Author Archives: Bray Sparrow

Ruling Party Votes For An End To Sweden’s Gambling Industry Monopoly

Ruling Party Votes For An End To Sweden’s Gambling Industry Monopoly

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Sweden has long been a monopoly when it comes to their gambling, as they have not let any private groups engage in running any gambling establishment, but that is all about to change after the ruling party voted to break up the monopoly.

Tomas Tobe of the ruling Moderate Party gave a speech that gave the idea that the way the country would move forward with gambling would be to get rid of their current system and create one in which there would be competition through a licensing system.

Research is going to be done on the subject and reports are expected on the findings by the end of 2008, at which time decisions would be made as to how many licenses and what kind of restrictions would go along with those licenses.

There are four political parties in Sweden and three of them, the Centre party, Peoples party, and the Moderates all were in favor of ending the monopoly. The Christian Democrats were the only group opposed.

One of the hurdles that will have to be crossed is how companies that receive the licensing rights will be taxed, and the idea is to come up with a system that makes both the government and the licensee happy.

Another issue that must be worked out is what will happen to the current group running the gambling in Sweden, Svenska Spel. Most believe that this company will be privatized so it has a chance to compete in the newly formed market by either selling to an outside buyer, or, the more likely scenario is to put the company up in a stock market listing.

Rubio Voices Opinion Again Again In Florida Gambling Discussions

Rubio Voices Opinion Again Again In Florida Gambling Discussions

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Lawmakers in Florida thought they had heard the last of Marco Rubio’s opinions on expanding gambling when he was relieved of his duties as House Speaker. After Rubio’s comments during a news conference this past week, the gambling proponents are experiencing deja vu.

“There is a real moral issue with asking government to expand its operations to be increasingly dependent on an activity we should be discouraging, not encouraging,” said Rubio at a news conference in Tallahassee.

Rubio is not alone in his stance on the gambling issue. The Christian Coalition and the Florida Baptist Convention were also both represented at the news conference. The groups are typical representation of those who believe gambling is bad for a community, but not everyone agrees with them.

“You’re either going to raise money for education in Tallahassee or you’re going to go home to raise property taxes,” said Rubio’s fellow Republican, Senator Dennis Jones, the sponsor of legislation that could change the face of casino gambling around the country.

Jones has proposed that the Seminole Indians be allowed to bring craps, roulette, blackjack, and other forms of gambling to their Florida casinos. He also would like to expand options for state pari-mutuel facilities.

Jones points to the fact that Florida is already a gambling state. He claims that expanded gambling would only help the economy in the state, and keep many people from being unemployed.

Judge In Alabama Gives Governor A Gambling Machine Reality Check

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In the state of Alabama, Governor Robert Riley has taken it upon himself to interpret state law regarding gambling machines. He has set up the Task Force on Illegal Gambling to go around and bully gaming establishments, but on Saturday, the governor and his task force received a reality check.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Mark Kennedy ruled on Saturday that the state police must return over 100 machines that were seized back to the White Hall gambling center. He also ruled that the center can reopen without the fear that the Task Force will bother them in the future.

The court ruled “that there are significant legal issues on the legality of both the issuance and the execution of the search warrant in this case.” The ruling dealt a blow to Riley, who has taken the position that all gambling machines are illegal in Alabama.

The gambling center has maintained throughout the process that they were operating legal electronic bingo machines. They were one of the establishments that the Task Force targeted in their early raids.

Even though the judge on Saturday ruled against the Governor and his Task Force, they do not intent on easing up on the raids. They also believe that this ruling will not stand up upon appeal.

“…his decision is fundamentally flawed and will be reversed on appeal because the Alabama Supreme Court has already ruled that slot machines are illegal in every county in Alabama,” said Jeff Emerson, Communications Director for Governor Riley, in a press release.

Ron Paul Wins Debate but Republicans Won’t Gamble on Him

Ron Paul Wins Debate but Republicans Won’t Gamble on Him

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Ron Paul clearly won the Republican presidential debate last night held in New Hampshire. Viewers were asked to text in their thoughts on who won the debate, Ron Paul received 34%, Giuliani 17%, all others lower. Fred Thompson who did not appear at the debate was clearly the largest loser as his pro-war stance and republican hard line talking points seem to be not what the people are looking for.

Sean Hannity, Fox News pundit, was clearly upset with the results and deliberately ridiculed Congressman Ron Paul. Although outpacing all other candidates by a 2-1 margin, it was clear that Chris Wallace and Brit Hume had tones of sarcasm when talking of Ron Paul. Giving absolutely no credence to Cong. Paul’s responses, they even cut off his answer in a heated exchange between Paul and Huckabee, then declaring that Huckabee won the debate on that point.

Ron Paul demonstrated last night that he is the only Republican candidate that gives any thought to issues and his answers, all others gave stock replies and mostly followed the party line.

If republicans have any hope of showing they have a chance in the 2008 presidential election by presenting a candidate that truly cares about America and has vision for the future, Ron Paul is their only choice.

With all the spin that went on at Fox News regarding this debate, it is clear that conservative right wingers do not want Paul in the race. He is the only republican candidate that appears to be truthful, insightful, and has clear vision. He blames the neocons for hijacking the republican party, changing the US from a country that others wanted to emulate, to one that is hated and feared.

With Mike Huckabee receiving only 15% of viewer support, Fox declared him the victor, regardless that their own poll showed Paul with 34%.

Giuliani, Romney, Tancredo and the others proved last night that they are not free thinkers and are clearly trying to garner the support of Bush’s supportive base.

As republicans are seeking to find someone that might be able to stand up to Hillary, Barrack, or John, they are most certainly destroying their only chance, their only hope of even having a decent showing in 2008 by ripping apart the only contender that can reach across party lines and offer a real competition.


Ron Paul is demonstrating to the moderates and independents that he is the candidate of choice, there is no spin from Ron Paul, he calls it as he sees it and his ideals are similar to most true Americans.

Ron Paul Goes Over $4.2 Million Raised Mark as November 5th Ends

Ron Paul Goes Over $4.2 Million Raised Mark as November 5th Ends

Ron Paul Raises Over $4 Million on 5th of November Ron Paul believes in bringing troops home from Iraq. He believes the invasion was a mistake and he believes the US owes the world an apology.

Ron Paul believes the civil liberties in America, like being able to freely gamble online, should be restored. Ron Paul believes there should be no federal income tax. Ron Paul believes in free trade, he believes in getting government to stop policing other countries, and he believes the government should stay as far out of the lives of American citizens as possible.

Today, Americans showed their support for his views in big ways.

Ron Paul will certainly now always remember the 5th of November as upon the day’s conclusion his campaign raised more than $4.2 million dollars from more than 37,000 different contributors. That is more than Mitt Romney raised in one day in January, which was previously the top day in fundraising for a Republican candidate.

Maybe the most amazing part about the amount of money raised is that it was all raised online.

Paul’s website reports that his campaign only needs $12 million by December 31st in order to win the primaries in New Hampshire, Iowa, Michigan, South Carolina, and Nevada. As of midnight November 6th they were at $7.1 million and the numbers were rising quickly by the hundreds of thousands.

The money has not been reflected in the polls… yet. However, drive through any major road where billboards hang and you will learn about the serious support for Ron Paul. Check out your local college campus and you will see cars revealing a ‘Ron Paul Revolution’.

Ron Paul said on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno that it is not about Ron Paul, it’s about the message, and that message is freedom, and the message is catching on with today’s young voters like no message has since the 1960’s.

Guy Fawkes was a British mercenary who failed in his attempt to kill King James I on Nov. 5, 1605. The hero in the movie ‘V for Vendetta’ was based off the real Guy Hawkes character.

In the movie, set twenty or so years in the future, the UK government has become a complete dictatorship led by fear mongering propagandists where even the basic freedoms of being able to see beautiful art or being able to eat saturated butter have been stripped from the people in the name of protection. The people grew used to this situation and no longer even desired butter, or knew what freedom was.

The US at this point in the movie had long been a third world country in a civil war that broke out after Mideast upheaval following the US invasion of Iraq following the 911 attacks.

‘V’, the movie’s hero, in the spirit of Guy Hawkes, rallied the people in order to overthrow the government on November the 5th. ‘Always remember the 5th of November’, the hero would say.

Ron Paul and his campaign followers are in NO WAY advocating violence, but they are getting behind the spirit of the ‘V’ revolution that they feel is needed in the United States.

For the past several weeks supporters of Ron Paul have been promoting the 5th of November as the day they will let their revolution be heard by monetary means. The means have been met, it remains to be seen if the revolution will follow.

Rhode Island Casino Beginning 24 Hour Gambling This Weekend

Rhode Island Casino Beginning 24 Hour Gambling This Weekend

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Rode Island lawmakers have been debating a new extended hours gambling Bill for a while now. After the governor of the state, Don Carcieri vetoed the Bill on Monday, lawmakers quickly struck back.

Both the House and the Senate voted to overturn the veto, which means that the states two casinos will now be able to be open around the clock on weekends and holidays. They will also be allowed to be open until 3:00 A.M. during the week.

One of the casinos, Twin Rivers in Lincoln, has already began preparing for twenty four hour gambling, which will come this weekend. The casino will soon be announcing promotions that will start at 2:00 A.M. on Saturday.

The new Bill will have a year to prove that it is worth expanding the casinos’ hours. The current Bil expires in June of next year, and lawmakers have until then to decide whether or not to renew or extend it.

Lawmakers overturned the governor’s veto because of the financial strain that is currently on the state. The revenue that will be generated by expanding the two casinos’ hours will go a long way in helping with a $568 million budget deficit.

Newport Grand, the other casino in the state is not moving as quickly to take advantage of the extended hours. They claim they will meet with city officials before they make the move to round the clock gambling.

Gambling Arrests In New Jersey Linked To Organized Crime

Police agencies have been doing their best to stop organized crime as of late. On Thursday, another twenty three people were named in an indictment that came down in Newark, New Jersey.

Organized crime has had a place in the history of New York and New Jersey for a long time. Police agencies have been working hard as of late to ensure that they put a dent in the families of organized crime.

The latest episode came on Thursday, when an indictment was unsealed that names twenty three people and had several crimes listed such as gambling, labor corruption, and racketeering. Not all of the people named were arrested, but most were rounde4d up by police officers.

Several of the people had ties to the Gambino crime family, including Andrew Merola, who according to the indictment was, “one of the Gambino crime family’s highest ranking members in New Jersey.” Charles Muccigrosso, also alleged to be a Gambino member, was also arrested.


Martin Taccetta was arrested in the sting. He was allegedly a former Lucchese family underboss. Police gathered information about the illegal activity through wire and automobile taps.

Others arrested included several members of various unions. The charges involve illegal gambling, labor racketeering, loansharking conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion, and illegal gambling.

The gambling operation was run using a toll-free number, and involved sporting events and casino games. Agents that were being used to run the operation were also arrested on Thursday.

Republicans And Democrats Align To Stop Gambling In Florida

Republicans And Democrats Align To Stop Gambling In Florida

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The state of Florida is in a peculiar situation when it comes to expanded gambling involving the Seminole Indians and their casinos. A compact needs to be completed, but legislators, both Democrat and Republican, are putting personal interests in front of the good of the state.

Governor Charlie Crist is inciting some of his fellow Republicans by crossing party lines and lobbying for the completion of the Seminole Indians casino compact that he originally signed back in 2007. The conservative Republicans do not want any form of expanded gambling in the state.

On the other side of the aisle, Democrats are saying thanks, but no thanks, to the governor. They are supportive of expanded casino gambling in the state, but cannot go along with the compact because many of the Democrats in power in the state have ties to South Florida’s pari-mutuel tracks.

This has made the business of completing the compact with the Seminoles an almost impossible task. If the compact, as written, was put in place, the Seminoles would have had blackjack and baccarat exclusively to themselves.

Democrats will be lobbying that if a compact with the Seminoles is signed, that the exclusivity part should be taken out. If that is achieved, then they can begin to lobby for pari-mutuels to also be allowed the Las Vegas table games.

Republicans do not like either of these outcomes, so they are fighting to have no compact and no expanded gambling laws. That would leave them searching to replace the millions of dollars that would be lost from additional gambling revenue.

For the first time in a long time in the state, Democrats and Republicans have come together for a common cause. The irony is the common cause is the compact, something that could pump millions into a floundering state budget.

Rendell Doing Problem Gambling A Favor By Legalizing Video Poker

Rendell Doing Problem Gambling A Favor By Legalizing Video Poker

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Governor Ed Rendell has made a statement to politicians all across the US with his proposal to legalize video poker gambling in Pennsylvania. The message is simple, stop pretending that gambling does not already exist, instead, use it to the state’s advantage and help people with gambling problems at the same time.

“For years gambling laws have been hard to pass because politicians blindly claim that gambling does not exist in the states they govern. (Governor) Rendell’s proposal shows that there are actually politicians out there who do have a hand on the pulse of their citizens,” said legal analyst Terry Hruntlem.

What Rendell is proposing is taking the illegal activity that is taking place in bars and taverns across Pennsylvania, and legalizing and regulating the industry so that the state can benefit financially.

Now of course, this does not work in all situations. Politicians should not be lining up to legalize drugs and other illegal activity that happens on a daily basis, but in the gambling arena, government regulation actually would help many of the problems associated with its existence.

If Rendell’s plan is passed, it would certainly come with a strict set of guidelines for operators of the video gambling machines. In addition, one of the regulations could have something to do with problem gambling detection and treatment awareness.

“The more that politicians accept that gambling is part of the society in the US, the quicker the country can move towards helping people who abuse the recreational activity. With every state that legalizes a form of gambling comes additional treatment centers and public awareness of the problems related to gambling,” said counsellor Dorothy Freidman.

It is true that Rendell does not see the big picture. All he sees currently is the billions of dollars that can be generated from the industry. That does not mean, however, that good can not come from areas outside his vision.

In some states, law enforcement agencies are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and police illegal gambling activity. As previously reported here, that is money that could go towards helping problem gamblers instead of criminalizing them.

“As the governor said (tavern gambling) has been going on in Pennsylvania for many, many, years. The issue right now is that it’s totally unregulated,” said Amy Christie, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Tavern Association.

Opposition to this new proposal from Rendell could come from casinos operating legally in the state. With regulation of the tavern video poker machines would come more competition. They are waiting, however, to see how a potential Bill is written before they make a public statement.