We “WON”! God has given us another miracle!

Dear Friends,

I am still reeling with joy and gratitude. After 4 long days at the Capitol we defeated that awful “Poker Bill”. LB 619 would have allowed “Poker Rooms” for anyone holding a liquor license and we currently have over 5700 in the state. Now I know not all of them would jump at the chance to have a “Room” or hold a tournament but any would have been too many and all would have managed to hurt families and businesses.

This bill was a hold over from last session and came up so soon this year that it was difficult to get in gear and fight it. Sen. Larson the sponsor had been working on lining up Senators for months and he was boasting that he had his 25+ votes to pass. Apparently God didn’t agree because when the 1st vote was taken yesterday on Larson’s amendment he could only garner 14 votes out of 49. That was a shock to all of us especially him. In spite of that terrible showing he persisted in taking up the whole day today filibustering his own bill and aggravating all the other Senators who are anxious to get on with business in this short session.

The final vote came at 3:30 PM today and we all breathed a sigh of relief as “Poker” was laid to rest.

We give God the glory and live to fight another day. The “Fantasy Sports Betting” bill, another Larson proposal, has already been submitted. This needs to go to committee and we will be there to testify. Considering the resentment that Larson generated by his antics on “Poker” I doubt if the body will be interested in supporting him on this.

There are still a few more days to enter bills so we will be watching and praying that no more come up.

For right now I think I will just collapse and sleep in tomorrow. We have the Senators lunch next Friday the 22nd and a press conference in February so never a dull moment.

Before I fall asleep at the computer I want to thank everyone for contacting the Senators, for coming down to keep me company during this ordeal, for sending words of encouragement and most of all for the prayers. Those have been the winds beneath our wings for the last 20 years.

Good Night & God Bless,  Pat

Pat Loontjer, Executive Director
Gambling With the Good Life

URGENT help needed, Poker Room Bill vote is Monday 1/11/16

Dear Supporter,

Looks like we are starting off with a “BANG” in the Legislature this year so we really need your help!

Sen. Larson’s poker bill, LB 619 is going to be voted on today, Monday, January 11th.

It would allow anyone with a liquor license to have a “Poker Room”. Currently there are 5723 active licenses in Nebraska. Now I know they won’t all want “Poker Rooms” but any, will be too many.  Please contact as many Senators as possible and ask them to vote NO or Not Voting on LB 619. 

$14.4 million Medicaid fraud may be state’s largest ever

WORLD-HERALD   Wednesday, September 30, 2015
LINCOLN — The pharmacist lost his composure in court Tuesday as he admitted to pulling off perhaps the biggest Medicaid fraud ever in Nebraska.

As Scott Tran tearfully uttered the words “guilty, your honor,” he was confronted by the reality that he will spend up to 10 years in prison before spending the rest of his life trying to pay back the $14.4 million he stole from the state and federal health care program.

“It’s the biggest one I’m aware of in Nebraska,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Everett said after the hearing in U.S. District Court in Lincoln.

Most of that staggering sum ended up in the casinos of Council Bluffs, according to Omaha attorney Clarence Mock, who represents Tran. His client once paraded as a high roller at the blackjack table, but he was really consumed by addiction, Mock said.

“All of Mr. Tran’s conduct in this case, all of it, stems from an inveterate gambling addiction that he just couldn’t control,” Mock said.

Read more at Omaha.com

Lincoln One Day Horse Race is a Farce

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An article posted on August 11, 2015 in the Lincoln Star Journal was entitled: Date set for Lincoln’s one annual horse race.

This was our response; also posted in Lincoln Journal Star on August 20, 2015.

I found it very interesting that the Lincoln Race Course is so proud to announce their one day a year of horse racing in order to keep their simulcast license. They should be ashamed of themselves for bragging about this farce. Nebraska Horse tracks are the only business in the state allowed to gamble on simulcast races in other states. They were given that privilege years ago under the guise that they would use the profits to hold horse races and thus “save the horses.” Well, that never happened and now they are back saying they need slots to “save the horses.” When will the gambling industry admit that they dont give a hoot about the horses and just want to use them to line their own pockets with gambling dollars?

Just look at what happened to our neighbor, Iowa. The gambling industry cried that they needed slots to “save the dogs.” They got the slots but just last year a Council Bluffs casino announced they were losing $9 million a year keeping dog racing alive. They offered their Legislature millions to let them off the hook, dump the dogs and continue to make a fortune on slots. Proponents of the change said it was time for the dogs to go as they are a dying breed. The same thing will happen to the poor horses that are being used as pawns in the Nebraska scenario.

A one or two day race season in Lincoln and Omaha is not live horse racing. The Racing Commission no longer exists to support live horse racing. They are working to transform horse tracks into other forms of gambling, like simulcasting and, their dream, slot machine parlors. This is not good for live horse racing or for Nebraska. The state racing commission fears its own end since horse racing has effectively ended in Nebraska due to lack of public interest.

“Give us the slots, and well create jobs and save the horses,” they promise.  Dont bet on it!  What it will do is increase gambling addiction, which in turn destroys families and legitimate businesses. Do we need more crime, more embezzlements, more divorces and more suicides? NO

The Racing Board in Nebraska also announced that they will be back in the Legislature next year to try to get the “Historic Horse Racing Machines” put on the ballot. Remember that these are the same “Dead Horse Slot Machines” that have been defeated year after year. Rest assured, if they are coming back then so will we. Gambling with the Good Life has protected Nebraska families and businesses against expanded gambling successfully for the past 20 years, and we are not about to give up now.

Pat Loontjer   Executive Director   Gambling with the Good Life

Protecting Nebraska families and businesses against expanded gambling since 1995

20th Anniversary Celebration

IMG_0991Pat Loontjer, Executive Director of Gambling with the Good Life is happy to announce that they will be celebrating 20 years of no expanded gambling in Nebraska since this grassroots organization was formed in 1995.

Loontjer went on to say that a celebration dinner will be held at the Governor’s Mansion to commemorate this special event. We are thrilled to be celebrating with our wonderful Governor Pete Ricketts who has been on our Board for the last 10 years and a tremendous supporter of our cause. He will be there to welcome us and to present the following proclamation.

 

 

The following photos are from the event:

 

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Proclamation – Presented Aug. 3, 2015

20th Anniversary of “Gambling with the Good Life”

IMG_0991WHEREAS: Gambling with the Good Life was formed as a grassroots organization in 1995 with the expressed goal of preventing expanded gambling in the great state of Nebraska.

WHEREAS: The devastation that gambling addiction causes for both families and society has been well documented and has affected many of our neighboring states.

WHEREAS: For the past 20 years a dedicated group of citizens have successfully fought off the predatory gambling interests and preserved the “good life” that we all enjoy today.

WHEREAS: The observance of this momentous anniversary of Gambling with the Good Life provides us with a special time to recognize that concerned citizens who with hard work and dedication have accomplished remarkable victories that have blessed the entire state.

NOW, THEREFORE: I, Pete Ricketts, Governor of the State of Nebraska, DO HEREBY RECOGNIZE the 20th ANNIVERSARY OF “GAMBLING WITH THE GOOD LIFE” in Nebraska, and I do hereby urge all citizens to take due note of the observance.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand, and cause the Great Seal of the State of Nebraska to be affixed this Third day of August, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen.

Longtime horse racing leader parts ways with Omaha Exposition and Racing

Article from the Lincoln Journal Star

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After years of heading horse racing operations in Omaha and Lincoln, Greg Hosch has parted ways with Omaha Exposition and Racing.

Omaha Exposition and Racing Board President Robert Moser Jr. confirmed Hosch’s last day on the job was Friday, but declined to say whether he left voluntarily.

Hosch did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hosch, who lives in Millard, was vice president of racing for Omaha Exposition and Racing, as well as general manager of Horsemen’s Park in Omaha since 2008 and oversaw operations at the Lincoln Race Course. He ran unsuccessfully last year for the Legislature’s District 12 seat.

Horse racing has been on the decline nationally for decades. Supporters of Nebraska racing were dealt a major setback in September when the state Supreme Court struck from the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed betting on previously run races. Proponents had said the historic racing machines would have given the industry a much needed injection of cash.

Moser, who also serves on the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, said Omaha Exposition and Racing is looking for a replacement for Hosch and applications are due by July 10.

Lincoln Race Course in 2013 opened a new facility in southwest Lincoln where fans can wager on simulcast races from tracks across the country. But the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which owns the property, has struggled to get the funding to build a permanent race track. Instead they have built a temporary track to allow a single day of racing, which state law requires to allow simulcasts.

A former manager of the Lincoln Race Course, Judd Bietz, filed a lawsuit in March saying he was wrongfully fired in retaliation for reporting Hosch for alleged illegal use of the pari-mutuel betting system. Lincoln police investigated the allegations but no charges were filed.

Lancaster County District Judge Steven Burns last week cleared a major hurdle for Bietz, ruling the suit could move forward against Omaha Exposition and Racing and the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. The judge also gave Bietz permission to amend his complaint against the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

Leadership of Nebraska’s racehorse industry has seen turnover in recent months. Three members of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which owns both the Omaha and Lincoln race courses, were voted off the board in April, including then-president Todd Veerhusen.

Urgent update on LB 70 (Slot tax and more) HELP!

Dear Supporter,

We need your help immediately! The Governor last night vetoed LB 70 which puts a small, 10% tax on the illegal slot machines that are popping up all over the state. If we thought this would eliminate these machines we would be in favor of this bill instead it will expand gambling because of other wording in the bill.

The Legislature will be voting on this TODAY !  Please contact as many Senators as possible and ask them to vote “NO” or “Not Voting”  on overriding the Governor’s veto of LB 70 !

 

(Ask your friends to help us also.)

 

Sen. Roy Baker rbaker@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2620
Sen. Dave Bloomfield dbloomfield@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2716
Sen. Kate Bolz kbolz@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2734
Sen. Lydia Brasch lbrasch@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2728
Sen. Kathy Campbell Kcampbell@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2731
Sen. Ernie Chambers Echambrs@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2612
Sen. Colby Coash Ccoash@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2632
Sen. Tanya Cook Tcook@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2727
Sen. Joni Craighead Jcraighead@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2714
Sen. Sue Crawford Scrawford@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2615
Sen. Al Davis Adavis@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2628
Sen. Laura Ebke Lebke@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2711
Sen. Curt Friesen Cfriesen@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2630
Sen. Tommy Garrett Tgarrett@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2627
Sen. Mike Gloor Mgloor@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2617
Sen. Mike Groene Mgroene@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2729
Sen. Burt Haar Bhaar@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2673
Sen. Galen Hadley Ghadley@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2726
Sen. Matt Hansen Mhansen@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2610
Sen. Burke Harr bharr@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2722
Sen. Robert Hilkemann Rhilkemann@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2621
Sen. Sara Howard Showard@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2723
Sen. Dan Hughes Dhughes@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2805
Sen. Jerry Johnson Jjohnson@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2719
Sen. Bill Kintner Bkintner@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2613
Sen. Rick Kolowski Rkolowski@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2327
Sen. Mark Kolterman Mkolterman@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2756
Sen. Bob Krist Bkrist@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2718
Sen. John Kuehn Jhuehn@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2732
Sen. Tyson Larson tlarson@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2801
Sen. Brett Lindstrom Blindstrom@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2618
Sen. John McCollister Jmccollister@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2622
Sen. Beau McCoy bmccoy@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2885
Sen. Heath Mello Hmello@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2710
Sen. Adam Morfeld Amorfeld@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2720
Sen. John Murante Jmurante@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2725
Sen. Jeremy Nordquist Jnordquist@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2721
Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks Psansingbrooks@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2633
Sen. Merv Riepe Mriepe@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2623
Sen. Jim Scheer Jscheer@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2929
Sen. Ken Schilz Kschilz@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2616
Sen. David Schnoor Dschnoor@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2625
Sen. Paul Schumacher Pschumacher@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2715
Sen. Les Seiler lseiler@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2712
Sen. Jim Smith jsmith@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2730
Sen. John Stinner Jstinner@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2802
Sen. Kate Sullivan Ksullivan@leg.ne.gov  402-471-2631
Sen. Dan Watermeier Dwatermeier@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2733
Sen. Matt Williams Mwilliams@leg.ne.gov 402-471-2642

 

Thank you for all you do and I will keep you informed.  I am on my way to the Capitol!  Pray!

 

Blessings, Pat

Lyle Japp’s Obituary

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Japp, Lyle William

Japp, Lyle William Oct 29, 1925 – Mar 23, 2015 Lyle William Japp, age 89, passed into Glory on March 23, 2015, following a courageous battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He was born October 29, 1925 in Blair, Nebraska, to Walter and Marie (Wrich) Japp and grew up on the family farm. Following service in the army from 1945-46, he attended the University of Nebraska, graduating with a degree in business. He began a career with New York Life Insurance Company that lasted more than 60 years.

During his lifetime and continuing up until his death, Lyle was actively involved in a large number of religious and civic organizations, often as a cofounder or member of the board of directors. He served with the Good News Jail Ministry for 40 years, the Gideon’s for 40 years, Gambling With the Good Life for 20 years, Kiwanis for 35 years, the Open Door Mission, Overcomers in Christ, the Teammates mentoring program, and many others. In recognition of his lifetime contributions Lyle was awarded the Spirit Warrior Award by the Christian Business Men’s Committee.

Lyle will be remembered by his family and friends for his warm smile, ready conversation, eager hospitality, endless generosity, and an ever-ready desire to share the Good News of his Savior Jesus Christ whom he had received almost 60 years before. He was always willing to help, whether it was coaching the little league team, making a pot of chili, or providing housing for someone in need. Of course he was a faithful follower of nearly all Husker sports. Lyle was a unique and gifted man. He will be greatly missed.

He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 58 years, Phyllis M. Japp, PhD; parents, and his sister Mary Lou (Andersen). He is survived by his children Debra Japp, PhD and John Michael Japp (Janet); grandchildren Brendan (Jennifer) and Rachel Gilkey (Joseph); great-grandchildren, Griffin, Edie, and Maddox. He is also survived by two siblings: Walter, Jr (JoAnn) and Mildred (Krampe) along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Lyle’s LIFE WILL BE CELEBRATED on Thursday, April 2, at 11am at Brookside Church, 11607 M Circle, Omaha, NE. A luncheon will follow.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Lyle’s memory are encouraged to donate to one of the organizations he supported during his life, e.g. the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, Gambling With the Good Life, Volunteers for Christ Campus Ministry, The Phyllis and Lyle Japp Scholars Fund at UNL, and others. For additional details on the organizations and how to give, send an email to HonorLyle@gmail.com.

Capitol Conversations

Pat Loontjer — Gambling With The Good Life

Pat Loontjer of the group Gambling with the Good Life talks about her efforts against expanded gambling in Nebraska.