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Posted on: February 14, 2021, 01:47h. 
Last updated on: February 14, 2021, 01:47h.
A 33-year-old man has been arrested in connection with last week’s fatal shooting at Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan. It is located near a tribal casino in California.
The insignia for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department shown here. Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man for allegedly murdering a victim at Singing Hills Golf Resort at Sycuan. (Image: San Diego Sheriff)Frank Eldon Billeter of California was charged with first-degree murder in connection with Wednesday’s killing in a room at the California hotel-resort, according to KSWB, a local TV station.He remained in custody over this weekend at the San Diego Central Jail. Billeter was being held without bail, KSWB said.When authorities arrived at the resort, they found Dylan Michael Brooks, 28, in a hotel room. He was wounded.Brooks was transported to a hospital. He died a short time later.Both Brooks and Billeter resided in Lakeside, Calif. That community is about 8 miles from Singing Hills.But it was unclear if the pair knew each other before the shooting. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has not identified a motive in the case.Suspect Was Already in Custody for Earlier ChargesBilleter was in custody on Friday for unrelated charges when the local sheriff’s office determined he was a suspect in the hotel shooting, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper.In the prior case, Billeter faces charges such as child cruelty and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, the newspaper said.Singing Hills Golf Resort is located about four miles from Sycuan Casino Resort. Both are in El Cajon.The casino as well as the golf resort are operated by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.Sycuan tribal police also went to the crime scene to investigate the shooting. They were not available for immediate comment.Initially, local media were told by California officials the shooting took place at the tribal casino.Anyone with information about last week’s shooting can call the San Diego sheriff’s office at 858-285-6330 or 858-565-5200. Or, to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.Earlier Murder Also Took Place Near CasinoLast November, a fatal shooting took place near Sycuan Casino. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Daniel Christopher Allen, 49, shortly after the shooting.He was charged with murder. The case is pending in local court and Allen has pleaded not guilty to the charge.The victim in that shooting, James Owens, 31, was given a ride by a friend after he suffered multiple gunshots. Deputies located the car he was traveling in a short time later. It was near the casino.Deputies gave the victim initial emergency treatment. But the wounded man died by the car, KSND, another local TV station, reported.In another San Diego County casino crime, three people were killed and a fourth wounded during a shooting spree in 2006 near Harrah’s Rincon Casino and Resort. Harrah’s Rincon Casino is approximately 40 miles northeast of downtown San Diego.

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Posted on: February 13, 2021, 01:16h. 
Last updated on: February 13, 2021, 01:16h.
Some 70 people were apprehended this week after a police raid on an alleged illegal gambling joint operating as an “slaphouse” in Anaheim, Calif., according to local news reports.
Anaheim, Calif., police officers prepare to raid an alleged gambling joint shown here. Some 70 people were apprehended. (Image: KCAL)Several gaming machines and firearms were seized from the site on Wednesday, police said. The business allegedly fronted as a furniture store.When police first entered the operation, suspects at the scene broke windows to escape from the store and ran across the street to scatter, KCAL, a local TV station, reported based on a video they viewed.The raid came after police surveilled the furniture store for two months, according to the Orange County Register newspaper.Authorities recently obtained a search warrant. SWAT officers and other personnel then descended on the enterprise.Police told the newspaper they had gotten over 50 recent complaints about the business they searched on Wednesday. It was described by authorities as a “24-hour a day operation every day.”Slaphouse Explained“Slaphouse” is the term used to describe an illegal gambling operation found in a residence or business, KABC, another local TV station, explained in a recent report.The name relates to players “slapping” the controls on some of the games.Slaphouses are often hidden in abandoned businesses or operate using a storefront of a seemingly legitimate enterprise.Often, they are sources of related criminal activity, police have reported.Neighboring Alleged Slaphouse Raided in OctoberDuring an October raid, Anaheim police apprehended about 70 people at an alleged slaphouse located next-door to the one raided on Wednesday. Some 25 of them were later issued citations in 2020, such as for alleged drug violations or gambling charges.Thirteen were booked at the Anaheim Detention Facility for more serious offenses, including warrants, parole/probation violations, and gambling violations, Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer told Casino.org back in October. Their cases were forwarded to local courts.That storefront was vacant but formerly was a hydroponics business, police added. Police seized over two dozen video gaming machines and electronic gambling tables in October. Currency was also seized from that alleged gambling joint.Carringer noted that three handguns were found at the suspected gambling site, as well as a “variety of drugs and drug paraphernalia.”Officers used flashbangs to initially startle the crowd. The business was described in October by KCAL as a “shuttered storefront for an out-of-business hydroponics shop.”In January 2020, the Long Beach Post, another California newspaper, reported that several illegal gambling operations were appearing in the Long Beach region over 12 months. They were found in a vacant dollar store in Zaferia and an old thrift shop in North Long Beach, the report added.Between July 2019 and January 2020, local police closed eight different alleged illegal gaming sites, the Post said. Visitors were apprehended.Elsewhere, in Texas last month two police raids in Hood County led authorities to seize 88 illegal eight-liner gaming machines, according to KXAS, a Fort Worth TV station.

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Posted on: February 11, 2021, 01:52h. 
Last updated on: February 11, 2021, 01:52h.
A man from New Hampshire has been arrested and charged for trying to sell methamphetamine inside the Encore Boston Harbor casino resort in Everett, Ma.
A table game dealer at Encore Boston Harbor is ready to deal behind a plexiglass barrier. Police in Massachusetts say a man from New Hampshire tried to sell illegal drugs on the casino floor. (Image: Boston Herald)The Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that Matthew Gorman, 32, has been indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury. The New Hampshire man was indicted on five counts related to possession of a large capacity firearm, two counts of possession of a loaded firearm, and one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Class B Substance.  Healey’s office says an investigation conducted by the Massachusetts State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit led to Gorman’s arrest, which occurred back in September. Law enforcement says Gorman was trying to sell meth on the casino floor.When he was arrested, police found two semi-automatic pistols and three large capacity magazines in his possession.Massachusetts’ three casinos — Encore Boston, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park — were permitted to reopen in July following state-ordered shutdowns that began in March. They’ve been required to operate at 25 percent of their fire code capacity since December.Massachusetts Casinos Have Strong Police PresenceWhen Massachusetts legalized three commercial casino resorts, plus a slots-only facility, in 2011, the law mandated that each gaming property be closely monitored by the Attorney General’s Gaming Enforcement Division (GED).The GED ensures proper investigation and prosecution of illegal gaming related activity in Massachusetts,” the attorney general’s office explains. “GED enforces all aspects of the Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 through extensive community relations with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Massachusetts State Police, and local police departments and federal law enforcement agencies.”Last March, Encore Boston requested assistance from GED to help apprehend an unruly person in the casino’s poker room. The man, Brandon Wangnoon, 25, of Brockton, became physically aggressive and led to two state officers sustaining injuries. One police officer suffered a concussion, and another back injuries. Both troopers have since recovered.Wynn Resorts, parent company to Encore Boston, says the casino is largely free of violence. The casino operator says more than 10,000 people typically visit the casino daily, and there are dozens of security an GED personnel on site around the clock.Severe Penalties PossibleGorman is facing many years behind bars, and large fines.The Commonwealth of Massachusetts says any person who knowingly or intentionally distributes a Class B controlled substance faces up to 10 years in prison, and a fine up to $10,000. The penalty for someone found guilty of being in possession of a large capacity firearm is subjected to a minimum prison term of five years.Gorman will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date.

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เผยแพร่: 11 กุมภาพันธ์ 2021 03:22 น Last updated: 11 ก.พ. 2564, 03:22 น. ฟิลิปคอนเนลเลอร์อ่านเพิ่มเติมรินคอนแบนด์อินเดียนแดงลูเซโญไม่อาจแทรกแซงคดีของรัฐบาลกลางที่ยื่นโดยอดีตผู้จัดการทั่วไปของ Harrah Resort ในแคลิฟอร์เนียตอนใต้ผู้พิพากษาของรัฐบาลกลางได้ตัดสิน อดีต GM SoCal Darrell Pliant ของ Harrah (ในภาพ) ได้ฟ้องนายจ้างเก่าของเขาเกี่ยวกับการตัดสินใจเปิดใหม่ในเดือนพฤษภาคม (LinkedIn) SoCal for Rincon ของ Harrah ได้รับการจัดการโดย Caesars Enterprise Services (CES) ซึ่งเป็นหน่วยงานหนึ่งของ Caesars Entertainment ในเดือนกันยายนปีที่แล้ว Darrell Pilant อดีตรองประธานอาวุโสของคาสิโนฟ้อง CES เพื่อขอให้เลิกจ้างอย่างสร้างสรรค์ Pilant ลาออกหลังจากลงทะเบียนเพื่อคัดค้านแผนการเปิดคาสิโนอีกครั้งในเดือนพฤษภาคมปีที่แล้วเนื่องจากมีความเสี่ยงต่อความปลอดภัยของ โคโรนาไวรัส. Pilant ทำงานให้กับ Caesars Entertainment มานานกว่า 22 ปี เขาอ้างว่าเขา“ ถูกบังคับให้ลาออกเพราะ [Defendants] ยังคงยืนยันที่จะเปิดอีกครั้ง [Resort] แม้จะมีความเสี่ยงด้านสุขภาพและความปลอดภัย “การเลิกจ้างแบบสร้างสรรค์เกิดขึ้นเมื่อพนักงานออกจากงานเนื่องจากพฤติกรรมที่ไม่สมเหตุสมผลหรือเป็นศัตรูกับพนักงานของเขาการมีภูมิคุ้มกันอธิปไตยการตัดสินใจเปิดใหม่มีขึ้นแม้จะมีจดหมายจากผู้ว่าการรัฐแคลิฟอร์เนียกาวินนิวซัมรินคอนและผู้ดำเนินการชนเผ่าในซานดิเอโกอีก 2 คนขอให้พวกเขา พิจารณาแผนการของพวกเขาอีกครั้งผู้ว่าการประชาธิปไตยเตือนชนเผ่าว่า“ การถ่ายโอน COVID-19 ยังคงเป็นภัยคุกคามร้ายแรงต่อชาวแคลิฟอร์เนียทุกคน” เนื่องจาก Rincon เป็นชนเผ่าที่มีอำนาจอธิปไตยและคาสิโนตั้งอยู่บนดินแดนที่เป็นอธิปไตยของเขารัฐจึงไม่สามารถบังคับคาสิโนได้ ยังคงปิดอยู่เดิมที Pilant ฟ้อง Caesarse ที่ Supreme San Diego County, California แต่ยักษ์ใหญ่คาสิโนได้ยื่นขอโอนคดีไปยังศาลแขวงสหรัฐในแคลิฟอร์เนียตอนใต้และซีซาร์โต้แย้งว่าคดีนี้ไม่สามารถรับฟังได้ในศาลของรัฐเนื่องจาก การตัดสินใจเปิดอีกครั้งเป็นการตัดสินใจของชนเผ่า บริษัท Reno แห่งเนวาดากล่าวว่าสิ่งนี้ทำให้ชนเผ่าไม่สามารถถูกแทนที่ได้ในรูป พวกเขาเรียนรู้และชนเผ่าไม่สามารถฟ้องร้องในศาลของรัฐได้ พวกซีซาร์รู้ดีว่ามันจะยากกว่าที่ปิลันท์จะฟ้องผู้ดำเนินการและคนในเผ่าด้วยกันเพราะในแง่หนึ่งเผ่าไม่ใช่นายจ้างของเขาและประการที่สองการฟ้อง บริษัท นั้นง่ายกว่าการฟ้องรัฐบาลอธิปไตย เมื่อคดีถูกย้ายไปที่ศาลรัฐบาลกลางทนายความของ Caesars พยายามที่จะยกฟ้องในทันทีโดยมีเหตุผลว่าศาลแคลิฟอร์เนียไม่มีเขตอำนาจศาลส่วนตัวเนื่องจากคาสิโนยักษ์ใหญ่มีสำนักงานใหญ่อยู่นอกรัฐ ‘ความไม่ลงรอยกันในแนวชายแดน’ และในขณะที่ Cathy Ann Bencivengo ผู้พิพากษาประจำเขตของสหรัฐฯตกลงที่จะถอนฟ้อง Caesars Entertainment โดยอาศัยเหตุนี้เธอก็ปฏิเสธที่จะยกเลิกข้อเรียกร้องต่อ CES นับตั้งแต่ CES ดำเนินการ SoCal ของ Harrah ในรัฐคำขอดังกล่าวก็“ ไร้พรมแดน” เธอกล่าว เมื่อวันจันทร์ที่ผ่านมาเธอปฏิเสธข้อเสนอของ Rincon ที่จะเข้าแทรกแซงในฐานะฝ่ายที่จำเป็นเพื่อขอเลิกจ้างโดยกล่าวว่าชนเผ่านี้ไม่มี “การคุ้มครอง” ของ “ผลประโยชน์” ในกรณีนี้ชนเผ่าอ้างว่าตนมีความสนใจในการบังคับใช้กฎหมายของแคลิฟอร์เนียในการปกครองดินแดนของตน เสริมว่ากรณีนี้ไม่สามารถนำไปสู่ความเป็นธรรมได้หากไม่มีการเหยียบย่ำอำนาจอธิปไตยของวงรินคอน “ ผู้พิพากษาไม่เห็นด้วยโดยโต้แย้งว่า“ ไม่มีการตัดสินใจในกรณีนี้ที่จะเปลี่ยนแปลงลดหรือลบสิทธิ์ใด ๆ ที่วง Rincon มีอยู่ในปัจจุบันเกี่ยวกับการจัดการกิจกรรมบนที่ดินของตน” แม้จะพยายามอย่างเต็มที่ของ Caesars และ Rincon แต่กรณีนี้ ยังคงดำเนินต่อไป

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Posted on: February 8, 2021, 12:15h. 
Last updated on: February 8, 2021, 12:39h.
Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland will likely not get grilled about gaming law during upcoming Senate confirmation hearings, legal analysts predict. But they add that President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Justice (DOJ) overall is a bit of an unknown quantity when it comes to commercial and tribal gaming cases.
Merrick Garland, center, is shown with then-Vice President Joe Biden after the judge was nominated for a Supreme Court vacancy in 2016. His nomination was never voted upon by the Senate and now he has been nominated for Attorney General by President Biden. (Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)For several years, Garland sat on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and earlier worked at the DOJ, often on high-profile cases. But his votes and rulings do not reveal much about gambling issues.“Judge Garland was involved in many cases that involved casino companies, but none that dealt with the federal issues surrounding federal gambling laws,” Anthony Cabot, UNLV Boyd School of Law’s Distinguished Fellow of Gaming Law, told Casino.org about Garland’s tenure.“The cases mainly focused on matters concerning the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the interaction between casino companies and their employees,” Cabot explained. “… Judge Garland most often sided with employees against the casinos.”But the decisions do not reveal any insights on gaming or sports betting issues, and these topics are likely not to be addressed by Senators in hearings, Cabot said.Robert Jarvis, a professor at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law, basically agreed.“I would be surprised if Garland was asked about gambling at his confirmation,” Jarvis said.  “Of course, Senators sometimes ask unexpected questions, so gambling is not entirely off the table.”“But I would rate the chances of a gambling question as very, very small,” Jarvis told Casino.org.One possible question could relate to how Garland was on the panel of DC Circuit judges which decided in the 2007 San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino vs. NLRB. The judges ruled in favor of the NLRB. But his answer about the case may not reveal much.“I think his willingness to join the decision, which was unanimous, really doesn’t tell us anything about his views on gambling, because that case, while it involved an Indian casino, really focused on its workers, who primarily were non-Indian,” Jarvis said.In two other labor law cases, both of which involved non-Indian casinos, he also ruled for the NLRB, Jarvis added. These were: Bally’s Park Place vs. NLRB, and Ark Las Vegas Restaurant Corp. vs. NLRB. Both dealt with union organizing.Prep for Wire Act, Online Gambling Questions, Jarvis SaysStill, it is possible a gambling topic could be brought up in the hearings. “If I was prepping him, I would tell him to be ready to discuss two gambling subjects…,” Jarvis said.One is the Wire Act/New Hampshire Lottery case that was recently decided by the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The second topic is enforcement of online gambling rules and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.Many legal observers believe the controversy over the Wire Act is now generally closed. Last month, the First Circuit ruled in favor of the New Hampshire Lottery in a case involving the Wire Act. The DOJ tried to get the Wire Act expanded basically to all forms of betting.Questions on still other gaming topics are unlikely.“I don’t see him being asked about sports betting — it’s been nearly three years since the US Supreme Court decided Murphy vs. National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the subject now is really a state law issue,” Jarvis said.  “And I don’t see him being asked about Indian gambling. That’s just not high on any Senator’s list of priorities at the moment.”Garland: Largely Unknown to Indian CountryAs far as tribal casinos, Gary Pitchlynn, who practices tribal-related gaming law in Oklahoma and also teaches at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, told Casino.org “there is a general tribal sense” that Biden wants to “uphold treaties and defend tribal sovereignty.“His chosen Attorney General will follow his lead and not become just another Indian fighter,” Pitchlynn added. But still much is undiscovered about Garland in this area.“In large part, I would say he is somewhat of an unknown to Indian country,” Pitchlynn said.

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Posted on: February 6, 2021, 11:30h. 
Last updated on: February 7, 2021, 01:56h.

Steve Bittenbender

Read MoreA Churchill Downs Inc. subsidiary filed a lawsuit in federal court this past week against horse owners in California in an attempt to keep them from taking the Louisville, Ky.-based company to arbitration over commissions the company’s online wagering service takes from bets made in the state.
Hit the Road races to victory is Saturday’s Grade III Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita Park in Acadia, Calif. The track has boosted purses this year due to an agreement between owners, tracks and online wagering platforms. Last week, Churchill Downs sued the Thoroughbred Owners of California because it claims the organization is trying to force it to take reduced fees and give more money to owners. (Image: Santa Anita Park)Last Tuesday, Churchill Downs Technology Initiatives filed the lawsuit in the California Central District US District Court. In the filing, it said it reached an agreement with Santa Anita Park to establish a fee rate it would collect for wagers placed this year by California bettors through either TwinSpires or BetAmerica, its two online wagering platforms.The amounts Churchill Downs will receive were redacted throughout the document. However, they are below 6.5 percent of the total handle, according to the lawsuit. The Thoroughbred Owners of California were not a party to those negotiations. However, Churchill Downs claims the horsemen want the company to get only 4.1 percent of the money wagered.Under California law, online wagering platforms must submit copies of their in-state agreements with the TOC.Churchill Claims “Shakedown” from OwnersAccording to the lawsuit, Churchill Downs claims the owners want it to “voluntarily return” more than $1.2 million it received last year. In addition, on Jan. 13, TOC formally requested arbitration and started a 60-day window. The complaint calls that process “unconscionable” and one that undermines the company’s ability to utilize the court system.Churchill Downs called the TOC’s actions a “shakedown” and said it threatens the future of the TwinSpires and BetAmerica platforms within the state. The company said the owners are giving them three options, none of which are good – accept the lower rate, terminate the Santa Anita deal, or take arbitration.“In other words, Churchill Downs Technology has to abandon the millions of dollars it invested in its business in California and the rights it has under contract, or it has to proceed to a standard-less but binding arbitration,” the complaint states. “This violates the Due Process Clauses of the United States and California Constitutions.”Online Betting Grew Due to COVIDIn a letter Wednesday alerting members to the lawsuit, the organization said the law it’s invoking to seek arbitration is not new. It’s been on the books for more than two decades, the group said. It also stated the law allows both the tracks and horsemen to seek arbitration to set the fee.The TOC said it’s pursuing the action because the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 kept fans away from the tracks. Horsemen receive a larger share of the money bet at racetracks and off-track betting parlors. According to information from the organization, 9.5 percent of the money bet at the track goes toward purses. At OTBs, it’s 6.8 percent. For online betting, 5.4 percent goes toward the purses.Betting on thoroughbred racing throughout the United States almost exclusively takes place through pari-mutuel wagering. That means money from bettors is pooled and distributed, after the track takes out money, among the winning bettors. The TOC’s charts indicate about a 20 percent takeout, and that’s based on 2015 racing data.Elsewhere in the US, takeout is slightly less, usually between 15 to 18 percent. Money for the tracks and horsemen come from that. Horsemen and tracks generally receive a smaller share from online wagering.ADW wagering in California increased by over 40% year over year statewide in 2020 while purse generation from live tracks and OTBs dropped substantially due to COVID-19 closures and restrictions,” the letter stated.It also claimed Churchill’s platforms received more than $7 million in fees from bets placed in California.TVG, Stronach Platforms Pitch In to Boost PursesThe lawsuit comes on the heels of a “purse enhancement program” the TOC created along with Santa Anita, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, The Stronach Group, and FanDuel’s TVG. As part of the program, the TVG and Stronach online betting platforms agreed to put up to $15 million toward purses for the 2021 and 2022 racing seasons.TwinSpires has been the nation’s largest online wagering platform for racing for years. It seemed like a curious exclusion at the time of the announcemen. With the filing of the lawsuit, its absence from the program now makes sense.In court documents, Churchill Downs said TOC CEO Greg Avioli asked all online platforms to agree to a 3 percent commission rate for the 21 and 22 campaigns.“Indeed, at such a rate, Churchill Downs Technology would be operating at a significant loss, and it would make little sense to do business in California or with California residents,” the lawsuit states.Santa Anita will use the program to increase its average daily purse by 10 percent to $533,000. Del Mar officials expect their daily purses to exceed $600,000 this year, according to the TOC. The TOC and track officials expect those increases to make the southern California meets more competitive with other racing markets that rely on casino or historical horse racing to bolster their purses.

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Posted on: February 6, 2021, 09:37h. 
Last updated on: February 6, 2021, 09:37h.

Steve Bittenbender

Read MoreOne day after the Illinois Gaming Board gave preliminary approval for a Hard Rock Casino to be built in Rockford, Gov. JB Pritzker (D) offered his congratulations to the city and the backers of the proposed $310 million development.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (right) talks with staffers at a vaccination clinic in a Rockford high school on Friday. At a press conference at the site, Pritzker congratulated the city on getting preliminary approval for a casino from the Illinois Gaming Board. (Image: GovPritzker/Twitter)While in the northern Illinois community for a COVID vaccine press conference Friday, Pritzker acknowledged the work Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara (D) did behind the scenes, especially in the past year. The governor said he’s talked with the mayor numerous times over the course of the year, and Pritzker said that during every conversation the topic’s been discussed.There couldn’t be a better time to spur new jobs and economic development for this region as well as for the state of Illinois,” the governor said.The IGB’s action means that construction will be able to start on the project. However, city leaders weren’t exactly sure when that work would start.Rockford is the first community to get preliminary approval for a standalone casino license that was created as part of the 2019 expanded gaming law. Other casinos are slated for downtown Chicago, Danville, Chicago’s south suburbs, and Williamson County.Work is underway on adding casinos to two racetracks in the state.Investigation Leads to Questions, But No Evidence So FarThe IGB gave its approval even though a key investor in the project has another company that’s currently being investigated by the agency.Dan Fischer is the managing partner for 815 Entertainment. He also happens to own a chain of gaming cafes. That company remains under investigation after questions were raised about its acquisition of another chain’s properties. Under terms of the agreement, Fischer paid $2 million while a gaming terminal vendor paid $44 million.Illinois state law prohibits gaming machine vendors from also owning establishments that host them.A Fischer spokesperson told the Chicago Tribune that the Rockford team looks forward to meeting with IGB staff to answer “any questions” as the project continues through the approval process.Stakeholders presented their casino plans to the board at a Jan. 27 meeting. On Thursday morning, IGB board members met in closed session to discuss the project. They then reconvened that afternoon for a brief session to unanimously give its initial approval. There was no discussion about the investigation in open session.Board Chairman Charles Schmadeke said he had some questions about relationships but noted there was no evidence.Senator Expects Final Approval for Casino “Shortly”Pritzker isn’t the only official excited about seeing the casino project move forward in the second-largest city in Illinois. McNamara thanked the governor and the local delegation representing Rockford in the state legislature for their work.State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) said it’s taken 20 years to get a casino for Rockford. He thanked McNamara, city staff, Fischer, and Hard Rock International for their work. He added that some criticized the plan for the city to pick an applicant and present that to the IGB. However, those communities that have offered state regulators multiple proposals are still waiting to get heard.“While today’s action is not final approval, it does allow Hard Rock to move forward with and for us to get the temporary casino up and running,” said Sen. Syverson, a co-sponsor of the expanded gaming bill. “I am confident because of the great work done at the front end of this process, the final approval will come shortly. This is a huge win for Rockford and the region.”Developers will build the casino at the city’s former Clock Tower Resort, just off Interstates 39 and 90. It will employ up to 1,000 people. It will also provide up to 1,200 construction jobs leading up to the venue’s grand opening.Once open, the facility will contain a 65,000-square-foot casino as well as a 1,600-seat auditorium.

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Posted on: February 5, 2021, 02:00h. 
Last updated on: February 5, 2021, 02:00h.

Philip Conneller

Read MoreSan Jose-based card room Casino M8trix is suing the city in a bid to have a ballot measure that was overwhelmingly approved by residents declared invalid, The Mercury News reports.
What is the M8trix? It’s a card room in San Jose, Neo. And it wants more table games. (Image: Casino M8trix)In November, 73 percent of San Jose voters approved Measure H, which proposed hiking taxes on the city’s two card rooms, Casino M8trix and Bay 101, in return for allowing them to increase their table-game capacity. Casino M8trix wanted to increase its current quota from 49 tables to 64.It was a win-win situation for the city and the card rooms, until the state intervened and made it win-lose.$1 Million Tax Headache Two weeks before the election, California’s Bureau of Gambling Control wrote to city officials informing them it would be illegal for the card rooms to add more tables. Under the California Gambling Control Act, a city is prohibited from increasing a card room’s quota of tables by one quarter or more than it had been on January 1, 1996.The city and the state are currently in disagreement about how many tables were in play in 1996.Meanwhile, Casino M8trix wants to ensure that it does not become the collateral damage and is taking pre-emptive measures.A lawsuit filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court seeks to have the Measure H invalidated unless the tables are part of the deal. Otherwise, the card room could be on the hook for an extra $1 million annually with nothing to show for it.Tables TurnThe lawsuit argued there is “no evidence” that voters would have approved the tax hike – from 15 percent of gross gaming revenues to 16.5 percent – had it not been tied to the increase in tables. “The unlawful provisions of Measure H are not severable from the lawful provisions,” the lawsuit states. “… the evidence of voter intent indicates that it was approved as a full and comprehensive amendment to the city’s gaming ordinance.”Measure H was expected to generate $15 million for the city annually to fund emergency services, street repair, and to address homelessness.San Jose city attorney Nora Frimann told The Mercury News that she believes Casino M8trix can have the additional tables, despite the state’s contrary position. She declined to comment further, other than to say the state was working to make it happen.Casino M8trix has filed an application with the California Gambling Control Commission for the extra tables, which is pending.  The card room’s lawyers said it had filed the lawsuit as a “preventative measure.”

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Posted on: February 5, 2021, 12:59h. 
Last updated on: February 5, 2021, 12:59h.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) probably will conform to last month’s appeals court decision on the Wire Act with only a little additional comment or measures, according to prominent gaming attorneys.
Attorney James Trusty pictured in a 2018 Fox News interview. A former high-ranking Justice Department lawyer, Trusty, who now practices in Washington, DC, says federal prosecutors basically should not pursue gambling cases if states permit the activity. The comments come after an appeals court ruling on the Wire Act. (Image: Fox News)On Jan. 20, First Circuit judges in Boston sided with the state of New Hampshire, and rejected the DOJ’s 2018 Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) controversial opinion on the scope of the federal law.The DOJ recently argued the Wire Act applied to all wagers and betting, not just sports bets. The opinion threatened to end online sports betting — and most other forms of internet gambling involving multiple states.When asked about the recent ruling on New Hampshire Lottery Commission vs. Rosen, James Trusty, a former chief of the DOJ’s Organized Crime Section who now practices at Washington, DC-based Ifrah Law, explained it “completely negates the [DOJ’s] midnight memo trotted out in early 2019.“It would be wise [for the DOJ] to simply withdraw the 2018 memo and return to the status quo from the last 10 years — simply to be totally clear on the department’s position.… It would be surprising and shortsighted for DOJ to suggest that they would have different rules in the other circuits while abandoning the poorly-reasoned 2018 memo,” Trusty told Casino.org.Federal 2018 Opinion ‘Purchased’ by Sheldon AdelsonRobert Jarvis, a professor at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law, further told Casino.org, that President Joe Biden will not have the DOJ file an appeal to the Supreme Court in the New Hampshire case.“Everyone knows that the 2018 OLC opinion was purchased by Sheldon Adelson and that its construction of the Wire Act made no sense,” Jarvis said. “This puts the case in a unique posture — normally, DOJ is defending a law passed by Congress. But here, it was defending its own handiwork, which it never believed in.”Still, it remains possible that the DOJ will feel the need for some closure, says Jarvis, who is the co-author of Gaming Law and Gambling Law: Cases, Materials, and Problems (forthcoming Second Edition).“If so, I would expect it to issue a one-page memorandum simply saying that it is reinstating the 2011 OLC opinion, which parallels the First Circuit’s decision,” Jarvis said.“With Trump out of office and [Sheldon] Adelson dead, there’s no longer any political reason for folks like [Republican South Carolina Sen.] Lindsey Graham to push for an amendment/expansion of the Wire Act,” Jarvis said. Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO who was also a strong opponent of online gaming, was a supporter of Trump and other Republicans.In addition, A.G. Burnett, a former chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board who now is a partner at Nevada’s McDonald Carano law firm, predicts there will not be prosecutions in the First Circuit’s jurisdiction based on the 2018 OLC opinion.“It also seems likely there will be none elsewhere. This is because other circuit courts would likely give great deference to a sister court and not necessarily a DOJ opinion that was controversial when issued,” he told Casino.org.“I think a formal revision of the 2018 memo by the DOJ to go back to the 2011 interpretation and move in line with the First Circuit’s guidance would be a nice end point, but ultimately may not be necessary,” Burnett adds.DOJ May Quietly Abandon Wire Act LitigationAlso, Kate C. Lowenhar-Fisher, a Las Vegas-based attorney and chair of the gaming and hospitality practice group at Dickinson Wright, similarly said “I suspect the Biden DOJ will quietly abandon the case and withdraw the 2018 OLC memorandum.“That would be much less murky than publishing some kind of no enforcement memorandum like President Obama did in connection with cannabis,” Lowenhar-Fisher told Casino.org.“The status quo post-2011 would be restored, and perhaps we could put an end to legislating gambling via memoranda.”Feds Should Not Pursue Gaming Cases if States Permit ActivityOverall, James Trusty suggests the “easiest fix” from the DOJ’s perspective, “is simply to clarify that federal prosecutors generally will not pursue gambling charges — Wire Act or other statutes — when the activity is licensed under state law.”With the recent Wire Act appeals ruling in place, the DOJ is also “free to pursue off-shore sportsbooks operating illegally in the US, as well as any other criminal conduct that might be connected to otherwise lawful gaming, such as money laundering or organized criminal activity,” explained Trusty, who was presented the US Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in 2011.“This would take the emphasis on gambling prosecutions back to where it has always been intended to be — a tool to use against organized criminal activity, not a threat against today’s regulated, popular betting across the country,” Trusty said.

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Posted on: February 4, 2021, 03:30h. 
Last updated on: February 4, 2021, 03:42h.
The Arkansas Supreme Court is supposed to provide impartial resolutions to legal disputes. But the state’s highest court this week only added more legal complexity to an already complicated case involving a casino license in Pope County.
The Arkansas Supreme Court, seen here in a recent gathering of the justices, has weighed in on the casino license earmarked for Pope County. The high court’s ruling, however, will only complicate matters more. (Image: Arkansas Supreme Court)In a unanimous decision issued today, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the Cherokee Nation Businesses (CNB) had the right to intervene involving a lawsuit brought by the Gulfside Casino Partnership against the Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC) last year.Arkansas voters in 2018 voted to allow four land-based commercial casinos in the state. The ballot referendum authorized Southland and Oaklawn racinos to pivot into full-sale casinos with slot machines and table games. Two from-the-ground-up casinos were also approved, one each in Jefferson and Pope counties.The Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma and its Downstream Development Authority moved quickly after winning approval in Jefferson and receiving its license from ARC. The tribe opened the Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff last October.Pope Casino License Back in JeopardyUnder the 2018 constitutional amendment passed by voters, project proposals to county governments must include support from local officials, including a county judge. The Gulfside Casino Partnership’s casino bid in Pope County included the support of Pope County Judge Jim Ed Gibson.However, Gibson exited the position at the start of 2019, and his successor, Judge Ben Cross, favored a casino submission from CNB. After the Racing Commission deemed Gulfside’s bid invalid because of not having a current county judge’s support, Arkansas Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox ruled in Gulfside’s favor on grounds that the 2018 ballot referendum said nothing about the judge needing to be sitting on the current county bench.Fox also prevented the Cherokees from intervening in the case. And the Arkansas Supreme Court said that was wrong.The seemingly minute ruling this week has big consequences. The high court’s decision reopens the matter to new legal challenges. CNB attorneys have already stated publicly their plan to appeal the Racing Commission’s decision last week to formally approve the Gulfside casino plan.Legal NightmarePope County’s eventual casino will open many years after Jefferson’s. The saga began when ARC Commissioner Bruce Rice was deemed to have had a bias in scoring the two casino presentations. Rice gave Gulfside a perfect 100 points, while only 29 for the Cherokee scheme.Rice’s 71-point differential single-handedly tipped the overall results in Gulfside’s favor. ARC decided to recuse Rice from the licensing and deemed his scores invalid.Lawyers, including Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office, stepped in. ARC Chair Alex Lieblong’s text messages with CNB attorney Dustin McDaniel later resulted in Lieblong excusing himself from the matter, too.ARC, with an independent third-party counsel, decided last week to proceed with Gulfside. But the Arkansas Supreme Court’s ruling gives additional legal groundway for CNB attorneys to halt Gulfside from breaking ground.The case continues.

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