issue 315
September 25 - October 1, 2006
Volume 6
page 1

This Issue

Gaming News

Casino City's September Sweepstakes

Backdoor Move to Ban Web Gambling Fizzles

Michigan Tribe Plans Casino

Bethlehem Approves Slots

Casino Remains in Limbo

Show Time Corrales vs. Casamayor III will be at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

Column When Is the Right Time to Quit Gambling for the Day? by Fred Renzy.

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Harrah's Chester Casino Opens

Press Release

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania � The grand opening today of Pennsylvania's first new harness track in 41 years, Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack in Chester, represents a major advancement for the state's agricultural industry and economy, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said.

"Pennsylvania's harness horse racing industry is a vital part of agriculture and the state's economy," said Wolff. "This new facility was designed with both horsemen and spectators in mind, providing fans with an up- close, live experience and more opportunities to learn about the industry."

The facility will bring more than 900 new jobs to the area, including drivers, trainers, security, maintenance and other non-racing positions. Harness horsemen will also profit, with a projected purse outlay of $200,000 per racing day, putting Chester in the top tier of North American racetracks.

In addition to Pennsylvania's two existing harness tracks, The Meadows and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, races are held at 14 of the state's county and community fairs. Pennsylvania is also home to the world's largest breeder of standardbred horses, Hanover Shoe Farms. Hanover has been the national leader in harness racing since recordkeeping began in the 1950's.

Pennsylvania hosts the world's largest standardbred horse sale at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center. In each of the past two years, gross sales have topped $50 million.

"Pennsylvania has always been a great state for breeding and racing horses," said Wolff. "With the addition of gaming and state-of-the-art racing facilities, we expect to see even more interest in racing, and that will benefit all Pennsylvanians."

The Department of Agriculture's Harness Racing Commission regulates all aspects of standardbred racing and pari-mutuel wagering at both facilities and all off-track wagering facilities around the state.

Backdoor Move to Ban Web Gambling Fizzles

By Tony Batt, Our Partner at Las Vegas Gaming Wire

WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., tried to attach an Internet gambling ban to a defense bill last week but was rebuffed by two powerful senators, congressional sources said Monday.

Despite the setback, advocates said GOP leaders will keep trying to add an online wagering prohibition to must-pass legislation until Congress adjourns this year.

Frist approached Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and asked him to add an Internet gambling ban to a defense authorization bill, according to congressional staffers who requested anonymity.

But after checking with Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the committee, Warner rejected the idea because an online wagering ban would not be relevant to defense legislation.

A source close to Frist confirmed the majority leader made the proposal to Warner, but declined to elaborate.

After hearing of Frist's proposal, Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., sent Warner a letter urging him to reject any amendment that would ban online betting.

"We must not use this important (defense) bill as a convenient vehicle for political pet issues such as a ban on Internet gaming," Berkley said.

Berkley opposed an Internet gambling ban that passed the House 317-93 in July.

Although the Department of Justice has said Internet gambling is illegal, the $12 billion industry continues to grow, with more than 2,300 Web sites.

Frist, who has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2008, criticized online wagering during an August visit to Iowa.

While in Iowa, Frist joined Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, one of the two main sponsors of the ban that passed the House, in conducting an informal field hearing critical of Internet gambling.

On Sept. 5, the day Congress returned from its August recess, Frist made a speech on the Senate floor and listed an Internet gambling ban as one of his priorities as Congress rushes toward adjournment. Frist's second term expires this year, and he is not running for re-election.

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