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Anti-Gambling Group Urge Closer Scrutiny After Murder-Suicide

23 November 2000

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Nov. 23, 2000 – As reported by the Associated Press: "The head of an anti-gambling group urged closer scrutiny of the casino industry after a debt-ridden Michigan man returned from Las Vegas to kill his pregnant wife, his three children and then himself.

"…Jihad Hassan Moukalled, 42, a small-business owner, had just returned from a trip to the Las Vegas Strip's MGM Grand Tuesday when he allegedly killed his wife and three children before turning the gun on himself, police said.

"In his Farmington Hills, Mich., home, police found a suicide note blaming gambling addiction - and $225,000 in shredded casino markers.

"…Farmington Hills Police Chief William Dwyer said Moukalled's printing business had amassed $500,000 in debts because Moukalled withdrew the money to cover his gambling. Three credit cards found inside the house carried $60,000 in debt, Dwyer said.

"…Gaming industry observers believe that the industry will take a hard hit from the tragedy, though they argued Wednesday that the MGM Grand shouldn't necessarily be blamed for what happened.

"Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno, said the heinous nature of Moukalled's actions suggest that he'd had problems far beyond his gambling addiction.

"…Still, Eadington believes the tragedy should prompt a review of the procedures casinos use when making decisions to extend credit to patrons.

"… [Bobby Siller, a member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board] said the board would look at whether MGM Grand officials understood Moukalled's credit limits and his wagering habits. But he said there was `no reason to believe' MGM Grand had violated Nevada regulations, and said it would be unfair to blame the industry for the tragedy…"

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