Meetings & Information

Invitation to National Conference on Govt-Sponsored Casinos and Lotteries

Message from Les Bernal
National Director,
Stop Predatory Gambling :
I'm writing to encourage you to attend an important national conference on government-sponsored gambling being held this summer titled "Gambling Addiction and Society: Thinking Anew."


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, July 28, 2014

Report: Casino industry not likely to rebound any time soon....Duh?



Some people with straw for brains, rushed to embrace Slot Barns!

Maybe WE should re-think this.

Maybe WE should REPEAL THE CASINO DEAL!




Get the FACTS!

Join with your friends and neighbors!

Protect your community from the devastation of Predatory Gambling!


Report: Casino industry not likely to rebound any time soon
By Brian Hallenbeck
Publication: The Day

Published July 22. 2014


Credit-rating firm Fitch sees bleak future ahead for 'bricks-and-mortar'
Another credit-rating agency paints a grim picture of much of the casino industry's future, finding that "long-term, robust same-store growth in U.S. bricks-and-mortar regional gaming is unlikely."

Fitch Ratings, in a report released Monday, attributes its pessimism to saturation across regional markets; stagnant wages among lower-tier players who spend less than $100 per casino visit; reprioritization of disposable income; younger generations' potentially lower propensity to gamble; proliferation of online/social gaming; and baby boomers' lowered preparedness for retirement.

The Fitch report comes three weeks after Moody's Investors Service downgraded its outlook on the U.S. gaming industry from "stable" to "negative." Moody's cited recent declines in gaming revenue.

While its report focuses on all U.S. casino-based gaming, with the exception of the Las Vegas Strip, Fitch says its analysis is applicable, for the most part, to tribal gaming, too. Fitch says it excludes the Las Vegas Strip because that market's operating performance is largely driven by nongaming amenities while its gaming revenues are driven by foreign players.

In southeastern Connecticut, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun are tribal casinos, owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, respectively. Both tribes' Connecticut casinos have experienced significant declines in gaming revenue in recent years and both tribes have sought commercial casino licenses in other states.

"The U.S. regional gaming supply has largely met demand, with most states now having some form of casino-based gambling," the Fitch report says. However, it adds, some "pockets of opportunity" exist, one of them being the "Boston-area license that could have attractive return on investment prospects."

Mohegan Sun is competing for the Boston-area license with Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts. The license would be the second of three that Massachusetts gaming regulators could eventually grant.

The first of the three has been awarded to MGM Resorts International, which plans to build in Springfield.

None of the Massachusetts projects would move forward if voters there support a repeal of the state's casino law in a November referendum.

Fitch estimates that gaming revenues derived from slot machines in regional markets will decline to roughly 75 percent of total revenue by 2030 from the current 85 percent.

"The shift largely reflects the younger generations' preference for table games," the report says.




http://www.theday.com/article/20140722/BIZ02/307229967/1044

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe: Sometmes ya stop digging!





 
A Las Vegas-based architectural firm that has worked on some of the largest casinos in the world has been hired to design the proposed Mashpee Wampanoag casino in Taunton.
 
Steelman Partners LLP, which designed the $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas for Genting Group, was hired by the tribe's gaming authority. Genting is the parent company of Malaysian investors loaning money to the tribe for the Taunton project.
 
Tribe leaders confirmed the hiring of Steelman, but declined a request for an interview and instead issued a statement.
 
"The tribe recently engaged Steelman Partners of Las Vegas, a firm that is known for its outstanding track record in the design of destination resorts. We have been impressed with their interior design concepts, and have asked for their recommendations in creating a 'wow factor' for Project First Light," Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Cedric Cromwell said. "With the environmental review process winding down, it is important that we start the next phase of design and examine ways to create a first-class environment for those who will be visiting our facilities in Taunton."
 
One of the projects Steelman has on its resume is the MGM tower at Foxwoods in Connecticut. The company also has designed casinos in Asia, including the Sands Macau. Paul Steelman, the company's principal, is described by Global Gaming Business Magazine as being "responsible for
many of the most striking designs in the casino business."
 
Tribe sources now put the tribe's debt at $90 million after borrowing $8.6 million, in part, to hire Steelman. The tribe lopped $1.6 million off the top of that loan to pay interest on its debt to Genting, sources said.
 
The architects will be paid $900,000 per month and a total of $14.5 million, according to the sources.
 
The tribe paid JCJ Architects, which has a Boston office, in excess of $13 million for designs that were presented to Taunton city councilors in May 2013 and are now being scrapped.
 
At the time, a Genting executive told Taunton city councilors the curved designs of the JCJ design added a "wow factor" to the project.
 
"We're paying again for new designs and going deeper into debt," one of the tribe sources said.
 
"Why?"
 
This would be the third iteration of the Mashpee Wampanoag casino proposal in Taunton, once the plans are complete.
 
"I'm aware they've switched," Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye Jr. said Friday. "(Steelman's) reputation in the field is superior."
 
Hoye said he doesn't expect the size of the project, which is slated to be built in phases with two hotels and a water park, will change, but the "curb appeal" will improve with a Steelman design.
 
As soon as designs are complete, Hoye said he expects the tribe to go before the City Council to review them.
 
Officials for JCJ did not return repeated calls seeking comment. The firm still lists the Mashpee Wampanoag's Project First Light as one of its projects on its website.
 
Kama Star, a spokesman for Steelman, said the firm's principal was traveling and unavailable for comment.
 
The city and the tribe have an agreement for the tribe to pay at least $8 million per year plus more for infrastructure to help with city services once a casino is up and running. It's been two years since a citywide vote was held that overwhelmingly approved the casino deal.
 
Progress has been slow on the tribe's application with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to have the land taken into trust for the casino. The Final Environmental Impact Statement is under review, but it's unclear when that will be acted upon.
 
Meanwhile, the tribe faces potential competition in Southeastern Massachusetts from commercial bidders, though that process hasn't been much quicker. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission recently extended a key application deadline until Dec. 1. The commission has opened the region to additional bidders and hopes to issue a license by August 2015.
 
 
 
 
 

Landlords: Margaritaville owes millions in rent, $500K in unpaid taxes


Exploding the myth of 'Destination Resorts'!




Landlords: Margaritaville owes millions in rent, $500K in unpaid taxes

Landlords have filed suit

meperez@sunherald.com
July 25, 2014
 
 
BILOXI -- The operators of Margaritaville Casino owe nearly $4 million in rent and $500,000 in unpaid taxes, according to a request for a temporary injunction filed Wednesday by attorneys for the casino's landlords.
 The motion filed in Harrison County Circuit Court asks that MVB Holding LLC be directed to turn over the keys to the casino immediately and prohibited from removing any of its contents.

The filing came two days after MVB Holdings announced the casino will close by Sept. 19.

Attorney Michael Cavanaugh said the casino's location and lack of amenities are issues and the company can't get financing for a hotel because the landlord won't renegotiate the lease.

Attorneys for Clay Point LLC, a group of property owners at the site, took issue with being blamed for the closing.

Lawrence Gunn Jr. and Donald Dornan Jr. said the suggestion Clay Point is somehow responsible "for Margaritaville's financial and management woes is completely untrue. Clay Point and numerous other public and private entities made significant concessions to assist Margaritaville during the last 18 months. It is regrettable that the well-intended efforts of those parties was insufficient to keep Margaritaville afloat."

According to the legal filing, the lease requires MVB to pay $1 million in rent a year and a percentage of Margaritaville's sales. The casino opened in May 2012 and rent
was deferred for a year until May 2013. The suit says MVB has not paid any rent or the deferred rent, and the amount due through July is $3,868,225.

MVB also "failed and refused to pay" taxes on the leased property, Clay Point claims in the motion.

The amount due is $501,690.02.

"The Clay Point property owners have repeatedly attempted to reach a workable agreement that would help Margaritaville by making their rent lower," Dornan said. "These efforts failed because Magaritaville has consistently been unwilling to recognize any obligation to make past or future rental payments."

As MVB is required to pay employees for 60 days, the motion says they won't be additionally harmed if the casino is forced to close immediately.

Attorneys for MVB Holding responded to the motion for preliminary injunction Thursday and said forcing an early closing would cause a loss of revenue to the company, along with the city, county, state and school district that receive casino tax revenue.

"As the MVB board said on Monday, they are unable to resolve the litigation with landowners, and although MVB believes it would ultimately prevail, the inability to refinance and build the hotel and amenities during that extended period prevents them from going forward," Cavanaugh said.

As the legal action continues, Dornan said, "we believe the casino property and its contents should remain 'as is' during the 60-day closing period. There should be no removal of personal property except under the supervision of the court."

http://www.sunherald.com/2014/07/25/5714807/landlords-file-suit-against-margaritaville.html

 
 

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2014/07/25/5714807/landlords-file-suit-against-margaritaville.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Casinos' slipping fortunes



Casinos' slipping fortunes   

Donald Trump says to expect more casino closings





Donald Trump says to expect more casino closings

 

POSTED: July 16, 2014
 
 
 
ATLANTIC CITY - With the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino's expected closing, Donald Trump, whose name is emblazoned on the casino and who once owned three of the gambling palaces here, said he can't help but feel bad for the resort he helped build.
In an interview Monday, Trump also predicted that an oversaturation of casinos would mean more closings in other places, including the Philadelphia area.
Trump endured multiple bankruptcies as head of Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., and he and his name will always be linked with Atlantic City even if his share of the casinos is now only about 10 percent.
Trump Plaza's owners issued layoff notices to 1,600 employees Monday and said the casino would close Sept. 16. The closing would leave just one Trump-brand casino in Atlantic City, the Trump Taj Mahal. The former Trump Marina was sold in spring 2011 and became the Golden Nugget Atlantic City Casino Hotel under restaurant-chain owner Landry's Inc. of Houston.
"I'm very sad for Atlantic City. I spent many years there, as you know," Trump said from New York City less than two hours after Trump Plaza employees were issued layoff notices. "But I have not been involved for many years.
"I have nothing to do" with Trump Plaza's closing," he said. "Different people own it."
At the beginning of 2014, Atlantic City had 12 casinos. The Atlantic Club closed in mid-January, and two others - Revel and Showboat - have threatened to close, both by summer's end, if they do not find buyers. Showboat issued layoff notices about two weeks ago to its 2,100 workers.
"I feel badly, but Atlantic City is a different place now," Trump said. "What's happening in Atlantic City is happening all over the country. The United States is becoming one big casino.
"Atlantic City is getting clobbered. Seventy-five percent of the casinos in Atlantic City are bankrupt or going through bankruptcy. The other 25 percent are on respirator. This is going to happen in [the Philadelphia area] and Pennsylvania, too, you watch.
State governments think casino revenue is "the panacea, but it's not the panacea when everyone is doing it."
"The whole country is going this way. There are too many" casinos, Trump said.
Trump began building his casino empire here with Trump Plaza, on the 50-yard line of the Boardwalk, in May 1984. His second casino, the Trump Marina, opened in June 1985 in the Marina District.
Trump's crown jewel and flagship, the billion-dollar Taj Mahal, opened on the northern end of the Boardwalk on April 2, 1990, as the most expensive casino ever built in Atlantic City. The $1.1 billion Borgata would not open until 2003.
Trump and Atlantic City grew together. The mogul was at the height of his popularity after the Taj Mahal debuted and into the mid-1990s. His appearances at his three casinos were frequent and often advertised as attractions that drew thousands.
But the following years were less kind as the Trump casino company would go in and out of bankruptcy court in 1991, 1992, 2004, and 2009, and Trump's ownership stake and influence would diminish with each trip. Many blamed the cost of the Taj Mahal for its financial problems.
After emerging from its last bankruptcy in 2009, Trump owned just a tenth of his Atlantic City casinos as hedge funds took over.
Trump recalled the Atlantic City of the 1980s and 1990s, before competition from states surrounding it that now have casinos.
"I did a great job," Trump said. "In its heyday, there was no place like it. Now the times are different.
"I feel bad for Atlantic City. I worked with a lot of great people there, and I know so many of them are in a tough situation.
"It's very sad, because I love Atlantic City."

http://articles.philly.com/2014-07-16/news/51549450_1_trump-marina-atlantic-city-donald-trump





Nevada's Failure!


If Casinos pave the streets with GOLD....what happened to Nevada?

Can we talk about the HIGH CRIME, HIGH PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY RATES, HIGH DIVORCE RATES, HIGH POVERTY RATES ....and very sadly, HIGH SUICIDE RATE, The Gambling Industry's Dirty Little Secret?

REPEAL THE CASINO DEAL and protect ALL Massachusetts Communities from this destruction!

Nevada education system ranked last in nation, report says







Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s state ranks last in the nation in education for the third year in a row, according to a children's well-being report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
 
According to the report, about 40 percent of Nevada’s high school seniors didn’t graduate on time in 2012. The percentage is the highest failure rate in the country and double the national average. 
Nevada also had the lowest preschool participation rate in the U.S., with 30 percent of children receiving schooling before kindergarten compared with a 46 percent national average. 
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada's children beat only New Mexico and Mississippi in an overall well-being category, which includes children's health, education and state of families. 
“Nevada continues to gain ground, but we remain in 50th place. That’s unacceptable,” Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga told the Review-Journal. 
Erquiaga told the Review-Journal that Nevada's 17 school districts should spend more time ensuring high school students earn credits and pass state-required exit exams. 
“Districts have to continue rethinking their efforts before students fall so far behind they can’t catch up in time," he said. 
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Connecticut’s casino boom going bust


Let's not replicate the mistakes of others!

REPEAL THE CASINO DEAL!

If you haven't already read Robert Steele's book, it's a MUST READ!








Connecticut’s casino boom going bust


Bay State should be wary of hopping on gambling bandwagon


Monday, July 21, 2014

Lesson of the nonexistent 'hot machine' still rings true



Lesson of the nonexistent 'hot machine' still rings true

By Mark Gruetze Administrative Editor


Published: Sunday, July 20, 2014


The young woman working the entrance of the Downtown Las Vegas slots parlor beckoned earnestly.
My wife and I, on one of our early trips to Sin City, were there with a coupon for a free souvenir, but the woman said we could do better. She had noticed a particularly hot machine and guided us to it. After her tales of big payouts, which her supervisor backed up, we bought silver dollars and played them through. Nothing. So much for that vow of riches.
We learned a valuable lesson those many years ago, back when slot players had to pull the handle and machines didn't accept bills: You shouldn't believe everything you hear in a casino.
That maxim came to mind recently when the state accused a former roulette dealer at Meadows Casino in Washington County of conspiracy and other offenses. Court documents say an agent with the Gaming Unit of the Attorney General's Office and a member of the State Police Gaming Enforcement Office at the Meadows got a tip from a confidential informant that Robert “Rudy” Valle, 56, of Wintersville, Ohio, was telling customers he could help them win at roulette. Court documents give this account:
Valle told a player he knew how to guide the roulette ball toward a section of the wheel, and gamblers could win by betting on one of the numbers in that section. The player turned out to be a confidential informant who has provided state and local police with information that led to the arrests of about 50 people. Valle's “specific detailed description” of the scheme included instructions to bet on 4 plus its roulette wheel neighbors, 16, 23, 33, 35, 14 and 21, to increase the chances of winning.
Defense attorney Christopher Blackwell says Valle was just being friendly and explaining roulette to a novice. Steering the roulette ball to a specific section of the wheel is “absolutely impossible” because of variables such as humidity in the air, a rule that dealers cannot look at the wheel when spinning the ball and the use of balls that differ in size and weight, Blackwell says.
The state does not allege that Valle did anything more than talk about the numbers.
A roulette wheel is built to deter cheating. It has 38 numbered slots — one to 36, zero and double zero — that follow a pattern of two even numbers and two odd numbers, with red and black squares alternating. The green zero and double zero are opposite each other on the wheel; so are consecutive numbers, such as 1 and 2.
While the numbered wheel rotates one direction, the dealer spins the hard plastic ball in the opposite direction. Pennsylvania says the ball must make at least four trips around the wheel, but in practice it's usually more. After the ball falls from the ledge, it bounces around numerous decorative “canoes” before landing in a numbered slot — sometimes jumping out of other slots.
Valle's instructions cover seven of the 38 possible results on the wheel. So, over the long run, the ball would land in one of those numbers once in about every five spins no matter what.
The idea of dealers being able to steer a roulette ball is an enduring myth along the lines of belief that a blackjack dealer will fail to bust unless someone at the table takes a hit, that a craps dealer will lose on the roll after a die goes off the table or that a lucky dance will make a slot machine pay off.
Some scientists say chaos theory can give roulette players an edge, although that involves calculating the speed of the ball, then using a formula to determine which half of the wheel the ball is likely to fall into and spreading the bets before the dealer closes the action.
With any beat-the-house gimmick, I ask myself: Why would a lovely young woman point out the hot slot machine to two fresh-faced young tourists instead of saving it for herself or her friends?
Then, I remember why you shouldn't believe everything you hear in a casino.
Mark Gruetze is administrative editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7838 or players@tribweb.com.
Money trail
Table-game players lost $57.8 million in Pennsylvania casinos during June, the Gaming Control Board says. While that was down from June 2013, casinos' table-game win for the fiscal year ending June 30 was up 2.63 percent from 2012-13.
Table-game revenue for the year was $731.9 million. Combined with $2.3 billion in slot revenue, the casinos' win for the year was $3.05 billion, down 2.87 percent from the 2012-13 total of $3.1 billion. It was first year-over-year decline in total gambling revenue in the eight years the state has had legal gambling. Pennsylvania still ranks No. 2 in gambling revenue, behind Nevada and ahead of New Jersey.


Table game revenue in 2013-14 for Western Pennsylvania casinos:
Rivers: $68.43 million, down 1.23 percent from $69.28 million in 2012-13
Meadows: $29.96 million, down 16.75 percent from $35.98 million
Presque Isle: $12.46 million, down 16.68 percent from $14.96 million
Lady Luck Nemacolin: $4.83 million; open only for two test nights in 2012-13
Source: Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
3 FROM AREA CASH IN AT MAIN EVENT
Jack Schanbacher of Reserve placed 131st in the Main Event at the World Series of Poker. The $52,141 payout was his fourth cash of this year's WSOP, giving him a total of $61,086 in the seven-week event. The $10,000-per-seat No Limit Hold 'Em tournament had 6,683 entrants. the fifth largest field in its 45-year history. Two other Western Pennsylvania players finished in the money at the Main Event:
• David Tannenholz of Pittsburgh, $22,678 for placing 530th
• Richard Tatalovich of Pittsburgh, $20,228 for placing 617th


http://triblive.com/mobile/6449036-96/ball-roulette-wheel


The Costs exceed the Revenues!




Another Disingenuous Study of CRIME!


Step up patrols in the immediate area, focus only on 4 categories of CRIME and VOILA!

Another phony study of CRIME!

Don't buy it!
Massachusetts ‘GAMING’ Future
The real crime here that no one's talking about is that 95% of casino patrons are losing theirs and many times others money's on a daily basis.
Philadelphia Inquirer - July 19, 2014 - Study says crime has not risen around SugarHouse Casino
A study by two Philadelphia researchers has found that crime in the immediate area of SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia's Fishtown section has not increased since the casino opened 2010.
The study, by Lallen T. Johnson, assistant professor of criminal justice at Drexel University, and Jerry H. Ratcliffe, chair of Temple University's department of criminal justice, says crime rates in Fishtown were largely unaffected by the arrival of SugarHouse in the 1000 block of North Delaware Avenue in September 2010.





Study says crime has not risen around SugarHouse Casino



Increased police presence was cited by a researcher as a possible reason crime did not rise after SugarHouse opened in 2010. TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Increased police presence was cited by a researcher as a possible reason crime did not rise after SugarHouse opened in 2010. TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer





POSTED: July 20, 2014
 
 
 
 
A study by two Philadelphia researchers has found that crime in the immediate area of SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia's Fishtown section has not increased since the casino opened 2010.
The study, by Lallen T. Johnson, assistant professor of criminal justice at Drexel University, and Jerry H. Ratcliffe, chair of Temple University's department of criminal justice, says crime rates in Fishtown were largely unaffected by the arrival of SugarHouse in the 1000 block of North Delaware Avenue in September 2010.
Before the casino's opening, area residents and civic groups said they worried that the influx of gamblers would draw criminals, too.
The research, which used no external funding, started in 2012 and looked at Philadelphia police crime data from 2004 through 2011, Johnson said.
The study, "A Partial Test of the Impact of a Casino on Neighborhood Crime" was published online by Palgrave MacMillan's Security Journal, a journal for security researchers and professionals. The article, which underwent a peer review, is also to be published in an upcoming print issue of the journal.
Johnson said the study, focused on four kinds of crime: violent street felonies; vehicle crimes, such as auto theft and break-ins; burglaries; and drug crimes.
"We found no statistically significant effect," Johnson said.
Jethro Heiko, one of the founders of the anti-casino group Casino Free Philadelphia, who lives about a block from SugarHouse, said he was not surprised.
He said Philadelphia and State Police had stepped up patrols after the casino opened.
"The issues of crime, as I see them with casinos, is they are not the violent local neighborhood crime issues. . . . It's more of the white-collar crime, embezzlement and fraud," Heiko said.
He said a study should focus on how people with gambling addiction may steal from employers.
Paul Boni, a lawyer who represented Casino Free Philadelphia, agreed, urging a focus on crimes related to gambling addiction, such as embezzlement. He also said he thought the study was "too limited, both in geography and types of crime."
Johnson agreed that an increased police presence might have kept a lid on crime in the area.
He noted that Philadelphia police had created a special patrol district in an area around the casino.
Johnson said there was some evidence of "displacement" in vehicle crime, as shown by a rise of such offenses in areas near Fishtown.
He said it was the sheer increase in the number of people arriving at the casino area may have deterred some crime.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mashpee Wampanoag Propaganda




Wampanoag chief has mixed feelings on casino bid



MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) — In the centuries since its ancestors greeted the Pilgrims in 1620, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has struggled to overcome financial hardship, recover lost land and even reclaim its nearly forgotten language.



The tribe's 92-year-old traditional chief, Vernon "Silent Drum" Lopez, says much has changed since the days of his youth when members mostly lived off the land. He supports the tribal council's bid for a $500 million casino in Taunton, but acknowledges some mixed emotions.

He says there are pros and cons to casinos and worries about the potential for debt or corruption.




Council chairman Cedric Cromwell says a casino would be an economic boost for the tribe, which recently opened a new headquarters in Mashpee and operates an oyster farm at nearby Popponesset Bay.



http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2014-07-20/wampanoag-chief-has-mixed-feelings-on-casino-bid