Monthly Archives: April 2009

Urgent: ‘ADDICTING FAMILIES FOR DOLLARS’ – Florida’s new gambling expansion plan that you can help stop

Casino Watch Focus previously reported on the new gambling expansion plan in Florida.  But you can help make a difference.  Please visit the Casino Watch Florida Gambling Expansion Alert page for more details

http://www.casinowatch.org/legislative/Florida_Gambling_Expansion_Alert.html

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION


FL governor makes a desperate last minute attempt at expanding gambling

Casino Watch Focus previously reported that the FL legislature, being pushed by Gov Crist, was examining two proposals to expand gambling in the state of FL.  Neither proposal seemed very good for the people of the state and it appears the legislature agreed.  Because Gov Crist was unsuccessful in passing the legislation, he has now put forth a new and last minute proposal that he hopes will provide the compromises needed to get the legislation passed by Friday, the last day of Florida’s legislative session.  An internet article reports:

The new agreement would give the Seminoles exclusive rights to offer blackjack and slot gambling outside of South Florida, but would make several concessions to pari-mutuel establishments worried about being forced to compete with the Seminole facilities.

Existing gambling establishments at pari-mutuel facilities in South Florida would see poker limits raised, …extended opening hours and be allowed to have ATMs on the casino floor.

If a deal is not struck between the Seminoles and the FL legislature, a legal challenge will most likely follow.  The article continues:

But behind the scenes a frenzied lobbying effort is being undertaken to broker a deal which will leave both sides satisfied.

The Florida legislative session ends next Friday, but if the legislature does not affirm the legality of the Seminole’s blackjack operations before then, there is likely be a heavyweight legal challenge to shut down their gaming operations in a Federal court, mounted by the Florida House of Representatives through the office of the Speaker.

Frantic public relations efforts are now underway to pave the way for a new agreement, whatever its final form.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION


Foxwood casino working with authorities in craigslist killer case

The St Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that investigators are working with the Foxwood casino to confirm Philip’s gambling debts:

Investigators believe Markoff was a gambler based on their interviews with witnesses and are trying to retrace his steps to find out whether he had been visiting casinos in the last week, according to a law enforcement official who asked for anonymity because of restrictions on public disclosures about the case.

When asked to respond to reports that Markoff had visited Foxwoods recently, perhaps even after Brisman’s killing, a casino spokeswoman issued a statement: “We do not release information publicly concerning individual patrons; however, we are aware of this situation and are cooperating with the appropriate law enforcement authorities.”

For more articles regarding the “Craiglist Killer” and his gambling problems and debt, please visit our Craigslist Killer Infromation page and for more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION


Craigslist killer may have attacked more women

Casino Watch Focus has reported that the alleged Craigslist Killer, Philip Markoff, had a gambling debt that police allege motivated the robbery of two women and the murder of another.  Now, The Kansas City Star is reporting that there could be even more victims:

Investigators are looking into gambling as the possible motivation. The law enforcement official said Markoff was a “frequent visitor” to Foxwoods casino in Connecticut. Markoff also is accused of robbing and tying up another woman, and police have said there could be more victims.

“This was a brutal, vicious crime – savage, and it shows Philip Markoff is a man who is willing to take advantage of women, to hurt them, to beat them, to rob them,” District Attorney Daniel Conley said Tuesday. “He probably thought he was going to get away with it. He thought he was too smart for us.”

For more articles regarding the “Craiglist Killer” and his gambling problems and debt, please visit our Craigslist Killer Infromation page and for more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION


Craigslist killer’s gambling problems started in school

Casino Watch Focus has reported that the alleged Craigslist Killer, Philip Markoff, had a gambling debt that police allege motivated the robbery of two women and the murder of another.  Now, The NY Times is reporting that Philip started gambling and getting into debt while he was in school:

James Kehoe, who said he was close to Mr. Markoff at SUNY Albany, from which Mr. Markoff graduated in 2007 with a degree in biology, said his classmate had played a lot of poker at school with other students.  “He did used to play a lot, into the late hours,” Mr. Kehoe said. “He got into debt with the games and kept trying to win it back.”

How many times has someone said a little gambling won’t hurt anybody?  Too many times, people turn a blind eye to the casinos in our neighborhoods, or the late night card games for money, and simply say “its just entertainment.”  But when people get in to deep, they can do the unthinkable to get themselves out.  People who knew Philip said there was no way he could hurt anyone.  Yet the police have him in custody, and almost every article that is reporting new evidence shows how someone who had everything in front of him, was driven to robbery and murder to pay off a gambling debt.

For more articles regarding the “Craiglist Killer” and his gambling problems and debt, please visit our Craigslist Killer Infromation page and for more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION


Police claim alleged craigslist killer committed crimes to pay off gambling debt

In a very comprehensive article by ABC news, they outline the alleged crimes Phillip Markoff, aka the Craigslist Killer, committed, and his likely motivation:

Philip Markoff, the accused “Craigslist Killer” currently being held in Boston on murder charges, gambled all night at the Foxwoods Casino two days after he allegedly killed Julissa Brisman. He also gambled at the Connecticut casino two days after he allegedly attacked another woman at the Westin Hotel in Boston, said the source, who spoke to ABC News on the condition of anonymity. Prosecutors claim he stole $800 out of the woman’s wallet before he bound her, duct-taped her mouth shut and then used plastic flexi-cuffs to tie her to a doorknob.

A police source close to the investigation told ABC News this week that police believe Markoff’s motive in the alleged crimes was to pay off gambling debts. Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley, speaking to reporters today after Markoff’s brief court hearing, would not comment on the gambling allegations, but said authorities believe robbery was the motive for the crimes.

The article goes on to describe just how terrible this crime was:

Prosecutors said today that Markoff bound and robbed a woman at the Westin Hotel on April 10. In a separate April 14 attack, prosecutors claim Markoff tried to rob 26-year-old Brisman at the Boston Mariott Copley Place Hotel, but hit her over the head and then shot her in the heart when she resisted.

“This is a brutal, vicious, savage attack. This suspect showed he was willing to take advantage of women,” said Conley, adding that there was a “strong possibility he has done this before.” During a search of Markoff’s house, police found a semi-automatic weapon, plastic ties and duct tape, Conley said.

Please read the complete article HERE and for more articles regarding the “Craiglist Killer” and his gambling problems and debt, please visit our Craigslist Killer Infromation page

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION


Legislature looking to expose Floridians to the dangers of gambling at much younger ages and at a more accelerated rate

A recent web article explains the possible new changes to Florida’s gambling laws:

Floridians could soon see a change to gambling laws in their state after proposals to relax the rules on age restrictions and limits on stakes have been put forward.

At present Florida residents can gamble in Seminole resorts and parimutuel outlets, but they need to be over the age of 21. They are also limited to stakes in poker games of $100. But that could all be changing very soon.

A state Senate committee has pushed through an amendment to the rules that would bring down the legal age of casino gambling to 18 and also remove limits on stakes in ‘legal’ poker games.

As the web article reports, opponents spoke out against the bill for very obvious reasons:

“Lowering the gambling age will open up all kinds of gambling to the young – the highest-risk gambling group,” said Pat Fowler, executive director of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling.

“Problem gambling in the 18-to-24 age bracket constitutes an overlooked social cost of gambling expansion,” she added.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION


Florida legislature looking to expands gambling even as economists say their plans wont work

The Miami Herald is reporting the specifics of a new FL House Bill aimed at expanding gambling as a means to generate extra money for the state:

Amid warnings that expanding gambling is not a good bet for the state this year, a House committee passed a scaled-back Indian gaming bill Friday.  The House select committee on tribal gaming voted 17-1 Friday to give the Seminole Tribe the exclusive right to operate Class III slot machines at its seven casinos in Florida in return for $100 million a year.

As previously reported by Casino Watch Focus, Class III ‘bingo’ slot machines are virtually identical to their normal and addictive counterparts, the traditional cherry master slot machines.  The Senate’s proposal is even worse in terms of expanded gambling.  The Miami Herald continues:

The House’s gambling plan is a stark contrast to a Senate plan which passed out of its first committee last week. The Senate has proposed giving the tribe full casinos, including craps and roulette, lowering the tax rate on slots at horse and dog tracks and jai alai frontons, and giving ”racinos” — race tracks that have slot machines — card games such as blackjack. The agreement also would give parimutuels outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties bingo-style, Class II slot machines.

State economists reported that the proposal would not generate the kind of revenue expected and would actually be harmful to the state:

State economists this week shot down predictions by the Senate and governor that the Senate plan would produce $1 billion in new revenue and help close Florida’s $3 billion budget gap.

Instead of $1 billion, economists predicted the Seminole’s full casinos would produce about $400 million a year. They also said the proposal to reduce the tax rate on parimutuels while giving them new games would result in a net loss in taxes to the state.

”It’s very sobering,” said Galvano. “It’s a recognition that whatever we’re doing shouldn’t be a rush to judgment… Any of these changes are going to be slow coming and the money we do have is not going to be anywhere close to the $1 billion.”

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION


FL legislators differ on Seminole gambling compact – Senate seeks full Vegas Style gambling

A recent web article is reporting that Florida House and Senate bills are each proposing very different proposals on how to deal with the Seminole gambling compact:

Recently, a Senate Committee approved a Bill that would bring a widespread philosophical change to gambling in Florida. The Bill would expand gambling to the point where Florida could become one of the top casino destinations in the country.

The House, however, has other plans. A House Committee on Friday approved a Bill that would scale back the gambling taking place in the state. Card games such as blackjack and baccarat would have to leave the Seminole casinos that are now running the games.

The Seminoles will likely side with the Senate bill, but it would pose significant risk to the people of FL.  The web article continues:

It is unlikely the Seminoles would go along with any negotiations for a compact that would not include blackjack. The game has become the most popular at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, and the Seminoles are too close to full scale casino gambling to accept such a fate.

The Senate Bill is much more appealing to the Seminoles. The tribe not only would be allowed to keep blackjack and baccarat, but they would also gain access to craps and roulette. In other words, full Vegas style casinos.

The Governor is currently in favor of expanded gambling in the state.  Governor Crist and the State Senate are choosing to ignore the serious and devastating consequences that a full out Vegas Style gambling policy would bring to Florida.
For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION