Former Florida sweepstakes cafe attorney Kelly Mathis, right, received a six-year jail sentence last week for his part with Allied Veterans (Image: John Raoux/AP)
You’d believe a lawyer would know better, but the big cash generated by gambling can be tempting for just about anybody. Now, a Florida attorney could possibly be spending amount of time in prison after using a charity organization as a front side for a illegal gambling ring.
Kelly Mathis of Jacksonville, Florida was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of managing a $300 million gambling ring. Mathis was convicted of the total of 103 counts ranging from racketeering to possessing slot machines. He’s just one of 57 defendants in the instance, which also led to the resignation of Florida lieutenant governor Jennifer Carroll.
Bait and Switch Game
The scenario involved one of the hotter gambling dilemmas in the usa today: so-called sweepstakes cafes. We’ve written about the controversies over these continuing businesses in several states, including Florida. While the details about how these venues work may differ, the structure that is basic constantly exactly the same: customers obtain a product such as phone cards or Internet time, then receive ‘sweepstakes entries’ as an added bonus for their purchase. These entries allow customers to play simulated slot machine games on computer systems. This is certainly the real draw, as few (if any) customers are really interested in purchasing the products being offered in these locations.
As in other states, operators in Florida stated that these sweepstakes games were appropriate under current gambling laws. But police force officials disagreed, shutting venues that are down many and leading the Florida Legislature to alter regulations to specifically outlaw the sweepstakes cafes.
The cafes were being run under the name of Allied Veterans of America and Allied Veterans of the World in this case. However, prosecutors say that extremely little associated with $300 million in revenues from the organizations actually visited veterans, and that the group was mostly used as a front for the gambling operations.
On (Bad) Information of Counsel
During sentencing, Mathis’ lawyers argued that he ought not to have to face jail time. Based on Mathis, he did not include himself into the operations among these businesses, and only provided legal advice to Allied Veterans. Prosecutor Nick Cox disagreed, stating that engaging in merging and deception the charity with the gambling operation called for jail time.
While Mathis was sentenced to six years in prison, he felt confident he would be overturned on appeal. He also said that choices such as this 1 could hurt the community that is legal.
‘A lawyer will be afraid to offer any advice at all if this might be allowed to stand,’ the attorney said.
While Cox argued that prison time ended up being appropriate, he too understood it wasn’t without ramifications.
‘We just sentenced a lawyer to prison, it doesn’t make me personally proud,’ Cox said. ‘I’m unhappy we needed to do this.’
Mathis will remain free on bond while he awaits his appeal.
The saga regarding the sweepstakes cafes received great attention in Florida in large part due to the participation of Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, who had worked as a consultant for Allied Veterans. While the controversy caused her to resign her post year that is last she ended up being perhaps not charged with any crimes.
Nj Online Gambling Revenues Climb, But Still Disappoint
Nj-new jersey’s online casinos are making cash for the Garden State, however as much as had been projected. (Image: John Lamb/Getty)
New Jersey residents are spending more money and time on the growing Internet casinos and poker rooms provided by Atlantic City gambling enterprises. But they’ll have to relax and play far more if revenues from web sites have any shot at reaching the lofty goals set by state officials before the sites launched year that is late last.
Online Revenues Up
First, the good news for the Garden State: New Jersey’s online gambling sites saw an increase of 28 percent in revenues in January when compared to December 2013, the first full month of online gambling there. That brought the total amount won online by the casinos to $9.5 million, or $2 million more than in December. That was sufficient to earn New Jersey $1.4 million in tax revenue, while the state gathers 15 percent of gross profits on Web video gaming.
If you project out to June, that means that their state could see about $10 million in tax revenues from online gambling sites for this fiscal year. New Jersey isn’t about to turn that money down, of course, but it’s far in short supply of what Governor Chris Christie predicted would take place when online gambling went live.
Year his administration had expected or at least hoped that as much as $160-$180 million could be brought in per. Needless to say, since online gambling just went inhabit November, the first year that is fiscal a short one for the sites. But even taking that into consideration, the online casinos are incredibly far falling well in short supply of those lofty goals.
When looking at industry projections, the January numbers are much more consistent with exactly what ended up being anticipated, though still a bit reduced than expected. Chris Krejcik of Eilers Research estimated that Atlantic City’s websites would bring in $10 million in January. He commented that the $9.5 million brought in was therefore ‘slightly disappointing.’
Land Casinos Still Flailing
In order to make matters worse, these total results come at a time when Atlantic City’s land-based gambling enterprises continue to struggle. As is the case since 2006, year-over-year revenues dropped again in January, falling 9.2 percent to $186.3 million. That figure does not count revenues from online gaming, but even adding in the $9.5 million, total revenues would still be down slightly.
As is the case because the launch of Web gambling in nj-new Jersey, Borgata and PartyPoker continue to lead the way in profits. Their sites made $3.89 million in winnings in giving them a 41 percent market share january. That’s still a dominating position, but down from the 45 percent share they held in December.
The gainer that is biggest was Caesars and their partner 888 Holdings. Their sites saw growth that is big January, accounting for nearly half of this total escalation in revenues. Their market share is now a great 32 percent.
‘We started marketing in earnest in early January, and also the promotions we offered our customers really appeared to resonate well,’ said Caesars Interactive spokesman Seth Palansky. ‘We’re really encouraged on how the New Jersey market is performing for us across all three of our brands.’
Among land-based casinos, Borgata was again Atlantic City’s leader for January, bringing in $48.4 paradise players slots million. Caesars was second with $25.4 million in gambling revenues.
Sands Website Hack Shutdown Continues as FBI Probes Whodunit
The FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and Nevada regulatory abilities continue to probe a mysterious Sands’ worldwide internet site hack (Image: Daily Caller)
Is it just us, or does it seem like the hackers are winning the war these days? Major hacking meltdowns with Target, Neiman Marcus and other stores during and after the holidays impacted millions of U.S. customers, and now a nearly week-old hack of major casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corporation is still a mystery, with all Sands sites still in lockdown mode as of this week-end.
Adelson’s Controversial Views Noted
To backtrack to exactly how it all started, on Tuesday unknown assailants reportedly opposed to CEO Sheldon Adelson’s views in the Iranian nuclear situation (because whom doesn’t wish a rogue country to own usage of materials for weapons of mass destruction) figured out just how to get into various Sands Internet internet sites. Casino customers looking for informative data on a poker room or their dining options at any Sands venues instead saw messages from an ‘Anti WMD team,’ expressing outrage towards Adelson for his always-shy views, including one presented a year ago in which the casino curmudgeon said the U.S. should set off unique nuclear armaments somewhere in an Iranian desert to show former leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or current frontrunner Hassan Rouhani exactly who was really in fee of Planet Earth.
More alarming than the threatening messages, however, were the names, contact info and even the social security numbers of some Sands Bethlehem, Pennsylvania casino employees, detailed out in a scrolling list by way of a photo image of Adelson with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
It also showed where various Sands casinos round the world are situated, because of the addition of flames tacked onto those located in the United States.
Hovering over the map and pulling a ‘who’s the bad guy right here, anyway’ kind of move the hackers’ text message read: ‘Damn A, Don’t allow your tongue cut your neck,’ while another message at the web page said, ‘Encouraging the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, UNDER ANY CONDITION, is A crime.’
Right, dudes; kind of like hacking in to a computer that is major is, as well.
The background of this situ dates back to an October 2013 Adelson speaking appearance in brand New York, where the outspoken and unabashed friend of Israel stated that Iran’s nuclear capabilities were aimed at the Land of Milk and Honey in particular. While few would probably argue with that statement, Adelson’s further rhetoric saying that America should make a power showing by detonating unique bomb somewhere in Iran’s wilderness, and that it would ‘not hurt a soul, except for a few rattlesnakes,’ might not have been his moment that is finest.
A Sands spokesman later had to protect his employer’s derriere a bit by saying that the speech was simply ‘hyperbole to create a true point.’
Various Federal and Nevada Agencies Investigate
At the time of the finish of this week, all Sands’ websites were nevertheless down, with no statement was indeed issued by the casino conglomerate. Meanwhile, the FBI, Secret Service and Nevada regulatory officials have all been scrambling to get at the underside associated with hack, even as reports poured in that Sands’ email accounts and also a number of their employees’ own work computers had been hit as well. Web sites for Sands properties which range from Las Vegas and Pennsylvania to Macau and Singapore remained down with nothing more than bare-bones property names, contact numbers for the resorts and a ‘maintenance’ message.
Later in the week, Nevada’s Gaming Control Board chairman A.G. Burnett said their agency ended up being mainly focused on discovering in the event that hackers have been able to access any Sands’ customer data during the hack including the possibility of grabbing credit card information. With Sands regarded as being one of the casino operators that are largest regarding the planet, such a grab could have grave consequences indeed.
Burnett said the initial findings were showing that customer credit card information remained safe as far they could tell for now, but added that the investigation was ongoing and by no means a done deal.
Last December, Las Vegas-based casino outfit Affinity Gaming announced a site hack that compromised the credit card information of potentially 400,000 customers who had utilized the business’s site, adhering to a hack.