New South Wales hospitals accepting donations tied to poker machines
Hospitals in New South Wales are increasingly taking offers of large monetary donations from local establishments that receive revenue from their poker machines. In recent years, NSW’s hospitals have accepted over $1.3 million in cash donations gifted from local poker venues’ and pubs’ machines known as “pokies”.
Most recently, the Fairfield Hotel promised some $2.6 million to organizations, with $500,000 of that money going to the Fairfield Hospital. These donations have come under scrutiny however, as the pokie establishments are claiming that the growing demand for donations justifies their requests to acquire extra machines. Considering the circumstances, many charities have begun rejecting donations tied to the venues; claiming that the public hospital system is supporting a gambling scheme that increasingly benefits from donations, using loopholes to bypass strict gambling laws.
Though the donations are offered to the hospitals and community organizations under the NSW government’s Local Impact Assessment scheme, its intention to offset the harm of concentrating more machines within community is now receiving backlash. Locals are displeased that the cash-strapped charities are essentially expanding the profits of the so-called pokie venues due to the long term acquisition of new machines.
Within the last three years, hospitals within the region have received as many as 18 donations. This is nearly a four-fold increase compared to the previous three years. The biggest scrutiny has fallen on St George Hospital, as it has been the most frequent recipient of the pokie venues’ donations. One of the most recent donations to the sum of $30,000 to a local cancer unit gave the club Dooleys Waterview the go-ahead to acquire 20 new machines to match the considerable donations.
For fear of becoming a “pokie saturated” community, some organizations, including the Salvation Army, have voiced opinions of potential unwanted side effects within the community caused by the encouragement of gambling. A recent statement from the Salvation Army said that the organization “does not support any conditional donations that utilizes our brand and reputation to increase the presence of gambling in our community.” Though the development of new machines has been down, an incredible $80 billion was pumped through the state’s poker machines between 2015 and 206 – a nearly $7 billion increase from years prior.
Bankruptcy trustee to head Henderson casino
The Nevada Gaming Commission has recently approved a bankruptcy trustee to take over operations of a Henderson based casino just outside Las Vegas City limits known as the Klondike Sunset Casino. The newly managed casino will be able to provide 50 new jobs to the local community. The emergency meeting saw a unanimous vote to ok the trustee with management rights or the recently renovated all-slots property would have seen foreclosure.
Las Vegas attorney Brian Shapiro, an expert in bankruptcy law, received full-scale approval to head and continue operations of the property in question. The Klondike Sunset Casino sits on 2.2 acres of property near Boulder Highway and has remained popular among locals. The result comes from a petition set in motion by Shapiro to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to continue operations of the casino in conjunction with the property’s owner, Bruce Familian. Ultimately, the decision might be to sell the property at auction which would be decided in advance with the property owner.
The casino first opened its doors in 1989, and closed in 2014 when its former owner died. The property was then newly acquired by Familian and a partner, through their company, Nevada Gaming Partners. Eight months later the casino was reopened with a completely refurbished interior.
Back in 2016, regulators were impressed with the quick turn-around largely due to Familian being an 18 year veteran in the gaming industry. Unfortunately, due to Familian’s wife’s involvement in the licensed medical marijuana industry, Familian himself was unable to obtain the appropriate licenses for his casino. The Klondike reopened in August 2016 under Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to protect its assets less than three months after the reopening. This filing was later overturned into a Chapter 7 liquidation due to a dispute among creditors over Familian’s operation of the casino property in question. According to Nevada law, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for the continued operation of establishments, including casinos, while steps taken to sell are underway. Public auction of the Klondike has been scheduled to take place just before the end of the year.
$500 million initial coin offering for Macau based cryptocurrency casino
Dragon Corp is pioneering risk-taking by making a record setting initial coin offering. The company, led by Chris Ahmad, plans to initiate a $500 million ICO to fund a new floating cryptocurrency casino the size of the legendary MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The autonomous region of Macau has become South Pacific Asia’s most famous gambling destination due to its plethora of mega-casinos on the famed Cotai Strip. Since gambling is illegal in China, Ahmad’s intentions to invest in Macau are more than practical. With the region bouncing back in revenue after recent corruption crackdowns, Macau is seeing a continued high global demand for gambling establishments. Its competitor, Las Vegas, is seeing stagnant growth in comparison to the mega-resorts of Macau. With the recent benchmark set by the value of a single Bitcoin surpassing $10,000 dollars, cryptocurrencies seem to be more than just a trend. Though the brand names like the aforementioned stand out, thousands of crypto currencies currently compose the market.
Despite China’s ban on gambling and due to the fact that Macau is technically a part of China, gamblers to the casino hotspot must pass their money through junket companies that can provide them with gambling chips. These junket companies often take high transaction fees for gamblers to deposit and withdraw money. Dragon Corp functions as one of these junket companies and their announced ICO will fund part of the floating casino’s construction. The expected casino is estimated to cost some $300 million with construction expected to be ready by 2020. However, investors in the ICO won’t be purchasing stake in the casino, and instead will use the currency would as gambling tokens within the casino itself. The value of the chips can potentially increase exponentially based on the current cryptocurrency markets.
Unfortunately Dragon Corp. has not been without its problems. It has faced corruption allegations in the past including links to convicted mobsters the likes of Wan Kuok-koi (he crashed a signing ceremony party recently). Projections to go ahead with the acquisition remain positive however, and we might just bear witness to the world’s first floating cryptocurrency casino in Macau.