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Republican Governors Group Benefitting Big From Wisconsin Casino Fight

The Department of the Interior has signed off on the proposed casino, but Walker seems in no rush to make his decision. He didnt meet a self-imposed October deadline to decide, and a top aide said in December that Walker might put off the decision until after the November general election. Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/02/05/republican-governors-group-benefitting-big-from-wisconsin-casino-fight/

Margolis wants casino operators to be banned from sending campaign cash to lawmakerse

John Stark, Edward Miller, Scott Mongeon and Frank Salino key members of the local horse racing community today endorsed expanded gaming at Saratoga Casino and Raceway because no other entity in the state has been a bigger supporter of horse racing industry. Destination Saratoga shares Mayor Yepsens focus on strengthening the local horse racing industry, which directly employs 1,200 of our neighbors. Theres no better partner for the horse racing industry than Saratoga Casino and Raceway, and we know that by expanding gaming options at the existing casino, that partnership will continue long into the future, said Dan Hogan, Co-Chair of Destination Saratoga. In her State of the City address last month, Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen called on the community to make strengthening the local horse industry a top priority, saying, Now more than ever we need to remember what is really important to our local economy and bring horse racing back to the center of this conversation. Mayor Yepsen stressed the need to find solutions that keep horse racing alive and well in Saratoga Springs, where it belongs and where its been since 1847. In response to that call to action, a number of members of the horse racing community have come forward to support Destination Saratoga, and join in its call for expanding gaming at SCR and keeping those benefits in the local community. Frank Salino, a horseman at Saratoga Raceway who also breeds horses on his farm in the Town of Greenfield, said: For the last ten years, VLT revenues have protected jobs and strengthened the local racing industry, and horse racing is central to our regions sustained economic growth. Horse trainers, breeders and racers agree that this is a homegrown industry and belongs right here in Saratoga.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://blog.timesunion.com/saratogaseen/pro-casino-group-on-horse-racing/20400/

Casino planned for Jamul finds huge opposition

Hundreds of people turned out for a meeting on the proposed Jamul casino. Still, it sends a message -- and maybe provokes some debate. Here's the release: Senator Gwen Margolis (D-Miami) today filed a bill based on a report by Spectrum Gaming Group to restrict the ability of the gaming industry to directly influence the political process. (Spectrum report, page 154) The Legislature commissioned the $400,000 report on impacts of gambling and expansion proposals to inform its review this session. Margolis said, Prospective players have spent millions already as they seek to expand gambling in more forms and more areas across the state. If a large casino is placed in your backyard, you should have some assurance the decision wasnt fueled by large amounts of campaign cash. We need to establish a firewall between elected officials and the gambling industry. Any decision to change the character of our state should be made on the merits and not by influence-peddling and money. Senate Bill 848, The Public Confidence in Gaming Act, would prohibit anyone seeking or holding a license from the state for pari-mutuel activity from making campaign contributions to any state lawmaker, the governor or cabinet, or any political committee associated with those state office holders or seekers. Additionally, regulators within the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering would be prohibited from working or consulting for the industry for a period of 4 years. The additional two years is because the public perception of collusion is so great, and the industry has mega-bucks to spread around, she said. Margolis has been vocal in her opposition to a resort casino in her district. Genting Americas has purchased the Miami Herald Building and Omni Hotel and wants to place a casino there. Biscayne Boulevard is already congested, and a casino does not fit with our two performing arts centers, two museums, and the American Airlines Arena. This is a healthy and thriving area, with high hotel rates and occupancy. My constituents do not want a casino here. I expect to have a hearing on this bill as the Senates Committee on Gaming looks at gambling. We spent the money to access the expertise of the Spectrum Gaming Group, and we cannot ignore the only specific recommendation I found in the report, she said. A sea of cash has been sloshing into the campaign coffers of members, state-wide officials, leadership funds, and issue-advocacy bank accounts.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2014/02/margolis-wants-casino-operators-to-be-banned-from-sending-campaign-cash-to-lawmakerse.html

Pro-casino group on horse racing

The suit asks the court to invalidate the encroachment permit Caltrans issued for the construction of the casino. "Jamul will never be the same (if the casino is built)," Jacob said. "It would bring other big-city problems, more noise, more crime, more traffic, more light pollution. Penn National says Jamul needs a slice of Hollywood, a bit of Stardust. The suits at Penn don't know us, they have no clue.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/05/casino-jamul-opposition/

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