Gambling board losing public trust - Saturday 15th of October 2005

The state board established to oversee legalized slot machine gambling in the commonwealth just cant seem to get anything right.

It ignores purchasing and contract procedures designed to ensure equal business opportunities for vendors and to protect public dollars.

And it often operates outside of the public eye, which became painfully evident when it cut an estimated $6.3 million-a-year deal with Rhode Island-based GTECH to establish a computer control system for up to 61,000 slot machines in more than a dozen gambling parlors. In that case, the board refused to even say what other companies were in the running for the contract. On top of that, "the people" learned Monday that a GTECH attorney has close political ties to Gov. Ed Rendell.

Doesnt the public have a "right to know" when it comes to the expenditure or collection of tax dollars? That right is especially important when it comes to institutional gaming officials, which must avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety if they are to succeed. The state government and the gaming board exist to protect each and every residents interests. Neither can effectively accomplish that under a cloak of secrecy.

Last week, the board announced that it cannot agree on a slot machine distribution plan, which will delay the award of gaming licenses. Some on the board prefer a single distributor. Others would rather see smaller, regional distributors.

Huh? What about free enterprise?

The board should establish a set of specifications for slot machines -...plus an inspection system to protect against hanky panky -...and then let the distributors duke it out for the business. Such a plan would foster competition, keep prices low and, in the long run, provide more gambling revenue that politicians, as promised, will use to solve all the commonwealths problems.

However, we predict that when it comes to those promises, all bets will be off.

Other news from around the same time

Website to tackle gambling addiction - Saturday 15th of October 2005

Singapore has launched a website to address anticipated cases of gambling addiction four years befor....


Gambling Act proves purpose - Saturday 15th of October 2005

“The Department of Internal Affairs is to be congratulated on regulating the tighter laws around g....


Caesars Tahoe becomes MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa - Saturday 15th of October 2005

Caesars Tahoe becomes MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa ....


Blanco slams Nagins plan for casino district - Saturday 15th of October 2005

Gov. Kathleen Blanco delivered a decisive blow Tuesday to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagins proposal to r....


Perini lands $1B Las Vegas casino construction contract - Saturday 15th of October 2005

Perini Building Co. signed a construction contract worth $1 billion to build The Cosmopolitan Resort....


Mifal Hapayis to operate online lottery - Saturday 15th of October 2005

Mifal Hapayis - Israel National Lottery, one of only two entities in Israel licensed to operate gamb....


Zero, Zip, Zilch: That’s How Often Casino Customers Return to Properties With Poor Guest Service - Saturday 15th of October 2005

Zero. Zip. Zilch. That’s how often customers will return to a casino with poor service. That’s a....


Nevada casinos win $989 million in August, 13th positive month - Friday 14th of October 2005

Nevada casinos won $989 million from gamblers in August, giving the clubs a 9.3 percent increase ove....


Unprecedented eBay Auction Offers Historic $1 Million Collection of Casino Chips and Tokens - Friday 14th of October 2005

Pieces of Las Vegas will be auctioned off today for at least $1 million in the biggest legitimate op....


Empire Online, PartyGaming Lose Appeal on Concern About Growth - Friday 14th of October 2005

Empire Online Ltd. and Gaming VC Holdings SA shares led Internet gaming stocks lower amid concerns ....