Updated 11-17-06

CasiNO Watch

1996: The Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC) promotes Harrahs/Players "off the river" boat n moat casino while ignoring our State Constitution that required casinos to be on the river. The MGC allowed twelve casinos to operate off the river.

1997: Citizens sued the Missouri Gaming Commission over the illegal
boats in moats and won an unanimouse decision from the Missouri

1997 through 1998: The MGC promotes the "boats n moat" while ignoring the fact that they are operating illegally until the casinos can buy an election to change our constitution. No fines, no closings, no nothing! The MGC did not shut down one slot machine!

1998: The Missouri Gaming Commission approved (promote) a deal in which Hilton would not be fined (ignore) by that agency, but would give up its Missouri gaming license and sell the riverboat. (License Laundering)
Casino executives deny they were helped by attorney's insider relationship/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/10.11.00

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)--Two subsidiaries of Hilton Hotels Corp. (HLT) avoided a federal bribery trial by agreeing to pay the government $655,000 and continuing mandatory ethics training for company executives. The commission (MGC) began investigating the alleged bribe in 1996 but closed the investigation after Hilton and the Port Authority chairman accused of accepting the bribes denied the accusations under oath.
AP/Two Hilton Hotels Units Settle Casino Bribery Charges/8.12.98

1999: The MGC allowed Players casino to remain (promote) open until they could launder their license to Harrah's casino even though Players had been fined $10 million in Louisiana for their involvement in an extortion case to obtain a license. (ignore)

Harrah's Entertainment Inc., the second-largest casino company, completed its $425 million purchase of Players. Players made an indelible mark on the casino industry in December, when it paid a record $10.2 million to settle alleged regulatory violations in Louisiana.
Done deal: Harrah's gets Players A.C. casino firm sold -- finally -- for$425M/THEPRESS/ 3.23.00

Of course, the governor who followed Roemer, Edwin Edwards, was convicted in May 2000, along with his son Stephen and three other men, of extorting payoffs in exchange for riverboat licenses. He reported to a federal prison in Fort Worth a year ago this coming Tuesday to serve a 10-year sentence. Catania represented Players International, a company that Edwards extorted, in penalty hearings before the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.
Limiting casino licenses set stage for Edwards/www.nola.com/news/10.21.03

2000: The MGC promotes the laundering of Station's license while allowing them to continue to profit until the casino can be sold. (ignoring)

Station Casinos Inc. of Las Vegas, in hot water with Missouri regulators over allegations against a former company lawyer, left the state after selling to Ameristar Casinos Inc. of Las Vegas for $488 million. Lazaroff has told the commission that he frequently talked privately with the Missouri Gaming Commission's former chairman, Robert Wolfson of St. Louis County. Lazaroff said those conversations - barred by state regulations - helped Station Casinos get its licenses for casinos in St. Charles and Kansas City.
Under state rules, Gaming Commission members are barred from having private discussions with casino officials. Commissioners and casinos are supposed to report any such contacts.
Casino executives deny they were helped by attorney's/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/10.11.00

The Station executives ordered to appear Oct. 10 refused to obey commission subpoenas issued last month. The commission voted unanimously Aug. 31 to revoke Station's Kansas City and St. Charles licenses for the seven executives' refusal to honor subpoenas and testify under oath at a formal inquiry that week in Kansas City. That inquiry centered on events surrounding the guilty plea in federal court earlier this year of former Station outside counsel Michael Lazaroff. The inquiry now appears to turn on Lazaroff's personal relationship with former commission Chairman Robert L. Wolfson and whether their prohibited private conversations over several years gave Station an unfair advantage in winning its riverboat licenses -- which Lazaroff testified it did.
Seven Station Casinos executives are again ordered to testify/The Kansas City Star/9.27.00

"It's a pattern that is disturbing," said the Rev. Tom Grey, executive director of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling. "Now we've got regulatory bodies that are acting as Laundromats."
Critic decry 'laundering' of casino licenses/Las Vegas Sun/7.30.01