#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2011-12-25

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Detainments show Fiji regime afraid of citizens standing up for themselves

Speight beating led to QEB Goons being named
It's rumoured the illegal leader Frank Bainimarama will  announce tomorrow - New Year's Day - the Public Emergency Regulations will be lifted - supposedly as a gift to the nation.
Padarath ended up in wheelchair

If the PER is lifted as this blog has been alerted, it doesn't come soon enough. Ironically, it would eventuate just days after the latest unwarranted detainment by the regime - that of 74 year old business woman and SDL Lami member, Dr Mere Samisoni.

The PER has cushioned the illegal rule of Frank Bainimarama and his greedy cohorts, so one can be forgiven for being cynical about any goodwill behind the reported plan to free citizens from the regime's brutal manacles.

Goon Ben Naliva swanning in Europe
But it's entertaining in the context the illegal administration now seems to be working under: ie the bullshit reinvention of itself as it has sought to do in hiring the tainted American spin doctors, Qorvis.

Naliva the family man but revealed as torturer
The international isolation must be hurting as has the publicity generated by the interest taken this year by powerful organisations such as the ILO and the ITUC, not to mention ACTU and NZCTU. 

Bai and family: all neat and tidy but blood on their hands
The human rights record of this regime must not be forgotten; nor the citizens who this year were held or beaten and tortured by RFMF soldiers at QEB - all for standing up in the name of democracy.

Goon squad desperate to stay in power: Aseri Rokoura middle
Trade unionists bore some of the brunt of the regime's wrath in 2011, including the president and the general secretary of the Fiji Trade Union Council, as they fought the Essential National Industries Decree.

Daniel Urai and Felix Anthony were both interrogated with Anthony beaten and Urai charged with inciting political unrest with another union organiser, Danesh Goundar.

Memorable, too, was the detainment in February of SDL member Sam Speight, for several days over the supposed distribution of pro-democracy DVDs. He was forced to flee to Australia.

The regime insisted military soldiers do not abuse citizens but they were proved liars time and time again with photographs for example showing Suva businessman Ben Padarath the worse for wear after being in custody.
Suva lawyer Renee Lal was another who received a thrashing from soldiers in 2011, although critics would say her case was different from Speight, Anthony and others.

The detainment and beatings have been regular and not always reported with people fearing for their lives. 

But it was the beating of Sam Speight that finally exposed the military officers meting out the unjustified punishment. Speight documented that Bainimarama's right hand man Ben Naliva beat him and that Naliva had attempted to prod his butt with a M16 rifle. 

Aseri Rokoura went on to be named by Coupfourpointfive in subsequent stories as did Bainimarama himself and his soldier son, Meli, for beating pro-democracy workers on Christmas Day in 2006, just after he seized control.
Bainimarama and his unprincipled soldier's will not be allowed to bury their shame for treating Fiji citizens so inhumanely. Let 2012 be the year of justice.

Samisoni's family: no legal counsel yet and no word on charges

NAMOSI PROTEST:Anti-mining stand reportedly linked to Samisoni's arrest.


The SDL member spoke at a democracy rally in Australia recently.
The family of Dr Mere Samisoni have still not been told how long the 74 year old will be detained for after being taken into custody yesterday.

Samisoni has not had access to legal counsel and neither have her family been able to confirm the charges against her, although it's believed she is accused of inciting political unrest.

Her daughter, Vanessa Charters, says the timing of her arrest, just before New Year's Eve, is questionable and probably deliberate. "Nevertheless the family has been able to get word to contacts within the United Nations, the World Bank and the foreign offices of Australia and New Zealand and the UK."

It's thought Samisoni's detainment coincides with the leaking of photographs of a rare protest in the Namosi highlands west of Suva, against a planned gold and copper mine operated by Australia’s Newcrest Mining Ltd. The protest took place just over a fortnight ago (December14.)

Samisoni detained

Friday, December 30, 2011

More questions about Air Pacific after latest hiccup

 Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and David Pflieger with Air Pacific affiliates.

Another flight disruption by Air Pacific: its Nadi-Melbourne and Melbourne-Nadi services on Wednesday didn't take to the air supposedly due to technical issues.

Some passengers were offered hotel accommodation while some Melbourne bound passengers were put on flights through Sydney and Brisbane, yesterday.

Remaining passengers have reportedly made it on to additional Nadi-Melbourne and Melbourne-Nadi services, yesterday and today.

Air Pacific has been hit by repeated flight disruptions over the past few weeks - and sources say it is all due to maintenance issues.

On that note, Fiji Village's Vijay Narayan needs to start asking the hard questions of Air Pacific instead of being a phantom regime supporter. 

Recent stories speak volumes of this once respected journalist's bias towards the regime - he is now beginning to sing the illegal AG's songs over and over again.
Narayan needs to get his facts right. Despite the lie by David Pflieger and his Air Pacific team only managed to do better because of compensation for late delivery of aircraft. 

Also worthy of scrutiny is Narayan's story about Pflieger recruiting more locals. He clearly chose to forget Fiji had a lot of locals. Pflieger got rid of them and look at the shambles the maintenance of Air Pacific and Pacific Sun aircraft is going through now. 
Air Pacific and Pacific Sun have lost almost half of their most experienced engineers to other airlines in the region and the Middle East.
Air Pacific, under Pflieger's direct orders, removed very capable and experienced local managers who were subsequently replaced by his buddies, mostly American with some English expatriates. 

To say that he will be looking at recruiting locals in the future is a joke. Stop telling lies David Pflieger: you've already been caught out once and you will again. Shalend Scott revealed you for the liar that you are still the lies keep coming.

Air Pacific plans to recruit more locals
Publish date/time: 23/12/2011 [09:09]
The Managing Director and CEO of Air Pacific Dave Pflieger said they do have a plan to identify locals who can work for the national airline company.

Pflieger said while formal announcements will be made later, work has already started in this area.

Pflieger said once they fix Air Pacific and Pacific Sun structurally, the idea is to grow it with the plan to get more people from Fiji working for Air Pacific.

Air Pacific reported an operating loss of $3.6 million for the financial year ending March 2011 which is a significant reduction in losses compared to the operating loss of $91.8 million for the previous year.

Story by:
Vijay Narayan

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The 'truth' about the new Snoqualmie casino stings Bainimarama

THE BIG CON: Stalking the corridors of power; at the UN conference in Doha in 2008.

Goon who tortured democracy workers on Xmas Day 2006

Fiji's illegal leader exposes his uncouth, crude arrogance in an email to his former 3FIR commander, Roko Ului Mara. Using an email address previously established by Coupfourpointfive as belonging to Frank Bainimarama (franciscopancho168@gmail.com), the man who runs up thousands of respectable dollars supposedly lifting Fiji's name on the international stage, including sending polite congratulatory messages to the prime minister of New Zealand John Key, shows his no- school style.
Replying to Mara's blog about the planned joint Larry Claunch Snoqualmie venture, Bainimarama indulges in language more becoming a QEB Goon than a leader, just as he did in the very first email he sent his former Number Four. Readers will recall that earlier email concerned the pending decree about the sale of mahogany, mahogany which is now in some places lying discarded in timber yards.
We publish here the correspondence between Bainimarama and Mara, along with the original story that sparked the exchange. We start with the most recent email from Mara.

Yesterday I sent out an email regarding the truth about the new casino in Fiji. I received 2 emailed replies from             franciscopancho168@g­mail.com. That email is as we all know is the one used by Frank Bainimarama the dictator of Fiji and puppet to Khaiyum.
My reply to Frank is below his replies.
Frank’s first email
Frank Bainimarama franciscopancho168@gmail.com
            11:56 AM (22 hours ago)                 
Thumbs up your arse!! Ha!ha!ha!
Sent from my iPhone
It sound like he is laughing all the way to the bank. RUM

Franks’s 2nd  email
            7:11 PM (15 hours ago)                   
Tongan boci you got your facts wrong......ka ni vutulaki by the beach in nukualofa..ha!ha!ha! The money is in Fijian dollar....you bloody bociha!ha!ha!ha!      Thumbs up your arse! Ha!ha!ha!
For those of you whose Fijian is not great he is talking about me wanking by the beach in Nukualofa. RUM

Dear Frank,
It is always good to hear from you with your statesmanlike language. I would not say this myself but I have heard people say you sound more like a deckhand than a leader.
I made a mistake and you are right it is $290m Fijian dollars and not US dollars. But it still does not add up. $290m Fijian is still more than twice the price of any other hotel in Denerau. It is obvious you have done no due diligence and have no idea of the difference between fact and fiction in this casino proposal.
I want to help you so please find below a list of questions you should ask of Claunch, the Snoqualmie Tribe, Aunty Nur and Khaiyum. You should also do your own research on Casinos as well so you are in a position to judge their answers.
Questions to Claunch 
1-      Do you have any Casino experience?
2-      Where is the funding coming from?
3-      What successful developments have you been involved with in the last 10 years?
4-      What Casino experience do your architects have?
5-      What is your view on letting locals gamble in your casino?
6-      Who are your Fijian advisors?
7-      How much are you paying your advisors?
8-      Who gave you the licence and were they related to your Fijian advisor?
9-      How long have you been involved with the Snoqualmie Tribe?
10-  Why did you choose a group with only 5 years casino experience?
11-  If you wanted to go with an Indian tribe there are many with over 30 years casino experience?
12-  What percentage ownership will they have?
13-  Who are the other shareholders and what percentages do they have?
14-  What is the location of the Suva casino?
15-  How will the Suva casino survive without tourists?
 Questions for Snoqualmie Tribe 
1-      Have you had approval at all levels in the tribe for your involvement in this deal?
2-      Are you in a position to proceed?
3-      How much money can you afford to invest?
4-      What is your current debt level?
5-      What experience do you have of working outside of North America?
6-      How long have you known Larry Claunch?
7-      Can I see the accounts of Snoqualmie Casino since its start?
8-      What is the population in your catchment area?
9-      Who will you send to do the training in Fiji?
10-  Who are your experts and can I see their CVs?
11-  Which casino makes the biggest profit in Washington State and why?
 Questions for Aunty Nur 
1-      What fees are you charging Larry Claunch?
2-      Can I see all the documents, emails and memos on this deal?
3-      Have you made payoffs to anyone in Government recently. Either directly or indirectly including your relatives?
 Questions for Khaiyum 
1-      Can I have all the tender documents so I can have them appraised by independent experts to make sure that we have the best deal for Fiji?
2-      Have you received any pay offs for awarding this tender?
3-      Was your Aunt involved in 100 Sands bid and did you make public this possible conflict of interest?
4-      Who was on the tender committee and why was this the best bid?
5-      Which were the  top 5 contenders and why weren't they chosen?

There are many other questions you could ask but this will give you a starting point. I challenge you to ask these questions and in the interests of transparency you should publish the answers.
In addition you know as well as I do there has been long standing opposition to casinos in Fiji. Do you not think you should put this plan to a referendum and see if the people of Fiji want a casino in our beloved country with all the crime, drugs and prostitution it will bring.
I look forward to hearing your reply.
Ratu Tevita Mara

Mara's original blog:

Truth For Fiji reveals the truth about the Casino.
The dictator endorsed a pack of lies when he launched the casino with 100 Lies (Oooops! my mistake) Sands Casino Fiji Ltd. Firstly I am going to look at the announcement and explain why it does not add up. Then I am going to reveal the true money grabbing plan revealed to me by a mole inside Aliz Pacific Nur Bano Ali’s corrupt consulting firm.
Larry Claunch announced 100 Sands were going to build a casino, hotel and conference centre costing $290m USD. It was going to have nearly 200 rooms, 500 slot machines and 64 gaming tables. The ground breaking will start in March 2012 and the casino will be finished 18 months later. Larry said they were partnering with Snoqualmie Tribe. The Casino will not be open to locals.
Let’s look at this piece by piece
$290m hotel.
This will make it the most expensive hotel ever built in Fiji. This is nearly $600m Fijian which dwarves the $300m+ FNPF sunk into Natadola. The FNPF as we all know had to write the value of the hotel down to a mere $80m. The most expensive hotel on Denerau cost less than $100m FJD. A hotel costing this much will never make a return on investment even with a casino.
Massive Casino.
The closest casino of a similar size to the one planned by 100 Sands is Sky City in Auckland. But the amount of people that Sky City has to draw on is far bigger. New Zealand has more tourists in a peak month than Fiji has in a whole year. Similarly with Business visitors. Additionally it has the population of Auckland to call on and that is bigger than the total population of Fiji. For those of you who have not visited Sky City the Downstairs is full of the urban poor, mainly Polynesians gambling with their last few dollars. It is not a pretty sight.
So with only the tourists from Denerau and Nadi and a few expats a total of about 7,500 how on earth is Larry going to fill his casino? Obviously he is not. Every punter will have the choice of 3 empty roulette wheels or 100 slot machines to play on. I know why they are calling it 100 Sands: because it is going to be DESERTed.
Larry Claunch
Larry is a man of mystery prior to coming to Fiji. The only thing we really know about him is that he is rich, he has lived in Fiji for about 10 years and he has failed to develop his one property project in Fiji. He has no personal experience of running a casino. One thing he has learnt is that in today’s Fiji it is who you know that matters and he has paid to know the right people as I will show below.
Snoqualmie Tribe.
They borrowed $385m USD in 2007. This money was used to build their first casino. Unfortunately for them it was not a success and actual revenue was one quarter of the projections. They have had to restructure their debt. They are in n position to borrow any more money and what profits they make on their current gambling operations are going to service their existing debt. There is no money for this investment coming from the Snoqualmie Tribe. Their casino expertise only goes back 5 years so they are mere beginners in this complex and difficult business. Added to which their track record is not good and they have had to give their first CEO a payoff of $14mUSD to get rid of him.
These are the experts that Bainimarama has invited into to Fiji to steal from the poorest Fijians. In exchange for what, a nice Indian Chief’s head dress. Most of us grew out of dressing up games when we were kids but Frankie loves dressing up as a builder or an Indian Chief. Just as an aside he has the makings of being a one man Village People.
Not Open to Locals
Larry says the casino will not be open to locals. He then goes on to say he will open a smaller operation in Suva. Last time I looked I could count the number of tourists in Suva on one hand. Larry’s casinos will be open to the Locals.
As you can see this casino operation does not add up and just as worryingly there are no successful casino operators involved.
Now for the real story as revealed from within Aliz Pacific.
I mentioned Larry understood it was all about who you know. Well he hired Aliz Pacific, Dr. Nur Bano Ali’s money laundering consultancy firm. He has paid over $1m in consultancy fees which Aunty Nur shares with her nephew the AG and shares a bit with his puppet. The AG approved the license with Larry and off we go.
However the true plan involves an investment of only a few million and building a new entrance to the upstairs at Port Denerau.
$290m Hotel = Renting upstairs space at Port Denerau.
Larry is building nothing more than a glitzy entrance to the casino that will operate in “office space” above the shops and restaurants of Port Denerau.
Massive Casino = 50 Slot Machines and 7 gaming tables in rented office space in Port Denerau
Larry Claunch = Con Artist who has built nothing in Fiji and has no intention of doing so.
Snoqualmie Tribe = Clincher with the PM.
They will provide no money and no expertise. Just a fancy head dress for little Frankie dressing up cupboard. The irony of the Native Americans selling their land to the white man for a few beads now buying the gambling rights of Fiji for a few feathers and head dress.
Not Open to Locals = Let’s have open house for the locals.
Larry has dressed this up as saying he is totally non discriminatory and he does not feel comfortable not allowing Fijians to enter their own casino. What he means is he can’t wait to get his hands on the local money and make himself rich at our expense.
Overall Larry is going to invest a few million dollars, not build anything and rip off the people of Fiji. There is not $290m USD investment, there will only be a few slot machines flown in.
People of Fiji understand the Dictator is endorsing this scam. Ask yourself why? Is he getting a pay off? Or is he just too stupid to see the real situation? Either way Bainimarama is not fit to run Fiji
Once again we can see the Fijian people are being manipulated by the evil Khaiyum and his wicked witch Aunty Nur Bano Ali.
2012 is the year Fijians will wake up and overthrow dictatorship.
Thumbs up for Democracy!

Renewed trade talks with Fiji risks 'legitimising an oppressive regime'

The Australian Council of Trade Unions says the decision to renew a textile, clothing and footwear scheme will do nothing to improve the lives of poorly paid workers.

ACTU president Ged Kearney says the agreement which gives unfettered access to Australia’s markets – the largest market for Fijian textile products – will merely legitimise an oppressive regime that has persistently flouted human rights in the face of international and local opposition.

She says by extending the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA), the Australian Government is putting the theoretical benefits of free trade above the everyday intimidation, harassment and oppression of real people in Fiji.

In a statement the union says the trade agreement means better profits for textile businesses in Fiji who operate in an environment 'where draconian laws are being strategically implemented across the economy, denying workers’ rights, keeping wages unfairly low and flouting basic democratic freedoms.'

The textile industry in Fiji has a poor history of anti-worker lobbying, opposing minimum wage increases and applying for exemptions for having to pay any wage rises its workers were entitled to.

ACTU says the industry also has a poor track record on labour and safety standards and claims by the industry of playing an important role in alleviating poverty are masking serious cases of exploitation of Fijian workers.

Kearney: “The agreement signed in the so-called interests of textile industry in Fiji merely subjects its workers to further entrenchment of human rights violations as such an agreement legitimises and protects the Bainimarama regime. 

"It makes an absolute mockery of the Australian Government’s so called stance against the illegal government’s rule.

“This decision is in stark contrast to the stand the Australian Government has taken on excluding Fiji from regional negotiations on a new trade agreement until there is a return to democracy and human rights in Fiji.”

The ACTU and the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia will be calling on all businesses, operating with or within Fiji, to demonstrate to Australian consumers that they are not profiteering from the plight of textile workers in Fiji.

Michele O’Neil, National Secretary of the TCFUA, has endorsed ACTU's stand: “This decision does nothing to support workers either here in Australia or Fiji.  Clearly the Federal Government has listened to business leaders to profiteer from an increasingly isolated and oppressive Government.”

Fiji's illegal Foreign Minister Inoke Kubuabola says textile, clothing and footwear industry cannot rely on Australia or other countries' tariffs or policies for its survival.

He told Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Fiji's TCF sector needs to implement reforms to diversify and improve its competitiveness.

It's believed the TCF industry employs 2,500 people directly and more than 16,000 indirectly.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feedback on Snoqualmie's Seattle casino gives some idea of what's ahead for Fiji

American businessman Larry Claunch has yet to reveal how the Denarau and Suva casinos will be run other than to say it will have something like 500 slot machines and 54 gaming tables.

A look at the Seattle casino his business partner the native American Indian tribe, Snoqualmie, runs gives some idea to what the new controversial Fiji casinos will be like.

That casino has already divided tribal members and Seattle residents who have complained about too much smoke, the low calibre of artists, to the way the casino has generally failed to deliver prosperity to its estimated 600 members.

If anything, it is bringing in just a quarter of the revenue projected with the tribe unable to fix the problems because of in-house fighting.

Coverage by the Seattle Times has generated several thousand comments including the following, which gives some insight to what's ahead for Fiji. While there is some support for the tribe and what it is trying to do, most of the comments show a dislike for 'tacky' casinos and the failure of Snoqualmie to make good on its word.

Edith Weston
September 26, 2009 at 12:07 PM
Oh dear, capitalism isn't working? Another free handout? Sure! (not)

Tacoma, WA
September 26, 2009 at 12:01 PM
Guess them feeling the economic pinch, which they also seeing the unemployment rate keep going up.

woodinville, WA
September 26, 2009 at 11:54 AM
this is not just an Indian problem, any time there is the perception of "easy" money," you are going to find greed which will lead to in-fighting.

Smellevue, WA
September 26, 2009 at 11:51 AM
Casinos are in the business for one reason only: To Make Money !!
Do they post the payback odds? no...
Knowing an IT guy for a nameless company who knows the programs of these machines once said; A little salmon told me that the machines are 'geared to take'
These Casinos are bogus..If you can afford to lose... go and have fun.. If you need to watch your pennies, dont go. save up for that something that you wanted to do before the casino moved into the area.. take a cruise or something..

seattle, WA
September 26, 2009 at 11:43 AM
Hey jackasses..... news flash..... lots of people still smoke. The few evenings I have spent out at Snoquamie, the place was packed. I couldn't find a table with less than 4 people on it. Oh yeah, and 90% of the people in there were smoking. Obviously smoking isn't keeping people away from there. If you want a smoke free casino, go to a casino that doesn't allow smoking.

Issaquah, WA
September 26, 2009 at 11:42 AM
The reason the place does not do well is simple: Depite its fantastic views and convenient parking, the place stinks of stale tobacco smoke, the food is lousy, and the employees are incredibly rude. These guys need to hire some people with some experience in the hospitality industry. If you want a night out, go to Ken's Truck Stop in North Bend. You will have a better time.

Seattle, WA
September 26, 2009 at 11:38 AM
The economy is still bad stupids. No one can just go and gamble away.

kent, WA
September 26, 2009 at 11:21 AM
You hit the nail on the head!
Nobody wants to travel that far to get their house payment sucked from them in 20 minutes. Just like I think the lottery should do, have more winners of less and they will flock in. Instead of a one in a million chance of multi millions, one in a hudred of winning thousands. I haven't been to a casino or played lotto in a long time for that reason. Oh, and good service (see my earlier post of the scum sucking muckleshoots).

Chehalis, WA
September 26, 2009 at 11:19 AM
All it takes is an article saying there is a problem that some tribe is dealing with and all of the hypocrites start flinging their venom. Do all of you really want more people out of work? Do all of you really hate Native Americans that much? We have had years of leadership in this country that has promoted distrust and fear of all that are not 'white'. I am not native but my family were European Jews, and I think the pattern of racial and religious fear is sort of familiar. The tribe will figure it out and fix it. Everybody needs to relax and appreciate how many people of all color are working and have BENEFITS due to their casino!!!

seattle, WA
September 26, 2009 at 11:13 AM
Have to agree with many posts, it is by far the most expensive of the local casinos. Buffet is way over priced and the senior discount is only good weekday afternoons. It doesn't even include prime rib! The rewards pay bacvk the least of any in the area along with the slots. I've never seen that many at the gaming tables so as someone else said, must be the games they don't like. But every casino I go to, the lowest blackjack buy in tables are always crowded while many others sit idle. there should be a message there.
We have found the the Snoqualmie is the least smoky though. But they should look at the business their smoke free area does compared to the rest of the casino and expand that area.

Fall City, WA
September 26, 2009 at 11:10 AM
My husband and I live in the Snoqualmie Valley and went once to check out the casino. We were especially interested in the multiple dining options. We will never be back. Of all the casinos, the Snoqualmie's is by far the smokiest. Other casinos seem to mitigate this by better planning and ventilation. It's an afterthought at the Snoqualmie casino. The non-smoking section slot machines are right next to the smoking; it's a joke. The restaurants are completely smokey, so we won't consider any of them for meals.

Lake Stevens, WA
September 26, 2009 at 11:08 AM
First off I can not stand the commercials music it drives me up a wall.
The need to hire the right people to manage the casino and the tribes business structure.
As for Smoking I Love my cigars but I keep smoke to myself, I do not want to visit any casino that looks Like LA air.

Everett, WA
September 26, 2009 at 10:50 AM
When they first starting running their costly $$$ TV ads I was curious about the other services they were offering. Remember the cigarette girl in the sexy dress who moved onto the tables and then hooked up with a "customer".
Either they have a prostitution operation on the side or very poor employee rules, if any.
I did notice in later ads they cleaned that one up a little so it would not be so obvious what she was doing.
Being farther away from Seattle than the other casinos and subject to snow cutting off their revenues in the winter months I guess they needed other incentives to bring in customers.
They could probably get more customers by offering free charter buses from the major cities in the area.
I also wonder how a newly recognized Indian nation with hardly any business sense and terrible bookkeeping could borrow so much money. Not even a tribal constitution to follow. They must have watched "Field of Dreams" a few too many times... They should have started with a much smaller casino and then expanded as revenues allowed. Instead of just building the "field", they built a "stadium" expecting instant wealth.
They need to drastically downsize and lease out the rest of the space, maybe to gamblers anonymous.
Aside from solving their own internal issues, the tribe needs to hire a management team that knows how to run a FRIENDLY casino in the Northwest. The personnel that they installed since the opening of the casino clearly have a Las Vegas fleece-the-visiting-sucker sort of attitude. They do not like winners. And despite what they may market, their demeanor is very adversarial when it comes to the customers.
The casino dining is expensive, but I certainly disagree that this casino caters to high-rollers. They put in 8 deck blackjack games, which worsens odds, and coupled that with mediocre rules. No high-roller is going like that. Also, as you can imagine after reading the article, they “sweat” large money being bet at their tables. I know a long-term losing gambler who got lucky one night last month and won $2k at the tables. He gave the chips to his girlfriend to cash out. After a 20-minute wait at the cage, they refused to redeem the chips because they couldn’t track which table she won them at. He had to drive back to the casino, give a play-by-play of what tables he was wagering at, have the pit personnel and surveillance verify it, and identify himself so they can “player track” him. Then they paid. I imagine if he wins again they may kick him out.
Another wealthy Eastside player bought a betting system off the Internet and tried it at Snoqualmie. Now obviously an Internet betting system doesn’t win long-term, but it scared the ignorant casino management into barring him after a few visits. They were just too scared of the action. But then they wonder why revenues are 25% of projected.

snoqualmie, WA
September 26, 2009 at 12:39 PM
Wah Wah Wah. The casino is disgusting and I'm glad its losing money. Maybe it will disappear altogether. As someone who has to see it from my living room window every day, and hear its ventilation system, I could give a crap about what's happening to the tribe. Most of the people working there aren't even from the tribe. They are just kickin' back, waiting to collect the $$ without having to work at all. What a shock.
The tribe did nothing to make the community welcome them, doesn't care about the noise and traffic they brought in and now we should care about a stinky, nasty place that hosts grandmas in their sweatpants?
Good riddance.

Kingston, WA
September 26, 2009 at 10:19 AM
For all you gamblers reading this, the next time you go to a casino, look around at the other gamblers and ask yourself how many of them lack health insurance or anything resembling an emergency savings account or viable retirement account. Yet here they are, smoking, drinking and gambling. Years (weeks?) down the road, when their financial house of cards finally collapses, many people will be hollering that the rest of us need to come together to bail them out, all in the name of "compassion." Sorry, but as Jo Dee Messina would sing, "My give-a-damn's busted."

Kirkland, WA
September 26, 2009 at 9:40 AM
I am a snoqualmie tribe member. I have watched this divided behavior for many many years. I think we should have focused more on the education, counseling & health care programs & getting ourselves healthy on the inside before tackeling a BIG BUSINESS like the casino. I have heard Ted Kennedy say "With great opportunity comes great responsibility"! If we cannot communicate in a positive way with each other as a tribe, how can we communicate to the communities around the positive experience they will have at our business & it's services? Just my thoughts ~Kelly~

Seattle, WA
September 26, 2009 at 9:20 AM
determined the tribe was not keeping current on reimbursements on some contracts and grants, had advanced "large sums of money" without getting paid back, and that inaccurate record keeping made getting paid more challenging.
Oversight? Generally Accepted Accounting Principle's? Seems someone was playing Santa.
Stay away from gambling. This whole thing seems like an invented legal fiction. Tribe of 600? Land for a mega-plex casino, funded from 'Vegas, baby'???
Didn't any lights go off in anyone's head that this sounds too good to be true?
If sovereign, how do tribes get tax-exemption and tax benefits (welfare/etc.)??? If you are sovereign, reject all benefits from the federal government. If you accept 'benefits' and entitlements from the US taxpayer, then you must pay all other taxes and responsibilities--including paying taxes on the "earnings" (ill-gotten gains) from gambling. You shouldn't be able to sit on the fence and just pick flowers from both fields without dealing with the weeds and the thorns like the rest of us.

Kingston, WA
September 26, 2009 at 10:19 AM
For all you gamblers reading this, the next time you go to a casino, look around at the other gamblers and ask yourself how many of them lack health insurance or anything resembling an emergency savings account or viable retirement account. Yet here they are, smoking, drinking and gambling. Years (weeks?) down the road, when their financial house of cards finally collapses, many people will be hollering that the rest of us need to come together to bail them out, all in the name of "compassion." Sorry, but as Jo Dee Messina would sing, "My give-a-damn's busted."

Kirkland, WA
September 26, 2009 at 9:40 AM
I am a snoqualmie tribe member. I have watched this divided behavior for many many years. I think we should have focused more on the education, counseling & health care programs & getting ourselves healthy on the inside before tackeling a BIG BUSINESS like the casino. I have heard Ted Kennedy say "With great opportunity comes great responsibility"! If we cannot communicate in a positive way with each other as a tribe, how can we communicate to the communities around the positive experience they will have at our business & it's services? Just my thoughts ~Kelly~

Walla Walla, WA
September 26, 2009 at 8:08 AM
Before the Snoqualmie Casino opened, there were 27 casinos in this state, with a majority of them in the Puget Sound area. Why did the Snoqualmie Tribe think we needed another one? There is only so much money to go around...
Here's the list:

    7 Cedars Casino
    Angel of the Winds Casino
    Chewelah Casino
    Coulee Dam Casino
    Emerald Queen Casino at I-5
    Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino - Fife
    Little Creek Casino Resort
    Lucky Dog Casino
    Lucky Eagle Casino
    Mill Bay Casino
    Muckleshoot Casino
    Nooksack Northwood Casino
    Nooksack River Casino
    Northern Quest Casino
    Okanogan Bingo Casino
    Point Casino, The
    Quil Ceda Creek Nightclub & Casino
    Quinault Beach Resort and Casino
    Red Wind Casino
    Shoalwater Bay Casino
    Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa
    Skagit Valley Casino Resort
    Snoqualmie Casino
    Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort
    Swinomish Casino
    Tulalip Casino
    Two Rivers Casino & Resort
    Yakama Nation Legends Casino

Graham, WA
September 26, 2009 at 8:07 AM
The Tribe needs to offer more! The slots are set too high for working folks. We don’t want to start by putting $1.00 or more to start playing a machine. Offer more at the buffet. The Muckleshoot offer a “free” meal if you stay in the casino for at least two hours. Normally, my free meal cost $50.00. A great way to make money! Also, officer a “large” smoke free area. Most of the people frequenting casinos are non-smokers.

Tukwila, WA
September 26, 2009 at 7:33 AM
I live within rock throwing distance of "The biggest and best in the northwest" and refuse to give those greedy slobs and more money. They have the WORST service anywhere and all they want is more, more, more. They rape your wallet at every opportunity for beer, food, etc. and act like you're putting them out for wanting something. Oh, and have a look at the fireworks stands the week after the fourth. Disgusting. It looks just like the slums they live in 1/4 mile up the road. They even have the nerve to sell "Native Pride" hats. They must be proud of filth.
I will bet that within two years we hear news reports of tribal members or management skimming money too.

Seattle, WA
September 26, 2009 at 6:48 AM
Even if they met the rosy forecast, 375 million in debt to generate 12 million is only a 3.2% return. Maybe they think there is some growth here, but I doubt it. I think it's mostly a case of bad timing and overcapacity. Also they look like they try to target the younger folks. Not sure that's a good idea either. Everyone knows old folks have the dough.

botton dweller
Randle, WA
September 26, 2009 at 6:10 AM
Can't keep records of contracts and , recievables and payouts, and grants.SOUNDS JUST LIKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT No bid contracts in Iraq, and disappearing money for Katrina Victums. So what is the problem??

Seattle, WA
September 26, 2009 at 6:04 AM
"Big payoff eluding troubled tribe"
Maybe somebody forgot to tell them..............
...we're in a RECESSION...!!!!
People (normal people) don't go to blow money in a Casino when they're out of a job or behind on mortgage payments or on unemployment or have reduced weekly hours or are job hunting or are trying to make ends meet.
Just a little free tip for the dipsh*ts at "The Tribe".

Seattle, WA
September 26, 2009 at 6:02 AM
The ads for the casino all show rich and well dressed couples enjoying the casino life, but when half the local economy is in decline, how can they expect to extract cash from the unemployed? I saw this coming before it opened. How much does it take to support a tribe of 600? I laugh heartily.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fiji's new casino team 'fails to bring prosperity to tribal members'

SNOQUALMIE SEATTLE CASINO: Projected profits have not eventuated.

Tribal lockout
The Native American casino team the investor Larry Claunch says will help him develop the casino in Denerau and Suva has been revealed to be bringing in just a quarter of the revenue it promised its 600-strong members.

Claunch was granted the exclusive licence to run Fiji's first casino this week and he named the Snoqualmie tribe as the outfit that would help him develop the casinos.

But the Seattle Times has revealed Snoqualmie has failed to generate the profits tribal members expected, despite the showpiece casino it opened in Seattle last November. In an article titled 'Big pay off eluding tribe,' reporter Lynda Mapes says she has obtained information which shows Snoqualmie has been faced with budget cuts and layoffs. 

She cites a memo written by a grant and contract administration consultant, Henry Grant, to the tribal council and administrator which says: "The adopted budget for 2009 ... has proved to be wildly inaccurate. Gaming revenue is $250,000 a month instead of $1,000,000 a month. A combination of cutbacks and loan funding is imperative to avoid financial collapse."

The Seattle Times also says the tribe is in political turmoil again thanks to a dispute over elections in 2008, and that it continues to be wracked by a fallout in the leadership, to the point it's not meeting regularly.

The paper says the memo singled out unresolved federal audit findings questioning costs dating back to 2004 that could potentially exceed $1 million saying the tribe is working with old overhead rates on contracts, which hurts cash flow and that finance office is not staffed to handle the volume and complexity of transactions it sees.

It also says staff lacks training.

The administrator Henry Flood reveals Snoqualmie was not keeping current on reimbursements on some contracts and grants, had advanced "large sums of money" without getting paid back, and that inaccurate record keeping made getting paid more challenging. Flood also found the tribe has "major problems" organizing, tracking and monitoring its awarded contracts and grants, and that financial reports on many grants and contracts are 'delinquent.'

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Indian Affairs says the tribe can't fix these problems because it's been plagued by infighting and that the tribe's administrative offices were padlocked and some of its federal funds frozen.

The Seattle Times story quotes a tribal administrator Matt Matson as saying he "closed the tribal center and central records facility to allow all parties to think about their options." He said the tribe was facing the prospect of the U.S. government assuming administrative control of the tribal government.

According to the Seattle Times, the tribe's casino has continued to function but there are questions about how much longer.

Big pay off eluding troubled tribe