By JOHN CURRAN
Associated Press Writer
Boxing promoter Don King was barred Wednesday from doing business with New Jersey casinos for at least a year.
But the state Casino Control Commission balked at imposing a five-year ban to punish him for exploiting a loophole that allows promoters to stage
fights while their license applications are pending.
The panel voted 5-0 to allow King to withdraw his most recent application, banning him from reapplying until April 2005. In addition, King was
prohibited from doing any business with casinos until he actually obtains a license.
King has managed to promote four world championship cards in Atlantic City in the last five years without having a casino service industry license.
New Jersey allowed him to promote fights while his license applications were pending. But twice he withdrew his applications as the state Division of
Gaming Enforcement's investigation was in progress.
Most recently, he did so to avoid answering New Jersey investigators' questions about his dealings with former IBF president Robert W. Lee Sr. Lee was
tried three years ago on charges he took bribes from promoters and managers in exchange for favors and rigged rankings.
King, an unindicted coconspirator in that case, withdrew his April 2002 license application after state Division of Gaming Enforcement agents sought
to question him under oath about Lee.
King did not appear before the panel Wednesday. King lawyer Clive Cummis said his client had nothing to hide and was following advice in not answering
questions about Lee.
"If he has nothing to hide, we don't see why he wouldn't come in and speak to us," said Deputy Attorney General Frederick McDonough, representing the
Division of Gaming Enforcement.
King cannot apply for a license for a year. When he does, he won't be able to promote fights until the Division of Gaming Enforcement has completed
its investigation - which could take years - and he is granted a license.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.