Florida Attorney Gets Six Years for Role in Sweepstakes Cafes Ring

Florida<span id="more-9087"></span> Attorney Gets Six Years for Role in Sweepstakes Cafes Ring

Former Florida sweepstakes cafe attorney Kelly Mathis, right, received a six-year jail sentence last week for Allied veterans to his role (Image: John Raoux/AP)

You had think that an attorney would know better, but the money that is big by gambling can be tempting for just about anybody. Now, a Florida attorney could possibly be spending amount of time in prison after using a charity organization as a front for a gambling ring that is illegal.

Kelly Mathis of Jacksonville, Florida was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of owning a $300 million gambling ring. Mathis was convicted of a total of 103 counts ranging from racketeering to possessing slot machines. He's one of 57 defendants in the case, which also led to the resignation of Florida lieutenant governor Jennifer Carroll.

Bait and Switch Game

The scenario involved one of many hotter gambling problems in the United States today: so-called sweepstakes cafes. We've discussing the controversies during these organizations in a number of states, including Florida. As the information about how these venues work may differ, the basic structure is always the same: customers purchase a product such as phone cards or Internet time, and then receive 'sweepstakes entries' as an added bonus due to their purchase. These entries enable customers to play simulated video slot games on computers. This really is the draw that is real as few (if any) clients are actually interested in purchasing the products being offered in these locations.

As in other states, operators in Florida claimed that these sweepstakes games had been legal under current gambling laws and regulations. But police force officials disagreed, shutting venues that are down many and leading the Florida Legislature to improve the law to especially outlaw the sweepstakes cafes.

The cafes were being run under the name of Allied Veterans of America and Allied Veterans of the World in this case. Nevertheless, prosecutors say that extremely little of this $300 million in revenues from the businesses actually went along to veterans, and that the team was mostly used as being a front for the gambling operations.

On (Bad) Advice of Counsel

During sentencing, Mathis' solicitors argued that he ought not to have to face jail time. In accordance with Mathis, he did not involve himself into the operations among these businesses, and only provided advice that is legal Allied Veterans. Prosecutor Nick Cox disagreed, saying that doing merging and deception the charity with the gambling operation called for jail time.

While Mathis was sentenced to six years in prison, he felt confident he would be overturned on appeal. He also said that decisions such as for example this one could hurt the legal community.

'a lawyer shall be afraid to provide any advice at all if this is certainly permitted to stand,' the attorney said.

While Cox argued that prison time was appropriate, he too comprehended so it wasn't without ramifications.

'We just sentenced an attorney to prison, it doesn't make me personally proud,' Cox said. 'I'm unhappy we needed to do this.'

Mathis will remain free on relationship while he awaits his appeal.

The saga regarding the sweepstakes cafes received great attention in Florida in big part due to the participation of Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, who had worked as a consultant for Allied Veterans. While the controversy caused her to resign her post a year ago, she ended up being maybe not faced with any crimes.

Nj Online Gambling Revenues Climb, But Still Disappoint

New Jersey's online casinos are making money for the Garden State, however just as much as had been projected. (Image: John Lamb/Getty)

New Jersey residents are investing more time and money in the growing Internet casinos and poker spaces offered by Atlantic City gambling enterprises. But they'll have to try out a lot more if revenues from those sites have any shot at reaching the lofty goals set by state officials before the sites launched late last year.

Online Revenues Up

First, the news that is good the Garden State: New Jersey's online gambling sites saw an increase of 28 percent in revenues in January when compared to December 2013, the first full month of online gambling there. That brought the total amount won online by the casinos to $9.5 million, or $2 million a lot more than in December. That was sufficient to earn New Jersey $1.4 million in tax income, since the continuing state collects 15 percent of gross profits on Web gaming.

That means that the state could see about $10 million in tax revenues from online gambling sites for this fiscal year if you project out to June. Nj isn't about to turn that money down, of course, but it's far in short supply of exactly what Governor Chris Christie predicted would occur when online gambling went live.

Year his administration had expected or at least hoped that as much as $160-$180 million could be brought in per. Needless to say, since online gambling only went inhabit November, the first year that is fiscal a short one for the sites. But even taking that into consideration, the online casinos are incredibly far dropping well short of those lofty goals.

When looking at industry projections, the numbers are much more in line with what was expected, though still a bit lower than anticipated january. Chris Krejcik of Eilers Research estimated that Atlantic City's websites on the internet would bring in $10 million in January. He commented that the $9.5 million brought in was therefore 'slightly disappointing.'

Land Casinos Nevertheless Flailing

To help make matters worse, these total results come at a time when Atlantic City's land-based gambling enterprises continue to struggle. As happens to be the case since 2006, year-over-year revenues dropped again in January, dropping 9.2 percent to $186.3 million. That figure does not count revenues from online gaming, but even adding in the $9.5 million, total revenues would still be down slightly.

As happens to be the full situation since the launch of online gambling in New Jersey, Borgata and PartyPoker continue to lead just how in profits. Their sites made $3.89 million in winnings in January, giving them a 41 % market share. That's still a dominating place, but down from the 45 percent share they held in December.

The gainer that is biggest was Caesars and their partner 888 Holdings. Their sites saw big growth in January, accounting for nearly half associated with total increase in profits. Their market share is now a great 32 percent.

'We began marketing in earnest in early January, while the promotions we offered our customers really appeared to resonate well,' stated Caesars Interactive spokesman Seth Palansky. 'We're extremely motivated on just how the New Jersey marketplace is performing for us across all three of our brands.'

Among land-based casinos, Borgata ended up being again Atlantic City's leader for January, bringing in $48.4 million. Caesars was second with $25.4 million in gambling profits.

Sands Website Hack Shutdown Continues as FBI Probes Whodunit

The FBI, U.S. Secret provider, and Nevada regulatory abilities continue to probe a mysterious Sands' worldwide site hack (Image: day-to-day Caller)

Is it simply us, or does it appear to be the hackers are winning the pugilative war these days? Major hacking meltdowns with Target, Neiman Marcus and other stores during and after the holiday season impacted millions of U.S. customers, and now a hack that is nearly week-old of casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corporation continues to be a mystery, with all Sands sites still in lockdown mode as of this weekend.

Adelson's Controversial Views Noted

To backtrack to exactly how it all started, on Tuesday unknown assailants reportedly opposed to CEO Sheldon Adelson's views regarding the Iranian nuclear situation (because who doesn't want a rogue country to own use of materials for weapons of mass destruction) identified just how to enter into various Sands Web sites. Casino customers looking for info on a poker room or their dining options at any Sands venues instead saw messages from an 'Anti WMD team,' expressing outrage towards Adelson for his always-shy views, including one presented year that is last that the casino curmudgeon stated the U.S. should set off their own nuclear armaments somewhere in an Iranian desert to show former leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or current frontrunner Hassan Rouhani exactly who was really in charge of Planet Earth.

More alarming than the threatening communications, however, were the names, contact info and perhaps the social security numbers of some Sands Bethlehem, Pennsylvania casino employees, detailed out in a scrolling list with a photo image of Adelson with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It revealed where various Sands casinos around the global world can be found, with all the addition of flames tacked onto those located in the United States.

Hovering over the map and pulling a 'who's the guy that is bad, anyway' kind of move the hackers' text message read: 'Damn A, Don't allow your tongue cut your throat,' while another message at the web page said, 'Encouraging the employment of Weapons of Mass Destruction, UNDER ANY CONDITION, is A crime.'

Right, dudes; sort of love hacking as aussie-pokies.club a computer that is major is, aswell.

The background of the situ dates back to an October 2013 Adelson appearance that is speaking brand New York, where the outspoken and unabashed friend of Israel stated that Iran's nuclear capabilities were aimed at the Land of Milk and Honey in particular. While few would probably argue with that statement, Adelson's further rhetoric saying that America should make a power showing by detonating its very own bomb somewhere in Iran's desert, and that it would 'not hurt a soul, except for a few rattlesnakes,' may possibly not have been his moment that is finest.

A Sands spokesman later on had to cover his boss's derriere a bit by saying that the message ended up being simply 'hyperbole to make a point.'

Various Federal and Nevada Agencies Investigate

All Sands' websites were still down, and no statement had been issued by the casino conglomerate as of the end of this week. Meanwhile, the FBI, Secret Service and Nevada officials that are regulatory all been scrambling to access the underside associated with the hack, even as reports poured in that Sands' email accounts and also a number of their employees' own work computers had been hit as well. Web sites for Sands properties which range from Las Vegas and Pennsylvania to Macau and Singapore remained straight down with nothing a lot more than bare-bones property names, contact numbers for the resorts and a 'maintenance' message.

Later in the week, Nevada's Gaming Control Board chairman A.G. Burnett said his agency had been primarily focused on discovering in the event that hackers was in fact able to access any Sands' customer data during the hack including the possibility of grabbing charge card information. With Sands regarded as certainly one of the casino operators that are largest regarding the planet, such a grab could have grave consequences indeed.

Burnett said the initial findings were showing that customer credit card information remained safe as far they could tell for now, but added that the investigation was ongoing and also by no means a done deal.

Last December, Las Vegas-based casino outfit Affinity Gaming announced a niche site hack that compromised the credit card information of potentially 400,000 customers who had utilized the organization's web site, carrying out a hack.