Monthly Archives: November 2021

UPDATE: Federal Judge Rules Against Florida Seminole Sports Gambling Provision, Calling the State’s Argument ‘Fiction’

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to legalize sports betting in Florida via the Seminole Gambling Compact.  The problem has been the plan calls for online sports betting and claims that anyone in the state can use their app and gamble on sports even though sports gambling is very much not legalized in the state.  Their argument has been that as long as the servers are on tribal land, then the gambler doesn’t have to be at the casino.  A Federal Judge has reviewed the case and despite what some thought would be a simple political push through, has approved the injunction and shut the deal down.  The Miami Herald reports:

In a stunning rejection of Florida’s attempt to give the Seminole Tribe a monopoly on sports betting, a federal district court judge in the District of Columbia ruled late Monday that the compact violates federal Indian gaming law and invalidated the entire agreement, halting all sports betting and gaming expansion in Florida indefinitely.

The ruling by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich puts a halt on the sports betting quietly launched by the Seminole Tribe on Nov. 1 and, in a double hit, it also blocks the tribe’s Hard Rock casinos in Broward and Hillsborough counties from becoming full Las Vegas-style casinos.

“Although the Compact ‘deem[s]’ all sports betting to occur at the location of the Tribe’s ‘sports book[s]‘ and supporting servers … this Court cannot accept that fiction,’’ Friedrich wrote. “When a federal statute authorizes an activity only at specific locations, parties may not evade that limitation by ‘deeming’ their activity to occur where it, as a factual matter, does not.”

Judge Friedrich ordered Florida to revert back to the prior compact and outlined the path for sports betting to either be on Tribal land or statewide through a vote of the people.  Many believed politics would prevent such an obvious and clear understanding of federal gambling law, but this decision is a positive first step.  The state is likely to appeal, but its a major victory for those fighting against such gambling expansion.  The Miami Herald continues:

The decision is a victory for the owners of Magic City Casino and Bonita Springs Poker Room and a group of plaintiffs that includes No Casinos and Miami businessmen Armando Codina and Norman Braman. They each filed separate lawsuits against U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland alleging that the federal government improperly approved the gaming compact.

Codina and Braman have fought to block gaming expansion for decades and helped finance the successful 2018 constitutional amendment that requires that any expansion of gambling be approved by voters in a statewide referendum.

“I think this is a big victory. I couldn’t ask for more,’’ said Codina, a real estate developer and devoted gambling opponent. He said he will continue to fight if the state and tribe file an appeal.

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


A Brief Look at Crime 11/22 – 11/28

L.A. casino fined $500,000 for looking the other way when a gambler brought duffle bags stuffed with $100 million for marathon gambling sessions

A Los Angeles County casino was hit with a hefty fine for failing to properly alert financial regulators and the Internal Revenue Service when a “high roller” walked in with $100 million in cash to bet on games of baccarat. Federal prosecutors say the unnamed whale — who was described only as a Chinese national — made over 100 visits to the Bicycle Hotel & Casino over eight months in 2016, often arriving with duffle bags full of cash to bet on marathon sessions of the high-stakes card game. On numerous occasions, the gambler’s assistant would exchange millions in cash for chips, with the high roller cashing in and cashing out approximately $100 million during the course of his months-long gambling spree, prosecutors said.

When gamblers buy over $10,000 in chips using cash, a casino is required to file a currency-transaction report and a suspicious-activity report with the Department of the Treasury. But prosecutors say the casino routinely filed the forms in the name of the gambler’s assistant, in violation of the law. Last week, the casino reached a nonprosecution agreement with the Department of Justice under which it will pay a $500,000 fine and revamp its anti-money-laundering protocols.

Man arrested months after fatal shooting at illegal gambling operation in San Antonio

A San Antonio man was arrested Sunday on suspicion of murder months after a fatal shooting at an illegal gaming room, according to police. The footage, taken on a cell phone, showed Alderete walking over to Isaac and attempting to shake his hand, according to the affidavit. Isaac is seen pulling out a gun and pointing it at Alderete, shooting him in the chest. The two kept fighting, and Alderete was shot a second time. Isaac’s stepdaughter was also shot in the ankle during the struggle. 

Two employees get prison for stealing $777K from Native American addiction center 

Two employees of a Native American counseling and addiction center, including its executive director, have been sentenced on charges of embezzling more than $777,000 in federal funds. DeCoteau served as executive director of Ain Dah Ing (ADI), which has operated as a non-profit halfway house in Spooner, Wisconsin since 1971, from 2002 to 2017. Schmuck worked as the bookkeeper from 1990 to 2017. They were fired after the thefts were discovered. DeCoteau and Schmuck pleaded guilty to one count of theft of federal funds on July 15 and June 24, respectively. ADI offered mental health and alcohol and substance abuse services to Native Americans from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. At sentencing, Judge William M. Conley noted that DeCoteau and Schmuck stole more than 67% of the total funds intended for programming at ADI, and that they gambled away most of this money at local Indian casinos.

Former Office Manager Sentenced for Swindling Broken Arrow Business of $2.7 Million

Dihel pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion on July 21, 2021, after she brazenly embezzled more than $2.7 million from her employer from 2011 until May 2019. Dihel took advantage of her trusted position as an office manager at the business and forged the president’s signature on approximately 334 checks for her own benefit and to the detriment of the company. She made some checks payable to herself, some to her boyfriend and a family member, and some to personal credit card companies to pay her monthly credit card bills. Her boyfriend and family member were unaware of her scheme. Dihel further manipulated accounting entries in her employer’s books and records to cover her tracks. Dihel stated in her plea agreement that she spent most of the money on gambling. 

Cash, drugs, guns, flamethrower seized in Oakland illegal ‘gambling shack’ bust

The Oakland Police Department is investigating an illegal casino gambling operation that has already landed three arrests and the seizure of weapons, drugs and even a flame thrower. Among the items recovered by officers were four loaded firearms, a 50 round drum magazine, a flame thrower and $17,500 in cash, police said. OPD said officers also recovered eight gambling machines, a quarter pound of suspected meth, and a large amount of tar heroin packaged for distribution inside of what they described as a “gambling shack.” Two people were arrested during the search warrant, while a total of 11 people were detained. A third person, who is believed to have been running the operation, was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm, police said.

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


$32 Million and Counting has been Dropped in Florida to Legalize Sports Betting via Initiative Petitions, but will they Succeed?

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to legalize sports betting in Florida.  The Seminole Nation and state of Florida reached a new gambling compact that provides exclusive rights to sports betting in exchange for annual cash payments to the state.  That compact has been hotly contested and seemingly violates federal and states laws for allowing sports betting online and not solely at Seminole casinos.  But even if those legal hurdles are worked out, that still leaves companies like Draft Kings and FanDuel from getting a piece of the sports betting pie.  Enter the initiative petition. If enough signatures can be gathered, the issue would go to the voters.  If the voters pass the petition, sports betting could be legalized all over the state.  So how much money has been spent on these petitions and are they getting the signatures they need?  Florida Politics breaks it down:

Two gambling drives each have spent $16 million; neither has more than 110K verified signatures. Gambling interests’ efforts to get Florida voters to consider expanding casino gambling and sports betting are raising the stakes — pouring another $22 million into their campaigns in October.

The cash infusion fuels frenetic petition drives by Florida Education Champions, a committee backed by the fantasy sports giants DraftKings and FanDuel seeking to expand sports betting in Florida; and by Florida Voters In Charge, a committee backed by Las Vegas Sands Corp. seeking to create opportunities for casinos in North Florida. Between them they’ve spent more than $32 million over four months.

For DraftKings, FanDuel, and Las Vegas Sands, the clock is ticking, fast, on their petition drives. The two petition drives each need 891,589 verified voters’ signatures by January. Neither is close, according to the latest updates posted by the Florida Secretary of State.

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


A Brief Look at Crime 11/15 – 11/21

UPDATE: Man who shot his ex outside of Toppenish casino fatally shot by police 

A 41-year-old man accused of recently shooting his ex-girlfriend at Legends Casino in Toppenish was fatally shot by Idaho sheriff’s deputies after he fired his gun at them, led them on a high-speed chase across counties and pulled a gun on them a second time. Buddy McKenzie, 41, was previously charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and illegally possessing a firearm after police said he shot a 37-year-old woman in the stomach and head on Oct. 4 in the Legends Casino parking lot.

Deputies confirmed that McKenzie was the shooter by looking through the casino’s security footage. A nationwide warrant was issued for his arrest with a reward of $750,000, but deputies were unable to locate him until they got a call that McKenzie had been found more than 600 miles away in southern Idaho. Schilperoort said on Wednesday afternoon, McKenzie fired several gunshots at law enforcement officers in Caribou County, Idaho and fled in a small, white pickup truck. The high-speed chase continued for about 20 minutes and through into nearby Bannock County. Law enforcement officers were able to use spikes to deflate the truck’s tires and the vehicle eventually came to a stop on Highway 30 near the exit to McCammon. Schilperoort said McKenzie got out of the truck, pulled out a pistol and pointed it at deputies.

Shots Fired In Parking Lot Of Grand Sierra Resort and Casino

Friday morning just after 3 a.m Reno Police responded to reports of shots fired in the parking lot of the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. Police arrived on scene to find shell casings in the parking area on the west side of the building. No one was injured though multiple unoccupied vehicles were hit. Police say they’ve identified a possible vehicle and suspect but have made no arrests yet or determined the cause.

Northeastern Minnesota casino employee sentenced for theft of more than $300K

An Orr woman will serve eight months in federal prison for embezzling more than $300,000 from Fortune Bay Resort Casino in Tower. Boutto, a former front desk supervisor at the casino, pleaded guilty in March to a felony count of embezzlement and theft of tribal funds. Authorities said she managed to steal $315,739.87 by processing nearly 3,000 false cash refunds between January 2013 and October 2019. According to court documents, Boutto began working as a reservationist in 2008 and was promoted over the years — eventually gaining the ability to issue cash refunds without direct oversight. “Boutto’s scheme to defraud was premised on this access,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan Sing wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “Boutto identified customers who spent significant money at Fortune Bay and, after the customers checked out, issued a false cash refund against the invoice. Boutto concocted various reasons for the refunds and then retrieved the cash for herself from Fortune Bay’s vault. The scheme worked, and Boutto’s confidence in it grew over time.”

Spanish Woman Faked Own Kidnapping, Used Husband’s Ransom to Play Bingo 

Spanish police have arrested a woman they accuse of faking her own kidnapping and using the ransom for bingo buy-ins. According to Mossos d’Esquadra, the police force serving Spain’s semi-autonomous Catalonia region, the unnamed 47-year-old woman concocted the plan while her husband was being treated in a local hospital. The unfortunate man called police in a panic on October 6 after he received messages on his mobile phone, purportedly from his wife’s abductors. He was told he would have to pay a €6,000 ($7,000) ransom to secure the woman’s freedom. The case was assigned to Mossos d’Esquadra’s elite kidnap and extortion unit. Fearing his wife was in mortal danger, the man was advised to pay a portion of the ransom, in line with instructions in the messages.

When some of the ransom was later withdrawn from a bank in Badalona, near Barcelona, agents sprang into action, obtaining footage from the security camera. The video showed the purported abductee, apparently safe and well, thumbing the cash. The unit then traced her to a nearby casino. In security video from the venue released this week by Mossos d’Esquadra, she is seen washing her hands with sanitizer at the entrance, before marching past the slot machines to the bingo hall. She was arrested that evening, mid-bingo game, and charged with extortion and suspicion of reporting a fake crime.

Ex-State Fair Finance Head Gets Jail, Probation for Theft 

The former finance director of the Nebraska State Fair was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail and 15 years’ probation for stealing more than $150,000 from the fair. Patrick Kopke, 30, received the sentence Friday and was ordered to pay restitution of more than $158,000 to the State Fair, television station KSNB reported. He was also ordered to undergo counseling for a gambling addiction. In August, Kopke pleaded no contest to three counts of felony theft. He had faced up to 20 years in prison on each charge. A state audit found that a company Kopke created was paid nearly $150,000 in state funds but there was no proof the company had done any work for the fair.

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


The Newest Attempt at a Casino in the Missouri Ozarks Appears to be Tribal Gambling, but Hurdles Loom

Casino Watch Focus has reported on efforts to legalize a new casino at Osage Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks.  The biggest problem has been that casino gambling, or river boat gambling as it were, is constitutionally restricted to the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and there is a cap on the total number at thirteen.  So even if a casino license were to become available, neither river flows near Osage Beach.  The newest plan would seek to get around those rules by establishing a Tribal Casino.  Tribes are allowed to offer the same equivalent gambling on their reservations that are allowed in the state, but there are a few major hurdles that would have to be overcome, including the actual establishment of a tribal reservation in Missouri.  The Missouri Times explains:

The Osage Nation is planning to roll the dice on a new casino at the Lake of the Ozarks, potentially opening up a new revenue stream at the popular tourism spot — though a successful outcome is far from guaranteed.   

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), passed by Congress in 1988, outlined the process for approving a tribal casino off of a reservation.

Purchased land would be handled by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Osage Nation would then negotiate the responsibilities for providing law enforcement and taxation with the state government — all of which could take several years. If any party were to oppose the terms along the way, the project would be dashed.

A major hurdle for the project could be a clause in the IGRA that requires a tribe to have a reservation in the state to receive approval: Once a prominent tribe in Missouri, the nearest Osage reservation is now in Oklahoma, Leara said. 

So just what kind of support or more importantly, opposition would such a plan face?  Well, given how long it would take to even establish that the Osage Nation has the jurisdiction to build such a gambling facility, the political landscape could be vastly different.  The Missouri Times concludes:

Ultimately, Leara said he would place his bets on the project taking up to a decade to come to fruition — if it manages to get off the ground at all.

“I think when this becomes more than a press release and something a little more concrete, we’ll start to see opposition,” Leara told The Missouri Times. “We don’t know where the governor is on this — we’ll likely have a different governor before this goes anywhere anyway. There are a lot of questions and while they did get a lot of attention from their press release, I don’t think it’s anything in the near future.”

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


A Brief Look at Crime 11/08 – 11/14

S.I. man was boss of ‘Diamond Enterprise’ ring, feds say

The Staten Island leader of a racketeering operation dubbed the “Diamond Enterprise” pleaded guilty to multiple charges in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday in connection with underground gambling establishments that propped up a criminal organization under his control. Abduraman Iseni, 56, who authorities said is a Staten Island resident, pleaded guilty to eight charges including racketeering, money laundering, bank fraud conspiracy, making false statements to a bank, making interstate threats and two gambling offenses.

Iseni made the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter. “As he admitted today, Abduraman Iseni led a network of underground gambling establishments to prop up a criminal enterprise under his control,” said U.S. Attorney Damien Williams. “Iseni engaged in a series of additional crimes, including money laundering, threatening a victim with physical violence, and defrauding and lying to banks in an effort to receive money to which he was not entitled,” said Williams. “Thanks to the hard work of our partners at the FBI, Iseni stands convicted of numerous offenses and awaits sentencing for his years of crime.”

Legends Casino shooting, nationwide warrant issued at 750K

Police are still actively looking for Buddy McKenzie as there is a nationwide warrant for his arrest of 750K. Authorities say they are receiving Crime Stoppers tips and Det. Reyna is receiving phone calls, but still no leads in finding McKenzie. Investigators confirmed the victim is 37-year-old Lupe Torres, and she is still alive. Police are asking for the publics help in finding 41-year-old Buddy Byron Mckenzie for shooting Torres in front of Legends Casino. In the early morning of Monday, October 4th, deputies were called to Legends Casino for a report of a woman that was shot in the parking lot of the casino.

According to investigators, casino security found the woman and directed deputies to the crime scene where deputies realized the woman had a gunshot wound to her head and torso. Deputies provided first aid until medics arrived and took her to the hospital by ambulance. If anyone has information about this shooting and where they can find Buddy Mckenzie please call Detective Reyna at (509)574-2567 or CrimeStoppers at (800) 248-9980  Case 21C16703

Fatal Punch at The Strat Leads to Las Vegas Murder Charge

A Las Vegas man is to appear in court on Tuesday for allegedly murdering another man in the lobby of the Strat Hotel, Casino & SkyPod several weeks ago. The charge was brought to light this week. Initially, Michael Saunders was charged with battery for the Aug. 27 incident, but the charge was upgraded to murder after the victim died from his injuries, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Saunders is currently being held without bail. If convicted, he could face life in prison. He has been convicted previously for unrelated crimes in Nevada.

Five accused of scamming more than $1M at Atlantic City casinos

Five New York City residents are accused of stealing more than $1.1 million from casinos here through a bogus-check scheme. The suspects allegedly exchanged phony bank checks for gaming chips at five casinos between Aug. 26 and Aug. 28, said the Attorney General’s Office. Three of the casinos — Borgata, Caesars and Ocean — each lost $284,000 to the scheme, the agency said in a statement Thursday. The Golden Nugget and Hard Rock casinos lost $134,000 apiece.

“The defendants were caught executing a sophisticated financial scheme spanning multiple casinos and over a million dollars in fraudulent checks,” Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck alleged Thursday in announcing charges in the case. The suspects allegedly presented each casino with two fake checks, one for $150,000 and another for $134,000, the statement said. The checks appeared to be from TD Bank and Bank of America. Hard Rock’s loss was lower because it denied a $150,000 check. Golden Nugget reduced its exposure by telling a suspect she could only receive incremental amounts on a $134,000 check.

Pennsylvania Board Adds Three to Casino Exclusion List for Leaving Kids Unattended

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) this week placed the names of three parents or guardians on an exclusion list. They were involved in separate situations, leaving kids unattended in cars parked at a casino.

In each case, the parent or guardian went into the casino while the child or children were left alone in the car. The board called the adults’ actions “irresponsible.” “In making these decisions regarding the three adults, the Board is reminding the gambling public to not leave children unattended … not only because of the possible exclusion from all Pennsylvania casinos and prosecution, but more importantly due to the possible safety hazard to the child,” the PGCB said in a statement. Now that the adults are on the Involuntary Exclusion List, they are prohibited from entering or gambling at any Pennsylvania casino, the statement adds.

The PGCB detailed each incident. One of the parents was placed on the list after leaving an 11-year-old child in a parked car, while the adult went into the casino to redeem a sportsbook ticket. In another case, the father of two boys — one of whom was eight and the other five — was placed on the list after leaving them in his car while he placed a bet at the sportsbook and played craps, the statement said. And a woman was placed on the list for leaving four children — ages 13, 13, 10 and two — in her vehicle while she watched an acquaintance play craps.

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


Missouri Pro-Sports Teams look to Initiative Petitions to Legalize Sports Betting

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to legalize sports betting in Missouri.  Various attempts have been made over the years to pass a bill through the legislature, but all efforts have so far failed.  A recent plan was reported that would target the Missouri lottery as the sports gambling regulatory body, but nothing has been formally introduced to move forward.  Now, it would appear Missouri pro-sports teams have grown tired of the legislative process and have instead pushed forward what can only be described as a chaotic, unorganized, and desperate attempt to get some kind of sports betting legalized.  Literally anything would seem to work for them considering they filed 9 different initiative petitions in hopes that something will stick.  An online source explains: 

A Missouri lawyer last week filed nine ballot initiative petitions that would legalize sports betting with the secretary of state’s office. The proposals all call for the Missouri Gaming Commission to regulate wagering, for betting to be limited to professional sports teams only, and for tax revenue to be earmarked for education and road projects.

Beyond that, there are key differences, and, in total, the proposals are similar to some of the many sports betting bills that have been filed in the General Assembly over the last four years.

Sen. Denny Hoskins and Rep. Dan Shaul say they’ll try again in 2022 and have plans to pre-file bills next month. “I sense there’s a frustration at the lack of movement on the bills,” Shaul told Sports Handle in August.

Hoskins has his concerns about letting the state’s professional teams drive the process. “Obviously I am for sports betting,” he told the Post-Dispatch last week. “But I do have concerns when we put something in the Missouri Constitution without proper vetting. “There are a lot of details to sports betting, including tax rates, application fees, and annual administrative fees.”

Given there are nine different petitions, all with different approaches, its clear this method for a properly vetted and well regulated plan would be incredibly risky and likely to leave holes in consumer protections.  

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


A Brief Look at Crime 10/25 – 11/07

Woman leaves child in car while gambling 

A Lake Arthur woman was arrested Saturday after she allegedly left an 8-year-old child inside a car while she went into a truck stop casino to gamble. Britt was arrested after sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Peto’s truck stop on La. 395 around 11 p.m. Saturday in reference to a young child being left in a vehicle, according to Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Chris Ivey. The on-site security discovered the child sitting in the vehicle in the parking lot and called the sheriff’s office, he said. Deputies were able to locate the child’s mother inside the casino gambling and escorted her back to the vehicle where the child was being watched by security. The child was released to an adult friend at the scene. During questioning, deputies observed a syringe partially exposed from a cigarette pack and asked Britt to hand it over for safety. The syringe contained a brown residue suspected to be narcotics.

Peppermill Casino Worker Stabbed in Reno, Suspect Nabbed

An employee at Reno, Nev.’s Peppermill Resort Spa Casino is expected to recover from stab wounds suffered earlier this week, according to local police. The victim got head cuts Monday night during the violent incident at the venue. The suspect was apprehended at the crime scene. Neither he nor the victim were identified by local police. The worker was stabbed at about 9 pm on Monday, KRNV, a local TV station, reported. The injuries were not life-threating, the report adds. It was unclear what led to the violence.

Woman in critical condition after shooting at Legends Casino, investigators searching for suspect

Investigators are searching for Buddy Byron McKenzie, 41, who’s suspected of shooting a woman twice at Legends Casino, leaving her in critical condition, according to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies from the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office were called to Legends Casino early Monday morning for a report that a woman was shot in the parking lot of the casino. Investigators says the woman had a gunshot wound to her head and torso, and was transported to a hospital by an ambulance. The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office says Buddy Byron McKenzie, 41, is suspected of shooting the woman. Investigators are searching for McKenzie who’s considered armed and dangerous.

Hollywood Casino Raided By Los Angeles Law Enforcement

A business in Hollywood, Calif. was the subject of a recent raid in Los Angeles. The warrant resulted in the arrest of an individual who allegedly operated illegal gaming activities inside the establishment. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced yesterday that three separate businesses were raided recently on suspicion of conducting illegal activities. Two were carried out at what police believe are underground illegal nightclubs, where illicit narcotics were readily available. The third case involves an alleged underground casino. Law enforcement in California continues to try and tackle the herculean task of infiltrating the vast network of illegal underground gambling hubs. This week’s bust is just the latest in a string of recent raids of alleged unlawful casinos.

MLS suspends Felipe Hernandez for gambling violations 

Major League Soccer suspended Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Hernandez without pay for the rest of the season Friday for violating the league’s gambling integrity rules and standards of conduct. MLS said Hernandez engaged in extensive and unlawful sports gambling, including placing wagers on two MLS matches, in direct contravention of league rules. MLS said it initiated an investigation July 5 after Hernandez disclosed to Sporting Kansas City that he was concerned about his personal safety due to gambling debts. 

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