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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Program strives to help teens kick gambling habit

This week, Youth Eastside Services launched the first state-funded program
to help teens battle gambling addiction. The program is funded by a new tax
approved last year by the Legislature to pay for prevention and treatment of
problem gamblers. The tax is paid by the Washington Lottery, Washington
Horseracing Commission and groups with recreational gaming licenses. So far,
much of the state's information about teen gambling addiction is anecdotal,
said Linda Graves, problem gambling program manager for the state's Division
of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. The division operates the Washington State
Problem Gambling Program. The most recent study in 1999 found that 1 percent
of students ages 12-17 were problem gamblers and that an additional 0.7
percent were at risk to become gamblers, Graves said. The numbers have
likely risen over the years, given the prevalence of online gambling and the
popularity of TV shows such as "Celebrity Poker Showdown," Graves said. One
of the biggest problems with identifying teenage gambling addicts is that
many parents don't consider gambling a true addiction, Graves said.

"Parents let their kids play Texas Hold'em as a recreational activity,"
Graves said. "For most kids, they aren't going to get into trouble. But for
some, it could be a trigger or a gateway activity for a worse problem later
on. Why let your kids engage in a risky behavior?"

Detecting problem gambling in young people is also a challenge.

There's no "pee test" for gambling as there is for drug use, noted Chris
Sogn prevention and intervention specialist at Youth Eastside Services

The YES program will counsel teens and parents on gambling addiction,
working with the youth to cope with cravings and depression, and teaching
parents how to take control of their teen's money.

Gambling addiction is similar to drug and alcohol addiction in many ways,
with teens struggling to hide it from parents, and often using it as a way
to escape or to get a rush, Sogn said.

"Kids who are competitive may think, 'I can make this work and it's a way I
can make money without working at McDonald's,' " she said.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/30/2006 04:30:00 AM

Porn, gambling, liquor companies slapped for soliciting minors

Utah consumer protection officials have cited four companies for sending
e-mail solicitations to minors for Web sites promoting gambling, alcohol and
pornography. It was the second time this year state investigators issued
citations under the state's controversial Child Protection Registry law,
which requires adult-oriented Web sites and e-mailers to screen out
addresses on the list from their distribution databases. Named in the
citations were DOS Media Now, an Encinitas, Calif., online gambling site
fined $5,000; Golden Arch Casinos, of Overland Park, Kan., fined $2,500;
Smoothbeer.com, a United Kingdom beer company fined $2,500; and
SoftestGirls.com, a Singapore company fined $20,000 for sending pornographic
e-mails to several minors. In January, the state issued its first, $2,500
citation under the statute to a Canadian online porn site for allegedly
sending a sexually explicit e-mail to registered minor's address. "This has
become a very serious problem," said Francine Giani, Commerce Department
executive director. "It's a big issue for us, but parents can play an
important role in this process, too, by knowing and being aware of what
their children are doing on the Internet." Utah's Child Protection Registry
took effect in mid-2005. While its primary selling point with legislators
was to combat pornography, it also is designed to protect registered minors
from content promoting alcohol, tobacco, gambling, firearms and drugs.
Both Utah and Michigan, which has a similar registry, link mass e- mailers
to Park City-based Unspam Technologies. The company charges a half-cent for
each address that is removed. The registry is free for schools, parents and
other guardians of minors to use. Commercial e-mailers argue that the
registry's time and cost are unfairly burdensome. The Free Speech
Coalition - a porn trade organization - is challenging the constitutionality
of the Utah law in U.S. District Court. Judge Dale Kimball has set a Nov. 9
hearing on the coalition's motion for an injunction, and the state's request
to dismiss the coalition's lawsuit. Jerome Mooney, a Salt Lake City attorney
representing the coalition, said Thursday he was surprised by the citations
when the statute itself is at issue.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/30/2006 04:30:00 AM

PartyGaming lifted by delay to US anti-gambling law

PARTYGAMING experienced a late flurry of buying on an apparent procedural
setback in Congress over America's anti-gambling legislation.
Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, has been seeking to attach the
anti-gambling measure to one of two "must-pass" Bills before Congress shuts
down this weekend ahead of November's mid-term elections. But with
legislators keen not to hold up the progress of the politically sensitive
Homeland Security Bill, it was set to be pushed through yesterday without
the gambling curbs attached. Separately, there was no sign that efforts to
attach the anti-gambling measure to the Defence Bill - which itself appears
unlikely to get through Congress before tomorrow's deadline - were making
any progress. Followers of the online gambing sector suggested that the
chances of the controversial legislation being passed this session had
virtually evaporated. Further, although it may get a fresh airing in the
so-called "lame duck" session - the period in which Congress still meets
after elections have been held, but before the newly elected Congress has
convened - there is also now the possibility that the legislative process
will have to be restarted next year, effectively meaning a six- month delay.

With short-term investors taking heart from the impasse on Capitol Hill,
PartyGaming rose 4¼p at 105¾p. The FTSE 100 gained 41.2 to5,971.3, with
natural resources stocks again making much of the running. Aside from
further gains in metals prices, miners were helped by a heavyweight circular
from ABN Amro, which believes that this month's sell-off in the sector
offers a good buying opportunity. The Dutch broker says valuations appear
low relative to what is priced into other cyclical stocks.

Brambles jumped 20p to 488p as takeover talk refused to fade. One theory was
that the pallet maker could be a target for General Electric at around 600p
per share. A competing theory out of Australia overnight was that a private
equity house is mulling a move at A$15 (598p).

A more pedestrian explanation is that the gains owe more to arbitrage
activity ahead of Brambles' move of its primary listing to Australia in
December. Under that scenario, proprietary traders who have been trying to
profit from a valuation disparity between the two listings have been
recently covering their short positions in the Australian stock, thereby
triggering a squeeze.

Elsewere, bid rumours continued to follow Hanson, up 25p at 746p, which
yesterday hosted an analysts' visit to its operations bordering the Thames
Estuary. Speculative investors also continued to pursue Prudential, which
rose 6½p at 643½p, on persistently strong talk of an imminent 750p a share

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/30/2006 04:30:00 AM

Martin sentenced in illegal gambling case

Trainer Greg Martin was sentenced to two years probation and six months home
confinement on Thursday for his involvement in an alleged illegal gambling
ring that supposedly brokered more than $200-million in bets over a two-year
period. Martin was fined $2,000 and a $100 special assessment by Judge
Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum in United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York. Martin pleaded guilty in the case and faced up to
five years and prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Martin admitted in March
to administering A One Rocket a milkshake before the opening race at
Aqueduct on December 18, 2003, a race the gelding won by ten lengths. Martin
said he informed David "Pebbles" Applebaum of the milkshaking and understood
that Applebaum would pass that information along to other bettors in the
alleged gambling ring. In January 2005, federal prosecutors indicted 17
individuals on 88 counts for participating in the illegal gambling business.
One person indicted in the case has since died.

According to a spokesperson for the United States Attorney's office, several
others indicted in the case have received sentences in recent months that
are similar to what Martin was assessed.

On March 29, Jeffrey Gruber received three years probation, six months home
confinement, a $2,000 fine, and $100 special assessment.

Jonathan Broome received one year probation, six months home confinement,
and a $100 special assessment.

On July 18, Paul Cuzzo received five years probation, six months home
confinement, and a $100 special assessment.

On July 26, Richard Hart received two years probation, six months home
confinement, and a $100 special assessment.

On September 20, Norman Ostrov was sentenced to time served and received a
$100 special assessment.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/30/2006 04:30:00 AM

Louisiana ups ante in online gambling case

LOUISIANA governor Kathleen Blanco has voiced support for the state's
crackdown on online gambling and renewed an extradition request for Peter
Dicks, former chairman of Sportingbet. The governor's intervention came as
Mr Dicks prepared to attend a court hearing in New York yesterday to learn
whether he will be sent to Louisiana to face illegal gambling charges.
Lawyers for Mr Dicks, who was arrested in New York three weeks ago on a
Louisiana warrant, had hoped to halt the extradition process before the
hearing. But a spokesman for Ms Blanco said she was still pushing for his
extradition as part of efforts to enforce the state's law against online
gambling. "If we do not enforce this law, online gambling would be
completely unregulated and that would clearly be an expansion of gambling,
which is unacceptable," she told the FT. Barry Slotnick, lead defence
lawyer, acknowledged that Louisiana had "dug in" over recent days, raising
the prospect of a courtroom battle over Mr Dicks's fate. "They are not
backing off," he said in an interview. "We're preparing our argument to
rebut what Louisiana says." Thursday's hearing in New York comes amid
increasing alarm among online bookmakers about the legal threat posed to the
industry by US anti-gambling laws.

William Hill, the British bookmaker, said on Wednesday it would no longer
accept casino and poker business from clients with a US address or credit
card, pending clarification of US laws.

The company had already stopped accepting online sports bets from US

Congress is considering the introduction of tough new federal laws against
online gambling, in addition to existing state laws such as those used by
Louisiana, to arrest Mr Dicks.

Louisiana's Police Gaming Enforcement division told the FT this week that
arrest warrants had been issued for four Sportingbet representatives,
including Mr Dicks, after state police placed a bet with the company.

On Wednesday, Sportingbet, which is listed in Britain, said it had banned
board members from travelling to the US.

Mr Dicks may still be spared prosecution in Louisiana because of legal
questions over the legitimacy of the state's extradition request.

Defence lawyers have argued that he cannot be extradited to Louisiana under
New York law because he was not in either state at the time of the alleged

Mr Dicks was allowed to return to Britain on bail two weeks ago while the
case was reviewed but he was ordered to return for yesterday's hearing.

George Pataki, New York governor, has withdrawn a warrant needed for Mr
Dicks's extradition because of doubts about the case.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/30/2006 04:30:00 AM

Gambling Operators Are Warned

A senior Finance Ministry official told gambling operators to prepare for
hard times, while scantily clad girls danced outside the conference hall at
Moscow's annual international gaming expo Thursday. Dancers dressed as
cowgirls moved to the din of slot machines at Crocus Expo, where hundreds of
casino bosses, slots operators and manufacturers of gambling equipment
gathered in the hope of understanding what pending legislation on gambling
means for their booming businesses. "Prepare for the worst and hope for the
best," Alexei Savatyugin, chief of the Finance Ministry's financial policy
department, told the conference. The State Duma is expected to vote on the
crucial second reading of the legislation as early as next week and no later
than November, Savatyugin said. The bill represents the Duma's first serious
attempt to impose strict regulations on the gambling industry, worth nearly
$6 billion last year. The Finance Ministry's Federal Tax Service has been in
charge of handing out gambling licenses since last November, but regional
authorities currently govern all other industry matters. "The stricter the
legislation, the more chances it will have to be approved by a greater
number of politicians," Igor Dines, Duma deputy with United Russia, told the

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/30/2006 04:29:00 AM

Friday, September 29, 2006

Online-gambling bill stuck

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, a Virginia Republican,
raised a "strong objection" to attaching any unrelated legislation to a
pending defense bill, which has been viewed by supporters of the gambling
bill as a prime vehicle for it. "I have firmly opposed putting any
(unrelated) bills in the conference report," Warner wrote in a letter dated
Monday to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican. Warner
did not cite the Internet gambling bill specifically, but he said other
senators have sought to tack at least nine unrelated items to the defense
bill. A Republican aide said that Frist has not given up on passing the
Internet gambling bill before lawmakers recess at the end of this week to
campaign for the Nov. 7 elections. Frist and other proponents are looking at
other possible vehicles, such as a pending measure to bolster port security
against potential terrorist attacks, aides said. "He wants to get it done,"
one aide said. "We are still working things out. Everyone is still talking."
A senior Democratic aide said, "I wouldn't pronounce it dead yet."

Efforts to win support for a Internet version of the House bill in the
Senate have been opposed by lobbyists representing casino owners and horse-
and dog-racing interests.

The bill would prohibit most forms of Internet gambling and make it illegal
for banks and credit card companies to make payments to gambling sites.

Investors in British-based gaming companies such as BetOnSports, Partygaming
and 888 Holdings are closely watching the U.S. legislation.

Democrats have criticized the Republican-backed measure as an election-year
appeal to the party's conservative base, particularly the religious right.

Frist is a potential 2008 presidential candidate. He recently appeared at a
congressional field hearing in Iowa--the state that holds the first
presidential nominating contest in 2008--to hear concerns about Internet

Supporters of a crackdown on Internet gambling say legislation is needed to
clarify that a 1961 federal law banning interstate telephone betting also
covers an array of online gambling.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/29/2006 12:06:00 PM

Italy to Legalize and Regulate Online Poker and Gambling

Italy has had an interesting relationship with online gaming. In February,
the country attempted to ban all IP addresses of online gaming sites, and
then a few days later reportedly tried to set up an 'exclusive' relationship
with an online poker room, allegedly for a slice of the pie. Now, Italy has
taken the step that the U.K., and many other countries have taken, and is
moving toward regulation of the industry. As of January 1, 2007, it will be
legal for Italian citizens to gamble online. The new law also clears the way
for things like public sports betting and bingo parlors. This piece of
legislation de-regulates all 'ability based and fixed betting activities',
which poker clearly falls under. The Italian plan apparently mirrors that
of the plan in the U.K. with respect to how the entities that do business in
Italy are regulated. One thing of note: If a company does business with
Italian customers, the government will stand to make a 3% tax on any gaming
based revenues acquired by the company. This seems to be the direction many
countries around the world are heading, with the model in the U.K. seeming
to be stable, and sustainable. This new law in Italy has led many to
speculation that the online gaming industry will launch an all out blitz
trying to grab market share in the newly opened market. How do you say 'Gold
Rush' in Italian? The billion dollar question in the online gaming industry
is: What will the U.S. do?

In recent days, it has become more and more clear that the U.S. Senate will
not be able to pass the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act in any form,
whether as a stand alone bill, or attached to other legislation before the
Senate takes its election recess starting tomorrow or Saturday. History has
shown us that post-election 'lame duck' sessions of congress are more
reticent to discuss any proposed legislation that has heated debate, or
especially complex issues attached to it.

Starting January 1st, the Italian people will be able to legally play poker
in front of their computer. We will continue to monitor how the other
countries around the world deal with this highly charged issue.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/29/2006 12:06:00 PM

Track Official Says Time Is Now For Table Gambling

The jingle of slot machines from neighboring Pennsylvania could serve as a
wake-up call for West Virginia lawmakers to approve table gambling, Delegate
Gil White believes. White, R-Ohio, said without table gambling West Virginia
could lose up to $50 million in revenue the first year Pennsylvania comes
on-line with its slot machines. Pennsylvania officials on Wednesday approved
licenses for five racing facilities in the Keystone State - including The
Meadows in Washington County. The horse track will provide direct
competition with Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center for slots
customers. Wheeling Island could cut up to 350 jobs if West Virginia does
not approve table gambling at its racetracks, said Bob Marshall, the
facility's president and general manager. With table gambling, the track
could add up to 400 new jobs, he said. Marshall said 60 percent of Wheeling
Island's customers come from Pennsylvania. To combat the anticipated loss of
customers and revenue, Marshall said the state Legislature needs to act
during its next general session in January. "We've been talking about this
for a couple years and the reality is it's here," Marshall said, estimating
Pennsylvania's slots would be online in April. If approved by the
Legislature in January and then by Ohio County voters, Marshall estimated
people could be playing table games, such as blackjack, about this time next
year at Wheeling Island. Whether any of his 1,000 employees would be laid
off in the meantime, Marshall could not say.

He noted during the estimated nine-month transition period, many of his
current employees may receive training to become table game dealers.

"According to our polling, 61 percent of West Virginians would approve a
local option vote," Marshall said. "This is a great opportunity to add

He noted Ohio residents are scheduled to vote upon allowing slot machines in
November. He expects Maryland to follow soon after. He said 30 percent of
Wheeling Island's patrons come from Ohio, while only 5 percent are West

The addition of table gambling in Pennsylvania and Ohio, he believes, may be
inevitable, but likely will not happen for "years down the road." When it
does, though, Marshall believes the competition between the racetracks will
be more even.

The challenge for Northern Panhandle lawmakers will be convincing their
colleagues in other counties to support the measure.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the day is here," White
said. "For at least two years, I and others have been saying it was just a
matter of time before Pennsylvania was up-and-running with its machines, and
we knew this would adversely affect West Virginia's annual budget.

"If we do nothing - and do not allow for table gambling at the racetracks -
the state's coffers could be affected by $50 million.

"With no hesitancy, we need to move ahead with an aggressive format to get
the table gaming legislation passed," he said. "We need to make certain our
colleagues understand that the day is here. What we have been predicting has
taken place."

Delegate Randy Swartz-miller, D-Hancock, said he believes Gov. Joe Manchin
will not place the table gambling issue on the call for a special session
before January.

"Before January, we will make sure our colleagues are updated and educated
about what is going on, and we will be that much farther ahead come
January," he said.

"There was a very good chance that table gambling legislation would pass in
this upcoming session anyway," said Delegate Joe DeLong, D-Hancock. "We
already had expected that Pennsylvania would go online soon, so this was no
surprise. We saw it coming.

"But the political landscape has started to turn. After this next election,
the votes will be there to support the issue."

DeLong said he senses public sentiment throughout West Virginia about table
gambling is changing, especially in the Eastern Panhandle.

He added the issue certainly won't be far from legislators' minds as they
assemble late this year for a special session on tax reform.

State Sen. Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, said video gambling is the second
largest tax revenue source for the state.

"If we see this revenue reduced by 25 to 30 percent, we will either have to
cut programs or find other sources of revenue," he said. "I prefer table
gambling because it is mostly out-of-state money being contributed to the
state's economy."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/29/2006 12:06:00 PM

Online gambling could face legal restrictions

Hoosiers who sit at their computers gambling online may be subject to
greater restrictions in the near future. State Rep. Joe Micon, D-West
Lafayette, and Republican candidate Connie Basham both believe restrictions
on the practice are necessary. Micon commented on state law, stating
"Currently, participating (in online gambling) is not illegal." Indiana law
allows such participation but prohibits the operation of a server hosting
gambling within the state. To date, Washington is the only U.S. state that
prohibits gamers from logging on to poker, blackjack or other gambling
sites. Online gambling within the state is considered a Class C felony,
punishable with a $10,000 fine or five years in prison. " (But) most states
have chosen the route of not criminalizing (it,)" said Micon.

He said taxing winnings may be a possible route for increasing state
revenue, but was confident saying "I think what we will see, in the relative
future, is state regulation of (online) gaming in the state of Indiana."

Basham, the Republican candidate for the office, agrees and said that as
credit card debt for college students continues to be a problem, now is the
right time for regulation.

"Right now, we make it so easy for students to pile up debt," said Basham.
"To use gambling to continue the cycle of debt ... we need regulations in
place. I don't want to see gambling expanded."

She also commented there are already other significant gambling
opportunities in the state, hinting that online gambling is unnecessary.

"We want students to succeed. We don't want them to go on a course for

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/29/2006 12:06:00 PM

Internet Gambling Bill has little chance of passing

After a brief skirmish over new identification requirements for cross-border
travel, it appeared House GOP leaders have agreed to let the $34.8 billion
FY07 Homeland Security appropriations conference report come to the floor as
early as today, GOP aides said. House Speaker Hastert and Judiciary Chairman
Sensenbrenner, key architects of the 2004 intelligence overhaul law
stipulating the requirements, had pressured appropriators to drop language
delaying them by 17 months. But the delay had broad support among House and
Senate Republicans, and in the end leaders did not want to hold up the
politically sensitive bill, which includes $21.3 billion for border
protection efforts -- a 10 percent increase over the current fiscal year.
Appropriators Wednesday night were preparing to file the necessary paperwork
for leaders to bring up the bill under a "same-day rule" for floor
consideration in the House, possibly today. Senior appropriators on both
sides of the Capitol opposed opening the bill to further changes, arguing
they had struck a delicate balance and any changes would risk losing votes.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Specter and Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, both said
they would withdraw their votes if changes were made without their consent.
"The conference report is over. It's final," said House Homeland Security
Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky. Added Senate
Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H.:
"This bill is closed. We're not reopening it."

Complicating matters further had been a House-Senate dispute over additional
immigration-related legislation sought by Hastert, and aides said they were
trying to resolve his concerns by either including those measures in the
defense authorization bill or exploring the possibility of moving them
during the lame-duck session.

Defense authorization

The prospects for passing the FY07 defense authorization bill before
lawmakers flee Washington this weekend dimmed Wednesday as House Speaker
Hastert and Senate Armed Services Chairman Warner remained deadlocked over
whether unrelated legislation should be attached to the bill.

Lawmakers leaving the meeting said Hastert and Warner still had not reached
an agreement over whether to attach federal court security legislation and a
controversial Republican measure aimed at detaining and deporting immigrant
gang members and speeding the removal of immigrant criminals.

Other House and Senate staffers indicated that there was little room for a
compromise, signaling that the bill would not move until one side backs
down. "Somebody needs to blink," an aide said. Hastert has said Senate
Majority Leader Frist assured him the Senate would consider the
court-security and immigrant gang legislation before the six-week recess for
the elections.

With time running out before the planned recess, the defense authorization
bill was one of only a few options to serve as a vehicle for those bills.

But even as the Hastert-Warner standoff continued, House and Senate
conferees appeared to have resolved nearly all differences in their
competing versions of the defense authorization measure.

In the last several days, Warner and Hunter have agreed to compromise
language on a divisive House provision that would have allowed military
chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Separately, no movement was apparent Wednesday in the effort to add language
to the defense authorization bill to restrict Internet gambling.

Summary: Big news here is that Hastert (and by extention Frist) has
apparently given up on trying to attach his add-ons to the Homeland Security
bill. It is probably in gear to move through both chambers by Saturday.
Meanwhile, on the DoD Authorization side, Warner is holding firm on the
add-ons and it is unlikely to see debate before the lame duck session.

I think there is about a 10% chance of iGaming legislation passing before
the recess and I'll stick to that assessment just to err on the conservative
side. If I were trying to put a negative spin on this, I'd say that to some
extent we'd rather have a complete meltdown than the gears moving at all,
even if the gears seem to be moving in our direction. But self-evidently
there is mostly good news.

There is apparently some big luncheon/cheerleading session between Bush and
GOP leaders scheduled for tomorrow. Just looking at the calendar, that may
be the best and last chance for any sort of major shift in congressional

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/29/2006 12:06:00 PM

Catholic schools to stop raising funds via gambling

Catholic schools in Calgary have agreed to stop fundraising through casinos
and bingos, but it's "business as usual" until they figure out how to make
up the $2-million shortfall, says the chairwoman of the school district's
trustees. The issue arose when Calgary Bishop Fred Henry threatened to strip
the schools of their Catholic designation if they continued to raise money
through gambling. "We have to respect what our bishop has requested us to
do," Cathie Williams said yesterday, adding some parents are concerned about
the decision. "Some of the programs that are in place right now have been
around for many, many years and the concern is that without this additional
funding, those programs will be lost."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/29/2006 12:06:00 PM

Thursday, September 28, 2006

William Hill pulls plug on US gambling

British bookmaker William Hill said today it had stopped taking casino and
poker bets from US customers amid confusion over internet gambling laws
there. Online sports betting contravenes the 1961 Wire Act in America, which
bans the placing of bets on sporting events via the telephone line in the
states. William Hill already has measures in place to prevent American
gamblers logging onto its website and placing bets on sports events. But the
firm said it was also pulling out of casino and poker until there was a
better understanding over how the law will affect its business. William Hill
said in a statement it would not accept casino or poker business from
customers with a US address or US-issued credit card. Chief executive David
Harding said: "The advice we have had is that online gambling is not illegal
under the Wire Act, but there are clearly attempts within the US to make it
illegal. "Given the debate in the Senate about changes to internet gambling,
we just decided this was the most prudent course of action. "We are small in
the US and have never marketed ourselves in the states. It is just an outlet
for US customers if they come across us on the internet."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/28/2006 08:10:00 AM

Frist looking to attach Internet Gambling Bill before Congress adjourns

Senator Frist failed again to attach an Internet gambling bill to a defense
bill today. However, Republicans are looking for other avenues to ban
online gambling before Congress adjourns for the November 7 elections. An
aide told Reuters today, "Frist wants to get it done...We are still working
things out. Everyone is still talking." A senior Democratic aide was quoted
by cnetnews.com as saying, "I wouldn't pronounce it dead yet." The proposed
bill would make most forms of online gambling illegal and prohibit banks and
credit card companies to provide funds to gambling sites. Backers of the
Internet gambling bill say that legislation is badly needed to emphasize
that the 1961 federal law banning telephone betting is also a measure
against a variety of online gambling such as horse and dog-racing interests.
Aides say that Frist along with other supporters are planning to tag it to
other provisions such as tightening port security against threats of
terrorism. Given the fact that time is running out, we can only hope that
level heads prevailin the Senate. This isn't really about right or wrong,
or helping any Americans out.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/28/2006 08:10:00 AM


Fiscal protectionism masked by political manoeuvring and adroit public
relations the real agenda Veteran industry professional and soon to stand
down Sportingbet CEO Nigel Payne spoke out against online gambling bans in
an interview with The Times of London this week. Long an articulate
proponent of government regulated and taxed online gambling, Payne explained
how not so hidden agenda have played an important role in recent arrests of
online gambling executives, including that of Sportingbet colleague Peter
Dicks. "The key to a proper understanding of what is happening in the
internet gambling industry is to look at the agenda of some of those who
seek to criticise it," Payne argued in the Times interview. "I believe that
the real picture that emerges is one of fiscal protectionism that is being
masked by political manoeuvring and adroit public relations. Payne says that
a good example of banning rationalisation is the often-used and emotive
issue of under-age gambling. "We are told that the industry is a social
pariah, a danger to children. Although internet gambling may provide the
capability for minors to participate in unsupervised gambling, the truth is
that the industry has long been able to demonstrate that it has the
technology to mitigate such risks.

"The US House of Representatives recently passed a Bill - H.R.4411 - to "ban
internet gambling". A central pillar of the Bill was that the industry is "a
risk to the children of America". What struck me as odd was that the House
never asked whether technology existed to mitigate the concerns.

"Moreover, the Bill lists a number of internet gambling activities,
including horse racing and fantasy leagues, that would be exempt from any
ban. No explanation is offered about why such activities should be exempted,
nor why children might be at risk from, say, a bet on a hand of poker but
not from a bet on a horse race."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/28/2006 08:10:00 AM

Louisiana police issue arrest threat to online gambling

Louisiana police have warned all online gambling companies to stop
accepting bets in the state or risk having their executives and directors
arrested if they visit the US, the Financial Times reported, citing an
interview with Captain Joe Lentini, head of the casino section of
Louisiana's Police Gaming Enforcement division. The FT quotes Lentini, the
police official responsible for the arrest of Peter Dicks, ex-chairman of
Sportingbet PLC, on a Louisiana warrant in New York three weeks ago, as
saying the state is pressing ahead with its clampdown, in spite of what
appears to be a rethink about the case in other jurisdictions. Lentini said
the state has issued four arrest warrants for individuals associated with
Sportingbet, including Dicks. He would not name the other three but told the
FT it 'was reasonable to assume they were executives or directors'. The FT
says Lentini indicated that other online gambling companies were also under
investigation and their executives and directors at risk of arrest. The
report says it's understood that Louisiana has sealed warrants against more
than 50 people working or connected to at least a dozen online gambling or
related companies.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/28/2006 08:09:00 AM

Gambling Interests Spend Big On Political Influence

Wisconsin's Indian tribes have spent millions of dollars in the past decade
to influence politics. A review of state and federal donations by the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows the tribes and gambling interests committed
about $5.5 million in the past 10 years to political spending. That includes
campaign contributions and advertising campaigns. The review showed
Democrats are the biggest beneficiaries of the spending, with Gov. Jim Doyle
getting the most -- about $926,000. That includes big donations from tribes
funneled through Democratic Party committees in Washington. U.S. Rep. Mark
Green, the Republican candidate for governor, got virtually nothing from
tribes. Neither did Scott Mccallum, the Republican governor who lost to
Doyle in 2002.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/28/2006 08:09:00 AM

Christian church leaders join forces against Ohio gambling issue

A broad coalition of Christian clergy said Wednesday they will push
parishioners to oppose a proposal to expand gambling in Ohio by displaying
yard signs, campaigning door-to-door and preaching against the measure from
their pulpits. The announcement at a Statehouse news conference marked a
moment of rare cooperation on a political issue between Ohio's mainstream
and conservative religious communities, which have differed in their
approaches in the divisive governor's race between Democrat Ted Strickland
and Republican Ken Blackwell. But both groups sent powerful religious
leaders - United Methodist Bishop Bruce Ough and evangelical pastor Rod
Parsley of World Harvest Church - to express their unity against the ballot
initiative, called Learn and Earn by backers.
Ough, who represents the Methodist church's West Ohio Conference, equated
the supporters' strategy of highlighting the college scholarships provided
by the proposal, rather than the gambling it would allow, to a game of hide
and seek. "What supporters of slot machines really want is a full-blown
gambling industry in Ohio," he said. "This ballot issue is the first step in
their agenda." Parsley said Ohioans deserve something better than a
snake-oil sales pitch from Learn and Earn.
"It's a risky scheme to enrich a few at the expense of the poor," he said.
The constitutional amendment, Issue 3 on the Nov. 7 ballot, would allow
seven horse racing tracks to operate 31,500 slot machines and give Cleveland
the option of setting up two freestanding sites downtown. Thirty percent of
the money raised would be earmarked for scholarships that students would
earn while in high school.

Learn and Earn spokeswoman Robin Hepler said supporters respect church
leaders' right to oppose the amendment, but believe they are spreading

"We understand their objections on the moral issue of gambling, but I would
disagree when they say this is not about education," Hepler said.

She said their opposition was expected.

The church leaders who gathered Wednesday said they plan to distribute
10,000 yard signs to be displayed in church lawns statewide, hand out voter
education pamphlets and hold informational forums on the topic.

Rebecca Tollefson, executive director of the Ohio Council of Churches, said
the proposal would create new gambling addicts in Ohio and would make a few
business owners rich at the expense of low-income people, who would be drawn
to the get-rich-quick promise of slot machines.

She accused its backers of being deceptive.

"Learn and Earn is about gambling, not education," Tollefson said. "And
gambling is bad for families."

Though organizers of Wednesday's event called on other faith leaders to join
their effort, they did not reach out to a recently formed coalition of
mainline and liberal religious leaders called We Believe, which has been
active in this year's election.

The Rev. Tim Ahrens of the First Congregational Church in Columbus and the
head of We Believe - which challenged the tax-exempt status of some
conservative religious churches, including Parsley's, and their support of
Blackwell for governor - said his group was not invited to take part in the
news conference.

We Believe has not taken a position on Issue 3, he said, but may do so. He
said most of the ministers in his group oppose the issue.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/28/2006 08:09:00 AM

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

William Hill Stops Accepting Online Bets From U.S.

William Hill Plc, the second- largest U.K. bookmaker, said it will stop
taking online poker and casino bets from American customers until the scope
of a U.S. crackdown on Internet gambling becomes clearer.
William Hill already blocks U.S. sports bettors, Chief Executive Officer
David Harding said today in a telephone interview. The new measures also
will bar American customers from playing the London-based company's Web
casino and poker games, he said.

``We have always taken a passive marketing approach to U.S. customers and
have never actively sought out U.S. online business,'' the CEO said. ``Now,
on the basis of legal advice, we are blocking U.S. business entirely.''

William Hill is acting after U.S. authorities arrested managers of British
Internet bookmakers Sportingbet Plc and Betonsports Plc in the last 2 1/2
months. Legislators in the U.S., where the government views Internet gaming
as illegal under a 1961 law, in July approved a measure to stifle online
gambling by restricting the flow of money to illegal gaming Web sites.

The online division of William Hill gets 0.5 percent of gross win, or the
amount customers lose on bets, from U.S. bettors, according to Harding.
American gamblers make up 0.1 percent of total gross win, he said. The
company has more then 2,000 British betting shops in addition to its Web

`Insignificant Business'

``It's an easy decision for William Hill to make, because it's quite an
insignificant business for them and their archrival Ladbrokes doesn't take
any U.S. bets,'' said Matthew Gerard, an analyst at Investec Securities in

Shares of William Hill fell 2 pence, or 0.3 percent, to 644 pence at 3:14
p.m. in London. They have added 12 percent in the past year, less than the
22 percent advance by the 30- member FTSE 350 Travel & Leisure Index. The
bookmaker has a market value of 2.30 billion pounds ($4.3 billion).

Online gambling is a growing $12 billion-a-year business for companies
including PartyGaming Plc operating from places such as Gibraltar. U.S.
officials say Internet betting sites may launder money and sell drugs and
lack safeguards to screen out minors and gambling addicts.

Peter Dicks has resigned as chairman of Sportingbet since his arrest in New
York this month on charges of illegal computer gambling. David Carruthers
was CEO of Betonsports when he was arrested in Texas in July for crimes
including fraud and racketeering and has since been fired.

William Hill, Ladbrokes and Rank Group Plc may benefit if investors become
concerned about the outlook for Internet gambling companies after the U.S.
arrests, Merrill Lynch & Co. said July 19. Clients may become less confident
in gaming companies that have only Internet activities, Merrill said.

World Gaming Plc, which runs gambling Web sites and licenses betting
software, said Sept. 25 its chairman and a director resigned so they could
travel ``freely'' to the U.S.

By Joyce Gatsoulis (Bloomberg)

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/27/2006 02:05:00 PM

Online gambling arrest fears fuelled by resignation

Fears that more senior executives working for online gambling firms could be
arrested were fuelled today following the resignation of a lawyer who served
under former US President George W. Bush from the roles of chairman and
chief executive of World Gaming. Almost all of the internet betting firm's
business comes from the US, and the resignation of James Grossman, along
with fellow non-executive director Clare Roberts, comes at a crucial time
for the industry reports the Financial Times. On Thursday, British
businessman Peter Dicks, former chairman of Sportingbet, is due to appear in
a New York court for a hearing to find whether he should be extradited to
Louisiana to face charges of "gambling by computer". The FT says several
online gambling companies have stressed to investors that their executives
have either been advised not to make trips to the US or had no plans to do
so. US senators are currently engaged in a fight to tighten the country's
laws against gambling. The arrest of Mr Dicks and the indictment issued by
the US justice department in July against another British firm, Betonsports,
has raised fears in the industry that it may be impossible to protect
executives from anti-gambling laws.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/27/2006 09:03:00 AM

'Online gambling' mecca beckons CryptoLogic

Software developer CryptoLogic Inc. is relocating its head office to a more
"friendly" environment in Ireland, highlighting a growing moral divide
between North America and Europe over Internet gambling. The Toronto-based
company, which makes software that Internet gambling sites run on, yesterday
said it will move its head office -- including top executives, human
resources, business development and investor relations -- to Dublin in
January. The company's chief executive, Lewis Rose, is not relocating for
"family reasons" and will step down once a replacement is found. Chief
information officer Stephen Taylor is moving . The Dublin office will start
with a staff of about 10, eventually growing to about 20, the company said.
The majority of Cryptologic's Toronto staff of 250, including its software
development team, will stay put. The company will list on London's
Alternative Investment Market, and maintain its Toronto and Nasdaq listings.
Mr. Rose said the main driver of the move was a desire to be closer to
customers. About two-thirds of CryptoLogic's customers are international,
with about 60% of those in the United Kingdom and Europe. "If you follow the
logic, it's a logical, practical step. It makes sense to be in the same time
zone," he said. But he also said CryptoLogic -- whose $104-million in 2005
revenue makes it Canada's fourth-largest application software firm -- wanted
to move to a "gaming-friendly environment."

The climate for Internet gambling in North America has turned sour lately.
The U.S. House of Representatives in July passed a bill to expand the 1961
Wire Act, which bans gambling over the telephone, to include the Internet.
The Senate is expected to move on the bill before it recesses on Oct. 9 for
mid-term elections.

Authorities have also carried out a high-profile crackdown over the past few
months with arrests in U.S. airports of several British gambling operator

The arrests cast a pall over the industry, causing Britain's Continent 8
Technologies PLC -- 40% owned by the Mohawks in Kahnawake, Que. -- to cancel
its initial public offering last month.

"There's no question the U.S. has created a situation of uncertainty," Mr.
Rose said.

On Friday, French authorities detained Manfred Bodner and Norbert
Teufelberger, the co-CEOs of Austrian betting firm bwin.com Interactive
Entertainment AG.

The difference, analysts pointed out, is the French arrests were not for
moral reasons, but for alleged violations of the state-granted Internet
gambling monopoly of Francaise des Jeux.

The European Commission is investigating whether these monopolies are
violating the rights of commercial gambling site operators to run their
businesses across the European Union.

In Europe, it's therefore a case of protectionism rather than morality,
analysts said.

Europe -- and particularly the U.K. -- is proving to be a panacea for the
sector by going in the opposite direction to the United States. Starting
next year, the U.K. will license, regulate and tax online gambling, making
it "the centre of the universe for online gaming," Mr. Rose said.

Canada has taken a more-European approach in that Internet gambling is
allowed, but only provinces and territories have the right to run such Web
sites. That has created a grey area for would-be commercial operators and
technology providers such as CryptoLogic.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/27/2006 09:03:00 AM

Pa. gambling threat heats up even before slot machines open

Pennsylvania seems eager to make up for lost time. According to the
Associated Press, the state hasn't even opened a slot machine but officials
are already talking about table games. At a recent hearing, the state Gaming
Control Board asked racetrack owners seeking slot-machine licenses if they
were prepared to go to table games. They all answered yes. Table games, such
as roulette and poker, pull in bigger spenders than do slots. So in the war
between the states over gambling revenues, table games are emerging as the
latest weapon. Delaware should take note. The First State's slot machines
have boosted the state's revenues for years as legislatures in Pennsylvania
and Maryland bickered. Now Pennsylvania will soon have slots and who knows
what next. Pennsylvania has authorized 61,000 slot machines. It expects $3
billion in revenue. Both are ambitious goals.

The big question is: How much, if any, of that business will be pulled from
Delaware racinos? And what effect will that have not only on Delaware's
state treasury but also on the purses at the state's three racetracks?

In other words, is state-authorized gambling a zero-sum game? If
Pennsylvania wins, does it mean that Delaware automatically loses?

It's hard to imagine that the market for gambling operations is unlimited.
That certainly wasn't true for state lotteries. As more of them grew, the
first states lost their advantage. A similar tale can be told about the
slots in other parts of the country.

Delaware's slot-machine bonanza will not last forever. If Delaware wants to
stay in the game, it has to get going now.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/27/2006 09:03:00 AM

Winnebago Tribe Wants To Expand Gambling In Reservation

The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska wants to open negotiations with Nebraska, so
it can expand gambling on its on its reservation. Winnebago officials
believe many Nebraskans want casinos even though the petition to legalize
casinos that the Winnebago, Santee Sioux and Omaha tribes backed earlier
this year failed to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot. And
earlier this month, the state Supreme Court ruled that a different casino
measure can't be on the November ballot because it was too similar to
measures Nebraska voters rejected in 2004. So the Winnebago Tribe decided to
pursue negotiations with the state to allow Class Three gaming. Slot
machines and table games, which are not currently allowed under Nebraska
law, are included in Class Three gaming.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/27/2006 09:03:00 AM


Could be bad news for the over 20 million online poker players According to
thehill.com yesterday the online gambling poker bill is back and alive.
Controversial language to curb illegal gambling on the Internet snuck back
into the defense authorization bill over the weekend. While the language in
the bill was not finalized as of press time last night, the insertion of the
Internet gaming language could be a big win for Senate Majority Leader Bill
Frist (R-Tenn.). But that potential victory hung in the balance on Monday as
House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) continued his threats to postpone a
vote on the overarching bill until negotiators from both chambers include
unrelated measures on immigration and court security. "The Speaker will not
move this bill until these critical security measures are included in it,"
Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean said yesterday. Conferees were still ironing
out defense-related issues yesterday, but lawmakers are now fighting to
include a number of non-defense items in the must-pass bill that has become
a regular vehicle for pet projects. The Internet gaming language would
create an additional enforcement mechanism for federal officials to crack
down on money transferred from banks, credit card companies and other
financial institutions to gambling outfits overseas. Internet gambling is
already illegal in most of the country, with the major exceptions of Nevada,
Indian reservations and other smaller locales where residents have voted to
change the law.

The fight in Congress to enact further enforcement methods has persisted
since former GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff fought to defeat a bill offered by
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) in the summer of 2000.

Goodlatte combined his language with a bill introduced by Rep. Jim Leach
(R-Iowa) that passed the House earlier this year.

The language included in the defense reauthorization bill appeared to mirror
Leach's language, numerous outside lobbyists said over the weekend. Sen. Jon
Kyl (R-Ariz.) has been pushing a companion to the Leach bill, which is far
narrower than Goodlatte's legislation that would, among other things, revamp
the 1961 Wire Act.

Frist has been working hard to include some version of the Internet gaming
language in the defense reauthorization bill in what a number of outside
lobbyists see as a push to ingratiate himself with social conservatives and,
more specifically, Leach, whose endorsement would be a big boost during the
Iowa primary.

Frist co-hosted a field hearing on Internet gaming with Leach earlier this
fall in Iow.

The Internet gaming issue is far from settled because conference
negotiations do not end until all the negotiators have signed off on an

This move to include an Internet gambling curb comes after Senate Armed
Services Chairman John Warner (R-Va.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the
committee's ranking Democrat, rebuffed Frist's attempts to include it in the
bill because it is not related to defense policy.

K Street has been watching the back-and-forth on Internet gambling intently.
Wall Street, in particular, has already priced Internet gambling stocks to
reflect some of the possibility that Congress will approve the legislation.

A unit of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co, an Arlington, Va.-based
investment firm, has been tracking the legislation closely as it related to
various Internet gambling companies. In a report last week, the firm wrote
that "failure to attach a gaming provision to the DOD authorization bill
likely means that proponents have missed their last best chance to pass
anti-gaming provisions.before senators head home for the final campaign
stretch run."

Hastert has told negotiators that he will not move the bill unless there is
authorizing language to boost the security of judges in and out of
courtrooms, eases the process of deporting convicted gang members, and bars
their indefinite detention.

Senate leaders promised to include the courtroom language, which was part of
a larger child safety that passed the House earlier this year, on must-pass
bill some time this year, a House GOP leadership aide said yesterday.

Hastert has made a bill political issue of this push following the brutal
murder of the family of a federal judge in Chicago earlier this year. Sen.
Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) has also pressed for the legislation.

On the immigration language, House leaders said they have borrowed language
included in the Senate's own comprehensive immigration bill that was
approved this past spring.

Senate Democrats are critical of the gang-related measure, and the American
Civil Liberties Union said the measure is too broad and could negatively
impact legal immigrants. A spokesman for Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) refused
to comment on the issue.

House leaders hope to include other border security provisions in a spending
bill for the Department of Homeland Security. At least one Republican
conferee has criticized that move.

At a National Press Club briefing yesterday, Senate Judiciary Committee
Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and a
member of the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee, criticized the
House's decision to enact its some immigration measures by including them in
the 2007 homeland security defense appropriations bill.

"The House of Representatives doesn't think much of the bicameral system,"
Specter said. "The Senate and House passed bills, but somehow we can't go to
conference on them. Now the House wants to take their key provisions and
enact them, which would take all the leverage away from the Senate bill."

He said that the Senate has pending provision for a fence running along the
southwest border, but that he is not for the "fence piecemeal.

The proposed Frist, Senator Jon Kyl bill to the Senate the online casino
anti-internet gaming bill leaves out horse racing, and lotteries so the bill
will that way be supporting online horse racing, and lotteries ALLOT - so it
would be total okay to gamble online on horse racing but online poker will
get banned - what an insane bill!.

A huge scientific poll conducted in March 2006 of over 30,000 likely voters
establishes that Americans overwhelmingly DO NOT want the federal government
enacting laws that restrict a recreational activity such as online gambling,
an activity that many adult Americans have decided to do from their own
homes. Almost 80 percent of Americans are opposed to the pending bills in
Congress to ban online gambling.

A recent CNBC poll showed also that over 90 percent of Americans would like
to see online gambling poker regulated in the U.S. and NOT prohibited!
Studies have shown that regulation and taxation of online poker could net
the federal government over $3.3 billion in revenue annually and another $1
billion for the states on internet gambling.

OVER 80 countries worldwide including the UK, are right now starting to
legalized and regulated online gambling and online poker gambling.

Senate should use its litle time left this year on other importen things
instead of banning online poker.
Telling American adults how to use their hard-earned money, whether on
e-bay, horse racing or on playing online poker after a hard days work,
should simply not be the federal government's job.

Over 20 Million peaple in USA enjoy online poker- that's 20 miilion votes.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/27/2006 09:03:00 AM

Bill to ban online gambling could pass

A controversial Internet gambling measure may hitch a ride on a Defense
Department authorization bill, but as of press time, a standoff over adding
legislation to improve courthouse security and crack down on illegal
immigrants in gangs continued to hold up action on the overall Defense
package. While it was not clear that Senate Armed Services Chairman John
Warner (R-Va.) has actually agreed to attach the anti-gambling legislation,
Republican leadership sources on both sides of the Capitol said the measure
would be added to the Defense bill. "It's Kyl-style, with a Frist twist,"
said a senior aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) of
attaching the Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) bill designed to bar Internet gambling
by preventing credit card companies from honoring charges on gaming Web
sites. The aide said the Internet gambling bill has been tweaked slightly to
ensure optimum support in the Senate, though details of the changes to Kyl's
original bill were not available. Warner spokesman John Ullyot declined to
comment, saying, "This is in line with the long-standing committee policy to
keep such negotiations confidential." Still, one GOP lobbyist working
against the gambling bill said Warner and Frist had a "showdown" last week
over the Internet gambling legislation, with Warner telling Frist that he
wasn't going to put the Internet gambling bill in the Defense authorization
bill. "Then Frist told him the [DOD] bill won't come to the floor," said the

Meanwhile, Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has threatened to prevent the
measure from coming to the House floor if Warner does not agree to include a
House-passed courthouse security bill and the gangs legislation.

Warner is concerned that any of the three bills could complicate passage of
the larger authorization measure, sources said.

The wrangling over the three law enforcement measures provides a glimpse
into the end-of-session gamesmanship that goes on behind the scenes as
Members seek to add controversial measures to one "must-pass" bill or

And because GOP leaders in both chambers have vowed to recess at the end of
this week so that Members can go home to campaign for this year's pivotal
midterm elections, Members and lobbyists have stepped up their push to get
their measures sent to the president's desk before Congress adjourns.

One Democratic lobbyist working against the gambling bill called the past
few days a "roller-coaster ride."

"Frist has been on a jihad about Internet gambling," this Democratic
lobbyist said.

Democratic Senate aides also complained that they have been left completely
out of the bargaining process, and that the Senate Judiciary Committee,
which has jurisdiction over all three bills, has not approved the versions
currently being considered for inclusion in the DOD authorization measure.

"It's just such a sneaky and sleazy way to go about it," said one of the

Three bills are moving this week that could play host to the Internet
gambling, courthouse security and gangs bill: the spending bills for the
Defense and Homeland Security departments and the Defense authorization

But GOP and Democratic Senate sources said that backers of the bills were
rebuffed in their attempts to get them attached to the annual Defense
spending bill, which has more of an imperative to move since it will
actually disburse funds to U.S. troops.

Because House and Senate conferees signed off on a conference report for the
Defense spending bill last week, any attempts to add extraneous language now
would send the appropriations bill back to conference committee - an
unlikely scenario.

Meanwhile, conferees for the Homeland Security spending bill were hoping to
wrap up their conference report last night.

That leaves the Defense authorization bill as the only measure in a position
to carry the controversial provisions and still have a chance of passing
this week.

Bill backers are betting that opponents of all three Judiciary bills will
fear the political ramifications of voting against any national defense
measure in this potentially volatile election year. And by threatening to
hold up action on the bill, both Frist and Hastert hope to force Warner's
hand, reasoning that Warner would be loath to see his authorization bill
become unnecessary, like so many other federal agency authorization bills
that languish in committee each year.

While it is unusual for Congress not to pass a Defense authorization bill,
it only authorizes funds; it does not distribute them.

Even though leadership sources said the Internet bill would be included on
the Defense authorization bill, the conference committee on the bill has not
yet completed and the deal could hinge on whether the court security and
gang bills are also included.

Additionally, Democratic sources said they were not convinced that Warner
would go along with the gambit to include the law enforcement bills in the
Defense measure.

The Democratic lobbyist said that Warner was not likely to cave in to the

"You very likely might not have a Defense authorization bill," the lobbyist

Other opponents of the Internet gaming bill said that any legislative
vehicle could be fair game.

"We remain on guard that the Internet gambling prohibition could be
included" in any remaining bills, said John Pappas, a spokesman for the
Poker Players Alliance, which opposes the ban.

Indeed, if the impasse does not get resolved this week, backers of the three
bills could attempt to add the measures to legislation such as an omnibus
appropriations bill that would be set to move through the lame-duck session
after the Nov. 7 elections. And of course, if the Defense authorization bill
does not get passed this week, the battle could then begin anew as well.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/27/2006 09:03:00 AM

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Costa Rica's lax laws shield online gambling industry

Think of Costa Rica and flashes of colorful birds, bright beaches and long
hikes through the rain forest come to mind. But several recent arrests and
indictments have thrust the country into the spotlight for another, less
savory reason: its cozy relationship with the online gambling industry. The
industry is under fire from U.S. authorities, helping create the notion that
this small Central American nation is the cybernet version of 1950s Cuba.
Earlier this month, police arrested British national Peter Dicks, a top
official of Sportingbet, at JFK Airport in New York. In July, authorities
picked up BetonSports CEO David Carruthers, also a British citizen, at
Dallas/Fort Worth airport. Both companies operate in Costa Rica. Ten other
Betonsports employees have been arrested in the United States. All are out
on bond while facing charges ranging from tax evasion and racketeering to
wire fraud and illegal gambling. Also in July, U.S. prosecutors indicted
four men, two of them Costa Rican citizens, in California and arrested one
of them on charges of running an illegal online gambling operation in Costa
Rica. The moves by the U.S. Justice Department have industry insiders
scratching their heads and shares of online gambling companies tumbling on
international stock markets.

''It baffles me,'' said Eduardo Agami, president of the Costa Rican
Association of Call Centers and Electronic Data, which represents 19 of the
online gambling companies here. ``Why go after companies that are trying to
operate legally?''

The legal arguments are based on the 1961 Wire Act, which forbids gambling
over the telephone, but until recently few actions had been taken to slow
this business.

Online gambling has been going on since the mid-1990s, and Betonsports and
Sportingbet are both publicly listed companies that operate legally and are
audited in several countries. Still, with half of the betting coming from
the United States, federal prosecutors and lawmakers seem bent on going
after the $12 billion industry.

''Internet gambling threatens our families by bringing addictive behavior
right into our living rooms,'' Senate Majority leader Bill Frist said
earlier this month on the Senate floor.

In July, the House of Representatives passed a bill expanding the Wire Act
to include Internet gambling; the Senate is expected to move on the
legislation before it recesses Oct. 9 for mid-term elections.

''The U.S. has clearly stated that they want to stop international companies
from accepting Internet wagers from U.S. residents,'' Internet gambling
mogul Calvin Ayre -- who is one of Forbes magazine's 1,000 richest men in
the world and whose Internet site, Bodog.com, also operates in Costa Rica --
said in a statement following the Dicks arrest.

''The only surprise is to find a director of a public company that accepts
wagers from the U.S. to be traveling in the U.S. at this time,'' Ayre added,
referring to Dicks and Carruthers.

In the middle of this fray is Costa Rica, a country of nearly 4 million
people known more for peaceful democracy than for gambling. An estimated 200
online gambling companies have operations here. Some operate more secretly
than others; all of them like the advantages that Costa Rica offers.

The Costa Rican government treats gambling like any other business. The
companies operate with little oversight and pay less in taxes than they
might in other countries that do regulate to avoid money laundering and
other criminal activities often associated with the industry.

Costa Rica also offers companies a secure legal framework and an educated
population, many of whom speak English with a flat Costa Rican accent.

Online gambling, a capital-intensive industry, has given the Costa Rican
economy a boost as well. The industry employs close to 10,000 people
directly and scores of others indirectly through rents, infrastructure and
maintenance. Most of the employees are students or recent college graduates
struggling to find a job in their field but making more money than they
might even if they did.

Alex Schultz, 28, who speaks Spanish, English and German, got a degree in
political science at a local private university. He worked at a human rights
group before getting a job at Bodog.com in 2002. Now he's setting the
betting lines on games.

''Here you can finance your studies, pay your expenses and your rent,''
Schultz said.

In the current climate, Costa Rica also may offer a safe refuge. Betonsports
founder Gary Kaplan is allegedly in Costa Rica, although employees here say
he hasn't been around in years.

There's an extradition agreement between Costa Rica and the United States,
but Costa Rica's Vice President and Justice Minister, Laura Chinchilla, said
someone would have to be breaking Costa Rica's own laws in order to be

''If they're only accused of illegal gambling in the United States, then we
can't proceed [with the extradition],'' she told The Miami Herald.

Initially, industry watchers suspected the U.S. government was targeting
Betonsports because of Kaplan, alias ''Greg Champion'' or ''G.'' Kaplan
started his career as a runner for bets on the streets of New York and was
arrested there in 1993 on charges of illegal gambling before moving his
operations to Florida, then Antigua and finally Costa Rica.

Indeed, the indictment against Betonsports reads like something against the
Sicilian mafia or Colombian drug lords. Filed in the Eastern District of
Missouri, it's littered with supposed aliases, front companies and massive
bank transfers that went to Ecuador and Belize.

Costa Rican officials are feeling the pressure from the U.S. government as
well. They have promised to better regulate the industry, and in March, the
government raided Ayre's multimillion-dollar home after neighbors said he
was holding an illegal gambling event. Authorities said they found nothing.

''We're interested in incorporating them into the financial system,''
Chinchilla said about the industry. ``We need to set up clear rules. We
don't want companies that are fugitives.''

Legislation or no, there seems to be little stopping online gambling.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/26/2006 05:17:00 AM


Spin3, the leading wireless casino system provider powered by Microgaming,
the world's largest online gaming software provider, won the 'Best Gambling
Company' award at the first ever ME Awards, hosted by Mobile Entertainment
magazine. Spin3 was declared the winner by a judging panel comprising over
300 mobile content executives. The Mobile Entertainment award recognized the
pioneering work Spin3 has done in the mobile gambling arena, by bringing
popular casino games including unique progressive video slots and brands
like Lara Croft to wireless platforms. The award recognizes the success and
growth Spin3 has achieved since its launch in January 2005. Tim Green,
executive editor of Mobile Entertainment magazine, said: "These awards
recognised the talent and hard work that is making mobile content the
world's most exciting new industry. It was a truly amazing night and we look
forward to doing it all again next year - in a bigger room." The ME Awards
took place on September 19th at the Royal Garden Hotel in London. The
prestigious industry event recognised outstanding achievement in content
development and publishing, technical services and hardware, and operator

"The ME Award is a great achievement and honour for Spin3 to be named the
best in a niche industry that is witnessing phenomenal growth," said Matti
Zinder, CEO, Spin3.

"The Award recognizes our drive to stay ahead in a dynamic market by
continually diversifying our products, developing unique and innovative game
offerings and providing customers a full service solution, not just a
software package."

Spin3 utilises Microgaming's market leading software to offer three wireless
game systems: GameWire - the leading real-play wireless casino system
worldwide; SpinFone - an advanced Pay Per Download networked gaming system;
and, SpinLite - a stand-alone java game suite.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/26/2006 05:17:00 AM

US online gambling crackdown hits World Gaming

The crackdown on internet gambling in the US has begun to frighten off
senior directors. World Gaming chairman James Grossman and non-executive
director Clare Roberts have both resigned from the online gaming group on
fears they will be arrested in the US. advertisementDavid Carruthers, chief
executive of Betonsports and Peter Dicks, chairman of Sportingbet, have both
been arrested in the US recently in connection with online gambling laws.
The arrests have prompted others, including PartyGaming's chairman Michael
Jackson, to say he would not travel to the US unless absolutely necessary.
Both Mr Grossman and Mr Roberts practice as attorneys in the US, outside
their work for World Gaming, while Mr Grossman is also an adviser to the US
Government, a spokesman said. Ms Roberts is a former Attorney General of
Antigua. "Clearly they've got other business interests and they've got to be
able to go to the US to be able to carry on their other business interests,"
World Gaming's spokesman said. It said replacements would be named in due

World Gaming, which makes the bulk of its money from US gamblers, said
earlier this month it was in talks over a possible all-share takeover by
Sportingbet. However, Sportingbet shares collapsed after Mr Dicks was

Online sports betting in the US contravenes the 1961 Wire Act, though
whether internet poker and casino games break that law is a legal grey area.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/26/2006 05:17:00 AM

Gambling with our trade

MARK Vaile's departure from the trade portfolio after seven years presents
an opportunity to rethink what Australia wants to achieve in trade, what we
need to do to get it, and what changes that will require. Any honest
assessment has to conclude that Australia's trade is in terrible shape.
Until 1980, our trade was more or less in balance, and on goods, in surplus.
Since then, we have run trade deficits in 22 of the past 26 years, and in
the past four years they have averaged more than $20 billion a year. Our
share of global exports of goods has shrunk from 1.12 per cent in 1996 to
0.94 per cent in 2004. Of the 30 OECD members, only three have had worse
export growth in that time. Surely it's time for honest debate about what
has gone wrong, what could go right, and what has to change to get us there.
But that requires an environment in which governments feel able to admit
that something has gone wrong, and to change their policies and structures
to put it right. We don't do things that way here. Suppose we did. Let's
start by asking what we are trying to achieve in trade, and why it is not
delivering the goods.

It is futile to blame Vaile for the deficits, although Labor's Kevin Rudd
incessantly does so. The problem is that Vaile was really not Trade
Minister, but Minister for Trade Negotiations. He is a good bloke, a hard
worker and a straight talker, who threw himself into the job with gusto, and
won global respect from his peers.

The problem was not the minister, but the job. Trade is now a branch of the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It is now seen more as a vehicle
for improving Australia's diplomatic relationships than its economic
prosperity. Under Labor and Nationals, it

has focused on trade negotiations, not trade outcomes. Even if it wanted to
get Australia's trade back in the black, it has few levers to achieve it.

Of all the trade negotiations we have engaged in, only the Doha round offers
any relief for our chronic trade deficit. Even good free trade agreements,
such as ours with New Zealand and with Thailand, work because they offer
evenly balanced benefits to both sides. If you pursue trade deals with far
bigger economies such as the US and China, you end up signing on their
terms - as John Howard did in signing a deal that removed all our trade
barriers to US exports while it retained dozens of barriers to ours.

The modelling on both sides agreed that it would worsen the Australia-US
trade imbalance. And so it has.

What about Labor? Far from planning to liberate trade from its role as a
branch of diplomacy, it has downgraded it even

more by making it a part-time add-on for shadow foreign minister Kevin Rudd.

Both sides need to recast trade where it should be: as an economic
portfolio, linked to the bureaucracy responsible for other economic areas -
and with a clear, stated goal of getting Australia's trade balance back in
the black.

Step one is to move trade into a department where it fits: what is now the
Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources. Manufacturing, commerce,
mining, energy, tourism and services: they're all here, and they make up 80
per cent of our exports and almost 100 per cent of our imports.

(That leaves out agriculture. No problem: upgrade the Department of
Agriculture's role and resources on trade to give it the clout of its
foreign counterparts.)

Merely reshuffling the bureaucracy, however, would be useless without a
change in policies and priorities. The Industry Department is seen these
days as having little clout, little money and being frightened to put a foot
out of line. Its minister, Ian Macfarlane, doesn't frighten easily, but his
approach to industry is to go out and tell it what it's doing wrong, and
don't come to government for help. Nice line, minister - if it works.

The figures suggest it hasn't. Output of goods other than buildings fell
almost 4 per cent in the year to June. Macfarlane has now set up a taskforce
to re-examine Australia's industry policy settings, focusing on "global
integration". Read the background paper, and you realise why trade belongs
in his department. The future for exposed sectors of manufacturing clearly
lies in their integration with global markets.

We've been here before. The last industry policy review, under John Moore,
set up a good policy structure, with "action agendas" supposed to identify
and tackle the problems facing specific industry sectors. But then Moore
moved on, and the action agendas became words with little action. There was
no money to finance reform, and no commitment to make them work.

Now Macfarlane has a chance to make them, or some new model, work where
policy since 1997 has plainly failed. The manufacturing malaise has to be
tackled because most of the world's trade - most of Australia's merchandise
trade - is in manufactures. Last year we ran a staggering $92 billion
deficit in manufacturing trade alone. We need reforms to stop that getting
worse. And unless we want to trust in praying that global prices for our
minerals stay high and volumes grow, we must identify ways to significantly
cut that deficit, and get back in the black.

Another 25 years of global warming might not create a disaster, but why take
the risk? Another 25 years of big trade deficits might not create a disaster
either - but why take the risk?

Tim Colebatch is economics editor.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/26/2006 05:17:00 AM

Cracking gambling ring long overdue

The adage, "they'll get what's coming to them" finally came true for the
many bars in central Indiana that ran illegal gambling, either through
illegal slot-like machines, called "cherry masters," or by running numbers.
For those of you who think of "running numbers," as slum-centered it's been
going on in area bars for years. Here, it's called "drawings," where someone
buys a number and hopes it gets pulled to win the pot. Sounds innocuous.
Cherry masters seem like innocent fun, too. Both are illegal and probably
rigged. Who knows for sure because no one regulates it. It's governed by
greed. Oh, and no one pays taxes on the winnings.
We don't know if any of the 39 people arrested over the past two days are
guilty. They are innocent until proven guilty. We're not casting individual
blame, we're just acknowledging that illegal gambling in Madison County and
its environs has been overt, well-known and ignored by every law enforcement
officer and agency for years. It included the cops who drank at those spots
to their bosses who knew about the activities at those establishments.
Imagine how much larger the coffers of state and local governments would be
if they had gotten a slice, through taxes, of that multi-million dollar
industry. Imagine how much easier it would be for legitimate, law-abiding
businesses to compete had their competitors not been awash in illegal
gambling money.

And when people operate outside the law, they don't act outside the law just
a little. In for a dime, in for a dollar. When there is this much money at
stake, assume there is extortion, bribery and violence. It all goes with the
territory. High risk, high return. Oftentimes, the only way out of a life of
crime is either prison or death. We're not exaggerating.

So, yes, we're delighted police swooped in and seized millions of dollars of
criminally gotten assets. Local governments will divvy up the spoils. Good
for them.

The prolificness of illegal gambling has been an embarrassment to our
community for years and proof that corruption lives in Madison County. The
raids didn't completely stop the problem. Illegal gambling is still rampant
in other area establishments.

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings says the state excise police have
been building its case against accused ring leader John Neal for five years.
But what about all the illegal gambling long before then?

Why weren't these establishments shut down long ago? We can only guess. Why
were they seized just two months before Rodney Cummings is up for
re-election? Again, we can only guess.

Yes, the bust will play well for Cummings' campaign. In the long run, we
care what the motivation for the raid was, just that it finally happened.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/26/2006 05:17:00 AM

We Are Gambling With Our Lives!

How many times will the American people witness their government taking the
easy way out to dealing with terror? President Bush pushes and advocates
that we must be on the offense to dealing with our enemies. But our Senate,
and other government agencies are not operating that way. They are too
mired in politics, in the proper rules of engagement. The Path to 911,
ABC's docudrama which aired Sept. 10th and 11th recently, exposed serious
flaws in our government to quickly act upon important leads that would take
down our enemy. Now, we are busy playing catch up...or are we? It seems as
if everything is the same. Both administrations, Clinton and George W.
Bush, were at fault for not acting quickly to take down terror suspects that
loudly proclaimed to be a danger to America. America had even the help of
the Minister of Defense of the Northern Alliance, Ahmed Shah Massoud (as The
Path to 911 program revealed) who worked with the U.S., giving specific
intelligence that would have taken out Osama Bin Laden. But we failed to
take him out. Ahmed Shah Massoud died in a suicide attack by Arabs who
posed as journalists, claiming to be from Morocco. He died September 9,
2001, two days before America was attacked on 911. Before he died, Massoud
warned the U.S. that Osama Bin Laden was planning something huge inside

I consider him to be a friend of America who had the guts to risk his safety
to save the lives of others. We don't honor his memory and those who have
died fighting terror in whatever form if we do not act as bravely and take
risks as they did.

It was recently reported that an unmanned but armed Predator drone used by
the Army for reconnaissance missions, shot photos of senior level Taliban
fighters, apparently gathered for a funeral. The order was not given to
fire, and many people like me, are wondering why we made such a disastrous
decision. The decision was a no-go due to the military rules of engagement,
which do not allow any strikes on a cemetery or religious sites. The
Taliban was clearly in the open, and the chance to attack was a perfect one.

We are fighting a new kind of enemy. We must adapt and allow the full
strength of our military forces to defeat them. Taliban activity has
increased this summer, and our response should be to take action to
eliminate a threat before we suffer from it later on.

Terrorists do not care where they attack. Weddings, funerals, mosques...it
does not matter, just as long as the "infidel" is crushed.

Just three days after the U.S. observed the 5th anniversary of September 11,
2001, the argument over how we interrogate terrorists in U.S. custody broke.
A few Republican Senators on the Senate Armed Services Committee expressed
their opposition to President Bush over current interrogation methods.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/26/2006 05:17:00 AM

Monday, September 25, 2006


"....the way in which some members of the Senate have decided to move
[anti-online gambling measures] through reeks of political gamesmanship. The
issue of Internet gambling has not been given a hearing in the Senate, it
has not been debated, in fact, there isn't even a bill introduced."
Following the failure of Senator Bill Frist's attempt to attach an
anti-online gambling ban to an unrelated Defence Bill last week, the 110 000
Poker Players' Alliance leader Michael Bolcerek has launched a strong attack
on politicians who seek to push repressive legislation through Congress at
any cost. Indicating that his organisation was strongly opposed to the
manner in which Frist sought to fast-track his measure, Bolcerek said: "The
prohibition bill is tremendously bad public policy, and the way in which
some members of the Senate have decided to move it through reeks of
political gamesmanship. "The issue of Internet gambling has not been given
a hearing in the Senate, it has not been debated, in fact, there isn't even
a bill introduced. This effort to attach this very controversial and
non-germane issue to vital DoD authorization legislation is a disservice to
the American public and the men and women in our Armed Forces. "Prohibitions
don't work and the American people know this. That is why a vast majority
oppose a ban on online poker. The game of poker is mainstream and enjoyed by
millions of Americans. It is 2006, not 1920, the Internet is a part of our
daily lives. Let's practice good government that actually protects the
family and establish strict regulations and safeguards for on- line poker."

Frist aides have indicated to the press that the Department of Defence
rejection will not deter the Senator and colleagues such as Senator Jon Kyl
from attempting to find other non-germane legislation to which their
anti-gambling proposals can be attached in a bid to drive a law through
below this years legislative season ends around October-November.

News service reports indicate that anti-online gambling supporters are
trying to forge a compromise that would allow them to push through
legislation banning most forms of Internet gambling, aides said late last

Top House and Senate lawmakers have been trying to break a logjam that has
stalled the Internet gambling legislation by attaching it to any one of a
number of must-pass spending bills before the end of the year, aides said.
However, they have yet to agree on a final deal.

According to two sources familiar with the matter, one possible compromise
would focus on a version of a bill already passed by the House, with some
provisions opposed by the U.S. horse racing industry removed. The bill would
prohibit most forms of Internet gambling and make it illegal for banks and
credit card companies to make payments to online gambling sites.

Lawmakers are scheduled to recess at the end of next week so they can
campaign for the November elections. They are expected to return afterward
to wrap up unfinished business.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/25/2006 10:48:00 AM

Gambling gives to, takes from local economy

Electronic-slots parlors would generate thousands of jobs and tens of
millions of dollars to seed local business growth, gambling supporters say.
But the four parlors that would sprout in Greater Cleveland are by no means
a sure bet to bolster the region's economy, anti-gambling forces respond.
Even the local power brokers who back the plan to bring nine parlors and
31,000 slots to Ohio acknowledge that gambling is not an engine of resurgent
economies. "If you were to start from scratch and draw your optimal
economic development paradigm, you wouldn't necessarily include gambling as
part of it," says Fred Nance, adviser to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and
chairman of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the local chamber of
commerce. Yet Nance, Jackson, Cuyahoga County commissioners and other civic
leaders say slots at two sites downtown - and at racetracks in North Randall
and Northfield - would join lakefront museums and Gateway sports sites as
valued attractions. "This is the biggest project and proposal this
community has confronted since 1990," said Commissioner Tim Hagan.

But critics say, and research suggests, that casinos can exact a toll on
local economies. They pull money from local businesses and create social
costs, due in part to gambling addiction.

It might be a positive for Cleveland, where two casinos along the Cuyahoga
River "will suck money in from the suburbs," argues Ed Morrison, an
economic-development consultant working on business-growth strategies for
the Cuyahoga County Department of Development.

"But you're basically just taking money out of the home market," Morrison

Local leaders are intimately familiar with the plan -- a team of business,
labor and city-county elected leaders haggled over the details with
racetrack owners and two prominent developers, Forest City Enterprises Inc.
and investor Jeff Jacobs.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/25/2006 10:48:00 AM

Gambling on change won't lose

If you want to see an ex ample of how quickly this region can change, look
at the articles on this page about gambling. Staff writer Tom Dochat
explains that the approval process for lucrative gaming licenses is hotter
than the handle of a 25-cent one-armed bandit on a Saturday night. Teams of
state investigators have been traveling worldwide to make sure that the
people seeking licenses are as squeaky clean as possible. So much money will
be involved that you have to hope these regulators will be watched closely,
too. In other words, the watchdogs will need watchdogs. Another story is
about how Penn National Gaming's operations in Mississippi weathered one of
the worst hurricane seasons in U.S. history. The company's casinos have been
rebuilt and most of the staff is back at work. Part of that rapid response
was made possible by Mississippi officials who changed laws to make gambling
even more lucrative in the state. Nothing like a natural disaster that
cripples your economy to shake out some business-friendly laws. In
Mississippi's case, gambling had been limited to casinos on the water. Now
it is possible to have them on land. As we also learned last week about West
Virginia, officials there are expecting their own tidal wave of sorts, which
is why they might expand that state's gambling laws so they don't lose too
many customers to Pennsylvania. Penn National intends to have slot machines
at its racetrack in Grantville and is betting that it gets approvals this
week, having already demolished old buildings to make way for new ones.

If they could go into a hurricane-ravaged area -- where everyone was looking
for contractors and virtually all locals were sleeping in trailers for
months -- and rebuild a casino in less than a year, imagine how quickly the
landscape could change around here.

Assuming the company gets its conditional license this week, it expects to
be open by 2008. That's just over a year from now.

I like talking with people about what gambling will mean to this region.
Some people have been seeing opportunities for a while -- we reported nearly
two years ago about land speculation around Grantville. Others see the
potential for crime, drugs and other problems that follow dreams of easy

For years, there has been talk about hotels near the state Farm Show Complex
off Cameron Street and Interstate 81. I'm not sure that expos, craft fairs
and special events make such ventures a sure thing. But if you have a casino
a few exits down the interstate, you might not have many worries about
booking rooms.

I don't know if gambling will be good for this area or awful. I do know that
once a license is approved for a casino in Grantville, the region will be

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/25/2006 10:48:00 AM

Gambling Machines Destroyed

The Royal Customs and Excise Department yesterday morning destroyed 52
gambling machines and 6,391 tokens, which were confiscated in 2002 and 2003.
Four local Chinese have been prosecuted in court for having the illegal
machines in shops as well as apartments. Aside from the gambling machines,
$1,262 in cash was also seized. The four were fined up to $49,200. The
machines were destroyed at the dumpsite in Jalan Sungai Akar. A number of
officials from the Royal Customs and Excise Department oversaw the
destruction of the machines, which were ripped to shreds by a tractor.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/25/2006 10:48:00 AM

German crackdown raises the stakes for internet gambling

BRITISH executives of online gambling companies could be arrested on
criminal charges in Germany if they set foot in the country. Officials from
the interior ministries of the German states of Hesse and Bavaria told The
Business that executives of foreign companies who let German residents place
sports bets online are committing "criminal" acts that could lead to
prosecution in Germany. Germany's threat to foreign managers follows the
recent arrests in the US and France of executives from offshore gambling
firms. French state gambling officials also plan to adopt a tougher stand:
officials told The Business that they will continue to report offences by
foreign betting operators to the government, raising the possibility of more
arrests of executives at offshore gambling firms. Attempting to enforce
their monopoly on sports gambling, Hesse, Bavaria and Saxony ordered
Austrian online betting company Bwin to stop advertising and offering
betting services in their states. The ban "goes for everyone else, too," a
spokesman for the Hesse interior ministry in Wiesbaden told The Business.
Bwin has become the highest profile target in the German crackdown on
gambling which has also seen the forced closure of privately run betting
shops around the country. But executives from any company offering online
sports betting in Germany should be concerned about prosecution.

"I would take these threats seriously," says Michael Adams from Hamburg
University, an expert on gambling in Germany. He advised such managers to
steer clear of the country. "I wouldn't take a layover in Frankfurt."

In France, Bwin's co-chief executives were released on bonds of E300,000
($370,000, £205,000) apiece last week after their arrests as part of an
investigation into the company's French operations. The executives are
expected to return to France for more questioning in November.

The arrests stemmed from complaints filed last year by French state-run
betting agencies Francaise des Jeux (FdJ) and and Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU).
Under French law, FdJ holds the monopoly for lotteries; PMU controls
off-track gambling and casinos for slot machines.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/25/2006 10:48:00 AM

Online Gambling in Europe: A Question of Fair Access

It appears as though the right to free access to online gambling services in
Europe is destined to be decided by the courts, as increasing numbers of
European states ignore the recent European Court of Justice directive which
stated that a Member State cannot invoke the need to restrict its citizens'
access to betting services if at the same time it incites and encourages
them to participate in state lotteries, games of chance or betting which
benefits the state's Finances. The basic premise of a recent European Court
of Justice statement regarding the subject is that individual Member States
cannot protect state-sponsored monopolies at the expense of private or
foreign-based enterprise. In an ideal situation, the European Commission
would like to see open access to services or, failing that, no access at
all. Protectionist economic policies appear to be contradictory to the very
ideals upon which the European Union was established. In April of this year,
the European Commission sent official requests for information on national
legislation restricting the supply of sports betting services to seven
Member States (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Sweden and the
Netherlands). The Commission was responding to complaints that the Member
States were in breach of Article 49 of the EC Treaty which guarantees the
free movement of services. The EC decision to investigate these Member
States was specifically related to sports betting, and a statement released
by the EC at the time made it clear their decision to investigate did not
have implications for the liberalization of the market for general gambling
services. However, the alleged breaches the EC are investigating in relation
to sports betting seem to have a lot in common with recent steps France has
undertaken to protect its own state-sponsored gambling monopoly. French
police arrested two BWin executives in Monaco last week for "violation of
French gambling laws" by "offering illegal games of chance, illegal lottery,
advertising prohibited lotteries and taking illegal horse racing bets".

The European Court of Justice has repeatedly stated that any restrictions
which seek to protect general interest objectives, such as the protection of
consumers, must be "consistent and systematic" in how they seek to limit
betting activities. The recent French arrests of the BWin executives can be
described as a lot of things, but 'consistent' and 'systematic' they are

Dozens of online gambling entities advertise in France, including market
giants such as Casino-on-Net (888.com), who are the title sponsor of
Toulouse FC. 888.com Chief Executive John Anderson handed in his notice not
long after the BWin arrests, the timing of the announcement coincidental, to
say the least. Hundreds of online gambling companies offer their services in
France via the Internet, and it now seems likely executives of those
companies risk arrest if they set foot in France.

To casual observers, the entire case appears cut and dry. The French
actions, in attempting to protect their monopoly, are incompatible with
European Community law. A spokesman for the EC Internal Market Commissioner,
Charlie McCreevy, warned the commission was considering expanding their
investigation following news of the French arrests.

Individual European states are testing the authority and will of the
European Commission. The EC needs to stand up and exert its authority and,
more importantly, it needs to exert that authority expediently. It is
possible that the French actions are nothing more than an attempt to buy
time to allow its monopoly to gain a firmer grasp in the market. If the EC
takes too long to investigate before handing down a decision and enforcing
that decision, the French monopoly can still win, even if the EC decision is
not in their favor.

But with European government-sponsored monopolies generating as much as $30
billion in revenue annually, and rising every year, the stakes are high. Cut
and dry it may seem, but the situation is almost certain to drag on for some
time before reaching a conclusion.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/25/2006 10:48:00 AM

Sunday, September 24, 2006

School says no to gambling cash

Gambling money underpins parent advisory councils across B.C., but the
source of the much-needed cash poses an ethical dilemma for some parents.
Unlike most PACs that happily pocket provincial grants funded by gambling,
South Park Elementary does not. "Gaming can be problematic for some people,
and is the message that we want to be sending to our kids that we are making
money off gambling?" said Rosemary Mann, a parent at the school and former
PAC chairwoman. B.C. Lottery Corp. money has funded PACs since 1998. Until
2003, PACs needed to complete complicated forms to qualify for funding of
$40 a student. Now the government distributes funds to all PACs based on $20
per student. This year more than 1,500 PACs will receive almost $12 million
from the proceeds of casinos, lottery tickets and online gambling. South
Park has never accepted the funds although it revisits the issue every few
years. Government suggestions for the funds include school drama and chess
clubs, writing, debating and music competitions, student societies, student
travel in B.C., yearbooks, playground and sports equipment and scholarships.
Education Minister Shirley Bond said she understands some parents are
concerned about gaming funds. "But, the benefits from those dollars are very
significant," she said.

South Park's decision was not an easy one as the school also refuses to
raise money by having students sell items door-to-door or outside stores.
Instead, the school community relies on an annual auction, spring fair and
pizza days.

The government should fully fund education, making fundraising unnecessary,
Mann said. "It is unacceptable that parents [at South Park] have to raise
about $18,000 a year just to provide adequate library books and art
materials and field trips," she said.

South Park has 168 students, meaning that, last year, when the province, on
a one-time basis, doubled the PAC grant to $40 per student, the gaming
commission would have handed $6,720 to South Park. This year, the school
would be in line for $3,360.

South Park PAC chairwoman Sarah Hilliard supports the decision to turn down
gambling money, but said it makes life tough for parent fundraisers.

South Park hopes to get new playground equipment with the money it raises.
Money also goes to classroom teachers for field trips and other extras --
but also basics such as electric pencil sharpeners, Hilliard said.

John Bird, chairman of the Victoria Coalition of PACs, believes that rising
gaming profits should mean more money for PACs.

The government scooped up $914.4 million from B.C. Lottery Corp. last
year -- up from about $120 million when PACs first started getting gaming
money. However, Bond said no consideration is being given to increasing
gaming money for PACs.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/24/2006 07:54:00 AM

Online gambling help going live this month

A service called gamAid that provides instant online help to people with
gambling problems has the green light to go live this month after a
six-month trial. The service has already had more than 55,000 visits and
provided 1,000 one-to-one help session during the first four months of its
trial. With gamAid, online gamblers can find instant, real-time, one-to-one
access to professional help when they feel like they're losing control of
their gambling or if they're interested in learning more about responsible
gambling. "gamAid gives our clients access to help and information that they
may not otherwise receive. Providing easy access to information assists us
greatly in meeting our social obligations," said Sue Harley, compliance
director at Ladbrokes, owner of Ladbrokes Poker. Ladbrokes and Betfair
Poker are just two of several gambling site operators who are already using
gamAid. Sites can make gamAid available to their players by placing an
active button on key pages of their site. Players will be able to click the
button and get instant, direct access to a trained advisor for help. "Online
advice is tailored to a client's needs and includes one-to-one consultations
and information about managing a gambling habit," said Tony Roberts, gamAid
manager. "We also provide online links to support services, forums, and
specialist counseling local to the client in whatever country they live."

Currently, gamAid is the only service that helps gambling sites meet the
demands of the U.K. Gambling Commission, which will implement the changes to
the Gambling Act in 2007. The company is also working with regulators to
provide a best practice use of gamAid to ensure that the gamAid button is
prominently displayed on every operator's site in the future.

"In order to tackle problem gambling, operators must clearly demonstrate
that not only do they operate an honest, fair and informative site, but they
also need to understand that, like anything addictive, preventative measures
must be put in place for when users think things may be getting out of
hand," said Sue Schneider, president and CEO of the River City Group at this
year's Global Interactive Gaming Summit in Canada. "gamAid is able to
provide a wonderful on-line help service for those with a gambling problem."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/24/2006 07:53:00 AM

Four police chiefs in Luzon relieved over gambling

The chiefs of police of four towns in Tarlac, Bulacan, and Isabela have been
relieved because the illegal numbers game jueteng continues in their areas,
officials said.
In Central Luzon, Chief Superintendent Ismael Rafanan, regional police
director, on Friday ordered the relief of Superintendent Aniceto Frane,
police chief of Camiling, Tarlac, and Superintendent Jesus Reyes, police
chief of Calumpit, Bulacan. They are undergoing pre-charge investigation in
this regional police camp.
In Isabela, Senior Superintendent Jude Wilson Santos, acting provincial
police director, relieved Superintendent Felix Dayag, chief of the Echague
police, and Senior Inspector Renato Bucad, chief of the Jones police, after
a team from the Philippine National Police's anti-illegal gambling task
force and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group raided suspected
jueteng dens in the province last week. Anti-illegal gambling operations by
the regional police in those towns confirmed the existence of jueteng,
Rafanan said. "The one-strike policy continues to be in full force to any
officer who defies the order to have the game stopped by September 30," he
said in explaining the immediate sacking of Frane and Reyes.

Chief Inspector Romeo de Guzman, CIDG Isabela chief, said his office
arrested 46 jueteng employees and bet collectors in Jones, Echague, Benito
Soliven, and San Agustin towns and in Santiago City.

Chief Superintendent Jefferson Soriano, Cagayan Valley police director, said
he had ordered provincial police directors in the region to beat the
September 30 deadline set by PNP chief Director General Oscar Calderon to
stop jueteng operations in the country.

The relieved police officials were the first to come under fire in what
Calderon called an "honest-to-goodness" fight against the underworld
lottery. Calderon said the new drive against jueteng was meant to strengthen
the small town lottery, which the government introduced in February as an
antidote and alternative to jueteng.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/24/2006 07:53:00 AM

Gambling in Pennsylvania

For an activity to be "gambling" in Pennsylvania there must be payment of a
consideration or fee for the chance to win a prize. The winner must be
determined by chance. The legal forms of gambling in the state are
activities governed by the Race Horse Industry Reform Act, the Pennsylvania
Lottery, bingo and small games of chance. One way to put these groups on a
more level playing field might be to expand the types of games authorized
under small games of chance laws and increase what can be bingo winnings,
some county officials have said. Legislators plan to revisit small games of
chance and bingo laws in the state. About two years ago, Somerset County
Jerry Spangler spoke on behalf of Pennsylvania District Attorneys
Association before the state House Judiciary Committee on proposals to
update the bingo and small games of chance laws.

Meanwhile, the lines seem to be tightening around just what these groups can
do to raise money with fundraisers that use bingo and small games of chance.

Video horse racing is one of the popular fundraising events for nonprofit
groups in the state.

Laurel Arts in Somerset had incorporated that particular game of chance in
its Casino Night fundraiser for a couple years. The event usually raised
about $4,000.

Last year, that all changed.

Last year, the nonprofit art group changed the name to Vegas Night and
changed several games of chance, including video horse racing. The group
ended up discontinuing video horse racing.

"We found out that video horse racing is not specifically listed in the
small game of chance legislation," said Michael Knecht, Laurel Arts
executive director.

"Our budget is pretty complex. We count on everything to balance the
budget," Knecht said.

By not being able to incorporate video horse racing, the event brought in
less funds for Laurel Arts.

Losing any amount of funds is "a big hit," he said.

"Technology has been changing. The laws governing small games of chance or
those related should be revisited to make sure it is still effective as
written," Knecht added. "If it isn't then it should be updated."

Prize limits haven't changed in 18 to 25 years, Spangler said. The law of
small games of chance was passed in 1988; the bingo act was passed in 1981.

Spangler told Laurel Arts board members to eliminate video horse racing just
to be sure they are in compliance with state law.

"He said if it was not there in the law to stay away from it," Knecht added.

Meanwhile, until the law is interpreted to include video horse racing as a
legal small games of chance, it is best for nonprofit organizations to take
a "proactive stance to be sure they are complying with the law and eliminate

"Our event is legal and everyone has a good time and it is still productive
as a fundraiser," he said about Vegas Night, tentatively planned for Feb.

"The last thing our nonprofit needs is to have police show up and arrest our
patrons for something considered illegal," he added.

Laurel Arts is not the only organization having trouble with interpreting
what the law means.

There are those groups that use bingo as a fundraiser and others who just
enjoy playing the game.

For those playing bingo for entertainment, the law states they can do so as
long as winning prizes are of "nominal value."

What is not clear with the law is just what constitutes nominal value.

Playing bingo for cash at Somerset County senior centers was temporarily
suspended until the state bingo law is clarified, according to Karen
Ritchey, deputy administrator for Area Agency of Aging of Somerset County.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/24/2006 07:53:00 AM

Fun fairs a front for gambling

Most fun fairs attract children, but at least six in the district are a hit
with adults. That's because they are a front for gambling dens. These fun
fairs have the usual attractions such as rides and carnival games, said
Johor Baru MCA Youth secretary Rodney Soon. "But hardly anyone plays these
games. The people go there just to gamble," he revealed yesterday. Soon
said such fun fairs were located all over the district - in Permas Jaya,
Johor Jaya and Kulai - and were open from 8pm to 2am. "The operators do not
charge entrance fees," he said. To gamble, punters have to buy RM1 tokens.
Soon said the games resemble roulette, where punters pick numbers between
one and 10. Soon said he had notified Johor Baru (south) district police's
anti-vice, secret societies and gaming division. Meanwhile, state CID chief
Senior Asst Comm (II) Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaafar said police had raided
several fun fairs.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/24/2006 07:53:00 AM

Gambling addiction blamed for robbery 'frenzy'

A Christchurch man who committed a "frenzy" of six knifepoint robberies over
six weeks was sent to jail for seven years yesterday. Murray Duglas Harris,
a 46-year-old with a previously unblemished record, had pleaded guilty in
Christchurch District Court and was sentenced yesterday by Judge Gary
MacAskill. Harris admitted robbing three service stations, a tavern, a
liquor store and a factory shop during what his counsel, Ruth Buddicom,
termed a frenzy of offending during a "brain explosion" when he was out of
control. Police arrested Harris on June 23 while he was holding up the
liquor store. After each of the robberies, which netted him about $3000,
Harris would deposit amounts into his TAB account and bank accounts. He
admitted to a long-standing gambling addiction and said after his arrest
that he was "relieved" his gambling problem had come to the surface and he
could address it properly. Ms Buddicom said Harris was ashamed and
remorseful, and now realised the impact of his serious offending on the
victims he had robbed and threatened.

AdvertisementAdvertisementShe said Harris was now motivated to address his
gambling problem.

Judge MacAskill said Harris' offending was out of character and

The gravity and seriousness of the offences were aggravating features, as
was the effect on Harris' victims.

He had committed multiple offences within a short timeframe while using a
weapon and making threats to the staff of the premises he targeted.

"Your offending will have an impact on them for a long time to come."

During the robberies Harris had threatened to use the knife if his victims
did not hurry to fill the yellow shopping bag he carried with money.

Gambling had become a "personal disaster" for Harris and while it could go
somewhere toward explaining the offending it was certainly no excuse.

The judge noted Harris had held the same job for 25 years, had no previous
criminal record, was a productive member of the community and deserved
credit for his community contributions, particularly to the sport of soccer.

Judge MacAskill jailed Harris for seven years on one "lead charge" of
aggravated robbery and imposed four-year sentences on four other aggravated
robbery charges.

He imposed a two-year sentence for the attempted robbery when Harris was
caught by police in the liquor store. All sentences were concurrent.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/24/2006 07:53:00 AM

Saturday, September 23, 2006

More countries could be added to list of infringers investigated by European Commission

Several European states have taken action against online gaming companies in
a bid to protect their own gambling operations, but the tactic looks likely
to accelerate the demise of their own monopolies, says a report in Hemscott
this week. The report quotes a European Commission spokesman who said the
body is prepared to target more EU member states deemed to be stifling
competition in the sports gambling sector. "'We will perhaps add to the
number of countries involved in infringement procedures', said the EU
executive arm's internal markets spokesman Oliver Drewes during a European
Commission meeting on the issue. EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie
McCreevy wants to ensure that laws in member states banning gambling
services are 'necessary and not discriminatory'.
The arrest of two Bwin executives from Austria on alleged gambling
violations whilst they were visiting France is seen as something that could
accelerate the possibility of EC legal action in a European market that
takes more than Euro 70 billion ($89 billion) from European gamblers every
year, Reuters reported this week. Detentions of international online
gambling businessmen by US federal and state authorities have resulted in a
closer focus by online gambling companies on alternative markets, with
Europe being the prime target. "Things are coming to a head," the report
quotes Simon Holliday at gaming consultants GBGC. "The industry is currently
in a legal grey area, but we think this will accelerate the speed it opens
up." Betfair Managing Director Mark Davies said it was wrong to equate the
situation in Europe with that in the U.S. "The two are completely
different," he said. "In America it is clearly illegal to take sports bets
over the Internet, but in Europe it's clearly legal."

Last week, European Union Internal Market Commissioner McCreevy said eight
EU countries might be added to a list of seven already facing legal action
for refusing to open their betting markets. France is said to be among them.

"France could have shot themselves in the foot by getting this aggressive,
as it could bring the whole process forward," said Holliday. "We thought it
would take five, six or seven years to sort itself out, but it now looks
like two to three years."

Although European Union law allows cross-border trade by gambling companies
under the Treaty of Rome, many individual states prevent it, claiming they
are protecting the public from gambling addiction. The counter argument to
that is the large monopolistic revenues these governments themselves make
from gambling, sometimes offered to citizens of other countries too in
vehicles like lotteries.

European Lotteries, which represents 74 organisations, said gambling was a
unique activity, and states should be allowed to monopolise it to protect
consumers and regulate crime. But critics say these same states promote
equally addictive national lotteries, and accuse them of hypocrisy.

Three of the EC investigations are at the behest of British gaming group
Ladbrokes, with complaints against Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands, said
John O'Reilly, managing director of Ladbrokes's Internet division.

"I think what we've seen in recent weeks is a bit of a backlash by European
member states who want to treat betting as a national issue," he said. After
seven or eight years of trying to get national legal disputes heard at a
European level, O'Reilly said he welcomed the prospect of clarity.

Earlier this year Bwin launched an EC complaint against France, claiming
that its gambling monopoly breaches Article 49 of the European Community
Treaty which enshrines the freedom to provide cross-border services. The
complaint asks the Commission to force France to comply with EC law on the
freedom to provide services.

Evelyn Heffermehl at law firm Ulys in Brussels said France's action against
Bwin did not signal Europe was becoming a riskier place for online gaming
groups. "They can be seen rather as a sign that the monopolies in general,
and in France in this specific case, are concerned that they might not
'survive' for long," said Heffermehl.

"Europe is currently facing a transition period between old restrictive
regulations, with monopolies etc, and opening of the market."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/23/2006 06:05:00 AM

You could lay bets on Tomb Raider outcomes!

Activision video gaming boss Robert Kotick spoke this week of the role in-
[video]-game gambling could play in the future, describing it as the 'Holy
Grail' of the games business. Kotick reckons the cross-over between gaming
and 'gambling' could potentially be huge, and far more extensive than at
present. Discussing the potential of wagering with regards to online games,
he said: "There's probably lots of opportunities to figure out how to
develop prize play [and] cash play as a future growth opportunity. You're
going to need a big installed base, and a very different regulatory climate.
And that's going to take some time." The Activision CEO apparently thinks
the integration of gambling is 'inevitable', especially as games become
increasingly online and multiplayer focused. "When you think about the Holy
Grail of the video game business, organised competition for prize play and
cash play is going to be the floodgate of opportunity for new audiences," he
affirmed. "And it will happen eventually, but I wouldn't expect it anytime
soon." Whilst Activision recently dipped their toes into the realms of
online gambling, with a series of Poker games, these were played for the
love of it rather than cold hard cash.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/23/2006 06:05:00 AM

OSU trustees oppose Learn and Earn gambling issue

In a surprise move yesterday, the Ohio State University Board of Trustees
came out in strong opposition to the Learn and Earn issue on November's
ballot that would allow casino and slot gambling in Ohio. "If we are silent
it implies we support it because we could benefit from it," said trustee Les
Wexner, Limited Brands founder. "I think it's very clever -- and bad public
policy." Under the ballot measure, Issue 3, 30 percent of the money raised
from the gambling would be channeled into college scholarships students
would earn while in high school, hence the "Learn and Earn" tag. It would
allow 31,500 slot machines at seven horse-racing tracks and at two downtown
Cleveland casinos. Wexner, one of the more outspoken members of the OSU
board, said he opposes the issue because it gives nine entities a gambling
monopoly. Trustee Robert H. Schottenstein agreed, saying Issue 3 "doesn't
smell right, feel right or seem fair" and sounds too good to be true. "We do
not think this is good for the state of Ohio," said Schottenstein. A number
of Columbus groups have come out against Learn and Earn, including the
Greater Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Columbus
Partnership, an influential group of area business leaders.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/23/2006 06:05:00 AM

Former Teamster's boss formally charged in gambling ring

The accused ring leader of the state's largest suspected illegal gambling
ring faced a judge and official charges Friday. The Madison County
Prosecutor filed 71 counts against former Teamster's boss John Neal,
accusing him of illegal gambling, money laundering and corruption. For 72
hours, the man prosecutors claim controlled illegal operations at dozens of
central Indiana taverns sat behind jail bars uncharged. Now, after days of
seizing dozens of video gambling machines, receipts, files - and more than
$4 million dollars, John Lewis Neal learned the 71 gambling related charges
against him. John Neal sat in front of a court video camera in the jail for
his mid-morning hearing, initially confused about what had taken place. "Did
you say that charges have not been filed?" he asked the magistrate, before
getting another court explanation. The court set Neal's bond at $2 million
dollars - the same amount investigators froze in bank accounts. "We believe
Mr. Neal is a flight risk. He has bank accounts that we're not aware of,
probably yet. We still believe that there's about $3 million from this
enterprise that are unaccounted for and have not been seized. He has a home
in Florida," explained Cummings. On federal parole until next February on a
prior gambling related conviction, money isn't the only thing keeping Neal
behind bars. The magistrate asked Mr. Neal if he understood that he could
not be released from jail until that parole hold is lifted. Neal responded,
"I understand that."

Before the court began rolling videotape of the hearing, Neal informed the
court he hired Indianapolis defense attorney Richard Kamman. But Neal
admitted he wasn't sure he had money to pay for representation, saying, "I
don't think so, they got all my money tied up. They got everything I got
tied up. What we're going to try to do is get that money loose to pay the

The Madison County Prosecutor says Neal is in for a fight. "We will resist
any effort to get any of his money back," said Cummings. "It is not our plan
to make a deal with him like has been made in the past. It is our plan to
take his money and have that money to come to the government of this

The prosecutor confirms some of those who worked under Neal apart from the
gambling are cooperating. Cummings says the next step is to reopen some of
the bars raided and shut down. Under the plan the county would appoint a
receiver and all profits would go to the coffers of Madison County. Cummings
believes it will keep viable businesses open and employees earning a living

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/23/2006 06:05:00 AM

Gambling foes to gather

The Rev. Patrick Walsh understands slot machines at Seven Springs may be a
done deal. But though most of those playing the quarters at the popular
resort likely will be from out of town, Walsh is concerned about the
implications gambling could have on families closer to home. "You can't say
it's not going to impact people in our own community. They're going to go up
there," said Walsh, pastor of Rockwood Christian & Missionary Alliance
Church near New Centerville. For the first time since Seven Springs applied
for its slots license, anti-gambling activists are mustering united
opposition in the county. Dianne Berlin, volunteer coordinator of
CasinoFreePA and vice chairwoman of the National Coalition Against Legalized
Gambling, will be the featured speaker at a community meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday at the church. "I think there is considerable opposition to
gambling, but people are not speaking up," Walsh said. "There's been a lot
of PR from proponents of gambling, from the governor on down. But they've
not looked at the impact it's going to have on our community and families."
Seven Springs and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in neighboring Fayette County
are the only two applicants for the state's two resort-gambling licenses. If
approved, Seven Springs intends to build a 500-slot casino.

Middlecreek Township supervisors already have come out against the plan on
moral and practical grounds in objections filed with Pennsylvania Gaming
Control Board in Harrisburg.

A hearing for the two resort licenses is scheduled for Oct. 25 in

Even though the slots will be open only to resort guests who spend $25,
Berlin said the ramifications will run deep.

"It's not just going to be the people from out of town who are going to
gamble," she said from her home in Lancaster County.

Berlin said the forum will provide information on the impact of casinos on
localities, how the law was passed to legalize gambling in Pennsylvania and
why it should be repealed.

"It's never too late to repeal a law - and especially a bad law," Berlin

"People don't understand all of this. I wish I didn't know as much as I do,
because it makes me sick."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/23/2006 06:05:00 AM

Entire state must vote on gambling issue

West Virginia's gambling industry plans another push in the Legislature next
year for local option elections to allow table games at the state's four
racetrack casinos.
In preparation for next year's effort, a poll released by the state Racing
Association earlier this week shows 61 percent of West Virginians favor
local option elections, up from 51 percent in a similar poll released in
January. Also, according to The Associated Press, racetrack executives and
political action committees distributed more than $100,000 before the May
primary among 72 House of Delegates and State Senate candidates. Association
President John Cavacini said the industry will contribute to candidates for
the general election. The gambling industry wants table games such as
blackjack, poker and roulette because it will soon lose its regional
monopoly on video slot machines. Pennsylvania could license its first slot
machines next week. According to the AP, the tracks in Jefferson, Hancock,
Kanawha and Ohio counties together host nearly 11,400 video terminals
operated by the state Lottery Commission. They grossed more than $942
million last fiscal year for the tracks as well as state, county and local
governments. The racetracks provide thousands of jobs. By adding table
games, West Virginia's tracks say they could maintain their existing jobs
and even add to them as they expand.

But every expansion of gambling so far has required a statewide vote, not
local elections in four counties. This is an issue that cries out for a
statewide vote for several reasons. The problems associated with gambling
addiction will be felt in every county, especially those bordering
racetracks with table games.

After all, most of Cabell and Putnam counties are closer to the track at
Crosslanes than parts of Kanawha County are. So are parts of Mason and
Jackson counties. But under a local option, those four counties would have
no say in whether table games are offered there.

On this issue, all counties deserve a vote.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/23/2006 06:05:00 AM

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sampdoria striker gets two month ban for gambling offence

Sampdoria striker Francesco Flachi has been suspended for two months by the
Italian Football League following an investigation into allegations he
helped gather information for gamblers. The Football League's disciplinary
commission ruled that Flachi had "sought to gain information on the outcome
of games" for a third party. Flachi's former Samp team mate Moris
Carrozzieri, now with Atalanta, was also handed a two month ban for the same
offence relating to a lower division game. The charges were originally
placed against Flachi in October 2005 after a telephone intercept was
published featuring him chatting with Fabio Bazzani, then with Lazio, about
the Rome derby. The disciplinary commission's ruling said there had been no
evidence that Flachi's behaviour had influenced the outcome of any game but
that he had broken rules on gambling and sporting behaviour. Sampdoria were
fined 20,000 euros by the commission.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/22/2006 07:08:00 AM

Investigators: Suspect In Gambling Probe Could Have $4M Stashed

A former state Teamsters boss accused of money laundering and helping to run
a multicounty video gambling operation could still have $4 million stashed
somewhere, investigators say. A magistrate on Wednesday ordered John Neal
held with a cash bond set at $2 million because prosecutors argue he is a
flight risk.
Earlier this week, authorities raided Neal's Yorktown home, seizing more
than $1 million hidden in a fake wall, and closed down more than 20 bars and
other businesses believed to be part of the gambling operation. Police also
have seized $2 million from financial institutions under state
anti-racketeering laws.
Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said investigators believe there
is up to $4 million more that they have not located. Neal faces preliminary
charges of professional gambling, promoting professional gambling, money
laundering and corrupt business influence. The prosecution has until Friday
to file formal charges.
Madison County Magistrate Steve Clase raised Neal's bond from $1 million
full cash to $2 million full cash after Cummings said the defendant was a
serious flight risk.

Asked at the end of the hearing if he had any questions, Neal responded:
"Just one. Uh, what was it about $4 million?"

More than 28 people besides Neal had been booked into the Madison County
Jail in connection with the case. Most face charges of professional gambling
and money laundering, and many are part-owners or employees of the bars
under investigation.

The arrest came about 18 months after Neal's release from the U.S.
Penitentiary in Terre Haute. In May 2000 he pleaded guilty in U.S. District
Court in Indianapolis to charges of illegal gambling, money laundering and
tax evasion.

Neal resigned as president of the Indiana Conference of Teamsters and of
Teamsters Local 135 in Indianapolis in 1996 after being arrested by the FBI.

Neal's probation on his federal convictions prohibits him from holding
alcoholic beverage permits or being involved in related businesses, the
Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission said in a news release.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/22/2006 07:08:00 AM

Ohio's Gambling Foes Speak To About Slots Proposal

Ohio Governor Bob Taft and US Senator George Voinovich have talked with
state higher education officials about a plan to pay for college
scholarships with slot machines. The two politicians have been outspoken
opponents of casino gambling. Taft has asked the Ohio Board of Regents to
study the proposal, which will go before voters November Seventh. Slots
would be allowed at racetracks, and scholarships would get 30 percent of the
proceeds. The regents oversee state spending on colleges and would be in
charge of distributing the scholarship money. Voinovich helped lead
successful campaigns to keep casinos out of Ohio. His spokesman says
Voinovich has no comment on his discussions with the regents.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/22/2006 07:08:00 AM

Online Gambling CEO Sets Sights on U.S.

Despite the recent spate of online gambling related arrests in America,
incoming Sportingbet Plc CEO, Andrew McIver, has announced that the popular
online sports betting website will continue to market to U.S. based online
gamblers. Clearly McIver has balls of titanium and does not intend on
vacationing in the United States anytime soon! He has replaced Peter Dicks
who was arrested a few weeks ago while on a stopover in New York, and
subsequently resigned from the online gambling giant. McIver, who has many
years of experience in the online gambling industry, is confident that
Sportingbet will continue to attract American online gamblers with the
objective of expanding its online casino business. Said McIver, 'I believe
that the U.S. is the only market in the world worth increased online
gambling capital investment. America is where the online gamblers are, where
the growth is and where the money is.' The announcement has raised a few
eyebrows around the world because it has come at a time when many online
gambling operations are nervously withdrawing their marketing efforts from
the United States.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/22/2006 07:08:00 AM

Internet Gambling Survives Another Attempted Ban

Senator Bill Frist attempted to attach the Internet Gambling Bill to a
Military Defense Bill but received much unexpected opposition and sources
say that attempt is now dead. Although the online gaming industry is
breathing another sigh of relief the fight is not over yet. Senator Frist,
from Iowa, is looking to run for president in 2008 and he is trying to
support what his conservatives in Iowa want done. They want internet
gambling banned and as such Frist will continue to fight through the end of
the year to attach the online gambling ban to some other bill that will be
sure to pass. Some sources say that this bill was his best chance at getting
the ban passed, others say that may be true, but when he tries to attach it
to another bill he will do so in a more quiet fashion as to not gain
attention from the internet gambling world who voiced very strong opposition
to his efforts. A week ago senators around the country received over 500
phone calls from the Poker Player Alliance, which is only one tenth of the
amount that actually tried to get through to senators. "Most opposition came
from those on the Armed Services Committee," said Jason Bailey, director of
development for the National Right for Online Gambling - the NROG has kept a
sharp eye on this case - "Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.)," Bailey said, "and
Senator John Warner (R-Va.) were the two most influential, although it's
important to note there were several other key players that stopped him -
this time." The NROG encourages all online gamblers to continue calling in
opposition to any possible ban.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/22/2006 07:08:00 AM

Senate Decides Online Gambling Stands Alone

During the month of September, cable and television networks paraded
programs on the subject of online and offshore gaming. These programs aired
just in time to stir up more debate as lawmakers on Capitol Hill were poised
to vote on whether or not to attach an online gambling ban to the current
defense bill. One network program on the subject of online gambling might
have given lawmakers the dose of reality they needed to make an educated
decision. News was swirling around the arrests of several Internet gaming
executives. ESPN hosted an online gambling debate on September 10th during
an episode of Outside The Lines. Nightline ran a feature on the eccentric
billionaire Calvin Ayre and took viewers on a tour of the Costa Rican based
Bodog Nation. The public response must have been startling, as in depth
feature segments about the gaming industry followed. And while the pieces
were interesting and helped expose the taboo subject of online gaming to a
mass audience, it was still just the drumming of an old message into new
ears. Network Programming On Tilt As networks continue to tackle topics on
the legality of online gambling, taxes on such, and the affect it has on
society, no real solutions are being presented. During two separate
features, reporters tilted their perspectives toward an all-out ban during
closing statements. But as hard-core journalists put a negative spin on the
gambling phenomenon, the results backfired, as those they scrutinized over
primetime television were given a voice. In most cases the interviewees
came across as more intelligent, better informed, and offered real solutions
to problems, compared to those delivering the hard-hitting questions. A 60
Minute segment that aired on Sunday, September 17 might have become just
another soft interview, as CBS reporter Lesley Stahl argued "gambling is
bad" and "the point of making something illegal is to stop people from
doing it, and penalize them if they do," but admitted that even America's
gaming industries, that have long opposed Internet gambling, are shifting
their position.

"I think the issue is very simple," said MGM/Mirage CEO Terry Landry. "You
should license it regulate it and tax it. I think to enact laws that you
enforce makes no sense whatsoever."

Are Lawmakers Dealing With a Full Deck?
Sen. Jon Kyl believes the affect that gambling has on kids is the biggest

"Our kids have access to the Internet. They're frequently not supervised.
And you can run up a huge debt on your folks' credit card very, very

Actually, that statement taken out of context could apply to several
activities when it comes to kids, or adults for that matter, on the
Internet. And Kyl's point was easily disproved in front of a mass audience.

Nigel Payne, former CEO of Sportingbet.com, who also ran Paradise Poker, ran
an experiment during a 60 Minute segment that aired on CBS. The producer
gave his son a credit card and Payne challenged the teenager to open an
account with Paradise Poker. Payne was certain, with effective security
measures in place, the underage visitor wouldn't be able to gain access to
the site.

"That 16-year-old has got to give me four or five pieces of information
about him, relative to his bank account, his personal details, where he
lives and other things," said Payne. "I can be 99 percent comfortable that
this 16-year-old doesn't even get through my front door."

Payne made his point, as the boy's attempts to register with Paradise Poker
were futile. Warnings that read, "You must be 18 or older" popped up each

From Across The Pond
"This is why regulating the industry is so important," said Payne. "If you
regulate it, you set limits."

The Englishman addressed several other issues concerning online gambling and
countered questions with eloquence and poise. He even posed a few questions
of his own, though not necessarily intended for the journalist conducting
the interview, but a worldwide audience to ponder. So, without a harem of
bikini clad women or a convoy of shiny new Hummers, the unassuming Mr. Payne
presented a poignant thought.

"Do you think the Internet is suddenly going to go away? Do you think that
people are ever going to stop gambling? So what are we going to do in ten
years time when this industry is ten times bigger than it is today? "

Then Payne posed another question to a primetime national television
audience. "Please give me one solid plausible argument why you shouldn't
regulate it."

It was just about that time when the chairman of the senate armed services
committee was considering whether or not to attach an internet wagering
prohibition to a piece of 'must-pass' legislation.

Two days later, when Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist approached Senator
John Warner, Warner consulted with the ranking democrat of Michigan, Senator
Carl Levin. And though the House of Representatives passed the anti-online
gambling legislation in July, it still needed to make it through the Senate.

Frist made explosive accusations that online gambling promotes money
laundering, racketeering, tax evasion and a host of other felonies. And in a
desperate attempt to quickly establish an all out ban, he and other senators
attached additional legislation to the current defense bill.

Frist failed in his attempt but has vowed he will continue to push for
another vote on the issue. And though Payne and several other countries have
proven that licensing and regulating online gambling will win the trust of
consumers and eventually put the less reputable sites out of business, naïve
lawmakers would rather it all just went away.

"I promise you within 12 months. the problems. will have disappeared or
significantly reduced, because customers will have voted with their feet."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/22/2006 07:08:00 AM

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Internet gambling trend grows

Earlier this year, a study released shows that 600,000 young adults between
the ages of 14 to 22 have reported gambling on the Internet on a weekly
basis. The study, conducted by the Annenberg Foundation, also found the age
group had the highest rate of gambling addictions. "I like gambling because
of the high risk/high reward idea, but I only risk what I can afford," said
Victor Wong, a freshman in the School of Management. However, students don't
always act responsibly when making bets online. According to the National
Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 5 percent of college students
have a gambling problem. College students are actively contributing to the
estimated $12.1 billion online gambling industry, which has doubled in the
last three years. Although there has been an increase in students coming to
the Purdue Student Health Center with compulsive computer use problems,
there haven't been any key statistics on online gambling patterns, said
Marty Green, staff social worker at Counseling and Psychological Services.
Online gamblers run the risk of becoming problem gamblers, which can affect
an individual's personal, social and educational life. Some effects of
online gambling include withdrawal from school activities, isolation from
friends and family, a drop in grades, sleep deprivation, increased denial of
actual time spent online gambling and general irritability when offline,
said Green.

Sometimes the effects of online gambling can become cyclical. "Folks get
stressed, anxious, get behind and then feel overwhelmed because they can't
catch up," said Green. "Grades go down, they panic, so then they
procrastinate even further by using the computer more, and so it becomes a

"In my opinion, it really depends on the type of person you are in order for
gambling to affect you," said Wong.

According to the Center for Online Addiction, online gambling has become
popular for several reasons. First, the Internet has become an easy and
convenient way to place bets. Access to the Internet for most college
students is simple, and many colleges provide computer labs where students
can spend as much time as they'd like online.

According to the center, another possible reason why online gambling has
become a problem on campuses is the fear of social alienation. A student may
not feel secure enough to join activities on campus because of the social
intimidation, and therefore may spend more time online.

There have been developments in trying to understand why computers can
incite compulsive behavior.

A discovery show that screens, such as computer screens, can move people
into compulsive behavior, even if they are not genetically predisposed, said
Green. The screen acts as a hypnotizer and puts viewers in a trance-like
state, which can spark compulsive use.

"Other compulsive behavior has a genetic base to it," said Green. "But a
person who has never had any of those before can become compulsive in
computer behavior."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/21/2006 10:58:00 AM

Gambling ring may affect election, rep says

The legalization of video gambling is gaining attention this week after 40
arrests and the seizure of millions of dollars in the case of John Neal. The
fallout could change this year's election. Neal, a former Teamster boss, was
arrested in Daleville Monday on charges relating to a video gambling ring in
the region. The arrest came after an 18-month investigation, and it happened
in the middle of an election season. Indiana State Rep. Dennis Tyler,
D-Muncie, said the Neal case could alter the tone of campaigns. "Instead of
talking about job creation and funding and those type of things, now they'll
be talking about do you have a problem with gambling or not," Tyler said.
About $4 million was confiscated from Neal this week. Madison County
Prosecutor Rodney Cummings suggested the money wasn't just hidden away
untouched. "I suspect we'll find that he's been donating a lot of money to
state legislators and legislative candidates," said Cummings, a Republican.
Tyler declared he's not one of those politicians.

"I've never heard that. (Neal has) never given me any money," Tyler said,
later adding: "I think that there's more politics to it than what is being

For his part, Cummings said every violation of the law is a priority to him.

"He was making a great deal of money through an illegal enterprise," he said
of Neal.

Neal will be formally charged Friday. Cummings said it could take months or
even years for a trial to take place.

Meanwhile, the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association is hosting meetings
across the state to convince legislators to legalize video gambling.

Tyler said he will ask voters for input before taking a stance on the issue.

"I'll put together a survey and I'll send it out to my constituents and get
their thoughts and ideas and opinions on it," he said.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/21/2006 10:58:00 AM

Pokies-led gambling on rise

The total net takings from gambling in the year 2004-2005 were $15.5
billion, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This was up from
$13.8 billion four years earlier. The preferred form of gambling is in
pokies, with takings now reaching $8.7 billion, or $1 billion more than in
2000-2001. Other major sources were off-course TAB takings ($2.1 billion),
casino gambling ($2.6 billion) and lottery-style games ($1.4 billion). More
than 68 per cent of the overall gambling happened in NSW and Victoria.
Online gambling accounted for $114.3 million in takings from a gross
turnover of $1.4 billion. The ABS, in its report Gambling Services,
Australia, said casinos generated $3.3 billion in income during 2004-2005.
The survey found 76,848 people were employed in the provisions of gambling
services, with the majority in hospitality.

Clubs NSW spokesman Jeremy Bath said employment associated with clubs -
53,000 jobs directly in NSW - had actually declined slightly in the past two
years due to high petrol prices and higher interest rates.

"There's no doubt the NSW clubs industry is facing significant financial
challenges," he said.

But the big rise in takings worries South Australian No Pokies Independent
MP Nick Xenophon.

"These latest figures make a mockery of state governments' so-called harm
minimisation efforts," he said.

"They've now been exposed as largely window dressing rather than real

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/21/2006 10:58:00 AM

Conference highlights addiction

Stories of suicide, bankruptcy and broken families were heard at an
international problem gambling conference held in Auckland. A New Zealand
teenager has even written a song about how his mother's addiction made his
life hell. Although there are less gambling addicts seeking help this year,
researchers say it may be a simple blip caused by anti-smoking laws. "You
don't even know that it's affecting them until its too late and you've lost
everything. And that's what I wrote my song about, the effects on
families," says rapper Lil' Tyrone. Up to 2% of New Zealanders are addicted
to some form of gambling. A problem experts at the conference in Auckland
debated why, and what to do. "I think New Zealand and Australia basically
present the worst type of examples to the world, because we have these very
high intensity gaming machines/casino style gaming machines or machines of
that type where you can lose a lot of money very quickly, out in our
communities," says Dr James Doughney, Victoria University of Melbourne
Researcher. Duty of Care is an Australian group of 300 former gamblers who
are taking a class action against the whole industry, from the pokie machine
designers to the state governments.

"Within eight weeks of starting to play those machines I was hooked and
badly," says Sue Pinkerton of Duty of Care. "The amount that we're claiming
is going to be heard. It is a very significant amount, hopefully it will
break the industry if we're successful," she says.

Pinkerton lost tens of thousands of dollars before she managed to quit the
pokies and her friend attempted suicide.

"My friend's suicide note - by the way she had a 10-year-old daughter - and
her note said 'I've tried and tried and tried to quit. But what good am I as
a parent that I can't even control my own behaviour. This is the only way I
know to stop myself from going to the machines'."

Kiwis loose $2 billion a year gambling. But researchers say there have
been less problem gamblers seeking help this year.

"The numbers are definitely down and the obvious thing appears to be the
smoking ban that's come in. Now the challenge is to keep that moving in the
right direction," says gambling researcher Professor Max Abbott.

But some say the smoking ban has simply caused a blip and the problem is
likely to return.

Doughney says these are in fact death causing industries.

"Look at it from that side and you take a much tougher view I think."

Lil' Tyrone is very thankful his mother gave up gambling.

"I'm proud of my mum for giving up gambling. Very proud. 'Cause really if
it wasn't for my mum I wouldn't have grown stronger in this case in gambling
and I know to not do it, to not do it at all 'cause I don't want the next
generation of my family to go through that thing. So yeah I thank my mum,"
he says.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/21/2006 10:58:00 AM

Will U.S. go after online gambling? You can bet on it

The hot-button topics in Britain these days regarding the Americans aren't
only about Iraq. It's also about business. The CEOs of two British Internet
gambling sites (both publicly listed) were arrested this summer when they
were changing planes on U.S. soil. More have been targeted and legislators
are looking at other options to prevent Americans from betting online. The
act of accepting bets online is legal in Britain but illegal in the United
States. The tricky part is that the Internet crosses borders and so a
crackdown by one country to stop Americans from betting on British sites
means Washington is flexing its muscles outside its own territory. This is
nothing new. During the Prohibition era of the 1920s and early '30s, the
Americans went after Canada, where alcohol was still produced (and much of
it was then smuggled across the U.S. border). Then there was a dust-up about
an alleged "cartel" of uranium producers during the Cold War and for legal
reasons some Canadians could not travel to the United States. In 1994, some
executives of Sherritt International were put on government blacklists for
involvement in a joint venture with Cuba's nickel company. The Americans
were angry because the nickel had been U.S.-owned before the Communists
confiscated the assets.

And this summer the crackdown has escalated beyond Canada.

On July 17, David Carruthers, then CEO of BetOnSports.com, was arrested
while on a layover at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, in transit
between Costa Rica and Britain. He was charged with racketeering and mail
fraud and is under house arrest in St. Louis.

Dozens more were arrested in the United States. Since then, the company
fired him and closed its U.S. operation. Some U.S. papers reported that the
company, while legitimate in Britain, had shared office space with people in
Costa Rica with U.S. criminal records.

The next salvo occurred this month, when Peter Dicks, chairman of
Sportingbet PLC, was taken into custody at JFK International Airport in New
York as he came off an overseas flight. The warrant was issued by police
officials in Louisiana.

Immediately after his arrest, the company was forced to ask the London Stock
Exchange to halt trading. Sportingbet is one of the industry leaders in
Britain, with US$2.86-billion in revenue in the year that ended July 31,
2005. About two-thirds of bets came from U.S. customers.

Mr. Dicks has been freed on bail and he returned to Britain but must return
to the U.S. for his trial.

The online gambling market is estimated at more than US$11- billion annually
and is projected to reach US$25-billion by 2010. More than half comes from
U.S. gamblers.

There are tax issues in the U.S. So Congress is getting into the act.

In June, the House passed a measure prohibiting banks or other licensed
financial institutions from aiding payments to wagering sites in the form of
cheques or other transfers. The Senate hasn't ruled yet.

One of the problems is that laws haven't quite caught up with the new
Internet reality. The law is clear when it comes to taking bets over the
phone, but so far only moral harassment or threats or arresting foreign CEOs
on U.S. soil have been used when it comes to e-gambling.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/21/2006 10:58:00 AM

Gambling arrests followed firm's complaint that French law was anti-European

Bwin Interactive, the firm behind BetandWin, filed a formal complaint in
March to the European Commission, company spokeswoman Karin Klein told
OUT-LAW. The complaint claims that France's gambling monopoly breaches
Article 49 of the EC Treaty which enshrines the freedom to provide cross
border services. "It asks the Commission to force France to comply with EC
law on the freedom to provide services," said Klein. The company's joint
chief executives Manfred Bodner and Norbert Teufelberger were arrested last
week in France in connection with the company's gambling business. Sports
gambling in France is a monopoly for La Francaise de Jeux, which is 72%
owned by the French state. The joint-chief executives were released on
Monday on ?300,000 bail each after a hearing at a Nanterre court. "They are
out and I think the entire case will take 12 months before we have a
decision," said Klein. The executives were visiting France to launch a
sponsorship deal with AS Monaco when they were held for questioning. Bwin
hopes that the French court's eventual verdict will be influenced by a
ruling from Europe on cases already being processed, including that of
Massimiliano Placanica. Placanica was an agent for Stanley International in
Italy, where betting is tightly controlled by the state.
The court of Larino has referred the case to the European Court of Justice
to judge whether or not the Italian legislation in his case is consistent
with Article 49. The case was lodged in August 2004, and Bwin expects a
decision before the French court gives its ruling.

"The ECJ will decide the Placanica before the Nanterre gives its judgment
and we think the Nanterre judges will take the ECJ into account in making
their decision," said Klein.

Bwin is the third company in recent weeks to have officials arrested. Two
British had individuals involved in US arrests. Ex-BetonSport chief
executive David Carruthers remains in the US awaiting trial in a Department
of Justice case while Peter Dicks, of Sportingbet, has been allowed to
return to the UK before returning to New York on 28th September to face
charges being pressed by the state of Louisiana.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/21/2006 10:58:00 AM

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

French curbs on gambling face challenge

France was likely to face a legal challenge from the European Commission
over its restrictions on gambling operators, Brussels said on Tuesday,
warning it could target Paris as early as next month in a broader sweep
against national governments. The threat was made following last week's
arrest in France of two senior executives of Bwin, an Austrian online sports
betting operator. The French authorities claim Bwin has violated French
gaming law, which bans private sports betting businesses from operating in
the country. Brussels said on Tuesday that it was likely to launch a number
of new cases against countries that impose illegal restrictions on gambling
operators. Earlier this year, Charlie McCreevy, the EU internal market
commissioner, opened infringement procedures against seven member states,
including Germany, Italy and Sweden. His spokesman said on Tuesday: "We
continue to receive complaints and commissioner McCreevy intends to proceed
with these cases and initiate additional cases against other member states,
including France."

On the Bwin arrests, he warned that criminal sanctions against individual
executives that were based on laws against illegal gambling could in
themselves be "problematic" from the Commission's point of view.

Under EU law, governments have the right to place restrictions on gambling
and sports betting operators, but they must be "non-discriminatory,
proportionate and consistent". Mr McCreevy's spokesman said: "It is not
acceptable to limit the freedom to provide betting services on account of
protecting consumers and at the same time allow mono-poly holders to
advertise betting services."

Bwin resumed trading on the Austrian stock exchange yesterday after its
executives were released on bail on Monday night. Its shares fell by a third
but in afternoon trading it recovered some of its lost ground to be down
about 16 per cent.

Bwin said it expected a decision by the end of the year on whether Manfred
Bodner and Norbert Teufelberger, the two Bwin executives, would face
cri-minal charges. It has been instructed by the French investigating
magistrate to put a notice on its website informing visitors in the next few
weeks that online betting could be in breach of French gaming laws.

The company is also under pressure in Germany, its biggest market, where
authorities are trying to revoke its gambling licence.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/20/2006 05:44:00 AM

Lawmakers Address Pennsylvania Gambling Law

As reported by the (Harrisburg) Herald-Standard: "A cleanup of the state's
two-year gambling law is becoming the most prominent issue on lawmakers
plates as they begin returning from summer recess in the next two weeks. "A
series of hearings are being held in House and Senate chambers to find
common ground on more than 40 measures to fix the 146-page law that
legalizes 61,000 slot machines for the first time in Pennsylvania. "Among
the most discussed: "Eliminating a provision that allows public officials
and their families to own up to 1 percent of gambling operations "Doing away
altogether with politically-connected slots machine middlemen. "Prohibiting
gaming board members from recommending relatives to the regulatory
commission, making political contributions, or communicating with gaming
applicants except through official channels.
"Today, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board officials, including Chairman Tad
Decker, are scheduled to appear before a House panel to answer questions,
and likely to hear a repeated plea to suspend awarding the first set of
slots licenses to racetracks on Sept. 27.

"...A growing number of lawmakers are seeking a delay to give time for the
Legislature to pass the reform measures..."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/20/2006 05:44:00 AM

Gambling issue gathers enough signatures needed for fall ballot

The campaign behind a proposal to expand gambling in Ohio submitted enough
valid signatures in its second attempt to get the initiative on the November
ballot, state elections officials said Tuesday. The group, which is
promoting a plan to put slot machines at Ohio's seven horse racetracks and
two freestanding sites in downtown Cleveland, failed in its initial attempt
last month, submitting 8,716 fewer signatures than the 322,899 required.
Given 10 days to make up the difference, the campaign, called Learn and
Earn, turned in 26,081 valid signatures, said James Lee, spokesman for the
Ohio Secretary of State's office. The plan, backed by a group of racetrack
owners and casino developers, would set aside about 30 percent of annual
gambling profits - $852 million a year - for college tuition grants, the
group says. "People of Ohio are excited about this issue, and we're excited
that they will have the opportunity to vote on this," said Robin Hepler,
spokeswoman with Learn and Earn.
Opponents argue the ballot issue aims to change the state constitution to
benefit a select group of businessmen. They also predict that the slot
machines will create more gambling addiction problems.

"We vow to fight it," said David Zanotti president of the Ohio Roundtable, a
public advocacy group that successfully fought previous gambling proposals.
He is co-chairman of the Vote No Casinos Committee.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/20/2006 05:43:00 AM

Online Gambling Gaining Popularity

The Web sites are getting some big numbers and young visitors, and there
have been reports of some servers just unplugging and taking people's money
without ever being heard from again. In a one-week period, more than half a
million gamblers ages 14 to 22 go online to wage real-money bets. For many,
it can quickly become an expensive -- and dangerous -- addiction, gambling
experts say. A Lehigh University sophomore and son of a pastor racked up
more than $5,000 in Internet gambling debt and became so desperate he robbed
a bank. His father said he was blindsided by his son's Internet gambling
addiction. "I think all parents should sit down and discuss adult life away
from home with their kids," the father said. "Most parents give a credit
card for emergencies, but that's not always a wise decision." But it's not
just credit cards that can be trouble, as there are as many as 30 different
payment options. Some students have turned to tuition grant money to feed
their habit. Others steal from friends and family and sell off personal

For some players, the addiction starts with playing with fake money. Some
said that when they started playing with real money, they became worse
players because they were nervous.

Students, especially men, say a lot of games and ads are geared to them.

Two former college students who saw the gambling grip take hold of friends
online decided to come up with software to block poker play from computers.
For $5 a month, ProblemPoker.com prevents online gambling by blocking an
opportunity to wager on a personal computer. The creators said they would
like to see colleges target online gambling the way they monitor drinking,
drug use and hazing.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/20/2006 05:43:00 AM

Former State Teamsters Boss Arrested on Gambling Charges

A former state teamsters boss has been arrested after authorities found more
than $1 million stashed in the wall of his home as part of an investigation
into a video gambling operation. John Neal was arrested during a traffic
stop near his Daleville-area home. He's facing felony charges of
professional gambling, promoting professional gambling, money laundering and
corrupt business influence. Police also seized millions in cash, arrested
almost 30 business associates and raided 23 bars and two businesses in
Delaware and Madison Counties believed to have supported illegal gambling.
The arrest came about a year and a half after Neal was released from federal
prison. In 2000, he pleaded guilty to illegal gambling, tax evasion and
money laundering.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/20/2006 05:43:00 AM

Monthly Statements on Your Gambling Loss?

The Las Vegas Sun looks at a former gambler who is coming after the
industry. The morality of gambling is not really an open topic in Las Vegas.
If you are really uncomfortable being around it and are opposed to it, don't
live here. You will hear the sound of slot machines in every grocery store
and corner store. Going to the movies often means going to a casino. And the
same is true for concerts or weddings and probably even your friend's kid's
bar mitzvah. If nowhere else, casinos are totally respectable here: to work,
to play, to celebrate and to hang out. But the morally and legally sketchy
history of the old gambling hall still has a tremendous psychological impact
on the corporate world that invests billions in building and marketing and
operating the Strip resorts. They fear change. One result of the hall's
shadowy legacy is that the resorts can be gaudy in their charity and
ruthless in their politics. As Joni Mitchell is once said to have asked
David Geffen: "Why is it so easy for you to be generous and so hard for you
to be fair?" You would have to live here to understand fully just how
comfortable and hardcore casinos are when it comes to getting involved in
county commission races, lobbying congress and tracking every tidbit of
legislation anywhere that might impact them. And, this frequently means
coming down hard on opponents. One casino company a few years ago got
connected to creating an anonymous flyer attacking a politician who didn't
do its bidding. No one gets in office here who has real and significant
plans to raise taxes on resorts.

Back in the day, of course, enemy No. 1 of the gaming industry were the
moralists who objected to gambling as a sin. But those were different times.
More recently, old-school finger waggers no longer have "Guys and
Dolls"-type worries over gambling and temperance and spend their time
focused on stem cells or gay marriage or other things instead. And,
particularly in Las Vegas, no grass roots movement against gambling is ever
going to happen.

Living in Las Vegas requires you to be more than OK with gambling; you also
must live surrounded by the sort of people engaged in putting money at risk
in games: the tourists, hobbyists, the professionals, and the people with
deep, life-destroying problems. This last category is the biggest headache
for today's industry. It would be hard to live here for any length of time
and not know someone who has destroyed themselves by gambling and often
ruined the lives of family members along the way.

Certainly, by generously funding many of the programs for compulsive
gamblers it seems likely the casinos have had some impact on the approaches
taken to the problem by professionals. Each casino has some sort of program
to help the addicts to varying degrees: sign up to not be mailed flyers, to
get yourself banned from the casino or to be contacted by a support group.

Of course, none of the casinos offer you a plan that gives you the money
back. The industry has plenty of fears about the nature of addiction and
gambling and marketing and the impact all that put together might cause for
the bottom line. On the surface, fears range from bad press to legislation
to lawsuits. The more cynical might wonder what percentage of gaming revenue
comes from people with problems. How much help can casinos really afford to
give them?

My own insufficiently informed and examined opinion is that knowledge is

Enter Bill Kearney, a Philadelphia mortgage broker who claims to have once
lost everything to Atlantic City casinos. Knowledge is exactly what Kearney
is proposing.

Kearney has been pushing a bill through the Pennsylvania General Assembly,
one that Vegas casino corporations are keeping close tabs on. The bill would
require casinos to send customers a statement that would resemble a credit
card bill or 401K statement. You would know down to the last cent how much
you played, lost and won. Obviously, the gambling industry thinks this is a
terrible idea.

One complaint the casinos offer is that doing this would be prohibitively
expensive. The problem is that for regular customers almost every casino
tracks this information already and they regularly send other mailers like
coupons, incentives and deals to those same people. This is done thanks to
the casinos' rewards/loyalty programs.

Even for non-gamblers, unless you want to pay for the privilege, casinos
work hard to get you to sign up in a way that requires you to list things
like your address and phone number. They then give you a special card that
tracks what you do at every resort the company owns. So, when I was on
Atkins diet, Stations Casinos got me to sign up for a card when they started
to charge more for its buffets at Green Valley Ranch and Sunset Station to
pay anonymously (or, as they put it, they were offering a discount if you
have a card). Imagine how much more effort is put into keeping tabs on the
specifics for gamblers. Anyway, throwing one more mailing, with info on how
much you lost and won, probably isn't going to overwhelm any major resort in
town with more paperwork.

So, instead we get the foolish slippery slope argument. The Sun interviews
one gaming consultant: "What's to stop regulators from requiring McDonald's
to send out statements to customers who they think are getting obese?"

My first thought: lots of things are going to make that not happen to
McDonald's. Gambling has always been an industry with a unique level of

The idea of actually letting people see how much their gambling is impacting
them in such a clear way seems overwhelmingly useful and empowering to
individuals. In fact, according to the Sun, MGM already allows this option
for players in their loyalty program.

As for how helpful this will be for problem gamblers, the experts
interviewed seemed mixed. Of course, many of the experts are funded by
casinos. But there is a certain common sense about the value in this idea.

What is also clear is that Kearney represents a new type of foe to the
gaming industry. Comparing himself to a traditional gambling opponent, he
tells the Sun: "They're throwing snowballs at casinos and I'm throwing
nukes. They'd never come up with something like this because they never bit
the apple. They never tried the product like I did."

Anyway, this right now is an idea in Pennsylvania that not only hasn't
happened there yet, but one that no legislator here has even breathed a word
to suggest should happen in Nevada. And it seems likely that will be the
case for as long into the future as anyone can see. Still, the notion is
powerful one. What do you think? Would this impact your gambling to know the
exact numbers that result from your play?

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/20/2006 05:43:00 AM

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Namibia: Namugongo Arrested Over Fake Licences for Gambling

A WELL-KNOWN television commentator and senior employee in the Ministry of
Environment and Tourism, Sackey Namugongo, is behind bars after he was
arrested on fraud-related charges. Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)
officials and the Namibian Police swooped on Namugongo at Windhoek
International Airport yesterday morning as he returned from a trip to
Johannesburg, South Africa. Namugongo faces charges related to the
production and issuing of fake gambling licences. The Director of the ACC,
Paulus Noa, said it was suspected that Namu­gongo could be one of a network
of people who allegedly issued unauthorised gambling licences to individuals
and companies. "It could be that he is not the only one involved. We will
oppose his bail application because it could jeopardise our chances of
arresting more people," Noa said when he confirmed the arrest to The
Namibian. Police spokesperson Chief Inspector Angula Amulungu was unable to
confirm Namugongo's arrest. Noa said it was alleged that Namugongo had made
several copies of the same document and issued gambling licences bearing the
same number to many people.

"It has been going on for some time now.

We are talking of something that will amount to a big scam," Noa said.

He appealed to people who have been issued with gambling licences to
approach the ACC or the Police with information related to the scam.

Government earlier this year lifted a moratorium on licences, which had been
in place for nearly 10 years.

State revenue from gambling amounts to about N$20 million a year.

Cabinet agreed in August 2004 already to lift the moratorium on gambling
licences but it took time before it was done.

Since the promulgation of the Casinos and Gambling Houses Act in 1994, 260
gambling-house licences and three casino licences were issued.

No new licences have been issued since 1996, when Cabinet established a
Commission of Inquiry to investigate the detrimental impact gambling could
have on society and the ease with which gambling licences were being issued.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/19/2006 11:18:00 AM

EU wants open gambling

The European Commission said on Monday that it was prepared to target more
members states deemed to be stifling free competition in the sports gambling
sector. The move came after the arrest in France last week of two heads of
the Bwin internet gambling group over alleged contravention of French
gambling monopolies. The Austro-German gambling group announced on Saturday
that it would sue the French state for human rights restrictions and not
respecting European law. "We will perhaps add to the number of countries
involved in infringement procedures," during a meeting of the European
Commission on October 18 dedicated to the topic, said the EU's executive
arm's internal markets spokesperson Oliver Drewes.

Practices examined

In April, the commission named seven member states whose practices it was
examining in the sports gambling sector; Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary,
Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden.

EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy wants to ensure that laws
in member states banning gambling services are "necessary and not

McCreevy has said that he is not seeking the unfettered liberalisation of
the market but "to be assured that the measures put in place by the member
states are fully compatible with community law", on the freedom of services.

Since April the commission, which is also the EU's top competition
regulator, has received several fresh complaints, some 50 in total plus 50
more potential cases, according to Drewes.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/19/2006 11:18:00 AM

LaFollette mayor gets probation, fine in gambling case

LaFollette Mayor Clifford Jennings received six months of unsupervised
probation and a $4,500 fine Monday for charges in an illegal gambling case.
Jennings was originally charged with aggravated gambling promotion, a
felony. But in July the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor when he
pleaded no contest in a deal with prosecutors. Three other people charged in
the case entered no contest pleas in court Monday. One of those is Alan
Baird, the owner of a business that had illegal poker machines. The charges
stem from a 6 News investigation in November 2005 and subsequent bust of
illegal video poker parlors in Campbell County by the Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation. In the raid, TBI agents confiscated 14 gambling machines and
several thousand dollars in cash.
A 6 News undercover camera showed Mayor Jennings inside an illegal video
gambling operation. It was located in a building he owns. Agents raided that
gambling parlor and three others in LaFollette. Jennings has been mayor of
LaFollette since the early 1980s, with the exception of one term. Since his
charges were reduced to a misdemeanor, Jennings can remain in office.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/19/2006 11:18:00 AM

Is it time for the state to start treating this vice the way it does other vices?

Indiana House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, has a curious
take on the current video-gambling controversy. It's all the fault of
Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels' administration, which has "pushed the issue"
to the point where the legislature may have to decide soon whether to make
the machines legal or not. By cracking down on the American Legion and VFW
posts that have had the machines, Daniels "has created a crisis," so the
governor has some "answering" to do. Were you able to follow that reasoning?
If Daniels had just left things alone - with Cherry Masters and other video
gambling devices illegal, but everybody in the state simply ignoring the
law - things would have been perfectly OK. But, because Daniels insists that
the law be changed or followed - State Excise Police confiscated 517
machines from 117 locations statewide from December 2005 to April -
legislators might now actually have to take the law seriously, too. Any
rational examination of the situation has to credit Daniels for doing
exactly the right thing. It is intolerable to have a law that is routinely
ignored, and it is unconscionable for the legal community to look the other
way and pretend nothing is happening. Such a situation breeds disrespect not
just for a law but for the whole concept of law, and that's something no
civilized society can tolerate. The law against video gambling must be
repealed or enforced. It's not an easy call to make, but the General
Assembly should at least consider whether it's finally time to legalize the
machines. That's the request of the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association,
which is holding a series of meetings around the state to put pressure on
legislators for legalization. They make a good point. Considering all the
other ways in Indiana to gamble, from the lottery to pari-mutuel tracks to
bingo to casinos, "It's silly to say those are all OK but not video
gambling," is the way Brad Klopfenstein, executive director of the
association, puts it.

The gambling culture is strong in Indiana, in other words. That might be
deplorable, but it is a fact. That is why so many people are willing to
ignore the law. If the law is too far ahead of people's sensibilities, it
creates a climate of cynicism. What is the point, people reasonably ask, of
letting casinos rake in millions in profits that go out of state and, at the
same time, telling an American Legion or Moose Lodge it can't use gambling
revenues to stay in operation?

The state has the additional problem that it long ago gave up the high
ground on gambling, losing any moral authority to make pronouncements on the
evils of that particular vice. It's called the state lottery, which had
sales of $739 million last year and has collected $2.7 billion since it
began in 1989. The state's efforts to curb other forms of gambling make it
look little better than a bunch of gangsters trying to muscle other mobs out
of its territory. In addition to making the state a predator that preys on
human weakness, the lottery turns the budgeting process upside-down. Instead
of carefully making plans and seeking voter approval through tax rates, the
state now has a big pot of money it merely has to decide how to spend. How
can government thus funded not stay too big and intrusive?

So, the additional money the state will receive from legalization - as much
as $300 million a year, according to one estimate - does not constitute an
especially good argument for video gambling. But it is a good argument to
note that legalization will also bring regulation, the ability to make sure
that winners get a fair take and that the machines stay in those clubs full
of consenting adults instead of ending up in convenience stores and other
places where teenagers would have easy access. (That's assuming, of course,
that the regulations are taken more seriously than the anti-gambling law
itself was before Daniels came along.)

The best argument made against legalization is this: The fact that an evil
already exists does not make it wise to add to that evil. It's akin to
arguing that you might as well drive without a seat belt because a heart
attack might get you anyway. "Just because you've sunk yourself to your
waist," says Rep. James R. Buck, R-Kokomo, "doesn't mean you need to sink to
your nose."

But the state long ago got in more than waist-deep, and legalizing the video
games would be barely a drop more in that vast ocean of gambling. The state
should consider the option of treating this vice like other vices, such as
smoking and drinking. The state doesn't have to promote or encourage them,
but it does recognize that they exist and taxes and regulates them

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/19/2006 11:18:00 AM

Acid killing linked to gambling debt

CHAU MA had returned from a morning walk with the dog when a man who
appeared to be a courier banged on the front door of her home in Concord
with a package for her husband, Dominic Li. When she summoned him to the
door he was "violently and brutally" attacked and doused in hydrochloric
acid as part of a plan to intimidate Mr Li's brother-in-law, Philip Ma, the
NSW Supreme Court was told. At the trial of three men accused of murdering
Mr Li, the prosecutor, Christopher Maxwell, SC, said the two men on the
veranda that morning, December 13, 2002, had been hired for $10,000 to do
serious bodily injury to Mr Li. "The acid had been poured onto his [hair]
and eyes, and some indeed went into his mouth, which he swallowed," Mr
Maxwell said. "The effects of this were horrific. He was blinded, but even
more significant, his vital organs were badly damaged by the ingestion of
the hydrochloric acid."

Mr Li died three weeks later.

Yonky Irvin Tan and the two men allegedly on the veranda that morning,
Richard Burton Nimmo and Maua Sua, have pleaded not guilty to murder. The
court heard Philip Ma, a professional gambler, had been given $800,000 by
Tan, who had allegedly instructed him to launder it through casinos.

Mr Maxwell said Tan delivered rice bags full of cash to Mr Ma. But the
gambler's luck had turned, and instead of earning a promised commission for
laundering the money, Ma lost $500,000 in the Crown Casino in Melbourne. Mr
Maxwell said Mr Ma was under pressure from Tan and his associate Emil Chang
to repay the money. Late in 2002 Mr Ma went into hiding.

Mr Maxwell alleged emails between Tan and Mr Chang showed a criminal
agreement to hire someone to throw acid on Mr Li's face, with the idea of
flushing Mr Ma out of hiding.

In one email, Mr Chang quoted a Chinese proverb about flushing a snake from
its nest. "Do D first and P will come out of his nest." The emails allegedly
said: "The only way to get money back is through violence . D and P are

Ms Ma said in evidence that one of the men yanked her husband out of the
door and forced her with a gun to come out on the porch, where she and her
husband both crouched.

One of the men hit her husband over the head with a gun, and then she saw
the dark green liquid in a bottle. Both men, whom she described as being of
Pacific Islander appearance, wore dark glasses and gloves.

Ms Ma said the men ran away after the attack, and she rang for an ambulance
and the police.

The trial, before Justice Derek Price, continues.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/19/2006 11:18:00 AM

Bill offers new form of gambling as transportation salve

RICHMOND, Va. State legislators are considering a new form of pari-mutuel
betting aimed at horse racing fans to help pay for transportation projects.
Newport News Delegate Phil Hamilton filed the bill for the General
Assembly's special session that starts next week. The legislation would pave
the way for "instant racing," a game in which bettors can wager on races
that have already been run. The game, which Arkansas has adopted, uses an
A-T-M-like machine containing video of past races. Bettors have access to
the same information they would have in any race, such as the records of the
horses, jockeys and trainers but the player doesn't know when or where the
race took place. Hamilton estimates the game could bring in 500 (m) million
dollars annually. His bill would dedicate 49 percent of the profits to the
transportation trust fund. If passed, the measure would take advantage of
Colonial Downs and the nine off-track betting parlors around Virginia.
Another parlor is authorized under state law, but has not been built.
Colonial Downs President Ian Stewart anticipated it would take up to two
years to implement the game statewide.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/19/2006 11:18:00 AM

Monday, September 18, 2006


The People's Republic of China have been considering legalizing online
casino gambling, according to Tony Tong, CEO of Pacific Net, a company that
sells Baccarat machines. Macau is already a casino capital, and that is
where the government would more then likely license companies there.
Currently, the government takes around 40 percent of the house winnings in
Macau, which means that spreading gambling online would be a huge benefit to
government revenues. GigaMedia sells software for poker and other games are
hoping to expand in China as well. The company's FunTown website is one of
the largest Mahjong sites in the world where members play for points and
prizes. Over 50 percent of GigaMedia's subscribers spend over 100 hours a
week on the site. GigaMedia is also backing up EverestPoker, which is a
rapidly growing poker site in Europe, and they run an online casino gambling
blog in Taiwan called Wretch. "The U.K. will likely become a center for
online casino gaming," a GigaMedia representative said. Looks like online
casino gambling firms will get a new HUGE HUGE marked in Asia soon.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/18/2006 07:58:00 AM

New admission adds gift of London casino chips to trips, favors

The full extent of Ohio Congressman Bob Ney's corruption became clear Friday
when the Justice Department released his admission to accepting thousands of
dollars' worth of gambling chips from a businessman in London, and to taking
trips and favors from others he agreed to help in Con gress. Ney agreed to
plead guilty to two felony counts, with the Jus tice Department rec
ommending that he serve 27 months in prison. The charges otherwise would
bring a maximum 10-year sentence and $500,000 fine. Yet, as he used a plea
agreement to finally end his claims of innocence, the once-popular
Republican from Ohio's 18th Congressional District remained out of sight. He
entered an undisclosed treatment center for alcoholism, and he and his
attorneys said alcohol dependency was a factor in his crimes. "I am not
making any excuses, and I take full responsibility for my actions," Ney, 52,
said in a statement released by his office. "Over the years I have worked to
help others, but now I am the one that needs help." Ney will not formally
enter his plea in U.S. District Court in Washington until Oct. 13. The
six-term representative from Heath is not running for re-election, and
Congress will be in pre-election recess by then. That makes it unclear
whether he will resign or merely let his term lapse.

Documents from the Justice Department and statements by investigators shed
light on the four-year corruption conspiracy. They say that Ney solicited
and took:

A golf trip to Scotland in 2002, a vacation and gambling trip to New Orleans
in 2003 and a trip to Lake George, N.Y., in 2003, with total costs exceeding

Thousands of dollars' worth of meals and tickets to concerts and sporting

Tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/18/2006 07:57:00 AM

Legalize video gambling? It's worth debate

Many people who play video poker might want more than amusement for their
quarters, but they don't expect to become rich, any more than many people
who play the lottery. One form of gambling has the player matching wits
against a machine. The other lets players daydream about what it would be
like to be rich. The former is illegal, usually tucked in the corner of bars
and clubs, while the latter is advertised heavily and is available at almost
every gas station and convenience store in Indiana. Proposals to legalize
video gambling in Indiana, the most recent from state Sen. Robert Meeks and
state Rep. Win Moses, have merit. We're not ready to give the proposal our
whole-hearted support. We don't want to see the state using taxes from
gambling, not the steadiest source of revenue, as a crutch. And some
gamblers don't know when to stop, and ruin their families' finances. But
whether to legalize video gambling is worthy of debate and discussion. The
group holding meetings across the state, the Indiana Licensed Beverage
Association, has something to gain if the machines are legalized. A bar
owner or nonprofit serving alcohol could make money from the machines and no
longer fear a raid.

Regardless of who is sponsoring the discussion, the central question
remains: Is it better to put public money and manpower into raiding bars,
night clubs and nonprofit groups or is it better to regulate the use of the
machines and tax the revenue?

Hoosiers decided the moral questions about gambling in 1988, when they
approved a lottery referendum with a 62 percent majority.

Other legalized forms of gambling, including casinos, have followed since
then, and objections to expanding gambling in Indiana are valid.

But how far should the state go to protect people from their own reckless
behavior? Other things that endanger health or finances -- such as
cigarettes and alcohol -- are legal, regulated and taxed, since it would be
impractical to ban them.

And we have a hard time seeing the difference between video gambling and
gambling on the lottery, bingo, raffle tickets and the office pools for NCAA
men's basketball. We wonder how much worse video poker is than money-eating
arcade games at shopping malls.

As long as the potential for profit outweighs the risk of a raid, video
gambling machines will continue to thrive in the shadows. If they are made
legal, they should be taxed, with a portion of the revenue committed to
gambling addiction programs.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/18/2006 07:57:00 AM


North Dakota Republican will not be lining up to support Frist online
gambling ban attempt. Not all Republicans are lining up to support U.S.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's call to ban Internet gambling. North
Dakota State Rep. Jim Kasper says: "My fellow Republicans just don't get it"
when it comes to Internet gambling, reports Internet News.com. In July, the
U.S. House of Representatives passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling
Enforcement Act of 2006, which updates the 1961 Wire Act banning sports
wagering over the telephone to include all forms of online gambling. Frist
(R-Tenn.) wants the Senate to approve the same legislation in the waning
days of the 109th Congress. Kasper calls the proposal "ridiculous." "The
people of our nation want to do what they want to do in the privacy of their
living rooms," Kasper told internetnews.com. Contrary to the intent of his
national party leaders, North Dakota will become a safe harbor for Internet
poker players worldwide if Kasper has his way. He plans to once again
introduce bills in the next session of the North Dakota legislature
legalising Internet poker for online casinos that will bring their software,
hardware and employees to North Dakota. The proposal is strictly limited to
online poker in hopes of avoiding the controversy swirling around sports
betting on the Internet. The casinos will have to use North Dakota's
state-owned bank as a measure to protect gamblers' money and safeguard
against money laundering.

Software mandates, Kasper claims, will provide age-verification protections
and allow the state to monitor for individuals exhibiting addictive
behaviour. In return for North Dakota sanctioning and regulating online
poker, casino operators will pay taxes on gross revenues that will be used
to reduce property taxes.

The federal government should "keep its nose out of it. Gambling is a
states' rights issue. Congress shouldn't be regulating it," the feisty state
politician says.

North Dakota, he said, should be allowed to tap into the "tremendous revenue
stream leaving our nation." Even under the U.S. House legislation passed
recently and now in the Senate, state-sanctioned online gambling on horse
racing and lotteries is permitted.

For Kasper, this will be his second time trying to convince his fellow North
Dakota lawmakers to see it his way. In 2005, his proposal passed in the
state house before overwhelmingly failing in the state Senate. Kasper claims
he was forced to fold his legislative hand when the U.S. Department of
Justice "unfairly" interfered in North Dakota's legislative process.

"The DoJ wrote what I call a 'poison pill' letter [to North Dakota's
attorney general]," he said. "It had misinformation about the Wire Act,
implying it applies to all Internet gambling." Kasper contests this opinion,
and observes that if the DoJ claim is true, it begs the question of why the
House felt compelled to pass legislation extending the Wire Act to Internet

"The Wire Act was specifically written to prohibit sports wagering over the
telephone," he said.

Kasper says that even if the supporters of an online gambling ban in the USA
manage to get their measures approved in the Senate and signed off by
President Bush, he will crack open a fresh deck and still introduce his

"I believe in a court of law we'll win," he said. "People don't want the
Internet police in their living rooms."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/18/2006 07:57:00 AM

Gambling group to get top retail site

Kirkham-based Goldrush Amusements, which currently has an amusement arcade
further down Market Street, will take over the former Booths supermarket on
the corner of Market Street and St George's Street. Chorley Council gave the
go-ahead for the scheme this week. Today the town's Chamber of Trade said
they were "very disappointed" with the move in what is considered a prime
shopping area..Honorary secretary of the group Jose Hampson said: "This is a
big disappointment. We have already got a big amusement arcade in Chapel
Street. The town is already covered for that and we did not need another one
like it. "We would have liked to have had one of the top retail chains move
in there, and we are disappointed this was never discussed with the Chamber
of Trade. It think it is a really bad decision." The former Booths store has
been empty since the retailer moved to its new multi-million pound base near
the Market Walk shopping centre last year.

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle said he would have preferred to see a new shop move
into the empty unit.

He said: "This was a shop up to Booths moving.

"This is not going to attract shoppers to that part of Market Street. We are
bitterly disappointed they did not hold out to make sure that end of the
street does not decline in retail terms."

A spokesman for Goldrush said: "We have found that at the other end of
Market Street we have had a positive influence."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/18/2006 07:57:00 AM

French Arrest Austrians Over Gambling

Police on Friday jailed the co-chief executives of Austrian online company
BWIN for allegedly violating French gaming laws, police and judicial
officials said. Manfred Bodner and Norbert Teufelberger were arrested at the
training center of AS Monaco, a first division soccer club where they were
to hold a news conference, a police official said. BWIN has links to several
first division clubs, said the official, who was not authorized to use his
name. The center is located in France's Alpes-Maritime region, near Nice.
The executives risk being placed under investigation _ a step short of being
charged _ for allegedly violating French laws which prevent online gaming
and advertisements from companies other than the two which hold a monopoly
here, the Francaise des Jeux, which conducts the lottery, and the PMU which
conducts bets for horse races. BWIN spokeswoman Karin Klein called the
detention "scandalous." Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires, she said the
company did not yet know exactly why the two executives had been detained.

The men were detained on orders of Judge Jean-Marx Cathelin, who has been
investigating alleged illegal gambling, lotteries, advertising illegal
lottery advertising and illicit horse betting since November 2005. The
French lottery and PMU had filed a complaint against BWIN in April 2005 in a
court in Nanterre, a western Paris suburb.

In a similar case, the chairman of British online gaming company Sportingbet
PLC was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York last
week on a warrant issued as part of an illegal Internet gambling probe by
the Louisiana State Police. He has been released on bail.

The head of another British gambling company, BetOnSports PLC, was arrested
two months ago in the United States and charged by federal prosecutors with
conspiracy, fraud and racketeering.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/18/2006 07:56:00 AM

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Online Gambling Exec Freed

Peter Dicks has resigned his job as chairman of Sportingbet PLC, but he
regained his freedom as New York authorities lifted the threat of
extradition to Louisiana hanging over his head and returned his passport.Mr.
Dicks, 64, was detained last week after arriving at New York's JFK Airport
from London, where customs officers were alerted to an outstanding warrant
for his arrest issued by the state of Louisiana.Mr. Dicks was released after
two days in custody, but his passport was seized and he was ordered to
remain in the New York metropolitan area. At a hearing in criminal court in
the borough of Queens on Thursday, a judge ordered Mr. Dicks' passport
returned after New York Governor George Pataki withdrew a warrant necessary
to extradite Mr. Dicks to Louisiana. That effectively ended his short but
intense legal saga in the Empire State, but jurisdictional questions about
online gambling remain. "Peter Dicks has never committed a crime in
Louisiana and assuming that their statute barring online gaming is correct,
he did not commit a crime in Louisiana," said Barry Slotnick, Mr. Dicks'
"Anybody in Louisiana can get on our web site and bet, and if that is a
crime in Louisiana then they are committing a crime, not Peter Dicks," Mr.
Slotnick concluded. "Mr. Dicks has never been to Louisiana."

Two Statements

Sportingbet issued two statements within about 90 minutes of each other. The
first acknowledged that Mr. Dicks had resigned his post as an independent
non-executive chairman of the London-based gambling enterprise. His
resignation was accepted.

The second confirmed that Mr. Dicks was granted an extension to his bail
that allowed him to return to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Dicks still faces arrest and prosecution in Louisiana because the
warrant remains active. He could be sentenced to five years in prison if
found guilty of "computer gambling," but that may be unlikely based on the
short history of such cases.

The charges against Mr. Dicks are not as serious or wide-ranging as those
laid out against David Carruthers, the former chief executive of

Mr. Carruthers, who was arrested about two months ago and subsequently
fired by his company, has been charged by federal authorities in Missouri
with money laundering and tax evasion.

History of Prosecution

Mr. Carruthers, 49, was released on bail last month. He posted a $1-million
bail bond and remains under house arrest at a hotel in Clayton, Missouri,
where he wears an electronic tagging device so his whereabouts can be

Jay Cohen, the former chief executive of World Sports Exchange (WSEX), is
still the only executive of a legal and regulated online gambling firm to be
convicted by a U.S. court for taking wagers from U.S. residents and sent to

Unlike all of the other executives, Mr. Cohen, 38, chose to stand trial
rather than plea-bargain. In 2000 a Manhattan jury found the Long Island,
New York, native guilty. He was sentenced to 21 months in jail and fined

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/17/2006 09:14:00 AM

London shares close flat, gambling sector woes overshadow banking gains UPDATE

Leading shares closed flat, giving up earlier gains in the last few minutes
of trade as investors took profits at the end of a volatile session and with
another chapter in the gambling sector saga overshadowing gains in mortgage
banking stocks, dealers said. The FTSE 100 index closed just 0.2 points
lower at 5,877.0 in a volatile session that saw the blue chip index see-saw
between gains and losses, while the broader indices ended higher. Volume was
high, with 3.2 bln shares changing hands in 379,134 deals, swelled by a
lively 'triple-witching' options expiry. On Wall Street, US stocks were in
upbeat mode as investors breathed a sigh of relief following an in-line tame
inflation report, although US 'quadruple witching' limited gains, traders
said. At the UK close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 50.40 points
higher at 11,577.70, while the Nasdaq Composite took on 7.34 points at
2,236.07 and the S&P 500 rose 4.50 points at 1,320.80. US inflation rose at
a slower pace in August than in the prior month, the Labor Department
revealed, easing fears of an imminent rate hike. The consumer price index
rose 0.2 pct in August, in line with expectations compared with a 0.4 pct
hike in July.

And core inflation, which excludes energy and food, also rose by an expected
0.2 pct in the month.

In London, mortgage banks led the blue chip gainers, helped in part by
upbeat broker comment and increased expectations of further UK rate hikes,
and also by ongoing market speculation of an upcoming bid in the sector,
dealers said.

HBOS gained 36-1/2 pence to 1,050, while fellow mortgage banks Alliance &
Leicester and Northern Rock added 21 pence to 1,060 and 29-1/2 pence at
1,165-1/2, respectively.

Standard Chartered was also a feature, adding 24 pence to 1,349, after UBS

upgraded its recommendation on the Asia-focused bank to 'buy' from 'neutral'
due to strength in emerging economies and solid organic growth.

The broker said Standard Chartered has invested 4 bln usd in establishing a
foothold in economies such as Korea, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand.

Elsewhere, Imperial Tobacco was in demand, up 17 pence at 1,830 after the
group said in a trading statement that its full-year performance was 'in
line with expectations'.

Ahead of the statement, Deutsche Bank issued a bullish research note,
repeating its 'buy' recommendation and raising its target to 2,100 pence
from 1,900.

The German-owned broker noted that the group is the cheapest European
tobacco play in its universe, which fails to do justice to the stock's

The retail sector also benefited from positive broker comment, with Morrison
Supermarkets rising 4-1/2 pence at 230-3/4 after UBS and SG Securities
reiterated their 'buy' ratings ahead of next week's interim trading update.

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer Group, up 11 pence at 624, was boosted by a
bullish note from Lehman Brothers, which reiterated an 'overweight' rating
on the retailer.

The broker said spending fears following the Bank of England's interest rate
hike seem overdone as consumer data suggest sales are healthy, albeit
boosted slightly by weak comparatives.

And further broker comment also provided a lift to the property stocks as
Lehman Brothers hiked its price targets by an average of 5 pct across the
European real estate sector to account for the introduction of REITs in the

Hammerson took on 12 at 1,303, Liberty International gained 35 at 1,195,
Slough Estates rose 5 at 646 and British Land firmed 14 at 1,362.

Elsewhere, shares in Wolseley remained firmer, 24 pence to the good at 1,193
as Citigroup played down fears over the slowing US housing market,
reiterating its 'buy' rating on the group and 1,600p price target.

The US broker told clients Wolseley's share price has fallen around 20 pct
since March, reflecting concerns over the US residential housing market.

However, overall index gains were capped by negative and volatile trading in
the mining sector as commodity prices remained under pressure, with gold
slumping to its lowest level in three months.

Kazakhmys was off 36 pence at 1,207, Xstrata fell 72 at 2,160, Anglo
American was down 55 at 2,110 and Antofagasta eased 14-1/4 at 440-1/2.

Oil and natural gas prices were also weaker, with crude hitting a fresh low
of just above 63 usd a barrel last night on news of a strong buildup in US
natural gas reserves and the suspension of a strike by oil unions in

Also weighing was a statement from OPEC, which lowered its world oil demand
growth forecast by 100,000 bpd due to weaker than expected demand.

Oil heavyweight BP was down 11-1/2 at 573, while Cairn Energy dropped 41
pence at 1,917.

BP was further hit by a report in the Financial Times claiming some of the
group's major shareholders are pressing for assurances that recent security
failures in the US will not be repeated.

The main blue chip casualty, however, was PartyGaming -- down 9-1/2 pence at

Several online gambling stocks came under pressure after news that the state
of Bavaria has revoked the betting license of German firm Bwin, and that
Bwin's co-CEOs had been arrested in France, sent panic through the sector.

'This is a potential meltdown,' one London based dealer said, upon hearing
the speculation.

As well as a slump in PartyGaming shares, midcaps 888 Holdings dropped 8-1/4
pence to 141-3/4 and Sportingbet shares were down 20 pence at 172.

And elsewhere the midcap index reflected movements in the FTSE 100, with
mining and oil plays under the cosh: Tullow Oil slipped 8-3/4 pence at
357-1/2 and Dana Petroleum slid 33-1/2 pence at 1,148.

Among the midcap risers, Aggreko enjoyed a strong session, 16 pence to the
good at 303, after its shares were upgraded to 'add' from 'hold' at Dresdner
Kleinwort, which also raised its price target to 310 pence from 280.

In a note to clients, DK said that the second half is seasonally stronger
for Aggreko and with the momentum in growth continuing into this period it
now expects a stronger profit performance.

And house-builders were also in fine fettle after The Independent said
investors are looking for the next takeover target in the sector.

The paper said both Bellway and Crest performed strongly yesterday, while
the Financial Times highlighted talk of corporate interest in Redrow from a
private equity house.

In response, Redrow gained 12 pence to 586-3/4, while Taylor Woodrow added
15-1/4 pence to 368, Bellway took on 10 at 1,277 and Crest Nicholson rose
3-1/2 at 550.

Among M&A news, Dairy Crest shares took on 12-1/4 pence at 575 after
confirming market speculation that it is in talks with First Milk regarding
a possible sale of part of its retailer brand cheese operations.

A statement from the company said the discussions are ongoing and there can
be no certainty that this will result in any transaction.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/17/2006 09:14:00 AM

Internet Gambling Bill likely to pass, two hundred thousand voters contacted

Although the Internet gambling bill is gaining momentum, politicians who
vote in favor of banning online gambling may be in serious jeopardy of
losing their jobs come election time.A lobbyist told EOG that the Internet
gambling bill is likely to pass.He states, "Disguised in a huge defense
bill, do you want to try and be the one guy to hold up a litany of programs
for troops and weapons because there is a small (and trust me, this is a
small thing in the big scheme) provision in it about online gambling?
Absolutely not. Granted, this isn't a spending bill (which is even more
necessary) but it is still a bill that is very hard to oppose on extraneous
merits.""Sorry I can't give you more than that, but this is a hard one to
analyze. I really think this is bad news."In an unprecedented move, several
large online gambling companies have written over one hundred thousand
letters to their customers urging them not to vote for anyone who supports
prohibition of Internet gambling this November. One spokesman for the
industry, Alan Baum stated, " We have reached out to our customer base,
which is largely US customers, and asked them to not vote for Senators or
any congressmen who support such archaic laws." "We will follow up in
October by furnishing all of these customers with the names of each
politician who voted in favor of the Internet gambling bill.

Baum continued by saying, "our mailing list is quite extensive alone, but
with the cooperation of three other online sports books, we have reached
over two hundred thousand voters this week. We also understand that the
Poker alliance has assisted in a telethon Tuesday, but we think this will
have a greater impact."

"Furthermore, we asked each of our customers to tell one Friend or family
member about what is going on at Capitol Hill. Together, we might not be
able stop the bill from passing this year, but we will make a difference in
November to some who don't recognize the number of Americans who love to
gamble online, whether it be Poker or on their favorite sports team."

"Our customers understand quite well that First is on a crusade for his own
personal agenda. It takes a lot of chutzpa to allow state lotteries and
horse racing to conduct business online, but outlaw other forms of

[This E-mail scanned for viruses by Tradebooster Anti-Virus]

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/17/2006 09:14:00 AM

Is Louisiana Economy Betting Too Much On Gambling With Texan Candidate

Louisiana has pinned high hopes on its casinos to play a major role in the
state's economic recovery in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Yet this stream of revenue could well run dry if maverick Texan
gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman has his way. Kinky has pledged that,
if elected Governor on November 7, one of his first moves will be to
legalize casino gambling in the Lone Star State. Should that happen, the big
losers will be Louisiana's casinos, in particular those in Lake Charles and
Shreveport who derive as much as 85% of their business from Texan visitors.
And the state of Louisiana derives a substantial chunk of its revenue
($436.9 million in 2004) from the casino gambling industry. A budget black
hole of that magnitude could not hit Louisiana at a worse time, as the state
already faces a shortfall of almost $600 million in the 2006-2007 fiscal
year. Meanwhile, the very survival of New Orleans hinges on the state's
ability to provide a range of support to help the city rebuild its decimated
economy. There is no doubt that Louisiana's casinos currently provide a
much-needed revenue lifeline. Yet they will continue to do so only as long
as they are viable, and that seems to be almost entirely dependent upon the
legal status of casino gambling in Texas. A major illegal competitor has
also emerged in the form of online gambling, and Louisiana is using the full
force of the law to prosecute Peter Dicks of UK-based Sportingbet for
running an online gambling operation. Mr Dicks was arrested on arrival at
New York's Kennedy airport on September 7, on a warrant issued by Louisiana
state police; he now faces a maximum sentence of five years jail and a
$20,000 fine.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/17/2006 09:14:00 AM

Gambling group courts Cincinnati

Backers of a proposal that would permit slot machines in Ohio might ante up
millions of dollars for the city of Cincinnati to coax that city's leaders
to look favorably on the plan. Charles Ruma, who owns Beulah Park racetrack
and who is the chairman of the Ohio Learn and Earn Committee, said yesterday
that a charitable foundation could be set up by casino owners to earmark
certain gambling money for Cincinnati and Hamilton County. No precise dollar
figure has been determined, Ruma said, but he added that the foundation
could be funded with up to 1 percent of Ohio slots revenue, which is
projected to be $2.5 billion. That would send an additional $25 million to
southwestern Ohio. "It's something we talked about with the Cincinnati
Business Committee," Ruma said, referring to the group of some of the Queen
City's top business leaders. Opponents of the plan likened it to a payoff.
"If elected officials tried the very same tactics, it would be called
bribery, and people would go to jail," said Daniel Zanotti, president of the
conservative, anti-gambling Ohio Roundtable. "They are buying votes and
influence." Cincinnati Business Committee officials couldn't be reached
yesterday for comment.

Comparable business organizations in central and northeastern Ohio have
taken opposing positions on Learn and Earn, which is vying for a spot on the
Nov. 7 ballot.

The Columbus Partnership came out last week against the proposal, saying
that tourism and entertainment money would be sent away from Columbus and to
other parts of the state.

The Cleveland Partnership favors the plan, saying it would be an economic
boost for that region.

Learn and Earn would devote 30 percent of gambling revenues to scholarships
for highschool graduates, a total approaching $1 billion a year, according
to backers of the proposal.

Millions more would go to economic development, they say, including about
$25 million to central Ohio and $23 million to the Cincinnati area.

Ruma, who also owns homebuilder Virginia Homes, met last month with Columbus
Partnership President Robert H. Milbourne to present the benefits of Learn
and Earn and ask the group to take a neutral position.

Milbourne presented Ruma's position to the Partnership's board.

"In the end, there was overwhelming consensus that we should oppose,"
Milbourne wrote in an e-mail.

There might be more support, however, in Cincinnati, which is about a
half-hour away from the Argosy riverboat casino in Lawrenceburg, Ind. About
70 percent of Argosy's customers are from Ohio.

Members of the Cincinnati Business Committee had joined last year with the
Cleveland Partnership to sponsor studies on the possible impact of Ohio
casino gambling.

The studies said slots could raise $4 billion in revenue in the state and
create 85,000 jobs, but also would create an additional 109,000 Ohio problem

The study considered putting downtown casinos in the state's biggest cities
as well as Ohio's seven horse tracks, including Beulah Park in Grove City
and Scioto Downs on the South Side.

The proposed constitutional amendment seeks approval for slots only at the
tracks and two sites in downtown Cleveland.

Downtown Cincinnati was dumped as a potential casino site as part of an
agreement with Penn National Gaming Inc., which owns a Toledo racetrack and
the profitable Argosy casino.

Cincinnati leaders "feel they got a raw deal, and frankly, we agree," Ruma
said. "We're trying to see what we can do to help."

Although Learn and Earn came up 8,700 short of the valid signatures needed
to get on the ballot, the campaign was given an additional 10 days to meet
the threshold.

Since then, the group has submitted 44,000 more signatures, and Ruma said
yesterday 17,000 have been validated.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/17/2006 09:14:00 AM

Gambling Ban Possible While More Than 5,000 Call In Opposition

Senator Bill Frist is fighting for his supporters in the conservative Family
Research Council who want to ban internet gambling while more than 5,000
phone calls poured into different US senator offices over the past week in
opposition to the proposed ban. Frist and his Christain conservative backers
appear to be on the winning hand of this battle as the senator, who is
looking to run as a presidential candidate in 2008, is attaching part of the
anti-internet gambling bill to a terrorist defense bill. No defense bill has
been turned down by the Senate in the past five years. As long as Frist gets
his wish to attach the part of the anti-internet gambling bill that will
disallow credit cards to distribute money to offshore gambling operations
the bill will most likely pass. Frist is making this last ditch effort
because he knows the anti-internet gambling bill has no chance of facing the
senate floor this year. Meanwhile, senators all over the country are being
bombarded by phone calls from the poker players alliance and other internet
gambling supporters begging them to stop the attachment Frist is proposing.

Senator Clinton's office received more than 50 calls in one hour oppsosing
any action against internet gambling. Senator Richard Durbin, at the
Illinois office experienced a higher than normal call volume, and people
were struggling to get through. Senator John Cornyn's office in Texas
received between 100-200 calls from people expressing their views. In
Virginia, Senator Allen received over 26 calls from opposers of the gambling

Senators are elected to support the majority, but it appears that Senator
Bill Frist is only looking out for his conservative minority.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/17/2006 09:14:00 AM

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Weekend jail for gambling granny

GAMBLING grandmother Lorraine Wilson will find herself behind bars every
weekend over the next few months.The manager of a Co-op store who stole
£56,000 in takings to fund her gambling addiction has been given a new
sentencing option which is being pioneered in Herts.Judge Stephen Warner at
St Albans Crown Court handed her a 36-week jail sentence but said that 72
days must be spent behind bars at weekends.Wilson, of Shenley Lane, London
Colney, will report to Morton Hall Prison in Lincoln every Friday at 5pm and
remain there until Sunday afternoons.In July Wilson, aged 45, of Shenley
Lane, London Colney, pleaded guilty to theft in the Crown Court but
sentencing was deferred to see if she was suitable for an intermittent
custodial sentence.She was manager at the Co-op in How Wood near Park Street
when the thefts occurred. She was the only member of staff with access to
the safe and used her position of trust to take up to £1,000 a time and blow
it on fruit machines.She originally admitted the theft of just over £32,000
but asked for a similar offence involving the theft of nearly £24,000 to be
taken into consideration.Alexander Krikler, prosecuting, said that in May
this year her bosses became concerned at the amount of money purportedly in
the shop's safe which had not been banked.

According to accounting paperwork around £63,000 was being kept in the safe
but when it was opened just under £8,000 was found inside.

Wilson was interviewed and admitted taking the money for more than a year to
fund a gambling addiction. She was immediately suspended from her job and
the police were called in.

Charles Judge, defending, said Wilson had no previous convictions. She has
since found other employment and her new bosses knew about the theft. He
said she was also receiving help from Gamblers Anonymous in her fight to
beat her addiction.

Mr Judge said that taking the money had been the culmination of a number of
personal and family problems. She had made no attempt to try to hide what
she had done and no-one else was involved.

Passing sentence Judge Warner told her she had pleaded guilty to a serious
offence but she had taken positive steps to put her life in order and deal
with her gambling problems.

As well as her weekend jail stays, she was also made the subject of a
supervision order.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/16/2006 06:57:00 AM

States must do more on problem gambling

Congressman Martin T. Meehan is pushing for federal legislation to fight the
problems surrounding compulsive gambling. The Lowell Democrat is on the
right track. But more needs to be done.Meehan is the chief sponsor of the
Comprehensive Awareness of Problem Gambling Act of 2006. The bill would use
federal money to study and combat problem gambling.States across the country
have legalized gambling to reap billions in new revenue. Yet next to nothing
is spent on helping those whose lives are ruined by gambling addiction.A
CNHI News Service story published in The Eagle-Tribune reported that states
take in $21 billion in taxes on the $136 billion spent annually on legal
gambling in the United States. Yet states spend only $36 million on programs
to help problem gamblers. That's less than one-fifth of 1 percent of the
revenue states collect.A federal study seven years ago found that problem
gambling causes an estimated $5 billion a year in social consequences.
Clearly, states are reaping the rewards from gambling and ignoring the

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/16/2006 06:56:00 AM

Online Gambling Phone March to Stop Internet Gambling Bill

According to eog.com On September 12, 2006, the Poker Players Alliance,
along with the support of other leading Poker forums who oppose any
legislation that would prohibit online poker, have organized a 'Phone March'
on Capital Hill.The Phone March definitely made a dent in the legislation at
least five thousand calls were made, since most of the phone calls between
9:00am and 5:30pm EST were from poker defenders.In Virginia, Senator Allen
received over 26 calls from people complaining about the Internet gambling
bill.Hillary Clinton's spokesperson even received over 33 calls in one hour
from members of the Poker Alliance regarding the gambling bill as well."I'd
bet there have been over 100 calls to this office today about this issue,"
he said In California, Senator Boxer received phone calls from over 50
people, and it was still very early in the day.Senator Richard Durbin, at
the Illinois office seemed to be experiencing a higher then normal call
volume, and people were struggling to even get through.A spokesperson for
Illinois Senator Obama, said that Obama considers this bill to be low
Senator John Cornyn's office in Texas received between 100-200 calls from
people expressing their views. The entire country has estimated at least
five thousand calls were made to one hundred Senators in hopes that it made
a difference.

According to the The Associated Press WASHINGTON 14 September -- Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist is now trying instead to use a bill authorizing
U.S. military operations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, to prohibit
people from using credit cards to settle Internet gambling debts.

Frist, R-Tenn., and his aides have been meeting with other lawmakers and
officials in both the House and Senate to get the measure attached to a
compromise Defense Department authorization bill, according to a Senate GOP
leadership aide.

The House passed a version of the Internet gambling measure in July, but the
Senate has taken no action on similar legislation. Neither of the defense
bills passed by the House and Senate mention it.

Frist is pushing for an approach that isn't quite as sweeping as the House
measure, said the leadership aide and lobbyists following the issue. All
spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing negotiations.

Frist, eyeing a 2008 presidential bid, recently discussed the online
gambling measure in the politically important state of Iowa. He also called
it a legislative priority in a recent speech on the Senate floor..

The bills authorizing defense programs are: S.2507 and H.R.5122.

A recent CNBC poll showed that over 90 percent of Americans would like to
see online gambling poker regulated in the U.S. and NOT prohibited! Studies
have shown that regulation and taxation of online poker could net the
federal government over $3.3 billion in revenue annually and another $1
billion for the states on internet gambling.

There is over 23 million online poker players in US and thats over 20
Million votes that will not be happy with a ban.

88 countries worldwide including the UK, are right now starting to legalized
and regulated online gambling and online poker gambling.

Senate should use its litle time left this year on more importen things that
banning online poker.

With Bin Laden still at large, Iran building nuclear bombs, North Korea
threatening to test them and while hundreds are being slaughtered in Iraq
every day, what are they thinking off in Senate.
Telling American adults how to use their hard-earned money, whether on
e-bay, horse racing or on playing online poker after a hard days work,
should not be the federal government's job.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/16/2006 06:56:00 AM

K. Blanco Calls Charity Games An Expansion of Gambling

Louisiana State governor Kathleen Blanco is rejecting the idea of allowing
eBingo games to be used by charitable organizations as a way of fundraising
because her administration believes that would be an expansion of gambling.
Blanco administration spokespeople replied to our inquiry about the delay in
approving the Bingo games for charitable organizations, "We are being
careful in our decision to allow the machines to be used. We want to make
sure they are regulated properly before going into production." These new
eBingo machines feature modern, attractive graphics that are more fun to
play, and more accurate. The devices are very profitable for the few
charities allowed to use them so far. So far, Governor Kathleen Blanco has
opposed the new machines as an expansion of gambling in her state and her
team is patiently delaying a final decision on the matter. Some lobbyists
have accused Blanco of stalling. According to her administration, "testing
each machine's computer chip to ensure it functions correctly, takes alot of

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/16/2006 06:56:00 AM

House Backs State Company For Internet Gambling

State-owned monopoly Holland Casino is to be given a licence to offer games
of chance on the Internet. The Lower House has supported a proposal by
Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner for a two-year trial. The Netherlands has
an estimated 300,000 people who sometimes try their luck with an illegal
game of chance on the Internet, according to Donner. He wants to lure them
away by a site controlled by Holland Casino. If it turns out that the number
of Internet gamblers has increased after two years, "the trial will not have
succeeded," said the minister. The European Commission is keeping a sharp
eye on developments in the Netherlands. The Dutch allow only one,
state-controlled gambling provider: Holland Casino. This policy is formally
banned in the EU, but Donner has so far claimed with success that it is
allowed all the same because the Dutch government policy is aimed at
preventing gambling addiction.However, Donner does not plan to set a
play-money limit for the new gambling site. If a maximum amount is imposed
for playing, this would be unnecessarily restricting for people with plenty
of money, while the unemployed would perhaps take higher risks than they
could handle, he reasoned. Only for people aged between 18 and 23 will a
limit be set; they will not be allowed to play with more than 100 euros a
week.The Christian democrats (CDA) and Labour (PvdA), together forming a
parliamentary majority, support Donner's proposed bill. The conservatives
(VVD) still have doubts. Donner repeated that he is in no way whatsoever
prepared to relax Dutch gambling policy or to risk this being endangered by
the trial.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/16/2006 06:56:00 AM

Authorities plan to crack down on 128 Internet gambling sites

Asia Pulse reports this week that the South Korean authorities intend to
unilaterally block Internet access of Koreans to some 128 "online gambling
related" sites this year."As of the end of August, we have blocked local
peoples' access to such illegal gambling sites which operate their servers
overseas and target Korean customers," Information and Communication
Minister Rho Jun-hyong told a press conference in Seoul. The action is
intended to prevent local gambling companies from moving their servers
overseas to continue business amid the government's probe into offline
gambling shops, Rho said. Last month, prosecutors launched an investigation
into operators of a video arcade game on suspicions of illegally promoting
gambling and giving bribes to government officials in return for licenses
and favors. "We will continue our cooperation with Internet service
providers and portal companies and ask for them to keep a watch on such
illegal gambling sites," Rho said. Gambling is illegal in South Korea, with
the exception of a land casino in Kangwon Province in the east of the
country, but the arcade gambling operators have avoided the government's
regulations by providing gift certificates to winners instead of cash.

A ministry official said it has already blocked access to an additional 53
online gambling sites over the past few weeks.

South Korea leads the world in Internet penetration rates with around one
out of every four people having access to high-speed Internet. South Koreans
spend an average of 47.2 hours per month in cyberspace, the third highest
time spent online following Israel and Finland, according to ministry data.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/16/2006 06:56:00 AM

Friday, September 15, 2006

Justice Department defends using 'dated' laws in gambling arrests

The US Department of Justice has admitted that the 1961 Wire Act which it
uses to prosecute executives of online gambling companies is "dated". The
Department insists, though, that the law is sufficient for the prosecution
of gambling executives.Referring to the laws under which it prosecutes,
including the controversial 1961 Act, Justice Department spokeswoman
Jacqueline Lesch told OUT-LAW: "They include language about a wire
communication facility which we believe includes the internet. They are
dated but they cover online gambling."Two UK businessmen have been arrested
in the US in recent weeks in connection with internet gambling. Betonsports
chief executive David Carruthers and Sportingbet chairman Peter Dicks were
arrested at US airports when they landed. Carruthers's case is being handled
by the DoJ, while Dicks may be prosecuted under state laws by the state of
Louisiana.The latest edition of OUT-LAW Radio looks into the confused legal
status of online gambling in the US. "It is certainly very confused because
they are relying on statutes that date back to the 1960s and you have the
added complication of states interpreting them in different ways," said John
Hagan, a lawyer at gambling law specialist firm Harris Hagan. "Certainly I'm
confused and no doubt the online gambling operators are equally confused and
when you're talking about the risk of criminal penalties and being arrested
in transit through the states it's not a very satisfactory state of

"We don't think it is confusing," the Justice Department's Lesch said. "We
think it contravenes three statutes, the Wire Act, the Travel Act and the
Illegal Gambling Businesses Act. This has long been a concern of the DoJ."

Many legal observers question the use of the 1961 Act to prosecute
individuals for using technology and services that were not invented when
the Act was written. "They are certainly taking a very strong view of
outdated legislation and applying an interpretation for their own purposes,"
said Hagan.

A new law which would outlaw all internet gambling has passed through the
House of Representatives in the US but has not yet passed through the
Senate. Most observers believe that it will not be passed. "The chances of
it actually passing through the Senate are quite low," said Wayne Brown, an
analyst at Altium Securities who follows online gambling firms. "The same
bill has in various other forms been tried to pass over the last few years."

The DoJ spokeswoman said that it intended to continue prosecuting under
existing laws. "When the evidence allows, we will continue," she said.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/15/2006 10:04:00 AM

Sportingbet Chairman Peter Dicks Resigns

The chairman of British online gambling company Sportingbet PLC, who was
arrested last week after New York customs officials discovered his name on a
Louisiana warrant charging him with illegal online gambling, resigned on
Thursday, the company said. "Further to its recent announcements regarding
Mr. Peter Dicks, Sportingbet confirms that, with great reluctance ... the
Board accepted the resignation of Mr. Dicks as Independent Non-executive
Chairman of Sportingbet with immediate effect," the company said in a
statement posted on its Web site.Dicks appeared in state Criminal Court in
Queens on Thursday, when Judge Gene Lopez adjourned his case until Sept. 28.
The court appearance came a day after New York Gov. George Pataki received a
formal request from Dicks and his attorney, Barry Slotnick, to withdraw a
warrant the governor had signed that would allow Dicks' extradition to
Louisiana.Slotnick said he and his client argued that Louisiana's request
for extradition "is inappropriate and that Peter Dicks has not committed any
crimes there or anywhere. He hasn't been in Louisiana for 20 years."

On Thursday in court, Dicks was informed that the governor had withdrawn the
warrant. Restrictions on Dicks' $50,000 bail that barred him from leaving
New York also were lifted.

"There is nothing pending in terms of any accusations against Dicks in the
state of New York," Slotnick told The Associated Press, adding that Dicks
was now free to travel back to London, where he lives.

A Pataki spokeswoman, Jessica Scaperotti, said the governor's decision was
made in consultation with prosecutors in Louisiana and New York. "The
decision was made to withdraw the extra warrant pending legal review of the
arguments raised by Mr. Dick's attorneys," she said.

When he's back in court later this month, Slotnick said, "it's our hope that
the (Louisiana) warrant at that time will be totally withdrawn."

Slotnick said Dicks is appearing in court New York on Sept. 28 only "because
Louisiana is requesting his presence. But the only one who can order him to
Louisiana is Gov. Pataki."

Dicks was arrested at New York's Kennedy International Airport on Sept. 6
following his arrival on a flight from England. Customs, performing a
routine name check, discovered he had an outstanding warrant issued by the
Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division.

Last Friday, after his New York arrest, acting Justice John Latella released
him on $50,000 bail but ordered him to surrender his passport and stay in
the New York metropolitan area during the extradition process.

The Louisiana warrant was issued in May, charging Dicks with gambling by
computer, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $25,000

Louisiana authorities want to bring Dicks back to stand trial in St. Landry
Parish, where the warrant for his arrest was signed.

Dicks, 64, is the second executive of a British Internet sports-betting
company to be held in the U.S.

David Carruthers, former chief executive officer of BetOnSports PLC, was
arrested in July. The company fired Carruthers, who remains under house
arrest in the St. Louis area awaiting trial, and closed its U.S. Web sites.

The founder of Abingdon PLC, a private equity firm, Dicks is also a director
at Nasdaq-listed Polar Technology Trust PLC and Standard Microsystems Corp.
He has been non-executive director at Sportingbet since 2000.

Sportingbet shares soared more than 25 percent to close at 192 pence ($3.60)
on the London Stock Exchange. The stock had fallen sharply after Dicks was

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/15/2006 10:04:00 AM

Senator wants defence bill to kill Internet gambling

SENATE MAJORITY Leader Bill Frist is trying to use a bill authorising US
military operations, to prohibit people from using credit cards to settle
Internet gambling debts. Frist, who might be having a crack at the
presidency in 2008, wants to make it illegal for punters who gamble online
to use US credit cards to pay any gambling debts they might incur
online.Online gambling is apparently a vote winner in the politically
important state of Iowa and Frist was hoping to get a few votes by managing
to kill the industry off.Apparently Frist realises there will be no time
left in the Senate session to ever have the gambling laws ever voted through
unless it is tied to a law which essentially designed to send US troops
aboard.He does not have much hope. A number of banking lobby groups opposes
banning online gambling by tinkering with credit card rules. In the US,
banks are an important source of campaign funds and senators are not that
keen to annoy them right about now.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/15/2006 10:04:00 AM

Crackdown Intensifies on Gambling Web Sites

The government is continuing to shut down access to Korean-language gambling
Web sites, whose operations are based in foreign countries.
The Ministry of Information and Communication yesterday said it had blocked
this month alone up to 53 gambling sites, which had moved servers overseas
to avoid the grip of the local laws. The measure is unprecedented because
these gambling sites constitute 29.3 percent of the 181 foreign gambling
sites banned by the ministry this year. ``After domestic law enforcement
agencies strengthened controls on gambling sites amid the `Sea Story'
scandal, some of them moved operations to overseas nations,''
Information-Communication Minister Rho Jun-hyong told a press conference.
``We chased the elusive sites and denied access to them in collaboration
with broadband companies and portal sites. We plan to continue such
efforts,'' Rho said. The recent gambling scandal caught the nation off guard
last month when prosecutors indicted heads of two firms manufacturing
illegally-doctored video slot machines named ``Pada Iyagi,'' or ``Sea

Most of the gaming machines, of which more than 45,000 units were sold, were
unlawfully reprogrammed to allow higher payouts than the legal limit of
20,000 won.

When the prosecution got wind of the wrongdoings, many Koreans had already
fallen victim to gambling and this prompted a wide-ranging crackdown on
illegal gambling including online sites.

Some sites tried to sidestep the clean-up by transferring servers to foreign
countries such as the United States and Canada, where the arm of Korean laws
cannot reach.

``To pinpoint the attempts to dodge crackdowns, as many as 500 monitoring
staff from both the public and private sectors have kept close eyes on
cyberspace this month,'' Rho said.

``At our request, portal sites currently do not provide search results for
gambling-related queries, a step aimed at preventing gambling addiction,''
he continued.

However, there remains a concern _ foreign-language gambling sites will
still be available as the minister has no plans to take issue with them

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/15/2006 10:03:00 AM

Push begins for legalized video gambling at Legion halls, taverns

By The Associated Press and N-B Staff Some Indiana residents want the state
to legalize video gambling in American Legion halls and other clubs - a move
supporters say would allow the state to regulate the machines and collect a
piece of the pot.The Indiana Licensed Beverage Association has planned
public meetings around the state to convince lawmakers that they should
legalize the devices when the General Assembly convenes in January.The first
of those meetings was held Wednesday night in Bluffton at the Grover Sheets
American Legion Post, with approximately 20 people in attendance, including
local tavern owners and area fraternal organizations.The Bluffton post had
video gambling machines on its premises until about a year ago when state
excise officers seized computer boards, making the machines inoperable. The
machines have since been removed from the post.Legion manager Cindy
Stephenson told the News-Banner that loss of the machines has made it
increasingly difficult for the post."It's been really tough trying to make
ends meet," Stephenson said of the loss of revenue.
"We need to really look at it," said David Heath, chairman of the Indiana
Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.Sen. Robert Meeks, chairman of the Senate
Appropriations Committee, said people still play the machines at clubs and
businesses even though they are illegal. The Republican from LaGrange and
former state trooper said he has been in favor of legalizing the machines
for years.State Rep. Win Moses, D-Fort Wayne, compared the situation to
Prohibition, when banning alcohol made the industry go underground.Meeks and
Moses said legalizing the machines would allow the state to ensure fair
payouts while collecting a share of the money.But lawmakers have been cool
to the idea in the past. Few bills have been filed to legalize the machines
over the years and none has passed out of committee.Rep. Marlin Stutzman,
R-Howe, chairs the House Public Policy and Veterans Affairs Committee, and
could play a key role in gambling issues if Republicans retain control of
the House after the Nov. 7 elections.He said he would be unlikely to hear
any bill legalizing video gaming and is opposed to expanding gambling.House
Minority Leader Pat Bauer, a South Bend Democrat, said he also had
are losing their life savings (by gambling). We have made it available
everywhere. That's a problem," he said.One of the public meetings was
scheduled for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6246 in Noblesville, which
hasn't had video gambling since police seized a machine years ago.Frank
Perkins, the post quartermaster, said if the machines were legal, the state
would get tax revenue, the post's members would have a chance at the
winnings and the post would get money for both rent and to support
charities."It would be a good deal for everyone," Perkins said.Public
meetings are planned in Bluffton, Fort Wayne, South Bend, East Chicago,
Noblesville, Beech Grove, West Lafayette, Evansville, Tell City, Terre Haute
and Bedford.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/15/2006 10:03:00 AM

Jackson will take a gamble on slots

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is ready to gamble. Jackson on Wednesday
announced he will support a November ballot proposal that would bring two
slot machine parlors to the core of his struggling city. Jackson said the
prospect of 5,300 jobs and $75 million yearly in economic development money
for the city and county are worth risking his political capital. "I have to
look out for the future of the city of Cleveland," Jackson said during an
afternoon meeting with Plain Dealer editors. "It would be imprudent of me
not to position the city to benefit from it." Jackson was joined by City
Council President Martin Sweeney, Cuyahoga County commissioners and business
and labor leaders in extolling the positives of Learn and Earn. The group
hammered out the proposal this spring with the state's seven horse track
owners, Forest City Enterprises Inc. and investor Jeff Jacobs. The Learn and
Earn issue would amend the Ohio Constitution to allow 31,000 slot machines
at nine sites, including Forest City's Tower City complex and Jacobs'
Nautica Entertainment Complex.

Learn and Earn, soon to be certified for the November ballot, would generate
some $2.8 billion yearly in slots revenue, according to estimates. About
$850 million would go to college scholarships and more than $200 million to
economic development across Ohio.

In Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, supporters estimate a $184 million yearly
benefit from Learn and Earn, including scholarship and development money.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/15/2006 10:03:00 AM

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Indiana Developer Could Be Fined

As reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal: "The Indiana Gaming
Commission is expected to vote tomorrow on whether to sanction developers of
a casino in Orange County for failing to secure all financing for the $382
million project by a May 1 deadline. "The disciplinary action, if approved
as expected, would come nearly six weeks before the French Lick casino's
unveiling, and as its partners remain locked in a contract dispute over
ownership. "The gaming commission is expected to review the proposal by
agency staff to settle the matter against Blue Sky Casino LLC's partners --
Bloomington-based medical-device manufacturer Cook Group Inc. and
Indianapolis real estate developer Lauth Property Group -- during an
afternoon meeting in Indianapolis. ".Blue Sky was the only bidder early last
year after a deal with Donald Trump's casino company fell through. Cook and
Lauth's plans include remodeling two century-old hotels and building a
parking garage, a 1,200-slot casino, a convention center and an 18-hole golf
course. ".In a lawsuit filed in June in Orange Circuit Court, Cook's
company, Orange County Holdings, claimed that Lauth failed to meet an April
15 deadline set by the parties to secure a $25 million loan, called a

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/14/2006 06:13:00 AM

Customer, Casino Enter Round Two of Jackpot Controversy

As reported by the Miami Herald: "A Sunny Isles Beach man who was declared a
casino winner -- then later was told he was a loser -- might get good news
today, casino officials said. '.'We hope we can come to an amicable
agreement,' said Mike Bloom, president of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel &
Casino near Hollywood. "Bloom blamed 'human error' for the problem during
Freddy Howard's Aug. 29 visit to the casino and said he and Hard Rock
executives will meet this afternoon with Howard, 53, and his Fort Lauderdale
attorney, Keith Herbert, to discuss what to do about it. "The Hard Rock has
been reeling since the 'Swipe and Win' story broke, and officials said they
want to assure the public that they are addressing the situation properly.
"Several casino employees involved in the promotion misread results and
assumed Howard had won the top jackpot. Bloom would not specify how the
employees erred but said only that they did not follow proper procedure for
verifying a prize winner."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/14/2006 06:13:00 AM

Casinos Make Big Comeback in August

As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Casinos rebounded from a
three-day shutdown in July to post their second-highest monthly win in city
history. "The city's dozen casinos reported combined gaming revenue of
$494.4 million in August, according to figures released by the state Casino
Control Commission. That's a 4.5 percent increase from the same period last
year, a commission news release said Monday. "...The monthly total is the
second highest in history, behind only July 2005, when casinos won $504.8
million, according to commission data. "...The state government shutdown
that forced casinos to close for three days caused monthly gaming revenue to
drop for the first time this year and cost the industry an estimated $50
million to $55 million in winnings..."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/14/2006 06:13:00 AM

Hollywood Sportsbook Offers MLB Odds

Hollywood Sportsbook features odds on the MLB game between the Washington
Nationals and the Arizona Diamondbacks on September 13th 2006. The Nationals
and the Diamondbacks met last week in Washington, with the Nationals
sweeping the three-game set. It was a particularly frustrating series for
Arizona as Washington rallied in the eighth inning or later in all three
games. However, it seems that things have changed for Arizona, this time
they will look to continue their longest winning streak in nearly two month
when they play again a three-game series with the Nationals at Chase Field.
Game 3 is scheduled to start on Wednesday at 6:40 p.m. (ET) and Hollywood
Sportsbook proudly features odds on the event. Hollywood's Media Relations
executive, Alejandro Gomez, was quoted saying - "The Diamondbacks won the
final three games of their series with St. Louis over the weekend, their
longest winning streak since a four-game run from July 19-22". "However,
despite their latest success, Arizona could find difficult to extend their
winning streak against the Nationals. Washington not only swept Arizona last
week, but they won 13 of the last 15 games between the teams," added Mr.
Gomez. Hollywood sportsbook is eager to provide you with a convenient and
secure environment through which you can enjoy your recreational sports
betting; they are currently offering sports betting lines for the game
mentioned above. It's really easy to contact them via phone or internet from
anywhere in the world. You can get started by opening your account within 5
minutes of verification of your funds. Three easy steps: Register, Deposit
and Play. It's that simple!

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/14/2006 06:13:00 AM

Sycuan Tribe Considers Second Casino

As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune: "The Sycuan Indian band might
someday build a second large casino in East County. "Under a provision that
the tribe negotiated into its amended, 5,000-slot compact with Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger, Sycuan could open a second casino on 1,600 acres of adjacent
land - including the golf course - that the tribe has purchased but is not
part of its reservation. ".Sycuan already operates one of California's
largest casinos, with 2,000 slot machines, on its reservation, three miles
east of Sycuan Golf Resort. Its amended compact, allowing up to 5,000 slots,
was one of six tribal-state accords that the Legislature left unratified
when it adjourned Aug. 31. "Five of those compacts on hold are revised deals
providing expansions for Southern California tribes with already-large
casinos; a sixth would offer a Northern California tribe its first foray
into gambling. All are expected to be considered when the Legislature
reconvenes in January."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/14/2006 06:13:00 AM

Swedish Man Wins 93 Million Kronor Jackpot

As reported by the Sweden Local: "As the Lotto balls fell into place on
Saturday evening it slowly dawned on a Trelleborg man that he had just won a
cool 93 million kronor - tax-free. "The jackpot is Sweden's second highest
gaming win of all time. "The man had entered his Lotto numbers on
svenskaspel.se, the web site of Sweden's state-owned gambling monopoly,
making this the biggest-ever online win in the country."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/14/2006 06:12:00 AM

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thom Reilly Joins Harrah's As Vice President

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. today announced Thom Reilly will be joining a
Harrah's subsidiary as vice president of community reinvestment and social
responsibility, effective upon receipt of all required regulatory approvals.
Reilly will lead Harrah's national philanthropic and community reinvestment
efforts. He will oversee the company's nationwide partnerships with
community and charitable organizations, and administer the Harrah's
Foundation, a non-profit organization that donates to charities in
communities where Harrah's operates. Reilly will also oversee the
administration and promotion of Harrah's social responsibility programs,
particularly its Code of Commitment, the company's corporate code of
conduct. Reilly served as manager and chief executive officer of Clark
County, Nev., from August 2001 to August 2006, where he oversaw daily
operations of a government with more than 1.8 million residents, a $5.8
billion annual budget and nearly 12,000 employees. He joins the company from
the University of Nevada Health Sciences Center, where he served as vice
chancellor and chief operating officer.
"We are pleased to welcome an individual of Thom's caliber to the Harrah's
team," said Gary Loveman, chairman, chief executive officer and president of
Harrah's Entertainment. "For the last five years, Thom led the operations of
one of the nation's fastest-growing counties with remarkable skill and
dedication. He is the ideal executive to help us meet our commitment to act
as a responsible and generous corporate citizen in our communities."

"Thom earned widespread respect during his tenure as Clark County Manager,"
said Jan Jones, senior vice president of communications and government
relations. "His diverse experience as a public administrator gives him
unmatched knowledge of the workings of local government and community
organizations. Thom will help enhance our understanding of the unique needs
and opportunities that exist in each of our communities, allowing us to
reinvest effectively."

Prior to being named Clark County Manager in 2001, Reilly served as an
associate professor and assistant director of the school of social work at
the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He previously held senior
administrative positions in the Clark County Department of Administrative
Services; the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services; and the Nevada
State Welfare Division.

Reilly holds a doctorate in public administration and a master's in public
administration from the University of Southern California; a master's in
social work from Arizona State University and a bachelor's degree from
Memphis State University.

He will continue to serve as chair of the Nevada Health Science Center's
Health Science Foundation on an interim basis.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/13/2006 05:55:00 AM

Amateurs, Pros Battle at Borgata

Event five of the 2006 Borgata Poker Open concluded late Sunday night with
New Yorker Jeremy Shor coming from behind to defeat an accomplished field
and capture the championship. The final table included one Shannon Shorr,
ranked second best poker player in the world by Card Player magazine. Jeremy
Shor and James English of South Florida began their head's up duel at 9:00
p.m. and battled late into the night. The duel combined the strategy of a
chess match with the intensity that only comes from high stakes poker.
English, the second place finisher in the $2,500 event at the 2005 Borgata
Poker Open, seemed to have the advantage much of the night before going
"card dead." Shor seized the opportunity and gained control eventually
ousting English to capture the championship Rolex and $188,000 in first
place prize money. After the tournament ended, a drained but ecstatic Shor
was very blunt in describing his victory: "I got lucky. I knew I was playing
against better players so I had to take more risks and get lucky; it
English, who watched his significant chip lead evaporate over the last hour
of competition, was in shock after the event. After the shock wore off,
English admitted he was happy to be taking home $98,000 in prize money --
finishing in second place, for the second consecutive year. A regular on the
WPT circuit, English commented after the event, "Borgata is my favorite
hotel and casino on the Tour. The tournaments feature the best structure,
the best staff, the best hotel rooms; it has everything I want as a poker

Another notable player at the final table was eighth place finisher Kirk
Acevedo, who took home $19,000 in prize money. Acevedo is a regular on both
the big and small screens having starred in HBO's "Oz" and appeared as a
guest star on "Law and Order." Acevedo can currently be seen in "Invincible"
starring Mark Walberg.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/13/2006 05:55:00 AM

Ameristar Casinos Names New VP

Ameristar Casinos, Inc. has appointed Jerome Klint to the position of Vice
President of Construction, effective September 1, 2006. Reporting to Alan
Rose, Senior Vice President of Construction, Klint will be responsible for
construction of Ameristar projects, including department administration and
coordination of pre-planning, budgeting, contracting, purchasing and on-site
observation of construction. Klint brings 20 years of senior management
experience in construction to the position. Most recently, he served as
director of development for MEC Development, Inc., where he oversaw all
aspects of the company's engineering, architecture and construction projects
in Florida, including Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center and Palm
Meadows Estates, the Gulfstream Park renovation, and development of The
Villages of Gulfstream Park. Previously, he was President of CORE Program
Development, specializing in owner representation for municipalities and
private/public joint ventures. CORE's projects included Branson Landing in
Branson, Mo.; the City of Donaldsonville, La.; as well as NextStage Theater
and Concert Hall and Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Klint also
worked with Koll Development Company supervising design, construction and
program management of nearly one million square feet of office space; and
Precept Builders, where he was Vice President of Construction Management,
overseeing construction at Lone Star Park thoroughbred racetrack at Grand
Prairie, Texas. He began his career with M.W. Builders, where he was senior
project manager for a number of hospitality, entertainment and retail
projects nationwide.
Klint attended Gustavus Adolphus College and received a project management
professional certification from the University of Texas at Dallas School of
Management. He served on the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North

"We are delighted to welcome Jerry to Ameristar," said Alan Rose, Senior
Vice President of Construction. "We have an exceptionally talented
construction team that is instrumental in executing our key business
strategy of creating the best facility in each market. Jerry's two decades
of experience in building premier hospitality and entertainment facilities
will only strengthen our capabilities in this area."

Klint joins Ameristar during one of the most dynamic construction periods in
the history of the company. At Ameristar St. Charles, construction is
currently underway on a new 400-suite luxury hotel with outstanding in-suite
amenities, an indoor/outdoor pool, an upscale full-service spa, and a new
parking garage. At Ameristar Black Hawk, groundbreaking recently took place
for a 536-room, 33-story four-diamond quality hotel. The hotel, which will
be the highest building between Denver and Salt Lake City, will feature a
Meeting Center, a full service day spa, and a rooftop indoor/outdoor pool --
the only pool in the city of Black Hawk.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/13/2006 05:55:00 AM

Jeff Simpson Reflects on Eye-Opening Journey to Magical Land of Macau

I wanted to share a few thoughts from my visit to Macau. Last year the Sun
sent our tourism reporter Richard N. Velotta to Macau (and Beijing and
Singapore) and Richard wrote a top-notch series of stories that helped Sun
readers understand the power of the Chinese economy and its tourism impact
on Las Vegas, the vibrancy of Macau casinos and the gaming potential of
Singapore. I had long ago asked Richard to prepare to travel again to Macau
when the $1.2 billion Wynn Macau opened. Not only did Sun Managing Editor
Michael Kelley approve Richard's second visit to Asia in a year, he asked me
to go as well. Macau is having and will continue to have a big impact on the
worldwide casino business and on Las Vegas-based resort operators. When Wynn
Macau opened Tuesday, there were dozens of journalists on hand. Most were
from Hong Kong and Macau. Asia-based reporters from the Associated Press,
Reuters and the Wall Street Journal also were there. Richard and I were the
only two reporters on hand from Las Vegas. Traveling around the world is
expensive, but the Sun willingly spent the money so that its readers would
be able to understand what is going on in Macau - and what is expected to
take place - from a Las Vegas perspective.
. . .

The Wynn Macau opening was a landmark for the Chinese enclave. Steve Wynn
told me right after he won the Macau casino concession that he wasn't going
to build a no-frills gambling hall just to get his straw into the drink as
soon as possible.

Wynn felt that he owed it to the Macau government officials, particularly
its Chief Executive Edmund Ho, to build a quality property that would reward
Ho's belief that Las Vegas resort operators could help transform Macau's
casino-based economy.

I met Ho the evening of the opening and it is apparent that he is quite
pleased by Wynn Macau.

And he should be pleased and proud of the new resort - by far the nicest and
most luxurious in Macau. Although it remains to be seen whether Wynn Macau
will generate the kind of high-rolling action it needs to succeed, no one
has become rich betting against Wynn.

. . .

Former Golden Nugget owners Tim Poster and Tom Breitling were among Wynn's
invited guests at the opening. Although neither was willing to confirm their
intent to pursue a joint-venture opportunity with Wynn, there are a few
clues that suggest just that.

First, Wynn has said he intends to partner in joint-ventures to develop his
54-acre site on Macau's Cotai strip.

Second, Poster and Breitling are friends with the Fertitta brothers (Frank
III and Lorenzo), Station Casinos top two executives. Wynn has mentioned the
Fertittas as the kind of operators he'd like to joint-venture with.

Third, Poster and Breitling have visited Macau a few times in the last year,
and both said they are interested in Macau opportunities.

. . .

The most amazing thing I saw in Macau was the Sands casino. The casino owned
by Venetian parent Las Vegas Sands has more table games than any other in
the world, a jaw-dropping 740, most of them baccarat.

Big Las Vegas casinos have about 150 tables. The best way I can think of to
relate what the Sands looks like: Take the entire giant rectangular casino
floor at Bally's, stack two more floors exactly the same size on top, and
fill all three floors almost from wall to wall with tables. Then put a crowd
of players around almost every table. It's like viewing the Pacific Ocean
after spending your life looking at Lake Mead.

. . .

One of the best things about Macau casinos is the quality of the employees.
They are hard-working, talented and eager to please. The Wynn Macau workers
seemed exceptionally courteous and one reason why may be the way they are

On the Wynn employee dining room menu on Tuesday: Lobster tails and beef
tenderloin among dozens of high-quality offerings.

Jeff Simpson is business editor of the Las Vegas Sun and executive editor of
its sister publication In Business Las Vegas.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/13/2006 05:55:00 AM

Jack Sheehan Weighs Pros, Cons and Misconceptions About Our Fair Desert City

If there's one common notion that most Americans have about Las Vegas, it's
that we have a vibrant economy. To be precise, many think we are the land of
milk and honey. The general assumption is that car parkers here make $80,000
a year and cocktail waitresses knock down six figures and declare far less
to our friends at the IRS. And that even a bloke with a fourth-grade
education should be able to come here and take down serious lucre and
absolve some of the debt that has accrued from previous life missteps. But
beyond that harebrained idea, there's an ocean of confusion out there about
what really goes on in our beloved city and how we Las Vegans get from one
day to the next. Through a fair amount of traveling in the last year and a
number of interviews I've done with radio deejays and print folk looking for
a hot Las Vegas story, I've come to realize that: a) most of the images of
our city either come from the shows "Las Vegas" or "CSI" or from the
saturation of our "What Happens Here ¦" campaign; or b) the average dude in
his Barcalounger sipping a Colt 45 assumes this is the place where every
wanted man in America over the last four decades has come to hide out, from
Dick Hickox and Perry Smith of "In Cold Blood" infamy to "The Marrying Man"
Warren Jeffs. Outsiders who haven't been paying close attention sometimes
expose their ignorance by revealing that they think Las Vegas in 2006 is
still marketing itself to families and that there are a lot of things for
kids to do here.

I feel obligated to explain to them that their information is outdated by at
least a decade and that we have in fact become one of the most
adult-oriented cities since Caligula ruled ancient Rome. A drive up and down
the Strip would convince an outsider that we are allergic not to pollen and
olive trees, but to clothing.

. . .

In Colorado recently I was introduced to a woman who, when she heard I was a
writer asked, "Have you ever interviewed Wayne Newton?" Her implicit
assumption was that bagging a Q/A with the Midnight Idol was probably the
hottest story a scribbler here could find. I calmly answered "no" and looked
for an escape route. It would have been a long night had I not pretended to
recognize an old friend across the room.

I remember in the late 1970s the esteemed travel writer Jan Morris - who
before gender surgery was a British explorer and military man named John
Morris - telling me she was intrigued by Las Vegas but detected a strong
undercurrent of evil running through the city.

Her instincts at that time were correct. Most of the large hotels were
indebted to loans from shady organizations like the Teamsters Union pension
funds, and more than a few of the motley characters who ran the joints had
rap sheets that could wallpaper your rec room. Today we are now fully
controlled by Wall Street: buttoned-down shirts, yellow ties, two showers a
day and subtle cologne.

The most frequently asked questions I heard as a writer 25 to 30 years ago
were about how I could tolerate living and writing in a city that was
totally devoid of any sense of culture or history. I don't get those
anymore. Folks willing to pay their local cable company know through the
Travel Channel that we have imported all the cultural amenities a modern
city could hope to have, with fine art, hip chefs, Broadway plays, and a
bevy of talented plastic surgeons to make us look youthful when we go out on
the town.

These days the questions I get are more about details concerning the Las
Vegas Strip: who's building what, whether the proliferation of high rises is
a boom or a bust, whether Macau is going to be bigger than Las Vegas, who's
a bigger deal here between Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn. Stuff like that.

I can fake convincing-sounding responses with the best of them, and so
rather than just admit that I don't know the answers to all of these
questions I tend to blather on in an attempt to pass myself off as an expert
on all things Las Vegas. (I recognize that this is a dysfunctional
personality trait, but when you get to my age you tend to forgive yourself
for deeply embedded flaws and just move forward.)

There are, however, a few things I know for certain about our city, with
absolute clarity, devoid of bias or geographical prejudice. I know that:

If you came here from someplace else, for the first couple of years Las
Vegas will not be pretty to you. It does not have the rivers or ocean
beaches or evergreen-covered rolling hills you're used to. But the beauty of
the desert will grow on you, I promise, and the sunsets will knock your eyes

The conversations you'll hear at social gatherings are unlike any you heard
back home. At Spokane dinner parties, folks would always try to discover a
common-ground topic on which everyone could find agreement. All gathered
would then nod their heads forward for the rest of the night, saying things
like, "Isn't that the truth?" or "I couldn't agree with you more." Here, you
might find yourself in the company of an acrobat, a professional poker
player, an interior designer, a sports agent, and a guy who owns an escort
service. Las Vegas provides far livelier conversation.

No city in America changes its landscape faster, or works harder at keeping
up with trends. We absolutely do not give a rat's patootie about preserving
history. We are the total opposite of Rome and Paris and New York. In those
great cities, they venerate their old buildings. We blow ours to
smithereens, pop champagne corks in celebration, get naked and make whoopee.

Las Vegas is clearly not for everyone, but if you dig in your heels and give
it a chance you might find it to be the least boring place on the planet.
And boredom bores the hell out of me.

Jack Sheehan's column runs every other week.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/13/2006 05:55:00 AM

Nevadan At Work: MGM Grand University Director Readies Casino Leaders of the Future

Like a terrier herding small livestock, Barbara Hewitt is consumed with
developing and implementing the training programs essential to a company the
size of MGM Mirage and for the growth it has planned. The company, which is
already at 70,000 employees, will grow by 28,000 workers in the next five
years just to keep up with announced expansion plans. Projects include
Project CityCenter here, and developments in Atlantic City; Detroit; Biloxi,
Miss.; the United Kingdom; and Macau. Hewitt's job as executive director of
the MGM Grand University is not to recruit all these workers, but to prepare
a large cross-section for advancement, to match the skills they add with the
needs of her company and to help prepare executives with the leadership
skills necessary to marry the two. Otherwise many employees would not have
the skill sets to advance from the "back-of-the-house" to the
"front-of-the-house" and executives trying to staff their operations would
not have a pool of higher-skilled talent. To date, Hewitt has been
responsible for 24,000 employees, those at MGM Grand plus the former
Mandalay Resort Group hotel-casinos. Corporate university training programs
are common among Fortune 500 companies, but are otherwise unheard of in Las
In the year's first half alone, 15,000 workers went through the university
programs, up from 5,500 in the first six months of 2005.

All of this may be more than most human resources executives can imagine,
but Hewitt is enthusiastic, not confounded.

In a recent interview in her fourth-floor, corner office overlooking the
final stages of construction at the MGM Grand Signature project, Hewitt was
animated, confident of the future and proud of past accomplishments.

Question: What drives you?

Answer: Success. I think being the best at what I do. I take great pride in
our product, the quality of what we represent and when I see that product
evolve and we get recognized through awards, it just makes me want to do

Question: What does the executive director of a corporate university do?

Answer: I'm responsible for the strategic development of training plans for
the properties, for executing the vision and for the strategic direction for
learning and development initiatives at the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Luxor
and the Signature properties. I work with senior-level executives,
management business partners and industry leaders to align our training
goals with organizationwide processes and business needs. I oversee four
units in the university: leadership training at all levels; general training
including language training; computer-based training; and service

Question: How has the merger changed it?

Answer: As we took on the merger, it was like looking at the cultures and
figuring out how to integrate them. Yet, as we plowed through those
strategies, now a year later, we were successful. We had some bumps in the
road; we had to work out some kinks in processes. But I can't speak enough
about the support we received from the property presidents.

One of the things I'm proudest about is our contribution to that.

Question: How did you get into this?

Answer: I opened Summerlin Hospital in 1997, their training department.
Before that, I was at Desert Springs for about four years. I came to the MGM
Grand University after just finishing graduate school.

I was very interested in breaking out of health care where I'd been for 17
years. I'd been exposed to lots of industries and thought it would be
interesting to branch out and broaden my skills in other industry sets. A
mutual friend had spoken to Miriam Hammond, senior vice president of human
resources here at MGM. She let her know I was looking for other

I worked with Miriam at Desert Springs Hospital for close to a year. So I
knew Miriam and had worked with her. I got a call one day that there was an
opportunity here.

I said, "Now the gaming industry, that's interesting." The long and short of
it was six or seven interviews later, I got the job.

Question: Why the interest in gaming?

Answer: Because it's a huge part of what Las Vegas is. I'd lived here 10
years and wasn't familiar with anyone in the gaming industry. And I think I
started out more out of curiosity than anything else. I thought, let's go,
let's give this a shot and see what this is all about.

Miriam shared with me a little about the company and the potential for this
MGM Grand University, which I had never heard of.

I thought it was fascinating that the gaming industry had a university.

And so we talked a little about what the university does and is responsible
for. I met some of the most brilliant minds in business.

I was absolutely blown away by the integrity and the professionalism of the
people. They made me think this was a company I'd like to work for.

And I had an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try another industry. I was
ripe to try and the timing was right. I thought I'd give it a go and if it
worked out, great, and if not, nothing to lose. I have never looked back.
It's worked out great.

Question: What do you like most about your job?

Answer: The opportunity to be creative, to come forward with a vision,
ideas, new ways to improve what we're doing. And I'm never turned down. If I
can make a good business case for something, it's supported 100 percent.

What keeps me here is the evolution, to be able to make this university one
of the best in its class and to be benched after, by the likes of PepsiCo.
We've just really been able to take the university and make it a
strategically aligned entity. That is truly what has lent to our credibility
over the years.

Question: What do you like most about MGM?

Answer: The leadership. The vision and the operating unit are what keep you
going. There are some companies out there that don't really support

But to find a company that supports it, there's nothing you can't do, and
you can support the company in such positive ways.

Question: What do you like least?

Answer: It's so dynamic and so changing, and there are so many
opportunities, it's hard to say what I like least. Maybe it's the pace.

Sometimes you wish you could just stop and almost take a breather, but the
flip side is you get addicted to the pace, and you thrive on the pace and
what you can get done, even though it can be very stressful at times.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/13/2006 05:55:00 AM

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mount Airy Awards Contracts

Mount Airy Resort & Casino announced today that it has awarded its first
round of construction contracts as it continues to move forward with plans
to build a $360 million hotel and gaming complex in the heart of the
Poconos. The majority of contracts have been awarded to Pennsylvania-based
companies. "One of our main goals in building Mount Airy is to promote local
economic opportunity," said Louis A. DeNaples, the northeastern Pennsylvania
businessman who owns Mount Airy. "As construction continues to move forward,
we remain committed to that goal and are proud of our partnership with some
of the best building contractors in the state." Mount Airy also recently
hosted a formal session in Scranton, Pa., for subcontractors and minority
suppliers interested in doing business with the organization. A second
session was held in Paradise Township, Pa. "There will be a lot of work
going into making the Mount Airy project a reality," said Frank L. Ciminelli
II, V.P. for LP Ciminelli, the construction project executive for Mount
Airy. "We share Louis DeNaples' commitment to hiring as many qualified local
subcontractors as possible to help us complete that work."
Contracts have been awarded to the following Pennsylvania-based companies:

* McGregor Industries, Dunmore, Pa. for miscellaneous metals;

* Mid Valley Contracting, Moscow, Pa. for hollow core plank and structural
steel erection, along with foundation reinforcing steel;

* Leeward Construction, Honesdale, Pa. for site work and mass excavation;

* Cleveland Brothers Caterpillar, Harrisburg, Pa. with local offices in
Wilkes-Barre, Pa. for emergency generators and automatic transfer switches;

* Eaton Electrical, Allentown, Pa. with local office of Eastern Penn Supply
Company, in Wilkes Barre, Pa. for UPS system, transformers, and 12.47 KV
main switch, and

* York International, York, Pa. for HVAC units.

In addition, contracts were awarded to Stone Bridge Steel Corporation,
Gansevoort, N.Y., for Structural Steel, Joist & Deck and Otis Elevators,
based in Farmington, Conn. with offices in Allentown, Pa.

Phase I of the Mount Airy project calls for the construction of a 191-room
luxury resort hotel, a gaming and entertainment complex that would house
3,000 slot machines, four restaurants, two live entertainment lounges, an
18-hole championship golf course, an indoor pool, spa, retail shops, and a
covered parking facility.

Phase I construction is estimated at $300 million, which would be followed
in Phase II with an expanded casino to accommodate a total of 5,000 slot
machines, an additional 200 luxury hotel rooms, and additional conference,
entertainment and parking facilities. The plan also preserves nearly 550
acres of green space at the 891-acre site.

The new Mount Airy is expected to open in the Fall of 2007 after the first
phase of construction is completed.

The resort will be run by a world-class team of gaming industry executives
led by Paul Henderson, the former President and Chief Operating Officer of
Caesars Atlantic City, the Atlantic City Hilton, and Trump Marina Hotel and
Casino. The operations team has worked at more than 50 casinos and gaming
companies worldwide, and has an extensive background in the development,
design, opening and operation of gaming facilities.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/12/2006 08:11:00 AM

Macau Won't Grant More Licenses

As reported by the Australian: "Macau Governor Edmund Ho has ruled out
granting any more casino licences in the city - a move that protects the $3
billion investment of James Packer's PBL. "The city would stick to six
casino operators, he said, including Macau veteran Stanley Ho (no relation
to the Governor), the veteran's daughter, Pansy Ho, who has linked up with
US casino operator MGM, and Las Vegas players Steve Wynn and Sheldon
Adelson. "... The opening of the 600-room hotel and casino was attended by
PBL's executive chairman, Mr Packer, and Leighton Holdings chief executive
Wal King. "...PBL and Melco are about to deliver the final $US740 million
($970 million) of the $US900 million payment to Mr Wynn for their licence,
which has to be paid by the end of this month..."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/12/2006 08:11:00 AM

Casino Evacuated Due to Chemical Fumes

As reported by the Purcell Register: "Toxic fumes emitted from a
restaurant's drain at the new casino kept Goldsby and Purcell Fire and
Rescue busy for about 10 hours last week. "Goldsby Fire Chief Larry Paulk
said they responded to a chemical spill call around 7:30 p.m. last Thursday
at the Riverwind Casino. ".Purcell Fire Chief Mike Clifton said he was told
that degreaser was poured down the drain, along with bleach. This caused the
chlorine-gas fumes. "About nine employees complaining of nausea and light
shortness of breath were taken to Norman Regional Hospital by Norman EMS,
the fire chiefs said. No patron in the restaurant complained."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/12/2006 08:11:00 AM

BodogFight Launch Date Moved

With a frenzied audience awaiting the inaugural episode of the Mixed Martial
Arts (MMA) reality series, BodogFight, digital entertainment powerhouse
Bodog.com has announced a new launch date to allow for additional footage in
its action-packed weekly series. Episode 1 will air September 19 on Men's
Outdoor and Recreation, which is carried in over 23 million homes and on
DISH Network, and online at BodogFight.com. While traversing the globe in
search of the world's greatest MMA fighters, Bodog.com's billionaire
founder, Calvin Ayre, has not only set the stage for the toughest fighters
to showcase their talents, but also raised the standard for reality TV and
digital entertainment. In the eight-episode series, seven elite modern-day
American warriors will earn the right to represent the United States. As
part of "Team USA", the seven fighters will square off against members of
the Russian Red Devils Team, a group known for its fierce roster that
includes world heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko. This USA vs. Russia
grudge match will be broadcast live on a future pay-per-view event that will
also include three Superfights. Viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look at
the secret training regimen of the elite Russian squad as well as the
individual training programs and lifestyles of the American fighters. Those
intimate scenes will all be presented through the eyes of BodogFight's
special agents - rock phenomenon Bif Naked in the United States and her
beautiful Russian counterpart Natalya Vilkova. The sexy duo will be on a
quest to find the toughest, most ruthless Mixed Martial Arts athletes the
two countries have to offer. Plus, audiences are going to be treated to
up-close and personal experiences with fighters as they prepare to enter the
ring, and spectacular training and interview footage shot in the lush
Central American jungle and rustic Costa Rican cities - visuals that will
leave no doubt BodogFight has set the new standard for reality TV.
"When BodogFight's inaugural episode launches, viewers are going to witness
a new standard in mainstream digital entertainment," says Calvin Ayre,
Founder of Bodog.com Entertainment Group and creator of a number of reality
television series, including Bodog Salutes the Troops which aired on Spike
TV. "The additional footage capturing the essence of Mixed Martial Arts as a
sport and lifestyle will add a new degree of rawness never seen before."

Elimination battles, behind-the-scenes training, interviews with fighters,
and lifestyle segments will compose seven of the weekly one-hour
"BodogFight" episodes, with the recap finale leading into the PPV main
event. The three massive super fights and the spectacular USA vs. Russia
event will be produced by the Mixed Fight Championship (MFC) and sponsored
by BodogFight.

For biographies of all the fighters, exclusive footage, and unedited
interviews and confrontations, go to bodogfight.com. Each of the eight
episodes will air simultaneously on the Men's Network and on BodogFight.com
broadband network.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/12/2006 08:11:00 AM

Aces.com Launches Three Card Poker Tournament

The Vegas-style casino site famous for free tournaments has added more free
chances to win cash and prizes to its September line-up. The champion of the
free Three Card Poker Tournament that starts on Monday will win an
all-expense paid trip to Aces.com's Hollywood Premiere Party for 'Aces the
Movie'. Four free Blackjack tournaments beginning Sunday offer cash prizes.
The grand prize for the week long Three Card Poker Tournament includes
flights, hotel and two VIP passes to attend the exclusive gala party that
Aces.com is throwing to celebrate the release of the sexy new poker movie
they've sponsored. The star-studded event will be held at Vanguard Hollywood
in Los Angeles on October 7th. (Second and third place players will receive
cash prizes.) Winners of the four free Blackjack Tournaments this month will
each receive $200; second and third place players will receive $100 and $50
respectively. There is no entry fee for these free tournaments. Winners are
the three players with the highest chip count at the close of the
tournament. Aces.com free tournaments tend to attract primarily regulars of
the retro Vegas-style casino site, but new players are always welcome to
enjoy the camaraderie at an Aces table. "Over the summer, we've had the
stars of Aces the Movie as special guests at our tournaments," says Rene
Quesada, Manager of Aces.com. "The other night, one of our regulars was
pretty sure he was going to win until Lacey got a bunch of good cards, made
some smart bets and left him in second place. So I sent him a silk poker
shirt just for being such a fun guy that night." Lacey Toups plays one of
the three sexy college girls in the hot new poker movie that Aces.com is
involved with this summer. Aces.com is distributing thousands of free copies
of ACES the Movie to their players. Christina Morris and Sheena Chou are the
other two members of the team dubbed "The Charlie's Angels of Poker" when
they partied with Aces.com at the WSOP last month.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/12/2006 08:10:00 AM

Monday, September 11, 2006

Scarlet's Casino Files for Bankruptcy

As reported by the Rocky Mountain News: "A Central City casino that had
already filed for bankruptcy shut its doors this week after a new parkway to
the gaming town failed to bring an expected increase in business. "Scarlet's
Casino had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just months after
opening at what should have been a prime location at the entrance to the
limited-stakes gaming town. ".'It appears their worst fear that people would
drive through to Black Hawk is coming true,' said Don Burmania, a spokesman
for the Colorado Division of Gaming, which worked with Scarlet's to shut
down its operations on Tuesday morning. "Burmania said the Central City
Parkway, which was completed in Nov. 2004, helped the casino town overcome
its location. Many gamblers had been taking route 119 directly to Black Hawk
until the faster parkway route was built. In the first year after the
parkway's opening, Central City reported big gains in its gaming revenues.
".The city depends on gambling revenues because much of its budget comes
from the fees it charges casinos for each device they operate. Now it must
bank on the success of the recently opened gaming establishment developed by
Colorado Springs-based Century Casinos Inc."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/11/2006 07:31:00 AM

Public Comments Spilt Over Pennsylvania Casinos

As reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review: "Members of the state's Gaming
Control Board heard an outpouring of support for slots casino licenses at
Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Nemacolin Woodlands during public hearings
conducted last spring. "But in written comments furnished to the board,
public sentiment was split over the applications of the resorts to open
casinos next year to house as many as 500 slot machines. "The gaming control
board on Thursday made public more than 1,200 written comments as part of
the slots casino application process. The board is expected to award 14
slots licenses this year, including smaller casinos at the resorts. ".Seven
Springs, near Champion, Somerset County, and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, in
Farmington, Fayette County, are the only two applicants for the two
available resort licenses."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/11/2006 07:30:00 AM

Pinnacle Entertainment Breaks Ground

Pinnacle Entertainment announced that L'Auberge du Lac Hotel & Casino, a
$370 million Texas Hill Country-themed resort in Lake Charles, La., broke
ground yesterday on a $45 million hotel tower expansion, slightly more than
a year after the elegant casino resort opened to the public. The additional
250 rooms and suites will be complete in Fall 2007. The new tower will be
nine stories tall and will be connected to the existing 26-story hotel
tower, bringing the total number of rooms, suites and villas at L'Auberge to
approximately 1,000. The hotel tower expansion project is expected to boost
L'Auberge's employee count to more than 2,250. The expansion project will
feature expanded retail space, a VIP lobby, VIP lounge and a VIP elevator
providing private access to the tower's new luxury second floor suites. The
expansion project's ground floor will feature nine luxury garden suites with
private terraces. Some of the new suites will face the swimming pool area,
while others will feature private outdoor spas. The garden suites will
feature many of the same high-end amenities found in the L'Auberge villas,
such as luxurious bathrooms, custom designer furnishings and in-room bars.
Each ground floor suite will be nearly 1,200 square feet in size and allow
L'Auberge to attract a high-end customer accustomed to Las Vegas-style
gaming amenities. The new tower's second floor also will be dedicated to
"Calcasieu Parish has proven to be a superb location for a premier
destination resort, and L'Auberge's success has validated our initial
investment of $370 million in this market," said Daniel R. Lee, Pinnacle's
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are excited to break ground today
on L'Auberge's new hotel tower, and look forward to further enhancing Lake
Charles' destination appeal when we begin construction on Sugarcane Bay in

L'Auberge Vice President and General Manager Larry Lepinski said, "Bringing
our total room count to approximately 1,000 makes L'Auberge more competitive
in attracting larger groups for state and regional mid-week conferences and
meetings. This will also allow us to be better able to satisfy customer
demand for rooms on the weekends. The additional rooms and retail space will
create even more jobs for Calcasieu Parish."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/11/2006 07:30:00 AM

Paddy Power Considers Land Casino

As reported by the Irish Examiner: "Paddy Power is considering opening a
casino in Ireland if the Government opts to regulate the gaming industry.
"Justice Minister Michael McDowell has set up a working group to consider
whether to legalise and regulate casinos, which are currently outlawed. The
ban has not prevented nearly two dozen private members' clubs springing up
in recent years. "Paddy Power chief executive Mr Patrick Kennedy said
yesterday that the company was interested in acquiring a casino licence.
".Paddy Power said the increase in profits was achieved by the strong growth
from its internet business, which offset sluggish earnings from its core
betting shops."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/11/2006 07:30:00 AM

Man Denied Jackpot

As reported by the Miami Herald: "For about three hours, Freddy Howard was
showered with all the glamour and glory he had ever dreamed of. "The
struggling actor was told he had just won a $260,000 jackpot at the Seminole
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood in the early hours of Aug. 29.
".Then, Howard said managers at the hotel told him it was all a mistake.
".After parading Howard around as the winner of the jackpot for hours, hotel
gaming officials called him into an empty room later in the day to tell him
the kiosk that declared him the winner had malfunctioned, Howard said. ".In
a short press release, Hard Rock officials said they were investigating.
".The Hard Rock, as part of the Seminole Indian reservation, is considered a
sovereign nation -- so it isn't governed by state or local law. So Howard
may have no place to turn. ".Howard was playing the Swipe and Win
Progressive jackpot, a free promotion run at the Hard Rock that's aimed at
regular customers. Players swipe their Players Club cards as they enter the
casino. The cards accumulate bonus points every time a patron plays a slot
machine or game, according to the Hard Rock website."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/11/2006 07:30:00 AM

Alberta Tribal Casino Construction Finished

As reported by CBC News: "Alberta's first aboriginal-run casino is weeks
away from opening as construction on the $178-million River Cree Resort and
Casino wraps up more than two months ahead of schedule. "The complex, which
opens at the end of October, is located on the Enoch Cree Nation reserve at
the southwest edge of Edmonton. "Robert Morin, the president of the Enoch
Casino Corp., hopes as many as 200 Enoch Cree will be hired in the next
month. So far, 5,000 people have applied for the resort's 700 to 800 jobs.
".Of the nearly 300 construction workers who were hired for the project, 30
were Enoch band members - an important boost to the community given the
unemployment rate on the reserve is nearly 65 per cent. "By the time workers
finish putting in the gaming room's 600 slot machines and 40 gaming tables,
the casino will be a third larger than the city's largest gambling
operation, Yellowhead Casino. ".Gambling revenue will be shared amongst the
Enoch Cree Nation, the Alberta Lottery Fund, the band's business partner,
Las Vegas-based Paragon Gaming Inc., and Alberta's other First Nations."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/11/2006 07:29:00 AM

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hollywood Sportsbook Offers MLB Game Odds

Hollywood Sportsbook features odds on the MLB game between the San Diego
Padres and the San Francisco Giants on September 8th 2006. The San Diego
Padres, who haven't been in first place in the West since August 9, beat the
Rockies 5-4 on Tuesday to pull within one game of division-leading Los
Angeles and opened a two-game lead in the wild-card race over Philadelphia,
which was rained out. So now the San Diego Padres are in position to move
back atop the division, when they play season series with the San Francisco
Giants on Friday. The game is scheduled to start at 10:15 p.m. (ET) at AT&T
Park and Hollywood Sportsbook proudly features odds on the event.
Hollywood's Media Relations executive, Alejandro Gomez, was quoted saying -
"The Padres dropped out of first place in the NL West nearly a month ago and
now they are hoping to move for first place in the West, fortunately they
are doing the things they need to do to win". "San Diego is now six games
over .500 for the first time since July 29 and is stretching their lead to
two games over Philadelphia in the NL Wild Card race with a 5-4 win Tuesday
over Colorado. On the other hand, the Giants became a .500 team for the
first time since July 27; losing for just the seventh time in 22 games -
Something that tells a lot about Friday's game," added Mr. Gomez.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/10/2006 05:11:00 AM

Grand Privé Offers One-Wallet System

The Grand Privé group of online casinos has become the first casino group
globally to introduce a new one-wallet system that gives players a choice of
eight top-tier casinos to enjoy with just one account. The new single
account system gives players all the convenience of playing at a single site
and all the thrills of checking out a variety of casinos. All Grand Privé
players now have a single sign-up name and one wallet for all eight Grand
Privé casinos including flagship brand Casino Grand Bay. The same sign-up
name, password and financial account are also valid at Bella Vegas Online
Casino, Jupiter Club Casino, Lake Palace Casino, Road House REELS Casino,
Jackpot Wheel Flash and Fortune Junction Flash. "We know people like to
check out different casinos. But who can keep track of a million User IDs
and passwords and accounts! The extra bonus with a single wallet is
bonuses," says Grand Privé Manager Steven Green. "With one wallet, bonuses
from one casino can be used at any of our other casinos." With the new eZ
PLAY system comes Grand Privé's new Virtual Pit Boss, a state-of-the-art
customer service tool that lets players interact with the casino in real
time and enables the casino to give players the kind of personalized service
they'd get in Atlantic City or Las Vegas. "You never know when we'll tap you
on the shoulder," continues Green. "We'll be able to give instant rewards to
individual players. We'll be awarding surprise bonuses every day." With the
Virtual Pit Boss all Grand Privé casinos will also be able to offer
real-time service to players requiring assistance. eZ PLAY is the one-wallet
choice trusted by industry leaders like Microgaming. In five years of
absolute dedication to its players, technological advancement and unwavering
reliability, Grand Privé has established itself as a global leader of online

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/10/2006 05:11:00 AM

Fortunet Gets Preliminary Approval

State gaming regulators granted a third casino-equipment manufacturer
tentative approval Thursday to operate wireless hand-held gambling devices
in Nevada. But Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander thought it
would be six months at the earliest before the devices could find their way
into Nevada casinos. The three-member control board gave Fortunet
preliminary approval to distribute hand-held equipment for full casino
gaming. The company's devices are now in use in bingo rooms around the
state. The Nevada Gaming Commission will make a final ruling Sept. 21.
Previously, state regulators approved Cantor G&W and slot machine giant
International Game Technology to compete in the emerging mobile gambling
market. The regulations covering the use of wireless gaming equipment were
approved earlier this year. However, Neilander said the equipment must still
be tested and approved by the control board laboratory and then operated and
evaluated in a 90-day field trial. "I think we're still at least six months
away from seeing these devices out in casinos, maybe longer," Neilander
said. Fortunet Chief Executive Officer Yuri Itkis said his company's
devices, which are about the size of tablet-sized personal computers, are
now used with bingo games. But customers can also use them for nongaming
purposes, such as playing solitare or listening to music.
Itkis said the initial goal is to equip the devices for keno, video poker,
and slot games. His plan is to market the devices to bingo customers already
familiar with the hand-held equipment, trying to encourage the players to
gamble on other games, too.

In a presentation to gaming regulators, Itkis said the devices have several
built-in security measures to protect the casino and the customer.

Recently, Itkis said Fortunet's wireless gambling devices were used in a
casino on a major ocean cruise ship. A confidentiality agreement forbade him
from divulging the cruise line's name, but he told the control board the
test seemed to be successful.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/10/2006 05:11:00 AM

Disabled Find Opportunities With Online Bingo

The online bingo industry is a rapidly growing phenemon and it brings with
it more than just online bingo games, it also creates a new trend in
employment. Online bingo websites employ thousands of people as Chat Hosts,
who manage and oversee the chat rooms that players frequent while they are
playing bingo. This unique new trend in employement provides an alternative
employment opportunity for those who are not able to work in a traditional
workplace. Mary (not her real name) is a prime example of how the online
bingo employment boom works to the advantage of thousands of people. She had
a steady job in a bakery until 3 years ago when she fell down a flight a
stairs and seriously injured her spine. She has been in rehabilitative
therapy, but is not able to stand on her feet all day as required in her old
job. During her free time, Mary plays online bingo at BingoPalace.com. She
doesn't play daily, but she plays frequently enough that she knows many of
the players and all the chat hosts at the site. On a whim, unable to
continue working in the bakery, she inquired about employment as a chat host
with the site. She has since joined thousands of others like her, working in
the online bingo industry and finds it suits her limitations and lifestyle.
Mary says: "I honestly didn't think I would ever be able to find a job that
would accept my limitations, but Bingopalace.com has allowed me to hold down
a full time job and earn a decent living. I love being a chat host and would
urge anyone who is in my kind of situation to do the same." Mary's situation
illustrates the underground employment boom occuring in the online bingo
sector. It demonstrates the power of the internet and provides a glimpse of
how people will be employed in the future. Call it telecommuting at its
finest. All Mary needs is a working computer and a stable internet
connection. She can live anywhere in the world and is a work for hire
employee responsible for her own tax obligations. The employer doesn't need
to provide office space or incur any of the typical overhead costs
associated with direct employees. Mary receives a work schedule and reports
to the site when required to work her shift and although she is monitored by
a supervisor, she is basically working autonomously. It is a unique
employment option for those who are not able to work in a traditional

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/10/2006 05:11:00 AM

Casino Windsor Bets on Detroit Bettors

As reported by the Detroit Free Press: "Starting today, metro Detroiters
will be able to cross the Canadian border to Windsor and place live bets on
sports, something that is legal in the United States only in Nevada. "Casino
Windsor officials are betting the move will attract sports-crazy metro
Detroiters to Legends, its new sports lounge, helping to ease the malaise
that has lingered over the Windsor casino business following travel
restrictions imposed after 9/11. ".Casino Windsor will offer betting in
hockey, professional football, baseball and college basketball and football,
said Chris Parrott, category brand manager at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming
Corp., which oversees casino operations in Canada."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/10/2006 05:11:00 AM

Casino Companies Heed to Road Work

Tens of millions of dollars are spent each year encouraging John and Jane
Traveler to make Las Vegas the site of their next getaway. But what happens
here won't stay here if people can't get here in the first place. And later
this month, a different Las Vegas message -- as in "Don't come here, at
least not driving the way you'd normally drive" -- will resonate in some of
this city's largest feeder markets. That curious reversal stems from a
series of weekend road closures needed to improve Interstate 15, the primary
roadway between Las Vegas and the Southern California metropolises of Los
Angeles, San Diego and all burgs between. Upcoming construction near Devore,
Calif., is expected to cause delays so lengthy that the California
Department of Transportation has asked travelers to find alternate routes,
even if those detours add hours and miles to the journey. CalTrans
encourages weekend travelers:
- To fly.

- To leave home earlier than normal and stay away longer.

- To remain at home altogether to avoid congestion.

The latter option is unacceptable to Southern Nevada, whose travel industry
relies on dollars from the Golden State. And to keep that cash flow flowing,
businesses here already are taking steps to pacify their Southern California

Harrah's Entertainment and Boyd Gaming Corp. will mail their customers
letters to alert them of the impending work. MGM Mirage might do the same,
while the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is readying an
advertising blitz of its own.

"The decision on how aggressive we'll be with an advertising campaign will
be made as the weekends progress," Terry Jicinsky, the convention
authority's senior vice president of marketing, said Thursday.

Newspaper, radio and Internet ad concepts are in development so they'll be
ready to go if needed, Jicinsky added.

CalTrans on Aug. 31 unveiled its long-awaited list of dates when it plans to
shut down portions of I-15 south of Cajon Pass. The closures are needed to
replace damaged pavement, add a northbound truck-climbing lane and improve
the roadway's shoulders and guardrails.

The first closures will affect some southbound lanes from Sept. 29 through
Oct. 1. A larger shutdown is scheduled the following weekend affecting
traffic in both directions of I-15 and I-215.

Similar shutdowns are scheduled each weekend next month. After a winter
hiatus, more will occur in 2007 as CalTrans wraps up its $26 million
improvement project.

Casino operators stressed that the road work is a short-term inconvenience
that will bring long-term benefits to the local economy. Last year, 29
percent, or about 11.2 million, of Las Vegas' nearly 38.6 million visitors
hailed from Southern California, according to visitor surveys conducted for
the convention authority.

Those surveys also indicated that 53 percent of all visitors last year
traveled by automobile or bus; that percentage of drivers probably was
higher among Southern Californians, given their proximity to the Silver

The Palms has become a haven for younger, well-heeled Southern Californians
looking to blow off a little weekend steam in the desert. Still, owner
George Maloof shrugged off the expected negatives associated with the I-15
work, adding he has no plans to offer special incentives to customers
affected by the delays.

"I don't know if anyone has a choice, really. You just live through it,"
Maloof said. "It's like expanding a casino. For a time it's inconvenient,
but at the end of the day it benefits everyone.

"Looking long-term, if (the I-15 improvements) are going to help, you've got
to get them done."

The closures will affect different properties in different ways.

Resorts such as Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas, Caesars Palace and The Venetian,
for example, rely more on fly-in customers than Excalibur or Imperial
Palace, for example. But every local property will be affected in some
manner, industry sources said.

Strong advance bookings at MGM Mirage's 10 Strip properties have that
company expecting only a "marginal" impact" from the construction, said
spokesman Gordon Absher. Its resorts' marketing departments are studying ads
and mailers that would alert guests of the road work, but no firm plans to
deploy them are set.

Instead, MGM Mirage might step up its sales efforts in areas unaffected by
the highway closures by placing more ads to increase visitor counts from
Phoenix, the Bay Area, Denver or Southern California's High Desert
communities north of the road work.

"Las Vegas is a compelling destination. People are going to come," Absher

Harrah's Entertainment, which operates eight hotel-casinos in Las Vegas and
Laughlin, has its investment relations director monitoring the impending
closures because of their potential financial effect.

Still, the company's western division president said this week he does not
believe the closures will deter many people from driving.

"It will be an inconvenience, but one most people will understand and allow
an extra half-hour for," Tom Jenkin said. "I think that most people are
tolerant (of delays), as evidenced by (heavy I-15 traffic encountered) each
holiday weekend."

Beyond the mailings, Harrah's won't do anything unusual for customers
affected by the congestion.

"We'll monitor customers' reactions when they're here, but hopefully people
will simply time their departures better" to avoid congestion, Jenkin said.

Unlike its Las Vegas competitors that have no Southern California
properties, Harrah's could steer traffic toward Rincon, an Indian casino it
operates just north of San Diego.

The Pechanga Resort & Casino, which sits just off of I-15 in Temecula,
Calif., has for months placed radio and TV ads enticing Southern
Californians with promises of easier accessibility vs. Las Vegas and other
nearby Indian casinos. Spokeswoman Ciara Coyle said the property's tag line
"The Shortcut to Vegas" should ring particularly true next month.

"It's hard to say if we'll see any measurable drive-in traffic from the
closures, but we'd certainly welcome the added business," said Coyle. She
would not rule out the use of ads specifically targeting the I-15 closures,
though Pechanga has none currently planned.

Boyd Gaming spokesman Rob Stillwell said his company also will advise
Southern Californians with October reservations of the roadwork in advance
of their departure. Nonetheless, Boyd's October bookings have not shown any
weakness so far.

Boyd Gaming won't offer incentives to entice customers to drive through the
construction, Stillwell said, but it might provide some sort of "goodwill
gesture" after the roadwork ends to win back visitors who were put off by
October's inconveniences.

Absher and Jicinsky praised CalTrans for its efforts to plan the closures
for periods that minimize their negative effect on Las Vegas.

"The consumer will come to understand that there's an end to this, and we
think that will work to our advantage," Jicinsky said.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/10/2006 05:10:00 AM

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Shuffle Master Posts Loss

For the second straight quarter the cost of acquiring an Australian slot
maker sent gaming equipment provider Shuffle Master to a quarterly loss,
even though the Las Vegas-based company's revenues grew almost 50 percent.
"We posted solid operating results and we've made tremendous progress in
creating a formidable global gaming equipment supplier," Shuffle Master
Chairman Mark Yoseloff said Thursday during the company's conference call to
announce third-quarter earnings for the period that ended July 31. Shuffle
Master, which supplies casinos with table games and table game-related
equipment, said its third-quarter earnings were $7.2 million or 20 cents per
share, down from $8.1 million or 22 cents per share for the same quarter a
year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call thought the company would
earn 24 cents per share. The integration process stemming from the company's
acquisition of Stargames in February, drove down earnings. Stargames, which
distributes Rapid Roulette, an electronic version of the table game, is
Australia's third-largest slot maker. Costs associated with the acquisition,
which increased Shuffle Master's operating expenses by $5.6 million,
affected results. Yoseloff said the company is working toward integrating
Stargames within Shuffle Master's corporate structure. Meanwhile, Shuffle
Master's overall revenues grew to $40.7 million in the quarter, a 49 percent
increase compared with $27.3 million a year ago. Cash flow, defined as
earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, was $19.2
million, a 26 percent increase compared with $15.2 million for the same
quarter of 2005.
Yoseloff said the loss per share would be short-lived as the company
continues with its integration process.

"We are confident that fiscal 2007 will see Shuffle Master's market presence
expand dramatically," Yoseloff said. "This includes a leading position in
the fastest growing gaming region in the world, the Pacific Rim, and
enormous opportunity in North America."

Shuffle Master Chief Financial Officer Richard Baldwin said the company's
international revenues will grow faster than domestic revenues during the
coming quarter.

Nevertheless, gaming expansion in the United States helped Shuffle Master.

In July, the company announced it was awarded a contract by the Delaware
Lottery in which 44 Table Master games, an electronic automated table game
that seats up to five players, will be installed in the state's three
lottery locations. The initial installations should begin by the end of the

The company announced earnings after trading on the Nasdaq National Market
closed Thursday.

Shares in the company closed at $26.93, off 85 cents or 3.06 percent. In
after-hours trading, shares in Shuffle Master fell to $25.60, down $1.33 or
4.94 percent.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/09/2006 05:09:00 AM

Poker Creation Sign Promo Agreement

Poker Creations, the leader in US-compliant online poker promotion
tournaments, today announced a multi-week poker promotion agreement with
Milwaukee's Best Light Beer and Casino Media Group, a multi-media agency
with offices in Toronto, New York and Las Vegas. Poker Creations, a wholly
owned division of NLOP, Inc. will provide online logistics for its second
nationwide promotion sponsored by Milwaukee's Best Light Beer a Miller
Brewing product. Beginning on Sept. 10, Milwaukee's Best Light will invite
legal drinking age consumers to visit its Web site to compete in an online
Texas Hold'em tournament. Seven grand prize winners will earn seats at the
2007 World Series of Poker, airfare and lodging. Consumers can look for 12
and 30-packs of MBL and 24-ounce MBL cans featuring Texas Hold'em
information and promotion rules at retail outlets. According to the New York
Times, there are more than 65 million poker players in the US. But,
live-money Internet poker sites are considered illegal. The US House of
Representatives recently adopted HR4777, 'The Internet Gaming Prohibition
Act'. This combined with US Attorneys arresting a UK-based sportsbook CEO,
have caused US-based brand owners and media properties to re-evaluate how to
align themselves with this burgeoning new audience. "We have developed a
US-legal promotional poker platform that allows sponsors to offer free
online poker to their constituencies," said Michael Clebnik, COO of Poker
Creations. "Our poker rooms offer exciting online poker play, but, unlike
offshore or remote sites, we offer contestants the opportunity to win
prizes, without gambling. This promotion with Milwaukee's Best Light
highlights our unique 'advergaming', software assimilating sponsor's brands
into the application in a myriad of ways, making the sponsor a truly
integrated part of the action." "We love the service that Poker Creations
provides," said Walter Marcinowski, vice president of CMG. "Our clients have
expressed extreme interest in the poker demographic and in offering
cross-media poker promotional campaigns and our partnership with Poker
Creations provides that for them."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/09/2006 05:09:00 AM

PinnacleSports.com Releases MLB Award Odds

With just over three weeks remaining in the regular season, not only are the
MLB pennant races heating up, but so is speculation about who'll win the
league's top awards. In both the American and National Leagues, the MVP
debate is becoming strongly contested along with the NL Cy Young, while the
AL Cy Young appears to be a virtual lock for a former winner. Now that the
contenders for the major MLB awards are becoming clearer, PinnacleSports.com
has released updated odds on the MVP and Cy Young winners in each league.
The largest sports betting site on the Internet, PinnacleSports.com
currently lists New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter as a slight favorite to
capture his first American League MVP Award at 3/2 odds (i.e., win $3 for
every $2 bet). Despite being the AL leader in homeruns and RBIs, the
oddsmakers believe David Ortiz's chances to win his first MVP run have taken
a hit from his recent absence from the lineup and is now listed at 2/1 to
become the first Red Sox MVP since 1995. The Twins Justin Morneau and White
Sox Jermaine Dye have been huge contributors to their respective teams'
playoff runs, but remain underdogs to walk away with the hardware at 13/2
and 15/2, respectively. PinnacleSports.com lists 2004 AL Most Valuable
Player Vladimir Guerrero as a 12/1 long shot to capture the honor for a
second time. In the National League, the online sportsbook lists Cardinals
first baseman Albert Pujols as a 5/4 favorite to win his second consecutive
MVP award. Following his recent power surge, Philadelphia's Ryan Howard has
taken over the Major League lead in HRs and RBIs, but remains a slight MVP
underdog at 7/5. Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran has silenced any
detractors this season by turning into a solid MVP contender with odds of
5/1. PinnacleSports.com has also handicapped the Cy Young race and currently
favors St. Louis' Chris Carpenter to repeat in the National League at 2/1,
followed closely by the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano at 3/1. Arizona's young ace
Brandon Webb has been installed at 9/2 while Braves' veteran John Smoltz and
Marlins' rookie Josh Johnson stand at 17/2 to be named the league's best
pitcher. Meanwhile, San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman is a 23/1 long shot to
become the latest relief pitcher to capture the award normally reserved for
starters. The American League Cy Young race paints a much clearer picture as
Minnesota's Johan Santana has distanced himself from all other candidates by
becoming the Major League leader in the three pitching "triple crown"
categories. Now leading the big leagues in wins, strikeouts and ERA, Santana
is listed as an overwhelming 1/5 favorite to win his second Cy Young.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/09/2006 05:09:00 AM

Pinnacle Extends Notes Offers

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. (the "Company") announced today that it has
extended the expiration date of its offer to purchase any and all of the
outstanding 12% Notes due 2001 (Cusip No. 740822AA9) and 13% Senior Exchange
Notes due 2001 (Cusip No. 740848AF3) issued by President Casinos, Inc.
(collectively, the "Notes") until 8:00 a.m., New York City time, on
September 13, 2006. The previously-scheduled expiration date was 8:00 a.m.,
New York City time, on September 7, 2006. Subject to the satisfaction of the
remaining tender offer conditions, the Company will accept and purchase any
Notes validly tendered on or prior to the extended expiration date. The
terms and conditions of the tender offer for the Notes are more particularly
described in the Company's Offer to Purchase dated July 19, 2006. As of
September 6, 2006, approximately $74.6 million, or about 99.5% of the
outstanding original principal amount of the Notes, has been tendered. Of
this amount, the Company has already purchased approximately $74.6 million
in original Notes validly tendered prior to or on August 29, 2006. The
Company is offering to purchase Notes at a purchase price of $809.07 per
$1,000.00 of original principal amount of the Notes. HSBC Bank USA, National
Association, is the depositary agent in connection with the Tender Offer.
D.F. King & Co., Inc. is the information agent for the Tender Offer.
Requests for copies of the Offer to Purchase and Letter of Transmittal
should be directed to the information agent at (800) 967-7635.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/09/2006 05:09:00 AM

Las Vegas Sands Reports Promotions

Las Vegas Sands Corp. today announced the promotions of several key
executives to further reflect the company's ever-expanding presence in Asia.
"As we move forward with our visionary expansion plans in Macao we have
taken the opportunity to bolster our management team," said William Weidner,
president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp. As part of an
overall plan to position LVS for its future growth, Stephen Weaver has been
named president of the company's Asian subsidiary. In this role Mr. Weaver
will be responsible for overseeing all of the company's efforts in Macao,
including real estate development transactions, retail mall leasing, and
other business-related activities. Mr. Weaver, who has been with the company
since 2005, will in addition assume the supervisory activities previously
performed by Frank McFadden, who has been relieved of his responsibilities.
Mr. Weaver has vast experience in all elements of property development and
business management, initially gained through 12 years practice as a
property lawyer, and subsequently in senior management positions with
Savills and Jones Lang LaSalle. Mark Brown, who joined the company in April,
has been named president of Sands Macao and The Venetian Macao Resort. With
nearly three decades of gaming and resort experience, Mr. Brown will oversee
all operational aspects of both The Venetian Macao Resort and the Sands
Macao. Mr. Brown started his career as a dealer at Resorts Hotel and Casino
and quickly worked his way up the Trump Entertainment Resorts management
ladder. During his tenure with Trump Entertainment he held a variety of
senior level positions and was chief operating officer, president and CEO of
Trump Hotels & Casino before joining Las Vegas Sands. Dr. Jorge Neto Valente
has been the company's managing director since its inception and will
continue to serve in that role as the company's opportunities expand. Dr.
Valente has played a key role in the company's success in Macao and will
continue to spearhead the company's legal and government relations
functions. Additionally, David Sylvester, who has been with the company
since 2005, has been promoted to vice president of retail development. Mr.
Sylvester has worked closely with Stephen Weaver for the past year and will
now be responsible for the company's ambitious retail plans for The Venetian
Macao and the Cotai Strip(TM). Mr. Sylvester has over 22 years of experience
in development and managing of shopping centers in Asia Pacific. Over the
course of his career, he has been involved in more than 40 major retail
developments. Having started his career with Westfield and Lend Lease, Mr.
Sylvester went on to head up Jones Lang LaSalle's International Retail
Leasing for Asia, based in Hong Kong. His most recent appointment before
joining the company was as Group General Manager of GIC's retail assets in

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/09/2006 05:09:00 AM

Diamondhead Casino, Trump Entertainment Extend Due Diligence

Diamondhead Casino Corporation and Trump Entertainment Resorts (Nasdaq:
TRMP) announced today that they have extended to October 23, 2006, the terms
of a letter of intent signed on June 8, 2006, pursuant to which the parties
intend to form a joint venture partnership to develop, build and operate a
destination casino resort in Diamondhead, Mississippi. The parties are
pleased with the progress, accomplishments, and results obtained thus far
and are currently in the process of preparing a master plan and preliminary
project design concepts. While the parties have completed substantial due
diligence, including a new mean high water line survey and other engineering
surveys and studies, additional time is required to complete the required
legal and remaining due diligence. The joint venture would cover a minimum
of forty acres within a 404-acre tract of land owned by Mississippi Gaming
Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Diamondhead. The Diamondhead tract
fronts Interstate 10 for approximately two miles and the Bay of St. Louis
for approximately two miles and is located in Hancock County, Mississippi.
The property is zoned as a Special Use District-Waterfront Gaming District
by Hancock County. On October 17, 2005, following Hurricane Katrina,
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour signed a bill into law that permits
casinos to be built on land up to 800-feet from the mean high water line of
certain bodies of water. The new law applies to the Diamondhead property.
The formation of a joint venture and development of this project are subject
to certain conditions including, but not limited to, further due diligence
and receipt of regulatory and other approvals and permits.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/09/2006 05:09:00 AM

Friday, September 08, 2006

Arkansas' Gambling Rules Reviewed

As reported by the Arkansas News Bureau: "State legislators Wednesday
reviewed new rules and regulations governing booming natural gas exploration
in western Arkansas and expanded gambling at the state's two pari-mutuel
racetracks. ".During Wednesday's meeting, the committee reviewed a series of
rules and regulations for implementing Act 1151 of 2005, which authorized
wagering on electronic games of skill for the first time in the state at
Oaklawn Park thoroughbred track at Hot Springs and Southland Greyhound Park
at West Memphis. "Byron Freeland, attorney for the Arkansas Racing
Commission, told lawmakers the regulations were modeled after existing
regulations in Oklahoma and Florida. A national consulting firm also was
hired to develop the rules. "The new rules deal with the operation of
electronic games of skill, licensing and service, employee licenses,
privilege fees, underage patrons and employees, days and hours of operation,
accounting and internal controls, security and franchise holders, and
technical specifications. "Last week, Southland President Barry Baldwin told
the Racing Commission he expects the games to more than double the weekly
purses offered by the dog track."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/08/2006 07:49:00 AM

Maine Casino Complex Budget Grows

As reported by the Bangor Daily News: "The project budget for Penn National
Gaming Inc.'s permanent gaming complex has grown from $72 million to $90
million, members of the company's development team said Wednesday during a
briefing for city officials. "'That's not driven by our development
agreement with the city; that's our commitment to Bangor,' Penn National
spokesman Eric Schippers said after a presentation for members of the City
Council's business and economic development committee. ".The proposed
permanent gambling complex would replace the interim Hollywood Slots at
Bangor facility that the company opened in November with 475 slot machines
at the former Miller's Restaurant building on Main Street. "The new, larger
Hollywood Slots is slated to open in mid-2008, Hollywood Slots' General
Manager Jon Johnson said. "The new gambling facility will include, among
other things, a 116,000-square-foot gaming facility housing 1,475 slots, a
1,500-space four-story parking garage."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/08/2006 07:48:00 AM

Betfair Sponsors Aero GP

As reported by the Brand Republic: "Betfair has sign up as the title sponsor
for the first event in a series of airborne races known as the Aero GP.
"Aero GP pits multiple aircraft against each other at the same time,
undertaking a combination of racing, air-to-air combat and target bombing.
Points are awarded across the three disciplines, providing pilots with a
true test of flying ability. ".Betfair, the betting service that lets
customers set their own odds, has just set up an office in Malta to run its
online poker and games products and said that the nature of airborne racing
makes it a good fit with gambling."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/08/2006 07:48:00 AM

Second Online Exec Arrested

As reported by Reuters: "The United States has arrested a second Internet
gaming executive, adding to fears it is cracking down on the lucrative
industry and sparking share price falls on Thursday that wiped over $1.5
billion off the market value of the sector. "Online bookmaker Sportingbet
Plc said its chairman, Peter Dicks, had been detained by U.S. authorities,
mirroring the detention in July of another online gaming CEO on racketeering
charges. "Dicks was arrested on Internet gambling charges as part of an
ongoing investigation into Sportingbet.com, said Senior Trooper Dwight
Robinette of the Louisiana State Police. ".Shares across the $12
billion-a-year industry fell sharply, with industry leader PartyGaming
plunging as much as 19 percent before closing 9.8 percent lower at 105-3/4
pence. 888 Holdings Plc dropped 15.8 percent."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/08/2006 07:48:00 AM

Blackpool Casino Bid Faces Legal Challenge

As reported by the BBC: "The company which runs Blackpool's largest
amusement arcade is launching a legal challenge against the town's bid for a
super casino licence. "The Noble Organisation, owners of Coral Island, has
begun High Court legal action, claiming the development is contrary to local
planning guidelines. "The Casino Advisory Panel will decide by the end of
the year which of the six UK towns will get the casino licence. "It will
meet in Blackpool on Friday to hear from supporters and opposers."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/08/2006 07:48:00 AM

Tribe Shares Survey's Results

As reported by the Independent: "Canal Fulton City Manager Mark Cozy
believes a community survey conducted by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of
Oklahoma was designed with one purpose in mind: Marketing. "Cozy also said
that many Canal Fulton residents are undecided about the tribe's plans for a
casino resort, which proponents say will bring jobs and revenue to the city
of about 5,000. "The Shawnee surveyed 250 registered Canal Fulton voters,
and released highlights of that survey at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
".Among the results released, a majority of participants identified school
funding, high taxes and government spending as major problems and concerns
in the community. Twelve percent of participants said the casino and tribe
were major problems and concerns."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/08/2006 07:48:00 AM

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Gaming and Gambling Industry Looks to Europe for Future Growth

Traditionally the US has been the trail blazer when it comes to both on and
offline gaming and gambling, but with the recent Betonsports saga the
European market has become more important than ever for companies looking to
continue aggressive growth strategies and increase market share. And with
the merger of both on and offline activity becoming ever more prominent it
is with great interest that Bullet Business have launched a brand new
industry meeting point that brings together the on and offline industries -
Bullet Business Europe (London, Dec. 6-7, 2006)
(www.bulletbusiness.com/europe06) Industry leaders such as John Anderson
(CEO, 888), Mark Blandford (CEO, Sportingbet), Phil Fraser (CEO, Which
Bingo), Matthias Hein, (Treasurer, The European Casino Association) and John
Shepherd (Director of Corporate Communications, PartyGaming) are already
confirmed to speak. 6 co-located events, 450+ attendees, under one roof With
6 co-located topic focus conferences, an audience of 450+ attendees, Expo,
Charity Auction and Industry Poker Tournament (IPT'06) the event follows hot
on the heels of last years sell out success from Bullet Business - Poker
Summit Europe. The event offers a unique structure of 6 summits, conferences
and workshops on the most important issues in the business; Poker, Land
Based Casinos, Online Bingo, New Product Development, Marketing and
Legislation. Michael Setters, Global Events Director at Bullet Business
explains; 'Research indicated that there was a real need to bring the on and
offline markets together across the gaming and gambling industry. The
synergies are massively important and of course the expectation of the
European market has been heightened in recent months making the event even
more pertinent'.
In-depth information for individual job roles

Due to the unique focus of each individual summit, conference or workshop,
attendees can be sure that they will receive in-depth information on their
specific job role be it strategic or operational. With two day, one day and
workshop passes available at varying rates there is huge opportunity for
everyone in the business to attend, from Managers right through to CEOs.

Charity Auction and Industry Poker Tournament

But its not all work, work, work, and as we know with the gaming and
gambling industry fun is quite definitely on the agenda, The Bullet Business
Xmas Party will include a Charity Auction supported by Gamcare and the 2nd
annual Industry Poker Tournament with online qualifiers taking place already
at www.bulletbusiness.com/IPT.

Bullet Business Europe runs December 6th - 7th at the Business Design Centre
in London, UK. Full information can be found at

FC Group [First Conferences Ltd] is a UK based publisher, event origination
and marketing company. Operating internationally in multiple vertical
industries the company is known for its high-level summits and industry news

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/07/2006 07:35:00 AM

Wyandotte Tribe to Appeal Ruling

As reported by the Kansas City Star: "The Justice Department said Tuesday
that it would appeal a federal judge's ruling that appeared to permit a
tribal casino to resume operating in downtown Kansas City, Kan. "In July,
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson overturned a 2004 decision by the
National Indian Gaming Commission that disqualified the land for tribal
gambling. "While upholding several underlying elements of the commission's
decision, Robinson overturned its ultimate conclusion, ruling that the
purchase of the half-acre tract in 1996 by the Oklahoma-based Wyandotte
Nation amounted to settlement against the United States of a land claim
whose roots reached back to 1842. "City and state officials have challenged
the land's tribal reservation status since it was granted by the federal

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/07/2006 07:34:00 AM

Stardust Takes Care of its Employees

Stardust employees received official word Tuesday that the closing date of
the venerable Strip casino will be Nov. 1 - an announcement driven by equal
parts courtesy by Boyd Gaming Corp. and federal law. The WARN Act, which
dates from 1989, requires large employers to give workers at least 60 days'
notice of a mass layoff. At the Stardust, more than 1,600 employees have
been forced to decide whether to retire or look for work elsewhere. But the
memo, signed by Chief Executive Bill Boyd, was hardly the stuff of legal
jargon. It was a short, bittersweet testament to the "hard work and
dedication" of the rank-and-file employees who made the Stardust "one of Las
Vegas' great properties for nearly half a century. "While this was a very
difficult decision, we believe that it is one that will serve our company
well in the future and will ultimately make us a stronger company for our
employees and customers alike." The Stardust, the largest Strip casino to
close in more than a decade, turned 48 in July. Incidentally, the closing
also marks the last year that Boyd's annual employee service awards, which
will take place this month, will be hosted by the Stardust. "These are very
emotional times," Boyd Gaming spokesman Rob Stillwell said. "The great thing
is that while we are saying goodbye to the Stardust, in many ways it is a
new beginning for our company." The letter served more to prepare for the
final chapter of the storied casino than to deliver news. In contrast with
some of Las Vegas' more abrupt, rumor-filled casino closures, the transition
process for the Stardust began in January, when Boyd announced it would
close the property by the end of the year to make way for Echelon Place, a
collection of resort hotels and a convention center expected to open by
The closing date is earlier than the company expected because many workers
had been leaving for new jobs, making it more difficult for the Stardust to
operate, Stillwell said.

By midyear, the company had begun the process of placing workers into other
jobs. For many longtime Stardust employees, this isn't a simple process.

Both union and nonunion workers are receiving refresher training or new job
skills for similar positions at newer properties that have different
standards. Competition for good jobs remains stiff, employment experts say.

Boyd surprised Strip competitors by offering severance packages of $1,000 to
$10,000 to the several hundred workers who intend to stay until the
property's close and then retire.

The Culinary Union, which represents about 900 workers, began training
workers in August for jobs elsewhere.

Of the remaining 1,000 or so workers who aren't organized, a few hundred
have been placed or have accepted jobs elsewhere, mostly with Boyd in Las
Vegas. Boyd owns the Coast Casinos chain as well as the Sam's Town,
California, Main Street, Fremont, Eldorado and Jokers Wild casinos. The
remaining workers expect to receive severance money.

Industry observers are praising the company for practicing what some
employers simply preach - making good by their employees.

With consolidation and the emergence of giant gaming companies, employers
are putting a greater emphasis on employee relations.

With that in mind, the Stardust memo was intended as a sentimental send-off
to preserve employee goodwill.

And for good reason.

Unlike past decades, when single operators closed their properties, Boyd has
the resources to shift many workers into existing job openings. The
well-planned Stardust closing process, some say, will become a model for
other employers.

"The Stardust has really done an excellent job of setting a standard," said
Arte Nathan, chief human resources officer for Wynn Resorts. "There wasn't
much before that - just people who were trying to do the best they could" to
help laid-off workers.

For instance, when Steve Wynn bought and then closed the Desert Inn in 2000,
he couldn't shift those workers into other jobs because he had sold off his
other properties. Wynn also did not offer severance payments for all
retiring rank-and-file workers.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/07/2006 07:34:00 AM

Sheffield Council Makes Job Claims

As reported by the BBC News: "A super-casino in Sheffield would generate
14,000 jobs in the city over 20 years, it has been claimed. "Sheffield City
Council quoted the figure at a meeting of the Casino Advisory Panel to
discuss the impact of a Las Vegas style super-casino. ".Council chief
executive Sir Bob Kerslake said Sheffield offered an ideal location to
'pilot' the idea of a super-casino. "...Sir Bob told the panel the casino
would directly create 1,500 jobs in an area ripe for regeneration. "But he
said the long-term impact on the area would be much greater. He said that as
well as 14,000 jobs over 20 years, the casino would generate £217m in extra
economic activity in the same period."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/07/2006 07:34:00 AM

Bowman Launches September Promotion

Forget any ideas of staying in and huddling round the fire while rain and
leaves fall from the sky. Bowman International, the name to trust in
wagering since 1985, is making sure that this September will be one to
remember. Firstly, Bowmans will be exhibiting on stand 21 at the Casino
Affiliate Convention in Las Vegas, which runs from the 14th to the 15th of
September. The convention is the largest industry affiliate conference
covering marketing and advertising for online gambling businesses. Remaining
in Vegas until the 16th, Bowmans will use the backdrop of this major event
to exclusively launch their new affiliate programme which now includes
poker. Under the deal, on-line businesses that refer customers to Bowmans
Poker with a simple link or banner can earn up to 35% commission on the net
rake. "Anyone involved in online gambling will want to be at this event and
our presence offers a superb opportunity for companies to meet their
affiliate representatives face-to-face", says Geoff Dallennes, Bowmans
Affiliate Manager. The second September treat from Bowmans is the launch of
'Reduced Juice Fridays' throughout the regular NFL season. Starting from
September 9th, on each Friday of the season between noon and 6pm PST,
Bowmans will reduce the juice - the amount charged when placing bets, on
sides by 5% on all NFL games on the weekend's card. Steve Rapp, Bowmans
Sportsbook spokesman explains: "If a customer places a bet in time for the
weekend at Bowmans.com, in standard cases they would only have to lay down
1.05 instead of 1.10 as an example. So Bowmans reduced juice Fridays mean
goodbye to the traditional 10%. Now players can get the same amount of
action for a lot less juice!"

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/07/2006 07:34:00 AM

Bluff Runs Readers Choice Survey

Bluff Magazine, America's leading poker magazine, is taking online voting
for the first ever Bluff Magazine's Annual Readers Choice Awards. Categories
for the 2006 Bluff Reader's Choice Awards include: Most Entertaining Player
to Watch, Best All-Around Online Poker Room, Best Online Customer Service,
Best Live Poker Tournaments and Best Poker Commentary. Online voting
commenced Thursday January 12th and will close on Oct 20th. The results will
be revealed in Bluff Magazine's World Series of Poker preview issue that
hits newsstands on Dec 20th. Bluff Magazine readers and poker fans worldwide
can participate in Bluff Magazine's Annual Readers Choice Awards by visiting
BluffMagazine.com or directly by visiting BluffMagazine.com/readersChoice/.
Bluff Magazine will be randomly giving away an IPod Nano to five voters.
"Bluff Magazine is once again at the forefront of the poker industry by
giving their readers influence and a voice in shaping the future of poker.
"Never before have poker players been able to deem, "The best of the best,"
in over 20 different poker categories. What this means is the Bluff Magazine
awards will be a true testament to the companies who receive various
accolades," said Eric Morris, Co-President of Bluff Magazine.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/07/2006 07:34:00 AM

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Recovering From Katrina: Coming Inland, Prospering in Biloxi

In the days following Hurricane Katrina, state officials and gaming
authorities assessed the damage the storm inflicted on the Gulf Coast's
lucrative casino industry. It became clear to many that a controversial step
had to be taken; moving the casinos away from the shoreline onto land to
protect the multimillion-dollar investments should another storm hit here.
What wasn't anticipated, however, was the outpouring of interest that casino
operators would have in joining the Gulf Coast's casino reconstruction.
State lawmakers passed an emergency measure in a special legislative session
two months after the hurricane, allowing casinos to be 800 feet from the
water's edge. The bill, signed immediately into law by Gov. Haley Barbour,
opened the floodgates once again, but this time in a positive way. Since the
Katrina storm surge subsided, eight casinos have reopened; seven alone in
Biloxi. A ninth casino will open in Gulfport in a few weeks. Two more
casinos are in various stages of construction. Almost a half-dozen proposals
have been cleared by gaming regulators and await other state and local
approvals. Meanwhile, proposals for new casinos seem to cross Mississippi
Gaming Commission Executive Director Larry Gregory's desk weekly.
Barbour lobbied lawmakers to pass the emergency measure, opposed by
anti-gambling groups and religious leaders who said casinos could pop up
throughout the state. The governor said all of Mississippi benefits by the
Gulf Coast building boom.

"The casinos are an enormous taxpayer, both to the state and locally,"
Barbour said. "They are a very important part of these communities' fiscal
health. But most importantly, the casinos bring people to Mississippi who
otherwise wouldn't come here. That's good for our image because
Mississippi's image has been marred by a different thing. People come to
Mississippi and they like it here. The people are warm and hospitable."

Before Katrina, Mississippi was the nation's third-largest producer of
gaming revenue; figures topped $2.77 billion in 2004. More than $1.2 billion
came from the 12 Gulf Coast casinos. The casino closures took an estimated
$500,000 a day away from state and local tax coffers.

Barbour said the state keeps about two-thirds of all gaming taxes with the
other third going to local governments. In all, gaming taxes account for
just less than 10 percent of the state's budget.

As casinos reopened, revenue generation recovered quickly.

Three Biloxi casinos were open in January and reported a combined $64.2
million in gaming revenue, more than half of what 12 casinos produced in
January 2005. In July, five casinos reported $74.4 million in gaming
revenues, 75 percent of what 12 casinos reported the same month in 2005.

The revenue figures are even more impressive when it's factored in that
customers have to go out of their way to reach the Biloxi peninsula. Two
Highway 90 bridges that connected the casino corridor with Ocean Springs to
the east and Bay St. Louis to the west were washed away by the hurricane and
won't be open until next year.

Obstacles notwithstanding, it now seems that everyone wants a piece of the

"The development proposals are reflective of two reasons, the legislation
passed allowing land-based casinos and the gaming revenue numbers coming out
in the recent months," Gregory said. "Once the numbers started coming in, I
was seeing people in my office every week."

Beau Rivage's opening last week after a yearlong, $550 million renovation,
is expected to spur new gaming growth on the Gulf Coast. Beau Rivage, which
cost $800 million when it originally opened in 1999, had the same effect
seven years ago.

Harrah's Entertainment reopened part of the Grand Casino Biloxi on Aug. 18,
bringing back 500 hotel rooms. The property's former convention space and
part of the pool deck were turned into a land-based casino that replaced its
hurricane-destroyed gaming barge.

In addition to the Grand Casino site, Harrah's acquired the
hurricane-wrecked Casino Magic next to the Grand from Pinnacle
Entertainment. When the deal closes in November, coupled with other adjacent
land purchases, Harrah's will have more than 50 acres to design around.

Anthony Sanfilippo, president of Harrah's central division, said it will be
year's end at the earliest when the company is ready to disclose a master
plan for the site. However, he wouldn't discount two casinos populating the
development with a combined investment of more than $1 billion.

"When you see how the casino market has come back in Biloxi, our site gives
us a tremendous footprint from which to build on," Sanfilippo said. "The
reopening of Beau Rivage is a great signal for the market. Obviously, we
want to see how they progress."

MGM Mirage Chairman Terry Lanni said he hopes rival Harrah's spends $1
billion or even $2 billion on the company's Biloxi site. That type of
investment, Lanni said, can only benefit every property in what is going to
be a changing market.

"Frankly, the Beau was the place to be, with all due respects to the other
casinos," Lanni said. "At the time, the others were not very nice
properties. I think the average investment was under $200 million. If
Harrah's spends $2 billion, they are bringing new people to the market."

At the other end of the spectrum is the privately held Treasure Bay, a
floating casino that had been themed as a pirate ship. The boat was
demolished after the storm, but the casino is being reincarnated as a
boutique-style property, said Susan Varnes, the chief executive of the
casino's privately held company.

A 250-room hotel, across Highway 90 from where the casino once sat, is being
renovated. A temporary slot machine arcade has been situated in part of the
hotel lobby and restaurant.

Varnes said an expansion will open in October that will include 450 slot
machines in 22 table games.

"We're going after a different audience," Varnes said. "We're looking to
attract a customer that wants a smaller, more intimate setting. We believe
that how Biloxi is changing, there will be room for smaller properties."

Change also took place in Bay St. Louis, where Penn National Gaming reopened
the former Casino Magic as Hollywood Casino, modeled after other company
casinos under the same brand. The property was reconfigured into a
40,000-square-foot land-based casino with more than 900 slot machines and 20
table games.

Hollywood spokesman Marty Moore said plans are being developed for a casino
expansion, along with a hotel addition. The property has 291 hotel rooms; a
second building with another 200 rooms was damaged by the hurricane and
subsequently demolished.

"Getting open and getting our employees back to work was important for the
community," Moore said. "We've been the only casino in Bay St. Louis and
this is an area that was hit pretty hard."

Isle of Capri Casinos may be giving the Hollywood Casino some competition in
a few years. The company, which operates Biloxi's first casino on Highway
90, wants to develop a second property, this time on Interstate 10 at the
edge of the Hancock County border.

Isle of Capri President Tim Hinkley said the casinos, 30 miles apart, would
serve two different markets.

Billionaire developer Donald Trump's gaming division is exploring putting a
casino in Harrison County just opposite the Isle of Capri site, while the
American Indian tribe that operates the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut,
wants to build in Biloxi on the site of the destroyed President Casino.

For Barbour, new development not only means new jobs, but increased tax
revenue to the state and local governments.

"Gaming was a large employer on the coast with about 17,000 workers before
the storm," Barbour said. "It's pretty clear there will be more than that
when the casinos fully return."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/06/2006 07:59:00 AM

Barstow Casino Compact Must Wait

As reported by the Desert Dispatch: "The City Council did not meet Monday
night due to the Labor Day holiday, and the next meeting will be at 7 p.m.
on Sept. 18. That will be the only Council meeting this month. "On Thursday,
the state Legislature closed shop until January without passing legislation
to approve a gaming compact that would bring an Indian casino-resort here.
The Los Coyotes Band of Cahilla and Cupeno Indians and the Big Lagoon
Rancheria Tribe hope to build a dual casino-resort here but need the
approval of the Legislature. "In the last days of the legislative session,
members of Los Coyotes began a fast at the state Capitol that they hoped
would convince the Legislature to ratify a gaming agreement, or compact,
according to Tom Shields, public relations agent for the band."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/06/2006 07:59:00 AM

Dome Advertising Stirs up Controversy

As reported by the UK Time: "The supercasinos storm has taken another
controversial turn after it emerged that the owners of the Dome are already
advertising for croupiers even before they have secured a licence. "The
website run by Dome owners Anschutz Entertainment Group, whose boss Philip
Anschutz entertained John Prescott at his California ranch, details 20
different recruitment opportunities at the site, including 'croupier work'.
"The revelation will strengthen suspicions that AEG's close links to
Government mean it has already secured a head start over the six other
councils bidding to run Britain's first supercasino or has even been given
private assurances that it will get the licence. "The head of the Casinos
Advsisory Panel, which is supposed to select the winner, has already
admitted that the Dome has a head start because building work on the casino
has already begun at the Dome, now called The O2."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/06/2006 07:59:00 AM

The Big Easy Gets a Big Boost from Return of Casinos, Gamblers

At Johnny White's Sports Bar, a dingy French Quarter saloon at the corner of
Bourbon Street and Orleans Avenue, bartender Peter Gregory is convinced that
casinos, especially Harrah's New Orleans, are helping the city recover from
the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Money won, he said, fuels the local
economy. "We've had a few customers come in the bar and buy a round of
drinks for the house because they won $1,500 or so at Harrah's," Gregory
said. "I'm just guessing, but it seems to me Harrah's reopening has helped
the French Quarter." Harrah's New Orleans, a 115,000-square-foot casino at
the end of Canal Street, is Louisiana's largest casino and the state's
biggest generator of gaming revenue, accounting for close to 15 percent of
the overall total. It is also one of the few places along Canal Street that
was relatively untouched by the hurricane-induced floods that decimated
parts of the city on Aug. 29, 2005. The French Quarter was also not affected
by the flooding. Much of New Orleans remains in flux a year after Katrina.
Housing is still a challenge; more than half of the city's residents whose
homes were destroyed have fled the area. Rebuilding is at a crawl and many
of the flooded-out homes remain, decaying and overcome by weeds. On Canal
Street, in the heart of downtown, hotels, restaurants, retail shops and
other businesses are struggling to recover. The Ritz-Carlton won't reopen
until December. The tony Shops at Canal Place, across from Harrah's,
reopened earlier this year, but the mall's anchor tenant, Saks Fifth Avenue,
won't be ready until Nov. 17.
Harrah's New Orleans reopened in February during Mardi Gras and the casino
is already reporting revenue that exceeds its pre-Katrina earnings. In July,
Harrah's had a gaming win of $31.6 million, 7 percent higher than July 2005.

Two other New Orleans casinos, Pinnacle Entertainment's Boomtown and Boyd
Gaming Corp.'s Treasure Chest, have also been reporting double-digit
increases in gaming revenue since reopening within seven weeks of the storm

Overall, the New Orleans riverboat casinos are up almost 33 percent in
gaming win from 2005.

But Harrah's New Orleans, adjacent to the French Quarter, has seemingly
helped bring back the tourists.

Moe Bader, who manages the Oceana Louisiana Grill on Conti Street in the
French Quarter, said business seemed to pick up once Harrah's returned. His
restaurant reopened two weeks after Katrina to sparse crowds.

Harrah's executives said the casino's reopening was advertised to a regional
audience and its database of more than 40 million customers.

"They told everyone that they were reopened, and that was good for all of
New Orleans," Bader said. "It's just like when the casinos reopened in
Mississippi. That helped bring people to the Gulf Coast. So, it would seem
Harrah's helped bring people back here."

Tourists have seemingly rejoined the locals populating the businesses in the
French Quarter, albeit at a much slower clip than before the storm.

On a steamy Sunday evening just before the hurricane's anniversary, music --
the sounds of jazz, blues, zydeco -- flowed out to Bourbon Street from the
many clubs and bars. The souvenir and specialty shops had returned for
business along with the walk-up daiquiri bars and triple-X-rated burlesque

"It's still pretty slow, even for summer," said Raven, who doesn't use a
last name, a sales person at Marie Laveraur's House of Voodoo on Bourbon

The hurricane spawned new, somewhat questionable businesses. French Quarter
shops sell T-shirts emblazoned with vulgarities directed toward the Federal
Emergency Management Agency. Other shirts make fun of the highly publicized
looting that took place after the flooding and others insult the New Orleans
Police Department.

One touring company sells bus tours to the hurricane damage.

"Yeah, that's just what I want to do," an elderly male tourist commented to
his wife while looking at the company's brochure.

Some of the French Quarter's best-known restaurants are still on limited
schedules. K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen on Chartres Street is only open from
5:30 to

9:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday; Galatore's on Bourbon Street reopened to
an abbreviated schedule on New Year's Day and returned to prehurricane hours

Doc Lewis, a street performer playing his trombone for tips in front of
Brennan's on Royal Street, said the city is slowly coming back.

"Day by day, it seems like there are few more people," Lewis said. "It takes
time, man, but it's New Orleans. People want to come here."

That's a statement Anthony Sanfilippo is banking on. As president of
Harrah's Central Division, he's responsible for Harrah's New Orleans and the
company's other properties in the Gulf Coast.

While the monthly revenue the casino has been reporting are encouraging, the
opening this month of a 450-room, 26-story Harrah's hotel, on Poydras Street
across from the casino, will signal a second rebirth.

At a cost of $150 million, the project also includes shops and restaurants
along Fulton Street, which was closed to vehicle traffic, creating a Bourbon
Street-style pedestrian path. Large statues of jazz musicians are the
centerpiece of the walkway. A Chef Todd English restaurant, Riche, will open
in the fall.

Construction began before the hurricane, but the storm set back the timeline
by almost a year.

The casino reopened with 1,600 employees and had increased to 2,300 workers
by August.

"New Orleans is slowly coming back," Sanfilippo said. "As more hotel rooms
open, we think the convention business will return, and that's good for
everybody in question."

At Pat O'Brien's Bar on St. Peter Street, a French Quarter institution since
the 1700s and famous for its potent drinks, manager Sid Seruntine thinks the
convention business is the key to reviving tourism.

Seruntine, who has managed the open-air bar since 1991, said Harrah's has
helped bring customers back to the city.

"The convention traffic is what really drives customers," Seruntine said.
"Once more of the hotels reopen, they'll need workers and that's the biggest
problem, because there's not enough housing in the city."

Casinos were the first entertainment venues to reopen in posthurricane New
Orleans, but despite the increases in gaming revenue, Sanfilippo doesn't
think Harrah's will see additional competition.

A floating casino operated by Columbia Sussex Corp. was destroyed in the
storm. The company is rebuilding the boat but moving the gaming license
south and out of New Orleans.

Despite a push by some local groups to get Pinnacle Entertainment to move
one of its recently acquired casino licenses from Lake Charles in western
Louisiana to New Orleans, Sanfilippo doesn't think it will happen.

"If the business was there, don't you think Columbia Sussex would have kept
their boat in New Orleans?" Sanfilippo said. "For now, I think the New
Orleans casino market is at capacity."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/06/2006 07:59:00 AM

Glasgow Bid Boasts Jobs, Tourists

As reported by the Herald: "A supercasino in Glasgow would create 2500 jobs
and attract more than half a million extra visitors each year, it was
claimed yesterday. "Glasgow City Council quoted the figures in the third of
a series of meetings on the merits of the seven venues competing to host the
UK's sole supercasino. "The public hearing, held in Glasgow yesterday,
follows meetings in London and Cardiff last week. They have been organised
by the Casino Advisory Panel - the body charged by the government with
advising on the location of the casino - to discuss the impact a supercasino
would have in the areas. ".If Glasgow is successful, the casino would be
built on one of four possible sites in the city: Glasgow Harbour, the
Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, next to Ibrox stadium or behind
the St Enoch Centre shopping mall. However, Mr Purcell said any development
would be much more than simply a gambling establishment."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/06/2006 07:59:00 AM

Inside Gaming Column: Las Vegas Tourism Could be a little Insecure

New national surveys seem to show Americans' fascination with Las Vegas
could be waning. Americans still name the city as a top vacation
destination, but they say security at airports will keep them closer to
home. The cost of living has them looking for ways to save. Also, gaming may
be losing its luster. On the other hand, the same surveys show that those
with discretionary money to spend are looking for longer vacations without
heading overseas, which might augur well for Las Vegas. The results are
mixed, but security hassles seem more and more to be the central issue for
travelers. The simplest solution to traffic clogging the resort corridor
would also have the biggest effect, experts say. Still, insiders say it's a
"nonstarter." The idea is to turn the Strip into a one-way thoroughfare
north. In return, Paradise Road or Swenson Street would become one-way in
the other direction. Insiders say the problem is it would simply move
congestion from one street to another. But look at Waikiki, where a similar
traffic reconfiguration has worked for 15 years, and you might wonder.
Operators complain that this move would turn one of the greatest pedestrian
experiences in the world into a rush-hour race of traffic, but it's still
the only way to significantly alleviate Strip gridlock.

Giving poker a run for its money, the 10-episode first season of the
Ultimate Blackjack Tour begins on CBS on Sept. 16. Bringing together 14 of
the "most dangerous card players on the planet," the "juiced up" game will
lead into the network's college football broadcasts. If any gambling program
has had a winning broadcast slot, this is it, marketing gurus say.
Participants will include poker greats Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Johnny
Chan, David "Devilfish" Ulliott and Layne Flack, as well as World Blackjack
Champion Kenny Einiger and blackjack stars "Hollywood" Dave Stann and
Anthony Curtis, all sweating out 30 high-stress hands, with three
eliminations and the audience seeing the hole card. At the end, the player
with the most chips wins.

Readers say that while the statistical odds of getting a royal flush in "Let
It Ride" is 1 in 649,740, as we recently reported, it's not as hard as you'd
think to get "dealt royal." One reader was dealt a royal on a 50-play video
poker machine. He got 50 simultaneous royal flushes for a $10,000 total
jackpot. IGT, which makes the machine, told him this had happened before
with a few other players. There are also reports of "dealt royals" on
triple-play, five-play and 10-play video poker machines. And yes, there have
been royals dealt on single-play video poker machines. Stories like these
are what makes video poker the crack cocaine of gambling.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/06/2006 07:59:00 AM

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pennsylvania Slot Plan Clears Hurdle

As reported by the Evening Sun: "The Straban Township supervisors
recommended to themselves approval of preliminary plans Thursday night for a
slots parlor at the intersection of routes 15 and 30. "It might sound funny,
but the supervisors were acting as the planning commission, which ordinarily
makes recommendations to the board. But they were left with the job when
commissioners unanimously recused themselves, citing bias. The developer had
complained one commission member was against the casino. "Supervisor Troy
Martin said it's safe to assume the board will follow its own recommendation
to approve the plans at its meeting Monday. "Crossroads Gaming Resort and
Spa LP submitted the plans to the township in late March. The plans call for
a hotel, spa, restaurants, a parking garage and a parlor with up to 5,000
slots to be built. "They decided to approve the plans Monday with one
condition - that Crossroads modify a parking garage to reflect the most
recent road design configuration."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/05/2006 06:32:00 AM

More Casinos Possible for Iowa

As reported by the Des Moines Register: "Pressure is building for state
regulators to issue more casino licenses, even before construction is
finished on Iowa's newest riverboat gambling operations. "The Iowa Racing
and Gaming Commission, which met Thursday in Johnston, agreed to meet in
March to discuss whether it should award additional casino licenses. The
issue has become a topic in this fall's governor's race. In addition, two
more counties have emerged as potential sites for new casinos. ".The racing
and gaming panel agreed Thursday to meet on March 1 at Terrible's Lakeside
Casino in Osceola to discuss awarding more casino licenses. This will give
regulators more time to study how some of the new casinos are performing
financially and will give two newly appointed commissioners time to evaluate
the issue, said Commissioner Gerald Bair of Ankeny."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/05/2006 06:32:00 AM

Casino Windsor Offers Sports Betting

As reported by the Detroit News: "Casino Windsor will begin offering sports
betting next Friday -- marking the first time Metro Detroiters will have
access to live sports wagering. "Looking to tap the sports and gambling
passions of its American neighbors, the riverfront casino is opening a
multimillion-dollar, 170-seat sports lounge, where gamblers can wager on pro
football, basketball, hockey and baseball games, as well as college football
and basketball. ".Gaming experts expect the Legends Sports Lounge, which
took seven months to build, will be a major draw. ".While this is a first
for Windsor, sports betting is available at casinos in other regions of
Canada. Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls, Ontario, recently opened a $10
million sports betting lounge. ".Casino Windsor's new lounge includes 36
video display terminals that will feature sporting events. It will offer a
stadium-style menu featuring hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken wings."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/05/2006 06:32:00 AM

California Tribal Expansions Off this Year

As reported by Reuters: "Deals reached by California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger allowing several of the state's Indian tribes to operate
thousands more slot machines will not go before the state legislature until
next year's session, legislative leaders said on Thursday. "'No one is
satisfied with the outcome of the administration's last-minute submission of
gaming compacts to the legislature,' Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez said in a
statement. 'I am committed to working with California's tribal nations over
the next several months on these important compacts that will result in a
mutually beneficial outcome.' "Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, like
Nunez a Democrat, said the pacts could not be decided before Thursday's end
of the current session because of the late date they were received and
because of their importance and complexity. "Newspaper reports also said the
proposed expansions were stalled amid a dispute over whether casino workers
would be allowed to unionize."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/05/2006 06:32:00 AM

Casino Panel Reasserts Independence

As reported by the icWales: "The head of a body charged with advising the
Government on the choice of the first super-casino for the UK reasserted his
independence during a public hearing today. "Professor Stephen Crow,
chairman of the Casino Advisory Panel (CAP), was speaking in Cardiff today,
where the proposal of the city's local authority to be allowed to host a
regional casino was being heard. Cardiff is one of seven shortlisted
locations around the UK the CAP is visiting. "The bid to establish a
super-casino at London's Millennium Dome has been mired in controversy in
recent months after Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was found to have
stayed at the ranch of Philip Anschutz, the owner of Anschutz Entertainment
Group, which bought the Dome in 2002."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/05/2006 06:32:00 AM

Big Support for Newcastle Bid

As reported by the 24Dash News: "Newcastle's bid for a super casino and
regional conference centre received a massive show of support today. "A wide
of range of companies and organisations threw their weight behind the bid as
Newcastle City Council prepared to put its case to the Casino Advisory Panel
at an examination in public (EiP) event next Tuesday, (Sept 5). "The council
will try to convince the panel of the merits of awarding the country's first
super casino to Newcastle in a hearing attended by other invited
participants. ".Among the many organisations backing the bid are: One
NorthEast, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, The Journal, Newcastle Federation
Breweries, Metro operator NEXUS, Newcastle College, the North East Chamber
of Commerce and Newcastle International Airport, among others. ".Other
organisations that have sent letters of support to the council include
Newcastle City Centre Partnership, Newcastle University, Northumbria
University, the North East Assemby, Baltic, Northumberland Tourism, the GMB,
GNER, Atisreal and Utopian Leisure Group Ltd."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/05/2006 06:31:00 AM

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sportsbetting.com Holds Gridiron Pick'em Contest

Sportsbetting.com, a recognized leader in Internet sports wagering, brings
back the US$500,000 Gridiron Pick'em -- a free prediction contest on this
year's pro football season. Each week during the pro football regular
season, contestants pick the teams they think will win and then assign each
pick a rank based on how confident they are of that team winning. The
contestant with the highest weekly score wins a US$100 SPORTSBETTING.COM
account and will advance to Part Two of the contest. The three contestants
with the highest season long score win prizes including a trip to the Pro
Football All Star game in Honolulu, Hawaii and a Bose Lifestyle Home Theatre
System. During Part Two of the US$500,000 Gridiron Pick'em, contestants
predict the outcome, against the spread, of the 11 NFL playoff games. Any
contestant who correctly predicts 11 out of 11 games wins US $500,000.
Consolation prizes include a 50-inch Plasma TV and an HP iPAQ Color Pocket
John Molhoek of Michigan, USA was last year's $500,000 Gridiron Pick'em
winner. He won near front row seats to the 2006 Pro Football All Star game
in Hawaii, a four-night stay at the luxurious Outrigger Waikiki Beach Front

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/04/2006 11:11:00 AM

Penn National Gaming Seeks Credit Facility Amendments

Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PENN: Nasdaq) (the "Company") announced today
that it is seeking certain amendments to its existing $2.725 billion senior
secured credit facility (the "Credit Facility"). The requested amendments
relate to: (1) modification of the applicable covenants to enable the
Company to repurchase up to $200 million of its equity or debt securities;
(2) modification of the Company's capital expenditure covenant to increase
certain permitted expenditures consistent with the Company's development and
expansion projects as announced in the Company's second quarter earnings
release on July 27, 2006; (3) modification of the Company's collateral
documents in accordance with requirements of the Pennsylvania gaming
authorities and (4) certain other matters. The amendment requires the
approval of lenders holding a majority of the outstanding commitments and
loans under the Credit Facility. There can be no assurance that the
amendments will be approved as described above. The Board of Directors of
the Company has not yet authorized the repurchase of its common stock or
debt securities.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/04/2006 11:11:00 AM

NJSEA Offers Daily Race Programs

Racingworld Technology, the operators of 123racing.com announced that the NJ
Sports and Exposition Authority has signed on to offer its daily race
programs to an international online audience. 123racing.com has been an
instant international success by promoting horse racing around the world in
a way that has never been seen before. The NJSEA operates the world's
premiere Harness Racing meet at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ and
runs the Monmouth Park thoroughbred meet in Oceanport, NJ, where it is
scheduled to host the 2007 Breeder's Cup. "We are pleased to have some of
America's finest racing as part of the 123racing.com competitions, and our
players are delighted," said Rob Earle, Racingworld Technology's CEO.
123racing.com now offers free competitions from the United Kingdom, the US
and New Zealand. Canada and Australia are due to come onboard in September.
Players on 123racing.com enter competitions for free and play for a real
cash prize of $1,000. The competitions are very easy to understand, all you
have to do is pick one horse in each race on a racecard and if your horse
finishes 1st, 2nd or 3rd, you get points, 3,2,1 respectively. Bonus points
are given based on the win/place/show payoff. If you have the most points at
the end of the race day, you win.
"The 123racing.com online competition was developed for our race track in
New Zealand, and because of its instant popularity, we decided to take it to
the rest of the racing world," said Rob Earle. "We are very pleased to have
John Perrotta onboard as a Director based in the US. He is very well
respected in the industry and understood our vision immediately."

123racing.com has recently broken new ground with the release of the
123racing.TV show in Australasia on the Sky Sports Network. The one-hour
long show previews and reviews competitions that are available to play on
the website. Each week the expert panelists make their selections.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/04/2006 11:11:00 AM

GSA Finalizing New Program

The Gaming Standards Association is rapidly finalizing its new Certification
Program. When complete, the program will create a network of certified
agencies licensed to test vendor products for GSA standard compliance.
Today, GSA announced it has selected The Open Group as its Testing Agency
Authority (TAA) and Testing Suite Authority (TSA), completing one of the
final necessary steps before implementing the program. GSA President Peter
DeRaedt said, "As GSA introduces its standards into the global market, it is
important that we have a partner who fully understands how the certification
methodology can provide conformance testing expertise. The Open Group has
clearly demonstrated that they do, and that they know what it takes to make
standards work. We will work together to set the right expectation level
within the gaming industry and promote the benefits of the GSA Certification
Program." As the TAA, The Open Group will accredit the Test Agencies that
will perform testing of products for certification. In the role of TSA, The
Open Group will determine the suitability of test suites and other test
tools for use by Test Agencies in performing conformance testing. The work
includes both the creation of the acceptance criteria and procedures to be
used by the TAA and TSA and the ongoing operation of these roles once the
certification program is live.
The initial work involves defining Test Suite Acceptance Criteria and
Conformance Requirements for currently published GSA standards. Ongoing
support includes serving in the roles of TAA and TSA on behalf of GSA for a
minimum of three years.

"As a neutral, 'not-for-profit' consortium with more than 20 years of
experience, The Open Group provides credible, reliable assurance of
conformance to standards, and serves as international guarantor of
interoperability," said Allen Brown, president and CEO, The Open Group.
"We're looking forward to applying our expertise and proven processes to
meet the GSA's needs in conformance testing and certification, while also
doing our part to help GSA finalize the new Certification Program and
successfully roll it out to the gaming marketplace."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/04/2006 11:11:00 AM

Evangeline Downs Launches Truck Giveaway

A major multi-media campaign is underway as Evangeline Downs Racetrack &
Casino gets the word out that it wants customers to win a truck every day in
the month of September, starting tonight. The Opelousas facility has been
posting record levels of revenue in the last year. Casino officials
acknowledge that the increase magnified after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
However the casino primarily draws a local crowd, and those increases are
continuing in the post hurricane environment. "We were on track to post
these gains before the hurricanes impacted Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
With record revenues came more winners and bigger payouts," said Mike
Howard, general manager of Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino. "We planned
this September promotion to create even more winners. The word's out and
it's generating a lot of interest for Evangeline Downs."
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino is a 41-year-old Louisiana-based
business that is rooted in the Acadiana culture. In 2003, Evangeline Downs
Racetrack & Casino moved from Lafayette Parish to St. Landry Parish and the
City of Opelousas. Since relocating, Evangeline Downs has exceeded the
success it once had in Lafayette Parish and has become an economic focal
point in St. Landry Parish.

According to the St. Landry Economic and Industrial Development District
Commission, several economic indicators demonstrate the positive impact of
Evangeline Downs on the community. This is good news in light of this week's
release of the Census Bureau's income and poverty report, which named St.
Landry as having the highest poverty levels and lowest average income in the
United States in cities 60,000 to 249,000 population.

The year 2003 marked a first for the parish, city and state: each entity
began receiving gaming taxes from Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino. This
was a completely new source of income for these entities.

Since that time $13.4 million in taxes have been paid to parish and city
government. Nearly $39 million in taxes has been paid to the state. More
importantly, the facility employs over 800 people, most of who are from St.
Landry Parish. Evangeline Downs paid wages and benefits of nearly $19
million last year. That's big news in St. Landry Parish where unemployment
levels have fallen significantly.

New housing starts have also dramatically increased since Evangeline Downs
opened, up to nearly 1,500 in 2005, an increase of almost 700 a year. This
has created a large increase in property taxes generated to the Parish.

Louisiana horsemen have also benefited from the growth at Evangeline Downs
through purse supplements paid by the gaming dollars generated by the
Casino. Total purse money won by horsemen totals around $51 million for the
same time period.

Today kicks off the big promotion. Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino will
have a drawing every day in September for a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado or a
coupon option redeemable for $10,000.00 in cash.

* You must be 21 years of age or older to participate in the promotion.
Winner must be present to win. See Players Club for details.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/04/2006 11:11:00 AM

Bodog Founder Fights Bear Bile Farming

Calvin Ayre has teamed with world-renowned animal activist Jill Robinson for
a campaign aimed at raising international awareness about the horrific
practice of bear bile farming. Calvin Ayre, the billionaire business mogul
behind the Bodog.com entertainment brand, has teamed with world-renowned
animal activist Jill Robinson for a campaign aimed at raising international
awareness about the horrific practice of bear bile farming. Ayre, who also
serves as chairman of his own international foundation, is in Asia filming a
public service documentary, which will be shown on major networks around the
world this fall. It is simply unimaginable," says Ayre, who was recently
dubbed by Forbes Magazine as one of the world's wealthiest entrepreneurs.
"Thousands of these bears are locked into tiny cages - literally smaller
than they are - and prodded daily in order to extract bile from their gall
bladders. These bears can be tortured this way for up to 20 years, and are
even said to chew off their own limbs because of the sheer pain. Our goal is
to raise international awareness about this horrific practice and spark
discussion about alternatives to the use of bear bile." As chairman of the
Calvin Ayre Foundation, Ayre has been overseas working in conjunction with
the Stop-Bear-Farming organization, and Animal Asia Organization's Jill
Robinson and Annie Mather to fund the construction and maintenance of the
Bodog.com Bear Sanctuary in Vietnam, which is slated to be opened this fall.
Ayre and Robinson have also been filming a 30-minute documentary that will
serve to educate the public on bear bile farming practices, and show how
concerned citizens can help the cause by avoiding the usage of products made
from bear bile. Close to 10,000 bears in China, Korea and Vietnam are being
locked in tiny "crush cages" where bile is extracted from their gall
bladders for use in, among other things, traditional Chinese medicines, eye
drops and hairspray. The Calvin Ayre Foundation is active in supporting
charitable causes throughout the world. Founded by Ayre in 2004, the
Foundation's aim is to achieve meaningful and lasting improvements in the
environment and in the lives of disadvantaged individuals and communities.
The Foundation focuses on promoting greater equity in five broad areas:
Environment, Education, Social Development, Child Welfare and Animal
"Through the Foundation, we're able to cross international borders," Ayre
says. "With fewer barriers, we are better able to offer support for
meaningful charitable causes."

The Calvin Ayre Foundation supports the charitable initiatives of other
organizations, as well as those goals it lays out for its own projects. Some
of the long-term initiatives the Foundation is working on include the
sponsorship of the higher education needs of underprivileged youth.

Other large-scale initiatives the Foundation supports include the
Sponsor-A-School Project and the Sponsor-A-Family Project. These programs
are the core of the Foundation, which directly manages its money and the
allocation of funds to the various initiatives under its mandate.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/04/2006 11:11:00 AM

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Trump Mixes Boating and Gaming

This September boating and gaming will meet like never before. From
September 7-10, 2006, Atlantic City and Trump Marina Hotel Casino will be
the main stage for one of the country's premier boating events, the Atlantic
City In-Water Boat Show. This show is the largest in the region and the
second largest of its kind in the entire country. As the first major show of
its kind for the fall season, the event provides a first glimpse at the
latest boating innovations and newest models for 2007. The Atlantic City
In-Water Boat Show is held at the state-of-the-art Farley State Marina, only
steps away from the Trump Marina Hotel Casino. The show will feature over
700 of the hottest new power boats and yachts from 18'-85', from every major
manufacturer. There will also be a 25,000 sq. ft. Marine Marketplace that
will carry a large array of Marine accessories featuring cutting-edge
technology and equipment. Don't miss out when, on Sunday, September 10,
Trump Marina welcomes boating enthusiasts by telling eight lucky winners,
"Bon Voyage" in our $20,000 Rockin' the Boat Sweepstakes. Trump Marina will
be giving away a four-day Caribbean Cruise every hour from 12 Noon to 7 p.m.
Then, at 8 p.m., one lucky winner will be awarded an 18' Crownline Bowrider!
"Not only will guests get to enjoy our fabulous Trump Marina Casino and
Hotel, but they will be greeted by some of the latest and greatest boats
available at this special event," said Donald J. Trump. "Even more, we're
going to make this a tremendous occasion for our customers by giving away
eight luxury cruises and a fantastic new sporting boat. Boating enthusiasts
are in for a great celebration."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/03/2006 04:37:00 AM

Casino Slammed for Theft

As reported by the Daily Telegraph: "Star City Casino has been slammed for
acting irresponsibly by letting a lowly bank worker gamble millions of
stolen dollars as a celebrated high-roller. "The casino shirked its moral
duty when it gave high-roller status to Erick Tjandra, a 'minor servant' of
the Commonwealth Bank bank who gambled a stolen $8 million, a Sydney court
has been told. "Tjandra, 32, stole $10.4 million from dozens of bank
customers over a 15-month period to fund his addiction, the NSW District
Court was told today. ".During sentencing submissions today, Justice
Christopher Armitage said Sydney's Star City casino had failed in its 'moral
responsibility' by allowing Tjandra to gamble with the high rollers. "'To
allow a young man who is obviously a minor servant of the bank to be in the
high rollers' room was an irresponsibility,' he said. ".Judge Armitage said
this showed the casino had acted 'irresponsibly to a high degree'."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/03/2006 04:37:00 AM

Irish Poker Open Boasts Guaranteed Prize Pool

The paddypowerpoker.com Irish Poker Open, taking place in Dublin over Easter
weekend 2007, has a guaranteed prize pool of ?2 million. Regardless of how
many players enter, paddypowerpoker.com will guarantee this prize pool for
?2 million. If the number of players exceeds 607, each additional player's
buy in (?3,300 +?200 reg) is added to the prize pool, and with up to 800
seats available to players, the prize pool could swell by a further
?617,600. The minimum guaranteed payouts are available to view at:
www.irishpokeropen.com/tournament.php The winner of the ?1 million
guaranteed Irish Open 2006, Vincent Melinn, picked up a cheque for ?350,000.

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/03/2006 04:37:00 AM

e-PokerUSA Site Launched

e-PokerUSA Inc., launched today its new free and skill-based game site,
e-PokerUSA.com. Their first patent-pending product, Duplicate Texas Hold'em
Poker, introduces a new twist to the classic online Texas Hold'em game. The
object of the game is to beat your opponents at other tables with your same
playing hand. This reduces the luck in the game and increases the skill in
play. In Duplicate Poker, it's not about getting dealt good cards or bad
cards in the hand, as in regular poker, since it's about how well you play
against your opponents in strategy. The Duplicate Texas Hold'em Poker game
is the first to be introduced on the e-PokerUSA's proprietary gaming
network. Pinhas Romik, CEO and Founder of e-PokerUSA Inc, said today, "We
are excited to introduce to the consumer market a fun, free and legal way to
play our version of Texas Hold'em for cash in the US." He continued to say,
"... we believe that our game is an entertaining product for skill-based
players and a good alternative for poker players looking for a product in
the US that they can feel safe and secure playing at."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/03/2006 04:36:00 AM

Sportsbook.com Offers NCAA Football Odds

Are you ready for some football? It's that time of the year again - and
lucky for diehard NCAA football fans - Week 1 already contains some key
match-ups with major bowl implications. According to odds makers at
Sportsbook.com, the world's largest online sportsbook and casino, Notre
Dame, University of Miami and University of Tennessee will all start their
season at 1-0, and will be one step closer to the big game in the desert
this January. Although there's a lot of hype coming out of South Bend these
days, the Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech are hoping to quiet the Fighting
Irish faithful with a big upset in Atlanta on Saturday night. The Yellow
Jackets will have their hands full, however, as Notre Dame is enjoying its
highest ranking since 1994, and under Heisman candidate Brady Quinn are a 7
point favorite to steal the show in Georgia. Meanwhile, in Knoxville, the
number 9-ranked Tennessee Volunteers will be eager to start off their 2006
campaign on a winning note as a 1.5 favorite over the California Golden
Bears. The Vols, who are looking to redeem themselves after a dismal 5-6
season last year, will need to shut down Heisman hopeful Marshawn Lynch if
they hope to be successful against the Bears.
Looking ahead to Monday night, all eyes will be on the state of Florida for
the highly anticipated in-state battle between the Miami Hurricanes and the
Florida State Seminoles. Marking the 31st time these two teams have squared
off against each other, the outcome of this game carries much more than ACC
and Sunshine State bragging rights. Both teams are looking to return to
top-10 status and although the 'Canes have lost some key players to
suspensions, they are still a 3 point favorite over Bobby Bowden's

"It's the best time of year for football fans," said Alex Czajkowski,
Sportsbook.com. "Everybody bets on college football and Week 1 already has
some edge-of-your-seat match-ups. There are so many reasons to love
following college football this season - Notre Dame and Brady Quinn, Texas
replacing Vince Young and USC rebuilding. And, if Week 1 is any indication,
bettors are in for one amazing season."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/03/2006 04:36:00 AM

Cardiff Presents Super-Casino Bid

As reported by the BBC News: "A hearing to put forward Cardiff's bid to site
the UK's first super-casino has heard all bidders still have a chance. "The
Casino Advisory Panel chairman said it was 'wide open' between the seven
locations hoping to win the licence to run a 24-hour Las Vegas-style venue.
"Only one super-casino is initially being permitted under the terms of the
Gambling Act. ".Cardiff council's bid is tied to its sports village
development in Cardiff Bay, and has said it needs the casino to finish the
project in time for the 2012 London Olympics, when it hopes to be a host
venue. "Tom Morgan, for Cardiff Council, told the panel that the city was
uniquely placed to host the super-casino. "He said awarding it to Cardiff
would also help the UK and Wales host the Ryder Cup at Newport in 2010 and
the Olympics in London two years later."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/03/2006 04:36:00 AM

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pennsylvania Slot Plan Clears Hurdle

As reported by the Evening Sun: "The Straban Township supervisors
recommended to themselves approval of preliminary plans Thursday night for a
slots parlor at the intersection of routes 15 and 30. "It might sound funny,
but the supervisors were acting as the planning commission, which ordinarily
makes ecommendations to the board. But they were left with the job when
commissioners unanimously recused themselves, citing bias. The developer had
complained one commission member was against the casino. "Supervisor Troy
Martin said it's safe to assume the board will follow its own recommendation
to approve the plans at its meeting Monday. "Crossroads Gaming Resort and
Spa LP submitted the plans to the township in late March. The plans call for
a hotel, spa, restaurants, a parking garage and a parlor with up to 5,000
slots to be built. "They decided to approve the plans Monday with one
condition - that Crossroads modify a parking garage to reflect the most
recent road design configuration."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/02/2006 05:34:00 AM

More Casinos Possible for Iowa

As reported by the Des Moines Register: "Pressure is building for state
regulators to issue more casino licenses, even before construction is
finished on Iowa's newest riverboat gambling operations. "The Iowa Racing
and Gaming Commission, which met Thursday in Johnston, agreed to meet in
March to discuss whether it should award additional casino licenses. The
issue has become a topic in this fall's governor's race. In addition, two
more counties have emerged as potential sites for new casinos. ".The racing
and gaming panel agreed Thursday to meet on March 1 at Terrible's Lakeside
Casino in Osceola to discuss awarding more casino licenses. This will give
regulators more time to study how some of the new casinos are performing
financially and will give two newly appointed commissioners time to evaluate
the issue, said Commissioner Gerald Bair of Ankeny."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/02/2006 05:34:00 AM

Casino Windsor Offers Sports Betting

As reported by the Detroit News: "Casino Windsor will begin offering sports
betting next Friday -- marking the first time Metro Detroiters will have
access to live sports wagering. "Looking to tap the sports and gambling
passions of its American neighbors, the riverfront casino is opening a
multimillion-dollar, 170-seat sports lounge, where gamblers can wager on pro
football, basketball, hockey and baseball games, as well as college football
and basketball. ".Gaming experts expect the Legends Sports Lounge, which
took seven months to build, will be a major draw. ".While this is a first
for Windsor, sports betting is available at casinos in other regions of
Canada. Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls, Ontario, recently opened a $10
million sports betting lounge. ".Casino Windsor's new lounge includes 36
video display terminals that will feature sporting events. It will offer a
stadium-style menu featuring hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken wings."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/02/2006 05:33:00 AM

Casino Panel Reasserts Independence

As reported by the icWales: "The head of a body charged with advising the
Government on the choice of the first super-casino for the UK reasserted his
independence during a public hearing today. "Professor Stephen Crow,
chairman of the Casino Advisory Panel (CAP), was speaking in Cardiff today,
where the proposal of the city's local authority to be allowed to host a
regional casino was being heard. Cardiff is one of seven shortlisted
locations around the UK the CAP is visiting. "The bid to establish a
super-casino at London's Millennium Dome has been mired in controversy in
recent months after Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was found to have
stayed at the ranch of Philip Anschutz, the owner of Anschutz Entertainment
Group, which bought the Dome in 2002."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/02/2006 05:31:00 AM

California Tribal Expansions Off this Year

As reported by Reuters: "Deals reached by California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger allowing several of the state's Indian tribes to operate
thousands more slot machines will not go before the state legislature until
next year's session, legislative leaders said on Thursday. "'No one is
satisfied with the outcome of the administration's last-minute submission of
gaming compacts to the legislature,' Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez said in a
statement. 'I am committed to working with California's tribal nations over
the next several months on these important compacts that will result in a
mutually beneficial outcome.' "Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, like
Nunez a Democrat, said the pacts could not be decided before Thursday's end
of the current session because of the late date they were received and
because of their importance and complexity. "Newspaper reports also said the
proposed expansions were stalled amid a dispute over whether casino workers
would be allowed to unionize."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/02/2006 05:31:00 AM

Big Support for Newcastle Bid

As reported by the 24Dash News: "Newcastle's bid for a super casino and
regional conference centre received a massive show of support today. "A wide
of range of companies and organisations threw their weight behind the bid as
Newcastle City Council prepared to put its case to the Casino Advisory Panel
at an examination in public (EiP) event next Tuesday, (Sept 5). "The council
will try to convince the panel of the merits of awarding the country's first
super casino to Newcastle in a hearing attended by other invited
participants. ".Among the many organisations backing the bid are: One
NorthEast, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, The Journal, Newcastle Federation
Breweries, Metro operator NEXUS, Newcastle College, the North East Chamber
of Commerce and Newcastle International Airport, among others. ".Other
organisations that have sent letters of support to the council include
Newcastle City Centre Partnership, Newcastle University, Northumbria
University, the North East Assemby, Baltic, Northumberland Tourism, the GMB,
GNER, Atisreal and Utopian Leisure Group Ltd."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/02/2006 05:30:00 AM

Friday, September 01, 2006

Alleged South Korean Gambling Kingpin Arrested

As reported by UPI: "Prosecutors in South Korea have arrested a
comedian-turned-entrepreneur who they believe is a central figure in a
recent nationwide gambling scandal. "Kim Min-seok, 41, allegedly bribed
government officials for business favors on behalf of the gaming industry,
The Korea Herald reports. ".Min-seok burst onto the videogame scene in the
late 1990s, following a stint in show business, when he launched a series of
popular games that grew into a multibillion-dollar empire of gambling

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/01/2006 08:23:00 AM

NIGC Comments on Recent Indictments

Today, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California
announced wide ranging indictments of seven former officials of the Coyote
Valley Band of Pomo Indians. Among other things, these charges include
obstruction of justice and conspiracy relating to obstructing and impeding a
2003 audit by the NIGC under the terms of a 2001 settlement agreement
between the Band and the NIGC. "This is a sad day for Indian gaming; these
indictments further emphasize the need for strong Federal oversight of the
Indian gaming industry," Chairman Phil Hogen stated. Chairman Hogen added,
"The NIGC is committed to providing strong oversight and will continue to
work with other law enforcement agencies to ensure that gaming revenues are
protected and preserved to achieve the goals of the Indian Gaming Regulatory
Act." Chairman Hogen went on to say, "As Indian gaming continues to grow and
as operations become more complex and sophisticated and as revenues continue
to increase, regulation must keep pace with these changes if the integrity
of the industry is to be protected."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/01/2006 08:23:00 AM

Plymouth Council Discusses Gambling Bills

As reported by the Amador Ledger Dispatch : "With the potential of an Indian
casino impacting the city, two assembly bills affecting California American
Indian tribes were also discussed by the Plymouth City Council. "Assembly
Bill 2399 is a new compact formed Aug. 8 with the Agua Caliente band of
Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs. "According to Councilman Jon Colburn, the
bill allows the tribe to build three casinos on their reservation instead of
two and the tribe may also expand its number of slot machines from 2,000 to

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/01/2006 08:22:00 AM

Tulalip Casino Breaks Ground for Expansion

As reported by the Snohomish County Business Journal: "Construction began in
August on the Tulalip Tribes' long-awaited $130 million, 12-story, 363-room
resort hotel and conference center adjacent to the giant Tulalip Casino in
Quil Ceda Village. "Due to open by early 2008 as a major new tourism and
business attraction, the additional facilities will be part of the Tulalip
Resort Casino, the 'resort' part being new to the marketing materials the
tribes already are distributing. "The hotel and conference center, with 400
new employees, also is expected to be a catalyst for other Snohomish County
development and a magnet for tens of thousands of visitors attending
Vancouver's 2010 Winter Olympic games in British Columbia. ".A significant
part of the new facility also will include the Tulalips' long-awaited tribal
cultural center, which is expected to be a major tourist attraction on its
own. ".The hotel and conference center - designed by Ruhl-Parr & Associates,
Architects, of Bellevue and styled by Interior Design International of
Seattle, the same companies who were involved in the design of the Tulalip
Casino - will be built by PCL Construction, a Canadian firm with offices
throughout the United States, including Bellevue. ".Designed to be a
four-star, four-diamond hotel, the conference center in the complex will be
large enough to serve banquets for as many as 800 people, about the same
size as the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at the Everett Events

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/01/2006 08:21:00 AM

Ohio Ballot Petition Falls Short

OHIO - As reported by the Columbus Dispatch: "A petition drive to let
Ohioans vote on allowing slot-machine gambling at horse-racing tracks and in
Cleveland has fallen short of the required number of signatures. "But not by
much. "Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's office announced today
that backers of the Learn and Earn constitutional amendment need 8,716 more
signatures. "Supporters have 10 calendar days to gather and submit
additional names."

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/01/2006 08:20:00 AM

Pelton wins 2006 WPT Legends of Poker Title

Before Wednesday night's 2006 World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main
Event victory, young poker professional Joe Pelton's largest tournament
success was a 2005 super-satellite entry into the World Series of Poker
(WSOP) Main Event. The payout for that event was $25,700, a nice chunk of
change, but mere pennies compared to the $1.5 million Pelton received for
taking home the fourth tournament in the WPT season five schedule. Although
Pelton has cashed in two WSOP events in his young career, his win was
unexpected, especially considering he was playing with some of the best
players in the world at the 2006 Legends of Poker Main Event Final Table.
Defeating a group of six that contained WPT superstars Hoyt Corkins and
Scotty Nguyen, Pelton is no longer flying under the radar. He joins the
large group of young players who are making big names for themselves in
major WPT events. Pelton began the day in third chip position with
$1,100,000, but drew an unfortunate seat, sandwiched between the two chips
leaders, Frankie O'Dell ($3,880,000) and Kevin O'Donnell ($2,345,000).
O'Dell, who came into the final table as the chip leader after cracking
Scotty Nguyen's pocket aces on the hand before the final table was set, was
almost able to hold onto the chip lead for the entirety of the final table,
not giving it away until play was heads-up. A WSOP bracelet holder (2003
Omaha High-Low Split), O'Dell played well enough to win, removing his
greatest threat (O'Donnell) when the two players were first and second in
chips. The near double-up allowed O'Dell to enter three-handed play with a
2-1 chip lead over Hoyt Corkins and Pelton.

Not able to play many pots during the final table play, Corkins moved all-in
over the top of a Pelton raise and was quickly called by the eventual
champion. Corkins showed a pair of threes and Pelton flipped over a J-10
off-suit. Pelton hit a Jack on the flop, bouncing the popular Corkins from
the final table.

After doubling through O'Dell, Pelton again found himself facing a
significant re-raise when O'Dell moved all over the top with pocket Sixes.
Continuing his fearless play, Pelton did not hesitate, calling with his A-7
offsuit. The Ace on the flop improved Pelton and the hand held up, giving
the rising star his first major tournament victory.

The WPT continues to roll on with the next stop coming in Atlantic City, New
Jersey for the Borgata Poker Open. The televised $10,000 WPT event will
begin on September 15.

Here are the final table finishes and payouts:

1.) Joe Pelton - $1,577,170

2.) Frankie O'Dell - $776,385

3.) Hoyt Corkins - $381,540

4.) Kevin O'Donnell - $226,260

5.) Randy Holland - $177,460

6.) Scotty Nguyen - $133,095

posted by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker at 9/01/2006 08:20:00 AM


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Remember, you can beat the odds, but you can't beat the percentages.