Florida Attorney Gets Six Years for Role in Sweepstakes Cafes Ring
Former Florida sweepstakes cafe attorney Kelly Mathis, right, received a six-year prison sentence the other day for his part with Allied Veterans (Image: John Raoux/AP)
You would believe that an attorney would know better, but the big cash generated by gambling can be tempting for just about anyone. Now, a Florida attorney could possibly be spending time in prison after using a charity organization as a front side for a gambling ring that is illegal.
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 which range from racketeering to possessing slot machines. He’s one of 57 defendants in the full case, that also led to the resignation of Florida lieutenant governor Jennifer Carroll.
Bait and Switch Game
The truth involved one of many hotter gambling problems in the United States today: alleged sweepstakes cafes. We’ve written about the controversies over these businesses in many states, including Florida. As the facts about how these venues work may differ, the basic framework is always equivalent: customers purchase a product such as phone cards or Internet time, then receive ‘sweepstakes entries’ as an added bonus with regards to their purchase. These entries enable customers to play simulated video slot games on computer systems. This is the draw that is real as few (if any) customers are really interested in purchasing the products being offered in these locations.
As in other states, operators in Florida claimed why these sweepstakes games had been appropriate under present gambling regulations. But law enforcement officials disagreed, shutting venues that are down many and leading the Florida Legislature to improve the law to especially 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. But, prosecutors say that extremely little associated with the $300 million in revenues through the continuing businesses actually went along to veterans, and that the group was mostly used as being a front for the gambling operations.
On (Bad) Advice of Counsel
During sentencing, Mathis’ solicitors argued that he ought not to need to face jail time. In accordance with Mathis, he did not involve himself into the operations of the businesses, and only provided legal services to Allied Veterans. Prosecutor Nick Cox disagreed, saying that participating in deception and merging 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 stated that decisions such as for example this 1 could hurt the community that is legal.
‘A lawyer will forget to give any advice at all if this is certainly allowed to stand,’ the attorney said.
While Cox argued that prison time ended up being appropriate, he too comprehended that it wasn’t without ramifications.
‘We just sentenced a lawyer to prison, it doesn’t make me proud,’ Cox said. ‘I’m not happy we needed to do this.’
Mathis will remain free on bond while he awaits his appeal.
The saga associated with 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 this past year, she ended up being perhaps not faced with any crimes.
Nj-new Jersey Online Gambling Revenues Climb, But Still Disappoint
Nj-new jersey’s online casinos are making cash for the Garden State, however just as much as had been projected. (Image: John Lamb/Getty)
New Jersey residents are spending more time and money in the growing Internet casinos and poker rooms provided by Atlantic City casinos. But they’ll have to relax and play far more if revenues from the internet 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 gambling enterprises to $9.5 million, or $2 million significantly more than in December. That was sufficient to earn New Jersey $1.4 million in tax income, while the state gathers 15 percent of gross profits on Web video gaming.
That means that the state could see about $10 million in tax revenues from online gambling sites for this fiscal year if you project out to June. Nj isn’t about to turn that money down, of course, but it’s far in short supply of what Governor Chris Christie predicted would happen 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. Of course, since online gambling just went live in November, the first year that is fiscal a short one for the sites. But even taking that into consideration, the online casinos are so far falling well in short supply of those lofty goals.
Whenever looking at industry projections, the numbers are much more in line with what was expected, though still a bit lower than anticipated january. Chris Krejcik of Eilers Research estimated that Atlantic City’s websites on the internet would bring in $10 million in January. He commented that the $9.5 million brought in was consequently ‘slightly disappointing.’
Land Casinos Still Flailing
To help make matters worse, these outcomes come at a time whenever Atlantic City’s land-based gambling enterprises continue to struggle. As was 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 considering that the launch of Web gambling in New Jersey, Borgata and PartyPoker continue to lead the way in profits. Their sites made $3.89 million in winnings in January, giving them a 41 % market share. That’s still a dominating place, but down from the 45 percent share they held in December.
The biggest gainer was Caesars and their partner 888 Holdings. Their sites saw growth that is big January, accounting for nearly half associated with the total increase in revenues. Their market share is now a great 32 percent.
‘We began marketing in earnest in early January, plus the promotions we offered our customers really did actually resonate well,’ said Caesars Interactive spokesman Seth Palansky. ‘We’re extremely motivated on just 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 bringing in $48.4 million january. Caesars ended up being second with $25.4 million in gambling profits.
Sands Website Hack Shutdown Continues as FBI Probes Whodunit
The FBI, U.S. Secret provider, and Nevada regulatory powers carry on to probe a mysterious Sands’ worldwide internet site hack (Image: day-to-day Caller)
Is it simply us, or does it seem like the hackers are winning the pugilative war these days? Major hacking meltdowns with Target, Neiman Marcus and other stores during and after the holiday season impacted millions of U.S. customers, and now a hack that is nearly week-old of casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corporation is still a mystery, along with Sands sites still in lockdown mode as of this week-end.
Adelson’s Controversial Views Noted
To backtrack to how it all started, on Tuesday unknown assailants reportedly opposed to CEO Sheldon Adelson’s views on the Iranian situation that is nuclearbecause whom doesn’t want a rogue country to possess use of materials for weapons of mass destruction) identified just how to get into various Sands online sites. Casino clients searching for home elevators 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 year that is last that your casino curmudgeon stated the U.S. should set off their very own nuclear armaments somewhere within an Iranian desert to show previous leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or current frontrunner Hassan Rouhani exactly who was actually in charge of Planet Earth.
More alarming than the threatening communications, however, were the names, contact info and perhaps the security that is social of some Sands Bethlehem, Pennsylvania casino employees, detailed out in a scrolling list with a photo image of Adelson with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In addition showed where various Sands casinos round the global world are found, because of the addition of flames tacked onto those located in the United States.
Hovering above the map and pulling a ‘who’s the guy that is bad, anyhow’ kind of move the hackers’ text message read: ‘Damn A, Don’t let your tongue cut your neck,’ while another message at the web page said, ‘Encouraging the utilization of Weapons of Mass Destruction, UNDER ANY CONDITION, is A crime.’
Right, dudes; kind of love hacking in to a computer that is major is, aswell.
The background with this situ dates back to an October 2013 Adelson speaking appearance in New York, where the outspoken and unabashed friend of Israel said that Iran’s nuclear capabilities were directed 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 an energy showing by detonating its own bomb somewhere in Iran’s wilderness, and that it would ‘not hurt a soul, except for a few rattlesnakes,’ might not have been his best moment.
A Sands spokesman later had to cover his employer’s derriere a bit by saying that the speech ended up being simply ‘hyperbole to create a true point.’
Different Federal and Nevada Agencies Investigate
All Sands’ websites were still down, and no statement had been issued by the casino conglomerate as of the end of this week. Meanwhile, the FBI, Secret Service and Nevada regulatory officials have all been scrambling to get to the bottom regarding the hack, even as reports poured in that Sands’ email accounts and also some of their employees’ own work computer systems had been hit as well. Websites for Sands properties including 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 his agency had been mainly focused on discovering if the hackers was indeed able to access any Sands’ customer data during the hack including the possibility of grabbing credit card information. With Sands regarded as one of the largest casino operators 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 website hack that compromised the credit card information of potentially 400,000 customers who had utilized the company’s website, following a hack.