Felony hurt feelings

From Editor Thomas Mitchell:

Set back your calendars, everyone, it is 1984. Thought crime is here.

H.R. 1966 would outlaw something called cyberbullying, also called the "Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act." It is obviously a reaction to the young woman who killed herself after getting her feelings hurt online.

But with no stretch of the imagination, it makes ordinary argumentation (read: editorial writing) subject to two years in prison.

"Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both," the bill reads.

Severe? Repeated? Hostile behavior?

Sounds like some of the people who comment on this blog, right?

For more, see www.lvrj.com/blogs/mitchell



Out of control clubs

From Publisher Sherman Frederick:

The advent of wild and crazy clubs leased within casinos was a problem we should have seen a mile away.

Just because a club leases space within a casino doesn't give it (or the casino, for that matter) the green light to operate in a law-enforcement free zone. Yet, that's pretty much what has happened. Drug use and prostitution have become accepted and encouraged activities within at least some of these cash-awash clubs.

Now the Gaming Control Board, which has several investigations pending against clubs, is beginning to move against the host casinos.

That's a good first step. But let's face it: Fines aren't going to do the trick. The clubs are too lucrative to respond to an occasional $500,000 fine. Nevada's going to need to license activities leased within casinos, or threaten casinos with license suspension.

Until that happens, leased clubs within casinos will remain out of control.

And that's bad for the city.

For more, see www.lvrj.com/blogs/sherm



Union Gaming Group to begin publishing research

From gaming writer Howard Stutz:

Las Vegas-based Union Gaming Group will begin publishing financial recommendations on the companies it follows.

This comes several months after three former Deutsche Bank research analysts formed Union Gaming.

Union Gaming will follow 17 global gaming companies, both public and private casino operators and gaming equipment suppliers worldwide.

"As the only sell-side research team in Las Vegas, we now provide unparalleled access and comprehensive insight into the global gaming market, giving our clients a truly robust view of this challenging industry," said Bill Lerner, principal and senior analyst at Union Gaming.

Union will not use traditional ratings and price targets.

"Given the complexities of markets today, investors require tailored service and deep industry expertise, rather than the traditional one size fits all model," Lerner said.

For more, see www.lvrj.com/blogs/stutz



Foreclosure numbers for Nevada vary

From business writer Hubble Smith:

Foreclosure numbers for Nevada vary significantly, with reports of anywhere from 37,000 to 78,000 foreclosure filings in 2008.

In a project initiated by the Nevada Association of Realtors, it was determined that 24,679 notices of trustee sale were issued in all Nevada counties for which information was available in 2008, significantly fewer than the 78,000 reported by RealtyTrac.

It should be noted that many foreclosure reports include all phases of the process such as default notices, notices of auction and real estate-owned properties. In this context, foreclosure "filings" include properties that have been issued a notice of default, but have not been sold at auction.

"In fact, many homeowners who receive notices of default rectify the delinquency and are able to stay in their homes," the Realtors association stated in its report.

A notice of trustee sale is a better indicator of an actual foreclosure than a notice of default because it indicates the homeowner was probably past the point of rectifying the situation, the report said.

For more, see www.lvrj.com/blogs/business