Police raid Ohio business for possible illegal gambling operation

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Law enforcement agents busted a local diner allegedly conducting illegal gambling operations in Chesapeake, Ohio around 2p.m. on Wednesday.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office joined forces with the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and executed a search warrant at the Sky Lake diner located at 1543 Eaton Road.

According to Sheriff Jeff Lawless, there were about 20 video gambling machines seized from a hidden room inside Sky Lake. The machines along with cash confiscated cash from the operation were removed from the building.

Sky Lake owner Tracy Ellis told law enforcement he was not responsible for any wrongdoing.

“I thought I was in accordance with the law. I might not be. I might be wrong. They might have changed the law. It might be written to where I’m wrong. If I am, I have to pay the consequences, but I thought by all means I was right,” said Ellis.

He argued that people go over at Sky Lake to have a burger and chat, not to lose money.

“You want to lose money, go to West Virginia and play those machines. You can lose $10,000 in an hour. These are not like that,” Ellis explained

The owner, however, admitted that machines found inside the establishment where he kept it in a back room to keep them away from kids, were already there for 20 years.

Though no charges have been filed yet, Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson told it is illegal to operate a gambling house in Ohio. The case will be presented to a grand jury on mid-August.

“This joint investigation began earlier this year after local authorities received several complaints regarding suspicious activity inside the business. Today’s search warrant is being served in order to gather additional evidence to support our belief that illegal gambling was occurring here on a regular basis,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine stated.

Retired woman takes home $100,000 lottery prize twice

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

RICHMOND, Va – A woman who won the lottery’s top prize in 2006 won again the lottery’s $100,000 prize.

The lucky woman, Peggy Huffman of Staunton matched all five numbers in the July 5 Cash 5 drawing from the Virginia Lottery winning the $100,000 top prize for the second time around.

In 2006, Huffman already won the top prize in Cash 5 with winning numbers 14-17-25-30-32 from a ticket purchased in the BP gas station along Jefferson Highway, Staunton. She played the numbers once more saying those were her favorite and won again.

LOTTERY_Otto

Huffman told Lottery officials that she could n’t believe it.

“I was stunned!” expressed the two-time lottery winner.

Huffman, now retired, said she will use her winnings to pay bills.

Breaux Bridge man robs casino with bare hands

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

ST. MARTINVILLE, La. – A Breaux Bridge man was arrested in the comforts of his home for robbing a local casino, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office reported.

According to deputies, around 1a.m. on Sunday, a black man in dark colored pants, blue shirt and black stocking cap entered Cash Magic Casino on LA 94 in Breaux Bridge and robbed the cashier. Then, he fled on foot from the front door.

The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputies joined St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office and responded right away.

The suspect identified as Cody Broussard, 29, of Breaux Bridge through a surveillance video was arrested four hours later in his residence without struggle.

Broussard who was unarmed during the robbery was charged with simple robbery. He was held at the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center.

No injury was reported during the incident.

68 jailed in China online gambling ring worth $78 billion

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

BEIJING – The raid on China’s largest online gambling ring worth $78 billion resulted to the imprisonment of 68 people for up to nine years.

Based on the official report, 55 were found guilty of opening online casinos, seven guilty of gambling and six guilty of both crimes. The convicted were ordered to pay fines up to $3.2 million (20 million yuan).

The ring which was run within a circle of friends and relatives like a pyramid scheme operated at the southern province of Guangdong through overseas websites from March 2008 to April 2013.

Under Chinese law, gambling was illegal in China. The only forms of legal gambling were the two government-owned lotteries: the Welfare Lottery regulated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Sports Lottery regulated by the General Administration of Sports. All other kinds of lottery tickets were prohibited since 1949.

Likewise, the Chinese government prohibited online gambling by not granting a license to operate online gambling sites. Players from China were also banned from playing overseas gaming sites. The government even filtered out online gambling sites from the internet.

During the past years, however, underground rings drew a large number of gamblers.

NJ to vote on casino expansion on Nov 2015

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

TRENTON, N.J. – On Wednesday, the state Senate President hinted there could be a referendum for the upcoming ballot on November 2015 asking voters if the state should expand casino gambling in North Jersey.

“If everyone is telling the truth — and you know I’m skeptical, too — then they care about Atlantic City, too. So if there is a true willingness — and I am taking everyone at their word — yeah, I am looking at it and I have looked at it for almost a year,” said state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester).

According to the Senate President, during the past year, he had private discussions with North Jersey officials regarding a potential approval of a casino in the Meadowlands.

Sweeney said any plans for North Jersey would also include specifics on how to revive Atlantic City. The Senator, recently, defended a five-year moratorium to lasts until 2016 in order to help Atlantic City.

Sen. Steven Oroho, R-Sussex along with Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Essex supported the Senate President.

Oroho stated that “by co-branding new gaming venues with the global brand Atlantic City already has built up, and by leveraging loyalty programs, we can help make Atlantic City a preeminent destination location.”

“I’m very pleased that he has opened his mind to the possibility of helping the state’s gaming business statewide. Atlantic City is under tremendous strain, and we can’t just abandon them,” Caputo stated.

On the other hand, Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, the leading proponent of sports betting bill in NJ was disappointed the referendum cannot be included on this year’s ballot.

“I congratulate Senator Swee­ney for opening this door, but we need to walk through it with a referendum on this year’s ballot,” said Lesniak.

Sweeney responded by saying “we can’t do it this year because we’d have to get it done by July 14. We aren’t rushing this – it’s too big.”

CA shut down internet sweepstakes cafes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies took notice of the several people placing $2 bets on electronic games inside a business in a dark strip mall.

The storefront called Silk and Stars offered internet access and telephone cars to customers with sweepstakes games such as Robin Hood, Mr. Millionaire and Luck of the Irish played through video games that simulate like casino slot machines.

Based on the state’s law, however, this kind of business was illegal gambling operation.

In an attempt to halt internet sweepstake café operations in California, Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield authored AB1439, a bill which prohibited the unfair practice of business through contests and sweepstakes.

AB1439 disallowed the use of an electronic video monitor to simulate gambling or play gambling-themed games in a business establishment that directly or indirectly implements the predetermination of sweepstakes cash, cash-equivalent prizes, or other prizes of value, or otherwise connects a sweepstakes player or participant with sweepstakes cash, cash-equivalent prizes, or other prizes of value. By creating new crimes, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

“This is a prolific problem that we’re seeing in our neighbourhood’s up and down the state, where we’re seeing these illegal gaming sweepstakes cafes opening up with a myriad of problems and issues of drugs, of prostitution, impacts to local legitimate businesses in these strip malls where these things are occurring,” told Salas.

On the other hand, Phillip Walker, founder of the Internet Cafe Association of California argued that internet cafes were not illegal.

“On the surface it looks like it’s illegal. But once you get down to the meat inside, it really isn’t,” expressed Walker who was also one of the appellants in the petition to review the internet case ruling granted by the state’s highest court.

Earlier, the California Supreme Court announced its decision to review two appellate court rulings which ceased internet cafes in Bakersfield and Kern County.

In March, the Kern County Superior Court ruled that internet café offering internet time and sweepstakes through unlawful slot machines or gambling device.

In another ruling, an appellate court also ruled that internet gaming cafes were in violation with the state’s gambling laws. The Fifth Appellate District in Fresno which ruled in favor of the Kern County District Attorney’s Office, ruled that internet cafes also known as sweepstakes cafes were illegal gambling organizations.

The defendants who operated internet cafes claimed the sweepstakes program was legitimate promotion to increase sale of telephone cards based in the Penal Code. They petitioned for a review of the cases which the highest court unanimously granted.

Los Angeles based attorney John H. Weston who represented appellants Kirnpal Grewal of A to Z Cafe as well as Walker of OZ Internet Cafe and Hub stated the unanimous grant “obviously was indicative that they thought it was serious which at the very least recognizes the case has interest.”

“They saw something there they wanted to review. The beneficial thing to everyone is, it will finally be said and done. We got it to the highest court in the land,” said Walker in agreement with Weston.

The Kern County District Attorney’s office, however, had mixed emotions.

“We’ve got mixed feelings about it. This is an opportunity to have that favorable ruling take on an even greater impact,” said Kern County Deputy District Attorney Gregory Pulskamp.

Lumberton man arrested for robbing internet cafe at gunpoint

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

SCOTLAND COUNTY, N.C. – The Laurinburg police arrested a Lumberton man for holding up an internet sweepstakes café at gunpoint on Saturday.

Assistant Police Chief Cliff Sessoms reported that Dedrick Moody, 31, of 1005 Blunt St., entered the internet café around 5 in the afternoon and brandished a gun before ordering staff and patrons to enter the bathroom. Moody, then, took an undisclosed amount of cash from the register as well as cell phone and keys from a customer.

The suspect was charged with two counts of armed robbery and second degree kidnapping. He was held at the Scotland County jail under $100,000 bond.

Law enforcement was expected to reinforce the law and shut down internet sweepstakes in the county following the state’s gambling ban.The Scotland County law enforcement, recently, teamed-up with Hoke County forming a Joint Gaming Task Force that hand-delivered notices to dozens of video sweepstakes establishments in both counties.

“Gambling continues to be illegal in North Carolina. We will enforce the law and prosecute cases against those who break the law,” read the notice.

Video lottery terminals arrive at Austintown racino

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – The first batch of 850 video lottery terminals arrived at the horse race track and slot machine venue in Austintown on Monday.

About 24 VLTs from Multimedia Games were delivered at the Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course. Another batch of shipments is expected to arrive from Bally Technologies, Konami Gaming, Aristocrat and WMS.

Mike Galle, General Manager of Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course called the physical receiving of the first VLTs as a big step.

“We’ll begin installing them soon as construction work continues at a rapid pace on both the interior and exterior of the gaming facility and the racetrack complex,” told Galle.

In April, the Ohio State Racing Commission granted Penn National Gaming a racing permit which allowed the Hollywood Gaming to operate VLTs at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

The $250 million racino will include a variety of dining options, a sports bar, and an entertainment venue with state of the art theatre and 1,000 track-view seats where patrons can place their bets at the racetracks.

Penn National also announced that though thoroughbred racing will begin on November 24, they do not have a specific opening date yet.

“We don’t have a specific date for that announcement yet. It’s dependent primarily on construction milestones, since we’ve already received our temporary VLT license from the Lottery Commission,” said Penn National spokesman Bob Tenenbaum.

RI Senate approves Newport Grand casino bill

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Senate reconvened on Monday for a brief post-recess session after the 2014 session in order to pass the proposed Newport Grand casino bill with two-thirds vote.

On June 21, just before the recess for the 2014 session, the Senate passed a bill which included the financial terms of expanded gambling at Newport Grand with 24-2 votes. The vote, however, fell short of the required approval because some of the senators apparently were missing in action during the vote.

According to the state’s Constitution, any bill appropriating the public money or property for local or private purposes required a two-thirds vote. The June 21 vote was two votes shy of the super majority.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, therefore, decided to hold a re-vote though the Senate legal advisers did not think the super majority was needed.

“This is strictly done out of an abundance of caution,” Sen. Weed stated.

On a nine-minute session, the senators passed the bill for the second time with 32-2 votes. The 17-page bill would ask citizens of Rhode Island on the November referendum the question:

“Shall an act be approved which would authorize the facility known as ‘Newport Grand’ in the city of Newport to add state-operated casino gaming, such as table games, to the types of gambling it offers only and exclusively at the facility located at 150 Admiral Kalbfus Road, Newport?”

Good-bye Atlantic City’s Showboat Casino

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Caesars Entertainment, parent company of the Showboat Casino hotel announced it will close down the Mardi Gras-themed casino in Atlantic City by August 31.

“While we regret the impact that this decision will have on our Showboat associates, we believe this is a necessary step to help stabilize our business in Atlantic City and support the viability of our remaining operations in the vicinity,” said CEO Gary Loveman.

Loveman called it a difficult decision and described it as “persistant declines in the business levels in the area exacerbated by the high property-tax burden in Atlantic City.”

“Since 2006, revenue in Atlantic City has declined by more than $3 billion and competition in the city has increased. The dynamic in Atlantic City has led us to the difficult but necessary decision to close Showboat,” the CEO explained.

Earlier this year, the Atlantic Club also shut down after Caesars along with Tropicana Entertainment took it down in a bankruptcy sale.

In addition, Revel Casino Hotel also warned it will shut down this summer if a buyer can’t be found in bankruptcy court. The casino obtained a $125 million loan so it can operate during its stay in bankruptcy court.

“We sincerely appreciate the service, dedication and professionalism shown by the employees of the Showboat over the years to provide our customers with incredible experiences,” Loveman expressed.