Thursday, May 9, 2013
Several news sources last week reported that the Govrnor did not want to pursue the Casino Referendum this year as it would coincide with the NYC mayoral Race. The problem would be that NYC is not expected to get a Casino in the current proposal for at least five years and the Mayoral race would bring out City voters, while Upstate voters would be less motivated to come out.
So, apparently, this morning the Governor said he would go forward with seeking the second legislative approval for casinos but also that a referendum could be held this year.
Also interesting, the author states in the article that if the three Indian Tribes reach an agreement with him, then he will not place State casinos in proximity to Indian Casinos, as the Satte has already committed to do by prior Gaming Compacts.
The implied threat is if the Oneida, Mohawk and Seneca Tribes do not reach an agreement with the State, he will drop a Casino in their back (or front) yards and compete with the Tribes toe to toe for gaming dollars.
Oh, and by the way, the Governor is going to establish a independent site selection committee for the upstate casinos. "We do not want a politically determined outcome.", says He.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
GOV. CUOMO IS SLOWING HIS PURSUIT OF LEGALIZED GAMING
The Daily News reported yesterday that the Governor does not want the referendum vote to legalize gambling in New York to have to be held along side the New York City Mayoral election.
“The main election in the state in November is the New York City mayoral election,” Cuomo told reporters in the Capitol’s Red Room Wednesday.
“So you would have the somewhat unusual circumstance of an election to site casinos in upstate New York where the largest turnout is New York City,” Cuomo continued. “New York City has no vested interest because there would be no casinos in New York City.”
Cuomo said the New York City turnout is a “major issue that has come up” and one option is to wait until 2014 when, coincidently he would be running for election.
“That would be another option that I would be open to,” Cuomo said.
There is no talk that I am hearing of how and when the second legislative vote may take place to even get us to the point of a referendum.
THE FEDS RAIDED THE SHINNECOCK GAMING AUTHORITY
As you may or may not recall, the Shinnecock Indian Tribe owns very nice real estate in the Hamptons, but has only recently received federal recognition as an Indian Nation.
So I read today that the FBI, along with the New York State Police, are raiding the Shinnecock Tribe's Gaming Authority Office and the homes of members of the Gaming Authority, grabbing paperwork and perhaps computers.
But the suprising issue is that the Tribe does not even have a Casino yet. Hum? What are they up to?
But, it does not appear, at this point, that Federal Criminal concerns motivated this action, but rather internal Tribal politics. (I have always held that Indian Tribal Politics is a contact sport, like Lacrosse, but not as polite.)
Indian Country Today reports that: The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the Shinnecock Indian Nation reservation early this morning and conducted a search of the tribal Gaming Authority’s offices and the home of a member of the Gaming Authority, tribal members said.
Tribal members who asked not to be identified said the FBI arrived at the Long Island reservation around 6 a.m. and were on site most of the morning. “There are 15-20 FBI agents here and at least six or seven state police cars as well. They are raiding the Gaming Authority trailer and the home of one of the Gaming Authority members. They are up here deep,” a tribal member told Indian Country Today Media Network. The Gaming Authority office contains computers and documents relating to the tribe’s effort to establish a casino in partnership with Michael Malik, a Detroit-based casino developer who is financing the tribe’s efforts to establish a gaming facility.
But, it appears that the complaints giving rise to the action arise from internal tribal leadership disputes (Not to say that those complaints are not true or that nothing illegal took place, just that some Shinnecocks turned on other Shinnecocks)
On March 7, former Shinnecock Trustees Lance Gumbs and Gordell Wright, who were defeated in elections in early April, filed a request with the elected Tribal Council for an investigation into an alleged secret deal that former Trustees Randy King, Fred Bess and Gerrod Smith made with Malik. Gumbs and Wright also filed a similar request March 28 with the National Indian Gaming Commission for an investigation to include the Department of Justice and other federal agencies regarding potential violations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and criminal violations of federal statutes involving a “takeover of tribal government” involving Gateway in an attempt to “defraud” the tribe of gaming and other economic development revenues.
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/05/01/fbi-raids-shinnecock-gaming-authority-ongoing-probe-149140 http://southampton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/fbi-searching-shinnecock-reservation
Monday, September 24, 2012
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Online players rejoice: ‘Poker is not a crime, it is a game of skill’
OK, while this may seem at first blush to be a big thing in New York, in the end, I do not think it will change the gaming landscape. While poker may no longer be gambling in New York under Federal Law, I beleive that poker will remain illegal gambling under the New York State Penal Law.
New York defines a "game of chance" any game "whose outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor....." Penal Law Section 225.00.
But it is a fun ruling anyway.
The decision by Judge Jack Weinstein in Brooklyn was embraced by advocates of card games pushing to legalize Internet poker in the United States. The judge relied extensively on the findings of a defense expert who analyzed online poker games.
The ruling tossed out a jury's July conviction of a man charged with conspiring to operate an illegal underground poker club, a business featuring Texas Hold'em games run in a warehouse where he also sold electric bicycles. There were no allegations in the case that organized crime was involved or that anything such as money laundering or loansharking occurred.
"Because the poker played on the defendant's premises is not predominately a game of chance, it is not gambling" as defined in the federal law, the judge wrote in a lengthy decision that traced the history of poker and federal laws to combat illegal gambling.
Prosecutors did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.
The judge said his findings will not prevent federal law enforcement authorities from curbing the influence of organized crime because poker games operated through the Mafia can be prosecuted through federal racketeering laws. He said it also does not prevent states from banning card games operated as businesses, which many of them have. He mentioned that state courts that have ruled on the issue are divided as to whether poker constitutes a game of skill, a game of chance, or a mixture of the two.
Defense lawyer Kannan Sundaram had asked the judge to reject the jury verdict against Lawrence
Dicristina on the grounds that the law doesn't apply to the case. Sundaram said Tuesday his client was happy with the decision.
In other news, NYRA is tired of having its handle and race attendence placed under the spotlight:
The New York Racing Association has announced that it will no longer release handle and attendance figures at the close of the each racing week following the last race on Saratoga's Monday cards.
In Massachusetts, MGM is going forward with its' proposal for a Casino in Springfield:
Casino giant MGM Resorts International is going to unveil plans Wednesday for a resort casino in Springfield Massachusetts.
At a formal announcement top MGM officials plan to release architectural renderings of what is described as a major entertainment complex and provide site tours. Several city councilors have confirmed MGM’s interest in building a casino in a three block area of the south end of downtown.
Its an area where several buildings were damaged by last year’s tornado. Ameristar casinos has also proposed a project in Springfield, and more are expected according Paula Meara, who chairs the city’s casino site committee.
Also competing for the sole western Massachusetts casino license is Mohegan Sun, which has had a project in development for years in Palmer.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Shock of shocks: the Comptroller has found that the VLTs are not increasing attendance of betting at the Harness Tracks. It has always seemed to me that the purpose of giving the harness tracks the VLT parlors is to provide a subsidy to the equine industry in New York, which not only does not cost the taxpayers anything but also provides significant revenue to the State itself.
Furthermore, New York needed the cover of helping the harness tracks to sell the idea.
As strange as it may sound, twelve years ago the public and the State elected leaders had a hard time envisioning legalized gaming in New York. In order to make it happen, the State needed a cover that the people could accept. There was already betting at the tracks and if we do not let them have it, our horse industry will die. All true. But it also let the camels nose in under the tent and now we are discussing seven full blown casinos in the State of New York.
But I will tell you where this all came from. If the Supreme Court and Congress had not authorized Indian casinos, we would not be having this discussion at all.
I have been fairly certain since 1993, when Turning Stone opened, that it would only be a matter of time before the State authorized casinos. Simply put, the non-Indian community was not going to sit by and allow the Native Americans to have a monopoly on Gaming in the State of New York.
Waiting on NYRA
We are all waiting with baited breath to see who gets appointed to the New NYRA Board. It can't be too political, it can't all be people in the business. It needs new outside people, it needs politicals and it needs equine industry people.
Just so you all know, I have not received a call from the Governor yet.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Cuomo can install a good, coldhearted CEO at NYRA with marching orders to put fans first. (Not a COO. Not a CFO, but an experienced CEO.) Fans want the modern sports model, so the direction is clear.
Where does Cuomo find this individual who is going to change the face of Thoroughbred racing in the media capital of the world?
Once a business plan and preliminary projections are in black and white, I don't think he will have to look very far. You know, if a coldhearted CEO can make it there, they can make it anywhere.
States have a tendency to see Indian gaming enterprises as taking money away from the State and in the best of circumstances as a direct form of revenue generation for the State. This tends to put the Indian nations and the States in an adversarial position. However, the larger picture of the economic contribution must not be dismissed. The message of the California and Oklahoma tribes to their State governments is “Hey, the indirect benefit you will get from us being open way surpasses what you are trying to squeeze out of us directly.”
I am just sayin’.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Worsening relations between the tribe and state was evident in two dueling media events: one called by the head of the state transportation department a few miles outside the tribe's Cattaraugus reservation to deliver the project cancelation threat and one later in the day by Seneca officials to declare the Cuomo administration's actions may be putting motorists at risk.
"We're getting to the breaking point and the state's willing to jeopardize public safety to achieve political purposes," Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Portersaid
The average betting interests per race for the 16 days were 8.5 (1,411 total) compared to 8.6 (1,372 total) in 2011. There have been 73 turf races and 13 races taken off the turf and moved to the main track, compared to 65 on and 12 off in 2011.
Gamblers wagered a record $1.13 billion at the "racino" at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York City last month, the latest evidence that the popular electronic gambling operation is putting a dent in neighboring states' casino revenues.
The Resorts World Casino New York City in Queens reported to state regulators that the amount gambled and the net revenue for July were at an all-time monthly high since its opening in October. The casino — often called a racino because it overlooks the Aqueduct thoroughbred track — has about 5,000 electronic slots and other games.
The New York Post is reporting that the long-awaited report on the 20 racing-related horse deaths that occurred over Aqueduct’s inner dirt track last winter will be released Tuesday, Aug. 21.