Gambling revenue in Pennsylvania hits record high – TribLIVE

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Gambling revenue in Pennsylvania hits record high - TribLIVE

How Britain got the gambling bug – The Guardian

The gambling industry has exploded over the past decade and now takes 14.4bn from UK punters every year equal to more than 200 from every man, woman and child in the UK with the online sector growing particularly fast.

The sectors major firms have been transformed into some of the most recognisable brands in the country and gambling is a vast business, despite mounting concern among politicians and campaigners, which has shown it is willing to fight hard to preserve its revenues.

The gambling boom was kicked off when Tony Blairs Labour government passed the Gambling Act 2005, dramatically liberalising the laws governing betting. The late Tessa Jowell, who pioneered the legislation, later described this as one of her biggest regrets.

Some betting bosses have made vast fortunes. The Bet365 boss Denise Coates has received more than half a billion pounds in salary and dividends in the past two years. The Betfred bosses Fred and Peter Done have a combined fortune of more than 1.25bn.

High street bookies 100-a-spin fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) became known as the crack cocaine of gambling. They were linked to high rates of addiction and ruinous losses but produced massive profits. When the government limited their numbers to four per shop, the bookies opened more shops. Last year, after a long-running campaign, the government reduced the maximum stake to 2.

Some bookmakers sought to bypass the FOBT crackdown by quickly inventing new games that mimicked FOBTs while technically complying with the rules. They withdrew the games under pressure from the Gambling Commission after the Guardian exposed the practice.

Deregulation also led to a sharp increase in the number of gambling adverts. In 2013 the broadcast regulator Ofcom found the number of ads on TV had increased by 600% in six years. The sectors annual spend on advertising reached 1.5bn by 2017.

Many adverts were attached to live football broadcasts. Mounting public concern about the impact on children prompted the industry to impose a voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on betting ads from 2019. However, some have since shifted to social media marketing instead.

Football remains the betting industrys cash cow. Of the top 40 clubs in English football, 25 have a gambling sponsor. There have also been controversial bespoke deals, including Wayne Rooney and Derby Countys tie-up with the online casino 32Red.

Shirt sponsorships and TV ads aside, football fans still see betting logos wherever they look. An episode of Match of the Day can feature more gambling logos than a Sky broadcast because of visible branding on pitch-side hoardings and elsewhere. Concern has been expressed about gambling branding in the childrens section of football programmes.

A recent tie-up that resulted in seven gambling firms buying exclusive rights to show FA Cup games free to customers with an active betting account prompted outrage and a swift climbdown from the industry and the Football Association.

The growth of the gambling industry has been accompanied by a wave of transgressions that has led to firms being sanctioned by the regulator. Firms to face punishment include Betfred, PaddyPower, Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill, SkyBet, 888, 32Red and LeoVegas, to name but a few.

In some cases, problem gamblers have been given hush money to sign a non-disclosure agreement that prevents them taking their case about a specific companys failings any further. The Gambling Commission has since clamped down on this.

Some techniques are still permitted but are increasingly seen as questionable. Earlier this year the Guardian revealed details of the industrys use of so-called VIP schemes offering free bets and free tickets to big sporting events to heavy gamblers implicated in multiple cases where problem gambling had spiralled out of control. The commission is reviewing the schemes and could ban them.

Earlier this month the commission announced plans to stop gamblers from using credit cards to bet in the light of cases where addicts used multiple cards to rack up huge debts.

The industry contends that the rate of problem gambling has remained relatively stable at 0.7% of the population, despite deregulation. However, that is equal to 340,000 people and hospital admissions related to the addiction are rising.

Recent studies have suggested a rise in the number of child problem gamblers to 50,000.

Free help and advice about problem gambling is available online at BeGambleAware.org or by calling the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133

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How Britain got the gambling bug - The Guardian

Springfield casino rethinks its business plan as gambling revenue lags – The Boston Globe

On Wednesday, the entertainment complex posted its worst monthly gaming numbers yet just under $19 million in revenue an unneeded reminder that the nearly $1 billion development in Western Massachusetts has fallen below expectations since it opened in August 2018.

Yet when Jim Murren, the chief executive of MGM Resorts International, flies in from Las Vegas to greet Red Sox owners and players in Springfield on Friday, he will bring a plan to change up the business mix at the companys first bricks-and-mortar operation in New England.

What will draw more customers, Murren said and ultimately lead them to spend more time and money on the slot machines and the gaming tables at MGM Springfield are more events like Winter Weekend: more concerts and more comedy acts to a venue thats competing with two well-established tribal casinos not far away in Connecticut.

Expanding MGM Springfields association with sports will also help.

Legalizing sports betting in Massachusetts should lift the casinos fortunes, Murren said, as will maximizing its business partnership with the Red Sox and expanding and establishing relationships with the Patriots at Gillette Stadium and at TD Garden, home to the Bruins and Celtics.

MGM Resorts International is a global company that had $3.3 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter. The corporate mother ship can weather a sluggish start in Springfield, but Murren said its going to take time.

We know that we need to drive a more consistent entertainment calendar in order to gain more consistent growth in gaming revenue, Murren said earlier this week. Weve been around for a long time as a company. Some of these properties ramp up really super quickly, like our MGM National Harbor [near Washington, D.C.], one that we opened a few years ago. Some of them take longer, like this one, but were in it for the long game.

MGM Resorts, the largest employer in Nevada, also owns well-known Las Vegas properties: the Mirage, Bellagio, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay.

In Las Vegas, MGM gets 70 percent of its revenue from non-gaming activity, Murren said. He hopes MGM can market the Springfield casino much as it does its Vegas properties: first and foremost as a night out or a trip for entertainment.

I think its a matter of marketing, what we actually provide at MGM from a holistic entertainment experience, Murren said. When we have a concert, like an Aerosmith concert or Cher concert or several of the big tent-pole events we have, we have tremendous gaming numbers during those times.

But when we have a lighter entertainment calendar, we have underperformed on the gaming side. Our non-gaming business has been quite strong our hotel business, our food and beverage business have been above plan, the entertainment has been pretty much on track.

From the start, Murren said, the emphasis in Springfield was to make it a destination beyond gambling, with theaters, bowling alleys and even the Kringle Candle Emporium giving families options apart from the casino floor.

The non-gaming elements of it dont generally get that type of investment in most of these types of casinos, but weve learned over time that it provides a much more stable revenue platform, and theres an awful lot of synergy between these several different businesses, he said.

Space is reserved at MGM Springfield for a sports betting operation in hopes it will be legalized in Massachusetts.

The rollout of sports betting around the US is occurring, albeit at a slower pace than anyone predicted, and Massachusetts is a case in point where were hopeful that good legislation moves forward, but it hasnt happened yet in the timeframe that people predicted, say, three years ago, Murren said.

MGM has gaming partnerships with all the major sports leagues except the biggest of them all, the NFL. The company wants to replicate the type of one-on-one relationship it has with the Red Sox with other sports teams. Murren is from Fairfield, Conn., grew up as a Yankees fan, and played baseball at Trinity College. But he said he converted to cheering for the Red Sox in 2013, after hearing David Ortizs impassioned speech at Fenway Park after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Winter Weekend is just the latest example of the MGM-Red Sox union. The event this weekend will feature a town-hall-style meeting and presentation with Red Sox owners and executives, panel discussions, and opportunities for fans to get autographs and photos of Red Sox players.

The companys partnership also includes the MGM Resorts logo adorning the Green Monster, while the team has begun construction on the MGM Music Hall next to Fenway Park, scheduled to open next year.

MGM Resorts has a sponsorship and hospitality deal with the Patriots that includes signage at Gillette Stadium. Murren said he and Jonthan Kraft, the son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, speak frequently. Murren still sounds wowed from a visit to Patriots camp last summer that included a photo with Tom Brady, and he suggested that MGM is pursuing other business ideas with the team, as well.

Delaware North, owner of the Bruins and TD Garden, operates casinos and resorts in other states. Murren said he had had a couple of nice meetings with the Delaware North folks, another possible route to increase MGMs brand awareness around New England.

Said Murren: We believe that anything we can do to weave together sports and live entertainment throughout Massachusetts not just Eastern or Western Massachusetts, but throughout the whole region can be of great benefit to us because were creating more reasons for people to be part of the MGM ecosystem.

Michael Silverman can be reached at michael.silverman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeSilvermanBB.

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Springfield casino rethinks its business plan as gambling revenue lags - The Boston Globe

Las Vegas: The golf game that will have you ready to go all-in – Golf.com

As even the lowest-stakes players know, a good golf game (like a week in Vegas) can only leave you feeling one of two ways: on top of the world or at the bottom of the barrel.

Given that, its only fair that a golf game named Las Vegas would reflect the very best (and worst) of the gambling experience. Heres how to play just dont blame us if you find yourself living in a scene from The Hangover, while your playing partners are singing ZZ Top.

The Rules

1) Pick your teams

Las Vegas is a great game for players who love working alongside a partner. The game is played in a two-player format, but make sure you choose wisely. More than many other team games, Las Vegas relies upon strong, consistent play from both players. Its highly recommended that you only participate in this game if youre in a foursome of balanced golf ability.

2) Set your wager

Typically, players will wager $1 per point, but depending on the health of your bank account, you can probably choose anywhere from $.01 to $2 per point without needing an advance on next months rent when you leave the course.

3) Throw out traditional math

Las Vegas is played in a two-team format, but unlike traditional team games, where scores are added together (a player making a four and another making a five would equal a nine), scores in Vegas are paired. This means that if one player makes a four and their partner makes a five, the two players would pair their score for 45 points.

4) Find the difference

Heres where the financial aspect of the game kicks in. Money is decided by subtracting the higher and lower paired scores. For example, if you and your partner each shoot fours for a 44, while the opposing team both shoot sixes for a 66, you and your partner would win 22 points (and if youre playing for $1 per point, would claim a clean $22 for the hole).

5) Take the lower score

To properly record scores (and prevent the game from forcing you to take a second mortgage on your house), start with the lower of the two scores from the hole. An exception to this rule comes when someone on either team scores a 10 or higher, at which point, the higher score comes first (a 115 isnt ideal, but its a heck of a lot better than a 511).

6) Flipping the bird

The only other exception to the lower score first rule in Las Vegas comes by flipping the bird. But dont worry, you wont be spewing profanity towards your opponents (on second thought, you might be doing that, but it isnt part of the games rules). Flipping the bird comes when one team sinks a birdie, allowing them to flip the score of their opponent so the higher number comes first. So, if you drain a birdie while your opponents combine for a 48, you can flip the bird at them, making their score for the hole an 84.

Las Vegas (as the name suggests) is a high-stakes, high-intensity game for golfers playing in foursomes of similar ability. If you love competition and are willing to bet it all on yourself and your teammate (or are looking to add some spice to an otherwise dull round), take a trip to Las Vegas and see if good fortunes follow.

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Las Vegas: The golf game that will have you ready to go all-in - Golf.com

Online gambling to boost GVC’s profit as tougher rules loom – Reuters

(Reuters) - Ladbrokes-owner GVC (GVC.L) said on Friday annual core earnings would be at the top end of its forecast, as stronger demand for online gambling buffers a hit from a bruising regulatory clampdown on slot machines in Britain.

The company, whose brands also include Coral, bwin and Foxy Bingo, said total annual group net gaming revenue rose 2%.

However, its UK retail like-for-like sales fell 11% in the last quarter of the year, as Britain cut the maximum stake allowed on high-speed slot machines - dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling by critics - to 2 pounds ($2.62) from 100 pounds.

Less than a year after Britain slashed the maximum stake that can be placed on popular fixed-odds betting terminals, GVC said this month that it would ban the countrys 24 million gamblers from using credit cards to bet online or offline to rack up debt, the latest move by the government to tackle problem gambling.

Britain has a thriving gambling industry. It employs more than 100,000 people and made 14.4 billion pounds ($18.84 billion) after paying out winnings in the 2018-2019 financial year.

But the government has sought to tighten rules in recent years, bringing in stricter age and identity checks for online gambling and expanding support for those who become addicted.

Foreign markets have been a boon for companies like GVC, as more U.S. states allow legal online betting and other countries offer softer rules on gambling than in Britain.

The company, founded in 2004, in October raised its annual core earnings forecast for the second time in three months as its U.S. joint venture cashed in on a booming online sports betting market in the country.

It said then that it expects full-year core earnings in the range of 670 million pounds to 680 million pounds.

Isle of Man-based GVC, which has a joint-venture with U.S. hotel and casino operator MGM Resorts International (MGM.N), said the business made good progress in the quarter.

Reporting by Indranil Sarkar and Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Bernard Orr

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Online gambling to boost GVC's profit as tougher rules loom - Reuters

Help ID gambling gas station robber who stole scratch tickets, possibly connected to nearby homeless camp – Q13 News Seattle

WANTED IN LACEY Time to help Lacey Police identify a gambling gas station robber who stole cash and scratch tickets from the Shell station on Martin Way E. on December 31st.

He came in there with a mask on his face, a backpack in his hand, gloves on his hands. Went to the cashier and told them to give him their money and some lottery tickets, said Lacey Police Det. Jon Mason. The investigation, so far, shows it may be someone whos associated with a homeless encampment in the area. We want to catch this guy really bad. We dont have any information on who he is, so if anybody can help us identify this subject, wed love to get him in custody.

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Detectives think the homeless encampment the suspect may be connected to is behind The Marq on Martin apartments.

If you know who the suspect is, use the P3 Tips App on your smart phone to submit the information to Crime Stoppers, or call the hot line at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477). It's anonymous and you'll get a cash reward if your tip helps lead to his arrest.

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Help ID gambling gas station robber who stole scratch tickets, possibly connected to nearby homeless camp - Q13 News Seattle

What (else) happens in Vegas? There’s more than gambling for adventurous tourists in ‘Sin City’ – Journal Inquirer

LAS VEGAS What kind of weirdo would come to this city and not gamble? No poker, no slots, no craps, no roulette, no sports betting, not even baccarat: not a penny spent on the fickle whims of Fortune.

Presumably youre familiar with the world-famous charms of this sprawling city in western Nevada: the show business, the glitz, the $7.99 buffets, the ease of access to every single vice known to human civilization.

Above all, the gambling, or gaming, as the industry prefers: an entire urban economy rooted in games of chance that, almost by definition, favor the house at the expense of the gambler.

As someone who doesnt gamble or drink, and who regards lavish stage productions with the kind of low-intensity dread young children feel before visiting a particularly dull grandparent, it would seem that Las Vegas had little to offer.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Because, in this desert of 24-hour casinos built to look like famous structures in Europe and pedestrian-hostile thoroughfares, there are plenty of oases of quirky interest that can satisfy even the most discerning seeker of offbeat fun.

Perhaps the most impressive and informative of these sites currently sits about a mile and a half east of the famed Strip, with its garish hotel casinos and packs of wandering showgirls drumming up business for their employers. The National Atomic Testing Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is a jaw-dropping collection of artifacts and displays related to nuclear weapons, which grimly seems more relevant than ever.

Arguably as important to the development of Las Vegas as gambling, the Nevada Proving Grounds, about 65 miles north of the city, was the main U.S. test site for nuclear weapons for four decades starting in 1951. Nearly 1,000 nuclear bombs have been detonated here, with most of the explosions occurring underground, although many of the iconic images of mushroom clouds soaring from desert flats were from tests conducted here in the 1950s.

At the time the atomic testing began, Las Vegas was a sleepy gambling town with a population of around 40,000. The test site brought a massive influx of federal employees and contractors more than 100,000 at its height plus families moving into the area.

The tests also brought tourists: casinos with north-facing views held rooftop bomb parties, and beauty pageants were organized to crown Miss Atomic Bomb, invariably pictured wearing a bathing suit designed to look like a mushroom cloud. By the early 1970s, when the citys population had more than quadrupled since 1951, casino magnate and mob boss Benny Binion proclaimed, The best thing to happen to Vegas was the atomic bomb.

This odd local pride in the most destructive weaponry ever devised by humans is on full display at the museum, which houses some 3,500 artifacts and 16,000 photographs related to the nearby atomic testing. You can see just about everything here, from literal nuclear weapons to pop culture ephemera produced during the atom craze of the 1950s if youve ever eaten a spicy Atomic Fireball candy, youve got Vegas bomb test site to thank.

Exhibits range from a model bomb shelter designed for a family of four, bringing new meaning to the term nuclear family, to the multimedia experience of the Ground Zero Theatre, where sounds and vibrating seats replicate the experience of watching an above-ground nuclear test. The museum isnt above whimsy, either, with smaller displays devoted to Atomic Age science fiction, and the fevered speculation about space aliens being housed at Nevadas Area 51 military site.

There are also displays with slightly less prominent positioning that detail the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, sober reminders that for all the campy Cold War enthusiasm, the purpose of these weapons was to kill as many human beings as possible.

If all that seems a little grim for a vacation, the Neon Museum, about 5 miles north of the Strip, should provide a whimsical alternative. A repository for abandoned casino and hotel signs spanning the citys history, the 2.25-acre campus has about 200 examples of the garish, distinctly American pieces of advertising. Youll want to visit after dark, when the Neon Boneyard is lit up, creating an eerie effect as you wander among the glitzy detritus of past decades.

Finally, if you absolutely insist on having a gambling-related experience, head to the Flamingo Hotel and casino in the heart of the Strip. Follow the signs for the Flamingo Habitat, and soon enough youll encounter an outdoor preserve where a flock of slightly sad-looking Chilean flamingos strut around for the cameras of tourists. If you walk the winding path through the preserve, eventually youll find one of the oddest memorials in any American city: a commemorative plaque dedicated to Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, the gangster and mass murderer who oversaw construction of the original Flamingo in 1946.

Siegel, who was himself murdered by erstwhile chums less than a year later, seems like an odd candidate for a sincere memorial, but what else do you expect from Las Vegas? At least he never got his hands on an atomic bomb.

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What (else) happens in Vegas? There's more than gambling for adventurous tourists in 'Sin City' - Journal Inquirer

NFL playoffs gambling guide: Locks, props, trends, what to avoid and more for the conference championships – CBS Sports

Now that all the dust has settled, we finally have our NFL final four. The Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs battle it out this Sunday afternoon to decide who will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, while the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers play Sunday night for the last spot in the Super Bowl.

Both home teams are favored this week, and the spreads of both of these matchups have been hovering out seven to 7.5 points. Below, we will analyze which bets I'm high on, which bets you should avoid and then some long shots I'm interested in.

Let's jump in now. All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Henry rushed for 182 yards against the New England Patriots in the wild-card round and 195 yards against the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round. Both of those defenses are two of the best in the NFL, and I have no reason to believe that Henry will not be able to replicate his success on the ground against Kansas City. When the Titans played the Chiefs in Week 10, Henry rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Take the over here.

Rodgers has thrown for over 240 yards six times this season. He only threw for 104 yards against the 49ers in Week 12, but if this game goes how many think it will go, the Packers will need to be throwing the ball a lot. Rodgers also has a personal vendetta against the 49ers for passing over him in the 2005 NFL Draft, and there is no better way to get some revenge than by preventing the 49ers from reaching the Super Bowl with a big performance. Whether the Packers win or lose this game, I think Rodgers will pass for at least 240 yards.

The Chiefs appear to be the best team remaining in the playoffs and are on a seven-game win streak, but they are running into a team of destiny. There aren't many people who expected the Titans to be in this situation -- one game away from the Super Bowl. Hardly anyone expected them to beat the Patriots and then the No. 1 seed Ravens, both on the road. I'm going to take the Titans to win this game, and if they don't, I think they can cover 7.5 points.

Wondering which teams will wind up in Super Bowl LIV? Pete Prisco and R.J. White join Will Brinson with their picks, gambling advice and more on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.

There is a lot of money coming in on the Packers and 49ers to score more than 45 collective points, but I think there's a possibility that will not happen. It's interesting that 45 points is the exact point total both teams scored in Week 12, when the 49ers blew out the Packers, 37-8. This game could end up being a defensive showdown. Both teams have incredible pass rushers who can get to the quarterback in a hurry, and both have been spotty when it comes to putting up big points. Even if the 49ers blow out the Packers again, I think it won't be as bad as Green Bay's Week 12 showing.

I was surprised to see that Hill's under for receptions was favored by that much. The last time Hill played the Titans, he set a new career-high in receptions with 11 for 157 yards and a touchdown. He only caught three passes last week against the Houston Texans, but I think Andy Reid will try to get his star wideout going with a Super Bowl appearance on the line.

I'm going to have to explain this Packers' moneyline pick, because I also have it ranked fairly high when it comes to ranking moneyline value. I like that people are ready to throw it all on the moneyline for the Packers, but don't throw all your eggs in one basket. I say this because I think there's a better possibility of the 49ers winning this game but not covering the spread than the Packers winning straight up.

Jones has scored two more more touchdowns in seven games this season, including last week against the Seattle Seahawks. I think there's a good chance it happens again this Sunday against a 49ers defense that ranks just 22nd in preventing TDs in the red zone.

Williams scored the first touchdown for the Chiefs last week, and it was just the first of three he would score against the Texans. There's no way the Chiefs start off as slow as they did last week, and I think they strike first -- and strike first with Williams.

If the Titans beat the Chiefs, then the game is going to go how Tennessee wants it to go. That means that Henry is going to have another magnificent game and the Titans are going to control time of possession. If the Titans win, then I don't see the over hitting.

1. As my colleague R.J. white points out -- though there hasn't been a clear ATS advantage for the home team (better seed) in the conference title games over the last decade, we should note that over the last 20 years, there have been 13 conference title matchups with a spread of seven points or greater. The underdog went 10-3 ATS in that stretch, most recently with the Jacksonville Jaguars covering in Foxborough two years ago. That makes it pretty difficult to lay the points in both matchups this week; I'd say at best you should think about taking either one or both 'dogs.

2. My good friend John Breech -- who was the only media member in the country who went 4-0 on his straight-up picks last week -- brought up this nugget in his picks piece: The good news for the Titans (and the 49ers) is that over past three years, teams that played on Saturday in the divisional round have gone 5-1 in the championship round. That's not a recent trend, either: Saturday teams have also gone 15-5 in the championship round over the past 10 years. Apparently, one extra day of rest can go a long way in the NFL.

I think it's very possible both underdogs could flat out win on Sunday. I even threw a little money on a parlay that includes Titans and Packers moneyline. Everyone is very high on the 49ers because they crushed the Packers in the regular season, but I'm just not convinced. Rodgers has won a Super Bowl while Jimmy Garoppolo is making his second ever postseason start.

Advantage teaser players are going to make the obvious play here and drop the favorites down through the key numbers of 7 and 3. But I would abandon that strategy this week, as I believe we're going to see at least one upset on Sunday. To me, the safer play is teasing the 'dogs both up to around two touchdowns, as I don't see either of these matchups being a blowout by the home team.

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NFL playoffs gambling guide: Locks, props, trends, what to avoid and more for the conference championships - CBS Sports

New legislative push seeks to legalize sports gambling in Washington – Seattle Times

A company owning nearly half Washingtons card-room casinos threw its support Friday behind a new legislative push to legalize sports gambling throughout the state both in land-based and mobile form.

Maverick Gaming LLC had been a driving force behind this weeks introduction of HB-2478 and companion SB-6277, which seek to legalize widespread sports betting through licensed card rooms, racetracks and tribal casinos for pro sports everywhere and college sports outside Washington. The bills are sponsored by Rep. Brandon Vick (R-Vancouver) and Sens. Ann Rivers (R-La Center) and Curtis King (R-Yakima).

Weve done our best to be as inclusive and build as broad a base of support as possible for legislation we think can be successful, said Eric Persson, a Hoquiam native and CEO and co-founder of Nevada-based Maverick, which in the past year has acquired 19 of the states 44 card rooms and is in the process of purchasing five more. Were looking forward to partnering with the Native American tribes in the state to bring a service to the Washingtonian public that theres clearly a demand for.

A competing effort at legalizing sports gambling launched last year and initially sponsored by a current NHL Seattle director has been focused on limiting the activity to Native American tribal venues.

And that renders unlikely any immediate partnering between the two camps, given the potential money at stake in a state with some of the nations toughest anti-gambling laws and where sports betting anywhere is outlawed. Any casinos here beyond tribal lands are limited to card rooms also called mini casinos where poker, blackjack and other card games can be played against the house but not individuals and where slot machines, video lottery terminals and video pull tabs are prohibited.

Persson acknowledged although hes had initial dialogue with some tribal groups, nothing much has come of it.

While there have been conversations, I wouldnt say that theyve progressed, he said. I wouldnt even say that theyve been incredibly productive.

States nationwide have looked at legalizing various forms of sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 quashed a federal law banning such activity since 1992. The striking down of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act left it up to individual states to legalize sports betting, and 13 of them now allow it.

The sports-gambling bill previously introduced a year ago in the state legislature, HB-1975, says limiting such activity within tribal facilities already accustomed to gaming is the best way to regulate the practice and prevent abuses.

HB-1975 was sponsored by Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-Seattle), who in October became an NHL Seattle community ambassador and director of suites services.

NHL Seattle has said it isnt yet planning for legalized sports wagering once it launches play next year, despite partnering last October on a sponsorship deal with the Muckleshoot Casino. Pettigrew since that time has withdrawn as the primary HB-1975 sponsor, given his involvement with the team.

If that bill eventually passes in lieu of the new effort, Muckleshoot and other tribes would gain exclusive domain over sports betting, something Maverick CEO Persson argues would deprive Washington of up to $50 million in annual tax proceeds off such gambling statewide. Persson added only legalized, strictly regulated sports gaming can protect Washingtonians from fraud and other issues that arise when they illegally place sports bets through offshore entities.

The likelihood of either competing bill becoming law this legislative session seems remote given the shortened schedule due to it being an election year. Vick said Friday his newly sponsored HB-2478 will at least help lawmakers consider all possible options beyond tribal casinos.

Weve never had what I would really consider a rather robust discussion, he said.

Rivers echoed her companion SB-6277 effort signifies the start of a very full and robust conversation and likely wont come to a vote before next year.

There are so many people to talk to and so many things to consider, she said.

One hot topic will be mobile gambling, the fastest-growing sector within sports betting and comprising about 80% of it given the easy access that doesnt require being in a physical location. Sports-gaming efforts in some states have been slowed by concerns such online betting makes it easier for minors to become gambling addicts.

Internet gambling of any kind is outlawed in Washington as a Class C felony.

Persson said regulating online betting here by allowing qualified and vetted individuals licensed by the state to control sports-gaming servers would discourage Washingtonians from betting offshore where they have no protection.

He hopes all sides eventually find common ground.

I believe ultimately that well all work together, he said. Because well all benefit from this.

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New legislative push seeks to legalize sports gambling in Washington - Seattle Times

Gamblers bet $1.5 billion on sports in Pennsylvania last year – TribDem.com

HARRISBURG Gamblers placed almost $1.5 billion in wagers and generated $30 million in revenue for the state in the first full year of legalized sports gambling.

In December alone, gamblers wagered more than $342 million on sports bets in Pennsylvania, according to the Gaming Control Board.

The key reason for the Pennsylvanias year-end momentum is its growing roster of online sportsbooks, which combined to produce almost 87 percent of the states total December handle the amount wagered by gamblers, said Dustin Gouker, an analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com, a web site tracking the gambling industry.

That last two months of 2019 began to show us the real potential of the Pennsylvania market, Gouker said. Now that the online market is maturing, it is entirely possible that 2020 could bring in $4 billion or more in online and retail bets."

Pennsylvania will finish 2019 a distant third in total handle among all legal sports betting jurisdictions. New Jersey, the countrys No. 2, attracted $4.6 billion in bets in 2019. But Pennsylvanias haul in state taxes was more comparable to New Jersey, which generated revenue of $36.5 million. Nevada is still the top state for sports wagering revenue.

Pennsylvania is beginning to succeed where it wanted to most: making sports betting a significant revenue driver for the state, Gouker said. Its tax rate is significantly higher than every other state, which has slowed the industrys growth. But Pennsylvania is the most populous state to fully legalize sports betting, and that has proven to be too enticing for operators to ignore.

The Department of Revenue projected that sports wagering would generate $35.5 million in 2019-2020, said Jeffrey Johnson, a spokesman for the department. The state fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30, rather than by the calendar year.

Sports wagering provided almost $21 million in state tax in the first six months of this fiscal year, he said.

The tax revenue from sports wagering, while still significantly more than the state had been getting earlier in the year, actually dropped in December, compared to November, as gamblers took home more in winnings, leaving casinos with less profit for the state to tax, Gaming Control Board data shows.

Decembers bets produced $17.5 million in revenue down from Novembers $20.6 million win. The states take in tax was $3.9 million in December, double what the state got in sports wagering tax in August, but still less than the $5 million in tax generated by sports betting in November.

Sports wagering winning and losing is going to be very volatile, said Doug Harbach, a spokesman for the Gaming Control Board.

Gouker called the problem as double-edged sword for states because when gamblers win more, theres less casino revenue to tax. But if gamblers dont win often enough, theres the chance that they will become less likely to continue placing sports wagers.

Richard Auxier, a researcher whos studied sports wagering for the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center in Washington, D.C.,said that when the public was first presented with the idea that sports wagering was going to be legalized, there was a lot of confusion about how much revenue would be generated.

Much of that confusion arose because people were fixated on how much people projected gamblers would wager.

Some of the exuberance might be chalked up to a misunderstanding of what is being taxed. In a widely cited number, the pro-gambling American Sports Betting Coalition estimated Americans illegally wager $150 billion a year on sports. But even if that number were correct and all of Americas illegal betting became legal and taxed, it would not produce much tax revenue, because only a fraction of it would be taxed, he said.

Thirteen states including neighboring states, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia have sports betting. Close to half the states either have legal sports wagering or there is legislation moving to allow sports wagering, Auxier said.

This isnt just states having dreams of big revenue scores. They know better, he said.

Where theres resistance, its not primarily driven by other factors than concern that the tax revenue from sports wagering hasnt been as impressive as people expected, he said.

In some states, tribal communities have lobbied against state-run sports wagering.

An Associated Press investigation found that tribes helped derail legalization efforts in Arizona, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington, he said. Lobbying from tribal communities stopped sports betting legislation from being introduced in California, Florida, and Oklahoma, he said.

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Gamblers bet $1.5 billion on sports in Pennsylvania last year - TribDem.com

Lottery Sales Sink As Other Gambling Options Take Off – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) Something troubling is brewing at the Illinois Lottery.

And its leading to millions of dollars missing for the state.

As sports wagering emerges in Indiana and online gambling expands in Illinois, the outfit that gets us to scratch and win may be scratching their heads.

CBS 2s Chris Tye has the story youll see only on CBS 2.

If you believe lotteries sell hope, business is spotty.

CBS 2 dug in and found out that in in the last six months of 2018, the lottery pumped 344 million dollars into the state school fund.

In the last six months of 2019, it fell to 280 million. An 18% drop totaling 64 million fewer dollars.

I think the progress report has come in with these numbers, said David Greising of the Better Government Association said the progress report is for Camelot, the private company hired to run Illinois lottery for 26 million dollars a year.

Whose general manager 18 months ago predicted to Crains Chicago a 3.5% sales increase.

These numbers are new, but these problems at the Illinois lottery are not new, said Greising.

Lottery officials claimed a late year infusion of revenue wasnt included in the state report. It wouldve cut the 64 million dollar dip by more than half.

And a record breaking Mega Millions in 2018 artificially boosted that years numbers.

And some are forecasting it could get worse before it gets better. Illinoisans use discretionary dollars to spend on the lottery, and as we all know, a big new lane of discretionary spending emerged in Illinois.

I have this kind of fun money. The choice is do people want to get high or do I want to gamble? When economic times get tight they probably cant do both, Greising said.

Illinois has surgically focused on casinos and marijuana lately, but it may just be the 46-year-old Illinois Lottery in need of a check-up.

If as some think a recession will hit in late 2020, those numbers will really start to go down, noted Greising.

CBS 2 asked the lottery and the private company now managing the lottery to go on camera Tuesday. Both declined the request.

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Lottery Sales Sink As Other Gambling Options Take Off - CBS Chicago

Illegal Immigrants Are Gambling on Trump Losing Election So They Can Cross Border – PJ Media

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the illegal immigrants who are being stopped in Mexico and prevented from reaching the U.S. border are hoping for President Trumps defeat in the 2020 election. According to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies, these immigrants are choosing to stay where they are in the hopes a Democrat will defeat Trump in the election and open up the borders again.

Katherine Cabrera, a Honduran who traveled through Mexico with her newborn baby, cant get to the border because Mexican troop deployments are preventing them and thousands of others from being able to complete their journey across the border into the United States. Rather than return to Honduras, she plans to wait it out in Tijuana, gambling her fate on the election. "I want Trump out!" she said. "I'll wait for that because it would make things easier to get in."

In this calculus and in their perhaps surprising savvy about national American politics and timing, Cabrera has plenty of company all over Tapachula, where thousands like her have been forced to pool up for long asylum process waits or returns home, writes Todd Bensman, the Senior National Security Fellow at CIS. Dozens of politically woke migrants, like Honduran Wilson Valladaras, recently told CIS their decisions to stay in Mexico were predicated on the Trump-defeat gamble.

Valladaras said he would wait for his Mexican asylum approval, move to Tijuana until Trump leaves, and then cross over the U.S. border when the Democrats undo his policies because right now, the Americans will throw you back to Mexico, Bensman continued.

Trump threatened Mexico with sanctions if they didnt do more to stop the flow of illegal immigrants through their country and into the United States. In response to the sanctions threat, Mexico promised to deploy National Guard troops to address migrant travel through their country. Thanks to these efforts, border crossings by illegals have plummetted 78 percent. So, while Trumps pressure on Mexico has succeeded in curbing illegal immigration, U.S.-bound migrants are clearly aware that this strict policy will likely be reversed by any of the Democrats likely to win the partys nomination.

Once Trump is defeated, and the Democrats take over, things are going to get better, said Brenda Ramos of El Salvador.

Should Trump lose, these migrants see a new administration as their cue to start heading back to the border, which will result in a massive influx of illegal immigrants and a lot of happy Democrats.


Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis

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Illegal Immigrants Are Gambling on Trump Losing Election So They Can Cross Border - PJ Media

Ohio gambling revenue rises again, to record $1.94B in 2019 – 13abc Action News

CLEVELAND (AP) - Gambling revenue at Ohios four casinos and seven racinos rose to a record $1.94 billion in 2019, according to figures reported by the states lottery and casino control commissions.

Continuing a year-to-year upward trend, it brought the total to $11.9 billion in gambling revenue since Ohios first casino opened in May 2012, Cleveland.com reported. That sum accounts for the money left after facilities pay out winnings for slot machines and table games, but it doesnt include profits from horse wagering or food sales.

The total gambling revenue for last year was up more than 4% from $1.86 billion in 2018. The "racinos", which offer only chance-based slot machines, brought in $1.1 billion, an increase of 6.2% from 2018. The casinos saw a smaller increase of 1.6% and logged $851 million in gambling revenue.

Taxes and fees send about one-third of the revenue or about $650 million last year to the state.

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Ohio gambling revenue rises again, to record $1.94B in 2019 - 13abc Action News

An in-depth gambling analysis of the Detroit Pistons – PistonPowered

With sports gambling recently being passed through legislation in Michigan, now seems like as good as time as any to look at how betting the Detroit Pistons has looked and could look moving forward with this season.

The Pistons opened the season with a win total set at 37.5, +2500 to win the Central Division, +10000 to win the Eastern Conference, and +20000 to win the NBA Finals (odds courtesy of The Action Network). The odds for the Central, Eastern Conference, and even NBA Finals all make sense seeing as the Pistons never declared themselves as contenders and also share a division and conference with the Milwaukee Bucks among other quality teams. The Pistons are currently on pace to win only 28 games, with the back end of the schedule looking tougher than the front. This would clearly cause a big miss on their win total of 37.5, which many thought early on was low for a team who won 41 games the past year and strengthened their bench.

What wasnt expected and what may have caused a lot of the misery in betting the Pistons this year has been the injuries. The roster has been quite depleted as many know and that has clearly affected the gambling aspect of the Pistons season. Obviously, these things go hand in hand. When the team doesnt perform, they dont cover, and Detroit hasnt covered their line often.

Again, they are the leagues worst ATS. The Pistons are 8-13 ATS when at Little Caesars Arena which coincides directly with their record at home. This leaves them at 6-13-1 ATS when visiting opponents. No team has covered less on the road. If you bet trends, you may be catching on a bit. Betting against the Pistons away would have netted a +200 unit profit this first half of the season.

The Pistons opened the season at Indiana, winning a positive moneyline of +260 and covering a +7.5 line. Since, much like the season has gone, the Pistons went downhill from a betting perspective. Maybe most notably against the spread, the Pistons saw their biggest line as +14.5 underdogs when they visited the Lakers at the Staples Center. Detroit covered by losing the game by 7 points in a hard fought battle away from home while 60% of the public had bet the Lakers.

Moving on to point totals (Over/Unders), the Pistons also have a clear trend in this department. They are tied for the most overs hit throughout the season with Miami at 24. They are 24-17 in total for Over/Unders. Just as betting against Detroit away from LCA would have been lucrative, betting their over at home has been quite productive, hitting 14 out of 21 games. Theyre an even 10-10 away. Holding a poor defensive rating of 111.7 is likely to blame for most of the games going over the point total, but the Pistons themselves have also not elapsed 100 points in just 9 of their 41 games.

To have such a discrepancy in ATS totals and Over/Unders only tells you that Vegas and the line creators are just as confused with this team as we are. The team has drastically under performed, and evidently, the lines are still favoring the Pistons perhaps more than they should, especially with the direction the team is moving towards. With a roundabout lineup that is constantly shifting, injuries still plaguing Detroit, and the young guns getting more and more minutes, its truly almost impossible to know what to expect, let alone what to bet on this team moving forward.

Though there are trends, the lurking uncertainty of the teams future will also have a huge hand in what to bet on this team throughout the rest of the season. My best advice; dont bet on the Pistons this season.

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An in-depth gambling analysis of the Detroit Pistons - PistonPowered

El Paso County Sheriff accused of allowing deputies to partake in illegal gambling pools at work – KVIA El Paso


EL PASO, Texas -- Allegations of El Paso County Sheriff's deputies gambling using betting boards on county time surfacedTuesday.

Former deputy Joe Kluge initially made the claim in a social media post that Sheriff Richard Wiles was made aware of the gambling and turned a blind eye to it. He also alleged in an interview with ABC-7 that that high-ranking and command staff have participated in the scheme.

According to Kluge, "a current deputy lieutenant has been running a gambling scheme by selling Super Bowl squares at $350 a square."

Sheriff Wiles told ABC-7 that he's not aware of any gambling within the Sheriff's Office, and added that no formal complaint has been filed.

However, Kluge says he submitted information about the alleged gambling to the Texas Rangers, who in turn, turned the information over to the El Paso County Attorney's office.

Wiles says gambling is illegal in the state of Texas under penal code 47.3 and would be treated as an illegal activity even in his office.

Wiles adds that Kluge's allegations are politically motivated. He says he demoted Kluge several years ago for questionable behavior. Wiles indicated Kluge eventually resigned and took a job with one of his opponents running against him for sheriff of El Paso County.

Kluge adamantly denies his allegations are politically motivated.

The sheriff said he consulted with legal staff to make sure there is no ongoing investigation regarding illegal gambling.

Wiles tells ABC-7 that his office will be sending an email out to all of his employees reminding them that this type of activity is both a violation of the law and a violation of department policy, adding employees should refrain from it.

El Paso / News / Texas Politics / Top Stories

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El Paso County Sheriff accused of allowing deputies to partake in illegal gambling pools at work - KVIA El Paso

U.S.-Bound Migrants Gambling on Trump Defeat in November – Immigration Blog

TAPACUHLA, Mexico Honduran Katherine Cabrera is among thousands of migrants who didn't expect to get bottled up in this southern Mexican city, unable to proceed to the American border as planned, because of President Donald Trump's insistence that Mexico block them with troop deployments and whatever else the Mexicans could come up with.

New Mexican travel restriction rules required that Cabrera either go home with her newborn child or stay here in Tapachula to apply for Mexican asylum and await an outcome perhaps months in the future. Rather than return home as some have, though, Cabrera said she reached a carefully reasoned-out decision. She'll stay in Mexico and pursue that asylum claim in a calculated gambit: that Donald Trump will lose the November 2020 election and once the Democrats control the White House, they'll reverse everything Trump did and reopen the U.S. southern border so that she can finally breach it.

"I want Trump out!" Cabrera said. "I'll wait for that because it would make things easier to get in."

In this calculus and in their perhaps surprising savvy about national American politics and timing, Cabrera has plenty of company all over Tapachula, where thousands like her have been forced to pool up for long asylum process waits or returns home.

Dozens of politically woke migrants, like Honduran Wilson Valladaras, recently told CIS their decisions to stay in Mexico were predicated on the Trump-defeat gamble. Valladaras said he would wait for his Mexican asylum approval, move to Tijuana "until Trump leaves", and then cross over the U.S. border when the Democrats undo his policies because "right now, the Americans will throw you back" to Mexico.

Outside Tapachula's main detention center where they had to check in, CIS asked five migrant women to raise their hands if they had chosen to stay in Mexico to await the hoped-for Trump defeat. All did so without reservation.

Trump's demand that Mexico stop the mass migration or face debilitating tariffs prompted a variety of Mexican measures, includingNational Guard troop deployments blocking once relatively free and open migrant travel on road routes north and deportations of those who refuse to stay in Mexico and apply for asylum, or who don't qualify.

Along with the Trump administration's push-back "Remain in Mexico" for asylum policy (formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols), thousands have been left to the deterring circumstances of indefinite waits in Mexico, when the plan all along was always to get over the U.S. border by any means and then live and work illegally (most asylum claims by Central Americans are rejected for ineligibility, and economic motives are disqualifying). The result: Apprehensions at the U.S. border have declined 70 percent in a few short months, from 144,000 in May 2019 to a still-high level of about 40,000 in December.

But the Trump-defeat gamble offers a powerful hope and motive for some migrants to keep coming a 50-50 chance that the way over the U.S. border will clear once again in less than a year.

Across the Suchiate River border south of Tapachula, where thevast majority of migrants enter, lays the dusty, crime-infested town of Tecun Uman. There, the Catholic church offers the only sheltered layover, Casa del Migrante, for tired migrants to rest up for the river crossing into Mexico aboard rubber rafts. On a recent visit, CIS found the shelter full of migrants, but was only allowed to interview two who volunteered to meet outside.

One of the volunteers planning to cross the next morning with her two-year-old daughter was El Salvadoran Brenda Ramos. She was very well aware of the new Mexican policies that would trap her in Mexico, but said she decided to gamble the eight or nine months leading to the American election.

"A lot of people in El Salvador believe he [Trump] is the reason all this is happening, that he is selfish and cruel and doing everything he can to make us suffer," she said. "But once Trump is defeated and the Democrats take over, things are going to get better."

It wasn't immediately clear how many Mexican asylum applicants have stayed or gone home.

An office of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Tapachula provides bus passage and job leads for Tapachula migrants who have been approved for Mexican asylum, 5,000 in recent months, to other Mexican cities in the north, said its Public Information Officer Pierre-Mark Rene. He said to his knowledge, most of them just need jobs right now to sustain themselves and may well plan to start new lives in Mexico "for the long term".

But the UN's Rene, appearing uncomfortable when questioned about whether many were biding their time until the election, conceded that once working in northern Mexico, "they'll have to see their options."

Alma Delia Cruz, the head of the Mexican agency processing the claims (Comision Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados, COMAR) said nearly 70 percent of all claims in Mexico in 2019 were filed in Tapachula, about 44,000. Of those, she estimated an abandonment rate of about 40 percent. Many of those likely decided to go home after applying.

But of the remaining 60 percent? Cruz acknowledged they likely have no intention of staying in Mexico for the long term.

"None want to stay in Mexico; this is just their first chance to get into the United States, of course," she said. "I don't know what's on the minds of these people exactly, but the threats from Trump can't deter them from eventually getting into the U.S."

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U.S.-Bound Migrants Gambling on Trump Defeat in November - Immigration Blog

The Public Pulse: Immigration policy; Gun rights; Gambling concerns – Omaha World-Herald

A more inclusive society

Our Catholic social teaching compels us to speak out as part of this months National Migration Week for a more inclusive society that supports and respects all its residents. Despite the fact that Omaha has a rich heritage of welcoming newcomers, including immigrants, refugees and newly naturalized citizens, we find our city is facing a growing tendency in some who are viewing newcomers as burdens or suspects rather than individuals who are our sisters and brothers.

We are called to overcome a growing lethargy about this refugee crisis that includes failing to learn the facts and failing to use our voices and our votes for change in systems that continue to create unwelcoming systems.

In the spirit of the theme for this years Catholic National Migration Week, Promoting a Church and a World for All, we Notre Dame Sisters reject dismissing or isolating the stranger. Our current immigration system is morally broken, and so all of us need to advocate Congress for systemic reform that honors the innate dignity of all human persons.

Sister Margaret Hickey, Omaha

Why we need the wall

Anne Carroll, in the Jan. 10 Public Pulse, stated that the wall is a poor use of federal funds and we could better use the money to provide shelter for the homeless, stock food pantries, fund teacher pay raises and update aging bridges.

I agree with her when she says that not all illegal immigrants entering the U.S. are murderers. But some are, and she should ask the families of those citizens who have lost a loved one killed by an illegal immigrant if they agree with her.

We are a nation of laws. We may not agree with all of our laws but we have to obey them. And illegal immigrants entering the U.S. without permission or proper documentation have broken our laws, and that is not something to ignore.

Also, Ms. Carroll should understand that most of the illegal drugs consumed here in the U.S. come across that porous Southern border, contributing to our opioid crisis, which is costing our taxpayers billions each year.

The wall is costly but necessary.

Electoral College has value

The gentleman from Ogallala (Electoral College failures, Jan. 9 Public Pulse) should review his civics lessons. The U.S. is a democratic republic and not just a democracy. Would you like the government to be run by the states of California and New York? Under a pure democracy, those states having the largest population would always control election outcomes.

Give our forefathers some credit.

Trump is a disaster

In response to Sharon Struves Jan. 10 Pulse letter, Ill quote Rev Martin Luther King: Nothing is more dangerous than sheer ignorance. A good example of that is actually thinking Democrats are angry because Trump won no, theyre angry because hes stupid and he illustrates that on a daily basis.

I did not realize that it was a presidential duty to spend one day out of three days at his properties, and one out of five at his golf courses, spending enormous sums of taxpayer money for the travel and security of his family to do so. Or that before he could get us out of these endless wars, hed feel compelled to commit murder to start another one.

He has insulted our allies, imposed tariffs that will come out of our pockets, kissed up to all the dictators that he actually thinks like him and made us the laughing stock of the world! Democrats, erstwhile, have passed hundreds of pieces of legislation that are still sitting on the desk of Mitch McConnell instead of being put up for a vote.

Try a little fact-checking. Our congressional delegation is already doing a bang-up job of spouting ignorance all by themselves.

Threat to gun rights

On Jan. 8, State Sen. John McCollister of District 20 introduced into the new session of the Nebraska Legislature Legislative Bill 816 to Provide for information and training on firearm safety and suicide prevention and place restrictions and requirements on certain transfers of firearms. On Jan. 10 this bill was forwarded to the Judiciary Committee for consideration and review.

In reading this bill, I am struck as to how similar it is to the bills in front of the Virginia Legislature. Was LB 816 introduced here in Nebraska at the behest and support of Michael Bloomberg, active in promoting gun control, as were the bills in Virginia? What will Senator McCollister gain by introducing this bill?

It may be time for the good citizens of Nebraska to begin the establishment of 2nd Amendment Sanctuaries in our cities and counties as a mechanism to stave off these totalitarian enactments that do nothing but criminalize honest, law-abiding citizens.

Republican Party led astray

I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldnt lose voters, stated President Trump. In order to distract attention from his impeachment process he caused the murder of a high-level Iranian government official and further solidified Ayatollah Ali Khameneis political support base. Indirectly, Trump caused the death of 176 people on the commercial plane flight out of Tehran.

And sure enough, Trumps support base seems strong as ever, even from Republican senators who will soon be faced with the greatest ethical/moral issue of their lives: to vote based on facts for removal of Trump from the presidency.

If Trump is permitted to stay in office, this is a huge turning point in the more than 200-year political experiment to determine whether people, through their representatives in government, can control their country. Once our freedoms, especially of the press, our Constitution and our system of laws have been breached by the president, there will be no turning back.

I say, Weep not for me, an old man (age 87) if Trump remains in office, but for my children and their children. The Republican Party of Lincoln will be banished from history.

William A. Pettinger, Cumberland, Iowa

Gambling concerns

I am disappointed to see Omahans urging the state to legalize gambling in order to capture local money that supposedly is flowing into neighboring Iowas casinos.

Unfortunately, they are laboring under a widespread misconception, because casino profits do not remain in local economies. Instead, they flow out of state to major gambling corporations. Actually, casinos are more likely to hurt than help a states economy.

Most casinos draw their customers from within a 50-mile radius. The money they lose is money that wont go to local merchants, restaurants and gamblers families. All the problems associated with gambling would likely increase.

According to an article in the Atlantic magazine entitled A Good Way to Wreck a Local Economy: Build Casinos, No one should look to the gambling industry to revive cities because thats not what casinos do.

The article continues: As casino expansion reaches its limits, the towns and cities that turned to gambling to escape their problems may discover that they have accepted a suckers bet local economies that look worse than ever, local residents tempted into new forms of self-destructive behavior and a dwindling flow of cash to show for it all.

Also, casinos dont encourage non-gambling businesses to open nearby, because the people who most often visit casinos do not wander out to visit other shops and businesses.

Truly, gambling is a suckers bet for Nebraskans.

Bob Copperstone, Wahoo, Nebraska

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The Public Pulse: Immigration policy; Gun rights; Gambling concerns - Omaha World-Herald

States Without Legalized Sports Gambling Are Debating Whether To Allow Sports Betting – Sports Talk Florida

The roll of the dice.

It is back to work for statelegislators who are trying to solve problems around the county in their areas.While legalizing sportsbooks should not be considered a major problem, thereare elected officials who want to see sportsbooks coming to their states. In2020, this much is certain, there will be no discussion of legalizing sportsgambling in Utah as gambling is prohibited by law in the states constitution.Alaska, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Wyoming would have to change state law thatprohibits sports gambling. The states that have not enacted legalized sportsgambling can take up the question. Maine legislators agreed to a sports bettingbill in 2019 but Governor Janet Mills vetoed the bill. Georgia and Kentuckyelected officials are going to try and get a sports betting bill passed thisyear. A number of other states are in the same boat. Connecticut andMassachusetts lawmakers will for a third year in a row try to get a billpassed.

On the federal level, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer and Utah Republican Mitt Romney are trying to concoct a bill that could establish some federal rules for the states that have legalized sports gambling to enforce. There was an attempt in 2018 to get some federal guidelines on the books as retiring Utah Republican Orrin Hatch put forth The Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018, which would have required bookmakers to use official data that was provided or licensed by professional sports leagues in posting odds. Hatchs legislation went nowhere. Nevada got legalized sportsbooks in 1949.New York, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Oregon, New Mexico, Arkansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado and Tennessee have various forms of sportsbooks.

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States Without Legalized Sports Gambling Are Debating Whether To Allow Sports Betting - Sports Talk Florida

The Stock Market Is Gambling the Trump Economy Will Do the Impossible – CCN.com

The stock market may not be the economy, but the stock market is the place where investors make bets about the economy.

Right now, investors are betting that the Trump economy is going to vindicate the president and prove the experts wrong.

During the early days of his presidency, Donald Trump boasted that US GDP would grow as fast as 6% annually under his administration.

The White House quickly moderated that forecast to a much less-ambitious 3% GDP target, albeit one the US economy failed to hit in each of Trumps first three years in office.

But according to $5.7 trillion asset manager Vanguard, stock market valuations reveal that investors believe the fourth time will be the charm.

Vanguard Chief Economist Joseph Davis told Bloomberg that the equity market is priced for 3% GDP growth in 2020, even though most experts believe the US economy will struggle to clear the 2% threshold.

A recent survey of professional forecasters found that the consensus outlook for Real GDP growth is 1.8%. Davis believes that target is still too optimistic.

Citing lackluster Treasury yields, he says the bond market is pricing in 2% growth as a best-case scenario. He predicts the US economy will slow to a near-crawl in 2020, dropping GDP growth to just 1% from an estimated 2.3% last year.

That could set the stock market up for a rude awakening.

Stock prices rose far more sharply than corporate earnings in 2019, driving valuation multiples toward record highs.

Historically, the stock market hasnt remained this divorced from profits for long. Either profits must rise or prices will fall.

The confidence that investors have in the re-acceleration of the economy and profits hasnt been shaken, and you need that to justify prices where they are and to continue to see positive performance in 2020, Thomas Hainlin, global investment strategist at Ascent Private Capital Management at US Bank, told The Wall Street Journal.

Unfortunately for investors, even the White House may be giving up on its 3% GDP goal, though not because the president suddenly thinks the target is unreasonable.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that Boeings ongoing struggles could erase as much as 50 basis points from overall US GDP. He lowered his 2020 forecast accordingly to 2.5%.

Judging by todays stock market rally, Wall Street bulls dont appear to be having similar reservations. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed the session at new all-time highs.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article do not represent investment or trading advice from CCN.com

This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.

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The Stock Market Is Gambling the Trump Economy Will Do the Impossible - CCN.com

Rate of gambling addiction still unclear in Minnesota – PostBulletin.com

Years later, Don Weinberger's compulsion to gamble had him skipping work to visit the casino. All the while, he kept his habit and the debt he accrued because of it from his wife. When the truth came to light it nearly tore his family apart.

It's now been more than two decades since Weinberger has gambled, something he attributes to his faith in God and Gamblers Anonymous, which he continues to be involved with today. But seated in a downtown St. Paul eatery on a recent Friday morning, he recalled clearly the mindset of his younger self and the many others affected by gambling addiction.

"The scourge of a compulsive gambler is that when you win, it's never enough," he said.

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, or the NCPG, compulsive gambling affects approximately 2 million U.S. adults roughly 1% of the U.S. adult population. A further 4 to 6 million are thought to be problem gamblers who do not necessarily meet the criteria for pathological gambling.

But less certain is the scope of gambling addiction in Minnesota. The most current data on the prevalence of the disorder in the state comes from an official survey conducted in 1994.

State agencies have been working on a new survey for several years and in 2018 commissioned the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation of St. Paul to take one. The contract for the study is for approximately $400,000, according to the Department of Human Services.

Helen Ghebre, a community capacity building team supervisor with the state human services department, said the findings of the survey are currently being reviewed and that a publicly available report on them is expected to be published before the end of February.

Conducted by mail over a period of several months in 2019, the survey sampled from a random pool of 35,000 Minnesotan households and included questions about gambling frequency and attitudes. Ghebre said the results will illustrate the rate and severity of problem gambling in Minnesota as well as the demographics it most effects.

"We are using this to better target where we direct resources and funding," she said.

Ghebre said she could not make preliminary comments on the findings of the survey because they are still being reviewed. She could not say why it took the agency until recently to conduct a follow-up to the 1994 survey, but added that agency leadership was supportive of the idea.

The department plans to take the surveys more regularly in the future, she said, roughly once every three to five years.

Until the new study is published, a survey more than 25 years old continues to be one of the few official sources sources on gambling addiction rates in Minnesota. That survey found approximately 4.4% of the states adults either show signs of problem gambling or have a pathological compulsion to gamble.

In a recent survey of its own, the NCPG estimated that gambling addiction affected approximately 3.6% of Minnesotans in 2016, or about 152,000 people.

Even if only a small percentage of Minnesotans are affected by gambling problems, the amount of money they spend may not be insubstantial. In a separate report from 2018, the state human services department said that assuming problem gambling accounts for between 15% and 33% of gambling revenues, as it does in other states, then problem gamblers generated anywhere from $266 million to $585 million of Minnesota's gambling revenue in 2014.

Minnesotas billion-dollar gambling industry does help to fund a range of government services as well as youth activities and scholarships. The Minnesota Gambling Control Board reported the state's gambling industry had a total of about $359 million after prize payouts to spend on wages, taxes, rent, charitable contributions and other lawful expenditures in fiscal year 2019.

The industry also contributes to state-funded options for inpatient and outpatient gambling addiction treatment. In 2016, the NCPG said that approximately 600 Minnesotans enrolled in such programs, which are supported in part by state lottery revenues, charitable gaming tax dollars and Native American gaming industry contributions.

According to that report, Minnesota ranked 14th in the U.S. in terms of "per capita public spending dedicated problem gambling services."

Gambling addiction and problem gambling affect people of all different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. But according to Brien Gleeson, an addictions counselor at the Mayo Clinic hospital in Eau Claire, Wis., some demographics appear to be more vulnerable than others.

"One particular population that we are more concerned about would be older folks, for a variety of reasons," he said.

Gleeson said that his patients tend to gamble most often at casinos. With more free time and retirement funds on hand, he said that some senior citizens find it difficult to resist their allure.

For some, the chance to socialize at a casino can be as enticing as the chance to win. An elderly couple might go to a casino, Gleeson said, as a way to spend time together.

Compulsive gambling manifests in a range of symptoms, Gleeson said, the most distinct of which is gambling to make back lost money.

"If youre chasing your losses, youre headed in the wrong direction," he said.

Gleeson said that many of his patients have successfully managed to cope with gambling addiction by themselves. Others, he said, turn to self-help groups like Gamblers Anonymous.

Gambling establishments themselves, he said, appear willing to help. Many casinos allow those who believe they have a gambling problem to voluntarily ban themselves from entry.

As it becomes less and less taboo to openly discuss drug and alcohol addiction, Gleeson said gambling addiction is starting to shed its stigma as well. Hopefully, he said, that will encourage more people affected by it to seek treatment.

But because money is still seen by some as impolite to talk about, financial planner and counselor Melanie Hardie said many are still unwilling to open up about the other ways they mismanage it.

Some psychologists have termed behaviors like money worshiping, compulsive buying and secretive spending as "money disorders." Unlike compulsive gambling, however, money disorders are not recognized as a clinical diagnosis by the American Psychological Association.

A former mental health counselor, Hardie today works at LifeWorks a company headquartered in Atlanta that offers financial counseling to the employees of other businesses and is an active member of the Minnesota chapter of the Financial Planning Association. In her view, mental health issues do not necessarily lead to money mismanagement so much as a lack of financial education does.

"Is it 'compulsive spending,'" she asked, "or a lack of knowledge?"

A bill introduced in the Minnesota Legislature last year proposed to make financial literacy a requirement for high school graduation but was not passed. Some educators objected to the measure, saying that the decision to mandate personal finance courses should be left to school districts, many of which already teach aspects of the subject in other courses.

Whatever their causes, poor spending and saving habits can quickly cascade. Hardie said the inability to pay off a heavy debt load, for example, can lead to a poor credit rating, which in turn can make it difficult if not impossible to obtain a mortgage or car loan.

To help break the cycle, some libraries and community centers have hosted free and low-cost classes on personal finance and credit repair. Some financial planners and non-profit organizations will occasionally offer to do pro bono work as well, Hardie said.

Older Minnesotans with money troubles, meanwhile, can call the Senior LinkAge Line for a referral to a financial counselor.

Like Gleeson, Hardie said she hopes that those who have mismanaged their money will be viewed more sympathetically in future and feel encouraged to ask for help.

"As long as its a taboo subject, we're not going to learn and develop and grow," she said.

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Rate of gambling addiction still unclear in Minnesota - PostBulletin.com