Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Brief Look at Crime 01/30-02/05

FBI affidavit alleges NC businessman who committed suicide was operating Ponzi scheme 

In an affidavit unsealed by court order Friday, an FBI agent alleged that the late Charlotte businessman Rick Siskey was operating a Ponzi scheme in which investor money was largely used to pay off other investors and to fund personal spending, including payments to casinos. The affidavit said a financial analysis showed that from January 2011 to November 2015 about $31 million was invested in TSI’s account at Bank of America. About $23.5 million came from about 100 TSI investors, according to the affidavit. According to the affidavit, Siskey sent over $15 million from his personal account to casinos, with about $12 million coming back in from casinos, for a net outflow of about $3 million. Information from numerous casinos showed “a pattern of extensive high stakes gambling by Siskey, to include bets of as much as $70,000 per hand,” the affidavit says.

Alanis Morissette manager admits to $4.8M theft from singer

The former business manager for Alanis Morissette admitted embezzling more than $7 million from the singer and other celebrities and agreed to plead guilty to federal charges, prosecutors said Wednesday. Schwartz admitted stealing nearly $5 million from Morissette between May 2010 and January 2014. He used the money personally and falsely listed the cash withdrawals as “sundry/personal expenses” to cover up the crime.”This was shocking and disappointing,” Reeder said. “The company is very happy he’s being brought to justice and held accountable for his actions.” Reeder said GSO has since repaid all the money he stole from clients. The firm’s pending lawsuit against Schwartz said he used the money to fuel a lavish lifestyle that included a $50,000 trip to Bora Bora and a $75,000 debt at a Bahamas casino.

Dog fighting ring busted in Washington County

Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer says his deputies arrested more than twenty people in a major dog fight raid Saturday night. Authorities say they have been investigating this crime for several months, but a tipster told them that the fight would be happening last night. The dog fighting took place in a clearing behind an abandoned home on Highway 45, about a mile east of the Mississippi State Line. The dog fighting pit was surrounded by trees and very organized, according to police. Investigators say there were people from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas at the fight. The sheriff says this was a huge money maker because they were “championship fighting dogs” in a crime that includes the possible death or injury to the animal and illegal gambling where thousands of dollars are bet on the outcome of the vicious fight.

Father and son found dead in Macau’s Galaxy casino complex

Detectives are investigating what appears to have been a suicide pact involving an Indian family of four after the bodies of a father and son were discovered alongside the man’s wife and another son, both unconscious, in a five-star hotel room at a Macau casino resort on Wednesday. The tragedy comes as figures for 2016 released by Macau police revealed a 19.2 per cent year-on-year rise in casino-related crime in the city. Among a total of 1,851 casino-related crimes recorded in 2016 were cases of abduction, extortion and usury, which are typically connected to gambling-related loan sharking. The authorities classify crimes as gaming-related when they take place inside a casino.

Documents show Ohio mayor gambled $1.8 million 


Investigative records show Lancaster Mayor Brian Kuhn not only gambled with his wife, who is a self-proclaimed addict who embezzled thousands of dollars to feed her habit, but he also gambled and lost more than she did. Kuhn has never identified himself as an addict despite visiting Hollywood Casino, Columbus 252 times from October 2012 to September 2015, records show. During this time, he gambled more than $1.8 million, they show. In contrast, Bridget Kuhn, who has admitted she has a gambling addiction and been classified as a “high roller” by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, went to casinos 264 times over 36 months, the records show, including while she was under investigation, and spent more than $1.5 million — most of it on slot machines. Brian Kuhn and his wife — who was indicted for embezzling about $350,000 from her former employer Frazier Electric and American Legion Post 11 — lost a total of about $214,200 playing slot machines and table games in 36 months, according to the records. Brian Kuhn told the Eagle-Gazette more than a year ago after his wife’s indictment that there were a lot of things he would like to say, but couldn’t per the advice of his attorney. He knew his wife was under investigation but said he didn’t know any more than that. “The less I knew, the better off I think I was,” he told the Eagle-Gazette in December 2015. At the time, he would not confirm whether Bridget Kuhn had a gambling problem or whether they gambled together.

Police checking links to gambling in Waterloo man’s slaying

Police are checking into whether gambling may be tied to the shooting death of a man in Waterloo. The 55-year-old man was found wounded in a parking lot early Sunday morning. Police say he died later at a hospital. He’s been identified as Denelius Nesby, who lived in Waterloo. No arrests have been reported. Police say one of the leads being pursued is a report that Nesby had been robbed of his winnings from a nearby gambling establishment.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 12/26 – 01/01

Army Vet Killed Over ‘Poker Room Table Talk,’ 2 Arrested

Two men are behind bars after a U.S. Armyvet was gunned down outside a South Florida casino on Christmas night. Those men appeared in court Tuesday morning. The shooting happened at the Miccosukee Resort and Casino. Investigators say it began with ‘poker room table talk’ that led to an argument between Kenin Bailey, Mikey Lenard and MarineFernando Duarte. “It was poker room table talk, a little poker room talk at the table itself,” said Det. Flavio Rivera with the Miccosukee Police Department at the hearing Tuesday. Duarte was asked to leave the poker room. Later, in the parking lot, police say, they all continued to argue. At one point, investigators say, the two suspects cut off Duarte twice. The second time, Duarte got out of his car and approached the pair. Police say Bailey then opened fire, shooting off 13 rounds

Rugby fraudster tricked couple out of retirement pot to fund gambling 

A CROOKED bookkeeper who has clocked up almost £300,000 worth of frauds over the last 15 years is back behind bars after tricking a couple out of their retirement pot to fund his gambling and high-living. [M]ost of the money had gone on gambling and to pay for luxury holidays to destinations including Barbados, Egypt, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus. “It is very difficult for me to overestimate the impact this has had on the complainants. These were people approaching the end of their working careers, and now money they had worked hard for to put aside for their pensions has simply gone. “I don’t say it’s the sole cause of it, but the couple are no longer together, and [the husband] has lost his job because he was taking so much time off for stress,” said Mr Williams. Brough’s previous convictions included thefts from employers, fraud, forgery and false accounting – and Judge Andrew Lockhart QC commented: “In the 2000s he stole nearly £300,000.

Man sentenced for misusing company credit card for gambling

A Cumberland Township man who recently pleaded guilty to using his former employer’s company credit card to spend about $118,000 on lottery tickets and gift cards last year, was sentenced Thursday to 9 months to 23 months in Greene County Jail, followed by five years of probation. Police wrote in court documents that Kozy admitted he “got carried away” and became addicted to buying lottery tickets and “went extremely overboard” with the credit card. He allegedly told police he did not realize he had spent more than $100,000 with the card. Kozy pleaded guilty to access device fraud and was ordered by Greene County Judge Lou Dayich to pay back the $118,074 by making $300 monthly payments for the first year, and $500 per month after that.

Woman accused of embezzling $100k from wounded vets 

Army investigators arrested a government contractor at San Antonio Military Medical Center on Wednesday and accused her of taking more than $100,000 meant for wounded soldiers from the foundation she volunteers for — the Air Warrior Courage Foundation. According to a complaint filed by an investigator with the Army Criminal Investigation Division, foundation funds were deposited into Charles’ personal account, which she then diverted to pay personal living expenses from April through October of this year. Much of that money she withdrew as cash from automated teller machines at the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, according to the complaint.

Virginia woman gets 5 years in prison in Ponzi scheme 

70-year-old Williamsburg woman has been sentenced to five years in prison in what prosecutors say was a Ponzi scheme through which she swindled more than $1.1 million. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a statement that Patricia Means of Williamsburg was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to wire fraud and money laundering earlier this year. The statement says Means, a retired investment broker, developed a scheme to raise funds for developing a handbag organizer. They say she then used investments from more than a dozen victims on housing, casino trips, vehicles and other personal items. According to the statement, longtime friends of hers were among the victims. Means was also ordered to pay restitution and was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Veteran Marine gunned down outside Miami casino on Christmas night

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps was gunned down Christmas night at a South Florida casino. Family members of Fernando Duarte said he was shot while leaving the Miccosukee Casino in Miami. The 33-year-old walked out after winning a prize from a slot machine when he was shot by three gunmen. Duarte was rushed to Kendall Regional Hospital where he later died. Miccosukee police said three people are in custody in connection with the shooting. Detectives did not release their identities or the charges they face. The investigation is ongoing.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 12/12-12/18

CEO Of Veterans Credit Union Gets Prison For $2 Million Theft

The former president and CEO of the Veterans HealthAdministration Credit Union will spend just over two years in prison for stealing nearly $2 million. The Attorney General’s office says Fuataina Afutiti of Westland, who worked out a plea deal for embezzling the money, will also have to pay $1.9 million in restitution. The agreement calls for Afutiti to spend 30 months to up to 20 years in prison. Investigators say Afutiti used the money on luxury cars, gambling and vacations. The missing money was found during an audit by the state Department of Insurance and FinancialServices. The credit union closed earlier this year after the embezzlement was discovered. “This person not only took advantage of her position within the credit union but took advantage of military veterans, many of who are disabled or on a fixed income,” Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement. “Individuals who served and sacrificed for this country deserve the utmost respect and instead the members of the credit union were victimized. I am pleased to see this verdict.”

450,000 children gambling every week, commission warns

Some 450,000 children aged between 11 and 15 are gambling on a weekly basis, new research from the Gambling Commission, a Government regulatory body, has warned. The report revealed that 9,000 of those children are likely to be ‘problem gamblers’, despite 60 per cent of those surveyed agreeing that gambling is dangerous. Of the 2,411 children sampled from 103 state secondary schools in England and Wales, gambling was more prevalent in boys than girls. According to the research, boys gambled double the amount girls did in the week prior to the study, with the report showing that, across Europe, boys were generally more likely to gamble than girls.

Caroline Dumont of Swanscombe siphoned off £1m from firm and gambled it

A book­keeper who gambled away almost £1m of company funds has been ordered to pay back just £57,741. Caroline Dumont, who is serving three years and four months, systematically siphoned off money from three firms in New Ash Green and Aylesford for almost three years. One company was forced into liquidation and the second, set up to save staff jobs, would have sunk within a year if the deceit had not been discovered. The boss of plant hire company Tara Holdings and later Aylesford-­based Tara Ltd, had to use his own money to keep the business afloat. Prosecutor Bridget Todd told Maidstone Crown Court in December last year: “It is obvious from close examination of her bank accounts that she has a gambling habit that is entrenched and relentless.”

Man shot over gambling debt 

Officers from the Palm Beach Gardens Police say a man was shot over an apparent gambling dept Monday morning. The incident happened near Alternate A1A and Gardens Parkway, near the Gardens Mall. Police say the victim, Antonio Smith Jr., was transported to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries and has since been released. Smith identified his shooter as 20-year-old Anthony Mattys. Authorities say Mattys shot Smith over money. Mattys was later arrested on Wednesday and taken to the Palm Beach County Jail, where he has been charged with attempted second degree homicide with a firearm, shooting into an occupied vehicle and discharging a firearm from a vehicle.

Pair admit to roles in $400K gambling scheme at casino

A former Mohegan Sun Pocono casino executive and a Back Mountain man who won more than $422,000 in a gambling scheme, folded Thursday, pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. Robert Pellegrini, a former vice president of player development at the casino, and Mark Heltzel face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine under the maximum terms of their plea agreements to the felony charge. The men also agreed to make full restitution. A federal grand jury indicted the men in April, alleging they conspired with Poszeluznyj in the scheme that ran from May 2014 to April 2015 and involved personal identification numbers stolen from approximately 160 gamblers. According to the indictment: Poszeluznyj stole the PINs from the rewards cards of patrons she served and gave the information to Heltzel, with whom she had a personal relationship. Heltzel in turn gave the information to Pellegrini, who duplicated the cards and put approximately $478,000 free-play credits on the duplicates. The cards are used in slot machines and gain points to be cashed in for casino perks such as free drinks and hotel rooms. Heltzel gambled with the cards and split $422,147 with his partners. He and Pellegrini took the largest shares.

Feds quietly seized millions from online casinos’ money movers

In the spring of 2011, a Seattle Police Department detective hit it big on The undercover detective had joined the online casino and sportsbook as part of an investigation into companies that move its money. A Western Union check to the Philippines funded his gambling; a wire transfer into a dummy bank account paid by his winnings. That sting operation enabled members of a Seattle-based U.S. Secret Service taskforce to seize $3.4 million from Thames Point Management, one of the money processors working with the casino. If those companies’ operators cared, they haven’t mentioned it – the firms didn’t bother fighting a civil action brought by federal prosecutors looking to keep the money. The seizure represented a large portion of the $21 million collected in 2015 through forfeiture actions initiated by federal prosecutors in Western Washington.

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

Online Gambling Ban efforts Hope to find Success in Congress under the upcoming Trump Administration

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to reverse the Obama Administration’s stance on online gambling. Federal Law clearly made the activity illegal but the Obama Administration use the courts to provide a very controversial interpretation of the Wire Act. Many efforts have been made to reverse this course, but none have succeeded under Obama’s Administration. Many believe once he leaves office, there will be real movement in restoring online gambling bans and a new bill has been filed with that very intent. An online source explains: 

Pennsylvania Republican Representative Michael Fitzpatrick has introduced legislation to the US House that would ban online gambling at a federal level.

The “RAWA-esque” bill HR 6453 appeared on Capitol Hill last week, December 7, and is co-sponsored by Representative Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) and longstanding online gaming opponent, Representative Charles Dent (R-Pennsylvania). It’s been coming. The dark clouds began to gather last week when ten attorney generals from states across the US wrote to petition the incoming Trump administration to impose a federal ban on online gambling.

“The risks to our citizens are real and extensive,” explained the AGs. “The ability for youth to access online gaming sites presents a significant risk to teens, a risk more easily mitigated at traditional brick-and-mortar establishments.”

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

A Brief Look at Crime 10/24 – 11/06

Suicide attempts, overdoses and pressured betting at casino

Ambulances have been called to the Star Casino in Sydney 173 times a year on average since 2011, with suicide attempts and overdoses among the most common reasons. Freedom of Information (FOI) data, obtained by ABC News from NSW Ambulance, shows in the past five years, paramedics were dispatched to the casino 48 times for abnormal and psychiatric behaviour, including attempted suicide, and 117 times for overdose or poisoning by ingestion. Former Star Casino games dealer Sarah Sherwood alleged the 24-hour casino in the harbour-side suburb of Pyrmont pressured staff to encourage gamblers to continue betting, even if they showed signs of problem gambling.

Carlisle bank manager who stole almost £162,000 from customers jailed

A senior manager at a Carlisle bank stole almost £162,000 from vulnerable customers to fund a gambling addiction. A judge jailed Adam McGinley for three years after hearing how he systematically pilfered money from dozens of Barclays most vulnerable customers in Carlisle. He deliberately targeted victims who were too unwell to look after their own finances, Carlisle Crown Court heard. McGinley, 35, of Waldegrave Court, Carlisle, admitted 29 thefts. Beccy McGregor, prosecuting, outlined how the defendant, employed at the English Street branch since October 2007, was exposed when colleagues carried out an audit in February. Mr Dodds said McGinley was cooperative once his crimes were uncovered but he had lost his job, his marriage, and his good name. But his family — including his parents — were in court to support him.

Alleged Million Dollar Embezzler has Brief Court Appearance 

The woman who authorities say committed the largest known embezzlement in city history had a brief appearance in Mohave County Superior Court on Tuesday. Diane Maxine Richards, a former longtime city employee, is accused of stealing more than $1.1 million dollars from the city. Mia Garcia, a spokeswoman at the Attorney General’s office, said Richards stole money from the employee benefits account by misusing her position as its security manager. Richards, who was 59 when arrested in January, altered the access settings and gave herself “sole authority to both initiate and approve transactions,” Garcia said. Richards is alleged to have transferred money out of the account to pay off 17 personal lines of credit and used a large portion of the money to cover cash advances taken out at casinos in Laughlin.

U.S. judge prepares to sentence ex-lawer for tax fraud

Ex-attorney Karl Rominger is making a simple request to a federal judge who is preparing to sentence him for tax evasion. It can be summed up in two words: Have mercy. Rominger, 43, of Carlisle, is already serving a 5 1/2- to 18-year state prison term after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $767,000 of his clients’ money. He is asking U.S. Middle District Senior Judge Sylvia Rambo not to make his jail stay any longer when she sentences him next week in the tax case. Rambo does have the option of ordering Rominger to begin serving any prison sentence she would impose after he finishes his state prison stint. Costopoulos’ memorandum outlines the depth of the financial hole into which Rominger has plummeted. Rominger, who pleaded guilty in both the embezzlement and tax fraud cases, has blamed his crimes on a gambling addiction.

Bradford fraudster cons two women out of a quarter million pounds on Muslim dating website

A “MILLIONAIRE” fraudster from Bradford who conned two women outof nearly £250,000 after they met him on an Asian dating website was tonight beginning an eight-and-a-half year jail term. Tahmoor Khan told one of his victims that he was worth £2m, and when she travelled to Bradford to meet him he picked her up in a Bentley. Both of the women met the 32-year-old gamblingaddict via the website, but he took advantage of their hopes of finding love and marriage to swindle each of them out of more than £100,000. Bradford Crown Court heard today that feelings of shame and anxiety over what had happened to them led both women to think about suicide and one of them had made two attempts on her life.

Middletown woman pleads guilty to embezzling $535,000

A Middletown woman pled guilty to embezzling over a half-million dollars in stolen insurance funds. Diane M. Fabian, 66, was an employee of Wolf Strite Insurance Agency, and later Don Jacobs Insurance Services, Inc. Starting in at least 2008, she began forging customer names on company checks and would deposit the funds to her own account. To get the checks, she would inform the company that a client had been overbilled or that a refund was due — when in fact it was not. In other instances, insurance companies such as Liberty Mutual would issue a refund check, but Fabian would forge the customer’s name, deposit the check and keep the money. Fabian pleaded guilty Thursday to 76 charges of forgery, theft by deception, and theft by failure to make required disposition, scheming at least $535,000 in stolen insurance funds. Fabian admitted the scheme to detectives. She said that she was addicted to gambling, and spent much of the money at Hollywood Casino. She has since self excluded herself from the casino.

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

A Brief Look at Crime 10/03-10/09

2 arrested after fatal shooting at cafe

Police are investigating a fatal shooting at a cafe where at least a dozen illegal gambling machines were later seized. Authorities say an attempted robbery led to the Saturday morning shooting. A 44-year-old woman who was shot in the chest died at the hospital and a 25-year-old man is recovering from a gunshot to the shoulder. Two people have been arrested. Hawaii News Now reported that an undercover raid by Honolulu police officers led to the discovery of the gambling machines at the cafe. Police are investigating the establishment as a possible gaming room.

Former Frisch’s (FRS) exec may have embezzled much more than $3.9 million

A former Frisch’s Restaurants exec embezzled more than the $3.9 million he pleaded guilty to and spent much of it on gambling at casinos, buying property and cars and renovating his house after his mother moved in with him, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The government called the $3.9M figure “a conservative estimate” of what Michael Hudson stole during his 10 years as assistant treasurer (2004-2014). Hudson admitted his theft started in 2004 but complete bank records are not available for 2004 to 2007, so there’s no telling how much he stole in those four years, the feds said in their sentencing memorandum. For sentencing purposes, the feds declared that the total embezzled was less than $9.5 million. Hudson, 53, of Cincinnati, was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday and ordered to pay a total of $4.6 million in restitution on one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false federal income tax return. Hudson also was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Dunmow man who stole £2.1m gets four years in jail


A director of finance who lived in Dunmow stole £2.1million over 15 years from his employer to fund a luxury lifestyle was jailed for 4 years. Michael Canning, 50, earning £65,000 a year, stole the money from specialist coffee equipment supplier Mulmar Foodservice Solutions in Hatfield, Herts. A colleague spotted discrepancies with invoices earlier this year and alerted the authorities. Canning, a married father of two sons, splashed the money on holidays, clothes, gambling, meals out, school fees, family expenses – and £84,000 on dating sites such as the hacked Ashley Madison and “cam girls”. Judge John Plumstead told Canning: “You have brought ruin on yourself. You must have known over those 15 years that it would all catch up with you.

Online casino affiliate accused of hacking major university websites

An online casino affiliate has been accused of hacking numerous higher education websites to boost its Google search results. Last week, web marketing agency *eTraffic* published a report indicating that an unidentified online casino affiliate site’s surge to the top of Google’s search engine rankings appeared to have been the result of some seriously ‘black hat’ optimization techniques. Between January and September 2016, the affiliate site in question had gone from Google keyword rankings in the 40s and 50s to top-10, including number one rankings for traditionally pricey keywords/phrases like ‘real money slots,’ ‘online slots real money,’ ‘real slots,’ ‘real online slots’ and ‘play real money slots online.’ eTraffic notes that one of the key factors Google employs when ranking search results is the number of backlinks from top level domains like .gov and .edu. The affiliate had 76 such backlinks from major educational sites in the US and other countries, including New York University, Dartmouth College, Duke University and Stanford University.

Fake WV Charity Scam Nets Millions for 7 Defendants 

Seven Martinsburg, WV residents, accused of operating a fraudulent charity, were charged with 53 counts of federal offenses from mail fraud and money laundering to aiding and abetting an illegal gambling business. All those charged were released by a federal magistrate and are under travel restrictions until they are arraigned on Wednesday. Between 2007 and 2014, the group reportedly received more than 90 percent of revenues after gambling winnings were paid to customers, totaling about $7 million. According to news reports, the organization was supposed to benefit the local humane society and the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police. The charities were surprised to find out that the bingo operation was generating far more than the $1,000 or so a month they believed was the case.

Former SeaWorld manager gets 30 months for fraud

A former manager at SeaWorld who embezzled $818,000 from the company was sentenced Sept. 23 to 30 months in federal prison for wire fraud and filing a false tax return. Wilfred David Jobin-Reyes, 48, who is known professionally as Sebastian Jobin, was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller to repay SeaWorld the $818,000 he took from them. He worked for SeaWorld for 17 years. Miller also ordered Jobin to repay $177,000 to his former roommate, whose identity he used to get credit cards to spend at casinos and trips. Jobin has reached an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to pay $207,000 as a penalty for not declaring his total income to the IRS.

SEC Punishes Casino-Gaming Company For Retaliating Against Whistleblower 

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday it penalized a casino-gaming company for retaliating against a whistleblower. International Gaming Technology agreed, without admitting or denying the allegations, to pay $500,000 for firing an employee with several years of positive performance reviews because he reported to senior management and the SEC that the company’s financial statements might be distorted, the SEC said in a statement. The employee was removed from significant work assignments within weeks of raising his concerns, and he was terminated a few months later, the SEC said. Bob Vincent, a spokesman for the company, said the incident occurred before the company went through a merger, and the newly formed company agreed to a settlement. The case involving International Gaming Technology is the second whistleblower retaliation case brought by the SEC since it was authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act to bring such cases, the agency said. It’s the SEC’s first stand-alone retaliation case, said Jane Norberg, the newly permanent chief of the whistleblower office.

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Ballot Initiative Briefs Submitted to Florida Supreme Court: Mega Millions Not Impacted by the Initiative

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts of Voters in Charge to put together a ballot initiative in Florida to require a vote of the people before new gambling legislation can be authorized. Naturally, those with strong gambling interests who hope to expand gambling in Florida have pushed to oppose the petition. As is part of the normal process, the court reviews the ballot summary language and key issues about any ballot initiative, namely if it deals with a single issue and does the summary language adequately describe the amendment for voters. Those in opposition have pressed the court on these issues and have tried to raise questions about the reach and scope of the amendment. Those arguments were supplied in a brief to the Florida Supreme Court. The Saint Peters Blog reports:

Marc Dunbar, the lawyer representing gambling interests across the
state, opined in his own brief what that would mean for Mega Millions, a multi-state lottery game.

“Mega Millions drawings are conducted in Atlanta by officials with the Georgia Lottery,” Dunbar wrote. In comparison, Powerball numbers are drawn in Tallahassee by the Florida Lottery.

“The authority for the Florida Lottery to participate in Mega Millions was derived not from the State Constitution, but from the State Legislature” through a statute.

“This raises an important question not addressed by the proponents of the Voter Control Amendment: Since ‘casino gambling’ includes any game not authorized by … the Florida Constitution, would the Florida Lottery be required to discontinue sales of Mega Millions if the proposed amendment were to pass?”

Briefs were also submitted by those supporting the constitutional amendment which included arguments that directly refuted the claims of those representing gambling expansion interests. Additionally, it was made very clear in a statement released by Voters in Charge that Mega Millions wouldn’t be impact by the ballot initiative’s amendment. The St Peters Blog continues: 

In response, Voters in Charge issued a statement saying the amendment was worded “to specifically exempt Lottery operations.”

“That’s not just our opinion,” the statement said, explaining that Lottery officials themselves told the state’s Financial Impact Estimating Conference they “looked at the petition initiative and notified us that they do not see any impact … on their current or immediately planned operations.”

The committee also referred to the conference’s report, which found that “based on the plain language of the proposed amendment and according to the sponsor, the proposed amendment will not affect any game the state can operate lawfully.”

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