Ameristar Casinos Inc. had big plans for their casino in Kansas City. They were prepared to expand and sink $100 million into the project. They have decided against following through with the expansion.

It appears that there could be casinos coming to Sugar Creek. That would make for some interesting competition between Ameristar and whatever new casinos are awarded licenses in Sugar Creek.

The company insists that in the future they still could go ahead with the casino expansion, but right now they felt was just not the time.

Their original plans were to build a convention center, a pool, a spa, and a second hotel tower. The news on the expansion in Sugar Creek has made the company put those plans on hold for now.

“We think the Kansas City market is a terrific market, and we’re still committed to it. It doesn’t mean in the future we won’t consider expansion in the Kansas City market,” said Karen Lynn, spokeswoman for Ameristar.

One issue that will have to be worked out is a $4.5 million impairment charge that the company took out in the fourth quarter. It was for costs that had to do with the casino expansion planning.

Gambler Beats Incredible Odds, Wins Almost $2 Million in London

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A gambler certainly knows that most odds are stacked against them. They still have a knack of putting small amounts of money on long shot bets in hopes of a big payday.

For one man in London, that is the scenario that in the end created an almost $2 million payoff. The man, who was not identified by William Hill, the British bookmaker where the bet was placed.

Thirsk, in North England, was the location of the winning bet. The man had walked into William Hill on Friday and made a fifty pence bet($.98 American). The bet, which is called the “accumulator bet”, is to predict the outcome of eight horse races.

The odds of winning the bet are two million to one. This happened to be that one time. After all the races were done, William Hill found out that the man had won one million pounds($1.97 million).

On Saturday, the man returned to a different branch of William Hill and placed similar bets to those from Friday. He was unaware that he even won the money on Friday. He did not win any of his bets on Saturday and lost a measly $5.

American Idol picks up its live competition again tonight on FOX. the contestants have dwindled down, and the show is getting close to the point where top singers might start being eliminated.

Don’t expect one of those top singers to be teen sensation David Archuleta. He is the gambling man’s favorite to be the next American Idol.

He has had several flawless performances, and the one week he struggled with the lyrics he still was not eliminated. That means it will take a couple horrendous performances before people will even consider voting him off.

Several contestants will be put on notice tonight, however. Kristy Lee Cook and Saisha Mercado have been narrowly avoiding their departure over the past couple weeks. Jason Castro is also slipping out of favor with voters.

David Cook, Michael Johns, Carly Smithson, and Brooke White have been on cruise control for much of the past few performances. Tonight’s live show will lead in to tomorrow night’s American Idol Gives Back show.

Smoking Ban Compromise Reached In Regards To Casinos

A battle has been raging on over a proposed smoking ban in Iowa. The state House and Senate have not been able to come to a compromise that is acceptable to both. Up until Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the two sides reached an agreement in regards to the proposed smoking ban. Casinos and the Iowa Veterans Home would be the only exceptions to the new ban.

Indoor smoking bans have been on the table for both the Senate and the House. While the Senate wanted a strict ban on smoking, the House was a bit more lenient. They wanted casinos and bars and restaurants with liquor licenses to all be exempt from the ban.

The two sides wrestled with the ideas for a while. On Tuesday, however, the stalemate came to an end. Smoking will be banned from all indoor public areas. The only exceptions would be the Veterans Home, and casinos. The catch for the casinos will be that smoking will only be permitted on the casino floor.

Politicians on both sides were not fully in favor of the new law. The ones that were opposed, however, were willing to compromise. They did not want another year to go by without some form of a smoking ban being in place. That prompted the compromise.

The committee that reached the compromise was composed of ten members.

At this stage of the American Idol competition, there is not room for error. Every mistake is magnified, meaning perfection is the only way to keep on advancing.

Jason Castro was anything but perfect on Tuesday night, and he picked an inopportune time to forget his lyrics. Castro will have the rest of the time until the Idol tour to think about what went wrong.

Castro was eliminated from the competition on Wednesday’s results show, and the outcome was as close to being predictable as it can get this late in the competition. Castro was clearly outperformed on Tuesday night’s live show.

David Cook was not his usual self in his first song, but rebounded nicely with his second choice. David Archuleta delivered just as he always does, and Syesha Mercado even showed some personality with her two performances.

That left Castro, who was lambasted by Simon Cowell for his rendition of Bob Marley’s song, ‘I Shot The Sheriff’. after he completed his second song, Cowell told him he should go home and pack his bags.

Next week will be the semi-finals, and with Cook and Archuleta cruising, Mercado will have to come up with her two best performances of the year to make it to the finals.

Norwegian Cruise Ship Headed For Miami With Casino Plans

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Norwegian Cruise Lines is having as much difficulty with the economy as other companies. They once had three ships sailing Hawaiian waters, now they will only have one.

The cruise line announced that they are moving The Pride of Aloha out of Hawaii. Originally it was thought that the ship would be moved to Asia, but that is not going to be the case.

The company claimed that Aloha will be given back its original name, Norwegian Sky, and will be headed to Miami. The ship will sail to the bahamas, and be reformatted to fit the bahamas getaway.

The ship will be adding a casino. Many of th people who cruise from Miami to the Bahamas do so for gambling purposes, so it is important that the ship is capable of meeting those needs.

The Hawaii cruises have not been generating enough revenue to call for the ship to stay and sail over there. Increased expenses have made it nearly impossible for it to be worth keeping the ship in Hawaii.

Sunday, when it arrives back in port will be the last time the ship will be in Hawaii. It will immediately leave for Miami. It will begin its new run to the Bahamas once the casino is in place.

American Idol gambling has been very predictable this season. David Archuleta has been the favorite since the finalists have been announced.

In the past few weeks, Syesha Mercado has been defying the odds and saving herself from elimination each and every week. This week, her luck ran out.

Mercado was eliminated from American Idol on Wednesday night, and now the two favorites will go head to head in the finale. Mercado finishes third, not something to be disappointed about.

David Cook has joined Archuleta as the overwhelming favorites to win this season. Both performers have been near flawless in many of the live shows this year. They will have to be perfect to walk away with the title next week.

The finale match up is one that sports books have been predicting for quite a while now. Mercado, while performing well, was still considered a long shot to win the competition.

Next week, Archuleta and Cook will give fans what they wanted, the two most consistent singers from the competition in the finals. Things will get a bit tougher for gamblers also, with both remaining men sharing the favorite role.

Pennsylvania Casino Operators Lobbying For Table Games

Once casino gambling comes to an area, it is hard to stop the momentum that begins to build for full blown casinos. States usually start with slot machines, then gradually increase the game offerings until full blown gambling is legal.

Pennsylvania casino operators are in the middle part of that process. They have already received the right, by law, to offer slot machines and poker, but now they want more.

The operators have asked the House to consider allowing them full table games in their casinos. Blackjack, roulette, and craps, are necessary to help the casinos compete, according to the operators.

The operators are arguing that adding the table games will give them a better chance at competing for gambling dollars with Atlantic City. Without the games, the operators claim they cannot compete.

“Generally speaking, once the door is open to gambling it becomes much easier to argue that you will add something to the mix,” said President of Susquehanna Polling and Research in Harrisburg.

Florida is experiencing the same type of growth. Voters in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties have approved slot machines and poker at pari-mutuel locations. In the time since they have been legalized in Broward, Governor Crist has signed a compact with the Seminole Indians allowing them baccarat and blackjack.

David Archuleta is no stranger to being favored in the American Idol competition. He has been the odds makers choice since the finalists were announced, and continues to be a favorite.

He is now joined at the top, however. David Cook started out the live performances somewhere in the middle of the pack. He has consistently performed at a top level, and is now a co-favorite with Archuleta. Both contestants are +100 to win.

After those two, nobody else of the final six is even in the same zip code, according to sports books. Carly Smithson is the third choice at +1500.

A pair of Idol’s who started out high on the charts, but have slipped in the recent weeks are the next picks. Brooke White, who was in the bottom two last week, and Jason Castro, are both +2500.

The long shot of the season was eliminated last week in Kristy Lee Cook. Now that she is gone, Syesha Mercado assumes the role of underdog. She is holding steady at +5000. The show continues live again on Tuesday night on FOX.

Missouri Lottery Gives $26 Million Towards Education

Gambling can in many ways be a tricky topic to debate. While there are people both for and against legalized gambling in the United States, it cannot be argued that the money that is raised through gambling, is substantial.

Evidence of just how much money can be generated from legalized gambling can be seen in the state of Missouri. The lottery has given $26 million to the Lottery Proceeds Fund.

The money will go towards public education in the state. The most phenomenal aspect of the money that was transferred is that is was only for one month.

The $26 million was in direct relation to the month of March. The total for the fiscal year is $219.8 million. The lottery has been in place for twenty two years in the state, and has created over $3.1 billion.

Education is the main beneficiary of lotteries around the country. Most state lotteries were set up with the intention of raising money that could be used, not only in lower grade education, but also for state colleges.