Anti-gambling forces in Massachusetts gained an ally yesterday when attorney general candidate Maura Healey (D) came out against casinos and for the repeal of their enabling legislation. This puts her at odds with Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), who holds that to reverse course at this point would be an illegal taking of contractual property. Healey’s opponent, Warren Tolman (R) opposes repeal. Arguing against Coakley, Healey wrote, “The opinion stated that it is improper to shut down the licensing process now that several casino operators have applied. But voters made a decision to shut down the greyhound tracks with a ballot question and that was an industry that had been running for years.” She reasons that casino operators should have been prepared to get kicked out at any time.
Singing from the liberal do-gooder hymnal, Healey blogged, “Casinos don’t lay a foundation for diverse economies, they take over.” If her allies lose in court, Healey wants casinos to pay for the best lawyers available, so that they can be policed. She also promises to put teams of investigators on Continued >>
Phil Ivey‘s run-in with the Borgata wasn’t his first instance of collision with a casino that thought it had been cheated. In both instances the casinos would appear to have themselves to blame for getting gulled by Ivey’s charm and bankroll. In the spring of last year, Crockford’s, in London, got taken for 9 million pounds. Among the casino’s displays of weakness was keeping the same cards in play two nights running and rotating some of them 180 degrees when putting them back into the shoe simply because Ivey is “superstitious.”
This second point is significant because it enabled Ivey to track cards that had been improperly cut (“edge sorting,” it’s called), theoretically enabling him to know the cards’ value before they were turned. “This way Ivey and his partner could tell from the patterns on the back what cards would be dealt from the shoe. The two of them never even needed to touch the cards. They merely had to look closely. The rest was as easy as printing money.” Crockfords may claim impropriety but it was they who kept the same deck in play instead of destroying it, per club policy. This display of servility came back to haunt them. As at Borgata, Ivey requested — and got — a Chinese-speaking dealer, who communicated with Ivey’s companion. “But still, this is a well known method of cheating, and Continued >>
“It may be ironic that while party politicians will be even more reliant on big donors for such monies, and thus even more beholden to those such as Mr. Adelson, the usefulness of party conventions seems to have gone in the opposite direction.” — Aaron Stanley, on the elimination of federal electoral subsidies.