I grew up living next door to the Bonanno Mafia family in Tucson. Joe Bonanno ran gambling joints in Las Vegas. But he didn’t want his own children corrupted by this dirty business, so he lived in Tucson. In particular, he wanted his daughters to be clean. Since states began to run lotteries and especially since Indian tribes use gambling as money making industries, this destructive form of ‘entertainment’ has permeated throughout our culture and society. It was supposed to grow and grow like the Derivatives Beast. But it has over-extended itself and is now collapsing just like our banking system our own governments, all of whom depend on a steady flow of cash from gambling addicts, to fund themselves. The Sands organization is the latest victim of the collapse in credit and savings.
Lady Luck is, to my mind, the eldest of all the gods and goddesses ever created. For she existed before there was an earth or a sun. Indeed, she predates the existence of the universe itself. For when there was nothing but darkness, there was random chance. Libra is an odd goddess. She is blind. Like all ancient and modern depictions of Lady Luck. Libra wields a sword as well as scales in ancient Roman depictions.
Lady Luck also carries a sword. She holds not a scale but dice made from knuckle bones of the dead. She not only endlessly rolls these dice, she flips coins constantly. We are all slaves of the forces of Nature. But we are even more, the slaves of random chance. Just for example, we could take all possible precautions to not die prematurely. Then random chance goes into operation as Lady Luck rolls her bone dice. Oops! A meteoroid that is at least 5 miles across is aimed straight at your deep cave!
Instantly, upon impact, you are vaporized. A person can be very careful and it pays to be careful, not careless. But this doesn’t stop random hazards from rolling across our paths like black cats. For example, last week, I was driving on an interstate with my truck which I use to haul heavy stuff. I had a heavy load and so I was driving with great care. This included signaling well before entering an off ramp while slowing down.
I was in a big, big truck. It was obvious to anyone, the truck is big. Yet a new driver, a very young and possibly very doomed youth learning to drive suddenly decided to cut me off so he drove around me and then came straight at me! From the driver’s side!
I nearly went right over his much smaller and lighter car. I have a snow plow steel cage assembly on the front. This would have taken apart his entire car and killed both himself and his mother. Lady Luck rolled the death dice but I was cautious so I had good control of a heavy truck in heavy traffic and I managed, by literally less than 6 inches, to avoid killing someone. But I was certainly very angry.
Lady Luck is Risky’s mother. She entices us into taking big risks. Sometimes we win. The kid who nearly got himself killed had to talk to me afterwards because I forced him to stop when we got off the highway. He said, he just wanted to be ahead of a truck that was slowing down. So he risked his life to gain one second in speed. Thousands of fools like this reckless kid, this child of Risky, die every year on our highways. It is truly a carnage.
There is tremendous profits in playing risky games. And tremendous, especially fatal consequences when betting on winning something. Death stalks risk taking. The common theme here at Culture of Life News is this discussion about death and wealth and how they interact with risk. The foundation of all wealth comes from human labor of various sorts including the very important literal labor of women bearing young. The creation of shadow wealth is via various risky instruments. Which are very prone to collapse.
A common theme here is this paradox about risk: it can cause wealth to grow magically. But it is also doomed to regular collapses where the wealth resets to wherever labor has value. We call the cycles where fake wealth grows much faster than labor wealth, ‘bubbles.’ This is because it is very easy to expand wealth that is made out of thin air and only when governments restrict this, does it not instantly shoot into bubbles that instantly collapse.
Since the invention of ‘money’, the tendency to use credit to create bubbles has been a huge temptation. Stock markets were organized centuries ago as a way of funding industry and trade via gambling. Lotteries have been launched for hundreds of years in order to fund government programs, wars and wild palace building by princes. Every time these gambling systems are launched, they are always hailed as a great salvation for the People.
Supposedly, gambling is hailed as a way of avoiding the burden of taxation. Common people give huge sums in savings to the State if there is even a very slightest chance, one of them will win a portion of the money collected. These things always bankrupt States as well as decimate the savings and thus, the welfare of the masses. This is why all lotteries and gambling manias end the same way: governments fall and the replacement governments outlaw the practice.
- 1901— Horse racing is banned in San Francisco, last race March 16th.
- 1902—Belgium makes new casinos illegal, allowing eight existing casinos to remain.
- 1903–Luxembourg law forbids all kinds of gambling.
- 1904–Nevada legalizes bookmaking on horse racing. *snip*
- 1931–Phil Tobin introduces Assembly Bill 98 in Nevada legislature to allow licensed gambling on a variety of games. Nevada legalizes casino gaming and most other forms of gambling. Nevada Governor Fred Balzar signs into law Assembly Bill 98, allowing faro, monte, roulette, keno, fan-tan, twenty-one, blackjack, seven-and-a-half, big injun, klondike, craps, stud poker, draw poker, or any card, dice, machine, at licensed establishments. Licensing fees for social games is set at US$25 per table per month, $50 for each mercantile game, $10 for each slot machine. Legal gambling age set at 21.
- 1934–Massachusetts decriminalizes bingo. Nevada legalizes gambling. Florida legalizes pari-mutuel horse and greyhound race betting. O.D. Jennings introduces the first electrically powered slot machine, called “Electrojax”. Reno race track, becomes first in US to use daily double wagering.
At the end of the 19th century, many governments cracked down on gambling and other ‘sins’. This included a massive and successful push in the US to outlaw alcohol. This was supposed to bring moral uplift to the masses who have this tendency to gamble and carouse. This was supposed to improve the economic condition of the teeming masses who were gravitating to all the major cities of the major economic empires. All this moral uplift ended up being expended in a massive, ugly global war.
Many laws to raise the moral fiber of the public were tried between WWI and the Great Depression. But look at what happened when the gambling frenzy on Wall Street and the risky lending practices of banks collided with the collapse of Germany’s reparation payments: Gambling and drinking became increasingly legalized and even encouraged! This way, the hope was, commerce would resume!
So between 1930 to WWII, gambling was returned to legality in many places and venues. Lotteries didn’t take off until New Hampshire, due to a refusal to raise taxes for schools, launched a small, semi-annual $3 lottery in 1964. New York state proposed this in 1966 and the excuse for the lottery was, it would fund the schools and thus, drop property taxes. In 1970, Rockefeller launched off-track betting parlors. Which swiftly turned into neighborhood blights.
The spreading state lotteries went from twice a year to monthly to weekly from 1964-1970. In 1973, there was sufficient worry about the wildfire spread of gambling, a commission was launched to study this obviously bad social force. In 1974, gambling ate up and redistributed over $17 billion. By 2007, casinos took in over $32 billion just by themselves. And they were the least of the system by then. 2008, slot machines were $25 billion just by themselves. Each year, now, American gamblers are expected to lose nearly $100 billion to the gambling business . This is money gamblers lose to the casinos and state lottery pickings on winnings.
We can clearly see how gambling has eaten into the public’s purse. It is pretty simple: these things are rather addictive. Therefore, people will do it even if it means spending money that could be saved for retirement, for example! It is like all addictions: the workforce will feed the monster no matter what. If the children can’t go to the dentist or wear shoes, money will still be spent on cigarettes, booze and gambling! And the State gets its cut. During depressions, the State can’t raise taxes easily. Or collect taxes at all, in many cases. But if even the very poor are addicted to something, then the taxes will flow like the River Styx.
Indeed, the State calls all this ‘sin taxes’ and during the latest binge of removing taxation from income and shifting it into ‘sin taxes’, the taxes rise relentlessly in these addictive systems. Anyone with half a brain who wishes to avoid this taxation simply has to live a sober, careful life. And park savings into retirement accounts.
Which we used to call ‘banks’. Today, banks pay virtually no interest compared to simple inflation. This forces savers to move their money into one of the more dangerous gambling houses: stock bourses and increasingly risky investment banking schemes run by offshore, unregulated pirates. The gamble that one’s retirement accounts would grow by at least 10% a year has led to responsible people trusting gnomes and pirates who had only one aim: to skim off as much wealth as the gambling casino operators hoped to seize by hook and crook.
Now, off to today’s news: Sands Casinos is going bankrupt rapidly due to the fact that people who are gambling addicts no longer can access endless credit to feed their manias. First, let’s look at some older stories from this decadent decade. The corporate entity of Sands was launched only 5 years ago. They went bankrupt during the Dot Com collapse.
This is due to gambling being risky. The gambling houses go bankrupt all the time. Here is part of what happened to the Sands casino group 8 years ago:
After hearing Carl Icahn’s plans on two bankrupt casinos — the Sands Hotel and Casino and the Claridge Casino Hotel — the New Jersey Casino Control Commission voted 4 to 0 to grant him a temporary license to operate a casino, should he take over one or both.
Mr. Icahn has proposed to take over the Sands, investing $65 million in the casino and issuing $110 million in new bonds while Park Place Entertainment Corporation, in a competing plan, has proposed investing $40 million and issuing $128 million in bonds.
Ichan is supposed to be a businessman. But like Trump, he couldn’t resist going into the dirty business of running gambling houses. As the British Empire expanded across the globe, many a British subject launched vast overseas gambling empires. The same was true of the US Wild West years. Especially in places where there was mining activity. Especially gold. Before gold filters into government vaults, it first circulates through gambling casinos surrounding mining areas like Nevada and Alaska, just for two prime examples.
Brown, who isn’t fazed by acreage constraints at the Traymore site, philosophized that “you’re only limited by your inspiration,” and the development in Atlantic City comes down to a risk/reward equation. One possible strategy is the construction of a property that would augment or supersede the Sands. This would be terra incognita for Icahn’s company, which has made its name by snapping up financially troubled casinos at low cost, then performing financial turnarounds. “The fact that we haven’t built (a casino) doesn’t create any trepidation on our part,” Brown said.
Ichan would like to think of himself as a moral, upstanding character. He is not. Never was. He is a vulture who couldn’t resist trying to tap into a system that feeds off of the carcasses of fools and risk-addled addicts. The Holy Grail to all gnomes is a system whereby money pours in no matter what. Selling opium is an ideal way of doing this. But the social costs are so very high, governments try desperately to prevent this. Even as ‘sin taxes’ drive governments into enabling addictions.
So anyway, Ichan took over the more unprofitable sectors of the bankrupt Sands organization. But just like Donald Trump can ruin investors who trust him and still get credit and reassemble his depraved empire, so it is here. Sands was relaunched and during the easy credit years of 2003-2007, the stocks of this gambling house took off.
The Chinese are big gamblers. I remember vividly, when some communist officials were living with me. They came to me one day, very excited. ‘We can get rich, fast!’ said one of the future overlords of Southern China.
‘How’s that,?’ I inquired.
‘We can get a free bus ticket to Atlantic City and the casino gives us $20 and we can gamble and win lots of money,’ he said.
‘It’s a trap,’ I warned him. Well, the delegation took that bus. They all spent their $20 and then some and ended up losing their entire monthly allotment from the Central Party headquarters. So they had to borrow money from me and I made them work it off, the hard way. Via labor. This was a lesson.
The Chinese government has very mixed feelings about gambling. I expect them to crack down on it eventually. All governments must do this. Hong Kong and Macau are very old gambling locations due to European imperial forces creating these enclaves.
Las Vegas Sands, is one of the leading international developers of multi-use integrated resorts. It owns The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas and The Sands Macao. The company’s controller, Sheldon Adelson, has recently become Stanley Ho’s first competition in his 40 years gambling monopoly in Macau.
Macau, was a Portuguese colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1999. It is the only place in China that allows casino gambling. Only two Las Vegas companies were allowed into Macau: Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. Sands, the world’s largest gaming company, got established first in Macau, opening in 2004 the luminous Sands Macau, which has so far been very successful.
I remember when this news was announced. Every pirate and gnome on earth was salivating over a billion Chinese addicted to gambling, pouring all their savings into the maws of Lady Luck’s seven-headed dragon. Endless wealth was a dream come true! Here is a prediction of endless future wealth for stock investors interested in this seemingly endlessly profitable form of addictive commerce:
Deutsche reiterates BUY on Las Vegas Sands (LVS), target price $94; MGM (MGM), target price $74; and WYNN Resorts (WYNN), target price $160.
See how provident this all is! Las Vegas Sands was expected, just one year ago, to rise to nearly $100 a share. Many hedge fund hell hounds as well as banking gnomes bought this fantasy and poured lots of other people’s money into these stocks. Worse, they all went to the Japanese carry trade headquarters in Asia and took out super-cheap loans to fund even more purchases of stocks while they all merrily drove up the stock values of these gambling dens.
And look here! A certain very powerful and well-connected former investment bank went into this business head over heels!
Major investment firms such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse as well as other investment/hedge funds are starting to invest in industries outside of the financial industry. Real Estate for one, has become one of the most popular forms of investment by these firms, look at Blackstone, earlier this year they made the largest private equity purchases to date with the 46billion dollar purchase of Equity Office Properties, and then a few short months later purchasing Hilton Hotels for 26billion dollars. Companies that were once thought untouchable – especially by private capital – are being purchased more and more often – at very attractive numbers for their current shareholders. What does that mean? Private Equity firms, and investment banks do not make large purchases without doing their research. Sure there is a lot of discussion on Blackstone’s payout to their CEO, and the disappointment with their recent IPO – but one thing for sure, Real Estate is the best long term investment, much better than the financial markets, and even the treasury market.
Lately, a new type of “real estate” investment by these investment firms is in Casinos – an industry that was almost completely owned and run by organized crime and frequented by the worst of the worst – casinos have had an amazing resurgence over the past 4 decades or so. Proof of this is the growth of destinations like Las Vegas, and something a little closer to home – Atlantic City.
HAHAHA. Just what I expected! The übergnomes of Goldman Sachs rushed right into the Cave of Wealth and Death and joyously embraced Lady Luck! And she smiled, showing her fangs, and happily rolled her bone dice. SNAKE EYES. ‘Why did you do that,’ screamed the Goldman Sachs gnomes.
‘Because it is fun,’ said the eldest and by far, the most dangerous of the goddesses. ‘Want me to roll again?’ She rattled the dice in her palm. ‘How about the Wheel of Fate? I really love Russian Roulette, too.’
Notice the news article that mentions with gay abandon, how casinos are great investments for banking gnomes because they are ‘much better than financial markets’! EVEN THE TREASURY MARKET! Good as gold, as they like to say before the prospector enters the local saloon and loses all of it and his shirt to card sharks and fast women.
Before Sands blow away in the Saharan winds of the collapse of the gnome’s dream system of destructive wealth, let’s visit their headquarters:
Las Vegas Sands Developing Capital Raising Program, Sheldon G. Adelson Family to Participate
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) today announced that it is working with an investment banking firm to develop a capital raising program for the company. Sheldon G. Adelson, the company’s chairman, chief executive officer and principal stockholder, and his family intend to participate in the company’s capital raising program. Mr. Adelson and his family recently completed an investment in the company of $475 million in convertible senior notes in a private transaction. The company will announce further details of the program in the very near future.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) is the leading international developer of multi-use integrated resorts.
The Las Vegas, Nevada-based company owns and operates The Venetian Resort- Hotel-Casino, The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas and The Venetian Macao Resort-Hotel and the Sands Macao in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Special Administrative Region of Macao. The company is currently constructing two additional integrated resorts: Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and Marina Bay Sands(TM) in Singapore.
Here is the latest stock charts for the Sands organization:
Looks an awful lot like the charts for Goldman Sachs and Bears Stearns and all those gnome operations! These stocks are being sold off not just because the flood of gambling loot is lessening due to inflation eating up excess income of the working class, all credit has also vanished. So people can’t easily gamble on credit in casinos OR in stock markets. Ergo: things fall off of many cliffs. This chart is a classic bubble chart.
I used to be a mooch who would take the Atlantic gambling casino buses to the Jersey shore on summer weekends. Not only was the trip free but I was paid $20! So it was profitable. I would drop one dollar into a slot machine before going right out again. I never won, which was good. I might have gotten hooked. Instead, I made over $200 in profits before Resorts International figured out my scheme. Their hopes I would become addicted were dashed so they banned me.
HAHAHA. Gnomes and I just don’t get along. Here is a study done, by the way, by order of our government, concerning the spread of gambling and its dire effects:
3-4 The Commission recommends that warnings regarding the dangers and risks of gambling, as well as the odds where feasible, should be posted in prominent locations in
all gambling facilities.
3-5 The Commission recognizes the difficulty of campaign finance reform in general
and an industry-specific contribution restriction in particular. Nonetheless, the
Commission believes that there are sound reasons to recommend that states adopt tight
restrictions on contributions to state and local campaigns by entities—corporate, private,
or tribal—that have applied for or have been granted the privilege of operating gambling
3-6 The Commission received testimony that convenience gambling, such as
electronic devices in neighborhood outlets, provides fewer economic benefits and creates
potentially greater social costs by making gambling more available and accessible.
Therefore, the Commission recommends that states should not authorize any further
convenience gambling operations and should cease and roll back existing operations.
3-7 The Commission recommends that betting on collegiate and amateur athletic
events that is currently legal be banned altogether.
None of the worries or recommendations of this last report did the slightest good. Gambling got worse and worse. It spread like a cancer across our fair land. It sucks out the lifeblood of our entire economy and depresses workers who lose and destroys the work ethics of anyone who wins. And winners tend to end up in poverty no matter how great their winnings.
This is due to the fact that the most powerful of the goddesses in the Cave of Wealth and Death is the eldest: Lady Luck. And she is adept at playing games of chance. And as I explained to the Chinese long, long ago: the Bank always wins in the long run.
And ill-gotten wealth fritters away rapidly. This is because even winners know it is not all that real. And the reality usually destroys their social systems built up by generations. Nothing destroys our young faster than easy wealth thrown upon them. This can destroy their morals and teaches them bad, bad lessons. Feeding and encouraging a system this destructive will lead to more destruction. The US is going bankrupt and the epicenter of the housing collapse is in Las Vegas.
The downward spiral there is like a huge black hole in our economy. It is destroying solvent banks. It is wrecking marriages. The Bonanno capo didn’t want his own children in Vegas for moral reasons. He kept them far from the gambling operations. And as a child, I heard more than one adult warning another to not take a job in Vegas. ‘It will wreck your marriage and you might become a gambling addict,’ was the stark warning.