Monday, August 23, 2021

Posted By on Mon, Aug 23, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2021 at 10:59 AM

click to enlarge NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY
Northern Arizona University

WASHINGTON – Border officials said they were “devastated” this week to find that the federal government has extended a COVID-19 ban on nonessential border crossings for another month, potentially crippling businesses there.

“The ban is a terrible and now-exaggerated response to the pandemic,” said Andy Carey, executive director of the U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Project. “It’s reinstated every month for another month, and it’s been going on for nearly a year-and-a-half now, it’s time for the ban to end.”

The ban was first imposed in March 2020 on nonessential travel – essentially tourists or family visitors – between the U.S., Mexico and Canada in response to the first wave of COVID-19. It was regularly extended but was set to expire Monday.

Customs and Border Protection said that the situation has improved in both Canada and Mexico, as vaccinations have risen and infections have dropped. But it announced Wednesday that things were still too uncertain, particularly given the rise of new variants, to lift the restriction, which was extended to 11:59 p.m. July 21.

CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. But border community leaders, who had been looking for the ban to end this week, were not happy.

Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino said his city has lost billions of dollars in business from the ban that “should have been lifted months ago.”

“You know it’s going to hurt when 65% of our sales tax comes from residents in Sonora coming here and shopping,” Garino said. “That money keeps us afloat.”

Officials in Yuma and in San Ysidro, California, echoed his comments, saying border communities are suffering from a travel ban that has “outlived its purpose.”

“I represent about 800 businesses, and we would do $895 million in retail sales during a normal year,” said Jason Wells, executive director of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce. “We are estimating from March 2020 to March 2021 that the number is about $250 million. That’s about a 72% loss.”



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Posted By on Wed, May 12, 2021 at 6:51 AM

click to enlarge Former University of Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, partnered with Medium Rare for an NFT card collection. - COURTESY GRONKNFT.COM
Courtesy gronknft.com
Former University of Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, partnered with Medium Rare for an NFT card collection.

PHOENIX – Sports is a billion-dollar industry, with revenue streams ranging from television rights to ticket sales. Add cryptocurrency and NFTs to the mix, and this latest gold rush has leagues, teams and players taking advantage of opportunities in an unlikely territory.

Former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Taijaun Walker, now with the New York Mets, was the first known and active Major League Baseball player to create and sell a piece of digital art through a non-fungible token, otherwise known as an NFT, the New York Times reported. The piece of art sold for 2.35 Ether, a form of cryptocurrency, or roughly $4,275. Proceeds from the auction benefited the team’s charity, the Amazin’ Mets Foundation.

Walker’s NFT announcement opened eyes and raised eyebrows about this new way athletes could generate income.

What exactly is an NFT?

“(It is) a piece of digital asset, which can be video, file, photo, really anything that you like, to be managed by smart contracts,” said Dragan Boscovic, director of ASU’s Blockchain Research Lab.

Simply, think of it as something intangible – something you can’t hold in your hand – such as Walker’s digital art, or a unique video or Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, which fetched a cool 1,630.58 Ether, the equivalent to about $2.9 million.

Boscovic added that with a smart contract “you can basically control certain properties of that digital asset.” If it’s a photo, for example, you can control who has access to it and how many copies of it can be made.



Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Posted By on Wed, May 5, 2021 at 6:48 AM

click to enlarge Could access to sports gambling in Arizona lead to increased addiction? That's the concern by some now that Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill that allows a significant expansion of gambling, including sports betting. - ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES VIA CRONKITE NEWS
Ethan Miller/Getty Images via Cronkite News
Could access to sports gambling in Arizona lead to increased addiction? That's the concern by some now that Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill that allows a significant expansion of gambling, including sports betting.

PHOENIX – The ability to attend a sporting event, place a bet on a team and possibly return home a winner will soon be a reality in Arizona.

So, too, could an uptick in gambling addiction, some worry.

Excitement surrounded Gov. Doug Ducey’s decision to sign a bill on April 15 that allows a significant expansion of gambling, including sports betting under licenses issued to tribes and professional sports teams. Gambling on fantasy sports and Keno games at horse race tracks will also be permitted.

But will accessibility increase detrimental behavior?

“Each state needs to take some responsibility and understand that a lot of people don’t gamble socially or don’t gamble like a normal person,” said a recovering gambling addict from Arizona who chose to remain anonymous.

Nearly 2.6% of the U.S. population, almost 10 million people, have an addiction problem because of gambling, according to the North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help. In WalletHub’s recent survey of “most gambling-addicted states,” Arizona ranked 41st, a number possibly impacted by the state’s newness to expanded gambling opportunities.

“I know it’s a revenue-making … function for the state but if they’re going to have places where you physically go and gamble like sportsbooks, they need to put right on the front door and visible that if you have a gambling problem, you need to call 1-800,” the recovering addict said, “because this is just going to open up a whole new can of worms for people, especially in today’s world with so many different stressors, so many different pressures on people whether economic, social, marriages, everything.”



Friday, April 16, 2021

Posted By on Fri, Apr 16, 2021 at 7:34 AM

click to enlarge Before signing the amended Tribal-State Gaming Compact, Hualapai Chairman Dr. Damon R. Clarke said, "Looking ahead, tribal gaming will continue to evolve." - ALINA NELSON/CRONKITE NEWS
Alina Nelson/Cronkite News
Before signing the amended Tribal-State Gaming Compact, Hualapai Chairman Dr. Damon R. Clarke said, "Looking ahead, tribal gaming will continue to evolve."

PHOENIX – After years of resistance from tribes around the state, Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2772 on Thursday, legalizing daily sports fantasy and sports betting in Arizona. The development comes on the heels of ratification of a revised Tribal-State Gaming Compact.

“Today’s signing is the culmination of years of discussion and engagement among many diverse stakeholders, tribal communities, both rural and urban, gaming industry partners and more,” Ducey said at a news conference to finalize the legislation.

“We did it by bringing everyone to the table, pushing individual agendas aside and putting Arizona first. The legislation associated with this compact amendment is a historic bipartisan achievement.”

Senate Bill 1797, a mirror bill to HB 2772, was ratified by a bipartisan majority earlier this week by the state Senate. These amendments to the existing compact grant specific organizations and groups sports betting permits to create sportsbooks in their particular venue. Ten licenses will be granted to sports organizations to open these books in or near their sporting facilities. An additional 10 licenses will be given to tribal nations to open sportsbooks at their respective casinos.



Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Posted By on Wed, Apr 14, 2021 at 12:12 PM

click to enlarge BIANCA-STOCK-PHOTOS FROM PIXABAY
bianca-stock-photos from Pixabay

PHOENIX – The Arizona Senate passed legislation Monday night that paves the way for legalized sports betting in the state, possibly as soon as summer.

Senate Bill 1797 and House Bill 2772 were passed with bipartisan support on the new gaming compact, which includes the legalization of daily fantasy sports, and now head to Gov. Doug Ducey to be signed into law. The bill includes an emergency clause, which would enact the changes immediately if Ducey signs the bill.

“We could possibly begin gambling and wagering on sporting events as the Cardinals kick their season off this fall,” said Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge. “That has been our aspirational goal from the beginning. It is my hope that we’ll go ahead and achieve that.”

Included in the agreement, 10 licenses would be granted by the state to sports organizations. They would have the ability to create their own sportsbooks within their respective venues. Golf courses, race tracks and other sports arenas would have the ability to apply and use one of these licenses.

Another 10 licenses would be provided to Native American tribes throughout the state to create a sportsbook at their respective casinos.

Co-sponsors of this bill – Shope and Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler – have been working directly with the Governor’s Office for a number of years to get sports betting legalized.



Friday, January 29, 2021

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Friday, May 29, 2020

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 1:30 PM

After more than two months closed, Casino Del Sol, Casino of the Sun and Estrella at Casino Del Sol will reopen to the public June 3 at 8 a.m., the Pascua Yaqui Tribe announced this week.

The facilities closed March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will reopen under strict safety protocols.

“Our top priority will always be the health and safety of our guests and team members, and we are taking all the necessary steps to ensure visiting our properties will be a safe and comfortable experience for all,” said Casino Del Sol CEO Kimberly Van Amburg, in the tribe’s announcement. “During our temporary closure we sincerely appreciated our guests’ support and understanding, and we have been looking forward to welcoming everyone back in the safest way possible.”

The properties’ new health and safety guidelines will include the following precautions:

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2020 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge TARA FOULKROD
Tara Foulkrod
Passing time during the quarantine, especially if you're a non-essential worker, unemployed, or a full-time student can be a chore, more so if you live alone. You start to feel like Rapunzel in the beginning stanzas of When Will My Life Begin.

Granted, you can spend your time doing all of the things she mentions, or you can sit and binge Tiger King for the seventh time. You can even go outside for some hiking or other outdoorsy goodness, as long as you maintain social distancing - though, do be careful with the heat.

There's one other tried and true way to spend your time that some people have been using with or without a pandemic, and that's video games. It's fun, it's interactive, and at times the storyline or interactions with friends can be really fulfilling. Unfortunately, it's also becoming really expensive.

click to enlarge TARA FOULKROD
Tara Foulkrod
While maintaining an MMO monthly subscription is cheaper than going to the club every weekend, some people are looking for a more casual or family-friendly way to pass the time. When you think of gaming in those terms, one brand name usually pops up pretty consistently, and that's Nintendo. Their catalog is huge and contains a vast amount of titles that you can play either as an adult or a child. With the recent release of Animal Crossing, loads of people have been maintaining their islands and coming up with some amazing creations to pass the time during the quarantine.

But, if you don't already have their latest Switch system, you could be waiting a while - or at the very least paying a ridiculous amount of money.

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Jan 10, 2020 at 12:23 PM

click to enlarge Tyler Vondrak a.k.a. The Dragon - KELLY RASHKA
Kelly Rashka
Tyler Vondrak a.k.a. The Dragon
It was a weekend of voodoo curses and dynasties dying but somehow I managed to get ahead, going 3 out of 4 on the picks. It would appear I forgot that the Saints are cursed in the post-season and Kirk Cousins was really liking it. Otherwise we are on pace for a great post-season sitting at $133 in the bank to work with. Let's see if we can’t wrangle up some winners for the second round and build this bankroll going into championship weekend.

Game 1: Vikings at 49ers (49ers -7)

After an excellent performance in the Wild Card weekend for the Vikings, they are flying out west on a short week to face the fearsome 49ers. 49ers looked unbeatable in the first half of this season, but after some injuries they returned to their expected mean of an 8-win team for the second half, dropping a game against the abysmal Falcons.

The Vikings are looking like a playoff team after last week, with Dalvin Cook at full health and defense playing to their ability. The 49ers could run away with this one but I think that there are some jitters here with it being Shanahan and Garoppolo’s first playoff game. Zimmer is a phenomenal coach and will have his guys ready. This is also right in Cousin’s wheelhouse of a nice daytime game. I’m more than happy to take a touchdown and see how this one plays out.

Bet: Vikings +7 for $25 to win $22.50

Game 2: Titans at Ravens (Ravens -10)

The legend of Tannehill and the phoenix rising from the ashes continued last weekend as the Titans snuffed out any Patriots hopes of a repeat. The real story of the game here is Derrick Henry, who is the 2019 NFL rushing champion. He is a force to reckon with and has really come into his own. Luckily for the Ravens' defense, they have some practice going against elite rushing offenses as they practice against their own. Lamar Jackson is simply the most fun player in the NFL I’ve seen in my lifetime. While I enjoyed the Titans story, I can’t see myself laying money against the Ravens this year. Too explosive, too hard-headed, too much smash-mouth football for a Titans team who’ve had a great story so far but it ends early. I’m not a fan of the 10 points but I see an opportunity teasing this one with the Chiefs game for 7 points to get the spread down to 3.

Bet: See below Chiefs game

Game 3: Texans at Chiefs (Chiefs -9.5)



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