The Loosest Slots In Town!!!

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  #1  
Old 05-27-03, 08:50 PM
MsChip
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The Loosest Slots In Town!!!

I'm looking at Casino and Gaming Industry stocks today and it sort of inspired me to post this message....

The big question: Has a gaming casino opened up shop in your State yet???

I guess I'm not all that shocked at the number of states beginning to allow casino licences, or the number of states working deals with Indian reservations. What doesn't surprise me either is WHY states are allowing casino gambling. Obviously it's due to the extra taxes the states can add into their fiscal budgets, and certainly not due to the social problems associated with gambling.

Some tribal (Indian) operated casinos don't pay any taxes to the state, at all, because they're considered sovereign nations. Unfortunately for the players they're still stuck paying taxes to the IRS. One of the other aspects of the gambling industry I find most interesting is that the majority of Indian reservations don't have to make their books public, nor made available for a public auditor. In other words, if an auditor walked into an casino on an Indian reservation asking to see the books, legally that casino can tell the auditor to go fly a kite and never come back. So much for accountability, you think?

Most Indian operated casinos don't dare breath a word about how much their weekly take is...yet indendent casino operators, such as those on the Vegas strip, are required by law to report their gross reciepts. I had to laugh last week...the Meskwaki tribal financial officer in Nevada spilled the beans while going on public record (during court testimony) stating their casino in Nevada had a Gross of $3 Million per week. The only reason this guy stated the secret numbers was due to the tribe going through a major power stuggle between tribal leaders and other questionable shenanigans.

What chaps my hide are states who collect taxes from both players and casino operators then supposibly use those funds for the area's schools and education system, yet in my own state, where the largest casino in the midwest resides (so the casino claims), in addition to having other smaller riverboad casinos, one of the school systems was on the verge of bankrupcty for two years straight, and one year it actual went bankrupt...and now this year this state is cutting back on dollars allocated for education. Maybe it's misappropriation of funds at the BoE level, or maybe the state's not taking in enough taxes from the casino operators. Which ever the case, I think they should tax the casinos at the highest level possibly, considering the "house" ALWAYS has the advantage over players.

What's even fishier yet is that the voters in my particular state voted against riverboat gambling, yet the following year state legistlators passed the gaming law themselves anyways. Doesn't that lend you to wonder, what's the point in asking the voters in the first place? While standing in line a customer service counter for my discresionary comps voucher (for my free dinner) at one casino on Mother Day, I come to find out that the guy standing in front of me is a state congressman for the western portion of my state. The casino's location is the eastern portion of the states. I couldn't help overhear the conversation between him and another person in his party. He was getting the highest casino points level card for his brother, which would otherwise cost a regular player the ability to "earn" 8,000 points. When I asked how he was able to get that type of players card, that's when he told me who he was. After gasping at the notion of him getting a Star's player's card, he says to me "without people like me the casino (in legislature, of course) the casino has to keep me happy while I'm visiting".

What was even more fishier is how Harrah's casino got its gaming license. In my state a casino is allowed on riverboats and also what is called a "boat in a moat". By law, a boat in a moat casion is an actual building on land that is surrounded by water and must reside X number of feet from a river. What occured when Harrahs was originally built the building was that the casino was beyond X number of feet from the river, so in essance, Harrahs was operating outside the gaming law. Remarkably Harrah's was in business operating for just over a year before anyone at the gaming commission noticed the problem. Well, that issue when to the people for a vote in whether or not to yank Harrah's license, and voters approved Harrah's location...mostly because no one wanted to see all those casino employees suddenly unemployed. I'm sure if the voters said "no", state legislature would approved it anyways..considering this state's history.

I'm not against gambling in the least. I enjoy the game of chance. What gets me ticked off are all these promises the states makes and all the shady dealings the state do with casinos, and also how these so called taxable gambling incomes are being appropriated. Illinois, for example, has had riverboat gaming for a number of years now...yet that state runs into budge problems for the past two years trying. The current governor is even considering allowing video poker machines in bars...just to gain more tax dollars.

To give you an idea how well the gaming industry is doing these days, the slot machine manufacturer, International Gaming Technologies (IGT), was one of the top 10 performers last year on the NYSE when most other stocks either went belly up or bearly stuggled to stay on the board. IGT's 52-wk Range 47.75 - 89.62 and rising. Instead of me blowing my dough on those mindless one arm bandits, which randomly chooses a win or loss number each time the wheels spin (it's all computer technology, you know?) one would think I'd be smart enough to just buy the manufacture's stock instead; I'd be one rich mother if I bought in July of '92. *LOL* Awe well.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-28-03, 03:56 AM
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Hmmm, interesting reading MSChip. It just so happens that we are having a refererendum here in Maine for a casino. I wonder if it will live up to all the hype thats being touted or will it be like those political ads that you hear every Fall ( nothing but hot air).

Right now I think the latest poll has it split about 50/50 on whether or not to allow this proposed casino. If it will generate the revenue it predicts it will, I say go for it.

I'd be a little concerned about saturation in this market, if there are that many casinos around. There is only so many gambling dollars to go around. I know that Conn. has a casino, Foxwoods, and maybe another one too? I wasn't aware of there being that many more in the U.S. besides in Nevada?

I agree that the accounting practices among the Indian Tribes are suspect. They are handling alot of money and should be regulated in some fashion, as any profitable business is.
 
  #3  
Old 05-28-03, 05:08 AM
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My $.02 worth is that gambling (whose proponents prefer the less seedy sounding "gaming") benefits mostly those who own/run the establishments and/or infrastructure. Here in Florida we have all manner of legalized gambling including casinos on "Indian" reservations. While there is some income to the State (in paramutual betting the State gets a cut). The overall effect monetarily, in my never-to-be-humble opinion, is not a windfall. As was noted, the reservation gambling houses do no0t benefit the state, other than possibly the state having to expend less funds to maintain the reservations or for social services connected with them (can't say that for sure). Biggest scam is the state lottery; what a joke. It was sold to the voters here (as is often done in these cases) as benefitting education by earmarking a percentage for schools. Their ad campaign this last year or so was "$10 billion for education in 10 years". ROFLMAO - real spending for education has not gone UP by $10 billion. The state merely found a place to spend the $10 billion they DIDN'T have to allocate for schools because of the lottery money. Add to this the fact that the lottery produces no NEW money (that $20 a week you spend on lottery tickets came out of your budget; that $20 you spent was NOT used to buy clothes, food, etc. which might actually stimulate the economy.

Before anyone gets the idea I'm a saint or something, I've gambled before and probably will in the future (we visited Vegas a number of times when I was stationed in S. Cal in the eraly '80's). I never play the lottery or buy scratch-off's - they're all sucker bets anyway. My main beef is the way the industry is marketed; I would be much more friendly to it if they would use a little "truth in advertising".

I would be interested in hearing from people in other states with lotteries, i.e. how it was marketed to the voters before it was instituted and how close do the actual results come to matching the promises.

Unfortunately, there are an awful lot of people with a voter registration card who don't use a lot of forethought before casting their ballot, but don't get me started on that - I'm still steamed at the idiot who sold the idea of a high-speed rail system to Florida voters who now have to figure out how to pay for it; estimates are in the double-digit billion $ range. Several million voters didn't read the fine print on THAT dog.

Toni, here's my read on your casino deal. Yes, it will generate the revenue advertised. It will also generate less money spent on everything else (kind of a zero-sum game). Unless all of their predicted revenues come from out-of-state visitors, it's just taking money from the left pocket and putting it in the right pocket. It will also generate crime and attract people you may wish hadn't come to Maine. Las Vegas figured that out quite some time ago and has LOTS more activities that are family-oriented and appropriate than they used to in order to attract more than just the average blackjack player or craps shooter. Most gambling proposals elsewhere are strictly for casinos, which won't attract the 30-something couple with two kids.

As for the Indian tribes accounting, etc. , I don't know how much money the government (aka the taxpayers) are still spending on Indian affairs, but if they are taking in billions of dollars I see no need for any additional funding.

My $.02 worth.
 
  #4  
Old 05-28-03, 07:22 PM
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Gambling in SC

Gambling, or gaming as some call it, was hawked in SC to augment money for education. Mind you that the best estimates showed maybe 10% of the budget could be replaced by the state's cut of the money. Scarcely a windfall, in my estimation. Anyhow, the pig was bought in the poke. There is a lot of money for secondary education: Technical schools. The economy in general is contracting so there is less money in the state's coffers for primary education. The hew and cry is up for taking money from the budget for the technical schools and giving it to the k-12 group. Naturally, the technical school group is resisting. A matter of whose ox is being gored.

It seems as if everyone tends to believe that gambling produces new money, instead of taking it from other activities. It certainly produces new problems: those who are unable to control themselves and gamble away the farm, those who would convert your property and mine into cash to buy a chance at riches. I have met some who truly believe that a realistic chance exists for the big win with a ticket.

One fellow was telling me at length and with frequency about his system to win at the casino. He could become rich. I listened to him on many occasions wax eloquent about how he could be set for life. When I asked him why it was he was still clerking at the convenience store and not retired on the Riviera, he told me he needed enough money to get started. I am no rocket scientist, but I understand how gambling works. I told him that it seemed to me that if he had a winning system, five dollars would be enough. It might just take a few minutes longer. He is still polishing his plan.

I think that it is great when someone wins a ton of money in the powerball. But the realistic chance of winning is almost nothing. To me, gambling is a form of entertainment on the level of going to the fair. Money spent, enjoyment returned. I almost bought a ticket one day, but bought some peanusts instead. I think I came out better.

Too often the gambling lobby gets everyone on fire to have all the windfall from gambling, only to have the reality that it just adds some here after having taken it from there.

Years ago, the gambling idea was being spawned in Mississippi where I lived at the time. We were philosophically discussing what was so bad about gambling. Someone chimed in and asked, "What is so good about it?" Well, the discussion died right there. No one had an answer for that one.

I believe that the Indian Tribes are the big winners in that they don't have to pay taxes on the profit.
 
  #5  
Old 05-28-03, 11:51 PM
MsChip
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The chance of winning the Powerball Lotto is approximately 8 million to 1. You'd have a better chance of getting hit by lightening, and more frequently struck, in your lifetime than winning the powerball. *LOL*

For the sake of curiosity, I decided to look up online how many states have casinos, including some on Indian reservations. It's amazing how quicky greed has spread.

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

A lot of states claim that they don't have a huge gambler problem, but how many gamblers do you know actually admit to themselves, never mind their own family, that they have a problem controlling themselves in a casino??? That's right up there with people admitting they have an alcohol problem. It's only a very small percentage of people who actually call those gamblers anonymous hotlines for help, so the states use those low figures to bascially justify increasing the number of gaming licenses. Other than the small amout of money gained by states from taxed casinos, the only other benefit to casinos is that it does create new jobs.

Unfortunately the gaming industry prefers to have the least amount of employees as possible since salaries and benefits eat profits. One of the newer things a casino is doing to cut overhead salaries is to reduce the number of slot machine attendents on the floor while going with the cash tickets, in lue of coins in slot machines...this way the player can take their ticket from the slot machine to the cashier to exchange for cash, or use the amount printed on the ticket in another ticket based machine. If I remember correctly, quarter machines are limited to a 1000 coin drop, and fifty cent and dollar machines are limited to a 400 coin drop. No more having call a slot attendent to fill or unjam a coin based slot machine. So now it seems the only need for a slot attendent is to hand pay a jackpot over $1,199 (since an IRS W-G form has to be filled out) or when the machine runs out of tickets.

And would you believe that some coin machine operators are suggesting that they incorporate the Amber Alert system in video poker machines? Video poker has earned the title of "the crack cocaine of gambling" since it's basically the most addictive form of machine based gambling. Honestly, I don't think gamblers will get up from their machine to go help police find missing children. I agree that anything to help find missing or abducted kids is better than nothing, but on video poker machines? Can you see your husband or wife walking away from their accumulated gambling credits to get a hold of someone at the missing children task office? I think we're looking at a very tiny percentage of gamblers who might make this type of system benefical.
 
  #6  
Old 05-29-03, 11:16 AM
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Video poker has earned the title of "the crack cocaine of gambling" since it's basically the most addictive form of machine based gambling
That may be why video poker was recently outlawed in SC.
 
  #7  
Old 05-29-03, 04:21 PM
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Las Vegas was not built on winners.

Gambling is allowed in British Columbia, but no alcohol. I am a gambler...I like to play cards...my buddies and I get together for quarter games about once a month. I also do play the lotteries...can't say I am ahead of the game. I play online, and am actually ahead on that one if you can believe it. (a couple of lucky card games) I do have limits however. I don't spend more than 20 dollars in a casino on any given day. ( and I only go there once every couple months) but I enjoy the chance.

In Canada our winnings are tax free. However I do feel the "house" should be heavier taxed and the monies used for public issues, (schools, healthcare...etc..)whatever they may be.

We have one casino in the Yukon Territory that is allowed alcohol. Diamond Tooth Gerties in Dawson City. Old time dancing girls...follies...a fun place in the heart of the goldrush country.

Video poker is not allowed here...although many bars or pubs have "back rooms" where this does go on...

I guess my whole feeling on the issue is that if someone is willing to waste their money, someone is willing to take it. Guess I am one of them...(wasters)..lol...
 
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