Alaska House Introduces Casino Bill

Alaska – As reported by the Anchorage Daily: „Anchorage poker star Perry Green has talked leaders of the state House into introducing a bill that could let Green start an international casino in Anchorage.

„Green wants to turn the failed state-owned Alaska Seafood International plant into a casino that caters to well-heeled Asian tourists. It would bring jobs and tax dollars to the state, Green pledges.

„On Tuesday, with just five weeks left in this year's legislative session, the powerful House Finance Committee introduced a bill to create a gaming commission. The commission could grant a single license to a casino 'in any municipality in the state with a population of at least 150,000,' according to the bill. Anchorage is the only city that big in Alaska.

„But with so much opposition to gambling in the Legislature and worries that the bill might open the door to tribal gaming, the bill could have a tough time. Resistance is especially strong in the state Senate.

„But Perry Green is going to try. Green, the owner of David Green Master Furrier in Anchorage, is well known both inside and outside of Alaska political circles. A nationally known poker player, he has competed in events like the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Green has come to Juneau three times this year to push his casino idea and has four of the top Capitol lobbyists helping him out.

„Green also has the ear of national casino impresario Jack Binnion, who recently sold Horseshoe Gaming Holdings for 917 million USD, according to the Financial Times. Green has brought Binnion, the son of a Las Vegas casino legend, up to Alaska to explore the idea of an Anchorage casino and to talk with legislators. Green said that Binnion could become involved in getting the project off the ground.

„Along with questions about tribal casinos, many legislators think gambling is a costly social ill and Alaska doesn't need a casino. Anchorage Democratic Rep. Harry Crawford, the most vocal anti-gambling advocate in the Legislature, said he hopes to enlist the Anchorage Baptist Temple in the fight against the bill…“