Live from Lauglin, it’s TV gambling
April 9, 2003
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — An elderly entrepreneur once fined $600,000 for breaking stock sale laws asked lawmakers Tuesday to back a plan letting British gamblers bet on table games broadcast live from Nevada casinos.
Herbert Lindos, the 77-year-old president of Kenilworth Systems, a tiny New York company, said his simulcast plan would open the door to worldwide betting on live TV feeds from Laughlin, Las Vegas and Reno.
“All we really are is an extension of a casino here which goes all around the world,” said Lindos, waving his hands while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Londoners could flip on satellite television and wager up to $100 on roulette, craps or baccarat games happening 5,000 miles away, through the “Roulabette” concept patented in February by Kenilworth, a five-employee business operating out of a small office in Mineola, N.Y.
State regulators say that’s likely illegal. And lawmakers were cool to the concept, saying it would put too much faith in a questionable business that could damage Nevada’s reputation. The casino industry hasn’t weighed in on the idea from the quirky company.
Kenilworth was incorporated in 1968 and hasn’t made money since 1991. Its federal SEC filing in March says it has no product and lost $5 million since emerging from Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1998.
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Lindos, a friendly-looking man with white hair, was convicted in 1993 of violating federal stock sale laws and was ordered to pay the $600,000 fine and do community service, according to the filing.
Kenilworth wants to set up cameras at a Laughlin casino for a trial run and hopes to partner first with a British broadcaster which already offers virtual free-play casinos.
Lindos predicts his publicly-traded company would earn over $1 billion in yearly royalties through the operation. “The numbers are staggering,” he said.
Kenilworth also needs at least $5 million in startup money and some interest from casinos, the company’s SEC filing states.
And they couldn’t do anything without SB431, asking the Nevada Gaming Commission to set up regulations for “live game broadcasts.”
Members of the Senate panel signaled they won’t pass the measure without first examining federal law. The 1961 federal wire act prohibits use of telephone lines or other forms of communication for interstate or foreign gambling.
Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander said he was unsure whether the proposal could dodge federal laws. He told lawmakers the bill could “place the reputation of Nevada and its system in the spotlight and in some sense at risk.”
Judiciary Chairman Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, said the enabling legislation is “deferential” to regulators and could be examined further by an interim panel.