Issue 174
January 12 - 18, 2004
Volume 4
page 2

'U' leader supports 'racinos'
As reported by The State News

MSU President M. Peter McPherson recently put the university's weight behind several bills that would add video slot machines and telephone and Internet wagering to Michigan's racetracks, despite considerable comments from both sides of the debate.

A portion of the revenue from the bills, which have been approved by the Michigan House of Representatives and now await a state Senate vote, most likely would head toward agriculture and higher education, which is why McPherson said he supports the bills.

"The legislation, as is proposed, provides significant revenue for agriculture research," McPherson said. "That's been my driving reason behind supporting this."

Proponents of the new gambling additions, dubbed "racinos" by some, say it could bring in as much as $400 million to the state's general fund.

But MSU Trustee Dee Cook said she doesn't want to balance the state's $920 million budget shortfall with gambling from racetracks.

Cook is not alone in her opposition to the proposal.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, said the expansion of gambling in Michigan could have detrimental effects.

But Bill Castanier, Michigan Agricultural Recovery and Enhancement Supporters spokesman, said the bills would merely create new options for racetrack patrons, not create new casinos.

"We're actually only expanding the types of gaming we're going to do at horse-racing tracks," he said. "It's already a place where people gamble."




Vegas, Baby: TV Bets on Gambling
As reported by The Fox News

The Travel Channel's "World Poker Tour" has been a hit with viewers. Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown" is cha-chinging! for that channel, with hot contestants like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon drawing viewers. And soon to be launched, according to an announcement late last year: the Casino and Gaming Television cable network, devoted entirely to gambling.

"This is a trend that's going to continue," said Kristin Veitch, a TV columnist for E! Online. "The guys need something to watch while the women are watching how-to-makeover-their-homes."

But not everyone is happy that card sharks seem to be the next big thing in cable programming. Medical experts say gambling can be as addictive as drugs and shouldn't be glamorized.

Addicted or not, many TV viewers can't seem to get enough of the televised card games.

The "World Poker" championship captured more than 1.1 million viewers when it aired last June - huge numbers for a niche cable channel like the Travel Channel. Since then, the series has been snapping up more than 900,000 viewers a pop.

Bingo would become slots
As reported by The Portage Daily Register

MADISON -- The Ho-Chunk Nation's proposal to expand a bingo hall into a casino would eliminate the 1,200-seat bingo hall to make room for hundreds of slot machines.

Dane County residents will vote in a Feb. 17 referendum on expanded gambling at DeJope Bingo Hall, allowing games such as slot machines, blackjack, poker and roulette.

If the referendum is approved and Gov. Jim Doyle authorizes a casino, the bingo hall will be replaced with 600 to 1,000 slot machines, said Gerald Cleveland, a tribal legislator for Ho-Chunk.

Eventually, table games such as blackjack and poker might be added, Cleveland said, but the first expansion will be strictly slot machines.

The $8 million DeJope is one of the tribe's four gambling operations in the state. Bingo will continue at the Wisconsin Dells, Black River Falls and Nekoosa casinos.

The 80,000-square-foot DeJope now only allows bingo and electronic bingo-style games. It's one of the largest bingo halls in the area and is open every day but Tuesdays.

Mamma Mia!
Bette Midler

MGM Grand Hotel: Bette Midler, one of the world's best-loved and most versatile entertainers, performs at the MGM Grand Hotel.


Date: February 14, 2004

Price: From $78.75

Time: 8:00pm


For more information please call: (800) 929-1111

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