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Archive for October, 2006

October 31st, 2006

Illegal gambling grows in Laredo, Texas

Gambling — most of it illegal — has increasingly been thriving in Laredo,
Texas, reported the San Antonio Express-News. Under Texas law, game rooms
that feature machines known as eight-liners can award only up to $5 in
prizes. But many places in Laredo offer up cash prizes of $40 or more. The
Express-News reported that there are 2,423 licensed eight-liner machines in
Laredo. That’s one for every 43 Laredo residents over 21. Although police
have reportedly admitted that most places dole out cash prizes,
investigations into the matter have been slowed by a lack of interest or
complaints from city residents. Also, there has been little political
pressure to step up the efforts, the newspaper said. The increase in illegal
gambling is making it harder for law-abiding game rooms. Operators of such
game rooms have complained of the slow investigation efforts.

Post at 4:19 am UTC by Jerry

Wan vows to come down hard on gambling syndicates

NEWLY appointed Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Christopher
Wan Soo Kee has vowed to come down hard on gambling syndicates.
Wan said he would suggest to the local authorities to stop issuing new video
arcade licenses to check on illegal gambling problems. “I plan to make this
my priority. I know many video game operators have been modifying their
machines for gambling purposes. ” He was speaking after handing over his
duties as State police chief to Datuk Koh Hong Sun. Wan takes over from
Datuk Fauzi Shaari as national CID director and he begins his duties on
Wednesday. He is the highest-ranking non-Malay police officer in the country
now and his appointment also marks the first time a Chinese has assumed the
post. Wan, 55, was formerly with the Special Branch in Bukit Aman and
Malacca police chief before coming to Penang. He said he would use his
experience from his stints as the Malacca and Penang police chief to come up
with crime prevention initiatives for implementation nationwide.

Post at 4:19 am UTC by Jerry

UK seeks support for internet gambling code

UK culture secretary Tessa Jowell will this week urge 32 nations to back a
code of principles on internet gambling, the first major international
measure to regulate the industry as the US imposes a ban. Britain, France,
Germany, Spain, Italy, South Africa and other nations will tomorrow meet
outside London for talks hosted by Jowell to agree on a code of conduct for
companies that offer gambling over the Web.Delegates will discuss age and
identification verification systems, including the role of government in
smoothing access to high quality data for gambling operators to identify
customers. They will also look at social responsibility associated with
remote gambling, including the role of government and whether operators
should be required to fund awareness campaigns on problem gambling or offer
website links to counselling. Delegates from each nation will be asked to
examine whether there are any legal or ethical considerations around cross-
jurisdiction treatment of problem gambling. A draft of the agreement
proposed that nations should agree to “co-operate in development of and
share best practice in protecting children and vulnerable people” and to
“share findings of research into the remote gambling market”. The measures
are Britain’s attempt to regulate internet gambling instead of criminalising
it as US President George W Bush favours. Bush this month signed a law
banning credit card companies from collecting payments for online bets.
Jowell last week criticised the US for attempting to impose a “new
prohibition” against online gaming, saying Bush’s measures would prompt
fraud and crime by forcing the industry to work illegally from nations that
do not regulate the Web.

“America should have learned the lessons of prohibition,” Jowell told the
Financial Times, adding that the US might “create modern day speakeasies” in
the internet gambling industry.

The world’s biggest internet gambling companies lost $7 billion (R52
billion) of market value in a day after the US congress passed legislation
on September 30.

PartyGaming shares have lost three quarters of their value since then.

The EU is pushing countries to scrap measures that protect domestic
companies in gaming.

On October 12, regulators told members such as France and Austria to stop
discriminating against international bookmakers and casinos.

Post at 4:19 am UTC by Jerry

Comments welcome on gambling act

A NEW system of licensing for premises that are involved in gambling is to
come into force in the UK, and local authorities, including Alnwick District
Council, will be at the heart of the changes. The Gambling Act 2005 is
taking the licensing and regulation function away from the magistrates’
courts and transferring it to local authorities, placing new and extended
legal responsibilities on councillors and council officers. The new
licensing responsibilities will not come into force until April 30, 2007 but
in preparation for this new duty, the district council is consulting with
the public on how it proposes to apply these new powers. The Statement of
Principles, which is the draft gambling polic,y is available on the
council’s
website or can be posted out to anyone interested. The council welcomes
comments and feedback on the draft which will be finalised before the end of
the year. Members and officers concerned in the decision making process will
undergo training so they are fully aware of the facts and procedures to
ensure the authority provides an efficient service.

Post at 4:19 am UTC by Jerry

Gambling Act has little impact

The introduction of the Gambling Act three years ago has had little impact
on decreasing pokie machines in some regions in New Zealand and it’s
obviously not working well, says a gambling lobby group. Gambling Watch
coordinator David Macpherson said all New Zealand regions had shown a drop
in machines in the last three years with a nationwide decrease of 10.1 per
cent, but some regions were well below the average. Southland and Waikato
both had a reduction of less than 4 per cent. “Some localities within those
regions have actually recorded significant increases in pokies,” Mr
Macpherson said. “It is obvious that the stated aim of the Act, to control
the growth of gambling and to prevent and minimise harm caused by it, is not
working particularly well in some areas.” However, in other regions
community concern about the harmful effects of pokie machines was having an
impact with numbers decreasing about 15 per cent, he said. “We are pleased
that some regions of high pokie concentration, such as the West Coast and
Northland, are showing decreases significantly ahead of the national
average.” Pokie machines are cited by almost 90 per cent of people treated
for gambling addiction as the primary cause of their problem.

West Coast Region -15.2
Otago Region -5.8
Waikato Region -3.9
Canterbury Region -8.5
Hawkes Bay Region -7.2
Marlborough Region -13.4
Bay of Plenty Region -5.0
Manawatu-Wanganui Region -8.9
Southland Region -3.7
Taranaki Region -10.1
Northland Region -14.4
New Zealand -10.1
Tasman/Nelson Region -9.4
Gisborne Region -8.2
Wellington Region -8.3
Auckland Region -8.2

Post at 4:19 am UTC by Jerry

Online gambling firms in £1.6bn merger talks

Two leading online poker and casino firms, PartyGaming and 888 Holdings,
have held talks about a £1.6bn merger as the industry scrambles to replace
revenues lost through the United States’ crackdown on internet gambling. The
online gambling industry has been devastated by legislation passed in
Washington this month preventing banks and credit card firms processing
payments for bets. Analysts reckon PartyGaming earned between 75% and 80% of
its revenues from the US. The ban caused shares across the sector to
collapse. PartyGaming, which has dropped out of the FTSE 100, has made no
secret of its plans to seek a deal with rivals to bolster its business. The
firm cancelled its dividend shortly after the US ban and said at the time it
hoped to take advantage of slumping share prices. Its chief executive, Mitch
Garber, said in a recent interview consolidation was the “most sensible way
forward” and told analysts he was in talks with several companies. The Stock
Exchange might force a statement today. The desperate state of the industry
has led to a frenzied round of talks among leading players. 888 was forced
to put out a statement recently denying it was behind a bid for another UK
listed firm. “I don’t think it will come as a great surprise to learn that
all parts of the industry are talking to each other,” said one industry
source. “How concrete those discussions are is another thing. Consolidation
is absolutely on the cards. But I think we might see companies waiting to
see how things pan out a little. Companies need to sort out their cost
bases, for example.” Discussions between PartyGaming and 888 are said to be
at an early stage. The firms at least don’t have far to go: they occupy the
same office block in Gibraltar. A source close to 888 said they had not
progressed further than “a coffee and a chat”. Another industry source said
PartyGaming was also pursuing other options, but an 888 tie-up would have
obvious benefits. “Casino and poker are the mainstay of both businesses,” he
said. The US accounted for a little over 50% of 888 revenues, with the
remainder largely from Britain and other parts of Europe. It still has
around $100m (£53m) cash, even after it pays a planned special dividend. But
its shares have also fallen sharply and the company has dropped out of the
FTSE 250.

Online gambling firms are under pressure. The sudden disappearance of a
large number of players makes online gaming less attractive to customers
both because there are fewer people to play against and the companies are
not able to offer the same kinds of jackpots.

Neither PartyGaming nor 888 would comment on the merger discussions.

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell yesterday called for an international
agreement on the regulation of online gaming, before an international summit
at Royal Ascot. Delegates from 30 countries, not including the US, will meet
tomorrow to discuss methods for protecting vulnerable people and keeping the
industry free of crime. Ms Jowell said companies would be welcome to operate
in Britain but only after agreeing to a “very tough” code on social
responsibility.

At its peak, PartyGaming was valued at £7bn on the London Stock Exchange.
Despite 33 pages of warnings in its float prospectus, including over a
possible ban in the US, investors piled in and the directors cashed in more
than £1bn. London became the centre for the industry to raise money. Since
the US ban PartyGaming shares have dropped by 70% to 30p and 888 shares have
declined 24% to 108p.

Post at 4:19 am UTC by Jerry

October 30th, 2006

Banning online gambling is a losing hand

I don’t gamble online. I’ve seen too many of my friends get so addicted to
poker that they’ve got no time left for Internet porn. And I’m not going to
let that happen to me. But I didn’t expect Congress to pass the Unlawful
Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, treating people who spend all day at
partypoker.com like criminals. Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I think of
criminals as people who I can’t beat up and who do math slower than I do. It
breaks my heart when the greed our nation is famous for gets trumped by the
religious posturing we were founded on. It’s a horrible conundrum. Either we
give up the tax receipts on the US$6 billion that Americans spend gambling
online, or we let people do whatever they want with their own money. It’s
like making Poland choose between scowling and yelling.
So we’ve decided to forfeit all that income — almost enough to let us
invade a very small Middle Eastern country, or at least an emirate — to
foreign governments. Within 10 years, all the world’s great bridges to
nowhere will be on the Isle of Man. It’s kind of sweet that our government
wants to protect us from ourselves. It’s like it loves us. It has made it
clear that it wants us to stay away from drugs, gambling, prostitutes and
Janet Jackson, all of which it is right about. And I recognize that the
Internet is a particular danger because it makes sin too easy. How can our
economy grow when the machine you work on all day also lets you gamble, buy
OxyContin and watch porn? If moving your factory lever up built a car
engine, and moving it down let you see Little Egypt dance the
hootchy-kootchy, we’d be driving like Fred Flintstone. There’s a great sense
of American optimism in all this lawmaking. Sure, prohibition didn’t work,
and the drug laws have no effect, but, darn it, we really believe that we’re
going to stop the 23 million Americans who waste their money gambling
online. The cutest part is that Congress doesn’t see the irony in telling
people not to waste their money. But, of course, capitalism always sneaks
its way into morality. Because of strong lobbies, the new law makes an
exception, allowing Web sites for lotteries and horse racing. Because, as
anyone who’s been to a 7-Eleven or an OTB place knows, it’s online poker
that sets back the poor. Imagine the economic success Appalachia would be if
not for PlayBaccarat.com.

At a time when giving up free tax revenue seems particularly insane, the
Senate was smart enough to bury the new law in a bill aimed at enhancing
port security. Senators didn’t see the irony of linking legislation that
takes away some of our freedoms with legislation about protecting our
remaining freedoms from terrorist attack.

Legislating vice never works, mostly because vice is a lot of fun. The laws
wind up being weakened by so many inconsistencies — you can gamble on a
boat permanently docked a few feet off the riverbank as long as it pretends
to sail every 15 minutes; you can drink in public as long as it’s covered by
a brown bag; you can’t clone stem cells but you can clone Kelly LeBrock –
they make us lose respect for the law in general.

So, as more people gamble online, the government will eventually have to
find a way to back down without looking stupid. The obvious solution is to
borrow the Indian casino reparations idea and allow gambling sites to be run
by released Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Not only would the profits erase any
bad feelings, the former detainees would be great at running poker sites.
After all, four years of water-boarding is the perfect training for having
to listen to endless stories about bad beats.

Post at 3:52 am UTC by Jerry

No gambling for Johnson this time

Getting in position to win a Nextel Cup Series championship hasn’t been a
problem for Jimmie Johnson. Sealing the deal, on the other hand, that’s a
whole other matter. Since coming into the series as a rookie in 2002,
Johnson has finished the season in the top five in the point standings every
year. Two times he finished series runner-up, including a scant eight points
behind Kurt Busch in the inaugural Chase for the Championship in 2004.
“Looking back at the past few seasons of the chase, we felt we maybe gambled
at the wrong time and tried to develop parts and pieces for the car and
set-ups at the wrong times,” Johnson said. “This year I really think we
really stuck to a good plan and developed our stuff at the right time.”
Johnson’s team has the appearance of a fighter exploding out of the corner
after getting knocked down with a few left hooks in the first two rounds.
After a few bumps in the road early in The Chase, Johnson is back in
position to win a title, 41 points behind leader Matt Kenseth with four
races left, including Sunday’s Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“Obviously, with the slow start we had, I’m happy about it,” Johnson said.
“We’ve been knocking on the door for a championship for five seasons, and
hopefully, this will be the year for us.” Johnson will start Sunday’s Bass
Pro Shops 500 in third place after rain washed out all of Friday’s on-track
activity. The field will line up by points, putting Matt Kenseth and the
rest of The Chase field out front for Sunday’s race. Today’s on-track action
calls for two Nextel Cup practice sessions, the Crown Royal International
Race of Champions season finale, and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Easy
Car Vehicle Service Contacts 200. The weather forecast for today is
favorable with partly cloudy skies and little chance of rain. Getting in
place to win a title hasn’t come easy for Johnson, who entered The Chase in
second place. After damage dropped him to a 39th-place finish in New
Hampshire to start the Chase Johnson found himself in ninth place, well
below his accustomed position of no worse than third up until the start of
The Chase.

After a finish of 13th at Dover improved him to eighth, a chance for a big
points day vanished two weeks later at Talladega where last lap contact
between he, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Brian
Vickers sent Johnson to a finish of 24th.

Since then, the No. 48 team has caught fire similar to the early-season
fashion when it won two of the first three races to start the year. A finish
of second at Lowe’s Motor Speedway followed by last week’s win at
Martinsville moved Johnson up to third in the standings.

“The luck and the way things have gone have really made this an interesting
and crazy chase for all the competitors,” Johnson said. “We made good
changes we’re we need to be. We were let back into this deal in a weird way
and it’s time to go.”

At Lowe’s, Johnson was beat to the finish line by Kasey Kahne. Kahne’s
eighth in The Chase for the Championship, 99 points out of first place.
Before the Nextel Cup trophy is hoisted in Homestead, Kahne expects Johnson
to have a say in who the champion will be.

“He’s right there. He can definitely come in and take away,” Kahne said. “At
Charlotte we won just off of having a better racecar. He started out with
the lead after the final stop and I passed him and drove away.”

Johnson getting back into the heat of The Chase couldn’t come at a better
time for he and his team. He ranks fourth among active Nextel Cup drivers
with an average finish of 11.8 at AMS and won the Bass Pro Shops 400 two
years ago.

Atlanta’s 1.54-mile quad-oval configuration is very similar to Lowe’s Motor
Speedway and the next track on the schedule, Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson’s
won five points races at Lowe’s in addition to a pair of Nextel All-Star
Challenges.

Post at 3:52 am UTC by Jerry

Don’t bet the schoolhouse on this loser of an issue

Criticism against state Issue 3 could easily be compiled a la Elizabeth
Barrett Browning. “Let me count the ways .” While proponents dub Issue 3
“Learn & Earn” for its wondrous tuition-generating effect, opponents say
this proposal to allow 31,500 slot machines statewide is a smokescreen that
would make a handful of private racetrack owners and developers very, very
rich. Also, some of the numbers are in dispute. While supporters, for
example, say the measure would yield some $850 million each year for Ohio
college students, the state’s own budget and management office estimates
that the annual ca-ching! of slot machines would generate not quite $325
million for tuition. Then, too, there’s criticism bubbling up from Columbus,
from folks who say Issue 3 is disproportionately nice to Cleveland – where,
with voter OK later, slot machine operations could blossom into full-scale
gaming tables. Oh, and let’s not overlook the much ballyhooed social costs.
You know, “the evils of gambling” and all that – no small consideration, as
I see it. Besides, any time our vote would authorize a new state commission
with the word “integrity” embedded in its name (as in, “Gaming Integrity
Commission”), well, I’m thinking maybe the joke would be on us. We could
keep taking inventory of specific objections to Issue 3, but that skips over
what to my mind is one of the weirder aspects of Learn & Earn, namely: How
long do people have to sit around drinking at some bar before they can
convince themselves that slot-machine gambling equals the future of Ohio
college students? Are we not in The Twilight Zone when we think it makes
any sense whatsoever to use higher education as a pitch for voters to
approve gambling? I try and try to envision how this came about, but all I
can conjure up are conversations between Rod Serling and his doppelganger.
“Man, I sure would like to see Ohio get a slice of those gambling dollars,
Rod!”

“Boy, Rod, so would I! Wonder how we can do it?”

“Hey, Rod, I’ve got it! Let’s make slot machines a constitutional amendment!
But, gosh, how could can we sell it to voters?”

“Oooh, oooh, I know! We’ll tell ‘em it’s ‘for the children’ – that one works
every time, Rod!”

The premise of Issue 3 is so absurdly specious that, were I the bartender on
the night Rod & Himself stopped in, I’d have cut them off long before they
reached that conclusion.

Alas, no one did.

If you go to the Issue 3 proponents’ Web site and read “About Ohio Learn &
Earn,” you have to plod through five whole paragraphs and 137 words before
reaching that section’s first mention of slot machines.

It’s true that Ohio gets an “F” for college affordability.

Post at 3:52 am UTC by Jerry

Maine’s only racino beating feared odds

The polished slot machines fill the room with light and noise: a constant
click-and-whirl as customers press buttons and pull levers, and bells
ringing for winners.
The sound of money carries an almost deafening pitch. “It sticks in your
head if you play here enough,” said Tara Kelley, 26, smoking a cigarette
outside Hollywood Slots on Main Street. “I think it’s a great sound. Being
here is like being in a different world.” One year after Hollywood Slots
opened on Main Street, and three years after state voters approved slot
machines at the commercial harness-racing track, Maine’s only slots parlor
is thriving. The property, owned by Penn National Gaming, has netted more
revenue ­ $32 million and counting ­ than analysts, state and city officials
expected. The anticipated rise in police and social service demands have not
materialized. And funding from the slots has given Maine’s harness-racing
industry new life. “There really have not been any glitches or drawbacks,”
said Jon Johnson, the general manager who transferred from a casino in
Mississippi. That message of success has a lot riding on it. The political
future of gambling expansion in Maine could very well hinge on Hollywood
Slots, and the permanent facility the Pennsylvania-based company will begin
building next spring. That $90 million project, across the street from the
Bangor Raceway, will be licensed for up to 1,500 slots, three times the
number in the temporary facility operating today.
In 2003, state voters rejected a proposed casino that would have been run by
the Passamaquoddy Tribe and Penobscot Indian Nation in Sanford, but they
authorized “racinos,” or slot machines at harness tracks. Gambling promoters
are circulating petitions for citizen initiatives that allow a tribal-run
racino in Washington County and a casino in Oxford County, while gambling
opponents are trying to ban slot machines in Maine.

To gambling opponents, what Hollywood Slots calls success is just an
illusion.

“They can only win when Mainers lose,” said Doug Muir of Kittery, spokesman
for No Slots For ME, a political action committee behind the drive to ban
slot machines in Maine. “This is a form of gambling that is too addictive,
it’s too risky and it’s too costly,” Muir said.

A number of studies show slots lead to gambling addiction faster than other
forms of gambling, Muir said. Slots are also connected to higher rates of
suicide, crime and other social costs, he said. In terms of the economy,
Muir said gaming takes money from other sectors, creating a net loss of
jobs.
“There is no product made here,” Muir said. “It is just a transfer of money
from citizens’ pockets into their pockets.”

From the outside, Hollywood Slots still looks like the buffet restaurant it
once was.

Then customers walk into the sparkling lobby, replete with four ATM machines
and a security checkpoint. The interior is dressed up with movie
memorabilia. There is the sledgehammer wielded by Kathy Bates in “Misery,”
and the cape Robert DeNiro wore in “Frankenstein.”
Penn National spent $17 million to create two floors of slot machines, a
small restaurant and merchandise shop.
“Our guests are learning which machines they enjoy,” said company
spokeswoman Amy Kenney, during a recent tour.
There is usually a line at the door before it opens at 10 a.m. Next week the
business is changing its hours. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.,
instead of 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.

“We don’t want to have people lining up out there in the winter,” Kenney
said.
On a gray Thursday morning last week, Hollywood Slots was the only busy
place on Main Street. A few hundred cars were parked outside, and by 4 p.m.
the lot was nearly full. Johnson said the average daily attendance is about
2,500, and has topped 5,000. Except for a run of summer tourists, nearly all
of the players are from Maine.

“It’s fun, it’s easy, all you do is push the button,” said Brenda Radley,
24. Instead of coins, the machines pay out paper ticker tape that players
redeem for cash.
Radley and her father drive up once or twice a week from Rockland, about an
hour and a half away. Bill Radley, 63, has gambled in New Jersey,
Connecticut, Nevada and other spots. He would like to see a full casino with
table games in Bangor.

“It’s good entertainment, whether you win or lose,” said Radley, who used to
work in the bottle redemption business.
Father and daughter usually gamble $20 or $40 apiece, and they don’t expect
to walk away as winners. For Brenda Radley, it’s not just about the slots.
“Back when he was doing bottle redemption, working seven days a week, we
never had anytime to spend with him,” she said. “This is time we can spend
together.”
Bill Radley thinks casinos are good for the economy. That’s a familiar
sentiment here, where the past is inescapable. From the Hollywood Slots
parking lot you can see the 31-foot statue of folkloric lumberjack Paul
Bunyan, a tribute to the city’s days as a lumber capital.

“We need something in this state,” Bill Radley said.

Across the street, drinking a beer at Raena’s Pub, Shawn Brad is skeptical.
“If it could stay like this, it’s enjoyable to a certain extent, it’s mostly
old people,” Brad said. “But you know it can’t.”
If the door is opened to full-scale casino gaming, Brad expects drug use,
crime and social deterioration will follow.
Bartender Maria Dorso said she can only judge based on what she has seen so
far: “For the most part they’ve been a really good neighbor.” Police Chief
Don Winslow said the department was called to the property about 75 times
since it opened, mostly to deal with minor accidents in the parking lot, and
the occasional drunken patron.

“I have been in this industry for 30 years, I have never seen the crime and
the problems that people talk about, and I have worked everywhere,” said
Johnson, the general manager.

Johnson said his staff is up front with guests about what they can expect
from the experience at Hollywood Slots. They post information for guests who
feel they might have a gambling problem. The state Gambling Control Board
has created a new counseling service, which should start up next year.
“What I always tell them, we pay back 93 percent of the money wagered, which
means that, yes, there is a portion that we keep,” Johnson said. “Casinos
are not here because everybody wins. This is really entertainment.”

The profile of the average player is a middle- or upper-middle-class woman
who is over 50 years old, Johnson said.
But several players disputed that claim last week.

“A lot of the people who play don’t really have the money to be here,” said
Tara Kelley, a native of Brewer. “They find money wherever they can, and
they stay here as long as they can.”

Net revenues have climbed steadily, from around $2 million last November to
$3.45 million in September.
The money flow works like this: Players have bet about $470 million since
the opening. About $440 million of that has gone back to players. One
percent of the gross, or about $4.7 million so far, has gone to the state
General Fund.

The remaining $26 million or so was net revenue. The company gets 61 percent
of that, and the state disperses 39 percent to various funds. “It is smooth
with a capital ‘S,’” said Robert Welch, executive director of the State
>Gambling Control Board. The agency reviews financial records, and Welch has
conversations almost daily with Johnson and other managers.

“We have inspectors on the floor seven days a week. This really could be a
battle, and it isn’t,” Welch said.
Slots revenues have generated more than $4.5 million directly for the
harness racing industry, along with indirect help.
“The horsemen have been the primary beneficiaries,” said Fred Nichols,
director of racing at Bangor Raceway and Off Track Betting.
For the season that runs through Nov. 5, purses at this raceway totaled $1.2
million, more than double the $524,600 from last year. There were 44 race
dates this year, 28 last year, Nichols said. Average daily attendance was up
slightly.

How long that prosperity will last, though, remains to be seen. There is the
potential for a ballot question seeking a slots ban, and other
uncertainties.
The five-member state Gambling Control Board has issued a nonbinding
moratorium on any new facilities. The ban does not have any practical
effect, but simply represents the majority opinion of the board.

Board Chairman George McHale of Orrington said Hollywood Slots appears to be
running smoothly now, but more time is needed to evaluate the full impact.

Post at 3:52 am UTC by Jerry