Meetings & Information


Friday, May 29, 2015

CBS Las Vegas: AGA Challenges Proposed Credit Card Ban at Casinos

Massachusetts ‘GAMING’ Future
If it were up to The American Gaming Association they would let casino patrons sell their body parts in order for them to gamble.

American Gaming Association (AGA)

Published on May 22, 2015
The American Gaming Association is all riled up at a suggestion to ban government credit cards at casinos. The association says such a move singles them out and reflects a misunderstanding of the gaming industry. They want to know if such a ban would prevent government employees from renting a hotel room in a casino, or using retail and restaurants as well. The recommendation came from the Department of Defense, after an audit revealed DOD workers used their government credit cards to rack up nearly a million dollars on gambling in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
CBS Las Vegas: AGA Challenges Proposed Credit Card Ban at Casinos

Wait for the bailouts!

If you read a newspaper this week, you couldn't avoid comments about GAMBLING MARKET SATURATION. .....

Failing casinos? OMG!

The solution? TAXPAYER FUNDED BAILOUTS in various forms!

US gambling market saturated, yet casinos keep on coming
More casinos are planned soon for Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and New York. Hamilton noted that a planned second ...
Despite US market saturation, casinos still coming
Eugene Johnson, of Spectrum Gaming Group, says by the end of this year, there will be 60 casinos in the Northeast. That figure will grow to 65 by ...
Casinos Nearing Saturation Point
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - The casino market in the northeastern United States is saturated, yet that's not stopping some states from approving gambling ...

Atlantic City, NJ - US Gambling Market Saturated, Yet Casinos Keep On Coming
More casinos are planned soon for Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and New York. And New Jersey is considering allowing a ...

Let me count the ways the Massachusetts Gambling Commission has failed you.....

Massachusetts Gaming Commission drops proposed rule prohibiting elected host community officials from putting down a bet

State House News Service By State House News
on May 28, 2015 at 8:51 PM

BOSTON — State gambling regulators on Thursday voted to abandon a proposed rule prohibiting municipal elected officials in a community hosting a gaming facility from placing a wager.

Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, however, appeared open to revisiting the topic and said they were interested in exploring restrictions on elected officials receiving free play, credit, or comps, such as a free meal or drink, at a gambling facility.

Commissioner James McHugh said cities and towns are "perfectly capable" of handling the matter of whether an elected official should be allowed to place a wager in their casino or slot parlor. "They understand a lot more, they're a lot closer to the ground," he said.

Commissioner McHugh nodded agreement to Frank Fahrenkopf's propaganda.
A curious sight!

But Commissioner Bruce Stebbins, a former Springfield city councilor who was the lone vote against deleting the proposed regulation, said the rule would help the commission, casino licensees and local officials avoid potential "headaches."

"I'm in favor of keeping this in there as kind of just a preventative and protective measure for all of us involved," Stebbins said.

The provision, which would have allowed elected officials to be present in a gambling facility, was originally included as part of proposed regulations laying out who could be excluded from a gambling establishment.

After voting 4-1 to drop the provision, commissioners approved the rest of the regulations.

"There's so many other rules. There's laws, there's ethics commission rules, there's local rules, so if we're going to do anything we want to be sure we fit in with everything else that's already going on, with the topic," Gaming Commission chair Stephen Crosby said after the vote.

"I'm uncomfortable sort of intimating that maybe we're suspicious that municipal officials might be doing something," he added.

Todd Grossman, the commission's deputy general counsel, said he could not find other instances of such a rule elsewhere in the United States.

Grossman acknowledged the potential perception issues that could arise if wagering local elected officials, such as a mayor or a selectman, were to hit a jackpot and "what the general public may think about that."

Offering his personal opinion to the commission, Grossman said the issue could be left up to each host community to determine.

The town moderator of Plainville, Luke Travis, had criticized the wagering rule when it was first proposed, telling the commission it appeared to be a violation of constitutional rights.

If Luke Travis is an attorney, competent and qualified to comment on constitutional law, his name is not listed on the BBO Registration.

It does seem that Mr. Travis might be unaware of existing Ethics Statutes that already restrict the conduct of public officials.

The debate over who is allowed to wager, and who should be excluded, comes as Massachusetts nears the opening of its first gambling facility. A slots parlor in Plainville, near the Rhode Island-Massachusetts border, is scheduled to open June 24.

A 2011 law allows for the slot parlor and up to three resort casinos.

The Massachusetts state Lottery has been in place since 1972, set up to send local aid to cities and towns.

According to the state Lottery, the state statute prohibits any member or employee of the Lottery Commission, or their spouse, child, brother, sister, or parent residing as a member of their household from purchasing a ticket or receiving a prize.

The regulations approved by the commission on Thursday call for the five-member panel to maintain a list of people who should be "excluded or ejected" from a gaming establishment.

A person could be placed on the list if they have been convicted of a criminal offense punishable by more than six months of incarceration, a "crime of moral turpitude or a violation of the gaming laws of any state."

 A person with a "notorious or unsavory reputation which would adversely affect public confidence and trust that the gaming industry is free from criminal or corruptive elements" could also be placed on the list. 

Spectrum's 2012 Projections

Worth re-visiting!
These were projections from Spectrum in 2012:

The Trends: Constant Expansion, Automation, Fewer Low Wage Jobs

CZR: Teachable Moments In The Caesars Mess: A Strategy For A Post-Bankruptcy Move On The Stock That Emerges

Teachable Moments In The Caesars Mess: A Strategy For A Post-Bankruptcy Move On The Stock That Emerges by Howard Jay Klein
This article was published on Fri, May 29, 7:00 AM ET
Read the full article now »

  1. How billionaires club members like John Paulson, Leon Black, David Bonderman and George Soros blundered on Caesars - proving transactional mentalities don't work in gaming shares
  1. "Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive…"
- Sir Walter Scott from Marmion
Lots of smart guys who it is generally believed, should have known better, took a once great company and essentially destroyed it by setting in motion a series of moves that resulted in a company that resembles a Rube Goldberg comic invention today:

Tyrone Herman gets 10 years for operating $20 million Ponzi scheme to fund Gambling Addiction

Tyrone Herman gets 10 years for operating $20 million Ponzi scheme

Tyrone Herman was accused of stealing from family and friends.

N.J. casino conference labels U.S. gambling market saturated

N.J. casino conference labels U.S. gambling market saturated

By Wayne Perry
Posted May. 28, 2015

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The casino market in the northeastern United States is saturated, yet that's not stopping some states from approving gambling legislation and companies from building new gambling halls.

That's the consensus of participants at a major casino conference in Atlantic City.

Eugene Johnson, of Spectrum Gaming Group, says by the end of this year, there will be 60 casinos in the northeast. That figure will grow to 65 by 2018, according to his colleague, Joe Weinert.

"There's not a politician in the land who is going to choose a tax increase when gaming looks so good on paper," said Wendy Hamilton, general manager of Philadelphia's SugarHouse casino, which is operated by Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, the company behind the proposed project in Brockton, Massachusetts. "We have to avoid the siren song. There's not a zip code in the region that doesn't have four or five (gambling) options within an hour."

Asked if casino closings outside New Jersey are likely, she said nothing appears imminent, but "of course it's going to happen" if expansion continues at its current pace.

"Pennsylvania doesn't care what happens to New Jersey, and New York doesn't care what happens to Pennsylvania," she said. "It just can't go on forever. There's a finite amount of gaming revenue out there. We are in a very volatile time and we're in a frenzy of gaming expansion. It needs to stop."

Ed Sutor, president of Dover Downs casino in Delaware, said the entire mid-Atlantic region saw decreasing revenue in the first quarter of this year.

"New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland — the entire market is down," he said. "That is, friends, saturation. You're just moving money around. You bring in a new operator and the money just moves around and the entire market doesn't go up."

Sutor noted his state is considering adding three more casinos, which he said "makes no sense."

Atlantic City has lost half its casino revenue and thousands of jobs to competition from Pennsylvania, which is now under pressure from casinos in Ohio and Maryland, said William Ryan Jr. chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

"We in Pennsylvania know the competition we now confront will always be there, and the days of double digit growth in that area are probably gone," he said.

More casinos are planned soon for Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and New York. Hamilton noted that a planned second Philadelphia casino is being appealed to the state Supreme Court.

"There's a lot of competition right now," she said. "If you look at the entire mid-Atlantic region, you've got people really hammering each other to win people over. There's not $400 million in new money in that market. There's just not. We're keeping a wary eye on what's coming down the road; it's a scary situation."

New Jersey is considering allowing a casino in the Meadowlands, and possibly a second one in Jersey City, both just outside New York City.

"We're at a point where we're just moving money around," said Chris Brown, a New Jersey state senator from near Atlantic City, who opposes a plan to extend casino gambling to other parts of the state. "All you're doing is cannibalizing the market you already have."

Lou Kirven, an executive with New York's Empire City casino, said adding two northern New Jersey casinos to a market also planning for three new southern New York casinos would be "one too many. We have saturation."

Bill Hayles, vice president and general manager of Pennsylvania's Hollywood casino at Penn National Race Course, said Maryland's casinos have cut into his business.

"We're feeling it from the Baltimore region, seeing some erosion in our business," he said. "The sad part is before they open, you spend all your time trying to figure out how to right-size your own property."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

State gaming board sets ‘guillotine’ deadline for New Bedford bid

By Mike Lawrence

Posted May. 28, 2015

NEW BEDFORD – Developers behind the New Bedford casino proposal again received more time Thursday to close a financial deal, as state gaming officials set a “guillotine” June 9 deadline that kept the $650 million project alive for at least two more weeks.

And once again, as it has been for the past several months, it was a very close shave, like blackjack players staying at the table by winning on their last chips.

“We would be well within our rights to say that we didn’t get what we were looking for,” Stephen Crosby, chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, told a leading partner in the New Bedford casino bid, suggesting that the commission could have rejected the entire application today.

“(But) I happen to not think that would be appropriate,” Crosby added.

Andrew Stern, operating partner for New York-based developer KG Urban Enterprises, acknowledged to commissioners in Boston that KG Urban has not yet finalized its deal with its key investor, Pennsylvania-based Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. (GLPI).

“We do not have a signed term sheet,” Stern said.

Commissioners, in turn, acknowledged that their May 14 request for progress on the deal had some "gray area," and may not have clearly indicated that a deal had to be signed by today. Stern said his understanding was that only incremental progress was needed by today, and said the two draft, unsigned term sheets KG Urban sent state gaming staff Wednesday “more than showed” that.

So — as they did in February, March and earlier this month — commissioners granted KG Urban more time Thursday to submit application materials.

Commissioner James McHugh cautioned, though, that if a signed term sheet is not submitted by 5 p.m., June 9, to Karen Wells, the commission’s director of investigations and enforcement, the commission would use “the guillotine instead of the butter knife.”

A citywide casino referendum is scheduled for June 23.

Public forums on KG Urban’s proposal are scheduled in the city on June 4, June 10 and June 17.

KG Urban’s casino development is proposed for the 43-acre site of an abandoned NStar power plant on the waterfront, off MacArthur Drive.

A Brockton casino proposed by Mass Gaming & Entertainment is New Bedford’s sole competition for the single resort casino license the commission can allocate in southeastern Massachusetts.

Brockton voters narrowly approved Mass Gaming’s $650 million proposal for a Brockton Fairgrounds site May 12, in that city’s referendum.

Location doesn't matter.....Taxpayers will subsidize wealthy Gambling investors.....

Location doesn't matter.
The math is the same. The results are the same.
Taxpayers will subsidize wealthy Gambling investors
as communities are destroyed by increased crime,
increased: gambling addiction, child and spousal
abuse, personal bankruptcies, investigation and
enforcement costs, court costs, prison costs, yadda,
yadda.... you know the family destruction that accompanies
Predatory Gambling.
Detroit is bankrupt with all of its gambling venues.
Illinois has legalized slot machines wherever and is destined for the
Atlantic City is on the verge of bankruptcy with Governor Christie
pretending sports betting and internet gambling will create a
Renaissance sucking discretionary income from local businesses
and true job creation.
How much more evidence do we need to define a 'loser'?
[MGM Mirage] ...has nearly $13 billion in outstanding debt.
Democratic lawmakers often blame the low spending for the state's ranking on what they call the bottom of all the good lists and the top of all the bad lists. Nevada has among the highest number of uninsured children and suicide rates and among the lowest reading scores and college degrees per capita.
Three years after casinos were legalized in the small town of Deadwood, S.D., felony crimes had increased by 40 percent, child abuse had increased by 42 percent, and domestic violence assaults had risen 80 percent. In Indiana, a review of the state's gaming commission records revealed that 72 children were found abandoned on casino premises during a 14-month period.
The taxpayers are immediately required to fork over $5 million to help the governor negotiate a compact with the Wampanoag Tribe before July, 2012.
And the Gam[bl]ing Commission cost....?
Simple math by Senator Tucker: Casino Dollars Will Simply Pour In! Not!
All the while preying on innocent victims, your neighbors. your friends or
your family who get sucked into Gambling Addiction, the Crack Cocaine
of Addiction for a few low wage jobs?

It makes no sense in New Hampshire.
It makes no sense in Massachusetts.
The Gambling Market is oversaturated, revenue overstated,
job creation exaggerated.

Casino Supporters Go Bipolar on Gambling Addiction

This was circulated in 2013:

Granite State Coalition
Against Expanded Gambling
Casino Supporters Go Bipolar on Gambling Addiction
Casino supporters have gone all bipolar over the costs of gambling addiction.
On one day, they claim that all the gambling addicts New Hampshire will ever see are lurking here symptom-free and that a casino here would cause no addiction increase.
Today, they make headlines about how Massachusetts casinos will cause gambling addiction increases here in New Hampshire.
So which is it? Judging from casino supporters' most recent mood swing on gambling addiction, they now agree that casinos increase gambling addiction.
At the center this of all this are projections by the New Hampshire Public Policy Research Center that the casino proposed in SB152 would be a net economic loser for our state, raising $45 in tax revenue but costing $47 million in crime and addiction-related social costs.
SB152 Casino Net Economic Cost Burden
Even though casino supporters (at least today to suit their constantly shifting PR and messaging strategy) now acknowledge that casinos cause increases in gambling addiction, they continue to attack the Center, charging it with having an "unproven" social cost model.
So ... our ask to casino supporters: Show us your social cost model.
Please make it something more scientific than anecdotes from a police chief in a gambling town (who just got bought 15 new cruisers by the casino) that he sees no crime in the casino parking lot.
As to the Granite State Coalition, we do have a social cost model, the one most often used in the published, peer-reviewed literature on gambling addiction. A single Salem casino as proposed in SB152 would cause $105 million dollars per year in increased costs of gambling addiction, more than double the Center's excessively conservative projection.
What are these costs?
  • Lost work days and decreased workplace productivity.
  • Money taken under false pretenses from friends and relatives.
  • Increased family bankruptcy.
  • Increased household debt loads and liquidated savings.
  • Increased family violence, child abuse, and divorce.
  • Increased serious crimes, including violent physical assault, breaking and entering, auto theft, and embezzlement.
  • Increased criminal justice, welfare, and social services costs paid by state and local taxpayers.
We urge the House to defeat any measure which would legalize casinos and to find a humane means to balance the state budget.
Jim Rubens, Chair

Granite State Coalition
Against Expanded Gambling
The New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies today released its new analysisas to the net economic impact of a Salem casino as proposed in SB152:
"a net loss to the state of roughly $2 million a year."
The analysis is bad news for Las Vegas-based Millennium Gaming, which, since 2005, has been peddling its Money From Thin Air fairy tales to a revenue hungry legislature.
Millennium Gaming Money from Thin Air  
Millennium Gaming (Fix It Now) website logo 2/28/13
Here are some verbatim quotes from the Center's analysis: 
  • While expanded gambling will yield revenue to the state, our model's estimates of the social costs of problem gambling suggest no long-term net state benefit when the tax on casino operations is set at 30 percent or less.
  • [P]redicting revenue from license fees is difficult, and budget writers should use caution in basing a budget on such revenue.
  • Gambling revenues continue to decline locally and nationally
  • Our model still does not account for a number of factors, including the potential positive or negative effects of expanded gambling on New Hampshire's "brand" (as a tourist destination and place to do business), the potential private costs associated with pathological gambling (so-called "abused dollars"). 
An Annual Loss of $67 Million if Full Social Costs Are Included
The Center's social cost estimates are extremely conservative. Using the most-frequently cited social cost numbers in the gambling impacts literature, a single Salem casino as proposed in SB152 would cost New Hampshire $67 million annually.
Economic Burden of Salem Casino   
Internet Gambling Will Drive Revenues Even Lower
Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey have now legalized Internet gambling. Facing declining revenues at its three race track casinos due to neighboring state casino proliferation, Delaware was first to legalize Internet gambling in 2012. Illustrating the gambling proliferation problem, Delaware also legalized Keno-slots and sports betting at bars and restaurants throughout the state.
We've seen in industry after industry how quickly the Internet has devastated brick and mortar business models -- in books, electronics, and office supplies. Now it's about to happen to physical casinos.
Internet gambling means that the days of big tax money from slot machines at brick & mortar casinos are numbered. It means that any budget or spending promises from a casino tax had better be revised downward yet again. It means that casino taxes must not be the basis for support of any ongoing state programs, such as highways, mental health, or education.
The Coalition urges the legislature to defeat any casino legislation and to build a state budget without relying on casino license or tax revenues.
For Sobriety in Revenue Estimating,
Jim Rubens, Chair