Recap of Gambling Commission’s First Meeting in Atlantic City
The National Gambling Impact Study Commission met in Atlantic City on January 21 and 22, in the first of several site visits the commission will make this year to learn more about the impact of gambling in America.
Reno Asks Independent Counsel to Investigate Babbitt
Attorney General Janet Reno has asked for an independent counsel to investigate whether Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt acted improperly in denying a casino license to three Chippewa Indian tribes in Wisconsin in 1995. At issue is whether Babbitt’s decision was unduly influenced by the fact that other tribes that opposed the proposal had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats.
Gtech Head Steps Down After Losing Libel Ruling; Bribe Alleged in London
It’s been a bad month for Gtech Holdings Corp. of Rhode Island, the world’s largest supplier of computerized lottery tickets. First, the company’s chairman, Guy Snowden, lost a high-profile libel case against British entrepreneur Richard Branson, who had made public statements that Snowden had tried to bribe him to keep Branson from competing for a lucrative contract to run the British lottery. Snowden called Branson a liar for making the comments, and Branson sued for libel. On Feb. 2, after less than three hours of deliberations, the British jurors found for Branson.
Tribe Has Big Plans for New Internet Lottery
The Coeur d’Alene tribe in Idaho is planning major marketing efforts this spring for its online lottery games, including a new weekly number game with a guaranteed $1 million prize. The tribe, which began operating what it calls US Lottery last spring, says it runs “the first ever parimutuel lottery to be accessible both by telephone and Internet.”
It started with bingo and scratch lottery tickets on the Internet and in January added the weekly, six-number game with the help of its corporate partner, UniStar Entertainment Inc. Some states, including Missouri and Wisconsin, have sued to block US Lottery, claiming the operation violates state laws or Indian gambling laws that require that the games be located on tribal lands. Action on pending legislation to ban Internet gambling, sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, could also effect the legality of US Lottery.
Washington Post 2-14-98
Industry Consolidation Expected
The $1.2 billion planned acquisition of Showboat Inc. by Harrah’s Entertainment could set off a wave of industry mergers and buyouts, analysts say. “This is bottom-feeding time in this industry,” says Danny Davila of Rodman & Renshaw Inc.
Intl. Gaming & Wagering Business 2-98
Jackpot in Big Apple ?
Legalizing casinos throughout New York City could generate $2.63 billion in revenue, making the city the third largest gambling market in the country, according to a gambling industry analyst.