FLAGS, PARADES AND
TIN CUPS! What a winning trifecta. It hit every Fourth of July throughout my
I went to a parochial
school. There were no classes in the summer, but every Independence Day ”” like
clockwork ”” we had to gather at St. Mary’s. We went to Mass at 8 a.m. and
then lined up by grades to march in the holiday parade. The good Sisters handed
us flags to carry. Around our neck was a tin cup for the lemonade at the picnic
The march was an
effort. But, the thrill of the bands and the camaraderie of our classmates made
it all worthwhile.
All of the children
were given tickets to be used for refreshments at the picnic. Everyone would
chow down upon arrival. A nearby field was cleared off for a softball game and
the rest of the day was spent playing ball. By nightfall fireworks filled the
I remember it like it
was yesterday. I wish it were.
playing Stars and Stripes Forever.
“I have a lot of things I want to do before I ride over the big mountain . . .
I’d like to travel and, for once in my lifetime, I’d like to sit in a
rocking chair and not worry about payroll or taxes.” That’s what Milos
“Sharkey” Begovech, a legendary casino owner (Sharkey’s Nugget)
in Gardnerville, Nev., revealed after the 75-year-old gent sold his casino of 30
years. The buyer, Harold Holder Sr., owns the Silver club in
Sparks, the El Capitan in Hawthorne and the Sundance Casino in
DIFFERENCE!” Hats off to Jack Binion, long-time casino owner and
son of gambling pioneer the late Benny Binion. He has donated $1 million
to the Southern University System of Louisiana. Jack told it like it is, “I
donated the money to make a difference.” It was the largest single gift in the
university’s history. Top priority will be to invest $400,000 of Binion’s
gift to create a new endowed chair at the college of business at Southern
University’s Baton Rouge campus.
There’s more! Binion
is in the process of giving a similar gift to Bossier Parrish public schools to
purchase computers and other classroom technology. That gift will total $1.5
million over 10 years.
LOOSE LIPS SINK
SHIPS! And, it’s a good thing. I can’t count on both hands the number of
coaches I have known across the years and across the board who
have tested their luck in Nevada casinos. So, it should come as no surprise that
I was somewhat more than surprised to learn that college coaches and officials
are back marching on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to help ban gambling on
amateur sports. The only target is Nevada, where such activity has long been
But, if I could guess,
it’s all in vain. It’s a good bet it won’t happen this time around.
ETERNAL! Ask Al Castellano, a 66-year-old retired grocery clerk from
San Jose who won the largest single jackpot in U.S. history last week by hitting
the $141 million California lottery. Al elected to take the cash. He ended up
with $42.3 million after taxes. But, he’s not crying about the large discount.
CASINOS ON TOP!
Forget all the scheduled conventions planned for Niagara Falls, N.Y., if Gov. George
Pataki’s plan to allow a Seneca Nation of Indians casino to open
there and in two other area sites by April 2002. It could drastically boost the
development of the region’s tourism industry in coming years. Twelve
conventions are set for 2002. “We’ll satisfy their needs, as best we can, in
Niagara Falls,” said Stan Rydelek, a business leader in Western New
York. “We will come up with the venues to accommodate them.” The
governor’s plan, which has met strong opposition, calls for a Niagara Falls
casino to open by April.
Customers at the newly expanded Resorts at Atlantic City ”” the first
casino to ever open in Atlantic City ”” can not only enter the casino area off
the boardwalk, they can also see the ocean while they play. Mirrored glass
enables the players to look out, but no one from the outside can look in.
THE POWER OF MONEY!
The message is loud and clear: It costs $500 million to own a Major League
Baseball club, $600 million to own an NFL team and $170,000 to own this year’s
Kentucky Derby winner. That’s what John C. Oxley paid to buy Monarchos.
POKER . . . GAME OF
SKILL OR CHANCE? If players are at the mercy of the cards, then police in
Akron, Ohio, made a good pinch when they arrested 10 gambling suspects in an
illegal poker game. Not so say the attorneys for the gambling suspects: Poker is
a game of skill, not chance. They want charges dismissed. Police say that the
poker game was illegal because someone was cutting the pot for profit and making
up to $1,000 a night. The municipal court in Akron will decide the case.