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items tagged with gambling

Internet-Gambling Ban: A Winner for Sheldon Adelson, a Losing Bet for the Rest of Us
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2014-11-26 15:47:03

Most Americans, regardless of ideology, oppose “crony capitalism” or “cronyism.” Cronyism is where politicians write laws aimed at helping their favored business beneficiaries. Despite public opposition to cronyism, politicians still seek to use the legislative process to help special interests.

For example, Congress may soon vote on legislation outlawing Internet gambling. It is an open secret, at least inside the Beltway, that this legislation is being considered as a favor to billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson. Mr. Adelson, who is perhaps best known for using his enormous wealth to advance a pro-war foreign policy, is now using his political influence to turn his online competitors into criminals.

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The Shrinking Gambling Pie: Jumer’s Boosted the Local Casino Market – but It Can’t Hide the Quad Cities’ Decade of Decline
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2014-08-21 11:28:20

It’s long been an article of faith with me that the seemingly perpetual growth in the number of state-sponsored gambling outlets is poor public policy. Common sense says that the amount of money people will spend on these games has a ceiling – one that we’ve almost certainly reached by now.

If that’s correct, then further expansion of legalized gambling is a fool’s errand, as the money generated by it won’t increase meaningfully. Once gambling has reached a saturation point in a region, revenues will just get shifted from gaming company to gaming company and state to state and local government to local government.

But like all articles of faith, I had no proof for my hypothesis. So I decided to test it, and the Quad Cities market seemed like an excellent laboratory.

What is now the Isle of Capri casino in Bettendorf opened in April 1995 – making us a three-casino community. (I’ll refer to the casinos by their present names throughout this article.) We now have almost two decades of gaming information with the three-casino marketplace, and a handful of variables allow us to see what happened here when this happened there: the December 2008 move of Jumer’s from downtown Rock Island to Interstate 280; the recession that hit in 2007-8; new casino competitors in eastern Iowa in 2006 and 2007; and the 2012 introduction of video-gambling machines in Illinois outside of casinos.

What I found didn’t exactly support my hypothesis of a Quad Cities gambling pie with a fixed size. Rather, the data suggest there are ways to add new customers to the local gambling market – but that the pie has nonetheless been shrinking for a decade.

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Iowa Will Attempt to Follow Nevada and D.C. with Online Poker
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Iowa Politics

2012-02-04 11:59:23

Jody Miller played online poker for three to four years before the government cracked down on the practice a couple of years ago.

Before that, Miller said, online poker was technically never legal, but the laws were rarely enforced. Increased government enforcement, he said, made it more difficult to play and caused some online poker Web sites to shut down. Some players saw their assets frozen and become tied up in online accounts.

Miller, 34, of Indianola, said it’s time for Iowa to legalize online poker.

“I think it’s an opportunity to capture some funding if you can legalize it – for the state to capture the revenue. Now’s the time to do it,” Miller said. “I think people are doing it anyway.”

Iowa Senate State Government Committee Chair Jeff Danielson (D-Cedar Falls) said the federal government has done a poor job of telling Americans what is legal in terms of online poker.

Danielson said he plans to introduce a bill this month that would legalize online poker in Iowa. He said the nation had a tremendous rise in poker activity until 2009. At its peak, he said, Iowans were spending close to $100 million outside the state on online poker.

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