Casinos brace for impact of Internet gambling, and other business news

2013-05-04T00:00:00Z Casinos brace for impact of Internet gambling, and other business newsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
May 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Casinos brace for impact of Internet gambling

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - With legal gambling moving beyond the casinos and onto the Internet, the industry is bracing for the most far-reaching changes in its history.

A Las Vegas firm, Ultimate Gaming, on Tuesday became the first in the U.S. to offer online poker, restricting it, for now, to players in Nevada. New Jersey and Delaware also have legalized gambling over the Internet and expect to begin offering such bets by the end of this year.

And many inside and outside the industry say the recent position taken by the federal government that states are free to offer Internet gambling - as long as it doesn't involve sports betting - will lead many cash-hungry state governments to turn to the Web as a new source of tax revenue.

Solar-powered aircraft to land in Phoenix today

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - A solar-powered airplane left Northern California on Friday for the first leg of a planned cross-country trip that its co-pilot described as a milestone in aviation history.

The Solar Impulse - considered the world's most-advanced sun-powered plane - left Mountain View just after dawn. Its creators said the trip is the first attempt by a solar airplane capable of flying day and night without fuel to fly across America.

The plan is to land at Sky Harbor in Phoenix today, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth airport in Texas, Lambert-St. Louis airport in Missouri, Dulles airport in the Washington area and New York's John F. Kennedy airport. Each flight leg will take about 19 to 25 hours, with 10-day stops in each city.

The plane is powered by some 12,000 photovoltaic cells that cover massive wings and charge its batteries. The delicate, single-seat plane flies around 40 mph and can't go through clouds, making it vulnerable to bad weather. It weighs about as much as a car.

Its creators said solar planes will never replace fuel-powered commercial flights. But the goal is to showcase the potential of solar power.

Justice investigating IBM on corruption allegations

IBM Corp. is being probed by the Justice Department over corruption allegations in Poland, Argentina, Bangladesh and Ukraine, adding to bribery charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Justice Department is investigating whether IBM violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the company said in an April 30 filing. In Poland, the department is focusing on a transaction that the Polish Central Anti-Corruption Bureau already was studying, the company said. It involves allegations of a former IBM employee selling to the Polish government.

The inquiry adds scrutiny in new territory as IBM tries to settle with the SEC over activity in China and South Korea.

It's not uncommon for global companies to face FCPA reviews - Anheuser-Busch InBev said in March that its India joint venture was being investigated by the SEC for violations of the act. Still, the probes can rankle investors. Shares of Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s Macau unit dropped in March after the parent company said it probably violated the FCPA.

IBM is cooperating with the investigations, the Armonk, N.Y.-based company said in the filing.

Berkshire Hathaway's earnings jump 51 percent

OMAHA, Neb. - Berkshire Hathaway's first-quarter profit jumped 51 percent as its insurance companies performed well and the value of its investments soared.

Warren Buffett's Omaha-based conglomerate said Friday it earned $4.89 billion, or $2,977 per Class A share.

PepsiCo severing ties with rapper Lil Wayne

PepsiCo is cutting its ties with Lil Wayne after the rapper made a crude reference to civil-rights martyr Emmett Till in a song.

Lil Wayne, one of the biggest stars in pop music, had a deal to promote the company's Mountain Dew soda.

Earlier this week, PepsiCo also pulled an online ad for the neon-colored soda that was criticized for portraying racial stereotypes and making light of violence toward women. The ad was developed by rapper Tyler, the Creator.

US factory orders drop

Orders to U.S. factories fell in March by 4 percent, the most in seven months, but a key category that signals business investment plans increased, the Commerce Department said Friday.

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