Meetings & Information


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Followup to today's news about SPG

Below is an email from an organization that has done more to educate government officials and the public about the Predatory Nature of GAMBLING and its negative impact on lives, families, communities. 

Please feel free to access the information available and support their great work. 

The national newspaper Deseret News just announced our National Director Les Bernal as "one of its heroes who made a difference in America this year."

As Chairman of SPG's National Board (the most politically diverse organization in the US,) I'm proud of Les but not only because of this recognition. I'm proud of him like I am of everyone of you who participates in our mission, leading us closer to the time when our collective effort will be seen as one of the most important movements of the 21st century.

You, Les and I are champions of the best kind of cause: a cause not yet won.

I just made a sacrificial, tax-deductible, year-end financial gift to sustain the work of Les and our national network of citizen leaders. I'm asking you to do the same right now by giving a sacrificial year-end gift here at this link.
When you make a gift to SPG, you enjoy the following benefits:
  • You support our work to help your city or town build a more humane and just society
  • You get to participate in a dynamic network of more than 1 million citizens from across America who are concerned about predatory gambling
  • You help ordinary Americans by sustaining our efforts to stop defrauding and exploiting them through government-sponsored gambling
  • You receive a SPG newsletter to keep you updated on the movement
  • You get a tax deduction because you support SPG’s charitable mission
How we use your gift:
Like many of you, I've volunteered to fight predatory gambling in my state and my country for many years. 2016 will be our most impactful year yet.

Happy New Year,
Dr. Guy Clark
Chairman of the Board

End government-sponsored gambling because it is dishonest, financially damaging to citizens and contributes to rising inequality of opportunity.

Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation ι 100 Maryland Avenue NE, Room 310 ι Washington, D.C. 20002 ι (202) 567-6996


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Sunday, December 27, 2015


Lot of 'stuff' out for the New Year! 
Maybe ya haven't seen it.

November 14, 2010, 11:51 am
AFI Part 2 – Substance Issues
As I tell my students, you can learn a lot from stories that don’t work well. I was reminded of that in two of three other films I saw at the AFI Fest film festival. So many elements go into a well-told narrative that it can feel impossible to get it right when writing.

Two main questions guide me when I’m at work: am I being truthful in the scene, and where’s the next turn? This doesn’t mean the magic will always happen. Taking in the many elements of narrative, including motivation, character goals, rising action, and everything else, the story still may not come together. But sometimes it does.
Casino Jack

As I moved up the escalator from the underground parking lot, heading for Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, two young men on the stairs ahead of me looked at the festival pass I wore around my neck, and one in a suit asked, “Are you a filmmaker?”

“No. I’m just seeing the movies.” I figured he asked perhaps because he was in the business, so I said, “Are you?”

He said, “My dad’s a producer. I’m Jack Abramoff’s son.” I shook his hand and his friend’s and tried to remember why the name Jack Abramoff was familiar.

I soon learned when I met up with my own son and we attended the gala premiere of Casino Jack,directed by George Hickenlooper. It’s the story of the rise and fall of Washington D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Yes, Abramoff produced some films along the way, but he’s best known for lobbying for a number of Indian casinos and charging the tribes tens of millions of dollars. He pleaded guilty in 2006 to three felony counts of defrauding American Indians and to corrupting public officials and was sentenced to six years in Federal prison. He’ll be released next month.
Although Abramoff isn’t the producer of this film, he may as well have been for the positive spin on the man. Kevin Spacey imbues Abramoff with a love for making things happen and making friends of influential politicians, while pushing the boundaries of what he does for clients, legislators, and himself. As a drama, however, Hickenlooper offers very little character arc or reflection by the protagonist.

At one point Abramoff’s wife, Pam, played by Kelly Preston, achingly asks why the hell did he do what he did and why doesn’t he confess? “Maybe I should,” Abramoff says. That’s the closest he gets to exploring his own motives.

Later in a holding tank when he’s first arrested, Abramoff speaks with a muscled, tattooed criminal named Snake who asks Abramoff why is he there. Abramoff says he doesn’t know, and he looks puzzled. After all, he’s the good guy. I never felt any sympathy or empathy for him.
Director Hickenlooper was fascinated by politics as shown in his documentary ‘Hick’ Town about his cousin John Hickenlooper, the mayor of Denver during the 2008 Democratic national convention. InCasino Jack, he’s mainly interested in showing our political system as highly flawed, and Abramoff’s curious contradictions suffer. I wanted to know what drove the guy. How did Abramoff’s supposedly deep religious beliefs and love of his family allow him to get involved not only in politics but also in a sleazy casino boat operation that betrayed his deeper values, his business connections, and his family?

This is rich territory, the kind Shakespeare mined in King Lear, yet Hickenlooper shows Abramoff was simply misled by his associate into overcharging. Later Abramoff, from the movie’s point of view, was a sacrificial pawn squashed ruthlessly by politicians who he had helped—and by John McCain whom he’d earlier outmaneuvered. The boat thing? Just a bad idea.

One can’t help wonder what screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) or Peter Morgan (The Queen) might have done with the story, parsing the morality and thinking behind Abramoff’s moves. Then again, maybe screenwriter Norman Snider was stuck. Most likely Abramoff had no soul searching.

There is a satiric tone to many of the scenes, especially when Jon Lovitz as Adam Kidan appears. What people do under pressure can indeed be funny. Still, it would have been interesting to see Abramoff in his darker private moments. In fact, this is what puzzles me most about the film. If Abramoff’s motivations and character arc weren’t of primary concern, then who is the film for? It’s not a young person’s film.

As we came out of the theatre, headed for the reception at the Roosevelt Hotel, a Jewish character actor I’d recognized was chatting with his wife on the corner. I asked if he liked the movie, and his response was, “In no way did Kevin Spacey make a convincing Orthodox Jew.

No way.” Jon Lovitz at the "Casino Jack" reception in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

 The Princess of Montpensier
To see foreign films in a film festival is part of the fun because such movies are not likely to be distributed in America. Then again, The Princess of Montpensier has the qualities that a distributor might want. It’s a huge period piece with lush production values, taking place in France’s 16th-century War of Religion. It is directed by the venerated Bernard Tavernier, and it’s a grand love story involving multiple suitors of a beautiful young woman with heart and passion.

All in all, it’s pleasant. However, it unspools at more than two hours and should probably be cut to 100 minutes. Take out all the horse galloping, overly extended yearning looks, the battle scenes that go on too long, and the princess forever waiting, and this might become a great film.

In other words, pacing is critical. It’s what I’m working on the most in the novel I’m writing. In this case, the audience is most often ahead of the story, so what happens is no surprise. Pacing can improve that.
There’s more! It’ll be in the upcoming Part 3.

KATHMANDU: "This was my first trip to Nepal," says the thin bespectacled man from Mumbai with a grimace, sitting in the fenced-in enclosure of Kathmandu's Bhadra Jail where visitors are allowed to meet undertrials. "And it is definitely going to be my last." 

The 39-year-old, who says he is the marketing manager for a new casino that was scheduled to open in Goa during Dussehra, has been slapped with trafficking charges by Nepal Police and now faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years or a fine of NRS 1 million or both. 

"I came to Nepal on Sept 14 via Gorakhpur to recruit trained staff for Casino Lucky, which was to have been inaugurated in Goa in October," says the Sikh, who does not want to be named, saying the news of his arrest would come as a shock for his wife, who is a heart patient. 

He stayed in a hotel in Thamel, the tourist hub in Kathmandu, he says, interviewing both men and women for the new casino. "A Nepali girl, who worked in a Nepali casino in Pokhara, got in touch, saying she and her friends wanted to apply for jobs at Casino Lucky since theirs, the Fulbari Casino in Pokhara, was floundering due to the launch of a second casino in Pokhara, the Casino Grande," he explains. "I interviewed 16 of them, including a male cook and finally, 14 were hired." 

It was then that the trouble started. The Goa casino, he says, wanted to take the girls to India by land since it could not afford the plane fares. One of the girls first kicked up a fuss about and later, when she was persuaded by her other friends, her mother lodged a complaint with police. On Sept 30, when the group was readying to go to Sunauli on the Indo-Nepal border, police arrived at the hotel, arrested the marketing manager and charged him with human trafficking. 

A week later, when a second man from the same organisation came to reportedly bail him out with documents, he too was arrested and slapped with the same charge. The second Indian is currently being held in the Central Jail. Police said there were contradictions in the Indian job offer and that none of the girls had been given an appointment letter. 

Eerily, the plight of the two men comes even as a third Indian is facing police suspicions in Nepal. Rakesh Wadhwa, a former chartered accountant from New Delhi who gradually became known as Nepal's casino king, running an empire of seven casinos in the city, is facing a police crackdown. The police move came amidst allegations that the five casinos currently under the control of Wadhwa's Nepal Recreation Centre are flouting a ban and allowing Nepalis to have an illegal flutter. As per Nepal's laws, its 10 casinos can only admit non-Nepalis. Nepalis face a fine of NRS 300 and short-term detention if found gambling.

Read more: Goa casino deal lands Indians in Nepal jails - The Times of India

Plainridge Slot Barn: Overstated Projections, Gambling Market Saturation, Unkept Promises

That Yellow Brick Road was never what politicians and the gullible believed. 

Chill in the air at Plainridge Park

Massachusetts residents interviewed recently at Twin River Casino in ... Gambling marketing consultants hired before the gala opening predicted as ...

Plainridge casino now slotted for disappointment

Plainridge Park Casino has had a hard time since its initial grand opening drawing visitors away from the larger Twin River Casino in Rhode Island.


Plainridge Park Casino has had a hard time since its initial grand opening drawing visitors away from the larger Twin River Casino in Rhode Island.

Sean P. Murphy GLOBE STAFF

DECEMBER 27, 2015

PLAINVILLE — The band capped off a cover of a hit 1970s rock tune with a stylish guitar flourish, but nobody clapped, not one of the nine people glued to video poker screens at the bar, nor any of two dozen others arrayed in ones and twos at the nearby slot machines.

“Anyone for blackjack?” a woman’s voice called out, while the smiling likeness of a comely dealer looked out from the giant high-resolution screen of a gambling machine, in search of customers. But on this recent Thursday night at Plainridge Park Casino, none approached.

It was a far cry from the opening in June, when more than 10,000 people paraded through the state’s first casino, and Plainridge’s video blackjack dealers had all the customers they could handle.

Those now-lonely virtual dealers epitomize an apparent miscalculation made by the planners of Plainridge, who figured a smallish slots parlor would be enough to lure Massachusetts customers away from a larger casino with more offerings just over the border in Rhode Island. Massachusetts residents interviewed recently at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., said they found Plainridge too small, too focused on slot machines, or too stingy.

“Not enough variety,” in the slot machines at Plainridge, said Joseph Gagnon, a retiree from Uxbridge who along with his wife gambles at Twin River about once a week. “We tried Plainridge. We didn’t like it. Too small.”

Plainridge revenue continues slide

Revenues were down by $1 million from October, the fourth consecutive monthly decline at the Plainville casino.

Eladio Sanchez of Taunton concurred. At Twin River, he said, “you can get up and walk around. At Plainridge, there’s no place to go.”

Gambling marketing consultants hired before the gala opening predicted as much as almost $300 million in Plainridge’s first year. Even under a “worst case” scenario, Plainridge would take in upward of $210 million a year, they said. Last month, the Massachusetts state budget office cut back that figure to $160 million, as Rhode Island’s counterpart increased its estimates of casino revenue by $35 million in that state.

Plainridge owners declined to comment for this story. They have previously said the holiday season is historically a slow period for all casinos and said they expect business to pick up in the late winter. The owners have also acknowledged that they have moved out some of their video blackjack machines because gamblers aren’t using them.

But outside observers say Plainridge, limited by Massachusetts law to 1,250 slot machines and no table games, might have fallen behind the curve in gambling tastes between the time it was conceived four years ago and its opening in June.

“A slots parlor — that just doesn’t cut it anymore,” said Richard McGowan, a Boston College professor and gambling specialist. “Plainridge is going after 60-year-olds, 70-year-olds, 80-year-olds. It’s a nice little crowd to go after, but it’s certainly limited.”


A billboard advertised for the Twin River Casino a half mile from the Plainridge Casino in Plainville, Mass.

Back in 2011, lawmakers mapping out the state’s entrance into legalized gambling considered a slots parlor a relatively inexpensive and fast way to generate tens of millions of dollars in new taxes, while awaiting the much bigger payoff of resort casinos that would take much more time and money to build.

At the time, more than half of Twin River’s patrons came from Massachusetts, and state officials figured that Plainridge would become a “last line of defense” to keep gamblers at home, said Clyde W. Barrow, a University of Texas professor who has studied the New England casino market.

But Twin River saw it coming and evolved from a gritty slot parlor at an aging horse track into a modern complex that includes 4,000 slot machines, table games, a steakhouse, and a 3,000-seat arena, all surrounded by acres of parking. Last month, it introduced poker tables, considered the current hottest draw for younger adults.

“Plainridge got outflanked by Twin River,” Barrow said.

‘At this point, it is unclear if there is any one reason as to why revenue is currently lower than expected.’

On that recent Thursday evening at Plainridge, only a couple hundred people spread out across the cavernous casino, which has a fire-department-imposed capacity of 3,750. Hundreds of slot machines blinked and blustered and beckoned, but mostly to no avail. The looping, prerecorded entreaties of the video blackjack dealers blathered on, mostly unheeded.

In the food court, three people sat amid scores of empty tables and chairs. Servers at the two restaurants stood with arms crossed. Cocktail waitresses walked the carpeted aisles asking, “Beverages?”

The band struck up another tune, still stuck in the 1970s.

“It’s a little dead here,” Carl Smith of Stoughton said as he arrived at Plainridge. “A bit too quiet.”

Smith said he enjoys staying at casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere for a few days to gamble and go to shows.

“But there just ain’t much here,” he said.

Slot machines at one time were so lucrative that Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun were in a constant state of expansion, adding about 6,250 machines to their existing stock of about 8,500 in one 10-year period, the equivalent of five Plainridges.

But the heyday of the slot machine might be over. Since 2009, slot revenue at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun has plummeted by about $500 million, which casino specialists attribute in part to a growing preference for other forms of gambling, including with daily fantasy sports companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel.

Plainridge’s performance has caught the attention of House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who pushed in 2011 for a slot parlor along with the three resort casinos favored by former Governor Deval Patrick. It is “something the House is watching closely,” a spokesman said.

The state Gaming Commission released a statement that it “will continue to closely monitor and evaluate the performance” of Plainridge. “At this point, it is unclear if there is any one reason as to why revenue is currently lower than expected.”

John E. Taylor Jr., chairman of Twin River Management, thinks he has the answer.

“Plainridge is a nice place, but we have a lot more to offer,” he said.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Florida Governor Rick Scott FOR SALE....REAL CHEAP!

Gaming conglomerate's donation to Gov. Scott draws scrutiny

By Troy Kinsey, Capitol Reporter


Two weeks after Gov. Rick Scott signed a compact that would extend and expand the Seminole Tribe of Florida's gaming operations, a donation to Scott's political committee by a gaming conglomerate is heightening legislative scrutiny of the proposed deal.

Among other things, the deal would make available a slot machine gaming license that Genting could be in a prime position to secure after its five-figure donation to Scott, who is widely expected to run for U.S. Senate in 2018.

For years, Genting executives have been prodding legislators to allow the company to build a multibillion-dollar resort casino in Miami.

During his announcement of the compact earlier this month, Scott was mum on the potential benefits for Genting and instead keyed in on a clause requiring that the Seminole Tribe pay the state $3 billion over the seven-year life of the deal.

"This is a $3 billion compact," he said. "It puts a cap on the Seminole Indian gaming and it limits the expansion of gaming in the state, so this does the right thing."

However, contrary to the governor's promotional comments, the compact would expand tribal gaming by allowing the Seminoles to run new Las Vegas-style games - craps and roulette - in addition to the blackjack and baccarat card games allowed under a previous compact signed by former Gov. Charlie Crist. Under Scott's language, the tribe wouldn't be allowed to build any new casinos.

Between the proposed expansion of tribal gaming and the appearance of the Genting contribution to Scott, many already-skeptical lawmakers are predicting a tough road to legislative ratification of the compact.

"If we're going to talk about revitalizing or changing the compact, let's make sure it's good for Floridians," Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami, said of crafting a new compact.

Judge upholds ban on Vineyard casino

Judge upholds ban on Vineyard casino

By George Brennan

Posted Dec. 24, 2015 at 8:02 AM

A federal judge has upheld his ban on a bingo-style slot parlor on Martha’s Vineyard for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).
In a one-sentence decision filed Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Dennis Saylor IV wrote, “After careful consideration and review, the motion of defendants and counter-claim plaintiffs is denied.”
Tribe attorneys had asked Saylor to reconsider his Nov. 13 decision.
The tribe is now expected to appeal to the First District Court of Appeals.
In 2013, the state filed suit attempting to block the use of a community center on the tribe’s island land for a Class II casino. The suit was moved to federal court and considered under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The state and Town of Aquinnah claim a land settlement between them and the tribe prohibits casino gambling on Martha’s Vineyard land controlled by the tribe. The tribe counters that Indian law gives all federally-recognized tribes the ability to offer gambling and trumps any settlement agreements.
Wednesday’s ruling comes two weeks after lawyers for the tribe filed a motion asking Saylor to reconsider his decision based on new information surrounding two tribes in Texas that have been authorized by the National Indian Gaming Commission to offer Class II casinos on their lands.
It was considered a long shot to ask Saylor to overturn his own ruling, but was considered a way to expedite the process which has already been long and arduous.
It also comes as support among tribe members is waning. Several votes have been taken by the tribe to use the community center as a gambling facility and have passed, but the most recent vote taken in August ended in a tie. As a result, tribe leaders pushed forward with the legal battle.
In his initial decision granting summary judgment, Saylor ruled the tribe has shown insufficient evidence that it had the right to exercise governmental power over settlement lands. 

Florida Governor Rick Scott: Sold for $20,000!


Days after compact deal decided, Governor Scott political committee receives donations from Resorts World Miami

Just three days after Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe, a company that could benefit from the deal, wrote a huge check to Scott’s political committee. Resorts World Miami, is owned by the Genting Group, a gaming company based in Malaysia. The donation was $20,000.
The check was sent to the Let’s Get To Work committee of Scott, on December 10th. It was on the 7th of December that Scott announced he had signed a new compact with The Seminole Tribe of Florida. With the new compact, the tribe has exclusive rights to be the sole operator of craps, roulette and blackjack in the state.
However, the deal also opens up for a gaming expansion, especially in the southern portion of the state. This is where the Genting Group would like to build a casino resort, to be located on the Biscayne Bay. The casino would be located where the Miami Herald building was located.
With the compact, the tribe must make payments to the state, even if they face an increase in competition from the Broward slots casino or a new casino in Miami. The Florida Legislature must still approve the deal before it will be valid but the compact has already been somewhat received well by lawmakers of the state.
This year alone, $120,000 in donations have already been given by Resorts World Miami to the state of Florida, but the $20,000 check to Scott was the largest sent by the company since March 3rd, when they gave $50,000 to the Republican Party of Florida.
Resorts World Miami is not the only company to donate to the political parties of Florida. For the past three years, the Seminole Tribe has donated over $2.7 million to as many as 90+ politicians with $500,000 going towards the Let’s Get To Work committee of Scott.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Deeper Look Into The Genting Group

One the right side of this page is a CATEGORY LIST. 

There are large numbers of articles about GENTING available, their generous campaign contributions and much else. 

Genting was the financier of the Seneca Niagara Casino Hotel in Niagara Falls, New York. Genting charged the tribe an exorbitant 28 percent interest rate, potentially in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulations under the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Genting also stayed in the deal for almost 15 years when they were legally limited to five. Seneca Tribal Council members have testified that armed Chinese thugs showed up to collect Genting’s money when tribal lawyers pointed out that Genting was violating the law.

Genting Connected to Islamic Extremists?

A Deeper Look Into The Genting Group