Gambling Issue in Florida Once Again Shows Political Inadequacies

The state of Florida is well rehearsed in how to screw things up. The current state of the union can be traced back to the Sunshine State, and their inability to correctly run an election.

Now state politicians are showing that politics is about nothing more than making sure individuals in power get their way on an issue.

The issue of gambling has been at the forefront in Florida for several years now. The opposition to the advancement of legalized gambling is being led almost unilaterally by House Leader Marco Rubio, from Miami.

The Governor of the state, Charlie Crist, has signed a compact with the Seminole Indians allowing the tribe to offer Vegas style slots, blackjack, and baccarat, in exchange for money that will be paid to the state.

The only way the compact would become void, and free the Seminoles of their obligation to the state would be if gambling is expanded outside of Broward or Miami-Dade Counties. So politicians in the state are now exploring the idea of expanding gambling throughout the state. Brilliant.

The compact Crist signed is being challenged in the court system. Fearing they will lose the ruling on the case, politicians have turned to the only way to show the Governor who has the power in Florida.

They have come up with a way on their own of nullifying the compact. Expand gambling. It is wonderful to see that all the politicians who were entrusted to make decisions by the people of Florida, can show such blatant disregard for the public.

It is clear that the expanded gambling would simply be a way to void the compact. No matter what any of these politicians say about increased revenue, or any other cover up reasons for wanting to expand gambling.

It is about the compact. Plain and simple, legislators were not happy that they were not included in the decision by Governor Crist, so they are now taking matters into their own hands.

Who knows?, maybe in the long run it will all work out for Florida. If the last seven years in America are an indication, the odds are not in their favor.

Gambling Hypocrisy Continues In Kentucky As Expansion Bill Moves On

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Forgive the state of Kentucky if they seem a little bit confused. They have been extremely overwhelmed in the past six months trying to figure out of gambling is good or bad for their state. On Thursday, their wavering took yet another turn.

The House Licensing and Occupations Committee approved a plan that would bring expanded gambling to the states racetracks. The plan calls for video gambling terminals to be allowed at seven tracks in the state.

“It’s my speculation at this time, on this day, that I doubt it (gambling Bill) has enough support to pass this chamber. That may change. We’re still in session. We still have about a month and a half to go. But I think it’s worthy that the Bill go through the process,” said House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

A month and a half. That leaves enough time for Kentucky politicians to change their minds dozens of times. The state is in the middle of a legal battle against online gambling sites, and maybe before they pass any legislation that would compromise their stance in that case, they are waiting for the outcome.

Governor Steve Beshear last year successfully seized the domain names to 141 online gambling sites. He claimed that gambling was dangerous for the children of Kentucky. That ruling was quickly overturned by the Court of Appeals, mainly because it was unconstitutional for Kentucky to seize the names.

Now, a government that claims gambling is dangerous, is considering expanding gambling throughout their state. There are several groups who have held consistent on both gambling issues the state is facing.

“This is not government of, by and for the people,” said Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper, Executive Director of the Kentucky Council of Churches.

Gambling House Shut Down In Lake County, Florida

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Even though police are cracking down nationwide on illegal gambling activity, it has not stopped others from being lured by the effects of possible big money.

Another arrest took place late this past week. This time, it was an illegal gambling house in Lake Orange, Florida. The operation was allegedly paying out slot machines with cash.

“The Hide Away” was the location of the Special Investigation Unit raid. The establishment is on Corley Island Road in Leesburg. The investigation has been in place for about three months.

The games were different than most of the ones confiscated in recent busts around the country. They were being played on computers, 101 of them, which were all seized by police.

The computers were not the only thing confiscated. A cash deposit machine that transferred money from to electronic gaming cards, and actual cash, were also seized.

The gambling house was allowing people to play games on the computer. They were then payed out in cash if they won. It is illegal to pay out cash for any slot machines that are not regulated by the state. The investigative officers watched over the two month period as people played and got paid.

Kerri Flowers was the one at the location when the police warned that the machines were illegal. She was arrested ten days later, when none of the machines were removed.

 

Illegal Gambling Bust Nets 113 Casino Type Video Machines

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While people who are involved with illegal gambling machines watch the raids that are taking place around the country, they must begin to worry. Could they be next?

The latest raid came in East Montgomery County. The raid led to the arrest of eight people, all accused of being involved in an organized crime organization.

The raid took place across two establishments, and one residence. “Taj Mahal”, and “Sugars”, were raided in the early morning on Tuesday, as owners were opening up. The residence was the house of one of the operators of the illegal gambling operation.

The operation was run by an organization in North Carolina, and police were not yet done rounding up the suspects. Two others were negotiating their surrender to police.

Many people that were gambling at these illegal locations were also not happy to hear the news of the bust. The police seized records with names of all of the operations clients. Police are not keeping that information to themselves, either.

“Information gathered during the investigation will be forwarded to the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies. we’re pursuing more warrants and more indictments for engaging in organized criminal activity,” said Lt. Phillip Cash.

Gambling Compared To Underage Drinking In Washington

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For a long time people have been arguing that if a person is old enough to serve in the military than they are old enough to drink and gamble. These people have not won the argument often, but in Washington drinking and gambling are being lumped together once again.

A new Bill in the state Legislature would make casino gambling by minors a civil infraction. The law would create similar consequences for minors that consumed alcohol under the legal age limits.

“The worst I think is for these kids to not be caught. I think it would prevent more of them from gambling, certainly,’ said David Anderson, Chairman of Save Lakewood.

The state Senate is behind the Bill and has already approved it. The Bill must now be approved in the House before Governor Chris Gregoire signs it into law.

The goal of lawmakers is to have accountability for minors who break the gambling laws in the state. Previously it has been the casino owners who have been held responsible, but the new Bill would create a penalty for underage gamblers.

Although casinos in Washington claim to do their best at keeping minors from gambling, they can only police so much. A law would put the responsibility on the minors as well as the casino owners.

“Currently the operator of the card room or casino, they’re fined heavily and the juvenile just walks right out the door. This I think will bring some awareness to those juveniles who think gambling is OK and fun,” said Senator Jerome Delvin, who is sponsoring the Bill.

Gambling Could Prove Costly For Children Under New Washington Law

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The state of Washington is trying to make things as clear as possible for underage gamblers. That is why they have approved a new law that will fine anyone that is underage and caught gambling in a casino.

The law was passed on Monday and it gives accountability not only to the casinos and card rooms in the state, but also the underage gamblers themselves. The Senate passed the law with little opposition.

Senator Jerome Delvin sponsored the law and he hopes it will raise awareness for gamblers in the state that are under the legal gambling age in the state. There is not an overwhelming problem of underage gambling, but Delvin is hoping this law will prevent one.

Last month the issue was brought up at a meeting and there were no objections to the law. That paved the way for the vote today, which ended in the law being passed.

The state has a similar law on the books that punishes underage drinkers with a fine. In the case of the casino law, not only would they be fined, but they would be required to forfeit any of their winnings at the casino.

Nontribal casinos have been a proponent of the new law. It helps that they will no longer be the only ones responsible for the underage gambling. The state Gambling Commission has also thrown their support behind the law.

Gambling Companies Spent $1.3M Lobbying for Internet Regulation

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Worldwide gambling companies spent more than $1.3 million lobbying politicians in Washington D.C. in the first half of 2007, presumably to persuade them to pass Bill HR 2046, ie. the Internet Gambling Regulation Enforcement Act.

According to our research of the US Senate of Public Records PartyGaming PLC spent $140,000, Harrah’s spent $100,000, World Poker Tour spent $20,000, Station Casinos Inc. spent $60,000 and the American Gaming Association (who represents over 50 gambling companies) spent $900,000 in lobbying efforts the first half of this year.

All companies are required by federal law to release papers on their lobbying efforts every six months. The numbers for the first six months of 2007 have just started to be filed and it is apparent that there is a great deal of lobbying going on behind closed doors to persuade politicians in Washington to pass Barney Frank’s bill to legalize, regulate, and tax online gambling.

Of course, it does not say what side of the issue the company is lobbying, but it is assumed that these companies who list HR 2046 as one of their efforts are lobbying for the passing of the bill because they would all benefit.

It goes without saying that PartyGaming and World Poker Tour are in favor of US legislation to legalize the industry, and Harrah’s and MGM have stated earlier in the year that they would jump all over an opportunity to release their brand online to US customers.

Although many companies have a vested interest in the industry getting regulated in America, in September Casino Gambling Web representatives will head to Washington D.C. to lobby on behalf of the American people, who are desperate to gain one of the freedoms back that was stolen from them by a corrupt senator late last year.

The Casino Gambling Web reps that are headed to Washington D.C. will not be spending money to persuade politicans, rather they will be presenting facts about the industry to politicians and aids in hopes of enlightening them about the issue.