Wednesday, September 30, 2009
"This action is even more hypocritical when one considers the major role played by the Government of Ontario and the governments of other provinces in the sale of other products for which the risks are well known, including alcohol and gambling."
A study released Tuesday by a statewide bar and restaurant group rips a four-casino proposal for over-promising on jobs and local aid that gambling could bring to Ohio's largest cities, including Cleveland.
[Retired Hiram economics professor Thomas] Pascarella pointed out that the Cincinnati study does not take into consideration the full impact of casinos on gambling addiction, charitable gambling or the Ohio Lottery.
Pascarella said casinos, outside of Nevada, don't bring in any new business or residents or spur growth for a city or region.
Stephen Wynn, 67, is selling assets in Macau, the world’s biggest gambling hub, as he grapples with falling revenue at Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s Las Vegas operations.
Earnings at Wynn Resorts have fallen for the past two years as a global economic slowdown hurt travel and spending at the company’s Las Vegas casinos and hotels.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
One of the protesters:
"...you can't build the strength of a city through creating addiction and poverty..."
Kudos to Philadelphia's residents for taking such an impressive stand to oppose predatory gambling! And thanks, Les for posting this!
As a footnote, Foxwoods' "restructuring" won't affect Philly Deal included --
"We'll be asking creditors to take a big haircut," a tribal adviser told the New London Day.
They can't pay their bills in CT, but they're moving forward in Philly?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
[Bernetta Hineroa Norton-Taylor, 41] who defrauded two small clubs to feed her gambling habit was the victim of a government sanctioned industry that encouraged people to gamble, a judge has said.
"You are the victim of an industry that has government approval and the approval of some community groups, that is set up to encourage people to gamble in a way that finally induces the type of addiction you ve suffered."
... had fallen prey to an addiction which caused her to break the trust of the club and the community.
And some, dazzled by the fool's gold of predatory gambling believe --
Casinos are a hot topic as unemployment rates rise and the economy continues its dismal slide.
[Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau board chairman Gregory B.] Chiecko said the board would like funding for marketing to support arts and restaurants affected by a casino.
[newly formed Pioneer Valley Jobs Coalition president, Joseph J.] Turek said he’d like to know the real reason why some oppose Connecticut-based Mohegan building a casino across from the Massachusetts Turnpike exit on Thorndike Street (Route 32).
Dear Mr. Turek:
You don't know me, but ....
Allow me to provide some information.
You might consider the wealth of information available here:
United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts
Stop Predatory Gambling
When you have digested that information that merely scratches the surface, there's far more we can pass along.
You might want to consider We Can Always Build More Casinos, Right? --
A 2005 study by the Federal Reserve found a statistically significant relationship between proximity to casinos in Mississippi and bankruptcy rates in the region, which includes impoverished states like Alabama and Tennessee.
This is not easy to dismiss because the lottery returns 25 cents of every dollar to cities and towns. Predatory Gambling returns only a fraction of that.
Despite their losses, senior citizens keep going to the casinos. 'They roll out the red carpet when I come in,' one retiree says.
Am I addicted?" she asked. "Of course."
Lots of seniors are addicted, she said. You come into the casino in the middle of the day and see them with their "wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, the whole megillah." But at least Sandy knows why she does it. "Because I'm hiding and I'm lonely," she said.
Ralph and Jan ... [are] thinking of moving from the Valley to the desert, ignoring a daughter's plea that they do something else with their time and money.
Late last year, Pauma's project for a $300 million hotel and casino with the Mashantucket Pequots' Foxwoods Development Co. of Connecticut hit the rocks.
Pauma's project developer declared the project "not feasible" and canceled funding for it, according to the lawsuit.
A spokesman for the Connecticut tribe said it was unable to get the project financed because of the recession.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
New report reveals government-sponsored predatory gambling adds to long-term budget problems
By SPG September 25, 2009 at 07:15 AM EDT
Here’s the must-read press release and the report:
"State and local government revenues from authorized gambling operations declined by 2.8 percent from fiscal year 2008 to 2009, marking the first time those revenues have declined in over three decades, according to a new report issued today by the Rockefeller Institute of Government.
Data on the decline come as states continue to examine casinos, video-lottery terminals and other gambling operations as potential sources of new revenue — with more than 25 states considering such proposals in the past year.
Authors of the study — For the First Time, a Smaller Jackpot: Trends in State Revenues From Gambling — said new gambling activities often provide a quick boost to state revenues, but generally do not keep pace with traditional tax revenues and government expenditures over time.
“The historical tendency for revenues from existing gambling operations to grow at a significantly slower pace than other state revenues may hold important lessons for states as policymakers consider further expansion of casinos, racinos, and other gambling activities,” Institute Deputy Director Robert B. Ward and Institute Senior Policy Analyst Lucy Dadayan wrote in the report. “Expenditures on education and other programs will generally grow more rapidly than gambling revenue over time. Thus, new gambling operations that are intended to pay for normal increases in general state spending may add to, rather than ease, long-term budget imbalances.”
Most individual states reported declines in gambling revenues over the last two years. The few states that reported increases — including Pennsylvania and North Carolina — have recently authorized the opening of new gambling operations.
According to the report, states generate tax revenues from four major types of gambling operations: state lotteries, casinos, racinos and pari-mutuel betting. By far the largest source of state gambling revenues is lottery income — which experienced an overall decline of 2.6 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2009.
The second-largest source is casinos. During the same period, those revenues declined 8.5 percent. The third-largest source for gambling revenues is the newer racinos, or race track-based casinos. Revenues from those operations increased by 6.7 percent, largely because of new racinos opening in Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Pari-mutuel wagering — which generally takes place at horse racing, harness and dog tracks — makes up a small percentage of revenues from gambling, even though it’s the longest established form of legalized gambling in many states. Preliminary figures contained in the new report indicate those revenues fell off by 14.8 percent from July-March 2008 to July-March 2009.
The new report also examined the extent to which states rely on gambling revenues. Overall, gambling revenues make up about 2.3 percent of states’ “own-source” revenues, with the percentage for individual states ranging from as high as 13.6 percent for Nevada and 9.2 percent for West Virginia to less than 0.1 percent in Alabama and Wyoming."
Friday, September 25, 2009
WASHINGTON – At a hearing in front of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston Jan. 7, 2007, an attorney for the state of Rhode Island made an interesting threat: If the court were to uphold the Interior Department’s decision to take around 32 acres of land into trust for the Narragansett Indian Tribe, state officials would tie up the land in “years and years of litigation,” Joseph S. Larissa Jr. said.
The 1st Circuit ignored the threat, and after seven months of deliberations issued a 4-2 ruling upholding Interior’s decision to take into trust the 32-acre parcel Narragansett had purchased in the late 1990s for housing for its elders.
But Larissa was right about tying up the land.
As a footnote --
If passed into law, the Carcieri fix would also ensure that the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe could take land into trust. Federally acknowledged in 2007, Mashpee has about 150 acres of fee land, but no reservation. The tribe has an application with the Interior Department to take around 680 acres of fee land into trust as an initial reservation, including around 540 acres in Middleborough where the nation hopes to open a casino, and 140 acres in the town of Mashpee.
Where do the Mashpee Wampanoags own land in Middleboro?
That ignores that niggling little Hawaii decision.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
CT MADD reports -- In Connecticut 101 people were killed in 2007 in alcohol related crashes, down 12% from the previous year.
HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Monday said tribal casinos are not immune from state laws pertaining to liquor sales.
Blumenthal submitted an amicus brief to the state Appellate Court asking the court to overturn a recent trial court ruling that exempted tribal casinos from certain liquor laws.
Blumenthal filed the brief in support of Emily Vanstaen-Holland and her mother, Susan Holland, who are suing the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and others in connection with an accident in which Emily Vanstaen-Holland, a pedestrian, was struck by someone allegedly intoxicated after drinking at Mohegan Sun.
Sometimes, financial liability is the only thing that makes a good neighbor.
In March, a 23-year-old Navy sailor, who later reportedly told police that he had four or five drinks over the course of the evening at a Mohegan Sun club, struck a van carrying seven students headed to Boston's Logan Airport.
Elizabeth Durante, one of the traveling students, died at the scene. Less than a month later, a local construction worker, who had been drinking at the same bar, struck and killed a 59-year-old Willimantic woman.
When you make your money from predatory gambling, you're worried about bad pr?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
ReThink Review: American Casino -- Gambling on Timebomb Loans
Said Kim --
One thing that struck me while watching American Casino was the official-sounding terms for the tactics used to create this mess. When you hear terms that sound very technical ..., it's easy for part of your brain to shut off, especially if you already feel that you don't/can't/won't understand housing or finance. I was guilty of this myself.
Cannery Casino’s tax revenue projections of $168 million per year are significantly overstated. As in most other casino states, the revenue shortfall will become a trap, forcing the legislature to allow more machines at more locations to meet revenue targets.
The projections assume Net Machine Revenues of $307 per slot per day, about the rate at the Foxwoods destination casino, far above the $231 at the three Delaware racinos, and far above most other racino states.
Our state Attorney General, the New Hampshire Chiefs of Police and the New Hampshire Sheriffs Association all vigorously oppose legalized casinos because of their direct experience with casino crime. A 2007 member survey among the Chiefs disclosed overwhelming opposition.
Check out more Myths.
Gaming revenues received by local casinos [in Las Vegas]were down 12 percent in 2008 as compared with a year earlier. (This figure and all others in this article are reported on an inflation-adjusted basis.) And 2009 will be even worse: So far, revenues are off almost 15 percent from 2008's already depressed figures. The recession, then, appears set to cost Las Vegas more than a quarter of its business.
...desperate state governments looking to casinos to bail them out of their budget nightmares are likely to be disappointed.
Gambling revenues peaked in 2002 in Illinois, in 2000 in Mississippi, and in 2006 in Detroit, which had only begun to permit gambling ten years earlier.
What we've witnessed, indeed, is something of a race to the bottom.
The sort of customers these lower-end casinos attract, moreover, may be exactly the sort who shouldn't be spending their money on gambling. A 2005 study by the Federal Reserve found a statistically significant relationship between proximity to casinos in Mississippi and bankruptcy rates in the region, which includes impoverished states like Alabama and Tennessee.
Monday, September 21, 2009
The Top 10 Best Practices in the Predatory Gambling Trade
Today, a "Best Practices in the Gambling Industry" conference sponsored by the casino trade was held at Suffolk Downs. To help those who could not attend, here are the trade's Top 10 "Best Practices":
1) Base your business model on 90% of the gambling profits coming from 10% of the people who use the product, which makes nine out of every ten patrons virtually irrelevant to your revenues.
2) Design slot machines to "approach every player as a potential addict" by making them operate like "loaded dice", all in the name of getting the user "to play to extinction" - until all their money is gone. This recent Washington Post op-ed by a respected MIT professor explains it all.
3) Always make the political argument be about jobs, revenues and "inevitability" instead of the business model, the product and the marketing behind it. Which is why you won't find even one picture of a slot machine on our website.
StopPredatoryGambling :: The Top 10 Best Practices in the Predatory Gambling Trade
4) Create the public impression we are concerned about problem gamblers with a disciplined communications strategy (like "best practices" events such as this one). But in reality, aggressively defeat all efforts to meaningfully address the issue like how we roadblocked a bill in PA requiring casinos to mail monthly loss statements to frequent gamblers and how we funded a $15 million campaign in Missouri to repeal the state's $500-in-two-hours loss limit law.
5) Intensively fund the public health research like the tobacco companies did to minimize public outcry about our business model, our product and our marketing. Here are two stories, one by Bloomberg News and the other by The Boston Globe, that describe how we do it.
6) Use state-of-the art consumer loyalty technology as a critical marketing tool to closely monitor a person's wagering and the speed they gamble. The faster a person gambles, the more they lose. When you add in how much they wager each time, we develop a revenue model for each person we call "their predicted lifetime value."
How good is our marketing? Companies like Harrah's can trace more than 75 percent of its gambling revenue back to specific customers and with such state-of-the-art technology, we are vulnerable to the charge that we know who most of the out-of-control gamblers are that make up nearly all of our revenue.
But because our business model relies on 90% of its gambling profits coming from 10% of the people who use the product, we need out-of-control gamblers to survive. The consumer cards are how we identify who has the potential to reach the out-of-control category and then we aggressively market to them using free slot play, free food and lodging, telephone solicitations, direct mail and other marketing techniques to stimulate these people to reach their "potential."
7) Outsource the ownership and management of the ATM machines inside your casino and then buy from the vendor the list of the people who take money out of them. These gamblers are highly valuable because they are the ones most likely to lose control of their spending - they lost the money they arrived with at the casino and then needed to withdraw more of their savings to chase the money they lost earlier. If they did it once, they are likely to do it again. And again. And again.
8) Give as much money upfront to government as you can because our business model only works if our government denies the core democratic principle of equal citizenship to other Americans and traps people in debt. We already know 90% of our profits comes from 10% of the people we target - addicted and heavily indebted people. By definition, someone who is an addict or someone who is in deep financial debt is not free.
In a country where everyone is considered equal, where all blood is royal, the state is actively promoting a product that renders some of our fellow citizens as expendable. There is no good answer for this truth so simply go back on message with the jobs, revenues and "inevitability" argument.
9) Whatever you do, don't actually use the product yourself. It's a fact that most of us who own and promote casinos don't use the product, like casino exec Steve Wynn, Harrah's CEO Gary Loveman or Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill, to name a few.
10) Casino capitalism is very, very lucrative - for a handful of people like us.
These "best practices" belong at the center of every discussion about predatory gambling in the weeks and months ahead.
Hold a public hearing just on the business model, the product and the marketing practices
There are a total of thirteen hyperlinks in the post referencing each "Best Practice." Not sure how that doesn't far surpass "some documentation."
I have written up the quote for BMG before, coincidentally five months ago today, but am happy to do it as many times as it takes until the predatory gambling trade explains their business model as well as how electronic gambling machines work and their marketing practices:
The 90%/10% reference can be found in Wall Street Journal reporter Christina Binkley's book Winner Takes All on Pg. 184. The exact text reads as follows:
Harrah's propeller heads discovered that 90% of
The business model, the product and the marketing practices of the predatory gambling trade deserve intense and thorough public scrutiny. And to date, there has been virtually none of it.
The more one reads, the more one realizes our initial reactions were right.
This isn't sound public policy. This isn't economic development.
FOX25, myfoxboston - Monday Morning Quarterbacks Scott Harshbarger and Joe Malone recently joined the FOX25 Morning News from our Beacon Hill studio to talk about the latest political news.
Of predatory gambling as fiscal policy --
"bad economic development"
"...the next Big Dig..."
"...Stimulus package for owners of casinos, race tracks that can't survive, the owners will make money... the lobbyists will absolutely have a stimulus...."
"Not good long term economic development."
Check out the abundance of information on the great new site -- United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts
Sunday, September 20, 2009
to talk about a massive casino project proposed for their area cannot ban statements about the "social ills" of gambling if they allow discussion of the industry's benefits.
The legislature will perform a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis and develop data-driven budgets by region that account for fiscal revenues and both operating and capital investment expenses. Benefits/revenues will result from income and property taxes, license fees, job creation, reduction of welfare rolls, and ancillary economic development for regional businesses. Costs/expenses will result from capital investment projects, infrastructure expansion and maintenance thereof; mitigation compensation to affected regional communities for issues defined in the paragraphs below; and state and regional oversight and administration expenses.
The cost-benefit analysis will address but not be limited to costs such as the expansion of the Attorney General’s office for regulation, enforcement, investigation, prosecution, auditing; Gaming Commission personnel, equipment, operating budget, software and all consultants; gambling addiction services; state and local police and overtime; domestic violence advocates at district courts serving the regions impacted by proposed expanded gambling; expanded prison and corrections services; financial counseling; subsidized health care costs for transient workers and workers not covered by proposed expanded gambling health insurance.
The state is busted, and politicians were loath to raise taxes or cut spending, lest they anger voters and find themselves out of work in a recession. So the legislators and governor dragged the budget battle out for months - more days, more per diems - then claimed that the crisis had forced their hand on gaming.
Really, what are politicians to do? Might as well snuggle up to the one sugar daddy promising fast, free cash with few strings attached.
They've done it before. Sure, it felt dirty. But you get used to that.
(Eventually, other research showed that the typical slots player had to lose $750 a year to provide $330 in tax relief.)
Don't be surprised when politicians insist that the only way they could help the old folks and kids and provide tax relief was to expand gambling. Listen closely. Those are your chosen leaders claiming they simply had no other choice.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
But the life of this deputy at the Muskogee County Court Clerk's office, a daughter of a Baptist deacon, began crumbling several years ago as Native American casinos began proliferating across Oklahoma.
"I started gambling when they first brought them into Muskogee," she said in a telephone interview from FMC Carswell, a prison in Fort Worth, Texas, where she is serving time for taking nearly $600,000 from the clerk's office. "What happened the first time I ever took money from the court, I had gambled my whole paycheck and I had no money.
"I had no clue how much money I'd taken. I was as shocked as anyone else."
Borovetz is one of a number of state, local and business officials who have been accused of stealing money to pay gambling debts. Experts have reported seeing an increase in the number of residents who are struggling with the problem.
_Roger Q. Melson, former director of audits for the Commissioners of the Land Office, was named in a 174-count indictment in June that accused him of taking more than $1.16 million in royalty payments to the office. His attorney has said Melson has a gambling problem.
_Danny Rennels, the former executive secretary for a private association that regulates high school sports in Oklahoma, was charged Monday with embezzling $457,500 from the organization. Prosecutors said Rennels indicated he gambled the money away.
_Former State Rep. Mike Mass was sentenced last May to two years in prison for his role in a kickback scheme prosecutors said was fueled by his gambling addiction.
Read the rest ....
Friday, September 18, 2009
Study: Racinos create mostly low-paying jobs while depressing area incomes
While more states are tapping into the growing popularity of racinos as a means to augment budgets or create college scholarship programs, such facilities add lower paying jobs that depress local salaries, says a new study from Ball State University.
A study of West Virginian racinos — horse and dog racing facilities that added casino games — during 1978-2004 found that counties with such operations realized a one-time 1.1 percent increase in employment while the average salary in that area fell by as much as 2.9 percent due to the addition of a large number of low-paying jobs.
The study, which is featured in the current issue of "The Journal of Economics," also found the average annual salary of a racino employee is less than $14,000. This was near minimum wage at the time of the study.
"Racinos have recently encountered considerable scrutiny from policy makers," said the study's author Michael Hicks, director of Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), a division of the Miller College of Business. "There is enthusiasm for the immediate growth of jobs when gaming is added to a track. The drawback is that the average salary in that area actually falls because such new jobs require little or no formal training, and workers are easily replaceable. These new jobs pay little to nothing."
Racinos have emerged as a new focus of mixed venue gaming facilities in six states while there are efforts to permit this type of facility in at least six additional states. In some cases, the casino games are limited to slot machines or video lottery terminals (VLTs) only. Many locations are also beginning to include table games such as blackjack, poker and roulette.
Hicks points out opponents of gaming argue that access to racing and casino gaming mixes some of the more damaging forms of gambling, while proponents point to studies showing that mixed tourism venues generate the greatest regional impact.
His study found that West Virginia has four racinos with each located near larger out-of-state metro areas or near multistate borders. The racinos bring in $880 million of annual revenues — mostly from out-of-state visitors — while employing 4,400 workers and annually generating $327 million in business taxes. West Virginia ranks fourth in the share of total general revenue funds contributed by gaming.
Like many states, West Virginia finances a variety of services from taxing gaming facilities, including computers in K-12 school classrooms, college scholarships, economic development bonds and programs for senior citizens.
"The widespread attachment of gaming revenues to services in many states was designed to lessen opposition to gambling activities," Hicks said. "However, the study clearly shows that policy makers in all states should consider the policy initiatives when considering adding gaming to racing tracks. In other words, what are the costs of adding more low-paying jobs while propping up the state budget or funding other programs?"
By Marc Ransford, Media Relations Manager
If slot machines were a solution, why is California unemployment: 12.2 percent ???
New Hampshire, with NO gambling, that recently appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission to examine issues surrounding gambling, reports a rate of 6.9%.
Utah, with no gambling, has an unemployment rate of 6.0%.
Rhode Island with 2 slot parlors has an unemployment rate of 12.8%.
Nevada, gambling capital of the world until recently, has an unemployment rate of 13.2%.
Michigan has an unemployment rate of 15.2%, a businessman testified before Congress that Michigan streets should be paved with gold were casinos a solution. This is NOT the auto industry, folks!
Massachusetts reported an unemployment rate of 9.1%.
Hawaii, with no gambling, has an unemployment rate of 7.2%.
Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary provides some thorough information that seems to disprove the infallibility of casinos as job creators.
Before we embrace the theory of gambling as job creator, maybe we need to follow New Hampshire's lead and appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Cahill proposed licensing three slot machine parlors, including one in southeastern Massachusetts, as a way to raise quick revenue for the financially-impaired state. They might not be located at existing tracks, under his proposal.
...Cahill estimated Massachusetts
could generate $2 billion to $3 billion in up-front licensing fees from slot parlors,
plus up to $250 million annually in tax revenues.
Timmy's figures so were extremely flawed that perennial casino cheerleader and gambling industry lackey, Clyde Barrow said:
Cahill’s plan overestimates the amount of money that could be earned through up-front licensing fees....
When that article appeared, along with several others that GROSSLY overstated revenues and ignored expenses and impacts, I emailed State Treasurer Cahill's Office and this is the response --
Thank you for your correspondence regarding Treasurer Cahill’s
proposal to introduce Video Lottery Terminals in the Commonwealth. The
Treasury welcomes your feedback and appreciates your shared desire to
enhance the Massachusetts economy.
Under the proposal, the state would enter into a Public-Private
Partnership that would lease the right to operate VLTs to the highest
qualified bidder for a span of 15 to 20 years. The leasing of these
operating rights could bring in between $2 billion and $3.3 billion in
up-front payments, as well up to $244 million annually by collecting a
27 percent tax on revenue. Further, we are looking to capture a revenue
stream currently leaving the state, and this plan would allow money
currently being spent in Connecticut or Rhode Island to remain in
Given the ongoing economic crisis that our state and nation are faced
with, the Treasurer is convinced it is a necessary strategy that will
provide a vital revenue source for our state and will help our taxpayers
keep money in their pockets. Again, thanks for your correspondence and
your desire to help make Massachusetts stronger for our fellow
cc. Scott Campbell
The email can't be dismissed as a staff member speaking out of turn because Timmy was quoted in the Boston Globe during a luncheon forum at Locke Ober as saying: selling slot parlor licenses could immediately raise as much as $3.3 billion.
Speaking at a business forum yesterday at the Seaport Hotel, Timmy said:
State Treasurer Timothy Cahill reaffirmed his support for bringing slot machines to the state’s racetracks, despite dwindling revenues at Connecticut’s Indian casinos.
In response to a question about expanded gambling, Cahill said the Legislature should approve
slots at racetracks at Suffolk Downs, Wonderland Greyhound Park and Raynham Park,
where they could later be expanded to full-scale casinos.
Now, Timmy, Dear, Let me point out that you're the first politician honest enough to tell folks that the future plan is to expand those race tracks to full fledged casinos.
That's a No! No!
Timmy, It's supposed to be part of the "Mission Creep" of Predatory Gambling. You need to pretend that a few slot machines, like, oh! maybe 1500 or so will do to save those jobs.
And then, when you find out that the gambling revenues don't cover the costs, you beg for more slots on the same pretext -- more revenue, more jobs, blah! blah! blah!
You know the routine!
You simply can't tell people that those few measley slot machines placed in numerous locations are going to become casinos everywhere!
And Timmy, maybe it was just an oversight, and I really hate to mention it, but you seemed to have forgotten Plainridge on your list. Now, Plainridge was losing money when it was sold and only purchased with the promise of Casino Gold in the future. How could you forget?
You did good just commenting about "declining revenues" and not mentioning that Foxwoods is imploding or those other bankruptcies.
Now, Timmy, I really hate to mention this also, but here's what the story said:
Cahill, who is running for governor as an independent, also said when and if casinos come to the Bay State, the Massachusetts State Lottery should be privatized as a way to get an infusion of quick cash into the state’s coffers.
“We should consider privatizing the lottery to even the playing field,” Cahill said at a business forum yesterday at the Seaport Hotel. “It would be hard for the lottery to compete against the private gambling industry that has more bells and whistles.
“If we expand gambling, we can’t just leave the lottery as the poor step child, because revenues could fall because everyone wants to do the new thing.”
You may be cute, but you need to stop inserting your foot in your mouth when you speak! You can't privatize the lottery!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Study finds racino projects create low-paying jobs
As a slots license selection commission evaluates bids for gambling licenses in Maryland, a new study has found that facilities that provide both racing and casino activities create low-paying jobs that depress salaries in surrounding areas.
The study by Ball State University examined West Virginia's so-called racinos horse or dog racing facilities with casino games during a 26-year period and found that counties with such gambling operations saw a one-time employment gain of 1.1 percent, while the average salary in the area fell by as much as 2.9 percent because of a large number of low-paying jobs.
Facing "Issue 3" in Ohio --
“I think with this happening it might draw some more people down there. And then it obviously would negatively affect us in overall sales throughout the year,“ said Joe Sauvie, general manager of Ted’s Montana Grill.
Sauvie’s restaurant sits less than a half-mile away from the proposed casino site on Nationwide Boulevard. He says the casino would promote its own retail and restaurants, keeping customers inside, instead of exploring the Arena District, and he is worried the casino could discount food prices by making up for it with gambling profits.
“If people are going to go over there and go gamble and know they’re going to get comped food or comped drinks, then that might hurt us I believe,“ Sauvie said.
Bob Tennenbaum, spokesperson for the Ohio Jobs and Growth Committee, clearly hasn't done his homework or read about the experiences of other small businesses around the country.
...Astleford [CEO and President of Experience Columbus, the tourism and marketing office promoting central Ohio] also cautioned against the impact the casino could have on discretionary spending. “What’s that going to do to restaurant sales? What’s that going to do to arts and entertainment?“
Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady said he is worried that the casino could negatively influence the family-friendly environment at Huntington Park, which the county owns.
Job Creation: Minimum Wage Jobs?
Low Paying Jobs With "Racinos" or The Mad Hatter's Tea Party
.... a new study has found that facilities that provide both racing and casino activities create low-paying jobs that depress salaries in surrounding areas.
the average salary of racino employee is less than $14,000 annually.
The Maryland equivalent of Clyde Barrows, James Karmel, an associate professor of history at Harford Community College and a consultant for the Maryland Gaming Association goes on to say ---
For instance, a recent report examining expanded gaming in Massachusetts, whose income and other economic indicators Karmel says are more comparable to Maryland than West Virginia, found that the average salary for employees is $35,000..
If expanded gambling doesn't currently exist in Massachusetts, how valid is the AVERAGE SALARY?
Before falling prey to a predatory industry that will suck discretionary dollars from the local economy, destory local businesses, increase crime, child abuse, gambling addiction, there's some solid information available USS-Mass.
Competition is also becoming a major problem for Louisiana casinos.
"Louisiana casinos are having the same problem as Atlantic City and Las Vegas when it comes to dealing with competition," ....
... Kelly [executive director of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, a congressional and presidential commission] said the legislature would not be able to understand the comprehensive impact of gambling without conducting a cost-benefit analysis.
The economic benefits of the gambling industry are less than some people might expect, while its negative effects, such as increasing crime and social unrest, are quite obvious,
...visitors might gamble with money they would otherwise spend in some other way, and therefore will not stimulate economic growth.
...the gambling industry might not create as much income and as many jobs as its supporters have estimated...
...gambling will give rise to gambling addiction, leading to higher crime rates, broken families and organized crime...
It will also provide gangsters with opportunities to run casinos, get politicians into their pockets, bribe officials and rig elections...
Kelly's commission is known for a 1999 recommendation for a national moratorium on gambling expansion...
Newer regulations that came out more than a year ago, [Hogen] said, require that the off-reservation casino also be within driving distance of the reservation proper, which crippled efforts by more remote reservations.
Hogen [chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission] said, he doesn’t believe the distance requirement will necessarily stay the same under the new administration.
Slot machines, roulette wheels and other “casino-style” gambling are regulated as Class 3 games.
If Massachusetts legalizes Class 3 gaming, what happens to the Tribes?
Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods reported... in August.... a decrease of 13.3 percent. Mohegan Sun ... a decline of 11 percent.
Atlantic City’s 11 gaming halls reported a 14.6 percent decrease in slot winnings compared to August 2008.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Rep. Tom Conroy, state representative for Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland, invites area residents to join him for a public forum on expanded gaming in Massachusetts on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Auditorium.
The forum will include a presentation on current research on potential gaming in the state, such as resort-style casinos, slot machine parlors, racinos, etc. This will be followed by a discussion of the potential benefits and costs of each type of gaming, including the number of jobs that may or may not be created in the Commonwealth, the estimated amount of revenue the state could expect, the cannibalization affect on lottery revenues for towns and cities, and the estimated social costs.
The forum is intended to be interactive, so that questions and answers are part of the discussion throughout the evening. Constituents can forward questions to Conroy before the event at Thomas.firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, call 617-722-2460 or e-mail Thomas.email@example.com.
Will we need 1500 NEW state employees to oversee this Fools' Venture?
Expanded gambling could be debated by legislators as early as this fall with the aim of capturing some of the $900 million that Massachusetts residents spend in Connecticut resort casinos each year.
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved the sale of two of Magna Entertainment Corp.'s horse racing tracks — Thistledown in Ohio and Remington Park in Oklahoma City — for a combined total of almost $170 million.
Judge Mary Walrath approved ....[a] bid of $89.5 million for the Thistledown track near Cleveland from Harrah's Operating Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nevada-based casino giant Harrah's Entertainment Inc.
Harrah's offered $42 million in cash at closing and contingent payments of $47.5 million.
(Is this what a license is worth on the open market for a race track?)
The contingent payments hinge upon successful resolution of various legal challenges to Ohio's plan to install slot machines at the state's seven horse tracks.
Walrath approved the sale of Remington Park for $80.25 million to Global Gaming Solutions RP LLC, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation that plans to continue casino and racing operations at the track.
Its [Magna's] holdings also include Gulfstream Park in Florida, Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Baltimore's Pimlico racetrack — host of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Steven Baddour 53% First Essex
Frederick Berry 50% (versus 47% NO) Second Essex
Stephen Brewer 55% Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire & Franklin
Scott Brown 55% Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex
Stephen Buoniconti 64% Hampden
Gale Candaras 66% First Hampden & Hampshire
Harriette Chandler 55% First Worcester
Sonia Chang-Diaz 56% Second Suffolk
Cynthia Stone Creem 64% First Middlesex & Norfolk
Kenneth Donnelly 55% Fourth Middlesex
Benjamin Downing 70% Berkshire, Hampshire & Franklin
James Eldridge 58% Middlesex & Worcester
Susan Fargo 60% Third Middlesex
Jennifer Flanagan 53% Worcester & Middlesex
Anthony Galluccio 54% Middlesex, Suffolk & Essex
Patricia Jehlen 57% Second Middlesex
Michael Knapik 67% Second Hampden & Hampshire
Michael Moore 54% Second Worcester
Richard Moore 53% Worcester & Norfolk
Therese Murray 53% Plymouth & Barnstable
(Senate President, known for her Cha Ching Gesture. Hmmm...
The only "Cha Ching" I hear is taxpayers subsidizing wealthy, out of state investors.)
Robert O'Leary 65% Cape & Islands
Steven Panagiotakos 53% First Middlesex
Anthony Petruccelli 52% First Suffolk & Middlesex
Stanley Rosenberg 72% Hampshire & Franklin
Karen Spilka 58% Second Middlesex & Norfolk
Bruce Tarr 55% First Essex & Middlesex
Richard Tisei 50% (versus 46% NO) Middlesex & Essex
Steven Tolman 61% Second Suffolk & Middlesex
Susan Tucker 50% Second Essex & Middlesex
If you want to clarify your vote, the phone numbers of your elected officials may be found at this Mass.Gov site. (On the left side, click on House or Senate.)
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The Secretary of State's site indicates --
WHAT YOUR VOTE WILL DO
A YES VOTE would prohibit dog races on which betting or wagering occurs, effective January 1, 2010.
A NO VOTE would make no change in the laws governing dog racing.
Geraldo Alicea 53% Sixth Worcester
James Arciero 57% Second Middlesex
Brian Ashe 68% Second Hampden
Cory Atkins 64% Fourteenth Middlesex
Demetrius Atsalis 62% Second Barnstable
Ruth Balser 63% Twelfth Middlesex
Jennifer Benson 51% Thirty-Seventh Middlesex
John Binienda 50% Seventeenth Worcester
Daniel Bosley 65% First Berkshire
Garrett Bradley 53% Third Plymouth
William Brownsberger 61% Twenty-Fourth Middlesex
Jennifer Callahan 52% Eighteenth Worcester
Linda Dean Campbell 51% Fifteenth Essex
Katherine Clark 51% Thirty-Second Middlesex
Cheryl Coakley-Rivera 58% Tenth Hampden
Thomas Conroy 67% Thirteenth Middlesex
Michael Costello 57% First Essex
Sean Curran 64% Eleventh Plymouth
Viriato Manuel deMacedo 50% (48% NO) First Plymouth
Brian Dempsey 52% Third Essex
Salvatore DiMasi 59% Third Suffolk
Stephen DiNatale 52% Third Worcester
Paul Donato 50% (45% NO) Thirty-Fifth Middlesex
Christopher Donelan 56% Second Franklin
Carolyn Dykema 60% Eighth Middlesex
Lori Ehrlich 55% Eighth Essex
Lewis Evangelidis 55% First Worcester
John Fernandes 54% Tenth Worcester
Ann-Margaret Ferrante 58% Fifth Essex
Barry Finegold 54% Seventeenth Essex
John Fresolo 52% Sixteenth Worcester
Paul Frost 52% Seventh Worcester
Sean Garballey 59% Twenty-Third Middlesex
Anne Gobi 53% Fifth Worcester
Thomas Golden, Jr. 52% Sixteenth Middlesex
Mary Grant 53% Sixth Essex
Danielle Gregoire 58% Fourth Middlesex
Denis Guyer 68% Second Berkshire
Robert Hargraves 55% First Middlesex
Lida Harkins 59% Thirteenth Norfolk
Jonathan Hecht 63% Twenty-Ninth Middlesex
Bradford Hill 57% Fourth Essex
Kate Hogan 59% Third Middlesex
Kevin Honan 59% Seventeeth Suffolk
Donald Humason, Jr. 67% Fourth Hampden
Michael Kane 65% Fifth Hampden
Jay Kaufman 59% Fifteenth Middlesex
John Kennan 53% Seventh Essex
Kay Khan 63% Eleventh Middlesex
Peter Kocot 74% First Hampshire
Peter Koutoujian 56% Tenth Middlesex
Paul Kujawski 53% Eighth Worcester
Stephen Kulik 71% First Franklin
Jason Lewis 54% Thirty-First Middlesex
David Linsky 59% Fifth Middlesex
Barbara L'Italien 55% Eighteenth Essex
Timothy Madden 67% Barnstable, Dukes & Nantucket
Elizabeth Malia 52% Eleventh Suffolk
Michael Moran 59% Eighteenth Suffolk
Charles Murphy 54% Twenty-First Middlesex
Harold Naughton, Jr. 56% Twelfth Worcester
James O'Day 54% Fourteenth Worcester
Eugene O'Flaherty 52% Second Suffolk
Matthew Patrick 59% Third Barnstable
Sarah Peake 68% Fourth Barnstable
Vincent Pedone 51% Fifteenth Worcester
Alice Peisch 64% Fourteenth Norfolk
Jeffrey Perry 58% Fifth Barnstable
George Peterson, Jr. 56% Ninth Worcester
Thomas Petrolati 63% Seventh Hampden
William Smitty Pignatelli 73% Fourth Berkshire
Karyn Polito 59% Eleventh Worcester
Denise Provost 63% Twenty-Seventh Middlesex
Angelo Puppolo, Jr. 68% Twelflth Hampden
Robert Rice, Jr. 53% Second Worcester
Pam Richardson 60% Sixth Middlesex
Dennis Rosa 52% Fourth Worcester
Richard Ross 50% (versusu 47%) Ninth Norfolk
Michael Rush 52% Tenth Suffolk
Byron Rushing 60% Ninth Suffolk
Jeffrey Sanchez 62% Fifteenth Suffolk
Rosemary Sandlin 66% Third Hampden
Tom Sannicandro 59% Seventh Middlesex
John Scibak 70% Second Hampshire
Carl Sciortino, Jr. 56% Thirty-Fourth Middlesex
Frank Smizik 67% Fifteenth Norfolk
Todd Smola 60% First Hampden
Robert Spellane 56% Thirteenth Worcester
Christopher Speranzo 71% Third Berkshire
Harriett Stanley 53% Second Essex
Thomas Stanley 57% Ninth Middlesex
Ellen Story 72% Third Hampshire
Benjamin Swan 58% Eleventh Hampden
Timothy Toomey, Jr. 60% Twenty-Sixth Middlesex
David Torrisi 53% Fourteenth Essex
Cleon Turner 62% First Barnstable
James Vallee 53% Tenth Norfolk
Joseph Wagner 66% Eighth Hampden
Martha Walz 65% Eighth Suffolk
James Welch 67% Sixth Hampden
Alice Wolf 68% Twenty-Fifth Middlesex
James Dwyer 49% (versus 47% NO) Thirtieth Middlesex
Christopher Fallon 49% (versus 45% NO) Thirty-Third Middlesex
Gloria Fox 48% (versus 38% NO) Seventh Suffolk
Colleen Garry 50% (versus 47% NO) Thirty-Sixth Middlesex
Bradley Jones, Jr. 50% (versus 47% NO) Twentieth Middlesex
William Lantigua 39% (versus 38% NO) Sixteenth Essex
Paul McMurtry 49% (versus 46% NO) Eleventh Norfolk
Kevin Murphy 50% (versus 39% NO) Eighteenth Middlesex
David Nangle 50% (versus 44% NO) Seventeenth Middlesex
Representatives please take note!