States Looking To Private Investors To Run Lotteries

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States are seeing the potential for more revenue dollars in their state lotteries. More and more individual states are looking to private investors to run their lottery.

Lotteries are a way for state governments to raise money through legalized gambling. The hypocrisy that exists in this form of gambling can be seen in almost every state.

Politicians claim that they are against gambling, then turn around and support state lotteries. The lottery is the biggest legalized form of gambling.

Now, state officials are starting to find the advantage to leasing out their lotteries to individual private investors. The investors would have to pay a fee up front to win the rights to run the lottery.

In Vermont, the idea has been talked about heavily and is under serious consideration. Investment bank Lehman Bros. has put together a proposal for Governor Jim Douglas that includes an up front payment of $56 million, plus annual payments.

Other states have followed the ideas of Vermont and are currently looking into the options of leasing out to private groups. The guess is that once a couple of states implements the plan, others will then follow the lead.

Chile Getting Gambling Complex Thanks To Clairvest Investment

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Chile is next in the line of countries that are receiving facelifts for their casino industry. A new casino gambling complex is being built thanks to an investment from a canadian casino operator.

Clairvest Group Inc. is one of the biggest casino operators in Canada. They are investing in the fact that if they can be successful in Canada, they can do it elsewhere as well.

The Group, partnered with Clairvest Equity Partners III Limited Partnership, is investing in a gambling complex that will be located in southern Chile.

Clairvest Equity is putting up seventy five percent of the investment. Clairvest Group is ivesting twenty five percent. Together, they will own fifty percent of the complex. The total investment from the two groups will be $41.6 million.

Their partner in the project will be a Chilean Real Estate Company, Empresas Valmar. The name of the resort will be Casino Marina del Sol.

“The facility will benefit from a large population base, a diversified and strong economy and a monopoly for gaming in the region that was written into the license granted by the casino regulator in Chile,” said co-CEO of Clairvest, Jeff Parr.

Slots Expansion in Florida Threatens Livelihood of Jai Alai

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Back when South Florida was just growing into its own, before it was one of the United States top tourist states, the game of Jai Alai was as popular as ever in the region.

Fast forward to 2007 and the very sport that began the gambling fever in South Florida, could be the one sport that does not survive as casino gambling becomes more prevalent in the area.

According to reports from the Miami Herald, Tuesday afternoon over 20 Jai Alai players gathered in front of Florida’s House Speaker, Marco Rubio’s, office and voiced their concerns about their sport heading toward extinction.

According to the Herald, their plea was for Rubio, who opposes casino gambling, to keep battling for what he believes and to not allow casinos to kill the sport they love.

Lotteries and gambling casinos have taken away many of the gambling dollars that were being spent at places such as Dania Jai Alai.

Voters in Dade County rejected slot machines back in 2005, but with the issue back on the ballot in January, and expecting to pass this time, it fears players whose livelihood has been playing the game they love.

Florida is the only state left in the nation that has Jai Alai matches, and even if slots are approved this time, Miami is not ready to give up on the sport.

Dan Licciardi, vice president and general manager of Miami Jai Alai told a Miami Herald reporter that, “Miami was the birthplace of Jai Alai in America. We’ve been here since 1926, we still believe it’s an integral part of our business.”

He continued by stating, “We look at it as a draw, something that other places wouldn’t have, our goal is to keep it very strong, very viable.”

While the intent may be there to salvage the game, nothing will be determined until the money starts pouring in from the slots, and that is where the players feel the end of the road will come for this long standing South Florida sport.

Slot Machines Help Louisiana Track Rise From the Waters

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In yet another story of the struggle to rebuild after the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina, the AP reports that the Louisiana Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans will open its second season of live racing since the flood on Thanksgiving Day, only this time with an assist tracks across America are receiving.

Up to 245 slot machines have been installed at the venerable track, and are pumping in money to help raise purses and bring this historic site back from the dead. The machines began running in September, and the income after the first full month of operation was $1.3 million. Track officials expect this number to more than double during the 81 day live racing season.

Over the next year, the facility will add a permanent room holding over 700 machines.

The economic and historic value of the track is huge. According to a study done by the University of New Orleans, the Fair Grounds has a yearly impact of over $350 million on the New Orleans economy, and more than 1500 jobs are directly provided by the track.

The Fair Grounds dates back to 1852 and is the third-oldest racing operation currently in the United States. George Custer, Pat Garrett, who shot Billy the Kid, and Jesse James’ brother Frank are among the famous who have watched their horses run at the track. Jack Dempsey and gambling legend Diamond Jim Brady have attended events.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and The Louisiana Derby are major annual events at the Fair Grounds.

With its broad influence on the local economy and its amazing past, one can only hope the Fair Grounds finds an able assist from its slots, helping it back to its former prominence.

Slot Machines Evolve To Please Video Game Generation

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Gambling executives know that their demographics show the majority of customers to be over 40, particularly among slot players. In order to try to draw the younger crowd, casino planners have asked slot machine designers to make some evolutionary changes to the format of the machines.

For a long time, slot machines have consisted of mild variations on a hundred-year-od theme of entering cash, pressing abutton or pulling a lever, and waiting for a result. New machines, however, will incorporate ideas and styles from video games that younger generations have grown up playing.

Skill, in the forms of hand-eye coordination and dexterity, will now be rewarded as well as pure chance. Joysticks will take the place of buttons as the method of play. Machines will be linkable, allowing players to play in groups, as in online gaming.

George Maloof is the owner of the Palms Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Palms has a clientele younger than most Vegas casinos, and Maloof understands the problem with getting play from his crowd. “Younger players come to town to party. They drink, they go to nightclubs, they go to the after-hours clubs, they check out the pool for the scene there. Gambling in general is not high on their agenda,” he said.

Tim Stanley, spokesman for Harrah’s Entertainment, noted that young people have shown a marked preference for table games over slots.

So, to attract the 21-40 crowd, slots are turning to popular technological improvements in video and audio. Surround sound, high defintion pictures, and interactive machines are all in the plans for slots’ future.

Atari, the company that started the advent of video games with Pong, has signed a deal with Bally Technologies to develop a string of slot games to be beased on skill of play, starting with a paddle game similar to Pong.

Even as authorities are striving to put games of chance out of play, as previously reported, the games themselves are becoming more skill-based. The evolution of gambling to combine with other aspects of entertainment and meld with “normal” life seems to be a tide no one can stop.

Slot Machine Manufacturers The Big Winner in U.S. Casino Expansion

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With every state and county that moves towards legalized casino gambling, more and more slot machines are being needed. That leaves slot machine manufacturers as an industry that is reaping the benefits of casino expansion.

In California, there are four propositions on this Tuesday’s ballot that will determine whether the state allows for 17,000 more slot machines at existing casinos. Governor Schwartzenegger is pushing for Propositions 94, 95, 96, and 97.

If approved, that would mean that the 17,000 machines would have to come from somewhere. Enter International Game Technology.

The company is based out of Nevada. It is only one of many slot machine manufacturers that are seeing big paydays everytime another state expands their casino gambling laws.

While much of Nevada will not be affected by Tuesday’s vote, the machine companies are hoping, as they do in every vote of this kind, that the propositions pass.

While many see the economic advantage of voting for casino gambling, it is companies like IGT that are seeing the benefits of a positive vote. With millions of dollars being paid by casino operators for the rights to the state licenses, there is no denying how lucrative the slot business has become.

BetXTech Launches New Mobile Betting Devices For Casinos

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BetXTech has built their business over the past three years coming up with solutions for no risk sports betting for casinos and bookmakers. Now the company has launched their latest equipment.

The International Casino Exhibition was held last week in London. Among the things that came out of those meetings was BetXTech launching their new mobile sports betting solution.

The company also revealed some of their other new products in London. They have developed a casino slot redemption solution. They also showcased their No-Risk, Self-Service Sports Betting kiosk terminals.

“We believe that the flexibility of mobile betting is a very attractive proposition for any gaming operator and their clients, and the 2008 ICE show was the perfect venue for us to announce the wireless delivery of our sports betting solution,” said Melcom Copeland, a Director at BetXTech.

The company has been primarily focused on servicing London and Ireland with their self-service Sports Betting Kiosk Terminals. The terminals cut out the need for actual employees, and allows easier access for potential gamblers within a casino.