Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Expose Gapping Flaws In The Casino Gaming Laws

Without getting into a moral or religious battle about the pros and cons of Casino gambling, it is clear something is terribly wrong with the gambling laws as they exist in many parts of the Country.

Hurricane Katrina Destroyed all the Casino’s along the Golf Coast along the Louisiana, Mississippi Border. Hurricane Rita took out the Casino’s in Lake Charles Louisiana. Both of these states have rules requiring casinos to be floating on water. In the Mississippi gulf Area the casinos are a major producer of revenue and a major source of employment. Once a decision is made to allow casino gaming by the voters why not allow safe gaming.

In Mississippi the Casino Barges were tossed all over town. There were pictures of slot machines spread all over the ground. It makes one wonder how much extra damage was done by these flying Casino’s. Doesn’t it make more sense once you make a decision to allow gaming that the casino’s be constructed in real buildings with real foundations capable of withstanding Hurricane conditions.

Many cities go after major companies trying to get them to build in their cities. In What other industry do you say to a major employer we want you to set up shop in our town but you have to place your facility on a floating Barge in area that is likely to be hit by Major Hurricanes. Not many companies would take an offer like that would they?

Mike Makler Offers Financial Services (Mortgages,Life Insurance, Annuity) in Florissant Missouri which is in North St. Louis County Missouri Just Across the Bridge from St. Charles Missouri

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British Prime Minister Gambling’s Latest Antichrist? Oh Please

As a journalist with respected website Poker Pages and co-presenter of a show on Holdem Radio, Amy Calistri is clearly no mug but her recent assessment of Gordon Brown’s U-turn on supercasinos suggests that she knows Vegas rather better than she does the shires of Britain.

One of Prime Minister Brown’s first acts upon succeeding Tony Blair last month was to effectively consign to the scrapheap the Labour government’s proposals for a wave of British supercasinos. In Ms Calistri’s eyes, this places the Scotsman firmly alongside US Senator Bill Frist in the gambling hall of shame. Frist it was who drove the controversial Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act into existence in 2006, effectively imposing a ban upon on-line poker.

“The UK has its own gambling Dark Ages’ poster boy…” Calistri rages in a Poker News article on July 24th. “The UK’s gaming reform experiment was seven years in the making and was poised to be an interesting counterpoint to current US policy. But what took seven years to plan took one man only four months to unravel. And in that context, the UK’s gaming policy experience is starting to mirror our own; the exercise of one man’s will.”

At least Calistri sets out her own agenda early in the report, stating that, pre-Brown, “The global envy of US gambling minded citizens and free market philosophers was heightened by the UK’s apparent rational response to online gaming; seeking to legislate and regulate the terrain.”

Okay, so if you’re a laissez-faire capitalist, Brown’s intervention is heavy-handed and regrettable. People far more qualified than me in economics, however, could debate both sides of the free market hot potato all night.

Where Calistri really wanders from reality, however, is in lumping Brown together with Frist as the villains of the piece and painting a picture of the British Premier as a dinosaur out of step with the Society around him.

Amy, you need to visit Britain for a while. If I tell you that defending my country’s current Government comes as easily to me as advocating the abolition of Christmas, you’ll get an idea of how wide of the mark I think you have strayed.

Far from Gordon Brown isolating himself with his decision to sideline the supercasinos, I doubt that there was any better way he could have ingratiated himself with his electorate. The only people passionate about the casino boom in the UK were those who stood to pocket most of the profits. Even as online gambling booms this side of the Atlantic, the impetus for supercasinos here has been generated solely by Labour politicians, anxious to ingratiate their party with anyone with money to spend, regardless of how it may be generated.

We already have modest but successful casinos in the UK, you see, along with legal sportsbooks (‘bookmakers’, we prefer to call them in Britain) and legal online gaming. So nicely catered for are we, indeed, that the only thing that comes close to irking your typical Brit gambler right now is the legal minefield he enters by playing poker in his local bar. Even there, compromise is being reached and progress made.

So with their gambling urges already taken care of, there has never been any great clamour for supercasinos among Britons. On the contrary, in fact. At heart, most people this side of the Pond, I suspect, feel more comfortable with gambling as a sideline activity in our cities than as one of the cornerstones of that buzz phrase ‘urban regeneration’.

Forgive us if we are cynical towards the notion of towns being revitalised by gambling. It’s just that we read about protest marches in Macau, whose own casino boom has meant hardship for the poorer sections of the population, who find rents and property prices spiralling beyond their means. Or isn’t ‘regeneration’ supposed to apply to them?

Then we read the censure of Louisiana’s civic leaders in the leader column of a local newspaper, after they too sought the ‘regeneration’ dollar:

“Louisiana officials frittered away the 1990s by focusing on expansion of various forms of gambling as a cure for Louisiana’s economic woes. Alas, gambling has not delivered the promised pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and Louisiana continues to lag much of the country in economic development.

“Louisiana would be much better off today if we had spent the past decade paying attention to more fundamental reforms to grow business, such as investing in education, reforming our tax laws, streamlining state government and dramatically tightening our ethics code.”

We read, we ponder and we think “no thanks”. In our Old Country gamblers’ hearts, we know that while Las Vegas might call us like Mecca, it is not dubbed ‘Sin City’ for nothing – “the flashiest, blackest hole in the universe,” poker blogger Pauly calls it. When its promoters tell us that there is only one Vegas, we utter a subconscious ‘Amen’.

All Gordon Brown has done is catch this mood and give it voice; something of which his wretched predecessor (yes, America: you’ve got him totally wrong, too) was singularly incapable.

He has not piggy-backed ill-conceived legislation on the shoulders of port security measures he knew were guaranteed safe passage. He has not ushered in his whims under the nose of a sleeping nation in the dead of night. He would not have us believe that while some forms of online gambling are the work of Satan, others – which just happen to be accompanied by lobbying muscle or the whiff of vested interests – are as pure as the driven snow.

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Riverboat Casinos

Riverboat casinos were first legalized in Iowa in 1991 and their popularity has increased dramatically since that time. At first, gambling on riverboat casinos was limited to $5.00 bets and a maximum loss of $200.00 for each cruise passenger. Riverboat casinos gradually moved to Illinois and Mississippi, where there were no limits and casinos were open 24 hours a day. In 1994, riverboat casinos were introduced to Missouri, the last state to legalize riverboat casinos.

Riverboat casinos are legal in six states, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri. They resemble the grand riverboats of the past; however, they seldom leave the shore and remain at dockside. The Mississippi riverboat casinos must be permanently docked, with gangplanks from the shore to the casino. Some riverboat casinos, “boats on moats,” are large barges with casinos on deck, designed to float on pools adjacent to the river. The majority of the riverboat casinos operate on the Missouri, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers, with the exception of Illinois, which allows them on the Des Plaines, Ohio, and Illinois rivers, as well. Each state has its own gambling restrictions for riverboat casinos, including number allowed, types of games, admission charges, number of hours spent in cruising, and amount of gambling time allowed.

There are a variety of games on riverboat casinos, including blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, slots, and video poker, as well as frequent shows, featured performers, dinner, and dancing. Some popular riverboat casinos include the Argosy VI in Indiana, with 2,300 slots and 80 table games for over 4,000 passengers; the Grand Victoria Casino in Illinois; the Ameristar Casino in Missouri, with the largest floating casino floor in the world; and the Mississippi Belle II in Iowa. The Tunica Queen, a 3-deck riverboat casino featuring afternoon and evening gambling cruises, is very popular in Mississippi. One of the newest riverboat casinos is L’Auberge du Lac in Louisiana, a single-level deck, with 30,000 square feet of gambling space, 60 table games, and 1,600 slot machines. Another well-known riverboat casino in Louisiana is the Treasure Chest, featuring 1,000 slot machines and several types of poker games.

Riverboat casinos add millions of dollars in revenue to the economy of each state, as well as providing employment for thousands. Although natural disasters affect the riverboat casinos each year, gaming developers and individuals contribute to rapid reconstruction and reopening. There remains a bright future for riverboat casinos because of their convenience, reasonable prices, and inexpensive entertainment.

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