Bob Rae has been listening to the gambling fraternity and the mob for too long now, may be in over his head.

Rae couldn’t even control a little flea-bit of a Toronto charity casino that went belly-up a few months ago. How is he going to look after the big boys when they yawn in his face about complaints that they’re dealing from the bottom of the deck? It’s like minnows playing tag with sharks.

Rae should be investigating the casinos – not licensing any more! Jean Major of the provincial Charity Gaming directorate says that the industry has undergone explosive growth since February 1993, when bets were hiked to $10 from $2. The industry raked in $70 million last year with a lousy $3 million going to charity! The rest covered wages, expenses and winnings.

And with an astonishing $67 million spread they still couldn’t find the money to pay Sam Benchtrit, a pit boss, who was short four pay cheques worth a total of his $2500 in back pay. Sam pleaded to the media: “Someone has to step in and help us.”

Don’t wait for Bob Rae. He’s too busy setting up Ontario’s second casino in an Indian reservation. And the NDP profits will be split among 131 Indian bands. Yeah, the same way that charities “split” the $70 million taken in under the Charity Gaming Directorate.

Well it’s time to re-visit Bob Rae’s Windsor casino and see how those NDPers are doing after a year in business.

Any government’s ideal spot for gambling is to find some place – like Las Vegas – where almost everyone has to come to in order to gamble – and then take their worries and debts home with them. Good news! Bob finally found somebody with money to rip off. It’s the Americans! Specifically the Detroit gamblers who make up over 80% of the patrons at the Windsor casino.

More good news is that the casino is expected to net Bob $200 million from gross revenues of $500 million a year but the bad news is – according to Maclean’s magazine – it’s going to cost the government $650 million to aid compulsive gamblers in Windsor/Detroit! That means the mob is making money – but we’re losing $150 million a year.

According to a Queen’s Park press release, Rae is only willing to part with a miserly million of the $200 million he garners to bail out the hordes of compulsive gamblers that his casinos have helped to create. (Estimated to be upwards of 40,000 people in the Windsor/Detroit area.) 1.4 per cent of compulsive gamblers cost the community $17,000 a year in lost productivity, social services, theft, jails and specialized policing.

If more than 80% of the gamblers in Windsor are Americans – Detroit isn’t going to like to pick up the tab from us for their compulsive gamblers for long. I hope for Bob’s sake that they never cotton on to what’s going on up here.

The only gamblers that can’t lose are the operators of the casino who now get 2.75 per cent of a projected gross operating revenue of $500 million and an additional 5 per cent of the net. Their gross income alone comes to almost 14 million.

Tibor Barsony, executive director of the Canadian Foundation on Compulsive Gambling (Ontario), said there is a “tremendous hidden social cost” which will cancel out the revenues made from gambling. He claimed there were close to 75,000 Ontario pathological gamblers – those with an uncontrollable urge to gamble and more casinos would only create more.

In Donald “Tony the Greek” Franko’s book Contract Killer, Frankos states that it was the Genvese mob that purloined money from a Teamster pension fund (upwards of $899 million dollars!) to build or buy “the Desert Inn; the Freemont; Caesar’s Palace; Circus Circus; the Dunes; and the Stardust.”

The mob knows a money train when they see it. Note that Caesar’s Palace and Circus Circus along with the Hilton is the consortium that operate Bob Rae’s Windsor casino.

Nice company, Bob. And the mob doesn’t let go of a good deal. The real ownership is buried so deep down – that even the RCMP couldn’t find it even if they knew where to look. And please – save us the money – don’t even bother!

Merry Christmas everybody! And Bob, what do the people of Ontario want for Christmas? You at the U.N. They need great orators – and you certainly are one.