For gamblers in Massachusetts it was celebration time when the legislature approved Las Vegas style gambling last November.
But unfortunately, all hurdles are not over as yet. It is still quite some way to realize the dream of thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in revenue.
What went wrong?
The casino law is now under attack in a federal court. Moreover, the bidding process is yet to go full swing, in part because of the local opposition and also due to the fact that some gambling companies have apathy toward Massachusetts.
But, the leader of the state gambling commission is hopeful. He says such bumpy start-ups are but expected and are part of a learning curve.
Lawmakers on the other hand covertly blame the commission for all the controversies and delays. They say there was undue delay by the people who appointed the commission to pick its key members, the attorney general, state treasurer, and the governor, resulting in unjustifiable holdup in the first meeting.
Casino lovers anyway are hopeful. They seem to be happy that the process is on track, even though noisy.
Are we going to see a sixth Casino at National Harbor?
Perhaps we will, if Rushern Baker, the Prince George’s County executive, has his say. If the 11-member working group recommends a sixth casino on June 20, we may well see a special session in July to approve the proposal and subsequently send it for vote in November.
This is all part of a strategy to move the Baltimore casino to National harbor, 50 miles to the city’s south. Supporters of this plan feel a casino in Baltimore is not going to do any good.
It is true Baltimore has the highest level of poverty in the State of Maryland, but anti-gamblers feel the extra dollars in revenue are not going to help. Their contention is Atlantic City had a surge in casinos from 1970s, but still has a large population of abysmally poor people.
Britain’s largest bookmaker gets the preliminary nod to buy three Nevada race and sports book operations
Britain’s largest bookmaker William Hill has a preliminary approval from the State Gaming Control Board to acquire America Wagering, Brandywine Bookmaking, and the race and sports book at the Cal Neva lodge in Reno.
The deal is rumored to be over $50 million.
The prospective new possessors say they will spend nearly $3 million in refurbishments before the pro football season gets under way.
The CEO of the new owner says his company accepts one million wagers a day. William Hill has been doing quite well with over $400 million in profits last year.
But, the final approval may have some hurdles.
Gaming Control Board members are worried that Teddy Sagi, a major shareholder of Playtech, has 29 percent interests in William Hill. Sagi has a dubious record of having been convicted 20 years ago in Israel for securities fraud and sent to prison for 18 months.
Playtech Ltd.is a gaming software company that provides online products to industry’s leading gaming operators including sportsbooks.
Gaming Board Chairman is hopeful that William Hill, being a sophisticated and a well-run company, will apply due diligence to check local laws before going ahead in clinching the deal.