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Bird gives a Lick about gambling

Jul 29, 2003 3:58 AM

Indiana basketball legend Larry Bird wants to bring a riverboat casino to his economically depressed hometown of French Lick.

"My hometown is very excited about the prospect of a new business bringing more jobs and economic support at a time when they really need it," Bird said.

Orange County voters are expected to decide in November whether to authorize a casino, the state’s 11th, to boost the southern Indiana county’s economy.

"This could really be a positive," said Rep. Jerry Denby, D-French Link, the casino’s biggest legislative backer.

The Indianapolis Star

One bet too many

Family values advocate William Bennett rejects reports he lost $8 million at casinos over 10 years, but acknowledged it was "a lot of money."

"Maybe not too much, given what I made, but too much given who I am and what I do," the former education secretary said. "I think it was just best to call it quits."

Bennett told CNBC’s Tim Russert during an interview show that the amount of his losses was nobody’s business.

"It was a high level of money," he said. "Counting up has made a difference in our lives."

Farewell to Minny Max

Max Weisberg, who made hundreds of thousands of dollars on sports betting, died last week at age 79.

Weisberg once sold flowers from buckets on street corners in St. Paul and grew to become a legendary figure. He had an IQ of just 71, but carried an uncommon gift for winning at gambling.

Prosecutors often tried to throw the bookie in the jail, but the courts ruled that the flower seller was too simple to know bookmaking was wrong.

St. Paul Pioneer Press