Meetings & Information


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Protecting the family

From Bill Kearney:

Massachusetts 'GAMING' Future

Open the link below it will give you a good idea of what is going to happen once casinos open in Massachusetts. The link is from an interview I did on Gaming in Pennsylvania back in 2008 with the late Irv Homer (aka “Evil Irv”) Irv was a legionary Longtime talk-show host in Philadelphia.

One way to end a bad day at the casino: Steal a car

From Bill Kearney:
Massachusetts ‘GAMING’ Future

The Morning Call - June 29, 2012

One way to end a bad day at the casino: Steal a car

Man who loses 'all his money' gambling, given a one- to two-year prison term for stealing car to get home.

The Whitehall Township man had a bad day at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. So bad, he stole a car to get home.

"He lost all of his money that particular day," defense attorney Michael Corcoran said Friday for Jeffrey Harrington. "He didn't have the financial resources to even call a cab."

Read more:​breaking/​mc-bethlehem-stolen-suv-gamblin​g-problem-20120629,0,3417051.s​tory

One way to end a bad day at the casino: Steal a car

Man who loses 'all his money' gambling, given a one- to two-year prison term for stealing car to get home.

The Whitehall Township man had a bad day at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. So bad, he stole a car to get home.

He lost all of his money that particular day," defense attorney Michael Corcoran said Friday for Jeffrey Harrington. "He didn't have the financial resources to even call a cab."

Harrington, 51, will serve one to two years in Northampton County Prison for a crime that Judge Craig Dally said was "very dumb."

"I don't have to tell you that," Dally added at sentencing. "You know that."

According to court records, on Jan. 2 Karl Schollenberger had used the Sands' valet service to park at the casino. But when he returned seven hours later, the valet attendant couldn't find his sport-utility-vehicle.

Video surveillance footage showed an older man with a cane get into it and drive off. Police were able to identify the man as Harrington by earlier video from inside the Sands.

Police went to Harrington's Creekside Drive address in Whitehall, where they found the SUV parked 30 yards from the house, unlocked and with the keys inside.

Given a lengthy prior record, Harrington could have faced state prison. But when he pleaded guilty in May, prosecutors agreed to a county prison sentence, noting that he had stayed out of trouble since 2000.

Harrington told Dally he has a gambling problem.

"I'm the first one to admit, this was very immature here," Harrington said,0,3417051.story

Patchak and Rohnert Park

Please forward this to your lists
We depend on you to spread the word!

Stop the Casino 101 Coalition

The Voice of the People
June 30, 2012

The Impact of Patchak on the Graton Rancheria Casino Lawsuits

On June 19, 2012, Fitch, a financial analysis firm, correctly asserted in a press release that the Graton Rancheria casino project in California could be impacted by the Supreme Court's decision in the Patchak case.
On June 20, 2012, Fitch released a claimed correction (they probably got a call from Station Casinos) and asserted that the Department of Interior's (DOI) land-into-trust approval for Graton Rancheria was authorized by Congress in the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act of 2000, and that puts the case outside the scope of the Patchak decision.
Fitch's correction reflects confusion on the significance of the Patchak case, and in fact contains the error.
While the underlying claim in the Patchak case is different from the underlying claims against the Graton casino, the Supreme Court decision this week does not concern the underlying claim but rather concerns procedural issues that arise in both cases.
In Patchak, the plaintiff challenged DOI's decision to accept title to land in Michigan in trust for the tribe, pursuant to its authority under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.
In Carcieri the Supreme Court had decided that the IRA allowed DOI to take land into trust only for tribes which exited in 1934, and Patchak asserts that the Gun Lake tribe did not exist in 1934.

[This is the same for both the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Aquinnah Tribe in Massachusetts.] 
The Federal government asserted two procedural impediments as precluding review of the case on the merits. The government asserted that the Federal government had sovereign immunity under the Quiet Title Act, and that in any event, the plaintiffs lacked prudential standing because the IRA was not passed to protect their interests.
The government commonly asserts these defenses in all cases challenging approvals for Indian casinos, whether concerning taking land into trust, approving management contracts or compacts, or making Indian land determinations.
In Patchak, the Supreme Court ruled on the procedural issues and ruled that the lower courts should consider the case on its merits.
The current litigation, Stop the Casino 101 Coalition v. Brown against the Governor's Graton Rancheria gaming compact, was brought in state court and challenges the ratification of the state gambling compact between Graton Rancheria and the state pursuant to Article IV, Section 19 of the California Constitution. That provision allows the state to enter into compacts with tribes for the operation of casino games on Indian lands in California.
Plaintiffs challenge that the subject land is owned by the Graton Indians but that they have no sovereignty over the land. If the compact is approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Secretary Donald Laverdure or allowed to go into effect, a second suit in federal court would follow under the same theory.
Prior to the Patchak decision, it would have been expected that the government and the tribe would assert that the same defenses considered in the Patchak case. Now assertion of those defenses have been precluded by the Supreme Court. Things have gotten easier, thanks to Patchak.
Stop the Casino 101 Coalition and area residents previously sued the Federal government to prevent the land from being taken into trust for the tribe on the grounds that acquisition of title would not change rightful sovereign authority over the land. The Courts essentially ruled that the case was premature.

STC101 was one of 25 California community groups that filed a joint amicus curiae brief in the Patchak case.

Rohnert Park's Stinky Deal with the Casino
Yes, the attorneys are already looking into things

Residents of Rohnert Park oppose the casino 4 to 1, but that's never stopped their city council from going boldly forth.

People want to know what's being done about the sewer agreement with the casino. Not to worry: our attorneys are already looking into it. Our goal? No sewer agreement with the casino!

The city council was so spooked by the thought of a new lawsuit, they actually went behind closed doors to vote at last Tuesday's meeeting!

But that shouldn't surprise any long-time Rohnert Park residents: their city council has always liked to operate behind closed doors, in the back rooms, and on the Q-T.

Remember this at election time....

Crime Fighter Bumps Into Retail Theft Suspect In Casino

(Photo: Mugshots from Florida police.)
Sami Elias has at least three mugshots, two pending court dates and one arrest and extradition on his record, according to Florida police. This includes two arrests inside casinos. His alleged crimes: stealing over-the-counter drugs in bulk from Florida CVS and Walgreens outlets using a so-called booster bag, which is lined with metal to thwart in-store electronics sensors. He's posted at least $17,000 in bonds in the past year.
Tough Luck: Crime Fighter Bumps Into Retail Theft Suspect In Casino
By Angelo Young
June 29, 2012
Sami Elias's luck ran out in a New Orleans casino.

Unbeknownst to the 54-year-old Kentucky resident, gambler and accused grand theft shoplifter, just a short walk away from the slot machines and poker tables of Harrah's Casino was a veritable who's who of anti-theft officials for some of the largest U.S. retail chains gathering for the annual loss-prevention convention of the National Federation (NRF).

One of those anti-theft officials was Tony Sheppard, nationwide manager for combatting organized retail crime for CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS). Sheppard had arrived in town on June 19 and headed over to the casino on the city's famous Canal Street for a little pre-convention R&R.

As Fortuna would have it, that's where Sheppard spotted Elias.

"Confident that the suspect had active warrants, Sheppard called Brendan Dugan from Walgreens to confirm," a blog post on the National Retail Federation's website said. "Dugan, who was also in town for NRF's conference, verified that, yes, the arrest warrant for this booster was still active but they needed law enforcement to confirm."

Sheppard and Dugan reported the sighting to the Louisiana State Police, who arrested Elias on an outstanding warrant from Daytona Beach, Fla., on two counts of grand theft. Elias, who has allegedly been vexing CVS and Walgreen Company (NYSE: WAG) retail outlets in Florida, was booked in Orleans Parish at about 12:30 pm on June 19 and later extradited to Florida. He was booked Thursday night at the Volutia County Correctional Facility in Florida. A representative of the jail said Elias posted $10,000 bond and was released.
His whereabouts are unknown.
This month's casino episode isn't the serial suspect's first run-in with the law. He was arrested June 20, 2011, in Boynton Beach, Fla., after a CVS loss-prevention officer said he witnessed Elias shoveling products into a metal-lined bag designed to avoid tripping in-store electronic sensors. In his car were unopened boxes of Rogaine and other products in trash bags. He posted a $5,000 bond and was released.
And then a couple of months ago, he popped up on law enforcement radar again. On May 6, Elias was arrested by Seminole Indian Reservation Police at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Fla., on third-degree grand theft. He posted $2,000 bond and was released. A sheriff's office representative said Friday that Elias faces a court date in that case.
The NRF estimated that the annual cost of stock shrinkage linked mostly to theft costs the retail industry at least $15 billion a year. According to the U.K.-based Centre for Retail Research's Global Theft Barometer, organized retail crime -- including serial bulk shoplifting -- costs American consumers at least $425 a year in added cost to products to make up for the losses.
The New Orleans loss prevention convention that Sheppard was attending focused on coordination among companies and local and national law enforcement to combat crimes like the ones Elias is accused of committing.
Both CVS and Walgreen declined to comment on their run-ins with Elias.

Bank manager jailed

Bank manager jailed for £434k theft

Published on Friday 29 June 2012

A bank manager who stole more than £400,000 from an elderly doctor to fund his gambling addiction has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Sentencing Paul Buck, 36, at Preston Crown Court, Judge Stuart Baker said; “No right-thinking member of the community, other than those who of course support you and who’s views are coloured by affection for you, could seriously think taking money on this scale with this criminality from such an elderly man could merit anything other than immediate custody.”

Buck, pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining money by deception and 13 of fraud after swindling cheques from a 91-year-old called Dr Peter Wren, who was paying him to invest the cash.

The court heard although Buck had at first helped the doctor make a profit, he then began paying the cheques into his own bank account using it to pay off credit card debt wracked up by internet gambling.

The married father-of-three, who started working for Santander in 2001, was working as a financial advisor at the time the offences started in 2005 but was promoted to a regional manager in 2006.

The court heard that he would usually gamble anywhere between £100 and £300 a time but on one occasion he bet £10,000 on a horse. The court heard that an other occasion he won £15,000 after gambling £3,000 and was back in arrears the following day.

The court heard that before he confessed he had failed in an attempted suicide bid.

Prosecuting, Brett Gerrity, revealed Buck had realised he had a problem after reading about the unexpected death of footballer Gary Speed in November, after which it was wrongly claimed he had a gambling addiction.

After confessing to his wife and family the court heard he visited Dr Wren’s home in Whittle-le-Woods on December 8 and told his elderly wife what he had done. He was arrested the following day after informing his bosses. Mr Gerrity said; “Tragically Dr. Wren passed away on December 18, 2011. Mrs Wren, who is a similar age, was unaware of what was happening with the finances.”

The court heard Mrs Wren, a devout Roman Catholic, expressed sympathy and compassion when learning he had tried to take his own life.

Defending, Reginald Mills said Buck believed he had swindled around £80,000 but it was in fact £434,000. Buck earned £57,000 a year in his managerial role at the bank.

Mr Mills said Buck, of Langham Road, Standish, Wigan, and his wife and their three children could stand to lose their family home. Judge Baker said; “it involved a persistent breach of trust.”

Bank manager jailed for stealing £400,000 from pensioner
Published on Saturday 30 June 2012

A bank manager who stole more than £400,000 from a 91-year-old Chorley man to fund his gambling addiction has been jailed.

Preston Crown Court heard that Paul Buck, 36, systematically stole the cash from a client, elderly former doctor Peter Wren, from Whittle-le-Woods, who has since died.

Buck pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining money by deception and 13 of fraud after swindling cheques from his victim, who was paying him to invest the cash.

The court heard although Buck, who was based at a Santander branch in Preston, had at first helped the doctor make a profit, he then began paying the cheques into his own bank account, using it to pay off credit card debt racked up by internet gambling.

He had once gambled £10,000 on a horse race.

Sentencing him, Judge Stuart Baker said; “No right-thinking member of the community, other than those who of course support you and who’s views are coloured by affection for you, could seriously think taking money on this scale with this criminality from such an elderly man could merit anything other than immediate custody.”

Buck, of Langham Road, Standish, Wigan, was jailed for two years and eight months.
He had started working for Santander in 2001, working as a financial advisor at the time the offences started but was promoted to a regional manager.

Prosecuting, Brett Gerrity, revealed Buck had realised he had a problem after reading about the death of footballer Gary Speed.

After confessing to his wife and family the court heard he visited Dr Wren’s home on December 8 and told his elderly wife what he had done. He was arrested the following day after also telling his bosses.

Mr Gerrity said; “Tragically Dr. Wren passed away on December 18, 2011. Mrs Wren, who is a similar age, was unaware of what was happening with the finances. They were dealt with by Dr. Wren.”

Defending, Reginald Mills said Buck believed he had swindled around £80,000 but it was in fact £434,000. Buck earned £57,000 a year in his managerial role at the bank.

Mr Mills said Buck had “succumbed to temptation” after Dr.Wren began handing him cheques in his own (Buck’s) name and said he was currently in £43,000 debt.

Judge Baker said it involved a ‘persistent breach of trust’.

He added; “You were not taking the bank’s money you were taking his. Your attempt to conceal what you had done adds another level of seriousness to the case.

“You have ruined your good name, you have blighted your future and perhaps most sadly of all you have blighted to a substantial extent the future of your family.”

Sands Suit Alleges 'Prostitution Strategy'

June 29, 2012

Sands Suit Alleges 'Prostitution Strategy'

A former top China executive at Las Vegas Sands Corp. suggested in a court filing made public Thursday that there was potential wrongdoing by company executives, including allegations that chairman Sheldon Adelson approved a "prostitution strategy" at the casino operator's Macau properties.

The filing in Nevada District Court in Las Vegas by Steve Jacobs, the executive, is one of the most explosive yet in a continuing legal dispute between Mr. Jacobs and his former employer. Mr. Jacobs and his attorney accused the casino operator of withholding documents Mr. Jacobs is seeking in order to establish jurisdiction in his wrongful termination ...

Former Sands exec alleges prostitution in Macau casino sites

The fired former chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s Macau casinos alleges in court documents revealed Thursday that billionaire Sheldon Adelson personally approved of prostitution and knew of other improper activity at his company's properties in the Chinese enclave.

Brad Brian, an attorney representing Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Sands China Ltd., called the allegations false and "scurrilous" and claimed they had been included in the civil lawsuit brought by former Sands executive Steven Jacobs only to sensationalize the case.

Adelson, a billionaire philanthropist and casino mogul who owns the Venetian and Palazzo casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, also is a prominent political donor who gave $10 million to a super PAC backing then-presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and more recently has supported Mitt Romney's bid for the White House.

Jacobs was fired in July 2010 from his role overseeing the Macau properties. He sued the companies and Adelson three months later.

In the lawsuit, he accuses the company and Adelson of breach of contract and of pushing him into illegal activity in Macau, a former Portugese colony near Hong Kong where Sands has established a strong business presence. The company owns the Venetian Macao and Sands Macao casino resorts, the Plaza Macao hotel, restaurant and shopping complex and the newly opened Sands Cotai Central resort with three hotels and two casinos.

In documents revealed Thursday -- including a sworn seven-page declaration that Jacobs submitted along with a summary from his attorneys of problems obtaining documents from Sands -- Jacobs describes an effort he launched after arriving in Macau in May 2009 to rid the casino floor of "loan sharks and prostitution."

"This project was met with concern as (company) senior executives informed me that the prior prostitution strategy had been personally approved by Adelson," Jacobs said in the documents.

In his court filing, Jacobs alleges other documents that haven't been turned over include records of misuse of "blue card' work permits and the hiring of illegal workers in Macau; emails and records of Adelson controlling a "Chairman's Club" allowing favored members, including known or suspected organized crime figures, exclusive access to Sands China's most luxurious accommodations; and email requests from Adelson to a Macau lawmaker who Jacobs said was hired as outside counsel after Jacobs was fired.

Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said in a statement that allegations of misconduct and wrongdoing by Jacobs against the company and senior managers are baseless.

"Mr. Adelson has always objected to and maintained a strong policy against prostitution on our properties and any accusation to the contrary represents a blatant and reprehensible personal attack on Mr. Adelson's character," the statement said.

In court, Brian told Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez that if Jacobs "truly believed that Mr. Adelson had approved prostitution, he would have resigned." Instead, Brian said, Jacobs was fired.

Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli wouldn't say Thursday whether the state regulatory agency is investigating Jacobs' claims against his former employer. The agency doesn't comment on probes, he said.

Jacobs' lawsuit has drawn interest from U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission investigator for possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to a filing with the SEC. The law bars American companies from paying foreign officials to "affect or influence any act or decision" for commercial benefit. No charges have been filed.

The company and Adelson deny wrongdoing. They say the investigations stem from allegations by Jacobs. Sands also alleges that Jacobs stole confidential documents that might contain trade secrets.

The case once was scheduled for trial this month, but evidentiary hearings have been postponed amid clashes between the two sides about trading information and documents.

The judge scheduled a July 13 hearing on possible sanctions against the company and its lawyers for failure to disclose to the other side and to her that some documents sought by Jacobs' legal team had been brought from Macau to the U.S. more than a year ago.

Read more:

Ex-Sands Exec Alleges Prostitution in Macau Sites
By KEN RITTER Associated Press
LAS VEGAS June 29, 2012 (AP)

Pipe Dreams of Non-Existent Revenues

Governor: It’s 'too soon' to talk about funding rail with casino revenue

NEW BEDFORD — Gov. Deval Patrick refused this week to commit to trying to fund South Coast rail with casino revenues, even as more local leaders signed on Thursday in support of the proposal.
Patrick is in negotiations with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, who want to build a casino in Taunton. By law, he must conclude those negotiations and present a proposed compact to the Legislature by July 31.

“South Coast Rail is a priority for this administration but it is too soon to talk about specific funding for any specific project from any gaming revenue,” said Jason Lefferts, a spokesman for Patrick, in a statement issued Wednesday to The Standard-Times.

The statement was an unenthusiastic response to the letter sent Tuesday by Mayor Jon Mitchell and Rep. William Straus of Mattapoisett, which formally asked Patrick to consider reserving a portion of the revenue from the Taunton casino for the South Coast rail project.

Mitchell and Straus say the traffic caused by the Taunton casino will further isolate Southeastern Massachusetts, hurting the region economically — and on Thursday, the New Bedford City Council voted 9-0 to write to the governor in support of the proposal.

“I think it only makes sense to include that language in the compact,” said Ward 5 Councilor Jane Gonsalves, who sponsored the motion. “Rail is a way to get people to the casino without putting cars on the road.”

Straus said today he found the governor’s statement “disappointing” and maintained that the compact was an “ideal place” to determine how to distribute casino revenue.

“In this case, the transportation improvements which a casino like this would require should
absolutely be a part of the compact,” he said, adding that the project’s lack of financing was its main obstacle.

“I honestly don’t know how you can be a supporter of South Coast rail without trying to identify where the specific funding will come from.”

Typically, states can take 3 to 8 percent of tribal gaming casino revenue, said gaming law expert Steve Light, a director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law & Policy at the University of North Dakota.

The compact would include money for investment in economic development projects, as the casino law requires, but Lefferts made no promises about South Coast rail in particular.

“Broadly speaking, the Expanding Gaming Act requires investing a portion of commercial gaming revenues in projects that support economic development and infrastructure and we are working on a compact for a tribal facility that is consistent with the principles of the Expanding Gaming Act,” he said in the statement.

Studies have determined that for every $1 in Gambling Revenue paid to the state, the cost to taxpayers will be $3 because of increased crime, increased social costs, increased bankruptcies, increased family destruction, and even low wage casino workers receiving taxpayer funded benefits.

That's why Beacon Hill refused to conduct an INDEPENDENT COST ANALYSIS. They didn't want you to know!

For elected officials to commit revenues to another Folly, resembling the Big Dig, defines those Pipe Dreams.

Friday, June 29, 2012

From Quabog Valley

Circulated by our friends from "Quabog Valley Against Casinos" ---

From: "Ticotsky, Charles"

I wanted to take a moment to thank you all, the fantastic panelists that made last week’s Public Educational Forum a success. The feedback was extremely positive from the Commissioners and from others who attended. I know that as they move forward, the Commissioners, in large part as a result of the forum, are redoubling their focus on these critical issues of mitigating impacts on potential host and surrounding communities.

You can find video and materials from the post-forum meeting here (the Commission discussed the preceding forum):
And here is a sampling of news coverage of the forum:
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom and advice.
All the best,
Charlie Ticotsky
Government Affairs Coordinator
Metropolitan Area Planning Council
60 Temple Place, 6th floor
Boston, MA 02111
phone: (617) 451-2770 ext. 2039
fax: (617) 482-7185
Small logo for email

Betting the House & more

Betting the House & more

Gaming Commission holds forum on addiction

By Margery Eagan
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Photo by Nancy Lane
CAUTIONARY TALES: The Gaming Commission — from left, Enrique Zuniga, James F. McHugh, Chairman Steve Crosby, Bruce Stebbins and Gayle Cameron — yesterday held a forum on the pitfalls of gambling.
Watching the state gaming commission’s forum on problem gambling yesterday was a little like watching Medellin Cartel drug thugs give seminars on cocaine addiction.

There we were, at North Shore Community College, talking about preventing the very calamity that bringing casinos here, no doubt about it, will exacerbate.

“Pathological gambling.” 

“Gambling disorders.”
“An illness with a high percentage of co-morbidity, or multiple addictions involved.”

“These people are ... suffering.”

Those are just some of the cheery phrases used by compulsive gambling experts advising commissioners yesterday on preventing more of it.

At one point, however, an expert from the National Center for Responsible Gambling admitted we don’t know much about addictive gambling — it’s roughly what we knew about drug and alcohol addiction 40 years ago — which is a bad sign.

Somebody else said well-trained casino workers could be used to identify problem gamblers: take the bet while assessing the degree of addiction. But then she said you can’t tell who’s an addict just by watching, which is a confusing sign.

Another expert from Iowa said that to be effective, treatment must be affordable and convenient and administered by very skilled and qualified workers. Then he said he’s lost a quarter of his budget.

Although gambling treatment here is supposed to be funded by casinos, not taxpayers, some of us can recall other notorious Massachusetts bait-and-switch schemes. Remember when an anti-smoking lawsuit was supposed to fund anti-smoking initiatives? Then the pothole account ran dry.

We did learn about so-called “self-excluders.” Those are problem gamblers who have sought help and are banned from casinos. A Missouri study found most of them lived next to one.

But a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist told commissioners that when researchers went to interview these “self-excluders” on their progress, only 169 of 419 had a working phone number. Yet another bad sign.

On the bright side, we learned that most gamblers aren’t addicts and that seniors with nothing to do can go to casinos and have fun.

Then I met Kevin, 53, a recovering addict who played the slots for tens of thousands of dollars, free rooms and great deals at Mohegan Sun. How did he manage to quit?

“I went broke,” he said.

Asked after the forum whether he found the whole exercise a bit weird, Commission Chairman Steve Crosby said the debate over gambling pitfalls “has been had. The commonwealth decided on expanded gambling.”

Yes we have, heaven help us.

Sprinkling Fairy Dust!

How many ways can uninformed politicians spend NON-EXISTENT revenues?

They apparently haven't figured out that this is a TRIBAL CASINO designed solely to benefit the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and their Malaysian financial backers, Genting, who have generously supported the Tribe.

There are NO REVENUES!

Millions of Massachusetts' taxpayer dollars will be spent upgrading stressed infrastructure that is currently gridlocked.

Mayor: Pay for rail with casino revenue

NEW BEDFORD — In a letter sent to Gov. Deval Patrick today, Mayor Jon Mitchell proposed tapping casino revenue to finance commuter rail.

The money would make up for the pressure a Taunton casino is expected to put on commuter traffic between Boston and New Bedford, Mitchell and Rep. William M. Straus argue in the letter.

Patrick is in the midst of negotiating a compact with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, which has proposed a casino in Taunton.

“We must take bold, creative steps now to avoid looming economic and social isolation for New Bedford and the region," Mitchell said. "Dedicating a portion of the Taunton casino revenues to South Coast Rail is exactly the kind of decisive and far-thinking step needed right now. It will go a long way toward mitigating the adverse transportation and economic impacts of the Taunton casino on New Bedford.”

Handheld Gambling Devices Approved For Casino Guests

Declining revenues and market saturation prompt New Jersey to adopt outrageous measures in desperation to suck every last dollar from the pockets of Gambling Addicts.

Handheld Gambling Devices Approved For Casino Guests

Atlantic City casino patrons would soon be able to gamble next to the pool, in their hotel rooms or while waiting in line for the buffet under a bill that got final approval in the New Jersey legislature Thursday.

Gambling, Poker
Flickr User Viri G
The bill would enable casino patrons to use handheld gambling devices, so long as they are located on casino property.

It’s another in a series of new gambling options Atlantic City is rolling out in its attempt to compete with casinos in nearby states that have diverted thousands of customers and millions of dollars from the seaside resort. New Jersey is also moving toward offering Internet gambling and sports betting.

The handheld gambling bill now goes to Gov. Chris Christie, who has not indicated whether he supports it.

Casino gambler banned after son left in car

Casino gambler banned after son left in car

Posted June 29, 2012   

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon wants longer bans imposed on misbehaving casino gamblers.

His reaction follows an incident this week when a woman left her son in a car when she went into the Adelaide Casino.

The casino said the woman was stopped from entering the venue on Wednesday with her 11-year-old son.

But she returned less than an hour later, and officials said her son was found alone in a car near the casino's valet entrance.

The woman has now been banned from the casino for three months.

Senator Xenophon thinks it is time to review the bans used.

"It also should come with conditions requiring gambling counselling and treatment for someone who's the subject of such a ban so that it doesn't happen again in the longer term," he said.

"In severe cases the ban should be increased significantly, 12 months at least, depending on the circumstances.

"That should be something that we should get advice on from the Independent Gambling Authority.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Build nation's future on more than gambling

From: Bill Kearney

Massachusetts ‘GAMING’ Future

The Morning Call - June 26, 2012

Build nation's future on more than gambling

I took a trolley tour of the old Bethlehem Steel plant, as given periodically by retired Bethlehem Steel workers. It was educational and heartbreaking. I saw the blast furnaces — towering giants of industrial prowess sitting in rusting decay. In their place: a casino.

These furnaces once produced the steel that built this nation. They built the bridges and skyscrapers used by our generation and generations to come. They built the ships that defended this nation through two world wars. They produced things of lasting importance that contribute to the prosperity we enjoy today.

The casino, by contrast, produces nothing of tangible value. All it does is move money from one person's pocket to another. To even call it an "industry" is absurd. Sure it provides some jobs, so in that sense it is better than nothing at all. But when the casino is gone, we will have nothing to show for it. We won't be better or safer as a nation. We'll only be more broke.

Why do we have a casino where a steel mill once stood? Simple: A casino is far more profitable. We had better, as a nation, wake up and get our priorities straight.

David Heller Lower Macungie Township​mc-heller-bethlehem-steel-casin​o-20120626,0,3241271.story

NY Lottery slot machines caught ripping off players

 A glimpse into what is America's biggest emerging scandal: how government knows very little about the highly predatory and addictive electronic gambling machines it profits from. In this story, a NY woman uses an iPhone to capture an unexplained drop in her total while playing a lottery slot machine at the Saratoga (NY) Casino and Raceway. "See, I think I got it on video that time," Cyndie Wade-Wood can be heard saying on the recording. The machine's maximum bet was two dollars, but her balance suddenly drops more than 19 dollars from $54.80 to $35.20. A few days later, Wade-Wood brought the video to management of the Casino who at first told her she shouldn't be videotaping. And then they told her that the machines "self correct." Wade-Wood doesn't buy it because she captured another malfunction several days later. The best quote from the story: "Our machine manufacturers have technicians on-site 24 hours a day and their sole responsibility is to check the machines, to run diagnostic checks on them to make sure that they're always functioning properly," said Rita Cox, vice president of Saratoga Casino. The SLOT MANUFACTURERS are "responsible" to make sure their OWN gambling machines aren't rigged. That's like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.

Albany, NY: Predatory Gambling Opponents

Albany, NY TV news story of predatory gambling opponents at NY State Capital

Caesars casinos skips out on local property tax burden in Missouri

Federal Court Throws Out Injuction Blocking Shinnecocks From Building Hamptons Casino

This has interesting connections worth considering, explained here:

The Verifiable Truth

Federal Court Throws Out Injuction Blocking Shinnecocks From Building Hamptons Casino

A nearly five-year legal battle between the Shinnecock Indian Nation, the state of New York and the local Southampton Town has reached a turning point, or possibly an end.

This week, a federal appeals court has overruled a permanent injunction granted in 2008 by a federal judge at the request of the state and town that prevented the Shinnecocks from using the tribally owned Hampton Bays property called Westwoods for a casino, reported the Southampton Press. The tribe first proposed developing the site for gaming purposes in 2003.

The court has determined the case belonged in state court, rather than federal court, because it concerns local zoning jurisdictions. It will now be remanded back to a state court, although it remains unclear whether the state and town will instigate the fight again.

Immediately after the ruling, the tribe requested a meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo to discuss the tribe’s economic development plans including a casino far from the originally proposed Southampton location—in western or central Suffolk County, Nassau County, or even New York City.

“Now that the Nation has been federally recognized as an Indian tribe and has been freed from the effects of that judgment and injunction, we again ask Governor Cuomo to sit down with the Nation to discuss how the Nation and the State can move forward together,” stated a tribal news release dated June 25. “Our ancestors and tribal leaders, both living and those who have gone before us, always have maintained our tribal lands for the benefit of all tribe members. This always will be our starting point for any discussions, and we look forward to finding an agreed basis with the State for realization of our common goals.”

The same judge who issued the injunction, Judge Joseph Bianco, also ordered in 2008 for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to expedite its excessively long federal recognition process. The Shinnecocks faced a 15-year-long or longer process. But two years later, in 2010, the tribe received federal recognition—the first step necessary to apply to build and operate a casino.

Read more:

Fighting to keep low wage jobs

LETTER: Tribe not concerned about air quality

To the Telegram: Mike Wiggins Jr., chairman of the Bad River Indian Nation claims to be concerned about “air quality” in an article published June 13 when it comes to iron ore mines, yet workers employed in the Bad River Casino are forced to work in a smoke-filled workplace, which is more devastating to human health than any mine would be.

To the Telegram:
Mike Wiggins Jr., chairman of the Bad River Indian Nation claims to be concerned about “air quality” in an article published June 13 when it comes to iron ore mines, yet workers employed in the Bad River Casino are forced to work in a smoke-filled workplace, which is more devastating to human health than any mine would be.

Mike Wiggins Jr. doesn’t want to discuss the quality of air in casinos ... this was his only response to me when I tried to broach the issue with him.

Putting an end to smoking in a casino is very simple — a few cheap signs would do the trick.

Mike Wiggins Jr. has lost all credibility when he talks about how an iron ore mine would cause a deterioration in air quality when the smoke in the casino where he has the power to actually do something for an improvement in air quality, for improving human health, and he does nothing. What a hypocrite Mike Wiggins Jr. is.

The real reason Mike Wiggins Jr. opposes this iron ore mining operation so close to his smoke-filled casino is the Bad River Casino would have to compete with the high wages of the mining industry as casino workers rush to get out of this smoke-filled casino for better wages and a healthier working environment.

Come on Mike, tell the truth; it is the high wages of the mining industry you really are opposed to that you are so loathe to have to compete with.

By the way, Mike, how much do you pay casino workers for risking their health working in your smoke-filled casino?

Does Mike Wiggins Jr. not know about the cancers, heart and lung problems and complications for those suffering from diabetes attributable to second-hand smoke?

I challenge Mike Wiggins Jr. to respond to me and explain: Why, if he is so concerned about air quality, he continues to allow smoking in the Bad River Casino?

And what about all of these politicians opposing this mine depriving workers of better pay and a healthier working environment than that provided by the Indian Gaming Industry, which — coincidentally? — contributes very lavishly to their campaign coffers?

And what about all these so called “environmental organizations” consisting of muddle-headed middle class intellectuals who use this anti-mining crap as a ploy to stuff envelopes begging for contributions complaining about “air quality” when they sit in their smoke-free offices and remain silent as over two-million workers across the country are forced to work in these smoke-filled casinos?

Alan L. Maki,
director of organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers
Organizing Council
Warroad, Minn.

Ex-Auburn Attorney Gets 45 Months for Wire Fraud

Ex-Auburn Attorney Gets 45 Months for Wire Fraud

Gambling Addict Steals from Boss

Gambling addict steals almost $60,000 from boss who helped her buy mobile home

A GAMBLING addict whose caring boss helped her buy a mobile home repaid him by stealing almost $60,000 of his company's money. 
The Brisbane District Court was told William Schnitzerling, 65, put up $24,000 of his own money to help Sylvia Gasenzer purchase a mobile home worth $41,000.

Mr Schnitzerling, the court was told, so valued Gasenzer's 20 years of loyal and dedicated service that he then allowed her, her female partner and their young child to move their mobile home onto his land and live there rent-free.

In return, Gasenzer swindled Mr Schnitzerling out of more than $57,000 by siphoning funds out of the heavy haulage business she had helped run over a three-and-a-half year period.

Gasenzer, 41, was today jailed for four years after pleading guilty to aggravated fraud as an employee between June 30, 2006, and December 4, 2009.

The court was told Gasenzer had not been brought to justice sooner because Mr Schnitzerling wanted to believe in his former employee who had made repeatedly claimed she took the money as a loan and would eventually pay him back.

Prosecutor Ken Spinaze said the German-born Gasenzer had worked her way up through the ranks of Mr Schnitzerling's small company - from working as a pilot driver and a mechanic before being appointed general manager.

He said Mr Schnitzerling trusted Gasenzer to the point she could "write her own cheques'' and pay herself wages.

The court was told Mr Schnitzerling cared so much about Gasenzer that he offered to put up his own money when he learned she had developed addictions to alcohol and gambling and was facing eviction.

Mr Spinaze said Mr Schnitzerling gave Gasenzer $24,000 towards the purchase of a $41,000 mobile home and allowed her to live on his property.

He said Mr Schnitzerling did not realise Gasenzer had been stealing from him until she quit her job and he brought in accountants to balance the books.

The court was told Gasenzer continually denied stealing from Mr Schnitzerling, saying she took the money as a loan and had documents to prove it.

Mr Spinaze said Gasenzer's claims about the loan were false and that she later admitted taking the cash to feed her gambling addiction.

He said Gasenzer had not repaid Mr Schnitzerling any of the money she took.

Barrister Julian Noud, for Gasenzer, said his client had a "chronic gambling addiction,'' but was also suffering work-related stress at the time of the fraud.

Judge David Reid, in sentencing Gasenzer, said: "The failure of you to fully accept your responsibility ... is a significant aggravating feature of this case.''

Judge Reid ordered Gasenzer's four-year jail term be suspended after she has served 15 months in actual custody.

Patchak decision could have wide-ranging effect on tribes

Court decision could have wide-ranging effect on tribes, casinos
By Chris Sieroty
Posted: Jun. 22, 2012
A lawsuit seeking closure of the tiny Gun Lake casino in Michigan could have a major effect on the nation's Indian casino market, an industry that posted $26.73 billion in revenue in 2010, according to the Indian Gaming Industry Report.

Analysts say this week's U.S. Supreme Court decision to remand the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals could make it more difficult to fund tribal casino projects or even delay some projects until the matter is settled. The $160 million resort targeted in the lawsuit is in Wayland Township, 20 miles south of Grand Rapids. It was developed and is managed by Las Vegas-based Station Casinos LLC.

"The decision has the potential to change how the federal government takes land into trust for tribes," said Steven Light, co-director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy at the University of North Dakota. "It's potentially a huge problem for expansion of gaming for recently recognized tribes."

Casino opponent David Patchak challenged the way the federal government took 147 acres in trust for the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe, so it could build a casino.

The tribe announced plans for a casino shortly after being formally recognized by the federal government in 1999.

Patchak, who opposes the development because of its land use impact, argues the land could not legally be placed in trust under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 because the tribe was not recognized in 1934. Light said the high court's decision "lines up with the Carcieri (versus Salazar) decision of 2009," in which the Supreme Court held that only tribes "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934 are eligible to have land taken in trust on their behalf.

The federal government's ability to make land-in-trust decisions is crucial for tribal casino operations because if the land can't be held in trust, it's ineligible for Class III gaming that includes slot machines, blackjack, craps and roulette.

In a three-page report, Michael Paladino, senior director with Fitch Ratings in New York, wrote the ruling could have several key "credit implications for the gaming" industry. It's unclear how many casinos would be affected.

He said it is likely to result in increased challenges from anti-gaming interests regarding land-into-trust decisions as it lengthens the statute of limitations on judicial review to six years from 30 days. Casino operators faced with competition from tribal operations could benefit from a longer regulatory process.

"Raising capital for Native American casino projects could become more difficult (and) expensive as investors are likely to have heightened concern about potential challenges regarding land-into-trust decision," Paladino wrote.

Station Casinos executives declined comment on the high court's decision. The gaming company developed the 76,000-square-foot Gun Lake casino and manages it through MPM Enterprises LLC, in which Station Casinos is a 50 percent partner.

The company earns an annual management fee equal to 30 percent of net income over the seven-year contract.

Paladino noted that a separate $433 million tribal casino project between Station Casinos and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria in Northern California is not affected by the Patchak lawsuit.

The U.S. Department of the Interior's land-into-trust approval for that tribe was authorized by Congress in the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act of 2000.

A state compact that would allow the Graton Rancheria to operate the casino awaits Interior Department approval, though earth moving started Monday. The casino is on 254 acres in a affluent area of Sonoma County about 43 miles from San Francisco. Station Casinos expects construction on the 535,000-square-foot project to take 18 to 24 months. The 100,000-square-foot casino will operate up to 3,000 slot machines.

Station Casinos also has a development and management agreement with the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, whose casino near Madera, Calif., was approved by federal officials last year and will be built on trust land. The deal requires Gov. Jerry Brown's support by Sept. 1 for planning to continue.

Light said it remains to be seen whether Patchak prevails in court.

"The growth of tribal gaming has been remarkable in the last 25 years," Light said. "There have been blips along the way. I wouldn't classify this as a blip. We don't know yet what will happen."

Man had unlicensed, loaded gun and drugs at Sands Casino

State police: Man had unlicensed, loaded gun and drugs at Sands Casino

State police said a man had an unlicensed, loaded handgun and methamphetamine while gambling at the Sands Casino early Wednesday morning.

Carl Raymond Heckman, 44, is charged with carrying a firearm without a license and possession of meth. Heckman, of 1514 Cedar St., Northampton, is in Northampton County Prison under $10,000 bail.

Police said no one was injured in the incident that happened around 5:30 a.m. at the casino at 77 Sands Blvd. in Bethlehem.

According to court records:

Sands Casino security guard James Fritchman said he saw a man – identified as Heckman – drop a pack of cigarettes while at the casino.

Fritchman said he picked up the cigarettes, intending to return them to Heckman, when he looked inside the box and saw a folded-up sandwich bag. Fritchman turned the cigarette pack over to his supervisor, Sands Casino security supervisor Andrew Larsen.

Inside the sandwich bag, Larsen told police he found foil packets with suspected drugs. State police were called for assistance. Police said the packets tested positive for meth.

Until state police arrived, security guards kept an eye on Heckman, who was playing slots machines.

When Trooper Robert Hooper told Heckman he was under arrest, Heckman said he had a concealed firearm.

Police said Heckman had a loaded, semi-automatic handgun in his pants pocket. Heckman also had a film canister with more suspected meth inside.

Police said Heckman did not have a license to carry the weapon.

In an interview with police, Heckman admitted the meth belonged to him and said he was a "casual user," court records state.

Heckman also told police that he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but it had expired and he had "become accustomed" to carrying the gun without a permit.,0,5209594.story

Juggling Massive Debt

Howard Stutz | INSIDE GAMING

Howard Stutz

Dreams, yes; dollars to fund them? We'll see ...

Posted: Jun. 24, 2012 | 2:06 a.m.

There's no shortage of gaming expansion opportunities in North America. But is there enough money to develop these dream casinos for an industry recovering from two years of declining revenues brought about by global recession?

And, even if casinos come to fruition in Toronto, New York City, and other major markets, how wise is it for large casino operators - already saddled with billions of dollars in corporate debt - to take on more multimillion-dollar developments?

Time will tell.

Financial analysts said avenues for funding have opened recently.

"There are a number of financing markets that are ripe for new gaming development," Union Gaming Group Managing Director Bill Lerner said. "That includes the banks and bond markets and, to some degree, the equity markets."

For companies with long-term debt loads that rival those of some Third World nations, Lerner said taking an equity partner often solves some problems.

Also, many gaming developments often have three-to-five-year time frames between conceptual discussions and groundbreaking. Some projects might seem promising at the outset, but politics, anti-gaming sentiment and legal maneuvering can kill them long before a hand of blackjack is dealt.

"The bottom line is that a lot of these companies are doing the necessary first steps," Lerner said.

"They recognize there can be a long lead time in some of these markets."

With Las Vegas casino development all but stalled for the rest of the decade, Nevada's largest gaming companies are spanning the globe to look for growth opportunities. Toronto and New York City have won attention from casino industry titans, but they're still early in the game. Legislation to legalize an integrated resort in each market has yet to be drafted.

Casino operators have also explored Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia in search of the next Macau and Singapore.

Spain is also percolating with casino fever. Spanish leaders are considering a $22 billion Macau-like complex in either Madrid or Barcelona to be built by Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Closer to home, in Florida and Texas, gaming legalization has suffered legislative setbacks.

Proponents continue to push the idea, however, which sparks interest inside Strip corporate boardrooms.

Hovering over all this talk of gaming expansion are financial concerns. The recession pushed several companies to the brink of financial ruin just a few years ago.
But that seems to be in the past.

Caesars Entertainment Corp., despite an industry-high corporate debt of nearly $20 billion, was able to finance the completion of the 660-room Octavius Tower at Caesars Palace, as well as construction costs for the $550 million nongaming Project Linq, which is expected to open on the Strip next year.

Caesars' partnership with Rock Gaming financed the $350 million Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, which opened last month. The companies are building the $400 million Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, which opens next year.

Caesars and Rock Gaming are seeking approval for a casino in Baltimore. Caesars also wants to build a $1 billion Boston-area hotel-casino in a joint venture with the Suffolk Downs racetrack.

"Caesars has been able to take advantage of these opportunities by taking on an equity partner," Lerner said. "The demand is out there for other companies looking to do this."

Casino operators are quick to plant the corporate flag on any potential site.

MGM Resorts International announced nine days ago it was staking claim to National Harbor in suburban Maryland. The company wants to build an $800 million hotel-casino complex 10 miles from the nation's capitol in partnership with the Peterson Cos., which developed National Harbor.

The project is a long shot. On Wednesday, a work group established by Maryland's governor failed to agree on gaming expansion in the state, though a special legislative session or a ballot measure could revive the development. Meanwhile, rival developer David Cordish, whose company opened the $500 million Maryland Live! earlier this month, has been lobbing verbal bombs at the project, which he fears could decimate his business.

MGM Resorts has other irons in the fire. The company is awaiting approval from the Macau government to build a resort the Cotai Strip; it is looking at Toronto; and it has publicly expressed interest in New York.

But can MGM Resorts, with $13.4 billion in debt and a $203.3 million first-quarter loss, simultaneously finance multiple projects?

It may take years before that question can be answered.

On the flip side, Las Vegas Sands is managing a corporate debt of $9.9 billion, but in the first quarter the company reported more than $1 billion in cash flow on top of more than $2.76 billion in net revenues. More than 80 percent of Las Vegas Sands' revenues come from Macau and Singapore.

"We have the financial capability to do a number of these deals," Las Vegas Sands President Michael Leven said confidently earlier this month. Besides Spain, the company is also interested in Toronto and New York.

Smaller casino companies, even those with minimal debt, face development obstacles.

Las Vegas-based Ameristar Casinos has $1.9 billion in debt, but Lerner questioned whether the regional operator is capable of building two separate resorts totaling $1 billion.

Ameristar is seeking a gaming license for western Massachusetts for a $500 million hotel-casino in Springfield while also moving forward with a $500 million hotel-casino in Lake Charles, La.

"We have some concerns about the company's ability to potentially juggle (multiple projects)," Lerner said. "I'm not sure their balance sheet could handle it."

Time will tell.