Meetings & Information


Friday, February 28, 2014

Pay No Attention to Money-Losing Casinos. Let’s Build More Casinos

Pay No Attention to Money-Losing Casinos. Let’s Build More Casinos

"Increased competition is making it more difficult for casinos to keep locals employed and pass along hefty payments to host states—which are the two biggest selling points for allowing gambling in the first place."
Getty Images/Flickr RF / Getty Images/Flickr RF
Increased competition is making it more difficult for casinos to keep locals employed and pass along hefty payments to host states—which are the two biggest selling points for allowing gambling in the first place. This isn’t stopping even more states and more casinos from entering the competition, however.

The gambling industry has traditionally been based on a “build it and they will come” philosophy.

But where will customers come from? The recent expansion of casinos to states such as Maryland and Ohio, combined with corresponding declining revenues in casinos in neighboring states, gives us a pretty clear indication that casino customers don’t just appear out of nowhere. Instead, when a new casino wins over a gambler’s business, that probably represents a loss of business for the casino that used to be favored by that same gambler.

Based on the number of new casinos currently in the works, in upstate New York and Massachusetts among other places, the problems faced by casinos (and states and cities that rely on them for tax revenues) seem like they are only bound to grow. Here are a few spots where the casino business is showing signs of struggle:

The Foxwoods casino in southeastern Connecticut is in the process of eliminating 120 table game dealer positions due to declining gambling revenues, the Associated Press recently reported. This is on top of a reduction by the debt-ridden company of more than 1,000 workers in the past fiscal year, according to the Hartford Courant. The Courant noted the staff reduction in an article about Foxwoods’ ambitions to expand into a market where it would seem to be competing with itself: It’s hoping to open a new casino across the border in Fall River, Mass.

(MORE: Too Many Casinos? Looks Like We’re Reaching a Gambling Saturation Point)

Foxwoods isn’t the only Connecticut-based casino seeking what could be a self-cannibalizing expansion. Critics have said that one of the reasons Mohegan Sun wants to build a casino in the Boston area is because at least then it will be losing money to a sibling, rather than another casino company, specifically Wynn Resorts. “We’re their worst nightmare,” Wynn owner Steve Wynn said of Mohegan Sun, when making his pitch to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in January.

Since casinos opened in Maryland and other nearby states, Delaware’s gambling revenues have taken a nose dive. According to an NPR report, the state took in $192 million thanks to gambling proceeds in 2013, down from $239 million in 2010, during a time when projections had called for revenues to rise. Struggling casino operators have asked state legislators to lower the tax rate on slots and other games, which would further cut into revenues Delaware is banking on. And jobs—the biggest selling point to locals for the presence of casinos—are likely to take a hit as well. “Some degree of layoffs could be inevitable in the near term, no matter what action legislators decide to take,” the News Journal of Delaware explained.

(MORE: Why Casinos Are Becoming Like Landfills)

Online gambling doesn’t appear to be the savior either, not in Delaware, nor in other states that have begun hosting legal gaming sites. “Delaware was averaging only 18 players online at any given time over the past seven days,” the News Journal recently reported, noting that online gaming revenues are on pace to fall well short of the $5 million projected for the first year. “Nevada and New Jersey, the other two states to have authorized the practice, also have reported revenue that fell far below expectations.”

Revenues at Detroit’s casinos fell by around 5%, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, and in addition to continued economic strife and a relatively weak jobs market, experts point to heightened competition through the opening of casinos in Ohio in 2012 as a big reason for the decline. The Detroit News estimated that the city could lose out on $10 million annually as a result of gamblers being drawn to casinos in Toledo, rather than Detroit.

New Jersey

In an article about Atlantic City’s hopes that this year’s Super Bowl (held in New Jersey) might yield the state some added gambling revenues, the Asbury Park Press summed up the fading gambling center’s recent struggles with some key data points:
Atlantic City will be closely watched in 2014, as betting revenue has fallen 41 percent since the 2006 peak of $5.2 billion.
(MORE: Atlantic City’s Next Big Bet: Legalized Online Gambling)

Based on the timing of this decline, it’s fairly obvious where the business went: to freshly opened casinos in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and other nearby states. There’s already been one “victim of the casino saturation taking place in the Northeast,” as the Associated Press put it: Atlantic City’s Atlantic Club, opened originally in 1980 by Steve Wynn, shut its doors earlier this month.


Read more: Pay No Attention to Money-Losing Casinos. Let’s Build More Casinos |

Gaming board picks first winner: Plainville

Gaming board picks first winner: Plainville

Top Photo

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has awarded the state's first and only slots license to the Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville, just minutes from the Rhode Island border.
The license, which will go to Penn National Gaming, is within 25 miles of the casino proposed by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in East Taunton. But, as outlined in the compact with Gov. Deval Patrick, the tribe will not get any financial breaks for competing with Plainridge. The slots parlor will be in Region B, while the tribe is trying to build in Region C. If the facilities were in the same region, the tribe could pay a lower percentage of its gaming revenue to the state.
The vote for Plainridge was 3-2 with commission Chairman Stephen Crosby and commissioner James McHugh, the two dissenting votes, favoring a Leominster site.
The license award comes two years and three months after the state legalized casinos and nearly two years after the commission began the process of regulating and licensing gambling in the Bay State.
Penn National officials have until this morning to accept a laundry list of conditions that goes along with the license award. If the company agrees, the commission will take one final vote this morning.
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell declined to comment through Paula Gates, a representative of the tribe's public relations firm.
Cromwell has said in the past that he doesn't believe a nearby slots parlor will affect the tribe's casino operation and, in fact, a marketing study prepared for the gaming commission suggests that a Taunton casino will take business away from the slot facility.
Commissioners made a point Thursday of saying that the inclusion of the Taunton site in marketing projections is not a prediction that the tribe will clear its arduous federal hurdles. KG Urban Enterprises is already seeking a commercial license in Region C in New Bedford and Foxwoods is kicking the tires on a possible Fall River site.
"We congratulate Plainridge," Andy Paven, a spokesman for KG Urban, said Thursday afternoon.
"We're focused on our own project and were always aware of this possibility."
Clyde Barrow, a gambling expert with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Center for Policy Analysis, said the Plainville site is a smart pick to recapture some of the hundreds of millions being spent out of state each year at Twin River Casino in Rhode Island and two Indian casinos in Connecticut.
"Plainville is in the best position to intercept traffic coming from central and Southeastern Massachusetts," he said.
The slot parlor isn't likely to hurt full-scale casinos proposed in the region because it's a different market for convenience gamblers, Barrow said.
The slot parlor is at a competitive disadvantage because it will pay 49 percent of its gross gambling revenues to the state in taxes. A Wampanoag casino would most likely pay 17 percent under the state compact and a commercial casino in the region would be taxed 25 percent.
Parx, which owns one of the most successful casinos in Pennsylvania, and Cordish Companies, a Maryland-based casino operator that was highly praised by commissioners, both lost out on bids Thursday. But, they could now turn their sights to the Southeastern Massachusetts license.
KG Urban is still seeking a gambling investor and the commission has said any license loser is welcome to find land in Region C and come back with a new pitch.
"That's absolutely a possibility," Barrow said.
Paven declined comment on whether KG Urban planned to speak with either company.
In winning the slots license, Penn National Gaming was given high marks for its innovative storm water system, its experience with 28 facilities across the country and its commitment to continue harness racing at the Plainridge Racecourse.
But it was horse racing and preserving track jobs that tipped the scales for the majority of commissioners.
"It's better to have a dollar on hand today than tomorrow. Better to have a job today than tomorrow," commissioner Enrique Zuniga said.
A slot parlor proposed in Leominster by the Cordish Companies was a close second to Plainville with Crosby and McHugh lobbying hard for the project because it would give a down-on-its-luck region an economic boost.
Cordish was given high marks for its plans to tie into the medical devices industry in central Massachusetts and because it would serve gamblers that would otherwise have to travel nearly an hour to other Bay State casinos.
"I have a tiny bit of a sick feeling that we're missing an opportunity for an important part of the state that really could have been something unique and special," Crosby said.

Sands Bethlehem president resigns, company says unrelated to hacking

Sands Bethlehem president resigns, company says unrelated to hacking


The only president Sands Bethlehem has ever known is saying goodbye. On Wednesday, Las Vegas Sands confirmed that Robert DeSalvio (pictured) had submitted his resignation as president of Pennsylvania’s market-leading casino. Sands president/COO Michael Leven said it was DeSalvio’s decision to walk away from his corner office and that the company was “disappointed” he won’t be around. Leven said Sands was “exploring the best approach to fulfill Bob’s role” but offered no timelines.

DeSalvio, who will stay at his post until March 14, confirmed his resignation to the Express-Times but directed all further questions to the casino. The Morning Call quoted Sands spokesman Ron Reese saying DeSalvio’s exit was unrelated to the recent distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on Sands Bethlehem’s website earlier this month that knocked multiple corporate sites offline and exposed personal information – including social security numbers – of many Sands Bethlehem employees. Last week, the hackers posted a video to YouTube displaying the data they’d purloined, which led Reese to issue a statement saying at least some of the company’s internal drives in the US had been compromised.

Sands Bethlehem has been a runaway success since it opened in 2009 with DeSalvio at the helm. The casino earned nearly a quarter of the state’s total table game revenue in 2013 and placed second on the annual slots revenue chart behind the Parx casino in Bensalem. Before joining Sands, DeSalvio did a stint at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.

In September, state gaming regulators fined Sands Bethlehem $56k for letting underage visitors get their gamble on. Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson likes to claim that online gambling sites are inept at preventing kids from gambling but DeSalvio told gaming regulators in October that verifying the legitimacy of every fake ID was basically impossible. DeSalvio suggested the state should help out by confiscating the offenders’ drivers licenses for one year on a first offence, not unlike state Rep. Mario Scavello‘s recent call for online gamblers to serve a year in jail for a second offence. Must be something in Pennsylvania’s water…

Casinos for Seniors: Full of Sound and Light, Signifying Emptiness

John CulhaneBecome a fan
Professor of Law and Director of the Health Law Institute, Widener University School of Law

Casinos for Seniors: Full of Sound and Light, Signifying Emptiness


Police Arrest Two For Allegedly Using Fake Poker Chips At Maryland Casino

Police Arrest Two For Allegedly Using Fake Poker Chips At Maryland Casino

Authorities Say One Suspect Bought $150K Worth Of Phony Chips Online

Another case of counterfeit poker chips has come to light, this time in Maryland.

State police said Tuesday that they have arrested two individuals and are looking for two others for allegedly passing fake $100 chips in poker games last month.

The alleged crimes took place at Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover. The casino opened its 52-table poker room in August of last year, not long after the state authorized table games.

Rosa A. Nguyen was charged with one count of theft between $1,000 and $10,000, and two counts of “conspiracy to commit theft” between $1,000 and $10,000. Her husband, Vuong Q. Truong, was accused of “committing a theft scheme” and “conspiracy to commit theft.”

Police said that they learned many of the counterfeit chips had been discarded by one of the suspects in Lake Accotink, in Springfield, Virginia. The chips floated.

Investigators said that they were able to recover about $115,000 worth of the alleged counterfeit casino chips from the lake, which was close to the home of the suspects.

Nguyen allegedly bought $150,000 worth of counterfeit casino chips via the Internet for $12,000. The chips were then altered to appear similar to Maryland Live! Casino chips.

This case comes just weeks after a counterfeit chip scandal in New Jersey. A massive $2 million guarantee poker tournament at Borgata was canceled after it was discovered that one of the entrants inserted hundreds of thousands worth of phony chips into the event.

While counterfeiting casino chips is a serious crime according to the books in states where casinos are operating, punishment — or at least the seeking of it — is not applied evenly.

In October 2013, counterfeit poker chips were allegedly passed at a casino in Iowa by a nuclear weapons commander. The state elected not to prosecute, citing “lack of criminal history as well as his career in the military.” The U.S. military official ended up being demoted.


Slot Barn License to Plainridge

Slot parlor OK’d for Plainville racetrack

Casino opponent John Ribeiro, head of a campaign to repeal the casino law, said the commission vote for Penn “is just another indicator that it’s time for the people of Massachusetts, as a Commonwealth, to vote on casinos.

“The process for selecting casinos and slot parlors is no less lopsided, loaded with politics and the influence of deep casino pockets than the legislative process which made this debacle possible,” Ribeiro said in a statement.

Opponents are seeking a court ruling to put a repeal of the state casino law on the November ballot.

Gaming Commission Approves State’s First Casino License

Panel voted Thursday on proposed slots parlor in Massachusetts.

Last summer, Penn National failed to get community support for a slot parlor on a 30-acre lot off Ames Pond Drive in Tewksbury near the Andover line. In September, Tewksbury selectmen voted unanimously to cancel a planned Sept. 21 special referendum on casino gambling just three days after special Town Meeting voters turned down a slots-only casino proposal.

Bill KearneyFebruary 27, 2014 at 02:54 PM
When governments make vices legal you’re left with no other choice but to put regulations into the laws that govern these vices. When it comes to the VICE/SCAM known today as 'GAMING' I know my safeguards things like No 24/7 Gambling, No Free Booze, No Smoking, No Check Cashing, No Interest Free Credit, No Free Play, No Comps, and making casino operators send Casino Monthly Statements to those enrolled in casino reward card programs that list gaming winnings and losses that are equal to or greater than $500, along with making casino employees intervene when their patrons are gambling excessively will stop the ‘BREEDING’ of compulsive casino gambling degenerates who will become criminals. These safeguards will also make it an even playing field for business owners that are within a 10 to 20 mile radius of casinos, especially those who have liquor, food, and entertainment licensees.

Massachusetts Gaming Commission awards slots parlor license to Penn National Gaming's Plainville proposal

Penn National Gaming, based in Wyomissing, Pa., originally pursued a resort casino in Springfield, where it proposed a 300,000-square-foot casino complex in the city's North End. However, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno eventually selected MGM Resorts International's planned $800-million casino over Penn National's proposal.

Dad admits leaving 18-month-old alone in hot car at Parx

Massachusetts ‘Gaming’ Future

We hear about the children left in cars, but what about the children being left at home unattended while their parents are in the casino gambling.

Bucks County Courier Times - February 26, 2014 - Dad admits leaving 18-month-old alone in car at Parx ...

A Bucks County judge Wednesday banned a Philadelphia man from entering any casino or gambling online for two years, after the man pleaded guilty to leaving his 18-month-old son locked inside a hot car while he gambled at Parx Casino in Bensalem.

Danny Ngo, 44, of Adams Avenue, must serve two years of probation and comply with child protective service orders.

Bill Kearney's photo.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mass. Gambling Panel Weighs Slot Barn License

Mass. Gambling Panel Weighs Slots Parlor License

BOSTON — The chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission gave a boost Wednesday to a proposal by Cordish Cos. for a slots parlor in Leominster, as the panel moved closer to awarding the state’s first license for expanded gambling.

Cordish is competing for the slots parlor license with Penn National Gaming, which hopes to add slot machines at the Plainridge harness racetrack in Plainville, and Raynham Park, a former dog racing track. The five-member commission has been using several categories to evaluate the applications.

The Leominster and Plainville proposals received the strongest grades over two days of discussions, with Raynham Park trailing the others in nearly every category.

Stephen Crosby, the panel’s chairman who led a general overview of the projects, gave Leominster a grade of “very good,” the highest in that category, saying Cordish’s proposal demonstrated creativity and the potential to be the strongest regional location for a slots parlor.

“Thus our analysis suggests that the strategic value of the Leominster location, filling a relatively unserved part of the state and creating a bulwark to a potential Southern New Hampshire facility, has the highest strategic competitive value,” Crosby wrote in his report.

Cordish was also praised by Crosby for reaching “outside the box” with its proposal to dedicate at least $1 million in annual gambling revenues to help startup medical device companies in the north-central Massachusetts region.

Penn National was rated sufficient in the general overview, with Crosby’s report saying the greatest strength of Plainville’s proposal was its promise to maintain horse racing, but that it otherwise offered “few really distinctive features.”

Raynham’s answers to many questions posed by evaluators were “minimally responsive,” the report said, and it received a grade of “sufficient to insufficient,” though the park’s longtime owner George Carney was praised for the strong support he has in the community.

Crosby stressed to reporters after his presentation that he had not yet made a final determination on which applicant he supports for the slots parlor license, adding that his report was only one of five submitted by members of the commission. Each commissioner has an equal say in awarding the license, and a unanimous vote is not required.

A report submitted Wednesday by Commissioner Gayle Cameron, who oversaw a review of mitigation efforts by each applicant, gave Penn National a grade of “very good,” while Cordish Cos., which proposes building a slots parlor in Leominster, and Raynham Park, a former dog track, were both given grades of “sufficient.”

The mitigation category includes community outreach and support, efforts to reduce traffic impacts, and plans to address problem gambling and help the state Lottery avoid a downturn in sales due to competition from casinos.

Cameron said Penn National had demonstrated “integrated responsible gaming practices” at gambling facilities it operates in other states.

Commissioner Bruce Stebbins, who oversaw an evaluation of economic development efforts by each of the applicants, rated both Plainville and Leominster as very good in the category, and Raynham Park sufficient. The category includes job creation, work with local businesses and tourism promotion.

After it awards the slots parlor license, the commission will then turn its attention to choosing destination resort casino operators in the eastern and western parts of the state, with decisions on those licenses expected by midyear.

On Tuesday, Revere voters approved a referendum that would allow for a resort casino proposed by Mohegan Sun on land owned by Suffolk Downs.

The vote sets the stage for Mohegan Sun to compete with Wynn Resorts, which has proposed a $1.6 billion facility along the Mystic River in Everett, for the eastern resort casino license.

MGM Resort, planning a casino in Springfield, is the only western Massachusetts applicant.

Pa. man charged with stealing $3M from ex-employer...

Bill Kearney
Massachusetts ‘GAMING’ Future

This type of crime is going on in every casino state, and for everyone that is solved there are many more undetected. Again it proves once more that casinos ‘BREED’ law-abiding citizens into compulsive casino gambling degenerates who become criminals.

Associated Press - February 26, 2014 - Pa. man charged with stealing $3M from ex-employer...

COLLINGDALE, Pa. (AP) — A former councilman in suburban Philadelphia waived his preliminary hearing on charges he stole nearly $3 million from his former employer to feed an alleged gambling addiction.

Former Collingdale borough councilman James Bryan faces multiple theft charges, all third-degree felonies. He is next due in Delaware County Court for a formal arraignment on March 26.

Prosecutors said Bryan stole the money over the course of 11 years while he worked as a project manager for Wescott Electric in Aston and gambled away much of it on lottery tickets and at Harrah's Casino in Chester.

Investigators said Bryan cashed checks generated for fraudulent invoices and bought copper wire for the company that he'd scrap for cash.

Bryan had been a borough councilman for nearly 20 years.

Bill Kearney's photo.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

People in poor neighborhoods are twice as likely to have gambling problems.....

People in poor neighborhoods are twice as likely to have gambling problems, study finds

by Cathy Wilde
Study: People in poor neighborhoods are twice as likely to have gambling problems

The poorer the neighborhood, the higher the risk for problem gambling, according to a study from the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA).

nearly 5,000 people, ages 14 to 90, in the United States, the study found that problem gambling was twice as likely in neighborhoods with the highest levels of concentrated poverty compared to neighborhoods with the lowest poverty levels.

The study was published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions last June.

In areas with the highest "neighborhood disadvantage" – determined by census factors such as the percentage of people who were unemployed, received public assistance, and/or live in poverty – more than 11 percent were problem gamblers, compared to just 5 percent in neighborhoods ranking in the top fifth of economic advantage.

"We found that neighborhood disadvantage had a substantial effect on , even after controlling for a person's , age, gender or race," says Grace M. Barnes, PhD, RIA senior research scientist and first author. "We also controlled for the convenience of gambling opportunities in these neighborhoods, and our findings were unchanged."

Further, individuals with the lowest socioeconomic status in the poorest neighborhoods were at greatest risk for gambling problems.

Problem gambling was determined by a number of symptoms, including gambling with increasing amounts of money, repeated unsuccessful efforts to control or stop gambling, and preoccupation with gambling activities. Types of gambling included casinos, sports betting, horse or dog racing, lotteries and , as well as raffles, office pools, charitable gambling, pulltabs and bingo.

The authors speculated on a number of reasons why gambling is worse in poorer neighborhoods. "It may be that people who live in disadvantaged do not see many role models of financial success achieved through conventional means," says John W. Welte, PhD, RIA senior research scientist and a study co-author. "Therefore, may be viewed as one of the few opportunities for financial advancement, and perhaps provides the lure as a means for easily gaining money."

In addition to Barnes and Welte, the study's other co-authors, both at RIA, are Marie Cecile O. Tidwell, PhD, project manager, and Joseph H. Hoffman, data analyst.

Island Tribe to move ahead with Class II casino

Island Tribe to move ahead with Class II casino

New leadership to follow plan for bingo & poker on the Vineyard
Class II means Bingo and Poker

Aquinnah Wampanoags vote again for a Class II casino

New leadership will follow plans for bingo, poker on island

Vineyard bingo buffs and poker partisans may soon be able to save a boat ride to the Cape and a bus ride to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun to lose their money if the latest development in the local Wampanoag Tribe's effort to establish a Class II casino in Aquinnah is successful.

Last week a new referendum vote by the members of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe of Martha's Vineyard failed to overturn the decision by two votes to prevent the tribe from proceeding with plans for a Class II casino although the town will still have to approve a bylaw change to allow it.

According to a story in the Vineyard Gazette, the new tribal chairman Tobias Vanderhoop told the newspaper, “The outcome of the referendum did not change the previous two actions that had endorsed the proposal of a casino project here. At this point, the previous actions remain enforced and the project will move forward."

A 6,000 square foot Class II Casino cometh

The plans call for the 6,000-square-foot community center on right in Aquinnah to be converted into a Class II gaming facility.

Class II gaming may be conducted by a tribe if it is located within a state that permits such gaming for any purpose by any person, organization or entity and such gaming is not otherwise specifically prohibited on Indian lands by federal law.

Class II gaming is a unique and rather strange gaming classification. It exists only in the U.S. and deals only with Native American gaming. In Class II gaming, players are competing against each other rather than against the house. Before a Class II “slot machine” game can be played, therefore, there must be at least two players who are playing at the same time.

Governor is still in the way

Gov. Deval Patrick has filed a lawsuit seeking to block the proposed gaming facility on Martha's Vineyard.

The governor is asking the Supreme Judicial Court to affirm a 1983 land settlement between the Commonwealth and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head in which the state contends the tribe forfeited its right to tribal gaming on the island.

According to the Aquinnah, Class II gaming is regulated solely by the tribe and the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and includes “a variety of machine games, bingo and poker.” Casino gaming is considered Class III gaming.

Tribe to move ahead with temporary gaming facility

The tribe plans to move ahead with plans to convert an unfinished community center in Aquinnah into a temporary gaming facility, and former Tribal Chairman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais had said its gaming facility would “blend in with the rest of the island” and the tribe would work with local businesses.

Wikepedia states that "Class II gaming is defined as the game of chance commonly known as bingo (whether or not electronic, computer, or other technological aids are used in connection therewith) and, if played in the same location as the bingo, pull tabs, punch board, tip jars, instant bingo, and other games similar to bingo. Class II gaming also includes non-banked card games, that is, games that are played exclusively against other players rather than against the house or a player acting as a bank. The Act specifically excludes slot machines or electronic facsimiles of any game of chance from the definition of class II games".

Read the story in the Vineyard Gazette here.

Gambling addict told father to ‘burn, burn, burn’ documents, Icac hears

Gambling addict told father to ‘burn, burn, burn’ documents, Icac hears

Inquiry into $1.5m loans listens to recording of phone call between former RailCorp executive and his daughter
Wednesday 26 February 2014,
Joseph Camilleri
Joseph Camilleri leaves the Icac inquiry in Sydney on Wednesday. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP
The gambling-addict daughter of a former RailCorp executive told her father to “burn, burn, burn” documents in her room after a raid by investigators, a corruption inquiry has heard.
But the executive, Joe Camilleri, maintains the loans were personal and did not buy former employees favours.
In a tapped phone call played at an Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing in Sydney, Jessica Adouni is heard urging her father to “do it now”.
The call was secretly recorded just after an ICAC raid on Camilleri’s home.
That followed his sacking by RailCorp after he had asked colleagues for large loans to help his daughter.
The ICAC heard on Wednesday that Camilleri paid out more than $4m over four years to his daughter, despite her increasingly questionable claims for money, which were supposedly to cover high legal costs and bank fees.

He borrowed money from colleagues and also enlisted his sister Carmen Attard to borrow money to help Adouni.
The ICAC is investigating whether people who contributed to the $1.5m Camilleri and Attard raised for Adouni received any personal or professional benefit.

Camilleri told the ICAC he believed his daughter’s reasons for needing money between 2008 and 2013, and only learnt later of her gambling problem.

He repeatedly denied he acted corruptly or favourably towards those who lent him money, despite some working for firms that were later involved in RailCorp tender processes.
Counsel assisting the commission Nicholas Polin played the phone call from August 2013 in which Adouni was heard telling her father after the ICAC raid she wanted to “make sure there’s nothing left”.

“Dad, they will come back, don’t be stupid.
“Any papers, burn, burn, burn, that’s all you’ve got to do ... do it now.”
Camilleri denied destroying anything.
Polin repeatedly asked Camilleri if he was a liar after he denied to RailCorp investigators he had borrowed money from people working in organisations that had business with RailCorp.
“I wasn’t lying at the time, but it can be perceived as a lie, yes,” Camilleri said.
Evidence tendered to the ICAC included an email to Camilleri from a “Richard Dipshit” purporting to be Adouni’s lawyer, and a badly written letter claiming to be from an ASIO security chief about money in a bank account.

A later email from the purported lawyer apologised for the “Dipshit” reference, saying his grandson had been using his computer.
The ICAC heard Adouni said her identity had been stolen and was being used by people to buy property overseas.

Polin asked Camilleri if he was “incredibly stupid” or telling the truth.
Camilleri said he might have been “very naive and had too much trust in my daughter”.
The hearing continues.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Casino Bid Newcomers Weigh Site Closer to New York City

Casino Bid Newcomers Weigh Site Closer to New York City

....the proposed Aquinnah casino....

One more reason to REPEAL THE CASINO DEAL!

We can thank the Bobble Heads for bringing endless lawsuits and fights to the Commonwealth!

Home of the NEW Aquinnah Casino!


Tribal referendum fails to defeat proposed Aquinnah casino
A referendum before the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) to kill an island casino failed to get the necessary two-thirds majority during a recent vote, a tribe member confirmed today.
The referendum sought to overturn an earlier vote by the membership to open a small gambling facility in the tribe's unfinished community center on tribal lands in Aquinnah.
“It failed by three votes,” said Beverly Wright, chairman of the town's Board of Selectmen and a tribe member.
According to the tribe's constitution, the question can't be brought before tribe members for another year, Wright said. "I don't know of anyone in the town who is in favor of the facility being built in Aquinnah," she said.
Wright supports the tribe's rights to a casino under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, but opposes a casino on Martha's Vineyard, she said.
Tribe leaders did not immediately return calls or emails Tuesday morning, but Tobias Vanderhoop, chairman of the tribal council, told the Vineyard Gazette that the referendum did not change two previous votes of the tribal membership. “At this point, the previous actions remain enforced and the project will move forward,” Vanderhoop is quoted as saying by the island newspaper.
The tribe contends it has federal rights to a casino on tribal lands under IGRA, which is disputed by Gov. Deval Patrick. The dispute is currently being argued in legal briefs in U.S. District Court in Boston.
Patrick filed suit with a single justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court seeking to block an island casino, but tribe attorneys recently had the case moved to federal court. In the latest brief filed Monday, tribe attorneys seek to have the case remain in federal court where the question of whether IGRA trumps the tribe's land settlement is best answered, according to court documents.
The tribe attorneys cite two opinions from federal agencies within the past year that the tribe is authorized to provide gambling on tribal lands, records show.
The ongoing case, as well as the tribe's vow to open an island casino remains a wild card in the ongoing discussion of licensing commercial casinos in the Bay State.
On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission began deliberations that are expected to culminate in issuing the state's first license for a slot parlor on Friday. Commissioner James McHugh briefly mentioned the Aquinnah proposal, though he acknowledged not knowing much about it.
In early deliberations over site design, slot parlors proposed in Leominster and Plainville are ahead of a slot parlor proposed in Raynham, which was criticized by McHugh for lack of details.
The state's other federally-recognized tribe, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, has an approved a compact with Patrick for a $500 million Taunton casino. The Mashpee tribe is awaiting separate approval of its land application with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Kostrzewa – Slide in Conn. slots revenue continues

Kostrzewa – Slide in Conn. slots revenue continues

Published: February 23 2014 04:33
The gambling fever that has infected the country has hit Massachusetts, where regulators plan to award the first slots parlor license on Friday and then licenses for three resort casinos in three geographic sections of the state soon after that.

The politicians think an ever increasing supply of gamblers’ money will support state budgets and put people to work.

But take a look at what’s happening at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, the two Indian casinos in Connecticut that were among the first to open in the region but since have seen a long slide in revenues.

The amount wagered at the slots machines in January at Foxwoods was $433.3 million, down 14.1 percent from a year ago. The total at Mohegan Sun was $542.6 million, down 5.3 percent from the comparable month in 2013.

Casino executives blamed the snowstorms, freezing weather and sluggish economy. But you have to wonder if the region is saturated and gamblers have drifted away to newer, flashier gambling dens in nearby states.

The new Massachusetts slots parlor and resort casinos will affect the financial health of the others in the Northeast, such as Twin River in Lincoln. The only question is how much the Massachusetts facilities bring in and how much damage is done to existing locations.