CASINO

Kahnawake rejects casino bid; third-largest US casino readies for opening day

TAGs: cordish company, Kahnawake, Maryland Live!, Missouri

kahnawake-casinoDespite its reputation as a leading authority in the licensing and regulating of online gambling, residents of the Kahnawake Mohawk community outside Montreal have rejected plans to build a brick-and-mortar casino on their territory. This was the third vote the community has held on this issue in the past 18 years, (the last was in 2003) and while all three have produced ‘no’ votes, this year’s effort resulted in the narrowest margin of victory yet – 24 votes. The Montreal Gazette put the official tally at 822 in favor and 846 opposed. Grand Chief Mike Delisle Jr. and nine (out of 10) other band chiefs had promoted the casino plan as a way of making the community financially self-sufficient by reducing its dependency on aid from federal and provincial governments in Canada. Opponents questioned whether the size of the dividends each band member would receive from the casino profits was worth the potential problems a casino might bring.

No such concerns in Hanover, Maryland, which will see the opening of America’s third-largest casino on June 6. The Maryland Live! facility at the Arundel Mills Mall is scheduled to feature 3,200 slots and electronic table games when it opens its doors, and a further 1,500 slots and gaming machines will be added between July and October. A free-play online casino – Myliveonlinecasino.com – will debut ahead of the land-based casino opening. Maryland Live! is being built by the Cordish Company, whose properties include the Indiana Live! casino in Indianapolis and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Florida.

Legislators in Missouri are contemplating allowing casinos in their state to lend money to patrons. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a House committee added the provision to a banking bill, which was approved by a 13-1 vote and passed up the legislative food chain. Assuming the bill passes a full House vote, casinos would be allowed to lend money to patrons who passed a credit check. Rep. Scott Largent, who sponsored the amendment to the banking bill, told the Associated Press the aim was to prevent gamblers crossing over into neighboring Illinois, where casino loans are already legal. Largent suggested visiting pro athletes who wished to bet big in Missouri needed this law changed. “You can’t carry $30k, $20k in cash. If they want to gamble that much, they should be able to.” Preaching to the choir, Scott…

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