Industry Veterans Have A Warning For States: Don’t Rush Sports Betting Legislation

Legal sports betting is spreading quickly across the US, but according to two industry veterans, fast-paced expansion might not be in the industry’s best interest.

The remarks were made by Art Manteris, the vice president of race and sports operations for Station Casinos, and Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, during the second annual U.S. Sports Betting Policy Summit in Washington, D.C.

They made the comments for entirely unrelated reasons.

For his part, Manteris warned that rushed legislation can bring about unintended consequences. Whyte cautioned the rush to legislate has led to a near-absence of responsible gaming policies and funding.

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IGT's Responsible Gaming Leadership is Reaffirmed by Independent Assessors

World Lottery Association Recertifies IGT for its Lottery and Digital Operations

Company Successfully Passes G4 Gaming Operations Intermediate Audit

International Game Technology PLC ("IGT") (NYSE: IGT) announced that it has been recertified by the World Lottery Association (WLA) for its Corporate Social Responsibility Standards and Certification Framework. In addition, IGT successfully achieved an intermediate assessment by the Global Gaming Guidance Group (G4) for its Responsible Gaming accreditation. IGT was the first gaming supplier in the industry to receive both the WLA and G4 certifications, in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

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Too many children are hooked on gambling. Why aren’t they protected?

Gambling is everywhere. It is on our TVs during football games, on our smartphones and computers, in video games and on our high streets. For adults, this can be a serious issue, particularly if you suffer from addiction, or are at risk of developing a problem – which is the case for more than 2 million people in Britain. As we know and must be vocal about, gambling addiction can lead people to taking their own lives.

It is deeply concerning to learn that 55,000 11- to 16-year-olds are classified as problem gamblers – a number that has quadrupled in the past two years. Added to that, there are another 70,000 11- to 16-year-olds who are considered at risk of developing a problem. Compared to other potentially harmful activities, the rate of gambling in the past week among young people is higher than the rates of drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or taking illegal drugs. This underlines the need to treat gambling in Britain as a serious public health issue.

Children are growing up in a very different world to the one in which their parents did. The Gambling Commission reports that 450,000 11- to 16-year-olds are gambling an average of £16 per week. Significantly, 59% of 11- to 16-year-olds have seen gambling advertisements on social media, compared with 66% on television. More than one in 10 11- to 16-year-olds follow gambling companies on social media, and they are three times more likely to spend money on gambling. Of those who have ever played online gambling-style games, 24% follow gambling companies online.

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Researchers find worrying link between problem gambling and video game loot boxes

A major new study has provided the first evidence of a potentially dangerous link between problem gambling and video game loot boxes.

The research suggests problem gambling is more closely linked to loot box spending than to well-known risk factors like alcohol dependency and major drug problems.

Loot boxes are increasingly common in recent years and are available in highly popular games with around 40 million players worldwide each.

$30 billion

Players can opt to transfer real money into the boxes in the hope of winning a useful virtual item from a randomised selection. Prizes can range from upgrades to their avatar or character, to advantageous equipment such as weapons or armour. The total revenue generated by loot boxes this year will be $30 billion.

The research suggests that loot boxes may be acting as a "gateway" to problem gambling among gamers.

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What are loot boxes? FTC will investigate $30B video game industry

Games such as "Overwatch" include paid “loot boxes” that some psychologists have called a form of gambling.

A growing backlash against video game “loot boxes” — in which players pay for the chance to win digital goods — has gained a major new backer: the Federal Trade Commission.

The commission's chairman, Joe Simons, said during a congressional oversight hearing on Tuesday that the regulator would look into the in-game loot boxes, a response that came after Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., sent a letter to the Entertainment and Software Ratings Board (ESRB) asking it to investigate loot box practices.

“The prevalence of in-game micro-transactions, often referred to as ‘loot boxes,’ raises several concerns surrounding the use of psychological principles and enticing mechanics that closely mirror those often found in casinos and games of chance,” Hassan wrote in the letter.

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Dan Gilbert agrees to sell Detroit's Greektown Casino for $1 billion, nothing yet on Ohio casinos

In the first move of what has been reported as a plan to divest of his casino interests, Dan Gilbert’s Jack Entertainment LLC announced plans to sell its Greektown Casino-Hotel for $1 billion cash.

Under the terms of the agreements, Penn National will acquire the operating assets of Greektown for approximately $300 million, and VICI Properties will acquire the land and real estate assets of Greektown, for approximately $700.0 million.

A release from the company said Dan Gilbert and his family of companies are targeting the capital proceeds from the sale for investment in Detroit real estate and business development.

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Ohio racino revenue up in October; casino revenue flat

Ohio casino and racino gambling revenue totaled $150 million in October, up 3.6 percent over October a year ago, according to reports released this week by the state’s Ohio Lottery and Casino Control commissions.

Gambling revenue for the slots-only racinos was up 6.7 percent, climbing from $78.2 million in October 2017 to $83.4 million last month. This is the money kept by the house after paying out winnings.

Meanwhile, gambling revenue at the four casinos combined was nearly unchanged, at $66.6 million.

In the Greater Cleveland market, revenue was up at the two racinos - from $19.6 million to $20.6 million at Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, and from $9.5 million to $10.4 million at JACK Thistledown. However, revenue fell at the JACK Cleveland Casino from $16.9 million to $16 million.

There were the same number of Fridays and Saturdays each October, but one extra Sunday in October 2017.

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What legal sports betting in the United States means for offshore sportsbooks

One of the major misconceptions in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling that struck down the 1992 federal law banning sports wagering back in May is that the elimination of the law could spell the end for sportsbooks based outside of the United States -- many of which are located in the Caribbean.

Congress set out to halt an expansion of sports betting in the United States in 1992 with the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), but accomplished the opposite. It helped foster a billion-dollar sportsbook black market of sorts, as scores of offshore bookmakers cropped up in the ensuing two decades -- happy and willing to accept U.S. patrons wanting to place a sports wager. For sports bettors, when there's a desire, there's always a way -- and there's been an appetite for sports betting in the United States since at least the 19th century.

Americans wager $150 billion annually in the black market, as estimated by the American Gaming Association, and it will largely remain in the dark for the foreseeable future. Beyond offshore books, that black market also includes "local bookies" violating state laws and, in some cases, federal laws like the Wire Act.

The offshore market is large and deeply ingrained -- so much so that offshore lines are routinely referenced in mainstream publications and on television, drawn in by either the familiarity of the name or the deceiving ".lv" domain name attached to the website. When U.S. sports bettors search Google for "best online sportsbooks," they find a menu of options to wager offshore -- and wager they do. Some bettors make trips to Las Vegas for March Madness or before the football season to place bets, while others send funds to friends or associates based in Vegas (which itself falls into a legally gray area) to "get down" in a more accessible way.

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GVC Holdings to Fund Major Study on Problem Gambling in the U.S.

One of the recent players in the U.S. gambling world has decided to join the National Council on Problem Gambling. GVC Holdings also plans to help fund a study to help researchers figure out the scope of problem gaming behavior. GVC is advocating companies put programs in place to encourage gambling for entertainment purposes only, rather than as an addiction.

GVC Holdings

Founded in 2004 in Luxembourg and headquartered on the Isle of Man, GVC has operations in more than 18 countries. GVC has rapidly expanded. It partnered with British sportsbook William Hill to buy Sportingbet. William Hill managed the sportsbook in Australia and Spain, while GVC managed the sportsbooks in the rest of the world. GVC also acquired the Bwin.Party website, and has managed to grow the site considerably. GVC also purchased Ladbrokes Coral, another sportsbook based in Australia. Recently, GVC and MGM Resorts International signed an agreement to offer sports betting at its resorts. This is in response to sports betting becoming legal across the United States. The company also owns PartyPoker and PartyCasino. GVC currently holds sportsbooks, as well as online casinos, poker rooms, and bingo parlors.

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MGM Casino exploring Caesars merger: sources

MGM and Caesars Entertainment think they may be a pair.

MGM has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley and law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges to start studying the idea of the giant tie-up, a gaming source close to the situation said.

No offer is on the table, though, according to sources.

Activist hedge funds, which together own about a 25 percent chunk of underperforming Caesars, have been pushing for an MGM deal, sources said. Caesars shares are off 25 percent year to date, while MGM is down 15 percent.

These funds, including Canyon Partners, which holds leading stakes in both companies, were seen to be behind the ouster of Caesars boss Mark Frissora, who announced last week he was resigning as of Feb. 8.

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Flashing Lights, Loud Noises in Casinos Might Encourage Problem Gambling, British Columbia University Research Suggests

New research out of the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada suggests that all the blinking lights and dinging bell-like noises in casinos may be as problematic as they are stimulating. A study from UBC researchers indicates that these time-honored basics of casinos everywhere could play a key role in promoting risky gambling behavior.

The findings were recently detailed in the neuroscience journal JNeurosci, and indicate that the visual and sonic overload people experience when walking through a casino could be a significant factor in  promoting problem gambling.

Risky Business

The study was prompted by previous research at UBC which found that rats were more prone to risky decision-making when flashing lights were added to the equation. Scientists wanted to see if the same behavior held true in humans.

A portion of the 131 participants were given a video game to play in a quiet environment. The rest played the same game, but with all the bells and whistles you’d find while playing a slot machine in a real casino.

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How flashing lights and catchy tunes make gamblers take more risks October 30, 2018

Lights and sounds coming from electronic gambling machines – also known as EGMs, pokies or slots – contribute to their addictive potential according to new research published today.

Scientists from the University of British Columbia, Canada, set up experiments with human subjects using gambling tasks and "sensory cues" such as flashing lights and catchy tunes.

They found that people made riskier decisions and were less able to interpret information about their probability of winning when exposed to cues associated with previous wins.

It was known from earlier animal studies that sensory cues, such as flashing lights or sounds, when paired with a reward, lead to "riskier" decision making. Prior to the new study, this had not previously been demonstrated in humans. However, it is not unexpected, given what we know of Pavlovian, or classical, conditioning.

Classical conditioning has been understood for over a century as the mechanism for training animals (including humans). Thus, training a dog to sit becomes easier if the reward (food, or some other pleasurable event) and the command (the cue) are associated.

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What casinos reveal about people’s weakness to spend money

A new study casts light on the tricks casinos use to keep people gambling

Don’t get too distracted by the flashing lights when making a big decision.

Most seasoned gamblers are likely aware that casinos keep things bright so there’s little difference between night and day, which causes people to lose track of time. But new research says other stimulating effects encourage gamblers to take more risks, and also adds to the growing body of research on tactics both casinos and retailers use to get people to spend money.

Lights and exciting jingles at a casino can encourage a gambler to make risky choices, according to a study published this week in The Journal of Neuroscience, a peer-reviewed journal. Such stimulating features can promote problem behavior, researchers from the University of British Columbia found.

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5 Disadvantages of Online Casinos and How You Can Work Around Them

Twenty-something years ago, the gambling industry crossed paths with the Internet, and the result was today’s much-adored online gambling business. What makes the business so well-liked is the numerous advantages it offers to players. It is not all roses, though – online gambling actually has an array of disadvantages, too.

In the lines below, we will delve into the dark side of the online gambling industry, discussing some of its worst disadvantages. Do not lose heart – CasinoGamesPro.com will also teach you how to work your way around them.

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Free online casino games linked with higher risks of gambling problems for young people

New CAMH study finds nearly one in eight high school students played social casino games

Type "slots" into a search engine, and free online games and apps will appear, easily accessible on a phone or computer. A new CAMH study shows that free gambling-themed games may be a gateway to paid gambling for young people, and gameplay is linked with a higher risk of gambling problems among some adolescents.

While bricks-and-mortar casinos and legal gambling websites are off-limits to adolescents, free online games are open to anyone. Called social casino games, they let people try their hand at casino table games, slots, poker or bingo without betting real money. Like monetary gambling, people place bets in hopes of winning rewards, in this case, points or prizes within the game only. Because these games don't involve betting or winning money, they're not legally classified as gambling and remain unregulated.

"Adolescents' participation in seemingly risk-free social casino games is a concern because we know that early exposure to gambling activities is a risk factor for developing gambling problems in the future," says Dr. Tara Elton-Marshall, Scientist in CAMH's Institute for Mental Health Policy Research.

In a new CAMH study published this month in BMC Public Health, 12 per cent of teens in three Canadian provinces said they had played social casino games in the past three months. The findings are from a survey of 10,035 students in grades 9 to 12 (ages 13 to 19) in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. The survey asked about three game types: Internet poker, Internet slots and social casino games on Facebook.

The study also found that adolescents who participated in social casino games were significantly more likely to participate in monetary gambling, either online or land-based forms, compared with peers who did not play social casino games.

"While it's not clear whether young people begin in social casino games and move to gambling for money, or if adolescents who are gambling for money also seek out these free games, there is evidence that social casino gaming may build excitement for gambling and encourage the transition into monetary gambling," says Dr. Elton-Marshall, senior author of the study.

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Like Poker, Lotteries Are A Gamble, And That’s A Problem For Some

The lottery has been so ingrained into American culture, many don’t consider it gambling. But make no mistake about it, it is.

The dictionary definition of gambling is playing games of chance for money. Multi-state lotteries like Mega Millionsand Powerball, the ones millions of Americans lined up to buy tickets for this week in hope of winning a record jackpot, are certainly games of chance. Plus, even at $1 or $2 a ticket, these games are played for real money.

They fit the dictionary definition of gambling to a tee.

Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying your luck for a buck or two with the opportunity to win $1.6 billion out there. There’s also nothing wrong with a tax-paying American adult using a portion of his or her disposable income to buy a few more tickets while chasing the big payday. It’s called responsible gambling, and it involves playing games of chance for money within your means.

Problem gambling is the opposite of that, where players chase losses, gamble with more money than they can afford to lose, and don’t know when to stop.

The highs and lows of gambling can be quite addictive, and problem gamblers tend to chase the endorphin rush gambling provides no matter what the consequences.

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Online casino games may up gambling risk in young: Study

Called social casino games, they let people try their hand at casino table games, slots, poker or bingo without betting real money

Free online casino gaming may build excitement for gambling among adolescents and encourage the transition into monetary gambling, according to a study.

The research, published in the journal BMC Public Health, shows that free gambling-themed games may be a gateway to paid gambling for young people, and gameplay is linked with a higher risk of gambling problems among some adolescents.

While bricks-and-mortar casinos and legal gambling websites are off-limits to adolescents, free online games are open to anyone, said researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Canada.

Called social casino games, they let people try their hand at casino table games, slots, poker or bingo without betting real money.

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Haydocy plans “upscale RV resort” next to Hollywood Casino Columbus

Owner of Haydocy Airstream & RV plans a 20-acre park with 135 RV spaces, clubhouse and fitness center between his dealership and casino on the West side

A hotel next to Hollywood Casino Columbus may still be years away, but visitors will soon get another option for staying next door to the West Side casino.

The owner of Haydocy Airstream & RV plans a $6 million “upscale RV resort” on 20 acres between his W. Broad Street dealership and the casino. The park, called Road Adventures Resort, would include a clubhouse with grab-and-go food, a fitness center and a saltwater lagoon. Visitors will be able to park their own RV or rent one from Road Adventures, the RV-rental operation Haydocy launched two years ago.

Shuttle service to and from the casino will be provided, as will bike rentals.

Company president Chris Haydocy has reached a tentative agreement to buy the land from Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., the real-estate affiliate that spun off from Hollywood Casino parent Penn National Gaming several years ago.

“This will be unlike any other RV park in the Midwest,” said Haydocy. He added that there are a number of other casinos around the country with RV parks next to them, including Rising Star Casino Resort along the Ohio River in Indiana.

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As States Chase Sports Betting Gold, Addicts Left in the Cold

On the day Jeff Wasserman's decades-long gambling addiction came to a head, the Delaware lawyer found himself parked outside a convenience store with three agonizing options: end his life, flee the country or come clean and get help.

"I raised the white flag in my own mind," Wasserman, 63, said of the day he decided to seek help for a problem that had secretly consumed hundreds of thousands of dollars, his retirement savings and his career. "I knew that it was D-day."

Wasserman is now more than three years into his recovery, which started with a phone call to Delaware's anti-gambling addiction program.

It is one of a growing number of publicly-funded programs that face a financial crunch as U.S. states jump at the chance to collect revenue through legal sports betting, while largely ignoring the need to spend more tackling gambling addiction.

Of the eight U.S. states that legalized full-scale sports betting, only three have increased funding for problem gambling services. And the contributions have been small, according to state officials and program directors.

None of those states, or the additional 15 and the District of Columbia that introduced bills in 2018 to legalize sports betting, have followed the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) recommendation to dedicate 1 percent of legal sports betting revenue to problem gambling services.

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