ILLEGAL BOOKMAKERS TAKE THEIR LUMPS: But the punishment seems to depend on who does the sentencing.
Take the case of the Caribbean Internet gambling operation that Wisconsin officials insisted was based in their state. They prosecuted and won convictions with the principals getting long prison terms.
Things were different in Florida last week. The Tallahassee bartender who was charged with felonies for taking bets from college students at Florida State University was permitted to plea bargain.
The charges were reduced to four misdemeanors and he pleaded no contest. His penalty was probation for two years, 10 sessions of Gamblers Anonymous and court costs of $452. He also must pick up trash for 30 days in Leon County’s jail work camp but he’ll be permitted to go home nights.
I guess Florida isn’t such a bad place after all.
THEY CALL GEORGE ”˜POOBAH’: Goings on at the Palms hotel and casino have become regular fodder for Page Six, the featured gossip column of the New York Post.
Every time a well-known personality shows up at the Palms, the word immediately gets out and is reported in the column. And, usually, the column’s authors tag some of the personalities with nicknames. Thus, George Maloof, who presides over the property for the Maloof family, has been tagged "poobah."
The most recent reference was to a weekend party conducted by Stuff magazine at the Palms during which there was a concert by Live and a poolside fashion show.
"There also was a private after-party celebration at the hotel’s Little Buddha restaurant presided over by Palms poobah George Maloof," the columnist wrote.
In The Mikado, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Poo-Bah was a character who held the title of Lord High-Everything-Else."
That sounds a lot like George.
GETTING A BIRD’S EYE VIEW: "Won’t be long before Mainers are asked to vote on whether they’ll okay a casino for a couple of down-and-out Indian tribes, so it was nice to see the town of Sanford send a delegation to Connecticut to check out those Indian casinos that everybody’s talking about," said our down Maine pipe.
The state has set Nov. 4 as the day for voters to decide on an Indian casino in Sanford, which will be built and operated by Las Vegas developer Tony Marnell and his associates. A task force, including some members who recently toured the Connecticut casinos and questioned their neighbors in surrounding towns, will report back to Sanford selectmen on Oct. 21.
"There’s been so much talk both for and against the casino that many people seem to be confused and need help from somebody who has seen the impact that big casinos can have on area businesses. So that’s why many of us are waiting to hear from the task force.
"There’s a lot of sympathy for the Indians and the economic problems they’ve been through so there’ll be a lot of support if the town fathers see the casino as a benefit to the community," the pipe concluded.