CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Ken Adams

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Bits & Pieces from Indian Country - August 2007

15 September 2007

Indian gaming sometimes produces the same blind prejudice that sports betting produces. A really prime example came from a federal judge in Wyoming. The case was not a gambling case or a casino case; it was a drug case. But the judge managed to find an opportunity to put casinos and the United States Cavalry in the same category. He found the casinos to be the root cause of all of the evil in Indian country – okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but it was close. At this rate, the judge may be in line for a job with the NBA or NFL.

U.S. judge decries Indian gambling in handing down drug sentence "Then the casino, the touted panacea for all that ails the reservation," Downes said. "The casino, which will cause more suffering to the tribal communities than any institution there since the U.S. Cavalry. "What madness, a casino in the heart of a reservation beset with these kinds of addictions. What madness." (Associated Press, 7-3-07)

A federal judge sentencing a methamphetamine dealer decried Indian gambling, saying casinos would "cause more suffering to the tribal communities than any institution since the U.S. Cavalry." Tilano Montoya, 34 and a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, was sentenced June 21 to drug treatment and five years on probation. Earlier, he had pleaded guilty to two counts of using a communication device to commit a drug felony and conspiracy to possess meth with an intent to distribute. U.S. District Court Judge William F. Downes recited a litany of Montoya's addictions, beginning with marijuana and building to almost daily meth use…The Northern Arapaho operate two casinos on the Wind River Indian Reservation, which they share with the Eastern Shoshone. (Associated Press, 7-3-07)

The California legislature after months and months of partisan debate finally approved the latest round of compacts. The opposition had centered on competition – the card rooms and race tracks, and the unions that wanted automatic registration rights. That is, of course, related to the national legislation that would allow unions to represent workers without a vote, simply by signing a registration card. With the seeming collapse of the American automobile industry, the unions are desperate to find new markets for their product. In California, they are promising to mount a renewed effort by putting Indian gaming compacts on the ballot. The logic defies my understanding. If they are successful, thousands of potential jobs, hundreds of millions of tax dollars and all of the other multiplier impacts on the California economy will be lost. Is that a pro-labor position? Not in my opinion. It makes sense for the tracks if they can reduce the competition, but not for anyone interested in the welfare of California or California workers.

A coalition of labor and horse racing interests announced Friday that it will ask voters to pull the plug on a huge tribal gambling expansion negotiated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The owner of two racetracks and the hotel workers' union will team up on a campaign that could put four new initiatives on the February ballot and cost tens of millions of dollars…The tracks and union seek to undo legislation Schwarzenegger signed into law in July…Referendum backers said more than 2 million signatures must be collected by early October, which could cost at least $4 million. The coalition intends to qualify four separate measures for the Feb. 5 ballot. (Nancy Vogel, Los Angeles Times, 7-27-07)

And that completes my round of rants on the challenges and threats and complications facing the casino industry. That does not mean that I think the industry is in trouble – it isn't. Gaming is growing and gaining more common acceptance. But there are forces that will present challenges. Union organization is going to become more prominent, going past the traditional back-of-the-house jobs to the casino floor. Non-smoking legislation is approaching a national norm – no smoking in public – and that will include casinos. What the specific impacts will be it is too soon to say, except to say that there will be an impact on casinos and tax revenues, at least in the beginning. And finally, there is always the threat of some form of national legislation that is the aftermath of a major scandal. Even though a very small percentage of the amount of money wagered on sports is bet in legal sports books, during a scandal the legal sports books become a target of reformers.

Jim Rome, a radio personality, spent two hours recently interviewing a former organized crime figure. Rome was really impressed with the man's violent background and his rehabilitation – including a new career campaigning against gambling. He tells stories of corrupting college players, suckering referees and players into a debt trap where they become willing to fix a game, and punishing the non-paying or non-fixing individuals. Both Rome and the mobster used the stories to prove gambling was bad and corrupt and should be illegal in all of its instances. But in my view they made the opposite point. Vegas books are not part of that story; that story was simply about corrupt men being corrupt – in which case, it seems obvious to me, the campaign should be against corruption, and that is a regulatory issue, not an argument for banning gambling.

Professional sports, because of the salaries of the players, are less vulnerable to corruption than college sports. College sports, with the prominence of illegal Internet wagering, student bookies and organized crime's potential to truly corrupt a game, is a major scandal waiting to happen. There are hundreds of Jim Romes and their mobster guests with personal agendas, as well as the traditional anti-gambling groups, all standing and waiting for the opportunity to pounce.

But now, that is simply my opinion, isn't it?

Ken Adams

Ken Adams is the principal in the gaming consulting firm, Ken Adams and Associates. Formed in 1990, Ken Adams and Associates specializes in information, analysis, and strategic planning for Indian tribes, casino operations and gaming manufacturers.

Ken spent over 20 years in the hotel-casino industry, prior to founding Ken Adams and Associates. He held the positions of: Director of Casino Operations, Casino Manager, and Keno Department Manager. During this time, he developed numerous innovative marketing and customer development programs and systems for evaluating casino performance. Some of those programs, such as slot clubs and tournaments, have become industry standards.

Ken is also actively involved in gathering and disseminating information that is important to the gaming industry. He is editor and publisher of and the Adams' Report, a monthly newsletter specializing in identifying trends in casino gaming, regulation and manufacturing, the Adams Daily Report, an electronic newsletter that provides electronic links to the key gaming stories of the day, and the Adams Review, a special report distributed by Compton Dancer Consulting that provides editorial commentary on gaming trends.
Ken Adams
Ken Adams is the principal in the gaming consulting firm, Ken Adams and Associates. Formed in 1990, Ken Adams and Associates specializes in information, analysis, and strategic planning for Indian tribes, casino operations and gaming manufacturers.

Ken spent over 20 years in the hotel-casino industry, prior to founding Ken Adams and Associates. He held the positions of: Director of Casino Operations, Casino Manager, and Keno Department Manager. During this time, he developed numerous innovative marketing and customer development programs and systems for evaluating casino performance. Some of those programs, such as slot clubs and tournaments, have become industry standards.

Ken is also actively involved in gathering and disseminating information that is important to the gaming industry. He is editor and publisher of and the Adams' Report, a monthly newsletter specializing in identifying trends in casino gaming, regulation and manufacturing, the Adams Daily Report, an electronic newsletter that provides electronic links to the key gaming stories of the day, and the Adams Review, a special report distributed by Compton Dancer Consulting that provides editorial commentary on gaming trends.