Texas Lawmakers Going All In With Casino Gambling In The State

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While most states start small when it comes to expanding their gambling laws, Texas looks like they will jump right in with both feet. They are going for the home run, not simply a base hit.

Lawmakers today are discussion a Bill that would bring over a dozen casino resorts to the state of Texas. That is a major change for a state that has long looked down on the idea of casino gambling.

“It’s the biggest economic development Bill that has ever been presented to the state of Texas. It’s much more of an economic development Bill than it is a gambling Bill,” said Jack E. Pratt Sr., Chairman of the Texas Gaming Association.

The Bill would bring massive amounts of money into the state if approved. Over $1 billion is expected to go towards college scholarships from the gambling expansion. In addition, over 300,000 jobs and $3 to $4 billion in tax revenue would be created.

The Bill does have its share of detractors, as is the case with any law involving gambling. Church groups have been the most vocal to come out against the Bill, and there are some lawmakers who think it is too aggressive.

Whether or not lawmakers vote for the constitutional amendment, ultimately it would still be up to the people of Texas to decide on its’ fate. Voters would have to approve such a change to the state constitution.

The Bill is being introduced by members on opposite sides of the aisle. Senator Rodney Ellis and Representative Jose Menendez are sponsoring the Bill from the Democratic side, and Senator John Carona and Representative Jim Pitts are sponsoring from the Republican side. The bipartisan Bill should receive a lot of support from fellow lawmakers.

Texas Continues Crackdown on Illegal Gambling With New Motion

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In Texas, there has been a statewide crackdown on illegal gambling. Most of the cases are dealing with illegal gaming machines that are being used for profit.

Earlier in the week there was a raid involving these gambling machines. Now, the Attorney General has made a claim against the Tigua Indian tribe.

Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a contempt of court motion on Friday. It alleges that the Tigua tribe violated a Federal Court order against them. They are accused of paying out cash on gaming machines.

Six years ago the Speaking Rock Entertainment Center was shut down because the tribe was not legally allowed to have gambling on their reservation.

Now, Abbott is contending that the tribe is allowing players to transfer their winnings on the machines to a Visa card. The players can then convert those cards into cash, making the operation illegal.

The machines that are being used in the operation are eight-liners. That means they give players the opportunity for eight different ways to win. The machines are only legal when they pay out little gifts that are equal to less than $5. They cannot pay out cash.

The tribe has tried to reopen the casino that was shut down in 2002, but efforts have been unsuccessful.

 

Town of Triana Taking Legal Action Against Bingo Hall Raids

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An interesting court battle is set to take place in Alabama. The Town of Triana feels they are being unfairly targeted in recent raids that have taken place regarding bingo halls.

Town officials have filed a complaint in Circuit Court to stop Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning from raiding bingo halls. The sheriff believes there is illegal activity going on and therefore has the right to raid these halls.

The law states that bingo is permitted if the games are being held for charity. The other part of the law, however, is that the Sheriff can interfere with the operation if he believes the constitutional limits are being exceeded.

Several different bingo halls have been raided in the past few months. Machines have been confiscated, and people have been arrested.

It is clear that Dorning believes that the law is being compromised in these locations where raids have taken place. The money that been confiscated in the raids so far has been over $200,000.

“The Sheriff has taken it upon himself, with advice from county attorneys, to interfere with the city’s authority to regulate lawful activities within its limits,” said Andy Campbell, one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit.

Teen Problem Gambling on The Rise According To Survey

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Gambling is a form of entertainment that many adults use to relieve stress, but for kids who do not know the dangers of gambling, it could become a problem.

That is what is happening in New York, according to a recent survey which suggested that problem gambling among teens is becoming more and more of a threat.

The survey, which was conducted in New York by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), claimed that questions were asked that target signs of problem gambling to around 5,800 students.

“These findings give us critically important information and insights into the prevalence of problem gambling in New York,” said OASAS Commissioner Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo. “New Yorkers, young and old, need to understand that gambling is a serious problem when it interferes with a healthy and productive life.”

Among youths, the most frequent activity in those who experienced problem gambling in the past year was playing cards, followed by betting on games of skill such as their own activities, sporting events, dice and lottery games.

The study suggests that it is important to teach parents about how to talk to their children about gambling in order to keep them from having problems with the activity.

“Parents need to understand that gambling may not be just harmless entertainment for their children and be looking for the signs which may indicate a compulsive behavior developing,” Commissioner Carpenter-Palumbo said. “Those signs can include a preoccupation with gambling activity, lying about the activity or stealing in order to get money for gambling.”

Gordon Price, Casino Gambling Web’s expert gaming analyst, said of the study, “With all the money coming into states with the expansion of gambling, a good percentage needs to go to programs designed to teach the community about the possible dangers of gambling, especially to the nation’s youth.”

Extensive studies have showed that gambling problems actually go down in areas where gambling has expanded if programs are instituted to teach the community about the possible perils of gambling.

Teachers In Nevada Want More Taxes On Casinos For Education

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The education system in Nevada is largely reliant on the action of gamblers as they receive millions and millions of dollars from casinos in the state.

Now a group of teachers are preparing to ask the state to impose higher taxes for casinos in the state.

The Nevada State Education Association initiative is being pushed by teachers to get it on the ballot for a vote. the concept of the initiative is that a 3% tax would be added on gambling revenues from the states biggest casinos.

By big casinos, they are speaking of those casinos that gross more than $1 million a month. the current rate of tax is 6.75, which would mean the tax would rise for these select casinos to 9.75, and would create over $200 million a year for education.

The casino industry takes care of one third of the total cost of public education in the state, which means that an increase would further advance their contribution to the education cause.

The initiative would have to pass both the 2008 and 2010 election before going into place.

Alcohol Ruled Not A Problem At Barona Band of Mission Indians Casino

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Residents and county officials who oppose gambling in their communities have always used crime and unruly behavior as a crutch for their argument, but a judge has sided with a casino in the latest battle in court.

Judge Rodolfo Echeverria took the side of the Barona Band of Mission Indians and is recommending that the tribe be allowed to continue to serve alcohol at their large casino resort in San Diego.

Opposition tried to manipulate statistics to show that car accidents in the area and crime in the area was a direct relation to patrons drinking at the casino, but testimony from a traffic expert disputed their claims.

Further complicating things for the opposition is the fact that alcohol is only served in select locations in the casino resort, and not on the gaming floor, and the judge claimed that to be one of the reason’s for his recommendation.

The judge’s final decision will be reviewed by Steve Hardy, the director of the ABC, and a final decision will be made.

Whatever the final decision is, the battle for either side of the issue will not be over as Hardy’s decision can be reviewed by an appeals board.

Taiwan Set To Jump Into Growing International Casino Market

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Casinos are currently illegal in Taiwan, but that has not stopped Penghu, a set of islets off Taiwan, from trying to become the next Macau by building a casino town.

Macau has succeeded at building a gambling and vacation hot spot for people from all over the world to go and spend their hard earned money. Penghu, has seen that business idea work and is now set to embark on a casino resort adventure of their own.

The current president of Taiwan, Chen Shui-bian, is a bit wary of becoming dependent on China, and is proceeding cautiously with the plan. Next spring, however, the presidential candidates of opposition parties and the current ruling parties are more receptive to the casino idea.

The ultimate goal of Penghu is to build up the casino resort town to the point where they are receiving 5 million tourists per year.

The idea obviously is to attract tourists from China, which is only 45 minutes away by plane, and since Taiwan’s population is 23 million, and China’s is 1.3 billion, it becomes obvious why Penghu will be targeting China.

For a long time the casino idea could not exist, but in April, when Chen lifted a ban on Chinese tourists traveling to Penghu, it opened the door for the expansion and moving forward of the casino plan.

It still could be some time before any casino is actually open for business though, as the government must first work out all the details to allowing such a casino to exist.

Superstar Celine Dion Finishes Show at Caesar’s Palace Casino in Vegas

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Celine Dion is one of the most recognizable voices in the music industry. She has had multiple number one hits, and has done a multitude of charity work over her career.

On Saturday night, another chapter came to an end in the life of Dion. She played her last show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas after almost five years of service.

The show was attended by many famous celebrities, all wanting to be a part of the event. Dion had started at Caesar’s nearly five years ago. Her act has drawn rave reviews over the years and has been attended by millions of people.

The show, A New Day, has played at Caesar’s for 717 engagements. The impact that Dion will have left on Las Vegas is one of legend. She has brought the Vegas show and the energy it provides back to the Vegas strip.

Elvis Presley has the all time record for a performance run in Las Vegas, having played 837 shows. His span lasted over seven years, from mid 1969, to the winter of 1976.

“This show typifies what Celine Dion has meant to Las Vegas. It was a beautiful and mystical performance by one of the great entertainers of our time,” esteemed music critic John Gershbaum told Casino Gambling Web.

Wheeling Island Casino Adds Table Games This Week

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Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack is ready to become a full-service casino this week. Barring unforeseen complications, Thursday morning should bring the full-fledged opening of table games at the West Virginia property.

The casino will test the play of 43 tables featuring games including blackjack, craps, roulette, and Caribbean poker on Monday and Tuesday. Play money will be used for the tests, with all proceeds donated to local charities. A $25 charitable contribution gets a customer $250 in fake chips, an entry in door prize contests, and tickets for food and drinks.

Table games were voted legal by county citizens six months ago.

The casino’s business is predicted to explode with the arrival of the table games. Bob Marshall, president and general manager of the complex, stated, “We’ll start seeing new people Thursday afternoon. There’s a lot of buzz in Pittsburgh and Columbus.”

Marshall refers to his new dealers as having first-time jitters, but in a way that speaks of pride. Over 85% of the new hires are from the Wheeling area, providing much-needed jobs as well as increased taxation revenue.

The tables will close for a day on Wednesday to evaluate the test and fine-tune the system. Then it’s full steam ahead for Wheeling Island.