news: (Fla.) Casino slots credits theft ring

Mousey

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If you can get around the pissing contest between 2 newspapers, this is a somewhat interesting story. Note that it is thought someone (an executive) at the casino/racetrack appears to be involved ...


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The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating an alleged slot-machine theft ring by employees at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino.

This is the first potential scandal for the fledgling industry, which is both heavily regulated and heavily taxed by the state. And I'm the one bringing you the news for one reason: The largest newspaper in Broward County, the Sun-Sentinel, had the story first but got cold feet and decided not to publish it.

Before we examine the Sun-Sentinel's apparent cowardice, let's look at the emerging scandal at Gulfstream, one of the county's four pari-mutuels and the first to unveil voter-approved, Las Vegas-style slot machines last year.

FDLE spokeswoman Paige Patterson-Hughes confirmed that her agency, which has a regulatory office on Gulfstream grounds in Hallandale Beach, is criminally investigating the casino, although she declined to provide any details.

The investigation is centered on promotional cards used to generate interest in the slot machines, according to sources in the gambling industry and in Tallahassee.

Local casinos provide patrons with the cards, which usually hold $25 to $100 worth of "non-redeemable credits" to play the slots. Patrons can cash in any winnings beyond the card's...
 

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