The Bicycle Casino is including another scandalous chapter to its notorious story. The Southern California cardroom and hotel outside of l . a . in Bell Gardens was raided by federal officials on Tuesday morning, but law enforcement departments are staying quiet on the details of the operation.
Governor Jerry Brown (D), left, attended the ribbon cutting of the Bicycle Casino’s hotel expansion in 2015 alongside Bike Managing General Partner and CEO Hashem Minaiy. 2 yrs later, the owners are now actually allegedly entangled in a federal financial investigation.
The raid has been carried out by the united states Department of Homeland protection, and its own Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). According to neighborhood news reports, the united states Attorney’s Office, IRS, California Bureau of Gambling Control, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) are also involved.
ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice stated, ‘Because the warrant is under seal, we are not able to comment on the range or nature of the investigation.’
Nonetheless, Fox 11 in Los Angeles says the sting is in response to alleged money laundering allegations at the casino. All gambling has been shutdown as investigators sweep the Bike, as it’s affectionately known.
Since 1996, FinCEN has required casinos to file Currency Transaction Reports for just about any customer transacting $10,000 or maybe more in a day.
Dirty Money Crackdown
All signs point to allegations of not properly tracking and reporting money coming in and out of the casino while the government isn’t saying the prime motive for their raid of the Bike. It is not the time that is first cardroom in the Golden State has been accused of such criminality.
FinCEN in recent years has put a focus on making sure casinos stay glued to the transaction process that is reporting stringent as banking and finance institutions.
In January with this year, Los Angeles’ Hawaiian Gardens Casino, that will be just a dozen miles from the Bike, was raided by federal authorities. FinCEN said Hawaiian Gardens failed to report large transactions and suspicious task.
And fall that is last the previous owners for the Normandie Casino were ordered to cover $2.4 million for admittedly violating federal financial reporting laws. Owned by the Miller family since 1947, the Normandie ended up being sold to Larry Flynt who has since renamed it the Lucky Lady.
The Financial Action Task Force recently reported that casinos ‘have not only increased their compliance . . while cardrooms in Ca continue to make cash laundering headlines . but have also put in place mitigating measures above certain requirements for the Bank Secrecy Act.’
Bike’s Scandalous Past
The Bike provides many different games including poker and blackjack. Six years following its opening in 1984, the government that is federal ownership of the casino after a jury discovered that $12 million of this property’s $22 million construction price was funded via a drug network in Florida.
Original owner Sam Gilbert was accused of funneling drug money profits stemming from a marijuana smuggling enterprise in Florida to construct the casino in Ca. As a swap for his activity that is criminal received 60 percent ownership of the Bike.
The US government sold its stake in the Bicycle Casino in 1996 for $25.3 million. The casino is now privately owned under the ongoing company title Bicycle Hotel & Casino LLC.
Indiana Casinos Fight to Stay Above Water, Look to State for Help
With decreasing revenues and fewer people gambling over the past 10 years, Indiana’s 13 casinos are dealing with hard times. Now they truly are jointly lobbying the state legislature to bail them out.
Many state lawmakers aren’t so prepared to start the checkbook up and so are evaluating how to make the facilities more self-sufficient.
Indiana casinos are dealing with a decline that is serious revenue while the number of gamblers has dropped considerably in the last 10 years. They’ve been asking the continuing state legislature for help. (Image: Hollywood Casino/Indiana)
Current House Bill AB 1350 is making its way through the governing human anatomy and is trying to fulfill both the businesses and also the Hoosier State’s dependence on tax dollars. Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley, (R-Noblesville) told The Republic that the two must locate a real way to coexist.
‘we are in essence partners with this industry whether we like it or not,’ Kenley stated. ‘we want to keep them healthy, but we want them to pay a complete lot of taxes towards the state of Indiana.’
Facing Stark Truth
Since 2007, the true wide range of people patronizing these companies has dropped down 40 percent to 16.7 million. Not interestingly, income tax revenue has additionally fallen within the time period that is same. It is down 30 percent to $600 million.
Ten years ago the state enjoyed significantly of a monopoly sufficient reason for casinos located near borders, were attracting out of city customers. Now with Ohio and Michigan providing closer choices, and Illinois considering a location near the Indiana line, the grip that is once ironclad consumers has loosened.
Sen. Jon Ford, (R-Terre Haute) views this whilst the reason that is main adjustment is going to own to be made.
‘we have lost the Ohio border, we’ve lost the Michigan-Indiana edge, and now Illinois is aggressively coming he said after us.
Making More with Less
AB 1350’s main supply is eliminating the $3 per-person admissions tax imposed in the state’s riverboats and changing it with a tax that is supplemental at 3.5 per cent for a casino’s adjusted gross receipts. Officials say the tax is outdated and if some one is remaining during the hotel after which going into the casino, the resort is getting double taxed for a passing fancy individual.
Legislators mostly agreed upon that component, however the hold funding that is harmless happens to be contentious. Hold funding myfreepokies.com that is harmless the total amount of cash given to communities that have establishments inside their area.
Originally there was a call to reduce the $48 million amount doled out to urban centers and counties, but it was put back within the Senate version and a fight has developed on whether it should stay or go. It is yet to be seen which side shall win the debate.
Wynn Resorts Sues Elaine Wynn Over Secret Copied File Stash
Wynn Resorts is suing its co-founder that is former and, Elaine Wynn, for punitive damages on the grounds that she superstitiously permitted her lawyers to copy computer hard drives belonging to the company.
Elaine and Steve Wynn, pictured here in happier times, are engaged in a complete war that is blown of roses over a 2010 investors agreement that bars Elaine from selling her almost 1 billion equity in Wynn Resorts. (Image: zimbio.com)
It is the latest salvo in a long-running war of the roses between Wynn and her estranged husband, Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn. Elaine is seeking to regain control of her 10 percent stake in the ongoing business she formed with her ex in 2000, currently worth almost $1 billion.
As part of the final divorce proceedings settlement in 2010 the couple split their stakes in Wynn Resorts evenly, while Steve, as CEO, agreed to always reelect his ex-wife to the board of directors. In return Elaine Wynn decided to a provision that she’dn’t sell her shares without the business’s authorization.
The settlement was initially amicable, however the battle kicked off in 2012 when Wynn Resorts sued its major shareholder, the Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada, and ousted him from the board over allegations that he bribed a Philippine video gaming regulators in order to secure a license for the project that eventually became the Okada Manila, which Wynn wasn’t involved in.
Okada coounter-sued, and sensing her minute, Elaine joined up with the lawsuit so as to extricate by herself from the shareholders agreement that barred her from selling her stocks.
Wynn Resorts resolved she was at breach of fiduciary duties towards the ongoing company and ousted her from the board.
Elaine recently petitioned the Nevada Supreme Court for whistle-blower protection in relation to allegations of securities violations by Wynn Resorts, after being declined security by the Las Vegas trial judge presiding within the case.
However in the filing that is latest, Wynn Resorts claims Elaine’s allegations derive from privileged information that her former her lawyers secretly copied from personal company files in 2013. They also claim lawyers produced image that is forensic of assistant’s computer.
‘ Whether Elaine and her agents covertly accessed even more information than they copied may never be known,’ the ongoing company said in the filing. ‘The computer systems were connected to Wynn Resorts’ corporate system and Elaine didn’t supervise her attorneys.’
Elaine, meanwhile, claims she was merely after the advice of her legal team, she had not told Wynn Resorts that the information had been accessed and copied although she admitted.
‘I relied on their counsel to follow their directions,’ she stated in during a hearing week that is last. ‘ And they wished to image my computer, and therefore I cooperated with that request.’
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Defends Opulent Spending, But Not Everybody Is on Board
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is defending its investing practices this week after the city’s Review-Journal (LVRJ) news site, the most news that is circulated in Nevada, published a report highlighting the government agency’s extravagant budget and costs.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Chairman Lawrence Weekly claims his agency’s tax-funded spending is warranted in advertising the city, many expenses look more like lavish entertainment than legitimate costs. (Image: Mark Damon/Las Las Vegas Information Bureau)
The LVCVA is tasked with attracting site visitors to your Mojave Desert by highlighting las vegas’s world-class entertainment, dining, shopping, and much more. A subdivision of the State of Nevada, the authority consists of 14 principal officers, with six members coming through the private sector.
Based on disclosures that are financial by the LVRJ, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spent nearly $700,000 on alcohol within the last 36 months, $85,000 on adult entertainment and showgirls, and thousands of dollars on concerts and programs. The news supply claims to have reviewed over 32,000 pages of receipts.
Board users associated with LVCVA defended such lavish spending as the price it takes to attract marquee conventions and events.
Lawrence Weekly, who is a Clark County commissioner and chairs the LVCVA, explained of attempting to entice decision makers, ‘You’ve got to give something getting something.’
He later tweeted, ‘Vegas means company. LVCVA are doing just that . . . Working to keep us in that #1 spot.’
LVCVA on the Defensive
Finding some body totally not really acquainted with what Las Vegas is a task that is nearly impossible. That’s at least what critics for the LVCVA argue.
Casino resorts also spend millions on marketing campaigns each 12 months, and with Vegas’ well-known reputation, no matter whether it’s positive or negative, truth be told that the town doesn’t need much explanation.
The Review-Journal found that nevada spends $3.39 per visitor on marketing, second to only St. Petersburg, Florida, which spends $3.89. St. Petersburg is no Las Vegas, however, as many tend clueless as to which coast of the Sunshine State the city even resides on ( oahu is the Gulf, FYI).
The authority says its capacity to remain the nation’s top convention and trade show destination warrants such wining and dining. According to Applied review, a Nevada-based economic and video gaming research firm, tourism created almost $60 billion for the Vegas economy in 2016.
The LVCVA additionally points to its award that is recent from Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). The Chicago-headquartered organization reviews state and local government economic management agencies, as well as for the 33rd consecutive year, awarded the LVCVA by having a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
‘To continuously win these . . . is a tremendous accomplishment,’ LVCVA member Bill Noonan stated month that is last.
Tax Dollars at Enjoy
The authority is largely funded through the Clark County hotel occupancy tax. Of the estimated $705 million the income tax is anticipated to create in 2017, 33.2 percent of each dollar shall go into the coffers regarding the LVCVA. That trumps even the Clark County class district (13.1 per cent) and Nevada school that is public (24.3 percent.)
Last November, the Nevada State Legislature authorized a bill that advances the tax by 0.88 % to 12.88 per cent. The increase will be used to deliver $750 million to assist build the home that is future of Las Vegas Raiders NFL franchise.
While the majority of funds are used to market Vegas and cater to visitors that are potential LVCVA Chairman Weekly accepted $33,000 worth of meals and travel since 2014. Authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter made $768,000 in salary, bonuses, and benefits in 2016, and former Mayor Oscar Goodman was paid $72,000 to appear at promotional events.