Category Archives: Organizational News

States Outsource Casino Policing to Private Firms

##For Immediate Release Feb 22 2014

LAS VEGAS — When Springfield, Mass. needed to choose who would build its first casino, the city hired an outside adviser to help with the process.

The consulting firm Shefsky & Froelich recommended that the deal go to MGM Resorts International. At the same time, the consulting firm was also working as a registered lobbyist in Illinois for MGM Resorts.

The arrangement highlights an often-overlooked trend as more cities and states embrace legalized gambling around the country: Private companies are being hired to write regulations and vet casinos, even as the same firms work the other side of the fence, helping casinos enter new markets and sometimes lobbying for their interests.

States hoping to make money quickly from legalizing gambling have few options as speedy as outside contractors, which allow them to get casinos up and running without having to hire and train a cadre of staff regulators.

But letting consulting companies with deep ties to the gambling industry decide how casinos are run — and who runs them — is a significant departure from how more established gambling states, including Nevada and New Jersey, do things.

Regulators in states that maintain control over their own rules say the move toward privatization is unnerving.

“How do you vet your consultants? If a lot of these consultants at one time or another have worked for the people that you’re in charge of regulating, at some point, you’re going to have issues with the purity of the investigation,” said Illinois Gaming Board spokesman Gene O’Shea.

Casino opponents are skeptical. John Sowinski, spokesman for the Florida nonprofit No Casinos, says that Spectrum often paints an overly rosy picture of the boon casinos might provide, overshooting tax revenue estimates in studies conducted for Ohio, and calling New Jersey’s Revel project “just the tonic that Atlantic City needs.” (The state-subsidized casino filed for bankruptcy 10 months after opening.)

Sowinski believes states in need of consultants should hire experts and firms with no connection to the casino industry.

“The gambling industry is the one industry that seems to get away with this conflict of interest carte blanche,” he said.

For the Complete Article CLICK HERE

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

Back from a break

After a short hiatus, Casino Watch Focus is back in action and poised to launch some new features on this blog. You can continue to expect news and commentary on a variety of gambling issues, in addition to new audio and video features. We will be adding these new features in the days and weeks to come and encourage you to visit back often!


new video feature added

We have just updated this blog by adding a video feature on the right hand column below our “links” section. We will be adding our latest audio and video public service announcements and commercials in addition to interviews and important news updates.

You can view all of our current loss limit public service announcements right now in the video section.


Today we have officially launched our blog. As you can see there are already several entries from the past few days and weeks which were posted while we were working the bugs out. In the coming days we will be adding several new features including a blogroll, audio podcasts and even some video. We already have some guests who will be posting from time to time – so we look forward to helping start a well-informed dialogue about casino gambling and its effects, on the blogosphere

We hope you enjoy the commentary and insight.

Thanks for visiting and come back soon.