Police arrests suspect in Bellagio casino robbery

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game after game sweeps 300x300LAS VEGAS – A 32-year-old man accused of robbing the Bellagio hotel-casino in Las Vegas Strip was arrested inside a resort on Saturday night, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported.

The suspect Jesse Jones allegedly robbed a teller at gunpoint on Friday night and fled with tens of thousands of dollars from Bellagio, a luxury hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

The crime was documented by security cameras in Bellagio.

Jones was arrested inside a Las Vegas resort by the next day. He was booked at the Clark County jail.

 

 

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Casinos withold jackpot prizes from 133 slot machine winners

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LAS VEGAS – Macau, the hottest gambling spot in mainland China reportedly denied 133 gamblers huge slot machine winnings, claiming that a “mechanical error” prompted their wins.

One of those winners was Ip Choi-peng, 51, who spent more than four million patacas on slot machines at MGM and The Venetian in April and won a total of 20 million patacas. However, the winnings were not awarded to him.

According to Choi-peng, both MGM and The Venetian offered only 10% of the jackpot which was not even enough to cover the principal.

“This is damaging to Macau’s reputation,” lawmaker Jose Pereira Coutinho commented.

Coutinho told a layman who won and waited for three hours to claim his winnings was informed he won’t get any money.

game after game sweeps 300x300Another lawmaker Au Kam-san argued that patrons do not have the ability to test the technical reliability of a machine before playing it, thus, calling for amending the laws governing the circumstances in which casinos could refuse payment.

Director Manuel Joaquim das Neves of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau in Macau, however, assured lawmakers that all the gaming machines were from qualified manufacturers.

“There are minor abnormalities, but it is very rare for flaws to be found on gaming machines,” stated das Neves.

When Coutinho proposed the city to set up its own laboratories to check up the quality of slot machines, das Neves objected saying the labs hired by the casinos were reputable.

“It seems the officials are acting in favour of casinos. These casinos are hurting the image of Macau. It’s like these casinos are cheating me,” Choi-peng expressed.

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NYS Gaming Commission appoints 2 more members for casino review board

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Florida Sweepstakes Solution 750x75ALBANY, N.Y. – On Monday, the New York State Gaming Commission appointed Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP litigation chief Dennis E. Glazer and Long Island Association President Kevin Law as members of a five-member NY gaming facility location board to evaluate casino license applicants.

Atty. Glazer, a former partner at the Davis Polk & Wardwell specialized in corporate law. He is married to Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, former chairwoman of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

game after game sweeps 300x300“Dennis has had an accomplished career and evidences his commitment to public service by taking on this important role. His legal expertise and impressive leadership in varied sectors combine to make him a valuable asset to the Board, and I thank him for volunteering his time and talent,” Gaming Commission Chairman Mark Gearan stated.

Meanwhile, Law headed the pro-business Long Island Association since 2010. He also co-chairs the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council and Long Island Power Authority.

“Throughout his career, Kevin has repeatedly answered the call to public service in New York State. His commitment to and knowledge of economic development is tailor-made for the Gaming Facility Location Board, and I thank him for taking on this important task,” told Gearan.

Glazer and Law completed the review board comprised of former city Comptroller Bill Thompson, former gubernatorial advisor Paul Francis and Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz.

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Georgia man charged for stealing lottery tickets, beer

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Florida Adult Arcade Solution 750x75ATLANTA, Georgia – a man was arrested on Tuesday for stealing cigar, beer, and lottery tickets at a westside package store in Athens. The suspect was also charged for another robbery that happened last week.

According to police, Walter James Campbell Jr. was arrested on Tuesday morning for robbing Oglethorpe Package Store along Oglethorpe Ave, Athens. While he was detained at the Clarke County Jail, Campbell was served another warrant for robbing the same store on June 15.

game after game sweeps 300x300Based on the official report, on June 15, Campbell entered Oglethorpe Package Store by hitting the front glass door with a brake pad. He stole cigarettes, beer and lottery tickets.

On Tuesday, at around 2:25 in the morning, a police officer on patrol noticed the stores front glass door was shattered again. As soon as the store owner arrived, officers reviewed the surveillance video which showed Campbell entering the store for the second time after throwing a hammer into the glass door.

This time, the suspect not only stole several cartons of cigar, 36-pack of beer, and lottery tickets, he also attempted to open the cash register before running out leaving the beer behind.

Campbell was arrested on Hawthorne Avenue with the lottery tickets still with him. He was charged with two counts of second-degree burglary.

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Cyber Cafes Closed; Now Back Open

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Florida Adult Arcade Solution 750x75New House Bill to regulate skill games, sweepstakes in Ohio

COLUMBUS – in order to crack down illegal slot machine operators in Ohio, state lawmakers passed a bill to regulate skill-based amusement operators as well as distributors.

Both Reps. Jim Buchy (R- Greenville) and Lou Blessing (R- Cincinnati) sponsored House Bill 491 to deal with illegal gambling in Ohio and provide oversight for skill-games and sweepstakes.

The Ohio House of Representatives approved the bill with 83-2 votes giving the Casino Control Commission authority and oversight for all skill-games and sweepstakes in the state.

game after game sweeps 300x300HB 491 stated, “that regulation of skill-based amusement machines is governed by the Casino Law (in addition to the Gambling Law), and amends the law to comprehensively grant the Ohio Casino Control Commission authority and jurisdiction over and power to oversee the regulation of skill-based amusement machines and their operations.”

“The Commission has authority to complete the functions of licensing, regulating, investigating, and penalizing skill-based amusement machine operators, and also has jurisdiction over all persons participating in authorized skill-based amusement machine operations, and grants the Commission the authority to adopt specified rules.”

“The license fees for a skill-based amusement machine operator shall be set by rule, subject to review by the joint committee on gaming and wagering. Additionally, the commission may assess an applicant a reasonable fee in the amount necessary to process a skill-based amusement machine operator application,” the bill read.

According to Director Matt Schuler of the Casino Control Commission, HB 491 gave the commission the tools needed to maintain the integrity of gaming in the state by creating consistent, uniform regulations regarding skill games.

“There is growing evidence that many skill-games businesses are violating Ohio law by operating games of chance and giving cash payouts,” reported Schuler.

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Illinois Makes Another Push For Expansion of Gambling

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Pre-Reveal-Gold

CHICAGO, Illinois – as the Congress deliberate the extension of income tax increase for funding resource, supporters of gambling rush in saying the state would get a windfall by expanding casinos.

D-Blue Island Rep. Bob Rita pointed out that they can expand gambling in two ways. One, if they allow slot machines in horse tracks. Two, if they authorize a casino in Chicago, Danville, Lake County, Rockford and South Suburbs.

The proposal face a challenge as Fairmont clamors for equality. According to reports, Casino Queen fears cannibalization once the state expands casino in Fairmont, so Rita excluded Fairmont Park beside Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Collinsville in the plan.

Though the answer to the issue was vague for now, Rita hopes the entities would come together to get a compromise to address the real problem.

“It’s an issue that we need to resolve, whether it’s through revenue sharing, maybe reduced slots,” Rita explained.

In addition, the Congress has to decide on how many gaming positions will be allowed.

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel insisted that the city’s pension be resolved first before he addresses the casino expansion.

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Hernando County Sweepstakes Arrest May Remove Confusion On Pre Reveal Games

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..Pre Reveal Games May Open New Chapter in Florida Sweepstakes Battle..

SPRING HILL, FLORIDA – Last week, Hernando County sheriff’s detectives gave Win City sweepstakes cafe one last warning, our video games violate gambling laws and you risk arrest by staying open while operating them.

“The owner said do whatever you have to do, and yesterday the Sheriff’s Office did what it had to do,” Assistant State Attorney Mark Simpson said Thursday.

ALVERIO, CARLOS J CRUZ Claims the Pre-Reveal Games Do Not Violate New Gambling Law

On Wednesday, law enforcement raided the cafe at 5130 Commercial Way, arrested 56-year-old Carlos J. Cruz Alverio and filled a truck full of computers and other equipment. Cruz Alverio was charged with one count of operating a gambling house and 37 counts of owning gambling devices.

The raid is the latest skirmish in a war against what authorities say are still illegal gambling operations, despite cafe operators’ claim that the games no-longer violate the text of the law.

“These gaming systems are a prohibited slot machine/device if it is used to display images of games of chance and is part of a scheme involving any payment or donation of money or its equivalent and awarding anything of value,” Cruz Alverio’s arrest affidavit states. The operators claim that “at the time that the slot machine device comes into play the ‘game of chance has ended”

Cruz Alverio told detectives his gaming system is not gambling, based on his understanding of the law.

In a traditional sweepstakes cafe, patrons purchase Internet time, play slot machine-like games on computers to accumulate points and redeem winnings in the form of cash or merchandise. In April, Gov. Rick Scott signed a

McDonalds Offers a Sweepstakes Where the customer makes a Purchase and is Given a Sweepstakes Entry in the Form of a piece of Paper (peel-tab)

law expanding the definition of illegal gambling machines to include that kind of operation.

Shortly thereafter Hernando Sheriff’s Office conducted investigations that resulted in the closure of three businesses, including Win City, that were in operation before the state law was passed. Each time, owners closed voluntarily after speaking with detectives. No arrests were made.

Alverio is filed as the registered agent of Win City Spring LLC on Sept. 17. Alverio reopened on Sept. 23 and closed the same day after deputies visited and said the games were still illegal, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Denise Moloney said.

The business reopened Oct. 21 after making what the Sheriff’s Office called minor changes to the games and business documents. Detectives consulted with Simpson and visited on Oct. 23 with the warning.

The next day, Jacksonville attorney Chris Wickersham Jr., who represents Cruz Alverio, sent a letter to Simpson explaining why the new state law does not apply to Win City’s operation.

Patrons tell the operator how many entries into the game they want to purchase and are given a receipt stating exactly how much cash they will win, at that point the action is over. The computers, the simulated casino games are a form of entertainment and there is no chance involved. They are required to sign a form before they play.

Wickersham said in an interview Thursday. “That fundamentally makes it different than anything that’s come previously. It’s really no different than paying to play a video game or watching a movie.”

“The problem is the mechanism they’re using,” Simpson said. “It still operates like a slot machine. That’s why people are going there in droves.”

Cruz Alverio was released from the Hernando County Detention Center early Thursday after posting $19,250 bail, records show. Wickersham said he was looking for a place to live before he got arrested.

Win City’s doors remained locked. The phone number on the door is no longer in service.

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Former Deputy General Counsel Believed Internet Cafes Were Legal

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SANFORD, FLORIDA — On Wednesday, in front of a packed courtroom, Jacksonville’s retired deputy general counsel testified that the internet sweepstakes games in the Allied Veterans of the World Internet cafes were legal. 

PreReveal Sweepstakes

PreReveal Sweepstakes

 

Steve Rohan testified under oath that he met with Allied’s attorney, Kelly Mathis, several times in 2007 to discuss the city’s ordinances that would come into play with Allied Veterans’ operations.

Mathis is on trial in Sanford, where he faces more than 100 charges of racketeering, possession of a slot machine and conducting a lottery. The judge dismissed over 4 dozen of the money laundering charges after the prosecution rested its case Tuesday.

Rohan and a former assistant state attorney in Volusia County both testified under oath that they believed Mathis was proposing a legal operation for the Allied Veterans centers.

“That was my opinion,” Rohan testified Wednesday. “We would not be advocating for a business that was in violation of state law.”

Rohan said Wednesday Mathis was open about setting up the sweepstakes games, which resembled gambling but did not fit the description that the state had defined.

Customers of the cafes sign a form that says they were purchasing Internet time. Sweepstakes entries were included for free. A business model almost identical to McDonalds Monopoly game.

“The (sweepstakes) exception Mr. Mathis proposed, while people might not like it, was a legitimate exception,” said Rohan.

Mathis told Rohan that a percentage of proceeds were going to a veterans’ charity. Eventually, poker rooms and local dog tracks wanted an ordinance to prohibit sweepstakes parlors in the city, which were run by several companies.

“Neither the state attorney nor the sheriff were trying to cease their operations,” Rohan said. The public, however, wanted the Internet cafes to remain open. “People spoke at our City Council meeting and demanded the ability to go to them,” Rohan said.

Mitch Stone, Mathis’ defense attorney, showed jurors a document from the state Department of Agriculture that said legal sweepstakes games in Florida must resemble the McDonald’s Monopoly game, where a ticket that might win a prize, is given away with a purchase.

Allied Veterans gave customers an electronic “scratch-off” ticket when they bought Internet time, and the players could only be revealed on a computer on the inside the cyber sweepstakes cafe.

Several prosecution witnesses, customers of the cafes said they thought they were gambling and seemed confused to hear in court that they were simply learning from the computer whether their tickets were winners.

“The use of the computer was a fun way to find out whether you won or lost,” said Daniel Leising, a former assistant state attorney in Volusia County describing the ‘entertaining display’.

Leising said he met with Mathis and found that the Allied Veterans Business Model followed state law.

Jacksonville attorney Ed Akel said that while Mathis was listed as the registered agent for Allied Veterans, that did not make him a partner or give him a business interest in the company that took in $300 million as a veterans’ charity, while giving only 2 percent, or $6 million, to veterans – the same amount Mathis made in legal fees.

The prosecution ended their case Monday, almost 3 weeks shy of the four-week estimate.

The defense has a list of nearly 400 witnesses to choose from and will present at least six witnesses today, Stone said.

 

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Florida Gaming Study Brings Tallahassee One Step Closer In Becoming The House

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Independent Gaming Study NOT SO Independent, Sweepstakes and Arcade May Be Gone Indefinitely.
TALLAHASSEE – It seems that Florida’s governor is already in boiling water at the start of his reign. It is only been thirteen days since his proclamation when Governor Rick Scott, the capitalist turned Florida’s 45th governor has already been reported meeting with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.
mouse trapIn an email written by Tallahassee lobbyist Nick Larossi in 2010, Larossi expressed their meeting with the Governor and Adelson went very well. Thanks for the help; the Governor has asked me to call your office to discuss business proposals for a destination resort casino. The email was addressed to the Governor’s transition team lead Enu Mainigi.
According to reports the email was sent just four months after Scott’s political campaign “Let’s Get to Work” was launched. The campaign was said to support Scott and boycott all other politicians.
“Let’s Get to Work” has accumulated a total of almost half a million dollars from various donations and contributions from gaming corps which includes $825,000 from resort casinos, $10,000 from Boyd Gaming, $100,000 payments from Donald Trump, $250,000 from Adelson, and $50,000 from The Racing Corporation of West Virginia.
Back in 2010, during a press conference, the Governor has mentioned he does not want to tie in with any gambling organizations just to save the state’s public funds. The Governor says his stand does not change.
However, Deirdre Macnab of the League of Women Voters comments the Governor, having taken those funds, is really going to have to bend over backwards to justify to the public any decision that is ultimately made on the issue of gambling.
The League of Women Voters urges Scott to make a public stand on illegal gambling and casino.
Two years ago, Scott has vetoed on a comprehensive study on gambling reasoning out that the state of Florida cannot afford a $400,000 worth of study.
The Florida Legislature, however, has passed a bill to approve the funding of a two-part gambling study.  The first part was already release earlier this year and the second half is expected to be completed by October 1st.
The study, conducted by Spectrum Gaming Group has concluded that Orlando is globally competitive in various fields including gambling.  It also cited Las Vegas as one of its biggest rival when it comes to gaming.
Furthermore, it reports Orlando’s strength in attracting business travelers is growing without gaming, and that absence is to some degree fueling that growth.
According to the study, Orlando has carved out a significant, profitable niche in that national market, and gaming would clearly be antithetical to that image and its ability to dominate that important segment.
 

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Sweepstakes Plea Deal Has Surprising Details In Allied Veteran Case

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Weak Case Getting Weaker As Prosecution Hands Out More Plea Deals

SANFORD – The top leader of Allied Veterans of the World, a charity at the center of a major Internet sweepstakes criminal case, on Friday pleaded no contest to operating an illegal lottery in a deal that doesn’t require him to serve any time in jail.court2

Jerry Bass was charged with more than 200 counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, operating a gambling hall, money laundering and possession of illegal gambling machines for heading Allied Veterans, which operated over 50 sweepstakes parlors in Florida.

Prosecutors agreed to drop all but two of the charges. They also agreed not to give him jail time. In exchange, 63-year-old Bass, who lives in Ocala, will testify for the state and against lawyer Kelly Mathis of Jacksonville.

Defense attorney Charles Hobbs said Friday that Bass and other Allied Veterans national leaders believed the Internet sweepstakes cafes they operated were legal. Bass entered his plea, Hobbs said, because he was facing the prospect an eight-week trial and prison time.

Bass was one of a six co-defendants in court on Friday. More than 50 were arrested during a series of raids March 13 in what Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi described as a $300 million criminal operation that provided almost no benefit to veterans. A statement that has drawn a lot of criticism for being false.

The scandal prompted the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, whose public relations firm had done work for the group. Since the arrests, Florida legislators outlawed Internet casinos although that law is being challenged for being overly broad in a handful of courtrooms.

The majority of the 57 people arrested are still awaiting trial. A handful had entered pleas in exchange for no jail time — including Bass’ predecessor, 66-year-old Johnny Duncan of Boiling Springs, S.C., who pleaded no contest to operating an illegal lottery and money laundering. He’s to be placed on probation later.

Although Bass has agreed to plead no contest to two felonies which each carried the possibility of five years in the pen, he won’t be locked up and he won’t be placed on probation. A fellow  national officer of the group, secretary-treasurer John Hessong, of Hilliard, also cut a deal Friday that carries no jail time. Although details were sketchy, his attorney described it as a pretrial intervention program.

Mathis also was in court Friday. His attorney, Mitch Stone, is asking Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. to dismiss the charges against him.

Mathis is an attorney who represents his clients, Stone said, just Allied’s lawyer who concluded that the group could legally operate slot-like machines under Florida’s sweepstakes law. He then assisted the opening of almost 50 sweepstakes cafes in storefronts around the state and provided ongoing legal service.

Stone said that attorneys at the state agency that enforces the state’s sweepstakes laws, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, had also concluded that the law allowed for them.

The judge on Friday rejected Mathis’ request change in venue.

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