Meetings & Information

MUST READ:
GET THE FACTS!
VOTE YES! TO END THE CASINO MESS!
Massachusetts Gam[bl]ing Commission

Check the Gambling Commission site for changes and updates:
http://www.mass.gov/gaming/

You may submit your comments to the commission at: mgccomments@state.ma.us




Monday, October 20, 2014

Boston Globe got it WRONG!



The Globe's reporting about Predatory Gambling has been mostly disappointing with few exceptions!


My response to the Boston Globe "takedown" of the substitutability of lotteries and casinos (i.e., will casinos draw money away from the lottery):


Which source will I trust – "The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Gambling" published by the Oxford University Press.... Or a short piece in the Boston Globe that does nothing serious to study the actual effects. I'll go with OUP.
http://books.google.com/books?id=-Wa-AAAAQBAJ&lpg=PA45...

The two pages of the OUP aggregates studies on the substitutability of casino gambling and lotteries (among others). It finds that casinos and lotteries are in fact substitutes. They're not complementary. As this is a peer-reviewed book published by one of the most prestigious academic presses in the country, I am going to take it far more seriously than what is more or less a fluff piece. There is no real analysis here whatsoever – simply random claims attached to random numbers at random years. There is no methodological consistency; there is no aggregation of data; there is more or less nothing here at all. If you claim to have undertaken an analysis, it might help to actually show what you analyzed. I see absolutely nothing here. In terms of "experts," I see one. One.



 
There is growing interest among academics and...
books.google.com
 
 
An editor came to his or her senses this AM and changed that atrociously misleading headline. It still doesn't eliminate the problems with the article itself.
 
 
 

DESTINATION RESORT SLOT BARN WHATEVER.....ROFLMAO!




Of all the dumb labels used, DESTINATION RESORT SLOT BARN WHATEVER is the BIGGEST JOKE!


The Gambling Industry did all kinds of polling to determine what LABEL would garner the greatest public support - DESTINATION RESORT SPORT COMPLEX or some such won!

You won't see it!












[Note: YOU are our advertising campaign. Unlike casinos, we don't have millions of dollars to advertise. YOU are the only way this message reaches other voters. Please share and post widely. ]
The Days of the Destination Casino are Long Gone:
Atlantic City's collapse is irrefutable proof that the days of the destination casino are over. Years ago, gamblers would travel hundreds -- even thousands -- of miles to gamble, bringing distant dollars to the casinos -- dollars that wouldn't, otherwise, be spent in those markets. Those distant dollars made Las Vegas, Atlantic City (and even Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun) great successes in their heyday. But things have changed. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and numerous others have recently come to the same conclusion: the market for casinos in the Northeast is saturated. Today, most gamblers live within 50 miles of the casinos. Instead of bringing new dollars into the market, casinos now just suck dollars OUT of the local market, stealing revenue and profits away from local businesses and depositing it into their own coffers. The problem is, as those local businesses suffer, so do their employees


Is whatever you believe might be gained from casinos,
worth everything that you will lose?
On November 4th, Vote YES to Repeal the Casino Law
Vote YES on #3
Vote YES to STOP the Casino Mess
WANT TO HELP?
3 Ways You Can:

1) Please share/post these messages widely: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005253047911
We Can't Win Without YOU!

Day Six: 18 reasons in 18 days to Vote YES on 3




[Note: YOU are our advertising campaign. Unlike casinos, we don't have millions of dollars to advertise. YOU are the only way this message reaches other voters. Please share and post widely. ]
The Two Questions Casinos Don't Want You to Ask:
The casinos are projected to siphon an additional $1 billion dollars out of the Massachusetts economy every year. This isn't money that is currently being gambled by residents. It's money that residents are currently spending at nearby businesses. That $1 billion dollars is the equivalent of an additional 1,000,000 Massachusetts gamblers losing $1,000 a year to the new casinos. That's roughly 1 in 5 Massachusetts adults who will stop spending that money elsewhere, and start spending it at the casinos. 
 
Now ask yourself these two questions:
1. Where is that $1 billion dollars a year being spent now?
2. What happens to those businesses and their employees, once it no longer is?
Is whatever you believe might be gained from casinos,
worth everything that you will lose?
On November 4th, Vote YES to Repeal the Casino Law
Vote YES on #3
Vote YES to STOP the Casino Mess
WANT TO HELP?
3 Ways You Can:

1) Please share/post these messages widely: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005253047911
We Can't Win Without YOU!

Plainville La La Land! Joseph Fernandes is SIMPLY WRONG!


Don't allow Plainville Town Administrator Joseph Fernandes to balance your checkbook!

How any literate person can make such outrageous statements based on the Gam[bl]ing Legislation Revenue SECTION is breathtaking!




Folks, Don't base your decision on WRONG INFORMATION!





Plainville town manager joins others in opposing anti-gambling question
Question 3 supporters say casinos will hurt state lottery

Posted:Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BY JIM HAND SUN CHRONICLE STAFF

The Sun Chronicle

PLAINVILLE — Town Administrator Joseph Fernandes, along with a group of casino supporters, is fighting back against claims that expanded gambling in Massachusetts would badly hurt the state lottery.

Opponents of gambling have put a question on the Nov. 4 ballot asking voters to repeal the state’s casino law. They said last week that casinos would cause state lottery recipients to drop by nearly 22 percent, taking away $130 million in aid for cities and towns.

The lottery is a major source of state aid to cities and towns.

Fernandes said the study the opponents cite is way off from all the studies he has seen. He said he has read lottery revenue would temporarily dip by 8 percent, but then rebound.

Also, he said, any loss to the lottery would be more than offset by aid to cities and towns that come from gambling revenue.

Fernandes was joined by Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno in denouncing the study by the Repeal the Casino Deal campaign, the group trying to revoke the law.

Casino licenses have been awarded for both Everett and Springfield. A slot-machine parlor called Plainridge Park Casino is already under construction at a harness horse-racing track on Route 1 in Plainville.

They were speaking for a pro-casino group called Protect Massachusetts Jobs.

The anti-casino group said last week that local communities will be badly hurt by casinos financially, as well as socially. It predicted Attleboro would lose $1.1 million a year, Mansfield $434,000, North Attleboro $560,000, and Plainville $147,000.

Repeal the Casino Deal said it was basing its estimates on a study done for the Legislature in 2008.

Fernandes said that under the casino law, slot machines at Plainridge will be taxed by the state at a 40 percent rate and all of that revenue will go into local aid.

 
NOT TRUE!

Twenty percent of casino revenue would also go to cities and towns and a community stabilization fund will be established to offset losses to the lottery, he said.

For instance, slot machines at Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville would be taxed at 40 percent and all that money would be dedicated to local aid, he said.


NOT TRUE!

Furthermore, 20 percent of revenue from casinos and a community stabilization fund would offset lottery loses, he said.




http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/local_news/plainville-town-manager-joins-others-in-opposing-anti-gambling-question/article_e8412ec4-53db-11e4-bacc-7331aec326ff.html#user-comment-area

FROM THE GAMI[BL]ING LEGISLATION:


Section 59. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a Gaming Revenue Fund which shall receive revenues collected from the tax on gross gaming revenue received from gaming licensees. The commission shall be the trustee of the fund and shall transfer monies in the fund as follows:

(1) 100 per cent of the revenue received from a category 2 licensee shall be transferred to the Gaming Local Aid Fund established in section 63; and

(2) 100 per cent of the revenue received from a category 1 licensee shall be transferred as follows:
(a) 2 per cent of revenues to the Massachusetts cultural council of which one-quarter of the revenues received shall be dedicated to the organization support program of the Massachusetts cultural council and three-quarters of revenues shall be dedicated to support not-for-profit and municipally-owned performing arts centers impacted as a result of the operation of gaming facilities; provided, however, that funds dedicated to such performing arts centers shall be to subsidize fees paid to touring shows or artists; and provided further, that funding shall be appropriated through a competitive grant process to be developed and administered by the Massachusetts cultural council;
(b) 1 per cent to the Massachusetts Tourism Fund to fund tourist promotion agencies under clause (c) of section 35J of chapter 10;
(c) 6.5 per cent to the Community Mitigation Fund established in section 61;
(d) 4.5 per cent to the Local Capital Projects Fund, established in section 2EEEE of chapter 29;
(e) 20 per cent to the Gaming Local Aid Fund, established in section 63;
(f) 10 per cent to the Commonwealth Stabilization Fund established in section 2H of chapter 29; provided, however, that in any fiscal year in which the amount appropriated in line-item 7061-0008 of the general appropriation act, paid from the General Fund, or the amount of unrestricted general government aid paid from the General Fund, including lottery aid distribution to cities and towns as paid from the General Fund under clause (c) of the second paragraph of section 35 of said chapter 10 and the amount of additional funds distributed to cities and towns as additional assistance paid from the General Fund, is less than that of the previous fiscal year, up to 1/2 of the funds otherwise directed to the Commonwealth Stabilization Fund under this section, up to an amount equal to the deficiency between said appropriations for the current and previous fiscal years, shall be transferred to the Gaming Local Aid Fund in addition to the 25 per cent under clause (e);
(g) 14 per cent to the Education Fund established in section 64;
(h) 9.5 per cent to the Gaming Economic Development Fund established in section 2DDDD of said chapter 29;
(i) 10 per cent shall be used for debt reduction through a program of debt defeasance and accelerated debt payments; provided, however, that this program shall be developed jointly by the state treasurer and the secretary of administration and finance and shall be implemented in compliance with state finance law; provided further, that this program shall prioritize the reduction of risk in the commonwealth's debt portfolio, but may also include payments to decrease the unfunded pension liability of the Pension Reserves Investment Trust Fund; and provided further, that the secretary of administration and finance and the state treasurer shall provide a written description of the program to the finance advisory board established in section 97 of chapter 6 for the board's review and comment before the program is implemented and shall file a copy of that description with the house and senate committees on ways and means and the house and senate committees on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets when it is submitted to the finance advisory board;
(j) 15 per cent to the Transportation Infrastructure and Development Fund established in section 62;
(k) 5 per cent to the Public Health Trust Fund established in section 58; and
(l) 2.5 per cent to the Race Horse Development Fund established in section 60.
Section 60. (a) There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a Race Horse Development Fund to be administered by the commission. The fund shall consist of monies deposited under subsection (c) of section 55. The commission shall make distributions from the Race Horse Development Fund to each licensee under chapter 128A.

(b) There shall be a horse racing committee consisting of 5 members, 1 of whom shall be the governor or the governor’s designee who shall serve as chair, 1 of whom shall be the treasurer and receiver general or the treasurer’s designee, 1 of whom shall be the chair of the commission or the chair’s designee, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeding Program and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Harness Horseman’s Association of New England and the Massachusetts Standardbred Breeding Program. The horse racing committee shall make recommendations on how the funds received in subsection (a) shall be distributed between thoroughbred and standardbred racing facilities to support the thoroughbred and standardbred horse racing industries under this section. In making its recommendations, the committee shall consider certain criteria including, but not limited to: (i) the average purses awarded at thoroughbred and standardbred racing facilities; (ii) the total employment numbers, both direct and indirect, attributable to each horse racing industry; (iii) the relative needs of each horse racing industry for increased purses; (iv) the amount of the live racing handle generated by each horse racing industry; and (v) the number of breeding and training farms of each industry that are located in the commonwealth. The committee shall submit distribution recommendations to the clerks of the senate and house of representatives not later than 30 days before submitting the recommendations to the commission for final approval. The commission shall only change the distribution percentage upon a recommendation by the committee.

(c) Funds received from the Race Horse Development Fund shall be distributed between thoroughbred and standardbred accounts, as approved by the commission, as follows:

(i) 80 per cent of the funds approved by the commission shall be deposited weekly into a separate, interest-bearing purse account to be established by and for the benefit of the horsemen; provided, however, that the earned interest on the account shall be credited to the purse account; and provided further, that licensees shall combine these funds with revenues from existing purse agreements to fund purses for live races consistent with those agreements with the advice and consent of the horsemen;
(ii) 16 per cent of the funds approved by the commission shall be deposited as follows: (A) for a thoroughbred track, into the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeding Program authorized by the commission; or (B) for a standardbred track, into the Massachusetts Standardbred Breeding Program authorized by the commission;

(iii) 4 per cent shall be used to fund health and pension benefits for the members of the horsemen’s organizations representing the owners and trainers at a horse racing facility for the benefit of the organization’s members, their families, employees and others under the rule and eligibility requirements of the organization, as approved by the commission; provided, however, that this amount shall be deposited within 5 business days of the end of each month into a separate account to be established by each respective horsemen’s organization at a banking institution of its choice; and provided further, that of this amount, the commission shall determine how much shall be paid annually by the horsemen’s organization to the thoroughbred jockeys or standardbred drivers organization at the horse racing facility for health insurance, life insurance or other benefits to active and disabled thoroughbred jockeys or standardbred drivers under the rules and eligibility requirements of that organization.

Section 61. (a) There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Community Mitigation Fund.
he fund shall consist of monies transferred under section 59 and all other monies credited or transferred to the fund from any other fund or source.

(b) The commission shall administer the fund and, without further appropriation, shall expend monies in the fund to assist the host community and surrounding communities in offsetting costs related to the construction and operation of a gaming establishment including, but not limited to, communities and water and sewer districts in the vicinity of a gaming establishment, local and regional education, transportation, infrastructure, housing, environmental issues and public safety, including the office of the county district attorney, police, fire and emergency services. The commission may, at its discretion, distribute funds to a governmental entity or district other than a single municipality in order to implement a mitigation measure that affects more than 1 municipality; provided, however, that such entity or district shall submit a written request for funding in the same manner as a municipality would be required to submit such a request under subsection (c).

(c) Parties requesting appropriations from the fund shall submit a written request for funding to the commission before February 1 of each year. The commission may hold a public hearing in the region of a gaming establishment to provide parties with the opportunity to provide further information about their request for funds and shall distribute funds to requesting parties based on demonstrated need.

Section 62. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a fund to be known as the Transportation Infrastructure and Development Fund. The fund shall consist of monies transferred from the Gaming Revenue Fund and all other monies credited or transferred to the fund from any other fund or source and proceeds from the investment of such funds. The secretary of transportation shall be the trustee of this fund; provided, however, that no funds shall be expended until the secretary of administration and finance has provided written approval annually of a proposed spending plan. Any expenditures from this fund shall be solely for the purpose of transportation and related infrastructure projects including but not limited to, transit expansion and maintenance; provided, however, that not less than 50 per cent of such expenditures shall be dedicated for the purpose of supplementing, and not offsetting, any expenditures made for the construction and reconstruction of municipal ways as described in clause (b) of the second paragraph of section 4 of chapter 6C.

Section 63. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a fund to be known as the Gaming Local Aid Fund. The fund shall consist of monies transferred under section 59 and all monies credited or transferred to the fund from any other fund or source and shall be subject to appropriation. Funds shall be distributed to cities and towns in accordance with the formula used to determine the distribution of unrestricted general government aid under section 3 of the general appropriation act. Monies from the fund shall be used in addition to the balance of the State Lottery Fund for distribution to cities and towns under clause (c) of the second paragraph of section 35 of chapter 10 and any monies so distributed shall be considered part of general revenue sharing aid for purposes of annual aid and contribution requirements established pursuant to chapter 70 or section 3 of the annual general appropriation act.

Section 64. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a fund to be known as the Education Fund. The fund shall be credited any monies transferred under section 59 and all monies credited to or transferred to the fund from any other fund or source. Expenditures from the fund shall be subject to appropriation; provided, however, that 35 per cent of the funds received shall be appropriated for the purposes of higher education to supplement, not offset, any reduction in the general appropriation act from the previous fiscal year; and provided further, that any expenditures from the fund for K-12 education shall be used to supplement, and not offset, any reduction in line-item 7061-0008 of the general appropriation act from the previous fiscal year’s general appropriation act.


Section 66. Unless the commission otherwise determines it to be in the best fiscal interests of the commonwealth, the commission shall utilize the services of an independent testing laboratory that has been qualified and approved by the commission pursuant to this chapter to perform the testing of slot machines and other gaming equipment and may also utilize applicable data from the independent testing laboratory, or from a governmental agency of a state other than the commonwealth, authorized to regulate slot machines and other gaming equipment.


https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2011/Chapter194


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 18: 20 winning casino repeal arguments in 20 days

 
 
 
The Tragic Story of Scott Stevens
 
Late one August night, Scott Stevens, a successful business executive from Steubenville, Ohio and the married father of three daughters, went to the children's community soccer park he raised money to build, sat down upon a park bench he helped pay for . . . and took his own life.
In the days afterward, a letter arrived in the mail addressed to his wife Stacy. Stevens had mailed it before he went to the park on that fateful day. It read, in part:
 
“I know you don't believe it but I love you so much! I have hurt you so much. Our family only has a chance if I'm not around to bring us down any further. You're such an unbelievable wife and mother. I know you will hold the family together…”
The beginning of the end of Scott Stevens life began with a penny -- deposited into a slot machine at a nearby casino. Like so many before him, Scott became addicted to slot machines and ended up losing everything he and his family had worked and saved for over the years.
With addicted gamblers like Scott, a penny quickly becomes a nickel . . . becomes a quarter . . . becomes a dollar . . . becomes devastating.
If casinos come to Massachusetts, Scott's story will be repeated -- over and over and over again. In fact, it is predicted that over 100,000 Massachusetts residents will develop gambling problems. Not all will end up like Scott. But one ruined life, and one grieving family, is one too many.
Is whatever you believe might be gained from casinos,
worth everything that you will lose?
On November 4th, Vote YES to Repeal the Casino Law
Vote YES on #3
Vote YES to STOP the Casino Mess
 
 
On the right side of this page is an alphabetical list.
 
One of the reasons this blogs was begun was because no one was addressing SUICIDES - THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY' S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET!
 
They don't want you to know.....

Caesars: Bankruptcy Imminent?



Caesars [formerly Harrah's] was the first partner of Suffolk Downs, salivating to invade East Boston....




Caesars' staggering debt was breathtaking - their entire cash flow going to debt payments.....




Caesars Bringing Senior Lenders To Bargaining Table, Stock Soars 13%
Disclosure: The author is short CZR. (More...)

Summary

  • In early October Caesars' second-lien bondholders filed a notice of default.
  • Caesars has 60 days to cure the default or be forced to pay off about $3.7 billion in second-lien debt.
  • Friday the company started formal negotiations with first-lien bondholders to pare its debt.
  • Bankruptcy, which could result in dilution to equity holders, appears imminent












http://seekingalpha.com/article/2573075-caesars-bringing-senior-lenders-to-bargaining-table-stock-soars-13-percent?source=email_rt_article_readmore&uprof=46


Before the ink dries......




....the Casino Investors know their options and how they can wriggle out of an PROMISES.





...Casinos offer grandiose promises.....





The Gambling Industry brought UNION WORKERS to testify in Gardner Auditorium about how WONDERFUL the benefits were......







Ya just got screwed! How 'bout those PROMISES?....





Atlantic City casino workers fear future after judge voids contract

Trump Taj Mahal
Trump Taj Mahal owners scored a victory Friday when a judge threw out a union contract. The company had been demanding substantial union givebacks and government aid in return for keeping the casino open past November 2014. Employees remain wary of the casino's future. (AP file photo)
 
 
By Associated PressThe Associated Press
Follow on Twitter
on October 18, 2014
 
 
An hour after a judge ruled to throw out the Trump Taj Mahal's union contract Friday without a guarantee that the company would stay open, the casino's workers gathered in front of the resort on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

Some joked and others were hopeful that the situation would pass, but most were angry.

"You want to cut my pay, you want to cut my salary, you want to cut benefits of all the workers," said Charles Baker, 55, a cook at the casino. "We're going to fight for our rights, we're going to fight for what we deserve. We work hard here in this city and for some billionaire to come down here and come by and just sweep it all away, it's just unacceptable."

Unlike its neighbors on the north side of the boardwalk — Revel Casino Hotel and Showboat — Trump Entertainment Resorts isn't immediately set to close the casino, but Friday's ruling puts its 3,000 workers in flux as they wonder what's next.

Trump Entertainment had previously said that the Taj Mahal would close in November if Friday's ruling didn't go in its favor. Though Friday's decision signaled progress for keeping the company open, its continued operation is not guaranteed.

The company and billionaire investor Carl Icahn had said it needs big union concessions and massive tax breaks from Atlantic City and New Jersey — both of which already have rejected the demand. It originally sought to have the city reduce its property tax assessment by 80 percent, to have the state contribute $25 million in tax credits, and for union workers to give up their pension and health insurance.

It would provide $2,000 stipends for workers to find their own coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

After getting a negative reaction from Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and state Senate President Steve Sweeney, the company revised its financial request from the state. It is now seeking $175 million in relief through a so-called PILOT program — payments in lieu of taxes — and the receipt of two types of state economic grants not usually available to casinos: the Economic Redevelopment Grant and the Urban Revitalization Grant. State legislators would have to vote on letting the casinos into the program.

Workers feared that the tactic used by the Taj Mahal's management would be used at other casinos in the city. Union members announced plans to picket the Taj Mahal for three hours next Friday.

"This is only the beginning," said Valerie McMorris, 45, who has a 15-year-old son on her benefits and a husband who just lost his job at Revel. "This is the first step in decimating middle-class jobs."
Others said they worried that the uncertainty workers are feeling would negatively impact the local economy in Atlantic County.

Patrons at the Taj Mahal shook their heads in disapproval upon hearing about Friday's ruling. Joan Starke said that she's already considering taking her business to another casino in town.

"If they treat the people like this, I'll think about going to Borgata," said Starke, 72. "I don't think this is fair."




http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/newjersey/2014/10/atlantic_city_casino_workers_f.html

 

All very confusing....



Casino Proponents insist that $1 BILLION is flowing across Massachusetts borders to Connecticut Casinos.

Does that mean no one other than Massachusetts residents is spending $$$$ ?




Connecticut casinos see revenues fall

October 18, 2014 9:00 AM by Staff & Wire Reports


Connecticut’s Indian-run casinos are reporting declines in slot machine betting and revenue in September.

Mohegan Sun said Wednesday slot machine bets totaled $569.6 million, down from $621.5 million in September 2013. The share of wagers known as revenue was $46.5 million, down from nearly $50 million a year ago.

Foxwoods Resort Casino said total slot bets were $445.8 million, down from $508.1 million. Slot revenue of $36 million was down from $44.8 million last year.

Betting and revenue have fallen steadily at the casinos due to rising competition in the Northeast and continuing weakness in consumer demand.

Mohegan Sun recently lost its second bid to operate a casino in Massachusetts and Foxwoods is in the running for a resort casino in Fall River.



http://www.gamingtoday.com/industry/article/49827-Connecticut_casinos_see_revenues_fall

Really?? Just can't take no for an answer huh?




Suffolk Downs' first insolvent partner was CAESARS [formerly Harrah's].

Caesars is currently negotiating with their creditors, their entire cash flow goes to debt payment and Suffolk Downs had no problem with that?

Next partner is Mohegan Sun, another insolvent partner [SEC filings publicly available].







Really?? Just can't take no for an answer huh?

The City of Revere, along with the union representing Suffolk Downs workers, is suing the Massachusetts Gaming Board, challenging its decision to award...
BOSTON.COM

Dirty money flows freely...through casinos




Former B.C. casino investigator calls suspicious transactions 'shocking'

Volume of apparent money laundering 'eye-opening and shocking,' Ed Rampone says

CBC NewsPosted: Oct 18, 2014
 
Dirty money flows freely, says former casino investigator
Dirty money flows freely, says former casino investigator 2:55


A CBC News investigation has sparked renewed calls to overhaul casino operations and tighten provincial regulations to curb suspected money laundering on some of B.C.'s most popular gaming floors.

In just over three months this spring, almost $27-million worth of suspicious cash transactions were documented by just two Lower Mainland casinos — the River Rock in Richmond and the Starlight in New Westminster.
Ed Rampone, former head of casino investigations with the province's Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, says there's little doubt the suspicious cash flowing through casinos is gang money.

Ed Rampone, former head of casino investigations with B.C. Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch
 
CBC News spoke via Skype with Ed Rampone, the former head of casino investigations with B.C. Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. (CBC)

"This is money laundering happening through your casinos," Rampone told CBC News Friday. "It's eye-opening and shocking to see the volume that it's reached."

Documents gathered through an Freedom of Information request revealed that many of the transactions flagged by staff at the River Rock and Starlight casinos this spring involved large quantities of smaller bills — often in denominations of $20 and $50. The RCMP have said in the past that such small denominations are the currency of the drug trade.

Despite the presence of dozens of cameras recording the comings and goings and more than 500 reports noting the flow of suspicious cash, police were never called.

All this comes three years after a previous CBC News investigation revealed $8 million in suspicious transactions were documented in a similar three month period. Following that news in 2011, the B.C. government reviewed casino operations and launched an anti-money laundering strategy.
But Rampone says little seems to have changed.
Casino money laundering concerns
Money laundering can happen when individuals buy in at a casino with dirty cash, play a few games, and then cash out their balance and claim it as winnings. (CBC)

"The failure to do anything about it and just continue to rubber stamp this and pass it on as intelligence — it's bordering on negligence," he said.

Rampone said people bringing in large quantities of unsourced cash need to be stopped and challenged immediately, if not by casino security then by police, who should be assigned to gaming centres.

"They ought to be turning [the money] away and not dealing it away the same way that the banks turn it away at the cash wickets," he said. "Ask some questions of these individuals, and, if need be, intercept that currency."

Casinos still deal mostly in cash: lawyer


Casinos remain predominantly a cash business in B.C., according to Christine Duhaime, a lawyer with expertise in anti-money laundering measures.
Duhaime added that no obvious police involvement does not mean there are no current investigations, but she believes a greater police presence on the gaming floors would go far to deter crimes.
Dr. Garry Smith, a University of Alberta researcher who studies gambling-related crime, said the sheer volume of documented suspicious transactions seem to indicate B.C. needs to do more to deter criminal activities at casinos.

"I'm sure they could be doing more than they're doing," he said. "If there's still suspicion about where this money comes from, then they contact police. So far they're not doing that."

The B.C. Lottery Corp. told CBC News that no one has been convicted of money laundering through operations that it licenses. It also said that anyone buying chips or credit with cash and then quickly cashing out at a B.C. casino is returned the same cash denominations. If a cheque is issued, it is marked that the funds are not gaming winnings.

B.C.'s Finance Ministry, which receives gaming funds from its private casino partners, also defended its efforts to curb money laundering in casinos by pointing to the shift to electronic options, such as patron gaming-funds accounts, to discourage the use of large amounts of cash.

As a sign of success, the ministry said there were nearly 9,800 non-cash transactions totalling $18,158.390 in the last six months. It noted that's a large jump from the 50 non-cash transactions recorded in 2012, when the program was put in place.


CBC Investigates

CBC Vancouver's award-winning team of investigative journalists break stories that matter to British Columbians.

We continue to find stories you won't see anywhere else. We dig deeper and go further to find the truth.

Help us expose corruption, government waste and threats to your safety. Tell us if you know about something we should be investigating.

We're always looking for stories.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/former-b-c-casino-investigator-calls-suspicious-transactions-shocking-1.2804418


Day Four: 18 reasons in 18 days to Vote YES on 3




[Note: YOU are our advertising campaign. Unlike casinos, we don't have millions of dollars to advertise. YOU are the only way this message reaches other voters. Please share and post widely. ]

Casinos Harm Our Communities
Casinos will extract millions of dollars from the residents of your hometown. Millions (and in many cities, tens of millions) of dollars in current local retail spending will be shifted to the casinos every year. It doesn't matter if the casino is located in your backyard, or 25 miles away, every dollar your neighbors lose at the casino is one less dollar they will spend in town. Every resident of your community will pay the price for that loss.
If you want to see how much money your neighbors are projected to gamble at the casinos every year, go to the following links to view how much money will be flowing away from businesses in your town, to the casinos:





Is whatever you believe might be gained from casinos,
worth everything that you will lose?


On November 4th, Vote YES to Repeal the Casino Law
Vote YES on #3
Vote YES to STOP the Casino Mess

WANT TO HELP?
3 Ways You Can:

1) Please share/post these messages widely: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005253047911

We Can't Win Without YOU!