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West Virginia voters went to cast the votes on the expansion of casino gambling to include table games in two different West Virginia counties on June 9. Ohio County, which includes Wheeling, WVA, overwhelmingly approved the expansion while voters of Jefferson County, which includes Charles Town, voted to deny the expansion.

With all 30 counties reporting, voters rejected the table games options for Charles Town Race & Slots 56% to 44%. The defeat means that Pennsylvania-based Penn National Gaming Inc. must wait two years before putting the issue before voters again.

Penn National Executive John Finamore said, “We are obviously disappointed with the results, but we look forward to continuing to work with state, local and community officials in order to find a way to keep Charles Town Races & Slots competitive as gaming continues to expand in nearby states.”

Kevin McCoy, director of the Christian group of West Virginia Family Foundation, was thrilled to hear that Penn National conceded defeat, calling it “excellent news.”

Ohio County’s approval makes West Virgina the 12th state to have full-fledged casino with slots and table games. It becomes the second in the nation behind Iowa, to offer live racing, slots and table games.

Wheeling, a city in the Northern Panhandle has been beset by economic woes including the loss of thousands of jobs in the steel industry in recent years.

Pointing to empty storefronts and nearly deserted streets, Lester Raban said, “Look around, we don’t have anything left. If it is going to bring in 400 jobs I’m all for it.”

Bob Marshall, Wheeling Island’s general manager said, “we are going to be in the business of hiring hundreds and hundreds of employees over the next several weeks.”

Laurin LeTart, a co-chair of the campaign to pass the measure in Jefferson County said, “The defeat is painful for people who had worked hard to solicit support.”

“The real losers tonight are our schools and our county, which would have gained millions in new revenues from table games, not to mention as many as 500 new jobs.”

LeTart is a member of the Jefferson County Schools Education Foundation, which helps raise money for the local schools.

The state of West Virginia has recently changed their gambling laws to allow for more casino gambling. The oversight of this type of activity is extremely important to ensure that all operations are running within the law.

Alcohol is another area that needs heavy regulation. Bars and other destinations that offer liquor can sometimes veer off track creating a need for strict oversight. The governor wants to combine these two duties.

Governor Joe Manchin is proposing a Bill that would place the duties of liquor and gambling regulations in the hands of the newly formed State Gaming and Alcohol Control Commission. The group already exists, but it is currently named the West Virginia Lottery Commission.

What the governor is proposing is eliminating the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, which currently regulates all liquor sold in the state. They would be replaced by the aforementioned new group that would take over the liquor regulation duties.

The new Commission would also take over the duties of the Racing Commission, which is now in charge of regulating all gambling operations. The new agency would be headed by the Lottery Commission director.

The plan is still in its early stages and there are some lawmakers who are not sold on the idea. The opposition believes it would be difficult for one agency to handle both the liquor and gambling regulations.

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July 26, 2006 An interesting study by a Harvard researcher on the Washington state Indian run casinos shows that the their impact on the Washington state economy has increased by 20 times since 1996.

Washington’s “Indian economy,” encompasses everything from tribal casinos to individual businesses, as it employed 30,500 people and generated an estimated $141 million in state and local taxes in 2004, according to a report released Tuesday.

Jonathan Taylor, president of the Taylor Policy Group in Cambridge, Mass., said that while tribal casinos are not taxed, they hire workers and buy supplies, both of which cause money to circulate through the economy and indirectly generate tax dollars.

“The slot machine itself might not be taxable,” Taylor said during the opening session of the Northwest Indian Gaming Conference and Expo. “The casino hires workers, the casino buys carpeting and Coca-Cola. And most of these purchases and wages come from outside the reservation.”

Taylor’s report indicates that casinos generated an estimated $57 million in direct and indirect taxes, namely by creating jobs and buying supplies.

Tribal gambling has exploded across Washington during the past decade. Indian casinos collected an estimated $1.024 billion in gambling revenue last year, according to the Washington State Gambling Commission. Indian gambling brought in a relatively meager $50 million in 1996, which means revenues have increased a staggering twentyfold in only nine years.

All of this research suggests to some outsiders that this may actually be the reasoning that Washington has outlawed online gambling. The idea is that if people are in their houses gambling on the computer, then they are not at the Indian casinos.

It may not have been a conventional online gambling site, but allowed wagering online nonetheless. An appellate court in Washington has ruled that the site did not violate any state gambling laws in their operations. was created for gamblers who wanted to place bets. Instead of betting against the house, however, online bettors were put together with other gamblers and they bet between themselves. There was one key factor that kept the site from being illegal.

“Because customers agreed in advance that participants were not required to pay their losses, was not engaged in ‘gambling,'” the court wrote in its ruling.

The way the site worked was that gamblers did not have to pay their bets. Choosing that option did come with a consequence. The bettors had a rating system similar to the one EBay uses to rate their sellers.

If a player did not pay on one of their bets, their rating went down, and it would be less likely that others around the country would bet with them again. The site was based on trust, but within weeks of being online, authorities from the Washington State Gambling Commission shut it down.

Finally, received their vindication from the court. The legal battle is not yet over. A spokesman for the state gambling commission has already claimed they will appeal the case to the Washington Supreme Court.

The site being shut down in 2007 was just the beginning of the legal troubles for founder Nicholas Jenkins. he was also extradited to Louisiana to face computer gambling charges also involving That case had a similar outcome as the Washington case, being dismissed back in October.

Now Jenkins is exploring the possibility of reviving His lawyers indicated that he is seriously considering whether or not to re-launch the website.

The state of Washington is one of the strictest when it comes to online gambling laws. It is one of the states that holds gamblers responsible for gambling online. If caught, an online gambler faces a felony. Most state4s leave the gamblers alone and go after the site operators.

According to our research department at Casino Gambling Web, MasterCard has spent $880,000 in the first six months of this year to lobby the federal government.

The company lobbied on legislation related to the regulation and enforcement of Internet Gambling and online purchases of prescription drugs, among other areas that might help their bottom line.

MasterCard, through its paid lobbyists have contacted Congress, the Treasury, and the Justice Departments concerning their efforts.

While it is not official what their position is on Internet gambling, certainly they are concerned that any regulations coming from the passage of the UIGEA will put a serious financial burden on them.

Visa USA has in the first six months of this year given $200,000 to one lobbying company for various different legislation, one of which was Internet gambling.

As with MasterCard, Visa stands to make a lot of money if regulations are passed to allow this type of transaction, and lose much if they must disallow it. This loss will come from lost revenue due to not being able to process these types of transactions, and also the projected expense to monitor individual usage by as many as 25 million Americans.

“The cost of enforcement of the UIGEA is going to be very high, not only for these and other financial processing firms, but to the average American and many corporate entities,” said CGW gambling analyst Gordon Price.

The U.S. has lost a case to Antigua & Barbuda, where the WTO cited the UIGEA as protectionist, denying services to foreign companies, while allowing domestic companies to provide similar services.

“Clearly the UIGEA is bad legislation and needs to be undone,” said Price. “Major financial institutions are scrambling for ways to put the onus of enforcing the UIGEA on the government where it belongs, and not on private industry.”

Although credit industries frown on allowing credit cards to be used for gambling, they might just love to offer the use of debit cards. Internet gambling is a large market in the U.S. and currently, users of these services are finding other ways to transfer money to fund their accounts.

Federal authorities have been undergoing a long investigation into illegal gambling that has been going on in North Carolina. They have already arrested over two dozen people in the operation.

That investigation may soon get a boost from some of the people that were involved in the initial arrests. Four men were sentenced for their part in the gambling scheme. The judge, laid out the details of sentences ranging from one year to six years.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Selby Ellis also gave the four men that were sentenced an option. He promised them reduced sentences if they would volunteer information in the ongoing investigation.

Their arrests stem from their ties to Henderson Amusements Inc., the company who was at the center of the illegal gambling operation. The company was said to have been running the operation for seven years. Over $14 million was made in that time.

There was also $114,000 accounted for in bribes that were paid to law enforcement officials. Harold Steve Hartness, Jerry Pennington, and brothers Barron Sloan and James Otis Henderson, were the four men sentenced on Wednesday.

I have seriously damaged this community by undermining its confidence in law enforcement,” said Pennington in court.

Casino Smoking Ban Debate Pushed To Next Week by Iowa House

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A Bill has been proposed that would amend the current smoking laws in Iowa. Casinos and Veterans organization private events are considered the main beneficiaries to the amendment.

In Iowa, they are taking a similar approach to public smoking as many other states, banning the harmful activity inside public areas. There is a fifty foot area outside of public establishments where smoking would be banned.

An amendment to the current Bill on the table, however, would ease that restriction to only ten feet outside the establishments. There is strong support to stop smoking at public places in Iowa.

“It’s not something that’s being done against the will of the majority of the public,” said Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader. He claims that there is evidence that four out of five people in Iowa have shown support of the ban.

The key for the gambling industry comes in the amendment to the Bill. Casinos and Veterans organization functions would be exempt to the new smoking laws. Those establishments would not be required to go smoke free.

The ban is catching the usual opposition from restaurant owners who are worried about the decrease in business that the ban would bring. They hide that fear behind the idea that business owners should have the right to chose whether or not they allow smoking in their establishments.