Meetings & Information


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

PLAINVILLE PLANNING BOARD! Change of Use! Please Protect Your Community!

The Plainville Planning Board is considering a 'CHANGE OF USE' application for PLAINRIDGE, the defunct horse racing facility that has applied for a SLOT BARN license.

Recent revelations seem to indicate that Plainridge cannot be trusted to abide by the laws and fails to keep even reasonable promises.

Since emails and mail seem to get mysteriously lost or deliberately intercepted by Plainville's Town Manager, Joe Fernandes who has determined his blind support supersedes the concerns of others, pronouncing himself king,

here are methods of contact you might consider:

Plainville Planning Board FAX: 508 695-1857

Plainville Planning Board [you might consider sending your comment 'Delivery Confirmation']

Plainville Planning Board
142 South Street
Plainville, MA 02762

Home addresses:

Stanley Widak, Chairman
51 George St.
Plainville, MA 02762

James Throckmorton
6 Laurel Avenue
Plainville, MA 02762

John Mutascio
19 Horseshoe Drive
Plainville, MA 02762

Mailing addresses not yet available:

Robert Davis
Michael Czarnawski

Information here:

Below, is the letter of concern offered, both FAXed and Mailed. Please feel free to use any portion of the few issues included or question the information included:

It would seem that in order to responsibly serve the future of Plainville and its residents, critical consideration of all impacts is crucial.

1. During the Educational Forum offered by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on June 14, 2012, the experts were unanimous in their agreement that the sole Slot Barn license issued would EXPAND. [Plainville Town Manager Joe Fernandes attended the forum.]

Each expert agreed that once table games were introduced in Rhode Island, the ability of compete would compel Massachusetts to add table games as well. The explanation would be 'in order to compete.'

Such is the business model for the Gambling Industry: EXPANSION. 

As you consider the 'change of use' for Plainridge, please bear in mind that without provisions in place to address the known future expansion, the Planning Board is the last protection abutters and the town possess.

It is my understanding that if a 'change of use' is approved without appropriate conditions, the town has surrendered any control, essentially writing a blank check for a future full-blown casino without considering additional impacts.  

2. In addition, water and waste water are expensive services that seem mostly ignored in Plainville and will heavily impact the future costs and livability of the community.

How can a community that recently was told it would be forced to purchase water from Rhode Island suddenly have adequate water in the face of new projects that will impact usage? Many of those proposals are heavy water users, including Plainridge. How does it make sense not to earmark additional expenses to upgrade water lines and water sources necessitated by Plainridge? Future expansion will necessitate increased consumption of water, as well as increased waste water treatment.

Caution would be urged to protect the future of residential taxpayers/ratepayers.

3. Housing. As you know, the Spectrum Report [prepared for the Connecticut Department of Special Revenue] addressed the practice of 'hot bunking' or 'hot bedding' in communities surrounding both tribal casinos. [The report is available in its entirety on the 'United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts' web site, along with numerous additional reports.]

The practice is explained as one in which beds are shared in shifts by low wage workers, unable to afford local housing.

In Massachusetts, we have witnessed the consequences of substandard and illegal housing in several horrific and fatal fires, frequently caused by shoddy construction, faulty electrical wiring, illegal apartments. 

Since property owners are frequently absent, properties become poorly maintained, neighborhoods become blighted, reducing property values, frequently creating a nuisance.

It is interesting to note that because both Connecticut casinos pay so poorly, they recruited non-English speaking workers, burdening the public schools with the additional cost of ESL teachers.

[As a footnote, the presence of increased numbers of foreign-speaking workers necessitated the availability of translators for public safety personnel, medical teams, court systems and much else. Both casinos have offered English-language proficiency courses to enable low wage workers to fulfill their job responsibilities.]

4. FREE ALCOHOL: With the best intentions, each community that has become host to a gambling facility offering FREE ALCOHOL has experienced an increase in DUIs, making innocents traveling their roads a target.

The increased DUIs was also addressed in the Spectrum Report.

At one time, both Tribes funded additional police patrols to reduce the incidents, but the funding is no longer available because of declining revenue. The Drunks are still on the roads, but no longer stopped.

This issue increases public safety costs, police, fire and ambulance, as well as insurance premiums based on accident experience.

5. TRAFFIC. Because Route 1 is heavily trafficked during certain periods [i.e. Stadium Games, Christmas, and so on], vehicles seek alternative 'back roads.'
With the advent of GPS, those back roads are more easily located.
An increase of Route 1 traffic will force travelers onto the back roads in increasing numbers.

Most of those roads are currently sub-standard, unable to tolerate any increased traffic safely. 
The additional traffic alone will increase accident rates, as well as public safety costs. Forcing increased traffic onto sub-standard 'back roads' increases those risks.
Can you imagine not being fully sober, unfamiliar with Mirimachi Street and attempting to navigate?
With the known future expansion of the Plainridge proposal, shouldn't that also be taken into consideration?

Will the 'rear entrance' to Plainridge [Harness Path] become an access road?
6. PROPERTY VALUES. Should Plainridge be awarded the Slot Barn license, it will become a 24/7/365 operation.

What measures will the Planning Board put in place to protect property owners from additional noise, pollution, light? Since Plainridge failed to erect a berm in the past, how will this be enforced in the future? 

Abutters currently endure nighttime illumination of their homes which Plainridge has refused to address/correct. Having a parking garage against your property line will only increase the horn-honking, vehicle lights, exhaust fumes and nighttime noise. [Nighttime illumination has far-reaching consequences. Studies have linked an elevated rate of breast cancer. Sleep disturbances reduce student learning, create a multitude of physical issues. The additional exhaust pollution so close to homes will increase childhood asthma rates. Those issues are easily discerned with a simple internet search.]

Home buyers don't purchase homes next to facilities that are noisy, polluting, operate around the clock or are gambling facilities. Since those property values will decline, are there measures in place to protect Plainville from the reduction in tax base? Some of the homes may become unmarketable. Will Plainridge purchase any of those homes?

While the decline in home values might seem a limited issue, effecting mostly abutters, it will reduce Plainville's tax base. 
7. BLASTING. How much additional blasting will be required? What provisions are in place to assure adequate notice and protection for residential property owners? It seemed from past experience that homeowners had little recourse from the noise, vibration and debris.

8. LOCAL PATRONS. Considering the example of Parx in Pennsyvania [the current partner in Raynham] and highly successful operator of a Slot Barn that caters to local patrons [low rollers] in Pennsylvania, what protections are in place for local businesses that will be harmed by discretionary income no longer being spent at local restaurants?

Posted in 'The McDonald's of Gambling' :

Parx president Dave Jonas says his revenue comes almost exclusively from local low rollers.

"We underestimated significantly how many trips our customers were going to make," Jonas said at last month's Pennsylvania Gaming Congress in Valley Forge.

"When I was in Atlantic City, to have 12 to 15 trips out of customers, they were VIPs," Jonas said. At Parx, "it's not uncommon for us to have 150 to 200 trips."

Moderator Michael Pollock, a well-regarded casino analyst, paused to digest the statistic.

"You said 150 to 200 times a year," he repeated. "That's three to four times a week, essentially."

"Yes," Jonas confirmed, most of his players fit that profile. In fact, because Parx players tend to live within 20 miles of Street Road, many go even more frequently.

"We have customers," Jonas boasted, "who give us $25, $30 five times a week."

As you know, the Gambling Industry destroyed most local businesses and restaurants in Atlantic City, invited crime, created slums.

Should Plainridge obtain the sole Slot Barn license in Massachusetts, knowing that patrons will come from ~ 20 miles, what provisions can the Planning Board implement to maintain that local tax base and employment?

9. CANNIBALIZATION. The Spectrum report determined that the majority of the 'new' jobs created by the Connecticut Tribal Casinos represented jobs that had existed in the local sector, but were replaced by the casinos.

10. The Flight. Property owners in Connecticut who could afford to flee, did so, diminishing the diversity of the surrounding communities, driving down local wages [a phenomena reported elsewhere].

Ball State University prepared a study that confirmed the impact of low wage racino jobs driving down wages in West Virginia. 

Should you have any questions or require documentation, please don't hesitate to contact me.

TONIGHT: Foxwood's Presentation in Milford 7 PM

Tonight Foxwoods will make its final topic presentation to the public before they begin negotiating the host community agreement with town officials. Topics to be presented include environmental impact and information regarding the site plan.

The meeting will be held in the Milford High School Auditorium starting at 7:00 PM. If you would like to ask a question, be sure to sign up in the lobby before the meeting starts.

Please stand with us and hold a sign in front of the high school anytime between 5:00 and 7:00 PM. Wear RED to show solidarity with our cause! We look forward to seeing everyone tonight!

Milford Casino-Free.
Our mailing address is:

Casino-Free Milford
P.O. Box 145
Milford, MA 01757

Another Massachusetts Failure!

The decline in LOTTERY SALES was previously predicted, never discussed, never addressed because Casino Cheerleaders were too busy cramming the flawed legislation through!

The failure to address it appropriately would be compensated for with INTERNET GAMBLING ADDICTION? Does anyone see a flaw in that prescription? More Government Sponsored Addiction?

Experts say casinos could drain Lottery sales

Photo by:

Patrick Whittemore
‘THERE’S NO QUESTION’: Lottery chairman Steve Grossman, above, says casinos will have an impact on the state Lottery.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lottery officials — now touting record sales — are bracing for a hit on revenues when casinos open their doors in Massachusetts, raising new fears that cities and towns already pleading for more state money will lose desperately needed local aid.

“There’s no question when casinos are up and running, it’s going to have an impact,” said Treasurer Steven Grossman, who also serves as the Lottery chairman. “No one knows how big of an impact.”

The Lottery announced yesterday that it posted its second-highest profit level last fiscal year, bringing in $952 million on record sales of $4.8 billion — $25 million more in profits than projected.

The majority of those dollars, by law, go directly to cities and towns as local aid — funding roads, police and senior services.

Experts say the source of those funds could be in jeopardy.“It will take a hit,” predicted gambling expert I. Nelson Rose, a Whittier Law School professor, referring to state lottery revenues. “Every time any form of gambling opens up, it tends to expand the market. In other words, there’s more gambling, but the trouble is there’s more types dividing it so each individual one tends to go down a little.”

Massachusetts Lottery Executive Director Paul Sternburg said, “I expect some of our sales will go to the casinos initially. But if the Lottery and the casinos do more for the state than the Lottery alone, it’s a win for the state. I expect sales will start to come back and return to their normal level down the road.”

Municipalities have been nervously watching budget talks — Gov. Deval Patrick initially vetoed $177 million in local aid during his recent tax dispute with the Legislature. Although that money was restored, only $200 million of a proposed $300 million in road funds was approved.

And while local aid was ultimately up by $21 million this year, that comes after six years in which cities and towns lost more than $400 million, according to the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

Kathleen Conley Norbut, a Massachusetts casino critic, said losses in local aid would be another “whack” to towns that people “haven’t given the attention that it certainly warrants.”

Celeste Myers, co-chairwoman of the group No Eastie Casino, agreed.“If we reduce those dollars, the impact comes right off the top,” Myers said.

Grossman noted that even if the revenue loss cuts into local aid, gambling — the Lottery, casinos and slots combined — is projected to bring in $300 million and 15,000 more jobs overall that the state isn’t seeing now.  Those projections have already been proven to be GROSSLY OVERSTATED!

And while that money will not be mandated for local aid as lottery revenues are, Grossman said lawmakers can redirect gaming revenue to cities and townsBut they won't!

“I don’t think the Legislature will allow the cities and towns to see that cut in lottery revenues and profits be reflected in a cut to local aid,” Grossman said. “Local aid is still the lifeblood of cities and towns.”

However, with the advent of casinos, the Lottery will have to make adjustments to maintain revenues, Grossman conceded, including potentially moving into online games. BECAUSE MASSACHUSETTS DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH LOTTERY GAMBLING ADDICTION!

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow the Lottery to test some online gaming models, but Grossman said he would support online gaming only if it could be done in a way to shield the state’s 7,400 Lottery agents from losing sales.

- See more at:

Bill Walczak: Mayoral Candidate Who Tells The Truth!

More Tomorrow from the Boston Globe!

In break with field, Bill Walczak opposes a casino

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rivers: Man Leaves Child In Car, Plays Slots At Rivers Casino

Massachusetts ‘Gaming’ Future

We keep hearing about children being left in cars at casino parking lots, but how the children that we not hearing about that are left unattended at home while their parents are at casinos gambling and losing everything.

CBS PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – July 30, 2013 - Man Leaves Child In Car, Plays Slots At Rivers Casino

A man is facing charges after leaving a 2-year-old child in a car outside of the Rivers Casino on Monday.
According to police, Forme Balebako, 35, of Swissvale, told officers he went into the casino to use the restroom and then decided to play the slots around 10:23 a.m.

Police said his daughter was left in the locked car in the garage for a little over 20 minutes. The garage was cool and the child was found to be in good health by medics.

Balebako is being charged with endangering the welfare of a child and has been banned from the Rivers Casino for life.
See More

Another Crime at Parx

This took place at the highly successful PARX Slot Barn, the partner of the proposed Raynham Slot Barn that bragged their patrons live within 20 miles, visit 3-5 times a week.

Once again another wonderful night out at your local casino! This story not only makes you aware of the criminal element lurking in casinos, it also gives you an idea of the kind of money people are wasting on this so called entertainment venue. When’s the last time you took out $500 cash for a little gambling action?

Bucks County Courier Times - July 30, 2013 - State police: Philadelphia man loses gamble over stolen wallet

The woman told state troopers that she had just taken $500 out of her wallet before putting it into her purse, which sat on an empty chair next to her at the blackjack table. After playing for a while, she reached into her purse and realized her $700 Burberry wallet was gone, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Casino surveillance footage showed Massi at the blackjack table standing behind the woman and reaching into her purse and stealing her wallet, court documents show. He immediately left the casino with the wallet, police said.

Read more:
See More


Police eye Plainridge lead
Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2003

PLAINVILLE — Exactly two months after a bank deposit over $100,000 was stolen from Plainridge Racecourse, authorities are looking at a “ red flag” raised during their investigation.

“ It's not really a tip,” Police Chief Edward Merrick Jr. said Tuesday.
“ It's something that occurred in the process of the investigation that causes us to re-look a little closer at an individual.”

The deposit has been missing since Nov. 8, when a Brinks armored car service security guard was scheduled to pick it up from the Route 1 track and deliver it to Foxboro Federal Savings & Loan on South Street (Route 1A). The pick-up occurred on the Friday before the three-day Veterans Day weekend.

The High Cost of Gambling Addiction: + $4.7 BILLION a year

World-first ad campaign a win for problem gamblers

A CONFRONTING world-first ad campaign tracking the crippling battles of real-life problem gamblers has inspired 120 gamblers a week to try and beat their addiction. 
Young men aged 26-35 were the biggest demographic to sign up to the 100 Day Challenge, which has attracted more than 2200 people since it began in March.

The response has exceeded the expectations of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, which is making the campaign permanent.

Of those committing to give up or reduce their gambling through the 'Fight for the real you' website, 70 per cent were male, and 30 per cent were 26-35.

One in five were aged 18-25, 23 per cent were aged 36-45 and 15 per cent were 46-55.
Foundation CEO Serge Sardo said he has been buoyed by the response as less than 10 per cent of problem gambler usually seek help.

The foundation in an online survey of problem gamblers found guilt, failure and shame were major barriers.

"It really intensifies the devastation and harm it creates, they usually don't seek help until the house has been lost, relationships have broken down," he said.

"You rarely get to hear from problem gamblers, it's not really something people talk about. So we wanted to say to people, it can be an addiction like any other thing. It can affect people from all walks off life.

"We were astounded by the engagement."

The campaign's website has been visited by more than 175,000 people since it launched.

The sign-ups have ranged from 50-200 a week, peaking during times the advertisements were run during high-rating slots like the Ashes.

The social cost of gambling in Australia is at least $4.7 billion a year, the Productivity Commission estimates.

The foundation next plans to focus on concerns about the impact of gambling young people, with research finding one in four adult gamblers experience issues before 18.

If you are experiencing problems with gambling, call Gambler's Help freecall 1800 858 858 or online

Monday, July 29, 2013

Milford: Blistering Criticism

Connecticut's Casino Operators Gambling On Massachusetts
Hartford Courant
July 27, 2013

It's a high-stakes game. Connecticut's two casino operators are betting on a chance at one of three resort casinos in Massachusetts with competing development proposals ranging in cost from $800 million to more than $1 billion.

The pitches — Mohegan Sun in Western Massachusetts and Foxwoods in the Greater Boston region – have many similarities.

The two aren't competing against each other. Instead, they're up against other rival gambling titans, most with successful Las Vegas casinos.

The proposals both involve sprawling campuses in small towns away from cities and urban traffic. They offer a design and business model that has been financially successful in Connecticut for decades, albeit eroding as gaming competition proliferates in neighboring states. Both contend that they already have a loyal customer base in the Northeast.

Before the plans can be pitched to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at the end of the year, they must have a "host community agreement" and a vote of support by residents.

But Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are in very different competitions otherwise.

Vocal Resistance, Vocal Support

Foxwoods is embroiled in a local battle, never mind competition from two competing casino plans in the Boston area.

On Wednesday afternoon, protesters lined a suburban street in Milford, Mass., holding signs that read "No Casino" and "Keep Milford Casino Free."

The protesters were elbow to elbow with members of the Laborers' International Union of North America, LIUNA, Local 609, who held signs of support that said "More Revenue" and "More Jobs."

This is the town where Foxwoods wants to build, on a 187-acre site east of Interstate 495. Most of the Milford community is west of the highway, said David Nunes, a partner in, and chief development officer for, the Foxwoods plan. The casino site has about 1,000 acres of conservation land around it.

"We really are in an oasis, and you can replicate what the New England gambler is already used to," Nunes said. "New England gamblers are used to Foxwoods and Mohegan — these two places built out in, literally, what was considered the middle of nowhere when they were constructed. So, if you look at that and say, 'Are you giving them exactly what they experience now and enjoy?' Yes."

But Rob and Cathy Mitchell of Casino-Free Milford live on the eastern side of Interstate 495, and they're worried about many aspects of Foxwoods' plan to build nearby.

"My property values are going to take a huge hit," Cathy Mitchell said.

Traffic is a major concern, too. Foxwoods has introduced elaborate reconstruction of the exit off I-495. Protesters are worried about the town's water supply, property values, social problems, the intimate character of the town and myriad other factors.

Geri Eddins held a sign opposing the casino, too. The proliferation of gaming in New England means that new resorts in Massachusetts aren't going to be as successful as Connecticut casinos were when they were the only large-scale gaming in the region.

"We're very concerned about the over-saturation of the market," Eddins said.

Nunes, said opposition is typical for any casino development.

"This always gets viewed in a larger-than-life negative light, and then when it gets built, in every community that you've seen almost across the country, people realize it's a 24-hour business, seven days a week, and the traffic trickles in, and it doesn't come at one time. … It's not even as bad as a giant office development," Nunes said.

The project is supported by local laborers — some who live in Milford and others who don't. The Local 609 business manager for LIUNA, Chris Murphy, said about 80 of 550 laborers are out of work in his union.

"We've got a bridge project … Everything in my local together is a tenth of what this would be," Murphy said.

Foxwoods derives confidence from a rationale that people are already familiar with the brand.
"Foxwoods knows the New England gambler better than anybody," Nunes said.

Foxwoods has a Massachusetts database and the company understands the ideal mix of table games, such as poker and craps that customers are looking for in a New England casino resort.

"Having that database helps in terms of, we know who to market to," Nunes said. "We know who to look for. We know where they're coming from. We know how to build and design this around them."

However, Foxwoods faces several hurdles.

At a public meeting Wednesday night to explore the social and economic effects of bringing a casino to town, Foxwoods consultants suffered some blistering criticisms. Several Foxwoods representatives say the casino has polled people in town, and they consistently get about 60 percent support despite a very vocal and organized opposition.

Foxwoods hopes to have a user agreement with the town in early September and a required vote to gauge support in November. That's not the end of the process. Foxwoods would need to get the land rezoned from its current commercial use zoning to a zone specifically for a casino, too.

If Foxwoods makes it through several hurdles in Milford, its plan will be up against a proposed $1 billion casino by magnate Steve Wynn along the Mystic River in Everett and a $1 billion rival plan by Caesar's Entertainment at Suffolk Downs in East Boston.

Between A Lion & A Hard Rock

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority is up against instantly recognized national brands in a fight for the Western Massachusetts license. Each promises something different for the region, and much of the conversation will be about setting, not just perks.

Mohegan Sun has cultivated its pitch to Palmer residents for more than four years, and the town voted to support a similar casino proposal back in 1997. Palmer Town Manager Charlie Blanchard talks about why Mohegan's plan is better than either an MGM Resorts International site in Springfield or a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in West Springfield. Mohegan could have a host community agreement with Palmer by early August and an election to gauge voter support between 60 and 90 days after the agreement is signed, as required by state law.

Mohegan believes it is addressing exactly what the Massachusetts legislation to allow resort casinos — and the state Gaming Commission — describe as criteria for a resort, said Mitchell Grossinger Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.

"They wanted resort destination gaming because of the fact that there are two successful resort destination casinos in Connecticut …," Etess said.

"We selected Palmer because it was a great site," Etess said. "It has amazing access. You get right off of the turnpike [Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate 90] and you're right at our site."

The 152-acre site for Mohegan's casino, adventure water park and retail destination in Palmer dwarfs competition in urban and suburban settings. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino wants to build on 38 acres of the Eastern States Exposition site in West Springfield. MGM Resorts International would build on less than 15 acres in the heart of Springfield.

"We really believe that what New Englanders want in their gaming destination is rural … Rural is what Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are," Etess said. "We don't believe that having a casino in downtown Springfield is going to be able to attract people from out of state to come for the weekend to downtown Springfield."

MGM Resorts International has a plan that is almost the antithesis of Mohegan's model. MGM Resorts International chairman and CEO James J. Murren said he wants to revive Springfield as the entertainment hub of the region with live musical acts that have been siphoned out of Massachusetts by Connecticut casinos.

Murren and other MGM executives celebrated a vote of support by Springfield residents, 58-to-42 percent, on July 16. Murren graduated from Trinity College in Hartford in 1983 after studying art history and urban studies.

"Economic activity in an urban core is vital," Murren said while celebrating the July 16th vote.

"Casinos in Connecticut dragged all the entertainment away from Springfield and exacerbated a decades long decline."

Unlike Mohegan's pitch, MGM promises to bring Massachusetts customers back into the state by squaring off with Mohegan's entertainment at its Connecticut casino. Mohegan isn't planning entertainment acts in Massachusetts because Etess said he doesn't want to compete with existing venues in Western Massachusetts.

MGM sees it differently — that they will compete directly with Mohegan Sun in Connecticut by collaborating with existing Massachusetts venues, said Michael Mathis, vice president of Global Gaming Development for MGM Resorts International.

It's already happening. MGM Springfield held a Pitbull concert at the MassMutual Center over Memorial Day weekend.

"Entertainment [is] a really important, we think, aspect of any successful competitor that wants to recapture that marketshare," Mathis said.

An inherent disadvantage for Mohegan in Massachusetts is that the tribe has spent billions of dollars in their Connecticut facility.

"While they're proposing a large investment in Palmer, they've got a larger investment, arguably, that they would be protecting in Connecticut overall, and they pay a significant lower gaming tax through their compact with the state than they would pay in Massachusetts," Mathis said.

Hard Rock is partnering with the site of The Big E, which is a large campus for conferences and trade shows in addition to the 17-day agricultural and entertainment event. Hard Rock would have an isolated suburban setting that is easily accessible from Interstate 91, different from the activity of downtown Springfield or the rural setting in Palmer.

"Our differentiator is partnering with the largest regional destination in the Eastern states," Tim Maland, President of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino New England.

"We're creating a safe suburban destination that will be focused on entertainment and fun," Maland said. "And we think that we benefit the residents of West Springfield a great deal by working as a neighbor and a partner.",0,2806347,full.story


Another thing to 'love' about casinos.....

FBI arrests 150 in three days in sex-trafficking sweep

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The FBI arrested 150 people across the United States on charges of holding children against their will for prostitution, a three-day weekend sweep that officials on Monday called the largest-ever operation against child sex-trafficking.
The suspects, whom the FBI referred to as "pimps," were arrested in 76 U.S. cities and are expected to face state and federal charges related to sex crimes and human trafficking, FBI and U.S. Justice Department officials said at a news conference.
FBI agents and local police recovered 105 children during the operation at truck stops, motels, casinos and other places where they were forced to work as prostitutes, officials said.
Of the 150 suspects, 18 were arrested by agents based in Detroit, 17 by agents from San Francisco and 13 by Oklahoma City agents, the FBI said.
The FBI said the suspects were not part of the same operation. It said some belonged to organized crime while others acted alone. The bureau did not immediately release a list of the suspects.

The FBI typically does not investigate adult prostitution, leaving it as a state and local matter, but in recent years it has made child prostitution a priority in a program the FBI calls Operation Cross Country. The program includes highway billboards asking people to call the FBI with tips.

About 1,350 people have been convicted as part of the program and at least 10 of them were sentenced to life in prison, officials said.

The latest sweep was the seventh and largest under Operation Cross Country, they said.

Children who are most vulnerable to being exploited for sex crimes are between 13 and 16 years old without strong ties to family members, officials said.

"We are trying to take this crime out of the shadows and put a spotlight on it," said FBI Assistant Director Ronald Hosko.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Howard Goller and Bill Trott)

Stop Graton Casino

Stop Graton Casino added a new photo.

RTCD: Repeal The Casino Deal!

It's always a good reminder of the Ballot Question.......

Mass. gambling foes aim for a referendum

By Liz Kowalczyk

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lootery officials recruiting retailers for keno

A friend mentioned that she avoids restaurants that offer Keno because it's annoying and offensive. When I asked several other friends, they acknowledged the same.

Maybe you get the low rollers and local patrons who can't afford the flush the $$$, but maybe you also lose patrons.

Sad commentary on the desperation of Kentucky and its failed fiscal policy.

Keno is a VERY rapid numbers game played on machines. LOOTtery officials recruiting retailers for keno - Business Breaking News -

Lottery officials recruiting retailers for keno

Read more here:
Posted on Sunday, 07.28.13

The Associated Press

Kentucky Lottery officials have begun recruiting retailers, restaurants and bowling alleys to offer keno, a bingo-style game that holds drawings every few minutes.

The Kentucky Enquirer ( reports officials began visiting businesses this month to discuss the lottery game that will become available on Nov. 4.

The Kentucky Lottery Corp. says it hopes between 600 and 700 retailers around the state sign on to offer the game over the next five years, which would net $30 million more for state coffers each year.

Opponents of the game have voiced concerns about it feeding gambling addictions, but supporters argue that there's no evidence of that happening in the 13 states where it is already offered.

Retailers who offer keno will have a 42-inch screen to display drawn numbers and players will get something similar to regular lottery tickets. While payouts can go up to $100,000, most are $600 or less, lottery official said.

John Ellison, who manages Hofbrauhaus restaurant in Newport, said he hasn't made up his mind yet about offering keno.

"With things like that, you wonder when they go up on the walls, you don't know how they will look," Ellison said.

Keno will allow the lottery to be offered in non-traditional venues.

Kentucky Lottery President Arch Gleason said the continuous drawings make it conducive for places where people gather to socialize.

"In most of the states that offer keno, half of the retailers of keno are traditional lottery retailers ... and the other half are what is characterized as a social environment — restaurants and bowling alleys," he said.

The placement of the game in new venues to appeal to people who might be drinking and socializing have raised concerns.

"When you have people consuming alcohol in a social situation, they're going to make mistakes that they'll regret tomorrow," said state Sen. Bob Leeper, I-Paducah. "My problem is, as a member of the General Assembly, it appears to me that the state is getting ready to sanction that, and that bothers me."

Gleason said lottery officials found no evidence that keno has added to problem gambling in the states where it is currently offered.

"We've weighted this issue for a long period of time," Gleason said. "It's become a really well-accepted game across the country."

Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer,

Horse Racing

The issue of horse racing and its preservation by taxpayer subsidy, needs further discussion.

Posted on a previous entry:
Anonymous said...
now I know why the horsemen have been racing for 1970's purses, Pionkowski was stealing all the money.the horsemen will suffer the most as always..... the end of harness racing in Mass. thanks Pionkowski
July 28, 2013

My Dear Friend, You are naive and have blindly believed the 'con' from some slick con men.

It should have raised RED FLAGS in April when Mr. P. resigned for publicly disclosed 'health reasons' and his financial interests were terminated.

Health reasons don't necessitate a financial disconnect.

Although the precise dollar amount is unclear, Piontkowki's embezzlement appears nominal in terms of annual track loss.

Who audited the track's books?

The revelations fail to indicate WHO knew and ignored what transpired.

The revelations fail to indicate WHO was shortchanged. Did Plainridge pay the town, the Commonwealth AND the horesmen appropriately?

Were taxes paid on the $$$ Mr. Piontkowski embezzled? If the money was removed from the 'money room,' who gave him the $$$? Were records kept?

Regarding Horse Racing:

Horse Racing is DEAD!

Attendance and handle has declined across the nation, so states have resorted to 'taxpayer subsidies' for preservation and no one asks 'why?'

'They' will do to horse racing what was done to greyhound racing in Rhode Island - the subsidies will become too expensive and racing will be time.

NYT did a great series of factual articles about the drugging, injuries and deaths of horses across the nation and the failure of the industry to regulate.

Those reports listed 53 horse deaths in Massachusetts that are not disclosed on the Massachusetts web site, or defined publicly. What is being concealed? Inadequate protection for the horses from drugging?

The scandals in New York are defining.

As you are aware, the independent 'expert' provided a report to the Gam[bl]ing Commission about the things that needed to be done to 'improve' horse racing in Massachusetts.

It would seem that many of those things should have been insisted upon by any organization dedicated to the sport.

I can only suggest: Do some research.

You can't prey on others with a Slot Barn and expect good results.

For additional information about horse racing, please click HERE.

You might find this of interest: Why Far Fewer Bettors Pony Up on the Horses or this: Money From Slots Has Done Nothing to Improve Horse Racing - See more at:

Posted on this blog under 'horse deaths':
New Mexico horse slaughterhouse likely to get permit soon
The Tail that Wags the Horse
Horse deaths, injuries, druggings: No One Cares
an inhumane atrocity
Aqueduct: Almost 3 Slot Machine per EMPLOYEE
Plainridge: Gagging the Opposition
Horses under attack?
New York: Deluding yourself
Ann Romney's Abuse of Horse
Subsidizing a DEAD Industry
Not known for 'heavy lifting,' Boston Herald uninformed!
Cruelty to Horse
More horses die

When horses die or are euthanized on the track, that's not entertainment.
When horses die because they have been drugged to run with injuries, that's animal abuse.

Mr. Piontkowski didn't kill a DEAD industry.