Illegal Video Poker machines are extremely popular in bars around the country these days. They are also illegal when they pay out their winners. Most owners who operate these machines claim they are for online casino amusement only.
Police are not fooled by the scam these owners are running, and over the weekend, they busted one of these illegal operations in a most unlikely of scenarios.
Kentucky State Police troopers were doing their normal patrolling over the weekend when they saw a suspicious man lurking around a business that was closed. They went looking for the man, and their search ended up inside the closed business.
What they found inside was people playing poker on video machines. The machines were equipped with ways to accept money. The alleged owner of the operation admitted to police that he was paying out winners on a daily basis.
Larry D. Atkins was charged with eight counts of first degree promoting gambling. He was taken into custody and released on $200 bond.
Unfortunately for Atkins, had he waited a few months the machines may have been legal. The Governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, has vowed to have voters decide whether to legalize gambling in the state.
Atkins’ arraignment is set for January 23rd.
Gambling on Horse Racing Might Become Reality Again in China
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To show how much the world is actually changing, you need not look further than in China. The country is contemplating allowing gambling on horse racing for the first time in almost fifty years.
The city of Wuhan has received the O.K. to move forward with bringing horse racing to the city. The races are beginning without a key component that is present at most racetracks, gambling.
That may soon change. The Xinhua news agency has reported that as early as next year, there could be gambling on the horses in Wuhan.
There has not been gambling on horse racing in the country of China for almost fifty years. In 1949, the Communist party banned the gambling from taking place. Not until now has there been an opportunity to bring it back.
“The proposal for betting on horse racing is being reviewed and discussed, but there is no concrete information on when or whether it will begin,” a spokesman for the China Sports Lottery was quoted as saying to Xinhua.
The state of Illinois has bills to pay just like every other state. Much like other states, Illinois is looking to a way for expanded casino gambling to bail out the budget.
On Saturday, major gambling expansion was approved by the state Senate. If approved by the House, the gambling expansion would make the state of Illinois a major player in the casino gambling industry.
A construction program to bring more schools, bridges, and new roads in the state would be the beneficiary of the gambling expansion. In addition to allowing current casinos to expand, the plan also creates two new major advancements in casino gambling.
Slot machines would be allowed at race tracks in the state, and a new casino would also be built in downtown Chicago. The Senate passed the plan overwhelmingly, by a 32-18 vote.
Getting the House to approve the plan will be the hard part. The hope is that the hard economic times will force the House to consider the plan. It will bring much needed jobs and revenue to the state. The construction plans must move forward, but without revenue money from the casinos, it will be nearly impossible.
The Senate was not only looking to improve the state’s casino gambling on Saturday. They also passed a Bill that would privatize the state lottery. Both Bills, HB2651, and HB 1496, now move on to the House.
Payday lending, predatory mortgage loans, overdraft fees, high interest rates, an economy nearing recession, are all issues the Financial Services Committee must hold the banking sectors accountable for at the moment. At the same time the banking institutions must determine what illegal Internet gambling is, block those transactions, thus imposing penalties to customers of theirs. This, to American Banking Association Vice President, Wayne Abernathy, is ridiculous.
Mr. Ted Kitada from Wells Fargo stated in his testimony at the Hearing for the Proposed UIGEA Regulations that his company completes more than 30 million transactions a day and deciphering which of those 30 million transactions would be illegal Internet gambling transactions would be not only cumbersome, but also a major hindrance to the quality of service his company offers its customers.
Each of the banking witnesses at today’s second portion of the Financial Services Committee Hearing agreed that if forced to comply with this law the banking systems would likely block any transaction that may appear illegal, even if, in fact, it was perfectly legal.
Barney Frank pointed out that if a customer’s legal transactions are blocked by their banks or credit card companies, it could have an adverse effect on the competition of American banking systems with the rest of the world’s banking systems. ABA representative, Wayne Abernathy, agreed that enforcing this law could weaken America’s competitive advantages over international banks.
The key to Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology, was not so much whether this all could or could not be efficiently done and enforced, but rather, that the Congress, through the UIGEA, had put the burden of policing the people on banks, when in fact, the government should be policing the banks.
Gambling addictions happen in many different ways. People are addicted as much to the actual games themselves as they are the money involved. For mailmen in Pennsylvania, video poker might have been just a way to pass time.
Police raided a convenience store in Allegheny Township, Pennsylvania on Thursday. They found not only video poker machines, but also mailmen playing the machines.
The convenience store had been under investigation for a few months now. Police received anonymous tips that gambling was going on in the establishment, and that mailmen were involved.
When police raided the place on Thursday, what was being investigated was confirmed. Two mailmen were sitting at the machines playing at the time of the raid. They both were in uniform, meaning they most likely were on duty.
$10,000 in cash and four video poker machines were seized from C & T Mini Mart. No charges have been filed as of yet. Police were still trying to determine whether the owner was paying out the machines.
In Pennsylvania, the coin operated machines are not illegal. It becomes an illegal operation once a player is paid out for winning on one of the machines.
Man Convicted of Bank Robbery Keeps Lottery Gambling Jackpot
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Funny how life can throw people curve balls. In 2006 a man pleads guilty to robbing a bank. Then, a few years later, he wins a $1 million lottery prize.
Timothy Elliot was at a point in his life that he felt there was no place else to turn. So he took it upon himself to rob a Cape Cod bank for money. He was caught in the crime, and plead guilty in 2006 .
The judge sentenced him to five years of probation. Terms of that probation included Elliot not being allowed to buy lottery tickets or engage in any form of gambling.
He proceeded to but a scratch off ticket, and as luck would have it, he won $1 million. The payout was payable in twenty installments of $50,000, of which, Elliot has already received the first installment of.
Since he broke his probation in buying the lottery ticket, he had to appear before the judge. His lawyer claims the violation of probation was minor, and the judge agreed, allowing him to keep his winnings from the ticket.
He will now have to pay $65 a month in probation supervision fees, but that should be no problem with his annual $50,000 checks he will be receiving for roughly the next two decades.
Charities are a tricky proposition. The money that is being raised is done so for a good cause. Most organizations that run these charities, however, are allowed to keep some of the profits for various reasons.
Among these reasons are paying the people that work to raise the money. Operating costs are also part of the money that can be kept.
One reason to keep the money that is not allowed is personal family vacations. That is what the boss of a charity lottery used money that he stole for. His family went on an elaborate vacation to Barbados with money that should have gone to charity.
Two air ambulance charities were the target of his theft. he would pick phantom winners from the phone book, while he kept the prizes for himself. Leigh Windsor was living the high life.
That is until he slipped up, and subsequently was caught. He was entering fake tickets in the drawings, to raise his commission. Unfortunately for him, one of the tickets was picked as the winner.
His company had been very successful running the air ambulance lotteries. The company raised millions of dollars over a ten year period. That was until he was caught stealing money.
Organized Gambling Ring Busted In Massachusetts
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Organized gambling operations has the lure to bring in people from all walks of life. Most of these operations are illegally run, and the profit margin is large.
Law enforcement has been busy on the job so far this year. Various agencies across several states have been cracking down on these illegal gambling rings.
Massachusetts is the latest state in which a gambling bust has taken place. Officers carried out warrants at various locations around the state. Thirty two people were arrested.
The leader of the organized gambling enterprise was Jesus Reynoso, according to authorities. He was arrested along with his enforcer, Victor Rosado.
“Make no mistake. This was not a harmless neighborhood lottery or sports book. It was a gambling enterprise where the game was rigged in favor of the ring, and it was fraught with violence and corruption,” said Suffolk County District Attorney, Daniel F. Conley, at a press conference on Tuesday.
The operation was run across different stores in Boston and throughout the state. The leaders would provide computers and printers that would be used to take bets from people. Sixty percent of the profits would go to the leaders of the organization.
It was not long ago, only a couple of years in fact, that Macau overtook Las Vegas as the casino gambling capital of the world. Unlike Las Vegas, however, it appears that Macau’s dominance will be short lived.
Macau casinos have already been struggling as of late. Big resorts were built, but new travel restrictions from mainland China have hurt business. Now, the knockout punch may be coming to an area that thought they would dominate the casino industry for a long time.
On Monday, the final hurdle was cleared for casino gambling to become prevalent in Taiwan. Taiwan’s legislature passed a Bill that would allow casinos in Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu. It is not yet known how many casinos will be operating in those areas.
Singapore has also recently approved casino gambling, and in combination with Taiwan, it could have devastating effects on Macau. The island were hoping to have the casino market all to themselves.
It is not necessarily that the legislature was excited about bringing casinos to Taiwan, but it was something they felt needed to be done. Their tourism had been hurt by Macau and they are planning on using the casinos to help boost the tourism in Taiwan.
Casinos in Macau have had a drop in revenue numbers in the past six months. China is expected to lighten their travel restrictions in 2009, but that may be offset by the addition of casinos in Singapore and Taiwan for Macau.
With The Stakes Rising, Gambling Landscape Changing In The US
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In Black Hawk, Colorado, there are casinos that have done well for a while now. Lately, however, competition from other areas has raised the stakes for these casinos, literally.
Residents of the town are expected to raise the maximum bets $95. Currently, casinos can have max bets of $5, and there is a proposal to raise those bets to $100. Also on the table is adding roulette and craps to the casinos in Black Hawk.
They are not the only area that is raising their stakes. Other states have also had to make adjustments to their betting laws to ensure they can continue to compete on a regional and national level.
The economy is not helping matters. Revenue is declining at casinos all across the nation and the landscape is such that many of these casinos are turning to expansion to stay afloat. It is not only casinos that are raising the stakes.
Individual states have added options to their lottery systems. In Florida, they recently added the multi-state Powerball lottery, and other states have used creativity in areas such as pull tab lottery tickets.
It is predicted by many experts that this is just the beginning of the legalized gambling movement in the US. One expert has predicted that eighty percent of states in the US will have casino gambling in the next ten years.
In the United States, it is taken for granted that any person may just go into their local convenience store or gas station and buy a lottery ticket, now the people of Sydney could enjoy that same luxury.
As the movement toward legalize gambling sweeps across the world, people in Sydney will find out what much of the rest of the World already experiences, the dream of becoming rich through the lottery.
NSW Lotteries has begun a trial in which they have allowed lottery sales in convenience stores, the end result could end up where patrons could go to a 7-Eleven at any time, 24 hours a day and purchase lottery or scratch off tickets.
Pubs and clubs could be the next in line to be able to sell the lottery tickets.
The government has stated their desires to reduce the number of gambling machines, and they have tried to link their efforts to helping problem gamblers by doing so. The figures, however, do not support that claim by government.
Federal Treasurer Peter Costello is against the expansion of gambling, and has stated that Australia already has more poker machines than any other nation, referring to the ruling this week that Keno would be allowed in hotels.
He also claims that people who think the gambling revenue is high, should not forget to factor in the money that government gets against the money government spends to help problem gamblers.
Florida Starts Year Round Live Horse Racing Simulcasting
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At 12:25 PM today, Saturday, September 22, both Broward County racetracks, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino and The Isle Casino & Racing at Pompano Park, will begin simulcasting races from other racetracks.
A 1996 law that was passed by the legislature that banned simulcasting at tracks except when they had live racing, was overturned as unconstitutional.
The Florida Supreme Court earlier this month decided that the law was passed as a general act covering the entire State when it should have been a local bill, as it affects only those two racetracks and Calder Race Course in Miami.
Legislators failed at the time to conduct public hearings on the issue, or give notice of the bill, which was the basis of the court’s decision to overturn.
So Broward County is now ready to enjoy year-round horse racing as well as Vegas style slots. If this is the type of entertainment that you enjoy and you live in Broward, County Florida now is the time to experience it.
There is sure to be a level of discomfort from the anti-gambling groups within Florida, and the recent surge in expansion in Florida will be threatened if those groups decide to pressure the legislature to do more about expanded gambling.