Small Nuggets of News

Two airlines will add flights to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas this year. JetBlue Airways has announced a new nonstop route between Vegas and Fort Lauderdale beginning in late October. And Southwest, the airport’s largest carrier, has begun accepting reservations for nonstop flights from Dallas to Las Vegas.  ?  Lawmakers in Delaware say it is increasingly unlikely the legislature will pass a measure giving the state’s beleaguered casinos $20 million in tax breaks, at least not this year. With a budget deficit of around $41 million, the proposal is already on the back burner, and comments from lawmakers last week indicate it is destined to die in committee. “I can see no way to raise the money that would be needed” for the bailout, said state Senator Harris McDowell III, chairman of the Joint Finance Committee working on the budget, according to Delaware’s News Journal. Leaders of the state’s three casinos, struggling due to competition from Maryland and elsewhere, have said layoffs are imminent should there be no break from the state’s high revenue tax and fees.  •  The New Jersey sports betting case has been placed on the June 19 schedule of the U.S. Supreme Court, meaning that the high court will decide that week whether or not it will hear the state’s appeal of a lower-court ruling that upholds the federal ban on sports betting. The state’s legislature passed a full sports betting program last year, in defiance of the 1992 federal law banning sports wagering in all but four grandfathered states.  •  The National Indian Gaming Commission will move into new headquarters in Washington D.C. on June 16. The new office is located on K Street NE, near the U.S. Capitol. • The Ohio House of Representatives last week voted 83-2 to give the Ohio Casino Control Commission authority over “skill games,” slot machine look-a-likes that often award cash prizes in contravention of state law. The legislature has been playing a game of “whack-a-mole” on businesses offering such games for several years now, as so-called internet cafes or sweepstakes cafes disappear under new laws only to reemerge with new types of games. Under current law game operators can award prizes for merchandise or fuel no larger than $10. Many are violating the law, and legislators want the commission to be the enforcement agency. • The National Indian Gaming Association’s 184 tribeslast week unanimously adopted a resolution condemning a challenge by Wyoming and that state’s congressional delegation to an Environmental Protection Agency December 6 ruling that the boundary of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes’ 2.5 million acre reservation was not affected by a 1905 Act of Congress that opened the territory to homesteading. The state claims that in fact the 1905 act did diminish the reservation. The resolution states, “The United States has a trust responsibility, rooted in the Constitution, to protect Tribes from efforts by States or others to diminish tribal territory and sovereignty,” and adds, “NIGA urges the DOI and EPA to continue to recognize and defend the existing boundaries of the WRIR against attack by the State of Wyoming or others.”