Posts Tagged ‘Mohegan Sun casino’

Union boss used member dues on hookers, gambling

Friday, June 18th, 2010

What? The president of a labor union used his power for his own benefit, without regard for what’s best for the union members? Who could imagine such a thing?

Okay, I will try to contain my pretend shock throughout the rest of this post (though I can make no guarantees). On Wednesday, Daniel Hughes, the former president of the Port Authority Field Association, pleaded guilty to using nearly $300,000 in union funds to pay for hookers and fund his gambling habit.

This is yet another example of how not to gamble. Do so only with your own money; not with stolen money. We have previously reported on employees who embezzle funds from their employer to fund a gambling habit. This man decided to waste union dues on his.

Though it may not be common (or maybe it is) for union presidents to use dues to pay for prostitutes and casino visits, it is very common for them to waste union money. They usually use it to line their own pockets, line the pockets of their favorite politicians, and bribe politicians to enact legislation that will benefit the union bosses – not the workers that are members of the union, but the union bosses.

The only people who benefit from unions are those running the unions, and this is yet another example. Members of New York’s Port Authority certainly didn’t benefit from the dues they paid to Hughes.

The charming and likeable Hughes, who is over 400 pounds and disgusting in many other ways, spend approximately $400 to $500 per session with prostitutes at a seedy Queens hotel. A law enforcement offfical said that “it’s unclear who he was meeting with, men or women.” A male escort service was one of the many prostitution agencies that he contacted.

Aside from the prostitution, Hughes also used union dues to pay for outings at the Mohegan Sun casino in nearby Connecticut. There he ran up huge tabs with his gambling, drinking, and fine dining. In court, Hughes admitted that he “didn’t use it (the $294,000 in funds) for union benefit.” Instead, he “used it as salary.” What’s interesting is that Hughes seems to realize that it’s wrong to waste union dues on gambling and hookers, but he doesn’t see a problem with using it to amass his own power with a disregard for the needs of the union workers. But hey, baby steps, right?

Casino: Gambling and Drinking Age Should Be Same

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Casinos in Connecticut are struggling to make money and are searching for ways to keep their business alive. That isn’t exactly a surprise. You can take that first sentence and replace “Connecticut” with any other state and replace “casinos” with virtually any other type of business and it is still accurate. Everyone is hurting right now, with the exception of labor unions, government employees, and political activists that are helping shape government policy.

Casinos are among the hardest hit by recession, though, because when people begin to tighten their wallet, trips to casinos start being cut out of the budget. Even President Obama told people not to go to Vegas anymore, which didn’t exactly please their Chamber of Commerce.

In light of all of that, casinos are looking at new ways to make money. Some in the Connecticut casino business, such as Rodney Butler, the owner of Foxwoods Resort Casino, are suggesting a reduction in the legal gambling age. Currently you need to be 21 to gamble in the state of Connecticut. The proposal would reduce the minimum gambling age to 18. Others within the casino industry, such as Mohegan Sun casino owner Lynn Malerba, disagree.

Malerba is chairwoman of the Mohegan Tribal Council and chief of the tribe. Through a spokesman, she stated that she believes that “the difference between a gambling age of 18 and a drinking age of 21 would make such a change very difficult to implement and manage.” Malerba indicated that changing the gambling age to 18 would only work if the drinking age was also lowered to 18 due in part to the fact that gambling and drinking tends to go hand in hand within casinos.

I imagine Malerba is worried about potential lawsuits if the casino staff serves alcohol to minors. Currently anyone allowed admission to the casino is legally allowed to drink so there is no problem. In addition, are 18 year olds going to be interested in visiting a casino if they can’t drink? I don’t think so. That brings up two possibilities then. Either reducing the gambling age would not attract new business because the 18 year olds would not go to the casinos knowing they can’t drink, or the casinos would have to be lax in their carding of guests. Many bars have a reputation for not checking ID’s frequently, which makes them popular with minors. However, a casino caught doing that could conceivably be fined, face legal action or even be shut down.

And while we’re on the subject, saying that 18 year olds are old enough to gamble with their money but not old enough to order a beer is just ridiculous. Society needs to determine at what age a person is an adult. Different states have different rules on that. The legal age of consent ranges from 16 to 18, the drinking age used to range from 18 to 21 depending on the state, but that changed with the passing of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, which effectively changed the minimum age to 21 in every state. You must be 18 to buy cigarettes in most states, though in some it is 19. In most city, county and state law enforcement agencies you must be 20 or 21 to join. You must be at least 21 for a federal law enforcement job. However, in every state in America you may join the military at the age of 18.

Does any of that make sense? Now I support a state’s right to set their own age limits rather than having it all done federally. That will cause a difference in the ages from state to state. Can we at least get some consistency within the state borders, though? Why do we have some states where you can have sex at 16, join the military at 18, join the police department at 20 and drink alcohol and gamble at 21? If you’re 18, you’re mature enough to go off to a foreign land and risk your life defending America but not mature enough to have a beer while you’re there? Oh, and you better not play poker in the barracks, either. I also think it’s crazy that we have cops who are not legally allowed to drink arresting people for underage drinking.

So what should the age be in Connecticut? It’s something to think about.

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