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Moving Delicately

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Arkansas Moving Delicately Into State Lottery Era

Arkansas Governor Bill Halter, has seen in other states the good that can come out of a state lottery system. Education is being funded in some of these other states through lottery revenue.

He is lobbying hard for his proposal to make it onto the November ballot. He does warn, however, that the proposal might need to be tweaked. It is the finished product that he believes will help with financial funding for college students.

“While there may be need for modification and improvement of the program as it goes forward, and you certainly want to learn from experience,..we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that this proposal, if passed by Arkansans, is going to dramatically increase the amount of financial assistance available to Arkansas families,” said Halter, in an interview with the Arkansas News Bureau.

People who are sceptical of Halter’s plan, point to the problems that are arising in Tennessee, who has a similar plan in place. The state is facing a surplus of $460 million.

The surplus has been created mostly be students who qualified for the scholarships, but then failed to keep the necessary grades to keep the scholarships. Such problems would have to be worked out by Legislature if voters approve hi proposal.

American Idol Competition Resumes With Live Show Tonight

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American Idol has eliminated many of the non popular singers, and starting with last week’s elimination, people are ready to be shocked from here on out.

The competition picks back up tonight in another live show. The elimination of Michael Johns last week, which came as a shock to some, let’s the remaining contestants know that America means business.

A few of the contestants tonight will be on the hot seat. Saisha Mercado has been flirting with being eliminated the past several weeks, and one more average performance might do her in.

Jason Castro has also been skating by as of late. He will have to step up to avoid being the next one out. Carly Smithson has also been shaky as of late. She needs a rebound performance in tonight’s live show.

Kristy Lee Cook has been improving each week, and one dynamite performance could go a long way towards her moving forward. Brooke white has been solid throughout, but may need to go out a little more on a limb to keep it fresh.

David Archuleta and David Cook will just be looking to not bomb. They are clear favorites to win, and need only to not be horrible to stay in the competition.

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Scholarship Funding

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Arkansas Lt. Governor Looking To Lottery For Scholarship Funding

Whether it is innovative, or just copying an example from surrounding states, Lt. Governor Bill Halter believes the time has come for a state lottery in Arkansas. Money would be used to create college scholarships in the state.

In a trip to talk to at the meeting of the West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District Board of Directors, Halter spoke of how the state needs the lottery to continue on their way towards financial growth.

“Poll results say we can achieve a lottery scholarship program in Arkansas. To those who oppose the lottery, I respect your opinion and I respect your judgements, but with an issue such as this that is controversial and relates to the public, let’s put it to the people and let them vote,” said Halter.

Most states currently have lottery systems that are funding education. Halter estimates that at least $100 million could be generated for the scholarship fund, and that is on the low end.

His push for the lottery comes from figures that show that Arkansas is among the bottom states in the nation with adults that have a college degree. He is trying to change that statistic through raising money with the lottery proposal.

“This is about providing scholarship opportunities for Arkansas students and addressing the severe impediment of our state’s economic development,” said Halter.

People of Rhode Island Keeping Gambling Money at Home

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The Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos in Connecticut have been taking people out of their home states for years. Gamblers would come from different areas to spend their money in the Connecticut casinos.

That trend is slowly changing. Bordering states now have casinos of their own. With casino expansion growing around the country, it is becoming easier for people to stay in their own states to gamble.

Rhode Island is one state that is an example of people not wanting to go far to spend their gambling dollars. A recent study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has shown that for the first time, gamblers are not going to Connecticut to wager.

Newport Grand and Twin River are the two casinos that are reaping the benefits of keeping Rhode Islanders at home. The two casinos had about $271 million spent in them.

Around $261 million was spent at Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun. If the estimations are correct, that means that about ten million more dollars was spent by citizens at casinos within their states.

That figure should only grow over the next few years. Revenue for the two casinos was estimated at $148 million. With more states moving towards legalizing casino gambling, it has become increasingly difficult for tourist destinations like the two in Connecticut to keep their numbers up.

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Gambling In Philippines

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Archbishop Voices Concern With Game Show Gambling In Philippines

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Poverty is something people of the Philippines are used to dealing with. Out of the poverty comes the need to gamble hoping for a quick fix. At least that is the opinion of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.

“It has become part of the Filipino culture, the culture of gambling. It is a sign that Filipinos are poor. That people will resort to all sorts of things such as gambling just to get money,” said Lagdameo in an interview on the Catholic Church’s Radio Veritas 846 yesterday.

He also said that game show gambling is becoming increasingly popular. People are trying their luck on these game shows to become instant millionaires, which is leading to frivolous spending.

“Such games are what you call easy-to-get-rich, and, therefore, whoever wins the big prize gets this feeling that it is easy to earn money. And because he did not work hard for it, the tendency is to spend it unwisely,” he said.

He was not alone is his feelings towards gambling. Other Archbishop’s also agreed with his ideas on gambling. Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal believes that it is up to producers of these game shows to monitor themselves.

“Respect the religion sensitivity of the audience. There must be a respect for that,” he said. Vidal believes that the game shows should be more careful about how they market themselves to people in the Philippines.

New York State Keeping Inspectors At Illegal Seneca Casino

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New York State made a decision to keep their inspectors at a casino that was ruled to be illegal. The move comes after U.S. District Judge William Skretny ruled that a temporary casino that was being run by the Seneca Nation was being done so illegally.

The decision by New York to keep inspectors at the casino was not taken lightly by opponents of the casino. They feel that the state is ignoring the ruling of the judge.

“They’re furthering an illegal operation. It’s illegal for the state to aid and abet an illegal gambling operation, so if they are in there, they’d be aiding and abetting a criminal activity,” said Albany attorney, Cornelius Murray.

The inspectors were placed at the casino to ensure that the rules of a compact between the Seneca Nation and Albany are followed. The state does not want to make a move from the casino until they are sure that it will be shut down.

“Until we have some definitive action from the NIGC, the entity with oversight here, it would be unsafe to pull our gambling inspectors and public safety personnel from on operational casino,” said Risa Heller, a spokeswoman for Governor David A. Patterson.

The opposition group that won their battle in court is now pondering what their next move will be.

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Slots Question

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Anti-Gambling Group in Maryland Asks John McDonough To Step Aside On Slots Question

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The state of Maryland is in one of those in between periods for gambling in the state. There will be a question posed to voters on a referendum proposed to voter on the 2008 ballot.

Marylanders United to Stop Slots has taken a step to ensure that the current acting Secretary of State is not involved in drawing up that ballot question. They have sent him a letter asking him to remove himself from the drawing up process.

John McDonough, the acting Secretary of State, is a former gambling lobbyists. This creates a conflict of interest, according to the anti-gambling group. They want McDonough to step aside and let other draw up the question.

“A former gambling lobbyist writing the slot gambling ballot question presents a clear conflict of interest, and we hope Secretary McDonough will step aside from this task and allow the ballot to be written in impartial fashion,” said Sott Arceneaux, senior Advisor for Marylanders United to Stop Slots.

Maryland is in similar economic trouble as other states and is searching for help. Slot machines could be the answer in the state. Other states have legalized slots at their racetracks and have profited greatly from the move.

In addition to just slots, several states have legalized other forms of regulated gambling with great results. The states have implemented problem gambling education, and have moved forward with the entertainment form of gambling that has brought in millions of dollars to state budgets.


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