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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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Casino expansion makes no sense for citizens

Throughout Kentucky’s long and storied history coal was king in Eastern Kentucky. The government aided the industry with the “broad form deed” and liberal mineral rights laws that often destroyed the surface value for the owner to get the coal…. Read more

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On filling out NCAA Brackets

Have you filled out your bracket for who is going to win it all? Kicked in your $2 or $5 at the office? Turns out these three weeks until the national championship game are second only to Super Bowl Sunday… Read more

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Kansas has lost with casinos

Hard times hit Kansas. Government leaders sold their soul to the casino business and lost.   In March 2007 the legislature passed and Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill to approve the first “government owned” casinos in the country. Casino… Read more

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First National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling, Sept. 26 & 27

Bobby Hafemann took his life because he became addicted to electronic gambling machines. Who was the primary sponsor and beneficiary of the machines that led to his death? His own state government.  Bobby’s sister, Ronda Hatefi, has organized an annual… Read more

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Is raising horses an “industry” or a hobby?

The track spokespersons like to talk about the horse “industry.” The business is more appropriately called an agribusiness since the only product is the breeding of horses, about 80% of which are useless and shipped to Canada for dog food,… Read more

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A Law Suit Against the Oregon Lottery

  An increasing number of legal cases are being filed against casinos and lotteries in efforts to make them responsible for the damage they cause, A recent very interesting case has arisen in Portland, OR involving the dishonest presentation of… Read more

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New legislation proposed in Illinois to limit video slots

Three years ago Illinois approved video gambling machines, up to five per site with an alcohol license. There are now thousands around the state and many people are concerned by the proliferation to include garden shops, gas stations, hardware stores,… Read more

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Complicated Legal Situation in Connecticut

Despite the best efforts of state legislative research offices, and legislative staff members, laws are sometimes proposed and even passed which conflict. As society has become ever more complex the complications of conflicting laws increase. Connecticut is giving us one… Read more

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The battle over Instant Racing in Kentucky

Opponents of expanded gambling in Kentucky have been battling Instant Racing (brand name) for over four years. On one side are the opponents including individuals, the Family Foundation of Kentucky and the Kentucky Council on Alcohol and Gambling Problems and… Read more

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Instant Racing is not pari-mutuel

Instant Racing (also called Historical Racing) is a slot-like gambling operation. In states that only allow pari-mutuel gambling the key issue is whether Instant Racing is pari-mutuel. It is not. Pari-mutuel is a type of pooled betting where bets of… Read more

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Revisiting a Maine casino after eight years

Penn National, a major casino corporation, opened Maine’s first slots parlor in connection with a harness racing track in Bangor, Maine in late 2006. Some of the results were summarized by CasinosNo, a Maine grassroots organization that opposed the casino…. Read more

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New Mexico Lottery Scholarships

The New Mexico legislature is considering a bill to allow lottery tickets to be purchased by credit card. Fortunately, it is being opposed by Guy Clark of Stop Predatory Gambling New Mexico. There is so much wrong about this bill… Read more

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30 Reasons to Oppose Gambling Expansion

30 REASONS TO OPPOSE EXPANDED GAMBLING   Reason # 1. If you gamble you lose money.   Reason # 2. Gambling is not recreation. Recreation restores. Gambling depletes energy, resources, and induces guilt.   Reason # 3. Gambling is addictive…. Read more

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Keeneland and Quarter Horses

BLOG NO 24 KEENELAND AND QUARTER HORSES February 19, 2015   Keeneland, Kentucky’s most elegant track, seems to have put its dainty foot in a really big horse pile. The plan was to buy a really decrepit harness track in… Read more

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Confucius and the Lottery

China restricts legal gambling to casinos on Macau and the national lottery. They even restrict the number of trips a gambler can make per year to Macau. But even this limited gambling sagged so the China Lottery in 2010 added… Read more

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A new way to take your money

Yet another devious means of increasing gambling is in the works here in Kentucky. The Lottery has proposed a new game called EquiLottery which although opposed by The Family Foundation, sailed through Committee to the floor of the Senate where… Read more

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Gambling you cannot refuse

Illinois is really struggling. The state is the worst case example of how to maximize the problems that stem from gambling. Illinois, once a wealthy industrial state with a huge farming base as well, has fallen on hard times. It… Read more

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Looking back to issues eight year’s ago

Eight years ago I wrote a blog outlining reasons to oppose casinos. Those reasons are worth revisiting.   1.) Casinos want you to gamble ten times what you lose. That way you are supposed to be happy 90% of the… Read more

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How to kill a casino

For casinos to be profitable they must have a monopoly and their customers must have no protection. So, here are some suggested amendments to any proposed casino bill that will make it less attractive to bring a casino to your… Read more

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Opening horse farms to tours

I have lived in Kentucky for 48 years. I have managed to tour a horse farm twice in that time. The horse farms are not currently open. And who can blame them, for who wants a visitor to accidentally damage… Read more

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Oklahoma Senator wants to end Lottery

A rare event has happened in Oklahoma. A state senator, A.J. Griffin, has suggested shutting down the state lottery. The Oklahoma lottery is one of the smaller ones which produces only $200 million in revenue per year. It costs more… Read more

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Casino cash payments to Native American tribes

The cash from casinos has done some very good things for some Native American tribes. Direct per capita payments may not be one of them. Revenues from casinos go into three main expenditures: direct per capita payments, tribal infrastructure, and… Read more

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Proposal to expand casinos in Illinois

Some Illinois legislators appear to be slow learners. Over the past decade as legislators have expanded gambling to solve budget problems, the state has fallen deeper into deficit spending. The solution: expand gambling some more. With a new Republican governor… Read more

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The role of ATMs in casinos

One of the most honest statements ever made by a casino executive was that the goal of the casino was to get you to “gamble to extinction.” This was expressed by an official if Harrahs (before it was absorbed by… Read more

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More bad news for racing

On the slippery slope to disaster horse racing just cannot seem to find its footing. State governments keep approving additional gaming competition and are gradually killing racing. In December betting on racing was down 9% and for the year it… Read more

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Some Casino Problems

It is not just horse racing that is experiencing some difficulties. Some casinos are also enjoying reduced revenues. When casino revenue declines, employees are always the first to feel the pain. That happened again last week when the Casino Queen… Read more

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More Horse Racing Woes

Misery and woe continue for the horse racing enterprise. On-track gambling is disappearing, with approximately 80% of gambling based on simulcasting. The tracks with high overhead receive a much smaller percentage of the gambling dollar than the low overhead betting… Read more

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State approvals of Instant Racing”

Various websites give conflicting information concerning the status of Historical or “Instant Racing.” The states approving Instant Racing include Arkansas by constitutional amendment, Kentucky by action of the Racing Commission undergoing a constitutional challenge, Oregon in 2006, but later ruled… Read more

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Michigan Horseracing is Dying

In 2000 there were eight horse racing tracks in Michigan. Now there are two. This is the result of a January 7, 2015 announcement that Sports Creek Raceway in Swartz Creek (west of Flint) was closing for good. It had… Read more

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About Gamblers Anonymous

Many people have heard of Alcoholics Anonymous which is a 12 step program to assist people in overcoming alcoholism, With a good dose of will power this program has helped tens of thousands. Gamblers Anonymous is a similar organization for… Read more

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Suppression of free speech

Assaults upon our Constitutional guarantee to free speech have often happened down through our history. Political speakers in the nineteenth century were stoned and rotten tomatoed off the stage.  The FCC has threatened to shut down Christian broadcasters who refused… Read more

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Casinos and Embezzlement

Embezzlement is very interesting because it is among the most frequently mentioned crimes to which pathological gamblers admit, yet the number of arrests and convictions nationwide is quite small.   The question becomes, is there really a connection between embezzlement and… Read more

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The relation of casinos to divorce

Today we return to the abc’s of gambling addiction.  The topic is divorce.  Scholars have established that pathological  (or disordered) gambling results in extreme financial stress on the gambler and his or her family.  Financial stress is one of the… Read more

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Three Locations selected for New York casinos

Churchill Downs, Inc. was one of 16 bidders for four casinos licenses in New York.  They had teamed with Saratoga Raceway, and Casino, a harness track.  Applying for a site in the Albany-Saratoga area.  Churchill envisioned a $300 million investment. … Read more

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The relationship of casinos and crime

The relationship with casinos and crime is evolving.  The baseline is changing and the research is becoming more complicated.  The first point is that crime inside the casino would not exist if the casino were not there.  The extent of… Read more

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The effects of casinos on bankruptcy/foreclosure

Nearly two years ago (January 2013) I wrote a six page paper on the relationship between bankruptcy and gambling.  It was a repeat of the same study I had done in 2007 and 3010.  In those first two studies there… Read more

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