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Kentucky citizens have record losses

How much does your state receive from the gross receipts of your state lottery? You can find out by typing in your state name followed by “Lottery Revenue.” Smaller states tend to return lower percentages starting at about 18%. Larger… Read more

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Battle over Chicago casino

Ever since he became mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel has pushed for a big downtown casino, the latest near McCormick Palace, the largest convention facility in the city. Emanuel claims the casino would bring $100 million to the city, $200… Read more

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Current Statistics

I went to the eye surgeon yesterday, and while his assistant was doing the preliminary refraction of my eye so I could get a new lens for my right eye (the one with four surgeries) we fell into conversation about… Read more

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South Dakota Tribal Marijuana Center

The Flambeau tribe in South Dakota thinks it has discovered a new revenue stream as fruitful as its gambling casino. The tribe has legalized marijuana, even though the state has not, raising a new complication between the Interior Department and… Read more

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Crooks with Video Licenses

State regulators blame inadequate staff numbers for the failure to note a felony conviction for one applicant granted a license, two known Mob associates and another applicant’s criminal past. One goal of approving video gambling was to shut down illegal… Read more

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Judge rules on motions in the Kentucky Court Case

The case against Instant Racing is moving along very slowly while the tracks continue to operate the machines and make money. Two tracks currently have them: Kentucky Downs near the border near Nashville, TN and Ellis Park in Henderson on… Read more

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Loveman leaves divided legacy at Caesars

In June Gary Loveman left as chief executive of Caesars Entertainment after 12 years. He left a divided legacy. While revenues increased during the first seven years of his management, they leveled off over the last five and lagged behind… Read more

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Where the candidates stand on predatory gambling

A key question is, “Where do the candidates stand on casinos and internet gambling?” A total of eight candidates have supported casinos in the past: Trump Christie, Chafee, O’Malley, Pataki and Clinton. Rand is a libertarian and believes the government… Read more

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Swindling the poor

Michael Gerson has written a powerful article, which appeared in the Washington Post, about Lotteries, payday lending and payday gambling, all of which swindle the poor. He raises the serious question, “How about a renewed effort to help the poor… Read more

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Fasig Tipton Yearling Sale is up

One of the strange features of the horse racing enterprise is that while betting handle continues to decline and an occasional track closes, the breeding industry continues at a relatively high level. This was demonstrated at the Fasig-Tipton Yearling Sale… Read more

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The tragic tale of Tunica

Twenty-five years ago the casino boom began in Tunica. Mississippi. Just 20 miles south of Memphis Tennessee, it drew customers from the metropolitan area. It climbed to the third largest casino center in the US behind Las Vegas and Atlantic… Read more

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Abandoned children while parents gamble

For over 20 years stories of children left unattended in cars while a parent or guardian gambled in a nearby casino have made the news. As Illinois has invested its hope for more tax money in placing up to five… Read more

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The spread of gambling information

Over the past year ESPN has moved from indirect presentation of gambling information such as “This game is closer than the experts thought,” to direct presentation of the spread. They are using more gambling language that is justified by saying… Read more

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Lotteries and taxes on the poorest fifth

Poor families spend more on the lottery than they pay in any state or federal tax. In 2014 Americans spent $70.1 billion on lotteries, that is $230 for every man, women and child in the nation, $920 for a family… Read more

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Las Vegas is covering up its basic business

Las Vegas casinos are trying to prove they are good corporate citizens, while continuing to prey upon their customers. What is the point? I would believe in the sincerity of their efforts if they removed overspending gamblers from their floor;… Read more

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A question about stolen money

Why is it that casinos get away with keeping stolen money when the criminal patron is discovered? Since most players use a rewards card, and the casinos gather all kinds of information including annual salary, why are not casinos required… Read more

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“We, the Losers,” our update on the national movement to stop predatory gambling is out

To read the update, click on the cover:

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My personal dreams

    I dream of the day when gambling will shrink instead of grow. I dream of the day when state budgets will shrink instead of grow with gambling. I dream of the day when lies and distortions will be… Read more

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A new way to raise political contributions

A few legislators across the country have discovered an effective means of raising campaign donations. What they do is sponsor controversial legislation. While the legislator may lose a few donations, they tend to gain many from the true believers or… Read more

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Gambling Employment Statistics

Someone may be fudging the figures. The American Gaming Association 2013 State of the States claims there are 332,000 gaming employees nationwide with over half of them in Nevada. The U.S. Government Occupational Employment Statistics says there are only 263,500… Read more

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Describes a new way the slot machines works behind the scenes to manipulate you

An interview with Natasha Schull recently appeared in the Christian Science Monitor. In the interview, she revealed the newest form of manipulation by the casinos to get you to gamble more, faster and longer. You would not know that anything… Read more

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The growth of pathological gamblers

How do gambling advocates get away with saying with pride that the percentage of pathological gamblers has remained at 1.5% for decades? It is really quite simple. They may be correct that the percentage of “active” pathological gamblers is from… Read more

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California Revenues from Gambling

California is our third largest state geographically, and the largest in population at 38,332,521. If it were a separate nation it would be the 13th largest economy in the world. California has a lottery, card rooms, race tracks and 58… Read more

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Proposed new casino in New Jersey

  Yet another new casino is proposed for the northeast, this time at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This casino, estimated to cost a billion dollars, could easily become another failure like the Revel in Atlantic City. The… Read more

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Back to Iowa in 2000

Prior to 2003 when I began collecting gambling information online, I used to collect news articles from friends around the country, and file them in photo albums by topic and date. I have a closet lined with shelves for albums…. Read more

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Gambling and Hypnosis

Treatment of “disordered” gamblers does not get enough attention. Since most states have chronic budget problems, many of them have looked at the money for treatment of addicted gamblers and either reduced or eliminated it. Much of the research about… Read more

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The basic dishonesty of “Responsible Gaming”

Casino representatives claim that the casinos “take addiction seriously.” The evidence points in another direction. One bit of evidence is the location of “Responsible Gambling” information on websites. On many casinos websites it is difficult or impossible to find the… Read more

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Why do Business Leaders Support Casino Gambling? (Continued)

Business Losses   As indicated above in the discussion of jobs, surrounding businesses suffer loss of income when casinos absorb huge amounts of cash from the local economy. Gas stations in the immediate area of the casino enjoy a boost,… Read more

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Why do business leaders support casinos?

WHY DO BUSINESS LEADERS SUPPORT CASINOS?   Why have several Chambers of Commerce in Kentucky (e.g., Lexington, Louisville and Northern Kentucky) issued statements of support for the introduction of casinos into the state? This is a mystery in the light… Read more

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Alabama PBS Interviews SPG’s Les Bernal

SPG’s Les Bernal was recently in Montgomery, AL by invitation of the Alabama Citizens Action Program to lobby against a lottery and gambling bill.  Below is an interview with Alabama PBS about predatory gambling and Alabama. Watch it here:  ​http://video.aptv.org/video/2365493405/​

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Is day trading fading

About 15 years ago there was a rising tide of concern over compulsive gamblers getting hooked on day trading of stocks. The fear among those who treated gamblers was that day trading fed the worst kind of addictions, and that… Read more

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Washington Post columnist: “Why you should never, ever play the lottery”

Washington Post columnist Matthew O’Brien explains “why you should never, ever play the lottery.” Yet state governments endlessly encourage citizens to do just that, underscoring why we need national reform on this issue. Read his excellent column here.  

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Convoluted Thinking about Gambling

One of my favorite mathematical exercises is the following: X = 0 X(X-1) = 0 X- 1 = 0 X=1 Therefore, 1= 0 Most of us suspect that the conclusion is wrong. Can you spot the fallacy? While the second… Read more

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Florida Dog Racing

As noted in the past, dog racing is a dying gambling venue. GRA/America disputes this and says it is a growing sport. Grey2K claims it should be dying because it is cruel. I have just spent a month in Florida… Read more

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Keeneland and Red Mile expansion

Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky at one time was associated with elegant gambling in a gorgeous location. Now it is moving toward predatory exploitation. Keeneland is moving its simulcasting facility into a $2 million dollar section of the Red Mile’s… Read more

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Sale of Revel Casino

Want to lose a lot of money? Invest in a casino in the wrong place. The Revel cost $2.4 billion to build, and was the most lavish casino in Atlantic City for its brief two year existence. Several bids for… Read more

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SPG’s Bernal presents to Congress on how state-run gambling contributes to rising unfairness and inequality

SPG’s Bernal presents to Congress on how state-run gambling contributes to rising unfairness and inequality

SPG’s Les Bernal recently presented on the public policy of government-sponsored gambling at a hearing before a congressional subcommittee. He explained why any serious effort to address the rising unfairness and inequality in America must include, as part of its… Read more

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Effects of Gambling Parents

  Gambling treatment specialists have long suspected that having parents who were disordered gamblers increased the probability that the children would have gambling problems. The difficulty has been to figure out whether the connection was genetic, or environmental..   A… Read more

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Man Bites Dog

For the past 23 years I have been writing about the social consequences of expanded gambling. The “fruit” of gambling is very public: jobs and revenue. The pain of gambling caused by the addicted and the problem gamblers is mostly… Read more

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Casinos keep you gambling

It has been reported a hundred times from coast to coast that there are no clocks in casinos. Any visitor to a casino knows that as well, so probably two-thirds of the population knows that. Most also know that the… Read more

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