Have they heard of conflict of interest?

Sep 2, 2003 9:07 AM

FOXES GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE? That’s how opponents to California Gov. Gray Davis reacted when the embattled chief executive said he would let the Indian tribes select a couple of members of the state’s gaming commission.

Davis justified his move by saying he thought it was "perfectly appropriate" since he is looking for "good people with regulatory experience."

Not so, said gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger, remarking that it was "unfortunate and misguided." He didn’t go so far as some of his supporters who suggested that the move just might get the rich Indian casino operators to support Davis’ efforts to avoid the recall effort.

Not commenting was Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante who also is a candidate to succeed Davis should the voters support the recall.

Bustamante has a history of supporting the Indian’s gaming efforts and reportedly has had $1.1 million added to his current campaign treasury.


HAS HE PACKED IT IN?: We have no confirmed reports that world-famous "whale" Kerry Packer has been trolling in Las Vegas’ gaming emporiums, but those that know him are satisfied that he is moving his chips somewhere on the planet.

Even without his gaming exploits, Packer continues to make news in the publishing industry, an activity that he dominates in his native Australia. Last week, his company, Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd. reported a 42% jump in net profit, a record for Packer’s company.

The company said sales had increased to $1.86 billion from last year’s $1.62 billion with profit checking in at $243 million.

Not only does the company publish a string of magazines but it also owns a television network and has a stake in the Crown Casino in Melbourne.


STAMP THOSE BETS: That’s the latest wrinkle being proposed by the anti-gamblers in Hong Kong. They want the government to force the Hong Kong Jockey Club to place a cigarette-style warning label on all soccer bets. They haven’t said anything about the billions of dollars that are wagered on horse racing.

Soccer betting is relatively new in Hong Kong. It started on Aug. 1 when the government awarded the Jockey Club, a non-profit charity, exclusive rights to accepting soccer bets. The charity already handles horse racing and the lottery.

The gambling opponents said they wanted the warning label to help children avoid the temptation of gambling.

The newness of the operation showed up the other day when the Jockey Club stopped taking a certain wager involving three soccer teams because they had too much action on that combination. They called it "risk management."