was about 28 degrees
at the time, according to the National Weather Service.
An investigation revealed the same couple was involved in a similar incident
on March 6. Judy Fairbanks was arrested, charged with neglect and
transported to jail.

Tribe's Hard Rock Deal Jibes With Past

 

The Seminole Tribe of Florida fought the U.S. Army in the 1800s and resisted
forced migration to Oklahoma. A century later, they rescued themselves from
poverty by becoming the first tribe to venture into the gambling business.
Now is the time for an ambitious new challenge - being the first American
Indian tribe to buy a global company. The Seminoles finished their $965
million purchase of Hard Rock International's restaurants, hotels and
related businesses from U.K.-based The Rank Group PLC on March 5. Its 3,300
members are now in the position to add to their already impressive wealth.
But the acquisition also speaks to something deeper, a respect for an
ancestry of "unconquered warriors" whose kin are motivated by history and
preserving their culture. "I don't think the measure of how much money comes
in to the tribe is the benchmark," tribe Vice Chairman Max Osceola said. "I
think the measurement is what you do with it. Money only buys convenience.
It doesn't buy character."

Get rid of Online Gambling Restrictions

 

The U.S. doesn't mind the lottery, but when it comes to sports betting
across interstate or international boundaries, all bets are off. They
shouldn't be. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, former British colonies on the eastern
edge of the Caribbean Sea, are smaller than Los Angeles and less populous
than Burbank. Yet they may be able to force the world's most powerful
government to change its gambling laws. Not since 1960 has it been legal
under federal law to place or take bets on sports using interstate or
international phone lines. The Federal Wire Act of 1961 and subsequent
measures also have been interpreted to ban online gambling as well, or at
least gambling on sports. At issue is whether those laws constitute
"arbitrary and unjustifiable discrimination" against foreign firms. Do they?
Antigua and Barbuda argue that they do - and the World Trade Organization
agrees. So do we. Realistically, the ban has had little effect. It hasn't
stopped Americans from betting (and losing) millions of dollars at online
casinos and bookmaking operations based in other countries. Nevertheless,
U.S. policy has irritated many of its trading partners, including Antigua
and Barbuda, which asked the WTO in 2003 to rule that U.S. gambling
restrictions violated an international treaty governing trade in services.
Eventually, in 2005, a WTO appeals panel accepted the U.S. argument that its
gambling restrictions were needed to protect public order and morals. But by
permitting off-track betting parlors in the U.S., the WTO ruled, Congress
created an exception to the ban on remote gambling that discriminated
against foreign bookmakers. After two more years of wrangling over what the
panel's order meant, a WTO tribunal ruled late last month that the U.S.
remained out of compliance. So the U.S. faces trade sanctions from the WTO
unless Congress does one of two things: Either acknowledge that betting on
horses from overseas is no greater threat to the nation's moral fiber than
it is at an OTB parlor, or make OTB parlors illegal. Maybe it doesn't have
the stomach for either. If so, then Antigua and Barbuda may want to ask the
WTO to ponder why allowing the interstate sale of lottery tickets - a form
of state-sponsored gambling - is any less hypocritical than the U.S. stance
on thoroughbreds and trotters.

Investing Isn't Gambling, Though Both Carry Risk

 

WALK INTO ANY casino and you'll see an army of people pumping dollars into
slot machines full well knowing they're going to lose. We feed slot machines
because they're fun; even I have lost a few dollars to the slots at Las
Vegas' McCarran Airport, which is notorious for having the worst odds in
town. Of course, we don't gamble for the money. The roll of a roulette wheel
is exciting, and for a few brief moments, we revel in the adrenaline rush of
a fantasy payoff. Gambling isn't investing...it's entertainment. The primary
difference between the gambler and investor is that the gambler does not
provide an economic function beyond his own enjoyment. Keno is a cheap
thrill, but when you buy a stock, even for a few hours' time, you are
providing a vital economic function by supplying liquidity to the
marketplace. If you bought, someone else sold. Capital is allocated,
reallocated, and the market - and thus society - is more productive and
efficient. There's also a legitimate transfer of ownership. Buy one share of
McDonald's (MCD: 46.52, +0.74, +1.6%), and you indeed become Grimace's boss.
You can vote your proxy, attend the annual meeting and pester the investor
relations department to your heart's content. Of course, with 1.2 billion
shares outstanding, don't expect one share entitles you to march down to
Ronald's office and demand a meeting with Mayor McCheese. Regardless, an
economic function is served. As we've often pointed out, the world depends
on the profit-seeking speculator looking for nothing else than to make a
buck. Free and vibrant markets are the best indication of a just and healthy
society. Even "bad" bets have economic merit, such as the subprime mortgages
that have collapsed in value and are now under increasing scrutiny by
suspicious government regulators. No matter how foolish or lax the lending
terms look in hindsight, they provided huge economic value. Subprime loans
allowed literally millions of people who otherwise would have never gotten a
loan to buy homes. Yes, the investors (gamblers?) took a risk by buying the
risky paper. But money was loaned, and homes did get built and occupied. The
same could be said about Pets.com, Kozmo or any other bubble-era flop.
Billions were lost, but they were invested in something, not just
transferred from one party to another based on the throw of the dice. So the
investor takes a risk...but the gambler invents it. "Playing" the slots is
not akin to "playing" the stock market. There is no skill involved in
picking a random number. There is no technique in pulling the handle on a
one-armed bandit. Even in table games like blackjack, "perfect" play still
puts the odds of success on the house's side.

Veteran rips state gambling policies

 

Absolutely ridiculous!" "Hypocritical!" "You're out of your mind!" "Your
service to us stinks!" Those barbed words were uttered at Saturday's town
meeting in Decatur with State Sen. Dave Ford of Hartford City and State Rep.
Mike Ripley of Monroe over the issue of gambling. Approximately 20 people
attended the event at Decatur Public Library. The lay-it-on-the-line speaker
was Art Adam of Preble, who was quite upset that the legislature is
debating, discussing, and deciding whether to allow 3,000 slot machines to
be placed at the state's two horse-racing tracks, yet police still conduct
raids to confiscate Cherry Master devices from private premises. "It just
doesn't fit," said Adam, adding that the removal of Cherry Masters from
American Legion Post 43 in Decatur led to layoffs of workers there, since
income was taken away. Adam strenuously urged Ford and Ripley to take action
to end the "hypocrisy." Said Adam, "Do something about it!" He also called
upon Ripley and Ford to represent ordinary people, not just the millionaires
in the gambling business. Ford explained that he voted this year against
expanding gambling by placing 1,500 slot machines at each of the horse
tracks (in Anderson and Shelbyville), although that bill was passed in the
Senate, 27-21. The veteran senator said that bill calls for those seeking to
set up the slot machines to pay $400 million as a licensing fee for each
location and such people would not bat an eye over paying $800 million. Ford
said the idea to put slot machines at the racetracks is supposed to be a way
to attract more people there or, as he put it, "increasing gambling to
support gambling," which he called "strange" reasoning. He also made fun of
the gambling vessel at landlocked French Lick, pointing out that the
"riverboat" is parked in a "mud puddle."

Voters should have final say on more gambling casinos

 

The Maine Legislature is now considering a citizen-initiated bill for a
major expansion of gambling in Maine. LD 805 will double the number of slot
machines in the state, allow the Passamaquoddy Tribe for the first time to
conduct high-stakes beano off their reservation, and expand off-track
betting. Instead of rejecting the bill and sending it to the voters - as
they do with most citizen-initiated bills - legislators are being pressured
to simply pass the measure outright, even over the governor's threatened
veto. This would be a big mistake and set a dangerous precedent for the
Legislature and for Maine. The proponents of the Washington County racetrack
casino collected 50,000 signatures to get the question on a referendum
ballot, and that's where it belongs. Every major proposal to expand casino
gambling in Maine has always gone to the voters. LD 805 should be no
different. If the Legislature simply passes the citizen-initiated bill, what
will its response be when it is presented with 50,000 signatures from
another group - a social club or Scarborough Downs? How could the
Legislature turn down one group but not another? That's why the question of
whether Maine should have another racetrack casino should go to the voters.
Proponents have argued that voters already approved two racetrack casinos
when they adopted a measure in 2003 that paved the way for Hollywood Slots
in Bangor. Not true. The 2003 vote was very specific. It allowed for slot
machines at Maine's two existing harness racing tracks as long as the local
communities gave the OK. Bangor said yes, Scarborough said no. End of story.
Nowhere in the 2003 measure did it suggest that a brand new racetrack casino
could be built somewhere else in Maine where gambling has never taken place,
along with 1,500 slot machines, off-track betting and high-stakes beano. LD
805 is an entirely new proposal and requires a new vote. Proponents have
also argued that the decision on a racetrack casino should be left up to the
voters of Washington County, and the rest of Maine should just butt out.
This is disingenuous and even hypocritical. I don't recall them making this
argument in 2000 when there was a statewide referendum to put slot machines
at Scarborough Downs. Did anyone suggest that decision should be left
entirely to voters in Cumberland County? In fact, Washington County voted
with the majority of Maine voters in rejecting that measure. Three years
later, Washington County voters again rejected slot machines at the proposed
Sanford casino. So having voted twice to prohibit slot machines in southern
Maine, some Washington County residents and elected leaders are now saying
they want slot machines for their community and southern Maine shouldn't
have a say. Maybe they should have thought of that before they circulated a
petition for a statewide referendum. Of course, there are plenty of other
reasons for rejecting this latest proposal for a racetrack casino. Slot
machines fleece people. They are inherently fraudulent. At no time will the
casino patrons walk away with more money in their pockets than what the
casino owners will rake in. That's the very definition of a rigged game. If
the FDA regulated slot machines like they do diet pills and baldness cures,
slot machines would be permanently outlawed. You've heard the expression,
"The house always wins." That's exactly right. The casino operators always
win. Imagine if every time the Red Sox played the Yankees we knew ahead of
time that the Yankees were going to win, and they always did. Fans would be
outraged. Elected officials would call for Congressional investigations into
how the games were fixed. But for some reason, many Maine legislators are
willing to ignore this when it comes to casinos and will eagerly grant a
license to allow big corporations and special interests to fleece people.
And Washington County - which continues to suffer from high unemployment,
poverty and addiction - is the worst place for a casino. A casino won't
solve these problems; it will only make them worse.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Five arrested in Sumter County gambling raids

 

Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis says a recent raid that broke up six
illegal gambling rooms is just the "tip of the iceberg" and more arrests
could follow. Last week's raid netted 30 illegal video gambling machines
found in the back rooms of businesses and in private homes and more than
$3,000 in cash. Five people were arrested. Investigators said the problems
are not specific to Sumter but are statewide. Last week, a former
Spartanburg County fire captain and a victim advocate were charged with
running an illegal gambling operation in a convenience store.

Seminoles once again blaze trail for Indian businesses

 

The Seminole Tribe of Florida fought the U.S. Army in the 1800s and resisted
forced migration to Oklahoma. A century later, they rescued themselves from
poverty by becoming the first tribe to venture into the gambling business.
Now is the time for an ambitious new challenge: being the first American
Indian tribe to buy a global company. The Seminoles finished their $965
million purchase of Hard Rock International's restaurants, hotels and
related businesses from British-based Rank Group PLC on March 5. Its 3,300
members are in the position to add to their already impressive wealth. The
acquisition also speaks to something deeper: a respect for an ancestry of
"unconquered warriors," whose kin are motivated by history and preserving
their culture. "I don't think the measure of how much money comes into the
tribe is the benchmark," tribe Vice Chairman Max Osceola said. "I think the
measurement is what you do with it. Money only buys convenience. It doesn't
buy character." American Indian tribes are profiting from gambling, and
Florida is where it all began. The Seminoles became the first U.S. tribe to
offer high-stakes gambling in 1979, when they opened a bingo hall in
Hollywood, Fla. The bingo hall survived several court challenges, and in
1988 Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which established
federal regulatory authority and standards. Since then, Indian gambling has
greatly expanded. It generated $22.6 billion in revenue in 2005, up 14.6
percent from the previous year, according to the Indian Gaming Industry
Report by Alan Meister, an economist with Analysis Group. Florida's
tribes -- the Seminoles and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians -- were sixth
highest-grossing, with more than $1.26 billion in revenue in 2005, up 36.1
percent from 2004, the study showed. The Seminoles account for a large chunk
of the state's Indian gambling revenue, and 90 percent of their budget comes
from gambling. They have seven casinos, including the thriving Hard Rock
Hotel and Casinos in Hollywood and Tampa.

Second Life Gambling - Now The Feds Are Checking The Avatars

 

US authorities are investigating gambling in the virtual reality world of
Second Life. The FBI has reportedly examined casinos that operate in the
game following a month-long crackdown on internet gambling. "We have invited
the FBI several times to take a look around in Second Life and raise any
concerns they would like, and we know of at least one instance that federal
agents did look around in a virtual casino," Linden Lab's vice president
Ginsu Yoon told the Reuters news agency. Linden Lab operates the
phenomenally successful online service. There are hundreds of casinos
operating in Second Life, but Linden Lab said that it had not received clear
guidance on gambling within the game. Second Life has its own currency, the
Linden Dollar, 250 of which are worth just one dollar. The US Department of
Justice has been operating a crackdown on internet gambling. It used a 1961
Act outlawing inter-state telephone betting whose application to online
gambling was disputed until last autumn when a new anti-gambling law was
passed.

Woman leaves husband in car while gambling, faces neglect charge

 

A Nebraska woman was charged with neglect of a dependent person after
leaving her husband unattended in a car outside a casino. Judy Lea
Fairbanks, 52, of Bellevue, Neb., was charged Saturday after she was found
gambling at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs. Police said she left her
husband in the car and taped a sign to the window, which said "I have a
disability. Do not be alarmed. I am resting. Please do not call security."
Fairbanks' husband cannot speak or care for himself, the police report said.
Officials estimate he had been left in the vehicle on the third floor of the
parking garage for about an hour before he was discovered sleeping in the
front passenger seat. The temperature was about 28 degrees at the time,
according to the National Weather Service. An investigation revealed the
same couple was involved in a similar incident on March 6. Judy Fairbanks
was arrested, charged with neglect and transported to jail.

N.J. racetracks fear losing out to gambling

 

Horse industry insiders have warned the state could lose part of the racing
industry's annual half-billion dollar impact if steps aren't taken to
compete with gambling in neighboring states. The call follows a report
released last week by the Rutgers Equine Science Center that found the
industry alone funnels $1.1 billion annually to the state's economy with
racing bringing in an additional $503 million. "It is no secret racing is
facing tough competition from neighboring states that have added gaming
operations to their racing venues," said Karyn Malinowski, director of the
Rutgers Equine Science Center. "Any further erosion of racing in New Jersey
could have disastrous consequences for the state economy and the rest of the
equine industry." Bergen County lawmakers introduced a proposal to add video
lottery terminals to the Meadowlands Racetrack to compete with gambling in
places such as Mohegan Downs outside of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. But South Jersey
legislators vowed to fight the proposal, fearing that it would hurt Atlantic
City casinos. "There's no benefit to the state," said Sen. Stephen Sweeney,
D-Gloucester. "It's a benefit to the region at the expense of another
region." State Treasurer Bradley Abelow indicated the state would study
whether placing video lottery terminals at the Meadowlands would be
detrimental to Atlantic City. But racing enthusiasts believe the move is
necessary to keep New Jersey horses here.
"We need a mechanism to sustain racing in the state long term," said Barbara
DeMarco, a lobbyist for the thoroughbred industry. Without video lottery
terminals, DeMarco said, horse breeders are more inclined to take their
animals elsewhere. "Already, decisions are being made in New Jersey," she
said. "Are we going to do what other states around New Jersey are doing and
get VLTs?" Sens. Paul Sarlo and Joseph Coniglio, both D-Bergen, have said
video lottery terminals at the Meadowlands could bring in an estimated $300
million a year.

N.E.'s Samuel gambling, and Patriots hold the cards

 

Asante Samuel is playing a high-stakes game of poker with his future in New
England. The Patriots are prepared to call his bluff. Samuel is reportedly
unhappy with the status of contract talks between he and the Patriots as the
two sides negotiate a multi-year deal to keep the 26-year-old cornerback in
New England. The Patriots put the franchise tag on Samuel in February with
the idea that they'd keep him around for one more year and give themselves
time to work on a long-term extension. If he signs the one-year tender,
Samuel will make $7.8 million in 2007 - the average of the five highest-paid
cornerbacks - but if he's genuinely unhappy, the Patriots' plan could
backfire. Chances are Samuel will sign the tender - especially since he'd be
making more than twice as much in one season than he made in his first four
seasons with the Patriots. If not, he has other options. He could hold out
until Week 10, thereby accruing another year toward free agency, or demand a
trade and see if the Patriots are willing to ship him elsewhere in exchange
for valuable draft picks, much like they did with Deion Branch last
September. Samuel's absence would create a major hole on their defense,
though the Patriots have issues to address in the secondary regardless of
whether or not he returns in 2007. Rodney Harrison will be 35 in December
and Eugene Wilson missed 12 games last year with a hamstring injury. Outside
of Ellis Hobbs, the Patriots don't have another cornerback capable of
starting on a full-time basis if Samuel forces his way out of town. Since
they spent most of their money to fill holes at wide receiver, linebacker
and running back, the Patriots will likely use this year's draft to build
depth in the defensive backfield. New England has 10 picks in the upcoming
draft, including two in the first round at 24th and 28th overall. The first
pick - obtained from Seattle in exchange for Branch - could be used on a
cornerback or safety. There's substantial depth at each position, so
there'll be plenty of players available when the Patriots are on the clock.
Expect to see several defensive backs drafted early - namely Louisiana State
safety Laron Landry, Michigan cornerback Leon Hall, Florida safety Reggie
Nelson and Pittsburgh cornerback Darrelle Revis. Landry and Hall figure to
be top 20 picks while there's a chance Revis and Nelson could drop in the
pecking order depending on draft-day trades or other events that shake up
the board. Assuming the Patriots stay at No. 24, they might have interest in
Texas cornerback Aaron Ross - if he's still available - or his former
college teammate, safety Michael Griffin. Ross, who stands at 6-foot-1 and
weighs 179 pounds, finished with six interceptions in his senior season -
his first year as a full-time starter - and won the Thorpe Award as the
nation's top defensive back. Griffin is another solid prospect who ran a
4.45 in the 40-yard dash at this year's NFL scouting combine. He and Miami's
Brandon Meriweather might be the two most underrated pass defenders in the
draft, though with Meriweather's legal problems and lack of discipline on
the field, the Patriots might be more interested in the 220-pound Griffin,
who many say hits like a safety and runs like a corner.
Cornerback Chris Houston of Arkansas and Fresno State cornerback Marcus
McCauley should also be available late in the first round - perhaps even
with the 28th pick, allowing the Patriots to use their first selection on
another position and wait until the end of the round to scoop up a defensive
back.

The Patriots drafted two players from Fresno State in 2005 and Bill
Belichick has a strong relationship with Bulldogs coach Pat Hill, so they'll
likely take a look at McCauley before making their decision. Houston - a
5-foot-11 underclassmen - left Arkansas after his junior year and is labeled
as a ball-hawk with excellent coverage skills. He ran a 4.32 at the combine
and has no trouble stopping the run.

Belichick is also close with Florida football coach Urban Meyer, but the
Gators' top defensive prospect - Nelson - is projected as a mid-round pick,
meaning the Patriots would probably have to trade up to get him. Unless they
have a player they absolutely crave, they're likely to stay put and use each
of their first-round picks to stockpile their depth.

The Patriots don't have a second-round pick, so if they want a quality
defensive back, they'll have to act fast, though it's worth noting that the
only former first-round pick in their secondary is nickel back Chad Scott.
California cornerback Daymeion Hughes and Auburn cornerback David Irons are
projected third-round picks who could be available with New England's 91st
overall selection.

The Patriots need more depth on defense whether or not Samuel stays, so his
current contract talks won't change their plans on draft day. Even if he's
traded, it probably won't happen in the next 20 days, so the Patriots will
enter the draft with Samuel penciled in as their Week 1 starter. He's
gambling with his future and - for now - the Patriots hold all the cards.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Magistrate rules cockfighting is illegal gambling

 

A federal magistrate says cockfighting is a form of illegal gambling,
delivering a legal setback to five men accused of running cockfights in
Cocke County. Defense attorney Robert Jessee argued this week that
cockfighting is a sport, similar to professional boxing, and not subject to
Tennessee's gaming laws. But Greeneville U-S Magistrate Dennis Inman ruled
yesterday that pitting roosters in a wagered fight to the death is defined
specifically as a form of gambling. Kenneth R- Frazier, his brother Allen
Eugene Frazier, George Ray Hicks, Ernest Arrowood Junior and James William
Russell are scheduled to stand trial in June. They are charged with
conducting an illegal gambling business and sponsoring or exhibiting
gamecocks in an animal-fighting venture at the 440 Cockfight Pit near
Newport. The first offense carries up to five years in prison, while the
second charge is a misdemeanor.

Former mayor arraigned

 

Turano stated the week before, that the involvement Garcia may have had in
the operation was placing infrequent bets. They are currently waiting for
the next court date to be set. The individual charges carry maximum
penalties of five to ten years in prison and additional fines of up to
$150,000. Garcia served as a state assemblyman in the 33rd District from
1993 to 2001. He also served as mayor of Union City from 1998 until he
resigned in October of 2000 following numerous public problems including a
state investigation into the practices of the now defunct Union City
Democratic Organization, which Garcia chaired, and a large tax increase in
his city. At that time, current Mayor Brian Stack had also brought forth a
movement asking for a recall election. Garcia is currently a lobbyist in
Trenton. "I certainly hope [his position] won't be in jeopardy, that would
be unfortunate," said Turano. Following the 16-month investigation, known as
"Operation Thunderbird," which was spearheaded by the Monmouth County
Prosecutor's Office and the New Jersey State Police, 47 members of the
organization were apprehended in the initial raid on March 28. Investigators
also had the cooperation and assistance of over 300 local, county, state,
and federal law enforcement agents and officers, including the Hudson County
Prosecutor's Office, in executing the arrests statewide. "The cooperation
between and among law enforcement agencies was paramount to the success in
dismantling this criminal organization," stated Monmouth County Prosecutor
Luis A. Valentin. The "Operation Thunderbird" investigation revealed that
members of the gambling enterprise were allegedly responsible for a running
sports gambling operation that served hundreds of bettors throughout New
Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The group allegedly operated from
Internet sites - managed from Costa Rica - and took bets through toll free
numbers. Between or about August 2005 to February 2007, bettors allegedly
placed over $500,000,000 worth of wages and lost over $35,000,000, or 7
percent of the total. Forty-seven arrests were made in the statewide raid on
March 28, including several individuals from throughout Hudson County in
North Bergen, Hoboken, and Secaucus. Authorities also seized over $2,000,000
in cash, an excess of $300,000 in frozen bank accounts, 14 vehicles, and one
28 foot Thunderbird Yacht Model 280S named "Risky Business" worth $130,000.
There was also a forfeiture order placed on a bay-front estate worth several
million dollars. In addition to Garcia's recent arrest, three other
individuals from New Jersey and New York were also arrested in connection
with the ongoing investigation after the initial raid. "These additional
arrests further represent our commitment to apprehend all identified agents
of this illegal enterprise and bring them to justice," stated Valentin.

Fire Captain Accused In Illegal Gambling Operation

 

Police said a former fire captain and a victim advocate face charges of
running an illegal gambling operation in Spartanburg. South Carolina Law
Enforce Division agents removed video gambling machines from Dale's Quick
Stop. The store is owned by Dale Leon Horton, a 24-year veteran public
safety officer. Debbie Ruth Sellars, the former volunteer coordinator at the
Council on Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis of Spartanburg, said that she didn't
pay out winnings on the machines. Both were released from jail Thursday on
personal recognizance bonds.

Gift Card Companies Sever Ties With Online Gambling Affiliates

 

The latest craze in the online gambling affiliate sector has been the
promotion of so-called "gift cards" or virtual Visas. That craze may be
short lived as some of these gift card providers have been notifying
affiliates that they will not permit their product to be advertised on
internet gambling-related websites. For affiliates, this serves as yet
another blow in an industry that for the past six months has grown
increasingly unstable. Many online gambling sites that once offered
lucrative affiliate programs to US-based portal sites have since left the
market. Only a handful of the "good" affiliate programs still exist. For
some affiliates it's been nothing but an uphill battle getting paid. "My
affiliate revenue has been cut by 75%," says one website owner. "It has
been a trying time I think for most people". We know of at least two online
gambling affiliates who recently suffered nervous breakdowns. "You have to
realize, some of these people went from making a cool six figure salary in
only a month's time to earning practically nothing at all." Gift cards
offered an exciting venture for online poker and casino affiliates since the
cards enjoyed a rather high acceptance rate at some internet gambling
websites and were relatively easy to obtain. Not to mention they were in
high demand. Joe Williams, a gambler from South Florida observed "Ever since
NETeller pulled out of the US market, I've noticed that our local Walgreens
cannot even keep these gift cards on their shelves." Whether there is a
correlation between these shortages and a high demand to bet at online poker
sites is not known, but gift cards certainly offered suffering affiliates a
means to recoup some losses during the first quarter of this year.

Tribe's Hard Rock Deal Jibes With Past

 

The Seminole Tribe of Florida fought the U.S. Army in the 1800s and resisted
forced migration to Oklahoma. A century later, they rescued themselves from
poverty by becoming the first tribe to venture into the gambling business.
Now is the time for an ambitious new challenge _ being the first American
Indian tribe to buy a global company. The Seminoles finished their $965
million purchase of Hard Rock International's restaurants, hotels and
related businesses from U.K.-based The Rank Group PLC on March 5. Its 3,300
members are now in the position to add to their already impressive wealth.
But the acquisition also speaks to something deeper, a respect for an
ancestry of "unconquered warriors" whose kin are motivated by history and
preserving their culture. "I don't think the measure of how much money comes
in to the tribe is the benchmark," tribe Vice Chairman Max Osceola said. "I
think the measurement is what you do with it. Money only buys convenience.
It doesn't buy character." American Indian tribes are profiting from
gambling, and Florida is where it all began. The Seminoles became the first
U.S. tribe to offer high-stakes gambling in 1979, when they opened a bingo
hall in Hollywood, Fla. The bingo hall survived several court challenges,
and in 1988, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which
established federal regulatory authority and standards. Since then, Indian
gaming has greatly expanded. It generated $22.6 billion in revenue in 2005,
up 14.6 percent from the previous year, according to the Indian Gaming
Industry Report by Alan Meister, an economist with Analysis Group. Florida's
tribes _ the Seminoles and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians _ placed sixth
among the highest grossing states with more than $1.26 billion in revenue in
2005 _ up 36.1 percent from 2004, the study showed. The Seminoles account
for a large chunk of the state's Indian gaming revenue, and 90 percent of
their budget comes from gambling. They have seven casinos, including
thriving Hard Rock Hotel and Casinos in Hollywood and Tampa.
Indian tribes do not pay corporate income taxes on tribal revenue. But for
their Hard Rock deal, the Seminoles created a separate taxpaying corporation
to own and manage Hard Rock that's subject to public disclosures. "Entering
the commercial arena would require them to disclose more information that
they already do and that's a quantum leap for many tribes," said David Katz,
gaming and lodging analyst for CIBC World Markets.

The tribe's likeliest move toward expanding Hard Rock will probably be into
commercial markets where gambling is allowed, such as Atlantic City, Katz
said. And Osceola said other gaming tribes have contacted the Seminoles to
see if they can use the Hard Rock name at their facilities.

These moves have the potential to increase the tribe's revenue, which would
only mean more prosperity for its members. But where does all that money go?

The road cuts a winding path toward the north. Buzzards swoop down and pick
at a carcass, forcing cars to swerve onto soft shoulders that give way to
canals. Cows graze in the midmorning sun, as white egrets perch on mangroves
lining the canals. In the distance stand stately cypress trees, a reminder
of the location _ Florida's Everglades.

A sign welcomes motorists to the 35,000-acre Big Cypress Seminole Indian
Reservation, established in 1936.

The Seminoles spent decades fighting the U.S. Army, and fled south to the
Everglades to avoid the forced migration known as the Trail of Tears in
1830. President Tyler ordered the end of military actions against the
Seminoles in May 1842, and the tribe never surrendered to the U.S. Army.

The Seminoles settled in the Everglades, and were mired in poverty for
decades. Tribal elders recall days when they had to hunt their own food and
lived without utilities.

The tribe sold tax-free tobacco products while also raising cattle and
growing citrus. Still, it was gambling that significantly increased the
members' yearly dividend, which the tribe won't publicly discuss. The
Associated Press reported in 2003 that each Seminole receives $42,000 a year
_ before the two Florida Hard Rock hotels and casinos got off the ground.

At a glance, the Big Cypress reservation looks like any small town. There's
a school and a day care, a gymnasium and a government building.

But there are also signals this is not a regular town. There's a long
airstrip, and a hangar holding a private jet and helicopters. Just east,
next to an abandoned bingo hall, sits an air conditioned tent housing about
40-plus slot machines. A tourist attraction allows visitors to see alligator
wrestling and journey through the Everglades on airboats and swamp buggies.

This reservation and others in the state are the final destinations for the
tribe's money. They govern themselves and pay for health services,
education, housing and public safety with a combination of tribal money and
federal assistance. But the federal involvement also leads to frequent
clashes with the government.

"Today we don't have military wars, but we have to fight what I call paper
bullets," Osceola said.

Terry Porter is principal at the Ahfachkee School, where about 150 students
from kindergarten through 12th grade learn reading, writing, math, science.
But they also require daily cultural classes, held outside under chickee
huts, where students plant crops, weave clothing, cook and learn other tasks
that fall into the Seminole tradition.

About 20 percent of the school's funding comes from the federal Bureau of
Indian Education, with the rest coming from the Seminoles. The school is
getting two new portable classrooms because of an expected rise in
enrollment.

Porter, 42, says the students are receptive to learning about the culture,
but it's a challenge in an era where technology and media pervade everyday
life.

"It's real important that we do help our children step into that modern
world, but at the same time try to help them understand to never forget
where you came from, never forget what your people went through to get you
where you're at today," Porter said.

"It's hard though because a lot of these children will not know some of
those hard times," he added. "It's kind of like getting this inheritance so
to speak, but there are people even today who know what it was like to say,
`I remember when the tribe was really struggling to stay afloat.'"

Down the road from the school is a construction site for a new public safety
building, and improvements are planned at the reservation's entertainment
complex.

There's also a museum, a historical preservation office and archive of
Seminole cultural artifacts, which are carefully overseen by Tina Osceola, a
tribe member who lives in Naples and is not related to the tribal leader.

She is considered a rising star in the tribe, which is seeking qualified
members to lead its future business efforts. She says the tribe's culture is
not disappearing with its growing wealth, but it's the responsibility of the
membership to pass along the meaning of Seminole life to members who may not
have a historical perspective.

"Compartmentalizing who a Seminole is, to where you have to be traditional
or modern, or full-blood or half-breed, or whatever those labels are, is
damaging," she said. "We have to make conscious effort at not doing that to
our own people by saying, `You weren't raised with us, you don't know what
its like to be a Seminole.'"

However, with such evolution and wealth come certain dangers. For instance,
she sees a time when the reservation will have homes in gated communities,
to keep crime out.

Max Osceola, meanwhile, said some members told him they removed tribal
stickers from their cars, citing instances where motorists tried to run them
off the road.

"There are a lot of prejudiced people in the world who hate Seminoles
already," Max Osceola said, citing what he feels is jealousy over the
tribe's wealth and Hard Rock purchase "that will just add fuel to the fire."

Still, some members say the tribe's success has created a renewed sense of
pride, an entire tribe saying it's their time to become fully
self-sufficient and control their own future.

When the Hard Rock deal was first announced in December, Max Osceola said
the following: "Our ancestors sold Manhattan for trinkets. Today, with the
acquisition of the Hard Rock Cafe, we're going to buy Manhattan back one
hamburger at a time."

Months later, that sentiment remains strong, at least from Tina Osceola's
perspective.

"You could sit and talk to a group of kids and they're going to have that
same mentality that Max has ... and that's that 'We're Seminole, we survived
against all odds, and screw you if you don't like it,'" she said. "That is
an overriding sentiment that goes above all else."

Racing and gambling may be approved, but not yet

 

Premier Su Tseng-chang yesterday dismissed media reports claiming the
government would lift a ban on car and horse racing in June. The reports
cited Chang Ching-sen, vice chairman of the Cabinet-level Council for
Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), as saying that the government may
open car and horse racing in central and southern Taiwan in June. Chang said
the CEPD, under the instruction of the Cabinet, was working with the
National Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (NCPFS) on a plan for
opening racing to boost the regional economy. Apart from car and horse
racing, the government would open a third category of racing, which,
however, had yet to be decided, Chang was cited as saying. Sports car racing
would be the first to get the greenlight because it would involve very
little revision to the law. Horse racing, which involves gambling and animal
rights issues, would have to wait longer because of the need to change the
gambling and animal protection laws, Chang said. The reported plan would
allow central and southern parts of Taiwan jump to the queue at the expense
of the outlying island county of Pengu, which has been seeking to set up
casinos there for years. The reports prompted a cautious response from Su,
as well as warnings from opposition lawmakers. Su said central and southern
parts of Taiwan may indeed offer good environments for legal racing and
gambling, but thorough planning will be needed. "For many issues (concerning
the racing), nothing has been done yet," said Su during a visit to the
southern Yunlin County, which the reports said was already planning a horse
racing course. Su said such a plan will also have to take into consideration
of the feelings of the Penghu people. Opposition lawmakers warned that
careful planning would be needed for opening racing. Lawmakers from the
People First Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union pointed out that the
Cabinet, out of political considerations, previously had objected the
Legislature's proposal to allow casinos to operate on outlying islands. The
lawmakers questioned the motives behind the Cabinet's surprise U-turn now,
saying the government must not rush the plan because of the upcoming
elections. Legislator Kuo Shu-chun, a whip of the Kuomintang, said it
sounded okay to open racing as far as sports were concerned. But without
details accompanying the latest revelation, people could not help thinking
that it was yet another election gimmick. Kuo also described the plan as a
"short-sighted" policy looking for "short-term profits," as gambling would
create criminal problems. But Legislator Wang Hsing-nan, a whip of the
ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said opening racing in the central and
southern parts of Taiwan could help bridge the gap between urban and rural
areas. Vice President Annette Lu questioned the wisdom of resorting to
gambling to boost the economy. She said she hopes the talks about legalizing
gambling were not related to plots designed to to land prices.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Summit vows to help if gambling comes to area

 

Terry Fox figured there would be casino-style gambling in the Wichita area
some day. He also dreamed of building a church north of the city. He never
thought the two could happen at the same time. "It's God's timing," the
pastor said. Just days after the Kansas Legislature approved expanded
gambling in the state, which would pave the way for a casino and slot
machines, Fox's 7-month-old Summit Church in Park City announced it had
raised enough money to pay for one acre of the prime real estate that
borders Wild West World. "Rather than criticize and complain (about
gambling), we're going to roll up our sleeves and say we're going to reach
out to you when those dark days come. . We're going to love all people at
Summit Church." The church, which draws about 600 people to Sunday worship
inside the park's Johnny Western Theatre, will eventually buy five acres in
the southwest corner of the park's 130-acre complex. It has an option to buy
more. The church wants to start building part of its "mega church" in the
next few months, and its first facility could open "in a year or so," Fox
said. "We are optimistic we will have a facility to minister to thousands of
people," Fox said. The church hopes to expand its current ministries,
including Christian counseling as well as regular programs for adults,
children and families. "We don't even have a church building yet and we're
already on the move for the Lord," Fox said. He said the church paid
"somewhere in the middle" of $2 and $10 per square foot for the acre of land
and is close to paying for the second acre. An anonymous donor matched
church funds up to $1 million to help with the project. "We didn't buy just
property," Fox said. "We bought a presence." He said the church sees
opportunities in being close to the theme park, where officials expect
500,000 visitors in the first year. Fox said the possibility of being near
gambling operations also is an opportunity for the church to serve. The
expanded-gambling bill, which Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is expected to sign,
would allow slot machines at horse and dog tracks, including Wichita
Greyhound Park just north of Wild West World. The bill also would allow
destination casinos in Sedgwick or Sumner counties, Wyandotte County,
Crawford or Cherokee counties, and Ford County.

Sedgwick County commissioners this week set Aug. 7 as the date for Sedgwick
County residents to vote whether they want it in this county, a requirement
set up in the bill.

"God directed us to be out here," Fox said. ". We believe God saw what was
happening (with gambling). We're just not smart enough to plan that."

Fox said he will continue to encourage people not to gamble, saying it's
"not a smart thing to do."

"I am mandated as a pastor to preach what God lays on my heart," he said. ".
But I don't want people to ever come to church to get beat on."

Instead, he said, he sees the church as a "lighthouse" in the "middle of a
lot of needs." It's a place, he said, where people will be cared for and
helped.

"We're going to love people, care over people and minister to people," Fox
said. "We believe Summit Church will be a blessing to this community."

The state also recognized the potential fallout from expanded gambling. In
the bill, 2 percent of the gambling revenue would go to help people who have
gambling and addiction problems.

"We would have preferred it not happen," said Fox, a longtime and vocal
opponent of expanded gambling. "But we accept God's call to be here when it
does."

Thomas Etheredge, owner of Wild West World, said he welcomed Summit Church
as an "integral" part of the commercial development around the park.

Las Vegas pitch to NBA holds the line on gambling

 

Local officials made no offer to restrict betting on NBA teams in a pitch
for a franchise sent to commissioner David Stern on Thursday. The proposal,
requested by Stern in February, emphasizes Nevada's gambling regulatory
record and argues the system "should provide sufficient cause for the
association to permit a franchise to exist comfortably in Las Vegas without
concern of corruption or interference by unsavory individuals." Stern has
said he was opposed to expansion into Las Vegas as long as gambling on NBA
teams was allowed. But during NBA All-Star week in Las Vegas, the
commissioner invited a proposal from local officials that would address his
concerns, a move many took as a sign that his opposition was softening. The
league also asked city officials to address the need for a new arena after
pronouncing the Thomas & Mack Center below professional standards. Stern
promised to bring the proposal to the association's Board of Governors
meeting later this month. Many believed local officials, led by Las Vegas
mayor Oscar Goodman, would answer with a proposed ban on betting on a Las
Vegas team -- a revival of a rule previously applied to the state's college
teams at UNLV and Nevada. The rule was abolished in 2001 by regulators who
viewed it as a hypocrisy that implied gambling was wrong. Casino
companies -- whose sports books accepted $635.4 million in college and
professional basketball bets last year and who have been closely involved in
drafting the NBA proposal -- also have publicly opposed the rule. Goodman
defended that position Thursday. "I believe it would be hypocritical for us
to even suggest it," Goodman said at a news conference. "We have to be true
enough to ourselves." But the mayor would not rule out that his position
might change as negotiations continue, joking "I could be a hypocrite for
the right reasons." He suggested it was the gambling industry's opposition
that led him to hold the line on sports betting, at least for now.

Internet Gambling: Antigua to Revamp Regulations

 

The government of Antigua and Barbuda's Division of Gaming in the Financial
Services Regulatory Commission is slated to revamp its regulations in the
coming days. The Antigua is undergoing an extensive review and overhaul of
its regulations with the assistance of Mark Mendel, the government's
attorney in the World Trade Organisation gaming dispute which Antigua won,
and other consultants. "That went very, very well. We had a one day
symposium last week. We had a very interactive and robust session but at the
end of the whole day we came out with very comprehensive regulations,"
Director of Gaming Kaye MacDonald said. "I think it's balanced. It keeps in
mind national best practices while at the end of the day incorporating the
commercial realities of our operators." McDonald said that the revised
regulations were approved by Minister of Finance and the Economy Dr. Errol
Cort, who signed off on them last Friday. "Substantively, the regulations
still remain but Antigua & Barbuda, being one of the [regulatory] pioneers
within the Internet gaming environment, is always endeavoring to enforce the
international best practices and industry standards. The process is always
evolving," she explained. The division has indicated that the jurisdiction
is focusing on tightened control of the Internet gambling industry operating
out of Antigua under government licenses. There have been many new inquiries
reported in the past six months, primarily a result of Costa Rican
authorities lax stance on their own online gambling industry. Antigua first
began regulating internet gambling licensees in 1995. The first online
sports betting operations began setting up shop there in 1992.

Four indicted on gambling charges in March 3 bust

 

Four people were indicted by a Nueces County grand jury this week on charges
of illegally promoting gambling in connection with a March 3 eight-liner
raid just outside the city limits. Margie Torres, 22, Jose David Menchaca,
46, Anna Menchaca, 45, and Norma Lisa Ramos, 40, were indicted Wednesday
after a raid at the 624 Game Room in Calallen. All of the accused were
released from the Nueces County Jail after posting bonds of $5,000 each,
according to officials. The Nueces County Sheriff's Department, Corpus
Christi Police Department, Internal Revenue Service and Texas Department of
Public Safety raided the business, which had been in operation for about two
years, seizing more than $40,000 in a gambling bust, according to police
reports. Officers seized money from machines inside the building, a
pay-out-room and a Ben Bolt residence linked to the operation, according to
police reports. They also seized 75 eight-liner slot machines, which Nueces
County Sheriff Jim Kaelin valued between $1,500 and $2,000 each. According
to the indictment, defendants engaged in organized criminal activity by
promoting gambling and profiting from it.

Councilors play gambling card

 

Dennis L. Irish is betting that the Worcester City Council will back his
proposal to let voters decide whether the city should play host to casino
gambling. Mr. Irish, an at-large city councilor, held a press conference at
City Hall yesterday, accompanied by three colleagues - Gary Rosen, Philip P.
Palmieri and Joffrey Smith. Councilor Frederick C. Rushton could not attend,
but put his support in writing. Vowing to bring the matter to the council at
its meeting Tuesday, Mr. Irish said the city could reap $6 million to $24
million in gaming-related revenue. At the high end, he said, the city's
coming budget deficit would be erased. Even at the low end, he said,
critical teaching positions and other municipal jobs would be saved. The
councilors acknowledged that opponents will speak of immorality and
gambling's
human cost. But Mr. Rosen said he defines immorality in terms of oversized
classrooms, textbooks that are out of date and teachers forced to buy
classroom supplies with their own money. Mr. Irish said Rhode Island and
Connecticut reap $1.1 billion annually from Massachusetts visitors to their
gaming sites. Mr. Rosen said he has traveled to facilities in both states,
and noticed many Massachusetts license plates in the parking lots. "This is
a property tax relief measure, in my mind," Mr. Irish said. He added that
gaming has polled well in Massachusetts, and that state lawmakers are
largely in favor of gaming legislation that would turn over all revenues to
cities and towns. Mr. Irish noted that gambling revenue in Rhode Island has
surpassed that state's corporate tax as the third largest source of state
income, and that Rhode Island has gone 10 years without an income tax
increase. In addition, he said, South Dakota reduced property taxes by 20
percent thanks to slot machine revenues, and Pennsylvania is planning its
own gaming-related property tax reduction. The proposed nonbinding question,
which would appear on the November municipal election ballot, would read,
"Should legalized gaming be approved in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I
support the siting of any such legalized gaming activities within the City
of Worcester." Mr. Rushton proposed a change in the wording, inserting the
word "possible" in front of the word "siting." "The manner, scope and type
of gaming should be carefully scrutinized," Mr. Rushton said in his
statement. "With gambling comes revenues, but also addiction and crime." Mr.
Irish will bring two other proposals before the council. One is the
following resolution: "Resolved, that in order to create additional revenue
for the commonwealth of Massachusetts which could be made available to towns
and cities for local aid and education thus providing property tax relief,
the Worcester City Council urges expansion of legalized gaming in the
commonwealth of Massachusetts."

The other would request the city administration to meet with the Governor's
Special Commission on Gaming as soon as possible and urge it to consider
Worcester as a gaming site pending voter approval of the nonbinding
resolution.

Mr. Irish has been down this road before. He and four other city councilors
advocated placing a nonbinding referendum question before Worcester voters
in 2003. At the time he was joined by then-Mayor Timothy P. Murray, District
4 Councilor Barbara G. Haller, District 5 Councilor Stephen G. Abraham and
District 3 Councilor Paul P. Clancy Jr.

Such a referendum question is required by state law as a prerequisite to the
siting of a casino in a community.

Mr. Irish said he has not yet discussed his current proposal with Mr.
Murray, who is now lieutenant governor, or with Mayor Konstantina B. Lukes
or City Manager Michael V. O'Brien.

In a candidate forum in West Boylston last month during his unsuccessful run
for the 14th Worcester House District seat, Mr. Palmieri said he did not
think casino gambling was the answer to that town's revenue woes.

At a City Council meeting last week, Mr. Palmieri proposed that the state
attach a 1-cent increase to the beer tax, which he says would generate about
$60 million in new revenue that could be sent out to the cities and towns.

Ex-fire captain, victim advocate charged in gambling operation

 

SPARTANBURG, S.C. State police say a former fire captain and a victim
advocate have been charged with running an illegal gambling operation in a
convenience store. The Spartanburg Public Safety Department says 24-year
Public Safety veteran Dale Leon Horton was charged with possession or
operation of illegal coin-operated machines and keeping a gaming house. The
State Law Enforcement Division says agents removed video gambling machines
from Horton's business, Dale's Quick Stop. Debbie Ruth Sellars has been
charged with operating a gaming house. The former volunteer coordinator at
the Council on Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis of Spartanburg says she didN'T pay
out winnings on the machines. Both were released from jail yesterday on
personal recognizance bonds.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

US investigates Second Life gambling

 

"We have invited the FBI several times to take a look around in Second Life
and raise any concerns they would like, and we know of at least one instance
that federal agents did look around in a virtual casino," Linden Lab's vice
president Ginsu Yoon told the Reuters news agency. Linden Lab operates the
phenomenally successful online service. There are hundreds of casinos
operating in Second Life, but Linden Lab said that it had not received clear
guidance on gambling within the game. Second Life has its own currency, the
Linden Dollar, 250 of which are worth just one dollar. The US Department of
Justice has been operating a crackdown on internet gambling. It used a 1961
Act outlawing inter-state telephone betting whose application to online
gambling was disputed until last autumn when a new anti-gambling law was
passed. After attempts at passing anti-online gambling laws were opposed in
the Senate the US administration added the Unlawful Internet Gambling
Enforcement Act to an existing ports security bill which was certain to be
passed. The law was passed just before the end of the Congressional session
before mid-term elections. Linden Lab's Yoon said that he believed that the
case against Second Life gambling was not cut and dried. "It's not always
clear to us whether a 3-D simulation of a casino is the same thing as a
casino, legally speaking, and it's not clear to the law enforcement
authorities we have asked," Yoon said.
US law enforcement agencies scored a notable success earlier this week when
they arrested Gary Kaplan, the founder of UK-based online betting firm
BetOnSports. Kaplan had long been wanted on racketeering charges and is also
likely to face prosecution under the new gambling law. The US received a
rebuke this week for its gambling laws, though, when the World Trade
Organisation ruled that its laws were anti-competitive because they treated
US companies differently to ones based offshore.

Committee OKs bill on gambling machines

 

A House committee approved a bill Wednesday that would legalize high stakes
electronic bingo games at greyhound dog tracks in Birmingham and Mobile. The
bill, by Rep. Marcel Black, D-Tuscumbia, provides for 20 percent of gross
revenue from the bingo games to be taxed with tax revenue helping to fund
Alabama's Medicaid program. The bill would also outlaw other types of
electronic gaming machines, which Black said would stop the spread of the
games across the state.
"There's not going to be gambling at every little convenience store at every
crossroads in the state," Black said. The House Tourism and Travel Committee
approved the bill by voice vote. It now goes to the full House for debate.
The bill is a constitutional amendment and would have to be approved in a
statewide referendum if passed by the Legislature. Speaking in favor of the
bill at Wednesday's meeting was Randy Brinson, chairman of the Alabama
Christian Coalition. Brinson said he and his group are opposed to gambling,
but said he believes Black's bill would confine the games to the greyhound
tracks, where gambling is already legal. The electronic bingo games are
legal at greyhound tracks in Macon and Greene counties. "We've got to
confine gambling to where it is right now," Brinson said. Brinson became
chairman of the Alabama Christian Coalition last year after the
organization's previous leaders broke away and formed a separate group,
Christian Action of Alabama. But the Rev. Dan Ireland, the director of the
Alabama Citizens Action Program and an outspoken opponent of gambling, said
the bill would expand gambling, by making the games legal at the two tracks.
He said the games would hurt Alabama families. "There's going to be a lot of
losers before you pay out a prize to anybody," Ireland said. Officials from
the two tracks told committee members that business has been hurt by
lotteries in Georgia, Tennessee and Florida and by casinos in Mississippi.
Lori Meadows, representing the Mobile Greyhound Park, said the number of
employees at the track has been cut in half in recent years as former
customers chose to instead go to casinos in nearby Biloxi, Miss. She told
committee members that defeating the bill would not stop gambling in
Alabama.

Fugitive founder of BetOnSports gambling Web site to be extradited to U.S.

 

A U.S. federal judge ruled Wednesday that BetOnSports gambling website
founder Gary Stephen Kaplan should be extradited to the mainland United
States to face a 22-count criminal indictment. Magistrate Marcos Lopez also
said Kaplan, who was arrested March 28 in the Dominican Republic and brought
to Puerto Rico, poses a flight risk and should not be freed on bond pending
his transfer from the U.S. island territory. Kaplan's attorney, Maria
Sandoval, said the businessman would seek to be released on bail after he is
taken to Missouri, where he faces charges as part of a U.S. crackdown on
online gambling. Kaplan, 48, was named in a 22-count criminal case alleging
fraud and racketeering. Federal prosecutors indicted BetOnSports PLC last
year for allegedly breaking a 1961 law by allowing U.S. customers to gamble
and place bets over the phone and online. The company later closed its U.S.
operations.

Casino trains staff to spot gambling addicts

 

Aspers Casino at The Gate in Newcastle has commissioned the North East
Council on Addictions (NECA) to train both staff and management in
recognising indicators of problem gambling. The programme of training, which
has been rolled out for all staff from the general manager to the dealers,
was specifically developed for Aspers, the only casino in the region to use
NECA for this type of training. NECA, which is GamCare's (the UK's leading
authority on gambling problems) regional partner is training Aspers staff to
be aware of the problems associated with gambling and to be able to
recognise the various signs that an individual has a problem and then make
the appropriate referrals. Linda Valentine, NECA's training manager said:
"We are delighted that Aspers is taking on this training, which is very
comprehensive, and reflects the fact that Aspers is a responsible operator.
"NECA is the only specialist problem gambling organisation in the
North-East, and, with more than 30 years of expertise in the field of
addiction, we can provide an unrivalled level of training. "The fact that
Aspers is training up all its staff to such a high level is also indicative
of its forward-thinking attitude, shortly the regulations governing the
gaming industry will be relaxed and it is therefore very important that
operators take the issues surrounding gambling and any problems it may cause
seriously." The training modules, ranging from the reasons why people gamble
to identifying the signs of problem gambling, as well as the related
problems and social implications, were developed specifically for Aspers by
NECA. Paul Sculpher, Aspers general manager, said: "Aspers prides itself on
being a responsible operator and we take the issue of problem gambling
seriously, which is why we have engaged NECA in this extensive training
programme. "On the rare occasions that we recognise someone is getting into
difficulties we always try be pro-active in speaking to them and now we have
a referral system in place, where, thanks to the NECA training, staff can
recognise the signs that there may be a problem and refer the person to a
manager." Aspers set up a community group to promote responsible gaming,
Community Action for Responsible Gaming (CARG), prior to its opening in
Newcastle in Autumn 2005. CARG is the first group of its kind in the UK and
is made up of a cross section of the local community, including the Church
and NECA.

Gambling Commission want info from bookies

 

The Gambling Commission will hope to take steps today towards securing the
open sharing of information relating to the betting habits of sports stars.
The Commission will meet with those from the industry to discuss various
matters relating to sports betting and hope to see those accounts owned by
sport stars flagged if their betting breaches their rules and regulations.
Much has been made of betting scandals in sport, none more so than that
involved in English football. Concerned that insider information is being
used to profit from betting, Harry Redknapp, Portsmouth manager, was asked
by the Football Association (FA) last year to disclose all phone records and
bank statements covering the period of his controversial move from
arch-rivals Southampton after £16.7 million was traded on the betting
exchange website, Betfair.com. Ultimately, no charges were brought against
Redknapp or anyone connected to him. However, bookmakers believe that openly
sharing information is going too far and that the new Gambling Act due to be
introduced in September will be enough to protect sports from cheating. Then
there is also the issue of the sharing of personal information between two
parties violating the Data Protection Act. Nevertheless, the commission hope
to reach some kind of compromise which would involve tracking the betting
activity of all punters, not just sports stars, who place large and
suspicious bets. "Our proposal is that we should introduce a licence
condition that would require licensees (gambling companies) to take a
risk-based approach with all reasonable steps to identify customers who
place bets over a significant threshold limit, either in one bet or over a
number of transactions in one day," the commission said in a consultation
document. The commission have made it clear that gambling companies do not
require their customers to agree to their personal information being shared
as a condition of service, but there could be advantages for those that did.
"We therefore suggest that, while we will not require, through a licence
condition, that betting licensees make it a condition of business that a
customer must agree to personal information being made available to the
sport governing bodies, there may be advantages for licensees in including
such terms as a condition of their business," the commission said.

State mulls video gambling at Meadowlands

 

Cash-starved New Jersey will study whether putting video-lottery terminals
at the Meadowlands Racetrack can raise hundreds of millions of dollars
without hurting Atlantic City casinos. Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, said New
Jersey has little choice but to put the machines at the North Jersey sports
complex as nearby states expand and add gambling. "I don't want New Jersey
to remain at a disadvantage to our neighboring states because the money is
going somewhere fast," said Sarlo.
Sarlo and Sen. Joseph Coniglio, also D-Bergen, estimate that putting
video-lottery terminals - electronic gambling games that can simulate casino
games such as poker and slot machines - at the Meadowlands could generate
$300 million per year to help ease chronic budget woes. State Treasurer
Bradley Abelow said he didn't know if those numbers were realistic, but
Treasury spokesman Tom Vincz said the department will hire a consultant to
do a comprehensive study of how the terminals, if legalized, would impact
the state. South Jersey legislators, however, stand ready to fight the
so-called VLTs. They're worried the terminals could lure customers away from
Atlantic City. The 11 casinos there already face competition from new
casinos in Pennsylvania, and slots and VLTs in New York, including Yonkers
Raceway near the Garden State border. "I just don't see hurting an industry
that has to deal with out-of-state competition right now," said Sen. Stephen
Sweeney, D-Gloucester. Revenue from Atlantic City slots has declined since
Pennsylvania casinos opened in January. VLTs are legal in states such as
Delaware, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island,
South Dakota and West Virginia. South Dakota was the first state to use
video-lottery games, implementing them in 1989. Since then, they have
provided more than $1 billion in revenue to the state, which currently has
8,300 terminals in 1,400 establishments, according to the state's lottery.
South Dakota's terminals offer variations of poker, blackjack, keno and
bingo. New Jersey has collected about $540 million per year in various
casino taxes, but Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, said the loss of slot
revenue in Atlantic City could lead to less casino-tax money and hurt the
overall state budget.

Friday, April 06, 2007

ESA TO DEBATE ALCOHOL, GAMBLING AND FAST FOOD SPONSORSHIPS

 

All three sectors play a major part in driving the sponsorship industry but
are currently grabbing the headlines for the wrong reasons. Scrutiny around
alcohol, gambling and fast food brand responsibility has never been more
intense and shows no sign of relenting. So where is the sponsorship industry
heading? The European Sponsorship Association (ESA) is set to challenge and
debate these issues at the forthcoming sponsorship forum, 'The Power of
Prohibition: Defining strategies to tackle the increasing threat of
sponsorship legislation' on Thursday 26 April. Michael Thompson is Head of
Communications at The Portman Group, the self-regulated body for brands such
as Bacardi-Martini, Diageo GB, Coors Brewers and InBev Ltd. As a body that
serves to 'educate and prevent' alcohol misuse, Thompson will give an
insight into the current climate and code of practice around alcohol
sponsorship and discuss the potential for future restrictive legislation or
indeed, outright ban. Further speakers and panellists include Gareth
Roberts - Sponsorship & Media Relations Controller, Carlsberg (UK), Nicky
Fuller - Chief Operating Officer, World Snooker, Warren Phelops - Head of
International Sports Group, K&L Gates LLP and Antonio Costanzo - Team Leader
Global Sponsorship Management, Bwin. Richard Moore, Chairman of ESA Training
and Education commented: 'The ESA forums bring sponsors, rights holders,
agencies and industry service providers together to address the important
issues which affect the sponsorship industry. The eventual outcome of these
issues will have a profound effect on the industry so this forum will give
practitioners the chance to add their voice to the debate'.

US Military Terrorizes SF for Baseball Gambling Racket

 

The US military terrorized the City of San Francisco with their illegal low
flights over a heavily populated city, wasting tax dollars and oil, making
terrible noise, all to glorify war and the baseball gambling racket. At 1
p.m. on April 3, 2007, the US military terrorized the City of San Francisco
with their illegal low flights over a heavily populated city, wasting tax
dollars and oil, making terrible noise, all to glorify war and the baseball
gambling racket. The military does not exist to entertain anyone; it exists
to murder human beings for the profits of the capitalist class, the primary
goal of capitalism. When one joins the military, one is trained to use a gun
to kill human beings. They teach the young people in training to glorify
killing, as though that is normal, when it is in fact criminally insane. No
military can exist without human beings doing the killing and that is why
counter recruitment is so important. Young people must be taught to NEVER
JOIN THE MILITARY. They can get their college education at a junior college
such as San Francisco City College for the first 2 years while living at
home and working part time and a state university such as San Francisco
State University for the last 2 years, also while living at home and working
part time. It is best to never go into debt; if that means working to save
enough to go to school, that is better than going into debt. It is this same
military that murdered Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968 and it is this
same military that perpetrated the 9/11 Inside Job under the direction of
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice & Giuliani. It is also this same military that
is illegally holding human beings in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and the many
secret prisons around the world, encouraged by a Nazi US Supreme Court that
refuses to restore habeas corpus. We have returned in the US not only to the
horrors of Nazi Germany whose Holocaust that caused the deaths of 6 million
of the 9 million Jews of Europe of the 1930s-1940s is commemorated around
the world annually in April, but also to the days of the feudal divine right
of kings, before the Magna Carta of 1215 from which we obtained our right to
habeas corpus. Meaning "you have the body," this writ allows prisoners to
challenge the legality of their imprisonment and to demand the charges
against each prisoner be presented in court. Even in these darkest days, all
is not lost as where there is life, there is hope. The national outcry
against the terrorism perpeptrated by the Nazi USA government against Josh
Wolf for exercising his democratic rights as a journalist finally freed this
courageous young man on April 3, 2007. Shalom Aleichem, Josh Wolf. Peace be
with you. The struggle continues.

Online Bingo Calls Lowest Numbers in Problem Gambling Report

 

The Better Bingo Network has been thrilled by the publication of the annual
GamCare report, delivered yesterday, after it revealed that online bingo has
some of the lowest levels of problem gambling in the online gambling
industry. From a sample of 1,229 of GamCare's clients, a mere 0.6% said that
online bingo was one of their most frequently used forms of online gambling.
Dan Smyth, managing director of the Better Bingo Network, said: "While the
Better Bingo Network are by no means complacent about the level of problem
gambling among our players, it is reassuring to see that generally the
levels of addiction and problem gaming among the bingo demographic is
relatively low." "It is in nobody in the gambling industry's interest to
encourage problem gamblers and we like to think we are among the most
proactive companies in ensuring our clients see online bingo as a purely
recreational product." The report also identified that remote gambling cases
constituted 11% of total calls to the charity.

Online Gambling and Online Poker Legalized in Poland

 

According to Polish newspaper, The Warsaw Voice, the country is planning to
introduce regulations to license and tax online gambling. The regulations
are similar to those in Italy, signalling that European markets are
continuing to open up doors for online gambling. Poland's decision follows
the favourable ruling for online gambling and online poker in the Placanica
case by the European Court of Justice in March, 2007. The court ruled that
Italy cannot use criminal law to ban gambling companies licensed in another
EU nation from taking bets in Italy. The court stated: "National regulations
that prohibit the acceptance of bets unless one has a licence issued by the
relevant member state restrict the freedom of services." Currently, Polish
law prohibits gambling games offered from companies located in other
countries; however, the number of online gambling sites doing business in
Poland has risen. The country has decided to change the current laws to meet
the needs of the growing industry. Firstly, costs have become much higher to
operate land-based casinos, and there are statutory restrictions on
advertising them in Polish media. Secondly, Poland does not currently tax
online gambling, and finally, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act
forced online gambling sites to seek customers outside of the US market.

Macau earnings, Singapore ambitions and constipation

 

Even as 85-year-old Macau gambling mogul Stanley Ho is in hospital
undergoing treatment for constipation and an injured rectum, the word is out
that Macau has overtaken Las Vegas as the world's biggest casino draw.
Macau's 22 casinos raked in over US$7 billion last year while Las Vegas' 40
casinos lagged behind at US$6.6 billion. A few hours away, Singapore has
also placed its bets on the gaming market. In 2005, the government lifted a
40-year ban on casinos, attracting $6.6 billion of investment from Las Vegas
Sands and Malaysia's Genting after a highly competitive bidding process. To
fund the construction of its resort in the southern island of Sentosa,
Genting announced a partnership with Stanley Ho which would give it a
foothold in the Macau market and Ho an indirect stake in the Singapore
resort - a move which upset Singapore's squeaky clean authorities,
ostensibly for his links to the underworld and money laundering. Ho is also
an avowed polygamist with four wives and 17 children.

RIT Wants to Toughen Gambling Policy

 

Rochester Institute of Technology is in the process of toughening its policy
on gambling. Currently, most forms of gambling are prohibited. The revised
policy would simplify the language and leave fewer exceptions. "I think it's
something where they're not trusting the student body as much as they
should," said junior Amy Christian. RIT's various student and faculty
governance boards will consider the gambling ban over the next few weeks.
There are worries everything from Xbox tournaments to charity poker games
will no longer be allowed. "What the institution is trying to do is to be
proactive about preventing these gambling habits, but at the same time
they're going to sacrifice student activities," said junior Ed Wolf. RIT
officials would not comment on the proposal, saying they prefer to wait
until the policy is in its final form. That will take about a month. Those
briefed on the policy proposal say RIT is responding to legal concerns, as
well as studies showing problem gambling is on the rise among college
students. Gambling addiction experts say RIT is doing the right thing. "I'm
pleased, quite pleased, because we've seen an influx of clients who have
come from the colleges," said Ray Scott director of DePaul's problem
gambling program. He said 15 to 20 percent of the program's clients are
college-age. Most students we encountered on campus did not think gambling
was a huge deal. "If there are kids that are gambling for serious money,
it's
a small minority," said freshman Adam Richlin.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

FBI Still Undecided on 'Second Life' Gambling

 

FBI investigators have visited Second Life's Internet casinos at the
invitation of the virtual world's creator Linden Lab, but the U.S.
government has not decided on the legality of virtual gambling. "We have
invited the FBI several times to take a look around in Second Life and raise
any concerns they would like, and we know of at least one instance that
federal agents did look around in a virtual casino," said Ginsu Yoon, until
recently Linden Lab's general counsel and currently vice president for
business affairs. Second Life is a popular online virtual world with
millions of registered users and its own economy and currency, known as the
Linden dollar, which can be exchanged for U.S. dollars. Yoon said the
company was seeking guidance on virtual gaming activity in Second Life but
had not yet received clear rules from U.S. authorities. The FBI and the U.S.
Attorney's Office for Northern California declined comment. Hundreds of
casinos offering poker, slot machines and blackjack can easily be found in
Second Life. While it is difficult to estimate the total size of the
gambling economy in Second Life, the three largest poker casinos are earning
profits of a modest $1,500 each per month, according to casino owners and
people familiar with the industry. The surge in Second Life gambling
coincides with a crackdown in the real world by the U.S. government, which
has arrested executives from offshore gambling Web sites. Most lawyers agree
that placing bets with Linden dollars likely violates U.S. anti-gambling
statutes, which cover circumstances in which "something of value" is
wagered. But the degree of Linden Lab's responsibility, and the likelihood
of a any crackdown, is uncertain.

Gambling story hard on family, Janet Gretzky says

 

The wife of hockey great Wayne Gretzky says the intense media coverage of
her alleged involvement in an American gambling ring was an attempt to
"paint something that just wasn't true." In a story published in the May
issue of Chatelaine magazine -- the first in-depth interview with her since
the betting scandal made headlines in February 2006 -- Janet Gretzky said
the ensuing media scrutiny of her relationship with her husband and their
family was challenging. "It's unfair that Wayne and I have had a great
marriage for 20 years and a nice family, and the people in the media could
care less if they are trying to cause friction in your marriage, trouble in
your family, and make your kids feel a certain way," she told Chatelaine.
She said the couple's older children started to ask questions as media
coverage of the story grew. "We just explained to them that sometimes the
media blows things out of proportion," she told Chatelaine. Janet Gretzky's
name surfaced in a New Jersey state police investigation dubbed "Operation
Slap Shot." She was accused of allegedly placing thousands of dollars in
bets with a gambling operation authorities said was financed by Rick
Tocchet, an assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes, the team now coached
by Wayne Gretzky. Tocchet has been suspended from his job and faces up to 10
years in prison if convicted. The scandal rocked the NHL, erupting as Wayne
Gretzky, then the executive director of the Canadian men's hockey team, was
heading to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Janet Gretzky said
earlier in a statement that she had never placed any wagers on her husband's
behalf, and he has denied any involvement in the alleged gambling ring.
Gretzky, 46, put her acting career on hold to have children. Her film
credits include the 1983 movie Staying Alive, a sequel to Saturday Night
Fever, and The Flamingo Kid in 1984. She returned to the big screen earlier
this year in a walk-on role in the critically acclaimed Alpha Dog. The
Gretzkys live in a 1,672-square- metre home in a gated community just
outside of Los Angeles with four of their children: Paulina, 18, Trevor, 14,
Tristan, 6, and Emma, 4. During the NHL season, Wayne Gretzky lives in
Scottsdale, Ariz., the home of the Coyotes, but heads back to California for
weekend visits with his family. "We've done this for a couple of years now,
but I don't think we're going to be able to do it next year," Janet Gretzky
told Chatelaine. "This travelling back and forth is kind of getting to us."

She admitted to the magazine that moving would cause too much upheaval for
the older children, who enjoy their life in California.

Life in Los Angeles has allowed the family to keep a relatively low profile
that they likely wouldn't have had they relocated to Canada. But Janet
Gretzky told Chatelaine the exposure doesn't bother them.

"If you're a happy family, then it's fine. If you're an unhappy family,
you'll find reasons like those to get upset."

The Gretzkys' eldest son, 16-year-old Ty, attends a Minnesota prep school
known for nurturing promising young hockey players, including Pittsburgh
Penguins star Sidney Crosby.

Cons outweigh pros of Kansas gambling initiative

 

The state Legislature has made it possible to expand casino gambling in
Kansas. While gambling proponents hit the jackpot, the negative
repercussions from gambling will outweigh the economic benefits over the
long term. On Thursday, the Senate voted 21-19 to allow construction of four
state-owned, privately managed casinos and the installation of 2,200 slot
machines at three dog and horse racetracks. The legislation would allow
destination-style casinos to be built in Wyandotte and Ford counties,
Crawford or Cherokee counties and Sedgwick or Sumner counties - all subject
to voter approval in these counties. Voters need to say no to these proposed
casinos. Sen. Karin Brownlee of Olathe rightly opposed the measure. "... The
difference is that crime will likely triple within three years; suicides
will increase significantly. Pathological or problem gamblers will double
with a casino within 50 miles." Brownlee rightly surmises that additional
gambling options will change the face of Kansas. Sen. Pat Apple and Rep.
Jene Vickrey, both of Louisburg, also voted against the measure. Vickrey
made the point that out-of-state or tribal casinos already exist in a
70-mile radius of Kansas' major population centers. With most people living
about an hour's drive from a casino, more gambling houses are not needed.
Under the legislation, local governments would realize only 3 percent of the
revenue generated by these additional casinos. That's a small return for the
potential headaches that gambling could pose in our communities.

Gambling virus hurts community

 

There is a virus abroad in our town, a contagious virus that is spreading
and infecting more and more of our children, youth and adults. This virus
has no elaborate Latin name, just a common English one: "gambling." More and
more arcades and "skill game parlors" are spring up. Christian churches and
long-established community organizations dedicated to the nurture and
character-building of our children and youth are scheduling Texas Hold 'Em
poker tournaments to meet their budgets. Half-and-half drawings are becoming
an acceptable norm for all sorts of gatherings. On the other hand, we are
training our children and youth to develop a strong moral character, to
secure an excellent education, to adopt a positive work ethic and to become
productive, contributing citizens. On the other hand, we are teaching our
children and youth - by example - that it's OK to risk hard-earned dollars
with the hope of winning the jackpot. Or that it's OK to gamble in spite of
the fact that others, with less resources and less willpower, may become
addicted to the various get rich quick schemes. The promise of easy money is
tempting for most of us, especially for the poor. I believe that God has
given us work as a gift and as a vocation. It is by the honest work of its
people that a community thrives.
In an April 2006 letter to the editor, The Columbus Dispatch, U.S. Senator
George V. Voinovich stated:" Statistics prove that crime, bankruptcy and
unemployment stem directly from problem gambling and ... national statistics
show that for every tax dollar generated by a casino, $3 in social welfare
costs are incurred." Someone has said, "The greatness of a community is most
accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members ... a heart
of grace and a soul generated by love." Let us resist the temptation to
depend on gambling-related devices to support our acts of compassion. Let us
be creative and find other ways of securing the dollars we need to carry on
the wonderful healing, restorative work that is such a meaningful part of
this community.

Sedgwick County to vote on gambling Aug. 7

 

Sedgwick County residents will get the chance to vote on whether they want a
casino in a special election Aug. 7. Voters will be asked if they approve of
having a destination casino in Sedgwick County and allowing slots at Wichita
Greyhound Park. Sedgwick County commissioners agreed Tuesday that the best
day to hold a special election would be the first Tuesday in August. During
even-numbered years, it is a primary election day. "People are familiar with
that day," Commissioner Tim Norton said. The special election will cost the
county about $118,840. Voters can cast ballots in advance, in person or by
mail. Meanwhile, legislators continued their efforts Tuesday to deny Sumner
County residents a chance to vote on a casino if Sedgwick County voters
reject it, as the current bill allows. Rep. Vincent Wetta, D-Wellington,
said Sumner County would get extra money for its trouble because of an
agreement he made with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. "I've made a deal with the
governor -- Sumner County is out," he said. "We're going to get a little
more than the surrounding counties. It would be an ongoing, higher
percentage for Sumner County because of the work we've done and we were
taken out after it passed." Sebelius spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran declined to
comment other than to say there have been ongoing discussions with
legislators tied to gambling. Sebelius has said she will sign a bill passed
last week to allow casinos in Ford County, Wyandotte County, southeast and
south-central Kansas and up to 2,800 slot machines at dog and horse tracks
in Kansas City, Park City and Frontenac. Under that bill, Sumner County
would receive an estimated $2 million a year in revenue if it didn't get a
casino, and more if it did. Legislators have talked about drafting a
"trailer bill" to fix technical errors in the bill heading to Sebelius. Sen.
Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, is leading efforts to eliminate Sumner County,
suggesting it is destined to lose any competition with Sedgwick for a
casino.

He would give each of the six counties surrounding Sedgwick -- Butler,
Cowley, Harvey, Kingman, Reno and Sumner -- about $500,000 annually when the
casino and slots are in full operation.

Minority Leader Dennis McKinney, D-Greensburg, said Sebelius told House
Democrats that without assurances that Sumner County eventually would be
removed, the gambling bill wouldn't have passed the Senate.

McKinney said Sumner County might receive about $1.5 million a year under a
trailer bill, but added, "All those numbers are still floating."

22 People Arrested For Illegal Gambling In Hong Kong

 

Police in Hong Kong Wednesday arrested 22 people on charges of illegal
gambling and seized chips and cash totalling around 5,000 US dollars. The 22
were arrested early Wednesday in a raid on an apartment in an industrial
unit in the city's Kwai Chung area which was allegedly being used for
illegal baccarat games.
The raid was conducted by anti-triad officers who tackle crimes involving
Hong Kong's notorious triad gangs which run prostitution, extortion and
gambling rackets in the city of 6.9 million. Gambling is illegal in Hong
Kong except for betting on horse racing and football through the official
Jockey Club and a weekly government-run lottery.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

GamCare Issues UK Problem Gambling Statistics

 

GamCare, the UK's leading problem gambling support organisation has
published its 2006 Care Services Report, which provides a snapshot of those
clients who utilised GamCare's services over the year. According to the
report, an increasing number of people turned to GamCare during 2006. There
is no evidence to suggest that the increase in client numbers represents an
increase in problem gambling. It may be that an increasing number of people
have become aware of the services provided by GamCare.

Bill to curb gambling advances

 

Legislation aimed at cracking down on illegal gambling -- particularly the
video wagering machines often found in clubs, bars and truck stops -- is
headed to the Senate after the Rules Committee unanimously endorsed it
yesterday. House Bill 1510 would pay for 25 new state excise police officers
dedicated to rooting out illegal gambling and create a special state
prosecutor to try the offenses when local prosecutors decline. The
crackdown's sponsor, Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, said it would "put
some teeth" into efforts to eliminate illegal card clubs and unlawful video
gambling machines. The measure marks the first time in years that lawmakers
have seriously considered something aimed at reducing illegal gambling, in
contrast to bills expanding legal wagering. But even as the committee acted
on HB 1510, negotiations continued to pass separate legislation that would
authorize 3,000 slot machines at Indiana's racetracks. That bill has already
passed the House and Senate in different forms. If the Senate passes HB
1510, it would have to return to the House, which passed a version that
included only changes to charity gambling regulations. Rep. Trent Van
Haaften, D-Mount Vernon and the bill's House sponsor, said yesterday that he
didn't know whether the House would go along with the Senate provisions but
that he found "nothing objectionable" in them. Indiana Gaming Commission
executive director Ernie Yelton assured lawmakers yesterday that if both
bills pass -- and HB 1510 was strictly enforced -- "the totality would be a
decrease in gambling in Indiana." The key, though, would be enforcement.
Indiana's estimated 30,000 video gambling machines -- which have names like
Cherry Master and Pot O' Gold -- are illegal. State excise police routinely
bust bars, restaurants and clubs, taking computer chips out of the devices
and confiscating the winnings. That puts the owners' alcoholic beverage
permit at risk. Last year, excise police cited 435 gambling-related
violations and seized the computer chips from about 1,600 illegal video
gambling machines. But state officials say that has only driven the machines
to other places -- including truck stops and coin laundry businesses -- that
don't have alcohol permits, and that local police and prosecutors often look
the other way. HB 1510 would offer new options for battling such gambling.
As approved yesterday, it would authorize the state to revoke lottery
contracts, retail merchant permits, and state licenses for the sale of
tobacco and alcohol for any company or organization found with illegal
gambling machines.

It would also increase the criminal penalties for people charged a second
time with promoting professional gambling.

"It certainly seems to have a lot of things in it that would make it easier
to enforce (laws against) illegal gambling," said Dave Heath, chairman of
the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. "It will be a benefit."

Lawmakers also added language that would clarify that card games played for
money -- including Texas Hold 'em and blackjack -- are illegal. Yelton said
yesterday that at least one Indiana prosecutor had declined to act against
people operating a professional poker game because state law defines
gambling as games of chance and the prosecutor believed Texas Hold 'em to be
a game of skill.

As passed yesterday, HB 1510 would make it clear those games are illegal.

Dan Gangler, communications director for the Indiana Area Office of the
United Methodist Church and a board member for the Indiana Coalition Against
Legalized Gambling, praised the bill.

He said Hoosiers can go through thousands of dollars looking for a win at
video gambling machines.

"These machines make them losers," he said.

Loren Fifer, vice president of the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association,
acknowledged the machines in use today are "a bad thing," even though many
restaurateurs rely on their income to make ends meet.

But Fifer urged the committee to consider legalizing slot machines or other
video gambling that could be regulated, controlled and taxed. That would
help bar owners and the state, he said.

If not that, Fifer said, then bar owners were seeking what he called
"parity" with nonprofit social and veterans clubs. Those clubs are allowed
to sell paper pull-tab and punchboard games. He said bars would like that
same option.

Macau confirms record gambling revenues of over 7 bln usd last yr

 

The Macau government confirmed that 2006 was a record year for gambling
revenues as it revealed that casino income exceeded 7.0 bln usd last year,
outpacing that of Las Vegas' famous strip. The tiny southern Chinese
enclave's 22 casinos generated 16.7 bln patacas in the final quarter, taking
the year's total gross gaming revenues to 56.2 bln patacas (7.2 bln usd), it
said. By comparison, the 40-odd casinos on Las Vegas' main strip --
including the plush Venetian and MGM resorts -- generated 6.6 bln usd.
Gambling earnings have boomed in Macau since 2001 when the government ended
tycoon Stanley Ho's 40-year monopoly on casinos in the city and allowed
foreign operators to move in.

Club gambling and the slots

 

It's an open secret that fraternal organizations and veterans groups finance
many of their activities, including works of charity, through small-time
gambling. Punchboards and pool sheets have long been passed along the bar,
with at least the tacit approval of law enforcement. These devices now are
legal as long as the clubs buy a license for small games of chance, but in
recent years some places have installed poker machines. The attitude has
been that as long as such gambling does considerable good and little harm,
it could be left alone. Still, the Associated Press reports that in the
Lehigh Valley of Eastern Pennsylvania, somewhere around 40 private clubs
were cited for illegal gambling during 2006. Although officials deny it,
club leaders fear that the state is stepping up enforcement to wipe out
competition for the licensed slot machine operations. At this point, there
is little hard evidence of that. There is a slots casino planned for
Bethlehem, but it isn't scheduled to open until July 2008. Meanwhile, we
have seen no such crackdown here, even though The Meadows slots parlor will
open next month. We also doubt that club gambling will keep many people away
from the slots parlors. Unlike bingo games, which really may suffer from the
new operations, nobody goes to the clubs just to gamble - it's just part of
the general atmosphere of drinking and socializing, which are the main
draws. It's not inconceivable that someone would hit on targeting club
gambling for fear it will take revenue away from the state. We just hope,
though, that such temptation will be resisted.

Blog Makes Mockery Of US Gambling Laws

 

Last year the Unlawful Online Gambling Bill looked to have made it illegal
for US Citizens to gamble online, including games like poker and at online
casinos. However, almost 6 months since the bill was passed there are still
poker rooms and casinos allowing US players to play at their sites. Are they
breaking the law?
Are the players breaking the law? It's all very confusing, and there are so
many grey areas within the bill that the average US player does not know
whether or not they should play at an online casino. "Everyone else seems to
be doing it, but there's supposed be a ban!" Seems to be a cry often read on
forums across the Internet. Since its launch it has had over 7000 hits,
mostly from the North America region, as players search for news on how they
can keep playing. Just today, the blog has done a fresh sweep of the
internet, to find the latest news, as there have been many changes in the
last few months. The major eWallet, Neteller, has pulled out of the US
market, plus a few sites have stopped accepting US players. The blog now has
up-to-date news on which eWallets are still accepting US custom.
The blog owner, Randy Parkes, hopes that many US players keep on playing to
show the authorities that people want to have the choice to spend their
money the way they want to. He is updating the website daily with the latest
news from the casino world, and has recently launched a sister site, which
helps poker players find rooms to play at. Also on his site are instructions
on how to fund your player's account using these eWallets, all the casinos
accepting US players and other interesting snippets of news from the
gambling world.

WTO rules against US net gambling ban

 

Antigua had objected to recent US laws outlawing internet gambling. It
claimed that the laws, which even ban gambling-related payments that take
place outside the US's borders, broke the General Agreement on Trade in
Services, a free trade multilateral agreement which underpins the WTO. The
WTO had previously ruled in favour of Antigua and Barbuda, a nation of only
80,000 people. It said in 2005 that the US had broken a 10-year-old pledge
to open up the industry. The US did not change its policies and has now been
censured both for its original violations and its failure to comply with the
original order. The WTO objected to the fact that the US allowed gambling on
its own soil but not with foreign gaming companies via the internet. This
broke free trade rules, it said; it also said that the US had ignored its
first ruling. The decision "vindicates all that we have been saying for
years about the discriminatory trade practices of the United States,''
Antiguan finance minister Errol Cort told the news agency Bloomberg. The
news is a boost to online gambling companies, whose shares rose in value on
the announcement. Online gambling has hit difficulties in the wake of a new
US law passed last autumn specifically banning internet gambling. The legal
status of online gambling until last year was unclear. The US Department of
Justice had always interpreted the Wire Act of 1961 as covering internet
betting when it banned inter-state telephone betting. The US passed a more
specific law last year, a move which was criticised in the report. "Since
the original proceeding the United States had an opportunity to remove the
ambiguity and thereby comply with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB
[dispute settlement body]," said the compliance panel report. "Instead,
rather than take that opportunity, the United States enacted legislation
that confirmed that the ambiguity at the heart of this dispute remains and,
therefore, that the United States has not complied." The US had previously
told the WTO that it would comply, and asked for a "reasonable period of
time" in which to do so. That period lapsed in April 2006 and no action was
taken, by then or subsequently, to comply with the original order, though
the US claimed that a civil investigation into possible illegal activity
meant that it had complied. The anti-online gambling law passed last year
contains specific exceptions for domestic inter-state horseracing gambling.
It is the permitting of domestic long distance betting while banning foreign
distance betting that the WTO objects to.

Last year saw a crackdown on internet gambling, with two British businessmen
connected with gambling companies put under arrest. The then-Sportingbet
chairman Peter Dicks was arrested but released, while former BetOnSports
chief executive David Carruthers is still under house arrest in the US
awaiting trial for offences under the Wire Act.

Caribbean islands such as Antigua have become major bases for the $16
billion-a-year online gambling industry, with many companies operating
services from there. It has become a major part of the Antiguan economy,
which is said to have suffered in the wake of the US ban.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Indiana county wary of Kentucky gambling expansion

 

Clark County officials hoping to land a riverboat casino are worried
campaign talk among Kentucky's gubernatorial candidates about expanding
gambling in that state could harm the southeastern Indiana county's casino
dreams. With Kentucky's governor's race unfolding, gambling has emerged as
one of the top issues. Although all three candidates in Kentucky's May 22
Republican gubernatorial primary oppose expanding gambling, most of the
seven Democrats seeking their party's nod have said they would support a
referendum to allow freestanding casinos and slot machines at racetracks. If
the idea gets enough momentum, it could doom chances for a casino just
across the river in Clark County, where voters in November passed a
referendum to allow a casino, said gaming analyst Jason Pawlina. "There
won't be many gaming dollars left to go around if a Louisville, Ky.,
facility were to open before Clark County can get one going," said Pawlina,
of Christiansen Capital Advisers LLC, a gaming consultant for state
governments and private industry. Jeffersonville City Councilman John
Perkins, a leader of Clark County's casino efforts, said the idea of slots
and casinos in Louisville already has derailed a key economic-impact study
the local gaming commission wanted to take to the Indiana General Assembly.
Perkins said there were so many different possible outcomes - depending on
actions taken in Kentucky and Indiana - that the study was abandoned,
leaving the county without an important tool in lobbying legislators in
Indianapolis. Even without the Kentucky competition, Clark County's efforts
face a struggle in Indiana. Because all five riverboat licenses permitted
under Indiana law on the Ohio River are already taken, the county's best
hope is to persuade an existing boat to seek the Indiana Gaming Commission's
approval to move. That has fueled speculation about the potential for
transferring a license from Lake Michigan or from upriver at Rising Sun,
where the Grand Victoria Casino is for sale.

But some legislators argue that if Clark County wanted a riverboat, it
should have approved a referendum in the early 1990s, when counties were
vying for the original licenses. Instead, the county voted it down twice.

Patrick Neely, executive director of the Kentucky Equine Education Project,
said the group commissioned a study that showed 51 percent of the gaming
revenue at the five Ohio River casinos in Indiana and one in Illinois comes
from Kentucky residents.

WTO rules US ban on offshore Internet gambling to be illegal

 

In a judgment published late on Friday the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
ruled that the unilateral prohibition imposed by the US on offshore Internet
gambling is illegal. However the decision is unlikely to have much effect in
the short term at least - as the Bush administration has simply ignored a
2005 WTO finding that concluded the US was in breach of WTO rules by banning
payments by individual US citizens to gambling Web sites whilst
simultaneously allowing gambling within the country itself. It was back in
1995 when the US government first promised the international organisation
that it would open-up its gambling industry to competition. However, under
extreme lobbying pressure from powerful interests in places such as Las
Vegas and Atlantic City, for the next ten years nothing was done to fulfill
the pledge. The original complaint against the US was made by the tiny
Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda and years later, in a second David v
Goliath re-run, representatives of the 70,000 citizens of the islands
appealed against the US government's decision reached in October 2006, that
made it illegal for US residents to make credit card payments to overseas
betting organisations. This time around the WTO has found that the US action
is discriminatory and in breach of the organisation's rules and has said
that if the ban is not lifted sanctions may be applied. Before the ban the
offshore Internet gambling sector was estimated to be worth US$12 billion a
year, with US punters accounting for $6 billion of that turnover. In its
response to the WTO, the Bush administration did not contest the finding
that the government had failed to comply with the earlier 2005 ruling
requiring American gambling to be opened to competition but instead took
refuge behind a claim that it had been forced to prohibit Internet gambling
to "protect public order and public morals". However, despite the cynical
whipping-up of a spitball of synthetic moral froth by certain parties and
religious interest groups in Washington DC and elsewhere, the reality is
that the US ban has always been more about protectionism than any
spiritually higher purpose. Thus the US government has been forced to cast
about in an effort to find some justification for its actions and finally
settled on the bizarre argument that the prohibitions that were in place
before the enactment of the October 2006 law apply to both foreign and US
betting services alike while the WTO's decision applies only to gambling on
horse racing.

Upon reading a little further into matters, one finds, altogether
unsurprisingly, that it is legal for the US to discriminate against overseas
companies in relation to gambling on horse racing.

Further in its response, the Bush administration says the October 2006 law
is not covered by the WTO ruling and that the government's 1995 commitment
to open gambling to foreign companies was "an oversight on the part of the
Clinton administration." This is as classic an example of retrospective
buck-passing as has been seen in many a year.

The WTO judgment say the US government "had an opportunity to remove the
ambiguity between legal betting on horse racing across state borders and
strictures and prohibitions on other types of gambling but instead, rather
than take that opportunity, the US enacted legislation that confirmed that
the ambiguity at the heart of this dispute remains."

UK gambling-site founder arrested

 

Kaplan was indicted in June by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District
of Missouri, the US attorney's office said in a press release. The
indictment accuses Kaplan and 10 others of engaging in racketeering,
conspiracy and fraud, arising from the operation of Costa Rica-based
internet gambling businesses, including BetOnSports.com. Following Kaplan's
arrest in the Dominican Republic, the US attorney said he was sent by
Dominican authorities to Puerto Rico to make an initial appearance before a
US Magistrate Judge. The US attorney's office in St. Louis plans to ask the
magistrate judge to order that Kaplan be sent to St. Louis immediately or be
held in custody pending a hearing to remove him to St. Louis, and that he be
held without bond. BetOnSports, which once traded on the London Stock
Exchange, was forced in August 2006 to close down its US business, which
accounted for 95 percent of its profits. The US crackdown on online gaming
began last July with the arrest of BetOnSports chief executive David
Carruthers during a layover at a Texas airport.

Gambling bill reveals quick legislative process

 

Two weeks ago, if someone wanted to read the casino-and-slots bill that
would pass the Legislature and make perhaps the biggest social and political
change in Kansas in the past 20 years, its sponsors didn't have a copy to
share. Even some supporters didn't see the text of the 98-page gambling
proposal until the House began debating it March 22. Six days and 10 hours
later, it was on its way to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who'll sign it and make
Kansas the only state to operate its own casino resorts. Opponents were
angered that such a big bill could fly through the Legislature so quickly.
Supporters took advantage of long-term changes in how the Legislature
operates, accomplishing something that would have seemed inconceivable two
decades ago. That process - looser, far less predictable and less controlled
from the top - has flaws that gambling opponents were quick to note, such as
the ability to pass such a big proposal with a minimum of fly-specking. But
there's an advantage, too: It's far more difficult for one person or a small
group to thwart the will of legislative majorities, if those majorities are
determined and spend some time on strategy. "That's not unique to Kansas.
That's a national trend that's true at the federal level as well," said
Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, who voted for the
bill. "It's the democratization of the legislative process." Passage of the
gambling bill turned a session known mostly for low productivity into one
likely to be memorable. The textbook process for passing legislation is
lengthy and repetitive, and in that process, committee chairmen and leaders
are powerful. If they don't like bills, they can refuse to hold hearings or
refuse to take votes. But the power of leaders and chairmen has diminished
over time. Bills are so often rewritten radically that there's a well-worn
term for it - "gut and go." If a chairman refuses to take a vote, a bill's
supporters often amend it during House and Senate debate into something
else. This year, gambling supporters concentrated on finding exactly what
would pass and getting it into print. They were confident the House Federal
and State Affairs Committee, whose members Neufeld appointed, would not be
sympathetic, so they wanted to get around it. And they did.

"We had no other choice," said Rep. L. Candy Ruff, D-Leavenworth, a
supporter.

Schmidt said such determination can be driven by groups building pressure on
legislators back home. Constituents, he said, are less likely than they used
to be to accept the notion that a bill couldn't pass simply because it got
stuck in the legislative process.

Furthermore, many Kansans have been voting on gambling with their cars and
wallets, traveling to Indian casinos in northeast Kansas and Oklahoma, or
casinos in Missouri.

"Everywhere I go - the gas station, grocery store, even the church - little
old ladies are coming up to me, 'When are we going to get a casino?' " said
Rep. Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, who supported the bill.

In January, the Senate passed a bill extending the Kansas Lottery, something
necessary to keep ticket sales going past June 30. After a threat from
supporters to force a debate on casinos and slots, the House Federal and
State Affairs Committee endorsed the lottery bill on March 21.

Legislators on both sides of the debate knew the lottery bill was a vehicle,
something that could become a casino-and-slots bill. There was a link, with
the new gambling owned and operated by the lottery.

The House amended the bill on March 22 and gave it first-round approval
before dawn on March 23, a Friday. The following Monday, the House passed
the bill and returned it to the Senate.

Though it was radically different, senators didn't have to send it through
committee. They could demand negotiations or take the even quicker step of
voting to accept the House's changes and send the bill to the governor. They
did the latter Thursday, just after midnight.

And gambling supporters made a point, whether they intended to or not. They
showed that the Legislature's rules are flexible enough to allow a group to
move a bill around key leaders and to the governor's desk - and to do it
with stunning speed.

GAMBLING USAGE STATS PUBLISHED BY MALTA AGENCY

 

According to a lifestyle study conducted by the Maltese organisation
Agenzija Sedqa in collaboration with the National Focal Point for Drugs and
Drug Addiction and the national commission on the abuse of drugs, alcohol
and other dependencies, online gambling usage is relatively low. Just under
60 percent of respondents aged between 18 and 24 admitted to having played
the lottery, betted or gambled at least once in their lifetime. Another 54
percent admitted to having played lotto, Super 5, Scratch cards and Keno at
least once while another 6.2 percent said they play weekly or almost weekly.
Just over two percent said they gambled online.
Sedqa operations director Jean-Claude Cardona explained that Sedqa carried
out the study, the results of which will be officially published at a later
date, in 2006 in which 1 226 students aged between 18 and 24 took part.
Despite the low percentage usage of Internet gambling indicated by the poll,
Cardona singled the pastime out, saying "Internet gambling is easily
accessible and there are no physical deterrents that might put a person off
gambling," he said. All the possible deterrents - such as getting ready to
go to the casino, being over 25, and actually driving to the location - are
all eliminated with Internet gambling, said Cardona. "All a person has to do
is sit at his computer and access the site, putting him at a higher risk of
becoming asocial." Another Sedqa official, service manager Manwel Mangani
pointed out that one of the great advantages of Internet gambling is
anonymity. "There still seems to be a stigma - some people still feel
uncomfortable being seen walking into a casino," he said. Internet gambling
appeals to the solitary type and people who are somewhat anti-social,
Mangani added. Cardona pointed out that care has to be taken as the latest
forms of entertainment are isolating people. "Experts predict that gambling
will eventually be done through interaction with television," he said. The
Sedqa official was critical of advertising for international poker
tournaments, pointing out that, unfortunately, several local and foreign
television stations are publicising this aspect of gambling. "Although the
adverts are shown quite late - they are still there," said Cardona, adding,
"even though people cannot actually bet on the stakes in question, they
still become involved in the game." Sedqa is using the media for its own
campaigns, Cardona revealed. "Sedqa is working hard to increase awareness on
gambling addiction through information campaigns," he said.

He was critical of the registration system to gamble online, claiming it to
be "not very reliable."

"I have heard of cases where young people steal their parents' credit cards
and gamble online," he said.

Malta is one of a number of international online gambling regulators that
makes its license available to online gambling operators through the LGA,
and Cardona said that Sedqa is calling for more regulations especially where
online gambling is concerned.

"The government has recently approved our request to provide and train one
social worker who will focus solely on helping gamblers overcome their
addiction while providing support to their families," he said.

Fellow Sedqa official Mangani said that many online gambling sites offer
links to sites that offer online counselling and help for a gambling
addiction. "The same medium can be used to reach out to addicts," he said.
"In fact there are many websites that offer online counselling and although
it is still too early to say if these are effective, at least they are
there," he explained.

In collaboration with the UK problem gambling organisation Gamcare, there
are plans for Sedqa to organise professional training for counsellors and
social workers, probably during April this year.

Mangani is of the opinion that online gambling addiction is very similar to
alcohol addiction. "A sober alcoholic lives in a society that bombards him
or her with information and adverts on alcohol yet they still manage.
Similarly, it does not mean that someone who has an online gambling problem
will not be able to access the Internet for the rest of his or her life," he
added.

Mangani said the family is closely involved in the treatment, which places
great emphasis on group work. "Gamblers Anonymous provides a great service
and we refer a lot of clients to them, although it operates independently of
Sedqa," he added.

The more difficult operating situation for online gambling owners in the USA
following the UIGEA is creating more online gambling action in Europe,
Mangani says.

"Several online casinos that were based in countries like Barbados have
closed and are trying to open in Europe. It is very tempting for governments
to use it as a source of revenue," he explained. "[Last year] online
gambling generated Lm12.5 million in revenue for the Maltese government and
this is expected to go up to Lm18 million this year.

The weekend's Malta Online Independent added substance to the Sedqa survey
by reporting that two new factors could see more online gambling operators
gravitating to Malta and applying for licensing with the LGA. The newspaper
referred to the disappointment generated among online gambling firms by the
high taxation regime announced in the UK budget recently by Chancellor of
the Exchequer Gordon Brown, pointing out that this may make Malta a more
attractive option. The second development the newspaper highlighted was
dissatisfaction among Czech companies with the confusing and slow
legislative progress and protectionist nature of the gambling scene in their
home country.

EU criticizes Hungary on gambling

 

In response to repeated complaints by online betting companies, the European
Commission (EC) took action to put an end to the obstacles to sports betting
services in Hungary, Denmark and Finland. The EC formally requested these
member states to amend their laws following consideration of their replies
to letters of formal notice sent in April 2006, in which the EC sought to
verify whether the countries' restrictions are compatible with Article 49 of
the EC Treaty, which guarantees the free movement of services. "The
Commission considers that the restrictions in question aren't compatible
with existing EU law," the commission said in a March 21 statement.
"Furthermore, existing national operators cannot be regarded as nonprofit
operations, given that they are subject to strict annual revenue targets and
often rely on commercial retail outlets to market their various gambling
services." The formal requests take the form of "reasoned opinions," the
second stage of an infringement procedure. If there's no satisfactory reply
within two months, the EC may refer the matter to the European Court of
Justice (ECJ). The Commission's decision to inquire into the compatibility
with EU law of the measures in question is based on complaints made by a
number of service providers and on information gathered by Commission staff.
The complaints concern restrictions on the provision of sports betting
services, including the requirement for a state concession or license, even
where a provider is lawfully licensed in another member state.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Attempts to kill gambling bill gave it life

 

Early Thursday, thanks to a bizarre series of procedural moves and missteps,
arm twisting and 12 hours of filibustering, the long odds finally paid off.
The bill passed 21-19 and is on its way to the governor, who said Thursday
she will sign it. In a strange twist, it was actually attempts to kill the
bill by anti-gambling lawmakers that allowed it to pass. At noon Wednesday,
supporters had no intention of voting on gambling, quietly working to secure
votes for a vote planned for next week at the earliest. But opponents saw a
chance to catch them unaware. Just before 1 p.m., they moved to force a
vote. Democrats mounted a filibuster. Their aim was to stall until they
could make one of two things happen: find the necessary 21 votes to pass the
bill or get the House to send the bill to a conference committee. If the
bill were in a conference committee, it would be kept alive despite the
effort to kill it in the Senate. By forcing the vote, opponents bet they
could outlast the filibuster and reject the bill before the House could put
it in committee. With all the chips on the table, the bet proved costly.
"For 14 years, the supporters of expanded gaming have managed to kill it,"
said Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, an Independence Republican. "This
year, the opponents of expanded gaming have managed to pass it." Based on
conventional wisdom, this should not have been the year lawmakers passed
gambling. A proposal fell flat during the 2001 recession, when the state was
desperate for revenue. Plans failed in the last two years, when gambling
operators promised money that could have solved the state's school finance
crisis. This year, state finances are healthy and there's no looming
financial crisis. But other factors favored gambling. Several small casinos
have recently sprouted just across the Oklahoma border, drawing gamblers and
their money from Kansas and spurring local efforts to pass gambling in the
state. Gambling picked up a few votes in the House thanks to the recent
elections, which saw the retirement or defeat of some anti-gambling
lawmakers.

Something else had changed: After 14 years of attempts, gambling proponents
had finally put together a bill that attracted broad support. The plan
narrowly passed the House on Monday, 64-58.

It was a riskier proposition in the Senate, where a gambling bill failed
last year 16-20. This year, however, just enough senators who had previously
not supported gambling switched sides to tip the scales.

One of them said he was just waiting for the right bill. He said this year's
plan was more limited and calls for more state oversight to keep out
corruption.

"I've never been a 'no' on gaming," said Sen. Terry Bruce, a Hutchinson
Republican whose support proved decisive. "I've been a 'yes,' as long as the
right conditions were met."

Throughout the Democrat's filibuster, gambling lobbyists, pro-gambling
lawmakers and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius quietly worked to win over lawmakers
such as Bruce.

But as late as 10 p.m. Wednesday, supporters in the Senate said they didn't
have the votes to pass the bill.

Opponents stood strong, vowing to stay all night if that's what it took to
kill the bill.

"On a bill that would change the face of Kansas, this is worth it," said
Sen. Karin Brownlee, an Olathe Republican.

Just after 11 p.m., the filibuster wore on. Sen. Janis Lee, a Kensington
Democrat, was reading a chapter on male competition for mates from a
sociological text.

Across the rotunda, pro-gambling House members pushed for the House to send
the bill to committee, a procedural move designed to protect the bill. But
House leadership, which opposed the bill, refused to call the House into
session.

Instead, the House speaker was in his office behind closed doors. Outside,
House members stewed, and the Democrats briefly commandeered the House
microphone in a failed effort to lure him out.

At 11:15 or so, Senate leaders realized they had 21 votes. They ended the
filibuster and allowed the vote to go forward.

Opponents wouldn't give in. They repeated concerns that more gambling would
siphon money from other businesses, hurt families, and open the door to
corruption.

"We've given away the farm tonight," said Sen. Susan Wagle, a Wichita
Republican. ".This is a vote that people will regret."

Bail set for 48 gambling defendants

 

Four dozen people charged in connection with what authorities said is a
multimillion-dollar illegal sports betting ring made their first appearance
in state Superior Court Thursday morning. The two women and 46 men were
handcuffed and wearing jail-issued jumpsuits. Most were chained together in
small groups as they filed into Judge Paul F. Chaiet's courtroom. The
roundup of defendants began Wednesday morning following a 16-month
investigation led by State Police and the Monmouth County Prosecutor's
Office, authorities said. Federal agents and a number of other county
prosecutors and local police departments took part. Joseph Pasquale, 51, of
Brick, Richard Crossan, 48, of Hillsborough, and Ralph Santoro, 52, of
Bridgewater, described as the principals in an operation that grossed $500
million - and kept $35 million - over a 19-month period from 2005 to 2007,
were among those in court. All 48 defendants were served with complaints in
court by Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutors Michael Wojciechowski, Hoda
Soliman and Thomas Campo. They are charged with conspiracy to commit money
laundering, racketeering, promoting gambling and conspiracy. Pasquale,
Crossan and Santoro have also been charged with money laundering, while
Crossan is also charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous
substance. Bail for the three alleged ringleaders was set at $1 million
each; bail for the rest of the defendants is $100,000 each. Most of the
defendants were either represented by attorneys in court or told the judge
they would be seeking private counsel. But two of the men qualify for
representation by a public defender, the judge said. Pasquale's attorney,
Susan Lavelle, declined to comment after the brief court appearance. But
Brian Neary, who represents Pasquale's wife, Carol, who was also arrested
Wednesday, said "just because the state brings in a lot of defendants, that
doesn't mean they have a strong case." Neary said he expected his client
would be released on a $100,000 bond by Thursday afternoon.

He said he provided authorities with "more than sufficient evidence" that
legitimate funds would be used for her bail bond, so the Prosecutor's Office
waived a "source hearing" for his client.

Prosecutors had requested the hearings to show that bail money was
legitimate for all the defendants, but would consider waivers on a
case-by-case basis, Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin said.

The judge told attorneys he would hear motions to reduce bail on Tuesday, as
long as they filed the required paperwork by 4 p.m. today.

Thomas Cammarata, who represents Santoro, said he plans to defend the case
aggressively.

NCAA's gambling madness

 

Public interest in NCAA basketball largely centers on informal contests
among family, friends, and colleagues to guess the winners by filling out a
chart for the 127 games. This "bracketology," as it's called, easily slips
into making bets. For many people, it also leads to big financial losses or
a spiral into gambling addiction. The NCAA knows that gambling is corrupting
its big sports, or at least its image. A 2004 poll found 35 percent of male
college athletes and 10 percent of female athletes gambled on college or pro
sports events. Another poll, done last year by New Jersey-based Seton Hall
University, found that about one-fifth of Americans believed college
basketball players intentionally influenced the outcome of games because of
gambling interests. Yet despite such worrisome figures, the association has
become overcommercialized, such as signing a $6 billion contract with CBS,
the biggest single sports deal in history. The basketball finals are now a
major media event, earning so much money that critics say the NCAA and its
more than 1,000 members are exploiting students. To prevent the players from
gambling, the NCAA even brought in the FBI to speak to its top
basketball teams. And it is taking a new national survey of its
student-athletes to estimate how many are betting on games, taking bribes to
influence a game, or revealing information about their teams to professional
bookies. The organization has had some success in making sure more athletes
actually keep up their studies and graduate from college, although the
record remains much better for whites than for blacks. The NCAA needs to
keep reminding its colleges, the public - and itself - that the primary
purpose of school sports is educational. Fortunately, colleges or students
wanting to opt out of the NCAA "madness" can find a nice contrast in the
much smaller National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). That
282-member group has recently been promoting itself as the "anti-NCAA" with
a "character" program for its intercollegiate athletics. Both fans and
athletes are taught how to behave at games and afterward, while colleges
purposely try not to turn games into money-driven entertainment. In its
seminars for coaches and athletes, NAIA also emphasizes the values of
sports - such as leadership and responsibility - unlike the NCAA's primary
emphasis on winning - and earnings. Gambling can find little foothold in
sports run with educational values at the forefront. And colleges that put
the interests of athletes first will find they are less addicted to
royalties from TV contracts.

Grand jury indicts 8 from area in gambling case

 

A federal grand jury in Cleveland has returned a 51-count indictment against
eight Akron- area residents on charges of mail fraud, money laundering and
gambling offenses. Indicted Wednesday were: Nasser M. Kahook, 45, also
called Norman, of Uniontown, with mail-fraud conspiracy, money-laundering
instruments, money-laundering conspiracy, running an illegal gambling
business, gambling conspiracy, money laundering and financial institution
bribery. Abdel Nasser Judeh, 37, also called Nino, of Tallmadge, with
mail-fraud conspiracy, mail fraud and money-laundering conspiracy. Guy
Bocian, 55, of Akron, with mail-fraud conspiracy and money-laundering
conspiracy. Ihab Traish, 26, of Akron, with illegal gambling business,
gambling conspiracy and money-laundering conspiracy. Mohammed Ribhi Kahook,
24, also known as Mike Al Khuq, of Tallmadge, with mail-fraud conspiracy and
money-laundering conspiracy. James Higginbottam, 61, also known as the Rev.
Jim, of Akron, with illegal gambling business, gambling conspiracy and
money-laundering conspiracy. John Gheith, 57, of Akron, with illegal
gambling business, gambling conspiracy andmoney-laundering conspiracy.
Nunzie V. Fragola, 82, of Stow, with illegal gambling business, gambling
conspiracy and money-laundering conspiracy.

Alabama House bill would allow gambling machines at dog tracks

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. A favorite hot button issue -- gambling -- is back on the
table in the Alabama Legislature. Bills introduced in the Alabama
Legislature today would legalize video bingo games for high stakes at
greyhound racetracks in Birmingham and Mobile. Under the proposal, 20
percent of revenue from the games would go to the state and be earmarked to
fund Medicaid. Lawmakers in recent years have struggled to keep up with the
rising cost of the health care program for low income and elderly residents.
The electronic bingo machines are currently legal at greyhound tracks in
Macon and Greene County because of local laws. The bill would outlaw another
kind of gambling machine, called "sweepstakes games," which have been
popping up across the state. The bills are sponsored by Rep. Marcel Black,
D-Tuscumbia, and Sen. Pat Lindsey, D-Butler. Gambling opponents in the
Legislature said they were studying the proposal, but said they do not like
the idea of allowing the bingo machines in Mobile and Birmingham.

Poland Joins Online Gambling Regulation Ranks

 

Online gamblers with an interest in the Eastern European nation of Poland
had reason to celebrate this week with news that the government of Poland is
preparing to license and regulate online gambling. A recent European Court
of Justice ruling in favor of British bookmakers who had been banned from
operating in Italy without a license is expected to be the trigger for
European countries to begin regulating the online gambling industry within
their borders or face trouble with the European Commission. The Warsaw Voice
in Poland reported the government is planning to introduce regulations
similar to those adopted by the Italian government as a result of the ECJ
decision. In handing down its ruling, the ECJ stated: "National regulations
that prohibit the acceptance of bets unless one has a license issued by the
relevant member state restrict the freedom of services", which is against
European Commission regulations. As a result, any gambling company which
seeks to market and accept clients from any European Union state only needs
a license from a single EU country. Industry analysts expect it will take
some time before all EU states fall into line behind the UK and Italy, but
it is inevitable that they must, as they are subject to the laws and
regulations of the European Union. Eventually, it is expected EU states will
compete to offer the most attractive license packages, and the UK will be
left behind with Chancellor Brown's recent announcement of a 15% Remote
Gaming Duty for online casinos. Many in the online gambling industry
expected Brown to announce a tax of 2 or 3%, which would actually serve to
attract online gambling companies to relocate and be licensed by the UK.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Lords wreck hope of gambling

 

PLANS to build Britain's first supercasino in Manchester were THROWN OUT by
the House of Lords yesterday. In a disaster for Prime Minister Tony Blair
and Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, peers blocked the Government's Gambling
Order by 123 votes to 120. The shock result leaves the vision of Las
Vegas-style casinos in Britain in tatters. And plans for 16 smaller casinos
are also on hold. Ms Jowell won't put a fresh order before Parliament until
at least May. Any new scheme is not likely to come to Parliament until after
Chancellor Gordon Brown has taken over as Prime Minister - and he is
lukewarm about the supercasino plans. Ministers had heralded the plans to
allow unlimited jackpot machines and roulette tables in huge leisure
complexes. Last month Manchester was the surprise choice by an independent
panel for the first supercasino, beating Blackpool and London's Millennium
Dome. At the time, Manchester Central Labour MP Tony Lloyd said opposing the
plans would be a "vote against Manchester". Church groups, the Salvation
Army and the Tories waged an anti-gambling campaign.
But yesterday MPs still backed the proposals by 274 votes to 250, a majority
of 24. However, the later defeat in the Lords by just three votes means the
Government will have to redraft its order. Last night Manchester was hoping
Ms Jowell could bring back a new order that was only slightly different and
kept plans for the city intact. She said she wanted "to reflect on the
outcome" of yesterday's vote and promised new proposals. But she could not
hide her huge disappointment that her plans had been disrupted. It will
probably be up to Mr Brown to rubber-stamp any new proposal. But just last
week he slapped a new tax on casino profits. Last night Lib Dem Culture
spokesman Lord Clement Jones hailed the Lords vote. He said: "Against all
the odds, this is an historic victory.
"Ultimately this is a triumph for Parliament and will ensure public
confidence in its scrutiny function and ability to hold the Government to
account."

Expanded gambling approved, on the way to Governor

 

Debate ran so late because of a filibuster staged by gaming proponents in
the Senate. For the most part, Senators stuck to the topic at hand although,
at times, it was a bit of a stretch, as lawmakers discussed the rules of gin
rummy, and various other card games. Many grew frustrated by the stalling,
and the long wait. "It's just kind of one of those stubborn kind of
we-won't-blink-first kind of battles," explained Sen. Pete Brungardt (R,
Salina.) As the Senators tried to outlast House members, over on the House
side, Representatives also refused to budge. "We're not going to do anything
until the Senate votes up or down on the gaming bill," said Rep. Rob Olson
(R, Olathe.) "It's part of the job. It's something that at this time in the
session you expect," Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley (D, Topeka)
said.

Gambling With The Internet

 

When Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA),
which forced online gambling companies to adhere to Federal and State
gambling laws, it wouldn't have been out of the ordinary to assume that the
reason for the crackdown was the attempt to protect compulsive gamblers from
descending into a morass of debt via their home computers. But, like many
other "sin" regulations, the real story is a lot more complex -- and money
has more to do with it than morals. The entire fascinating story can be
found in Alice LaPlante's article Online Gambling Gone Wild: U.S. Crackdown
Sparks Offshore Boom. She cites Tom W. Bell, a professor at the Chapman
University School of Law, who believes that a driving force behind the ban
on online gambling is the land-based gambling industry (you know, all those
Las Vegas and Reno casinos) which doesn't want the competition. Bell also
adheres to the idea (illustrated by the 1920s Prohibition) that people will
gamble online either through legitimate sites or more shady ones, and if you
eliminate the one, you'll encourage the other. Meanwhile the Europeans are
getting into the picture as well -- although they are the ones who are
profiting, since many of the companies that were involved in online gambling
technology in the U.S. have moved their operations overseas. Last February,
the World Trade Organization said it was going to try to prove the U.S. was
guilty of breaking international trade laws by by banning online -- read:
international -- gambling operations. Now, I've never been much of a
gambler -- my only foray into real gambling was once, as an experiment,
dropping $50 at a blackjack table in Las Vegas during a trade show -- so all
this doesn't affect me personally. And I don't know (or, at least, I don't
think I know) anyone who either has a gambling problem, or who spends a lot
of time at online gambling sites. But I am very interested in the way that
the Internet is slowly affecting our legal and political system, whether
it's the ramifications of a ban on online gambling, the effect of the Child
Online Protection Act on free speech rights, or the slow and steady pressure
that sites like YouTube are putting on our copyright laws.

Citadel Focuses On the European Online Gambling Growing Market

 

The online gambling industry has experienced troubles in the American market
since the passing of the Unlawful Internet gambling Enforcement Act, which
has spurred investment firm, Citadel, to focus on gaming markets outside of
the US. ESI Entertainment Systems Inc. (ESI), parent company of online
gambling payment processor, Citadel Commerce, which is based in Canada, and
its subsidiary, Payline, plans to expand its UK operations by moving related
intellectual property to Malta. Since the gambling act was signed into law
in October, Citadel stopped processing US customers' money. Company shares
lost almost 90 percent of their value, and have not recovered. The industry
is finally beginning to look positive as many businesses have the advantage
of mobility: their market remains online, whether from the US or Europe,
where Citadel predicts a huge growth. Citadel's primary data centre will
also relocate, and Tony Greening will be taking over Mark Bains role as CFO.
The call centre, in Costa Rica has already been enhanced for increased
operational duties and local accounting capability. Parent company ESI is
not known for huge investment in dead runners, and shares on the Toronto
Stock Exchange look cheap.

House bill would allow gambling machines at dog tracks

 

A favorite hot button issue - gambling - is back on the table in the Alabama
Legislature. Bills introduced in the Alabama Legislature Thursday would
legalize video bingo games for high stakes at greyhound racetracks in
Birmingham and Mobile. Under the proposal, 20 percent of revenue from the
games would go to the state and be earmarked to fund Medicaid. Lawmakers in
recent years have struggled to keep up with the rising cost of the health
care program for low income and elderly residents. The electronic bingo
machines are currently legal at greyhound tracks in Macon and Greene County
because of local laws. The bill would outlaw another kind of gambling
machine, called "sweepstakes games," which have been popping up across the
state. The bills are sponsored by Rep. Marcel Black, D-Tuscumbia, and Sen.
Pat Lindsey, D-Butler. Black said the bill would control gambling by getting
rid of the sweepstakes machines. "There are thousands of untaxed,
unregulated electronic sweepstakes machines operating around the state,"
Black said. He said operators of the games have found loopholes in state law
to keep operating. "My proposal will make it clear, once and for all, that
video sweepstakes machines are illegal in Alabama," Black said. Gambling
opponents in the Legislature said they were studying the proposal, but said
they do not like the idea of allowing the bingo machines in Mobile and
Birmingham. "It's just not where we need to go," said Rep. Gerald Allen,
R-Tuscaloosa. Another gambling opponent, House Minority Leader Rep. Mike
Hubbard, R-Auburn, said he might be willing to consider the bill if it will
get rid of the sweepstakes machines. "I'm all for making all gambling
illegal," Hubbard said. But he said a priority needs to be to do away with
the sweepstakes machines, which he said mostly operate without paying taxes.
Similar bills have been met with opposition in the past, but House Speaker
Seth Hammett said the prospect of getting rid of the sweepstakes machines
may make the legislation easier to pass this session.

Anticorruption chief 'skimming the surface' of illegal gambling

 

If it has seemed over the past few days that cricket and illegal betting are
incurably connected, an alternative view comes from - of all places -
Karachi, where the head of the city's AntiCorruption Establishment declares
that three years ago he came within sight of stamping out underground
gambling houses completely. Karachi is split into 19 "towns", the equivalent
of boroughs, and Inspector General Asad Ashia Malik assigned a force of 190
officers, ten to go undercover in each of them. Between 2002 and 2004, they
conducted 38 raids and made 1,032 arrests. "I almost wiped the evil out
altogether," Malik said yesterday. "I think I accounted for 80 per cent of
it. All the big strong groups I smashed. The other 20 per cent were those
without a permanent base. They mainly moved in cars, often to the beaches,
packing up and moving on fast. "I played first-class cricket myself from
1979 to 1990 [he bowled off spin and once took the wicket of Rashid Latif,
the former Pakistan wicketkeeper], but the problems started when big money
came into cricket. The arrival of the mobile phone made it even worse."
In 2004, Malik was promoted from chief of police to the head of the
anticorruption unit. For the record, he is not impressed with the police
work being carried out in Jamaica in the wake of Bob Woolmer's murder, but
at home he says that while illegal gambling is a huge industry, it is not
one that is uncontrollable. "I'd say there are now about 50 illegal gambling
houses operating at any single time," he said. "They are an underworld
mafia, often dealing in narcotics and gambling side by side. The police keep
raiding them and making arrests, but they surface elsewhere and we start
again." The bad news for cricket, though, is that while Malik believes he
can make inroads in his own city, he is just skimming the surface of
cricket's
problem. In Karachi, they may gamble on cricket, but the industry is
controlled from Dubai and Bombay. However, he said, cricket could do an
infinitely better job of policing itself. The ICC's own anticorruption unit
would be served better, Malik believes, if there was better policing of
tours, where bookmakers can masquerade as fans and come into contact with
players. "Senior police officers should be attached in the specific role of
an anticorruption watchdog," he said. He also advocates an internal
financial checking system whereby the assets of players should be declared
annually to their own cricket boards. Ironically, this recommendation formed
part of the report put to the Pakistan Cricket Board seven years ago, which
appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

The report was the result of an 18-month investigation by the High Court
judge, Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum, into match-fixing involving the
Pakistan cricket team and led to Salim Malik, a former Pakistan captain,
being banned. Other players were also reprimanded, notably Inzamam-ul-Haq
(fined) and Mushtaq Ahmed, the present assistant coach, whom Qayyum
recommended should never again be allowed a position of responsibility in
the national side.

Qayyum said yesterday that he feared Woolmer's death could have been avoided
had his report not been "swept like dust under the carpet". Sarfraz Nawaz,
the former Test player who has made a number of unsubstantiated claims about
corruption in the game, also repeated allegations on national television
that he had proof that the Pakistan team had been gambling.

"My recommendations were implemented to an extent," Qayyum said, "but now it
seems they are being ignored. It just seems I was wasting my own time. In
this country, we feel that cricket is really a part of us. Now we feel
betrayed."

Inspector General Malik also said he feared that the gambling industry was
behind Woolmer's murder. "I believe it was due to the affairs of betting,"
he said. "The amount of money involved is millions and the people involved
are very ruthless people. Maybe Woolmer was approached and just didn't
succumb to the pressure."

He is unimpressed by both the security arrangements at the World Cup and the
standard of the investigation into Woolmer's death. "So far they haven't
contacted us to ask about betting patterns or anything and that is
surprising," he said. "To my assessment, the investigation is not very
sharp. How many days was it before they were looking at the CCTV footage?
Almost a week. I don't know why. I am astonished that they do not know yet
who visited every room.

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